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The Long Road Ahead CH 11

Author:Yu Xiao Fan Category:urban Update time:2022-12-01 14:51:43

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Xia Li's mouth fell open even wider, "Really"

Xiao Ning asked curiously, "What, you think I'm actually lying to you or something Is there any need for me to lie to you"

"What is he like..." Xiao Ning thought about Shan Haiming for a while, nothing really came to his mind quickly regarding this question.

He couldn't exactly mention them helping each other out once.

But despite him not having known Shan Haiming for long, he did however feel that with a favour of this kind, the other man would most likely help.

"It's not easy to put into words, but in the beginning, he didn't seem like someone easy to get along with.

However, after we hung out with one another I felt he wasn't such a bad guy."

Xiao Ning had nothing to say to that.

Xiao Ning asked curiously, "What, you think I'm actually lying to you or something Is there any need for me to lie to you"

But none of these words could be said to Xia Li, so as to prevent the younger man from getting any strange ideas.

"That's very kind of you." Xia Li sighed before continuing, "I'm fine with spicy food, but I'm not very fond of sweets.

Lu Yan seems to not like sweets much either.

Like, fruits are fine, but sweetened products are just too much."

Xia Li was unfamiliar with the Tom Ford brand, given university students shop at nothing but Jack Jones or Mark Fairwhale for their accessories and clothes.

But since Xiao Ning said it was Lu Yan's favourite, he agreed saying, "Okay, lets go."

Of course it was too abrupt! Even Xiao Ning felt he was not ready to do so before.

But now that he had gone through with saying those words absentmindedly, the tightly stretched string in his heart has been severed.

It was painful, but it allowed him to be able to gradually breathe comfortably.

A flush of red descended on Xia Li's face as he looked at Xiao Ning slashing the card then helping him pick up the things to carry, with him suddenly asking, "Why do you know the pin for his card"

Lu Yan may have truly had a lifelong friend in Xiao Ning, but in the end, Xiao Ning had the guilty conscience of a thief.

"Huh! What are you doing I was going to pay for it myself." Xia Li was shocked, wanting to snatch the it, but Xiao Ning dodged out of the way, telling him, "This isn't my card, it's Lu Yan's.

So if you want to say something, say it to him.

I'm just an errand boy."

"Um..." Xia Li shook his head in confusion, "It's just...

way too sudden."

Xiao Ning thought, If Lu Yan really likes Xia Li, then it wasn't impossible for him to let this kid stay at his place.

His gaze soon stopped, shocked, he took up a wallet and examined it.

Seeing this, the store clerk then explained, "That style is very popular.

It's both practical and generous, and is also available in two colours.

Would you like to see them"

"Um...

I uh..."

Xia Li was unfamiliar with the Tom Ford brand, given university students shop at nothing but Jack Jones or Mark Fairwhale for their accessories and clothes.

But since Xiao Ning said it was Lu Yan's favourite, he agreed saying, "Okay, lets go."

Which is why Xiao Ning could only whisper, "Who was it that made me be yours, huh"

Which is why Xiao Ning could only whisper, "Who was it that made me be yours, huh"

"Oh, I need to buy some shoes, want to go check out that place over there" Xia Li took the lead, walking into a sporting brand store, Xiao Ning following behind him.

Showing him to the shoe rack, with sport shoes he rarely wore himself, where his most recent pair was one gifted by Shan Haiming.

While shopping, Xia Li was very self reliant, neither listening to the store clerk's recommendation nor asking Xiao Ning's opinion.

He simply bought a pair of trainers and a pair of vans.

Picking contrasting colours was not Xiao Ning's strong suit.

Of course it was too abrupt! Even Xiao Ning felt he was not ready to do so before.

But now that he had gone through with saying those words absentmindedly, the tightly stretched string in his heart has been severed.

It was painful, but it allowed him to be able to gradually breathe comfortably.

Xiao Ning was surprised; but then immediately understood, asking, "With whom"

Within his own mind, there was also the words, written in ink, written in bold: there is no need to continue.

Which is why Xiao Ning could only whisper, "Who was it that made me be yours, huh"

Shan Haiming was also silent for a while before asking, "What do you mean"

"Oh, so that's how it is..." Xia Li seemed to be considering the positives and negatives of such a situation, so Xiao Ning thought he should offer him a few words of comfort.

If Xiao Ning truly wanted to only be regarded as someone who is a friend of Lu Yan's, now should be his moment to show this sincerely, but he said nothing.

Him doing something like that at this point had felt extremely awkward, and was quite simply too much.

He truly had no more energy to do so.

Xiao Ning was surprised; but then immediately understood, asking, "With whom"

The phone call ended neatly.

To which Shan Haiming lightly hummed, "Tomorrow after work I'll call you.

Don't forget, alright"

At noon, Xiao Ning took Xia Li to eat Japanese food, an act which was in consideration of Xia Li's preference for Japanese cuisine.

While they both sat down, Xia Li remembered then asked, "You don't dislike Japanese food, right"

There was no need.

"I don't know.

You might have to ask the security staff at the building.

Sometimes they know a lot about these things." Xiao Ning replied faintly, his own thoughts beginning to wander, speaking of looking for a new place...

They...

actually he, himself, could no longer go on like this.

Anyhow, he doesn't need to go back there himself either.

At this obvious joke, the two laughed in tacit understanding.

Xia Li's eyes had changed now, the suspicion once held within them decreasing, "Hey, that other guy...

what's he like"

"I hope you won't tell him." Xiao Ning sighed, there was no use in pretending.

"But if I'm going to see that person I mentioned before, I still have to tell the friends around me, and Lu Yan isn't homophobic anyhow, so it doesn't really matter.

If you want to tell him, just tell him."

Xiao Ning then asked, "Where do you want to go now"

For a moment, Xiao Ning remained unmoving, unable to help the gentle smile from emerging as he shook his head. This...

why does it feel like a real one

From the start, that ought to have been something he understood.

Despite him only thinking of being a good friend in his heart of hearts, along with knowing they can never have any future with one another, Xiao Ning had ultimately not completely banished the thought, always wanting to stay within reach of that place even if only to bask in the slivers of warmth such delusions can bring.

This act of his was too brazen.

Lately, he had gotten so brazen.

Xiao Ning understood that, as a human, there were a lot of things he couldn't always hold in.

But, at current, he couldn't say any of those things to Shan Haiming.

But the appearance of Xia Li made him aware things can always change.

That even if it wasn't Xia Li, there would always be someone else who could become the one most held dear to Lu Yan in the end.

Such a person could be a man, or they could be a woman, but the one person they would never be was Xiao Ning.

Xiao Ning stared at the black wood of the table, adding, "Yeah, he does like spicy food."

Which is why Xiao Ning could only whisper, "Who was it that made me be yours, huh"

"You to really are two peas in a pod." Xia Li laughed, putting back the wallet, adding, "He just changed his wallet last season so lets go look at some belts."

Xia Li the muttered to himself, seeming as though he hadn't said anything, going on to ask, "So how did the two of you meet"

"Oh, so that's how it is..." Xia Li seemed to be considering the positives and negatives of such a situation, so Xiao Ning thought he should offer him a few words of comfort.

If Xiao Ning truly wanted to only be regarded as someone who is a friend of Lu Yan's, now should be his moment to show this sincerely, but he said nothing.

Him doing something like that at this point had felt extremely awkward, and was quite simply too much.

He truly had no more energy to do so.

So now, inside of that shop where the scent of the coffee's bitter warmth filled the air, without any sign or warning, without an ounce of preparation, Xiao Ning, with his own two hands, had buried the one-sided love he held on to from the age of ten, until his twenty-seventh year.

So as a result, pursing his lips, Xiao Ning whispered, "Japanese food."

Seventeen years.

It was long enough for a babe to have grown into a fresh-faced youth.

It was also long enough for arduously undergo worry and fear, as well as harbour infinite joy and emptiness, while he walked that far and hopeless road alone.

"Understood." Shan Haiming broke the silence, his tone sluggish as he added, "Is there anything you don't like to eat"

Xia Li the muttered to himself, seeming as though he hadn't said anything, going on to ask, "So how did the two of you meet"

At that moment, he truly needed a friend.

Arriving at the Tom Ford speciality store, Xia Li and Xiao Ning were led to the wallet display by a store clerk , "These are our latest arrivals for our spring collection."

What about it wasn't easy All that was needed was for one of them to yield to accommodate the other.

It was not pleasing, but it was one which had long reached its end.

Xiao Ning nodded, agreeing, "Usually it's girls who have a preference for sweets."

But friends aren't particularly in such extravagant relationships, so it shouldn't matter...

right

With his lips drawn into a line, Xia Li seemed as though he had nothing more to say.

But following him taking a few sips of his coffee, he asked, "So...

I can't tell Lu Yan"

Xiao Ning currently felt as though he could hear the wind howling within his chest, and so closed his eyes.

In truth, there was nothing else he had wanted to say, but...

the matter before him was one he had to continue dealing with.

"I understand.

You want to know more about Lu Yan and know more about me as well.

