When giving Li Shu his number, Shen Yiyou didn’t think that he would have any in-depth development with Li Shu.
From January to April, they met on and off many times. Shen Yiyou didn’t dislike Li Shu at all, and even had some good feelings about him, sometimes looking forward to their next week’s date, sometimes not.
But Li Shu didn’t seem to have any further desire, and Shen Yiyou couldn’t imagine how they would fall in love.
At the beginning of May, Shen Yiyou went to the capital for a three-day business trip to win a client with great hope of cooperation.
He was going to stay from Wednesday to Friday. He had to go through the whole city from his parent’s house to get to the client’s company. He didn’t know if it would be too late to talk about the plan if he had to travel like this. It was too inconvenient to live at home. Shen Yiyou planned to go home early on Tuesday to stay for one night. He would bring some presents for his parents and spend the next two nights at the hotel next to the client’s company.
But he didn’t expect that on the night he went home, he was pressed in the study room by his parents to talk about matters of his heart for more than two hours.
His father was sweating profusely and seemed greedy for the cold. Therefore, the air conditioner in the study was turned on very low, but Shen Yiyou’s throat was going sore from the cold. He had a premonition that he was about to fall ill.
The next morning when he opened his eyes, Shen Yiyou felt very cold, and soreness was pouring out of his bones. He went downstairs to measure his temperature, which was thirty-eight degrees. But he and the client had made an appointment for 10 o’clock. He didn’t dare to be late, so he took antipyretics and painkillers and hurried out the door.
Perhaps because of the fever, the communication with the client was not as smooth as he expected, and the visit ended much earlier than he expected, therefore he left the client’s company before 1pm. He bought medicine at a pharmacy on the side of the road and went back to the hotel room to eat it. All he thought about in bed was work. The effect of the medicine made him feel sleepy, but it still couldn’t make him fall asleep.
Half-dreaming and half-awake, he received a call from Li Shu.
Li Shu said something over there, but Shen Yiyou couldn’t hear it clearly, so he sat up a little. He didn’t have the strength to speak, thus he asked Li Shu very lightly, “What did you say?”
“I don’t have time to come over this weekend.” Li Shu said.
Shen Yiyou thought for a while dully before remembering that Li Shu had made an appointment with him to meet on Saturday. He grabbed the quilt, and the bitterness and discomfort that came out of his mind did not seem to about to stop.
“Oh,” Shen Yiyou said to Li Shu, “Okay.”
Li Shu didn’t speak, but he didn’t hang up either, neither did Shen Yiyou, the two were silent for half a minute, Shen Yiyou couldn’t help but say to Li Shu, “I wanted you to come.”
He sat up straight, reached for the glass on the bedside table and took a sip. The warm water poured for the medicine just now was completely cold, and trickled down his throat icily. Shen Yiyou coughed a few times and put the cup back.
Li Shu called his name over there and asked him, “Are you feeling well?”
Shen Yiyou lay back on the bed, but he didn’t answer Li Shu’s question, instead he said “I’m going to sleep” and hung up the phone.
After a few seconds, Li Shu dialed again.
Shen Yiyou looked at Li Shu’s name, paused for a while, but still picked it up.
“Are you not feeling well?” Li Shu asked again, Shen Yiyou couldn’t tell if Li Shu was genuinely caring about him, so he gave a soft “um”.
Li Shu paused and asked him, “Are you at home?”
“Hotel,” Shen Yiyou said, “I’ve taken medicine, and I’m very sleepy. I’ll hang up if you have nothing to do.”
Li Shu said, “don’t hang up first”, but did not say why he didn’t want him to hang up.
After a few hours, he asked Shen Yiyou again: “Are you alone in the hotel now?”
Shen Yiyou’s hands were getting tired, and his eyes were about to close. He said to Li Shu, “Why are you asking so many questions, when you won’t even come here.”
In fact, Shen Yiyou didn’t like being alone at all.
He thought that he was the kind of person who made no fuss about illness. Even as far back as he could remember, he had never received any kind of care or careful company, but he still secretly yearned for care in his heart.
But Shen Yiyou’s luck was not good, no matter how many friends he had, no matter how much fun he had, there always seemed to be no one to accompany him when he was unhappy.
Li Shu seemed to like Shen Yiyou very much and always wanted to meet, but it was useless.
He still didn’t come at this time.
Before Li Shu on the other side hung up the phone, Shen Yiyou called him by his name with his eyes closed. Maybe someone who was ill was very vulnerable. Even hearing Li Shu’s voice, Shen Yiyou felt sad.
Li Shu asked him, “what’s the matter”.
“Li Shu,” Shen Yiyou curled up in the quilt and said to Li Shu groggily, “Can you come be with me now?”
Li Shu was silent for a while, then he said, “Okay.”
When Shen Yiyou woke up again, it was half past six in the morning.
He no longer had a headache, when he took his temperature, his fever had subsided, but his throat was still a little uncomfortable, and his steps were faltering.
