Before dawn arrived upon the empty streets of Beijing, humidity levels were high and the weather was cool. There were long intervals between cars driving past. Qiao Anhao stood by the side of the road for an awfully long time before she could hail a taxi. Eventually, she hailed one, got in, and requested to be taken to Mian Xiu Garden.
When the car reached it, she paid the driver and ran out before even collecting her change.
The pa.s.scode to Mian Xiu Gardens hadn't changed.
The place looked as if n.o.body had visited it in a long time. The fallen flowers on the courtyard floor had become muddy and tattered. As Qiao Anhao stepped on top of them, the leaves produced a crisp, crunching sound.
Qiao Anhao opened the doors and noticed two pairs of slippers placed silently on the shoe closet; one for men, the other for women. The women one was hers, from when she had used to live here, pretending to be husband and wife with Lu Jinnian. After she left, she had left them in a bag and asked him to throw it out, but now the pair was here, back in their original spot. It looked as though the two of them were still living in the house.
The villa was completely empty, no a soul in sight. Just like before, there was a layer of dust on the grandfather clock.
Qiao Anhao ran up the stairs and pushed open the bedroom doors. It was pitch-black inside, and she turned on the lights in disappointment. The first thing she saw was the adult-sized teddy bear she had bought at the center of the tidy bed. She had taken all of her cosmetics with her when she left, but there, in front of the dressing table, were brand new ones of the exact same brands. Even the eyeliner was the same.
That man... though he always had a cold expression on his face, as though he didn't care about anything, when did he memorize everything she used so clearly?
Qiao Anhao had never known that something like this could make tears suddenly fall.
As though she had an inkling of something, she walked into the changing room. She saw half of the wardrobe filled with his clothes, and the other half with the clothes she'd asked him to throw out for her. Perhaps because the wardrobe wasn't entirely filled up, or perhaps it was because he wanted to buy her clothes but had no excuse for it, there was a wall full of the latest collections from her favorite brands. The newly bought clothes still had the tags on them.
Qiao Anhao forcefully pursed her lips and moved away to step into the bathroom. The toothpaste, toothbrush, shower gel, cleansing lotion... The things she had used for over half a year whilst living there were all back in their original places.
With her gone, he couldn't open his mouth to ask her to stay, and so like this, he stubbornly pretended that she was still here.
So it turned out that the person she loved, loved her this much as well. He was so foolish, to love her so foolishly.
When Qiao Anhao stepped out of Mian Xiu Garden, the skies were already a little bright. This time, she hailed a taxi to go directly to Huan Ying Entertainment.
On her arrival, n.o.body had come for work just yet. There was only the night s.h.i.+ft's security guard, who yawned and said "Good morning" to her.
Qiao Anhao sat waiting incredibly patiently in the lobby outside of Lu Jinnian's office on the top floor.
Having been with him for over half a year, she knew that his lifestyle was very simple. He always spent long hours at the office.
From before seven in the morning to ten, everyone had come to work. All but Lu Jinnian.
Qiao Anhao asked Lu Jinnian's secretary, but she could only tell her that Chief Lu hadn't been in the office for a few days now.
Qiao Anhao blanked out for a moment, then suddenly remembered the villa in Mount Yi. She thanked the secretary and rushed downstairs to catch a taxi for Mount Yi.