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Five Stages of Separation

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1. DENIAL

He can't be in love with his best friend, no, no, he has higher standards than that. He is Ye Zun, how can he be in love with Zhao Yun Lan of all people? Zhao is immature, he is not into fashion, he is scruffy, he is rude, he doesn't care about things/people easily.

 

And the worst, Zhao Yun Lan is his elder twin brother, Shen Wei's lover, his boyfriend. Wei Ge and Zhao have been dating the past six months. The three of them have been friends from their childhood days.

 

Zhao's parents even take care of Wei and Zun like their own children since the twins have no family of their own. They adore Zun and Wei. They know that Wei is dating Yun Lan and Zhao's mom is so proud because Wei is such a good influence on Yun Lan.

 

The two idiots had been in love for a long time, dancing around each other. Zun and Zhao's mom had pushed them towards each other. Zun had warned Zhao not to hurt his precious Ge.

 

So why, why is this happening now? He can't believe it, is he creating an illusion? Why is he so confused? This cannot happen. He cannot hurt his big brother, Wei is so gentle and oblivious.

 

Zun has been suffering for the past few weeks. He doesn't know when exactly it started but he has probably been in love with Lan for years without even realizing it. Why does he have to realize it now, when it's too late?

 

The feelings intensified after he helped Lan hook up with Wei Ge, without even blinking or hesitating. The past few months have been hell, it has been going on for quite sometime, the way he started noticing more of Yun Lan's actions and words, the way he wanted more of Yun Lan's attention, the way he wanted Yun Lan to praise him, the way he wanted to speak more with Yun Lan, spend more time with Yun Lan.

 

He has never loved anyone other than his Wei Ge, Yun Lan and Yun Lan's parents. It's not difficult to make friends with his personality, he is elegant, he attracts people easily, people love him and they surround him, he hates being alone but none of them have a deeper meaning. It's all just to pass the time, a show, fake. It's not easy to form a meaningful bond with the way Zun is.

 

He shakes his head, he is much better than Yun Lan, he is more beautiful, more refined, he maybe childish and immature too but he is much better a person than Yun Lan and he cannot fall in love with a undignified, monkey like that! He cannot, especially for his big brother's sake.

 

He had been so angry when his mature, dignified, graceful, sophisticated, classic and lovely brother had fallen for a complete opposite Yun Lan. So why is he going through the same shit himself?

 

His core is shaken, he feels numb, this cannot go on. He doesn't want to destroy everything he has built till now with his own hands, he doesn't want to break the treasure. He doesn't want to create chaos but he cannot help but love Yun Lan. It's hard to get through each day, every time he sees Yun Lan, it's hard to cope and survive and breathe.

 

But he needs to face this, he has to face this. He has to talk with Wei and Yun Lan. Ye Zun is a direct person, he is a good actor too! He doesn't know how to beat around the bush, how to be subtle, he doesn't like running away like a coward with tail behind his legs either. He can do this.

 

**********

 

2. ANGER

 

It's not going the way he had envisioned. He had even mapped out things in his mind but it's not going well at all. The exact opposite is happening. He had wanted to let them know gently and receive their help but somewhere along the line, he had decided that it would be better if they hated him and left him alone. Why is he here screaming at the two most important people in his life like there's no tomorrow?

 

"I love you, you idiot!" He shrieks at Yun Lan.

 

Wei looks like he is slapped but Zun cannot stop. Did they have an inkling? He doesn't want to know anymore. It's probably better this way.

 

He is so angry. He is ruining everything and he can't even stop, he is so furious at himself, at the world, at Yun Lan, at Wei, that he doesn't have another choice. He is so damn consumed by frustration. He is irritated. He cannot keep hiding his emotions.

 

It's like a dam has burst and there's no going back, he has crossed the point of no return. It's worse than numbness and denial. It's like there's nothing but a ball of negative feelings inside him. It's better to let it all out, sooner the better.

 

Zun is a very emotional person, unlike Wei.

 

Wei keeps everything bottled up till he breaks himself, Zun cannot do that. He hates keeping emotions inside, he shows them and somehow breaks the other party and repents later.

 

You cannot tell what Wei is feeling, unless you are Zun or Lan. However, everyone can tell what Zun is thinking or feeling easily, he is transparent.

 

"I will not let you go." He doesn't even let Wei or Lan talk. Wei looks like he cannot speak anything. He is looking at Zun with those kind eyes, as if he understands and accepts and Zun just wants to kill him.

 

Why the fuck is Wei not slapping him to hell and back? Why does Wei love him so much? Zun doesn't deserve that unconditional love, it would be better if they hated him for falling in love with Yun Lan, even though he can't help it.

