Chapter 22: ZhouDu took a look at XiaYao’s lips and thought, ‘I want to kiss him’. So, he did.
Translated by MengHu
(T/N: I swear, the title just spoiled the whole chapter for you guys.)
Because ZhouDu exerted too much force on his pull, XiaYao almost let his whole weight fall on ZhouDu. The field was full of students who had stayed back for training. No matter how dense ZhouDu was, he could at the very least tell this was not the best place to be kissing XiaYao.
He grabbed onto XiaYao’s arm and walked straight towards and out of the school gate. XiaYao, who was dragged against his will, staggered all the way there. He asked hurriedly, “ZhouDu, what are you trying to do?”
“Walking you home,” ZhouDu said without looking back.
XiaYao wanted to say that there was no need to do that, but he decided against it, fearing that ZhouDu would get angry again, so he let ZhouDu pull him along. ZhouDu only released his grip when they exited the school’s main gate.
ZhouDu kept what Jiang ShiWen had taught him in mind, specially making sure he walked on XiaYao’s right. XiaYao stared at the tips of his toes, unsure of what to do.
“What did you do last night?” ZhouDu asked out of the blue.
XiaYao tightened his voice before answering, “Nothing much, I just completed a set of practice papers, memorised a little English vocabulary and slept.”
By that time, they had already reached the empty streets near XiaYao’s house. ZhouDu followed the sequence Jiang ShiWen had taught him, and continued to question, “Did you miss me?”
“Wh-what?” XiaYao began to doubt his own ears.
ZhouDu thought XiaYao didn’t hear what he said, so he stopped in his tracks and turned to look at the other male before repeating himself, “Did you miss me?”
XiaYao blinked a few times, his lips were shaking as he stared at ZhouDu unbelievably, “Do you know what you’re saying?”
Of course ZhouDu knew what he was saying. He frowned, as XiaYao didn’t give a reply to his question.
XiaYao’s face grew pale – was ZhouDu toying with him?
ZhouDu took a look at XiaYao’s lips and thought, ‘I want to kiss him’. So, he did.
He pushed XiaYao lightly, onto the gray wall behind them. This was what ZhouDu learnt from the movies he used to watch in the past. He could remember how the male protagonist always pushed his partner onto the corner of the wall, and leaned forward to kiss her.
ZhouDu didn’t give XiaYao any time to respond, and forced his own lips harshly on XiaYao’s.
XiaYao widened his eyes, and the beating of his heart stopped.
It was only after a few seconds had passed, no, it might also have been a few minutes, before XiaYao could finally feel his blood circulate throughout his body, but his body remained shaky.
ZhouDu felt as though his heart was a drum, and the repeating ‘dongs’ with each beat almost drove him crazy. He kept his lips tightly on XiaYao’s, but didn’t know what to do next. Also, why wasn’t XiaYao closing his eyes? Didn’t the female protagonist always keep her eyes closed and hug the neck of the male protagonist?
With XiaYao staring at him dumbfoundedly, ZhouDu finally felt a sense of shame.
And so, the two of them remained standing there with the tips of their noses touching, their lips stuck closely together, and their eyes staring into each other for quite some time, before XiaYao finally came to his senses and struggled hard, pushing himself away from ZhouDu’s grasp.
“ZhouDu, are you crazy?” He spat this sentence at him before running away, leaving ZhouDu hanging alone in the empty street.
The expression on ZhouDu’s face seemed confused and also lost. What was he supposed to do to make XiaYao start liking him again? Even though he… Even though he followed exactly what Jiang ShiWen had told him to do, not daring to mess up even a single sequence.
But XiaYao ran away. XiaYao thought he was crazy.
‘I’m probably crazy,’ ZhouDu thought. Only a crazy person would listen to what Jiang ShiWen says and follow suit without question. They had no effect at all.
XiaYao could not stop himself from shaking as he ran all the way home. He leaned against the door of his room and slid down slowly, hugging himself.
XiaYao could almost feel ZhouDu’s presence still lingering on his lips. He placed a finger over them consciously, until he finally broke, burying his head into his knees, and started crying.
The next day was a weekend. ZhouDu had greenish-black circles under his eyes as he walked down emotionlessly.
“Did you pull an all-nighter again last night?” ZhouDu’s father seemed displeased as he glanced at him.
His mother, however, gave her husband a slap on his hand and said, “What’s wrong with a youngster staying up? Not everyone is like you.”
ZhouDu walked towards the entrance of the house, changed his shoes, and opened the door for his parents.
Mother Zhou’s eyebrows adjusted slightly into an unnoticeable frown. She sensed that her son hadn’t pulled an all-nighter, but instead was in a bad mood.
She was under postnatal care* recently, and with the incident that happened to her daughter, her thoughts were all concentrated on her newborn; in a way, she had neglected her son.
(T/N: The chinese term used here was ‘坐月子（zuo yue zi）’, which is a Chinese term that means a woman is confined to bed or at home for a month to recover from the birth and take care of the baby. ‘Postnatal care’ is the closest term I could think of.)
“ZhouDu, come here,” she waved, and ZhouDu sat obediently beside her. “Let your father drive later, you sit in the backseat with me.”
ZhouDu’s father’s intention was to leave the driving for their hired driver while he accompanied her, but when the wife made her statement, he dared not to disobey, and walked towards the garage without another word.
