When he came out of the cold operating room, Li Chen was exhausted to the point of fainting. After a seven-hour operation, none of the staff was in a good condition.
As he was walking back to the staff room, a sharp pain pierced his head all of a sudden, making Li Chen feel as if his head was being split open. Recently, his headaches were becoming more frequent, was he becoming senile?
Thinking of the person who was always full of energy, Li Chen could not help but raise the corners of his mouth slightly. Li Rui was also twenty-eight years old, but why was there such a stark contrast between the two of them?
T/N: Their surname is the same character but they aren’t related.
By the time he returned to his office, the throbbing in his head had worsened. The nursing station there resembled a wet market, everyone was rushing about doing their work, creating a chaotic scene.
In the office, the doctors were busy typing away on their computers while that guy, Li Rui, was the only one sitting on a chair with his feet dangling off the table.
“Xiao Chenchen, you’re finally back! I’ve been waiting for you for a long time, why was your surgery so long? Are you hungry? I bought you your favourite Kung Pao chicken stir-fry, come and eat!”
Looking at the big dog-like man in front of him, Li Chen was suddenly in a good mood. It had been so many years but he still did not understand how Li Rui could smile so freely every day.
Smelling the tantalizing aroma, the colleague next to him began to tease Li Chen, “Yo, Li Rui, did you buy food for your brother again? We haven’t eaten either, where’s your courtesy?”
Li Rui stared at them and said scornfully, “Hmph! Who do you think you are? Li Chen is just like my brother. If I don’t take his side, whose side should I take? Look at your virtue!”
“Li Rui ah, Li Rui, I don’t think you take Li Chen as your brother, but as your daughter-in-law. Look at how protective you are, haha!”
The crowded room began to stir noisily but Li Chen was already accustomed to this so he quietly buried his head and started eating.
Li Rui was a master of many words. He immediately wrapped his arm around Li Chen’s thin shoulders and boasted smugly to the staff, “Of course ah! If Li Chen was a woman, I would have married him long ago. Why would I have to go on blind dates all day long? Don’t say they’re useless, you all are just jealous and hateful!”
Here he goes again…
This man was always so straightforward, speaking whatever was on his mind without considering others’ feelings.
If they talked back at this time, they would be more miserable. So, it was better to keep silent.
As expected, their banter quickly ended after the meal and several colleagues began to discuss the condition of the patient on the 18th bed. The serious look on their faces was completely different from the carefree one a few minutes ago.
Li Chen silently moved away from Li Rui’s arm. He looked at Li Rui’s bright grin and sighed helplessly, “Tell me, which beauty is it this time?”
“Oh, Xiao Chenchen, this time is amazing! She’s a flight attendant and she has a great body and is very beautiful! I was returning home from work yesterday and happened to come across her because her car broke down. I changed the tire for her so she bought me coffee as thanks. We also made an appointment for tonight, can you come and give me some advice? My mother is about to kill me, so I have to bring one back this month to show her!”
Li Chen smiled bitterly, the vein on his forehead jumping out.
“I won’t go. You just take care of yourself. It’s natural for Mother to be anxious. After all, we are almost thirty, even our classmates have married and raised children already.”
“No, no, you have to help me ah! Just help me see if she is suitable, if she isn’t, I won’t bother chasing her anymore.”
Li Chen really didn’t have the energy to talk to him anymore so he stood up and walked out with Li Rui trailing out behind him like a dog.
“Xiao Chenchen, are you angry? Don’t ignore me, just help me this time, you also know that women are the most confusing or else I wouldn’t have been fooled so miserably by Liu Xiao Hua, right?”
“Don’t mention that woman to me!”
After Li Chen’s sudden outburst, the corridor became extremely quiet in an instant. Everyone looked over, and Li Rui was also dumbfounded, staring at Li Chen in a daze.
Damn it! How could he lose his composure in front of everyone? What’s going on with him? He must be too fatigued from work.
The headache was also making itself more pronounced, he had to leave this place as soon as possible.
With a pale face, Li Chen kept walking with his eyes glued to the ground, avoiding everyone’s disdainful looks.
Yes, in their eyes, I must be a dirty and despicable person.
“What? Wait a minute, Li Chen. Don’t go, I was wrong, don’t be angry with me, okay? This will be the last time. Come on, it’s just a meal.”
Li Rui continued to persist, closely following Li Chen. Li Rui continued chattering incessantly until Li Chen stopped at the elevator and said in a low voice, “I have a headache. You can go by yourself.”
“Headache? Why didn’t you tell me earlier? Was the temperature too low in the operating room? I told them to increase the temperature as high as they could, the room basically feels like a morgue. Do you have a fever? I’ll take you to do a blood test. How about taking some painkillers first?”
