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Chasing Sunset

Every day at 4:30 in the afternoon, I wait for someone in the studio on the 20th floor of the Sunshine Building. His name is Shen Xiaoliang. At this point in time, the day’s work is coming to an end, and the night is about to roll out, which is the most suitable time to wait.

While I waited for his arrival, I would sit in front of the floor-to-ceiling windows of my studio, looking down. Looking at the ground from the high-rise building, you can clearly see the color of their clothes, recognize their body movements, and hear the noise of cars and horses. It seems that even their whispers are blown into your ears along with the wind. side. All people, young or not, are part of this bustling road. They leave, disappear, and maybe reappear in another form the next day. Everything is not as insignificant as imagined. Every person and every car is thought-provoking: where will they arrive before sunset? Every time, when I was thinking about this question, Shen Xiaoliang walked in and asked, “Are you watching the sunset again?”

Two years ago, I set up my own house on the top floor of this commercial building, and the large floor-to-ceiling windows in the studio were just what I wanted. When I hung the signboard engraved with the words “Master of Memory” on the lintel with my own hands, I suddenly felt a sense of vicissitudes in my heart. As the chief physician of the Department of Neurology, I resigned from the public hospital where I had worked for 20 years, and I was hardly understood by anyone. But when I sit in my studio, at a decent age, in the best sunshine, I feel that this life is enough.

In the first twenty years of my work, I was promoted steadily, but I was confined to a cold and damp north-facing consulting room. Every time I stepped into work, I felt depressed. No wonder, many patients have commented that my face is getting paler and paler. I leave home at 7:30 every day and arrive home at 6:00 pm. The best time of the day is devoted to work, patients, and this consulting room. I have been taking “Ucarol” for many years. According to medical research, long-term use of this drug can easily lead to osteoporosis in middle-aged and elderly people. I need to drink milk, take calcium tablets, bask in the sun, and store enough bone mass before the onset of aging. I have always wanted to change to a south-facing clinic, but the leader has always rejected my legitimate request on the grounds that “there is no vacant clinic”.

Until that day, Shen Xiaoliang’s father, Shen Dali, came to my consultation room with another piece of soap, and told me that it was a brand endorsed by a certain star and that he personally used it. The small dark window said: “I’m going to report to the leader, I’ll change your office immediately! I watched you grow up, such a good person, how can such a consulting room be worthy of you!”

I smiled as usual and said, “Uncle Shen, go back, go back!” The triage nurse immediately ran over and sent Shen Dali out of the consultation room with a half push and half beg. I smiled and closed the door, but tears fell. No one has ever said such a thing to me. I can enter a tertiary hospital as a doctor, and my parents and friends think that I am already a shining person. It was at that moment that I thought about it and quickly put it into action.

Until the time before leaving the job, I hoped that Shen Dali would come uninvited as usual, talk about some irrelevant topics, and then disappear in the elevator under the escort of the triage nurses or security guards to go to his office. The home in the mouth is “located near the hospital, super large and luxurious, comparable to a seven-star hotel”. But the strange thing is that since that day, Shen Dali has disappeared, leaving me only that certain brand of soap. I looked at the soap several times. The packaging is crude and not like genuine. In fact, the genuine soap of this brand is not worth a lot of money, and I have no impression that a celebrity has endorsed this brand.

After a few months, my resignation procedures have been completed, but Shen Dali still didn’t come. I always feel that the farewell is a little less formal. When tidying up old things, I dug out the piece of soap from the drawer, smelled it, and it smelled weird, like mothballs, like sandalwood. I took this bar of soap to my parents’ house, thinking maybe I could use it for my mother’s laundry. Mother is still the same, no matter what she asks why, I mentioned Shen Dali.

Shen Dali is an old friend of my father. The first time I saw Shen Dali, he didn’t make an appointment, and ignored the obstruction of the triage nurse at the door, followed the doctor’s sign, ran straight into my consulting room, and yelled at me to find a doctor for his son after reporting himself to the door. good doctor. I asked him, “What disease does your son need to see?” Shen Dali pushed me out of the office, and said in a low voice, “That’s it, alas, that’s it!” wave. At that time, I was just a young doctor who had just started working, and my skin and connections were thin, but because of my father’s old friend’s face, I still used all my connections to arrange an excellent urologist for Shen Xiaoliang. doctor.

