[Chapter 057] Bian JinYuan reached out to pull him into his embrace
Lu YunFei didn’t say anything further. He had actually wanted to tell Bian JinYuan that he didn’t care about these, but he wound up not saying anything. He stood at the top of a mountain, where it was easy to admire the blossoming flowers. People at the foot of the mountain who wanted to climb up to the top in order to attain the view of snow needed to put in so much effort.
He was different from Bian JinYuan. While they were both gifted, his upbringing was much more fortunate than Bian JinYuan’s.
At this thought, Lu YunFei felt for Bian JinYuan. He reached out to grab Bian JinYuan’s hand, and to Bian JinYuan’s surprise in the car, said gently, “Alright,” he said, “I’ll go only when you want me to visit some day.”
Bian JinYuan looked at him quietly. After a while, he nodded his head.
Even though it was snowing, there was surprisingly smooth traffic. The cab had arrived at the train station for Bian JinYuan’s stop within less than half an hour, and he and Lu YunFei said their goodbyes before he alighted.
Under the lightly falling snow, the people on the road were bustling. Bian JinYuan stood by the roadside as he watched the cab with Lu YunFei slowly depart, before turning to head home.
He walked slowly, pondering on Lu YunFei’s words, “We’re so close to each other now, I still can’t visit your home?” If, he thought, if his home wasn’t this way, but the one in which his mother and him had lived in when he was young, or if it was like Bian Jie and Jiang Feng’s home which he had later stayed in, then he probably wouldn’t have rejected Lu YunFei.
Back then, the house that they stayed in was simple too, and was the most average-looking apartment. While it couldn’t be compared to Lu YunFei’s house, it was still a part of the majority of households. But now, it was a dilapidated house with no space, no **, where the water tap and toilet were common-use. Two of these houses joined together wouldn’t even be as large as Lu YunFei’s bedroom. With this sort of place, how could he think to let Lu YunFei visit.
This was the first time that Bian JinYuan realised that he could also get self-conscious.
He had always been one to do whatever he wanted, uncaring for the judgment of others. He didn’t care for a lot of people, they were merely passersby to him. From a young age, he knew that he was accomplished due to the constant praises from teachers and family, and had never put his poverty to mind. Yet now, whenever Lu YunFei looked at him, and when Lu YunFei brought up visiting him home, he retracted for the first time.
He was afraid to find shock and disappointment in Lu YunFei’s eyes, and was also afraid to find pity from him. He had always been very clear on the fact that he and Lu YunFei lived in different worlds. However, despite that, he strove to attain fresh flowers, gems, and precious treasures to give them to Lu YunFei. That way, they would be on level ground.
But the thought of Lu YunFei entering his world and opening the door, to find that there was nothing behind it, that all those precious things were not easy to attain, but were the only things that he could display at the door.
His home and his world were barren wastelands, devoid of jewels and life. There was nothing in it, only him.
The snow fell even harder, landing on his shoulders and hair. He walked quietly along the street in the snow, in between the light and shadows of the night.
As he walked past a small shop, he heard a song being played. The male singer’s enunciation wasn’t very clear, but the melody was soothing✤:
As Bian JinYuan listened, his steps subconsciously came to a halt. He stood near the shop and quietly listened to the song until it ended.
He suddenly realised that he had not once sung a single song tonight. He should have sung a song for Lu YunFei, but what should he have sung? It was almost as if nothing was appropriate, while at the same time anything seemed fitting.
He searched his memories, yet still couldn’t find a song to sing. Each song seemed to grasp his feelings, yet also didn’t seem to be able to encapsulate them.
Yet, at this moment, he really missed Lu YunFei. He wanted to sing him a song, a song which didn’t have any specific meaning in general, but which would be meaningful to him. He took out his phone and called Lu YunFei.
Lu YunFei was still in the cab. He picked up his phone and asked, “You’re home already?”
“Oh, then what’s this phone call for?”
Bian JinYuan was silent for a moment,
He still didn’t know what song to sing.
“Happy birthday,” He said, “Happy birthday to you.”
Lu YunFei laughed, “Thank you.”
“You’re welcome,” Bian JinYuan said lightly, “Rest well after you reach home.”
He ended the call after saying that.
He put his phone back in his pocket, and quickened his pace, step by step, walking home.
The seventeen year-old Bian JinYuan was simple and transparent, as if he were a shard of glass – seemingly sharp, yet clear and without a speck of complexity — that was a ray of bright light that solely belonged to Lu YunFei.
Three days after the first snow, the city welcomed a second snowfall. During that time, class one was having Mathematics class. When the students saw the snow, they secretly messaged in the group chat: It’s snowing.
When it was time for Language class, the Language teacher walked into the classroom without any books and asked the class a question, “What do these white snowflakes look like?”
Some people shouted out “They look like salt scattered in the air”, while others shouted, “Like catkins bobbing in the wind”❆.
The Language teacher for class one is a romantic at heart surnamed Chéng. When she smiled, she appeared gentle and serene. She walked up to the stage and smiled as she faced the class, “No class today. It’s rare to have snow, so go out to play, go relax.”
Class one rejoiced. Lu YunFei heard his classmates exclaim in joy and really wanted to remind them that, in such situations, it was very likely that they would have to write essays after they came back. However, having to write essays still could not hold back the youthful students’ desires to play.
It wasn’t known who took the lead, but soon everyone swarmed out of the classroom as they headed downstairs.
Li YuanQing called out to Lu YunFei, “Let’s go.”
