‘ADDICTED’ – THE CHINESE TELEVISION SERIES
AND NOVEL, ‘SHINGYAN’ BY CHAI JIDAN
Thoughts: Jeffrey James – Twitter: @jeffreyjamestv
Spoilers – The notes and impressions are meant to be read by
people who have seen part or all of the television series.
Beautiful things come in often strange packages.
I was referred to ‘Addicted,’ not for reasons of entertainment but to understand why — in 2016 – China banned this series. I expected the material to be light-on and knew it was a very low budget production, 15 episodes made for USD 759K. As a broadcast professional, who has produced a lot of television, I expected, despite China’s production costs being lower than in the West, that it would look like it was shot on an iPhone 3!
I was wrong though the first two episodes are ordinary before the entire series takes off like an A380!
To watch the series is to discover a hidden treasure.
The low budget does not detract but enhances the beauty of the narrative, the direction, cinematography, art-direction, razor-sharp editing and the unique way a collection of sourced music is imbedded into the production effectively creating an additional character and dimension.
Timmy Xu and Johnny Huang in their first film or series at the time there unknowns who were to become two of the biggest stars in China with crossover in markets Asia-wide in music, in film and in television.
Their performance and chemistry is so rich and unusual that the scenes and the narrative draw the viewer into a complex and enchanted world… They are difficult guys and they are splendid. Their lives are rich and diverse as they are challenged at every level.
I have rarely seen anything as captivating as ‘Addicted’.
The story though of the airing of the series, the response of the Chinese Government to elements of the narrative which elicited a blaze of red lights, its banning, the effects on the actors who became overnight stars but had no money for the necessary security after such public exposure, the Government’s banning not only of the series which was erased from both the internet and from the platforms broadcasting it in such an effective cancelling that the series six years later simply does not exist in China To take it further, censors issued a most unusual dictate, that both actors could never appear together again in any media of any kind nor could they be photographed together. It is all of this which intrigued me in the first place to seek out the series. I then spent much time over some three months viewing 150 + hours of material both sourced from internet sites and other material provided to me of the series of early cuts and assemblies. I also made contact with parties connected to the production of the series and the more I learned, the more fascinating I became with ‘Addicted’.
Having watched the series through many times and enjoyed spending time analysing the forensics of the production made for such small money yet achieving a result which is outstanding.
It is a gay themed series made for a narrowcast audience of a popular genre throughout Asia known as ‘boy love,’ of which the those words play better in Asia than they do in the West. It is though a widely viewed genre with productions coming out of Japan, Korea, Taiwan and Thailand. Most of them are syrupy and trite. They come and they go as do the actors. ‘Addicted’ was made under this banner but has virtually no relationship to any other series within the genre nor in fact is it the genre. It is a gay- themed drama of epic proportions and a sense of reality which is compelling to watch, compelling to follow.
It was though meant to be narrowcast but it went mainstream and viral. Had it been another ‘bl’ series, it would have gone way under the radar of Chinese regulators but it drew 20 million additional viewers on the release of every episode. Each episode was discussed on Weibo (China’s version of Twitter) some 100 million times during the days whilst viewers awaited the next ep. It was now front and centre of China’s cultural radar. It also became mainstream rather than narrowcast with viewers of all ages following the plight of the star-crossed lovers, both guy-guys and both with girlfriends! The demographic was meant to be teenagers and early 20’s but everyone was getting addicted to ‘Addicted’.
The script is lifted from a book by Taiwanese female writer, Chai Jidan. The book is 320 chapters and ‘Addicted’ follows very closely to the manuscript lifting some 30 chapters. The actual book follows the two characters from ages 17 to 27. It is a tough and beautiful read. An astonishing story!
Timmy Xu was asked just before the banning of the series how he would describe the chemistry between he and Johnny Huang. He said, ‘electricity’. The voltage is high!
I attempt to analyse a little of this in these notes. I hope you might be interested in what I wrote:
Addicted – the television series
* I will make notes on both the book and the tv series but first the 15 episode ‘Addicted’ tv series made in 2016 by Beijing Fengmang Culture Communications Company:
It lives somewhere between Romeo and Juliet and Call Me By Your Name! But it is so good that someone will write in the future, a reference to ‘Addicted,’ as its own genre!
The love story of Chinese final-year students, Gu Hai and Bai Luo Yin.
Written by female Taiwanese author, Chai Jidan, the tv-series follows the script virtually word-by-word, and it is a script of great beauty! Despite in being lifted from two long books of which I have issues with both of the, the chapters lifted for the tv series are something so beautiful to read and then watch it come-to-life on screen is wondrous. The tapestry of the creation she has achieved of the synthesis of the two characters and the way their love develops is splendid. It is unique that both are heteronormative – the antithesis of the LGBT agenda.
A netizen commented after finishing the series that it was ‘like an unfinished masterpiece. In a sense, the incompletion serves as its own magic…’ The male poster is most eloquent and his words say it all!
The result after 2 months of pre-production, 5 weeks of filming and likely 3 months of post-production reveals a creative endeavour so fine that at several points it indeed reaches the level of a masterpiece!
Stunned by the subtle and intriguing story which seduces the viewer gently into a beautiful and complicated world and a community which exists in a poor Beijing neighbourhood. It is a world in which the director and the actors succeeded in creating in such a manner that it has its own soul, its own DNA.
The series is marvellously unpretentious, and in this sense, it is very different to something as tightly curated as ‘Call Me By Your Name,’ nor did it benefit from a budget of 3 million USD.
Director, Ting Wei working together with the author Chai Jidan, lucked in with the chance casting of two new actors, one a honours graduate from China’s finest drama school (Timmy Xu), the other a rank model floating around Shanghai and often without being paid for shoots when a client decided not to use the images (Johnny Huang)…
Timmy Xu (Bai Luo Yan) at 23 and after a life of art, drama and music was ready to fly with an honours degree in dramatic art. His hobby was studying latin dance and he had done so for 10 years! Johnny Huang, (Gu Hai) after leaving his home town in Liaoning, the economically poor far north-eastern Chinese province which borders North Korea, at 16, taking a 26 hour train journey to Shanghai in search of work where upon arrival found jobs as a kitchen hand and waiter. The story is a little sketchy for he returned at some point to his province where he studied to be a flight attendant but ended up working as a tarmac assistant! He then returned to Shanghai where he then fell into modelling. His hobby was far from latin dance but, the not especially popular martial art, Jujitsu, of he had achieved a purple belt.
Xu and Huang could not have come from more disparate backgrounds. Huang had never acted and both roles are most complex and challenging in their complexity and in effect unconscious levels of the story communicated by reaction or expression rather than words. The unconscious and most lyrical story of what is happening to both these young men who are drawn to each other.
Huang, the Jujitsu champ would likely have not been appealing to the princely and creative Xu, but they were!
Footage of their first meeting is courteous if not a little icy. Huang is macho and aloof, Xu is masculine and an aesthetic, a creative, an artist.
