A Lucky Coin

A Lucky Coin

Chapter 9 - Chapter 9

Yan Hang doesn't eat very regularly, especially on days when he's idle at home and his dad's whereabouts are unknown. He just eats a bit whenever he feels like it or gets hungry.

Today, it was quite touching that he could fall asleep on the sofa. So the two times he was about to wake up, he sang a lullaby in his heart, coaxing himself to continue sleeping.

When he finally woke up, it was almost nine o'clock. He picked up his phone and took a glance, there was no message from Chu Yi, so he probably didn't miss their night running appointment.

While making himself a sandwich to eat, he heard footsteps outside the door. He went to the peephole and took a look outside, seeing Chu Yi who was rubbing the soles of his shoes on the edge of the steps with his head down.

However, Yan Hang almost didn't recognize that it was Chu Yi. He wasn't wearing the unchanging school uniform for once, but a set of sportswear.

Yan Hang didn't open the door directly. He ate his sandwich while watching Chu Yi with great interest through the peephole.

Chu Yi rubbed the soles of his shoes on the steps for about a minute, as if he had stepped in poop. In the end, he even leaned against the wall and lifted his own foot to look at the sole.

After examining the sole, he stood there in a daze for a while. He straightened up and pulled his jacket sleeves, then bent down to tug at his pant legs. Finally, he reached out and knocked on the door.

"Who is it?" Yan Hang took a bite of his sandwich.

"Chu Yi," Chu Yi replied.

"Who's Chu Yi?" Yan Hang asked.

"The person who came to take you to see, see a doctor," Chu Yi said.

"Get lost," Yan Hang laughed, Chu Yi's reactions were often surprisingly quick. "What illness do I need to see a doctor for?"

"Am, amnesia," Chu Yi replied seriously. "Open, the door, don't, don't neglect an illness."

Yan Hang opened the door with a laugh, "You just never miss a chance to joke around whenever you get one with me, huh?"

"Yeah," Chu Yi nodded, glancing at the sandwich in his hand. "You're going to eat before, running?"

"Who knew when you were coming," Yan Hang said. "I haven't had dinner yet."

"Then..." Chu Yi hesitated a bit, "Why don't we take a walk first?"

"It's fine," Yan Hang took a sip of water. "It's just a small sandwich, even a cat would disdain it for being too small if you gave it to them."

Chu Yi smiled as he stood at the door.

"Come in first, I'll change clothes." Yan Hang said.

"Oh." Chu Yi responded but didn't move.

"Did you step in poop?" Yan Hang looked at him.

"No." Chu Yi said.

"Then what's wrong with you," Yan Hang said, "I just saw you rubbing endlessly at the door."

"You were peeping, at me?" Chu Yi was a bit surprised.

"Yeah, so what," Yan Hang nodded, "I watched for quite a while too."

Chu Yi was stunned for a moment, then sighed and looked down at his shoes, "I rubbed, rubbed a hole in the sole."

"That's not rubbing a hole," Yan Hang said, "That's already having a hole... Those shoes of mine are over there, try them. Don't let the soles of these worn-out shoes fall off later."

"Mm." Chu Yi hesitated for a moment, took off his own shoes, picked up the pair of shoes placed to the side, and put one on.

"Too big?" Yan Hang asked, "I have insoles here."

"A little." Chu Yi said.

Yan Hang didn't say anything. He went back to the room, rummaged around, found a pair of insoles and gave them to Chu Yi, "These are quite thick, if it doesn't work, add another pair."

"It's about, right now." Chu Yi felt a bit embarrassed.

Yan Hang looked at the shoes Chu Yi had taken off. Although the shoes were quite old, the soles were still fairly thick, yet they were worn through?

"Didn't you say you have new shoes?" He went over and picked up the shoe that Chu Yi had lifted earlier to examine the sole.

"Put away for half, half a year," Chu Yi said softly, "Seems to have gotten a bit small."

"Your feet can grow that much in half a year?" Yan Hang put down the shoe. The soles of these shoes were worn quite badly, but the reason for wearing through was probably stepping on something, or an abrupt stop.

This good-for-nothing was probably chased by someone again.

Chu Yi sighed again, "When bought, they were already a bit, a bit small."

Yan Hang looked at him.

"On sale," Chu Yi explained, "Didn't have, my size."

"Is your mom saving money to buy an aircraft carrier?" Yan Hang said.

"Probably to buy, a house." Chu Yi said.

