As if expecting her to arrive earlier than promised, he didn't show any trace of surprise at her arrival. When she changed into the slippers, he opened his lips to ask, "Have you had breakfast yet?"
Song Qingchun shook her head.
"There's a new shop opening across from the housing area. They serve quite delicious breakfast, want to go?"
Song Qingchun thought about it and said, "Okay."
Su Zhinian changed his shoes, grabbed the car key, opened the door, and went out with Song Qingchun. Like a true gentleman, he opened and held the car door for her. After she was seated, like usual, he bent into the car to help her with the seatbelt.
The shop was right across from Shining Light Residences, so they arrived in less than five minutes. Su Zhinian made all the orders. He asked for two bowls of porridge, four steamed buns, and a plate of crispy pickled radish.
When they were almost done, Su Zhinian raised his eyes to look at Song Qingchun. He asked, "Can you apply for leave from work today?"
Song Qingchun took a sip of the porridge before answering. "Yes."
"Then, do you mind following me to some place?"
Aren't we supposed to discuss the issue of the child? Why isn't he bringing it up? Song Qingchun hesitated before nodding. "Sure, I don't mind."
Su Zhinian nodded as Song Qingchun pulled out her phone to send her boss a message about her leave. After Su Zhinian paid for the breakfast, Su Zhinian didn't hurry to usher Song Qingchun into his car but took a detour to a nearby convenience store to buy a few bottles of mineral water to place in the backseat of his car.
The weather in Beijing had been warming up over the past few days. Sitting in the passenger seat, Song Qingchun felt rather cooped up, so she rolled down the window to let fresh air in.
The road they were on was quite congested. The car halted and moved for about half an hour before the traffic cleared. Song Qingchun noticed that Su Zhinian's car was moving outside of the city. Song Qingchun was curious about where their destination was. Her lips moved several times, aiming to ask Su Zhinian, but eventually, she chose to silence herself.
Su Zhinian's car drove stably on the road. Song Qingchun, who didn't get much sleep the previous night, leaned against the car seat and inevitably fell asleep.
Through the rear-view mirror, Su Zhinian glanced at Song Qingchun. He reached over to lower the back of her seat to make her more comfortable. Song Qingchun opened her blurry eyes to look at Su Zhinian as he did so before she slowly returned to her dreams.
When Song Qingchun woke up, Su Zhinian's car was slowing down. Apparently, they had reached their destination. Song Qingchun leaned up in her seat to look out the window. Other than an unadorned steel gate, there was no sign in sight. She frowned in confusion before turning around to ask Su Zhinian, "We're here?"
"Yes." Su Zhinian parked the car and pushed the door open. He got down first before walking around the car to get the door for Song Qingchun. Song Qingchun hesitated before she unbucked the seatbelt and got out, holding her purse.
Su Zhinian didn't explain himself but pulled Song Qingchun along as he headed toward the steel gate.
There was no bell, so Su Zhinian used his hands to shake the gate heavily for a while until it clanged. About five minutes later, a middle-aged woman ran over to open the gate for them.
Su Zhinian had probably talked to the middle-aged woman on the phone already. After giving her his name, the woman welcomed them in kindly and enthusiastically.
After walking through the gate, they took a turn, and Song Qingchun saw a sizeable patio. There were seven to eight children absorbed in various activities; the eldest among them was about seven and the youngest about two.