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“T-the lighter fell just now,” Cui Dingchen added another explanation.
“Did the lighter break?” Xu Zhao asked.
“No.” Cui Dingchen put his burnt hand inside his pocket.
“That’s good.” He had already discussed what he needed and there wasn’t really any other matter, so Xu Zhao said, “Youngest uncle, you should take care of your matters if you’re busy. I’ll wash the dishes.”
Cui Dingchen nodded, his agitated heart was soothed a bit as he said, “Okay. I’ll go get my bankbook.”
Xu Zhao smiled and replied, “Mn.”
Cui Dingchen left the kitchen.
Xu Zhao stood in front of the counter. Not only did he clean the pot, bowls, ladle and basin, he even polished the counter’s ceramic tiles until it shone. Afterward, he took off the apron and left the kitchen and walked to his bicycle. From his cloth bag, he brought out the pen and paper he had prepared and wrote two identical IOUs before handing them to Cui Dingchen, who had just come out from the main hall.
“What is this?” Cui Dingchen doubtfully asked.
“IOU. Sign them and we’ll each have one,” Xu Zhao answered.
He really wrote an IOU!
Cui Dingchen stared at the two pieces of paper with ugly handwriting. He had a helpless smile on his face, then reached out to take Xu Zhao’s pen and smoothly signed his name on the two pieces of paper, instantly making Xu Zhao’s handwriting even uglier looking.
Xu Zhao made a helpless face. Cui Dingchen really didn’t have a single fault. Not only was he very handsome, his handwriting was also good looking.
“Is this okay?” Cui Dingchen was in a good mood as he handed Xu Zhao one of the pieces of paper.
Xu Zhao accepted it. “Yes.”
Cui Dingchen’s pretty eyes turned to Xu Zhao as he asked, “Can we go now?”
“Let’s go.” Cui Dingchen lifted his leg to walk toward the courtyard door.
“Wait a minute,” Xu Zhao suddenly firmly said.” I almost forgot.”
“What’s wrong?” Cui Dingchen asked with doubt.
“I almost forgot my cute son.”
“…” Even saying “cute” son. Your son isn’t as cute as you.
Xu Zhao hurried to the west wing. The first thing he saw in the west wing was the black and white TV, and sitting on the stool in front of the black and white TV was Xu Fan. Xu Fan’s watery eyes were staring intently at the TV, very focused.
“Xu Fan,” Xu Zhao called.
Hearing this, Xu Fan turned to look at Xu Zhao. He immediately pointed his small, plump finger to the TV and said, “Daddy, I’m watching TV! There’s so many people inside the TV. So many people! There’s also small babies.”
Xu Zhao’s eyebrows instantly curved into an attractive arc. “Mn. There really are a lot of people. Let’s not watch TV anymore. Go home with Daddy?”
Xu Fan immediately got off the stool and walked to Xu Zhao. His small meaty hand grabbed Xu Zhao’s hand, looking very obedient. Three minutes later, Xu Zhao hadn’t even passed through the courtyard door yet when he discovered that the reason Xu Fan looked obedient was because—he was sleepy. His small arm hugged Xu Zhao’s leg, nodding every so often. His watery eyes fought to keep open.
“He’s falling asleep?” Cui Dingchen asked.
“Mn.” Xu Zhao bent down to pick up Xu Fan. When he was picked up, Xu Fan fell asleep.
“Let him sleep on my bed.”
“I won’t be at ease if he slept here alone,” Xu Zhao said with a face full of worry.
“What should we do then?” Cui Dingchen knew nothing about children.
Xu Zhao quickly thought, then looked at Cui Dingchen and said, “Youngest uncle, um, can I trouble you to look after Xu Fan? I can take care of installing the phone by myself. I’ll come back once I’m done. It won’t take up too much time.”
“You want me to watch him?” Cui Dingchen was flabbergasted.
“Hmm.” Xu Zhao nodded and said apologetically, “I’ll have to trouble you this time, Youngest uncle.”
