Slowly, understanding love
For the past few days, Bai Han Qi and his wife had continuously busied themselves with preparations for Chinese New Year. Before, they had always enjoyed a great deal of hilarity when everyone gathered together to celebrate. And in those moments, being consumed by the cheerful atmosphere was good enough for them but this year was different, there are two additional people to the family so everything must be livelier.
Aunt Zou had closed the restaurant earlier had committed herself to handle all of the constituents for the New Year at home. Bai Han Qi, on the other hand, was bent on being her second set of hands and Bai Luo Yin would occasionally help out as well. But for the most part, Aunt Zou was not content with Bai Luo Yin helping out and would rather order her own son around.
Everyone in the household was full of joy except for Bai Luo Yin.
Even the notoriously dense Bai Han Qi could sense that his son somewhat out of character.
Today Aunt Zou was in the kitchen making and deep frying various sweets1 for the snack boxes. Bai Han Qi entered with two barrels of oil tightly secured in his hands before he placed them down and stood beside her.
His dark orbs peered outside as he whispered: “I have a feeling that my son has been a bit strange lately.”
“Your son?” Aunt Zou gave Bai Han Qi a side glance.
Bai Han Qi laughed awkwardly, “I said it wrong, our son.”
“Stand a bit further away so the oil won’t splash on you.” Aunt Zou reached out and pushed Bai Han Qi to the side and asked, “What do you mean strange?”
“A few days ago, I could sense that he was in a bad mood, so I’ve been keeping an eye on him for the past two days. I saw him staring blankly at a jewelry box. When he went out that same day, I sneaked into his room and took a peek and saw that inside were all real gold and diamonds. My son… no, our son, where did he get so much money to buy all those things? He didn’t steal them, did he?”
Aunt Zou shot a death glare at Bai Han Qi, “You’re saying, he robbed a gold store and out of guilt, he’s scared out of his mind?”
Bai Han Qi’s complexion was of a stern and upright male, “I’m afraid that that is what had happened. Even if we let him surrender, we should at least wait until after New Year?”
Aunt Zou stood with arms akimbo as she frowned at Bai Han Qi with a fire of resentment dancing across her face.
“The longer you’ve lived, the crazier you get? Our son has faced so many hardships with you for all these years and he had never even thought of robbery. Now that life is a bit better, he wants to be a criminal? You’re very… what do you want me to say to you now? You, just go stand over there! Don’t get in my way, go, go, go…”
Bai Han Qi blocked the doorway feeling as though he had been wronged instead of understanding what she meant.
“This woman… you’re already at this age and you’re still so fickle! Explain this, we’ve just been married for a few days and you’ve already changed. Before, even if you scold me, you would at least put on a smile, but just look, look, now…”
“That’s because you have never said such nonsense before.”
Bai Han Qi scratched his head and sighed. But when he turned away with the intention of leaving, Aunt Zou immediately stopped him.
“Come here, I have something to discuss with you.”
“Didn’t you just say I was in your way?”
Aunt Zou was a little anxious, “I really have something to talk about with you. I didn’t remember a second ago, it’s about our Yin Zi.”
Upon hearing this, Bai Han Qi quickly walked over.
Aunt Zou cautiously said, “I think our Yin Zi is experiencing puppy love.”
“He’s already 17 this year, it can’t be puppy love?” Bai Han Qi did not take it to heart. “When I was 17, I was already with Yin Zi’s mother.”
“You think things were the same back then as it is now? Nowadays, the pressure of studying is very aggressive. Yin Zi is already in his second year of high school and even more, I heard people say that the second year is the most crucial year. If he doesn’t concentrate on his studies, he will fall behind his classmates.”
Bai Han Qi laughed, “I trust my son.”
“I’m not trying to scare you,” Aunt Zou patted Bai Han Qi’s shoulder. “Two days ago, a girl came here looking for our Yin Zi. She was standing at the entrance of the alleyway and I personally saw the two of them leaving together.”
“Was she pretty?” Bai Han Qi asked absent-mindedly.
“Pretty, very pretty… but, why are you asking this?”
After they had finished dinner that night, Bai Han Qi went into Bai Luo Yin’s room only to see that he was busy tinkering with a pile of boards.
“What are you doing son?” Bai Han Qi sat next to Bai Luo Yin.
Bai Luo Yin did not raise his head and said, “I want to make a model airplane. Once the semester starts again, the school will be holding a model airplane exhibition.”
“You can do it, son!” Bai Han Qi patted his head.
Bai Luo Yin grunted in agreement and continued with his task without saying anything else.
Bai Han Qi thought that it was no business of his to be sitting there and leaving would be best… but he wasn’t finished with what he wanted to say yet, so he told himself to stay… but once again he faltered, feeling rather indecisive.
“So the exhibition is after the semester starts?” Bai Han Qi asked again.
Bai Luo Yin nodded.
“So, you’re working on it now?”
Bai Luo Yin’s hands stopped, and he looked blankly at Bai Han Qi.
“Dad, what exactly are you trying to say?”
It wasn’t hard to see the look of embarrassment on Bai Han Qi’s face, “I wanted to ask…”
“You wanted to ask me why Gu Hai didn’t come back with me, right?”
“Yeah… it’s that. I wanted to ask you about it earlier. Since winter break started, I only saw him once and at that time, you two weren’t even together. What exactly is going on?”
Bai Luo Yin faintly replied, “He’s celebrating New Year at home.”
