Let’s Break Up
“Let’s…break up.” XiaYao said, with his face pale as he sighs in relief. The coffee in his hand is steaming hot, fingertips slightly aglow.
Sitting across is ZhouDu who stares blankly at XiaYao, his tone unreadable as he asked, “What do you mean?”
XiaYao held his head down, not answering.
ZhouDu looked at him for a long time, and said in a somber voice, “I’m asking what do you mean?”
XiaYao took a deep breath and gently said: “ZhouDu, I don’t like you anymore, let’s break up.”
“Don’t like me?” ZhouDu aggressively said with his eyes cold, “Why didn’t you say you don’t like me in third year when you forced me to be together with you? In university, when you pulled me to bed with you, why didn’t you say you don’t like me? You’ve been together with me for seven years, and now you’re telling me you don’t like me?”
ZhouDu’s words were like a sharp knife, stabbing deep into XiaYao’s heart of hearts, slowly bringing out all the filth into broad daylight.
That year, he did use underhanded methods to get ZhouDu to be together with him, but it’s been so many years now, he knows he was wrong, if one does not love you, it’s useless even if you force him to stay by your side.
He’s now realized his mistake, so he has to let go of ZhouDu.
After quietly listening to ZhouDu’s remarks, with his fingers slightly tightening around the coffee cup, XiaYao lowered his head and quietly repeated: “I want to break up with you.”
“Want to split, then split!” ZhouDu rose from his chair all of a sudden and said, “You think I care about being together with you?” With his loud voice, it was beginning to gather eyes from the people around them.
“What’s there to see?!” ZhouDu yelled at the onlookers and then grabbed the coat, throwing it on his back, and went out.
Once ZhouDu was gone, XiaYao abruptly bent down as he forcefully blinked away the moisture in his eyes caused by the vapour from his coffee.
What he didn’t expect was that ZhouDu hadn’t stepped out of the door yet but had turned back to stand by his side.
XiaYao was somewhat surprised as he saw ZhouDu appear once again.
“Still sitting around for what? Let’s go home!” ZhouDu impatiently said to XiaYao.
XiaYao’s eyelids slightly trembled: “I’ll…go back by myself in a bit.”
“Go back by yourself?” ZhouDu’s tone lightly rose again, “How are you going to do that when it’s snowing so heavily outside and you’re living with me anyway.”
This time, XiaYao slowly stood from his chair and with his head down, followed ZhouDu from behind.
Just as they’ve reach the door, ZhouDu stopped again and looked at the snow outside, frowning, he removed the scarf around his neck and wrapped it around XiaYao’s. Not waiting for XiaYao to speak, he turned and opened the café’s glass door, and walked out into the profusely and disorderly drifting snow.
In such a narrow space, with the car heater on, the scarf full of ZhouDu’s scent slowly engulfed XiaYao’s nose. He lowered his head and buried half his face into the scarf.
The car ride was full of silence. When the car stopped at a crossing, waiting for the traffic light, ZhouDu asked: “How long?”
“I’m asking you, separate for how long? I know, you’re just trying to be difficult right? Why? Is it because on Christmas a few days ago I didn’t hang out with you? I told you I had something going on that day; it really was overtime at the company. I’ve got a holiday on New Year’s, at that time, let’s go out together—”
“ZhouDu.” Xiao Yao interrupted him. “Do you……love me?” He turned his head and looked at ZhouDu, asking softly.
ZhouDu’s ear tips suddenly turned red, and after a few coughs said: “Why do you say that?” Then just as quickly, he changed his reaction, mouth quirked after a side glance at XiaYao and while looking straight ahead said: “Really? Turns out that’s what you wanted to hear. How come you’re like a little girl when you’re all grown up, still talking about love all the time—”
“Do you love me?” XiaYao interrupted him again.
“You, if you want to hear it, then I love you.” ZhouDu’s fingers on the steering wheel clenched.
XiaYao hung down his head in despondency and softly said: “I see.”
As the snow grew deeper, it seems as though the city would be lost. XiaYao felt his chest tighten, so he opened the window slightly to allow a little cold air to come in.
