The nearby supermarket was where they most frequently shopped before when they were living together. It's not very big but is close to home and the varieties of products were sufficient. There was a 7-eleven and 24-hour porridge shop next to the supermarket. Before, when they got hungry at night, they would come down to have some midnight snacks. Specifically, ZhouXiang is usually the one to come downstairs to buy their midnight snacks.
The two pushed the cart through the various rows of shelves to pick the items. YanMingXiu’s habits are the same as before, throwing whatever he wanted into the cart, whether or not it is something they would use. Sometimes, ZhouXiang would pick it up and put it back when he wasn't paying attention. At that time, ZhouXiang wouldn't let YanMingXiu see him do it because not only would YanMingXiu put it back, he would actually grab a few and throw it back into the cart in protest. ZhouXiang never got angry. Instead he felt that YanMingXiu's naive behavior was very adorable.
At the time, everything YanMingXiu did was charming, even if he was being an overbearingly bully that constantly lose his temper, there is that distinctive flavor.
Now YanMingXiu’s habits still hasn't changed, grabbing anything that he saw pleasing to his eyes. And still, ZhouXiang have the patience to talk it over with him, “This cabbage kale doesn't look to fresh, let's change to another.”
YanMingXiu took out the veggie thrown into the cart and looked at it. Surely, it didn't look very fresh, “Oh, you choose then.”
ZhouXiang picked and chose a few bunch of vegetables, then grabbed the few that he felt are good into to the cart.
YanMingXiu’s hand was on the cart. Unknowing whether it is intentional or not, he gently put his hand on top of ZhouXiang’s hand and turned his head to smile softly at him. His smile so wide that his eyes turned crescent shaped, looking very beautiful.
ZhouXiang couldn’t help but laughed, “What are you laughing at?”
YanMingXiu kneaded his fingers, “I haven’t strolled like this with you in a supermarket for a long time.”
“You use to complain that the supermarket smelled bad."
YanMingXiu smiled faintly “With you by my side, everywhere is good.”
ZhouXiang suppressed his smile, “When did you learn to talk like this? We're out in public. Be careful…mindful of your image.”
YanMingXiu couldn’t help but lean against him and used his shoulder to bump ZhouXiang's shoulder. Even if it is such a simple touch, he felt very content.
ZhouXiang also has not experienced this for a long time, his entire body felt warm and light as a feather. There is no longer that lingering reclusiveness and oppression that can't be ridden of. The burden in his body dissipated, with this person shouldering his burden along with him, he won't have to carry so much pressure and decision on his own. He made a decision and this decision made him feel at ease, that is enough.
To be able to be with YanMingXiu like this makes him feel very comfortable.
Even if he had gone through such torment and suffering, this is actually what he still wanted most. Since he can't change his true nature, he could only accept his fate.
The two people chatted leisurely while shopping. The mood is incomparably harmonious. YanMingXiu could already foresee into the future of their ordinarily peaceful and beautiful lives.
After buying the hot pot ingredients, the two went home with three big bags.
ZhouXiang skillfully prepared the hot pot ingredients while YanMingXiu turned on the electric stove to cook the hot pot broth. The two circled back and forth in the small kitchen and dining table, busy with their tasks. From time to time, they would bump into each other just by turning their bodies and would end up smiling at each other.
In less than half an hour, the hot pot broth is ready. ZhouXiang threw in the uncooked ingredients first. The two surrounded the little hot stove and ate happily.
Having a small home does have its benefits. Just turning on the heater for a short time, adding on the heat from the hot pot, they are already sweating profusely in just a short time, needing to remove their tops, leaving just their tank tops.
The two gossiped about the entertainment circle. In the past, ZhouXiang would rack his brain for topics to talk to YanMingXiu. After all, there were no commonalities in their daily lives and habits. But now they have many common topics.
The things that YanMingXiu knew are not less, all of it coming from the JiangYuan's big mouth chatting away in the car. He never really cared but ZhouXiang likes to hear about it so he's enjoyed telling him. The two chat and ate. The atmosphere is very good.
At this time, YanMingXiu’s cell phone suddenly rang. He took it out and glanced, the smile on his face stiffened. Upon seeing the name on the phone, he hung up without hesitation.
ZhouXiang raised his eyebrow, not knowing what was happening, but he felt that it was a call from WangYuDong, so he blurted out, “WangYuDong?"
