Drunk In Love (Years of Intoxication) - Chap 49
Song Juhan held He Gu as if he was holding onto a critical lifeline. Although he was trembling all over from grief and anger, he still refused to let go. In addition, his drunken muttering of “I want He Gu, I want He Gu…” really was heartbreaking to listen to.
Gathering all the strength in his body, He Gu pushed the other man away and ran out of the study embarrassedly.
He ran straight into the living room, ignoring the protests of the Indian housekeeper, and dashed towards the front door. The moment he pushed open the door, He Gu froze.
Beyond the door was a vibrant landscape, and beyond that was nothing but the endless blue sea.
The housekeeper followed He Gu out and said in fluent Chinese, “Mr. He, we are currently on a small island in the Mediterranean Sea. This is a private island, so no one can leave without the consent of the young master.”
He Gu turned and looked coldly at him. “Are there any boats on this island?”
The housekeeper answered respectfully, “Only a small yacht. But even if you manage to get the keys, and happen to know how to navigate it, there’s still not enough fuel for you to return to land.”
He Gu was silent for a moment before he began walking further and further away from the villa.
“Don’t follow me.”
He Gu walked into the garden outside the villa. It was abundant in tropical plants that were rich in colour and without deliberate modification, growing passionately and giving off a kind of wild beauty. He Gu stood amidst those colourful plants at a complete loss.
For a short time his brain was blank as he wondered why he was here in the first place. How could he and Song Juhan have fallen to this point?
He took a deep breath and forced himself to calm down.
Song Juhan had actually brought him to an island – was he planning to keep him on house arrest?
Song Juhan, you madman, how could you do something like this? It seems I’ve really provoked him too much this time…
He Gu thought about how he would leave this place. He was afraid Song Juhan would take revenge on Zhou Heyi. At the same time, he was afraid Zhou Heyi would be worrying about him. Most of all, he was afraid his mother would become anxious when she couldn’t get in touch with him.
There was nothing but the endless expanse of the sea around him, so where was he supposed to run to? It seemed as though unless Song Juhan agreed to it, it would be impossible for him to get off this island…
Behind him came the sound of approaching footsteps, accompanied by the gentle crunching sound of branches and leaves being trampled on.
Amidst the luscious greens, He Gu turned around and looked at Song Juhan, his face as dark and gloomy as death itself.
Song Juhan’s eyes were red, looking both fierce and dejected at the same time as he stared menacingly at He Gu.
He Gu said as calmly as he could manage, “When do you plan to let me go?”
“When you promise to never see that driver again and come home with me.”
“Song Juhan, have you gone mad?” He Gu squinted his eyes. “These things can’t be forced, we must both be willing.”
“Didn’t you say you love me?!” A deep animalistic roar came from Song Juhan’s throat, “Didn’t you willingly choose to love me?! Didn’t you say you wanted to be with me?!”
“But I don’t want that now.” He Gu looked straight into Song Juhan’s eyes, emphasising each word as he repeated, “I don’t want it anymore, and I’ll never want it again.”
Song Juhan’s expression looked as if he was about to lunge forward and devour He Gu. His lips twitched twice as he said in a trembling voice, “No… I won’t allow you to be with anyone else. You can only love me. For the rest of your life, you can only love me!”
He Gu frowned deeply, “Song Juhan, can you be any more of an asshole?” Clearly it was something he didn’t cherish at all, but he still held on and refused to let it go. Why? How dare he? Was it only because he was the one and only Song Juhan?!
“You’re the fucking asshole!” Song Juhan pointed his finger at He Gu as he screamed angrily, “I’ve been trying to be nice to you, I’ve been trying so hard to start over with you! But you left just like that, without a word, and even fucking dared to do that with… He Gu, I really want to strangle you right now!”
He Gu said in a low voice, “You want to start over with me? You want me to watch as you get married, have kids, and waltz around the city with your legal wife, whilst I continue to be your hidden affair? Song Juhan, I know you’ve been selfish your whole life, I understand it. Ever since you were born, everyone has always put you first, so of course you only ever think about yourself. I was the same, too. In the past I’ve always done as you said. But right now I can’t do that anymore. Right now, I just want to live the life I want. Can’t you just let me go?”
“I’m not getting married!” said Song Juhan hurriedly. “I’m not going to marry anyone, I swear, and I won’t touch anyone either. As long as you come back with me, I can…” Song Juhan pursed his lips with an aggrieved and pained expression on his face. “I can look past you and that driver… As long as you never see him again, as long as you come back with me. I just want you, I want you!”
There was a burst of numbing pain in He Gu’s chest, like waves it spread across his whole body. He closed his eyes and said, “Why do you want me to come back? For seven years, you’ve never taken me seriously. Why do you need me now?”
Song Juhan’s lips trembled slightly before he gritted his teeth and said, “I can’t let you go – are you happy now? The moment you left, everything felt wrong… I don’t know what you’ve done to me. He Gu, you really are something else. Come back – whatever you want, I… I can promise you anything, as long as you come back.”
