Cactus in Distress Chapter 34

Chapter 34

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After a moment of silence, Sun Nianxi declared, “I will never drink again.”

Sun Yutan couldn’t help but laugh.

Sun Nianxi spoke again, “If I drink like that, you must knock me out.”

“I think she’s quite cute.” Sun Yutan turned to Chen Rui. “Right, Chen Rui? Your ex-girlfriend is quite cute.”

“You’re so mean.” Sun Nianxi packed up her things. “Forget it, let’s go.”

As they made their way to the door, Sun Nianxi headed towards her car and turned to wave at them once more. “Happy New Year!” she called out cheerily.

“Happy New Year! See you next year!”

Coming out suddenly from a place with sufficient heating, and then being hit by the night wind, Sun Yutan shuddered. Chen Rui quickly wrapped his arms around her. “Shall we go home?”

“It’s still early.” Sun Yutan looked up. “I want to eat roasted potatoes.”

Chen Rui held her and walked forward.

Despite the late hour, there were still plenty of vendors selling the popular snack. Sun Yutan eagerly made her purchase, marveling at how easy it was to do so now that they were no longer students. “I remember when we were in school,” she remarked wistfully. “The lines here always seemed endless. But now, we can come whenever we want.”

Chen Rui sat with his hands tucked into his sleeves. He had never been interested in these things. Sun Yutan forked one and offered it to him, “Try one.”

Chen Rui opened his mouth and took a bite.

Sun Yutan asked, “How long were you together with her?”

“I forgot.”

He had only agreed to be with her out of spite towards a certain girl, and their time together had been nothing more than a superficial fling. In truth, he couldn’t even remember much about their time together.

To him, it had been an insignificant failed attempt at a relationship. He assumed that Xiang Jiayu felt the same way, especially since it was her who initiated the breakup. However, tonight’s encounter had shown him a different side of her. She had been surprisingly aggressive, and it was clear that she had stronger feelings for him than he had anticipated.

So what? He had no feelings for her, and he didn’t see why he owed her any justice. Unrequited love was a common occurrence, and he had long ago accepted that some relationships just didn’t work out.

“You’re too heartless. She can’t seem to let go of you,” she said.

“You’re trying to act cute and take advantage of me,” he replied.

“Do you think my ex-boyfriend might still be thinking about me?” 

Chen Rui sneered. “So what if he is? Are you planning to go find him?” He could tell that she wasn’t serious about it.

“I intend to be like you, cold and cool,” she replied, lacing her fingers through his. “You’re really something, Chen Rui. I’m too full, let’s take a walk around the school.”

The small door at Haicheng No. 1 High School was always open during evening study time, but only for people to enter, not to leave. On this particular night, the campus was especially quiet due to the New Year’s Eve party, with everyone gathered in the auditorium.

Sun Yutan linked arms with Chen Rui and the two of them walked around the teaching building, heading towards the soccer field.

Suddenly, Sun Yutan spoke up. “Do you remember in our senior year, every Thursday our two classes had physical education class at the same time? Tang Guo would always drag me over to watch you play soccer. You definitely didn’t know.”

“Hmm.” Of course he knew. Every time she came, his mood became strangely bad, and he played soccer with subpar skill. He had thought she came to watch Wu Junzhe instead. After all, she was never there unless Wu Junzhe was absent.

What he didn’t know was that when Wu Junzhe wasn’t playing soccer, he would drag Sun Yutan to play chess. This left Tang Guo with no choice but to watch him by herself.

“She also pretended to pass by your classroom many times. In the cafeteria too. Your class is upstairs, and if she came down later, Tang Guo had to sit at the tables by the entrance so she could see you every day.”

Every corner of the campus was filled with the secrets of teenage girls. The more Sun Yutan thought about it, the more she felt that at that time, Tang Guo really liked Chen Rui. It was a love that existed in the shadows, a pitiful yet lovely love. She watched silently, burying any hint of her own feelings even deeper. She thought, she didn’t want to have such a hopeless crush on someone. She wanted to move forward, step by step, away from him.

“And what about you,” Chen Rui asked. “You said it yourself that you also like me. What were you thinking?”

Sun Yutan spoke honestly, “I’m thinking that I need to stay away from you.”

Chen Rui was confused. “Why?”

“I’m afraid I like you too much and won’t be able to resist clinging to you.”

Chen Rui fell silent, and Sun Yutan hugged him. “I’m afraid of embarrassing myself. Aren’t you too? Chen Rui, we’ve wasted so much time in the past. We’re together now, and I’m already happy enough to have caught up with you after missing you for so long.”

