Shi Yan took out two letters and showed it to the He Nuo who was looking down at his feet. He Nuo’s face immediately turned pale, and his shoulders began to tremble to show his panic. Shi Yan threw out the words ‘I’ll see you tomorrow’, then left.[email protected]@@@[email protected]@@@@=======
When he heard Shi Yan walk out of his yard, He Nuo stood up to draw the curtains for his window. Then he threw the letters into the carton underneath his bed before he sat at his table to do his homework.
On Sunday, Shi Yan came over after lunch.
“Come back to me!”
He Nuo nodded. Shi Yan drew the curtains and latched the door. But actually, He Nuo’s parents were taking an afternoon nap and his younger brothers weren’t even home. He Nuo said softly, “Every subject gave out a ton of revision papers, they’re impossible to finish. Can we not do?that?before the exam?”
“Okay.” Shi Yan promised readily, yet he pushed He Nuo onto the bed and began to take He Nuo’s pants off.
After he took off his pants, Shi Yan’s movements were a bit fierce as he yanked away He Nuo’s hand that was holding onto his underwear, “Did he fuck your ass?”
He Nuo remained silent, and Shi Yan wasn’t in a hurry to talk either. He overturned him and made him get on his knees, then parted his legs. He knelt down before he went to pull apart his butt cheeks; that place on He Nuo had never been able to adapt to any function aside from excretion, so every time after they did it, even if there were no tears, it would still take three to five days before its swelling would completely recede. Shi Yan saw that it was in good condition right now, then he stuck a finger in. He didn’t care about how He Nuo had raised his head in discomfort and stuck his finger in until it couldn’t go any deeper, then began to wriggle it around his insides.
After he withdrew his finger, Shi Yan pinched He Nuo’s chin and the two lines of dried up traces on his handsome face left behind by silent tears didn’t get any warmth in exchange, “If this happens a second time, I’ll kill you.”
His bloody words made He Nuo cower, and he looked like a trembling rat that had just seen a cat. Shi Yan wiped away the marks on his face, “Focus on your exams first, I won’t pursue it this time.” But the latter part of his words was already spoken in a softer tone as he soothed the person in his embrace.
Shi Yan needed to rush back to his college in the afternoon. The car was waiting for him, so he couldn’t stay behind for long. He only warned He Nuo to keep check of his own actions. Within a week after he returned to college, Shi Yan had sent four letters over, which meant that he began to write one letter per day to He Nuo as soon as he got back to his college, and this lasted until He Nuo didn’t need to attend classes anymore. The content of these letters had his restored care, pampering, inquiries about He Nuo’s well-being and affectionate sentiments. He Nuo would read the letter that was delivered to him the day before every morning before he started his day of studying, then read today’s letter every evening as an end to his day filled with fatigue before falling into a deep slumber peacefully in a good mood. Within this same week, Shi Yan and Qiu Linsong had a big fight over something others deemed to be trivial, and became strangers from then on.
The ghostly seventh month approached. From the 1st to the 6th, students would have to prepare by themselves and wouldn’t need to attend school anymore. Shi Yan returned, but aside from arranging a hotel for He Nuo to study in and have his three meals (he went home to sleep at night), he would just quietly stay by He Nuo’s side without doing anything. He Nuo began his examinations on the 7th, and Shi Yan had gone back to his college because they had to take their final examinations too before their summer vacation.
On the evening of the 9th, Shi Yan called He Nuo. He Nuo sounded quite excited as he told Shi Yan that he felt pretty good. He could still remember what he wrote for his English composition right now, and could even write it down word for word from memory. After a few days, the example answers came out and he still remembered how he had answered the questions. Shi Yan told He Nuo that their holidays formally began on the 17th, but he would finish his exams on the 16th. His family would send a car over to pick him up and he would be able to return then.
