|Author: Chai Jidan, Translator: Sae Han|
Bai Luo Yin thought about it for awhile, but even then, nothing came to mind. So he simply blurted out, “Anything is fine!”
“Do you want to eat noodles?”
A sign of distress colored Bai Luo Yin’s face. His brows scrunched together, creating wrinkles that spoke of his silent disapproval, “Can’t we eat something different? Since I moved back to your place, nine out of ten days, we’ve been eating noodles.”
Gu Hai was happily tapping his hand on the steering wheel rhythmically. He quickly glanced at Bai Luo Yin with a smile brushing gently around the corner of his lips: “This time it’s different. Before, we’ve always bought instant noodles and cook it as is, but this time, I will personally knead and roll the dough.”
Bai Luo Yin eyes slightly widen before he painfully casted them toward the car’s floor mate before shutting them, then after what seemed like the longest time, he reopened his eyes again.
“How about we just buy the instant noodles instead?”
Taking another glance at Bai Luo Yin somewhat pleading appearance, Gu Hai remained unperturbed and insisted on keeping up with his previous statement. Bai Luo Yin simply sighs, caving in since he didn’t want to attack or wound Gu Hai’s enthusiasm. If he had known earlier that it was going to be like this, he would have given Gu Hai a clear cut and precise answer when he has asked him what he wanted to eat a moment ago.
I want to eat this and that is what I should’ve said. That way, it would’ve cut off all his evil intents.
Just as the two arrive home, the position of the sun clearly indicated that it was time for lunch. A sweet aroma of freshly cook food floated around in the hallway toward their apartment. Simply sniffing other people’s home cooked meals made Bai Luo Yin a bit reluctant to enter the front door of their apartment.
Gu Hai, on the other hand, was brimming with joy and expectations as he entered the kitchen.
While waiting for food to be prepared, Bai Luo Yin sat in the living room, playing some games on the computer. He glanced towards the kitchen when he heard loud noises of inconceivable imagination travelled from the kitchen into his now tingling ears. He could not help but feel terrified as he listened to those noises continue to pervade the apartment. From time to time, he wanted to sneak toward the kitchen to take a quick look, afraid that Gu Hai was not being careful and had already stabbed himself in the neck with the vegetable knife.
Hearing Gu Hai called out for him, Bai Luo Yin quickly put his laptop down and walked toward the kitchen a bit anxious.
The door in front of him was closed which urged Bai Luo Yin to push it open. With just one look, he was immediately scared. His skin felt as though it wanted to run off in another direction.
The sink, the cutting board, the stove, the cabinet of plates……everything was all covered with flour. Gu Hai’s clothes, shoes, neck, face……were all horrendously painted with white flour. Only the bowl that ‘supposedly’ contained the flour was not covered in flour or showed sign that it once had any substance in it.
“You……what did you call me for?” his voice faltered as he turned to look at Gu Hai.
Gu Hai swayed both of his big hands back and forth, displaying the two well kneaded dough, that looked as though it was about to swallow his hands whole. Beaming with happiness, he happily said: “I wanted you to have a look. I’ve kneaded and brought the dough to life.”
Bai Luo Yin, “………”
By the time Bai Luo Yin returned to the kitchen again, Gu Hai had already started to cook the noodles. Looking at the remaining noodles on the kitchen counter, Bai Luo Yin cannot help but to be surprise at the final outcome. Although it was a little thick, it really was long and stringy. His eyes brightened up with invisible sparks, revealing the pleasantness that settled on his face.
Wow! It’s really noodles! It’s not starchy it’s not lumpy, it’s not dough……it’s really noodles!
Bai Luo Yin picked up a string and pinched it in half between the tip of his fingers.
Gu Hai coldly explained: “What are you foolishly doing? Why are holding the noodles like that?”
“Seriously, is there really a particular way to hold noodles huh?” retorted Bai Luo Yin unconvinced, “Every time I’ve seen Aunt Zou holding it, she’s very casual about it and even then, it doesn’t break!”
Gu Hai’s sharp tiger eyes was trenched with a raging wild fire as he glared at him, “In the eyes of onlookers like you, Aunt Zou is just casually holding them, only experienced and talented people like us, understand the way to hold them! Do you see? This is the right way to hold the noodles.”
After saying that, he gently put one strand of noodle in the palm of his hand, then with utmost care, he placed it in the pan. Unexpectedly, as he placed one end of the noodle into the pan, the other end was still stuck to his palm. The noodle was shorter than twenty centimeters, yet it still broke apart in the middle.
Gu Hai’s face became slightly embarrassed.
Seeing his face like that, Bai Luo Yin slapped his shoulder, “I’ll pretend I didn’t see anything.”
Having said that, he walked out of the kitchen.
Behind him, Gu Hai shouted, “Hey! Come back here, that demonstration just now was not good!”
The family’s downstairs meal smells really good……
The second he shut the windows, Bai Luo Yin almost jumped out of the window.
Ten minutes passed by once more. Guessing that it was more or less done, Bai Luo Yin knocked on the kitchen door again, “Done yet?”
Inside, Gu Hai was frantically coughing, so he didn’t hear the loud knocks on the door at all.
