When I returned home, I could not help myself but to check my phone over and over again.
His profile picture remained untouched in my WeChat contact.
That was until I clicked on it, exited the screen, clicked on it, exited the screen, and repeated the process again.
I couldn’t find an appropriate way to initiate a conversation with him.

After contemplating for quite some time, I made an impulsive decision to move a move, “Are you there? ^^”

He quickly replied, “Yes.”

“Are you home yet? ^^”


I continued to shoot my shot for the third time, “What are you doing? ^^”

“Getting ready for a shower.”

“…” Was this a normal response from the great one?

I could only concede to end the conversation, “Go shower, bye.


I squatted on the chair, crossing my arms and staring at the chat box.
Was my phone with him done forever?

Fortunately, after a while longer, his message came, “I’m finished.”

I was immediately reenergized.
In case he mentioned along the lines of “It’s late; I’ll go to bed,” I quickly texted, “It’s still early, so not planning to go to bed yet.”

He responded, “Not yet.” He also included a few smiling emojis.


“Can you not use this emoji?”

He responded, “Huh? Why?”

“It’s a bit scary,” I said, “This smiling expression, it’s like stabbing my freaking MMP heart (cursing slang).”

He said, “Sorry, I didn’t know.” This guy was really old-school =.= Was there really anyone who hadn’t surfed the internet?

I generously gathered a large, curated collection of laughing emojis and memes.

“You can save them and use it later.”

He immediately responded with a laughing emoji.

Little kids could be taught.

He asked, “What are you doing?” “I ah….” I really wished to reply intellectually but DV urged me to go online.
“I’m going to play games.”

I preferred to chat with him than game, but if I ditched my benefactor, where else would I be paid to treat him out to dinner? Was I going to start stealing battery cars to support him?

He replied back, “Oh.”

I was afraid that he conversation would end after his response.
Fortunately, after panicking for a few seconds, I received another message from him, “What game are you playing?”

I quickly replied, “PUBG: Player Unknown Battleground, have you ever played?”

“No,” and he added a laughing emoji.

=_= …..
It appeared that I needed to share more emoticon options with him.

“My teammate is live streaming on Douyu, room number XXXX.
Do you want to come and take a look?”


This word, “okay,” was enough to immediately invigorate me with chicken blood (a slang for over excitement).
I rubbed my hands and prepared to kill in all directions, becoming more courageous and lethal the more I gamed.

After gaming for quite some time, I asked him between system queues, “Are you watching?”

“Yes,” he said, “You played well.”

I was easily flattered, “Really?”

“If you’re not old, you could consider playing games professionally.”

“…….” I was not sure if I should be happy or sad.

These first four words were too heartbreaking when I was aging.
= =

Of course, he was speaking factually.
As far as e-sports were concerned, responsiveness started to decline at 22 years old.
At this age, professional plays would suffer when competing against 17 or 18 year olds.

However, I never thought of benefiting from this bowl of rice (slang to indicate participating in success).
After all, I did not have anything substantial to do well from beginning to end.
Playing games was a way for everyone to have fun.

12 years ago, when I first used my father’s computer to play WOW World of Warcraft, playing games was considered as addicting as opium.
Thus, I had to cure my internet addiction.

He asked, “Do you have your own streaming platform?”


“Actually, you should consider starting a streaming platform.”

I was shocked, “….me?”

You play well, react quickly, have comedic commentary, and curse well.”

“???” It was good to swear well?

Before we finished our conversation, it was my turn to begin.
However, for the first time, I felt that this game continued for a while too long.
I wanted to end it early so that I could focus on chatting with him instead.

I played for a bit longer until it was 12 AM.
I asked him between game pauses, “Are you not sleeping yet?”

“Well, I’m working,” he responded and added, “Watching you while working.”

“You work a lot.
Do you work and study?” I recalled that when I met him outside of class, he was dealing with work matters rather than reviewing materials for school.

“That’s correct to say that.”

“My grandfather is getting older, and he hopes for me to help my family more,” he said, “He is afraid that he won’t live much longer by the time I take over.”

I was stunned into silence.