It's just that I'm not courageous when it comes to handling things, and I think things over quite carefully before I dare even say a word to someone else.

So if it wasn't for me being afraid you'd have some sort of misunderstanding, I would've never said anything to begin with."

Lu Yan may have truly had a lifelong friend in Xiao Ning, but in the end, Xiao Ning had the guilty conscience of a thief.

With his lips drawn into a line, Xia Li seemed as though he had nothing more to say.

But following him taking a few sips of his coffee, he asked, "So...

I can't tell Lu Yan"

Truthfully, back then when Lu Yan saw the two wallets, both the one on the left and on the right, he had chosen the one with the crocodile patten and Xiao Ning just figured he'd buy the one Lu Yan hadn't chosen.

In the end, Lu Yan paid their bills together, so this wallet can actually be considered to be a gift chosen by Lu Yan and gifted to Xiao Ning.

Shan Haiming was also silent for a while before asking, "What do you mean"

"It wasn't that long ago.

I had a colleague ask me to a bar some time ago and we met there." This was the truth, Xiao Ning would naturally not beat around the bush, adding, "After we hit it off, it felt nice.

But...

he is a bot younger than me, though."

"I hope you won't tell him." Xiao Ning sighed, there was no use in pretending.

"But if I'm going to see that person I mentioned before, I still have to tell the friends around me, and Lu Yan isn't homophobic anyhow, so it doesn't really matter.

If you want to tell him, just tell him."

Xiao Ning was slightly stunned, helplessness spreading through him.

He truly had forgotten about this, and could only say, "Yes.

I bought one the last time I came here with Lu Yan.

I don't have a favourite brand in particular."

"I hope you won't tell him." Xiao Ning sighed, there was no use in pretending.

"But if I'm going to see that person I mentioned before, I still have to tell the friends around me, and Lu Yan isn't homophobic anyhow, so it doesn't really matter.

If you want to tell him, just tell him."

It was not pleasing, but it was one which had long reached its end.

"Xiao Ning." Xia Li called out, "Isn't this just like the one you use"

Xiao Ning was slightly stunned, helplessness spreading through him.

He truly had forgotten about this, and could only say, "Yes.

I bought one the last time I came here with Lu Yan.

I don't have a favourite brand in particular."

From the start, that ought to have been something he understood.

Despite him only thinking of being a good friend in his heart of hearts, along with knowing they can never have any future with one another, Xiao Ning had ultimately not completely banished the thought, always wanting to stay within reach of that place even if only to bask in the slivers of warmth such delusions can bring.

Truthfully, he didn't want Lu Yan to know, not for the sake of others, but because of Lu Yan's temperament.

He could not shake the feeling it would lead to more problems cropping up later on.

Additionally, admitting his sexuality right to Lu Yan's face made him extremely embarrassed.

Truthfully, he didn't want Lu Yan to know, not for the sake of others, but because of Lu Yan's temperament.

He could not shake the feeling it would lead to more problems cropping up later on.

Additionally, admitting his sexuality right to Lu Yan's face made him extremely embarrassed.

Xiao Ning recalled Lu Yan having mentioned Xia Li's internship at the advertising company, so he said, "Ask Lu Yan to help you find one.

He usually deals with people from advertising agencies."

Shan Haiming didn't reply, only saying, "I'll come pick you up.

Oh, and send me your bank account number later."

After the dishes arrived, the platter of sashimi basically all went into Xia Li's stomach.

Xiao Ning only took a thin piece of salmon in the tasting dish, never moving it from that place following that.

Afterwards, he only tried a piece of the mackerel pike (probably because its pickled), then moved on to eat a few pieces of the roasted beef.

Those words made Xiao Ning slow to react for a few seconds, as expected, Shan Haiming was referring to work.

He remained silent for a good while before saying, "That isn't necessary."

N/A

Xiao Ning stared at the black wood of the table, adding, "Yeah, he does like spicy food."

"Huh! What are you doing I was going to pay for it myself." Xia Li was shocked, wanting to snatch the it, but Xiao Ning dodged out of the way, telling him, "This isn't my card, it's Lu Yan's.

So if you want to say something, say it to him.

I'm just an errand boy."

But none of these words could be said to Xia Li, so as to prevent the younger man from getting any strange ideas.

With Xia Li then asking, "Which brand does he usually like to use"

From today, he began not liking this cuisine.

Xia Li's gaze turned to the shelves, so the store clerk suggested, "Those are designs from our previous season."

At this obvious joke, the two laughed in tacit understanding.

Xia Li's eyes had changed now, the suspicion once held within them decreasing, "Hey, that other guy...

what's he like"

"Oh.

it's like that, huh" Xia Li clicked his tongue twice, "Having such a good friend is really nice."

"What is he like..." Xiao Ning thought about Shan Haiming for a while, nothing really came to his mind quickly regarding this question.

He couldn't exactly mention them helping each other out once.

But despite him not having known Shan Haiming for long, he did however feel that with a favour of this kind, the other man would most likely help.

"It's not easy to put into words, but in the beginning, he didn't seem like someone easy to get along with.

However, after we hung out with one another I felt he wasn't such a bad guy."

"With your brother" Xiao Ning glanced at Xia Li who again turned back to pick out items, "Alright, where"

Xiao Ning thought, If Lu Yan really likes Xia Li, then it wasn't impossible for him to let this kid stay at his place.

"I'm with a friend right now," Xiao Ning said this line as a way of explaining without explaining.

Shan Haiming wasn't bothered about it, so he went on to say, "We're having dinner tomorrow night."

Xia Li the muttered to himself, seeming as though he hadn't said anything, going on to ask, "So how did the two of you meet"

At this obvious joke, the two laughed in tacit understanding.

Xia Li's eyes had changed now, the suspicion once held within them decreasing, "Hey, that other guy...

what's he like"

"It wasn't that long ago.

I had a colleague ask me to a bar some time ago and we met there." This was the truth, Xiao Ning would naturally not beat around the bush, adding, "After we hit it off, it felt nice.

But...

he is a bot younger than me, though."

Xiao Ning was not accustomed to eating raw dishes, and had in truth rather preferred traditional Chinese-styled cuisine.

"I don't hate it, and I can eat whatever."

Seeing him speak in such vivid detail, Xia Li believed him, and so asked, "Being a bit younger can't be that big of a deal, right"

After the dishes arrived, the platter of sashimi basically all went into Xia Li's stomach.

Xiao Ning only took a thin piece of salmon in the tasting dish, never moving it from that place following that.

Afterwards, he only tried a piece of the mackerel pike (probably because its pickled), then moved on to eat a few pieces of the roasted beef.

But none of these words could be said to Xia Li, so as to prevent the younger man from getting any strange ideas.

But the appearance of Xia Li made him aware things can always change.

That even if it wasn't Xia Li, there would always be someone else who could become the one most held dear to Lu Yan in the end.

Such a person could be a man, or they could be a woman, but the one person they would never be was Xiao Ning.

Xiao Ning was not accustomed to eating raw dishes, and had in truth rather preferred traditional Chinese-styled cuisine.

"I don't hate it, and I can eat whatever."

"Huh! What are you doing I was going to pay for it myself." Xia Li was shocked, wanting to snatch the it, but Xiao Ning dodged out of the way, telling him, "This isn't my card, it's Lu Yan's.

So if you want to say something, say it to him.

I'm just an errand boy."

Seeing him ask this, Xiao Ning understood Xia Li was talking about himself and Lu Yan.

After all, the younger man had just graduated university, so he was about twenty-three years old.

"Not really, but Lu Yan and I aren't the same.

He can prefer those a little younger than himself because he has the energy to go running around to play with them all over."

"Then that means you must like spicy foods too, right", Xia Li asked, "Otherwise, it couldn't be easy for you both to eat together, right"

If you know Lu Yan's credit card, you basically knew his passwords, again, Xia Li's thoughts unknowing went to that place.

At noon, Xiao Ning took Xia Li to eat Japanese food, an act which was in consideration of Xia Li's preference for Japanese cuisine.

While they both sat down, Xia Li remembered then asked, "You don't dislike Japanese food, right"

"I don't know.

You might have to ask the security staff at the building.

Sometimes they know a lot about these things." Xiao Ning replied faintly, his own thoughts beginning to wander, speaking of looking for a new place...

"I mean, I'll have dinner tomorrow with you and your brother.

It's not a big deal." Xiao Ning then hesitated for a while before releasing his held breath, hoping they can become friends.

His gaze soon stopped, shocked, he took up a wallet and examined it.

Seeing this, the store clerk then explained, "That style is very popular.

It's both practical and generous, and is also available in two colours.

Would you like to see them"

"Who usually makes me run around doing all sorts of errands for him This cad is only a prepaid one he lets me use when I'm doing work for him." Xiao Ning explained it to him casually, but none of what he said was actually true.

That card was actually a credit card with a limit of fifty-thousand.

Xiao Ning just never thought of using the card secretly, but even if he did use it regularly, Lu Yan wouldn't bat an eye.

"Oh, so that's how it is..." Xia Li seemed to be considering the positives and negatives of such a situation, so Xiao Ning thought he should offer him a few words of comfort.

