The sunlight was hot that afternoon. When it shined on ones back, it was like splashing boiled water on the skin.
Sophie pulled the curtains in the living room and it blocked the sunlight. This created a lazy atmosphere in the room as it was not that bright anymore.
She opened the piano lid and looked at the black and white piano keys.
A ray of sunlight shined on the piano. When Sophie touched the keys, the light was diverted and it created a beautiful curve in the air.
Breathing in lightly, Sophie smiled and looked carefree. She pressed the keys softly and increased her speed.
The piano sound was loud and clear. From low key to high key, the notes became high-pitched and then dropped slowly according to the rhythm.
While waiting for the water to boil, Li Du leaned on the kitchen door and stared at her, attentively listening to the cheerful music.
The tone of this song was joyful with a quick rhythm, and the music notes jumped up and down. When the rhythm was fast, it was like a dancing elf, and it was like tidal waves when the rhythm was slow.
In a few minutes, the piano sound filled every corner of the living room. The joyful music wiped the dull atmosphere in the house away.
This was the first time Li Du believed that music was life.
At the end of the song, Sophie pressed the keys slowly to end the tune beautifully.
The last note sounded like falling jade beads to Li Du; it was clear, smooth and graceful.
Sophie turned her head and looked at him. Her green eyes were clear and beautiful. At that moment, Li Du thought that her eyes were just like the jade beads he was imagining.
"What do you think? How are my skills?"
Li Du said sincerely, "One more time please!"
Sophie smiled happily. "As you wish, my darling. This is an honor."
When she had called him "my darling," Li Du knew that she hadnt meant it that way. But he couldnt help but think that he wanted to stay with her for the rest of his life.
She played the piano again. This time, she played another song. It was not cheerful, but gentler, although still beautiful.
After she finished playing this longer song, Sophia smile, "Do you know the name of this song?"
Li Du shook his head in embarrassmenthe knew nothing about music.
Sophie said, "Its called The Mark of Spring, and its about the connection between spring and summer. Its nice, isnt it?"
Li Du said, "Of courseboth songs are beautiful."
The water boiled, and the red dates and lemon slices floated on the bubbly surface, surrounded by the black tea leaves.
The aroma of the teawith a hint of a fruity scentfilled the house.
After the water boiled, Li Du poured the tea into the glasses until they were half filled; the tea and fruit juice combination was viscous.
But as he added a lot of ice cubes and the ice melted, the fruit tea diluted as it cooled down.
They sat beside a small wooden table under the tree. Both of them held a glass of iced fruit tea. Ah Meow had some dried fish and Crispy Noodles nibbled an apple.
Ah Meow climbed up the tree with the dried fish in its mouth. It was not in a hurry to eat it because it was full. It put the dried fish down and lied on one of the branches.
Crispy Noodles walked around the tree nervously while holding the apple. It was looking for water to wash its food.
Li Du said helplessly, "Theres no water here, Crispy Noodles. Theres no need to wash itIve washed it for you."
It seemed like Crispy Noodles didnt understand; it blinked its small eyes and looked around anxiously.
Li Du shrugged. "Theres no water, and its clean."
Crispy Noodles lowered its head and sighedit made a loud sound when it breathed out.
Then, it held the apple and moved its paws. It pretended like there was water and its actions were as though it was washing the apple.
Sophie laughed, "Crispy Noodles is a smart raccoon. Only a smart raccoon would behave like this."
After adopting Crispy Noodles, Li Du would look up information about raccoons during his free time.
Indeed, it was a strange move when a raccoon washed its food. The reason they did this was not to clean anything, but it was just a result of evolution.
A smart raccoon would do this even without water, imagining that there was some there.
Li Du took a sip of black tea. Because of the ice, the drink was very cold, but the texture of the liquid changed as the fruit-tea mix became diluted.
It was not windy during afternoons in Flagstaff; it was just extremely hot.
But luckily after an hour, when the sun set, the temperature started to drop. It became more comfortable under the tree, enjoying the fruit tea.
Li Du talked about his experience in Los Angeles. Sophie listened to him attentively and asked questions.
After he spoke for awhile, she said, "Where else did you go? Are there any other interesting things?"
Li Du asked, "Havent you been to Los Angeles before?"
Sophie leaned on the table, looking melancholy. She rested her chin on her hand. "This is all my fault. Im a homebody. I stayed in Flagstaff from childhood through high school. I went to Phoenix to pursue my degree, and I came back after I graduated."
Li Du was shocked, "Havent you been to Los Angeles before? How about Las Vegas? Its not far from Flagstaff."
Sophie glanced at him apologetically. "The furthest town I have been to is Phoenix. Do you think that my life is dull?"
Li Du held her hands and said, "Of course notits good to have a stable life. But if you want, I can bring you, and we can travel places."
When he held her hands, Sophia opened her eyes widely; she blushed and lowered her head.
She hadnt heard what Li Du had said.
Li Du became embarrassed when he saw her blush. But her hand was warm, and her skin was gentlehe liked the feeling when he held her hand, so he didnt let go.
As the atmosphere was getting awkward, Li Du acted nonchalant and continued, "I met a girl in Los Angeles. That was the third time we met, both of you are completely different"
He talked about Tina's story and how the girl had survived in the United States living for her music dreams, like a proud and tough wild bird.
Sophie rested her chin on her hand and listened to him as he talked about Tina.
When he finished, she said faintly, "You know so much about her."
Li Du was stunned, and he realized that he had done something stupid.
He tried to explain himself, but luckily Sophie had just been making a comment. "Her life is full of experience," she continued, "but I dont think I can do that. I cant take care of myself."
Li Du laughed, "I will take care of you, what about that?"
Sophie laughed too; she took a glance at him and said, "I mean I couldnt take care of myself if I wandered the world. I can take care of myself now."
Li Du laughed and insisted, "Then Ill take care of you when you wander the world."
Sophie raised her eyebrows and looked at him in disbelief; she giggled, "But I dont want to wander the world yet."