A Book Dedicated To Our Youth Chapter 3.2

This is extremely long so you might have to read it in sections. Luo Qi Qi starts middle school and this part is dedicated to her new (and old) friendships.

Since different countries have different schooling systems, the year levels/grades might vary. In China, there are three years to middle school so I’ll be using Year 1, Year 2 and Year 3 to make it simpler. (There’s not much mention of primary school year levels here but I will clearly state whether it’s Year 1 of middle school or Year 1 of primary school so you don’t get confused.)

2. My Friendships

Female friendships are very complicated, starting from when they are still little girls.
Male friendships are generally like playing soccer, the rules and baselines are clear, co-operation is based on strength. and battle cries are mixed with sweat.
Female friendships are generally like cooking, There is no set way, no rules, sour, sweet, bitter, spicy are all acceptable, the flavor can be so complicated that apart from the chef, no oone else knows what exactly she put in it. 
Guan He, Zhang Jun and I were assigned to different classes. I was in Class (1) and I could only thank heavens that there were no primary classmates in my class.

The middle school department building had a total of three floors, the first floor was Year 1 second floor was Year 2 and the third floor was Year 3.

The shape of the building had a similar structure to the English letter ‘Z’, but the middle of the ‘Z’ is vertical. Classes (1) to (3) are in a corridor, which is the top line of the ‘Z’, followed by the teachers’ offices after a turn of the corner. Then, after another turn, there are five classrooms joined to each other, the classes (4) to (8). Each corner has its own exit corridor. Guan He was in Class (5) and Zhang Jun in Class (8). They were both in the same corridor, I was in the other corridor so  our chances of meeting should be very slim.

The corridor exit closest to Class (1) leads to an imitation of a classical garden with a pavilion and a small pond. There were two exits on Guan He and Zhang Jun’s corridor, the front one also lead to the classical garden and the back on lead to a small sports field which had eight cement table tennis tables. Surrounding it was an aspen forest. Beyond the aspen forest were the volleyball courts, science and technology building, laboratory, dormitories, dining hall, and so on.

I was looking forward to the start of a new life, hoping that this new start would give me a completely different experience to primary.

Our homeroom teacher was our English teacher, a man with small eyes, surname Cui. He had just graduated from a college for professional training and was assigned to our school. The school principals entrusted him with the responsibility of being a homeroom teacher so he was very serious and none of our small tricks in class escaped past his eyes.

Before we had even finished learning all the phonetic symbols, the class had already made a nickname for him, they said that his tiny eyes were like light beams so they called him by the fine sounding name, ‘Treasure Bowl’.

This Treasure Bowl had a big influence on my life, he made an unerasable contribution to the shaping of my quick and fierce personality, but I’ll talk about the story regarding him later.

The first teacher who I had mixed feelings for, was my Chinese teacher, Ceng Hong. She looked very manly, had short hair and liked to smoke, she was the only female teacher I knew who smoked.

Every September when the new students started school, there would always be a general student assembly. The Principal will speak to announce the start of a new school year, then there will be a representative who will speak on behalf of graduating Year 3 classes and express their determination and efforts towards the high school entrance exams. There will also be a student from Year 1 to speak on behalf of the new students. Lastly, the top student* from last semester will go up to receive their award. No matter who the student was, as long as they went up the stage, it was a great honor and meant that they were good students.
*[‘three good student’: top academics, attitude and physical education.]

That year, the school leader gave the honor of choosing the new student representative speaker to Teacher Ceng. She didn’t think much of it and during a self revision time in Chinese class, she picked girls who were pleasing to the eye to read the text out loud and then, without even raising her head, chose me.

At the time, I seriously suspected the teacher had her head hit on the door. After the lesson, I went to find her. She was smoking, relaxed.

I said, “Teacher Ceng, I can’t be the new student representative speaker.”

She asked, “why can’t you?”

I said, “because my grades aren’t good.”

She blew out a puff of smoke and asked the male teacher who was smoking with her, “does the school have a rule that only the top student in the year can be the new student representative speaker?”

The male teacher smiled, “nope.”

Teacher Ceng shrugged her shoulders, “heard that? They don’t have this rule.”

I had an urge to roll my eyes and patiently said, “I’ve never spoken in front of people before.”

She replied, “everyone has a first time, isn’t this good, letting you start your first time.” After speaking, she impatiently shooed me away, “you’re the one! Quickly go and use your energy in writing the draft, don’t bother us preparing our lessons .”

