After he finally fed He Nuo his medication, Shi Yan hugged him and didn’t dare to fall asleep. He thought that he would probably need to help He Nuo apply for leave today. The handkerchief used to wipe his sweat off was thoroughly drenched, and Shi Yan still needed to stop him from struggling to lift the quilt because he felt hot. After half an hour, He Nuo moved around again so Shi Yan’s arm that was around his waist hugged him tighter. But He Nuo spoke in an incomparably hoarse voice, “I want to pee.”
The toilet was located in the yard, so He Nuo would have to wear his clothes to go out. Fearing that He Nuo’s fever would worsen if he had to endure the cold winds while sweating so much, Shi Yan didn’t want him to leave. He turned on the lights and looked around. Only two cups could serve as containers. He took one of them and passed it to He Nuo. When He Nuo understood his intention, he felt so angry that he glared at him with eyes that had turned bloodshot from his fever, refusing to settle his business in the cup. He struggled to put his pants on, so Shi Yan could only help him wear them. After he stood up, He Nuo couldn’t support his own weight and fell back onto his bed, then immediately sprang back up with a pained expression. Shi Yan propped him up, making him lean in his embrace before they left the room.
After they entered the toilet, He Nuo didn’t have time to chase Shi Yan out before he hurriedly untied his trousers and released a golden yellow stream. Within a few seconds, He Nuo uttered a nasal hng and Shi Yan quickly supported him. He felt the body in his hands tremble, and, when he saw the urinal, a bloody scene entered his line of sight. He Nuo leaned against Shi Yan, his blood had stained the entire urinal. Shi Yan’s scalp tingled. After he saw He Nuo urinate blood with his own eyes, the visual stimulation had thoroughly shocked him. Even when He Nuo pulled down on the rope to flush the toilet, Shi Yan’s gaze still couldn’t leave the blood-red eddy of water.
Looking at the dazed Shi Yan, He Nuo knew that this must have frightened him. Actually, He Nuo’s sudden urge to pee had woken him up, and this kind of urge that came out of nowhere was usually the first sign of his hematuria. He lifted his hand as he wanted to comfort Shi Yan, but he didn’t even have the strength to raise it all the way so it ended up plopping onto Shi Yan’s hand, “It’s okay, it’ll go away after I take some medicine.”
Shi Yan was still bewildered. He was walking like a robot as he carried He Nuo back to his room. Shi Yan placed He Nuo on the bed, then took his clothes off, found his medication, poured him a cup of water, and fed him his medication — he completed this set of procedures very carefully with smooth movements. After He Nuo lied down on his side, Shi Yan sat at the edge of the bed and his hand slid underneath the blanket to hold He Nuo’s hand. The intense pain from his urethra had already dispelled He Nuo’s sleepiness. Shi Yan remained silent as he watched He Nuo with an extremely gloomy expression on his face; his gaze was filled with self-reproach, anxiety and pain.
“It hurts a lot.” The hand that Shi Yan held was damp, while his other hand was still wiping the cold sweat off He Nuo’s forehead.
“Don’t worry, it’ll get much better after I take some medicine.” He Nuo said at the same time, and these words made Shi Yan’s heart twist like the fried dough twists1 sold on the streets. He buried his head in the blanket to force back the tears that were welling up in his eyes.
He Nuo placed his hand on Shi Yan’s to try and soothe him, “Look at what time it is, go back ba. Or else they’ll see you.”
Shi Yan looked up, “I’ll accompany you. I’m not going back. My parents will just think that I’m still sleeping anyway, so they won’t go to my room to wake me up. And even if they don’t see me at home, they’ll just think that I went out for a run. I always flip my blanket over before coming over.”
He Nuo didn’t know much about Shi Yan’s family, but he never heard of any trouble that was caused by him sneaking out at night so he was relieved. As for his family though, how should they explain it to them? His family will be up in awhile, and when they see that Shi Yan is here this early, they wouldn’t have a single reason they could use to explain it. So He Nuo didn’t want his family to bump into him.
“I may have to apply for leave today.”
“Of course. You need to rest, you can’t go anywhere.”
“Then can you help me apply for leave?”
“I’ll go later.”
He Nuo struggled to get up again, Shi Yan pressed down on the edges of the blanket, “What do you want? I’ll get it!”
“I still want to pee.”
The both of them understood this symptom. He Nuo would definitely have to make trips once in awhile from now on. Shi Yan took a cup over and pleaded, “Don’t torture yourself outside anymore. If you keep taking off and putting on your clothes as you walk in and out, your fever will get worse.”
