Shen Yiyou said that he would contact Li Shu as soon as he was free. Li Shu waited for three days but he did not receive any information from Shen Yiyou.
Li Shu and Shen Yiyou hadn’t seen each other for more than a month, breaking the record of three years. Since getting to know Shen Yiyou, Li Shu had never been separated from Shen Yiyou for so long.
He really wanted to see Shen Yiyou, even if just like when he returned the phone, he could only see him through the glass.
Or if the phone call was longer, he wanted to get along with Shen Yiyou as before, but Shen Yiyou seemed to be no longer willing.
August 7th was Li Shu’s grandmother’s 90th birthday, and his parents had ordered him to attend.
The night before returning to Los Angeles, Li Shu worked until two in the morning as usual. When closing the computer, he couldn’t help but open the modeling software and take a look.
When he was making a model, he sometimes wondered if Shen Yiyou would become happy if he could really make an identical one, and even if they broke up, he would still be willing to have a meal with him or find a place for a walk like they did when they first met.
It was probably difficult, Li Shu guessed after calming down.
At eleven in the morning, Li Shu and Irene Felton arrived in Los Angeles.
He didn’t go directly to the place where his grandma’s birthday banquet was being held, because his sister Li Shishan made a phone call to Irene yesterday, hoping that Li Shu would drop by her apartment and pick her up on the way. Li Shu had agreed.
Li Shishan’s movements were as slow as usual. Li Shu sat in the car for ten minutes before she arrived, followed by a very tall lady.
Li Shu rolled down the car window, and Li Shishan called him, “Brother.”
“Lilith will come with us,” she said. “Grandma likes her very much.”
In addition to the driver, Li Shu’s car could only seat three people. Irene immediately turned around and said to Li Shu, “I can take a taxi back to the hotel by myself.”
After Li Shu nodded, Irene got out of the car, and the driver also got out of the car to open the door for the ladies.
Li Shishan sat in the passenger seat, and Leslie sat in the back seat, beside Li Shu.
There was a leather partition in the middle of the back seat. Originally, Li Shu’s elbow rested on the armrest between the two seats, and he was holding a tablet in his right hand to read documents. But when Leslie got seated, he also raised his right hand. Li Shu didn’t like being too close to people and would feel uncomfortable by the proximity, so he glanced at her, and raised his hand back in silence.
“Li Shu, can you stop for a while,” Li Shishan turned back from the front seat and called to him, “Why are you always working?”
Li Shu’s eyes were still on the documents, and he answered Li Shishan’s question truthfully: “Because I have a job.”
“…” Li Shishan choked, paused, and then said, “You stole the apartment that Lilith wanted to buy, and you didn’t say anything?”
Li Shu raised his head and looked at her: “I bought the apartment.”
“—You said that you wanted to buy an apartment and needed my opinion, so I went. If you were not there, it was regarded as voluntarily giving up the right to purchase the apartment. After I visited the apartment, I thought it met my living standards, so I signed a house purchase contract.” Li Shu put down the computer in his hand, sorted out the process of the incident for Li Shishan from the beginning till the end, and asked her, “Is there a problem with my house purchase procedure?”
“—As for who else the real estate manager brought, it doesn’t seem to have anything to do with me,” Li Shu interrupted her again and added patiently, “If another client of hers had any objection to my purchase, they could communicate with the real estate manager directly.”
Li Shishan looked at him silently for a while, rolled her eyes, turned her head, and muttered in a low voice, “How can anyone stand up to you.”
The lady sitting next to Li Shu changed her posture, and Li Shu picked up the computer again and continued to browse.
At first, Li Shu didn’t feel that Li Shishan’s words had any impact on him, but after turning two pages, a dull pain occurred on the pulp of his fingers touching the computer screen and on every piece of skin that had perception.
Li Shishan reminded him of Shen Yiyou.
Shen Yiyou always said that “nobody could win against him”.
“I’m not going to come back to find you in a foolish way.”
In fact, Shen Yiyou was a very good-tempered person. He had known Li Shu for so long, and the most serious things he said to Li Shu were just these two sentences.
Shen Yiyou probably didn’t know it at that time, but he had looked like he was about to cry. Li Shu hoped that Shen Yiyou would stop being sad, but he didn’t know what to do.
Li Shishan’s apartment was very close to the hotel where the banquet was being held, and it didn’t take long for them to arrive.
