“You’ve turned in all your winter break homework, right?” The mathematics teacher was in her early thirties, with a head of shiny black hair straight down to the roots on her scalp – it looked like she had rushed to get an ion straight perm on the second day of February before school started. She walked up to the podium and hit the board twice with a board eraser. “The questions in the exercise booklet are for you to revise them as you do them, there’s no use fooling me here for those who only copied other’s answers. “
“Yes teacher-” the whole class answered in a lengthened voice.
“Very well.” the mathematics teacher nodded in satisfaction and held up another pile of papers to shake, “I’ve drawn some questions out of the exercise booklet and produced a test paper to do this lesson to see if you were just telling the truth or not.”
As soon as this was said, it immediately caused a commotion under the podium, and many people’s elongated faces were plainly filled with the two big words “It’s finished”.
The test papers were passed from front to back, and the whispered conversations made a small “clattering” sound. When Tang Junhe got the test paper, he heard the math teacher say “You may start.” in front of the podium.
He took out his pencil and began to do the question, glancing over his shoulder to see the figure of Yang Xuan walking in.
It takes that long to get to school on a bike? The thought crossed his mind, and then he quickly regained consciousness and concentrated on the test paper.
They were all basic types of questions, except for the last big question, nothing that needed a lot of fuss. Tang Junhe finished it quickly, then put the papers together in the corner of the table and couldn’t help but turn his head sideways towards the back.
There were two rows of tables and an aisle between him and Yang Xuan, and if he looked slightly over his shoulder, he could catch a glimpse of his movements.
Yang Xuan is sleeping on the desk.
It’s really a standard configuration of an academic dreg, thought Tang Junhe, then took his attention back, took out the Olympiad exercise book and started looking through it.
The girl at the other desk turned to look at him and asked in a surprised whisper. “Done? So fast.”
Tang Junhe’s gaze fell on the exercise book and raised his hatred. “Well, it’s simple.”
The girl, irritated, looked at him like a monster for a few seconds, and then turned her head away to continue working on the questions without a word.
The math teacher slipped up to him, picked up his papers and looked at them for a moment, before taking them away and asking, “Used to be in the Third middle school?”
“Hmm.” Tang Junhe nodded.
Third middle school is located in the suburbs of Runcheng, teacher placement and teaching equipment barely passes the line. In Runcheng, only those who cannot afford to buy expensive school district housing and cannot afford to go through the relationship of “commoners” will reluctantly step into that “poor school”.
When Tang Junhe was still in junior high school, Yang Chengchuan and Tang Xiaonian promised that Tang Junhe would go to Runcheng’s First Middle School in the future. Yang Xuan’s mother’s life came to an abrupt end on the eve of the summer vacation, and Yang Chengchuan was faced with the pressure of the general election of the vice mayor, so naturally he didn’t dare to sit down to the rumors about his private life.
In the meantime, Yang Chengchuan was busy establishing his own honest and incorruptible image, and even the frequency of running to Tang Xiaonian’s side was greatly reduced. He thought that the eldest son, who did not have the results of the middle school exams, had already scared him and naturally had no time to take care of the youngest son, who had never called himself “father”.
Tang Junhe was bowing his head to do the question when the front desk suddenly reached over with a hand, handed over a small slip of paper, and said over his shoulder, lowering his voice, “Help pass it to Yang Xuan.”
The small pink slips of paper, folded squarely and passed around in this situation, should be the answers to the test papers. Tang Junhe looked up and saw that two seats in front of him, there was a girl who was cautiously looking back in the direction of Yang Xuan, and judging from the taut line on her neck, she seemed to be a little nervous.
If I remember correctly, it should be the girl who was sitting on the living room floor yesterday, the one very close to Yang Xuan.
Tang Junhe lowered his head and continued working on the question, ignoring the request from the front desk.
The hand was left hanging for a moment, retracted, and with a grumbling “tsk”, the front desk changed the direction of delivery and handed the note to a student on the other side of the aisle. Then it was in the hands of Yang Xuan without any hindrance.
Tang Junhe caught a glimpse of Yang Xuan being called up, and he straightened up from his desk as if he had taken the note.
City focus. Top faculty configuration. Crowded to get in.
–That’s quite a name for this ‘kind’ of school ah. Tang Junhe mocked inwardly, and then ticked off the answer to a question.
At the end of the second class of the morning, the class president rushed over and asked him to go to the class teacher’s office to get his exercise book.
Tang Junhe responded, asked where the office was, and walked out of the classroom.
The corridor was blocked off by the students waiting in front of the elevator in between classes. About to miss the next elevator, Tang Junhe bowed his head through the crowded pile of people and turned to one side of the stairway.
