Gu Qingpei came back in time to ease He Gu’s awkwardness.
Seeing the two of them sitting together, Gu Qingpei teased, “Jieyu, I found that you are quite interested in He Gu.”
Zhuang Jieyu said unapologetically, “Yeah, don’t you think he’s quite interesting?”
Gu Qingpei smiled unfathomably. “He is a little interesting.”
He Gu’s face could no longer be hung1It just means he’s embarrassed., and he coughed lightly.
Gu Qingpei smiled and said, “Alright, I won’t tease you.”
Zhuang Jieyu poured wine for He Gu, and the three of them clinked glasses together.
Zhuang Jieyu was very naughty, and his address of “He Gu-ge” turned into “He-shushu.2叔叔 – Literally, one’s father’s younger brother (uncle), but it can also be used to address an older male.” Gu Qingpei was amused by him and kept laughing, while He Gu felt extremely helpless.
In the end, the two of them added each other on WeChat. Zhuang Jieyu wrapped his arms around He Gu’s neck and forced him to promise to never delete it or else he wouldn’t let go. He Gu finally had to agree.
Although he had quite a headache with Zhuang Jieyu, having someone so playful to lighten the atmosphere did improve his mood.
When He Gu got home that night, he found an envelope stuffed under the door.
He opened it and saw an SVIP ticket and an exclusive parking ticket for Song Juhan’s concert, as well as a note from Xiao Song: Ge, waiting for you to come.
He Gu shook the ticket and slowly brought it to his eyes. He could still smell the ink fragrance.
Should he go or not?
Actually, it only took two hours to come back from Tang City by train. The concert would start at eight in the evening, so it wouldn’t be too late.
Over the years, he had never missed any of Song Juhan’s concerts, except for those few that were held abroad.
As long as it was in the country, he wouldn’t miss a single one. It seemed to have become a ritual. If he wanted to break a certain conviction, perhaps he should start with this symbolic ritual.
After the ribbon-cutting ceremony, the government side wanted to keep them for dinner. Those who wanted to go back early could go back with the company’s car.
He Gu should have stayed, but he got on the bus and went back under the pretext that he was not feeling well. He didn’t like those social occasions, and when he’d come across those who wanted to drink, he would hide as much as he could.
By the time he got home, it was already dark. He Gu looked at his watch. It was past seven in the evening.
He touched his stomach and was a little hungry. He casually heated some leftovers, and as he ate, he kept looking at his watch.
The concert… is about to start, right?
Even if he went now, it would be too late. Today was New Year’s day, so traffic was bound to be heavy. Maybe by the time he arrived, the concert would be almost over. He might as well watch it live at home.
He Gu turned on the TV, and as expected, the entertainment channel was broadcasting Song Juhan’s New Year’s concert. Look, that radiant man on the stage who could captivate all beings had tens and thousands of fans crazy for him alone.
The music on the TV had lost much of its luster, but it was still intoxicating. He Gu felt his heart pounding, as if it was surging with the rhythm of the music. He clenched his fist and struggled for a moment, then fiercely punched the sofa, stood up, grabbed his jacket and ticket, and rushed out.
He wanted to see. He wanted to see Song Juhan standing like an emperor on that stage in the clouds and singing to his heart’s content. He wanted to see Song Juhan being insufferably arrogant, yet totally devoted to music with a love and single-mindedness that couldn’t be found in anything or anyone. Maybe the reason why He Gu loved watching his concerts live was because he wanted to see that look of Song Juhan when he sincerely loved something.
That kind of look was very fascinating, but unfortunately, it had never belonged to him.
He Gu got into the car and drove as fast as he could to the stadium.
The road was really very congested. He couldn’t stop looking at the time, his heart as anxious as fire.
If he could listen to at least one whole song, it would be okay.
By the time he got to the stadium, it was past nine o’clock. He Gu showed his ticket. Since the stadium was already full of people, a staff member personally led him to go around the backstage. However, when they got to the front row, they found his seat occupied. The staff member had to go over and drive that person away. He Gu said, “Forget it. It’s almost over; I’ll just stand here and watch.”