“My grandfather was ill for quite some time, and we were all very nervous.
He is recovering well now, but whenever I look at him, I always feel that one less day is gradually passing day by day.”

I felt that his life was heavy.

I couldn’t help but say, “But you are still so young.”

He paused before replying, “I have to grow up quickly.”

I suddenly didn’t have the heart in me to continue playing games anymore.
I secretly told DV that I would save my spot and continue tomorrow night.
It didn’t matter if I didn’t earn the red envelope.
DV expressed that he understood.

“Aren’t you playing?”


After a brief moment, he said, “I’m sorry, I affected your mood.”

“No, no, no,” I quickly denied he did such a thing, “I was tired of gaming and I wanted to talk to you.”

He sent another laughing emoticon.

“= = …..” I said, “I have several sets of emoticons here.
I recommend that you download them.”


“Speaking of it, your father, does he not help out?”

“After the divorce, my father is completely cut off from my mother’s family,” he explained, “So my father can’t take over.
He also has poor health so he doesn’t have the mental and spiritual capacity to keep up.”

“Then, do you hate your father??”

“No, I have a very good relationship with my father,” he mentioned after a brief moment, “Actually, my parents are very good people and love me greatly.
After they divorced, they kept in touch with one another as friends until…”


He didn’t continue on with his train of thought, but said, “They are destined, but maybe it’s just they chose the wrong path in getting together.”

Hearing him say that, I felt relieved for him.
Although he had an incomplete family, there was at least love.
This was a much better situation than my parents who were failures like me.

“Then, do you plan to come back to live with your father?” Even though they were legally alienated, it would still feel different to come back to someone who can be called “Dad” at home.

“Truthfully, I seldom return back to him,” he said.


He didn’t speak.
I suddenly had a moment of realization, “He has formed a new family, hasn’t he?”


Damn, I could understand that well enough.
Originally, I still thought about my dad from time to time, since I only had such a dad left.
Yet, when he was with that Cheng Yichen, I was not at ease to stay with them peacefully.

He said, “We’ve met, but mostly outside.”

I felt sympathy for him and wanted to pet his head.
I understood that even if you had a place to call your own, you could still feel homeless.

I could only express my unhappiness in an attempt to try to make him feel content.

“Honestly, my parents are also divorced when I was young,” I said, “They are still alive, but after they divorced, I never saw my mother again.”

I sighed, “I really don’t remember what she looks like and she doesn’t care about what kind of person I’ve become.”

He also sent a sighing emoji.

= = This guy was really updating his emojis obediently.

“Speaking of it, do your parent’s argue frequently?”

He said, “Not really.
As far as I can remember, they got along harmoniously.
They never quarreled once, not even loudly.”

I was surprisingly skeptical, “Then why did they get divorced?”

“Probably because it wasn’t the right person.
There were feelings, but not love.”

“Is it not enough to have feelings?” I felt like I could never understand marriage and love.
“I can’t figure out why your parents divorced, just like how I can’t figure out why my parents got married — they didn’t just quarrel when they meet.
They always spoke with guns blazing at each other like yin and yang.
In fact, it’s better for them to be far away from each other so the world can be more peaceful.”

After a beat, I continued to say, “And they don’t love me at all.”

“There are no parents who do not love their children.”

I was instantly enraged, “That’s because you didn’t experienced it!”


“If you’ve never experienced it yourself, you think that they don’t exist? You can eat and eat every single day, but you think no one else has the capacity to be hungry?”


“Some people just shouldn’t be born because no one wants him to be born! His existence was not welcomed from the start, and every second spent existing was useless!”

After a moment of silence, he apologized, “Sorry.”

I suddenly felt utterly vulnerable.
For the first time, I felt like I really wanted to cry.

He asked, “Are you crying?”


“I feel very sorry for you.”


I didn’t continue to say anything more.
After a while, he sent an emoji of a rabbit hugging another rabbit.

My heart soured, and also softened.

Even he was in a better situation than me, he also had it hard.
It was not a happy life.
We both didn’t have a normal family, nor a complete fatherly and motherly love.
It seemed we, extremely lonely critters, could only warm each other up.

Before I fell asleep, I wondered vaguely, would he really hug me if he was right next to me?


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