"Oh," Yan Hang was a bit at a loss for words. "I'll change clothes."

When he came out after changing into sportswear, Chu Yi had already put on the shoes. They looked okay, just... Yan Hang looked at his pant legs that had ridden up.

"Are these pants also..." Yan Hang said halfway, then saw his sleeves, "Was this set of clothes also bought on sale without your size?"

"My legs, are too, too long." Chu Yi stretched his legs out in front of him.

Yan Hang laughed, "No matter how long, how tall are you in total?"

Chu Yi didn't speak and glanced at the top of his head.

"What," Yan Hang walked over, Chu Yi was about up to his chest, "I'm 183cm, you want to compare with me?"

"You were 183, the moment you were, were born?" Chu Yi said, "Impressive."

"Believe it or not, I'll smack you." Yan Hang pointed at him.

"Thanks." Chu Yi smiled.

"Thanks for what?" Yan Hang was stunned.

Chu Yi lowered his head to look at the shoes on his feet, then bent down to tug at his pant legs.

"It's better to just pull them up, it's not cold now anyway," Yan Hang squatted down and pulled his pant legs up to near his calves, "Same with your sleeves."

"Huh?" Chu Yi didn't understand.

Yan Hang took his hand and pushed up the sleeves on both his hands, "This way it's not noticeable that they're small."

"Oh." Chu Yi had a look of sudden realization.

"Let's go, for our run." Yan Hang said.

Chu Yi had injuries on his hands, but he didn't ask more. Anyway, it was always those same things - being chased by people, getting away or not getting away.

This was Chu Yi's life. He was just a passerby, how much could he manage.

If he hadn't seen Chu Yi being bullied for several days in a row, just occasionally, he probably wouldn't even remember seeing such a scene after half an hour.

Chu Yi led him, not running in the direction he usually went in and out, but a fork in the opposite direction.

Yan Hang ran side by side with him. He had only strolled around here once when he first arrived. After running past two intersections, there were fewer people on the road, and joggers could be seen on the sidewalk.

"You..." Yan Hang turned his head and found Chu Yi was about three steps away from him, close to the wall. The sidewalk was narrow before, so it wasn't obvious, but this section of the sidewalk was very wide, with half of it being a bicycle lane, yet he was still sticking to the edge.

"Hmm?" Chu Yi responded.

Yan Hang went over, grabbed his clothes on the shoulder and pulled him out, "Do you usually run on this road?"

"Yes," Chu Yi pointed ahead, "Turn, turn in front and run in circles."

Yan Hang laughed when he heard that, "People who don't know would think you'd be out of breath after running for five minutes."

"I can, I can even jump." Chu Yi looked to be in a good mood, saying while jumping and running forward.

"How are these shoes?" Yan Hang asked.

"Comfortable," Chu Yi said, "Really, so comfortable."

Yan Hang smiled.

It could be seen that Chu Yi often ran. Plus, he usually had to run when escaping or rushing home. He ran three laps with Yan Hang, adjusting his breathing very well, not even panting much.

It was the first time Yan Hang ran with someone. Usually when running, if someone got close to him, he would feel awkward. But today, it surprisingly felt okay.

Most of the time, Chu Yi ran silently and happily, occasionally saying a word or two.

It wasn't so lonely anymore.

After running fast and slow for half an hour, the two of them stopped and walked along the road.

"I'll treat, treat you to, water." Chu Yi said.

"Let me treat you," Yan Hang said, "You can't even afford two bowls of noodles."

"Today I, can," Chu Yi smiled, "Got my, allowance."

"How much?" Yan Hang asked.

"Enough to buy you, water." Chu Yi patted his pocket.

"I don't drink plain water," Yan Hang raised his eyebrows, "I want something sweet, iced black tea."

"No, problem." Chu Yi also raised his eyebrows, "Have, money."

Chu Yi went to the nearby mini-mart and bought two bottles of iced black tea, then brought him to sit on a bench next to the greenery.

"Big spender." Yan Hang twisted open the cap and took a sip.

"Very, very big, spender." Chu Yi said.

Yan Hang laughed for a while. After drinking a couple more sips of iced black tea, he suddenly noticed there seemed to be shimmering water in front of the railing.

"No way? Is that the river?" He stood up and walked to the railing. It really was a river, but obviously cleaner than the one by the tree hole, and with more water.

"Mm," Chu Yi walked over and sat on the railing, "This is the up, upstream."

