Chapter 152: The light of spring is incomparable to you
Huang Yaming and Tan Yao still hung out together with Fang Yuqing and his buddies every day, getting more and more skilled at fooling around outside. Fu Cheng still took a trip to Jianan City every weekend without rest, going to take care of Ms Fang as well as accompany her in her gradual recovery.
“I accidentally touched her hand that day. Almost, we almost held hands. A pity that I was holding a knife to cut the apple with back then. I wanted to put the knife down, but it fell to the ground in the end. Bang! And that was the end of it,” Fu Cheng said.
“We might even have kissed that day. We were already gazing into each other’s eyes. A pity that I was nervous to the point of freezing up. Then Ms Fang started chuckling, and the atmosphere was entirely lost. Sigh, the regret,” Fu Cheng added.
Xu Tingsheng and Huang Yaming listened excitedly to these tales a couple of times, but quickly grew tired of it. If all his words were put together in summary, it was actually that…this guy had yet to even hold her hand up till now.
“Do you want Ms Fang to take the initiative? Or do you want her to personally say ‘Fu Cheng, you can hold my hand now’, or ‘You can kiss me now?’” Huang Yaming constantly scolded him for being a wastrel.
“Actually, Fu Cheng can consider writing an application form, describing all the reasons to prove that the conditions and timing for holding hands have already been met, the necessity and pressing nature of holding hands as well as his preparation for it. Then, he can hand it up to Ms Fang for her to mark and sign,” Xu Tingsheng would sometimes help to tease Fu Cheng.
“Yeah yeah yeah, this idea’s great. It really suits them,” Huang Yaming agreed.
“Right, Fu Cheng, has there been a nurse over there asking you where Huang Yaming is?” Xu Tingsheng asked.
Every time Huang Yaming was in high spirits, Xu Tingsheng would leap out and mention this past matter, landing a blow right on his head. Then, Huang Yaming would be completely deflated, hurriedly searching for an excuse to flee the area.
“No, I don’t seem to have seen her around anymore,” Fu Cheng replied.
Fu Cheng found Xu Tingsheng, asking him, “Tingsheng, I remember that you’ve gotten your driving license?”
Xu Tingsheng said, “Yeah, I just got it,” It was Fang Yuqing who had helped to arrange for Xu Tingsheng’s driving license. He was afraid that Xu Tingsheng might be stopped out on the road for illegal driving one day, with his car being towed away as a result.
Like this, Xu Tingsheng did not go for driving lessons, directly going through the back door as he cut the queue and went straight for the driving test. He got his driving license just as easily as this.
“Can you look for Fang Yuqing and borrow his car then? Accompany me for a bit, first to Jiannan, then to Libei and finally back to Yanzhou,” Fu Cheng requested.
Xu Tingsheng heard joy and anticipation as well as a bit of nervousness and unease within his tone.
Thus, he asked, “What’s up? It’s a good thing, right?”
Fu Cheng hesitated for a moment, “Yeah. We’ll be bringing one additional person back this time.”
“Is it Ms Fang?” Xu Tingsheng asked him.
“Yeah,” Fu Cheng said, “Ms Fang will be discharged. She asked me to accompany her back to Libei to take some stuff. After that, she’ll be returning to Yanzhou along with us. She’s already contacted a school over here where she’ll be working next semester onwards. Thus, I think it would be more convenient if there were a car.”
It had gone smoothly beyond Xu Tingsheng’s expectations. Since Ms Fang had proposed letting Fu Cheng accompany her back to Libei to help her move her belongings from Libei Senior High on her own accord, he thought that she must already have decided and mentally prepared herself to face the inevitable rumours as well as criticism.
Due to Fang Yunyao’s courage, Xu Tingsheng set aside his earlier worries. Those regrets carried over with his rebirth seemed like they would finally be alleviated somewhat.
“Alright, I’ll accompany you and be your third wheel,” Xu Tingsheng smiled.
He went and asked Fang Yuqing for his car, the latter howling in grief, “Boss Xu, can’t you just buy one of your own?”
Xu Tingsheng said, “I’m poor, I can’t afford it. Hurry up and hand the keys over.”
Fang Yuqing refused. So Xu Tingsheng went and rummaged through his pockets himself.
The next day, Xu Tingsheng and Fu Cheng set off early in the morning. They arrived at Jiannan City close to noon, receiving Fang Yunyao at the door of Jiannan Central Hospital.
Ms Fang’s mother had already returned to her hometown.
Today, Fang Yunyao’s smile was radiant as she completely lacked that shyness, unease and awkwardness that she had once had when facing Xu Tingsheng and Fu Cheng. Xu Tingsheng noticed that she had put on light makeup for once, appearing young, exquisite and enchanting.
“It’s been hard on you,” Fang Yunyao greeted Xu Tingsheng when she saw him.
“No, it’s fine,” Xu Tingsheng smiled.
The three of them ate lunch together before heading for Libei. The public roads leading to Libei were currently being widened. Thus, Xu Tingsheng drove rather slowly. When they were about to arrive at Libei Senior High, the students had already finished their lessons and been released from class…the campus was bustling with students.
“Front gate or back?” Xu Tingsheng looked back and asked Fang Yunyao.
“Front gate,” Fang Yunyao said resolutely.
While the teaching dormitory was clearly closer to the back gate of the school, Fang Yunyao did not hesitate in the least as she asked Xu Tingsheng to stop the car by the front gate. Xu Tingsheng understood this, feeling admiration at Fang Yunyao who had finally turned bold.
