Chen Yuncheng felt a little discouraged the moment he arrived at the door of Ning Junyan’s bedroom. He hesitated for a moment, raised his hand and knocked on the door lightly, and thought that if Ning Junyan had already fallen asleep, he would not talk about it today.
In the end, he only knocked on the door twice when he heard Ning Junyan’s voice coming from inside, saying to him, “Please come in.”
Chen Yuncheng twisted the door handle, opened the door a little, and saw that there was only a small desk lamp lit on in the room, and Ning Junyan was sitting against the head of the bed with a thick book spread out on his knee.
“Am I bothering you?” Chen Yuncheng asked.
Ning Junyan looked at him and said, “Not bothering, come in.”
Chen Yuncheng walked in, stood by the bed and said to Ning Junyan, “I have something to tell you.”
Ning Junyan closed the book and put it aside, and said to him, “Sit down and talk.”
Chen Yuncheng originally hoped that Ning Junyan would go to the living room with him to sit down and talk, but when he saw that Ning Junyan had no intention of getting up from the bed, he had to sit down beside the bed and softly called his name: “Junyan.”
Ning Junyan said, “What do you want to talk to me about?”
Sitting sideways on the edge of the bed was not a convenient position, hesitated for a moment and turned around to face Ning Junyan as he sat cross-legged on the bed.
His eyes involuntarily fell on the book beside Ning Junyan and found that it was a book in English, and he could barely understand a single word of the terms on it.
Ning Junyan followed his gaze and placed one hand on the book’s cover, asking him, “Can’t sleep? Do you want me to read to you?”
Chen Yuncheng laughed, “I can’t understand even if you read it, is it just the right amount for hypnosis?”
Ning Junyan tapped his long fingers on the hard bookcase and thought for a while before saying, “Want to read comics?”
When Chen Yuncheng heard the word ‘comic’, he remembered the book ‘Bewitching Treasure’. He tried to suppress his shame and didn’t raise his hand to cover his face as he said, “No, I’m almost thirty, and I’m no longer interested in comics.”
Ning Junyan said “oh” and asked him, “Then what are you interested in?”
Chen Yuncheng rarely heard this question. He used to have so many friends that everyone would drink and chat together, but almost no one asked him what he was interested in.
When he thought about it, it seemed that there was nothing he was particularly interested in, especially after he left school and went to work. He first set himself a goal of saving money and then worked hard to make money. So far, his biggest goal was to return the money to Ning Junyan as soon as possible.
“I don’t know either,” Chen Yuncheng said. “I’m not particularly interested in anything.”
Ning Junyan nodded, “I’m not particularly interested in anything either.”
Chen Yuncheng was a little surprised to hear that, “Aren’t you interested in your work?”
Ning Junyan said, “Work is work. You choose one thing and do it to the best of your ability. You don’t necessarily need to be interested.” He paused for a while, “But that’s what I thought before I met you.”
Chen Yuncheng was stunned for a moment; his heart began to beat gradually and fiercely, he wanted to stop Ning Junyan from continuing to speak, but at this time, he couldn’t say anything when he looked at Ning Junyan.
Ning Junyan said, “After seeing you again, I realised that I wasn’t really uninterested in anything.”
Chen Yuncheng turned his eyes away as he said again, “Junyan.”
Ning Junyan said, “That’s the second time you’ve called me by my given name.”
Chen Yuncheng took a deep breath and finally said, “You said you wouldn’t let me leave unless you agreed, have you thought about what would happen to us in the end?”
Ning Junyan said, “What about?”
Chen Yuncheng lowered his head and looked at his coiled-up knees resting right on the edge of Ning Junyan’s thin quilt as he said, “I remember when I was little, and your parents came to take you away, I actually wished you wouldn’t go. At that time, I felt like you were my only family.” These were words that Chen Yuncheng had never said to anyone else.
He still remembered that after Ning Junyan was taken away, he sat alone on the bench of the police station. He wanted to cry, but he held back. When someone came to talk to him, he also tried to make himself look good for fear that others would dislike him.
