It was unknown how many reminders they’d received from Old Ye already. Throughout the whole day, the teachers would always set aside a few minutes after the beginning of each class for a piece of chicken soup. It was poured directly into the students and was the kind where if one didn’t listen, then they were forced to listen.
While waiting for dinner, Zhang Yueshan saw a pot of tea tree mushroom stewed chicken soup on the menu. He quickly turned away in disgust. “Too much has been poured today, I don’t want to see the words ‘chicken soup’ for at least two days!”
Dream-Ge was baffled. “But what’s going on, why were the teachers on ‘chicken soup for the soul’ mode? And it’s all a set, without any repetition! I’ve heard it so much all day that it feels like I can tie up the azure dragon if I put my hands up, or that I can get full marks on a test when I put my head down and write, and that as long as I practice for an entire summer vacation, I can gloriously advance to the NBA in the blink of an eye. I have this blind confidence that if it’s not possible today, then it’ll definitely be possible tomorrow!”
Li Hua answered, “It’s because of the accidents at the neighboring school.”
Chu Yu, who was leaning his head to look at the menu in Lu Shi’s hand, was stunned and had a bad premonition. “What happened?”
The “neighboring school” Li Hua mentioned referred to No. 3 High School, which was in the same district but a few blocks away from Jianing Private School.
As they were the only two high schools in the area, they called each other “neighbors”.
“One of my junior high school classmates who’s studying there secretly revealed that three students have already died since the start of the school year. One had a sudden death during morning self-study, while the other fell to the ground while running and was dead upon arrival at the hospital. The last one, after failing a mock quiz, went to an abandoned school building in the middle of the night, jumped off, and died.”
The people present fell silent for a while and didn’t speak.
They didn’t know what to feel, but they were a little cold.
Chu Yu didn’t want to be so close to death at all.
Li Hua continued, “These things are being kept under wraps. We haven’t heard the news, but the teachers definitely know. I guess that’s the reason why Old Ye and the others kept pouring a variety of chicken soup for us because they’re afraid that we’d be under too much pressure or that our mentality will collapse if we don’t do well in the exam and we’ll directly jump off a building or something.”
After he finished speaking, all at the same time, several eyes turned towards Fang Ziqi who was in the middle of peeling peanuts.
Fang Ziqi’s action of pinching the peanuts paused, a little scared. “What’s up? What are you guys looking at me for? Want me to teach you how to peel peanuts?”
Zhang Yueshan worriedly asked, “Study Com, are you… in a good state of mind?”
Fang Ziqi rolled his eyes. He tossed a peanut into the air and had it fall into his mouth. “What horror scenes are you imagining? Look at me, am I the kind of person who’d jump off a building? Or someone who’d suddenly die in the study room or on the sports field?”
Dream-Ge had worry written all over his face. “Yes.”
Fang Ziqi: “…”
He then looked at Chu Yu. “School flower, what about you?”
Chu Yu recalled Fang Ziqi’s heroic deeds: when he’d read his report card until his face was paralyzed, as well as when he’d been carried out of the study room after working too hard. Thus, he was a little apprehensive.
“I also think there’s a great possibility of that happening. Study Com, you must take care of yourself!”
The food they ordered was served just at that moment, and the group was so hungry that they served rice and dishes for themselves at lightning speed.
Chu Yu, with quick eyes and hands, helped Lu Shi grab two plum-blossom spare ribs first.
Zhang Yueshan asked Fang Ziqi, “Study Com, to be honest, during the beginning of the new school year, I thought I’d been studying hard enough, but then I saw you and realized that the gap was too fucking huge. Why are you even studying that hard?”
Fang Ziqi had never thought about this question.
He bit his chopsticks. “Probably, because I’m afraid that I’ll regret it later?”
He arranged his wording. “I think that with regards to doing things at a certain age, I don’t seem to have much else to do now besides studying. Since I have to do it either way, I should give it all I’ve got. To tell the truth, I’m quite afraid that when I reach my thirties and look back, I’ll regret that I didn’t study hard for my three years in high school.”
Dream-Ge gave a thumbs up while nibbling at the gap between the ribs. “Study Com is profound!”
He then remembered something. “By the way, when I was teaming up with Study Com to go to the toilet today, we ran into those idiots from Class D. After being beaten to their heart’s content yesterday, they now know how to give way to Study Com and I, whom they encountered!”
Everyone’s topic shifted to yesterday’s basketball game. Dream-Ge wished that all his good brothers could experience the joy and passion of playing basketball. Everyone, let’s advance to the NBA together!
Chu Yu was absent-minded.
Thoughts swirled around in his head, but nothing was clear.
After the meal, Dream-Ge was in high spirits so he dragged Zhang Yueshan and the others to the basketball court, saying that they were going to exercise to aid digestion.
Chu Yu and Lu Shi went back to the classroom first.
The trees on both sides of the road had no more than a few leaves remaining, balding.
