Chapter 3 – Someone
Novel t.i.tle: 一生之计在于春 (Spring is the Plan of Life)
Author：御小凡 (Yu Xiaofan)
Translator: K (@kin0monogatari)
Protagonists: 姚锦夕 (Yao Jinxi -MC), 吴洋 (Wu Yang -ML)
*Please read at knoxt.s.p.a.ce, the original site of translation. TQ*
The movie is full of various shoddily made special effects and tired old clichés. Yao Jinxi finds amus.e.m.e.nt in observing Xia Ruonan’s reactions. This girl is quite reactive. At every suspenseful moment the director creates, she would scream. By the end of the movie, Yao Jinxi feels emotionally drained.
After the movie ends, Xia Ruonan drifts to the restroom to touch up her makeup. Yao Jinxi leans against the railing with crossed arms, chatting with Wu Yang. “You guys have to work on Sat.u.r.days too? That’s really tough.”
Wu Yang remains composed as ever, wearing that scholarly demeanour. It’s as if the scene just now was a figment of Yao Jinxi’s imagination. He smiles upon hearing his words. “But we finish quite early in the afternoon. And there’s over two hours of break at noon. In terms of working hours, it’s not much different from a regular weekend.”
“You’re right,” Yao Jinxi turns his head slightly to look at the hallway. His mind was preoccupied with the eerie sense of incongruity. Xia Ruonan mentioned that Wu Yang was in a bad mood, yet he hasn’t seen him unhappy at all. He has been talking with a constant smile, carrying himself as if he’s entirely at ease.
Nevertheless, Yao Jinxi feels somewhat uncomfortable talking to him. It was not because Wu Yang lacks conversational skills or uses inappropriate language. If he had to put it into words, it’s just that compared to Xia Ruonan’s description, Wu Yang’s aura doesn’t quite align.
Yao Jinxi becomes increasingly agitated and thinks about Xia Ruonan. In the end, he realises that Xia Ruonan probably just wanted someone to share the burden of dealing with this peculiar man’s need to confide in someone.
“By the way, I’ll give you my friend’s phone number,” Wu Yang remembered what he mentioned earlier, “When the time comes, you can contact him and just mention that I referred you to him.”
Yao Jinxi snapped back to the present, as if agreeing to this networking task. He felt it was quite bothersome. But he still took out his phone and saved the number according to Wu Yang’s instructions. “Oh, right, what’s your phone number?”
Wu Yang counter-asked, “Mine?”
Of course, he could ask Xia Ruonan for it. But asking him directly implied a further connection. That was actually Yao Jinxi’s intention, “Yeah, since you’ve treated me to the movie and helped me out so much, how about I treat you to a meal too? Are you free next weekend?”
Wu Yang squinted his eyes slightly, looking modestly polite, “I just facilitated a connection. It might not necessarily work out. Tonight’s movie ticket didn’t cost me anything anyway. It’s free.”
Though he said that, he still exchanged numbers with Yao Jinxi. Looking at the name displayed on the screen, he remarked with emotion, “So your name is Jinxi. It sounds lovely.”
Caught off guard by this flirtatious line resembling something from a dating scenario, Yao Jinxi explained with a wry smile, “The meaning isn’t that profound. It’s just a name inspired by a bright future ahead. But my mom should be happy to hear that. Thanks again. Your name is nice too. ‘Yang’ is a good character.”
“There are too many people with the same name. At my previous company, there were three people with this name,” Wu Yang laughed, then added, “One of them was a girl.”
The casual chat continued until Xia Ruonan’s arrival. Wu Yang suggested trying the nearby Yingshui Pavilion, where the food was good. He proposed that they have dinner there.
It sounded like another invitation to dine. True to form, when it came time to pay, Wu Yang was the first to grab the bill. “Didn’t you say you’d treat me to a meal next time? This time, let me take care of it.”
Xia Ruonan blinked in surprise and looked at Yao Jinxi, “Have you two discussed things to this extent? Did you exchange numbers? If not, do it quickly. Wu Yang is actually really nice. You should communicate more.”
