Ou Renjin didn’t say anything else. He naturally pulled his hand out of Ou Shaowen’s hand, reached over and touched his head in comfort. Ou Shaowen tried to catch his hand but the darkness only hit his wrist lightly, and Ou Renjin had already withdrawn his hand.
There was silence again.
Ou Shaowen suppressed his emotions, forced himself to close his eyes and began to listen to his own breathing, hypnotising himself to fall asleep.
He had always been good at making himself fall asleep as soon as possible no matter what the situation was, because in many cases, it was the only way for him to escape.
After a while, when Ou Renjin turned his head to look at him, he was already sleeping peacefully, breathing steadily, and his posture was as regular as ever.
He really fell asleep fast. Ou Renjin chuckled, not knowing what he was laughing at. Well, if he was crying at this moment, he wouldn’t know what was going on in his mind either.
When Ou Shaowen woke up early the next morning, the room was already empty, and he was the only one there. He stayed in bed in a daze for a while, and then slowly moved his legs off the bed. The slippers were on the other side. He didn’t bother to go around and put them on, and walked to the wardrobe barefoot.
The clothes that belonged to Ou Renjin had not been taken away completely, only half of them were left.
He stared at the clothes for a while, then picked one piece and put it on. It fit just like his own clothes.
He went to the bathroom; none of Ou Renjin’s usual things were taken away, all spread out there. Shower gel, shampoo, men’s perfume, these smells in the small room mingled together, as if forming a smell that belonged to Ou Renjin alone. He sniffed lightly, feeling that even the smell made him happy.
When he went downstairs, he again became the Ou Shaowen who had nothing to care about. He went to the kitchen to chat with Aunt Zhou for a while, and after breakfast, got in Uncle Li’s car and went to the company to continue training.
For the first performance in “Under the Lights”, the company specially hired a well-known choreographer to arrange a super hot song and dance for them. The beat was tight and the movements were difficult and varied. Song Yijiu actually knew in his heart that this arrangement was all for Ou Shaowen’s benefit, maximising Ou Shaowen’s advantages and at the same time exposing his own shortcomings. But the company also promised that it would buy him time to show his individual skills.
So he didn’t complain about anything. During this time, Ou Shaowen would spend nearly an hour or two after the class teaching him the moves again, and he would practise by himself every day when he went home. His goal now was very simple; not to drag Ou Shaowen down in the initial ratings.
“Take care, see you tomorrow.” Song Yijiu stopped at the entrance of the community and waved to Ou Shaowen with a smile.
Originally, he planned to make an appointment for dinner with him tonight, but Ou Shaowen said that he had agreed with the cook auntie at home to taste her new dishes. When Song Yijiu heard the reason for the refusal, if he hadn’t already had a certain degree of understanding of Ou Shaowen, he would probably think that he was making a perfunctory excuse.
Ou Shaowen got out of the car and stared back at him for a while, and when Song Yijiu raised his eyebrows at him in confusion, he suddenly opened his mouth and invited him, “Do you want to go and try them too? Aunt Zhou’s cooking is very good.”
Song Yijiu was taken aback for a moment, and immediately refused, “Better not. It’s too troublesome to make the auntie cook more dishes. Next time, let’s make an appointment first, and I’ll come then.”
It was the legendary “golden house” villa, and in addition to the presence of the top boss, Song Yijiu really didn’t want to get involved in this awkward situation.
“I don’t like the next time, can’t you just do it this time? It’s okay, there are a lot of ingredients at home, you can also try my cooking.
“Come?” Ou Shaowen asked in a calm tone. His desire to invite didn’t seem to be very strong, but this was the first time he had taken the initiative to invite him, perhaps in the same mood as Song Yijiu himself was when he opened his mouth to invite him to dinner anxiously. Thinking of this, Song Yijiu felt a little soft-hearted. He sighed quietly and compromised: “Okay.
“But… I think I need to confirm, is President Ou also there? Will he have dinner with us later?”
Ou Shaowen lowered his eyes and shook his head silently.
Song Yijiu breathed a sigh of relief and waved his hand at him boldly, “Good, get in the car.”
When a strange car stopped in the garage of the villa, Ou Renjin’s attention was immediately attracted. He tossed the project budget request in his hand on the coffee table beside him, stood up, got to the computer and switched to the surveillance camera in the living room.
It didn’t take long for Ou Shaowen and another man to walk in, talking to each other.
Ou Renjin knew this man, Song Yijiu, the man who had taken Ou Shaowen to eat hot pot with him, nicknamed 019, the first person Ou Shaowen took the initiative to mention in front of him.
This was not the first time Ou Shaowen had brought a friend to the villa. The last one he brought was a man who used to pretend and wanted to step on him to climb up. Ou Shaowen was so stupid; he had no idea if this so-called friend now would be his true friend.
Ou Renjin watched quietly. The living room was too empty and the audio effect was not very good. He couldn’t quite hear what they were talking about. It was just that Ou Shaowen’s expression was very different from before. Although he didn’t obviously show how happy he was, his demeanour was completely relaxed, indicating that he was facing someone who wouldn’t make him feel bored or burdened.
They talked in the living room for a while, and then went straight into the kitchen. Ou Shaowen replaced Aunt Zhou and cooked the next dish himself. Song Yijiu smiled at Aunt Zhou shyly, a little nervous, and proceeded to talk to Ou Shaowen.
At this time, Ou Renjin could hear their conversation very clearly.
