Open World 19
He didn’t want to be recognized or for anyone to know that he was working here.
Xie Xi put down the wine and left without lifting his head.
The other party didn’t say anything and hadn’t seemed to recognize him.
Xie Xi left before letting out a sigh of relief. It was natural not to recognize since his appearance was too different and they only met once at school.
Even so, Xie Xi didn’t dare go that way or deliver anything to the table.
Xiao Li told him excitedly, “That person is really handsome! A heavenly dish!” Xiao Li was gay.
Xie Xi reluctantly smiled at him.
Xiao Li continued, “I don’t know who he is but did you see the watch on his wrist? It costs enough to buy us food and drinks for half our lives!”
Xie Xi remembered his classmates’ gossip during the day and knew that the young professor’s family was very good.
Xiao Li gave high praise. “He is rich and has good looks. The best in the world!”
Xie Xi couldn’t say anything. He hadn’t told the people in the bar that he was still studying, let alone that this was his teacher.
Xiao Li knew that Xie Xi wasn’t interested in men and after sensing his disinterest, left to talk to others.
Xie Xi went to the bathroom to try and calm himself down.
He stared at himself in the mirror and comforted himself, ‘I wasn’t recognized, I definitely wasn’t recognized!’
He washed his face, the cold water dripping down his cheeks onto his neck. It was very cold. Xie Xi quickly dried his face but he still felt cold. The bar maintained a constant temperature and he shouldn’t be cold wearing this. Sure enough…
Did he catch a cold from running while sweating? Xie Xi felt some panic. He didn’t want to catch a cold because the cost of illness was too high. A box of cold medicine was more than 20 yuan and he couldn’t afford it.
In fact, a cold would go away on its own after seven or eight days but it was still too much trouble. Dizziness and headaches would affect his classes and also work. If his boss found out, he would definitely be forced to take some days off.
One missed day of work meant less money and Xie Xi didn’t want that. He couldn’t catch a cold, he couldn’t. Xie Xi poured himself a large glass of hot water and gulped it.
Once his body was slightly warmer, Xie Xi suppressed some of his worries. He would go home and boil ginger soup. Maybe it would be fine!
Unfortunately, tonight was particularly busy. Xie Xi ran back and forth to serve drinks. After running a few laps inside and outside, he started sweating again.
He was already dizzy during his break. The human body wasn’t made out of iron. He hadn’t eaten well every day, was malnourished and worked very late. He had insufficient sleep and fatigue so it was natural to fall sick.
Xiao Li noticed his condition. “What’s wrong? Your face is a bit red.”
Xie Xi shook his head. “It’s nothing. I just need to the bathroom.” It was almost 11 o’clock and almost time to get off work. He intended to persist until then.
Xiao Li urged him, “If you aren’t feeling well, leave first. I’m here.”
The boss would call names after work and deduct money for those who left early. Xie Xi shook his head. “It doesn’t matter.”
His body was hot and cold and he was so miserable that he wanted to go home and hide in bed.
“Xiao Xie.” Suddenly, a rough voice speaking in a flattering tone was heard behind him.
Xie Xi tensed as he turned his head. “Mr. Wang, what’s wrong?” Behind him was the middle-aged man who had been staring at him for the past month.
Wang Qingshu stared at him greedily, his eyes filled with shameful desires. He handed a glass to Xie Xi and said, “Accompany me for a drink. You can see that I have been coming here for one month.”
Xie Xi retreated. “I’m sorry Mr. Wang, I can’t drink.”
Wang Qingshu urged him, “What’s wrong with some wine? Drink it and you’ll see.” He held out the glass with a tough gesture.
Xie Xi’s expression wasn’t good. “Mr. Wang, please don’t embarrass me!”
“You call this embarrassing you? Is it so hard to have a glass of wine? I’m been coming here for almost a month!”
Xie Xi retreated to the wall, the cold wall making his head numb. “I’m just working here, I…”
“Don’t you want money?” Wang Qingshu’s tall body covered Xie Xi. “Follow me, how much do you want me to give you?”
Xie Xi’s head buzzed and he raised his hand to punch the other person. Wang Qingshu’s face was cold as he was hit in the face. “You aren’t giving me face!”
Under normal circumstances, Xie Xi could run away but now his physical condition was extremely poor and his legs were like lead. He couldn’t lift it at all. The previous punch had used all his strength.
“You might not drink but you will have to drink today. Once you drink this, you will see…” Wang Qingshu wanted to use strength to pour it into his mouth.
