52nd –【Became dirty】
Xena: There’s a few cutscenes here that might be confusing to some, so I added some emojis to make it clear. Happy reading. Also, this is a rollercoaster of emotions and the end is a bit scary, although not enough to be nsfw but, fasten your brain’s seatbelt for safety.
Chu Yu was lying on the bed, tossing about and unable to sleep.
He wrapped his quilt tightly around him, closed his eyes, and brewed1Turns out, Chinese people have put a term on the time you’ve closed your eyes to sleep, but still haven’t slept yet and are making yourself sleep. It’s called brewing your sleepiness or mulling over it. It simply means hypnotizing yourself to sleep. Now that I typed this out, I realize how weird it is that for us to sleep we need to fake sleep first.. But not only did he not fall asleep, on the contrary, he became more and more awake.
It was raining outside the window, creating a fine pattering sound. Usually, Chu Yu wouldn’t notice it, but he found it particularly annoying tonight.
Chu Yu pulled the quilt up and swiftly covered his head.
He remembered how Lu Shi stood up and opened the bedroom door to let him return first. Picturing himself sleeping on his own tonight, his hands suddenly tightened on the quilt.
If I’m sleeping by myself, then I’ll sleep by myself. I’ve slept by myself for more than ten years anyway.
His heart seemed to be blocked by a damp cotton wool, quite suffocating and uncomfortable.
He pulled the quilt down again, showing only his eyes which stared at the wall.
On the other side of this wall, there was Lu Shi.
Chu Yu himself couldn’t figure out what was in his heart, so he felt awfully sad.
He felt that he2Chu Yu himself was probably being unreasonable.
Lu Shi was very alienated and indifferent to others, and if he wasn’t, then he was quick to punch and extremely fierce.
However, although Lu Shi didn’t talk nor reveal much to him, Chu Yu was sure that Lu Shi had truly withdrawn his defenses and barriers, letting him rely and depend on him.
Lu Shi was cold and difficult to understand, but he was really good to him.
But maybe it was exactly because of this that Chu Yu felt so sad.
He obviously still hadn’t said anything, but Lu Shi had pushed him out of the dorm room and closed the door.
Lu Shi didn’t trust him.
Turning over, Chu Yu changed his posture. Instead of staring at the wall, he stared at the strelitzia by the window. Then he found that he couldn’t remember how long he hadn’t watered it for. Lu Shi had been taking care of it the entire time.
He turned his gaze to his desk and shelf. Everything was neatly arranged.
He didn’t know when Lu Shi had started helping him tidy up the pens, paper and comic books he’d misplaced.
Chu Yu looked around at this time, only to discover what it meant to moisten all things softly without sound3From the Tang Dynasty poet Du Fu’s “Welcome Rain on a Spring Night”:
The good rain knows its season,
When spring arrives, it brings life.
It follows the wind secretly into the night,
And moistens all things softly, without sound., and what it meant to noiselessly seep inch by inch. Lu Shi was just that.
He’d even gotten to the point where he’d always wanted to grab the corners of Lu Shi’s clothes when it was time to sleep. If he didn’t have anything in his hands, he’d feel empty and unaccustomed.
Chu Yu knew that no matter who he faced, he’d subconsciously draw a clear line. Deep inside, he was afraid— afraid that if he wholeheartedly trusted someone and asked for their feelings, he wouldn’t get any response in the end.
Such as what happened with his mother.
He’d always protected himself very well.
But towards Lu Shi, that boundary line of his was as if drawn using light smoke. When a small breeze blew, it cleared. He even took a step forward of his own volition, telling Lu Shi, ‘you can take a mile more.’4From win an inch, want a mile
He’d sold himself cleanly.
Thinking about it this way was so infuriating!
But regardless how angered, it was a fit that only lasted a second or two.
Chu Yu also felt wronged— I sold myself this cleanly, what do you still fucking want from me, Lu Shi?
