Chapter 2: The Man of Her Dreams
Huo Mian sighed in relief when she saw who it was.
"Lingling, are you trying to scare me to death?"
"Hey, I thought we agreed that you'd wait for me by the doors first so we can come in together. I can't believe you ran in before me," Lingling said as she pulled up a chair and sat next to Huo Mian.
"I was going to wait for you, but I saw an old classmate by the door. He said that everyone was upstairs, so I came up." Huo Mian smiled gently.
The one that greeted her was Zhu Lingling, her best friend since high school, who was now a flight attendant for an international airline. She was a pretty girl and was Huo Mian's only close girlfriend. Like Huo Mian, she was amiable and exceptionally kindhearted.
"Lingling, I thought you've been busy recently."
"How can I not be busy? I'm super busy! We were supposed to fly to Xing City today, but I didn't want to miss our reunion so I asked a colleague to cover my shift. Oh hey, where's your doctor? Why didn't you bring him?"
"He had a surgery scheduled today so he couldn't make it."
"Not bad, not bad. I see a bright and promising future for him. By the way, how's your house-hunting going?"
"We're getting there. Out of the three apartments that we went to see, there was one that we both liked. We're going to talk to his parents about it before making a final decision."
"Wow, that's fast. Where is it located? Buying a new place is a big deal, so you'd better think it through first," Zhu Lingling said.
"It's on 3rd Ring Road so it takes a little over 20 minutes to get to work by bus. It's pretty convenient," Huo Mian replied as she smiled faintly.
"Nice, I heard that apartments on 3rd Ring Road are worth an average of 8,000 Yuan per square meter. Your boyfriend must have some savings then!" Zhu Lingling exclaimed in admiration.
"It's not going to be a one-time payment. We're just placing a down payment for now, and the two of us will slowly pay off the rest of the mortgage. We're still young, and have plenty of time."
"So… after buying the apartment, are you guys going to get married?" Zhu Lingling asked as she reached out to hold Huo Mian's hand.
"Yes, it seems so, if nothing unexpected happens." Huo Mian nodded.
"Are you sure that you're willing to … get married, just like this?" Zhu Lingling suddenly asked, with a serious expression on her face.
"Well, at this point, does it matter if I'm willing or not?"
"Mian, you know why I'm asking. Have you really forgotten about him?" Zhu Lingling lowered her voice down to a whisper, but Huo Mian still heard every word clearly. A trace of sadness appeared in her eyes, with a hint of almost undetectable heartache.
"What's the point? So what if I'm not willing? This is how my life is supposed to be, and I've surrendered to it. I surrendered 7 years ago," Huo Mian said as she smiled bitterly.
Just as Zhu Lingling was about to say something else, the doors of the private room opened, prompting everyone to stand up immediately. Huo Mian and Zhu Lingling followed and looked towards the entrance. To her satisfaction, she saw their old homeroom teacher, Ms. Yao, whose hair was now greying…and, standing beside their teacher was…him?
The man who disappeared 7 years ago, the man who used to be the most important person in Huo Mian's life…it was like a dream for him to appear in front of her like this, giving her no time to prepare herself at all.
Huo Mian's entire body went numb, and her brain blanked out…