I don’t feel bad for you at all, really.
Author: Wu Zhe, Translated by Ami <3
“Jiang Cheng,” Nini clapped her hands. “You’re up, let’s go!”
Jiang Cheng set his bottle of water on the ground and stood up. Gu Fei was no longer staring this way. Instead, he had his head down looking through the photos on his camera. From the side view, Jiang Cheng couldn’t quite make out what expression he wore. Gu Fei’s face didn’t look much different than how he usually was when fiddling with his camera.
For a moment, Jiang Cheng thought the stormy expression he’d glimpsed might have been his own illusion.
“Chat with you again later.” Tan Lin added behind him.
Jiang Cheng paused for a beat, then walked away without looking back.
Chat your ass!
Not to mention, did that even count as a chat?
When he arrived at Gu Fei’s side, he realized the stormy expression he saw before wasn’t an illusion, because he could see the clouds hadn’t yet dispersed. It was very obvious from the front view, even his eyelashes were overcast.
Before Jiang Cheng could get a word out, Gu Fei fastened the camera lens with a “click” and said, “Quit talking to him.”
His voice wasn’t very loud, but it was chillingly cold.
Jiang Cheng frowned. He was already annoyed by Tan Lin’s non-stop line of questioning, as well as Gu Fei’s reluctance to speak on the subject; on top of which, he’d hardly said anything to Tan Lin just now…… And most importantly! Why is Gu Fei giving him the bitch face!
“I only ‘mhm’ed three times,” Jiang Cheng fixed his eyes on Gu Fei. “If that counts as talking, that’s how I’ll talk to you from now on.”
Gu Fei lifted his eyes to look at him.
“Hm?” Jiang Cheng stared back.
“Let’s get to work first.” Gu Fei said.
“Sure.” Jiang Cheng answered, then turned and walked to the shooting area.
They were shooting the ones with him and Xiao-Zhen at the moment, with matching tennis outfits. After Xiao-Zhen finished changing and went to stand beside Jiang Cheng, the brand representatives on the side nodded in satisfaction, “These two look pretty good together, there’s a CP vibe.”
“Really?” Xiao-Zhen started laughing and glanced at Jiang Cheng. “I wouldn’t mind more of a CP like this.”
“Let’s go.” Gu Fei held up his camera.
With the camera blocking Gu Fei’s face, Jiang Cheng couldn’t see his expression very clearly, though he could sense the low spirits alright. Normally when taking photos of him, Gu Fei would helpfully give him all kinds of tips and reminders: how high to raise his hand to get the right aesthetic, what’s a good angle to tilt his face to best capture the light……
But today, Gu Fei stayed silent throughout the whole process while clicking away with his camera, only speaking up to tell Nini to change the lighting angle.
Frankly, Jiang Cheng was a little unused to this. He isn’t a professional model, and didn’t have very much experience. Usually he just followed Gu Fei’s instructions. But today this asshole refused to say a word, so he had no choice but to freestyle.
Lucky for him, Xiao-Zhen already had years of modeling experience under her belt, and was very outgoing. She was more than happy to give Jiang Cheng pointers.
“A little more intimate please, the way you look now are more like besties and not lovers.” The brand representative said beside them.
Besties your dog-fucking-ass!
Jiang Cheng was unusually irritated. If it was anything else he would’ve walked away right then and there. But this was a paid job, and even though he wasn’t desperate for money at the moment……
He had no choice but to put up a lovey-dovey front with Xiao-Zhen. Although he didn’t like to be touched by other people, compared to Gu Fei, he didn’t mind having closer interactions with girls when he was mentally prepared like this.
Unlike some people, jumping on the bike and flying out, merely out of concern that a girl would ride on his back seat. Like he was being hunted, as though if he was any slower he’d be sniped on the spot.
As Jiang Cheng recalled that memory, he felt like laughing. But when his peripheral vision swept across the cluster of storm clouds in front of him, all his desire to laugh dissipated right away.
It was probably the most agonizing hours of modeling Jiang Cheng ever experienced since he started doing photoshoots. When he went to the washroom to change into the next set of clothes during the break, he shot Gu Fei several looks to indicate that he was free at the moment: if you have anything to say, I have time now to listen.
But not once did Gu Fei acknowledge his looks.
Meanwhile on two occasions, Tan Lin smiled amiably at him. Jiang Cheng wanted to walk over to Tan Lin and tell him to just come out and say whatever the hell he wanted to say.
