Chapter 86 – Pure Simplicity
Renly spoke the truth; he genuinely didn’t care about “Thor.” In his previous life, Thor’s role was originally in Chris’s hands. Moreover, he had already decided to turn down the script for “Thor” early on. If Chris was to ask, he would have no problem sharing the script with him.
What truly disappointed Renly was Chris. He thought they were really friends.
Maybe not the closest of friends, but at least they should have been ordinary friends. They hadn’t been roommates for a long time, but their time living together was very harmonious. They never had any conflicts, and they collaborated well in their daily lives. They were perhaps more familiar with each other than regular friends because they were roommates living under the same roof, and they both shared the same dream of becoming actors. At the very least, they shouldn’t have been strangers.
Although he had lived two lifetimes, his experience in dealing with people was rather limited.
In his previous life, he had been focused on his mother’s schedule for the first half of his life, even planning when he would go to the bathroom, let alone making new friends. The second half of his life was spent in a hospital bed, and his only chance to make friends was with the patients in the next bed. He had watched them come and go while he remained in the same place.
For Renly, the word “friend” was not unfamiliar but had a constant freshness to it. Perhaps, compared to the passion of love and the purity of family, friendship seemed to have an extra layer of politeness and distance, but friendship is an eternal haven, accompanying everyone through different stages of life, from birth to death. It stands at a certain distance, neither too close nor too far, but it never leaves.
He thought he and Chris were friends, but evidently, he was wrong.
Perhaps, in the world of fame and fortune, friendship is ultimately different.
After leaving home, Renly originally intended to find a quiet corner in the supermarket to sit in. However, he soon realized that what he needed right now was not a moment of solitude. So, he made his way to the Mount Sinai Hospital.
Many people don’t like hospitals, and in fact, Renly doesn’t like them either. But in reality, after getting used to the ups and downs of life and death in the hospital, you can feel the calm that belongs here because this is a place where miracles happen.
Indeed, life always comes to an end here, but at the same time, new life is born. There is always hope on the brink of destruction here, but at the same time, hope is born. Compared to the darkness, Renly always preferred the thin but warm sunlight in the hospital. It can make people grateful for their continued health, make people grateful for escaping the Grim Reaper’s scythe, and make people continue to hope for tomorrow.
As soon as he entered the inpatient building, the sounds of children playing and shouting passed by. A group of little ones ran in the direction of the backyard, “Renly!” “Hey, buddy!” “Handsome!” The children who hadn’t left yet saw Renly and greeted him.
“Catherine!” “George!” “Oh, isn’t this Stephanie?” “Eric, you look taller!” “Alex, slow down, don’t run too fast.” Renly squatted down, raised his hands high, and as the children passed by, they automatically slapped his palms. Renly could accurately call out the name of each child and greet everyone cheerfully, and a smile involuntarily appeared on his lips. “Hey, look who’s here? A stranger?” When he saw new faces Renly still greeted them with a smile, his cheerful tone dancing in the gradually sinking sun.
“Anita? What’s going on?” Behind the children, Chief Nurse Anita Tunisia followed the queue with small steps. Renly quickly stopped her and asked.
Anita grabbed Renly’s arm and invited him to join, “It’s time for the group sing-along, and today we’re doing it outside. Come on, join us.” Anita had a brilliant smile on her face. “You’ve come just in time, this guitar is all yours; we were really worried earlier that Kelly wasn’t the best person for the job.”
Renly subconsciously followed her footsteps and, after hearing the explanation, he pointed in the direction of the elevator, while saying, “You all go ahead, I’ll go upstairs to check on Hazel, and then I’ll join you.”
Mount Sinai Hospital is a children’s hospital, and from time to time, they gather the children together for celebrations, outdoor activities, or just to play as a group, bringing laughter to the children, hoping that even in the face of illness, it won’t deprive them of their childhood.
However, there are some children who cannot participate in these activities. Apart from those who need to stay in the intensive care ward, there are many children like Heather Cross, whose physical condition does not allow them to. In such cases, with the doctor’s approval, parents push their children in wheelchairs to join everyone.
Renly wasn’t sure about Hazel’s current condition or whether she would be willing to come downstairs and join the activities, so he needed to go upstairs to confirm.
“The Crosses are here; they just pushed Hazel to the backyard,” Anita explained quickly. Renly suddenly understood and didn’t refuse further. He followed the children’s steps and walked outside.