An assistance was hired to film the two from 8am to 8pm every day of the productions rehearsals and filming in a kind of video diary. She must have shot 200 hours and clearly this was meant to be made into a kind of side series but it was never edited and the material is available to view uncut. It is most interesting as they bond and develop a most captivating bond. They were fascinated by each on-screen and off. The natural interactions are amazing to perceive. Other material filmed by crew members also diariize a great friendship – the joining of two unknown but potent talents who uniquely enriched each others performance dynamics… a magic duo had been created.
One early piece shows the intensely macho and charming Huang attempting in rehearsal three to correct Xu and his interpretation of the performance of the script during a read thru! Huang is told by the producer to stop telling Xu how to act. Xu is silent. Another off camera piece shows an intense discussion related the music Xu has created for the series theme and Huang argues a point with intensity. The ‘impertinence’ of the newcomer to creative arts does not go down well with Xu and it is an interesting piece to observe as it runs very close to the actual characters of the series as Xu goes into a sulk and says, ‘I have no heart to play guitar anymore’. Huang moves towards him, touches his leg and with exceptional tenderness says, ‘I’m sorry. Did you take what I said to heart?” “No” says Xu as he warms to the gesture as Huang gently recognises his harshness in the debate. This dynamic was real and is replayed many times in many scenes of the series. This is Bogart and Bacall. It is dream casting.
It is likely the producers believed they might get their money back and a bit more but had no idea of the gold they had mined in terms of the story, the production crews commitment and the astonishing performances by both leads.
Both characters, Bai Luo Yin (Timmy Xu) and Gu Hai (Johnny Huang) resist any idea of gay love but morph into a lyrical symbiosis of the most sensual and unusual beauty. They are heteronormative, Gu Hai doesn’t like gays and Bai Luo Yin finds the concept of same sex love ‘unconventional’. For anyone seeking an LGBT coming out story, it is not! The term ‘gay’ is never mentioned at any point.
Bai Luo Yin’s beautiful mother abandoned him at seven years of age and his loving father, as she sought to exploit her beauty and dreams of a wealthy life with a rich and powerful husband. Viewers are aware that the rich man she married is in fact the father of Gu Hai but neither boys have any idea that they are, in fact, step- brothers. Gu Hai’s mother died five years before he met Bai Luo Yin in an automobile accident which Gu Hai believes was orchestrated by his powerful father. He has left home after being informed that his stepmother (Bai Luo Yin’s mother) is now going to re-unite with her son and he will come to join then family providing Gu Hai a stepbrother! It is too good. What happens when they both learn the secret that they are related through the marriage of both their parents?
Gu Hai at 17 is rich and has inherited money from his deceased mother but he leaves his previous life to live simply in a poor Beijing neighbourhood, ditching his international school and his fashionable friends, to attend a local high school where he meets Bao Lui Yin. It is hate-at-first-sight! In one early scene Bai Luo Yin is so irritated by his behaviour that he grabs Gu Hai and spits at his feet! This is not Eton… Bao Luo Yin is noble, poor and proud. He is one of the schools highest achieving students. Gu Hai is rich and entitled, a princeling now living with the paupers in disguise. Both are archetypal males but Gu Hai is intrigued by the beautiful boy who sits three desks away.
The friendship which occurs is essentially covert as Gu Hai is falling in love with Yin. He has never had any interest in males and has been angry and disconnected since his mother’s death. His meeting with Yin evokes a most powerful attraction, his first and a passionate love grows within Gu Hai. He expresses it by provoking Yin who is dismissive and superior in his manner. It is this twist of rich boy, poor boy and who really has control which is lovely to watch. Both are difficult characters by default as they are endearing. But passion rules…
It is first expressed n a gruesome and violent scene when a school bully announces to Yin’s class in front of him that Bao Luo Yin has no mother and that she left him to become a prostitute. It is an unusually strong scene and before Yin has a chance to physically defend his honour, Gu Hai grabs the bully and beats him ferociously as he orders him to apologise. He won’t and Gu Hai places his bully’s leg over two chairs and demands he ‘apologise or I will break your legs… ‘one… two… three’. Mercifully, we never get to three…
Yin who is isolated and lonely is shocked and thrilled that Gu Hai would defend him. It ignites the flame of love!
Again, the performances are stellar but the bond which has grown between the two actors is astonishing to observe. On screen and off screen. It is beautiful and it is where the reality would seem to cross on-screen to off-screen.
For the months or pre and post production, producers provided accomodation for Xu and Huang who were asked and agreed to sleep together in one large double bed.
Further interpretation at this point would be either pointless or speculative apart from to say the two bonded and clearly they loved each others company. Off screen they are inseparable.
I have been fortunate to both have connection with some parties associated with the production and I also have the second video assembly of the first three episodes prior to the inclusion of music and with set ups and takes of some key scenes including the iconic images of Bao Luo Yin walking in pouring rain with no umbrella. The sequences allow me to ponder the forensics of why it works as well as it works… The art-direction and the soundscape are especially rich.
The sourced music mixed in through the episodes is produces a lush and delicate soundscape. The use of high compression and an emphasis on equalising the timber and beauty of both of the lead characters voices and intonation is stark and effective. Everything in the soundscape squirts in a kind of dream. Many of the scenes use lapel microphones, more known for television news and documentary than drama production, and the choice (likely through budget) works beautifully. Yes, there are crunches and muffling as they are brushed against or collide in intimate scenes but it all plays to add to the DNA of the series. The performances sound very close, breathy, sensual and intimate. The infamous scene where Gu Hai has Bail Lou Yin kidnapped is an interesting audio mix as two spheres are used, a boom mic covers Yin whilst Gu Hai is wired with a lapel mic. As he jumps on top of his unruly love, the mic crashes and it sounds great. You feel you are there!
One of the best examples of the beauty of the audio mix is in the final episode (15) during the telephone call from Bai Luo Yin’s ex- girlfriend as the score weaves its way through the tragedy of the call, compressing pumping the audio into a wall of sound, and the strength of Yin in handling, at such a young age, the ending of a former love who will not let go having now met the love of his life! The eq on Xu’s voice is stellar and it is as if the music envelopes his sadness, it cries his tears, culminating in a marvellous scene.
In the scene in the episode where the couple make love in a new BMW also accomplishes fine use of lapel mics, this time both are wearing individual units. As Gu Hai can no longer take watching his lover recline he dives on top of him and the crash and muffles of the microphones on both actors is terrific! ’You are mine”, says Gu Hai in one of the most natural and sensual moments I can recall ever seeing.
The use of the music reminded me of the movie, “The Killing Fields” where music was a major driver in the telling of the tragedy of that story.
Filming wrapped in early 2016. Timmy Xu and Johnny Huang after the series, separately, became two of the biggest stars in Chinese entertainment as film and music artists. They continue to be banned by the Chinese Government from being featured in any image or any media of any kind, in perpetuity. This decision by the censors created it own mystique as the series was heavily censored half way through then completely banned at Episode 12 with three episodes unseen in China prior to the conclusion of Series One. There was to be a Series 2! It did not and never will happen.