Lu YunFei stood up and pulled Bian JinYuan along as they went downstairs.
Their classmates downstairs had already started playing, each of them making snowballs to throw at people nearby. Lu YunFei was hit by one of them just as he arrived at the first floor. The other party laughed, while Lu YunFei headed straight to a flower patch nearby to make a snowball to throw it back at them.
In the midst of the chaotic snowball fight, Lu YunFei participated for a while before realising that Bian JinYuan had been standing outside the battlefield, watching on quietly.
He wanted to get Bian JinYuan to participate, and so he threw a snowball at him. Bian JinYuan turned slightly to the side to dodge the snowball, but didn’t counterattack.
“You’re not playing?” Lu YunFei walked over.
Bian JinYuan wasn’t interested in all these and replied, “You guys play.”
“Don’t be like that,” Lu YunFei pulled on him, “Let’s play.”
As he said that, he felt Bian JinYuan reach out to press against the back of his head, as he pulled him into an embrace. Lu YunFei was startled, his only thought was: Bian JinYuan, he really was taller than him.
The sound of a snowball breaking apart on Bian JinYuan’s hand was heard. The thrower saw that they had hit him and swiftly ran away. Bian JinYuan then released his hold on the back of Lu YunFei’s head. He shrugged his hand twice to get the snow to drop off.
Lu YunFei still hadn’t had time to react. Bian JinYuan looked at his puzzlement and explained, “There was a snowball.”
Lu YunFei then got back to his senses, “Thank you.”
“You’re welcome,” Bian JinYuan said calmly.
“The snowball that hit you just now, aren’t you returning the favour?”
“No,” Bian JinYuan stated.
Lu YunFei saw his indifference, and really didn’t know how to coax him.
It was Bian JinYuan who said understandingly, “You should go and play.”
“You’re really not going?”
Lu YunFei didn’t have a choice. It wasn’t as if he could force a cow’s head down if the cow refused to drink water. So, he returned to the battlefield. Bian JinYuan watched as he ran around the snowy ground, his smile radiant, and subconsciously relaxed his expression.
As Lu YunFei predicted, after an entire lesson of playing in the snow, the Language teacher gave them homework before the class ended, “Today’s homework is to compose an essay based on the topic of snow. There are no limitations to the topic, please submit it to the Language representative tomorrow morning.”
In an instant, the sounds of wailing.
The Language teacher looked at their sorrowful faces and smiled as she returned to the teaching level, leaving behind a class full of students who lamented about beautiful disasters. True to the saying, this was a honeytrap.
After playing with snow for an entire period, Lu YunFei finally felt the consequences of his actions — his hands were now frozen. He took the chance when the teacher wasn’t paying attention to bend his head down to blow hot air into his palms. Rubbing them together, he felt a momentary warmth, but was soon back to being cold.
It would have been a great time to warm his hands with warm water. It was just too bad that the water in his cup had already gone tepid. As he thought about what to do, he heard Bian JinYuan ask, “Are your hands cold?”
Saying so, he touched the back of Lu YunFei’s hands to find that they were ice cold.
Lu YunFei felt his warmth and grabbed ahold of his hands. His eyes widened as he pleaded, “Deskmate, save this child.”
Bian JinYuan looked at Lu YunFei, a face of innocence and eyes full of sincerity, his other hand coming up to grasp onto him.
“A seventeen year old child, you’re such a big baby.”
Bian JinYuan retracted his hand while Lu YunFei looked at him in disbelief – was he that cold-hearted? When did his deskmate suddenly become so stone-cold? Bian JinYuan saw his disbelieving expression and his eyes twinkled with mirth as he slowly and warmly held his hands.
Lu YunFei felt the warmth come back and thought that this was right. His teacher Bian had always protected him. There was no such thing as being stone-cold.
Now that he was in a good mood, he started to have the energy to be able to quip back, “Anyone who’s not yet eighteen is a child.”
“Sure, whatever you say,” Bian JinYuan obviously couldn’t be bothered to argue with him.
Satisfied, Lu YunFei happily allowed Bian JinYuan to warm up his hands.
Not long after the snowfall, First High entered the final term exams, followed by winter break. Li Li gave out the winter break homework before saying, “There’ll be no supplementary classes this winter break, go home and do your homework. There’ll be a mock exam when next semester starts, so don’t regress in the meantime alright.”
Everyone laughingly responded with an “Understood”, and wholeheartedly prepared for their winter break life.
Lu YunFei’s winter break was nothing special, he planned to eat, play, and sleep. Compared to him, Bian JinYuan’s life was much more difficult. Liu Mo’s cake shop didn’t have a break yet, so he was still going to work on time.
** This was literally the original. I have no idea what it’s supposed to represent.
✤ Jay Chou’s 简单爱 (Simple Love) Hahaha what a dig! Yes I too hate how Jay Chou doesn’t enunciate his words. One thing he’s got to get credit for, He’s super popular despite the mumbling because of his melody and lyrics.
❆ These are lines from《咏雪联句》(yǒng xuě lián jù, Ode to Snow Poem), which is composed by three people. The story goes that prime minister Xiè Ān liked to test his kid relatives. During a snowfall, he asked them what the snow looked like. His nephew Xiè Lǎng replied saying that they looked like salt, while his niece Xiè DàoYùn likened them to catkins. This poem served to show Xie DaoYun’s talent as a female poet. It was a little hard to piece together this piece of info, but if anyone is interested, here’s references on Baidu (Mandarin) and two other sites which have very sketchy English text: here & here.