Only when they finished shooting, did Gu Fei walk to his side and said, “Let’s go, I’ll wait for you to change.”
“Mhm.” Jiang Cheng replied.
When he finished changing and walked out, Gu Fei had already finished packing up, and was waiting for him in the hallway. There were other models shooting in the room, and Tan Lin was standing to the side. He smiled when he saw Jiang Cheng, “Leaving now?”
Jiang Cheng nodded, wiped the water from his face with one hand, and walked out.
When he was following Gu Fei to the elevator, Jiang Cheng couldn’t keep it in anymore, “Gu Fei.”
“Hm?” Gu Fei turned.
“If you have anything to say, just say it.” Jiang Cheng said. “Your face is practically dropping to the center of the fucking earth.”
“I just meant for you to stay away from Tan Lin.” Gu Fei reached out a hand to push the elevator button, but Jiang Cheng slapped his hand away. He turned to face Jiang Cheng.
“I don’t know who that Tan Lin is to you,” Jiang Cheng looked back at him. “But to me, he’s only a stranger. Furthermore, he’s a stranger whose relationship to you is different than what you said before.”
Gu Fei didn’t speak. With knitted brows, he swiftly reached out a hand to press the elevator button again. Jiang Cheng’s second slap missed.
“What can I do if he wants to talk to me? I only ‘mhm’ed three times, is that not staying far enough away?” Jiang Cheng said. “What the hell are you bitch-facing at me for.”
The elevator door opened, and Gu Fei walked in. Jiang Cheng stood there unmoving.
“Come on,” Gu Fei said. “I only meant stay away from him, that’s all.”
“If that’s all then why’s your face eight freaking feet long? Not even the ceiling in there was enough to contain you.” Jiang Cheng’s annoyance was at its peak. Frankly, he didn’t mind Gu Fei’s peeved look so much, he knew that seeing Tan Lin would get him in a bad mood. But at the moment, the grievance he felt at the thought of their somehow unspeakable relationship made him unable to keep his composure. “Why don’t you tell him then, to stay away from me? It’s a small world after all. If I have to stare at your face looking like that for hours on end the next time we run into him, I’d rather go give out flyers on the street.”
Gu Fei put a hand out to stop the elevator door from closing, then walked out. He tossed his camera bag along with all the equipment on the ground, before walking back in the direction they came from.
“Where are you going!” Jiang Cheng asked.
“I’m going to tell him to stay away from you.” Gu Fei said without looking back.
Jiang Cheng froze, he stared as Gu Fei walked inside, and for a moment didn’t regain his senses.
It was almost 20 seconds later when he jumped with a start and bolted back inside after Gu Fei. He took a couple of steps, then remembered Gu Fei’s equipment was still on the ground. It was all expensive stuff, it would be difficult to replace if any of it was lost.
He had no choice but to run back to pick up the bags and carry it with him.
When he got back to the set, he couldn’t find Gu Fei anywhere in the room. Jiang Cheng spun around on the spot, and didn’t see Tan Lin either.
“Why did you come back?” Xiao-Zhen had just finished removing her makeup. She was sitting there with a small mirror, getting ready to put on her usual makeup. Jiang Cheng almost didn’t recognize her with a bare face.
“Did you see Gu Fei?” Jiang Cheng asked.
“Ayy……I thought you came back to ask for my contact information.” Xiao-Zhen sighed, and pointed at a door to the side. “He’s in there with Lin-ge, probably talking.”
The door led to a storage room, it was filled with all sorts of set pieces and clothes. Jiang Cheng went over and tried the door handle. It didn’t budge.
He pressed against the door and listened. There was music playing in the larger room, so he couldn’t hear what was happening inside.
It wouldn’t be a big deal if Gu Fei was just going to talk with Tan Lin. But if they got physical…… Although he wasn’t afraid of this kind of stuff, it was just a fight after all, he didn’t want Gu Fei to do that here.
This place is not the Steel Works, nor is it some place that’s used to students getting into fights. If they really did get into it here, it would reflect badly on Gu Fei.
Jiang Cheng backed away a few steps and took out his phone to call Gu Fei.
He had just turned on the screen, and before he even opened up the interface, the door opened, and Gu Fei walked out.
Jiang Cheng put his phone back in his pocket. He first swept a quick glance over Gu Fei’s face; it was clean, tidy, and handsome. Then he immediately looked past him.
Tan Lin was just walking out. He also looked presentable on the outside, but Jiang Cheng saw him looking down at the hand he’d just used to wipe his mouth. That was far too obvious a gesture. Jiang Cheng could tell right away that Gu Fei had hit him.
