Su Ranqiu didn’t hear Qin Yuyang’s movements for a while, but then, a rush of hot water was suddenly added into the sink where the dishes were being washed. Su Ranqiu could clearly feel his frozen hands being quickly warmed up.
“If you aren’t going to use hot water, why bother boiling it? Do you have a pig’s brain?” Qin Yuyang scolded beside him.
Su Ranqiu’s heart thumped, realizing that there was a bucket of water placed next to his leg; the heating wire in the bucket was burning.
Just now, he was so absent-minded that he never noticed Qin Yuyang boiling the water.
“Ahem.” Su Ranqiu straightened his face and asked, “You’ve finished talking, so when are you going back?”
“It’s still undecided, what’s wrong?” Qin Yuyang looked at the boy. “We’ve been in harmony for so many days, I thought you’d already forgiven me.”
Su Ranqiu glared at him, remembering the events of that day in his mind.
“Don’t, I’m kidding.” Qin Yuyang revealed a guilty expression and immediately said, “It’s not that simple.” Although, he hoped that Su Ranqiu would give in easily without thinking too much.
So he had stayed longer to get along with Su Ranqiu in order to dilute the antagonistic relationship between the two of them.
In Qin Yuyang’s heart, the matter between the two men wasn’t that complicated.
“Oh.” Su Ranqiu listened to him quietly, then whispered, “Actually, now I don’t care about it much.” Otherwise, he wouldn’t dare to change clothes in front of Qin Yuyang.
Thus, Qin Yuyang’s hunch was correct, and Su Ranqiu downplayed the incident without a psychological shadow present.
“That’s pretty good.” Qin Yuyang grinned. The dim lights in the kitchen especially illuminated him with a tender glow.
Su Ranqiu also raised the corners of his mouth and felt relaxed in his heart, as if he’d accomplished an important thing.
“Hey, I’m pretty happy tonight so I’ll go out to buy some beer.” Qin Yuyang walked out while talking to himself, and a moment later, there was no more movement.
Su Ranqiu’s eyebrows that had just relaxed, furrowed as he quietly sighed while looking at the already washed dishes.
20 minutes later, the small, single room door was opened by Qin Yuyang who was carrying a bag of a dozen beers. “I’m back.”
Su Ranqiu put down the half-washed clothes in his hands. “Then I’ll go prepare the food.”
The rice had long been cooked, and when Qin Yuyang returned, he fried the lettuce.
“Here.” Qin Yuyang brought out a box of cooked food, it was pig ears. “It’s tasty to vitalize the beer with such good food.”
“You actually like this?” Su Ranqiu was speechless.
Qin Yuyang looked puzzled and asked, “What’s wrong with me liking this?” Pig ears were delicious.
“Nothing.” It just doesn’t fit your rich, second-generation personality.
“So I’m not even similar to a pig’s ear in your heart?” Qin Yuyang touched his chin and stated, “Now, have you realized that I’m actually as grounded as everyone else and easy to get along with too?”
“It’s okay.” Su Ranqiu turned his head and glanced at him. To be honest, there was a difference.
Even if Qin Yuyang squatted by a roadside stall eating skewers while wearing a $30 t-shirt and $40 jeans, he couldn’t change the essence of his appearance.
There was a gap between him and ordinary people— a chasm. For instance, between a commoner like himself and Qin Yuyang, there was a vast difference, Su Ranqiu thought.
“It’s so fragrant.” Qin Yuyang helped with scooping the rice and serving the food, even washing both of their chopsticks.
He was in a good mood tonight, although his mood was usually always good.
Qin Yuyang had been like this since a young age; even if the sky was falling, it didn’t matter to him. That was why the day when he awoke next to Su Ranqiu, he was very calm and hadn’t panicked at all.
“Do you usually drink?” Picking up a can of beer, Qin Yuyang placed it in front of Su Ranqiu first.
The youth held a piece of pig ears between his hands and fell into recollection. The last time he’d drank was when he first came to Beijing last year and had just enrolled in C University. He and his three roommates had gone out for supper together.
He’d forgotten the taste of beer and only remembered how distressed he’d been about money, for he felt that the prices in Beijing were very expensive.
“Take a sip.” Qin Yuyang raised his beer can and clinked it with Su Ranqiu’s.
Raising his head, he gulped a mouthful without frowning.
Su Ranqiu retracted his gaze, which was fixed on Qin Yuyang’s face, and took a sip from the can while commenting, “This beer is really cold.”
But beer was only good if it was cold.
Qin Yuyang felt sorry for Su Ranqiu’s small physique and suggested, “Then drink less, it’s okay, I can drink by myself.”
“How can that be.” Su Ranqiu shook his head. “Drink while you eat, don’t worry about me.”
“Mm.” Qin Yuyang should’ve responded, but he had a swig of beer in his mouth. After the meal, there were three more empty cans at his feet.
On the other hand, Su Ranqiu hadn’t finished drinking a single beer can. He stood and tidied up after finishing his meal. “You continue to drink, I’ll go wash these.” Then he took in the tabletop, washed the dishes, and took a shower as well.
He refilled the bucket with boiled water and prepared it for a certain someone’s use, now or later in a while.
Walking out, Qin Yuyang was no longer sitting at the dining table. He’d gone inside to lie down on the bed.
