Teng Yuan’s office wasn’t in the city center, but on its edge, bordering the city center.
After they came out, Tang Sibo asked Su Fu and Juan Juan to sit in his car. First, they would go to eat together. After meal, he would take them back to pick up their car and then go to No. 3 Waterside Pavilion. Su Fu had no objection. He and Juan Juan sat in the back with Tang Luoke.
It’s quite incredible to think that he crashed into this car not long ago, but now he’s actually sitting in it. Su Fu patted Juan Juan’s hair with a sigh and smiled slightly. He felt that the fate between people was really wonderful.
This meal was invited by Tang Sibo, so he naturally chose the place. The car didn’t drive to the city center but turned east along the south street where Teng Yuan was located. He turned two corners and soon stopped on a busy street.
This street was called ‘Yichuan Street’. The reason for its popularity was that there’re several schools around it and three main universities. Another university and its affiliated primary school also weren’t far away. Parents who pick up primary school students and couples from universities could be seen everywhere here during mealtime.
Tang Sibo knew this place because his assistant Fan Yao brought him here to eat several times. The nearby A University was Fan Yao’s alma mater.
When the car pulled over, Su Fu looked out of the window and his heart thumped.
Su Fu and He Shaoqi studied at S University in City S. He didn’t know much about universities in City A, but he was very familiar with this street. For no other reason, the primary school attached to A University was the primary school where Su Fu’s father used to work. It was also where Su Fu went to school when he was a child.
Since he was expelled from his home after coming out of the closet, Su Fu’s relationship with his family had gone from bad to worse. No matter how he tried to be filial to his parents, father Su and mother Su would avoid seeing him. Over time, Su Fu also dared not enter this street again, because his parents’ small restaurant was open on this street. He didn’t want to embarrass his parents with his appearance.
The old-fashioned apartment of the Su family were originally allocated by the school. They were close to the school. The Su family also had no spare money to buy another house. In order to conveniently set up a store, they naturally rented a store close to their home. The lively ‘Yichuan Street’ was their best choice.
While Su Fu was still immersed in his own thoughts, Tang Sibo and Tang Luoke both got off the car. Juan Juan looked outside then at his little dad. He pulled his little dad’s clothes.
“Little dad, uncle Tang got off the car.”
Su Fu paused then returned to absolute being. He was a little embarrassed. Tang Sibo had bent down to look at him.
“Teacher Su, what’s the matter? Are you feeling uncomfortable?”
“It’s okay. I was distracted by accident.” Su Fu smiled then picked up Juan Juan to get off.
Tang Sibo gently put his hand against the door frame and blocked Su Fu’s head to prevent the large and small ones from accidentally knocking against it. When they got off safely, he gently closed the door and locked the car.
“I’ve been to this place several times. The food in one restaurant is very tasty. I’ll take you to try it?”
“Good.” Su Fu answered absently and looked around from time to time. His mood was very complicated now. He was afraid to see his parents, afraid to see the embarrassment in their eyes, yet still secretly looking forward to seeing them. He hadn’t seen his parents for a long time.
Tang Sibo didn’t fail to notice Su Fu’s absent-mindedness. He didn’t take the liberty of asking if he had something on his mind. He only held him and the small Juan Juan while crossing the road to prevent him from getting hit.
When he almost got hit, Su Fu was also surprised. He hurriedly thanked Tang Sibo and appeased Juan Juan. At last, he regained his mental state and was no longer distracted. The road wasn’t safe.
Tang Sibo saw that Su Fu had recovered, so he said no more. He took his son by the hand and led Su Fu to the end of Yichuan Street.
He walked to the end of the street and stopped at the door of a small restaurant that wasn’t very conspicuous. Su Fu’s heart also paused a beat.
The name of the small restaurant was ‘Family’. It was opened by father Su and mother Su. It covered a small area and had two floors. The decoration wasn’t exquisite, but it had the warmth of home.
At this time, Su Fu was in a dilemma. He watched Tang Sibo and Tang Luoke went in. But standing at the door also made him too conspicuous. Besides, his own heart also wanted to see his parents, so he moved Juan Juan to slightly block his face, then carefully followed behind Tang Sibo.
Now was mealtime. There’re already a lot of people, with a smaller number upstairs. Tang Sibo took the lead and went upstairs to find a place not far from the air conditioner to deal with the heat but far enough so that the cold air wouldn’t blow at the children.
The waiters here were usually part-time college students. A girl came over quickly and handed them the menu. Tang Sibo ordered some special dishes that he wanted to recommend to Su Fu. He then asked Su Fu to order his own favorite dishes.
Su Fu’s mind wasn’t on these dishes. He looked at them casually and ordered some rolls that he liked. After the waiter left with the menu, Su Fu looked around again. He didn’t see his parents. His eyes drooped disappointedly.
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“Teacher Su is looking for someone?” Tang Sibo asked with a smile.
Su Fu shook his head. He couldn’t answer the questions that Tang Sibo might ask next, so he just denied it directly. Who was he looking for? Looking for his parents. Why? Because he was kicked out of the house. His parents didn’t recognize him. These words, he couldn’t say. This was his personal wound.
Seeing that he didn’t answer, Tang Sibo wasn’t angry. He still retained his usual modest appearance, with the corners of his mouth curving up with a shallow smile, showing elegant temperament. He give off the air of a person who was of extraordinary background but was still accommodating.
