“Yeah, it’s a poor one.”
Uncle Li sighed along with her. In the morning he had gone to ask Ou Shaowen what he needed to buy, and Ou Shaowen pondered for a short while and made a request that was both funny and heartbreaking when you thought about it.
“It’s a bit embarrassing, but can I have a remote control racing car? I watched others play with it a few times when I was a kid.”
Seeing Uncle Li’s silence, he typed in a clarification, “It’s one of those miniature cars controlled with a lever, about the size of a mobile phone.”
“Oh oh, I know that one, okay, then I’ll buy you a few and bring them back when I go out this afternoon.” Uncle Li nodded repeatedly, indicating that he remembered.
After listening to what he said, Aunt Zhou let out a “tsk” full of emotion, “I need to buy the ingredients to cook as well. I will go with you in the afternoon. How can we really only buy a few remote-controlled cars? I don’t think he brought any luggage. Some clothes need to be bought. His figure is similar to that of President Ou, they can be bought according to President Ou’s style.”
“Okay, then I’ll call you when I’m leaving.”
After lunch, Ou Shaowen was the only one left in the large villa. Earlier, Aunt Zhou was afraid that he would be restrained, so she specially told him that he could go to all the rooms in the villa. He just wandered from room to room, and any small ornament would make him feel novel and happy. Finally he stopped at the study.
He stood in the doorway, looking at the bookcase that took up an entire wall, with the books stuffed haphazardly all over the place, and frowned slightly. He walked over to the bookcase and looked up for a long time, and although he knew that there was a high probability that the rich man would not respond to him, he still sent him a text message.
“Can I move your books?”
After sending the text, he sat quietly at the writing desk. A financial magazine was spread out on the table, which he couldn’t read very well, but he still read the two opened pages many times, then turned his head again and scanned the titles of the books on the shelves, row by row.
Ou Renjin had just finished a meeting. He leaned back in his chair and loosened his tie a little uncomfortably. He ordered his secretary to make a cup of black tea, rubbed his stiff neck, and glanced at his phone.
In fact, he had already seen the text message sent by Ou Shaowen last night, but he was not in the mood to give him a perfunctory reply at that time. Now he was in a good mood. He smiled softly and replied “Please feel free.” At the same time, he turned on the real-time monitoring on the computer.
When he switched to the two cameras in the study, he saw Xiao Heihu appear on the screen, sitting in his chair and staring at the bookcase beside him, motionless. After a few seconds of this, Ou Renjin exited and clicked back in, and Xiao Heihu was still in the same position that made his neck feel sore just by looking at it, so Ou Renjin was sure it wasn’t just a still image caused by poor internet.
He was a little amused and was about to see how long the guy could stay fixed, when he saw Xiao Heihu suddenly lower his head and pick up his phone.
The surveillance video was delayed by about half a minute. Must have received the text message he sent back, Ou Renjin thought.
Ou Shaowen actually didn’t expect to receive Ou Renjin’s text message, so he was very happy to see his reply. He silently repeated the words two or three times before he stood up contentedly, moved the chair under him to the bookcase, took off his shoes and climbed up, and started pulling the books from the top shelf and sorting them out.
After a few minutes, when Ou Renjin broke away from the pages full of dense English and went to glance at the zoomed-out screen in the bottom right corner, the top shelf of the bookcase had been transformed in its entirety, all the books arranged in the same colour scheme from smallest to largest, neat and orderly at a glance and soothing to the mind.
What a strange guy! Ou Renjin originally thought that he had sent the text message because he wanted to show his thirst for knowledge, his love for books, to show his motivated, knowledge-seeking and curious heart. He did not care whether it was sincere or a pretence, it was not that the occupants of the villa had not shown this before. This was also one of the meanings of the existence of this whole bookcase.
It just didn’t occur to Ou Renjin that what Xiao Heihu would be displaying to him was his somewhat strange obsessive-compulsive disorder and a powerful ability to act when he said he would.
The whole being of this guy was like a collection of contradictions, and like a half-hidden secret.
Ou Shaowen was still standing on the chair, stretching his arms, pulling out one book and putting another in, with a comfortable rhythm and charm in his movements.
It was obviously a very boring picture. There were no secrets, no gossip, no jokes, no drama, but Ou Renjin still hadn’t closed the screen. He didn’t focus all his attention on it, he just casually glanced at the bottom right corner in between his work.
Ou Shaowen quickly sorted out the books on the entire wall. He moved the chair away, took two steps back, raised his head and looked at the fruits of his labour, and became motionless like a statue again.
Ou Renjin smiled; for some reason he wanted to break this stillness, so he sent another text message.
“Is it okay if I go over to you for dinner tonight?”
Sure enough, not long after, Xiao Heihu finally moved again and looked at his phone. This time Ou Renjin cut off the camera focusing on the bookcase and zoomed in to see the expression on Xoa Heihu’s face clearly.
