Of course I am.
It was a freezing New Year’s Eve, not even the wind could blow away the fog, heat emanated from every window, and you could hear firecrackers go off from all around you, but you couldn’t see a single soul.
Loneliness and liveliness are constantly intertwined…
And suddenly, someone appears in front of you.
He wore a cool leather jacket and tall boots, shivering as he rode a Harley and smiled stupidly at you, asking, surprised
Of course I am.
So surprised I can hardly speak.
Huo Ran didn’t say anything, he opened his arms and hugged Kou Chen tightly.
“Hey, hey, hey,” Kou Chen hugged him back, putting a foot on the ground, “The bike is gonna fall over, it’s gonna fall over.”
Huo Ran ignored him.
Who cares if it falls over The two of them can’t even pick a motorcycle back up
“Surprised” Kou Chen was persistent with his questioning, smiling as he asked it again happily, “Surprised, right”
“Yeah! Surprised!” Huo Ran turned his head and yelled in his ear.
Kou Chen was still wearing his helmet, and Huo Ran felt his yell reflect off the helmet and back onto his face.
He smacked the helmet: “Take it off! Who are you trying to show off for, it’s just me here.”
“It’s cold.” Kou Chen said as he took the helmet off, “I’m freezing to death.”
“…Then you can put it back on.” Huo Ran realized that he wasn’t even wearing a scarf.
He only had the collars of his coat tugged up.
“Nah, I can’t hear with it on.” Kou Chen took his gloves off and rubbed his ears before putting them back on, “Fuck, why is it so cold tonight”
“Bull**, you just said you were freezing to death!” Huo Ran glanced at his aunt’s window.
“Get off, let’s go up.”
“No way,” Kou Chen grimaced, “That face of your aunt’s, and your cousin’s, and that kid, I’m afraid I won’t be able to resist insulting them, it’s New Year’s.”
“At least get inside the building! Let me tell you a secret, it’s drafty right here!” Huo Ran pointed behind him, and then he reached out to pull him off the bike, “Hurry up, get inside!”
“Wait!” Kou Chen raised his hand exaggeratedly.
Huo Ran looked at him: “For the wind to shrivel you up”
“My leg is asleep.” Kou Chen tsked.
“Dunno if it’s from the cold or not, but I feel stiff all over…”
Huo Ran didn’t wait for him to finish before smacking his leg.
Smack, smack, smack.
Kou Chen immediately felt the numb tingling.
“Ah, hey, hey, don’t smack it.” He caught Huo Ran’s hand, “It’s **ing numb! I can’t take it.”
“Bear with it, it’s just a moment.” Huo Ran switched to rubbing for a bit, before starting to smack him again, “You’re gonna freeze to death before it lets up by itself, it’s quicker this way.”
“Oh.” Kou Chen squeezed the sound out through gritted teeth.
Huo Ran didn’t say anything else, getting to work on his leg.
He could even see dust clouds flying off of him with Huo Ran’s actions.
“Fuck,” He grumbled, “I am that dirty”
“Dust,” Huo Ran said.
“Becoming an immortal.” He said.
Huo Ran went from his calf to his thigh, and then up to his arm.
“Hey,” He moved his arm, “My arm is fine.”
Huo Ran didn’t say anything, he continued up to his shoulders, and then pulled him into an embrace to pat his back a few times before finally stopping.
“Are you moved” Kou Chen asked.
“Not really, I just didn’t expect it.” Huo Ran let go of him and turned his head, “Let’s go.”
He got off the bike and followed Huo Ran into the building.
“I’m bored at home too, I always went out by myself before, I was about to when you texted me.”
“Where were you gonna go” Huo Ran looked at him.
“Who knows,” Kou Chen said.
“Sometimes I just walk around the neighbourhood, sometimes I find a store that’s still open, sometimes I walk Shuaishuai.
There’s nobody on the streets so I can let him off the leash for a bit.”
“Oh,” Huo Ran nodded.
“But this is the first time I went looking for someone on New Year’s Eve.” Kou Chen said.
“I saw your message, and then I wanted to come.”
