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The Forgotten Rose

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~The Forgotten Flowers~

Once there was a mute man who was a florist, his name was Deng Zhuo. He owned his own flower shop, and lived alone in the flat located right above it, his father lived in a small house in the countryside and worked as a teacher in a primary school there. He was loved by his neighbours because of his beautiful and sweet smelling flowers and his even sweeter smile.

When he was in high school he was disowned by his father that he had looked upto and admired since birth. He thought his father had loved him, even if just a little bit but when his father got to know that he was not even his child, he was abandoned and thrown out of the house...

But he was very lucky, when he was all alone with no home to go back to, a few of his father, Deng LingWen's enemies tried to kidnap him, in order to take revenge as they knew that they could never harm Deng LingWen.

When Deng Zhuo was running from him pursuers, as it was the evening almost all shops were closed so there was no one to help him, he bumped into a man who held him before they both fell down. That man's name was Xie yu, and he helped Deng Zhuo run away from his pursuers and helped hide him in his coffee shop.

Xie yu, who was a university student and also a manager of this very coffee shop, after hearing Deng Zhuo's story would later, offer Deng Zhuo a job at this coffee shop and a place to stay. Deng Zhuo would agree and years later, Xie Yu will think of Deng Zhuo as his own child and even persuade Deng Zhuo to call him father...

~Linebreak brought to you by the system!~

There was another man, who was blind, he worked as a piano teacher at music school, near the area where the Deng Zhuo's flower boutique was located. He enjoyed playing the piano and even though he was blind, the music that he composed was beautiful and was loved by all his students and collegues. This blind man's name was Ning Qi.

Ning Qi, was the second son of the prestigious Ning family. His family was extremely rich and owned their own company which dealt with cosmetics and various other things. Ning Qi had an older brother who would be inheriting his father's company so there was no pressure on him as the second son. Sure, there were a lot of people who made fun of him in the high circle for he was born blind and mockingly pitied him, but Ning Qi didn't care at all because he knew his family loved him.

                       ~Linebreak~

The blind man and the mute man knew each other as they used to be classmates in high school and were very good friends then. But then suddenly Deng Zhuo dropped out of high school, and suddenly rumours started spreading all over the school that Deng Zhuo's father Deng JingWen had found out that Deng Zhuo was not his own son and had cut all ties with him...

Deng Zhuo and Ning Qi were very good friends , so Ning Qi tried his best to look for him after Deng Zhuo's disappearance,  but to no luck. Although not known by the mute man, the blind man had fallen in love with him and wanted to ask him out, but never did in fear of their friendship breaking apart...

But now the blind man regretted not saying it sooner and he was desperate to find him...

And one day...while coming out of his school with his friends Ning Qi saw a small figure by school gates. That person was wearing a white face mask that was too big for his small face, even his hairstyle and the expensive gaudy clothing he used to wear was exchanged for a plain white shirt and black pants.

But Ning Qi could recognize that person anywhere, he at once left his friends behind and ran up to that figure. When that figure noticed him, he took a step back then turned around and ran. But Ning Qi would never let him go that easily, and he finally caught him. That man was Deng Zhuo, who was currently working in a coffee shop near his old school....on his way he saw the school and had stopped to reminisce about old times...when Deng Zhuo was a student and he had thought there was no need to study so hard, so he would be playing around most of the time....and now he regretted it....

When Ning Qi held his hand, Deng Zhuo slowly turned around to look at this senior of his who had always looked after him no matter what. He knew that Ning Qi had probably a lot of questions to ask him, so he simply held Ning Qi's hand and slowly led him to the coffee shop where he was currently working at.

Ning Qi felt like if he let this person go once more...he would never meet him again, thinking this he tightened his hand that was being held by Deng Zhuo. If Deng Zhuo noticed it or not, Ning Qi didn't know, but this greatly calmed him down.

As they were walking through the streets, while being led by Deng Zhuo, Ning Qi had a lot of questions to ask, but he didn't know how to begin...

