Translate: Sae | Edit: Ice
Gu Fei rode to the front, keeping a distance from him at an unhurried pace. Jiang Cheng sometimes felt that Gu Fei’s keen observation ability and high EQ that prevented him from being too inquisitive about other people’s matters really irked him.
He pulled the mask up so that the edge could catch the tears that slid down.
The distance from where they were to Gu Fei’s shop was considerably decent, taking only about ten minutes on the bicycle, which was enough. He just followed behind Gu Fei like this, letting his tears flow out as much as he wanted.
He honestly didn’t know why he suddenly burst in tears.
He didn’t feel like he had the urge to cry at all, and there wasn’t anything that made him want to cry either. Even if he no longer had a home, no longer had parents… this kind of mindset wasn’t something that had only existed for a day or two. From the day he was told that he was adopted, he already realized that he would never have a home again.
After coming here, this feeling became clearer day by day… so why would he suddenly start crying after saying that he was an orphan?
Sure enough, people are delicate when they are sick.
By the time they arrived at the intersection, he had already stopped crying, and his tears were practically air-dried, leaving only his eyes to feel a little swollen.
After they parked their bicycles at the door of Gu Fei’s shop, Gu Fei glanced back at him and quietly exclaimed as if he had seen something frightening: “Aiyo!”
“What’s wrong?” Jiang Cheng asked as he leaned the bicycle against the wall.
“I…” Gu Fei hesitated. “I didn’t expect you to cry to this point.”
Jiang Cheng suddenly wanted to laugh. Even Gu Fei, who was so adept at easing the embarrassment of others, couldn’t keep pretending not to have noticed anything any longer. He rubbed his eyes and asked: “Is it that red?”
“They’re pretty red,” Gu Fei said. “Why don’t you wait for me here. I’ll help you bring out whatever you need. Li Yan is in there, you know.”
“It’s okay.” Jiang Cheng felt around in his schoolbag, pulled out a glasses case, took out and put on a pair of sunglasses. “I am equipped.”
“You look…” Gu Fei stared at him.
“Pretty handsome, right?” Jiang Cheng looked toward the window of the nearby community hospital, “Every time I pass by a display window, I’d always be taken aback by my handsomeness.”
“Yes.” Gu Fei nodded, “You truly are… very handsome.”
When the two of them walked into the shop together, Li Yan was in the middle of two shelves with Gu Miao’s skateboard under his feet, having difficulty with moving it forward. Gu Miao was leaning against the checkout counter with her arms folded as she watched on with a face of indifference.
When she caught sight of them coming in, she rushed over to Jiang Cheng’s side and looked up at the sunglasses on his face with keen interest.
“You’re already bored to this degree…” Gu Fei said.
“I’m just exercising my body,” Li Yan scanned Jiang Cheng once over. “Oh, I thought that someone had come to collect protection fees.”
“Hand me the money,” Jiang Cheng said.
“They’re in the drawer,” Li Yan pointed at the checkout counter.
“When are you heading back?” Gu Fei asked Li Yan.
“You don’t have to worry about me.” Li Yan continued to move forward on the skateboard gruelingly. “I’ve made plans to eat with Liu Fan in a bit. You two wanna come?”
“I won’t go,” Jiang Cheng remarked.
“Can’t.” Gu Fei pulled Li Yan off of the skateboard, “We have midterm exams tomorrow.”
“What do the midterm exams have to do with you?” Li Yan asked, “He’s a xueba, so it’s only natural that he wants to study, but you’re the king of blank exam papers…”
“I’ve never turned in a blank sheet before,” Gu Fei corrected him.
“Oh, right, you’d always fill something in.” Li Yan nodded his head understandingly.
“Yeah.” Gu Fei also nodded.
“Alright then, if you guys can’t go, then you can’t go.” Li Yan picked up his jacket, “I’m heading out.”
Jiang Cheng roamed around the shelves twice and picked out some daily necessities and food. Gu Miao followed beside him curiously the entire time, staring intently at his sunglasses.
Finally, he had no choice but to take off the sunglasses. It had been quite a while, so his eyes shouldn’t be that red anymore. He placed the sunglasses on Gu Miao’s face.
Gu Miao pushed the glasses up – expressionlessly.
