That night, ①Xiao Hui Xia posted a photo on Weibo. It was a Doraemon-shaped scented candle. It was not lit. There was a cartoon flame on the candle wick with the words: from my sister, so pretty, can’t bear to light it……
Dora-hum-hum was the first to reply: Light it, those small ornaments will turn on.
Yi Hui couldn’t believe it: Really? [Doraemon surprised]
Dora-hum-hum: Give it a try.
Yi Hui immediately put down his mobile phone and rushed to find something to light it with.
No one smoked at home, no firewood was burned for cooking and there was no lighter. He took the candle to Aunt Qiu’s house next door to light it.
After lighting it, he shielded it with his hand to block the wind, carefully placed it on the table and leaned in to observe. In the flickering candlelight, the bamboo dragonflies, memory bread (1), a door… everything around Doraemon began to rotate slowly. Fresh fragrance filled the air. He sank into this dreamy scene, moved a chair and sat at the table, propped his face with his hands and admired it for more than ten minutes.
When he picked up the phone again, he was taken aback by a string of messages on Weibo. After a closer look, they were all from Dora-hum-hum——
Don’t light it up by yourself, ask your family to help.
Also, don’t use matches, be careful to burn your hands.
Remember to put the lighter in a safe place when you are done and don’t touch the open flame.
Is it lit?
If you can’t find a lighter, don’t light it yet.
Is it lit?
Are you back?
Don’t light it up yet.
Where did you go?
Where did you go?
Stay still, don’t touch the fire!
Yi Hui was dumbfounded. He had the feeling that if he didn’t reply to Dora-hum-hum right now, he would come knocking on the door. Afraid that he was waiting and anxious, he hurriedly typed a reply: I’m back, I didn’t have a lighter at home, so I went to the neibours to borrow one.
Dora-hum-hum: You weren’t hurt, were you?
Yi Hui replied: No [Doraemon smiles]
Dora-hum-hum: Don’t do this kind of thing by yourself in the future, it’s too dangerous.
Yi Hui couldn’t figure out where the danger was, so he tilted his head and replied: It’s not dangerous, it’s just lighting a fire.……
Dora-hum-hum: You are an artist and your hands are more important than anything else.
Yi Hui was taken aback for a moment.
Although he felt that the other party made a small problem into a big matter, he still felt touched by such care: Thank you for your concern, I will be careful in the future [heart]
At this time, outside the Jiang family courtyard, Zhou Jinheng, who was running over, was holding the wall with one hand and gasping for breath.
He almost raised his hand and knocked on the door just now. After receiving a reply, he calmed down a little bit.
①Xiao Hui Xia could post little videos now, so he posted how he lit up the candle and turned it on. Zhou Jinheng’s sharp eyes caught a hand accidentally filmed in it.
The back of the white clean hand without any burn marks put Zhou Jinheng into a daze for a moment, his thoughts straying and being led elsewhere.
But after a brief moment, it was outweighed by another, the more unmissable details, such as the same hobbies, the same drawing style, the exact same punctuation habits when sending messages.
He deliberately or unintentionally ignored the differences. He ignored the causes and consequences the other people talked about and stubbornly grasped the similarities, amplifying them infinitely. It was enough to persuade himself to take a firm stand.
This was Yi Hui, he was not crazy.
Look, even his cautiousness was the same. The hand in the video stretched forward, originally intending to touch a rotating small pendant, but because the flame in the middle suddenly rose higher, he quickly withdrew his hand and the camera pulled away as the person in charge stepped back. It was followed by a small gasp recorded in the video, “Scared me to death.”
This was absolutely Yi Hui’s reaction when he was frightened. Zhou Jinheng smiled heartily but at the same time he couldn’t help but think with sorrow: he was obviously afraid of being burned, so why was it that when in front of such a bad him as he was back then, why did he never dodge and never cry out in pain?
Perhaps the scented candle really had a calming effect. Yi Hui had a good night’s sleep that night.
When sleeping soundly, it is easier to dream. He was very impressionable, so he dreamed that he picked up a cup and poured water, and the cup cracked in his hand, hot water splashing on the back of his hand.
The burning pain from the dream followed him outside of the dream. A few minutes after waking up, Yi Hui was still sitting on the bed looking at his hand. In his previous life, it was covered with burns, mottled and ugly, and in this life it was clean and flawless; but in either case, his hands were the hands of an artist.
During breakfast, Yi Hui was startled by the sound of boiling water in the kitchen kettle. His chopsticks trembled and a fried dumpling he had picked up fell on the table. Jiang Yimang teased: “Tsk, you don’t want to eat it and used this trick. I’ve learned it, learned it.”
