Drunk In Love (Years of Intoxication) - Chap 46
After dinner, Zhou Heyi went to the hotel to pick up his luggage. When he got into the car, he lowered his voice and said mysteriously to He Gu, “Mr. He, no one has noticed us.”
He Gu was a little amused. “I’m not a spy, so relax.”
He Gu thought for a moment and said, “Do you have any friends in Germany?”
“For now, have your friend book a hotel room for us using his ID.”
“Okay.” Zhou Heyi frowned. “But what are we gonna do when we get to Eastern Europe?”
“So long as there’s money, there’ll be a way.”
“By the way, I know a website where people rent out their own guest rooms to tourists. They’re in every city. They aren’t that strict with documents, and some of the accommodations are very good, making them more expensive than hotels.”
“Good, get in touch with one for me.”
Zhou Heyi appeared a little excited, looking as if he were acting in a movie. While driving, he called his friend in Berlin. That friend enthusiastically booked a hotel room for them. The two then took their room cards and went straight upstairs.
Sitting in the quiet guest room, He Gu silently stared at the t-shirt that Zhou Heyi threw on the bed.
On top of it, the two words* “Song Juhan” could be faintly seen.
* The raws mentioned “three,” referring to the three characters that make up Song Juhan’s name.
He Gu just wanted to get out and have a nice time. Why couldn’t Song Juhan leave him be…
After a while, Zhou Heyi came out wearing only a pair of large shorts, his upper body left bare. By European standards, he wasn’t very tall, at 178cm. However, he had quite a good figure. He had faintly visible abs and lightly-defined chest muscles, along with a thin and strong waist, and legs that were straight and long. Matched with a constantly smiling face and boundless energy, he was very likeable, reminding people of the sun, sea, and beach.
He Gu couldn’t help but look twice.
“Mr. He, go take a shower. I’ve wiped off all the water on the floor, but you better still be careful when you go in. The floor is a little slippery.”
“Okay, thanks.” He Gu took a change of clothes, went into the bathroom, and had a comfortable shower.
When he came out, he saw Zhou Heyi with his legs hanging over the armrest of the sofa while he played on his phone. Hearing the other man come over, Zhou Heyi turned and glanced at He Gu quickly with an awkward and weird look in his eyes.
He Gu could roughly guess what it was about, but he just tilted his head and looked at him, waiting for him to speak.
Zhou Heyi blinked. “Mr. He, I know why you’re hiding from Song Juhan. I… I looked it up on the internet, and it turns out you guys…”
He Gu dried his hair with the towel as he said calmly, “I’m not hiding from him. I just don’t want to be disturbed by him on my trip.”
Zhou Heyi said sheepishly, “You’re not angry with me, are you? I was just a little curious.”
“It’s alright. Anyway, it doesn’t make a difference if one more person knows.”
“Don’t worry, Mr. He. Your lifestyle and choices are yours alone. They won’t change the respect I have for you.”
He Gu smiled. “Thank you.”
“I don’t like him at all now.” Zhou Heyi lifted his chin in the direction of the trash can and threw the t-shirt inside it. “I don’t believe what the news articles say. I know you and I believe you’re a good person.”
Solemnly He Gu said again, “Thank you.”
To hear such words, even from someone who had only known him for a few days, was quite comforting.
“Um… Well, Song Juhan has a wound on his face.” Zhou Heyi gestured. “He must have been beaten up. Would you be happy hearing this?”
He Gu said helplessly, “I’d be happier if I hear nothing about him.”
Zhou Heyi hurriedly nodded. He looked at the slender calf exposed from under He Gu’s bathrobe, and his eyes lit up a bit.
Song Juhan waited in the hotel until ten o’clock in the evening. Having always had a bad temper, he had never waited for anyone for so long in his life. After sitting the whole day, his back was sore and his legs were numb. Finally, he couldn’t help but take out his phone and call the driver who was accompanying He Gu. But unexpectedly, the phone was turned off. An ominous foreboding rose in his heart. He went to the front desk, wanting to check if He Gu had returned while he had gone to the bathroom.
The receptionist looked into it and then told him that He Gu had checked out of the room.
