Chapter 10 – There are bad people among the masses

After a while, Circle and I went downstairs together. He got into the company’s business car, and I sat in Yan Yan’s car.

My nerves were caught in an inexplicable pain. I even blamed Circle for suddenly telling me the news that Jian Wei would come back. After three years, I no longer knew what emotions to face her with.

Countless days and nights, I went crazy thinking about seeing her, but I was also afraid to see her… afraid of the silence and awkwardness after meeting, it would be too painful.

Yan Yan started the car and looked at the rearview mirror after changing lanes. She asked me, “Zhao Yang, why do you look so troubled?” Then she shook her head and added, “It doesn’t seem like you!”

I smiled and said, “Do I have to be carefree to be like me?”

“Did Circle tell you the news that Jian Wei will come back?”

“Yeah,” I replied, but opened the car window and lit a cigarette.

“No wonder. In this world, besides Jian Wei, no one can disturb your melancholic nerves like Circle!” Yan Yan sighed.

“You’re thinking too much. She’s not that invincible, and I’m not that vulnerable.” I continued to smile in response.

Yan Yan shrugged and said, “Zhao Yang, you know yourself best… The more radiant you smile, the more pain you feel inside.”

“You act like you understand me so well.” This time, I finally put away the smile that Yan Yan thought was a disguise, to prove that I wasn’t as hurt as she said.

“We’ve been friends for so many years, and I know you better than anyone… Zhao Yang, let me tell you something from the bottom of my heart. Although we all feel sorry for you and Jian Wei, I have to tell you: when a woman changes her heart, the man she once loved becomes a used cigarette that can no longer bring pleasure. It only makes her eyes red from the smoke. At this time, the only thing she can do is to abandon this used cigarette. Do you understand what I mean?”

“Why are you telling me all this?” I took a deep breath of smoke and asked.

“I hope you can be more carefree.”

I remained silent for a long time and asked unwillingly, “What is love? Isn’t it just a promise, and then a lifetime of persistence? Why give a promise to the other person, but not have the courage to persist?”

“Zhao Yang, love is really not as simple as you think. Why can Circle and I make it to the end, but you and Jian Wei can’t? You should understand.”

I fell silent again. I did understand. Circle and Yan Yan, although not from wealthy families, had decent backgrounds. They were a good match, while Jian Wei and I… I clearly remembered that before Jian Wei went abroad, her father bought her a Cadillac CTS as her graduation gift… But does love really have to be measured by material possessions? I don’t quite understand!

Yan Yan continued, “Jian Wei really loved you, and you know that she went to study in the United States to avoid her parents’ arranged marriage. She hoped to spend three years abroad and then return to China, hoping that her parents would accept her being with you. But why did she break up with you after going to the United States? I also can’t figure it out… Maybe it’s really because…”

I didn’t want to relive the feelings I had when we broke up, so I interrupted Yan Yan, “Stop. Just like you said, when she changes her heart, I’ll be a used cigarette that can’t bring pleasure.”

“I said she changed her heart just as an analogy…” Yan Yan tried to comfort me.

There is a kind of person in this world who has a special ability to comfort someone who wants to die until they actually die. Undoubtedly, Yan Yan is one of them.

I spent the whole day with Yan Yan buying the items on the list provided by Circle for their wedding. It wasn’t until evening that we had a simple meal together and went our separate ways.

Although I didn’t sleep all night yesterday and worked hard all day today, I surprisingly didn’t feel sleepy as night approached. Walking on the street, every time I saw couples cuddling under the neon lights, I felt endless loneliness and emptiness in my heart.

I still had the habit of emptying myself, as if my nights belonged to nightclubs. I told myself: maybe drinking some alcohol will make me sleep better tonight.

Listening to the booming music in the bar, watching the changing and flickering lights, and the people dancing wildly, I had already drunk several bottles of beer in no time. I liked this feeling, no worries, no love or hate, only a hazy and illusory state.

There were two resident bands in this bar, and the bands took turns performing every night. Today happened to be Robben’s band, “Nerve Tear,” performing. Robben and I had a good relationship, and sometimes we played music together.

Robben used his fingers to hold the guitar strings, making a noise similar to friction, and teasingly smiled at me, “Zhao Yang, come up and play…?”

I put down the beer bottle and jumped onto the stage, taking the guitar from Robben’s hand. I said to the other members of the band, “Let’s play ‘Still Sunny.’”

Everyone nodded, and various instruments started to sound. Under the flashing lights, heavy metal music began to swell.In the aftermath of my drunkenness, I stepped on a prop shaped like an ammunition box with one foot, and began to play the electric guitar wildly, singing in a roaring, explosive voice: “The hand of fantasy holds the flag, my bones tucked in my coat, desperately recalling the route I came, turning around and shattering on the thumping wall; oh mama, I can’t come back; oh mama, you’re a bit tired, mama, hurry up and give birth to me, give birth to me… I raised my voice and stretched my neck…”

I had only sung half of it when a young punk with long hair, wearing a black jacket and a gold chain, glared at me from the audience and yelled, “What the hell are you singing… change the song now…”

I stopped, squinting at him: “Say that again, you punk.”

The long-haired guy kicked over the nearest drum set: “You’re an idiot, I told you to change the song!”

“Fuck you…” I was standing high, and I kicked the long-haired guy in the face. It felt like a release, and I jumped down from the stage with my guitar and started smashing. In a blink of an eye, the guitar was smashed to pieces by me, and the long-haired guy was beaten to the point of curling up on the ground, screaming in agony.

A few people who were with the long-haired guy rushed at me with beer bottles, but they were blocked by Robben and the band members. In the chaos, I saw someone calling the police, and I immediately threw away the remnants of the guitar and ran out of the bar.


In the interrogation room of the police station, the light was shining on me, and sitting across from me was an older policeman who seemed quite amiable.

“Name, gender, age, place of work.”

“No… Officer, that punk really deserved a beating. He was the one who kicked our drum set first. You know, for us musicians, our instruments are like our brothers. He hit my brother, how could I let it go?… Officer, I really didn’t want to fight, but there are bad people among the public!!” I said with a mournful face.

“Young man, cut the crap. No matter how many reasons you have, fighting is wrong. The law does not give you this right, understand?”

“Officer, I know I was wrong. I have deeply reflected and reviewed my actions in my heart. I should not have ignored the dignity of the law. In the future, I will definitely raise my awareness, be a good citizen who obeys the law, and absolutely not drag down our harmonious society!”

“Alright, stop being sarcastic!… Go pay the fine.”

“No detention, right?” I asked cautiously.

“The young man you hit only suffered some minor injuries. He agreed to settle privately. You need to compensate him for his medical expenses and lost wages, plus the fine, a total of 6,000 yuan.”

“6,000!!!… Officer, I don’t have that much money on me!”

“Call your family or friends.”

Hearing the words “family and friends”, I suddenly felt lost. At this moment, I truly felt how lonely I was in this city where I had lived for two years.

I definitely couldn’t ask Circle or Yan Yan. Firstly, they were about to get married and I didn’t want to bring this trouble to them. Secondly, they had expressed their hope for me to live a stable life countless times. It’s better not to let them know about this, for fear of disappointing them!


After thinking for a while, the face of that extremely hateful yet overly beautiful woman appeared in my mind.

Find Mi Cai, yes, find Mi Cai! Anyway, in her eyes, I’m just a scumbag with no image to speak of. Let her help me pay the fine first, and when I get my salary next week, I’ll pay her back the money I owe her.

At this moment, I was really glad that I had taken down her phone number in the morning.

I took out my phone from my pocket, found Mi Cai’s number, and dialed it.

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