The shops had set up Christmas trees early, and the windows were also plastered full with “Happy New Year”. The colorful Christmas lights were shining brightly and the atmosphere was lively, dispelling the chill of winter.
Chu Yu placed his hands in his pockets and grasped the hand warmer.
He was still contemplating what Fang Ziqi had said earlier.
“What are you thinking about?”
Hearing Lu Shi’s question, Chu Yu didn’t hide it.
“Probably how I’ve suddenly learned that everyone’s actually quite clear about their lives. For example, Zhu Zhifei, Shitou, and Study Committee Member.”
“Then I realized that I’m not too clear about mine.”
Chu Yu was a little upset.
With Lu Shi, he had nothing to hide. “I used to live life like a dream, ignorant, dazed, and foolishly happy all day. Then, I found a goal and studied hard for a period of time. Later- later, that goal fell apart.”
He paused for two seconds before continuing. “I don’t want to do my best for some so-called goal now. However, there’s also no way back to how I was before.”
It was impossible to return to the ignorant, dazed, and foolish happiness of the past after seeing reality.
Chu Yu didn’t realize that he was unconsciously seeking Lu Shi’s advice.
From childhood to adulthood, there was no elder around to teach or guide him. Aunt Lan could only take care of his basic necessities, unable to interfere much. Chu Yu grew up in a daze. It was already hard for him to not grow astray.
The friends around him who participated in underage racing, smoked marijuana, partied all night, drank heavily, and whose romantic relationships were immensely chaotic, couldn’t be counted on just ten fingers.
It could all be owed to Chu Yu cherishing his face. He felt that a car flipping during a race would damage his face, smoking marijuana or staying up late and drinking too much would lead to bad skin, and no one looked better than himself, so he refused to date.
Therefore, he wasn’t influenced.
But now, he has Lu Shi.
Boyfriends— it was a more intimate relationship than any other.
In Chu Yu’s heart, he was subconsciously depending on Lu Shi.
Lu Shi had noticed it.
He walked beside Chu Yu and helped block the wind. He didn’t say much and only asked, “Do you have any ideas right now?”
Chu Yu shook his head honestly. “No.”
Previously, it had taken him a long time to digest and admit the fact that his mother had given up on him a long time ago, and that his efforts would never reach her sight anymore.
Only recently had he gradually found equilibrium.
Looking at his peers around him, each of them knew exactly what they were going to do and how they were going to do it, making Chu Yu a bit impatient and also a little anxious, essentially at a complete loss.
Lu Shi raised his hand and kneaded the back of Chu Yu’s neck. “Take your time, you’ll know it.”
Feeling itchy due to being rubbed, Chu Yu shrank his neck and tilted his head to look at Lu Shi.
The teenager’s tone sounded as if it was no big deal, yet revealed strong confidence.
Chu Yu felt his heart gradually calm down.
He nodded heavily, then curved his eyes into a smile and said, “Okay!”
Because the cold wave traveled south, the originally low temperature dropped by another two or three degrees, and so many students in the class caught a cold over the past few days. Even Dream-Ge, who was physically strong, had a box of tissues beside his hand, making it convenient for him to take notes and wipe his nose simultaneously.
The careful Old Ye bought a lot of medicines for colds and placed them at Zhang Yueshan’s desk. Having heard some students coughing and sneezing, he paid great attention to it and was determined to kill the cold in the cradle so as not to delay the monthly exam.
During evening self-study, Zhang Yueshan, who held a thermos cup and was drinking hot water, said, “Today is the 18th, so 19, 20…”
Chu Yu directly gave him the final answer, “There are still six days until Christmas Eve!”
Zhang Yueshan couldn’t swallow the hot water because of his worries. “School Flower, say, how about changing the date of my confession to New Year’s Day? Look, New Year’s Day, the first day of a new year, it’s such a meaningful day!”
Chu Yu quipped with disdain, “Class Rep, then just don’t confess, you’ll just delay it again until next year!”
Zhang Yueshan heavily sighed. “You haven’t made a confession, so you can’t understand my inner anxiety.”
Fuck, actually saying I haven’t confessed!
If I tell you my love story, it’ll scare you to death!
Chu Yu thought so but didn’t say anything.
Zhang Yueshan was tangled again. “School Flower, say, after I confess, should… should…”
Seeing Zhang Yueshan’s wandering gaze, Chu Yu was puzzled. “Should what?”
Putting the thermos aside, Zhang Yueshan’s left and right index fingers touched1 as he whispered, “Should I kiss her?”
Chu Yu subconsciously looked at Lu Shi.
Lu Shi was listening to English, a white earphone cable snaking down from the corner of his jaw.
He had his head bowed slightly as his distinctly knuckled fingers pinched the pencil. When he was concentrating on something, his face was indifferent without any superfluous expressions, but it seemed as if he was enveloped in some kind of aura, which was very eye-catching.
