"Looks like you're the happiness that I wanted to hold onto the most."
Editor(s): Amalea, FistFullOfDollars, Juurensha
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The evening was cool, so cool that it even seemed a bit chilly. It was clearly the tail-end of summer but it already felt like winter. Temperatures dropped rapidly throughout all of Ying City. Yu Hao felt Zhou Sheng throw a blanket over him in the middle of the night to cover him.
When he turned over, still half asleep, he saw that Zhou Sheng was lying on his bed texting on his mobile phone, its screen illuminating his handsome side profile.
It was already dawn the next time he woke. Yu Hao realised that there was a thick autumnal comforter over him that Zhou Sheng must have found in the cabinet, but Zhou Sheng wasn’t around. His anger from the night before had already completely dissipated. Yu Hao felt slightly remorseful as he sat on his bed; when he remembered his outburst last night, he only felt embarrassed and tired.
“Do you feel well enough to go out?” Fu Liqun was texting on WeChat. He raised his head and glanced at Yu Hao.
“I’ve completely recovered.” Yu Hao jumped out of bed to wash up and said, “I’m just hungry now. Where’s Zhou Sheng?”
Fu Liqun said, “He disappeared early this morning; he probably went to pick someone up ba?”
Yu Hao felt like he was in high spirits today. His minor illness came and went just as quickly. After Yu Hao and Fu Liqun ate breakfast, he felt alive again.
Everyone gathered in front of the subway station at the foot of the mountain. Yu Hao spotted Zhou Sheng and Huang Jingya. Everyone nodded politely to Huang Jingya and greeted her. Although this bunch of college students couldn’t compare with the number of spectators at Zhou Sheng’s competition, they seemed much livelier than before. This was only because all the guys in the sports class who came out today had brought their girlfriends along.
“Step on his shoes!”
“Step on Young Master’s new shoes! Hurry!”
A group of people began stepping on Zhou Sheng’s new shoes. Zhou Sheng said angrily, “Get lost! All of you!”
Inside the subway, a group of people began causing a loud commotion and instantly gave the security guards a fright as they thought something had happened. Zhou Sheng roared as if he was really angry.
“Who dares! I’ll cut off all ties with them!” Zhou Sheng said angrily, “I'm dead serious! Don’t think I’m kidding!”
The atmosphere became a little awkward. Zhou Sheng realised that his outburst might have crossed the line, so he casually said, “Step on Gege’s.”
Fu Liqun was instantly so frightened he hid behind Cen Shan and quickly said, “I’ve already worn mine for a month! They’re not new anymore!”
Yu Hao, “……”
They were all in pairs as they occupied an entire carriage on the subway. It was really a grand and spectacular sight.
“Feel better now?” Cen Shan touched Yu Hao’s forehead.
Yu Hao still looked a bit tired, but he smiled, “I've completely recovered.”
“Why did you buy such an expensive present for your Gege?” Cen Shan sighed, “This big fool always sponges off your food already, you’ll spoil him like this!”
Fu Liqun grabbed the iron rail on the subway and chuckled, “Gege will perform a pole dance for you guys?”
Cen Shan, “……”
Yu Hao smiled, “Zhou Sheng got me to buy it.”
The two of them turned around and looked at Zhou Sheng who wasn’t too far away. Zhou Sheng looked very handsome today; he was wearing Yu Hao’s jeans, a white T-shirt and his hair seemed to have been styled with wax. He had a sports bag slung over one shoulder and both hands stuffed into his pockets, seeming incredibly languid with his look of drowsiness. He was slouched slightly, his legs at a slight slant as they stretched out in front of him. It was the first time he wore those pair of AJs, and Yu Hao discovered that when Zhou Sheng wore them, they looked very nice and eye-catching, and suited him very well.
Someone offered Huang Jingya a seat. Zhou Sheng leaned against the carriage, standing beside Huang Jingya as he occasionally made some idle chat with her. He had a very irritable expression on his face, only occasionally responding with an “un” or a nod, without seeming to have really heard what Huang Jingya said. He just stared at the subway platforms that passed by in a daze.
