Lin Anran was steaming hot after taking a shower. His hair was wet, and his nose was still red.
He was sitting on the sofa, with Shang Hao working hard to blow-dry his hair behind him.
A moment ago, Shang Hao told him “I was wrong” for the first time, and he quickly replied “I’m sorry.” After they apologized to each other, the atmosphere became quiet again.
Shang Hao obviously wasn’t very good at servicing others. After he was done, he simply threw the hair dryer aside and left it alone.
He sat back on the sofa and carried Lin Anran over to his lap. Seeing that he was silent, Lin Anran also didn’t dare to speak casually. After a moment of silence, Shang Hao said, “I’ll tell you a story.”
Back then, their school used to be old-fashioned and drafty. It had an old bell that would ring urgently, and in the empty teaching building, the ringing bell would leave behind an echo.
As such, a long series of bells would ring in the empty campus.
Today was Friday. Except for the students who had supplementary lessons, the majority of the students were dismissed as early as the third class. Scattering like birds and beasts, they would return home, catch the bus, play basketball…The first high school building was like this, bustling for a while and then emptying quickly.
Compared to the noisy scene during normal times, the empty teaching building at this point in time was simply too quiet.
The bell had already marked the end of the fourth subject class in the afternoon, and even the canteen for the third year high school not far away was opened. Now, this was the most deserted period of time in the entire teaching building.
Because it was summer time, it was getting dark later, and the street lights in the school had all come to life ahead of schedule. It was late, but there was still a figure standing on the stairs of the teaching building. This student had been there alone for a long time.
He was a newly transferred student to Jiangcheng No. 1 Middle School, and this was his second week in this school.
If someone had witnessed this entire process, they would find that this boy was like a game character stuck with a bug and glitching on the stairway for a long time.
Lin Anran was wearing the blue and white school uniform of Jiangcheng No. 1 Middle School, and he was using both hands to lift a heavy solid wooden desk to the top of the first step.
The school uniform was one size too big on him and it hung on his fame. If he walked fast enough, his clothes would flutter, like a kite.
At that time, the school was using large, old-fashioned desks made out of solid wood. Even when they needed to be moved, it would require two people to carry. Yet, he had to move it by himself and was experiencing some difficulties.
But at that time, all his classmates avoided him with the prevarications of “I can’t,” and so naturally, he was by himself. It seemed as if his entire body had a sense of incompatibility.
Lin Anran transferred over last week, but it wasn’t until the end of this week that the teacher discovered that one of the legs at the table he was sitting on was broken.
The one who discovered this wasn’t even the head teacher. It was the math teacher, and he only found out by accident when he asked Lin Anran a question.
Lin Anran heard an impatient “tsk” from the teacher on the podium. A murmur of discussions rippled through the classroom, while he himself stood silently next to his seat with his head lowered.
The male teacher told him in a perfunctory manner to go downstairs and get a new table after class. Then he moved his question over to another student.
The boy who sat at the back of the classroom was quiet from beginning to end, and he finally sat with his head down.
However, without the class teacher’s report in advance, Lin Anran had to stay for a long time in the General Affairs Office after school that day.
He stood in the corner of the office and waited. The teacher in the office suddenly had to deal with Lin Anran’s trouble just before getting off work. She didn’t say anything, but she rolled her eyes at Lin Anran several times.
Lin Anran finally got the table. The palm of his hands were sweaty and so was the tip of his nose. Even his breathing was irregular.
Along the way, he could still drag this heavy, solid wood table over, and even then, he was already in a pitiful state by the time he reached the stairs.
But he could not figure out how to get the table up. He could lift up one side, but he couldn’t manage the other side.
This person stood before the flight of stairs, looking very awkward, his face flushed red as he attempted to carry the table. But it looked more like he was using the table as a shield.
Lin Anran was still developing, and he was thinner back then than he was now. He clearly lacked the strength to carry the table by himself.
Before he could successfully manage to move the table up, the sound of footsteps approaching came from behind him.
The beads of sweat on Lin Anran’s face kept dripping, rolling onto the collar along his neck.
At this moment, he was very embarrassed. It was because he didn’t want to meet people that he did his best to choose the time period with the least amount of people in school. But he still ran into other people anyway.
At that time, Lin Anran was still young, and his fear of social contacts was more serious. He was uncomfortable where other people were.
He struggled to move back the table that he’d just managed to lift one step up, trying to get out of the way and clear a path for others,
He was suffering inside, but he could only brace himself and lift it up.
The sound of the other person’s footsteps was already close at hand, and he was still stuck at the bottom of the stairs with a table.
That person came up behind Lin Anran, and Lin Anran, with his back to the person, squeezed his eyes shut, trying hard to suppress his pounding heart.
“What are you doing?” a voice asked him.
When Lin Anran heard this question, he had to summon up his courage to turn his head and look at the person.
He didn’t see his face at first glance. That person was simply too tall, so that Lin Anran had to keep looking up in order to see the person clearly.
It was a boy with an unfamiliar and handsome face.
Straight nose, thin lips, his face expressionless, and his indifferent eyes looked down at Lin Anran.
The other person had rolled the sleeves of his short-sleeved school uniform over his upper arms nearly to his shoulder, making him look like he was wearing a vest. He carried a basketball in his hand.
Right now, there were only high school seniors who were still in school.
Lin Anran was stunned for a moment before finally replying, “I’m, moving a table.”
It was so obvious what he was doing that even this explanation came across as nonsense. The tall boy looked at Lin Anran and then at the table. After a while, he said a few succinct words, “You’re in the way.”
