At that time, Qin Zhi Ai had completed the first semester of her freshman year and was enjoying her Winter break. After Chinese New Year, she got a call from Xu Wen Nuan, inviting her to ice-skate.
It was only after she arrived did she get an estimate of the attending company. Wu Hao had invited a few other guys along.
And he was one of them.
Initially, Qin Zhi Ai did not notice Gu Yu Sheng.
She was preoccupied with greeting the guys after a round of introductions by Wu Hao. After which, she was pulled aside by Xu Wen Nuan to change into ice skates.
It was when she turned around did she notice him leaning on the wall behind her. He was biting on a cigarette and playing with the lighter, attempting to light the cigarette up.
As Qin Zhi Ai was clocking this meeting as just another coincidental meeting, Wu Hao spoke, “Sheng Ge (Brother Sheng), this is my wife’s desk mate, Qin Zhi Ai.”
However, Gu Yu Sheng did not choose to reply immediately after hearing Wu Hao’s words. Instead, he lowered his head, finished lighting his cigarette and took a puff before inclining his head and glancing at her through a ring of smoke.
Usually in school, she only dared to secretly look at him. Now that he is suddenly standing right in front of her and even looking at her, Qin Zhi Ai can feel her heartbeat and breathing stopping.
Moreover, he was not like the other guys. He did not scan her up and down, nor did he smile brightly and address her as ‘Xiao Xue Mei (小学妹, Junior)’.
He merely tossed her a sweeping glance which did not even amount to a second, tipped her a faint nod of his head and quickly retracted his gaze.
By the time Qin Zhi Ai broke out from her reverie, she was already dragged to a nearby seat and handed a pair of pink skates by Xu Wen Nuan.
Xu Wen Nuan, on the other hand, was changing into her skates while chattering on about the time during Chinese New Year when Wu Hao visited her house to hand her a gift.
Qin Zhi Ai mechanically started to change into the ice skates. Her mind was still cloudy, constantly thinking back to the moment when Gu Yu Sheng glanced at her. When she was nearly done with changing, Qin Zhi Ai interrupted Xu Wen Nuan, “Does Wu Hao know Gu Yu Sheng?”
“Ah?” It was probably due to the sudden change in topic, Xu Wen Nuan was slightly thrown aback. She paused before answering, “Yes, they are roommates who have known each other since young. They came from the same school…”
She had not managed to finished her sentence when Wu Hao came for her. Xu Wen Nuan waved at Qin Zhi Ai, wishing her a good time, before holding Wu Hao’s hand and entering the ice rink.
When Qin Zhi Ai finished changing into the ice skates and stood up, she took a glance at the area where Gu Yu Sheng was standing.
He did not change shoes. Instead, he was still assuming the same position of leaning against the wall while smoking as before.
After one round of skating in the rink, she threw another glance at Gu Yu Sheng. Other than the new stick of cigarette in his hand, she did not notice any change.
After almost three hours of skating, Qin Zhi Ai caught up with Xu Wen Nuan and whispered, pointing to Gu Yu Sheng, “Is he not going to play?”
“When he is like this, it means he is not in a good mood. Did you not notice everyone keeping a distance from him with none of them daring to start a conversation with him?”
It was after hearing Xu Wen Nuan’s reply did Qin Zhi Ai realise, throughout the entire afternoon, none of his friends had spoken a word to him despite passing him numerous times.