Have you ever seen someone retaliate like this?
Since they were in Xuncheng, and their home was temporarily inaccessible, the two of them went back to the hotel first.
Taking the elevator upstairs and swiping the card to enter the room, Yu Xinqiao still held onto Xu Yanhuan’s hand tightly, even wrinkling his shirt sleeves.
He had stopped crying, leading Xu Yanhuan to the restroom and washed his face with one hand. After finishing, he closed the tap, and Xu Yanhuan took a towel to wipe his face. As he wiped, the corners of Yu Xinqiao’s eyes turned red again, and he clenched his cheeks to hold back the tears, looking pitiful as if he had been bullied.
On the way just now, Xu Yanhuan had already said everything he could, trying to downplay the past difficulties and suffering. But Yu Xinqiao still couldn’t help feeling extremely upset, with tears flowing incessantly and even hiccuping. He stuttered and said, “H-hic… If I had known earlier, I wouldn’t have… hic… wouldn’t have left you, I would have… fought hiccup with you, fought him!”
Xu Yanhuan couldn’t help but curl his lips into a smile, and Yu Xinqiao stared at him, saying, “W-why are you laughing… hic… what’s so funny? Show me… hic… show me your hand!”
Before, he had seen the new wounds, and now he was looking at the old ones.
Xu Yanhuan had a pair of beautiful hands that were no less elegant than those of a pianist. His fingers were slender, with distinct joints, and his palms were dry and warm, so any flaws on them were a great pity.
Yu Xinqiao held Xu Yanhuan’s hand and lightly rubbed the fierce scar at the base of his thumb, blowing on it like comforting a child.
Remembering when he had just lost his memory and asked where the injury came from, Xu Yanhuan had said it was from accidentally cutting vegetables, along with other lies like kissing every day. Yu Xinqiao hummed with a mix of newfound resentment and old grudges, saying, “You’re really good at lying and deceiving people.”
“Mm,” Xu Yanhuan admitted generously, “I’ve told more lies than you’ve eaten ice cream.”
Yu Xinqiao widened his eyes, retracting his tears. “And you’re… proud of that?”
Xu Yanhuan used his other hand to wipe the corner of Yu Xinqiao’s eye. “I’m sorry.”
Sorry for lying and saying I hated you, sorry for lying and saying I wanted you to stay far away from me, sorry for lying and saying I didn’t need worthless things.
“All of that… wasn’t sincere.”
Yu Xinqiao pursed his lips. “I know.”
But the heartbreak and pain at that time were real.
Seeing him still wearing a frowning face, Xu Yanhuan suggested, “Then how about you curse me or hit me?”
Yu Xinqiao raised his hand and lightly tapped his chest, as light as a mosquito bite.
At the same time, he insincerely said, “I… I dislike you.”
After saying that, Yu Xinqiao couldn’t stand it anymore and covered his face, exclaiming, “Lying is too difficult!”
By the time they returned to the hotel, it was already evening. Yu Xinqiao was tired of crying and didn’t want to go out, so Xu Yanhuan ordered dinner to be delivered to the room.
In reality, neither of them had much appetite. Yu Xinqiao only took a few bites of the sliced steak before starting to feed it to Xu Yanhuan, saying as he fed him, “Don’t apologize anymore. You didn’t do anything wrong. Dealing with evil people should never involve violence, let alone sacrificing your own life. He’s not worth jeopardizing your future.”
It wasn’t until just now that Yu Xinqiao fully understood the meaning behind the words Xu Yanhuan had said to him on that day when Xiaohai wanted to jump off the building.
Luckily, Xu Yanhuan didn’t make the wrong choice. Luckily, he made it through.
Yu Xinqiao repeated the words Xu Yanhuan had said that day, “There are countless possibilities waiting for you in the future.”
Unfortunately, Yu Xinqiao’s attempt to act mature felt out of place, and his solemn words sounded like a child pretending to be deep. As he listened, Xu Yanhuan was on the verge of laughter again.
Yu Xinqiao immediately used a piece of steak to block his mouth. “Be serious!”
Xu Yanhuan had no choice but to close his mouth and continue chewing. After swallowing, he spoke again, “Xiao Qiao is right.”
This was the first time Xu Yanhuan had called him “Xiao Qiao” in front of Yu Xinqiao.
It made Yu Xinqiao blush on the spot.
He secretly thought to himself, so this is what it feels like to be in a relationship with Xu Yanhuan.
He felt a bit happy and wanted the whole world to know.
So he opened WeChat Moments, planning to post something to announce it to the world.
