Lin Anran hadn’t gone to see Teacher Zhou in a while. Counting the days, tomorrow should be the day he would have to go to the counseling center again.
During this period, Lin Anran’s life had undergone tremendous changes. Everything was different from before. However, that night, he was still like a primary school student who had been on vacation for far too long and was about to start school again, making him unable to calm down.
When Lin Anran entered the room, Shang Hao was sitting by the bed, waiting for him.
Yes. He wasn’t doing anything and was just sitting there calmly, waiting for him to come.
Lin Anran’s keen intuition as a small animal reared and his footsteps abruptly stopped at the door, unwilling to move a single step forward.
Shang Hao looked at him and said, “Ranran, come here.”
Lin Anran’s bad premonition increased. This was just like having a teacher or a superior suddenly calling you into the office. The first sentence they would say to you was, “Come in and have a seat.”
Not only did this make him reminiscent about the past, it also made him want to turn around and run even more.
Lin Anran gathered his courage, walked in under Shang Hao’s gaze, and carefully sat beside him.
“I won’t go to work tomorrow.” Shang Hao’s way of speaking had always been like giving notice rather than having a discussion, as if announcing a decision. “Tomorrow, I will go with you to the doctor.”
This was what Shang Hao had been thinking about.
It wasn’t that he hadn’t mentioned it before. It was just that, when he first mentioned this, it resulted in such a strong reaction. Lin Anran was so scared that he shrank himself tighter into his shell and refused to come out for a long time.
As a result, Shang Hao thought that maybe he was being too extreme, and so he didn’t mention it again.
He didn’t want to force Lin Anran to do anything he didn’t want to do. If he won’t share now, then Shang Hao would simply slowly wait for him to be ready.
But this only resulted in Lin Anran, this young expert in living underground, feeling that hiding was the safest and most reliable method. Therefore, he worked harder to hide deeper and to conceal himself better.
But after Lin Anran’s aunt’s visit, Shang Hao wanted to try again.
The moment he heard “I won’t go to work tomorrow,” as if Shang Hao had already made up his mind, Lin Anran felt as if a wall was pressing down on him. He avoided Shang Hao’s gaze evasively, and responded quickly with a refusal, “No.”
Although he was often resigned to giving in, he would refuse straightaway to avoid any real perceived danger.
He had nothing to say and no reason to prevent Shang Hao from accompanying him, so he could only panic and say no.
Yes, he wanted to introduce this Shang Hao that he’d somehow abducted to everyone in the world, except Teacher Zhou. It wasn’t Teacher Zhou’s fault, but rather his own bad intentions of not wanting Shang Hao to see her.
“Look at me, Ranran.”
Lin Anran didn’t want to look at Shang Hao. He didn’t want to discuss this matter anymore. He didn’t want to stay here any longer. He would rather that he had not come in just now, so that Shang Hao wouldn’t have told him this.
It would be great if time could be rewound. Or, if he could knock Shang Hao out now and then put him down to sleep. Then, he would turn off the light, crawl into Shang Hao’s arms by himself, and let the unconscious Shang Hao hug him.
He really didn’t want to talk about it anymore.
As Lin Anran thought these things, he tried to evade.
“Ranran, look at me,” Shang Hao said again.
Lin Anran squeezed his eyes tight, trying to cover his auditory senses by covering his visual senses.
Can’t hear, can’t hear. This is an illusion, this is an illusion.
His ability to communicate with others was almost zero. He couldn’t even say a brief few words to prevent or postpone Shang Hao in his present purpose of wanting to see Lin Anran’s psychiatrist. And so, he was at a dead end and he could only choose to awkwardly avoid it altogether. His social trick was to hope that the other party would conscientiously back off.
Shang Hao covered Lin Anran’s hand with his own two hands. His hands were bigger than Lin Anran’s, surrounding him and continuously transmitting warmth to him.
Lin Anran turned his head to the other side so that Shang Hao wouldn’t be able to see his face.
Boss Shang was now calling his full name.