Li Rui grabbed Li Chen’s hand nervously. To test if he had a fever, he leaned his head over without hesitation.
The two people’s foreheads were pressed tightly against each other, the warm touch spreading through both of their skin. Li Chen’s body stiffened and he felt as if his lungs had stopped working. All of a sudden, his head didn’t hurt and his body felt like it was about to float up.
Fortunately, this action only lasted for a few seconds, or else Li Chen would have fainted. Why? He knew nothing. Why did he do that? Did he see through me?
Li Chen didn’t dare to look at him again. His cheeks were burning up while his hands and feet were numb. He left Li Rui who was still talking to himself and rushed into the elevator as fast as he could.
God, one day, I will be driven crazy by that guy, definitely!
The elevator door closed very fast, but Li Rui’s roar came through the crack of the door, “Li Chen, don’t go! Wait for me!”
Li Chen weakly leaned against the elevator wall and covered his forehead. His eyes were slightly damp. What is that? Am I crying?
Why did I end up like this? Damn Li Rui, damn flight attendant, damn Liu Xiao Hua! But…it was me who caused all this, wasn’t it?
Li Chen wiped the tears from the corner of his eyes and grinned mockingly at himself, how long would such a life last?
When he got to the first floor, Li Chen flagged a taxi because of his headache. As soon as he entered his room, he couldn’t bear it anymore and fell on the bed.
Li Rui, Li Rui, maybe I shouldn’t blame you. You know nothing, so it’s all my fault.
It’s normal for you to like women, play with them and date them. As for me, it’s wrong for me to have such feelings for you. I’m the one who is shunned by society, aren’t I? If I tell you the truth, can you accept it? Will you think I’m a pervert?
Well, that’s what I think. I’d better bury all this in my heart. At least, in this way, we will still be friends and brothers.
Li Chen fell asleep uneasily while thinking about the various scenarios, and after an unknown period of time, his headache became intolerable, so he got out of bed to find some painkillers.
As soon as he walked to the dining table, the doorbell rang. Before Li Chen could react, the sound of knocking on the door came one after another.
“It’s so late. Who could it be?”
Li Chen placed his hand on his forehead and walked slowly to the door. He pulled the handle, and then with a ‘whoosh’, Li Rui rushed in like a gust of wind, with many bags in his hands and mouth.
“Xiao Chenchen, I’m here. Are you feeling better? I bought you some supper, your favourite porridge with minced pork and preserved egg, along with some painkillers. See which one is more effective for you (referring to painkillers). Come on, don’t just stand there. Bring me the spoon. There was an emergency operation just now but I didn’t ask them to call you. If it weren’t for this damn operation, I would have come earlier.”
Li Chen looked at him in a daze. Although his head was still painful, there seemed to be a warm stream flowing out from the deep of his chest.
“Weren’t you going on a date with the beautiful flight attendant? Why did you come looking for me? I only have a minor headache, it’s not like I’ll die.”
Li Rui was preoccupied ladling porridge into a bowl. Hearing his words, he was immediately unhappy, “What are you talking about? Do I look like that kind of person to you? My good brother is sick, but I’m still busy wooing women? Then I am too wrong! Too beastly!”
“Haha!” Li Chen couldn’t help laughing. He thought to himself, “What a bastard! How could he come up with such an idea?”
“Yes, yes, you’re right. You are not as good as beasts.”
Li Rui grinned and pulled Li Chen to the table, nodding incessantly, “Yes, yes, I am an animal, I am not a human. Xiao Chenchen, eat it quickly. After eating, take the medicine and rest. After waking up, your head won’t be as painful.”
Li Chen couldn’t help but smile when he listened to Li Rui nagging him like a nanny. After eating the hot porridge, he felt his whole body warm up.
He didn’t go on his date, but he still remembered me. Does that mean that I hold a higher status in his heart than a woman?
As he thought of this, Li Chen’s heart started beating faster. His breathing quickened and his sweaty palms were pressed tightly against each other.
He looked at the smiling Li Rui and murmured, “In your heart, what am I…?”
Li Rui was confused and asked, “Who are you? You are my good brother! Are you okay?”
After saying that, Li Rui repeated his earlier action of pressing their foreheads together. Li Chen didn’t avoid his touch but his heart suddenly cooled down.
Yes, we are good friends, we can only be good brothers in this life.
Li Chen sighed and leaned against the man’s shoulder and said in a hoarse voice, “Good friend, I feel dizzy. Let me lean against you for a while, okay?”
Li Rui cooperatively reached out his hand, gently held his waist, and said in a soft voice, “Okay, Xiao Chenchen, you can do whatever you want. As long as you have a headache, you can rely on me.”
Smelling the mixture of soap and cigarettes on the man’s body, Li Chen smiled. In fact, it would be good if they could be together like this for the rest of their lives