Note: This chapter has not been edited yet.
When Yuan Yuan arrived, everyone at the gathering seemed to have had about enough to drink.
Seeing him, they were already red-faced and shouted for another round of drinks, simultaneously wanting to make him drunk. Yuan Yuan’s capacity for alcohol wasn’t bad, but it still couldn’t take the combined attack by this group of drunks. In the end, when they scattered after midnight, he couldn’t walk straight.
When he reached home, the lights were still on and Chen Dong Lan was sitting on the sofa watching television. In the middle of the night, it was a variety show rerun and the host’s laughter was very exaggerated.
“You haven’t slept?” He asked in shock.
Chen Dong Lan lowered the television volume, “I just finished my work and couldn’t sleep, so I was watching for a while.”
Chen Dong Lan was a Chemistry major and was now working at a pharmaceutical manufacturing company. From what Yuan Yuan remembered, this was the first time he saw him working so late after returning home.
Yuan Yuan rubbed his head, “Rest early. Even later and it might be more difficult to fall asleep.”
Chen Dong Lan sighed faintly and turned off the television. Yuan Yuan felt that this action was excessively straight-forward. Could it be that if he said, “You don’t need to sleep, just watch television for the whole night”, Chen Dong Lan would also follow accordingly?
“You’re not feeling well?” He asked.
Yuan Yuan rubbed his temples without stopping, “A bit.”
“I’ll cook you some soup to sober up.” Chen Dong Lan still sat on the sofa. With his head bent, his fingers kneaded the remote control, unconsciously kneading it here and there.
Yuan Yuan looked distracted, “…there’s no need, it’s too late.” Often, he couldn’t differentiate whether Chen Dong Lan being considerate was genuine or just a courtesy, like now.
“Anyway, I can’t sleep.” Chen Dong Lan spoke very naturally, and stood up to walk to the kitchen. This apartment wasn’t large and with the kitchen light on, the whole house seemed to come alive. Chen Dong Lan turned on the stove and the sound of it being lit rang out. It didn’t seem like it was late at night anymore.
“There’s really no need.” Yuan Yuan followed behind him. “Your working hours are stricter, but if I’m a little late, it doesn’t matter. If you really feel that I need to drink some sobering soup, then leave it and I’ll make it myself.”
Chen Dong Lan paused.
“Okay.” He stopped for maybe two seconds, continued to put the small soup pot on the stove, then let go, “I’m actually a bit tired. You can continue.”
“Okay…good night.” Yuan Yuan’s mood was slightly complex.
Chen Dong Lan’s tone really carried some tiredness. He hung his head slightly and while walking out of the kitchen, because Yuan Yuan was leaning against the side of the door, their shoulders bumped.
Right then, Yuan Yuan suddenly realised that he might have said something wrong.
He was left alone in the kitchen, with the light still on, the stove still lit, but the house was dead and the late night was again the late night.
Yuan Yuan stood in front of the cooking counter, and referring to the tutorial on his phone, randomly cooked the sobering soup, suddenly feeling that the interaction between Chen Dong Lan and himself was not as satisfactory as before.
In the past three years, he lived together with Chen Dong Lan comfortably in all aspects, like family.
But recently towards Chen Dong Lan, he would often excessively try to interpret his behaviour and mannerisms. Deep down in his heart, he always felt that maybe these interpretations were not excessive.
We’re sorry for MTLers or people who like using reading mode, but our translations keep getting stolen by aggregators so we’re going to bring back the copy protection. If you need to MTL please retype the gibberish parts.
Suddenly remembering the table of food from tonight, Yuan Yuan opened the refrigerator. The refrigerated cabinet was completely empty, except for a few bottles of water.
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“Four bedrooms, one living room and one dining room, twenty thousand, travelling time thirty minutes from the office, a food and beverage street near the neighbourhood, no need to worry about eating and drinking…” Yu Lin counted off the merits of the new house point by point. Having just made the down payment, he was longing daily to move in.
“You’re staying in such a big house alone?” Yuan Yuan’s head hurt from his repetitive words.
Yu Lin replied seriously, “I want to have two children…”
Yuan Yuan was amused. Two children. Till this age, Yu Lin had not even held the hand of a girl.
Feeling Yuan Yuan scoff at him, Yu Lin also felt slightly embarrassed and changed the subject, “You really don’t want to consider being my neighbour?”
When Yu Lin was choosing the house, he had already asked this question.
Yuan Yuan withdrew his smile, “I’ve said previously, I don’t have any plans to buy a house.”
Yu Lin was originally standing beside Yuan Yuan’s desk to chat with him. After hearing this, he pulled up a chair and sat opposite him, “If you don’t buy a house, you’re going to live in that rented little old house for a lifetime?”
Yuan Yuan stared blankly.
He seemed to have really…thought this way.
Previously when Yu Lin had asked him if he wanted to buy a house as well, he rejected firmly. At that time, he hadn’t put much thought into it and it was just a subconscious reaction.
Now recalling the moment, he only felt that continuing to live with Chen Dong Lan wasn’t bad, and he didn’t think of the possibility of it ending.
Yu Lin seemed to sense something, “It can’t be because of Chen Dong Lan…”
Yu Lin and Yuan Yuan were in the same year. He was also in the school debate team and the self-proclaimed best buddy of Yuan Yuan. After Chen Dong Lan joined the team, he quickly reestablished the friendship upon meeting Yuan Yuan. Originally it was thought that everyone could play together, but Chen Dong Lan was extremely indifferent to everyone besides Yuan Yuan. He (Yu Lin) had also maintained an unfamiliar relationship with Chen Dong Lan all this while.
