He Qiao finally found the right words to describe his mood.
It turned out that he felt a long-lost trace of sadness.
Chi Xueyan didn’t seem to care about his death.
But thinking about it again, he felt that he should be grateful.
At the very least, Chi Xueyan wasn’t abandoned by the person he loved again and he didn’t need to be sad.
This was a good thing for Chi Xueyan.
It might not be a bad thing for He Qiao.
He no longer had to try to hide his feelings.
He was living under the same roof with the other person with a transparent appearance. He could watch the same book and the same movie with the other person. It was at the closest distance and without having to conceal his eyes.
His love could no longer be discovered.
He Qiao was sad and happy, but he also regretted it a little bit.
In the past days, he should’ve talked to Chi Xueyan more.
Now he really longed to talk to Chi Xueyan, but he could no longer be heard. He could only talk to himself.
When Chi Xueyan frowned and changed the channel, he said while also sitting on the sofa, “This show isn’t good.”
When Chi Xueyan opened the takeout box to eat, he said, “Don’t always eat takeout.”
When Chi Xueyan’s newly dyed red hair gradually started to fade, he said while also standing in front of the mirror, “Go to the store to fix the color.”
It was because for the time being, no one could help him check the hair at the back anymore.
“It is good not to dye it.” He Qiao looked at the newly grown black color at the root of his hair and said softly, “Dyeing your hair often isn’t good for your body.”
In fact, he was a little curious about what Chi Xueyan looked like before he dyed his hair red.
There was no chance to see in the past and there was probably no chance in the future.
That photo when he was five years old was too blurry and he had cream all over his face.
Chi Xueyan still couldn’t hear him.
He looked at the mottled and ugly red hair in the mirror for a long time. Suddenly, he bent down to open the cabinet and took out the unused red hair dye inside.
Just when He Qiao thought that he was going to touch up his own color again on his own, he saw Chi Xueyan throw the hair dye and other tools into the trash. Then he picked up the garbage bag and went out the door.
Once he came back again, He Qiao looked at the figure that was both strange and familiar and was stunned for a long time.
The dim yellow light fell on the top of the rich, dark black hair.
Chi Xueyan went to the salon and dyed his hair back to black.
The black-haired man had a gentleness and clearness that He Qiao had never seen before.
A few days later, the middle-aged woman who came to pick up the things was also stunned for a long time when she saw him like this.
The formerly young and beautiful face was full of haggardness. He Qiao almost didn’t dare to look at her.
Sheng Xiaoyue looked at the person who came to open the door and said, “You dyed your hair.”
The black-haired young man, who no longer had an ostentatious temperament, replied to her, “Yes, I don’t like red anymore.”
He Qiao thought that they should’ve met each other at the hospital.
When Chi Xueyan said that he didn’t like red, the woman with slightly swollen eyes silently shed tears.
She usually loved to cry and this time, she was even more tearful.
Chi Xueyan looked at the tears that fell from her eyes and reached out to hug her gently.
Sheng Xiaoyue cried loudly in his arms, crying for a long time. The sound seemed to drown out another transparent person’s response.
“Mom, I’m sorry.”
He Qiao really wanted to hug his mother, whom he hadn’t seen for a long time. Unfortunately, he couldn’t.
Fortunately, Chi Xueyan hugged her for him.
It was also at this moment that he suddenly discovered it wasn’t just his mother who had lost a lot of weight. Chi Xueyan was also the same.
He got along with Chi Xueyan day and night but he didn’t notice the thinness on the back of his white neck, as well as the increasingly distinct collarbone and jawline.
Chi Xueyan, who was emaciated for no reason and dyed his hair black, seemed to have become another person.
He waited quietly and patiently for Sheng Xiaoyue to stop crying. Then he took her to the bathroom to wash her face and led her into He Qiao’s bedroom.
“Xiao Chi, do you want to leave anything behind?”
“No thanks, Auntie.”
He Qiao didn’t have many things left here and they were neatly arranged. It didn’t take long for Sheng Xiaoyue to pack it up.
When she came out with a light suitcase, she lowered her head and whispered, “There are still some clothes that don’t fit… I’ll leave them here.”
