T/N: The Chinese name of this song is 暗涌 by Faye Wong.
It was to be a night memorable enough to be engraved on an epitaph, in the form of a poem, and doused with glittering golden paint. The feeling that Lu Chengze gave people wasn’t simply “shining love”1 A song by Elva Hsiao. This refers to a line in Chapter 7. like I had previously imagined. He was polite and presumptuous, and made me feel valued yet plundered. A kind of superego pleasure that made me shiver long after the end.
True satisfaction had an aftertaste which needed to be savored . My legs were wrapped around his waist. I refused to let go and maintained this posture indulgently.
We were both hot and sweaty, and finally, Lu Chengze carried me down to take a shower. Yes, carried me, as per my request. Then I pushed against his back muscles, in order to be able to put myself next to his ear, and told him in a light voice: “You are so likable.”
He stopped, his broad shoulders shrugged slightly, and he pretended to laugh in secret.
When we were showering, I was curious: “Where do you get your muscles from when you sit in front of the computer every day?”
He said, “I like swimming.”
I was surprised: “You really swim?”
Lu Chengze said, “I do swim. I go when I have time but that time decreased after I met you.”
I frowned, recalling what he had previously told me in our chat: “Could it be that you also bake, bike, and play basketball?”
Lu Chengze smiled: “Yes.”
It turned out that his “just playing games” was only to amuse me. I angrily removed the shower head and aimed it at him: “You big liar.”
He swiftly hid in the corner, and swiped his wet bangs away from his forehead, with water drops hanging from his eyelashes. The bathroom was foggy and his actions looked like a pretense.
I pinched his arm.
He was in pain and looked at me in befuddlement.
I asked: “Does it hurt?”
Lu Chengze nodded.
Me: “That’s good.”
Lu Chengze’s face was still looking like, “???”.
I said: “Confirming that you are a living person, not artificial intelligence.”
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Nw Ubldtgl oyp yxwple: “Gavkqknkyz kdvlzzktldnl nyddsv ldvla oyvla.”
R pyke: “Yyucl uswa pjkd kp xyel sq y oyvlarassq xyvlakyz.”
Tl rwzzle xl kdvs bkp yaxp. Tkp hsknl pswdele xkpnbklhswp, xkmle kd vbl bsv oyvla hyrsa: “Zlp, svblaokpl R oswze byhl pbsav nkanwkvle kd vbl cle fwpv dso.”
R tzyale yv bkx, vwadkdt vs zssj yv vbl oyzz vkzlp, rwarsplqwzzu dsv zssjkdt yv bkx.
Tl vwadle xu qynl cynj yaswde, zsolale bkp blye yde jkpple xl. Gqvla y rlnj, bl pvsrrle yde zssjle yv xl qsa y obkzl. Mbl zssj kd bkp lulp oyp xlydkdtqwz yde vblal pllxle vs cl xskpvwal kd bkp lulp. Rv oyp yzoyup vbkp zssj obknb xyel xl qllz vbyv bl bye zshle xl qsa y zsdt vkxl. Mbyv bl zshle xl ps xwnb.
Ebld R tsv cynj sd vbl cle, R pvyavle vs qllz pzllru yde kd y eygl. Ebkzl R oyp pzllrkzu zukdt kd Nw Ubldtgl’p yaxp, R qlzv bkx jkpp xu qsalblye yde vbl vkr sq xu dspl. Ebu eke bl zkjl vs jkpp xl ps xwnb? Eyp vblal pwtya sd xl?
R cldv vbl nsadlap sq xu lulp yde nyzzle swv vs bkx zygkzu: “Nkvvzl rydey.”
Tl alrzkle, “Zlyb.”
R takddle, cwv eked’v pyu y osae.
Nw Ubldtgl, vbkp nwakswp twu: “Tso nsxl usw esd’v prlyj yqvla nyzzkdt psxlsdl?”
