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Coming out of the building, Bai Lu stood still for a while in the neighborhood. Her gaze couldn’t help but be attracted by a picture plastered on the wall. It seemed to be a poster of a resort. The poster wasn’t very big but it was beautifully drawn.
There were grey sky and withered trees with white snow branches in the picture. Bai Lu stared at it with only a few seconds and felt the tip of her nose moisten a little.
The day was very cloudy, the sun that shone after the whole day lacked colour. But compared to that room, the world outside was still splendid.
With her head down, Bai Lu walked into the snow and breathed in the icy cold air.
She didn’t know where she was going, her mind was blank.
The time was only in the afternoon, but she felt as if the day was over.
The cars on the road zipped past her, the honking sounds of them sounded more impatient than usual. But everything seemed blur to her, as if she was the only one who was moving slowly.
It wasn’t until the moment she stepped into the campus that Bai Lu came to her senses.
The weather was bad so there were not many people on campus, it looked a little isolated from the rest of the world, Bai Lu walked silently towards the dormitory building.
She didn’t want to study after reaching her dormitory, she wanted to sleep, fall into the bed and sleep the time away. Although, she didn’t do anything strenuous, she felt very exhausted.
The thought of a comfortable bed gave Bai Lu an inexplicable solace in her heart, and her pace became faster. But her pace stopped at the entrance of the dormitory building seeing the shadow of a person.
There was a boy standing there, a boy she was very familiar with.
Because the campus was deserted than usual, the person seemed to be the only living being standing there which made him particularly obvious.
Bai Lu just paused for a moment before proceeding to walk forward.
Wu Hanwen rarely wore school uniform, even when going to school, he wore casual clothes. Since wearing uniform wasn’t compulsory for the senior students, most of the students come to school wearing everyday outfit. Wu Hanwen wasn’t any different either, but the only thing that never changed was the huge school bag on his shoulders.
Maybe it was because of the cold weather, he put a big scarf around his neck, covering most of his face and showing only half the bridge of his nose, and silver lenses.
She did not stopped whe he reached him, she just walked past him towards the dormitory building.
“Bai Lu.” Wu Hanwen called out to her.
Bai Lu stood still for a moment and gathered her thoughts before slowly turning back, “Hmm?”
Wu Hanwen placed his hands on both sides of his body, his fingers slightly clenched.
“I’m waiting for you.”
It was very cold outside so when they talked, a foggy air would come from their mouths.
Wu Hanwen looked at Bai Lu for a moment before asking in hesitation, “You went to him?”
“Mm.” Bai Lu looked at him and gave a cold laugh as she said “You also went too.”
It wasn’t an interrogative sentence but affirmative, which proved Bai Lu was aware what Wu Hanwen did. The revealation made him pause before he straightened his back and said, “Yes, I went, and I told him the truth.”
Bai Lu looked quietly without speaking.
Wu Hanwen was about to speak when Bai Lu interrupted him. “Forget it, it’s not important.”
There was a sense of decay in her tone, her tone indicated she didn’t care what he did or maybe, she didn’t care for him at all. Wu Hanwen couldn’t help but take a few steps forward and hesitantly held her arm.
“Bai Lu.” His tone was slightly urgent, “Are you blaming me? I was really afraid that you will be trapped. At such a critical time of college entrance examination, you can’t spend time with him.”
Bai Lu dook a deep breath to surprass the rising anger in her as she spoke “Let go of me.”
Wu Hanwen’s hand gripped tightly, as if he listened the opposite of what she said and began giving excuses, “You don’t know Xu Hui, he is different from us, he will really drag you to death, he is a-“
Bai Lu suddenly turned sideways and swung her arm away, knocking Wu Hanwen’s hand and scarf on the way.
When the thick scarf fell from Wu Hanwen’s face, Bai Lu couldn’t help but be surprise. Wu Hanwen immediately took the scarf to cover his face again.
But Bai Lu still saw it.
Wu Hanwen took a step back while holding the scarf and said, “Nothing.”
“Put the scarf down.”
Wu Hanwen shook his head, “It’s really nothing, I didn’t came to talk to you about this now.”
Bai Lu’s mood was already down, seeing him not complying even though knowing that she was worried, her mood flared up even more. So the tone she that came out from her mouth sounded harsh, as if she was commanding him rather than requesting, “I told you to put it down.”
“……” Wu Hanwen was a little surprised. This was the first time he saw her getting angry so he couldn’t help but stare at her blankly.
Bai Lu took this chance and went forward before pulling the corner of the scarf and tugging it down.
