The living room was empty, and Cheng Suran sat alone on the sofa, lost in thought.
There is still a light scent of honeysuckle and iris on the tip of her nose, which is the smell of sister sponsor.
Along with the scent, there is also the subtext implied in that sentence – be good, kid, and don't ask what you shouldn't ask.
Surviving with the sponsor is the first lesson to learn.
Questions such as name and identity are not for her to ask, she just needs to be obedient.
But maybe because of the familiarity, there was always a little fantasy in her heart, which was seemingly vague.
Cheng Suran pulled back her thoughts and looked down at her phone.
Her part-time salary arrived last night, and the bank card balance is 10,500 yuan.
She was able to save that much because of three jobs during the summer vacation, plus the remaining scholarship allowance.
In a few days, school will start and she will be a junior.
The registration fee for the professional exam she plans to take will cost more than 2,000 yuan, and she will have to eat and live.
So she has been debating for a long time whether to keep part of the money for herself or transfer all of it to her aunt.
Her Grandma is in the ICU, maybe only a few days.
Even if she can make it through, she will still be half buried in the loess.* She gave everything she had to buy some time.
*not going to recover fully
What's more, her relationship with her grandparents is shallow.
But if she didn't try her best, it would be a burden to her morals and conscience.
Afterall, they were the ones who fed her.
Cheng Suran's heart was at war between being good or evil, and she couldn't make a decision for a while.
Her aunt had bombarded her on WeChat, the words full of complaints, pierced into her flesh and blood like a knife, stabbing the nerves in her brain.
[I know you're just pretending to be dead and don't want to care about your grandma, white-eyed wolf*, we shouldn't have taken care of you in the first place!]
[Your sister has just graduated and has no job or income, so she took out the lucky money* she saved.
Do you want to take a dime too? Are you even human?]
*monetary gifts given/received during Chinese New Year, usually in red envelopes.
[What have I done to stumble upon you and your grandma, you two dragging oil bottles*…]
*a baggage, usually pertains to kids from previous marriage.
in this context, it also applied to the grandma, she's probably the parent of the aunt's husband.
After several lines in a row, it stopped abruptly.
Cheng Suran sighed, but compromised, she slid her finger on the screen with difficulty, and she transferred 10,000 yuan into WeChat and sent it to her aunt, only keeping 500 yuan for herself as an emergency.
Seeing the prompt that the transfer was successful, her heart ached uncontrollably, as if a piece of flesh had been gouged out.
After waiting for a while, her aunt did not reply.
There are still two last tutoring jobs to be held today, and it's time to start.
Cheng Suran didn't wait any longer, got up, packed her things, and went out.
The weather at the end of August is still hot, the sun burns the top of the head, and one will sweat a lot after walking outside for a few minutes.
Cheng Suran walked towards the bus stop not far away, her water-green sarong lightly wrapped around her white long skirt, floating with the steps, like a fresh and elegant little jasmine.
When she arrived at the platform, the phone rang.
She looked up at the large display screen, walked around behind the stop sign, quietly avoided other people waiting for the bus, and then answered, “Hello? Goo…”
“What's the matter with you? That little money wasn't even enough for your milk for two days.
You've been stalling for a long time, you heartless thing!” Not even giving her the chance to finish talking.
Cheng Suran's eyes were red, and her free hand hanging by her side were clenched into a fist.
She wanted to argue, and even yelled back, but the words came to her mouth, circled around and swallowed them again.
She shouldn't be impulsive.
She took a deep breath, lowered her voice, and said, “I only have so much.
I will give you all the part-time wages during the summer vacation and the scholarship I saved, and the living expenses after the start of school have not yet been settled…”
After speaking, the aunt was silent for a few seconds.
“Useless, I told you to find a job early, what high school…” She cursed and hung up the phone.
Mist filled her eyes, Cheng Suran raised her head and held back the tears.
The sky was covered by the lush branches and leaves of the trees, and it was cool and shady.
The sun fell on her face through the gaps between the green leaves, and the temperature was not so scorching and much softer.
In any case, her aunt has raised her these years, and it is very difficult for a family that is not well-to-do to add a pair of chopsticks and a bowl for her, so it is okay to be scolded a few times.
She's an adult, she can handle it.
