Chapter 10: Two Bags of Snacks (2)
On Tuesday afternoon, we had a class discussion on Russian Art History. The method of discussion was just for us to separate into different groups, make a PPT and then choose a team leader to do a presentation. As we had all struggled together for several months, everyone decided not to allow the teacher to drag the class out, and all the team leaders spoke very concisely. In the last ten minutes of class, the teacher summed up everything, and even felt compelled to ask all his students: “Was there anything you didn’t understand? Do you have anything to add?” We were all unanimously silent and so the teacher announced the dismissal of class. The teacher really had nothing to say, so the layout of the next paper was scheduled for the week after the next week and we all scattered like beasts and birds.
I got what I wished for. I could finally wait in front of Xiao Xi’s classroom entrance for him.
When the bell rang, waves of students walked out of the classroom. I stared closely at everyone’s faces, afraid that I would miss my opportunity. My heart almost jumped out of my chest. I couldn’t hear anyone else’s voice. Please be more obedient, I know you have a very strong vitality in your life but you don’t need to prove it to me now. If this continues I will suffocate.
Maybe Xiao Xi’s aura was different from other people. The moment he pushed out from the crowd of people, I had already located him with my peripheral vision that swept over everyone. Maybe it was because he had gym class today because he wore some light colored sportswear that made him seem like he was very lively. His dimples at the sides of his mouth overflowed when they appeared.
I pretended I didn’t see him and slowly went down the stairs in front of his eyes.
I was very satisfied when I heard his hoarse voice.
I turned around and surprisedly said, “Xiao Xi? So coincidental…” Hmph, how could it not be coincidental? I’ve been waiting for half a semester. Buddha said, only when you glance back five hundred times in one’s previous life will you be able to exchange it for this life’s brief encounter. For Xiao Xi, I think I must not have done anything else. My neck turned until it was almost twisted, and I still hadn’t counted all the times I had looked back. Do you not see that I still have to look back even now?
Xiao Xi laughed: “That’s right. It’s so coincidental. I haven’t seen you for such a long time. How is it? Are you used to everything?”
I bashfully lowered my head: “En, I’m used to it. I originally wanted to return home on October 1, but for the sake of training myself, I didn’t go back.”
“You didn’t return October 1? Yuke always returns home on October 1. If I had known this earlier, I would have called you along over to Dalian. Some people from our hometown organized a trip to Dalian on October 1. Come with me, I’ll treat you to some special local food.”
My heart began to race. Xiao Xi had no girlfriend to go to the beach with nor anyone to watch the waves fall and rise with. I didn’t have to sing “Listen to the Sea” anymore. Wakaka. My hand couldn’t help but make a victory sign behind his back, as I pretended to say normally: “Really? You went to Dalian? Was Dalian pretty?”
Xiao Xi nodded: “I told Yuke that I went to Dalian. Did he not tell you of about the gathering of the people from your hometown? He didn’t let you know? This rascal. He himself didn’t go, and even dragged you with him…”
This stinky brat, he ruined such a big matter for this old woman! Just wait until I get back and give you what you deserve. I remained calm and collected and said, “Maybe he was busy and forgot. Why didn’t you return home?”
Xiao Xi laughed helplessly: “On October 1, the hospital was busier than usual. Plus, with my dad’s bad temper, when the hospital gets busy, he’ll have to live in the hospital. My mom is a nurse. In the hospital, she takes care of my dad. If I return home, it’ll be cold and clean, and not chaotic enough. Alas, as old people age, their bodies get weaker, and their tempers get worse with each passing day. I’ll go back and visit when he’s not busy.”
When he said this, I suddenly thought of my parents.
Xiao Xi noticed my wounded appearance and laughed as he patted my shoulder: “Let’s go, I still have to treat you to some local food. You look sullen.”
I arrogantly entered Xiao Xi’s dormitory. According to many meanings, being able to enter a guy’s dormitory means that you are at least someone who is fated with the opposite sex. If you let your eyes wander all around the moment you enter, then you can be sure that this does not prove how pure you are, but shows that you are not popular at all. Julie has burst into the boy’s dormitory many times to borrow some CDs with color in them. I think that when she enters her own house to get those CDs, she probably can’t be so liberal.