His mouth was very dry. He got out of bed and wanted to boil a pot of water to drink. Just as he poured the water into the kettle, he suddenly heard a very soft knock on the door.
Shen Yiyou suspected that he was having auditory hallucinations, then he thought that he seemed to have answered Li Shu’s call when he was out of control and had asked Li Shu to come to accompany him, so he pressed the water boil button, went over to check his mobile phone, and found that Li Shu had indeed called him twice. The time was two o’clock yesterday afternoon.
At this time, the knock on the door sounded again, Shen Yiyou walked over, opened the door hesitantly, and saw that Li Shu stood outside the door with a duffel bag, looking at Shen Yiyou.
Behind him was the hotel atrium, and the bright skylight filtered through the glass roof, making the dark gray carpet look softer under his feet. The circular corridor in front of Shen Yiyou was empty, except for Li Shu. The morning was dark and quiet.
Shen Yiyou asked him, “Why did you come up here, and why did you knock on the door so softly.”
“I made a reservation,” Li Shu said. “I originally planned to go back to my room if you were sleeping.”
Shen Yiyou opened the door a little more and let Li Shu in.
Li Shu helped him hold the door, then Shen Yiyou entered the room.
When the water had boiled, Shen Yiyou turned around and asked Li Shu if he wanted tea.
“I drink water,” Li Shu walked over, took a bottle of water, turned it around and took a sip, and asked Shen Yiyou, “What’s wrong with you?”
“Yesterday, I had a fever, it’s gone now,” Shen Yiyou lobbied, “Why did you arrive at this time?”
“It was too late to apply for the air route last night, so I bought a ticket, but the ticket for the most recent non-stop flight was sold out, so I had to transfer to another flight.” Li Shu said.
Shen Yiyou was stunned for a while before asking, “Where did you come from?”
Li Shu said, “San Francisco”.
Li Shu still looked like his usual appearance, dressed in ordinary clothes, with a small duffel bag, as if he lived in a city near the capital, and had just come over to see Shen Yiyou, while seeming completely tall and reliable.
Shen Yiyou looked at him for a while before asking him, “Where do you usually work?”
Li Shu gave Shen Yiyou the same answer, he suddenly raised his hand and called Shen Yiyou’s name, then pointed to Shen Yiyou’s eyebrows in the air, and said, “Don’t frown.”
Li Shu stood just two meters away from Shen Yiyou, and he spoke very seriously, as if him being so interested in Shen Yiyou, that he often went back and forth between San Francisco and S City, just wanting to maintain a friendship with Shen Yiyou was a small matter.
Shen Yiyou stared into his eyes, smiled slightly at him, and took another step closer. Li Shu seemed a little embarrassed, but he didn’t step back.
“Li Shu,” Shen Yiyou called to him, “Why don’t you touch me at all, you don’t have a physical contact barrier, right?”
As he said that, he reached out and touched Li Shu’s hand very lightly.
Li Shu didn’t move, but his standing posture was a little stiff. He looked at Shen Yiyou, and after a while, he denied: “No.”
“It’s fine if you don’t,” Shen Yiyou said, “don’t move.”
Shen Yiyou got closer to Li Shu again, pulled at Li Shu’s jacket with his hands, then he raised his face and kissed Li Shu’s chin, and left quickly.
The smell on Li Shu’s body was very clean, it smelled warm, and it smelled very safe. There was some stubble growing on his chin. The light in the room was very dark, and they were not visible from the outside. The kiss had felt a little rough on his lips.
“Kissing your face shouldn’t infect you with a cold, right?” Shen Yiyou said softly.
Li Shu looked at Shen Yiyou in silence. After watching for a while, he raised his hand and touched Shen Yiyou’s face lightly. His hand was also very warm, as strong and dry as Shen Yiyou remembered. He seemed to be touching something fragile. The middle finger slid from Shen Yiyou’s cheek to his chin and clasped lightly with the joint of the thumb and index finger. “Probably not contagious.” Li Shu agreed with Shen Yiyou.
Shen Yiyou’s heartbeat became fast, he looked at Li Shu, got closer, and wanted to kiss him, but Shen Yiyou was a little reckless, and his cheek rubbed against Li Shu’s glasses. Li Shu grabbed Shen Yiyou’s arm and pulled Shen Yiyou away a little bit. He looked at Shen Yiyou, which made Shen Yiyou a little flustered, and a lot of thoughts flashed in his head, but Li Shu just took off his glasses before lowering his head, then pressed his lips against Shen Yiyou’s lips.
Shen Yiyou remembered that Li Shu didn’t seem to know how to kiss the first time, but he had learned very quickly.
He clasped Shen Yiyou’s waist and hugged Shen Yiyou tightly. Next to the big soft bed with white sheets in the hotel, they were as simple and pure as a middle school students falling in love, and as secretive and solemn as an unblessed couple holding a private lifelong ceremony.
T/N: I think everybody needs somebody close there when they are feeling unwell… What do you think?
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