29 – It Appeared, The Straight Man’s Favorite Basketball
Although Fang Mo was in the late stage of valuing love over friends, he still had some humanity left in him.
Knowing that Zou Shun was smiling on the surface, but was actually suffering from heartbreak on the inside, Fang Mo was afraid that he would easily think too much when he was alone, so he took the initiative to ask him to hang out when he was not in class.
There was not much entertainment near the college town. Fang Mo recklessly spent a good amount of money to invite Zou Shun to sing at the newly opened mini KTV, which looked like a telephone booth in the small commodity street nearby. Zou Shun was not courteous to him, and after going in, he belted into the microphone for half an hour without giving Fang Mo a chance to sing at all.
Fang Mo didn’t mind. After all, Zou Shun sang quite well.
Seeing that he was quite energetic, Fang Mo inwardly let out a sigh of relief. He was wondering whether he should start a conversation to persuade him to find someone new, when a surprisingly familiar prelude suddenly came from his earphones.
Fang Mo’s heart made a thump. He was full of apprehension and frowned as he nervously watched Zou Shun put his whole heart into this song. Once the music ended, he began to dig into his pockets, and when he finally found a pack of tissues, he handed them over.
With his eyes red, Zou Shun wiped his face with his sleeve, and pushed away the tissues that Fang Mo handed over.
“I don’t need them,” he said.
Fang Mo thought for a bit, then asked, “Want to find something to eat?”
There were not many entertainment facilities nearby, but there was a food street around the corner with quite a lot of delicious choices. The two found a dessert shop, each ordered a cup of ice cream, and sat down face to face, digging into their sweets.
A person like Zou Shun, who had an open heart and understood the full truth, was actually quite difficult to comfort. Fang Mo didn’t know what to say, so he could only quietly accompany him.
After eating a little more than half of the food, Zou Shun, who most likely didn’t like the atmosphere, took the initiative to say, “How do you want me to create opportunities for you? Can you tell me more in detail?”
He was referring to what Fang Mo mentioned on the phone yesterday, when Xu Xiran mistakenly thought that he had a crush on Fang Mo.
“Eh…” Fang Mo racked his brains, “I don’t know.”
When he thought about it carefully, other than Xu Xiran needing him for his club, it was nearly impossible for the three of them to get together at the same time. It was hard to find an opportunity to get close to Xu Xiran by using Zou Shun’s name.
Zou Shun tilted his head and supported his chin for a while, then said, “You can create these opportunities yourself. For instance, you can call him and invite him over right now.”
Fang Mo’s heart skipped a beat, and felt eager to try. But before putting it into practice, he forced himself to stop. “It’s rare for us to sit together and talk like this. I don’t need to ask him,” he said.
Zou Shun looked up at him and smiled, “You’re a hypocrite.”
Fang Mo neither confirmed nor denied this, and lowered his head to eat his ice cream.
“Ai, let me ask you,” Zou Shun spoke again, “Liking someone must be nice, right?”
“Sss—” Fang Mo had dug too much ice cream with his spoon, squinted his eyes from his brain freeze, and asked between his breath, “Why are you asking me this all of a sudden?”
Zou Shun continued smiling at him, “It must make you very happy.”
Fang Mo wrinkled his face and raised his head to inhale and exhale as he tried to make the big piece of ice cream in his mouth melt faster, so he was too busy to answer.
However, he turned this question over and over in his head.
It did make him very happy at first. When he unexpectedly met Xu Xiran at school, he was overwhelmed by this pleasant surprise. Later on, getting along with each other bit by bit also brought him great joy and happiness. But recently, he began to feel uneasy.
He was annoyed that Xu Xiran was being too slow, and afraid that he would never get what he wanted.
To sum it up, he was 80% secretly happy, but 20% worried about his gains and losses.
“How nice,” Zou Shun said with the corner of his mouth still raised. His eyes fell on the half-melted ice cream in front of him, “I want to find this happy feeling again.”
Fang Mo finally swallowed the mouthful of ice cream, “Then look for it. Are you afraid that no one will like you?”
This suddenly piqued Zou Shun’s interest. He half-leaned on the table and looked at Fang Mo, then said in a lowered voice, “Ai, let me tell you. I logged onto Blued the other night, and found out that someone who had been friends with me for a while had recently been messaging me. I ended up chatting with him for a while.”
Blued was the dating app in which the two of them had first met. It seemed like Zou Shun also had the idea to get out of this hopeless one-sided love as soon as possible.
“Did it feel okay?”
“I can’t tell,” Zou Shun said, “Anyway, I have more time now, so I’m just casually chatting with him. This person is also in our school, and his location is pretty close.”
“That’s good, it’ll be convenient to meet up,” Fang Mo responded positively, “What did you two talk about?”
“All kinds of random stuff,” Zou Shun responded earnestly, “This person was very polite when he conversed with me, and felt a bit mature… or a bit cocky? He had good judgment and was not annoying.”
Using his previous straight man as a reference, Fang Mo felt that Zou Shun probably liked the mature type, and so he became more interested, “What does he look like? Let me see.”
Zou Shun immediately picked up his phone and fiddled with it for a bit, then handed it to him, “Here. To be honest, you can’t see it too clearly, but he has a pretty good figure.”
The screen displayed the user’s album. The man didn’t post any photos of his face, and the few pictures he had were of his side profile or half profile in poor lighting, which seemed passable at a first glance. However, there were some no-face gym selfies that caught his attention.
