HOW WONDERFUL is a FATHER’s KINDNESS
Editors: Jowly & Alec
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Gu Hai and Bai Luo Yin returned to their apartment and quickly gathered a few necessities before making their way to Bai Han Qi’s house. By the time they got there, the sky was already completely shrouded with a dark veil, with only a few stars puncturing this seemingly inky darkness.
The two arrived just a couple of minutes after Bai Han Qi. And as they approached his house, they caught sight of a portrait of a happy family living a quiet and peaceful life. Aunt Zou was in the kitchen cooking what can easily be assumed as another delicious meal and Bai Han Qi was sitting at the dinner table, talking to her. Meanwhile, Meng Tong Tian played contentedly with his toys in the yard.
Without saying anything to each other, both Gu Hai and Bai Luo Yin halted their steps upon reaching the doorway. In his heart, Bai Luo Yin truly felt like he was not returning home to visit his parents. The warmth that comes with knowing that you’ll see people you hold dear to your heart was not there. Instead, what resided within was an awful emotion that can only be compared to the need to permanently silence someone so as to prevent them from divulging your deepest, darkest secret.
On his side, Gu Hai’s eyes remained focused on Bai Luo Yin. He has not uttered a single word ever since their arrival. In his heart, Gu Hai was hurting–perhaps far more than Bai Luo Yin. His eyes reflected all the sadness and anxiety that darkened his lover’s face. A twinge weaseled its way into Gu Hai’s heart, gripping it with its claws.
After what seemed like an eternity, he finally spoke.
“How about..?” He begins. Worry was very evident in his voice.
“I’ve already decided,” Bai Luo Yin quickly interrupted; his voice feigning confidence. He already knew that Gu Hai was going to ask him to reconsider this decision.
After saying this, Bai Luo Yin started to move, but just as he was about to take a step towards the door, Gu Hai pulled him back using a bit of force.
Bai Luo Yin looked at Gu Hai with warm and sincere eyes. “Don’t worry. I’ve already made my promise to you, haven’t I? I won’t change my mind about us. I definitely won’t change it.”
“That’s not what I’m worried about,” as he said this, Gu Hai’s hand reached out and ruffled Bai Luo Yin’s soft hair. “I’m worried he’ll get mad and beat you up. If that happens, observe his face and behavior. If they don’t look well, just do what he wants you to do first. Do you hear me?”
Bai Luo Yin did not say anything. He simply gave Gu Hai another reassuring glance and started to move towards the door once more. However, Gu Hai pulled him back again.
“Why are you wasting time like this?” said Bai Luo Yin who was starting to become impatient.
Gu Hai’s face was painted with anxiety. He hesitated for a while, but still decided to speak.
“If your dad really starts hitting you, I don’t think I’ll be able to stand back and watch. If I try to block him or lose control and retaliate, would you mind?”
“Yes, I will mind!” Bai Luo Yin immediately retorted and gave Gu Hai a deadly glare. He then turned around and went through the door.
Gu Hai followed closely behind. It was quite obvious from his appearance that he was far more nervous than Bai Luo Yin.
“Sons, you’ve returned?” By this time, Bai Han Qi was in the middle of watering the plants using a watering can that he held tightly in his hands. Once he saw Bai Luo Yin and Gu Hai entering their house, a loving and affectionate smile immediately spread across his face. Gu Hai was at a loss for words as he looked at that bright smile. His gaze shifted towards Bai Luo Yin who was wearing an expression similar to that of a kid asking his father a difficult question.
As expected, this confession that Bai Luo Yin was trying to make, was easier said than done.
Faced with a task that could potentially break the heart of someone brimming with joy to see him, Bai Luo Yin couldn’t help but to want to slap himself on the face. Especially so since the heart he’s about to break belongs to his dearly beloved father.
Upon noticing the distressed faces of his sons, Bai Han Qi promptly placed the watering can down and approached them.
“What’s going on?” He asked.
With much difficulty, Bai Luo Yin mustered enough courage to open his mouth, but just as he did so, Aunt Zou’s loud voice came out from the kitchen. “It’s time to eat!”
Bai Han Qi moved past Gu Hai and Bai Luo Yin. He then placed his hands firmly on both guys’ shoulders and in one go, happily pushed them towards the kitchen.
