Chapter 128: I’m a teacher
On Saturday, Xu Tingsheng left his university early, heading to the city district. After walking around for a long time, he finally bought the newest Sony Ericsson phone. Then, he found a gift shop and got it wrapped up, stuffing it into his bag before only then going to Xiang Ning’s house.
Sony Ericsson was a very popular brand right now. This was not because its functions were all that great or because it was very reasonably priced. Instead, it had a really immense selling point-it looked nice. Because of this, girls liked it a lot.
Not having been there for a few weeks, Xu Tingsheng was rather nervous as he knocked on the door as he carefully adjusted and straightened his clothes while waiting.
The door of the Xiang Family home creaked open. Xu Tingsheng smiled as he looked at Little Xiang Ning who was peeking out from behind it.
Xiang Ning seemed rather surprised, and what came after was…a wronged look. Xu Tingsheng having previously left in a hurry and then ceased to show up for a few weeks, Xiang Ning had asked her mother-how come the teacher’s changed?
Mrs Xiang had not conveyed to her Xu Tingsheng’s true reason for not being able to come as she had instead rebuked, “Isn’t it because you’re too disobedient? Playing with your phone in class, angering the teacher away.”
With it having been Li Linlin who had come for the past three weeks, Xiang Ning had been forced to accept it a little. She had thought about calling Xu Tingsheng, yet had forcibly resisted the urge to as she really just felt too wronged.
Currently looking at Xu Tingsheng who was standing outside the door, even Xiang Ning herself didn’t know what she was actually feeling. She did not speak, directly turning and walking back into the house.
Xu Tingsheng could only shamelessly go in, closing the door and entering the living room.
“Are Uncle and Auntie not home?” Not seeing Xiang Ning’s parents, Xu Tingsheng asked after a while.
Xiang Ning shot him a glance, only exclaiming in a huff after a while, “Isn’t it the female teacher? How come that very good female teacher didn’t come? …Weren’t you not coming anymore?”
The remainder had to be added in by Xu Tingsheng’s own mind. It wasn’t hard to understand. It was precisely because a female home tutor had been coming, with them also feeling very reassured with Lin Linlin, that Mr and Mrs Xiang had let Xiang Ning be tutored all alone like this.
Next were Xiang Ning’s previous words. She had asked: How come that very good female teacher didn’t come?
“It…it can’t be that she won’t want me after this, right?” A feeling of crisis immediately descended upon Xu Tingsheng, for no matter how he saw it, Li Linlin was more suitable than he was in every way, being a very responsible and competent person as well.
“She was just replacing me for a few weeks. She’s very busy,” Xu Tingsheng explained.
Xiang Ning watched the television screen, not speaking.
“Feeling wronged?” Xu Tingsheng asked carefully.
“I want the female teacher,” Xiang Ning said.
“I was wrong,” Xu Tingsheng apologised sincerely.
With how he was usually, there was definitely no one who would imagine that Xu Tingsheng might actually be bullied by a young girl into such a state.
Fortunately, he understood Xiang Ning well enough such that he finally managed to get her speaking properly after some coaxing.
He made use of this chance to take out the present he had prepared and place it before her, “Here, this is compensation. Open it and see.”
Xiang Ning remained stubborn for a while, yet eventually could not but submit to the temptation of opening the present. She opened it and saw a beautiful handphone lying inside. This handphone was much better than the one which her parents had previously confiscated from her due to Xu Tingsheng’s betrayal.
Being a fifteen-year-old child after all, Xiang Ning happily picked up the handphone, joyfully playing with it for a while…before her expression suddenly changed and she put it back into the box, shaking her head, “I don’t want it.”
“Why? You don’t like it?” Xu Tingsheng hurriedly asked.
Xiang Ning shook her head, “That’s not it, it’s because…you have it very tough,” She was clearly remembering the words that Xu Tingsheng had said back then, back when he had described his university life as extremely tough in order to gain sympathy.
From this, it could also be gathered that Li Linlin had not exposed Xu Tingsheng’s identity these past few weeks.
“This was free. I got it in a lucky draw at the supermarket,” Xu Tingsheng fabricated a reason.
“That’s still not okay. Use it yourself,” While she was still focused intently on the phone, Xiang Ning’s attitude was very firm.
“I have my own. Two of them!” Xu Tingsheng extravagantly showed off his two Nokia 1110s, placing them on the coffee table.
Xiang Ning glanced at them but still shook her head, “Sell it for money then, or give it to your little sister to use. Anyway, I can’t accept it. Mum says that if I do well in the mid-terms, she’ll return the phone to me.”
Xiang Ning still remembered that Xu Tingsheng had a little sister. Speaking of Xu Qiuyi, she had met with Xiang Ning a few times in his previous life. The two of them had gotten along rather well.