“So that’s how it is… that’s good. It’s best to return to his own home on such an important holiday.”
“Is there anything else?” Bai Luo Yin asked.
Bai Han Qi’s expression froze before he laughed awkwardly, “There’s nothing else.”
After Bai Han Qi left, Bai Luo Yin was not in the mood to work anymore. His eyes moved toward the window. Meng Tong Tian was in the yard, foolishly waving around a stick that was in his hand. After a while, Aunt Zou called him into the house, leaving nothing for him to look at aside from a single jujube tree. Its leaves had long fallen, and its branches and barks were nakedly enduring the winter weather.
Just like that, he continued to gaze out until time sneakily passed by without him noticing. A message alert sounded, and Bai Luo Yin picked up his phone for look only to see that it was already past 11:00 PM.
The message was from Shi Hui: “Are you free tomorrow?”
Bai Luo Yin did not reply and placed the cellphone to the side, not knowing how many times he had already turned a cold shoulder to those messages.
As expected, the things that you have lost was beautiful only at the time that you have lost it. Once you picked it up again, its glamour was already gone.
When he received Shi Hui’s call several days ago, he could still feel his heartbeat quickening and for a long while he was unable to calm it down. Now, that kind of feeling had faded, and the beautiful past has become as transient as a fleeting cloud.
Why is it like this? Am I really a heartless person? Bai Luo Yin lightly sighed and closed his eyes.
Bai Han Qi entered Bai Luo Yin’s room again but once he saw that his son’s eyes were closed, he immediately thought that he had already fallen asleep, so he quickly switched the lights off.
Bai Luo Yin’s hands felt around for the cellphone beside his pillow, but instead, he felt a cold item beneath his fingers.
It was a nail clipper.
With the cellphone’s light, Bai Luo Yin could see a line of words etched neatly on the clipper.
A husband that doesn’t want to fuck his wife is not a good husband!
The other nail clipper was with Gu Hai and only two words were etched on it.
Bai Luo Yin suddenly laughed. He laughed until a touch of suspicion sprouted in his heart and that suspicion caused Bai Luo Yin’s laughter to be consumed with pain and agony—the aftertaste was drenched with despair.
Don’t tell me that… the word I have often said to him was ‘fuck off’?
Very late into the night, Bai Luo Yin suffered from insomnia again.
Shi Hui sent another message: “I can’t sleep, what should I do? I miss you, what should I do?”
Ignoring it once more, Bai Luo Yin’s hand reached down toward his own underwear. He used his hand to slowly comfort himself. It was only at a moment like this could he get rid of all his troublesome thoughts and silently indulged in this simple pleasure that allowed his body to gradually become hot.
A fire was ignited in his heart and flickering about—first, it was dim and before long it exploded causing the temperature of his heart to flare up.
Gu Hai’s face suddenly flashed across his mind and his hands trembled unknowingly while bewilderment traversed throughout his face and alighted resplendently.
When Gu Hai had helped him released, he had imagined that Gu Hai was a woman—only then could he fully engrossed himself in the moment.
It’s preposterous… why is it that I only become excited because of him? Have I really become a pervert?
Anxiety, restlessness, emptiness, concern… every single negative emotion emerged and fought against the pleasures that had inevitably gravitated toward his body, and as the strength of these two opposing forces collided, neither advanced nor retreated… Bai Luo Yin’s heart and mind plunged into an abyss as it suffered severely from the lingering torment.
It felt like a ball of fire had torched his body, setting it ablaze as unrelenting waves of heat surfaced, crested over him, and silently recapitulated until those abiding emotions finally drowned out.
Bai Luo Yin silently gave up and let himself sink, allowing his feelings to act willfully and devoured him.
He imagined that his own hands were Gu Hai’s. He imagined the way the tip of Gu Hai’s tongue traveled slowly along his body. The more he thought of it, the more excited he felt… the more he thought of it, the more he could not control himself.
It was to the point that he had the desire to slip into Gu Hai and thrust into him. That kind of need was very intense and strong… very strong.
As he reached his climax, Bai Luo Yin was unable to stop a moan from seeping out. “Gu Hai…”
It sounded like a whisper that hovered close to his ears. Bai Luo Yin, himself, was scared by this realization.
Why would I call out his name in a moment like this?
In the middle of the night, Bai Han Qi woke up with the need to relieve himself. But he ended up finding his son crouching outside in his pajamas, smoking a stick of cigarette instead.
Bai Luo Yin stood up and looked at Bai Han Qi, “Dad, why are you up?”
“I need to use the toilet. Why are you crouching here? Hurry up and go back to your room. Are you trying to get sick for the New Year?”
Bai Luo Yin stubbed the cigarette and steadied his gaze on Bai Han Qi.
“Dad, after you’ve finished, come sleep in my room.”
In that instant, a flush crept over Bai Han Qi’s face. When Bai Luo Yin was younger, the two slept under the same blanket but now that his son was older, he had completely stopped asking for his father to sleep in the same room. Today was the first time since forever.
Bai Han Qi stepped forward and grabbed Bai Luo Yin’s head with a cheerful expression. “You haven’t been home in such a long time, yet you still know how to act like a spoiled child?”
Bai Luo Yin did not say anything.
Bai Han Qi patted his son’s buttocks before he chided him, “Go in, your cheeks are cold.”
1 咯吱盒 – it’s a box that contains a different type of sweets –some of which are fried – think of bento box but with snacks