He might look better squinting, Yang Xuan thought as he sized him up.
“Just kidding.” Yang Xuan laughed again, this time the corners of his mouth tugging up a little wider. The clenched fist still remained closed, like it was in a state of exasperation, and even the gasp that had just been clearly audible in the air was gone.
Not a boyfriend, it seems, thought Yang Xuan.
The elevator went up quickly, the door opened again, and Yang Xuan stepped out first. Tang Junhe followed him, quietly loosening his fist.
He smelled Yang Xuan’s body odor and recognized that he hadn’t smoked today – the nice smell coming from Yang Xuan had nothing to do with his cigarette brand, Tang Junhe thought, quietly discarding his intention to buy the same kind of cigarettes.
It was only when he walked behind Yang Xuan that he dared to lift his gaze openly and look at Yang Xuan’s back.
Not being able to look directly wasn’t because of fear, it was because of a guilty conscience. Ever since that dream, he had dreamed of Yang Xuan more than once, and every Friday when Zhou Lin came to follow him, he would invariably dream of Yang Xuan that night. He dreamed of Yang Xuan pushing him up against a wall, trapping him with something hard against his bottom, his hot, cigarette-like breath on his face. In the dream, he squinted as his eyes were sprayed with white smoke from the fumes he was receiving from Yang Xuan’s face.
From the initial panic to becoming accustomed to it, in the dream he also went through the process of trying to break free as hard as he could but resigned himself to his fate in the end.
He was in the throes of a raging adolescence and was completely unable to restrain this dream and its aftermath over and over again.
Maybe I really am the same person as Zhou Lin…… Every time he woke up from his dream, Tang Junhe would stare at the darkness in front of him and think so.
One weekday evening at the beginning of May, Yang Chengchuan suddenly made an important announcement at the dinner table, “That Zhou Lin I mentioned last time, I sent someone to their school to check it out, and they did find out something, so I guess next week, the school over there will have him leave.”
“Find out what?” Tang Xiaonian stopped her chopsticks and asked him.
“A number of parents’ complaints.” Yang Chengchuan was concerned about his youngest son at the dinner table, afraid that this information would cast a shadow on his heart, so he spoke somewhat cryptically.
Unexpectedly Tang Junhe suddenly took the initiative to look up at him and talk to him, “Did you find out that he assaulted another little boy?”
Yang Chengchuan did not expect him to speak so bluntly, and was somewhat stunned for a moment, before settling down after two seconds and saying, “It’s not that serious, my guess is that this person has a thief’s heart but no guts, and once a parent complains, for fear of losing his job, he will quickly stop. As for the school, because he has a relative in the Department of Education, they always want to put the matter to rest; there is no direct evidence after all ……”
“Maybe he’s had his way,” said Tang Junhe, taking the rare initiative to speak to Yang Chengchuan, “and as long as those boys are afraid to tell their parents, he’ll be brave enough to try and do something first, followed by aggression.”
Yang Chengchuan didn’t expect his youngest son to speak in such a rhetorical way, and it took a few seconds before he could say, “That’s not good either, but it’s not easy to investigate things without evidence. Besides, it’s been so many years, and both complaints happened before you, after your mother visited the school, I haven’t seen any parents complaining at the school since then.”
“After all these years, are those complaints still valid?” Tang Xiaonian was more concerned about being able to make Zhou Lin lose his job.
“That’s no problem,” Yang Chengchuan was very confident, “As long as we find the leverage, we can get the school to sack him, I’ve also sent people from the police station to contact him as well, but there’s no result, and there is not much hope of a successful conviction. After sacking him, we can then cancel his teaching qualification, so that he won’t be able to become a teacher after that, and it will be considered a little lesson for him.”
“Mm,” echoed Tang Xiaonian, “Why is this kind of scum still a teacher.”
Tang Junhe hung his eyes and said, “Thank you.”
Yang Chengchuan had gotten used to him being so outspoken and looked at him and said, “Since you’ve changed schools, there shouldn’t be anything to worry about in the future, and that person won’t know that you had anything to do with his dismissal. If there are any more problems in the future, feel free to talk to me, don’t hide it and don’t be so formal with me.”
After a pause, Yang Chengchuan added, “I’m Yang Xuan’s father and your father as well, I have no bias towards you two brothers. The same goes for you, whether you want to admit it or not, you were born to me, and legally you are also my son, this relationship exists genetically, and legally it cannot be denied, don’t you agree?”
Tang Junhe’s eyes flickered and he pursed his lips.
Yang Chengchuan simply opened up on this matter: “With Yang Xuan too, no matter how your relationship is now, he is your older brother and you are his younger brother, there is no way this relationship can be changed, and there is no stronger bond than this blood relationship. He is not sensible, so I’ll keep doing my duties for him, you are more sensible than him, so don’t be like him.”
Yang Chengchuan’s words could be said to be heartfelt, but all he got in return was an understated “Mm” from Tang Junhe.