Being muddleheaded, he didn’t sleep well all night. He had a series of dreams, woke up, and didn’t remember half of it.
Chu Yu changed his clothes with a long face, stuffed warm babies into his pockets, and headed to the classroom.
Downstairs, he happened to run into Dream-Ge who was holding a glass bottle in his hand, his expression filled with great bitterness and deep resentment.
Chu Yu was curious. “What’s with your expression? Your face’s almost wrinkled into a twisted spring roll5Chinese twisted spring roll:
Dream-Ge shook the glass bottle in his hand. “My mother gave it, swallow’s nest6Swallow’s nest and where it came from (Yes, the bird makes it with saliva):
. Do you know what a swallow’s nest is? It’s a swallow’s spit. Laozi feels a great deal of nausea just thinking about it, really don’t know what’s supplemented by eating this stuff!”
“Auntie asked you to drink swallow’s nest tonic?” Chu Yu pondered. “Isn’t it to let you… nourish your yin beauty7Yin is characterized as an inward energy that is feminine, still, dark, and negative. But mostly feminine as its counterpart yang represents mostly masculinity.?”
“Hey, that makes sense! Sure enough, a person more is an IQ more!” Dream-Ge was enlightened. “School Flower, if you say it like that, it really is possible!” He looked around, and seeing no acquaintances, he whispered, “I went back this weekend and was interrogated by my mother. She found out that I have someone I like. I thought I’d be doubled by my parents82 vs 1, I didn’t expect my mother to be extremely worried instead.”
“Worried about what?”
“Worried about my looks, if I can’t chase after the girl, and that she’ll dislike me instead. She also said that many girls nowadays don’t like my type – burly and muscular – they like those flowery, beautiful men!”
Dream-Ge was bewildered. “Say, is it because of this that my mother told me to eat swallow’s nest? To maintain beauty?”
Chu Yu thought that this logic was completely fine.
The two of them had solved the puzzle. Dream-Ge happily finished the swallow’s nest and remembered. “Eh, something’s not right. School Flower, where’s Lu-Shen, why’s he not with you today?”
Chu Yu managed his expression well and naturally replied, “Why, can’t he not be with me anymore?”
“It’s weird to me that Lu-Shen isn’t with you, it’s really mystical. You and Lu-Shen are almost glued together, if either you or Lu-Shen were a girl, Old Ye would’ve called you guys for a talk.”
Chu Yu didn’t react. “Talk? Talk about what?”
“Puppy love ah!”
Dream-Ge sighed deeply. “Ai, I actually really want Old Ye to call me for a talk. I want to have that puppy love, I want to hold hands, I want to give away my first kiss that I’ve treasured for more than ten years, but I have no fucking chance to!”
Chu Yu was a little lost in thought.
Dream-Ge was still chattering. “Speaking of which, the girl I liked invited me to go to the grove yesterday. I was nervous for a long time and gave myself a lot of mental preparation. Unexpectedly, she seriously lectured me about derivatives for an hour!”
A daydream-induced smile appeared on Dream-Ge’s face. “But I liked her more and more. When she told me that knowledge, her voice sounded so good!”
Chu Yu was a little ill at ease.
He sat down in his seat. The back table was still empty as Lu Shi didn’t arrive yet.
Zhang Yueshan was arguing with Li Hua about the solution to the last question of a midterm exam, sighing with emotion in passing. “I almost didn’t finish the question!”
Li Hua replied, “This time’s math test was quite difficult. I did it slowly, but I solved the last two questions in a hurry. I’m not sure how many points I can get.”
Dream-Ge heard them saying modest remarks and having a conversation between top students, so he quickly slipped back to his seat.
Chu Yu held his chin with his hand and waited for their previous topic to come to an end before asking Zhang Yueshan, “Class Rep, what do you think… about the relationship between Lu Shi and I?”
“You two? Your relationship is very good!”
“Then… Class Rep, who do you have the best relationship with?”