The massive Chinese audience reacted badly to the ban which as mentioned removed all comment on the internet China-wide as the series was ‘disappeared’. However, the banning did not effect platforms outside China who were able to continue to broadcast the final three episodes. Except, to my understanding in fact 19 episodes were originally planned which would have been most perfect as it would have taken the story in the book to the car accident. The series has turned into a kind of cult with new viewers worldwide, who find ways to access the series, which has been subtitled by both platforms outside China and by volunteers into most popular languages.
Both Xu and Huang are two of the most beautiful males to ever come out of China. They simply need to look into a lens before the world looks back! But the ‘artist’ and ‘the boy from a poor Chinese province’ lit up the screen — effectively, as one. It is most unusual, which, as you will read, had consequences…
Its controversy knows no ends. Gu Hai pursues with the passion of Romeo and he is a guy who will not take no for an answer. Meanwhile, Bai Luo Yin’s responses are ambiguous, though best not to get into ‘no means no,’ just here. Yin though seemingly horrified by any thought of a relationship with a male agrees with his father that Gu Hai who has done many favours for the family should be invited to move into the small and most evocative family home where he will share Bai Luo Yin’s bed! Despite much drama during the day, every night Yin sleeps in the arms of his difficult lover. He draws lines but they are crossed continually by Gu Hai. No doesn’t mean no, to him, it means, try harder…
Gu Hai s a dominant character and an incurable romantic with a libido of epic proportions… Sensual and passionate, he knows what he wants, which is much more than sex. Despite his issues with crossing boundaries there is no doubt of his love for Yin.
And, they also both have girlfriends!
That Gu Hai is the son of a high level government official is revealed to Yin but he remains clueless that Gu Hai’s father is in fact his step father!
Many themes build organically and elicit a most effective sense of distress for the viewer because whether you are gay or straight, you want them to be ok together. They fit. They are beautiful and intriguing. Most gay-themed series fit a tight demographic, but ‘Addicted’ does not.
15 episodes but as mentioned, at episode 12 the censorship board of China having realised the existence of the series and its success were horrified. Why? More on that below. The cancellation was devastating for everyone involved in the making of the series and to the now-hooked viewership the series had gained. But by the time of the banning Huang and Xu had become major stars. ‘Addicted’ became mainstream and both actors hot properties within China’s massive entertainment industry.
What I don’t like:
Episode 1 is good and it is necessary in setting up the plot line which is complex, the two principal characters, their families, their individual living circumstance and how they first meet.
Episode 2 works so well in some ways in establishing the characters. But in trying to hook a younger demographic with what are most clearly adult themes, pranks and cute things happen in this episode, which detracts from what is not a coming-of-age series nor a coming out story but a gay themed melodrama. The episode should be viewed for the parts that work and Gu Hai’s being locked out of the classroom and climbing the side of the building is trite land betrays the richness of the story and production which is yet to develop.
Episode 3 – For me the soul of the series is established at 18.20 when Gu Hai has his father’s driver follow Bai Lou Yin in a car to his home. He wants to know where he lives and how he lives. He is visually touched by the vision of Yin helping his father and aunt move tables which are being drenched in the rain as is Bai Luo Yin. From this point on ADDICTED enters a most interesting dramatic and filmic space and the school setting becomes immaterial to the core narrative of these two 17 year olds and their ethereal friendship which has begun as hate-at-first-sight…
Episode 4 – The drugging of Bao Lou Yin by Gu Hai and the rush to the nurses room of the school and the stupid medic is a mess with poorly timed actions and timing, odd non-sensical dialogue (remember I have seen it only with English subtitles) and an unbelievable plot line that a boy found unconscious is attended to by the local school nurse rather than rushed to a hospital emergency ward.
But, it elicits a particularly splendid scene when Gu Hai will not leave Yin’s side as he waits for Yin to wake after taking a mix of sleeping tablet and expired influenza medicine. Awoken by his ‘enemy,’ he has been taunted and teased by Gu Hai in order to elicit his attention and in his semi haze confronts him:
Yin: What did I do to you? I apologise, ok? Can you just leave me alone?
Gu Hai: I can compensate for all your loses… but to ask me not to mess with you… I can’t do that!
Yin: Are you fucking mentally ill ?
Gu Hai: I am ill.
Yin: If you’re ill then take medicine!
Gu Hai: You are my medicine!
Yin: What do you mean?
Gu Hai: For me to get better, you will have to suffer first!
(It was clear by this scene that this is not fluffy web series and we are moving into some seriously heavy stuff, but it was just be beginning, and the reading of the whole book is something form another planet)
The failure in the series is the inclusion of ‘Gu Hai’s friends’ and the scripting and performance do not work and seem as if out of another series… The scene where Gu Hai, so drunk, moves on his friend believing he is Yin doesn’t work. In fact both scenes with the friends in the bar look shoddy as if very quickly shot with poor lighting. It is badly written, badly executed, OTT. The rich friends of Gu Hai are more out of ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ than Addicted and are rarely featured in the overall series. The other flaw is the girlfriend of Gu Hai and the scenes – though in the book – don’t work in the series. The two girls fighting is trite and way below the rich narrative of the series. She is a very strange girl with very strange ideas, “Why don’t you hit Yinzi”? “No one can touch him!”. This I like but it is the only thing which has any real meaning. The telephone calls however with Bai Luo Yin’s girlfriend though are creepy and one wants to rescue him from this obsessive and his strength measured by his kind heart is clear for all to see. They are rich sequences.
The purity of Bao Lou Yin, his sense of self and pride in his poverty, is compelling. You love him and want him to be safe. He hurts, the viewer hurts. Yet so oddly, the thuggery of Gu Hai is forgiven by the audience and I am unsure why? His perverse actions are driven by unrequited love which perversely squares it away for most viewers, including me.
The infamous ‘rape’ scene that comes in Episode 12 is vexed to say the least. The evening builds after Yin has been told he may have Hepatitis and he is most vulnerable. Gu Hai comforts him then grabs Bai Luo Yin and forces the food he is eating into his mouth in a mad expression of both love and reassurance that Gu Hai does not believe Yin has the disease. Some seriously beautiful dialogue follows leading to the only semi-nudity in the series in a slow motion sequence of Bai Lou Yin showering before changing from his bathroom towel into pyjamas while Gu Hai observes him from the sofa. It is clear we are moving to a restless night, at least they are, but it ends in a scene of forced sex where Bai Lou Yin literally says ‘no,’ but his suitor does not accept his decision. However the police are not called, Yin does not flee after the event, and the ending of the scene is one of the most beautiful and romantic moments in the entire series where Gu Hai confesses his love for Yin using most powerful words related to the love he has lost for ten years from having no mother projecting Gu Hai’s own grief of an absent mother following her death. Gu Hai’s words are as tender as anything I have seen on screen and they touch Yin so deeply. He is loved and Yin loves that he is loved. They sleep in each others arms, again…
But many people did not find this episode as alluring as I did: One female netizen described ‘Addicted’ as 15 episodes of sexual harassment, sexual assault and rape.’ That’s one view… I understand it.
