Fangirling Chinese Novels

Together Forever (至此终年) — Chapter 7.2



Hehe … Grinning at Gu Pingsheng’s “lack of experience.” That’s an interesting thing to suggest for the second half of their first date.

Chapter 7.2 – The Person I Like (2)

Near and far, girls and women were all bedecked in fancy dress. People meeting up on this day should all be couples out on a date. Tong Yan suddenly felt a little hesitant.

She did not have a lot of winter clothing and therefore was not able to put together hundreds of different outfits like Shen Yao could. The high heels she was wearing were the ones she had kept in preparation for whenever she had needed to be a gala host … And because she had needed to take her exam, she had not dared put on make-up either.

“Miss, do you have a reservation?” one of the wait staff politely inquired when he saw this girl at the entrance, wavering between whether to enter or not.

She nodded, finally stepping inside.

Only after she had taken a seat did he close the book he was holding. He was accustomed to using his left hand. She suddenly discovered that he was like her and could use both hands, but he was more accustomed to using the left one.

“I’m sorry.” Tong Yan decided that she would first be honest and admit to her wrongdoing. In a very sincere manner, she explained, “Do you remember that night, I told you Shen Yao had fallen for a boy’s voice? That boy is my high school classmate.”

The server came over and handed her the drink menu. Opening it up, she took a glance — all very expensive.

“If I could trouble you to just please bring another teacup, that will be good.” He suddenly stated, “You can serve up the dishes now.”

After the server had left, he looked back at her again, smiled, and said, “Continue what you were saying. It sounds very interesting.”

Interesting … From his tone of voice, he did not really seem angry, and Tong Yan could finally breathe out in relief. “Today was the first time they were actually meeting in person, and Shen Yao asked me to stay with her for a little while longer so it wouldn’t be too awkward.” She smiled embarrassedly. “I’m the type of person that can never refuse a friend. Earlier on … that was actually just because I was keeping Shen Yao company.”

Perhaps it was because, growing up, there were very few relationships she could actually be reliant upon. Consequently, she always seemed to place a strong dependence upon her friends, especially her good friends. As long as a friend made a request of her, regardless of how unreasonable it might be, she instinctively would want to fulfill it. At times, even she could not stand this trait, and she had even read some psychology books for it.

“It’s alright.” He picked up the teacup that was on the server’s tray, set it down in front of her, and poured some tea for her until it filled more than half the cup. “At least, for me, that’s very normal. I never refuse my friends either.”

She gazed at him in surprise. She remembered, the books said that this was a “childhood lack” condition, that most of these cases were a result of lack of familial love and trust during childhood, and hence, the persons would find means to try to gain more love as a way to compensate themselves.

But, why would he have lacked love? With such a background and environment in which he was taught, his childhood years should have been ones in which he was surrounded by people who supported him, like a myriad of stars clustered around the moon.

“Don’t you think it’s a very bad thing?” With her cup held in both her hands, she tentatively asked him this.

“Every person will more or less have some shortcomings in his or her character. For instance, I had once seen a female patient who had an unexplainable dislike for the color red. Every time she saw it, she would become depressed and irritable, and later, it started to seriously affect her life, to the point that, even when she got married, she was opposed to seeing any red. Later on, one of my friends used hypnosis on her and was finally able to find the root cause of this.”

“What was it?” She was truly curious.

“She has a younger brother. When she was only several years old, her mother gave a red scarf to her brother but did not give one to her. In reality, her mother had never shown favouritism, nor had she abused her, but she was simply too young back then and did not understand, so it left an impact on her psychologically.”

“Just for that reason?” A little too fragile, wasn’t that?

“Just for that reason.”

He smiled wordlessly at her. Seeing her gazing at him with eyes that were sparkling, he found this very fun. “If you’re interested, I will go and systematically give you some psychology lessons. Right now,” he said, flicking his eyes to the server who was bringing over their dishes, “we need to eat first.”

He had not ordered many dishes, just enough for two people to eat until full.

Along the way back just now, she had been thinking that the instant she saw him, she would first apologize. And what if he had left already? She would definitely go look for him and give an explanation to him in person. If he gave her a sullen face, then … she would put on a pitiable look. After all, he was so much older than her; he wouldn’t be so petty, right? And plus as a teacher, he should be more tolerant and forgiving.

She had not expected, however, that he would so easily accept her explanation, and morever, he showed no indication at all that he was angry. Biting down lightly on the tip of her chopsticks, Tong Yan watched him as he told her all sorts of funny and amusing things. She remembered the words she had said earlier.

