Edited by: Planetes
The number of times Fang Zhaomu would go to the supermarket depended on how much studying he had to do that month. If he was not busy, even if he had nothing he needed, he would also still go to the city. However, there were also times that he did not go for a few weeks when he had many things on hand to finish.
For the coming month, there were quite a few things that Fang Zhaomu would need to do. As such, he was not sure when he would go, and so probed, “I don’t know, why?”
From Andrew’s tone, Fang Zhaomu felt that Andrew wanted to see him, but did not dare to.
As for why Andrew did not dare to meet him, Fang Zhaomu had his own guesses.
Joining a dating app, but not daring to reveal his face, hinting Fang Zhaomu about his looks — Andrew was most likely afraid that he was not good looking, and that their relationship would fall apart immediately upon seeing each other.
Not getting an answer from Andrew, Fang Zhaomu considerately gave him an out. “I won’t buy so many things next time, it won’t be like yesterday.”
“Mn.” Then Andrew suddenly asked Fang Zhaomu, “You really don’t even have a single classmate who could drive you there?”
“Yeah,” Fang Zhaomu did not want to talk about this, and equivocated, “No, but it doesn’t matter. I’m used to doing things alone, why do I need people to drive me?”
Andrew asked Fang Zhaomu, seemingly insightful, “Oh?”
His voice and tone had a force to them that he could not pin down, sounding like a strict professor who was calling out students’ names to ask them questions, but made Fang Zhaomu feel that it was very naturally amiable.
However, the next question was not so amiable anymore. Andrew continued, “If you’re used to it, why are you using a dating app?”
For a moment, Fang Zhaomu did not know how to answer. After a pause, he then replied, “Being used to going to the city by myself and being used to being alone are two different things.”
He remembered that Andrew had only agreed to call him because he wanted to know his reason for using this dating app, and so explained to him, “I used this app mainly to try to get to know some Chinese people out of school.”
“What do you mean by getting to know?” Andrew replied very quickly.
Fang Zhaomu felt that Andrew was implying something, as so decided to add a little flirtation to his reply, dragging it out. “I didn’t even get to know anyone else. What I mean by getting to know? It’ll be how we’re getting to know each other.”
According to Fang Zhaomu’s understanding of Andrew, Andrew would not fall for this. Fang Zhaomu then continued, “Anyway, I’m not here to look for romance or anything. My exchange will end in May next year, I’ll be leaving then.”
“Why do you want to meet Chinese outside the school?” Andrew asked again, “What about the ones in school?”
This was the second time today that Andrew had mentioned about school to Fang Zhaomu.
Fang Zhaomu was unwilling to discuss this topic. Talking to his family and friends, he would only talk about the good, and ignore the bad. Complaining would not resolve any problems, and if one immersed himself too long in dejection, it would instead only breed more miseries.
“Andrew, “Fang Zhaomu spoke. “When you were studying, was it a very happy time for you?”
Andrew hesitated. “It was not too bad, why?”
“Your classmates are nice, that’s why you enjoyed it,” Fang Zhaomu deliberated over his words, and slowly said. “I’m not happy, so I’m looking for friends outside of school. Why do you keep asking me about my classmates?”
Andrew did not reply, and Fang Zhaomu continued, “However, my previous classmates were very nice too. I still thought that coming to an exchange would be very fun, but I did not expect it to be like this, so miserable and unhappy.”
“When I went to the supermarket yesterday, I actually bumped into some classmates who are from the same lab as me,” Fang Zhaomu fiddled with his bedsheets, speaking softly to Andrew. “I was standing by a shelf sending you a message, and they were laughing at me behind my back. They drove there, but they would never give me a lift, and of course I would never want to take his car as well, do you understand?”
Andrew was silent, quietly listening to him. However, to Fang Zhaomu, the silence was a comfort that was beyond any words, as Fang Zhaomu only needed to know that there was someone listening to him, and he did not need him to say a word.
After a moment, when his emotions settled down a little, Fang Zhaomu heard Andrew asked him, “Are you crying?”
He paused, then touched his face. Blinking a few times to get rid of the dampness in his eyes, he then told Andrew, “No, why would I cry that easily?”
Seeing that Andrew did not respond, Fang Zhaomu said, “However, if you’re here giving me a hug, I might cry.”
“Oh?” Andrew asked.
Fang Zhaomu switched off his bedside lamp, and the little bedroom turned pitch black.
Looking into the dark was like looking at Andrew. He softly asked, “Andrew, why are you unwilling to meet up with me? Why did you start using the dating app?”
“I accidentally downloaded it.”
Fang Zhaomu could not help laughing. “Oh, it was an accident downloading it, but you also accidentally registered an account?”
“No.” Andrew replied instantly.
“Did you accidentally match me too?” Fang Zhaomu did not let him answer, and continued asking. “Then, who did you want to match with?”
“No, the match wasn’t an accident.” Andrew’s resistance had completely been broken down by Fang Zhaomu’s questions.
“Then why,” Fang Zhaomu asked. “You’re so nice and gentle, you should have many friends. Why do you decide to use a dating app?”
His voice had a very aloof tone to it, but it made Fang Zhaomu feel a warmth spreading throughout his body.
It felt like the sun of early spring, and Fang Zhaomu knew that the weather was about to warm up, so he was looking forward to each moment.
“You’re very nice,” Fang Zhaomu told him. “Are you afraid that I’ll think you’re not good looking enough?”
Andrew did not speak, and Fang Zhaomu took it as though he was agreeing silently. “I don’t mind. I feel that you’re really a nice person. I don’t care about looks, not a single bit, and we’ll only be chatting when we meet up too.”
It was followed by a bout of silence. Just when Fang Zhaomu was about to suggest that if it was not possible now, they would talk about it in the future, Andrew finally spoke.
“Next time,” Andrew seemed to have made up his mind. “Wait for me to come back from my business trip.”
“You’ll be leaving for work?” Fang Zhaomu straightened up. “Where are you going? For how long?”
“I’m going to Seattle for 2 months.”
Fang Zhaomu thought about it, then told Andrew seriously, “Then you must meet up with me when you return, don’t lie to me.”
After a few seconds, Andrew promised him. “I’m not lying.”