The performances of Bao Lou Yin’s father played by Song Tao is so fine and not for one-moment overplayed. He lives. Ditto the cold blooded beautiful mother of Yin who after ten years decides she might now warm him up to the idea of mothering him again! The result is not good… as she most-vaguely contemplates that she perhaps had done something a little selfish in deserting a seven year old son to find a rich life.
Yang Meng and Shi Yi, the other ‘couple’ never quite develop as they were meant to come closer to a central plot in Series 2. Both are good actors with a tendency to over-play the roles… though trying to exist in a series with two turbo-powered performers like Xu and Huang cannot have been easy. They have a great scene where Sui Yi summons Yang Meng to explode in anger at his lax appearance and behaviour and then as he explodes in rage it is clear he is starting to reflect on why he is so angry. He is in love! THe other great scene of Yang Meng is when he discovers that Gu Hai and Bai Luo Yin sleep together. It is funny and most eloquently handled. Loathed by Gu Hai, he takes an opportunity to question Bao Luo Yin as they walk to school, what is happening between the two of them… Xu’s performance here in explaining the unexplainable reality and the actor playing Yang Meng is very funny and the tale is so convoluted it is as a sense of irony within the series itself that it is so f———— complicated!
Feminists don’t like it and I can see why. The girl friends of Yin and Gu Hai are uniquely irritating as they both are simpering women who exist seemingly only for the men they adore, though both would look older than either of their beloved’s and one ponders what they are doing with boys they must have met at a time when both were underage!
There are continuity flips such as in one scene where Gu Hai sleeps in one tee-shirt, fade to black, and wake up in a different t-shirt… Yin remains dressed the same way. In an off screen scene the crew are trying to remember the colour of the smart phone used in the previous days shooting and no one can remember.
The final episode 15, set at Christmas (depends the version for it is also has been translated as Thanksgiving except in the background there are Christmas trees, Christmas carols and ‘Merry Christmas’ signs. I think it is Christmas and it is when Bai Luo Yin gives Gu Hai a red scarf.
This is where the collision of fiction and fact merge wildly in the story and the cast as Timmy Xu had personally knitted the scarf on-set during the series and revealed he had learned knitting from his Grandmother! IT is the red scarf which is given to Gu Hai in this episode. (The scarf now has been given to Timmy Xu’s grandmother)…
The beauty of the low budget environment shows through, in one scene Gu Hai bumps his head on a bed stand, Yin instinctually reaches out and rubs his head (improvised), in another a statue from the same bed head falls down (it is allowed to remain as it is) and in a scene Gu Hai’s track pants fall half way down at the back as he jumps on top of Yin, which is not in anyway part of the script or a device to excite viewers. It is left as it is. We have entered, through budgetary constraint, a universe we were not expecting to be a part off, the beauty of a low budget and the naturalism which is the result. ** Each scene in Addicted was mainly filmed in one take, some in two takes if complex and rarely three takes.
** It is in episode 5 where Timmy Xu gives one of three outstanding performances. Yin’s alcohol fuelled catharsis elicits such a splendid performance as he reaches split-off emotional pain in reliving the loss of his mother as we learn of her betrayal for the first time. The abandonment of a boy of seven. The scene takes place in a small, tatty, beautiful open-air laneway bar in the chill of a Beijing winter’s night, filled with life’s travellers seeking shiny shoes but never finding them…
The connection between Xu and Huang is mesmeric. (A scene deleted which I have seen at the end of this exceptional performance is when “Yin” stands up in the middle of the bar so drunk and needs to urinate — he is totally oblivious that others are around him as Gu Hai pulls him into a corner next to a tree. In such a stunning and funny scene after something so dreadfully tragic as Yin’s expressions of pain at what his mother did, Gu Hai holds him up which results in wet track suit pants no matter what he does to stabilise his aim, whilst Bao Luo Yin totally out-of-it leans back into his friends arms and whistles. If it sounds sleazy or vulgar, it is not, and its naturalness is astonishing. They are both 17 and the boy is drunk! This scene did not make it into the final cut and I doubt this was because of censorship but probably as a concession to the conservatism of the broader Asian audience. I have seen it. Huang’s performance is quite astonishing. He is authentic. You feel like a fly on-the-wall.
The other splendid scenes occur in episodes 13 and 14 (not seen in China) where Yin witnesses his father’s second marriage party as he again feels a sense of being abandoned and he is, again, alone. His father has found a new love and Yin questions where he fits as a small child is brought into the family equation. The only love he has known is that of his father before Gu Hai entered his life. He spies the wedding party through the windows of the small house they live. He watches with a mix of joy at observing his father so happy contrasted with his unbearable pain. Timmy Xu has the characteristics of silent screen player. His facial expressions can write a chapter! I notice the paper cup he drinks from has the red cross ambulance logo. Good stuff!
Episode 14 follows through on the night of the wedding party where Gu Hai arrives late at night to find Yin slumped over the kitchen table so very drunk. He tells his father he will take him to his home and physically carries him on his back. Bao Lou Yin murmurs he wants to be taken to the rooftop, a place where” the two have shared their sadnesses and their dreams. He is held by Gu Hai as he cries out his grief believing his father will no longer seek to care for him. It is here that Johnny Huang is brilliant and reveals soaring emotional depth, also seen earlier in the series during the ‘break up’ of the two when Yin discovers Gu Hai is in fact his stepbrother, the kidnap scene and in the scene before it when Yin visits Gu Hai at a massage parlour to return belongings he had left at his home. All are marvellous pieces of art from Johnny Huang and I have some doubt that these colours have been evident in the high budget work Huang has done since. Is movies are big box office and he is a stunning heroic character, but nothing comes near his performance as Gu Hai. His eyes naturally tear and become red as he holds Yin with such preciousness and care as he says, ‘Apart from your father, no one will ever love you more that I love you…”. In one of the interviews before the banning of both actors appearing together, they describe this as the most memorable scene they filmed.
Not a lot more I can write about the tv series for it would be full of spoilers.
Do I like it? I love it!
Why did China ban ‘Addicted’?
It crosses many red lines in China. Its popularity was almost certain to trigger alarm but this popularity was not thought possible, by the producers, at that time.
The portrayal of Gu Hai, a princeling from a privileged family whose father is a high government official and whose son is comfortable using limitless connections to effect corrupt outcomes to any problems which arise… This is a major flag, especially at the time the series was released, when President Xi had launched his‘Tigers and Flies’ corruption crackdown. I think this and the following is what effectively panicked the censors to not only censor but to remove and to cancel all references of the series in China. They ‘disappeared’ the series.