I really rolled my eyes, preparing lessons? More like smoking!

Meeting a teacher who had smashed her head on the door, I had no choice but to go back write my draft. After finishing the draft, Teacher Ceng glanced at it, casually corrected a few errors and said that it was fine. Seeing my bitter face, she finally opened her mouth again, “don’t be nervous, it’s no big deal. You can just stand on the stage and laugh foolishly at the audience. When you’re tired from laughing, you’re also finished.”

My mouth twitched, laugh, I’ll laugh!

At the time, in our middle school department, there were eight classes per year level and over 40 students per class. In the big auditorium, facing over a thousand people, plus having a spotlight over my head, I felt my legs shaking.

At the start, I still remembered Teacher Ceng’s words, I just had to smile at them. Afterwards, my head dropped lower and lower until it was almost inside my clothes, my mind was a mess and I didn’t know what I was talking about.

During the speech, I was very, very, extremely, extremely, embarrassing because I heard that everyone could hear my trembling voice, every time I trembled, I would skip a few words. My voice started off loud then became soft, in the middle, they could only see my lips move but couldn’t hear what I was saying.

However, I only found out about this much later. The me at the time had no idea, although my body was shaking on the stage, but when I got off, I was pretty pleased inside, since this was the first time I’ve spoken in front of so many people before. Teacher Ceng also smiled and said that I was pretty good. With her assurance, my self confidence swelled. I pondered over whether Zhang Jun and Guan He had seen me speak. I didn’t know what the feeling was but it was always me watching them, today, it was finally them watching me. The more I pondered, the happier I was, my vanity erupted. If the me at the time has known that I was that embarrassing, I would definitely headbutt Ceng Hong, two dead corpses are better than such an embarrassment.

After the new student speech, my classmates all thought that Teacher Ceng liked me. Teacher Ceng had a special position in the middle school department because her personality was quick and fierce and she was also some school leader’s relative. Even the head of Chinese let her have her way so under her attention, I could count as a popular figure in the class.

I became acquainted with three girls, one was the prettiest girl in our class, Li Shen, her grades were also pretty good. One who was not only pretty but also had the best grades out of the girls in our class and could also sing and dance, Lin Lan, and a girl have good grades but her family was very rich, called Ni Qing.

I had experienced a lonely primary life and really longed for friends. Actually, my personality wasn’t in step with theirs but I hid my true thoughts and because a group with them. I joined them in rating other girls discussed which guy was the most cool, and lead the class opinions. It can be said that the boys in the class all helped us and none of the girls dared to offend us.

There are school shows which are currently very popular on teenage channels in America right now, which are about the story of the so called popular girl. I often watch them with great interest. My friend laughed at why I watch such shallow shows but she didn’t know that from these beautiful and arrogant girls who schemed to be in the limelight and competed against each other in clothes and guys who chased them, I saw the arrogant and shallow youth I once had.

Treasure Bowl chose a slightly fat girl to be the class monitor. Her grades weren’t as good as Lin Lan’s but she was very responsible and had been the class monitor before in primary. However, Lin Lan couldn’t accept it so she always found all kinds of excuses to suppress her.

For instance, when the class monitor wore purple pants and a pink top, Lin Lan would laugh and say to us, “red and purple makes dog poo!”

For instance, when the class monitor wore a horizontally striped shirt, Lin Lan would sarcastically say, “zebras can wear horizontal stripes because they’re skinny, when did elephants dare to wear horizontal stripes? Or do you think that your large size isn’t visible enough?”

The three of them were professionals in the area of clothing. I actually didn’t know anything but I laughed along with them.

The class monitor was forbearing in the beginning but later, she finally became enraged by Lin Lan that she took advantage of her authority as a class monitor to attempt to strike back. However, it was her again us four plus with the guys in the class who liked Lin Lan and Li Shen so she ended up humiliating herself. All the girls in the class alienated her, thinking that she was fat, stupid and ugly so they were ashamed to play with her.

She gradually became quiet and stopped paying attention to the four of us, even if we were talking during self revision or passing notes during class, she’d pretend she didn’t see. Li Shen and Ni Qing turned even more arrogant whereas I saw something familiar in the silent and sorrowful eyes of the class monitor.