Li Shu grabbed the computer and walked in, with Li Shishan and Lillith following behind him. When passing by the hotel lobby, Li Shu saw someone seemingly taking pictures of Lillith, so he quickened his pace and stopped paying too much attention.
His grandmother’s 90-year-old birthday banquet was quite grand, with more than 20 round tables, and they had even invited her relatives from China to come.
Li Shu’s parents and younger brother were already seated. After he and his sister went to give gifts to their grandmother, they walked over to their parents and sat down together.
Lillith and Li Shishan whispered a few words to each other and then she sat next to Li Shishan.
The seat on Li Shu’s left was empty, and after a while, a distant relative filled their table. A pair of twin boys who looked about 14 or 15 years old were sitting next to Li Shu, one of them was holding a computer, and the two were wearing a pair of headphones, as if watching a video.
Li Shu’s mother was outgoing and enthusiastic. She spoke to the boy’s parents across half the table and learned that they were descendants of Li Shu’s grandmother’s sister, and both boys went to school in the UK.
“Okay, stop watching,” the boy’s mother glared at them, “what are game videos good for, and is it polite?”
The boy beside Li Shu pressed pause and took off his earphones. Li Shu lowered his head and planned to start quietly reading the unfinished documents again.
After a few hours, the boy’s parents and Li Shu’s parents went to another table to greet relatives. The two boys sat for a while, and then secretly took out the computer. Later, a girl came over and stood between them and started watching with them. So, they unplugged the earphones and put the computer on public setting at a lower volume.
After Li Shu finished reading the document in his hand, Li Shishan suddenly leaned over a little and called him, “Brother, are you done with work?”
She knew that Li Shu didn’t like to be close to people, so she kept her distance. Li Shu glanced at her and asked her, “What’s the matter.”
“Tell me honestly while Lilith has gone to the bathroom,” Li Shishan whispered, “How do you feel about her?”
Li Shu asked, “Can your question be more precise?”
“You’ve been single for so many years,” Li Shishan said, “haven’t you thought about falling in love? Lilith is a good match for you, you know, she and I graduated from the same university, she has a degree in computer science, and although she suffered a lot in her last marriage, but she is still strong and kind-hearted, and our mother likes her very much…”
“Li Shishan.” Li Shu called her name, so she stopped and looked at Li Shu.
Li Shu said to her, “I’m in a relationship.”
Li Shishan froze for a moment, opened her mouth, and asked after a while, “With whom?”
Li Shu didn’t answer, in fact he didn’t pay her any attention, because he suddenly heard Shen Yiyou’s voice.
He heard Shen Yiyou saying, “Hi”.
Li Shu raised his head and looked around carefully, but he could not find Shen Yiyou. The banquet hall of the hotel was too noisy and there were too many people. Everyone was talking and greeting each other. The boy beside Li Shu was still playing the video, in the background. The sound had changed from a hail of bullets to relaxing music.
There was a question interspersed in the music, “Someone asked if you are still single, and will you accept their pursuit?”
Li Shu couldn’t find the sound while sitting, so he stood up. Li Shishan was startled and asked him, “What’s the matter with you?”
“I—” Li Shu lowered his head and wanted to tell Li Shishan that he had to leave for a while but then he saw Shen Yiyou’s face on the screen in the boy’s hand.
Shen Yiyou was wearing a bathrobe and leaning on a person’s shoulder with his eyes looking sleepy. He was obviously drunk, his cheeks were a little red, and he looked at the screen blankly, looking very cold. Behind him was a dark blue and black night sky, with some bright spots of light in the city.
Li Shu remembered this place.
“Yes.” Shen Yiyou said.
The picture was cut, as if it was a short clip, and then Shen Yiyou said to the camera, “Accept it.”
It didn’t matter what he looked like, as if he had nothing to worry about, and he was no longer the Shen Yiyou who would hide in a hotel room and ask Li Shu, “Can you come with me now”.
By accepting the pursuit, Shen Yiyou endowed Li Shu with a violent pain, like the oxygen was being sucked out of his body.
Li Shu stood silently, and after a while, he took out his phone, opened a software, and entered his account and password for the first time.
He saw a small green dot sitting quietly on the map of City S, not moving, just like a star, flashing little by little.
Shen Yiyou must be swimming at home. Li Shu looked at the light spot for a long time, and finally felt that the pain had become less unbearable.
He said to Li Shishan, “I’ll go first.”
Then he walked to the door, sent Irene a text message to change the itinerary, and asked the driver to pick him up immediately. He waited for a minute at the door of the hotel, then got into the car.
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