When the supervisor notified him that his paycheck had been credited to his card, Meng Fu went to withdraw his money after work that day. Since it was payday, they didn’t have that many customers, and so there was no overtime either. In fact, they normally worked only eight hours a day, but Meng Fu always volunteered to work overtime for the extra pay.
But not today.
After taking out all of his deposit, he took Meng Yi out to eat a delicious meal. Then, he went to the supermarket to shop. He tried to buy the more expensive options as much as possible and even bought some health tonics. These were all things he was planning to buy for the He family.
When Meng Yi said he wanted candy, he also steeled himself and bought some.
But when he was buying vegetables, he turned around inadvertently and caught Gu Ze following him. However, he stayed a considerable distance away. Meng Fu originally thought of greeting him, but on second thought, he looked down and continued picking out vegetables instead.
There was no need for him to go. This man definitely wouldn’t want him to go over and greet him either.
So why make a fool of himself?
“Meng-Meng, that Big Brother who came to our house is behind us.”
Meng Fu didn’t even manage to tell Meng Yi not to mind it in time when Meng Yi ran over happily by himself. “Big Brother, it’s you again! Are you Meng-Meng’s friend? That’s what Meng-Meng told me.”
“I’m not his friend,” he answered coldly.
Meng Yi frowned. He looked at Meng Fu who had walked over to his side and said, “Meng-Meng, Big Brother said he’s not your friend.”
“He’s just kidding,” he smiled awkwardly.
But Gu Ze didn’t expose his lie. He just looked coldly at Meng Fu, eyes covered with a layer of frost. “Who told you to visit He Manyu’s grave?”
“I didn’t mean anything bad by it.”
He only wanted to visit and pray for that woman and her child.
“Don’t go there again. There’s no need for that pretentious act.” He hated that kind and harmless face of his; he hated the fact that he would go through that nonsense despite knowing that He Manyu and their child were dead, and what he hated even more was that he could never get back what he lost no matter how much this man repented.
“Alright. I won’t go.”
This man was so revolting. Why bother going? That just disgusted him even more, and he would only be bothering the woman and child under the ground, giving them no peace.
Even under the ground, they probably wouldn’t welcome him either.
He continued shopping for groceries while Gu Ze continued to follow him from a distance. After he was done shopping and paid the bill, he realized very little of his paycheck left.
While slowly walking back with two big shopping bags in hand, that man still kept on following him.
Meng Fu’s shopping bags were heavy, and the handles that dug into his palms hurt. Finally, he leaned against the wall to rest, catching his breath.
Gu Ze’s gaze followed the sweat flowing down his fair and slender neck, then moved to his hands, clenching and unclenching, and finally stopped on those red palms.
“Serves you right for buying so much.” Gu Ze stood in front of him, speaking casually while looking down at him condescendingly.
Meng Fu immediately stopped what he was doing with his hands. Meng Yi felt afraid for some reason when he saw Gu Ze standing under the shadows, and he clung to Meng Fu. “Big Brother is really scary.”
“It’s fine, Meng Yi. No need to be afraid.” Meng Fu patted Meng Yi’s head soothingly as if he were pacifying an actual child.
Turning his head back to Gu Ze, he said, “I’m fine, it’s not that bad.”
He didn’t want to appear vulnerable.
“Your hair changed.” Gu Ze looked at his hair as if he had just noticed the new length. He suddenly recalled Meng Fu’s messy hair that day, and the frost in his eyes began to melt a little. But he still steeled himself in the end. “That cut really suits a murderer.”
He had only cut his hair out of convenience. He didn’t think he would receive that sort of comment.
He scratched at the mottled wall behind his back with his hands, dried paint sticking to his nails. Meng Fu didn’t respond. Seeing that Gu Ze wasn’t going to say anything more, he picked up his bags again after a while.
That man clearly knew he wanted to leave, but he insisted on standing in his way. Meng Fu shrunk his figure slightly and tried to avoid physical contact with Gu Ze in front of him.
However, he still bumped into Gu Ze’s shoulder in the end. He quickly lowered his head and apologized. “Sorry.”
Gu Ze dusted off his shoulder in disdain as if he had bumped into something dirty. But then, the movement of his hands gradually slowed.
He seemed to have thought of something, contemplating it.
Only after Meng Fu walked some distance did he continue following him again.
Physically, the distance was short, but their hearts were far apart.
Meng Fu switched shifts with Jiang Hui, who took over his evening shift. Fortunately, Gu Ze didn’t head over to his house to sit around last night, so it gave him ample time to prepare.
He cooked the vegetables he bought into his best dishes and also chose the most expensive ingredients. The nutrition products he bought were also packed into a box.
He was actually very nervous and had no idea whether he would be driven away if he went to their house all of a sudden. Yet, he still had to go.
After all, there was no one he owed a greater apology to than He Manyu’s parents.
He had constantly been writing letters in his seven years in prison, writing words of, ‘How are you,’ or apologies to He Manyu’s parents, but he never got a reply.
When he arrived at the door, his palms began to sweat. He was a little scared and he backed up a little. He suddenly felt like a floating leaf, not knowing whether he would be rescued or where he would drift off to.
Gritting his teeth, he took a deep breath and knocked on the door.
The person who answered the door was He Manyu’s mother. She seemed puzzled as if she didn’t recognize Meng Fu.
“Hello, Auntie.” Meng Fu bowed slightly, showing great respect.
“Are you Meng Fu?” Her voice suddenly rose sharply like a raised chord. “What are you doing here? Killing my daughter wasn’t enough and now you still want to harm this old woman as well?!” After saying that, she turned back towards the house and yelled, “Old man, come out quickly!”
Auntie He looked at Meng Fu as if she could not wait to tear this man in front of her to pieces. Perhaps even such torture would not offset the pain she felt after losing her daughter.
Meng Fu lowered his head and kept on apologizing.
When Uncle He came over and saw a young man bowing in front of their door drowning in apologies, he said, “You’re Meng Fu, aren’t you? Don’t come here again.”
“That’s right, what did you come for? Are you here to see how grief-stricken we are?” As she said that, Auntie He raised her hand to beat Meng Fu. She couldn’t think of He Manyu. Whenever she thought of her daughter, she would think of how much she hated Meng Fu.
Her hand was very strong, and she threw all her weight into that punch, dropping his head even further down. Yet he stayed still, allowing her punches to rain down on him.
Uncle He probably couldn’t stand watching this continue anymore and pulled her back.
“I’m sorry.” Meng Fu raised his head slightly, his heart filled with guilt. “Here’s some food that I cooked myself and some health tonics. Please take them.”
He raised his arms to hand his gifts over, but he was thrown back with a great force.
The food he spent all night cooking was scattered all over the floor, like hearts that were trampled on. Auntie He threw the gift box over his head. “You murderer, you should be in prison! What did you come out for? So you could hurt even more people?”
“Just go. You’re a pain for our family. What’re you even doing here?!” Uncle He held back Auntie He who was still scolding Meng Fu.
“Go. The only thing we have for you here is hatred.” Her voice was cold.
“Then please excuse me. I’m really sorry.” He bowed deeply to them.
Uncle He watched Meng Fu’s back as he left. It almost looked as if his figure was outlined by a halo of sadness, but what grief could surpass the grief of a parent’s loss of their child?