I don’t know what happened but the entire city of 6 year old girls to 60 year old grannies all started wearing fitness pants*, the girls in the school were no exception, everyone all wore leggings. The class monitor’s mom also bought her a pair.
[*健美裤- Tight, stretchy fitness pants, almost like leggings.]

Everyone were all wearing them so originally there was nothing to it. However, Li Shen mocked the class monitor, “having legs that are the same width as elephants yet is actually copying others in wearing fitness pants, why don’t you properly go look at yourself in the mirror.”

Under everyone’s laughter, I seemed to see something shining under the class monitor’s quickly lowered eyes. In an instant, I suddenly felt that it wasn’t the class monitor who was ugly, it was us. Li Shen wanted to continue mocking, I said, “she’s already given in, don’t keep unrelentingly chasing her. Leaving her some leeway is also leaving a way of retreat for yourself.”

Li Shen was discontent with me, Lin Lan however, looked deeply at me, and said to Li Shen, “in the future, if she doesn’t provoke us, then we should stop giving her a hard time.”

Our battle with the class monitor ended victoriously for us and the girls in the class became more in awe and wanted to be friendlier with us.

Although we were children, perhaps our minds and battle methods weren’t as cruel as in the adult world, but the cruel results weren’t any inferior. I believe that our class monitor was originally a confident and happy child, perhaps when she was younger, her parents and teachers would praise her for being dedicated and earnest but due to our heartless attacks and the classmates teasing, she gradually became self inferior. Perhaps everyday when she looks at the mirror when changing, she would feel dread, not knowing what the classmates will say about her today. She will feel self inferior and humiliated about her body. Because of her self inferiority, she started having no confidence towards anything she did and started becoming over cautions. This kind of emotional hurt is brutal enough to change a person’s life orbit, to the extent that it can destroy a person and in smaller cases, it can leave a period of youth that you can’t bear to look back on.

When I understood to have a sense of shame, the class monitor had already disappeared into the long river of time. I could never again say I’m sorry to her, it could only become a remorse in my memory that will never disappear.

—-

In pretty much every circle of girls, there would always be a key figure. In our circle, although this wasn’t said, but everyone was well aware that the pretty, smart, eager with good grades Lin Lan was the key figure. Li Shen and Ni Qing both listened to her to the point where Li Shen wanted to curry favor with her seemingly fearing that Lin Lan wouldn’t play with her.

Ni Qing wasn’t pretty and her grades weren’t good but she had money. She would often treat us to ice cream and cold drinks etc. Perhaps Li Shen thought that she was rather stupid inside but on the outside, she treated her very well. However, I had very little to give to Li Shen so I became Li Shen’s ‘imaginary enemy’. She kept wanting to push me out of this little circle but because Lin Lan always treated me well, so she was helpless and could only be even better to Lin Lan, hoping that Lin Lan would alienate me.

In the beginning, we had a female homeroom teacher so our internal struggles could only subtly exist and everyone pretended everything was fine.

Without the female homeroom teacher,our internal conflicts quickly escalated. Li Shen somehow partnered up with Ni Qing and the despise the two of them had towards me became greater and greater. In their words contained obvious taunts but because I wasn’t an eloquent speaker, I could only pretend to not understand their taunts. Lin Lan saw everything but she was high up, overlooking us three, pretending not to be aware of anything. Only when Li Shen and Ni Qing went too overboard would she help me for the sake of maintaining the balance.

In the eyes of outsiders, the four of us were super close friends, passing notes during class, playing together during break, even when going to the bathroom, we would wait for each other. We listened to popular song together, bicker with the most handsome boys in the class together, when one person was bullied, four would fight back together. Many girls envied our little circle, longing to play with us. However, only we knew in our hearts what appeared to be a splendid friendship hid.

I worked hard and carefully to maintain my ‘friendships’. With them, I was very exhausted but without them, I will be very lonely.

I looked forward to the completely different lifestyle of middle school all along and I did indeed achieve it. Nowadays, I could count as one of the most popular, most powerful girls. The Chinese teacher liked me, the female classmates all tried to be good to me but I didn’t feel that I was very happy.

—-

The top student in our class was a boy called Chen Song Qing. We were only classmates for two years even up to now, I still remember him, only because the words he had said to me.

Once, there was a boy with a birthmark on his face who gave Li Shen a love letter. She read it while giggling then gave it to Lin Lan. Li Lan looked at it while reading it out in a loud voice. The whole class rocked back and forth with laughter. The boy’s face turned from red to white, then from write back to red. His head dropped so low it was almost touching the table.

