22, Episode Three, This is Life (4)
Smoked a cigarette, drank a glass of tea, two hours later, Xia Zhi arrived on time.
Ye Qia had seen enough and experienced enough of various exotic chrysanthemums, whereas Xia Zhi had seen enough of sumptuousness and luxury; despite wearing a cheap suit on his body, when he went up the stairs he put on a full display of calmness, a full manner of mastery.
Nobody obstructed him, the security guard even nodded in salutation; this is due to the fact that there are a lot of rich people who like to dress-up and use force, rich people like pretending to be a pig to eat a tiger, he can’t put on the image of eating a pig, but pretending to be the tiger’s essence gets seventy-eight**.
Once he found 1307A, he knocked on the door lightly, quite a while later and he still didn’t get an answer.
He stuck his ear against the board of the door and listened for a while, there was no sound, the inside was dead silent.
Fuck, this little brat isn’t playing with me ba? Or is it that this room is soundproofed too well?
Hugging his doubts, Xia Zhi dialed his phone, very fast, he heard the sound of a phone ringing—within the door, after he hung up the ringing from inside also cut off.
He hesitated a moment, then firmly decided to head downstairs and look for the administrator.
The administrator came up in a flash, he made a phone call to prove that the phone was inside, at the same time he explained the situation, expressing a whole lot of worry.
Of course, he would never say that he was here for “debt collection”, just saying that he had “arranged with his friend to meet up”.
The administrator did not doubt him, prepared to use the key to open the door, and both of them walked in together.
The living room was very tidy, the kitchen was very clean, the balcony was also very quiet; the phone was laying on the coffee table in the living room, it was locked, the screen shows a bunch of missed calls.
Xia Zhi stood in the empty except for one living room, just felt that his heart grew hair, his scalp had pins and needles, he slowly turned in a circle at his original spot, faintly smelling a close to untraceable smell.
The smell of blood.
He headed to the bedroom, slowly walked into the half-open bathroom door, after that, he saw Queen laying in the bathtub, soaked in the bloody red water, his beautiful eyes were open.
His already white body was surrounded with frightening wounds, almost not a single piece of skin was unharmed, his chest was sunken in, forming a weird shape, these scars have healed for some time.
In contrast, there were neatly stacked folded clothes at the side of the bathroom, also by the open window of the bathroom there was a blooming rose in a flower vase.
Xia Zhi held his breath, it was like he was trapped in a nightmare he can’t wake up from.
Half an hour later, he sat on the spotless sofa, looking at the woolen rug on the floor in a daze.
Regardless of who were to talk to him, he would not pay attention to them, as if his soul has left his body, until a pair of drab slippers invaded his line of sight.
He lifted up his head, haven’t even seen clearly Ye Qia’s face full of anger, then he got punched in the face.
He was startled for a bit, and the soul that left his body came back into his body at once, he stood up fiercely and returned a punch, but Ye Qia caught it, tugged on his shoulder and pulled him into his arms, using strength to hold him tight.
Ye Qia’s hug was both powerful and tight, it felt like some sort of imprisonment but also some kind of protection, Xia Zhi struggled for a few seconds, then quietened down.
“The police’s preliminary determination says that he committed suicide.”
“This I didn’t know.”
“…… Why did you hit me?”
“Because you are here.”
“…… Then why did you hug me?”
“Also because you are here.”
Xia Zhi stopped for a few seconds, raised up his hand slowly and returned Ye Qia’s hug, and they hugged for a long time.
At night when they reached home, Xia Zhi’s nose was still flooded with the thick, heavy smell of blood; once he entered the entrance of the house he ran into the bathroom, turned on the tap rushing with water, and scrubbed at his skin until it was red.
When he came out, his body was cold like ice; thankfully, Ye Qia had already turned on the heater, and the room was warm like spring.
He walked over, threw himself on the bed, naturally and systematically put one hand on Ye Qia’s thigh.
It was like that for a while, both of them had no interest in talking.
“What happened with Queen?”
“I don’t know the details, but he’s not good at gambling.”
“That means he was forced?”
“Could be.” Ye Qia’s voice was thick with helplessness, “We’ve told him earlier, Queen this person sooner or later will be killed by someone.
The way that he died can already be predicted as the best way already, we even thought that he may be thrown in an irrigation ditch and left to sink.
Listening to Ye Qia’s low and magnetic voice, Xia Zhi’s heart slowly loosened itself, though they weren’t that familiar with each other, just recently met a person and they just died without any omen/premonitions, he is still not used to it.
