Rumours can be such a deadly thing and can really tear someone down. Fortunately, our girl is mature and strong enough to not allow these to get to her. Isn’t Gu Pingsheng cute when he gets pouty?
Chapter 15.2 – A Warm Temperature (2)
After knowing when approximately her final examinations would be taking place, Gu Pingsheng soon booked her plane tickets for her. Before she left, she insisted on accompanying him to his follow-up medical examination.
When they arrived, it was lunchtime. Doctor Liao, whom he had a very close relationship with, had just finished performing a surgery, and after showering, with his hair still half-wet, he came and greeted Gu Pingsheng. “I finally get to see your wife.”
Tong Yan smiled shyly, still not very accustomed to this particular form of address for her. Taking all the medical reports from the previous few days, he handed them to Gu Pingsheng. In Doctor Liao’s office, the two of them began communicating rapidly and very technically. She did not understand what she was hearing and only felt that the entire time, Doctor Liao’s manner was very serious and cautious. In the end, when she began gripping Gu Pingsheng’s fingers nervously, he finally chuckled and warned the doctor, “My wife is scared easily. If you keep being so solemn, she’s going to start reading too much into it.”
“Don’t be scared.” Smiling, Doctor Liao poured a glass of water and handed it to Tong Yan. “Through these years, he’s long since found ways of coping with everything. Plus, the surgery this time was so successful that there should be no major issues for at least the next ten years. Really, he’s considered to be doing quite well. I have several SARS patients here who, during these sorts of July days, strain to simply try to breathe and have major problems with their lungs. You say, how awful that would be if every summer for the rest of your life, it was going to be like that …”
Tong Yan took the glass from him, feeling that this doctor really did not know how to console people.
Gu Pingsheng also gave a chuckle of annoyance. “You keep these. If there’s any issues, just email me directly.”
“You go. I still have another surgery to perform this afternoon and don’t have time to read through these carefully. And anyhow, your issues are not ones that I, as an orthopedic surgeon, can solve …” Gu Pingsheng frowned and looked at him. Immediately, he stopped what he was saying and explained to Tong Yan, “Please don’t mind too much. It’s like that when you’re a doctor. You always talk about the worst possible problems first.”
“I understand. Thank you.”
Although Tong Yan had expressed her understanding, on their way home, she still felt a persistent sense of disquiet. When it was night and nearing time to go to bed, she finally could restrain herself no longer. Sprawling herself on his chest, she stared into his eyes with a serious look and instructed him, “If there’s anything wrong with your health or if your body does not feel right, you must not hide it from me.”
Gu Pingsheng’s hand was on her waist, and patting her gently, he replied with laughter in his voice, “You’ve been thinking for an entire day and it was just to say this one sentence?”
“I’m serious.” Tong Yan continued to stress, “If there is anything bad, you have to let me know.”
“Alright,” he answered.
Tong Yan lowered her head, knowing that he would not completely abide by this. It would be just like when he was in the United States, where Pingfan’s secret video recording of him had shown that he was already lying in the hospital, but the next day he had still sent her a video of him out sightseeing and having fun, using this to try to obscure her perception and mislead her … So, it would seem that he was “only desiring to partake in life’s sweetness together and unwilling to share the bitterness.”
The following day, he took her to the airport.
When she was on the plane, she briefly clenched her now-empty hand and began to comfort herself. It was actually only going to be ten days. Take her exams, clean out and pack up her dormitory room, and get the fourth-year internship form and her letter of recommendation. Then, ten days later, she would return here again.
After arriving back at school, she very solemnly pulled out Grandmother’s proof of illness medical certificate and gave one copy to the university and one to the teacher of the Maritime Law course.
When she obtained the internship form as well as the letter of recommendation, one of her faculty teachers caringly asked her whether she wanted the faculty to help arrange an internship position for her. Regarding this, before she came back to the school, Gu Pingsheng had already made arrangements for her. She could not state this directly, however, and merely said that a family member needed to be taken care of but she would definitely complete her one-year internship in Beijing.
The examinations for physics and Maritime Law were one day apart. After finishing the Maritime Law exam, Shen Yao dragged her to the library under the fine-sounding reason that it was their “final study session in the library.”
Out of nostalgia, Shen Yao very sentimentally rose early to snatch the spot that they used to frequently sit in.
Their seats were near the window, and the sunlight shone on them. However, because the library’s air conditioning was blasting at a low temperature, the torrid heat of midsummer was absent.
Laying her head on the table, she looked over and over again through the detailed solutions Gu Pingsheng had written out for her to her physics practice problems . She had read through these many times already, and staring at that stack of A4 papers and the writing on them, her mind soon started to drift. Very shortly, though, the private whispers of nearby people snapped her out of her daze.
Though she called them “private whispers,” it was actually more appropriate to say they were criticisms to the face.
The words generally fell along the lines of, “health declined due to an abortion so she had to temporarily suspend her studies,” “entire time, school has been covering it up for her,” etc. She finally understood what these so-called rumours were that Shen Yao had spoken so evasively of. So, it turned out the supposed reports were about “a temporary suspension of studies due to an abortion.”
