Chapter 3: The Arrival of Childhood Friends (Part 1)
“The process is not important. What is important is that we all grew up well, this is the best thing!“
After a night of no dreams, I woke up and squintedly looked at my phone. It was almost 9 o’clock.
I closed my eyes as I yearned for a little more sleep. Suddenly, Wu Julan’s face appeared in my head. I quickly got up and looked at the door — the hollow beer bottle remaining standing straight, like a dedicated knight reporting to their master that no enemies entered.
Indeed, I didn’t judge the wrong person! My excitement was immeasurable, it flowed out of the bottom of my heart. I couldn’t hold back my excitement and broke out into a smile. I laid back onto my bed and smiled.
I slept for a whole ten hours. The fatigue from the past few days vanished and even my mood became better.
I stretched, closed my eyes, and thought, “Is Wu Julan awake yet? I don’t know how well he rested last night…” While I was pondering, I heard a sound coming from the yard. I jumped off the bed, ran to the window, and looked out–
The sky was clear and blue; the sun was magnificent; the green trees danced; the fresh flowers bloomed; the colorful bed sheets that hung on the bamboo pole swayed with the wind. Wu Julan was wearing a white shirt and black pants, and stood among the sheets and quilts that flowed up and down. He was currently hanging the washed clothes, one by one.
Perhaps the sky was too clear and too blue, the sun was too magnificent; perhaps the trees were too green, and the flowers were too vibrant. A simple scene like this made my heart suddenly feel warm. I smiled as I continued watching.
The bedsheets and quills flapped up and down, following the flow of the wind, rising up and falling down. As a result, Wu Julan’s figure kept being revealed at one moment, then hidden in another. After he finished hanging up the last shirt, he raised his head and looked towards me. The specks of sunlight created highlights near his body, which made his shadow seem clear yet blurry. I lightly waved my hand, raised my voice and said, “Good morning!”
Wu Julan lightly smiled and replied, “Good morning.”
“Have you eaten breakfast yet?”
While adjusting my hair, I said, “ Wait a little bit, it’ll be ready soon.”
I rushed into the bathroom, quickly finished brushing my teeth and washing my face, then rushed into the kitchen, and started making breakfast. It was too late to prepare congee, so I decided to make two bowls of Dragon Beard Noodles and a plate of tomatoes with eggs. Let’s just eat tomato egg noodles then!
While I was cooking, Wu Julan stood at the kitchen door the whole time, watching me. As he had done the laundry for the whole morning, I decided not to order him to help.
Wu Julan asked, “Do people nowadays use these stoves to cook?”
I watched the noodles in the pot, making sure that none spilled out, while stirring the tomatoes while replying, “We use liquified gas tanks, while those cities on the mainland use natural gas.”
Once the breakfast was ready, each of us got ourselves a bowl of noodles as we sat down and ate.
I peaked at Wu Julan. He had no expression. He just slowly ate and wasn’t being picky. Whether it was tomatoes or eggs, he ate them all.
I couldn’t hold it in any longer as I asked, “How does it taste?”
Wu Julan just glanced at me and said nothing.
I understood. As I’d already gotten used to his despises and breakfast was prepared in a haste, I wasn’t looking for his satisfaction with the meal. I mumbled to myself, “My cooking skills surely can’t compare to the skills of a master chef who works at big restaurants, but I have been doing housework since I was a child. So my home cooked dishes are still decent. Even Auntie Yang, who always picks at my mistakes, said that my cooking is pretty good. It’s probably just the fact that you are not used to our style of cooking.”
Wu Julan lowered his head and concentrated on eating, not saying a word.
I sullenly found out about one of Wu Junlan’s “moralities.” He never lies. Even if it was a small harmless one to smoothen out the relationships between people, he will never say it. I casually rumbled over such a “moral” person and just left it.
After the both of us finished eating, Wu Julan cleaned up the bowl and chopsticks and started to do the dishes. He did it concisely, unlike yesterday where I had to constantly remind him from time to time, as I left the task to him.
I looked at Wu Julan, who was focused on doing the dishes, then I looked at the yard. I saw the new clothes that I bought for Wu Julan and the bed sheets and quilt that he had changed were drying under the sun and the bed sheets and quilt from the room that Dad and step-mom stayed in have been washed clean and hung on the bamboo poles to dry. This made the yard seem very full.
In the current society, even the recruiters who actively look for new hires may not be able to find such a diligent worker. For the first time, I felt that I was being rewarded for being a good person who made a smart choice. He also had good looks. How could such a diligent worker level down to cloth rags and faint at my door?
However, my experience as a child made me understand that everyone has something that they don’t want to let others know about. If he doesn’t want to say, I won’t pry. What I don’t want to do is force another person.
I beckoned to Wu Julan, “Go to the study room to work.”
While passing by the bathroom near the stairs, I suddenly stopped. The bathroom was so clean, unlike how it was before. The washing machine’s power light was black and I opened the cover. It was clean, with not even a drop of water.
I became restless and ran into the living room, “Wu Julan, how did you wash the clothes in the morning?”
Wu Julan stared at me across from the kitchen window, not understanding what was going on inside my head.
I asked, “Did you use the washing machine?”
Wu Julan shook his head.
Even though I already guessed it, I had to check if I was correct. I found it hard to believe. I pointed towards the yard and shockingly asked, “You hand-washed all of those clothes?”
“Is it not right to hand-wash clothes?” Wu Julan asked back.
“It’s not that it’s not right, but don’t your hands hurt? Next time, use the washing machine to wash the bigger items! You shouldn’t waste your your energy like that even if you have it!”
Wu Julan emotionlessly replied, “My hands don’t hurt. This much energy is nothing to me.”
I was speechless for a moment and firmly said, “Well, in the future, use the washing machine to wash the bedsheets and quilts! I did not buy a washing machine for nothing!”
Wu Julan stayed silent for a moment, “Ok.”
I turned away, headed into the study room and sat in front of the computer. While waiting for the computer to open, I stared at the bed sheets and quilts hanging in the yard in disbelief. Wu Julan is unreasonably diligent, I thought.
Nowadays, there are still many people hand-washing clothes, but almost no one hand-washes bed sheets and quilts.
Well, there are still a few people. Take for example a neighbor on this street, Auntie Li. In order to reduce the water and electricity fees, she doesn’t have a washing machine. Of course, Auntie Li is one of the poorest people on this street.
Wu Julan’s family must also be very poor, to the point that they couldn’t afford a washing machine, so they were used to hand-washing bed sheets and quilts.
After the computer turned on, I shook off this burdened feeling and got to work.
Hello readers! As you know, the chapters for this novel is very very very long. Hence, to pace myself out a little, I’ve decided to release each chapter in parts. So, I hope you have enjoyed reading the first part of this chapter. I will quickly work on editing the subsequent parts to this chapter so we can have it published!
If you like the work so far, I’d appreciate if you can rate the novel and leave a review on NovelUpdates~ Do continue to stick to NovelUpdates or follow me on twitter @whalelyy to receive prompt chapter updates. Similarly, if there are any issues, you may also reach me directly via discord @whalelyy#4262!
Once again, special thanks to the following for making this chapter possible!