Chapter 64 – Full of gas

I had a restless sleep that night, my weary soul struggling in a grey-toned dream until the morning sun shone through the window onto my face, waking me up exhausted.


I sat on the bed for a long time, suddenly remembering that I no longer needed to go to the office. So, I lay back down, not wanting to get up, nor willing to fall asleep again.


It was almost noon when I finally left the bed. After a simple wash, I immediately opened the 58 City website and posted a house rental ad. My plan was to sublet this room, pay back the money I owed to Mi Cai, and then leave Suzhou.


After posting the rental ad, I went to a snack shop downstairs and had a bowl of noodle soup for breakfast and lunch. Then, life fell into a dull routine.


I sat in the closed room for a long time, unable to bear it any longer, I took my guitar and left the cage-like room. I came to the city moat again, wanting to sing a few songs to the blue sky, white clouds, and clear water to comfort my tired soul, and then quietly wait for dusk.


I sang one song after another, sometimes feeling sad, sometimes elated. Finally, I put the guitar aside, lay on the lawn, and once again stared blankly at the sky where the white clouds drifted by under the slanting sunlight.


I naively thought that the city in the sky would be hidden behind the white clouds. So, I gazed and waited, but until the sunlight became soft and the wind of dusk blew, I did not see that crystal-clear city. I felt even more lost, this loss contained the heaviness of reality and the disillusionment of fantasy, so it was pain upon pain!


After a long time, I sat up from the lawn, lit a cigarette out of habit, and sat quietly in the dusk, not waiting for dawn, because in this city, I would no longer have a dawn.


The wind became colder with the setting sun, which sobered me up and inevitably reminded me of everything that had happened in this city. All these things were like a sharp blade, leaving countless deep and shallow wounds on my body, and I could only watch helplessly as these wounds bled… Now the blood was almost drained, in order to survive, I had to flee this city and return to a city where there was no love, but there was family. Perhaps with the warmth of family, those wounds would slowly heal.


My phone, which had been quiet all day, finally rang again. I knew it was Le Yao calling because we had agreed to go to Arlin Restaurant for bamboo chicken tonight.


After answering the call, Le Yao said with a sigh of relief, "I've finished filming for today, Zhao Yang, where shall we meet?"


"Let's just meet at Arlin Restaurant."


Le Yao thought for a moment and said, "I'll go to your place, and then we'll go together."


"Why bother? Just go directly. Besides, I don't live in the same place anymore."


Le Yao sounded surprised, "When did you move out?"


"Just these few days." After a moment of silence, I finally gritted my teeth and said to Le Yao, "There's something I need to tell you… I quit my job yesterday, and I'll be going back to Xuzhou in a few days."


Le Yao was stunned for a moment, then asked excitedly, "Why did you quit? Last time you said there was a chance for promotion!"


I apologized to Le Yao, "It's my personal issue, we'll talk about it when we meet."


Le Yao's mood obviously dropped, and after a long silence, she said, "Alright, then let's meet directly at Arlin Restaurant."


I responded, then hung up the phone with Le Yao. I looked at the river surface covered by shadows, picked up my guitar case, and walked towards the river bank.



When I arrived at Arlin Restaurant by taxi, Le Yao had already arrived and was waiting for me at the entrance.


The autumn wind at night was blowing "whoosh" along the street. Le Yao's hands were tucked into her jacket pockets, and her white scarf fluttered in the wind, making her look even more frail. This powerless frailty made me feel a great sense of guilt.


I walked up to Le Yao, she looked at me with a complex expression. I knew she was resentful about my sudden resignation. I clearly remembered that the last time we met, we had agreed to strive to be masters of life together, but I seemed to be regressing, becoming a slave to life…


I didn't want the atmosphere to be too depressing, so I forced a smile and said, "Let's go, let's eat."


"Can I say I'm already full of anger?" Le Yao said to me with a straight face.


Le Yao's words made me feel depressed, but I still smiled, pulling her into the restaurant and saying, "Even if you're angry, don't disgrace your foodie reputation! Besides, would you like to see me gloat while eating alone? That's not a good deal for you… So don't punish yourself for my mistakes, okay?"


By the time I finished speaking, I had already dragged Le Yao into the restaurant, but her mood was still low. I took the menu from the waiter and started ordering with a bit of frustration.


A moment later, the dishes were served. I poured myself a glass of white wine, but Le Yao didn't accompany me to drink some white wine as we had agreed before. She only asked for a cup of hot water, not even wanting any kind of juice.


I drained the not-so-large glass of wine in one gulp, smacking my lips and commenting on the strong taste of the wine, but Le Yao remained silent, which made me even more anxious.


I picked a piece of chicken from the bamboo tube and put it into Le Yao's bowl, smiling, "Try it, see if the chef's skills have improved."


"I told you I'm full of anger!" Le Yao angrily picked up the chicken from her bowl and threw it into mine.


"Well, you can't just drink plain water, if you drink too much, your pretty little face will definitely be swollen when you wake up tomorrow, which will affect your performance."


Le Yao ignored my joke, looked at me seriously and asked, "Tell me, why did you quit?"I poured myself another glass of liquor, downing it in one gulp, feeling the high-proof alcohol churning in my stomach. After a long moment of helplessness, I said to Le Yao, "Life is full of choices. This is a cruel choice for me. I don't want to make it, but I have to. Don't dig too deep into it. Even after resigning, I won't have it easy…" I put on a smile and continued, "I'm about to leave Suzhou soon, and we'll have fewer chances to meet. So let's not make the atmosphere so heavy. Let's eat and drink happily, okay?"


Le Yao looked at me, her expression gradually softening. She said helplessly, "Zhao Yang, you remind me of a song by Shao Yi Bei, 'Mr. Denial'."


"Who is Shao Yi Bei?"


"Don't pretend. Last time we went to the Shenzhen Music Festival with Robben and listened to her concert. Have you forgotten so soon?"


I grinned and said, "I just love to pretend!"


"Jerk!" Le Yao couldn't help but laugh and scold me. She then took back the piece of chicken from my bowl that I had originally given her and started eating.

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