Title: As bark is vital to a tree, so is dignity to a person
Han Jia’s brows rose slightly as Jiang Xiaoning held him in his embrace.
He struggled for some time, but Jiang Xiaoning did not loosen up and even let out a grim laugh.
“How much, ‘you did for me’?” he said indifferently. “You really haven’t matured one bit—always blaming others for the things that you did.”
Jiang Xiaoning did not speak as his body became rigid.
Han Jia exerted his strength and pushed him away. He took a step back and stared at him for a while before he slowly spoke, “Do you think that by saying that I will feel guilty and actually think I owe you?”
Jiang Xiaoning looked at him. His lips were tight, and his eyes flashed with surprise and anger.
“It’s all useless, Jiang Xiaoning.” Han Jia’s voice did not change, “No matter what you did, if I didn’t ask for it or participate in it, don’t get me involved.” He paused before a sneer hooked the corner of his lips, “I didn’t go back, so you came to look for me? Are you trying to act like a saint in front of me?” Han Jia glanced at Jiang Xiaoning, and without waiting for him to speak, he continued with a cold tone. “I thought that after all these years, you would be a bit manlier. It’s just a breakup. You were only dumped by someone like me, but you didn’t give up and let yourself reach this stage. It’s been five years already and you still chased all the way here, such a long and arduous journey and you still came. If you can’t get it, you’re unwilling to let go? You have no backbone at all… you’ve really made me look down on you.”
Jiang Xiaoning just stood there as if he did not expect to be treated like that. There was a completely miserable expression on his face as he whispered. “It’s not that I am unwilling.”
“Then what is that? Do you really like me?” Han Jia did not shy away from his eyes as he spoke aggressively. “What do you like about me? What is there between us? There was nothing five years ago and even nothing more five years later.”
Jiang Xiaoning wanted to say something but closed his mouth instead, seemingly speechless from feeling sad. After a long silence, he finally spoke—his voice was low and fierce. “Five years ago… you thought that there was nothing between us?”
Han Jia looked at him, sighed and heartlessly said: “Jiang Xiaoning, we both made mistakes back then. What I did was more serious, so it was only natural for you to be angry. But I really didn’t like you. When I left five years ago, I wasn’t reluctant at—”
Hearing that, Jiang Xiaoning stepped forward, grabbed his collar, and pushed him to the wall. His right hand had already become a fist and was lifted up high.
Han Jia looked at the fist in the air from the corner of his eye, revealing a smile that was like a provocation.
“You want to hit me? When you tried to hit me back then, didn’t I teach you that violence doesn’t solve every problem?”
Jiang Xiaoning’s eyes were red as he gasped and glared at him while his fist shook slightly.
Han Jia was not scared at all to look at him, face to face. “I have already started a new life. Everything that happened in the past… was burdening to me. I hope that I can slowly forget all of that.” He glimpsed at Jiang Xiaoning, “I don’t ever want to see you again because if I do, it will remind me of all those things.”
Jiang Xiaoning seemed to have been completely slaughtered by him. Han Jia could sense the hand that was gripping his collar intensify, making it nearly impossible for him to breathe. His right hand, that was still ridiculously parked in the air, refused to let go and refused to hit. Jiang Xiaoning just stared at Han Jia with a strange sadness floating in his eyes. “I know, I have been waiting for you to ask me, I also know that you would definitely say that… but I still…”
“Don’t say that,” Han Jia still sneered. “The first day you came, I told you that if you want to sleep with me, I wouldn’t care. But don’t say these kinds of things. It makes me want to laugh—”
His voice came to an end spontaneously when Jiang Xiaoning’s fist, that brought a strong wind with it, fell heavily and smashed the wall to the side of his face.
He must have used a lot of strength, so much so that Han Jia thought he heard the sound of bones hitting the wall directly. But Jiang Xiaoning did not look at his own right hand, he simply stared at Han Jia with his expression raging with violence.
He gasped and then grabbed Han Jia’s collar with both hands, and whispered: “What did you think I came here for? To visit a prostitute?”
Before Han Jia had time to answer, he was ruthlessly slammed into the wall by the collar.
When he hissed in pain and took a deep breath from his shoulder blade having bumped against the wall, Jiang Xiaoning seemed to regret his action. After the collision, he loosened his hand, and as the sorrow appeared in his eyes, it was as if he could no longer bear to look at Han Jian again, so he turned away and walked out.
Han Jin could hear the main door being opened and then shut before the gate to the courtyard creaked open and was then slammed. Afterward, quietness ensued.
He leaned against the wall for a while and listened to the wind—gradually picking up from the outside and whistling below the eaves. He frowned and looked sideways at the place where Jiang Xiaoning’s fist had landed.
How can flesh be stronger than the wall? Han Jia reached out and touched the dark spot on the paint; he wanted to laugh but nothing came out.
Jiang Xiaoning is easily irritated, emotional and not good with arguments; only a few simple sentences can force him to hurt himself. How can he still have this kind of temper? Han Jia thought.
If he did not understand Jiang Xiaoning’s true intention before, what else did he not know then?
In five years, the young man who had become taller appeared with all his grievances and a girlfriend—not only was his mood unpredictable, his behavior was weird, and even his words were only half-spoken as he merely waited for Han Jia to ask him.
