Lu Yang turned the engine back, turned the steering wheel, and continued to drive forward.
There was no car in the oncoming lane, so Lu Yang turned on his high beam so that the headlights could shine a long distance ahead. The middle of the road was snowy, but the road was cleared of snow, having been melted by previous car tires. The poplar trees on the side of the road swayed in the wind.
Chen Yuchuan looked ahead, his eyes a little tired. Finally, he simply laid back, his body sanking softly into the seat, closed his eyes and rested.
Lu Yang was silent, and although Chen Yuchuan’s eyes were closed, his mouth wasn’t idle. He kept talking to Lu Yang. Although he’d told Lu Yang a lot on WeChat, he wanted to say it again, because there was no response on WeChat.
“Yang ge, it’s been really cold these days. The floor heating at home is broken, and I haven’t found anyone to fix it yet. It was too cold in the living room, and so I can only stay in the bedroom with the heater on.”
“By the way, a few days ago, something happened to one of our hotels. An old man quarreled with the girl at the front desk when he was checking in. The girl said that the old man touched her hand, but the old man won’t admit it. The angle of the surveillance camera was blurry. It only showed that when the old man handed his ID card over and took the room card, they were really close. Later, the old man stayed for two days and made an appointment with a woman on the internet. As a result, he suddenly had a heart attack while in bed and the woman just ran away without saying anything. Luckily, the cleaning aunt found that the door was open, and when she went in and saw him, she called 120. They arrived in time and so no one died.”
“Because of that, I had to work for two days straight, and the rules of the hotel were changed. The regulation system is now updated, the security and monitoring system has been strengthened, and looking at the Chinese New Year, it was a great mess.”
“Also, a few days ago, something humiliating happened. You hadn’t come back at that time, and it was already late when I got back home from working overtime. The stairs were very wet and slippery, and as I walked upstairs, I wasn’t paying attention and so my foot slipped. I fell and hit my thigh against something.”
Chen Yuchuan opened his eyes when he said this. He hadn’t told Lu Yang about this on WeChat. He took off his coat and threw it backward to the back seat. After sitting up, he patted his left leg and touched the green patch on his thigh that was still a little sore.
“It’s still blue now, and recently, even walking still hurts. You say, I’m an old man now with an old man’s leg, when I fell, it really hurted to the point of death. Not only does it hurt a lot, it even took several days to heal.”
Lu Yang drove in a stable manner, but when Chen Yuchuan finished speaking, the car suddenly swerved, and when Chen Yuchuan finally took his gaze off of his legs, he found that Lu Yang was looking at him. To be precise, looking at his leg.
“What’s the matter, Yang ge?” Chen Yuchuan asked with a smile. “Keep your eye on the road.”
“There was a put on the road just now,” Lu Yang said, turning his attention to the road.
“The name makes it hard to see,” Chen Yuchuan agreed. He stopped rubbing his legs and closed his eyes again. “I don’t know if it will snow at night, and your flight at 8 o’clock in the morning won’t be canceled right?”
“I don’t know,” Lu Yang said.
“Where are you going tomorrow?” Chen Yuchuan asked.
“City B,” Lu Yang replied.
Chen Yuchuan counted the time silently in his heart and said, “Then it’s too far. You can’t go there by car and will have to take a plane.”
Chen Yuchuan recalled the last time he drove to find Lu Yang in the middle of the night. “Last time, when I drove over to find you in the middle of the night, I actually wanted to tell you in advance. But when I got in the car, I took out my phone and looked at messages I sent that you never replied to, and I became afraid that you would reject my idea. So then I drove over straight away. I thought that, once I’m there, you won’t drive me out or throw me out the door. I didn’t expect you to not even be there at all. I should have thought of it, but even then, I would still want to give it a try…”
Lu Yang drove the car directly to Jade Lake, and because he had to drive slowly, it took an hour and a half for them to arrive.
At some point along the way, Chen Yuchuan had fallen asleep. Maybe, he’d annoyed himself into falling asleep.
But when Lu Yang parked the car in the underground parking garage, Chen Yuchuan felt it all at once. The moment Lu Yang pulled the handbrake, he opened his eyes.
“We’ve arrived?” he asked. Having just woken up, his eyes were still a little tired.
“We’re here. Come on.” Lu Yang turned off the engine, grabbed his car keys, and got out of the car.
Chen Yuchuan followed suit. He stood beside the car for a long time but Lu Yang hadn’t moved.
“Where’s your coat?” Lu Yang asked.
Chen Yuchuan remembered that he’d thrown his coat into the backseat and so he opened the back door and grabbed his coat.
It wasn’t until Lu Yang saw that Chen Yuchuan had put his coat back on did he begin walking toward the elevator entrance. This time, Chen Yuchaun walked directly next to Lu Yang, thoroughly enjoying himself as he walked.
The house had a combination lock, and since Chen Yuchuan got out of the elevator before Lu Yang, he walked to the door, intending to enter in the password. However, Lu Yang stopped him.
“The password has been changed,” Lu Yang took a step forward. “I’ll do it.”
Chen Yuchuan’s finger was already on the password keypad, and when he heard Lu Yang’s words, he dully withdrew his hand, put it in his coat pocket, and rubbed his fingers together.
His joy from being here had disappeared. This was Lu Yang’s house. Naturally, if Lu Yang wanted to change the password, it was his freedom to do so. In the pass, the door lock passcode was the combination of their birthdays, with him in front and Lu Yang behind.
