Early the next morning, Ye An accompanied Xie Shuo and Xie Baiyan to the medical research institute of the well-known medical professor Cen Qingyan.
The research institute was located far away westwards from the city in a quiet area.
The early summer vegetation was lush, and the field of plants cast a broad expanse of shade. A car passed through the cool shade.
Ye An originally thought that Professor Cen was going to be old but came to realize that he was only in his forties. He wore gold-rimmed glasses and a white coat, appearing elegant and gentle.
He had already started studying Xie Shuo’s condition last year and began formulating a preliminary treatment plan for the situation. This was why he had only arranged for Xie Shuo to come and see him recently.
On the first day since arriving at the institute, their main task was to do a few tests and examinations before refining the treatment plan.
It took at least a month for the treatment process to finish. Xie Baiyan was busy with company affairs and couldn’t accompany them throughout the whole process. He returned to the city the next day and left Xie Shuo in Ye An’s care.
By the morning of the third day, all preparations were ready, and they officially began the surgical procedures.
Before sending Xie Shuo into the operating room, Ye An suddenly leaned forward, wrapped her hands around his waist, and hugged him.
She nestled her face into his shoulder. Her voice was different from her usual carefree style.
“Hubby, I’ll wait for you outside.”
Her hand slid down to hold his and interlocked their fingers. She gripped it hard to comfort him, almost as if she were reassuring him to not be afraid.
Clear sunlight came in from a window at the end of the corridor.
When she let go, she glanced at him before tiptoeing to kiss the side of his face.
As light as a breeze on the waters.
Xie Shuo froze.
The door of the operating room slowly closed. Ye An watched him enter and continued to stand there without moving. There was fear in her deep gaze.
A slender and still shadow was reflected on the smooth floor.
The wait was extremely long. Every second of every minute seemed to stretch on forever and whittled away at her patience.
Occasional footsteps sounded in the long corridor. The shadows of the trees shook outside of the window, and the mottled sunlight flickered through the branches.
It took four full hours before the door of the operating room opened again.
Ye An looked up and hurried over.
Because she had been sitting for so long, her legs were numb as she rushed to the door. She almost fell over on the spot.
Xie Shuo was wheeled out on the hospital bed. There was clean and neat gauze wrapped over his eyes.
Cen Qingyan took off his mask and said heavily, “We have to wait until the gauze is removed to see if the eyes have recovered. Over the next few days, change the dressing daily and avoid strong lights.” After a pause, he continued, “Also, he is likely to experience headaches. There should be someone to take care of him 24/7. If something happens, please let me know at any time…”
Ye An glanced at Xie Shuo before nodding and writing down notes.
Back in the recovery room, Ye An sat by the bed for an hour before Xie Shuo finally woke up.
“How do you feel?” Ye Jing asked softly, holding his hand.
Xie Shuo moved his head. He tried to get up but didn’t have the energy to do so. His lips were pale, and he looked weak.
Ye An held him down. “You just woke up from the anesthesia; don’t move. Rest well.”
At this moment, the sun was setting. Rose-tinted clouds stretched across the sky, and the evening rays shone through the windows, magnificent and bright.
Ye An glanced back before getting up to close the curtains. She left a small crack far away from the hospital bed, which only allowed a sliver of light to enter.
After pulling the curtains shut, she returned to the side of the bed and tucked in the quilt for him.
Xie Shuo was still somewhat woozy, so he fell asleep again after a while.
Ye An sat by the bed with a soft gaze, patiently accompanying him.
It took another three hours until Xie Shuo had regained some of his energy. Ye An helped him sit up and prepared to feed him some specially prepared porridge.
“I had someone cook some porridge for you. Do you want some?”
She gently blew a spoonful of porridge and brought it to his lips.
Xie Shuo subconsciously averted his face and held her wrist. He wanted to do it himself.
His hands were cold, and he didn’t have much strength.
Ye An was speechless. She took his hand away and said, “You just came out of surgery and still want to be stubborn? Do you even have the strength to do it yourself? Don’t drop the bowl.” She brought another spoonful to his mouth and said in a commanding tone, “Open your mouth!”
Xie Shuo frowned, obviously unhappy, but he still did as he was told.
Ye An fed him one spoonful at a time. Neither of them spoke, so the room was quiet.
Night had fallen. Outside the window, stars dotted the dark blue sky, and the crescent moon peeked above the clouds.
Only when she was done feeding Xie Shuo did Ye An realize that her own stomach was rumbling. Ye An remembered that she still hadn’t eaten yet, so she took a portion of the food and went outside to eat.
Xie Shuo sat at the front of the bed and listened to her fading footsteps. He suddenly remembered the sweet fragrance that lingered in his nose when he entered the operating room and the gentle kiss on his cheek.
Was that an illusion?
Xie Shuo rested in bed for the next two days, with Ye An helping him walk around from time to time.
Xie Shuo, someone who loved cleanliness, was forced to avoid water. By the third night, he couldn’t hold on any longer and insisted on taking a shower.
Ye An was helpless, so she supported him to the bathroom after checking in with a nurse and washed his hair.
After washing his hair, Ye An ran a bath for him. Seeing his weak expression, she grew a little worried and asked, “Can you bathe by yourself? Do you need any help?”
She glanced at the buttons on his necklines, and even without doing anything, her ears began to warm up.
This time she really did want to help him–not just to lust after his body!
However, Xie Shuo didn’t even give her the chance and directly rejected her.
Ye An was somewhat regretful, so she could only say, “Then be careful. Don’t let your eyes touch the water.”
She turned and left. After moving a chair so she could sit outside the bathroom, she held the post-examination result and reminders given by Cen Qingyan and studied them carefully.
Wet sounds would occasionally come from inside. Even with the door between them, the sounds were clear.
Ye An listened to the sounds of the water, and a strange feeling gradually came over her. She couldn’t help looking back.
There was a frosted glass door and mist inside, so she couldn’t see anything. However, her ears became warm, and her heartbeat fast.
Suddenly, the scene from their wedding night flashed through her mind. She hurriedly stopped that memory before turning back around and putting her hands over her eyes.
Ye An, what have you been thinking about all day? Stop it!
Xie Shuo took a long time to bathe, but fortunately, nothing happened in the process. The sound of water stopped, and he opened the door to reveal his ill-fitting scrubs.
Ye An moved her chair and reached an arm out to support him.
The bright white light inside the ward shined on his face, making it appear white as snow. Gauze still covered his eyes, and strands of his dark hair fell on his forehead. With his high nose and thin lips, he had a sort of sickly beauty.
Ye An touched his gauze and felt a little moisture. Aside from quickly replacing his gauze, she wasn’t able to do much.
His hair was dry before, but it seemed to be moistened again by the water vapor. Ye An was ill at ease, so she took a hairdryer to dry it again.
“Does your head hurt? Do you want some painkillers?” She looked up and asked while fluffing a portion of his hair.
Xie Shuo’s curt reply was two words: “No need.”
His hair was fluffy and disheveled under her fingers, making him look several points cuter and drastically reducing his cold image.
Ye An looked down at him and suddenly felt as if she were abusing a dog, but a big, furry dog. She couldn’t help but smile as she deliberately rubbed his head harder.
Xie Shuo frowned. His lips moved to say something, but he swallowed it back.