Later, Zhan Weiyang picked a large ceramic flowerpot for himself. Because it was large and heavy, Pei Qing helped him carry it to the car.

       They spent half a day in the flower market and only bought this one flowerpot. They didn’t buy anything else, mainly because Zhan Weiyang felt that he didn’t have time to take care of other plants.

       After driving back home, Pei Qing parked the car in front of the door.

       Auntie Luo came out of the house and stood at the door to watch them move the flowerpot down. She was surprised and said, “What do you buy such a big flowerpot for?”

       Zhan Weiyang said, “To live in.”

       Auntie Luo was puzzled.

       Pei Qing and Zhan Weiyang moved the flowerpot to the balcony on the second floor together and placed it on the spot Zhan Weiyang had chosen for himself.

       In the afternoon, Zhan Weiyang squatted on the ground, holding a wet rag in his hand, and wiped his flowerpot carefully.

       Pei Qing stood by the door leading to the balcony, leaning against the door frame to watch him.

       Zhan Weiyang looked very focused. The sun was shining on his head, and his soft short hair was lightly golden. His forehead and nose were slightly sweaty, and his fair cheeks were healthy and rosy.

       He pursed his lips tightly, and the corners of his lips that were always slightly upturned were stretched into a serious straight line. His eyes were staring at the big flower pot in front of him as if he was doing something sacred.

       Pei Qing couldn’t quite explain why he had been standing here, watching Zhan Weiyang. Now, whether it was him or Zhan Weiyang, they were both doing something quite boring. Yet, he found it difficult to look away, as if he had reverted to childhood, squatting at the doorstep and watching ants crawl along the concrete floor.

       Zhan Weiyang was certainly not an ant. He was a better-looking boy than ordinary boys. Because he was squatting on the ground, a part of his waist was exposed between the hem of his hooded sweatshirt and the waistband of his pants. He was thin and skinny, and his whiteness was dazzling. If he wasn’t a bit dim-witted, Pei Qing thought, at this age, he should be a confident and dazzling young man like his brother, Zhan Weiguang. Perhaps he was secretly in love, spending a sunny weekend afternoon playing basketball with a group of youngsters, with girls cheering and applauding for him when he scored. After all, he shouldn’t be squabbling with a large flowerpot on the balcony at home.

       As Pei Qing thought about this, Zhan Weiyang had already cleaned his flowerpot and was squatting on the ground, turning around the flower pot half a circle to check if there was any place that was not wiped clean. Seeing this, Pei Qing couldn’t help but smile faintly.

       Zhan Weiyang stood up from the ground, turned around and saw Pei Qing, and immediately showed a bright smile, waved at him, and then walked over.

       He stopped beside Pei Qing, raised the hand holding the rag, and said, “I’m going to wash the rag.”

       Pei Qing stepped aside and said, “Go on.”

       Zhan Weiyang nodded, walked past Pei Qing into the corridor, and went to the bathroom. He washed the rag with soap in the wash basin, then took it back to the balcony and hung it on the hanging rope. He then walked to his flower pot and looked at it with satisfaction.

       Pei Qing couldn’t help but tease him, “Do you want to give your flower pot a name?”

       Zhan Weiyang looked at him in surprise and said ‘Oh?’ softly, obviously not having thought about this question beforehand.

       Pei Qing sometimes felt that teasing Zhan Weiyang was not good, but he couldn’t help it. He said, “Yeah, there should be a name for it after all; you have a name.”

       Zhan Weiyang turned his head and stared at the flower pot, lost in thought.

       Pei Qing waited for him quietly.

       Unexpectedly, after a while, Zhan Weiyang raised his legs and stepped into the flower pot one after the other. He sat down in the flower pot and hugged his leg silently.

       At that moment, Pei Qing had an illusion, as if Zhan Weiyang really turned into a green plant with dense branches and leaves in front of him. Although it was growing vigorously, he could no longer move or speak, and he would no longer react when he wanted to tease him.

       Before realising that his emotion at that moment was panic, Pei Qing had subconsciously walked toward Zhan Weiyang.

       He squatted outside the flower pot and called him, “Yangyang?”

       Zhan Weiyang looked at Pei Qing but did not respond.

       Pei Qing raised his hand and touched Zhan Weiyang’s forehead, which was soaked with sweat but also slightly cool.

       Just like that, Zhan Weiyang suddenly spoke without warning, “I don’t know what it’s called, it’s my flower pot.”

       Pei Qing said, “Okay, don’t think much about it, it’s your flower pot.”

       Zhan Weiyang still sat there with his legs hugged, staring at Pei Qing and thinking seriously for a while. He said, “I want to go downstairs to shovel some soil up. Can you help me pour it in later?”

       Pei Qing stopped him, “Not today, let’s do it another day.”

       Zhan Weiyang asked, “Why?”

       Pei Qing said, “Because you have to go to class tomorrow. If you planted yourself in the soil, how can you go to class tomorrow?”

       Zhan Weiyang thought about it and felt that it made sense.

       Pei Qing continued, “Have you forgotten Chen Youyou? He got a wound on his forehead because of you. Are you not going to go to school tomorrow to comfort him?”

       Zhan Weiyang looked at Pei Qing with sparkling eyes, “I almost forgot. Qing ge you are really kind.”

       Pei Qing stretched out a hand to him, “Come out.”

       Zhan Weiyang’s gaze fell on Pei Qing’s palm, but he didn’t move for a long time. He didn’t want to come out.

       Pei Qing noticed it and asked him, “Don’t you want to come out?”

       Zhan Weiyang said, “En.”

       Pei Qing asked him, “Why?”

       Zhan Weiyang thought for a while and said, “I feel some—” He tried hard to find a word to express his meaning, and finally he really found it successfully. He was very surprised and happily said to Pei Qing, “Sense of belonging!”

       Pei Qing slowly shook his head at him, “No, you don’t. You’ve been busy all afternoon. Do you want to take a nap? How about taking a nap on Qing ge’s bed?”

       Zhan Weiyang found it quite appealing too, feeling a bit conflicted all of a sudden.

       Pei Qing stretched out both hands, “I’ll carry you out.” He passed his arms under Zhan Weiyang’s armpits. Seeing that he didn’t struggle, he first helped him stand up, then hugged his waist and lifted him out of the flowerpot.

       Zhan Weiyang was not short, so it was not easy for Pei Qing to hug his waist and lift him. Zhan Weiyang cooperated very well, not only hugging Pei Qing’s neck but also wrapping his legs around his waist.

       Pei Qing couldn’t help but pause.

       Zhan Weiyang hugged his neck tightly, tilted his head, put his face against his face, and gently called him, “Qing gege.”

       Pei Qing had never heard a boy call him in such a soft voice, and he didn’t know how to answer for a while, so he just said, “To bed?”

       Zhan Weiyang nodded.

       Pei Qing carried him and walked towards the balcony door.

       When crossing the balcony door and entering the corridor, Zhan Weiyang suddenly rubbed Pei Qing’s face, then kissed Pei Qing gently under the earlobe, and said to his ear, “I like you so much.”

       Pei Qing didn’t speak.

       Zhan Weiyang asked him, “Do you want to like me?” Pei Qing still didn’t answer. Zhan Weiyang leaned his face on Pei Qing’s shoulder in disappointment and said, “You could have given it some thought.”

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