Chen Yuchuan was a man who could blow up three meters high with just a little bit of fire. However, Lu Yang could always handle him at his worst. At the most appropriate time, he would smooth down Chen Yuchuan’s hair with a few touches.
And as soon as he touched his hair, Chen Yuchuan would immediately stop.
But today, he didn’t touch Chen Yuchuan’s hair. Instead, he deliberately poked at Chen Yuchuan’s explosive point.
Chen Yuchuan was even more incensed. He turned his head and stared at Lu Yang, shouting, “Again…”
Lu Yang let go of him, and he took a breath and stood up with arms raised. Facing Lu Yang, he attacked once more.
They fought three more rounds. This time, Chen Yuchuan didn’t hold back at all, showing his best state. But without exceptions, all three rounds ended with him being pressed down by Lu Yang.
In the end, Chen Yuchuan was lying on his back in the ring, breathing heavily through parted lips. His clothes were soaked with sweat, and he was dizzy due to excessive physical exertion. Above his head was an advertisement for a certain sports equipment, the billboard seeming to sway chaotically.
“Still continuing?” Lu Yang, who was lying on his back next to Chen Yuchuan, turned his head and asked him.
“Fuck…” Chen Yuchaun cussed. “Lu Yang, just you wait…”
Lu Yang got up. Standing behind Chen Yuchuan’s head, he looked down at him and said, “Okay, I’ll wait…”
The moment he finished speaking, he took off his boxing gloves, turned around, and stepped off the stage.
This time, Chen Yuchuan didn’t call out to stop him. He laid on his back for a long time, until he heard Xiao Yang calling him.
“Brother Chuan, are you alright?”
When Chen Yuchuan heard Xiao Yang’s voice, he turned over, got up, and raised his arm to wipe away the sweat on his forehead and eyelids. Letting out a breath, he said, “I’m alright.”
Xiao Yang handed him a bottle of energy drink. Chen Yuchuan accepted the drink, said thank you, unscrewed the bottle cap, and drank down most of the content.
After a shower and a change of clothes, Chen Yuchuan left the lounge and discovered that it was already dark outside. The neon lights outside the window kept changing colors.
When he reached the front desk, he didn’t leave directly. He stopped in front of the counter and asked Xiao Yang, “Can you show me the record of Lu Yang coming here?”
Xiao Yang became a little embarrassed. He’d watched Chen Yuchuan and Lu Yang boxing in the rings, and he realized that he might have said the wrong thing earlier. He hesitated for a long time before finally saying, “Brother Chuan, we have regulations that members’ records could not be shown to others.”
But Chen Yuchuan didn’t give up. “Don’t worry, Xiao Yang. I promised Lu Yang won’t come to make trouble, and we’re also pretty close with Brother Qi.”
Brother Qi was the owner of the boxing gym.
Xiao Yang hesitated for a while, but in the end, he pulled up Lu Yang’s records for the last six months on the computer. Then he asked Chen Yuchaun to enter behind the counter and look at it himself.
Chen Yuchuan glanced at the screen. There were at least 5 pages, with 30 records listed on each page.
He clicked from page to page, until he reached the last entry, which showed the time when Lu Yang entered the boxing gym and swiped his card.
Chen Yuchuan calculated silently. Except for the times when Lu Yang was on a business trip, he would come almost every night, mostly after he got off work.
Chen Yuchuan thought that, it turns out that the reason why Lu Yang would return so late every night was because he came here to fight.
An idea suddenly popped into his heart and he hesitated for a long time. But in the end, he still asked Xiao Yang, “He, every time he came here, did he come by himself?”
Xiao Yang hurriedly nodded. “Brother Chuan, don’t worry. Brother Yang has never brought anyone here before. Every time he came, he was by himself. I always work in the afternoon, and except for the few times when I took leave, I was the one who swiped his card for him.”
Laughing at himself, Chen Yuchuan closed the computer page and thanked Xiao Yang. After bidding him farewell, he turned and walked away.
Lu Yang came here every night. This was how much he didn’t want to go home, how much he didn’t want to see him.
Chen Yuchuan left the boxing gym and drove straight to Ling Qun’s bar.
There were four people sitting in a box, and when Chen Yuchuan pushed open the door, Ling Qun whistled at him.
