In the position with the best lighting by the window, there stood a vertical piano.
It seemed to be regularly cleaned, as the black lacquered body showed no obvious dust. Opening the piano lid, Yu Xinqiao casually pressed a few keys, and the sound was accurate, indicating that it had been well maintained.
So, was this room a study or a music room?
Or perhaps it served both functions?
However, a study requires silence, and the piano could easily be placed in the living room.
Yu Xinqiao looked at the desk, which was piled high with thick law books and case files. It was clearly Xu Yanhuan’s exclusive territory, and perhaps he had even been working here last night.
Could it be that I actually bought this house, and Xu Yanhuan, under the circumstances, had to agree to move the piano into the study?
While pondering, Yu Xinqiao absentmindedly flipped through the sheet music placed on the piano and unintentionally discovered something at the bottom.
It was the property deed, with a bright red cover that looked auspicious. Inside, it detailed the location and size of the house, as well as the names of the owners—Xu Yanhuan and Yu Xinqiao.
Tucked inside were receipts for the down payment and a loan agreement from a bank, bearing a single name, Xu Yanhuan. It was a 30-year term loan with a monthly payment of over 30,000 yuan, which made even the spendthrift Yu Xinqiao’s heart skip a beat.
Turning the page, a paper filled with English fell out, Marriage Certificate.
It was from California, USA, and the names on it matched those on the property deed.
Even the issuance dates were nearly the same, November 23rd of last year, the day after Yu Xinqiao’s birthday.
He felt an urgent need to access more information through his phone.
However, consecutive incorrect passwords had put his phone in a locked state, and if he got it wrong again, the device might automatically trigger an alarm and permanently lock.
Yu Xinqiao, an atheist, clasped his hands together, silently recited a prayer, and sought the blessings of the Bodhisattva. He picked up his phone and pressed the screen to wake it up.
He had tried his own birthday, his parents’ birthdays, and even Xu Yanhuan’s birthday, but none of them worked. So perhaps it was some other anniversary?
Four fresh digits appeared in his mind, and Yu Xinqiao took a deep breath, his thumb trembling as he pressed them down.
It wasn’t the day of receiving an award, nor was it the day of graduation.
It was 1123, the wedding anniversary.
Having regained control of his phone after numerous difficulties, before he even had a chance to look at it, a call came in.
After answering, Liang Yi was pleasantly surprised. “Did you retrieve your password? Have your memories returned?”
Yu Xinqiao replied, “The password is unlocked. The memories aren’t.”
“Take it slowly, don’t rush,” Liang Yi said. “I called to let you know that the Beijing Philharmonic Orchestra has already negotiated a postponement for you this month. They will wait until you’re ready to schedule the new performance.”
“They didn’t have any objections?”
“No, after all, it was due to unforeseen circumstances. Everyone understands. And they have a plan B, so they can still perform on schedule without you.”
Yu Xinqiao felt relieved. “That’s good.”
Speaking of the car accident, he learned from Liang Yi that the accident occurred on a road in the northern part of the city. The surveillance footage showed that he was driving out of a residential area at that time. Yu Xinqiao was stunned. “Birch Forest Residential Area? I’ve never heard of that place.”
“It’s near the textile factory. Don’t you have any impression?”
“None… absolutely none.”
“Maybe you were going to meet a friend? Look through your chat history later, perhaps you’ll find an answer.”
Liang Yi hoped that Yu Xinqiao would recover his memory as soon as possible, so he asked him to share the discoveries he made at home. Perhaps he could help him find answers and facilitate the recovery of his memories.
Yu Xinqiao thought for a moment. “Is the piano here mine?”
“Of course, it’s the one you bought after returning to the country. After you married Xu Yanhuan, you moved the piano to your new house together.”
“Then before that, before I said I was going to marry Xu Yanhuan, where did I live?”
“You lived in your own home, which is your parents’ house.”
It seemed that the relationship with his parents had indeed improved, at least not as terrible as it was in the past.
There were still some things that Yu Xinqiao didn’t know if he should ask. “Um, do you know if the house I’m currently living in was bought by Xu Yanhuan?”
Liang Yi was shocked. “Didn’t he just graduate? Where did he get so much money?”
That was also what Yu Xinqiao wanted to know. Even if Xu Yanhuan could earn money and work multiple jobs, he couldn’t keep up with the skyrocketing housing prices in the capital.
Where did he get the money to buy a house? Why did he choose to buy a house at that particular time? Was it also because of my pressure, just like the marriage?
The twenty-four-year-old Yu Xinqiao seemed too overbearing, forcing someone to marry him, live in their house, occupying the master bedroom, and even squeezing the piano into their study.
It was all speculation. A person with amnesia and someone unaware of the situation couldn’t discuss any useful information.
Yu Xinqiao changed the topic. “I have a friend who set their wedding anniversary as their phone password. What does that mean?”
There was a brief silence on the other end of the phone, and Liang Yi spoke with a frustrated tone. “What could it mean? It obviously means you still love him a lot!”
Yu Xinqiao remained silent.
It sounded as if I used to love him so much.
