26 - I hope I can be that person
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On the first day of school, there was a lot of enthusiasm in the classroom. After not seeing each other during their winter vacation, there seemed to be endless topics to discuss. Ke Wenzhen entered the classroom she seemed to have big news and held a small class meeting.
Passing the English test papers to the class representative Wu Jiajia, Ke Wenzhen asked, "All your teachers for all your subjects have handed out your exam papers, right?"
In their last exam, the results for the class were generally good, and everyone answered with confidence.
"We got them."
Hearing them say this, Ke Wenzhen smiled at first and then turned serious and said, "A new semester is coming. Be wary of becoming arrogant and rash. This year you will be becoming third years, and the current seniors will be taking their college entrance exams very soon. Don't go and disturb them."
It was already March and there were only three months to go before the college entrance exams. In the final sprint, just passing by the high school building you could already feel the tension and pressure inside.
Although she was only a second year, Wei Ruxia still felt the same way. She looked at the physics and chemistry test papers in her hand and her errors were clearly presented before her, making her feel even more anxious than when she saw the report card.
An English paper appeared in front of her and Wu Jiajia stood in front of Wei Ruxia and said softly, "Wei Ruxia, please pass this on."
"Okay." Wei Ruxia took it and glanced at the name column where Luo Tang's name was written. Luo Tang's handwriting was very nice, every stroke of the Chinese characters looked like bamboo knots, extraordinarily refined.
Holding Luo Tang's test paper, Wei Ruxia turned it over and looked it over again, as if she didn't believe it. She raised her eyes to look at Luo Tang, but when she was about to speak, Ke Wenzhen called her.
Wei Ruxia raised her head, and after taking a look at Ke Wenzhen, she replied, "Here."
"Come with me to the office." Ke Wenzhen smiled, but Wei Ruxia still felt distraught, and after passing the test paper to Luo Tang, she got up and went out.
Ke Wenzhen learned about Wei Ruxia's grandma from Hu Yinyin, and after she comforted Wei Ruxia a bit, she got to the point.
"Can you keep up with the courses for each subject now?" Wei Ruxia's first monthly exam scores were good, and the midterm exams were also improving, but the monthly exams after the midterms and in her final exam, her grades dropped very sharply. Although it was likely affected by grandma's illness, Ke Wenzhen believed that there might be other reasons.
This time Wei Ruxia took 30th in the exams, and she herself felt that this result was a bit too pitiful for the teachers to help her. She lowered her head to reflect and said, "I can keep up, I’ll try to do better this semester."
"That's fine." Ke Wenzhen said with a smile. She took a sip of water and thought for a while, then said to Wei Ruxia, "Learning can be difficult if you’re just relying on yourself or the teacher. It’s better to rely on your classmates. This semester, I’ll move your seat, what do you think about sharing a table with Li Yiting?"
When she first arrived, Wei Ruxia took the initiative to propose sitting with Luo Tang. Before changing her seat again, she still wanted to ask Wei Ruxia's opinion.
This topic caught her off guard and Wei Ruxia didn't think before replying, "I usually just ask Luo Tang when I have questions."
Ke Wenzhen smiled. She took out two test transcripts, they were from the last monthly exam and final exams from last year. She found Luo Tang's name and pointed to his uneven scores and said, "But Luo Tang's grades have been regressing. You two have similar grades now. Can he still help you?"
Speaking of this, Wei Ruxia remembered Luo Tang's English test paper she saw before coming to the office. The second section of his test was completely empty, and he didn't fill in any of the questions on reading comprehension and English composition.
She was just about to argue for Luo Tang, but she didn’t know from which angle to argue. Wei Ruxia answered Ke Wenzhen, "He can help me. He knows the answers to all the questions I ask, and when he explains it I can understand everything. I think he has helped me a lot in my studies."
This wasn’t Ke Wenzhen’s first year teaching. She’d had many students who went through her classes every year and she knew what was in the hearts of the children during the rainy seasons and what would happen next.
