I’m going to live in Anbis for a while because of my work. Kroll, who belongs to the company here, is responsible for receiving me and now he is helping me drive.
“Do you know what Anbis means? It means ‘abyss’,” Kroll said. “You haven’t been to Anbis before, have you? Do you know what we have here?”
“What is it?” I asked.
“Here… You see,” he turned a corner and pointed to the person standing by the billboard. “Do you see that?”
I nodded. It was a tall, thin young man with curly blond hair on his head, tattoos on his neck and arms, and he wore a very close fitting deep V-neck T-shirt and tight jeans, and leather boots on his feet.
More than ten meters away, there was another young man. He was shorter than the previous one. His skin was brown. On the other side of the road, there were even strong men in women’s clothes.
I opened my mouth but did not immediately comment. After all, I didn’t know what Kroll thought of these people.
The car left the road and crossed the street with large department stores. There were no children in this street who were obviously waiting for ‘some kind of guest’. There were many ordinary pedestrians and fat housewives coming out of the supermarket with big bags and small bags. Not far from the cinema, we had to slow down because two cars were stopped.
Four men came out of a side road. They were all dressed in dark suits, tall and straight, grim faces, like those in gangster movies or science fiction movies. Because the car had slowed down, I saw a pudgy middle-aged man stand up from his seat in the open-air coffee shop and meet with them.
The middle-aged man was holding a black business bag in his hand, and his walking posture was very similar to that of some kind of movie actor. Then he came up to the four men, but they said nothing.
“Oh, they dare to trade on Third Avenue in broad daylight.” Kroll who was near me sighed.
“What? What kind of deal?”
He shrugged, “What else can it be… In a word, it’s not very aboveboard. You’ll understand. See those four guys, no one in Anbis can say anything about them. As for the old man, I don’t know him. Look, how much can he put in that antique briefcase?”
I heard for a long time that the security situation in Anbis was worrying. It was said that there were many outlaws hiding here. But it’s still hard for me to believe that I would see such a swaggering gang but at least not where I live.
I heard some rumors before I came here on business. It was said that even heaven and hell were in the opposite position in Anbis. They used this to describe the danger here.
Now I got what Kroll meant. He didn’t mean that Anbis had a lot of youthful men standing on the street. He meant that there are a lot of things that can go through the market.
I was arranged to stay in a small hotel. Kroll was called away by his supervisor and said that he would pick me up for the dinner party arranged by the company in the evening. This afternoon’s free time left me idle. But I dared not go to the street where the department store was located, although I am sure I had nothing to do with the dangerous elements.
However, what I didn’t dare to tell him was that I was a little interested in those young men on the side of the road.
I don’t want to be known as gay to my colleagues. Of course, I’m not really going to find one right away. I’m just curious. At ordinary times, I usually look for partners slowly in the circle, not in this way.
But I kept thinking of the first guy I saw: tall, thin, with tattoos on his neck and arms. That street was so far away from here that I wasn’t sure I could find him myself.
At the dinner party, I was bored the entire time, but I had to pretend to be enthusiastic and cheerful for work. This was the only way. When it was all over, I got into Kroll’s car again, this time with a lady.
Because he had to give her a ride, Kroll was very sorry to let me off two blocks from the hotel. I said I didn’t mind. It happened that I wanted to walk by myself.
In the dark, as I prepared to cross the first intersection, I looked deep into the horizontal block.
I saw some lights in a bar and there were some figures nearby. I walked over curiously, and sure enough, seeing the appearance and temperament of these people, I could guess what they were doing.
A well mannered man in suit and glasses walked up to a young man in leather pants. They whispered something to each other and walked into the semi-underground bar together.
I looked around and saw a familiar figure. It was the guy I saw during the day. At this time, he was in different clothes. His brown and red casual suit covered his tattoos. I saw him standing alone under the streetlamp, leaning against the lamp post, smoking with his eyes empty.
I went over to him and asked, “Hi, are you waiting for your girlfriend?”
——It’s a little code word used to tell if these boys are in business or are really waiting for someone. What’s amazing is that there is no standard answer to the code. It’s just the beginning, so that the other person can understand what he means, and then you can read from his reaction whether he wants to.
The young man squinted at me, “Not necessarily. I’m waiting for more than a girlfriend. “
The seemingly illogical answer just helped me confirm his career. So I stood a little closer and looked at the lines of his chin, the bobbing Adam’s apple as he took a breath, and the beautiful clavicle under the deep V-neck that protruded from his suit jacket.
“What store did you come out of?” I look at the semi-underground bar behind me. In fact, the real meaning of this sentence is: Are you from the store or do you work alone?