After picking up the leftover beer, Su Ranqiu walked in and kicked Qin Yuyang’s foot that was resting outside.
He didn’t need to say anything, Qin Yuyang gave him his spot automatically.
“Do you want to talk?” Su Ranqiu climbed onto the bed, found a comfortable position, and took another sip of beer courageously.
Qin Yuyang nodded. “You start.”
“How?” Su Ranqiu leaned against the head of the bed, his eyes a little open.
“Anything,” Qin Yuyang answered. “Life experience, future aspirations.”
Su Ranqiu nodded. “Then let’s talk about the mess at home.” He drank his beer and explained in a low voice, “Ahem, when I was young, my nickname was dragging oil bottle1A child a woman brings from a previous marriage. Early on, my father had committed suicide due to gambling debts and his parents didn’t want to support me, so my mother took me and remarried. She had a very hard time, but since I was a little bit sensible, I didn’t let her worry about me.”
Qin Yuyang turned his head. Although he couldn’t see the expression on Su Ranqiu’s face.
“The reason why I was so rational wasn’t because I understood her, nor was it because I wanted to be praised…” Su Ranqiu took another sip, a little hesitant about whether he should say the next thing as if it was too childish. “Uh, it was because I didn’t want to have a presence, I wanted to disappear right in front of them. It would’ve been better if I had never been born in this world.”
This kind of distorted mentality couldn’t be changed even after growing up.
Fear of loneliness, on the one hand, meant that despite resisting collective life and not wanting to appear in front of others, one still wished to not be completely abandoned.
Therefore, even though Su Ranqiu hated home, he still sent money back every month.
“Do you still feel this way?” Qin Yuyang asked.
“No.” Su Ranqiu shook his head. “I haven’t thought about it that way since I left on my own and became independent, it’s just…” He couldn’t find a precise word to describe it; similar to sequelae— aftershock?
He wasn’t a perfect person anyway.
“Have you ever been in love?” Qin Yuyang asked again.
This question came as a surprise and Su Ranqiu almost choked. He replied, “I had something like that.”
Now it was Qin Yuyang’s turn to open his eyes wide. “Really?” This answer was unexpected.
“It was in my first year of high school, we hadn’t kissed or gone to bed. It might not be considered love in your eyes,” Su Ranqiu said vaguely with a mouthful of beer, “but I was very happy, although it was only for three months.”
“Why did you two separate?” Qin Yuyang was happy to hear the story.
“The teacher found out and then had divided us into separate classes.” Su Ranqiu smiled, “Different classes were a high school couple’s long-distance romance, you wouldn’t understand.”
“A long-distance love, haha.”
“Later, when I had met her in the hallway, she ignored me because she’d felt I wasn’t determined enough.”
Su Ranqiu talked a lot about the memory of his first love. After pouring out a small half of his life, he kicked Qin Yuyang with his foot and questioned, “How many people have you dated? Do you prefer men or women?”
Qin Yuyang realized that Su Ranqiu would only turn into such a blabber after drinking too much, so he counted carefully and replied, “Not more than a hundred.”
Su Ranqiu smiled reluctantly and still asked, “How many exactly?”
Qin Yuyang chose to play dead because whenever he said that he hadn’t been in love, he’d be mocked 80% of the time.
His silence was misinterpreted by Su Ranqiu to mean that he wasn’t interested in answering, so he skipped this question and asked again, “What are your plans after you go back?”
Will you continue to find the right person to get married with?
Or inherit the family business and work hard?
“I haven’t thought about it.” Qin Yuyang said lazily, “I’ll work on it, my brother is very strict and I boasted that I’ll surpass him.”
Su Ranqiu nodded and found that the can was already empty. Sitting up on the edge of the bed, he hesitated for ten seconds between either getting up and going out to get another can or lying back down.
In the end, he chose to lie back down close to Qin Yuyang. His head rested on Qin Yuyang’s shoulders while his palm was on his abdomen.
There was nothing to say, Qin Yuyang was calm and didn’t react at all, he continued, “Or I’ll take some money and do it alone, that would be less restrictive.”
Su Ranqiu raised his head, propped his elbow on the pillow, and found Qin Yuyang’s lips in the dimness. With the side of his cheek, he rubbed them all the way up.
Qin Yuyang didn’t care about him and spoke as he should, “Drinking too much and playing flirt with people. You rogue, you have to change your drinking habits.”
Only after mustering up a lot of courage did Su Ranqiu accomplish such a feat. He pretended to be quite drunk and buried his face in Qin Yuyang’s shoulder.
His palm was still resting atop the man’s abdomen and occasionally, it’d sadly wander around.
“Missing your first love?” Qin Yuyang asked in a low voice.
“Missing your head…” Su Ranqiu said with a nasally voice, “I’m dizzy, let’s go to sleep.”
Qin Yuyang quipped, “Thinking about your first love who was a petite girl while hugging a fierce man like me, it seems unscientific.”
The scene was all touchy-feely, and he also admired Su Ranqiu.
“Are you doing this on purpose?” Su Ranqiu laughed angrily. This man could tell that Jiang Yilang liked him, but couldn’t see the change in the person who was lying in the same bed as him.
“So what do you mean by going to bed early after drinking?” Qin Yuyang rubbed his head and got up to take a shower.
Su Ranqiu numbly felt the body temperature be drawn away from him and felt a little lost.