The table was not dirty. Yi Hui picked up the dumpling and put it back in the bowl, lowered his voice and said solemnly: “You are not allowed to learn this from me.”
Yi Hui was very thin, and Jiang Xuemei was always worried that he was not eating enough. In addition to three meals a day, some ready-to-eat food was often prepared at home.
Recently, because of the change in Yi Hui’s preferences, bread and biscuits had been replaced with sweets. Sugar balls and fried fruits could not be kept for too long. Half a catty of each of them was bought but Yi Hui couldn’t finish eating them. This morning, Jiang Xuemei searched under the bed and found a few small bags of unfinished snacks, some of them already moldy.
“Brother, are you a hamster, do you store food for winter?” Jiang Yimang almost toppled over with laughter, and after laughing her fill, said righteously, “But don’t look for me if you can’t finish it. I’m losing weight.”
For this reason, Yi Hui felt sorry for Jiang Xuemei and ran around the yard several times during the day when he was alone in an attempt to speed up his digestion and come back to eat more.
Tang Wenxi heard his distress on the phone and suggested that he do push-ups at home, which could not only strengthen his body but also burn off a lot of energy, killing two birds with one stone.
Yi Hui felt that it made sense. He swept and wiped the bluestone floor in the yard and then rolled up his sleeves.
Who would have thought that this body was much weaker than he used to be and after doing two push-ups, he couldn’t manage another.
Yi Hui felt ashamed, so he got up and slipped into the house, breathing out in relief that fortunately no one saw him.
That afternoon, Jiang Yimang was delayed for half an hour in the last class. She thought that she might not see that man today, and she hung her head and wilted when she left school. When she was halfway there, she saw the tall figure on the side of the road near the door of her house and she was so excited that she almost cried out with excitement.
The two instinctively walked to a secluded place behind the house like secret service agents.
Zhou Jinheng didn’t wear a mask today. His iron-grey windbreaker jacket further accentuated his slim waist and long legs, and Jiang Yimang looked almost dumbfounded.
It’s just that the sack he was holding in his hand didn’t match his handsome outfit.
“Yoga mat.” Zhou Jinheng explained, “If he wants to do sports in the future, he can do it on this mat.”
“That…” Jiang Yimang hesitated, “My brother sits at home all day and doesn’t exercise.”
Zhou Jinheng smiled a little at something that came to his mind and said, “He will.”
Jiang Yimang’s brain was basically on strike in front of her idol. Since her idol said that her brother would exercise, she immediately took the yoga mat and held it in her arms to weigh it: “Where did you buy it? We don’t seem to have something like this in town, right?”
Zhou Jinheng said, “I went to the city during the day.”
“So that’s it.” After these few days of contact, Jiang Yimang was not as nervous as she was at first and occasionally they could have a normal conversation, “Then Heng… is it okay if you don’t go to film?”
About to thank Jiang Yimang for helping him deliver the gift, Zhou Jinheng was very patient with the young girl. He would answer any questions: “I asked for a leave, it’s okay.”
Jiang Yimang tentatively asked, “For my brother?”
Zhou Jinheng replied without hesitation: “En.”
Jiang Yimang’s gaze moved down and she asked, as always when she saw it, “Does your hand still hurt?”
Zhou Jinheng moved his bandaged wrist and said truthfully: “Still does a little bit, but it’s nothing serious.”
“Our family has medicines for removing stasis and swelling. There are sprays and patches, I will get them for you.”
Jiang Yimang turned around to leave but was stopped by Zhou Jinheng: “No, don’t alarm him.”
For some reason, Jiang Yimang, who had never been in a relationship, could always hear Zhou Jinheng’s concern for her brother from these few words.
She still couldn’t fully digest this matter. Feeling that the world was too magical, she stood still for a while and then asked, “You guys, you and my brother, when did you meet?”
“Five years ago.” Zhou Jinheng replied.
Jiang Yimang counted on her fingers and drew her breath. He had always said he was too busy with work to fall in love. What’s the deal with having known each other since he was 17?
The shocked young girl was still undaunted and, with a vague yearning for love, asked expectantly, “So will you guys …… get married?”
Zhou Jinheng finally smiled again: “When he forgives me, of course we will.”
Yi Hui, who was obsessed with painting, didn’t know about the conversation between the two people outside the door of his house. He only knew that his sister was looking at him strangely in recent days.
The other day when she delivered the scented candle, she was so dumbfounded that she had to be called several times before she reacted. Today, when she came back with a cylindrical sack and said it was for him, her expression was less silly but her eyes lit up when she looked at him, as if looking at some national treasure.
