“How badly?” Su Tang couldn’t resist chuckling.
“Really badly. It’s like there’s something missing in my heart. I want to see you, want to hear your voice.” Chi Shuyan’s tone was especially formal, as though he was speaking to Su Tang on a serious topic, when in actual fact, it was just sweet nothings.
On this end of the line, Su Tang’s face was already crimson red. The wind had messed up his hair, but it couldn’t dispel the redness on his face, and the palpitations in his heart.
He took a deep breath, but it was useless. He looked out of the window, but he wasn’t properly looking. He placed his phone down, but at the very moment when it left his ear, he stuck it back to his face. He was really a conflicted person.
Over and over again, he did all these useless things, and the soft voices travelled across the other end of the line. Chi Shuyan listened on quietly, and the corners of his lips curled up unconsciously, as though he had discovered something interesting and cute from the noise.
“What are you doing?” He listened for a long time before finally asking.
“I don’t know,” Su Tang replied, as he clenched his phone tighter. “What about you? What are you doing?”
“I’m just thinking of you,” Chi Shuyan replied.
“Then, it should be the same for me,” Su Tang’s voice was a little soft and was laced with a thick nasal tone, like a child acting spoiled.
“Oh, why are you so obedient today?” Chi Shuyan chuckled softly.
“Can’t I be like that?’ Su Tang mumbled.
“”Of course you can’t,” Chi Shuyan started spouting nonsense in a serious tone again, “If you say this, I would have regretted letting you go.”
Su Tang burst out laughing, and even after laughing, he continued to rub salt into Chi Shuyan’s wound, “Then you can continue regretting.”
The two of them continued chatting aimlessly, and even when Su Tang reached home, opened the door and put on his indoor slippers, he couldn’t bear to put down the phone in his hand.
“Has Tangtang returned?” The housekeeper had just finished cooking, and she spoke as she walked out of the kitchen.
“Yes. Hello Auntie,” Su Tang nodded, as he hopped on one leg to the wall, kept one hand on his phone and another tried to untie his laces.
Chi Shuyan could make out from the noise what Su Tang was doing, and felt somewhat helpless. He could only say, “Are you removing your shoes? Put the phone down for a moment first. It’s just a few minutes.”
Su Tang could only do as Chi Shuyan said. He obediently kept his phone, and it was only when he was at the sofa that he picked up the conversation once more.
“Tangtang, I’ve prepared your dinner. Your father said that he’s has a business dinner tonight, so he might not come back tonight. You can call him if you need anything.” The housekeeper said to him.
“Alright. Auntie, you should go home first. I’ll be going out with my classmates for the next few days, so you don’t have to specially come and cook for me.” After Su Tang said this, he walked the housekeeper to the door. It was only after that that he dared to put his phone on handsfree mode, and speak openly to the other person.
“There’s only me at home now,” Su Tang said rather excitedly.
“So, what bad things are you intending to do?” Chi Shuyan couldn’t resist chuckling.
“No, no. All I wanted to say was that there’s no one around, so we can talk for as long as we want.” After Su Tang said this, he realised that he didn’t know the situation in Chi Shuyan’s house, so he asked rather nervously, “Is… Is there anyone at your house?”
“There are, but they are all downstairs. And… The walls have rather good insulation.” Chi Shuyan smiled as he said this to Su Tang.
It was only then that Su Tang felt relieved. He then lay prone on the sofa as he continued chatting with Chi Shuyan, but Chi Shuyan reminded him that it was mealtime. He was somewhat reluctant to end the call, but he thought about how Chi Shuyan had to accompany his family for dinner and couldn’t chat anymore with him, so he dragged his feet and slowly ended the call.
“Brother, did you get a girlfriend?” Chi Lingling asked.
“No,” Chi Shuyan took a chicken drumstick and placed it into his younger sister’s bowl, indicating for her to stop asking questions.
“Ohhh… Looks suspicious.” Chi Lingling leaned over cheerfully, then pointed at the phone that Chi Shiyan had placed at the side of the table and told their parents, “Just now, I saw him talking on the phone with someone. That expression on his face, kekeke…”
Chi Shuyan only knocked his sister’s head before placing his phone into his pocket and said, “Just eat your food and don’t think about useless things. I don’t have a girlfriend, and I’m not interested in any girl. Are you disappointed? If you are, just continue eating.”
Chi Lingling wasn’t convinced. She clearly saw Chi Shuyan chatting on the phone with someone, his face radiant with happiness, and his tone was as gentle as water, so how could there be nothing going on?
She still wanted to say something, but was shot down by Chi Shuyan’s stern gaze. She looked down and started to eat, using her silence to protect her life.
“Why aren’t you saying more? What about that girl?” Mother Chi asked curiously.
“Can you even trust what Lingling says?” Chi Shuyan was helpless, and wanted to say something, but when he saw that even his father was curious, he didn’t say anything else anymore.
