Many things were constantly changing rather than being set in stone. Sometimes changes happened even when you didn’t actively pursue them.
After Chris left, Lin Yifei would often go check the mailbox. He would come back after school to ask if there was any phone call from Chris. Mother Lin said laughingly, “What’s the rush? Chris has only been in Washington for less than a week. He hasn’t even settled in yet. How can he talk to you?”
KK and Michael also found that Lin Yifei was depressed, so they also cheered him up from time to time.
Chris finally called on the weekends.
When Lin Yifei heard mother Lin call him to quickly answer the phone, his heart was racing.
While picking up the phone, he took a deep breath.
“Hello…Chris…” Once the moment finally came, he didn’t really know what to say.
“Yifei.” The other person’s voice was cold, but it felt soft when calling out his own name.
“Are you okay in Washington?” This was what Lin Yifei was most concerned about.
“Not good.” Chris’s answer was light. One couldn’t see any hint of joy.
“Not good? Why? Is Mr. Osborne bad toward you?” Lin Yifei was a little surprised. According to his previous experience, Mr. Osborne loved Chris very much and basically responded to everything he wanted. Love me, love my dog. Since he cared so much about Chris, his affection also extended to Lin Yifei.
“What he gave me was not what I wanted.”
Lin Yifei understood what Chris was referring to. His lips involuntarily smiled. “Idiot. I can still find you to play during winter and summer vacation. If you aren’t happy, call me more. I waited here for a long time before getting your call.”
Then Lin Yifei happily told him about school, especially the funny things between KK and Michael, while Chris mostly listened quietly, as if he only called to hear Lin Yifei’s voice.
After that, Chris would call him every night after dinner. Mother Lin said laughingly, “Xiao Fei, you can answer Chris’s phone much more on time than you can get up in the morning.”
Lin Yifei also laughed.
One of Lin Yifei’s happiest news was that Mr. Osborne had hired a first-class fencing coach for Chris. Chris would take part in the fencing event of the National Junior Fencing Competition, which made him both happy and envious for him.
Because of the competition, Chris’s phone call became one every two or three days. But Lin Yifei didn’t care, as long as Chris could win the competition. However, Chris didn’t win the championship this time around, which wasn’t surprising. Chris has just started. It’s already quite good to be in the top three.
That night, Lin Yifei had just finished dinner and made a burp when Chris called.
“Ha ha, congratulations on your third place!” Lin Yifei was really happy. The champion of that competition was Luc Bell, who was two years older than Chris. Many years later, he would also become a famous fencer.
“Mmm.” Chris replied gently, “Yifei, you should also take part in the competition next year.”
“Me? I’m going to a middle school with a fencing club. Then I’ll take part in the interschool competition for middle school students…but all middle schools with fencing teams are hard to get into…” Lin Yifei touched his nose, “Of course, it doesn’t matter. There are plenty of opportunities.”
“Yifei, my mother is ill.”
Hearing the news, Lin Yifei took a deep breath in shock. “Is it serious?”
“Not too serious, but I want to accompany her to Switzerland to recuperate. I’ll call you when I get there.” Chris said this sentence to let Lin Yifei wait for his call. The key point was that Chris wanted Lin Yifei to be here when he called.
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“I know!” Lin Yifei smiled, “Have a good time with your mother. I’ll wait for your call.”
However, Lin Yifei didn’t expect that their family would leave here.
That night, father Lin came back and said that the factory was still not doing well. He had been planning to go out and do some small business earlier, but it was not until now that he found an opportunity. Last month, his friend in the factory left first to find a place to open a Chinese restaurant, while father Lin had been planning to move later. Now, the Chinese restaurant was ready to open. The other party was anxious for father Lin to hurry over.
“What…to Washington?” Lin Yifei’s eyes lit up when he heard the news. If he moved to Washington, he could see Chris!
“Yes.” Mother Lin said nothing, but she was also very happy. She stayed for so long in New York and felt a little emotional. However, father Lin’s friend who ran the restaurant said that there was a suitable place in Washington. The rent was good and reasonable. There were people to help. Therefore, she naturally wanted to move over. “If Chris calls, you should tell him.”
Lin Yifei became nervous when she mentioned this matter.
“We’ll be moving this Sunday. Your father has already found you a middle school there. When summer vacation is over, you can go straight to school.” Mother Lin touched her son’s head. “Didn’t your good friend Chris go to Washington? This way, you two can see each other again.”
