A gust of north wind blew past the snow-covered winter branches on the side of the road, causing some snow to fall on Chen Yuchuan’s shoulders.
Lu Yang lightly patted the snow off his shoulders, patting away the lonely coldness from his body little by little.
Chen Yuchuan hugged him until he was satisfied and then finally let him go. Lu Yang’s heartbeat moved further from his ear, but he could still hear it if he listened carefully enough.
He was like a normal person again, as if the pitiful person who said that he had no father or mother just now had been hugged out by Lu Yang.
Chen Yuchuan had always been a person who was very easy to satisfy. Before meeting Lu Yang, he never had much. After meeting Lu Yang, everything he had was given by him. All these years, Lu Yang had always indulged him. If he wanted an apple, Lu Yang would offer him a basket full, and he could pick as many as he pleased. And yet, he always chose one, because one was enough.
So when Lu Yang worked hard for him and he was still the same as before, he became afraid. He was afraid that he wanted too much, and Lu Yang would be taken away from him. He just wanted Lu Yang to be okay.
But now, his thinking had changed. Since Lu Yang was willing to offer these things to him, he would hold on to them and take good care of them.
Chen Yuchuan kept his hands in Lu Yang’s pockets, his clenched fists wrapped in Lu Yang’s palms. He asked, “How did you get here?”
“I saw your car.”
“Why didn’t you tell me earlier that you’ll be coming?”
“When you messaged me this morning, I guessed that you would come here. So, of course, I will definitely come to meet you.”
“What if we missed each other?”
“Didn’t we end up meeting?”
Indeed, they did end up meeting each other. There was no need to ask anything more. All that mattered was that they met.
Chen Yuchuan raised his head to look at the sinking sun in the west. In the cold of winter, the afternoon was the weakest, shining its rays on them from a distance.
Once they arrived at the side of the car, Chen Yuchuan directly gave Lu Yang the car keys and got into the passenger seat.
He had gotten up too early this morning, and now that he saw Lu Yang, he suddenly felt too tired to drive back.
As Lu Yang drove, Chen Yuchuan leaned against the back seat and closed his eyes. He thought that he’d just closed his eyes for a moment, but when he opened his eyes, he found that they had entered the city.
When they were passing by a local restaurant, he pointed out the window and said, “I’m hungry.”
Lu Yang saw where Chen Yuchuan was looking at and pulled up to the restaurant.
They had a tacit understanding that could only be polished with time. Although there were many places to eat on the street, Lu Yang knew exactly which one Chen Yuchuan wanted without asking.
When they sat down and looked at the menu, Lu Yang asked, “What do you want to eat?”
“I want to eat…fish…” His voice trailed off.
They both knew that he was thinking about the boiled fish with the peppercorns on the day of their divorce.
He liked spicy food, but he never liked hemp.
Lu Yang ordered sweet and sour pork loin, scrambled egg with courgette, and three fresh soups. Finally, he ordered boiled fish. When he handed the menu to the waiter, he added, “Without peppercorn, please. Thank you.”
The waiter confirmed their orders, took the menu, and went to the back kitchen.
When Chen Yuchuan was pouring himself a glass of water, he accidentally spilled a little. It was only after he had wiped away the spilled water, did he finally put his arms on the table, leaned forward, and asked Lu Yang, “At that time, why did you put peppercorn on the fish?”
“You only noticed the peppercorn but you didn’t notice the fish at all.” Lu Yang took a sip of water. “You didn’t even notice that I didn’t make the fish. That day, you were secretly smoking on the balcony of the second bedroom. I ordered the fish, and yes, I didn’t tell the store not to put peppercorn. In the past, you wouldn’t have to even look at the dish to smell the peppercorn. But this time, you didn’t notice it at all.”
As Lu Yang spoke, Chen Yuchuan could hear the resentment in his voice.
He smiled, crinkling his eyes. “Smoking must have ruined my sense of smell. I won’t smoke again in the future. I thought I hid it so well.”
“Actually, it was very obvious,” Lu Yang said.
Chen Yuchuan scratched his ear again. Remembering that he was out in public, he put his hand down, tilted his head, and asked, “Is it really that obvious?”
It didn’t matter now. No matter what, he knew that nothing would escape Lu Yang’s notice.
When visiting his mother’s grave in his hometown, he would always reminisce about the past, especially when his mother was still alive.