“Checked out?!” Song Juhan’s expression instantly turned ferocious.
Startled, the receptionist lady stepped back and looked at him with fear.
Song Juhan gnashed his teeth. “When? When did he check out!”
“Around eight o’clock in the evening.”
Eight o’clock… Song Juhan recalled, wasn’t that the time that young Chinese man who had asked for his autograph went back to the hotel for the second time? At that time, he did go to the front desk while carrying two suitcases.
Was He Gu with that person?
Seething in anger, Song Juhan turned and left. He got into his car and made a call home. “Immediately send me a photo of the driver accompanying He Gu.”
After waiting for three minutes, his phone received an ID picture. Song Juhan looked at it and found that it was indeed that young man.
Song Juhan was so angry and anxious he wanted to kill somebody.
He Gu was touring around Europe with this handsome young man? The two of them even stay in the same room?! He missed He Gu all because of this man!
Song Juhan felt like he was going crazy. His hand holding the phone trembled, and he said in a cold voice, “Thoroughly investigate everything about this driver.”
After hanging up the phone, Song Juhan closed his eyes. Something heavy seemed to be pressing against his chest, and his throat felt like there was a hand gripping it, each breath taking a lot of effort.
He Gu was avoiding him. Not only did he leave without saying a word, he was also avoiding him.
That He Gu who had loved him for so many years, coddled him and coaxed him, and said whatever he wanted to hear, where had he gone? Why couldn’t he keep that He Gu from disappearing little by little, no matter how tightly he held him and how well he treated him?
He Gu hated seeing him so much that he was actually avoiding him…
Song Juhan extremely regretted not noticing his strangeness earlier. However, He Gu had always been cautious with his words. It was hard to tell what was on his mind when he didn’t speak. Him leaving without saying anything was completely in line with his personality.
After so many years together, he still didn’t seem to know He Gu well enough. He wanted to understand. He wanted to understand him very, very much. He wanted to spend the rest of his life getting to know this man little by little, and maybe then he would understand how, in the past seven years, he had step-by-step gone from being completely indifferent to He Gu to becoming inseparable from him. He Gu, this man who couldn’t even say anything nice, what kind of drug did he give him?!
When He Gu woke up, he found the bed next to him empty.
He had a disciplined routine and would get up quite early every day. He didn’t expect Zhou Heyi to be up before him. He Gu yawned, then got up to wash his face.
Just as he finished washing up, Zhou Heyi came back. He was wearing a tracksuit. The cords of his headphones were dangling around his neck, and his hair was slightly wet. He obviously just came back from jogging. With a paper bag in his hand, he smiled at He Gu, revealing his white teeth. “Mr. He, I saw that you’re unused to the Western-style breakfast, so I went to Chinatown and bought you some steamed dumplings and congee.”
He Gu was stunned and a little touched. “Thank you. I normally just eat anything, but now I’ve troubled you to get up so early.”
“It’s okay. I actually wanted to have some, too.” Zhou Heyi opened the bag and sniffed it. “Mmm, it smells so good. Come, let’s eat.”
He Gu really couldn’t get used to the bread, cheese, and other foods. He always felt like he was not full yet. A traditional Chinese breakfast was still the best.
“Mr. He, today we’ll be leaving for Cologne*. I’ll take you to see the Cologne Cathedral.”
“Our last stop in Germany is Munich. The beer there is great, and if you like football, I can also take you to see a game.”
“Okay, you make the arrangements.”
Zhou Heyi said with a smile, “Mr. He, you’re the best client I’ve ever had.”
He Gu smiled. “Really?”
“Really. You’re polite, nice to talk to, generous…” Zhou Heyi pursed his lips. “And also handsome.”
“Thank you. You’re a great driver and guide, too.”
“If I go to China in the future, can I invite you to hang out?”
“Of course. You are welcome to do so.”
The two men got into the car and headed for Cologne.
On the road, He Gu noticed that there wasn’t a single song by Song Juhan in Zhou Heyi’s car music. He Gu had already felt pleased by this young man’s attentiveness and thoughtfulness on the way, and now, he felt even more so.
When Zhou Heyi noticed that He Gu was particularly silent today, he changed his tricks and started looking for a topic. “Mr. He, Mr. He.”
