The water was still turbulent but they had reached the shallows, so Xu Qin could not be washed away.
Song Yan lowered his eyebrows and glanced at her, then looked away.
He stood in place gasping for breath, he was exhausted to the point of collapse, so naturally his temper was extremely bad.
But one after another, more out-of-control cars rushed towards the bottom of the bridge.
Song Yan uttered a bunch of swear words, offensively greeting the eighteen generations of ancestors of the car owners, and went to check each car while scolding.
Fortunately, the cars were empty, and no one was inside.
After Song Yan finished checking the vehicles, he went to set up caution signs.
Xu Qin saw that his arm was covered in blood, and remembered that he had been lacerated by broken glass when he rescued her from the car.
“You have an injury on your hand.” Xu Qin walked towards Song Yan, and at the same time, the walkie-talkie on him rang, “There was a multiple car collision on Qiu Shui Hu Avenue, three wounded individuals are stuck in their driver’s side……”.
Song Yan turned to look at Xu Qin.
She was standing in the rainstorm, pale and thin.
He conducted a routine check, sweeping his eyes over her up and down, making sure she was okay.
After his duty was done, he turned and left.
“Did you know it was me inside the car” Xu Qin asked behind him.
Song Yan’s footsteps stopped for a second, but he did not reply.
The walkie-talkie started ringing again, but he still did not look back.
Xu Qin didn’t try to stop him again, she watched him stride away.
As soon as he turned the corner at the street, he disappeared from view.
Xu Qin’s phone was waterlogged and could not be turned on, but she didn’t need to switch on the phone to know that the hospital would call her.
In the event of a major disaster, an emergency plan would be activated, regardless of the emergency department, all shift working doctors had to be on duty.
The car couldn’t be recovered, but luckily the hospital was not far, it only took around ten minutes to walk there.
When Xu Qin arrived at the hospital, it was nearly twelve o’clock at night.
The emergency department hall was full of wet people.
Three or four cleaners took turns cleaning, but they couldn’t keep up with the continuous flow of patients seeking medical treatment.
The floor was clean one second and full of water the next.
Xiao Nan passed by in a hurry and was startled when she saw Xu Qin: “Dr.
Xu, how did you end up like this Did you fall into the water”
“I fell, it’s fine.
I’ll clean up first and come back in a bit.
Oh that’s right, help me dry my phone, I don’t know if it can still be used.”
“Give it to me.”
Xu Qin went to the hospital bathroom to shower, changed into spare clothes and went back to the emergency room to join her busy colleagues.
It rained heavily all night, and the emergency building lights were on the whole time.
On the night of the disaster, in the dimly lit corners of the city, traffic police, armed police, firefighters, rescue teams, special police, medical staff……
Countless people gritted their teeth and tried their best to guard the city that night, doomed to sleeplessness.
At the break of dawn, the wind and rain subsided.
No more newly wounded patients were being sent to the hospital, the doctors and nurses could finally get some space to catch their breath.
Xu Qin passed by the hallway at the entrance of the emergency room, where several doctors and nurses had fallen asleep while sitting on the ground.
The hallway was quiet and the lights were shining brightly.
Xu Qin walked quietly to the cleaning room, washed her hands three times, raised her head, and saw her eye sockets in the mirror were sunken in.
When she returned to the office, she realized that her mouth was dry and she hadn’t drank water for more than ten hours.
She poured a glass of warm water and stood by the window holding the glass.
Outside the window, the rain was drizzling.
The sky showed the first glimmers of light, and the streets were in complete disorder.
Trees were askew, paper fragments and plastic were all over the place.
At 4:30 in the morning, the cleaners had already started picking up trash to clean the city, and the rescue teams were moving vehicles, trees, and clearing road obstructions in the rain.
Men in orange uniforms moved back and forth through the evening mist.
Xu Qin thought of Song Yan.
To think he relied on his own strength to push the car out of the water, smash the windshield, and rescue her from the car.
There were countless rescue calls, countless rescue locations, and countless rescuers last night, but it was he who came to this location to save her.
Xu Qin finished drinking the glass of water and went to the lounge.
After another hour and a half, it would be her turn to work a shift.
Most of the emergency patients last night were due to car accidents, drownings; during the day, the patients were primarily due to physical discomfort caused by sudden changes in the climate.
Xu Qin was so busy that she ran around nonstop, it was already six o’clock in the afternoon when her shift was over.
When she got off work, she barely even had the strength to walk.
