It had been almost two weeks since the cold war between Tan Ding and An Qi began. In fact, the dispute wouldn’t be accounted for by any of them. But anyone could guess who to blame based on the kinds of troubles An caused alone.
For example, if Tan Ding told An Qi to talk to air, then he would say, “Okay.”
An Qi: Where are my thongs?
“Panty, where are you? Come out, I’m going to be wearing you soon!”
Tan Ding silently handed An her underwear.
“Oh, here you are. You’re so bad. You run around everywhere!”
The two husband and wife had been together for almost eight years. They were blessed with love, health, harmony, and happiness. Occasionally a little fight could help liven the atmosphere and regain passion, but with An Qi’s ways of expressing anger, Tan Ding couldn’t hold it anymore.
They didn’t need much to start locking horns.
Tan Ding was a traffic policeman. He worked in the drug investigation department two years ago. Before that he was employed in the criminal investigation department.
When he was still a criminal investigator, one day he met his comrade An Qi, and ‘the sky’s thunder ignited the earth’s fire’(1). Only when all mountains have collapsed, when the enormous sky will have crashed on the Earth, would only then they would be separated(2). One was the sand, the other wind, entangled till the end of the world(3), and they tied the knot.
His then still comrade An Qi fully adopted the essence of a beloved wife and cried with running snot and tears. “Ding Ding, stop continuing to engage in criminal investigation. Bullets don’t have eyes and they certainly don’t have a conscious to figure out who to attack. If something goes wrong, husband, I will be widowed. Don’t you feel sorry for me?”
And so Tan wrote the transfer report the next day and joined the anti-drug department.
It didn’t take long for Tan Ding to get accustomed to the team’s practices.
He followed a group of drug dealers on the Yunnan border, crossed the tropical rainforest and then returned to the reporting channel his captain was running from his communication transmitter. “Tan Ding, there is a backpacker. You have to come and take a look.”
Tan wiped his sweat and put the beret back on his head. He didn’t hesitate. “Backpacker? Suspect? I’ll come immediately.”
He drove the jeep off-road and hurried out of the temporary tent. The so-called suspect Da Laoyuan chased him for a near half lap in the pursuit.
Tan had just come down and was immediately ambushed. “Ding Ding!”
Tan froze and remained in place. It took awhile for him to make a sound. “…Why are you here?”
An Qi pulled him up and twirled the pair, followed by a hot kiss, enough to make him pant. Then he scolded him. “Why did you switch off your phone?! I couldn’t get in contact with you anymore! It could’ve turned out really dangerous! You look dirty, aren’t you tired?”
“…I’m on a mission.”
“What mission! Come back with me. This forest is too dangerous! Do you know how worried I am?! Take a look at me! I became thin and devastated!”.
The captain who was listening in on the whole time through the transmitter coughed awkwardly. “Well, Comrade Tan Ding, please pay attention to the current priorities. You must comfort your family.”
Tan Ding glanced at his grieving family member and was finally frustrated. He asked, “…Captain, I’ll go wipe out the group. Can I fill the transfer form today?”
An thought it was time to stop him from getting tangled with any more groups. But neither him nor Tan expected this particular gang to move at night. That day the two of them spent the night together in intimacy. When Tan’s cell phone rang, An threw it out of the room.
Tan Ding quickly got up and put on his uniform to prepare for the task. When he turned around, he saw An silently crouching beside the bed…
He finally felt a tinge of guilt and sighed. He brushed An’s hair back. “I’m sorry…I’ll return to make it up to you, okay?”
An’s face twisted. He lamented, “My little brother’s(4) calling you awful…”
“He said he’s angry.”
“He also said you don’t love him.”
Tan mused for a while, bowed his head and sincerely apologized to An, “I’m sorry, don’t be angry, I love you.”
This time, Tan Ding decided to apply as a traffic sergeant. He could work normal full-time, and only a single day’s shift per week. All he had to do is to direct traffic, post tickets, at most inhale a mouthful of car exhaust; the rest was satisfactory. But then he met with an accident.
At the crossroads of the city at noon, a cargo truck turned, right in violation of the rules. At that time, he was issuing a ticket to the previous car. The owner was a young one. She was obedient so he didn’t deduct her points(5). The next second she opened her eyes in horror and screamed.