“You can’t do that in the future.” Cen Shan scolded.
“Okay okay.” Yu Hao smiled, “I know.”
When they left the subway station, Yu Hao deliberately walked behind Zhou Sheng and kept his distance. As they walked, Zhou Sheng suddenly turned around to look for him. So Yu Hao raised his hand to show him where he was. Fu Liqun casually draped his arm around Yu Hao’s shoulder. Zhou Sheng’s gaze was a little complicated, and turned back around after one glance at them.
Yu Hao quipped, “Sis-in-law, guess how many times Zhou Sheng will take Jinya on the roller coaster today?”
Cen Shan suddenly laughed and said, “Before you moved into their dorm, the three of us came to the amusement park. He sat on it twelve times by himself.”
Yu Hao, “……”
Yu Hao had already been to this amusement park several times; it was the place he and Zhou Sheng worked at during the Spring Festival. Fu Liqun went to collect the tickets. Cen Shan took out two lucky charms and handed them to Yu Hao.
“Prayed for these charms in Hokkaido.” Cen Shan smiled, “One for you, and one for Zhou Sheng.”
Yu Hao quickly thanked her and stored them away like precious treasures. When he looked towards Zhou Sheng, he saw Zhou Sheng with a can of Red Bull in hand, sitting side by side with Huang Jingya on a bench.
“I’ll give it to him when we get back.” Yu Hao said, “Is it a love charm?”
“Yeah, to pray for love.” Cen Shan smiled gently. The two of them were also seated at a bench. Yu Hao thought that if he was straight, he really might have harboured a secret crush on Cen Shan. This sis-in-law of his was really too, too, tooooo wonderful.
“Didn’t they say that it would be sunny today?” Cen Shan said, “It’s still overcast.”
Yu Hao looked up at the sky. It had been raining for several days now, and many layers of dark clouds had accumulated overhead. Patches of clouds glowed faintly with white sunlight and the wind had begun to pick up.
“Sis-in-law, are you cold?” Yu Hao asked.
Cen Shan waved her hand. Fu Liqun came back and handed out the tickets. One by one, as everyone received their ticket, they got up and entered the park. It was the last day of summer vacation so there was quite a crowd. Yu Hao hadn’t been here in nearly half a year. He remembered that he had brought Shi Ni here to play last time, so this place felt quite dear to him.
He took pictures of Zhou Sheng and Huang Jingya with his phone, especially when they were queuing. A lot of attractions had pair seatings, and at first Yu Hao thought that if he had to take them alone then so be it ba, since the other students were all here with their other half. He had planned to stand in line at the single-person queue, but Cen Shan and Fu Liqun kept pulling him along with them.
When they were queuing, the queue snaked back and forth. Yu Hao often brushed past Zhou Sheng and Huang Jingya and would occasionally take photos for the two of them with his phone. As Zhou Sheng patiently listened to Huang Jingya talk, he would glance at Yu Hao in the gaps between her words. Yu Hao smiled at him and motioned that they shouldn’t worry about him.
“I don’t want to ride the roller coaster……” Cen Shan looked very glum, “I really don’t like it, can you two bros go sit on it instead?”
“Come ba.” Fu Liqun said, “It’s not scary.”
Yu Hao said, “Yeah sis-in-law, you might find it scary when you’re queuing for it, but it won’t be that bad when you actually ride it.”
Cen Shan made an expression that seemed like she was being sent to the gallows. Fu Liqun raised his phone, “Let me take a photo hahaha!”
Both Yu Hao and Cen Shan looked up slightly. Fu Liqun adjusted the self-timer; his phone reflected the three that were queuing up. Yu Hao suddenly noticed that in the background not too far away, Zhou Sheng had turned around and was staring blankly at him.
With a “kacha”, Fu Liqun pressed a button on his phone and took a picture. Cen Shan’s brilliant and sweet smile immediately vanished without a trace as she lamented, “Can we not ride it!”