If Xiao Ning truly wanted to only be regarded as someone who is a friend of Lu Yan's, now should be his moment to show this sincerely, but he said nothing.

Him doing something like that at this point had felt extremely awkward, and was quite simply too much.

He truly had no more energy to do so.

Xia Li's gaze turned to the shelves, so the store clerk suggested, "Those are designs from our previous season."

"I won't forget," Xiao Ning replied simply,

"Oh.

it's like that, huh" Xia Li clicked his tongue twice, "Having such a good friend is really nice."

"I'm with a friend right now," Xiao Ning said this line as a way of explaining without explaining.

Shan Haiming wasn't bothered about it, so he went on to say, "We're having dinner tomorrow night."

The phone call ended neatly.

Xia Li was unfamiliar with the Tom Ford brand, given university students shop at nothing but Jack Jones or Mark Fairwhale for their accessories and clothes.

But since Xiao Ning said it was Lu Yan's favourite, he agreed saying, "Okay, lets go."

A leather belt was not much cheaper than a wallet, and Xiao Ning looked around at the floor below.

"I remember there was one here, do you want look around"

For a while afterwards, the two talked casually, and having noticed enough time had passed, he suggested to Xia Li they should go walk around.

"So, how long are you planning to stay in A-City"

"I mean, I'll have dinner tomorrow with you and your brother.

It's not a big deal." Xiao Ning then hesitated for a while before releasing his held breath, hoping they can become friends.

"Oh, don't tell Lu Yan this, but I'm actually planing on finding a job here." Since he held no animosity towards Xiao Ning, there was naturally no probing in his tone while he giggled happily and added, "I've already sent out my resume, and I have an interview in a few days."

Xia Li's mouth fell open even wider, "Really"

Lu Yan may have truly had a lifelong friend in Xiao Ning, but in the end, Xiao Ning had the guilty conscience of a thief.

"Who usually makes me run around doing all sorts of errands for him This cad is only a prepaid one he lets me use when I'm doing work for him." Xiao Ning explained it to him casually, but none of what he said was actually true.

That card was actually a credit card with a limit of fifty-thousand.

Xiao Ning just never thought of using the card secretly, but even if he did use it regularly, Lu Yan wouldn't bat an eye.

But the appearance of Xia Li made him aware things can always change.

That even if it wasn't Xia Li, there would always be someone else who could become the one most held dear to Lu Yan in the end.

Such a person could be a man, or they could be a woman, but the one person they would never be was Xiao Ning.

Xia li gave a disappointed cry, then added, "Then I'll just buy him a belt.

Where is this Tom Ford place"

Xiao Ning recalled Lu Yan having mentioned Xia Li's internship at the advertising company, so he said, "Ask Lu Yan to help you find one.

He usually deals with people from advertising agencies."

"Good." Shan Haiming, utterly absentmindedly, replied, "Bye."

"I kind of want to try finding one on my own first," Xia Li said, while noticing a nearby store.

"I also want to check out an apartment too, so are there any rooms for rent were Lu Yan lives"

This time, to pay the bill, Xiao Ning took out his own money.

Xia Li didn't know if it was because he was just accustomed to being the one paying the bill, also understood he should go along with the wishes of his host, and didn't offer to pay again.

Seeing him ask this, Xiao Ning understood Xia Li was talking about himself and Lu Yan.

After all, the younger man had just graduated university, so he was about twenty-three years old.

"Not really, but Lu Yan and I aren't the same.

He can prefer those a little younger than himself because he has the energy to go running around to play with them all over."

There was instant silence over the phone.

Seeing him ask this, Xiao Ning understood Xia Li was talking about himself and Lu Yan.

After all, the younger man had just graduated university, so he was about twenty-three years old.

"Not really, but Lu Yan and I aren't the same.

He can prefer those a little younger than himself because he has the energy to go running around to play with them all over."

"I won't forget," Xiao Ning replied simply,

Shan Haiming was also silent for a while before asking, "What do you mean"

Those words made Xiao Ning slow to react for a few seconds, as expected, Shan Haiming was referring to work.

He remained silent for a good while before saying, "That isn't necessary."

Xiao Ning thought, If Lu Yan really likes Xia Li, then it wasn't impossible for him to let this kid stay at his place.

To which Shan Haiming lightly hummed, "Tomorrow after work I'll call you.

Don't forget, alright"

"I mean, I'll have dinner tomorrow with you and your brother.

It's not a big deal." Xiao Ning then hesitated for a while before releasing his held breath, hoping they can become friends.

When will this day end...

Xiao Ning stared at the black wood of the table, adding, "Yeah, he does like spicy food."

"Good." Shan Haiming, utterly absentmindedly, replied, "Bye."

So as a result, pursing his lips, Xiao Ning whispered, "Japanese food."

Xiao Ning had nothing to say to that.

Anyhow, he doesn't need to go back there himself either.

It felt as though he was carrying around a child afraid others will covet their treasured object, so Xiao Ning was not only exhausted, his head was hurting too.

But, suddenly, the phone in his pocket rang, and hoping it was Lu Yan calling as he fished it out his pocket.

"I don't know.

You might have to ask the security staff at the building.

Sometimes they know a lot about these things." Xiao Ning replied faintly, his own thoughts beginning to wander, speaking of looking for a new place...

Truthfully, he didn't want Lu Yan to know, not for the sake of others, but because of Lu Yan's temperament.

He could not shake the feeling it would lead to more problems cropping up later on.

Additionally, admitting his sexuality right to Lu Yan's face made him extremely embarrassed.

"Um...

I uh..."

"With your brother" Xiao Ning glanced at Xia Li who again turned back to pick out items, "Alright, where"

So now, inside of that shop where the scent of the coffee's bitter warmth filled the air, without any sign or warning, without an ounce of preparation, Xiao Ning, with his own two hands, had buried the one-sided love he held on to from the age of ten, until his twenty-seventh year.

Xia li gave a disappointed cry, then added, "Then I'll just buy him a belt.

Where is this Tom Ford place"

A leather belt was not much cheaper than a wallet, and Xiao Ning looked around at the floor below.

"I remember there was one here, do you want look around"

From today, he began not liking this cuisine.

"Oh, I need to buy some shoes, want to go check out that place over there" Xia Li took the lead, walking into a sporting brand store, Xiao Ning following behind him.

Showing him to the shoe rack, with sport shoes he rarely wore himself, where his most recent pair was one gifted by Shan Haiming.

While shopping, Xia Li was very self reliant, neither listening to the store clerk's recommendation nor asking Xiao Ning's opinion.

He simply bought a pair of trainers and a pair of vans.

Picking contrasting colours was not Xiao Ning's strong suit.

At noon, Xiao Ning took Xia Li to eat Japanese food, an act which was in consideration of Xia Li's preference for Japanese cuisine.

While they both sat down, Xia Li remembered then asked, "You don't dislike Japanese food, right"

Xiao Ning was actually quite happy with this silence, all he had to do was pull the card out his wallet, slash it and pay.

Seeing him ask this, Xiao Ning understood Xia Li was talking about himself and Lu Yan.

After all, the younger man had just graduated university, so he was about twenty-three years old.

"Not really, but Lu Yan and I aren't the same.

He can prefer those a little younger than himself because he has the energy to go running around to play with them all over."

"Huh! What are you doing I was going to pay for it myself." Xia Li was shocked, wanting to snatch the it, but Xiao Ning dodged out of the way, telling him, "This isn't my card, it's Lu Yan's.

So if you want to say something, say it to him.

I'm just an errand boy."

"What is he like..." Xiao Ning thought about Shan Haiming for a while, nothing really came to his mind quickly regarding this question.

He couldn't exactly mention them helping each other out once.

But despite him not having known Shan Haiming for long, he did however feel that with a favour of this kind, the other man would most likely help.

"It's not easy to put into words, but in the beginning, he didn't seem like someone easy to get along with.

However, after we hung out with one another I felt he wasn't such a bad guy."

They...

actually he, himself, could no longer go on like this.

Xiao Ning had nothing to say to that.

A flush of red descended on Xia Li's face as he looked at Xiao Ning slashing the card then helping him pick up the things to carry, with him suddenly asking, "Why do you know the pin for his card"

However, the name Shan Haiming was displayed on the screen.

With his lips drawn into a line, Xia Li seemed as though he had nothing more to say.

But following him taking a few sips of his coffee, he asked, "So...

I can't tell Lu Yan"

"You to really are two peas in a pod." Xia Li laughed, putting back the wallet, adding, "He just changed his wallet last season so lets go look at some belts."

At this obvious joke, the two laughed in tacit understanding.

Xia Li's eyes had changed now, the suspicion once held within them decreasing, "Hey, that other guy...

what's he like"

"Who usually makes me run around doing all sorts of errands for him This cad is only a prepaid one he lets me use when I'm doing work for him." Xiao Ning explained it to him casually, but none of what he said was actually true.

That card was actually a credit card with a limit of fifty-thousand.

