“Song Juhan and Feng Zheng used to have a thing.”
Used to have a thing.
Peng Fang’s words were like a heavy-duty torpedo exploding in He Gu’s heart.
A thing? What does he mean by “a thing”? Does it really mean what I think it means?
Peng Fang was taken aback by the ashen look on He Gu’s face. “Hey, what’s wrong with you?”
It turned out that when one suffered a heavy blow, pain wouldn’t be their first reaction, but rather loss.
He Gu felt like he was hearing a voice from above. It seemed so unrealistic and frightening. Why would Peng Fang spout such nonsense? Song Juhan and Feng Zheng together? How was that possible?!
Those two were like mortal enemies. They were completely incompatible and had fallen out years ago…
Out of nowhere, He Gu felt a sharp pain in his chest, making him stumble on the spot.
Peng Fang waved his hand in front of He Gu’s vacant eyes, looking confused. He grabbed on to support his swaying body and said, “He Gu, what is wrong with you? Do you have some kind of heart condition?”
With surprising strength, He Gu grabbed Peng Fang’s elbow, causing the other man to frown in pain. He Gu looked him straight in the eye with a vacant expression as he asked in a trembling voice, “When was it?”
“What do you mean ‘when was it’?” Peng Fang asked casually, his mind distracted by how He Gu had nearly fainted just a moment ago. He even considered calling an ambulance.
Just as Peng Fang was thinking of that, He Gu shouted in his face, “When was it?! When did they have a thing?!”
Peng Fang was taken aback as he glanced at Yuan Yang. A mutual understanding dawned on them as they suddenly realized that there must be something going on between He Gu and Feng Zheng, hence the unexplainable outbreak from He Gu.
Yuan Yang gloated at Peng Fang’s misery as he looked at the other man with an expression that screamed “look at what your big mouth did.” Peng Fang shrunk back in embarrassment, then opened his mouth to try and save the situation, “Um, about that… It’s actually nothing serious. It happened ages ago, and plus I think it was back when we were in junior high, so we were just children back then… I mean, who doesn’t have some youthful memories, right? Don’t think too much of it.”
The last shred of energy He Gu had left him as he slowly slumped against the nearby wall. He was completely dumbfounded by Peng Fang’s words.
Song Juhan and Feng Zheng… Feng Zheng and Song Juhan?
So those two grew up as childhood sweethearts? And the only reason they grew apart was because they were used to always comparing themselves against each other. Their relationship eventually became so competitive that they even fought over lovers—fought over him.
It shouldn’t have been such a surprise to He Gu, since this was what Feng Zheng and Song Juhan had told him personally. At least, this was what Feng Zheng had said. On the other hand, Song Juhan never refuted it, so He Gu naturally didn’t suspect him either. In that moment, He Gu couldn’t fathom how those two—who were always at each other’s necks—could have once had “a thing.”
How could this possibly be?
No, this was exactly it. This was exactly how everything could be explained clearly.
It would explain why Song Juhan took an interest in him instantly, and why Feng Zheng resented him for being with Song Juhan. Everything that happened in the last six or so years could be truthfully and cruelly explained by this.
But… what about him?
He was… In the end, he was nothing to them.
He Gu was simply a supporting role to carry the plot along. His existence was merely to kick up a small storm between the two main characters. No matter what he did, the final narrative wouldn’t change for an insignificant character like himself.
How delusional he must’ve been to dare dream that Song Juhan would ever reciprocate his feelings?
This unrequited love that he had held for the last ten years, as well as the six years he spent accompanying Song Juhan at his side—they all counted for absolutely nothing.
Right from the beginning, everything was a laughable joke.
How must Song Juhan have seen him? A pathetic man that easily clung to him after a few sweet words… Song Juhan must’ve thought his ex-boyfriend had horrible taste in men.
Likewise, how must Feng Zheng have seen him? He must’ve thought “Song Juhan only got close to you because of me, and yet you’re still eagerly rushing forward to get drawn in.”
