“I didn’t look at anything.” The teenager withdrew his eyes, amidst the dazzling sunlight overhead and tourists screaming.
“Is it?” Elizabeth looked at her cousin. The first time she saw him, she felt so incredible. He looked like a prince carved by God. However, he never smiled and always answered what was asked to him with the simplest sentence. But this still couldn’t stop her heart from throbbing every time she saw him, even though she knew that he’s just a cousin. The roller coaster also gave her an excuse. In this exciting three minutes ride, she could grab his arm without bridle and ask for his support.
Lin Yifei wiped the tears from Manman’s eyes and said with a smile, “Would you like to have some fun?”
“Mmm.” Manman nodded. “Fortunately, Brother Yifei comes with me. If it was my father or mother, none of them would dare to take me on the roller coaster.”
The two teenagers walked around. Lin Yifei took out some small changes and let Manman play darts and shooting, although she only won a palm-sized doll in the end.
Chris, who got off the roller coaster, looked at the seat, but the people resting there had been replaced by a pair of parents and their children.
Elizabeth put her arms around Chris’s arm and sobbed, “Chris…aren’t you afraid? I thought I…would die…”
“Roller coasters are less likely to crash than planes.”
Then Elizabeth could only look at Chris’s indifferent back. She had always wanted to do something like a date with Chris. This was her last day in Washington. Because the summer vacation was coming to an end and she’s going back to New York, she begged Mrs. Osborne to ask Chris to take her out to play. Chris did it, but he didn’t have any care for her, even as a cousin.
“Chris!” Elizabeth trotted forward and hugged Chris’s arm.
At this time, Lin Yifei and Chen Manman were craning their necks outside the crowd to watch the performance. Many fathers put their children on their shoulders so that they could see more clearly. Because the crowd was taller, it’s more difficult for Chen Manman with her height to see the performance inside. It’s Cinderella, a very old-fashioned fairytale, which normally wasn’t enough to attract a girl of Manman’s age. However, Manman came to the United States at the age of 12. Her father and mother had always been very busy, so she had never had a chance to watch a similar performance.
“I’ll hold you!” Lin Yifei hugged Manman’s waist from behind and lifted her up.
Meanwhile, Manman, holding Lin Yifei’s shoulder, stared out.
“Can you see it?”
“I can! Cinderella is being bullied by her stepmother!” Manman was afraid of falling down, so she clutched Lin Yifei’s hair with her fingers. The scene became funny.
Elizabeth took Chris past the stage. She had long been tired of such stereotypical and unoriginal performances. Only those lower-grade kids would like them. When she looked up, she saw Chris watching the crowd intently and showed the same expression as when they were waiting for the roller coaster. Indifference yet with expectation.
Elizabeth followed his line of sight. A boy was propping up a girl. The boy’s face was red with exertion. The girl watched and told the boy about the play. Such a scene made Elizabeth suddenly feel that maybe she should act like that childish girl, maybe Chris would pick her up…
“Chris…I also want to see…”
At the same time, the girl just turned her head and saw Chris gazing at them.
“Chris –” Manman waved her hand.
Hearing this name, Lin Yifei’s heart quivered. He put down Manman and turned around, “Chris…”
“You also came here to play!” Manman’s English had already assimilated the American accent. She no longer felt shy like her first time talking in front of Chris. “I haven’t seen you for a long time!”
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Elizabeth looked at Chen Manman coming. In her mind, there was some unhappiness, “Do you know them? Are they Chinese…or Korean?”
Lin Yifei also walked over, motioning with his hand toward Chris, “Hi…”
“It’s a rare chance to meet! Aunt Lin also wonders how come you haven’t come to our house to play!”
Looking at Chen Manman’s expression, Elizabeth remembered that George said Chris had a very good Chinese friend. She once found an old backpack in Chris’s wardrobe and a set of old fencing protectors inside. She asked Chris who returned to the room, “These things are old. Why do you keep them?”
At that time, Chris grabbed those things and glared at her. Later George told her that this was Chris’s first set of fencing protectors in his life. It was given to him by his best friend, a Chinese boy.
No wonder Chris had been looking over there just now. Although she didn’t want anyone to disturb her and Chris’s alone time, she didn’t want Chris to think that she was small-minded and disrespectful toward his Chinese friends.
“Let’s play together. It’ll be livelier.” Elizabeth tugged at Chris’s arm, but the other side only gave a slight ‘Uh-huh’.
In fact, when Manman talked about himself and Chris, Lin Yifei was already very nervous. Then Elizabeth said to play together. If Chris refused, it would make Lin Yifei feel that the rift between himself and Chris was really hard to repair.
They took a drop tower together. When they came down, Manman finally couldn’t help but vomited. Elizabeth’s face was also not good-looking.
“Let’s play something milder.” Lin Yifei suggested with a smile. His stomach couldn’t bear to play like this. The two girls also agreed. When Lin Yifei looked at Chris, the other looked away.
