"Mama Zhou would raise both hands to support anything that could piss Zhou Laichun off to death."
Editor(s): Amalea, FistFullOfDollars, Juurensha
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Another Valentine’s Day arrived. Yu Hao bought Zhou Sheng a set of electronic cigarettes last year as a birthday gift to get him to quit smoking, while Zhou Sheng bought a gaming console for Yu Hao. Yu Hao thought, are you sure you didn’t buy this gift because you wanted to play it yourself?!
This year, Yu Hao was ready to buy birthday gifts for both Fu Liqun and Zhou Sheng. No one said anything, but they knew it in their hearts that once they step into their fourth year after the end of their third year, it might be their last year together.
“Do you have a lot of modules this year?” Cen Shan who came over to celebrate their birthdays asked with a smile, “The big guy said that you guys are staying at home every day, do you intend to take the post grad exam?”
Yu Hao had a heavy academic workload during his third year, while the sports department fared better. Yu Hao had to spend all his efforts coping with the curriculum before he could barely rank in his cohort. The more studious he got, the more he realised that he wasn’t really good at it. In any case, it was the kind of class where Zhou Sheng would be able to learn it easily just by flipping through books casually. A difference in IQ really does exist amongst people.
“I don’t think so?” Yu Hao was a bit confused too. In reality, once their third year was over, everyone would discuss the problem of where they would go for summer vacation after graduation. After all, their fourth year starts right after the end of summer vacation. Everyone needed to find an internship and prepare to start working in the outside world.
He wanted to take the post graduate examination like Chen Yekai too and support himself as a scholar. However, Yu Hao had to admit that people would never be born equal — this kind of inequality was reflected in one of people’s most fundamental nature, the difference in IQs.
“Then……Jie can help you ask around and find internships for you guys?” Cen Shan asked.
Fu Liqun threw out a meaningful glance, and everyone understood. If they were really going to rely on family, Zhou Sheng’s family would be able to resolve that issue easily, and Cen Shan’s help wouldn’t be needed.
Yu Hao said, “We’ll look for them by ourselves first.”
Zhou Laichun hadn’t called Zhou Sheng for more than a year, but Mama Zhou still retained her previous frequency of calling Yu Hao once a week. Yu Hao still called her “Aunt”, while Mama Zhou called him “Haohao”. Both of them understood in their hearts — they have mutually agreed that nothing happened on New Year’s Eve.
Fu Liqun was wearing a Lucky Bracelet that Yu Hao weaved on his wrist. Yu Hao measured Cen Shan’s wrist as well. Each of them had bought pure gold Changing Luck beads. Zhou Sheng strung his through the Golden Crow Wheel and wore them together, and Yu Hao weaved one for Fu Liqun and Cen Shan as well. He was almost done with Cen Shan’s now.
Cen Shan stretched her hand out to try it on and smiled, “Then what do you guys plan to do next?”
Fu Liqun casually said, “Don’t really have any plans, I don’t know what I’m gonna do.”
Cen Shan frowned and patted Fu Liqun’s head. Fu Liqun grinned and glanced at Cen Shan, “I’ve already thought it through, so don’t worry about it.”
The atmosphere of this meal was a bit weird. Yu Hao keenly noticed that there must be some problems between Fu Liqun and Cen Shan that still hadn’t been resolved yet. Cen Shan tactfully avoided talking about her plans after school reopens, and Zhou Sheng never mentioned his family’s situation. After dinner, Cen Shan’s family chauffeur came over to pick her up. Yu Hao said, “It’s rare for you to come, you’re not gonna stay overnight?”
Cen Shan said, “Next time ba, I have to go to my teacher’s place tomorrow.”
Zhou Sheng was cleaning up the dishes on the table and said to Fu Liqun, “You’re not sending sis-in-law off?”
Fu Liqun took the keys and took Cen Shan downstairs. Cen Shan looked back at the entrance and smiled at Yu Hao, “Eyelash Baby, Jiejie’s leaving now.”
Cen Shan’s smile could really cause a person’s heart to palpitate. Sometimes, Yu Hao wouldn’t be able to resist it even though he was gay. But tonight, Yu Hao sensed that things didn’t seem as simple as they looked.
“Why does it feel so weird today?”
Zhou Sheng was washing the dishes in the kitchen. Yu Hao wiped the plates with a dry towel beside him, “The two of them are always so weird, nothing will happen ba?”
Zhou Sheng said, “Sis-in-law is going abroad to further her studies.”
Yu Hao, “For how long?”
Zhou Sheng, “Three years. She’s going to Vienna for an advanced music conductor course.”
