I listened to the voice on the other end of the phone, and sure enough, it was really Guan Dongxuan’s voice! Guan Dongxuan was back?
“This week or so, where have you been taken to by Manager Xu? Why is there no news at all?” I was trying to pry from Guan Dongxuan’s end. Xu Ying was reluctant to talk to me, and Guan Dongxuan was the only lead I had. But even though I was asking, I wasn’t holding out much hope.
Since Xu Ying wouldn’t say anything, she would definitely tell Guan Dongxuan not to tell me.
As expected, Guan Dongxuan then said to me, “This matter is not critical. Jin Chao, where are you now? I have something that I want to discuss with you.”
“Can’t we talk over the phone?”
“It’s not convenient to talk on the phone.”
Guan Dongxuan said straightforwardly to me.
“Jin Chao, who is the one calling you?” Guo Xuefu stood right beside me and asked at me.
I explained to her. And all the while my mind was wondering whether I should give Guan Dongxuan a yes or not.
And Guo Xuefu didn’t say anything more after listening to my explanation1. She followed Hua in the front. I was at the back, and after thinking about it, I was still going to give Guan Dongxuan a yes. The current Guan Dongxuan was definitely not such a big threat to me anymore. He must have also distinguished whether it was appropriate for him to clash with me or not.
“Jin Chao, how are you thinking about it?” Guan Dongxuan asked me just afterwards.
“OK, I’ve agreed. Where do you want to meet, make a date.” I then asked at Guan Dongxuan.
“Where are you now? I’ll come and find you.” Guan Dongxuan then spoke to me.
I gave him the address. And he was asking me to find a random lounge bar and tell him the exact location, and he would come over right away. He had a booster and it was relatively is convenient. I waited at the bar for a short time before Guan Dongxuan arrived.
A week ago, the bruises on his body, which were exposed outside his clothes, had healed considerably.
Guan Dongxuan sat across from me, looking completely preoccupied.
“What’s wrong Guan Dongxuan, what do you want to say, just say it, don’t be stifled.” I then said to Guan Dongxuan.
But Guan Dongxuan responded to me, “Wait a minute, let me brew for a while.”
I was a bit puzzled: “You want to talk about something and you have to brew it up?”
Guan Dongxuan, on the other hand, nodded his head.
He paused for a moment before he then, very solemnly, spoke to me, “Jin Chao ……”
“Hmm? What’s wrong?” Guan Dongxuan’s swallowing and stammering, more than anything else, made my heart puzzled.
“I …… want to follow you.”
These words, coming out of Guan Dongxuan’s mouth, but made me freeze alive.
He added the question.
I shook my head and said, “It’s not that I can’t. It’s just, have you really thought this through? Why do I get the feeling that you’re joking with me?”
The first thing I did was to say, “I’m very serious. Chao …… I, want, to, hang out with, you!”
The emphasis he put on each word made me feel his attitude even more.
And it made me feel even more that he was definitely saying this in relation to Xu Ying taking him away before. Otherwise, given his character, he would not have said that he wanted to hang out with me even if he could bear to be suppressed by me and abandoned by those of his original ‘brothers’.
He even changed his title to me, of his own accord.
“But …… Guan Dongxuan, I don’t trust you. You staying with me is likely to be a time bomb that will explode at any moment for me.” I explained to him bluntly.
“Then I will use my practical actions to make you believe me.” Guan Dongxuan said very seriously.
“But what if I still don’t believe?” I asked him in turn.
“Then I will continue to prove it to you.” Guan Dongxuan stared into my eyes and said to me.
“Forget it, Guan Dongxuan, let’s put this matter aside for a while and wait for the time to come.” I said, still shaking my head. I didn’t want to let Guan Dongxuan stay around if there weren’t any guarantees. If something went wrong, I would really be too late to regret it.
With that, I was about to get up and leave.
But Guan Dongxuan also stood up after me. It seemed that after he had said what he wanted to say, he had decided in his heart.
