Lin An Lan unconsciously tightened his coat around himself, but suddenly he felt as if he had touched something and looked down to find that he was wearing the ring Cheng Yu had given him.
The ring was small, a tiny one with a beautifully carved tulip, understated and luxurious, just like Cheng Yu, a man of great affection and patience.
Lin An Lan looked at it quietly for a long time then put his hand in his pocket without taking the ring off.
Cheng Yu was right about one thing, he could love him.
Their beginning was a mistake, a mistake in which Cheng Yu deliberately deceived him, but his feelings for Cheng Yu were real.
He did love him.
But it was precisely because he loved him that it was even harder.
Lin An Lan clenched his ring-clad hand and looked out of the window with mixed feelings at the heavy night sky.
It was very late when the taxi stopped again.
As Lin An Lan stood in his own house, he felt a mixture of strange and familiar emotions.
For six months, he had lived almost exclusively at Cheng Yu’s house, a house he used to live in, which became a familiar but now unfamiliar home.
Like, some of the people on his address book.
Rolling up his sleeves, Lin An Lan cleaned the room for a long time until he was tired, and then he changed the sheets on the bed and lay down in it.
He had several dreams that were messy and complicated. He dreamt that Cheng Yu asked him if he didn’t love him anymore. He also dreamt of his former self telling his present self that he didn’t love him in the first place.
Lin An Lan didn’t sleep well and woke up just after 7am.
He sat on the bed for a while, got out of bed then continued cleaning as he had done last night.
When the house was bright and clean and there was nothing more to clean, he sat down again on the sofa and ordered himself takeaway.
Just then, a message from Jiang Xu came through.
How could Jiang Xu not take it to heart when he received a call like that from Lin An Lan yesterday? So after a night of hesitation, he chose to send Lin An Lan a message.
Jiang Xu: [Xiao Lan, how are you doing? Are you still at Cheng Yu’s? Should I come and see you? ]
Lin An Lan thought for a moment then replied, [I am at my house, come over.]
There were some things he wanted to ask Jiang Xu, some things that he wanted to confirm with Jiang Xu.
Jiang Xu arrived quickly, clearly showing that he was familiar with the address.
Lin An Lan had just finished eating and was sitting on the sofa eating fruit.
Jiang Xu didn’t expect happiness to come so quickly. It had only a few days after New Year’s Eve and Cheng Yu’s true colours had been seen through by Lin An Lan– this was simply delightful.
“Xiao Lan.” He sat in front of Lin An Lan with righteous indignation, “I told you Cheng Yu is no good, he’s a liar, he’s been lying to you all along. ”
Taking a sip of tea, Lin An Lan looked at him, “Have you forgotten what you said before? ”
Jiang Xu was a bit stunned, “Huh? ”
“You said that you would never speak ill of him in front of me again. You admitted that you were wrong and that you should feel a trace of guilt towards him. ”
“He lied to you, why are you still speaking for him?” Jiang Xu complained disgruntledly.
Lin An Lan was calm, “One size doesn’t fit all. He may have wronged me, but he has done nothing wrong to you and you are in no position to say anything bad about him.”
“How has he not wronged me? How could you be angry with me if he hadn’t said something bad about me in front of you.”
“Am I angry with you because of him?” Lin An Lan looked straight at Jiang Xu, “Tell me again, what am I angry with you for?”
“Say it.” Lin An Lan asked him, “You said before that you knew you were wrong. Now you tell me, where you were wrong?”
Jiang Xu was silent for a moment before he lowered his head and admitted, “It’s because I, I went to see Cheng Feng behind your back and feel no guilt towards Cheng Yu. Cheng Yu is not at fault, it’s I who is at fault. ”
“What else?” Lin An Lan looked at him.
“What else?” Jiang Xu was puzzled.
“What you said before, that I went to Cheng Yu’s side for you, that you wanted me to go home with him to meet his parents, that. Isn’t that also a point that I’m angry about?”
Jiang Xu froze when he heard this.
Lin An Lan had remembered what he had said yesterday. He didn’t quite understand why he had lost his memory, let alone why he had gone to Cheng Yu and mistaken him for his boyfriend, but if it was true, then he had a less common but seemingly reasonable explanation.
He stared at Jiang Xu and asked him, word for word, “Did you really say something like that to me? Did you really want me to do something like that?”
