Fangirling Chinese Novels

Together Forever (至此终年) — Chapter 12.1



The time has come. Gu Pingsheng is going away for his treatment. Just because they don’t express explicitly that they will miss each other, the feelings still run strong.

Chapter 12.1 – Miss You a Little (1)

In Shen Yao’s words: Everyone else was just background scenery — background scenery that was completely unaware of what it was and oblivious to the situation.

Tong Yan was entertaining herself as she fixed her eyes on the group photo on the computer screen. “Let’s crop just the two of us out and keep the photo as memento.” She pointed at the date on the bottom right corner of the photograph. “Today is February 14th… Must you leave tomorrow?”

While saying this, she turned her head to look at him.

“Leaving one day earlier means I will return one day earlier.”

The reasoning was right, but this decision was too sudden, and it caused her to wonder, just how bad had the results of his medical check-up been? And furthermore, he had all of a sudden changed the location of treatment from Beijing to the United States. Even though the treatment results would potentially be better there, this also made her heart even more unsettled.

She subtly, and not-so-subtly, asked him about it the entire afternoon, but he lightly brushed over it, only promising that he would return to her side, completely healthy, in half a year.

Half a year could be considered not a very short period of time.

Perhaps, based on his personality, he truly would wait until he had completely recovered and was no different from any ordinary person before he was willing to show himself.


Gu Pingsheng leaned forward, one hand supporting himself on the edge of the desk and the other on the back of the chair, and looked at the photograph. It was a rare instance today where he was wearing a cotton, checkered-pattern dress shirt in pale pink … This colour on him did not exude even a hint of frivolousness, and in fact, there was a slight sense of … what was it? “Beauty pure and refined as jade[1],” and “bearing like the orchids and trees of jade[2]”?

Smiling, Tong Yan tugged on his collar. “Mr. Gu, did you purposely wear pink today?”

He saw the teasing in her smile, but still, he merely calmly and leisurely lowered his head to gently take her lower lip between his teeth. “It doesn’t look nice?”

“It looks nice,” she murmured in return, her words indistinct.

He did not look to see what she was saying, and instead, reached forward, hooked one arm under her legs and the other around her body, and lifted her completely out of her chair into his embrace. “Mrs. Gu, you’ve been facing the computer an entire night. That is very bad for the eyes and also very unbeneficial towards nurturing the relationship between husband and wife.”

She actually just wanted to edit one photograph of the two of them and print it out tonight to put into his wallet.

He walked toward the bedroom, all the while kissing her deeply. She felt that even the root of her teeth seemed to go weak. Circling her arms around his neck, she kissed him back, their lips coming together then separating briefly again, over and over.

As he neared the door, she was about to stretch out an arm to feel for the light switch when all of a sudden, she felt their whole center of gravity being thrown to one side. While she reflexively threw her arms back around his neck, he had already swiftly set her down on the floor.

She had been lowered too quickly, and her foot ached slightly from being slammed down.

But the next second, she understood what had just happened.

“What’s wrong?” She knew that he could not hear her but still, she anxiously blurted the question.

Leaning against the side of the door, Gu Pingsheng seemed to know that she had received a great scare. Because he did not know what she was saying, he simply patted her on the forehead and comforted, “It’s okay.”

Even her hands had a slight tremble in them, and she felt around for a long time before she found the room’s light switch.


The warm amber glow of the light illuminated all their surroundings.

Besides his action of leaning against the side of the door, there was nothing unusual about him that could be detected visually. However, from that moment earlier on to now, he had not moved in the slightest, which meant there definitely was a big problem.

Tong Yan wanted to reach out to support him, but she did not know how she should do it. She could only stand barefoot beside him, overwhelmed and not knowing what to do, her heart aching so terribly she was near tears. “What is it that’s wrong? Can you just tell me the truth, please?”

It was to the point that she could not even control the volume of her voice or the tremor that could be heard in it.

