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“Let’s make an appointment.” Sun Yuhe suggested.
Xu Hui nestled in the sofa and did not move. Seeing him not answering, Sun Yuhe nudged him, “Well? Let’s make an appointment.”
Xu Hui buried his face in the cushions, Sun Yuhe was puzzled. He couldn’t help but ask, “What happened?”
Sun Yuhe nudged and pushed Xu Hui for a long time but he still didn’t move. Sun Yuhe also got a little impatient.
“If you don’t want to say anything, I’m leaving. It’s past midnight. What would we two grown up men could do? Love each other?”
Sun Yuhe stood up and took few steps forward, but when he peeked back, he found that Xu Hui was still lying on the sofa. His face buried in the cushion and body unmoving.
Sun Yuhe hesitated a little, and walked back.
“Hey.” Touching Xu Hui’s shoulder, Sun Yuhe asked, “What’s wrong?”
Xu Hui slowly shook his head, sat up on the sofa, and took a cigarette.
“Forget it.”(Xu Hui)
Xu Hui lit the cigarette after a few seconds of waiting. The fire from the lighter reflecting on his expressionless face.
“You are no fun ……”(Sun Yuhe)
After throwing the lighter on the table, Xu Hui leaned back on the sofa. His face still expressionless and cold. Who knew what he was thinking for having such expression.
Sun Yuhe sat beside him and said, “Don’t do that again.”
Xu Hui turned his head and asked, “Do what?”
Sun Yuhe stared at him for a few seconds, then shrugged, “If you want to forget it, forget it then. I was just thinking about helping you.”
Xu Hui sneered, “I need your help for chasing a woman?”
Sun Yuhe: “Then you do it yourself.”
Xu Hui turned his head back, staring at the corner of the coffee table in the dark.
Being a little impatient, Sun Yuhe said again, “Can you stop squirming?”
Xu Hui: “I didn’t squirm. When did I?”
“Then it’s decided.” Sun Yuhe clapped his hands and said with certainty, “You call her out tomorrow or any day you think is right. Let me meet her. By the way, which school is she from?”
Xu Hui shook his head, “I don’t know.”
Sun Yuhe asked a few more questions about Bai Lu but each time Xu Hui shook his head.
Only then did Sun Yuhe realized that Xu Hui knew nothing about this girl except her name and cell phone number.
Sun Yuhe suggested again, “As I’ve said before, you call her out. I’ll also call Huizi. We can have some fun together.”
Xu Hui listened and said, “I haven’t seen you bring Huizi out for a long time.”
Huizi’s real name is Chen Hui. She was Sun Yuhe’s girlfriend, childhood sweetheart actually. They grew up together. Chen Hui is a year older than Sun Yuhe and worked in a restaurant.
“She’s busy with work.”
“…… really? fuck.” Xu Hui could not help but curse and muttered, “a group of women, busy with work……”
“What? She is also busy?” Sun Yuhe asked, “What’s her name again?”
Xu Hui replied blankly, “Bai Lu. Bai from white and Lu from Egret. Like ‘A flock of egrets in the sky’.”
Sun Yuhe nodded understandingly before asking, “How about my suggestion? I also haven’t gone out with Huizi for a long time. It would be like having a double date.”
Xu Hui was silent. But Sun Yuhe knew his silence means agreement so he got up and said, “Then make an appointment with her, just let me know what time you choosed, and I’ll ask Huizi if she is free.”
After standing for a while and not listening his reply, Sun Yuhe couldn’t help but probe,”Did you hear what I just said?”
Xu Hui gave a soft ‘Mmm’.
Sun Yuhe just shook his perfunctory reply and left Xu Hui with his own tangled thoughts.
After the official start of school, the counting board of the college entrance examination on the wall looked even creepier. The red marking made every student who saw it shudder in fear. As if they aren’t going to exam but war.
“I told you not to write the numbers with a red pen.” Li Siyi said, “It looks bloody every time I see it.”
“It doesn’t matter. The purpose of marking is to let the students see how much time is left and how is their preparation.” Wu Hanwen said like an old teacher.
“Hey, your lines ah, just like Mr. Bao.” Li Siyi patted Wu Hanwen’s shoulder and said, “My buddy still wants to rise higher, what can I say.”
Wu Hanwen finished the competition normally and looked as if he had returned winning a war triumphantly. The teacher came to ask if he had answered all the questions and was nervous. Wu Hanwen said he wasn’t nervous at all and had answered well in the competition.
He was also in a more relaxed mood and no longer ran to the library 800 times a day like he did before. For the last week or so, he had been walking around the campus idly with a thick English book every day. He even went downstairs to play basketball with the boys in his gym class.
The only problem was that he wasn’t good at sports.
