“Lu Yang, what time is it now?” Chen Yuchuan covered his face with the cover, his eyes still closed, calling Lu Yang while half asleep.
When he heard no response, he raised his voice a little higher and shouted, “Lu Yang, is it still raining outside?”
He buried his face in the pillow, rubbed against it, and began to call husband, Yang ge, gege…
But he never heard Lu Yang’s voice respond. Chen Yichuan reached out to touch the spot beside him on the bed, and when he felt coldness, he woke up with a start
. Opening his eyes, he shivered on the bed.
He sucked in a breath and sat upright, propped up with his arms on either side of his pillow. Then he rubbed his eyes and looked around.
The curtains were still drawn, and sunlight leaked in through the gaps in the middle, casting a small, diffused ray of bright light on the foot of the bed and on the floor.
The rain must have stopped. There was no sound of rain beating against the window, leaving only the rustling sound of sycamore leaves blown by the wind.
Through the open bedroom door, Chen Yuchuan saw the clothes scattered on the floor in the living room.
Only then did he determine that he was really the only one in the house.
After confirming, he thought, what are you dreaming about? Lu Yang had already left…
He was still hungover. His forehead felt as if it was stabbed with a needle. As he rubbed his temple with his thumb, he licked his dry and cracked lips. Then he looked at the phone on the bedside table and saw that it was nearly 10 o’clock. His phone displayed a missed call that came in about half an hour ago.
Chen Yuchuan called back and was startled when he heard himself speaking. His voice sounded like it was squeezed out of a crack in stone, like gravel that was about to break and crumble away.
The call was made by the water heater delivery man and he asked him if there would be anyone at home in the morning.
Chen Yuchuan rubbed his neck with his hand and said in a hoarse voice that there was someone at home.
The delivery man said he would deliver the water heater later.
Chen Yuchuan responded with a hum, unmuted the phone, and turned on the ringtone.
After hanging up the phone, Chen Yuchuan got out of bed in bare feet. It wasn’t until he drank two more glasses of water did he feel the dryness in his throat ease up. When he entered the bathroom to wash, he saw that Lu Yang hadn’t taken his things in the bathroom.
After washing up, he picked up the clothes he’d scattered on the floor last night and threw them into the washing machine.
As the washing machine rumbled, Chen Yuchuan leaned back on the balcony and lit a cigarette.
While smoking, he looked through the smoke at the house where he had lived in for nearly ten years.
After smoking half a cigarette, Chen Yuchuan smiled bitterly, thinking that Lu Yang would not need to live in this small house with him anymore.
The house was a six-story old building constructed in the 1990s, with two bedrooms and two halls, less than 80 square meters large. Chen Yuchuan bought it almost ten years ago, and he and Lu Yang had lived in it for just as long. The voice-activated lights on the stairs were broken. The facilities downstairs were old, and the road had potholes when it rains. It had to be repaired all the time, but it seemed useless.
What’s more, Lu Yang’s family was enormously wealthy, so much so that the number of houses they owned may be uncountable. This was what he was born with.
Of course, even if Lu Yang had come from an ordinary background, based on his ability alone, it wasn’t impossible for him to be able to reach his current level.
Just that, such a young master who was used to being pampered, he was willing to live here for so many years.
It seemed inconceivable when Chen Yuchuan thought about it.
As for the reason why they lived in this small house, Chen Yuchuan could admit now that he had felt too ashamed of his own background and was too foolish
When he first started with Lu Yang, many people had said that he was following Lu Yang for money.
When he was young, Chen Yuchuan was a little ruffian. Every day, though he had no sense of shame, he still had a bit of his own poor self-esteem. Although others didn’t say it in front of him, every time they looked at him, it directly stimulated his sensitive, fragile self-esteem.
At first, he lived with Lu Yang in Lu Yang’s big house. But he later vowed to make money to buy a house for himself, and he boasted about raising Lu Yang.