All these years, they must have laughed at him countless times, jeering behind his back at his stupidity, his tragic life, and his ridiculous overestimation of his own worth. Even after Feng Zheng tried to warn him, He Gu still didn’t back down. He thought that he could freely stay by Song Juhan’s side as a casual “f*ck buddy.” But in the end, that was just an excuse he gave himself. Deep down, He Gu knew clearly in his heart that the only reason he stayed was because he couldn’t bear to leave Song Juhan.
He was so deeply in love with him that he couldn’t help himself. He simply wasn’t willing to let go.
He Gu used everything in his power and exhausted all his energy into loving someone, but at the end of the day, he was played like a circus monkey for all these years.
On top of that, the one person He Gu truly regarded as his friend, the one that he felt the most guilt towards, watched him suffer through this joke for six long years.
If Feng Zheng had just told him the truth right from the beginning, then no matter how thick-skinned He Gu was, there was no way he would have gotten involved with Song Juhan.
But there were no “if’s” in life. He Gu had spent the most precious years of his life invested in a hopeless relationship, blindly moving himself to tears through his wishful thinking whilst unknowingly entertaining those around him.
The realization made He Gu want to… want to throw up.
Why was he still alive? Why couldn’t his shame and despair just kill him already?
Why? Just why did they have to treat him like this…
Peng Fang sensed the awkwardness in the air. He ran his fingers through his hair nervously and said, “He Gu, it’s not that bad, is it? Even if you and Feng Zheng are together now, you shouldn’t care about his relationships from over ten years ago. You’re a man, you should be more open-minded.”
He Gu didn’t seem to hear him as he turned around and stumbled out.
All he wanted was to get out of there. Just the thought of Song Juhan showing up later, or the idea that he would have to face him in person, made He Gu nauseous.
Obviously concerned, Yuan Yang said to Peng Fang, “He doesn’t seem quite well, let Lao Zhao1老赵 – Old Zhao; probably the name of Peng Fang’s driver send him back.”
Peng Fang rushed forward to support He Gu. “He Gu, you can’t drive in your current state. Are you sure you don’t want to go to the hospital? If not, I could have my driver send you home.”
He Gu turned a deaf ear to all as he ignored everything around him. At that moment, all external matters meant nothing to him; the only thing he cared about was to run away—to run far away from Song Juhan.
Befuddled, Peng Fang felt as though his head would explode any minute. If he had known this would happen, he would have kept his blabbermouth shut. There was obviously trouble on the horizon, but there was nothing he could do about it now. He had no choice but to support He Gu, as he was truly afraid the man would collapse after a few more stumbling steps.
Just as they got to the elevators, the doors opened with a ding. All five pairs of eyes looked at each other.
Outside the elevator were He Gu, Peng Fang and Yuan Yang.
Inside the elevator were Song Juhan and Zhuang Jieyu.
The instant Song Juhan saw He Gu, he froze momentarily. He then quickly recovered himself and pulled Zhuang Jieyu to his side. With an expression as if to show off his prowess, he looked down at He Gu.
Zhuang Jieyu panicked. “He Gu, you… what are you doing here?” His face was full of disbelief as he glanced from He Gu to Song Juhan. Although he was clearly angry, Zhuang Jieyu didn’t dare speak out.
He Gu looked at the two of them with a hollow expression.
On the other hand, Song Juhan lifted his chin flippantly and glanced at He Gu. “Hey, you don’t look so good. What’s wrong? Are you jealous? All I did was simply invite your ‘little monkey’ out for a meal.”
Distantly, He Gu heard himself speaking as if on autopilot, “Do you really enjoy doing petty things like this?”
“What things?” Song Juhan frowned as he asked. He could clearly sense that there was something odd about He Gu, but he couldn’t quite figure out what it was. All he knew was that the man in front of him seemed weirdly different from any other time he had seen him before.