When they finally reached the coffee shop Ning Qi felt Deng Zhuo's hand on his loosen up as if he was about to let go...but Ning Qi refused to let that happen and tightened his hand once again. So they went hand in hand into the coffee shop.

Xie Yu, the owner of the coffee shop who was also like family to Deng Zhuo, saw their joined hands, and although his heart jumped with shock, he didn't let it show on his face. He calmly walked towards them and looked at Deng Zhuo, silently asking him to explain who this man was.

Deng Zhuo gently shook his hand and signed for Xie Yu to go and bring them some coffee, after he went away, Deng Zhuo turned back at Ning Qi who kept his head bowed down and for a few seconds he just looked at this senior of his who he had not seen for a long time and had dearly missed him...

But he knew that Ning Qi would want to know, if he had really been disowned by Deng LingWen, and Deng Zhuo feared that if he answered with yes, Ning Qi would also abandon him and he would never be able to see him again...because that was what happened with two of his previous friends, once they knew that Deng LingWen had abandoned him, they no longer even looked at him...

When Deng Zhuo saw Ning Qi part his lips to ask a question...he knew what is would be and his heart suddenly felt a little cold...but the question Ning Qi asked finally stopped his worries and he felt his worries were silly.

Ning Qi directly asked him, If he was ok, and were these past few days hard for him? He said that he had been looking for him everywhere but didn't find one trace of him....

Deng Zhuo now remembered that this was his senior who always looked after him and treated him the best...it was purely stupid of him to even think that Ning Qi would abandon him just because, Deng LingWen had disowned him. Thinking till this point, Deng Zhuo didn't even try to hear how Ning Qi was hurriedly asking him if everything was alright, If someone was bullying him or why his wrist felt so thin?

Deng Zhuo just looked at Ning Qi and smiled very brightly after a very long time, while Ning Qi just kept on asking about his health. So Deng Zhuo took Ning Qi's hand and wrote down 'I am fine' on his palm. After receiving an answer Ning Qi was so happy he could'nt help but smile brightly at Deng Zhuo and directly hugged him.

Deng Zhuo also hugged him back but he could not wipe off the bright smile from his face. Ning Qi did not see his smile but Xie Yu, who had just come with some coffee saw just how bright Deng Zhuo's smile was due to Ning Qi. Seeing the two of them in their own world, even Xie Yu couldn't stop a slight smile from appearing on his own face....

Later the three of them sat down and Xie Yu explained everything that happened to Xie He for the past few months...of course Ning Qi was very angry at Deng LingWen, but there was no one that could hard him...so this hate had to be left behind as nothing could be done...

Now that Ning Qi knew that Deng Zhuo was doing well, he would come to visit him almost daily. Ning Qi would come to this coffee shop and just buy one coffee and would just sit in a corner...he was satisfied even if him and Deng Zhuo didn't even get to talk, he would just sit in a corner and listen to some music....

Like this the months passed by and Ning Qi was now a freshmen in college with arts as his major, of course his piano recitals were very famous between teachers and students alike, and Xie Yu had graduated and even got a job as a teacher. Sometimes when Ning Qi would compose a new song the first person to heard would always be Deng Zhuo. He never continued his studies, because he knew just what sort of rumours were going on about him. And even if he did enroll to a school, who knows when someone else will also try to harm him in order to take revenge on Deng LingWen....

Time passed by peacefully for these three people, but one day news came that Xie Yu's mother was very sick, so Xie Yu decided to look for a job in his hometown, he got an offer...but due to this Xie Yu and Deng Zhuo would have to move to the country side, which was very far from where they were...

Deng Zhuo was a little reluctant to leave Ning Qi behind but he didn't want to cause problems to Xie Yu, who was already very worried for his mother. Ning Qi knew that they would not be able to see each other so soon if Deng Zhuo goes away...but he still decided to smile and tell Deng Zhuo to accompany Xie Yu, during this tough time, and then said, we may not meet soon, but we will surely meet again with a smile on his face. Deng Zhuo agreed and soon after Ning Qi found himself waving at the train station and watch as Xie Yu and Deng Zhou go far away from him, without any knowledge of when or if they would see each other again...