She had obviously stopped crying but her eyes became red again.
Chi Xueyan didn’t object and said softly, “Okay.”
Before she left, she saw the takeout bags stacked at the entrance and said to him, “Xiao Chi, don’t always eat takeout.”
“Then I’ll go back first. Don’t send me off.”
Chi Xueyan obediently stopped as he planned to send her downstairs.
He closed the door and also cut off the wail that swirled in the corridor in a low voice.
Immediately afterward, He Qiao saw him turn around and walk toward the bedroom that used to belong to him.
Chi Xueyan opened the door of the closet.
Sheng Xiaoyue hadn’t taken all the clothes, but left some.
Only one area was full.
At the top of the wardrobe, the grid that wasn’t easy to see at a glance was full of neatly folded white shirts.
They were white shirts with dark red hair dye spots and a clean fragrance.
Chi Xueyan looked up at the stack of shirts for a while. Then he took off his coat and hung the jacket full of wet tears in the closet.
Then he closed the closet door and walked out of the bedroom. He never entered it again.
He Qiao saw his increasingly thin back and a thought faintly arose in his heart that made him feel uneasy.
Since this day, Chi Xueyan never ordered takeout again.
From winter to spring, he finished eating the instant noodles hoarded at home and started to learn to cook by himself.
The Internet was full of recipes and teachings. He did them carefully and paid attention to the heat, so the dishes he made weren’t bad.
He Qiao was initially happy that he no longer ate takeout. This was until the pot caught fire one day. When he blurted out, ‘don’t be afraid’, he saw Chi Xueyan not showing any expression.
He turned off the gas switch and closed the lid of the pot expressionlessly, not caring at all about the flames that almost burned his arm.
The fire in the pot was quickly extinguished and the uneasy thought in He Qiao’s heart became colder and colder.
With the passing of spring and the arrival of summer, Chi Xueyan could already cook himself three meals a day.
He cooked alone, ate alone and washed dishes alone.
That casual laziness disappeared and he seemed to be doing well alone.
He Qiao wished he hadn’t become like this.
From time to time in the house, there was the sound of the TV or pages of the book being turned.
But Chi Xueyan no longer changed channels as he pleases, nor did he put down a novel that wasn’t exciting.
According to the order of channel numbers, he watched one station a day. Today it was the first channel, tomorrow he would switch to the second channel when turning on the TV, and so on.
The order of reading books in the bookcase was also from top to bottom and from left to right. He read them one by one and each book will be turned to the last page.
It was an unusually precise and regular order that had never been seen before in his life.
It wasn’t at all like what he would do.
Moreover, when he read a book or watched a show, he no longer smiled or frowned. He just watched without any expression.
By his side, He Qiao told him over and over again, “This book isn’t good. Change it.”
“You obviously don’t want to watch TV. You don’t have to turn it on.”
However, Chi Xueyan couldn’t hear him.
At the end of summer and the start of autumn, Chi Xueyan’s previously dyed black hair had been cut off, and what was left was new growth that belonged to his original black hair.
His parents often called him. Every time, he smiled and said that he was fine. He was just busy and would make time to go back to see them.
This was now the only time he could smile. It reminded He Qiao of himself when he occasionally called his parents in the past.
Chi Xueyan did go out several times for this. Every time he returned home, he was full of bleak exhaustion, as if he had used up all his strength.
He Qiao knew that he had gone to see his parents and sometimes to see Sheng Xiaoyue.
However, he would rather Chi Xueyan go to see that person, the person he had been deeply jealous of.
Or someone else was possible as well.
As long as it was someone Chi Xueyan liked.
As long as it was someone who could still talk to him and hug him.
As long as it was a person who could take him to the hospital immediately after discovering that he couldn’t sleep all night long.
He hoped that such a person would appear.
But it never happened.
Chi Xueyan had always been alone.
It was winter again.
The heating in the room was on and the black-haired young man sitting on the sofa holding a book was visibly emaciated.
He couldn’t sleep at night and often slept unknowingly for a while as he sat on the sofa during the day watching TV or reading a book.
