Chapter 4: White Villa
I stood on one side and quietly watched him. I was shocked to see an expression of fragility appearing slowly on Luo Yuchen’s expressionless face.
I had seen this expression before. Long ago, Luo Yuchen had the same expression when we were at the hospital with Xia Mingxiu. This was when he thought that Xia Mingxiu wouldn’t survive. It was an expression that made others feel an extraordinary heartache. It made them feel that they didn’t know what to do. He thought that he had covered it up well but the people around him could tell that he wanted to cry but couldn’t.
Ever since he left the soccer team, he gradually became someone who could hide his thoughts. He always looked cold on the surface.
Now that cold mask of his seemed to have broken like glass.
I knew that Luo Yuchen was a proud person. He would put on a strong facade even if he was wronged. He would never let someone else see him when he was weak.
In fact, he still looked expressionless overall. He could have continued acting but there was no one around to see it so he could gradually show his sorrows. The most impactful actors could make the audience feel shrouded by a sense of sadness by simply standing there without crying or smiling. Luo Yuchen currently looked just like that.
Was it because of me?
It looked like he did care about me even though he didn’t love me. He hated me but he wasn’t as heartless as how he had always shown himself to be.
This was sufficient enough to make me feel happy and satisfied.
This was definitely redemption for someone like me who forever loved him.
Xia Mingxiu came back pretty late. He didn’t look as pale as he was when he went out but his expression still looked strange.
I don’t get it. Why was he so anxious for me?
It should have been enough if he was just acting. Luo Yuchen didn’t even bat an eye to it.
We were considered close. We often drank and went out for karaoke together because of Luo Yuchen. I didn’t treat him badly when I was alive but I didn’t treat him well either. I had always made it clear that I was inviting him because of Luo Yuchen; I was inviting him as Luo Yuchen’s “friend” and I clearly showed that I had no desire to give Luo Yuchen to him.
Luo Yuchen changed back to his cold demeanor again after Xia Mingxiu came back. If Xia Mingxiu doesn’t speak, he wouldn’t take the initiative to speak even though he obviously looked defeated. He was trying to act cool but he wasn’t able to hide the fact that he was looking at Xia Mingxiu’s every movement. It was as though he was trying to read something from Xia Mingxiu’s actions.
Xia Mingxiu didn’t seemed to be in the mood to play such games with him but he still kept quiet on purpose. Based on his expression, he seemed to be gloating with clenched teeth on the inside.
I felt very uneasy after I saw that look. I was worried that Fang Xieyi might have told him everything.
I didn’t want Luo Yuchen to find out that I was already dead.
Initially, I didn’t want him to find out because I was worried that my death would affect their relationship. But now, I didn’t want him to find out because I’m worried about him.
Although I didn’t think that Luo Yuchen would laugh happily and live a perfectly happy life after learning that I died, I did think that he would at least feel a few seconds of guilt towards me, the little grass which he had accidentally stepped on in his life journey filled with endless happiness. That was what I thought before I died but I was no longer sure after seeing his state after Xia Mingxiu left the house.
You could say that I was being pretentious or that it was just wishful thinking. However, I think that Luo Yuchen might actually care about me much more than I thought.
It was fine even if it was out of disgust or resentment.
When I was still alive, I would always cling to him, refusing to let him go. However, I didn’t wish for myself to haunt him even after I died.
They were both waiting for the other to speak first.
It was Xia Mingxiu who broke the silence in the end. He broke a glass cup. It was probably by accident but he made it seem like it was on purpose and used the opportunity to bring up the topic.
I really wished that Xia Mingxiu would disappear at this very moment. I didn’t want to see the expression on Luo Yuchen’s face once he found out that I had died.
I had once thought of it. Regardless of whether he was feeling sad for me or not, I didn’t wish to see his expression.
I wouldn’t be unhappy even if he was indifferent.
I was just scared that he would be upset.
I couldn’t bear to see it. I inflicted the cut on myself in hopes that it would be better for him. I had never wanted it to be the source of his pain.
I just felt that the world would have been better without me.
Xia Mingxiu said, “He got leukemia, just like I did before.” It was just a short sentence of eight words but Xia Mingxiu’s eyes reddened.