This sentence was also obvious nonsense.
Lin Anran didn’t expect to be forced to continue this dialogue. His anxiety increased another level. Avoiding the other person’s gaze, he apologized and forcefully tried to drag the table back again.
The other person stood one step away from Lin Anran, looking at him with unclear intentions. It wasn’t until Lin Anran managed to move the desk back that he suddenly stepped forward.
His shadow enveloped Lin Anran. His basketball was thrown over so suddenly that Lin Anran nearly missed it in his panic.
Then, still holding the basketball in his arms, he stared in amazement as the tall boy directly lifted his desk with both hands.
He had tried so hard to come up with a good technique to lift the table, and as a result, he ended up dropping it at least ten times. But this boy lifted it so easily and effortlessly.
“What class?” he asked.
Lin Anran replied in a daze, “Number 12.”
Then he quickly added, “Thank you, classmate!”
The person asked, “What floor?”
This time, Lin Anran reacted a little faster. “Fifth floor.”
At that time, Lin Anran didn’t realize that something was wrong. This person didn’t even know how many classes were on which floor; he was clearly a third year high school student. What’s more, this was a first-year high school teaching building, so how could he be blocking his way? Even if he really was in the way, there was more than one staircase going upstairs.
Back then, the 19-year-old Shang Hao carried the desk of the 16-year-old Lin Anran. He seemed so aloof as he walked upstairs without saying a word, making it look effortless.
Lin Anran hurriedly followed up with Shang Hao’s basketball, wiping his sweat.
Because the desk was made with solid wood, the arms holding up both sides of the desk bulged with strong and smooth muscle lines. But he climbed the stairs effortlessly, his pace steady and smooth.
Lin Anran followed him in a daze. He stared at the back in front of him, feeling that it was extremely reliable.
It was very difficult to carry it all the way to the fifth floor. If Lin Anran had to do it by himself today, he didn’t know how long he would have to struggle.
He held onto the basketball and climbed all the way to the fifth floor. By that point, he was gasping for breath. But Shang Hao never put the table down during the entire process and directly carried it all the way to the classroom.
Lin Anran sat in the corner of the classroom by the back door. The moment Shang Hao put the table down, Lin Anran moved next to him and immediately said thank you.
He’d been storing up power, just to send this sincere “Thank you” to Shang Hao.
Shang Hao didn’t look like the kind of person who valued words like thank you.
The golden red sunset came in through the opened back door of the classroom. The senior high school students who had finished eating came back from the dining hall one another another, and the area downstairs became lively. But the noises seemed to be far away from them. The shadows of the two teenagers stretched along the ground and overlapped.
He gazed at Lin Anran for a moment before he finally asked, “What’s your name?”
The light illuminated his outline, and the silken thread of his hair and the outline of his ears were shining with fine, golden edges.
As someone who seriously lacked social experience, Lin Anran didn’t understand the process of interpersonal communications. His only hope was that the other person wouldn’t think that he was too weird.
“I’m Lin Anran.”
Remembering that the other person had just helped him, Lin Anran hurriedly replied, “Classmate, what is your name?”
At this moment, it may be assumed that things like temperaments were naturally preinstalled. Even at this age, Shang Hao was already very arrogant, deserving of being spanked, but Lin Anran was too slow to realize it.
The first time he said it, Lin Anran couldn’t hear it clearly and so he looked at him with blank, guilty eyes.
Shang Hao said it a few more times and finally just asked him to call him Hao ge.
Lin Anran didn’t know that he was being teased. He obediently said, “Hao ge.”
“Thank you, Hao ge.”
His voice sounded the same as other people, only a bit small, drifting with the waves and going with flow, soft and kneadable.
The hair on his forehead was a bit longer, slightly covering his eyes. He wasn’t used to looking at people, and so he pursed up his lips as was his habit.
The golden red sunset passed around Shang Hao, leaking out a few rays that fell into Lin Anran’s eyes.
A pair of clear eyes, with contrasting black and white.
The atmosphere at the time was as quiet as a dream. If Shang Hao’s life was a movie, then watching this scene many years laters, it seemed like the quietest and most silent climax.
Without any advanced notice or construction, this scene that would remain clearly in his mind for a lifetime suddenly appeared.
One day, many years later, Shang Hao, who was still single, finally confirmed his sexuality. And when he did so, he recalled exactly when it happened, and that first spark was now, at this very moment.
But at this time, he was just a young human male who was arrogant and defiant, and he didn’t take this moment seriously at all.
It was merely just a glance, nothing more. Baffling, unreasonable, or possibly crazy.
Later, he would always subconsciously look for such a pair of eyes, with exactly that same arch, exactly that same pair of clear and quiet eyes.
It turned out that Lin Anran wasn’t only his sexual enlightenment, but also his aesthetic enlightenment.
He was really too young at the time, and he didn’t know that the aftershock of that glance would affect him for the rest of his life.
He was crazy. Just one glance and he’d missed it for nearly ten years.
Many years passed in this way.
When he was studying abroad, he would tattoo a phrase on his arm, “I must have said I love you hundreds of years ago.”
At that time, Shang Hao only felt that this was a good and appropriate statement.
He must have said “I love you” to such a person hundreds of years ago, and this long love only re-awakened the first day he saw Lin Anran.
In his opinion, this wasn’t about missed opportunity; it was about first love. Otherwise, how to explain why a person would chase after a pair of eyes for so many years.