Taking advantage of the freshness of his memories from when he was seventeen or eighteen, Yu Xinqiao carefully reviewed them and confirmed that he had never said he loved him, and even chasing after him had an element of defiance against his mother.
In the eyes of musicians throughout history, love was a passing breeze, a medicine, a moonlit melody on the shimmering water. But for the eighteen-year-old Yu Xinqiao, time stood still, wounds hadn’t healed, and all he could hear were the fragmented sounds of moonlight breaking apart.
So, that couldn’t be considered love.
It seems that the end of love might be marriage, but marriage doesn’t necessarily require love.
Yu Xinqiao planned to go out for lunch and, as someone who had “traveled” from six years ago, needed to know the surrounding environment.
He randomly picked a set of clothes from the wardrobe, a light-colored hoodie jacket with work pants. He gestured in front of the mirror, a charming and youthful little handsome guy.
While he was changing clothes, the other owner of the house came back.
Not seeing anyone in the living and dining room upon entering, Xu Yanhuan changed his shoes and headed towards the master bedroom. The door was partially closed, and with a gentle push, his eyes fell on Yu Xinqiao’s bare back.
The protruding shoulder blades swayed lightly, his gaze lowered slightly, and the faint hollows at the waistline where two dimples half-hidden by the edge of his pants seemed to contract in response, causing the rest of the lines to sway along with them.
Hearing footsteps at the door, Yu Xinqiao quickly turned his head and swiftly put on the hoodie.
The collar felt a bit tight around his neck, and when he looked down, he realized he had put it on backward.
Feeling a bit frustrated, Yu Xinqiao pulled the hoodie off his body. His entire face burned, and he was about to say, “Don’t look,” but when he turned around, he found that Xu Yanhuan had already left the room, not knowing when he had gone.
After changing clothes, Yu Xinqiao searched for the keys before realizing that the door lock here didn’t require keys and could be opened with fingerprints.
Xu Yanhuan followed him out and they entered the elevator together.
Inside the elevator, there was a mirror on the front wall, and Yu Xinqiao saw his own face, now at the same height as Xu Yanhuan’s ears.
It was as if the passing six years had visible evidence. At least now when he lowered his head, he didn’t bump into Xu Yanhuan’s chest but his neck.
When they reached the first floor, Xu Yanhuan asked, “Where are you going?”
Yu Xinqiao said, “To eat.”
Xu Yanhuan then reached out his hand in front of Yu Xinqiao as he was about to exit the elevator and also pressed the button for the basement floor.
They were standing a bit close, and their hands briefly touched during the motion. Yu Xinqiao felt uncomfortable and quickly moved his arm, rubbing the back of his hand against the fabric of his clothes.
He dared not look at the mirror again, only hearing Xu Yanhuan say, “I’ll take you there.”
It was only when the car was driving on the road that Yu Xinqiao remembered he hadn’t said where they were going to eat.
The car stopped near an office building. After getting out of the car, they entered a restaurant on the ground floor and took a seat by the window.
From a distance earlier, Yu Xinqiao already felt familiar with the signboard for this restaurant. It was as if he didn’t need Xu Yanhuan’s guidance; he just knew that this was the place to go.
The restaurant wasn’t crowded, and the boss lady took their order personally.
“Are you dining in or getting takeout today?”
“That’s rare… Would you like two portions of shrimp wontons?”
The boss lady gave a meaningful look to Yu Xinqiao, who was sitting across from Xu Yanhuan, and then smiled before returning to the kitchen.
Yu Xinqiao timely spoke up, “Do you often come here to eat?”
Xu Yanhuan responded with a ” En. It’s convenient since it’s below the law firm.”
Yu Xinqiao nodded. “I never expected you to become a lawyer.”
He thought that only the 18-year-old Yu Xinqiao would make such a remark. After all, at that time, Xu Yanhuan seemed indifferent to everyone and everything around him. It was hard to imagine that he would become a legal professional defending others in court.
Little did he know that Xu Yanhuan was momentarily taken aback by his words.
“You said the same thing before,” he said, “when we reunited.”
Soon, steaming hot wontons were served.
The aroma of the food wafted into their nostrils. Yu Xinqiao lowered his gaze, and the porcelain spoon in his hand slowly circled in the soup. “So, when we reunited at the law firm, did I say… something I shouldn’t have said?”
He still remembered the segment of “partner criteria” that Liang Yi had relayed – at least, it had to be someone like Lawyer Xu.
As expected, Xu Yanhuan fell silent for a moment, as if unwillingly recalling the scene of being “teased.”
Surprisingly calm when he spoke again, “No.”
Xu Yanhuan said, “You only came to the law firm to handle the power of attorney; we didn’t have any communication.”
Yu Xinqiao replied, “…Is that so?”
Could it be that Liang Yi remembered it wrong?
Seizing what seemed to be a suitable opportunity, Xu Yanhuan answered the question from the previous day, “And later, when we got married, it wasn’t because you coerced me.”
He looked at Yu Xinqiao, separated by the steam and six years of distance.
“I was willing,” Xu Yanhuan said.
This present reality storyline may consist of approximately three chapters.