Chapter 17: Returning Home (2)
Rapping in front of “Hiroshima, my Love”
Just as I was immersed in a slightly sorrowful and complicated mood, Fang Yuke said in a timely manner: “Let’s play cards” .
My recovery speed was akin to a dog, and I immediately recovered with vitality and agreed.
When it reached 6 to 7 o’clock, I was so sleepy that I could not open my eyes. The me who yawned towards the sky, repeatedly played wrong cards. I was not some gentleman who played the cards without looking back. Every time we finished playing a round, I would demand for a rematch.
Fang Yuke stuck out his lip and said unhappily: “It’s only 7pm and you already feel sleepy. Are you sure you remembered your zodiac correctly, you’re obviously a pig.”
I refuted: “Confucius said, if you don’t sleep in the early afternoon, you will collapse in the late afternoon. Mencius also agreed with Confucius. The saints have already agreed on the importance of naps. Today, I was rushing for the train in the afternoon. Staying up until now has already been difficult for me.”
Xiao Xi brightened up: “ your saint is really too in touch with the spiritual world.”
Fang Yuke laughed and asked: “What other words of wisdom did your family’s saint give you?”
I laughed: “My saint also said that no matter how ugly you are, you should talk about love. Talk about it until the whole world is filled with love.”
I was extremely happy. Since confessing at Oolong, I could finally show off my real self in front of Xiao Xi. Even though I don’t know when I began to give up that hypocritical pretentiousness, but I hoped that even if he did like me, it would be the real me. Not the me who was putting on a mask.
However, if Julie knew, she would definitely beat me up because she treated these kinds of situations as a strategy and I was going to abandon this strategy to become a boorish person, heading into battle like this.
When we got off the train, I saw that my mother kept looking at her watch. The train had a little problem. While sighing that it would be wishful thinking to expect the train to speed up, I waved my hand to get my mother’s attention.
My mother walked leisurely towards me, (I had really never seen my mother walk in such a demure way before) and elegantly smiled at me, then turning her head towards Fang Yuke as she said, “ Yuke, I’ve troubled you to take care of my family’s Lin Lin.”
Damn! I’m your daughter. Shouldn’t you say hello to me first? No matter what, it’s been half a year since we’ve met, but your arm has certainly reached very far to hook somebody else in.
Fang Yuke smiled warmly: “It’s still okay, auntie. Lin Lin is well behaved most of the time, she doesn’t really stir up any trouble. If there’s any trouble, other people will tidy it up for her.”
I exaggeratedly fainted. Fang Yuke, you are definitely cruel alright! I pulled my mother’s arm and pointed towards Xiao Xi to introduce him: “This is Xie Duan Xi. The target of your daughter’s interest.”
I don’t think my mother understood what I meant by “interest”, but looking at how handsome he was, she elegantly nodded her head: “Nice to meet you.” However, she put him in the friend zone and added: “but my interest is Fang Yuke.”
Xiao Xi’s face was a bit red and he didn’t know how to continue the conversation.
On the road, my mother started interrogating people.
“There were no problems with your exams right?”
“The results have not yet been released. I have some modules that I could excel in.” I said frankly. I wasn’t someone who reported good news without the bad. In reality, there were some classes where I had put in more effort and succeeded quite extraordinarily. My experience with school this half a year taught me that Peking University was hard to enter but easy to leave. If you only put in effort to study consistently and worked super hard at the end, it was not that easy to pass the exams.
As usual, my mother nodded her head unconfidentally. After that, as if she didn’t really care, she turned her head and said to the taxi driver: “The one sitting at the back is my girl. She entered Peking University last year.”
I couldn’t do anything about my mother. Even if her daughter had some glory, you couldn’t show off like this. Putting the taxi driver in such a difficult situation, wasn’t she forcing him to boast about himself as well?
The taxi driver really did especially play along with her, and said, “I really envy you, ah. My son is taking the college entrance examination this year. If he is able to be an undergraduate, I will really kowtow and give thanks to the heavens.”