The sunset on the horizon was still burning brightly, casting the entire courtyard in a bright orange hue. The children’s joyful laughter filled the air, pure and simple, without pretence, calculation, or burdens, just the simple, carefree, and uninhibited enjoyment and laughter.
All the inner worries and feelings of loss were momentarily set aside. Renly, carrying his guitar, joined the ranks of the children, enjoying the moment, the music, and their childhood.
“Renly, ‘Hey, Soul Sister,’ come on, sing ‘Hey, Soul Sister.'” The cheerful shout from the crowd resounded. Looking in the direction of the voice, it was none other than little Alex Reich, drenched in sweat, shouting loudly. His rosy complexion seemed somewhat abnormal. A nurse standing nearby approached and grabbed Alex’s arm, saying, “Little guy, you can’t get so excited.”
Renly nodded toward Alex, signalling with a raise of his chin, “Buddy, who do you want to confess your love to? Tell me, and I’ll help you.”
“Hey, Soul-Sister” is the lead single from the alternative rock band Train’s new album, released in the latter half of last year. This single combines folk and rock styles and tells the story of a man confessing his love to the girl he adores. Initially, it didn’t receive much attention, but after more than six months of promotion, it became widely popular, climbing the Billboard charts. Just last week, it reached an incredible third place, setting a new record.
It can be said that this song has been one of the hottest tracks on various radio stations recently. Despite his young age, it’s clear that Alex has been listening to the radio.
The teasing comment made the children laugh, but Alex stayed unshaken. He said loudly, “Kelly, I want to confess to Kelly!”
Kelly Patton, a nurse who joined the hospital this year, is only twenty-four years old. She was originally the guitarist for the collective performance today, but after Renly arrived, the guitar duties changed hands, and Kelly was left to look after the children.
Hearing such a high-profile confession, Kelly wrinkled her nose at Alex, seemingly expressing her displeasure. However, before she could respond, the guitar strings nearby began to play, and Renly strummed the chords while singing loudly,”‘Hey… Hey yeah yeah yeah…” All the children joined in, singing along with the catchy melody. Kelly glanced at Renly with a helpless look.
Renly shrugged, revealing a radiant smile, and turned to beckon the children. All the children followed Renly in a flash, forming a long line as if they were a train. Renly played the guitar as he circled around Kelly. Soon, Kelly was surrounded by the children. Alex caught up and cheerfully followed Renly, standing tall and singing loudly, “Hey, soul sister, I don’t wanna miss a single thing you do tonight.”
The atmosphere was lively and cheerful.
Seeing everyone in high spirits, Kelly eventually gave in and walked over to Alex, extending an invitation. The two of them started to dance in the centre. The nurse’s white uniform gently swayed as Alex’s blushing face revealed the happiest smile in the world.
Now, the children became even more excited, clapping and singing loudly, to the point that the song went off-key, just like a warped vinyl record, and the distorted notes echoed in the sunlight. Renly paid no attention to that and his smile grew as he followed the children’s dance steps, his body instinctively moving to the beat, joining in the lively celebration.
“Alright, alright, today’s activity should come to an end.” After the rendition of “Hey, Soul Sister,” even though Anita was reluctant, she had to step in and interrupt the festivities, “Let’s give a round of applause for Kelly and Alex!”
Renly was the first to raise his hands high and cheered, and the other children followed suit, enthusiastically shouting, “Oh yeah!”
Alex turned to look back, and Renly’s eyes briefly flashed, nodding in affirmation. Then he saw Alex perform a solemn knightly gesture, showing his respect.
Kelly opened her mouth in surprise, and couldn’t help but let out a soft laugh. She then gathered the hem of her uniform skirt and politely took a step back with slightly bent knees as a gesture of courtesy.
Everyone started cheering, and Alex suddenly felt embarrassed. He hurriedly ran over to Renly, who squatted down and raised his right hand. Alex jumped up and gave a heavy high-five to Renly’s right palm. He then screamed with excitement and ran towards the hospital ward building.
Standing up straight again, Renly wiped the sweat off his forehead. Thirty minutes of group singing had been even more exhausting than a sixty-minute performance in the Pioneer Village. A light breeze blew, bringing some relief, and then Renly saw the kite in the sky. It soared freely under the bright sky, fluttering its long tail, embracing the wild wind.
It was a butterfly kite, the one Renly had left in Hazel’s hospital room.
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