Edited by Planetes
It was afternoon by the time I woke up the next day. As I had been on a week’s business trip, my boss allowed me a day off. My stomach ached in hunger, and I got up to randomly make something to eat, then started packing my room.
To be honest, I really wanted to act like how they did on the television shows, doing things like “throwing away everything of his, getting rid of every inch of him from my room”. However, what I would be throwing away were only things that I bought for him but he had never used. My place, to him, was only somewhere he occasionally stayed at for free. He had never treated this place like home, and did not have any special feelings for this place, how could there be anything left of him here?
The only place to clean up was the bedroom. The state of the room did not change from yesterday. Everything else was fun, only the bed was messy. I suppressed my desire to vomit and removed the bedsheets. At least, I didn’t see any stains on them, if not I might have just vomited on the bed instantly.
Actually, I really wanted to just drag the entire bed out and throw it away, but the door of the bedroom did not allow for it, so I could only replace whatever I could. The blanket, the bedsheets, the pillowcases, I washed them all, preparing to give them to the granny downstairs who collected the trash when they were dry. After that, I cleaned the room thoroughly. Lying on the couch looking at the clean and tidy room, my heart felt a little better. It was roughly time for dinner, I was going to reward myself with a good meal outside.
The hotpot at Qinxiang Garden had always been my favourite.
Actually, having hotpot was just to have fun with a group of friends. Everyone sat together, the soup bubbled away, and the steam warming everyone’s faces a pleasant red. Cooking and eating at the spot, everyone grabbing at the food, having fun, and the laughter would almost tear down the roof.
However, there was no group that I could fit in, and no friends that I could call out for a drink. So, I sat in the hall alone by myself.
One person occupying a table, one person facing a pot.
Now was the time when business was booming, the hall was filled with people. Looking up, I swept my gaze around my surroundings, and I was the only table sitting alone. A little ashamed, I could only frequently look down at my phone, pretending that I was waiting for someone. Actually, I knew that it was very foolish of me to behave like this. Such a big place, the liveliness, the joyfulness, the bustle, who would notice a stranger sitting in a corner?
The table next to me was a couple.The girl whined that the soup was too spicy, and she could not eat it, and so the boy called the server to bring a bowl of clear soup over. He would dip the food in the soup, getting rid of the oil and spices before placing it in the girl’s bowl. Helpless, he said, “I’ve already told you you can’t take spicy food, and we should order the clear soup, but you insisted on ordering the spicy one.” The girl pouted, “Just now I felt like having something spicy.” The boy pinched her nose lovingly.
I fell into a trance staring at the boiling soup in front of me. When I ate with Yi Tian, I had always taken care of him and never myself. Whatever he liked to eat, or what I thought was delicious, I would place them all in his bowl, never leaving myself any. There was once when he was sick, he said that he wanted porridge. By the time I finished cooking it, he had already fallen asleep. That day, he had not eaten anything at all, and so I woke him up wanting to coax him into having something. Just as I carried the porridge over, he smacked it out of my hands. The bowl was overturned, and the hot porridge landed on my leg, causing my skin to blister immediately. During that period of time, every step I took, my pants would rub against my burns. It was very painful, just like flames licking at my skin.
Suddenly, someone yanked at my shirt. I regained my senses, and turned my head to see a little boy of around three years old staring at me with big eyes. It might be because the hall was a little warm, the little baby’s face was red like an apple.
My lips curled up, teasing him, “Is Baby looking for Uncle for something?”
The little baby frowned in contemplation, he seemed to be trying to think of “something”.
Behind him, a lady came running over with a bowl. Seeing me, she hurriedly apologised, “Sorry, excuse us, my child hasn’t troubled you with his naughtiness, has he?”
I smiled and shook my head, “Your baby is adorable.”
The lady shot me a smile, her face had a look of a mother’s pride.
Seeing that his mother was here, the baby ran off with his short legs. Resigned, the lady chased after him, calling out, “Haohao, just have one more bite! If you don’t, Mama will eat it! Mama will really eat your food!”
Looking at the young mother and listening to how she coaxed her child, I did not know why, but I felt a pain in my heart. Gritting my teeth, I tried to clear away the dampness in my eyes. It was too embarrassing, too lamentable, how could I even be envious of a child of only a few years old?
This meal was not a happy one, I left the restaurant, almost as though I was escaping from it.
Getting onto the bus, there were only a few people on it. Those sitting in the single seats seemed to be as lonely as me, and I finally exhaled harshly, feeling a sort of consolation from it.
I was unfortunate, and so I wished that everyone would descend into pain with me. Seeing others filled with bliss and happiness, I would be extremely jealous. Being this horrible, I was disgusted by myself.
Leaning my head against the window, the lights outside flashed past. The streets were bustling and busy, while my heart was a barren wasteland, as still as a dead pool of water.
The bus stopped at a certain stop. Up came a girl around twenty years of age. Holding onto her phone, she was talking. She then surveyed the bus, and chose a seat behind me.
“Dad! Mom told me you’ve been secretly drinking again, have you?!!” The girl’s voice was not loud, but in the silent bus, it could be heard very clearly, and some people glanced at her.
The girl did not notice their eyes, and continued talking into her phone. “What tattling? Mom did it for your own good!”
“If I hear that you’re drinking again, I won’t come back during the holidays anymore, I won’t come back again! You can go look for another daughter!” Someone laughed. Although the girl was a little pampered and rude, but it could be heard that she was a very filial daughter.
“This is more like it! Dad… I really miss your food… Mn mn, I want beef with potatoes! Braised eggplant! Prawns and cola chicken wings! … Mn mn, you must cook them all when I go back! Dad, I love you!” Only a minute ago, she was scolding him, now she had turned into a little girl who would whine to her father in the blink of an eye. The people in the bus all looked at her with envious eyes, it was evident that this was a child who had been protected and treasured growing up.
I tried my best to widen my eyes, looking out of the window. For some reason, my vision still turned blurry. Enduring it, I did not dare to blink, but in the end, tears still rolled down my face. Tightening my jaw, I finally still could not hold my sobs back.
All, all I had wished for my entire life was only this, just this.
I also wished that I could come home to parents who were waiting for me with a table full of dishes. Wished that when I was sick, my mother would stay by my bed in worry, unable to sleep. Wished that I could go hiking with my father, watch a basketball match, talk to him about life. Wished that there would be a big group of family members spending my holidays with me, that I had grandparents who would hold onto my hand and never let go, siblings who would cling onto me and ask me to bring them out to play.
I loved Yi Tian. Because he was so outstanding, because he had parents who loved him, because he had a group of buddies, because he had everything I wanted and yearned for.
I only thought, thought that someone so blissful, if I tried my best to get close to him, would I also be able to share a bit of that blissfulness? Would I also be able to regain a little hope in my unfortunate life?
In the silence, only my sobs could be heard.
I understood that it was very shameful for a man like me to be crying like this.
However, my heart was really in pain. All my aloofness and determination had crumbled in view of other people’s warmth. Because when I saw their bliss and smiles, the reality of my loneliness and undesirability became even more apparent.
I, I was only a little sad.