Wu Hanwen wiped the sweat on his forehead and threw the ball to his classmates, “You guys play. My body can’t stand anymore.”
“So, God is still fair.” Li Siyi, who was sitting on the side under a shade said sarcastically, “God gave you a flexible brain, so he didn’t give you coordinated limbs.”
Wu Hanwen’s physical strength was really poorer than boys in his class. He just played a little and was tired as hell, as he he had ran a thousand meters marathon. Wu Hanwen slumped beside Li Siyi and said while huffing, “Stop your mouth for me ah ……”
Li Siyi handed him a bottle of water and said, “Teacher Bao asked you to help him fill the form of sports day, did you do it?”
Wu Hanwen looked at him and asked, “Why? You want to register your name under any sports?”
“Are you kidding me?” Li Siyi slapped Wu Hanwen on the back and said, “Although our relationship is as strong as iron, but as the saying goes, ‘You should help your friend in need’. Forget about registering, I am planning to not come to the school on the Sports day, let alone participate.”
Wu Hanwen laughed and said, “No, you can’t do that. There are few boys in our class, and girls rarely take the initiative to sign up. So you’ll have to come and participate in the sports when your turn comes.”
Li Siyi let out a loud cry but his cry stopped midway. He pushed Wu Hanwen’s arm, and nudged his chin in one direction.
Bai Lu was sitting under the flag-raising platform.
Her knees were together, her head resting on them. Who knew what she was thinking about so deeply.
“Why is she alone all the time?” Li Siyi couldn’t help but ask, “I haven’t seen her hanging out with other girls.”
Wu Hanwen looked at Bai Lu and said, “She used to be close to Jiang Ru, and now that Jiang Ru is gone, she talks even less than before.”
When Jiang Ru was mentioned, Li Siyi couldn’t help but sigh.
“Silly girl ah, she is really a silly girl.”
While Li Siyi was clicking his tongue and shaking his head about Jiang Ru’s misfortune, the person beside him stood up.
Bai Lu was looking at her phone in a daze. She was looking at the text message that Xu Hui had sent. She was contemplating what should she reply when a shadow fell on her. Bai Lu quickly put her phone away and raised her head. It was Wu Hanwen.
“What are you doing?” Wu Hanwen came to her side and asked.
“Nothing.” Bai Lu replied.
Wu Hanwen pointed at her hand and said, “I saw you playing on the phone. Don’t think I didn’t found out.”
Bai Lu tilted her head and asked in a mocking tone, “Are you a disciplinary member now?”
Wu Hanwen said in a serious manner,: “Senior students purposes are to study, study and only study. I am the Study Committee President and I have the responsibility of paying attention to students’ study and see if they are using their time properly or not.”
Bai Lu couldn’t help but smile hearing his words.
The wind blew gently, fluttering their hair along it.
“I’m going back to class.” Bai Lu looked at him and said, “It’s getting cold.”
Before Wu Hanwen could say anything in response, Bai Lu stood up and walked away.
She took a few steps in the direction of the school building before standing still and turning back to Wu Hanwen, “Is it okay if I don’t participate in any sports in the Sports Day?”
Listening her soft voice and seeing her body glowing in the sun, Wu Hanwen froze and subconsciously nodded his head.
“Can ah ……”
Bai Lu thanked him and walked towards the school building.
“It’s true that women are flowers at the tip of heats and friends are road-side dogs.”
Li Siyi appeared out of nowhere, and together with Wu Hanwen, he looked at the direction where Bai Lu disappeared and lamented.
Wu Hanwen returned to his senses and pushed him. Li Siyi also took this chance to vent his anger of not letting him taking the Sports Day off. The two pushed each other and laughed together.
The P.E. class was still not over. Bai Lu went into an empty classroom on the second floor.
Xu Hui sent messages for the third time. Bai Lu could feel how impatient he was from the message.
“Are you coming or not, can you say it clearly?”
Bai Lu finally replied with a sentence.
“OK, but date has to be twenty-ninth of this month.”
Xu Hui replied, “Can you answer the phone?”
Bai Lu closed the classroom door behind her.
Just in time, Xu Hui’s phone call came in.
“Well, I don’t have any day off before that.”
Xu Hui was quiet for a while. Bai Lu listened the sound coming from the phone. It seemed he had lit a cigarette.
“Why are you so busy all day long? Are you the president of the country?”
Although he couldn’t see, Bai Lu instinctly shook her head and replied, “No. Just busy with work.”
Xu Hui humed and asked, “Are you sure you can come at 29?”
“Ok. I will tell you the place once the time comes.”
After saying each other goodbye, they both hung up the phone.
Bai Lu raised her head. The classroom window was not closed, she could hear the sound of laughter of the students playing in the ground. Their voice sounded a little distant because of the distance and her hazy mind.