Yao Jinxi: “…”
— Do you think this is a matchmaking setup?
They lingered quite late so by now, the buses had stopped running. Wu Yang initially planned to call a taxi to take Xia Ruonan home but was intercepted by Yao Jinxi, “We live along the same route. I’ll take her home. Let’s keep in touch.”
Wu Yang nodded with a smile, “Then I’ll head off. You two take care on the way.”
The three of them parted ways at the intersection. It was quite challenging to find a taxi in this bustling commercial district. Yao Jinxi and Xia Ruonan watched Wu Yang’s tall figure disappear at the street corner before turning around and walking side by side for a while. “So, what do you think? He’s a nice guy, isn’t he?” Xia Ruonan asked.
Yao Jinxi switched positions with her. He now walked closer to the curb. “Miss, your phrasing is really making me think you’re introducing a boyfriend to me.”
“If that were possible, I’d actually like that. But it seems like Wu Yang is interested in another girl. He didn’t tell me who she was. But he mentioned that she works at our company,” Xia Ruonan said. She then sifted through the mental list of names once again and realised with a hint of frustration that it led nowhere.
Yao Jinxi gave her a sidelong glance. “I was just joking. Do you think any random guy is gay? Hey, don’t you think that he might be interested in you?”
“Impossible. He knows I have a boyfriend,” Xia Ruonan handed her bag to him, saying, “Hold this for me. It’s quite heavy.”
Yao Jinxi exclaimed in an exaggerated tone, “Wow, did you put bricks in there for self-defence? It’s so heavy!”
Taking the small and dainty purse, he realised it had quite a weight to it. He opened it unabashedly and found a large bottle of shampoo inside. “Why did you buy this? Aren’t you out on a date with handsome guys today? w.a.n.g Peng is off today. You could have sent him to the supermarket. There’s a Wal-Mart near your place, right? He could have bought groceries for the next week while he’s at it.”
Xia Ruonan shrugged nonchalantly, “We’re living together. So is there really a difference in who does the shopping? He’s usually so busy. He deserves a good rest at home on weekends.”
“You… You, aren’t you also normally busy?” Yao Jinxi playfully poked her head, pretending to be annoyed, “How did w.a.n.g Peng manage to win you over?”
Xia Ruonan grinned and held his hand, pulling him closer. “I’ve found my match, you know. How long will it take for you to find someone? I’m worried for you, sister.”
“Alright, alright. Don’t get all clingy when you see an opportunity. Oh, that’s empty!” Yao Jinxi hailed a taxi and the two of them got into the back seat together.
“I’ll drop you off first.” Yao Jinxi slightly leaned forward and provided Xia Ruonan’s home address to the driver.
Xia Ruonan looked at his profile and let out a soft sigh.
Yao Jinxi leaned back against the seat and teased, “What’s the matter? Feeling stuffed? Come on, let me give you a ma.s.sage.”
As he was about to extend his hand towards her, Xia Ruonan suddenly spoke earnestly, “Jinxi, it’s been so many years. Don’t keep holding on to it…”
Yao Jinxi burst into laughter, “Holding on to what? Why do you worry about me all the time? I’m living a more carefree life than you, right?”
Xia Ruonan carefully examined his expression, trying to determine if his words were sincere. Yet, when it came to reading people, she felt inadequate. She lowered her head somewhat disheartenedly, “If I don’t worry about you, who will? When will you find someone to worry about you?”
Yao Jinxi ruffled her hair. “That’s why I always step up whenever you have trouble. I’m quite considerate, you know.”
The driver took a roundabout route to drop Xia Ruonan off at her destination. Yao Jinxi reminded her, “Text me when you get home and tell w.a.n.g Peng to come pick you up. You never listen.”
Xia Ruonan scratched her head. “We’re already at the entrance of the complex, why would he come to get me?”
Yao Jinxi scoffed, “And he dares to call himself your boyfriend? I’m leaving. Stay safe.”
