ZhouXiang gently pushed YanMingXiu away. He flopped softly down on the sofa as his legs grew weak and stared blankly at the TV set that should've been disposed of long ago.
YanMingXiu stood still for a while. He wiped his face and heaved a sigh to calm down his emotions, then turned and went into the kitchen.
ZhouXiang heard the sound of the microwave oven working in the kitchen and dazedly glanced toward the kitchen. He didn’t know what YanMingXiu is doing.
After a while, YanMingXiu came out holding two bone china bowls (T/N). The small porcelain bowls were as white as jade, printed with pale pink camellia flowers. They were bought when he and YanMingXiu were leisurely strolling the streets. The two practically spotted it at the same time. ZhouXiang wanted to leave after seeing the price but YanMingXiu just went and brought the set.
T/N: Bone china is a type of porcelain that is composed of bone ash, feldspathic material, and kaolin and is the strongest of the porcelain or china ceramics, having very high mechanical and physical strength and chip resistance, and is known for its high levels of whiteness and translucency.
In the second half year of their cohabitation, they used it all the time. He could even imagine the camellia flower set being placed at the table at home. The pale pink camellia flowers on the white porcelain lined with whitewashed red and white plaid tablecloths is so gentle and elegant, full of homely atmosphere.
ZhouXiang just stared blankly at YanMingXiu as he put the porcelain bowls on the coffee table. In the porcelain bowls are white fungus soup(T/N).
T/N: White fungus has been appraised for its medicinal benefits, namely anti-inflammatory and anti-tumor. In Chinese families, it is commonly used in soups cooked for soothing purposes like nourishing the bodies, healing dry coughs and clearing heat in the lungs.
“I made it before I left today. I knew there was going to be liquor involved.” YanMingXiu’s voice still tinged with a slight snuffling sound. He softly added, “It may not be as good as the way you make it. Try it." He picked up a bowl of white fungus soup and handed it to ZhouXiang.
ZhouXiang stretched out his hands to take it. He led out a sigh and took a sip.
YanMingXiu asked with bit of eagerness, “Is it good?”
“President Yan, you don’t have to do this.” ZhouXiang put the bowl down and look quietly at YanMingXiu.
YanMingXiu gnawed his teeth, “You're not allowed to call me President Yan again.”
YanMingXiu can’t imagine what kind of mockery ZhouXiang had in his heart when he called him ‘President Yan.’ When the truth was revealed, YanMingXiu even had a trace of hatred toward ZhouXiang because he had hid this from him for a year.
The longer he was separated from ZhouXiang, the more his pain increased. No one could understand this. Only he knew what it felt like to have sleepless nights…what it felt like to wake up in the middle of a dream crying… and what it felt like to look all over the world in hoping to find someone and couldn't. The most terrifying is lying to himself that this person is not dead but then seeing with his own eyes the skeletal bones in front of him. It was such devastating despair. If it wasn’t for the Great Master's reminder, it's likely he wouldn't have walked out of the farmer's house again. So when he realized that ZhouXiang was by his side, when he knew that all his speculations had a reasonable explanation, for a moment, he hated ZhouXiang …but he hated himself even more.
No one could stop him from getting ZhouXiang back because what it felt like to lose the person you love most, he knew it clearly himself.
ZhouXiang is silent for a while, “I'll move back tomorrow but this is between us. Stop doing things in public that could lead to gossip.” When YanMingXiu took him onto the stage today, it already made him feel unsettled.
“No one dares to gossip about me.”
“Yes, but they dare to about me.”
“Don’t take it to heart. ZhouXiang, anything they say won't affect you. You want to be a star, I will help you fulfill it.”
“It's not that…” ZhouXiang wanted to explain but felt that it was futile. He does not want to be a star, but rather an actor with a stable income. Being too popular is a kind of burden. He is a lazy and easily satisfied person. He just wanted to earn money, while at the same time not be stared at. He really shouldn't be working in the entertainment circle. But unfortunately, he has no other skills. To say that he doesn’t want fame wouldn’t make sense.
“Whatever you want, just tell me. I'll fulfill it for you." YanMingXiu gripped ZhouXiang’s chin and looked at him genuinely, “Just tell me.”
