Bai Lu’s memory was jumbled.
When she woke up in the morning, she found her cell phone lying beside her, and the last person to call her was Xu Hui.
She remembered that he called in the middle of the night, but she couldn’t remember when he hung up. Of course Bai Lu couldn’t remember anything properly because she was half asleep. She couldn’t even remember who hung up first, her or him.
As for what they talked about……
She bought breakfast from the cafeteria and recalled the phrase – “It’s all your fucking fault” – on her way to the classroom again and again. She wondered what they could have been talking about for him to get so hyper and blame her.
Bai Lu sat on her seat and nibbled on the bun as the other students entered the classroom one after another.
It was mid-October, the heat had faded a lot and a cool and chill atmosphere started to spread, the Autumn was passing peacefully.
The numbers written on the board, that indicated of days remaining for the upcoming college entrance examination at the front were decreasing day by day, everyone was already used to it.
The weekly test for the seniors of the Sixth Highschool was scheduled for Thursday afternoon.
Classes continued as usual in the morning, and after lunch, students returned to their classrooms and then simply packed up their stationeries for the test. At the same time, the school posted the division of examination rooms on the blackboard of the classroom. The examination rooms were divided according to the results of the last weekly test. Students went to their examination rooms according to the division written on the list.
Bai Lu put her stuffs in her bag and followed the large group out with her bag on the shoulders.
All the students were leaving the classroom, so the entrance was slightly congested. Wu Hanwen went to Bai Lu’s side.
“It’s just an exam, why are bringing your bag?”
Bai Lu gave him a look and said, “I have everything in my bag.” She said while looking Wu Hanwen up and down and said in a joking tone, “A shieldless commander, huh?” Wu Hanwen didn’t have his bag with him, even his hand were empty.
“You are not observing carefully.” Wu Hanwen raised his hand and pointed to his chest. It turned out that there was an gel pen clipped to his collar, which Bai Lu had just not noticed. Bai Lu gave him a suspicious look and asked in puzzlement, “Just a pen?”
“Tsk.” Wu Hanwen ‘tsk’ed and said, “look at you, your focus is decreasing. How are you going to give the math exam, then?”
Saying this, he pulled out another pen that was pinned on his pants’ pocket.
Bai Lu hearing his criticism, turned her head away from him. Wu Hanwen panicked, thinking that he might have offended her so he slowly said, “…… I’m kidding, it’s just if you aren’t focused enough, you can’t solve the questions easily.”
Bai Lu walked away, without saying anything. Not getting any response from her, Wu Hanwen followed her to her assigned classroom. Bai Lu was about to enter the classroom when he called her.
Bai Lu looked back at him with raised brows. Wu Hanwen shut his mouth, he couldn’t understand what should he say for her to forgive him. He really should learn how to keep his mouth close.
Wu Hanwen was in depressed state when Bai Lu suddenly called him, so he could only let out puzzled expression, “Huh?”
The corridor were filled with students heading to their assigned classes for the examination. The sound of dragging footsteps echoed around the hall in a lazy rhythm, as small murmuring from the students filled the air.
It was a lazy afternoon with cool breeze and gentle sunlight. Everyone walked forward with their own pace. The warm sunlight was shining down on the students head, wrapping them in a layer of golden curtain.
Standing under the sunlight, Bai Lu smiled at Wu Hanwen. It was a quick smile, and went away as soon as it came.
But the smile was full of a young girl’s charm, and because it was Bai Lu, a small hint of wisdom could be seen too. But to Wu Hanwen, her smile seemed misbehaviou, as if she was a bully who was happy for bullying him.
Bai Lu raised her eyes and said, “It’s okay. I’m not angry.”
Saying this, she walked away.
Wu Hanwen was dumbfounded. What just happened? It was not his first time to see her smile, but why did today’s smile of her felt like, she teased him?
“What does it feel like?”
Wu Hanwen was immersed in her thoughts so he was a little surprised hearing someone talking to him. He turned his head sideways and saw that it Li Siyi, he was standing beside him with his school bag on his back. Wu Hanwen narrowed his eyes at him and spoke dryly, “Why haven’t you left yet?”
Li Siyi said frankly, “It was too crowded, so I waited for everyone to leave.”
Wu Hanwen shook his head, “You’re really lazy.”
Li Siyi frowned, “Don’t change the subject. Tell me, what does it feel like?”
Wu Hanwen let out a long sigh and patted his chest.
“Can’t say much, but I was really moved to see her smile ……”
Li Siyi clicked his tongue and said, “Don’t pretend your face is made of gold. What moved ah? You are not the only one who saw her smile.”
Wu Hanwen: “……”
Wu Hanwen was irritated so he kicked Li Siyi’s foot, “hurry up and go away.”
Bai Lu’s seat was near the window. She opened the window only a slit, the cool wind immediately entered the room, caressing her face and hair.