The mystical couple Gu Hai and Bao Liu Yin threatened – by virtue of the chemistry created by the script and their performances – a kind of motif, an icon. This raises the spectre of a movement. This is the other glowing red light that I perceive was the cause of the censors actions. The beauty of the characters and the fact they were very male figures would arouse much concern. I reference earlier that both characters are heteronormative. They are guy-guys. One suspects if they had been portrayed as many other ‘gay-themed’ series as cute boys with secret crushes then I think a. that it would not have appealed and b. it would not have morphed into the icon as previously mentioned.
I have lived in China and I love China. The series is outside Confucianist values and the broader narrative of the CCP. Movements run contrary to the party. Only one narrative can exist which is the CCP. I don’t judge it. It is the way it is.
Homosexuality is well tolerated and legal in China. Gays are left alone and enjoy a vibrant social life in many bars and clubs. But, again, no movement is possible such as gay pride events. It was ‘Addicted’ potential to become a beacon of an ‘alternative cultural norm’ which alarmed regulators.
The series also portrayed, underage drinking and gambling, a school far from the excellence, which Beijing would have found undesirable and the effective corruption of a ‘poor boy’ by a son of the nations elite. Its red lights are blinding.
China banned ‘Addicted’ and in the same edict prohibited media portrayals of ‘unconventional relationships, adultery, one-night stands and same-sex romance portrayed as positive social examples’.
The tragedy is that China – sadly – destroyed something of great beauty, a work of art and had it continued, I have no doubt that both actors and the director would have been recognised with international awards for the creative splendour which was created.
But its banning – though sad – I understand in the context as I refer.
TIMMY XU, JOHNNY HUANG
It must be odd for both actors who had never performed on- camera before the 2015-2016 filming of ‘Addicted”, that it is unlikely – in their lifetimes – that a role will come along with the challenging and thrilling dynamics of ‘Addicted’.
Both Xu and Huang went onto to become leading stars in China both in film and in music.
Of Johnny Huang:
Since ‘Addicted’ he became one of the most celebrated motion picture talents in China and across Asia. In my view, sadly, he became somewhat typecast as an action hero and also does a lot of high impact reality television. His height and demeanour would make him difficult to cast. A pity for he is an actor of great depth and fineness. A passionate and emotional character which is clear in ‘Addicted’ and in videos shot off-camera during the filming of the series, none more so than in the Bangkok stage appearance. He is as colourful as the Gu Hai character and is adored.
But, as mentioned earlier, no role has come near that of Gu Hai. Perhaps, it never will.
Huang and Xu cannot appear together, not only on film, but even in a photograph. Understanding this is complex and I have written about this above. But I also cannot imagine how they would play together in another film or narrative, for they are so embedded in the characters created in Addicted. (A musical concert together though would be thrilling!)
Of, Timmy Xu:
Hmmmm. His creative talents are so splendid as they are multi- faceted. He is one of China’s finest performers, both as a musician, actor, song writer and designer. Following the banning, he suffered greatly and was effectively a prisoner in his home as he had achieved huge stardom but without the funds to employ the necessary security protection. He could not leave his home for fear of crowds of fans endangering themselves and him. He noted that he spent one year trying to get call backs from producers. No one called and he became isolated and despondent.
But this guy is not only clever but strong and he found a way to raise money to put together an Asia-wide music tour called Light. None of it was easy but the financial returns were huge. His star has, from that time onwards, continued to light the darkest sky.
He has chosen to give sizeable percentages of his wealth and terrific support to charities he supports. He would appear as finer person off-screen as he is on-screen. In Timmy Xu, there is a rare display of innate nobility in his every gesture. That light… I find no attitude. I guess he does not need it.
His music performance capabilities range from ballads to death metal! In 2022 he married but has not reveal his wife’s name. Huang remains unmarried though has been linked with multiple- women.
‘In a remarkable scene under the stars of the Gobi Desert, Bai Luo Yin, seven years later, in grief and consumed by sadness, cries out to the stars… his words… ‘Gu Hai’. He is alone. (Shingyan – Book Two)
To the book…
Book One – SPOILERS IF YOU HAVE NOT READ THE BOOK:
There are in fact two books, Shingyan one and two! Book One is a mere 208 chapters of which some 30 chapters are chosen to create the television series, ‘Addicted’.
I was intrigued at to where the book had started (we will never know for the first 47 chapters are missing from the English version) but in fact the television series follows very closely in the scripting from the book and reveals Chai Jidan as a seriously rich a lyrical writer. However…
The series ends (and a following series two was not and is not a possibility) with the reappearance of Yin’s girlfriend who has flown back from her privileged life in North America to re-ignite their relationship of which it would seem was mainly in her head rather than his…
The girl goes into a head-to-head battle with Gu Hai as a rival for his love.
But the result of both challenging Gu Hai and a misunderstanding where Gu Hai believes he has been betrayed by Bai Luo Yin and has reunited with the girl elicits one of the most vicious scenes, involving a rape, I have ever read. It turned my stomach and I literally had to stop reading it, for a time. The images of the tv series haunt the reader as we have already met Gu Hai and Bai Lou Yin on-screen, the readers know them and journeyed with this couple.
Yin is viciously assaulted by Gu Hai whilst Yin’s former girlfriend is kidnapped and brought to the house to watch his ordeal, a uniquely primitive male triumph of Gu Hai over her and over Yin. In this, Gu Hai is revealed, which we have glimpsed in the television series, that he is capable of intense violence and sadism is at core a complex and dark character.
The rape is such that it is physically implausible otherwise both of them would have died or at least been injured in a manner no guy would contemplate…
But it lives in my mind and I found it most disturbing and unforgivable. It is distinctly odd that one somehow finds a way to square away Gu Hai’s dark deeds partly because he lives with most bitter recrimination for what he has done to Yin and believing the words of others which had ignited his rage. But at core it is a betrayal of the love they both created together.
Yin is physically and psychologically maimed by the one that he loves and trusted. Again, the power in both of the books is that almost everyone who reads them would have seen the television series, so we know them, we know how they speak and sound and touch and love. We know how they look. Their images come out of the pages as if familiar people in our own lives.
The book moves onto the discovery by Gu Hai’s father of the relationship between his son and stepson, whilst spying their intimacy in a darkened corner. He is devastated and is committed to control his wayward son. And like his son, he is not accustomed to losing and a gay first born who has a male lover (who happens now to be his step son) was never in his planning.
The book becomes quite bizarre and disturbing as Gu Hai’s father has him buried in a tunnel on a military base for nine days without food or water, a unique prescription for addressing homosexuality! It is perhaps this and the suffering that Gu Hai endures refusing at any point to renounce his love for Yin, which somehow elicits a forgiveness of past actions. It is a penance or repentance for the assault inflicted upon his love. Yin is revealed as having dependency issues and he does not reject Gu Hai and run away. He has only had one love in his life, a great love of a young man of whom he understands, is at odds with his demons. It is though, at this point, a dysfunctional relationship.