“There’s no speed limit on the highways of Germany. There are so few vehicles right now, do you wanna experience what it feels like riding a super fast car?”
“Well, how fast can this car go?”
“220 is no problem.”
“Then let’s go.” He Gu tugged on the seatbelt and secured it tightly.
Zhou Heyi changed to an exploding, heavy metal rock song. With a “yoohoo!”, he floored the gas pedal, and the Buick minivan leapt out flying.
He Gu was startled. He had never ridden in such a fast car in his life, and he felt a little nervous. Even with the laminated glass in place, the visual effect in front was still frightening. If he turned his head around to look at the windows at the side, he’d find the scenery outside to be all flashing past them, the body of the car seemingly drifting away.
He Gu clenched his fist. His whole body was bursting with tension and fear, but this kind of thrill was also unprecedented, and he couldn’t help laughing.
Zhou Heyi also laughed. “Hahahaha! Wasn’t that exhilarating!”
“Yes!” He Gu responded excitedly.
The needle on the dashboard exceeded 200. The two men sped along the empty highway for a full two minutes. No ordinary person could hold on to that nerve-racking tension for too long, so Zhou Heyi slowly lowered the speed of the car.
He Gu felt his back was full of sweat.
“Whoo, that felt good.” Zhou Heyi let out a breath and smiled widely at He Gu. “Did you have fun?”
“Yeah, I did.”
“There are so many fun things in the world. If there’s anything to be unhappy about, just get rid of it. As the Chinese say, ‘Whether you’re happy or not, it’s still another day.’ So why live unhappily? It’s not like being unhappy will solve anything.”
He Gu chuckled. He was actually being educated by a man several years younger than him, and it was a little embarrassing. However, Zhou Heyi had a point. At first, he had regretted spending so much money and going to such a far and unfamiliar place, but now he thought that this trip was worth it. The world had so many novel and fascinating things in store for him. Why should he keep his eyes on one person when he could obviously try to get joy, fulfilment, and satisfaction from other places?
When they arrived in Cologne, they toured around for a day. In the evening, they went to Chinatown to buy a lot of snacks, deli items, and instant noodles. Afterwards, they went to the private-owned house that Zhou Heyi had found.
The guest room was provided by an Italian couple working in Germany. Their company rented a large house for them, and so they rented out the spare rooms to tourists in order to earn some extra cash.
On this day, all three rooms were full. In addition to him and Zhou Heyi, there was also a young Japanese couple who came to visit.
Coincidentally, today was the birthday of the daughter of the homeowner and his wife, and so a bunch of friends, young and old, came over to visit. The homeowner invited them to join the party as well.
He Gu had a few drinks that day and had the courage to exchange words with some foreigners. His English was actually quite good, he just got nervous easily. After chatting for a while, his tension eased, and he was able to speak smoothly.
Zhou Heyi was surprised and said, “Mr. He, your English is so good. I thought you weren’t very good at it.”
“It’s been a long time since I’ve used it.” He Gu smiled, feeling relaxed as he watched the warm and happy gathering. When he was in the capital, he had always felt that the air was oppressive and suffocating, but when he arrived here, he no longer felt that way.
After the party, He Gu felt a bit tipsy, but for the most part he was still sober.
Zhou Heyi held his waist and said, “Mr. He, let me take you back to your room.”
“It’s fine. I’m not drunk. I can go back on my own.”
“It’s not safe to go up the stairs. Let me help you.”
Although the house was big, the design of the stairs was quite narrow. Zhou Heyi supported He Gu as they climbed the stairs together, their bodies bumping into each other endlessly. It was actually easier for him to ascend the stairs on his own, but Zhou Heyi’s enthusiasm and passion to help was hard to refuse.
After struggling for a while, they finally made it back to the room. He Gu flopped down on the lavender-scented quilt and stretched out his body.
“Mr. He, are you feeling alright? I have hangover medicine in the car.”
“I’m fine, I didn’t drink that much.” He Gu looked at Zhou Heyi, his eyes heavy, as he asked randomly, “Heyi, how old are you?”
