Laughed Together When I was Young
Lu Xi’s face was completely red. There was a lingering touch left on his fingertips.
“I’m sorry.” He apologized quietly as he gazed at the wall.
Compared to him, she only felt a little embarrassed after the initial surprise wore off. It was just an accident, not a big deal.
Her business came back to mind. “You take down the English textbooks and papers.”
“Hmm.” He moved over without looking and took down a stack of books and papers in two or three tries.
There was no need to take down the Chinese textbook… Settling down she focused on his previous test papers.
Her hand quietly circled the mistakes. She didn’t know how long it took as a dynamic and loud metal music sliced through the silence. She looked at the vibrating and ringing phone on the table, only then did she notice that there was no one in the seat next to her.
Soon, the boy returned to the room, scooped up his phone, and said, “What?”
“What time is it?”
Picking up the clothes and pants from the cabinet, he walked straight out.
“Wait a minute,” Zhou Sisi raised her voice and said, “where are you going?”
Lu Xi walked out of the room: “Changing clothes and going to play football.”
“The make-up class is not over.” In fact it hadn’t even started yet.
“This?” Relying on the absence of his parents he continued, “I’ll make up for it later when I have time.”
Zhou Sisi frowned.
Putting on the jersey in the bathroom, he took the time to text an emoji to his urging friend.
Wearing shorts, a headband, and arranging a few short strands of his hair at will, he hummed the song tune that she couldn’t remember and went on to change his shoes. When he put his hand on the doorknob, he paused.
… Whatever, it’s important to play football.
As Lu Xi twisted the lock, he fled towards freedom without even bothering to look back.
Around 9 o’clock, Zhou Sisi went back home along with the spare key provided to her by Aunt Xu.
After finishing a math paper given by the teacher, she glanced at the time- half-past eleven. Picking up the key she proceeded towards 302 and rang the doorbell.
“Hello Auntie, I have come to return the key.”
“Yeah, come in, have you had lunch?”
“Almost.” Zhou Sisi fanned her eyelashes. “Is Lu Xi back?”
“Back? Did he go out this morning? This brat…,” Xu Xuelin seemed angry as she said, “went out to play again, huh. He doesn’t even know that time is precious for him now.”
“Auntie, are you going to work this afternoon?”
“No, today I took a half-day off and will be staying home.”
“Then I will come over at three o’clock in the afternoon to make up for Lu Xi’s English class. Is that okay?”
“Of course, yes.”
Sitting in his room, Lu Xi snorted uncomfortably while listening to their conversation.
~Is she complaining to his mother?
After a short while, when she returned home, Chen Cui also returned back from work.
“You didn’t cook?” Chen Cui sat down on the sofa.
Zhou Sisi silently cleaned the dead leaves from the pot.
“Waiting for me to come back and cook, don’t I need to take a nap afterwards.” Chen Cui muttered, got up and went towards the kitchen.
“Rice has been cooked,” Zhou Sisi said as she did not control her strength and tore off a leaf that was not dry, “but there are no vegetables.”
Chen Cui twisted her waist. “I still have to do it.”
The clatter of pots and pans along with the sound of running water drifted from the kitchen.
“Hey, you didn’t have breakfast? Did you go out to eat?”
“Why should I eat unhealthy foods outside when I have breakfast at home?” Zhou Sisi retorted.
In a panic, she hastily hid in her room and closed the door to ward off Chen Cui’s voice. After all, she was just an ordinary person who had lived only twenty-one years in this world.
When her grandmother was around, she had lamented several times that her granddaughter was soft like dough, and anyone could knead her like one.
Rebirth didn’t change a person’s temperament upside down. At least not for Zhou Sisi. Even though her courage had increased, she still lacked dominance.
~I can only avoid it for the time being until I figure out what to do.
She didn’t want to have lunch with her mother.
After calling her twice, Chen Cui opened the door and came in. “What are you doing here dozing off? Don’t want to eat lunch?”
“—No.” She buried her head in her elbow.
“What’s the matter? Are you feeling uncomfortable?”
“Are you not hungry?”
“Sheesh whatever! I’m in a hurry for lunch and I have a shift in the afternoon.”
Zhou Sisi buried her head even lower. Having stayed in this position for a long time her body began to numb. Suddenly a thought flashed up between the turmoil of thoughts.
In this era, electronic payment had already been introduced and was being widely used. Many operations could be performed on the mobile terminal platform, including securities transactions.
In the past, she hadn’t paid much attention towards financial investment, so she only had a vague memory of it. However, she remembered that a year or two later, several stocks performed so well that they were extensively covered by the media.
Yes, she intended to invest in the stock market. If… if one day she managed to gain enough financial resources, she might be able to sever her relationship with Chen Cui…
Zhou Sisi’s personal account contained the New Year’s money, scholarships, and competition bonuses that she had accumulated since the second grade of junior high school. The total amount was considerable for an ordinary middle school student.
The stock market was difficult to enter, and opening an account for minors was even more difficult, so she busied herself with the companies that performed well on the stock market.
She wrote down the names of the two most prominent stocks on paper and looked them up on the Internet. Sure enough, she found the relevant information. Currently, their situation was average or even worse.
Taking a deep breath she divided all her money into three parts- two were designated for buying the shares of the two companies separately.
