[Chapter 077] Kissed him on the corner of his mouth
Christmas was Lu YunFei’s favourite annual festival, because it was his birthday. This day had also become Bian JinYuan’s favourite day ever since acquainting with Lu YunFei. It had nothing to do with Christmas, but everything to do with Lu YunFei’s birthday.
Lu YunFei’s actual birthday was spent with family of course, and so Bian JinYuan didn’t celebrate it with him. It was only before they left the school grounds when, taking a chance when no one else was around them, he asked, “Can I kiss you?”
Lu YunFei looked at Bian JinYuan in surprise to find his sincere expression.
Lu YunFei looked around them, and only after deducing that it seemed safe, nodded, “Kiss me then.”
It was a soft kiss that landed gently on his cheek. Lu YunFei felt the side of his face heat up. The skin that Bian JinYuan had kissed seemed to be on fire. He mumbled, “I’ll be going.”
Saying this, he left as if he was escaping.
But he was caught in Bian JinYuan’s grasp.
Lu YunFei turned back, his face still flushed, and his pure embarrassed expression tickled at Bian JinYuan. He looked at the youth before him and said softly, “Wait.”
Lu YunFei replied softly with an “Oh”, but didn’t raise his head to look up at him.
Bian JinYuan took a box out of his bag and handed it to him, “Birthday present.”
Lu YunFei received it and unwrapped it on the spot to find a wooden box which looked similar to the one that he had been gifted before, only a little bit larger. He opened the box to find a small deer. It was a familiar deer stepping on clouds, lifelike and cute. The only difference was that this deer had a pair of beautiful wings.
Lu YunFei looked at the deer, his eyes tinged with delight and puzzlement, “Why are there wings on the wooden sculpture now?” He looked at Bian JinYuan, “The one before didn’t have wings right?”
Bian JinYuan looked at him warmly. He raised his head to touch Lu YunFei’s hair, “Because he’s all grown up.”
Eighteen years old, a new start. His young man was slowly growing the most beautiful pair of wings.
Lu YunFei froze, and slowly looked down at the little deer in the wooden box. After a long moment, he slowly closed the box and hugged it close as he went forward to kiss the corner of Bian JinYuan’s mouth.
It was a gentle touch, Lu YunFei thought, just like his person.
“Thank you,” he said while Bian JinYuan recalled his senses.
Bian JinYuan came back to himself at his words of thanks. He looked in disbelief at Lu YunFei, who shot him a smile, his eyes sparkling.
He saw Lu YunFei to his car before heading to Liu Mo’s shop for his part-time work.
On Saturday, Lu YunFei packed his bag and headed to Liu Mo’s shop to work on his homework there.
“No one’s at home, so I might as well work on homework here, and if I encounter an English problem that I don’t know how to solve, I could simply ask you,” he said to Bian JinYuan as he placed his order.
Bian JinYuan had intended for him to visit, but he had already arrived before he could even invite him, so this was a great coincidence.
“Sounds good,” he swiped Lu YunFei’s loyalty card and handed it back, “Looks like we’re of one heart. I’d originally intended to invite you over WeChat later.”
Lu YunFei silently took his loyalty card back.
Bian JinYuan served him his drink and asked him to take a seat.
Lu YunFei looked at the chiller nearby, “Aren’t you going to serve my cake?”
“I’ll upsize it,” Bian JinYuan said.
Lu YunFei thought that he was going to give him special treatment, and so he smiled as he took his drink to his seat.
Before he left, he suddenly thought of something and turned back, “How much money do I have left in my loyalty card?”
It had been over a year since he had this loyalty card, and he had often visited this shop. However, no matter how many times he used it, he had never needed to top it up. At this point, Lu YunFei had also found it strange.
“I didn’t check,” Bian JinYuan said without blinking an eye.
Lu YunFei handed him the card once more, “Check it.”
Bian JinYuan couldn’t help it and placed the card firmly back in Lu YunFei’s hand, “Go do your homework, behave.”
Lu YunFei squinted his eyes, a face of understanding, “So it really had something to do with you.”
Bian JinYuan smiled at him, “Do your homework.”
Lu YunFei didn’t push the matter and took his drink to his familiar seat.
Seeing him at his seat, Bian JinYuan swapped with another girl tending the cashier and walked over to the other side.
Lu YunFei concentrated on his homework. It was almost 12pm after he completed two mock papers, time for lunch. He looked at the cashier and noticed that someone else was there.
He was just about to send a WeChat message to Bian JinYuan to ask his whereabouts when he saw him carrying a cake from the other end of the shop.
“Let’s go,” Bian JinYuan walked over to him, “time to eat.”
Lu YunFei looked at the cake in his hand, “For me?”
Bian JinYuan nodded, “Birthday cake.”
Lu YunFei then realised what he had meant by upsizing it. He really had upsized it!
The both of them exited the shop and headed to a nearby diner.
Lu YunFei asked for a private room and ordered some dishes, and then Bian JinYuan opened the cake box and helped him to light the candles on it.
