The funeral was scheduled for three days later.
The Yi family did not contact the Zhou family again. It must have been on the orders of his brother-in-law. Yi Hui’s father had never cared much for his youngest son that was useless to him. Zhou Jinheng had to do everything possible to make his friends find out the time of the funeral.
Hearing that he was going there, Zhou Huarong scolded him on the phone: “Didn’t you want to get rid of him a long time ago? Now that the marriage contract is void, what are you still rushing there for?”
Zhou Jinheng was taken aback: “Void? Who said that?”
“He’s dead, of course it’s void. Or do you still plan to marry him?”
Even if he had forced himself to accept reality, Zhou Jinheng still couldn’t stand anyone saying that Yi Hui was dead. What’s more, the Zhou family’s eagerness to demolish the bridge after crossing the river was too ugly and he felt ashamed as a member of the Zhou family.
“I don’t care if you go or not, and you have no right to care if I go or not.” Zhou Jinheng said solemnly, “I will go as his fiancé, not on behalf of the Zhou family.”
Yi Hui’s case was handled very quickly under the supervision of all parties. Those three guys were weaklings. They were interrogated briefly and soon gave a full account of the facts; then they were sent to the prosecution for sentencing in the next few days.
Those three had some family connections too. Zhou Jinheng knew that Cheng Feichi must have been the driving force behind it. He was so busy, he couldn’t help at all. But when he thought about it in retrospect, he realized he was the one Cheng Feizhi wanted to kill the most.
Even so, he went to the funeral site.
When he reached the door and saw the black and white photo in the middle of the funeral hall, Zhou Jinheng was stunned for a long time, his past flying before his eyes, compressed into one picture. For a moment, all he could think of was to walk up and touch the smiling man in the photo and say to him: I’m here.
But he didn’t get a chance. As soon as he saw him, Cheng Feichi, who was receiving visitors inside, immediately motioned to the security guards around him to kick him out.
Zhou Jinheng used all his strength, gritting his teeth and refusing to go, staring at the photo unblinkingly.
The security guards did not dare to make a loud noise to disturb the funeral hall and in the end Cheng Feichi went out in person. He walked to the door, glanced at Zhou Jinheng dressed in a black suit with lukewarm eyes and said, “Get out.”
Zhou Jinheng refused to leave, struggling in vain in the circle of security guards: “Let me take a look at him, just one look, let me go in and take a look at him.”
Cheng Feichi asked, “You? What qualifications do you have to look at him?”
Zhou Jinheng thought it was obvious: “I am his fiance.”
“The marriage contract has been annulled, don’t forget, you and him didn’t even get a certificate.” When he said that, Cheng Feichi’s cold expression showed a rare fierceness, “I let you go before because Yi Hui didn’t want me to hurt you.”
Zhou Jinheng was stunned suddenly, his eyes dazed again. His hands loosened and he stopped struggling.
Cheng Feichi took a step forward, looked at him condescendingly and warned: “Don’t mention my brother’s name in the future, and it’s best not to appear in front of me, otherwise I can’t promise not to violate his wish.”
At noon that day, the photos of the actor Zhou Jinheng appearing in a certain funeral hall went on the hot search. Under the intervention of the company, the photos of the security guards did not spread out, so the netizens focused on “whose funeral this was”.
Zhou Jinheng in the photo was dressed in solemn formal attire and had a solemn expression. There were all kinds of guesses in the comments. A classmate, a relative, a teacher and even a lover were all mentioned. The story was well-written and eye-catching, even involving rumours about some female celebrities.
There was a lot of uproar on the Internet but the party involved had no time to care. Zhou Jinheng arrived in S City and went straight home. He took out the painting that he had just brought back from the mountain the day before yesterday and looked at it for a while, then turned it over carefully, reached out and touched the words in the lower right corner, his face softening as he calmed down all together.
There was a visitor in the afternoon. Zhou Jinheng had already forgotten when he had allowed others to come to this place. He opened the door and stood dumbfounded for a long time before turning sideways to let Yang Chengxuan in.
When he entered the house, Yang Chengxuan first looked at the painting that was pushed away by Zhou Jinheng and then looked at Zhou Jinheng pouring a cup of water and spilling it all over the floor. He asked worriedly: “Jinheng, are you… okay?”
“Pretty good.” Zhou Jinheng replied as he placed the cup on the table and sloshed out another puddle of water.
Yang Chengxuan was Zhou Jinheng’s old friend since they were in school. He also witnessed the relationship between Zhou Jinheng and Fang Yuqing from the sidelines back then. He could be regarded as knowing Zhou Jinheng very well. But it was the first time in so many years that he had seen him in such a state of loss.
“People can’t come back from the dead. I’m sorry for your loss.” Yang Chengxuan comforted, “I know that you have been under the same roof for three years anyway and there’s a bit of emotion involved, but you’ll get over it, you’ve got to move on.”
Zhou Jinheng had long been immune to this kind of pompous rhetoric and ignored it.
Yang Chengxuan recalled what and who Zhou Jinheng cared about most over the years and said, “See, your acting career is developing just right, it’s not your style at all to fall apart. Fang Yuqing is also back, tsk tsk, look at this autumn, there will be a double harvest of love and career for you. I am so envious.”
