HOW TO DEAL WITH A TSUNDERE GONG
Chapter 21 – Forked Road
Xu Bai Chuan didn’t know when the snow started falling outside, but it should have been for quite a while now based on its thickness.
It rarely ever snowed in H city. All scheduled flights must have been canceled due to the weather so when exactly did they arrive?
It appears that Tang Jin called him when he was already in H city.
The electric kettle let out a “da” sound as the push-button retracted and the bubbling sound became softer and softer. Memories of the past transformed into fragments as they fluttered around, before assembling again into a vivid past inside the quietening room. Those memories hadn’t faded in the slightest and were still as fresh as ever—
Contrary to his tall stature, Tang Jin has an exceptionally frail immune system. He had never escaped the evil clutches of the flu every winter. When others caught a cold, he had a cold too, and when others had already recovered, he was still sick. As the saying goes, an oil lamp remains before the statue of Buddha. As soon as the flu arrives, it will follow Tang Jin forever. It may come late, but never be absent.
On workdays, Tang Jin would get up even though he was unwilling. When his rest days arrived, he used his utmost efforts to stay in bed for the entire day. During these times, he was willing to do anything to avoid getting up: pretending to not hear anything, cover his head with the blanket, or simply push Xu Bai Chuan who had lifted off the blanket down onto the bed. Out of ten attempts, he would fail nine of them. Looking at Xu Bai Chuan who unfeelingly snatched away the blanket, he would be fuming with rage while crumpling his hair into a mess. Afterward, he resentfully left the bed to wash his face and exercise.
Opposite to Tang Jin, Xu Bai Chuan rarely ever fell sick. Tang Jin was extremely envious of this trait and would often try to infect him by holding him down to kiss him. Despite suffering defeat in every battle, he would continue fighting; he never succeeded. Xu Bai Chuan didn’t know why, but when he saw Tang Jin’s sulky face in the past, he thought that Tang Jin resembled an extremely depressed husky, or a curled up hedgehog covered in pointy quills. Despite his scowling face, it was particularly adorable.
These warm and sweet recollections made him mistakenly believe that he had already broken away from Song Yi Yu’s shadow. What a pity that reality was false. Everything was false.
Up until now, Xu Bai Chuan still felt that that appearance of Tang Jin was adorable. Good things remain good things. It was just that it didn’t belong to him, it never did.
Xu Bai Chuan exhaled and said, “The snow outside…” He halted mid-way since he no longer wanted to make an excuse. “I’m not going. I won’t disturb the two of you. I also request you to return the favor and not disturb my life.”
It might possibly be the first time in his entire life that he was rejected in this manner. Song Yi Yu merely replied, “Okay, I understand.”
At H city Central Hospital, Xu Bai Chuan’s voice could be heard from the speakerphone. After Song Yi Yu finished speaking, he hung up and faced Tang Jin who was lying on the bed. “Did you hear that?”
Tang Jin’s eyebrows were arched, his face pale, and cold sweat seeped out from his forehead to the tip of his nose. When he silently extended his arm, the nurse beside him promptly took over. She skilfully tightened the rubber armband, rubbed on medicine, injected the needle into the vein, fastened the medical tape again, then quickly tidied up and left the ward.
Tang Jin’s phone flashed and then dimmed, dimmed and then flashed. Finally, Song Yi Yu’s phone rang and he glanced at the screen. “It’s Aunty.”
Seeing that Tang Jin had no response, Song Yi Yu lightly pursed his lips and connected the call. “Aunty, Tang Jin’s phone was on mute so he didn’t receive your call…Much better…He was treated before and is now accepting fluids…He’s tired and fell asleep…Alright, don’t worry Aunty. I’ll call to notify you if anything happens…”
“Song Yi Yu.” Tang Jin suddenly called out.
After swiftly saying goodbye to Tang Jin’s mother, Song Yi Yu put away his phone, walked over to the bedside and asked, “What happened? Are you feeling unwell?”
Tang Jin: “I will ask you this again for the last time. Have you said anything to Xu Bai Chuan?”
Song Yi Yu suddenly tightened his fist, causing the snow-white bedsheets to be pinched and creased. Acting oblivious, he said, “What will I say to him?”
“I’ll be more specific,” Tang Jin raised his head and looked straight at Song Yi Yu’s delicate facial features, “Three months ago on the day that I was drunk, did you use my phone to call him?”
Song Yi Yu tensed up. Without replying, he asked a question in turn. “Didn’t you ask him about it afterward? What did he say?”
Tang Jin’s brows quivered and he stopped talking.
Biting his lip, Song Yi Yu looked at Tang Jin with accusatory eyes. “Do you believe him and not me? Just think about it. If I really did use your phone, would I be that stupid to leave the call record?”
Having heard what was said, Tang Jin pinched and rubbed both sides of his temple with his other hand. He ruefully said, “Sorry.” Then he uttered, “You don’t have to stay here and accompany me. Go out and find a hotel to stay in for a night. If the flights resume tomorrow, return to B city first. You don’t need to waste time by staying here with me.”
Song Yi Yu: “I can stay…”
Tang Jin assumed a stance of refusal. “No need. I want to be by myself.”
Song Yi Yu hesitated for a long time as he deliberated in his mind over and over again. Forcefully squeezing out a smile, he said, “Okay, I’ll book a hotel first and I’ll come to visit you tomorrow.” In an attempt to avoid Tang Jin from barring him off, he quickly left the ward and pulled the door closed from outside after he finished speaking.
The lighting in the hospital corridors was rather dim to not disturb patients who were resting. Song Yi Yu walked to the window and looked out to see the world covered in pure white snow. Just like Tang Jin’s chilly words, freezing cold snow fell on his heart.
Please God, help me make this decision. If the elevator is on an even floor when he exits, he will give up on pursuing and back off from henceforth. If it stops on an odd floor…
The corner was getting closer and closer. Song Yi Yu took a deep intake of breath, closed his eyes and stepped past that boundary. When he opened his eyes again, a glaring “5” entered his vision.
Song Yi Yu couldn’t tell whether he was happy or disappointed; he no longer wanted to think about it. Taking out his phone, he dialed the phone number of Tang Jin’s mother.
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