Sleep the Time Away
As the sun went down, the darkness of the night dropped in the room like a heavy curtain, swallowing everything in its presence—the absence of light was so complete that not even the shadows survived.
Bai Luo Yin lied restless on the bed, tossing and turning his seemingly broken body throughout the night, eventually waking Gu Hai from his light sleep.
Gu Hai called out to him with weary eyes that only opened slightly. But no matter how many times he tried, only silence greeted him. He soon discovered that Bai Luo Yin had not awoken. Gu Hai pulled the comforter up toward their shoulders and gently placed Bai Luo Yin’s exposed arm back inside.
Suddenly, not only did Bai Luo Yin moved, but his eyes shot open.
“Why aren’t you sleeping?” Gu Hai asked.
Bai Luo Yin was in a complete daze. His eyes were streaked with obscurities as his hands ferreted beneath the comforter as if afflicted by some mystery force to search for something.
Is he sleepwalking?
Gu Hai’s hand moved to caress his hair softly while thinking that it was somewhat humorous.
Then a hint of panic appeared in Bai Luo Yin’s eyes—widening much more than usual; if one was faced with such a look, only fear would surely cross one’s mind.
Soon after, he lifted his head and as if spellbound, several strands of hair flurried in the air and danced wildly in the silence of the night before they plastered on his forehead.
“Baobei, what are you looking for?” Gu Hai pressed lightly on Bai Luo Yin again.
Bai Luo Yin closed his eyes, but there was a frown on his face as the lines between his brows paralleled each other, and this perpetual opposition at length created a visible inquietude and excited a degree of impatient that induced them to separate which made his expression changed to that of loss.
He mumbled a few incoherent words beneath his breath that Gu Hai could not descry. Then Bai Luo Yin’s hands began to hunt again in anguish beneath the comforter again, incidentally hitting Gu Hai’s stomach several times.
What’s wrong with him today?
Seeing that, Gu Hai became confused as he felt around for Bai Luo Yin’s shoulder and then as if it was second nature, he patted that area gently until he sensed the other person calm down. When Bai Luo Yin’s breathing settled a bit more, Gu Hai finally placed his own hand back into the comforter. But Bai Luo Yin unexpectedly latched firmly onto his hand, refusing to let go even though he was in an unconscious state.
After a while, Gu Hai faced Bai Luo Yin. His eyes fluttered in the darkened room before he whispered: “Yin Zi, I’m right here.”
At that moment, the tension that had once overtook Bai Luo Yin suddenly disappeared—it was as if a promise had just been made and he readily accepted as the truth. He voiced out an ‘en’ of approval before his movements ceased. But then, it was Gu Hai who felt a faint throbbing in his chest.
He needs you so much… cares about you so much. Why didn’t you feel it sooner….? If you had given him a bit more patience and trust, how could that event, that pain… that suffering had happened between the two of you?
… Gu Hai continued to harshly criticize himself.
Fortunately, he realized it now—it was not too late. They still had a long road ahead of them, one in which they can walk together. He can still love him for a long time, for a really long, long time…. love him even more than ever…
Gu Hai placed his hand on Bai Luo Yin’s warm cheeks and gently caressed them. His stared devotedly at Bai Luo Yin in state of infatuation as if he had been bewitched by some sort of magical incantation… and no matter how much he looked at him, it was truly never enough. He continued to do so until his eyes became heavy and the need to sleep took over his conscious.
This slumber lasted into the afternoon of the next day. Since it has been a long time that either of them had a good night sleep, they will seize this great opportunity. What else was there to do anyway?
Gu Hai woke up first; he took a closer glance at the alarm and placed it back down.
Bai Luo Yin faced Gu Hai and asked him while still in a daze. “What time is it?”
“It’s still quite early. Just turned four o’clock,” Gu Hai answered as he grabbed Bai Luo Yin by the arm and pulled him close.
