Flying Ash Chapter 52

Chapter 52

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When he went back in the evening, Yi Hui felt a bit at a loss about the new number in his phone address book. He wanted to call as promised, but he was afraid that something unexpected would happen.

His sister-in-law had sharp teeth and a sharp tongue and he fell into a verbal trap without noticing.

He hesitated while eating dinner and taking a shower. He changed it from “I’ve eaten” to “I’m going to bed”, then to “I’m home” and when he wanted to dwell on it for a while, he pressed send accidentally. Before he could withdraw it, the other party replied: So slow? Did you sneak off to play behind my back?

Yi Hui hurriedly replied: No, not at all

Ye Qin: Double negation means affirmation

Yi Hui: Really did not. I took a shower, that’s why I was delayed a while

Ye Qin: Oh, you didn’t think of me until you took a shower.

Yi Hui was about to cry: Really that’s not……

Ye Qin sent a bunch of hahahaha, and then said: You will accompany me to the studio the day after tomorrow!

Yi Hui was taken aback: Huh? Didn’t you say that you were on a one-month vacation?

Ye Qin: Temporary work can not be helped, it’s just taking a few pictures, half a day. I will take you to a good place when I’m done.

Thinking that he still owed him a meal, Yi Hui agreed.

He really wanted to see him. Jiang Yimang only took a week off and now she went back to class. Jiang Xuemei was taken care of by a nurse in the hospital. Who knows what Tang Wenxi was up to, he didn’t come to him these days. He wanted to stay at home and talk to Auntie, but he was afraid that Zhou Jinheng would come back suddenly.

After staying under the same roof for three months, the relationship between the two of them not only did not ease, but became even more uncomfortable.

Perhaps it was more appropriate to use the word subtle.

Zhou Jinheng came back late in the evening and rummaged through the cabinets at home looking for something.

Yi Hui was not asleep yet. When he heard the movement and went downstairs, Zhou Jinheng had removed the gauze from his left hand and was rushing to put the wound under the faucet.

“Are you looking for the medicine box?” Yi Hui asked.

Zhou Jinheng turned his head when he heard the sound: “Is it disturbing you?”

Yi Hui shook his head and looked at his hand: “Does it still hurt?”

Zhou Jinheng turned off the faucet: “It doesn’t hurt, I’m just cleaning the wound.”

When Yi Hui brought the medicine box over, he found that the anti-scald ointment was untouched, and said in surprise: “You didn’t apply the medicine yourself?”

“Didn’t find the medicine box.” Zhou Jinheng said, “It’s okay if I don’t apply it.”

Seeing a large red and swollen area on the side of his hand, Yi Hui couldn’t help but say, “Couldn’t you buy one if you didn’t find it? There are pharmacies everywhere on the side of the road.”

Perhaps it was too long since he heard Yi Hui talking to him so emotionally, Zhou Jinheng was taken aback for a while, and then explained: “The filming location is in the suburbs, and there are no pharmacies around. It’s been just two days, it’s okay.”

Instead of being reassured, Yi Hui’s mood turned worse. Thinking of the random speculations and ridicule of the people who did not know the truth on the Internet he felt even more uncomfortable.

“Take care of your body.” He carefully applied the sticky ointment to the wound, while lecturing Zhou Jinheng, “You’re such a big man, are you still waiting for others to take care of you?”

Yi Hui said whatever he thought. He didn’t realize the slight reproach in his words and he didn’t expect to make Zhou Jinheng smile.

It was not ridicule, it was the kind of smile when you find something interesting.

Yi Hui had seen him smile like this many times in his previous life. At that time, he only thought it looked good. At this moment, exploring it intently, he couldn’t see any mockery in it. The corners of his lips were bent upward and his eyes narrowed slightly. It seemed that he smiled because he was happy indeed.

Yi Hui suddenly remembered that he hadn’t smiled like this for a long, long time.

It was really impossible to smile when looking at his cold face all day long. Yi Hui couldn’t help but start to reflect on whether he had gone too far. Dr. Liu said that that kind of abnormal behavior meant being stretched to the extreme. If something happened to Zhou Jinheng, he would be the one to blame.

Was it possible that if he let him smile more like this, he would be fine?

Yi Hui secretly pondered, all but forgetting why he needed to care about the reason for his life and death. It might be his nature, or instinct, that prompted him to skim over the motive and go straight into action.