Cheng Suran persuaded herself for a while, the damp heat in her eyes receded, and her mood gradually calmed down.
The phone vibrated again.
A text message from the bank, 100,000 yuan has arrived.
She thought she had read it wrong, rubbed her eyes, and confirmed that there were five zeros behind it, and then she realized that this was the money that the sponsor gave her…
With a sudden leap of her heart, life was saved from a desperate situation.
A series of cold numbers gave her a sense of security that she had never had before, as if she had reliance and a refuge.
Behind her, was no longer an abyss. Every pore of her body was stretched out, without anger or grievance.
The bus wobbled over, Cheng Suran put away her phone, along with all her heart, and followed the others into the bus.
Evening came, the sun went down and the sky showed a mix of orange-red and purple-blue.
After the tutoring session was over, Cheng Suran got her last salary and went back to school.
At dusk, the huge campus became empty and quiet.
On the long road from the main entrance to the dormitory building, there is only the figure of the cleaning lady.
She applied to stay in school during the summer vacation, and has been living in the dormitory for the past two months.
In a room for four people, there is an upper bed and lower table cabinets, air-conditioning, a private bathroom, and a large balcony.
Her things are very few, and they are neatly arranged on the table and sink.
She took two sets of change of clothes, a few books, and some daily necessities, and put them in a large canvas bag, and then put in the clothes that were dried out the day before yesterday, and cleaned them up briefly.
It was already dark when she finished.
She carried her canvas bag and left the dormitory, and took a taxi at the school gate.
The city was congested in the evening rush hour, and it took more than 40 minutes for the 10-kilometer journey.
Cheng Suran regretted it.
This was the first time she took a taxi extravagantly since she entered school.
She never thought it would be more comfortable than taking the subway.
After finally arriving at the hotel, she swiped her card to go upstairs, and she pushed open the platinum door——
The light was on in the living room, and the woman was sitting lazily on the sofa, with her legs crossed, holding a goblet in her hand, which was filled with a small half of a garnet-red liquid, thick like blood, making her fingers even greener.
Slender and white.
The gray and white snakeskin pattern is matte, like a sinister snake entangled motionless.
Cheng Suran's legs went a little weak, and she held the door with her right hand, “Sister——”
The thin voice is like a kitten meowing.
Jiang Yu turned her face away, stared at the girl calmly, didn't speak, and showed no expression, and took a sip of her wine slowly.
It was silent for three to five minutes, ignoring the person there.
“Where did you go?” She raised her chin and motioned for the girl to come over.
Cheng Suran walked up to her obediently, and explained clearly: “I went to my tutoring job earlier, the last two classes is today, and then I went back to the school dormitory to pick up some things.”
“Yes, tutoring English for junior high school students.”
There was a hint of surprise in Jiang Yu's eyes, but she didn't ask further.
She was not interested in the specific situation of Little Canary, so she just nodded to express her satisfaction with the honesty.
“Have you had dinner yet?”
“Sit.” Jiang Yu patted the seat beside her.
Cheng Suran put down the canvas bag and took half a step forward, a little hesitant, not daring to look down. Suddenly her wrist tightened, and before she could react, she fell onto the sofa and was embraced by the woman's arms.
The slightly cool snakeskin pattern clings to her arm, and the touch feels so real, she can't help trembling, “Don't come over—”
“Little friend,” Jiang Yu's eyes dimmed, “Have you forgotten what I said?”
“I…I'm afraid of snakes…Sister, change your clothes.” The girl begged softly, as if she was about to cry.
Jiang Yu's expression froze, and she looked down at her skirt, wondering what she was talking about.
Suddenly, she let go of her arm and said in an unclear tone, “Go take a bath.”
Cheng Suran didn't care whether the sponsor was angry or not, she got up and fled back to the room with her bag.
The bathroom was filled with a strong scent of body wash.
She stood under the shower, closed her eyes, and let the warm water flow down her hair, finally relaxing her tense nerves.
No more rejection tonight.
Jiang Yu sat in the living room for a while, put down her glass, went back to the bedroom and put on a thin coat, beige, a very gentle color.
She buttoned up all the buttons and couldn't see the lines inside.
Until the girl came out of the shower.
“Come here.” Jiang Yu smiled and waved.
Cheng Suran looked at the beige coat on her body, and walked over slowly, “Sister.”
