Lovely Allergen - Chap 25
Time was definitely not moving at a constant speed, at least not in his body.
Le Zhishi, who was doing his physics homework during the winter vacation, firmly believed in his own point of view. He didn’t know how the semester passed by so quickly, and he even tried to find out if there were any scientists doing research in this area. However, Lin Rong’s phone call interrupted Le Zhishi’s first paper research.
“Yes, yes.” Le Zhishi walked downstairs while talking on the phone. “Brother Song Yu went to cram school. I know the place.”
After putting down the phone, Le Zhishi found the leash, put it on Cotton Candy, and took it to the pet clinic for a check-up.
“Do a facial while you’re at it, Cotton Candy. Your fur has grown so long recently.” It was very cold outside. Le Zhishi was wrapped in a thick white down jacket. From afar, the man and the dog looked like two lumps of cotton candy.
During the winter vacation and the weekend, the pet clinic was crowded. Le Zhishi saw many cats and dogs at once, and even a Chinchilla. He was very satisfied and stroked them all in his heart. The sister in front of the line was leading two large dogs, an Alaskan Malamute and a Golden Retriever. When the Golden Retriever was being treated, the Alaskan Malamute seemed to be very unaccustomed to the environment and was very manic. The owner could hardly take care of both of them.
“Sorry, can you help me with the leash? He might be scared. Let me give him a hug.”
“Oh, okay.” Le Zhishi put down Cotton Candy, who had been obediently watching the show, and helped the sister with the leash with the other hand. It was the first time that Le Zhishi had pulled a large dog. Compared with the Pomeranian with his left hand, his right hand couldn’t take the lead at all. It was as if the dog had run away.
The hostess squatted down and stroked Alaska’s head. After a few minutes, it calmed down a little and stopped making trouble. Le Zhishi breathed a sigh of relief and lamented that Marshmallow was the most obedient. He took out a dog snack from his pocket and prepared to reward Marshmallow. Unexpectedly, when he turned his head, he found that the other end of the leash was empty and Marshmallow was gone.
Le Zhishi panicked and turned the small pet clinic upside down. He held its favorite snack in his hand and called its name, but it was useless. He ran to the road again and looked around, but there was still no trace of Cotton Candy.
His first reaction was to call Lin Rong, but Lin Rong seemed to be busy with the purchase of imported ingredients and couldn’t be reached. He was so anxious that he had no choice but to call Song Yu.
The call went through after only one ring. Le Zhishi seemed to have found her savior. Her first sentence was almost in tears. “Brother Song Yu, Cotton Candy is gone.”
Song Yu told him to calm down. After listening to Le Zhishi’s recount, he thought for a moment.
“Let’s split up. I’m going home now. You’re closer to Li Yang and Qi Zhe. Go there and try.”
Le Zhishi didn’t know why Song Yu asked him to go to the restaurant to look for Cotton Candy, but he did as he was told. Before he hung up the phone, he heard Song Yu say, “Don’t worry.
We’ll find it. ”
Le Zhishi suddenly calmed down. He packed Cotton Candy’s snacks and took a taxi to Li Yang and Qi Zhe.
The restaurant wasn’t open today. The courtyard door was closed, and there was no one outside. Le Zhishi was very disappointed. He was sweating all over from running. He took off his down jacket and looked around the alleys near the restaurant. Finally, he met Song Yu at the intersection, who was getting out of a taxi.
Song Yu was wearing the same down jacket as him. They were both bought by Lin Rong, but one was white and the other was dark gray. Seeing that he was also empty-handed, Le Zhishi couldn’t hide the disappointment on his face. He bowed his head apologetically.
“The restaurant doesn’t have it … I’m sorry, I didn’t take good care of it.”
This dog was brought back by Song Yu. Strictly speaking, it was Song Yu’s dog.
Le Zhishi was very sad. He knew that Song Yu must be very worried, so he ran out of the cram school directly.
However, Song Yu didn’t lose his temper as expected. He just put the hood back on him. “The last time I walked it, it also broke free. There was a problem with the leash.”