Lin Anran couldn’t see anything. In the darkness, he felt the hands holding him loosened, and Shang Hao wrapped an arm around him, gently turning him.
Lin Anran let out a silent cry that no one could hear.
Shang Hao didn’t know what he was going through. His perspective on their relationship was different from Lin Anran’s. But Lin Anran was someone who often sees a psychiatrist, so he viewed their relationship from a more humble angle.
See. It turned out that he could get along with, talk with, and maintain a normal relationship with someone, just like normal people. This was something that he could happily laugh into his sleeves about.
He knew that he was different. Shang Hao also knew that he was different. But Lin Anran thought that they were…well, normal. What he meant was that, like all other normal people, between Shang Hao and himself, none of them would bring up the fact that he was a mental patient.
Since this issue was never brought up, they could always proceed tacitly like this. They just needn’t mention it at all.
This allowed Lin Anran to pretend that he was not different from others.
He thought sadly that Shang Hao just didn’t know that what he’d seen wasn’t Lin Anran and who he liked wasn’t Lin Anran, but just the normal self that he pretended to be.
Shang Hao only knew that he was more introverted than the average person, but he didn’t know that he had an illness.
The word “normal” was like a curse that shackled him. It was like sharp glass embedded under the soles of his naked feet. Because he was different from normal people, he had a lingering obsession with “normality.”
Inferiority was his achilles heel.
He himself didn’t like the self who hid in the dark, unwilling to take any risks. So, how could he make Shang Hao like it
Why should he be forthcoming? For him, it was like asking a lame man to show his useless lameness, like asking a blind person to introduce his blind eyes.
I do have a mental illness.
So, Shang Hao must think that I am abnormal, right?
“Lin Anran,” Shang Hao called him a second time. “Are you hiding from me?”
Lin Anran refused to look up at him, and Shang Hao knew that the old problem of him escaping into his shell had resurfaced. It seemed that as long as he couldn’t see, he could treat it as if nothing was happening.
Since Lin Anran refused to look at him, Shang Hao had to change method. He leaned close to Lin Anran, kissed his eyelids and lips, and continued to rub Lin Anran’s hand with his palms, trying to instigate a reaction.
“Don’t be afraid,” Shang Hao said. “Ranran, you know, I love you very much.”
“I’ve been looking for you for seven years, so don’t hide from me anymore, okay?”
Lin Anran didn’t know what to do.
He still felt insecure about a great many things, including all the unknown things, including tomorrow’s consultation, including Shang Hao’s promise to him.
He was cowardly, selfish, and had no sense of responsibility. He would only bury his head when trouble came. But, despite all this, even though he was insecure about the truth of Shang Hao’s words, he couldn’t help but look into Shang Hao’s eyes and finally nodded pessimistically to him.
He was like a dirty, messy stray dog drenched in the rain, willing to confess to Shang Hao the most disgusting, rotten wound on his body, secretly hoping that Shang Hao would not dislike the flies that might linger around him in the future.
“I’m abnormal,” he whispered sadly to Shang Hao.
The boss was very kind. He hugged him, trying to comfort him. But Lin Anran was already thinking about tomorrow’s scene.
He closed his eyes.
The next day, Dr. Zhou sat in the office ahead of time and waited for Lin Anran’s arrival.
She looked through the information she’d previously recorded about Lin Anran. Before, she was a bit worried about leaving Lin Anran alone these past few days, but with his current situation, temporarily suspending the session might result in him getting better. He lived by himself. Wrong, he had a “friend.”
As Dr. Zhou was thinking, she put down the data in her hands and opened the browser with profile information about “Shang Hao,” wanting to see if she could glean some clues from it.
A young talent with an extremely outstanding resume. He could be considered the proud son of heaven, the kind of person that could only be seen on TV.
But why did he choose Shang Hao…
Dr. Zhou heard a knock from outside. She stuck her head out from behind the monitor and said, “Please come in.”
After a second of silence, the door was opened from the outside.
Lin Anran appeared at the door, and he called out timidly, “Teacher Zhou.”
