Because of what Lu Yang had said about them being like fireworks that would never go out, Chen Yuchuan smiled happily and asked Lu Yang to say it again, so that he could record it.
Between the two of them, Chen Yuchuan was the most talkative one, but there were many times when Lu Yang would just say a few words, and it would set his heart trembling. Just like now.
It was reassuring.
After he’d put the apartment up for rent, he received several calls inquiring about it, ranging from agents who wanted to act as an intermediary to people who wanted to rent the apartment directly.
He ignored the intermediary phone calls and made some house-viewing apartments in the afternoon that weekend.
When that day arrived, Lu Yang went to work, and Chen Yuchuan showed some people the apartment.
One girl disliked the community environment, and another person only wanted a monthly short-term rental, to which Chen Yuchuan disagreed. A short-term rental would be too troublesome, and he didn’t want to run back and forth.
Just as Chen Yuchuan was about to drive back home, he received a call from Guang Haobo.
Guang Haobo rarely contacted him, so the moment he saw the incoming call, he knew that something must be wrong.
He answered the phone and asked directly, “Haobo, what’s wrong?”
Guang Haobo greeted “Big Brother Chuan,” then he hesitantly added, “I just saw that your apartment is for rent. You’re no longer living at your apartment and wanted to rent it?”
“Yes, it’s ready to rent,” Chen Yuchuan said. “Lu Yang and I don’t live here anymore. We’ve moved to the house at Jade Lake. You’ve been here before. This old place is ready to be rented out.”
Guang Haobo became very quiet, and only after Chen Yuchuan asked him what was wrong again, did he finally say, “I have a friend who wanted to rent a house and so he asked me to look for a place for him. I happened to see the rental information you sent. I thought it was fake at first, but I saw that the phone number was yours so I called to double-check.”
Chen Yuchuan quickly exposed Guang Haobo’s words. “Is it your friend who wanted to rent a place, or is it you?”
This time, Guang Haobo admitted, “Yes, it’s me.”
“You and Chu Rui, is something wrong?” Chen Yuchuan asked directly.
“I left him,” Guang Haobo said. “I left him a week ago.”
After Chen Yuchuan hung up with Guang Haobo, he deleted the information on the rental website and directly drove over to Guang Haobo’s place.
Guang Haobo was standing outside the gate of the community, dragging a suitcase behind him.
Chen Yuchuan parked the car, got out, and put Guang Haobo’s suitcase in the trunk, telling him to get in the car.
“Where’s Chu Rui?” he asked.
“Overseas,” Guang Haobo replied.
“It’s only been 5 years since you married Chu Rui. At the beginning, you’ve just met Chu Rui, so I told you to wait, to get to know him better, and then you can decide whether you really wanted to marry him or not. But you won’t listen. Why are you leaving him now?”
Chen Yuchuan asked after a long time, trying hard to sound casual and not too serious.
In the eyes of outsiders like him, Chu Rui’s possessiveness was near obsession, and their marriage and relationship were obviously based on unequal grounds. Therefore, Chen Yuchuan wasn’t surprised that they’ve finally split up. However, he also knew that if he told Guang Haobo this, he wouldn’t understand.
Guang Haobo didn’t respond.
When Chen Yuchuan saw that his condition wasn’t as bad as he’d imagined, he asked again, “What happened? Did he bully you? Does he have someone outside?”
“We’ve just grown apart,” Guang Haobo finally said.
Chen Yuchuan didn’t believe this. He knew that Guang Haobo had chosen a reason at random, but he didn’t ask any further questions about their relationship.
“You’ve left him, but you don’t even have a place to live in?”
“I’ve left the marriage with nothing,” Guang Haobo said.
Chen Yuchuan clenched the steering wheel hard, so angry he didn’t know what to say. Finally, he glared at Guang Haobo.
Guang Haobo didn’t pay attention and continued, “I’ve found a job, which is very good.”
“Very good? He wanted you to stay home all these years, and you foolishly obliged. Everything he told you, you’ve listened. He hasn’t allowed you to work, and now that you’ve left him, you still think it’s fine?”
“Brother Chuan, I’m really okay. My new job is at a cafe. I can make coffee for guests, and the pay isn’t bad.”
Chen Yuchuan sighed and no longer said anything else. He drove Guang Haobo directly to the old apartment so that he could live there.
“Brother Chuan, about the rent…”
“Fuck the rent,” Chen Yuchuan interrupted. “I’ve lived here free for a long time, and the only reason I posted it for rent was because it would just be sitting empty. Just stay here first. I’ll tell you the password at the door. A thief entered the apartment a few days ago, so I changed the door lock and also installed a security camera outside. It shouldn’t happen again, but you should be careful anyway.”
After he helped Guang Haobo settle in, he went back home and told Lu Yang what happened.
Lu Yang was cutting tomatoes in the kitchen. When he heard this, he put down the tomatoes and asked, “Why did he leave?”
“I didn’t ask,” Chen Yuchuan said, leaning against the counter behind him. “But he didn’t seem to be in too terrible of a state.”
Lu Yang asked, “He’s staying in the old apartment now?”
“Mmn, I told him to stay there. He didn’t have anywhere else to go. That Chu Rui is really a fucker,” he scolded.
“You can help with other people’s family affairs, but don’t get too involved with their private affairs.”
“I won’t get too involved, but I will definitely help as much as I can in other areas.”
Lu Yang continued to cut tomatoes. “I’m not saying you shouldn’t help.”
Chen Yuchuan said, “Guang Haobo still calls me Big Brother Chuan.”
Lu Yang said, “He’s two years older than you.”
Chen Yuchuan tilted his head. “Then should I have called him Big Brother?”
