Even though the traffic was very heavy, they were fortunate enough to make it for their flight.
Chen Qianqing was starting to get a little tired after sitting for a car for several hours, so he immediately fell asleep as soon as he got on the airplane. It was not until they had reached their destination was he called awake by Lu Zhengfei.
Lu Zhengfei said: “Qianqing, wake up, we’re here.”
Chen Qianqing yawned and slowly started to undo his seatbelt before heading off with Lu Zhengfei to get their luggage.
Lu Zhengfei had many bags of gifts checked in for Chen Qianqing’s mother, but he himself only had a bag full of necessities for his own use; though, he still seemed to be in a pit of difficulty trying to hold all the gifts.
Chen Qianqing pretended not to have seen the pitiful position Lu Zhengfei was in. Back then, Lu Zhengfei had never provided him such good treatment; compared to the beaming smile he received from Liu Huamei now, all she gave him in the past was two simple words: ‘Get out’.
Liu Huamei had wanted to pick Chen Qianqing up at the airport, but Chen Qianqing rejected her offer; so, they could only hail their own cab now outside of the airport.
It was the National Day holidays, so the place was spilling with people. It took much difficulty for both Lu Zhengfei and Chen Qianqing to hail a cab, and when they did, it was nearly twelve o’clock at night.
The only thing they could be happy about was the fact that a drizzle had started to fall as soon as they entered the car.
After they got on, Lu Zhengfei and Chen Qianqing started some small talk to pass the time. All they talked about were unimportant matters such as the weather and what not; the two of them had silently avoided bringing up certain topics.
By twelve, Chen Qianqing finally reached home.
After getting down from the car, he took the lead while Lu Zhengfei struggled behind him with his big pile of gifts. Though he kept a straight face, one could vaguely see a look of unease within his eyes; he looked just like a silly little fool who was here to visit the in-laws.
Liu Huamei rushed over when she heard the doorbell ring: “You’ve finally arrived, and here I was wondering if you were caught in the traffic.”
While taking his shoes off, Chen Qianqing said: “Traffic was a little heavy on our way here, but it’s not as bad right now.”
With Chen Qianqing bending down, Liu Huamei finally noticed Lu Zhengfei who was standing right behind him. She quickly said: “Goodness, you should’ve let Xiao Lu come in first if you’ve brought him, but you’re just occupied with your own shoes. Come come, come in, you can use these slippers.”
Lu Zhengfei gave her a sweet smile: “Thank you auntie.”
Liu Huamei’s eyes narrowed in joy. In her heart, she was probably thinking: ‘my, what a good-mannered child this is.’
Chen Qianqing ignored her. He was just unhappy to let Lu Zhengfei have his way right now. The more Liu Huamei liked Lu Zhengfei, the more displeased he was——And within that displeasure were his dissatisfactions of having to receive the rough treatment back then while this guy got a welcoming smile.
Lu Zhengfei changed into the slippers and brough the pile of gifts inside.
As soon as she saw the things Lu Zhengfei had brought in, Liu Huamei started again: “You could have just come, no need for all the gifts. I haven’t even gotten to thank you yet for helping Qianqing when his leg was broken.”
Lu Zhengfei’s harmless smile was still hanging high on his face: “It’s just a small show of my sincerity, auntie, please, if you really accept me as Qianqing’s friend, I hope you can accept these as well.”
There was no way a middle-aged lady would not enjoy the sweet-talk of a young man; when Liu Huamei was speaking to Lu Zhengfei, the smile on her face was so big that her eyes were on the brink of disappearing. She was even close to forgetting that her son was right there.
Seeing that Lu Zhengfei and Liu Huamei would not be stopping anytime soon, he started up softly: “Mom, I’m hungry.”
Hearing this, Liu Huamei quickly responded: “Oh dear me, I’ve completely forgotten that the two of you haven’t taken your dinner yet. Wait here, I made some food but they’ve probably gone cold, I’ll heat them up for you.” Saying this, she rushed straight into the kitchen.
Seeing Liu Huamei go, Lu Zhengfei whispered: “Qianqing, look how much your mom likes me.”
Chen Qianqing threw a resenting look at Lu Zhengfei: “Why don’t you pursue her then?”
Lu Zhengfei: “……”
Chen Qianqing had not been very spirited since he got on the plane. He began to think that he might have gotten tired, but thinking about it, he realized he was actually just airsick——But back then, the original Chen Qianqing had never told him about having such an issue.
Without communication, many things have already been doomed to a tragic end from the very beginning.
Since Chen Qianqing was not feeling too well, he did not really feel like talking, and Lu Zhengfei was not going to bother him either. The watched the dull advertisements playing on the television silently, but things between them did not seem awkward at all.
This was the scene Liu Huamei saw when she came out from having heated up their food.
Her son was sitting on the sofa with one hand holding up his chin, watching the television with a cold face. Meanwhile, Lu Zhengfei was sitting right beside Chen Qianqing, with his eyes on the man; that gaze was filled with such gentleness that it stunned Liu Huamei for a moment. But in the next second, Lu Zhengfei’s eyes moved away. It felt almost as if that had just been an illusion. She did not know why, but for a moment, Liu Huamei had the feeling that something was very wrong.
