Shi An’s long and thick eyelashes trembled for a while before opening his eyes.
He did want to see Yan Liang last night, but when Yan Liang actually appeared in front of him, he had a subtle feeling of nervousness.
Ever since he discovered that strange and inexplicable affection last night, it seemed that something was different.
Shi An turned his head to look into Yan Liang’s dark eyes and slowly got up.
Yan Liang was standing next to him with a guitar on his back.
The warm sunset covered the reflective ground with a layer of blinding orange. Yan Liang stood in the light, the wine colored light fell on his eyebrows and eyes.
The handsome boy grinned at Shi An, revealing two small canine teeth and neat white teeth.
The backlight angle made Yan Liang’s face look a little blurry, like a scene from a literary film. The evening breeze whipped in through the window, raising his hair.
Shi An sits up straight, slowly and carefully straightening his collar and smoothing out the folds on his shirt.
His eyes wandered with his fingers, calming the strange feeling in his heart a little before he went to see Yan Liang.
In the empty corridor, they looked at each other in the afterglow.
Yan Liang looked into Shi An’s amber eyes, slightly stunned.
Technically they hadn’t seen each other for just one day, but the way Shi An looked at him, it seemed like they had been apart for a long time.
After hurdling at the hospital for a day, Shi An was still as clean and neat as ever. His shirt was buttoned up meticulously and his expression revealed his unique indifferent and peaceful expression, but his light-colored eyes still pained people.
When you looked at those eyes, it seemed that there were countless people who had failed him for no reason.
He gently curled his eyes at Yan Liang.
“How is Auntie? Is she okay?” Yan Liang took the guitar off and put it on the chair.
“She’s not awake yet,” Shi An’s voice was slightly muffled, “but her face looks much better. The doctor says it’s okay.”
Yan Liang followed him into the ward. Shi An took a cotton swab and fed Jiang Yuan some water. There was also an old man lying on the bed next to him. The family member accompanying him was a middle-aged woman.
She stared at the two for a while, couldn’t help but take two apples and stand up, stuffing them into Shi An’s hand.
Shi An said thank you to her, and then she sat back down again next to the old man.
Shi An looked down and rubbed the apples, “Yan Liang, I saw my mother today.”
Yan Liang looked up when he heard the sound and saw Shi An with his long eyelashes hanging down, his expression was calm: “She came over to see Grandma.”
Yan Liang didn’t speak, and the ward was quiet.
After a while, Yan Liang reached out and pulled Shi An: “Come out for a moment.” He made his voice very soft and led Shi An outside.
The black guitar bag was lying quietly on the stainless steel chair. Yan Liang put the guitar back on his back and said, “Are you free now? Come with me for a minute.”
Shi An nodded and followed him.
Yan Liang led him down the stairs and out of the hospital.
Shi An was about to ask him where he was going when Yan Liang suddenly turned around and reached out to clasp his wrist: “We have to hurry, the sun is going down.”
After saying they had to hurry, Yan Liang grabbed him by the wrist and ran.
There was rarely such a beautiful sunset in winter.
They ran in the thick wine-like afterglow. The sunset was like fire, but the wind was very cold, raising their hair and the edge of their clothes. Pedestrians smiled and turned sideways to watch them run past and people returning home happily ringing their bicycle bells. Occasionally a few puppies ran after them with great interest, barking in the warm air.
Yan Liang dragged him all the way to the mountain at the back of the hospital, climbing halfway up the mountain road in one breath.
Shi An looked at Yan Liang’s dark hair, the guitar that rose and fell with his stride, the corners of his shirt that were raised so high, and seemed to think they could run like this forever.
From Jiang Yuan’s illness to now, there always seemed to be a hazy layer of fog floating in his heart, and now this layer of fog suddenly dispersed.
It was as if he saw the beam of light formed by the Tyndall effect1The Tyndall effect is light scattering by particles in a colloid or in a very fine suspension. penetrate the fog and shine straight into his heart.
The heart was bright and calm.
