Drunk In Love (Years of Intoxication) - Chap 58
He Gu pushed Song Juhan away roughly with a hideous expression on his face.
Song Juhan couldn’t look He Gu straight in the eyes as he averted his gaze and said in a low voice, “Even if one of those investigation reports got leaked, Qinqing Enterprise’s stock price would plummet and hundreds of millions of its market value would vanish in a day.”
“Song Juhan, you disgust me,” said He Gu coldly.
Song Juhan’s Adam’s apple bobbed up and down, his facial features stiff as ice, yet his eyebrows scrunched together revealing his emotions deep down. In a small voice, he said, “I can help Qinqing financially tide over this period, and can also help them develop useful government relations to get more valuable compensation for its factory relocation. It all depends on you, He Gu. But even if I don’t do anything, Qinqing will only continue to decline. Whether you want to watch it destroy itself, or save it, is on you. As long as you return to my side, I can help your mother out of this situation.”
“What makes you think I would believe you?”
“I can give you time to investigate this yourself.” Song Juhan gripped the bar with both his hands, his eyes dark and gloomy as he said ruthlessly, “But there’s a limit to my patience.”
He Gu bit down hard on his lips, took two steps back, then turned and walked out.
“He Gu.” Song Juhan’s voice called out to him hesitantly from behind, “… I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to hurt you, I…”
Without stopping, He Gu slammed the door and walked away.
Song Juhan lowered his head, his shoulders shaking slightly.
He Gu sat silently in his car for a long while.
After some time, he felt around for the pack of cigarettes he’d long forgotten about, pulled one out and lit it. He took two puffs, then snuffed it out with his fingertips.
His eyebrows knitted together from the fiery sting as a burnt smell filled the air. But even then, he didn’t let go. That painful stimulation was exactly what he needed to clear the dark clouds floating around in his mind.
Originally, he thought he knew Song Juhan better than anyone, and that he would never meet someone as paranoid as himself in this lifetime. But, this was the first time Song Juhan had made him feel so strange—so out of character.
But was this love? No, it couldn’t be. This was coercion and intimidation. It was threatening and painful, and it was absolute madness.
They had sweet moments once upon a time. So, what was it that made their relationship take such a horrible turn for the worse? That, in the end, even the last trace of their once happy memories—their love—had to be completely destroyed and wiped out.
He Gu let out a painful groan from deep within his throat. For a moment, he felt if there was any mystical power that could somehow free him from this endless torture, he would be willing to give anything and everything for it.
But he couldn’t since there were some things he couldn’t give up on.
Rubbing away the wayward tear on the corner of his eyes, He Gu threw the cigarette aside, started the car, and drove towards the hospital. He needed to speak to his mother to confirm the truth behind that investigation report.
He Gu arrived at the hospital, and just as he got to the door of his mother’s room, he overheard his mother arguing on the phone with someone. Her tone was clearly very aggravated. Stopping at the door, He Gu listened in.
“You’re giving us four month. What are we supposed to do in just four months? That’s not enough time to choose a new location! There’s so many people, so much equipment, and raw materials. Four months is simply outrageous!”
Leaning against the wall, He Gu listened to his mother shouting in a stern voice, and felt his heart crumbling into an endless abyss.
It wasn’t until after she hung up that He Gu managed to adjust his turbulent mood. He pushed open the door and walked in. On the other hand, Sun Qing clearly didn’t have enough time to calm her emotions as she sat there stunned for a moment, then asked, “What are you doing here again? Aren’t you supposed to go pick Susu up?”
“I’ll go in a second.” He Gu pulled a chair over and sat down beside his mother’s bed, then gently rubbed her frail shoulders, and said, “Mom, you’ve lost so much weight.”
“Well, the chemotherapy makes me lose my appetite. But it’s alright, since all the money in the world can’t help me stay slim and healthy in my old age.” Sun Qing subconsciously touched her head. She’d always paid attention to her image, and gave off a respectable and well-mannered demeanour. But now, with the effects of the chemotherapy, she really disliked people looking at her bald head.
“Mom, I heard everything from outside,” said He Gu in a low voice.
Sun Qing froze, unable to respond.
“I’ve also heard some gossip about Qinqing’s situation.”
“Where did you hear that from?”
“The internet.” He Gu looked directly into her eyes and said, “Is the company really losing money?”