This was the first time he had posted on Moments since losing his memory, so he had to be careful. After pressing the camera button, he originally intended to take a live photo but suddenly remembered there was something called a photo album on his phone.
Yu Xinqiao hadn’t thought about it before, but he realized that despite being clever in many ways, he had overlooked checking his photo album after losing his memory. He hadn’t even looked at it when he searched through his emails or browsed the internet to catch up on the major events of the past six years.
Fortunately, at the age of twenty-four, Yu Xinqiao had not undergone a drastic change in character, and there were no scandalous photos in his album. With one hand holding his phone and the other covering the screen, Yu Xinqiao mentally prepared himself and clicked into the video section, where there were about ten videos all related to Hedgehog Huanhuan.
He had the privilege of witnessing its journey from weighing less than a pound to three and a half pounds, eating and sleeping all the way. Yu Xinqiao sighed in amazement and thought to himself, “A broad heart and a plump body, truly living up to its name. I’ll have to make it exercise more on the running wheel when we get back.”
While scrolling, he caught a glimpse of the hidden album at the bottom. With an eager desire for exploration and knowledge, Yu Xinqiao clicked into it and entered the password.
What he saw in front of him left him dumbfounded.
After finishing his shower, Xu Yanhuan came out and saw Yu Xinqiao looking at the screen of his phone with a serious expression.
When asked what he was looking at, Yu Xinqiao said, “The incident at the entrance of the concert hall this afternoon made it to the news.”
He opened the local news page, and as expected, the headline “Piano Soloist Yu Xinqiao’s Concert Plagued by Accidents” was prominently displayed.
He clicked on it, and the content of the report matched the reality quite well. It mentioned that the atmosphere at the venue was great, and the performance was a complete success. However, due to the negligence of the organizers, the media interview after the concert was quite chaotic, with unrelated people mingling in.
The report concluded that the troublemakers who had infiltrated the backstage and caused the commotion had been detained by the police. Below that was a photo taken at the scene, capturing Xu Yanhuan protecting Yu Xinqiao as they left, with Xu Zhen’s profile on the side, looking fierce.
He looked at other news platforms, and they were all similar. None of them went into detail about the speculation regarding their relationship or any subsequent reports. Yu Xinqiao breathed a sigh of relief and said, “Fortunately, they didn’t capture a photo of you hitting him.”
“Now that it’s in the news, my parents should know too…”
Before he could finish his sentence, Yu Xinqiao’s phone vibrated, and the screen displayed “Mrs. Yao.”
Yu Xinqiao had a look of “speak of the devil” and gestured to Xu Yanhuan not to say anything. Then he cleared his throat and pressed the answer button.
“Are you at the hotel? Come downstairs now.”
Three minutes later, Yu Xinqiao appeared in the hotel lobby, accompanied by Xu Yanhuan.
Yao Qiongying approached and checked if Yu Xinqiao was injured, inspecting him from top to bottom several times before feeling slightly relieved. “You didn’t even inform us when such a big thing happened. You’ve really grown up.”
“It’s not that big of a deal. The police came and resolved it,” Yu Xinqiao tried to play it off casually, “Mom, Dad, have you eaten? The Western cuisine at this hotel is quite good.”
However, Yu Hanzhang, who usually had a good way with words, had a serious expression on his face. “The previous car accident was already dangerous, and now this… If I’m not mistaken, the news mentioned a thug who infiltrated the backstage, and that person is your father, right?”
Yu Xinqiao was taken aback and
was about to say something, but Xu Yanhuan answered before him, “Yes, his name is Xu Zhen. He was imprisoned six years ago for intentional harm and was released on parole just last month.”
It turned out that Yu Xinqiao’s parents had investigated Xu Yanhuan’s family background six years ago.
Since it was a serious matter, Yu Hanzhang and Xu Yanhuan moved to a different place to have a detailed discussion. Yao Qiongying pulled Yu Xinqiao to sit on the sofa in the lobby and told him about what had happened after he returned to the capital.
“At that time, when you came back home with an injury on your hand, I asked how you got it, but you refused to say. Worried, I immediately called the Academic Affairs Office of Xuncheng No. 2 High School and contacted your homeroom teacher. Your teacher didn’t know the details either but told me that you were close to a classmate named Xu Yanhuan. Combined with what your dad told me about you pursuing a boy in your class, I had someone investigate him.”
These were the memories that Yu Xinqiao had lost. He asked, “At that time, I had several close friends. How did you know it was him?”
Yao Qiongying said, “Initially, it was just a guess until I saw his name on the notebook you brought back.”
It was the notebook that Yu Xinqiao used to write love letters to Xu Yanhuan, with many drafts.