Yu Hao thought that the major sounded really lofty and asked, “Will Gege follow along?”
“What do you think?” Zhou Sheng smiled.
Only then did Yu Hao know that Cen Shan came over for a meal today as a farewell. He asked, “When will she start?”
“October.” Zhou Sheng said, “By then we should have all started on our internships, and it wouldn’t be easy to meet up, so she came in advance to say goodbye.”
Yu Hao felt a little upset. In this case, if Fu Liqun didn’t leave with Cen Shan, then they would be in completely different countries. Although Cen Shan could still come back during the holidays, they would only have fewer chances to meet than now —— three years, if he had to be apart from Zhou Sheng for three years, he doesn’t know how he would be able to live.
Yu Hao remembered that he had only officially been together with Zhou Sheng for two years now. Yet, he didn’t know why it felt like they had been together for a long, long time.
“Gege can actually follow along ah.” Yu Hao said, “To learn something else. Being a ski coach is pretty good too.”
“That’s easy to say.” Zhou Sheng said, “They would be strangers in an unfamiliar place. Don’t just look at how sis-in-law is living an exquisite bourgeoisie life, it’s very tough to learn how to be a conductor. There are a ton of classes to attend every day.”
Yu Hao thought that was true, then Zhou Sheng continued, “Sis-in-law’s father’s intention is very obvious — he wants to split them up. For people, when they are in different environments, the distance between them will grow greater and greater, and it would be lonely to be in a foreign land too……”
Yu Hao said, “They aren’t the type who can’t stand loneliness.”
Zhou Sheng responded with an “un”, then answered, “So, they’ll just have to see if they can pass this test.”
Yu Hao finished wiping all of the plates. Zhou Sheng kept the stove, and the two of them were standing there as Zhou Sheng said, “Did you forget something?”
Yu Hao smiled, and like what he did after eating his cooking everyday, kissed him to express his satisfaction. Then Zhou Sheng opened the refrigerator to get some fruit for him to eat.
“Graduation is one ridge.” Zhou Sheng was sometimes very rational and calm, “The owner of this house broke up after graduation.”
Yu Hao sat on the sofa as he ate fruit and thought that being gay was good sometimes. After all, they’ve already managed to overcome such great obstacles like parents and family, so what other setback in reality can separate them?
Yu Hao said, “I think the key lies in Gege ba, he urgently needs to resolve the issues with his future. As long as he has a firm belief in the path that lies ahead……”
The sound of a key opening the door could be heard, so the two of them stopped talking. Fu Liqun came back and cast them a glance.
Zhou Sheng, “Sent her off?”
Fu Liqun said, “Her father came to get her in person.”
That one sentence contained a great deal of information. Yu Hao couldn’t deduce how Fu Liqun must be feeling right now. Zhou Sheng got up to get two cans of ice-cold beer. He handed one to Fu Liqun, Fu Liqun laid down on the sofa with one foot against Yu Hao’s waist and pushed him to the other end of the sofa while keeping him parallel to it.
Yu Hao, “……:
Zhou Sheng didn’t say anything and just laid lazily on the single-person sofa. He was like a hound that was on the verge of sleeping but still stood on guard at all times. This silence was maintained in the living room. Outside the air-conditioned room, cicadas in the trees were crying constantly, but they quieted down all of a sudden before ringing out again like the fall and rise of a tide.
Fu Liqun, “Say, aren’t those cicadas tired from crying like that everyday?”
Yu Hao, “In nature, courtship is a very difficult thing. Empathise with other populations ba.”
Fu Liqun and Zhou Sheng laughed aloud. Yu Hao chose to take Liang Jinmin’s course, and knew that as animals, the two most important things in life were eating and courtship. Sometimes, eating wouldn’t even be as important as courtship. Cicadas did their utmost in crying out, birds worked very hard to build beautiful nests, and penguins went around everywhere searching for beautiful stones, all for the sake of wooing females and obtaining the affirmation of their sweethearts.
“What’s the date today?” Fu Liqun suddenly asked.
Zhou Sheng casually said, “Schools starts in a week, need to go back to the college tomorrow to get an internship form.”
Fu Liqun fell silent for a moment. Yu Hao came out after taking a bath. His hair was still wet as he looked down at his phone and texted.
“Young Madam is a real beauty.” Fu Liqun scrutinised Yu Hao.
Yu Hao said, “Sis-in-law is the real beauty.”