My mother arrogantly and satisfactorily smiled, as if she were a queen that had been waited upon and carried by a bunch of eunuch manservants.
When we reached home, my mother solemnly said, “Yep, though that Xie Duan Xi is quite handsome, I still recommend Fang Yuke for your boyfriend. However, I never thought you would be so popular.”
I couldn’t take it anymore : “Do you think your daughter is Maggie Cheung or something? Not a single one of them likes me, it’s my unrequited love, alright?”
My mother said without hesitation: “If it’s unrequited love, it’s better to start from Fang Yuke. From the way I see it, you and Fang Yuke really have the aura of a couple.”
I decided not to care about her. I suddenly thought of Fang Yuke and the me who would be called an idiot whenever Fang couldn’t stand it anymore. Wasn’t he the split image of my mother?
I was just like a pig throughout the entire winter vacation. Besides eating and sleeping, at most, I would participate in a few different gatherings for the sake of bonding. During these meetings, I would be like a pig on the chopping board. Because I had tested into Peking University, everyone felt the need to punish me. I would happily get slaughtered by my friends and sworn followers. My friends were those who would copy their work together, those who cheated during exams, and hanging out with them was particularly relaxing. And the so called gathering of elite students that was organized by the great people in the highest grade who were 29, was actually just a gathering of the students who did well in the examinations. Although Principle Fang had specially called me on the phone, hoping that during this period, I would think of reuniting with some 20 over people from my liberal arts class, I still thought of other methods to find an excuse not to participate. In my mind, this was just a meeting with people who used to say that I was in the background who would now say I was taking basking in the glory of others. Everything they said was just covertly criticizing how I got into Peking University, it was too much like a drama about the struggle of the giants on TVB. Also, all the words said during the toasts were toasting to his damn school, toasting to his lessons, toasting to his future. It was totally not like a normal school gathering at all.
This gathering of demons buddies still had some benefits to be reaped because I had bumped into my childhood neighbor Shan Shan.
Shan Shan was a super skinny guy from Lu Chai who used to be bullied by me when we were younger. He would always suffer hardships while I enjoyed the fortune and blessings. Later on, in elementary school, Shan Shan’s father was building properties when he suddenly struck it rich and they moved to a wealth suburb in the city centre. Our mothers would regularly meet up and gossip while playing mahjong. But Shan Shan started to develop characteristics of a rich kid. Without finishing Junior High school, he moved to Australia to study. That also happened to be my rebellious period, so everyday I would think about running away from home. So I really admired and envied Shan Shan. I always talked about how hardships had finally come my way and blessings had gone to him.
However, could it be that the Shan Shan before my eyes had to request for two plane tickets? He had made me worry about him when he flew back on the plane, but I could not recognize him upon first glance and even wondered who this damn fatty was. I didn’t expect that once Shan Shan saw me, he struggled to his feet and waved hello to me. When he shook his hand, the meat on his body shook along with him.
I laughed and ask : ”Did you eat all of Australia’s sheep? No wonder there’s a wool shortage.”
Shan Shan laughed: “Hehe, yeah, that’s why I’ve returned here to drink the milk from the motherland.”
Fortunately, Shan Shan was not someone who cared a lot about his appearance. He did not even bat an eyelid nor react coldly to this tasteless joke.
I would typically irritate people in order to expose them. I tugged at Shan Shan and said fiercely: “When you come back to your home country, you need to have some form of contribution. How can you just come back to drink the milk from our motherland? You should cut a little bit of fatty meat from Australia, only then can you contribute to our society.”
Shan Shan gave a smile that resembled Buddha: “So tell me, how do you want to cut me?”
And so, a party of us went to rent a play to sing karaoke very spectacularly.
