He turned on the faucet and rinsed his wrists, then squeezed a big lump of hand sanitizer into the bruise, rubbed it repeatedly many times, rinsed it off against the faucet, and then squeezed some more, all while wondering what would Yang Xuan do with the picture.
If it was for the class, then it would be nothing – thanks to Zhou Lin, he had long since become immune to other people’s accusations, and had never held any high expectations for the so-called classmate camaraderie. When one thought about it this way, it didn’t seem like there was anything to be afraid of.
Tang Junhe once again rinsed his hands against the stream of water, pulled the door open and walked to the living room, picked up the fruit plate Tang Xiaonian had cut up for him, and sat in the corner of the couch to eat.
“Eat more pears, don’t you like them?” said Tang Xiaonian beside him, “To clear the heat, don’t just eat the mangoes and strawberries, eat them all-“
As soon as she said that, the door opened and Yang Xuan pushed his way in.
Yang Chengchuan looked back and said, “You still know how to come back huh.”
Tang Xiaonian’s expression was unnatural for a moment, then she smiled and greeted Yang Xuan, “Xiao Xuan is back? Do you want to eat fruit?”
Yang Xuan paid no attention to anyone and went back to his own room.
Tang Xiaonian continued what she just said: “Pick and choose, I told you to eat more pears ……”
As soon as he entered the room, the phone dinged – a sound of a text message.
Yang Xuan sat on the bed and touched his phone, listening to the incessant chatter of Tang Xiaonian in the living room, getting annoyed inside.
The text message was sent by Feng Bo: “Brother Xuan, are you home yet?”
“Arrived.” Yang Xuan replied. After the text message was sent, he saw a string of unfamiliar numbers below the dialog box to Feng Bo, and the line displayed below was not the one he had sent.
—it was sent by Tang Junhe, he thought quickly. He lent the phone to Yin Cong during the night, and Yin Cong gave it to Tang Junhe.
The message was “Mom, a classmate had a birthday, so I went out to dinner with the whole class and will be coming home later.”
Why are you so honest? The reason, the result and even the persons involved are all here – it’s really straightforward enough. Yang Xuan recalled the scene where Tang Xiaonian rubbed cream on Tang Junhe and scoffed internally.
He didn’t know why he’d stepped back an hour ago to see if something was going to happen to his half-brother. Perhaps Tang Junhe and Tang Xiaonian aren’t any different; maybe Tang Junhe is Tang Xiaonian’s sidekick and appendage after all.
That he was also an accomplice to her evil deeds.
This night, Tang Junhe had trouble sleeping.
He couldn’t help but feel nauseous at the thought of that thing that Zhou Lin had against his leg. Why did Zhou Lin have such desire for him? Is this …… lust? Does he look like a woman to him?
Tang Junhe tossed and turned until midnight, shuffling to the bathroom in his slippers. He looked carefully at his face in the mirror. ‘Do I look like a girl? But a girl wouldn’t have an Adam’s apple, and a girl wouldn’t grow so tall, and a girl has breasts, right? He looked down at his chest, which was flat as a boardand wanted to shout. ‘Where exactly does he look like a woman?!’
He scratched his hair, maybe he should go shave his head?
But Tang Xiaonian would start asking again, and it would drive her crazy once more. He was the person Tang Xiaonian liked best, whether it be looks, height or studies. Which one of those would she go crazy over if it was ruined, Tang Junhe thought with a bit of a headache.
He couldn’t think of any perfect solution, so he could only pull open the bathroom door and return to his room, but before he could take two steps, he stopped in his tracks – the door to Yang Xuan’s room was open.
The door, which was always closed, was now wide open, and he could see Yang Xuan standing in front of the open window, letting in a cold breeze. There was no moon tonight, so the room was dark, and only the faintest glimpse of his back could be seen as he leaned against the window.
He smelled like cigarettes. Yang Xuan was smoking.
Tang Junhe didn’t know why he had stopped, but he stood quietly looking at that back as if he saw himself.
As if Yang Xuan sensed the gaze that landed on his back, he suddenly turned around and leaned against the window sill, looking at Tang Junhe as well.
They stared at each other for a moment, then Yang Xuan twisted out his cigarette and walked over to him.
Tang Junhe felt a sudden burst of tension, but he seemed unable to move his feet, and could only stand still, waiting for Yang Xuan to approach step by step.
“What are you looking at?” Yang Xuan walked up to him and looked at him to ask. His voice was low and sounded a little hoarse.
Tang Junhe said, “Looking at you.”
Yang Xuan leaned closer to look into his eyes, “You’re not sleepwalking, are you?”
Tang Junhe smelled the tobacco on his nose – oddly enough, he didn’t find it unpleasant anymore, but rather felt that it was kind of nice. Yang Xuan was too close to him, and he tilted his face a little uncomfortably, “No, I’m awake.”
Yang Xuan reached out and brought his chin over so he could get him to look at him, “Guess what I’m thinking?”
Tang Junhe did not resist, he looked at Yang Xuan silently.
“I was wondering,” said Yang Xuan, “how your mother would react if she saw the picture I took tonight.”
Tang Junhe’s heart was pounding erratically, heavily, tensely, as he tried his best to act calm – which he happened to be good at – “How do you expect her to react?”
“I hope,” Yang Xuan’s tone sounded calm and cruel, “that like my mother, that woman becomes insane and in deep pain to the point that she decides to kill herself.”
*sigh*…Yang Xuan, why do you have to say it like that?