I stared blankly. I see. Fang Xieyi didn’t tell him that I died but told him about the fact that I was ill.
This… wasn’t a bad way to end it.
Fang Xieyi promised me that he wouldn’t tell him. He would just leak the news that I’m cured afterwards. Then they could treat it as us not meeting ever again.
Luo Yuchen probably wouldn’t think too much of it. There were many friends in life that we never meet again. Sometimes, one would only think about them when one was 70 to 80 years old and ready to see Yama: “Hey, I haven’t seen that guy since he was transferred away when I was 20 years old. I wonder if he’s still alive? Sigh, it has already been sixty years. I thought that it has only been a while since we last met but it has already been so long…”
Xia Mingxiu was someone who had experienced the ordeal before. He knew exactly what leukemia was and how scary it was. He knew just how much one needed to persevere and stay strong to overcome the disease.
What he didn’t know was that I didn’t even have half of his tenacity.
Luo Yuchen stood still without any expression or reaction.
He would always behave this way whenever he faced a sudden problem but Xia Mingxiu saw it as him not giving any thought towards the issue. He became angry and kicked the coffee table between them. He rushed forward and grabbed Luo Yuchen, shaking him back and forth.
“Can you have some sort of reaction? Are you sad? Are you happy? Say something!”
Something felt odd. What Xia Mingxiu had just said could’ve been interpreted in two ways. It could be believed that he was being jealous because Luo Yuchen was worried about me. It could also be because he was feeling sorry for me.
It was obviously not the former. Xia Mingxiu wasn’t someone who was easily jealous. However, Xia Mingxiu wasn’t taking the position as Luo Yuchen’s lover either.
I started realizing the oddity that I have been feeling from them for the past few weeks.
From the very first time Xia Mingxiu appeared by Luo Yuchen’s side, he had been taking the position of “Xiao Heng’s friend” instead of “Luo Yuchen’s lover”.
I had always thought that they looked beautiful together whenever the two of them were behaving sweetly together. Yet, I always felt an oddity. Xia Mingxiu always angered Luo Yuchen for some unfathomable reason but it was all because he was speaking up for me. I could finally understand the reason behind his actions and the oddity that I felt.
It was very clear that Xia Mingxiu’s every action had completely positioned himself as an “outsider”. He was truthfully hating Luo Yuchen’s cruelty towards me. In addition, he was worried about me and feeling sorry for me.
I think that things might have been different from what I imagined. It seems like there were still many things I had not understood. Xia Mingxiu’s actions were something completely out of my predictions. He was keeping a link between me and Luo Yuchen and he was strangely agreeable about us being together. He was also oddly friendly towards the unlikable me.
Luo Yuchen came back to his senses after being shook by Xia Mingxiu. He adopted his usual attitude and went straight to the point: “Have you told Fang Xieyi that S city central hospital has found a suitable bone marrow?”
“Of course I did.”
“Then there’s nothing to worry about.” Luo Yuchen heaved a sigh of relief. He adjusted his collar and sat on the sofa after breaking free from Xia Mingxiu.
Xia Mingxiu was clearly dissatisfied with his calm reaction. He wasn’t able to think of a rebuke so he stood there in silence.
“Are you… not going to ask Xiao Heng about it?” Xia Mingxiu sighed and finally reverted back to the cultured Xia Mingxiu. He sat beside Luo Yuchen.
“What for.” Luo Yuchen was afraid that Xia Mingxiu would suddenly jump at him again so he added in embarrassment, “The call isn’t going through.”
“We don’t even know when it started… Xiao Heng must have been afraid.” Xia Mingxiu said lightly, somewhat mumbling to himself. I saw that Luo Yuchen’s face visibly darkened. Despite that, Xia Mingxiu didn’t stop. He turned around to look at Luo Yuchen and ruthlessly said, “He probably knew that he was ill and that’s why he moved out. You did him wrong. What if he ends up dying?”
That was killing someone intangibly. Luo Yuchen’s face was completely dark after hearing that.
However, the question I was most concerned about popped up again. The phrase Xia Mingxiu used was “you did him wrong” and not “we did him wrong”.
