During dinner, Xie Min stayed inside Sui Yang’s coat pocket, which hung on the coat hanger in the restaurant’s private room.
Feeling low, he listened absentmindedly as the three people at the table chatted about their daily lives. He idly imitated a real bunny by clasping his paws together and gently rubbing them. He also thought briefly about how he would spend the remaining time inside the LEGO bunny, contemplating whether he should leave Sui Yang and spend this period alone.
They were now in Yuhai instead of Yuanguang, allowing him to let Sui Yang go to his house and place him in the closet or safe, a spot where a cleaning person wouldn’t notice or be able to open.
Since Xie Min’s time inside the little bunny wouldn’t be too long, even a small safe would be a viable option for a short period.
Once this thought arose, it grew vigorously in Xie Min’s mind. He imagined various risky situations and still desired to return home alone.
Xie Min, of course, appreciated Sui Yang’s politeness and generosity, as well as the things Sui Yang had done for him, such as taking a late-night flight to Yuhai, installing a camera to ensure the safety of his little bunny, and arranging for a nurse to check his health. However, at the same time, he felt tormented by his constant pretense of indifference and Sui Yang occasionally bringing up the past.
Furthermore, living as a little bunny in Yuanguang was very inconvenient for Sui Yang.
Sui Yang’s mother talked excitedly about their plans after moving to Yuhai in the spring. She happily informed Sui Yang that a gallery had eagerly invited his stepfather to have a personal art exhibition. Sui Yang didn’t speak much that day, and around nine o’clock, they returned to the hotel.
After Sui Yang finished washing up, Xie Min didn’t hesitate much. He considered himself rational and briefly explained his thoughts to Sui Yang.
“My house is not far from here, and there is definitely no one there now,” Xie Min said. “The fingerprint lock can be opened, so you can go in and put me down. If you’re tired now, tomorrow is also fine. The cleaning staff should not be there in the morning.”
He finished speaking and looked at Sui Yang. “What do you think?”
Sui Yang had a calm expression, but he didn’t answer immediately. After a moment of thought, he asked Xie Min, “Can I enter your residential complex?”
“Visitors can be registered,” Xie Min said. “You can log in to my homeowner account using your phone.”
Sui Yang took a few seconds before saying, “Have you thought it through?”
“Hmm,” Xie Min nodded. “I feel bad for troubling you for too long, but I’m truly grateful. If there’s anything I can do to help in the future, I will. By the way, when you came to my house, you could also take the sleep aid medicine that I had.” He suddenly remembered this matter. “I think there was a new bottle.”
Sui Yang looked at Xie Min and suddenly reached out, lightly touching Xie Min’s ear, smiling at him. “Xiao Tu, you’re so thoughtful. You even thought about the medicine for me.”
Xie Min didn’t react as he did a few days ago when he heard Sui Yang call the strange nickname and bantered with him. He calmly discussed with Sui Yang, “Is it possible?”
Maybe because Xie Min appeared serious, Sui Yang stopped being playful and quietly looked at him. He was wearing a hotel bathrobe, his hair seemed to be either poorly blow-dried, too long, or lacking patience, as it was a bit messy and not completely dry.
He lowered his gaze and continued to fiddle with Xie Min’s paw.
Xie Min didn’t respond to his actions, only speculating on the reason for his silence. “Is it too late?”
“No,” Sui Yang denied.
“Then what’s the hesitation?” Xie Min asked.
“None,” Sui Yang withdrew his hand and said to him, “Let me change clothes and take you out.”
Upon hearing his agreement, Xie Min suddenly felt a surge of complex emotions, but none could be clearly identified, and they weren’t intense either because he remained calm.
“Thank you,” Xie Min added, “I’m sorry for troubling you one last time.”
Sui Yang took his time changing clothes, then took Xie Min out of the hotel. It was already eleven o’clock.
Before leaving, Xie Min taught him how to register as a visitor. Xie Min originally wanted him to place the phone on the table, but watching him struggle made Xie Min realize it would be clearer to guide him verbally. Even though Xie Min couldn’t see his actions, he quickly obtained the visitor QR code.
Sui Yang hailed a taxi and headed to Xie Min’s residential complex.
Xie Min lived in a centrally located building complex, which was not large but had good privacy. Using the QR code, Sui Yang smoothly entered the residential complex and followed Xie Min’s instructions to reach the specific building where Xie Min resided.
Although Xie Min could only see faint lights from his pocket, he felt nervous. It had been a long time since he had been home, and now he would truly be alone during the upcoming wait.
He heard Sui Yang enter the elevator, and after about half a minute, Sui Yang asked, “What’s the password?”
Xie Min provided a set of numbers and heard the unlocking sound of the password lock. He had arrived home.
Strangely, Sui Yang’s hand reached into the pocket, lightly touched him, and suddenly withdrew without picking him up.
“What’s wrong?” Xie Min asked him from inside the pocket.
It seemed like Sui Yang took a few steps, turned on the lights in his home, and said to him, “Can you crawl out on your own? I want to assess your ability to live independently.” With a slight movement, Xie Min felt as if he was taking off his coat.
“Start crawling,” he said.
Xie Min felt somewhat speechless but didn’t say anything. He hopped inside Sui Yang’s pocket, which happened to be shallow. After a few hops, he successfully poked his head out of the pocket, using his short limbs to hold onto the pocket’s edge. He resembled a decorative toy bunny hanging from a bag.
