Their Peaceful Night
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Friday morning came and brought along with it the cold winter air. Bai Luo Yin lay comfortably underneath their blanket. He had just awoken and is currently being held captive by the unbelievably comforting warmth and softness of their bed. It was lulling him back to sleep; sending him back to dreamland. He had almost passed out again when he decided to shake the sleepiness away.
Looking all around the room, his eyes involuntarily went to the direction of the windows. From where he was, the sky outside seemed already bright, yet overcast.
What time is it?
He tried to move his arms to get his phone. It was only then that he realized how tightly he was tucked in. No wonder he was so relaxed? With much effort, he was finally able to free himself and reach the bedside cabinet.
“5:20 AM. It’s still early.”
Bai Luo Yin threw himself back onto the bed, grumbling. He wanted so bad to go back to sleep, but his eyes fell on the small lumps of white fluff that had formed at the corners and bottom of the windows.
At this thought, Bai Lou Yin forced his eyes wide open and tried to sit right up. He focused his vision towards the window. It was indeed snowing. Winter’s first snowfall seemed to have crept its way into Beijing in the middle of the night, transforming the entire city into a magical white paradise. Although snow creates a massive inconvenience for everyone, no one will argue that it’s still such a spectacle to see it fall.
Bai Luo Yin leaned back against the headboard and started to feel the space beside him with his hands. A particular someone is missing.
How long has Gu Hai been gone?
It’s no uncommon knowledge that roads become slippery during winter, forcing people to drive slower and more carefully, lest they wish to find themselves in an accident. Knowing this, Gu Hai had to wake up significantly earlier than usual not only to avoid the throngs of people trying to make their way to work or school, but also in case road conditions worsen.
Gu Hai was just pulling over near the entrance of their building when he saw Bai Luo Yin’s figure amidst the snow. He quickly stopped the car and ran to him. When he finally reached him, he saw that a thin layer of snow had already gathered on his head and shoulders.
“What are you doing out here? It’s too cold,” he exclaimed.
Looking at him with eyes that spoke of his deep concern for Bai Luo Yin, Gu Hai raised his hands and caressed the other lad’s cheeks. It was icy cold to the touch. The freezing sensation that greeted his nerves travelled straight into Gu Hai’s heart, making it throb with pain.
“Quickly go inside! You should at least know not to wear so little if you wanted to come out!”
With furrowed brows, he quickly pushed Bai Lou Yin inside, treating him like a small child who doesn’t know any better. He cursed at him then lightly kicked his ass. It was a good thing that Bai Lou Yin was wearing an especially thick and long sweater that fell down below his butt. Because although Gu Hai was very gentle with his kick, his natural strength is still enough to hurt Bai Luo Yin.
Truth be told, the reason why Bai Lou Yin had chosen to stay in the cold for such a long time was because he was worried that Gu Hai might have gotten into an accident. He noticed that the roads looked particularly slippery so he decided to wait outside for any sign of Gu Hai. He thought that if anything had indeed happened to him, then it was better to suffer in the cold than wait within the comforts of their apartment. The entire time, his mind kept on torturing him with scary scenarios.
Naturally, when he saw Gu Hai’s car approaching the building, his anxiety was quickly replaced with relief. It was as if spring itself had just arrived, showering his heart with warmth and life.
The two went straight into their kitchen where Gu Hai ordered Bai Lou Yin to sit and wait as he prepared the table. One by one, the steaming hot meat buns, congee topped with thinly sliced pickled vegetables, and warm soy milk were placed on the table along with plates, bowls, chopsticks and cups.
Fighting what remains of the cold air that had attached itself into his body, Bai Lou Yin proceeded to rub his hands together while he waited for the table to be set. Finally, it was time to eat. He was just about to move his chopsticks when he noticed the fine beads of sweat that were dripping down from Gu Hai’s hair to his neck and face. His forehead was especially soaked in sweat. Just one look and Bai Lou Yin could tell that what was on Gu Hai’s face and neck wasn’t melted snow.
“Why are you sweating?” he asked.
Gu Hai nonchalantly replied, “There was a car accident on the road. It created a huge traffic jam. I couldn’t wait any longer, so I got out of the car and ran. Of course, there’s no way that I will let you starve.” Gu Hai spoke while he wiped the sweat from his forehead.