Fortunately, he could not hear it.

Gu Pingsheng gave a smile, but as he was about to say something, she could contain herself no longer. Tears began to stream down, and large teardrops, one after another, fell to the floor.

Part of the reason was because he had given her a scare, and the other part was because of the fear within her that she could not control. She feared that he truly did have some sort of serious condition or side effect that he had not told her about, and she was also scared that the results this time of the treatment he was going to have would not be very good …

Never before had fear and trepidation surged up so violently in her, and almost instantaneously, it seemed to invade, from inside out, her every inch of awareness.

He had not expected that she would have such a big reaction and reached out an arm, pulling her into his embrace. “I just suddenly felt a little pain right here.” He pointed at his thigh and pelvic region. “It’s much better now.”

“Does it hurt a lot?” Stretching her hand out, she rather hesitantly touched his hip, then followed it down, sliding her hand very gently to his thigh area. She raised her head to ask, “Would it help if I massage it a bit?”

As she said this, she tentatively kneaded the spot a couple of times.

“It helps a lot.” In his eyes, there seemed to be laughter and also, heat.

“It really helps?” Her heart still seemed to be dangling in her throat, and she gazed at him, not quite convinced.

“It really does help a lot.” His voice was rather soft and tender. The reflection of the bedroom’s wall light could be seen in his eyes, and there was an inconcealable sensualness in his smile. “But Mrs. Gu, if you keep massaging like that, Mr. Gu really won’t be able to handle it anymore.”

It was so obvious what he was saying; even a fool could understand that.

Besides, she was not a fool …

For a moment, Tong Yan was both annoyed and amused with him.

Pulling back her hand, she wiped away the tears on her face, but in her heart, there pervaded a heavy sense of disquiet that she could not shake.

But right now, on this night before he was to leave, she could not allow herself to create a big fuss over a small issue and cause him to have to worry about her.

“I’m tired. Let’s go sleep, how about that?” Gu Pingsheng moved, still wanting to pick her up into his arms again.

“Alright.” Evading his movements, she strode away quickly and hopped into bed. “I’ve gone onto the bed myself. Don’t go trying at all to carry me here or there anymore.”

Although the floors were warm, it was still wintertime. The instant she slid under the quilt, she covered her slightly cool feet with her hands amd watched as he walked over.

It seemed there really was no issue. The expression on his face had not shifted in the slightest, and the way he walked looked normal as well … She focused intently on observing whether, out of worry for her, he was simply forcing himself to pretend nothing was wrong. When Gu Pingsheng slipped off his jeans, she could not help fixing her eyes on the area around his waist and thigh, scrutinizing it carefully.

And then she suddenly realized that … she had been staring at him for a long time already.

“Finished looking?” He sat down on the edge of the bed and was about to lift up the covers.

Unexpectedly, she placed her hand on top of the edge of the quilt to hold it down. “How about you go sleep in the guest room tonight? Your current condition … is not too suitable for sleeping with me …” She put great efforts into carefully wording her explanation, but in the end, this created the opposite effect to what she wanted and brought about laughter from Gu Pingsheng.

“Don’t worry.” He lifted open the down quilt and with one arm, pulled her towards himself so that she was snug against him. In a low voice, he stated, “I’ll be able to handle such a simple task.”


With regard to whether a man can handle the scenario of sharing a bed, this, indeed, is something that should not be questioned directly to his face. Tong Yan used several seconds to criticize and correct herself and then finally lifted her arms and slid them around his waist. Burying her face into his shoulder, she struggled with herself for a long while before finally, with some difficulty, raising her head and looking directly at him to say, “How about I take the lead?”

She at last discovered the only drawback to his deafness.

These words that should have been quietly murmured in an extremely shy voice had needed to be stated while gazing straight into his eyes.

All her facial expressions, mental processes, and evasiveness of her eyes could not at all escape his detection …

Hence, the direct result of this was that Gu Pingsheng completely used action to demonstrate his ability.