Zhang Yueshan reached out to pat Li Hua’s shoulder. “Of course it’s my deskmate! We’re the ones who’ve heard each other grind their teeth and talk in their sleep!”
Li Hua pulled out an English test paper to write on, then lifted Zhang Yueshan’s hand in disgust. “Don’t make noise, I’m writing a letter to myself!”
Chu Yu questioned again, “Then… if one day, you two are eating out together and a girl comes asking for Li Hua’s contact information, how would you… feel?”
Zhang Yueshan carefully thought about it. “Is that girl pretty?”
“Of course it’s to hurry my brother, charge! It’s not easy for someone to fancy you. I’ll help you find 18 ways to chase girls, 50 dating tips, and so on for you to memorize!”
Suddenly, Chu Yu was at a loss.
Zhang Yueshan’s reactions and thoughts were the norm, right?
However, when they were having barbecue that day and a girl came to ask Lu Shi for his contact information, he was instead relieved when he heard Lu Shi refuse.
Zhang Yueshan was keen. “School Flower, are you in a conflict with Lu Shi?”
Chu Yu shook his head. “No.”
Zhang Yueshan breathed a sigh of relief. “That’s good!”
Lu Shi didn’t attend morning self study.
Chu Yu frequently looked at the door of the classroom, but didn’t see the person come in from beginning to end.
Zhang Yueshan came back from the office and told Chu Yu the latest news. “Lu-Shen requested a leave of absence.”
Chu Yu was startled. “Leave of absence? I… I didn’t know.”
“It probably happened quite suddenly.” Zhang Yueshan explained in detail, “Old Ye told me that there should be something urgent on Lu-Shen’s side. Yesterday, at three o’clock in the morning, he took a leave of absence and left the school that very night. Old Ye was worried that something major had happened in his family so he asked if he should accompany him, but Lu-Shen didn’t elaborate and refused.”
Chu Yu’s fingers hooked the strap of his school bag under the table as he asked in a quiet voice, “How long was the leave he asked for?”
“It seems to be for two days. By the way, the midterm exam papers are nearly done, and the ranking can be posted at noon today. Lu-Shen’s definitely first, no guessing needed, but I wonder who got second place this time.”
Chu Yu actually didn’t clearly hear what Zhang Yueshan was saying. Voices entered his ears but couldn’t pass through his brain. He clutched the strap of the bag with his fingers, feeling empty in his heart.
Lu Shi got off the bus right as the sky brightened. After looking for an address for a long time, he finally arrived at his destination.
It was in an old community dating back to 20 or 30 years ago. A bicycle was parked on the roadside, where ginkgo trees grew tall. Their leaves were about to fall and only a few pieces were left on their branches.
Lu Shi climbed the stairs to the third floor. He raised his hand, and it took a few more seconds before he knocked on the door.
After a while, the door opened, revealing an elderly lady. She pushed up her presbyopic glasses and asked Lu Shi, “You’re the one who called?”
Lu Shi nodded. “It’s me, sorry to bother you.”
The old lady pushed the door open a bit, letting Lu Shi enter while urging, “No need to change shoes, I’ve packed my luggage already for my flight in the afternoon. It’s a complete mess everywhere, this place probably isn’t as clean as your shoe soles!”
Lu Shi followed in and closed the door behind him.
The old lady washed an enamel cup, poured water, and handed it to Lu Shi.
Seeing Lu Shi’s gaze fall on a black and white photo frame, she explained, “My husband has passed for more than half a year now, while my son and daughter immigrated a few years earlier. They aren’t assured that I, this old woman, can be alone here in the country and asked me to go abroad. I can’t bear to part from here, I’m afraid that my husband’s spirit will come back and wander around in this old house. What should I do if he can’t find me? But a few days ago, I fell down which caused my children to become so anxious. I considered it and thought, might as well go and just take the old man’s picture with me so he can be with me all the same.”
Lu Shi quietly listened.
