He had a great mother.
After her husband passed away when Xie Chenmin was very young, she raised Xie Chenmin while working hard outside the home, and still managed to keep the family prosperous.
The first time he told me he was going to take me to see his mother, I suddenly felt more nervous than ever.
I was surprised and said, Your mother approved?
He said, Our mother.
I was silent for a long time.
Since my mother came to our school at that time, rumours whether it was true or false had been flying around and had reached my family, only making their impression on Xie Chenmin more strict.
I was very upset about my parents.
I wanted to respect them, but they never seemed to respect my thoughts and wishes.
What I was unhappy about was why Xie Chenmin had to be that unbearable in their minds.
I am their son, and they love me, so shouldn’t Xie Chenmin be the child that his parents hold in their hearts?
I was a bit afraid to face Mother Xie.
At that time, he was studying in postgraduate school and I was working. My city was closer to his home and I went there by myself by high-speed train.
But the night before yesterday, I was pulled by a colleague for a BBQ, and I ate some spicy food. Then my throat became inflamed, and my tonsils were so swollen that I couldn’t speak.
I could feel that Xie Chenmin was about to die of worry through the text on WeChat. I felt like a child who was travelling for the first time and was questioned all the way to the destination.
I turned on Do Not Disturb when I was annoyed.
Mother Xie was someone with a few words, so I didn’t know why Xie Chenmin was so talkative.
Mother Xie just said “Come here” when I arrived.
Then she poured me a cup of hot water and gave me a few anti-inflammatory pills.
She said, Chenmin said, your throat is not good.
I remembered the first time I visited their home, Mother Xie didn’t say a word to me. She just cooked quietly while I washed the vegetables next to her.
I thought she didn’t like me and was just forcing a smile in front of Xie Chenmin.
When it was time to go, she stuffed me with a bottle of medicine and told me to remember to take medicine and to stop eating spicy food.
I remembered that the dishes on the dinner table were all bland, and Xie Chenmin had taken some trouble to develop some in particular according to my taste, especially for me who didn’t like to eat when I was sick.
It all tasted exactly the same.
I went back and lay in bed for a long time until I saw the 99+ and missed calls on my phone and I made a video call to Xie Chenmin.
His first sentence was, Did you take the medicine?
I shook my head.
He said, Hurry up and take your medicine.
I got up, touch the medicine from Mother Xie from the bedside, unscrewed it, and found a small note in a plastic bag.
There was a string of numbers and words written on it, ‘Xie Chenmin has no income right now, so use my card if you want to spend money, don’t feel wronged.’
At the end there was a sentence, ‘I will send you the verification code, don’t tell Xie Chenmin.’
My phone’s front camera has a high pixel count. After Xie Chenmin forced me to read out the contents of the note, he hung up the video and went to bombard his mother
He clamoured that it wasn’t fair and that he had never been treated this way.
Mother Xie always gave him a fixed amount of money on his card every month, and any further requests could only be made through a complicated process like a leadership approval review. As a result, he could only “work and study” in his freshman year.
Mother Xie, who was bombed, sent me a message, and I could see her helplessness through the text. She said, You child, how can you be so bad at doing things?”
She had been acting like a spy, but she was discovered by Xie Chenmin.
I couldn’t help laughing.
Mother Xie was quiet and cool, but she was a very interesting person.
She once told me that the money Xie Chenmin gave me to buy a computer was earned from his own part-time job. When she didn’t pass the application for money “approval”, she felt that there was something fishy with Xie Chenmin.
Xie Chenmin said, Originally, my mother’s attitude was that she neither supported nor opposed, but she said that since I had the courage to talk to her about it, she would try her best and learn to support us.
I said, Mother is very good to me.
He said, Well, she said because you were someone else’s child.
After he said that, Xie Chenmin felt angry again and continued to quarrel with his mother.
Mother Xie said, Come here.
Xie Chenmin replied, En.
She said, If you haven’t eaten, I’ll make something for you.
She seemed to know what Xie Chenmin did yesterday, so she didn’t say anything and quietly made him hot porridge to warm his stomach.
He went into the kitchen and wanted to help, but Mother Xie wouldn’t let him and told him to stand aside.
Mother Xie said, This kitchen cannot stand the blowup.
He said, I’m not going to blow it up.
She said, Just rest.
He looked at her back and said, Mom, I miss you.
I saw Mother Xie’s movements stop for a while.
The mother and son had met not long before.
At my funeral.
She just hummed and didn’t say another word.
Xie Chenmin didn’t say anything special, stayed for a while after dinner, and then left.
Before he left, Mother Xie said, Take good care of yourself.
Xie Chenmin nodded and said, I’ll go see Dad.
It was during those late self-study sessions when he was around every day that he told me that his father had left very early.
His memory still lingered on the tall man who carried him on his shoulders as soon as he got home, and then went to team up to steal food from the kitchen. Or the time he was writing squiggly kindergarten numbers by the window while letting the wind out and saw his mother coming back downstairs, so he shouted to his father who was playing online games secretly.
Whenever he was away on business, he would call home at a set time every day, whether he had something to do or not. Sometimes Mother Xie would perfunctorily give the phone to little Xie Chenmin.
He would say, Dad, it’s you again.
