There are many similarities between squash and tennis in terms of the method. But when they really play, the difference is not small. But for Lishuo, who used to be a near-professional player, playing tennis with squash, it’s like playing piano after playing the piano. So he has full confidence in himself.
Li Shuo threw the ball to Zhao Jinxin: “Come and serve.”
Zhao Jinxin caught the ball, tossed it twice in the hand, and pushed it out with the racket. The ball hit the tee accurately. Then, it bounced back quickly.
This is only the kick-off. Li Shuo is determined that Zhao Jinxin’s technique is very common. The kick-off angle is quite satisfactory. It is easy for him to receive. Unless Zhao Jinxin has reservations and meant to shock his opponent. So, this is probably the strength of Zhao Jinxin.
Li Shuo stepped forward. He hit the ball back. After a touchdown bounce, the ball hit the area close to the wall near his side. Zhao Jinxin reacted quickly. The best hit position was reached in a few steps but this ball was played very tricky by Li Shuo. The ball was too close to the side wall. When rebounding, it was naturally not far from the wall. It was almost difficult for Zhao Jinxin to stretch the racket. And the position was still on the right. The ball was caught. But the ball flew out to the side wall. It fell to the ground again.
Zhao Jinxin glanced at Li Shuo with his cheeks.
Li Shuo smiled triumphantly.
In the next round, Li Shuo basically completely abuse Zhao Jinxin. Zhao Jinxin’s speed, reflex, and power all surprised Li Shuo. But playing ball is not a tug of war. It’s after all, more technical. After playing two balls, Li Shuo no longer plays tricky angles. But Zhao Jinxin could no longer catch up with the score.
At the end of it all, Li Shuo felt like he was a bully. When the game ends, Zhao Jinxin suffered a fiasco. He threw the racket to the ground and sat on the ground with his back to Li Shuo.
Li Shuo played the game but it was more like he was playing by himself. He said while playing: “Is it too good to lose?”
Zhao Jinxin didn’t speak.
Li Shuo glanced at Zhao Jinxin. He thought that he wouldn’t be angry anymore. He smiled and said: “What’s wrong? Tired? Willing to gamble and lose… Will you stop playing? I’ll change hands to fight you?”
Zhao Jinxin said dumbly: “No more.” He jumped from the ground and walked to the door.
Li Shuo was a little surprised. Zhao Jinxin is not usually such a small-bellied person. Is he angry after losing a set of balls? Even if the bet is … ‘that’. Is it such a big deal?
Li Shuo put down the racket and chased after him: “Jin Xin.” He chased until outside the squash court and held Zhao Jinxin’s shoulders. He pulled his body over. “You won’t …” Li Shuo froze.
Zhao Jinxin’s eyes were bloodshot red. His lips were flat. He seemed about to be in tears at any moment.
Li Shuo was dumbfounded: “You … you are …” He smiled uncontrollably. “Baby, why do you cry after losing a ball?” He rubbed Zhao Jinxin’s hair and tried to coax him. “Uncle Li is not good, right? But there’s no need to cry.” Is he really bullying people? Are young people’s ego so huge nowadays?
Zhao Jinxin’s lips shook. He whispered, “You are always playing me.”
Li Shuo was stunned. The smile suddenly disappeared. Zhao Jinxin’s expression was too serious. It didn’t seem to be because he was losing. He asked seriously: “Why do you think so?”
Zhao Jinxin exhaled slowly. He choked: “You watched me chasing you all day long, trying to please you. Isn’t it fun? I like you and I can’t get you. Am I not especially stupid? Give me hope every time and break it again. Are you really playing me?”
Li Shuo embraced Zhao Jinxin. He regretted: “I’m sorry. I didn’t expect you to think so. I swear I never played you. But I didn’t think about your feelings. I’m sorry.”
Zhao Jinxin’s red eyes made Li Shuo feel distressed.
He passed everything from the acquaintance to what happened now in his head. It seemed to be like what Zhao Jinxin had said. One chase, one is not slow. Zhao Jinxin’s definition in his eyes has always been ‘can afford to play’. When he had just ended a relationship, when his feelings were difficult, he was happy to see such a ‘partner’ and enjoy this relationship without responsibility and without commitment. But he is increasingly unable to avoid the fact that Zhao Jinxin likes him. If that is the case, then his approach is too much.
Whether he likes Zhao Jinxin or not, would he like to have a formal relationship with this person? He shouldn’t be playing with people like this. Just because he thinks Zhao Jinxin can let go and play, it doesn’t mean he can really do that .
Li Shuo really regretted and blamed himself. He broke the heart of someone who liked him. He wondered what’s wrong with him during this time …
Zhao Jinxin sniffed his nose: “Do you even like me a little bit?”
Li Shuo took a deep breath and sincerely said: “Yes.” Of course, he likes Zhao Jinxin. It is just that he is not seriously talking about the state of feelings now. Especially because of Zhao Jinxin’s background, age, and personality… they all made him have many concerns. But he is aware that he actually likes this big boy.
Zhao Jinxin hugged Li Shuo hard. He whispered, “That’s good to know.” After that, he released the hug and gently pushed Li Shuo away. “I’ll go back first.”