Huo Ran laughed: “I wouldn’t have sent it if I knew, what if you get sick”
“Why didn’t you text Xu Zhifan” Kou Chen sounded a bit triumphant when he said that.
We’re sorry for MTLers or people who like using reading mode, but our translations keep getting stolen by aggregators so we’re going to bring back the copy protection.
If you need to MTL please retype the gibberish parts.
Like a kid who got more candy than the other kids.
Leb Ejc rlutfv: “Llr ojwlis pera uba yjmx abufatfg, kts kbeiv P afza tlw Dfrlvfr, kf’nf cfnfg ubaafc abufatfg yfobgf atf atlgv vjs, fnfgsbcf’r yers klat ojwlis.”
“Tbe tjnf wf atlr sfjg,” Bbe Jtfc rjlv.
“Tbe’gf rb iemxs.”
Leb Ejc arxfv: “Tbe’gf gluta.”
Bbe Jtfc ijeutfv, jcv abbx boo tlr uibnfr ab gey atfw abufatfg.
Huo Ran looked at his hands flushed red with the cold.
But Kou Chen really was paler than him.
“What” Kou Chen asked
“Nothing,” Huo Ran snapped out of it and asked, “Do you have chocolate”
“Huh” Kou Chen was surprised.
Huo Ran was also surprised, he didn’t know why he suddenly asked that.
Kou Chen came all the way here on a motorcycle in the cold, and he asked him if he had chocolate
“Do you wanna go up…” He immediately pointed up.
Kou Chen reached into his pocket: “I do.”
Huo Ran didn’t continue his sentence.
Kou Chen took his hand out, and when he opened it, two chocolates lay in his palm: “Here you go, Little Cutie.
Good thing I didn’t eat them all.”
Huo Ran unwrapped one of them, and he suddenly felt a bit like crying.
Turning emotional every holiday.
He paused for a few seconds with the chocolate in his hand, and then he put it to Kou Chen’s mouth: “Do you want”
Kou Chen took ate it without hesitation, even biting his finger while he was at it.
“Fuck,” Huo Ran rubbed his hand on his pants, “Do you not have your own hands Eating out of other people’s.”
“I can feed you back” Kou Chen chewed the chocolate happily.
Huo Ran ignored him, he unwrapped the other one and ate it.
“Wanna go outside” Kou Chen asked.
“…For what” Huo Ran looked at him.
“To make snowmen.” Kou Chen said.
“Did you freeze your brain” Huo Ran said.
“Let’s just stand here and chat then,” Kou Chen laughed, “Weak.”
Chocolate was delicious.
Huo Ran felt a lot more comfortable after eating the chocolate.
Although he didn’t want to make snowmen, taking a walk around with Kou Chen was fine.
Kou Chen didn’t want to go up to his aunt’s, and it’s not like they could just stand here the whole time.
“I’ll go let my mom know,” Huo Ran said, “We can go for a walk.”
“Okay,” Kou Chen snapped his fingers, “Get me a scarf too My neck’s cold.”
Huo Ran tugged off his own scarf as he ran up the stairs and threw it to him.
“Woahh!” Kou Chen caught it, and pressed it to his face to take a deep breath, “Smells great—”
“Fuck off!” Huo Ran pointed at him.
Kou Chen laughed as he wound the scarf around his neck.
His aunt’s place was still as lively as ever, but Huo Ran felt suffocated when he stopped in.
The heat was too much, there were too many people, and there were also the men who couldn’t resist a smoke…
“I’m going out for a bit,” Huo Ran came up behind his mom and dad, “Kou Chen came over.”
“Kou Chen” His dad was surprised, “Why did he come Isn’t his family celebrating”
“Bored, I guess.” Huo Ran said.
“Us young people…”
“Do you young people want to come up and have a seat” His mom said.
“It’s fine,” Huo Ran said.
“I’ll be back in a bit.”
“It’s okay if you don’t come back,” His mom whispered.
“You can just go home, your grandma is already asleep.”
Huo Ran glanced over, his grandma was indeed sound asleep already.
“Get me a scarf,” Huo Ran picked up his hat from the couch and said to his dad, “I gave mine to Kou Chen.”