“Do you really know how to cook?”
“Just learned it.”
Song Yijiu smiled, “That’s right, you always learn things quickly, and you can do everything very well.”
Ou Shaowen pursed his lips slightly, looking somewhat pleased with himself.
“Let me help, I’m embarrassed to just watch it like this.”
Ou Shaowen did not refuse, handed him a bundle of local celery, then turned his head and said to Aunt Zhou, “You can go to the living room to rest for a while. We’ll cook the next two dishes.”
“…Oh, okay, I’ve already cooked some things, I’ll take these dishes out first. Be careful not to let the oil splash on the guest.” Aunt Zhou glanced at Song Yijiu with some hesitation and slowly walked out of the kitchen.
Song Yijiu suddenly stood a little more casually. He put the celery under the tap and rinsed it slightly, and then began to pick it leaf by leaf, “I heard that the competition will last for nearly three months, and the whole process is closed. You can’t contact the outside world freely. So I think about taking a vacation tomorrow, going home for a day and having a meal with my parents. I’m just letting you know in advance.”
Ou Shaowen paused slightly, “Oh.”
After a while, he asked, “Can’t we make a phone call?”
“It seems to say that there will be a specific time for you to call, but there are not many opportunities in total, and it won’t be long.” Song Yijiu turned his head and saw Ou Shaowen’s dazed look, his eyes unfocused, as if he was a little confused. He touched Ou Shaowen’s face with his wet fingers, “It’s okay, find me to play when you’re bored. I’ll bring chess and will teach you how to play.”
Ou Shaowen recovered, nodded to him, and said “Okay.”
Ou Renjin didn’t know what he was feeling. He watched the video on the computer screen for nearly an hour. They had a good conversation from start to finish. Song Yijiu wasn’t as boring as he was and would know how to do many, many things that he had no idea about and had no use for.
Song Yijiu knew how to fold crickets from grass and how to make racing cars from plastic bottles. He disassembled countless remote controls because he wanted to figure out the principle of the remote control. He dyed his hair because he thought he would look handsome and was beaten up by his father. In fact, he didn’t take the initiative to talk much, but a few small things he casually mentioned were very interesting.
Ou Shaowen also found them particularly interesting. His little depression just now seemed to disappear into the ongoing conversation. When he sent Song Yijiu to the door, his tone seemed cheerful and his expression was particularly vivid. He waved his hand and said, “Be careful on the road.”
Ou Renjin took one last look at Ou Shaowen’s bright eyes on the screen, closed the monitoring page, sat quietly in front of the computer for a while and then chuckled softly.
He slid the chair back to the coffee table, picked up the budget request that he hadn’t finished reading earlier, and continued to read it.
Ou Shaowen went upstairs, hesitated at the top of the stairs for a while and still opened the door of Ou Renjin’s bedroom. He preferred the smell in this room. His memory of smell seemed to be so deep that it had some kind of connection with emotions, so every time he smelled the smell that represented Ou Renjin, it always seemed to make him a little happier than before.
He opened the door of the wardrobe, selected a piece of clothing from the inside and hugged it, lay on the bed and sniffed lightly, his expression somewhat satisfied. As for the pillow that was originally planned to be used as a substitute for Ou Renjin after he left, it was lying alone in his own bedroom, on the pristine, tidy bed without a trace of anyone sleeping there.
Another day passed, and Ou Renjin finally called in the evening.
Ou Shaowen was eating dinner at the time, and his chopsticks scratched the plate very rudely in a hurry. He couldn’t see his own current expression and he didn’t know that his eyes were like stars that lit up in an instant.
“Hey, Ou Renjin, I miss you a little bit.”
The words Ou Renjin was about to say were stuck in his throat. He seemed to smile, “Why didn’t you take the initiative to call me if you missed me?”
Ou Shaowen was silent for a moment, “I was waiting for you to call.”
He had never been someone to take the initiative to call others. He was like a lighthouse standing in place, radiating light to you persistently all the time, but he would not take the initiative to take a step closer to you.
“Oh, that won’t do.” Ou Renjin’s tone was very relaxed and casual, “I have so many things to think about and deal with every day that it will be a long, long time by the time I think of you. This time it was two days, and I don’t know how long it will be next time.”
Ou Shaowen’s fingers holding the phone tightened slightly, as if he had heard something he didn’t like to hear, “How long will it be?”
“I don’t know how long it will be. But when I think of you, I will take the initiative to call you. What about you? In order to be fair, shouldn’t you also take the initiative to call me?”
“But…” His voice trailed off, as if he was a bit overwhelmed, “If I call you every time I think of you, I can call you ten thousand times a day. That’s not going to work, is it?”
Ou Renjin’s breath hitched, and his heart missed half a beat, as if a little deer stomped on it, or a wave hit it, leaving a sour, salty and bitter taste. He didn’t know how to answer for a while.
Ou Shaowen seemed to be saying clingy love words to him and seemed to be complaining to him. He was saying, you will think of me once in two days, but I think of you so many times in one day.
“Yeah, that doesn’t seem to work either.” It took a long time before Ou Renjin replied softly, “Then if there is a certain moment when you think you miss me very much, when you miss me more than usual, just take the initiative to call me once, okay?”
“After I call you, can you come and see me?”
Ou Renjin laughed, “It is only possible to get a response if you take the initiative to ask! Just like before, if you hadn’t taken the initiative to ask me to come to the villa to accompany you, this matter wouldn’t have been arranged.”