Before the meal was served, Tang Sibo got up and went to the refrigerator against the wall to get a bottle of Pepsi. He poured Su Fu’s cup for about 70% full. “I think Teacher Su will like this,” he said jokingly.
Recalling the embarrassing incident in the office today, Su Fu didn’t resist and gave a small laugh. In fact, most of those Sprite, Cola and Mirinda were bought by the other two teachers. He preferred yogurt drinks. Coke was also a good choice to drink occasionally. He thought, maybe Mr. Tang didn’t like carbonated drinks. He might have just asked for it to relieve the atmosphere and save his face?
“It’s not bad. When it’s hot, it’s cool to drink.” Su Fu said, then raised his glass and drank most of the cup.
Tang Sibo filled his cup up by another 70% then poured half a cup for the two smaller ones. He didn’t know about Juan Juan. He knew about his son. Tang Luoke didn’t like to drink flavored drinks. He normally only drank plain boiled water and pure milk. However, he wasn’t completely picky and would occasionally accept other drinks. There’s really no other good choice in the refrigerator. He just needed to make do with it.
When Tang Sibo poured himself a cup, the food came up, plate after plate. Their fragrant aroma made the fingers greatly moved.
“Although the food here isn’t as exquisite as those in big restaurants, it’s tastier. This kind of home-cooked food is very comfortable to eat.”
Su Fu nodded approvingly. Most big restaurants sold their signboards. The home-cooked dishes in small restaurants were sometimes more attractive, especially for those who seldom ate home meals.
“Mr. Tang is somewhat different from what I imagined.” Su Fu said with a smile. He put a piece of fish in Juan Juan’s plate after carefully picking out the fish bones.
Tang Sibo smiled and said, “Teacher Su, please enlighten me.”
Compared with Su Fu, he looked much more relaxed. Tang Luoke was self-reliant long ago and didn’t need adults to take care of him during dinner. Once in a while, if a dish was too far away for him to get, he would help him. Other than that, there’s nothing to do.
Looking at Su Fu’s gentle care of Juan Juan, and the child’s reliance on him, Tang Sibo was somewhat envious. He also wanted a soft and cute son, but his son had long been led astray by his oldest brother.
“I thought Mr. Tang would prefer big hotels, western restaurants and the like.”
Big hotels, western restaurants, private clubs, such places were indeed frequented by Tang Sibo, but to say that he liked them, it wasn’t true. As a member of a prestigious family, this was only part of their daily social life and could be said to be their inherited habits as part of a prestigious family over the past 100 years.
To be honest, it was the nouveau riche who really liked and admired those places. This was because they didn’t come into contact with such places very often before they became rich. When they saw prestigious families coming and going in such places, they thought they were high-end places. They thought that going there more often would increase their dignity and prestige, but it was just a laughable imitation.
“There’re big and small advantages. It’s better to compare. Only when you have a comparison can you have a choice. When you have a choice, you have a preference. I just prefer the taste of home-cooked meals. It’s a pity that some big hotels just want to create beautiful appearance and novel taste but forget that the feeling of home is the foundation of human desires.”
After expressing his deep feelings, Tang Sibo learned from Su Fu’s action and gulped down half a cup of cola. He then raised his eyebrows. Indeed, as Su Fu said, it’s quite refreshing to pour down such a mouthful.
Su Fu smiled and nodded in agreement. He thought that Mr. Tang was a person who knew how to enjoy life. After putting many dishes in Juan Juan’s bowl, Su Fu took care of himself. He picked up a piece of braised potato in brown sauce and took a bite. The delicious taste just spread in his mouth. Almost immediately, Su Fu’s eyes turned red.
What a familiar smell. It’s the smell of home, the smell of mother Su.
Su Fu hadn’t eaten mother Su’s food for five years. He could tell with just one bite that this was what his mother cooked. Su Fu’s heart was choked with grief. He remembered what Tang Sibo had just said. The feeling of home was the foundation of human desires. Right now, he couldn’t agree more with these words. He was the one who felt them the most.
He doesn’t have a home. The He family was not his home.
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Su Fu’s sad mood didn’t last long. He was unwilling to show his vulnerable side in front of outsiders. Besides, he hadn’t tasted the dishes that his mother cooked for a long time. It would be a pity not to eat more. It’s just that he’s also not in the mood to joke and have fun.
Tang Sibo saw that Su Fu wasn’t in a very good mood. He didn’t say any more. He only spoke to him occasionally to prevent him from feeling awkward. Most of the time, Tang Sibo shared the task of taking care of Juan Juan and eating. With Juan Juan, the dinner table became more active without any embarrassment.
Tang Luoke occasionally said a few words to Juan Juan, who was very happy and giggled. Children’s laughter was always free of impurities. Soon, Su Fu was provoked into laughter. He rubbed Juan Juan’s head to make him eat slowly to not choke.
This meal was a mixed meal in Su Fu’s heart, but he also enjoyed it. Before going out, Su Fu subconsciously looked back but didn’t see father Su and mother Su. At last, he sighed in his heart then took Juan Juan and the Tang father and son away.
Anyway, he was very grateful to Tang Sibo for bringing him to this small restaurant today. He was very satisfied and looked forward to the next time.
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