For anyone wondering, Chapter 1 of ‘Full of My Love to You’ will be up next Monday, which is also the day I come back from hiatus! 😀
3. Nightmare Reappears
A young heart is soft and immature. Thus, hurt and warmth will both be deeply remembered.
In the end, everything deeply remembered will blend with time to become our personalities.
Near final exams, an accident occurred.
One day during break time, it was my turn to be on duty. After sweeping, along with a few students, we chatted while mopping the floor. Everyone were impertinently saying each teacher’s nickname and commenting on the habits the teachers had during class. I just dragged out the words, “Treasure Bowl, small spotlight eyes”, when Treasure Bowl came in. He didn’t have any reaction, he checked to see if the classroom was tidied before leaving. A few students were scared terribly, after he left, they pat their chests saying, “luckily he didn’t hear.”
Sometimes, I have this sensitive sense towards people’s emotions. I already felt that Treasure Bowl wasn’t happy, he definitely had heard me call his nickname. However, I didn’t feel scared, my thoughts were simple, isn’t it just a nickname! He’s also a man so he can’t be so stingy, Wu Zei calls me Four Eyed Panda all day but I’ve never been angry about it.
However, my thoughts were wrong. Not only was Treasure Bowl angry, he also cared a lot about it. He remained calm during the scene but the next day, he picked one of my wrongs and shouted at me in front of the whole class but he and I both knew that the reason for shouting at me definitely wasn’t because I was daydreaming in class. My face showed mockery which angered him even further and he ordered me to change seats. He pointed at the corner at the very back and said to me, “you’re only suited to sitting there, move your desk over. Whenever you know where you were wrong is when I’ll arrange another seating plan for you.”
That corner of the classroom was where the brooms, mops, watering can, bucket and rubbish bin were kept. Many guys were too lazy to get up and go to the rubbish bin so they’d often play a throwing game, some of the rubbish would get thrown outside of the rubbish bin so it can be considered as the class’ rubbish court.
I silently carried my desk over to the ‘rubbish court’ and after sitting in the rubbish court, I realized that there was still a large distance between me and the people in the last row.
Treasure Bowl’s face was livid so the students all kept quiet out of fear, Li Shen’s eyes contained pleasure at my misfortune. The panic from back in primary filled my heart, I was actually once again in the circumstances of being cast away by my classmates.
I silently sat there and after class, Treasure Bowl invited everyone to go play volleyball, furthermore he had already divided up the teams which had all but my name. The class walked out chattering and laughing, leaving me the only person in the classroom. I looked at the empty classroom and suddenly, my false strength collapsed. The tears came rushing down uncontrollably, I didn’t know what I was crying for, if it was regret for offending Treasure Bowl or dread for the future nightmare.
I haven’t cried for a long time but this time, bent over the table, the more I cried the sadder I felt, feeling that I am once again standing in an isolated and helpless corner as if I was replaying the nightmare again.
Unknowingly, I had forgotten to oppress the sound of my cries.
Suddenly, a nice voice asked me, “what’s wrong? Who bullied you?”
I raised my head, a tall teenager was standing in front of me, looking at me with concern, it was actually Chen Yuan Zhe!
He was wearing black pants and a white high collar sweater. Black wavy hair, golden rimmed glasses, warm and intimate eyes, looking from my position, the sunlight from the classroom window shone on him and his body was coated in the silver light. He looked completely like a prince charming however, I wasn’t a beautiful princess.
I dazedly stared at him for a moment, lowered my head and continued crying.
He pulled a chair over and sat in front of my desk, warm and patiently saying, “no matter what happened, just say it out. Perhaps there is a solution.”
I still wiped my eyes crying. He didn’t say anymore and just patiently sat there, quietly accompanying me.
Finally, perhaps his warmth and patience made feel that he could understand anything or perhaps that afternoon sunlight shone on him making him seem especially warm, whereas my world exactly lacked warmth. I started to pour out my troubles while crying, many times I felt so sad that I couldn’t continue but he seemed to be infinitely patient and concentrated on listening to me the whole time.
