Yan Yixi was at the bar, when a little boy appeared out of nowhere to ask for his number. The friends drinking with Yan Yixi heckled the poor boy until he turned red.
“I– I lost a bet. They told me to get someone’s number. Um… Could you help me? I swear I won’t bother you.”
Yan Yixi recited a string of numbers.
The little one stood dumbly for a moment before replying with a smile.
“Doctor Yan isn’t worried about being harassed this time?” Yan Yixi’s friends poked fun at the man after the boy left.
“I’m only protecting the little one’s self-esteem. It’s not like he’s going to call me.” Yan Yixi took a sip of his juice.
After his night shift the next day, Doctor Yan found a text waiting for him.
——Hey there, I’m the one that asked you for your number ^ ^
Yan Yixi: …
Doctor Yan was a doctor (who’d have guessed) who set records by becoming Deputy Chief Medical Officer at age 32 due to excellent results all around. He was employed in the Department of Neurosurgery and often opened people’s skulls (hah?).
He was a very dedicated doctor; once, his friends attempted to find him a bed partner by dragging him to a bar. They’d tricked a little sub into joining them. They even got to the point where the sub had taken his pants off and couldn’t wait any longer. Yet Yan Yixi stopped to pick up a call, then left without another word. The angry little sub ended up spreading rumors that Doctor Yan couldn’t get it up. When Yan Yixi heard of that, his only reaction was to quirk his lips and take a sip of his juice.
Yes, juice. Doctor Yan didn’t have a high alcohol tolerance and could only drink juice. He was an extremely disciplined individual, which made sense, given that doctoring was an extremely strict profession. A single call from the hospital was enough to bring him back to the operating table, so he wouldn’t allow himself to be intoxicated.
Tonight, as usual, his friends had dragged Yan Yixi to relax at the bar. He had just taken a sip of his juice when he heard the noisy kids at a nearby table. They were likely a group of college students celebrating someone’s birthday, but in Yan Yixi’s eyes, the boy being pushed to cut the cake was just that, a boy. He looked quiet, like the well-behaved type, maybe a little nervous. It was probably his first time at a bar.
Yan Yixi dropped his gaze. That table was consistently rowdy, but since the bar itself was noisy, Yan Yixi didn’t mind. He continued to chat with his friends.
Five minutes later, that little one suddenly appeared in front of him, asking for his number on a dare.
What was supposed to be a bygone suddenly wasn’t. Who would have known that Yan Yixi’s mother would call him, asking him to take care of her best friend’s1 child.
Doctor Yan naturally refused, but his mother patiently persuaded him.
“Xixi-ah, just think of it as a favor for your pitiful mom. Guai Zai’s very well behaved and is a good student. When he was born, you even held him and praised him for being cute. Did you forget?”
Doctor Yan: …
“Long story short, Guai Zai’s mom will be working overseas. She’s worried about him, and asked me for help because she has no other options. Either way, I’ve already agreed, so if you dare to chase him out, I’ll fly right back.”
“I won’t —”
Du, du, du… She had already hung up.
Doctor Yan felt a headache coming on. He was already extremely busy with work, where was he going to find time to watch a child???
“Dongdong, help me write my paper tonight, will you?”
The boy shook his head, indicating he would be busy.
“Busy?” His friend asked in surprise, “You’re not going back to that bar again, are you?”
The boy nodded, then grabbed his backpack and left. His friend hurriedly grabbed his own bag and rushed to catch up. In the end, the boy ended up writing around two thirds of his friend’s paper at the bar.
At midnight, the little one and his friend left together. Before leaving, the little one looked over towards a certain table and sighed.
“Don’t you have his number? Staking it out every day is such a waste of time, why don’t you just call him? ” His friend asked helplessly.
“I texted, but he didn’t respond2.”
His friend tried again.
“Then just call him. I’m telling you, one needs to be a little shameless when pursuing someone. If you don’t call just because he won’t text back, then how will you get anywhere?”
“Okay then.” The little boy nodded and kept his friend’s words in mind.