Looking at him, I laughed with everyone else on the outside but inside, I felt frustrated, is this the result of liking someone better than you!?

Chen Song Qing suddenly asked me, “do you think that this is really fun?”

I froze, he sat behind me but we pretty much never talked before, I only know that his grades were very good.

He asked me again, “do you think that the teasing you and Lin Lan, Li Shen and the others do to others and show your superiority is very interesting? Does a person need to step on other peoples dignity in order to establish their own brilliance? Don’t you think you’re very childish and shallow?”

I couldn’t answer, he continued, “use your cleverness and energy on things that matter.” After he finished, he lowered his head to read as if nothing had just happened.

Lin Lan was still reading out the love letter, the whole class was still laughing, but he was only concentrated on looking at his textbook, silently memorizing English words.

Right up to when the bell ran for self study, his words kept playing over and over in my head. During self study, I suddenly turned back and asked him, “what are things that matter?”

He said, “if you don’t know the answer, then go to the school’s library to search.”

We have a library in the school? It looks like I sure am ignorant and ill informed.

The next day during break, for the first time, I didn’t play with Lin Lan and the others, instead, I went to the library. According to the introduction, our school’s library is the best middle school library in the province. It had first class computers hardware, it was spacious and bright, the tables and chairs were comfortable, but there were only a few odd students. Chen Qing Song was in a corner reading. I didn’t go disturb him, I walked around the library looking up at the rows of tall book stands full of books, it was my first time experiencing what was called a sea of books. I didn’t read or issue any books, I only walked around the library once then left.

Perhaps I was already tired of feeling left out because of Li Shen, perhaps I understood that this wasn’t what I wanted, perhaps it was because of the words that Chen Song Qing said but I started to distance myself from Lin Lan and the others. During break, I would often go to the library to read however after a while, I still couldn’t completely give them up, I wasn’t strong or independent enough. My vanity made me reluctant to part with the liveliness and limelight when being together with them so during break, I would sometimes still play with them.

Li Shen really liked to tell us which boy was chasing her and would show us the love letter the boy wrote. Lin Lan had scorn in her eyes but her tone was very warm, enticing Li Shen to say more.

I don’t know what kind of mindset middle school girls had, perhaps they looked up to authority and power by nature. They weren’t really interested in boys of the same year level and preferred guys of higher year levels. Li Shen liked to talk more about which boy from a higher year asked others to send her a message, wanting to treat her to shaved ice and ask her out to sing karaoke.

That day, the four of us were eating ice cream while sitting in the pavilion chatting about guys when a boy in a white shirt and white pants rode in on a bicycle. Li Shen immediately turned quiet.

That boy parked his bicycle and laughed and greeted a classmate before walking into the large building. He was very tall, his jet black hair was slightly wavy, he had deep eyes, a straight nose, wore a pair of golden glasses and his smile was bright and sunny.

If I had to use a few words to describe him, I would immediately thing of the ‘prince charming’ in shoujo manga. I know that this is quite funny but it really was my first impression.

The three of them all stared at him, I couldn’t resist but ask, “who is he?”

Li Shen viciously glared at me, discontent that I didn’t know him but also immediately wanted to explain, “Chen Yuan Zhe, my primary classmate, our relationship is very good.” Her expression was different from her usual looking down on same year level boys and her tone was close to worship.

Ni Qing smiled, “he’s currently Year 1 class (6)’s class monitor, I heard that out of the girls in class (6), at least half of them like him.”

Li Shen didn’t talk, seemingly very unhappy about it.

Lin Lan laughed, she rolled her eyes at me and teased Li Shen, “could it be that you like him?”

Li Shen unhappily replied, “I haven’t! I just have a good relationship with his little sister.”

Ni Qing thoughtfull asked, “I heard that class (2)’s Chen Yuan Si is his little sister, why is he in the same year level as his little sister? Are they twins?”

Li Shen shook her head, “no, Chen Yuan Zhe is older than Chen Yuan Si by two years.”

“Huh? Two years older? He’s repeated years?”

Li Shen seemed to be scared that people would look down at Chen Yuan Zhe and immediately said, “no! He was in the same year level as his little sister since Year 1, his grades are very good. Apparently he was ill when he was little and did lots of surgery and went to school after he was better so he started a little later than us.”