A confession to Yin’s father and his wife elicits acceptance rather than condemnation and after the tunnel torture, it is Yin’s father who suggests both run away from Beijing, for to be sure the powerful father is on a war footing and he will separate them one way or the other. He will, do ANYTHING!
They run away to ‘elope’ taking two cars (why two, who knows) through China and to the seaside (to a place called the Silver Beach, three-hours South-East from Beijing) the breathtaking music video of the song ‘Walk Slowly,’ written and sung by Timmy Xu and filmed for the second series). Chai Jidan then seems to settle down and come out of lala land to write a beautiful and lyrical diarized sequence of the travels and adventures of the couple as they spend time by the sea.
It is over-shadowed by the appearance of Gu Hai’s half-brother and through a series of scenes which are implausible, ridiculous are a cross between a Jack Chan film and James Bond. THe saga which is laborious to read comes to an end when money is becoming tight and they decide to venture further with little funds as they choose to drive to Tibet!
This is a most stunning concept, particularly for a western reader, for we are entranced with the entire Tibet Shangri-La mystique. The filmic sense of the two lovers driving across China to the top of the world, would have really been something to behold!
It is here the writing gets better and better and Chai Chidan indicates yet again how fine an author she is, if not inconsistent and regularly bizarre.
Yin’s girlfriend has gone back to North America never to heard of again but in the book it is revealed that her return to Beijing in pursuit of Yin was plotted by Yin’s mother who wanted him to marry into this family! Bai Luo Yin, oddly goes to see her one last time before she leaves China and after she had witnessed the shocking scene of his assault. Yin’s meeting is one off incandescent nobility. Despite what she has observed he remains the same patrician young man we have met at the beginning of the book and television series.
The Bao Luo Yin character is that of a nobleman, a great Son of China. He remains to the end, pure in mind and spirit. Gu Hai remains a borderline nutcase but despite is alluring to the reader in each and every scene. It is this balance which also makes Chai Jidan intriguing. Yin becomes increasingly difficult though tolerant. He has a difficult lover and he is sure he will match him all-the-way.
Back to Tibet, and a second Tibet sequence comes out of nowhere towards the very end of Book Two and indeed is one of the finest pieces in the entire epic.
How does Book One End, with a chapter called ‘The End of Youth” as Gu Hai and Yin believe the words of Gu Hai’s cousin that the war is over with his father and that they will be able to live in peace as lovers?
They naively return to Beijing and spend some days resettling into the capital until the final scene, which is a killer sequence and would have likely ended Series One of the television series — which according to one source only was originally written as 19 episodes, not 15.
Both awake to take a journey and again there are two cars. Gu Hai insists they drive together in Yin’s car. Unknown to them, the brakes of the car have been tampered with, in the same manner as the events which lead to the death of Gu Hai’s mother…
On a Beijing highway, the breaks fail and as they fail a massive truck crushes into the left hand side of the vehicle as Gu Hai who is driving reaches out to pull Bao Luo Yin away from a certain death. However in doing so, Gu Hai is trapped by the twisted metal as the cabin above him crashes in on top of him as he looses consciousness. The accident is catastrophic and Gu Hai will certainly die. The attempt to kill Yin has failed.
The resulting horror and sadness, the cries of Yin begging Gu Hai to live and to speak to him as he uses his bare hands to try to lift the metal finally succeeds in freeing Gu Hai but no emergency services have arrived apart from one ambulance on the opposite side of the road as it is rush hour and despite alerts of the accident and only one has been able to arrive at the scene before a helicopter lands and Yin carries his lover on his back to the helicopter where he is evacuated alone as Yin is taken to the same hospital by the awaiting ambulance. Bao Luo Yin is aware that Gu Hai will likely pass away. They cannot be as a couple!
As Gu Hai fights for his life in intensive care, Yin is visited by the unusually menacing and wicked half brother of Gu Hai who claims responsibility for the fixed brakes but at whose behest is never in fact revealed.
He tells Bao Luo Yin, ‘you are a dangerous man’.
Bao Luo Yin says, ‘When Gu Hai wakes up, I want you to tell him that I am dead’. Their love cannot live.
It is a mix of madness with moments of great beauty and prose.
‘Nine years have gone by in a flash” appealed to me and it is painful to learn that for this time Gu Hai has been grieving Yin’s death at the hands of those he trusted the most, including Yin’s father who has created a shrine to his dead son! But Gu Hai never believes it. It is a very odd twist. Gu Hai has enquired of Yin’s resting place which is never revealed to him but the conspiracy of those who are supposed to care for him, including Yin, is complicit. Much it does not add up and then the reader asks — Where is Yin and what is he feeling? Did he forget Gu Hai? Did he find a girl? Did he find another guy? Is he actually dead?
To be sure both were metaphorically imprisoned by Gu Hai father, Gu Wei Ting who is now Yin’s step father! His father reveals a himself to be a very dark character capable, as we learn in the tv series, ‘capable of anything’.
The deception is a flawed and dangerous element to bring into a book like this. It has the danger of turning the reader off everyone. The dream is over. But, despite this, its allure continues if but only that we the reader want to learn that everyone is actually ok and that life cannot change into such a dark space, can it?
The twist questions the credibility of Bai Luo Yin, himself.
Most exceptionally, how did he walk away from the love of his life at the moment he needed him the most, whilst laying in hospital so very sick for two months.
We find the deceased Yin in fact overwhelmed with guilt and obsession whilst commanding his troops in the Gobi desert as Gu Hai’s father had seven years earlier arranged him to enter the military where he has become an ace fighter pilot of great note and an inspiration to the comrades he leads. This, as unlikely as it is, works well as does the description of the very young officer who is fatally attracted to him and is used as a kind of teddy bear. His troops though are intrigued by Yin’s past which is never spoken off nor of why when sleeping he cries out a certain name.
All of this is strong stuff.
In one riveting part of Book Two, Chai Jidan writes:
“Gu Hai is his source of perseverance and faith for eight years. Under the stars of the Gobi desert, that night, Bai Lou Yin removed a photo of Gu Hai from his pocket. As he looked to the endless stars above him on the clearest of nights surrounded by only the silence of the desert, he shouted his name… His cry echoed his unchanged passion and the depth of his grief… ‘Gu Hai’ “
But despite motifs like the above, the story gets lost in lala land. Some four times I considered discontinuing the book and then from nowhere the author would present a scene of such shimmering beauty, I again became addicted to the book…
Chai Jidan is great at motifs. After Yin sends a card and flowers from nowhere to Gu Hai having learned of his great success in owning a company which supports the production of military hardware. Bizarre is that he will only employ women. He touches no one and does nothing. He thinks only of Bao Lui Yin.
