Translated by Addis of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
Jian Nian had a dream.
It was a long dream, in which he saw many strange things, evil spirits and games. But it wasn’t just a nightmare, because he was the one who won in this dream and always came out of the unexplained playfield.
This was how it should be, it was just a bit of a strange nightmare.
Until… Shen Si appeared in his dream.
After waking up and opening his eyes, Jian Nian sat up and breathed heavily. His clothes were soaked with cold sweat, as he calmed his breathing, felt for his medicine bottle under the pillow when it was almost unbearable and swallowed the medicine in the bottle. Jian Nian finally felt his breath calm a bit.
After exhaling slightly, Jian Nian tucked the bottle back into his pillow, and then walked to the window. Outside the window was a bright blue sky, white clouds floating in the air, just as before.
In the dream, he saw a cold and indescribable Shen Si.
To be honest, Jian Nian and Shen Si had been broken up for a long time, but then Shen Si told Jian Nian that he wouldn’t come back, hoping that Jian Nian could think about their relationship. He was very firm and left Jian Nian behind, but Jian Nian was very clear, Shen Si did things to the end.
Shen Si gave him the key to the old house to have a place to sleep at when he had no place to go, and there was some change in the drawer of the room that wasn’t taken away, which was left by Shen Si. Even when they broke up, Shen Si was still the same gentle Shen Si, not the sensible and determined person in the dream.
That dream wasn’t real, but it made Jian Nian unable to forget and even unsettled.
When he sighed slightly, the alarm clock on his phone rang. Jian Nian brought the phone over, it was the alarm clock set in advance in the memo; today was the day he would go to the hospital for a checkup.
When all the test results came out, Jian Nian sat in the chair in front of the doctor, who looked at the test results and finally said, nodding his head, “The situation is stable.”
Jian Nian was a miracle, because he was told he wouldn’t live past the age of eighteen, but now he was twenty two years old and could still live a normal life. His heart problems were gradually weakening, as if time had reversed in his heart, pulling out the roots of those diseases little by little.
“You look a little sad?” The doctor looked at Jian Nian and asked.
Jian Nian blinked, and after a moment he nodded, “I’ve been having nightmares lately.”
“Nightmares? What kind of nightmares?”
“Very fragmented, kind of like playing a game, except that the game is a little gory.” Jian Nian laughed, smiling like a child as always, “And I forget pretty much everything after I wake up, and my mind is barely left with the idea that I’m in a game.”
“I remember you told me before that you wouldn’t be scared of horror movies at all.” The doctor understood Jian Nian, this patient, well enough to know that it was true to say he wasn’t afraid of horror movies, “What are you upset about? Other than those bloody games, is there anything else?”
There was… Shen Si.
He no longer remembered those games, only the image of Shen Si was imprinted in Jian Nian’s brain as unforgettable.
In those fragmented dreams, Shen Si was standing by his side, either walking with him in the game, or watching from the side with a firm and gentle gaze, but in the grinding again and again, the point of mildness gradually weakened, was crushed, and finally only indifference remained.
Jian Nian could clearly determine what decision Shen Si made, a decision that prompted his change, and finally for his dream of the model.
“Is it a dream about someone?” The doctor asked.
Jian Nian glanced at the doctor, and after a moment he nodded, “Mn, I dreamed of Shen Si.”
The doctor raised his eyebrows with no surprise on his face, and even a feeling that this was no surprise.
Jian Nian was a relatively special patient. He was special because his parents had long given up on him, and although they gave food and clothes to wear as he grew up, they never brought him to see a doctor. The person who accompanied Jian Nian the most was another teenager, and they had very good feelings, the teen held conversations with a bright voice.
But three years ago, that teenager also stopped coming, leaving Jian Nian alone to come and go.
“It’s been a long time since you came over with Shen Si,” The doctor spoke, “I remember you telling me before that he was going to college, did he stay there?”
“Mn, said he wasn’t coming back.” Jian Nian leaned back in his chair, still with a smile on his face, “It wasn’t anything, it’s just that these days I keep having dreams about it.”
The doctor quickly understood what might have happened between the two, but the patient in front of him didn’t say it out loud, even as the dream scenes poured out all the thoughts that had been squeezed for three years, like old newspapers piled up in a cabinet, which was so full that there was no way to stuff them back in.
“Do you want to go and see him?” The doctor suggested, “You haven’t seen each other for a long time, it would be a good idea for you to visit him.”
Jian Nian smiled at the doctor’s offer, then said goodbye to him and left the hospital with the checklist.
It would certainly be nice to see Shen Si.