“Aren’t you cold?” ZhouDu reached out and raised the heat several degrees in the car.
As XiaYao was ready to close the window, out of the corner of his eye he was frightened to see ZhouDu throw himself at him.
“Boom.” A sound rang out; XiaYao did not have time to even feel the pain before he lost consciousness.
It was noisy, XiaYao felt breathless. It seems like he was lying on the table, and a lot of people were talking, except not one word could be heard clearly.
He used all his strength to open his eyes, but no one was around.
In the empty classroom, only the squeaking electric fan was heard as it whined and turned. XiaYao looked at the blackboard in front; the setting sun shining through the window decorated him in gold as it settled on him.
This is……the classroom?
Why did he appear in the classroom? Isn’t he on the way with ZhouDu?
XiaYao looked at his palm of his outreached hand, the wrist watch catching his attention. He raised his arm up in front of him, and the time marked on the watch was—
17:30 (5:30PM). September 12, 2008.
This date felt familiar to XiaYao. He suddenly remembered, this year is his senior year of high school, and this day happens to be his 18th birthday.
XiaYao had no time to question why he was back in high school, he hastily opened the desk, looking for a diary.
There was no grey diary in the desk.
Then it should be in ZhouDu’s seat. He remembers that on his birthday this year, he had placed that confession diary in ZhouDu’s seat.
XiaYao hurriedly straightened up, and walked quickly to ZhouDu’s seat, then opened his drawer.
XiaYao with his waist bent looked around in ZhouDu’s seat several times and still couldn’t find that diary.
“Hey! What are you doing?!”
Someone at the door shouted.
XiaYao panically lifted his head from ZhouDu’s seat, and saw WangHao standing at the classroom door.
WangHao walked quickly to XiaYao’s side, grabbed his arm and pulled him from ZhouDu’s seat.
He looked up and down at XiaYao, face darkened and asked: “What are you doing, stealing something?”
“I……” as XiaYao was ready to explain, following behind WangHao, were ZhangYang and ZhouDu as they entered the classroom.
WangHao quickly pointed to XiaYao “He was just looking around in your drawer, check if anything is missing.”
ZhouDu’s eyes instantly landed on XiaYao.
“I wasn’t.” XiaYao hurriedly explained, “I was looking for something I lost.”
“Eh, what do you mean? What does that have to do with looking through ZhouDu’s drawer? Surely it doesn’t mean that ZhouDu stole your stuff?
ZhangYang promptly pulled WangHao to one side, telling him not to speak anymore.
ZhouDu significantly glanced at XiaYao, asking: “What have you lost.”
“Ha.” WangHao chuckled, “Who wants your book?”
ZhouDu ignored WangHao and continued to look at XiaYao: “What book?”
“A book…a notebook, grey cover, very old, with no signature on top.”
XiaYao tensely pulled at his clothes, he remembered that that year ZhouDu had not seen the diary. He had placed it in ZhouDu’s desk after school and it was found by his friend WangHao who later beat him up in the toilet. The matter was then left unsettled.
Later on, he didn’t know how ZhouDu saw him get beaten up by WangHao, but instead of drinking his drink, he offered it to him, said that it was to apologize for WangHao. It was at that time that he actually made contact with ZhouDu.
He had a crush on ZhouDu for two years, but could never find the courage to say a word, so when he used his whole life’s energy to write everything to ZhouDu in that diary and place it in his drawer, the target had not seemed to find it.
“You, did you see it?” XiaYao’s voice slightly shook.
“No.” ZhouDu gently exhaled the word, and then asked, “Why do you think your notebook will be in my drawer?”
XiaYao opens his mouth, not sure how to explain, should he maybe tell ZhouDu that he deliberately placed that book in his seat?
ZhouDu took a look at him, seeing as he wasn’t going to reply, picked up one side of the bag and said to WangHao: “I’m going home.”
“Eh? Just going home? Not playing today?”
The classroom became tranquil once again.
After ZhouDu got back home, from his bag, he took out a notebook. Staring at the grey diary for a while, he placed it into his desk drawer.