39. I’ve wanted it for 6 years.
The next afternoon, the two of them returned to the capital.
Xuncheng is adjacent to the capital, and it takes less than an hour by high-speed train. Yu Xinqiao was browsing his phone on the train. Last night, his circle of friends almost exploded with messages from all his WeChat contacts.
Yao Qiongying asked him if he couldn’t be more low-key, and Yu Hanzhang agreed. Liang Yi stayed in Xuncheng to follow up on things. He asked Yu Xinqiao how it felt to have their honeymoon funded by the government. Yu Xinqiao replied, “You can also call your big brother to come along.” Shen Da secretly liked the comment.
Xie Ming’an commented with a crying emoji, causing Yu Xinqiao to feel embarrassed, thinking about how he forgot to block him. He turned his head and glanced at Xu Yanhuan sitting beside him. Xu Yanhuan was busy typing on his computer and didn’t look over, which relieved Yu Xinqiao.
Casually scrolling through new messages, several classmates from Class 3 of Xuncheng Second High School, who had been lying dormant on the list for six years, appeared. He Tangyue, with a middle-aged lotus flower avatar, sent a string of exclamation marks: “Xiao Yu, you finally made it!!! Ahhh, Xu ge is still so handsome!!!!”
Old classmates seeing each other, tears filled their eyes. When Yu Xinqiao left Xuncheng, he left all the class groups. He Tangyue sternly criticized Yu Xinqiao for his behavior of abandoning the whole world after a failed love, and curiously asked how he managed to win over Xu Yanhuan. After all, based on the situation back then, it seemed like they had almost no chance of being together.
Yu Xinqiao didn’t know how to describe his story of the past six years, so he casually said, “I shamelessly persisted and pursued him. Fearless men are afraid of being nagged, right?”
He Tangyue said, “Indeed, perseverance leads to victory, but six years… How many six years does one have in a lifetime?”
Yu Xinqiao also couldn’t deny the importance of those six years.
Upon arriving home, he first picked up the hedgehog named Yuanyuan from the neighbor’s house. Yu Xinqiao couldn’t calm his mind even after a night’s rest, so while Xu Yanhuan went to work, he went straight to Boss Huang’s place and played the second-hand piano in his shop.
Huang He had just finished lunch and was leaning on the piano, picking his teeth with his elbow. His advice was, “Find a sturdy wall, hold your head and hit it against the wall. Maybe that will restore your memory.”
Yu Xinqiao exclaimed at the ridiculous suggestion, “I want to know how he spent those six years. Can hitting a wall transport me into his mind?”
Huang He laughed, “You should have said that earlier. Xiao Xu isn’t here today, so I’ll tell you.”
In fact, Boss Huang didn’t know much either.
The inherent pride in Xu Yanhuan prevented him from seeking help from others. Huang He only knew that they moved again later. Bai Wei fell ill, and Xu Yanhuan worked during the day and went to the hospital to take care of his mother at night. He also had to find ways to avoid Xu Zhen’s harassment. One can imagine how difficult it was.
Based on the description, it was deduced that it was during the period when Xu Yanhuan took leave that Yu Xinqiao finally understood why he didn’t come to school at that time.
“After you left, the situation worsened. Xiao Xu came to my shop several times with injuries. I don’t know if he was beaten by debt collectors or by that scum… During that time, he seemed drained of all his vitality, like a walking corpse.”
This matched the condition when Yao Qiongying saw Xu Yanhuan. Just imagining it made Yu Xinqiao’s heart ache.
“It was only when Lu Meng… the lawyer who helped their family with the lawsuit, appeared. She helped gather evidence and filed a case. Coincidentally, that scum lost all his money during that period and went crazy. He broke into their house and severely injured Xu Yanhuan’s mother. Now, that scum couldn’t escape, and he ended up with divorce and imprisonment. Finally, things calmed down.”
After listening, Yu Xinqiao let out a sigh of relief.
“How did that lawyer from back then know that they needed help?”
Huang He paused while picking his teeth and chuckled, “I guess even the heavens couldn’t bear to watch and intervened personally.”
The more Yu Xinqiao thought about it, the stranger it seemed. “It couldn’t be that you, Boss Huang…”
Huang He waved his hand deliberately, “If I had such power, I would have made that scum die in prison. Why would I let him come out and cause trouble again?”