Those words struck Bai Lou Yin deeply. He asked himself, “Just how much is this guy willing to sacrifice to take care of me?” Of course, he would never allow these words to escape his mouth.
Without him even noticing, his own eyes and lips started to betray him. He stared at Gu Hai with a smile and eyes that spoke of his affection for him.
Noticing that Bai Luo Yin was not eating but instead looking at him with sparkling doe-like eyes, Gu Hai couldn’t help but to smile.
“Are you touched? If you’re touched, then let me fuck you once,” said Gu Hai mischievously.
The gentle gaze that had just risen from Bai Luo Yin’s eyes was quickly replaced with sharp stares.
“Gu Hai, you jerk! Sooner or later, you’re going to be ruined by that mouth of yours.”
Gu Hai laughed deviously at these words, then proceeded to eat. Once he’s had his breakfast, Bai Luo Yin’s body felt warm and lively once again.The two started to get ready for school.
In no time at all, the two were ready to leave. Just before heading out the door, Gu Hai approached Bai Lou Yin and placed a down coat on him. As he was already wearing a wool coat, Bai Lou Yin did not see any reason for what Gu Hai is forcing him to wear.
“Have you ever seen anyone wear a wool coat and a down coat together before?”
Bai Luo Yin tore off the down coat.
“I want you to wear it, so wear it. You’re not a girl. Who are you trying to please by wearing so little huh?” Gu Hai’s tone was quite stern. He insisted on draping the coat on Bai Luo Yin repeatedly.
Bai Luo Yin refused to submit to this stupid fellow. He fought him as if his life depended on it, “Then why don’t you wear it?”
Gu Hai quickly said, “I’m not cold.”
“I’m not cold either!” retorted Bai Luo Yin. His voice was full of determination.
Gu Hai’s finger flew out and pointed towards Bai Luo Yin’s forehead, “Are you looking for trouble?” He said through gritted teeth.
Bai Luo Yin was approaching the limit of his patience, “Why would I wear that if you’re not even wearing it yourself?”
With furrowed brows, Gu Hai ruthlessly poked Bai Luo Yin’s forehead several times. Then, without another word, he turned and walked into the bedroom. Less than a minute later, he re-emerged with a second down jacket in his hands. He put it on first before motioning at Bai Lou Yin to do the same.
Without any better option, Bai Lou Yin wore the down jacket. He then, grabbed a scarf, which he had purposely hidden somewhere in the living room, approached Gu Hai from the back and wrapped it around his neck.
Gu Hai felt something warm enveloping his neck as he was approaching the door. Puzzled, he looked down and saw a brilliant red scarf draped haphazardly around his neck. He turned around and saw Bai Luo Yin wearing an expressionless face.
It took some time before Gu Hai was able to say anything. He simply stared at Bai Lou Yin in disbelief while stupidly grinning. Then, as if awakening from a dream, he began to speak, “You’re afraid I’ll get cold, but you’re too embarrassed to say it. Are you sure you’re trying your best not to wear more clothes, huh?”
Bai Luo Yin didn’t admit or deny it.
Unable to properly express the contentment that has successfully conquered his heart, Gu Hai placed his hand firmly on Bai Luo Yin’s shoulder and pulled him towards him. The strength in his hands were heavy, yet the voice that came out of his mouth when he spoke was very warm, “Yin Zi, you’re so good to me.”
Bai Luo Yin casted a side glance at Gu Hai. Still wearing that expressionless face, he said, “Not better than you are to me.”
Those words were more than what Gu Hai could handle. He asked, “How am I good to you?”
“You’re good to me, but just a bit stupid.” Bai Lou Yin tried his best to suppress a smile.
Huh? What kind of a praise is that?
Finally, a slight smile escaped Bai Luo Yin’s tinted lips. It wasn’t so obvious, but it was absolutely brilliant the moment it appeared. It was kind of like the snowflakes that covered the ground outside–it appeared out of nowhere and brightened the whole world (especially, Gu Hai’s world).