When Chen Yuchuan heard from Xiao Lei that Lu Yang had returned, he’d wanted to run over in the middle of night and take a look. Fortunately, he didn’t come. If Lu Yang wasn’t home, he wouldn’t even be able to get in.
He suddenly remembered that there was one instance where he had to stay outside for several hours. At that time, it wasn’t that Lu Yang had changed the password, but that they’d just moved in and he’d forgotten what the password was.
They had both gone to work during the day, but Chen Yuchuan felt dizzy and unwell and so he’d left work early. He’d even forgotten to take his phone when he went home.
Too lazy to go back and get his phone, he simply sat directly at the door and waited for Lu Yang to come home.
When Lu Yang got home from work, he saw Chen Yuchuan sitting at the door with his head down, sleeping. He shook him awake and changed the passcode to their birthdays right in front of him. It’d been used for so many years, and although the combination lock had been changed several times, the password had never changed.
Chen Yuchuan didn’t look as Lu Yang punched in the new password. When the door opened, he stood there and didn’t move.
Lu Yang walked in and, still holding the door open, he looked back at him, asking, “You’re not coming in?”
Chen Yuchuan waited for two seconds and finally went in with a smile. He called out, “Chubby, dad is here to see you.”
He called twice without waiting for a response. Lu Yang closed the door and said, “I sent him to my parents yesterday, since I won’t be home. When I get back from the business trip, I’ll pick him up.”
Chen Yuchuan rubbed the tip of his nose with the back of his hand. “I thought Chubby was here and wanted to come and see him.”
After he said this, he laughed. Avoiding Lu Yang’s eyes, he scratched his head and said, “I slept all the way here, and now I’m wide awake.”
Although the password may have been changed, the things in the house were still the same. The shoes in the cabinet were still theirs.
After changing into slippers, he turned around in the living room and asked, “Have you been living here all this time?”
There was plenty of heat in the room, Chen Yuchuan took off his coat, and touched his pocket when hanging his clothes. He didn’t find his mobile phone, so he took out his trousers pocket, but still nothing.
“Where’s my cell phone? Did it fall out of my pocket when I threw my coat into the backseat?”
Lu Yang went back to the bedroom and brought out a pair of pajamas. It looked like he was going to take a shower. Such a scene used to happen every day at home.
If Lu Yang had nothing else to do when he came back from outside, he would take a bath as soon as he got home.
He raised his finger and pointed to the entrance, “”The car keys are on the cabinet. You can go down to find your phone, I’ll take a shower first.”
Chen Yuchuan took one more look at Lu Yang before turning around and walking out. His phone really did fall onto the backseat.
He grabbed his phone and went upstairs. He knocked on the door for a long time, but no one opened it. He called out for Lu Yang, but no one answered. Then he remembered that Lu Yang had said he was going to take a shower.
He leaned back against the door, lowered his head, and took a breath. He checked the time and estimated that it would be another ten more minutes, since Lu Yang usually took a half hour shower.
Ten minutes was a bit difficult. Several times, he had the idea of going back home, but then he looked at the car keys in his hand and opted to continue to wait. Finally, thinking that it was nearly time, he knocked on the door, and it didn’t take long for the door to open.
Lu Yang was wearing only a bathrobe with the belt tied around his waist. After Chen Yuchuan entered, he asked, “Why didn’t you punch in the password yourself?”
“You didn’t read the password when I entered it earlier?”
“You changed the password, and so looking would be wrong.” Chen Yuchuan put the car key on the cabinet and said with a smile, “Yang ge, I’ll come back when I can read the password…I’ll…”
“040912,” Lu Yang interrupted, gaze fixed on him,
“What?” Chen Yuchuan didn’t react right away, and after asking, he realized that Lu Yang had told him the new password.
Lu Yang repeated it again, “040912.”
Chen Yuchuan nodded, indicating that he understood. He went over the password silently in his heart, and then suddenly raised his head to look at Lu Yang. That was the day he and Lu Yang had gotten married.
“A while back, it seemed as if someone had messed with the door lock. That was when I changed the password,” Lu Yang said as he walked toward the bedroom. “Go take a shower. I’ll sleep in the guest room tonight.”
This time, Chen Yuchuan understood quickly. Lu Yang was explaining why he’d changed the door look passcode. He looked at Lu Yang’s retreating back and grinning. Raising his voice, he asked, “Yang ge, can I sleep with you in the same room?”
“No.” Lu Yang had already passed through the door and so the voice of refusal came from the door.
Chen Yuchuan didn’t care at all. He walked to the master bedroom, but he didn’t go in. Standing at the door, he watched as Lu Yang stood in front of the wardrobe looking for clothes.
Faced with Lu Yang’s back, he said all the words he’d held in his heart.
“Yang ge, I came with you today because I want to answer the question you asked me last time. You asked me if I wanted us to get remarried, and you wanted me to think about it seriously before answering you. I’ve thought about it for two months. I’ve thought about it for days and nights. I’ve figured it out now. I still want to marry you. I especially still want to marry you.”
He paused and watched as Lu Yang closed the cabinet door and turned around to look at him.
He continued, “But I also know your temper. This time, if we don’t work out our problems, it would be useless to get remarried. Even if we got remarried, it wouldn’t last long, especially since I unexpectedly escaped from you for half a year. We used to be together, and I still want to be together again. But we need to work out our problems bit by bit, and then we can talk about remarriage…”
After he’d said this, Chen Yuchuan didn’t wait for Lu Yang to respond. He walked to the closet, quickly found his pajamas, and said, “I’ll take a shower.”