This year’s winter was surprisingly cold. Shen Yun took his hand out of his pocket and pressed it to his face.
It was too late, there was no bus, no taxi, he stood on the side of the road and waited.
A car stopped in front of him. Shen Yun’s eyes narrowed, and then he pursed his lips.
The car window opened, revealing Xu Moran’s face. He didn’t say anything, just looked at him quietly.
Shen Yun hesitated, but finally lowered his head and opened the car door, sitting in.
In the beginning, he insisted on not getting into the car, and Xu Moran’s car slowly followed him, attracting people’s attention.
This kind of silent persistence was also a kind of coercion.
Xu Moran watched him fasten the seat belt and asked, “So late today?”
Shen Yun laughed angrily: “Can you make it clear, Teacher Xu, what exactly do you want?”
Xu Moran didn’t speak, silently starting the car.
In the past few months, he was always like this, and for the first time, Shen Yun felt overwhelmed and helpless.
The car stopped in front of the house, and Shen Yun bent over and got out.
Xu Moran also came out, following him closely for a few steps.
Shen Yun turned back to him, looking at him with furrowed brows.
Xu Moran clenched his fingers and asked, “Is it true that you are with Zhou Lan?”
Zhao Chun showed him a lot of photos. Although Zhou Lan and Shen Yun were not in the same frame often, there were more than one of Shen Yun going in and out of Zhou Lan’s home late at night.
Shen Yun smiled, “Does it have anything to do with Teacher Xu?”
Xu Moran took a few steps forward, pressed him against the wall and said in a deep voice, “It does.”
Shen Yun looked at him with a playful smile, “We are in the kind of relationship you think we are.”
Xu Moran’s breath caught, his eyes blazing with fire. He said, “What if I don’t allow it?”
Shen Yun laughed. If it wasn’t for Xu Moran holding his shoulders, he would have bent over in laughter.
He laughed for a while before stopping, “What is Teacher Xu to me? What is the point of you not allowing it?”
Xu Moran’s lips pursed. The lines on his face tightened, and Shen Yun knew he was angry.
He pushed him, “It’s so late, we are alone, it’s not good for people to see us. Teacher Xu, please go back.”
Xu Moran leaned down without warning. Shen Yun turned his head sideways to avoid him, but the other party’s palm pressed on the back of his head.
With a heat on his lips, Xu Moran’s kiss fell.
This kiss was lingering, the tip of his tongue gently licking and kissing Shen Yun’s lips.
It took a long time before he managed to part Shen Yun’s lips, spread his teeth and drive in.
Then he became greedy, violent, possessive, tightly entangling their tongues.
It was still a familiar taste, Shen Yun thought, but there was no fluctuation in his eyes.
He looked at Xu Moran’s furrowed brow and fascinated eyes, and suddenly realised a problem.
He and Xu Moran were ruined, completely and utterly.
He had been thinking about this day for a long time, but when it came, there wasn’t much joy.
He pushed Xu Moran away. Xu Moran’s eyes were filled with confusion. He called softly, “Xiao Xi.”
Shen Yun looked at him, calm and collected, “Teacher Xu, look clearly, I am Shen Yun.”
Xu Moran pursed his lips and didn’t speak, but his eyes were full of certainty.
Shen Yun wiped his lips with his sleeve and said, “This time, I won’t bother with Teacher Xu, but there will be no next time.”
He retreated a little further away from Xu Moran and said, “The person I love is Zhou Lan, and the person I want to spend my life with is also him. I hope you know this.”
He saw Xu Moran shaking and still insisted, “This life and the next life have nothing to do with Teacher Xu.”
Xu Moran asked in a trembling voice, “What about the previous life?”
Shen Yun’s pupils contracted and a hint of hurt flashed in his eyes.
He didn’t hide the disgust on his face and sneered, “Previous life? If there really was anything, it was because I was blind.”
A trace of indignation surfaced on his face, and his voice trembled slightly, “But when the eyes are blind, the heart can’t be blind. It won’t happen again.”
He turned around and walked towards the door of the building. Xu Moran called out in despair, “Gao Xi!”
Shen Yun’s figure froze for a moment, then he took another step and didn’t turn his head, “I said, I’m not Gao Xi.”
Zhao Chun was sitting in the office, looking at a set of photos on his mobile phone, his face so gloomy that it could drip water.