The housekeeper stood aside with ZhouZhou in her arms. Mother Zhou locked her arm with her son’s, tilted her face slightly and asked cheerfully, “So, any secrets to reveal to your mother?”
ZhouDu shook his head.
“Geez, looks like my son’s really grown up; you used to tell me everything when you were younger.”
ZhouDu tilted his head unnaturally.
“Let me guess, does my son finally have someone he likes?”
ZhouDu turned and stared at his mother with an unbelieving look.
ZhouDu’s mother laughed. Of course, her son was still young. “What’s wrong with that? Let me tell you a secret, I had a boyfriend in as early as my middle school days.”
ZhouDu fought back awkwardly, “I don’t have anyone I like!”
“Ooh~” His mother stared at him with a thoughtful look, and smiled before saying, “It’s okay if you don’t tell me now. If you ever feel like saying it someday, I can help you solve any problem!” She blinked playfully at ZhouDu; this was also the time ZhouDu’s father drove the car out of the garage.
They were heading towards the hospital for further consultation with the doctor regarding ZhouZhou’s situation.
(T/N: In case you forgot(like me), ZhouZhou is ZhouDu’s baby sister. Yes, the one who stole XiaYao’s bone marrow.)
ZhouDu hadn’t thought he’d meet Jiang ShiWen in the hospital. In the instant Jiang ShiWen came into his sight, his expression darkened, but Jiang ShiWen approached them happily without noticing the face ZhouDu was making.
Mother Zhou’s gaze wandered around ZhouDu and the little beauty before him, and she let out an experienced laugh, “You go play for a while with your schoolmate.”
Unwillingness was plastered all over ZhouDu’s face, but he still followed Jiang ShiWen all the way to the yard situated in the hospital.
“What’s with that face? I’m still waiting for you to treat me to a meal.” Jiang ShiWen broke the silence.
ZhouDu stared hard at Jiang ShiWen for a while before he asked, “Are you toying with me?”
Jiang ShiWen looked at ZhouDu strangely, “I toyed with your-?”
ZhouDu tried to keep it back, but he couldn’t do it in the end, so he told Jiang ShiWen about everything that happened the day before.
Jiang ShiWen looked confused as well, upon listening to ZhouDu’s story. “That shouldn’t be the case…” she mumbled to herself.
In the end, she looked as if she just remembered something, and turned to ZhouDu, “I’d never toy with you, but let me confirm something – what’s the relationship between you guys right now, are you dating?”
Dating? ZhouDu’s expression darkened. XiaYao already told ZhouDu he didn’t like him, how could they be dating?
Jiang ShiWen held a worried expression on her face when she heard that ZhouDu wasn’t, “You two aren’t a pair yet? Oh god, what have I taught you to do? To become a pervert?”
ZhouDu looked even more unhappy when he heard her words. A pervert? There was no way he could be a pervert towards XiaYao.
“Wait, I need to ask you something. ZhouDu, how did you know that she likes you, did she tell you, or?”
ZhouDu shot a glance at Jiang ShiWen, “I knew it by myself.”
“That’s why I’m asking you how you figured it out. She wrote you a love letter?”
ZhouDu shook his head.
Jiang ShiWen started panicking as well, “I can’t help you if you don’t tell me the truth.”
ZhouDu thought for a moment before answering, “I read his diary.”
“He said he loves me in the diary.”
“Which means you secretly read her diary, thought she liked you, and started doing perverted things to her like what I told you to?”
ZhouDu was triggered again. He didn’t read the diary in secret, it was placed under his desk by XiaYao himself. Since the diary was already placed under his table, doesn’t it mean he had the right to read it?
But ZhouDu didn’t want to argue too much with Jiang ShiWen, so he simply nodded his head.
Jiang ShiWen was at a loss of words for quite some time. Finally, she said, “Let me ask you another question. Do you like her?”
ZhouDu felt that Jiang ShiWen was questioning the obvious, and she seemed to think so as well. Knowing that ZhouDu was too lazy to give her the answer, she continued speaking, “Dear ZhouDu, the flow of normal relationships is usually confession before trying out perverted things. If you try something now, it’s only normal that you’d scare her away.”
ZhouDu was angered, “I only did what you told me to do!”
(T/N: I have to disagree with you here, ZhouDu, this is not how you treat a girl.)
‘So it’s my fault then?’ Jiang ShiWen thought to herself. However, she still lived up to her policies that if she was to offer advice, she’d help out till the very end, and said to ZhouDu, “Let’s make it this way, you go confess first. If you succeed in doing so, I’ll tell you what to do next.”
ZhouDu remained silent. Jiang ShiWen rolled her eyes and mocked, “Don’t tell me you don’t know how to.”
“I got it,” ZhouDu stood up, “I finally got what you meant.”
It was only after Jiang ShiWen’s reminder that ZhouDu had realised the thing he missed out – he never told XiaYao about his feelings. XiaYao had no clue that ZhouDu liked him.
He actually forgot something as important as this.
ZhouDu wanted to sprint to where XiaYao was immediately to tell him about his feelings, but his conscience held him back. ZhouDu thanked Jiang ShiWen and the two of them walked back to the hospital together.
The injury on ZhouDu was recovering well too. The doctor did a simple check-up and said, “It should be fine in another two days.”
To ZhouDu, the two days that made up this weekend seemed exceptionally slow this time around. He wanted to see XiaYao a lot, really a lot.
What he didn’t know was that on the other side, XiaYao was still submerged within his painful memories.