Ye Ci really wasn’t addicted to smoking.
He usually smoked less, but these days were just full of worries, many and complicated, so he couldn’t help but rely on nicotine to soothe his nerves.
Just as soon as the signs of addiction appeared, Huo Tinglan snuffed it out.
Ye Ci couldn’t hide his anxiety as soon as he approached the sanitorium.
When passing a convenience store, he wanted the driver to stop and let him buy a pack of cigarettes, but the words wouldn’t come out and he reflexively remembered that scene.
Huo Tinglan’s thin lips covering the moist and slightly deflated filter, white smoke passing over dark eyebrows .
His tone and demeanor were both calm, indeed the attitude of correcting a disobedient child.
it was just a puff from half a cigarette.
“The next time I catch you .
If he was caught again .
what would happen
Would he continue to grab half his cigarettes and smoke them by himself!
Whatever state of mind he was in, maybe out of curiosity, Ye Ci suddenly regretted interrupting Huo Tinglan’s words.
Of course, he didn’t have the guts to try his hand at it.
He was honest by nature, and once he promised there would “be no next time,” he was too ashamed to buy cigarettes secretly after struggling with himself over it for a while.
The car was already parked in the sanatorium parking lot.
Twice a week, Saturday and Sunday afternoon or evening, Huo Tinglan would send a driver to take him to the sanatorium to see his mother, and Ye Ci would decide the specific time.
Ye Ci didn’t tell him clearly, but Huo Tinglan probably knew Ye Ci’s fear that this marriage would upset his sick mother, and never asked to accompany him to visit as Mr.
The third floor was the senior ward area, which had always been quiet in the past, but today, as soon as the elevator doors opened, a scene of chaos entered Ye Ci’s eyes.
A patient on this floor had passed away.
A gurney was parked in the corridor, and the blanket outlined the shape of a person.
Shriveled by disease, they looked lonely and helpless.
Their face was covered in white cloth.
They were no longer alive.
Several family members were sobbing.
There was a big Alpha guy as strong as a brown bear kneeling before the gurney that was comically small next to him, crying like a sad child.
“Mom – –”
He didn’t have a mother anymore.
The setting sun smeared across the white cloth covering the body.
Ye Ci turned his face away, his heart sinking into his stomach.
He hurriedly walked into Ye Hongjun’s ward and locked the door, isolating that desolate redness and death outside the door.
Fortunately, Ye Hongjun didn’t wake up.
She didn’t hear the activity in the hallway.
Ye Ci didn’t know if he was imagining things, but Ye Hongjun seemed to be a little thinner than last week.
Her cheekbones were like two shallow reefs that emerged after the fat and flesh ebbed away, propping up her pale skin sharply.
When he was recognized by the Chu family, Ye Ci had made many requests to Chu Wenlin.
He used Chu Wenlin’s money to take Ye Hongjun to several top hospitals in first-tier cities, and also invited experts in the industry who were hard to find.
The expensive imported injections had also been pursued, and various confirmed and reliable treatments had been tried.
But Ye Hongjun’s time awake seemed to be getting shorter and shorter.
Ye Ci took out the half-dead dianthus in the vase and inserted a few fresh carnations.
The fingertips holding the stalks trembled with fear from the scene in the corridor.
Tonight when he went back .
he must ask Huo-shushu.
In case he happened to have another way.
They had only known each other for two months, but Huo Tinglan seemed to be the terminator of all bad luck in his life and the beginning of all good luck, like a kind of destiny.
So with his mother seriously ill, was it possible that the greatest bad luck in his life could be reversed by Huo Tinglan
Ye Ci made up his mind and didn’t dare to let himself think too far ahead, lest he be disappointed.
He threw the dianthus flower in his hand into the trash can.
Sitting on the edge of the bed and firmly grasping Ye Hongjun’s weak hand, he called softly, “Mom……”
For a boy of his age, it was rare to call out “mom.” He was not too embarrassed to call her that, but it was usually more comfortable to say “mother.”
But in some fragile moments, the title “mom” allowed him to draw warm and practical strength.
“You must, must .
be okay.” With a long sigh, he rested his head on Ye Hongjun’s leg.
After a moment of silence, he chatted about his recent life, omitting some details and picking out what he could say.
He didn’t know how long he had been talking, but he’d said all he could say.
“Mom.” Ye Ci rubbed his red eyelids.
He buried his face in the quilt, hesitated, and muttered softly, “I seem to, to have .
someone I like.”
“I haven’t, haven’t told him, some, some things are still .
not clear.” He pursed his lower lip.
“This, this is such a big deal.
I have to take, take responsibility for others, just in case it’s .
a temporary impulse.”
With Huo Tinglan’s age, he couldn’t afford to delay.
But he didn’t dare to say that.
Ye Hongjun slept quietly.
“Later, if there is a chance .
I want you to meet him.” Ye Honjun couldn’ actually hear him.
Ye Ci still fought against the void, his body covered in hot sweat and his face all red.
“If you can’t speak, that is your answer.
You promised to wait and see him.”
It was already dark when Ye Ci returned home after visiting Ye Hongjun.
Along the way, he thought about how to bring this up to Huo Tinglan, and made several drafts.