Shen Yao heard the whispers as well. In a hostile manner, she jabbed her pencil down and glared at those few men and women while saying to Tong Yan, “If I had known, I would not have forced you to come study with me. You have no idea. The rumours of Teacher Gu’s background that have been circulating are so extravagant. Those people are all just jealous.”
Tong Yan gave an “mm” and said self-mockingly, “What are they jealous about? That I’ve had to re-take physics four times?”
Shen Yao very unkindly laughed at this. “Tong Yan Wuji, you seriously …”
Sticking out her tongue, Tong Yan kept quiet and just grinned.
To say that she did not mind was impossible, but she could not take Grandmother’s medical certificate, copy it, and put one in the hands of everyone in her year, right?
When the two of them were happily engaging in rounds of “you mock me once, then my turn to put you down once,” Wang Xiaoru arrived, dressed very strikingly, and in a manner as if she was fashionably late, she tossed her backpack onto their long table. Sitting down, she declared, “The good student that I am doesn’t have any exams after finishing the one for Maritime Law, but I still have to keep you two company while you guys study … Seriously, I was not careful when choosing friends.”
Gnawing on her pencil, Shen Yao grinned, “The goddess of gossip topics has arrived. Tong Yan Wuji, you don’t need to be scared anymore.”
Wang Xiaoru did not understand. “What’s going on? What’s Tong Wuji scared of?”
“Gossip and rumours.” Shen Yao’s gaze swept around in a half-circle. “About Great Beauty Gu.”
With an “oh,” Wang Xiaoru replied, “You’re actually even listening to those? Once people reach fourth year, they start getting edgy. You know, all that stuff about entrance exams for getting into graduate studies, going to study abroad, looking for work. You don’t even know about all those stories of the scheming that occurs within dorm rooms. They’re much more exciting than yours. The dorm room next to ours, when I was packing up my stuff just now, I even heard them arguing. Something about one person had opened another’s international mail.” She quickly opened up her backpack and put on a show of pulling out a book. “And anyway, having Teacher Gu as yours means that you’ll have to lose something or take some grief somewhere.”
Shen Yao very much agreed with this statement. “Yeah. ‘Balance,’ you know? If you gain something that’s just too good, you’re going to have to give up some other things. Otherwise,x even Heaven’s going to be jealous of you.”
Tong Yan truly did not have the heart to carry on watching them both incessantly try to comfort her. “I really am not bothered by what’s being said. Those are really just small things, so small they can’t get any smaller in my mind.” When compared to the many years of challenges in her life, gossip and rumours indeed held no weight.
“Yeah, sure.” Shen Yao turned her lips up in a pout. “In my eyes, you’re like a delicate little shoot of a plant raised in a greenhouse. You’ve simply been transplanted from the Tong family greenhouse to the large Gu family greenhouse. And here you are trying hard to pretend that you’ve had to go through the harsh ups and downs of life …”
Tong Yan raised her brows and smiled. Her fingers unconsciously twirled her pencil as she lowered her head and continued looking over her practice problems.
When it was nearing ten o’clock, they left the library. Outside, rain had begun pattering down onto the ground. There were many second and third year university students who had not brought umbrellas and were now crowded together against the entrance to the library, watching the evening graduation celebration that was being held outdoors.
The rain was growing heavier, and the people squeezing in at the outer edge of the crowd were continuously moving backwards. Tong Yan and Shen Yao were crammed to the point that they could retreat no further, and as they both pressed their backs tightly against the glass wall of the library, they exchanged a wry smile. In this spot that they were occupying, besides the blaring sound system of the stage, they really could not see anything at all.
She raised her mobile phone and took a glance at it. During the confusion a moment ago, Gu Pingsheng had sent a text message: There is moderate to heavy rainfall in Shanghai tonight. Don’t play so hard that you forget about everything else and forget to take shelter from the rain. TK
“Well hello to that! Teacher Gu even keeps a constant eye on the weather forecast?” Shen Yao’s eyes brushed over her screen, and clicking her tongue in praise, she sighed, “I’ve worked it out for you. An entire year of internship will be enough time for you to have a baby. It’s a seamless plan …”
Tong Yan gave her a fierce jab with her elbow.
Suddenly, another text message arrived, and she opened it to see. It was also from him: The late night snack I cooked tasted gross. I’m earning money to provide for the family but don’t get to eat any tasty food. It has been very miserable for Mr. Gu these last few days. TK
只肯同甘，不愿共苦. There is a saying, 同甘共苦 “tong gan gong ku,” which means “together in the sweetness, sharing in the bitterness,” and it is used to describe relationships in which people are willing to face whatever may come their way, be it good or bad, together. Here, the saying has been broken apart to say a person desires only to partake in the sweetness together but is unwilling to share the bitterness. Normally, this would be taken as the person is only hanging around for the good times but will leave when the going gets tough. However, in describing Gu Pingsheng, Tong Yan is saying that he is only willing to give the best to her, to share all the things of joy with her, but is unwilling to let her take on any of the burdens he may have, preferring instead to shoulder them completely himself.
1 of 1 Prologue
45 of 66 Main story segments
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