Their outfits made them look like two bears who escaped from the zoo. The many layers of thick clothing they had on made them look extra stocky. And since they were so bundled up, the two had a hard time moving well, and had to walk slowly to get to school. Well, they were going to be late anyways, so why not take time to enjoy the scenery?
While on their way to school, Gu Hai noticed that the flower and gift shops had all opened earlier than usual. In addition, each one had several posters and cutouts with exquisite-looking apple designs hanging from its entrance.
“Wait, is it Christmas Eve?” asked Gu Hai.
Bai Luo Yin was quite unsure. He frowned and said, “I guess so.”
Gu Hai took his cellphone out of his pocket and looked at it. It was Christmas eve!
Of course, since they didn’t have girlfriends, the two did not make any effort at all to prepare for Christmas.
The two arrived at their classroom only to find that it was completely empty. Looking out the window, they were able to spot a handful of people at the playground. Perhaps they all went out to shovel snow?
Bai Luo Yin moved towards his table and found tons of apples on it. They were so many that some even managed to make its way into his desk’s drawer. Needless to say, Gu Hai found loads of apples on his desk and drawer as well. However, the mountains of apples in their desks fail in comparison to that in You Qi’s. It was simply overflowing. Looking at the row of three tables, it was quite a sight to behold.
After finding out where the entire class went, Bai Luo Yin and Gu Hai proceeded to join them. In no time at all, they found themselves shoveling snow.
“Gu Hai, let’s switch shovels,” Bai Luo Yin said after some time.
Gu Hai turned around. Suddenly a snowball hit him hard on the face. It hit him at the bridge of his nose and made him shut his eyes. When he opened them again, Bai Luo Yin was already far away.
“You bastard! You dare play dirty with me?” Gu Hai shouted as he threw the shovel down and chased after him. Of course, it didn’t take long for Gu Hai to catch up to Bai Luo Yin. Soon, the two were engaged in a fierce snowball fight.
They were having so much fun the other students couldn’t help but join in. They scattered all around in small groups and started to attack each other with handfuls of snow. A massive snowball fight had just erupted in the middle of their school grounds. They all ran, laughed, ducked and threw snowballs at each other. Yes, they were all high school students, yet at this exact moment, every single one of them looked like and felt like a child.
They played this game for hours; until everyone was exhausted. As expected, their clothes were thoroughly soaked afterwards.
At that moment, Bai Luo Yin thought that Gu Hai was especially wise. While other students were soaked to the point that their shoulders were trembling, Gu Hai and him on the other, still had their down coat after they took their wool coat off.
During class, You Qi turned around and gave Bai Luo Yin an apple shaped lighter as a gift. Bai Luo Yin kept quiet and picked it up.
Gu Hai, on the contrary, wasn’t the least secretive. He simply patted Bai Luo Yin’s shoulder and said, “A girl gave this scarf to me. She even said that she hand-knitted it especially for me. Say, what do you think she means?”
Without turning around, a gloomy aura hovered above Bai Luo Yin as he coldly said, “She likes you.”
Although Gu Hai was very pleased with Bai Luo Yin’s response, his mind was not yet satisfied. He egged him on and continued to ask, “Then, do you think I should give it back to her? She did knit it for me with good intentions. If I give it back to her, she would be really hurt.”
“Then, you should keep it.”
Gu Hai still had more to say, but before he could, Bai Luo Yin interrupted him by turning around and reaching his hand out to stopped him, “It’s your problem, don’t ask me.”
The underlying meaning was:
It’s up to you!
Gu Hai paused for a bit, “How about I wear it?”
Those words pricked Bai Luo Yin’s nerves, causing his back to suddenly stiffened up like a frozen pole.
There were some noises coming from behind him. Then Gu Hai incessantly tapped Bai Luo Yin’s back again, “Turn around and take a look, does it look good on me?”
The muscles on Bai Luo Yin’s cheeks tightened to the point where pain was crawling along the side of it, yet he still did not pay Gu Hai any attention.
Within seconds, a breeze of cold air swept across his darkened eyes. .
Gu Hai gave him a glance and laughed then he mumbled to himself, “Forget it. It’s better to give it back to her, since I don’t like it and I don’t want to give her any crazy idea.”
