51 THE APOLOGIES DON“T LESSEN THE PAIN

BL - One Night In Pingjing

Qiu Dawei raised his head when he heard the door to his hospital room open. In surprise, he stared as Hua Zhendan walked into his room. \"How... How'd you know I was here?\"

Hua Zhendan stared at the drip attached to Qiu Dawei's arm and sighed. More in relief than out of weariness. \"Apparently, I'm your emergency contact.\"

\"Oh!\" Qiu Dawei said once he realized the hospital must've called Hua Zhendan. He shrugged and said, \"Well, you're the only person I know in Beijing. I didn't know they'd call you.\"

Hua Zhendan nodded. He walked towards the bed and stared at Qiu Dawei curiously. Although the latter seemed shaken, he seemed to be okay. \"What happened to you?\"

\"Nothing to worry about,\" Came Qiu Dawei's reply.

\"You're in the emergency room. What do you mean nothing to worry about?\" Hua Zhendan scolded.

\"I had anaphylaxis. But it wasn't serious.\"

\"It wasn't serious?\"

\"I noticed quickly and came here immediately. My tongue was swelling again. You know, like the first time it happened. But as you can see, I'm all better now.\"

Hua Zhendan furrowed his brow. The-first-time-it-happened was a day Hua Zhendan wished he could wipe out of his memory. Qiu Dawei's tongue had swollen but he refused to seek medical help as he thought he would be fine. After some minutes, he had collapsed and scared the crap out of Hua Zhendan. It was good Qiu Dawei had learned his lesson from that. \"What triggered it?\" He asked.

\"I don't know.\" Qiu Dawei shrugged. \"It must've been something that was in my lunch or something.\"

Hua Zhendan sat on the edge of the bed. Staring into Qiu Dawei's eyes, he shook his head and said. \"You scared me for a minute there, you know?\"

Qiu Dawei smiled coyly. \"You still worry about me?\"

\"Of course.\" Hua Zhendan nodded

\"You got here quick. Were you somewhere around here?\" Qiu Dawei raised a brow.

Hua Zhendan nodded again. Reluctantly, he said. \"Yes. I was with Xuan Tianyi's sister. She's admitted here.\"

\"Oh!\" Qiu Dawei said reticently. Thoughtfully, he added. \"Didn't you two break up?\"

Hua Zhendan raised a brow at the question. \"Why would you ask me that, were you hoping we'd break up?\"

\"Of course not,\" Qiu Dawei said defensively. \"I just assumed you guys did because of the way he goes everywhere with that Thai boy.\"

\"Oh!\" Hua Zhendan muttered in understanding.

With a small smirk, Qiu Dawei asked, \"I didn't think you could take that if you were still together.\" Thoughtfully, he added, \"I just happen to know how jealous you can get.\"

\"We're kinda going through a rough patch.\" Hua Zhendan said defensively. \"And there's nothing going on between him and The Thai boy. He just brings him everywhere with him to make me jealous, I suppose.\"

Qiu Dawei shook his head. He started to say something but immediately stopped.


\"What's it?\" Hua Zhendan pressed.

\"It's... Nothing.\" Qiu Dawei said.

\"Come on, just say it. You know how much I hate it when you do that.\" Hua Zhendan immediately regretted saying that. It made him feel like he sounded like his opinion should be important to Qiu Dawei. As if they still had a relationship.

Qiu Dawei either didn't notice it or didn't mind it. He spoke up. \"It's just that... I would never do something like that to you.\"

Hua Zhendan chuckled in reply.

\"What's funny?\" Qiu Dawei gaped at Hua Zhendan. A genuine confusion on his face.

\"You. Weren't you trying to be funny?\" Hua Zhendan asked sarcastically.

\"No, I wasn't.\" Qiu Dawei's tone had  hint of anger in it. \"I would never intentionally hurt you by trying to make you jealous. It's immature and I would never do that to you.\"

\"Because you'd do worse?\" Hua Zhendan asked.

\"What do you mean by that?\" Qiu Dawei's tone had become irritable.

Hua Zhendan was surprised by Qiu Dawei's reaction. It wasn't possible Qiu Dawei couldn't recall what he did to him, was it?

Anyhow, Hua Zhendan didn't see any use in digging up the past now. He had moved on and no longer wanted to dwell on it. Quite firmly, he said, \"I don't want to talk about it.\"

\"What is 'it' that you don't want to talk about? You sent me a picture of you and some guy together in bed. Naked.\" In a much calmer tone, he asked, \"What did I do?\"

Hua Zhendan chuckled at that. \"Come on, Qiu Dawei. I had gone to your place earlier that night. And some other guy in your towel had answered the door.\"

\"What?\" Qiu Dawei asked. His tone filled with genuine shock. \"What are you talking about?\"

Hua Zhendan raised a brow at Qiu Dawei. \"Don't tell me he didn't tell you someone came to look for you.\"

Qiu Dawei looked at Hua Zhendan skeptically and shook his head. With his hand that didn't have a needle in it, he reached for his phone.