He had recognized that that person was Xiao Song’s girlfriend. He Gu was now standing on the side of the main stage. In fact, he was very close to Song Juhan. He Gu could see him very clearly, but he himself was covered by equipment. Song Juhan wouldn’t be able to notice him easily, so it was better this way.
“Sir, this is not good. Your ticket is the best seat.”
“It’s okay. You can go back to your work.”
He Gu’s location was a bit close to the sound system. The music was deafening, and the fans’ shouts rang through the sky, but in such a chaotic environment, Song Juhan’s song gushed into his heart like a river, making his whole body tremble as it flowed into his blood and his bones.
The man on stage seemed to be the center of the universe, the freezing point of time. He was in charge of the hearts of everyone present, and they rose and fell with his emotions. He Gu couldn’t take his eyes off him. All kinds of things from the past came flooding in, filling his brain in an instant, and finally converging into a strong desire. He really wanted to hold Song Juhan. He really wanted this man to look at him and sing only for him.
He wanted to own him and monopolize him so, so badly. It was a desire that couldn’t wait to break through the shackles of his physical body and reign free between heaven and earth!
There was the sound of heavy drumming. He Gu came to himself with a start and took a sudden breath, his eyes widening in surprise.
What was he thinking? He had long stopped having such thoughts!
When the song finished, Song Juhan coughed lightly and said with a smile in that gentle and languid voice, “Did you all enjoy listening to it?”
How the fans wished they could turn their whole body’s strength into shouts, desperately3争先恐后 – striving to be first and fearing to be last. A closer translation would be to “scramble,” but in this sentence, the idiom is being used as an adverb, and I’m pretty sure scramblingly is not a word. hoping their voices could reach the ears of the god.
Song Juhan laughed twice. “It’s good you’re all happy. I sing just so someone will feel happy listening to it.”
He Gu couldn’t help but put his hand over his heart. This heart wouldn’t listen to him, and it was about to jump out of its throat.
Song Juhan sang the last song for the night. But with the feverish chants for an “encore,” he willingly sang another two songs before finally ending the concert on a high note and in the midst of high-pitched screams.
He Gu was on his way out, following the flow of the leaving concert-goers, when he suddenly had the intense urge to go see Song Juhan.
After squeezing through the crowded people for a good while, he finally managed to return to where he was standing during the concert. He wanted to go through the backstage to find Song Juhan but was stopped by staff members. Just as he was about to call Xiao Song, he ran into Song Juhan’s keyboard player, Ah Sheng.
“Oh, if it isn’t He Gu. When did you get here? I didn’t even see you.”
“Yeah, I arrived late,” said He Gu, before he quickly added, “Ah Sheng, can you get me in?”
“No problem.” Ah Sheng spoke a few words to the staff member, and He Gu was easily let into the backstage.
“Ah Sheng, is Juhan in the waiting room?”
“Should be, I haven’t seen him since we came offstage. He must’ve desperately needed the toilet, haha.” Ah Sheng pointed down a corridor as he gave directions to He Gu. “The waiting room is just down there, right at the end and around the corner on the right. I’m leaving first, gotta get home to see the kids.”
“Sure, thanks for that. See you.” He Gu followed the corridor with quickened steps, his heart feeling incessantly nervous.
What would he say when he saw Song Juhan? Or maybe he should just leave, and pretend he wasn’t here at all… He Gu was still deliberating what to do, but his legs seemed to have a mind of their own, making their way towards the waiting room. As he turned the corner, a row of waiting rooms appeared before him, each with the name of Song Juhan’s bandmates stuck on the door. The last door at the end had the name—Song Juhan.
He Gu took a deep breath, then walked over to knock on the door. Just as he lifted his hand up, he froze.
Behind the door, the sound of heavy panting and things crashing about could be heard. Amongst that was the erotic cries of someone calling out “Han-ge, Han-ge…” accompanied by erratic, low, and sensual moans.
