Bian Shengjian forgot to breathe for a moment.
In the dark space where five fingers could not be seen, Bian Shengjian heard Lu Shen’s shallow breathing and felt the soft touch from the top of his head. Everything felt oddly just right, with a warm taste in the air making him calm.
Bian Shengjian suddenly remembered his childhood. When he was about four or five years old. The woman in his memory always liked to gently hold him in her arms and stroked his head, or gently pat him on the back, humming an unnamed melody or nursery rhyme.
She would say, “Sanbao….close your eyes….sleep till dawn…”
He remembered the scent of her hair as it passed over the tip of his nose, and the hand that gently patted his back as it gradually slowed down, and after a long time, she gently pulled away and wanted to leave.
“Mom, where are you going?” Bian Shengjian quickly turned over when the hand patting his back stopped, and grabbed one of her thumbs tightly. “Don’t go!”
“Ok, Mom won’t go.” The woman was stunned and could only lie down helplessly again. She stretched out her hand and put him back into her arms. “But Sanbao is all grown up now. Don’t you want to learn to sleep by yourself?”
“…Okay.” Bian Shengjian pouted, “but Mom can’t go tonight.”
“Okay, Mom won’t leave tonight.”
The woman patted him on the back again. With her gentle patting, Bian Shengjian gradually closed his eyes. As he held onto her thumb tightly, he slowly fell asleep.
This gradually became Bian Shengjian’s sleeping habit, and he often would grip the corner of the quilt in his hand, like holding onto someone and was afraid of letting that someone sneak away while he was asleep.
Even though knowing that after he woke up from the dream, that person would never come back.
Bian Shengjian didn’t speak or move, he closed his eyes and felt tears slide down to his cold hands and in between his fingers.
Lu Shen withdrew his hand but still looked at him in a leaning posture. According to his past, this posture would bring a strong sense of oppression and discomfort to Bian Shengjian, but at this moment, he felt that his whole body was relaxed. As if the heavy object weighing and pressing on his chest for a long time had gently melted away. Shengjian felt so comfortable that he could barely open his eyes.
“Go to sleep.” Lu Shen said softly.
Bian Shengjian felt that his whole body seemed to be wrapped in clouds. His breathing slowed down and he finally fell asleep into the night with no dreams.
The next morning, Bian Shengjian was gently nudged awake by Lu Shen because he slept so deeply that he didn’t even hear the alarm clock even though it was set to its loudest. Bian Shengjian leaned against the head of the bed for two seconds before his eyes widened suddenly, looking like he’d seen a ghost. “…Ah!”
Standing at the foot of the bed, Lu Shen was pushing one leg into his trousers and was startled by Bian Shengjian’s shout. “What’s the matter?”
“You…” Bian Shengjian looked at him with a complicated expression. “What the hell did you do to me last night?!”
“I didn’t do anything.” Lu Shen put on his trousers and raised his arms about to take off his shirt, when he suddenly thought of something and then hooked the corner of his lips, “Ah I remember, you mean when I coaxed you to sleep? Want me to do it again?”
“You!” Bian Shengjian punched a pillow near him without even thinking about it. Now that he recalled the scene that happened last night, his scalp throbbed. Feeling like a child who had seen a secret and became angry. “Damn you, what do you mean by ‘do it again?’”
“Then don’t mention it.” Lu Shen raised his eyebrows.
Having said that, Bian Shengjian’s mood was still complicated after he calmed down. After all, it was embarrassing to cry and be seen by someone. Moreover, although Lu Shen’s tone sounded casual, Bian Shengjian still keenly sensed a bit of worry in it, as if there was something Lu Shen wanted to ask him, but was holding back.
This kind of unreasonable concern makes Bian Shengjian’s nose feel a little sour. It seemed that it was really not good to be alone for too long, that even his brain was full of water.
Bian Shengjian jumped off the bed silently and planned to go to the bathroom to wash up, but when he glanced at Lu Shen’s bare upper body from the corner of his eye, he was suddenly a little stunned – there was a large scar on his shoulder near the chest. Its surface was sunken, slightly red, and looked very eye-catching.
“Your scar,” Bian Shengjian frowned, “How did you get it?”
“This,” Lu Shen glanced down and put on his clothes, “I was in a car accident when I was a child and almost died.”
Bian Shengjian stared at his chest again, the scar was really close to his heart, and he thought of the longevity lock hanging on his neck, and his tone unwittingly slowed down. “If one survives from a great catastrophe, there will surely be future fortunes.”
“If one survives from a great catastrophe, there will surely be future fortunes.” Lu Shen repeated the sentence and smiled to himself. “Yes, it is better to live than to die.”