Not hearing any reply, Bai Luo Yin pushed the door open himself.
A thick cloud of smoke was surging around inside and Gu Hai, himself, was practically hidden within it. He stood in front of the gas stove with the handle of the frying pan tightly in one hand, while waving around a big ladle in the other. The fire beneath the pan has become a raging flare, leaving a black semi burnt stain on the front of Gu Hai’s clothes.
“What are you doing?” Bai Luo Yin squeezed out between coughs as the smoke pulled him into the midst of it.
Gu Hai looked as though he didn’t hear him and continued to boldly fry the black substance in the pan.
Is it possible that he’s making the sauce for it?
Bai Luo Yin pondered on this, while at the same time, looked around for the noodles. After searching for quite a while, he still could not find it.
Finally, he found a small bowl of closely packed lumpy dough. There were small and big ones; the big ones were the size of a thumb while the small ones were only as big as a fingernail. There was no need to further explanations, these were definitely the noodles that Gu Hai had cooked.
“I’ve changed my mind!” exclaimed Gu Hai excitedly as he gave Bai Luo Yin a quick glimpse. His eyes were bursting with enthusiasm as if a breath of new life has been inserted into him.
It was only then that Bai Luo Yin discovered that Gu Hai’s entire face was blackened and a small section of his eyebrows were missing.
“Didn’t you say you were tired of eating noodles? Today, we’re not going to eat noodles. Instead, we’ll be eating fried dumpling knots*1!”
Bai Luo Yin, “………”
The sun has finally decided to rest as it made way for the moon to take its place up high in the unending heaven. The faint lingering lilac sky finally faded into the shadows before it was under siege by stars that seemed to lighten the night. This never-ending darkness crawled into their silent place and consumed them under its thick blanket.
In this cold and awe-inspiring darkness, Bai Luo Yin awoken with drowsy eyes to find Gu Hai leaning against the headboard of the bed, smoking a cigarette. The side of his grave and stern face was lit up by a brilliant halo of light casted from the nightstand beside the bed. Although a forbidding air painted his face, the light upon in revealed an ineffable serenity that seek to remain unspoken. The ashtray sitting soundlessly on the short bedside cabinet was piled up in a high mountain of cigarette stubs.
Who knew how long he has been awakened.
Bai Luo Yin remembered clearly that they had lie down to sleep together. And even before they had fallen asleep, Gu Hai’s face was kissed with a roguish and mischievous smile which spoke of sexual innuendos.
Now, he has completely changed into another person.
Sensing the person beside him moving around, Gu Hai pinched the cigarette stub, putting it out. He turned his head slightly to the side and let his eyes fall on Bai Luo Yin’s form. “You’ve awaken?”
“You didn’t sleep all along?”
Gu Hai faintly said: “No, I just woke up a moment ago.”
Bai Luo Yin dragged his sleepy body back, sat up and leaned against the headboard. He extended his hand, hinting to Gu Hai, “Give me one.”
“Don’t smoke. If you do, you won’t be able to sleep afterwards.”
Bai Luo Yin rolled his eyes then shot Gu Hai a quick glance, “Then, why are you still smoking?”
Not listening to a single word he said, Bai Luo Yin crossed the upper portion of his body over Gu Hai’s lap. With his buttocks sticking up in the air, he stretched his hand over toward the bedside cabinet and grab a cigarette.
Taking advantage of this grand opportunity, Gu Hai groped Bai Luo Yin’s butt, feeling the firm yet supple muscle. Bai Luo Yin on the other hand, was indifferent to it, seeming as though he didn’t care about this sexual endeavor. After grabbing the cigarette, he lit it up and blew smoke out from the side of his mouth.
“What are you thinking about?” ask Bai Luo Yin, stealing a side glance at him.
Lightly closing his eyes, an indecent smile wormed its way onto the corners of Gu Hai’s lips. “Say, why did the noodles break when it was cooked?”
Bai Luo Yin narrowed his earthen eyes at Gu Hai, “The reason you’re not sleeping is because you’re thinking about this in the middle of the night?”
Gu Hai remained silent, not saying anything.
The room sunk into a silent tranquility. And, this looming silence was like a poison for them, in that void of sound, the unknown direction of their conversation was laid bare.
Any moment now the cigarette was quickly going to die out, and only then did Bai Luo Yin opened his mouth and asked., “Are you thinking about your mom?”
Under that gleaming reflections of light beneath the nightstand, Gu Hai once roaming pupils, sorrowfully became stagnant. It was as if, a cloud of misty haze had suddenly frozen up, to the point that even the temperature surrounding him declined to an unnatural degree.
Bai Luo Yin nipped the stub of the cigarette, and faintly said: “I’ve discovered, when you’re really in pain, you always like to endure it by yourself. However, only until you aren’t suffering anymore, you’ll come and pretend to be pitiful in front of me.”
Gu Hai’s entire body stiffened, refusing to budge.
In that silent and unwavering moment, Bai Luo Yin’s arms stretched over. He wanted to, with all his heart, to pull and take Gu Hai into his arms to embrace him, but Gu Hai’s body hardened with much effort, refusing to be held.