“Make a wish,” he said, “you can still make a wish even though it’s not your actual birthday.”
Lu YunFei looked at him and made the same wish, “I wish that we’ll both have a great future.”
This was the wish he had made when he first made a wish on behalf of Bian JinYuan, and was also the same wish that he had continued making thereafter. This was what he most wanted.
He blew out the candles and cut the cake, one slice for each person.
The cake was delicious. It was his favourite black forest cake. Lu YunFei ate it and couldn’t resist complimenting, “Your shop’s patisserie chef is so amazing, this cake is just as good as the one that my mum custom makes for me.”
Bian JinYuan was delighted, “Really?”
Lu YunFei nodded.
Bian JinYuan said happily, “I made it.”
Lu YunFei paused before he could even gulp the cake down. Bian JinYuan saw that the side of his mouth had cream on it put down his cake to reach out to wipe it off. Lu YunFei brought his head down in embarrassment.
Seeing this, Bian JinYuan’s heart felt ticklish to the point where he couldn’t help himself as he kissed the corner of his mouth. He said warmly, “Good thing you like it.”
Lu YunFei looked up at him shyly to see Bian JinYuan shoot him a smile. Lu YunFei then smiled back and continued eating his cake.
“Does your family know just how amazing you are? You can carve sculptures out of wood and even bake cakes, what a master craftsman you are.”
“They know. They even know that the wooden sculpture was a gift to you.”
Lu YunFei was surprised, “You told your small aunt about our relationship?”
“Not yet,” Bian JinYuan said calmly, “I want to wait until you’re comfortable before telling her. However, I don’t think my small aunt will oppose to it. My choices are paramount where she’s concerned.”
Lu YunFei nodded, “I don’t know if my parents would oppose,” he thought about it for a moment, and realised that he couldn’t figure it out, “forget it, we’ll get to it later.”
“Mmm,” Bian JinYuan also thought that there was no point in overthinking this. To them, the college entrance exams were the most important, so they should focus on everything else only after that. Coming out was a large affair, and he wasn’t in a rush to do so.
Bian JinYuan took a half-day’s leave. After their meal, he and Lu YunFei went to watch a movie. The both of them watched a romance film that left them in a tizzy. Lu YunFei exclaimed, “Is romance so troublesome? That was so messy.”
Bian JinYuan held his hand and stated, “That was them. Don’t worry, it won’t be us.”
He put both of their clasped hands into the pocket of his coat and turned to look at Lu YunFei, “I’m so well-behaved, I’ll listen to whatever you say.”
Lu YunFei felt that the Bian JinYuan in love was way too forward in spouting sweet words!
The lunar new year came exceptionally early this year. Lu YunFei felt that his birthday had only just passed when he heard the homeroom teacher say, “Even though it’s the winter break, remember that next semester is the college entrance exams. There are only a few months till then, so don’t slack off this winter break and study hard!”
Lu YunFei listened and felt slightly emotional.
The Lu family always celebrated the new year with gusto, with a lot of people including family and friends. Compared to them, Bian JinYuan’s family celebration was not noisy at all.
After Bian Jie, Bian JinYuan, and Shuang Shuang had their end-of-year dinner, Bian Jie told Bian JinYuan that she had to visit Shuang Shuang’s grandparents. Bian JinYuan didn’t have an opinion on that, and told her not to worry about him.
“If you’re bored alone, then invite YunFei over,” Bian Jie recalled last new year and settled with, “I’ll leave you some money. Go have something nice to eat at wherever’s open.”
Bian JinYuan heard her suggestion and also recalled the last new year. But the money wasn’t necessary, “I have money,” he said, “Liu jie paid me and even gave me a red packet.”
Speaking of red packets, Bian JinYuan thought about the red packet in his bag that mother Lu had given him. He hadn’t yet opened it, but guessed that it was another card. Last year, he had used the card to repay his loan. This year, he intended for the card to go to someone more deserving.
Bian Jie saw how he didn’t need her money and didn’t try to force it. She knew that Bian JinYuan had his savings, but she had never known roughly just how much. Looks like it wasn’t a small sum.
Bian Jie smiled and rubbed his head, “Our Xiao Yuan also has his own stash now.”
Bian JinYuan smiled, “In the future, there’ll be someone to help me look after it.”
Bian Jie hadn’t expected him to say this, and chuckled, “Looks like Xiao Yuan is in love.”
“I’m already at the age where I should be getting into romantic relationships,” Bian JinYuan didn’t hide it.
Bian Jie shook her head, “But I remembered that someone told me last semester how they wouldn’t be involved in romantic relationships? Not during high school, nor during university. Xiao Yuan, you have a good memory. Help small aunt remember who it was who said that?”
Bian Jie laughed out loud.
Bian JinYuan laughed together with her. He had indeed thought that in the past, but that was before he had met Lu YunFei. Back then, he had no yearning for romance, and didn’t think that it was necessary in life. But he yearned for Lu YunFei. It was a strong yearning, akin to a person stranded in the desert who saw an oasis. This was an oasis belonging only to him, and not to anyone else.