The front of the truck knocked over Tan and barely stopped without causing much wreckage being caught in the momentum. The driver pulled off his safety belt and scrambled out.
The little girl came running on her high heels. “Sir, Sir, are you alright?!”
Tan Ding’s face was smashed. Blood oozed out from his head. He moved his arm and sighed. Then he turned his head quite calmly and looked at the already scared truck driver: “You turned right illegally. You are fined a hundred and two points. My right arm is probably fractured. Sister I trouble you to bring my walkie-talkie, thank you.”
Truck driver: …
When An Qi came to the hospital to pick him up, he had a long face. Tan didn’t know if he was displeased because he interrupted his work, but An remained casual. Except he didn’t talk to him. He took care of Tan meticulously. He even carried him to the car when he was discharged.
Tan was helpless, “I just broke my arm… my legs are good.”
An glanced at him, turned his head sideways coupled with a hmph, and ignored him.
Tan said nothing.
In the evening, An helped Tan to take a shower and wiped his hair with a dry towel. He sat in front and met him face to face. “We have to talk about your work.”
Tan’s head was still a towel wrapped. He straightened his waist and looked at him quietly.
An coughed and said, “The world is too dangerous.”
Tan stayed quiet for a long while. He tilted his head in doubt, and uncertainty. “You’re saying… I should return to Mars?”
Tan raised his hands: “I’m kidding… you continue.”
An sighed and held the bridge of his nose. He was very distressed. “Can’t you apply for a clerical job? Isn’t there a kind of job like staying in the office, approving documents and drinking tea for a day? Can’t you do that?”
Tan frowned. “I’m not a little girl. I’m a grown man. How can I stay cooped up in an office all the time?”
“I’m a man too, and I stay in an office myself. Why would it be different for you?.”
“…This is different.”
An gritted his teeth. “And even if it is, you wouldn’t change it, would you?”
Tan thought for a long time, but insisted, “I think my current post is good enough. This time it really was an accident. I promise it won’t happen again from now on.”
An got angry, stood up and shouted, “Okay! We have quarreled lot! Now it starts -” He raised his arm and crossed his arm, “Cold War!”
Tan Ding sighed. Two weeks passed since the announcement of the extreme cold war. He thought that An was joking at first and ignored him after consoling him a bit. He realized that this man had really made up his mind to be at the rope’s end with him. He still did not think that there was anything wrong with it. An Qi’s anger was like smoke in a wind. It would be wise to pay attention to him.
Tan Ding walked flamboyantly, wrote a bill, and posted it on the window of a car parked illegally. But, the window slowly slid down the next second and the owner looked at him with a long face. “Sir… I only stopped to pick up my girlfriend for a while, so I mean…”
Tan touched the brim of his hat and stated blankly, “You parked in a no-parking space in violation of regulations, it has already been recorded with a camera, no points have been omitted. Remember to pay the ticket.”
Tan was lying on the office table in a daze at noon. The traffic police captain came beside him and suddenly asked, “Tan Ding, what’s the matter? Is your mood bad these days?”
Tan subconsciously straightened out himself and asked, “Captain, um, what should I do if your sister-in-law is discontent?”
The captain took a sip of tea and narrowed his eyes in thought, “My wife, I will coax her!”
“…If that turns out useless?”
“Then agree with her!”
He tapped Tan’s shoulder. “Xiao Tan, go and toss him the whole night to ensure that the next day is sweet!”
An Qi sat in the office with a sullen face. Xiao Ah could not help but check in on him. “Are you alright? Argued with Ding Ding?”
An gave a domineering glance. “Huh, did Dingding call you?!”
Fa Xiao shook his head, instantly shut his mouth, and felt the need to change the subject. “We haven’t gone out together for a while. Let’s play some later?”
An gritted his teeth. “I’m pissed right now”
Fa laughed. “Oh, come on let’s go.”
(1) It talked about lightning striking when a volcano (Earth’s fire) erupts. Those two loved very passionately and their feelings developed rapidly. It often refers to the irresistible desire from the primitive instincts nature endows humans.
(2) Meaning nothing could separate them unless the world falls into chaos.
(3) They would go to the ends of the world together.
(4) His little thing / His length
(5) In China, a point system of violations is adopted. A driver has 12 points reset each year.