And every time, to help him save face, Lu Yang would agree to be supported by him. As a result, Lu Yang would often ask him for money, but it was always a small amount, just enough to buy a few drinks and beer at the supermarket.
Later, Chen Yuchuan spent two to three years saving up. Then he took out a loan to buy this old place, deliberately settling on a location close to Lu Yang’s company. He even refused to allow Lu Yang to help him pay the mortgage.
After getting a house, Chen Yuchuan wanted to decorate it, but by then, he had used up all his money. Therefore, Li Yang said he would be responsible for decorating the house. And so, Lu Yang ended up paying for the decorations.
When Lu Yang decorated the house, he hired a famous designer whose appearance fee was probably more expensive than the house itself.
Later, they also thought about moving, but they were simply too lazy to move. Day by day, life carried on and they always ended up delaying the move. After all, they had lived here for so many years, and although it was very small, they were used to it.
Lu Yang had lived with him for so many years in this small house full of his lack of self-esteem.
In fact, Chen Yichuan already realized a few years into living here that he was a big fool. Lu Yang was his husband, and his husband was willing to spend money on him. Anything that belonged to his husband was his.
Those who said that he was with Lu Yang for the sake of money were all fucking jealous of him, jealous that he had such a tall, handsome and dedicated husband. Those people were big idiots.
Thinking of this, Chen Yuchuan also put a layer of gold on his own face.
That group of idiots also saw that he was tall, handsome and dedicated, and they couldn’t find any shortcomings, so they said that he was with Lu Yang for his money.
However, Chen Yuchuan himself knew that his shortcomings were plenty.
He muttered about his own shortcomings for a long time while smoking.
After he was done muttering about himself, his thoughts returned to last night.
Chen Yuchuan scolded himself again in his heart, calling himself a big idiot who was even more of an idiot than those big idiots.
The water heater arrived half an hour later. Two men carried the water heater all the way to the fifth floor, and so after knocking on his door and carrying the thing in, they were so exhausted that they stood in his living room, panting.
Chen Yuchuan poured them two glasses of water. One of them was older and looked to be in his 40s or 50s, while the other looked very young, at most 20, still with childishness on his face.
The older one waved his hand and said no need, but the younger one took the water with a smile and said to Chen Yuchuan, “Thank you, big brother.”
Chen Yuchuan exhaled the cigarette smoke and asked again, “You guys delivered the package, do you install it too?”
“It includes installation, big brother.” The child took two more gulps of water and then handed the cup back to Chen Yuchuan. “Thank you, big brother. I’m done drinking. Where’s the bathroom? We’ll take care of it for you.”
Chen Yuchuan took the glass cup and pointed to the bathroom door with his cigarette. “It’s there. Do you need help?”
The older one said no, and then he turned his head and asked, “Do you want to dismantle the original water heater yourself, or do you want us to dismantle it for you?”
Chen Yuchuan said, “Can you help me dismantle it?”
Twice, he asked if they wanted help but they both said no.
It took less than half an hour for them to dismantle and install the water heater. They even let Chen Yuchuan try out the water heater first, and the older man went over some safety precautions.
Chen Yuchuan nodded to indicate that he had heard it. He went over to test the water temperature and said, “Thank you.”
Chen Yuchuan thought this was the end of the matter. Just as he was about to see them off, the older man took out a receipt booklet, filled it in, and handed a receipt to Chen Yuchuan. “A total of 30 yuan.”
Chen Yuchuan was taken aback, “Hold on. Didn’t you say that the package installation is free?”
“Package installation, yes,” he said, “but not for disassembly.”
Chen Yuchuan folded his arms and said, “So that’s why you asked me if I wanted to disassemble it myself or if I wanted you to. If you dismantle it, this means an extra charge.”
The man nodded and said, “There is a fee for dismantling, which is stipulated by the company. If you dismantle it yourself, you will not be charged.”
Chen Yuchuan didn’t say anything, particularly since it wasn’t easy for them to disassemble and assemble. He found his wallet, gave them 30 yuan, and accepted the receipt.