Lu Yang turned his head. “No way.”
Chen Yuchuan leaned over to Lu Yang’s side and sneaked out a piece of tomato that he had just cut. He stuffed it into his mouth and licked the tomato juice at the corner of his mouth. Then he nudged Lu Yang’s arm and said, “I won’t. I’ll just call you big brother. Lu ge? Yang ge? Lu Yang gege?”
When the alarm clock went off at 6 am on Monday morning, Chen Yuchuan woke up and started to groom himself. He stood in front of the mirror to do his hair, while Chubby stood at his feet, looking up at him.
After he finished his hair, he asked Chubby, “Chubby, is your father handsome today?”
Chubby barked, and Chen Yuchuan bent down to stroke his neck. “Chubby has pretty good eyesight. Although I’m not 18 or even 22 anymore, I’m still very handsome. Today is your father and mother’s happy day.
Chubby snorted and rubbed on Chen Yuchuan’s calf, and he led him out of the bathroom.
Lu Yang was changing clothes in the bedroom. Chen Yuchuan opted to select a white shirt like Lu Yang, because they were taking another photo for their marriage certificate today.
The weather was really good. There was no wind or snow. There was no traffic jam on the road, and nothing unexpected happened.
They went to the same photography studio they’d gone to before.
The photography studio on Second Loop Road had always been there, and Chen Yuchuan always glanced over at it whenever he drove by.
The small photography studio had doubled in size, and the photographs displayed on the glass window had been changed several times throughout the years. It was clear that the boss’s photography skills were much better than before. The building facade and the door had also changed, but the name remained the same. The boss was still the same boss, only that he’d become much older and nearly half of his hair had turned white.
What Chen Yuchuan didn’t expect was that the boss still remembered them. The first thing he said when he saw them was, “You’ve taken pictures here before.”
Chen Yuchuan nodded and said, “Yes, boss. You have a good memory. That’s great.”
As the boss fiddled with the camera, he said, “That’s what I do. I take pictures of so many people every day, that after a long time and with some practice, it became easy for me to remember people’s appearances.”
“I remember that last time you took a photo for your marriage certificate. What kind of photo do you want this time?” the boss asked after he got the camera ready.
“Still a photo for our marriage certificate,” Chen Yuchuan said.
“For our remarriage,” Chen Yuchuan answered.
The boss congratulated them and changed the background curtain to red.
Chen Yuchuan sat on the chair next to Lu Yang, placed his left hand on Lu Yang’s leg, and rubbed his little finger over the fabric. “Boss, we’re not young anymore, so please take a good picture of us.”
Boss He smiled and said, “I really can’t see it. That change isn’t big at all, otherwise I wouldn’t be able to recognize you at a glance.”
After the photo was taken, the boss showed it to them. In the photo, Chen Yuchuan was happily smiling, exactly the same as before.
This time, they brought all kinds of documents and household registration with them, and the Civil Affairs Bureau was open when they got there.
They got in line to fill out the form.
Then minutes later, their divorce certificate that Chen Yuchuan hated was voided by the Civil Affairs Bureau.
What they brought out with them were two new, very red marriage certificates.
“It’s still a nice color.” Chen Yuchuan stood by the door, looking at his marriage certificate for a long time.
He also took a photo of their marriage certificates and posted it to their family group chat.
Lu Xianfeng quickly replied with a smile.
This time, Chen Yuchuan replied: Dad, do you know that the smile you sent over isn’t a simple smiling expression?
Chen Yuchuan thought Lu Xianfeng would ask him what it meant.
Instead, unexpectedly, Lu Xianfeng sent back: Of course I know. I’m not antique. This smile represents the meaning of, if you both make such a fuss again, don’t come home.
After sending this message, Lu Xianfeng sent another expression of a hammer smashing someone’s head.
Chen Yuchuan looked at Lu Xianfeng’s messages and laughed until his waist was bent. He wiped the tears from the corners of his eyes and said, “Dad actually knows.”
Lu Yang looked at the messages and laughed. Then he grabbed Chen Yuchuan’s hand and pulled him to the side of the car.
“Yang ge, are we going to have a wedding?” Chen Yuchuan asked after they had gotten into the car.
“We are,” Lu Yang answered. “I already told my parents.”
“Then let’s do it.”
They had attended a lot of weddings over the years, but they had never had their own. They had become lazy after procrastinating for so long. Now, his mentality was a little different, and he wasn’t afraid of making a fuss about it.
He and Lu Yang might become lazy about it later, but that was a matter for the future.
That evening, Chen Yuchuan hugged Lu Yang and looked at their marriage certificates for a long time.
No matter what he said out loud, Chubby would grunt in response, making him think that Chubby absolutely agreed with him.
The new marriage certificates, as before, were placed under the second drawer of the nightstand. After putting them away, Chen Yuchuan turned off the light and used Lu Yang’s arm as a pillow.
“Yang ge, happy marriage.”
“Mmn,” Lu Yang hummed with a smile. “Happy marriage.”
“We got married 12 years ago, and now we got married again. We’ve been married twice in our lives, but we’re still with the same person. I think we’ve earned it. We’ll be together for decades in the future. At that time, I didn’t understand as much as you, and if I make trouble again in the future, be patient with me and don’t directly mention divorce, okay?”
“No divorce,” Lu Yang said quickly.
Lu Yang felt uncomfortable just thinking about it. He kept touching the ring on Chen Yuchuan’s finger. The person he had held and protected, who had never given him any grievances before, at that time, he was really scared to leave.
“You have to keep your promise this time,” Chen Yuchuan said.
“I’ll keep my promise,” Lu Yang said. “Do you want to take your phone and record it again?”