"Then why don't you come here to find a tree hole to mutter in." Yan Hang leaned against the railing.

"Too many people." Chu Yi said.

"Not everyone..." Yan Hang glanced at him, "will bully you."

"Used to it." Chu Yi smiled.

"Actually, I don't like crowded places either," Yan Hang said, "except when I'm working."

"Why, did you stop, stop going to school?" Chu Yi asked.

"Basically never went," Yan Hang said, "Anyway, I never stay anywhere for long."

Chu Yi looked at him for a long time without saying anything.

Yan Hang took out a cigarette from his pocket and held it in his mouth. When he went to take out his lighter, he felt a coin, took it out, looked at it and smiled, "Chu Yi."

"Hmm?" Chu Yi looked at him.

"Let me show you a magic trick," Yan Hang said, "My dad taught me, a divine skill for picking up chicks."

"Did you, pick any up?" Chu Yi asked.

Yan Hang looked at him.

"No?" Chu Yi said.

Yan Hang clicked his tongue.

"Well I'm, I'm not a, chick either." Chu Yi said.

"I said I'll show you a magic trick, did I fucking say I want to pick you up?" Yan Hang said.

"Then," Chu Yi said with a smile, "when you pick, pick up chicks, do you say, I want to pick, you up?"

"Do you know why you stutter?" Yan Hang said.

"I know," Chu Yi nodded, "Too, cheeky."

"If you know then shut up!" Yan Hang held out his hand, took off the ring on his little finger, turned his hand over and gently clenched his fist, putting the coin between his fingers, "Watch closely."

"Okay." Chu Yi stared intently at the coin.

Yan Hang gently moved his fingers, and the coin flipped from between his index and middle fingers to between his middle and ring fingers. With another slight movement, the coin flipped to between his ring and little fingers.

"I, can do it too," Chu Yi said, "and not, not in slow, motion."

Yan Hang glanced at him without saying anything, sped up, and the coin continuously flipped back and forth. Seeing Chu Yi open his mouth to speak, he pointed at Chu Yi.

Chu Yi closed his mouth and continued to stare.

The coin rolled back and forth between his fingers faster and faster, then with a flick of Yan Hang's hand, the coin disappeared from beside his little finger.

Chu Yi reacted so quickly that even Yan Hang was a bit surprised. He grabbed Yan Hang's wrist and stuck his fingers into his cuff to feel around.

"Is it there?" Yan Hang curled his lips.

"No," Chu Yi looked at him, "Shouldn't I, I ask, where, where did it go?"

"Mm." Yan Hang nodded.

"Where, did it go?" Chu Yi asked.

Yan Hang suddenly thrust his hand in front of his eyes, his fingers slipped, and the coin was pinched between his index and middle fingers, "Here it is."

"Wow!" Chu Yi exclaimed, paused for a moment and added, "I'm not, not acting."

"One more time?" Yan Hang looked at him.

Chu Yi nodded.

Yan Hang rolled up his sleeves, exposing his arms, and placed the coin between his fingers.

Just as Chu Yi was about to focus and stare, with a flick of his hand, the coin disappeared.

"Huh?" Chu Yi was stunned.

"Quick, ask." Yan Hang clapped his hands and held his palms out to him.

"Where did it go?" Chu Yi didn't even have time to stutter.

Yan Hang reached out and lightly tapped his chest, then flipped his palm, and the coin was already lying in his palm, "Here it is."

"If you pick, pick up chicks like this," Chu Yi looked at the coin and touched his chest, "won't you get, beaten up?"

Yan Hang didn't say anything, took out a band-aid from his pocket, quickly tore it open and stuck it on his mouth.

Chu Yi touched his mouth and laughed.

"Did you see clearly how it changed this time?" Yan Hang asked.

Chu Yi shook his head.

"That's right, you can't see it clearly," Yan Hang tossed the coin in his hand, "Do you know why?"

Chu Yi continued to shake his head.

"Because it's not an ordinary coin, it's a..." Yan Hang said, "a lucky coin."

At first, Chu Yi was stunned, then he tore off the band-aid on his mouth and burst into laughter, laughing so hard his voice cracked.

"What's so funny," Yan Hang watched him laugh and smiled, "Here."

Chu Yi kept laughing as he looked at him: "Huh?"

"This is for you," Yan Hang said, "My dad always tells me that coins are talismans, because they are everywhere, always there."

Chu Yi hadn't caught his breath yet. After taking the coin, he stared at it for a good while before raising his eyes: "Really?"