R nypwyzzu ypjle: “Gal ol eyvkdt dso?”
Nw Ubldtgl iwknjzu alrzkle: “Xq nswapl.”
Tkp alprsdpl sq “sq nswapl” nywple y pxyzz “cssx” vs snnwa kd xu caykd yde vbl alxykdkdt pollv vbswtbvp vs lhyrsayvl. R srldle xu lulp yzz vbl oyu: “Twb? El yal yzalyeu eyvkdt?”
Nw Ubldtgl: “Zlp.”
R qlzv xu lulzkep xshl iwknjzu: “Ebld?”
Nw Ubldtgl’p lmralppksd oyp schkswpzu pvyavzle: “Lso, fwpv dso, vos eyup yts——” Tl oyp rascyczu wdyczl vs qkde vbl prlnkqkn rskdv, yde ldele wr pvyakdt yv xl. Mbld bl pxkzle okvb bkp zkrp ralpple vstlvbla: “Ebu yal usw ps pwarakple?”
R pyv wr: “Jlnywpl R eked’v jdso yv yzz.”
Nw Ubldtgl qszzsole xl wr, yefwpvle bkp pkvvkdt rspvwal, yde xlv xl qynl vs qynl kd y xsal qsaxyz xyddla. Gp kq ol olal vyzjkdt yp wpwyz, bl pyke: “Mbld pbyzz ol nsdqkax kv dso?”
“Wait a moment,” I stopped him: “Are you sure? Would you like to think about it again?”
Lu Chengze frowned slightly: “What is there to think about?”
I said: “We have known each other… for about ten days?” I didn’t count, it was most likely less than that.
Lu Chengze said: “We have only met for a week, and today is the seventh day.”
When he said this, an expression of incomprehension slowly appeared on his face, as if a layer of complex emotions was pieced together. The transparent gray mask stripped him of his intuitive and bright look, and turned his expression gloomy.
I didn’t know what I was worried about. Everything happened too fast. Lu Chengze didn’t know me enough, and I didn’t know him enough. I didn’t want to constrain myself into a fixed relationship too quickly, even if I felt very disappointed after saying those words aloud. But they were the truth, and I must listen to my feelings instead of living in foolish denial and forcing myself into this relationship. It’s just that there was a major lapse in my judgment. I didn’t expect that in Lu Chengze’s eyes, our relationship had already taken a leap forward.
After a few seconds of silence, I began to remedy, and softly suggested, “Shall we continue getting to know each other? It just so happens that both sides should calm down and think carefully.”
Lu Chengze’s black eyes clung onto me: “You still need to think about it. Is that right?”
I paused and confessed: “I think I might need to.”
Lu Chengze said, “I don’t need to.”
After Lu Chengze emotionlessly spoke these four words, he started doing something that caught me by surprise but, at the same time, understandable—— silently picked up the sweatshirt that he wore when he came over, from the end of the bed, putting it on, and got off the bed and put on his trousers.
I watched him orderly dress himself, and the emptiness in my chest which had been filled earlier, seemed to have a gaping hole, and a dull ache.
Finally, he calmly said: “I’m going back first, you should rest early.”
I was considering asking him to stay because it was already early morning, but I had a hunch that I would probably fail.
I scrambled off the bed like I was about to head into battle and ran out of the bedroom.
He probably didn’t expect that I would chase after him while unclothed. He first looked around nervously to see if there were any windows around and then said to me, “Go back into the room.”
I said, “It’s late, you can stay here for today.”
He looked at me seriously: “It’s not too late.”
I knew there was something in his words, but I still couldn’t give him a definite answer at this moment..
After a few seconds of silence, his tone became gentle and his words echoed the distance between us: “Go in so you don’t catch a cold. I’m leaving.”
As soon as I sat down by the bed, I heard the sound of him closing the door.
To be honest, I didn’t feel much anger from him, and his appearance of being neither gentle nor serious seemed more like a kind of thorough disappointment.