Bian Shengjian didn’t ask any more questions, he just pulled his clothes off their hangers and changed into them. But he had to admit that Lu Shen’s figure was really good. Although he looked a little thin on the surface, he had defined muscles when he took off his clothes. Overall, it looked just right and strong, which was quite in line with his aesthetic.
Wait, it’s none of my business whether he’s in good shape or not?
Bian Shengjian quickly retracted his thoughts about this aspect. After putting on his clothes, he glanced at his mobile phone. Fortunately, it was still early, he could still go downstairs for breakfast and get back to school in time.
“Is it all right that you didn’t go back last night?” Bian Shengjian simply washed his face and came out still dripping with water. “I haven’t seen any dormitory inspectors check every room.”
“It’s alright, just don’t be late for class.” Lu Shen put on his shoes and stood up, and when he was about to open the door and walk out, Bian Shengjian stopped him. “Wait a minute.”
“Let’s add each other on WeChat.” Bian Shengjian said, and poked open the app. “In the future, just send me a message if you have something to say, don’t throw me ripped pages with notes on them in class.”
“Okay.” Lu Shen was stunned and opened the QR code. “But I don’t usually play..”
“It’s okay.” Bian Shengjian sent a verification message, “Hurry up.”
After adding him as a friend, Shengjian took a look at Lu Shen’s circle of friends. He found that this person was really low-key. Not only was the circle of friends blank, the only thing he could see on the screen was pure white. Only the nickname was marked with a simple period. Bian Shengjian admired him for a bit, coming from someone who thought they themself were already very low-key. “Do you think that you are a ruthless killer like this?”
“Huh?” Lu Shen looked at him.
“I mean online.” Bian Shengjian pointed to the screen, “It’s blank, what does this mean?”
“How can I compare to you?” Lu Shen smiled and clicked into Bian Shengtong’s recent circle of friends and liked it, “The skiing photos are good.”
“It was from last year.” Bian Shengjian snorted and put his phone back inside his pocket. “What would you like to eat for breakfast?”
“There is a steamed bun shop downstairs. Let’s stick to the principle of buying from the closest store.” Lu Shen said.
Shengjian thought about it for a while on the way back to school after eating breakfast, and then took out his mobile phone and quickly typed a line under Lu Shen’s WeChat name.
Lu Chengfu (eight feet deep)
(t/n Chengfu – shrewdness, subtlety)
“What are you laughing at?” Lu Shen looked at Bian Shengjian with some inexplicable hesitation as he noticed him laughing twice.
“Nothing.” Bian Shengjian smiled, leaned against the window, and added lazily, “Just remembered a funny thing.”
It was just about time when they arrived at school, but because there was still some distance from the school gate to the classroom, Bian Shengjian and Lu Shen trotted all the way which took them some time. As the bell rang, they bumped into Lao Tan as they were climbing up the stairs.
“Shengjian,” Lao Tan adjusted his glasses and looked at him. “Why are you still outside?”
“Woke up late in the morning.” Bian Shengjian coughed.
“Then go quickly.” Lao Tan reached out and patted him on the shoulder. “This is Teacher Chen’s class, don’t make her angry anymore.”
Bian Shengjian looked at Lao Tan and suddenly felt suffocated. He didn’t want to guess what kind of expression Chen Li would greet him when he arrived at the door of the classroom.
“Thank You, Mr. Cai.” Bian Shengjian quickly walked up the stairs after speaking. Lu Shen followed him and couldn’t help laughing. “Tragic.”
“How come Lao Tan didn’t say anything to you?” Bian Shengjian gave him a sidelong glance, “Lu Shen, is your existence a little too weak?”
“Guess so.” Lu Shen smiled and shrugged.
Sure enough, when Bian Shengjian ran to the back door of the classroom, he saw a thin figure standing at the podium. She hadn’t given any lectures or anything and just stood there with determination. The expression on her face was a little unhappy and at first glance, she looked like she was waiting for someone.
“Report.” Bian Shengjian reached out and knocked on the door.
“Ah, look who’s here?” When Chen Li raised her head, the dark clouds on her face seemed to have darkened more. Bian Shengjian admired how she could pull her originally small face into like that of a horse’s when she’s angry. “Student Shengjian, is it fun to be late?”
Bian Shengjian held his breath and looked at her quietly, reciting the words Lao Tan told him three times in his heart.
“Take the book and go stand outside the classroom.” Fortunately, Mrs. Chen didn’t go too far today. After staring at him for a while, she looked away and started her lecture. “Open your textbook to page 93, today we will talk about…”
Bian Shengjian was relieved when she only ordered him to go out. He went around his seat to find the book and planned to walk out through the back door. Anyway, he would feel more comfortable outside than being tortured while sitting in the classroom.