“Very cool.” Jiang Cheng gave her a thumbs up, “You will definitely be much cooler than your brother when you grow up, and very handsome too.”
Gu Miao didn’t speak, just turned around, grabbed her skateboard, and walked out.
“Ay!” Gu Fei shouted, “Take off the sunglasses! They’ll break if they fall to the ground!”
Gu Miao ignored him and confidently slid out wearing the sunglasses.
“It’s fine,” Jiang Cheng said. “If they break, they break. I’ve been wearing them for a long time anyway.”
“Geez, you were only willing to buy a bike for 200 RMB just a moment ago.” Gu Fei leaned against the checkout counter and shot him a glance, “If the sunglasses actually break, you won’t be able to afford another pair.”
“If they break, then shouldn’t you be the one to compensate?” Jiang Cheng laughed.
“Oh, that’s right.” Gu Fei thought about it, “Yeah.”
Jiang Cheng placed the goods that he had picked out on the counter, “Checkout.”
“Then…” Gu Fei was a bit hesitant.
“No,” Jiang Cheng said.
Gu Fei laughed. He walked behind the checkout counter and started to scan the barcodes one by one, then put everything in a bag. “It’s a total of 123.2 RMB. I’ll just take out the small change, it’s 120 RMB.”
“Okay,” Jiang Cheng handed him the money.
With no one watching the shop, Gu Fei had Gu Miao return home by herself and closed up the shop.
“Have I delayed your business?” Jiang Cheng felt a bit embarrassed.
“There’s not much business around mealtimes, and the only people that come around at this time are those who realized they’ve run out of salt or oil while cooking.” Gu Fei said nonchalantly as he straddled his bicycle and rode out.
Jiang Cheng also got on his bicycle and followed suit.
“I’ll give you the sunglasses tomorrow,” Gu Fei said.
“No worries. I can see that Gu Miao really likes them,” Jiang Cheng. “Just let her have them to play with, but don’t forget to tell her not to wear it all the time. They’re bad for children’s eyes if they wear them too much.”
Gu Fei laughed.
Jiang Cheng wasn’t very familiar with this area. After the landlord told him the address that day, he had spent nearly half the day before he eventually found the place. Now that he was coming back that day, when he looked at the rows of dilapidated buildings that all looked the same… he literally couldn’t find where the building he had rented was.
“No, I,” he was utterly dismal. “I remember entering at a certain intersection, and there were several buildings that all looked pretty much the same…”
“Which certain intersection?” Gu Fei asked.
“I…” Jiang Cheng froze for a while before finally pulling out his phone, “I’ll just ask the landlord again.”
The landlord was very amused and told him the address one more time: “Young man, don’t come back in the middle of the night ah. I would’ve already locked up by then, so if you get lost, you’ll have to spend the night outside.”
Gu Fei was quite familiar with this address. He stepped on his pedal and moved forward: “This way.”
“How come I have no recollection of it being this far?” Jiang Cheng asked, a little perplexed.
“You don’t even remember the name,” Gu Fei countered.
“It’s not that I can’t remember,” Jiang Cheng sighed. “I’m just too lazy to remember. My mind is not a garbage dump, of course, I have to remember useful things.”
“Yeah, there is no use in remembering the road,” Gu Fei nodded.
“Shut up,” Jiang Cheng retorted.
When Gu Fei took him to find the building where he had rented a place, he carefully looked around at his surroundings: “Alright, I’ve remembered it.”
“Let’s go eat after you finish putting the stuff away ba,” Gu Fei said.
“En.” Jiang Cheng took him upstairs. This apartment of the landlord was on the second floor, and although it was very run-down, the inside of the apartment was okay. The furnishings were quite complete, and even if they were considered old, they were quite clean. Also, there weren’t any rats or cockroaches freely roaming about like at Li Baoguo’s place at the very least.
“It’s not bad.” Gu Fei stood in the living room and looked around.
“En.” Jiang Cheng put the things on the table, “I’ll go get a network cable in two days, and that’ll be just about it… oh, by the way, do you know where I can buy some bedding?”
“Bedding?” Gu Fei froze.
Jiang Cheng didn’t know why, but when he said those two syllables, his thoughts went inexplicably elsewhere. Judging from Gu Fei’s reaction, he was probably about the same.
