136. You Came to Send Me Off?
“Okay,” Lu FengYu hurriedly responded. “I’ll help you pull your bag, Jiang-ge.”
“I’m fine,” Jiang Hua said with a polite smile. “Thanks.”
At first, FengYu was rather disheartened by the refusal. Soon, he perked back up and dashed off with his bag to follow close behind Hua.
Jiang Hua initially wanted to sit at the end of the bench but a little nudge from YiHan pushed him into the middle seats. YiHan sat down to his left. JingYuan settled into YiHan’s other side. FengYu gave YiHan a grateful glance before scurried over to sit beside Jiang Hua. He was so excited to be sitting so close to Jiang Hua. Perhaps Jiang Hua was carrying a personal heater or oven with him. The cheek closest to him was flushed red.
“Jiang-ge,” YiHan asked, “is your accommodation all settled over there?”
Jiang Hua let out an exasperated chuckle. “YiHan, you’ve asked me that several times now. The company has arranged a flat for me. I’ll be staying there for a while. Once all the paperwork is done and a normal has been established, I’ll look for a proper place.”
“I’ve transferred the money all into your card,” YiHan said. “You can buy a house over there. Their property prices are cheaper. You can buy something a little bigger.”
“So quickly?” Jiang Hua was surprised.
YiHan’s fingers scratched against his cheek in guilt. “I just so happen to have a friend looking to buy a place,” he softly replied. “He said he won’t be redecorating it.”
“Oh,” Hua said, eyes dropping down to the ground. “That’s good. I’ll leave you a room in my new place too. You can come over anytime.”
“Okay,” YiHan said, smile back on his face. “I’ll visit you when I have the time.”
“I can help you with looking for a house,” FengYu chimed in. “I have a friend who deals in property in ChangCheng. I can ask him to find something nice.”
“No need to trouble yourself,” Hua refused. “I can just find one myself and it’s still rather early to start looking. Buying a place would have to wait a while longer.”
YiHan could almost see a pair of invisible, furry ears on top of FengYu’s head droop. He couldn’t help but laugh a little at that.
Hiding not far away was Bai Yan, watching them chat and laugh while a weird rage burned deep in him. After he returned to his room last night, he was feeling restless. He couldn’t stay in his room but he didn’t know what he wanted to do, so he just went to his car. He was going to start the car but he didn’t know where to go, but he also didn’t want to get out of the car. So he sat there in his car, fuming as images of Jiang Hua flashed through his mind. He recalled how Jiang Hua looked as the man focused on his work, when he smiled at Yan, when he’d help Yan deal with all the drunkards toasting Yan, when he was tired and frustrated and during the night he was dead drunk.
Yan’s mind was in a daze as images whirled through it. Yan had never realised he had so many memories of Jiang Hua. Lost in his thoughts, he sat there through the night until dawn broke. Stuck in a rare languid daze, he stayed in the car as the sun shone brightly. He wanted to head back into his room but he was afraid of bumping into his little brother. He was afraid of being questioned by YiHan why he wasn’t in his room. The younger man would be leaving the house to drive Jiang Hua to the airport anyway. Yan could leave his car when his brother’s gone from the house.
Ah, yes. YiHan’s going to drive Jiang Hua to the airport. The thought of Jiang Hua leaving left a heavy weight on Yan’s chest. He was having very strong second thoughts about the man leaving. He couldn’t help but blame himself a little. Everything was fine but he just had to kick up a huge fuss and transfer Jiang Hua away. Now, look. He’d gotten on the train and there’s no backing out yet he couldn’t bear to let Jiang Hua leave. It’d be humiliating to change his mind at the last minute. This was the most shameful thing he’d ever done in his whole life!
Jiang Hua must hate him a lot now, right? Otherwise, he wouldn’t say he’d never return to this city again. (Come on. The man’s words weren’t that drastic.) True. Anyone who was doing a good job at work would be angry at being transferred to a frigid city just because the boss was throwing a temper tantrum over nothing. Only Jiang Hua was good-natured enough to not instantly flip out at Yan.
However, Jiang Hua would never come back. Would he have to find some reason to use as an excuse to visit the man in ChangCheng? He wasn’t YiHan. One line about being Jiang Hua’s “younger brother” was enough for the man to give YiHan a room in his home!
His mind rambled on in a downward spiral until Yan didn’t even know what his mind was thinking. Perhaps it was the lack of sleep. His head might be going fuzzy from staying awake the whole night.
Yan had thought to get out of the car and head back to his room after YiHan and JingYuan left, but when he watched the two men drive off and he was reminded why they were leaving the house so early in the morning, he couldn’t help but start the car and sneakily followed behind them. He was now realising, after he’d ordered for Jiang Hua’s transfer, he’d been spending more and more time sneaking around.
Yan followed the lovers to the residential area of Jiang Hua’s home. He then hid his car near the entrance of the area gates. He’d definitely be able to see JingYuan’s car the moment they leave the area. He thought they’d be right out with Jiang Hua but then they stayed in there for a very long time. Hmph! They must’ve been having breakfast at Jiang Hua’s apartment!
Yan laid a hand on his growling stomach. Why did he follow them? He even made himself act and look like a thief. He didn’t even have breakfast!
He grumbled and griped but he didn’t dare leave the car to find some food. He was scared Jiang Hua and the other two would leave the moment he left.
Finally, the long-awaited car and its passengers swerve out of the gates. Yan started his car and began following them once more, this time to the airport. When he spotted Lu FengYu, his lungs nearly burst with fury. That shameless man was going to be on the same flight as Jiang Hua!
Fine. They’re happily chatting away while he’s hiding behind a huge pot of plant like a criminal or stalker!