Xiao Ning just never thought of using the card secretly, but even if he did use it regularly, Lu Yan wouldn't bat an eye.

"Who usually makes me run around doing all sorts of errands for him This cad is only a prepaid one he lets me use when I'm doing work for him." Xiao Ning explained it to him casually, but none of what he said was actually true.

That card was actually a credit card with a limit of fifty-thousand.

Xiao Ning just never thought of using the card secretly, but even if he did use it regularly, Lu Yan wouldn't bat an eye.

A leather belt was not much cheaper than a wallet, and Xiao Ning looked around at the floor below.

"I remember there was one here, do you want look around"

"Oh, so that's how it is..." Xia Li seemed to be considering the positives and negatives of such a situation, so Xiao Ning thought he should offer him a few words of comfort.

If Xiao Ning truly wanted to only be regarded as someone who is a friend of Lu Yan's, now should be his moment to show this sincerely, but he said nothing.

Him doing something like that at this point had felt extremely awkward, and was quite simply too much.

He truly had no more energy to do so.

Xiao Ning was surprised; but then immediately understood, asking, "With whom"

It felt as though he was carrying around a child afraid others will covet their treasured object, so Xiao Ning was not only exhausted, his head was hurting too.

But, suddenly, the phone in his pocket rang, and hoping it was Lu Yan calling as he fished it out his pocket.

Xiao Ning asked curiously, "What, you think I'm actually lying to you or something Is there any need for me to lie to you"

"I mean, I'll have dinner tomorrow with you and your brother.

It's not a big deal." Xiao Ning then hesitated for a while before releasing his held breath, hoping they can become friends.

When will this day end...

Lu Yan may have truly had a lifelong friend in Xiao Ning, but in the end, Xiao Ning had the guilty conscience of a thief.

Xiao Ning was slightly stunned, helplessness spreading through him.

He truly had forgotten about this, and could only say, "Yes.

I bought one the last time I came here with Lu Yan.

I don't have a favourite brand in particular."

"Oh.

it's like that, huh" Xia Li clicked his tongue twice, "Having such a good friend is really nice."

There was instant silence over the phone.

If you know Lu Yan's credit card, you basically knew his passwords, again, Xia Li's thoughts unknowing went to that place.

Xiao Ning paused, then replied, "No."

Xia Li was unfamiliar with the Tom Ford brand, given university students shop at nothing but Jack Jones or Mark Fairwhale for their accessories and clothes.

But since Xiao Ning said it was Lu Yan's favourite, he agreed saying, "Okay, lets go."

Xiao Ning smiled for a moment, suddenly coming to his senses.

Was that joke he just played Were they close enough for such a joke to be played

Xiao Ning smiled for a moment, suddenly coming to his senses.

Was that joke he just played Were they close enough for such a joke to be played

"You to really are two peas in a pod." Xia Li laughed, putting back the wallet, adding, "He just changed his wallet last season so lets go look at some belts."

At noon, Xiao Ning took Xia Li to eat Japanese food, an act which was in consideration of Xia Li's preference for Japanese cuisine.

While they both sat down, Xia Li remembered then asked, "You don't dislike Japanese food, right"

If you know Lu Yan's credit card, you basically knew his passwords, again, Xia Li's thoughts unknowing went to that place.

Xiao Ning was not accustomed to eating raw dishes, and had in truth rather preferred traditional Chinese-styled cuisine.

"I don't hate it, and I can eat whatever."

"You to really are two peas in a pod." Xia Li laughed, putting back the wallet, adding, "He just changed his wallet last season so lets go look at some belts."

"Lu Yan doesn't like to eat this stuff at all.

He says the flavours are too light." Xia Li let out a chuckle, continuing, "So I made him use more wasabi."

For a while afterwards, the two talked casually, and having noticed enough time had passed, he suggested to Xia Li they should go walk around.

"So, how long are you planning to stay in A-City"

Xiao Ning thought, If Lu Yan really likes Xia Li, then it wasn't impossible for him to let this kid stay at his place.

"What is he like..." Xiao Ning thought about Shan Haiming for a while, nothing really came to his mind quickly regarding this question.

He couldn't exactly mention them helping each other out once.

But despite him not having known Shan Haiming for long, he did however feel that with a favour of this kind, the other man would most likely help.

"It's not easy to put into words, but in the beginning, he didn't seem like someone easy to get along with.

However, after we hung out with one another I felt he wasn't such a bad guy."

For a while afterwards, the two talked casually, and having noticed enough time had passed, he suggested to Xia Li they should go walk around.

"So, how long are you planning to stay in A-City"

"I mean, I'll have dinner tomorrow with you and your brother.

It's not a big deal." Xiao Ning then hesitated for a while before releasing his held breath, hoping they can become friends.

But friends aren't particularly in such extravagant relationships, so it shouldn't matter...

right

Xiao Ning had nothing to say to that.

Xiao Ning stared at the black wood of the table, adding, "Yeah, he does like spicy food."

"That's very kind of you." Xia Li sighed before continuing, "I'm fine with spicy food, but I'm not very fond of sweets.

Lu Yan seems to not like sweets much either.

Like, fruits are fine, but sweetened products are just too much."

"Then that means you must like spicy foods too, right", Xia Li asked, "Otherwise, it couldn't be easy for you both to eat together, right"

"I'm with a friend right now," Xiao Ning said this line as a way of explaining without explaining.

Shan Haiming wasn't bothered about it, so he went on to say, "We're having dinner tomorrow night."

What about it wasn't easy All that was needed was for one of them to yield to accommodate the other.

Within his own mind, there was also the words, written in ink, written in bold: there is no need to continue.

So now, inside of that shop where the scent of the coffee's bitter warmth filled the air, without any sign or warning, without an ounce of preparation, Xiao Ning, with his own two hands, had buried the one-sided love he held on to from the age of ten, until his twenty-seventh year.

The phone call ended neatly.

Xia Li the muttered to himself, seeming as though he hadn't said anything, going on to ask, "So how did the two of you meet"

Xia li gave a disappointed cry, then added, "Then I'll just buy him a belt.

Where is this Tom Ford place"

"Either is fine with me.

Whether it's spicy or not spicy, I can eat it all." Xiao Ning had always never been picky about food even if he not particularly fond of it.

He does, however, have a special partiality towards fish and sweets, except he never took the initiative to add these to dishes when he was dining in public.

In order to be considerate of those around him, he also never stared at any one dish.

This is why in the eyes of the people around him, Xiao Ning did not have any food one could see was his favourite.

But the appearance of Xia Li made him aware things can always change.

That even if it wasn't Xia Li, there would always be someone else who could become the one most held dear to Lu Yan in the end.

Such a person could be a man, or they could be a woman, but the one person they would never be was Xiao Ning.

"Understood." Shan Haiming broke the silence, his tone sluggish as he added, "Is there anything you don't like to eat"

Xiao Ning was surprised; but then immediately understood, asking, "With whom"

Concealing these preferences of his gave him a sense of security.

It meant that others would not give him any special consideration, as well as it not making them perceive him troublesome.

"I hope you won't tell him." Xiao Ning sighed, there was no use in pretending.

"But if I'm going to see that person I mentioned before, I still have to tell the friends around me, and Lu Yan isn't homophobic anyhow, so it doesn't really matter.

If you want to tell him, just tell him."

There was no need.

Xiao Ning currently felt as though he could hear the wind howling within his chest, and so closed his eyes.

In truth, there was nothing else he had wanted to say, but...

the matter before him was one he had to continue dealing with.

"I understand.

You want to know more about Lu Yan and know more about me as well.

It's just that I'm not courageous when it comes to handling things, and I think things over quite carefully before I dare even say a word to someone else.

So if it wasn't for me being afraid you'd have some sort of misunderstanding, I would've never said anything to begin with."

It was not pleasing, but it was one which had long reached its end.

At this obvious joke, the two laughed in tacit understanding.

Xia Li's eyes had changed now, the suspicion once held within them decreasing, "Hey, that other guy...

what's he like"

"That's very kind of you." Xia Li sighed before continuing, "I'm fine with spicy food, but I'm not very fond of sweets.

Lu Yan seems to not like sweets much either.

Like, fruits are fine, but sweetened products are just too much."

"Oh, so that's how it is..." Xia Li seemed to be considering the positives and negatives of such a situation, so Xiao Ning thought he should offer him a few words of comfort.

If Xiao Ning truly wanted to only be regarded as someone who is a friend of Lu Yan's, now should be his moment to show this sincerely, but he said nothing.

Him doing something like that at this point had felt extremely awkward, and was quite simply too much.

He truly had no more energy to do so.

The phone call ended neatly.

Xiao Ning stared at the black wood of the table, adding, "Yeah, he does like spicy food."

Xia Li, hearing the phone ring, turned to look at Xiao Ning and saw him answer, "Haiming"

"That's very kind of you." Xia Li sighed before continuing, "I'm fine with spicy food, but I'm not very fond of sweets.

Lu Yan seems to not like sweets much either.

Like, fruits are fine, but sweetened products are just too much."

Xiao Ning nodded, agreeing, "Usually it's girls who have a preference for sweets."