The test that day was only science subjects, mathematics and chemistry. Bai Lu couldn’t study properly for the past few months so she was a little nervous. But she still managed to somehow fullfil her question papers and leave the classroom. The test paper would be sent to the students on Saturday morning, after being corrected by the respective teachers.
Wu Hanwen’s face did not look good when he entered the classroom with the test paper.
Bai Lu was already jittery about her results of the weekly tests, she understood something was wrong.
Sure enough, Wu Hanwen handed Bai Lu’s test paper to her with a serious face, who took a look at it and breathed a sigh of relief. At least, her result wasn’t that bad as she expected it to be.
Raising her eyes, she looked at Wu Hanwen and said somewhat helplessly, “I thought my results would be worse than this.”
Wu Hanwen frown didn’t go away, he still had that displeased face as he sat back in his seat.
Mr. Bao came and started the class not before commenting on each student’s results in the weekly test. After repeatedly nagging everyone for improving, he started solving problems. No one talked while he was teaching. Wu Hanwen puffed a breath of annoyance when Bai Lu still didn’t take the initiative to talk to him. Mr. Bao left because had to go to the teachers room for something, Bai Lu took this time to turn around and look at Wu Hanwen who had a black face.
She helplessly said, “My result is really better than I expected.”
Wu Hanwen said with a frown etched on his face as if he was born with it, “It’s lower than last time, right?”
Bai Lu: “I only got twenty points less than the previous–“
“Twenty points!” Wu Hanwen couldn’t hold it anymore and burst. He, who always comes first in the class may have never encountered such situation in his life where his points got lower than the previous exam.
Wu Hanwen almost jumped up from his seat. How can she still be so calm!? Bai Lu shrunk back in her seat seeing him so excited, “Calm down.”
Wu Hanwen said the two words with so much emphasis that Bai Lu feared the words might break. A layer of cold sweat could be seen forming on his head. His face was as black as smoke, Bai Lu felt that he may suddenly ascend as a God of Thunder and struck her by lightning.
Wu Hanwen said miserably, “Do you know how many candidates there are in this year for college entrance examination?” Without waiting for Bai Lu to speak, he immediately answered himself, “Nearly 300,000! Three hundred thousand! How many people have crossed each other just by one point? How dare you say it’s just twenty points!”
Bai Lu was speechless.
The result of her exam was indeed bad. She knew this was because she couldn’t study properly for the past few months. Going to and fro from school to meet Xu Hui had affected her study. And the phone call that came yesterday in the middle of night had affected her sleep, too. Her head hurt a bit throughout the exam and she couldn’t concentrate enough because of sleepiness.
Wu Hanwen slowly quieted down, his eyes fixed on Bai Lu. Bai Lu also looked back at him without flinching. Seeing her still so calm without any regrets he felt that he got excited for nothing, he looked away to look at his desk.
Everything became quite suddenly, Bai Lu knew that the conversation did not end.
It had just begun.
Wu Hanwen was holding a black pen in one hand, and the cap which was taken off was on the other hand. He was scratching on the table with the cap.
“You are under the influence, I guess.” He said after a while.
“Don’t say what you don’t know.”
Scratch, scratch. Wu Hanwen kept scratching on the table and huffed. He turned his head to look at Bai Lu who was smiling, “Just kidding.”
Wu Hanwen gave her a deadpan look: “I’m not kidding with you.”
Bai Lu’s smile faded away as Wu Hanwen’s expression also became serious.
“It’s because of him, right?”
“No.” Bai Lu firmly denied.
“No way.” Wu Hanwen also said firmly.
Bai Lu looked at him, and then nodded, “Then it’s right.”
“What the president says is true.”
“……” Wu Hanwen couldn’t help but twitch the corner of his mouth. He looked at Bai Lu fiercely as he said in a calm tone, “Don’t bullshit with me, it’s useless!” Then he slowed down as he rubbed his face.
“After I went home that day, I thought about it again, I always felt …… felt ……”
Bai Lu looked at him.
She was waiting for him to speak, looking extraordinarily focused, so focused that Wu Hanwen felt he had to review the sentences in his mind before saying.
Wu Hanwen pursed his lips and finished in one breath.
“I still don’t think it’s quite right.”
“What’s not right?”
“The thing about you and….him.”
Bai Lu lowered her head and Wu Hanwen said sincerely, “Bai Lu, it’s impossible to have no influence, you are now in your senior year. You have to stay focused.”
His look was so sincere that it made the words extra convincing as well.
“You have to divide your time for study. Everyone has limited energy, you can’t really do two things at a time.”
Bai Lu gently looked at her hands on the table, although she wasn’t giving any reaction, Wu Hanwen knew she had listened to his words.
“You can tell me what is on your mind, I’m not your enemy.”