To be honest, the range of expressions on his face was small, and from a distance it looked quite calm, but as the picture drew closer, you could see that the guy had the eyes that could talk.
Those eyes allowed Ou Renjin to easily detect the little bit of surprise and hesitation, and then joy and excitement.
“It’s okay.” Ou Renjin received his reply.
No matter what, seeing someone who was happy because of you would always make people self-satisfied.
When Ou Renjin returned to the villa, Ou Shaowen was squatting in the corridor on the second floor playing with his remote control racing car. It used to be the favourite toy of the young son of a professor at the laboratory, and Ou Shaowen was always fascinated by the sound of its motor when he was restrained in his hospital bed and unable to move.
The boy was a good boy, and he used to play with the old, outdated remote control car in the corridor, going back and forth all afternoon. There was a pane of glass between them, and Ou Shaowen’s eyes always stayed on that racing car. Everything else he saw was still, but only the car was moving, moving with such joy and spirit.
Ou Renjin stood at the entrance of the staircase for a while, watching Ou Shaowen steer the car in front of him in regular circles, the trajectories of each lap seeming to overlap.
The car ran in circles again and again, without stopping.
Ou Renjin took two steps forward and squatted down as well, reached out and tapped his fingers lightly. The car was disrupted, slammed into the wall and overturned with a bang, its four wheels spinning helplessly.
Ou Shaowen looked up and saw him, not the least bit upset by the destruction of the toy, blinking his bright eyes and standing up.
“Was it fun?”
“I’ll take you to play something more fun some day.”
Ou Shaowen clearly wanted to curl up the corners of his mouth, and although they didn’t end up curled, anyone could tell he was happy.
How easily satisfied! One could just wonder if he would always be this easily satisfied.
While eating, Ou Renjin suddenly asked, “The doctor said earlier that you didn’t have any physical problems with your throat, so what happened to you that made you reluctant to speak?”
When he asked this, he didn’t look at Ou Shaowen, as if he was just saying it casually and had no intention of knowing the answer.
But Ou Shaowen solemnly put down his chopsticks, thought for a moment and typed on his phone: It’s not that I don’t want to talk, it’s just that there’s been no one to talk to me.
The moment he saw this reply, Ou Renjin paused, then looked up and smiled at him, with a soft light in his dark eyes, “I would love to talk to you, I always wanted to hear your voice.”
It was like a huge wave came over and submerged Ou Shaowen. He felt a little unable to breathe, but soon, the wave that enveloped him turned pink, the air was sweet, and his nose was a little sour for some reason. He didn’t know what was going on.
“Okay, I’ll let you hear my voice soon.” He forced himself to be calm and didn’t let his hand tremble as he typed.
What childish words, as if one could easily overcome all the hardships and dangers in the world.
Ou Renjin smiled and reached out to touch Ou Shaowen’s cheek, “There’s no need to rush, I can wait for you to take your time.
“I’m very busy in the next two days, I may not have time to come over and keep you company. Tomorrow I’ll have Guan Qijun come and take you to get some documents. Be a good boy and cooperate with him properly, understand?”
Ou Shaowen actually didn’t quite understand what it was about, but when he heard Ou Renjin tell him to be good, he still nodded quickly.
After eating, Ou Renjin sat on the sofa and watched TV with him for a while. Before leaving, as if he suddenly remembered something, he took out a delicately wrapped box from his pocket and handed it to him.
Ou Shaowen didn’t move, just looked at him suspiciously.
“Take it, a gift for you.”
It was a gift! Ou Shaowen knew the meaning of the word, but it was the first time he heard someone say those words to him. He looked a little dazed as he took the box, his fingers squeezing it tightly.
The way he lowered his eyelashes was so moving that if it wasn’t sincere, he must have been the best actor Ou Renjin had ever seen.
“Next time we meet, gain some weight, you’re thinner than me.” Ou Renjin finally put his arms around Ou Shaowen’s waist, then turned and walked away.
Ou Shaowen just stood in the doorway, silently looking in the direction of his departure. Aunt Zhou passed by the living room and said amusedly, “How long has he been gone, stop looking. President Ou will naturally come over to see you sometime.”
Ou Shaowen turned around and looked over in some confusion. He didn’t hear what she said clearly. He only nodded slightly, and then looked in that direction again and didn’t move.
For some reason, Aunt Zhou suddenly felt very uncomfortable in her heart. This boy was too stupid. This villa could not accommodate someone so stupid; this would not be the place for him.
She sighed and shook her head as she walked away.
Ou Shaowen stood for a long time holding the box, and finally moved gently to unwrap it. Inside the box was a piece of turquoise jade in the shape of bamboo, divided in sections, on a dark green string.