…just to obtain his heart again.
When Jiang Xiaoning was still a teenager, he first did things for the sake of getting his father’s attention, but later on, it was to receive Han Jia’s attention. His foolishness had harmed himself and others on more than one occasion. The environment he grew up in made him a person that was not good with communication, which resulted in him never using the right language to clearly explain himself. He had never once said he wanted to hear an apology, needed to be comforted, or expected to be embraced. He just wanted to destroy and then waited for someone to come and coax him; he wanted to hurt and then wait for someone to ask him.
Han Jia had always seen through those things with just one glance, and would use words to seek his understanding, held him in his arms, and used all his gentleness to resolve his grievances.
Within only five months, that had nearly become a natural instinct to Han Jia.
Just now, there was a moment where Han Jia almost abandoned his own promises just because he wanted to hug him back, caress his shoulders, kiss his lips.
He wanted to ask him, what exactly have you done for the last five year? Am I worth it?
But he knew that he could not do that. Everyone in the entire world could take pity on Jiang Xiaoning, just not him—not him.
He just needed to hurt him once more and abandon him.
Jiang Xiaoning’s vigorous pursuit of him was like a child holding onto a dilapidated wooden gun, refusing to give it up for the new Transformers. It was just a naive attachment unique to those who are simple.
He was still young, handsome, and imposing. For someone like him, the pain would be short-lived. Soon he would realize that he had the power to choose between the temptation of a Transformers and the damaged small wooden guns. No one would choose the wrong one.
Thinking like that, Han Jia wanted to let out a sigh of relief. The corners of his mouth moved, and he tried to laugh, but in all honesty, there was no way he could laugh.
He walked back to his desk and forced himself to look at a series of physics question. More than ten minutes later, he returned to his senses and realized that he was in a daze just now.
He frowned and then gave himself a command to write the solution to the problem in a minute. Just as he picked up the pen, he heard the sound of the courtyard gate opening.
Feeling nervous, he gripped the pen and looked at the textbook, but not a single word entered his brain.
The gate was closed and after a while, the main door of the house was opened. After the door closed, the footsteps could then be heard. The person that came in did not make any stop and walked directly over to his side.
One hand reached over and pulled the pen from his hand. Han Jia frowned and looked up at the tall young man near him.
“Jiang Xiaoning,” he asked impatiently. “What else do you want to do?”
Jiang Xiaoning seemed to have calmed down—the anger on his face had disappeared and was replaced with an expressionless air, however, the look in his eyes was brimming with complications.
“To sleep with you,” he simply stated without any emotions.
It took Han Jia three seconds to react before he startlingly and angrily said: “Have you gone crazy?”
“I’m not crazy,” Jiang Xiaoning looked down on him. “You said it yourself, that if I wanted to sleep with you, you wouldn’t care.”
Those words made Han Jia stricken with anger to the point he wanted to laugh, “What? You came all the way here, was it really just to sleep with me?”
Jiang Xiaoning closed his eyes and coldly said: “You can think whatever you want.”
Han Jia was almost mad at his willfulness as he also used a cold tone. “I actually thought you were a saint, but you’re just a guest visiting a prostitute.”
Just as those words dropped, Jiang Xiaoning grabbed his arm and picked him up from the chair. Then, he pulled him along for a few steps and nearly threw him on the bed.
Yu Xiujun’s laptop was still on the bed, and just so happened to press against Han Jia’s shoulder that had bumped against the wall earlier. Before he had a chance to attend to the pain or get up, Jiang Xiaoning had already approached him, turned him over and pushed him into the bed.
“Fuck off!” Han Jia struggled.
Jiang Xiaoning pressed down on him. He placed the laptop on the bedside cabinet with one hand and caressed his face with the other before he moved close to Han Jia’s ear and whispered: “I will ‘fuck off’ tomorrow.”
Han Jia’s movements stopped.
“I might not come here anymore,” Jiang Xiaoning’s voice was laced with depression. “Aren’t you… aren’t you happy?”
Before Han Jia could respond, the hand that Jiang Xiaoning used to caress his face had already moved over to cover his mouth.
“Shhh, don’t say it.” His voice was so low, it was barely a whisper. “Just pretend that you can’t bear to see me go.”
Han Jia’s eyes became hot, and as he closed them, he could sense Jiang Xiaoning’s kiss land on his ear.
“I’m sorry, Han Jia.” Jiang Xiaoning’s kisses moved to the back of his neck, “For everything that happened back then, yesterday, today… I’m sorry…”
Jiang Xiaoning had never talked like that before, so cautious, so careful as if it was a serious farewell.
Han Jia trembled slightly. Jiang Xiaoning misunderstood the reason for his trembling and kissed his ear again. “It will never happen again. Just this time. I will leave tomorrow… Han Jia, I will never bother you anymore…”
Han Jia took a deep breath and reached his hand out to pull Jiang Xiaoning’s hand that was covering his mouth. Jiang Xiaoning persisted for a moment, however, when he saw his determined attitude, he loosened his hand but still pressed down on his body.
“Get up,” Han Jia whispered, his voice was soft and tempting. “I don’t like the back position.”