“Twenty-one.” Zhou Heyi stared intently at He Gu, his Adam’s apple bobbing up and down slowly.
“So young… Why didn’t you go to university?”
“I don’t like to study.” Zhou Heyi smiled as he said, “I like to surf. Right now I need to work and save enough money so I can travel around the world and challenge all the hottest surf spots. In the future, I want to open my own surf shop and teach surfing lessons.”
He Gu smiled. “Sounds amazing.”
Zhou Heyi casually sat down on the side of the bed and said, “Mr. He, what about you? What are your dreams?”
“Dreams…” That word seemed to mock He Gu.
What He Gu understood as dreams or desires were things that he wanted or things that he wanted to achieve. In his life, the only thing he ever wanted with a passion was Song Juhan, but it wasn’t until the very end that He Gu realised what he had initially wanted from Song Juhan. He wanted Song Juhan’s dedication, loyalty, and lifelong companionship – and not just the occasional moments he once thought he was satisfied with. Those moments were just a ‘compromise’ he had slowly come to accept throughout the last seven years. As time passed, he had grown to fear thinking about his original desire.
Because Song Juhan was precisely someone who could never be loyal to his feelings. Although he was a selfish and greedy taker, it wasn’t like Song Juhan never gave back. It was just that what he gave wasn’t what He Gu wanted – it wasn’t the one and only Song Juhan that belonged only to He Gu, himself. If that was the case, He Gu would rather not want anything at all.
For the past seven years, He Gu was able to watch Song Juhan flit from one lover to another only because he wasn’t in any position to say anything. In the end, Song Juhan gave him his word – a promise that seemed like an invisible lifeline to He Gu, but to Song Juhan, it was just another fancy lie. In fact, Song Juhan even wanted to take away his title of a fuck buddy, and upgrade him to that of a ‘mistress’. It wasn’t until He Gu was faced with that endless despair that he finally sobered up.
With a clear mind, He Gu finally understood that he would never get what he wanted from Song Juhan. If he continued to stay in this quagmire, he would definitely lose his mind and become crazy due to Song Juhan’s infidelity and eventually ruin not just himself, but Song Juhan as well.
That’s why he needed to stop this nightmare from happening.
Zhou Heyi noticed that He Gu wasn’t saying anything, and said ruefully, “They say the older you get, the more likely you’ll forget your dreams. I don’t know if I’ll forget my dreams in the future, too.”
“Even if you do forget, it’s probably because there’s something more important for you to do in your life.”
Zhou Heyi laughed, “I guess so.” Then he lowered his head to look He Gu straight in the eye. “Mr. He, this is the first time you’ve spoken so much to me.”
“Really? Don’t we talk everyday?”
“That was all me talking, and you answering occasionally. When we first started travelling together, I was actually a little scared of you.”
He Gu laughed, “Scared of what?”
“You’re too serious.” Zhou Heyi lay on the bed and looked at the man next to him. “Later, I found out you’re just reserved and don’t talk much, but you’re actually really nice. I guess being quiet is also quite charming for a man.”
He Gu turned and looked at him, a subtle smile in his eyes.
Zhou Heyi’s heart skipped a beat. He couldn’t help swallowing anxiously as he stared at He Gu’s evading eyes.
He Gu was startled for a moment. Then, as if he realised something, he suddenly bolted upright.
Zhou Heyi hurriedly sat up as well, his cheeks flushed bright red. “Mr. He, you should go to sleep soon. We still have a lot planned for tomorrow.”
“Okay, good night.”
Before he went to bed, He Gu checked his email. The only people that knew about this email account had all written to him.
His mother sent him Susu’s summer camp schedule and information, Gu Qingpei told him he was doing alright, and Zhuang Jieyu said that Song Juhan was looking for him everywhere.
He Gu replied to each of them separately, and in Zhuang Jieyu’s email he simply wrote: “Let him look.”
Song Juhan managed to track down Zhou Heyi’s email address, and found out about the shared accommodation they were staying at. Just as he was about to rush over, his father’s bodyguards caught up to him.
Song Juhan didn’t think his father would be so ruthless this time as to send people to Germany to look for him.