Her car was still soaking under the bridge, she called Xiao Yixiao and asked him to find someone to help tow it, then called herself a taxi to get home.
Along the way, the driver was listening to the radio, and the news broadcast came through:
“Last night’s heavy rain has caused widespread damage to nine major urban areas and three counties in the city, causing economic losses of 9.11 billion yuan……”
“Yesterday’s rain was pretty bad.
It was flooded everywhere,” the driver said.
“It was hard on the police and firefighters, tiring and miserable for them.
When I headed out this morning, I saw a group of firefighters, they probably completed a mission nearby.
Covered in water, soaked through, but didn’t have time to care.
They all lay on the ground to sleep.
Clothes were covered in mud, leaves, wood dregs, ah, all sorts of things, some were still bleeding from their hands and faces–– “
Xu Qin didn’t speak, wondering if it was Song Yan and the others that the driver had met.
Maybe, maybe not.
In such a huge city, there were too many people like Song Yan.
Because there was a group of people like this, the post-disaster reconstruction work was completed in one day.
By the next night, transportation, medical care, business, and life all went back to normal operation.
This was the northern metropolis, like a fast-paced, high-speed rotating big machine that stopped briefly, and then continued to move forward silently and firmly.
After that rainstorm, the temperature dropped a lot.
One couldn’t feel it during the day, but you had to bring a jacket when going out at night.
Xu Qin’s car was scrapped, and Meng Huaijin bought her a new one.
The car would be ready to be picked up in a week.
Xu Qin called a taxi five days in a row, and for five days in a row, sat in the back seat of a dimly lit taxi, looking at the calm urban night view outside the window.
When she shivered from the whistling cold wind, she thought of Song Yan.
Thought of the hint of comforting warmth from falling into his embrace on that rainy night.
On the sixth day, Xu Qin used her connections to get a hold of Song Yan’s shift schedule and the basic circumstances of his team.
They were managed in the form of an army camp.
Although there were shifts, unmarried soldiers had to stay in the barracks during off-duty hours for daily military training and live in the barracks dormitory together.
Regardless of day or night, they were not allowed to go out.
He had a three-day vacation once a month, could go home, but couldn’t leave the city, and had to be on call at all times.
Xu Qin hung up the phone and stood in front of the floor-to-ceiling windows on her balcony overlooking Wu Fang Street downstairs.
At 5:30 in the afternoon, the red sun was setting, and the surrounding buildings cast long oblique shadows onto Wu Fang Street, cutting the low red brick houses into long blocks that met the boundaries of light and dark.
She waited silently.
A few minutes later, a text message came.
It was Song Yan’s vacation schedule.
Today was already the last day of his three-day vacation.
Xu Qin turned around and headed out the door, got off the elevator, and exited the building.
In just six short days, the season had changed.
In the man-made park downstairs, the leaves on the treetops had begun to turn yellow.
Xu Qin followed the cobblestone alley clustered with flowers and grass around to the back door of the neighborhood, crossed the long alley, and entered Wu Fang Street.
She mixed into the crowd, sliding between the blood-red sunset and the shadow of the buildings, tailor shop, spice shop, barber shop, vegetable shop…at the end of the road, a sweet-scented osmanthus tree wafted out its fragrance.
She turned into the narrow alley and walked to the entrance of the Di family courtyard.
The gate was closed.
Xu Qin slipped through the gap between the gates, the sun shone on the screen wall.
Bypassing the screen wall, she entered the courtyard.
In late summer and early autumn, the wisteria flowers fell all over the doorway of the west wing.
The door to the main house was locked, aunt and uncle were not at home.
Xu Qin walked across the yard and stepped on the wisteria petals on the ground, a soft and delicate layer.
She lifted the wisteria curtain covered with small fruits and went up the corridor, the doors and windows of the west wing were closed.
Xu Qin stood there for a second, raised her hand and pushed the door forward, but before she could touch the door panel, there was the sound of steady yet fast footsteps of a man from the other side of the door.
Someone picked up a key from the table, and the next second, the door was pulled open.
Song Yan had his head slightly lowered, holding a cigarette in one hand and putting the key away in his pants pocket with the other.
Just as he was about to step over the threshold, he bumped into Xu Qin who was standing in front of him.
His body visibly retracted, then stopped again, his eyes determined.
He opened his mouth slightly, looked her up and down for half a second, and smiled sarcastically: “Happened to pass by again”
He knew about the last time she went to the base camp to find him.
Xu Qin looked into his eyes and said, “I didn’t happen to pass by, I came here purposefully.”