I suddenly remembered the matter of Teacher Lin: “Oh yes, Guan Dongxuan. When you go back to school tomorrow, remember to clarify with Mr. Lin that I, in fact, did not kidnap you.”
“I’m not going to school tomorrow.”
Guan Dongxuan said this instead.
“Why?” I froze for a moment.
“Unless you promise me!” Guan Dongxuan’s words made me even more speechless.
I simply walked away and left: “Then go if you like! Anyway, Teacher Lin’s misunderstanding of me is deep enough, even if I can’t solve it, it doesn’t matter.”
Even though I said that, I still had something in my heart.
I also hoped that the misunderstanding between me and Ms. Lin would be resolved soon. I didn’t want to feel the disappointment in Ms. Lin’s eyes towards me until the end of my senior year. After all, Ms. Lin was not only my senior class teacher, but also my class teacher for three years in high school!
And after I walked out of the lounge bar, Guan Dongxuan didn’t follow me.
Guan Dongxuan just watched from afar, watching my departure.
“Handsome guy, want to buy flowers?”
A girl walked up to me and asked abruptly.
“No need …… is you? What a coincidence!” I turned my head and recognized the girl in front of me, the same one who was in the alley the night before.
She smiled sweetly, “Yeah, what a coincidence. I’ll buy you a drink if you don’t mind?”
I shook my head and said, “Forget the drink, I’ve just finished …… but I’d like to buy one of your flowers.”
I looked at the price tag on the bouquet in her arms: five dollars a piece, which meant I took five loose dollars out of my pocket. She watched me move, dead set against my money. And just as I insisted, she couldn’t resist me, which is why she reluctantly took it.
I took the rose from her hand and broke the stem off with my hand.
She looked at me, puzzled, not understanding what I was doing.
Instead, I trimmed the stem of the rose to the right length, also afterwards, and pinned it to her ear. The fiery red roses and short dark hair added to her cuteness.
“Mmm, perfect!” I looked at her as if I were admiring a work of art, “The way you’re dressed now, you’re sure to get more boys to buy flowers with you.”
But she was blushing all of a sudden.
“Okay, okay, I have something else to do, so I’ll leave you alone for now.” I said and was about to turn around and leave.
But it was when I took a few steps out that she suddenly grabbed my hand from behind ……
I gave her such a grip, but I was a little confused. She grabbed my hand a little harder. And it was between me looking back at her that she looked suddenly out of sorts, seemingly with a bit of pain.
“What’s wrong with you?” I asked her hastily, not knowing her name until now.
“Can you help me to sit on the side for a while.” She said to me with great effort. I didn’t know what kind of pain she was suffering at this moment. But spare her, she did not let go of the bouquet of flowers.
“I’d better take you to the hospital first.”
I said anxiously.
She said very solemnly.
I looked around and didn’t even see any public benches or anything like that. There were plenty of milk tea shops and lounge bars nearby.
“Then get on my back and I’ll carry you to find a place to rest.” I said hurriedly.
And she was a little hesitant, but still got on my back gently afterwards. Looking at her, it was obvious that she had a stomach ache. I carried her on my back, and not caring so much, I found the nearest milk tea shop and opened the door straight in. There happened to be a double sofa chair in the corner of the milk tea shop, so I put her on it.
“How do you feel? Let’s get to the hospital, it’s not far!” I asked her as I squatted down beside her.
“It’s no use going to the hospital for my problem.” She said to me through clenched teeth.
“Could it be that you have some kind of terminal illness?”
I reacted first.
“No la. I’m a girl! Do you get it?” She said very cryptically. But still, it made sense to me at once. It turned out she just had menstrual cramps …… thanks to which I thought it was some kind of terminal illness! This made even myself, feel very embarrassed.
“Both of you, may I ask if you would like something to drink?” The waiter on the side was walking over to ask.
“I’m fine, give her a cup of black tea with ginger and dates, it has to be hot, she’s not feeling well.” I explained to the waitress.
That is, between my words, she was even more in pain and slumped over the table. The other hand was squeezing her stomach in a death grip and her teeth were clenched even tighter. I crouched down and watched her, with no solution at all. All I could do was watch her in pain and dry off on the sidelines.
