18 - I really want you to come back
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After spending a few days at her grandma's house, Wei Ruxia returned home the day before school started. Dragging her suitcase through the door, Wei Ruxia went into the dining room first. As she arrived in the doorway of the dining room, Wei Ruxia looked up and saw Wei Zishan, who was grabbing a glass of water.
The two had been living under the same roof for a month, but they had encountered each only a handful of times. Wei Ruxia had almost forgotten what he looked like.
Wei Zishan was wearing a white shirt with a light gray cardigan over the top. He was tall and lean, with a refined temperament. He didn't look like a very difficult person to approach at all. But his ‘amicable’ side was only shown to those close to him or complete strangers, not Wei Ruxia.
She was neither close to him nor a stranger.
Wei Ruxia didn't talk to Wei Zishan, she just glanced at him. The lunch that Auntie Li made at noon was still on the table and seeing that the dishes on the plates hadn’t been touched, Wei Zishan probably hadn't eaten anything all day.
Seeing Wei Ruxia, Wei Zishan stopped drinking his water and put the cup on the table. The thick bottom of the cup touched the table top, making a dull sound.
"I brought back some side dishes made by grandma." When Wei Zishan put down the cup, Wei Ruxia realized his intentions, but she didn't follow his hint and instead put down her suitcase and placed the carry bag in her other hand on the table.
The carry bag was very heavy. When Wei Ruxia lifted it onto the table, her face became a little red. She laid out the side dishes in glass boxes from the bag, and spoke as she put them out. "Grandma said you have a bad appetite, and wanted me to bring them back for you."
The side dishes were arranged one by one, five kinds in total. Through the glass box, you could see what they looked like and could guess their taste.
Wei Zishan withdrew his eyes from the side dishes, as Wei Ruxia next to him had already started to open the boxes. His face was calm, but his eyes were gradually surging, and he said, "You don't need to use my mother to play nice with me."
The fingers that opened the boxes touched the cold glass. Wei Ruxia didn't seem to hear him, as she opened the next box of side dishes, then looked up at Wei Zishan with a smile, and said, "She’s my grandmother, it doesn't count as ‘using’."
Her tone was neither humble nor overbearing, spoken with a gentle smile on her face, which further off set his acrimoniousness.
He had treated others gracefully all his life, but he was so bitter and mean to his daughter. To this daughter who ruined his life but couldn't get rid of, he couldn’t maintain even a semblance of gentleness.
Wei Zishan got up and left the dining room.
Wei Ruxia looked down at the side dishes on the table, listening to Wei Zishan's footsteps drifting away, before they ended with the sound of a door closing. Wei Ruxia pursed her lips, resealed the boxes that had just been opened and put them in the refrigerator. Pulling her suitcase, she returned to her room.
After unpacking her clothes, Wei Ruxia sat on the bed and looked up at her room. The room was still as it was when she went to her grandma's house a few days ago, neat and clean, untouched by any other humans.
Wei Ruxia glanced down at the desk. On it were the textbooks and test papers that had just been taken out of her suitcase, as well as a box of washed persimmons.
The persimmons were from the persimmon orchard in Yizhen. The day before yesterday, she and her grandma went there to pick some. Her grandma soaked them in wine for two days to remove the astringent flavour and now they were very sweet.
Wei Ruxia got up, took the persimmons and went out.
After Luo Tang heard the door opening next door, he took A’Mang out. He looked at the empty yard next door, the sound of the door opening seemed to have just been a hallucination. After taking A’Mang out to play in the yard for a while, again there came the sound of the door opening next door, and a tall girl came out with a glass box.
After she left the house, she first glanced at the house next door, and her originally calm face brightened happily when she saw him, and she called, “"Luo Tang."
Her voice was no longer filtered through the phone line, where the sound was mixed with electronic noise, it was her true and sweet voice.
Luo Tang took A’Mang out and went over together.
The two hadn't seen each other for several days, but Wei Ruxia still felt closer to Luo Tang. Luo Tang had explained to her all the questions she couldn't do in her holiday homework and although the two didn’t meet in person, the video calls often lasted more than two hours every day, just like when they lived side-by-side.
"I brought you persimmons."
Wei Ruxia walked to the door of Luo Tang's house, reached out her hand to touch A’Mang's head, and handed the box to Luo Tang.
The two stood together, Wei Ruxia still wearing shorts, the straps on her shoulders tied into bows, making her collarbone appear even more slender and delicate.
