The Perfect Relationship by Xi He Qing Ling
Chapter 25: I Don’t Want You
Gripping the steering wheel tightly, Yin Chang slowly lowered his head onto the wheel. While on the phone, he didn’t dare tell Teacher Lin about Shao Junling’s disappearance. Now that Yin Chang understood the circumstance, it wasn’t surprising that Shao Junling didn’t show any remorse yesterday.
He replayed the events of last night in his mind eye. The harsh words that he spoke and Shao Junling’s shocked reaction. The two tears that fell from Shao Junling’s eyes and his running away. It was the first time he saw Shao Junling cry since coming home with him from the Welfare Institute.
Fiona’s teachings quickly came to Yin Chang’s mind. Without hope, a person wouldn’t realize they were living in a hopeless situation. However, once they experienced it and a better life, the disappointment and abandonment that a person would feel from withdrawing hope, would hurt more deeply than being hurt directly.
Mulling the circumstance over, Yin Chang’s stomach tightened into a ball. His anger turned into guilt and it was eating at his insides. He had to wonder, what the heck was so wrong that caused Shao Junling to lash out ? And, why didn’t Shao Junling say anything to him?
Yin Chang banged the steering wheel heavily in frustration. Sighing, he straightened himself up, turned the car on and drove back to his apartment at Huaihe. When he arrived, he was surprised to find Yao Manhuai waiting for him downstairs.
As the sky turned darker, he grew increasingly worried. It has been more then eight hours since Shao Junling’s disappearance. He commented: “Where could he go?”
Yao Manhuai was also worried. She frowned and replied: “He’s so young that I don’t think he would go far. Let’s get the security guards to look around together…”
Yin Chang shook his head in disagreement. Ordinary children who’ve threaten to run away may not be able stay away from home for more then a night, but Shao Junling was different. Before he lived at the Welfare Institute, he lived on the streets. As a result, he knew what real suffering was. Shao Junling leaving his house would simply be like an animal returning to its natural habitat. Shao Junling had nothing to fear from being alone outside.
Even though Yin Chang was amazed at his actions, he was angry at Shao Junling’s attitude. However, when he thought of him alone, hungry and cold, Yin Chang felt horrible. “Auntie Yao,” he suddenly declared while he raised his head and looked at her in the eye. “If we don’t find him tonight, I’ll make a video and post it to my social media page tomorrow morning. I’ll ask my fans to help me find him. I’ll reward a million to the person who finds Shao Junling. No, I’ll give the person as much as they want!”
After she heard his declaration, Yao Manhuai’s temples bulged in annoyance: “Don’t be impulsive!”
Yin Chang: “I’m not being impulsive. I am serious!”
In a serious tone, Yao Manhuai said: “Don’t think about ‘if’. We will find him! Let’s go inside and take a closer look at the community’s security surveillance.”
Just as they were about to walk towards the offices of the security department, they heard a rustling sound from behind them. Yin Chang looked back in alarm and unexpectedly, he saw the flash of a body move from the bushes to a nearby flowerbed. Yin Chang paused momentarily before he bolted forward suddenly in the same direction.
When the shadow saw Yin Chang suddenly move, the shadow immediately jumped out from behind the flower bed. Indeed, the figure was Shao Junling!
“Shao Junling, stop!” With the target sighted, Yin Chang chased after him. Since they were outside, there was plenty of room for Shao Junling to maneuver. With his long legs, Yin Chang caught up to Shao Junling in no time. Reaching out, Yin Chang grabbed the back of his collar.
Shao Junling yelled. Now captured, he struggled desperately without giving up. Yin Chang panted and said: “Why are you still running? Don’t you know? I’ve been looking for you all day!!!”
Shao Junling thrashed around wildly, testing the strength of Yin Chang’s grip. Yin Chang was afraid he would break free. Since he didn’t want Shao Junling to escape again, he opened his arms and hugged him with all his might instead.
Eager to be free, in retaliation, Shao Junling bit Yin Chang’s hand.
“…Hiss!” Yin Chang trembled with pain, but still, he did not release his arms.
Clamping down on his jaw even harder, Shao Junling realized his method wasn’t working after a while. With tears falling, he cried out: “Let me go! I don’t want to stay with you anymore! You are bad!”