The other side said, Go, go, go, give the phone back to your mother.
He said, I don’t want to.
The other side said, We’ll go to McDonald’s on the weekend.
Then he immediately said, Okay, and obediently handed the phone back.
And then Mother Xie would put an end to the endless chatter of the other side by hanging up the phone.
Little Xie Chenmin looked forward to his father’s business trip every day, his phone call every day, his mother giving him the phone every day, his father’s promise of a weekend every day, and his mum’s smile when she picked him up after hanging up the phone.
But then one time, his father went on a business trip and never came back.
Mother Xie has kept that tablet1referring to the memorial tablet of the dead all her life, and would rather choose the most difficult path than marry again.
He said that our mother has a driver’s license, but she never drove a car again, and she rarely travels by car. Now she basically used bicycles and subways to get around.
Because his father died in a car accident.
He laid flowers on his father’s grave.
He squatted down and cleaned his tombstone, and stared at his photo for a long time.
He said, I should have chosen this place for the first time, maybe the two of you would have been able to meet.
My insubstantial heart stung for a moment.
After he said that, he got up and left. I saw that he bought a train ticket on his mobile phone.
The sting deepened when I saw the destination there.
It was my old hometown, where my parents live.
He said, By the way, do you know where I got my name from?
He was opening a room with me when he was throwing this serious question.
I shielded my eyes with my arms and said, I don’t want to know now.
When I had sex with him, the shame was overflowing. But he just had to talk to me, leaving me half floating and the other half trying to keep my head above water.
He went on to say, My mother’s surname was Min, a very rare surname.
I wrapped my arms around his neck and bit my lip.
He said, I’m going in.
I said, Okay.
He had been holding back for days, his movements were wild, almost frenzied, and I was taking pleasure in them.
It was addicting.
He said, Chu, you are someone high above, and I am your subject.
My ears were blushing, partly because his love words hit the mark accurately.
So much so that I didn’t dare to call him Chenmin anymore, as soon as I called it, I would think of the meaning of that second word.
He said, You are not a monarch, but I am willing to submit.
A thought rose in my heart, and I said with a black face, I’m blocking you.
Then Xie Chenmin, who had not finished the second phase, stayed on the blacklist for one day.
My parents wouldn’t take a good look at him.
No matter how far he had travelled to get here, or what his health was like, he would never get a bowl of porridge to warm his stomach.
When my mother opened the door, the glimmer of life that had come to life inside her haggard eyes withered once more when she saw him.
She closed the door hard and tried to shut Xie Chenmin out, but Xie Chenmin rebelliously peeled the door open and went inside.
He apologized to my mother, I’m sorry for the door.
My mother was shaking with anger and I saw that there were awards and trophies and photos of me since childhood hanging in the room.
I didn’t let them put these up when I was at home, so they didn’t. I had no idea that while I was away, these things, which I thought they had thrown away long ago, had been kept so nice like it was new.
There was also a suit being ironed.
Xie Chenmin didn’t know, but I knew that this suit was the first one I had bought for my father, and I found an excuse to tell him that if he came to our wedding, he should remember to wear this.
He was looking at the suit in awe, but when he heard the word wedding, he was so angry that he threw it in the trash in front of me.
I left, and it turned out that he secretly picked it up again.
Xie Chenmin looked at them and was tongue-tied for a moment.
My mother’s red and swollen eyes shed tears again and said, You… Return xiao Chu to us…
My father heard the commotion and hurried out of the inner room. He was startled for a moment when he saw Xie Chenmin, then roared, You get out of here.
He called out, Dad.
My father, as if he had been greatly humiliated, trembled and said angrily, Get out of here.
My dad was a veteran who had served half his life but said he had spent the rest of his life disgraced by me.
He was still stuck in the mindset that homosexuality was on a par with drugs, cults and crime. He had been stubborn for half his life and I couldn’t change it.
Xie Chenmin looked at the two elders, bathed in cries and curses, as well as the strange looks from curious heads.
We lived in the inclusive and friendly light for so long that we forgot that the world has shadows, and that shadows never find the light, and also that no one could dispel the prejudices and rumours that are so deeply rooted there.
He didn’t move even until my dad picked up the broom.
When my dad reached him, he knelt down.
He said, Dad, Mom, it’s my fault, you can hit me, I’m sorry.
I saw my dad’s movements stop and saw his hands shaking.
Then I saw a hard swing fall on him.
I wanted to rush in front of him to block him and tell him, You are not wrong.
Get your ass up there, and don’t apologize.
But there was nothing I could do.
He said, If you feel very disappointed, you can beat me to death. As long as you don’t kill me, I’ll be your son from now on.
I will come back to see you again, he said insistently.
I saw my father stop moving and dragged him out.
I heard my mother cry.
I felt his heart that already bruised and battered by the play of fate.
He stood outside the door until all the voices inside had ceased, and then left in gloom.
Destiny was indeed joking with me and him.
He had purposely scheduled the wedding on my birthday. On the seventh day after my death, it was my birthday.
Just in case anyone got confused like I was when I was reading the last line (；´∀｀)
Lin Chu seemed to die 7 days before their wedding which was explained in the last chapter was arranged on his birthday. So the 7th day of his death was not only his birthday but also his wedding day.