Luo Tang took the box, and Wei Ruxia added, "They’ve been washed, let's try it."
Opening the lunch box, Luo Tang handed Wei Ruxia one, and Wei Ruxia took it with a smile, then he took one for himself.
In the early autumn evening, two people stood in the yard, each with a persimmon, taking bite after bite. The sound was crisp and the sweetness quickly filled their taste buds.
Luo Tang liked to eat sweets. The persimmons tasted like him. Holding the box, he looked at Wei Ruxia standing in front of him. She was chewing and looking down at her toes.
Between her heroic eyebrows was the fatigue caused by riding the bus, and her light brown eyes were dim under her long eyelashes, as if she was thinking about something.
"Did you not finish all your homework?" Luo Tang closed the box and asked, looking down at her.
"Hmm." Wei Ruxia raised her eyes and glanced at Luo Tang. She had been distracted thinking about Wei Zishan.
The young man standing in front of her looked at her calmly, and his dark eyes were clear.
Wei Ruxia smiled, took a bite of a persimmon, then turned her head and looked at the sunset in the sky. She shook her head and said, "No, it's all done."
Obviously, her emotions weren’t because of her studies.
Wei Ruxia was someone who reported the good but not the bad. Any negative emotions were swallowed back. She loved to laugh and if one wasn’t careful, you would never even notice that she was sad.
Luo Tang thought about her expression when she first came out. The persimmons in his mouth were sweet. Luo Tang looked down at Wei Ruxia, and suddenly said something, "I missed you a lot."
With sunset clouds reflected in her eyes, Wei Ruxia looked back at Luo Tang. The youth’s face was clear and defined.
Her heart felt as if it was being held, Wei Ruxia looked up at Luo Tang, smiled and took a bite of persimmon.
The National Day holiday was over, and it was almost time for the monthly exams.
The weather in mid-October was no longer so hot, but because of the exams, the students' hearts still felt stuffy.
The exams were set for Thursday and Friday, and before school on Wednesday. During their next class, they packed up their textbooks and personal items as the classroom would be used as an exam room tomorrow.
When Ke Wenzhen entered the door, everyone in class was busy working silently. Observing the atmosphere, Ke Wenzhen asked, "I'm worried now, why is everyone so early?"
"Aiya~" The class was teased with a sigh.
Worried she would affect their emotions, Ke Wenzhen didn’t continue. She smiled and said, "Okay, we should all be refreshed. These are the first monthly exams in our school, the questions aren’t difficult."
After speaking, Ke Wenzhen took out the paper in her hand and said, "This is the room allocations for the exams and your seat numbers. I’ll put it up here. Please remember to read it. Class rep, come and put it up."
Their class rep, Wang Anshi, heard her call, stood up from his seat with a glue stick, and posted the exam room allocation sheet. After posting it up, everyone flocked to see which room they were in.
Han Junsong bent over, tilted his neck and looked down at the room allocations, complaining, "Prime Minister, can you stick a little higher next time? It's exhausting to look at it like this."
Prime Minister was Wang Anshi's nickname, because he was younger and shorter than everyone else. Hearing what Han Junsong said, Wang Anshi wrinkled his nose and said, "I tried my best."
It stands to reason that the class representative should be one of the taller, older students, but Ke Wenzhen didn't use the usual methods. She found the youngest member of the class to be the representative.
Wang Anshi had good academic performance, was young, and had a soft temper. If the class was undisciplined, he wouldn’t rat them out and in return, Han Junsong's boys would take care of him.
After looking at Wang Anshi for a bit, Han Junsong didn’t say any more. Once he’d read through the seating chart, he happily went back and said, “Luo’ge is in the 15th examination room, and Fatty is in the 30th. As for Long Legs...you’re in the same exam room as me, hahaha."
"Isn’t that the last examination room?" Hu Yinyin sarcastically asked Han Junsong.
"It's the penultimate examination room!" Han Junsong hummed and said happily, "The room with art class students, all of them are cuties."
Hu Yinyin slapped him and Han Junsong lay down on the table for a long time without getting up.
Wei Ruxia was a transfer student, and transfer students with no grades recorded would naturally be ranked last. After she thanked Han Junsong, Wei Ruxia lowered her head to continue studying the textbook.
The closer the exams got, the more she felt she couldn't do anything, but Wei Ruxia wasn't disturbed. She looked at the textbook and revised the content from the beginning.
Luo Tang beside her was unmoved, still reading his comics. Wei Ruxia glanced over, looking at the bloody fight drawn in the comic book and thinking about Luo Tang's exam allocation just mentioned by Han Junsong.