The next day, the little boy finished his breakfast and dutifully read his books until it was 8 o’clock sharp. He called Doctor Yan.
Doctor Yan didn’t pick up.
The boy put down his phone and sighed. It sure was hard to pursue someone.
Suddenly, his phone vibrated. The boy snatched up his phone at lightning speed, but saw that the caller ID was only “Mom.” His smile subconsciously fell.
“Guai Zai, Mom’s back. Why don’t you eat at home tonight? I’ll cook for you. Mom also has something to tell you.”
The boy returned home in disappointment; he didn’t receive any texts or calls from a certain someone.
Because of her job, Guai Zai’s mother spent time out of town more often than not. For her to come back and personally cook, Guai Zai knew that she must have something important to say. He was already quite mature, so when his mother said that her company was sending her overseas, he calmly nodded.
“It’s okay. Don’t worry about me, Mom. Just focus on your job.”
His mother’s eyes turned red and she walked over to hug him.
“I’m so sorry Guai Zai, Mom … has never properly spent time with you. Guai Zai, will you move overseas with Mom?”
“I like it here. Sorry Mom; I want to stay in China.” He shook his head.
His mom kept trying to persuade him, but eventually gave up. She hesitated for a while, then gave her best friend an international call.
Her best friend was a very good person. She immediately agreed to have her own son look after the little boy.
The next day, mother and son were able to share a rare breakfast together.
“Mom, I can take care of myself.”
The little one frowned when he heard that his mother had arranged for her friend’s son to take care of him.
“Guai Zai, Mom knows, but another pair of eyes will be better, no? In case you encounter some situation you can’t handle yourself, you’ll have someone you can ask for help. Oh, right. Mom’s friend’s son is a doctor. If you get sick, Mom will be too far away to take care of you. So, he can help you. Guai Zai, just take it as Mom being selfish and put Mom’s heart to ease, okay?”
Hearing the word “doctor,” the little boy’s left eyelid jumped.
Seeing that Guai Zai didn’t object, his mom knew that he’d resigned himself. She took out her phone and forwarded the information her friend had sent to Guai Zai.
“Mom sent you his number and home address. His name is Yan Yixi; you can call him Uncle Yan… Ah, actually, that’s too much. You can call him Brother Yan.”
The boy looked at his mother’s text and nearly spat his milk everywhere.
Two people might share the same name, but definitely not the same number. Clearly this was the same person!
“I understand, Mom.” The boy’s lips raised into a slight smile.
“I’ll make sure to ask … Gege for help.”
Chen Qian looked at her son’s smile and teared up again. Her son had grown well. She seemed to miss exactly how much he had grown though; had she known the thoughts running through her son’s mind, she would have instantly taken her words back.
Her paperwork went through quickly. Guai Zai took her to the airport the day she left; just before leaving Chen Qing asked one more time if Guai Zai would come with her. The boy refused and Chen Qing understood.
“Guai Zai, You have to take good care of yourself. Mom will make sure to come back often.” She mussed his hair.
The boy obediently nodded.
When he returned, Guai Zai sat on the sofa staring into the silent house. He sat dumbly for half an hour before suddenly running to his room.
An hour later, he left the building wearing his backpack and hauling his luggage.
T/N: You may have noticed that I translated 哥哥 to brother in one place but left is as Gege in another. This is because the mom tells GZ to call YYX Yan Gege, like how a child might call someone Aunty X or Uncle Liu. I think that when GX is saying Gege, he’s being somewhat ambiguous about whether he means it in a familial manner or a romantic one. Personally, I feel very weird translating the latter as Brother (anyone call their boyfriend “brother” in English?), so I left it as Gege.
Also, in novels where someone refers to their friend as X-ge, that’s a different context.
Also! A note on ages: the “little one”/ “little boy” is 18 and Doctor Yan is 32. 14 year age gap, which is, somewhat? okay? I guess? At least, they’re both of age ^ ^;;
best friend (闺蜜): refers to a woman’s best friend that is a girl, like BFF
didn’t respond: you have no idea how tempted I was to translate it as ‘left me on read’