Confirming that the person named Xu Yanhuan was the boy Yu Xinqiao was pursuing, Yao Qiongying also figured out who Yu Xinqiao cried for that night and why he became disheartened, not speaking a word for a whole month after returning home.
Out of a mother’s love for her child and her indignation, Yao Qiongying went directly to Xuncheng and met Xu Yanhuan. It happened in early spring, just before Yu Xinqiao was about to go abroad. At the gate of Xuncheng No. 2 High School, Xu Yanhuan, wearing a faded school jacket, froze for a moment upon seeing the woman in front of him was Yu Xinqiao’s mother. Then he respectfully greeted, “Hello, Auntie.”
Before coming, Yao Qiongying had seen photos of Xu Yanhuan and knew that he was a good-looking young man. People with superior looks often have a hint of innate arrogance, especially considering Xu Yanhuan’s excellent academic performance, making him undoubtedly outstanding among his peers.
However, what surprised Yao Qiongying was that Xu Yanhuan didn’t possess a trace of confidence or vitality. He was tall but thin to the point of being withered, with a pale and gray complexion and lifeless eyes, completely unlike an eighteen-year-old youth.
Yao Qiongying said, “I heard that his father is a gambler. I imagine he and his mother have had a difficult time over the years.”
Upon hearing this, Yu Xinqiao swallowed a breath of air and asked, “What did you say to him at the time?”
“Given his appearance, what could I say?” Yao Qiongying sighed, “He is the same age as you, and I am also a mother. I couldn’t be that heartless.”
Yao Qiongying only asked Xu Yanhuan if he had rejected Yu Xinqiao. When she received a positive answer, she gave him a few words of advice, telling him not to contact Yu Xinqiao anymore if he had rejected him and to go their separate ways in the future, not to delay each other.
“Did he agree?” Yu Xinqiao asked.
“No, he neither agreed nor denied it. He didn’t say anything,” Yao Qiongying said, getting angry again. “Last year, you contacted him again and even said you wanted to marry him. That’s when I realized why that boy didn’t agree back then!”
Yu Xinqiao remained silent.
Later, Yu Xinqiao learned from Yao Qiongying that after their family went abroad, he didn’t live with his parents because he found out about Yao Qiongying’s visit to Xu Yanhuan and thought she was meddling in his affairs, so he was angry with her.
But they still had occasional contact over the six years, and they would spend holidays together with their parents. The relationship between the family had already improved, and then when Yu Xinqiao returned to the country, he dropped another bombshell—he wanted to marry Xu Yanhuan.
This made Yao Qiongying furious, and she scolded him on the phone, saying, “If you persist in your own way, don’t consider me your mother anymore!”
Yu Xinqiao ignored her, informed her of his decision, and hung up the phone directly.
As a result, the car accident that caused his amnesia became an opportunity for Yu Xinqiao and his parents to break the ice.
It was truly astonishing how the relationships between people, past and present connections, could be so strange and irrational.
After chatting, they returned to the room, and Xu Yanhuan opened his laptop to deal with some work.
Mostly related to Xu Zhen’s situation. Yu Hanzhang was also worried that Yu Xinqiao might get involved again, so he asked Xu Yanhuan about the case that led to Xu Zhen’s sentencing and reminded him to keep an eye on Xu Zhen’s movements.
Though they didn’t explicitly say it, both of them silently shared the idea of finding a way to get Xu Zhen back into prison.
After finishing his work on the laptop, Xu Yanhuan looked up and met Yu Xinqiao’s gaze.
“Why aren’t you sleeping?” Xu Yanhuan walked over to the bedside.
Yu Xinqiao lay on his side on the bed and patted the empty space beside him. “I’m waiting for you.”
Xu Yanhuan took off
his coat and lay down.
After a long day, both of them were somewhat exhausted. However, once the thoughts from six years ago were stirred up, they couldn’t easily put them away.
Yu Xinqiao remembered their last meeting six years ago, with his left hand wrapped in gauze. So Xu Yanhuan held the hand that Yu Xinqiao placed on the bedsheet, raising it toward the light. “Is your hand okay now?”
“Yeah, it’s fine. It just had a small cut and swelled for a few days,” Yu Xinqiao truthfully replied, “I could have taken off the bandage a long time ago, but I didn’t want to.”
“…To make you worry.”
The final barrier between them was eliminated, and Yu Xinqiao became as open and honest as before.
Although he still felt a bit embarrassed, he turned his head and looked at the ceiling. Yu Xinqiao thought to himself that the hotel had good taste, and the ceiling was quite beautiful.