He furrowed his brows and eventually put the drawings in his hand into the file bag.
This set of photos was like a talisman that accelerates one’s death, making his already hesitant and tangled heart come to a decision.
If you cut the grass but don’t get rid of the roots, it will grow again in the spring.
Since he was going to do it, he had to be ruthless.
Xu Moran was as if he had lost his soul recently, and the entire Moxi was relying on Zhao Chun to hold it all together.
Zhao Chun was tired, angry, hateful and aggrieved.
He really had had enough of such a life.
As long as Shen Yun was there for a day, he couldn’t sit still for a day.
Whether it was in his career or in his relationship, his frustration came from Shen Yun.
The dialogue on that day in Panda made it even harder for him to sit still.
Shen Yun’s words had hidden meanings in them, and all the meanings inside and outside the words alarmed Zhao Chun.
He rubbed his brow, his heart still in a state of shock.
The progress of Xincheng went well. With a lot less other work, he and Xu Moran came up with several plans.
What was left was just to choose the most satisfactory one, seal the file and send it to Meng.
Meng’s side was working fast, just waiting for the weather to warm up a little for the construction team to enter the field.
Although there were many types of room configurations in Meng’s project, fortunately, they were opened in instalments, so the first phase of the work was not too heavy.
Zhao Chun counted the time; he had to be fast, had to be faster than Zhouquan.
The 29th day of the 11th lunar month was Gao Xi’s mother’s birthday.
This year was different from previous years; it was her 60th birthday.
Shen Yun didn’t sleep well the night before, sitting on the balcony in the middle of the night and smoking silently.
It had been a long time since he got up in the middle of the night to smoke. Zhou Lan looked at his silhouette in the dark and asked, “Why are you up?”
Shen Yun was lost in thought and sniffed, blurting out, “I miss my mother.”
Zhou Lan was taken aback for a moment; obviously he never thought he would hear such an answer.
And Shen Yun also came to his senses. He stubbed out his cigarette, got into the bed from the other side, and after a moment of silence said again, “I miss my mother.”
Zhou Lan hugged him from behind and held him tightly in his arms, knowing that Shen Yun’s mother had left when he was very young.
Not knowing how to comfort him for a moment, he could only hold him tighter.
Shen Yun’s eyes slowly became moist in the darkness.
He really missed his mother so much.
Early in the morning he got up and chose for a long time, and finally pursed his lips and put on a red scarf. (When a Chinese family celebrates a birthday, whoever is younger than the celebrator wears red.)
Zhou Lan rarely saw him entangled in his clothes, and couldn’t help but lean against the door frame to look a few more times.
Shen Yun saw him looking, smiled and said, “Doesn’t look good?”
Zhou Lan helped him straighten his collar and said with a smile, “It looks good, it looks great.”
Shen Yun nodded seriously.
When Shen Yun called, Gao Yuan and Xu Moran were busy in the kitchen.
In the past, every year on Gao Xi’s mother’s birthday, it was Gao Xi and Xu Moran who cooked in the kitchen, and Gao Yuan just had to come and eat and drink.
Since Gao Xi was no longer around, Gao Yuan had silently taken Gao Xi’s place.
Gao Yuan fished the phone out of her pocket, answered it, and after a while said, “Not today, Shen Yun, today is my mother’s birthday.”
Xu Moran stopped the hand that was killing the fish and looked at Gao Yuan, who said to him, mouthing words, “Shen Yun.”
Shen Yun said something, and Gao Yuan mused, “You’re already in the billiard room now, huh? Then why don’t you come along for lunch?”
Shen Yun’s hands clenched, his fingers rubbing the cue heavily. He was so nervous that he didn’t know what to say.
After a long time he said, “Is that okay? I… I didn’t even prepare a gift.”
Gao Yuan laughed cheerfully over there, “What’s wrong with it? The more people, the livelier, the old guys can’t be happier.”
Shen Yun put down the phone; his fingers tightened and loosened and tightened again.
The gift had been prepared. It was a set of knee pads. His mother’s knees ached when it was cold since she was young, and the pain was especially bad in winter.
Gao Yuan was a bit careless; she often overlooked these small things. In the past he had been taking care of them.
There were many, many things he wanted to buy for his parents, but he couldn’t.
He put down the cue and sat down on the couch, burying his face in his palms.
