ZhouXiang didn’t go home that night. It should be said that he didn't return to the apartment he and ChenYing rented because YanMingXiu took him back to his real home.
Despite the fact that ZhouXiang no longer has ownership of his own home. Once his body is found, his death had truly been confirmed. All of his possessions no longer have any connections to him.
When he pushed open the familiar door and turned on the light switch that he could easily have felt even with his eyes closed, he saw the home he had lived in for 30 years looking just the same as before in front of him. There is no dust, no emptiness of being left vacant for a long time. The warming soft light streamed into the cozy little living room felt just as he left those years ago. There was not even the slightest change.
YanMingXiu’s eyes swept through every corners of the living room. He softly said, “I've tidied it up. You… after you left, I lived here for a long time. But later on, I didn't dare to anymore. The sound of your voice and your face is everywhere in this home, I can't live here. But every month I'll come back once or twice do some cleaning. Everything has been kept the same as before. ZhouXiang … do you understand? I've always been waiting for you to come back."
ZhouXiang's heart felt a bit pained. He sorrowfully sighed, “I've already returned. I'll exchange this condo with the one you transferred to me. Give me back mine, okay?” ZhouXiang looked at YanMingXiu, his eyes sincere, "Take it as me begging you.”
YanMingXiu smiled forcefully, "ZhouXiang, you really have the ability to make me feel bad. This condo, I can give it back to you but you have to give yourself to me.”
ZhouXiang turned his head silently, “Half a year, only half a year left in our deal.”
“Even if it is half a year, I won't give up.” YanMingXiu added, “In this six months, we'll be like before, you have to follow according to my plans. I'll give you two days to move back here.” YanMingXiu leaned forward and gently kissed ZhouXiang’s soft lips, “Let’s live here together and start over.”
ZhouXiang gnawed his teeth, “You doing all this makes no sense. There is nothing that can go back. If I was still the ZhouXiang from before, if I didn’t fall off the cliff, then maybe I can start over with you. But now, YanMingXiu, now, look at me, look at my face, we can't start over.”
“We can.” YanMingXiu stared fiercely into ZhouXiang’s eyes. His eyes are so deep that it look a bit frightening. “ZhouXiang, actually you never knew me because I've always guarded myself from you. I made a huge mistake. I didn’t let you know how content I was in the year we were together. Every single day, I was so comfortable and happy. You don't understand what you mean to me. I also didn't understand back then, but the three years that you're weren't here, I know clearer than anything else that I can't … can't let you go."
He didn’t know whether he dared in his life to tell ZhouXiang that the person who had captivated him at the age of 16, the person he fell in love with and the person constantly on his mind in these years is ZhouXiang. Because he mistaken the wrong person, loved the wrong person, the mistake he made in this life is one that he couldn't forgive himself. At this point, he can't do anything about it. He doesn't have the courage to tell ZhouXiang. He's afraid that ZhouXiang will hate him even more. He even hated himself.
If it could be said that the graceful, natural and unrestrained back of the person dressed in white on the silver screen satisfied his illusion of a perfect lover in his youth, then the year that he was with ZhouXiang was a period that constantly showed him what it was in a relationship that made him feel comfortable and content. He saw how a mature man treats love and how he (ZhouXiang) used his kindness and tolerance to influence and bind the other person. He is the one who has been firmly grasped by ZhouXiang. However, he was too stupid at the time to realize it. He was blinded by his own obsession. He even felt that since he already had someone (WangYuDong) in his heart, he was going against his own principles to fall for someone (ZhouXiang) else. While he enjoyed all the goodness that ZhouXiang gave him, he just muddled along in deceiving himself, deceiving ZhouXiang.
So for ZhouXiang to not believe him, he could fully understand. He did not give ZhouXiang even a bit of confidence in that year. Even when ZhouXiang died, he didn't know how much he weighed in his heart.
He will use all his remaining time to make up for the mistakes he made, to end this three-year torture and get back the person he most wanted in his life… the person he must have in his life.