Zhou Jinheng frowned slightly when he heard Fang Yuqing’s name. Yang Chengxuan thought it had an effect and took advantage of the victory to continue: “Just in the morning, he called me to come and comfort you. Back then, you two fell in love under my nose and made my teeth ache. Now I am risking being sour to death watching you two get back together. Don’t let me down.”
“Shut up.” Zhou Jinheng couldn’t help but silence this noisy man.
After pouring a cup of water, Zhou Jinheng turned around and carefully covered the painting with a cloth. As soon as he took it back to his room, the phone in the house rang.
If it hadn’t rung, Zhou Jinheng would have forgotten that there was still a landline at home. Standing in front of the chest of drawers in the corner of the living room, he stared at the Doraemon sticker on the landline handset for a while and was still in a daze when he picked up the phone: “En.”
“Hello, is this Mr. Zhou’s house?”
“We are from XX Travel Agency. There is a honeymoon trip booked for you and Mr. Yi Hui. The time was the 22nd of last month, but the two of you did not come on the day of departure and we couldn’t get through to the number we had. We would like to ask if the two of you want to reschedule your trip or cancel it?”
After hanging up the phone, Zhou Jinheng went straight into the room, opened the cabinet and rummaged around in the drawers.
Yang Chengxuan followed him: “What are you looking for?”
Zhou Jinheng didn’t lift his head: “Passport.”
“You want to go abroad?”
“Yi Hui booked a honeymoon trip.”
“Honeymoon… that’s when you just get married, right? I thought you two didn’t get the certificate?”
After he reminded him, Zhou Jinheng remembered something and began to look for their ID cards again. There was finally a hint of lightness in his tone: “I am 22 years old this year and I can get married.”
His ID card was found quickly but Yi Hui’s was hidden somewhere. Zhou Jinheng looked for it in a hurry, pulled out several drawers and turned them upside down on the floor, scattering the things in them all over the place.
Seeing him kneel on the ground and rummage through desperately, as if not hearing a word he said, Yang Chengxuan couldn’t stand it, rushed into the room, grabbed his arm and pulled him up: “Jinheng, are you crazy? He is dead, how are you going to marry him and what honeymoon are you going to have?”
Zhou Jinheng panted heavily. Just about to say “he is not dead”, he recovered in a daze and looked around the messy house, as if looking at the past that he had not cherished.
His lips moved, his adam’s apple rolled, and he said, “He wanted to go. He kept saying that he wanted to go. I… I should have taken him there a long time ago.”
On the day of departure, Zhou Jinheng called Xiao Lin while packing his luggage and asked him to get two more days off from the company.
Because he only brought his ID and a few changes of clothes, the suitcase was quite empty. Zhou Jinheng took the Doraemon doll at the head of the bed, looked at it for a while, then finally stuffed it into the suitcase.
The place he went to was an island in the southern hemisphere, famous as a honeymoon mecca. There were two other couples who were travelling there. Seeing Zhou Jinheng alone, they all showed expressions of surprise.
But it didn’t matter; except for flying together, they would not spend the rest of the time together. Zhou Jinheng was happy to feel clear-headed; only when the plane took off, he subconsciously reached to grab the hand of the man next to him and ended up grabbing nothing. He turned his head to see an empty seat that gave him a bit of a real sense of loneliness.
When they got married three years ago, they took a plane from S City to the capital. Yi Hui was sitting next to him. He was frightened by the roar of the plane taking off. His face turned pale, his eyes closed tightly and he held Zhou Jinheng’s hand without saying a word.
At that time, Zhou Jinheng only found it funny. After struggling for a long time, he couldn’t pull his hand away. He stretched out his other hand and pushed Yi Hui’s head: “Hey, is it so scary?”
It wasn’t until the plane was flying smoothly that Yi Hui exhaled, slowly let go of his hand and whispered, “I’m afraid, it’s terrible.”
Zhou Jinheng couldn’t figure it out: “Then how do you usually fly?”
Yi Hui lowered his head and replied embarrassedly: “Just, just close my eyes, clench my fists and bear it, and it’ll pass.”
Zhou Jinheng didn’t understand it even more: “Then why were you holding me?”
At that time, Yi Hui was blushing so hard he was almost dripping blood and looked like he would faint with shame if he said one more word. He shook his head and resolutely refused to speak again.
Only looking back now, did Zhou Jinheng know what it was like to be needed and relied on by someone when they were most afraid.
Yi Hui gave him all his trust from the beginning, trusted him alone and no one else.
He got off the plane and followed his local guide to the hotel to drop off his luggage.
When everything was settled, Zhou Jinheng opened the window and the salty sea breeze filled the house. He finally had time to stop and admire the exotic scenery in front of him.
After standing by the window for a while, Zhou Jinheng suddenly grinned. He recalled Yi Hui’s passport had not been replaced for many years and had expired a long time ago. Foolishly booking a tour abroad, if he realized it only when he was about to depart, he would probably cry on the spot again.
