No one knew when Chris came down and stood on the stairs behind Mr. Osborne. His eyes were cold and angry.
“What letters?” It was clearly the voice of a teenager, but the pressure was so low that the heart trembled.
George looked at Mr. Osborne. “Nothing, young master. It’s some invitation letters sent to Master for various meetings.”
Chris walked up to them step by step, with his face full of sharp suspicion, “What letters?”
George took a deep breath without saying anything.
“The letters sent to you by the Chinese boy Lin.” Mr. Osborne spoke.
“Where are they?” Chris stood in front of Mr. Osborne, his eyes falling straight into the other’s eyes.
“You are my son. You don’t need to deal with those lower class. They can’t help you. They just want something from you.” His son’s anger didn’t affect Mr. Osborne’s mood at all. He slowly picked up the cup and took a sip of coffee.
“I told you before, don’t try to control my choice.” Chris’s voice was freezing cold. The scent of gunpowder was gradually burning in the air.
George stepped back. This young master was the only son Mr. Osborne admitted, not to mention he was an illegitimate child outside. However, Mr. Osborne attached great importance to this son. From his teachers in school to life and all aspects, he had made great efforts. Unfortunately, Chris has no respect for Mr. Osborne.
“Why not?” Mr. Osborne chuckled, “I can give you food and tuition, including your fencing teacher. I can also cut you off. I can make you have nothing.”
George also smiled in his heart. Children just didn’t know how little they had.
Chris snorted softly, “Are you an idiot?”
Mr. Osborne raised his eyebrows. “What did you say?”
“Even if you don’t give me anything, I still have myself.”
After that, Chris took off all his clothes in front of his father and threw them on the ground dismissively. “I don’t want anything of yours.”
He went upstairs. George looked at Mr. Osborne’s expressionless face and quickly followed Chris upstairs. His young master took out the things in the cupboard. They were all Chris’s clothes when he was in New York. They were cheap and had no styles. Chris neatly put them on and tidied up the worn-out backpack. There was a set of old fencing protectors that couldn’t fit in it, plus the old sabre with the handle in the long box. He passed by George with a straight back.
All this time, George always thought that Chris kept these old things just as a memorial or to encourage himself to remember his poor days before. Now he finally understood that they were kept because Chris had always planned to leave the Osbornes’ family. When he left, he would not take anything from them.
When Chris walked to the door, Mr. Osborne spoke slowly.
“You will regret leaving, my child.”
Chris pushed the door open without any sentimental attachment. The sunset shone at his back, which reflected not loneliness, but a sharp knife that almost stabbed Mr. Osborne in the eye.
After the door slowly closed, Mr. Osborne stretched out his hand and pressed his forehead.
“Sir, do you need to tell madame?”
“…I’ll go and talk to Sissie.”
At dinner time, Chris’s mother came to the table and found that there were only two plates on the table.
“Why, isn’t Chris eating at home today?”
Mr. Osborne nodded and pondered for a while before opening his mouth. “He left home with what he had when he first came to Washington. You don’t have to worry. Someone is watching him and will bring him back when he wants to.”
Sure enough, Chris’s mother froze. She then gasped while tears spilled from her eyes. “I knew he wasn’t happy here.”
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“He’s not unhappy. He just can’t forget that I left you mother and son behind.” Mr. Osborne walked across the table and took his weak wife into his arms. “It’s my fault. That’s why I want to give Chris the best thing. I want to do everything possible to prevent him from getting hurt.”
“Tell me, did he leave because of his friend Lin in New York?”
“Yes, it’s him. You know Lin is a Chinese, a Chinese with low status in the United States. He can’t get the best education like Chris and live the same life as Chris. After all, there will be a gap between him and Chris. No matter how good a child Lin is, he will grow up one day. His innocence will fade. He will want something from Chris, and Chris will be disappointed by him one day.”
“Oh my God…Osborne, you don’t know what he’s been through these years…”
“Sissie, I know that because you have lived in poverty for more than ten years, you have great sympathy for the people of that class…”
“No, Osborne. You really don’t understand Chris. Lin will never want anything from Chris, but Chris always wants something from Lin…he wants Lin’s acknowledgement, Lin’s attention and everything else you can’t imagine. If you take all this away, Chris will collapse.”
