Qiao Anhao walked down the stairs to Lu Jinnian. She took a glance at him, then bent to enter the car. Before she could fasten her seat belt, he had already done it for her.
After entering his car, Lu Jinnian fastened his own seat belt and asked her for Zhao Meng's address. While he was keying it into the GPS, his fingers couldn't stop trembling. After having struggled through it, he started the engine. Suddenly, he slammed the breaks. Pausing for some time, he came back to his senses and turned the steering wheel out of Mian Xiu Garden.
The entire journey, they remained silent, only speaking once when Qiao Anhao held out her phone to send Zhao Meng a voice message, informing her that she would arrive in about half an hour.
When they were nearing Zhao Meng's house, Lu Jinnian didn't seem to have any intention of slowing down. Only when Qiao Anhao spoke to remind him of the location did he slam the brakes. He looked out the window and saw that they had pa.s.sed Zhao Meng's house by about two hundred meters. "I'll make a turn."
"It's fine, it isn't that far, I'll just walk over." Qiao Anhao smiled.
Lu Jinnian's jaw tightened as he stared ahead silently. After a long while, he replied, "Okay."
Qiao Anhao reached for the keys in her bag, pa.s.sing them over to Lu Jinnian. "The keys to Mian Xiu Garden."
Lu Jinnian didn't reach for them. Qiao Anhao placed them in a compartment in the car before grabbing her bag. "I'll go now."
"Okay," Lu Jinnian replied robot-like. After a while, when he seemed to have realized what was happening, he hurriedly alighted from the car to help her with her luggage.
"Thank you." Qiao Anhao reached out to take her suitcase, but when she grabbed onto it, Lu Jinnian tightened his own grip.
Qiao Anhao lifted her head to look at him.
Lu Jinnian opened his mouth, his gaze faltering. After a long while, he just said, "Goodbye."
Qiao Anhao forced a smile, replying, "Goodbye."
Lu Jinnian tightened the grip he had on the luggage, then loosened it, and tightened it yet again. In the end, he still let go of it.
Qiao Anhao pushed the suitcase to her side before smiling one last time at him. She turned and tears started to pour down her face.
Goodbye, Lu Jinnian.
I have no idea how long it will take for me to stop loving you, but from now on, I will no longer naively hope for your love.
Even though I blame you for killing our child, I would also want to thank you for the eight months you gave me. Thank you for letting me understand that you would never love me.
Goodbye, my youth, goodbye, my love.
Goodbye, those thirteen years of beautiful pain.
Lu Jinnian stood paralyzed. He looked as Qiao Anhao lugged her suitcase away. When he couldn't see her anymore, he still remained there until a traffic police came up to warn him off. He apologized to the officer and drove away.
As he drove, he was suddenly confused, he had no idea where he could go.