Edited by: Planetes
Song Yuanxun was walking along the road.
He asked the taxi driver to stop by the road, about a kilometre away from his place. As he walked home, he spoke to Fang Zhaomu on the phone.
Song Yuanxun thought, maybe the wind might be able to sober him up.
There was a moment that Song Yuanxun wanted to confess, when Fang Zhaomu was asking him if it was cold.
However, the illusion was too beautiful. In the next moment, Song Yuanxun again started to yearn for the imaginary and undependable feelings, yearn for how Fang Zhaomu’s mood would be affected by his attitude, and how Fang Zhaomu would be troubled by his aloofness.
Deception often went around in circles, accompanied by timely self-delusion.
Song Yuanxun had tasted it.
With Fang Zhaomu, Song Yuanxun had no chance.
When Fang Zhaomu spoke with Andrew, he had summarised Song Yuanxun’s matter as “going downstairs”. Song Yuanxun understood that it was not because Fang Zhaomu was afraid that Andrew would misunderstand, but because he simply thought it was only an interlude, and not worth mentioning.
To make a switch, removing Andrew from Fang Zhaomu’s heart and replacing him with Song Yuanxun, it would not work. Fang Zhaomu’s rejection, was a very frank rejection.
Today was Fang Zhaomu’s birthday. No matter how Song Yuanxun subtly tried to invite Fang Zhaomu out for a meal, he was unable to do so, and could only let Andrew coax Fang Zhaomu out of his low spirits.
As for the rest, he would think about it after today.
By a very tall streetlight, Song Yuanxun stopped and listened to what Fang Zhaomu was saying.
The weather was cold, and Fang Zhaomu was warm. Fang Zhaomu returned to how he was like just a week ago, and told Song Yuanxun, “Since this wish has came through, then, I’ve decided. I’ll make a new wish.”
“Sure,” Song Yuanxun told Fang Zhaomu. “Light the candle again.”
“Will making a new wish work though?” Fang Zhaomu started floundering again.
“It doesn’t matter.” Song Yuanxun was very generous. “As long as you’re not asking for the stars or the moon, you can wish for anything that I’ll be able to achieve.”
After a short while, Fang Zhaomu said breezily, “What if I want the moon?”
“…” Song Yuanxun was mesmerised by this type of Fang Zhaomu. Without being taught, he exaggerated masterfully, “I’ll try my best to get it for you.”
Fang Zhaomu laughed in delight, telling Andrew that he was really very old-fashioned, and asked if he had just read some love advice from a 90’s era chatroom. Song Yuanxun did not admit it, and Fang Zhaomu switched the topic.
Entering his front yard, Song Yuanxun saw someone squatting by the door of his place.
Zhao Han had turn on the lights in his corridor, and looking like a hooligan, he was squatting by the steps and smoking. Seeing Song Yuanxun’s arrival, he stubbed the cigarette out on the marble pillar. “Yo, coming back from a date with Xiaomu?”
Song Yuanxun was startled, he stared at Zhao Han, then recalled that Fang Zhaomu had answered Zhao Han’s call and cursed.
Zhao Han was also taken aback. He carefully studied Song Yuanxun’s expression. “Fuck. It really was him?”
Song Yuanxun made Zhao Han give way and opened the door, then Zhao Han followed him in. He asked Zhao Han, “Is there a problem?”
“…” Zhao Han shook his head. “I had wanted to try matching him on the dating app in C City…”
Song Yuanxun switched on his lights, and turned to look at Zhao Han with an emotionless face. Zhao Han was frightened by the look in his eyes, and quickly spread his palms open and clarified, “I’m only joking, it’s a joke.”
“What are you doing here in C City?”
“Why are you so unwelcoming?” Zhao Han beat around the bush, dodging Song Yuanxun’s question. Making himself at home, he walked to the liquor cabinet in the dining room and selected a bottle, then went to grab an ice bucket. “You’ve already met each other, and you didn’t bring him home. Are you still a man?”