No wonder this guy looked different to the other boys, it turns out that he was so much older than us. I didn’t hear what they said later, because I saw Zhang Jun.

Zhang Jun was walking and talking with a Year 3 flower girl. They walked over to the side of the pond and the girl sat down. Zhang Jun stood in front of her and the two of them laughed gracefully. Zhang Jun showed a maturity that was different to his age and standing next to the Year 3 girl, he didn’t seem the slightest bit younger. The girl would half annoyed, half playfully hit him from time to time, or use her elbow to prod him, Zhang Jun would laugh and there was an ambiguity in their actions.

Ni Qing called out in a low voice, “Zhang Jun!” The three of them stopped talking and actually stared fixedly at him with me. I only understood then that it turns out Zhang Jun is famous in our year.

The growth of boys seems to be just in a flash, not long ago, he still had prickly, hedgehog hair and a lanky tall figure but in the blink of the eye, he had a slender figure and an outstanding bearing.

Actually, he was still the him in my eyes but in eyes of Lin Lan and the two, Zhang Jun was now no longer the him in primary.

Ni Qing sighed, “it’s a shame I heard he doesn’t like little girls and only plays with girls outside of school.”

Lin Lan asked, “Luo Qi Qi, you graduated from Primary School No. 4 right? Isn’t Zhang Jun also from No.4?”

I immediately replied, “we’re not close, we haven’t talked before.”

Li Shen and Ni Qing both had an expression that seemed to say, “Luo Qi Qi is like this, how is it possible for her to talk to Zhang Jun?” Seeing them like this, I couldn’t help but say, “he’s repeated years in primary, he mixes around outside and likes to smoke and fight.

I never thought they would become more enthusiastic, “Ah? What else do you know? Does he have a girlfriend? What kind of girl does he like?”

I was shocked by this surprising reaction and gaped at them.

Middle school and primary school seem to be completely different eras. In primary, everyone liked boys who were teacher’s pets and had outstanding grades so pretty much all the girls in the class liked Chen Jin. However in middle school, girls were no longer interested in boys who had good grades like Chen Song and called him a nerd. They started to pursue the phrase, ‘boys aren’t bad, girls won’t love’, Zhang Jun clearly fit this criteria perfectly.

Zhang Jun looked towards the pavilion at us and we immediately closed our mouths guiltily. Hes eyes stopped on us on a second before he turned back around smiling. Ni Qing excitedly said, “Li Shen, Lin Lan, he was definitely looking at you guys.”

I thought back to Guan He and remembered her beauty and kindness, being neither humble nor haughty and suddenly felt that I was truly hideous so I wanted to quickly leave.

When I was nearly at the entrance of the building, I passed by a very pretty girl. My heart thumped wildly but I didn’t know why it was thumping and could only continue walking. As I walked, I finally couldn’t resist stopping and turning around. Unexpectedly, that girl also hesitantly stopped walking and turned around to look at me. We stared at each other and our eyes were both filled with confusion.

Suddenly, she loudly shouted, “Qi Qi!” and charged towards me.

“Xiao Fei!” I also charged towards her.

Then, under the middle school department building, under numerous people’s stares, we tightly hugged. We shrieked as if there was no one else present, hugging and cuddling, laughing and jumping. As we laughed and laughed, we started painfully crying, as if the tears of farewell many years ago still didn’t finish flowing.

After we both calmed down, we realized that everyone was staring at us. Xiao Fei stuck her tongue out at me. I was very embarrassed but couldn’t resist the urge to laugh.

We held hands and ran out from everyone’s line of vision, into the little forest.

She asked me, “which class are you in?”

“Class (1), you?”

She had a face of disbelief, “I’m in class (20), just next to yours.”

How unbelievable!

It’s been a few months since school started,the two classes were separated by a wall, the teachers were all the same, I was even the representative of the new students and spoke in front of all the students but we only found each other today. She told me that during the opening ceremony, she was below listening to me speak but she didn’t look to see what I looked like and didn’t listen closely either so she didn’t hear my name.

Although we parted for four years, there were no barriers between us. We were so close it was as if we only parted yesterday. She was the same as when she was little, talking endlessly, impatiently wanting to fill me in on my four years of absence from her life. I was also the same, quietly listening, sharing her joys and sorrows.

Very quickly, the one hour break ended and the bell rang. We walked back holding hands and she urged me again and again to wait for her after school. I happily nodded.

