“Go ahead and ask.” Tang Junhe said.
Yang Xuan didn’t refuse. He then asked, “You didn’t tell Yang Chengchuan either?”
“No.” said Tang Junhe, pinching his fingers, “there is nothing to tell him.” Seeing that Yang Xuan did not speak, he hesitantly added, “I mean, he is your father…”
Before he could finish, he was interrupted by Yang Xuan: “He is also your father.”
“He’s not!” Tang Junhe lowered his head and said the exact same words as when he was a child, “I don’t have a father, I only have a mother, and her name is Tang Xiaonian.” His voice got lower and lower, and when he got to the last few words, it was almost covered by the sound of the air conditioning cooling and the cicadas outside.
“Don’t be childish,” Yang Xuan snorted, “it’s not up to you.”
“Maybe…” Tang Junhe’s voice was still low, “But I don’t want to rob you, believe it or not, I don’t think about stealing anything from you.”
“So you’d rather be a murderer?” Yang Xuan turned around and leaned on the windowsill, looking at him. His brow knitted again and his gaze bubbled with the same ruthlessness as when he fought.
“I won’t. He deserves to die,” Tang Junhe retorted in a whisper as though he was convincing himself rather than speaking to Yang Xuan, “He has not only tried to violate me, he has also tried to violate so many people. That’s the kind of person he is, letting him live will only bring trouble… Besides, no one will know. I went there many times to see, no one passed by there. After killing him I will stab myself, no one will know who stabbed who first, and he left marks on me, you see…” He turned the bruises on his left wrist toward Yang Xuan, “others will only think that I was defending myself, and I’m a minor, even if it is excessive, it will be a light sentence…” He memorized the law on self-defense, and at the moment, he was in a hurry to explain to Yang Xuan.
“Even if you succeed,” Yang Xuan stared at him with a grim gaze, “You’re still a murderer who hasn’t been found out.”
Tang Junhe was silent for a long time before he opened his mouth and said softly in a deflated voice, “Then what else can I do?”
“Furthermore, you said no one would find out?” Yang Xuan still stared at him, “Didn’t I find out? If I record the scene of you killing him on my cell phone and give it to the police, this elaborate self-defense rhetoric you made up won’t work.”
“You won’t.” Tang Junhe suddenly looked up at him.
Yang Xuan turned his face away from the burning gaze and snickered, “There’s nothing I wouldn’t do that would make your mother crazy.”
“You won’t.” Tang Junhe stubbornly repeated.
Yang Xuan felt the irritation that had barely subsided suddenly shot up again. His half-brother, who almost became a murderer an hour ago, is now looking at him with a look of innocence and trust to say “you won’t.”
Do you know how ridiculous you look? Do you know that we are no longer the same as when we were kids? Do you know how much I loathe the two of you, mother and child? Do you know how many times I’ve thought in my head about destroying your life and giving your mother a taste of insanity?
Seeing that Yang Xuan did not speak, Tang Junhe bit his lip and asked, “Do you regret it?”
“Regret what?” Yang Xuan glanced at him.
“Regret stopping me.”
“Why do you ask that?”
“I think you might regret it,” Tang Junhe kneaded the bruised area of his wrist nervously, seemingly unable to perceive any pain at all and after a pause he added, “but it’s useless for you to regret it, you still stopped me. One cannot control how one reacts out of instinct in a given situation. “
Yang Xuan listened to him speaking slowly like reciting lines. In other words, he had no reaction, and only after a while did he let out a meaningful laugh.
“Let’s go.” Yang Xuan finished. He then bent down and picked up the knife on the table and folded it up and put it in his pocket. He walked toward the door and took the card out of the room and held it in his hand.
He left abruptly, without any intention to discuss with Tang Junhe.
Tang Junhe took the school uniform off the bed, hugged it in his arms, and followed Yang Xuan who was walking in front of him. He thought he should no longer need to wear this non-breathable fall and winter school uniform, he was not afraid of the heat, nor was he afraid of not fitting in, but taking it off still made him feel relieved.
Maybe there is something else to fight for, thought Tang Junhe. He cannot wait for Yang Xuan to take the initiative to ease relations with him because Yang Xuan won’t do it, so perhaps he should take the initiative instead. Pride is a ridiculous thing anyway! He had a hunch that if he didn’t fight for something now, Yang Xuan wouldn’t care about him anymore.
“Can I have that knife back?” Entering the elevator, Tang Junhe asked as he made a draft in his mind.
Yang Xuan looked at him for a moment before saying, “What, are you still going to continue?”
“Just to defend myself,” Tang Junhe explained calmly, “he may come again.”
Yang Xuan did not move much, but said faintly, “Talk to Yang Chengchuan, let him find a driver to pick you up.”
“I told you, those are your things.” Tang Junhe’s hand gripped the school uniform in his arms and struggled to find an excuse.
“So what do you want to do?” Yang Xuan turned the room card in his hand and asked inadvertently.
“Maybe we can go home together,” said Tang Junhe “He looks scared of you.”
“Don’t want to use my stuff…“ Yang Xuan deliberately paused for a moment, looking at him with interest, “but not afraid to trouble me?”
Tang Junhe felt that his mind had been read, but he tried to act less revealing and did his best to look back at him frankly: “That’s different.”
His hair, which had just been washed, had not yet dried, and a few locks of forehead hair were sticking up, revealing the corners of his bare forehead — which had a small, faint scar on it. The size of a small fingernail cap, the light color indicates its age.
That’s the scar from the childhood bump that Yang Xuan recognized. There were always these marks to remind him of how close they had been.
“It depends on my mood.” The elevator descended to the first floor and the doors opened. Yang Xuan took his eyes off the scar and walked out of the elevator.
Tang Junhe knew he had gotten his way, and he followed Yang Xuan out and watched him check out his room card at the front desk.
His lips moved slightly, no one noticed that he was behind Yang Xuan and in his own heart, silently called out “gege“.