On this app, there were many people who were passionate about showing off their muscles. Some people had muscles that were so developed that they made people’s brains hurt, some people were bland and tasteless like a skinny monkey, and some people had perfect physiques but the shape of their muscles was not elegant enough. This person seemed to be invincible in all aspects, and looked somewhat seductive.
“Interesting,” sighed Fang Mo, “At least his abs look good.”
“But I guess he’s probably not that good-looking,” Zou Shun curled his lips, “Otherwise, why wouldn’t he show his face?”
“Maybe he doesn’t want other people from school to recognize him?” Fang Mo said.
“That’s what he thought too,” Zou Shun took back his phone, “But when I asked him one on one for a photo, he still refused. That’s pretty weird, right? He’s clearly already seen my face.”
“Then I guess he really might look ordinary,” Fang Mo said, “but… I thought you weren’t the type of person to care about appearance?”
Zou Shun gave him a shallow look, “You’re saying that a certain someone is not good-looking.”
He must be referring to the straight man who broke his heart.
“He’s not ugly, it’s just…” Fang Mo thought for a while, “I think you deserve better.”
Zou Shun was silent for a while, then grinned at him, “I think so too.”
Hearing this, Fang Mo felt relieved.
“You really don’t want to call him over?” Zou Shun suddenly repeated.
Fang Mo felt moved again, but then forcibly denied it, “I already said I won’t, so I won’t. You really want me to make use of you that much? Weren’t you unhappy about that yesterday?”
Zou Shun didn’t know why, but he was eager to try, “I thought about it later. If I purposely showed affection for you in front of him, how would he react?”
Now Fang Mo really wanted to see him. He was beaming and was about to speak when he suddenly felt a poke in the corner of his heart. He remembered what Xu Xiran had said that night.
“Purposely tricking people… isn’t good is it?” he said.
“Aiyo,” Zou Shun immediately sat up straight, and leaned back excessively in his chair, “Why did your thinking suddenly get an astonishing upgrade?”
Fang Mo stopped pretending. He sighed and said, “In case he finds out later, no amount of goodwill that I’ve accumulated now would be enough, would it?”
“Then just don’t get caught,” said Zou Shun. “Do you think I’ll betray you?”
What he said made sense, and Fang Mo’s conscience started to crumble.
Seeing that he was silent, Zou Shun became even more excited, “Do you want to see him get jealous for you?”
Fang Mo lowered his head and covered his face, “Stop, stop.”
“Just think about it, if I purposely act like I want to fight with him, would he take the initiative to fight with me in order to keep his promise to you?”
“I’ll say…” Fang Mo put down his hands, and looked at him while not knowing whether to laugh or cry, “Aren’t you a bit too fond of acting now?”
“That’s not important,” Zou Shun said enthusiastically, “Fake it ‘til you make it, right? Maybe he’ll subtly hypnotize himself in the process, and once he gradually gets more invested, he’ll start to really have feelings for you?”
“…How’s that possible?” Fang Mo said.
Despite saying this, he almost believed it himself. Saying it out loud was just to remind himself not to set his expectations too high.
“Think of it in the long-term,” Zou Shun said in a persuasive manner, “I sacrificed so much just to have you gain so little, does that even make sense? Now that we have this opportunity, we should make better use of it, you understand?”
Under such strong persuasion, Fang Mo could no longer resist the temptation.
“Quick, give him a call! Oh wait, no, don’t call. Send him a message instead. Remember to pretend that you secretly sent this while I wasn’t paying attention,” Zou Shun instructed, “Just say that I suddenly asked you to come out, first to go singing, then to eat desserts, and even without mentioning anything serious, say that you feel weird and uneasy. Ask him if he can come and accompany you.”
Fang Mo swallowed, then took out his phone.
Not only was the offer too good to resist.
Zou Shun also seemed like he was eager to find something to do, so that he didn’t have to keep wallowing in the emotions that he was eager to get rid of. Fang Mo wanted to give him a hand.
After thinking about it for a while, the message he sent to Xu Xiran was very uncreative.
[“Are you in class?”]
It took a full ten minutes to get a reply.
[“No, I’m outside. Something wrong?”]
Fang Mo looked up, “It’s over, it’s no use. He’s not even at school.”
Just after he spoke, the phone vibrated again. Xu Xiran sent him another message.
[“I’m on Changlun Street, do you want me to bring you anything to eat?”]
Fang Mo was taken aback.
Changlun Street, wasn’t that where they were right now? This was the most well-known food street near the college town, and it was one of the popular places for young couples to date at school.
“What is it?” Zou Shun asked.
“He’s also here,” Fang Mo said, then subconsciously glanced out the window, “What kind of coincidence is this?”
“That’s a good thing, tell him to quickly come over… Hey, wait,” Zou Shun said, raised his hand across the table and patted his arm hard, “Isn’t that him!”
Fang Mo quickly looked in the direction that he pointed.
Sure enough, it was Xu Xiran. He was slowly walking on the other side of the street about ten meters away from this store. Before Fang Mo had time to be pleasantly surprised, he saw him turn sideways and lower his head slightly to say something to the person next to him.
Only then did Fang Mo notice the person who he was walking with.
With a knee-length Japanese uniform skirt, waist-length black hair, big eyes, and exquisite makeup, she was a cute-looking girl.
After Fang Mo stared blankly at her face for a few seconds, his eyes involuntarily glanced down a little, and stopped at the part that was moving with the rhythm of her steps.
While secretly marveling at the sight, Zou Shun beside him whispered what was in his mind, “Damn, they’re so big!”
- 1From the song Ai Mei by Rainie Yang. Here’s the link if you’re curious! https://youtu.be/mebzXfWi87E