Edited by: Planetes
After Fang Zhaomu entered the room, he removed his coat and sat down on the chair.
The hotel’s window was an ordinary double-layered glass. The strong rain and wind outside pounded upon the glass.
Fang Zhaomu gazed out of the window. Through the rain, not many lights could be seen. They were mostly clumped together, and the city that was supposed to be brightly lit was in the dark.
He pulled the curtains closed and switched on the television. The news was reporting about this Seattle storm that had arose from convective weather, causing a severe traffic jam and half the city to have a power cut.
As Fang Zhaomu sat there, his sweater and pants clung uncomfortably to him. He first switched on the lights, then removed his clothes one by one and lay in bed. He did not want to take a shower, as he had showered for too long just now.
He tried to shut his eyes and fall asleep, but his head started throbbing. Fang Zhaomu was wrapped up in the blanket, half naked. The temperature in the room was not cold, and he soon heated up under the blanket. However, once he moved, the warm blanket would become very rough, scraping past every inch of Fang Zhaomu’s skin. It made Fang Zhaomu feel as though there was still someone touching him, that there was still someone holding him down, someone’s lips on his chin.
Song Yuanxun’s kisses had been too savage, pressing Fang Zhaomu down until he could not move.
There were a few seconds when Song Yuanxun’s hands were holding Fang Zhaomu’s wrists down. While kissing Fang Zhaomu, his hands slid up, and his fingers forced themselves between Fang Zhaomu’s fingers, intertwining their hands tightly together.
When Fang Zhaomu closed his eyes, every detail lay out in front of him, every action made him shudder, terrified.
It was all Song Yuanxun. There was no Andrew, right from the start, it was Song Yuanxun.
Fang Zhaomu did not successfully meet a Chinese outside school. There was no one coming to Seattle for work, no one working overtime, no twenty-nine years old mechanical engineer. His social network was always trapped in that lab in T University, and he had never escaped from there.
Fang Zhaomu opened his eyes. Unable to bear it, he turned on the lights and sat up. His eyes drifting down, he saw the red marks on his body that were left after scrubbing in the shower. Below those red marks, there were also love bites left by that lab classmate who did not like him much.
He tugged the blanket up a little, gazing sightlessly for a moment. The doorbell suddenly rang.
Fang Zhaomu got a shock. He did not go and open the door, but pressed the do-not-disturb button instead. However, that person started knocking. Fang Zhaomu did not go and take a look. He only huddled up in the bed, hoping that the person outside would receive his message from his silence, and go away.
Who would have guessed that when the knocking stopped, the phone in the room started ringing.
Fang Zhaomu sat there for a few seconds, then picked up the phone and immediately hung up on it. He was anxious, and kept feeling that the room was not safe. Walking over and opening up his luggage, he took out his clothes and put them on, then moved to the bathroom and locked the door behind him, carefully listening to what was going on outside.
His instincts were right. Five minutes later, Fang Zhaomu heard a beep coming from the door to the hotel room. Someone had came in. Song Yuanxun was talking to a female. Fang Zhaomu could not hear what they were saying, but not long after, the voices stopped.
Someone definitely had came in.
Fang Zhaomu stared blankly at his reflection in the mirror, wondering why was he so unlucky. He had finally thought things were changing for the better, but in the end, he was still the misfortunate one.
As long as Song Yuanxun wanted it, many would respond to his call, and Fang Zhaomu’s life would be difficult.
Fang Zhaomu had only wanted to look for an ordinary person who could listen to him. He did not want to take advantage of anything, or gain any benefits from that person. However, he was unable to find such a person. Fang Zhaomu ended up coming into contact with Song Yuanxun. After giving everything he could, only then did he learnt that he gave it wrongly.
Song Yuanxun moved very quickly. He looked around the room, then knocked on the bathroom door and pushed against it. It was locked. He turned and saw the bed that someone had clearly lay in it before. The clothes that Fang Zhaomu had been wearing were thrown to one side, his luggage open. There was no sound of water coming from the bathroom, and so he knew Fang Zhaomu was definitely listening to what was outside.
