Chapter 39 — A Gift For Victory
“Where are we going to eat?” Bai Chuan held a special attachment to his first time skipping work.
“It’s not yet the time to eat, let’s go shopping for a while.” Mu Xiaoya replied casually while driving the car.
“I already said it, it’s not the time to eat yet.” Bai Chuan, who had his rules disrupted, wrinkled his nose uncomfortably, he couldn’t help but whispered a little.
“…” Was I being complained? Mu Xiaoya felt novel receiving a complain from Bai Chuan, so she deliberately didn’t reply, driving the car in silence, trying to see what Bai Chuan would say next.
“We should eat after half past six.” Mu Xiaoya decided to help Bai Chuan this time.
“It’s only five o’clock now.” The company’s working time was until half past five, but they already came out now, so they will completely be able to make it on time.
After saying these three sentences, Bai Chuan was quiet for two minutes, then he repeated these exact sentences again.
“It’s not the time to eat yet… we should eat after half past six… it’s only five o’clock now.” Bai Chuan murmured these three sentences back and forth quietly, with an interval of two to three minutes, as if he was set with a single playback software, he repeated it tirelessly.
At first, Mu Xiaoya didn’t feel annoyed, and instead felt that he was a little cute because Bai Chuan didn’t like talking on ordinary days. But at the same time, she kept thinking that he’s like a little old lady, which looked amusingly tense.
However, as the time spent talking these exact sentences grew longer, Mu Xiaoya slowly realized that something was wrong. Bai Chuan’s repeated words wasn’t spoken because of his desire to speak, but that it was because he can’t control himself. It was like that night when he kept writing in his notebook that he must go home at six o’clock, it was because of the obsession caused by his inability to adapt after his rules had been forcibly disrupted. This obsession requires him to return to the ‘right’ path before he can calm down again.
Although the situation wasn’t serious this time, after all, Bai Chuan didn’t get triggered, he was only slightly uneasy, but Mu Xiaoya knew that her behavior today still made him uncomfortable.
Mu Xiaoya parked her car in the underground parking lot of a shopping mall in silence, turned off the engine, and then turned her head to look at Bai Chuan who was still muttering like a broken record without him knowing it himself. She opened her mouth and asked, “What time is it now?”
“It’s 5.20, there’s still ten minutes before work is finished.” Bai Chuan’s subconscious mind still thinking about how he didn’t get off work on time.
“When did we come out of Yifeng?” Mu Xiaoya continued to ask.
“4.50” He got off work forty minutes early.
“Thirty minutes, half an hour, you have been repeating that the time has not yet arrived and that you shouldn’t be off work.” Mu Xiaoya paused for a moment, then asked, “Are you angry with me? Blaming me for taking you out?”
“No.” Bai Chuan shook his head without thinking, although he still shouldn’t come out early, but he’s not angry ah.
“Then why do you keep talking about it? If you keep talking about it, then doesn’t it mean that you’re not happy? If you’re not happy, then that means you’re blaming me, and if you’re blaming me, that means I did something wrong. But I asked you clearly just now and you agreed to come out with me yourself, and now you’re blaming me when we’re already out?” Mu Xiaoya’s expression was a little sad, this kind of sadness wasn’t because Bai Chuan harping on her, but it was because she saw Bai Chuan being like this.
“I… I’m not angry, not blaming you, I… I…” How to explain this? Bai Chuan was anxious, worried until his whole face flushed red.
He’s really not angry, he just felt a bit of discomfort. When he couldn’t adapt to something new, he couldn’t help repeating the same thing over and over, this was Bai Chuan’s condition, Bai Chuan really couldn’t control himself.
Bai Chuan clearly knew all the characteristics of his own condition, he had seen many doctors since he was a child, he also had read a lot of books in this area, he can even accurately recite the various reactions that autistic people would have during their onsets, however, whenever this symptoms appears, his brain would be muddled. His right brain would be telling him that he should stop repeating those sentences, but on the other hand, his left brain would act as if it had its own initiative.
Bai Chuan sometimes hated the rationality of his right brain. When he was triggered, he even wished that his right brain’s reasoning would cease to exist. Like this, he wouldn’t feel guilty every time he came back to his senses, he wouldn’t be afraid of the possibility that Xiaoya would loathe him either.
“I clearly wanted to make you happy by going to the company to find you. Since you blame me, then I won’t go to find you anymore.”
Mu Xiaoya was still talking, and every word she said made Bai Chuan felt uncomfortable. This discomfort gradually prevailed, helping his right brain to suppress the behavior of the left brain, and Bai Chuan’s urge to repeat those sentences gradually eased down.
“I… I don’t blame you.” If Xiaoya feels sad hearing it, then he will stop this behavior in the future, at least, he won’t make any noise.
Yes, just don’t say anything, just repeat it inside, this way, Xiaoya won’t find out about it. Or just go home and write it in the notebook, in short, as long as it’s not discovered by Xiaoya then it’s okay. If I’m not discovered, then Xiaoya wouldn’t hate me.