He really didn't need to work hard. He could rank in the upper middle by reading comics all day.
A hand suddenly appeared over the page, obstructing her line-of-sight with his white and slender fingers. Luo Tang pinched the corner of the page and asked, "Have you finished reading?"
Wei Ruxia returned to her senses, looked up at him, shook her head and said, "I'm not reading your comic."
Luo Tang turned the page of the comic.
"You and Han Junsong are in the same examination room." Luo Tang also just heard Han Junsong's report about the arrangement of the examination rooms.
"Yeah." Wei Ruxia nodded, looked back at her textbook and said, "The last examination room."
From the examination room, you could tell who had good or bad academic performance. She hoped that her rank would be better after these tests, so that she could move to a higher exam room.
Obviously, Luo Tang's expectations of her were higher than that.
"Next time you'll be in the same room as me." Luo Tang said.
Wei Ruxia blinked, laughed, then said to Luo Tang, "You think too highly of me, I know best I'm not at that level."
After taking a look at Wei Ruxia, Luo Tang retracted his gaze and went on to read his comic book.
The classrooms had been arranged as exam rooms, and on Thursday morning, after Wei Ruxia and Luo Tang separated, she went directly to the last examination room. The rooms were counted from the first floor, with the last examination room in the competition class' classroom. As soon as she walked in, there was an academic atmosphere.
There weren't many students in the competition class, and many of the tables were borrowed from the art class next door. The art class' desks were full of graffiti, and Wei Ruxia's had Doraemon drawn on it.
Room allocation was based on academic performance. In the penultimate exam room, half were ordinary students and half were art students. The students from the art class were all from the same classroom, so they got together to chat before taking the exam.
Those who were from ordinary classes were mostly slackers like Han Junsong, who were sitting in their places and looking at the well-dressed art students, whistling and jeering.
Most of the students in the art class had experienced drawing attention to themselves in the school, so they didn't care about being whistled at. They just took a look, and then continued to talk about their own things.
The loudest noise before the exam came from when Li Yawen entered the exam room. Wei Ruxia didn't notice her until Han Junsong yelled from behind.
"Oh, the school flower is here."
Li Yawen knew Han Junsong and also knew that he was someone who hung out with Luo Tang. She raised her head to say hello to Han Junsong, but stopped when she saw Wei Ruxia in front of him.
With a light frown, Li Yawen retracted her gaze and returned to her seat.
When Chen Yanming saw her coming in, her eyebrows were raised. She sat on the table, leaned forward, and asked with a smile, "How did it go? Did Li Haoshu confess?"
Chen Yanming was Li Yawen's best friend. She competed in sprinting. Her facial features weren't pretty, but she had a very good body. She had a good relationship with Li Yawen and Li Yawen usually told her everything.
However, Chen Yanming also had a big mouth. Every time she talked to Chen Yanming, other people quickly learnt about it.
After Chen Yanming asked, a few people next to her also came over and said, "Is that true, Wenwen."
Li Haoshu was the captain of the school basketball team. He was tall and sunny, and his smile was particularly contagious, playing basketball was just a bonus. He was also the captain of basketball and to be confessed to by him in this high school wasn't any small thing.
Li Yawen was called out by Li Haoshu when she was at school. Li Haoshu did confess to her, but she refused.
"You rejected him?" Several girls looked annoyed.
The girl next to Chen Yanming seemed to have anticipated the ending, she patted her on the shoulder and said to them, "Of course she refused. Our Wenwen only likes Luo..."
When Li Yawen heard Chen Yanming's words, she remembered his attitude towards Wei Ruxia when she met Luo Tang the previous two times. For the first time, the feeling of low self-esteem emerged in her heart and she called Chen Yanming a little irritably.
Chen Yanming looked back at her and Li Yawen frowned and said, "Stop talking."
The monthly exam was arranged with the morning exam for Chinese, and the afternoon for mathematics and comprehensive science. This was their first joint exam after the division of subjects and the students took it seriously, students in the last three exam rooms notwithstanding.
As soon as the maths exam was over in the afternoon, most of the students in her exam room went out and had no plans to prepare for the comprehensive exam.
As they had just finished an exam, there would be a crowd in the bathrooms, so Wei Ruxia didn't worry, and just took out her textbook to study a bit first.
When Luo Tang went over, there was a lot of noise in the room. She wasn't disturbed at all, just reading there quietly. Luo Tang pursed his lips slightly, then walked in.