He didn’t know if this was right, but couldn’t help but want to get close to them, to fall into his parents’ arms like he used to.
Gao Xi loved to be coquettish and had been sweet-talking since he was a child.
When he was thirty years old, he would still occasionally lie on his mother’s lap, swiping his mobile phone while complimenting her on how beautiful she was.
His mother was always amused and giggled while saying that he had grown up to be unruly but couldn’t stop putting snacks into his mouth.
It was just that after becoming Shen Yun, those coquettish and sweet-talking skills were gone.
Life was so bitter that the words that came out of his mouth were also bitter.
He rubbed his face heavily, stood up, and walked towards the neighbourhood he had been thinking about day and night.
The one who opened the door was Gao Yuan. Shen Yun handed over the gift and smiled shyly, “I won’t disturb you, will I?”
Gao Yuan said: “Why did you still go to buy a gift? Didn’t I say you don’t need to?”
She took the things and saw that it was a pair of knee pads and couldn’t help but be slightly stunned.
The sound of the TV was blaring in the living room, and the old woman’s voice came over, “Gao Yuan, has your friend arrived? Quickly let him in.”
This sound was like a hammer hitting Shen Yun’s heart, and he hurriedly took the opportunity of bending over to change his shoes to hold back his tears.
He went in with Gao Yuan and saw Xu Moran in the kitchen doorway. Xu Moran’s eyes were dark, looking at him with understanding and sadness.
Their gazes met and parted; neither of them wanted to cause any unpleasantness on this day.
The old woman had already stood up and saw Shen Yun come in, smiling and looking at him up and down.
Mom Gao wore a red sweater, which inexplicably matched Shen Yun’s red scarf.
Shen Yun greeted with a smile, “Hello, Uncle, hello, Auntie, I wish Auntie good fortune like the Eastern Sea and longevity like the Southern Mountain.”
Mom Gao smiled and took his hand, “This child has such a sweet mouth.”
Gao Yuan handed the pair of knee pads to her mother, “Shen Yun gave them to you.”
Mom Gao took them in her hand and looked at them, and her eyes couldn’t help but redden.
The food was brought in, and everyone sat around the table. Mom Gao sat next to Gao Yuan and Dad Gao sat next to Xu Moran.
The two elderly people kept asking Shen Yun how old he was, what kind of family he had, and whether he had a girlfriend.
Shen Yun answered their questions one by one, and Mom Gao turned to look at Gao Yuan.
Gao Yuan said, “Don’t look at me, I’m a few years older than him.”
Shen Yun lowered his head and didn’t say anything.
This familiar house, these familiar people, if it was not such an awkward situation how good it would be!
After the meal, Gao Yuan cut fruit and brought them. Shen Yun accompanied the elderly people to chat.
Most of the time he just listened quietly, afraid that he would not be able to control his emotions if he said too much.
As long as he could be next to them he was very satisfied.
The TV broke down while they were eating fruit. Dad Gao went over and looked at it first, and said that the TV couldn’t be repaired and should be changed.
Mom Gao was anxious when she heard this: “How dare you try to change it?”
Gao Xi bought this TV, and he was the one who repaired it when there was a problem in the past.
Gao Xi wanted to replace it before, but his parents used to live a hard life and wouldn’t let it be replaced if it could still be repaired.
This was delayed until now, and now this TV had a different meaning, and Mom Gao was even more unwilling to let it be replaced.
Xu Moran glanced at Shen Yun and also went up to look but didn’t find out the reason.
Shen Yun washed his hands and said he’d take a look.
He familiarly pulled open the small drawer under the TV cabinet, found the tools, and fiddled with it a few times.
When he turned back, the atmosphere completely changed. Mom Gao looked at him with tears on her face.
Shen Yun blinked nervously. When he blinked, Mom Gao completely collapsed. Although the looks were different, the movements and expressions were all the same.
Shen Yun quietly clenched his fists. He looked at Gao Yuan for help, but Gao Yuan’s eyes were also red.
He silently looked at Xu Moran, who was also quietly looking at him.
He bit his lip, panicking badly. The more panicked he became, the more he didn’t know what to do. He just felt that everything was falling apart.
He pursed his lips and looked down, tears falling like beads as he lowered his head.
Unable to stay any longer, Shen Yun ran out without even wearing a coat.