“Hey, this……” the scarf was pulled down by Bai Lu in the end, and Wu Hanwen covered his face with his hands as a result, Bai Lu became even more angry as his arm was also pulled down by her.
The skinny, dry Wu Hanwen was scared by Bai Lu’s fierce tone and stood motionless on the spot. Bai Lu removed his hand away as she looked at the bluish spots on his face.
The injury was not light.
His entire left cheekbone was purple and slightly swollen, the corners of the mouth were tinged with scarlet.
When Wu Hanwen came to senses, he realised his injury was seen by Bai Lu and was a little embarrassed, he quickly took his hand to cover his face again.
“Did he hit you?” Bai Lu asked.
Wu Hanwen hmphed regretfully, touched the corner of his mouth, and whispered, “his hand is very hard ……”
Raising his eyes, he saw Bai Lu still looking at him with a calm expression, but he was well aware of the turmoil in her heart. Seeing her looking at his injured face in self-blame, he couldn’t help but say, “It’s okay, I don’t blame him ……”
He stared at Bai Lu, her miserable face and remorseful expression of regret was more prominent now.
“You don’t know Xu Hui.” Wu Hanwen went on with the previous topic and said with a straight face.
“He’s not like us. There used to be girls who liked him crazily. He was a playboy, since junior year, he made four girlfriends at the same time and watched them fight with each other in front of him. The teacher finally couldn’t help but came to interfere and threatened to transfer him.”
Bai Lu turned her head to the side, Wu Hanwen knew she was listening to him and whispered, “He is like a puddle of mud, whether intentional or unintentional, he will not have a good impact on you.”
Bai Lu lowered her head, thinking that she may know of her mistakes, Wu Hanwen’s voice became lower.
“You can blame me for meddling, but, but……”
Wu Hanwen’s sentence stopped at ‘but’ and didn’t continue, as if he was hesitating something. Bai Lu couldn’t help but glance at him and asked in impatience, “but what?”
Wu Hanwen took a breath and blurted out.
“I don’t regret it, if I can get back to the past, I will still do the same thing.” He gritted his teeth as he whispered sullenly, “I’ll be the villain of your love story.”
Bai Lu laughed lightly, “What does it have to do with you? It was supposed to be done by me.”
Although Wu Hanwen was frail and knew nothing but studying, but Bai Lu could see the stubborness and firmness in his eyes, as if he was determined to pull her out to the path she deviated, even it means dragging her out.
The cold invariably catalyzed the silence, and Wu Hanwen’s excited aura gradually faded.
“Bai Lu, do you ……”
“I don’t blame you.” Bai Lu opened her mouth, her voice was soft like usual, as if she couldn’t even bring herself to get angry.
Wu Hanwen looked down in embarrassment, “I ……”
“Really, I don’t blame you.” Bai Lu said as she averted her eyes to the ground and said, “It’s just that ……”
After another moment of silence, Bai Lu said faintly.
“I thought of breaking off our relationship without knowing him too much.”
Wu Hanwen looked at her in silence, Bai Lu suddenly changed what she wanted to say and finally said, “You’re right, he’s like a puddle of mud ……”
“Bai Lu ……”
Bai Lu looked up, seeing Wu Hanwen’s injured face again, she forced herself to lift her spirit and asked, “You didn’t come to school because of this?”
Wu Hanwen let out an ‘ah’, touched his face and said, “My mother was scared to death and has been asking me what happened. I lied and said that I accidentally knocked on a street lamp, she didn’t believe me, and said would come to school to ask the teachers, so I have been busy in calming her this morning.”
“Did you put medicine on it?”
“Yes.” Wu Hanwen said, “It doesn’t hurt now.”
Bai Lu nodded, looked at Wu Hanwen as she whispered, “I’m sorry for involving you in this.”
“No, I involved myself on my own choice.” Wu Hanwen said as he revealed the worry in his heart, “Actually, I was a little scared. I thought you’d be angry. Because last night Xu Hui was like–“
Bai Lu frowned and interrupted him, “Don’t mention him anymore.”
Wu Hanwen froze, he felt an invisible insistence from her words, but when he looked into her eyes again, what he detected was an even more obvious rejection. He wondered who she was rejecting.
After thinking for a moment he understood that she was drawing a line in her heart with Xu Hui.
Bai Lu was clear about the importance of the senior year.
Perhaps she had also felt attracted towards Xu Hui, but at the last moment, she forced herself to give up. Because she was someone who valued study more than her feelings.
Bai Lu was different from the other girls who fell for Xu Hui.
Wu Hanwen thought in the back of his mind–She was smarter than other girls.