When I accompanied Shen Dali to the outpatient hall, Shen Xiaoliang stood at a distance, tilted his head, looked up at me, quickly lowered his head, and followed up gently. I handed Shen Dali and his son to the chief physician of the Department of Urology, and went back to the consulting room to continue seeing patients. After a while, Shen Dali ran over to me with a relaxed face and said, “The thread has been removed. Thank you both, Shen Xiaoliang and I.” The chief urologist just removed the thread for Shen Xiaoliang? Presumably, he has beat me in the heart thousands of times. I didn’t know how to respond, so I silently sent Shen Dali downstairs.

When we reached the stairs, Shen Dali told me another “unknown secret” – Shen Xiaoliang had been to the hospital before, passed me by the door of the pharmacy, and had a very good impression of me, and now he knows that I am his father The daughter of a friend feels that there is an extra layer of fate. All the way to the clinic hall, Shen Dali stood still and began to introduce his family background and Shen Xiaoliang’s personal situation. “Fate has come, don’t block it!” Shen Dali said loudly to me. There were people coming and going in the hall, I stood in the slow-moving stream of people, I was so embarrassed, I peeked at Shen Xiaoliang, he had slipped out of the gate of the hall at some point, his thin back was embedded between two big men. Shen Dali was even more enthusiastic, saying that he would call my father immediately to discuss the marriage that was a matter of course.

After returning home that night, I asked my father, “Did your old friend Shen Dali call you?” My father took the tweezers to pull the weeds of Clivia, and said without raising his head, “I did. I haven’t seen you for many years.” , just say some stupid things.” I laughed out loud.

Today, my father is nearly seventy years old, his body is not as good as before, and he is lying in an old rocking chair watching TV. After hearing the name of “Shen Dali”, he raised his head and said, “It’s been a long time since I saw him, did he look for you?”

“Not recently. How did you know each other?”

“It must have been a year, which year, um, I forgot. That year, we went to take the job title exam together, and we met, but he passed the exam, but I didn’t. I heard that he had a son, and he was doing well. How about it. Now that I’m retired, you’re doing well. Compared with him, I don’t seem to be lagging behind in general.”

“Do you know where he lives?”

“I used to live at the foot of the mountain in the north of the city. There was a big ginkgo tree in front of the door. I went to his house. The road was built the year before last. I heard that his house was also demolished and divided into two houses. The resettlement house in his area should be It’s near your hospital. The ginkgo tree has also been cut down, and his son said he would move it to another place to plant it, but he doesn’t know if it’s finished. Why do you ask this?”

After my father finished speaking, he changed his posture and continued to lie down and watch TV. His broad body seemed to overflow from the narrow rattan rocking chair, and the chair creaked. My father said: “A person’s life is really fast. It is as narrow as this rocking chair. When I am old, I will not feel comfortable lying down.” His words contained simple life philosophy, which made me think for a while. Son. Mother happily “stabbed” and tore off the outer packaging bag of the soap, walked to the balcony, and “swished” to wash the clothes.

two

During summer and autumn, there are more typhoons in small southern cities. In autumn, even if there is no typhoon passing by, the wind volume will increase infinitely. Sitting on a tall building, you can hear the wind whistling high in the sky, whistling and smashing the clouds into pieces. When I ran to the first floor, it was calm and silent.

“Where does this wind come from? It’s really scary.” When I came to work, I met Xiao Chen in the elevator who opened an oil painting studio opposite, and she asked me with her arms around her shoulders.

“I always thought that the wind came from your oil paintings. You have painted so many oil paintings about wind, so there is more wind on our top floor than elsewhere.”

Xiao Chen smiled.

Since my father had heart surgery, I have to drive a small tram back to my home in the suburbs every night before dusk. On the way, we had to pass a field of reeds. When the wind blew, the reeds would undulate, fall down and stand up again. Looking at the gray reeds, I accelerated the speed of driving, for fear that one day I would arrive too late and my father would have an accident, leaving my mother waiting in the dark alone. I often post photos of wind blowing reeds in my circle of friends, and Xiao Chen suddenly had the inspiration to create. Soon, her studio was covered with reeds of various shapes, and the wind seemed to have a specific shape on them.