Around seven or eight bodyguards showed up outside his hotel room. They even had tasers on them as they crowded in and surrounded him.
Just as Song Juhan managed to fend off three of them, he suddenly felt a numbing pain shoot through his entire body as he fell heavily to the floor. When he opened his eyes again, he was already on his father’s private plane, flying home.
When he got home, Song Juhan was once again put on house arrest. This time, it was for real – Song He had people watching him twenty-four hours a day.
During this time, Song Juhan experienced the most difficult period of his life. In fact, it was a hundred times more unbearable than the time he spent in the detention centre.
All he could think about was He Gu.
Everyday the same thoughts would pass through his mind on repeat – ‘Where is He Gu?’, ‘What is he doing right now?’, ‘Is that driver also gay?’, and ‘What if they ended up together?’ Song Juhan had spent so many years with He Gu that he sometimes forgot just how charming the man was. But all the men around He Gu – Feng Zheng, Zhuang Jieyu, Gu Qingpei – were all quite sharp-eyed and accomplished in their own rights. It was enough to prove just how attractive He Gu was.
The more time passed, the harder it became for Song Juhan to sleep and eat properly. When he was awake, he would feel anxious all the time. He didn’t know what had happened to him; it was like he had gone mad. He missed He Gu with the same desperation as someone who hadn’t eaten in over ten days and was currently craving food – he craved He Gu.
He wanted to see He Gu. He wanted to see He Gu. He just wanted to see He Gu.
He wanted to ask He Gu how he could dare treat him like this. He wanted to kidnap the man, bring him home, and lock him up. He wanted to keep He Gu for himself, so no one else could see him, or touch him. And he wanted to tell He Gu that he wouldn’t get married, he wouldn’t have children. So long as the He Gu that he liked would return to him, he would agree to anything.
Just thinking about the realisation that ‘He Gu might not like him anymore’ was enough to make him go crazy.
After Song Juhan’s second attempt to escape failed, and the incident where he even broke one of the bodyguard’s ribs to get away, Song He realised the severity of the situation and called Vanessa back from abroad. But she was completely clueless as to what was happening to her son back home.
Once she found out what had happened, Vanessa had a huge fight with her husband before going to see Song Juhan. Walking into his bedroom, she saw the dejected look on her son’s face and frowned deeply.
Song Juhan lifted his head to look at her as he said weakly and without strength, “You’re back.”
Vanessa kneeled gracefully in front of him and used her long and slender finger to lift his chin. “Baby, why have you put yourself in this situation? You’re twenty-seven, not seventeen. How can you still be as childish as before?”
“Mom, I want to see He Gu,” Song Juhan said in a hoarse voice.
“Does He Gu want to see you though?”
Song Juhan froze, pursed his lips, then reluctantly shook his head.
“It’s already come to this, why are you still forcing him?”
“I just want to see him,” said Song Juhan stubbornly. “I can find out where he is right now. As long as I can get out of here, I can find him straight away.”
“And what will you do after you find him?”
“Bring him back.” Song Juhan stared straight at Vanessa. “Mom, He Gu loves me, he told me himself. I knew it all along, he’s loved me for many years now. He can’t bear to part with me. He’s just angry with me right now, he doesn’t really want to ignore me.”
Vanessa looked at her son with a pained expression on her face and said quietly, “He loves you; everyone knew that. I think the only one that didn’t know was you. I’ve warned you many times before to treat He Gu well – did you treat him well?”
“Of course I treat him…” The words were right at the tip of his tongue, and yet he couldn’t bring himself to finish the sentence.
Did he treat He Gu well?
He gave He Gu a house, a car, and numerous gifts, but He Gu never cared about those material things. Whenever he felt annoyed or angry, he would take it out on He Gu, because he knew He Gu would always yield to him. Sometimes he would even purposely mention other people in front of He Gu just to see if this normally calm and collected man would be jealous. He even made He Gu lose his job, expose all his personal details online, and get harassed and abused by countless strangers. In the end, he even considered marrying someone else…
Did he treat He Gu well?
This loaded question… Song Juhan suddenly didn’t dare to answer it.
