Drunk In Love (Years of Intoxication) - Chap 55
He Gu was a little confused, “Where are you now?”
“I’m at the airport. I must’ve misread the time before, I thought I would be arriving at nine in the morning, but it turns out it’s at night. Haha.” Zhou Heyi laughed to himself, “So… Are you free tomorrow?”
“I’ll come pick you up now. It’s already so late, just tell the driver to drop you off at the Sheraton Hotel at xx street. I’ll be waiting for you there,” said He Gu.
“It’s fine Gu-ge, I was planning to look for a hotel anyways.”
“Heyi, just listen to me, okay?”
“Oh… okay, thank you.”
After he hung up, He Gu sighed, feeling very complicated inside. After not receiving any response from his emails to Zhou Heyi, he had assumed that Zhou Heyi was angry at him and didn’t want to talk to him ever again. After all, there were more than enough reasons for Zhou Heyi to hate him after what happened.
He never expected that Zhou Heyi would come to Beijing.
“What’s wrong? Is your friend coming?” asked Sun Qing.
“En. I’m gonna go see him in a bit.”
“It’s so late already, go tomorrow.”
“I think he’s… in a rush to see me.” If Heyi wasn’t in a rush, he would’ve waited until tomorrow to call him.
“Gege, bring me as well,” said Susu excitedly as she jumped up from the sofa.
He Gu rubbed her head and said endearingly, “Be good.”
Seeing as it was about time, He Gu left to go pick him up. The Sheraton Hotel was very close to his apartment, just a few minutes on foot. Once he got to the hotel, he booked a room then sat down at the lobby and waited.
Not long later, a young man with lightly tanned skin walked in with a simple suitcase in tow, and looked left and right.
He Gu recognised him instantly as he called out, “Heyi.” Then strode over.
“Gu-ge!” In just a split second, Zhou Heyi’s expression changed from dazed to surprised excitement. It was clear how happy he was feeling from the way his eyes sparkled and his smile widened.
He Gu also felt a stirring in his heart as he smiled back.
Zhou Heyi ran over and threw his arms around He Gu’s shoulders, “Hehe. Gu-ge, I really missed you.”
He Gu couldn’t hold back his laughter anymore, “Why didn’t you tell me before you came? I didn’t even prepare anything.”
“I saw that the flights were cheap today, so I just…” Zhou Heyi smiled shyly, then added, “I didn’t cause you any problems, did I?”
“No, it’s just that these few days, my mom and sister have also come to visit. So I might not have a lot of time to spend with you.”
“It’s fine, I’ve got friends here too. Tomorrow I’ll go stay with them.”
“If it’s too troublesome, just stay here, and don’t worry about the money,” said He Gu gently.
“Honestly, there’s no need, my friend also lives by himself.”
“Alright. Go drop your stuff down in the room first.”
Once Zhou Heyi checked in, He Gu walked him to his room.
The moment the door closed behind them, Zhou Heyi pounced. He wrapped his arms around He Gu’s neck and kissed him passionately. He Gu was taken by surprise as he stumbled back a few steps until he was pressed against the door behind him.
He Gu hesitated for a moment, but in the end, he couldn’t bear to push the other man away as he held onto that slim waist and kissed back.
The two parted breathlessly before Zhou Heyi smiled and said suggestively, “Stay tonight.”
“No, I can’t. I’m just here to see you briefly, my mom and sister are still waiting for me at home.”
“Okay,” said Zhou Heyi disappointedly.
“Why did you suddenly want to come to China? What about your work?”
“I quit,” replied Zhou Heyi casually before he stretched, then flopped heavily onto the bed. “Oh, after that eleven-hour flight, my back is so sore.”
“En.” Zhou Heyi smiled as he said, “I applied to study physical education at a University in America. Their school’s surf team have always placed in the top three in the national college competition. They’ve even produced quite a few national champions in recent years, and their department’s funds are very good. With my certificates and awards, I can get a full scholarship.”
“That’s great. Congratulations! That’s definitely a good choice for you.”