The two exchanged a glance, and Gu Fei was the first to laugh: “Oh, bedding ah. I do know.”
Jiang Cheng didn’t say anything. He suddenly felt like it was impossible to stop himself from laughing, so he leaned out the window and laughed his head off until even his cheeks ached.
“Damn,” Gu Fei rubbed at his face.
“Let’s go buy some after we grab a bite? I don’t have enough time to buy it online,” Jiang Cheng said.
“Alright, we have to buy some first before we eat then.” Gu Fei took out his phone and checked the time, “There’s a fabric market for bedsheets and other products nearby. There are finished goods for sale too – quilts, pillows, and all that stuff are all available there. But it closes at around seven or eight o’clock.”
“Okay,” Jiang Cheng nodded his head.
“Then…” Gu Fei pointed at the door, “Let’s go?”
Jiang Cheng didn’t say anything and just stood in a daze for a moment yet again before he went to stand in front of Gu Fei – wrapping his arms around his shoulders, he hugged him tightly.
Gu Fei froze at first, but then lightly patted him on the back: “What’s wrong?”
“Nothing.” Jiang Cheng still hugged him tightly, “Have you ever had a time where you felt particularly unstable, like you can’t exactly place your feet on the ground, but can’t fall either? Like you can’t grasp onto anything, and there is nothing beneath your feet.”
Gu Fei fell silent for a long time: “I have.”
“I also think that you have,” Jiang Cheng said. “I step into a void, as if I’m about to fly… above me is confusion, and below me, I hear you say ‘this world is empty’…”
The latter end of the sentence was sung by Jiang Cheng in a very low voice.
Gu Fei was astonished. Not only was he taken aback by the fact that Jiang Cheng had memorized the melody and lyrics after hearing it only once, but he was also pleasantly surprised by his voice when he sang. His voice was low and hoarse, carrying a certain seductive quality – it was euphonious.
He could empathize with Jiang Cheng’s feelings of being utterly empty. Even though their experiences weren’t similar in the slightest, he could understand the panicked state of being unable to step on firm ground.
The two stood quietly in the room. For the longest time, he could only hear Jiang Cheng’s repressed, low, and almost imperceptible cry echoing in his ears.
“Cheng-ge,” Gu Fei softly whispered as he lightly patted his waist. “To tell you the truth, I’m not very good at comforting others. The only person that I’ve ever comforted is Er Miao… I just want to say that if you cry, it’s more satisfying to cry out loud.”
Beside his ear, Jiang Cheng fell quiet for a moment. But after coughing twice, he abruptly started to sob.
It was the kind of cry that was overflowed with reluctance, with fury, helplessness, and grievance.
It was probably very cathartic from the sounds of it; from the wail that started it all off to the venting screams he let out as he grasped tightly on the fabric over his shoulders.
“You bastard,” Jiang Cheng rasped, his voice wrapped with a sobbing tone.
“Yeah,” Gu Fei responded, still gently patting him. Then, he turned his head and pressed a kiss to the tip of Jiang Cheng’s ear.
This action was beyond his expectations. He couldn’t clearly explain why he had done that, but Jiang Cheng didn’t give him time to ruminate on it – he turned his head and kissed him on the lips.
The tongue that carried the slightly salty taste of tears roughly thrust into his mouth as if looking for a fight.
Gu Fei was a little unprepared. He was hit by his somewhat savage frame until he retreated a step, yet Jiang Cheng still used his bounteous strength to push him back.
He crashed into the wall behind him, and Jiang Cheng kissed him again.
This kiss was just as uncontrollable as the kiss from the day Jiang Cheng got high from drinking, but compared to that day, he was much more sober now. After all, he didn’t drink fake liquor, so wherever the tip of his tongue occupied, it seemed like a declaration of war.
I want to be here! I want to be there! I want this here! I want that there!
I’ve already stroked around here! Here, here, and there… are all mine!
Gu Fei initially had no intention of doing anything, but now under his almost insane plundering, he suddenly thought of Captain Wang Jiuri’s self-reflection paper.
In these warm spring days where flowers bloom and Spring returns to the Earth…
He grabbed Jiang Cheng by the arm and flung him onto the sofa next to them.