The first time he saw him, he was thinking about him day and night, thinking about how they got along, how warm he was at night, and even how he looked under the lamp when he was studying. At the moment he left, Jian Nian even thought of running to him, going to him, tugging at his sleeve, asking him if he liked him or not.
But he took no action, and didn’t leave, just quietly watched Shen Si leave, calm to the point where he didn’t even recognize himself.
He didn’t even understand at what point he was able to suppress his feelings.
Jian Nian was a defective product; barely had money to survive, abandoned by parents, having no love. Only Shen Si knew all of his defects and accepted him. Shen Si would even take Jian Nian to his home, and his parents were also gentle people, they treated him gently and were kind.
He wanted to go to see Shen Si, but he couldn’t.
Although he knew where Shen Si lived now and where he worked, Shen Si sent things every year, he sent messages, and he seemed to be living comfortably, so how could he bother him?
Back home, Jian Nian threw himself onto the bed, closed his eyes and forced himself into a dream state.
After falling asleep, he wouldn’t have to think about Shen Si.
Unfortunately, that thought was soon shattered.
Jian Nian had the dream again.
The world of light, red light, Shen Si standing in the light and some visible and invisible strangers. Jian Nian was like a spectator watching himself running forward, at the end, he and Shen Si hugged each other, his arms tightened, so tight that he almost strangled Shen Si.
But Shen Si didn’t refuse, and didn’t let go.
That hug was very warm, even in sleep, he seemed to be able to feel the warmth.
Closing his eyes, surrounded by the world of data disappearance, and finally Jian Nian’s heart suddenly surged with a word —- time.
I want to see Shen Si.
Want to see.
After a few moments, he got up and started looking for tickets to Shen Si’s city.
He needed to see him now.
Jian Nian didn’t react until he was sitting in his seat on the bus, but there was no room for regret. Jian Nian could only be apprehensive of what would happen after he arrived. Would Shen Si feel annoyed, would he not want to see him, would he disturb his work?…
Along the way, he thought a lot since there was a lot of time. Until the bus got to the station, Jian Nian stood at the entrance of the station before putting on a smile.
Jian Nian considered himself to be a very decisive person, whether it was for his own encounter or for the various kinds of things in society, his acceptance was very high. Whatever happened, he could laugh, this was how Shen Si was. He, however, was indecisive, afraid of being disliked by him.
At the station entrance, Jian Nian asked for directions and locations, then he took a bus towards Zhongjia Mountain.
Jian Nian knew that Shen Si was still working at this time, or maybe just finished work and would be very tired. If this was really the case, then he would take a look and leave.
With that in mind, Jian Nian arrived at the place, and just out of the bus he saw the people at the foot of the mountain. Familiar people wearing the same guide clothes and the person next to them was wringing a mineral water bottle, at his foot was an unzipped backpack, slightly messy.
It was Shen Si, whom he hadn’t seen in three years.
Jian Nian didn’t even realize when he moved forward, and only reacted when he was stopped.
“Are you with the next batch of tourists? You’re early, our meeting time is 2:30.” The man in the guide’s uniform looked puzzled.
“No, I’m not.” Jian Nian subconsciously replied.
A little overwhelmed and with a little boredom in his eyes, Jian Nian really hated interpersonal communication. He was a very selfish and exclusive person, except for the doctor, he rarely dealt with people, and wouldn’t have bad feelings towards people, but also wouldn’t have any good feelings towards people.
He only cared about Shen Si.
Shen Si found him and helped him out, even pulling him away to a place where there was no one. Jian Nian quietly looked at Shen Si, as if to determine whether there was anger, and he finally came to the conclusion.
Shen Si wasn’t angry, and didn’t resent coming over.
That was good.
“I’ll be off work at around six o’clock in the evening, will you wait for me here or go to my house first?” Shen Si fished out his house keys from his pocket, “My cousin is at my house so he can help, I’ll give him a call to pick you up at the entrance of the neighborhood?”
“No need.” Jian Nian took the key from Shen Si’s hand, but didn’t just go back to Shen Si’s house and said, “I’ll wait for you here.”
Shen Si blinked, “Waiting for me here? Won’t you be bored?”
“No.” Jian Nian leaned against him tentatively, and only after a few moments did he speak in a whisper. “It’s only four hours.”
Shen Si came down from the mountain when the time was almost seven o’clock. After saying goodbye to Yi Mingzhi, he went to the car to change his clothes. Today’s exercise was so heavy that even he felt tired, and changing out of his guide’s clothes, Shen Si walked towards the side.
