please note that this chapter is a fan-written side story (by me, i couldn’t resist / /w\ \), the novel and translations officially end at chapter 9; this probably won’t be linked on NU just fyi
if you’re not interested, feel free to skip this chapter, this novel officially ends on chapter 9.
Blossoming petals waltzed the air as the year drew to a close. There were several people playing a match in the basketball court when Xia Xiao Kui walked past the court with Lu Xi after their yoga class.
Ever since she found out that he seemed to have liked her for quite a while, something changed between them again, but at the same time, Xia Xiao Kui was disappointed, because their interaction seemed to remain as platonic as it had been previously.
However, Xia Xiao Kui suddenly realised that she was blushing more than before. She also noticed that Lu Xi no longer jumped as badly when they made accidental contact, in fact, she suddenly found her own heart skipping a beat at his proximity sometimes. Luo Qian was also a great double-agent, but Lu Xi didn’t ask her about anything else after the call last time.
Deep in thought, an exclamation sounded behind brought her back to earth. A basketball had rolled out the court, stopping before them, next to Lu Xi’s feet. He bent to pick up, his hands pausing before swinging it back at the players at the court. The whooshing sound suddenly reminded her of what happened a few weeks ago — his lithe figure navigating the court with ease, even when up against multiple opponents.
Xia Xiao Kui bit her lips, suddenly feeling brave: “d’you remember the guy that even I won against, for basketball.” While Luo Qian had thoroughly analysed the situation for her previously, Lu Xi himself never did explain his hidden talent for basketball.
Lu Xi immediately got who she was referring to. At that, he ducked his head, looking away, his ears as dripping red. Xia Xiao Kui had no idea how glistening her eyes were when she looked at him.
“Who was that guy again,” Xia Xiao Kui asked jokingly, pretending to rack her brains, “do you remember?”
A few footsteps later, the sudden tug at her hands had her turning. Her untied shoelace however tripped her, and she crashed towards Lu Xi instead. He dropped the yoga mat carrier he had been holding, reaching out to catch her by the waist and pull her into his embrace before she hit the ground.
The close proximity had both of them stopping short. Just as she was about to draw back and apologise, she heard his slow, husky voice brushing her ears before she could react: “Your boyfriend.”
Frozen, all Xia Xiao Kui could hear was blood roaring in her ears, and her deafening heartbeat thundering away in her chest. Did he just say what she heard him say?
She looked at his hand slipping down her wrist with wide eyes, and his fingers that slid into hers, interlocking. “Go out with me?” His voice was a mere whisper now, like feathers caressing her forehead.
When Lu Xi realised her stunned expression, and the lack of reaction, his heart fell further with every moment of silence that dragged on. The thudding of basketball being dribbled on the court ground, and the cheers that erupted after rang in the air. When the sound of the ball being chased to the other end of the court echoed from behind, Lu Xi clenched his teeth, his lashes trembling as he looked at the unmoving girl in his arms.
His throat tight, he slowly lifted his other hand supporting her from behind, the tingling warmth lingering on his fingers now drowned out by waves of disappointment crashing into him. He glanced down, he was still the only one holding her hand, his fingers curled tightly around hers; her fingers were light and loose, her hand as though ready to retract at a moment’s notice.
He licked his dry lips, wading through his ocean of emotions, slowly finding it in him to let go of her hand, to let go of the years of regard, and to let go of her dimples etched in his mind.
His voice dry, he started: “I—” before cutting off when he felt a tight grasp that had been suddenly reciprocated. Skipping a beat, his heart seemed to awaken from its slumber, hammering away in his chest.
“Yes!” Her deafening voice that suddenly sounded in belated reply had him floored for a moment, before he laughed, never brighter before.
Perhaps it was only for his sunflower did her sun shine more brilliantly, happier and without fail every day.