“Did his dad kick him out” His dad handed him a scarf, “Didn’t even dress for the weather”
“Probably thinks he’s too good for it,” Huo Ran wrapped the scarf around his neck, “Is this the one I gave you I thought you said it’s too bright and you didn’t want it.”
“Then I’ll give it back to you” His dad said.
Huo Ran laughed and headed for the door.
Behind him, his aunt asked: “Where’s Ranran off to”
“His friend’s here,” His mom said.
“Young people, they get bored.”
“Oh my, where are you supposed to go at this time” His aunt said.
“Your friend even came looking for you here”
Huo Ran glanced at him and didn’t say anything.
“It can’t be… The one that was with you last time” His aunt exclaimed in shock, “Oh my god, you can’t hang out with those sorts of people, anyone can tell he’s a troublemaker, he’ll corrupt you! You’re a student at a top high school.”
“He’s my classmate at Fuzhong.” Huo Ran looked at her, “He also goes to a top high school.”
“…Oh.” His aunt looked back at him.
“Happy New Year’s.” Huo Ran smiled, and then left.
He found Kou Chen still standing in the hallway, hopping back and forth on the spot.
Huo Ran was a little speechless: “Who’s this old lady”
Kou Chen had wrapped his scarf around his head, and then around his neck.
He looked very native.
“Your old lady.” Kou Chen replied without thinking.
“Don’t you have a hood” Huo Ran said.
“Two layers is warmer.” Kou Chen tugged his hood on, and it immediately looked better, “Did you tell them We can go now”
“Let’s go.” Huo Ran put his hat on.
“Where do you wanna go”
“Dunno,” Kou Chen looked very happy as he leaped out of the hallway, “I can take you for a ride!”
“…No!” Huo Ran yelled in fear before turning to run up the stairs, “I’m going back.”
“Hey, hey, hey,” Kou Chen caught him, “I’m kidding.
I don’t even wanna ride it again, even pushing it back home sounds better than that.”
“Not necessarily,” Huo Ran said.
“You have a scarf now.”
Kou Chen laughed, and tugged the scarf further up to hide half of his face.
There really wasn’t anywhere to go.
It made him start to miss the past few days, he would probably even be able to find somewhere to eat then.
“What’s up ahead” Out of the neighbourhood, Kou Chen put his arm around his shoulders, but he didn’t hang off of him.
He was probably too cold to relax.
“An empty street.” Huo Ran said.
“What do you mean empty Are we ghosts or what” Kou Chen said.
Huo Ran glared at him: “You better…”
A bang suddenly sounded from above them.
Before they could react, a chain of firecrackers someone threw descended down.
At that moment, Huo Ran felt like he was caught in the crossfire of a battlefield.
Explosions sounded from all around him, like it wasn’t just firecrackers, but **ing grenades.
“AH—” Kou Chen yelled excitedly, pulling him forward as he ran to escape the enemies.
“AH— AH—” Huo Ran yelled as well, and he suddenly felt warmer.
“There’s a store in front! A store!” Kou Chen pointed ahead of them and ran over, “Holy **, there’s a store open at this time”
It was a variety store, probably the kind where the owners lived behind it.
It wasn’t closed, probably in the hopes that they could still do some business with the strays like them.
“Happy New Year’s!” Kou Chen yelled from the door.
He went through the drapes at the door and dragged Huo Ran in.
“Happy New Year’s.” Someone replied in surprise.
Inside, there was indeed a family of three generations in the middle of dinner.
“Having dinner” Kou Chen wandered around the store casually.
Huo Ran stood there a little awkwardly, receiving the surprised stares of the whole family.
“How much is this” Kou Chen picked up something from a shelf.
Huo Ran saw that it was a snowball maker, and he suddenly had the urge to go up to Kou Chen and shake the water out of his head.
“Thirty-one for the set, the one with the little bucket and shovel is fifty.” The owner said.
“What about this alone” Kou Chen asked.
“I don’t need anything else.”
“Ten.” The owner was still looking back and forth between them.
Going out to buy a snowball maker at this time was not something a mentally sane person would do.