No matter what, he should still have some kind of awareness. He was the one who snatched Luo Yuchen away even though Luo Yuchen was the one who chased me out. It was not his fault that Luo Yuchen liked him and it wasn’t wrong for him to like Luo Yuchen. However, I liked Luo Yuchen first and he had agreed to be my lover. The actual statement should have been that “both of them have wronged me.”
He kept moving one step backwards and placing himself as an outsider. He was also unreasonably blaming Luo Yuchen for treating me badly. I don’t understand.
It was a disaster the next day when Luo Yuchen had to take publicity photos for his new album. The album was specifically set to be released on Valentine’s Day next year. The idea was very creative. On Valentine’s Day, single girls would probably feel happier after getting a very handsome idol’s new album. With this as the main idea, the album will consist mostly of upbeat love songs. It was not meant to make someone cry alone at home while listening to the CD.
Luo Yuchen was wearing a brand new golden suit. He wasn’t able to sweetly smile when he was supposed to.
It had always been okay for him to take pictures without a smile. However, the intended effect of this album was “A Sweet Valentine’s Day” so he must smile.
He was still expressionless no matter how the staff tried to beg and ask him to smile.
In the end, a lackey proposed the idea of bringing Xia Mingxiu, who was currently making a guest appearance in a fashion show on the same floor. There weren’t many people who were able to come to the true conclusion about their relationship but everyone knew that the two of them got along well together. Anyone that wasn’t blind would be able to see that Luo Yuchen’s ice mask would melt whenever Xia Mingxiu was around.
It was supposed to be a wise idea but to everyone’s disappointment, Xia Mingxiu wasn’t effective against Luo Yuchen today.
When Xia Mingxiu arrived and saw Luo Yuchen, he left without saying a word.
The people around didn’t know the inside story so the rumor that the two celebrity friends were fighting spreaded out.
Luo Yuchen had always been obstinate and was unable to do anything that didn’t go with his mood. The staff tried their best for the whole day but they could only pack up in embarrassment.
I felt that my matters were largely responsible for this.
When I died, I wasn’t expecting a call from the hospital to my home. The call had made everything complicated. It was supposed to be very simple: after our breakup, Luo Yuchen and Xia Mingxiu would live happily ever after with Xiao Heng completely out of the picture.
At the carpark, Luo Yuchen sat in his car but didn’t start it up.
I had thought that he was waiting for Xia Mingxiu but I remembered that Xia Mingxiu told him that he wouldn’t be able to return home tonight. There were some activities regarding Xiao Lu’s “Midsummer Wind” at L.A. so Xia Mingxiu would be busy for two days with Xiao Lu on the other side of the ocean.
Xiao Lu might take the chance to make a move. Who knows.
I looked at where Luo Yuchen had been staring at and saw the person that he was waiting for.
It was Fang Xieyi with his silver Mercedes.
Luo Yuchen got out of the car and walked towards him. Fang Xieyi seemed to have been prepared for this and elegantly waited there.
“Director Fang.” Luo Yuchen was surprisingly very polite this time.
“Is there something you need?” Fang Xieyi asked with a smile but his eyes weren’t smiling. Luo Yuchen was an ungrateful and fickle man in his eyes. He had probably attached the title of ‘playboy’ on Luo Yuchen. To be honest, he has wronged Luo Yuchen by thinking like this.
It was me who refused to let him go.
Luo Yuchen was visibly having an internal conflict. Everyone knew that he rejected me before so he would be shooting himself in the foot by speaking. Fang Xieyi wasn’t the only one who knew. Xiao Lu and Xia Mingxiu saw it clearly as well. Despite that, he still asked after much struggle.
“Is Xiao Heng… okay?”
Fang Xieyi snorted. Luo Yuchen was naturally unable to understand the reason behind the snort. I understood since I knew the truth. That snort contained his mockery, scorn, heartache and helplessness. He was also gloating at Xia Mingxiu.
I was really worried that he would just tell Luo Yuchen the truth.
