On the way back, Lu Ying was still in charge of driving the moped. Lu Zaizai was sitting in the front, and Qin Zhuopu was sitting in the back. The small electric moped persisted, carrying three people home. Although the speed was slow, it ran very steadily.
All along the way, Lu Zaizai couldn’t stop his mouth from babbling and his neck from twisting from the front to the back. It would have been better if he could squeeze into Qin Zhuopu’s place. Who was to blame that he hadn’t seen Uncle for a long time, he just wanted to have a good chat with Uncle now! He wanted to tell Uncle about the dream he had yesterday.
“So, Uncle, guess what was in the gift box in my dream?”
Qin Zhuopu’s low voice brushed past Lu Ying’s ear, his smile obvious: “I guess it must be, hm… someone you would be very surprised to meet?”
“Ah!” Lu Zaizai shrieked and almost stood up in the front. Lu Ying hurriedly scolded him: “Sit down, just talk if you want to talk. Please don’t move, the moped is running out of power!” Lu Ying looked at the electricity grid on the verge of the critical line and panicked. Damn, almost nothing left!
“Uncle, how did you know there was a person in the gift box?” Lu Zaizai exclaimed, “Uncle, did you also have the same dream as me, that’s why you know there were you in the gift box!”
Qin Zhuopu laughed out loud, “Uncle didn’t have this dream, Uncle just guessed it.” He really wanted to stroke the child’s head and thank him for having him in his dream.
Lu Zaizai was impressed, and the admiration in his smiling eyes was as sweet as chocolate: “Dad was right, Uncle is a very, very smart man!”
It was as if Qin Zhuopu could smell the sweet scent of happiness enveloping him, “Zaizai is also a smart little baby.”
Lu Zaizai giggled at the compliment and rubbed his chubby face coyly: “Dad and Teacher also say I’m a smart baby. No, no, I’m not a baby anymore!” Zaizai strongly corrected, “I’m six years old, I’m a big brother! I’m not a little baby, huh!”
Qin Zhuopu smiled, “But you’ll always be a cute baby in the eyes of your Dad and Uncle.”
Lu Zaizai didn’t appreciate this and shook his head adamantly, “No! If you say I’m a baby, I’ll get mad!”
Qin Zhuopu conceded, “Okay, I’m wrong, you’ll be a big brother from now on.”
Lu Zaizai smiled brightly and continued to educate, “Uncle, let me tell you, the younger brothers and sister in the junior class are the little babies! They still pee in their pants at school, cry all day and are not obedient at all.”
Lu Ying interjected, “You were the same when you were in the junior class.”
“How can that be!” Lu Zaizai didn’t believe it.
“It’s over, it’s over, it’s going to run out of power!” Lu Ying let out a wail as the moped slowed to a snail’s pace.
“Oh my goodness, I don’t want to walk…” Lu Zaizai squirmed.
Qin Zhuopu was taken aback: “It’s still a bit far from home.”
Lu Ying turned back to glare at him, “It’s your fault! You’re too heavy and pressed on the back seat so the power ran out fast.”
“What do we do?…” Qin Zhuopu looked confused. He had ridden a motorbike but not an electric bike.
Lu Ying raised his eyebrows, “What else can we do, you hurry up and get off.”
Qin Zhuopu immediately got off the moped and Lu Ying continued to drive slowly with his son. Qin Zhuopu, who was left behind, held his forehead for a few seconds and then… then what else could be done? Of course, he had to keep up, ah!
“Uncle, quickly keep up, ah, you must not fall behind, come on, Uncle, oh!” Lu Zaizai was cheering on the moped.
Qin Zhuopu fell behind a little, but fortunately, the speed was as slow as a snail’s pace and he would not be left behind if he moved faster.
“Zaizai, don’t move around, be careful or Dad will blame you later.” Qin Zhuopu warned the lively fat boy with a smile.
As soon as the words were out of his mouth, Lu Ying stopped with a huff: “Lu Zaizai, get down, you go with Uncle, I’ll ride back alone. Hey, I don’t know if I can ride home.” If you can’t ride back you’ll have to push the moped back. Just thinking about it made his heart blocked.
“Ah, Dad, don’t…” Lu Zaizai pouted.
Lu Ying rolled his eyes at him.
Qin Zhuopu stifled his laughter and hurriedly extended his hand towards Lu Zaizai: “Come down, Uncle will hold you, so you can walk with Uncle.”
Lu Zaizai hesitated for a few seconds and nodded, “Alright then, I’ll show you the way, Uncle.” He took Qin Zhuopu’s hand, swung his arm forward and walked quickly, “We’ll definitely be faster than Dad on his moped! Dad’s moped is just a little snail crawling around, hehe.”
Lu Ying grunted in exasperation, “You’d better pray that Dad’s snail can crawl back.” As he said this, he threw Zaizai’s school bag to Qin Zhuopu and instructed him, “Take care of the child and pay attention to the cars. Zaizai knows the way, I’ll go first.”
