Time passed in a hurry.
Dong Zheng got a double degree in finance and business management and returned to China. In these six years, the boy who had gone to study alone in a foreign country grew into a man.
With the help of his father, Dong Zheng started his own company. In two years, his company saw great improvements, but the price he had to pay was unimaginable. He was incredibly busy, and working overtime until the early hours of the morning became a regularity. Fortunately, he had a good physical condition and could withstand it.
He thought that once the situation stabilized, he wouldn’t have to work so hard. The yellow light at the crossroads ahead turned red. Dong Zheng saw this, and so he stepped on the brakes and waited patiently.
It wasn’t yet the working hours for most people, so there wasn’t too much traffic on the road. Tall buildings lined the sides of the street, their tops blurred with misty colors. The red light in front of him started counting down. Dong Zheng was thinking about which partner he should see today when the whole car suddenly shook. The impact nearly jolted him into the steering wheel.
He pulled back in shock, and then he realized that it was a rear-end collision. Dong Zheng twisted around to look, and indeed there was a black car behind him. The owner of the car was hurriedly getting out of the driver’s seat.
Dong Zheng also got out of the car. Judging from the intensity of the impact, the damage shouldn’t be too serious. This was an ordinary rear-end collision, but no matter how hard it was, no one wanted to have an accident. The green light came on. Except for the two cars, the other cars at the intersection restarted and passed by them.
The owner of the car was a twenty-year-old man. He was looking at the extent of damage to the two cars. His car bumper was damaged, and as for the car that was rear-ended–he saw the Audi e-tron logo, and his heart instantly sank–the left car tail light was dented and there was a little scratch. Luckily, this was a good car and, apart from these things, there were no other damages.
But with the type of car it was, even with this light damage…he would still lose a lot of money.
“I’m really sorry.” This was obviously the first time the young man had an incident like this. The tips of his ears were red with shame, and there were fine beads of sweat on the tip of his nose. “I’ll pay you the original price.”
When he got out of the car, Dong Zheng just took a quick look at the damage to his car. He paid more attention to the young man in front of him. The young man was only 1.8 meters tall. He wore a black jacket and a white shirt. Aside from his e-bracelet, there were no other decorations on his body. His smooth forehead obediently hung down, and both the hair on both sides of his head was cut short, giving him a kind of docile but lively look. Those two black eyes had a nervous and guilty expression as they gaze at him, waiting for a response.
Dong Zheng was very certain that they had never met before, but he gave him a strong feeling of familiarity.
Along with that familiarity…there was also an unspeakably strange feeling. Dong Zheng frowned slightly. After meeting the man’s eyes for two seconds, he lowered his gaze and pretended to look at the broken tail light. “No need. I bought insurance for it.”
“That won’t do. I’ll compensate you. Having insurance is another matter. If it weren’t for me, how could there be trouble now?” The young man had obviously made up his mind. When Dong Zheng saw it, he decided that it wouldn’t be good to stay on the side of the road. After moving, the two of them faced the damaged cars separately, took pictures, and exchanged insurance information. Then they went to the nearest 4s store.
This was an additional delay. It was already time for Dong Zheng to go to work, but he was his own boss so it didn’t matter if he was a bit late. But the young man seemed to have to go to work too. Dong Zheng didn’t know if he had already asked his boss for leave.
The damage was an easy fix. They just had to change out the bumper. But replacement parts for Dong Zheng’s Audi, which was imported from Germany, was very expensive. Not only that, the scratches would need to be repainted. Just these two requirements were staggering enough. When the young man who insisted on compensating Dong Zheng saw the quote, he froze.
He knows that famous cars were expensive to repair, but he didn’t expect it to be this expensive. This 4s shop must be here to kill people!!!
Dong Zheng saw his complex expressions of wanting to speak but stopping himself, and he couldn’t help but laugh. He took the quote invoice from the other person’s hands and pulled his credit card out from his wallet. “I’ll pay.”
