Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Tea of Summer - Chapter 39 Part 1: Winter Warmth 5

Hey guys, Chapter 39 was pretty long so we had to cut it in half. Sorry about that! By the way, in the next part, IT finally happens.

Chapter 39 Part 1
Winter Warmth 5

“Let’s park the car here.” Lin Qian led Xia Liang off the car before locking it.  “Who knows how crowded downtown is tonight.”
Xia Liang followed her closely and pulled on her long necklace uneasily.

An hour ago, Lin Qian, who was already dressed up, ran into Xia Liang’s bedroom.  She took out a stack of fall and winter clothes from the closet and threw them onto the bed.  Then she ordered Xia Liang in an authoritative voice, “Get changed!”
Under Lin Qian’s supervision, a stunned Xia Liang finally changed into the clothing she was now wearing.  She wore a cream-colored long turtleneck cashmere sweater, a cage-shaped retro style necklace that hung down to her chest, a pair of dark jeans that she usually wore, and a pair of khaki-colored boots. On top of them, she had put on a long red woolen coat with flannel lining and a plush fur collar around the neckline.  Lin Qian had also done her hair, which was usually in a ponytail or casually let it down.  Now her hair was spread down onto her shoulder; Lin Qian had used a curling iron to make it wavy at the end of her hair.  Finally on top of her head was a white dehair angora hat with a furry pom pom on top which was slightly swaying in the night breeze.  It was quite cute.

Xia Liang followed Lin Qian and muttered.  “We are just watching the fireworks.  Why should I  dress up like this?”
Lin Qian glanced sideways. “Christmas is such a grand day.  Shouldn’t you be dressed up? You always dress so plainly, do you plan to be a Buddhist nun?  Besides, you’re hardly dressed up?  You haven’t even put on any makeup.”
Originally Lin Qian planned to do Xia Liang’s makeup as well, but Xia Liang refused, willing to die rather than surrender.  Lin Qian didn’t want her plan exposed, so she gave up.  But then she thought that maybe Song Qiyan liked a girl without any makeup……

Lin Qian dragged Xia Liang towards the downtown square.  The two young skinny girls squeezed and pushed their way out of the crowd.  It happened that they stood at the front of a handmade scented soap store.  Lin Qian looked at the sign. “There is a big sale today.  The set of the scented massage oil I was interested last time should be on sale also.  I am going in to buy it.  You just wait for me here!“
After she finished, she immediately pushed her way into the store.
Xia Liang opened her mouth, then closed it.  She waited in front of the store obediently.  The evening breeze was a little strong and cold.  Xia Liang shrank her neck; she was glad that she had put on a turtleneck sweater, not the one with a super low neckline which Lin Qian had picked out originally.  She looked around and discovered that the place was so crowded and there was no place to shield herself from the wind.  She started to regret coming out with Lin Qian tonight.

In the first two years after coming to America after high school, she was somewhat excited for Christmas Eve and Christmas.  But she had lost that original enthusiasm after two years.  She would rather stay at home in such cold weather, nestled in sofa watching anime with a cup of hot cocoa.
Lin Qian had been in the store for some time.  It was so crowded inside the store and she couldn’t see her at all.  Xia Liang frowned and thought.  What would happen if she sent her a message and then went back home by herself?  She thought about it then killed the idea before it started to grow.  Definitely, definitely, Cici definitely would kill her……

Somebody patted her shoulder while she was struggling and feeling sorry for herself.
She looked up and what came to view was that elegant face.

He wore a British style woolen sweater on top of a white shirt, a pair of black casual pants and black shoes, and a light tan colored coat.  He was tall, straight, neat, and looked just like a scholar.
Song Qiyan tried to catch his rapid breath.  He looked at her with a shallow and mild smile. “What a coincidence.  Xia Xia.  How about we walk around together?”

Xia Liang helplessly pointed at the overcrowded handmade scented soap store behind her.  “I am here with my roommate.  She is shopping inside and I am waiting for her here.”
Xia Liang’s cell flashed right at this time.  The screen displayed a text message from Lin Qian who was busy shopping at that moment------You may walk around if you feel bored.  I am in a very long line.  It will take at least an hour.  Don’t wait for me.  You two just go watch the fireworks yourselves.
Xia Liang felt awkward.  She looked at Song Qiyan pathetically and didn’t even notice a problem with Lin Qian’s text message at all.

Song Qiyan curved his mouth up and looked at her. “Let’s go.  The fireworks will start in 15 minutes.”
Xia Liang nodded and walked to the left side of Song Qiyan.
They walked a couple of steps when Song Qiyan paused suddenly. He moved to the other side of Xia Liang.  Xia Liang touched her nose.  He walked on the outside of the sidewalk so he could shield her. Shixiong was really considerate.
They followed the crowd and didn’t stop until they reached the bridge near the square.  Many others had decided to stop here too.  They were waiting for the opening of the grand fireworks a few minutes later.

“Shixiong……what brings you here tonight?”  Xia Liang was not stupid.  She thought it was a coincidence in the beginning, but Lin Qian’s attitude was rather too tricksy.
Song Qiyan was too honest to cover for Lin Qian.  He took out his cell from his pocket, pulled out the text message, and showed it to Xia Liang:

【Summer is at the door of the handmade scented soap store next to Macy's.】

The time he received the message was twenty minutes ago.
Xia Liang twitched the corner of her mouth innocently. “Sorry, shixiong… roommate, she uh……”
Song Qiyan gave her a quizzical look. “Why say sorry?”

Xia Liang, “......” She finally experienced what Lin Qian felt when she choked up on Xia Liang’s own words.