He Gu silently stared at Song Juhan for a good while before he said, “Song Juhan, do you like me?”
“I don’t know what that is, but there’s no one else in this world that can make me feel this way.” Song Juhan looked He Gu deep in the eyes as he said, “Isn’t that what ‘love’ is?”
He Gu felt as if something had exploded in his chest. The excruciating feeling of sorrow and pain made him want to cry. For seven years, he had fantasized about Song Juhan saying something similar to him. Imagining how his numerous sacrifices and love could one day exchange some feelings of affection from the man, even if it would never be reciprocated on an equal level. In the end, he realised he had simply been intoxicated. An idiot would say an empty dream isn’t the most tragic in the world, but the saddest thing is that He Gu was living in the dream he built himself. Ignorantly, he thought his feelings were the strongest and that it would be able to move the world, but in the end, he only managed to fool himself.
Hearing those words from Song Juhan himself made He Gu feel an indescribable pain. The pain that hurt him the most was that on the day he finally heard those long-anticipated words, he no longer craved to hear them anymore. The greatest regret in the world still couldn’t compare to how he was feeling at that moment.
Song Juhan had destroyed the last shred of his trust and hope, and now all that was left was loneliness, despair and an empty love. Perhaps he would love Song Juhan for the rest of his life, since that feeling had become instinctive and second nature to him. But he would never want to be with him again because his sense of self-preservation overpowered that feeling of love.
He Gu could picture exactly how it would be to ‘start over’ with Song Juhan. It would just be an extended version of the past few months they spent together; Song Juhan would repeatedly cheat, lie, and force him, or even get married, have children, and live life as he pleased. On the other hand, He Gu would continue to succumb to this trapped life, to endlessly compromise, concede, and feel guilty. In the end, he would just return to the same tragic life he led for the last seven years, continuously living in a cycle of endless pain and despair, and never be able to escape.
Even if he had to die, he wouldn’t want to live through that life again.
He took a deep breath and said tiredly, “If even you, yourself, can’t answer that question, then I definitely can’t answer it for you. The only thing I can say is that I’m not going back.”
“He Gu…” Song Juhan stared at him with crackling flames in his eyes, “Have you… have you been bewitched by that driver? Have you?!”
“No.” He Gu looked straight back at him as he said, “It’s just that I no longer want anything from you. Let’s go our separate ways without any hard feelings.”
“Fuck going our separate ways!” Song Juhan grabbed He Gu’s arm, his handsome features twisting into an ugly expression as he raised his voice, “What do you want? What do you want from me?! Do you want me to beg? You just want me to beg, don’t you?!”
“I want to live my own life.” He Gu said in a low voice, “I’ve already spent the best seven years of my life on you. Now I just want to live for myself.”
Song Juhan gritted his teeth, “Then what about me? What am I supposed to do? You can’t just leave me now, when I can’t live without you anymore!”
He Gu let out a bitter chuckle, “Song Juhan, you said you don’t know what love is – then let me tell you. The feeling of love is when your eyes can’t stop following that person around, constantly worrying if they’re too cold, or too hot, and afraid that they might be hungry. I feel happy when you’re happy, and sad when you’re sad. I would go through all sorts of trouble just to see you smile, and lose my appetite when you get angry. Every time you were with someone else, I felt so bad that I couldn’t sleep for days, but I still had to pretend I didn’t care at all.” By the time he got to this point, He Gu’s eyes were red. “I’ve lived through this kind of life for seven years, seven years. You’re asking me what you should do? I don’t know… I really don’t know and I don’t want to know. Just like how you didn’t care and never tried to find out how I lived through the last seven years.”
Song Juhan watched the pained expression on He Gu’s face and felt as if a knife had pierced right through his heart, but the hot blood spurting out everywhere still couldn’t warm up his ice cold body.
Seven years… How did He Gu live through these past seven years?
Not once did he think about it. All he remembered was how good He Gu was to him, and all the good things he did for him. As for He Gu’s pain and sadness, he never…
He Gu covered his eyes with the back of his hand. When he lowered his hand again, his emotions had returned to the same calm and collected expression he always had. “There’s no point in saying all this to you, it’s too … Just like you said, I was willing back then. Those seven years was me, He Gu, making a conscious decision to live that way. I don’t blame anyone, and definitely won’t blame you for it. But now I’m not willing anymore. Song Juhan, if you really have any feelings for me, then let me go. Don’t make me go through all that again.”
“Why would I make you go through that again?” Song Juhan hugged He Gu as hard as he could. He felt increasingly anxious as a deep heartache clenched at his chest, to the point his voice trembled, “He Gu… I’m sorry. I didn’t know, I… I won’t treat you like that anymore. You’re really important to me. I don’t want anyone else. I just want you… come back, just come back.”
“You can’t. You’re still young and you haven’t played around enough,” said He Gu softly. “For someone like you, it won’t be enough even if you play around for the rest of your life.”
