That night, Shang Hao leaned on the headboard, reading his email. Lin Anran was already in his pajamas, and after brushing his teeth outside, he entered the bedroom. Shang Hao glanced at him and put down his phone.
Lin Anran’s bedroom wasn’t very big. One person walked to the bed, and the other person held out his hand. They were like two satellites naturally coming into orbit, gluing together silently and tacitly.
Shang Hao tucked Lin Anran’s hair behind his ears, and Lin Anran, half lying on his body, was silent for a long time. With a little effort, he turned Lin Anran over onto the bed.
The mattress collapsed under their combined weight, and the only sound in the room was their warm breathing, like a lullaby without a tune.
Lin Anran lay quietly on Shang Hao’s shoulder, while Shang Hao put his hand on the back of Lin Anran’s neck, rubbing very slowly.
After maintaining this posture for a long time, Shang Hao thought that the person in his arms was asleep. He was about to lean over to turn off the bedside lamp, when he lowered his head and saw that Lin Anran’s lower jaw was moving faintly, like a little rabbit eating grass, very regular and very quiet.
Shang Hao pushed Ranran’s face back with one hand, and he clearly saw that a small corner of his clothes was in Ranran’s mouth. His face was buried in his clothes, and he was chewing his pajamas with his teeth little by little.
He understood Lin Anran, and he also knew why he was making such small movements.
Like an extremely polite mole, he was intending to sneak a hole in him in a way that wouldn’t disturb his master.
Of course, he was ill. He was ill and didn’t know how to express himself. What he wanted and what he didn’t want, unless he had no choice, he couldn’t say it.
From his perspective, Shang Hao couldn’t understand why expressing his own needs was so troublesome for Lin Anran.
At least in front of him, he hoped that Lin Anran would be able to speak out, to say whether he was tired, sleepy, or hungry.
This person always seemed to live in a nearly airtight body. In the beginning, no one asked him what he wanted, and so his ability to express his needs gradually deteriorated.
Lin Anran felt his face being gently but firmly held back by a hand, forcing him to let go of the cloth in his mouth.
After that, his entire body was directly held up by his armpit. Shang Hao hugged him so high that he was flushed with him, and then he stretched out his face and coaxed him, saying, “Come, give me a kiss.”
Lin Anran was shy and reticent. His whole person was very embarrassed. Under Shang Hao’s urging, he had no alternative but to lean in close and touch him with his lips.
Shang Hao nimbly stretched out his left cheek and said, “And here.”
Lin Anran gave him a kiss and then another kiss.
After being kissed twice, Shang Hao asked shamelessly, “Doesn’t that feel good?”
Lin Anran, who had a thin face, kept pursing his lips in a smile. He looked especially embarrassed, and the tip of his ears turned red.
Lin Anran’s face looked fair and clean, and his smile made people softhearted. Those red lips and white teeth were especially inviting.
Shang Hao stared deeply at him for a while and pressed their foreheads together.
Lin Anran had a big deficiency in his sense of security, but it just so happened that Shang Hao liked him more and more every day.
Their two bodies were closely attached to each other. They seemed to fit together for no reason. Why was it that a weird jigsaw puzzle piece like Lin Anran just happened to meet another jigsaw puzzle piece, and discovered that they perfectly complemented each other?
Or maybe, it was simply that Shang Hao was a dream, he was his fantasy come to life.
Lin Anran found himself returned to his back and gave up struggling. He had already faintly given up calling Shang Hao “him.” In his heart, he was distinguishing him like this.
Shang Hao put his arms around him and asked over his head, “Is there something you want to tell me?”
Lin Anran became very quiet once more.
Ranran doesn’t exist, Ranran can’t speak.
Don’t look at him asking so politely, as if Shang Hao would be so humane. In fact, the person who asked this wasn’t a naturally kind person, and Lin Anran, who was being asked, felt a certain kind of pressure.
To put it more succinctly, it was like a subordinate being questioned by his boss, “Is there something you want to say to me?”
What Shang Hao wanted to ask about tonight was why Ranran asked him so many questions about himself.
It was the familiar feeling of being stumped by a question, which also came with a familiar pressure.
Because Lin Anran had a hard time communicating, he was often asked this question, and so the anxiety that followed became a habit.
“No.” In the end, he could only say this. His voice was weak, and he shook his head.
Shang Hao gently rubbed Lin Anran’s back. The two of them were pressed close together, and he no longer asked.
The room was quiet for a while. Just when Lin Anran was expecting this comfortable silence to continue, Shang Hao’s sudden request came to his ear, “Ranran, come and live with me, okay?”
His voice was very low, carrying with it a certain kind of tenderness that was addicting.
Lin Anran’s heart trembled slightly, but he had to shake his head, this time giving Shang Hao the back of his head.
He deliberately avoided the little area near Shang Hao’s shoulder during his movement, as if careful not to touch the tattooed area. Shang Hao’s laughing voice said over his head, “It’s okay if you touch it. It’d been a long time since it hurted.”
Lin Anran was silent. From Shang Hao’s perspective, he could see his eyelashes, so quiet and well-behaved.
He glanced at Lin Anran and went on speaking, “This is a tattoo I got a few years ago when I was studying abroad. At that time, I just got it for fun and didn’t think much about it.”
“You don’t want to know what these tattooed words meant?” he asked.
When Lin Anran looked up at him, Shang Hao was also gazing directly down at him. He told Lin Anran the answer, which was in Latin.
“Dixisse te amo mihi centum annos.”
“I must have said I loved you hundreds of years ago.”
Lin Anran smiled. It was purely because Shang Hao was really irresistible when he was gentle, making his ears numb. Shang Hao saw him smiling and asked him, “You don’t believe it?”
Lin Anran smiled and shook his head.
It wasn’t that he didn’t want to believe it. It was because they didn’t even know each other a few years ago.
After telling the story of the tattoo, they turned off the lights and went to sleep. The moment Lin Anran laid down, he was firmly hugged.
The room sank into the darkness of night, and the air was completely quiet. Lin Anran lay beside Shang Hao. His eyes were closed, but his mind was still clear.
Many vague thoughts passed by, squeezing his mind silently and chaotically.
Lin Anran had read about such symptoms in a book before. The general idea was that delusional patients themselves firmly believed that their relationship with their partner had a fictitious development. Because their relationship had a beginning and an end, they wouldn’t necessarily question the veracity of their partner’s existence.
If the other “him” wanted to convince himself, in order to gain a sense of security from this relationship, he could do a lot.
“Shang Hao” did everything he would do, and said everything he would say.
He had to admit that the feeling of being around Shang Hao was really addictive.
“I must have said I loved you hundreds of years ago,” was a lyric from the song “Lover Missed” by Five Man Band, with some modifications.