Editor: merahmapple 🍁
For the first time in this long cold war, the two teenagers were relieved to be able to reconcile, then, they were a little bit at a loss.
Qu Zhengyan pursed his lips and after a while, he looked at the other party in his eyes. After a long time, Du Yongjin sighed, seemingly more relaxed and his mouth was only slightly pursed. He turned his head away from Qu Zhengyan. Still a little angry but, his expression was nevertheless much softer than usual. “…Then, how do you go back after school?”
Qu Zhengyan immediately replied, “I’ll go with you.” Then, he hesitated, “Well, I live at Taotao’s house. Let’s ask Taotao to go together tomorrow.”
Taotao was Little Fatty.
Du Yongjin lowered his eyelids but said nothing more. He turned his head and started walking slowly, Qu Zhengyan immediately followed. It’s been a long time since I went home with Xiao Jin, he thought. Looking at the slender back of the young man walking a few steps in front of him, the corners of his lips couldn’t help but curl up.
“You can stay at my house.”
Qu Zhengyan was startled. Then, he dully remembered this terrible thing. After reconciliation, it seemed particularly uncomfortable. He hurried forward a few steps, walking beside Du Yongjin. He turned his head to look carefully at Du Yongjin’s expression.
“En, let me call back and ask my mom if it’s okay? Anyway, it’s just a few days. She probably won’t object.” He was very confident.
But Du Yongjin frowned. “I didn’t mean these few days!”
“I mean,” Du Yongjin stopped and returned his look. “Don’t move away, okay? You can live at my house. My room is very big. Anyway, if you move so far, it will be inconvenient to go to school in the future. Live with me.”
“…” Qu Zhengyan stared at Du Yongjin blankly. He didn’t dare to say his plan to study in another high school. After a long while, he whispered, “But, your grandma is very scary…”
“Just ignore her!” Du Yongjin interrupted him impatiently. “You can just stay with me. We eat and do our homework in the room. En, if we want to take a shower and watch TV, I will let her go away first!”
“But…” Qu Zhengyan still hesitated.
Fourteen or fifteen-year-olds were still very naive in their thinking. They make incredible judgments and decisions about many things, being brave, conceited and not considering reality. They really think they “can!”
Even a steady child like Qu Zhengyan still had unrealistic fantasies. He really liked the idea of living together with Xiao Jin, only faintly feeling that something was not right. In the end, he said, “I want to ask my parents first.”
Du Yongjin was a little unhappy but, he still held back. Immediately finding a few coins from his pocket, he pulled Qu Zhengyan to the phone booth on the side of the road.
After dialing his mother’s phone, Qu Zhengyan stuttered out his request to live at Xiao Jin’s house. Jing Yunlin didn’t react for a while. After thinking for a time, she asked, “Have you reconciled with Du Yongjin?”
“…But, does his family know about this? Did they agree?”
Qu Zhengyan was stunned and then, turned to ask Xiao Jin. “My mother asked if your family agreed?”
Du Yongjin said calmly, “They won’t disagree.” He amplified his voice so that Jing Yunlin who was on the other side of the phone could also hear it.
Qu Zhengyan could feel his mother’s silence. She sighed and said, “You can go tonight. I will call Taotao’s parents to say hello. But I won’t call Du Yongjin’s house. You should ask about it yourself. If his family agrees, you can stay. If they disagree, you will go back to Taotao’s house. Understood?”
“En, I understand. Then, then, what about after that?” Qu Zhengyan gripped his arm tightly. Du Yongjin nodded with impatience, prompting him to ask while beckoning him not to be anxious.
“We will discuss future things in detail when you go home on the weekends.” Jing Yunlin said without allowing any objections.
With such a result, Du Yongjin was naturally dissatisfied even though it was only temporary. At least, Qu Zhengyan stayed in the Du’s house that night and the next few days after. Although Madam Du didn’t catch a cold1不怎么感冒, implying to give an excuse / is neutral with the child. with the Qu child, she certainly wouldn’t disobey her precious grandson’s statement.