Avoiding the main issue, Sun Qing said casually, “It’s because of the fall in the real estate market. Many related businesses have also suffered—it’s not just us.”
“So it’s really losing money.”
Sun Qing looked at her son, and nodded resignedly.
He Gu fell silent.
“We’re looking for different financial solutions, and want to start focusing on exporting our goods to restore cash flow. When it comes to running a business, who doesn’t encounter some difficulties here and there? The most difficult problem we encountered was far worse than this. Don’t worry about it, your mother can handle this.”
He Gu really wanted to counter her and say ‘But you were younger back then—healthier’, instead he kept his mouth shut. “Mom, the times have changed. The most important thing for you right now is your health. Just let Li-shu handle this.”
Sun Qing shook her head. “If I step back now and do nothing, my shares…”
“Mom.” He Gu placed more emphasis in his tone and said, “Money isn’t as important as you make it out to be. Even if Susu really has nothing in the future, she still has me—her brother. Did you think I would ever let her suffer?”
Sun Qing’s eyes were slightly red around the edges as she lightly touched He Gu’s cheek. “My son, you don’t understand—Qinqing is my life’s work, and I don’t want to see it fall apart. Nor do I want to see the results of twenty years of my hard work get taken away bit by bit by the Li family.”
“Then let’s find someone to buy out your shares. I know a renovation company that…”
Sun Qing shook her head again. “If we consider selling when Qinqing is at its lowest point, the price will be unimaginably low. It’s not the end of Qinqing yet. Son, you have your own life now, and I know I owe you a lot from back then, that’s why I definitely can’t drag you into this issue now. So, don’t worry too much about this. The situation isn’t as serious as you think. I just want to ensure that when I die, I’ll be able to leave you and Susu with more money than you can spend.”
Under Sun Qing’s determined gaze, there was nothing He Gu could say.
As Sun Qing mentioned, the situation probably wasn’t as serious right now. But if Song Juhan really were to leak any unfavourable information about Qinqing Enterprise—the damage would be irreversible.
The doctor had clearly warned that breast cancer was a disease highly linked to one’s emotions. It was hard to imagine just how much stress his mother had silently experienced over the years to warrant her current condition. How could He Gu bear to see her endure such heavy burdens during her treatment?
But to force him to go back and face someone like Song Juhan…
Sun Qing noticed He Gu’s pale face and instead consoled him with a few comforting words. At times like this, her indestructible strength was truly admirable.
Unable to do anything else, He Gu reminded Sun Qing to get plenty of rest, then left to pick up Susu.
Susu could tell He Gu’s mood was off as she stayed relatively quiet on the drive home. It wasn’t until they were nearly home that she suddenly asked in a small voice, “Why doesn’t Heyi-gege come to play with me anymore?”
“He’s busy,” replied He Gu quietly. Lately, he felt so exhausted that he didn’t have the time or energy to worry about how Zhou Heyi was doing.
Susu muttered a disappointed, “Oh.”
He Gu stole a quick glance at her, then remembered how young she was, and how traumatic it must be to be going through such painful changes in her life. Suddenly feeling a little sorry for her, he said, “But in a few days, a very handsome gege’s coming to find me, you can play with him instead.”
“Zhuang Jieyu. Do you know him?”
Susu’s eyes widened comically. “How could I not know him? I actually thought he was your boyfriend, too.”
He Gu lightly tapped her forehead. “What do you mean ‘too’?”
Susu stuck out her tongue, playfully.
He Gu’s heart clenched in pain as he stared blankly at the endless rows of cars in front of him.
With a mother who’s currently fighting cancer and a young little sister in his care, what should he do?
What could he do…
A few days later, Zhuang Jieyu came back, and apparently the airport was rammed with fans eager to welcome him back. He Gu didn’t feel like joining in with that madness, so he decided to wait for Zhuang Jieyu to call him once he was free. He didn’t expect that after six to seven hours on a long-haul flight, the first person Zhuang Jieyu would call when he landed would be himself. Zhuang Jieyu complained about how he’d been dying to eat hot pot, and how he wanted He Gu to take him to have hot pot right away.
With no reason to reject him, He Gu agreed.
He Gu was about to leave for the airport after he’d dropped Susu off to her lesson when he received a WeChat message from Zhou Heyi. The moment he clicked open the notification, he saw the lengthy message: Hi, Mr. He, I’m Zhou Heyi’s friend. I know about the relationship between the two of you, and I think you’re probably the only person in China that can help him with this. He’s in a detention centre right now, could you please call me back?