The sweat on Le Zhishi’s forehead had been blown dry by the wind, and it was cold. They stood at the intersection for a while. Song Yu said that he went back home and looked along the road in the car. He really didn’t see it.
Hearing this, Le Zhishi was even more sad.
“Let’s go check it out.” Song Yu walked in the direction of the restaurant.
He followed behind Song Yu. He didn’t have much hope in his heart. He didn’t feel it when he came out, but now he realized that the weather was really cold. The wind was like a soft blade hanging on his face and drilling into his neck.
He lowered his head, pulled the zipper higher, and followed behind Song Yu soullessly.
The wind in the alley was cold. Le Zhishi’s mind was filled with the scene of Cotton Candy wandering on the street alone. It was almost the New Year. Cotton Candy was so small that she didn’t even wear a knitted vest today.
He began to consider the feasibility of asking for help on Weibo and distributing flyers all over the street.
Song Yu suddenly stopped. Le Zhishi didn’t stop in time and bumped into his back. “Ah, what’s wrong?” He looked forward. In front of him was Yang He Qi Zhe’s door. An old lady stood at the door, and Cotton Candy was beside her.
The moment she saw Song Yu and Le Zhishi, Cotton Candy ran over quickly. Le Zhishi immediately squatted down and hugged her. His heart felt like it was on a roller coaster. He buried his face in Cotton Candy’s fur. “Where did you go? You scared me. I even thought about the layout of the flyers.”
Song Yu walked towards the old lady. She was about 60 years old. She wore a pearl necklace around her neck. She was dressed very well, even grandly. She also stood up. She used her leather gloved hands to smooth out the wrinkles on her thin burgundy coat and revealed a kind smile.
“So this is your puppy.” Her hair was white, and she spoke very slowly. “Are you here to eat too?”
Le Zhishi hugged the puppy and looked at Song Yu. Song Yu said to the old lady, “You might have remembered wrongly. This place is not open today.”
The old lady’s face showed confusion and disbelief. “Is that so? But I won’t remember wrongly. My wife made a reservation today. ”
Le Zhishi was also confused. “It’s really not open today. The boss isn’t here either. Grandma, are you sure you remembered wrongly? ”
“No …” The old lady insisted that she was here to keep the appointment. Le Zhishi saw that she was wearing thin clothes. It was not a good idea to stand in such cold weather. He touched Song Yu’s arm. “Brother Song Yu, did you bring the key to the restaurant?”
Song Yu nodded. He took out his key ring, found the key to the restaurant, and opened the door.
Le Zhishi went up to help the old lady. “Come in first. I’ll check the reservation list for you and see what’s wrong.”
They turned on the heater in the restaurant and let the old lady sit down. Song Yu boiled a pot of water at the last minute. Le Zhishi turned on the computer at the front desk and found the reservation list. They often came to the restaurant to help, so they more or less knew the process.
The boiling water poured into the transparent teapot, and the aroma of the black tea was instantly aroused by the heat. Song Yu brought the hot tea to the old lady.
He returned to Le Zhishi’s side. “Did you find it?”
Le Zhishi looked up and shook his head at him. He whispered, “There’s really no reservation today.” He looked at the old lady and saw that she was looking at the door expectantly, as if she was really waiting for someone. Le Zhishi couldn’t help but ask, “Grandma, it’s not easy to check here. Can you tell me your husband’s name? Or a phone call will do. ”
The old lady looked at the two of them and smiled. Suddenly, she seemed to be stuck. Her smile was gradually replaced by a confused look. “My husband’s name …” She frowned and lowered her head to think. “Name …”
Song Yu stared at the old lady and felt that something wasn’t right.
“What’s the date today? Do you remember?”
“I …” The old lady thought for a moment. Her brows relaxed and her smile reappeared. “November 21st is my and my husband’s silver wedding anniversary. We’re here today to celebrate our anniversary.”
November … But it’s already the New Year. No wonder she’s wearing such thin clothes. She remembered the wrong date.
Le Zhishi looked at Song Yu again and whispered, “Brother Song Yu, is she …”
Song Yu nodded. “Yes, Azheimer.”