After confiding in him, I felt a lot better. Although I was still crying, the dread had already disappeared.
He kept comforting me, patiently, only when I stopped crying completely did he stand up, “class is starting soon, I’ll go first. Don’t worry, after a few days, the teacher’s anger will disappear and he’ll definitely move you back to the front.”
When he walked to the door, I realized I haven’t thanked him yet, I called him, “hey!”
He stopped and looked back at me, I said, “thank you.”
He lightly adjusted his glasses with his hand and smiled to me, “no problem, I didn’t help at all.”
After he left, the students came back one after the other and the classroom livened up with noise, but out of fear of the homeroom teacher, everyone ignored me. I wasn’t bothered by this because I was in a trance, was what just happened real? Did the unattainable prince charming, Chen Yuan Zhe, really appear? It seemed too much like a dream, as if I created a fantasy to comfort myself with.
Because it was too unrealistic, I didn’t even mention it to Xiao Fei, only telling her that I was sent to sit in the back of the class. I said it with a smile on my face. Xiao Fei had outstanding grades since young and has never truly experienced the pain from a teacher’s torment so when she saw that I didn’t care, she didn’t care much about it and joked along with me, there is so much freedom in sitting alone at the back, you can do whatever you want.
Treasure Bowl would also criticize me often, attempting to make me bow down with his teacher authority. However, I had a respect me and I’ll respect you back personality and definitely wouldn’t bow down just because he forced me to. Instead, I became more stubborn, the more I was repressed, the braver I became, completely defying him. I didn’t concentrate at all in his English class, instead I read Qiong Yao’s novels while chewing bubblegum.
Treasure Bowl had just started working and he was already assigned to teach in one of the province’s key schools and even bore the responsibility of being a homeroom teacher so he was definitely eager to spread his aspirations. Pretend that all the students were foals and he was the horse trainer, then I would be the first wild horse he encounters in his horse training career. To him, whether or not I was able to be trained didn’t just represent if he would be able to maintain his dignity in front of the whole class but deep inside himself, it also meant a sense of accomplishment towards his career.
At the start, the method he chose was still very easy and simple, it was nothing more than reprimanding me, punishing me to do the cleaning and punishing me to stand but after he discovered that after I stood at the back of the room, I seemed to look more comfortable that sitting, he started to understand that the methods used to punish normal girls had no effect onme.
Once at noon, I ran to school to play after having lunch and ran across him by chance.I was very unlucky that day, I had smashed a window in the class, he flew into rage and ordered I bring my parents. I was very nervous and after going home, I stammered to my mom that the homeroom teacher wanted to see her.
Mom went to see Treasure Bowl who told her about all my misdeeds and hoped that the parents would cooperated with the teacher in educating me. After mom came home, she told everything the teacher had said to dad.
Probably because in comparison to stealing and fighting in primary, not listening in class and breaking public property was considered too trivial so my dad didn’t mind too much, perhaps he even thought inside that Treasure Bowl was making a fuss over a trifle. Although my mom was rather worried, she couldn’t do anything. She understood inside about my coldness and detachment towards them so she didn’t dare to speak harshly, afraid that it will force me to change my coldness into rebelliousness. She could only mildly persuade me to respect my teacher.
Treasure Bowl didn’t know about the situation in our family though, he saw that my mom seemed educated and well rounded so he assumed that he had found a way to control me. He didn’t even get to rejoice for two days before discovering that I was still sticking to my old ways and that I’ve started becoming even worse. Other than being attentive in the Chinese teacher Ceng Hong’s classes, all the other teachers felt that I wasn’t listening in class and they said that putting a student at the very back isn’t a good method.
Due to each subject teacher’s suggestions, Treasure Bowl changed my seat, from one extreme to another, he actually put me right in the center of the first row. He had a very self satisfied expression, seeming to say “let’s see what you can do now that you’re under my eye.”
