Chapter 28: Disfigured (1)
The weather became warm day by day, just as the shivering at the swimming pool classes decreased gradually. Many classmates that could not swim before could already swim two laps in the swimming lane. As for me, who was naturally afraid of water, I flopped around in the water for quite a while. When I stood up, I realized that I still remained stubbornly in place. I hadn’t even swam for a meter! The sterilized water that I had swallowed into my stomach had been drunk in vain yet again. Every time Julie watched me swim, she would get incomparably depressed: “Even if you’re really a lump in water, you should still be able to move .” Then, she would conveniently submerge herself in the water to watch Fang Yuke swim by. This scum!
I was worrying about my swimming technique, which wasn’t allowing me to move anywhere, when unexpectedly, something more worrying occurred.
After four months of swimming lessons, my whole body became so itchy that it became difficult to tolerate it. At the start, I hadn’t minded it much. I thought that it was just some pollen allergy. At this time and season, the pollen fell down like snow. Originally, I felt it was romantic, probably because “Winter Love Song” had become super popular lately. The typical scenario of the male and female leads who would cuddle together in the midst of the great snow that swirled in the air hadn’t even ended yet. I walked two times underneath a willow, trying especially hard to pursue a goal stubbornly. After I had finished, I would become The White Haired Girl because cotton had fallen all over my head.
But after I woke up the next day, there were countless dots of different sizes and shapes all across my face and body. They looked like the dots on Buddha’s forehead and they had been spread everywhere below my hairline. When I looked into the mirror, in my heart, I thought I was finished. I was disfigured even before I had done any plastic surgery.
Julie awoke early in the morning and looked at me hazily and she was so shocked that she screamed. After that, the other two were woken up and simultaneously came over and stood in a circle to look at my new appearance.
These people whose hearts was full of uselessness, only said one sentence after having their fill of watching me: “It looks like you have to depend on something like the Safflower Oil medication in order to cure this, or you could also go to the hospital to take a look.”
Hence, the group of us rushed towards Haidian Hospital, which was the nearest to the school, so fast as if we were robbing a bank. The school’s clinic was often called “Entering Heaven”. Even if I died, I would never risk my honor and glory.
The skin doctor put on his gloves and pinched the bumps on my leg and asked, “Is the place you live in clean?”
Out of the four of us, none of us dared to speak because we were all too awkward to answer.
I could only stiffen my neck and say, “Anyway it’s no problem for people to live in.”
The doctor continued to ask, “Do you have any feelings of nausea?”
When Julie heard this, she quickly pricked up her ears. I knew that it was just because she was interested in things that appeared to hint at pregnancy.
I shook my head.
The doctor asked a few more simple questions before deciding that that I had an acute case of hives. He prescribed me some medication before allowing me to go home. Luckily, this illness was not contagious. If it was quick, I would recover in 2 weeks. It was just that within these 2 weeks, I would have to suffer from itchiness that I could not scratch. This was a torment for me.
In the dormitory, I would rub the back of my body, like Sun Wu Kong , grope my butt or douse myself in cold water. Peking University just stopped providing heat and the dormitories were still a bit cold. When dousing myself in cold water, on one hand I was able to stop the itch, but on the other hand I was unbearably frozen by the cold water. The dormitory would, thus, be constantly filled with cries of, “Wa, how comfortable—” “AH, I can’t do it anymore—”. The other 3 couldn’t bear this anymore, and they left the scene one by one. Julie complained, “The biggest grievance of a person’s life is never watching a pornographic movie before being forced by others to watch. If you have been forced, then fine but you even have to be subjected to your friend’s complaints that you did not invite them to watch it with you! The Injustice to Dou E  will even come back from the grave!”
Normally, we would leave it to those 3 to do those basic chores like buying food or cleaning up. But you still had to go for classes, and you still had to go out. The days in April were neither cold nor hot. It was a good time to wear whatever you wanted. If I wrapped myself into a bundle with a headscarf and veil, I would definitely attract some people’s’ attention. Especially if you were not those tall and beautiful women with their bright sparkly eyes, who grew up in the Middle East. To say nothing of the fact that Beijing’s sandstorms had pretty much died down……
As such,with the hippy cap on my head, wearing black sunglasses and a surgical mask, as if I was a superstar trying to avoid everybody, I left the house.
As I had just left the house, I saw Fang Yuke come out from the dormitory lobby opposite mine. However, he did not notice me at all and simply brushed past me along with the other people. I had a sinister smile as I unexplicably stalked him from behind.
After walking a few steps, Fan Yuke stopped to tie his shoelace; I also unknowingly stopped. After tying his shoelaces, he stood up and turned around, walking in front of me, “Why are you sneaking around?”
I laughed mischievously but it was a pity that my mask covered my smile, “What do you mean I’m sneaking around? You don’t own this stretch of road, can’t other people walk down it?”
Fang Yuke looked me up and down, “You certainly look well, why are you dressed up as if you’re a terrorist?”
Hey, this is my superstar disguise, how does this look like a terrorist outfit.
I was just going to retort when the bumps on my leg started to get unbearably itchy. I couldn’t help but stoop down and start to rub against my skirt. Luckily, I was wearing a mask, if not my ugly face would definitely scare a few people.
I couldn’t stand it anymore, I could only form a plan to escape for the time behind, “I have something that I have to do back at the dormitory, let’s talk when we get back.”