"Really." Yan Hang nodded.

"You, you can't," Chu Yi said softly, "stay, stay here, for, for long either."

Yan Hang didn't say anything, just patted him on the shoulder.

Chu Yi also fell silent, put the coin in his pocket, and squeezed it through his clothes.

As they slowly strolled back, Chu Yi took the coin out of his pocket: "Lucky, coin."

"Yeah, lucky coin." Yan Hang said.

Chu Yi turned his head: "Yan Hang."

"What's up." Yan Hang asked.

"Where, where are you from?" Chu Yi asked.

"From many places." Yan Hang smiled.

"Then where, where is your hometown?" Chu Yi asked again.

Yan Hang looked at him. This question wasn't particularly easy to answer. In his mind, there wasn't even a place name that would reflexively appear like for many people.

"Where, is, your hometown?" Chu Yi probably thought he didn't hear clearly.

"Hometown," Yan Hang took a breath, looked up at the night sky, and slowly exhaled, "I am my hometown."

When they parted ways at the intersection, Chu Yi took out the coin again: "Do you, have more? Luck?"

"What luck." Yan Hang said.

"Lucky coins." Chu Yi said.

"Yes," Yan Hang nodded, "That's why it's a talisman, it's everywhere."

"Mm," Chu Yi put the coin back, "Good night."

"Good night." Yan Hang said.

When Yan Hang got home, his dad wasn't there, but as soon as he opened the door, he saw an envelope on the table.

His dad had come back and left again.

He was very familiar with this envelope. The paper edges were frayed and the four corners were curled. Every time he saw this envelope, his heart would feel a rush of panic.

"If I don't come back for half a month, then open it." His dad said.

Over the years, he had seen this envelope several times. Although his dad always came back within half a month and he never had a chance to open it.

But he didn't want to open it, he didn't even want to see it.

Yan Hang took an English book that he wouldn't be reading recently, flipped it open to tuck the envelope inside, and then shoved it under the coffee table.

The more out of sight, the better.

When Chu Yi got home, only his mom and grandma smoking a cigarette were in the living room.

"Where did you get those shoes?" His mom immediately noticed the shoes on his feet.

"From a classmate." Chu Yi took off the shoes.

"New or old?" His mom walked over and picked up the shoes to look, "Oh, they're NBs."

"Mm," Chu Yi responded softly, "Old."

"What about the original pair?" His mom looked at him.

"The soles, fell, fell off," Chu Yi said quietly, "Sold them."

Those shoes shouldn't have been thrown away, they should have been brought back. Grandma sells junk every month and even saves medicine boxes. But he really couldn't take the shoes back in front of Yan Hang.

"How much did you sell them for?" His mom immediately asked.

"Ten yuan." Chu Yi said.

"You could have gotten at least 15! The soles are rubber," his mom frowned, "Forget it, ten is fine, keep the money for your own use."

"Mm." Chu Yi responded.

"I told you, wasteful thing!" Grandma was very dissatisfied with the cigarette in her mouth, "Ten yuan! What's ten yuan enough for!"

"Your pile of cardboard boxes can't even sell for ten," Mom said irritably, "Every day just harping on about money money money money!"

"If I don't harp on about money will you give me money? You have money? Hurry up and buy a house so you don't have to listen to me go on about money money money!" Grandma pointed at Mom.

"I ran to two construction sites yesterday," Mom sat back on the sofa, "With the current housing prices, it's crazy, houses in Hexi are almost 20,000 per square meter!"

"Don't even think about houses in the city center, suburbs! County town! Anywhere works! His dad has a car, convenient for commuting," Grandma tsk-tsked, "Are you insisting on buying there just because Er Ping bought a house in Hexi?"

"Bullshit!" Mom said.

"She's just relying on her dad to get her money, you watch, sooner or later she'll lose it all." Grandma said.

"I think so too." Mom took a sip of tea.

Chu Yi sprawled on the desk, took out his phone, turned the screen to the dimmest setting, trying his best not to let his mom and grandma notice his existence.

He painstakingly opened WeChat, took ten thousand years to click into Moments, and waited another three thousand years before finally seeing the contents of Moments.

Luckily, today Brother Xingtian's Moments post was the first one.

It was still an incomprehensible advanced English Moments post.

With a picture attached.

Chu Yi clicked several times to confirm that it was just a completely black image, not that it hadn't loaded.

-the fear from deep within


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