The noise in the classroom obviously reduced and Wei Ruxia thought it was the teacher who had just come in. When she looked up, she saw Luo Tang sitting in front of her.
The boy was tall, and his body was more than double the height of the table. He sat on the chair with his legs open, his knees bent and his body leaning forward slightly. His fingers held a Cornetto.
Wei Ruxia smiled when she saw Luo Tang and said, "Thank you, how come you're here?"
Putting the set square on the table he was sitting on onto her table, Luo Tang replied indifferently, "I bought this."
Wei Ruxia looked at the set square and took a bite of the icecream. She didn't see through him at all, she just asked, "Isn’t the maths exam over?"
"Yeah." Luo Tang didn't panic and spoke with a calm expression, "I just remembered it when I was taking the test."
Wei Ruxia, "..."
Now that Luo Tang was there, Wei Ruxia simply asked him to help her study for a while. Luo Tang held a pen between his fingers and was doing calculations on the draft paper. Wei Ruxia listened carefully and noticed someone behind him. She glanced at Luo Tang, pointed behind him, and reminded, "People are coming back."
In front of Wei Ruxia sat a scornful boy who looked fierce and not easy to provoke. When he first came to the classroom, someone called him Qi'ge. He was called out by his classmates after the exam and went somewhere else. He just came back now.
Upon hearing Wei Ruxia's reminder, Luo Tang raised his eyes and glanced at the boy called Qi'ge.
Qi'ge was shocked by his sight and his tall body shrank as much as possible, as he backed away he said, "It's okay, it's okay, Luo'ge you can sit!"
One thing drops one thing.
Having been with Luo Tang for a long time, she actually forgot that Luo Tang was the biggest bully in the entire school.
Luo Tang didn't listen to him. He got up from his seat and walked to Wei Ruxia's side, then leaned on her table and drew a diagram while speaking to Wei Ruxia quietly, "The acceleration is constant..."
Qi'ge saw this scene before him and didn't even dare to sit down.
Wei Ruxia wasn't really bothered seeing Qi'ge standing like that, but after Luo Tang finished explaining, she raised her head and said to Luo Tang, "The exam is about to start. You should head back."
Luo Tang glanced at the time. There were still ten minutes before the exam. The people in this exam room came back one after another, all of them glancing in their direction.
Putting down the pen in his hand, Luo Tang took the set square ruler and looked down at Wei Ruxia and said, "Yeah. After the exam, I'll go back to our classroom and wait for you there."
The two would go home together in the evening.
"Okay." Wei Ruxia agreed.
With Luo Tang's appearance, Wei Ruxia had become unscrupulous in the eyes of those in the classroom. When Luo Tang left he ran into Han Junsong who had just come back. Han Junsong greeted Luo Tang.
"Looking for Long Legs?"
Luo Tang nodded slightly, straightened up and left.
After Han Junsong and Wei Ruxia said hello, he returned to his seat and sat down. The boy in front of him looked back at Han Junsong and said, "Hey, hey, is the girl with long legs Luo'ge's woman?"
When Han Junsong heard this, he frowned, smacked his face and said: "What woman, they are childhood friends! Do you understand! Pure childhood friendship!"
The man was beaten so hard that he no longer dared to speak, and quickly turned around.
The boy wasn't bright and naturally believed Han Junsong's words. The girls didn't feel the same.
When Luo Tang came, Li Yawen was in the exam room, but he didn't even look at her the whole time. Li Yawen sat in the seat, feeling as if her heart had been hollowed. She looked at Wei Ruxia's back and bit her lower lip.
Chen Yanming knew Wei Ruxia. Last time she and Li Yawen were blocked by Xu Lingzhou, Luo Tang had left with her in the end. At that time, someone said that they were neighbours, so she didn't think about it deeply.
Today, Li Yawen was in a bad mood after seeing Wei Ruxia and Luo Tang together again. Chen Yanming patted Li Yawen on the shoulder and said, "Don't worry, let's slowly figure something out."
Sorry, about the website going down. This was meant to go up yesterday. If you've been here a while you might know I've been having some issues with the backend of this website (i.e. crashing). I'm going to be swapping out the backend in a bit to something a little less....crashy. Same url and everything but just a warning in case you jump on one day and everything looks a little different. New version will have comments! So you can cry over everytime Luo Tang makes you cringe with me, just hold in the violence a little longer, you're time will come. No ETA as I'm still in apartment limbo but it'll probably happen randomly one day in the future.