Bian JinYuan was thankful that their meeting wasn’t considered late. It wasn’t too early nor too late, which was why Lu YunFei, who hadn’t yet encountered too many people, had cast his eyes onto himself. If they had met later, Bian JinYuan wasn’t certain that Lu YunFei would be interested in someone as uninteresting as himself.
They were not alike. Bian JinYuan clearly understood that even if Lu YunFei left him, he would continue to live a carefree life, being liked and even loved by others. But he wasn’t the same. Without Lu YunFei, his entire life would become cold and empty.
Those who have crossed the Cāng Ocean aren’t attracted to rivers, those who have climbed Mount Wū find other clouds incomparable.#
Yuan Shuo gave him a call at 10pm to wish him a happy new year, as well as to express his intent to meet him.
“It’s the new year, you’re alone…”
“I’m not alone,” Bian JinYuan interrupted him, “I’m spending new year with my family, so you should also spend it with yours.”
Yuan Shuo fell silent before finally agreeing to it, “Then I’ll visit you after new year.”
This time, Bian JinYuan didn’t reject the notion. He replied with an “Mmm” and wished him a “Happy new year.”
“Happy new year,” Yuan Shuo said once more.
Bian Jie left with Shuang Shuang on the first day of new year after a meal of dumplings with Bian JinYuan, as they headed to Shuang Shuang’s grandparents’ home.
Bian JinYuan did homework at home. When he was halfway done with his mock paper, he received a WeChat message from Lu YunFei.
Lu YunFei teacher Bian what are you busy with?
Bian JinYuan working on mock papers.
Lu YunFei are you alone at home again?
Bian JinYuan looked at the question mark as the corners of his mouth lifted, Fei Fei wants to come over?
Lu YunFei do I need to go over?
Bian JinYuan replied definitely need to!
Lu YunFei laughed and bounced out of bed to grab his bag and run down the stairs.
“Where are you heading to?” Mother Lu saw him preparing to leave and asked in confusion, “We’ve just eaten and now you’re leaving.”
“I’m going to study,” Lu YunFei indicated at his bag, “It’s nearing the college entrance exams mum!”
The relatives who were still at the Lu family’s home witnessed this exchange and met it with approval and envy, as they took the opportunity to educate their children, “Do you see your Xiao Fei ge? Not forgetting to study even during new year! Look at you, you only know how to play! You don’t give me a peace of mind!”
Mother Lu heard this and couldn’t help but smile, “Then how could you go over empty-handed. It’s the new year, go bring teacher Xiao Bian some gifts.”
Saying so, she handed him a box of fruits, “Take this and eat them while you study.”
“How did you know that I was going to visit teacher Xiao Bian?” Lu YunFei asked meekly.
Mother Lu expressed sagely, “Then who else would you be visiting carrying your school bag?”
It looked like in his mother’s eyes, his other friends apart from Bian JinYuan weren’t the studious sort.
“So mum do you like teacher Xiao Bian?” Lu YunFei took the opportunity to probe.
“If I didn’t like him, would I still ask you to bring him gifts?” Mother Lu joked, “If I weren’t afraid that teacher Xiao Bian wouldn’t accept them, I’d have asked you to bring something more expensive instead of fruits.”
Lu YunFei understood, his mum probably really liked Bian JinYuan.
“Thanks mum, I’m off.”
“Go on,” mother Lu patted his back.
Bian JinYuan had been waiting for him at the entrance of the alley. Lu YunFei paid his fare at the entrance and swiftly alighted the car.
“Why have you brought stuff too?” Bian JinYuan looked at the box of longans in Lu YunFei’s hands and quickly took over carrying it.
“My mum heard that I was visiting you and told me to bring you a gift. It’s nice that we can eat them together.”
“Okay,” Bian JinYuan agreed.
Lu YunFei looked at him and suddenly felt that he missed him a lot. Despite having seen each other recently, and despite not having felt this surge in emotion while they were chatting over WeChat, now that they had met, he suddenly realised that he had missed him very much.
“Bian Bian,” he called out softly.
In the next second, Bian JinYuan felt someone hug him.
“I missed you so much,” Lu YunFei said as he hugged him, his head by his ears, his words full of joy.
Bian JinYuan couldn’t help but smile. He raised his hand that wasn’t carrying stuff and lightly held the youth in an embrace, and then couldn’t resist tightening his hug.
“I missed you a lot too,” he said.
The WeChat messages were a little confusing to read but I chose to translate it without adding colons to the sender’s name for consistency with a previous chapter. Honestly I’m not sure if author was too lazy to add colons or if this is a style to portray a quick and casual pace, but I chose to leave it because I thought it was cute. Anyway, hope you enjoyed the fluff!
# This is a phrase that basically says that someone who has encountered the best will no longer find others worthwhile. The original phrase is “曾经沧海难为水，除却巫山不是云” and you can find an explanation in this forum here.