Translator’s note: Oh, this chapter is so good!!! 🙂
Tang Yi usually never took people who were not important to heart.
But this Shen Fan happened to be an exception; because the text message from the number ending in 1109, in addition to somewhat sudden care, also carried a little bit of a coincidence: 1109 was Tang Yi’s birthday.
On the day of Lin Rui’s welcome-back party, there was indeed a fresh face in the KTV, a man sitting alone in the corner of the private room. The whole time he was leaning against the wall playing with his phone, not talking to anyone. Now it seemed that he should have been Shen Fan.
But at that time, Tang Yi was watching coldly as Gu Yanting blocked the drinks for Lin Rui. The handsome young man held Lin Rui’s arm gentlemanly with one hand and took glass after glass with the other.
Gu Yanting didn’t like drinking, and the bunch of friends knew that, so the excitement of filling up the glass at that time was mostly directed at Gu Yanting.
Restless ‘there’s no shop past this village’ guys(1).
Tang Yi’s heart was boiling, but he was wearing a decent smile to save Gu Yanting’s face. It was only when he saw that Gu Yanting’s eyes started to blur and his singing was all over the place that he smiled, rolled up his sleeves and blocked the toasting guys with the words, “I’ll do it.”
That night, apart from Gu Yanting, everyone else was outdrunk by Tang Yi.
He smiled in a dignified manner, even tenderly. At first he would clink glasses and say a polite word or two, but later, he simply raised the glass and emptied it in one go.
Until finally Fat Sod trembled and begged him, “Sister-in-law, Sister-in-law, please give these buggers a break, I promise they won’t dare next time.”
Tang Yi put the glass gently on the table and asked without mockery, “Promise? Who can control this thing?”
When he got angry about Lin Rui for the first time, Gu Yanting also promised not to mention Lin Rui in the future. Now wasn’t it a fart as usual?
By then, Tang Yi was also quite drunk, but after the years of grievances and depression, he was unwilling to be reconciled. He was peeved by Gu Yanting’s stance of protecting Lin Rui and began to show off, suppressing the drunkenness.
Tang Yi remembered being so frustrated that he couldn’t even burp without a bit of resentment. He let go of the people falling east and west and stood alone in front of the KTV coffee table. He smiled softly, his stomach aching badly, and he was speechless.
Afterwards, the one who knew that he was drunk and cared for him was actually Shen Fan, whom he had never met.
— Tang Yi? I’m Shen Fan, a friend of Yanting. I saw you drink a lot tonight and your face didn’t look too good. If you need anything, feel free to give me a call, my brother is on duty at the city hospital tonight [137…1109] At that time, Tang Yi replied with a thank you, but what he was thinking was that if Gu Yanting just sent a text message like this, or made a phone call, he, Tang Yi, could try to learn to let go of his past grudges and make himself less preoccupied with weighing Lin Rui in his heart.
It was not that he didn’t have the idea of turning a blind eye, but the three years had worn away not only his temper, but also Gu Yanting’s already small amount of cherishing. Only the white rose that bloomed in his heart was ever-lasting. On the contrary, the more he looked at this rose, the better it seemed.
Tang Yi looked out the window solemnly and said after a while, “Not very familiar.”
“Lin Rui and Director Shen have a good personal relationship,” Zhou Hao reminded, adding after a moment, “If it’s convenient for Manager Tang in the evening, help me take care of Weiwei.”
Tang Yi was taken aback and looked at Zhou Hao again. The latter had already returned to that noble and sober look of his. He obviously had no intention of giving him room to refuse. Tang Yi hesitated for a moment and had to agree, “Okay.”
Although there were many cars on the eastern route, the road conditions were good. Zhou Hao drove very steadily, and Tang Yi fell asleep again in a daze, and when he woke up again, he was already there.
Zhou Weiwei had also gotten out of the car, hugging Zhou Hao’s leg and whispering something.
After driving for more than three hours in a row, Zhou Hao’s face didn’t show any fatigue. He patiently lowered his head and watched Zhou Weiwei’s dancing hands. Two suitcases were placed at his feet, and the hotel luggage clerk was respectfully waiting aside, obviously for a while by now.
Tang Yi was in a daze for a moment, then hurriedly sat up and opened the car door.
“Tang Susu, you’re awake!” Zhou Weiwei’s eyes lit up when he saw Tang Yi; he wanted to pounce, but Zhou Hao caught him up by the neck.