With a glance, the young man recognized that this was an ICBC Gold Card. To apply for this card, one needed to meet the requirement that the average daily assets for three months was no less than RMB 200,000.
The young man: ……………………
Evil capitalism…This line of words automatically floated in his mind, but the line of numbers on the invoice really hurt him. He could only guiltily say, “Okay, then when you have time, I’ll invite you for a meal.”
“Okay.” Dong Zheng conceded that he had selfish motives for quickly agreeing. With more interactions, he and the young man would be less likely to go their own way with no further interactions. Instead, their interactions might even intensify. Dong Zheng couldn’t refrain from thinking about when he first started dating during his studies—to be precise, it couldn’t be regarded as love. His ex-boyfriend also gave him a similar feeling, but it wasn’t as intense as it was now.
They exchanged WeChat. The young man’s profile was an animated bunny. When adding in the contact notes, Dong Zheng asked, “Your surname?”
“My surname is Cui, Cui Zuojing. Zuo like left and right, Jing like thistles and thorns.” Detective Cui Zuojing looked at Dong Zheng’s screen to make sure that the words were inputted correctly, “What about you?”
“Dong Zheng, Zheng like a long journey.”
Cui Zuojing entered his name into the notes column. It would take awhile for the bumper to be changed out and for the scratches to be spray painted. They decided to take a taxi to do their own things.
“Where do you work?” Dong Zheng asked.
When Cui Zuojing said the name of a company, Dong Zheng was surprised to find that it was a famous electronic equipment manufacturing company in this city. But what was also special about it was that this company belonged to Dong Zheng’s father.
“I’m a technician there, responsible for the development of communication technology. I only joined this year.”
“That’s right on the way. We can take a car.” Dong Zheng stopped a taxi. “Let’s go together.”
Since the other party was so enthusiastic, Cui Zuojing had no choice but to respect his orders. Dong Zheng went to the back row first. Cui Zuojing hesitated but did not go to sit in the passenger seat. Instead, he went and sat in the backseat with Dong Zheng.
When Dong Zheng told the driver the two destinations, Cui Zuojing finally heard where Dong Zheng’s workplace was located. He thought with surprise that the other person’s economic background must be at least on a manager level. He might even be the backbone of a new company.
“Listening to you, you don’t seem to be a local.”
“Yes, I’m from Shandong. I studied in Shanghai and ended up staying here after graduation.”
They talked so happily along the way that when Cui Zuojing arrived at his destination, his first reaction was how did time pass so quickly.
“Then I’ll go first.” Cui Zuojing grabbed his computer bag and told Dong Zheng again, “Although a meal is definitely not worth your money for repairing the car, let me save some face.”
Dong Zheng said, “Definitely. As long as the time doesn’t conflict, I’ll go.”
“Okay, see you next time.”
The car door shut and the taxi restarted. Dong Zheng leaned back on the seat. As he stared ahead, the smile on his face gradually faded, and he fell into contemplation.
After this short hour of contact, he was certain that Cui Zuojing was exactly the type he liked. When he talked to the young man, he didn’t even feel nervous.
Was this the so-called love at first sight?
It was just that…he didn’t know what the other person’s sexual orientation was. If Cui Zuojing was straight, then he could only give up.
After all, Dong Zheng wouldn’t do something like bend a straight guy.
Cui Zuojing soon contacted Dong Zheng again, and they made an appointment to eat together. The location was selected by Dong Zheng, and he took great care to select a restaurant with more friendly prices. This was Cui Zuojing’s first year of working after graduating. Even if Dong Zheng knew that his father’s company technicians had a good salary, he also bought a car. It was estimated that he likely won’t be able to save up much money after paying for his car and his rent.
Of course, Cui Zuojing understood Dong Zheng’s good intentions. During this meeting, they were even more comfortable together than when they first met. No matter what they talked about, the other party would have a response. There was no need to worry about awkward, embarrassing silence. It was like they were more like friends than just mere acquaintances who just met after a rear-end collision.