The car stopped at the front gate of Libei Senior High. Fang Yunyao was the first to get off. She stood and looked for a while at her former campus where she had taught for nearly four years.
Then, she turned back and called, “Fu Cheng, get off. Help me with packing up my stuff.”
The stunned Fu Cheng froze up.
Xu Tingsheng pushed him, “Hurry up and get off!”
As for Xu Tingsheng himself, he certainly wouldn’t get off the car to help. What trouble could he contribute to, what help could he provide now? …He rolled down the car window and leaned an arm against its open frame, smiling as he watched.
The weather was bright and clear in Libei today. Currently, the overhead sun was soon to set over the horizon, the rays of dusk falling against the spherical main building of Libei Senior High as the land below was dyed completely golden.
Libei Senior High’s teaching buildings stood on the two sides of a few ponds and flowerbeds. In the spring of May, the plants were a luscious green and the flowers a vibrant red, making for a stunning backdrop. The leaves of the pomegranate tree swayed with clusters of red flowers.
The light of spring was beautiful today.
Standing before the school gate, Fang Yunyao removed her hairband and let down her originally bound hair. Her long tresses that resembled a waterfall covered the scars by her shoulder. She stood beside Fu Cheng, linking her arm through his and grabbing hold of it.
“Don’t be afraid,” Fang Yunyao told the nervous Fu Cheng whose entire body had turned stiff.
“Yeah,” Fu Cheng swallowed his saliva, taking in a deep breath.
Then, they strolled towards the school gate together…
The security guard, Old Mr Wu, had just been immersed in reading a newspaper when he felt presences approaching. He had just been about to raise a hand in warning when…at the same moment at which he looked upwards, he was rendered wide-eyed and tongue-tied. The people before him were a teacher he was well acquainted with who had just been through a rough patch…while the other, seemed to be…
“Hello, Old Mr Wu. I’m back to take some things,” Holding onto Fu Cheng, Fang Yunyao greeted him with a bright smile on her face.
“Oh, hello…Ms Fang.”
Fang Yunyao and Fu Cheng walked calmly at the centre of Libei Senior High’s campus, passing through the green brick walkway between the flowerbeds. Once in a while, when meeting teachers or students with whom she was better acquainted, Fang Yunyao would smile and greet them while holding onto Fu Cheng’s arm, not carrying any awkwardness or nervousness at all.
The bustling campus suddenly fell silent. The students and the teachers all stood stock still, on the walkways, on the corridors. The remaining ones in the classrooms and the offices all peeked out or gathered by the windows as they watched the figures of Fang Yunyao and Fu Cheng walk slowly across the grounds of the campus just like that.
There had once been a boy who had howled out a confession towards the stands during graduation. No one had known that it was his teacher with whom he had fallen in love.
Afterwards, when that teacher had met with an accident and was struggling on the brink of death, that boy had returned, doing everything that he could for her.
This campus had once seen countless rumours regarding them, many nasty versions having been abound. It was to the extent that they felt that no one would have the courage to face this.
Yet afterwards, that boy had come up on stage, saying candidly, “I am Fu Cheng. Three years ago, studying in tenth grade in Libei Senior High, I fell in love with my own teacher, Fang Yunyao.”
That day, he had publicly gotten on his knees for her.
Now, there was already no one who did not know of their tale. It had been said that Ms Fang seemed to have survived her ordeal. Thus, they had begun speculating: Would they get together?
Everyone had originally thought that it was unlikely for such a question to be answered. After all, this being a teacher-student relationship, it was inevitable that it would have to be kept in the utmost secrecy. Also, they had heard that Fang Yunyao would soon be leaving Libei Senior High, transferring elsewhere. With that, they would not have to deal with this anymore.
Yet, at this moment, there was no further need for any doubts or speculation at all.
There they were, Fang Yunyao linking her arm in her student Fu Cheng’s, her smile radiant, blissful and calm. Whilst facing everyone, whilst facing everyone’s gazes, they did not shrink back in the least. They strolled through the entire campus, strolled through the rumours…
This year, she was 27, he 20. She had been his teacher, and now they were in a relationship.
Fang Yunyao’s jet-black hair drifted in the wind. The light of spring was very beautiful today, but she was even more beautiful. At this moment, Fu Cheng felt like he already had happiness grasped within his hands.
Leaning against Xu Tingsheng’s car, Vice-Principal Lou commented rather helplessly, “When did she become so bold? Sigh, this seems like a bad influence. Should I go and stop them?”
Xu Tingsheng said, “Uncle Lou, just take it as if you didn’t see them. Just this once. Let them have their way just this once.”
“Fine,” Vice-Principal Lou opened the door of the car, getting in and sitting down, “I’m already off work anyway. Come, let’s talk about your gravedigging or that whatever Hucheng Education.”
Fang Yunyao and Fu Cheng came back after their packing, Xu Tingsheng heading out twice to help them with the moving of belongings.
Finally, as the three of them sat in the car together, Fang Yunyao gazed at Libei Senior High through the car window, “Four years. I’ll finally be leaving this place. Previously, I’d still thought that I would be staying here for my entire life.”
“Feeling regretful? If you can’t bear to leave, look at it a little longer,” Xu Tingsheng said.
“No need for that. This place has already given me the happiest thing in my life,” Fang Yunyao replied, “Let’s go.”
Xu Tingsheng revved up the engine, leaving Libei amidst the night.
Libei Senior High would thereon have a tale that would last into eternity, a tale that the school leadership was never willing to mention while the students were always mentioning. That year, there had been a beautiful teacher who had fallen in love with her student. They had traversed the campus together hand-in-hand, also traversing the rumours, traversing through time itself.