Until the high school entrance examination was near, Qu Zhengyan did not tell Du Yongjin about his plan to enroll in another school. He wanted to decide by himself so, he went home to discuss with his parents.
Mr Qu did not comment on his capriciousness but, Mrs Qu firmly disagreed. She didn’t mean it but, it was definitely, impossible to live at the Du’s while in high school. If he had to cross the entire city every day, it would take an hour and a half to commute. It would only inconvenienced himself and became a burden.
But Qu Zhengyan was quite persistent.
It was the first time in Qu Zhengyan’s memory that his mother was angry with him. For three days, Jing Yunlin had a stern face on and didn’t say a word to her son. Later, when Mr Qu came out to make the rounds, she scolded angrily, “If you want to report to the elevator high school, then you will take care of everything yourself. Your mother will not help! You earn the money for the transportation expenses yourself! And, if you dare feel tired in the future, don’t expect me to comfort you, and don’t complain that I torment you. Don’t think that your dad and I will help you when you change your mind for a transfer!”
This could count as a compromise. Qu Zhengyan quickly expressed his determination, “No! I won’t! I will work hard!”
Jing Yunlin shoot him a blank look, shook her head and left.
During this time, no one thought that Qu Zhengyan would not be admitted to the elevator high school. His grades have always been pretty good and he was a top senior student.
——So, life is full of accidents.
Two days before the high school entrance examination, Qu Zhengyan felt uncomfortable. He had a slight fever, diarrhea and headache. He thought that it was because he was too nervous so, he just endured it without telling anyone. As soon as he entered the examination room, he knew that he was in a bad condition and felt nauseous.
He barely survived on the first day. On the second day, he almost didn’t know what he had written on the examination papers. Even the invigilator came over and asked worriedly if there was any problem. He was trembling, nauseous, painful and weak throughout the exam. As soon as he left the examination room that afternoon, he fell flat on the ground. A classmate next to him shouted and pulled him up. After that, he didn’t know what happened until he woke up in the hospital.
Of course, he didn’t take the exam on the last day. His exams on the first two days were also a mess. All because he had the damn viral meningitis.
In this situation, not only did his score fall short for the elevator high school but it was also borderline for acceptance into the worst high school. In the end, Mr Qu asked a friend to help him and assigned Qu Zhengyan in a third-rate high school near his new home.
This result made everyone very depressed, including Du Yongjin. No one knew that he had once haunted his father and talked favorably of Qu Zhengyan’s case so he could be accepted into the elevator high school. However, Qu Zhengyan’s parents did not make a request themselves. So, why should Headmaster Du take the initiative to show his favor? This matter could not be resolved with Du Yongjin losing his temper or making a fuss. During the summer vacation, the two friends encountered the first real setback in their lives: they had to separate.
Two years later, that is a long time after knowing about Du Yongjin’s accident, among Qu Zhengyan’s many complicated thoughts, there was always one thing that he could not get rid of: if he repeated the third year of middle school that year, he could have re-enroll in the elevator high school. Would it have been better?
But this is only one of the many possibilities not set in stone.
Qu Zhengyan went to the 19th High School near his new home and unexpectedly ran into Wang Bailu. At this time, he knew that Wang Bailu’s high school entrance examination score was not only the highest score among the high school freshmen of the 19th High School but she also ranked the first in the whole year of the elevator middle school. She could choose to stay in the elevator high school but instead, she chose this third-rate school on the other side of the city.
Later, Qu Zhengyan asked her for the reason behind it. Wang Bailu said, firstly, because the school had inexpensive tuition fees and offered scholarships; the other was because she didn’t like the previous school.
Qu Zhengyan nodded. Of course! Thinking about those pig headteachers and classmates who had hurt her with words and attitudes, if it was him, he too would not stay behind. And her excellent results were the best weapon to slap them back.
However, Qu Zhengyan very cleverly concealed from Du Yongjin that Wang Bailu was also in the 19th High School.
- 1不怎么感冒, implying to give an excuse / is neutral with the child.