This was my second time going into the guy’s dormitory. The first time, I was still confused and ignorant, but this time I was more firm towards my feelings towards Xiao Xi. On average, at this moment I was like a small lecher, as I saw everything through lustful eyes.
For example, when I looked at Xiao Xi’s chair, I wanted to sit on it and feel it move; when I saw Xiao Xi’s books, even though I didn’t have any motivation to read them, I wanted to touch the book covers. When I looked at Xiao Xi’s bed, I also had a notion to… ah how sinful. Being with Julie and Wen Jie, my spirit would probably never be pure again.
Xiao Xi got out a piece of food from his plastic bag, getting out squid pieces, clam meat and nori. These were basically all dried seafood goods. I laughed and took it, planning in my heart what I would talk about next. Wouldn’t taking the goodies be considering as dodging this blow? I carefully said, “Thank you. Next time, I will treat you to eat. If I only let you treat me, I will feel a little embarrassed.”
Xiao Xi shook his head: “It’s nothing much, nothing much. Aren’t you Yuke’s friend? Plus we come from the same hometown. Next time I’ll let him take you to the hometown reunion, and get to know some other people. In our small town only you two have no siblings, and the last few meetings had a lot of prosperous people. Wait until the finals are over and all our fellow townsmen from Tsinghua University will congregate together.”
My heart was very unsatisfied towards the identity that he cast on me. But, due to his passionate invitation for me to participate in the hometown reunion, I was still happy. I immediately replied: “All right, next time, you must call me. This time, I let Fang Yuke delay us. Right, why did Fang Yuke return home straightaway without telling anyone?”
“Eh, his family had gotten a matter of extreme urgency. His grandmother fell down the stairs, and at the time, his family’s housekeeper was standing at the bottom of the stairs, so they were immediately sent to the hospital. My dad even did the surgery. It isn’t that bad, but it put his whole family into extreme shock. I think if it wasn’t for the break over October 1, Fang Yuke wouldn’t have returned.”
“I didn’t expect him to be so filial.”
Xiao Xi said without hesitation: “Of course. His grandmother was the one who brought him up. Yuke and I lived in the same courtyard when we were younger. When we were xx years old, Ru Ting moved over to our place. That little lass stayed by Yuke’s side every day. Grandmother even said that they might as well arrange a betrothal between minors. Every time that moment came, Yuke would fiercely glare at Ru Ting and secretly go to threaten her. He would even put bugs in her noodles, scaring her and making her scream until her throat was hoarse. At that time grandmother got scared and forced Yuke to apologize to her. Yuke, this child, was extremely stubborn and wouldn’t apologize under any circumstances.”
I didn’t think Fang Yuke would have already reached the stage of a betrothal between minors. It seemed that Julie would have a difficult time. I laughed as I encouraged Xiao Xi to say a little more. I liked listening to his voice, I liked hearing his memories from his childhood. His eyes were forever shining with all his light. When his long eyelashes fluttered, I could see a warmth that overflowed.
Xiao Xi saw that I didn’t eat my snacks and prepared to shave an apple for me. The apple’s skin turned in circles as it fell. The atmosphere suddenly became very quiet. I could even hear the sound of the apple peel dropping.
I didn’t have anything to say but I said something anyways: “It is true that girls cry easily, and maybe it would even leave a scar for a lifetime. No wonder grandmother was anxious.” Really, I often did this thing too, putting bugs into another person’s bowl. At that time, how could I not see how those pitiful people would keep emotional scars? Alas, I have sinned.
Xiao Xi continued to peel the apple: “Actually, grandfather Fang, when he was Principal Fang, received grace and favor from Ru Ting’s family, otherwise he might have even have separated from grandmother. Grandmother felt she owed the other family a lifetime of feelings so she was even closer to Ru Ting than a related granddaughter. She would rather have let Yuke be wronged than let Ru Ting suffer. Otherwise, this child’s mischievous matters would probably be ignored. Why would it escalate?”
Omg, the other party was not only a childhood sweetheart, but she was even someone who he owed many lifetimes of grudges to. Putting this on CCTV and airing it would definitely make my mother and all her female colleagues swoon until they cried one moment and sobbed the next. This time, Julie really had no chance at all. She had to pass through Fang Yuke’s obstacle, but she couldn’t pass his
I sighed and said, “I didn’t think that Fang Yuke was a person of many stories!”