A buzzing sound rang in He Gu’s mind.
Detention centre? Zhou Heyi?!
He Gu hurriedly dialled Zhou Heyi’s number as a young girl answered the phone with a very anxious voice, “Mr. He?”
“Stop panicking and speak slowly. What happened?” asked He Gu calmly.
“He… Heyi hit someone and got arrested.”
“Hit someone? Who did he fight with?”
“A celebrity. Do you know Song Juhan?”
He Gu froze. “Song… Juhan?”
“Yes, I don’t know what happened exactly. But ever since he came back from drinking that day, something has felt wrong about him; I even noticed him crying once. He went out alone last night, and he didn’t bring his phone, wallet, or keys with him. Then this morning he called me from the police station, I…” She choked, “I don’t know what to do.”
“Which police station? I’ll come over now.”
She quickly recited an address.
“Bring his identification documents and meet me there.”
He Gu felt like his head was about to explode, as if his whole person was about to explode from irritation and worry.
Zhou Heyi hit Song Juhan?
How could he be so stupid?! How could he think he could win against Song Juhan? How could he think he could provoke someone like Song Juhan?!
He Gu turned the car around as he phoned Zhuang Jieyu to say that something urgent came up and he had to take a rain check. Stepping on the gas, He Gu raced down the road, desperate to get there as soon as possible. He couldn’t even begin to imagine how horrible Zhou Heyi must be feeling right now. He was still so young, a man of just over twenty, and because of one moment of impulse, he was now locked up in a detention centre in a foreign country… This incident might even directly impact his studies and future career prospects.
Arriving at the police station, He Gu saw a young girl with short hair standing by the door. She had heavy punk-styled makeup on her face, and looked both beautiful yet handsome at the same time.
The moment she saw He Gu get out of the car, she ran over and asked frantically, “Mr. He? Are you Mr. He?”
“Yes, what is your name?” said He Gu.
“Manman.” She handed Zhou Heyi’s identification documents and phone over, then asked dejectedly, “Will Heyi be arrested?”
“I need to understand the situation first. Don’t panic.”
“I don’t understand why he would end up in a fight with Song Juhan. I just can’t imagine…”
He Gu patted her shoulders. “Go home first, I’ll keep you updated.”
Manman nodded. “Mr. He, you must help him.”
“I’ll try my best.”
He Gu took a deep breath, then walked into the police station. Once he stated why he was here, the police led him back to see Zhou Heyi.
Zhou Heyi walked out slowly. His nose was bruised, and his face swollen. The moment he saw He Gu, he lowered his head in embarrassment.
He Gu felt a hint of sadness before he roared, “What the hell were you thinking?!”
Zhou Heyi swallowed visibly, then said in a dull voice, “I wanted to teach him a lesson.”
“Do you know how ridiculous and naïve your actions were? If you get a criminal record, you may be permanently banned from entering the country, and you’ll be rejected by the university in America. Have you ever thought about that?!”
“What’s there to think about?!” countered Zhou Heyi angrily. “Should I have just let that asshole continue to bully you? You might be able to stand it, but I can’t!”
He Gu took another deep breath, but was unable to calm his tone. “I’m an adult, I don’t need you to solve my problems for me!”
“I’m an adult too, and I can take responsibility for my own actions. I don’t regret it.” Zhou Heyi snorted coldly. “I thoroughly beat him up, and it felt great.”
Feeling both frustrated and anxious, He Gu ignored him and walked out. He went back to the policeman he’d spoken to previously and asked to bail him out.
But the policeman said they had to wait for Song Juhan’s medical report from his injuries before being able to discuss whether Zhou Heyi would be allowed to be released on bail or not.
He Gu didn’t understand the specifics of the justice system, but he knew that Song Juhan wouldn’t easily let Zhou Heyi off. If he wanted to, Song Juhan had countless ways to destroy Zhou Heyi’s future.
He Gu had been severely hurt by Song Juhan many times—both mentally and physically—yet he never dared to think of revenge, because he knew it would only make things worse for not only himself, but his friends and family, too. But Zhou Heyi was like a newborn calf unafraid of a tiger. If Song He were to find out about this incident; even a small alteration could become a mistake Zhou Heyi would regret for the rest of his life.