Fortunately, Fang Xieyi was still Fang Xieyi. He was still the Fang Xieyi who would keep his promise with very high forbearance. He leisurely lit a cigarette and let Luo Yuchen wait. Only after the whole car park was completely silent did he indifferently and slowly said, “You have no right to be concerned about Xiao Heng’s matter anymore…”
Luo Yuchen would definitely be angry after hearing this sentence. He would most certainly turn around to leave and never ask about me again. I wasn’t expecting him to do anything else. His actions had always been predictable.
What made me uneasy was the fact that he actually stood there without moving. He didn’t even look angry. He was like a newly married wife who was facing the madam. He spoke politely and uneasily, “Please tell me… If not, I will feel guilty.”
Luo Yuchen had always been like this. He always spoke without thinking twice. Unfortunately, Fang Xieyi had always been sensitive. He said in mockery: “and here I thought you still had some kindness in you to ask about Xiao Heng but it was actually to rid yourself of your guilt.”
Though his words were misinterpreted, Luo Yuchen wasn’t angry. He quickly and politely explained, “That’s not what I meant. I’m just… worried about Xiao Heng…”
He was worried about me?
“You’re worried about him?” It wasn’t just me. Fang Xieyi was also shocked to hear that sentence from Luo Yuchen who had always despised and abused me.
If I were still alive, I would be willing to be abused by him for twenty or even thirty years just to hear that sentence from him. This was not mentioning the ten years that I was with him.
I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry now that I had heard it. I would rather he didn’t say that.
It was too late to hear it now regardless of whether it was real or fake. I’m already dead. I can’t possibly revive now.
Luo Yuchen lowered his eyes when he heard Fang Xieyi’s sarcastic tone. It was already remarkable for a headstrong person like him to humbly listen to someone else for so long while being scorned.
Fang Xieyi ignored him and started his car. Luo Yuchen knew that he was not going to get an answer from Fang Xieyi. He didn’t know that the person who was always obedient and concerned for him was dead. He could only knock on the car window pitifully and ask Fang Xieyi to pass on his message to me: “Please let Xiao Heng know that I’m very worried about him and ask him to contact me!”
Fang Xieyi ignored him and drove away condescendingly.
I watched as Luo Yuchen returned home dispiritedly. He laid down on the sofa but he lost the comfort of his usual days.
I have seen his unhappy look before in the past. He was unhappy because of me. Usually, he would fiercely throw the pillow on the sofa. Then I would head over willingly and ask him what was wrong. He would then be able to direct his anger at me. I was more effective than a pillow.
However, it seemed like he didn’t care about the pillow if I wasn’t there for him to vent his anger.
He started trying to call me. He called for a few times but there was only the notification that my phone was switched off. He became more downcast.
He was worried about me but I was also feeling upset. I would rather he roared at me.
It was because of my weakness that we became what we are today.
He laid on the sofa dispiritedly and ended up falling asleep.
Although there was a heater, one might still catch a cold without a blanket during winter. This person cannot take care of himself at all when I’m not around. How worrying.
The first thing Luo Yuchen did when he woke up was to check his phone. In the past, I would always force him to switch off his phone before sleeping as I was worried about the radiation. However, he didn’t switch off his phone last night. He put down his phone in disappointment and laid back on the sofa dispiritedly.
I was right by his side watching him yet I couldn’t do anything when I saw him like this.
Then he suddenly sat up. His eyes had a peculiar light as if he remembered something. He picked up the handset and dialed with his slightly trembling fingers.
The number he was calling was for the directory assistance.
“Hello, please give me the number for Area L’s moving company.”
I quickly understood. He could find out where I had moved to after asking the moving company which helped me move.
However… I wouldn’t be there.
Luo Yuchen was happy yet nervous at the same time. I normally wouldn’t expect such emotions to have been caused by me but I can only say that it was hard to predict what will happen in life.
He quickly dressed up after getting the address. He even checked himself in the mirror. Then he rushed downstairs to his car.
He was still visibly excited in his car but I could only feel sad as I watched him.
I had always thought that we wouldn’t have any connections after I died.
If it was actually so exciting to see me, why didn’t you show that even once when I was alive?
The place that I moved into was a newly bought villa by Fang Xieyi at Bin Hai Lu. However, Fang Xieyi probably wouldn’t move in after I had died there.