In the afternoon when there are no client appointments, I organize cases in the studio. It’s a big project, but I figured, someday, someone will be able to use them. After finishing my work, I held a cup of tea and sat quietly listening to the wind, imagining what the wind would look like. It may be in the form of a cloud, or it may be in the form of a tree. Perhaps, it is a tunnel in which everyone flies away.

I have experienced the feeling of falling in a space-time tunnel. One year, when I was lying on the operating table, the anesthesiologist put on an oxygen mask for me and asked me to take three deep breaths. When I took the third breath, the chest that I was trying to push up did not fall, as if I was pushed hard by someone, the surrounding was dark, and I fell quickly by myself, and after a pause, I slid to the bottom and fell into a deep sleep. But after squinting for a while, in a daze, someone pushed my left shoulder, called my name loudly, woke me up from the dream, and told me that the operation was over.

When I received Shen Xiaoliang for the first time, I told him about this experience. Shen Xiaoliang looked at me and said excitedly: “You are the one who wakes up the amnesia patient, I am right!”

Shen Xiaoliang was the last client I received that day. When I was sorting out the appointment information for the next day the night before, I had already seen the information submitted anonymously by Shen Xiaoliang. He was consulting for my father, and after describing some symptoms, the image of Shen Dali jumped out of my mind without any effort.

I sit in front of my computer and dangle a pen with two fingers. Sunlight poured in from the window lazily, with a lingering prestige, solemn and lonely. Shen Xiaoliang opened the door and came in, not like asking a doctor, but more like a visitor, and politely put a box of Dendrobium tea on my table. The packaging is shiny, so bright that it is a bit fake, it should be a temporary purchase from a store. I pointed to the bottles and cans on the three-tier black walnut shelf and asked him what he wanted to drink? Wild black tea, Yandang Maojian, saffron, and Blue Mountain coffee are all good products that I cherish. Apart from enjoying them myself, I am also happy to entertain clients who visit the studio, not to mention that he is Shen Xiaoliang.

Shen Xiaoliang waved his hands again and again, and smiled at me, his smile was as shy as it was twenty years ago. This is the only impression he left on me. From that side, Shen Xiaoliang and I were strangers. If Shen Dali hadn’t been in touch with me intermittently in the past few years, I’m afraid Shen Xiaoliang would have been forgotten by me. Because Shen Dali often described him in a tone of love and hatred in front of me, I felt that he was always shaking in my life.

I adjusted the swivel chair to face him at just the right angle, neither distant nor too close. Shen Xiaoliang was a little puffy, and the sofa sank into a deep hole under the pressure. The chubby Shen Xiaoliang was somewhat similar to Shen Dali, with a little white hair on his temples, like countless ordinary middle-aged men. Back then, Shen Xiaoliang stood beside Shen Dali, with a fair complexion, a narrow waist, thin and frail, with a rare delicacy. Of course, I also grew from a girl over 80 pounds to a middle-aged working woman who weighs over 100. Now, Shen Xiaoliang and I have reached the age of our father, and the days are blowing like the wind.

“It is said that time is the fairest, but I don’t think so! I have become old and ugly, but you are more beautiful than when you were young!” Shen Xiaoliang looked at me for a while, sighed and praised, and said to himself His face turned red first. I glanced at him with a calm expression. The girl who stood in the hall blushing back then is gone forever.

Shen Xiaoliang asked again: “How did you think of doing such a remarkable thing?” I don’t think I have anything to do with “greatness”, I am just a doctor who manages human memory, prescribe some medicine, It also comforts those confused and anxious patients. To put it nicely, he is called a “memory master”; to put it bluntly, he is just a person who chats with others.

“No, no, you are a talented woman.” Shen Xiaoliang stared at the neat rows of foreign novels on my desk.

The sun in the west is a little more dazzling, scorching everyone in the studio. I got up and opened the tea set, Shen Xiaoliang hurriedly stood up and said that he can make delicious black tea. Instead, I told my assistant to go and see if today’s newspaper had arrived in the mailbox. The assistant took the task, got up quickly and went out, and didn’t return for a long time.