This is going to be troublesome. Le Zhishi thought that the old lady didn’t remember the date and might have gone to the wrong restaurant. Now that she was missing, her family would be worried. However, they didn’t even have her name or contact information.
“Let’s call the police,” Song Yu said.
His voice wasn’t loud, but the old lady happened to hear it. Her mood changed immediately, as if she was very resistant. “Call the police? Why should we call the police? I just want to have a meal. ”
Le Zhishi wanted to explain. “Grandma, you …”
“Can I order first?” The old lady looked at them, her eyes full of anticipation. “I think my husband might have been delayed by something, but he’ll be back soon.”
Le Zhishi looked at her expression and couldn’t bear to tell the truth. It was almost dinner time. He took a deep breath. “What would you like to eat? There’s only the two of us in the restaurant today, so we might not be able to cook too much. ”
The old lady smiled kindly. “It’s okay. It’s very simple. He likes eating your family’s pearl rice balls the most.”
“What about the rest?”
“The rest …”
Seeing that the old lady was lost in her memories again, Le Zhishi could only remember it for her. “Let’s take a look first.” He ran to check. There happened to be glutinous rice and meat. At his request, Song Yu inexplicably became the temporary chef and was pushed into the kitchen.
Le Zhishi used his strength to coax a big cat. He said that he would massage his back and shoulders, and took the initiative to put on an apron for him. Although Song Yu looked reluctant, in the end, he didn’t reject him in front of the old lady.
He came out of the kitchen and saw the old lady looking out of the door with a disappointed expression.
“He’ll definitely come. Please wait a moment.”
The old lady stared at the serious expression on Le Zhishi’s face and suddenly smiled. “You look better than when you were a child.” As she said that, she glanced into the kitchen. “Your brother too.” Then he added, “You used to look like a doll.”
Le Zhishi was suddenly stunned. There was indeed a big problem with her memory. When they met at the door, the old lady clearly didn’t know them, but now she could remember things from when they were young.
Could it be that she really came here?
“Do you remember when you got married?” Le Zhishi asked.
The old lady tried very hard to remember, but still shook her head.
“I see …” Le Zhishi didn’t give up. He searched online for the time of their silver wedding. It was their 25th wedding anniversary. The old lady looked to be about 60 years old. If she got married in her twenties, then she came to celebrate with Qi Zhe in her fifties. About ten years ago …
It was almost the same time as when the store opened. At that time, they were indeed very young. However, in the first two years of the store, the management was not perfect. There weren’t many customers, and the reservations were handwritten in a book. There was no electronic record.
Le Zhishi looked around for the key and finally found the key to the cabinet where the old reservation books were stored in a drawer at the front desk. He squatted on the floor and took out the dusty books. One book a year. He flipped through the pages earnestly. Dust covered his face, causing him to choke and cough.
Song Yu suddenly came out and poured himself a glass of water.
“Done?” Le Zhishi looked up, his face red from coughing.
“It’s steamed.” Song Yu asked, “What are you doing?”
“This grandma celebrated her anniversary at our store. I want to look through the reservation records from the first few years of the store. I’ll look at the reservation records from November 21st. There aren’t many customers every day, so I should be able to find his lover’s contact.” Speaking of this, Le Zhishi suddenly frowned. “Ah, could it be that the number has changed after so many years?”
Song Yu shook his head. “I don’t think so. After all, his wife has Alzheimer’s disease.”
Le Zhishi was reassured. He wanted to continue, but Song Yu sent him away. “Go accompany her.”
“Go ahead. I’ll look for her,” Le Zhishi said.
“I don’t want to talk.”
Upon hearing this, Le Zhishi naturally had to shoulder the external work and talk to the old lady. She didn’t remember anything, but she kept saying “my lover”. Le Zhishi was a little sad, but not just sad.
Le Zhishi immediately rushed over when he was called by Song Yu.
“Call them one by one.” Song Yu spread out the notebook and handed it over, pointing to the ones circled in red. Le Zhishi sat down and called the customers one by one according to Song Yu’s instructions.
