The two of them sat down. Renzi could not help but probed, “How long have you known Gu Xiaoshan already?”
He Jun’s lips curved up. “I’ve only known him for a few months. I met him working as a tea specialist in Jichan Manor. He’s very good to me…”
He’s sure good to you, buying you a scarf in June.
“It seems like the two of you have known each other for very long already?”
Renzi replied proudly, “Yes, we’ve known each other from young.”
He Jun had an envious look on his face. “You’re so lucky. Since you’re so familiar with him, I bet you know what he’s thinking, right? Unlike me, I can never understand what’s on his mind, and so am always troubled, always worrying over nothing.”
Renzi was taken aback. “No, actually I don’t really understand what he’s thinking too.”
The situation now should be awkward, but He Jun still smiled and clinked his cup with Renzi’s. “That’s great, now we have a common topic.”
As they chatted, Renzi even completely forgot that the other person was his “love rival” and spoke openly with him. Although He Jun was not extremely good looking, but he had an unexplainable charm to him, and the way he spoke could make people at ease. Being impetuous, Renzi was led by He Jun in the conversation, and told him many things to do with Gu Xiaoshan without thinking too much about it. It was only when he recalled this incident, then he really wanted to stuff his own mouth shut.
They could still have a much longer conversation, until a disturbance happened in the pet zone — when the staff was not paying attention, Ha-cube and someone’s poodle started fighting, and Ha-cube bit it. The yelps of the poodle were very loud, and a bite from the husky caused the wound to bleed non-stop. Of all damn possibilities, that poodle belonged to He Jun.
The both of them hurried to bring the poodle to the veterinarian. The manager of the restaurant went with them as well, apologising constantly while offering to handle the medical fees. He Jun continuously told him that it was fine, and this back-and-forth caused Renzi’s face to turn red. He was very ashamed and wanted to scold his own dog, but seeing that aggrieved face he could not bear to do so. Instead, it was He Jun who consoled Renzi, “It should be fine. It’s also my fault. I know my dog too well, it’s me who didn’t teach it properly and made it very disobedient. It’ll often disturb the bigger dogs when outside. This is not the first time it happened already. Without this pain, it’ll never learn this lesson, right?”
It was clearly Renzi’s dog that injured the poodle and caused it to bleed, but in the end it was the manager and the injured dog’s owner who were comforting Renzi instead. The owner’s apology for not training his dog well enough and looking after it really troubled Renzi. Renzi still felt that he was truly the one in the wrong, to get such “consolation”, it was only because of his status.
Renzi lived in a sheltered world, but he was always aware that everything he had was all due to his dad’s hard work, and had nothing to do with him at all. If he had to work for it himself, he was afraid that he might not even have porridge to eat.
This was the truth, Renzi understood it, and would not feel upset about it — at least, previously, he would not. Now, it was hard to tell. As he wanted to start chasing after Gu Xiaoshan, judging himself, he was definitely not worthy of Gu Xiaoshan.
When Gu Xiaoshan returned home, the apartment was filled with gloom. Both the human and the dog were in low spirits. When Ha-cube heard the arrival of a person, it did not run out of its kennel, but instead shrank back inside.
Gu Xiaoshan thought, just like its owner. Walking from the kennel to the living room, he asked Renzi, “Did Ha-cube cause trouble?”
“It bit He Jun’s dog.”
Gu Xiaoshan was surprised, “How did you end up meeting He Jun again?”
“There’s only 1 pet-friendly restaurant in this area. We all have dogs, to end up meeting there is not out of the ordinary.”
Gu Xiaoshan laughed. “The one we own?”
Renzi nodded, “Your manager is very polite, he keeps apologising for the incident, and offered to pay for it. I said no need, it’s my fault, I should be the one to pay it.”
Gu Xiaoshan was very amused by this. “Taking on this bill, where are you getting your money from?”
“Don’t you still have 30 to 40 thousand in the cabinet by your bed?”
Reaching out to tousle Renzi’s hair, Gu Xiaoshan spoke. “You really don’t treat yourself as an outsider.”
This was not the first time Gu Xiaoshan had mussed up Renzi’s hair like this. However, ever since they grew up, Gu Xiaoshan did not do it often anymore. This intimate action that had became unfamiliar caused a pounding in Renzi’s heart, just as though he was on a rollercoaster ride. When that broad palm brushed past his short hair, he thought about that dream, that feeling he had when he was holding hands with Gu Xiaoshan. Til now, he still could not forget Gu Xiaoshan’s dry and warm palm, like that of cashmere. He was very curious now, would the hands of this Gu Xiaoshan in front of him feel the same as well?
Renzi had yet to even touch his hand, but his ears were already burning, and tinted red.
Gu Xiaoshan was only walking past, and casually caressed Renzi’s head. He had originally wanted to take something from the shelf against the wall. It was only because Renzi’s silence was out of the norm, and so Gu Xiaoshan stopped by the sofa, looking down and studying him. Renzi was also observing him as well. Looking up, in Renzi’s eyes, Gu Xiaoshan was enveloped in a halo caused by the lights behind him. With the backlight, he looked a little fuzzy, but his figure and outline were very distinct, like an image in a dream.
Gu Xiaoshan pulled his hand back, but because of Renzi’s expression, it hovered in midair. Renzi’s eyes were drawn to that hand, and he was surprised to discover that the lines on Gu Xiaoshan’s palm were exactly the same as those in his dream. He could not resist but to reach out, holding onto Gu Xiaoshan’s hand, placing their palms together — it was the same warmth, the same sense of reality.
The only difference was that in the dream, Gu Xiaoshan’s hand was very soft, while it was now very stiff. Gu Xiaoshan had froze for about two seconds before speaking up. “What are you doing?”
Renzi was suddenly pulled from his thoughts. Realising that he was not in his dream, that he was really holding onto Gu Xiaoshan’s hand, he was very embarrassed. He could only continue holding onto his hand, giving it two shakes, then said, “Let’s shake hands and be good friends.”
Gu Xiaoshan could only categorise his strange behaviour as one of his usual silly actions.
As such, Gu Xiaoshan let go of Renzi’s hand. “I won’t be good friends with fools.”