He was deep in thought when Zhou Jinheng suddenly took his hand and kissed the back of it.

Zhou Jinheng, with a smile in his eyes, looked more dazzling than ever, and even the scar under his eye was barely noticeable.

“Thank you.” Zhou Jinheng looked at Yi Hui with a focused expression as if making an oath, “I will take care of myself.”

The next afternoon, on the way to the suburbs, Yi Hui looked at the sunlight shining into the bus, unexpectedly remembering what happened the night before, and began to wonder if his actions conveyed any wrong message.

However, Zhou Jinheng stopped going crazy and said that he would take care of himself, which made Yi Hui feel at ease.

When he arrived at the place, Ye Qin, who was wearing a wide robe with long sleeves, came out to pick him up in person, asked him to eat some snacks in the lounge and wait for a while, and he would be able to leave right away.

Who knew that this “right away” would take more than an hour. Meanwhile, Yi Hui helped the staff carry a few bunches of hangers. The young lady of the clothing group stuffed a handful of nuts into his pocket to express her gratitude. Yi Hui peeled a pistachio nut and ate it. There was nowhere to throw the shell. Turning around, he found a trash can. After throwing it away, he turned again and stood at a junction of corridors. He couldn’t find his way back.

This indoor studio covered a large area and was divided into several compartments, big and small. When passing by one of the spacious shooting studios, Yi Hui wanted to find someone to ask for directions. As soon as he was about to speak, he was blasted out by the staff at the door: “The venue is cleared. The venue is cleared. Retreat outside the yellow line, remember not to make a sound.”

Yi Hui couldn’t help it. He walked in one direction along the corridor like a headless fly. When he went to an area with more people, he saw many girls watching. He thought Ye Qin was inside. Standing on tiptoe behind the crowd, he looked there. It was actually Zhou Jinheng, dressed in black, who was being photographed.

Even the studio staff who had seen countless stars were full of praise for Zhou Jinheng’s appearance and professionalism.

The chat between the two female staff members next to him revolved around “he is more handsome in real life than in the photos”. While chatting, they talked about the gossip on the Internet. One of them sighed that she got married early, while the other said that it was just a joke. He was young, rich, and handsome, the least qualified type for marriage.

Hearing this made Yi Hui inexplicably nervous. He shrank his neck and planned to withdraw from the crowd and leave quietly but didn’t expect Zhou Jinheng to sweep his gaze around and notice him.

Zhou Jinheng strode to the door and grabbed his arm: “Why are you here?”

Yi Hui didn’t dare to say that he came with Ye Qin. This was equivalent to confessing that “I am Yi Hui”, so he hesitated and said that he happened to be passing by.

Zhou Jinheng was taken aback for a moment, then smiled and said, “Wait for me, I’ll be free right away.”

The “right away” he mentioned was really “right away”. In less than five minutes, the photographer announced that today’s shooting mission was over and the surrounding staff scattered and left. Yi Hui, who wanted to wait for ten minutes and make an excuse to leave, stayed where he was, not knowing what to do.

Meanwhile, Ye Qin called him, asking him where he was. With Zhou Jinheng standing next to him, Yi Hui couldn’t say that he was lost, but dryly said that he had met an acquaintance.

Ye Qin on the other end of the phone pondered for a moment, then said, “There is a tree nearby that is very spiritual. I wanted to take you there for a walk.”

Anxious to get away, Yi Hui just wanted to say that he wanted to go, when Ye Qin said, “I just thought about it, it is not much fun for the two of us to go to that kind of place …… I will give you ten seconds to think about it, will you go with me, or with someone else?”

Ten minutes later, Yi Hui with his pocket full of nuts followed Zhou Jinheng to the rising slope of the hill in the south.

Zhou Jinheng walked very slowly and sometimes looked back to see if Yi Hui was keeping up. He did it so frequently that Yi Hui couldn’t find the right time to eat nuts.

After walking for a while, he suddenly remembered that he told his online friend named Dora-Hum-Hum to “walk slower and take smaller steps”, which now was strictly implemented by Zhou Jinheng. Yi Hui was so confused that he didn’t want to eat the nuts anymore. He lowered his head and walked without saying a word.