"Xiao Ning." Xia Li called out, "Isn't this just like the one you use"

Which is why Xiao Ning could only whisper, "Who was it that made me be yours, huh"

But friends aren't particularly in such extravagant relationships, so it shouldn't matter...

right

After the dishes arrived, the platter of sashimi basically all went into Xia Li's stomach.

Xiao Ning only took a thin piece of salmon in the tasting dish, never moving it from that place following that.

Afterwards, he only tried a piece of the mackerel pike (probably because its pickled), then moved on to eat a few pieces of the roasted beef.

Xia Li was unfamiliar with the Tom Ford brand, given university students shop at nothing but Jack Jones or Mark Fairwhale for their accessories and clothes.

But since Xiao Ning said it was Lu Yan's favourite, he agreed saying, "Okay, lets go."

At noon, Xiao Ning took Xia Li to eat Japanese food, an act which was in consideration of Xia Li's preference for Japanese cuisine.

While they both sat down, Xia Li remembered then asked, "You don't dislike Japanese food, right"

"What is he like..." Xiao Ning thought about Shan Haiming for a while, nothing really came to his mind quickly regarding this question.

He couldn't exactly mention them helping each other out once.

But despite him not having known Shan Haiming for long, he did however feel that with a favour of this kind, the other man would most likely help.

"It's not easy to put into words, but in the beginning, he didn't seem like someone easy to get along with.

However, after we hung out with one another I felt he wasn't such a bad guy."

But one he heard this, Shan Haiming only asked again impatiently, "Nonsense.

There's nothing Are you a garbage can"

A flush of red descended on Xia Li's face as he looked at Xiao Ning slashing the card then helping him pick up the things to carry, with him suddenly asking, "Why do you know the pin for his card"

His gaze soon stopped, shocked, he took up a wallet and examined it.

Seeing this, the store clerk then explained, "That style is very popular.

It's both practical and generous, and is also available in two colours.

Would you like to see them"

This act of his was too brazen.

Lately, he had gotten so brazen.

Xiao Ning understood that, as a human, there were a lot of things he couldn't always hold in.

But, at current, he couldn't say any of those things to Shan Haiming.

This time, to pay the bill, Xiao Ning took out his own money.

Xia Li didn't know if it was because he was just accustomed to being the one paying the bill, also understood he should go along with the wishes of his host, and didn't offer to pay again.

They...

actually he, himself, could no longer go on like this.

Xiao Ning currently felt as though he could hear the wind howling within his chest, and so closed his eyes.

In truth, there was nothing else he had wanted to say, but...

the matter before him was one he had to continue dealing with.

"I understand.

You want to know more about Lu Yan and know more about me as well.

It's just that I'm not courageous when it comes to handling things, and I think things over quite carefully before I dare even say a word to someone else.

So if it wasn't for me being afraid you'd have some sort of misunderstanding, I would've never said anything to begin with."

"That's very kind of you." Xia Li sighed before continuing, "I'm fine with spicy food, but I'm not very fond of sweets.

Lu Yan seems to not like sweets much either.

Like, fruits are fine, but sweetened products are just too much."

Xiao Ning smiled for a moment, suddenly coming to his senses.

Was that joke he just played Were they close enough for such a joke to be played

Xia Li the muttered to himself, seeming as though he hadn't said anything, going on to ask, "So how did the two of you meet"

Arriving at the Tom Ford speciality store, Xia Li and Xiao Ning were led to the wallet display by a store clerk , "These are our latest arrivals for our spring collection."

To which Shan Haiming lightly hummed, "Tomorrow after work I'll call you.

Don't forget, alright"

Xiao Ning then asked, "Where do you want to go now"

"Oh, don't tell Lu Yan this, but I'm actually planing on finding a job here." Since he held no animosity towards Xiao Ning, there was naturally no probing in his tone while he giggled happily and added, "I've already sent out my resume, and I have an interview in a few days."

"Either is fine with me.

Whether it's spicy or not spicy, I can eat it all." Xiao Ning had always never been picky about food even if he not particularly fond of it.

He does, however, have a special partiality towards fish and sweets, except he never took the initiative to add these to dishes when he was dining in public.

In order to be considerate of those around him, he also never stared at any one dish.

This is why in the eyes of the people around him, Xiao Ning did not have any food one could see was his favourite.

"Oh, so that's how it is..." Xia Li seemed to be considering the positives and negatives of such a situation, so Xiao Ning thought he should offer him a few words of comfort.

If Xiao Ning truly wanted to only be regarded as someone who is a friend of Lu Yan's, now should be his moment to show this sincerely, but he said nothing.

Him doing something like that at this point had felt extremely awkward, and was quite simply too much.

He truly had no more energy to do so.

"Good." Shan Haiming, utterly absentmindedly, replied, "Bye."

Seventeen years.

It was long enough for a babe to have grown into a fresh-faced youth.

It was also long enough for arduously undergo worry and fear, as well as harbour infinite joy and emptiness, while he walked that far and hopeless road alone.

At that moment, he truly needed a friend.

Xiao Ning asked curiously, "What, you think I'm actually lying to you or something Is there any need for me to lie to you"

"I want to buy something for Lu Yan." Xia Li thought about it for a moment, "I want to buy him a wallet."

"My brother and a friend," Shan Haiming explained simply, "It's just the four of us."

Xiao Ning stared at the black wood of the table, adding, "Yeah, he does like spicy food."

"Oh, I need to buy some shoes, want to go check out that place over there" Xia Li took the lead, walking into a sporting brand store, Xiao Ning following behind him.

Showing him to the shoe rack, with sport shoes he rarely wore himself, where his most recent pair was one gifted by Shan Haiming.

While shopping, Xia Li was very self reliant, neither listening to the store clerk's recommendation nor asking Xiao Ning's opinion.

He simply bought a pair of trainers and a pair of vans.

Picking contrasting colours was not Xiao Ning's strong suit.

Xiao Ning had nothing to say to that.

"Who usually makes me run around doing all sorts of errands for him This cad is only a prepaid one he lets me use when I'm doing work for him." Xiao Ning explained it to him casually, but none of what he said was actually true.

That card was actually a credit card with a limit of fifty-thousand.

Xiao Ning just never thought of using the card secretly, but even if he did use it regularly, Lu Yan wouldn't bat an eye.

Lu Yan may have truly had a lifelong friend in Xiao Ning, but in the end, Xiao Ning had the guilty conscience of a thief.

Which is why Xiao Ning could only whisper, "Who was it that made me be yours, huh"

With Xia Li then asking, "Which brand does he usually like to use"

"It wasn't that long ago.

I had a colleague ask me to a bar some time ago and we met there." This was the truth, Xiao Ning would naturally not beat around the bush, adding, "After we hit it off, it felt nice.

But...

he is a bot younger than me, though."

Arriving at the Tom Ford speciality store, Xia Li and Xiao Ning were led to the wallet display by a store clerk , "These are our latest arrivals for our spring collection."

Truthfully, he didn't want Lu Yan to know, not for the sake of others, but because of Lu Yan's temperament.

He could not shake the feeling it would lead to more problems cropping up later on.

Additionally, admitting his sexuality right to Lu Yan's face made him extremely embarrassed.

Xia Li's mouth fell open even wider, "Really"

"With your brother" Xiao Ning glanced at Xia Li who again turned back to pick out items, "Alright, where"

This made Xiao Ning hesitate for a while, because Lu Yan's favourite brand was Tom Ford, and some time ago he had accompanied that man to a speciality store to buy some clothes.

So, the items of this brand may be rather expensive to a college student who just graduated, however, Xia Li did ask, and it wasn't easy for Xiaoo Ning to tell such a surface level lie.

"He likes to buy things from Tom Ford, but it hasn't been that long since he last bought a wallet there."

From the start, that ought to have been something he understood.

Despite him only thinking of being a good friend in his heart of hearts, along with knowing they can never have any future with one another, Xiao Ning had ultimately not completely banished the thought, always wanting to stay within reach of that place even if only to bask in the slivers of warmth such delusions can bring.

Xia li gave a disappointed cry, then added, "Then I'll just buy him a belt.

Where is this Tom Ford place"

Seeing him speak in such vivid detail, Xia Li believed him, and so asked, "Being a bit younger can't be that big of a deal, right"

"With your brother" Xiao Ning glanced at Xia Li who again turned back to pick out items, "Alright, where"

This act of his was too brazen.

Lately, he had gotten so brazen.

Xiao Ning understood that, as a human, there were a lot of things he couldn't always hold in.

But, at current, he couldn't say any of those things to Shan Haiming.

To which Shan Haiming lightly hummed, "Tomorrow after work I'll call you.

Don't forget, alright"

"I'm with a friend right now," Xiao Ning said this line as a way of explaining without explaining.

Shan Haiming wasn't bothered about it, so he went on to say, "We're having dinner tomorrow night."

A leather belt was not much cheaper than a wallet, and Xiao Ning looked around at the floor below.

"I remember there was one here, do you want look around"

But one he heard this, Shan Haiming only asked again impatiently, "Nonsense.