After their reuniting, there are a few issues such as, you are supposed to be dead and where have been these f——— seven years? Where were you when I was laying half dead in the hospital? Irritatingly, none of this is sufficiently answered apart from acknowledging Bao Luo Yin’s regret and guilt. By this time we have forgiven Gu Hai for being a psychopathic rapist and all round general psycho. It is a very odd dynamic created in this story and I go back to the beginning of the series that it has its own DNA. THe couple are now 27 and not 17 and I love this meeting of the adult Gu Hai and Bao Luo Yin. THe writing of this though is cumbersome.
Beautiful motifs as the two difficult characters effectively revisit the passion and love of their late teens to find nothing has changed and that they both adore each other, yet both are difficult males, and Yin becomes more and more temperamental.
In a lovely motif, each evening Bao Luo Yin who is living on a military base near downtown Beijing visits Gu Hai – every day — standing besides his fancy car and looking up at the top floor of the building where he knows Gu Hai will look and see him whilst waiting for him to finish his work. He waits for him each and every day. The image burns into my mind as if I truly saw it happen… DNA…
The major mistake of Book Two is retiring the characters we had loved in both Book One and the tv series. The beauty of the encounter with the underclass by the wayward son of one of a high ranking Chinese official… It is this that underscored the fabric of the core story used in the television series. Yin’s father, Aunt Zhou, Gu Hai’s father and Bao Luo Yin’s narcissistic mother.
Replacing these players with a sadistic military commander who is quite repellent and the scene of this mans sexual assault of Yin whilst being ordered to urinate is unusually disturbing and elicited great hate from me, but not as much as Gu Hai’s half-brother, Gu Yang who is a walking reptile.
It goes further off-the-rails.
Both Gu Hai and Bai Lou Yin become too close to super-heroes. It becomes a kind of anime statement. Batman. Superman. Spiderman. This perhaps comes from Manga where impossible feats are able to be achieved through drawing but it does not work for an English-language readership.
The best thing in Book Two saves it entirely to me is in fact my favourite scene of all which so sadly was never filmed.
Bao Lou Yin goes AWOL from his command and in doing so hijacks a military helicopter. He turns off its tracking devices as he is effectively having a breakdown. Obviously, the scenario is ridiculously fanciful and one suspects China’s military might have taken some interest…
But it is where he lands that is fabulous to behold, fabulous to read!
Bai Lou Yin’s flys back to Tibet and lands his helicopter in a wild remote field in the most barren landscape inhabited by sheep, wolves and a mysterious young boy who tends to them. MAGIC! Yin befriends the boy and stays with him for seemingly some four or five days. It is here we meet not only the young boy who has no education and is purely the carer and protector of his sheep. He needs none, his innocence and ignorance of a world far beyond the mountains which surround him, protect him from the horrors of what is beyond…
In a sense we meet the archetype of the young Yin of Addicted for within this child is a mirror image of the boy who once played basketball in that awful school. The boy exhibits the purity and dignity of a long-lost Yin… He helps him herd his sheep and befriends the young boy.
The days pass by – seeming perhaps one week – and then he tells the boy he must leave , who implores him to stay with him. It is such a sad and beautiful goodbye and Yin tells the boy, ‘I will come back to visit you.’
But his trip is not quite over.
He flys to visit a Buddhist temple, the same place he had been together with Gu Hai. But his emotions are totally different as he is drawn to the mysticism and the spirituality, the deep riches which lay within the souls of the Tibetan people who worship. Bao Luo Yin is a deep guy. Gu Hai is not. It is why they work so well together.
Tibet is over and his helicopter disappears beyond the horizon and the wonder of Shangri-La as he heads back to the Chinese capital…
I wonder whether Chai Jidan means the sequence as a reality or a kind of metaphor or do I give her too much credit. It is dream like. The mysterious boy, the sheep, the motifs of fighting off an attack by wolves. He has done that all of his life… And a new beginning for Bao Luo Yin who finds himself again in the person of the young boy.
They love to the end and I adore the last moments of the book but not the prelude to the commitment ceremony which is just far too off-the-wall… But at the ceremony, ‘Yin in front of one hundred attendees is asked by the host to say something… anything about Gu Hai? He falters, his eyes are wet with tears and he simply says, ‘I love you’. It is the first time he has ever said it. Gu Hai is asked the same and he is so overcome he has to turn away from the crowd and after much time to compose himself, he finally turns to the assembly and then as he looks into Bao Luo Yin’s beautiful eyes, he say, ‘I love you”. End of book.
Of Western Gay Politics:
It is of note that not on any occasion in this tome is the word ‘gay’ referenced.
No one is talking about gender fluidity or the LGBT agenda. Gu Hai is homophobic and heteronormative, “Hey Girl? Who’s a girl? YOU!” as he bullies the hapless Yang Meng. Bao Lou Yin finds Gu Hai’s attraction to him (and clearly his to Gu Hai) as lacking in convention.
The issue of both of these strong guys sexuality and masculinity links elegantly with Freud’s view on homosexuality-heterosexuality as a norm on a scale of constants which may or may not be evoked and of bisexuality which Freud postures is effectively the greater norm or default of humankind…
Jeffrey James – Aug 2022
** Translations and reading the two books:
For anyone pondering reading the book it can be found on-line but be very aware that several parties have decided to write their own versions! I found myself, some six chapters into Book Two, to find that it diverged wildly from the story and as it got stranger I looked at the sources and was aware that everything I have read has been translated from Chinese. But by whom and how. Only a Chinese version of ‘Shingyan’ exists and any translations into any other language are by volunteers. Which version to read?
I found through research that in reading in English you will find files which state ORIGINAL TRANSLATION and you will also note huge amounts of comments from readers as it has been read by a large amount of subscribers to the site Wattapad. Others without comments or few of them are effectively fakes which does not mean they are not well translated but it is impossible to tell..
Addicted quotes: (From ‘Shingyan’)
Gu Hai is his source of perseverance and his faith for eight years. Alone and under the stars of the Gobi desert, that night, Bai Luo Yin removed a photo of Gu Hai from his pocket. As he looked into the endless sky above him on the clearest of nights in the silence of the desert, he shouted his name… His cry echoed his unchanged passion and the depth of his grief…
Gu Hai turned his head to another direction, pretending to look at the eaves of the neighbouring house. Bai Luo Yin did not ask anymore. Nevertheless, Gu Hai replied inside his heart, I fucking like you, I like you so much that I can’t stand it anymore…
Gu Hai smiled, the problems that had been occupying his mind seemed to have been untied in the middle of their fight. Maybe it should be like this between guys. No pretentious comfort needed. No need to embrace each other while weeping bitter tears. As long as you understand me enough, as long as I can feel your concerns, no matter how big the disappointment is, everything will pass after patting each other’s shoulders.
Bai Luo Yin: He quotes teacher Wang: No matter how much you have experienced in life, always retain the purity of youth.
His kiss was fierce and wild, carrying a destructive power akin to raging mountains and roaring seas, that crushed their feelings, into little pieces.
