Lin Zixi absent-mindedly pondered over Gu Zecheng's standpoint and was unable to fall asleep, tossing and turning restlessly in bed for a long time.
When he turned his body over again, he was suddenly embraced from behind by the man beside him.
"Why haven't you slept" In the darkness, Gu Zecheng's deep and low voice rang in his ears accompanied with his warm breath.
Lin Zixi originally thought that Gu Zecheng had fallen asleep, so he was startled somewhat and whispered guiltily, "No, it’s nothing.
Maybe I’m just too tired and suffer from insomnia as a result."
Gu Zecheng suddenly turned on the bedside lamp, propped up his upper body, and looked down at him, his face gentle yet serious, "Zixi, we’re homosexuals as well as kins, so we’re destined to encounter more tests than ordinary people.
I’m not afraid of external opinions and variations.
All I care about are your thoughts and your heart."
Gu Zecheng gazed directly into Lin Zixi's eyes, not letting him dodge, "I want us to love each other and stay together forever.
if you have any dissatisfaction or doubts about me now or maybe in the future, I hope you can tell me, so we can face and solve it together."
Lin Zixi looked fixedly at his father and lover.
After a while, he suddenly got up and buried his head in his dad’s embrace, nuzzling his face against the other man’s chest and saying, "I want to know about you and my mother..."
"That's it" Gu Zecheng stroked Lin Zixi's head and sighed.
Then he carried the young man up from the bed and put him down on the sofa in the living room.
After heating a cup of chocolate milk for him, and pouring a glass of red wine for himself, he finally sat down beside Lin Zixi.
"Your mother and I..." Gu Zecheng took a sip of wine and said after some deliberation, "It should be said that I made a mistake because of my weakness when I was young and immature."
Lin Zixi had never thought that his father would evaluate that past event like this.
His eyes immediately widened, and he almost couldn't hold the cup in his hand steady.
Gu Zecheng took the cup in his hand and put it on the coffee table before wrapping a blanket around him and taking him into his arms.
Letting Lin Zixi sit on his lap, he held his hand and told him about the past, "When I was young, I had...
a close friend.
He, Qiao Weidong, and I were born in the same year, so we grew up together in the military compound, and we’re classmates from elementary school to high school.
I once believed that he’d be my lifelong best friend like Qiao Weidong, until one day...
I had a different feeling for him."
"Although I had seen some things at that time, I was still too young after all, plus the atmosphere back then wasn’t as open as it is now.
Don’t even talk about being gay in our circle, if a family has a 'sissy', he doesn’t need outsiders to ridicule him, his parents themselves will clean up the door first." Dad Gu used an old-fashioned vocabulary and took another sip of wine before he looked at Lin Zixi's stunned eyes and continued, "When I first found out that I liked him, I was actually panicked and confused, and I had no one around whom I could discuss it with except for my tutor at the time.
She’s a southern female university student who was admitted to B University, and she had been a home tutor for Zeyi and I since she was a freshman until she was a senior.
Gu Zecheng nodded to the person in his arms who looked like he was having an epiphany, "It's your mother."
"Your mother was called Lin Zhenzhen back then.
to me at that time, was a gentle and sensitive big sister.
In fact, she noticed my feelings for my close friend even before I myself did.
Your mother often listened to my rambling and gave me a lot of comfort.
But… it may be her sympathy and empathy that made her develop feelings for me, her student.”
Dad Gu once again took a sip from the wine glass, "When your mother was about to graduate, she cried and persuaded me to give it a try, giving her as well as myself a chance.
At that time, my relationship with my close friend had been in trouble for too long, and I was already treated differently by him.
I was weak, and I wanted to escape and free myself, so I promised her irresponsibly and even….
As a result, I have you."
Gu Zecheng finished the red wine in his glass and hugged Lin Zixi tighter.
After a sigh, he continued, "But feelings were hard to come.
I broke up with your mother after three months of being together.
She soon graduated and returned to her hometown.
So, I never knew of your existence until…”
"When I was young and recalled the matter of your mother and I, I’d feel annoyed at my immaturity at the time.
I felt that I had tarnished my own feelings and despised Lin Zhenzhen.
But now, looking at you...
I’m grateful for my past self who made it possible for me to meet you." Gu Zecheng said while staring deeply into Lin Zixi's eyes, as if to observe every bit of emotion in his eyes clearly, to see if there was any disgust, unease, and contempt.
Lin Zixi had had countless conjectures about the story between his biological parents since he was a child, but he never expected it to be the version he heard today.
His heart slowly recovered its regular pace from getting shocked into palpitations.
He thought about it for a long time and finally looked directly at his father without any dodging, asking softly but clearly, "Then do you still love him"
Lin Zixi did not say who ‘he’ was, but Gu Zecheng and he both knew which person it referred to.
"When I later looked back on what happened back then, I realized that my feelings for him were probably just a teenage crush that was magnified in my panic.
If I had been ignorant and oblivious at that time, it’d probably only be a small episode of puberty in my memories.
But my feelings were exposed then, and I, who was frantic and overly concerned, brainwashed myself into a turmoil." Gu Zecheng paused before continuing, "As a result, when we graduated from high school, he chose to go abroad to pursue his studies in art.
After I went to the army and experienced a lot, this small disturbance was naturally put to rest."
After listening to Gu Zecheng’s explanation, Lin Zixi opened his mouth and finally asked the question he most wanted to be answered tonight, "Then...
how do you know that I won’t be just a little episode"
The original words that I translated as ‘sissy’ are 二椅子 (èr yǐ zi), which literally mean two chairs.
Two chairs describe boys who are neither male nor female, without any masculinity.
It’s a derogatory term in northern dialects, originally referring to a neutral person who is neither male nor female.