When they met on the 17th, He Nuo chose to meet up at the paddy fields outside the East walls of their high school — for them, this was their usual place. Although Shi Yan had sentimental feelings for this place, this was obviously not a good venue for their bodies that had long been separated to connect again. Don’t tell him that they really had to go into the sorghum fields to experience nature’s bed? So when he saw the He Nuo who had already arrived before him, he threw his bike aside and rushed over, “Let’s come here another day. Once I get an air gun, we can come here to hunt the sparrows. Let’s go to the hotel first.”
Shi Yan thought that He Nuo’s younger brothers were at home and it was inconvenient, which was why He Nuo wanted to have fun outside. Shi Yan usually ate at his father’s company’s hostel nowadays, so he didn’t even need to tell his father if he wanted a room there. He just needed to tell his father’s secretary, or the manager in charge of reception in his father’s office and they would arrange everything for him.
“You’re used to going to hotels?”
“?” Shi Yan didn’t manage to pull He Nuo away, and his eyes narrowed because of the overtones in his words, “What do you mean?”
“Do you sign the bill at MO city’s (the name of the city that Shi Yan’s college was situated in) hotels too?”
“Who told you that I went to hotels in MO?”
“Then where did you sleep with her?”
“He1? Who?” Shi Yan could tell that something was unusual.
“The good thing about English is that it has a clear distinction between HE (ta) and SHE(ta), no matter in speech or in writing.” He Nuo’s black eyes were gleaming — needles were hidden in this bed of cotton.
“What do you want to say?” Shi Yan didn’t like this kind of He Nuo.
“Would you like it better if I laid my cards on the table? Then, I’ll lay them down: I’ve said this before, that I would repay you after I wasn’t busy with my exams anymore. Your sympathy and pity for me led you to shower me with so much grace, so the best way I can repay you is to set you free.”
Shi Yan hardly knew what he was listening to. The dizzying pain that made it feel like his lungs were being gouged out invaded his body again, “He Nuo!”
“Shi Yan, I didn’t want to see you again, and I wanted to offer you my repayment in a letter at first. But aside from grace, we also had a little friendship; so before I put an end to all this, I thought that it would be better to talk to you face to face this one last time. No, give me a chance to speak, listen to me first.
I know that we might not be mature enough because of our young age, and we might have confused our feelings with compassion and gratitude — everything that had happened between us was not normal. When you wanted to move us back on track, I should have taken the opportunity to return to the right path as well. I tried. But my exams were imminent, so I didn’t have the extra energy to deal with it. No matter what kind of feelings we had between us, I only knew that when I had let go of your hand at that time, I tried my best and still didn’t manage to keep going on. But this is my last chance, I can’t fail at the stage of the college entrance examination any more.
I only hoped that you could accompany me until the end of my exams, but aside from lies, you would no longer spare a glance at me. We might not be able to discern the feelings we have, but after we’ve known each other for the past few years, we could still more or less understand each other’s personality. I knew that if someone took my hand right after you let it go, you definitely wouldn’t be able to stand it. In that way, you would view me as someone that you didn’t want by your side, but whom you wouldn’t allow anyone else to have either. Especially since that other person was one of your buddies. I owe him an apology too; from the start till the end, all he did was promise to help me accept and send out a few letters, he didn’t know anything else apart from that. Also, he really does treat you as his buddy, which was why he was so enthusiastic. He deserves to be your friend. Please apologise to him on my behalf.
The exams have ended, and even though the results aren’t released yet, I’d like to say that I’ve already thought this through before I went through with it. This chance is the biggest favour you did for me, so I will remember it. In the future, when I am a bit more capable after I graduate, I would be thankful for an opportunity to repay your kindness if there is ever a time when you need me to serve as your dog or horse. As for the next few years, I believe that you won’t think that I’m being so indecent as to shirk or delay my repayment; as a student, my capabilities are limited, so I might not have the chance to repay you for the time being.
The most I can do now is to not interfere with your life, and not be a burden to you because of your compassion to stop you from living a normal life. I’ll give you freedom — in the future, I’ll be going somewhere far, far away from this place, so I believe that it’ll be quite unlikely for us to meet in the future.
Lastly, thank you for your agreement and support for my college entrance examination this time. I would like to be a bit selfish this time, and say that we shall never meet again someday.”