Welcoming the warmth, Bai Luo Yin’s drowsy eyes glimpsed outside. “How can it only be four o’clock, isn’t it a bit too bright outside?”
“Maybe it snowed.”
The word “snow” made Bai Luo Yin’s sleepiness immediately increased by tenfold. For him, that was indeed the best time to sleep. His head fell back onto the soft pillow and he proceeded to sleep some more!
At around six o’clock, Gu Hai glanced outside again. The sky was still dark! Why does it feel like we have been sleeping for longer than an entire night? Fuck, we slept so long my stomach is crying out in pain.
However, Gu Hai was quite reluctant to give up the warmth, so he simply again fell into a deep sleep… again.
Soon, Bai Luo Yin woke up with the need to use the bathroom and although he did not want to get off the bed, he didn’t want his bladder to suffer the consequences and eventually forced himself too. When he passed by the window again, the night sky was completely pitched black—completely differing what from he saw earlier.
He clearly remembered that when he went to sleep it was only a little past one. He even remembered that he had dreamt several times already, so why had the sky not brighten up yet? He weaseled his way back into the warm comforter, picked up the alarm, and looked at it. It was already half past eight. According to basic reasoning, the sun should have already come out. Even if it was a cloudy day, how could it be completely dark like this, right?
An ominous settled in Bai Luo Yin’s head as he picked up his phone. “20:26”
They had slept into the next evening without even realizing it—the first round of sleep had already swiftly passed by. He looked down at the pig lying beside him who was completely unconscious. This person was actually sleeping more soundly than he was. Bai Luo Yin’s head fell back onto the pillow as the back of his foot hit the soft bed.
Forget it, just bear with it a bit longer.
If he remained awake at this moment, he will not be able to fall back asleep later. He might as well sleep until morning as to not disrupt his biological clockwork.
In the end, Gu Hai crawled out of bed in the middle of the night when he was no longer able to endure the hunger. Like a thief cloaked by darkness, he felt his way into the kitchen and opened the refrigerator in search of some food only to come out empty-handed. In desperation, he overturned everything and finally found a cup noodle. He proceeded to cook it, add some seasonings, and topped it off with some thinly sliced pickled mustard tuber. Within seconds, he devoured it like a hunger-stricken animal.
For humans, once they have been deprived of food for a period of time hunger kicked in, anything and everything would become the most delicious dish in the world.
Bai Luo Yin made his way into the kitchen and caught sight of Gu Hai in the middle of ravaging the food in front of him, taking big slurps in one quick go. He was just about to pick up the bowl up and drink the soup when he saw Bai Luo Yin at the door.
Bai Luo Yin stared straight at Gu Hai and waited anxiously before he spoke: “Give me a bowl.”
Gu Hai’s Adam’s apple bobbed around for a few more seconds and then he replied: “There’s nothing left.”
Hearing that, Bai Luo Yin choked on his own spit as tears seemingly welled up in his eyes.
An awkward smile appeared at the corner of Gu Hai’s mouth, “I thought that I was the only one who couldn’t sleep because of the hunger. I didn’t eat much for the past few days, so my appetite came rushing now. The sticky rice dumpling that we had earlier didn’t fill me up after all. I… if I had known that you weren’t full either, I would have kept a bowl for you. The sky is about to lighten any time now. You… just endured it for a bit longer.”
Motherfucker, I have been fucking enduring it all day already.
Bai Luo Yin’s head hung low as he returned to the bedroom with a look of dejection.
In the end, Gu Hai felt guilty and put on some clothes and drove down several streets in the depth of the night. He searched until he eventually found a twenty-four-hour restaurant, bought take outs, and hurried back to Bai Luo Yin.
Early the next morning, or to say it more precisely, early on the morning of the third day, Gu Hai took Bai Luo Yin with him to the military base. After sleeping for more than twenty plus hours, they were completely revitalized and felt exceptionally animated. If they were to put on those military uniforms and stand in procession with the troop, they would not look inferior to any of the other soldiers.