“Yeah. Actually, I’ve always wanted to pursue surfing as a career, but I also know that my skills are limited. After a long and in-depth conversation with my dad, I started to think about my future.” Zhou Heyi sat up abruptly with a bright smile on his face. “So, it’s still summer right now, and I wanted to see you, so here I am.”
He Gu was silent for a moment, “ Didn’t you receive my email?”
“En.” Zhou Heyi chewed on his lip with a kind of lonely expression on his face.
“So do you understand what I said?”
“I do, I understood from the very beginning.” Zhou Heyi shrugged, “Gu-ge, I’m an adult. I can take responsibility for my own actions, you don’t have to feel burdened by it.”
“That’s not what I meant. What I mean is, did Song Juhan…”
“Oh, him,” Zhou Heyi snorted. “I’m not afraid of him. It’s nothing more than a few hooligans trying to cause a scene, and scare me a little. Even if he really dared to try anything with me or my family, I’m sure everyone would know who did it anyway. Gu-ge, don’t underestimate me. How could I be scared by those underhanded tricks? The only reason why I didn’t contact you recently was because…” Zhou Heyi lowered his head, after hesitating for a long while, he said in a small voice, “I also wanted to try to forget you.”
An uncomfortable feeling grew in his chest as He Gu opened and closed his mouth, not knowing what to say.
“In the end, I realised even with time, I still couldn’t forget you.” Zhou Heyi laughed out loud, “Since I couldn’t forget, then why should I force myself. That’s why I decided to come see you.”
“Don’t worry, I won’t let Song Juhan harass you again.”
Zhou Heyi frowned. “Is he still… harassing you?”
He Gu didn’t respond, but his silence said it all.
“He must be insane,” said Zhou Heyi angrily. “Don’t be scared. Last time I was just unprepared, but the next time I see him, I’ll definitely punch him back a few times.”
“Heyi, don’t be as immature as him. Since you’re here to have fun, then let’s have fun. I’ll find time to spend with you.”
Zhou Heyi smiled as he nodded, “Okay.” Then licked his lips suggestively and asked, “You’re really not gonna stay?”
“No, but I’ll take you out tomorrow.”
“Oh.” Zhou Heyi flopped down on the bed again.
When He Gu got home, both his mother and Susu were still waiting for him. After casually chatting with them for a while, he sent them off to bed.
Zhou Heyi’s sudden appearance gave He Gu a splitting headache. Song Juhan has already been pestering him so much lately, if he were to find out about Zhou Heyi’s visit, he would surely bother him even more! But He Gu couldn’t exactly turn someone away, so the only option was to not let Song Juhan find out – just take it a step at a time.
The next day, He Gu decided to take Susu out to see the city. Since Sun Qing already had plans, she didn’t join them, so He Gu went to the hotel to pick up Zhou Heyi as well.
“Susu, this is gege’s friend. You can call him Heyi-gege.”
Zhou Heyi smiled at Susu and said, “Hi Susu. How are you?”
Susu suddenly started to act shy as she said in a small voice, “Hi Heyi-gege.”
“How old are you?”
“Ten, I’m in primary year five.”
Zhou Heyi pouted exaggeratedly, “I’m twenty-one, and I’m in year one, so I must be younger than you.”
Susu smiled. “Liar. How can you possibly be in year one?”
“Because I’m in year one of university,” said Zhou Heyi as he laughed out loud.
Susu laughed along with him.
He Gu looked at the two of them through the rearview mirror, as a smile stretched across his face.
Visiting a crowded scenic attraction during the heat of summer really was a very painful thing. The three of them were sweating profusely as they hid under a tree at the Forbidden City*. Susu already had two ice lollies, and wanted a third one before He Gu stopped her.
*故宫 – The Forbidden City is the ancient Imperial Palace in Beijing built in the 1400s
Zhou Heyi held a paper fan as he fanned both Susu and He Gu. Although He Gu pushed it away twice saying he was fine, Zhou Heyi just smiled and continued to fan them with a gentle and good-natured temperament.
Susu seemed to really like this bright and charismatic da gege* as she ignored He Gu and clung to Zhou Heyi.