“It’s almost our turn!” Yu Hao smiled, “Persevere!”
At the end of the line, Yu Hao said, “I just recovered from a cold, and my head might hurt if I go on this, so I won’t be riding the roller coaster. Have fun.” And after he spoke, he left by ducking underneath one of the queue ropes.
At the back of the line, it was Zhou Sheng who stopped him.
“Where are you going?” Zhou Sheng asked, “You’re leaving?”
Yu Hao smiled, “I’ll wait for you guys outside!”
“Let’s ride the ferris wheel later ba.” Zhou Sheng said.
Yu Hao nodded. The roller coaster started with a thunderous rumble. Even though they were over a hundred meters apart, Yu Hao could still hear Cen Shan’s blood curdling screams and found it really amusing. He walked to the exit to wait for them and kept reminding himself that he couldn’t appear too depressed, otherwise his mood would bring everyone else down too.
But sometimes, Yu Hao realised that his own mood might not actually affect others. Sometimes, people tend to think too highly of themselves, and maybe today, Zhou Sheng, Fu Liqun, and Cen Shan weren’t really paying much attention to his mood and were instead having a good time?
“Yu Hao!” Outside the roast chicken wing booth, the manager shouted at him.
Yu Hao responded with a “hey” and smiled as he greeted the manager. The manager had a very deep impression of them, “I saw Zhou Sheng; you guys are here to play?”
Yu Hao went over to make some idle chat with him. The manager asked why they didn’t come to work during the summer vacation. Not long after, a group of people came down. Cen Shan stood gasping for breath. Yu Hao said to the manager, “This is my sis-in-law.”
“Zhou Sheng!” The manager saw Zhou Sheng and Huang Jingya and smiled as he said, “Kid, you’re really something aren’t you? Got a girlfriend? Introduce us!”
“Not my girlfriend.” Zhou Sheng said publicly, “Ask anymore questions, and I’ll tear your shop down.”
Everyone suddenly felt a little awkward. Yu Hao could only pretend he hadn’t heard it. Zhou Sheng continued, “Lao Gao, help me prepare 18 cups of It Takes Two, I’ll come over to collect them later. Yu Hao, help me pay.”
“Is sis-in-law alright?” Yu Hao observed Cen Shan’s face, concerned that she had gotten too much of a fright.
“One more time.” Cen Shan took a deep breath, “Let’s go! Jiejie likes it!”
Fu Liqun, “……”
Everyone immediately burst out in crazy laughter. Fu Liqun said, “Once is enough……hey! Hold on! Wifey!”
Cen Shan dragged Fu Liqun away. Yu Hao was bowed over from laughing too hard and took his phone out to take a photo of Cen Shan and Fu Liqun, then he sang, “Once is enough, I’ll accompany you until the end of time……”
“Let’s ride the ferris wheel ba.” Someone suggested.
“Or we can go about freely?” Zhou Sheng said, “Gege and sis-in-law both ran away.”
Xia Lei said, “Are we still eating together tonight?”
Zhou Sheng thought about it for a moment, and everyone seemed to listen to him. Zhou Sheng looked at Yu Hao and said, “No ba, remember to get the drinks later.”
So everyone went to find their own attractions to play on, but the closest attraction was still the ferris wheel. Everyone rushed over to get a place in line since there weren’t many people in the queue.
The ferris wheel was overtaken by couples, with two people per carriage. Zhou Sheng shouted, “Yu Hao!”
“I’ll go get the drinks.” Yu Hao said.
Zhou Sheng looked at Yu Hao, then looked at Huang Jingya. He finally said, “Okay then.”
Yu Hao arrived outside the restaurant and saw Zhou Sheng take Huang Jingya to ride the ferris wheel. A young boy placed the cups one by one on the table. Yu Hao started to count them and took his phone out to pay.
The manager looked at the students who were standing in line in the distance and saw Zhou Sheng enter the ferris wheel with Huang Jingya. He sounded extremely rueful as he said, “It’s so good to be young. Yu Hao, are you dating anyone yet?”
