Chen Yuchuan drove for three hours and arrived at his destination at 2 past midnight. He stood at the door of Lu Yang’s fixed hotel suite and knocked on the door for a long time. After a long time, he realized that it was empty, so he finally contacted Xiao Lei, only to find out that they had already flown to another city that afternoon.
As Chen Yuchuan stood in front of the door and looked at the message Xiao Lei had sent him, he began to feel that his behavior of running over in the middle of the night was a little impulsive.
He felt like a fool. He wasn’t a 17-to-18-year-old young man anymore, but he still pulled a surprise attack, only to have nothing to show for it. And now, like a 17-to-18-year-old young man, he felt a little lost at not seeing the person he’d been expecting to see.
This also made him fully realize the difference between divorce and having a fight.
Lu Yang had been right. At the beginning, their divorce had no boundaries, and now there was a clear line put in place.
That night, Lu Yang had peeled off their skins and hung them up for each other to see. Chen Yuchuan couldn’t help covering the wounds that hurt, that made him pensive, that were moldy, that he wanted hidden. Lu Yang uncovered them all, and there was nothing left.
He had wanted to escape, to hide, but now he finally realized that he had nowhere else to go; he had already run out of the safest place in the world.
Lu Yang had said it hurt, he also hurt too. And it was only after the pain had dulled did he realize that Lu Yang had left.
He was the one who had originally wanted to leave, but when the leaving was done and over with, he discovered how truly uncomfortable it was.
He was really fucking troublesome. After laughing at himself, he thought that Lu Yang must have gotten used to these stinky shortcomings.
If their identities were exchanged, and it was Lu Yang who wanted to run away, Chen Yuchuan knew that he would definitely have blown the roof up, not leaving a single tile for Lu Yang.
And what about now? After tossing around so much?
In the end, after all the tossing, he realized that he had tossed the most important person away.
When Chen Yuchuan was driving back, he received a call from Xiao Lei. In an anxious voice, Xiao Lei said, “Brother-in-law, are you looking for President Lu?”
Chen Yuchuan told the truth, “I arrived half an hour ago and knocked on the door for a long time, but no one opened the door, so now I’m driving back.”
Xiao Lei let out a surprised “ah” and said, “Brother-in-law, why didn’t you tell me earlier? We just left in the afternoon. If only we had left a little later or if you got here a little earlier.”
“It’s okay. I didn’t think too much about it when I came. I drove over on impulse, and since he’s not there, I’ll just drive back.” Chen Yuchuan hung up without waiting for Xiao Lei’s reply.
He drove for three hours in the middle of the night to find Lu Yang, but his failure resulted in some people laughing at him for several days.
Although Xiao Lei later sent Chen Yuchan Lu Yang’s schedule for the week, he never pulled a midnight surprise visit again.
However, Chen Yuchaun sent Lu Yang a message on WeChat, telling him that he’d become a laughingstock.
He told him that they’d teased him, saying that he was like a silent idiot, acting on his own wishful thinking.
Lu Yang still didn’t reply, but Chen Yuchuan’s unilateral sharing of information never stopped. He didn’t care whether Lu Yang saw it or not, and didn’t care whether he replied or not.
During breakfast, he sent Lu Yang a picture of himself sitting hunched over at a steamed bun shop, eating buns. He’d asked the shop boss to take the photo, showing him eating with unspeakable loneliness.
Afterward, he gave the boss a thumbs up, saying, “Boss, you’re so good at taking pictures, no question about it.”
The 200 pounds owner of the steamed bun shop slapped Chen Yuchuan on the back, nearly knocking him over. Quite proud of the steamed buns he’d just eaten, the boss said, “I take pictures of my wife everyday. Of course, I’m good…”
Chen Yuchuan smiled and asked the boss to take two more pictures. After he himself took a picture of him taking a bite out of the bun, he sent the pictures over to Lu Yang and said, “Steamed buns are tasteless without you.”
He also took a picture of the noon meeting at the company and sent it to Lu Yang.
