Title: As bark is vital to a tree, so is dignity to a person
If you ask Jiang Xiaoning whether he actually wanted to top Han Jia or just wanted to scare him and nothing else, Jiang Xiaoning, himself, could not have given an accurate answer. He only felt hate; a hatred that came from the depths of his heart.
He could never forget Han Jia’s complete lack of sympathy and unconcerned expression when he had drugged him. It was as if such an act was just an ordinary matter. That kind of expression made Jiang Xiaoning felt as though he was not a person with blood, flesh, and emotions, but rather a piece of furniture. The feeling of being “handled” and treated as a thing without feelings, deprived of freedom and rights, both scared and disgusted him—becoming a nightmare that had repeatedly awakened him for the past few days.
The light in his father’s room had always shined until very late into the night, but Jiang Xiaoning was never courageous enough to knock on the door. Qi Laoshi was kind and friendly, and given his own experience, he would not make a fuss, but he did not seem to be willing to talk to him about Jin Ting; also, this could absolutely not be discussed with classmates or be psychologically remedied by an acquaintance that you only nod to at the bar.
In the end, he only had himself. Each time he woke up, he was suffocated with those lingering fears before he sat on the bed with cold sweat, wrapped in a quilt, and then recalled the experience over and over again.
In this recollection, he experienced self-blame, guilt, anxiety, horror, and shame that he had never felt before since birth. The intense emotions made him feel like he had been split into countless fragments, and the fragments of his spirit simply floated out of him and scattered throughout the room—some shivered in fear, some sneered, and some expressionless.
Then, a voice gradually sounded, and he heard the Jiang Xiaoning who sneered spoke. “You’re the one that doesn’t know what shame is and made yourself an MB. You deserved to be drugged!”
The one that shivered in fear with his cheeks streaming with tears muttered: “Please help me, my dad is still waiting for me at home. Han Laoban, I beg you…”
The expressionless figure interrupted: “He won’t wait for you at home, he has never cared about you.”
He began to fear the darkness and the solitude, which led him to almost deliberately remain active during the day, and at night, he kept the lights on until the morning light enveloped him. Just like that, the frightened teenager sank into the endless darkness—unable to rely on his own strength to break free.
These heavy emotions almost erupted because of his father’s apoplectic outburst. Just a bit more and he would have shouted out those words; tell his father how despicable and cruel was the student that he had praised without end, and what pain and suffering he had experienced.
But his father’s face held no regrets—that slap was utterly merciless, but he actually did not regret it at all. At that moment, the cold emotion that rushed into Jiang Xiaoning’s heart was hatred.
Since he could not hate his own father, all the deeply repressed emotions—those fears, those repentances, that shame—settled in just an instant and turned into hatred for Han Jia.
Everything was because of him. He snatched away his father’s attention, hurt his dignity, and he cast a heavy shadow on his heart. The years of misery that he suffered were almost entirely caused by him.
He ran into the windy night, consumed by anger and with nowhere to vent his anger on, he was actually taken to Jin Ting by his own two feet.
He had never felt that he was a radical person. His only intention was to throw a brick, but once he caught sight of Han Jia, the hatred had urged him to strike.
However, Han Jia unexpectedly took him home, asked about his father in such an affectionate manner while being indifferent about him.
Jiang Xiaoning had no way of discerning whether the pain that plunged deep in his heart was hatred or sorrow—the enemy who stood before him now also had feelings and would eventually age. He had apologized and said that he was willing to compensate him, but he simply took out some money, thinking that it would completely settle everything. How strange, he was obviously not repressed or drugged again, but he still felt no dignity in front of this person.
The nightmares, the fear of people, the pain and the tears, all became heavier. He felt that he was insulted by the same person for the second time.
He overthrew Han Jia and used a cruel language to humiliate him, all the while, he maintained a violent and ruthless expression—all this was completely due to a single thought: he wanted revenge, he wanted Han Jia to taste the feelings of losing all his dignity, the isolation, and the helplessness.
So, when he finished that sentence, he placed his hand on Han Jia’s waist and did not continue to move, however, his eyes were fixed on him.
Han Jia’s expression was very strange. After a moment of confusion, he actually laughed.
With just a smile, his face revealed an ambiguous sense of enticement while the corners of his eyes simply exuded lust.
“Jiang Xiaoning,” he whispered as his legs unexpectedly hooked with comfort around Jiang Xiaoning’s waist. “It seems you quite like me. Why didn’t you say so earlier?”
Jiang Xiaoning was in complete disbelief as both his calmness and fierceness disappeared—nonetheless, the anger in his heart was more turbulent. He stared at Han Jia with eyes wide open before his hands moved away from his waist and toward his neck to choke him. “I, I going to kill you,” he shouted, his eyes red with anger.
Han Jia grabbed his wrist and ignored his struggle. Then, he kissed the tip of his nose and teased with a smile. “So, you actually like this kind of play.”
“You bastard! You son of a bitch!” Jiang Xiaoning shouted loudly as he struggled madly, and even his fist and feet greeted Han Jia mercilessly.
Although Han Jia’s strength was more immense than his, he could not withstand an adolescent boy’s deranged style of play. He resisted for a little while and then harshly shoved him away. That shove sent Jiang Xiaoning off the sofa and made him retreat two steps back before he landed on the coffee table.
Originally, there was a glass vase on the coffee table, but Jiang Xiaoning struck it to the ground, which created a crisp crash. What remained was the broken pieces that overtook their sight.