He Qiao couldn’t do anything about all the changes that happened to him.
The only thing he could do was the unperceived companionship and unheard consolation.
When Chi Xueyan woke up from a short sleep and began to look down at the book again, He Qiao’s fingertips passed through the slowly turning pages in vain. “Don’t read anymore, okay?”
What he picked up from the bookshelf in order today was a collection of fairy tales with a warm cover.
Meanwhile, He Qiao no longer read with Chi Xueyan.
It was because Chi Xueyan was simply forcing himself to read and couldn’t get any fun from it.
He just couldn’t find anything else to do.
As he completed this mechanical and rigid work, the anxious He Qiao could no longer focus on the book. His transparent eyes traced over the person beside him over and over again, hoping that some miracle would help him get out of the cage.
This time, his prayer seemed to have come true.
Chi Xueyan’s action of flipping through the book suddenly stopped.
He placed the fairy tale collection in his hand on the coffee table in front of him. After a moment of hesitation, he picked up the glass that had been set to the side.
Just as He Qiao breathed a sigh of relief, he heard a clear sound.
Chi Xueyan didn’t hold the cup steadily and the dark green glass fell to the ground, falling apart in an instant. Debris splashed on the ground and the water wet his slippers.
He Qiao watched Chi Xueyan look down and pick up the glass shards with his hands, and his heart was about to thump again.
Fortunately, Chi Xueyan only picked up a few pieces before he stopped.
The large pieces of dark green glass were casually placed on the opened fairy tale collection, suppressing the pages that were about to be blown by the wind.
Chi Xueyan got up. He didn’t wear the water-soaked slippers as he narrowly bypassed the pile of fallen glass shards and walked barefoot to the calendar hanging on the wall.
After turning another page, it would be the month when He Qiao missed the appointment.
He looked up at the calendar. The light outlined his increasingly thin silhouette and his eyes were quiet.
He Qiao, whose appearance wouldn’t change, stared at him and whispered, “Chi Xueyan, it’s been almost a year.”
“You should forget about me.”
He Qiao rarely called his full name in this way.
Not long after they met again, Chi Xueyan casually told him that he could call himself Xiao Chi.
At that time, He Qiao said, “Okay.”
He Qiao didn’t ask the reason, but Chi Xueyan looked at his usual silent expression and took the initiative to say, “This sounds a lot like a child.”
It was a name that does not quite fit Chi Xueyan’s temperament.
The reason for it was even more inconsistent.
But He Qiao remembered and has been calling him that ever since.
In fact, he also likes this name.
It was obviously the most common name and wasn’t intimate enough, but it had a delicate taste every time it flowed out from between his lips and teeth.
Chi Xueyan was still staring at the calendar.
He Qiao said to himself in vain, “Xiao Chi, I have nothing worth remembering. I am just a person who lived a failed life.”
“Forget me, okay?”
A moment later, Chi Xueyan withdrew his gaze and slowly crossed through his transparent body to get the broom.
He cleaned up the glass shards that had splattered all over the floor with great patience.
From the next day, Chi Xueyan no longer forced himself to read and he never picked up any books in the bookcase again.
The TV was still on but it no longer changed in the order of channels. It always stopped at the news channel.
The house was too quiet and it was more lively with background noises.
He Qiao felt that this change was a good thing.
At the very least, Chi Xueyan got rid of those stereotypical and meaningless behaviors.
It soon reached the day when he missed the appointment.
He Qiao was worried all day. It wasn’t until night fell and he saw Chi Xueyan, who had been staring outside the window in a daze, falling asleep deeply on the sofa that he relaxed.
On this day a year later, nothing happened.
He hoped that his words had played a role and Chi Xueyan had decided to start forgetting him and start saying goodbye to the pain.
He stared at the man in his arms all night.
This was the longest sleep Chi Xueyan had experienced since he fell into long-term insomnia.
He even looked a little brighter when he woke up the next morning.
He Qiao saw him open his eyes and stare at the bright morning light on the ceiling, the corners of his mouth rising slightly.
It was like a dream.
He Qiao hadn’t seen such a relaxed look on the other person’s face for a long time.
He was also relaxed.