Chen Yuchuan opened the bottle and used a clip to sterilize the back of his hand with a cotton ball dipped in iodine. When he closed the lid, he remembered that there was a blue medicine box at home and thought about putting the iodine away in the medicine box.
He thought for a long time about the location of the medicine box that Lu Yang had just told him about. In the end, he didn’t bother to look for the box. Instead, he directly opened the drawer under the coffee table and threw the bottle of iodine inside.
Then he picked up the ring on the ground and also put it in the drawer along with the sterile cotton balls.
Feeling a little cold due to being shirtless, he got up and entered the bedroom to look for something to wear.
Upon opening the closet, he saw that half of it was empty. Lu Yang’s clothes were all gone.
It had been a week since they’d gotten a divorce, but it was only now, when Chen Yuchuan was looking at the half-emptied closet, that it truly hit him that they were really divorced.
He slammed the closet door shut, turned around, and stood with his back against it for a long, long time.
The rain outside the window was still falling, raindrops hitting the glass window in low pitter patters.
Chen Yuchuan suddenly remembered what he’d said to Lu Yang in the past. He’d said, Lu Yang, I will rely on you for the rest of my life. You won’t be able to drive me away.
But this time, he didn’t rely on Lu Yang as he’d said before.
The person he had wanted to live with for the rest of his life had nearly shattered the door when he left with his suitcase.
Chen Yuchuan leaned against the cabinet door in a daze, and when he looked up, he suddenly caught a glimpse of Lu Yang’s coat on the chair beside the bedside table.
“Fuck, he don’t even finish packing up,” Chen Yuchuan complained to the coat.
After standing there for a long time, he finally laid down on the bed. But sleep wouldn’t come.
Chen Yuchuan knew that if he told his friends that he had sleep problems, they wouldn’t have believed him. In fact, they would tease him, saying that even someone with such a big personality would still have insomnia.
He’d never had issues with his sleep before. In fact, he used to be the kind of person that would fall asleep the moment his head touched the pillow. What’s more, the quality of his sleep had always been extremely good. Sometimes he would fall asleep even when Lu Yang was in the middle of talking to him.
His sleep problems started half a year ago. It first started with occasional insomnia, but when it became serious, it got to the point where he wouldn’t be able to sleep all night.
In these past six months, Lu Yang had been traveling frequently for work and so he hadn’t discovered his sleep problems.
And the amazing thing was that, once Lu Yang was back, as long as he hugged him, Chen Yuchuan would sleep very well.
Chen Yuchuan opted not to tell Lu Yang about his insomnia. Instead, he went to the doctor for sleeping pills and told Lu Yang that they were just vitamins.
Finally, Chen Yuchuan got up, put on clothes, and walked over to the window and opened it. He’d originally wanted to smoke a cigarette, but when he looked down, he saw Lu Yang’s car parked downstairs.
When he’d been driven in earlier, he’d been drunk and hadn’t paid attention to anything outside. It turned out that Lu Yang’s car was parked downstairs this whole time. Now he saw it at a glance.
Chen Yuchuan attributed the fact that he saw Lu Yang’s car at a glance to his good eyesight. Although he had completed nine years of compulsory education, he hadn’t read any books in a few years, and so he’d never been nearsighted.
He was only in his thirties now, and he hadn’t reached the age of farsightedness yet either and so his eyesight was quite good.
The rain outside had lightened into a drizzle, but with the wind blowing them on his face, he still felt his cheeks sting from those raindrops.
Small, wet drops dripped down his neck, and so he raised his hands and wrapped the coat tighter around himself.
As Chen Yuchuan skrank in his neck, his calf suddenly throbbed, not because he was in pain himself, but because he’d thought of Lu Yang’s leg.
Lu Yang’s calf had been injured in the past, and so it would hurt whenever it rains. In the past, whenever Lu Yang’s leg started to hurt, he would massage him or apply a warm towel.