As soon as he finished speaking, Yu Xinqiao’s phone rang.
Xu Yanhuan called, and Yu Xinqiao answered the phone with a smiling face. After a few words, his expression suddenly changed.
He hastily hung up the phone and stood up in a rush. When asked what had happened, Yu Xinqiao struggled to find the right words.
“Xu Zhen is dead,” he replied. “I mean Xu Yanhuan’s father, he’s dead.”
He went to the morgue at the hospital.
The doctor said he was hit by a car and died on the spot.
Two police officers were present, questioning the situation. It was confirmed that the van that hit him had no connection to Xu Zhen. Xu Zhen was crossing the road while trying to evade debt collectors, and he was hit by a speeding vehicle, thrown several meters away, and then crushed under the wheels. His body was unrecognizable.
As for why Xu Zhen appeared in the capital, the police estimated based on surveillance footage and his recent activities that he had just been released from the police station in Xuncheng. Perhaps he wanted to extort money from Xu Yanhuan and Bai Wei and continue his harassment. It turns out that these loan sharks are so fierce. It has been six years, and they are still pursuing their debts across different cities. It is said that when they saw Xu Zhen get into an accident, those debt collectors fled. They have now been included in the wanted list by the police.
The entrance to the mortuary was desolate. Since learning of Xu Zhen’s death, Bai Wei had been in a daze. It was only when asked if she wanted to see her ex-husband for the last time that she suddenly trembled and shook her head, saying, “I don’t want to see him… I don’t want to.”
Lu Meng also arrived, as the lawyer from six years ago who handled their case and Xu Yanhuan’s direct superior.
She comforted Bai Wei by holding her shoulder gently, and when she saw Yu Xinqiao walking over, she smiled at him and said, “You must be Xiao Yu, right? Come, sit. Xiao Xu went to handle some follow-up matters and will be back soon.”
This was Yu Xinqiao’s first time meeting Lu Meng. She looked just like the photo on the Starry Sky Law Firm’s website, dressed professionally, with her long hair tied up, and her features were bright and generous. With her demeanor, one could tell she was an outstanding leader.
She asked Yu Xinqiao how yesterday’s concert went, and he suddenly felt like he was being questioned by the school’s principal. His speech became a bit stuttered, “It… it went well, everything went smoothly.”
Lu Meng noticed his nervousness and smiled again, “I am Xiao Xu’s superior, not yours. Don’t be so afraid of me.”
Yu Xinqiao wasn’t afraid of her, but he felt guilty.
After all, he had treated her as an imaginary enemy and felt jealous, only to be exposed on the spot. Fortunately, only he and Xu Yanhuan knew about it.
The three of them sat on a bench in the rest area. Bai Wei was worried that Xu Zhen’s death would affect Xu Yanhuan. Lu Meng reassured her, “It won’t. The police handle cases based on evidence. Xiao Xu is a good kid, and his suffering in life has come to an end.”
Speaking of suffering, Bai Wei’s eyes turned red, and tears finally fell.
As a mother, she always felt guilty towards Xu Yanhuan. When he was a child, she was foolish and weak, thinking that Xu Zhen still had some humanity left and would eventually change for the better. But each time she gave in, it only worsened Xu Zhen’s behavior. Later, Xu Yanhuan grew up and shouldered the burden of the family, but she still lacked the courage to confront Xu Zhen.
“I should have fought Xu Zhen to the death back then, even if it meant both of us dying together,” Bai Wei cried, “It’s my fault, I owe Yanhuan. If it weren’t for me dragging him down, he would have… he would have…”
“He’s doing well now, so you don’t have to blame yourself,” Lu Meng comforted her. “Only when you’re doing well can his efforts be worthwhile.”
Yu Xinqiao also chimed in, “Auntie, you’re not a burden at all. I’ve heard him say it. It was you and Uncle Wang who contributed the down payment for our house.”
Bai Wei took the tissue and wiped her tears. “Don’t listen to his nonsense. We didn’t contribute any money. It was a lottery prize we won together with Uncle Wang. It’s useless to keep it, so it’s better to use it to buy a house for you two.”
“Is this for real?” Yu Xinqiao exclaimed in surprise. “Uncle and Aunt really have good luck. Maybe I should ask them to pick a set of numbers for me too, and who knows, I might achieve financial freedom.”
