There were many questions swirling in her mind.
She wanted to ask him, Did you injure your stomach to save me when I was kidnapped?
She also wanted to ask him, Who are the presents in your office really for?
She desperately wanted to ask him, Why did you save my number as the person hiding in my memory in your phone's contact list?
She had many questions she needed him to answer, questions that had flooded her mind for the past few days. However, even as the questions clawed their way up their throat, she could not get them out of her lips.
In the end, a faded smile appeared on her lips, and she replied in an official tone, "Same to you, take care of yourself."
Su Zhinian replied with a nod.
She could not see his face, but she felt like she managed to see a heavy dose of sadness from his back. Her heart could not help but twitch with pain.
The next second, he slowly turned around to look at her. His expression was clear and light; the trace of sadness that she thought she had seen was indiscernible. The words that escaped his lips were surprisingly light and airy. "Qingchun, goodbye."
These two simple words caused Song Qingchun's eyes to prick with tears. She forced the edges of her lips up as high as she could to reply to him with a brilliant smile.
"Goodbye, Su Zhinian," she said.
Then Song Qingchun closed the car door, held her bag to her side, and turned around. After she took two steps toward the gate, she heard a clear and mellifluous voice calling her. "Qingchun."
It was Su Zhinian again.
Song Qingchun's footsteps halted, and she turned around. Su Zhinian's car that was parked at the roadside had disappeared. She turned to look down the road to catch the tail light of his car disappearing into the snow.
He didn't call me; I was only imagining things. Song Qingchun turned back around. When she took her first step, the tears finally fell from her eyes.
She knew that the goodbye was more than just a mere goodbye. It was their final farewell.
When she said, "Goodbye, Su Zhinian", it represented, "Su Zhinian, farewell."
After tonight, when tomorrow came, they would be in different countries. The world was large enough for two people who had lost their chance at happiness to not meet ever again.
Song Qingchun had thought she could accept Su Zhinian's departure easily and with a sense of detachment, but when she walked into her residential area, she stumbled into the residential area's garden, collapsed onto the snowy ground, and started to wail.
Around her, the snow continued to fall.
After Su Zhinian left the Song family's residential area, he did not return home but went to visit the alleyway where he first met her. He stayed in his car for a long time before turning off the ignition and getting out of the car.
He stood at the entrance to the alleyway. The front of his jacket was unbuttoned, and it fluttered crazily in the raging wind.
He stared at the round boulder at the front of the alleyway, the boulder that had remained unmoved throughout the years. He seemed to be able to see the little girl standing beside it, licking her lollipop.
He stood there until midnight, until his body was frozen solid, until a thick layer of snow had gathered on him, before he returned to his car and drove back to his bungalow.
After taking a warm shower, he did not rest. Instead, he pulled out his luggage and started to pack.