Translator: xallisonjanex, chiangyushien
If Mai Ding was ashamed, then he had lost. If any homosexual person was ashamed of these feelings that they have, then there was no need for others to say anything, because if you were ashamed, even for a bit, you have totally admitted that you and those people were actually no different, because you also look down on your own feelings.
Seeing that his threat did not work, Gao Guo continued: “I think humans always need a little self-respect. I didn’t expect that you’re not even human. You don’t even feel ashamed.”
“I can’t feel it because there’s nothing to be ashamed of. I’m not like you!”
Gao Guo sneered: “You’re really hopeless. You’re just like those pedophiles, thinking their feelings are noble, when in fact, it’s just perversion.” Mai Ding’s fingers and body trembled at the same time. His feelings were placed in the same place as with pedophilia. He could endure all of the manager’s insults, but he could not accept being insulted like this. Mai Ding angrily pounced on forward and clutched Gao Guo’s collar. With his bloodshot eyes and his hoarse voice, he said: “Take your words back.”
“I won’t take them back. I think you and your kind should be locked up.”
“You fucking…” Mai Ding, who rarely used foul language, swore at him. He could vent his anger toward Gao Guo, who was in front of him, but he was helpless? Could he vent out to the whole society? If that was the case, would anyone care about his helplessness?
All the colleagues, who were preparing to leave work, looked back and hurriedly separated both of them: “What’s wrong with you two?” Gao Guo calmly tidied up his collar: “Who knows what made him go crazy. He suddenly came and attacked me. Is it because his affair was exposed? A cornered dog would jump over a wall, right?” All of his colleagues stared at Mai Ding—trying to fathom the truth from his face—trying to confirm whether he was really having an affair with the manager’s wife or not.
Mai Ding’s hands plopped down. Everyone’s eyes were scrutinizing him. They wanted the truth. Mai Ding bravely said: “I like men. My lover‘s a man.” The only affair that I’ve had is loving An Ziyan.
Once, Mai Ding bought a book of a very famous author. After reading it halfway, he closed the book because he saw one of the author’s sentence in the book. It was roughly written as so: ‘Homosexual and terminal illness are basically the same. Both could not be cured.’ He hated this sentence. The author’s personality and opinions—no matter what subject was written—would be more or less revealed in their writings. This was what the author had disclosed to Mai Ding. He thought he would probably never read the book again.
Mai Ding did not know why he remembered about it now. Why do others always regard themselves as God and feel that what they think is the truth? Is it just to criticize and abuse people with their stern and excoriated eyes for a matter that was harmless and did not involve them? Is it right for people who were different to be squeezed out? It was only difference. It was only what we like that was different. Is the emotion that was the same for most people could only be regarded as love? Is life only about forming a family, marrying, and having a child?
All of the colleagues cast a surprised and complicated look at him, and the person who was holding Mai Ding loosened his grip. Mai Ding slipped to the ground like a foolish child in the adult world: “My love isn’t filthy. It’s not filthy at all. Exactly from what angle are you all basing it as filthy?” His words were always powerless in the world of adults.
“Are you drunk?”
“Are you high?”
Everyone was speculating and discussing amongst themselves. Mai Ding moved and weakly smiled: “I’m very sober and I’m not high.”
The manager also came out when he heard the noise: “What are you fighting about?”
Gao Guo panicked. If the manager knew that Mai Ding likes men, then the lies that he and the manager’s wife had fabricated would be untenable, so Gao Guo met Mai Ding’s plot with another plot: “He doesn’t want to admit the things that he has done. He even made up an excuse, saying he likes men to absolve himself.”
The manager sneered: “You can really make up stuff. This kind of lie will only make people look down on you. Pack your things up and scram.”
Everyone was puzzled hearing this. The manager’s wife, as usual, came to the office during knock off time after finishing her beauty regiment. When she saw Mai Ding, she ran to the manager’s side and weakly said: “Why is he still here? I don’t want to see him anymore. It reminds me of those unpleasant things.”
“I’ll get rid of him immediately. I’ll never let him harass you again, my dear.” The manager said as he patted her hand to calm her down.
Sister Hua, who was standing next to Mai Ding, felt uncertain. She gazed at Mai Ding, then at the manager’s wife: “What’s this got to do with Mai Ding? I’ve never seen him talk to your beloved wife. On the contrary, I’ve seen her and Gao Guo chatting in the dark stairwell. I don’t have the face to disturb them back then since I saw them chatting intimately.” The manager’s wife glared at her. Somewhat flustered, she defended herself: “I…we were just talking about work.” Her explanation was full of loopholes. She never cared about company matters. What could she talk about with Gao Guo? The office was quiet. Some people were watching the great drama, some were in a predicament, and some were boiling with rage.
Clear footsteps could be heard from the corridor outside. He came along when the warmth of the setting sun faded away. Some of the dazzle was not from the setting sun, but from his appearance. Some of the bashfulness was not from his appearance, but from the setting sun. It slowly made the light retreat behind him, illuminating his most moving figure. All of the heads turned to him. He had an earphone in his left ear and he was paying attention to one place. His eyebrows slightly creased as he swept his eyes across everyone, then he walked over. Mai Ding, who had his head hung low, saw a pair of sneakers, which was now right in front of him. When he looked up, An Ziyan bent over and pulled Mai Ding up from the floor.
Mai Ding’s tensed body eased by An Ziyan’s presence. His fingers firmly grasped on to An Ziyan’s fingers: “You came.”
“Being bullied again?”
“Was not.” Mai Ding said, trying to be brave.
“Then what are you doing on the floor?”
Mai Ding did not answer him and An Ziyan also did not ask him anymore. He stood in front of Mai Ding with his terrifying eyes looking at everyone’s face around him for a short time: “Who bullied my man? Come forward and let me see you.” His voice was emotionless.
In that office stood a group of adults, a child, and a devil.