Before long, he felt a soft touch against his skin. He sneakily glanced and saw Xu Yanhuan leaning closer, his lips pressing against the back of his hand.
Then his fingers, from the fingertips to the joints, kissed lightly like feathers. Occasionally, his nose would brush past, and warm breaths felt like a gentle breeze.
His heart raced for a moment as Yu Xinqiao looked at Xu Yanhuan’s slightly trembling eyelashes with an almost devout expression. An indescribable emotion began to ferment within him.
Xu Yanhuan cherished someone in such a manner. This was how it looked.
After kissing one hand, Yu Xinqiao still felt an itch in his heart. With a shy face, he extended his other hand and said, “Although this hand wasn’t injured, it has also suffered… a lot.”
Xu Yanhuan chuckled, holding his right hand and placing a kiss on the back.
Then he extended his arm and wrapped it around Yu Xinqiao’s waist, pulling him into his embrace. As Xu Yanhuan leaned in, Yu Xinqiao lifted his head, and their slightly parted lips met instantly.
In the city where they first met, they shared a kiss that bridged six years.
It was bittersweet at first but gradually turned sweet. Tears welled up in Yu Xinqiao’s eyes, a mixture of saltiness and bitterness, forming a complex blend of emotions.
Just like everything they had been through.
After the kiss, Xu Yanhuan cradled Yu Xinqiao’s face and said, “It’s alright now, stop crying.”
Yu Xinqiao felt embarrassed to cry so easily. He closed his eyes and avoided eye contact. “I-I won’t cry anymore.”
After calming down again, Yu Xinqiao wiped the corners of his eyes and asked, “When we reunited last year, did you really think I wanted to seek revenge on you?”
“Yeah,” Xu Yanhuan replied, “That’s what you said. You hold grudges.”
Yu Xinqiao thought to himself that Xu Yanhuan had an excellent memory. “Have you ever seen someone seek revenge in that way?”
Thinking back to the hasty marriage proposal at the wonton shop, Xu Yanhuan smiled and said, “I haven’t seen it before.”
“Then why did you dare to agree? Aren’t you afraid I would actually seek revenge on you?”
“Why wouldn’t I dare? At the moment I agreed to you, I had already prepared myself for whatever punishment you would give me.”
Xu Yanhuan looked at Yu Xinqiao and said, “Even if it meant dying by your hands.”
Yu Xinqiao understood that in Xu Yanhuan’s words, “death” meant giving everything, holding nothing back.
At that time, he had tied himself to the gallows, waiting for Yu Xinqiao’s judgment. No matter what kind of punishment Yu Xinqiao wanted to impose on him, he was willing to accept it.
Even though he didn’t owe Yu Xinqiao anything, he just wanted to protect him and leave hope for the future, waiting until he had fully matured before approaching him again.
Experiencing several ups and downs in a single day, Yu Xinqiao found that he still had tears to shed.
He clenched his teeth and held back the tears, sniffing his nose. He picked up his phone that was placed nearby.
Opening the photo album and unlocking the hidden album, Yu Xinqiao started scrolling through the pictures from the first one, holding his phone and flipping through each one.
They were all pictures of Xu Yanhuan, around fifty or sixty of them. Most of the perspectives were candid shots, capturing his back and profile. There were pictures of him working on the computer, smoking on the balcony, sleeping on the bed, buttoning up his shirt, and even… him just out of the shower shirtless.
Yu Xinqiao felt a bit embarrassed looking at them. He coughed lightly and asked again, “Have you ever seen someone seek revenge in this way?”
When Xu Yanhuan saw these pictures, he was initially surprised, but soon a knowing expression appeared on his face. “No wonder you’re always holding your phone.”
Without receiving an answer, Yu Xinqiao wasn’t annoyed. He turned his back, chose
a properly dressed picture from inside, canceled the hidden status, and posted it on his WeChat Moments.
While writing the caption, he remembered Xu Yanhuan describing to others that he had a good command of English when talking about the person he liked. So Yu Xinqiao pulled out some English phrases.
Quickly finishing the post, he threw the phone aside. Yu Xinqiao pulled the covers over his face and mumbled, “Goodnight.”
It meant he didn’t want Xu Yanhuan to see it.
Xu Yanhuan could only pick up his own phone and open WeChat Moments.
The latest post was from Yu Xinqiao, featuring a picture of Xu Yanhuan’s sleeping profile in a dimly lit room, with the only source of light possibly coming from outside the window.
The caption was simple and easy to understand:
Then, Xu Yanhuan pulled Yu Xinqiao out of the covers and fiercely kissed him – a feast.
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.