The small town of ours truly was very small and everything was perfect. The speakers in the karaoke room were definitely enough to turn everyone into a super loud singer superstar. I covered my throat and began to rap the Jay Chou song called “In The Name of My Father”: All of us are sinners, we’re just guilty of different crimes. I can decide who’s right and who should be put to sleep. This argument has no solution, it’s a night that never ends. Turn your mouth off, it’s your only saving grace, the ones who block you at the front are all sinners-”. The ones who block you at the front really are sinners. Because once the one who blocked the front moved away, I saw Fang Yuke cooly walk in.
I couldn’t help but ask: “You followed me?” I said this sentence into the microphone, and it was endlessly amplified. It was uncomfortably inserted into Jay Chou’s rap, and there were feelings of longing……
Everyone looked at me, and after a few seconds passed, the death glares had reduced because the eyes of the ladies had all turned towards Fang Yuke.
I forgot to mention that my friends, especially the female ones were all students who achieved super high grades at the school of appearances. Choosing their lover over their friends was part of their nature. All their friends were only good for stabbing in the back. For the sake of Fang Yuke, I expected that everyone would stab me twice. It added up to a grand total of fifteen knives thrust into me. Why was it an odd number? Because Yao Zi was bloodthirsty. She would definitely have to stab one time more than others before she would be satisfied.
Fang Yuke didn’t look at me, he walked straight towards Shan Shan and gave him a big loving hug. In light of Shan Shan’s bloated physique, everyone believed that this hug was the limit of Fang Yuke’s capacity.
Shan Shan picked up a microphone and said : “I want to introduce a friend to everyone. Have you ever heard of Fang Yuke? He’s one of the top students, scoring well into Peking University. Whether or not he’s single is a private matter and has nothing to do with school, this reporter will refuse to answer any question. Will everyone please respect this and remain professional-” before he could finish speaking, an empty can of beer flew across with a jeer, smashing on Shan Shan’s chubby belly and magically stuck into the folds of his flesh.
After laughing heartily, these playgirls started to flirt, they began to ask him about everything under the sun.
I was bored so I began to sing “My Father’s Name” again. With some difficulty, I began to appreciate my own singing. However, these playgirls all began to bombard me: “If you want to sing then go outside and sing. Your singing is too loud, we can’t hear properly.”
Fang Yuke laughed and walked past them to come to my side, saying loudly: “Nice to meet you”
I stared blankly at him, what do you mean lucky. Of course I could not say this out loud, or else there would be more than just 15 knives in my back. I nodded my head; this should be considered a greeting.
However, Fang Yuke purposely wanted to make life difficult for me and said loudly once again; “The first thing I said to you in university was also ‘nice to meet you’.”
Ugh, forget it. This time, these ladies had already stabbed me so many times that I resembled a hedgehog.
I lowered the music volume and explained to these ladies; “However you girls decide to slaughter me, remember that I’m just a student in Peking university. Now that this handsome brother has come, you’ve forgotten that I’m also a student there too? We are just school friends.”
After Yao Zi received a satisfactory reply, she enchantingly smiled at Fang Yuke.
However, this Fang Yuke of a thousand knives said, “Right, we’re school friends. We were classmates for 3 years in High school.”
I was super angry. Big bro, you can eat whaatever you want, but you cannot say whatever you want. Who was your classmate? People like you lived in the crystal palace while people like me lived in a broken temple. You could build an entire playground in the area between the two school buildings.
I said irritably: “We were in the same class but he was a science student, I was an arts student. There was not much opportunity for us to interact during high school, we only knew each other during university. Also, he has a regular girlfriend. She even asked me to take good care of him and make sure he wouldn’t be tempted by you wolves.”
At this point, Shan Shan laughed: “What are you saying, how could you have known each other only recently. The photo of me and you that was in my house has already been taken away by him. The one where I had mud on my face, that photo.”
I opened my mouth impossibly wide.
Shan Shan hurried to add: “Don’t you remember that photo? The photo where you dropped your front tooth, and grinned stupidly when you saw the photo on my face…”
Damn, I had really been brutally struck by lightning. I couldn’t help but dig out that picture from some nook and cranny of my brain, as well as ask myself why this dear friend of mind would want to take away such an interesting picture.