There's nothing Are you a garbage can"

Xia Li was unfamiliar with the Tom Ford brand, given university students shop at nothing but Jack Jones or Mark Fairwhale for their accessories and clothes.

But since Xiao Ning said it was Lu Yan's favourite, he agreed saying, "Okay, lets go."

Of course it was too abrupt! Even Xiao Ning felt he was not ready to do so before.

But now that he had gone through with saying those words absentmindedly, the tightly stretched string in his heart has been severed.

It was painful, but it allowed him to be able to gradually breathe comfortably.

Concealing these preferences of his gave him a sense of security.

It meant that others would not give him any special consideration, as well as it not making them perceive him troublesome.

With Xia Li then asking, "Which brand does he usually like to use"

This act of his was too brazen.

Lately, he had gotten so brazen.

Xiao Ning understood that, as a human, there were a lot of things he couldn't always hold in.

But, at current, he couldn't say any of those things to Shan Haiming.

Within his own mind, there was also the words, written in ink, written in bold: there is no need to continue.

"Oh, don't tell Lu Yan this, but I'm actually planing on finding a job here." Since he held no animosity towards Xiao Ning, there was naturally no probing in his tone while he giggled happily and added, "I've already sent out my resume, and I have an interview in a few days."

N/A

Arriving at the Tom Ford speciality store, Xia Li and Xiao Ning were led to the wallet display by a store clerk , "These are our latest arrivals for our spring collection."

"I won't forget," Xiao Ning replied simply,

"I mean, I'll have dinner tomorrow with you and your brother.

It's not a big deal." Xiao Ning then hesitated for a while before releasing his held breath, hoping they can become friends.

Xia li gave a disappointed cry, then added, "Then I'll just buy him a belt.

Where is this Tom Ford place"

Shan Haiming didn't reply, only saying, "I'll come pick you up.

Oh, and send me your bank account number later."

A flush of red descended on Xia Li's face as he looked at Xiao Ning slashing the card then helping him pick up the things to carry, with him suddenly asking, "Why do you know the pin for his card"

Concealing these preferences of his gave him a sense of security.

It meant that others would not give him any special consideration, as well as it not making them perceive him troublesome.

Xiao Ning smiled for a moment, suddenly coming to his senses.

Was that joke he just played Were they close enough for such a joke to be played

Xia Li's gaze turned to the shelves, so the store clerk suggested, "Those are designs from our previous season."

Xiao Ning then asked, "Where do you want to go now"

His gaze soon stopped, shocked, he took up a wallet and examined it.

Seeing this, the store clerk then explained, "That style is very popular.

It's both practical and generous, and is also available in two colours.

Would you like to see them"

With his lips drawn into a line, Xia Li seemed as though he had nothing more to say.

But following him taking a few sips of his coffee, he asked, "So...

I can't tell Lu Yan"

"Um..." Xia Li shook his head in confusion, "It's just...

way too sudden."

Shan Haiming was also silent for a while before asking, "What do you mean"

From the start, that ought to have been something he understood.

Despite him only thinking of being a good friend in his heart of hearts, along with knowing they can never have any future with one another, Xiao Ning had ultimately not completely banished the thought, always wanting to stay within reach of that place even if only to bask in the slivers of warmth such delusions can bring.

At noon, Xiao Ning took Xia Li to eat Japanese food, an act which was in consideration of Xia Li's preference for Japanese cuisine.

While they both sat down, Xia Li remembered then asked, "You don't dislike Japanese food, right"

"Oh, don't tell Lu Yan this, but I'm actually planing on finding a job here." Since he held no animosity towards Xiao Ning, there was naturally no probing in his tone while he giggled happily and added, "I've already sent out my resume, and I have an interview in a few days."

A flush of red descended on Xia Li's face as he looked at Xiao Ning slashing the card then helping him pick up the things to carry, with him suddenly asking, "Why do you know the pin for his card"

"Xiao Ning." Xia Li called out, "Isn't this just like the one you use"

"Huh! What are you doing I was going to pay for it myself." Xia Li was shocked, wanting to snatch the it, but Xiao Ning dodged out of the way, telling him, "This isn't my card, it's Lu Yan's.

So if you want to say something, say it to him.

I'm just an errand boy."

Xiao Ning smiled for a moment, suddenly coming to his senses.

Was that joke he just played Were they close enough for such a joke to be played

At noon, Xiao Ning took Xia Li to eat Japanese food, an act which was in consideration of Xia Li's preference for Japanese cuisine.

While they both sat down, Xia Li remembered then asked, "You don't dislike Japanese food, right"

Xiao Ning was slightly stunned, helplessness spreading through him.

He truly had forgotten about this, and could only say, "Yes.

I bought one the last time I came here with Lu Yan.

I don't have a favourite brand in particular."

"Um...

I uh..."

Seventeen years.

It was long enough for a babe to have grown into a fresh-faced youth.

It was also long enough for arduously undergo worry and fear, as well as harbour infinite joy and emptiness, while he walked that far and hopeless road alone.

"Either is fine with me.

Whether it's spicy or not spicy, I can eat it all." Xiao Ning had always never been picky about food even if he not particularly fond of it.

He does, however, have a special partiality towards fish and sweets, except he never took the initiative to add these to dishes when he was dining in public.

In order to be considerate of those around him, he also never stared at any one dish.

This is why in the eyes of the people around him, Xiao Ning did not have any food one could see was his favourite.

Truthfully, back then when Lu Yan saw the two wallets, both the one on the left and on the right, he had chosen the one with the crocodile patten and Xiao Ning just figured he'd buy the one Lu Yan hadn't chosen.

In the end, Lu Yan paid their bills together, so this wallet can actually be considered to be a gift chosen by Lu Yan and gifted to Xiao Ning.

Seventeen years.

It was long enough for a babe to have grown into a fresh-faced youth.

It was also long enough for arduously undergo worry and fear, as well as harbour infinite joy and emptiness, while he walked that far and hopeless road alone.

"You to really are two peas in a pod." Xia Li laughed, putting back the wallet, adding, "He just changed his wallet last season so lets go look at some belts."

What about it wasn't easy All that was needed was for one of them to yield to accommodate the other.

When will this day end...

For a moment, Xiao Ning remained unmoving, unable to help the gentle smile from emerging as he shook his head. This...

why does it feel like a real one

It was not pleasing, but it was one which had long reached its end.

"What is he like..." Xiao Ning thought about Shan Haiming for a while, nothing really came to his mind quickly regarding this question.

He couldn't exactly mention them helping each other out once.

But despite him not having known Shan Haiming for long, he did however feel that with a favour of this kind, the other man would most likely help.

"It's not easy to put into words, but in the beginning, he didn't seem like someone easy to get along with.

However, after we hung out with one another I felt he wasn't such a bad guy."

"I don't know.

You might have to ask the security staff at the building.

Sometimes they know a lot about these things." Xiao Ning replied faintly, his own thoughts beginning to wander, speaking of looking for a new place...

If you know Lu Yan's credit card, you basically knew his passwords, again, Xia Li's thoughts unknowing went to that place.

It felt as though he was carrying around a child afraid others will covet their treasured object, so Xiao Ning was not only exhausted, his head was hurting too.

But, suddenly, the phone in his pocket rang, and hoping it was Lu Yan calling as he fished it out his pocket.

Xia li gave a disappointed cry, then added, "Then I'll just buy him a belt.

Where is this Tom Ford place"

However, the name Shan Haiming was displayed on the screen.

But friends aren't particularly in such extravagant relationships, so it shouldn't matter...

right

Xia Li, hearing the phone ring, turned to look at Xiao Ning and saw him answer, "Haiming"

Xia Li the muttered to himself, seeming as though he hadn't said anything, going on to ask, "So how did the two of you meet"

"It wasn't that long ago.

I had a colleague ask me to a bar some time ago and we met there." This was the truth, Xiao Ning would naturally not beat around the bush, adding, "After we hit it off, it felt nice.

But...

he is a bot younger than me, though."

Xiao Ning then asked, "Where do you want to go now"

For a while afterwards, the two talked casually, and having noticed enough time had passed, he suggested to Xia Li they should go walk around.

"So, how long are you planning to stay in A-City"

"Lu Yan doesn't like to eat this stuff at all.

He says the flavours are too light." Xia Li let out a chuckle, continuing, "So I made him use more wasabi."

From the other end of the line, Shan Haiming's laugh echoed, "So you switched it again"

The phone call ended neatly.

This time, to pay the bill, Xiao Ning took out his own money.

Xia Li didn't know if it was because he was just accustomed to being the one paying the bill, also understood he should go along with the wishes of his host, and didn't offer to pay again.

Xiao Ning then asked, "Where do you want to go now"

After the dishes arrived, the platter of sashimi basically all went into Xia Li's stomach.

Xiao Ning only took a thin piece of salmon in the tasting dish, never moving it from that place following that.

Afterwards, he only tried a piece of the mackerel pike (probably because its pickled), then moved on to eat a few pieces of the roasted beef.