YanMingXiu faintly responded, “Yeah, ignore it. Let’s eat.” After saying that, he turned off his phone.
ZhouXiang curled his lips, “Just answer it, it's nothing.”
YanMingXiu shook his head, “Not answering, waste of time.”
ZhouXiang glanced at him deeply, then heaved a sigh. He can't help but laughed twice.
“It just felt like I've vented some anger. For so many years, I've been trampled on by WangYuDong. Now that there is this day that you, YanMingXiu, actually won't pick up his call because of me, it feels pretty good.” ZhouXiang put down his bowl and took a big gulp of his ice cold beer, laughing loudly, "Feels really great!”
YanMingXiu smiled and then said seriously, “He can’t be compared to you.”
ZhouXiang grabbed the bottle of liquor and filled his glass, “Come on. Bottoms up.” He thought, in this relationship, he could be considered as achieving success right? In his past or present life, be in or out of his career, he had always been WangYuDong's substitute. It was like that in his relationship and also like that in his job. This feeling of grievance and humiliation is such a burden that it can bend a person's back. But now there is finally that day when he can hold his head up high and be proud and happy. Irrespective of work, at least in his relationship, he no longer loses to WangYuDong. The substitute does have a day to become the lead.
At this time, it's best to heartily have a drink, mixing all the grievances with the liquor, gulp it down and get rid of it.
YanMingXiu followed along to toast with him.
ZhouXiang put down the glass, wiped his mouth with the napkin and smiled, “But why is he really looking for you? Asking you to do something for him? Tell me to make me happy.”
YanMingXiu tried to lighten it, “Borrow money.”
“Is it still the same matter from last time?”
“You haven't lent it to him yet?”
“He kissed up to the wrong people.” YanMingXiu coldly groaned, "My parents don’t handle the finances. What use is it for him to babble stuff to my mom?”
“But regardless, he's still your brother-in-law, you're really not caring?”
The corners of YanMingXiu's mouth rose up in a smile, “For me to spend the money, there is a condition.” His eyes flashed a glimmer of light, seeming to be calculating something in his heart. This look made ZhouXiang felt a bit unease.
This YanMingXiu is indeed very ruthless. Thinking of how much he used to like WangYuDong back in those years, once the feelings are no longer there, he could completely cast away all those sentimental feelings. Although ZhouXiang felt that this kind of thing should not be compared, there is still that gloominess shadow in his heart.
YanMingXiu seems to have guessed what he is thinking. He stood up, crossed the table and quickly kissed him, firmly saying, “Xiang Ge, you are different from anyone else. I will always be good to you.”
ZhouXiang smiled, “Let's hope that's how it'll always be. Who can be too sure?”
YanMingXiu frowned, “Xiang Ge, don’t think too much about it. I just want to give him a lesson so that he won’t dare to say too much in the future.”
ZhouXiang joked, “I know. Regardless of how you teach him your lesson, I'm happy to see, remember to live-broadcast it at any time.”
YanMingXiu laughed along.
Although ZhouXiang had long hoped for WangYuDong to be down on his luck, his attention to this matter had dampened a lot. Perhaps, because when he was facing WangYuDong in the past, he can't beat him in anything so his spirit of competing to win is particularly strong. But when he had finally won the thing he most wanted, the jealousy and hatred he had for WangYuDong is essentially gone because he no longer cared. No matter what happens to WangYuDong, whether he's dead or alive, he no longer cared anymore. He only cared on how to live a better life and how to maintain his current life for a long, long time. Therefore, he didn't care how YanMingXiu would handle this matter with WangYuDong, whether or not he would loan him money, it is not his own money. Regardless of what he thinks, WangYuDong is undoubtedly the son-in-law of the Yan family. In the end, he felt that YanMingXiu would still help him. He didn't want YanMingXiu to feel any mental burden with this due to him so he appeasingly muttered, “This is your family matter, deal with it however way you want, you don't need to worry about me. Whatever happens to WangYuDong, I really don't care. I'm not as petty as you think."
YanMingXiu understood what he meant. His heart eased up a bit, “Xiang Ge, I won't give anyone the chance to hurt you again.”
ZhouXiang laughed, “Are you really trying to raise me like a canary (a weakling). I'm naturally a raven (strong). You don't have to be like this. We can just be like before, okay?"
YanMingXiu also smiled at ease, “Okay. We'll just like before.”
To return to how their lives were before is their greatest wish.
End of the chapter