He Gu’s entire being tensed up. He looked around anxiously, not sure what to do. Luckily, there wasn’t anyone around to witness his humiliating and pitiful state.
He revealed a tragic smile that looked worse than openly crying. At that moment, he felt as if his heart had been cut open and ripped out.
He Gu, you are too pitiful. It’s been over six years, over two thousand days and nights. Is this still not enough for you to understand? How can you still dare to have expectations for him?
He forced himself to back up a step, then turned and quickly fled down the corridor, back to where he came from.
Just as he turned the corner, someone came out of nowhere. He Gu couldn’t dodge him in time and ran straight into the other man.
“Aiya… He Gu-ge?” The moment Xiao Song saw He Gu, he visibly flinched in surprise. “You, what are you doing here? I thought you couldn’t come.”
He Gu paled, then calmly answered, “I came late.”
Xiao Song nervously glanced down the corridor at where the waiting rooms were and swallowed hard. “So you… have you gone to see Han-ge already?”
He Gu didn’t answer but instead said, “I’m heading back first.” Then brushed past Xiao Song and walked off.
“Hey, ge,” Xiao Song called out, then anxiously added, “Han-ge didn’t know you came. But he was really looking forward to you coming to this concert.”
As if he hadn’t heard the other man, He Gu quickly fled the scene.
By the time He Gu got to his car, his cheeks were still burning hot. Apart from the word “idiot,” He Gu couldn’t find a better adjective to describe himself at this moment.
He leaned back in his seat and took a few deep breaths. Only then did the throbbing pain in his chest subside a little.
Wasn’t he already used to all this? Whoever Song Juhan chose to sleep with, it wasn’t up to him to decide. It was just that Song Juhan’s behavior lately had been so misleading that it momentarily confused He Gu. It messed up his usually logical brain and made him think too much. That was probably why He Gu felt upset over nothing.
Served him right.
He Gu started the car and rolled down the windows fully, allowing the chilly winter breeze to pierce his skin and cool down his mind.
By the time he parked up, Song Juhan’s phone call came. As He Gu stared at the name displayed on the phone, he slowly turned the phone over, removed the casing, and took out the battery.
After getting home, He Gu sat silently in the dark living room for a very long time.
The Tang city project was one of the biggest projects since before the end of the year. Now that it was finished, it was like a big weight had been lifted off He Gu’s shoulders. His boss had even given him three days off. With these extra vacation days, He Gu was at a loss as to what to do. Now that he thought about it, his life was really quite boring, it was as if without Song Juhan, there wasn’t anything else worthy of his attention or interest.
This wouldn’t do.
After thinking for a long time, He Gu decided to go to Shen city to see his mother. Picking up the landline, he called his mother.
His mother answered the phone, surprised, “He Gu? What’s wrong?”
“I’m fine. Why would you ask that?”
His mother sounded a little embarrassed as she said, “Oh, it’s just that you never call me normally.”
“I’m perfectly fine. It’s just that I’ll be heading to Shen city for work in the next couple of days. So I thought of coming to see you.”
The phone was silent for a while, before his mother said excitedly, “Really, do you really mean it? You want to come see me?”
He Gu listened to his mother’s perturbed yet obviously happy voice, and his heart clenched as it left a bitter taste in his mouth. “Yes,” he answered. “We haven’t seen each other in quite a long time.”
“Indeed… What time is your flight? I’ll come pick you up.”
“It’s fine, the company has already arranged a driver for me. I’ll be there the day after tomorrow. Let’s meet up for dinner then.”
“Of course, of course. Contact me when you get here.”
After he hung up, He Gu took a shower, then got straight in bed.
He Gu had been running around all day, so he was extremely exhausted. Most of all, he regretted going to that concert, but there was nothing he could do since he had brought it on himself.
As he thought to himself, he unconsciously drifted off to sleep. It didn’t seem like he had fallen asleep for long when he was abruptly startled awake by the sound of the door opening and closing. Had Song Juhan come?