“I know, be careful on your bike too.” Qin Zhuopu, who was holding the little school bag, had a serious face.
Lu Ying waved his hand and rode his moped alone, soon disappearing out of sight at a junction.
“Hey, what a confused dad, didn’t even know if the moped was fully charged before picking me up.” Lu Zaizai sighed sadly.
Qin Zhuopu couldn’t help laughing, “If your dad is a confused dad, then you are a confused son.”
“No, I’m not, I’m smart!” Lu Zaizai was unimpressed.
“Dad is smart too, he learns things quickly.” Qin Zhuopu said with a smile. Lu Ying was naive at times, but he was also a quick learner, depending on whether he was interested in something.
Lu Zaizai looked proud again, “That’s for sure, my dad must be very smart, he knows everything.”
Qin Zhuopu looked at him intently, seeing his face tilted up with a vivid expression, his chubby cheeks white and his little mouth curved, indescribably cute. He took out his mobile phone, “Can I take a picture of you?”
“Yes, yes, hehe!” Lu Zaizai immediately made a super funny face.
Qin Zhuopu held up his mobile phone and snapped a series of pictures. Zaizai was soon hopping forward, picking up leaves and kicking small stones along the road, waving at Qin Zhuopu who was taking pictures every now and then, telling him to hurry up and follow.
The adult and the child were walking home, and along the way they could see parents and children on mopeds, bikes, in cars, or walking like them. Moms, dads, grandparents, no matter which elder was responsible for picking up the child, in this crowded street, the school bags in their hands and the child next to them were symbols of their identity at this moment.
When Qin Zhuopu promised his mother to go for the in vitro fertilisation for the first time, he was ready to become a father. At that time, he thought that when the child was born and came home, he would have to reduce his workload and strive to spend more time with the child every day. Since the child didn’t have a mother, he should take full responsibility. When the child went to kindergarten, he would not just throw him to the driver and nanny to pick him up and drop him off. For his own child he should try to do as much as possible himself.
“Uncle, hurry up.” Lu Zaizai ran ahead again, urging him loudly.
Qin Zhuopu approached, stroked his head and bent down to whisper, “Come, take a picture with Uncle. Uncle’s Grandma likes you a lot.”
“Okay, is Uncle’s Grandma very old?”
The two of them were head to head, next to each other. Qin Zhuopu quickly took a photo and sent it to his grandmother before answering Lu Zaizai, “Grandma is over eighty years old and her hair is all white.”
“Wow, over eighty years old is awesome, so she’s almost a hundred years old!” Lu Zaizai looked amazed.
“Yes, Grandma is very impressive, and she especially wants to meet you. When you are free next time, can Uncle take you and Dad to meet Grandma? Grandma’s house is full of good food and fun things, and there are children about your age, so you can play together in the amusement park.”
Without hesitation, Lu Zaizai nodded, “I want to go!”
The two turned around the corner towards the new street and Lu Ying stood holding the moped under a large tree. From a distance, he saw Qin Zhuopu’s leisurely figure and his lively son. The happy fat boy couldn’t wait for the whole street to hear his laughter.
Holding the moped with no electricity, the depressed Lu Ying couldn’t help but curl the corners of his mouth in a smile as his frustration dissipated.
He shouted at the two guys, “Hurry up, you two.”
“Coming.” Qin Zhuopu shouted back and quickly pulled Lu Zaizai to run over: “Still out of power? You should change this bike… before it’s too late.”
“It’s my business whether to change or not, so help me push it back.”
Qin Zhuopu stepped forward and held the moped, and Lu Ying was right behind it: “Just push it like that, let’s go.”
“Dad, I’ll help you!” Lu Zaizai also stepped forward to help.
The rest of the journey was not far, and the three of them worked together to push the moped forward smoothly. It was the rush hour after school and it was a rare day when it wasn’t raining, so there were a lot of young people out on the street. It was a crowded place, but it was definitely not very often that a presence could catch the eye at a glance like that.
Two handsome men and a fat kid, all three of them eye-catching, pushing a tiny, rickety electric moped, looked inconsistently and funny. Everyone who passed by looked at them curiously.
Qin Zhuopu couldn’t help but laugh, “There’s always a lot of attention with you.” When he used to go out with Lu Ying, Lu Ying would definitely be the brightest presence in the crowd. Lu Ying was not a high-profile person, but he was just that dazzling.
Lu Ying instantly disagreed, “Yes, yes, a bunch of people are staring at the big boss Qin Zhuopu helping me push the broken moped! If you’re afraid of being ugly, don’t push it, no need to find who’s to blame. Let go if you dare.”
“I don’t dare, I’m not that capable.” Qin Zhuopu shook his head helplessly, “There is no one else in the world who can afford to hire me as a cart pusher except you.”
“Don’t brag there, you pushed a cart for your grandfather, a wheelchair is also a cart.” Lu Ying immediately retorted.
“…okay, a wheelchair is also a cart! What you said is right.” Qin Zhuopu smiled a helpless, doting smile.