Everything became far away, further than the afternoon sun.
Bai Lu sat by herself in the room until the bell rang.
Wu Hanwen was true to his word. He didn’t put Bai Lu’s name under any sport.
Three days before the Sports Day, Wu Hanwen posted the registration form for the sports on the class blackboard.
The next day at school, who knew which guy took advantage of the inattention of the students and wrote the word “Be” in front of the registration form, which made the whole class laugh.
“That’s enough.” The teacher also showed a rare smile and asked, “then this ‘be registered for the sports’ you have all seen it?”
“Take care of your own items, collect your numbers when the time comes. The class president will set up the stage of our class.”
The sports meeting didn’t end until the eleventh of the month. The school did not dare to open the school on the National Day. Because the school was closed on that day, the senior students could take three days off. That was the only “long vacation” for the students in the year. Having such a rare vacation, the students couldn’t hide their excitement. The whole school was also abuzz with excitement.
Li Siyi was unlucky enough to be registered to the men’s 3000 meters race. Seeing his name under such bone wrecking sport, he gave Wu Hanwen a good beating while crying like a baby.
Wu Hanwen avoided his clutches and said, “I can’t help it. I was only fair. You are not the only one who got such extreme sports.”
“Bah! Fair?” Li Siyi bared his teeth, “Then how come someone didn’t get a share, huh?”
Bai Lu happened to be out of the classroom, so Wu Hanwen said openly, “There are many girls who didn’t registered for the sports. It won’t be a problem if she didn’t signed up.”
Li Siyi was suspicious and asked,”Didn’t you say girls rarely signs up for sports? How come teacher didn’t say anything now?”
“Because girls are soft ah. Their physique isn’t par with us.”
Li Siyi narrowed his eyes in suspicious before letting out a sigh, “You really know how to argue with logical words. Where did you find such words and say it? Teach me. I also want to beat you with your own medicine and show how bitter it tastes.”
Bai Lu returned from the bathroom, Wu Hanwen turned his head to read the book again, pretending it wasn’t them who just talked about her a moment ago.
The day before the Sports Day, the class president led the students to set up the tracks and field for the sports. The senior class had already participated in the games twice and so they were far less interested in the competition than they were in the vacation.
School ended early in the afternoon and the whole building was immersed in a festive atmosphere. The teachers, who usually forbids students not to run around, also let the students run and jump in the corridor at that time.
Bai Lu packed up her things and was ready to go.
Hearing Wu Hanwen’s voice, Bai Lu turned back. She saw him holding a pile of ribbons and waving at her. When Bai Lu walked to him, he gave her the head of a ribbon and asked, “Can you help me a little?”
Bai Lu took the ribbons and helped him put the them in order. Wu Hanwen looked up while tying the ribbons and asked, “What time will you come tomorrow?”
Bai Lu’s hand inadvertently paused, before she went back untangling the ribbons.
“You haven’t registered under any sports, how about coming here and distributing the leaflets?” Wu Hanwen looked at Bai Lu with a smile and said, “Help me and I’ll give you free chocolate to eat then.”
Bai Lu asked in surprise, “You guys bought chocolates?”
“Well, we bought it from the class fee, and drinks too, for the athletes to replenish their energy.”
“Athletes ……” Bai Lu’s smiled hearing such words to describe the students who participated in the sports from him. Wu Hanwen also smiled and said, “Li Siyi said, walking down the track is also called finishing the game. So, those who participated in the games could be called athletes.”
After helping him organizing the ribbons, Bai Lu said goodbye to Wu Hanwen and went away with her school bag on her shoulders.
Wu Hanwen suddenly remembered that she still hadn’t told him what time she would arrive at school the next day. But she was already gone and there was no chance of asking again.
Bai Lu went to her home after school. She left early last time so she thought she should take the chance to pass some time with her parents.
The next day, Bai Lu walked from home to school. Her mother packed a small lunch box with homemade food and melons for her before she left.
Bai Lu took the bus and went to the commercial pedestrian street located in the city center.
The green tiles of the pedestrian street was glistening with a thin layer of mist. The sole of her rubber shoes stepped on the slightly slippery road.
Because it was early in the morning, there were few people on the pedestrian street.
There was a small fountain beside the road. The crystal clear water of the fountain was reflecting the early morning sun and blue sky. Next to the fountain was a tall and old acacia tree. Bai Lu arrived there and saw Xu Hui was standing under the tree.
He was wearing a black hoodie, jeans, and light-colored board shoes. Both of his hands were stuffed inside his jeans’ pocket.
He stood quietly under the tree without his bag, but his back was slightly bent. His gaze looking at the air blankly.
His side profile was just like that day when she saw him drenched in rain.
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