“Have we met before?” Cui Zuojing asked. He had been stuck at this question since they first met. He had drunk a bit of alcohol, but only to the point of being slightly drunk. Under the influence of alcohol, he was extraordinarily energetic. When he spoke, his eyes seemed to reflect light. Yes, he looked like the epitome of a young man full of vigor and vitality, with the radiance of facing the future with anticipation and expectations.
Dong Zheng used to be the same way, but now that he had already experienced the cruelty of society, he had a more realistic outlook on life.
Although they could be considered to be of the same age, Dong Zheng’s social experience went beyond someone who had just left school, unlike Cui Zuojing.
“I also have this feeling.” Dong Zheng was a little surprised. He thought that the reason Cui Zuojing felt familiar to him was because he harboured romantic intentions. But since even Cui Zuojing felt that he was familiar, now he really wondered whether or not they had met each other somewhere before.
Cui Zuojing couldn’t think of where they might have met. After all, Dong Zheng went to study abroad in high school, and he hadn’t been out of the province before going to school, so he could only say, “It might be fate.”
After eating this meal for three hours, both Dong Zheng and Cui Zuojing were very happy.
“Are you taking a taxi?”
Cui Zuojing responded with an “Mmn.”
Dong Zheng nodded and said, “Then I’ll take you back.”
How could he expect the guest he had just treated to dinner to send him back? Cui Zuojing hurriedly waved his hands. “You don’t need to go to the trouble. My place is quite far away.”
“It’s okay. I have no other plans tonight.” Dong Zheng didn’t plan to give him room to refuse. “Wait for me while I get the car.”
Cui Zuojing watched as Dong Zheng walked to the underground parking lot. As he looked at the man’s retreating back, he raised his hand and rubbed his nose. For some reason, he felt an inexplicable throbbing.
It was like something was frozen in the deepest part of his memory, and it was trying to break through the shackles, but it couldn’t.
That same sense of unreality once again washed over him. Since his 16th birthday, Cui Zuojing had felt like this frequently. But he couldn’t figure out what the problem was. Fortunately, it didn’t seem to affect his normal life.
Their two cars were still at the 4s store. Today, Dong Zheng was driving a Cayenne. When the cool-looking SUV was driven out, Cui Zuojing once again sighed about evil capitalism.
He got into the passenger seat, fastened his seat belt, and told Dong Zheng his address. The SUV merged into traffic, and the car lights were drowned out by a river of lights.
While on the road, Cui Zuojing fell asleep without realizing it. When the car stopped downstairs, Dong Zheng was not in a hurry to wake him up. He stared at Cui Zuojing’s sleeping face with a slight frown, thinking about why he felt so familiar.
Numerous, messy thoughts secretly emerged, but could not be caught by him. It was like a whale briefly floating to the surface and soon sinking into the bottom of the sea, leaving the surface calm and empty once again.
After the minute hand turned half a circle, Dong Zheng raised his hand to rub his eyebrows. Finally, he gently shook the young man’s shoulder.
Cui Zuojing groaned and opened his eyes. He saw the familiar surroundings and suddenly became wide awake. He jerked upright, unfastened his seat belt, and smiled at Dong Zheng, “Really, thank you.”
“This is between friends, what are you being so polite for?” Dong Zheng paused. “Now, we could be considered as friends, right?”
“Of course.” Cui Zuojing got out of the car and closed the door. He told Dong Zheng through the window, “Let’s get together again when you have time.”
After watching Cui Zuojing disappear into the building, Dong Zheng looked upstairs. He waited for one minute, until he heard the sound of a door opening and closing, and then the windows of a residential apartment on the third floor lit up.
He honked the car’s horn, pulled up the handbrake, reversed the car, and left the community.
The opportunity to meet again next time shouldn’t be too far away.