Jiang Cheng was thrown heavily on the sofa by him. When he pressed down on him, he very naturally lifted Jiang Cheng’s shirt with ease and harshly caressed his body a few times.
Jiang Cheng’s breath stopped. He grabbed at him through his pants.
“Shit,” Gu Fei rasped in a suppressed voice. “If you grab any fucking harder, it’ll become useless.”
Jiang Cheng smirked and resolutely snaked his hand inside.
Once the room was quiet again, Gu Fei could hear the laughter and shouts of the children running wild after eating.
“Why don’t you guess,” Jiang Cheng was lying on the sofa with one leg on the floor. “How long will it take before you end up pushing me to the floor?”
“I’m not entirely on the sofa either ah.” Gu Fei had half his body on Jiang Cheng’s and one leg pressing against the coffee table. “In this posture, I would fall right down if I loosen my leg.”
Jiang Cheng glanced at his leg and burst into a laughing frenzy.
Gu Fei didn’t laugh with him. But when he propped himself up with his arm, he raised a hand to gently rub the corner of his eye.
“I’m fine now.” Jiang Cheng flicked his hand.
“If you want to buy… bedding, then we have to hurry up.” Gu Fei kicked aside the tissues on the floor, and tidied up his pants as he spoke, “Any later and the only shops that would still be open would be the shops along this street. There won’t be much to pick from then.”
“En.” Jiang Cheng also got up and went to the bathroom to wash his face. When he came out, he was a little worried, “Hurry up and go wash your face…”
“What,” Gu Fei asked as he walked to the bathroom, “Scared that your snot rubbed on my face?”
“I’m afraid that you’ll catch a co…” Jiang Cheng started before realization hit him like a brick, “Fuck! There’s no way!”
“… it didn’t.” Gu Fei went into the bathroom to wash his face.
Jiang Cheng stood in the living room and sniffled, noting that his nose was clear at the moment, so nothing should have gotten on Gu Fei’s face.
Compared to the fact that he had done such a shameless thing when he was in a sober state, he unexpectedly cared much more about his snot problem… that rendered him speechless.
After confirming that there were no snot problems, the panic resulting from the shame of doing something so scandalous slowly flooded over him, looming above him as it permeated his surroundings.
When Gu Fei came out of the bathroom with water dripping down his face, he couldn’t even look at Gu Fei in the eyes. His gaze was so evasive that one would mistakenly believe that he had done something like drugging Gu Fei.
“Let’s go.” Gu Fei rubbed at his face, seemingly infected by his embarrassment. He pulled out two tissues to wipe his face and walked towards the door.
“En.” Jiang Cheng glanced at the tissues on the floor, wanting to clean them up, but he hesitated and felt inexplicably embarrassed… so he ignored them and followed him out.
In this area, besides the location where Li Baoguo’s home was very much in a run-down state, the new terrain that Gu Fei brought him too wasn’t that different either – they were all pretty shabby. However, the lighting construction was much better here.
Such a brightly-lit old town would give people the impression that the place had a lot of stories to be told.
And there were indeed many stories – Li Baoguo’s family alone already had many stories to tell. Then there’s Gu Fei… he turned his head to look at Gu Fei.
“Just up ahead,” Gu Fei said. “there’s a marketplace to the right where the vegetables are pretty cheap. If you want to cook for yourself, you can buy things there.”
“En.” Jiang Cheng responded.
“Behind the fabric market ahead, there’s a clothing market that sells cheap and ugly clothes.” Gu Fei glanced at him, “If you want to save money, you can go there.”
“… en.” Jiang Cheng laughed.
“Then there’s the places to eat… I’ll take you there after we finish buying your comforters and whatever else.” Gu Fei said.
“Alright,” Jiang Cheng nodded.
Many shops in the fabric market were closed, but fortunately, the side facing the street was still open. Jiang Cheng had no idea about how to pick these things, so he just looked at the colors.
“This set ba.” He fumbled with a set of bedding with a wide-striped pattern.
“This kind will pill,”1 Gu Fei said.
“Oh, Jiang Cheng withdrew his hand and felt another set. “Then this…”
“There’s no difference between the two, can’t you feel the difference?” Gu Fei asked.