He Gu glared daggers at Song Juhan. A moment ago he was still leaning on Peng Fang, appearing so weak that he seemed on the verge of collapse, yet in the next second, the look in his eyes morphed into a frightening glare. He Gu pushed Peng Fang aside and shot forward like an unwavering arrow flying toward its target. Within two strides, he came face to face with Song Juhan.
In front of five pairs of shocked eyes, He Gu raised his fist and punched Song Juhan square in the face.
Despite Song Juhan and Yuan Yang being trained in martial arts, everything happened so fast that no one had time to react due to the abruptness of He Gu’s actions.
The power of He Gu’s unexpected punch knocked Song Juhan off his feet as he flew backward and fell against the elevator doors with a loud bang.
It just so happened that two waiters were passing by and instantly covered their mouths in shock as they recognized Song Juhan at a glance.
“F*ck!” Peng Fang was the first to react as he rushed forward to hold He Gu back. “D*mn it He Gu, have you gone mad?!”
Yuan Yang turned his head to glare at the two waiters as he gritted out sternly, “Put your d*mn phones away and get lost!”
The two waiters were so scared, they ran off instantly.
Zhuang Jieyu stood on the side as if trying to disappear into the wall behind him. He looked from He Gu to Song Juhan with an expression of complete and utter shock, like the world was about to end.
Song Juhan sat on the floor, stunned for a few seconds before using his thumb to slowly wipe off the blood oozing from the corner of his mouth. Then, ever so slowly, he raised his head. His cheeks were flushed red and throbbing fiercely, and the look in his eyes was so lethal it seemed as potent as the most poisonous snake.
He Gu gasped heavily as all the hairs on his body stood on alert. He felt like something was violently clashing around in his body, and he urgently needed to find a channel to vent and distract himself from the unbearable pain it caused.
“You. Hit. Me.” Song Juhan’s eyes were crimson red as he gritted out each word individually. “Because of Zhuang Jieyu? You… hit me?”
He Gu continued to heave uncontrollably. This was the first time in his life that he had been in such a state. Although he distinctly knew what he was doing, it was like his actions were being controlled by an intangible evil emotion deep inside him, as if his brain no longer had any input and was overtaken by pure emotions.
In the next second, Song Juhan leapt up from the floor like a leopard. In the blink of an eye, he pushed Peng Fang aside and violently grabbed He Gu by the neck before pinning the man against the wall. Song Juhan’s tightly clenched and intimidating fist raised above his head as he shouted at He Gu, “You dare to hit me!”
He Gu’s cheeks flushed deeper as Song Juhan’s fingers tightened around his throat. He looked at the face before him, the same face of the man he had given his heart and soul to. At that moment, He Gu felt that even if he were to fall into hell, it still wouldn’t be as bad as this.
Just as Song Juhan’s fist was about to descend on He Gu, he froze.
Was He Gu… crying?
Song Juhan watched as tears welled up in He Gu’s eyes, then overflowed and rolled down his flushed cheeks. One after another, the large teardrops fell directly onto his shirt collar.
Having known each other for all these years, Song Juhan had never seen He Gu cry before. Apart from the times he was teased and pleasured to the point of tears in bed, He Gu had never shown such strong emotions.
He Gu’s personality had always been very calm, dependable, and manly. Even with such a rich and powerful person by his side, He Gu always dealt with everything himself. He never once asked for help even in his most desperate times of need. It wasn’t until a few years ago when He Gu showed a worried look for the first time ever that Song Juhan realized something had really gone wrong. One of the construction teams He Gu had been working with had a disagreement with the company because of a dispute over the project payment. In the end, they resorted to underhanded tactics by sending thugs from an organized crime syndicate to threaten He Gu. When Song Juhan found out, he was so infuriated he wanted to kill someone. After discreetly ordering someone to settle the situation, he came to realize just how stubborn and strong He Gu’s character was.
So how could someone as strong and calm as He Gu suddenly shed such painful and sorrowful tears? Could it be because of that d*mned b*stard Zhuang Jieyu?
