Now, he probably wouldn’t ask the same type of question. Cheng Xi didn’t know how to answer his question either; luckily, there were other classmates around ready to interject themselves into the conversation. “Right, Lin Fan, if your mother’s not doing too well, you should talk to Cheng Xi! She works at Renyi Hospital, and helping you expedite her treatment shouldn’t be too inconvenient for her.”
Renyi was one of the best hospitals in the south, and it was famed for how difficult it was to have an appointment there.
Lin Fan asked, “Would you be willing to do that?”
Given her classmates’ reassurances, Cheng Xi could only reply, “Ah, it’s not a problem, but I work in the psychiatry department and don’t really know any other people from the other departments. So, I’m not sure how much help I can be.”
Her classmates, again reiterated, “It can’t be worse than we outsiders trying to help, right?”
Cheng Xi remained silent. The topic quickly fizzled out, because the wedding had begun in earnest. The marriage officiant stood on stage, dressed entirely in white. As the wedding march started to play, Shen Wei’s father slowly walked her down the aisle.
Everyone took out their phones to take pictures, even Cheng Xi. When she later looked over the photos she had taken, she couldn’t help but notice that Lin Fan was in all of them.
At that point, he had been looking at the stage, so only half his face appeared in the photos. Her photography skills were terrible, but in one photo she had managed to capture his aesthetic. His face was particularly clear, slender and neat, with an arched nose and a head tilted slightly upwards; his aura was not one of breathtaking beauty, but rather of his own refined charm.
She had always thought that Lin Fan had a scholarly air about him, just like Dai Wangshu’s poem, 《Rain in the Alley》: in the drizzling rain, from afar he came, drenched in melancholic motes.
Tian Rou turned around, having shot enough pictures, and Cheng Xi quickly turned her phone off. Tian Rou held up hers and smiled at Cheng Xi. “Look, I secretly took so many photos of my male idol. Handsome, isn’t he?”
Cheng Xi smiled. “Quite handsome indeed.”
A nearby female classmate overheard their conversation and also turned around. “Where, where?”
The two females gathered together to look at their crushes, chatting the whole time, right until the bride was about to toss her bouquet into the air.
Before Shen Wei threw her bouquet, she called her single classmates to the front, her crisp and melodious voice emitting from a microphone, “Good luck, sisters. Snatch my bouquet and quickly get married yourselves; it’ll be hard to find bridesmaids if you keep holding out.”
Everyone laughed, including Cheng Xi. Shen Wei stood on her tiptoes and suddenly threw her bouquet into the air.
The girls squeezed together to try to catch the bouquet, pushing Cheng Xi aside. In the mayhem, she stepped on something, her body off balance.
“Be careful.” A pair of steady, strong arms caught her.
Cheng Xi turned around, and saw that Lin Fan was standing only a few steps behind her, the backs of his hands supporting her back.
She suddenly recalled the fitness checkups from her school days. Her health hadn’t been so good then, and she would get dizzy whenever she had to have her blood drawn, so he had always stood at her back. Whenever she turned around, she would see him.
Till now, Cheng Xi still kept the note he had given her in her bookshelf. “Don’t be afraid. I’ll always be with you.”
But, in truth, he wasn’t. After graduating, he had gone abroad without even leaving her a single message.
Cheng Xi took a few steps back, and was about to thank him when a girl caught the bride’s bouquet. None of her single classmates had been able to snatch it, and funnily enough, the bouquet had landed in the lap of a girl who hadn’t wanted to catch it at all.
Everyone sat back down. Tian Rou sighed dejectedly and said, “It looks like we won’t be able to get married. What should we do?” She leaned against Cheng Xi’s shoulders, pretending to cry, but her gaze was always directed at Lin Fan. “My male idol, do you have a girlfriend yet?”
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