He Gu frowned deeply. “Juhan, how can that even be a choice? You two are not the same to me. Can you not make things difficult for me please?”
“I’m making things difficult? To you, is Feng Zheng more important than me? How dare you hesitate and even say I’m making things difficult for you. You’ve been fine without him for six years. Why is it any different now?! Is it because I’ve been busy and haven’t spent much time with you that your ass is now itching for something?!”
“Juhan!” He Gu yelled, “What do you really want? You’re already 26 this year, can you stop and consider others for once?”
Song Juhan’s face showed an expression of pure anger. He glared and roughly squeezed He Gu’s chin. “You want to educate me? Who the f*ck are you to dare and educate me?”
He Gu tried to take a deep breath, his chest rising and falling heavily, and he was looking very emotional.
Song Juhan viciously pushed him away, his eyes taking on an edge of ice. “He Gu, I never want to see you again.” Without another word, he pushed open the car door, got out, and slammed the door behind him.
He Gu’s entire body shook from the shock of the slammed door, his brain going completely blank.
I never want to see you again.
I never want to see you again.
I never want to see you again.
The sentence continued to echo repeatedly in his ears, each time more ear-piercing than the last. He felt as if a poisonous snake had snuck in through his ears and spread its poison directly into his five viscera and six bowels1五脏六腑 – The five viscera (Yin organs) and six bowels (Yang organs) is a concept of Chinese traditional medicine where the body’s internal organs are affiliated to one of the Five Elements, as well as either Yin or Yang (positive or negative energy). However, when used in an everyday sentence, it is used literally to summarize ‘all your internal organs’., leaving him in excruciating pain.
Song Juhan doesn’t want to see him ever again? Is it over? After six years, it’s all over, just like that?
He had always known this day would come, and had thought he was already prepared for it. But… But!
He Gu looked into the rearview mirror, and watched as Song Juhan’s retreating form got smaller and smaller, silently disappearing into the night. A sudden rush of fear and horror gripped his heart fiercely, bringing chills all over, and making him weak from head to toe.
Before his mind could even react, he flew into action, violently ripping open the car door, and screamed, “Juhan!”
Song Juhan did not look back, and got ready to cross the road.
“Juhan, wait!” In He Gu’s field of vision, the entire world began to drain of color. Everything became gray, all except for Song Juhan. Without a care in the world, he ran head-first towards that single speck of color.
Out of nowhere, a blinding white light invaded his sight, then a high-pitched screech of a car braking pierced his eardrums. He Gu felt a sudden gust of wind, followed by an immense force hitting his body. Without his control, his body was thrown to the ground, rolled a few times, and only stopped when he hit the curb.
He Gu’s vision started to black out, his head spinning out of control. No matter how hard he tried to concentrate, his head would not clear up.
“He Gu! He Gu!” Song Juhan’s voice had changed completely. He was suddenly by He Gu’s side. He pulled him up into his arms and started patting him all over. “Are you okay? Where does it hurt? Where were you hit? He Gu!”
He Gu’s eyes slackened. With the constant ringing in his head, he could not decipher what Song Juhan was saying.
The driver got out of his car and ran over in a hurry, clearly in shock as he asked worriedly, “What, what happened?!”
Song Juhan shouted angrily, “What happened?! If anything actually happens to him, laozi will kill you!”
“But, but he was the one that suddenly ran out…” The driver pulled out his phone, his hands trembling as he tried to call 1202120 – is the emergency number in China, like 911 in America..
Song Juhan kept patting He Gu’s face, his hands also trembling as he said, “He Gu, can you hear me? Are you okay?”
He Gu finally managed to clear his mind a little, and started to feel some pain on his body. His head also felt a little dizzy, but other than that, there didn’t seem to be any major problem. He clutched tightly onto Song Juhan’s sleeve and mumbled, “I think… I’m fine…”
“Where’s the ambulance? When’s the ambulance getting here!” Song Juhan shouted at the driver.
“Very soon, very soon.”
Song Juhan’s breath was coming in very short, as if he was panting. He continued to feel around and check He Gu’s body and bones for injuries. After finally coming to a conclusion that he was indeed fine, Song Juhan’s breath gradually calmed down a little. Gritting his teeth, he looked directly into He Gu’s eyes. “Are you an idiot? Do you not look when you walk?”
He Gu had just hit his head against the curb, and probably had a slight concussion. In his state of confusion, He Gu continued to tightly clutch onto Song Juhan’s sleeve and mumble dizzily, “Don’t go.”