Kou Chen completely ignored the family’s gaze.
He browsed the shelf in all seriousness, before picking out a duck shaped one: “I’ll take this one.”
“Ten.” The boss said.
Kou Chen dug out his wallet and put a hundred dollar bill down on the table.
He clacked the duck open and closed around air as he left the store, then he yelled back: “Keep the change.”
Huo Ran snapped back to his senses and quickly followed him.
The owner yelled back: “Thank you! Happy New Year’s!”
“I’m not playing with that!” Huo Ran said as they left, “Besides, there isn’t even that much snow, how are we supposed to have a snowball fight…”
“No snowball fight.” Kou Chen walked to the side of the road, and bent down to close the duck around a bit of snow.
He made a duck and put it by Huo Ran’s feet.
“I saw the neighbour’s kid play with it before, it’s fun.
You can do it with sand too, I asked him if I could try, and he said no!”
Kou Chen spoke as he angrily made another duck: “So petty.”
Huo Ran looked at him, and couldn’t help but laugh.
He couldn’t stop laughing as he stared at the row of ducks by his feet.
“Fun, right” Kou Chen went back and forth easily, putting all of his ducks by his feet.
“Shame they aren’t yellow, it would be better with some colour.”
“Like yours” Huo Ran said.
“You remember my cock” Kou Chen looked at him.
“…Watch your words, will you” Huo Ran said.
“I remember your yellow chicken keychain.”
Kou Chen suddenly started laughing.
He reached into his pocket and then waved it in front of him: “This yellow chicken keychain”
Huo Ran stared at the ball of yellow fur in his hand in shock: “Damn, you have it with you”
“Mhm.” Kou Chen nodded.
“It’s the gate key.”
“Oh.” Huo Ran nodded.
Kou Chen looked down at the chicken, and then back up at him.
His smile slowly grew wider, and he reached down to the waistband of his pants.
“Kou Chen!” Huo Ran pointed at him in shock, “Fucking do it again and I’ll beat you up!”
“Don’t believe you.” Kou Chen replied happily.
“Fuck, I’m begging you, it’s too cold.
You’re gonna freeze your Little Koukou to death!” Huo Ran said.
“Nonsense, Little Koukou’s nice and healthy!” Kou Chen tugged the waistband and put the keychain in his pants, and then he walked to Huo Ran.
Huo Ran glared at him.
He slowly unzipped his pants.
Huo Ran felt like he could hear the chicken laugh as it burst through his fly.
He looked down at the chicken that landed into the pile of snow ducks, and clenched his fists.
Three seconds later, he burst out into hysterical laughter.
That chicken was so funny to him even back when they were camping, and now that the exact same scene has played again, he really couldn’t hold it back.
He had to crouch down in all his laughter.
Kou Chen crouched in front of him and laughed even louder.
He felt very accomplished.
After he finally controlled himself, Kou Chen picked up the chicken and put it in the very front of the line of ducks, facing them.
Then he cleared his throat: “Cluck, cluck, listen to my orders…”
Huo Ran burst back out into laughter like he was insane.
As he laughed, he mentally scolded himself for being on par with Kou Chen’s stupid actions.
This time Kou Chen didn’t laugh as hard.
He only smiled, and watched him laugh with his chin in his hand.
When he was pretty much done laughing, Kou Chen spoke up: “When I was little, I thought that memory was like a big box, with many compartments.”
“Hm” Huo Ran slowly stopped laughing.
“If each compartment was one year, then there would be about a hundred of them.” Kou Chen motioned with his hands, “Just around this big.”
“And then when you’re reminiscing, you would open one compartment and see what’s inside.” Kou Chen smiled, “It’s kinda dumb, isn’t it”
“No, it’s kinda romantic.” Huo Ran looked at his hands, and it was like there was a box right in front of him.
He reached out and made a box-opening motion.
“I opened the compartment for the second year of high school…”
“This one’s really full.” Kou Chen said.
“Right,” Huo Ran peeked inside, “Damn, it’s full of you bragging about stuff.”
Kou Chen laughed and flicked his nose: “Fuck off.”