After going back to class, Lin Lan asked me, “is your relationship with Ge Xiao Fei very good?”

I smiled and said clearly, “she is my best friend, you know her?”

Lin Lan laughed, “her admission score was the highest in class (2). When school started, the homeroom teacher of class (2) asked her to be the class monitor, she actually refused, saying that she’s been a class monitor since Year 1 in primary so she’s too tired to continue.”

I couldn’t resist laughing, this was just like Xiao Fei.

Meeting Xiao Fei again, I completely distanced myself from Lin Lan and the others.

Everyday after class, I would be together with Xiao Fei, even in the 10 minutes between classes, we still came together to chat for a while. Soon, not only the class (1) and class (2) students, even the teachers knew that Xiao Fei had a super close friend called Luo Qi Qi.

We stuck together all day, whispering to each other. After we finished talking about the past, we started talking about present things. It was the period of first loves so our topics naturally couldn’t stay away from boys. Xiao Fei showed me the love letters she received, it sure was a splendid sight!

I read, she listened, there were a few nauseating parts where she pretended to vomit. Some sentences were clearly copied and she would ridicule it mercilessly. If other girls were like this, I may perhaps have thoughts about it but no matter what she did, in my eyes it was all cute and charming.

We read the love letters while laughing together. Xiao Fei asked me, “are there any boys who like you?”

I shook my head.

She asked, “are you sad?”

I shook my head.

She asked, “is there anyone you like?”

I thought about it then shook my head, I had long decided to not like Zhang Jun anymore.

I saw her expression and guessed her intentions, “you have someone you like?”

She beamed but didn’t say anything.

“Who is it?”

“A boy from Year 3. He used to be my neighbor. Do you still remember the story I told you a few days ago?”

“Yup, you offended a girl from your class and she called her big brother over to hit you however your neighbor scared them away, he is student Ge Xiao Fei’s protector!”

Xiao Fei laughed, “it’s him, he’s called Wang Zheng.”

Xiao Fei’s big eyes glittered, anticipating my reaction. I didn’t have much reaction so she was disappointed and hit my head, “why are you still like this, not caring about anything. Wang Zheng ah! Our school orchestra’s drummer. God! All the girls in the middle school department know him okay? Do you know how cool he is when he’s playing the drums! It’s too awesome!”

In those days, ‘cool’ had just become popular. When we said cool, we often felt that we were also very cool.

“Is he cool?”

Xiao Fei pretended to be in a lot of pain and collapsed on me, “very cool! Extremely cool! I started secretly loving him since Year 4 in primary. He doesn’t pay any attention to me. In the past, we were neighbors so I still had an excuse to contact him but now that we’ve moved to this city, we’re no longer neighbors so I don’t have any excuses.”

I objected, “you’re so pretty and cute, he will definitely like you.” In my heart, Xiao Fei was near perfection, I can’t see why any guy would reject her.

Xiao Fei immediately giggled, “yes, yes, I also think so. Perhaps he’s long had feelings for me but seeing that I’m still the nation’s flower bud, he doesn’t dare ravage me. Now, I am already grown up, he is welcome to.” Ge Xiao Fei shouted to the sky, “welcome to ravage me!” My stomach hurt from laughing. She clenched her fists energetically, “no, I must work hard! I have too much competition, it’s like taking meat from a pack of wolves.”

I laughed, she knew more than anyone else but her actions were completely opposite to her thoughts.

The results from midterm exams came out, out of the forty or so people in our class, I was ranked in the twenties. My mom and dad were very pleased with my results and I had nothing to be dissatisfied about. Chen Song was the first in our class, Lin Lan was second and Xiao Fei was first in her class. I inquired around about Guan He’s results and unsurprisingly, she was the first in her class. I couldn’t resist asking about Zhang Jun’s results, he was also ranked in the twenties.

After the ‘passionate love’ Xiao Fei and I experienced after reuniting, things gradually turned back to normal. We stopped wanting to stick to each other for all twenty four hours. She liked to go get friendly with the Year 3 girls and boys, seizing opportunities to ask about Wang Zheng’s news. I liked to dawdle in the library, I would pretty much spend the hour break each day in the library.

My life became simple and happy. When Xiao Fei had time, I would stay together with her, if she didn’t have time, I would go to the library. After Chen Jin’s advice, my reading speed became very fast. I finished the thick ‘The Count of Monte Cristo’ in just a few hours so my demand of books was very large and the books I read were more and more complex, I would even read Plato to Xi Murong’s works, no matter if I could understand it or not.