Song Yuanxun took the drink Zhao Han poured for him and sipped it. His doorbell rang, and he stood up and walked to the door.
Song Yuanxun’s phone was left by the bar. When he left, the screen lit up. Zhao Han leaned over to take a look, and it was a notification from some app.
Zhao Han had always been overly curious, and he also knew the passcode to Song Yuanxun’s phone. He glanced over at the corridor, and vaguely heard Song Yuanxun talking to someone. Feeling that Song Yuanxun would not be back so soon, he took the phone and unlocked it.
Opening the app, he heard Mu’s message. “Andrew, I want to come and look for you.”
Mu’s voice was really very pleasant sounding. Zhao Han listened to it twice, and did not scroll up to look at their chat history. Looking to stir up some trouble, he replied. “When?”
“I’m nearly done with my thesis, and I don’t have to go to the lab this week. Are you busy everyday?”
Zhao Han drank a mouthful of liquor, and replied attentively, “If you come, I won’t be busy.”
“Really?” Mu sounded very happy. After a few seconds, he sent another message. “Then I’ll buy my ticket. It’ll be for tomorrow.”
Zhao Han did not know what ticket he was buying, but it was most likely a bus ticket. He tried to emulate Song Yuanxun’s tone, and replied Mu, “Alright, I’ll wait for you.”
Not long after, Song Yuanxun came back with a box. It seemed like it was given by a new neighbour.
Zhao Han sat there, his ankle over his knee. When he saw Song Yuanxun took his seat, he gave a cough and tried to claim some credit, “I’ve helped you abduct Xiaomu here.”
Song Yuanxun was alarmed. “What?”
Zhao Han pointed at Song Yuanxun’s phone. “Take a look yourself.”
When Song Yuanxun looked at the messages, his complexion changed abruptly.
Fang Zhaomu was in a good mood. He casually looked at the airline website, and found that there was an offer on a two-way flight to Seattle. After asking Andrew, he bought it, and he would be in Seattle the following week for three days.
As he tidied up his place, Fang Zhaomu could not resist sitting down on his bed and asking Andrew, “Where are you staying? You really don’t have to work overtime tomorrow? Why don’t you give me your address, I’ll make my own way to your hotel.”
Fang Zhaomu waited for a while, but Andrew did not respond. He then returned to tidying up.
Now that they were really going to meet, Fang Zhaomu was a little scared and nervous. After all, he had often read news online about people being cheated by their online friends of money and their body. He even did not know how Andrew looked like, in a sense, they could be considered strangers.
Before leaving, Fang Zhaomu started feeling anxious. He stopped packing his clothes, and hesitantly messaged Andrew, “Can we have a video chat before we meet?”
Andrew suddenly gave him a call, and Fang Zhaomu answered. “You’ve bought your air ticket already?”
Fang Zhaomu looked at his booking confirmation and recited the flight number for Andrew, then told him the estimated arrival time as well. Andrew was silent.
“Is something wrong?” Fang Zhaomu kept feeling that Andrew was strange. “Is the timing not convenient?”
“Yes,” Andrew spoke very slowly. It sounded like he was controlling his temper. “I can’t pick you up tomorrow.”
This person had just told Fang Zhaomu that if he came, he would be free. Now, he was saying that the timing was not convenient. Fang Zhaomu was disappointed, and faltered a little.
He paused, and tested Andrew. “Andrew, do you not want me to come?”
Andrew did not say a word.
Fang Zhaomu was unable to describe what he was feeling at the moment. If he had to come up with a word for it, it might be “discouraged”.
“I’ll just cancel the ticket then.”
In truth, the ticket he purchased could not be cancelled, but there was nothing else he could say.
“No need,” Andrew finally replied. “I didn’t not want you to come.”
Fang Zhaomu hung up. His heart sank, and his anticipation for tomorrow was not as fervent as half an hour ago.
He felt that in the few minutes of their conversation, Andrew seemed to have made a decision. However, Fang Zhaomu had no idea what it was.
Since he had already purchased the ticket, then he would just go.