But that feeling was just fleeting. Liu Huamei quickly regained her senses and called out to them: “Food is ready, come eat.”
Both Chen Qianqing and Lu Zhengfei got up together to head towards the dining area.
“Qianqing, why don’t you eat more? Is the food not to your taste?” Liu Huamei picked up a piece of fish and brought it to Chen Qianqing’s bowl: “Here, this is the stewed carp i made just for you, give it a try.”
The piece Liu Huamei had picked for Chen Qianqing was from the tender flesh of the fish’s belly. Chen Qianqing hummed his okay and put the fish into his mouth.
“Xiao Lu.” Liu Huamei turned over: “Try this milk fritter, this is one my best snacks, and it’s always been a favourite of our Qianqing’s.”
Lu Zhengfei received Liu Huamei’s kindness with a smile.
Chen Qianqing’s speed of eating slowed down even more. He had already been of ill appetite, but hearing what Liu Huamei said made it feel even harder for him to swallow down his food. He had originally thought that the him of the past who had done so much wrong must have done something that was worth being proud of, and it was the love he had for Chen Qianqing. However……He realized now when he looked at Liu Huamei’s kind smile that even his love, had been nothing.
He did not know the criticisms Chen Qianqing had to suffer, the bullying he endured, his airsickness, and even his favourite snacks……
“Qianqing, what’s wrong?” Liu Huamei put her hand on Chen Qianqing’s forehead to check his temperature: “You don’t look very good.”
Chen Qianqing responded:”It’s nothing, I’m just tired.”
Liu Huamei: “Then you should finish your meal quickly. I’ve already changed the bedsheets. Xiao Lu, would you like to sleep in the guestroom or with Qianqing?”
Lu Zhengfei responded instantly: “I’ll just bunk with Qianqing!”
Chen Qianqing: “……”
Liu Huamei chuckled: “Alright, I’ll bring another blanket for you in a bit.”
Lu Zhengfei smiled with pleasure, but to Chen Qianqing, that smile was exceptionally disgusting. He even felt the urge to bash Lu Zhengfei’s head in when he saw it.
Liu Huamei spoke: “Qianqing, you should take a shower when you’re done. You must be tired after your flight, so you should rest early tonight.”
Chen Qianqing agreed and headed off to his room to find a change of clothes.
To be frank, this was not the first time Chen Qianqing had come to this house; but this was the first time he had been welcomed here. When he remembered the look of hate and resentment in Liu Huamei’s eyes, and the loving smile she had now, Chen Qianqing could only sigh.
Since Chen Qianqing had not been living here for a very long time, there were not many clothes in his wardrobe. When Chen Qianqing found his pajamas, he was stunned for a moment.
He could not be any more familiar with this pair of pajamas. This was the very pair that the original Chen Qianqing had worn the first time the two shared a bed. He had yet to put a hand on Chen Qianqing at that time, so you could even say they were the best of brothers back then.
Wearing that very pair of pajamas, Chen Qianqing layed in bed with him and the two started to talk. They talked about many, many things, until the two of them finally fell asleep.
After hesitating for a long time, Chen Qianqing still decided against taking that pair of pajamas. He buried his face into them and took a deep breath before tidying them up, and putting them back into the wardrobe. He picked up a different set and entered the bathroom.
Warm water poured down onto his head, numbing those feelings he had within his heart. Chen Qianqing washed up for over forty minutes, and did not come out until Liu Huamei came to knock and ask why he was taking so long. He wiped the water off his body and stepped out.
Chen Qianqing picked up a dry towel and walked towards his room while he dried his hair.
Then, just as he had pushed open the door softly, he was shocked still by what he saw.
Lu Zhengfei was sitting on his bed——But that was not the main point. The main point was, he was holding the pair of pajamas Chen Qianqing had just returned to the wardrobe with piety, and he was burying his face in them in intoxication.
Chen Qianqing:”……………………..” History always seems to repeat itself with shocking similarity.
Lu Zhengfei heard the sound of the door and saw Chen Qianqing just as he raised his head. There was a thread of unease in his expression, but it quickly returned to normal. With a serious face, he said to Chen Qianqing: “Qianqing, you’re done?
Chen Qianqing: ”……Mm.”
Lu ZhengfeI “Then I’ll go and shower, can I wear these?” Saying that, he seized the clothes into his embrace.
Chen Qianqing: “No.”
Lu Zhengfei felt that Chen Qianqing’s expression was slightly weird, but thinking back to how Chen Qianqing had just seen what an idiot he had just been, he figured that perhaps Chen Qianqing was displeased. And so, he asked: “……Why?”
Chen Qianqing: “I like that pair of pajamas very much, I’ll never give them to you.”
Lu Zhengfei: “……” Hm, how did you know what I was thinking?
Chen Qianqing repeated himself again seriously: “Lu Zhengfei, I like that pair of pajamas very much, and I’ll never give them to you, do you understand?”
Lu Zhengfei nodded.
Chen Qianqing thought he could finally relax, but he heard Lu Zhengfei continue: “Then, can I just snatch them away if you’re not going to give them to me?”
Chen Qianqing: “……” Heh, how could he have never realized that he could actually blurt out such shameless things in such a straightforward way?