                        ~Timeskip~

The blind man felt the same way for him even after they seperated and the mute man went to the country side with his newly found family. The blind man still kept on liking him,when he met the mute man again, years later in a flower shop where he went to buy flowers for his mother on her birthday.

Now every morning before going to his workplace, Ning Qi would come to Deng Zhuo's flower shop and buy just one sunflower. And after paying for it, he would hand it to Deng Zhuo with a smile.

Why a sunflower you may wonder? It was because, Ning Qi had always imagined Deng Zhuo's smiling face to be like the sunflower, bright, beautiful and warm. Although he had never seen it, Ning Qi always imagined that it would be like that...

But after receiving the sunflower, Deng Zhuo would always give it back to Ning Qi, this always pained the blind man because he was almost as if he was being rejected by the person he liked  everyday.

But Ning Qi was veryy resilient and did not stop, every morning before going to his workplace to teach his students he would drop by Deng Zhuo's small flower boutique and buy one sunflower and after paying for it he would always try to give it to him.

Deng Zhuo after receiving it would give it back to him always, this happened everyday, even during the days Ning Qi's school was closed, because the flower shop was always open, he would come daily in the morning at the same time.

This happened for about more than a whole year after which Ning Qi was offered a job as a music teacher at a very prestigious music school. Although Ning Qi didn't want to accept the offer, he was pressurized by his parents and brother to give up on Deng Zhuo and start anew because music was what he loved...and in the end he had accepted it. But he had decided to never give up on Deng Zhuo, unlike Deng LingWen, because Ning Qi loved Deng Zhuo as much as or even more, than he loved music.

So on the day he was transferring Ning Qi came to Deng Zhuo's flower boutique for one last time, he would still visit, but not everyday unlike before...He once again bought a sunflower and handed it to Deng Zhuo, and when he got it back from her he felt a little sad...because even when he had told Deng Zhuo that he wouldn't be able to come visit as much as before, Deng Zhuo didn't even mind and treated him just like any other customer, it was as if Deng Zhuo had forgotten that they were friends....

But Ning Qi still put up a strong facade in front of Deng Zhuo and gave him a bright smile, and before exiting her shop he turned towards the place where he knew Deng Zhuo always stood and said, "I like you." He then left, without being able to see the way the Deng Zhuo's eyes widened at his proclamation.

                      ~A year later~

Ning Qi was very well liked by all of his new students and collegues, he loved his job and had a lot of fun composing or practicing new songs, sometimes with he fellow colleagues who were also musician. He lived with his brother  who had inherited his father's company. But his brother loved him and although he was mostly not at home, his brother loved Ning Qi and even doted on him as the older sibling. Yes Ning Qi had a lot of fun, but he always felt that something was missing from his life.(and he knew exactly who it was...)

Days passed by like normal, it was the same routine Ning Qi followed everyday...but today Ning Qi was packing his bags, with his brother helping him, so he could shift to an apartment that he recently bought. At first his brother refused, but as it was near his school so it was more convenient for him and so he was allowed to move out on the condition of coming to visit every weekend. As Ning Qi was packing he came upon a large wooden box which he had brought with him from his parents house, even though it brought him a lot of pain it was something of a treasure to him.

He opened it, inside were all of the sunflowers he had bought to gift to Deng Zhuo. He smiled wistfully at his long lost love. At that moment his brother, who was helping him move came into his room.

After taking a look at the trunk his brother asked the him, "I never got to know why you kept on buying these roses everyday, and why you suddenly stopped." Then his brother went ahead to take his boxes to the car for the moving.

But that one sentence shocked Ning Qi to a great degree, he looked at the direction where his brother's voice came from and asked,"Roses? What do you mean? These are not sunflowers?"

Ning Qi's brother looked at him weirdly and said,"What are you talking about? I remember you always brought home a rose when you came back from your school. And kept them all in this box, and you never told us the reason even when we asked! These certainly are roses although thay have all withered by now...Anyway you are already late, hurry up and finish your packing now..."

