Chapter 113: Paper aeroplane
Huang Yaming had chosen a path that Xu Tingsheng had originally never even considered before. However, entertainment-related industries were actually not all that bad, really. From 2004 onwards, there would be some great times ahead for KTVs, bars and and the like.
Afterwards, waiting for an appropriate moment and extricating oneself before switching to investing in movies and cinemas, a great future still lay ahead in the area of entertainment.
Therefore, Xu Tingsheng would support Huang Yaming in doing so.
As for whether or not he really could succeed, Xu Tingsheng had given him a test to see if he could be like a fish in water amongst those questionable friends of Fang Yuqing’s.
If he could, that would not just be proof of his capabilities. He could also gain experience, forging connections as well.
Xu Tingsheng had pondered about the changes in Huang Yaming before. He was naturally the primary cause of this. He had changed the environment, and the environment had changed Huang Yaming.
Xu Tingsheng had even considered: If he were to go all out in looking for a solution, might it be possible for him to assist Huang Yaming such that Tan Qingling would remain with him?
That way, he wouldn’t be hurt. So then, if this was possible, should he do it?
Xu Tingsheng’s answer was a resounding no. This sort of person would definitely hurt you deep down inside one day. The longer she stayed by you, the more deeply you would eventually be hurt.
When Tan Qinglin had left Huang Yaming in his previous life, he had been in the midst of retaking his university entrance examinations. He had not allowed himself to run unbridled in looking for her, becoming dispirited and decadent as he had this time.
He had grit his teeth and tolerated it, working even harder than he had before as he strived for a better future ahead of him.
This was to say that he had awoken from things earlier in that life than he had in this one, even though the outcome could still not be considered a successful one.
Now, he had finally awoken once more. Xu Tingsheng believed that there would surely come a day when he would be able to return what fate had dealt him with ‘renewed interest’.
Valentine’s Day, 14th February.
This usually didn’t come at a very good time. Most of the time, it would come during the winter holidays, with all those university couples who hailed from different hometowns only able to express their emotions for each other from hundreds of kilometres away.
The lunar new year having come early in the year 2004, it was the 24th day of the first lunar month when Valentine’s Day came. At this time, virtually all the universities had already begun their new semester.
How great it was.
Right, it also fell on a Saturday, on the day that Xu Tingsheng would tutor Xiang Ning.
Due to him having dug a figurative pit for himself with his story of being a poor university student, due to their ‘student-teacher’ relationship, due to her being still so young, there was no way for Xu Tingsheng to expressly prepare any present for her.
He was prepared for it. Perhaps he could feign boredom and casually fold a few paper aeroplanes while explaining questions to Xiang Ning. Afterwards, they would throw the paper aeroplanes out of the illuminated window together, towards the clear skies and the bright sunlight.
She was definitely smile very radiantly, just like how it had once been with them in the past.
He had even prepared a Greek word: S’agapo.
‘I love you’-this would be the second of these that she wouldn’t be able to understand.
The tutoring session would take place at 3pm. Xu Tingsheng arrived in the vicinity of the Xiang Family home at around 1pm. He hung around the area for close to two hours, only stepping into their house at 2.50pm.
However, Xiang Ning was not home.
Mr and Mrs Xiang were feeling anxious as well. All they knew was that she had gone out to play with her classmate in the morning.
“She’s out playing with her classmate?!” Due to the special occasion that it was today, Xu Tingsheng began feeling uneasy, “She wouldn’t have gone out on a date, right?”
More than ten minutes later, Xiang Ning dashed wildly into the house.
Mr and Mrs Xiang were going to lecture her, but Xu Tingsheng saved her from her predicament, saying that it was time for lessons.
“Thank you, Xu Tingsheng,” Xiang Ning blinked and said as the two entered the study room.
This time, she had called Xu Tingsheng by name rather than addressing him as Uncle Liar. However, Xu Tingsheng’s mood was not improved at all by that.
“You went….to play today? It’s Valentine’s Day today,” Xu Tingsheng said.
“I know! It’s because it’s Valentine’s Day that I went out,” Xiang Ning said as she wiped off her sweat that was left from all the running.
“It’s all because of that Su Nannan! It’s her who’s in a relationship and was going on a date, but she called me and asked me to cover for her because she was afraid that her parents might find out. I had to pretend to go over to her house looking to play with her early in the morning. Afterwards, I still had to wait to accompany her back…in the end, I had to be out with her and her date for just so long,” Xiang Ning continued.
