Author: Dong Mi
Pinjun did not dare to look around with his own eyes.
The home that was once so warm, now looked as if it had been ravaged by several consecutive parties and no one had tidied up the mess.
He found that there were a few boxes of goods that had not been torn open, but were thrown at the corner of the doorway. The bowls in the sink were dark and dusty. He could not imagine how long ago these bowls had been used. Furthermore, the antennae of cockroaches could also be seen swaying faintly in the shadows.
Pinjun took a deep breath and picked up the trash can to throw the garbage on the table. His movement when he walked over to Haiqing was as gentle as ever.
“Why didn’t you answer my phone calls?” Pinjub frowned, reached out and gently pinched the back of Haiqing’s hand. Haiqing had lost a lot of weight and he almost could not pinch any flesh.
“I switched it to silent.” Haiqing said with a hoarse voice. His weak look gave the impression of a seriously ill patient, making Pinjun’s brows wrinkle even tighter.
“Did you even read the messages?”
“I read them… I just didn’t know how to respond back.” Haiqing knew that Pinjun had sent quite a lot of messages to him. At the beginning, he read them, but did not respond; later on, when the text tone started to bother him, he switched it to silent mode. Now, it looked like his phone had already been discharged, and because of this, the subsequent messages had not been read.
Pinjun looked around. Taking care of the whole house would require spending a lot of effort. Without any better option, priority must be given to clearing away the garbage around Haiqing, and as such, the trash can in the living room was piled up fully into a small mountain of trash.
“Where’s your Dad? Is he not concerned about you at all?” Pinjun recalled that Shichen had kept the home really clean and tidy. How could he allow the house to be in such a mess?
“He‘s gone.” Haiqing suddenly took a breath, “He went to work in the United States for half a year.”
This news made Pinjun’s eyes open wide.
Shichen being sent abroad for work could not be a matter that was assigned at the last moment, but whether it was during their previous chat or when the two went to the bar to have a drink, Haiqing did not mention anything about it at all. He only said, “Dad doesn’t want me.” And so, Pin Jun thought that Haiqing was grieving about his Grandpa’s departure, but did not pry into this matter anymore.
“Why didn’t you tell me?”
“What use is there in telling you? Won’t he still go anyway?” Haiqing was accustomed to being independent. Knowing that this matter could not be avoided by telling anyone, it was better not to say anything at all.
Pinjun, however, did not think so.
“You didn’t tell me such an important matter. After everything, what am I to you?” He understood what Haiqing meant, that it was impossible for Shichen to stay if they were to talk about it, but Pinjun felt that by talking about it, more or less, Haiqing should be able to avoid the present situation.
Excessive pressure, distress, and sadness, all stacked up on one person; even a man of steel would not be able to bear it. In Pinjun’s point of view, the purpose of ‘telling others’ was not to ‘avoid or prevent things from happening,’ but to ‘relieve emotions.’
The more important a person was, the more one would desire to have a place in the other person’s life, even to the point of existing to provide courage and calm. For Pinjun, Haiqing already had a place in his heart and naturally wanted to be looked upon in this regard by Haiqing.
In the face of such a direct inquiry from Pinjun, Haiqing was momentarily dumbfounded and could only expressionlessly look at Pin Jun.
What was Pinjun to him? Haiqing had never thought about this question.
Very good friends who were having good times together? Very important brothers? Or for support each other during important times and encourage one another? He was full of hesitations regarding all of these explanations. Rather than explaining that he had not thought of them, It was better to say that he was uncertain and did not understand that some people were willing to be in these positions.
“I also don’t know.” After a long while, Haiqing stammered and buried his face in the dark.
“Forget it, how long have you not eaten?” Looking at the various food packaging and instant noodle bowls on the table, although unhealthy, at least Haiqing still had a constant need to consume something to maintain his body’s basic energy, so there should not be too much to worry about.
“I also don’t know.” Haiqing said while going inside the blanket to hide, that made Pinjun feel impatient at once. This kind of depression appears very rarely. It was less than the number of fingers one could count on one hand.
Haiqing, who shrunk himself in the blanket, was trembling. It was unknown if he was cold or scared. Pinjun believed that Haiqing was avoiding the possibility of him being pulled out and exposed right before his very eyes. Before, there were a few times he wanted to speak out but did not succeed. Right now, he also felt a lump in his throat but this time, Pinjun decided not to restrain anymore.
He suddenly lifted Haiqing’s blanket up, and the boy, who was curled up under it, shuddered all of a sudden.
“Su Haiqing, I’m seriously letting you know now.” Pinjun threw the blanket on the sofa next to him, then pressed his whole body on top of Haiqing. Only a pair of big, bright eyes in the shadow, that was cast by his own body, stared at Haiqing like a puppy who had just been adopted.
“I love you.” Pinjun was determined and did not allow Haiqing to refuse discussing it.
“Even if you rot away like this, I still love you, no matter what you think of me. Get up for me now!” He reached out and held Haiqing’s shoulders. Haiqing had no time to react. He was immediately held up to sit up straight.
“What did you just say?” Pinjun’s words were transmitted from Haiqing’s ears to his brain after a few seconds, “Can you say it again?”
In the midst of chaos, Haiqing was still questioning whether he had heard a very farfetched but crucial word from him or not.
Pinjun looked at his stupid face and he could not help but be aroused by this ‘very cute’ mood. He helped Haiqing push back his messy hair, revealing his whole face.
“Haiqing, I love you, I won’t let you go on like this.” Pinjun started to wipe out the dirt on his shoulders.
“You don’t attend class. You’re a human but don’t look like human. You look like a ghost but you’re not a ghost…” When he raised his eyes, he found that Haiqing was rather resentful with regard to this criticism. In the end, laughter overflowed from his lips, invigorating the color of the interiors of this room for several days and nights.
“I can take care of you, no, I must take care of you! We’ll live together.”
Haiqing could not say a word.
“Wait, let’s take care of the house first and throw away the garbage. After that, go and take a shower, then we can go shopping together, and come back to make dinner. I’m quite good at making fried rice. My Sister also said my fried rice is the best!”
His cold and lethargic body was filled with warmth, and from Haiqing’s eyes, Pinjun’s smile was so dazzling.
“Do you understand?” When Pinjun saw that Haiqing did not have much reaction, he reached out and waved his hand right before Haiqing’s eyes.
There was still someone who was willing to care of him in this world, and who was taking care of him. He was not alone…
“Then say that you like me.”
Memories of that day before Pinjun accompanied him with his exams suddenly flashed across his mind, when Haiqing politely gave some thanks to Pinjun. Pinjun made a rare willful request.
“Say that you like to sketch me. That you like me accompanying you to study, that you like me helping you cram, that you like me eating dumplings with you, that you like me accompanying your grandfather to chat, that you like that I‘ve been by your side…”
“I like you, I really really like you.”
Haiqing replied. He took the initiative to kiss Pinjun fiercely and passionately, to the point that almost both of them suffocated.
And at that moment, the familiar warmth, once again, was back.
In an instant, Haiqing knew the answer to the question that Pinjun had asked earlier. The sorrows and uncertainties that once existed were clear and firm at this time.
Haiqing hugged Pinjun and buried his face on his neck as he sobbed.
“Haiqing, I don’t want to lose you.”
“You’ll never lose me, ever.”