He saw his home illuminated by the lights, appearing just as it did before he left.
The furniture suddenly seemed large to him, simultaneously familiar and unfamiliar.
Everything remained in its original place, even the computer on the coffee table that hadn’t been moved. It had simply been tidied up by the cleaning lady and placed near a decorative sculpture.
“Xiao Tu is so clever.”
Sui Yang praised him, and as Xie Min turned to look, his head made a big movement, causing him to abruptly fall back into the dark pocket with a snap.
Xie Min heard Sui Yang laughing at him.
“Are you done inspecting?” Xie Min dryly asked from inside the pocket. “Do you want me to hop again?”
“Hop again,” Sui Yang didn’t stop teasing him.
Xie Min made several attempts and managed to expose his head once more. Sui Yang wedged the coat between his elbows and asked, “Where is the wardrobe? Show me the way.”
“Go left,” Xie Min instructed him. “Go through the corridor and it’s the second room on the right.”
Following Xie Min’s guidance, Sui Yang headed towards the walk-in closet in the house and engaged in conversation with Xie Min. “When did you move out from your home?”
“It’s been a few years,” Xie Min told him. “Originally, my dad didn’t want me to move, saying it would be inconvenient for communication work, but Xie Cheng was just too annoying.”
Sui Yang opened the door to the dressing room, turned on the lights, but didn’t step inside. He asked, “Xie Min, where did you say the medicine is kept?”
“Oh, I almost forgot. It’s in the study, on the other side.”
Xie Min’s study was in the opposite direction of the bedroom, so the two of them passed through the living room. Sui Yang glanced at the artwork hanging in the living room and said, “Is this the one you won?”
Xie Min hesitated for a moment, realizing that Sui Yang casually mentioned the auction where they met without exchanging greetings. He replied, “Yes.”
“It suits your home very well,” Sui Yang asked, “And the other one, where is it hanging?”
“In the bedroom,” Xie Min replied simply.
He felt somewhat embarrassed and didn’t want to discuss this, but he couldn’t get angry at Sui Yang because Sui Yang was helping him, and he should be grateful.
Fortunately, Sui Yang didn’t inquire further. He entered the study and, following Xie Min’s guidance, found the cabinet where the medicine box was kept.
While opening the cabinet, his elbow moved, causing the coat to sway and shake, inadvertently causing Xie Min to tumble back into the pocket.
“I see the medicine box.” Sui Yang didn’t look down, so he didn’t notice, and asked, “What color is the medicine?”
“It’s in a blue bottle,” Xie Min tumbled around, trying to guide him. “Can you see it? There are two bottles. Take the one that hasn’t been opened.”
After some rustling sounds, Sui Yang closed the door. As he stood up, something went wrong—probably because he didn’t hold the coat properly. The hem flipped over and gave a shake, and before Xie Min could react, he was flung out of the pocket.
The LEGO bunny soared through the air, tracing a parabolic path, and crashed heavily onto the study floor. The parts composing his body were nearly shattered. Xie Min watched as one of his plastic hind limbs broke off from the bunny, flew upwards, and slammed into the cabinet door before falling onto the ground, creating a crisp sound in the quiet study.
In an instant, Xie Min’s gaze became unfocused. He experienced a severe difficulty in breathing, unlike anything he had ever felt before. It was as if his soul was forcefully tugged and diluted, dispersed throughout the entire room.
Gasping for nonexistent air, he tried to call out to Sui Yang but found himself unable to speak. Only a harsh, hoarse sound, similar to the distorted noise of rusty gears, escaped his throat.
The entire room turned blurry, and he heard Sui Yang calling his name. He felt as if he was being picked up.
Xie Min suffocated, sensing that the entire space before his eyes was trembling unsteadily. In a dazed state, he felt Sui Yang picking up the other parts of his body.
Time became extremely, extremely slow because it took what felt like an eternity for his hind limbs and ears to be reassembled onto his body.
“Xie Min, are you still there?”
He heard Sui Yang’s voice again.
After seemingly being fully reassembled, Xie Min’s vision and strength slowly recovered. He saw Sui Yang’s face, Sui Yang’s eyes, and weakly spoke, “Sui Yang.”
Sui Yang stared at him for a moment, then replied with a quiet “Hmm.”
Xie Min lay in Sui Yang’s palm, but perhaps due to not fully recovering, he still felt everything around him trembling and shaking. Uncomfortably, he said to Sui Yang, “So dizzy, my head feels so dizzy.”
Sui Yang seemed to pause, then gently placed him back on the ground.
The trembling sensation ceased, and Xie Min rested for a while. Fear and a belated sense of trepidation welled up inside him.
He felt a chill running through his entire body. He curled up his bunny limbs on the floor, trying to wrap himself into a tight ball.
Sui Yang, as if unable to resist, extended his hand to touch the little bunny but then withdrew it. He remained motionless, accompanying Xie Min for a while, calling out to him, “Xie Min.”
Xie Min looked at him. After a moment, he continued, “I know you find me annoying when I bring up the past, but please come back with me. If you don’t like me mentioning the past, I won’t speak about it anymore.” Sui Yang’s voice became a murmured whisper. “It’s only a few more days. Can you endure it, please?”
Xie Min’s head still felt very uncomfortable, and he couldn’t stand steadily. He had never seen this side of Sui Yang before, nor had he experienced this side of himself. He unfolded his limbs and crawled a few steps toward Sui Yang. Sui Yang’s hand caught him, lifting him off the ground.
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