“Do you want to sleep some more?” Zhou Hao, who stood at the entrance of the hotel in light-coloured clothes, hooked the corners of his mouth and asked Tang Yi. “But you didn’t eat anything at noon. It’s better to eat some porridge first.”
The luggage attendant already quickly carried the suitcases into the hotel. In the green ornamental trees outside the lobby, various light-colored path lights were cleverly placed, creating the warm atmosphere that was appropriate and coordinated.
Zhou Hao’s grasp of proportion was just within Tang Yi’s bottom line, making him feel warm but not awkward.
Tang Yi gave him a thoughtful look and nodded with a smile, “Okay, thank you, Mr. Zhou.”
Zhou Hao said that he would take Zhou Weiwei out to eat after he did some things, so he had the restaurant deliver Tang Yi’s light porridge and side dishes to the room.
The hotel’s porridge was cooked at just the right heat and paired with refreshing side dishes, and it didn’t take long to be delivered. Zhou Hao temporarily switched to a suite with a living room and a small dining room as well as two bedrooms.
Tang Yi ate the porridge mouthful after mouthful at the small dining table while Zhou Weiwei fiddled with a small spoon to dig up the cold dishes and deliver them to his mouth. This feeling of being taken care of by a child was blissful, and together with the warm white porridge going down his throat, it opened up every pore of Tang Yi’s body.
He smiled at Zhou Weiwei who was staring earnestly at him, and suddenly his heart stirred. He pulled the child over and gave him a kiss on the forehead.
Zhou Weiwei was taken aback for a moment, and the spoon that he had lost his grip on suddenly dropped onto the carpet.
“Oops, you adults are so annoying!” Zhou Weiwei wiped his forehead with the back of his hand, sighing and frowning as if he had been disturbed doing a greatly important job.
Tang Yi was in a rare good mood and smiled touching Zhou Weiwei’s hair to tease him, “No kissing? If you don’t give a kiss to Uncle, Uncle won’t eat.”
“…ah,” Zhou Weiwei looked at him blankly, obviously in some dilemma, “but I still have to feed you!”
“But Uncle is sick,” Tang Yi said happily, “what if I need to be coaxed and fed at the same time?”
The child seemed to be very keen on feeding Tang Yi, and a small frown appeared between his eyebrows.
“… but Dad!” Zhou Weiwei suddenly looked up, his eyes lighting up, “I’ll feed you, you kiss Dad.”
Zhou Hao was in the living room’s reading documents, and the small dining room was just two steps away.
Tang Yi was startled by the way the child’s brain worked and almost sent the bowl flying. Before he could stop it, he heard Zhou Weiwei already shouting, “Dad, you should do me a favour!”
Tang Yi: “……”
Luckily, Zhou Weiwei seemed to have figured something out in his head and changed his tone when Zhou Hao raised his eyebrows and looked over, “Can you feed Susu for me, I’m a bit too busy.”
Zhou Hao put down his notebook and really came over with a smile, “What’s the matter?”
Zhou Weiwei explained seriously, “Uncle needs to be fed and coaxed, I’m too busy to do it.”
Tang Yi was in shock and waved his hand to Zhou Hao to show that he was fine, he was just teasing the child. Who knew that Zhou Hao didn’t seem to see it, sat down on the small dining chair and patted his son’s arm, “Then ask the restaurant to send another spoon.”
“No,” Tang Yi hurriedly caught Zhou Weiwei who was about to run towards the phone, “I’ll just go wash this one.”
Tang Yi held the spoon and rinsed it under the water over and over again, for the first time not knowing what to do.
The words he had just said were picked up too smoothly. Should he say that there was no need to bother, he felt that Zhou Hao would most likely answer that it was not a bother.
He paid great attention to the sense of proportion when he got along with his colleagues, and Ning Zeyu, with whom he was on very good terms, didn’t even know his home address, his birthday, or his usual preferences. The point of his sexuality should have been Ning Zeyu’s intuition; however, Tang Yi had never responded positively, so Ning Zeyu could only vaguely allude to it from time to time.
Now Zhou Hao was stepping on the edge of his bottom line, speaking courteously but with authority, and Tang Yi’s smoothness and sophistication had nowhere to go.
If he went out now, should he let Zhou Hao feed him? Tang Yi felt his scalp tingling when he thought about it.
