Edited by: Planetes
Fang Zhaomu carelessly opened the door and walked out. Song Yuanxun did not dare to use force with Fang Zhaomu, and was even more unwilling to let go. Without taking the keycard to the room, his hand tight around Fang Zhaomu’s wrist, Song Yuanxun was led forward.
Song Yuanxun’s room was not far from the lift, but they had to go past a guest lounge. When the attendant by the lounge entrance saw them, he hesitated about going over to them and asking about the situation. Song Yuanxun finally let go, and helped Fang Zhaomu pressed the button for the lift.
“I’ll send you.” Song Yuanxun persevered in standing next to Fang Zhaomu. Fang Zhaomu no longer bothered about him. When the lift arrived, he walked in by himself, and Song Yuanxun followed after.
When they arrived on downstairs, there were many people standing around in the main lobby of the hotel. It was only slightly after six, but it was unnaturally dark outside.
A person who looked like a hotel manager walked over. Song Yuanxun stopped him and asked what was going on.
“A storm is coming.” The manager hurriedly left.
Fang Zhaomu had a huge headache. He unlocked his phone, wanting to buy an air ticket to return to C City that night. However, there was no tickets available, and the news showing were all about the storm about to takeover Seattle.
Song Yuanxun was tall. He was standing by Fang Zhaomu, and Fang Zhaomu knew that he was looking at the screen of his phone. He continued ignoring him.
“Just put up with it for one night,” Song Yuanxun cajoled Fang Zhaomu. “Wait till tomorrow before you leave, I’ve originally booked two rooms anyway.”
Fang Zhaomu looked up at Song Yuanxun, and found that his brain was no longer able to handle anything to do with Song Yuanxun. Just like a self-protective instinct, he heard what Song Yuanxun said, but he could not process it. With a blink, he would forget immediately, and could not recall a single word.
There were more and more people in the lobby. Fang Zhaomu suddenly felt a fear of the crowd. When he saw them moving, he could not help but feel scared, shivers running through his body, and he dragged his luggage along with him as he headed out.
Out of the revolving door, he was faced with wind and a mist-like rain. The wind was so strong Fang Zhaomu staggered a couple of steps to the side. Song Yuanxun grabbed Fang Zhaomu and supported him. Once Fang Zhaomu steadied himself, he immediately stepped back.
Fang Zhaomu struggled to look for the nearest hotel on his phone, wanting to book a room.
Walking in the wind and rain was still better than staying here.
The rain turned heavier, pouring down. The entrance of the hotel was the drop-off area for guests, and should be sheltered from the rain. However, the wind was so strong it blew the rain inwards.
Fang Zhaomu’s shoes and trousers were all wet. With his phone, he looked at the location of the hotel, then looked out, wanting to walk outside.
The closest hotel nearby was a motel, about a five minutes walk away, and only one room was left. Fang Zhaomu was going to make a reservation, but he suddenly received a call from his sister.
It was too noisy outside, and chaotic within Fang Zhaomu’s head. He could only hear the howling of the wind and people speaking loudly. His face was drenched in the rain, and he thought about it before answering his sister’s call.
“Fang Zhaomu,” Fang Zhaoling’s voice sounded like it was coming from a very far distance. She appeared to be very happy, and shouted at Fang Zhaomu, “I love you!”
She burst out laughing. Fang Zhaomu did not speak, and quietly listened to Fang Zhaoling finish laughing and explain to someone next to her, “This is my older brother! — Ge, give me a minute.”
A short pause, and Fang Zhaoling walked to a quieter spot. She excitedly told Fang Zhaomu, “It’s my classmate’s birthday, and we’re at her place playing truth or dare.”
Hearing no response from Fang Zhaomu, Fang Zhaoling asked, “Fang Zhaomu, what are you doing?”
“I, I’m on my way home.” Fang Zhaomu stammered a little, and his voice was not loud.
He did not want Fang Zhaoling to know any of the awful things that happened to him here. He would just endure it, and it would be enough. “I just came out from the lab.”
The storm was getting heavier. Fang Zhaomu saw a huge tree nearby blown down by the wind.
Next, the crown of the tree curved down, and crashed into a car by the side of the road. Fang Zhaomu was terrified, and the shock dragged him back to reality.
With the cold wind and rain blowing at him, Fang Zhaomu felt an intense pain.
