Lu Yang took Chen Yuchuan to a private hospital that he’d never been to before.
As they entered through the hospital door, Lu Yang told him, “A friend introduced me to a very good doctor from this hospital. But he’d been abroad and had only returned to China last month. I made an appointment for next week, but last night, I rescheduled it to today instead.”
“When did you make the appointment?” Chen Yuchuan asked.
“That time when you drove out in the middle of the night to find me.”
The elevator opened on the first floor, and many people came out. They were the only ones waiting for the elevator. Once they were inside and the elevator doors were closed, Chen Yuchuan whispered, “So at that time, you knew I was finally going to listen, right?”
Lu Yang didn’t say anything, acquiescing to his statement.
He asked again, “I didn’t tell you about my insomnia before, how did you know?”
“Did you think you were covering it up well? Long term use of sleeping pills will inevitably result in unpleasant side effects. You will become addicted. Once I found out, I changed your pills to vitamins.”
The elevator arrived at their floor, and they stepped off. As he walked, Chen Yuchuan said, “No wonder my sleeping pills were a little sweet. I thought there was something wrong with my sense of taste.”
They met Dr. Lin, who looked to be in his 40s. They chatted briefly before Lu Yang left him alone with Dr. Lin in the consultation room.
When Lu Yang walked out, Chen Yuchuan nervously looked back several times. However, he wasn’t uncooperative, as he’d been in the past.
Lu Yang waited in the lounge across from the consultation room. An hour later, Chen Yuchuan came out and Dr. Lin invited Lu Yang in for a private discussion.
“Mr. Lu, I briefly chatted with Mr. Chen today, and he was very cooperative. However, in that hour, he checked the time on his phone three times and looked back five times. He was looking for you. I could tell from his actions that you’re the dominant one in the relationship, and that he is somewhat dependent on you. Mr. Chen is a little impatient; he really wanted to solve his problem as soon as possible. But it will be counterproductive if he is too impatient. Mr. Chen trusts you more than he will ever trust me as his doctor, so I want to encourage you to be supportive and to guide him.
Dr. Lin didn’t chat with Lu Yang for long. When Lu Yang came out, he found Chen Yuchuan waiting for him in the hallway.
“What did the doctor tell you? Is my problem very serious?”
“No,” Lu Yang said. “The doctor said that you were very cooperative, and the problem isn’t too big.”
Chen Yuchuan grinned. “I was very cooperative. I feel much better now.”
As they went out, Lu Yang said, “Don’t worry too much about it. Just take your time. You can come once a week or once every other week. If there are times when you don’t feel like coming, you don’t have to. We can always reschedule.”
Chen Yuchuan retorted a little anxiously, “I do want to come. I don’t not want to come…”
In the elevator, Chen Yuchuan told Lu Yang about what Dr. Lin had told him in the consultation room. He was no longer as nervous as before. But as they passed the payment window, he heard someone calling his name.
Chen Yuchuan looked for the voice and looked over. It was Guang Haobo, who was wearing a hospital gown and was standing in line at the payment window.
Seeing that it really was Chen Yuchuan, Guang Haobo became excited. He left the line and walked over in slippers. “Brother Chuan, Brother Yang, why are you here?”
“I came to see a doctor,” Chen Yuchuan answered.
“What’s wrong? Are you sick?”
“Just a small problem, it’s nothing.” Chen Yuchuan waved his hand. “How about you? Why are you here?”
“I’ve been hospitalized for a few days due to acute gastritis. I’m nearly better now and will be discharged in two days.”
Chen Yuchuan glanced around but didn’t see anyone else. “Where’s Chu Rui? Why didn’t he accompany you?”
“He, he’s too busy with meetings at his company…” Guang Haobo had never been able to lie well. Wenever he lied, his eyebrows would scrunch up. He’d been holding his medical records and hospital card in his hands, but now he silently hid them behind his back so that they couldn’t be seen.
Seeing him faltering and hesitating, Chen Yuchuan knew that he was lying. As he was about to speak, he felt Lu Yang’s arm brushed against his, and he even heard the light sound of Lu Yang breathing.
Chen Yuchuan grabbed Lu Yang’s hand, tucking his index finger into Lu Yang’s palm and scratching him.
Chen Yuchuan and Guang Haobo had always had a good relationship. However, Lu Yang became wary of Guang Haobo once he found out that he also liked men. It wasn’t until he got married a few years ago that Lu Yang’s hostility gradually declined.
“Did Chu Rui treat you badly?” Chen Yuchuan asked directly.
“No, no,” Guang Haobo repeatedly denied, “He’s just too busy. He hired a nurse for me.”
Chen Yuchuan didn’t pursue the topic. He pointed to the seat nearby and said, “Go sit. We’ll get in line for you.”
The moment Chen Yuchuan finished speaking, he felt a gust of wind, and when he turned to look, he saw that it was Chu Rui, gasping for breath.
Chu Rui put his hands on Guang Haobo’s shoulders and moved in front of him. “We’ll make our own arrangements. We won’t bother you. Thank you!”
Guang Haobo wanted to say something to Chen Yuchuan, but Chu Rui pulled him hard. In the end, he only waved at them and left with Chu Rui.
Chen Yuchuan raised his foot and kicked in the air at Chu Rui’s back, until Lu Yang finally pulled him away.
He had always looked down on Chu Rui, who was 8 years younger than Guang Haobo. Chu Rui was only 28 this year, and he had an irascible temper. He was also a massive vinegar jar. Therefore, in recent years, Chen Yuchuan hadn’t been in much contact with Guang Haobo.
“Look how Chu Rui was just now.”
“Guang Haobo, that fool probably wouldn’t know it even if he was bullied. Even if he knew, he would just only lie and cover it up. When they got married only a month after knowing each other, I thought it was too fast. They need to figure it out because they tie the knot.”
