[Chapter 038] Basketball match
After taking the last bite, Lu YunFei hadn’t noticed, but his lips had grazed Bian JinYuan’s fingertips.
Bian JinYuan quickly retracted his hand, feeling an indescribable heat between his fingers.
“Beep beep”, Lu YunFei’s WeChat chimed and he picked up his phone to read Wen MingYi’s question: Want to have a meal after the sports festival ends later?
Sure, Lu YunFei replied. There was no homework to do today, so it was alright to go home a little later.
Lu YunFei had thought to invite Bian JinYuan as well, but quickly remembered that it was his birthday today, so he had to go home to spend it with his aunt. And so he didn’t talk about it and waited for the school doctor to examine his leg.
The school doctor came to his bedside after examining the girl who had arrived before him and asked, “What’s wrong?”
“I sprained it a little while running, it hurts a little.”
The school doctor put pressure on his ankle and asked, “Does it hurt here?”
Lu YunFei shook his head.
The school doctor then pressed other areas, when Lu YunFei gave a yelp, “Painful.”
The school doctor examined his leg closely for a long while before remarking, “It shouldn’t be serious as you didn’t injure your bone. I’ll prescribe you some ointment, don’t exercise today. If you’re worried about it, you could visit a larger hospital to take an x-ray.”
Lu YunFei nodded, “Then could I compete tomorrow?”
“Best not to. If you really want to, then make your decision only after you wake up tomorrow. If it doesn’t hurt, then you can consider it. If it hurts then forget it.”
The school doctor pasted an ointment patch from Yunnan Baiyao on his ankle, and Lu YunFei wore his shoes to stand on the floor.
The school doctor asked: “Can you walk?”
“Yes, just that it hurts a little when I do.”
“Move less and rest more when you get back. You can apply a cold compress to it too, don’t force yourself for the competitions tomorrow.”
“Okay, I understand. Thank you teacher.”
Lu YunFei hopped out the door.
Bian JinYuan saw him and asked, “How are you getting home this evening?”
“My driver will pick me up.”
Bian JinYuan nodded, “Good.”
They returned to sit at the sports field. At 5.30pm, the broadcast announcement went: “Today’s sports festival ends here, tomorrow will be an exciting continuation.”
As the homeroom teacher, Li Li took attendance and encouraged students participating in events the next day to rest well at home, before dismissing the class for the day.
Lu YunFei’s leg no longer hurt at this point. He said goodbye to Bian JinYuan and went with Li YuanQing to seek out Wen MingYi for their meal.
“Is your leg better?” Wen MingYi bent his head to peer at his leg when they met up.
“Seems to be better, it no longer hurts,” Lu YunFei said while taking two steps.
Li YuanQing instantly thought of a sketch comedy he had seen as a kid, the phrase resounding in his head, “Take two steps, if nothing’s wrong then take two steps◆”, and laughed.
Lu YunFei and Wen MingYi looked at him perplexedly, “What are you laughing about?”
“Nothing,” Li YuanQing said, still amused, “I’m just so happy that your leg is all better.”
Wen MingYi shot him a dirty look, obviously not buying his statement. Li YuanQing reached out an arm to hook across him, “Let’s go let’s go, let’s head to our meal.”
The three of them ate skewers, and then went their separate ways back home.
When Lu YunFei arrived home and prepared to get down from the car, uncle Li called after him and said, “Young master, I will need to visit home in two days to settle some issues at home, I should only be able to come back next weekend.”
Lu YunFei turned back to look at him and asked, “Is it serious?”
“It’s not,” Uncle Li smiled, “It’s just some household matters.”
“Then take care on the road.”
Lu YunFei bid goodbye to uncle Li and entered his house. The aunty had already prepared dinner. To his surprise, Lu YunShang was actually at home and sitting at the dinner table while on her phone.
“You’re home early today,” Lu YunFei exclaimed.
Lu YunShang sighed, “Don’t bring it up, I haven’t been feeling well since afternoon so I came home.”
“What’s wrong?” Lu YunFei probed in concern, “Where aren’t you feeling well?”
“Headache, but it’s much better now. Oh right, I heard from dad that uncle Li is going home for a bit, what are your plans for coming home after school?”
“I can just take a taxi.”
“All right then,” Lu YunShang didn’t have an opinion on that, “But I can send you to school in the mornings. You’ll take a taxi home after school.”
“Mmm, then remember to wake up early tomorrow morning.”
Lu YunShang felt that her forehead was starting to throb again, “I’ll try to.”
“You can’t try, you must, jie jie (elder sister),” Lu YunFei smiled at her.
The corners of Lu YunShang’s lips raised, “Heh.”
After Lu YunFei had finished conversing with Lu YunShang and lay down after washing up in his room, Bian JinYuan, Bian Jie, and Shuang Shuang had already come home after their meal.
Bian Jie had given Bian JinYuan a medium-length black coat and a pair of jeans. As she presented the clothes to him, she urged him to try them on.
Lu YunFei immediately came to attention. He looked to the left where Bian Jie was holding up the pair of jeans, and then to the right where Bian JinYuan’s famous long legs were, waiting for the handsome boy to change into it. However Bian JinYuan had considered Bian Jie in the room, so he took the clothes to change in another room before coming back out.
Lu YunFei: … Excited for nothing.
Bian JinYuan possessed a well-proportioned body and a tall frame. He was basically a clothes horse who looked good in anything that he wore. Bian Jie was very satisfied and kept on singing his praises: “Our Xiao Yuan just looks so good, he’s so well-rounded.”
Bian JinYuan cracked a smile upon hearing this and didn’t reply.