Jiang Yu stretched out her hand and pulled the person to sit next to her.
Her arms wrapped around her wicker-like waist.
The silk fabric was very thin, and she could feel the smooth lines when it clung a little.
“If you are afraid of snakes, sister will not wear it in front of you from now on, it's up to you.” She said with a smile, raising her head close to the girl's face.
Her cheeks were flushed from the steam, her slender eyelashes perched neatly on her eyelids, and her whole body exuded a sweet milk fragrance, as if she was hugging a ball of fluffy cotton.
Cheng Suran was so flattered that she couldn't help opening her eyes wide, her lips moved and she couldn't speak.
There is a slight ripple in the heart.
As long as she can remember, no one has said this to her.
She doesn't know what it feels like to be accommodated and dependent, and she seems to be even more frightened.
Jiang Yu pressed the little mole and interrupted, “Have you received the money?”
A basin of cold water was poured down from the top.
Cheng Suran nodded, suddenly felt a weightless feeling in her heart, she didn't know whether she was floating up in the air or falling down.
“Tell me, isn't sister a person who keeps her word?” Jiang Yu turned to rub the little brown mole.
A gentle kiss landed on her face.
Like tiny catkins floating in the air, fluffy and light, they gently brushed her face, leaving a palpitating itch.
Her scent, sister's scent, were strangely mixed together.
Cheng Suran's hands and feet went limp.
It turns out that being kissed by a woman feels like this, like electricity, full of warmth.
Although, it's just on the face.
“Sister has a gift for you.”
Jiang Yu leaned forward slightly, and reached out to pick up the box on the coffee table.
It was a small rectangle, wrapped in royal blue flannelette that looked like a jewelry.
She opened it, and there is a thin silver chain inside, with a delicate small silver lock pendant in the middle, and a rhinestone in the keyhole.
The design is novel and the shape is simple.
“This is…” Cheng Suran thought it was a necklace, but it wasn't long enough, and she thought it was a bracelet, but it wasn't short enough.
The corners of Jiang Yu's lips curled up slightly, and she didn't answer.
She grabbed the thin left ankle with one hand, and picked up the silver chain with the other hand.
With skillful movements and nimble fingers, she put it on for her.
It is an anklet.
Four small characters are engraved on the back of the silver lock: exclusive baby.
These feet are slender and delicate, they look about a size 36, and the nails are also healthy pink, shining brightly under the lamp, brighter than fine sparkling rhinestones, which seems to have a kind of shyness.
Jiang Yu held it in her hand and admired it carefully, extremely satisfied.
She is the little canary under her control.
“Sister…” Cheng Suran struggled a bit, feeling a little uneasy.
The lock represents handcuffing, just like her current status is just a plaything in the hands of the gold master.
The simple words seemed to contain doting, but they were actually humiliating, like a slap in the face.
But everything is voluntary.
Jiang Yu let go, raised her head, looked at her tenderly and smiled, “Do you like this gift?”
She swallowed the words, and said obediently: “I like it.”
There were small dimples on her cheeks, and her delicate face was bright and moving.
Jiang Yu narrowed her eyes slightly, they fell on that lips, as if she was being grabbed, she leaned closer bit by bit.
The intertwined aromas are like a fine mist, imperceptibly seeping into their breath.
Lighter than before, like a feather falling on the water.
Cheng Suran was stiff all over.
“Little friend…” Jiang Yu quickly let go of her, and put on the tie with a half-smile, pretending to pull it off,
“Sister's patience has a limit.”
A little note so you won't be confused.
* Jiang Yu's pet name for Cheng Suran aside from little canary, is xiao pengyou, which means child or kid, but is also literary translated to little friend, I decided to use both whenever I see fit, I think I'll mostly use little friend during sexy time.
**Cheng Suran's nickname for Jiang Yu (in her mind) is Jin Zhu jie jie, meaning Gold Master Elder Sister.
Gold Master means sponsor, benefactor etc.
I'd be translating this as sister sponsor/benefactor or just simply sponsor.
*** It's not clearly stated if the Aunt is a real aunt or a step-mother.
It's not clear if the sister, aunt is talking about is Suran's blood-related sister, or cousin, or step sis.
We'll probably going to find out soon.
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