“What are you doing?” Xie Min woke up drowsily and found Sui Yang awake with less sleep but in high spirits. The dim morning light revealed Sui Yang holding a huge phone, gesturing on his own body.
Sui Yang calmly informed him, “Taking your measurements to tailor a set of clothes for you.”
Confused, Xie Min sat up and pushed away the phone that was swaying before his eyes. “What clothes?”
Sui Yang tilted the phone slightly and read the measurement on the screen, “Sitting height, four point three centimeters.”
“Measurements are done,” Sui Yang said as he put away the phone. “To prevent any further accidents, I decided to urgently order a set of clothes online that can cover Xiao Tu’s limbs.”
“Is it really necessary?”
Sui Yang asked him, “What color do you like?” and added, “I think white would suit your complexion.”
Uncertain, Xie Min replied, “Let’s go with black,” but then questioned, “Can we avoid doing it?”
Sui Yang typed on his phone while ignoring Xie Min’s second question. He ordered one set in black and one set in white.
Xie Min felt somewhat speechless but couldn’t explain why. Rarely, he chose not to argue with Sui Yang. He watched as Sui Yang sat on the bed, trying on clothes and communicating with the custom clothing seller through his phone.
Xie Min asked him, “Did you sleep well after taking my medicine yesterday? Did you fall asleep?”
Sui Yang looked up at him and used his free hand to touch Xie Min’s ear. “Yes, it worked. Thank you.”
Xie Min felt doubtful and questioned, “Then why weren’t you asleep when I woke up from a nightmare?”
Sui Yang smiled. “Perhaps so I could offer an apology for burying Xiao Tu in the flowerpot in time.”
“Get lost,” Xie Min cursed at him. “I’m not joking with you.”
Sui Yang withdrew his hand and calmly stated, “I don’t sleep for long, but I do sleep fairly well.”
Sui Yang had large and slender hands with distinct joints. As he typed on the phone, his movements appeared steady and powerful.
Sui Yang had an ordinary appearance, as if nothing on Earth could make him flustered. Xie Min, as a little bunny standing in his palm, felt as stable as standing on the ground, knowing that no matter what happened, he wouldn’t fall from Sui Yang’s hand.
Xie Min’s mind was confused as he thought that perhaps last night, because his body felt scattered, he perceived the whole world as anxious and trembling, just like himself.
What he saw and thought at that time probably couldn’t be trusted.
Sui Yang might have been concerned about Xie Min’s appearance and didn’t want him to face danger alone, which was why he advised Xie Min to go back with him.
Xie Min shook his head, unwilling to dwell on it, and hopped towards Sui Yang, looking up. “What kind of clothes did you buy? Let me see.”
Sui Yang picked him up and placed him on his own lap, holding the phone in front of Xie Min. “Like this, do you like it?”
Xie Min examined the image and keywords on the screen: Doll-like autumn and winter tight-fitting clothes.
“Autumn and winter tight-fitting clothes,” he said flatly, reading it aloud for Sui Yang to hear.
“This is my thinking,” Sui Yang told him. “Only thick and tight-fitting clothes can wrap you up properly. I asked the shop owner to cover your hands and feet as well. Like a pocket. It’s elastic, so it won’t hinder your movements. The shop is in Yuanguang. I asked them to prioritize the order. It will be finished today, and we can have it delivered when we return tonight.”
Xie Min had intended to mention that he might already return to his own body before they returned to Yuanguang, making Sui Yang’s little clothes unnecessary. However, Sui Yang lifted him up and asked if he had any more nightmares later, causing him to forget to bring it up.
Since Sui Yang had already visited Xie Min at the hospital yesterday, their return to Yuanguang was earlier than planned.
On the way back, Sui Yang’s mother seemed to have many emotions about this trip. She held conversations with Sui Yang and her husband.
She hadn’t been back to Yuhai for many years because she felt it was her place of heartache. She had come to Yuhai at the age of seventeen to pursue her education, then fell in love with Sui Yang’s father here, got married, and gave birth to a child. However, in her forties, her life took a sudden turn, and she returned to her birthplace, Yuanguang.
Reflecting on the time when Sui Yang’s father had just passed away, she said to Sui Yang’s stepfather, “Sui Yang… his decision to drop out and go to Yuanguang… My son has already become a capable man.”
In the darkness, Xie Min listened as she recounted Sui Yang’s experiences when he first arrived at Yuanguang.
Her voice was soft, so Xie Min heard bits and pieces, not very clearly.
Sui Yang’s experiences were often narrated by idle talkers, and Xie Min had heard a thing or two. He knew that Sui Yang went to Yuanguang because his father’s assets in Yuhai had been auctioned off, and only one factory in Yuanguang remained, which his father had originally given to his uncle but poorly managed. Fortunately, it was preserved.