But if he refused…
“Weiwei, go see if your Uncle Tang has washed his spoon yet.” Zhou Hao’s low, faintly smiling voice reached him, “Maybe Uncle doesn’t want Dad to feed him.”
Zhou Weiwei let out an “ah”, a little anxious, “Is that because he wants Dad to coax him?”
Zhou Hao’s smile deepened, “It’s very possible.”
Tang Yi: “……”
Tang Yi shook off the spoon and only when he went out again did he find that the restaurant had brought another porridge at some point.
Zhou Hao explained, “Just in time to coax Weiwei to eat some too.”
Tang Yi was taken aback for a moment, “Don’t you guys go out to eat?”
Zhou Hao looked at him with a smile, “No, you both need to be coaxed anyway. It saves the trouble to deal with you two together.”
Zhou Weiwei was very good at eating, smacking his lips at Tang Yi, then digging himself a spoonful of porridge and asking Zhou Hao for a bit of vegetables. Zhou Hao changed his chopsticks and put a little into Zhou Weiwei’s spoon, and then a little into Tang Yi’s bowl.
The celery with peanuts for the two parties had to be the same length and the same size.
Tang Yi couldn’t help himself after two bites, blocking his eyes and laughing.
“Don’t do it, Mr. Zhou, hey, I’m having a heart attack with this meal.”
“Isn’t it cool?” Zhou Hao also laughed along with him, “Pretty mind-blowing. If it was not me but Zhou Weiwei this kid, you would be smacking your lips so hard your mouth would fly off.”
“That’s not necessarily true,” Tang Yi opened his mouth, but suddenly realized that this “smacking your lips” sounded a bit ambiguous, so he smiled and didn’t continue.
Zhou Weiwei swallowed another spoonful and froze for a moment when he heard the adult’s words, “But your mouth is here!” Zhou Weiwei shouted, “It didn’t fly off!”
It was eight thirty when dinner was finished, and only when the room service put everything away did Tang Yi learn that there had been an accident on the bus behind them.
“It wasn’t serious, it just hit a guardrail to avoid a vehicle changing lanes ahead… Three managers who were injured were not wearing seat belts and were thrown into the aisle. But all are just skin injuries. Already sent to the hospital.”
The person in charge reported to Zhou Hao in a whisper, “The party tomorrow night?”
Zhou Hao was answering the phone in the living room and didn’t mean to avoid Tang Yi, “Who are the injured people?”
The person in charge reported three names, unfamiliar ones. They were all people the new director, Shen Fan, had arranged to come in a few days ago.
“What should be done,” Zhou Hao instructed slowly. “Have the families of the three managers been notified? Remember to arrange the wards. Hospitalised? Stay for a few more days, make sure the managers are fully recovered before you go.”
Tang Yi pulled Zhou Weiwei back to the balcony and closed the balcony door quietly.
Not long after, Zhou Hao hung up the phone.
“Weiwei, can you be in the room by yourself?” Zhou Hao patted Zhou Weiwei’s shoulder, turned to Tang Yi and said, “You come with me to the hospital.”
The three managers who had suffered superficial injuries were all put into single wards. It was only when Tang Yi arrived at the place that he understood Zhou Hao’s intention.
Zhou Hao was waiting for him in the car downstairs, and this trip was for Tang Yi to go and sell some goodwill.
The other colleagues in the bus were all in shock, and the directors who drove by themselves like Zhou Hao would not condescend to come for a visit. And then there was Tang Yi suddenly showing up.
What’s more, Shen Fan, the new director, was in a superior position. Now that Lin Rui was hostile to Tang Yi, Tang Yi’s selling this favour tonight could be regarded as a way to plan ahead and secure some back-up in the future.
“Just go see the two on the fourth floor.” Zhou Hao raised his hand and looked at his watch, “I’ll wait for you downstairs, half an hour.”
Tang Yi looked handsome and upright. At this time, he rushed to the hospital in an unfamiliar city to visit two newcomers who had just entered the company. The two young managers who were visited were flattered and moved to tears.
The second young manager, who felt he had nothing to offer, said from the bottom of his heart: “When Director Shen was arranging the job, I recommended myself to go to Manager Tang’s team, but unfortunately, Deputy Manager Lin beat me to it. At that time, I was so anxious! Hey, Manager Tang, you are so kind. I knew at a glance that you were a good person.”
This was an emotionally unrestrained one.
Tang Yi smiled and made a few polite remarks, pinpointing the time to leave, but remembered to ask a question, “Have your families been notified?”