Teachers weren’t blind to things outside the classroom doors. They focused on teaching and educating people, but the fact that Luo Tang had carried Wei Ruxia from the track during the sports meet had spread throughout the school. She’d also heard about Wei Ruxia going to the art class to find Li Yawen.
Regarding the relationship between Wei Ruxia and Luo Tang, if one said that they were friends then they were too close, if one said that they were prematurely in love...
Having taught so many students, children at her age were still as plain as white paper, and they didn't hide their intentions. She looked at Wei Ruxia's expression, and it didn't seem to be a case of premature love.
In the end, Ke Wenzhen didn't say anything, she just mentioned a few words vaguely.
"When two people are at the same table, the most important thing is to learn from each other and not get distracted with other things."
When Wei Ruxia returned to the classroom. Li Yiting, the math class representative, was handing out math test papers. As soon as she entered the door, Li Yiting smiled at her and handed over her test paper.
"Here is yours and Luo Tang's, save me going to the back of the classroom."
Smiling and saying thank you, Wei Ruxia took the test papers, and put her own test paper underneath. She returned to her seat while looking at Luo Tang.
It wasn’t time for class now, and the back of the classroom was very lively. A lot of things happened during the winter vacation, especially for the seniors in their third year, their university enrollments were almost settled.
"Li Yawen was headhunted by the Film Academy."
"Isn't she only a second year? Is she so talented?"
"I heard that a certain director took a fancy to her, she might not be a dancer but go and make a movie."
"Wow, our school has had so many school flowers over the years. This is the first special offer I’ve heard of from the Film Academy."
After passing through the gossiping crowd, Wei Ruxia returned to her seat and handed over the test papers to Luo Tang. Luo Tang was reading comics and watching her movements. He turned his eyes to the test paper in her hand, and lowered the comic book slightly to meet Wei Ruxia's gaze.
"You taught me all these questions, why didn't you answer them?" Wei Ruxia frowned and asked, then suddenly smiled and said, "Did you want to get the same test score as me?"
Wei Ruxia's remark was a joke, who could be so good that they would get the exact same test score as her. Besides, the test scores were only similar to hers, asides sharing the same exam room allocation, there was nothing else in common.
After she finished speaking, she handed the test paper to Luo Tang and said, "The head teacher talked to me about studying, and also talked about you."
"What did she say?" Luo Tang put away the test paper and pressed it under his comic book.
"She talked about your grades regressing." After Wei Ruxia finished speaking, she added, "She’s afraid that you can't teach me and asked me if I wanted to share a table with Li Yiting."
Luo Tang lifted his eyes.
It was Li Yiting again.
After Wei Ruxia finished speaking, she was going to start studying, but she noticed that Luo Tang seemed to be watching her. She looked back at him. Luo Tang's eyes seemed to be waiting for her to explain what happened next. She was stunned for a while, and didn’t react for a while. She smiled somewhat inexplicably, "I disagreed, I think you teach everything really well."
Luo Tang, who was praised for ‘teaching well’, went back to reading his comics.
Wei Ruxia looked at the comic book in his hand and wanted to remind him to study, but he really could do all the questions, and it was only her who had to study hard.
Thinking this, Wei Ruxia lowered her head and continued reading.
Their PE class was not yet over when Wei Ruxia and Hu Yinyin went to queue up for barbecue bibimbap. She ate an icy pole and sat there waiting with Hu Yinyin. Hu Yinyin admired her a little, and said, "You really aren’t afraid of the cold."
Although Hu Yinyin also liked to eat cold food, she still wouldn’t dare eat ice in March. Wei Ruxia wasn’t afraid of the cold at all, and was as warm as a stove in winter. It stands to reason that she should have had dysmenorrhea from eating cold food so often, but Wei Ruxia didn’t get dysmenorrhea at all. When her aunt came, she was no different from normal. Hu Yinyin envied her.
"We also had these in Dongzhen." Wei Ruxia said to Hu Yinyin, "In the town's market, they were unpacked and sold right on the roadside."
Hu Yinyin, who was taking a sip of Coke, almost sprayed it out, and asked a stupid question, "Aren't you afraid of it melting?"