The trees on both sides left black silhouettes in the afterglow, they passed through the deep and shallow light and shadow, before stopping.
Two people bent over and propped up on their knees to catch their breath, too tired to speak for a while.
“Okay…ba. I…I wanted to…take you to the top of the mountain…” Yan Liang straightened up and crossed his arms, panting as he said. “I’m…late, the sun is going down…the mountain, any later…and we won’t be able to see the road…anymore.”
Yan Liang finally finished his speech, so tired that he just waved his hand.
Shi An turned pale when he ran, bent over and panted, turning his head and looking down.
The town’s warm mountains and soft water were in full view. The narrow streets and alleys, the crowded houses, the faintly lit lights, the sound of cars and the flow of people that were full of life.
The two gasped in a mess, and Yan Liang sat cross-legged on the ground, unloading the guitar behind his back.
The common problem with boys was that they like to sit anywhere, and Shi An was not immune to this. He sat down next to Yan Liang with his chin resting on his knees.
He suddenly found himself enjoying the feeling of being with Yan Liang.
He was so used to the feeling of Yan Liang being around that he had ignored how much he was used to it.
Shi An was indeed a very easy person to satisfy.
Almost every day in Qingjiu Alley, Yan Liang could be seen stepping on slippers with wet hair, going to the door, chatting with customers in the restaurant, wanting to hug Lady but being rejected by the proud cat, making other children to laugh with glee, and saying good morning and good night to him every day.
He could be very happy.
This kind of happiness was like water and air, melting into the bone marrow without knowing it, so familiar that he had forgotten why he was happy.
This feeling seemed to him, probably like it seemed there was light.
Yan Liang casually strummed the guitar, and Shi An came back to his senses a little.
Yan Liang held the guitar. His long fingers pressed on the strings, saying: “You know, I haven’t learned the guitar for a long time. I can’t play it well, may also play it wrong… but this is not the point ah,”
As he spoke, his fingers tapping on the panel of the guitar: “Anyway, if you need anything, just say the word, everyone in our alley must be rushing to help. You have lived here for seven or eight years, you know.”
“…Er, I don’t know what I’m going to say…I’ll sing you a song, this song I feel is quite appropriate, I can’t speak, listen to the lyrics, ah.”
“You’re my first audience, I haven’t sung to anyone else…wait, the owner of the piano shop doesn’t count.”
“I just want to tell you, you…you are not alone. Hey, why is it getting more and more chaotic … Let’s listen to the song.”
Yan Liang said while tapping the panel with his fingers in a wavy sequence, finishing a long paragraph without much logic before he sighed in relief and smiled. The end of his eyes brought out shallow folds.
Yan Liang lowered his head and began to play the guitar. His long fingers cutting through the light and shadows, the strings dyed red by the sunset color and glowing with a metallic sheen.
The intro was soft and gentle, and the ethereal and soft sound of the guitar melted into the evening breeze as Yan Liang began to sing with his eyes closed.
“You always feel down and depressed
You always feel disappointed
There is always too much confusion about
The future of life
You always pretend that you aren’t hurt
You always smile and try to be strong
Fear of interacting with love
Giving up the struggle
You look into my eyes
You remember my voice
Don’t worry about wind and rain2metaphorically can also mean trials and hardships
Don’t forget I’m still standing
Yan Liang’s singing paused before he raised his head. The setting sun burned into his eyes, and there seemed to be a fire in his bright black eyes.
He tapped his palm rhythmically on the panel a few times before continuing to sing.
“I just want to be your sun
In your heart
At the bottom of your heart
No matter how far it is
Don’t be afraid, I’m by your side
Want to be your sun
In your heart
At the bottom of your heart
Even if I can’t be by your side
I’ll keep fighting for you
Maybe one day you won’t remember me
Forget everything between us
It doesn’t matter as long as
You are happy
I just want to be your sun
In your heart
At the bottom of your heart…”
When the song ended and the guitar stopped, Yan Liang breathed a sigh of relief and went to look at Shi An with a smile.