 

Wei never says anything he doesn't mean, he thinks a lot before speaking. Zun normally doesn't do that and when he is angry, his defenses are down and there's no filter, he always blabbers things he doesn't mean.

 

"I will not let you two be happy with each other in front of me! I will take Lan with me even if it means you both will hate me. It hurts like a bitch and I will not stand it anymore. Why should I, for the two of you who don't care for me?"

 

He cannot look at Wei or Lan.

 

Lan is about to say something but both Zun and Wei whisper, "Don't, please."

 

Lan looks back and fro, he looks at Wei and then looks at Zun. Zun knows without having to see that his expression changes from sadness and worry to anger. Lan shuts up. Zun knows, Lan is not saying anything for Wei's sake.

 

If it had been only Zun who had said those words, Lan would have kicked his ass without any thought or hesitation.

 

Zun feels like crying. He loves them. Why is he making them hate him? Will this work? Maybe they will leave him alone and he can gather his thoughts and get over this. He hates that he cannot get over things like his Wei Ge, if Wei had been in Zun's shoes, no one would have noticed until it were too late.

 

Zun and Lan would have noticed something, they always know when something is wrong with Wei, something like instinct but they cannot read minds either, unless they force things out of Wei, they wouldn't know for sure what exactly is the problem.

 

Zun runs away. This was not how he had pictured confessing to Lan, of course, they had noticed his weird behavior around them, Wei and Lan always notice, they love him, though Lan doesn't love him the way he wants to be loved. Wei had tried talking to him so many times, Zun had pushed Wei away. He knows, he knows, Wei is worried to death.

 

Now everything is finally in the open, he doesn't know how this will end.

 

He is glad that Lan holds Wei back, he doesn't want Wei to chase him when he is in this state. He has to break this bridge which connects the three of them temporarily. He wants them to hate him and let him go, so he can get better. He is angry at them, but he is angry at himself the most for putting himself in this kind of situation, for putting Lan and Wei in this situation.

 

**********

 

3. BARGAINING

 

It has been a week, since Zun screamed at Wei and Lan and ran away to stay over with friends.

 

They have finally hunted him down, it seems like they have decided that they have given him enough time. Wei looks like he is worried sick, he doesn't look physically well, he has black circles underneath his eyes, he is not wearing glasses - just how much does his eyes hurt? - he looks paler than usual, looks like he hasn't been sleeping or eating well. Yun Lan looks worried as well but he doesn't look as bad as Wei.

 

Zun is confused, he feels guilty about the necessary evil he had done. He thought Lan wouldn't let Wei become like this, even Lan couldn't take better care of Wei? Why? Zun doesn't deserve this.

 

Zun is not angry anymore. He does feel sad though, at Wei's appearance. Did he not make a promise with Yun Lan and his family that he will never let anything happen to Wei? Why is he the reason for Wei's pain?

 

Lan stalks forward and grabs Zun by his collar, "Are you done PMSing? Come back."

 

Zun shakes his head, "I need more time."

 

Lan is only here because of Wei. He needs more time to sort his thoughts and accept certain things.

 

Zun snarls, "It's better if you are not here."

 

Lan rolls his eyes, "Why, are you going to be more bitchy?"

 

Zun feels a spark of hatred. He wants to provoke Lan. "At least, I am my own bitch, I am not owned by someone else."

 

Lan growls deep in his throat, he looks like he wants to tear Zun - the little shit - into pieces but he holds back, for Wei's sake and for Zun's as well.

 

Zun feels guilty. Wei walks forward, "Come back, Zun, please."

 

Zun ignores Wei's hands on him. He pulls away from the half hug.

 

Wei looks at Lan, "Should I leave you?"

 

Lan glares at Wei, "Don't you dare think of doing something stupid! It's enough that your brother is being a pain in the ass, don't you dare!"

 

Before Wei can reply, Zun goes down on his knees, he needs to do something even more disgusting for them to be sick of him. He can do it for their sake and for his own selfish sake as well.

 

He clutches Lan's hands desperately and tightly, in a painful grip.

 

He looks at Lan, "Can't you love me as well? I will be good to you, can't you love two people at the same time? It's not unheard of. I won't come between you and Wei if you give me special attention later. You don't have to share my details with Wei Ge, you don't have to share his details with me. I won't complain if you throw me away after sometime. I will be good, I will do anything."

 

He can negotiate better, he doesn't want to go through these feelings.