After a forty-plus minutes ride, a white three-story building with a front courtyard appeared before our eyes. Bin Hai Lu is a luxury residential area so every villa is well distanced from one another. The white and tidy street was also relatively empty. Luo Yuchen parked his car at the side of the road and came out.
The gate at the front courtyard was locked and it was locked from the outside. It didn’t look like someone was living inside. Seeing this, Luo Yuchen stared blankly.
He thought that he would definitely get to see me when he rushed here.
He didn’t give up. He grabbed the iron gate railing and shook it. He faced the quiet white house and shouted my name a few times.
Naturally, there was no answer.
He wasn’t resigned to it. He took out his phone and called the moving company again.
After confirming with the moving company that this was the correct place, he shouted my name a few more times but to no avail.
Luo Yuchen wasn’t someone who gives up easily. He removed his outerwear and started climbing the fence.
After Luo Yuchen climbed over, he looked around hesitantly. Then he walked on the small pathway in the nicely decorated courtyard towards the door and knocked on the door.
The door wasn’t locked. He was only knocking for show. After knocking for a bit, he opened the door by himself.
It was empty inside. The floor was decorated and the wall was painted. However, there wasn’t any furniture. The house looked as if it was waiting for someone to move in. When I saw Luo Yuchen standing there lost, I felt a pang in my heart.
He walked in. The sound of his footsteps reverberated in the empty house. He first took a look around the first floor. Then he went up to the second floor by the spiral staircase in the hall.
There was a simple bed on the second floor.
He didn’t know that that was where I slept for the last time.
However, he still stopped.
It was filled with many things that I had left behind. Fang Xieyi probably didn’t know what to do with them so he left them here.
After spending ten years with me, Luo Yuchen only needed one glance to know that those were my items. He walked forward and took a careful look as though he was possessed.
His slender fingers swept past my books. It touched the bedding that I brought along after moving out of my “home” in a fit of pique and some other random items and my few luggage.
He opened the luggage one by one. I felt so helpless because he had managed to guess the password to my luggage in one try.
Other than my clothing, the rest of the items inside were my treasures.
I had long lost my dignity because of my love for him. I’m not afraid of letting him see.
My treasures were all related to him. I had collected all the limited edition and deluxe edition CDs released since his debut days. There were also photo albums, recordings and portraits, etc. It was basically the collection of a fanatic fan.
Of course, what I had more than normal fans were some of the apparels he wore during his performance. I never received any gifts from him before so I could only feel happy from collecting these. I would also unhesitantly purchase items that were sold in bazaars.
He once told me in disdain that this wasn’t love but infatuation.
I didn’t see any difference between the two.
He looked for a while. He had rather sharp eyes as the item he grabbed was a small velvet box.
The item that laid in the box was a simple silver ring.
He stared blankly for a moment before he took it out and looked at it.
Then he lost his calm expression. It became confused, warm, and sad.
I dare to say that he didn’t even remember that we had that ring before he picked it up.
When he was 20 years old, I gave him a simple silver ring.
Amongst all the gifts that I gave him, the only thing he was fond of was the earring that Xiao Lu designed. As for the ring, he only looked at it in ridicule before he threw it somewhere.
A ring was a very small object. If you didn’t treasure it, finding it would be very difficult once you lose it.
I had never dared to let him know that it was a pair of rings.
The ring that I gave him was carved with “Love from H”.
H is “Heng”.
As for the ring that I secretly kept, it was carved with “H love C forever”.
Back then, I didn’t think about how long the “forever” would be. It was probably for my whole life. Looking at it now, it really was for my whole life.
He tried wearing the ring. However, I didn’t have beautiful hands so the size of my fingers would definitely be bigger than his beautiful and slender fingers. It was loose on his fingers so he held the ring in his hand bitterly.
Sometimes Luo Yuchen was really beyond my understanding. He held onto that small ring in appreciation and sat there from sunrise to sunset.
His expression was very gentle and sad.
I didn’t know why he was like this. I felt afraid of seeing him like this.
I was afraid that he would suddenly realize that he actually liked me a little.
He must not realize. If he does, then I have made a grave mistake.