Shi An was suddenly enlightened.
Some people were born to stand in the light.
And he was probably fit to hide in the shadows, grasping his cold fingertips and watching from afar.
Yan Liang turned his head and saw him.
So Yan Liang came over and carefully took his hand and told him: come over a little, it will be warm.
Then he walked into the light step by step.
Shi An rarely looked stunned, the warm afterglow melting in his light pupils. Yan Liang looked at him, thinking it was worth skipping a day of classes to learn this song.
“It’s not very good, though. But…I’ll come back and play it for you when I’ve practiced. I especially wanted to play this song for you the first time I heard it, and you’re a vip member, so this song is only for you.”
“I just want to say, well…everything will be fine, it’s no big deal.”
“And then, Auntie will definitely get better too, she can’t leave you alone, she will definitely be fine.”
“Then,” Yan Liang stopped. He put his hand on Shi An’s head and rubbed it casually. The corners of the beautiful peach blossom eyes slightly hooked, “You have to cheer up.”
Shi An felt his heart weaken a lot. He leaned forward to hug Yan Liang across the guitar.
Shi An rarely did this kind of intimate action, not as a child, and even more so now. Yan Liang was a little surprised to be hit by the guitar and let out a soft ouch, then turned the guitar around and then reached back to hug him.
Shi An’s bone was slender among boys, Yan Liang could completely hold the person in his arms.
The faint fragrance of Shi An’s hair drifted into Yan Liang’s nose. He patted Shi An on the back as if soothingly, and then said softly that it was okay. Perhaps because he put his voice very soft, so it seemed extra low and soft.
It was fine, but when it was mentioned, something would happen.
Shi An was startled by this thought and straightened up before turning around and pretending to look down the hill.
Yan Liang also turned around and held the guitar in front of him.
Shi An suddenly felt very lucky.
He was glad that he seemed to be important to Yan Liang as well.
This was enough.
It was as if he had set out on a strange road alone, with no one alongside him, but when he turned his head, he was pleasantly surprised to find Yan Liang was right behind him.
“What’s the name of this song?” Shi An asked him.
“The Sun,” Yan Liang said, “Qiu Zhenzhe’s ‘The Sun’.”
Speaking of the song, Yan Liang hummed a few more lines softly
“I want to be your sun… Eh, Shi An, I really chose the right song, look at my last name.” He reached out in the air and gestured a ‘日’ and an ‘安’3Yan Liang’s Yan(晏) composed of these two while sun is 日 and sang again, “I want to be your sun…”
“Maybe I was destined to be your sun, so I was born with this last name,” Yan Liang said, propping his elbows on his knees, supporting his chin, “but there is no such thing as a handsome sun like me.”
Yan Liang bent his fingers and pulled the strings at random: “Then you really became a vip, and if I sing this song to others with this surname, it won’t be convincing at all.”
Shi An’s heart trembled suddenly.
It seemed that after discovering some kind of affection, he began to recall Yan Liang’s every word, every action, every expression over and over again.
He was like a child who found a beautiful stone on the road; clutching it tightly in his hand, unable to put it down even after eating and sleeping, and then opening his red palm every now and then to take a look at it. He could even be happy for a long time.
If someone asked the child, what is in his hand? So precious. The child must be smiling mysteriously and happily, hiding his hands behind his back, not speaking.
It was dark, the lights at the bottom of the hill were getting darker and darker, the trees in the forest remained silent and blurred in outlines.
“Go back, it’s getting dark,” Yan Liang stood up and stretched. He put his guitar on his back and extended a right hand to Shi An, “Let’s go, vip user, it’s hard to see the road any later.”
T/N: The translation for the lyrics credit to: here. Some part has been altered a little because if it’s not, it will sound weird. For example, this part: There is always too much about the future at this moment, confused.
- 1The Tyndall effect is light scattering by particles in a colloid or in a very fine suspension.
- 2metaphorically can also mean trials and hardships
- 3Yan Liang’s Yan(晏) composed of these two while sun is 日