However, when Tan Lin walked out, he looked as calm as ever. He even nodded at Jiang Cheng.
“Let’s go.” Gu Fei took the bags from his hands and walked out.
Jiang Cheng followed behind him, carefully looking over Gu Fei’s clothes, and didn’t see any sign of having been in a fight. Tan Lin must’ve received a solid punch from Gu Fei then.
Jiang Cheng was a little surprised. Tan Lin appeared courteous enough on the surface, but didn’t seem like the kind of person to take a beating without fighting back, let alone be so calm about it.
This time when they stood in front of the elevator, Jiang Cheng didn’t stop Gu Fei from pushing the button again. But after they entered, he also didn’t know what to say.
They both stayed quiet on the way back. By the time they rode the taxi back to Jiang Cheng’s apartment, and Gu Fei finally spoke to him, Jiang Cheng could no longer summon up any energy to answer.
“Let’s get something to eat?” Gu Fei asked.
“Mmn.” Jiang Cheng replied.
“Where do you want to go?” Gu Fei asked again.
Jiang Cheng didn’t answer. He didn’t have much of an appetite, no matter where they go.
“This is a long story if it’s going to be told in its entirety.” Gu Fei looked at him. “If you want to hear it……”
“If you don’t want to talk about it then don’t,” Jiang Cheng interrupted him. “It’s not like I have to dig up things you don’t want to talk about. But this is something you chose to not say, so if you wanna sulk, then you better hold it well, don’t direct the fire at me. I don’t know anything. I don’t know when I’m gonna step on your landmine, and I don’t want to stay on guard so I can carefully avoid it either. Like I owe you or something! Aren’t we all widdol fucking princesses!”
Gu Fei froze for a second, then turned his head to the side and started laughing.
“I’m not eating, you go ahead. I’m going to take a nap later. I still have to go pick up Pan Zhi in the afternoon.” Jiang Cheng turned and walked into the stairwell.
He felt a little torn. When Gu Fei didn’t wish to go into it, on one hand was the thought that he shouldn’t ask if Gu Fei didn’t want to tell. After all, everyone deserves to have some space to themselves. And on the other hand, he thought the dog-fucker was being way too secretive and not telling him anything.
But now that Gu Fei was willing to tell him, on one hand he wondered if he might’ve been a little too fussy. If the guy didn’t want to talk about it then why couldn’t he just let it be, why must he be upset over this, it was frankly a little embarrassing. And on the other hand was the thought of oho so now you want to talk about it, well this widdol princess doesn’t feel like listening anymore, hope you choke on it!
Jiang Cheng got to the door of his apartment, and sighed as he pulled his keys out. Humans……just can’t help but be like this. He was still young after all, young people are not at all level-headed when it comes to relationships. Almost as though it doesn’t count if they don’t add a little drama. Perhaps it’s because he’s still too inexperienced, that he’s jumping at even the slightest noise……
As he stuck the key in the lock, Jiang Cheng suddenly smelled a familiar scent.
It was the scent he loved smelling on Gu Fei.
Next, he caught sight of a figure flitting past his peripheral vision.
Even though his brain already identified this figure as Gu Fei, he still couldn’t stop himself from springing up with surprise. He almost snapped the key in the lock.
“What’s your problem!” Jiang Cheng glared at Gu Fei and said in a quiet voice. “Quick, there’s a wanted post on the power pole downstairs looking for someone to spy on their homewrecker, give them a call and see if they’re still hiring!”
“I walked up the stairs normally, I wasn’t trying to sneak.” Gu Fei said.
“Then would it have killed you to call out first?” Jiang Cheng yanked on the key several times before managing to pull it out of the lock. He glanced down at it. It was a little bent.
“I didn’t dare to.” Gu Fei said. “I was afraid if you noticed you wouldn’t let me follow you up.”
“Now that I noticed I’ll still make you leave.” Jiang Cheng said.
Gu Fei didn’t answer, just quickly pushed the door open while squeezing him aside, then walked inside with all his bags.
Jiang Cheng had no words as he watched Gu Fei do all this in one swift motion. He walked in behind him and closed the door.
“You got noodles here right?” Gu Fei started for the kitchen. “We can make some noodles?”
“No.” Jiang Cheng sat down on the sofa. “There’s no use even if I do, there’s nothing else to go along with it, I don’t even have oil, salt, or sauce. All I got’s vinegar.”
