This was the first time that Lin Qinhe agreed to Tao Xi’s request. He did not say “no way” or “cannot” for the first time.
Tao Xi even had an illusion of auditory hallucinations. For a moment he thought to himself that this was just an ordinary request for Yang Duole, but he was like a baby.
But he still couldn’t help being happy.
He tried to suppress the smile at the corner of his mouth, but he couldn’t hide the brisk footsteps.
He felt that he had snatched Lin Qinhe from Yang Duole. Although there was only a little time, it was enough for him to be happy for a long time.
This was even worse than when it rained heavily on one day in his third grade. At that time, he was happy to see Guo Ping holding an umbrella at the school gate to pick him home after school.
However, he soon discovered that Lin Qinhe’s path was not the shortest way to the infirmary.
On the first day of school, Tao Xi remembered the map of Wenhua No. 1 High School clearly with good memory. The infirmary was in the southwest corner of the school. The nearest road from the school field was through the “Baihui Garden”. The road that Lin Qinhe took obviously had to make a big turn.
Could it be that this man was a road idiot?
Tao Xi turned his head to look at Lin Qinhe, he couldn’t help but said, “Let’s go around like this, ba.”
But as soon as the words came out, he regretted so much that he wanted to bite his tongue and killed himself.
Fuck, even the joy was full of sorrow.
He also told Yang Duole just now that he didn’t know where the infirmary was.
Lin Qinhe turned his head and glanced at him, with a look in his eyes, as if he was expecting him to expose himself1露出马脚 showing horse feet. To expose oneself, to reveal hidden truths and asked knowingly, “Do you know the nearest way to get there?”
Tao Xi was taken aback, suddenly a little annoyed. He didn’t hold back the sloppy anger and choked: “Did you do this deliberately?”
After finished speaking, he felt that his tone was not right. With a big turn in the tone, he said in a low voice, aggrieved: “Intentionally or not, as long as you’re happy.”
“No.” Lin Qinhe’s tone seemed a little speechless, and continued, “I don’t like Baihui Garden.”
Tao Xi was startled and asked in confusion, “Why? Are there not many beautiful flowers there?”
As its name suggested, the Baihui Garden2Baihui Garden = Hundred plants Garden was meticulously planted with various flowers and plants. It was fragrant throughout the year. On the day Taoxi arrived at Wenhua No. 1 Middle School, Zhou Qiang also took him and Feng Yuan around the campus. At that time, he saw that there were many pink roses in the Baihui Garden, and he also thought that he would have time to sketch in the future.
Lin Qinhe frowned, as if thinking of something that made him uncomfortable.
Tao Xi’s mind turned quite fast now. He asked: “You don’t like flowers?”
Lin Qinhe gave a hum, frowning his brows. It seemed that he not only disliked it, but disgusted of it.
“Oh, it turned out to be like this.” Tao Xi nodded.
What he thought was, it was over. Every letter he wrote to Lin Qinhe was painted with peach blossoms. He even sent a gouache painting of peach blossoms and flowing water on the Qingshui River that he painted and titled the painting “Lin Hua Manxi”3Lin Hua Manxi = The forest is full of flower. Lin Qinhe’s Lin (林)means forest with great wit.
Fucking accurately stepped on thunder.
Fortunately, he pretended to be a babbling girl in the letter.
After arriving in the infirmary, the female school doctor in her forties seemed to know Lin Qinhe. She smiled at him and nodded, then looked at Tao Xi and asked curiously: “Are you his classmates? I don’t seem to have seen you.”
Tao Xi sat on the chair and brushed off his bangs with his hands, wondering if it was a good thing to be recognized by the school doctor. But he replied obediently: “I just transferred. His tablemate.”
The words “his tablemate” were pronounced briskly by him, as if it was a very glorious identity.
It was a pity that the school doctor didn’t continue to ask. She took the medicine and cotton swab to clean Tao Xi wound while asking Lin Qinhe: “Xiao Juanmao4Little Curly aka Yang Duole hasn’t gotten sick recently, right?”
The obvious in the question was Yang Duole, and it seemed that Lin Qinhe often accompanied him to the infirmary.
Tao Xi’s briskly jumping heart sank instantly, his lips tightly pressed.
Lin Qinhe stood aside and said, “He had a fever a few days ago, but he comes to school today.”