Only Shen Xiaoliang and I were left looking at each other, the tea was gurgling and tumbling, it was the first time I found the sound of making tea so noisy. Shen Xiaoliang leaned forward and said in a low voice: “Meiya, I never expected that we would meet like this… Cough, every time we meet, it’s quite embarrassing…”

“How is your father?” I cut to the chase.

Due to their familiarity with each other, Shen Xiaoliang directly described his father’s symptoms without beating around the bush. He had a stomach full of bitterness, and he opened his mouth, pouring out all the bitterness in his stomach, and he couldn’t shut it off. He said that Shen Dali has become more and more confused recently, talking incongruously, and behaving strangely and incomprehensibly. He only knew Shen Xiaoliang, and even the nursing home was unwilling to take him in. He called three times a day, urging Shen Xiaoliang to take his father home. . Shen Xiaoliang said that it is absolutely impossible to bring his father home in such a state, and his wife Sasha is even more unacceptable, she must let Shen Xiaoliang come to my studio for consultation. Because she said that she had found out clearly that in the past few years, every time Shen Dali went out, he would come to see a doctor in my neurology clinic.

I asked him, “Do you remember when was the last time your father went out?”

Shen Xiaoliang told me very clearly that it was a certain day in a certain year. Because it happened to be Shen Xiaoliang’s birthday that day, he and Sha Sha went to the newly opened five-star hotel in this city for dinner. After dinner, he brought a box of leftover meals for his father’s dinner. Sasha said that these are all good things, and it will save her from cooking again. As a result, Shen Dali didn’t return home until nearly ten o’clock at night, holding a leaf in his hand, saying that he had gone to see the first yellow leaves in autumn. Back then, half an hour after giving birth, my mother suffered amniotic fluid embolism. After two days and two nights in the intensive care unit, she still left. On the day my mother was buried, the ginkgo tree in front of the house just dropped its first yellow leaf. There was a faint tear in the corner of Shen Xiaoliang’s eye, but it dried up immediately. “My mother and I may not have any relationship. Although I am wrong to say this, it is the truth. But my father is different. He talked to two aunts later, but neither of them married back home.”

What Shen Xiaoliang said was the last time Shen Dali came to my clinic and brought me soap. According to Shen Xiaoliang, after that, Shen Dali became taciturn and behaved strangely, and was soon sent to a nursing home by Shen Xiaoliang.

I guess even my father didn’t know about these things, since he never mentioned them to me anyway. Back then, Shen Dali stood in the outpatient hall, waving his arms, and described his family to me. He said that his wife was a teacher of a key high school, and Shen Xiaoliang was a secretary in the city. You can live worry-free for a lifetime.

Now, after listening to Shen Xiaoliang’s words, I stood up and looked out the window. The street trees downstairs are already mottled with yellow and green, and a little further away is the public hospital where I used to work. When I was looking for the address of the studio, I never went beyond the radius of the hospital. Subconsciously, I always felt that one day, Shen Dali would come, but I didn’t expect him to appear in such a form. Until now, I still remember the scene when Shen Dali left that day—the triage nurse took him out, and I followed quietly to the hospital gate. In a blur, Shen Dali walked towards the streetlight, as if he was going to a distant unknown place.

I smiled bitterly: “Do you want to come to Xingshi to inquire about why your father has been seeing a doctor in my clinic, but his memory is still losing day by day?”

Shen Xiaoliang waved his hands again and again: “Don’t get me wrong, I believe you have tried your best, I just want to ask if there is any other way.”

I told Shen Xiaoliang that I treated him as an old friend, and said bluntly that there is no cure for this disease, it can only delay the process and let it change a little bit. People’s memory is very strange. They can remember many things in childhood, such as a little friend they dated, a toffee they ate, and a small pet buried in the soil with their own hands. Those days, decades later, are still clearly visible. Afterwards, there may be decades when our minds become blurred, and we can’t even remember what we ate or who we met yesterday, not to mention the elderly, we all do this sometimes. Perhaps, everyone has the “potential” of amnesia.