“We’re just concerned about you,” Mother Chi said. All my first years are in relationships, and the child from our neighbour’s family, Junjun, has a few girlfriends even in preschool. Your father and I were just wondering, it’d better not be the case that you had some illness and was just too embarrassed to say it. What if you hide it now and it affects you even worse in future?”
Chi Shuyan’s face turned green. In the end, Chi Lingling suddenly laughed so hard that she hugged her stomach as she did so, and when she didn’t have anymore energy to laugh, she fell off the chair instead.
Still, she continued laughing, and started rolling around on the floor in laughter.
Chi Shuya didn’t know what he should say, but he didn’t have any more appetite. He could only reply quickly, “Both of you don’t have to worry. I’m very healthy, and I’m not hiding anything. Tomorrow, our class has a group activity, so I’m going up to pack my bags first.”
After saying that, he directly returned to his room. However, he had barely taken two steps when his phone rang.
Chi Lingling’s reaction was the fastest. She immediately jumped off the ground and flew towards Chi Shuyan, her movements as swift as passing winds or flowing water. If she wasn’t trained in dance, she would probably have sprained her waist.
Chi Shuyan didn’t dare to use any strength against his sister. After all, her position was rather strange, and didn’t even have a centre of gravity. If he were to push her, she would certainly fall.
And it was because of his soft-heartedness that Chi Lingling succeeded. She happily took the phone and hid behind their parents’ back as they looked at the caller’s name appearing on the screen: Little Cutie.
This was big news! The three of them were extremely excited, as though they were immediately going to see their daughter-in-law. They wanted to pick up the call, but were a bit nervous, so all of them looked at Chi Shuyan together and signaled for him to come over.
“Wh… Wh… Who is this?” Chi Lingling first asked.
“A classmate.” Chi Shuyan lied with a straight face.
“That’s bullshit. Would a classmate be called ‘Little Cutie’?” Chi Lingling was so agitated that her tomboyish character showed. Chi Shuyan stared at her, and Chi Lingling managed awkwardly, “I didn’t mean that. I usually am very refined.”
The phone was still ringing, but no one was picking up. Su Tang felt that it was strange, and was going to hang up when he heard the call finally get through.
“Shuyan?” He asked carefully.
It sounded very noisy on the other end. Su Tang wasn’t sure if it was because they were watching TV or there were guests, but he felt that it was peculiar, so he wanted to hang up. “Shuyan, are you there? If you aren’t, then I’ll hang up first.”
“He’s here,” a female voice sounded.
Su Tang was so shocked that he immediately hung up.
Du du du du….
Chi Lingling and her parents looked at one another. After a long time, Chi Lingling finally yelled, “He’s… He’s… Male?”
“...…” Chi Shuyan didn’t say anything. He simply took the phone, apologised, then went upstairs.
He closed the door and locked it from inside, then sat down on the bed and took in a deep breath. Finally, he unlocked his phone and launched his call records, wanting to call Su Tang back. However, he was concerned that Su Tang might be worried, so he sent a message first.
After a while, Su Tang called him once more. However, he didn’t speak, as though he was waiting for Chi Shuyan to start speaking first.
“It’s me, Chi Shuyan.” Chi Shuyan said.
“Phew…” Su Tang finally heaved a sigh of relief, then asked, “What happened just now?”
“My sister accidentally picked up my call. It’s nothing.” Chi Shuyan lied, and didn’t dare to share the incident with Su Tang.
“Ohhh…” Su Tang could finally be at ease, but he still asked again, “Then did… did she ask you who I was?”
“She’s an easygoing person, and she’s never concerned about things like that.” Chi Shuyan consoled him.
“That’s great.” The huge rock in Su Tang’s heart had finally eased, and he looked at the time. It was only 7.30PM, so he asked, “Is there anyone around you?”
“No. I’m in my own room.” Chi Shuyan didn’t know why Su Tang would ask this, but very quickly, he realised why.
There was a prompt on his screen, which he clicked and accepted. Then, he saw the other person’s flushed face.
“Oh. We’ll save on phone bills this way.” Su Tang was not going to say that he was doing this because he wanted to see Chi Shuyan’s face.
“That’s right, it’s good.” Chi Shuyan nodded, and the darkness in his heart immediately dissipated. He smiled at Su Tang and asked, “Did you go and eat just now?”
“I did!” Su Tang said this, then turned and supported his head on his hands as he lay prone on the bed and let his legs sway in the air.
“Are you so happy to see me?” Chi Shuyan also lay on his side on the bed, and smiled as he spoke.
“It’s alright. I’m happy because the food was nice. It’s so much nicer than the school’s food. Plus my bed is extremely comfortable.” Su Tang even patted his blanket twice when he said it. It really looked very soft, as though one could sink into it.
“The bed looks very big, even bigger than the one in school.” Chi Shuyan raised an eyebrow, and said meaningfully as he looked at Su Tang.
“Mmmm…” Su Tang could also understand the meaning behind Chi Shuyan’s words, but he simply rubbed his head against the blanket, “But… But sleeping her isn’t as comfortable as sleeping in school.”
“What you mean is that sleeping with me is comfortable,” Chi Shuyan corrected him.