Yi Hui touched his face: “Is there something on my face?”
Jiang Yimang shook her head: “I heard that if you often look at someone, you will slowly become like that person. I want to look at you more.”
Yi Hui opened today’s gift with question marks floating over his head and found that it was a blue yoga mat. He recalled the shame of doing only two push-ups in the yard this afternoon and asked vigilantly: “You… did you see it?”
Jiang Yimang, still staring at him, replied, “I saw it.”
Yi Hui felt his reputation was ruined and didn’t have time to delve into other things, so he ran back to his room with the gift.
The yoga mat was very useful. Once it was spread on the floor next to the bed, even if he got out of bed without slippers, his feet wouldn’t be cold anyway.
At night, after lighting up the scented candle, Yi Hui leaned on the bedside and swiped Weibo. He saw a post from Dora-hum-hum. The photo showed a hand with a swollen, torn wound, shocking even though it was blurred.
With them being fellow bloggers who exchanged greetings every day, Yi Hui immediately sent a private message: What happened to you?
Dora-hum-hum, who was very free, replied in seconds: I’m hurt
There were no roses. It seemed to be very serious. Yi Hui was a little distressed: How did you do it? Have you applied medicine? Be careful of infection [pitiful]
On the other end of the phone, Zhou Jinheng saw Yi Hui’s concern and his expression that had been terrible throughout the treatment of the wound finally relaxed.
Bandaging the gaping wound, Zhou Jinheng thought, unable to cry or laugh: the medicine didn’t work as well as one word from the little fool.
He used to receive a lot of such care.
He remembered that once he accidentally injured his arm during filming. He returned home irritably and the little fool took care of him. When the little fool saw that it was not convenient for him to eat, he leaned forward and used a spoon to scoop rice to feed him. He was in a bad mood and pushed him away. The bowl overturned on the ground. The little fool was not angry. After cleaning up, he ran to the bathroom to fill a bath for him but, afraid of his anger again, stood at the door of his room and said timidly, “Your arm is swollen, so a hot bath will make you feel better.”
Zhou Jinheng was used to taking a shower and felt that taking a bath was a waste of time. That day he had nothing to do on his day off, so he got into the bath. He didn’t remember how comfortable it was. He just remembered waking up, lying on the bed. The little fool laid on the side of the bed, holding his hand and gently touching it with his lips.
Perhaps calling it “a kiss” would be more appropriate, a kiss so careful that it was almost ingratiating, landing on the back of his hand and on his heart.
Since that time, whenever he woke up in bed at home, Zhou Jinheng would always continue to pretend to be asleep quietly so as not to scare the little fool but to hear what he would say.
It’s a pity that there were not many such opportunities because he had gone home too infrequently and the touch of the soft lips on the back of his hand was almost gone.
In order to renew his life, or to find a respite from these days of unanswered gestures of affection, Zhou Jinheng wanted to ask for some more attention from the little fool and couldn’t help but complain: I’ve applied the medicine, but it still hurts.
① Xiao Hui Xia: What can be done? Is there no one around to take care of you?
Zhou Jinheng replied: There was but now they are angry with me.
① Xiao Hui Xia: Ah… then coax her back!
Zhou Jinheng smiled bitterly: He refuses to see me.
The other end was silent for two or three minutes, as if processing the small details of “she” becoming “he”. After a short while, he had processed it and then asked, “Why? What did you do wrong?”
Zhou Jinheng thought for a while and to keep him from suspecting anything he only asked: If someone hurt you, would you forgive him?
① Xiao Hui Xia: That depends on the hurt.……
When he saw these words, Zhou Jinheng’s heart suddenly jumped and he couldn’t wait to press the keys to type: I said I liked him when I didn’t, lied to him to make him be with me and later treated him badly.
Zhou Jinheng didn’t dare to say anything else, fearing that he would be exposed if he said too much. The little fool was not stupid, and now he was even smarter, so he needed to act carefully.
After the message was sent out, he held his mobile phone and waited for a reply. Zhou Jinheng couldn’t feel the pain in his hand at all at this moment but every minute of waiting was difficult, longer than any wait he had experienced.
About three minutes later, the phone vibrated twice in a row. The moment he saw the long-awaited reply, Zhou Jinheng’s heart that was beating erratically in anxiety was like a stone falling off a cliff and hitting the ice cold ground hard.
① Xiao Hui Xia: Deception is not a small matter
① Xiao Hui Xia: If it were me, I couldn’t forgive
***********(1) Memory bread, a prop from the manga Doraemon. By printing the contents on the bread and then eating it, the contents can be remembered