As Bai Luo Yin followed Gu Hai to the dorm area of the base, they bumped into several military veterans who all greeted Gu Hai.
One person stopped intentionally, looked at Bai Luo Yin several times, and asked Gu Hai: “Who is this?”
Gu Hai kicked that person in the calf and shouted for him to clear the way with a stern tone.
“Why do you care who he is? Go do whatever it is you have to do!”
That person’s eyes widened as he inhaled. He even stole another glance at Bai Luo Yin before he lowered his head and walked away—obviously unsatisfied.
Bai Luo Yin could see the strength in Gu Hai’s arrogant and despotic demeanor. He had even thought that Gu Hai was purposely displaying his fearsomeness and reverence in front of him which made him unable to hold back from teasing the hell out of him.
“You’re truly suited to be the General’s son!”
“No, that’s not it. Did you not notice the expression in his eyes when he looked at you?” Gu Hai said calmly.
Bai Luo Yin did not pay any attention whatsoever.
Gu Hai poked Bai Luo Yin’s forehead a few times and said with such sincerity: “Stupid boy, why don’t you be a bit smarter. Men can change after they enter the army; one out of ten guys are bound to be ‘like that’.”
“I see! No wonder, you always come to stay here all that time!”
Gu Hai did not seem to hear the hidden meaning behind Bai Luo Yin’s words and had even snorted to himself. “Isn’t that because you made me mad.”
“I made you mad, so you ran here to find that one out of ten probability?”1
“You fucking…” Gu Hai suddenly looked at Bai Luo Yin’s rear end and gave it a good kick. “Besides you, I am not even the least bit attracted to any other guy.”
As the two of them bickered, they finally arrived at the room Gu Hai had previously resided.
Once he walked in, Bai Luo Yin’s eyes swept through the room. He was a bit astonished since everything was clean and not a piece of crumb could be seen on the floor. The comforter was neatly folded into a rectangular shape and the bed sheet was pulled tightly alongside the bed frame so that not even a crease could be found.
Seeing such cleanliness made him thought about the bedroom in their apartment and then he thought about his own family’s environment. Ah, he could not help but sigh.
Does this soldier style of work depend on the situation?
Gu Hai could see through Bai Luo Yin’s thoughts, so he gave a proper explanation. “A diligent guard cleaned it up.”
Bai Luo Yin nodded thoughtfully as an idea came to mind. “How about you invite him to our house?”
Gu Hai picked up a gun and point it at Bai Luo Yin’s temple but since he did not know whether or not it was loaded with bullets, he handled it with extreme care—afraid that it might go off.
Unsurprisingly, Bai Luo Yin took the gun, laid it flat on his own hand and fiddled with it. This was the first time that he had ever felt a real genuine gun. It was hard to avoid the thrill that came with holding such a powerful object. He lifted it up, aimed it toward the window, and pulled the trigger.
A loud bang echoed in the room.
Spiderweb-like cracks suddenly appeared on the surface of the glass…
At that moment, Gu Hai was in the middle of packing up his belongings, the second he heard the sound—it was fear that quickly appeared on his face.
Fuck, there were actually bullets in there?
Fortunately, Bai Luo Yin did not use him as a shooting target. That shot… was quite unexpected.
Bai Luo Yin placed the muzzle of the gun toward himself and examined the inner details. That action frightened Gu Hai to the point his heart nearly gave way. He hurriedly pulled out the ammunition case and faced Bai Luo Yin.
“Don’t play with it anymore. I’ll get you an even better gun later on.”
“I don’t want it,” Bai Luo Yin patted his legs, stood up, and glanced around in silence.
“Why don’t you want it?” Gu Hai asked.
Bai Luo Yin puckered his lips and laughed, “I’m afraid that if one day when I can’t bear it any longer, I’ll just shoot you.”
1 Bai Luo Yin meant that Gu Hai ran back to the army base to find that one out of ten guys that ‘like another guy.’