“I didn’t, I’m outside alone.” He answered me bluntly, put out his cigarette end on the lamp post and looked back at me.
His blond hair seemed to be dyed, and the roots of his hair were a dark brown. But it’s nothing. From the covert and meaningless language exploration, we gradually moved to the direct after the purpose.
“How much?” I asked.
He frowned and thought, “It depends on the content.”
It seemed that there were many ways he could provide? So I said, “Well, the most common. I don’t have hobbies that are abnormal. I just like you. Specifically, it depends on the atmosphere at that time, right? I don’t like to be too stylized.”
I think I made myself clear enough, but the young man seemed confused, “Can you be more direct? Don’t have so many redundant words. Who is it for?”
I was the one left confused this time. A young man standing on the street, and an outsider who definitely wanted to buy him once — who else could it be for? Did I look like a close secretary to the boss?
“Of course it’s me.” I said with a smile.
The young man looked more confused. It was not so much as bewilderment, but his eyes seemed to condemn me as a psychopath, “You… Well, when and where?”
“I don’t think my room is good. Do you have a good place?” I said.
He thought about it and nodded to let me come along with him. Just as I was about to follow happily, there was the sound of a sudden screech behind me, and then Kroll’s exclamation came, “My God! Mr. Mullen, what are you doing here?”
I looked back in embarrassment. Kroll was already out of the car. The young man in front of us stopped and looked at us.
“What are you doing? This is not where you should be!” Kroll caught me. I knew that when I was seen by my colleagues at work, I could somehow explain it.
But then Kroll didn’t talk to me. Instead, he said to the young man, “I’m sorry, this man is my companion. Did he offend you? I’m really sorry. He’s not a local. Did he say anything too much? Please don’t take it seriously. He just…”
I felt very strange. The young man looked at Kroll impatiently, looked at me again, and muttered, “No wonder, I still feel… How can there be such a person?”
He walked away.
Kroll pulled me into the car, breathed a sigh of relief, then returned me back to the front of the hotel. I was so suspicious because I couldn’t figure out what was going on. I even thought that maybe the beautiful young man had a venereal disease? Or did he often hurt his bed mate?
Kroll suddenly said, “Mr. Mullen, do you like tall, blonde boys?”
I nodded awkwardly, hoping Kroll was not a homophobic.
Fortunately, of course he wasn’t, and he even patted me on the shoulder with relief: “I see. Are you sleepy? If not, I’ll take you somewhere.”
I agreed, thinking he would buy me a drink or something, but it wasn’t.
He drove to a quiet street. Most of the lights in the rooms of the buildings on both sides were turned off, and more than half of the street lights were broken. He pulled up in front of a three-story villa that looked like it was abandoned and told me to get out of the car.
I could hardly see the man in the dark at the entrance of the villa. He leaned over to talk to Kroll in a low voice and told us to go in.
“Where is this?” I asked.
But Kroll only answered, “Please look forward to it.”
I began to feel uneasy and even scared. I turned around but the man at the door followed me. I couldn’t help thinking, if they will hurt me, could I escape safely? Why did I want to follow Kroll just now?
A tall, thin, blond man came up from behind a door and looked at us vaguely. He was older than the one I saw before, very handsome, but he was different. His hair was well combed and he wore a grey shirt, a black suit and a tie. His handsome face felt a bit fierce.
“Welcome. Oh, don’t look at me so scared. Are you looking for your girlfriend, honey?” The blond came up and put his hand around my waist. I looked at him in surprise, then at Kroll, who seemed to be laughing.
After a few months, I still remember that day I had a good time. Although there were some stupid little episodes at the beginning.
I don’t know the real name of the blonde in the suit, but he really had not only a beautiful face, but also a crazy figure and skill. Of course, it was not cheap, but I thought it was worth it.
Of course, it was disgraceful, so after that I solemnly begged Kroll not to speak about it, and I guess he won’t.
“Now do you understand what Anbis is all about?” When Kroll asked, raising his eyebrows, I guessed he must have done something that night. “Here, heaven and hell are in opposite directions.”
I understood the meaning of this sentence now, and I was afraid of my behavior of asking the price of that “street boy” at the beginning.
In Anbis, wearing colorful, revealing clothes, and standing under the billboard… such people are killers waiting to be hired. It’s true that this place is dangerous. Maybe he was a professional killer or something.
But it’s those who wear black suits all day long and look like mafia, who are the ones who actually serve women and some men.
One is responsible for sending people to hell, and the other is responsible for taking people to heaven. Because of this, people say that heaven and hell are the opposite here.