“No.” Yu Hao smiled sadly. Two, four, six……the amusement park created couple cups for the summer vacation that contained the concoction ‘It Takes Two To Love’. It was buy one and get one free, and Yu Hao did a quick headcount. 19 people, Zhou Sheng only ordered 18 cups, 9 pairs.
“Is it enough?”
The manager asked, “Your group should be odd-numbered right?”
“But I’m a single dog, why would I need to drink this?” Yu Hao smiled as he packed away the cups in pairs. He took them to the bench and waited for the rest to come back and collect the drinks.
After the ferris wheel ride, the other students came one after another to take their drinks, and some even went to buy hot dogs. Each of them said, “Thank you Young Master~”
“Young Master says ‘you’re welcome’.” Yu Hao answered, not knowing whether to cry or laugh.
He sat on the bench for a while and began scrolling through the photos of Zhou Sheng in his phone. Yu Hao’s phone had a lot of photos of Zhou Sheng, and most of them were taken overtly. Zhou Sheng didn’t care when he saw Yu Hao taking photos. Yu Hao scrolled through every single one of them, and even saw a sneak shot he took of Zhou Sheng when he was sleeping.
Fu Liqun sent him the group photo they took in the queue. In the photo, Yu Hao noticed Zhou Sheng watching him from where he stood at the corner of the queue.
Zhou Sheng’s gaze seemed a little lonely.
Yu Hao thought that Zhou Sheng should like him a little too ba, it's just that they were unable to clearly define it. If he had to define these feelings at this historical moment today, Yu Hao thinks that Zhou Sheng’s affection for him probably surpasses that for a friend or a good bro. Just like that night, when Zhou Sheng asked him, “Why don’t you say it yourself, what do you consider yourself as?”
That was a question that Yu Hao couldn’t answer, and a question Zhou Sheng couldn’t answer as well.
Ever since he began liking Zhou Sheng, he would often read up on posts shared by people about their feelings. In each of those experiences, gays who fell in love with their straight bros all ended up living far apart from one another because of their jobs after graduation. Many years later, no matter how strong their love was, and no matter how reluctant they were to part with the past, it all gradually became one of their most beautiful memories as they built their own families and raised their children.
Just like these photos, let them stay forever ba. When we meet again many years later and reminisce the past, at least the wonderful and happy memories will remain.
Yu Hao looked up at the top of the ferris wheel. Above the top carriage, the sky that was filled with dark clouds was finally beginning to clear.
“Hey.” Cen Shan came back and sat next to Yu Hao, gasping heavily for breath.
“I can’t do it anymore.” Fu Liqun said, “Let me rest for a while.”
Cen Shan said, “Yu Hao, give your Gege a drink to settle his nerves. We’ll continue again later.”
Yu Hao, “Hahahahahaha!”
Fu Liqun said, “I have a high center of gravity! My brain lacks oxygen! No more please!”
Cen Shan said, “You said yourself that you would ride it with me no matter how many times I wanted to.”
Fu Liqun could only say, “Okay, fine. I’ll fight it out with you today. Thank you for the treat, Young Madam.”
“Young Madam’s up there.” Yu Hao said, “Don’t crack jokes like that, you’ll get me into trouble.”
Cen Shan threw Fu Liqun a reproachful look. Fu Liqun chuckled again, and the two of them drank a bit before Cen Shan asked, “They’re not down yet? It’s been an hour.”
Yu Hao thought, oh yeah. He hadn’t taken notice of the exit of the ferris wheel until now, and Zhou Sheng should’ve finished the ride a long time ago. Forget it, I don’t care anymore.
“The two of you should go and ride the ferris wheel ba.” Yu Hao said, “I’ll sit here a little longer.”
“Yes yes yes.” Fu Liqun hurriedly said, “We need to strike a balance between work and rest.”
Cen Shan got up and pulled Fu Liqun away. Yu Hao looked around again, and thought that Zhou Sheng should be at the other attractions with Huang Jingya. He looked down at his phone and saw that Zhou Sheng had actually sent him a message.