Xiao Ning recalled Lu Yan having mentioned Xia Li's internship at the advertising company, so he said, "Ask Lu Yan to help you find one.

He usually deals with people from advertising agencies."

"I'm with a friend right now," Xiao Ning said this line as a way of explaining without explaining.

Shan Haiming wasn't bothered about it, so he went on to say, "We're having dinner tomorrow night."

Shan Haiming was also silent for a while before asking, "What do you mean"

Xiao Ning nodded, agreeing, "Usually it's girls who have a preference for sweets."

"I'm with a friend right now," Xiao Ning said this line as a way of explaining without explaining.

Shan Haiming wasn't bothered about it, so he went on to say, "We're having dinner tomorrow night."

Xiao Ning was surprised; but then immediately understood, asking, "With whom"

Xiao Ning had nothing to say to that.

"My brother and a friend," Shan Haiming explained simply, "It's just the four of us."

At that moment, he truly needed a friend.

When will this day end...

Xiao Ning stared at the black wood of the table, adding, "Yeah, he does like spicy food."

"Xiao Ning." Xia Li called out, "Isn't this just like the one you use"

It was not pleasing, but it was one which had long reached its end.

Concealing these preferences of his gave him a sense of security.

It meant that others would not give him any special consideration, as well as it not making them perceive him troublesome.

Anyhow, he doesn't need to go back there himself either.

"With your brother" Xiao Ning glanced at Xia Li who again turned back to pick out items, "Alright, where"

"Oh, I need to buy some shoes, want to go check out that place over there" Xia Li took the lead, walking into a sporting brand store, Xiao Ning following behind him.

Showing him to the shoe rack, with sport shoes he rarely wore himself, where his most recent pair was one gifted by Shan Haiming.

While shopping, Xia Li was very self reliant, neither listening to the store clerk's recommendation nor asking Xiao Ning's opinion.

He simply bought a pair of trainers and a pair of vans.

Picking contrasting colours was not Xiao Ning's strong suit.

At that moment, he truly needed a friend.

Which is why Xiao Ning could only whisper, "Who was it that made me be yours, huh"

A leather belt was not much cheaper than a wallet, and Xiao Ning looked around at the floor below.

"I remember there was one here, do you want look around"

At noon, Xiao Ning took Xia Li to eat Japanese food, an act which was in consideration of Xia Li's preference for Japanese cuisine.

While they both sat down, Xia Li remembered then asked, "You don't dislike Japanese food, right"

Xiao Ning was slightly stunned, helplessness spreading through him.

He truly had forgotten about this, and could only say, "Yes.

I bought one the last time I came here with Lu Yan.

I don't have a favourite brand in particular."

Arriving at the Tom Ford speciality store, Xia Li and Xiao Ning were led to the wallet display by a store clerk , "These are our latest arrivals for our spring collection."

Shan Haiming didn't reply, only saying, "I'll come pick you up.

Oh, and send me your bank account number later."

"I want to buy something for Lu Yan." Xia Li thought about it for a moment, "I want to buy him a wallet."

Those words made Xiao Ning slow to react for a few seconds, as expected, Shan Haiming was referring to work.

He remained silent for a good while before saying, "That isn't necessary."

There was no need.

Shan Haiming was also silent for a while before asking, "What do you mean"

A flush of red descended on Xia Li's face as he looked at Xiao Ning slashing the card then helping him pick up the things to carry, with him suddenly asking, "Why do you know the pin for his card"

"I want to buy something for Lu Yan." Xia Li thought about it for a moment, "I want to buy him a wallet."

"Either is fine with me.

Whether it's spicy or not spicy, I can eat it all." Xiao Ning had always never been picky about food even if he not particularly fond of it.

He does, however, have a special partiality towards fish and sweets, except he never took the initiative to add these to dishes when he was dining in public.

In order to be considerate of those around him, he also never stared at any one dish.

This is why in the eyes of the people around him, Xiao Ning did not have any food one could see was his favourite.

"I mean, I'll have dinner tomorrow with you and your brother.

It's not a big deal." Xiao Ning then hesitated for a while before releasing his held breath, hoping they can become friends.

From the start, that ought to have been something he understood.

Despite him only thinking of being a good friend in his heart of hearts, along with knowing they can never have any future with one another, Xiao Ning had ultimately not completely banished the thought, always wanting to stay within reach of that place even if only to bask in the slivers of warmth such delusions can bring.

"I mean, I'll have dinner tomorrow with you and your brother.

It's not a big deal." Xiao Ning then hesitated for a while before releasing his held breath, hoping they can become friends.

Shan Haiming didn't reply, only saying, "I'll come pick you up.

Oh, and send me your bank account number later."

Of course it was too abrupt! Even Xiao Ning felt he was not ready to do so before.

But now that he had gone through with saying those words absentmindedly, the tightly stretched string in his heart has been severed.

It was painful, but it allowed him to be able to gradually breathe comfortably.

But one he heard this, Shan Haiming only asked again impatiently, "Nonsense.

There's nothing Are you a garbage can"

So now, inside of that shop where the scent of the coffee's bitter warmth filled the air, without any sign or warning, without an ounce of preparation, Xiao Ning, with his own two hands, had buried the one-sided love he held on to from the age of ten, until his twenty-seventh year.

Xia Li's mouth fell open even wider, "Really"

Xia Li was unfamiliar with the Tom Ford brand, given university students shop at nothing but Jack Jones or Mark Fairwhale for their accessories and clothes.

But since Xiao Ning said it was Lu Yan's favourite, he agreed saying, "Okay, lets go."

Those words made Xiao Ning slow to react for a few seconds, as expected, Shan Haiming was referring to work.

He remained silent for a good while before saying, "That isn't necessary."

At that moment, he truly needed a friend.

Those words made Xiao Ning slow to react for a few seconds, as expected, Shan Haiming was referring to work.

He remained silent for a good while before saying, "That isn't necessary."

This act of his was too brazen.

Lately, he had gotten so brazen.

Xiao Ning understood that, as a human, there were a lot of things he couldn't always hold in.

But, at current, he couldn't say any of those things to Shan Haiming.

From the other end of the line, Shan Haiming's laugh echoed, "So you switched it again"

There was instant silence over the phone.

"Oh, don't tell Lu Yan this, but I'm actually planing on finding a job here." Since he held no animosity towards Xiao Ning, there was naturally no probing in his tone while he giggled happily and added, "I've already sent out my resume, and I have an interview in a few days."

There was instant silence over the phone.

Xia Li the muttered to himself, seeming as though he hadn't said anything, going on to ask, "So how did the two of you meet"

But friends aren't particularly in such extravagant relationships, so it shouldn't matter...

right

Concealing these preferences of his gave him a sense of security.

It meant that others would not give him any special consideration, as well as it not making them perceive him troublesome.

From the other end of the line, Shan Haiming's laugh echoed, "So you switched it again"

Truthfully, he didn't want Lu Yan to know, not for the sake of others, but because of Lu Yan's temperament.

He could not shake the feeling it would lead to more problems cropping up later on.

Additionally, admitting his sexuality right to Lu Yan's face made him extremely embarrassed.

Xia Li's mouth fell open even wider, "Really"

When will this day end...

"I mean, I'll have dinner tomorrow with you and your brother.

It's not a big deal." Xiao Ning then hesitated for a while before releasing his held breath, hoping they can become friends.

"I mean, I'll have dinner tomorrow with you and your brother.

It's not a big deal." Xiao Ning then hesitated for a while before releasing his held breath, hoping they can become friends.

Which is why Xiao Ning could only whisper, "Who was it that made me be yours, huh"

Xiao Ning was actually quite happy with this silence, all he had to do was pull the card out his wallet, slash it and pay.

"I won't forget," Xiao Ning replied simply,

What about it wasn't easy All that was needed was for one of them to yield to accommodate the other.

Xiao Ning was surprised; but then immediately understood, asking, "With whom"

But friends aren't particularly in such extravagant relationships, so it shouldn't matter...

right

Xia li gave a disappointed cry, then added, "Then I'll just buy him a belt.

Where is this Tom Ford place"

But the appearance of Xia Li made him aware things can always change.

That even if it wasn't Xia Li, there would always be someone else who could become the one most held dear to Lu Yan in the end.

Such a person could be a man, or they could be a woman, but the one person they would never be was Xiao Ning.

There was instant silence over the phone.

Xia Li, hearing the phone ring, turned to look at Xiao Ning and saw him answer, "Haiming"

"I mean, I'll have dinner tomorrow with you and your brother.

It's not a big deal." Xiao Ning then hesitated for a while before releasing his held breath, hoping they can become friends.

"Then that means you must like spicy foods too, right", Xia Li asked, "Otherwise, it couldn't be easy for you both to eat together, right"

There was no need.

They...

actually he, himself, could no longer go on like this.

It felt as though he was carrying around a child afraid others will covet their treasured object, so Xiao Ning was not only exhausted, his head was hurting too.

But, suddenly, the phone in his pocket rang, and hoping it was Lu Yan calling as he fished it out his pocket.

Xia Li's mouth fell open even wider, "Really"

Xiao Ning smiled for a moment, suddenly coming to his senses.

