Song Qingchun had never expected that this was going to be the last time she talked to Tang Nuan and that the latter's reticence before parting was going to be Song Qingchun's last impression of her. This was because less than twelve hours after their separation, Song Qingchun received news of Tang Nuan's death.
At the time, Song Qingchun was so caught up with the news of Su Zhinian's vasectomy that she didn't have the mental capacity to notice Tang Nuan's curious state. She merely urged her after Tang Nuan didn't speak for a long time. "Yes?"
Tang Nuan's gaze on her was quiet yet meaningful, like she needed to communicate many things but couldn't do that via words. It was lost on Song Qingchun that this was a sign of Tang Nuan's deep inner struggles. Specifically, she was debating whether or not to tell Song Qingchun that someone was out for her life.
If she didn't tell Song Qingchun, she might have a chance at survival, but if she did, then her fate was sealed
Song Qingchun was in hurry to get to Su Zhinian, so honestly, she was a bit annoyed at Tang Nuan's ambivalence.
"Tang Nuan, you can tell me whatever you wish to tell me after this. I'm in a hurry," Song Qingchun finally said before she turned around to press the elevator button.
"Qingchun." After Song Qingchun stepped into the elevator, and the door was about to close, Tang Nuan called her one more time. She called her "Qingchun" and not "Song Qingchun"; it sounded like the Tang Nuan from the past was calling her name all of a sudden.
Song Qingchun's heart skipped a beat, and she unconsciously raised her head up to look at Tang Nuan. Through the closing elevator door, Song Qingchun saw Tang Nuan smile and wink at her.
The smile was at once familiar and strange; it reminded her of her best friend, Tang Nuan from high school, the girl whom she had shared much laughter and many secrets with.
Time seemed to have run backwards, and she found her surroundings falling away to form a school playground that was washed with sunlight. She and Tang Nuan had similar school uniforms on. Just like how she remembered it, Tang Nuan was standing quite a distance away from her, greeting her by calling her "Qingchun" and then smiling that smile of hers, a smile that lit up her whole face with good cheer.
Song Qingchun stared unblinkingly at Tang Nuan, and her eyes and lips couldn't help but be filled with a joy. Her lips curled upwards into a toothy grin.
Tang Nuan saw Song Qingchun smile and responded in kind by smiling even bigger, and in turn, Song Qingchun did the same.
The girls had known each other since they were sixteen, and now they were twenty-six. There was a full ten years and many incidents between them. As they smiled at each other sincerely and wordlessly, Song Qingchun could have sworn that there was a slightly glint that appeared around the corner of Tang Nuan's eyes. It caused her smile to freeze for a fraction of a second. Before she could confirm whether or not that was a tear, the elevator door closed.
After Song Qingchun walked out of TW Station and stood by the roadside to hail a cab, she turned her head up to look at the floor of her office. However, she was unable to see anything due to the harsh reflection of the sunlight. Then she heard a car honking from behind her. She quickly turned, got into the taxi, and left.
Song Qingchun really didn't anticipate that after this hasty escape of hers, the next time she saw Tang Nuan, it would be at a crime scene.
Tang Nuan passed away in a horrific car accident. The coroner confirmed she died on the spot, one body but two lives. The scene of the accident was harrowing.