151 A Strange Birthday Party
At 7 a.m. the next day, the system notification woke Su Yang up.
[Beep. Happy Labor Day. Glory to the glorious Labor Day.]
Su Yang was utterly confused. 'The system woke me up this early in the morning just to wish me Happy Labor Day?'
Unable to believe it, he opened the system and realized that there were no extra missions or presents. However, he noticed a countdown timer at the upper right corner: 15:01:47.
A rough calculation later, the timer would end at around 10 p.m.
'Does it mean I was born around 10 p.m. at night on the 1st of May?'
Su Yang believed it was highly possible, but he was clueless about what would happen when the timer reached zero, hence the restlessness in his heart.
The feeling felt like a girl waiting for her first love. She was afraid that the guy would not show up, but at the same time, she was also afraid that he would do something to her after he showed up.
He felt extremely conflicted.
The system never gave Su Yang an easy mission, so it was very likely for something to happen. If something really happened and caught him off-guard, he would probably cry a river.
Su Yang lost the mood to go back to sleep after the system woke him up, but it was a holiday, so he did not have any classes and did not need to go to work, hence he was rather free.
He got up and started scrolling through his phone.
When he brought up the phone panel, Su Yang noticed that Chu Xia had sent him a message at midnight last night.
[Happy Birthday, Mr. President!]
A smiley face emoji was also attached. Her message was similar to her personality: simple and straightforward.
He replied: [Thank you.]
A quick thought later, he decided to post a status on his Friend Circle.
'Time is a one-way journey. We never wish to grow up but we do. Birthdays arrive timely every year. I wish for someone who will walk the ten-mile red dowry road for me and accompany me to witness the changes in the world so that I won't waste my youth and the time I've spent.'
Unlike Chu Xia, Su Yang tended to be a little more cultured. A moment later, Chu Xia gave him a like.
After the like, she left a comment: [Happy Birthday. See you tonight.]
Before Su Yang could reply, he saw Li Runze add a comment below: [A birthday gathering? I'm coming.]
'What the heck?!' Su Yang was confused, but that was not the end.
Qu Xuan jumped into the fray and replied: [I'm coming too.]
Su Yang was utterly confused. 'What just happened? Did he add Chu Xia or Li Runze on WeChat? How come he can see my status and comment on it?'
A while later, Li Runze opened a chat group titled 'Su Yang's Birthday Party'.
All four of them were added and it answered Su Yang's question: Qu Xuan was Li Runze's friend.
Qu Xuan then added Qu Xiaomeng to the group and said: [This is my sister. She wants to join the party as well.]
The first message Qu Xiaomeng sent to the group was [Su Yang! Add me back! Don't you delete and block me again!]
Su Yang played dead right away.
'Qu Xuan and Qu Xiaomeng are brother and sister? Now, everything makes sense. It's no wonder that Qu Xuan always appears around my neighborhood. It also explains why the two of them are a little…dumb.'
In the end, Li Runze turned a two-person date into a birthday party.
The five of them fixed the time and venue before Su Yang got up, washed up, and went down for breakfast.
Although breakfast was ready on the table, Deeny was not around. The others, including Sanque and Little Hus, were nowhere to be found either. It seemed like they were still busy preparing the surprise.
Su Yang could not even ask Deeny for the part-time app data. He decided to call Wang Dong to find out how the app was faring during the holidays.
After he brought up the phone panel, he called Wang Dong who confidently assured him that all the jobs were listed properly and that the number would be sufficient until the end of this mini holiday.
Many students decided to take a break or go home during the five-day holiday, so the number of students doing part-time jobs was fewer than on the weekends. Therefore, the current number of jobs would be more than enough.
Wang Dong's assurance put Su Yang's worrying heart to rest.
In the afternoon, Su Yang went to the coffee shop again. Zhou Yueting was already there, waiting for him. He switched on the halo and greeted her.
Zhou Yueting smiled, but her stiff and square facial features highly resembled Old Zhou's. She said, "Happy Birthday."
"Thanks," he said.
She must have seen Su Yang's status in his Friend Circle.
After he sat down, he talked to Zhou Yueting about her problems. This time, maybe because Old Zhou and Chu Xia were not around, she felt a lot better. Su Yang skillfully lured her to reveal her thoughts.
In short, Zhou Yueting lacked care and love from her parents from a young age and started to get rebellious during puberty.
Old Zhou and his wife were not local Shanghainese. They came to the city in the early 2000s and finally settled down after going through some hardship.
After Zhou Yueting was born, because of the nature of their work, they decided to place her in her grandparents' care back in the rural village. Zhou Yueting was brought up by her grandparents while her parents would only visit during festive seasons.
She even revealed her first time being in Shanghai.
The university had its summer break back then, so Old Zhou had some free time on his hand and decided to bring Zhou Yueting to Shanghai for a few weeks.
For the first time in her life, Zhou Yueting saw skyscrapers, beautiful cars, and all kinds of people walking on the street. She was still young back then and could not speak without the heavy rural village accent, so she did not have the courage to talk to people.
Compared to Shanghai, she liked living in the village more because at least, she felt free. She could go to the river to fish or catch some frogs in the paddy fields.
However, Old Zhou and his wife did not choose to work in Shanghai for themselves. More precisely, they did it not only for themselves. They worked hard to provide a better environment for Zhou Yueting.
Therefore, when Zhou Yueting reached the age to attend elementary school, Old Zhou brought her to Shanghai permanently and sent her to the local school.
The outcome was self-explanatory. A rural kid with a heavy rural accent was an easy target to be bullied and discriminated against.
Old Zhou and his wife finally settled down with better terms, but a crack appeared in their relationship. When they were not arguing, they were not talking to each other, so there was barely peace between them.
Zhou Yueting was brought up in such an environment, hence her rebellious stage.
Old Zhou only noticed his daughter's behavior during middle school. He started to talk to his daughter and tried to take care of her, but it was already too late.
Zhou Yueting had grown up, so she no longer needed her parents' overdue love. Their delayed love would only make her uncomfortable and disgust her further. Therefore, she started to dress up like a deviant and refused to do everything her parents told her to.
Su Yang was speechless for a long while after he listened to her story. Zhou Yueting was practically half a stay-at-home child. A child growing up without love and care from the parents would heavily be affected mentally because the child would not know how to love or how to accept love.
As for Zhou Yueting claiming that she became rebellious because she did not want her parents' overdue love, Su Yang believed it was only part of the reason behind the matter.
Zhou Yueting might not realize this, but another part of the reason was that she subconsciously realized the more rebellious she was, the more her parents would care about her, hence the vicious cycle.
It was a sign of not knowing how to accept love.
 Ten-mile dowry: a kind of wedding custom in eastern Zhejiang Province, mainly in the Ninghai County. During a wedding, the dowry is prepared including bed furniture to a single thread and needle. The dowry procession then stretches out for ten miles.