“Really!” Han Jia stood up slowly and arranged his underwear without care while smiling sweetly. “Do you have a temper? Do you immediately revolt the moment you’re unhappy? It could obviously be resolved in a simple manner, why make it like this? Whether you want to hit me or do me, I can definitely cooperate with you. It’s not like I have never done these kinds of things before. Many customers like to hit and fuck at the same time.”
When he said the last sentence, his voice was low and relaxed, and his eyes were drawn with clear hints of sexual signals. The tip of his tongue actually came out and slowly passed over his lower lip.
Jiang Xiaoning did not know what his own expression was like at the moment, but Han Jia’s expression stunned him.
He could not think too much. He only felt his anger flourishing, and his hatred of this person was more magnificent.
No wonder he is so unrestrained in the disregard of others’ freedom and dignity—he has no dignity at all. Such a person can even humiliate himself, let alone humiliate others.
But as for the injuries that he had received, what would be used as compensation?
With shortness of breaths, an uncontrollable and destructive desire had already dominated Jiang Xiaoning’s body; he could even feel his fingertips starting to tremble.
He stood up without saying a word, turned around, and kicked the glass coffee table.
The coffee table was obviously a high-end product, able to endure several kicks without budging even the slightest. Jiang Xiaoning’s gloomy expression intensified before he crouched down and lifted the table with all his might until it eventually tipped over and landed on floor tiles with an explosive bang.
He got up and walked away to create all sorts of damages.
The porcelain ornaments were broken on the ground, the iron pendants were used to smash the glassware and the television, the tables and chairs were overturned, and the precious stereo systems were damaged—the sound of destruction continuous. Jiang Xiaoning could not control himself.
He went into the kitchen, pulled out all the cupboard drawers, and threw the utensils everywhere.
Then, as he stood up breathlessly, a ray of light flashed from the corner of his eye. He looked up and saw several knives on the knife holder.
After a moment, Jiang Xiaoning involuntarily reached out and pulled out the longest one.
He walked out of the kitchen with that knife only to see Han Jia still standing in the same spot. In this chaotic outburst, his fingers were hooked in his pockets while what seemed to be a smile graced his lips. He simply watched quietly as Jiang Xiaoning approached him, step by step.
“I’m going to kill you!” Jiang Xiaoning waved the knife and yelled angrily.
Han Jia smiled with an expression one would use to look at a wayward child.
“Can you really move your hand?” he asked in a tempting manner. “Your father is still waiting for you at home.”
Jiang Xiaoning’s hand shook even more. He stared viciously at Han Jia as if he could not wait to throw him onto the ground like the porcelain—broken into thousands of pieces.
“And,” Han Jia said slowly, keeping his eyes on him, “I don’t cook, this knife is not sharp.”
That kind of teasing expressions completely defeated Jiang Xiaoning as the knife slammed into the ground. However, Jiang Xiaoning’s hands did not retract and were kept in that ridiculously extended position. He could not move.
As a cold and indescribable emotion bubbled in his body, Jiang Xiaoning felt humiliated and useless. He could no longer look again. He could no longer stay here. He wanted to leave and then go somewhere else.
Just like that, he bit down on his teeth and shifted his eyes elsewhere. He took a step back, then turned around to leave. But since his body was shaking too much, both his legs were like lead, causing him to actually sway as he walked.
Han Jia approached him and placed his hand on Jiang Xiaoning’s shoulder as his saccharine voice sounded.
“I said that I will cooperate, how can you still be in such a bad temper?”
“Fuck off! Just fuck off!” Jiang Xiaoning shouted, exhausting his last bit of strength to push him away before he ran to the door and rushed out.
Sadly, Han Jia’s residence was on the upper twentieth floor. Jiang Xiaoning could not wait for the elevator and dashed to the stairway.
In the gloomy and lonely corridor, the sounds of his urgent gasps, chaotic footsteps, and low-suppressed cries reverberated without end.
He had been forced to the extreme, and destroying the furniture did not dispel his pain. If he stayed any longer, he would have definitely fallen apart and worsened the situation. Perhaps, he would have actually killed Han Jia—perhaps, he would have hurt himself.
Just keep running like this, he thought. If the stairs did not come to an end, he would continue to run down. And as he ran, he would forget those sad things, forget those repulsive and hateful people, and then shed them away behind him just like sweat.
He ran with a depressed mindset, not knowing how many stairs he had gone down, but just as he made a turn, he bumped into someone head-on.
The person shouted exaggeratedly and grabbed him at the same time, then spoke beside his ear. “Jiang Xiaoning, what are you running for?”
Jiang Xiaoning clenched his teeth, without uttering a word. His whole body tensed up in resistance as he exerted all his strength to come to blows with him.
Han Jia did not know what wrong medicine he had taken, but he unexpectedly staked it all with him as he kept a firm hold—refusing to let go. No matter how he struggled, he still did not let go.
Jiang Xiaoning was already hungry and tired from before, and now that he had run down, both his body and mind were exhausted. It did not take long before his hands and legs gave in, leaving him with not even an ounce of strength to vent his anger.
His movements slowly stopped, but Han Jia’s strength did not loosen in the slightest. Jiang Xiaoning spoke angrily; his tone completely hoarse from crying yet the raging anger was full to capacity. “What else do you want to do?”
Han Jia did not speak for a while. However, when he did, his voice was completely different. There was no hint of half-heartedness or calm teasing or even a sound that was remotely close to what Jiang Xiaoning had heard before.
He placed one hand on Jiang Xiaoning’s waist and slowly caressed his back with the other. Then, he turned his head slightly which allowed his lips to meet the side of Jiang Xiaoning’s ear. He was serious and careful, and even whispered: “Come back with me.”