“Someone I like.”

The person I like is sitting here in front of me, eating, and talking to me.

Her heart suddenly seemed to soften, and, without realizing it, even her voice also softened along with it … though he could not hear this change.

Her mobile phone unexpectedly vibrated.

An unfamiliar number, but a familiar tone: I’ll be heading back on a morning flight tomorrow. Tong Tong, I’ll wait for you tonight at your school, ok?

A single text message swiftly chilled away all the little warmth she had been feeling. She clenched her mobile phone in her hand, not knowing remotely how to reply.

Finally, she hardened her heart and pressed the power-off button.


“Where do you want to go to walk around? But it does seem that everywhere is packed with people today.” He suddenly asked her this only after the two of them had strode out of the restaurant and were standing there, in that pedestrian street lined with twinkling trees and brilliant lights.

Having no clue at all what to do, she shook her head.

There, amid a very strong night wind, Gu Pingsheng also seemed as if he did not have any ideas, and with his hands in his pockets, he exhaled a long breath. “Lack of experience. I did not plan any activities ahead of time.” He glanced at the colorfully lit scene of entertainment and pleasure before them. “Would you like to go to a bar?”

When he said this, it so happened that off to his side, there was a gigantic two-storey poster.

It was a poster advertising the latest fashions for this season. The model on it was also a man, and he also was standing with both his hands inside the pockets of his coat. Tong Yan very unabashedly noticed that Gu Pingsheng was even better looking. It was just that, the white paper bag hanging from his arm spoiled the picture somewhat.

As he looked toward her, she abruptly shifted her eyes to avoid his gaze.

But, she soon recalled that, in front of Gu Pingsheng, this action was something that could not be done … Therefore, she could only turn back to face him with crimson cheeks and feign composure as she replied, “Let’s not go to a bar. If we go in now on a holiday like this, we’d definitely be crammed and squished to death.”

And moreover, bars always tended to have program after program of singing performances. Not suitable for him.

He laughed, “You know a lot about bars?”

Tong Yan also blew out a lengthy breath. “The very first time you saw me, I was actually still … very much a girl who had issues.” If she were to divide her life into two periods, it would just so happen to involve him.

Before she met him and after she met him.

A weight was suddenly felt on her head. He had reached over and gently patted her head. “I was not a rule-abiding person before, either, and the stuff I did definitely would have caused more headaches for people than what you might have done.” He helped her pull her scarf up higher so that it covered more than half her face. “How about I take you to a church to hear Mass? Pingfan is over at St. Ignatius Cathedral[1]. It starts at 11:30, so if we cannot catch a cab now, we can still take our time and wait.”

Hear Mass? She did not really understand what this was.

But “cathedral” and stuff like that should mean that it was some sort of Christmas activity put on by a church. Somewhat embarrassedly, she pulled down her scarf so that her mouth was showing. “I’m an atheist.”

“So am I.” He was not surprised in the least. “To believe or not is a personal choice. We only need to respect them, and then that’ll be fine.”

Perhaps God really was looking after them, for in such a bustling, lively place, they were still able to wave down a taxi.

When they arrived outside St. Ignatius Cathedral, Pingfan was there, her arms wrapped around herself and so cold that her breath could be seen. Seeing them, she hurried over and with a smile, gave Tong Yan a hug. “So happy you guys came.” Laughing, she whispered into Tong Yan’s ear, “TK grew up going to Catholic school, but to date, he’s still an atheist. When I got his message just now, I thought I must have read wrong.”

After saying this, she slipped her arm through Tong Yan’s and, while lining up along with the crowd, explained to her in a low voice what Midnight High Mass was.

Screen Shot 2016-01-21 at 11.41.02 PM

St. Ignatius Cathedral (image credit: left and right)


The entire High Mass took nearly two hours. Gu Pingfan needed to stay to attend the Christmas Mass at dawn, so only the two of them, side by side, walked out of the cathedral.

It was past one o’clock in the morning, but this downtown street was still thronged with lines of vehicles and crowds of people everywhere.

Next to the cathedral were many commercial office buildings. In this midnight hour, the lights in the shopping malls were all turned out, and when they walked by the display windows, they could see their own reflections in them.

“Merry Christmas.” He stopped and handed the white paper bag to her.