“Lin Anran, come in.” Dr. Zhou stood up and walked out from behind the table. But when she looked back up, she saw that Lin Anran was still standing by the door. She greeted him somewhat puzzledly, “Come in, Xiao Ran.”
“…Teacher Zhou,” Lin Anran called her again but did not budge.
“Mmn, what’s the matter?”
“Teacher Zhou, I brought someone here today.” His voice was lower now and so was his head.
Dr. Zhou froze for a moment and said, “It’s okay, Xiao Ran. Let’s talk to your friend first.”
After hearing her words, Lin Anran froze for a moment, then he moved away from the door.
“Umm, Teacher Zhou…” Lin Anran said slowly, and Dr. Zhou saw another tall figure appear, wearing a suit and leather shoes. He looked exactly like the person on the character profile she was looking at earlier.
Lin Anran faced death with equanimity, saying, “This is the friend I was talking about.”
The real person was standing in her office. Dr. Zhou’s heart skipped a beat, and she had a hard time reacting. Was this a dream or reality?
Her gaze swung from Lin Anran to Shang Hao next to him.
….Was that really Shang Hao?
Shang Hao looked around her office and said, “Hello.”
“Hello,” Dr. Zhou greeted, recovering just in time.
After Lin Anran finished today’s session, he waited alone in the chair outside. After having waited outside for an hour and a half, Shang Hao was now in Teacher Zhou’s office, talking to her.
Lin Anran slowly sighed into his knees.
It was over and done with. There was no use regretting it now.
After a while, Shang Hao came out with Dr. Zhou following after him. Lin Anran stood up reflexively and stared closely at Shang Hao’s expression.
“Ready to go home?” Shang Hao walked to him and asked, taking his hand.
After looking at Dr. Zhou, Lin Anran looked at Shang Hao again, trying to find the slightest bit of disappointment from Boss Shang’s expression.
But he found nothing. He wanted to anxiously chew at his lip.
When they came, they took Shang Hao’s car, and when they returned, they did the same. For the first time in his life, Lin Anran was sitting in a car that many people could only dream about, but he wasn’t in the mood to enjoy it.
On the way to the session, he was extremely nervous. Now, on the way back home, he felt even more uncertain. The good news was that Shang Hao didn’t say anything like “I think our temperaments are incompatible” or “We should separate for a while.”
Shang Hao saw his anxiety, but his comforts didn’t help Lin Anran at all.
It seemed that the pessimistic Ranran unilaterally thought that, once they got back from the counseling center, they would break up. This wasn’t something that needed approval from Shang Hao; it was something he had already decided himself, just like a tyrant.
Shang Hao: …I don’t agree.
Not only that, Lin Anran seemed to have some misunderstanding about himself when it came to this.
That evening, when Shang Hao entered their bedroom, he saw Lin Anran on the bed, wearing a unique-looking, furry pajamas. He realized that Lin Anran seemed to have the wrong idea regarding his interest.
Lin Anran would only take the initiative to put on these pajamas when he wanted to tempt Shang Hao (Shang Hao: ??) and only when he felt it was especially necessary to seduce him.
Shang Hao himself clearly wanted to know where Lin Anran came to this conclusion. What real man would get turned on by one-piece pajamas?
He walked over, sat on the side of the bed, and asked, “What is this set today?”
It turned out to be pajamas he’d never seen before. What’s more, what animal would be such a dazzling fluorescent orange?
Lin Anran said, “I’m a carrot.”
Shang Hao: …..
And now he’d joined the vegetable industry. Oh boy.
Shang Hao managed to say, “I can see it. Ranran is really good-looking.”
Lin Anran, with an emerald green and upright stem on his head, leaned close to him, looking at him with those silent and clear black eyes. Although he didn’t say anything, he was obviously waiting, urging him for something.
—Silently asking the holy monk, is the carrot beautiful? ‘
Holy Monk Boss: …..
Shang Hao kissed him. “Beautiful.”
Lin Anran looked at his fascinated (?) reaction, and felt that he could finally put down his heart.
Boss Shang, he seemed to really like one-piece pajamas.