The taxi slowly started moving and Yao Jinxi subconsciously looked back. Xia Ruonan was still standing there, watching him leave. He smiled and shook his head as he leaned against the side of the car door. He gazed at the swiftly pa.s.sing scenery outside.
The next day, the weather had cooled down. Wearing long sleeves, Yao Jinxi rode his bicycle to the traditional Chinese medicine hospital. The slight chill of the spring breeze along the way brought a comfortable feeling.
Upon seeing him climb the steps, Dr. Xie, who was familiar with him, greeted him, “Is Xiao Yao here? Are you bringing tea for Master Yan? He’s with a patient right now. Please wait for a moment.”
“Sure.” Yao Jinxi put down his bag and stood there chatting with Dr. Xie for a while. The clinic wasn’t very large. There were only three doctors who saw patients. Apart from a few young nurses, the rest were elderly individuals. After all, traditional Chinese medicine places great emphasis on experience. Those who were qualified to treat patients here all had decades of experience. After doctors prescribed medication, patients could have the medicine brewed and prepared on-site. Thus, the entire hospital was permeated with the strong aroma of Chinese herbs.
The scent was bitter yet strangely brought a sense of tranquillity to the atmosphere. Yao Jinxi really liked being here. It was hard to put what he felt into words. The traditional Chinese doctors here spoke and acted deliberately, exuding a sense of calmness that made chatting with them a relaxing experience.
“Hey, the patient’s out. Go on in,” Dr. Xie gestured towards the door, watching a patient leave the room while expressing grat.i.tude. He knew that Yan Zhaowen, also known as Master Yan, was available now.
Yao Jinxi entered the office with his bag on his back. When Yan Zhaowen saw him, he smiled, “Hey, I knew you’d come these days.”
“Yes, I figured you’d run out of tea by now. It’s time for me to bring you some fresh Sparrow’s Tongue tea leaves,” Yao Jinxi said as he took out a bag of tea leaves from his bag and presented it like a treasure.
Yan Zhaowen sighed, “Ah, my old arms and legs can’t move well anymore. Every time, I have to trouble you to make a trip.”
Yao Jinxi chuckled, “You’re busy saving lives every day. I’m just a leisurely person. So, running around a bit is no big deal. Besides, you take care of my business. So this can be considered VIP service, right?”
Yan Zhaowen grinned and reached out his hand, “Come on, let me take your pulse.”
“I’ve been in good health lately.” Yao Jinxi rolled up his long sleeves and placed his hand on the pillow, “I had a cold last time. But the medicine you prescribed helped.”
Yan Zhaowen could tell from Yao Jinxi’s complexion that there was no major issue. But he still carefully examined his pulse. He rather liked this young man who had a lively appearance without the restlessness often seen in young people. “By the way, last time you mentioned that you don’t have a girlfriend, right?”
“Huh?” Every time Yao Jinxi came to deliver tea, he would chat with Yan Zhaowen. The older doctor’s wisdom, acc.u.mulated through his profession and life experience, had provided Yao Jinxi with a lot of guidance. However, he genuinely couldn’t recall when he had discussed this topic about girlfriend with Yan Zhaowen.
Yan Zhaowen leisurely continued, “Here’s the thing. I have a niece who recently returned after studying abroad. I’ve met that young lady. She’s quite beautiful, polite, and has a good job. I thought she might be a good match for you.”
Yao Jinxi reflexively declined, “Uncle Yan, there’s no need for that.”
Yan Zhaowen inquired, “No need? Do you already have a girlfriend?”
Yao Jinxi, of course, couldn’t possibly have a girlfriend. If anything, he might have a boyfriend. But he couldn’t tell Yan Zhaowen that. “It’s not quite like that. Oh, I have something to attend to. I should go.”
While saying this, he stood up. Yan Zhaowen couldn’t stop him. He patted his goatee and said, “Alright then. There’s no rush for this matter. We can discuss it another time.”
Exiting the hospital, Yao Jinxi couldn’t help but chuckle. Why did everyone think he needed someone to be with? Well, why did everyone think being alone meant you needed a partner?