Xu Tingsheng could finally heave a sigh of relief. Please, don’t pant so heavily when you’re speaking, can you? You nearly scared me to death with the first part there.
Afterwards, they resumed the typical interaction between a home tutor and his student. Xu Tingsheng spoke cordially on the topics while Xiang Ning listened quietly, nodding and saying ‘yeah’ at times while bemusedly saying ‘I don’t understand this’ at others.
Once in a while, wanting to see her reaction, Xu Tingsheng would look over at her, and she would just happen to be looking over at him as well.
They would exchange smiles with each other in their eyes, and this would be blissful enough. Sometimes, Xu Tingsheng would fall into a daze as a result, Xiang Ning waving her hand in front of his face and saying, “Uncle, you’re looking so dim.”
At this point, Xu Tingsheng smiled awkwardly before saying: It’s time to practice intonations.
When Xu Tingsheng said: S’agapo.
Xiang Ning said bemusedly, “Don’t understand.”
Xu Tingsheng said, “I said this one wrong.”
Xiang Ning said, “Uncle, this is the second time you’ve said things wrong.”
Xu Tingsheng said, “I know, I remember.”
Xiang Ning said, “I remember too. I’m helping to count them for you.”
Xu Tingsheng said, “Right, you keep count.”
“Like this, one day in the future, you will clearly know and remember how many ‘I love you’s I’ve actually already said, how I’ve always loved you,” Xu Tingsheng thought.
Xiang Ning began memorising the important verbs Xu Tingsheng had written down during their intonation practice. When she finally raised her head, the table was full of paper aeroplanes…
The sunlight filtered through the high treetops, leaving behind many silhouetted impressions on the windowsill. Xu Tingsheng who wore a black woolen sweater over his shirt and Little Xiang Ning who looked just like a dragonfly in her red woolen sweater stood before the windowsill.
Speaking softly, laughing softly.
The paper aeroplanes flew through the air one after another, drawing pretty trajectories within the sunlight-an arc, a semicircle, or perhaps a leaping-like movement, leaping, leaping on…
Xiang Ning drew back the corners of her mouth in a radiant smile. Her eyes were smiling as well-how beautiful they were.
Xu Tingsheng was smiling as well. The world just seemed so right.
“Uncle?” Xiang Ning furrowed her brows as she asked softly, “Why aren’t mine flying as high as yours?”
“Because you’re short,” Xu Tingsheng said, barely resisting the urge to reach out and stroke her head.
Xiang Ning puffed up her cheeks, glaring angrily at him.
“Oh, that’s not it. It’s a technical problem. Here, I’ll teach you.”
Xu Tingsheng hurriedly changed his verdict, extending his hand over and beginning to teach her. This was the first time ever since his rebirth that he was touching her hand. Her little hand was still ever so slim and tender as it resided within his palm.
“Fly!” Xiang Ning said.
“Yeah, nice,” Xu Tingsheng said.
The paper aeroplane flew very high, flew very far.
As the final paper aeroplane flew out of the window, Xiang Ning asked, “Uncle, we aren’t having lessons later, right?”
“Don’t you have to accompany your girlfriend?”
“I haven’t got a girlfriend.”
“Liar. I saw you. When school just started last semester, when I was sitting on the bus, I saw you out walking on the street with a beautiful older sister. She was even linking arms with you.”
Back then, on the day of Xu Tingsheng’s matriculation, Apple had come to accompany him to his university. That afternoon, he had brought her along in touring the city district of Yanzhou, and she had even linked arms with him.
Xu Tingsheng hadn’t previously known that Little Xiang Ning had actually spotted them together at the time.
Xu Tingsheng explained for a very long time. Even though it seemed like he had no need to offer Xiang Ning any words of explanation, he still tried very hard to explain to her till he finally managed to convince her that Apple was not Uncle’s girlfriend.
“Uncle, you seemed so tense just now,” Xiang Ning said.
She didn’t know why he had seemed so tense. The same would have held true for many others. In front of you, he appeared so panicked, so cautious, so muddle-headed as he stubbornly persisted despite everything…yet you didn’t understand it at all at the time.
In matters of the heart, what is to be feared the most is the insensitivity of the one being loved, when being loved.