As a result, not even a week later, each subject teacher went to find him to complain. The maths teacher said that I was doing physics homework in his class, the physics teacher said that I was doing geography homework in her class, the geography teacher said that I was doing maths homework in his class, making Treasure Bowl’s head hurt. He found me to go have a chat and asked me why I was doing this. I said honestly, “because I want to play after class and have no time doing homework so I have to finish all my homework before school ends.” Treasure Bowl was so angry that his little eyes turned into flames. To not let me do homework in class, he punished me to stand outside the classroom.
Being punished to stand inside and outside the classroom are all punishments but in actual fact, the meaning is vastly different. Being in the classroom is similar to things happening in the family, no matter if they are good or bad, they are all inside the house. However outside the classroom was similar to revealing scandals for others to see. In the start, I was indeed very uncomfortable, I was so ashamed I didn’t even dare to raise my head. When other students walked past and looked at me, I wanted to craw in a hole. But shame is shame, if you want me to give in, no chance!
So when Treasure Bowl punished me to stand outside, I was like a defrosted eggplant, all shriveled up. It was like a sign that weighed a ton was hanging on my neck, my head was so low that it was nearly inside my shirt. However, as soon as he put me back into the classroom, I did physics homework in maths class, geography homework in physics class,maths homework in geography class and read novels in English class. He was furious and could only continue to fight me.
Under our busy battle of strategy, it was time for the final exams. My overall grades weren’t disturbed and I even went up a few ranks. My mom and dad’s only bit of worry completely vanished. Their thoughts were simple, they felt that as long as I didn’t skip class, handed in my homework and my grades were passable, then it meant that my heart was still on my studies. Then everything else, no matter if it’s breaking the window or being naughty in class, even arguing with the teacher is all fine. Especially my dad, he felt that being naughty and getting into trouble made me seem more like a child. He always had a lingering fear of my silence and negative energy in primary school. Of course, they didn’t dare to let Treasure Bowl know they thought this way.
Not only did Xiao Fei not feel embarrassed by me being ordered to stand outside, on the contrary she really admired me. She thought that I was very cool in daring to go against the teacher. Although first year middle school students didn’t worship the teachers like primary school students, there weren’t many that dared to go against the teacher, especially not girls.
Towards her feelings, I could only laugh bitterly, why do I want to be cool? I’m being forced!
In the winter holidays, my life was extremely satisfying, I didn’t need to go to class, do homework or fight with Treasure Bowl and I could read the books I liked all day. On the third day of the lunar calendar, I went to pay Teacher Gao a New Year’s visit. Teacher Gao inquired about my studies I gave her an honest account. She laughed and asked me, “how much effort did you put in exactly?”
I thought deeply about it and told her, “enough I guess, I don’t have much interest in studying.”
Teacher Gao laughed, “how come you and Zhang Jun still have a child’s mind? All day you only think about playing.”
I asked unperturbed, “Zhang Jun also came?”
Teacher Gao said, “yeah! He came yesterday to pay me a New Year’s call. I asked him if he’s been studying seriously, he laughed and didn’t say anything. However pif you want to play then just play, as long as you don’t fall too far behind then it’s fine, since you’re still young, there’s still a long time til gaokao!”
Teacher Gao sincerely liked me and Zhang Jun. Other teachers couldn’t stand our stubborn ways but in her eyes, it was just kids who haven’t grown up yet being naughty. However, she didn’t know that actually, Zhang Jun and I were more complicated and matured much earlier than the other kids.
Teacher Gao peeled a mandarin and put in my hand, smiling, “in the future, you can come visit me with Zhang Jun and we can all chat together.”
I smiled and ate the mandarin without saying anything.