At this time, Ning Junyan sat up straight; he reached out to Chen Yunchen’s hand and gently held his hand as if he was afraid of touching Chen Yuncheng’s wound. Ning Junyan only held his fingers that were sticking out from the edge of the gauze.
Chen Yuncheng didn’t break free, and at this moment, they seemed to return to the moment when they parted in their teens.
“But,” Chen Yuncheng continued after a long time, “I know you have to go back with your parents. I’m in no position to keep you, you have your own life.”
Ning Junyan’s voice was low, “You don’t think I’m in a position to keep you around now?”
Chen Yuncheng shook his head, “That’s not what I meant. I just want to say that we are not children anymore. Even if we are brothers, we can’t always live together when we grow up, we will always have our own families.”
Ning Junyan asked him, “Are you going to?”
Chen Yuncheng said, “I don’t necessarily will, but I know you will have one. You are so good, I don’t know how many equally good girls want to marry you.”
Ning Junyan nodded. He still held Chen Yuncheng’s finger and said, “Is that what you think?”
Chen Yuncheng looked at him, “I hope you have a good life.”
Ning Junyan asked Chen Yuncheng, “So are you having a good life now?”
Chen Yuncheng never cared about a good life, but he didn’t feel that he had a bad life. His life was already destined to go on like this, and there was no point in feeling sorry for himself. He told Ning Junyan and also himself, “I feel fine.”
Ning Junyan said, “I hope you have a good life too.” After he said that, he smiled without warning and raised Chen Yuncheng’s hand to gently touch his chest, “But I can’t help myself. Even if you don’t have a good life, what if I don’t want you to leave?”
Chen Yuncheng was stunned.
The smile on Ning Junyan’s face disappeared, and he looked at Chen Yuncheng intently, “Chen Yuncheng, I have tried my best to restrain myself. I have been giving you time, do you understand?”
Chen Yuncheng’s heart trembled, and he wanted to pull his fingers out of Ning Junyan’s hand.
“No,” Ning Junyan held his hand even tighter instead, “I don’t want to hurt you; you’ll be in pain. You asked me if I had thought about what would happen in the future. Why haven’t I thought about it? I’ve been thinking about it since the day I saw you again, sometimes so much that my head hurts. I’ve thought about it for a long time; our future is that you stay by my side and don’t leave even half a step without my consent.”
“Ning Junyan—” Chen Yuncheng felt his voice was a little unsteady when he heard it.
Ning Junyan lifted his other hand that was at his side and pointed to his head, “This is where I was injured as a child, you must still remember.”
Chen Yuncheng watched his movements and recalled the injury on his head when he first saw him.
Ning Junyan said, “Maybe it’s still not quite normal to this day. It was only the moment I saw you that I got so excited and even regretted letting go of the hand that was holding you. If I hadn’t let go, would we have been separated for so long?”
Chen Yuncheng’s heart was churning, and many emotions rushed up together.
Ning Junyan took his hand at this moment, put it on his lips and kissed it lightly, and said, “So stop saying you want to leave. You can’t leave.”
For a moment, Chen Yuncheng’s hair stood on end because of his words, but in the next moment, they were washed away by more and more complicated emotions. His heart was conflicted and tormented, not knowing what to do.
They sat face to face on the bed and didn’t speak for a long time.
Ning Junyan’s expression was very calm, and he even reached out to brush the hair that fell from Chen Yuncheng’s forehead and then said to him, “Don’t be afraid. I will give you time.”
Chen Yuncheng looked at him.
Ning Junyan said, “I can’t bear to hurt you.”
Chen Yuncheng was silent for a while and asked, “Does your head still hurt now?”
Ning Junyan replied, “Occasionally.”
Chen Yuncheng sighed softly, raised his hand and touched the top of Ning Junyan’s head gently, calling out to him like he had done when he was a child, “Yanyan.”
Ning Junyan lowered his gaze. His eyelashes trembled slightly as he replied, “En.”
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