Even if he didn’t need to walk very close, he could see Jian Nian sitting quietly on the side.
The night was dark at seven o’clock, and there was only one street lamp to illuminate the bench where Jian Nian sat. The dim light was reflecting off his black jacket, and the tourists who had just come down from the mountain passed by him in twos and threes, making him look extra lonely.
“I’m here.” Shen Si sat down next to Jian Nian, “Are you hungry? Do you want to eat something?”
Jian Nian nodded, “Yes.”
In fact, he wasn’t hungry. Jian Nian’s meals were very small, because of physical reasons he also rarely had a strong appetite. Just sitting here for a few hours, his body felt a slight numbness, and felt a very obvious stiffness. Suddenly standing up, he could even feel himself getting dizzy.
Of course, just for a moment.
“I remember a very good store is nearby, which has good chicken soup.” Shen Si held hands walking into the crowd, while walking and talking about what to eat. Jian Nian’s body wasn’t in top shape, and he couldn’t eat too stimulating food, so it didn’t take them long to decide what to eat.
Jian Nian listened attentively to Shen Si’s voice, nodding occasionally to say what he thought, such as trying to eat a little food with a little chili.
It was clear that he didn’t like spicy food, but he liked to try to let Shen Si loose a little at this time, like a pampered little child.
Yi Mingzhi, who was organizing his belongings, glanced towards the side and saw Shen Si, who was walking with Jian Nian in the crowd. At that moment, the loneliness in their bodies seemed to be completely erased, and they were no different from the people around them.
Isn’t that great?
Yi Mingzhi smiled and moved his eyes back to his documenting book with a little relief in his eyes.
In the three-person team, he and Lin Qi had long since formed a family, only Shen Si was a lonely one, and he had a good character and was responsible. But for Shen Si to smile like this, that person must be very important to him.
When they arrived at the restaurant, Shen Si ordered the food. While waiting for the food to be served, Shen Si answered a phone call. Because the store was a bit noisy, Jian Nian couldn’t hear what Shen Si and the person on the phone said.
He couldn’t hear the conversation on the phone even until Shen Si hung up the phone and saw Jian Nian’s eyes.
“It’s that cousin of mine.” Shen Si put the phone away, “Told me he’s not coming back to sleep tonight, since he is staying overnight at a classmates home. It’s kind of good, since it saves me from explaining.”
“Cousin?” Jian Nian searched his mind for Shen Si’s information, but he couldn’t remember that Shen Si had a cousin.
Shen Si nodded, “My mother’s side, no blood relations aunt, who helped me deal with the aftermath after my parents’ car accident, that aunt. Xi Luo is her child.”
Speaking of this, Jian Nian has a slight impression.
Shen Si’s parents were still young when they were in the accident, and they had no relatives, but finally, the police found Shen Si’s only living relative. Although it was an unrelated aunt, and the other party had little feeling for Shen Si, after all, they had never met, she finally hastily helped Shen Si to deal with the problem to make sure they could live on their own and then left cleanly.
It didn’t bring any impact on Shen Si’s life at all.
“Xi Luo is here for university. Something happened on her side, so she asked for me to please watch over Xi Luo,” Shen Si leaned back in the chair and stretched, “That child was taught very well, will not disturb others, and is also very restrained. He’s a good kid.”
Jian Nian laughed along, looking at the glass of water in front of him, “You’re only a few years older than that, and you’re calling him a kid.”
“He’s smaller than me.” Shen Si spoke indifferently. “How about you? How is your health? Did you go to the doctor on time?” Shen Si changed the subject and started asking about things he hadn’t asked about before, not asking about Jian Nian’s parents, because he knew very well that it would be a waste of time to ask, and there was nothing to look forward to from parents who could watch Jian Nian have a heart attack and not care at all.
“The doctor said that everything is stable and there is a trend of getting better.” Jian Nian’s voice was steady, “There should be no need to worry that I will die early.”
Shen Si sighed and drank the water in his cup, not knowing what to say. Perhaps because of family reasons, he was used to hearing the word ‘death’. So from childhood, the word death did not give him much feeling, and he didn’t feel uncomfortable saying the word out loud. Jian Nian wanted to live, but he wouldn’t shy away from death.
Shen Si couldn’t say whether this was a good thing or a bad thing.
But that was who Jian Nian was.
In the silence, the ordered food was brought up by the waiter. In the rising white heat, Jian Nian turned his head to look out the window. Not far from a small amusement park, the night market had just begun, the lights were bright, they could still see the Ferris wheel flashing colored lights.
