Edited by Planetes
I often heard people say that no matter how difficult life got, we should continue walking down that road. Then, how should a person continue living when he was deprived of even his right to survive?
I had thought that I might lose my job, but I had never expected that it would happen in such an ugly way.
The manager looked at me, his face ashen. “This morning, everyone in the company received this photo in our email inbox. Muran, I don’t want to discriminate against your sexual orientation, but I cannot accept that the company’s reputation has been damaged by you.”
I looked at that photo in the manager’s inbox, expressionless.
In the photo, two men were hugging and kissing. As the photo was taken from a distance, their faces were a little blurry. However, the person facing the camera was definitely me, or at least, he looked 70 to 80 percent like me. If I was not a hundred percent sure that up to now, other than Yi Tian, I had never even touched another man’s hand, I would have almost believed that this was my own sordid history.
There was also a message attached to the photo, the gist being that not only was I a digusting homosexual, I had also shamelessly seduced someone else’s husband.
I nearly burst out laughing. I had actually been labelled with such a cliche from a television drama! It was only that the shameless mistress had a change in gender, and was now a man.
At this time, I was surprisingly not angry nor aggrieved.
Actually, I really wanted to ask them, a person like me, what did I have to seduce others with? Even if I cleaned myself up and lay on someone’s bed, they would probably scorn me for not being attractive enough.
Pulling myself away from my thoughts, I told the manager, “I understand, I’ll hand in my resignation letter.”
The manager rubbed at the center of his brows, waving me off impatiently.
When I reached the door, I paused, turning around and giving the manager a bow. “Thank you for all the care you’ve given me so far.” Then, without waiting for his response, I opened the door and left.
Actually, I was quite sad about it. After all, this was the company I had been spent 3 years in, ever since I graduated from university. Running around with the manager for work was very tiring and hard, but I did learn many things. I had always thought that if I continued working hard like this, my life might have turned for the better.
Unfortunately… Forget it, I would not think about it anymore.
This was what I deserved.
Packing up my belongings, everyone was whispering to each other as they watched me leave the office.
“Quick, look, he’s that gay!”
“So a gay looks like this…”
I could hear snippets of such conversations as I walked past them, and I found it both frustrating yet amusing.
Reaching home, I was surprised to see the landlady knocking on my door. Walking over in a hurry, I asked, “Auntie Yu, can I help you?”
The landlady looked at me, stammering, “Uhh… Xiao-Mu… I’m really sorry… Umm… that.. I can’t rent this place to you anymore…”
I was stunned. “Didn’t we sign the contract for one year? Is there a problem?”
“I’ll pay you the damages for the breach in contract. It’s just that I don’t really want to rent it out anymore… Uhh… If possible, please try to move out within these two days…” Without waiting for my reply, she left quickly.
I stayed where I stood, looking at the things I brought home from the office, then looked at my home that was one step away. Taking in a deep breath, only then did I reach for my key and opened the door, walking in.
Today, he had woken up late, and so he left in a hurry. His slippers in the entrance were still how they were like in the morning, one flipped over.
On the table was still the bread that I randomly unwrapped and forgot to put in the refrigerator.
The cushions on the sofa were askew, I must have forgotten to straighten them after huddling on the sofa and watching television last night.
Although it was a little lonely, everywhere in the house were signs of my life.
They were signs that proved my existence.
Closing the door, I walked into the living room, and stopped in the center, a little blank. In that moment, I actually did not know what I should do. Suddenly, I heard the door being unlocked, and turned around. Yi Tian had entered. He did not even look at me, heading straight into the bedroom.
A few minutes later, he walked out, his expression dark. “Where are my things?”
I sighed slightly, “I’ve tidied up all your belongings a few days ago and threw them away.”
Yi Tian sneered, “You threw away the documents I left in the drawer too?”
I paused. Documents in the drawer? How was it possible that he would leave such things at my place? He was always so on guard and vigilant against me. Even when I looked through the pockets of his laundry, afraid that he had forgotten something in them, he would watch me icily, as though I was coming up with a scheme.
“I remember every item in this house very clearly. I’ve never seen any documents.”
Yi Tian burst out with a laugh. “Forget it, it’s not anything important anyway. If you want it, you can have it.” He then turned around, ready to leave.
I took an abrupt step forward, holding him back. Ignoring his frosty stare, I lowered my head, begging hoarsely, “Yi Tian… Let me… let me continue staying here… Take it… as though it’s on behalf of our relationship over the years…” Like a lowly beggar, I treated the years of my care and concern for him like a bargaining chip and begged for him to leave me a place to stay. Hah, I had finally surrendered. What I had seen as the most important thing to me, the love that I thought was noble and pure, that I had taken it for myself by all means, in the end, I used it as a term of exchange.
Yi Tian shook my hand off, laughing, “Relationship? What relationship? The relationship where you drugged me? The relationship where you threatened me? Or some sort of relationship that I still don’t know about?”
I shut my eyes, my body frozen to the point where I could barely move. In this moment, I was suddenly a little regretful. How did I not leave an avenue of escape for myself? Begging Yi Tian and asking him to consider it on behalf of our relationship, this was too funny.
After Yi Tian left, the entire house returned to silence, and my heart had also completely calm down. It did not matter, I was only back to my beginning. As long as I was still alive, was there not something called “fortune after pain”? Did people not say that “it was because of their setbacks, that was why they found their happiness”? Everything that I was experiencing now, whether it was pain or sorrow, I had made the choice myself. I chose the wrong path, and this was the consequence that I should bear.
Two days later, I moved out of that little apartment.
After returning the key to the landlady, I turned around and looked deeply at it for the last time.
This place held the parts of my life when I was the happiest, as well as when I had the most pain. Now that I was leaving, no one held me back, and no one said goodbye. What was left were the cold and hard electrical appliances. If they had feelings, would they miss me? With such thoughts, my heart suddenly soured, and before my tears welled up, I bowed my head and hurriedly left.
Being like this was too tragic, I actually wanted to push my feelings of separation on these non-living items.
However, in this world, to not have even a person to say goodbye to, a friend whom I could tell them to take care, I was probably the only person like this.
Walking to the street with my luggage, I threw away those weak, self-grieving thoughts. The most important thing now was to find a place to stay. I was prepared to temporarily move into a cheap hotel for the first few days, and then look for a place to rent and settle myself before contemplating about my next job.
It was already a little late, and the little hotels along the streets were all occupied. I remembered that there was another hotel along some alley, and I made my way there. The crowd lessened, and I could finally see a dilapidated sign saying “Xingyue Motel”.
As I was about to climb up the stairs on the right, the back of my head suddenly exploded in pain. My vision darkened, and I fainted away.