I still didn’t like to go home. After school, I would rather hang around outside than go home. My mom and dad saw that my grades were passable so they weren’t worried.

Xiao Fei was also the same as before and didn’t like to go home. However, she now had lots of friends so she wasn’t together with me often.

Xiao Bo pretty much spent all his spare time at the karaoke bar. Since I didn’t like to go home, naturally I often stayed there.

Through me, Xiao Fei became acquainted with Xiao Bo and Wu Zei. I wasn’t very interested in singing but Xiao Fei really liked to. In those days, going to the karaoke bar was a lot of money to students but I could take Xiao Fei singing for free.

Every time Xiao Fei went, Xiao Bo would always provide free drinks and snacks. Xiao Fei beamed with joy while eating and secretly said to me, “how about you become Xiao Bo’s girlfriend, then I wouldn’t have to feel bad eating.”

I chased after her, “you’re selling me off for a few dried apricots, it’s my bad luck meeting you as a friend.”

Xiao Fei dodged all around the room, not forgetting to also stuff raisins into her mouth. I caught up to her and hit her unkindly. She was in pain so she started to randomly shout, “Wang Zheng, Wang Zheng, Wang Zheng…”

I raised both hands and got into a fierce stance, coldly giggling, “Wang Zheng isn’t here and besides, he’s not your boyfriend so even if he was here, he wouldn’t help you.”

She bit her lip smiling, I pinched her and she explained laughing, “I’m shouting Wang Zheng not to ask Wang Zheng to help me beat you up but because I’m in pain. Shouting Wang Zheng makes my heart happy so it doesn’t hurt anymore. ”

I was a bit skeptical, “really?”

She laughed and came to pinch me, “if you don’t believe it, let me pinch you and you can shout it out to try.”

“Do you think I’m stupid?” I grabbed her hands to prevent her from pinching me and the two of us rolled onto the sofa laughing.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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10 thoughts on “A Book Dedicated To Our Youth Chapter 3.2

  1. sutekii

    girls can be so mean.. reminds me of the pretty mean popular girl and the movies “mean girls”, its nice to see Qi Qi meeting her childhood friends again. Thank you for the update

    Reply
    1. Tofubyu Post author

      Sorry I haven’t had the chance to comment on black belly consort recently because the app I’ve been using to read from doesn’t allow comments D: I just wanted to say a big wow though at the 888 chapters!!!! That’s so amazing (and tiring) o___o I’ll be cheering you on hehe

      Reply
  2. storiesndreams

    I am on the Zhang Jun- Qi Qi. Xiao Bao is clearly the better guy but I dunno Zhang Jun stole my heart long before Xiao Bao ever had a chance. Hope they are end game or else I have no idea what I will do- cry into pillows? Anyway, I loved this part because Qi Qi finally belongs! Somewhere in those little pockets that appear like oasis to high school misfits. I feel her to the extent that even her mistakes are endearing to me.

    Reply
    1. Tofubyu Post author

      I’m glad you loved it! I really like Xiao Bo and his caring nature towards Qi Qi but I guess at the end of the day it’s still up to Qi Qi! Even though Qi Qi says that she’s decided to stop liking Zhang Jun you can see that clearly she still does have feelings for him so currently the likelihood of her being with Zhang Jun is far greater than with Xiao Bo- take comfort in that!

      I can also relate to some of the things that Qi Qi goes through so its really comforting how we can read the book on a personal level and relate it back to our own lives.

      Reply
  3. inno

    thank you for this long chapter. reading it makes me nostalgic of my own high school memories, of my alma mater, teachers, friends, and yes, also of my high school crush. haha.. ah, down the memory lane.. anyways, i’m glad qi qi met xiao fei again, and that she extricated herself from this clique of superficial friends.

    Reply
    1. Tofubyu Post author

      Yeah, it’s always hard to go against the flow especially if you’re going against the popular opinion D: Hope this book can continue to help you relive/reminisce over your childhood!

      Reply
  4. cathdeary

    With a sad heart, I finished the last updated chapter. Sigh. I even read real slow to elongate it. I’m glad she met her childhood best friend again. Such a happy thing. I hope she gets to have heart to heart talk with Zhang Jun again.

    Reply

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