“I can! They don’t mean anything to me. You’re the only one that matters.” Song Juhan tightened his arms as if the moment he loosened up even a little, He Gu would disappear. “I won’t go looking for anyone else again and I won’t throw tantrums anymore. Trust me. He Gu, just keep loving me, I promise I won’t let you down again.”
He Gu closed his eyes and slowly pushed Song Juhan away, then lowered his head in silence. It wasn’t until a moment later that he managed to collect himself and said in a calm voice, “There’s no going back for us.”
“He Gu!” Song Juhan was getting more and more anxious. “Why are you so stubborn?!”
“If I wasn’t so stubborn, I wouldn’t have loved for all those years.” He Gu lowered his voice and added, “Yes, I’m stubborn, and I won’t go back on the things I’ve decided… Juhan, let’s just go our separate ways.”
Song Juhan was so enraged it was as if he was about to explode. His fists were clenched so tight you could almost hear his knuckles crack from the tension, and his teeth ground together until his jaws ached as he seethed each syllable between his teeth, “Im-poss-i-ble.”
“I can be stubborn, too. The things I want will always be mine.” Song Juhan pinched He Gu’s chin and lifted his head to look him in the eyes, “I want you to stay with me for the rest of your life.”
He Gu glared back, feeling nothing but a strong sense of powerlessness and helplessness.
Song Juhan pulled He Gu into his arms, then pressed He Gu’s head into the space between his neck and shoulder. His eyes stared past He Gu with a strong sense of determination as he said, “If you want a vacation, we can have a vacation here. This island has everything.”
He Gu said in a deep voice, “Will you keep me locked up on this island forever?”
“Of course not, I’ll just keep you by my side. Wherever I go, you’ll go, too. I won’t let you leave me again.” Song Juhan placed a gentle and soft kiss on He Gu’s forehead.
He Gu’s eyes were as cold as ice.
There were only seven or eight people on this island. Apart from He Gu, everyone else was here to serve Song Juhan.
He Gu could move around freely on the island. No one watched him because there was nowhere he could run to. Every week, a helicopter came to deliver supplies, and that was the only mode of transport to get them off the island. But He Gu knew he wouldn’t be able to leave without Song Juhan’s explicit agreement.
He Gu didn’t want to go anywhere. By the fourth day, apart from taking a walk in the garden every morning, He Gu refused to leave the villa entirely.
He ate, slept, and read. Barring the fact that he didn’t want to go outside, it was as if he was still on holiday – as if Song Juhan was really allowing him to take a ‘vacation’.
At the beginning, Song Juhan at least tried to talk to He Gu, but after observing He Gu’s ability to stay silent, he also became silent himself. At times, he would just sit beside He Gu, and end up staying there for the whole afternoon. Other times, he would hold him tightly and fall into a deep sleep.
It wasn’t that He Gu was engaging in some childish game of cold war – he was simply too lazy to talk to Song Juhan. He knew Song Juhan couldn’t stay on this island for long since he was such a busy individual. He Gu just needed to wait until Song Juhan couldn’t stand it anymore. At that time, he would be able to leave the island. Before that, there was no point in him fighting back, so he might as well save his efforts.
Song Juhan hugged He Gu from behind. Then he grabbed He Gu’s hand and started to cut his nails for him as he hummed quietly by He Gu’s ear.
He Gu felt as if he was a dog, allowing Song Juhan to cut his nails for him. But he was too lazy to fight back since he had never succeeded in physically fighting off Song Juhan, so he just let it be.
Song Juhan had never served anyone in his life; in a blunder, he accidentally clipped He Gu’s flesh instead. He Gu instinctively pulled back in pain as Song Juhan threw the nail clippers aside, grabbed He Gu’s bleeding finger and put it in his mouth.
He Gu instantly withdrew his hand, got up and headed into the bathroom for a shower.
Song Juhan was left dazed for a moment before he came over with a band-aid in his hand and said dejectedly, “My eyes blurred for a moment there.”
He Gu reached out to take the band-aid, but Song Juhan refused to hand it over. Instead, he took He Gu’s hand and applied the band-aid himself.
Even as he looked at Song Juhan struggling clumsily, He Gu still didn’t react at all.
Song Juhan pinched He Gu’s finger and said in a quiet voice, “I’m sorry… You used to cut my nails for me as well.”
“It’s fine.” He Gu turned and left the bathroom.
“He Gu,” Song Juhan called out, rushing after the man. “There may be many things that I can’t do, like not knowing how to treat people nicely, but I can learn. Everything you’ve done for me, I’m also willing to do for you. Is that still not enough?”
He Gu was stunned, but didn’t turn around as he said calmly, “Stop wasting your efforts.”
Clenching his fists behind his back, Song Juhan felt his throat tighten as a sudden and violent surge of emotions filled his heart.
The reason his He Gu had become like this, and the reason they had fallen to this position…
All of this… was his own fault.