She had speculated what might be inside and had even prayed that it would not be a gift for her because she had not prepared anything to give to him …

After she stepped out from where she had been with Shen Yao, there had been a brief instant where she had thought about getting him something. At the time, however, she was too rushed, and it had merely been an idea that flashed through her mind.

She had only anxiously hurried back in the direction she had come, worried that he might leave.

She hesitated for a moment but still reached her hand out to take it from him. “Thank you. Merry Christmas.”

Stretching his arm forward, he placed his hand on top of her head and gently gave it a rub. “It’s really late. I’ll take you back to the school.” After he said this, he started to survey the several intersections near the pedestrian bridge, searching for a spot that would be easier to catch a taxi.

Tong Yan suddenly remembered Lu Bei’s text message, and immediately, she tugged on his arm. When she saw him turn back toward her, she said, “The doors of the dorm are locked at midnight. Would it be okay if tonight … I don’t go back?”

In actual fact, she only needed to knock and then she would be let in. But based on Lu Bei’s personality, it was certain that he would wait the entire night at the university for her. If she did not want this entanglement with him to continue, she had no choice but to harden her heart, to force herself to be completely callous and not allow his wait for her to come to fruition.

Surrounded by the noise of vehicles coming and going, he very quickly made a decision. “Let’s see if there is a cinema nearby that is open all night. If there is, we’ll watch movies until tomorrow morning. You can go to my home to rest for the entire day and then go back to the university in the evening.”

When he finished this, he very naturally completed two actions.

He took the paper bag from her. And, he took her hand in his.



[1] 徐家汇天主堂. St. Ignatius Cathedral (also known as Xujiahui Cathedral) is located in Shanghai’s Xujiahui area, one of the main commerce centres of the city. The current building, built by French Jesuits, dates to 1910, although the church itself has a much longer history.


1 of 1 Prologue
21 of 66 Main story segments
0 of 3 Epilogue segments


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28 thoughts on “Together Forever (至此终年) — Chapter 7.2

  1. Lu Bei would be extremely sad.

    • Indeed. The imprint Tong Yan left on his heart is obviously very deep.But life is always changing and people are always changing. Not many people will stand in the same spot and wait for someone to return, nor should they (in my opinion) if they have lost the right to remain there.

      Thanks for reading. 🙂

  2. Sweet chapter… So now they are unofficially dating since TK has not even asked if she is interested in dating him though we clearly know how both feel for each other 😍 poor Lu Bei but good that TY harden her heart and not give him any chance to think that there is a chance between them.

    Thanks Hoju for yet another sweet chapter. Have a fantastic week ahead of you.

    • The sweetness meter goes up more than few notches in the next post. ❤ Let's see how long that "unofficial" status will last.

      Yes! I agree with your stance on Lu Bei. His pain is obvious but he cannot, and should not, ask that Tong Yan take him back.

      Hmm… this has been a crazy few days (and here I thought it would slow down after the New Year) but here's to hoping for a few calmer days soon. 🙂 Hope you have a great week!

  3. Thanks hoju for fast updating ^^

    Phew~~ TK still waiting ^^
    and they’re so sweet and cute together.
    seems like TK adore her much, patting TY head alot.
    This Lu Bei…. he’s already married but still chasing after TY >.<
    dont like this kind of guy… he could not have but could not let go either…

    Will wait wait wait for next ….

    • I agree with u, Nelly. Lu Bei is a very shameless man n try to commit adultry here. No like this kind of self-centre man always think all is about him disregard of his wife Fang YunYun n Tong Yan feelings at all.

      TK is really smooth in wooing TY.

      Thank you very much Hoju n more please. 😀

      • Just wait until you meet Fang Yunyun. >_< Lu Bei has such a sad story. His purpose here in Shanghai is certainly not justified, no matter how you look at it, but his situation is deserving of pity.

        But, with Teacher Gu, don't you think everything is so smooth because he doesn't really seem like he's wooing her at all. He just seems like he's acting out of his desire to lavish this girl that he adores with whatever he can think of. I think it's terribly cute and sweet.

        You're so, so welcome! More is up!

    • Thank you for reading. 🙂

      Gu Pingsheng is pretty special. ❤ His heart is pretty set on her.

      There's more to Lu Bei's story than meets the eye. I will say that "cheating" is not a word that can be applied between him and Tong Yan. Don't agree with what he's doing, but his story is sad …

      Your waiting is over!

  4. That was awkward but sweet date…thank you.

    • I love that awkwardness of first dates. It’s kind of that feeling of “I’m really so happy but I still don’t know what I should say and I don’t want to do anything wrong and I’m still so giddy and OMG my heart is beating fast but oh gosh he/she is so cute.”

