Hearing the door close, Auntie Su turned to look at Song Qingchun. She smiled embarrassingly at her before turning back to gently and patiently persuade him. "Ah Nian, no matter what, you have to eat some so that you'll get better."
Su Zhinian ignored his mother completely.
"Ah Nian, if you don't want to have porridge, then okay. Tell me what you want to eat; I'll go buy it for you now"
Song Qingchun noticed Su Zhinian still not responding, and she couldn't help but whisper to Auntie Su, "What's wrong?"
"Don't know what's wrong with him. When he just woke up, he said he wanted to eat something, so I went to heat some porridge for him, but now he doesn't want it anymore," Auntie Su said.
Song Qingchun frowned as she turned to look at Su Zhinian. She asked with an undercurrent of complaint, "Why won't you have a few bites?"
Su Zhinian did not answer and maintained the aloofness on his face. The man who had just recovered still had little color to skin. There was a rare shade of fragility on his face. Perhaps Song Qingchun had imagined it, but she thought she saw a hue of sadness and melancholy on the man's face as he looked out the window.
Song Qingchun's heart was already heavy with guilt before she came in. Seeing him in this state heightened the guilt in her heart. She sighed softly and told Auntie Su, "Why don't you let me try?"
Auntie Su had tried persuading Su Zhinian for hours, and there was no progress, so she was more than willing to let Song Qingchun try. She stood up to give the seat to Song Qingchun as she passed the younger woman the bowl.
Song Qingchun stirred the porridge twice before scooping up a spoonful. She raised it to her lips to blow on it. The smell of the medicine almost caused her to vomit, but she suffered through it with a smile. She then moved the spoon to the side of Su Zhinian's mouth.
When she noticed Su Zhinian stretched his lips tighter as the spoon approached, Song Qingchun said softly like she was coaxing a child, "Come now, even if you don't have much of an appetite, you have to eat something. I know the porridge doesn't taste great, but it's good for your recovery. Tell you what, I have a pack of sweets in my purse; after you have some of the porridge, I'll let you have some of them."
In Song Qingchun's mind, if Su Zhinian refused to do anything, either he would walk off or dress the person down instantlythis tactic of saying nothing was something new to her.
Before he went down to rest, his mood was not bad. What happened? Is it because he's feeling a bit sullen from being cooped up in his room all day?
Song Qingchun thought about it and continued in her soft tone. "I know that lying in bed all day is not comfortable, but if you want to recover soon and move about, you have to eat this medicinal porridge."
Auntie Su was getting increasingly anxious from Su Zhinian's lack of response, so she cut in to say, "Ah Nian, what do you want to eat? Please tell me, okay? I'll go buy it for you now, I promise it won't take long"
"Auntie Su, this medicinal porridge is recommended by Doctor Xia. It's best for his recuperation. It's definitely better than outside food, plus who knows what kind of ingredients goes into that food? It might harm his body."
After Song Qingchun told Auntie Su that, she turned back around to say kindly, "How about this? I'll ask the doctor tomorrow to see whether you can go out or not. If it's permissible, I'll wheel you downstairs to take a spin around the garden, what do you think about that?"