The waitress followed, and was bringing over what I had ordered.
I asked her to have some hot tea to ease her pain, but she was so sore that she was lying on the table and didn’t want to get up.
I had no choice but to call Guo Xuefu, who was also a girl, and ask her how she dealt with her menstrual cramps. When Guo Xuefu heard this, she was surprised and asked me: Why are you asking this all of a sudden? And I explained to her what was going on at my end, which even left her a bit speechless.
Still, she then told me that when she encountered this situation, she usually massaged herself around the pelvic valley for more than ten minutes.
Even if it hurt too much, she had to put up with it.
It’s just that I’m a big boy, and besides, I’m not this girl’s anyone, and even more so, I don’t know her. If I were to massage her, plus it was near the pelvic valley, and it was me, I definitely wouldn’t be able to take it.
“I’ll be fine, just don’t worry about it.” Beside me, she said to me with a lot of effort.
“You’re in this state and you’re saying you’re fine?” I looked at her rather breathlessly.
Guo Xuefu listened to me on the other end of the phone, “Jinchao, why don’t you send her to me here? I’ll help her ease up a bit.”
I conveyed Guo Xuefu’s meaning to her, but she shook her head with me and said, “No need really, I’ll just sit here for a while.”
And her renewed emphasis made it even more so that I could only be going along with her wishes.
For the long half hour or so that she had menstrual cramps, all I could do was sit across from her and just watch her. I was a little bored, but I wasn’t playing with my phone or impatient in any way.
In the process, she looked up and strained to ask me: wasn’t there something else to do? She asked me not to stay here with her either and told me to go ahead if I had something to do. But I was quite uneasy, so I didn’t leave.
Because it was convenient to address her, I instead asked her name: Ouyang Xiaxue! A very nice name.
“Xiaxue, in your current condition, I’d better take you home first.” After she had been in pain for half an hour, I finally couldn’t resist saying.
“I’ll trouble you then.”
And she had to be agreed.
“You be careful, I’ll help you up.” I did take care of her very carefully.
“Jinchao, can you take me to the toilet first?” She said, and her face, which was originally pale from pallor, was flushed all of a sudden. I knew what was going on as soon as I heard it, and I hurriedly left her bouquet in the shop, picked her up in a princess hug, and rushed straight out of the shop.
Her arms were around my neck. A gentle breeze blew past us, moving her hair even more.
I looked down at her.
But with that one look, I could hardly take my eyes off her!
I shook my head off to focus. There was no toilet in the milk tea shop. The only way to find a toilet in the vicinity was to look for the public toilet on the opposite side of the commercial city.
In between my runs, there were quite a few people watching us from the side.
And I rushed to get her to the door of the public toilet. The toilet was located, basically the corner of the floor. I looked at her with some concern, “Can you get in by yourself?”
She nodded and I said, “Yeah, I can just go in by myself.”
She said and walked towards the toilet, reaching for her pockets as she did so. When she took a few steps inside, she suddenly turned around and looked at me anxiously, “Jinchao, the stuff in my pocket is gone!”
“Ah? Was it something valuable!” I asked subconsciously.
“No. If I don’t have it, there’s no point in me coming to the toilet!” She and I gave an explanation. But as soon as her words came out, her face was even more red as if she had a fever.
“Then I’ll go and get it for you.”
“But you’re a boy ……”
“It’s at this juncture now, what do you care so much about it? You wait for me here, I’ll be right back!” I said is turned away, is headed downstairs. The mall definitely didn’t sell sanitary napkins, so I had to go outside to the mini-mart to check it out.
I met the strange looks from the side, and even more so, my scalp tingled. I grabbed a packet at random and hurried to the counter.
But just as I was about to check out, I gave a sudden tap on my shoulder.
“Brother Chao, you’re shopping here too?” Guo Xiaoming looked at me with some amusement instead.
I said awkwardly.
“Huh, what are you squeezing in your hand?”
Guo Xiaoming shot a curious look at what I was cupping in my hand.