Helplessly, He Gu comforted Zhou Heyi quickly and left the police station. It was pointless to look for a lawyer, or even try to find the right connection to solve this. He Gu knew there was only one person he could look for now.
Zhou Heyi’s spontaneous actions were the final push, forcing He Gu back to the person he desperately tried to avoid from the deepest part of his heart.
When he arrived at Song Juhan’s home, He Gu rang the doorbell numbly.
The one to open the door was Xiao Song. The moment he saw He Gu, a weird expression crossed his features as he greeted in a small voice, “He Gu-ge.”
He Gu’s eyes were completely void as if he was looking right past the younger man. “Where is he?”
“Han-ge is recuperating inside.”
He Gu went straight to the bedroom.
Song Juhan was sitting against the headboard, staring blankly out the window. He had a white gauze covering his head and a few bruises on his face.
Xiao Song closed the door from behind He Gu.
Song Juhan turned his head, with a neither happy nor angry expression and said, “I knew you would come.”
“Let him off,” said He Gu quietly.
Song Juhan lifted an eyebrow. “Are you not even going to ask if I’m hurt or not?”
He Gu was as calm as if he was casually discussing the weather as he said, “Let him off. Let Qinqing off. Whatever you want me to do, I’ll do it.”
Song Juhan clenched the blanket tightly in his fists as he gritted his teeth and said, “He must be the one for you, huh? I can let Qinqing off, but there’s no way I’m letting him off… Impossible. The fact that I didn’t maim him is already my way of showing courtesy to you. I want him to rot in there, I need to give him enough time to regret ever touching someone that belongs to me!”
“Song Juhan!” shouted He Gu. “You’ve already beaten him up twice, so it’s even between you two. Why do you have to be so overbearing?”
“That idiot attacked me from behind with a baseball bat!” Song Juhan raised his voice angrily as he shouted, “The doctor said if he’d hit me slightly to the right, I would’ve become disabled. Don’t you care about me at all?! From the moment you walked in, you’ve only fucking cared about him. Why don’t you ask how I’m doing?!”
“You look quite energetic to me,” commented He Gu coldly.
Song Juhan was so angry his eyes turned red. “You want me to let him off? Fine, you… strip naked right now and get in bed.”
He Gu froze for a moment, then started to unbutton his shirt.
Song Juhan’s eyes widened as he picked up a pillow and threw it at He Gu. “Fuck you!”
He Gu was so enraged he wanted to kill someone. “What the fuck do you want then?! Isn’t this what you wanted? Didn’t you go to great lengths to collect all that information on Qinqing just so you could do this?!”
“No! This isn’t what I want. What I want is your fucking heart!” said Song Juhan in a hoarse voice.
“You?! You think you deserve it? Have you forgotten what you did that day at the hotel?!”
At that moment, Song Juhan looked like he was about to cry as he bit his lip and lowered his head. “I didn’t mean to. I just… saw you two together and I got mad…”
“Song Juhan, don’t bother telling me these meaningless excuses. You’ve already made it clear that day, you said you just want to sleep with me. It’s no big deal, I’ll let you fuck me. You can fuck me until the day you get bored of me.” He Gu walked over slowly, then suddenly grabbed the fruit knife resting on the bedside table!
Song Juhan’s expression changed in an instant. The hand he’d reached out reflexively stopped midway as he had a sudden urge to find out what He Gu would do? Would He Gu really…
He Gu waved the knife around haphazardly, before fiercely stabbing it into the pillow next to Song Juhan. A look of deep hatred filled his eyes as he gritted out between his teeth, “The things you’ve done to me, I admit is my fault. I’m the scumbag here for falling in love with a bastard like you. But if you dare to harass my mother or harass Zhou Heyi, I promise you, between the two of us, one of us will bleed!”
With a look of unbearable sadness in his eyes, Song Juhan stared at the other man in complete shock. After a long while, he started to laugh, but it was a laughter that sounded extremely bitter and hollow. “Fine. Fine, He Gu. You really are ruthless, aren’t you? As long as you stay by my side, I’ll let Zhou Heyi off.”
He Gu pulled the knife back and chucked it in the fruit bowl on the bedside table. The resounding clang rang in their ears—a sound so piercing it was like it pierced right through their hearts.
The two stared at each other wordlessly with a look of such deep sorrow and pain in their eyes, it was as if it could drown someone.