The airport security was keeping a close eye on him!
He had never felt so embarrassed before!
Hmph! Damn Jiang Hua!
Aaargh! What did he just see? That shameless Lu FengYu was secretly tugging on Jiang Hua’s shirt! He was even shimmying on the spot in pride (he wasn’t)! Were there thorns on that chair? Why are you fidgeting? It’s just a seat beside Jiang Hua. What’s there to be proud of?
Aaaah! He was so annoyed! The thought of Lu FengYu having more chances to twist and shimmy (he wasn’t!) before Jiang Hua when they’re at ChangCheng made Yan feel anger blazing through him, the anger of a magnitude he’d never felt before.
Further. More! Once this bastard seduces Jiang Hua, he’d move into Jiang Hua’s home (brainwashed by YiHan)! Damn it! What chance did he stand then? He was the one who was closer!
What? Closer? Mr Yan sank deep into thought.
The men chat and joked around. Soon, it was time for the two men to board. Again, Lu FengYu wanted to help Jiang Hua with his luggage. However, by coincidence, Jiang Hua was about to grab his bag too. Naturally, the two hands touched.
FengYu’s face instantly went red, so red that he looked like he was a cooked prawn.
Jiang Hua nonchalantly pulled his bag closer, thanked FengYu and walked ahead to the boarding counter. FengYu patted his cheeks and pattered along, heart still thumping with excitement.
Yan was still stuck in his thoughts when his sharp eyes caught the touch. He gritted his teeth. You scheming little crap! How dare he seized the chance to grope Jiang Hua! He was even acting all shy like a little wife! Did he think Jiang Hua lacked a sweet, baby bird for a loved? Erm, he actually does lack a significant other!
Yan watched Jiang Hua’s figure walk further and further from him. The man was nearly at the security checkpoint. The thought of never seeing him again after today made his heart feel more and more hollow with every step the other took away from Yan. It felt like he was going to lose something important. That feeling was so upsetting. It made his heart curdle in discomfort as his feet unwittingly took a step forward. However, the foot bumped into the flower pot!
Jiang Hua slowly walked towards the security checkpoint. Finally, he let out a heavy sigh as a farewell to a hopeless romance and for the helplessness he felt in life.
YiHan followed close behind the man. His heart ached at the sigh.
Jiang Hua turned around and said, “YiHan, you can stop here. Go back. Come visit me when you’re free.”
YiHan did his best to push out a smile and replied, “Alright. Hurry up. Remember to call me once you get off the place. Call me once you’re settled in too.”
“Okay,” Jiang Hua softly said.
YiHan had so much more to say to Jiang Hua but he’d repeated himself too many times on what to do and what not to do. He also didn’t know how he should comfort the other man. Lu FengYu was also standing near them. In the end, all YiHan could do was wave and watch as Jiang Hua left him.
The older man gave YiHan a light pat on the shoulder and revealed a warm smile that was so very familiar to YiHan. Then, he turned away.
Just then, a deep voice rang through the hall, “Halt!”
This new voice was one Jiang Hua knew all too well. Every day, he listened to it. It echoed into his dreams at night. Jiang Hua snapped his head around in disbelief. The sight he was met with was one he’d never ever forget.
Bai Yan was striding towards him from not far behind YiHan. His collared shirt was crumpled and wrinkled in all sorts of places. There were patches of growing beard hair on his jaw. His face was in a scowl.
Jiang Hua’s heart skipped. His ever-gentle voice sounded hoarse as he spoke up, “Mr Bai, you came…to see me off?”
Yan had wanted to shout back “fuck the send-off” but he held it in out of consideration of his image. “Didn’t you receive the notice?” he growled. “There’s been a change of plans. Someone else will be going to ChangCheng. You’ll return to your original post.” He paused, then continued, “You have work today. You’re late!”
“When was the notice sent?” Hua was truly stunned. “I didn’t receive any.”
“Look at your phone,” Yan said with a straight face.
The other man took his phone out and thoroughly checked through all of his inboxes. Naturally, there wasn’t a notice to be found.
“There aren’t any,” Hua asserted once more.
“Then someone made a mistake,” Yan sternly replied. “Look at the subordinates you train. They even missed a notice that should’ve been sent out earlier! I really should deduct your bonus. What are you still standing there for? Get back now! Do you want to skip half a day’s worth of work?”
Jiang Hua: …
Airport Security Guard A: Oh, it’s not a thief. He’s here to chase down his wife.
Airport Security Guard B: I’ve long since seen through him. Didn’t you notice how I’ve stopped paying attention to him a long time ago?
YiHan, JingYuan and FengYu who watched the duo walk away, leaving chaos in their wake: …
What was going on? Why did it look as clichéd as an objection at a wedding? Big Brother, your dearest, most beloved little brother was standing right in front of you. Did you not see YiHan? Lu FengYu’s a slim man, so fine. You didn’t see him. But did your eyes also skip past Mu JingYuan, that tall giant? Why didn’t you give us a single glance? You just dragged Jiang Hua away while you started and finished a conversation all by yourself. Did you realise how many holes there were in your lie?
YiHan clicked his gaping jaw shut and nudged JingYuan with an elbow. “What’s going on?”
JingYuan, on the other hand, was as calm as always. “He’d thought things through. Hm. He’s much better at holding back his temper than I thought. He could hold it in until now.”
“What?” YiHan asked, confused.
“He’s been following us the whole time,” JingYuan replied.
Gotten on the train and there’s no backing out: The actual idiom was “it’s hard getting off the tiger (one’s riding)”.
Most shameful: The actual word used was “ugly/short” which implied shame because it’d be losing face/not done as well.
One who was closer: The actual idiom is “the closer to the water, the closer to the moon”.