After asking, she replied for herself, "Oh right, it’s minus forty or fifty degrees in Dongzhen."
Wei Ruxia laughed and took another bite of the icy pole. Hu Yinyin glanced behind them. There were several boys from the sports school there, and after she finished peeking, she leaned forward and said to Wei Ruxia, "Look at the big-eyed one, he keeps looking at you."
The sports school students were behind Hu Yinyin. Did she have eyes behind her head? How could she tell he was watching her?
Wei Ruxia looked up, there were four people sitting there. The one with the largest eyes looked the best. His skin was also quite white, looking watery and tender. On the table in front of their chairs, there was a square box with the words ‘Happy Birthday’ written on it, and a small plastic bag of disposable paper plates wrapped with a purple ribbon next to it.
It was a birthday cake.
Hu Yinyin's observation was correct, the big-eyed boy was looking at her. When she raised her eyes to look behind her, she met his gaze and he quickly looked away.
Wei Ruxia glanced at the cake box and asked Hu Yinyin, "Do you have any recommendations for a friend's birthday gift?"
Hu Yinyin had thrown out the topic wanting to gossip. She didn't expect that after throwing it to Wei Ruxia, not only did she not react but she completely ignored it. She looked at Wei Ruxia with a helpless look, and asked, "Boy or girl?"
"Luo Tang." Wei Ruxia said.
Hearing that it was Luo Tang, Hu Yinyin's face rekindled the shrewdness of a gossip. Wei Ruxia looked at her amused and finally Hu Yinyin controlled herself.
Wei Ruxia and Luo Tang had a good relationship, but they were just close friends, not to the point where they could feature in gossip.
Hu Yinyin's understanding of Luo Tang was limited to what Han Junsong told her. She actually didn't have any good suggestions, so she said, "Why don't you give him something you like."
After saying that, she continued, “Actually, Luo Tang’s family situation is so good. It doesn’t matter what gift you give him, the most important thing is it has to have heart. It would be best to just send him birthday wishes on the morning of his birthday to let him know you care about him."
"Do you and Han Junsong send morning birthday wishes?" Wei Ruxia asked.
"I wouldn't." Hu Yinyin looked disgusted, "He sleeps like a pig, why should wait until midnight to wish him a happy birthday?"
Wei Ruxia laughed.
The day before Luo Tang's birthday, Wei Ruxia set her alarm clock for 11:50. When the alarm rang, Wei Ruxia woke up and took out her cell phone to call Luo Tang.
On the other end of the phone, Luo Tang's voice was quiet, as usual, but was also a little hoarse, and they spoke very softly at night.
"Happy birthday~" Wei Ruxia said with a smile.
After she finished speaking, Wei Ruxia heard a low laugh. Luo Tang rarely laughed, and Wei Ruxia could imagine the corners of his lips drawing up. Feeling inspired, she got up from bed, put on her pajamas and said to Luo Tang.
"Come out, I have a gift for you."
It was just after midnight, and when Wei Ruxia came out with the gift box in her arms, Luo Tao was already standing at the door.
The night breeze was very cold, the area was quiet. The whole roadside was only softly lit as the young girl and boy stood under the street lights.
Luo Tang was wearing pajamas and a long black down jacket over the top. He’d pulled the zipper to the top, showing only his pointed chin on his slender neck. His whole face was white and beautiful in the dark.
"For you." Wei Ruxia was also wearing a long down jacket and the colour and style were the same as Luo Tang’s. The two looked like models in a shop window.
The gift was wrapped in wrapping paper. It was a large box and was quite heavy to hold. Luo Tang took it, and the cool breeze blew his eyelashes. He looked at Wei Ruxia and asked, "Are you going to give Uncle Wei a gift so early in the morning?"
Even though Luo Tang teased her about giving him gifts in the middle of the night, Wei Ruxia didn't blush, she laughed and said, "No way, my dad is old, and he won’t be able to get back to sleep if I wake him up. I’ll wait for him in the morning."