Elizabeth pointed to ‘Adventure in Hell’ and said: “Let’s play that! With so many people, we won’t be scared!”
‘Adventure in Hell’ was actually the so-called haunted house, but the haunted house in the United States was better made. The sound effect of this amusement park was comparable to that of the cinemas. This place should allow Elizabeth to hold Chris fair and square.
“Good!” Manman had never been to a haunted house in the United States and was very curious.
“Since both females have decided to go to Adventure in Hell, then we males have to follow.”
At the gate of Adventure in Hell, the skeleton ‘gatekeeper’ wearing black gauze confirmed to them: “You are about to enter the dark and cold hell. Please be careful not to lose your direction.”
The staff’s well-mannered performance really aroused Lin Yifei’s interest. Elizabeth hugged Chris’s arm, while Lin Yifei took Chen Manman and walked in.
It was indeed dark inside. The only light behind them disappeared once the entrance closed. Chen Manman grabbed Lin Yifei’s hand very hard. With a sudden bright flash of lightning, Manman and Elizabeth unexpectedly screamed. As the flash of lightning dissipated, they saw two huge axe swinging over their heads. They seemed to still be bleeding.
“Ha…ha…ha…” Lin Yifei was also a little nervous, “The effect is really good…”
Manman almost laid her entire body on Lin Yifei. They walked in the front, step by step. In front of them, the darkness seemed to be brewing infinite fear. Her ears felt a cool wind blowing. Chen Manman subconsciously turned her head and gave a scream. A half rotten female face was about to put her head on her shoulder. Her scream also drew Elizabeth’s cry from behind. Lin Yifei felt that his eardrum had been severely damaged. Sure enough, the woman was actually a staff member. When she saw Chen Manman almost breaking away from Lin Yifei, she blinked at them.
Lin Yifei smiled and turned to see Chris. His expression was calm. He inadvertently turned and saw Lin Yifei’s eyes, but he didn’t shy away. There were a lot of things in his gaze that Lin Yifei couldn’t understand.
“Brother Yifei, let’s continue…” Chen Manman just wanted to finish this ‘Adventure in Hell’ quickly now.
Lin Yifei was dragged away by her.
In front of them laid a field of bright red. There were groans. One didn’t know if the air conditioner in this haunted house was too low. Lin Yifei felt a little cold.
“That…What is that…” Manman craned her neck. The broken body seemed to still be moving.
“Ah…We have to cross it to pass…” Lin Yifei also felt the limb was creepy. Elizabeth and Chris arrived just behind him.
“Let’s go…There is no turning back.” Lin Yifei took Manman by her hand. The dead fingers instantly moved, looking strange and frightening.
“Ah –” Chen Manman wanted to go back, but Lin Yifei dragged her forward. It would only end once they passed.
Chen Manman broke free from Lin Yifei’s hand. When the light went out, something grabbed Chen Manman’s foot and she screamed while retreating.
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“Don’t be afraid!” Lin Yifei grabbed her and rushed forward, regardless of what they were stepping on.
Finally, after walking through this sea of blood, Lin Yifei gasped and turned back, “Look, isn’t this nothing?”
Then, he froze.
“C…Chris…” Lin Yifei’s hand was just about to loosen foolishly, but the other party grasped him.
“I’m sorry…I thought you were Manman…”
Not far away were the shouts of Manman and Elizabeth. Lin Yifei was about to go find them when Chris dragged him over. One of his hands was covering Lin Yifei’s mouth, and the other hand was clasping his waist. The two teenagers squatted down to hide in a dark corner and watched Manman and Elizabeth walking past them together while calling out their names.
Lin Yifei didn’t understand why Chris did this.
“Because Elizabeth is very annoying.” Chris whispered in Lin Yifei’s ear. His warm breath sprayed on Lin Yifei’s neck, causing him to tighten his shoulders subconsciously. Chris’s lips suddenly flashed through his mind. Lin Yifei’s mood instantly became unstable.
After Elizabeth and Manman walked away, Chris put down the hand covering Lin Yifei.
The two teenagers were very close. After getting used to the darkness, Lin Yifei could see the other’s eyelashes clearly. Lin Yifei tilted his face and swiped his earlobe on Chris’s cheek. At that moment, he could feel the slight quiver of the other party.
“Chris…Let’s make up…” Lin Yifei said softly. After that, his heart was suspended in mid-air.
T/N: Keep in mind that this novel starts out in the late 1990s. Now it’s somewhere in the early 2000s. That’s like 10-15 years ago. Homosexuality wasn’t as accepted back them. It’s a tough road to walk. People get beaten up for liking men. It can destroy a person’s career, especially for athletes and break apart families.
Since he’s older, Lin Yifei thinks more about the consequences than Chris. That’s why he’s hesitant about his next move. More of his thoughts will be explained in the upcoming chapters.
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