【Where are you?】
Yu Hao took a picture of the drinks beside him where there were still six cups that hadn’t been collected. Zhou Sheng replied:【Wait for me.】
In the sky, dark clouds surged forth, and a drizzle was swirling in the air. Sporadic raindrops fell on Yu Hao’s face.
“They haven’t taken them all yet?” Zhou Sheng sat on one side of the bench, his breathing a little rushed, like he had just run over.
“Zhao Yang and Jun Ge went somewhere with their girlfriends.” Yu Hao said, “They’re probably still standing in line ba, where’s Jinya?”
Yu Hao originally wanted to say “where’s Young Madam” as a joke, but he knew that Zhou Sheng didn’t like it when people said that so he reined himself in.
“Went back.” Zhou Sheng took a drink and said, “Just sent her away. Are you cold? You just recovered from your cold, wear my jacket?”
Yu Hao, “I’m okay.”
“Ride the ferris wheel?” Zhou Sheng said, “Don’t worry about them anymore, just leave the drinks here. It’s up to them whether they wanna drink it or not.”
Yu Hao said, “It’s okay, I’ll be going back later too.”
Zhou Sheng took off the lid of the drink and looked at Yu Hao. He drank half of it in one shot; he was clearly very thirsty.
“Drink the other cup too?” Yu Hao laughed.
Zhou Sheng put down the cup, then turned around to look at the couples that were walking to and fro in the amusement park.
“I want to ride the ferris wheel with you again.” Zhou Sheng said earnestly as he turned sideways and looked into Yu Hao’s eyes.
Yu Hao, “……”
Zhou Sheng’s tone was very serious; it was as serious as when they had first met in the dream.
“Then let’s go ba.” Yu Hao smiled. It was time to clarify some matters anyway, and settle it once and for all. Although he knew that both of them should already very clearly understand everything in their hearts.
Zhou Sheng took the lead to get in line while Yu Hao followed along. Fu Liqun and Cen Shan had just gotten off not too long ago. Cen Shan gave them a melodious whistle.
“Sis-in-law really went all out today.” Zhou Sheng smiled.
Yu Hao said, “You can ride the roller coaster with her later too; you guys can ride it until the amusement park closes.”
Zhou Sheng, “If you don’t like riding it, just say it outright, stop making such cutting remarks all the time. Shouldn’t we have some hobbies in life?”
“I didn’t mean that.” Yu Hao said.
“You’ve been thinking up different ways to anger me these days.” Zhou Sheng said, “Did you think I wouldn’t know?”
“And aren’t you thinking up different ways to anger me?” Yu Hao didn’t know why he suddenly lost a bit of control over himself. This anger came out of nowhere, and it was so impulsive that it had caught himself off guard.
“Forget it let’s not talk about it.” Zhou Sheng said, “Or else we’ll end up fighting later.”
Yu Hao didn’t respond. The two of them queued until the end, and the staff let them in. Yu Hao and Zhou Sheng squeezed into a carriage and sat down separately. The door was closed from the outside.
This was the largest ferris wheel in central China. One full round would take at least half an hour, and there was even music playing in the carriage. Zhou Sheng casually turned the music off and looked at Yu Hao, while Yu Hao had turned his head sideways and was looking out the window.
“Look at the scenery ah.” Yu Hao smiled, “What are you looking at me for?”
Zhou Sheng said, “We haven’t even gone up yet, what’s there to see.”
Yu Hao said, “Settle down properly with Jinya ba.”
“You don’t like her?” Zhou Sheng said.
Yu Hao said softly, “No, I like her a lot, I’ll like anyone you like.”
When he heard this, Zhou Sheng’s eyes reddened in an instant. When Yu Hao said those words himself, he also had a strong feeling that his tears were about to spill out.
Zhou Sheng took a deep breath and tried to calm down. He said, “But I don’t like her. What should I do?”