“Fuck,” Jiang Cheng put his hand back in his pocket, “How about you pick two sets bei.”
Gu Fei laughed and went over to search around. He picked a set: “This…”
“It’s too ugly,” Jiang Cheng quickly said. “Cheap, but ugly.”
“Then, you’ll just get pills ba,” Gu Fei started to laugh. “Expensive, but beautiful.”
In the end, Jiang Cheng bought two sets, one from each of the two materials. He was too lazy to continue shopping, so he decided just to buy the pillows and comforter in this store.
“You only want one pillow?” the proprietress asked.
“Ah, I sleep alone.” Jiang Cheng said.
“You can switch them around ah, or take it out for the other person to use when you need to share.” The proprietress insisted, “We’re going to close soon, I’ll let you have it for a little cheaper. Besides, even if you’re alone now, you’re not going to be alone in the future ah.”
“I’m… a high school student.” Jiang Cheng still wanted to save a bit of money, “By the time I’m sleeping with another person, the pillow will have rotted.”
“This pillow is of great quality!” The proprietress said as she raised the pillow in front of him and patted it, “This elasticity! Besides, quite a lot of people live together in high school ah! I’ve seen quite a few. I’d also often have couples coming in one after another to buy bed supplies.”
“I only… want one.” Jiang Cheng was rendered absolutely speechless. If it were at any ordinary time, he would have definitely asked Gu Fei for help. But at this moment, he was embarrassed to even look at Gu Fei.
“His mother goes to check his place every day, so he would usually go to a hotel. The place really doesn’t need two pillows.” Gu Fei remarked from behind them.
“What the fuck?” Jiang Cheng whipped his head back.
“Oh— so, it’s like that.” The proprietress had an ‘it’s just as I’ve said’ expression on her face,’ “It’ll just be one then.”
They carried two bags of things back to the side of the street; it took the two a lot of time and effort to tie everything to the backs of the bicycles – they even had to ask the proprietress for two ropes in the middle.
“We’re gonna go eat like this?” Jiang Cheng stared at the pile of things, “Are we going to carry these into the shop?”
“I’m treating you to something simple.” Gu Fei stepped on the pedal, “Then we won’t need to unload.”
“… alright.” Jiang Cheng also got on his bicycle, “What are we eating?”
“Deep-fried rice cakes,”2 Gu Fei said. “It’s delicious.”
“You’re going to treat this orphan to deep-fried rice cakes?” Jiang Cheng laughed.
“It’s as delicious as Wang Er’s flatbread,” Gu Fei very seriously replied. “Really.”
After they finished shopping, they went to find the fried rice cake shop. The awkwardness in Jiang Cheng’s heart had finally dissipated when they were on the road, and once he sat down with Gu Fei in the shop, the suffocating depression that had been pressing down on him during the past two days also faded away along with the awkwardness.
“It just so happens that we can see the bikes outside from here,” Gu Fei commented after they sat down.
“En.” Jiang Cheng glanced around at the shop. The shop was super small, only being able to fit four or five small tables in total – and they were short tables too – so it was almost like they were squatting on the ground to eat.
At the moment, there were a total of two tables, including theirs, that were occupied in the shop. The ones that sat at the other table were a few young girls; they were eating and chatting very lively.
In contrast, he and Gu Fei were sitting face to face in silence, appearing exceptionally quiet.
“I forgot to ask you,” Jiang Cheng looked at Gu Fei. “Did Boar Head come to cause trouble today?”
“No.” Gu Fei poured a cup of tea and placed it in front of him, “He just bluffed for a bit.”
Jiang Cheng took a sip of the tea: “Who are you deceiving, huh?”
“I’m really not,” Gu Fei started to laugh. “Who dares to deceive a xueba ah. You’re so smart that you can even go off-script when reading a self-reflection paper.”
Jiang Cheng didn’t say anything in response, and just stared at him.
Gu Fei took a sip of tea, but he was still staring. So Gu Fei stretched out his teacup until it was in front of him, lightly knocked it against his cup, and then took another sip of tea… but he continued to stare at him.
“Ay,” Gu Fei sighed. “It’s nothing serious. Let’s talk about it after the exams.”
“He came to arrange a fight, right?” Jiang Cheng asked.
“He came to arrange a ball game.” Gu Fei laughed.