“It’s because Chris hasn’t touched the wider world. He put all his hopes on the Chinese boy.”
Chris’s mother sighed, “Do you know? Because I love you, you become my world. And Chris is locked in this world. But Lin’s appearance was so unexpected that my Chris can finally see the whole world outside through Lin’s eyes.”
Mr. Osborne looked at his wife in his arms and remained silent.
“If you love Chris, give him what he wants. Because unless he wants something, no matter how much you give him, he won’t be happy.”
That night, Mr. Osborne made a phone call to the people he sent to follow Chris.
“Where is the young master?”
“The young master bought a train ticket to New York tomorrow morning.”
Mr. Osborne stretched out his hand and pressed his eyebrows. One didn’t know whether he was talking to himself or George beside him. “This child is really stubborn.”
George hesitated for a moment, then asked, “Sir, young master Chris has just made a friend. Why are you so nervous?”
“Chris cares too much about him. The more you care, the more vulnerable you are.” Mr. Osborne shook his head as if he were struggling with something in his mind. “I don’t know if what I did is right or wrong.”
“Won’t it be better to let nature take its course? There is no one in this world who doesn’t get hurt, no matter how carefully you protect the young master.”
It took more than three hours to go to New York by train from Washington.
At first, Chris found a public phone booth to call the Lins’ previous phone number in New York, just like he had called countless times before, but the prompted voice inside told him that the number no longer existed. Hanging up the phone, Chris resolutely walked to the ticket window and bought a train ticket. As long as he returned to New York, someone must know where Lin Yifei moved.
The time passed by little by little. Towards dawn, Chris was clutching the train ticket and fell asleep on the bench. Occasionally, some passengers passing by him would show pity and thought that he was a stray from somewhere.
At 4 o’clock the next morning, Chris got on the train. This train was a bit empty because it was too early. Chris put down his baggage and looked out of the misty window with his head propped up.
At 8 o’clock in the morning, the train arrived in New York. Chris got off the train and found the bus stop with great skill. After another half-hour bus ride, Chris came to the gate of a middle school. Before Lin Yifei moved, he mentioned on the phone that KK was studying at this middle school. It’s only 8:40 a.m. now, so it’s possible to wait for KK at the school gate.
Sure enough, a girl with small braids and a boy walked into the school gate side by side.
“KK” Chris hurried up.
KK looked back and saw Chris. She was stunned for three seconds.
“Are you…are you Chris?”
“…you have grown so much that I can hardly recognize you.” KK laughed with her mouth open. Although she was not familiar with Chris, she had a good relationship with Lin Yifei. “Didn’t you go to Washington? Why have you returned to New York?”
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“Do you know where Lin moved?” Chris automatically ignored KK’s question and went straight to the point.
“Wait, you and Lin are so close, yet you don’t know where he moved?” KK looked incredulous. “He went to Washington! At that time he was very happy and said that he can see you in Washington!”
Chris’s shoulders quivered slightly. “Do you know his address in Washington?”
“Of course I know!” KK took out her notebook and tore off a page, “I’ll write it down for you! I really don’t know what happened to you two.”
As a result, Chris quickly turned and ran to the bus stop once he got the note, “thank you.”
KK looked at Michael next to her, “Did you hear what he said just now? He said thank you to me?”
Chris took the bus back to the train station and bought the latest train ticket back to Washington.
It was at 4 o’clock in the afternoon that Chris returned to Washington again. But by this time, he had no more money in his pocket.
But that didn’t matter. Chris was like a backpacker walking through the streets in Washington. It’s rush hour now. Cars were coming and going. Many people were walking slowly on the sidewalk on their way home, in sharp contrast to Chris’s big stride.
He walked for almost an hour before he arrived near Chinatown. Looking very nervous, Chris stared at the signs in Chinatown and the Chinese coming and going while taking a deep breath.
At this time, a young girl was riding past him with her bicycle. He stepped forward and abruptly stopped the other party.
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