 

Zun is slapped, hard, across the face. Lan and Zun are surprised, it's not Lan who slapped Zun. It's not a soft slap either, his left cheek is stinging and he swears, he can feel Wei's hand print.

 

Wei is so furious, they can see his veins and his frustrated tears. "Don't you dare belittle yourself like that! Don't you dare say words you don't mean! We won't hate you no matter what, take your time and come back to us. We will wait, we will sort things together, you are not alone. Don't try to be an idiot, this sacrifice is unnecessary. We will help you through it. But you need to accept our help on your own. Don't be a brat."

 

He runs away, wiping his tears and without looking back. Zun doesn't know what to feel.

 

Lan sighs and shakes his head. "Did you really think that would work? The three of us, we can read each other like a book. What kind of a shitty story are you trying to create, you useless idiot? You trying to make us hate you isn't going to help. Just get better, stupid."

 

He lifts Zun up and dusts Zun's clothes.

 

How can they love him despite seeing his worst sides?

 

Lan leaves, to go after Wei but not before saying, "You better come back soon. Next time, it won't be just a slap and not just on the cheek, won't be just Xiao Wei who is doing a number on you."

 

**********

 

4. DEPRESSION

 

He knows why Yun Lan chose Wei. What's the point of going on? He just wants to withdraw from reality, curl up in a cocoon and sleep forever. Will people always prefer Wei Ge over him? Even though he is sad of the thought, he is not angry or jealous of Wei because Wei has done so much for Zun. How can Wei ever be jealous of someone as pure and precious and innocent as his Wei Ge?

 

The fault is with Zun himself. He should be a better person and he smiles through tears because Wei and Lan would argue that he is not a bad person.

 

Wei is the better twin, he always has been and always will be, in Zun's eyes. That's why Zun loves him so much that there had been a phase where Zun had wanted Wei to only look at him and hear and feel and touch him, where he had wanted Wei not to be close with anyone.

 

True, Wei is hypnotizing but all his relationships with people are fake. Wei is kind, gentle, mature, caring, lovely, intelligent, calm, he is a wonderful person. He loves Zun so much even though Zun can be a jerk, even when Zun is an asshole, Wei loves him.

 

Of course, Yun Lan sees the purity in Wei. That's why he prefers Wei. Zun maybe easy to love and have fun and flings with but when it comes down to serious matters, to settling and having a family and life, it's Wei who will do better, naturally.

 

Zun cries. He needs to get over Yun Lan soon, he needs to find someone better, he needs to repair their relationship. They won't hate him no matter how much he tries and nothing else is going to make him feel better. Despite everything, he craves their comfort and presence so much. He hugs himself and tries to shrink. The tears fall in the dark silence.

 

**********

 

5. ACCEPTANCE

 

There's nothing he can do about it. He doesn't want to ruin his life, he doesn't want to destroy the precious bond he has with Wei and Lan. He can move on, why is he being silly? He needs to grow up, he needs to accept, he cannot have everything he wants, he needs to evolve, he needs to have more meaningful relationships, he needs to find someone without whom he cannot live. He wants something akin to what Wei and Lan have. He needs to find someone better than Lan.

 

Lan will never love him, Lan will never choose him, Lan will never give up on Wei. He is glad that Wei has found a wonderful person, Wei deserves all the love and so much more.

 

He goes back. He apologizes for his behavior. He doesn't have to explain, they already know him better than he knows himself.

 

He whispers, "Thank you."

 

Wei hugs him and Lan just smacks his head.

 

They don't have to talk about Zun's love for Lan. Wei and Lan will help him through it. They just accept him and he is sure they will go back to normal after a few weeks, after settling things, as if nothing bad ever happened.

 

Wei puts on the apron in hurry and rushes to the kitchen to finish cooking. He has made all of Zun's favorite dishes, he wants to spoil Zun rotten. Of course, the three of them will be guilty for sometime for the other party but they don't have to be awkward in each other's presence. They haven't known each other for over twenty five years for nothing.

 

Lan sits opposite to Zun and clears his throat. "Have you maybe thought about it properly? Maybe it's not me that you love, maybe it's just an image? Something that you painted in your mind... Was I really in your mind all this time?"

 

Zun shrugs, he has thought about that as well. He doesn't want to hear these words from Yun Lan right now though. He is ready to move on but it will be difficult for sometime. He isn't a saint.

 

He doesn't know what's right or wrong, he doesn't know what's reality or imagination, he doesn't know what he wants or needs, he may not be able to tell his feelings properly but he is getting there.

 

Lan just smiles and goes into the kitchen to help Wei.

 

Wei smiles at Lan like he is the only person in his world and Zun hopes that he can find someone too.