Having been eating in silence for five minutes, He Gu felt that it was too boring to have a meal face-to-face like this while being in a cold war. So he took the initiative to start a conversation with Feng Zheng about work. Feng Zheng replied with short one-worded answers, clearly still in a bad mood from the previous argument.
After dinner, Feng Zheng gave the medicine to He Gu and reminded, “Take it half an hour after your meal.”
“Sure. Thanks again for today. If you hadn’t come, I wouldn’t have been able to have such a delicious dinner.”
Feng Zheng snorted, then glanced at him from the corner of his eyes. “If I didn’t come, you would’ve probably collapsed from your fever and no one would have even known.”
He Gu chuckled, “No way. Before you came, I already had some medicine. It just hadn’t kicked in yet.”
“Go lie down. It should be around half an hour after I clean up. I’ll call you to have the medicine then.”
“There’s no need. I feel a lot better after having dinner. I can clean up myself.”
“Just listen to me.” Feng Zheng dragged him back to the bedroom and pressed him onto the bed. “Your clothes are a little wet. You should change them.” Feng Zheng reached up and held onto his collar, and He Gu looked down in the same moment. This caused He Gu’s first button to burst open, revealing his collarbone and a small area of his chest.
Feng Zheng’s eyes froze all of a sudden, focusing on the small section of exposed skin. He Gu didn’t know why he was staring, so he lowered his head and saw a greenish-brown mark on his chest. This was… a hickey?! He suddenly remembered seeing all those kiss marks on his body when he took a shower that morning…
Feng Zheng’s eyes widened, and he viciously tore open the rest of his shirt. When he saw the other marks littered across He Gu’s body, Feng Zheng’s whole body stiffened as if a strike of lightning had just hit him.
He Gu immediately pushed Feng Zheng’s hands away. “Feng Zheng, what are you doing!”
“What is this?!” Feng Zheng grabbed He Gu with a force that caused a pinching pain in his shoulders.
He Gu was especially embarrassed. “Whatever it is, it has nothing to do with you! Do you even know what you are doing right now!”
“I’m asking you, what is this!” Feng Zheng shouted in anger. He couldn’t believe what he was seeing on He Gu’s body!
He Gu closed his eyes, feeling a sense of embarrassment and anger like never before. “Hickeys. Is there a problem?”
Feng Zheng’s hands trembled as his eyes became red from anger. “… Who?”
He Gu was silent for a while. “I think I have the right to not tell you. Feng Zheng, you are being very unreasonable right now. Am I the one with the fever, or is it you?”
Feng Zheng gritted his teeth in frustration and said, “Tell me. Who is it!?”
“I don’t want to say!” He Gu was also starting to feel frustrated. “I am already 22 years old. I am a grown man. Who I date, or who I’m with, I don’t think I need to report everything to you. Feng Zheng, I think you should go.”
Feng Zheng seemed to suddenly think of something, and his eyes instantly turned cold as ice. “It’s Song Juhan, isn’t it?”
He Gu was shocked. By the time he tried to reign in his expression, it was already too late.
“He Gu, you idiot!” Feng Zheng was so angry that he pushed He Gu down. “You’re really a fucking idiot! You want to be with Song Juhan? Do you even know what kind of person he is?”
After hearing that, He Gu actually calmed down. “Feng Zheng, I don’t know what misunderstandings you have with him, but those have nothing to do with me. Do you even know how unreasonable you are being right now?”
“Me? Unreasonable? You are the one that’s being unreasonable! Did you sleep with him? You slept with him, didn’t you!” Feng Zheng was so angry, he looked as if he was about to jump forward and kill He Gu.
He Gu let out a deep sigh, “Yes, is there a problem?”
“He can sleep with you today, and also dump you tomorrow. That’s the kind of bastard Song Juhan is. Are you fucking blind!”
“Even if that happens, it’s my own problem.”
“Your own problem?” Feng Zheng stared angrily at He Gu. “Have you even thought about why Song Juhan would be interested in you? If it weren’t for me, he wouldn’t have even glanced at you!”
He Gu froze, and his expression changed drastically. “What do you mean?”
Feng Zheng realized he had said something wrong and immediately stopped talking. Even if he had wanted to take back his words, it was already too late. Instead, he clenched his teeth and continued to stare angrily at He Gu, not saying another word.
“Feng Zheng, just now, what did you mean? Tell me clearly. If Song Juhan really wanted to just play around with me, I can take it. I’m not a woman. We just slept together once, it’s not a big deal. If you really treat me as a friend, just tell me clearly.”
Feng Zheng clenched his fists and said in a low voice, “He… He’s only doing it to trigger me.”
“What do you mean?”
“We… We always fought as kids. He saw us together, so he wants to steal you from me.”
Confused by Feng Zheng’s words, He Gu felt his mind go blank. “But… we’re just friends.”