He waited for them to leave, and then went to take a shower. While taking a shower, his stomach began to growl, which was very annoying.
He’d spent most of last night drinking and hadn’t eaten much before falling asleep into a night of dreams.
He had dreamed that he was looking for a restaurant, but all the restaurants in his dreams were either closed down or the doors were locked, refusing to open no matter how much he pushed them.
Later, he finally entered a steam bun shop and ordered two meat buns, but he couldn’t eat them. One fell to the ground and the other was incredibly slippery, as if smeared with wax oil, that he couldn’t grip it in his chopsticks no matter how much he tried. In the dream, he was practically dying of anxiety.
Therefore, now that he was awake, Chen Yuchuan decided to eat the meat buns he couldn’t eat in his dreams. He went directly to the nearby bun shop that he usually frequented and ordered five large meat buns in one go.
It was a little after breakfast, and so there weren’t many people in the shop. The boss’s steamed buns were nearly sold out. There were only two left in the basket, and so the boss gave him those two first.
Chen Yuchuan ordered a bowl of millet porridge and a tea egg. He ate the steamed buns first, and then after a few mouthfuls of porridge, his empty stomach felt better.
The owner of the steamed bun shop was from the Northeast. He spoke in a very interesting manner and had a loud voice. When he came up with the other three steamed buns, he asked him, “Why are you here alone today?”
Chen Yuchuan said with a smile, “I’ll be coming on my own in the future.”
The boss asked with a laugh, “What’s wrong? Did you have a fight with your family?”
Chen Yuchuan didn’t say anything more. He took two more sips of porridge and nodded along with the boss’s words. He said, “Mmn. We had a fight. Now it’s over.”
The boss snorted and said, “What’s wrong with quarreling? It’s normal for couples to fight. My wife still beats me up a lot and makes me want to run away from home.”
Chen Yuchuan raised his gaze and scanned the boss from head to toe. The boss from the Northeast was 1.8 meters tall and weighed nearly 200 pounds. Meanwhile, his wife, who was standing at the cash register behind him, was thin and small, at most about 1.6 meters tall.
“Boss, you’re showing off to me.” Chen Yuchuan was a little envious now.
The boss was aggrieved when he heard this, and his fat face twisted. He said, “I’m not showing off, believe me. She gets mad at me on a daily basis. If it wasn’t for this bun shop, I would definitely take my son and run away from home.”
After the boss finished speaking, he laughed and said in a low voice, “Don’t let her hear me. I need to get busy so enjoy your meal.
Chen Yuchuan looked at the boss’s fat physique and watched as he trotted to his wife’s side. As he ran, the flesh on his waist trembled with each step.
He lowered his head and glanced at the steamed buns that were just served. After taking a bite, he discovered that he didn’t want to eat as much as he had dreamed about.
He and Lu Yang would often come to this steamed bun shop, especially during times when they didn’t want to get up in the morning after tossing around all night. Even if they hadn’t, Chen Yuchuan would sometimes simply not want to get up in the morning.
So he stayed in bed and would often pull Lu Yang to stay in with him.
Chen Yuchuan often told Lu Yang that he didn’t like being alone in bed when he woke up in the morning. It left him with an empty feeling, as if he’d slept alone all night.
Lu Yang knew this habit, so even if he woke up, he would always wait in bed for him to wake up and then tell him that he was getting up. If he was really in a hurry to go to work or to go on a business trip, he would wake Chen Yuchuan up and tell him before he left.
So they seldom cooked breakfast at home, and would often come to this bun shop to eat buns before going to work.
The restaurant was always full of people at breakfast time, and when there was no seat, they would take the buns away and eat in the car.
Lu Yang ate more than him. Lu Yang would eat three, while he ate only two. Add a cup of soy milk or porridge and he would be full.
They each had their own car, but they would sit in the same car and have breakfast together before separating for work.
At that time, he felt very satisfied every morning after eating the two buns, and he would feel very happy all day.
Now that he had eaten three buns, he was full, but he didn’t feel very happy at all.