Chen Yuchuan felt that there was something wrong with him. He’d become pathetic, still feeling bad for Lu Yang’s legs.
But then he reconsidered this thought. Hadn’t Lu Yang pathetically find him a sterile cotton ball?
They were two sides of the same coin.
If this wasn’t being pathetic, then what was it? Could it be love?
If it was love, then why get a divorce?
But what could it be if not love?
Chen Yuchuan couldn’t figure it out. He scratched his head and finally attributed it to habit.
Lu Yang’s headlights were on, casting a small patch of light in the rainy night.
Chen Yuchuan didn’t know what Lu Yang was waiting for, but after another ten minutes, the car finally left.
It wasn’t until Chen Yuchuan could no longer see Lu Yang’s car did he finally close the window and pulled the curtains shut. Then he took a sleeping pill and went straight to bed.
When they got divorced a week ago, Lu Yang had said that he would leave him the house and give him half the company.
But Chen Yuchuan didn’t want anything. He was the one who’d bought the house and so Lu Yang was the one who moved out. He only wanted Chubby. To be precise, he wanted half of Chubby.
Chubby was a little stray dog they had adopted a few years ago. He was Chubby’s dad and Lu Yang was Chubby’s mom.
At the beginning, they had fought over the question of how Chubby would address them. It was Chen Yuchuan who made the move first by straddling Lu Yang.
Naturally, he won, and so he became Chubby’s daddy and Lu Yang became Chubby’s mommy.
When they got the divorce, they had agreed they would have alternating weeks with Chubby.
Thinking of Chubby, Chen Yuchuan thought that he and Lu Yang really wouldn’t be able to break up cleanly.
After all, there was the entanglement of a furry child.
He and Lu Yang had ended four years of dating and 12 years of marriage one morning a week ago.
After 16 years together, the person who had been by his side since he was 18 could never matter again.
After 16 years.
It wasn’t 16 months, 16 days, 16 hours…
16 years was a long time. If their love was a movie, it would last for 16 years.
Chen Yuchuan did the math. He was thirty-four this year, and he would be fifty by the time he’d finished watching a film lasting 16 years. It was too terrible. By that time, half of him would have already been buried in the ground.
But no matter how long, no matter how heavy or thick those 16 years were, it didn’t matter. Because when it ended, it was as simple as that. Broken within seconds, leaving nothing.
The reason for their divorce seemed simple enough, having been due to two bunches Sichuan peppercorns, but in fact, it was simply an outbreak of things that had accumulated for too long.
The main reason started half a month ago. Lu Yang had worked extra shifts for a week straight and so he couldn’t come back for dinner that day.
Chen Yuchuan wasn’t feeling well and so, on the way home from work, he had stopped by a restaurant he and Lu Yang often patronized to pick up some pork belly soup.
As a result, he saw Lu Yang and Ye Guanghe sitting and eating together in the hall. Half an hour ago, Lu Yang had called him to say that he would be having dinner with a client that night.
Chen Yuchuan stood at the front desk and watched them for a long time. On that rare occasion, he’d managed to suppress his hot temper. Watching them eating and laughing, he didn’t have the impulse to go directly to Lu Yang.
Because he knew that as long as he walked over, because of his temper, he would start a fight with Lu Yang.
It had been a long time since he’d fought with Lu Yang. They rarely argued now, and it wasn’t because they no longer had conflicts. It was because their conflicts weren’t the same as before, where things could be settled just like that.
Chen Yuchuan held back for a week and observed Lu Yang for a week, but Lu Yang continued to act normally. He still continued to kiss him on the head every morning when he woke up, and still hugged him at night.
This made Chen Yuchuan, who wanted to settle accounts afterwards, never find an outlet to vent, until it broke out completely over the Sichuan peppercorn fish Lu Yang had cooked.
Because Lu Yang had put two bunches of black Sichuan peppercorns in the boiled fish.