“At that time, we owed so much money… I didn’t even know how to repay it. Only Sui Yang remembers it clearly,” Sui Yang’s mother whispered. “I remember… Sui Yang received his first payment of one hundred thousand and went to the bank during the typhoon…”
“Mom,” Sui Yang suddenly interrupted her, “It’s all in the past. There’s nothing more to say.”
Initially, Xie Min was half-listening, but when he heard Sui Yang stopping his mother from continuing and the mention of a typhoon, he suddenly realized that what Auntie was talking about seemed to be related to the payment he received.
The typhoon that hit Yuanguang on August 21st was called “Chunxiang.” Xie Min had seen it in the news that morning and made a note of it.
Yuhai and Yuanguang were far apart, with calm winds and glaring sun. Xie Min went to Jiang Ci’s house to play games, but in the middle of the game, his phone suddenly made a notification sound. He picked it up and saw a transfer of one hundred thousand with a message saying it was a repayment.
He glanced at it and put the phone down, feeling unlucky. He couldn’t win a single game afterwards.
When he returned home in the evening, he opened the message again. Initially, he thought of donating the money to resolve the matter, but in the end, he decided to keep it.
Xie Min felt that it must have been quite difficult for the person who earned the money to repay him. No matter how angry or financially stable he was, it was still not advisable to handle hard-earned money so casually. However, Xie Min decided not to use that bank card anymore.
Sui Yang’s mother changed the topic and discussed the weather in Yuhai with her husband.
Xie Min couldn’t quite focus on the conversation, thinking that although Sui Yang had completely forgotten about the school uniforms and the phone, he had repaid him with one hundred thousand yuan, which turned out to be his first income.
After dropping off his mother at home, Sui Yang took Xie Min back to his house.
The tailor-made clothes for Xie Min had arrived, and his assistant brought them. Sui Yang placed Xie Min on the counter and opened the small gift box, taking out two small fabric pieces—one black and one white.
Sui Yang asked, “Which color do you want to wear?” His right hand, holding the white fabric, was noticeably stretched forward.
“Black.” Xie Min gave up struggling, feeling that his current situation was a complete mess.
Sui Yang didn’t argue with him anymore. Carefully, he manipulated and seemingly slipped the little bunny into the black clothes. Then he brought Xie Min to the sink and showed him the mirror.
Looking at the bunny in the mirror, Xie Min realized that the outfit wasn’t as terrible as he had imagined. The fabric was a normal stretchy material, and the places where his front and hind limbs should be exposed were sewn together. Two small pointed caps were placed on his ears, transforming Xie Min from the pink plastic tough LEGO bunny into something resembling a black fabric puppet bunny.
“Is there any discomfort?” Sui Yang adjusted Xie Min’s front limbs. “Can you move around?”
Xie Min waved Sui Yang’s hand away and then happily hopped in his palm. “I’m fine.”
“Then let’s leave it like this,” Sui Yang said. “Won’t you try the white one?”
“No need,” Xie Min replied coldly, too tired to scold him anymore. “Thanks.”
Sui Yang took him to the study. Xie Min wore the clothes and lazily soaked up the sun, supervising Sui Yang’s work like a foreman.
Although Sui Yang’s mother spoke those words on the plane, Sui Yang didn’t seem inclined to discuss it with him. Xie Min didn’t know if it was because Sui Yang had promised not to bring up the past again or if Sui Yang himself didn’t want to talk about it.
During the days when Sui Yang and his family had just left Yuhai to return to Yuanguang, Xie Min hadn’t recovered. He had thoroughly examined his feelings for Sui Yang, reflecting on whether he had done something wrong and doubting if he had missed any signals from Sui Yang.
Perhaps Xie Min wasn’t clever in this regard, and as someone with shameful luck and abundance, he found it difficult to truly empathize with Sui Yang’s perspective. Thus, he couldn’t identify any areas where he could further improve himself.
If everything were to start over, his choices would probably remain exactly the same.
During physics lab, Xie Min sat beside Sui Yang, passed by a store to buy a phone, responded to Sui Yang’s kiss, and found it difficult to control his heartbeat due to Sui Yang’s teasing. He slept on Sui Yang’s bed and used his icy hand to grab Sui Yang’s arm. In a hidden place where nobody could see, he leaned on Sui Yang’s shoulder. After accidentally discovering that Sui Yang was being harassed for debt, he secretly repaid the money for him. And… Xie Min never wanted to recall even a single moment of those things.
Xie Min genuinely didn’t understand where he went wrong. To this day, this lingering confusion troubled him, even though it no longer mattered.
Fortunately, Xie Min learned not to dwell on it anymore.
He clumsily fantasized about the life Sui Yang would have in Yuanguang, imitating Sui Yang’s elegance, stumbling to regain his balance, brainwashing himself that he was a mature man who didn’t care about emotions. Whatever Sui Yang would say or do, he could definitely do just as well.
Putting Sui Yang behind him, like tossing a whale back into the ocean.
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