“Let’s eat first. Whatever you have to say, will have to wait until after dinner.”
Funny thing was, the two had just eaten lunch with Gu Wei Ting. And now they have to eat dinner with Bai Han Qi.
Without any better option, Bai Luo Yin was forced in a situation where he has to swallow the words he wanted to say along with the food that’s about to be served. As he ate dinner and pretended like nothing happened, his mind began to slip away. Meanwhile, Bai Han Qi kept on glancing at Gu Hai and Bai Luo Yin from across the table. He was taking note of their strange complexions while secretly trying to guess what they needed from him.
After some time, Bai Han Qi began to speak. “After we’ve eaten and drank enough, the three of us can have a good chat.”
After eating, Aunt Zou took Meng Tong Tian to her room, leaving only Gu Hai, Bai Luo Yin and Bai Han Qi inside the dining room. She has been sensing the intense atmosphere between the three and did not want to get in the way of what they had to discuss.
Bai Han Qi spoke first. “You can speak now. What exactly is going on?” His gaze fell on Bai Luo Yin.
Bai Luo Yin did not dare look at Bai Han Qi directly in the eyes. He stared intensely at the dining table while he searched for the words he needed. Gu Hai placed his arms (which have been resting behind the sofa) around Bai Luo Yin’s shoulders. As he felt Gu Hai touch him, Bai Luo Yin quivered.
Bai Han Qi began to laugh. He reached out to pat Bai Luo Yin’s head, ridiculing him. “Why are you still stalling in front of me? Aren’t you normally capable? Did you get into some sort of trouble? If that’s the case, then you don’t need to worry. Daddy will give you an allowance! Just tell me, how much do you need?”
Finally finding the courage to speak, Bai Luo Yin replied, “It’s more serious than that. You have to prepare your heart for it.”
With those words, Bai Han Qi’s complexion immediately changed. “You didn’t make someone’s daughter pregnant, did you?” He asked with wide eyes.
“It’s more serious than that.” Bai Luo Yin’s eyes remained fixed on the same spot on the table.
At this point, a pool of cold sweat had started forming on Bai Han Qi’s forehead. “Did you make someone’s daughter pregnant…and murdered someone?”
Bai Luo Yin, “………”
Gu Hai kept silent the entire time. He pretended to be deaf and mute to give father and son the opportunity to really sort things out. However, when he heard the things that Bai Han Qi said, he wished he just told him everything the moment they entered the door. Suddenly, Gu Hai didn’t know if he wanted to laugh or cry.
Taking in a deep breath and willing all the courage he could muster towards the tip of his tongue, Bai Luo Yin clenched his teeth and mentally stomped his feet. “Dad, I’ll just tell you directly. I like a guy.”
At those words, the muscles on Bai Han Qi’s face suddenly tightened. He drew a very deep breath and looked at his two sons with an expression that fell somewhere between angry, confused and amused. And although no one can consider the look on Bai Han Qi’s face to be that of a pleased man, there wasn’t an ounce of shock on it either.
Suddenly, silence–one that’s thick, gloomy and draining– filled the room. No one dared say anything. Bai Han Qi rubbed his forehead and scratched his brows. He let out a couple of sighs. And then, silence again.
Gu Hai glanced at Bai Luo Yin whose weary eyes seemed to tremble. It was quite obvious that he was trying his very best to hold his emotions back. Gu Hai then looked at the older man. With difficulty, he gathered enough courage to break this deafening silence. He let out a sigh and spoke.
“The guy that he’s talking about is me.”
Bai Luo Yin and Gu Hai were like two criminals, trembling with fear and trepidation as they waited for the judge’s sentence.
After some time, Bai Han Qi lifted his head and looked at Gu Hai and Bai Luo Yin with eyes filled with sincerity. He finally spoke.
“Yin Zi, come with me,” he said sternly before standing up.
Gu Hai stood up first. “Uncle……”
“This has nothing to do with you.” Bai Han Qi’s crestfallen eyes brushed past Gu Hai. “It will be fine if you just wait here. Us, father and son, need to have a good talk.”