Listening to these words, Shen Xiaoliang nodded with half understanding, and shook his head again. But when I asked him to go back and spend more time with his father, listen to him talk more about those confusing things, or take him for a walk, and cherish the time together, Shen Xiaoliang’s eyes darkened for a moment, and he looked up at me. With a glance, he said anxiously: “I understand what you said, but I don’t have time to spend so much time with a patient! I also have my own life! I just want to know, is there any way to completely cure it? Just a little bit!”

I smiled and shook my head.

“No, you can do it! I heard that he has saved a lot of memories with you. If you can get the original memories, he will be able to return to normal.”

“Who did you hear that from?”

He pulled the chair a little closer and said in a low voice: “I heard that the family in Nanyuan Garden, the daughter made a lot of money doing big business outside a few years ago, bought a medicine for her mother from you. , her mother’s memory has returned to the way it was five years ago. The female boss has been praising you, and she has blown you up like a god. I don’t dare to expect to buy it for five years, even if it goes back to two years ago, two years Before, my father would not be like this!”

I smiled and poured a cup of black tea for Shen Xiaoliang and myself.

three

Shen Dali has indeed saved a lot of memories with me. When I was still working in a public hospital, he came one after another. Every time he came, I recorded what he said and what wishes he had, and I accumulated a lot of them. After opening my own studio, I brought over all the cases I had recorded, which were of great help to my work.

Shen Dali came to my consultation room, to be precise, he didn’t come to see a doctor. He was able to pick the time when I was about to get off work. All the patients who made appointments for the day had been seen, and the consulting room was empty. When I was sorting my things and getting ready to get off work, he broke in. Every time he didn’t register, as soon as he sat down, there was no beginning, no reason, and somehow the topic spread.

The first time he came, he brought a bag of tea and asked me to pass it on to my father, and I accepted it. I wanted to chat with him like an old acquaintance, but there was no common topic, so I chatted with Shen Xiaoliang. He said that Shen Xiaoliang married his wife soon after the minor operation in andrology, and lived a very happy life. The two often drove sports cars to go out for fun, drank and made mistakes, and delayed several manuscripts of the big leader, and were transferred to work in a small unit that no one paid attention to. Shen Dali even said in front of the triage nurse: “Sasha is not a good wife. If Shen Xiaoliang married you back then, she definitely wouldn’t be the ghost she is now. Only you can hold him down!” The nurse winked at me, I had to bow my head and knock on the keyboard.

At that time, Shen Dali could talk about a lot of weird topics, from current affairs at home and abroad to celebrity gossip, there was almost nothing he didn’t know, but after careful identification, he felt that it was all his imagination. But what he talked about the most was his own family affairs. He scolded Shen Xiaoliang for being unfilial and disliked Sasha for “missing the family”. After a long time, I didn’t bother to distinguish the truth from the false, and just did my own thing, letting him sit and talk non-stop. Every time, I want to catch him when one topic has just been finished and the next topic has not been answered, and send him away, but seeing this old man whose face is getting more and more confused, I swallow the words that slipped into my throat. down. “Uncle Shen, go back, go back!” In the end, all under my hint, the triage nurse invited security guards and sent him out reluctantly.

Before being “invited” to go out, he would turn around, take out something from his pocket, and insist on stuffing it to me. Sometimes it was a few candies wrapped in plastic wrap, sometimes it was two wrinkled oranges, and once it was even a pair of old cotton socks. The triage nurse exclaimed: “This person doesn’t have a quirk, does he steal the socks that are drying outside?” I shook my hands in fright and threw the socks into the trash can.

Another time, when I was in a hurry to get off work, the security guard couldn’t wait to take the first step, and the triage nurse didn’t know where to go. I was suddenly a little scared, worried that the tall and burly patient in front of me would suddenly lose control of his emotions, jump up and attack me, and immediately told him in a tactful and serious manner: “I’m leaving get off work, my dad is waiting for me to go back!”