In truth, he was unable to move his body.
In the end, Bai Luo Yin, himself, slightly leaned toward Gu Hai before he took the initiative to face Gu Hai’s thin lips and kissed it.
His warm lips were met with coldness and as he parted his lips, a slight chill pervaded between their lips and teeth.
There was no need for anything to be spoken or be disclosed between them, Bai Luo Yin knew all along that Gu Hai had already sat alone for a really…really long time, in this once silent room.
He held Gu Hai tightly, firmly, almost desperately in his arm while using his own thin lips to pass to him, all the warmth that was circulating within his own breath, within his own body. He let this warm kiss continue until Gu Hai’s body gradually relaxed, and willingly let all the weight from his body press on him.
Bai Luo Yin’s back kissed the cool bed sheet while his chest stitched tightly with Gu Hai’s.
With his arms still wrapped strongly on Gu Hai’s chilled body, Bai Luo Yin’s fingers almost met each other around his firm back, almost desperately digging into him as if to absorb him into his own body.
The entanglement of emotions that holed up in Bai Luo Yin’s tightened chest, too, gradually restore its normality.
The last remaining glimmer of light from the nightstand was blotted out by total darkness as the two nakedly hugged each other. After what seemed like an eternity well needed, Bai Luo Yin’s hand moved towards the top of Gu Hai’s head. His trembling hand, gently caressed and stroke Gu Hai’s hair.
Something like this was not what Bai Luo Yin was used to, that is, this seldom tenderness.
“I don’t know what I should say to you. You already know, I’m not really good with words.”
Gu Hai lazily smiled and warmly looked at Bai Luo Yin with eyes drowned in the colors that represented love and affection.
“Then, can’t you just break that rule for once and say something nice to me?”
Bai Luo Yin asked seriously, “What do you want to hear?”
With that, Gu Hai pretended to think about it for a while before opening his mouth to say: “I want to hear you say, baby*2 you’re awesome!”
Just hearing that caused Bai Luo Luo Yin to knee Gu Hai in the crotch.
Gu Hai couldn’t help but to groan into the slight pain that was searing in his nether region. His groan was so pretentious, anyone who heard it could easily draw out his current his emotional state.
“You have me.”
Gu Hai’s hands that were gently caressing Bai Luo Yin’s warm back suddenly came to a halt.
A moment later, Bai Luo Yin softly repeated those words once again, “It’s okay, you have me.”
It was in this unspeakable moment, Gu Hai’s cold and crystallized heart, thoroughly……completely, softened all at once. It felt as though the bottom of his heart was being flooded with an overwhelming, unwavering wave of emotions that he, himself, was unable to control.
It was as if time ceased, as if his breath was taken away from him, as if in this world nothing else exist. There was nothing in this world that could give him more comfort than those three words.
At the stage in his life, when he was at his lowest, feeling helpless, lost, pain and suffered……he had always thought that he would forever hide alone in that lonely, desolate and empty room, licking his own wound. However, against all expectations, those three words broke through the gate where all his sorrowful memories and pain, deeply reside.
All the grievance and unwillingness poured out at that moment. Even though he could not bear to touch upon that weak corner of his soul, he could already feel two hands tightly holding on to him.
Gu Hai lightly bit Bai Luo Yin’s warm lips that were sweetly sealed on his.
In that split second, feeling the slight pain, Bai Luo Yin pulled his tongue and swept it across his lips, there was a hint of sexual arousal sitting at the tip of his tongue.
A second later, waves of heavy breathing transmitted from within the quilt.
“Does it hurt?” Gu Hai leaned toward the side of Bai Luo Yin’s ear and asked, whilst this chin practically rested on said boy’s shoulder. Bai Luo Yin gently turned his head to the side and sweetly kissed Gu Hai’s warm neck. His lips could feel the blooding rushing about in the thick vein beneath it.
All the pain and suffering once within your embrace has become unworthy. All the sorrow once within your comfort quietly disappears into the distance.
Finally, using a bit of strength, Gu Hai bit into Bai Luo Yin’s shoulder.
“Yin Zi, I only have you. You are all my happiness.”
Bai Luo Yin gritted his teeth and bore the pain. He could vividly feel the heavy weight of that love carving into his heart, taking over and consuming his mind.
“Don’t leave me.” Gu Hai managed to roar out in low voice from within his tightened throat.
The pleading sound in his voice rained on Bai Luo Yin and entered his chest, causing him to tremble, almost violently. He gripped firmly on Gu Hai’s hair as if afraid to lose him to the night, before he desperately let out, ‘okay.’
*1 面疙瘩 miàn gēda – fried dumpling knots: similar to Gnocchi or German Spaetzles, miàn gēda is made from very soft flour dough and dropped in various delicious soups. It is a Northern Chinese specialty; many eaten this for breakfast or comfort noodle type soup.
*2 baby – here Gu Hai actually ask Yin Zi to call him, “husband” which is like a sexual word during you know what…I guess like how some people use “daddy” or whatever. I think baby fits better. So Gu Hai is basically asking Yin Zi to reply to him this way when they are…doing, ‘you know what.’