*大哥哥 – Da gege or older brother
“Gege, let’s take a photo together.” Susu grabbed He Gu’s arm and said, “Give me your phone.”
He Gu pulled his phone out and handed it over. After posing herself, Susu pulled both of them into the frame and took a selfie. He Gu felt a little silly, but since Susu and Zhou Heyi were both smiling so brightly, he held it in.
After taking the photo, Susu fiddled around on the phone for a moment before she called out, “Gege, how do you not have a single photo retouching app on your phone?!”
“What photo retouching app?” asked He Gu in confusion.
“Oh my god, can you be any lamer? Are you twenty-eight or eighty-two?”
Zhou Heyi burst out laughing as he said, “Send it to me, I have them here.”
The two lowered their heads and started to edit the photo in earnest.
He Gu closed his eyes and sat on the stone bench. With the gentle breeze caressing his face, he enjoyed the hint of coolness amidst the summer heat, feeling very relaxed and content.
After a brief moment to himself, He Gu felt someone nudge him. He opened his eyes and saw the selfie they had just taken, except it was now covered with decorations such as a moustache, blush, and cat ears. Unable to hold back any more, he let out a light chuckle.
“Fun, right?” Zhou Heyi stretched his hand out and fist bumped Susu.
He Gu couldn’t stop smiling as he watched the two enjoying themselves.
A sudden thought came to him, if he really was to be with someone like Zhou Heyi, would his life always be like this? So ordinary and peaceful, so happy and warm.
If life could repeat itself, he would choose to silently love Song Juhan from afar. Song Juhan was like the light – all animals reached for the light, yet the light was often too hot. If one got too close, they would inevitably get burned.
After their day out, He Gu brought them both to dinner. Although Susu and Zhou Heyi looked thin on the outside, they both had huge appetites. Since the two were now quite familiar with each other, their dinner was filled with lots of laughter.
They had spent the whole day out, and were obviously tired by the end of it. After He Gu sent Zhou Heyi to his friend’s place, he returned home with Susu.
Susu slept in the front passenger’s seat for a while, then suddenly opened her eyes and asked mysteriously, “Gege, is Heyi-gege your boyfriend?”
“No,” replied He Gu calmly.
“Liar, you also said you didn’t know Song Juhan before.”
He Gu spared her a quick glance. “Why do you care so much about adult’s affairs?”
“It’s not like I care about anyone, I just care about you. Heyi-gege is quite good. He’s handsome, gentle, and funny. He’s better than Song Juhan.” Susu paused for a moment, then added in a small voice, “But Song Juhan is better looking.”
He Gu reached over and lightly patted her head. “Don’t talk about this anymore.”
Susu pouted, then reluctantly said, “Fine.”
When they arrived home, Susu whined like a spoiled child and said she was too tired to walk, so He Gu carried her upstairs. The noise-sensor light in the corridor happened to be malfunctioning, and as they turned around the corner, they saw the shadow of a man squatting by the door. He was wearing a hoodie that was covering his face, and was dressed in all black.
“Ah!” Susu yelped in surprise as the light suddenly flickered on, lighting up the entire corridor.
The person squatting by the door lifted his head abruptly as if he had just been woken up. Even with the dazed look that flashed across his features, he still looked shockingly beautiful.
He Gu sighed, “What are you doing?”
Song Juhan stood up, rubbed his eyes and yawned loudly, “Waiting for you. I’m so bored.”
With eyes wide, Susu pointed at Song Juhan. “You, you, you…”
Song Juhan looked Susu up and down as he asked suspiciously, “Who is she?”
“This is…” He Gu blinked, then said seriously, “My daughter.”
Susu froze, then quickly grabbed He Gu around the neck and nodded.
Song Juhan’s eyes were as wide as a copper bell, as his whole body vibrated with anger. “You… He Gu, you better fucking… Explain yourself!”
He Gu rolled his eyes at him. “Don’t you have a brain?”
Song Juhan was taken aback, after a moment, he gathered himself and said, “Your sister?”
“Move aside, stop blocking the door,” said He Gu.