ZhouXiang faintly said, “My career is developing very well. You don’t have to do anything more. Just leave me with a good reputation."
YanMingXiu’s fingers trembled, “Your reputation now came from LanXiRong. I don’t want you to still be linked to LanXiRong's marking. Don’t shoot those MVs, the quality is too low. I am planning a movie. I want you to play the leading role and I'll play the supporting role to support you."
ZhouXiang frowned, “YanMingXiu, I'm really happy with what I'm doing now, I don't need you to boost me.”
“Three years ago, I promised to invest in a movie for you but you ran away that day." YanMingXiu’s voice is tinged with a bit of vulnerability because that was the last time he saw ZhouXiang – the real ZhouXiang. Even thinking of it now is like piercing pains stabbing his heart. He hoarsely voiced, “I've said…what you lost, I will make you up to you. ZhouXiang, I can't make you come back to life but anything else…as long as I can give it to you, I will give it all to you."
ZhouXiang knew that it is useless to say anything. Although YanMingXiu has changed a lot, the one thing that will never change is his nature. When YanMingXiu decides on something, that is the final decision. He is that kind of dominating overbearing person.
It is also because YanMingXiu is so proud that ZhouXiang believes that it won't be long before YanMingXiu would be tired of pleasing him in this way and would give up. A dead person cannot be resurrected; this is a fact can't be changed in any lives. But the person is still alive so the meaning is completely different. He wanted to see how long YanMingXiu could endure.
ZhouXiang shook his head, “Up to you. I'm going back."
YanMingXiu immediately grabbed him, “Where are you going?”
“I'm going to go back first.”
“Don’t go. I'll help you move tomorrow. Stay here tonight.” YanMingXiu’s expression is intense and very deep, completely not allowing ZhouXiang to refuse.
ZhouXiang almost laughed aloud, “YanMingXiu, do you think it is suitable to have sex with our situation right now?"
YanMingXiu’s face slightly blushed, "That's not what I meant. I only want you to stay. If you don't want to do it, I won't force you."
“Then what do you want to do? Just lie down and chat?”
Unexpectedly, YanMingXiu nodded, “Just stay by my side is enough. Doing anything is fine."
ZhouXiang grabbed his hair irritably then nodded, “I am going to take a bath.”
ZhouXiang got up and went to the inner home. The narrow corridors, simple bathroom, simple study, comfortable master bedroom…ZhouXiang couldn’t help but look at every corners of the home. His fingertips stroked the slightly coarse yellow walls. This kind of familiar and warm feeling filled his heart.
Dad, mom, I'm back. I am really back.
YanMingXiu quietly watched ZhouXiang from behind. The image of this person walking freely around this home is a most precious memory in his life. Now, all those images finally reappeared. He didn't use to believe in God but now he believes that fate had long been predestined. And ZhouXiang is the person destined for him. Otherwise, ZhouXiang would not have return to his side after rebirth.
Starting over once again, he will definitely not let go of this chance to make up for his mistakes.
ZhouXiang took a comfortable hot bath. His bathroom is very small and the heat is not easily dispersed. Although the ventilation in the summer is a bit of a problem, bathing in the winter is particularly warm. The long-lost warmth makes ZhouXiang feel moved. Everything in the bathroom felt so intimate.
After he finished bathing, he realized that he had forgotten to grab his pajamas. When he was about to wear the clothes he was wearing earlier, a gentle knock came from the bathroom door. YanMingXiu's shadow is outside the bathroom.
“I have your pajamas. Put them on.”
ZhouXiang opened the door and saw YanMingXiu looking at him holding a set of pajamas. He didn’t know how long YanMingXiu had been standing there.
ZhouXiang took the pajamas. This hand trembled slightly. This is one set of couple pajamas he bought. At that time, in order to give YanMingXiu some mental hints, he bought a lot of things for couples, like pajamas, cups, toothbrushes, and underwear. He had hoped that YanMingXiu would have the feeling of being a couple with him. At the time, YanMingXiu did not refuse. ZhouXiang was so excited thinking that YanMingXiu had accepted these kinds of hints (of them being a couple). Later, he realized that YanMingXiu didn’t care about these senseless trivial things, allowing him to be groundlessly excited. What can influence YanMingXiu?