“Brother Jian!” Zhou Li covered his face with the book and called him while turning his head, taking advantage of Chen Li turning to write on the blackboard. “What happened yesterday… I’m sorry, I drank too much.”
“It’s okay.” Bian Shengjian’s movements slightly paused, “Focus on class.”
Zhou Li bit his lip and wanted to say something, but Bian Shengjian saw that Chen Li had finished writing on the blackboard, so he casually picked up the book and continued to walk out.
“Ai.” Zhou Li looked at his back and sighed.
Bian Shengjian didn’t look down on the railing. After a while, he looked up at the sky, used his thumbs and ring fingers of both hands to make a frame, and then moved it closer to his eyes and continued to look above.
Although it was a very boring little trick, Bian Shengjian himself had to admit that he was very childish at times. Through the frame made by his hands, he saw a rabbit-shaped cloud floating in the sky, and a sparrow flying beside it.
Looking at another angle, the bougainvillea on the opposite building was really blooming well, but the flowers on the middle floor looked like they had been bitten off by someone.
Bian Shengjian was raising his arms to observe the surroundings with relish, when suddenly a laugh came from behind him. “Third brother, you look like you are in good spirits.”
He instantly dropped his hands and quickly turned around. He saw Lu Shen looking at him with a suppressed smile. “Go on.”
“What ‘go on.’” Bian Shengjian was a little speechless, but upon gazing at him, he suddenly remembered that Lu Shen was also standing beside him when he greeted Chen Li at the door of the classroom. However, she just ignored Lu Shen and only admonished Bian Shengjian. The more he thought about it, the more unhappy he became. “Fuck! Lu Shen, what kind of evil magic do you have? Why can’t anyone notice you?”
“I was only born with a low sense of existence.” Lu Shen smiled, “What about the penalty of standing outside the classroom? Let’s just do it together.”
“You have a low sense of existence?” Bian Shengjian fanned the book in his hand, “You are not that ugly.”
“Are you complimenting me?” Lu Shen raised his eyebrows, then he raised his hand and touched his face. “Okay, then I’ll just treat it as you complimenting me in disguise.”
“.. Really shameless.” Bian Shengjian turned around speechlessly, and because of boredom, took out his mobile phone to read the group chat, and found that people were animatedly discussing how to celebrate the upcoming Mid-Autumn Festival.
Mid-Autumn Festival? Bian Shengjian was suddenly a little stunned.
He had just realized that he’d be spending the Mid-Autumn Festival alone outside. Although it doesn’t really matter if he doesn’t celebrate it, it’s just that he was in a new environment. When that day comes, everyone around might go home for their reunion dinner. No matter how he sees it, he’ll surely be a little lonely.
But even at home now, who would accompany him to a reunion dinner?
….Since that time, he no longer celebrated this kind of festivity.
Noticing Bian Shengjian’s sudden dejection, Lu Shen couldn’t help but ask, “What’s wrong?”
“Nothing.” Bian Shengjian returned to normal when he raised his head and leaned back on the windowsill. “Revisiting some old memories.”
Lu Shen was a little hesitant to speak, but the bell rang just in time for the end of the first period and was accompanied by a figure rushing out from the back door of the classroom.
“Shit, what’s wrong!” Bian Shengjian was taken aback by Zhou Li running like a madman. “Did you take some drugs?”
“I’m sorry.” Zhou Li walked up to him and bowed righteously. “It’s all my fault. Please don’t take yesterday’s words to heart.”
“No, hey, don’t do this.” Bian Shengjian frowned and supported his shoulder to stand straight again, “I don’t mind, really.”
“Really?” Zhou Li’s eyes were a little red when he raised his head. “I was very afraid. I was afraid you would ignore me because of this.”
“No, are you a fucking girl? Why are you crying?” Bian Shengjian couldn’t stand someone wiping their tears in front of him, it didn’t matter if it was a man or a woman. He quickly squeezed Zhou Li’s shoulder a few times. “What’s the matter, do you want me to comfort you, Uncle Zhou?”
“You don’t need to comfort me, it’s fine as long as you are not angry.” Zhou Li rubbed his nose a little embarrassedly. ” Actually, I’m a really emotional person, and sometimes when I get too emotional….”
Bian Shengjian wanted to cut him off, but before he could do so, the phone in his pocket started to vibrate a few times. He took it out to look, only to find out that Li Fei and the others were going to travel a thousand miles just to accompany him for the holiday, and to let him hurry up and prepare a little welcome for their big visit.
He simply hooked the corner of his mouth and replied back. When he exited the app, his fingertips accidentally rubbed the pop-up memo on the side of the screen, and a line of reminder popped up.
35 days left until mom’s death anniversary.