“Fuck! How could you joke about something like this? Just now, I actually thought…”
“Song Juhan, you’re Song Juhan!” Susu’s small hands grabbed his clothes excitedly.
Song Juhan revealed a dazzling smile. “I am. Do you know who I am?”
“Of course I do! All my classmates know about you!” exclaimed Susu excitedly as she leaned in closer, to the point she was nearly in Song Juhan’s arms.
“I won’t let you in, so you better leave,” said He Gu.
“Gege, can I have a signature please, I…”
“Susu!” admonished He Gu quietly.
Susu pursed her lips looking aggrieved.
Song Juhan pouted. “I’m here to give you this. Last time I said I’d bring you hickory nuts, they’re really nutritious.”
“I don’t want it. Take it back.”
“If you don’t want it, I’ll just leave it here.”
He Gu didn’t want to waste expensive food, so he picked the bag up and opened the door to go inside.
Song Juhan held the door open and said in a small voice, “He Gu, I’ve waited for you for the whole day. Where have you been?”
He Gu didn’t respond. He simply pushed Song Juhan’s hand away and slammed the door shut.
Song Juhan stood stunned as he watched the door slam in his face. With a sour taste in his mouth, he reached his fingers out and lightly ran them over the door handle He Gu had just touched. There was still a lingering warmth on it.
After the door closed, He Gu put Susu down and turned on the lights. The apartment was still dark, so Sun Qing definitely wasn’t home yet.
“Gege.” Susu pointed at the door anxiously, then tiptoed to look through the peephole. Song Juhan was still standing outside. “He’s still there,” she said.
He Gu didn’t say anything. He put the bag of hickory nuts down on the coffee table and went to get changed.
Susu rushed into the bedroom after him. “Gege, is this okay? He’s waited for you for the whole day.”
“I’m changing. Can you go out for a moment?”
“Gege, he looks very pitiful right now. Why don’t you…”
“I said get out!” shouted He Gu.
Susu shrunk away instantly, her eyes watered as she looked at He Gu fearfully.
He Gu closed his eyes and let out a deep breath. When he opened his eyes again, he’d already calmed his emotions. He knelt down, held Susu’s shoulder and said, “I’m sorry, Gege shouldn’t have yelled at you.”
With tears welling in her eyes, Susu asked “… Did I do something wrong?”
“No you didn’t. I did.”
“Does Gege really hate him? If you hate him, then I won’t like him anymore either.”
He Gu felt a deep pain in his heart as he whispered, “It’s your freedom to like whoever you want. You don’t have to worry about me. If you like him, then go ask him for an autograph.”
Susu pursed her lips and whispered, “Really?”
“Really. Go on, but don’t let him in.”
Susu nodded, quickly found her notebook and ran out.
Listening to the indistinct chatter from outside, He Gu knew that Song Juhan really was still there as he felt an indescribably complicated feeling swell in his chest as if he had tasted all five flavours at once.
*五味陈杂 – lit. to taste all five flavours together. It is an idiom to describe an indescribably complicated feeling.
He closed the bedroom door and sat quietly at the head of the bed for a moment until he heard the front door close again. Only then did he walk out.
Susu was hugging her notebook with a wide smile on her face when she saw He Gu come out of the bedroom. She immediately hid her smile as she looked at him cautiously.
“Did he leave?”
“You should go shower now, you need to sleep soon.”
“Okay.” Susu took two steps towards the bedroom, stopped and thought for a moment before she turned and said, “Gege, you’re so cool.”
“Song Juhan really likes you.”
“That’s not possible. Don’t bring this up anymore and don’t tell your mom.”
A few days later, Zhou Heyi invited He Gu to go to a gay bar with him and his friends. He Gu heard where they were going, and kindly declined.
Zhou Heyi loved to go out, and couldn’t sit at home idly, so he was out almost everyday. Even if He Gu couldn’t find time to spend with him, he was still very happy.
He Gu was at home reading when his phone vibrated twice. There was a message from an unknown number: I really miss you.