I don’t know which sentence touched Shen Dali’s tears. He burst into tears. He said that he had his teeth pulled out in the clinic, and the bleeding caused hypoglycemia. To Shen Xiaoliang, Shen Xiaoliang actually said that he was playing outside and couldn’t come back for a while. As he spoke, he opened his mouth wide, revealing his gums with a missing tooth, and pointed to me. The tooth cavity was withered, obviously not the tooth that had just been extracted that day, but I was still stunned by this sudden scene. After thinking for a moment, I asked him to report Shen Xiaoliang’s mobile phone number to me. Shen Dali wiped away his tears, stopped crying, swiped his fingers on the phone screen, failed to find out Shen Xiaoliang’s phone number for a long time, but found a photo of Shen Xiaoliang, and praised him for being smart in the blink of an eye Capable and capable, he is a young man with a bright future. The triage nurse appeared out of nowhere, winked at me, and mocked in a low voice, “He should go to a psychiatrist, not a neurologist.”

I had told the triage nurse to stop him if he came, but he always rushed in regardless. Only that time, when he said, “You deserve a sunny office,” I told the triage nurse that he could come whenever he wanted. I always hope that one day he can come to my consulting room again, and I can tell him that I will resign soon, and I will come to the studio on the 20th floor of Sunshine Building to find me in the future. I thought, as usual, he would be back soon. Now, it has been two years since the studio opened, yet Shen Dali came back to my sight in such a way.

In this city, many people don’t understand what services my studio can provide. It’s not like seeing a doctor and prescribing medicine like a clinic, and it’s not like giving advice and comfort like a psychological counseling studio. Sunbathe and read a book on the balcony. Slowly, there were even rumors that when I was the chief physician, I deliberately delayed the patient’s condition, and then I resigned from a public hospital where others couldn’t squeeze in. I came out to open a studio and waited for rich people to come and pay a high price. I bought medicine and made a lot of money. “We are still working hard for a few taels of silver, why should she start sitting around and basking in the sun all day?” they said. At first I explained to people: “The sun rises and sets every day, does it cost money to bask in the sun?” They didn’t believe me even more. Later, when I heard these comments again, I just pursed my lips and continued to bask in the sun.

The black tea that Shen made in a small amount is indeed delicious, with a thick and mellow aroma, which suits my taste. Shen Dali once said that Shen Xiaoliang was very particular about drinking tea, so the tea bag he gave to my father was not well packaged, but the tea was good tea. I don’t believe it until now, but that bag of tea has long been abandoned by my father.

I said to Shen Xiaoliang: “You need to pay to get family memories from me.” Shen Xiaoliang quickly said that he understood this and asked me how much it would cost. I dialed a number, and the assistant came in at the right time, turned on the computer, and asked Shen Xiaoliang to look at the price list. Counting from the most recent year, the first year is the cheapest at 200,000 yuan; if it goes up, it will increase by 50% of the total price of the previous year every year. small amount.

Shen Xiaoliang was obviously taken aback: “So expensive?” He took a big sip of black tea recklessly, grinning his teeth from the heat, pursed his lips and exhaled, and swallowed the tea slowly.

“Your father said, you have money.”

According to Shen Dali, when Shen Xiaoliang and his wife were driving a sports car on a country road, they accidentally ran over and killed a chicken. farmers.

Shen Xiaoliang didn’t refute whether his father’s words were true or not, but just sighed. He started with “Don’t be afraid of old friend’s jokes when you say it” and ended with “Don’t be afraid of old friend’s jokes after speaking”, summarizing what happened in the past few years. It basically means that after being transferred to a new unit, her income is not high, and her enthusiasm for work is also frustrated. Sasha still spends too much money, and her father is sick and lives in a high-end nursing home, which is also a lot of expenses. Think about it, at this age, I don’t have much savings on hand. He rubbed his hands and said, “If I didn’t know that you are an old acquaintance, I wouldn’t dare to step into your high-end studio.”

I believed that Shen Xiaoliang was telling the truth, so I didn’t make things difficult for Shen Xiaoliang, and instead pointed him to another bright path—to complete a task I assigned every day, come to my studio to check in once before 4:30, and half a year later , I provided him with his father’s memories of the past two years free of charge. Shen Xiaoliang stared at me in disbelief for a long time before showing surprise and thanking me again and again.