Jiang Xu tried to deny it, but was unable to say anything.
He hadn’t lied to Lin An Lan verbally. He had only concealed the fact that he had gone to see Cheng Feng, only concealed it. What’s more Lin An Lan hadn’t asked him whether he had gone to see Cheng Feng behind his back, so he hadn’t answered such a question, which naturally meant that he hadn’t lied to him.
He looked at Lin An Lan and it was all written in his eyes.
Lin An Lan sighed as he asked, “Jiang Xu, what do you take me for?”
He felt that he really couldn’t understand Jiang Xu. He had previously thought that Jiang Xu didn’t care about him, that was why he went behind his back and secretly went to see Cheng Feng.
But when he told Jiang Xu he wouldn’t see him again, Jiang Xu didn’t hesitate to cut ties with Cheng Feng, pestered him constantly and even waited at his doorstep on New Year’s Eve, just hoping that they could spend New Year’s Eve together.
He felt that Jiang Xu should also care about him. After all, after so many years of friendship, after having known each other for so many years and after getting along with each other for so many years, how could there not be feelings?
But then Jiang Xu managed to think of getting him to act as a fake boyfriend to Cheng Yu, which would then piss Cheng Feng off for his own benefit.
Lin An Lan felt that he couldn’t understand Jiang Xu, and so had no idea whether Jiang Xu cared or didn’t care for him.
He seemed to care, but then didn’t seem to care at all.
“You’re not stopping me from getting in touch with Cheng Yu now? You were the one who forbade me from making friends with him in the first place, but now you’re the one pushing me towards him to be his boyfriend. Do you want me to approach Cheng Yu or not?”
Lin An Lan was perplexed, “If things have gone the way you hoped, then a few days, a few months before, didn’t I achieve what you wanted perfectly, with the exception of not meeting his parents? On the point of pretending to be his boyfriend, I did, didn’t I? And I even did it with great success, so why, do you pose as if I’ve hurt you, asking things like ‘do I not want you anymore’?”
“Isn’t that what you wanted? Shouldn’t you be content and then rejoice and be glad?”
“It’s my fault, Xiao Lan, I’m sorry. I was confused for a while, that’s why I said such assholish words. I already know I’m wrong and you’ve already scolded me. I know I’m wrong, really.”
Lin An Lan felt that the most he had heard recently was ‘I’m sorry’ and ‘It’s my fault’. Jiang Xu said that to him, Cheng Yu said that to him, everyone was saying sorry to him, but he had clearly never done anything to wrong them.
Was it that he wasn’t good enough for Jiang Xu? He had tried very hard to get Jiang Xu out of the rut of his identity and to grow up healthy.
Was it that he wasn’t good enough for Cheng Yu? Although he hadn’t fallen in love with Cheng Yu before he lost his memory, he hadn’t give him any hope either. He had kept his distance from him, not giving a single trace of ambiguity or a single hint of feelings.
So why then, did they all turn back to wrong him?
Lin An Lan felt tired. Picking up his cup of tea, he took a sip and said to Jiang Xu, “Go away. ”
“You said I’ve already scolded you. I’m still scolding you– even though I don’t know what exactly went on then, I still want to cuss you just thinking about you saying such things to me, so go away. I don’t want to see you now and I’m not in the mood to go through the motions with you.”
“Xiao Lan…..” Jiang Xu looked at him imploringly.
“Leave. “Lin An Lan said calmly, “Let me calm myself for a while, I want to be alone. ”
“Will you forgive me?” Jiang Xu opened his mouth to ask with a weak expression on his face, “Will you be willing to give me a chance to make things right?”
Lin An Lan didn’t answer him. He didn’t know, how could he possibly know? He didn’t even know exactly what the situation was or how serious it was, so how could he possibly know if he would forgive Jiang Xu?
Those memories that he had forgotten were bound to be painful and annoying to him, which was why he had forgotten them and why he didn’t panic when he did.
This, in itself showed that they weren’t pleasant memories per se, and that perhaps he didn’t want to remember them.
After Jiang Xu left, Lin An Lan walked to a more comfortable sofa and quietly sipping his tea, read forum posts.
It was warm inside, his mind was quiet and as he was tired of reading the posts, lay down on the sofa to take another nap.
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