Yao Zi immediately gave a satisfactory answer: “This hot bro’s hobby is really unique. He likes to collect these kinds of photos with so much personality. Anyways, when Lin Lin was young she took a countless number of photos. The photo just now can be counted as totally representative of her character. If you want some more, I can show you a few more of her wearing those open-butt pants looking like a worm, with snot dripping from her nose holding on to a machine-gun-like-”
I hurriedly cut off Yao Zi’s sentence: “Alright, alright, Yao Zi, is there anyone who hurts me like you do? Have I offended you or played any tricks on you?”
Yao Zi smacked me, laughed and said, “Friends are for selling. You should just let me sell you and I will have no worries.”
I replied sarcastically: “can’t you find another topic? You can let your talkative mouth run you into a wall and die.”
Yao Zi didn’t say a word, increased the music volume, and affectionately asked Yuke: “Mister Fang, can you give me face and sing “Hiroshima, My Love” with me?” I almost spit out the drink in my mouth. I have to say, Yao Zi was as brave as Detective Conan, it was the kind of arrogance where no matter where she went, people would die.
Fang Yuke looked at me, shook his head and said, “I don’t know how to sing. Listening is enough for me.”
Yao Zi definitely wasn’t someone who would die by running into the south wall and immediately say: “do you not know how to sing, or do you not want to sing or do you not want to sing with me? **Come on baby!”
- **she says this in english
I felt that this was the limit of Yao Zi’s english abilities. But I also understood Fang Yuke. Once he had made up his mind, he would stay firm to the end.
I didn’t want the atmosphere to become stiff, so I hurriedly said, “How about this, I will rap for you all. After that, dear friend Fang can give me face and sing one too. Don’t be afraid of not knowing how to sing, you should only be afraid of not daring to sing.”
Even though I didn’t know whether or not my face would be determined by the quality of Fang Yuke’s singing voice, but I could feel that everyone’s mouth had dropped open such that it could fit a chicken egg inside.
It was only then that I realized I had rapped before “Love in Hiroshima” had began to play…….
As if he had found something fun to do, Fang Yuke complied: “In that case, I will be a gentleman.”
When the music started, the playgirl stuffed the microphone into my hand. If I remember correctly “Hiroshima, My Love” had 20 seconds of music that played before the song began so I decided to go all out.
“You have a husband, I have a wife. Loving for a day and a night, should we enjoy such an affair. Getting lost in our love, remembering how we abandoned it, let us be together, crying for the good times we had in those days. Did I ever love you? Do I still love you?”
When the subtitles for the guy’s part appeared on screen, I gently put the microphone down. Fang Yuke didn’t sing in the end, he just started at me blankly. I thought that he was playing around and said angrily: “I already gave it my all, you should sing! Ugh!”
This was good, for the time being, no one listened to Fang Yuke’s singing. Shan Shan began: “That’s good ah, Lin Lin, no wonder you entered Peking University, you’re really talented.” Yao Zi took the microphone and shouted : “Lin Lin, you are my idol!!! Do you practice this everyday?” My female friends all began to clap for me.
If this continued, I would begin to admire myself. Why did my mind suddenly go blank? So original, I was so original.
Fang Yuke, who was uncharacteristically in a trance, said, “Could it be that you’ve once been a married woman?”
Pei!** Nothing good could ever come out from his mouth. However, this lady was extremely happy today, I wouldn’t quarrel with you. I raised my drink and said loudly: “This lady has opened the Ren and Du meridians***. I have obtained enlightenment!”
- Pei- Spitting sound made in condescension.
- ***Many people ask about the “Ren Du Er mai” 任督二脈 (in Cantonese, Yum Duk Yi Muck). This is the two channels of energy flow that is in your body, the two main energy channel or paths. People stress about mastering and making the two flow and connects all the time. Commonly heard in chi gung and meditation practice. (http://community.beliefnet.com/go/thread/view/43861/27477029/Ren_Du_Er_Mai_in_Taoism_and_Chi_Gong)