“Hey, that kid is really too weak. Tell him, it’s gonna be fall soon, so use less air conditioning, don’t…”
The school doctor was about to continue telling something, but she heard the kid whom she was treating exclaimed in exaggeration: “Doctor, you do it slowly, it hurts me.”
She was stunned. She had dealt with this kind of small wound too many times, and no boy yelled like that. Moreover, her hands are always very light, so she said, “Just bear with me and it will be fine. Boys don’t be so squeamish. Your classmate Mao’s body is weak but he’s strong.”
Fuck, Tao Xi was so angry.
Looking at Lin Qinhe, it was clear that he still had that expressionless face, but no matter how he looked, he felt that this person was laughing at himself.
After coming out of the infirmary, Tao Xi followed Lin Qinhe on a detour to the canteen. After a long silence on the road, he suddenly said, “When I was a child, I used to play on the mountain. You probably didn’t know that there are so many snakes and insects on the mountain. The thin snake is not poisonous, but the long weird one is scary. It is easy to get bitten when you go to the mountains in summer.”
Lin Qinhe didn’t respond, obviously not interested in this topic.
Tao Xi continued to make gestures without giving up: “I went to the mountain to chop ragweed in the fifth grade of elementary school, and I was bitten by that kind of snake. I did a simple treatment of the wound, and calmly cut the ragweed before going to the old Chinese doctor in the village to get some herbal medicine.”
After finishing speaking, he was afraid that Lin Qinhe didn’t understand what ragweed was so he explained, “The hogweed is the grass for the pigs. The pigs in our place don’t eat feed.”
He didn’t feel ashamed of life in the countryside, he was only anxious to prove one thing.
“So?” Lin Qinhe’s tone was flat.
Tao Xi choked and said anxiously, “So I am not afraid of pain, nor am I squeamish!”
For him, being said to be squeamish was much more serious than saying that he was poor. That belonged to the personal attack!
He carefully endured his bad temper and put away the thorns all over his body, just to make Lin Qinhe think that he was also very good and well-educated. This time, a school doctor said that he was more squeamish than Yang Duole. This was intolerable and unbearable!
Lin Qinhe stopped suddenly, looked down at him slightly, and asked in a cold voice, “You’re not afraid of the pain. So when the ball came, you could avoid it, but you deliberately ran into it?”
Tao Xi froze in place for an instant. The blood in his body seemed to disappear suddenly and a few seconds later it suddenly rushed to his brain. Lin Qinhe saw that his eyes were bright and calm, but he felt as if he was cut open and there was no room for a bit of sophistry.
Obviously, he was the best at making nonsense and perfunctory remarks, but in front of Lin Qinhe, it seemed that he couldn’t do it.
He clenched his fingers tightly, his throat was astringent, and he said, “… I just want to find a chance to talk to you, and want to be…become friends with you.”
He said the word “friend” with difficulty, but he felt that the word seemed not enough.
He wanted to hear Lin Qinhe say anything other than “no” to him, and wanted to know Lin Qinhe as well as Yang Duole.
What else… he hadn’t thought of it yet.
“If you really want to be my friend, you should be in the top fifty in the midterm exam and stay in the first class.” Lin Qinhe looked at him indifferently, “It is not easy for you to come to Wenhua No. 1 High School. Don’t waste time doing things that don’t make sense.”
“If you have something to say, say directly to me in the future, I will listen. Don’t use this boring way, let alone use Yang Duole.” Lin Qinhe turned and left after saying this.
Tao Xi stood still, and it took a long time to find the air and start breathing quickly.
He stretched out his hand to cover the gauze just taped on his forehead. He was obviously not afraid of the pain, but the wound suddenly became sharp and painful. The pain became more and more painful, until the heart seemed to be rubbed hard by a hand, and his vision began to blur.
He suddenly remembered that when he was ten, the seven-year-old Tao Le was playing with the water pipe in his grandmother’s house and forgot to turn off the tap, causing the water from the pipe to flow into the cellar containing sweet potatoes.
After Guo Ping knew that, without questioning, he took a bamboo cane and chased him. He cried and said that it was not him but Tao Le. He even begged the grandmother who knew the facts to testify.
But grandma only hugged Tao Le in silence and did not protect him at all. Tao Le did not dare to admit it because of fear.
