In the morning, He Nuo was awoken by the griping pain in his stomach. After his diarrhea, he lied back down on his bed drenched in cold sweat and his pain was mostly relieved. He never even thought that this had anything to do with Shi Yan, and thought that it was due to the cold leftovers he ate after he returned in the middle of the night yesterday.
Shi Yan made an exception and came over in the morning because he had an urgent need to tell He Nuo what he wanted to say. Since it was a Sunday, his younger brothers were at his parents’ side, so the dispirited He Nuo was reading his books underneath his blanket.
When he saw He Nuo on the bed and the look on his face, Shi Yan quickly approached him, “What’s wrong? You’re sick again?”
The exhaustion on He Nuo’s face was apparent and his lips were covered in a pale layer of frost — how could one say that this was the look of a person who had just woken up? More like a look of someone who barely slept.
“I’m not. Why would I suddenly fall sick?” He Nuo smiled indifferently, but it made him look even more haggard.
Shi Yan sat next to him and nervously touched his head, “You’re really okay?” But with this one touch, Shi Yan realised that there was something wrong with its heat, “You have a fever and you still say you’re okay?”
“It can’t be ba, I don’t feel it at all though? Is your hand cold cause you just came in?” He Nuo did feel slightly uncomfortable, but this discomfort was at a whole ‘nother place, so how could he notice if he was hot or not? He pulled Shi Yan’s hand over, “Your hand’s quite cold.”
Shi Yan placed his forehead against his, then stood up, “You definitely have a fever. Do you have a thermometer here?”
“At my parents’ side, I’ll go get it.” He Nuo was about to get off the bed, and before Shi Yan could stop him, Mama He came over. She had brought them some apples that she just washed. Whenever Shi Yan came over, his family would welcome him happily. Mama He told Shi Yan not to leave in the afternoon and stay for lunch, and that she would go out to buy some more groceries soon.
Shi Yan told Mama He that He Nuo had a fever and asked for a thermometer, so she quickly went back to bring one over. After he measured He Nuo’s temperature, he saw that it was 38.3 degrees. It wasn’t too high a fever, so Mama He only brought some fever medication and a warm water bottle over as she urged He Nuo to drink more hot water.
After he fed He Nuo his medication, Shi Yan took the books that were in his hands away and asked him to sleep. It was bright out and early in the morning, so He Nuo could barely lie still, let alone sleep. He Nuo wore his coat and went to the toilet in his yard, but not long after, he went again a second time. After he returned, Shi Yan asked if he urinated any blood. He Nuo only felt a slight pain at the start, and knew that it was one of the early signs of hematuria. He didn’t want to worry Shi Yan at first and thought of consuming the medication underneath his bed after Shi Yan left. But Shi Yan knew this shortcoming of his better than He Nuo himself, so he had already guessed every single one of his thoughts. He Nuo told him that there was no blood, just some slight pain.
After Shi Yan fed He Nuo the norfloxacin, he wasn’t in a very good mood. When he looked at He Nuo, his heart was filled with both sorrow and worry, as well as tenderness and pity. He Nuo wanted to hide it from Shi Yan in the first place because he didn’t want Shi Yan worry about his health. He knew that just one cough of his would make Shi Yan look like he was facing a formidable enemy; he felt like Shi Yan was protecting him like he would an infant. He Nuo’s barren heart had already been reclaimed into an oasis by Shi Yan — his new life was irrigated by Shi Yan’s heart blood, so naturally, their hearts were now connected as they shared weal and woe together.
As he leaned against the bedside, Shi Yan laid his head on his own arm, “Did you fall sick because of last night?”
For He Nuo, what happened yesterday was both physically and psychologically unpleasant. But he wasn’t willing to let Shi Yan bear the burden of his illness, “No, that has nothing to do with this at all.”
Shi Yan turned around and faced him with a warm gaze, “Which college do you plan on applying for this year?”
“I want to go to C College or D College (key colleges).”
“The standard ones? I haven’t considered the standard ones yet.”
“You never considered other key colleges?” Shi Yan was naturally unhappy.
“No, those two colleges are the ones I want to get into the most.”
“Nice, then I guess we won’t see each other for the next few years.” Shi Yan vented his discontent in a sarcastic tone. He was upset over how He Nuo never considered him in his future plans at all.
His words had gently reminded He Nuo of that problem. He Nuo has always yearned to get into a college that was as far away from his home as possible, so “far away from home” had unconsciously become his criteria in selecting his future college. Shi Yan’s cold words made him remember something: 4 years of separation. And at the same time, He Nuo felt alarmed and panicky as he began to consider this issue..
“First choice: A College (the key college in the same city as Shi Yan).”
“I,” He Nuo hesitated, he thought it wasn’t far enough.
“What I? How many times a month do you expect me to take the train? Do you want me to support the Ministry of Railways?”
He Nuo hesitated to make a comment. Actually, he was thinking about how laborious it would be for Shi Yan to look for him if he did go to a faraway place. However, Shi Yan thought he was unwilling, so he threatened in a malicious voice, “If you go to any other college, Laozi won’t visit you even once.” After he said that, he thought that didn’t sound very nice so he immediately changed his tone to a flattering one and coaxed, “If you go to A College, I’ll go look for you everyday, and I’ll accompany you all the time just like I did in our third year.”
He Nuo didn’t know whether to laugh or cry when he saw Shi Yan’s amazing face-changing skills, then scolded, “You didn’t accompany me all the time in our third year though? Wasn’t it just when we went to school and after school?”
“Young master, that’s cause you were the one who ran to the arts. I chose science after I asked you for your choice.”
That was He Nuo’s fault, so he quickly interrupted, “Who’s talking about that.”
“Then are you talking about after school? Didn’t I eat with you after school? And slept with you?” Shi Yan moved in and hugged He Nuo, “Hehe, aren’t I still sleeping with you now? And I’m even accompanying you for lunch later.”
He Nuo pulled his hands away, “You won’t be with those buddies of yours anymore?” Actually, He Nuo had forcibly changed the word that had reached his lips from ‘girlfriend’ to ‘buddies’.
“I promise you that I’ll go see you everyday.” Shi Yan looked like a puppy who had just seen a bone as he pounced onto He Nuo and acted shamelessly, “Go to A College, go there please~ At most I’ll just eat with you and sleep with you everyday.” Shi Yan laughed mischievously.
“I won’t go.” When he saw Shi Yan laugh that way, He Nuo’s first reaction was to reject him, though his heart was filled with tender affection.
Shi Yan immediately withdrew his smile and pulled a long face, “Don’t even think about going anywhere else aside from A college.”
“Why? Because you want to do that?” He Nuo’s smile vanished as well.
Shi Yan immediately raised his hand, but he had only waved it for one second before it stopped in mid air. His face flushed red with anger and he clenched his hand into a fist, and he had clenched it so tightly that his nails dug into his flesh. In the end, he smashed his fist onto the bed, “Fuck!”
He stood up with his back facing the bed. When he closed in on He Nuo again, Shi Yan’s eyes were blazing with two clusters of flames, his breath was in such close proximity that He Nuo could feel it on his face. Shi Yan said in an ominous and heavy tone, “In your eyes, do you really see Laozi as a hoodlum? Fuck! I’ll tell you this today, A College is your only choice. Laozi doesn’t want it to be like these few months where I can’t see you no matter how often I thought about you.” Then he uttered a few hngs and sneered, “Don’t worry, I won’t touch even one of your fingers!”