It was the most Shao Junling had spoken to Yin Chang since coming home with him from the Welfare Institute. However, he didn’t have time to savor the moment. Yin Chang focused on the best way to appease him. Not wasting time, he said the first thing that came to mind.
“Shhh..,Shh… “Yin Chang didn’t care about the pain on his hand. Instead, he anxiously coaxed Shao Junling and whispered in his ear, “It’s okay now, it’s me who is bad, Shh, don’t cry…”
As she was wearing high-heels, it took a few minutes for Yao Manhuai to catch up to them. Standing nearby, Yao Manhuai stopped when she saw them together. Yin Chang was kneeling on the ground with one leg and holding Shao Junling tightly in his arms from behind. He was apologizing to Shao Junling earnestly: “It’s my fault. I was wrong. I shouldn’t have said it. I’m sorry. I’ll take it all back, okay?”
Yao Manhuai neither could interject nor speak. She could only stare blankly from behind. She watched Yin Chang lean closer to Shao Junling and whisper in his ear. Although Shao Junling finally stopped struggling, he continued to breath heavily from his earlier exertion against Yin Chang.
Now that it was evening, the sky darkened quickly and all of the street lights in the community lit up at the same time. Illuminating them in a spotlight, one of the beams of light happened to fall on Yin Chang and Shao Junling. On the ground, a silhouette of Yin Chang hugging his brother stretched across the ground.
When Yin Chang realized his brother had calmed down, he turned Shao Junling around to face him: ”Teacher Lin called me and told me what had happened with Xue ZI. Since you were defending me, why didn’t you explain it to me yesterday?”
Not pleased with the situation, Shao Junling continued to press his lips together. He didn’t answer Yin Chang.
Yin Chang continued: “I’ve told you before. If there is something that makes you feel uncomfortable, you have to talk about it. If you don’t say anything, I will never know and I might misunderstand you.”
Shao Junling stared at Yin Chang blankly for a minute before dropping his eyes and looking away.
Yin Chang sighed. While he continued to hold his wrist with one hand to prevent Shao Junling from escaping, he gently stroked his cheek with the other hand. As Yin Chang brushed away Shao Junling’s tears with his thumb, his slightly frowned. Distressed, his brows wrinkled with regret. Letting out a deep breath he finally felt relieved because he had found Shao Junling.
Witnessing the scene nearby, Yao Manhuai felt the emotions in the air. Dragging him along, Yin Chang led Shao Junling Yao Manhuai and said: “Lets’ go inside first so we can talk about it.”
The three of them went upstairs. Yin Chang hid the key-card for the elevator to make sure Shao Junling couldn’t run away again. Afterwards, he slumped on the sofa and said tiredly: “Auntie Yao, will you help us order take-out for dinner?”
Yao Manhuai: “Hmm. Rest a bit now. I’ll handle it”
With two cushions separating them, Shao Junling sat down on the opposite end of the sofa. Now that there were a few minutes respite, Yin Chang finally noticed how dirty Shao Junling actually was from being outside. God knows where he had been all day…. Yin Chang felt so tired that he didn’t feel like figuring it out. He simply wanted to relax and do nothing at home.
After eating dinner, Yao Manhuai left for her own house. Yin Chang went to the bath to turn on the hot water. Once it was set up, he got in. Closing his eyes, he cupped the water and let the warm water splash his face as he stroked his hair back with both hands.
Yin Chang thought a lot about how best to get along with him. When something was bothering Shao Junling, Yin Chang wanted Shao Junling to be able to take the initiative and come talk to him.
Before, Yin Chang did not worry so much about Shao Junling’s lack of communication. However, today’s events made it clear. If Shao Junling doesn’t take the initiative to express himself clearly, he may never change for the better and Yin Chang couldn’t bear the thought.
Yet another hurdle for the two of them to get over due to their communication issues. The last time Shao Junling’s inability to express himself caused a problem was at dinner when Yin Chang fed him super spicy food. Even though Yin Chang kept asking him if Shao Junling was alright and if he needed something, Shao Junling remined silent and simply continued to eat the spicy food despite his tears and whimpering.
After today, Yin Chang finally understood his mistake. He had erroneously thought Shao Junling had a lazy attitude and couldn’t be bothered to talk, but his emotional distress proved the opposite. Was it possible that the issue wasn’t because he didn’t want to be bothered but more simply, because Shao Junling found it difficult to speak?