The entire night, they tossed about together in the bed. The down quilt had fallen entirely to the floor. On their bodies, layer after layer of sweat would dissipate, only to form once again on their skin. The wafts of air from the central heating seemed to blow directly onto their bodies, feeling like a slightly damp and cool, yet soft caress.

In the end, her arms were so limp she could barely hold onto him, and haphazardly, they rested on his shoulders.

When at last she utterly fell into a deep slumber, she still had not discerned whether the sky outside the window had lightened already.


The following day, she only had two periods of classes, both of which were physics.

She had not expected that, in order to be able to see Gu Pingsheng off, the first time in her entire university career that she skipped class would be dedicated to Zhao Yin.

“When Teacher Zhao does a roll call for this first time and discovers that I’m not there, will I be put directly onto her blacklist? But I guess it’s not big deal anyway. With you around, I reckon she blacklisted me very early on …” She deliberately jested at the airport customs entrance, trying to cover up her downcast spirits.

Gu Pingsheng did not speak. From his jeans, he pulled out his wallet and took out a photo from inside, handing it to her.

When he gave it to her, it was face down.

She flipped it over. It turned out to be the photograph taken that time when she had been forced to accompany him to climb the Great Wall. In the photograph, her cheeks were rosy and the sheen of sweat could be seen on her forehead, while beside her, he faced into the sunlight with a smile, looking very handsome.

At the time, the two of them had not yet developed a close relationship, so naturally, when they took the photograph, they had been stiff and reserved.

Even though they had been standing so close their bodies were touching, their expressions had been deliberately proper. Now, looking back at it, there was an additional sense of amusement.

What sort of process had brought two people together?

She mulled over this carefully but still was unable to think of any noteworthy event or moment that had occurred. But, they were together now. Baffling, yet it also felt as if this was what it ought to be.

She slipped the photo into her backpack, and then, purposely putting on a pouty manner, she took ahold of his hand. In that instant when their fingers intertwined together, a strong feeling of sadness and not wanting to part from him suddenly swelled upwards. She simply could not at all make herself let go of that hand.

“When you’re back in the U.S., will you run into your first girlfriend? Or maybe some of those blonde or brown-haired ex-girlfriends?” As she joked, she forced herself to pull her hand back, but unexpectedly, he tightened his grip on her, not allowing her to escape.

His hold was very strong, but the smile on his face was very relaxed. “Likely not. My schedule is really packed, so packed, in fact, that I can only spend time in either the hospital or at home.”

“Fine, I’ll believe you for now.” Since she could not break loose of his grasp, she instead applied strength to her hands so that her hold on him was even tighter than his grip on her. “You promised me you would return in half a year, so you must be back in half a year. Otherwise … if you’re late, you won’t be waited for.”

Actually, what she really wanted to say was, it did not need to be perfect; he did not need to seem like he was a completely healthy person before he returned. And he could take his time with any rehabilitative therapy … However, after hesitating for a long while, she still did not end up speaking these words out.


There the two of them stood, hand tightly in hand. All around were people bidding their farewells and many, many words of parting being spoken. But she truly did not know what else she should say and merely tried with all her might to maintain a smile and suppress all her worries into the deepest reaches of her heart.

Only when it was time for him to go into customs did her gaze completely mist over. Right as she was about to steel herself and turn around to leave, Gu Pingsheng suddenly stopped at the customs entrance and looked in her direction.

She thought he wanted to say something.

Merely smiling, he closed his left hand into a fist, brought it up to his lips, and kissed the band that encircled his ring finger. And then, bringing that hand down again, he stepped through the entryway to customs.


[1]美人如玉 “mei ren ru yu.” Originally taken from the poem《夜坐》Sitting in the Night by celebrated Qing dynasty poet, 龔自珍 Gong Zizhen. The beauty being described here is the ideal, refined beauty that comes not from outer appearance but the type that comes when all shackles on a person’s talents have been removed and, like in a state of zen, he can at last exude his purest, truest form of beauty.