“I won’t go, I’m right here.” Song Juhan tightened his arms around him and held him as close as he could. His brows knitted together to form wrinkles on his forehead.
The ambulance and police seemed to arrive at the same time. Song Juhan looked up to see what the commotion was about and suddenly realized that a crowd had gathered at some point. He lowered his head right away, tucking his chin closer and closer to himself. Thankfully, they were currently under the shadow of some tall trees, so their faces were hidden by the darkness around them.
At a loss of what to do, the driver stood around restlessly. “You, come here,” said Song Juhan in a low voice.
The driver came over. “Give me your hat and sunglasses. And if you swear to me that you will not tell anyone about seeing me, I will let you off today.”
The driver had already recognized Song Juhan, and he was momentarily stunned. “Yes, yes, yes. I definitely won’t say anything.” He immediately took off his hat and sunglasses, and handed them over to Song Juhan. Then he took the initiative to hold off the gathering crowd of curious onlookers. Even though it was He Gu’s fault for suddenly rushing out onto the road, he was also at fault for driving quite fast at the time. In the end, nobody was willing to cause unnecessary trouble for themselves.
Song Juhan pulled down the brim of his hat as much as he could, and hurriedly got into the ambulance after He Gu. It wasn’t until the ambulance started moving that he finally let out a sigh of relief.
The second the nurse lifted her head, she let out a surprised yelp, “Ah! Song Juhan!”
Song Juhan looked at her angrily. “Hurry and check him.”
He Gu was still quite dizzy, so by the time they got to the hospital, he was nearly asleep.
The doctor checked him all over, then determined that he had a moderate concussion and some soft tissue contusions. But, all in all, he was not in any serious condition. The doctor suggested they keep him overnight to monitor his condition, then he could go home to rest for a couple of days.
Once he took his medicine, and was given a shot, apart from a slight headache, He Gu’s mind was starting to clear up a bit. He sighed and said, “Juhan, I’m sorry. I did something stupid.”
Song Juhan lightly touched his forehead. “It’s fine. Just rest well.”
He Gu felt both ashamed and a little annoyed with himself. At that moment, it was like he had lost all control over his actions, blindly chasing after Song Juhan without a care for his own wellbeing, and only worried about keeping that person in his sights.
He suddenly had a truly sorrowful realization that even after years of preparing himself, when it finally came to the moment where the fuse burned out, he would still be blown apart and covered all over in cuts and bruises.
This realization gave He Gu a feeling of deep and desperate helplessness. A sudden thought crossed his mind.
If one’s heart could be controlled as one wished, there would definitely be less tragedies in this world.
But if one could really control their heart freely, He Gu wouldn’t have chosen to not love Song Juhan. He would have simply dug out his own heart and not love anyone at all.
Song Juhan sat by the bed and watched him for a long while, then took off his shoes and got in bed. He wiggled around under the blanket and got comfortable, then lightly hugged He Gu and whispered into his ear, “Going through all that with you tonight, I’m exhausted.”
He Gu basked in the comfort of Song Juhan’s generous and hot chest, and his heart strangely began to calm down. He gently held onto Song Juhan’s hand and whispered, “Let’s sleep.”
Slipping between consciousness, he could just about make out Song Juhan’s words. “He Gu, you really are an idiot. Why can’t you just say something sweet from time to time.”
He Gu tried desperately to determine whether he was dreaming or not, but he was too tired to even keep his eyes open. Eventually, he fell into a deep slumber.
The next day, He Gu felt very nauseous and vomited a lot. He was unable to eat anything and was basically like a disabled person.
He called his subordinates to inform them of his situation, then called his boss to personally ask for an extended leave of absence. Although the end of the year was always the busiest period, and his boss was clearly frustrated with his impromptu request, there was nothing he could do about it.
At noon, Xiao Song came to deliver lunch. Seeing He Gu on his phone discussing work, he quickly admonished him saying, “Aiya, aiya3哎呀哎呀 – an interjection of wonder, shock or admiration. It is similar to the English equivalent of ‘oh my, oh my’.” as he tried to grab his phone off him. “He Gu-ge, how can you still think of work when you’re already like this.”
“I’ll be done in a sec…” said He Gu as he put his finger to his lips in a shhh gesture, then quickly continued, “Yes, there is definitely something wrong with that batch of wall paints. The trademarks are clearly fake. Please check again with the original factory. En… yes…”
After hanging up, Xiao Song looked at him helplessly. “I bought you plain congee. You have to at least eat something.”
He Gu forced a smile. “But I really have no appetite. Where’s Juhan?” He started to feel dizzy and nauseous again.