Thinking about it, he stopped smiling. Yi Hui set the travel time on August 22, the day after his birthday. No wonder he jumped up and down for the entirety of spring, waiting for summer. He asked him what he wanted to do in summer and had acted mysterious and refused to say. He had been preparing for this birthday – the painting, the house, even this belated honeymoon trip.
The island was sparsely populated, quiet and comfortable. Zhou Jinheng ate alone and slept alone. When he couldn’t sleep or eat, he stood in front of the door and looked at the sea.
Most of the time, he was in a state of relaxation, not daring to think about anything, for fear of bringing up a string of images hidden deep in his memory that he hadn’t looked at before. These memories were too few, and he was afraid that he would be too greedy and spend too much at once and there would be no more in the future.
He didn’t expect to get new memories related to Yi Hui.
On the last night of his trip, Zhou Jinheng sat alone by the beach until the staff came forward to persuade him to go back to his room to rest early. When he slowly approached the seaside hut, he immediately noticed something was wrong.
Pushing open the door, he was greeted by a dim, swaying light. As if he had a premonition, he rushed into the room and was greeted by rows of candles and large flaming red flower petals that nearly burned his eyes.
But the thrilling feeling that came as fast as the storm went away even faster. When he saw an envelope tucked inside a bouquet of white flowers on the bed that was linked to the trademark service offered by the hotel on this island, Zhou Jinheng guessed what was going on and his heartbeat gradually calmed down.
Yi Hui arranged everything in advance, including this secret grand surprise.
Do you like this trip? I heard that it is very quiet here. I shouldn’t have disturbed you in the previous few days, right? If I disturbed you, I apologize to you here, I’m sorry, don’t be angry with me.
Also, I know you don’t like red, but roses symbolize love, so let me use it this time, okay?
Do you remember, we have been married for three years!
Time flies so fast. Many things have changed. You have grown taller and more handsome. You have many, many fans and made many, many great movies.
But there are also many things that have not changed. For example, I still like you very much and it hasn’t changed at all, not a bit.
I heard my brother say that without a certificate, we are not considered a real family, so I decided to propose to you!
I wanted to wait for you to propose, but you are so busy, what if you forget?
Since I am older than you, let me propose to you!
Are you ready?
It’s about to start soon! 】
The letter was a bit long and Yi Hui’s childish handwriting covered an entire page.
Looking at it, Zhou Jinheng only felt his heart clench. His chest was blocked and it was difficult to breathe. He couldn’t even turn the paper over and continued to read.
After several efforts to lift the page and reveal the last few lines, Zhou Jinheng’s hand abruptly loosened and the paper fluttered and fell among the flower petals on the bed.
The candlelight shone on the paper, illuminating the two most immaculate lines of the entire letter.
[Mr. Zhou Jinheng, please marry me!
—-The Yi Hui who loves you】
The little fool claimed to be “HuiHui HuiHui” all the time. This was the first time he had written down his name solemnly and piously, just to propose to one man.
Zhou Jinheng stood alone in this room full of flowers for a long time, until the candles burned out, one after the other, and the brilliant vibrancy of a moment ago was no longer visible.
He lifted his hands to cover his face and liquid spilled through his fingers, as if he had held it in for too long and finally could let it out into the darkness.
A few drops fell on the letter and with a sharp gasp, Zhou Jinheng replied in a voice that was trembling beyond recognition, “…… okay.”
As the night fell on a small island in the southern hemisphere, the evening just arrived in the southern town of the country.
The window of the hospital was facing northwest. The sun was at its best at this time of day and if you opened the door, you could see a ray of sun falling on the top of the head of the man at the window, casting a delicate hazy light on his fluffy, fine hair.
“Have you finished writing?” Another man asked, walking up to the table.
Yi Hui remained in his crouching writing position, carefully scribing the last words before putting down his pen, then let out a breath and said, “Finished.”
Dr. Liu sat down opposite him and turned the notebook around: “Desserts, painting, raising flowers, catching dolls… is there nothing more?”
Yi Hui blinked inexplicably: “What else?”
Dr. Liu explained: “The essay topic was ‘what I like’. You can write down everything you like, including people.”
Yi Hui thought for a while: “Then… add mother and sister.”
“Sure there’s none left?”
Yi Hui was stunned when he was asked and then shook his head: “I’m sure, there’s nothing more.”
Dr. Liu smiled and asked no more questions.
It was the last part of psychological counselling today. Yi Hui put a pen cap on the pen and placed it back in the pen holder. When he got up and walked to the door, he paused and turned around with determination: “Dr. Liu, I have the answer to the question you asked last time. Can I answer it now?”
Dr. Liu sat on the chair without moving as if expecting that he would turn around. “Yes, come and sit down,” he beckoned to him.
Yi Hui sat back again, and the uneasiness of being seen through somewhat weakened his courage. But he had to say it, he had to try. Even if his heart still hurts when he thinks of that man.
The room was very quiet and the quiet flow of air accompanied him as he said his final goodbye to those painful memories.
After about ten minutes, Yi Hui finally took a deep breath and his eyes were no longer hesitant when he raised his head.
He said, “I want to forget him.”