The current situation was not what he wished for. When Ye Qin asked him to choose, his tone was meaningful. Yi Hui was afraid to reveal himself, stuttered and barely said anything. Ye Qin sighed and said: “I see, then let’s agree to meet another day.”

Yi Hui couldn’t understand what “I see” meant, just as he couldn’t understand what “I know” meant before Zhou Jinheng picked up the kettle.

They always liked to say things that he didn’t understand, looking forward to his answer.

But he was too stupid and timid to know how to answer, and he didn’t dare to give an answer easily.

There were still more than a hundred meters away from the slope when Yi Hui saw the rumored sacred tree on the top of the bare hill.

It was already autumn, however, its leaves not only were not yellow but were also lush and green. There was a small vendor on the side of the road who was selling wooden tokens for making a wish. When he saw that the two of them were together, he handed over a large one with two hearts engraved on it.

As soon as Yi Hui was about to say something, Zhou Jinheng said: “Please give two separate pieces.”

Zhou Jinheng also paid for them. When he returned to the road with the wooden tokens, Yi Hui wanted to give him the money. Zhou Jinheng said, “I invited you here.”

Yi Hui had nothing to say. He felt that he, who had something wrong with his head for a moment when he accepted the invitation, was the source of this contradiction, but he had already agreed and the things were already bought. Saying halfway through the trip that he wanted to leave would seem unsightly.

The two of them still walked forward one after the other. Biting the bullet and walking to the top of the hill, Yi Hui wanted to find a pen to write on the token and hang it up. Who knew that the thousand-year-old tree was too full and the fence in front of it had no free place either. The staff was setting up a ladder to sort out the knotted wooden tokens stacked together, so the tourists had to wait.

A young couple in a hurry next to them said, “We just made a wish, let us hang it up first?”

The staff member standing on the ladder holding the tree trunk smiled and said, “Don’t worry, our task is to let everyone find their wish next time they come, no matter how big or small.”

Yi Hui had doubts about the staff’s words. The wooden tokens all looked the same, and the characters written in the black pen were similar. Not to mention the next time, if he hung it now, he wouldn’t be able to find it again in a moment.

Even though he thought so, he was still very cautious when writing his wish. He kept his arm around the token to prevent others from seeing it. A little bit of wind made him raise his head and look around. One would have thought he had a treasure hidden in his arms.

Zhou Jinheng was the key target of this defensive state. He was impatient and wrote very quickly. In less than half a minute, he put down his pen and sat idly looking at the scenery. When a spread hand reached out in front of him, Yi Hui was startled and thought he was going to steal his wooden token.

When he realized that Zhou Jinheng was asking him for something to eat, Yi Hui’s face turned red for a moment. He covered the wooden token with one hand and reached into his pocket with the other. He took out all the remaining nuts and handed them to him.

This seemed to be settled. Yi Hui took a peek while writing, saw that Zhou Jinheng really was concentrating on peeling pine nuts, and finished his wish with confidence.

After returning the pen, Yi Hui walked back to the stone table next to the tree. Zhou Jinheng was confronting a pecan nut with a very hard shell. Yi Hui was just about to raise his voice to remind him to be careful, only to hear a crisp sound. With an effort, the shell was broken into several pieces, the sharp tip of the shell almost poking the unhealed wound on the side of his hand.

Yi Hui was shocked when he saw it: “You, you slow down.”

Zhou Jinheng said ”en” but didn’t stop. With another crack, he smashed four or five pistachios in his palm, then carefully picked out the nuts and put them on the handkerchief by his side.

When a full handful of unshelled nuts was handed to Yi Hui, Yi Hui felt confused again, widened his eyes and pointed at himself: “For me?”

“En.” Zhou Jinheng nodded with a rare shyness on his face, “I scared you just now, I’m sorry.”

Yi Hui had heard Zhou Jinheng say that he was sorry countless times. He didn’t think there was anything to apologize for right now.

He just felt that he was not in the position to accept a pile of nuts peeled with a lot of effort. However, he couldn’t help but glance at Zhou Jinheng’s hand and suddenly see what the nuts were wrapped in.

The pattern of the plain handkerchief was similar, and even the words spoken were the same as at that time.

Yi Hui didn’t say a word, didn’t move his head, his chin raised slightly. He felt that the clouds in the sky become thinner and more blurred than when they’d come here, and he couldn’t see clearly with his eyes wide open.