Four

The task at the beginning was very simple. I just went to the nursing home to peel a rock candied apple for my father, bought a bunch of sunflowers, and went to the small shop in the west of the city to buy an old cake with a red stamp of “Handmade”… Shen Xiaoliang finished all of them. Very good, I came to the studio on time to clock in every day, almost trotting in the door, with a relaxed face, and sent me the photos when I was working for my father, and I saved them in the computer one by one, and he trotted away again. I always tease him and say: “Not bad, I made another 100 million today.” Shen Xiaoliang laughed.

Later, the task became more and more complicated day by day. Accompanied my father to install a false tooth, took my father to take a set of parent-child photos, and went to pick up fallen leaves with my father… Every day I posted a task to him on WeChat, and it took me a long time to get a response: I know up. Slowly, when Shen Xiaoliang came to check in, his expression became more and more serious, and he became silent, with his eyes full of worries. I said to Shen Xiaoliang: “If you find it difficult to do these things, I can terminate the agreement with you at any time.” Shen Xiaoliang shook his head quickly, saying that these are trivial matters. I said: “Persist a little longer. The six-month check-in can be worth 500,000 yuan in real money.” Shen Xiaoliang shook his head more resolutely, and even said to himself: “Dad When I do these things, I must think that they are all big things.” At this time, his expression became more and more similar to that of Shen Dali back then.

Shen Xiaoliang has persisted for more than five months. As the deadline for the agreement approached, he clocked in earlier and earlier, but his mood became more and more depressed. After washing his hands, he silently opened the tea set and made a pot of black tea. We held cups and warmed our palms. Shen Xiaoliang sat across from me and didn’t say a word. I didn’t ask him, and he didn’t say anything. We just sat opposite each other. The weather is getting cooler, the roof is windy, and the setting sun is pale. At dusk, the clouds in the sky and the hustle and bustle downstairs gradually calmed down. I closed the door of the studio, and Shen Xiaoliang left in the twilight, slowly walking towards the distance of the street lamp. If it happened to be raining lightly, I would vaguely see the scene of Shen Dali leaving the consulting room. Although Shen Dali’s face was red and Shen Xiaoliang was fairer, but from the back view, there was not much difference between the father and son. Perhaps every parent-child pair in this world is repeating the fate and helplessness of role replacement.

One day, Shen Xiaoliang asked me, “What’s the point of doing this? You can’t make money.”

“It’s good to have someone come to accompany me every day, rain or shine.”

“By six months, can you really restore my dad’s memory?”

I looked into his eyes: “What do you think?”

After a while, Shen Xiaoliang asked cautiously: “There are rumors outside that when you were a doctor, you intentionally failed to take care of people’s diseases. Now you let others come to you to buy medicines at a high price. There is a patient who can’t afford medicines.” , and later committed suicide, is it true?”

“Anyway, I didn’t make any money from you.”

“Too……”

Checking in every day also brought Shen Xiaoliang an unexpected benefit. In order to be able to ask for leave every afternoon to complete the task of clocking in, his work attitude became particularly diligent and active, and he was rated as advanced and promoted. When I saw this news in the daily newspaper, I was secretly a little proud. “This life is so magical!” On the day the promotion announcement ended, Shen Xiaoliang ran to my studio, made a big pot of strong tea, and drank three cups in a row, looking excited and weak, like drunk, Pointing at me, he asked, “Is this all arranged by you?”

I spread my hands.

Only then did Shen Xiaoliang tell me that two months ago, Sasha kicked him out of the game on the grounds that “Shen Xiaoliang stayed with his father all day and not with her” and turned to a rich old man. “My father and I are getting old, I am too old to control my wife, and my father is too old to recognize his son.” Shen Xiaoliang squeezed the teacup tightly in his hand, I was afraid that when he let go At that time, there was only a pile of crumbs left in the palm.

I felt that I had made a big mistake, my heart was beating violently, and I wanted to drink a cup of tea to suppress my shock, but I accidentally knocked over the teapot. The amber tea soup gurgles out, just like my heartbeat. Afterglow casts in from the west-facing window, like turning on a floor lamp. As for Shen Xiaoliang, he really hugged the long metal legs of the floor lamp in my studio, counting his father’s kindness to him and his neglect of his father over the years, and finally choked up sobs. He said: “Dad is most afraid of the dark, because my mother was pronounced dead by the doctor in the middle of the night. Over the years, he must go home before dark when he goes out, but the night before he completely lost his memory, it was more than ten o’clock in the middle of the night. Home. This night, how scared and helpless he must be.”