“I won’t do it again in the future.” After finding a solution, Bai Chuan spoke with a lot of confidence, “I’m not angry, you have to come and find me again.” He likes it when Mu Xiaoya went to find him, likes it when he raised his head and suddenly finds her standing there, Bai Chuan even felt that maybe in the future, he would subconsciously look outside from time to time when he’s in the office.
Mu Xiaoya gazed at Bai Chuan who vowed in all sincerity, her heart felt complicated: Have I guided him correctly?
Professor Feng said that an autistic person’s life path is extremely simple, they don’t do socializing, living by themselves, and even studying things alone. Their daily life’s trajectory is like a single straight line, and there will never be forks or turns, therefore, once they’re determined that their path was suddenly disrupted, they would easily become uneasy. They will express their uneasiness and urgency through actions, words, and all other behaviors that they can use. If the level of anxiety is too great and reached a certain point, their condition can easily get triggered to a break out.
Bai Chuan became anxious because he can’t go home on time, leaving work early and not eating within the determined time, but this level of anxiety still wasn’t enough to make him troubled, although it can’t be helped that it made him lose control by repeatedly saying the same things over and over. He needed to relieve his uneasiness through this repetition, as it was actually a method of his self-regulation. To put it more seriously, he was actually treating himself.
However, right now, Bai Chuan was willing to stop this treatment because of her few words.
Is it right to do it like this? Mu Xiaoya was hesitant. On one hand, she hoped that Bai Chuan can become better, even a little bit of progress was needed, but on the other hand, she didn’t want Bai Chuan to feel uncomfortable.
“I know you didn’t do it on purpose, you just can’t control it right?” In the end, Mu Xiaoya just couldn’t harden her heart facing Bai Chuan’s conscience-stricken expression.
“En.” Bai Chuan heavily nodded his head, his face was as if he was relieved of a heavy load.
Xiaoya understood me.
“Then, how about we make an exchange?” Mu Xiaoya suggested.
“Yeap.” Mu Xiaoya wanted Bai Chuan to become better, but she couldn’t bear seeing him felt uncomfortable, so she wanted to give Bai Chuan some compensation, “If something similar happens in the future, for example, if I do something that makes you uncomfortable, then you can ask me for a request. As long as it’s within my ability, I will agree with whatever you ask of me. In exchange, you can’t talk like that with me anymore. Uh… if you really can’t endure it, then, you can’t repeat it more than three times.”
Mu Xiaoya held three fingers up so it can be seen by Bai Chuan clearly. She hoped that this exchange would relieve some of Bai Chuan’s anxiety.
Bai Chuan stared blankly at the three fingers in front of him while his brain began to analyze the meaning within Mu Xiaoya’s words: Xiaoya said that if a similar situation occurs in the future, then Xiaoya will agree with one of my request? Just thinking about it, the restlessness in his heart eased a lot.
After the understanding dawned on him, Bai Chuan decided to give it a try, so he couldn’t wait to ask, “Then… can I make a request now?”
“You can, what do you want me to do?” Although Bai Chuan spent thirty minutes talking in repeat today rather than three times, but as their first ‘interest exchange’, Mu Xiaoya didn’t mind being generous. Moreover, she was also curious about what Bai Chuan would ask of her.
“I want you to be happy.” Bai Chuan didn’t like Mu Xiaoya’s appearance right now; her eyes were as gloomy as the fog he saw when he was jogging in the morning, he didn’t like it.
Hearing this, Mu Xiaoya actually wanted to cry, but in order to keep her promise, she still forced herself to smile as best as she can. She didn’t look in the mirror, but she must force her expression not to be unsightly right now, because she had to convey the warmth inside her heart to Bai Chuan through her smile.
And at the moment when Mu Xiaoya’s smile unfolded, Bai Chuan found that his urge to repeat those sentences was just like the fog after the sun rises; it all disappeared without a trace.
Because of this matter, the two was so delayed that it was almost six by the time they arrived at the restaurant upstairs. They then took their number, ordered some food, and waited for the dishes to be served. Mu Xiaoya looked at the time, and it was exactly 6.30, it accidentally fit with Bai Chuan’s set of time.
Mu Xiaoya looked at Bai Chuan who showed no reaction in the whole process and became unsure for a moment. Was this his own ‘exchange’ function, or was it because Bai Chuan had been eased down because they’re eating at the specific time?
But today, she did not intend to continue to investigate him, Bai Chuan’s condition needs to be guided patiently, and Mu Xiaoya felt that she had guided enough today.
“When we finished eating, I’ll take you to a place.”
After dinner, Mu Xiaoya took Bai Chuan to the third floor on the East Area where it was concentrated with shoe stores in the mall. This was also Mu Xiaoya’s main purpose of coming to this mall, because one of the store in this mall was Fang Hui’s uncle’s. Inside, there were the three shoes that she designed.
When they walked into the specialty store, she simply swept around and Mu Xiaoya quickly found the three shoes she designed, which were placed in the center area, the new hot-sales area.