When ZhouXiang saw YanMingXiu's eyes looking so resolute and deeply emotional, his heart trembled unconsciously.
YanMingXiu mentioned a point that is very true. He never truly understood YanMingXiu because YanMingXiu never gave him that chance. In the first few months, he didn’t even know YanMingXiu's background or what he does. In his eyes, YanMingXiu was just a recent graduate from college that is proud and arrogant, with a financially well-off family, a youngster that is not easy to please. At the time, he didn't pay much attention to what kind of person YanMingXiu really was. Right from the beginning, he was only attracted by his god-like appearance.
When he really wanted to understand YanMingXiu, he didn’t have such opportunity because he had genuinely fallen in love with YanMingXiu. All of YanMingXiu's virtues and shortcomings are characteristics that are worthy for him to explore in his eyes. He could no longer see clearly.
Until he was reborn with this identity and met YanMingXiu again is when he finally woke up. YanMingXiu is no longer that youth from the past or even the YanMingXiu from then. He was not as simple as he thought. Standing in front of him now is a man who can do as he pleases in the entertainment circle, powerful and indifferent.
When he came into contact with YanMingXiu’s unreserved expression, he felt chillingly cold. He didn't believe anything that YanMingXiu said because he had the illusion that he was going to be swallowed up. He said mockingly, “YanMingXiu, if you really were what you said…that you can't forget me, then how did our deal come from? You spent two million and a condo to essentially ‘buy’ me. What you bought was not me but this body. In fact, this is nothing. Who doesn't have physical needs? But when you like WangYuDong, you treated me as his substitute. You say that you like me but also found a substitute. In fact, you are just lacking someone to be with you… it didn't matter who…."
Before ZhouXiang even finished talking, YanMingXiu’s face became extremely unsightly. He impulsively pressed ZhouXiang to the wall, his voice extremely piercing from the pain he's in, “ZhouXiang, treating you as WangYuDong before … I'm sorry to you… but you… the very first time I saw you at the elevator, even if your looks have completely changed, I still feel a shock that can't be explained. At the time, my only thought was that I didn't want you to go. I used this method to get you, or to get this body, is because…” YanMingXiu is choking with sobs, “Because I missed you so much that I'm going crazy. The familiarity that I get from you is the only thing that could save me at that time. You don’t understand… You don’t understand how much I miss you. You don’t understand how I endured every day. You are obviously you, yet you hid it from me for so long. You told CaiWei, told LanXiRong, but only didn't tell me. Are you satisfied with this kind of revenge? You should be satisfied. I'm in much more pain than you think!” YanMingXiu hugged him tightly, his voice full of despair, “ZhouXiang, even if I deserve everything, I never thought of betraying you in the slightest bit, I just …… you two (referring to both younger and older ZhouXiang) are too much alike. You're actually the same person! ZhouXiang, can you understand? It's been three years. I can't go on anymore!”
WangYuDong, two ZhouXiangs, substitute, substitute, who is whose substitute? Who is the substitute? Who is the protagonist?! From the beginning to the now, all the circumstances is like a joke deliberately planned by God. The purpose is simply to push them into a desperate situation and then look at their painful and stupid expression for entertainment.
ZhouXiang opened his mouth, his words on the tip of tongue but he didn't say anything. He was afraid that if he were to open his mouth, his emotions would get out of control.
YanMingXiu's pain and grievances made him feel overwhelmed. Could YanMingXiu be considered as having betrayed him? Even he is unsure. He is also a man. He never thought that someone should be faithful to a dead person.
YanMingXiu didn’t do anything wrong. In fact, he even helped him. But all the tangled emotions in his heart made it impossible for him to resolve.
Is he jealous? Who is he jealous of? Both ZhouXiangs are him yet not completely him. Who is the substitute? Who is the protagonist? Even he himself can't tell.
ZhouXiang closed his eyes in pain.
He had long understood that as long as he gets involved with YanMingXiu, what is waiting for him is inconceivable pain and suffering. So he must, must stay away from YanMingXiu. Even if he loves YanMingXiu a lot, he is also afraid.
End of the Chapter