“Hello, is this Mr. Wang? I’m sorry to disturb you. Do you have any family members who have gone missing? I’m sorry, we might have made a mistake.
“Is this Mr. Li? Hello … ”
The calls came one after another. Le Zhishi began to doubt the feasibility of this method. He crossed out the numbers one by one. He looked up and saw that the old lady was still waiting. Even Marshmallow had been brought to sit in front of the floor-to-ceiling window, wagging her fluffy little tail as if she was waiting for someone.
After an hour, Le Zhishi counted. “There are only two left.”
Song Yu nodded. He knew that Le Zhishi still wanted to try, so he did not stop him and stood beside him.
Le Zhishi sorted out his emotions and made another call. Initially, the call was busy. He waited for a while before deciding to call the next one.
The last call was picked up very quickly. The person on the other end of the line sounded very young, but like the previous customers, they did not have any family members who had gone missing, and they did not know any patients with Alzheimer’s. Le Zhishi’s heart was filled with great disappointment. He wanted to lean on the front desk, but he was afraid of dirtying his white down jacket, so he leaned his forehead against Song Yu’s arm.
Song Yu understood how he was feeling. He raised his hand to touch the top of his head. At that moment, the phone at the front desk suddenly rang. Le Zhishi immediately raised his head to answer the call.
The person on the other end of the line seemed to be more anxious than him. She was gasping for air. Le Zhishi held onto his last hope and asked again. He got the answer that he wanted to hear.
“Yes, it’s me.”
Le Zhishi looked up at Song Yu excitedly and smiled. “Okay, then I’ll wait for you here, okay!”
After putting down the phone, Le Zhishi felt that the voice on the other end of the line was very familiar, but he could not immediately identify it. Cotton Candy ran over to scratch his leg. Le Zhishi picked her up and walked slowly around the restaurant. He used the corner of his eye to observe the old lady’s expression.
The other party did not seem to be tired, and she was still looking at him expectantly.
When the pearl meatballs were ready, the person that the old lady was waiting for finally arrived. Through the glass door, Le Zhishi saw the person who pushed open the courtyard door. He was shocked. It was their regular customer, Professor Zhang.
Professor Zhang rushed over at a fast pace, looking travel-worn. Normally, when Le Zhishi saw him, he was always humorous and kind. He had never been so anxious before.
“Mei Yin.” He pushed open the door and called out the old lady’s name.
Just when Le Zhishi thought that the dust had settled, he happily stepped over to Song Yu’s side. The old lady raised her head and asked with confusion in her eyes, “You are …?”
Song Yu looked at them and lowered his eyes. He had expected this to happen. However, Le Zhishi did not understand. He frowned, and his expression was even sadder than Professor Zhang’s.
“Le, Yu, I’m sorry for the trouble.” Instead of trying to persuade the old lady, Professor Zhang’s first reaction was to greet them. Song Yu shook his head and asked him not to take it to heart.
Le Zhishi saw Grandpa Zhang open a bag. Inside were short cotton-padded jacket, scarf, and hat. “You’re wearing so little when you go out. You’re already so old. What if you get sick?” He spread out his coat and put it on his wife, but his wife refused.
“Who are you? I don’t know you.”
“Grandma, he’s your husband.” Le Zhishi could not help but step forward. “Don’t you remember him?”
Grandpa Zhang smiled at Le Zhishi. “It’s okay, Le. I’m used to it.” As he spoke, he took out an old photo from the side of the bag. It was a wedding photo of them when they were young. The other photo was a group photo of them later. “Mei Yin, look. We took this photo together. At that time, we didn’t have a wedding dress. You were unhappy, so you wore a white dress.”
He recounted their past one by one, patiently restoring these memories. The old lady was no longer so resistant. She listened with suspicion and gradually became more serious. She was also willing to let him put on the scarf and hat for her.
In the end, she seemed to remember, but she kept complaining that Professor Zhang had come too late and made her wait. Professor Zhang apologized again and again and promised that he would not be late for the next date.
The old lady’s face was full of love. “I bought your favorite pearl meatballs. Let’s eat before we leave.”