Xie Xi knew there must be something added to the wine. He shook his head and cried out…
Suddenly, the glass fell to the carpet and red liquid splattered all over the place. Wang Qingshu was stunned and shouted angrily, “What fu*ker is meddling?”
Then a foot came over and kicked him in the middle of the chest. This force was very big and Wang Qingshu fell down.
“You… cough…” Wang Qingshu touched his chest and kept coughing.
Jiang Xie walked out of the shadows with a cold face, hands in his pockets as he declared in a condescending manner. “Get lost.”
Wang Qingshu’s face changed as he struggled to get up. “Wait, you wait for me!” He spoke these words but staggered away.
Xie Xi leaned against the wall in shock. Jiang Xie stared at him with a light frown.
Xie Xi bowed and muttered, “Thank you.”
He didn’t dare look at Jiang Xie for fear of being recognized. It was very embarrassing to work here and now something like this happened…
Xie Xi felt indescribable humiliation. He wasn’t afraid of poverty, suffering every day or of being hungry. He just didn’t want to be treated by the public as a beggar.
Jiang Xie didn’t say anything but Xie Xi felt his gaze like sharp thorns. He couldn’t stay a moment longer and suppressed his body’s trembling as he turned to leave.
“Xie Xi.” Jiang Xie accurately called out his name.
Xie Xi stopped, the blood draining from his face. This person recognized him and even remembered his name.
Jiang Xie approached him and asked, “Why work here?”
Xie Xi stiffened as he felt dumbfounded by this question. Why? How could a person with Jiang Xie’s family background understand his life?
Would he work here if there were any other options? If it wasn’t for a lack of money, how could he do this?
There was no way Jiang Xie could understand. The wine he drank tonight was a few months of salary for Xie Xi. How could Jiang Xie understand?!
Xie Xi didn’t look back as he replied stubbornly. “I’m an adult and it has nothing to do with you.”
Jiang Xie’s brow furrowed. “The thing that just happened, you…”
Humiliation rushed to Xie Xi’s brain and he couldn’t help raising his volume. “I could’ve solved it even if Teacher wasn’t there!”
Then he left. He didn’t dare go anywhere with few people. He could only stay in front and work hard.
By the way, Xie Xi regretted what he said and wanted to slap himself. It was Jiang Xie who helped him just now. If the teacher hadn’t been present, it was unimaginable what would’ve happened to Xie Xi.
He should’ve thanked Jiang Xi and explained things clearly, instead of saying something so unreasonable.
Still, he couldn’t help it because he couldn’t suppress his mood. Jiang Xie must be very disappointed to get such a response after his help. Xie Xi’s heart trembled and he only felt more powerless.
In any case, he and Jiang Xie were two different types of people and there would be no further intersection. There was nothing to regret.
Xie Xi stayed until midnight and his head buzzed once he got off work.
Xiao Li asked him, “Are you all right?”
Xie Xi stared at him and only reacted after a long time. “No, I’m fine.”
“This won’t do. I’ll call a car.”
Xie Xi quickly shouted, “No! No need!” His place wasn’t far but it cost 10 yuan for a taxi. He wouldn’t take a taxi unless he was dead.
Someone was waiting outside for Xiao Li and he couldn’t afford to care too much about Xie Xi. “Then I’ll go first. If you really aren’t feeling well, you should take a day off tomorrow.”
Xie Xi replied, “Yes, rest assured.”
Once Xiao Li left, Xie Xi changed his clothes, drank a large glass of hot water and prepared to go back.
He went outside and the cold wind of early winter hit the back of his neck. Xie Xi hugged himself tightly, shivering from the cold.
The weather in November was extremely cold. He only wore a thin coat and felt like he would really die of the cold. This should be a fever.
Xie Xi was freezing and couldn’t help stopping after a few steps. He huddled by the road and suddenly remembered the little girl who sold matches.
People wouldn’t realize helplessness and despair without facing a real predicament. Unfortunately, Xie Xi didn’t have matches and didn’t even deserve dreams.
A black car slowly stopped in front of him. The window fell and Jiang Xie glanced at him. “Get on the car.”
Xie Xi stood motionless where he was.
Jiang Xie frowned, removed the seat belt and got off the car. He approached and saw the blankness in Xie Xi’s eyes.
The youth had overly beautiful facial features and there was a layer of redness on his white face. He was like petals blooming in the early morning, fragile and delicate.
Jiang Xie’s heart tightened and he asked, “Did you drink that wine?’
No, he should’ve arrived in time. Even if Xie Xi drank a bit, the drug shouldn’t be that strong.
Xie Xi stared blankly and couldn’t respond at all. Jiang Xie reached out and touched his forehead. ‘How are you so hot?”