Without a doubt, He Gu could guess it was probably Song Juhan. For the last few months, Song Juhan had changed numbers to text him so many times, that He Gu couldn’t even block them all in time.
Almost instantly, another message popped up: I don’t want to do anything. All I know is that I want to see you.
He Gu clenched his phone tightly before throwing it aside.
He really didn’t expect Song Juhan would ever lower his head to this degree. He had always thought that he knew Song Juhan really well, but now he wasn’t even so sure anymore.
Does Song Juhan… really have feelings for him?
He shook his head, unwilling to think about it any further.
He Gu was half asleep when his phone started to ring. Grabbing his phone in a daze, he glanced at the caller ID and saw that it was Zhou Heyi. “Hello?”
There was a strange man on the other end of the call, “Hello, is this Mr. He? Your friend is drunk here at the bar, and you’re his most recent contact. We’re about to close soon, can you come and pick him up?”
“Oh? Oh, okay. Wait for me.” He Gu yawned as he got out of bed.
Quietly, he snuck out of the house and drove over.
Beijing at two in the morning was rather quiet. There weren’t many cars on the road, so traffic was quite smooth. It only took He Gu fifteen minutes to get to the bar.
The bar was already closed by the time He Gu got there. There was only a small vendor selling midnight snacks by the door. As He Gu walked in, a staff member who was busy cleaning up saw him and pointed at the booth opposite them.
He Gu went over and saw a couple of youngsters toppled over on the sofa, there were both males and females, and some were foreigners as well. They were all sprawled out gracelessly and without a care in the world.
He Gu approached Heyi and lightly patted his cheek. “Heyi, Heyi.”
Zhou Heyi opened his eyes blearily, “Oh… Gu-ge?”
“So, you can still recognise me. Why’d you drink so much?”
“I’m happy… so happy.” Zhou Heyi hugged He Gu* and laughed deliriously.
*The raws here say Zhou Heyi hugs Zhou Heyi… but I’m pretty sure the author meant he hugs He Gu.
He Gu lifted him up, but a drunk person’s dead weight was extremely heavy to say the least. He could barely hold him up, let alone get him out of the bar and into his car. In the end, He Gu gave up and waved down the closest person there, “Xiongdi, can you give me a hand here?”
That person walked over.
The two greeted each other, then froze in recognition.
It was Black Gate’s boss – Ou Taining.
“You’re… He Gu, right?” asked Ou Taining in surprise.
“En. Hi.” He Gu used all his strength to lift one of Zhou Heyi’s arms onto his own shoulder, then dragged him up, “My friend is drunk, can you help me bring him to my car?”
“No problem.” Ou Taining grabbed Zhou Heyi’s other arm as he helped He Gu drag him out.
After struggling for a while, they managed to get Zhou Heyi into the car. He Gu was left sweating all over as he thanked the other man, “Mr. Ou, sorry to bother you, and thank you for your help.”
With a smile, Ou Taining gave He Gu a once over, and said, “You’re welcome, you’re my guests after all.”
The look in his eyes was a bit presumptuous, but coupled with his slightly depressed expression, it didn’t give off an uncomfortable feeling. In fact, it seemed to hold a deeper meaning.
He Gu suddenly remembered that he had been “famous” for a while, his name and photos were on every newspaper headline, magazine and internet article. He couldn’t help but feel a little embarrassed at the memory. Since he had already thanked the man, He Gu just wanted to get in his car and drive away.
“He Gu.” Ou Taining smiled and said, “There’s a rumour around the entertainment circle lately that’s saying Song Juhan’s changed his personality, is it because of you?”
He Gu was stunned. Calmly, he said, “Mr. Ou, you don’t seem like someone that would follow such media gossip.”
Ou Taining laughed. “Have you heard of this saying before – ‘There’s no such thing as secrets in the entertainment industry’? Do you know why that is? It’s because there’s not a single person there that isn’t a gossip. It’s just that I’m considerably less interested in those matters. But this time, Song Juhan’s change is really something quite astonishing. My apologies if I’ve offended you.”
He Gu nodded, then got in his car and drove off.
On Taining smiled to himself as he took out his phone.