Urban Tales of Demons and Spirits
Vol 1 Book of Thunder – Chapter 60 Query
First Published on Chaleuria.
Chapter 60 Query
I didn’t know why, but I felt uncomfortable from head to toe, faced with that sort of strange, ambiguous atmosphere between my second aunt and Wen Jiubo.
“Ahem.” I cleared my throat specifically, looking towards my second aunt. “That’s right, second aunt, you’ve been here at the hospital for a long time already, are you hungry?”
“Oh, now that you mention it, I am a little hungry.” My second aunt came back to her senses and smiled. “But the sun is about to rise, I’ll wait until morning to eat.”
“Don’t, how long would you have to wait?” I immediately offered my service, eagerly saying, “I’m doing nothing anyway, I’ll go and buy you something to eat.”
“Alright then, don’t forget to buy yourself something too.” My second aunt gave a rare smile.
“I’ll come too. I’m also hungry, and I remember that if you go out from here, there’s a 24-hour McDonald’s.” Wen Jiubo said as he patted me on the head and then left first.
“You!” I smiled apologetically at my aunt and then hurried to catch up, flustered and exasperated.
It was already five-thirty in the morning, and there was a pale light on the horizon as the sun prepared to rise slowly. The dawn air was cold enough to be biting and I sneezed a couple of times in a row, pulling my clothes tighter around me.
“Where’s this 24-hour McDonald’s?” I complained. “How would I not know that there’s a McDonald’s on this street?”
“Maybe there is, maybe I remembered wrongly,” Wen Jiubo said, utterly unconcerned.
I felt irritated. “Then why were you speaking so certainly before? What are we going to do if we can’t buy any food!”
“I saw that you looked angry, so I thought I’d come out with you to take a walk. Why, do you not like how close I am with your second aunt? Are you jealous?” Wen Jiubo started smiling, reaching out a hand to tweak my nose.
I furrowed my brows, smacking away Wen Jiubo’s irritating paw.
“I am angry, but not because of your relationship with my second aunt. I’m angry at your actions, like right now!”
Wen Jiubo looked surprised for a moment but quickly resumed his normal expression. “My actions right now?”
I was both angry and amused. Wen Jiubo clearly had no sense of self, unable to even realize his own mistakes even now. Sometimes I felt like he was the smartest person alive, but sometimes I also felt like he was a child without common sense.
You keep treating me like a child,” I said, forcing down my anger. “No matter if it was when you were talking to my mom before about the boyfriend thing, or your actions just before in the hospital, you are always acting like you are faced with a child, never respecting my opinions. Wen Jiubo, I don’t care who you are, and I also don’t want to know if you’re human or demon, but you can’t keep pretending to be my boyfriend one moment and then treat me like a child the next.”
Wen Jiubo raised his eyebrows, surprised. “I didn’t…”
“Don’t deny it, you definitely did!” I got angrier the longer this conversation went on, replying to him in a huff. “Even though I’ve only started university this year, even though I’ve only just turned eighteen this year, that doesn’t make me an innocent child who knows nothing. I have a brain and I can think for myself. I don’t need you to save me, and I also don’t need anyone to always be there to help me out. You’re not really anyone to me, so don’t even try and make my decisions for me, or keep me in the dark like I’m an idiot, okay?”
“I’ve never lied to you…” Wen Jiubo said in a low voice.
“Sure, you really haven’t. But you have always been hiding things. I’m not dumb, do you think I wouldn’t notice?” I said, without humor.
Wen Jiubo was still quiet. “Like what?”
“For example, twenty years ago, that night when you went to my second aunt’s house and found a skunk, you didn’t play cards for the entire night, did you?” I said, one word at a time.
Wen Jiubo fell silent. He looked at me, not saying a word, making me feel a bit apprehensive. It was as if he was boring a hole into my face with his stare.
“I didn’t mean to hide that from you. I was just afraid that after you knew…” After a long time, Wen Jiubo finally opened his mouth.
“Afraid of what? Afraid that I would be jealous? Envious? Afraid that I’ll go and stab my own second aunt to death maybe?” I couldn’t help but interrupt Wen Jiubo again. “This is what I mean. In your eyes, I’m nothing but a little brat. You’re always afraid that I’ll ruin everything, you’re afraid that I’ll get jealous and throw a tantrum. What are you thinking? You’re too arrogant, you’re not actually my boyfriend.”
That moment, I thought my words had hurt Wen Jiubo, because his expression changed for a split second, but before I could see it clearly, he was already back to normal.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t think you’d think about it this much.” Wen Jiubo smiled at me gently. His upfront apology actually threw me off.
“Like you said, I did actually have some things that I deliberately kept from you.” Wen Jiubo sighed, ruffling his hair like a frustrated child. “But believe me, that wasn’t my intention. Maybe after all of these years, lying has become a habit of mine. It’s not that I don’t trust you or that I think you’re a child, really. Believe me.”
I looked at him, conflicted. There were times when I really didn’t know what this person was thinking inside, and I also did not know or understand anything about his past.
“Just before, at the hospital, my second aunt said…” I said quietly, “Said that, compared to before, you haven’t changed a bit.”
Wen Jiubo looked towards me.
“Is she referring to… your face?” I asked.
My heart was thumping loudly inside; I didn’t know if I was expecting or fearing his answer. However, Wen Jiubo was the same as always, looking into my eyes indifferently, as if not considering this question very intrusive.
“Who knows?” Wen Jiubo shrugged his shoulders, giving a non-answer.
After hearing his answer I almost fell over, but Wen Jiubo just kept walking ahead by himself, mumbling something like ‘is the McDonald’s actually around here?’
“Wen Jiubo! Not this again!” I said, filled with righteous indignation.
“You’re always like this! Using these non-committal answers in passing!” I fumed, “If you don’t want to tell me, then tell me that straight!”
Wen Jiubo suddenly stopped and turned around to look at me in utter seriousness. “Is that so? Then I — don’t want to tell you.”
At that moment, I really wanted to kick him until he entered outer space, or anywhere as long as he never returned.
In the end, we looped around the hospital once and still didn’t see that 24-hour McDonald’s. However, as the sky lightened, many breakfast carts started rolling out to open for business. Wen Jiubo and I bought two meat buns and then bought another takeaway for my second aunt, and then planned to return to the hospital to have a look at the situation.