“It’s so easy for a flash marriage to go wrong. It’s only been a few years since they got married…”
Chen Yuchuan was still mumbling when they reached the parking lot.
After getting into the car, Lu Yang said, “We got together pretty quickly.”
Chen Yuchuan retorted, “We dated for four years before we got married, and it was after everything had been settled.”
He happily added, “Besides, we were in love with each other. We’ve been together since 11 days of knowing each other. Do you think we’re dating again? It was you who took the initiative, but this time, I’m the one taking the initiative.”
Then, without waiting for Lu Yang to reply, he answered his own question, “No, you didn’t provoke it.”
Chen Yuchuan dared to say this now because he had a bottom line. He knew that Lu Yang still loved him. It was because he had always known, so he dared to be like this now.
After they left the hospital, Lu Yang went back to work. He still had a dinner party to attend in the evening. Chen Yuchuan had nothing to do, so he drove his car back. After buying some things, he hummed a little tune as he drove out to see Lu Xianfeng and Man Yunxin.
Lu Xianfeng was sitting on the sofa, reading a book and teasing Chubby. When Chubby saw Chen Yuchuan, he jumped up and danced around him.
Chen Yuchuan chatted with Old Lu, who was the same as the past few times. He ignored him and just snorted through his nose.
But Chen Yuchuan didn’t care. After playing with Chubby, he went to find Man Yunxin. Man Yunxin was playing the piano, and when she finished, she discovered that Chen Yuchuan seemed really happy.
“What has happened to Xiao Chuan’er recently?”
Chen Yuchuan sat next to Man Yunxin, took her arm, and said, “Mom, Lu Yang and I got together again. When we get remarried, you and Dad will have to give me a red envelope.”
Before Man Yunxin could speak, Lu Xianfeng put his book down and snorted, “I give you a red envelope? I’ll give you two a stick…”
Although Lu Xianfeng’s face still looked unhappy, his tone was much better than before. Man Yunxin didn’t truly think they would really separate and so she didn’t ask many questions.
Laughing, Chen Yuchuan coaxed them and accompanied them for dinner. When it was time, he drove out to pick Lu Yang up.
After that, he went to the hospital twice, and Lu Yang accompanied him each time.
At the end of the month, Chen Yuchuan’s mother’s death anniversary arrived. Lu Yang was on a business trip overbroad, and so this would be the first time Chen Yuchuan would have to go see his mother alone.
On that day, Lu Yang was still out of town, and so Chen Yuchuan woke up early and headed out to see his mother. His mother was buried with his father in his father’s hometown.
He bought two wreaths, some joss paper, a bottle of wine, two bouquets of flowers, and many other things to show his love to his parents.
By the time he arrived at the cemetery, it was already noon. The snow in his hometown was heavy, piling up on the mountain road that led to the cemetery and blocking the path for cars. Therefore, he parked his car on the side of the road and walked to the cemetery with his things.
The approaching New Year brought new flowers to many of the graves in the cemetery. He also changed the flowers on his parents’ grave before kneeling on the ground and kowtowing a few times. Then he began to burn the joss paper and poured two glasses of wine.
The wind was strong, blowing soot on him. But he merely squinted and continued chatting with them. When on the subject of Lu Yang, he began to talk more and more.
“Lu Yang is on a business trip, so he can’t come with me this time.”
“Mom, we’re fine. Don’t worry…:
As he spoke, he burned another stack of joss paper. “Well, it wasn’t too great before. We separated for a little over two months. But don’t worry. We got back together. In the past, whenever Lu Yang and I came to see you, he would always complain that I smoke secretly, that I was disobedient. This time, since he didn’t come, I can also complain about him. He was the one that brought up divorce…”
He was only able to say a few words when he heard a deep voice from nearby.
“I’m not here, so you’re starting to complain?”
Chen Yuchuan had been too focused on burning the paper, and so he wasn’t paying attention to his surroundings. When he heard Lu Yang’s voice, he looked up and said with a laugh, “Why are you here? Let me tell you, you came just in time. Come and admit your mistake…”
“I finished up my work so I came over.” Lu Yang knelt beside Chen Yuchuan. He placed the bouquets he was carrying in front of the gravestones and began to burn paper with Chen Yuchaun.
This time, it became two people talking, mentioning you and I.
After all the papers had been burnt, they left. As they walked back alongside the difficult mountain path, Chen Yuchuan suddenly stopped on the side of the upward slope and stood still.
Sensing that Chen Yuchuan had fallen behind and was no longer following, Lu Yang also stopped.
“What’s wrong?” He turned to ask. “Why did you stop?”
Chen Yuchuan’s shoes were covered in snow, and so he stomped his feet. But the more he stomped, the more snow covered his feet.
“Yang ge, it’s a little cold…” When he spoke, white mist from his breath curled around his mouth. He took his hands out of his pocket and breathed on them to warm them up. His nose and cheeks were blown red by the wind.
Lu Yang walked back and stopped in front of Chen Yuchuan. He unbuttoned his coat, and Chen Yuchuan stretched out his arms and wrapped them around Lu Yang’s waist underneath his coat, directly hugging him.
He pressed his face to Lu Yang’s chest, listening to his heartbeat. “I lied to you. I’m not really that cold.”
Lu Yang wrapped his coat around Chen Yuchuan’s back.
Chen Yuchuan hugged him tighter. “Yang ge, I missed my mother a little. I dreamed of her last night. If she was alive and knew that I had agreed to divorce you, she would definitely chase after me with a feather duster. I couldn’t hug her anymore. Except for my mother, you are the closest person in my world, and I haven’t hugged you in a long time. Just let me hug you…”
Xida: Fyi, it’s not okay to change out people’s medicine without their consent.