Maybe he had serious expression barriers that were psychological in nature. Only when he was emotionally strained would he speak out. For example, when he was outside at the children’s home being bullied by the other kids. Today was another example. He finally spoke to Yin Chang after the shock of their fight.
…… What did he say? Mulling the events over in his mind, Yin Chang soaked in the water.
Suddenly, he laughed. Who was the most qualified to talk about bad behavior? Even if it was the pot calling the kettle black, Shao Junling was right. He was bad. He should have listened to Shao Junling and thought about the situation more thoroughly. He should have remained calm and shouldn’t have said something so hurtful.
The stinging from his hand interrupted Yin Chang’s thoughts. When he turned his head to look at his hand, he was reminded of the bite that Shao Junling gave him.
As the wound wasn’t serious, he didn’t apply any special ointments. Getting out of the bath, he reached over for a dry towel and after wrapping himself up, he walked out.
It wasn’t surprising that Shao Junling was sitting on the sofa playing with a Rubik’s Cube already. Normally, as if he was doing homework, Shao Junling rushed and took a bath much faster than Yin Chang.
Yin Chang moved over to him and reached out to wipe the back of his ears to check for dirty residue. It was Yin Chang’s intuitive way to check if he had a clean bath.
As he was a little ticklish, Shao Junling shrunk his neck. Since his eyes were still red, it was more than likely that he had recently cried.
“Are you tired?” Yin Chang checked the time. It was almost nine o’clock at night. He asked, “Do you want to go to sleep? Teacher Lin gave you a day off so you don’t have to go to school tomorrow.”
As if he had some doubts, Shao Junling only blinked at him twice.
Looking at him, Yin Chang didn’t guess at his thoughts this time. Instead, he asked directly, “What do you want to say?”
Shao Junling blinked twice again. He began to show a worried expression on his face.
Yin Chang simply encouraged him. “Think about what you want to say. Don’t rush and tell me slowly.”
Shao Junling opened his mouth and after ten seconds of silence he managed to speak a few words, “What about you?”
After feeling so nervous, even if it was brief, it was a relief for Yin Chang to hear Shao Junling speak to him.
Shao Junling’s reaction somewhat confirmed Yin Chang’s conjecture in the bathroom. His ability to formulate his thoughts and articulate them clearly was too slow. Normal people wouldn’t have the patience to wait. Likely, Shao Junling’s long silence while he thought things in his mind would cause a listener to think Shao Jun wasn’t speaking on purpose.
Yin Chang asked Shao Junling to explain his question. “Are you asking me if I want to go to bed now? Or, are you asking me what I am going to do tomorrow?”
Shao Junling hesitated a moment before saying, “Tomorrow.”
”I will ah…… ” Pausing, Yin Chang raised his hand and rubbed Shao Junling’s hair. He smiled and said, “I’ll be at home with you. Okay?”
Shao Junling: “……”
One minute later, Yin Chang still had his hand on top of Shao Junling’s head. Staring at him intently, Yin Chang urged him: “What do you think?”
Shao Junling: “???”
Yin Chang: “I’m asking you if it’s okay.”
While Shao Junling’s ears turned red, he replied in a small voice: “Okay.”
Yin Chang smiled faintly. Since tomorrow normally was dance training, he decided to take a day off. Even for the weekend, Yin Chang decided they weren’t going anywhere. He wanted to stay indoors with Shao Junling because he wanted make sure Shao Junling understood the reasons for what had happened. In addition, he wanted to use the time to verify his own conclusion about Shao Junling.
After the fuss all day, both of them were very tired and didn’t talk much at night.
Once breakfast was finished the next morning, Yin Chang called Shao Junling over and said, “Come on, let’s talk about what happened yesterday.”
The author has something to say:【Vignette】
Shao Junling: Uncle Yin showed me videos of you. He had approached me and asked if I could be a good brother to you. You dare to dislike me!
Yin Chang: ???
Yin Chang sat on the sofa to ask Shao Junling questions in his towel after his bath —
Shao Junling: Director! What’s wrong with him? He is playing foul! QAQ
Director (indifferent): No, he activated a strategy card.
Yin Chang (laugh): Is that alright?
Shao Junling: Is it ok? Whatever you want is ok! (Q//Q)