Xu Zheyi was caught in a dilemma.
He could feel that, since that night, he and Ruka had been surrounded by a markedly different atmosphere. They still got along just as well as before, and they had not even changed their conversations, but the feeling was completely different. It was almost as if they had suddenly entered a new state of communication—just like husband and wife.
Xu Zheyi was well aware that he had caused Ruka to have such a misunderstanding, because that night he did not refuse his confession. With regard to the reason why he did not reject him, Xu Zheyi did not fully understand his own feelings on the matter. Maybe that was because if he analyzed it carefully, he would be accused of ‘using Ruka’, and he was still unable to admit that he was such a tragic man.
Ruka was really good to him. Such goodness was not carefully calculated or reserved, but rather awkward. It was as if Ruka wanted to take every good thing he could and place it in front if Xu Zheyi.
However, for Xu Zheyi, this treatment was Ruka repaying a debt of kindness like a cat would.
A cat would select the best of their most precious things and drag them to the people they wanted to repay. Unfortunately, they do not need these dead cockroaches and geckos1—it was all just garbage.
Xu Zheyi knew that the crux of the issue lay with himself.
He could figure out the reason why 100 men and women associated, but he could not even think of one reason for the love between two men. He could not deny that he was very fond of Ruka, and even enjoyed having sex with him. However, was this feeling the ‘love’ that should exist between lovers?
He was unable say so himself.
The previous few days, he also seriously thought about what kind of method he could use to tactfully hint to Ruka that he no longer desired to have contact. He needed to make it clear that he did not want to associate with men.
He thought of countless ways, but in the end he never implemented a single one.
Xu Zheyi knew very well that if he did, he and Ruka may no longer be friends. They still had to work together to make more films, and if the relationship between them went sour it could affect filming. That would not benefit either of them.
He persuaded himself with such an excuse, and conceived an escape. Once the films were finished, he would lay all his cards on the table for Ruka and then leave Taipei. From then on, the two men would separate completely.
Xu Zheyi resolutely planned out this scheme, but his determination was shaken on that day.
That night, after dinner, Ruka proposed that they should take the dog out for a walk. Xu Zheyi originally wanted to refuse, but the reality was that he and Ruka did not have much time off remaining before filming started up again. In addition, the image of Ruka holding that pudgy little furball and two sets of begging eyes staring up at him softened his heart, so he agreed.
At night, pedestrians strolled down the road in twos and threes. Ruka wanted hold Xu Zheyi’s hand, but Xu Zheyi quickly shoved his hand into his pocket. He forgot to consider that Ruka was not somebody who was easy to deal with2. The next second, Ruka’s hand also followed and was placed inside Xu Zheyi’s pocket.
“… What are you doing?” Xu Zheyi managed to ask after being rendered momentarily speechless.
Ruka calmly replied, “My hands will get cold.”
…Utter nonsense. Xu Zheyi’s hand that was in his pocket was swiftly enveloped by Ruka’s large, warm hand. Within the next moment, Ruka frowned and asked, “How is your hand so cold?”
Xu Zheyi had no time to answer before Ruka’s scarf was wrapped around his neck.
“…I thought you just said you were going to be cold?
“I only have cold hands,” quibbled Ruka with an expressionless face.
Xu Zheyi ignored him completely. The two men walked a few steps before Xu Zheyi stopped and squatted down under the pretense of tying his shoelaces, thereby forcing Ruka’s hand out of his pocket.
Ruka was not too concerned, but instead asked him with great interest, “Do you have anywhere in particular you want to go?”
Xu Zheyi thought for a while before he answered, “South Korea.”
When filming came to an end, he wanted to fly to South Korea, bring some clothes back, and run a small clothing store. Opening a clothing store was still his dream. He did not want to give up simply because of the ruined relationship between he and Ming Ban.
Xu Zheyi’s answer seemed to be outside of Ruka’s expectations. After a short pause, Ruka mused, “This year is probably too late, so next year let’s go together.”
This sentence pressured Xu Zheyi into silence.
Xu Zheyi realized at this time how much he had been mentally escaping from the situation. Ruka had already planned him into the blueprint of his future, but he thought only of how to get rid of him.
Another short one, so I tried to get it done with quickly. The next chapter is a little bit longer. A little bit. Also, I find the lines at the end a little hard to see so I added two. Is that better? Was one ok? Does it matter?