When Chen Yuchuan and Lu Yang got together, the person who opposed them the most actually wasn’t Lu Xianfeng and Man Yunxin, but Chen Yuchuan’s mother, Cui Xiujun.
Cui Xiujun used to be a very open-minded person and normally wouldn’t take anything to heart. However, after his father died and she became ill, she changed. She became prone to worrying, particularly about Chen Yuchuan.
When she found out she was sick, Cui Xiujun didn’t even want to treat the disease. She didn’t tell Chen Yuchuan, opting to hide her medical records.
The reason she didn’t want to treat her disease was because she knew that it would cost a lot of money. The compensation for Chen Yuchuan’s father’s death really wasn’t very much, just enough for Chen Yuchuan to go to school and for their daily expenses.
She didn’t want to spend any money, so she looked at the bill the next day and insisted on being discharged from the hospital. Chen Yuchuan sat directly at the door of the ward, blocking her, and even dragging her and not allowing her to be discharged.
They weren’t afraid of making a scene, with one insisting on leaving and the other insisting that she stay. At that time, many people tried to persuade Cui Xiujun, and they struggled in the hospital for a long time. In the end, Chen Yuchuan said some harsh words, vowing that if she refused to stay in the hospital then he would go on a hunger strike.
Although he wasn’t eating three meals a day, he didn’t actually go on a hunger strike. If he did, there would be no one to take care of his mother.
Therefore, whenever he went out for hot water, he would secretly eat the bread or biscuit that he’d stuffed into his pocket earlier in the day. After he was done, he made sure his mouth was clean, and when he returned, he deliberately slumped his shoulders, walking very slowly and trying to look weak and malnourished.
In the end, Cui Xiujun compromised. She would try to go for dialysis as little as possible, but when Chen Yuchuan went on another hunger strike, she gave in.
When Chen Yuchuan brought Lu Yang home for the first time and said he was his boyfriend, Cui Xiujun’s first reaction was disbelief.
An 18-year-old boy who had not yet grown into a full-length man, at an age where he had nothing but a uremic mother at home, suddenly brought home a boyfriend. Anyone who heard this would not believe it.
At first, Cui Xiujun thought that Chen Yuchuan had hired Lu Yang because the doctor said some time ago that her condition wasn’t very good, and so Chen Yuchuan simply brought Lu Yang to reassure her.
Later, she saw that Lu Yang didn’t seem to be hired by Chen Yuchuan. Lu Yang’s gestures revealed the wealthy upbringing etched in his bones. It wasn’t a performance at all.
When Lu Yang arranged for a hospital and found a knowledgeable expert for her, she suspected that Chen Yuchuan might have allowed himself to become the boytoy of some rich scion, just so her illness could be treated.
She even made up her mind that this rich boy must have some special and shameful hobbies.
This speculation broke out when Cui Xiujun saw the bruises on Chen Yuchuan’s knee. She told him that he wasn’t allowed to abuse himself like this in order to cure her.
Hearing this, Chen Yuchuan wasn’t happy, “Mom, what kind of person do you think your son is? And do you think Lu Yang looks like a pervert? How good is he? He is very good, he is the best in the world.”
Cui Xiujun still didn’t believe it. She persuaded him bitterly, “Although our family conditions aren’t very good, and especially with me ill too, at least be serious about finding a partner. Lu Yang is so rich, we can’t afford to climb so high. My illness will one day not matter anymore, and you only have one life to live. You can’t make a mess of your own affairs just because of me.”
“He took the initiative,” Chen Yuchuan said confidently.
“Since he took the initiative, all the more reason for you to be careful. Maybe he’s just playing with you.”
By that time, Chen Yuchuan had already realized how lucky he was to meet Lu Yang.
But Cui Xiujun still refused to believe him. She even pretended to have intermittent amnesia, and everytime she met Lu Yang, she acted like it was the first time.
Since she liked to pretend to have amnesia so much, Chen Yuchuan played along with her, and she played happily. He was very cooperative and acted as the best supporting role.
But eventually, he became tired of playing along with her. In order to expose her, he deliberately said, “Mom, my relationship with Lu Yang is fake.”
Cui Xiujun sat on the sofa and patted her thigh. “I knew it, I knew it. You lied to me.”
He only said this to expose her fake amnesia, but who would have thought that Lu Yang would be standing outside.
Someone’s dog had ran into the yard, knocked over the clothes drying pole, and barked a few times after a few bamboo poles fell to the ground.