[2]芝兰玉树 “zhi lan yu shu.” This is an idiom that literally means “like angelica and orchids, or trees of jade” and is used as a metaphor to describe outstanding young men, so exceptional that this feeling is emitted from their entire bearing.


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


≪ Previous Chapter | Index | Next Chapter ≫

34 thoughts on “Together Forever (至此终年) — Chapter 12.1

  1. And then, things will be much, much better…

  2. Thanks…. I will be waiting for the next chapter.. 😊

  3. Hope he fully recovers!!! >_<

    • *sigh* Unfortunate, a full recovery will never be possible. If you read about hip replacements, which I had to do to make sure I was translating everything correctly, and also based on what was written in chapter 10.3, you’ll see that while it’s a good treatment if successful, it has a life. An ideal replacement lasts 10-20 years, but friction will eventually take a toll on the artificial part and surgery to put in a new artificial hip will have to be done eventually. That second surgery, though, is harder, more complicated and takes longer to recover. Gu Pinsheng contracted SARS in 2003, and it’s only 2010/11 in the story now, so his hip replacement failed early and its life was much shorter than expected. So, he’s having his second surgery much earlier… which means a good possibility of a third surgery, which would be even more complicated. *sigh*

      But yes, he is doing his best so that his body will be the healthiest it possibly could be … for Tong Yan!

      • Oooohh >_<

        • Mm-hmm. And the hip replacement is only a part of the sickness. You’ll read more in a chapter coming up next week, but if you just google SARS, you’ll find out about the awful long-term effects. 😦 I cried reading real life SARS survivor accounts.

  4. The separation will be hard for her, but at least she’ll be busy with her studies too. Half a year is not short and she won’t be there to look after him while he’s doing treatment will makes her even more heartbroken. Thanks you very much for your consistent schedule in translating this book. I am always looking forward for Tuesday and Friday…you just don’t know how many time I checked my email 4pm on my time, lol

    • Separation is always very hard, but for Tong Yan, it will be worse because of the unknown of how he’s recovering in the U.S. Gu Pinsheng wants to put up a strong front for her, but as she noted in chapter 11.1: “… she discovered that the manner of putting on a front of strength, in reality, was simply a way of pushing everyone else away – far away from yourself …” And Tong Yan knows that he will not return until his full recovery, that he wants to present himself to her as a completely healthy person. She doesn’t deny him of this — she understands it because she is a similar personality — but it doesn’t stop her from worrying. “Actually, what she really wanted to say was, it did not need to be perfect; he did not need to seem like he was a completely healthy person before he returned, and he could take his time with any rehabilitative therapy … However, after hesitating for a long while, she still did not end up speaking these words out.” (chapter 11.1) So, she must spend this time not just apart from him but praying that his surgery and recovery go well but not really knowing.

      Sorry for the long-windedness. I’ve been taken by how these characters have been thought out, how we may or may not agree with what they do but you can at least understand it because their personality has been clearly defined for us, and I love looking at these details. 🙂

      Thank you for your encouragement. 🙂 I love predictability. (This week, you may (or may not) notice postings got shifted an hour later if you’re in N. America, where daylight savings ended. I post according to our blog time, but it doesn’t observe daylight savings.)

  5. Thank you so much for the chapter. Sad moments of them separating. Have a wonderful weekend ahead. Looking forward to the next chapter in several days time

    • I just keep having to remember, if you never have parting, you won’t experience the sweetness of reunion. If you’ve never experienced sadness, you won’t treasure happiness. 🙂 These two really know what to treasure. ❤

      Have a great week!

