Ch2 – Little kids in kindergarten don’t chase stars
PUBLISHED ON 26 March 2022
Xin Yi was taken inside the auditorium, placed on the right side of the aisle, Zhou MuHui was wearing a baseball cap and slightly bent his waist in front of him, telling him that once it had ended, to go to the side door, to wait for him to go home together.
Xin Yi silently nodded, said ok in a small voice, Zhou MuHui originally wanted to go, but for an unknown reason he paused, Xin Yi confusedly asked him what was wrong, he didn’t respond, but on the next second he took off his cap.
“I’ll be quick.”
Zhou MuHui put the cap on his head, used it to shelter them, and kissed him.
Xin Yi then felt like he was sleepwalking, Qi Fang was staring at him from the stage, Xin Yi saw it, and grinned at him, the other party widened his eyes as if he saw a ghost, but Xin Yi didn’t pay attention to it.
His whole heart was about to flutter out, hoping that this speech could finish soon, so he could go home earlier with Zhou MuHui.
When the crowd dispersed, he ran faster than anyone else, the narrow back door was hidden, on both sides were two towering giant trees, Xin Yi made use of the trees’ shadow to move there, squatted in the corner eagerly looking at the door.
But he didn’t see the person he was waiting for.
The noise in the lobby has been gone for a long time, but no one pushed open the door in front of him, Xin Yi switched from various positions, squatted down then stood up, stoop up then squatted down, but he didn’t see Zhou MuHui who he was waiting for.
He then had some doubts about it, but when his hand reached inside his pocket, wanting to call and ask Zhou MuHui, he panicked.
He came hastily and was absent-minded, he was tossing and turning at school, and he actually had forgotten his phone in the classroom.
Xin Yi paused for a moment, not knowing if he should go inside to find him, or stay still, just waiting there.
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A minute then a second passed, the sky was also getting darker, not a sound came from the empty lobby, Xin Yi also suppressed the idea of going to the classroom to find his phone.
He didn’t dare to leave, he was afraid that once he left, Zhou MuHui would come.
Xin Yi squatted down again, looking like a kid that had been abandoned by adults, hugging his legs and lowering his head, watching the ants on the ground that were running here and there.
The lamps on the street beside had already changed two rounds of colors, and the school security came to patrol on the street.
“Kid, don’t be playful.”
The flashlight flashed Xin Yi’s face, and the other party called him, “It’s already ten o’clock, hurry, go back.”
Xin Yi didn’t expect that it was this late already, he was stunned for a moment, then explained in a small voice to the other party, “I am waiting for someone, I am going to leave in a while.”
“Then hurry up ok, it’s late already, it’s not safe.”
Xin Yi nodded, his chaotic heart slowly calmed down.
He let out a long and anxious breath, in the quiet dark night, he was slowly thinking.
Zhou MuHui said that he was going home together with him, so…
There was no need to be in a hurry.
Zhou MuHui will eventually come.
When Zhou MuHui came back, Xin Yi was about to fall asleep, he was leaning against the tree confusedly, and was woken up with a startle by a set of footsteps in disarray.
The dim moonlight was broken by silence, Xin Yi rubbed his eyes, looked at the man who was catching his breath, slowly woke up, raised his head, and smiled.
He opened his arms, looked at Zhou MuHui naively.
“…what about your phone.”
Zhou MuHui regained his breath, the back of his hand brushed the clothes on his back, lowered his head, and asked him.
“I forgot it in the classroom.”
Xin Yi put his arms down, and was slowly feeling a bit restless, “I was afraid that you wouldn’t be able to find me, so didn’t dare to leave.”
He sneaked a glance at Zhou MuHui, Zhou MuHui was looking at him without expression, Xin Yi was stunned, raised his head at a loss, “Are you angry?”
His gaze was fidgety, but Zhou MuHui didn’t answer him.
The man closed his eyes, the hand behind his back was slightly trembling, even though he tried to calm it, it didn’t stop even after a long time.
Zhou MuHui didn’t dare to move, he was afraid that Xin Yi would discover it, he was scared.
“Can you not be angry…”
Xin Yi saw that he didn’t move even after a long time, carefully getting close, held the corner of his clothes, “I was always afraid that you would come out in the next second, so I didn’t dare to move, I didn’t deliberately did not reply to you.”
And also didn’t deliberately stay there for so long.
Zhou MuHui squatted down in front of him, caressed his soft hair, only opened his mouth after a long while.
He was piggyback carried by Zhou MuHui, the man’s back was broad, but the back of his neck was soaked with sweat, Xin Yi’s heart softened, slowly laid down on his back, and wrapped his arms around his neck.
“Legs are still numb?”
After a while, Zhou MuHui asked him.
“Not numb anymore.”
Xin Yi said in a small voice.
Zhou MuHui wanted to pull him up back then, but Xin Yi didn’t straighten up even after half a day, the man’s frown didn’t straighten down, Xin Yi was awkward and embarrassed, finally murmured, “cannot get up anymore.”
The man sighed but still carried him on his back.
They were going home together, the road was quiet and nobody spoke, Xin Yi was lying on his back obediently, like a chick that has returned to its nest, but his eyes slowly became wet.
“…what is wrong?”
Zhou MuHui could perceive that he was slightly getting choked up, asked him.
Xin Yi shook his head in a hurry, and did his best to hold back his tears.
He just thought about the divorce agreement again.