Since young, Fang Zhaomu had never cried often. Fang Zhaomu was very optimistic and smart. The people he met were all kind, his family harmonious, and there was no disturbances to be found. When his mother talked about his childhood, she would always mention the incident about him falling down when he was two or three years old. She said that Fang Zhaomu had fell down from the stairs, his knee scraped and bleeding. Even an adult would cry, but Fang Zhaomu remained sitting there, waiting dazedly for his mother to pick him up.
Fang Zhaomu did not remember it himself. Now, when he thought about it, he felt that the reason he did not cry was he was younger was probably because it was not painful enough.
Now that it really hurt, he would naturally cry too.
Fang Zhaomu’s vision turned blurry, an astringent feeling in his nose. He listened to Fang Zhaoling speaking like an adult, “It’s very late for you already, isn’t it? Be careful on your way home.”
Although Fang Zhaoling was in a quiet area, but Fang Zhaomu knew that it was very lively over there. There must be many people around her, and everyone were all very happy.
“Ge?” Fang Zhaoling did not hear any reply, and called out to him sharply.
“I know.” Fang Zhaomu was afraid that if he said anymore, Fang Zhaoling would realise that something was wrong with him, and he quickly said goodbye.
Fang Zhaomu hung up and wanted to continue reserving a room. However, his hand might have been too wet, and his phone slipped out of his hand and dropped to the ground.
Fang Zhaomu had been using this phone for quite sometimes, and there were occasional issues with it. He had been too lazy to replace it, and this time, after a drop, the screen turned dark. He picked it up, pressing on the switch continuously, but the phone did not turn on. Fang Zhaomu stared at the screen, his mind empty, and did not know what he should do now.
After a while, he realised someone was holding on to his arm. Fang Zhaomu’s eyelashes were thick with rain and tears, blocking his vision. He could not see anything clearly, and only heard that very familiar voice speaking humbly to him. “Mumu, let’s go in first. The rain and wind is too heavy outside. If you continue standing here, you’ll catch a cold.”
Fang Zhaomu did not want Song Yuanxun to touch him. He moved his arm lightly, “Don’t touch me.”
Song Yuanxun reduced the strength of his grip, but he did not let go. “Let’s go in first.”
Fang Zhaomu’s phone could not longer be used, and he was in an unfamiliar surrounding. With no other choices, he walked back into the hotel and queued at the front desk, wanting to book a room himself.
“I’ve booked two rooms,” Song Yuanxun told him. “I’ll go take the key to the other room.”
Fang Zhaomu did not say anything, only continued standing there.
He understood that when he was faced with troubles, persisting in rejection was something very meaningless. It was very petty, very narrow-minded, very insensible, but he did not want to care about all these. When a person was struggling in pain, why would they consider if they were being dignified?
While queueing, Fang Zhaomu heard a girl in front complaining to her boyfriend about the heavy storm, destroying all their travelling plans.
The boyfriend consoled the girl, saying that resting in a hotel could also be considered as a vacation, and to take it as one of life’s experiences.
Last night, after Fang Zhaomu was done packing, he even did a little research on Seattle’s Pike Place Market. Fang Zhaomu loved going to places like this, and liked to buy random wares from such places, and he had immediately screenshot it and sent it to Andrew.
Now that he thought about it, for all he knew, Song Yuanxun might still have been in C City, yet he had replied Fang Zhaomu with a “Sure.”
He told Fang Zhaomu, “We’ll go there.”
It was very decisive, like a solemn vow, as though after seeing each other, they would really go there together.
Song Yuanxun had found someone to give him the key. He returned to Fang Zhaomu, and stood there waiting with him.
In the end, Fang Zhaomu still ended up staying in Song Yuanxun’s extra room, as the hotel no longer had any rooms available.
Before he entered, he asked Song Yuanxun for his bank account number. Song Yuanxun did not say anything else, and gave him the details. Song Yuanxun was very thankful that Fang Zhaomu was willing to stay there safely. Outside, half the city had no electricity, the traffic was insane. With Fang Zhaomu’s slight figure, if Song Yuanxun was not holding onto him just now when they were standing outside, he was afraid he might have been blown away by the wind.
As his door was about to close, Song Yuanxun called out to him. Fang Zhaomu lifted his head, and Song Yuanxun spoke up after a pause. “You go ahead and take a rest first, I’ll order some food for you.”
Fang Zhaomu shook his head and closed his door.