When Chen Yuchuan and Cui Xiujun came out of the house to check on the noise, they only saw a big black dog running by the open gate.
Standing in the middle of the yard, Lu Yang’s face was particularly ugly, staring at Chen Yuchuan.
When Chen Yuchuan ran out to Lu Yang, he smelled the heavy scent of alcohol on his body.
Lu Yang originally told him that he would be busy tonight, so Chen Yuchuan thought he would not come.
He had only a few words in his mind at the time: He was done for.
Lu Yang was angry.
Lu Yang was really angry. He dropped the thing in his hands directly to the ground, turned around and left.
Chen Yuchuan chased after him, shouting, “Lu Yang, Lu Yang…wait.”
Lu Yang walked very fast. When he got to the side of the road, he stopped a taxi and Chen Yuchuan followed, climbing into the backseat with him.
After getting in the car, Chen Yuchuan stuck close to Lu Yang, holding his arm, as if he was afraid that he would run away.
The driver turned around and asked them where they were going, and Lu Yang reported the address, not to his home, but to the lake.
“Yang ge, why are you going to the lake?”
Lu Yang ignored him. With the driver in the car, Chen Yuchuan didn’t try to explain himself right away. However, he held onto Lu Yang, his index finger scratching the back of Lu Yang’s hand. He would touch his fingertips for a while, then he would pinch his knuckles for a while. These small movements never stopped, and neither did Lu Yang shake him off, though his face was still unsightly.
The driver pulled up to the lake. After Lu Yang paid, he opened the car door. But before he got out, Chen Yuchuan rushed to say, “What I said isn’t true.”
Lu Yang got out of the car first and asked from the side of the road, “What isn’t true? My relationship with you isn’t true?”
“No, no. What I told my mother isn’t true.” After getting out of the car, Chen Yuchuan grabbed Lu Yang’s hand again. “My relationship with you is real, more real than anything else. It is the most real. We are serious partners, the most serious. More serious than anything…”
As they walked along the path by the lake, Chen Yuchuan knew that Lu Yang was no longer so angry, but he still had to be coaxed.
After drinking too much, Lu Yang would become a bit childish. This was what Chen Yuchuan had concluded after seeing him get drunk for the first time. He always had to be coaxed.
Lu Yang walked fast, so Chen Yuchuan had to follow his pace, such that his shoelaces came undone.
“Yang ge, don’t be angry. You’re too hard to coax when you’re angry.”
Lu Yang saw Chen Yuchuan walking strangely and looked down at his feet. Finally, he stopped on the small stone pavement. “If you don’t want to coax, then don’t coax.”
“I’ll coax.” Chen Yuchuan stood in front of him and opened his hand to stop him. “I am most especially willing to coax you.”
Chen Yuchuan stood too close, and so Lu Yang took a step back, only for Chen Yuchuan to follow.
Lu Yang took another step back, and Chen Yuchuan followed another step forward.
In the end, Lu Yang no longer retreated. His voice was harsh when he said, “Stand still and don’t move.”
“I will move. I have to follow you.” Chen Yuchuan grabbed his hands. “I won’t let you go.”
In the end, Lu Yang took another half step back, knelt down, let go of Chen Yuchuan’s hand, and tied his shoelaces for him.
The moment Lu Yang stood up, Chen Yuchuan wrapped his arms around his neck and kissed him. Lu Yang held the back of his head and kissed him back.
The summer night breeze blew across the sparkling lake, stirring up a layer of lake water and shaking the magnolia flowers above their heads. But nothing could disturbed them as they kissed.
Lu Yang felt Chen Yuchuan’s heart beating faster and faster. Finally he let go of him, causing Chen Yuchuan to sway a little, still drowsy from the kiss. He leaned half of his body against Lu Yang’s shoulder, licked the corners of his hot lips, and said, “I won’t make you angry anymore.”
Lu Yang glanced at him in obvious disbelief.
Chen Yuchuan licked the corner of his mouth again. “Really, I really won’t make you angry anymore.”
Lu Yang’s eyes were still full of disbelief.
“I know you don’t believe me.” Chen Yuchuan kissed Lu Yang again. “I really won’t make you angry. If I ever make you angry again, I’ll call you husband.
This was a bedroom request that Lu Yang had made, but that Chen Yuchuan had never complied. Of course, Lu Yang was interested in this proposal, and there was even a faint expectations in his eyes.