There was a slight problem with the process of purchase. She was still a minor so was required to upload a few documents. Fortunately, they were not difficult to obtain. She planned to scan her ID at a print shop in the afternoon.
She took a short nap, by the time when she woke up she was the only one left in the house.
~I feel dizzy.
Zhou Sisi’s blood sugar and blood pressure were low all year round, and having not eaten lunch, she felt discomfort right after taking a few steps.
Slowly, she trudged out of the room.
On the round table in the dining room were two dishes- one meat, and the other vegetable.
She stood silently for a moment and brought them to the kitchen in order to heat them up.
After dinner, she went out with a canvas bag to a printing shop, which was near the community’s north gate.
Zhou Sisi met a stranger in the shop.
“Are you here to print things as well?” he asked.
“Yeah.” It took her two seconds to search for this person’s full name from her memory.
Tang Yan Zhang, was one grade below hers. His parents used to be colleagues in the same hospital along with Lu Xi’s mother.
Zhou Sisi, Tang Yan Zhang, and the children of several other medical professionals of similar age lived in the residential area of the hospital when they were young. They played, ate snacks, laughed, and made trouble together.They were very close.
Later, the hospital’s policy on residency was changed, many families moved one after another, and children were scattered.
Only Tang Yan Zhang and Lu Xi lived closer to Zhou Sisi.
After entering elementary and to junior high school they spent most of the time in school, and naturally met new students and made new friends. Thus they unconsciously lost track of their childhood playmates.
It was just that when they occasionally heard from the parents about how someone was doing, it would evoke a faint nostalgia.
——Lu Xi was not a member of “which”.1Apparently talented students like Sisi, Yang Zhang After Zhou Sisi graduated from elementary school, Chen Cui rented their current house, and the two had been neighbors for several years.
“What are you doing with all these papers?” Tang Yan Zhang asked.
Zhou Sisi didn’t intend to tell him but merely replied, “It’s for some work.”
After taking the USB flash drive to scan, she took two English textbooks from her bag. “Boss, please help me copy the pages with folded corners.”
“Single-sided or double-sided.” The boss flipped through the textbook.
Zhou Sisi said warmly, “One-sided, A4, thank you.”
Tang Yan Zhang had been waiting at the side. “Isn’t this a junior high school English book?”
Zhou Sisi: “Yeah.”
Tang Yan Zhang: “What do you use it for? What competition involves junior high school knowledge?”
Zhou Sisi: “—No, it’s not for that.”
Tang Yan Zhang: “I’m going to look for my junior textbook to review later.”
Zhou Sisi: “——”
The praise from the parents was indeed true. Tang Yan Zhang was a good child who loved to learn.
But what she didn’t know was that she was also the “child of someone else’s family” in the eyes of other parents.
Especially in Xu Xuelin’s eyes, she was good at everything. She quite liked this little girl Zhou Sisi.
Actually, Xu Xuelin specially prepared a large plate of fresh fruits as she waited for Zhou Sisi’s arrival.
“Sisi, Eat fruit.”
“No, thank you, Auntie.”
“Auntie asked you to eat. Why are you being so polite?”
Zhou Sisi smiled shyly and ate a few cherries.
“Auntie, is Lu Xi awake?”
“This brat never takes a nap at home.”
Xu Xuelin noticed her hesitation. “It’s okay if you go directly into his room in the future. There is nothing that he needs to do with the door closed.”
Zhou Sisi nodded.
Her jade-like complexion, fine eyebrows, and eyes were clear and beautiful, the lips were stained with cherry juice… She looked cute and pleasant.
She knocked on the door.
Lu Xi reluctantly quit the game.
“Did you memorize all the words?” She got straight to the point.
“Are you kidding?” He moved his sour wrists. “How can I remember all five or six hundred words?”
“It’s not five or six hundred.” She drew out the printed and bound vocabulary list. “The entire junior high school has 1782 important words.”
Lu Xi: “——” Damn! So much.
“There are only Fifty-six days left until the high school exam. Starting from today, you have to memorize at least 32 words a day.”
“Your basic grammar is not bad, but most of your sentences are incorrect. Now let me talk about it. Or do you have any questions?”
~Yes, can I not take the English make-up class?
Lu Xi glanced outside the door, the tigress who was in charge of his life and death was sitting in the living room.
She opened the pen cap and quickly wrote on the white paper. “First of all, let’s talk about compound indefinite pronouns, this~” explained carefully.
She spoke slowly, and her voice was naturally soft and sweet. If it was someone else, they would feel that listening to her lectures was even enjoyable. It was a pity though that the only listener was absent-minded.
“Do you understand?” she asked after completing the first lesson.
Lu Xi yawned. “Ah…!”
Zhou Sisi’s expression remained unchanged. “Look at this question, what did you fill-in?”
“C,” Lu Xi said lazily.
“This is not a multiple-choice question.”
“Oh, so… I don’t know.”
She put the pen down and looked at him.
Seeing her put down the pen, he thought she was going to lecture or scold him, just like the previous tutors.
A handful of orange rays of sun fell on the table, and he poked it with his long, thin fingers, boredly thinking of Jiang Ziya’s big move in the game.
“Perhaps you didn’t understand. I’ll say it again.” Still gentle as a misty rain.
…Huh? he was a little surprised.