A shiver ran through his body as Song Juhan felt a sudden burst of inexplicable heartache. “He Gu, are you… are you crying?” he asked tentatively.
Did he provoke He Gu to tears?
Song Juhan was a little flustered. His tightly clenched fist fell to his side powerlessly as his fingers slowly unfurled. It wasn’t until a long while later did he manage to utter, “Don’t… don’t cry.”
Peng Fang was dumbfounded as he witnessed the confusing scene before him.
He Gu looked at Song Juhan’s blurry silhouette through a layer of tears and mumbled, “You and Feng Zheng had a thing.” The words echoed repeatedly in his ears like a constant ringing.
As if he had been put on the spot and forced into the center of a conspiracy, Song Juhan flew into a rage out of humiliation and bellowed, “Who told you that?!”
“Yes or no?” He Gu asked stoically.
Song Juhan paled; his mouth opened and closed without uttering a single word.
Even without Song Juhan’s definitive response, He Gu had already gotten his answer. He closed his eyes and turned to leave.
Song Juhan stepped forward to stop He Gu as he said, “That’s all in the past. Tell me, who the h*ll told you about this?!” As if suddenly realizing something, Song Juhan turned and glared daggers at Peng Fang.
Peng Fang really wanted to find a hole and bury himself in it. With an expression full of apologies, he clapped his hands together and bowed his head at Song Juhan.
Out of nowhere, Yuan Yang spoke up indifferently, “How many times have I told you to rein in that blabbermouth habit of yours?”
“Shut up!” Peng Fang threw back angrily.
Song Juhan was so enraged he wanted to kill Peng Fang, but in that moment, he didn’t have a single second to spare on the other man as he grabbed He Gu and pleaded, “Don’t listen to their bullsh*t, we…”
“Let go.” He Gu grabbed Song Juhan’s wrist and forcefully pushed the other man away. His voice sounded so hollow and distant, it was like his soul had completely drained from his body.
“Song Juhan, I never thought the day would come where I would say these words first.” He Gu took a deep breath as if he was gathering all his remaining energy, then said, “Let’s just end this.”
Song Juhan instantly tensed up.
Without sparing him a glance, He Gu turned and walked off again.
“He Gu!” Song Juhan shouted after him. His face burnt up, not only from being hit, but also from the embarrassment of being beaten up then dumped in front of so many familiar and unfamiliar faces. After all, Song Juhan was a well-loved celebrity who had spent twenty-six years of his life being pampered at every step. He had never been so embarrassed before. At that moment, Song Juhan was like a trapped beast raging from his injuries.
“This thing between Feng Zheng and I ended over ten years ago. Why the f*ck are you bringing this up now to cause a scene?!” he yelled.
Having heard all that commotion, Xiao Song came running out. Upon witnessing the chaotic scene, he nearly fainted on the spot. “What’s wrong? What happened, Han-ge? What happened, He Gu-ge?”
He Gu didn’t turn around or acknowledge him, he simply kept moving.
“He Gu!” Song Juhan called out again, this time more violent yet anxious than the last. His whole body vibrated with anger as if he would explode any second. “You better not regret what you just said! Do you think I, the one and only Song Juhan, can’t leave you? Who the h*ll is the one that can’t leave the other?! If you dare to walk out on me right now, then don’t ever f*cking come back!”
Xiao Song rushed forward in an attempt to stop He Gu, but was held back by the look of utter despair in He Gu’s eyes. Turning his attention to Song Juhan, he came eye to eye with the violent expression of a man about to explode and devour everyone in sight. Xiao Song didn’t have the courage to approach him either, so he reluctantly backed off. He then looked to Peng Fang for help, but Peng Fang looked so pitiful as he tragically stood there on the side as if he could barely protect himself.
The only other person around that Xiao Song could turn to was Zhuang Jieyu, but he had been shocked speechless and hadn’t moved an inch since.
Just like that, everyone watched helplessly as He Gu walked out of the restaurant, one step after another.
Proofread by Lizonka and Ess