The setting sun took the last of the heat away, and the temperature began to drop, and I hugged my shoulders tightly. I often regret that I couldn’t send Shen Dali home that day. I used to think that the sun rose and set every day, Shen Dali would often come uninvited, everything happened naturally. “Uncle Shen, go back, go back!” After I said this, I was caught in a daydream, and suddenly I was startled, and I wanted to say “I’m sorry” to Shen Xiaoliang, but Shen Xiaoliang hugged me and cried Asked: “What’s the last task?”

“The last task is to watch the sunset with my father and take him home before dark.” After saying that, I turned around with a chill on my face.

Shen Xiaoliang took the task, nodded, and went out without saying anything.

The next afternoon, at 4:15, before Shen Xiaoliang came, I stood on the platform and looked into the distance. The distant mountains are like Daisy, among the pure white and soft flowing clouds, there are a few light orange thin clouds floating, and the shadow of the setting sun is sprinkled on the ground, golden, warm and peaceful. The cold wind has risen, and I received a call from Shen Xiaoliang in the boundless wind: “I won’t come to check in today, I want to take my father to find the best place to enjoy the sunset, and I will definitely be late when I come back!”

I hung up the phone, and before I had time to lock the door of the studio, I turned around and went downstairs, rushed to the underground garage, drove out of my car, and headed all the way to the mountain in the north of the city. The sunset like salted duck egg yolk is peeling off layer by layer, and will soon sink into the mountain bend like a big plate. The sky has been dyed red, and the car quickly passes by rows of green trees, residential houses in the shadow of trees, and verdant fields. The angular wind in the mountains blows me, which is completely different from the top of the Sunshine Building.

On the way, I also passed a reed field. The white tidbits were almost blown away by the wind, and a piece of bare pole stood in the wilderness. The tram reminded that the battery was low and needed to be charged, but I still accelerated the speed.

On the mountain, there are only a few sparse families. Climb to the top of the hill, and in the distance, two similar figures stand in front of you. At that moment, I hope that everything will be still, time will not flow, and the sun will not fall. However, the setting sun slipped slipperily down the top of the mountain at a speed I couldn’t imagine. When I quickly ran out of the car, the duck egg yolk just slipped under the mountain. There is only a touch of bright buttery light left.

Standing in the boundless mountains, Shen Xiaoliang and I looked at each other. Maybe neither of us thought that one day, we would compete with time and chase a sunset. Shen Dali was fully dressed, his eyes were confused and empty, he looked at me for a long time, then slowly moved away, and he was no longer like usual, calling me “Director Lin” and “Lin Meiya” at times, and even called me It was written as “Lin Meijia” (I learned later that “Meijia” was the name of Shen Xiaoliang’s mother). He lowered his head, took Shen Xiaoliang’s hand, called “Xiaoliang”, and snuggled up to Shen Xiaoliang.

Shen Xiaoliang burst into tears instantly: “This is the first time my father called me by my name in two years. I finally believed what the female boss said, thank you, you are an amazing memory master!”

“sorry……”

Shen Dali grinned, the cavity he showed me before was filled with a white porcelain tooth. Shen Xiaoliang put his father’s hat on and led him into the car. The two cars were parked side by side, and I stood beside Shen Xiaoliang’s car, chatting with him. Except for Shen Dali, there was no one around, but there was a sea of ​​people between us.

I said: “It is said that it only takes three minutes for the setting sun to sink from the mountain to the surface.”

“Can a sunset be completed in three minutes? Today, I took my father and watched the sun slip by my eyes, and I believed that time passed so fast. In fact, in the past six months, I did one more thing that I didn’t tell you .I planted the ginkgo tree that I removed from the gate of my old house in the green belt of the community, and now it has been planted alive. Let’s go down the mountain together, and I will take you to see the ginkgo tree, although it is still bare now.”

The orange lights of the houses in the mountains turned on sporadically, and the car lights of Shen Xiaoliang and I also turned on.

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