Gu Fei glanced at him and walked into the kitchen, probably to check the fridge and cupboards. He came back out immediately, then walked directly out the apartment door.
Jiang Cheng laid down on the sofa. Gone with just one sentence.
Gu Fei didn’t shut the door, but Jiang Cheng was also too lazy to get up and shut it. He figured once Gu Fei got downstairs and realized his camera equipment was still up here, he would have to come back to get it.
However, lying on the sofa, he didn’t hear the sound of Gu Fei walking downstairs. He was just starting to wonder, when he heard someone knocking on the unit next door. This was followed by Gu Fei’s voice, “Auntie, I live next door.”
Amidst his shock, he listened as Gu Fei first borrowed cooking oil, salt, then green onion and ginger. After that he went a step further and proceeded to borrow noodles, and finally finished it off with another four eggs and two tomatoes.
Jiang Cheng sat up when Gu Fei walked back in with an armful of ingredients. He had no words to describe how he felt just then. He even heard the auntie next door say there’s no need to return it, and that if it’s not enough to come back for more.
“I’ll make noodles,” Gu Fei said. “Soup noodles, I like soup noodles.”
“Hold on,” Jiang Cheng looked at him. “You know the people next door?”
“Nope,” Gu Fei said. “But I’ll know them eventually…… Don’t you know them?”
“No shit, of course not. I didn’t even know if anyone lived next door.” Jiang Cheng said.
“Then remember to say hi next time you run into them,” Gu Fei walked into the kitchen. “She’s easy to recognize, this auntie has a mole between her brows.”
“Oh.” Jiang Cheng answered. Then a second later stood up again and went into the kitchen. “Who said you can eat here? I’m still mad!”
“Before Tan Lin had his own studio,” Gu Fei set a pot of water to boil on the stove, and said as he started beating the eggs in a bowl. “He also did music. He used to be the lead singer in Xin-jie’s band.”
Just like that, Gu Fei started telling his story. Jiang Cheng stared blankly for several seconds before realizing what he said, “Ah.”
The way Tan Lin looked, he doesn’t look like a lead vocalist at all.
“When I started hanging out with them, he’d already left the band, but still visited often.” Gu Fei said as he continued beating the eggs. “So we……knew one another pretty well.”
“Didn’t you say you don’t consider him a friend?” Jiang Cheng asked.
“I’ll still say that.” Gu Fei looked down at the eggs, his hands not stopping. “It’s also true that we’re not in contact anymore.”
“Oh.” Jiang Cheng replied.
“Do you still remember when it was when you realized you like guys?” Gu Fei turned back and glanced at him.
“……I’m not sure.” Jiang Cheng frowned.
“Me neither. Though at that time I already knew what I am.” Gu Fei set the beaten eggs aside and started washing the tomatoes. “But I was really scared. Aside from Ding Zhuxin, I never told anyone, and didn’t plan to.”
There was a sour pang in Jiang Cheng’s heart. The feeling was actually two-fold. Half of it was jealousy, the other half was an ache on Gu Fei’s behalf.
“So you do feel afraid,” Jiang Cheng sighed. “And here I thought you were dauntless.”
“You only become like that when you have too many things to be afraid of.” Gu Fei smiled crookedly. “I was afraid of a lot of things, even now…… At that time, not only was I scared, I also felt lonely.”
Jiang Cheng didn’t say anything.
“Tan Lin was maybe, 10 years older than me. He was out and proud, and the longest he stayed with any of his boyfriends was two months. He’d bring them along when he came out, and didn’t care about what people thought.” Gu Fei turned to check the water in the pot, and continued as he started chopping tomatoes. “At times I found his presence comforting, because it felt like we were of the same kind.”
Jiang Cheng tsked audibly. Though even he didn’t know why he clicked his tongue.
“He must’ve……liked me,” Gu Fei’s hand paused while holding the knife. “Though he didn’t say it directly.”
“Fuck.” Jiang Cheng gritted his teeth. This time he knew exactly why he cursed.
“The keyboard in the band, Xiao-Bing was his name.” Gu Fei continued chopping the tomatoes. “He was about the same age as me, or maybe a year or two older, I don’t remember. All I remember is how much of a bastard he was.”
Jiang Cheng watched Gu Fei. Gu Fei’s voice was calm, like he was telling someone else’s story from a long time ago. But the way he talked while keeping his hands busy, and not making any eye contact from start to finish, showing Jiang Cheng only his back, it gave him a sense of Gu Fei’s emotional state.