Winter break was quiet and calm. Other than the few days of New Year where I helped mom and dad prepare the banquet, I pretty much spent everyday in Xiao Bo’s karaoke bar on the sofa reading books I borrowed from the school library, one after the other. Wu Zei often laughed at me, “do you think that glass on your nose bridge isn’t thick enough?”
I couldn’t be bothered to pay him any attention. Since Xiao Bo was still young, there were many events that he couldn’t show his face at so Wu Zei was in the front handling these. Many people who didn’t know all thought that Wu Zei was the boss of the karaoke bar. Everywhere he went, there were people giving him cigarettes and giving him a toast, it was quite a show, he also had the Enchantress in his arms, it was completely a double harvest.
The karaoke bar’s business were all at night. Xiao Bo was very attentive and attended to things personally. He often worked around the clock and wasn’t able to sleep at two or three am. In the daytime, he would often lie on the sofa and sleep. I was on the other sofa reading. Sometimes when he woke up, he would call me to get him water, he’d drink some then flip sides to continue sleeping and I would continue reading.
When he wasn’t sleeping, he would also read, but the books he read were completely different to mine. I liked to read novels whereas the books he read were biographies of war heroes and successful people or books on business management and economics, he would even take notes.
As it was winter break, it was inconvenient to borrow books from the school library so he took me to the city library. When the librarian saw him, they kindly called out, “come to return books?A few days ago the library just received a batch of books on marketing, the catalog is over here.”
Only then did I know that he was a frequent visitor of the library. I also registered for a library car and started to borrow books from the city library.
We often both stayed together for the whole day, as if if I was there then he’d also be there and if he was there then I would also be there. Actually, although we were together, but we read our own books, did our own things and didn’t interrupt each other.
Rumors started spreading that I was Xiao Bo’s girlfriend. When they came to ask us, we would deny it but we wouldn’t go all over the place finding people and explaining to them that we weren’t. Also, I saw Xiao Bo was quite happy that I became his shield.
Xiao Bo was elegant and refined, he was polite and well mannered to girls and never swore. He could be considered as an unconventional figure in the circle and many girls liked him. The girls in this circle were fierce and stopped at nothing to get what they wanted. When they chased guys, they really used whatever method they could, from public confessions to attempting suicide. Xiao Bo was very vexed but having me to shield him made it slightly better.
Zhang Jun often came to the karaoke bar to sing. I gradually found out that the person he followed had the nickname ‘Little Six’, however no one dared to call him ‘Little Six’ to his face, even Brother Li respectfully called him ‘Brother Six’ even though Little Six looked much younger than him. Based on Wu Zei’s words, Little Six was a very ruthless person and could be considered the number one boss of the city’s triad. He had been held in custody many times but he was very lucky, every time he entered the public security bureau, he was able to peacefully come out again.
I couldn’t understand how Zhang Jun got mixed up with someone like Little Six at all but he probably couldn’t understand how I ended up mixing with Brother Li and Xiao Bo at all either.
We both came and go from the same karaoke bar and occasionally when we bumped into each other, we pretended like we didn’t know each other and brushed past, not even saying hello, completely ignoring each other. But I knew that actually, my eyes were fixed on him all the time.
End of Chapter 3!!
I know that I keep referring to their ‘circle’ and I’ve been describing it as a mafia but I found a better word for it! It’s a triad– a secret society originating in China, typically involved in organized crime such as money laundering, counterfeiting, dealing with drugs and prostitution etc.etc.
Also, if you didn’t get it, Little Six came out of custody not because he was lucky (Qi Qi is so innocent~) but because he probably paid them off or had influential power over them. I think it might be quite important to note how much power Little Six has because he does appear in the next chapter.
I actually think Qi Qi is quite brave because like she said, not many people would dare to go against their teacher and most would just suffer in silence. However, although Qi Qi isn’t the type to step down from injustice, perhaps she’s going about it in a wrong way in defying the teacher. But then again, I don’t see what other way she could have used since I highly doubt her parents would go complain to the school. What are your thoughts on this?