In all the years they had been together, Chen Yuchuan had never been willing to eat Sichuan peppercorns, and Lu Yang had never put Sichuan peppercorns in his cooking.
That day, he had already thought up a good pretext and was going to use it to air out his feelings.
That day, Chen Yuchuan had talked over a plate of Sichuan peppercorn fish for half an hour. From Sichuan peppercorns, he moved to their wedding anniversary last month, when Lu Yang didn’t come back due to a company’s project. Chen Yuchuan had waited for him all night, but he didn’t come back.
After talking about their wedding anniversary, Chen Yuchuan brought up the incident six months ago, then three years ago, when they temporarily broke up, then ten years ago…15 years ago…16 years ago…
The sesame seeds at the bottom of the barrel were all pulled out one by one.
In fact, Chen Yuchuan was not one to turn over old accounts. He wasn’t the kind of person who would hold on to the nonsense of the past. The past was the past, and it would only hurt their current feelings for one another. He understood this truth.
That day, he was just using them as an excuse, and all that bullshit was just to pave the way for airing his emotions.
After stopping at 16 years ago, he would then naturally shift the topic to Ye Guanghe.
He really wanted to know what Lu Yang was thinking, and he also wanted to know what his relationship with Ye Guanghe was.
It was over a year ago when Chen Yuchuan first heard about Ye Guanghe from Ling Qun.
Ling Qun and Lu Yang went to the same primary school. They had always been classmates, from elementary school to high school.
Ling Qun was unhappy that day, so he took him out to drink. After drinking too much, he began to reminisce about his childhood. He talked a lot about his high school days because he had his first love in his second year of high school.
Later, after Ling Qun told the story of his first love, he wiped a tear and the topic came to Lu Yang.
Ling Qun had said a name, Ye Guanghe. Ye Guanghe was a transfer student, and he’d sat at the same table as Lu Yang. He said that Ye Guanghe and Lu Yang had a good relationship, so much so that they were often together, from playing basketballl to leaving school to eat together.
Ling Qun had said that their relationship must be very good at the time, but after Ye Guanghe went abroad, they lost contact with one another.
Later, Ling Qun even showed him a picture of Ye Guanghe, who looked handsome and gentle.
At that time, Chen Yuchuan had felt awkward for about two seconds, but then it quickly passed.
16 to 17-year-old kids in high school don’t understand shit. That kind of thing was nothing.
But he forgot one thing. He was only 18 when he got together with Lu Yang.
Moreover, when Lu Yang took him to bed that year, it was the first time for them both.
Even if Ye Guanghe really liked Lu Yang, the two of them would at most hold hands and kiss each other.
Since Lu Yang had never mentioned Ye Guanghe to him, there was no need for him to pull that person out to block their feelings.
But after seeing them together in the restaurant that day, Chen Yuchuan no longer thought so.
Damn. If what Ling Qun said was true, would Ye Quanghe be Lu Yang’s white moonlight, or maybe the white moonlight that was cut off halfway before it could take? If their relationship hadn’t even reached that point yet, then would Ye Guanghe’s white moonlight be even whiter?
Chen Yuchuan had heard about couples splitting up, all because of a white moonlight’s sudden appearance.
The power of a white moonlight could not be underestimated.
In Chen Yuchuan’s eyes, a white moonlight should be just like what it said. A white moonlight should be shining up in the sky. If it came down to the ground, would it still be called a white moonlight?
If it was a white moonlight when it was far away, would it still be white when it was up close?
After that restaurant incident, Chen Yuchuan suddenly felt a sense of crisis. He felt that this kind of problem could not arise between him and Lu Yang, because Lu Yang belonged to him.
Previously, Ling Qun’s words had only placed a small thorn in his heart. But after the restaurant, the small thorn grew into a large thorn.
Chen Yuchuan treated their love, treated Lu Yang, with a strong sense of possessiveness. The past was over, so he could leave it alone, but now, no one could come between them.