“I’ve always felt that he doesn’t really like me. However, it can’t be as bad as not allowing you to move to another house just because he doesn’t want us to be neighbours right?” Yu Lin was making random guesses.
“How can you tell that he doesn’t like you? He just has an introverted personality. Don’t say that.” Yuan Yuan was instead very earnest.
Yu Lin was perplexed, “Your response is fast enough, immediately standing up for Chen Dong Lan.”
Yuan Yuan fell silent.
Yu Lin didn’t speak as well and the atmosphere was slightly odd for a while.
“You…” Yu Lin probed.
Yuan Yuan interrupted him, “I’ll go and take a look this weekend.”
Yu Lin widen his eyes, “Look at what?”
Once decided on something, Yuan Yuan’s actions would not be sloppy and that was his personality. He had actually saved more than enough money to buy a house, moreover, Yu Lin had invited him to be his neighbour. So after a weekend, a house that was the exact same model as Yu Lin’s was finalized.
Just that on the matter of how to tell Chen Dong Lan about this, he had some hesitations.
On Sunday, the both of them did not work. Chen Dong Lan got up before seven. Yuan Yuan heard the alarm and looking at the time, decided to laze around a little. When he got up at nine, Chen Dong Lan was watching television.
“Have you eaten breakfast?”
Chen Dong Lan’s attention was on the morning news and did not shift his gaze, “I’ve eaten.”
Yuan Yuan opened the refrigerator and it was different from yesterday. The refrigerated cabinet today was full, with freshly washed vegetables separated into ziplock bags, as well as milk and eggs.
“You went to buy groceries early this morning?”
“Yes.” Chen Dong Lan said, “I cooked century egg porridge with lean meat for you. It should be almost ready.”
Yuan Yuan propped himself on the refrigerator door, forgetting to close it and forgetting to reply.
Seeing Yuan Yuan motionless, Chen Dong Lan walked into the kitchen and took out a bowl to help him ladle some porridge. After filling half a bowl, he asked, “See if this is enough or not?”
Yuan Yuan walked over and without looking, said, “It’s enough. The porridge is only ready now, so what did you eat earlier?”
Chen Dong Lan sprinkled some spring onions onto the porridge, “Biscuits.”
Having been a professional lawyer for a few years, there was seldom any time when Yuan Yuan was speechless. This would be counted as one of them.
Yuan Yuan drank his porridge and Chen Dong Lan went back to watch television.
Yuan Yuan didn’t know how long he took to eat. In short, his mind was wandering and the last few mouthfuls had already completely cooled.
Yuan Yuan washed the bowl, placed it in the cabinet after drying it and went to sit directly beside Chen Dong Lan.
The sofa wasn’t big and the two men sitting on it seemed almost stuck together. He said, “Chen Dong Lan…I bought a house very near my office and plan to move over in a few months.”
Chen Dong Lan looked over and his eyes were a little lost, as if he had not reacted.
“You see…if you would be looking for a new person to co-rent, or look for a new house? If you’re not in time, it doesn’t matter. I can still help you to bear half of the house rental.”
Many years later, Yuan Yuan could still recall the Chen Dong Lan of that moment.
He first bent his head down, hiding any expression he had. Shortly after, he used his hand to prop up his forehand. Yuan Yuan could clearly see his fingers trembling.
When he lifted his head again, there was a faint smile on his face, “When I have time, I’ll look for a new place. Where is the house you bought? Congratulations.”
His smile was perfect and not even the slightest reluctance could be seen.
Yuan Yuan told him the name of the neighbourhood.
Chen Dong Lan nodded his head, “I’ve heard of it. It’s a good district so the houses are very expensive.”
Yuan Yuan joked, “So if it’s not expensive, you’ll also buy it like me?”
Chen Dong Lan lowered his eyes, “Yes.”
Why did he say “Yes”?
Yuan Yuan had a thousand ways that he could reply to him, but in the end, he just laughed and using work as an excuse, returned to his own room.
Today, it was the last day they were living together after three years.
On the morning of the second day, Yuan Yuan was awoken by the sound of Chen Dong Lan packing his things.
Pulling open the curtains for a look, it was still dark outside.
Walking out of the room, there were many packed boxes in the living room and Chen Dong Lan was stacking them together and counting them.
Yuan Yuan spoke, trying not to stutter, “…You’re packing your things?”
In actuality, the handover date for his new house had not arrived and it was still a long time before he would be moving out. Even if he needed to go today, Chen Dong Lan would also not need to move out on a Monday morning! Seeing that he had already almost finished packing, did he not sleep for the whole night?
Yuan Yuan was a little angry to some extent and with unknown emotions churning in his heart, he blurted out, “Am I chasing you out?”
“It’s not that.” Chen Dong Lan put a box down, then straightened up. Because he had been bent over, his face was slightly flushed, “By chance, I have a friend who is renting out his house. It’s a single apartment and the price is also convenient for me. Just that he needs to go out of town immediately and it’s best if I can move over today.”
He explained, slightly anxious and also with a great effort.
But Yuan Yuan’s anger had not lessened one bit, “That doesn’t mean you have to pack everything by today. Did you have any rest last night?”
Chen Dong Lan tried to make his tone casual, “It’s okay to stay up all night occasionally.”
Now, Yuan Yuan was really angry, “Fine, as long as you feel that it’s okay.”
He returned to his own room to change and wash up, then left the house directly without speaking to Chen Dong Lan again.
Reaching his office, he spent the whole morning immersed in an annoyed state of mind. Even Yu Lin didn’t really dare to speak to him.
In the afternoon, he started having regrets.
Chen Dong Lan didn’t sleep for the whole night, and hurriedly left, because he wanted to leave urgently?
Chen Dong Lan really wanted to leave?
No, he was being chased out.