“Mmm!” Lin Yifei’s heart was increasingly looking forward to Chris’s phone call. He would tell him the good news as soon as he called.
Until the night before the move, Chris’s phone call didn’t come.
This worried Lin Yifei. Did Chris’s mother suddenly deteriorate? He remember Chris said that his mother passed away soon after returning to the Osbornes’ house. Don’t say…
Anyway, at least he needed to let Chris know that he was going to Washington. So he made a phone call to the Osbornes’ house. A middle-aged man answered the phone.
“Hello, this is the Osbornes.”
“Hello sir, I am Chris’s friend, Lin.”
“I am George, the Butler. The young master is still in Switzerland. Can I help you?” The voice of the other party wasn’t cold, but it had a formulaic feeling.
“Well, I’m moving tomorrow, but I can’t contact Chris now. Can you please give him my new address?”
After the other party wrote down his address, Lin Yifei hung up the phone with a peace of mind. He was looking forward to seeing Chris after moving to Washington.
KK was very reluctant to give up Lin Yifei. On the day the Lins moved out, she and Michael saw them off on the streets.
Lin Yifei looked at KK tearful appearance, and felt his heart moved.
Thank you, for giving me another wonderful childhood.
After some setbacks, Lin Yifei finally arrived at Washington’s Chinatown. The place where they lived was right above the restaurant run by father Lin. The two families lived together. Washington’s Chinatown was only a few blocks from the White House. It took only 15 minutes to walk there. On the first day of his stay, Lin Yifei accompanied his mother to visit the White House and took many photos.
Father Lin was still far-sighted. He didn’t want Lin Yifei to plunge into the greasy Chinatown like this for a lifetime. Since Lin Yifei’s English was so good, he naturally hoped that his son could go to a good school and blend into the local culture. That way, he could find a decent job and move out of the crowded Chinatown apartment.
Therefore, the school attended by Lin Yifei was a little further away. It belonged to public upper-class middle school. What made Lin Yifei most happy was that there was actually a fencing club in this school. Although it was said that the standard wasn’t as good as the basketball and football clubs, since no student had ever reached the top eight in the interschool championship for middle school students, it was still better than none.
The Chinese restaurant downstairs opened. Father Lin’s partner, Chen Shu, also found someone to do the lion dance. Sometimes, he really felt that Chinatown was more Chinese than China. The first day was full of guests. Everyone liked freshness. They hurried over to try the new restaurant. Judging from the reaction of the visitors, father Lin and his family would be busy in the future.
Lin Yifei would often look at the door subconsciously, maybe Chris would appear at some point.
Unfortunately, the entire vacation passed without news from Chris. Lin Yifei made another phone call to the Osbornes. It was still the Butler, George, who answered.
“Has Chris returned from Switzerland?”
“Yes, the young master is back.”
Hearing the news, Lin Yifei was both happy and sad. What made him happy was that they were finally in the same city. What made him sad was that since he came back, why didn’t he come to find himself?
“May I speak to him, please?”
“The young master is very busy. It’s not convenient now.”
Busy? Was it because his mother’s illness was still not optimistic?
Lin Yifei frowned at the thought. Maybe now was really not a good time to disturb Chris. When school formally began, he could actually go to Chris’s school to find him. After taking out the map of Washington and studying it carefully, he found that Chris’s Griffith Institute was not close to him. He would have to give up his break time at noon to find him.
After the start of school, Lin Yifei had to adapt to the new school. He was also a relatively unique sight in that school. Most of his classmates were white. There were several black, and the rest were Hispanics and Korean. Lin Yifei was the only Chinese, which made him naturally lonely. He couldn’t find his own place in the entire class.
This made him miss Chris even more.
The noon break arrived. Lin Yifei left school. First, he took the bus, then the subway. It took him almost an hour to get to the school gate. Griffith Institute was an aristocratic private school. The children who attended classes here were either rich or expensive. The teachers and teaching facilities were first-class.
Standing by the gate, he saw many famous cars drove in. There were students wearing neat and exquisite school uniforms. Lin Yifei suddenly felt that he couldn’t walk in.
He stood at the gate foolishly, looking forward to when Chris would suddenly walk out of the school gate.
The sun’s rays were dazzling. Lin Yifei stood under a tree shade as if he were going to melt in the sun otherwise.
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In the end, he returned to school the same way.
When he got home that night, he made another phone call to the Osbornes’ house, and it was still George who answered the phone.
“May I speak to Chris, please?”
“I’m sorry, young master…”
Before George could finish, Lin Yifei hung up the phone directly.
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