Xie Xi finally saw the other person and his feeble pride soared again as he removed Jiang Xie’s hand. “I’m fine.”
“I’ll take you to the hospital.”
“No!” Xie Xi immediately exclaimed, “No, I won’t go to the hospital. Don’t take me to the hospital!”
How could he only go to the hospital when he only had a few yuan?
Jiang Xie spoke softly, “It’s fine, you don’t necessarily have to get an injection. Just a checkup…” He thought that Xie Xi was afraid of needles.
Xie Xi shook his head violently and resisted. “Don’t take me to the hospital. I won’t go to the hospital…” He begged. “Please, please Teacher Jiang, I don’t want to go to the hospital.”
His voice was hoarse and he sounded petulant…
Jiang Xie was startled and his voice became slightly dry. “Okay, I won’t take you to the hospital. Get in the car and I’ll send you home. Take some antipyretics and have a good rest.”
Xie Xi replied, “Okay…”
Jiang Xie opened the door and helped him into the car. Xie Xi was cold and couldn’t help sinking into the hot wind coming from the car. The heater in the car was very comfortable, confusing Xie Xi. For a time, he couldn’t tell where he was.
Jiang Xie sighed and drove the car to find a pharmacy. He would first buy some medicine and then have Xie Xi take it when he got home.
Jiang Xie bought the medicine and returned to the car, only to find Xie Xi had fallen asleep. He was huddled into a ball, his white wrists exposed to the outside. He was too thin to hold.
Jiang Xie remembered when he had seen Xie Xi eating in the cafeteria. It would be strange if he could gain fat after eating those types of meals.
Of course, Jiang Xie hadn’t really thought that Xie Xi was trying to lose weight. He said those words so he didn’t burst Xie Xi’s self-respect.
At the bar tonight, Jiang Xie recognized him at first glance. Jiang Xie guessed that Xie Xi’s family situation wasn’t good but hadn’t expected him to be working here.
It might be a clean bar but it was still a place where fish and dragons mixed together. It didn’t feel safe for a youth who just turned 18 years old to be working there.
In particular, since the growing child… looked a little too good.
Jiang Xie called out to him. “Xie Xi?”
Xie Xi frowned and shrank even smaller. Jiang Xie’s heart was tugged and his voice softened. “Where do you live? I will send you home?”
Xie Xi instinctively shook his head. His place was very cold and he didn’t want to leave this warm place.
Jiang Xie bent his head and whispered. “I’ll take you back with me first. You can’t be alone like this.”
He didn’t know Xie Xi’s specific situation but a student working so desperately meant there must be something with his family. It was likely that he couldn’t count on his parents.
Xie Xi was dazed and in his trance, he seemed to return to the time when he was very young…
At the time, he was ill and his mother stayed by his bedside. She fed him, wiped his sweat and kept telling him in an incredibly gentle voice, ‘Don’t be afraid. Mother is here. Everything is fine.’
Was this a memory that belonged to him? Did his mother really love him?
Xie Xi always felt this was his own delusion. He was too eager to be loved and created this illusion.
It wasn’t real…
His father left him and his mother didn’t want him. He was alone, always alone, and didn’t know how to live.
“Don’t cry.” A low gentle voice entered his ears, filled with deep heartache. Xie Xi suddenly opened his eyes and the scene that entered his eyes was completely strange.
The chandelier on the ceiling was like a beautiful crescent moon and there were even stars flashing around…
This wasn’t his home. He didn’t have such beautiful lighting.
Xie Xi got up, the sharp pain from his head made him groan.
At this time, the door opened and Jiang Xie wore a dark grey t-shirt and cotton trousers. He held a plate of hot porridge. “Have you woken up? Are you feeling better?”
Xie Xi fell dull. He looked down and found that his clothes had been changed.
Jiang Xie told him, “You started sweating after taking an antipyretic last night. I helped you change your clothes.”
Xie Xi, “…”
Jiang Xie continued speaking, “Do you want to take a bath first or eat?”
Xie Xi opened his mouth. “I…” His voice was hoarse.
Jiang Xie placed the plate on the bedside table and his lips curved. “You said you were an adult but you kept crying last night. That’s why your voice is hoarse.”
Xie Xi, “!” His face flushed.
Jiang Xie said, “I said I would take you to the hospital but you cried that you wouldn’t go. I fed you medicine and you started crying. I helped you change clothes and you…”
Xie Xi felt his body was burning up. This was impossible!
Jiang Xie chuckled. “Okay, don’t pretend to be an adult. A little kid crying is very cute.”
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