Song Yan: “Is something the matter”
Xu Qin: “Last time you saved me, I came to thank you.”
Song Yan looked at her for a while, his eyes filled with derision, and put the cigarette in his mouth: “Just to say this” He stepped over the threshold and pulled the door shut behind him.
Xu Qin didn’t step back, the distance between the two was very close.
His chest was in front of her, Xu Qin lowered her eyes, looking at his contour lines under the thin t-shirt, and repeated: “En, I came to thank you.”
Song Yan leaned against the wall, looked down at her, and said in a low voice: “Then tell me, how do you plan to thank me”
Xu Qin hadn’t thought about this question, and raised her eyes bluntly: “How do you want me to express my thanks Whatever you want is fine.”
Song Yan’s eyes deepened, looked at her, thought for a second, suddenly straightened up, and his big body forced her away.
The fingers holding his cigarette caressed her neck, and a bolt of electricity passed through Xu Qin’s heart.
She froze for a moment, not moving.
He pointed with the thick calluses on his fingers, and slowly slid up from her delicate white jade neck.
He lowered his head and leaned into her ear, and asked in a hoarse voice, “Whatever I want”
Xu Qin’s heart trembled: “You pick.”
“What if I said you can pay me back by giving yourself to me1 Huh” He teased her chin with two fingers, the strong scent of smoke penetrated into her airway.
Xu Qin felt her legs weaken, she bit her lip and said nothing.
Song Yan tilted his head slightly, stared at her from a close distance, and suddenly snorted, his gaze that was engrossed with her a moment ago flashed with obvious contempt in a split second: “If every woman I save pays me back with her body, I’d be worn out, you think it’d ever get to your turn
He straightened up, squeezed Xu Qin’s chin, shaking it gently, and took off his hand.
Xu Qin was silent.
Song Yan took the cigarette out of his mouth, exhaled a mouthful of smoke, and stared at her through the blue, white, and red smoke in the sunset: “How much confidence do you have, thinking that after all these years, I still miss you, still want to sleep with you”
He spoke too strongly and didn’t show any mercy.
As for Xu Qin, her face slightly paled.
Xu Qin shook her head lightly: “Song Yan, don’t talk to me with that tone.”
Song Yan’s expression became annoyed, and his tone became more serious: “Do you still **ing expect me to call you Miss Meng politely”
After his rebuke, even falling needles could be heard in the courtyard.
Xu Qin looked straight at him, the rims of her eyes slightly red.
Song Yan pursed his lips and stopped talking.
He turned to look at the woodwork in the yard, his cheeks tightened, it was not clear what he was thinking about.
Gradually, indifference appeared in his eyes again, and he wanted to say something more ruthless, but when he turned his head, he saw the ripple of tears in her eyes.
Song Yan’s brows twitched fiercely, he gritted his teeth, pointed hard at her in disgust, and warned, “Swallow it back.
Don’t **ing play this ** with me.”
He knew how cold and heartless she was, tenderness or showing weakness was only for her own purpose.
“Did you hear me!” he yelled at her.
Xu Qin looked at him stubbornly, and the tears in her eyes deepened.
Song Yan was so angry, he couldn’t help but want to rip off her mask.
He strode forward, grabbed her by the collar roughly and pinned her to the pillar, scolding: “Don’t do this with me!”
Xu Qin clenched her teeth and stared at him fiercely as if competing.
In the next second, a teardrop the size of a bean fell on the back of his hand, breaking into several pieces.
Like being burned, he suddenly let go of her, and immediately took a step back.
Xu Qin leaned against the pillar, leaving a bunch of folds in her clothes.
In early autumn, the courtyard was quiet and clean.
The two stood, not looking at each other, not saying a word.
The setting sun shone through the wisteria, scattering across their faces.
Finally, Xu Qin said softly: “Song Yan, let’s get back together.”
But his eyebrows and eyes were hidden in the light and couldn’t be seen clearly.
His phone beeped, the alarm went off.
He had to return to base camp.
Song Yan didn’t look back, walked down the steps, crossed the courtyard, and went out the gate.
“I’ve already **ing forgotten about you.”
1以身相許 – lit.
to make a promise with one’s body.
It’s an ancient saying usually referring to a woman dedicating all her emotions, body and mind to the man she loves but if there wasn’t an order from the parents or matchmaker, her words actually mean nothing (i.e.
sex without the promise of marriage).
This usually means sex as many young ones regard “sex” as a measure of love, and believe that only sex can maintain and develop love.