Unexpectedly, with the passage of time, YanMingXiu is now using the same exact methods to try and evoke these feelings in him. He finally understood why YanMingXiu, who could buy any place he wanted anywhere would insist on moving back with him to this 30 years old, 70-square-meter condo. It is because their memories are everywhere in this place, from every room to every layout, to the small porcelain bowls, to the set of pajamas…all these are proof that he once loved YanMingXiu. YanMingXiu hopes that he remembers these.
YanMingXiu did a good job because ZhouXiang had never forgotten these small details. In this place, he was forced to remember every bits and pieces of his and YanMingXiu's memories over and over. The more he remembered, the more pain he felt.
Sure enough, the bedding in the bedroom was picked by them at the time. The rug on the wooden floor was bought by YanMingXiu. The 10 years old floor lamp was broken by YanMingXiu when he kicked it while getting up in the middle of the night. He repaired it but now, he can still see the traces of the repair. Even when YanMingXiu came out of the bathroom, he is dressed exactly like him but just in a bigger size pajama.
Everything is like a reverse flow of time, like they were dragged back to three years ago by an invisible hand. ZhouXiang is forced to experience these sweet and happy moments from before.
With YanMingXiu’s hair softly affixed to his face, it made him looked a couple years younger and so similar to the arrogant and indifferent teenager from then, especially those eyes, so deep that people cannot see through it.
When ZhouXiang eyes collided with YanMingXiu's eyes, he could sense that YanMingXiu seemed to see through what he is thinking.
YanMingXiu walked to the bed and slowly sat down. ZhouXiang's wet bangs stuck onto his forehead and the cold water drops rolled down his eyebrows onto his eye sockets.
The two quietly looked at each other as they sat very close together.
YanMingXiu whispered, “Xiang Ge… thank you for coming back.”
ZhouXiang’s heart trembled.
“I want you to remember everything in this home, especially your feelings for me.” His tone is full of confidence.
YanMingXiu kissed ZhouXiang’s soft lips, gently sucking and crushing it, enjoying the refreshing taste. This is the first time YanMingXiu kissed him. It should be said that, it is the first time he kissed him in his current appearance.
He had been with YanMingXiu for half a year, the number of times they made love is just a handful. Not to mention kissing, every time when YanMingXiu vented sexually, he didn’t want to see his face.
He initially thought that YanMingXiu was still treating him as WangYuDong, but he did not expect that he had become his own substitute. Such an absurd circumstance actually happened to him. But since he can wake up in another person’s body, there is nothing in this world that is impossible.
The feeling of being teased by the invisible hand is indeed increasingly intense, making ZhouXiang frightened and trembled with fear. He is afraid that this new farce arranged by God is only waiting until he gets too deep into the trick and then God would violently wake him up, letting him fall into the ruins again.
YanMingXiu's slippery tongue broke through the barrier of ZhouXiang's teeth, got into his mouth and tangled with his tongue. ZhouXiang's eyes blurred and his emotions involuntarily pulled back by this warm kiss. He subconsciously pushed YanMingXiu away but YanMingXiu grasped his hands and suppressed him forcefully.
ZhouXiang could only passively endure this increasingly frantic kiss. YanMingXiu turned this initial light kiss into a deep kiss full of intense yearnings and lustful tastes. These fierce emotions started a fire that swept through and engulfed both of their minds. ZhouXiang widen his eyes; he couldn't understand why such kiss could penetrate from sorrow to despair, and that sorrow is so contagious.
Just when the two of them were just about out of breadth, YanMingXiu let him go, falling onto ZhouXiang's body weakly, gripping his waist and muttering, “You’re back. You really came back.”
ZhouXiang suppressed the urge to touch him. He lay on the bed at a complete loss, allowing YanMingXiu to lean on top of him heavily.
YanMingXiu adjusted his posture and essentially held ZhouXiang’s upper body in his arms. His gentle and hoarse voice rang softly in ZhouXiang’s ear, “Xiang Ge, go to sleep. I hope that I can hold you like this to sleep every day in the future. Don't give up on me because I will never give up on you."
ZhouXiang closed his eyes tiredly.
YanMingXiu held ZhouXiang as if he is holding his entire world.
This is his entire world.
End of the Chapter