I just want to treat him well, to treat him well unconditionally, I wish I could put the entire world into his hands…
Gu Hai pulled Bai Luo Yin into his arms and embraced him. His voice was gentle and sincere, ‘I can love you dearly’. Under the silent night, Bai Luo Yin’s heart shivered slightly upon listening to that heartfelt confession beside his ear. ‘I can love you dearly, to make up for all the love you have lost in the past ten years’. That night, because of those words, Bai Lou Yin slept really well.
Eight years later, he still remembers Bai Luo Yin’s smile. It was just like a natural diamond. It looks tremendously dazzling on the surface, yet it is solid and impenetrable inside.
When Gu Hai looked at the light bulb, and looked at the people under the light, he suddenly felt that his heart was filled to the brim with warmth. This is home. Night time at home should not be as bright as the daytime, it should be dim and silent, where the silhouettes of your dearest people are constantly lengthening and shortening on the wall.
Just when they were about to go and question her, Jiang Yuan came out of the kitchen with a smile adorning her face, as if the sun had shone brightly today, just for her sake!
The two soldiers at the side could not bare to look at Bai Luo Yin anymore as they spoke softly amongst themselves in a low tone observing the girl he was with: “She doesn’t like you, but I like you. You can come over here. I will definitely love you dearly’
Seven days had passed by without seeing each other. The instant his eyes rested upon Bai Luo Yin all reasons swiftly flew away. Whether or not Bai Luo Yin had forgiven him, did not matter any longer, as Gu Hai immediately pulled him into a tight hug. “Come back home,” he said.
Gu Hai: I’m different from other people. When other people learn something new and they become really good at it, they would go and do it over and over. I won’t constantly do the things I”m good at. I like challenges, risks, adventures, excitement and setbacks… but, what I like even more, is you.
‘I can feel your tragic and miserable childhood’ expressed Bail Luo Yin with great sympathy, delving deep into his words.
The Gu Hai in this photograph was probably around three or four years old. His little body leaned gently against a woman’s embrace, with a very well-behaved and obedient manner shrouding his entire appearance. The lady looked very dignified, the atmosphere around her full of gentleness. Her facial features were somewhat similar to those of Gu Hai’s. Bai Luo Yin guessed that she must be Gu Hai’s late mother.
General, you should show more concern towards her. When something of this nature happens, it’s only normal that everyone will find it hard to take. After all is said and done, she is nonetheless a woman. Psychologically, she won’t be able to handle certain things, as well as you do!
The moment their shoulders silently brushed passed each other and their eyes locked, a tempestuous and overwhelming plight similar to that of the seas and rivers being turned over, raged within their hearts. Yet even then, the surface of their faces were not ruffled in the least as they maintained their respective calmness and unchanging demeanour.
Bai Luo Yin, did you not miss me at all during the past eight years? Bai Lou Yin’s deformed fingers twisted into the corner of the blanket as an indescribable sorry penetrated into the depth of his heart. Perhaps the night was too quiet, so quiet that it makes a person unable to lie. ‘I did miss you.’
Bai Luo Yin was dumbstruck, how the fuck am I supposed to get out of here?
Then, after a seemingly endless silence, their lips mutually pulled into each other, allowing the kiss that had been lying restlessly in their heart to speak in a soft, comforting way that words can never be… Their lips meshed against each other, and for the first time since forever their minds were locked in the present. The worries that lingered evaporated like the snow upon the coming of summer as an immense wave engulfed every inch of their bodies, melting them, into one. The headlights from the passing cars flickered on and off against the darkness, illuminating their faces as both their longing eyes slightly parted to take in each other’s forms. Warmth radiated as their soft tongues traveled wilfully along the lines of the others’ lips. And in that silence, all of their needs were laid bare, all of their passions and the sparks that spread from unspoken words, existed only between them.
I don’t care about how you were before. But now, you have to listen to me. You must dry your hair after washing it. If I’m with you, I’ll dry it for you and if I’m not, you must dry it yourself”. “I don’t have a hair dryer,”. ’lll buy one and have it sent to you.” “Also throw away all those junk foods in your room! From now on, if I’m free, I’ll bring your meal. If i’m busy, I will get someone else to bring it to you!”. Bai Luo Yin, listened to his words and was silent.
Even though the desire to roughly engage his loaded gun beckoned his control to crumble, he remembered this was the body he yearned and dreamt to hold for eight long and painful years. He needed to treat it as a long-lost treasure that has been recovered and gently… carefully taste it one bit at a time as to savour the beauty that he had missed all of those years.
Gu Hai stared attentively at Bai Lou Yin for a moment and unable to restrain himself, he asked, ‘Yin Zi, tell me the truth, have you ever been with anyone else during the past eight years?” “I have.” Gu Hai’s gaze intensified. “Who?” “You.”
Whilst making love: The medicine they brought, healed each others broken years and the longing that suffocated their minds. It was strong and spoke of a silent promise, and although Bai Luo Yin was addicted, all he felt was safe, because he knew that Gu Hai was equally addicted to him.
Besides, this sweet heart is someone Gu Hai had finally found. Simply speaking, he is his source of life!
Feeling utterly blessed, Gu Hai’s warm and loving eyes remained on Bai Luo Yin’s flushing cheeks. He discovered that regardless of whether he was twenty-six years old or eighteen years old, as soon as he squeezed into bed, he will forever be his child.
That meant that Bai Lou Yin would have six days of freedom. He could finally do as he pleased and contact Gu Hai. With this in mind, his heart blossomed with beautiful emotions.
As expected, a man in love, cannot be depended upon.
Gu Hai wrapped his arms around him, hugging him tightly, ‘Don’t use those kinds words to tease me. I cannot help but to be scared.”
Once alcohol enters a man’s body, all words can be said on the table.
“Don’t be scared.” Gu Hai lovingly touched Bai Lou Yin’s hair, softly coaxing him, ‘it was just a dream, aren’t I fine?” ‘I want to be responsible for your life, “ Bai Lou Yin added.
At this moment, Gu Hai suddenly felt that the whole world had become so beautiful.
“I can’t give birth to your child and you also can’t give birth to my child.” Gun Hai stretched out his two hands, firmly holding Bai Luo Yin’s cheeks and word by word he stressed, “You are my child, In this life, loving you and you alone is enough. Didn’t you say that your life was saved by me, so you are my child? My life was also saved by you, so I am also your child. After Bai Luo Yin heard this sense, he cried.”
The conversation from the past was repeated by the two without missing a word. They had not practiced it ahead of time, they did not even have to rack their brains out to remember. When these two people appeared in each other’s lives, it was already fated to be incredibly amazing.
Gu Hai’s mind is full of a multitude of emotions and feelings, yet he could not think of how to encapsulate it all into just one sentence. After a long time, it was Bai Lou Yin who spoke first. “I love you“. Gu Hai touched his face once, he then turned away from the guests who came together to watch their commitment… He found his composure and wiped away his tears, before turning back to to Bai Luo Yin and revealing the most a mellow smile. “I love you”, he said. From this moment on, we will walk hand-in-hand for the rest of our lives…