But Ning Qi did not listen to him, he directly stood up from where he was sitting, closed the box and said,"I am sorry ge*, I have to go now, I left something important behind." And without looking back the Ning Qi got in his car and and left with the driver...while his brother just stood there in shock...

He went with the driver to the train station and at once took a train and after two whole hours he finally reached his hometown, he took a cab from the train station and arrived at the place where the Deng Zhuo's boutique was located, but when he tried to open the glass door to the shop, he found that it was locked.

Ning Qi then went to the nearby cafe which had been there for a long time and asked the owner, who already knew him, about the flower shop. The owner replied, "Oh didn't you know? The shop has been closed for a few months now. The owner has already sold it and moved somewhere else...But hey are you alright? You look a little pale..."

But Ning Qi could not hear him anymore, because now he knew that he had truly lost Deng Zhuo and he also lost his chance...

                ~A few weeks later~

The mute man who felt sad about the fact that he was not able to voice out his love for the man that was his childhood friend, had been asked by his father to live with him as he was sick. After some consideration the mute man decided to go back to the countryside where his father's lived all alnoe, thinking that it will help him forget about the blind man.

Deng Zhuo, now officially Xie Zhuo bought a small shop in the countryside with his savings and turned it into his new flower boutique, buisness was good. But even as a year passed by he could not forget about Ning Qi, and how he lost his chance, thinking that if only he had ran after him. But even if he did, how would he speak? How would he have made him understand? If only he could have said back that he also loved him....if only he could speak....

Yes, Xie Zhuo also loved Ning Qi, who wouldn't? Ning Qi was a very gentle and kind man, who could never hurt anyone. And with how well Ning Qi always treated Xie Zhuo, he felt it was a given that he fell for Ning Qi.

But now there was nothing that could be done...so with a heavy heart Xie Zhuo decided to give up thinking about it and returned to his work, but he still could not give up thinking about those what if's...

One beautiful sunday while the flower boutique was empty and devoid of customers, the shop's door bell rang, indicating a customer had come. When the mute man turned to look at the customer, he felt that this customer was weird, because he already had a large bouque of sunflowers in his hand that was big enough to cover his face, (why would he still come to a flower shop, when he already had a bouque) And seeing those familiar flowers pained him, so he looked away from that customer.

Then Xie Zhuo saw that the customer was walking towards him and then he heard a familiar voice from behind the bouque say "I love you". When Xie Zhuo looked up in shock, he saw that the customer was holding the large sunflower bouque towards him, and when his eyes moved upwards they met a familiar pair of gentle but hazy and unfocused eyes, it was a face that Xie Zhuo had longed to see for a very long time. And now it was right in front of him, with a gentle and kind smile on it.

Yes, the man was Ning Qi, for the past few weeks he had been asking around everywhere about where could Xie Zhuo have possibly gone. He asked all of his friends that he knew about, and even his brother helped him when he got to know about the whole story. (His brother felt that both of them were just idiots in love...but he still did his best for his kind didi*) And from one of his men, he got to know that Xie Zhuo had gone back to his home in the countryside, where he was all these years ago.

After getting the information, he at once told his brother, and Ning Qi after learning of it thanked his brother, took a vacation from work and at once he arrived at Xie Zhuo's house and found his father, Xie Yu instead of him. He asked about him and got the address of his new store, which Xie Yu happily gave him, he knew his son would be very happy now. On the way Ning Qi saw another flower shop and bought a big bouque of sunflowers for Xie Zhuo, and when reached the shop, he turned the door handle and found it open, he then could not hide his smile anymore...

                      ~Linebreak~

With his hands shaking and eyes wide open in shock, Xie Zhuo reached out his hands and took the bouque from Ning Qi. The smile in Ning Qi's face quite possibly increased.

But this time instead of giving back roses to the blind man, the mute man simply pushed aside the bouque of sunflowers and directly hugged the blind man. Who looked shocked for just a second, then smiled and hugged him back tightly.

No words were exchanged between them but there was no need to, as this time they both knew that they loved each other. There was no need for words, just the two of them together was enough...

~The end~