Knowing that he was joking, Bai Wei couldn’t help but laugh through her tears.
Half an hour later, Xu Yanhuan returned and said everything had been arranged. They would take Xu Zhen’s body to the crematorium for cremation.
A person who had done so many bad things in his lifetime and had no one mourning for him didn’t even deserve a memorial hall.
The group left the hospital, with Xu Yanhuan seeing Bai Wei off in the car while exchanging a few words with Uncle Wang, who was driving. Yu Xinqiao stood by the roadside, contemplating for a while, before sincerely saying, “Thank you” to Lu Meng by his side.
Lu Meng understood the meaning behind those two words and smiled, saying, “If it’s about the lawsuit back then, I can’t take all the credit. At least, if no one had told me, I wouldn’t have known about the mother and son in Xuncheng who needed legal assistance.”
Yu Xinqiao blinked his eyes, not understanding for a moment.
Lu Meng continued, “And if it’s about lending him money to buy a house, that’s unnecessary as well. Since it was a loan, it must be repaid, and he has been paying me interest every month. Besides…”
She looked at Yu Xinqiao, her eyes filled with a faint sadness.
“Our situations are somewhat similar. I don’t want to see him go down the same path as me, and I don’t want his life to be filled with irreparable regrets like mine.”
After the matter was settled, instead of going straight home, the two of them went to Xiao Kaiyan’s bar.
Although it might not be appropriate to be so exuberant in such circumstances, Yu Xinqiao couldn’t contain himself. He wanted to celebrate the permanent removal of Xu Zhen, the “time bomb,” together with Xu Yanhuan.
At the entrance of the bar, Yu Xinqiao pretended to be solemn and said, “If you think it’s inappropriate, let’s just go home.”
Xu Yanhuan took his hand and pulled him inside. “Since we’re here, let’s stay.”
The bar was bustling in the evening, but fortunately, it was a quiet bar. The customers sat at their respective seats, enjoying drinks and chatting with their companions. The folk singer on the stage was singing a gentle ballad, not disturbing the ambiance.
They headed straight to the bar counter. Yu Xinqiao slammed the table and said to the bartender behind the counter, “Give me a Depth Charge, and I won’t leave tonight until I’m drunk!”
Xiao Kaiyan rolled her eyes and handed him a bottle of Yakult from the bottom of the counter.
Later, after finally having some drinks, it was Xu Yanhuan’s blue cocktail that Yu Xinqiao had been eyeing for a while. He managed to get a sip after staring at it for a long time.
After finishing the drink, they were a bit tipsy. Yu Xinqiao pointed at Xu Yanhuan and introduced, “This, this is my baobao.”
Xiao Kaiyan burst into laughter and asked Xu Yanhuan, “Do you like this nickname?”
Xu Yanhuan shook his head, and Xiao Kaiyan had a look of “I knew it.” Then she leaned closer to Yu Xinqiao’s ear and whispered, guiding him, “You should call him…”
Not knowing what was said, Yu Xinqiao’s face turned bright red, and he muttered as he backed away, “No, that’s too cheesy.”
The three of them chatted happily, especially when Xiao Kaiyan revealed embarrassing stories from Yu Xinqiao’s childhood, such as how he would appear generous and careless most of the time but would unexpectedly be stingy in certain situations. For instance, when his classmates went to his house to play and ate a few big red apples that were placed on his bedside table, Yu Xinqiao got angry when he found out, saying those were the ones he personally picked and kept for himself, and no one was allowed to touch them.
“Later, he cried and dug a hole in the yard, burying the leftover apple cores,” Xiao Kaiyan said. “And after that, no one dared to eat his apples anymore.”
Xu Yanhuan found it amusing and thought to himself that those few apples he received back then held such significant meaning.
Before Yu Xinqiao could stop Xiao Kaiyan from talking, he lost all face in front of Xu Yanhuan. Fuming, he slumped on the table, burying his face in his arms, revealing two bright red ears.
On the way home after the celebration, Yu Xinqiao rolled down the car window. The gentle breeze of early summer ruffled his hair as he squinted his eyes contentedly and hummed a tune all the way.
Upon arriving home, Yu Xinqiao let out a fruity burp and declared, “I want to eat apples.”
