Blue Moonlight
Blue Moonlight: <- Chapter 31.1

31. Keep your distance from me.

(Part 1)

In early December, the high school basketball tournament, which had lasted for six months, finally reached the semifinals.

Representing Class 3 of Xuncheng No. 2 High School took the field. As Wang Kun put it, “Our class made it to the finals this time thanks to ten percent timing, location, and people, and ninety percent luck.”

Liang Yi was quite dissatisfied, “A team consists of five players, and he accounts for ninety percent, while the rest of us get only 0.25 percent each?”

Shen Daye chimed in, “That’s right, Xiaoyi, your math skills are impressive.”

Reserve player Yu Xinqiao was more objective, “Teamwork is indeed important, but without his participation, we wouldn’t have made it to the semifinals.”

Later, Wang Kun relayed Yu Xinqiao’s words to Xu Yanhuan. Xu Yanhuan held the ball in his hands and looked towards Yu Xinqiao, who was warming up not far away, and asked with unclear meaning, “Is that so?”

Yu Xinqiao considered it as if he was talking to himself and confidently said, “Yes, that’s why you have to play well. If we don’t make it to the finals, it’ll be on you.”

The words were already spoken, so when Class 3 faced a strong opponent and lost in the semifinals, Wang Kun laughed and said, “Xu Ge, get ready to take the blame. You’re treating us to dinner tonight.”

Xu Yanhuan calmly asked, “What do you guys want to eat?”

Yu Xinqiao immediately jumped in and changed his tune, “I think the reason we lost this time is because the opponents were all sports majors with strong skills, and also because Big Brother was not in his best form today.”

Shen Daye was also confused, “?”

“A few times, you missed your passes,” Yu Xinqiao nudged Shen Daye, indicating for him to take the blame, “If you hadn’t, we might have had a chance.”

Shen Daye understood and nodded quickly, “Yes, yes, it’s all my fault.”

Wang Kun: “…” Can they be any more fake?

In the end, it was Xu Yanhuan who paid for the meal. Although he joined the basketball team to save the day, he was grateful for everyone’s support, and considering that others had been treating him for so long, it was only fair for him to host this time.

Everyone knew about his family situation and clamored to eat barbecue near the school. After school, the eight members of Class 3’s basketball team, accompanied by their families, walked into the plastic tent by the roadside and ordered a table full of cheap yet fragrant food.

Yu Xinqiao didn’t have a strong appetite, and he couldn’t handle the greasy and spicy barbecue. So he ordered a few skewers of oden, drenched in steaming hot soup, and sat together with everyone, holding a paper cup.

Perhaps realizing that the basketball game had ended, as third-year high school students, they wouldn’t have many opportunities to relax, laugh, and chat like this anymore. Wang Kun, as the team captain, raised a drink in lieu of alcohol and toasted everyone, saying, “Originally, I thought it would be good enough to make it to the school finals, but I never expected us to reach the threshold of the championship finals. Anyway, thank you all, my brothers, for helping me fulfill my dream. I will remember it until I’m old and even after I die.”

Girls are often sentimental, and He Tangyue’s eyes turned red as she said, “What do you mean ‘until you die’? You’re still so young!”

Others also sighed and echoed, “Sister-in-law is right. We all have to live to a ripe old age.”

Wang Kun finished one drink and refilled his cup. This time, he turned to Xu Yanhuan and said, “Thank you, Xu Ge, for joining our basketball team. I really… I can’t even imagine.”

Xu Yanhuan rarely participated in social activities, and he was bewildered by this serious expression of gratitude. He held his cup for a while and could only manage to say, “You’re welcome.”

This made Yu Xinqiao laugh, and he raised his glass to warm up the atmosphere, saying, “Let’s all drink this toast and be forever good friends!”

They continued to have fun until past 8 o’clock, then dispersed and went back to their respective homes.

The barbecue in the tent was still warm as they emerged from it, and Yu Xinqiao couldn’t help but sneeze.

Xuncheng is close to the capital and has similar weather. Now, in the cold winter of the twelfth lunar month, the breath turns into ice. With his constitution prone to cold stomach, it’s not suitable for him to stay outdoors for too long.

After settling the bill, Xu Yanhuan was the last one to come out. He saw Yu Xinqiao, wearing a white down jacket, standing on the roadside, huddling and shrinking his hands together, looking round and chubby, just like a snowman built in winter.

He was the type who stutters when he’s cold.

When Yu Xinqiao saw Xu Yanhuan approaching, he bounced over and said, “Let’s go, move around, or we’ll freeze into ice popsicles.”

The two of them had a section of their way home overlapping, and today they walked this section together, with Yu Xinqiao following behind Xu Yanhuan.

Xu Yanhuan asked him what he was up to, and Yu Xinqiao looked up at the sky. “I heard it’s going to snow tonight. I want to see if it’s true.”

It sounded reasonable but actually absurd. Xu Yanhuan asked, “Can’t you see it from your own house?”

“I can see it,” Yu Xinqiao kicked a stone under his feet and mumbled ambiguously, “But my house… without you…”

Still sounding absurd, but after hearing it, Xu Yanhuan’s heart softened, and he couldn’t find the words to refuse that had been on the tip of his tongue.

In the end, they didn’t say anything. Xu Yanhuan turned around and continued walking.

However, his pace visibly slowed down, waiting for the person behind to catch up.

In the less than fifteen minutes of the journey, it was Yu Xinqiao who livened up the atmosphere all by himself. Their conversation progressed with a striking difference in the number of characters, yet it had an inexplicable harmony.

“Do you listen to music? Shall I share one earphone with you?”

“No need.”

“I washed the gloves you gave me. They’re still warm when I wear them, but if you look closely, you can still see the bloodstains.”