He Nuo hesitated. This wasn’t the first or second him he suffered from hematuria, so he was familiar with its every symptom a long time ago. With this kind of urge that hit him with full force this time, it was already considered quite an achievement for him to be able to endure it for five minutes before making a trip to the toilet. His whole body felt limp, and it really took him a lot of effort just to stand up. He Nuo took the cup and his back faced Shi Yan. Only a few minutes had passed, so it was impossible for there to be much urine — it only filled up the cup until a height of about one centimetre. But after he squeezed the intermittent patter out, his pain made his whole body sweat again. He Nuo squeezed his mouth tight so that he wouldn’t let out any groans, but when he took the cup out all the veins on his hand could be seen to have popped out.
Shi Yan took the cup filled with bright red liquid, then supported He Nuo to lie down on the bed. He Nuo’s eyebrows were furrowed. After this wave of sharp pain subsided, he persuaded Shi Yan to go back first with his hoarse voice, then asked him to come back after his family members went to work. He Nuo passed the gate keys to Shi Yan and told him that everyone would have gone to work by 7.30am and his fifth bro would be sleeping in, so he can open the yard door and come in by himself later. Shi Yan thought about it, then instructed him to not go to the toilet outside. He placed the cup at the bottom of the bed where He Nuo’s hand could reach before he left.
Shi Yan left because there were a lot of matters he had to arrange. When he got home, he called Wang Feng and asked him to get up quickly. He wanted to take He Nuo to the hospital later, and Wang Feng was familiar with the hospital so he wanted him to arrange this trip for them. After Wang Feng heard that He Nuo’s hematuria had relapsed, he was quite concerned too so he told Shi Yan that he would be waiting for them at the hospital’s entrance at 7.30am. Afterwards, Shi Yan went to look for his thick coat, hat, scarf and gloves, then took out all his lucky money as well. Shi Yan went to the school to help He Nuo apply for leave before he went straight to Wang Feng’s house. Wang Feng had planned to follow his mother (doctor) along to work, but since Shi Yan came over, he decided that he might as well accompany Shi Yan to go pick He Nuo up.
It was Wang Feng’s first time at He Nuo’s house, so he was casually glancing around when he was stunned by the cup of urine and blood mixture that Shi Yan had taken out from underneath the bed. On the one hand, Shi Yan wanted to see how much urine there was, and on the other hand, he planned to bring it along with them to the hospital. He Nuo had already told his family in the morning that he had a fever and wanted to rest for a day. His parents asked him about his condition and he told them that he had already taken some medication, but he was currently sweating from the fever so he wanted to apply for leave. His parents didn’t say much else other than their usual exhortations to drink more warm water and to cover himself with a thicker blanket.
Now that Shi Yan brought Wang Feng over and said that he wanted to bring him to the hospital, He Nuo was dead on insisting that he wouldn’t go. He Nuo thought that his high fever and hematuria had to do with Shi Yan’s abnormality yesterday; he was afraid that the doctor would be able to tell, and his secret place was still swollen and in pain. He couldn’t even lie down on his bed or sit down properly, so how could he go see a doctor now?
Shi Yan tried every possible way to persuade He Nuo. While he looked at how He Nuo absolutely refused to get up and put on his clothes after all the coaxing and pleading that Shi Yan was doing, Wang Feng couldn’t understand why He Nuo was so afraid of going to the hospital like a little kid. He said that he was already this old, so wouldn’t it be rather amusing if he was still afraid of injections and taking some medication. But, Wang Feng couldn’t help but persuade him along with Shi Yan, and told him comfortingly that he may not necessarily need an injection. If he wasn’t willing, he could try his best to guarantee that all he needed to do was take some medication. He Nuo wanted to say something, but faltered, then looked at Shi Yan with a sad look in his eyes. Shi Yan asked Wang Feng to stay outside the room for awhile, then he held He Nuo in his arms, “You’re so sick now, so you have to go. Don’t be scared, I’ll accompany you by your side at all times while we’re at the hospital.”
“I’m not afraid of injections, or medicine.”
“Then why don’t you want to go?”
“If the doctor takes a look at me, then won’t they know what we did? That place will be discovered.”
Shi Yan was stunned. He really didn’t consider that problem. He went out and talked to Wang Feng for a moment before he returned, “They won’t do any check-ups for you. We’ll just do some blood and urine tests first to see how we can cure your hematuria, we won’t check anything else.”
So just like that, He Nuo was wrapped up in Shi Yan’s thick coat and wore Shi Yan’s hat, scarf and gloves as well. Shi Yan carried He Nuo as he laid him on the crossbeam of his bicycle — this position wouldn’t touch his wound at the back, and He Nuo could lean on his body like this during the ride as well. Then the three of them made their way to the hospital.