“Notified, but they can’t come until tomorrow.” The manager smiled and said, “The company has booked tickets for them for tomorrow for safety reasons. I wanted to say we didn’t need it, we are thick-skinned, a little scrape is nothing. But the company just insisted.”
Tang Yi smiled and heard the other party sigh with emotion, “But Deputy Manager Lin, he is really a family’s treasure, I heard that his family paid for their own tickets and are on their way here now.”
“Deputy Manager Lin?” Tang Yi was stunned; there was only one company manager with the surname Lin – Lin Rui.
“Yeah, he’s on the fifth floor.” The young manager pointed upstairs.
“Oh, I won’t go over to see him.” Tang Yi was silent for a long time and suddenly asked, “Deputy Manager Lin’s family… what’s his surname?”
It was a lively autumn.
Tang Yi broke up with Gu Yanting in the cold autumn breeze of T City, and then met him on a hot night in Sanya.
Gu Yanting really rushed over in a hurry. He was wearing the long pants he had worn on the construction site in Hangzhou and was so hot that he had to pull his sleeves all the way up to his upper arms and unbutton half of his shirt buttons to reveal his sturdy chest.
He followed the address in a panic and when he found the hospital, he saw Tang Yi standing on the stairs of the inpatient department, looking down at him from above.
Zhou Hao had already received a call from Tang Yi. The latter apologised and said he had something to stay for and asked him to go first. After all, the child was still staying in the hotel by himself.
After a moment’s hesitation, Zhou Hao called Zhou Weiwei and the father and son quickly reached an agreement after a brief communication.
— Zhou Weiwei told Zhou Hao to continue to wait for his Tang Susu. Because he felt that the outside world was terrifying, he was afraid that Tang Susu would be caught by the bad guys.
Zhou Hao had to admire his son’s foresight, because after Tang Yi had stood on those stairs for a full hour, a bad guy did come.
— Tang Yi raised his hand and slapped the man.
“Fuck! Tang Yi, what are you mad about!” Before Gu Yanting could regain his senses from the shock of seeing Tang Yi, he was slapped by Tang Yi.
Tang Yi didn’t even think about the three years of love between the two of them and used 100% of his strength, swinging his arm so hard that he nearly stumbled.
Gu Yanting was blindsided. The right side of his face quickly swelled up and his ear buzzed. He was in a hurry to get here, expecting to see the patient, but before he could see the patient, he had received a beating first.
“You! Are you fucking sick!” Gu Yanting shouted in anger, covering his face and touching the corner of his mouth that was split.
Tang Yi looked at him quietly for half a second before suddenly saying, “Yes, Gu Yanting. I’m sick. That’s why I still had hope for you. That break-up was a half-hearted one.”
Gu Yanting was taken aback for a moment.
Tang Yi rubbed his palm that was red from the slap and said calmly, “Lin Rui told you about what happened on the bus this afternoon, didn’t he?”
“A kind and considerate person like him would definitely emphasise that it was no big deal, to put your mind at ease. But how could you, Gu Yanting, really feel at ease? You must have gone out of your way to buy the fastest ticket to come over and see if your little white flower was really safe and sound.”
Tang Yi slowly raised his eyes, “How long did it take to get to Xiaoshan Airport by taking the high-speed rail around the city from your construction site? Half an hour?”
Gu Yanting wrinkled his eyebrows, wanting to say something.
Tang Yi didn’t give him a chance to speak, smiling to himself, “Is it because your friendship is so amazing that the gods have rewarded you with a direct flight ticket during the peak tourist season? Gu Yanting, when coming here, were you worried and on tenterhooks? Afraid that your little white flower would die?”
Tang Yi smiled lightly, looking politely and detachedly at the shocked and angry man opposite.
Gu Yanting gritted his teeth but had nothing to say.
What Tang Yi had said was exactly right, and he indeed had no way to refute it.
The two of them confronted each other in silence for a long time before Tang Yi sighed softly, “Actually, you have never thought if I was in that bus, right?”
“!!!” Gu Yanting was shocked and subconsciously looked over, “What?!”
Stuned, Gu Yanting opened his mouth, suddenly recoiling a little.
He did know that the company Lin Rui had gone to was the ER where Tang Yi worked. But these days he was so exhausted from the project that he hadn’t been able to process this information in his head properly.