“Quick. Look, look, who’s this? Not too bad looking. You came just in time. Come over here and accompany us little young masters.”
Chen Yuchuan closed the door and ribbed him, “Want me to drink with you? I’m afraid you wouldn’t be able to afford my price.”
Hua Boxue interjected, “If Ling Qun can’t afford it, who can afford it? It is only Lu Yang who can afford it?”
Ling Qun laughed with the others and asked him why he didn’t bring Lu Yang along with him.
“Now, Lu Yang can’t afford it either,” Chen Yuchuan said.
Chen Yuchuan walked in, stood by the seats, and scanned the people in the box. He had known these people for over ten years. When he saw them like this, he knew that they were nearly drunk and would bend their tongue when they spoke.
In truth, all these people weren’t his friends initially. They were all Lu Yang’s friends.
Lu Yang had many friends, but he stopped communicating with the “friends” that couldn’t get along with Chen Yuchuan.
What was left were all these people in this room. They were either Lu Yang’s childhood friends or they had experienced many things together with the both of them, and so they all got along very well.
Now, when there was nothing to do, even if they didn’t call Lu Yang, they would still call Chen Yuchuan.
Chen Yuchuan walked over to Hua Boxue and squeezed in between him and Ling Qun. Then he asked Hua Boxue for a cigarette.
As soon as Chen Yuchuan sat down and got close, Hua Boxue saw that the corners of his mouth were a little blue. He took out a lighter and lit up Chen Yuchuan’s cigarette, asking, “You went to the boxing gym to fight again?”
“Fight.” Chen Yuchuan remembered the few rounds he’d played with Lu Yang. He knew that Lu Yang had been holding back a little. Although he lost every time, the corners of his mouth was just a little blue.
Meanwhile, Lu Yang had been punched several times in the face by him. Lu Yang’s face was much uglier than his.
“I’ve said before that the two of you have such strange tastes, really not something ordinary people can do,” Hua Boxue said.
Chen Yuchuan exhaled and said, “It’s fun to be in love.”
Hua Boxue asked again, “It’s been a week, and you always came by yourself. Lu Yang is willing to let you out to fool around with us for an entire week?”
Chen Yuchuan leaned back against the sofa, closed his eyes, and said, “We separated a week ago.”
His voice wasn’t very loud, and only Hua Boxue and Ling Qun heard him. They didn’t believe him. Ling Qun poured him a glass of alcohol and said, “What nonsense are you speaking here? How can you and Lu Yang be separated?”
Chen Yuchuan straightened, grabbed the wine glass with his cigarette hand, shook it at him, and said, “If we didn’t separate, do you think I could come out and drink with you guys for an entire week? When Lu Yang and I were still together, when did you see me drinking and smoking with you? In the past, when we do get together, didn’t we usually get together in Boxue’s teahouse?”
When they heard this, Ling Qun and Hua Boxue looked at each other, and then looked at Chen Yuchuan, who was drinking while seated between them.
Ling Qun leaned back and said loudly, “You’ve really split up?”
Ling Qun’s voice was so loud that the other two heard it and turned to look at them.
You Jiarong was the first to ask, “Who split up? Ling Qun, you got a divorce?”
Ling Qun kicked the talking You Jiarong. “I’m not even fucking married yet, who am I going to split up with?”
You Jiarong lifted his foot and kicked him back. “Then hurry up and tie the knot. Why are you venting your anger here?”
“Who’s separated?” asked Huang Jiang, who was sitting next to You Jiarong. He pointed to You Jiarong and Chen Yuchuan. “Of the people in this room, the three of us are married.”
Right after saying this, he asked You Jiarong, “You’ve separated?”
You Jiarong was notoriously afraid of his wife. His wife was like his god.
“It’s me. I’ve separated…” Chen Yuchuan downed the alcohol in his glass, squinted his eyes, and focused on stretching his mouth into a grin. His voice was weak but it wasn’t small, and everyone in the box could hear it clearly.
The box suddenly became quiet. No one believed it at first, but looking at Chen Yuchuan’s current reaction, it didn’t seem to be fake.
Ling Qun thought for a while and then said, “You two are just kidding around.”
After hearing what Ling Qun said, the rest of them thought that it was quite reasonable, and they all began to tease Chen Yuchuan.