Fang Zhaomu’s trail of activities made Song Yuanxun recall how Fang Zhaomu’s face changed when he switched the lights on. It was very painful, but he had to accept it.
Song Yuanxun shut his eyes and knocked on the door again. “The attendant who delivered the food said that you weren’t around. I was worried, so I came in to take a look.”
There was no response.
In Song Yuanxun’s hand was something he just bought downstairs. He placed it by the side of Fang Zhaomu’s bed, then walked back to the bathroom door. He looked at the tightly shut door and paused, before saying, “I wasn’t the one who downloaded the dating app. It was my friend. He also registered the account.”
“The information about the engineer was filled in by him. I ended up matching with you because my finger slid in the wrong direction.”
“The profile picture was found online, so were the ones I sent to you. I was wrong, I’m sorry.”
“If you can hear me, knock on the door.” Song Yuanxun said calmly.
After some time, the person behind the wooden door gave a very light knock. Song Yuanxun continued. “When I bumped into you the last time at the supermarket, I wasn’t laughing at you. I wanted to give you a lift.”
“Coming to Seattle was a lie. I pretended to be unable to speak was because I was afraid you’ll recognise my voice. That time when you nearly called the police on the way home, the car following you was me. I was worried about you going home alone, but I didn’t think that you’ll get the wrong impression.”
“I pay attention to everything you said.”
“I was purposely giving you the cold shoulder. After that, I realised that even if Andrew ignored you, Song Yuanxun was unable to take his place.”
“It was my friend who let you come to Seattle last night. He got it wrong.”
Song Yuanxun stopped. A moment later, Fang Zhaomu knocked on the door, and spoke in a very small and low voice. “Why didn’t you say it last night?”
“I didn’t dare to,” Song yuanxun replied. “I was afraid that if things were revealed, I wouldn’t even get a chance to explain myself.”
As long as it was not the end, he could continue having hope.
“I took the earliest flight here.” Song Yuanxun said.
Fang Zhaomu’s throat was very dry, his voice unnatural and a little pitchy. Song Yuanxun could not determine if Fang Zhaomu was crying again. Fang Zhaomu’s question was very broad, maybe he himself did not know what exactly he wanted a reason for. However, Song Yuanxun seemed to know.
“I was afraid that you’ll be upset. If I could drag it out for even one more second, I would. I know that you don’t want to see me, and I also wished that it was someone else instead. I even thought of finding someone to replace me, but I no longer want to deceive you.”
“No,” Behind the door, Fang Zhaomu was crying. “You don’t like me, why must you make a fool out of me?”
Song Yuanxun stopped, and clumsily told Fang Zhaomu, “I do, I do like you.”
“I used the wrong method to like you, but I won’t do it again.” He added.
Fang Zhaomu did not reply.
“Right, I went downstairs and bought you a phone. If you’re willing to use it, just use it. I’ve placed it by your bed. I’ll go now. The attendant will come again to deliver the food twenty minutes later, this time, you have to take it.” Song Yuanxun left.
As the check-in times were different, Song Yuanxun was not staying on the same floor as Fang Zhaomu. Before Song Yuanxun reached his room, his phone notified him that someone had deposited money in his bank account.
Fang Zhaomu had transferred him three amounts. One for the room, one for the phone, and the other, Song Yuanxun was not sure what it was.
After opening the door, Song Yuanxun remembered. The amount was the price of that set meal for two he had ordered for Fang Zhaomu that night when they had their first video chat.
When he had made the order, Song Yuanxun had not given it too much thought. He had just wanted Fang Zhaomu to eat something, and he did not care about anything else.
Returning this sum of money to him, Fang Zhaomu might have been implicitly stating that he was not going to do what he said he was, inviting Andrew for a meal when he returned from Seattle.
The meaning was that they no longer had to fulfil the previously made agreement. There was no need to get the moon, everything stopped here. All the things that he had not done, there was no need for them anymore.