The old lady neatly combed the hair on her temples as she collected her emotions. “When people get old, they like to talk about these trivial matters, it’s laughable. Are you still studying?”
“En, high school.”
The old lady nodded. “You came here, so what do you want to ask me?”
Lu Shi took out an encrusted photo pendant from his bag and opened it. There were two photos inside. One was an ID photo, the other was cut from somewhere and also had the same woman in it.
“She looks a bit like you, she is?”
“She’s my mother.”
Lu Shi inquired, “May I ask if you have an impression of her?”
The old lady took the pendant and examined it carefully through her glasses.
After a long time, she said, “If you come and ask about other people, I reckon I won’t have any impression of them but this person, I still remember something.”
She recalled, “I remember this girl clearly. My husband and I used to work in a clinic. At that time, those without good circumstances who couldn’t go to the hospital to birth a child could only come to us. The first time I’d seen her was when she came over with a big belly, saying that she was going to abort the baby. At that time, she had been eight months pregnant, so how would’ve that worked? It was too dangerous. If anyone wasn’t careful, she could die.
When we asked her, ‘what about your husband?’ she just cried. “
“And after that?”
“Later, the girl left and only returned two days later. Still, she told us that she wanted to induce labor. I consoled her by saying, ‘you’re so beautiful, I wonder how beautiful your child will be when they’re born.’ But she looked like she had been in a very bad state of mind, so I thought that there might truly be some difficulties that could arise. Finally, I said, ‘you think it over again for another night, if you still want to induce labor, come over tomorrow.’”
“She came over early the next morning. We told her all the possible dangers and the girl nodded and laid down on the operating bed. Her tears kept flowing, wetting the hair on her temples.
When my husband started disinfecting, she suddenly sat up and ran outside hugging her belly while crying and shouting, ‘don’t do it, don’t do it, don’t hurt my child.’”
Lu Shi’s throat ached.
The old lady was overcome with emotion as she narrated.
“After more than a month, she knocked on the door of our clinic in the middle of the night, sweat all over her forehead. I noticed that she was about to give birth, so I quickly helped her in and laid her down. She’d been in terrible pain, but the child just wouldn’t come out. Pitifully, she hadn’t given birth even after dawn. I boiled an egg for her and she ate it. Then she took my hand and told me that if a mishap occurred, I must protect the child.”
The old lady returned the pendant to Lu Shi.
Lu Shi opened his mouth to speak, but didn’t utter a sound.
He unconsciously retracted his strength while clenching the pendant tightly enough to feel pain in the palm of his hand. Only then did he mutter hoarsely, “Was she fine after giving birth to the child?”
“Quite good. Although she’d been tormented while giving birth, she hadn’t suffered any more guilt since then. She held the baby, crying and laughing, smiling quite beautifully. During the first few days of her postpartum recovery, I’d gone to see her and taught her how to put the child to sleep.”
The old lady recalled carefully, “Later… Later, she moved out before she could finish recovering. I think it was because of the neighbors gossiping in the community. You don’t know this, but those people are used to chewing the back of their tongues and can jab at someone’s backbone until it breaks!”9Those neighbors can gossip until they break someone’s confidence/self-esteem
? ?? ?
During evening self-study, Chu Yu was called by the homeroom teacher Old Ye to his office to talk about life. The main reason was that his test scores this time had dropped a little bit compared to previously.
He worked hard on English and was steady in the second year, but his results in the rest of the subjects were pretty miserable.
Chu Yu had a good attitude; he sat upright, listening carefully to Old Ye’s harping until the bell signaling the end of class rang. Chu Yu returned to the classroom, carrying his empty school bag. He slowly squeezed into the elevator going downstairs and returned to the dormitory.
Passing by Lu Shi’s door, he knocked on it, but it was quiet and there were no sounds inside.
Chu Yu dropped his wrist and stood there for a while before heading to his bedroom.
He seldom carried his key.