It wasn’t that he was afraid of being rejected if he didn’t phrase it well – if he opened his big mouth and Huo Tinglan agreed, it would inevitably involve money and energy.
How could these accounts be repaid He had no ideas for the time being, but he couldn’t think about that.
After all, he didn’t want to take the other party’s contribution for granted just because Huo Tinlan said he liked him.
Ye Ci got out of the car and walked to the door of the Huo residence, mulling things over in his mind.
Distracted, he walked through the entrance without looking up, and almost ran straight into Huo Tinlgan’s arms.
The man had received the driver’s report in advance and met him at the door.
“Don’t move.” Wearing an expensive white shirt, Huo Tinglan closed the door and squeezed Ye Ci into the gap between the door and the entryway.
To his back was the door panel, and at his front was Huo Tinglan with both hands in his pockets.
His face was stern, and the corners of his lips were straight, but there was a faint smile in his eyes.
“This is a surprise inspection.”
“What……are you checking for” Ye Ci was taken aback, and subconsciously straightened his posture.
Huo Tinglan gave a slight tilt of his head and leaned over gracefully.
The straight, handsome bridge of his nose drew close.
Whereupon he promptly sniffed Ye Ci’s suddenly closed lips.
He could see how soft they were without touching them, closed up like crumpled petals.
“You didn’t smoke”
Thinking that Huo Tinglan was going to kiss him on the mouth, Ye Ci’s whole body froze.
His heart beat hard, and it took him a few seconds to realize what he had just heard.
His face was as red as a ripe fruit, and he was so embarrassed that he drooped his head desperately, but he hadn’t forgotten to answer in a low voice: “I didn’t smoke, I, I promised I wouldn’t smoke anymore…..”
He was an honest kid.
In fact, Huo Tinglan had known without asking.
Ye Ci had been like this in his previous life.
He was honest of character, taciturn and quiet.
When he said something, it counted.
“Not bad.” Huo Tinglan gave his approval and made way for him.
Without waiting for him to think about it, he asked with concern, “You went to see your mother this afternoon”
Ye Ci sat down on the shoe changing stool and changed into slippers with light movements: “En…..”
“How is she doing lately” Huo Tinglan was intending to chat with Ye Ci about his mother, and led the topic in this direction.
When Ye Hongjun was mentioned, the scene in the corridor that afternoon suddenly came to mind.
Ye Ci clenched his hands fiercely, and without giving himself time to hesitate, he blurted out: “Huo-shushu, you said a few days ago that I……should take the initiative to ask you, to make a request……I’ll ask it now, okay”
“Of course.” Huo Tinglan softened his voice.
“You can say it.”
“Can you, can you help me……help, help my mother” Ye Ci’s chest heaved violently.
It was not as difficult as he imagined to open his mouth to Huo Tinglan.
There was no sharp pain of injured self-esteem.
On the contrary, the moment he said those words, he actually experienced an unprecedented lightness and fatigue.
The long-closed area of his mind was broken open, and the pressure that had already swelled to its limits rushed out.
Some hard and deformed thing quickly collapsed, became soft, and returned to its original appearance.
With reckless and joyful disregard, Ye Ci poured out all the words he held inside, for fear that if he didn’t say them now, he would become unable to say them again: “I took her to, to all the big hospitals I could, and tried all kinds of treatment plans.
I, I really don’t know what else to do, I feel like she, she might not make it this year.
I think about it and I’m afraid……I’m really afraid, Huo-shushu…..”
When speaking of the latter, his already worrying language ability completely collapsed, and Ye Ci was so out of sorts that he didn’t know what he was talking about.
The floodgates were opened wide and the bitter water poured out, unstoppable.
He spoke of these few long years, the bitter hardships on the road to seek medical treatment, the exhaustion and suffering of working multiple jobs a day in order to raise money for medical expenses, and the disappointment and despair of failed test results again and again, the hard and cold benches in the hospital corridor, the meager steamed buns under a hot pot lid, the empty desk in the classroom that once belonged to him……so much heartache and grievance that he was used to holding back firmly, never daring to pour it out.
Otherwise once his energy was drained and he was deflated and soft, who would support him
Finally, he could talk.
He could let himself talk.
He didn’t know how long he spoke and stammered, but his mouth was tired and his face was sore.
Huo Tinglan was next to him, and in order to avoid interrupting, he had squeezed side by side with him on the shoe-changing bench in the entryway.
He listened quietly, occasionally making a sound to show that he was still listening carefully, and wrapped his solid arms around Ye Ci to rub his back, as gentle and patient as if he were coaxing a child.
With his emotions completely vented, Ye Ci only felt that his head was empty and numb.
He had never unreservedly confided these things to anyone in his life.
Once the impulse had passed, he became embarrassed and slowly moved his little head away from Huo Tinglan’s shoulder, trying in vain to cover it up by wiping the wet patch on Huo Tinglan’s white shirt with his sleeve.
Huo Tinglan raised his hand and rubbed his soft, messy black hair.
After a long silence, he said softly, “No problem.”
“……Hm” Ye Ci sniffed his stuffy nose, still not responsive yet.
“Your request.” Huo Tinglan patted his shoulder and stood up.
“I originally planned to find time to tell you in the next couple of days……come with me.”