The smarter she is, the more selfish she is.
After standing for a while in the silence, Bai Lu finally said, “I’m going upstairs, go home early, take the some ice and put it on your face. It can help you get better faster.”
Wu Hanwen held the bag on his shoulders more firmly as he said, “I’m going to the library. I think it would be good if you take a few days rest, you don’t look too good.”
Bai Lu faintly nodded and said goodbye to Wu Hanwen before returning to the empty dormitory, the moment she reached her room, she quickly put down the bag and fell onto bed.
At the moment of lifting the blanket, Bai Lu thought to herself that she wouldn’t leave the bed again, even it means skipping dinner.
Her body felt weak, as if drained of any energy, both physically and mentally.
When Wu Hanwen came to school on Monday, all the students were surprised.
Li Siyi directly shot up.
“Who!?” His small eyes glared at the air as he said angrily, “Who did such an evil and disfigured your precious scholar face!? I will sue him!”
Wu Hanwen pulled the corner of his mouth but the movement hurt him so he stopped.
“Get lost.” Although, he couldn’t laugh, his tone said he wasn’t angry.
Bai Lu continued to do the question.
Midterm results came, Bai Lu’s ranking dropped to nearly forty places in the entire grade.
When she got the result, Bai Lu did not have much expression on her face, as if she knew this was coming.
In the classroom, Mr. Bao named the few students who had regressed, and Bai Lu was not surprised to be among them.
“How long is left before the college entrance exam? Don’t you all know it well?” Mr. Bao’s voice also slowly turned cold, he pointed to the sign on the wall and tapped the desk on the podium as hard as he could.
“If you still don’t, look up yourself!”
The pressure was getting bigger and bigger every day as the examination came nearer and nearer, everyone could understand the reason of Mr. Bao’s fierce nagging.
Bai Lu didn’t leave immediately after school, Wu Hanwen also stayed behind. He squeezed his pen, turned it round and round, and said in a relaxed tone, “It’s okay, don’t worry too much.”
Bai Lu turned her head as she joked, “You didn’t have this attitude last time.”
Wu Hanwen paused before saying, “It’s different now.”
Bai Lu started packing her school bag, the pen in Wu Hanwen’s hand started spinning faster and faster, and finally he put it on the desktop with a snap.
“That ……” after Bai Lu packed her school bag, Wu Hanwen finally gained the courage and spoke, “Next time when you are free, will you go to the library with me?”
When Bai Lu turned around, Wu Hanwen suggested with his head tilted.
“Don’t get distracted, I guarantee that you’ll catch up with your grades on the next exam.”
He said it so simply, but his tone was even firmer than the class teacher.
— Anyone can be confident and sharp, as long as they’re in familiar territory.
“Right.” Bai Lu agreed with him, “Thank you.”
Seeing her still in a bit of a trance, Wu Hanwen patted her on the shoulder and added, “Don’t worry, I know you will do good.”
He could see her determination to do good in the future exams.
Bai Lu’s phone stayed turned off, and a week later when she happened to open it, she saw there were dozens of unread text messages inside, all of which were sent by Sun Yuhe within the week.
[Unknown number: Little White Rabbit, what happened with you and Xu Hui?]
[Unknown number: Xu Hui hasn’t come to school for a few days, and he isn’t answering his phone either.]
[Unknown number: Did you two have a fight?]
[Unknown number: Why aren’t you answering your phone either?]
[Unknown number: What the hell happened? Can you say something? I went to see Xu Hui yesterday, why was he in that situation?]
[Unknown number: What happened to you? Can’t you be more considerate of him? He is even refusing to leave the home and see anyone. Please persuade him.]
Bai Lu read every messages without much emotional fluctuation.
The last two were sent today and were a little longer than before.
[Unknown number: I saw Xu Hui, I don’t know what happened between you guys, but you can’t just leave him like this and not care. He’s in bad shape, worse than that time in junior high school, he was barely better now he’s like this again. I told you before that he is sometimes a bit egotistical, but he is sincere to you, I can see that. Do you have no room for reconciliation?]
[Unknown number: You don’t know how far he thought after he was with you …… And, if you didn’t like him, why did you play with him? He said you guys are over, I don’t believe it, no matter what the fault, can’t you forgive him once?]
Bai Lu turned off the phone again and sat at the table to do the problems as usual.
The dormitory was very quiet, she has long reported the vacancy in her room, but no one has been moved in.
As Bai Lu wrote, the tip of her pen suddenly stopped.
The hand holding the pen was clenched tight, as if enduring something.
A moment later, the pen moved again.
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