Was that joke he just played Were they close enough for such a joke to be played

N/A

This made Xiao Ning hesitate for a while, because Lu Yan's favourite brand was Tom Ford, and some time ago he had accompanied that man to a speciality store to buy some clothes.

So, the items of this brand may be rather expensive to a college student who just graduated, however, Xia Li did ask, and it wasn't easy for Xiaoo Ning to tell such a surface level lie.

"He likes to buy things from Tom Ford, but it hasn't been that long since he last bought a wallet there."

"I hope you won't tell him." Xiao Ning sighed, there was no use in pretending.

"But if I'm going to see that person I mentioned before, I still have to tell the friends around me, and Lu Yan isn't homophobic anyhow, so it doesn't really matter.

If you want to tell him, just tell him."

"Um...

I uh..."

So now, inside of that shop where the scent of the coffee's bitter warmth filled the air, without any sign or warning, without an ounce of preparation, Xiao Ning, with his own two hands, had buried the one-sided love he held on to from the age of ten, until his twenty-seventh year.

"With your brother" Xiao Ning glanced at Xia Li who again turned back to pick out items, "Alright, where"

Xia Li the muttered to himself, seeming as though he hadn't said anything, going on to ask, "So how did the two of you meet"

"Understood." Shan Haiming broke the silence, his tone sluggish as he added, "Is there anything you don't like to eat"

When will this day end...

Those words made Xiao Ning slow to react for a few seconds, as expected, Shan Haiming was referring to work.

He remained silent for a good while before saying, "That isn't necessary."

Xia Li was unfamiliar with the Tom Ford brand, given university students shop at nothing but Jack Jones or Mark Fairwhale for their accessories and clothes.

But since Xiao Ning said it was Lu Yan's favourite, he agreed saying, "Okay, lets go."

For a moment, Xiao Ning remained unmoving, unable to help the gentle smile from emerging as he shook his head. This...

why does it feel like a real one

Lu Yan may have truly had a lifelong friend in Xiao Ning, but in the end, Xiao Ning had the guilty conscience of a thief.

With Xia Li then asking, "Which brand does he usually like to use"

Those words made Xiao Ning slow to react for a few seconds, as expected, Shan Haiming was referring to work.

He remained silent for a good while before saying, "That isn't necessary."

Xiao Ning paused, then replied, "No."

Xiao Ning currently felt as though he could hear the wind howling within his chest, and so closed his eyes.

In truth, there was nothing else he had wanted to say, but...

the matter before him was one he had to continue dealing with.

"I understand.

You want to know more about Lu Yan and know more about me as well.

It's just that I'm not courageous when it comes to handling things, and I think things over quite carefully before I dare even say a word to someone else.

So if it wasn't for me being afraid you'd have some sort of misunderstanding, I would've never said anything to begin with."

"Lu Yan doesn't like to eat this stuff at all.

He says the flavours are too light." Xia Li let out a chuckle, continuing, "So I made him use more wasabi."

Xiao Ning then asked, "Where do you want to go now"

With his lips drawn into a line, Xia Li seemed as though he had nothing more to say.

But following him taking a few sips of his coffee, he asked, "So...

I can't tell Lu Yan"

"Then that means you must like spicy foods too, right", Xia Li asked, "Otherwise, it couldn't be easy for you both to eat together, right"

The phone call ended neatly.

Xia Li's gaze turned to the shelves, so the store clerk suggested, "Those are designs from our previous season."

But one he heard this, Shan Haiming only asked again impatiently, "Nonsense.

There's nothing Are you a garbage can"

"I kind of want to try finding one on my own first," Xia Li said, while noticing a nearby store.

"I also want to check out an apartment too, so are there any rooms for rent were Lu Yan lives"

"Um..." Xia Li shook his head in confusion, "It's just...

way too sudden."

Xiao Ning was surprised; but then immediately understood, asking, "With whom"

So as a result, pursing his lips, Xiao Ning whispered, "Japanese food."

Boyfriend

Seeing him speak in such vivid detail, Xia Li believed him, and so asked, "Being a bit younger can't be that big of a deal, right"

Seventeen years.

It was long enough for a babe to have grown into a fresh-faced youth.

It was also long enough for arduously undergo worry and fear, as well as harbour infinite joy and emptiness, while he walked that far and hopeless road alone.

From today, he began not liking this cuisine.

Xiao Ning smiled for a moment, suddenly coming to his senses.

Was that joke he just played Were they close enough for such a joke to be played

To which Shan Haiming lightly hummed, "Tomorrow after work I'll call you.

Don't forget, alright"

Arriving at the Tom Ford speciality store, Xia Li and Xiao Ning were led to the wallet display by a store clerk , "These are our latest arrivals for our spring collection."

"I won't forget," Xiao Ning replied simply,

From today, he began not liking this cuisine.

Xiao Ning had nothing to say to that.

Xiao Ning stared at the black wood of the table, adding, "Yeah, he does like spicy food."

Xiao Ning paused, then replied, "No."

"Either is fine with me.

Whether it's spicy or not spicy, I can eat it all." Xiao Ning had always never been picky about food even if he not particularly fond of it.

He does, however, have a special partiality towards fish and sweets, except he never took the initiative to add these to dishes when he was dining in public.

In order to be considerate of those around him, he also never stared at any one dish.

This is why in the eyes of the people around him, Xiao Ning did not have any food one could see was his favourite.

His gaze soon stopped, shocked, he took up a wallet and examined it.

Seeing this, the store clerk then explained, "That style is very popular.

It's both practical and generous, and is also available in two colours.

Would you like to see them"

Xiao Ning thought, If Lu Yan really likes Xia Li, then it wasn't impossible for him to let this kid stay at his place.

"Good." Shan Haiming, utterly absentmindedly, replied, "Bye."

"Um..." Xia Li shook his head in confusion, "It's just...

way too sudden."

So as a result, pursing his lips, Xiao Ning whispered, "Japanese food."

Xiao Ning paused, then replied, "No."

Xia Li's gaze turned to the shelves, so the store clerk suggested, "Those are designs from our previous season."

Seeing him speak in such vivid detail, Xia Li believed him, and so asked, "Being a bit younger can't be that big of a deal, right"

"I don't know.

You might have to ask the security staff at the building.

Sometimes they know a lot about these things." Xiao Ning replied faintly, his own thoughts beginning to wander, speaking of looking for a new place...

"Xiao Ning." Xia Li called out, "Isn't this just like the one you use"

The phone call ended neatly.

"Either is fine with me.

Whether it's spicy or not spicy, I can eat it all." Xiao Ning had always never been picky about food even if he not particularly fond of it.

He does, however, have a special partiality towards fish and sweets, except he never took the initiative to add these to dishes when he was dining in public.

In order to be considerate of those around him, he also never stared at any one dish.

This is why in the eyes of the people around him, Xiao Ning did not have any food one could see was his favourite.

"I kind of want to try finding one on my own first," Xia Li said, while noticing a nearby store.

"I also want to check out an apartment too, so are there any rooms for rent were Lu Yan lives"

"My brother and a friend," Shan Haiming explained simply, "It's just the four of us."

Seventeen years.

It was long enough for a babe to have grown into a fresh-faced youth.

It was also long enough for arduously undergo worry and fear, as well as harbour infinite joy and emptiness, while he walked that far and hopeless road alone.

Of course it was too abrupt! Even Xiao Ning felt he was not ready to do so before.

But now that he had gone through with saying those words absentmindedly, the tightly stretched string in his heart has been severed.

It was painful, but it allowed him to be able to gradually breathe comfortably.

"That's very kind of you." Xia Li sighed before continuing, "I'm fine with spicy food, but I'm not very fond of sweets.

Lu Yan seems to not like sweets much either.

Like, fruits are fine, but sweetened products are just too much."

"Um..." Xia Li shook his head in confusion, "It's just...

way too sudden."

For a moment, Xiao Ning remained unmoving, unable to help the gentle smile from emerging as he shook his head. This...

why does it feel like a real one

N/A

But the appearance of Xia Li made him aware things can always change.

That even if it wasn't Xia Li, there would always be someone else who could become the one most held dear to Lu Yan in the end.

Such a person could be a man, or they could be a woman, but the one person they would never be was Xiao Ning.

Xiao Ning was slightly stunned, helplessness spreading through him.

He truly had forgotten about this, and could only say, "Yes.

I bought one the last time I came here with Lu Yan.

I don't have a favourite brand in particular."

This made Xiao Ning hesitate for a while, because Lu Yan's favourite brand was Tom Ford, and some time ago he had accompanied that man to a speciality store to buy some clothes.

So, the items of this brand may be rather expensive to a college student who just graduated, however, Xia Li did ask, and it wasn't easy for Xiaoo Ning to tell such a surface level lie.

"He likes to buy things from Tom Ford, but it hasn't been that long since he last bought a wallet there."

"I mean, I'll have dinner tomorrow with you and your brother.

It's not a big deal." Xiao Ning then hesitated for a while before releasing his held breath, hoping they can become friends.

-

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