It was already dark when they came out of the amusement park. Since Yi Hui was going back tomorrow, Tang Wenxi dragged his tired body and went to Electric City with him.
Yi Hui was also tired. On the subway on the way there, he dozed off against the railing. When they arrived at the station, he was practically carried out of the crowd by Tang Wenxi and almost took the wrong exit even following behind him.
“You little heartless b*stard,” Tang Wenxi picked him up by the arm and tugged him in the right direction, “you’ve forgotten the roads in your hometown after moving away only three years ago?”
Yi Hui suddenly became energetic and walked forward wide-eyed: “I remember coming out of here and going there.”
He was right. Less than a hundred meters from the underground station, there was a large electrical appliance store on the left, and on the third floor, in the photography section, the two were dazzled by the wide range of cameras.
After he described his needs to the shop assistant and said that he wanted a camera suitable for celebrity chasing, the shop assistant recommended a suitable model and also recommended a telephoto lens.
Yi Hui had never used a camera before and the experience was fresh for him. He asked Tang Wenxi to take two steps back, stand under the light and let him try to take a few pictures.
Under the guidance of the shop assistant, Yi Hui quickly mastered the techniques and was praised for his camera skills and composition.
“No kidding. Classmate Jiang has won the gold medal in a painting competition. Composition is a piece of cake for him.” Tang Wenxi used the opportunity to boast, took the camera and looked at the previews, asking Yi Hui to send him a copy.
Yi Hui leaned forward to take a look, only saying “No” and “Don’t” a couple of times modestly and just smiling shyly.
It was always something to be proud of when you won an award. Dr. Liu told him to learn to recognize his own strengths while overcoming obstacles. In the past, his source of confidence was always others but now he was finally learning to acknowledge himself.
He stayed at Tang Wenxi’s house for one night. Early the next morning, Yi Hui packed up his things, bid farewell to the Tang parents and Tang Wenxi, who was too late with his homework and had to work hard, then he set foot on the road to the train station.
He didn’t get a discounted ticket for the return trip. Yi Hui thought it would be good to take the train so he could watch the scenery alone while slowing down the pace and thinking about many things.
He had just made arrangements for the next ten hours or so of travel when he suddenly received a call from Jiang Yimang.
“Brother, you haven’t left yet, have you? Hurry up, hurry up, change the ticket!”
Yi Hui was puzzled: “Why do you want me to change the ticket?”
“HengHeng is on a trip in the capital today. Go and take a few photos for me!”
“A trip? Take pictures?”
“Yep, to make a cover shot. I’ll send you the address, you wait at the door, there must be a lot of girls there. Remember the black business car you saw last time? He should be using that one, and when he goes in, seize the opportunity to take a few pictures for me, just use your mobile phone.”
Yi Hui didn’t react for a while once he realized Jiang Yimang wanted to send him to the frontline.
“I’m almost at the train station, you can see other people’s photos of him on the Internet…”
Jiang Yimang hurriedly interrupted him: “No, this is the last event before HengHeng goes to the shooting site and I’ve just learned about it. That series is very long. If I miss this opportunity, I might not be able to see him for several months. I will definitely regret it to death. If there was time, I would buy a plane ticket and fly over now!”
Yi Hui was taken aback. He remembered that Zhou Jinheng rarely picked up TV series with a large number of episodes. He was too easily annoyed to stay at a site for too long, he was also still on the rise, no way he didn’t have other offers, how could ……
But now was not the time to think about it. Yi Hui curbed his overactive mind and spoke to the phone: “Mom won’t let you come if she knows.”
“Oh, why are you like this?” Jiang Yimang complained, “Brother, I’m calling you brother, can you do this for me?” ”
Yi Hui hesitated just for a moment: “No.”
Jiang Yimang was used to Yi Hui’s soft temper and agreeable tone these days. She probably didn’t expect to be rejected. She struggled to persuade him: “Just delay for a while, just for two hours. It’s very easy to change the ticket. If you can’t, I’ll help you.”
Thinking back to seeing that man unprepared when he had come to the capital last time and thinking of the unexpected encounter at the airport two days ago, Yi Hui took a deep breath. The thrilling tension and the faint pain in his chest seemed to be still there.
He couldn’t see him anymore. He had to stay as far away as possible.
Listening to Jiang Yimang’s words, Yi Hui didn’t hesitate again and said as a matter of fact: “No, I’m returning.”
Yi Hui was actually very bad at rejecting others.
Before, he had also gone to school for a while. At first, as a gesture of goodwill, he would bring many small snacks to school every day to give to his classmates. One day he got up late and forgot to bring them. His classmates were very upset. No one said a word to him all day.
Later, his mother hired a tutor for him. He studied at home for a few years and studied painting too. Then his brother appeared and suggested that he should integrate into society and communicate more with others. Only then did he go back to school again and enroll in a painting class.
Some of the classmates in the painting class were not easy to get along with. When he spoke, someone would always laugh, but he still liked places with people around. Occasionally, some classmates would borrow painting tools from him and he was also very happy to help.
It made Yi Hui feel that he was no different from others, that he was needed, not superfluous.
When he was with that man, this desire for recognition had almost reached its peak, so Yi Hui never refused any requests from him. He hoped that he was no different from a normal person in his eyes, hoped he would like himself as much as he liked him. Or he didn’t even need to like him as much. Half, one-third, or even one-tenth would be enough.
But in the end it failed. The “likes” he thought he got were all a misinterpretation, all a perfunctory pretense that the man was forced to make.