Bai Luo Yin’s once stiffened muscles, suddenly relaxed and the darkness in his eyes fade.
At that moment, even he didn’t realize that, the expression in his eyes held a great deal of displeasure. Gu Hai knew that if he continued on with his teasing words, Bai Luo Yin’s face would have expose an even more pleasing result. But he couldn’t. He really couldn’t. Even if he was at an advantage, he couldn’t bear to see Bai Luo Yin suffer.
Today is Friday. Originally, they had wanted to returned home early, but somehow they ended up taking a stroll on the streets. The liveliness outside was inviting them to stretch their legs out and go for a pleasant walk. There were young lovers everywhere, carrying fresh flowers, stuffed animals, chocolate…it doesn’t matter what store it was, the entrance all had those kind of gifts.
Gu Hai rubbed his hands together since it was quite cold.
Noticing this, Bai Luo Yin’s footsteps halted at the front door of a small store. He pointed at the gloves hanging above and asked: “How much is that?”
“45 kuai,” replied the cashier. [~$7.50]
After Bai Luo Yin paid for it, he turned around with the intention of giving the gloves to Gu Hai, but found that Gu Hai was sudden missing. He immediately twirled his head around. Gu Hai had already run off to a nearby corner store.
Without either of them knowing, they had bought the same the same pair of gloves.
In the end, Gu Hai was the first to put the gloves on Bai Luo Yin’s cold hands. Then, he stole the words right out of Bai Luo Yin’s lips.
“There’s nothing good to give you, so just take this.”
Looking at the warmness that flowed out of his eyes, Bai Luo Yin’s lips drew back into a gentle smile. He took the gloves that he was holding and placed in Gu Hai’s hand.
You and I, we’re both guys…I can’t think of anything special to give you that would please you but, here’s something.
On the way home, by chance, they passed by the international theatre. The television display screens were broadcasting the New Year Eve’s special performance.
Gu Hai stopped, looked at Bai Luo Yin and said, “How about we watch a movie?”
Bai Luo Yin was a bit dumbfounded since he hasn’t been to this kind of place for a really long time. The last time he was at the theatre was when he had accompanied Shi Hui. He can’t even recall the title of the movie. All he remembered was that, Shi Hui cried a lot and all he could do was pass her a tissue. For goodness sake, he doesn’t even know who the actors were.
Bai Luo Yin was hesitant for a second before he followed Gu Hai into the theatre.
There were a lot of Christmas’s movies which were placed into different categories. There were romance movie, older movies, etc……
Gu Hai and Bai Luo Yin carefully picked one. They thought that number eight was the most suitable for them. It was a monotone movie with gunfights, horror and explosions.
Once they enter, as far as they can see, all the seats were empty except for a few audiences dispersed in random spots.
“It’s really peaceful here!”
“Nonsense! Who watches a horror and violence movie on Christmas’ Eve?”
People either wanted to rent a small private room at the theatre to enjoy their movie in private or watch a romance movie amongst strangers. When they’re tired, they could could easily lay on each others’ shoulder and take a nap.
Who would be like them! They weren’t tired at all and the more they watched, the more excited they were. By the time the third part of the movie started, in this spacious room number eight, they were the only two left! Extremely excited at action, they recklessly shouted at the screen without constraint.
Only until the ending song started, did the two mutually placed their head on each other’s shoulder. As a result, their heads ended up against each other. Turning slightly to look at each other, the lights were still sparkling in their jet black eyes.
“That 300 yuan was totally worth it!” said Gu Hai with enthusiasm riddling his voice. [$50usd]
“It’s the most satisfying movie I’ve ever seen since in my life,” said Bai Luo Yin right after.
After being silent for quite a while, they moved their head away, looked at each other and laughed. After a short while, with weary faces, they left the theatre.
 down coat – or down jacket also known as puffer/marsh mellow jacket
 apples – the Chinese word for apple, which is pingguo, sounds similar to the Chinese word for Christmas Eve, ping’an ye, and thus a tradition was born out of it. Besides, the sound and character of ping of “píng guǒ”, sounds the same as ping of “pínɡ ān” which mean peace or calmness. So, if someone gives you an apple on Christmas, it means that they are wishing you peace and calmness.
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