He looked up and squinted his eyes as he looked at the dazzling sunlight. He took a deep breath with a sense of relaxation.
Being on his own was quite nice.
*Translator’s Note: Xia Ruonan jokingly called Yao Jinxi ‘sister’ since he’s gay. This is common among the Chinese. Other cultures might find it offensive but in reality, in Chinese culture, this is normal. Even a man can be called a ‘wife’ depending on the role. Especially in a h.o.m.os.e.xual relations.h.i.+p. -K
>The name 锦夕 (jǐn xī):
a) 锦 (jǐn): This character means “brocade” or “tapestry,” referring to a type of intricate and colourful woven fabric. It is often used metaphorically to symbolise beauty, elegance, and richness.
b) 夕 (xī): This character means “evening” or “dusk.” It signifies the time of day when the sun sets and the evening begins.
Combining these two characters:
锦夕 (jǐn xī): This name could be interpreted as “Evening Tapestry” or “Beautiful Dusk.” It carries an aesthetic and poetic quality, suggesting a serene and picturesque scene a.s.sociated with the evening or dusk. It could also symbolise the blending of beauty and tranquillity, much like the colours of a brocade tapestry illuminated by the fading light of the day.
As with many Chinese names, the interpretation can be open to personal and cultural perspectives, and the name can hold special meaning based on the individual’s preferences and the context in which it is used.
>The character 洋 (yáng) in Chinese is often used as a given name and it has a few different meanings and connotations:
a) Ocean / Sea / Vast: The character 洋 literally means “ocean” or “sea.” It can symbolise vastness, depth, and expansiveness. It’s commonly used metaphorically to represent something big, limitless, and profound.
b) Foreign / Western: In some contexts, 洋 can also mean “foreign” or “western.” This usage came about historically due to its a.s.sociation with distant lands across the oceans, which were considered foreign or western to China.
c) Expansive / Open-Minded: Given the connotation of vastness, the character 洋 is sometimes chosen as a name to reflect someone’s open-mindedness, broad perspectives, and willingness to embrace new ideas.
d) Modern / Progressive: The character 洋 can also carry a sense of modernity and progressiveness. It’s often used in combination with other characters to create names that suggest a forward-thinking att.i.tude.
When used as a name, the meaning can be quite subjective and can vary based on personal interpretation and cultural context. Many Chinese names are chosen not only for their direct meanings but also for their phonetic qualities and the positive a.s.sociations they evoke.
>In Chinese culture, the use of the term “小” (xiǎo) before someone’s name serves as a form of endearment and respect. It’s a t.i.tle used to indicate familiarity, closeness, and often a sense of affection. Here are a few key points to understand about this practice:
a) Respectful Address: Adding “小” (xiǎo) before a person’s name is a way to show respect, especially when addressing someone who is younger or of lower social status. It adds a touch of politeness and humility to the interaction.
b) Familiarity: Using “小” can also signify a close relations.h.i.+p or familiarity between the speaker and the person being addressed. It’s often used among friends, family members, and those who share a close bond.
c) Endearment: The addition of “小” can carry an element of endearment. It can imply a sense of warmth, fondness, and care toward the person being addressed.
d) Avoiding Directness: In some cases, Chinese culture places importance on avoiding directness in communication. Using “小” before a name can serve as a way to soften the directness of addressing someone by name alone.
e) Cultural Tradition: This practice is deeply rooted in Chinese language and culture, and it reflects the nuanced ways in which respect, hierarchy, and relations.h.i.+ps are expressed in interpersonal interactions.
For example, if someone named “张三” (Zhāng Sān) were to be addressed with the term of endearment, it could become “小张” (Xiǎo Zhāng), which would convey a more respectful and friendly tone.
It’s important to note that the use of “小” before a name might not be appropriate in all situations. It’s typically used in informal and close settings. In formal or professional contexts, people are more likely to use full names or appropriate t.i.tles.
Next update: 2023.09.17