“Xiao Chuan, look.” Mu Xiaoya picked up one of the shoes and showed it to Bai Chuan.
“The one you drew.” Bai Chuan didn’t disappoint Mu Xiaoya and recognized the shoes at a glance. This was the one she drew when they were in the cherry orchard, sitting by the creek, the day when they encountered a heavy thunderstorm.
“En.” Mu Xiaoya said with a little pride, “I watched the game you developed today, so I will show you the shoes I designed. This is a brand co-founded by Fang Hui and me, the logo of our studio.” That said, Mu Xiaoya showed the soles to Bai Chuan. On the white soles, there’s a small circular pattern, which was an artistically processed pattern of the two English letters H and Y. It looked like a flower from afar, but when they looked closer, it would reveal the two letters.
“H is Fang Hui’s Hui, Y is…”
“Xiaoya’s Ya.” Bai Chuan replied.
“Customers, do you like this shoes?” At this time, the store clerk came over and glanced at the shoes on both of their hands and immediately started promoting, “These are the shoes jointly designed by our company and H&Y studio. It’s the new model for this year. The shoes looks simple and elegant, and it’s very comfortable if worn. The upper fabric is very breathable, and even if one wear it in the summer, it won’t feel suffocating. These shoes are selling very well in our store, do you want to buy a pair back?”
“Yes.” Bai Chuan interrupted Mu Xiaoya’s words, “I want this pair, this pair, also this pair, I want them all.”
Bai Chuan pointed out three pairs in a row, each pair was designed by Mu Xiaoya, he remembered every pair of shoes designed by Mu Xiaoya in the cherry garden that day.
“Okay, what size do you want?” After selling so much, the welcoming enthusiasm of the store clerk became more eager than before.
“A pair for size 36, 37, 43, and 44, two pairs for size 45.” Bai Chuan said a series of numbers.
“That… which size on which model?” The clerk wanted to confirm.
“I want every model.”
“What you mean is… you want to buy three pairs for each shoe size?” The clerk asked again, she didn’t dare to believe her own ears.
“Six pairs for size 45.” Bai Chuan was afraid that the clerk would make a mistake.
“Are… are you sure?” how can this still be called buying, it’s a wholesale ah…
“Sure.” Bai Chuan nodded affirmatively, he never miscalculated any number before.
“Bai Chuan, what are you doing…” Mu Xiaoya was shocked and speechless since Bai Chuan started speaking out numbers after numbers, she smiled awkwardly to the clerk and decisively pulled Bai Chuan aside, “Why do you buy so many shoes? And, even if you want shoes, you can just tell me ah, why do you spend so much money to buy that much?” Fang Hui asked for several pairs of their shoes from the factory yesterday and piled them in the studio. If Bai Chuan liked these shoes, she can just take some from the pile without having to spend a dime.
“Want to buy, want to support.” Bai Chuan firmly said.
“Then, you don’t have to buy so much ah, it’s alright if you just buy a pair.”
“Give people.” Bai Chuan said again.
“Give who?” Mu Xiaoya was curious, Bai Chuan can actually take the initiative to buy something to give people.
“You said it, when your studio officially opens then you will give father, mother and brother.” Bai Chuan thought that Mu Xiaoya must have forgotten again.
“…” Mu Xiaoya didn’t forget ah, she did say that she would give them her shoes when they were having their breakfast that day, but Mu Xiaoya promised to custom-make their shoes instead of sending these ‘two to three hundred yuan a pair’ of these mass-produced shoes ah.
“Then you don’t have to buy so many, for three people, it’s enough to just buy three pairs ah.” Mu Xiaoya said.
“Six people.” Bai Chuan counted, “My parents, your parents, brother, and also me.”
In the end, Mu Xiaoya swiped Bai Chuan’s card delightfully, bought 18 pairs of shoes that she designed, and then returned to the mansion to give the Bai couple and Bai Zheng three pairs each.
Everyone in Bai family: …our family’s Xiao Chuan is so generous, giving us three pairs at once.
After they returned home, Uncle Li brought two servants to hold the several boxes of shoes and followed Bai Chuan to give the presents one by one.
The first one was Bai Zheng, who heard the knock on his door and opened it.
Bai Chuan: “Shoes, Xiaoya designed it, give you.” boom boom boom, three pairs in a row stuffed into Bai Zheng’s hands before he left.
Bai Zheng who held the three pairs of shoes: …
The second one, the Bai couple.
Bai family’s couple was pleasantly surprised: “Xiao Chuan, why are you here?”
Bai Chuan: “Shoes, Xiaoya designed it, give you… both.” Then a series of six pairs were given to the couple who were in their pyjamas.
The Bai couple: …
Bai Chuan went back to the bedroom, asking for a praise: “I gave them all.”
Mu Xiaoya, who just came out of the shower: …you sent the shoes in the middle of the night?
When Xiaoya ‘complained’ about Bai Chuan’s condition, me: sad (´ﾟωﾟ｀)
When Bai Chuan said, “Smile.” for the first gift of his first ‘victory’, me: sweating through my eyes. أ‿أ