“But he doesn’t think so.” Feng Zheng stared directly into He Gu’s eyes. “I don’t think so either.”
He Gu was shocked speechless, staring at Feng Zheng.
“I know you are just momentarily confused by his charm. Didn’t we get along quite well before? He Gu, you asked me before whether I might like men. I didn’t answer at the time, but I can answer you now. If that man was you…”
“Stop talking.” He Gu lowered his head. “Feng Zheng, you know this isn’t the first time. I don’t know if you are intentionally or unintentionally playing with me. You tease me one day, then pretend nothing happened the next. I can’t just stand there and keep allowing you to play this game with me.”
“You have to give me some time!”
He Gu sighed. “Love is all about the timing after all.” The faint affection he had once felt for Feng Zheng had long faded with each and every rejection throughout the years.
Feng Zheng held onto He Gu’s shoulders, and sternly said, “He Gu, don’t be stupid, okay? Song Juhan is just playing with you. Be… Be with me instead.”
He Gu grabbed Feng Zheng’s wrists, and unconsciously tightened his grip. Looking blankly at him, he said, “Feng Zheng, what you’re saying and doing today is just like a child causing a scene for no reason. Just go home and calm down. We’ll be in touch, okay?”
“You don’t believe me?”
“How can I believe you like this?”
“You’ve only known Song Juhan for a few days? But you believe him? He has plenty of people around him and can have anyone he wants. Have you not thought about why he’s interested in you?!”
Feng Zheng’s words were like a spear stabbing straight into He Gu’s heart. He took a deep breath and said, “For what you’ve said, I’ve already thought about it all. Listen carefully, Feng Zheng. First of all, we’ve already missed our chance. It’s impossible between us. Secondly, I can’t doubt Song Juhan without any evidence. And lastly, even if what you said was true, it’s not like I can’t afford to play around with him.” Although He Gu appeared casual on the outside, he was feeling particularly awful inside. He really didn’t want to believe Feng Zheng’s words, but what he said did explain a few of his inner doubts, like why Song Juhan would even look at him in the first place.
If it really was because of Feng Zheng… He couldn’t even bear to think about it.
Feng Zheng stared stiffly at He Gu, his expression gradually becoming sad. “He Gu, why have I never noticed how cruel you could be? You can’t possibly feel nothing for me. Sooner or later, you will realize the kind of person Song Juhan is.”
“Feng Zheng, any feelings I had for you are already in the past. Even if Song Juhan is an asshole, I can’t just turn around and be with you either. Who would I be if I did something like that?” He looked at Feng Zheng seriously and added, “Feng Zheng, you really are my closest friend. Spending time with you as a friend has been one of the happiest times of my life, can’t we just stay like this forever?”
“No.” Feng Zheng pulled his hand away, his expression once again turning savage. “He Gu, you will regret this. I will show you exactly who Song Juhan is.” He turned around in anger, punched the wall twice, and stormed out.
The door was violently slammed shut.
He Gu felt the tension leave his body as he weakly turned around and once again lay down on the bed.
Why did things turn out like this…
Was Song Juhan really like what Feng Zheng said? Deep down, he didn’t want to believe it. However, he couldn’t help feeling that there was some truth behind Feng Zheng’s words.
He Gu was just an unremarkable college graduate. Both his looks and family background were considered average. Why would someone like Song Juhan be interested in him after only seeing him once?
But… He thought back to Song Juhan’s gentle words, Song Juhan’s smile, Song Juhan’s voice. All those couldn’t possibly be fake. Could he not even believe what he had seen with his own eyes?
He Gu closed his eyes, his mind feeling chaotic and restless. A feeling of unease weighed down his heart, as if it was pulling him towards a dark and bottomless pit.
He Gu didn’t know when he fell asleep, but by the time he woke up again, the fever had passed and his body also felt more relaxed. After getting out of bed, he took his medicine and drank two big glasses of water. His muddled mind finally cleared up a little.
Thinking back to everything that happened last night, he still felt quite uncomfortable and embarrassed.
Truthfully, he really did care about Feng Zheng. He was probably the closest friend he had ever had, his best friend. The two had a lot in common. Whether it was at school or at work, they could always talk about anything. For someone like He Gu who had a rather withdrawn personality, it wasn’t easy for him to find a friend that he could open up to.
He didn’t know what happened between Song Juhan and Feng Zheng to cause such a deep misunderstanding, but obviously, it was more serious than he had originally thought. Regardless of whether Song Juhan’s motives were impure or not, if it could make Feng Zheng make such outrageous assumptions, that, in itself, was enough proof.
However, regarding what Feng Zheng said about wanting to be with him, He Gu really didn’t believe a word of it. If Song Juhan was really only messing with him because of a so-called “competition” between the two, wouldn’t a sudden declaration of love from Feng Zheng be more suspicious?