The rain had ceased, but it was wet and cold so Chu Yu stepped barefoot on the carpet and went to close the window.
The cold air was cut short.
Chu Yu fished out his phone and sat on the carpet to play games.
He couldn’t help but remember what Lu Shi had said yesterday.
In his mind, it repeated again and again, and the more he thought about it, the more he felt that Lu Shi had done it on purpose.
Purposely letting him discover; purposely letting him hear.
Even if he didn’t accidentally press the play button yesterday, Lu Shi would’ve found another chance to let him hear it.
Then tell him that he was monitoring Fang Weiyun’s phone calls.
The character he was manipulating on the screen died again and the frames stopped. Chu Yu was about to exit when his phone rang.
The name displayed on the screen was Lu Shi.
After blinking his eyes a few times, he realized that the phone was still ringing so Chu Yu answered the call. “Hello?”
Passing through a narrow alley and stopping in front of a small roll-up door, Chu Yu panted—
Lu Shi had brought him here once, to borrow a heavy duty motorcycle. He barely remembered the way.
After standing for a while, the roll-up door opened and Lu Shi walked out.
After just one day, Chu Yu felt that Lu Shi… there seemed to be something different about him.
Standing in place, he saw the neon lights’ flickering light shine down from the roof. Chu Yu was inexplicably a little nervous as he called out, “Lu—”
He only spoke halfway through when he was hugged by Lu Shi.
Lu Shi was very hot, his body faintly smelled of liquor and his arms were like chains as Chu Yu was held tightly in his arms.
Chu Yu didn’t dare move. He wanted to ask what was wrong, but no less than two seconds later, he noticed that Lu Shi’s back was trembling slightly under his palm.
Something moistened the skin on the side of his neck, dampening it.
Lu Shi was crying.
Lu Shi’s rough voice sounded beside Chu Yu’s ear, “She gave birth to me, but I killed her.”
Chu Yu boldly guessed, this ‘she’ should be… Lu Shi’s birth mother?
His train of thought was interrupted when suddenly, Chu Yu was pushed against the wall behind him by Lu Shi.
The wall was cold and hard. When Chu Yu went out, he had put on a layer of thick clothes which now acted as a cushion.
He subconsciously called, “Lu Shi—”
Lu Shi’s eyes were deep and dark, suppressing emotions that others couldn’t distinguish.
His fingers pinched Chu Yu’s chin, and Lu Shi stubbornly made him face his eyes.
Lu Shi’s eyes were red, but Chu Yu noticed that because of the tears, his eyelashes and the ends of his eyes were wet.
His heart also became uncomfortable.
As if afraid that Chu Yu would say something that would refuse him or make him unhappy, Lu Shi covered Chu Yu’s mouth with his hand, then shifted forward and leaned close to Chu Yu’s ear, huskily saying while full of malice:
“Chu Yu, my blood’s so dirty. You’ve sucked my blood and became dirty with me.”
The author has something to say: Here’s a coconut shaped into a heart ~
- 1Turns out, Chinese people have put a term on the time you’ve closed your eyes to sleep, but still haven’t slept yet and are making yourself sleep. It’s called brewing your sleepiness or mulling over it. It simply means hypnotizing yourself to sleep. Now that I typed this out, I realize how weird it is that for us to sleep we need to fake sleep first.
- 2Chu Yu himself
- 3From the Tang Dynasty poet Du Fu’s “Welcome Rain on a Spring Night”:
The good rain knows its season,
When spring arrives, it brings life.
It follows the wind secretly into the night,
And moistens all things softly, without sound.
- 4From win an inch, want a mile
- 5Chinese twisted spring roll:
- 6Swallow’s nest and where it came from (Yes, the bird makes it with saliva):
- 7Yin is characterized as an inward energy that is feminine, still, dark, and negative. But mostly feminine as its counterpart yang represents mostly masculinity.
- 82 vs 1
- 9Those neighbors can gossip until they break someone’s confidence/self-esteem