Professor Zhang looked at Le Zhishi and Song Yu. He smiled and coaxed her. “Let’s take it home and eat it at home. The restaurant is about to close.”
In the blink of an eye, it was getting dark. The street lamps were lit up one by one. The dim alley was covered with warm yellow light. Le Zhishi and Song Yu stood in front of Yang and Qi Zhe’s courtyard to send the two elders off.
“Fortunately, you guys are here. Today, a former student came to me for something. In just a short while, she ran out on her own.” Professor Zhang’s eyes were a little red. He held his wife’s hand. “Actually, I usually arrange for her to wear clothes that I have arranged for her. I usually put my contact information in the pocket of my jacket. I was afraid that something like this would happen. I don’t know what happened, but my wife changed into other clothes on her own. ”
Le Zhishi looked at the old lady and thought of her expectant expression.
She must have changed out of her usual clothes and dressed up meticulously to celebrate the anniversary with the person she loved the most.
Professor Zhang patted Le Zhishi’s arm gently. He looked at Song Yu and said, “It’s getting late. You two should hurry home. Don’t let your mother worry. I’ll definitely visit another day and thank you properly. ”
Song Yu, who had been silent all this time, spoke up. “Don’t worry about it.” Le Zhishi leaned against Song Yu and nodded with a smile. “Yes, Grandpa Zhang. Hurry up and go back. The pearl meatballs are getting cold.”
At the mention of the pearl meatballs, the old lady’s temper flared up again. “Yes, you made me wait for so long. Every time we meet, you’re late. You didn’t give me the flowers you said you would give me. ”
“Aiya, didn’t I …”
Le Zhishi suddenly said, “Yes, he brought them.” After saying that, he turned around and ran back to the restaurant. After a while, he came out again. With his hands behind his back, he moved closer to Professor Zhang and secretly stuffed the things in his hands into his hands. Song Yu glanced at him and cooperatively did not say anything.
Professor Zhang stretched out his hand. On the slender stem of the flower was a blooming daffodil.
“Grandpa Zhang prepared this for you.”
“It’s so beautiful.” Although there was only one flower, the old lady’s face was filled with unconcealable happiness. She took the flower and cherished it in her hands. After saying goodbye again and again, the two staggered away and leaned against each other.
A gust of wind blew. Le Zhishi was so cold that he shrunk his neck and looked from afar. The figures of the two became blurry in the city lights. The tip of his nose was sour. He felt that it was probably because of the cold, but this sour feeling flowed into his heart.
Standing at the door, the alley, the winter night, the sun and Qi Zhe’s courtyard door, the spreading circle of light under the street lights. This scene was very familiar to Song Yu. He stared at the foot of the wall opposite him in a daze.
“I don’t want to forget you,” Le Zhishi suddenly said.
Song Yu turned his face. The look in his eyes was very complicated. It was as if he was very confused, but also as if he thought that he had misheard something.
The light from the street lamp above shone down and covered Le Zhishi’s face. His soft brown hair was golden, and the tip of his nose and cheeks were red from the cold. His eyes were so bright.
“Brother Yu, I don’t want to forget you.” He looked into Song Yu’s eyes.
After being stunned for two seconds, Song Yu turned his face away.
“What nonsense are you talking about?”
Le Zhishi knew that this was nonsense, so he did not refute. But when he saw the old lady, he felt sad. He did not have a lover, so he did not understand how it felt to forget his lover. But he tried to put himself in his shoes and imagined how it felt to forget Uncle Song and Aunt Rong one day.
He even imagined how it felt to forget Song Yu.
His heart felt a stabbing pain, as if it was tightly gripped and could not be let go.
“I won’t forget you,” Le Zhishi said again.
In the instant before he spoke, Song Yu was also considering the matter. Which was more painful, the person who forgot or the person who was forgotten? If he could choose, which one would he choose?
He couldn’t think of an answer. He took off his scarf and threw it at Le Zhishi.
“You’ve almost forgotten everything from when you were young.”
“I remember a lot, and I’ve only forgotten a small part. I remember the important things. “As soon as he said that, his stomach growled, making his previous words seem less serious.
