After he cleaned up the kitchen, He Nuo went back to his room to study. But when he saw the conch shell on his table, he thought about how Shi Yan had left in anger. He Nuo wasn’t worried that Shi Yan would sever ties with him over this, he just didn’t want Shi Yan to return to his college while he was angry. He thought about it for awhile, then took out a writing paper as he planned to write a letter to Shi Yan. He’ll mail it out tomorrow morning, then Shi Yan will be able to receive it in 3 days. He believes that once Shi Yan receives this letter, he wouldn’t sulk anymore. He had never thought of Shi Yan as an obscene person at all.
He was in the middle of writing when the door to his room was pushed open. He Nuo turned around, it was Shi Yan! He came in with a long face. He Nuo carried the books he had placed on his bed away so that Shi Yan could sit down.
Shi Yan grabbed his arm, “Laozi thought about it, so what if I’m obscene to you? What right do you have to act innocent after you took advantage of me?”
“Who said you were obscene?” When He Nuo saw how Shi Yan was all puffed up with rage looking like he had just suffered a huge injustice, he thought it seemed very amusing.
“You mocked me and you dare say you didn’t? And you’re laughing?” Shi Yan could tell that He Nuo was trying to suppress his laughter. Right after he pushed him down onto the bed, his hands got a bit dishonest. He Nuo pushed him away, “Don’t mess around.” In the afternoon his younger brothers weren’t around, but now they were both next door.
“Say it, will you still mock me? Will you still speak that sarcastically?”
“I’ve never mocked you, and I wasn’t specifically targeting you either. It’s just that I feel like you guys aren’t cherishing college after squeezing through the crowd on a single-plank bridge1. Everyone calls college students the children of heaven, but look, what have you been learning there?”
Shi Yan stopped messing around and put his hands down, then said sternly, “I don’t do any obscene things at school, I only do them with you. Other people are too dirty for me.”
He Nuo couldn’t tell how it felt like to hear the words said by such a serious Shi Yan; but knowing that Shi Yan only did those things with him made him feel more happy than anything else. He couldn’t imagine Shi Yan being this intimate with anyone else.
“But wouldn’t it be so disgraceful if other people found out?”
“I like you, and I like it when you do it for me. What about you?”
When he didn’t get an answer, Shi Yan continued, “Tell me the truth. If you hate it then you hate it, but if you like it then just admit you like it.”
“I like it, but” He Nuo spoke frankly about his feelings, yet he knew that this wasn’t a good thing.
“If we both like it, then why do you care so much about what other people think? Why do you have so many ‘but’s,” Shi Yan leaned closer to his ear and licked it with the tip of his tongue, “Besides, no one knows.”
He Nuo abruptly pushed him away and jumped up, then pretended to tidy up his books to conceal his irregular breathing. Shi Yan chuckled as he walked over and saw the writing paper on the table at a glance. When he picked it up to read, his face was gleaming with joy — all because He Nuo actually wrote a few coaxing words in his letter. You must know, whenever He Nuo wrote letters to him, he always sounded like he was writing a work report as he described his life and studies. Shi Yan has never seen any gentle and affectionate words in his letters before.
“You’re not done writing?”
“Yeah, and I won’t need to finish it this time.” He Nuo wanted to fold the letter up and scrap it.
“No, finish writing it for me, then mail it to me.” Shi Yan yanked the letter back.
“Crazy, haven’t you read it already?”
“I haven’t finished reading it. I’m telling you now, finish writing this and mail it to me within three days, got it?”
Since tomorrow was a Monday, He Nuo wanted Shi Yan to go back early. Although he couldn’t bear to part with him, He Nuo didn’t want Shi Yan’s studies to be affected because of him. He had no strength to resist his intimacy with Shi Yan. He was actually strongly drawn to it, so he accepted this secret and privacy that the both of them shared.