Wu Hanwen waited for her to speak. He knew she was in confusion and stress, and couldn’t understand where should she start explaining. But it’s not a problem for him. As long as she is willing to explain, even if he had to wait a long time for that, he would wait.
After a long time, Bai Lu finally whispered, “I don’t have much thought ……”
Wu Hanwen was a little anxious: “Then why are you close to him? This time is important–“
Bai Lu raised her head and just met Wu Hanwen’s eyes head straight.
“I don’t know.” She said.
Wu Hanwen was dumbfounded: “What?”
“Believe it or not, I don’t know.” Bai Lu whispered in puzzlement, as if she herself didn’t know what she was saying “I really don’t know……”
Seeing that she was so unsure, Wu Hanwen had some relief and said, “There must have been a reason …… you said before, you did it for Jiang Ru, right?”
Bai Lu nodded slowly, and he could see that she was caught up in her memories, and was thinking.
After a while, Bai Lu said softly, “I have been with Jiang Ru for the last years.”
Wu Hanwen nodded understandingly, “I know.”
Bai Lu continued: “I have told her a lot of things, all my secrets. I don’t really think, there’s anything I haven’t told her.”
Wu Hanwen agreed: “You’ve been with her always.”
Bai Lu gazed at Wu Hanwen and said emphatically, “Everything I knew, I had told her.”
Wu Hanwen: “Yes-“
“But she still made such decision so hastily, just for a simple reason.”
There was a rare determination in Bai Lu’s eyes at the moment. Wu Hanwen was dumbfounded seeing such look on her face. It was the first time he saw this kind of look on her, and it didn’t match her soft personality.
“She left me unhappy …… you know, as if the ending had been set, all their perceptions were right. This ending of hers was too stupid, I don’t like it.”
Wu Hanwen kept staring at her with a stupid look on his face.
Bai Lu quickly returned to her original state and spoke naturally.
“Actually, it didn’t matter, it’s just that it was a coincidence that I met him.”
That humid and boring rainy night with no one with him, it was too much of a coincidence.
That day, they met.
And after that, they kept talking on unreasonable things.
In that instant, the God made a move and rattled her heart. There was no time to think about it. She felt like she was given a math problem to solve and she had to solve it, anyhow.
Wu Hanwen asked, “Is this what you had in mind at the beginning?”
Bai Lu: “At the beginning there was nothing…… I didn’t think when would I start advancing or how would I advance. Everything was slowly made up later.”
“What about now?”
Bai Lu had a moment of bewilderment.
She was a rigorous person and had to filter through her mind to decide what to do now.
But for some reason, Bai Lu did not want to think.
“Forget it, I don’t want to think about it.”
“Does he know?”
Bai Lu looked at him without answering. Wu Hanwen asked again, “Are you friends now?”
Bai Lu still didn’t say anything.
Wu Hanwen reflexively gripped his pen tightly.
“It could be called as a friendship, right?” Bai Lu said, sounding unsure.
Wu Hanwen stared at her, “Bai Lu, you can…… forget it. Don’t you think it’s not worth it? Why do you want to waste your time on him?”
Bai Lu: “Not for long.”
“How long then? You haven’t been on the evening study for several days.”
Bai Lu was silent.
“Listen to me, he has nothing to do with you, you just think him as a random thought and forget about him.”
Bai Lu softly murmured: “it’s just……”
“I know.” Wu Hanwen wanted to speak but suddenly stopped, Bai Lu looked at him, “What?”
Wu Hanwen stammered, and so Bai Lu asked again “What?”
Wu Hanwen’s voice was extremely low as he stumbled on his words and said, “Aren’t you afraid, aren’t you afraid that you too ……”
Bai Lu kept staring at him.
“What ‘you too’?”
Wu Hanwen hesitated for a while before finally saying the whole thing.
“You are not afraid that you would also like him, like Jiang Ru?”
He is smart – thought Bai Lu who looked at Wu Hanwen and heard his thoughts. The answer of this question, he needs it in negative, that’s why he added Jiang Ru to it.
In this inequality, both sides are positive, and Jiang Ru is like the only negative sign.
If you want to win, you can’t take her path – you can’t be like her. Bai Lu understood the hidden meaning of his question well. And she also had a suitable answer.
Bai Lu shook her head and whispered, “No way.”
She said it firmly, but the worry in Wu Hanwen’s eyes didn’t fade away.
“Bai Lu, Xu Hui, this person ……”
The bell rang abruptly. Mr. Bao who went outside for a while came in like a wind and went to the podium to turn over the study materials.
Bai Lu and Wu Hanwen turned their head at the same time and returned to do their own work.
When Mr. Bao finally left, they didn’t look up to continue their conversation, because the atmosphere of the conversation was gone.
Bai Lu couldn’t help but remember the last sentence before the conversation was cut off.
Xu Hui, this person ……
How in the end ……
Bai Lu’s memory was jumbled.