In the next second, the bedroom light was switched on. He Gu adjusted his vision before a tall and sturdy figure came into focus.
Song Juhan stood by the door, staring at He Gu with a stiff expression.
As He Gu’s eyes finally focused again, he lowered his hand, then buried his head under the covers.
Song Juhan strode over and pulled He Gu out of the quilt. “Why didn’t you tell me when you came?”
He Gu rubbed his eyes and said in a small voice, “I’m sleepy.”
“When on earth did you come? How come I didn’t see you!” Song Juhan was simply furious.
He Gu only felt it was a little funny. What was Song Juhan mad about? He narrowed his eyes and said, “I was late. The concert was good.”
Song Juhan’s face changed slightly. He gritted his teeth and said, “Couldn’t you have come earlier? I especially reserved a seat for you…”
“It’s fine, I heard it very clearly.” After deliberately emphasizing the word “heard,” He Gu felt he was being a bit childish.
“… Which idiot let you in backstage? Non-staff members are not allowed backstage, who the hell let you in?” Song Juhan was so angry that he was venting out his temper indiscriminately.
“Nobody stopped me.” He Gu yawned. He really didn’t have the strength to face Song Juhan again, much less talk to him. “I’m really sleepy. Let me sleep.” Then he closed his eyes, as if keeping Song Juhan out of sight could also keep him out of his world.
Song Juhan stared at He Gu’s knit eyebrows. His face turned green, then white4脸色青一阵白一阵 – Describes the changes of expressions on the face because of emotional ups and downs, such as anger and fear. After sitting rigidly on the bed for a long time, he suddenly lowered his head and kissed He Gu’s hair.
He Gu didn’t respond.
Song Juhan put his hand into the quilt, and the cold hand came into contact with He Gu’s skin, making He Gu shiver. Song Juhan became even more daring and fondled him with abandon.
He Gu squirmed under the covers and tried to avoid it, but Song Juhan turned his body over and pressed on him, leaving hot kisses on his cheek, neck, and chest, while one hand pulled on his loose nightwear.
He Gu was fully awake this time. He struggled to get up, and pushed Song Juhan away with all his strength.
Song Juhan was annoyed. “What are you doing!”
He Gu’s eyes were so red. He pushed Song Juhan hard, sat up on the bed, and yelled in a volume louder than him. “What are you doing!”
Song Juhan’s clothes were flimsy, his hair was messy, and his face was still full of makeup. Coupled with his shocked and somewhat aggrieved expression, he looked wretched, but at the same time, a little pitiful. However, when he came back to his senses, that bit of pitifulness instantly transformed into raging anger. “Have you had enough! What d*mned thing are you playing! After all this time, have you still not stopped? I’ve already f*cking apologized for last time, what more do you want?! Are you going through an early menopause? How dare you look at me like that!”
He Gu’s shirt was wide open, and his chest was heaving violently. The feeling of suffocation in the presence of Song Juhan forced him to expend several times more effort just to breathe easily. However, he had gotten used to it. Being around Song Juhan was never easy. It’s funny how so many people still want to get close to this arrogant star.
He Gu slumped his shoulders and said in a low voice, “I’m already very tired from today. Can you let me rest?”
The expression on Song Juhan’s face was somewhat twisted. He clenched his fist, looked at the exhaustion on He Gu’s face, and finally held back his anger. He got up and went to the bathroom.
He Gu fell back to the bed. For a moment, it felt as if he didn’t even have the strength to move a finger.
He listened to the sound of rushing water coming from the bathroom and fell into a daze.
After a while, the sound of the water stopped, and Song Juhan, covered in steam, got into the quilt again. He hugged He Gu tightly, pressed his forehead against his forehead, and whispered, “We haven’t done it in a long time.”
He Gu pretended to be asleep.
Song Juhan was silent for a while, then suddenly complained in a small voice, “Why are you treating me worse and worse?”