This was the first time that Gu Hai had received such a cold and detached look from Bai Han Qi. His eyes slightly widened as his heart began to sink. Immediately, he found himself spiraling down into a depressing pit of darkness.
Gu Hai gripped Bai Luo Yin’s shoulder, with an insane amount of strength–one that he’s never used before to touch Bai Luo Yin. Refusing to let his lover go, he faced Bai Han Qi and said rather loudly, “Uncle, if you’re angry, please just direct your anger towards me. I was the one who seduced Yin Zi first. I was the one who pestered him. Surely, you know that your son was never like this?”
Bai Han Qi replied with a calm and composed tone, “I’m not angry. I just want to have a good talk with him.”
Gu Hai still refused to let Bai Luo Yin go. He clung on to him as if his life depended on it. It wasn’t until Bai Luo Yin pushed Gu Hai to the side with great force, that the latter finally released his grip.
“I know what I need to do. It’s enough if you wait here.”
Even after hearing those words, Gu Hai still wanted to reach out and grab hold of him, but Bai Luo Yin had already followed Bai Han Qi into his old room. Gu Hai wanted to follow, but the door was shut right in front of his face. Without any other choice, he moved forward and pressed his head firmly against the door, listening with all his might.
An invisible thread wrapped itself tightly around Gu Hai’s throbbing heart. It wrapped so tight that he could vividly sense the pain stabbing through his entire being.
Uncle, you must not–by all means–hit him! Even if you want to scold him, you can’t be too harsh. He’s still your flesh and blood; your son!
Inside the room, Bai Luo Yin and Bai Han Qi faced each other. Bai Luo Yin’s figure resembled that of a child who was about to be scolded by his dad for doing something wrong.
Bai Han Qi can’t remember the last time he saw Bai Luo Yin wearing this kind of depressing expression. His image of Bai Luo Yin had always been that of a man with a straightened out chest wearing a calm and composed expression. It was very rare for him to see his son in such a distraught state.
Bai Han Qi spoke first. “It’s fine. There’s no need for you to endure it anymore. Actually, dad had already saw this early on.”
Bai Luo Yin’s head shot up the moment he heard those words. His expression changed instantly from somber to surprised. “You already knew?”
“In the beginning, I only had a suspicion. Nothing more. I just thought that the two of you…your relationship was not ordinary. I had always thought that you two were especially friendly with each other…at the back of my mind, I always hoped that your relationship was not like what I had imagined it to be. However, in the end, you still confessed to me. That’s good. This way I can cast off my apprehensions and have peace of mind.” After saying this, Bai Han Qi was able to force a smile.
Bai Han Qi’s smile was bright and sincere. But, in Bai Luo Yin’s eyes, it was drenched with agony. So much so that even he could feel his father’s pain.
“Dad, you must be really disappointed in me, aren’t you?”
“No, that’s not true!” Bai Han Qi quickly replied with a stern voice. “In my heart, you’ll always be the best. There will never be a second one like you.”
On the other side of the door, Gu Hai was trying his best to hear what was happening inside. The fact that all he could hear was the vague sound of words being exchanged and not some loud dispute somewhat helped him calm down. Although in his heart, he hoped with all his might that Bai Han Qi had not covered his Bai Luo Yin’s mouth and started hitting him.
This thought struck fear into Gu Hai’s very soul–causing his entire body to break out in cold sweats.
“Yin Zi, dad wants to ask you,” Bai Han Qi started. “Are you with Gu Hai because you’re lacking paternal love?”
As those words treaded into his brain, Bai Luo Yin became speechless. He momentarily became lost in his own thoughts.
Gu Hai doesn’t look that old, does he?
Seeing that perplexed look weasel its way onto Bai Luo Yin’s face, Bai Han Qi knew right away that his son misunderstood him. He looked at him and bluntly asked, “Dad just wants to know…what exactly did you think..? About me getting married that is. Was it such a huge attack to you?”
The way things have unfolded really pushed Bai Luo Yin against the wall. He felt like he had nothing else to hide. Finally, things have come to a point where he can tell his dad all the words that he has long kept hidden at the very bottom of his heart.