Thinking of this, Yi Hui was lost and couldn’t help but start to worry. The more he thought about it, the more he felt that his rejection on the phone was too blunt. Jiang Yimang was young and for a little girl chasing a celebrity, such a blow was the most unbearable. Obviously, there were many euphemistic ways to make her less sad but he was so stupid that he chose the roughest and most direct one.
If it weren’t about that man, he wouldn’t be in such a hurry to refuse.
After being uneasy all the way, Yi Hui was still a little nervous when he got off the train at the station, fearing that no one would open the door for him when he went home.
Then he saw his mother and sister waving at him under the street light at the exit of the station.
Jiang Xuemei stepped forward quickly and hugged him in the autumn night: “You’re back, Mom missed you so much.”
Jiang Yimang on the side rolled her eyes fiercely: “It’s only been three days. If you don’t know, you’d think he hadn’t been back for three years.”
When the three of them got in the van, Yi Hui handed Jiang Yimang the camera in the box. Jiang Yimang took a closer look and raised her finger to the tip of her nose: “For me?”
Yi Hui nodded: “En.”
Jiang Yimang immediately took it, opened the box, took out the camera and looked at it again. After a while, she held it up and pointed the lens out of the window. Then, afraid that it would get dirty, she put the lens cap back but she couldn’t put the camera down.
After she played for a while, Jiang Xuemei reminded her that she hadn’t thanked her brother yet. Jiang Yimang couldn’t stop smiling and said to Yi Hui awkwardly: “Thank you… brother.”
Hearing her call him “brother”, he knew she was not angry. Yi Hui breathed a sigh of relief and said, “You’re welcome, we agreed I’d give it to you if there’s a money prize.”
Jiang Yimang pursed her lips and muttered, “When I ask you for help seriously, you refuse. When I say something casually, you remember it in your heart.”
Yi Hui was amused: “It’s my fault that I lack the ability to distinguish between them.”
“That’s not…“ Jiang Yimang said sullenly. “Later, I thought for a while, it doesn’t make sense to ask you to help me take pictures. I still have to save money and see him with my own eyes.”
Jiang Xuemei, who was driving, didn’t hear her clearly, turned her head and asked, “Where are you going that you need to save money?”
Jiang Yimang hurriedly denied: “Not going anywhere, I said I want to save money to get a new car for our family.”
While talking, she gave a look to Yi Hui and Yi Hui copperated, not revealing her secret.
Jiang Xuemei was deeply gratified by her daughter’s understanding, which triggered a family education lecture. She was still talking when they got home, saying that she would replace the car at the end of the year and they didn’t need to worry about it. She also told them not to spend their pocket money frivolously and to spend every dime on the right thing.
Yi Hui, who had cut the price of the camera in half when reporting it, wiped away a cold sweat secretly, thinking that fortunately he had listened to Tang Wenxi’s suggestion, otherwise he didn’t know what he would have to listen to.
As soon as he put down his things, Yi Hui was called downstairs by Jiang Xuemei: “Come, come, let’s see where this photo fits.”
The family portrait taken at the entrance when he participated in the competition last time was printed. It was twelve inches long and was also framed with an ostentatious wooden border that made its presence felt wherever it was placed and was quite eye-catching.
Jiang Yimang couldn’t help rolling her eyes again: “It’s too big for the wall, Aunt Qiu can’t help but laugh when she sees it.”
She said that but still held one side with Yi Hui and held it high on the wall to find the right spot.
In the end, they chose the wall facing the window in the dining room. As the only male in the family, Yi Hui gingerly took on the hard work.
He climbed onto the stool, knocked the nail into the wall and turned his head to see the two ladies who opened their arms to protect him from falling from both sides. Yi Hui was a little embarrassed: “This little height is fine, no need to support me.”
After hanging up the photo, he still got down with the help of the two of them. Yi Hui, who was blushing, was just about to run, when Jiang Xuemei grabbed him and hugged him.
With her daughter in her left arm and her son in her right arm, she faced the family portrait that had just been hung on the wall, and suddenly sighed, “That’s great.”
Jiang Yimang laughed: “The three of us in this photo look really stupid. Oh my God, the more you look at it, the more stupid it is. Let’s take it down!”
Yi Hui also laughed, but not because the photo was stupid, but because he felt happy for the first time since he was reborn.
In the past, he had lived in a big house and he didn’t worry about food and clothing. He didn’t know the hardships of life and he didn’t need to taste the warmth of human affection. A delicious meal and a cute toy could make him happy all day long. Even so, there were still times when he was not satisfied.
Ever since he realised he wasn’t quite the same as everyone else, there hadn’t been a day when he didn’t want to be smart and normal. Because he was stupid and unlikeable, he secretly cried many times, complaining about the injustice of heaven, and even gave up at the last moment of his life, feeling that he shouldn’t have been born in this world.
But now, he was extremely fortunate to be able to continue to live in this world, able to fulfill all those unfinished regrets.
But who would want to leave if they had the chance to stay?
Looking at himself and the happy people in the photo with him, Yi Hui lifted the corners of his mouth and curved his eyes, repeating Jiang Xuemei’s words, “That’s great.”
“Brother, why are you… don’t you think it’s stupid to hang the photo here?”
Amidst Jiang Yimang’s frantic complaints, Yi Hui solemnly chanted several times in his heart: thank you to those who have been and still are good to me, thank you to fate and to God for being willing to give me the chance to do it all over again.