Shuang Shuang burst out a “Wow” and praised: “Gege is so handsome!”
Saying this, he ran over to his school bag and pulled out a drawing to pass it to Bian JinYuan.
“This is my present to you.”
Bian JinYuan took it and saw that it was a drawing of a tall and thin man. Shuang Shuang tiptoed and leaned against his arm, pointing at the bottom right corner of the drawing, “There’s a name.”
Bian JinYuan’s eyes followed his finger, to find the crudely written words — My Gege.
He smiled and ruffled Shuang Shuang’s hair, “Well-drawn, gege likes it a lot.”
Shuang Shuang then relaxed his grip on his arm and looked up to smile back shyly.
“Ah,” Shuang Shuang suddenly clapped his hands, “We need to sing a song, teacher said that we need to sing the happy birthday song for birthdays.”
“Then Shuang Shuang you sing it for gege,” Bian Jie said smilingly.
Shuang Shuang didn’t hesitate and launched into song, “Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you~”
He sang as he clapped out a rhythm. Lu YunFei noticed this and accompanied Shuang Shuang to sing the song together. The machine’s and child’s voices mixed together, amusing Bian Jie into laughter. Bian JinYuan however, turned his head to look at the Tmall Genie nearby and said exasperatedly: “Blindly making a ruckus.”
Lu YunFei who was blindly making a ruckus ignored him and accompanied Shuang Shuang to finish the song, even whistling at the end.
It was the first time that Bian JinYuan had heard a machine whistle, and he was also amused into laughter.
It was considered to be a happy night.
On the second day of the sports festival, Lu YunShang specially woke up early to send Lu YunFei to school. Bian JinYuan met him on the sports field and asked him, “Is your leg still hurting?”
“It no longer hurts, I’m already better,” Lu YunFei said and jumped up and down to prove that he was alright.
Bian JinYuan saw his relaxed face and was at ease.
The results from class one were good, so He Pan gathered everyone to announce the sequence of events and cheered for the competitors to do their best to grab the winning glory once more. Under his cheers, Lu YunFei ran the final lap of the 4 x 100 metres relay race and later hung out with Wen MingYi and Bian JinYuan.
At 5.30pm, the sports festival officially ended. The principal read out the names from each class, and the class representatives went up the stage to receive their certificates. Everyone lamented about how they had to go back to classes after two days of fun, and reluctantly ended this eventful autumn sports festival.
It was the weekend after the sports festival. This weekend was meant to get students to relax. Lu YunFei’s basketball match with his friends was planned for that Sunday.
As the leader for his team, Lu YunFei arranged for them to meet at the sports hall half an hour earlier. He held the team uniforms while waiting for his team members. Li YuanQing hadn’t turned up as previously agreed upon, only being active in the group chat. Wen MingYi and Bian JinYuan arrived at almost the same time, as well as Zhāng Lǎng, the leader of the other team.
Zhang Lang was Lu YunFei and Li YuanQing’s middle school classmates. During that time, the three of them were on the basketball team. After they had graduated from middle school, Zhang Lang entered a different high school, but still wanted to keep in touch with them while maintaining his love for basketball.
“Lu YunFei let me tell you, my team will definitely win this time, do you believe me.”
Lu YunFei didn’t, “It’s so bright and sunny out here, yet you’re already dreaming huh.”
“Tsk tsk tsk,” Zhang Lang shook his head, “Don’t cry when you lose later.”
Lu YunFei barked out a short laugh, “I’m afraid that you’ll be the one crying.”
As the two of them joked with each other, the other players arrived.
Everyone introduced themselves, changed into their uniforms, and then the match officially started.
The referee was another one of their middle school classmates, Sūn Qú. Sun Qu kept track of the score while cheering for both teams.
Zhang Lang’s team hadn’t changed much from last year, only one person had changed. However, this person had caused Lu YunFei to be flustered.
He looked at the person who was half a head taller than Bian JinYuan and cast a suspicious look at Zhang Lang, “Your friend’s height, speed, and fast reaction time, does he specialise in basketball?”
“Not at all, but he’s a natural at sports. The both of us had specially trained for half a month in order to prepare for this match,.”
“You really expect much from me,” Lu YunFei patted his shoulder.
Zhang Lang said proudly, “I already said we’re going to win this year, how could we always let you take the glory.”
Lu YunFei couldn’t help it. He looked up at the tall and large frame and thought about changing tactics.
He had practised for a long time with Bian JinYuan. This time, they were blocked hard and weren’t able to advance, so when he got the ball he quickly passed it to Bian JinYuan. Bian JinYuan didn’t hesitate and threw it at the hoop, winning them two points.
Sun Qu shouted, “Beautiful”, and helped them to record their two points.
Slowly, passersby stopped to watch their match.
At the later half of their match, the competition became more intense. Lu YunFei feinted past the large guy, ready to aim his shot. But the large guy immediately turned around to block him with a jump. As he landed, the both of them knocked into each other and fell onto the ground.
Lu YunFei reached out to stand back up, when he felt that the leg which he had sprained two days ago started to be painful. He stood up with great effort, but after taking two more steps, the pain caused him to involuntarily put less weight on his foot.
Bian JinYuan saw this and came over to support him, asking, “What’s wrong?”
◆ This line is from a popular sketch comedy in 2001, where a couple tried to sell crutches to a guy who didn’t need one. Somehow they managed to convince him that one of his legs was shorter than the other, goading him to prove that he was fine by taking two steps. You can watch it on Youtube here, but unfortunately I wasn’t able to find a copy with English subtitles!