When he received Lin Rui’s call today, the other party was panicking and telling him about the accident, then saying that he had only been slightly injured.
For a long time Gu Yanting used to be anxious whenever he saw a scratch on Lin Rui’s hand and always felt that this porcelain doll-like beauty should not bear even the most minor damage. So as soon as he heard the word “injured”, he lost his mind, grabbed his wallet and documents and rushed over.
If… if Tang Yi was also there…
Tang Yi looked fixedly at Gu Yanting and waited for him to finish digesting it before saying softly, “You haven’t thought about it, have you? If I was also in the bus, badly injured and in a critical state, I might also have ended up here. There wouldn’t be someone to sign for a surgery.”
He was an orphan, without father or mother, without any relatives.
Even though he had a few friends, it was a friendship between gentlemen, insipid as water. There were a few colleagues, but they were only greeting each other. He poured all his affection, solid and strong, on Gu Yanting. But today…
For the first time, Gu Yanting saw the aura of defeat in Tang Yi’s eyes. When they quarrelled in the past, even when he said that they broke up last time, Tang Yi was all light-hearted and strategising.
Such a Tang Yi made him a bit at a loss for words.
“I, I don’t know…” Gu Yanting blushed and tried to explain, his lips opening and closing a few times, “Tang Yi, I… “
“Continue, I’ll wait for you to finish,” Tang Yi said calmly.
Gu Yanting paused for a moment and confessed truthfully, “It was Lin Rui who called me, and I didn’t think much about it.”
Tang Yi didn’t say anything.
Gu Yanting swallowed and added, “I didn’t know you were here either. If something had happened to you, I would have been more anxious than I am now.”
“Who knows,” Tang Yi smiled slowly, “or else we can test it?”
Gu Yanting shouted in alarm, “Don’t make trouble!”
“Fine, I won’t make trouble. I just want to ask. If something really happened to Lin Rui, he has a father and a mother. Is it your turn to take care of him as an ‘ordinary classmate’?”
Tang Yi emphasised the words “ordinary classmate”, sounding a bit sarcastic.
“But he’s still my life-saver. I can’t just sit back and do nothing when he’s in trouble, you can’t be so ruthless and ungrateful!”
“Good, very good.” Tang Yi clapped his hands, “That’s a strong position and full of emotion. I can also tell you, I’d rather be ruthless and ungrateful than allow my bedfellow to carry the first love push button in his heart, him pushing and you hurting, unable to find peace for the rest of your life.”
The two people coldly stared at each other, and after a while Tang Yi slowly breathed a sigh of relief.
“I used to think that it was not easy for two people to be together. They must not misunderstand each other and hurt each other’s feelings because of poor communication.” Tang Yi let out a sigh, “This time, we’ve finally made it clear.”
Gu Yanting’s eyes widened in disbelief, and suddenly in his heart he thought: this is really the end.
“Tang Yi…” His throat tightened, as if squeezed by something.
“Hush.” Tang Yi raised his hand.
“These past three years I haven’t been a good partner, interfering in your life excessively and limiting your freedom, and for that I apologise. Of course you have your shortcomings, but you’ve made more concessions than me and been an excellent boyfriend.”
Tang Yi said it seriously, in a very smooth tone, “I don’t want any of the things I left at your place. The key to the second bedroom is in the shoe closet, and you can clear out the stuff in there whenever you want. If it’s too much trouble for you, I’ll find someone to move it, which will take about half an hour of your time. The house is in your name and belongs to you. Whether you live in it or sell it, I won’t interfere in any way. I’m keeping the small apartment as I need a place to stay. The water and gas cards and other items are in the drawer under the TV cabinet.”
“Calm down, Tang Yi, we…”
“Don’t look for me in the future if there is nothing important.” Tang Yi didn’t seem to hear him but continued calmly, “Don’t look for me if there is something important. Look for 110 or 120, it’s really not possible to call 119. Whether you like white lotus or black fungus has nothing to do with me. The best thing is if we never cross our ways again and not communicate with each other until we die of old age. Understand?”
“Are you for real?” Gu Yanting was furious and stretched out his hand to pull Tang Yi, “I don’t agree!”
Tang Yi’s eyes slowly moved up from his wrist that was grabbed by Gu Yanting, and only when he met the latter’s red eyes did he let out a meaningful chucke, “You still don’t understand… Gu Yanting, when did I ask for your opinion?”
“I’m just informing you.”
- Behaving as if it’s their last chance