Chu Yu didn’t dare stare any longer out of worry that he’d be enchanted when he looked again, so he hurriedly shifted his gaze.
He was really inexperienced when it came to kissing and whatnot.
He still hadn’t kissed Lu Shi yet.
Chu Yu lay on the desk, also lowered his voice, and asked back, “Rep, what do you think?”
Zhang Yueshan gestured with his fingers. “I have eight courses of action!”
“Eight? So many?”
Chu Yu suddenly realized that in comparison, he really was too noob! After all, there must be nine or ten plans!
“Three of them end with a hug, two ends with a kiss on the face, and another three ends with an affectionate gaze towards each other.”
“Ah?” Chu Yu was surprised. “By saying kiss… you meant just a kiss on the face?”
Zhang Yueshan had an expression of ‘I’ve come to know you anew’. “I didn’t expect your mind to be in the gutter, School Flower!”
Chu Yu’s expression tensed. “Scram! Who’s dirty? My heart is as pure as snow!”
As soon as Chu Yu finished speaking, he saw Zhang Yueshan quickly turn around and sit properly, pretending to memorize words. Chu Yu became alert, knowing that this was probably because Old Ye was coming over.
Sure enough, Old Ye came in through the back door of the classroom and asked Lu Shi to come with him.
Zhang Yueshan turned around again, looked at Chu Yu, and sighed.
Inspired by Zhang Yueshan, Chu Yu hesitantly asked, “What do you think… kissing feels like?”
Zhang Yueshan stared at him. “You’re asking me?”
Chu Yu nodded. “Yeah, I’m asking you.”
Zhang Yueshan replied, “How could I possibly know?!”
It was justifiable, as the Class Rep was currently in his first awakening of love, and still at the stage of confessing.
More noob than himself.
Chu Yu felt that it’d be better to use his cell to search his question. He couldn’t be someone who asked for others’ help without gratitude, he must research it himself.
The time passed exceptionally quickly while he researched the information. After the bell rang, Zhang Yueshan and Li Hua, who were about to leave, asked Chu Yu, “Let’s go?”
Chu Yu shook his head. “I’m waiting for Lu Shi, he was called away by Old Ye and I don’t know when he’ll be back, so you guys go first.”
He waited until everyone in the classroom was gone.
Chu Yu raised his head and moved his neck.
On the blackboard was the writing left by the teacher of the last subject. One of the sliding windows wasn’t closed, so the cold wind was rushing in, blowing papers stacked on top of the table with a ‘swish’.
Chu Yu got up, went to close the window first, then went around to the front and closed the classroom door, also turning off the front lights in passing.
He looked outside and found that the whole hallway was clean and that the lights in the other classrooms were all switched off.
Turning around, he saw the two lights that were still lit at the back of the classroom. Chu Yu felt a sense of bleakness for no reason— keeping the lights on to guard an empty house?2or, keeping the lamps on as a married woman staying home alone tonight
Thinking of this, he laughed at himself.
Chu Ye held his phone and went to the back door to wait for Lu Shi. Lowering his head, Chu Yu deleted the texts in the search box and typed again.
The intensely focused Chu Yu was startled by Lu Shi’s voice. His fingers loosened, causing his phone to fall to the ground with a ‘thud’.
Lu Shi bent down and picked up the phone, then met Chu Yu’s eyes which had slightly widened, appearing very nervous.
He looked down at the bright phone screen.
Below the search box, there were lines of recent searches.
Lu Shi read them aloud word by word.
“What should be looked out for when kissing?”
“What should I pay attention to when kissing for the first time?”
“What setting should be chosen for a first kiss?”
“Where should a first kiss be?”
Lu Shi’s voice was low and husky, and he deliberately read out the last sentence in an unhurried manner. In the empty classroom, there was an inexplicable sense of ambiguity.
“How can I kiss so that my lover’s sent to the seventh heaven?”
The lilt at the end rose slightly.
Chu Yu’s whole being felt unwell and he really wanted to pass away on the spot!
He didn’t notice Lu Shi’s hand passing over him and pressing the light switch on the wall.
The final sound fell, a soft ‘click’, and the lights went out, turning the classroom pitch black.
At the same time, the phone’s screen was also turned off and Lu Shi inserted it into Chu Yu’s pocket.
Lu Shi was approaching inch by inch, his movements very slow. The sense of aggression was extremely heavy, completely trapping Chu Yu in the small space between his chest and the wall.
Chu Yu’s vision hadn’t yet adapted to the darkness, but his sense of hearing and smell became more and more sensitive.
The tip of his nose was full of Lu Shi’s scent, so much so that every pore of his seemed to be stained with it.
Lu Shi’s hand reached in from under the hem of his shirt and wrapped around his waist without any obstruction.
Burning hot palms.
“So, how are you going to kiss me to the seventh heaven, hmm?”
The author has something to say: Here’s a heart composed of chalk ash~
- 2or, keeping the lamps on as a married woman staying home alone tonight