The cool breeze on the street at night rustled the maple tree next to the street lamp, and the light passed through the leaves, casting dappled light and shadow on the boy's face.
He looked at the gift in his hand, and then at the girl standing in front of him, he seemed to have received some kind of preferential treatment, or had benefited from preferential treatment because of his age. Luo Tang pursed her lips and said, "I’ll sleep more easily when I get older."
Wei Ruxia had gained some understanding of Luo Tang's temperament. After listening to him, she understood his meaning and laughed, "Then I’ll always give you gifts at midnight?"
"Yeah." Luo Tang replied.
"Hahaha." Wei Ruxia was a little hot in her down jacket, so she opened the zipper of her jacket. The collar of her pajamas wasn’t buttoned properly, revealing part of her straight and delicate collarbone.
Because she was a little hot, Wei Ruxia was a little sleepy, but after being blown by the cool breeze, she woke up.
In mid-March in the south, she didn't expect it to be so comfortable at night. After Wei Ruxia laughed, she saw that Luo tang didn't intend to go back in a hurry, and said, "Open it and take a look."
The two squatted down together and took apart the packing box. They were a pair of roller skates.
This was something that Wei Ruxia liked. Luo Tang could skateboard, so he should be able to use them. The size of the roller skates could be adjusted, Luo Tang adjusted them to his own size, took off his shoes and put one on.
"I wanted to buy ice skates." Wei Ruxia squatted beside Luo Tang and helped him tie up the shoelaces, and said, "But there aren’t any ice rinks here. With roller skates you can skate anywhere."
Wei Ruxia squatted at his feet, he was slightly bent over and could see her face when he lowered his eyes. When she said this, the smile on her face paused, and there was a shadow in her eyes.
"Do you have skates?" Luo Tang asked Wei Ruxia.
After tying the shoelaces, Wei Ruxia looked up at Luo Tang. The young man's face was just above hers, and behind him was the endless starry sky.
Today's night sky was so beautiful, a dark sky, full of stars.
"I do. They were given to me by my mother." Wei Ruxia laughed again. She stood up. Luo Tang, who was wearing roller skates, was even taller than before. She looked up at him and the starry sky behind him, and said, "There is a river in our town where the ice is very thick in winter. All my friends in the town would go skating. I didn’t know how to do it at first. My mother taught me. She didn’t teach much, but I can do a few turns."
After speaking, Wei Ruxia's smile deepened, her light brown eyes filled with bright stars.
The night often made people feel thoughtful, there was still life all around, but she felt as if she was the only one left in the world. Her mother gave her skates when she was seven years old, after the grandpa who lived with them passed away unexpectedly. She had kept crying and clamoring to find grandpa, so her mother bought her skates and took her ice skating to divert her attention.
Once the memories started, it was difficult to end them. Wei Ruxia looked at the same night sky as that night with a cold heart.
"Do you miss your mother?" Luo Tang looked down at Wei Ruxia in front of him. She raised her chin without raising the corners of her lips.
The last time she was asked her this question was by her grandma. Back then Wei Ruxia replied, "Yes, but now I have grandma with me". But in a few months, her grandma was gone too.
Wei Ruxia took a breath of the night's cold air. She looked at Luo Tang, smiled, and said, "I really miss her."
Wei Ruxia was good at hiding sadness with her smile, but her eyes never deceived. Luo Tang looked at her eyes that seemed to be hidden under a deep pool. He licked his lower lip, his voice was gentle and hoarse, "My grandfather told me that after the person you are close to dies, you’ll miss them very much. But if there is someone close by your side to accompany you, you’ll gradually forget the pain of missing them."
Wei Ruxia's gaze shifted from the night sky to Luo Tang's face, and he looked back at her, his expression was particularly calming, as if he could melt the dark night, wrapping her up close.
"I hope I can be that person." Luo Tang said.
The author has something to say:
Tangtang: The one who accompanies you to sleep.
The plot speeds up, speeds up, speeds up again, don’t rush, don’t yell~
Man, this kid can really say the corniest shit with a straight face. Amazing, fantastic, reckon Ruxia will finally catch on?