“Let’s go there later.” Jian Nian looked at the Ferris wheel, “I want to ride that.”
“Are you afraid of heights?” Shen Si asked.
“No.” Jian Nian shook his head, “You know, I’m not afraid of anything, whether it’s high places or horror movies.”
Shen Si gave him a bowl of soup, “Okay, we’ll go after dinner.”
The bowl of chicken soup was very good, Jian Nian even felt that he probably never drank anything as good. He didn’t know if it was because the bowl of chicken soup was really excellent or because Shen Si was sitting next to him. He couldn’t help but look at Shen Si, thinking about the cause-and-effect relationship in his mind.
After thinking for a while, he gave up, because he liked Shen Si, so he did things without a reason. How could it be related to cause and effect?
After finishing the meal quietly, Shen Si took Jian Nian to the night market after paying the money. There were many people on a summer night who took advantage of the lack of sun to hang out, like in the night market. There were quite a lot of people, and there were many children. Shen Si bought two tickets, and they didn’t go to any exciting projects but went straight to the Ferris wheel.
Shen Si and Jian Nian sat on either side of the box, they looked out through the transparent glass. The night was dark, the lights were constantly flashing, and a few moments later Jian Nian looked up to the sky, his eyes focusing on the dark sky.
Next to Shen Si, Jian Nian, with his line of sight upward, saw the dark clouds in the afternoon had dispersed. At this time, the night sky was filled with twinkling stars, looked distinct, and looked like tomorrow would be a good day.
“What are you looking at?” Shen Si asked him.
“I’m looking at the stars.” Jian Nian’s voice was soft, “We used to make a promise that we would go to a very high mountain to look at the stars once in the future.”
Unfortunately, Jian Nian’s health wasn’t good, the high mountains were something that he couldn’t climb, so this agreement was repeatedly postponed.
The Ferris wheel was also very high, as an alternative it could kind of also be considered as seeing the stars from a high place.
“The Ferris wheel is a very magical thing for lovers, right?” Shen Si said, “I have read some novels that use the Ferris wheel as a confession place, and there is also scientific evidence that the small space can give pressure to those present, but also easier to understand each other.”
Jian Nian calmly withdrew his gaze and looked Shen Si in the eyes, “I’m fine with whatever happens, the key is yours, Shen Si. I will always follow you behind, as long as you turn around you can see me, something that both you and I know. The key is yours to either use or not.” Jian Nian laughed, smiling as always, like a mischievous child with no malice, “Shen Si, will you turn back?”
“What do you think?” Shen Si looked at him.
Having a former relationship, the end between the two of them could be considered a peaceful breakup. Shen Si didn’t say absolute words to Jian Nian and also didn’t take excessive means to retain. They could be calmly sitting here looking at each other, and still had love for each other.
Including Shen Si himself.
In these three years, sometimes Shen Si would also think about why they turned out like they did and Jian Nian obviously couldn’t let go of him.
Later Shen Si thought about it, and also knew the reason why it became this way.
The reason was that Shen Si knew very well that even if they broke up, as long as one person tried to reach out again, they would still hold each other’s hand again. If the hand could make Jian Nian’s character become better, then it wouldn’t make any difference to do it.
Neither of them could refuse the other.
“I was hoping you would turn back.” Jian Nian spoke like a murmur, “I’ve always hoped so.”
Shen Si looked, and after a moment he nodded, “I know.”
“Know that you like me.” Shen Si stood up and stood in the small space looking at the stars in the night sky and spoke as if nothing had happened, “The stars are so bright.”
Jian Nian turned his head to look at the sky, “Obviously it was still cloudy and foggy this morning.”
“So, tonight is a very good day, after all, we can see the stars.”
Jian Nian leaned against the glass, “That’s true.”
Can’t get Shen Si’s answer? What a shame.
Shen Si turned his head to look at Jian Nian with a little smile in his eyes, “Hey, Jian Nian, do you remember what we agreed to see the stars together for?”
Why did we agree to see the stars together?
Jian Nian was a little confused and Shen Si looked at him, thinking back to the old days, the dusty memories slowly presented in his mind. When they were teenagers, Shen Si had just lost his parents, and they were snuggled up in a bed, feeling each other’s body heat.
“Let’s go see the stars together later.” Shen Si spoke in the night, “Go to a very high place, on top of a mountain or something.”
Jian Nian nodded in the darkness, “Okay.”
Even though they all knew that Jian Nian’s body wasn’t able to go too high up the mountain at all.
“When we’re done looking at the stars, we agreed to be together forever.” Shen Si said so, closing his eyes. “Never again to be apart.”