Chen Rui lowered his head and kissed her. “Can you tie double ponytails for me to see?”

“Why?” She didn’t remember when was the last time she tied her hair like that.

That night, on the bed, Chen Rui firmly tied her hair in double ponytails.

He wouldn’t let her untie them, which made Sun Yutan so angry that she wanted to curse. “Chen Rui, are you crazy? What kind of weird fetish is this?”

Chen Rui replied, “I’ve been wanting to do this for a long time.”

Sun Yutan exclaimed, “You are such a pervert!”

As Chen Rui leaned in to kiss her, he whispered, “Only I am allowed to play with your hair.”

Sun Yutan pulled away from him, a look of annoyance on her face. “You can’t tell me what to do! Let go of me!” she protested.

But as she continued to protest, Sun Yutan couldn’t help but feel a flutter of excitement in her chest. The truth was, she loved the way Chen Rui played with her hair, even if she didn’t want to admit it.

On the first day of the new year, the two of them found themselves together again, tangled up in each other in the late hours of the night.

On a weekend morning nearing the end of the year, Sun Yutan was still in bed when Su Nan called her on video.

She answered and placed the phone on the pillow beside her.

“Still not up?” Su Nan was a little surprised.

Sun Yutan became a little more awake and quickly touched the space beside her. The bed was still warm, and Chen Rui was already gone. “I’ll get up right away.”

“Tantan, are you feeling better now? Sleeping in until this late in the morning?”

Sun Yutan thought for a moment. “Yeah, I guess so.” Thanks to Chen Rui.

She walked to the washroom, holding her phone. Su Nan asked, “When are you coming back?”

“The 29th. I can stay until the 6th day of the new year. I’ve already bought my ticket.”

“Great. I ordered a lot of sausage from Old Wu’s place this year. We can eat them when you come back.”

“How much can I eat? You and Dad can eat as much as you want.”

“I can pack them for you to take with you.”

“Oh, I don’t know how to cook.”

“Sausages don’t need to be cooked, just cut and steam them. It’s very simple. I’ll teach you when you come back.”

Suddenly, the sound of the door opening came from outside. Sun Yutan put down the half-squeezed toothpaste and gestured to Chen Rui, who was carrying breakfast, to be quiet.

“What’s wrong?” Su Nan asked.

“The wind closed the door,” Sun Yutan replied.

“You didn’t close the door?”

“Uh, I forgot.” Sun Yutan couldn’t close the bathroom door without reason, so she took her phone and went out to brush her teeth, making sure that Chen Rui was in her line of sight and would not appear in the camera by mistake.

Chen Rui stood still and looked at her for two seconds, then walked towards her with soft footsteps, treading quietly. Sun Yutan turned the camera aside and glared at him, but Chen Rui, the jerk, provocatively smiled and continued to approach her.

Sun Yutan became nervous and could only avoid him. The two of them circled around the living room like a cat and mouse, without speaking. Chen Rui moved slowly and deliberately, clearly just playing with her.

Su Nan said, “Why are you walking around while brushing your teeth? You’ll get foam all over the floor.”

Sun Yutan mumbled, “I’m going to wash my face first. Let’s talk later today.”

The first thing Sun Yutan did after putting down her phone was to kick Chen Rui.

Chen Rui pushed her towards the bathroom. “You’re so dirty.”

After Sun Yutan finished washing her face, Chen Rui was still standing there watching her. She asked in annoyance, “What?”

“Are you afraid Auntie will find out you’re living with someone or are you afraid that someone is me?” he said.

“Aren’t you afraid?”

“What do I have to be afraid of?”

“Why play such a big game?” Sun Yutan took his phone away. “Let’s go out to eat. I’m hungry.”

Halfway through the meal, she asked Chen Rui, “Are you still going to spend the New Year in Vancouver this year?”


“I’m going back to Shaocheng in a few days. I’ll see you after the New Year.”

Chen Rui wiped his mouth. “When do you plan to tell your family?”

Sun Yutan’s answer was straightforward, “I don’t plan to tell them.”

Chen Rui nodded. “I understand.”

As he got up, he heard her say, “I hope you don’t say anything either.”

Chen Rui peered down at her and she looked up, giving him a gentle smile. “Chen Rui, please don’t tell anyone. You understand the reason better than I do. It’s unnecessary to burden our families with this.”

He pinched her cheek playfully and returned her smile. Sun Yutan believed that he had agreed, but unbeknownst to her, Chen Rui didn’t take her plea to heart at all.

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