“What’s the difference between playing ball and fighting to a person like him?” Jiang Cheng took a sip of tea, took a moment to contemplate, but then felt that something was off, “Wait, what face does he have to arrange anything, huh? They played so dirty… any face he had could be folded into a paper airplane and thrown out the window.
“Nevermind that, nothing will happen in the next few days. Just focus on the exams first.” Gu Fei said.
“You’re not worried that it’ll affect my exams, are you?” Jiang Cheng questioned.
“A little bit,” Gu Fei admitted.
“Don’t worry,” Jiang Cheng said. “In a lousy little school like Si Zhong, I can still get first place even if I have a fever and amnesia… do you want to copy? Didn’t Zhou Jing say that you guys don’t switch seats for exams?”
“Nah, I won’t feel stressed even if I get a zero.” Gu Fei started to laugh again. He then gave a long pause before saying: “Cheng-ge, you’re really…”
“Hmm?” Jiang Cheng smelled the fragrant scent of the rice cakes and turned his head toward the kitchen.
“… the most outstanding person that I’ve ever met ‘till now,” Gu Fei finished.
Jiang Cheng froze. He then turned his head back, but didn’t say anything.
“Really,” Gu Fei insisted.
“You’re the most un-thug-like thug that I’ve ever met ‘till now,” Jiang Cheng said in response. “You’re a warm and gentle thug, and… you’re very good-looking.”
“Do you need me to compliment you back?” Gu Fei asked.
“There’s no need for that,” Jiang Cheng replied. “I know I’m handsome.”
The author has something to say: Will continue tomorrow.
“2016 is almost over and I’m as nervous as a cat on a hot tin roof ah. By the way, there are two bugs, one is the timeline bug where the time of the basketball match had to be pushed back and the number of people that are self-reflecting bug. Take note that at this time, I won’t change anything, let’s do it next year ba.” The author says as she holds her coffee cup with both hands and shaking legs.
“Ji. &(ˉ^ˉ)&” The tiny black furry spirit chirped.
“Ying. w(゜Д゜)w” The small black furry spirit cried.
“I’m going to revolt ah! o(≧口≦)o” The black furry spirit screamed in shock.
The translators have something to say:
Sae: I’ve loved someone, I’ve hated someone, I’ve missed someone, I’ve forgotten someone, I’ve loved a city all because of that someone, I’ve left that city all because of that someone… a script without you is not a complete life. For you, I am willing to wait, for one day for us to become two, I wanted to spend my life with that someone, I wanted the two of us, so that it becomes a complete fate, maybe I was in a rush, looking for that someone in a concept defined by others, no matter if whether it’s right or wrong, only then did I utterly and clearly understand, of those future and past that shattered me… no matter if it belongs to me. I loved that someone, who belonged to someone, that city and that gate, left with only the lights – now there is no one.
I’ve… suffered enough. All these depressing songs are stabbing at my heart repeatedly, bringing out all the loneliness. Save yourself and don’t do what I did.
周延英 – 那個人 (That Someone)「為了你，願意等」
Ice: “Have you ever had a time where you felt particularly unstable, like you can’t exactly place your feet on the ground, but can’t fall either? Like you can’t grasp onto anything, and there is nothing beneath your feet.”
I had heard of this quote before I first read the book, and it became the sole reason why I had given this book a try. I was in one of the darkest times of my life; it was not the first, and certainly not the last, but it was the first time that I had seen someone perfectly describe exactly what I was feeling… and I suddenly felt a lot less alone.
(P.S. Listening to the SAYE theme song as I was editing this was NOT a good idea – sudden flashbacks to the days where I would run my burdens away under the rain with the song ringing in my ears.)
小墜《撒野》(SAYE) Theme Song
1 Pill, colloquially known as a bobble, fuzzball, or lint ball is a small ball of fibers that forms on a piece of cloth. ‘Pill’ is also a verb for the formation of such balls (Pills appear on fabric when groups of short or broken fibers on the surface of the fabric become tangled together in a tiny knot or ball, a pill.)
(Sae: Yes, there is only one note lol)
^ Deep-fried rice cake with brown sugar syrup and peanut powder. I just ate it for lunch today too, hehehe~ (Ice)