Xiao Xi laughed: “Your conclusion is so interesting. But every person has stories. It just depends on whether it’s a big, small or trivial one.”
I also laughed: “But, you are so cool. In a courtyard of three people, you all got into Peking University.”
Xiao Xi said, “Really, my dad wanted me to test into a Beijing medical college from a young age. In 2000, Peking University and a medical university merged and my goal became to get into Peking University’s medical college. Yuke didn’t care where he got in. When he saw that I got into Peking, he also rushed over quickly. Ru Ting was the same. This child is the same as when she was little. Seeing that Yuke had this goal, she also tested in.
My heart burst with anger. Testing into Peking University was like a game. If you wanted to get in, you got in. Plus, how fiercely had Ru Ting studied for this. If she didn’t get in, wouldn’t she have decided to retake courses so that she could get into Peking University with Fang Yuke and listen along?
Xiao Xi didn’t notice my expression. He gave me the apple he finished shaving: “Yuke wasn’t often with his parents at a young age so he doesn’t like to talk to other people and his personality is more lonesome. When I was ten years old, I moved away. Later, Yuke moved. Ru Ting’s family moved to Beijing. Now that we’re all together, sometimes we talk about childhood matters. If there’s time, we want to go back to the courtyard to take a look.”
Really, I was very awkward. I couldn’t say: “Right, let’s go together.” That was their beautiful time, and it only counted as their beautiful memories. I did not have these memories. I was a little hurt because the warmth Xiao Xi leaked out didn’t have my presence in them. At that time, I was living my own childhood in a different set of parallel lines. I would also catch bugs. I would also play with my neighbors. Sometimes, I would learn a hot broadcast of “Wan Jun” as we played house. But my memories did not have him in them.
I lightly said, “Days with memories are great.”
Xiao Xi laughed: “Yes, having memories is great.”
That’s right, compared to when I was little, learning things was very difficult now as a university student!
“Ah!” I suddenly thought of: Xiao Xi’s childhood memories, did he like Ru Ting? Didn’t the TV often play things where A liked B, B liked C, but A, B, and C were all good friends. In “I have not been a big brother for many years”  MTV played it out like this. Unless Xiao Xi….
Xiao Xi obviously saw that I was scared, and asked me in amazement: “What happened?”
I stammered: “Ru Ting is pretty, it is normal for many people to like her. It’s too bad that she already has someone she likes. Her heart already has someone else, so it is a little more painful, so you can only rely on your memories to comfort yourself….”
Xiao Xi was thrown aback, and he continued to suppress his red face as he laughed: “Lin Lin, your imaginative abilities are too plentiful. I think of Ru Ting as a sister. You’ve watched too many dramas….”
I didn’t want to sit or stand, so I could only bite the apple, in big bites. But my heart still had many complicated matters that hadn’t happened. After I finished my last bite of the apple, in spite of my virtuous woman image, I asked Xiao Xi, my mouthful still full of apple: “Xiao Xi, in the future let’s go eat lunch and then go to class. We are always at the same place at the same time, taking class.”
Xiao Xi felt it was a little unexpected. After all, eating and going to class resembled the rudimentary developments of a lover.
I was worried Xiao Xi would refuse, so I continued to patch it up: “I am someone who thinks that eating alone is too boring. Plus, in the afternoon, it’s easy for me to laze around in my classes. So I might as well find a superintendent to eat with every week, and treat you to a meal every week. It’ll count as giving your payment for acting as a guardian. Do you want me to fail my first semester?” What a joke, I didn’t even tick my attendance at computer science class and skipped it, so how could I get marks for attendance, which makes up 30% of my grade . But, forcing me to this point, why don’t I just pretend to be an obedient child. By being a good student I can cheat Xiao Xi into eating lunch together every day and make a decision based on this. Without a doubt, I would choose the latter. In the end, I’m just pretending to be a good and obedient child anyway. In time, Xiao Xi would see my big tail. I would let Xiao Xi adapt to the circumstances. Wang Jie said one thing correctly. I was the lukewarm water. Lukewarm water could slowly boil. Haha. You won’t even know how you die.
When I saw Xiao Xi nod his head, I imagined I saw a frog slowly dying…… I turned my head and smirked at my successful plan.
Sung by Blackie Ko (???) and also named ????, the song is apart of Ko’s album: ????