\"What? Cat caught your tongue?\" Hua Zhendan raised an amused eyebrow at Qiu Dawei.

\"Wait!\" Qiu Dawei commanded.

Hua Zhendan shrugged. \"Look, don't bother yourself about it. I'm over it and I don't care anymore.\"

Qiu Dawei shot Hua Zhendan a look of derision. Then threw his phone at the latter. \"Was this the guy you saw?\"

\"No.\" Hua Zhendan shook his head. \"That's Park. Your Japanese friend, isn't he? Were you having sex with him too?\"

\"Shut up.\" Qiu Dawei said forcefully then retrieved the phone from Hua Zhendan. After scrolling a few more times, he returned the phone. \"Was it this guy then?\"

Hua Zhendan stared at the picture and immediately recognized the face. He didn't even realize the face had been burned into his memory so elaborately. \"Yeah, that's it.\"

\"Fuck it, Hua Zhendan.\" Qiu Dawei's words were angry, but his tone was gentle. \"This is Park's boyfriend. I wasn't in Beijing that night. I didn't want to tell you because I wanted it to be a surprise, but I had an interview in Tokyo. I was at Park's place and he was at my place with his boyfriend.\"

Hua Zhendan was shocked beyond words. \"Really?\" He muttered the only sounds his mouth could make.

\"So, the reason you fucked someone else was that you assumed I was two-timing?\"

\"I...\"

\"Fuck, Hua Zhendan.\" Qiu Dawei swore again. \"You could've called me or something. We could've talked about it.\"

\"You didn't call me either.\"

\"No, I didn't. But what was I supposed to say? 'Why did you send me naked pictures of you with some other man?'\"

\"What was I supposed to say to you if I had called? 'Why did some dude in your towel answer your door?'\"

Qiu Dawei shook his head. \"Back then, I thought your mother would be our undoing. That's why I wanted the job in Tokyo. So I could take our relationship far away from her. It turned out that both my pride and your irrational jealousy would become our undoing.\"

Hua Zhendan stared at Qiu Dawei. And at that moment, he realized the consequence of his irrational decision four years ago. For lack of something better to say, he muttered. \"I'm sorry.\"

Qiu Dawei nodded. \"Of course. I loved you for four years. You gave yourself to someone else and all you can say is 'sorry.'\"

\"You said you don't have feelings for me anymore.\"

\"And you really believed that? I stayed away because I didn't think you wanted me back. But your mother... She made me believe I could win you over.\"

\"Did she call you to come here?\"

\"Of course, she did. I only realized what game she was trying to play when I found out you were with someone else.\"

\"Why didn't you tell me?\"

\"And cause more problems between you two?\"

Hua Zhendan smiled sadly. Qiu Dawei had always tried to fix the relationship between him and Shen Rui. Even when he didn't have to try. Again, he apologized. \"I'm sorry, Qiu Dawei.\"

\"Stop apologizing to me. Your apologies don't lessen my pain.\"

\"Then, how can I make it up to you?\"

Qiu Dawei sighed. Then said, \"Date me again.\"

Hua Zhendan stared at Qiu Dawei for what seemed like forever. Finally, he said. \"I'm sorry. I don't love you anymore, Qiu Dawei. I only love Xuan Tianyi now.\"

\"Then, I'm sorry, but you could never make it up to me.\"

Hua Zhendan lowered his head in guilt and embarrassment.

Seeing him in that manner pricked Qiu Dawei's conscience. He was angry, but he didn't want Hua Zhendan to bear the weight of his unhappiness on his shoulders. \"Why do you even love him? He doesn't deserve you.\"

\"I don't deserve you either. But you still love me, don't you?\" Hua Zhendan asked.

Qiu Dawei held Hua Zhendan's chin so he could stare into the latter's eyes. With a smile on his face, he said, \"Your happiness will always be the most important thing to me, Hua Zhendan. If Xuan Tianyi is who makes you happy, then go be with him. I'll be okay as long as you're happy.\"

Hua Zhendan returned Qiu Dawei's smile, then pulled him into a hug. \"I love you, you know? I always did and I always will.\"

Qiu Dawei ran his free hand down Hua Zhendan's back and kissed his neck. \"I love you too.\"