After Lu Chengze left, the room was empty and slowly, it cooled, like an oversized empty refrigerator. I was sitting on the bedside, playing with my fingers, and was dumbfounded. Who knew what I was thinking. All I knew was that my eye sockets were slowly stung with a needle-like heartache, and then quietly cooled down.
I noticed that Lu Chengze’s flying bird ornament was still on my desk, so I got out of bed and brought it over. I tried to hang it while standing on my tippy toes several times, but failed. I couldn’t reach it even when I stepped on the pillow. In the end, I put it back in the carton.
Approaching noon of the next day, I unexpectedly received a message from Lu Chengze while I was on my way to a meeting. He was still pinned to the top of my list of chats. Though I hadn’t yet seen the content of his message and only saw the notification, at that moment, I felt like there was a pacemaker yanking hard on the upper part of my heart.
The chat interface displayed his casual invitation: Go out for lunch at noon?
——It was as if we never parted on an unhappy note last night.
I guess he might have thought about it for a long time after he got home, and perhaps decided to compromise on my point of view and wanted to discuss it face-to-face, but it couldn’t be helped. I happened to have an appointment with a client at noon. It took me a while to formulate a reply that I thought carried a pleasant tone, and declined his invitation.
But I didn’t expect this to become the cause for the divide between us to widen.
In the next few days, I didn’t meet Lu Chengze on the subway. We lost all contact and not a word was exchanged between us..
Several times, I wondered if he had deleted me from his contacts, but no, I could still see his Moments, but there were no new posts.
His playlist was no longer being updated.
I checked it several times a day, as if it was a kind of reflex. At a weekend dinner, I talked about it with my friends. They were all curious, asking me, “Did you sleep with him?” I nodded, and they smiled excitedly: “Then that’s fine. Sleeping means winning.”
I struggled to put on a smile while feeling a sudden emptiness: “It still feels like a loss to only sleep with him once.”
But I was not sad enough to want to “disappear off the face of the earth.” I continued going about my days as before: going and getting off work, going shopping, singing, drinking, playing murder mystery games, browsing through Weibo, Douban, and Taobao, updating my social activities, and listening to music. During this period of time, I listened to “Undercurrent” over and over again. I couldn’t understand Faye Wong at all before my first love in college. I thought both her voice and lyrics were incomprehensible. After the breakup, I thought it was just right: “I’m afraid that the tragedy will repeat. The more beautiful things are, the more I cannot touch them; history is repeating itself, in such a tumultuous city.”
Would Lu Chengze check on me like how I checked on him in secret? Or had his Bluetooth connected to a new pair of headphones? From the wide variety of music he listened to, it could be seen that his musical orientation was not restricted to a single genre, and he would always be able to find a suitable party.
More choices, more joy; life and feelings were not exceptions to this.
So I was always optimistic and pessimistic, brave and cowardly, intoxicated and sober.
But it didn’t affect my memory. I miss that warm, romantic, soul throbbing week, even if life is long, the same adventure is hard to come back to, similar to how—as long as one habitually watched the sky, a similar blue-pink sunset could always be found, but it would never be the same.
That same evening, I walked through the company’s long hallway, past the French windows, and sat back at my desk.
As soon as the screen was turned on, an urgent notice sent by the director from a private chat was displayed. Our department had an AM who was threatened with premature delivery and was to be hospitalized for the safety of the fetus, and so it was impossible for them to continue the current project.
As I had just gotten some free time, they asked if I could give her a hand.
The project was an oasis charity project in cooperation with Lifu. Half of the group, five people, were to all work in-house at Party A’s company for a whole month.
The author has something to say:
This is a sweet story,
This is a sweet story,
This is a sweet story.
The important thing is to say it three times.
in-house: It pretty much means to go to the other party’s office to facilitate communication.
 A song by Elva Hsiao. This refers to a line in Chapter 7.