And so, after Xu Zhao and Cui Dingchen went to the bank to get money, Xu Zhao went to the county town center by himself to arrange to have a phone installed while Cui Dingchen stayed at home to watch Xu Fan. He was watching Xu Fan sleep.
Xu Fan lay on the spacious bed, asleep. The little guy was sleeping very soundly.
Cui Dingchen sat on the small stool next beside the bed, reading. After reading a bit, he couldn’t help but turn to look at Xu Fan who was on the bed. Xu Fan really was a mini version of Xu Zhao, but he was just a bit fat.
He really was fat!
The small, plump face was even when he was asleep than when he was awake. Cui Dingchen couldn’t help but use his finger to poke Xu Fan’s tender face. He poked once, then again, then gave him a small pinch before covering Xu Fan under the quilt again and returned to reading.
In fact, he couldn’t focus on reading at all, thinking that he should have sent Xu Fan to Cui Qingfeng’s place so that he could have gone take care of the phone matters with Xu Zhao. He wondered how Xu Zhao was doing with the matter. It had already been over half an hour, so why wasn’t he back yet?
Cui Dingchen was a bit anxious.
While he was anxious, movement came from the bed. Cui Dingchen turned to take a look. Xu Fan was using his small, meaty hand to rub his eyes as he yawned.
He was waking up!
Sure enough, Xu Fan opened his eyes in the next moment. He drowsily blinked his eyes before blinking into focus.
Cui Dingchen braced himself, deepened his voice, and tried to ask as gently as possible, “Xu Fan, you’re awake?”
Xu Fan looked at Cui Dingchen for a bit, his husky milky voice sounded, “Daddy. My Daddy?”
“Your daddy went out. He’ll be back soon,” Cui Dingchen softly said.
Xu Fan had a blank face as he asked, “W-w-where did my daddy go?”
“To install a phone.”
“When will he come back?”
“How soon is soon?”
Xu Fan’s question stumped Cui Dingchen.
Xu Fan sat up, his small, meaty hand rubbing his eyes. He couldn’t see his daddy anywhere. He was very sad. His small lips immediately curled up, his eyes looking like he was about to cry. Cui Dingchen immediately asked, “Xu Fan, want to eat candy?”
Xu Fan’s small mouth stopped. He turned his watery eyes to Cui Dingchen.
Cui Dingchen asked again, “Want to drink some milk?”
Xu Fan was silent.
“Or eat some chicken?” Cui Dingchen continued to ask.
And so, Cui Dingchen carried Xu Fan to the room to get candy and milk before going to the courtyard. Cui Dingchen sat on the stool and Xu Fan sat on Cui Dingchen’s leg as he drank milk. A big and small person sat like this, staring outside the courtyard, waiting for Xu Zhao.
A minute passed.
Five minutes passed.
Ten minutes passed.
Twenty minutes later, Xu Zhao, who was riding a bicycle, was finally seen from outside.
Cui Dingchen was overjoyed.
Xu Fan immediately became lively and excited as he called, “Daddy! Daddy! Daddy! Daddy!”
The child continuously called, not giving Cui Dingchen a chance to speak.
“I’m here. I’m here,” Xu Zhao replied with a smile. He quickly stopped the bicycle and walked forward, taking Xu Fan from Cui Dingchen’s embrace. He gave two kisses on Xu Fan’s little face then asked, “Xu Fan, why aren’t you wearing shoes?”
“I can’t wear it by myself. Second Grandpa Cui also don’t know how to wear.”
Second Grandpa Cui didn’t know how to wear shoes—
Xu Zhao awkwardly looked at Cui Dingchen.
Cui Dingchen looked at Xu Zhao, who was covered in sweat and quickly had Xu Zhao sit down to rest. He then handed Xu Fan’s little shoes to Xu Zhao and said, “The shoes are too small.”
Xu Zhao could only say, “Mn, they are a bit small.” In fact, they were just the right size. The main point was that Cui Dingchen never took care of a child before and didn’t know how to put them on. He was probably worried about scaring or hurting the child.