      You’re welcome!

  5. Xie xie Hoju for another chapter. Now I remember how this church caught my interest with its twin spired cathedral amidst the tall skyscrapers. I just love these glimpses of Shanghai were old architecture of Western influence still stands proud and grand surrounded by the modern structures.

    Thanks for the photos and notes also.

    • Bu ke qi, OPN. Shanghai is such a fascinating city. It’s so modern, so forward and then you get glimpses of the old Shanghai right there smack against everything else. I remember feeling the same about the Garden Bridge and a few of the other buildings along the Bund.

      Your’e welcome. Thank you for reading!

  6. 😍😍😍 sweet! Thank you so much!! 😘😘😘

  7. never would have expected GPS “lack of experience”. at this rate, TY might have more experiences

    • Because he seems so mature? I love it. It’s enduring. I think you might be right, at least in terms of recent experience. Tong Yan’s only had one relationship and that ended three years ago.

  8. I think that a date in a church is nice. Though its sad that they are athiest… Because a life lived with Christ is more fruitful, fullfilling and joyful.

    Anyway, I dont know why the ex has to keep bothering her when he’s already attached. Whats coming in the next part thrills me.

    • Oh, I’m not putting down a date in a church at all. (I brought my now-hubby to have dates with me at my church more than once.) I’m more LOLing at what must be going through Gu Pingsheng’s mind. “I have no idea where I want to take this girl whom I want to impress, so I’ll just bring her to hang out where my girl cousin is.” Tehe. Lack of experience, indeed.

      And yes, the joy that having Jesus in your life is indescribable, one that comes from freedom and love. 🙂

      I think the next part is pretty darn thrilling…

  9. That last paragraph made me smile. I love it when stories evoke spontaneous reactions.

  10. melting me…. omoooo.. now im drowned by his sweetness.. haha… GPS is really lovable. definitely a man everyone wants to date in real life, haha.. if only…

    “He took the paper bag from her. And, he took her hand in his.” oh noooo… my heart jumps and bounce lols.. cant wait for tomorrow ❤

    thank you hoju ^^

    • Yui, you’re going to be a puddle and completely suffocated in the next chapter, then. Seriously, he’s practically the ideal boyfriend, yet the story doesn’t make him seem like a fantasy. Still feels real. I ❤ him.

      I will be waiting with my defibrillator nearby in case your heart stops with the next update!

      Thanks for reading!

  11. “And, he took her hand in his.” That was so sweet ❤
    Thank you, thank you, hoju~

  12. After reading this chapter now, I’m no longer mad about Shen Yao. (And I in last chapter’s comment I was mas and then badmouthing every character but Gu Pingsheng… Sorry 😦 ) MC does realizes she indulges other people too much and there’s a reason for it. She also considers Shen Yao a good friend but I still wish MC would just outright say the guy was married and clear up the misunderstanding sooner and so refusing to go out to eat w/ them.

    And Gu Pingsheng was perfect once again ❤

    • There, there. *pats head*

      In regards to Lu Bei, I do think Tong Yan can deal with the situation better. She still cares for him, though not in a romantic way, so perhaps she doesn’t want to state outright the situation and cause Shen Yao to look at him in a bad light?? Just speculation, but really, it comes down to, she can’t refuse her friends… And the reason says so much about how she grew up. 😦

      He’s wonderful. ❤

  13. Hello, I only just started your translation this week, and I must say, Hoju, that I am thoroughly impressed. You choose not only high quality novels to translate for us mere mortals (Kidding), but you also go to great lengths to provide context and analysis for those of us who are, as you put it “emotionally unintelligent.” I thank you for your work and just wanted to comment on how much this quote is needed in the U.S. “To believe or not is a personal choice. We only need to respect them, and then that’ll be fine.”

    • Hello! I am happy that you managed to find us here. 🙂

      LOL. I think I sometimes categorize myself into the “emotionally unintelligent” bucket as well. Those additional comments are often my outlet of stuff that I just want to talk about. I’m rather fond of discussing my favourite novels, and here, I hold you all captive. 😉

      Indeed. Respect is one of the absolute fundamentals needed between all people, regardless of what you believe. That is something that all of us, not just the U.S., should remember.

      • What was it Voltaire said? Something along the lines of “I do not agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it”. We can have separate beliefs and opinions without shoving down each other’s throats.

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