He Gu nestled into the sofa, and spent the afternoon thinking through everything. In the end, he decided to go ask Song Juhan himself. Anyways, he was damned whether he did anything or not1伸头一刀，缩头也一刀 – literally translates as ‘knifed when you stretch your head forward, or knifed when you pull your head back’, a metaphor used to describe a situation where one is at a disadvantage whether they chose to advance or retreat.. The worst that could happen would be getting dumped. He was still young, and his life had just begun. He could survive a little emotional heartbreak.
After getting ready, he went out. He decided to go to Song Juhan’s home and wait around the area. Song Juhan had to return home at some point.
Once he got to Song Juhan’s apartment complex, he went to a nearby cafe to wait. Settling in, he sent Song Juhan a message, “I’m near your home. There’s something I want to talk to you about. When will you be home?”
There was no response for the whole afternoon. But he was not in any hurry, so he took his books out and started working on his thesis.
By the time it was dark outside, Song Juhan replied. “Filming outdoors. Won’t be coming home tonight.”
He Gu was a little disappointed. He packed up his things and went home.
As He Gu was on the bus home, he received a call from Feng Zheng.
Feng Zheng’s cool voice came through the phone, “He Gu, where are you?”
“I’m outside, but I’ll be home soon.”
“Come over now.”
“Don’t you want to know exactly who Song Juhan is? I’ll show you today.”
He Gu held his breath, his voice trembling as he said, “… Okay. Send me the address.” After getting off at the next bus stop, He Gu hailed a cab and rushed to the address sent by Feng Zheng.
He arrived at a nightclub that seemed very private and hidden. There were two bodyguards standing by the door. Anybody who wanted to enter had to show some kind of invitation to be allowed in.
As He Gu was hesitating, Feng Zheng walked over with a gloomy expression on his face.
He Gu had never seen Feng Zheng with such an expression. In the past, even when Feng Zheng was angry, he would never show an expression of such hostility. He Gu opened his mouth, but didn’t know what to say.
Feng Zheng led him over to the club entrance, showed an image on his phone, and the bodyguards immediately gestured for them to enter. “Master Feng, please come in.”
With a sullen face, Feng Zheng walked in as He Gu followed closely behind.
As they arrived in front of a private room, Feng Zheng said, “Go in. I’ll wait for you outside.” As Feng Zheng turned around, he mumbled under his breath, “Lest a fight breaks out.”
He Gu glanced at Feng Zheng, his heart beating erratically.
On the other side of the door, He Gu could hear a sweet feminine voice singing inside.
What would he see when he opened the door? At this point, it no longer mattered. He couldn’t go back anymore. Taking a deep breath, he knocked on the door.
Closing his eyes, He Gu pushed open the door.
The private room was very spacious. There were at least twenty people inside, both sitting and standing around. At a glance, He Gu immediately spotted Song Juhan. He was sitting in the corner of the sofa with a very beautiful girl in his arms. The two had their heads lowered intimately, talking and smiling affectionately at each other.
He Gu felt his scalp tingle, a chill running through his hands and feet. The eyes staring curiously at him felt like needles piercing his skin.
The moment Song Juhan saw him, his facial expression immediately changed. A hint of surprise flashed across his face.
He Gu was unusually calm. “Excuse me, I’m looking for someone.”
Song Juhan loosened his arms that were wrapped around the slender feminine waist, and stood up. His tone was extremely unpleasant as he ground out, “He Gu, why are you here?”
He Gu desperately tried to restrain the emotions surging inside. “Juhan, come outside with me.”
Song Juhan nodded at his friends. “You guys continue. I’ll be right back,” he said as he followed He Gu out, closing the door behind him.
He Gu took a few deep breaths, his chest rising and falling heavily. After letting out a sigh, he said, “I have something to ask you.”
Ignoring him, Song Juhan fired one question after another. “Who brought you here? Is it Feng Zheng? You told him about us?”
“He found out on his own.” He Gu simply stared at Song Juhan. Just yesterday, he had looked at this person and felt his heart in full bloom. But now ,that blooming flower had already been blown over by the chilly wind and dirtied by the muddy ground.
Song Juhan ran his fingers through his hair irritably. “What does he want to achieve by bringing you here?”
He Gu felt a shock straight to his heart. As he tried to keep himself calm, he said, “The girl you were holding just now, is she your girlfriend?”
Song Juhan said nonchalantly, “No.”
“Then what am I?”
Song Juhan stared at He Gu, with a look of incredulity flashing across his eyes. “What do you mean?”
“What do I mean?” Hearing this question, He Gu felt quite bewildered. “Song Juhan, do you really not know what I mean?”
Song Juhan sneered, then looked at He Gu’s face and broke into a fit of uncontrollable laughter.