He Nuo didn’t participate in the flag-raising ceremony in the morning because Shi Yan had ran over to his school. They didn’t just say goodbye in this short duration of 20 minutes; Shi Yan had forgotten to prepare more healthcare products these past few days, so when his parents prepared another huge pile of clothes and food for him last night, he remembered that the healthcare products he had given He Nuo should be more or less finished by now. Thus, when he was picked up this morning in a car — this was Zhou Xiaodong’s family car that he and Wang Feng hitched a ride in — he made a detour to the school to give He Nuo a huge bag of products.
Two days before New Year’s Day, He Nuo received Shi Yan’s New Year greeting card. That was when he noticed that the students around him were sending greeting cards to one another, so he wanted to give Shi Yan one too. But there was a letter in the greeting card — Shi Yan said that he would return on the 31st of December — which was tomorrow — so he wouldn’t need to mail the greeting card out. During the party on the afternoon of the 31st, He Nuo looked around frequently. Whenever his classroom door opened and closed as people entered and left, he would definitely be the first person to glance over. But he hadn’t even caught a glimpse of Shi Yan’s shadow by the time his classes ended. At first he thought that Shi Yan was late, so Shi Yan would definitely go to his house to look for him on the first day of the New Year. But in the end, he was disappointed once again.
After the New Year’s atmosphere dissipated, He Nuo received Shi Yan’s letter. It turned out that they didn’t return on New Year’s Day and had gone to their classmate’s house to play instead. On the 15th of January, Shi Yan appeared after He Nuo ended his classes without any prior warning, which was when He Nuo found out that his winter vacation had started. He Nuo’s winter vacation would probably be delayed until the Spring Festival where he would only get a few days of rest, so Shi Yan began to fetch him to and fro in the afternoons and evenings. Once in awhile they would run over to the office to get intimate for a bit before going home late. He Nuo couldn’t overcome his shyness, but through these delightful experiences, he gradually learned how to bring pleasure to Shi Yan.
The turning point was a video tape — the so-called ‘pornography’ that has a great impact on teenagers. This was something that Shi Yan’s buddy had watched first before he recommended it to everyone else excitedly, so they passed it around to watch. As a matter of fact, all of them did praise it fervently after they watched it and talked about how great it was. After Shi Yan picked up He Nuo on a Saturday, they went to the office; he wanted to share good things with He Nuo too. Of course, he knew that it was a porno, but Shi Yan and gang mostly watched R-rated films in the past where the camera wouldn’t emphasise, zoom in on and enlarge any sort of nakedness, so everything was left up to inference.
Shi Yan was hugging He Nuo as they watched it with the volume turned down. As soon as the scene appeared, He Nuo was so surprised he almost cried out, and even Shi Yan was quite surprised too. Then afterwards, they couldn’t shift their gaze away. He Nuo never had such an experience, and Shi Yan had never watched something this stimulating before. The two of them only watched it for a few minutes before their blood began to boil and the object between their legs swelled up. Shi Yan unzipped his pants first. He took out his member that was protesting against the stuffiness in his pants, then went to liberate He Nuo’s. They didn’t need to say anything before both of them knew what to do for each other, and it didn’t take long before they delivered the goods.
He Nuo squeezed his eyes shut as he gasped for breath, while Shi Yan continued to fixate his eyes on the screen. Suddenly, Shi Yan’s hand that was still on He Nuo exerted some force; He Nuo looked up, and his blood gushed straight up to his head like a flood had suddenly been unleashed from the mountains. The woman on the screen was sandwiched between two men. The camera zoomed in closer and kept showing how this moaning woman was swallowing the men’s Yang object from both her front and back. He Nuo could no longer endure such an intense stimulation, so he turned his head away. Shi Yan’s eyes shone brilliantly with a peculiar glint, as if something had awakened in his memory. His Yang object that had just enjoyed a release was unsatisfied and didn’t cease fire like it did in the past. Instead, it got even hungrier and thirstier than before as it roused up once again.
1. Crowd on a single-plank bridge = difficult path↩