Fang Yuke stubbornly held on to me without letting go, “What’s wrong with you? Are you not feeling well?”
Actually I really wanted to pull down my mask to give him a fright, just like the Stephen Chow movie where Ru Hua  turned around. It would definitely be super funny. However, I didn’t want to make myself ugly just for the sake of comedic effect and could only repress these weird ideas.
Just as I prepared to excuse myself by saying that I had a stomach ache and needed to go back to the dormitory to pee, a suited-up Wen Tao appeared in front of my eyes.
Ever since the birthday party, Wen Tao would chat with me on the internet about pointless things. Sometimes he would invite me out to eat but I would always reject him. However, after talking for these 2 months, I realized that he wasn’t as frivolous as I had thought. He just had a glib tongue on some special occasions. These special occasions also depended on his mood.
These few days he was also busy with some large debate situation. I was also happy to be free.
If it wasn’t Fang Yuke who was standing beside me, I believe that Wen Tao would definitely never recognize the me who was armed to the teeth.
Wen Tao turned my cap, “Springboard, are you participating in some cosplay event?”
My whole body was itchy now. I rubbed my arm, “You are also participating? You look like a human-dog .”
Wen Tao smiled and revealed his two dimples, which fit his formal style today, he was very calm and really looked like a young worker at the office.
I began to put my hand behind to scratch my back, “You two should go do your own thing, I’m going off.”
Fang Yuke pulled me over, “Do you have lice? I’ve watched you scratch nonstop.”
This sentence was too offensive, as if a medical problem had suddenly become a problem of personal hygiene. I knew that Fang Yuke was obsessed with cleanliness and purposely said, “I have countless lice on my body, you better stay further away from me, if not all the pretty girls will stay far away from you next time.”
The two of them gave me a disdaining look. Wen Tao took advantage of the opening when I wasn’t paying attention and removed my mask. This completely exposed all the red bumps on my face under the full light of day.
Like those women on television who had their faces splashed with acid, I screamed “AHHHH—–”
The two of them were dumbfounded. I knew that whoever looked at a face that was covered in Buddha’s dots would be dumbfounded. Especially for someone like me who, from the beginning, never had a single redeeming quality; it would really be a waste for me to not appear in one of those ghost movies.
Fang Yuke used his finger to poke at the bumps on my face in order to ascertain that those bumps were really growing on my skin and not that I had mischievously glued them on. He then immediately insisted that I had to go to the doctor.
At one end, Wen Tao joked, “What happened Springboard? You’ve been disfigured to this extent so you have no choice but to stick with me now. Others won’t want you anymore.”
I fantasized about whether or not the disgusting bumps on my body would fall off of my body due to mortification from Wen Tao’s mocking.
Fang Yuke said to Wen Tao angrily, “How do you have so much time to mock and ridicule right now? Go about your own business.”
Although I felt that each of Fang Yuke’s words were really priceless pearls, I was an advocator of peace and did not wish for them to become enemies on my account. I could only smooth things over, “Wen Tao, you should go on ahead or else I’ll rub all these bumps on your clothes. Whatever brand it is, the material is definitely one fit for work, it’s definitely not cheap.”
Wen Tao didn’t mind as he said, “Go ahead and rub, it’s hard to use money to bring a smile to a lady, as long as you’re happy it’s fine.”
At this point, I had no ability to make peaceful talks anymore, and could only exercise a bit of strength to fiercely leave a footprint on his trouser leg. After that, I pulled Fang Yuke and madly dashed away.
When we stopped, my whole body was not itchy anymore. Fang Yuke still stared at my completely exposed face and asked, “Have you put your medication yet?”
I laughed, “Fang Yuke, you really are like a young married woman. I remember Wen Tao still said before that you liked me. If it wasn’t for the fact that we knew each other well, I would really believe it. You shouldn’t treat everyone this nicely, be careful or you’ll unknowingly captivate the hearts of young women. At that point, you won’t be able to reap a single peach blossom tree.”
“Even if there were ten thousand peach blossoms, I would only pick one.”
Under the bright mood when people became a couple, when the warm heat from the dense coffee or under the candlelight where you would do palm reading and talk about about life, contemplating the nonsense that is inseparable from life, one could still be moved. Especially for women like us who had not yet gone through our life opening ceremonies, we would definitely pursue justice, plunging headfirst, without looking back. However, if one was at a place beside a stinking toilet or standing beside trash with mosquitoes and flies all around while saying these words, then we would remain much more rational and cool headed.
As such, listening to Fang Yuke’s emotional words coupled with the fact that I knew the face in his mind was Ru Ting’s, even though he was able to convince me who had this oily face, he was still able to say these kind of words that shocked me till I was burnt on the inside but soft on the outside. To say nothing of the fact that his eyes reflected his tender feelings.
I put on my mask once again, “Fang Yuke, you are really a lovesick person. It’s just that you have to pick an appropriate situation and person to say it to. You doing this really hurts me. I’ve been disfigured to this point, how would I even bloom a peach blossom to confuse you. It’s unknown whether I’ll even be able to produce a single bud.”
 Sun Wu Kong is the Monkey King from Journey to the West –> here
 Dou E Yuan, popular drama
 Ru Hua first appeared in one of Stephen Chow’s movies. It literally means “like a flower”, but ever since Chow’s Ru Hua, everyone uses the term to describe ugly people, especially since the Ru Hua in Chow’s movie was extremely ugly.
 it’s a pun; also means that he’s putting on airs