Guo Ping beat him severely. He had forgotten the pain of the swinging cane on his body, but the feeling of aggrieved heartache was still fresh in his memory.
Just like now.
He was so wronged. The phrase “Don’t use Yang Duole” made him so painful that he couldn’t even breathe.
Lin Qinhe didn’t wrong him, he did use Yang Duole.
Lin Qinhe knew that it was not easy for him to come to Wenhua No. 1 High School, so he should not waste time doing meaningless things.
But Lin Qinhe would not know that he was the meaning of his hard work here.
Lin Qinhe didn’t even know that he should be Yang Duole.
He should have Lin Qinhe.
From that day on, Tao Xi never dared to talk to Lin Qinhe anymore and no longer secretly glanced aside during class. After class, he devoted himself to his homework. In physical education class, he also sat on the bench like a sister, reading and studying, no matter how Bi Chengfei encouraged him not play. After studying at night, he quickly rushed back to the bedroom with books and materials, as if there was a dog chasing behind.
Then he discovered that Lin Qinhe hadn’t changed much. From beginning to end, he was jumping around like a flea, and now he stopped jumping, Lin Qinhe was still in peace and quiet.
Several days passed, Bi Chengfei also found something wrong.
“Xi ge, how do I feel that you are becoming estranged with Xueshen?” Bi Chengfei picked out the garlic from the dinner plate with his chopsticks while saying that.
Tao Xi had finished lunch a long time ago. He was studying Mathematics teaching materials. He was silent for a while, and said, “I have never been familiar with him.”
Bi Chengfei let out a cry, but he always felt that there was still some resentment in Tao Xi’s words. He originally thought that the relationship between Tao Xi and Lin Qinhe would be better after the last time he played basketball.
These days he sat in the front of them and felt the low air pressure between the two tablemates at the back. “Oh, I feel akward to turn around and talk to you now. My tablemate doesn’t like to talk to me, I’m suffocated.”
Tao Xi turned a page and said lightly: “Did you forget what you say to Lin Qinhe for him to play last time?”
Bi Chengfei was taken aback, but he really forgot.
He sighed faintly: “I am the little mermaid in Andersen’s fairy tale. I found the sea witch to exchange a beauitful voice for a pair of walking legs.”
As soon as he finished his words, he saw the witch and Yang Duole on the opposite side walking towards the cafeteria after eating. He was guilty and beckoned and said with a smile: “Hi Xueshen! Hi yakult!”
Yang Duole smiled and replied: “Hi Feifei!” In a blink of an eye he recognized Tao Xi who was sitting across from Bi Chengfei. After a pause, he smiled and said hello: “Hi Tao Xi!”
Tao Xi sat stiffly, only nodded, staring at the pages of the book in his hand. Only when the two people completely walked past him, his body finally relaxed.
Bi Chengfei happened to finally finish eating. The two of them also went out after putting their dinner plates. The summer heat in early September had not yet dissipated, but there was already a faint fragrance of osmanthus in the air.
The road from the canteen to the teaching building was called “Yinggui Road”. The name was simple, because there were cherry blossom trees on one side and sweet-scented osmanthus trees on one side. It could be seen that the school loved to plant some flowers.
Tao Xi thought that Lin Qinhe really did not match the characters of Wenhua No.1 High School.
Sure enough, he saw Lin Qinhe and Yang Duole turned to a corner and walked on a path in front of him.
“Do you know why Lin Qinhe doesn’t like flowers?” Tao Xi asked suddenly.
Bi Chengfei was taken aback, it took a while for him to react and replied: “Xueshen seems to have a serious pollen allergy. Our middle school class once organized a spring outing to a botanical garden. Only xueshen didn’t go.”
It seemed that Lin Qinhe didn’t fool him before.
“How do you know this?” Bi Chengfei wouldn’t let go of any chance to gossip.
“Because I stepped on thunder.” Tao Xi said.
Inadvertently stepped on it many times.
Bi Chengfei still wanted to dig into it but was stopped by Tao Xi’s words.
- 1露出马脚 showing horse feet. To expose oneself, to reveal hidden truths
- 2Baihui Garden = Hundred plants Garden
- 3Lin Hua Manxi = The forest is full of flower. Lin Qinhe’s Lin (林)means forest
- 4Little Curly aka Yang Duole