Lu Ying, in turn, was embarrassed and blushed slightly, “Actually, I can push it by myself.” It was no big deal! He wouldn’t even pant pushing it back. He just wanted to torment the big boss Qin Zhuopu, it was fun to see him pushing a little moped! (#^^#)
Lu Ying immediately took out his mobile phone and clicked it. He took a series of 360-degree circle pictures of Qin Zhuopu. Qin Zhuopu had no choice but to maintain his demeanour: “Make me look handsome.”
“I want too, I want to be handsome too!” Lu Zaizai raised his hand.
“Let me see? “Qin Zhuopu wanted to check.
Lu Ying was very satisfied with the pictures, dodged Qin Zhuopu, buried his head in his mobile phone and admired the shots, secretly laughing non-stop. Well, even if Qin Zhuopu was pushing the little broken moped, he was still… so handsome. His mobile phone came with filters, so the photos really looked like posters!
Or the model was well chosen (*^▽^*).
Lu Ying tucked away the phone and waved his hand: “Let’s go, hurry home for dinner. I’ll make beef hotpot today.”
The three returned to the community, parked the electric moped, Lu Zaizai took the hands of each of them in his, and the three walked into the lift.
“Do we look like a family of three?” Qin Zhuopu looked at Lu Ying and asked with a smile.
Lu Ying had a teasing look on his face, “You’re right, Zaizai’s Mom!”
“……” Qin Zhuopu was dumbstruck.
“Hahaha, Uncle is not my mother!” Lu Zaizai laughed.
“No, he is your Mom, silly boy, call ‘Mommy’!” Lu Ying was naughty.
Lu Zaizai had tears in his eyes from laughter, shaking his head, “No, no, Uncle will be angry. Dad, you’re so bad, don’t bully Uncle!”
Qin Zhuopu didn’t know whether to laugh or to cry. It was like he was accompanied with a lively younger son and a slightly rebellious elder son.
In the evening, Lu Ying made a beef hotpot and stir-fried a few side dishes. The three of them ate to the point of sweating, wiping clean a table full of sumptuous dishes.
It had been a long time since Qin Zhuopu had eaten so much that he didn’t want to move and was hot all over. But when he was eating, the sweet child Lu Zaizai kept picking up food for him; what else could he do besides eating it?
Lu Ying quickly began to clean up the dishes and chopsticks; Qin Zhuopu got up to help, and the two crammed together in the narrow kitchen. Lu Ying disapproved: “Don’t crowd on me, go out and play with the child.”
Qin Zhuopu shook his head, “You hate washing dishes, I’ll do it, you go out.”
“……” A little thing that he actually remembered so well.
Lu Ying didn’t argue with him and got out of the way to let him wash the dishes. But he didn’t go out either.
Qin Zhuopu said: “I still have the birthday red envelope that Grandma gave to Zaizai, I will send it to you later.”
Lu Ying whispered, “No need.” He wanted to refuse when he thought that it was Mrs. Qin’s mother.
Qin Zhuopu continued, “Grandma really likes Zaizai and she loves me. Whatever I like, she will support me. From a very young age, when we juniors had birthdays, she would give us the same red envelope, treating everyone equally; and now Zaizai too.”
Lu Ying lowered his head and didn’t say anything.
Qin Zhuopu washed his hands and turned to face the silent Lu Ying, shoving his mobile phone at him, “Trust me, Zaizai is so cute, it would be strange if Grandma didn’t like him. If you don’t accept the red envelope, Grandma will be upset. If you don’t believe me, look at my phone, she really likes Zaizai.”
Lu Ying curled his lips, “Of course she likes Zaizai, Zaizai is so cute.” But she doesn’t necessarily like me.
Staring into Lu Ying’s eyes, Qin Zhuopu seemed to be able to see right through him. His heart ached as he touched Lu Ying’s face with his palm and Lu Ying turned away to avoid him. Lu Ying could avoid his hand but Qin Zhuopu wrapped his arms around him, preventing him from moving.
Lu Ying’s lower back was pressed against the freshly cleaned white stove and he couldn’t help but feel his heart beating rapidly as he was blocked in the small space. Qin Zhuopu’s hot breath touched his face, brushing over his ears, making him feel numb and itchy.
Lu Ying’s fair cheeks suddenly flushed.
“Get out of here… woo…”
His lips and tongue were suddenly blocked, and there was no escape.
He didn’t want to escape either.
Just for a moment, he obeyed his heart’s desires, responding passionately to the hugs and kisses he had not felt for many years.
He wanted to take them all for himself.
He wanted them to hold each other for the rest of his life.
Mr. Qin: Kiss me.
Lu Ying: No.
Mr. Qin: I miss you, kiss me.
Lu Ying: No!
Mr. Qin: If you don’t kiss me, I’ll leave.
Lu Ying: …okay, then I’ll start kissing, oh?
Mr. Qin: Come.
(((((? (????) ? )))))
Mr. Qin: …please stop.
Lu Ying: En?
Mr. Qin: You can go on…