But… but he never once thought of parting ways with He Gu. It didn’t matter how many beautiful and exquisite people came and went in his life; whenever he was tired, stressed, or annoyed he only wanted He Gu at his side. After Feng Zheng showed up again, he once told He Gu to get lost in a fit of rage, but he knew He Gu wouldn’t actually leave him, because He Gu always came back eventually. But this time He Gu didn’t come looking for him… but that didn’t matter either, because he would look for He Gu instead.
This man had been by his side for the best seven years of his life, sharing his joys and achievements, frustrations and disappointments. No matter what happened, every time Song Juhan turned back, He Gu would always be there silently waiting for him. As long as he needed it, he could do anything to He Gu, and get anything he wanted from He Gu.
He never thought that one day He Gu would actually leave him. He couldn’t even begin to imagine what life would be like without He Gu.
Now that he had experienced it for himself, it was as if his life had completely fallen apart.
Song Juhan never felt fear, not when he was handcuffed and arrested, not when he was being accused by the media and verbally abused by netizens. Not even when his entire career was crumbling around his feet. But when He Gu started to drift away, he felt fear.
It was a kind of helplessness like sand that, no matter how hard he tried, how desperately he wanted to hold on, slipped faster and faster through his fingers. For the first time in his life, he experienced what fear truly felt like.
In all honesty, it wasn’t like he had never thought about it before. He did think that He Gu probably had deeper feelings for him – otherwise, he wouldn’t be so persistent in staying by his side for so long. But he was too lazy to think deeper about it, or to prove it. He was still young, after all. He still hadn’t played around enough, he didn’t want to respond to complicated things such as feelings. And even if he didn’t respond, He Gu was still there in the palm of his hands anyways, so why bother?
But He Gu was so smart, maybe he already knew everything? Perhaps He Gu had always known what he was thinking in his heart? If so, if He Gu really did know, then wouldn’t he feel deeply hurt by it…
Song Juhan held his head as a dull, throbbing pain clenched in his chest.
What frame of mind did He Gu have to stay with him for the past seven years?
Song Juhan didn’t dare to finish that train of thought. In the few days where he was kept on house arrest, he thought a lot. The more he thought, the more fear he felt – fear that this time, He Gu really wouldn’t come back anymore.
Vanessa let out a sigh and gently touched her son’s hair. “Baby, this marriage between your father and I is open and mutually understanding, but this is a special type of marriage. Other relationships are different, people mostly require loyalty and fidelity. I’m sorry your father and I never taught you this before.”
Song Juhan shook his head, and said in a hoarse voice, “Mom, I want to see He Gu. He loves me. He will come back.”
“He might not come back.” Vanessa gently stroked his arm. “He Gu is someone that does everything to the extreme. His feelings for you have already reached its peak, now that he wants to leave you, he’ll also…”
“Impossible!” Song Juhan jerked his head up all of a sudden, his eyes bloodshot as he said fiercely, “He loves me, he will come back. I just need to see him, and then I’ll coax him nicely.”
Vanessa sighed. “Let me talk to your father. If you want to leave, you can. But you must promise me three things. First, you mustn’t do anything else to hurt others or yourself. Did you know you’ve hurt quite a few of the bodyguards already? Secondly, you can’t act rashly or wilfully anymore. It wasn’t easy for your career to pick up again, you can’t just disappear at this crucial time. And lastly, you must promise me this: promise me that you won’t force He Gu to do something he doesn’t want to.”
Song Juhan nodded, and grasped Vanessa’s hands tightly.
Looking at his flawless features, Vanessa stroked his cheek as she said sadly, “Perhaps it’s my fault for not establishing the right concept of love for you, but I did teach you to have humility, sincerity and kindness. I don’t know how you grew up to be so arrogant, selfish and fickle. Have you been influenced by your father, or was it the entertainment circle that led you astray?”
Song Juhan lowered his head, unable to respond.
“Even if you go looking for him, you might not be able to change anything. How have you treated He Gu in the past years? Think about how it would feel if He Gu were to treat you like that, and you’ll understand. He’s not coming back.”
Song Juhan shivered, his fists clenched tightly by his side, and his vision blurred as he gritted his teeth, “He’ll come back. He’ll definitely come back.”