Yu Hao didn’t know whether to cry or laugh for a moment. He forced himself to smile as he said, “If you don’t like her then why would you take her out? I know you’re afraid that I’d mind, but it’s really okay……”
Suddenly, Yu Hao stopped talking, and the entire world fell into complete silence.
Zhou Sheng took out a silver, heart-shaped metal music box from his bag. It looked like a beautiful gemstone, with a pair of angel wings carved on the top of the box.
Yu Hao didn’t say anything and stared at Zhou Sheng dumbly as he wound the music box. Zhou Sheng turned it around, and the letters ‘Z’ and ‘Y’ from Zhou Sheng and Yu Hao’s initials were carved on it. While Zhou Sheng wound the music box, he nervously looked up into Yu Hao’s eyes. He was so nervous that his fingers were trembling, and a jingle began to play -- it was the cover Yu Hao did of《My Little Happiness》.
Looks like you’re the happiness that I wanted to hold onto the most, looks like we were actually so close to love……
“For you.” Zhou Sheng handed the music box to Yu Hao and said, “I made it myself. I spent three months making it, just for……today……to give……it……to you, will you accept it? You will, won’t you?”
Yu Hao automatically took the music box and looked at Zhou Sheng, slightly bewildered.
Zhou Sheng said, “I want to say……Yu Hao, I……I……”
Yu Hao’s breathing quickened. In the sky, strong gusts of wind swept the dark clouds away, and the thick layers of cloud retreated. The ferris wheel rose up into the sky, and the sunlight that spilled down took everyone by surprise.
“I……I think I like you.” Zhou Sheng looked into Yu Hao’s eyes and said, “Yu Hao, do you still like me? I’ve been preparing for a long time, it’s just……I don’t know how to say it. That day, what I wanted to discuss with you……was……whether we wanted, wanted to try being together……if you’re okay with me, I want to be with you, I think I……I won’t ever in this lifetime……I won’t……aside from you, I will never like anyone else.”
The ferris wheel carriage was extremely quiet, and only the sound of the music box could be heard. Tears practically gushed out of Yu Hao’s eyes.
“Laozi got bent by you.” In the end, Zhou Sheng’s eyes were thoroughly red as he smiled and said, “Fuck, do you love me or not? Give me an answer! What are you crying for? Say something!”
Yu Hao’s hand that was holding the music box pressed up against his nose, and he couldn’t stop choking. He nodded. Zhou Sheng reached out and covered Yu Hao’s hand with one of his hands, while the other pressed against his nape, and the two of them had their foreheads against each other.
In this world of silence, Zhou Sheng spoke very, very softly with a slightly hoarse voice,
“Yu Hao, I love you.”
Ying City was gradually bathed in sunshine; from far to near, the sunlight rapidly flooded the earth. The clouds and mist in the distance on Mt. Yunding dispersed. Within the ferris wheel carriage, the sunlight that streamed in at a slanted angle illuminated them both, as if it was leading Yu Hao into a dream.
Yu Hao choked, “I’ve always liked you. I……I can’t, this is too sudden, Zhou Sheng.”
“I know I haven’t done well in many ways, but I can’t help it. My parents, my family, just, they’re always like that. I wanted to overcome everything, I want to take good care of you. I’m willing to do my best, and I wanted to take my totem back first and turn it into this music box before giving it to you. But it’s too difficult, it’s really too difficult. I haven’t succeeded yet. But I’m afraid that if I keep waiting, then you’ll……you’ll……what if, we get together first, is that okay? I think, then at least I would know in my heart, what I’m fighting for.”
Yu Hao could no longer hear what Zhou Sheng was saying. His mind had gone completely blank, and the only thing he could see was Zhou Sheng’s handsome face.
Zhou Sheng lifted his gaze and looked at Yu Hao quietly, then leaned forward and kissed Yu Hao’s cheek.
Dollars: so. happy. I can die happy now.
Click here to view fanart from the Ferris wheel scene~
I think I’ve re-read this chapter at least 10 times or so lmao.
This chapter is migrated and/or formatted by our fellow chicken enthusiast(s), Cat.