The gifting having failed, the conversation between them ceased as they sat on the sofa in silence.
As Xiang Ning remained focused on the television screen, Xu Tingsheng looked at the clock on the wall and said, “It’s time for your lesson.”
“Let me finish this episode first,” Xiang Ning said.
“No,” Xu Tingsheng said, smiling.
“I don’t care,” Xiang Ning said nonchalantly.
Xu Tingsheng realised a problem from this conversation. While this girl before him was Xiang Ning, she was not his ‘girlfriend’ Xiang Ning. She was still a fifteen-year-old girl, with her personality and character still yet to fully develop.
Meanwhile, due to the guilt and emotions from his previous life, Xu Tingsheng had always been interacting with her with the attitude of spoiling his younger girlfriend.
“The negative effects are already beginning to show. Will it really be good for her if it goes on like this?” Xu Tingsheng pondered worriedly for a while before saying, “Little Xiang Ning, I’m a teacher.”
“I told you before that if you meet with any problems, if you need any help, call me, and I will come…this will forever be valid.”
“However, I hope that you can understand one thing. When I am tutoring you, I am your tuition teacher, and I hope that I can be a strict and responsible teacher.”
“Therefore, do not act wilful in front of me. I am only your teacher now, not Uncle Liar. To be precise, we can’t even be considered friends now.”
Xu Tingsheng spoke like he was speaking to an adult, even carrying a bit of the tone of an educator.
Xiang Ning looked rather bemusedly at Xu Tingsheng who had suddenly become stern all of a sudden. She first attempted a smile, but Xu Tingsheng did not smile back. Xiang Ning stopped smiling, pouting as she appeared wronged.
Little Xiang Ning was silent for a while before she rose to her feet and turned off the television, “So what if you’re a teacher? What fierce are you being?”
Having finished, she stomped off into the study room in a huff.
Xu Tingsheng felt reassured. This reaction of hers was completely identical to that in his previous life. Back then, every time Xu Tingsheng had revealed such a face and ‘educated’ her on this or that being wrong, if she felt that she wasn’t in the wrong, she would remain stubbornly silent. Meanwhile, if she understood and could accept it, she would abide by it whilst asking, “What fierce are you being?”
Regarding this, Xiang Ning herself had explained: It means that I already know, but can’t you put it a little more nicely? Always having to put on a grouchy face like that.
In having hastened his first interactions with Xiang Ning, Xu Tingsheng knew that this would actually bring about many problems, such as the development of her character, such as Mr and Mrs Xiang’s knowledge of him…
If such a situation persisted and, having entered university one day, Xiang Ning suddenly told her parents one day that she was in love with Xu Tingsheng, they would definitely find it a very difficult thing to accept. That feeling would really be too strange.
Thus, Xu Tingsheng truly hoped to play only the role of a strict and responsible home tutor in the Xiang family. This was the feeling that he wanted to give Little Xiang Ning, and also, more importantly, the impression that he wanted to leave Mr and Mrs Xiang with.
When Xiang Ning had entered senior high, he would have to completely disappear from the sights of Mr and Mrs Xiang for a few years.
Like this, if the two of them really got together in the future, Xiang Ning could tell her parents that she had suddenly met her ex-home tutor Xu Tingsheng after a gap of several years, slowly developing feelings for him…like this, while Mr and Mrs Xiang might inevitably still mind it somewhat, perhaps it would be a little easier for them to accept.
His mind having perpetually been in a state of chaos due to his emotions earlier, Xu Tingsheng now happily followed Xiang Ning into the study room.
The afternoon lesson proceeded uneventfully. After it had ended, the phone in the living room rang.
Xiang Ning went out and received it, telling Xu Tingsheng, “Mum and Dad said that they’ll not be coming back for dinner.”
Xu Tingsheng was taken aback as he asked, “They still don’t know that I’m back?”
Xiang Ning nodded, saying, “I forgot to tell them.”
“What’s to be done then?” As Xu Tingsheng asked this, he was thinking about the dinner concerning the taking of a loan that he had agreed to attend.
However, with how it was right now, how could he leave Little Xiang Ning alone at home the entire night?
Xiang Ning didn’t know about this, however. Xu Tingsheng had not previously mentioned the matter of shifting the evening lesson to the next day. Thus, she thought that everything was to go on as per usual. As she saw it then, the only problem here was what to do about dinner.
“The female teacher can cook,” Xiang Ning said.
It seemed like this was not the first time Mr and Mrs Xiang had ‘forsaken’ Xiang Ning.
Xu Tingsheng smiled, rising to his feet, “The male teacher can as well.”