You Jiarong and Huang Jiang were called away early by their wife, leaving Chen Yuchuan, Ling Qun, and Hua Boxue to get drunk.
In the end, Ling Qun said that he’ll get a cab for Chen Yuchuan, but as soon as Chen Yuchuan heard cab, he started scolding him and said that he was unwilling to let him call a driver for himself.
As a result, Ling Qun called Lu Yang directly, and Lu Yang answered the call quickly.
“Lu Yang, hurry up and take your spouse home. He drank too much and refused to let me call a driver for him. We all drank and so no one could send him home.”
In fact, there were other people in Ling Qun’s bar, and they all knew Chen Yuchuan. He called Lu Yang on purpose. It was his spouse and so he had to take care of him himself.
Lu Yang soon arrived at Ling Qun’s bar, and when Hua Boxue saw the bruises at the corners of Lu Yang’s eyes and mouth, he patted him on the shoulder, and repeated what he had said to Chen Yuchuan.
“As I said, the two of you have unique tastes…”
Lu Yang didn’t say anything, and Huo Boxue also didn’t say much. He just greeted him and left.
Chen Yuchuan was lying on the sofa, mumbling incoherently to himself. From time to time, he would clench his fist and wave it hard, throwing his fist against the air until he landed a hard punch on the sofa.
“This drunk is still boxing,” Ling Qun said next to him. “Lu Yang, take your person away.”
Lu Yang walked to the sofa and gently kicked the calf that was slumped by the sofa. “Chen Yuchuan, get up.”
“Dammit, I can’t do it. I can’t do it today.”
Ling Qun looked at them like this and was unconcerned so he left directly. As he was leaving, he turned back and threw a key to Lu Yang.
“The room upstairs is still empty. I don’t care what you do, I have a headache. If you can’t take him back, you can stay upstairs tonight.”
Lu Yang took the key with one hand and looked at Chen Yuchuan. Finally, he nodded and said, “Okay, I’ll take him upstairs.”
Before Ling Qun left, he wanted to ask Lu Yang about their divorce, but seeing that Lu Yang already had his arms around Chen Yuchuan, he felt that this question was redundant.
Even if they were really separated, it was just idle farts. They were just making trouble. After tossing for a bit, they would make up.
In the week after the divorce, although Chen Yuchuan came out every day and seemed quite relaxed, he only drank moderately. It was only tonight that he was smashed drunk.
He hadn’t recovered from the divorce, and his heart was still heavy. But today, when he saw the records of Lu Yang’s visits to the boxing gym, he felt a sense of desolation in his heart.
Chen Yuchuan was dizzy when he was on the sofa, and he became even dizzier when he was carried away by Lu Yang.
But his fists had not been idle. He had been swinging, punching Lu Yang’s chest for a bit before punching his shoulders, and then finally clipping Lu Yang’s chin.
He also scolded, “Lu Yang, I’m going to beat you to the ground today. I’m going to press you down…”
“I’ll beat you next time.”
“Lu Yang, you self-centered show-off (1).”
“I don’t have an uncle.”
“Lu Yang, I’m going to beat you.” Chen Yuchuan threw a few more punches.
“If you want to beat me, you have to practice hard,” Lu Yang said in a fierce voice. “You’re completely wasted. If you keep flailing, I’ll throw you down.”
Chen Yuchuan was drunk and was chatting with Lu Yang sentence by sentence. He thought he was dreaming and he was still fighting with Lu Yang in the dream.
Lu Yang didn’t know if Chen Yuchuan heard him or not, but after what he’d said about throwing him down, he no longer moved. He finally took a deep breath.
Lu Yang carried Chen Yuchuan to the room and put him on the bed. Chen Yuchuan immediately turned over, grabbed the bedcover beside him, raised one leg, and threw it over the bedcover. He curled up and muttered, “Let’s keep fighting.”
For half the night, Chen Yuchuan dreamed that he was fighting with Lu Yang. In the dream, he was sore all over, and later, he dreamed that he was fighting with someone. He wasn’t fighting Lu Yang. Rather, he and Lu Yang were fighting together.
That was the year he’d met Lu Yang, and at that time, he was only 18 years old.
(1) Self-centered show-off: The words used here was 大爷, which could be dà yé (self-centered show-off) or dà ye (uncle). This explains Lu Yang’s response about not having an uncle.