It was another long while during which no one spoke, Xin Yi was gripping on his clothes, holding back his sadness, but heard him say in the next second.
“…not angry at you.”
The man’s voice had an astringent tone to it and paused his footsteps.
He seriously tried to elaborate.
But Xin Yi almost could not hold back, randomly nodding, but no matter how he couldn’t persevere.
“I know…it’s just…it’s just..how can you be so good…”
Making Xin Yi like him so much, but also knowing that he was about to throw away Xin Yi.
Zhou MuHui was silent, only carrying him and walking forward, the wind carried away the choked-up emotions that Xin Yi hid in his heart, Zhou MuHui didn’t get it, but sensitively could sense that he was in low spirits.
“A newbie, that a colleague is in charge of, got into a bit of trouble, we kept dealing with it.”
Zhou MuHui said, “I didn’t intend to come back so late.”
Zhou MuHui was very stupid, and couldn’t only slowly mention things that could’ve made Xin Yi sad.
“I know… I saw the news.”
“Qi Fang changed route at the last moment, they did not stop him.” Zhou MuHui lifted him a bit, said in a low voice, “He got bumped into by the fans, I was just about to walk toward the back when I got called up.”
So he could only send a text to Xin Yi, telling him to go home first.
Xin Yi knew that he certainly got held up by something, that’s why he didn’t come to find him, he leaned on Zhou MuHui’s back, asked, “Then is he ok?”
“A few bruises.”
Zhou MuHui paused for a little, then talked again, “I didn’t find you when I got home, I circled around.”
That’s why he came so late.
The text he sent didn’t get a reply after half a day, only after he got free that he noticed Xin Yi disappeared, Zhou MuHui’s heart missed half a beat, held his phone and rushed outside.
“I know… I know…”
Xin Yi almost couldn’t hold up his tears, he tightly held onto Zhou MuHui, his cheeks nestled into the back of the other party’s neck, his voice was very light, “You won’t abandon me, you will come back to find me.”
So…so, why do you want to divorce me.
It was already late at night when they returned home, Xin Yi’s school was very far, it takes almost two hours to get to the city center, he woke up with a startle once again when Zhou MuHui put him down, he confusedly hugged Zhou MuHui, “I’ll accompany you.”
Zhou MuHui got delayed by things, a four or five days business trip got extended to more than a month, the things he took back haven’t been tidied up.
He rubbed his eyes, got up from the bed, he pulled Zhou MuHui to tidy it together.
“If you are tired just go to sleep.”
Zhou MuHui saw him let out a yawn, frowned.
Xin Yi shook his head, leaned on his arm, touched the scar on his face, said in a small voice, “not tired.”
The scar on the man’s face was long and narrow, it was a wound left when he was young, people who knew about him were afraid of him, people who didn’t know about it used this scar to exclude him, just like Qi Fang did in the morning, making up things as he would randomly hit people.
Xin Yi didn’t like it when people talked nonsense, because Zhou MuHui was obviously very good, but Zhou MuHui didn’t care about it, even if sometimes people point and criticize him in his face, he could also turn a blind eye.
“Do you have class tomorrow?”
Zhou MuHui asked him, pausing his hand movement.
Xin Yi nodded, followed the posture of it, it fell on his knees(*), he then held his fingers, playing with them.
Zhou MuHui saw the little remnants of things left in his eyes, the hand that was held moved, gently got out of the hold.
He carried Xin Yi up, not caring about these things anymore, “we’ll do that tomorrow.”
Xin Yi was stunned, suddenly asked, “We’ll do that together tomorrow?”
Zhou MuHui lowered his head to look at him, his eyes gradually carried a smile, he then put Xin Yi who looked at him with embarrassment on the bed, “we’ll do that together.”
Xin Yi couldn’t hold his smile, Zhou MuHui wrapped him in the quilt, brushed aside the hair on disarray on his face, told him, “Don’t come to this kind of event in the future, it’s not safe.”
The crazy actions of the fans during the daytime were still fresh in his mind, Zhou MuHui was only rejoicing that at that time Xin Yi already left, otherwise, in a crowd surge, he would really be worried.
Half of Xin Yi’s face was buried into the quilt, nodding, obediently saying alright.
He did not dare to say that actually, he had already gone a lot of times, when the man was awfully busy, Xin Yi could only do that in order to not disturb him, but sneakily get to see him.
“Chasing stars1 is also not ok, if you like someone, just tell me.”
The man added.
Xin Yi is ten years younger than him, he knows that kids at that age all like to chase stars, Xin Yi wasn’t an exception.
Last time, he found at home some handheld concert props of some star.
But Xin Yi made his way out of the quilt, blinked, and looked at Zhou MuHui, spoke in a small voice.
His voice was really small, Zhou MuHui didn’t hear it clearly, asked, “what?”
“I don’t chase stars…”
Xin Yi was embarrassed by his gaze and captured Zhou MuHui’s hand to cover his own face as if he was telling a secret.
“I chase my husband…”
(*) I read that sentence many times before understanding it: ZMH’s hand stopped, he must have dropped his hand along his body (meaning it was near his tight/knee) and Xin Yi just followed the movement of his hand before catching his fingers.
Chase a star (追星 zhui xing) is not literally chasing after celebrities, it imply that one is their fans, and follow all sort of their activities (concert, fan meet ups, etc).
In a blunt way, it’s being a groupie.
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