Cui Dingchen watched as Xu Zhao quickly and effortlessly put on Xu Fan’s shoes. So the shoes weren’t actually too small. He couldn’t help but reach out his hand to rub his nose to cover his embarrassment. When looking at Xu Zhao, Xu Zhao was reaching out to wipe the sweat from his forehead.
Cui Dingchen got up and poured a warm cup of water for Xu Zhao.
Xu Zhao gulped twice and drank just about enough water. Cui Dingchen then asked, “How did it go?”
“It’s done.” Xu Zhao fed the rest of the boiled water to Xu Fan.
“If it’s done, why were you in such a hurry?”
Xu Fan smiled and said. “I thought Xu Fan would wake up soon, so I rushed back. I rode a bit too fast.”
He really spoiled his son.
“Are you afraid I’d mistreat him?” Cui Dingchen unexpectedly asked.
Xu Zhao hurriedly said, “Of course not. I was just worried that he would trouble you, Youngest uncle.”
Cui Dingchen’s expression didn’t change as he said, “It really was quite a bit troublesome.”
“Youngest uncle, you worked hard.”
Taking care of children really was hard. Cui Dingchen nodded and a short while later, nodded, “Don’t you think it’s hard?”
“What?” Xu Zhao didn’t react right away.
Cui Dingchen continued to ask, “You’re taking care of him all by yourself. Don’t you find it very tiring?”
“It’s alright. Xu Fan is very well-behaved,” Xu Zhao said.
Despite hearing Xu Zhao say this, Cui Dingchen still couldn’t help but ask, “Haven’t you thought of finding someone to take care of him together?”
Xu Zhao was a bit startled. In fact, more than one person had said this to him already. He wanted to do business as well as take care of a child by himself. It was very hard. It would be so much better to do it together with someone but was it so easy to find someone who loved both him and Xu Fan? Moreover, he wanted to find someone who could help him carry the burden. And others also wanted to find someone to help them carry their burdens. They had to put themselves in the other’s shoes, so it was really not easy to find.
“You’ve never thought about it?” Cui Dingchen asked again.
Xu Zhao smiled and said, “I have.”
Cui Dingchen’s heart tightened and asked, “What kind of person do you want to find?”
“I don’t know,” Xu Zhao replied.
“You don’t know?” Cui Dingchen looked confused.
“Mn.” Xu Zhao nodded.
“How do you not know?”
Xu Zhao slowly smiled, looking especially good looking as he said, “Because how is there any rhyme or reason when you have feelings.”
Cui Dingchen fixed his gaze on Xu Zhao and asked, “So, do you have feelings for anyone?”
“No, who knows if I ever will. Besides, I also have a child with me.” Xu Zhao felt that it was really awkward to talk about this with Cui Dingchen, and so he quickly changed the topic and said, “Youngest uncle, it’s getting late. I need to get back.”
“I’ll take you back.”
“It’s fine. I need to visit the vegetable market to take a look first. I also need to buy Xu Fan a new pair of shoes.”
“I’ll go with you,” Cui Dingchen took the initiative to say.
“You really don’t need to.” Xu Zhao really couldn’t trouble Cui Dingchen again. He was always troubling others, so he was too embarrassed to continue.
Xu Zhao carried Xu Fan toward the bicycle. Just as he put Xu Fan onto the bicycle, he heard Cui Dingchen call out, “Hold on.”
Xu Zhao stopped and turned to Cui Dingchen.
Cui Dingchen took out a pair of gloves from behind him and handed it to Xu Zhao.
“Youngest uncle, what is this?” Xu Zhao asked.
“Take it and wear it,” Cui Dingchen said.
Xu Zhao quickly said, “Youngest uncle, thank you, but I have gloves at home.”
Cui Dingchen bluntly broke through his words, “Are they twine gloves?”
“…twine gloves are still very warm.” Xu Zhao smiled shyly.
Cui Dingchen sternly said, “You should still take this pair.”
“Youngest uncle, I really don’t need it.”
Omg CDC and XF are so awkward and cute together! Espcailly when they both sit there waiting for XZ. So adorable!