Chapter 18: Distracted
The person in front of her was stunned as he stared at her. Song Ran smiled at the sight of his distracted expression. She reached out her hand and waved before him. “Hey, Jinghang. What are you daydreaming about”
Gu Jinghang wiped off his sweat with guilt. With a low and husky voice, he asked, “What... what did you say”
Song Ran rested her weight against the chair as she pulled his arm. With a broad smile, she said, “I gave up my seat to this lady. Dont you think Im a good girl”
Gu Jinghang patted her shoulder as though he was coaxing a child. “Ran, youre the best. Youre doing good deeds by helping others out.”
Song Ran chuckled. “I learned from you. Youre my role model.”
Wen Huihui wanted to roll her eyes, but she would rather close them and have some peace without looking at this nauseating couple. They were really unconcerned about their behaviors in public. How annoying.
Song Ran stood before Gu Jinghang while he held the handle above his head with one hand. His other hand was grasping the back of the seat. Song Ran was circled in his arms while his deep voice rang in her ears. “Ran, hold on tight to my arms. Its bumpy.”
Song Ran leaned her entire body on Gu Jinghang, and she could feel the warmth emitting from his body and hear his heartbeat. She smiled without revealing her teeth. “Okay.”
It was the end of summer, and the bus continued to travel along roads filled with trees and sunlight. As more passengers got on the bus, it was packed like sardines. No one took notice of the duo. Team Leader Gus hand slowly crept to Song Rans waist while her hand moved and caught his index finger. The smile on her face got even sweeter.
The two hours passed by in a flash. When the bus conductor announced the name of their stop, Gu Jinghang was reluctant to end the journey.
Before Tianzifangs stop, he whispered to her, “Ran, Im getting off at this stop. Wait for me at home.”
“I cant possibly be paying a visit to your house with my hands empty. Theres an agricultural cooperative* at this stop. Im going to get something.”
“Ill get off with you.”
“No, the weather is too hot. Youll get off at the next stop.”
The bus gradually came to a stop. Song Ran hurriedly dragged Gu Jinghang off the bus. When both of them had disembarked, Gu Jinghang suddenly remembered. “Wen Huihui is still on the bus. She seems to have fallen asleep.”
Song Ran crooned, “Forget it. The bus conductor will wake her up when she reaches her stop.”
At ten oclock, the sun was scorching hot. Gu Jinghang placed his hand over her head. “Why did you get off the bus with me Its a five-mile walk to your house from here. Can you walk”
Song Ran nodded. “I can do it.”
Gu Jinghang then held her hand and took her to a large grocery store where they sold almost everything. It was bustling and crowded.
Song Ran was feeling a little guilty. In the past when she was dating Gu Jinghang, they took cabs and dined in those western restaurants with red rooftops. Those places served nice-looking and expensive food and were not stomach-filling.
Gu Jinghangs wages were little. One meal would cost two months of his salary, but he had no complaints about the splurge.
Moreover, she would go home and tell her elder sister about their dates. She cringed at her meanness at the time, going on to describe the awkward look on Gu Jinghangs face as he dined on his western food.
“You didnt see his lips trembling when he saw the price on the menu. His hands too. So funny.”
“He never had western food before, so he didnt even know how to hold a knife and a fork. Outdated fellow.”
“And then, his hand hesitated when he was taking out his money to foot the bill. When he gave that note, that look in his eyes looked like a piece of his flesh had been cut out of him. Does he need to be like this”
Song Ran was a rich girl who never knew the difficulties of livelihood. How would she know that one western meal could have cost Gu Jinghang two months of his salary
Now thinking about it, she really felt like slapping herself. Song Ran, youre such a bad girl.
The source of this content is n/ov//el/bin[./]net'
Endnotes: The actual name of this place in China is called, Supply and Marketing Cooperative. It is a store run by the Chinese government to serve the rural areas with allocated resources in the planned economy era.