Two days later, he went to the resort and sent Lu Yang a lot of videos from morning to night, sometimes while at work, sometimes just casually capturing the sceneries outside the window and sending them over. In those videos, he would say a few words, or show a profile or a chin
The last video he’d sent was when the sun was setting and he was walking on a bluestone road up the mountain. There was a little snow on the side of the road, and he had rubbed his hands and sighed, saying that it was really cold on the mountain.
There was another small incident in the middle of the resort project, and so Chen Yuchuan stayed in the mountain for three days. It wasn’t until after he’d stayed up for two nights did he finally come up with a solution on how to resolve it.
Once he was done with work, he sent Lu Yang a selfie of his unshaven beard. He deliberately chose an angle that made him appear a little rough and haggarded with the vicissitudes of life. In the photo, he was naked, showing one shoulder and a little pectoral muscle. Everything was just right.
He took many photos before he was satisfied.
But Lu Yang still did not reply.
In December, it was even colder. The wind was like a knife, and snow came, hunkering down for three to five days at a time.
Chen Yuchuan heard from Xiao Lei that Lu Yang had been back for several days and was staying in the house over at Jade Lake. He had gone to see his parents twice and had even picked Chubby up.
But Chen Yuchuan didn’t ask Lu Yang about it. He still continued to send information frequently, about the snowflakes on the windowsill, about the dark stairs, about his cold fingers.
And Lu Yang was still the same as before, not returning a single message.
When it became too cold, Chen Yuchuan would run over to Hua Boxue’s teahouse. It was very comfortable to drink hot tea while the wind blew outside.
Hua Boxue’s name may mean erudite, but he was just like Chen Yuchaun. He didn’t like to read and wasn’t very knowledgeable about literature. They were birds of a feather, unable to stifle anything, but they still sympathize and support each other.
In the past, Lu Yang had kept a strict eye on Chen Yuchuan, not allowing him to drink or smoke. He had nowhere to go and so he would go to the tea house. As a result, they would often meet at Hua Boxue’s teahouse.
Hua Boxue held the small teacup and teased him, “Have you been looking for Lu Yang in the middle of the night recently?”
“I haven’t,” Chen Yuchuan said, and then he promptly sent Lu Yang a complaint that Hua Boxue was making fun of him.
After drinking three cups in a row, his stomach was full and so he put his arms lazily on the back of the chair behind him, squinted his eyes, and let out a long sigh of relief.
Hua Boxue looked at the dark bags under his eyes and said, “Without Lu Yang here, you’re unable to satisfy your desires or what?”
Chen Yuchuan shook his long legs and retorted, “Which one of your eyes can see that I’m unable to satisfy my desires? I’m working overtime and staying up late.”
When Hua Boxue laughed at him again, Chen Yuchuan took a sip of his tea, took out his phone and sent Hua Boxue’s words to Lu Yang.
Brother Yang, Boxue said that my desires aren’t being satisfied.
After he sent this to Lu Yang, he scrolled through WeChat for a long time until he found a contact and sent the picture to Lu Yang.
Brother Yang, I have too many people on WeChat. Why don’t you help me pick? This one is a fitness coach. He’s 1.9 meters tall. His chest and abs are no joke.
He scrolled through his address book again until he got to a doctor’s WeChat, whose profile picture was a close-up of a hand, and sent it to Lu Yang.
I added him when I went to the hospital last week. With a white coat on, he looked damn cold, but with it off, he must be wild.
He posted several more and tagged each with a comment.
And this, his eyes are very gentle, but when he speaks, so deep…that voice though.
And this, this little college student, just 22 years old…
As Chen Yuchuan was typing, Hua Boxue saw a man walking in behind Chen Yuchuan. He rolled his eyes, put his fist to his mouth and coughed twice, gesturing to him.
When Chen Yuchuan heard Hua Boxue coughing, he put down his phone and asked, “What’s the matter? Got a cold?”
“No…” Hua Boxue winked at him and coughed again.
Chen Yuchuan didn’t pick up on his hint and was about to continue his typing when he heard two strong “da-da” sounds of leather shoes stepping on the wooden floor.
After all, he’d been with Lu Yang for a long time, and when he heard these footsteps, he didn’t need to look behind him to know who it was.