There’s no way he’s as calm as he appeared on the outside.
“He was pretty close with Tan Lin, they always went out together. I don’t know if there was anything between them, but……” Gu Fei set the knife down, and swept the chopped tomatoes onto a plate. “Tomatoes and eggs on noodles, is that okay?”
It took a while for Jiang Cheng to come around, “Yeah.”
“One day we were all at a bar, there were quite a few people there. The ones from the band, and some friends, we all had a lot to drink.” Gu Fei didn’t continue with the ingredients. He leaned on the counter with his hands and looked out the window. “And Tan Lin called me outside, said he wanted to talk to me about something.”
“A confession huh?” Jiang Cheng could practically smell the vinegar emanating from himself. He reached out, grabbed the bottle of vinegar nearby, and put it in the fridge.
“He was drunk, said a lot of nonsense. He probably didn’t even know what he was saying, though it sounded real sincere. I had a lot to drink too, and at the time I was actually touched by his words.” Gu Fei suddenly started laughing, then continued after a while. “At the end of it, he asked if I was repulsed by him.”
At that, Gu Fei stopped. Jiang Cheng waited for a long time, but he didn’t speak up again. Jiang Cheng couldn’t bring himself to rush him either. He only leaned against the wall, and watched Gu Fei’s back as he waited.
It was several minutes later when Gu Fei spoke again, “I said no, I’m not repulsed; I’m the same, but that I……didn’t feel anything for him.”
With that, Gu Fei fell silent again.
Jiang Cheng cleared his throat, “Is that it?”
Gu Fei didn’t answer.
“There’s nothing wrong with that though. He liked you, you rejected him……” Jiang Cheng thought about it for a moment. “Fuck. Did he tell other people?”
“No,” Gu Fei turned around and looked at him. “But Xiao-Bing had recorded it.”
Jiang Cheng’s eyes suddenly widened, “WHAT?”
“From start to finish,” Gu Fei said slowly. “He had recorded the whole thing. And, everyone who was there, saw it.”
“The fuck?” Jiang Cheng could hear his own voice take a weird turn, even his breathing was a little hitched.
“When I got back to the room, everyone was laughing.” Gu Fei spoke the words out loud with some difficulty. “I just stood there, it felt like someone had opened me up with a knife. Every single person was laughing, like it was the funniest thing they’d ever seen.”
Jiang Cheng couldn’t speak. He didn’t even dare imagine such a scenario, it was something that only appeared in his dreams. Even in his dreams, the sense of horror was unbearable.
“Was……Tan Lin in……on it?” He asked.
“Tan Lin didn’t know. According to Xiao-Bing, he just wanted to use him to see if I was. He said it was only a joke.” Gu Fei got a cigarette out of his pocket and held it between his lips. “But every time I see Tan Lin, I’ll think of what happened that day. Besides, he just wouldn’t let it go, so I was annoyed by him too.”
Jiang Cheng stared.
“I’m done.” Gu Fei took the cigarette out of his mouth. “Cheng-ge hug.”
Jiang Cheng paused, then immediately rushed over and held him tight, “I shouldn’t have asked. Fuck. To be honest, I’m not the kind of person who just had to dig up everything about your past, I was just…… Ayy…… I was just……”
“You were just jelly.” Gu Fei tilted his head and rested it on Jiang Cheng’s shoulder.
“……Yeah.” Jiang Cheng sighed.
“It’s not that I didn’t want to say. It’s just that, I’d rather not make you feel that way about me.” Gu Fei rubbed his waist. “I don’t want you to feel bad for me.”
“No no no,” Jiang Cheng rubbed his back. “I don’t feel bad for you at all, really.”
“You certainly are great at consoling people.” Gu Fei chuckled.
“Though there’s something I still have to say,” Jiang Cheng said. “From now on, don’t you give me that 8-feet long face again. Whether you’re angry or annoyed, even if we have to fight it out, it’s still better than giving me the cold shoulder. For me……I’m real scared of being hung out to dry like that. In my family before, when they couldn’t be bothered to scold me, they’d just give me the cold treatment, and nobody would talk to me. It’s……a really, depressing feeling.”
“Got it.” Gu Fei nodded.
- Raw character count: 6041
- TL word count: 4281
- TL time: 4:40:29
- Edit time: 0:52:56
- Curse words: 8x fucks, 1x shits, 3x asses
I’m…. a little late orz
BTW, just wanna say, I appreciate every single comment so much T__T thank you <3333
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