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He held her for a long time before falling asleep.
Little Yichen, on the other hand, was no longer sleepy. When he pushed open the bedroom door, he was greeted by a cold silence.
He switched on the light, immediately setting the room aglow.
He walked to the side of the bed and sat on it. This bed belonged to him and Youyou.
Ever since they moved here, they had been sleeping on the same bed. He was the one who initiated this.
Initially, Youyou seemed rather repulsed by such a clingy brother, hence he made up an excuse to share the bed by saying that he was afraid of the dark.
He still remembered how, at the start, Youyou drew a straight line down the bed and said haughtily, “You’re not allowed to cross the line! Do you understand? If you cross the line…”
“Got it!” He lay down on the bed and pointed at the line in exasperation, saying, “I’m not allowed to cross the line, right? I got it.”
However, no matter how clear this was made, his various strange sleeping postures every night meant that he would end up squeezing over to Youyou’s side of the bed.
Sometimes, his little legs would end up on his brother’s belly, and sometimes, his arm would be flung across his chest. Sometimes, when he felt cold, he would end up snuggling up to Youyou.
Youyou would frequently end up not sleeping well because of him, and would throw a tantrum the next day when he awoke.
However, he gradually got used to it. Little Yichen had terrible sleeping posture. No matter how much he told himself that he should lie straight and not move, he’d wake up to a livid Youyou, and this would tell him that he’d been sleeping badly again.
However, their relationship improved eventually. Even though Youyou appeared to be proud and disdainful, many mornings, he would wake up to find Youyou hugging him gently and sleeping quietly.
What was amazing was that as long as Youyou had his arms around him, the boy would be like a gentle kitten, quiet and still.
The feeling of being hugged by Youyou was heartwarming. Hence, even in his deep sleep, he could not bear to break away from this fuzzy feeling.
But now, this bed was empty. The spot belonging to Youyou was cold and void. Little Yichen sat on the bed for a long time before suddenly opening his palm.
In the heart of his palm lay two purple crystals.
It was the “amulet” Youyou had secretly stuffed into his hand before they parted.
“Little Yichen, you must stay well!” In his hazy state, he had heard Youyou whispering into his ear.
Unknowingly, tears welled up in his eyes again. Little Yichen wiped the corners of his eyes sadly and raised his head to look at the ceiling. He tried hard to hold back his tears, but to no avail.
He pressed his index finger against his lips and muttered, “I must not cry… I must not cry…”
Tears stung his eyes. He bit down hard on his lip and warned himself repeatedly, “Mu Yichen, you must not cry!”
“Mu Yichen!” Youyou’s angry voice suddenly came from behind. “You’re hopeless, all you do is cry!”
Startled, Little Yichen turned around, but there was no one behind him.
He bit his index finger as tears formed in his eyes and overflowed, streaming down his face.
He lowered his gaze and looked at the two purple crystals. Suddenly, he gripped them tightly and walked to the desk. He took out a tool and carefully connected the two purple crystals with a red string.
The two amethysts joined to become a pendant. He tied the necklace around his neck and fiddled with it. The amethysts clinked slightly, making a crisp sound.
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