“Even though I didn’t play today, I was cheering for you from the sidelines. Did you hear me?”


Thinking about the barbecue they had just eaten, Wang Kun was on the verge of tears. Yu Xinqiao chuckled and said, “Ah Kun has been dating Yueyue lately and he’s become so adorable.”

Xu Yanhuan glanced at Yu Xinqiao but remained silent.

It was too dark for Yu Xinqiao to notice. He walked beside Xu Yanhuan, determinedly stretched his neck, and exhaled a breath of hot mist.

“We’re both eighteen now,” he looked at the gray silhouette of buildings in the distance, “Have you ever thought about what you want to do in the future?”

Without waiting for Xu Yanhuan’s answer, he continued, “After graduating from high school, I should go abroad and study piano. Even if I can’t become a successful performer, I can still be a music teacher. After all, I want to spend my whole life with the piano.”

Yu Xinqiao turned his head to look at the person beside him, “When I’m gone, will you miss me?”

His footsteps hesitated slightly. Xu Yanhuan was about to say something when Yu Xinqiao, afraid of receiving a negative answer, interrupted him, “It’s okay if you don’t miss me. Nowadays, the internet is developed, and I’ll send you WeChat messages every day so that you won’t be able to forget me.”

Seemingly surprised by his directness, Xu Yanhuan first froze, but then his expression softened, and his brows and eyes became gentle.

Since he could remember, he had always been a pessimist, always preparing for the worst in everything. And most of the time, reality turned out as he had anticipated, leading to the worst outcomes.

However, perhaps it was because of the warm gathering they had just experienced, or perhaps it was because the streetlights above them emitted a warm color, Xu Yanhuan suddenly felt that sometimes he didn’t need to push himself too hard.

Sometimes, it was okay to hold onto a little bit of hope, whether it was for himself or for the future.

Xu Yanhuan looked at Yu Xinqiao, “When that time comes…”

But before he could finish his sentence, he saw Yu Xinqiao raise his hand to cover his nose. Only then did he realize that he was wearing gloves. Yu Xinqiao lamented, “This nosebleed must be intentional!”

Xu Yanhuan chuckled and asked him to wait for a moment in the corner of the alley where it was sheltered from the wind. He went to buy some things himself.

This place was just a short walk away from Tongzi Building, through a small alley. Xu Yanhuan went to the same convenience store as last time. He bought tissue paper and bottled water, and as he was about to return, he suddenly heard a woman’s desperate cry for help from the building opposite, the same building where he and his mother lived.

Yu Xinqiao waited for a long time.

Long enough for the wind to stop and the nosebleed to cease.

In fact, he had tissues in his pocket, but he pretended not to have them in order to spend more time with Xu Yanhuan.

Yu Xinqiao knew that Xu Yanhuan didn’t want anyone to enter his house, except for the special circumstances last time. So he obeyed his instructions and stayed in place, quietly peering out and listening for any sound of footsteps that might indicate someone passing by.

He checked the weather forecast on his phone again. It said it would snow at 9 PM, but there was no sign of it yet.

Another ten minutes passed, and Yu Xinqiao felt cold standing there. He looked up at the sky, which was devoid of stars and moon, like a gaping black mouth.

A sense of unease crept over him, and the shadows cast by the walls and fences on the ground seemed to envelop his heart. He looked up at the overhead power lines, imagining them as musical staff lines, counting from one to five and then back from five to one. Unable to wait any longer, Yu Xinqiao tossed the used tissue into the nearby trash can and walked deeper into the alley, hands in his pockets.

After taking a couple of steps, he heard footsteps ahead. From the distance, a figure emerged from the darkness, gradually coming into view, but appearing burdened.

His breath caught in his throat. Yu Xinqiao was startled by this inexplicable premonition. He hurried a few steps forward and said, “Where did you go? Why did it take so long…”

As he approached, he noticed that Xu Yanhuan’s head was lowered, his forehead covered by his bangs, his shoulders slumped as if a straw could easily crush him.

Xu Yanhuan handed the plastic bag containing water and tissues to Yu Xinqiao, pursed his lips, and said nothing.

Yu Xinqiao took the bag and was about to ask further questions, but Xu Yanhuan had already turned around and started walking back.

“Wait a minute.”

Yu Xinqiao caught up to him, and Xu Yanhuan whispered, “Don’t come closer.”

Yu Xinqiao saw his hand hanging by his side, clenched into a fist with bulging veins, as if he was holding back something, on the verge of collapse.

“What’s wrong with you?” Yu Xinqiao took a couple of steps forward. “What happened?”

“I told you not to come closer.” Xu Yanhuan raised his voice, almost shouting, “Stay away from me.”

But Yu Xinqiao still moved closer, afraid that the person in front of him would run away or hasten his steps. He dropped what he was holding and embraced the figure from behind.

His intuition told him that Xu Yanhuan was in great pain and needed someone to comfort him.

Yu Xinqiao had never seen Xu Yanhuan like this before. With his cheek pressed against his back, he felt his body trembling almost imperceptibly, his chest heaving rapidly and violently, exuding a mix of hostility and the scent of blood, darker and more ominous than the night itself.

It felt as if something irreversible might happen if he let him go like this.

“Then I won’t ask anymore. Just don’t go.” Despite his fear, Yu Xinqiao wrapped his arms around Xu Yanhuan’s waist and held him tightly. “Don’t leave yet. Just stay here for a while, just a little while.”

“When you’re feeling better, I’ll go. I promise to stay far away from you… Is that okay?”


Certified member of the IIO(International Introverts Organization), PhD holder in Overthinking and Ghosting, Spokesperson for BOBAH(Benefits of Being a Homebody), Founder of SFA(Salted Fish Association), Brand Ambassador for Couch Potato fall line Pajama set.

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