Li Shuo wanted him to stay. He opened his mouth but did not manage to make a sound. He leaned his forehead against the glass wall of the squash court and slowly closed his eyes. His heart was in distraught. This time, he took the time to think about it. He thinks about the relationship between them.
When he got back home, Li Shuo sorted out the results of the negotiation and sent it to Brother Xiang. Then, he stared at his phone in a daze.
He wondered if he should call Zhao Jinxin? But what would he say? He should have sent Zhao Jinxin home just now, but it was awkward between them.
Li Shuo sighed, thinking of Zhao Jinxin’s red eyes. There was still a burst of discomfort in his heart. He is a person with a strong sense of morality. The principle of being a person is for him not to do bad things. If he does something wrong and hurts others, he will always be feeling grudged. Zhao Jinxin didn’t sternly ‘blame’ him. But, he certainly blamed himself.
Maybe it’s time to let go of the past. Start over. He knew that Li Chengxiu had never liked him and now they had broken up. Zhao Jinxin appeared beside him. If he thought of Li Chengxiu all the time, it will be unfair for Zhao Jinxin. He should cherish the people before him.
He is worried, however. Zhao Jinxin is 11 years younger than him. He is in a playful age. He is also very open-minded and does not seem to be a dedicated person. What’s more is that the parents of the two are still friends. If there are any emotional problems, it might be unsightly. Above which, one of them is enough to be daunting.
But Li Shuo is not a person who will compromise with worldly rules and regulations. Zhao Jinxin is young. But his charms are not small. Zhao Jinxin loves to play. He also has confidence in his self-esteem. As for the fathers, the feelings itself is not wrong. Since they’re not something wrong, he has no reason to be afraid.
He never thinks much before a relationship begins. He thinks about how the two are fit and how many obstacles are in reality to face. These things are artificial. The only thing that determines whether the two are ‘suitable’ and long lasting are not the background, not anything external, and not those of a quantified conditions, but only in terms of character and the feelings of love.
As for whether they will break up in the future, why should he think about it now? What is the point? He doesn’t even know which day he will die. When he wants to fall in love with a person, then he wants to only love. The more Li Shuo thinks about it, the more open his mind becomes. It’s time to let go of the past and face Zhao Jinxin, face this relationship.
At this moment, he heard someone calling him downstairs. He opened the door and heard his own voice spoke: “Mom, you are back.”
“Hurry down.” Mrs. Li’s voice was a little excited.
Li Shuo went downstairs and Mrs. Li said happily: “Little Shuo, the master has calculated it for you. The calculation is accurate. I haven’t told him many things but he knows it all.”
Li Shuo almost forgot this. He chuckled: “Okay. What did he say?”
“He said you are the life of a wealthy man.”
“Oh.” Li Shuo looked at the emerald worn on his mother’s neck and the bag on his arm. As long as no one is blind, they can ‘calculate’ accurately.
“I focus on marriage.” Mrs. Li took out a piece of paper from the bag. “I have written it down. The master said… you will find a sheep. Your feelings are a bit twisted. But in the end, you will be harmonious. It’s a sheep. It should be someone who is one year older than you.”
“Or it may be someone who is 11 years younger than him.” Mr. Li interjected at this time. “Is he not too young already… just find a much younger one.”
“You like young ones, right?” Madam Li lamented.
Mr. Li smiled: “Are you talking about my son?”
“I think it’s good to be of similar age. There is a common language.” Mrs. Li laughed. “But the most important thing is to see you happy.”
Li Shuo blinked: “11 years younger?”
“Yeah. Either one year older. Or 11 years younger.”
“Hm … this kind of thing. Just let it happen naturally.” He really wouldn’t say it but…. 11 years younger… isn’t it Zhao Jinxin? After coming up with this idea, Li Shuo immediately laughed at himself in his heart. How can he also followed the superstition…
“That’s right. Falling in love is natural. But you also need to take care of yourself. If you encounter this kind of zodiac, pay more attention.”
Li Shuo perfunctorily answered “Hmm”. His mind has started to think. Is there really any destiny in the midst? Li Shuo ridiculed himself fiercely again. But he was already lingering at the word ‘belonging to a sheep’.
Until the next day, Zhao Jinxin did not contact Li Shuo.
Li Shuo waited for a day. He began to feel anxious. Since the two met each other, Zhao Jinxin’s various messages have not stop. It is normal to make three harassment calls and send more than ten text messages a day. He thought that Zhao Jinxin’s emotions have passed. He is his Uncle Li. He is childish with him. But he hasn’t contacted him for more than 24 hours now. He really feels uncomfortable. The man who turned him around all of a sudden didn’t appear anymore.
It seems that that day, Zhao Jinxin was really hurt. Li Shuo felt guilty and uncomfortable. He thought about it… He did not call Zhao Jinxin but I nstead, he grabbed the key and went out. He would like to apologize in person.
*Translator’s Note: the animals are in the Chinese zodiac based on which year they were born. It is like their horoscope. They are 12 zodiacs. Sheep=goat. They said that personalities of people were based on which animal zodiac that you were born in but there are also elements to the year like water, fire etc. I was born in the year of tiger with fire elements. Lol.