Fu Liqun teases Yu Hao like how Zhou Sheng teases Cen Shan; they always liked to embarrass their boyfriends. Yu Hao glanced at Zhou Sheng to see how he intended to retaliate against Fu Liqun, then Zhou Sheng sincerely said, “Gege’s too flattering, how could Yu Hao be considered a beauty? He and sis-in-law added together wouldn’t even match up to one finger on our Yangming bro. Yangming Gege’s the real beauty!”
Yu Hao suddenly burst out laughing uncontrollably. Fu Liqun turned angry from embarrassment, “Ai!”
Yu Hao and Zhou Sheng high-fived, and they laughed so hard that they were barely able to keep themselves together. Fu Liqun was indeed very close to Li Yangming, and Li Yangming was very obedient towards Fu Liqun — he was practically relying on him wholeheartedly. But Fu Liqun obviously wasn’t interested in him that way, and he just felt like he was taking care of his roommate.
Yu Hao and Li Yangming had discussed it in private before. The key wasn’t whether Fu Liqun was straight or not, but the fact that he had a girlfriend. You can do whatever you want without a girlfriend. Li Yangming promised Yu Hao that he definitely had no other intentions, so Yu Hao didn’t mind it anymore.
Fu Liqun drank his beer and said, “Young Master, do you still remember your birthday from two years ago?”
Zhou Sheng said, “Yeah, the two of us weren’t together yet at that time. Thank you, Gege.”
Fu Liqun said, “You’re welcome. At that time I thought about what we would be like in two to three years, and unexpectedly, time passed in the blink of an eye. Brothers……” As he spoke, Fu Liqun sat up straight. After thinking about it for a bit, he said, “I think we should talk.”
Yu Hao wasn’t surprised. Zhou Sheng seemed to have anticipated it too and said, “What is it? Gege, you’re our best friend, just say what’s on your mind.”
Fu Liqun held an empty beer can in his hands and remained silent for a long time, then suddenly asked Zhou Sheng, “Where do you want to do your internship this year? Are you going to go along with Xue Long’s arrangements?”
Zhou Sheng said without even thinking about it, “No way. He won’t arrange a normal internship for us, we’ve already offended him in all aspects.”
Yu Hao, “Aside from getting us to move bricks, what else would Xue Long ask us to do?”
Fu Liqun uttered an “un” and asked again, “Ask Kaikai?”
Zhou Sheng refused again, “Don’t want to owe him a favour. His internship positions are all related to academia; it won’t be suitable for us either.”
Yu Hao had thought of looking to Chen Yekai or Liang Jinmin to introduce them to an internship. However, the internship found would be suitable for him, but not for the active Zhou Sheng and Fu Liqun. If their internships weren’t related to the field they would be working in after graduation, then it wouldn’t be that meaningful.
“What about you?” Fu Liqun said to Yu Hao, “Young Madam, now I’m beginning to feel more and more that you’re a really strong guy.”
Yu Hao said, “I’ll listen to both of your plans first.”
It was most appropriate to consult parents regarding such an issue. But Yu Hao was alone, and Zhou Sheng couldn’t discuss it his family either. Mama Zhou had mentioned it duringthe last time she had called Yu Hao, to get Zhou Sheng to enroll in a class to learn clothing design —— ever since she knew of Zhou Sheng’s sexual orientation, she started imagining him as a fashionable gay with an orchid finger, and he didn’t know where such an impression came from in the first place. Although Zhou Sheng’s sense of aesthetics wasn’t bad, he didn’t want to have anything to do with fashion.
Fu Liqun said, “I’ve asked my Dad, and he said that he would introduce me to a friend’s company in the logistics department, to do administrative work.”
Yu Hao knew that Fu Liqun definitely wouldn’t go.
“My mum told her son-in-law,” Zhou Sheng said, “To ask me to register for a sewing class to learn how to do embroidery work.”
Fu Liqun immediately burst into laughter. Zhou Sheng looked helpless as he shrugged.
“It’s not bad to go into design.” Yu Hao said, “It’s just ‘cause you don’t like it. Your mother’s doing well with her shop and even started an online shop recently.”
Zhou Sheng said, “Oh, so my stepfather will go to Shenzhen to procure some goods, then I can help her pack 99-yuan packages at home, shipping included? You can be in charge of customer service and quarrel with the customers, it’s pretty good for the family to open a small workshop.”
Yu Hao thought that really was pretty good……having experienced not knowing when he would be able to get his next meal after his high school graduation, he understood one truth: how could every person in this world live a resplendent, successful lifestyle like an OP CEO? Earning enough to support oneself isn’t an easy thing to do in the first place.
Juurensha: Aw, I hope CS and FLQ work things out….
This chapter is migrated and/or formatted by our fellow chicken enthusiast(s), kee.