“Why is he suffering this way, even if he owes 1 billion…… Fine, indeed it is a bit better, but I feel that he still has a lot of life left in him.”
“Queen is just this kind of person, he’d rather die than to live a life of suffering.” Xia Zhi felt Ye Qia’s hand touch his head, drawing a circle then coming back to a stroke, soft and gentle like a feather, “You see him, very willing to accept this kind of life to enjoy, then you will understand how stubborn he really is.”
Xia Zhi was silent for a while, holding on to Ye Qia’s pants, he said, “You say, how did he suddenly just disappear like that?”
Ye Qia breathed a sigh, he said, “People are just like that.”
“Compared to my mother, he had a good life already.”
“People and people are just not the same.”
Xia Zhi’s hand slowly tightened up, he said, “You won’t be like that ba?”
His heart strangely calmed down, rolled over, he said, “You have to manage Queen’s aftermath?”
“Do you want my help?”
“No need, at the end when we say farewell to him I’ll call you.”
Ye Qia also laid down, opened his arms.
Xia Zhi on the other hand rolled out from his blanket, very naturally he rolled back into Ye Qia’s embrace.
Both of them rolled into a blanket, very tightly attached to each other, from night till dawn, not a single dream appeared.
Queen’s funeral was held three days later, it was extremely quiet; according to Ye Qia, Queen’s parents passed on prematurely, and within this career he didn’t have many real friends, only with just the few of them he had some sort of friendship, as for the few clients that he was close with, it wasn’t convenient for them to show their face.
Xia Zhi could see that that man had a sense of majesty, but, in front of Taotie this man was both thoughtful and meticulous.
Magician came by himself, his eyes were red, his complexion was sunken in, the whole time he kept comforting another youth.
Ye Qia said, that was Queen’s little slave, the type who didn’t have much money, and when he just entered this circle he just followed Queen around, when Queen was hospitalised that time, it was this very slave who ran back and forth running around taking care of Queen.
The sky was gloomy, when it waited for them to take the urn filled with ashes from the crematorium and going up the hill, the sky actually drizzled a bit.
The men stood in pairs holding up an umbrella, sending Queen on his last journey.
Within the smoke and the rain, they were like a silent line, each trek on a different life journey, only being able to hope to interfere in the distance but does not have the power to.
Queen has already reached the terminal, at the end of this dull and limpid ceremony, quietly entered the tomb.
“He was smiling as he left.” said Xia Zhi.
“En.” Taotie raised the corner of his mouth, “He surely is having fun in the dark, even after he died he didn’t repay his debt.”
All of them lightly laughed, even the little slave temporarily stopped the sound of his tears.
Putting the urn in the already bought tomb, each of them gave a bow, all has come to an end.
The youth hung onto the tombstone crying with no end, Xia Zhi looked at the photo, Queen was wearing a fireman uniform, a face full of seriousness and handsomeness, and inexplicably thought about the time when they first met.
At that time, Queen was laughing full of happiness, like a carefree child.
The few people didn’t chat with each other, after sealing the tomb and politely exchanging a few words, they left.
Xia Zhi descended the hill, stood at the entrance of the cemetery, looking in the midst of the smokey rain at the devoid of a single person tomb hill, suddenly he asked, “You’ve sent away friends here before?”
Ye Qia nodded his head, he said, “Last time the few peers that I worked together with, not many are alive anymore.”
Then is it possible for you to not do this anymore?
This sentence rolled on the tip of Xia Zhi’s tongue for a long time, in the end he still swallowed it back down and said, “If one day you don’t have this career anymore, I must be the first person you tell.”
Ye Qia turned his head and laughed, he said, “Sure.”
Xia Zhi changed the umbrella to his right hand, extended his left hand, and said, “Let’s go.”
A little gentleness slipped into Ye Qia’s smile as he held onto his hand; in the rain they headed to the car park.
A minute later.
“Aren’t you tired, holding the umbrella like this?”
Five minutes later.
“Really not tired?”
“If you don’t hold hands isn’t it over already?”
“I just want to be romantic, is that not okay?”
Ten minutes later.
“Your hand is shaking.”
“Fuck you, Ye Qia, you’re doing this intentionally is it?”
“I’m just concerned about you.”
“I don’t need your concern…… Ai yo!”
The umbrella was blown away by the strong wind, Xia Zhi panickedly went to snatch the umbrella; it was not easy to snatch it back, turning his head for a look, without hesitation Ye Qia already ran over to the car.
He was furious, rushed over to his cohabitation partner roaring, “You fucker, you ran again! You dare to run some more! You run…… Wait for me, don’t start the car!”
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