“Honestly, your marriage has left a huge gap in my heart. But…Gu Hai appeared and filled in that gap,” Bai Luo Yin said. His eyes started to well. “Dad, he’s really, really good to me. He has never let me do any work before. If you taste the food he makes, you’ll definitely be able to see the great love and care that he has for me. In this world, besides you, there’s no one else as good to me as he is.”
“Dad knows. Dad can see it all.” Bai Han Qi nodded his head repeatedly. He walked forward and cupped Bai Luo Yin’s cheeks in the palms of his hands. He then asked, “If I get a divorce for your sake and take good care of you starting from today…can the two of you return to having a normal friendship again?”
These words struck Bai Luo Yin hard. He felt like a bastard; the worst son any father could ever have. It was as if every inch of him was worthless and wicked. He has never had such a hard time raising his head in front of Bai Han Qi before.
He lifted his head a bit and saw the unwillingness to abandon hope painted strongly on Bai Han Qi’s eyes. He suddenly bursted into tears before his knees gave way and he crashed onto the floor with a loud thud.
“Dad!” He cried out dad in a loud and hoarse voice.
In that lingering and memorable moment, Bai Han Qi understood everything. Looking at his beloved son with tears cascading down his face, he thoroughly accepted this reality.
“Dad, I really can’t leave him. I can’t be separated from him. Please don’t be mad at me, okay?” Bai Luo Yin cried out painfully in between sobs as he hugged Bai Han Qi’s leg. His head was swirling and he felt like vomiting. It was as if his blood had turned into mud and his heart was struggling to keep a steady beat.
Bai Han Qi’s eyes had already turned red. He crouched down, helped Bai Luo Yin up and softly patted the back of his head while calmly saying, “Son, don’t cry. Dad doesn’t blame you. You’ve sacrificed so much for me, so it’s only normal that I should understand you. In this lifetime, there’s nothing else that I can ask for except for you to be well. If you really love me, you have to be a bit better to yourself…”
This entire time, Gu Hai remained glued to the door. When he vaguely heard Bai Luo Yin cry out just a moment ago, the string around his heart further tightened. No longer able to control his emotion, he exerted all the strength in his body to pound on the door several times.
He faintly heard the sound of Bai Luo Yin weeping and his heart nearly broke. It felt as though it was being gripped in an ice-cold vise; it ached as if it will implode inside his chest at any given second. The sobs came reverberating into his eardrums once again. As anxiety consumed his entire being, he immediately kicked the door down.
As the door finally gave way, Gu Hai was finally able to see what was happening inside the room– that is Bai Han Qi giving his dear son a hug, tears running down his face.
Gu Hai then saw Bai Luo Yin’s tears. His chest nearly cracked open. Like an insatiable fire that has finally burnt all the oxygen in his body, the scene left him listless and nearly empty. All he could do was stay still as a melancholic mood took over his entire consciousness like a black cloud, raining sorrow and anxiety down on him. Those tears–the tears that he never wanted to see in this entire lifetime– they were crushing his very soul.
Bai Han Qi lifted his head and saw Gu Hai standing in the doorway. He pushed Bai Luo Yin softly away from his body and walked over towards him Gu Hai.
“Uncle…” This was the only word that Gu Hai could mutter as he saw Bai Han Qi slowly approaching him.
As he finally reached the spot where Gu Hai stood, Bai Han Qi allowed their eyes to meet. With a sincere gaze, he patted Gu Hai’s shoulder and walked out of the room without saying another word.
Gu Hai quickly runs towards Bai Luo Yin’s side and worriedly asked, “Did he hit you? Where did he hit you? Was it hard? Did it hurt?”
Bai Luo Yin choked in between sobs as he forced out a reply, “I wish he had hit me.”
Gu Hai did not know how to feel about those words as he pulled Bai Luo Yin into his embrace. He could clearly feel him trembling. He tightened his hug then asked softly, “Why are you crying if he didn’t hit you?”
“Because I want to.” After saying this, more tears flowed out of Bai Luo Yin’s eyes–like water from a dam they overflowed, drenching his cheeks. The muscles on his chin continued to tremble even as he tried to force it away.
Gu Hai gently wiped Bai Luo Yin’s tears away. He then softly said, “Don’t cry. It’s fine now, you have me.”
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