Xu Yanhuan went to peel the apples for him.
After peeling and cutting them into pieces, Yu Xinqiao picked up a piece with a toothpick and put it in his own mouth, then brought the next piece to Xu Yanhuan’s lips.
Xu Yanhuan didn’t take it and asked him, “If I eat your apple, will you cry?”
“No,” Yu Xinqiao shook his head. “What’s mine is yours… and I am yours too.”
It seemed like Yu Xinqiao was unaware of how seductive his unintentional words were. Still slightly tipsy, he was dazed, but he saw Xu Yanhuan silently getting closer, then gently pinching his chin to make him look up before planting a kiss on his lips.
This time, it tasted like sweet apples.
At first, it was Xu Yanhuan who initiated, but soon Yu Xinqiao grabbed onto his shirtfront, tilting his head back to meet the kiss.
It was an unrestrained, uninhibited kiss, where both of them felt the long-lost freedom.
After a while, Yu Xinqiao gasped for breath, resting his head on Xu Yanhuan’s shoulder and whispered softly, “It’s over, it’s all over…”
The long and dreadful nightmare had finally come to an end.
No one could hurt you anymore, and no one could come between us anymore.
Yu Xinqiao conveyed the words spoken by Bai Wei and Lu Meng to Xu Yanhuan and said to him, “These years, you’ve endured so much.”
In fact, many different people had said these words to Xu Yanhuan, including Bai Wei, Uncle Wang, his homeroom teacher, and even the neighbor next door. Whether out of guilt or sympathy for his experiences, he had heard these words too many times, and they had long lost their impact.
Xu Yanhuan had always been rational, believing that no one could truly understand another person’s pain and therefore, he didn’t need anyone’s sympathy for his “misfortunes.” However, for some reason, when those words came from Yu Xinqiao’s mouth, they felt different.
It was as if all the numerous phrases others had said, such as “You’re doing well” or “It’s not your fault,” couldn’t compare to Yu Xinqiao’s simple phrase of “You’ve endured so much.” It struck deep within his heart.
Yu Xinqiao’s palm gently caressed Xu Yanhuan’s face. “Before the concert, you texted me, praising me for being great. I also want to say to you that you’re already amazing.”
After all, the difficulty lies not in having a good hand but in playing a bad hand well.
Xu Yanhuan was already outstanding, and from today onwards, his life would be cleansed of dust and free from shadows.
This is the shining life that was originally meant for him.
However, it seemed that Xu Yanhuan didn’t hear his praise. He wrapped his hands around Yu Xinqiao’s waist and effortlessly lifted him up.
The sudden feeling of being lifted off the ground startled Yu Xinqiao, and he quickly hugged Xu Yanhuan back, nervously asking, “What… what are you doing?”
Xu Yanhuan didn’t say a word. With big strides, he walked to the study, tidied up the messy sheet music on the piano cover, and placed Yu Xinqiao on top.
The piano cover was narrow, and Yu Xinqiao sat unsteadily. His legs naturally wrapped around Xu Yanhuan’s waist, and his arms tightened around his neck, clinging to him like a vine.
He wasn’t stupid; he at least understood the current situation and knew what was about to happen next.
Meeting Xu Yanhuan’s eyes, which had become dark with desire, Yu Xinqiao bit his reddened lips and hesitantly asked, “You… have you wanted to… do it here for a long time?”
“Yes,” Xu Yanhuan replied frankly.
The piano was Yu Xinqiao’s throne, and when he played the piano, he became the king of the enchanting realm.
He was noble, pure, and too beautiful to exist in this world. Therefore, every time someone touched him, it generated a trembling sensation, as if they were going to drag him into the dirty and profane world, desecrating his divinity.
Even though he didn’t cry, Yu Xinqiao’s eyes shimmered with moisture. At this moment, his cheeks were flushed, clearly displaying fear yet not resisting, as if waiting for Xu Yanhuan to clear the thorns, traverse through darkness, and step into the sunlight to pluck this one-of-a-kind fruit.
Perhaps it was a powerlessness to resist.
Just before descending, Yu Xinqiao heard Xu Yanhuan’s hoarse voice, “I’ve wanted… wanted it for six years.”
In the next chapter, the blue moonstone will make a comeback..
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.