  6. GPS can truly be such a romanticist.
    must be unbearable that TY can’t be beside GPS during his treatment time, be strong you two

    • when you said GPS, at first i was taken aback. why it does sounds like familiar, i’m imagining GPS in car, not gu pinseng. sorry, really slow witted

    • No kidding! His marriage proposal is not the least bit romantic (but every bit oozing sweetness) but then, the little gesture of kissing his ring is so romantic! Of course, I actually don’t think Gu Pingsheng consciously tries to be romantic, which is what makes it even more wonderful because it genuinely is an expression of his love. ❤

      Yes, awful for Tong Yan and Gu Pingsheng will miss her incredibly. However, Gu Pingsheng really does not want to put her through seeing him go through the pain and recovery process. (see my long response to May :p) He's hoping to give her only happy moments. Do I agree? Not necessarily, but you really feel for him. ❤

  7. this remain me when i read “li chuan past”, although it is HE. but the journey sooo long and really heartbreaking

    • Hmm… while I agree the sickness and sympathy you feel that the male lead has to endure a sickness are similar to Li Chuan, I don’t get the same feel between the novels at all. In Li Chuan, there is so much angst because he chooses to keep the female lead in the dark. Here, Gu PIngsheng is open about his sickness. He may not want her to come along with him and personally witness all that he has to go through, but he lays it out for her what sort of future they will have because of his sickness so that she can make a conscious choice whether she will bear that burden. This story really is not about angst but making the best out of what lot you may have in life and loving and supporting the people important to you through the process. You may cry for them, your heart may break for them, but you smile with every little heartwarming moment they choose to see. 🙂

  8. They are going to miss one another. 😭. Can’t wait for next chapter. Thank you so much!! 😘😘😘.

  9. thank you so much for the chapter
    I’m new here and also not so good in English so I can’t say anything much .. still thank you so much much!

    • First off, a very warm welcome to the blog!

      I appreciate all readers’ comments. 🙂 Thank you for dropping a line just to say you’re reading. It means very much to me to know that there are people reading. (And perfect English is definitely not a requirement to comment … I’d fail as well!)

  10. aaaahhh the last part…. aaaaahhh… GPS, can’t you be less romantic huuuuhh???? 😛

    this couple always brings me a smile. so easy to understand the love between them. it’s like… eating a brownies. it looks simple yet so sweet and delicious. at least for me 😀 aaahh im craving it with ice cream, uhm… delicious. sorry, so random lols.

    what will happen next???
    i miss his ‘.TK.’ thing lols.

    thanks hoju ^^

    • I know! Such a little action, nothing said, but it was so sweeeeet! ❤ Romantic, but even more sweet because I'm sure he didn't do it to be romantic. It just came naturally.

      No wonder I love this couple. I love brownies … and ice cream, too! LOL. I think because they are such a down-to-earth couple. I'm not a SARS survivor, my family is not like Tong Yan's, but I can still relate to both of them because we have all been disappointed or fallen (hard!) in life at some point in time. Their responses and feelings are both real and inspiring. And how they love each other through the good and bad times is so beautiful. ❤ =

      You'll get more "TK" soon! 🙂

  11. thank you very much for you’re hard work. i really like thin novel and i hope there will be happy ending for our leads

    • Thank you very much for reading. 🙂 I solemnly swear that, though the ending will still tug at your heart strings, it is a happy ending. 🙂

  12. Gosh. I want to cry so badly, but I’m at a study room full of people right now…
    Thank you, hoju~

  13. This reminds me of the relationship in the kdrama Oh my Venus, due the male lead having to undergo years of rehabilitation when young and then again while apart from his love. The female leads could only provide strength from afar. Lead working hard to return to a physically healthy place before taking his place by her side. So much strength and heartache

  14. damn, this so sad…

  15. and thank you for translating this awesome masterpiece.
    this novel will forever be remembered.
    my cousin had this same story ( not from SARS, another debilitating disease with no cure), was ill when he met his wife, had a baby, but unfortunately died at the age of 35 two years after getting married.

    • Thank you for sharing your story. Real life is filled with beautiful stories as well. I pray for blessing on your cousin’s wife and child.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s