The classroom was on the third floor and the teacher’s office was on the eighth, and he climbed five flights of stairs, slightly out of breath.
“Exit the elevator and head left… Where’s the elevator entrance?” Tang Junhe had been insensitive to directions since he was a child, and every time he went to a new environment, he had to adapt for a while before he could discern his direction. He was standing at the stairway on the eighth floor, recalling the route the class president had told him, when a voice suddenly came from behind him. “Head left.”
The voice was so close that Tang Junhe was slightly taken aback, his heart stopped beating for a second at that moment, and he immediately realized that he was in the way, so he staggered to make way for the person behind him as he turned his head and casually said, “Tha-“
–It was Yang Xuan.
The word “Thanks “was stuck in his throat after a moment of stunned silence.
Yang Xuan didn’t say anything, just stepped in front of him as he moved out of the way.
It’s really hard to see him. Tang Junhe stood there, looking at Yang Xuan’s back and thought.
“Head left”, he seems to know where he’s going, so he should have come upstairs to see the class teacher as well.
Tang Junhe presumed so, and lifted his feet to follow Yang Xuan, always keeping a few steps away from him.
At ten o’clock in the morning, the bright sunlight cast its rays through the window onto the floor and onto the slightly swaying back of Yang Xuan as he moved forward, casting a thin slanting shadow on him.
The teenager in front of me who’s walking a little wobbly is my brother. My real brother.
This thought inexplicably flashed through Tang Junhe’s mind, so much that he was in a trance for a moment.
He was suddenly curious about how the owner of that shadow would react if he shouted “Gege” at his back.
Would he stop? After that, will he turn around? Or he would just walk away? Or just pretend he didn’t hear him and continue being like this?
I really want to know. Tang Junhe looked at that back and promptly stopped his thoughts.
Reaching the door of an office, Yang Xuan pushed the door in and disappeared from his view.
It was only then that Tang Junhe dropped his gaze and took a few steps forward, coming to a stop at the door, looking up at the sign on the door and also reaching out to push it in.
As soon as he entered, he saw Yang Xuan standing next to the table at the diagonal corner, his back to the door. The blocked class teacher heard the sound of pushing on the door, and then peeked over at him. “Come here?”
“Yes.” Tang Junhe walked over in that direction, stopping when he was a few steps away from Yang Xuan. “Teacher Qiu, I’ll get the exercise books.”
“It’s all on the locker over there.” the class teacher stretched her arm out and pointed forward. “Look at what you didn’t have at school before, take a copy of it.”
After that, Tang Junhe heard the class teacher say behind him. “The math teacher came over right after class to give me a report on this test. What’s going on?”
Yang Xuan’s voice sounded a bit hoarse:
“Can’t do it.”
“Can’t do a single question, huh?”
“Mm, not a single question.”
Didn’t someone give him the answers? Tang Junhe took a step to the side with some books. He didn’t copy? Or is that actually not the answers? Someone wouldn’t pass love letters during exams, right? ……
“What do you want me to say about you, I’ve said what I have to say 800 times already.” said the class teacher as if she was angry, “I’ll be honest with you, after all these years of teaching, you’re the most talented child I’ve ever seen, every teacher agrees on that, so why do you refuse to learn? …… Yang Xuan, Yang Xuan, will you push your brain on my head so I could learn it all for you?!”
“Isn’t talent meant to be wasted?” Tang Junhe heard Yang Xuan, who was not far behind him, say that.
“What sophistry!” The class teacher slapped the table, hating the iron for not becoming steel. “Just tell me, your father is so busy every day but he still has to come to school several times, just to make you correct your attitude to study. You don’t have to be too upright, you just need to learn a little bit …”
All the exercise books were stacked half a meter on top of each other. Tang Junhe moved them to the floor, then bent down and picked them up again, put his chin against the top book, and walked out of the office without making a sound.
Yang Xuan is truly blessed. That’s what Tang Junhe thought as he walked out of the office.
He’s got classmates handing him answers, a teacher advising him to study hard, and a deputy mayor’s dad who’s worried about him like he’s got everything.
Unlike himself, there was only Tang Xiaonian.
“Wait, where’s Tang Junhe?” The class teacher, who had taught a brat a lesson to the point of having a dry mouth, had to stop to take a drink suddenly, and looked ahead. “Why did he leave without a word, so many books, I was hoping to get someone to help him move them ah. Never mind, back to you,” the class teacher withdrew her gaze. “You always do the same thing whenever your dad comes to see me in person every time ……”
I suddenly remembered this quote from this chapter.
“Comparison is the root cause of all evil.
Why compare when no two people are alike?”