It took a full three years to get him to remember, but he never thought he would finally get a “I remember” after being away for more than a year.

The peeled nuts finally got into Yi Hui’s stomach.

On the way back in the car, Zhou Jinheng forcibly stuffed the handkerchief into Yi Hui’s hand on the grounds that there was nowhere to put it, and said that if he didn’t eat the nuts, he would throw them away. Yi Hui, who had just developed a good habit of frugality, couldn’t bear it, so he chewed slowly and got rid of them before he got home. 

Auntie had already prepared dinner, and when she saw the two of them coming back together, she was happy, saying, “Were you going out on a date? The weather is neither cold nor hot, the best to go out for a walk holding hands.”

Zhou Jinheng seemed to be in a good mood. He told Auntie that they had gone to see the tree that was said to be very spiritual on the outskirts of the city. Auntie clapped her hands and said, “What wishes have you made? That tree is really spiritual. I went there last month to help my son seek marriage. Now, he just called and said that he would bring his girlfriend home for the weekend.”

Zhou Jinheng generously granted her two days off, still paid. Auntie couldn’t stop smiling and went into the kitchen again, saying she had to cook another dish to celebrate all the happy events.

Yi Hui alone was absent-minded, thinking whether Zhou Jinheng had seen what he had written on the wooden token.

But even if he saw it, it didn’t matter. He wrote “I wish for my mother to be in good health”. His blessings to other relatives and friends were hidden in his heart and he didn’t write them out.

In the end, he added a very small line of words related to himself. Zhou Jinheng was impatient and would definitely not notice it.

Comforting himself in this way, lying on the bed at night, thinking back to what happened in the afternoon, Yi Hui was still inexplicably flustered, and the little drowsiness that had been developing was gone.

So he clearly heard the sound of the door being pushed open.

Because Zhou Jinheng was usually fairly disciplined, he would knock on the door first when looking for him to apply medicine. Yi Hui had recently relaxed his guard and often forgot to lock the door at night.

Listening to the muffled sound of footsteps on the carpet, he closed his eyes, held his breath, and slowly started clenching his hand into fists under the pillow.

Before he had time to clench it tightly, Zhou Jinheng, who had walked up to the bedside, squeezed his wrist and pulled his hand out. Then his five fingers were gently unfolded one by one. When his thumb and the pads of his fingers rubbed against the uneven burns on Zhou Jinheng’s hand, Yi Hui shivered, and his fingers that had just been stretched out curled up.

Fortunately, the lights were not turned on in the room, and it was too dark for Zhou Jinheng to notice. As he had done many times before, he lowered his head and kissed the back of Yi Hui’s hand, touching the protruding knuckles with his lips, feeling the flow of blood under his skin.

Yi Hui heard him whisper: “If you don’t want to be Yi Hui, then don’t be… as long as you live, it’s fine.”

As the sound of footsteps faded away, the door closed with a “click” and a ray of light falling on his face from the corridor disappeared. Yi Hui opened his eyes and clenched his hand again, still feeling the warmth of the other’s touch.

Sure enough, he saw it.

The wooden tokens were mass-produced, each piece looking exactly the same. It was indeed difficult to find one after hanging it up.

Unless it was special enough or someone was caring enough.

When the sun was about to set in the afternoon, he watched as Zhou Jinheng, who had long since finished writing, bent over to hang the wooden token by the fence, and then added a small line on his own piece while no one was around: Not to repeat the same mistakes.

After writing it and hanging it up, he knew that his wish had not been granted the moment he saw that token among thousands of undistinguishable wooden signs.

Zhou Jinheng’s handwriting was as flamboyant and chic as himself. In the space that others could use to write the wishes of all their life, he only wrote a simple one——

I hope that every wish of HuiHui can be fulfilled.

The author has something to say: The handkerchief comes from Chapter 7. When the two first met, Xiao Zhou, who got into the studio through the window, thought he had scared HuiHui. “I hope every wish of yours can be fulfilled” comes from Chapter 15. Yi Hui made a wish for Zhou Jinheng when the two were on the ferris wheel. If you forget it, it doesn’t matter. Anyway, Xiao Zhou, the violent kid who chops nuts with his bare hands, remembers it~

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