Song Yu put his hands in his pockets and turned into the yard. “Let’s eat something.”
“Is there anything to eat?” Le Zhishi followed him in quickly.
“Pearl meatballs,” Song Yu said. “I steamed an extra serving.”
As soon as he opened the door of the dining room, Cotton Candy ran out, stood up, and scratched his leg. Le Zhishi picked him up again and shook him. “Little thing, although you were naughty and ran away, you did a great job today and helped us find the lost grandma, so I won’t punish you today.”
“Ow!” Cotton Candy barked in his arms.
“Oh right.” Le Zhishi hugged Cotton Candy and asked curiously, “Brother, when Cotton Candy disappeared, how did you think it might be here?”
Song Yu came out from the kitchen and put the pearl meatballs on the table. He looked up and then lowered his eyes. “I found Cotton Candy at the entrance of the dining room.”
Le Zhishi looked at Cotton Candy, and the dog tilted his head at him.
“When? I don’t know. ”
“When you were in the third grade and went to Hainan for the winter camp.”
Le Zhishi recalled. “Yes, that was the time. I saw Cotton Candy at home after I came back.” At that time, he asked where the dog came from, and Song Yu only said that he found it and didn’t say much.
Song Yu poured a cup of hot water and held the cup with his hand. “It was also at night when I found it. It was very cold, and it was curled up at the foot of the wall at the entrance of the courtyard. It was very small and a little dirty, but its eyes were very bright.”
At that time, he didn’t know why he was so kind and picked up a dog, but he knew that he had to take responsibility for it.
When Le Zhishi came back from Hainan, he saw the dog’s ecstatic expression and hugged him in surprise. Those sparkling eyes gave Song Yu the answer.
“So that’s how it is. That’s great. Cotton Candy is quite good at remembering things. He knows where his hometown is.” Le Zhishi hugged Cotton Candy and stuffed a pearl meatball into his mouth. The soft glutinous rice and the springy meatball were eaten together, and the taste was doubled. He chewed seriously, and his eyes were empty. He glanced at the messy front desk and looked at the notebook that recorded the history of the restaurant.
He swallowed and sighed. “That kind of illness is so scary. You want to remember it, but you can’t even remember the person you like the most. You can’t even remember what he looks like, and even his name.”
Song Yu stared at Le Zhishi. Under the restaurant’s ceiling light, his silhouette became softer and more confused.
He opened his mouth. His voice was still dull and cold, and his words were very realistic.
“Even if it’s not that kind of illness, memory is not controllable. Not forgetting doesn’t mean that there won’t be any emotional changes. You might still remember the existence of this person after a long time, but his position in your heart is already different. This kind of ending is even more tragic than Alzheimer’s passive forgetting. ”
Interpersonal relationships were sensitive and fragile. Everyone was moving forward in all directions. Everyone was like ants in a hurry, and they lost contact with each other in the midst of busyness. That was why Song Yu hated to build strong interpersonal relationships. It saved him the effort and avoided risks in advance.
“In this world, it’s really too easy for people to get separated.”
Song Yu’s words were a little profound to Le Zhishi. He didn’t quite understand, and a vague sadness arose in him. He thought of the feeling of losing Cotton Candy and his grandmother standing at the door of Yang and Qi Zhe, waiting foolishly for a date. He sighed like an adult, and the white smoke that he exhaled covered his eyes again.
Seeing him like this, Song Yu wanted to laugh. He wanted to tell him to eat quickly and stop thinking about it, but before he could open his mouth.
“We won’t get separated.” Le Zhishi’s empty eyes focused on him, and he was very confident.
Song Yu looked at him and was silent for a moment. This meant a negative attitude. Le Zhishi knew very well, so he said, “If we get separated, I’ll try my best to find you.”
His expression was so serious, and he said it as if it was true. It was impossible to doubt him.
Song Yu’s rejection was very decisive, and Le Zhishi felt defeated. But in the next second, he heard the follow-up.
“Your sense of direction is too bad.” Song Yu gave him another meatball and looked at his confused eyes.
“Just stand there and wait for me.”