“He got called away, but he’ll be back in the afternoon.” Xiao Song sat down next to his bed and attempted to spoon-feed him.
He Gu had nowhere to run to, so he obediently ate the congee.
“Ge, how can you be so careless? You need to pay more attention when crossing the road. Thank goodness, it wasn’t a serious accident. You really scared me to death.”
Thinking back to the accident, He Gu indeed felt some lingering fear. “I was in a bit of a hurry. But luckily, I’m fine.”
“Still, it’s a blessing in disguise*.”
*因祸得福 – idiom meaning to profit from a disaster, to gain some good from a setback.
Xiao Song giggled mischievously. “You and Han-ge made up, didn’t you?”
He Gu was at a loss. Did that really count as making up?
“This is a great thing for everyone.”
Looking at Xiao Song’s young features and the innocent smile on his face, He Gu couldn’t help but feel a little envious. When he was the same age as Xiao Song, he had yet to reunite with Song Juhan, and was just as ignorant and simple-minded as him.
After finishing his congee, Xiao Song sent He Gu home. He took out the medicine for him to take, and told him to rest well.
He Gu endured his splitting headache and went to take a quick shower. Then he changed into some comfortable home clothes before finally feeling more at ease.
He had already slept for the entire day, and not wanting to sleep any longer, he turned on the TV and started watching Song Juhan’s MV. This activity could be considered He Gu’s favorite pastime.
As he sat there, watching and listening, time flew by in the blink of an eye, leaving He Gu in a daze.
As he started to doze off, He Gu could hear someone calling out to him, as well as his cheek being lightly slapped a few times. Struggling with his fatigue, he barely managed to open his eyes. “…Juhan?”
“Why are you sleeping on the sofa? You have a concussion right now. You should be resting in bed.”
“Oh… I didn’t mean to fall asleep.” He Gu glanced at the window and tried to sit up. “It’s already so dark outside. Have you had dinner yet?”
“Not yet, but I bought takeout.” Song Juhan pointed at the plastic bag sitting on the coffee table, then noticed the content displayed on the TV screen. “Are you watching my MV?”
“En, I wanted to relax a little.”
“The real deal is here. What’s the point in watching that?” Song Juhan looked at the album cover paused on the screen and frowned. “What kind of look were they going for there? The makeup is hideous.”
He Gu laughed, “I think it looks great.”
“I’ve actually gone back and revised this song a little. I’ve changed the singing style, so it’s not as show-offy as before. I think I sing it much better now.”
“Really?” He Gu felt his heart start to race, then tentatively asked, “Will you sing it for me?”
“Sure. Let’s eat first. I’ll sing a live karaoke for you later.” Song Juhan smiled and pinched He Gu’s chin. “Do you know how much I charge for singing one song? You’ve hit the jackpot here.”
“One minute, 80,000 yuan?” said He Gu sarcastically.
Song Juhan pouted. “That’s a different billing method. My live performance fee for one song is 300,000 yuan.”
He Gu laughed. “You’re such a profiteer.”
“Come, let’s eat,” said Song Juhan as he pulled He Gu up from the sofa.
The two amicably ate their takeout, the atmosphere giving off an unprecedented feeling of harmony. Neither mentioned the events of last night, or what happened before that. He Gu would rather he have lost his memory, or perhaps just to continue living with his current memory.
After dinner, Song Juhan really decided to start singing. He picked up the microphone and casually sang a few words, then frowned and said, “This mic really sucks.”
“It came with the TV. I’ll buy a better one next time.”
“Forget it. I have tons at home. I’ll get Xiao Song to bring one over next time.” Song Juhan wrapped an arm around He Gu’s waist, then lowered his head and smiled at He Gu. “Listen carefully.”
He Gu nodded. The corner of his lips lifted slightly as he desperately tried to suppress his widening smile.
Using his unique and languid voice, Song Juhan started to sing a love song.
Song Juhan was right. His voice right now was quite different from a few years back. It had lost its pompous and boastful edge, and instead taken on an implicit charm. The deep emotion captured in his song could make people’s hearts tremble.
He Gu listened on as his eyes started to feel sore with an urge to start crying.
The last time he had heard Song Juhan sing just for him was that night six years ago. Thinking back to it now, that night was truly the most memorable night of his life. The sweetest picture in his mind was Song Juhan holding his guitar, his eyes closed, and singing intoxicatedly at him. This Song Juhan that sang solely for him was like a glowing angel. It was a memory that would always be treasured as the most precious and beautiful memory of his life.
But now, even if that scene was to be repeated again, everything would be different. Although the things would remain the same, the people have long changed.