Early the next morning, Zhang Man left the door with a stack of books and exercises with her. Li Wei lived in the central city, about half an hour away from her house by bus.
The bus came quickly and there was barely a wait.
This year’s N City hasn’t been connected to the subway yet so while Zhang Man is riding on the bus she kept looking at the familiar scenery outside the window and felt dazed. A lot of memories from the past have been blurred, but some of them regarding him, she remembered clearly because she repeatedly dreamed about him in the following years.
Once in the previous life, she finished her make-up classes and came out of Li Wei’s house very late and he made an unprecedented offer to take her to the station.
It was a late winter, the green belt beside the road is still covered with snow and the street lights are dim, but there is still a bright full moon up in the sky.
The two of them walked along the asphalt road and the harsh evening breeze blew the tree branches on both sides of the road into a rustle. At that time she liked to walk on the narrow edge of the road beside the green belt and accidentally stepped on the frozen ice, her foot slipped suddenly and she lost her balance.
She remembered very clearly when Li Wei held her from the side to save her from falling.
Under the pale moonlight, the sounds of their heartbeats were on the same frequency, both getting faster and faster. She had sharp eyes and saw his slightly reddened ears.
Neither of them said anything but they seemed to understand each other’s feelings.
Which was why, after that, she was in complete disbelief that he’d lied to her. The anger of being cheated on was so overwhelming that it made her deny everything she knew from before, causing her to get so angry at him, especially when she deliberately went out with another boy in front of him.
Zhang Man remembered the dark pupils of the young man’s eyes at that time, which had lost almost all their radiance in the remaining period before she transferred to another school. He had become even more reclusive, withdrawn and paranoid, and the relationship between them never went back to what it was before.
Someone as proud as him must have struggled but eventually he gave in and wrote a love letter to her, asking if she could always be with him.
But got no reply.
She once gave him a candy but took it back, cheating him out of his heart.
When the bus arrived at the station, Zhang Man walked into the neighborhood next to her, found Li Wei’s house according to her memory and pressed the doorbell. After waiting for three or four minutes before someone opened the door, the young man saw that it was her, nodded and let her in, then took a pair of lady slippers from the shoe cabinet to her.
She put on the slippers and followed Li Wei to the study.
His house was big but empty, with very little furniture. There was no TV or other entertainment equipment in the living room, only a small transparent coffee table.
But it was cleaned very well and there was no odor or whatsoever.
Li Wei smoothly moved a chair from the living room into the study room and placed it next to his seat. The desk was large and the two people using it together wouldn’t interfere with each other at all.
“There is water to drink in the refrigerator, you do your homework first, write down what you don’t know and ask me uniformly after an hour.” After he said that, he continued with the unfinished deduction at hand.
Zhang Man wanted to find something to talk about: “Li Wei, what are we going to eat for lunch later?”
The young man frowned, the last of his thoughts from last night were broken here, and he was in a bad mood right now and didn’t want to be disturbed.
Pressing down on his irritation, he said, “There’s food in the fridge.”
Zhang Man heard that there was food and became interested, continuing to ask, “You made it?”
“My mom made it …… shut up.” He finally lost all patience.
It was unexpected to hear this answer. Zhang Man’s heart was feeling empty and she clutched her school bag in distress. She carefully restrained her breathing, refraining from showing any hint of pain.
She sat for a while, having a hidden conjecture inside and excused herself to go to the bathroom, leaving the study to go to the dining room.
Pulling open the refrigerator door, there was a meat and vegetable dish, both properly placed on a porcelain plate. She went to the kitchen again and the kitchenware was so clean it looked like it hadn’t been used at all. So she took a look at the trash can and sure enough, there were two takeaway boxes thrown in there.
Zhang Man closed the refrigerator door and leaned against it to breathe deeply, and only by clenching her hand could she restrain herself from shaking with difficulty. The cold and panic triggered from the bottom of her heart made her feel as if he was so far away from her even though he was in the study just a few steps away.
After her mood calmed down, she returned to study as if nothing had happened, took out her textbook and exercise set and began to work.
The first year of senior high school Physics was easy enough for her now. In her previous life, she had been admitted to a provincial teacher’s college and was studying Physics. At that time, several classmates, including teachers, didn’t quite understand her, because of all the subjects, her weakest had always been Physics.
Zhang Man also had no idea why she had chosen Physics and ended up staying at the high school in H City as an ordinary Physics teacher.
After teaching Physics for so many years, these simple Kinesiology topics were already familiar to her. But the more she knew, the less he could teach her.
So Zhang Man carelessly picked one of the pages and checked the options randomly.
It was a bit hard to spend an hour doing something that she was already completely skilled at.
Zhang Man finished choosing the multiple choice options and filled in a few random formulas under some big questions, raising her hand to look at her watch, only ten minutes of time had passed. She then pretended to be thinking about the problem, while taking a peek at Li Wei.
He was still habitually biting his pencil, his eyebrows were not as tightly furrowed as they were at the beginning and he seemed to have a new idea about the problem at hand. On his right earlobe, there was a small red mole that looked very sexy. His lips are well-defined with a cracked lip line that appears a bit dry. His long eyelashes flickered as he thought about the problem and his dark eyes were frighteningly bright, as if they held the entire universe.
He picked up a pen and made a quick deduction on the paper, the smoothness of his thinking allowing him to quickly finish writing a page full of paper. Zhang Man looked at the formulas on his paper, she could only understand a few bits and pieces, aware that it was probably Quantum Mechanics.
He is a genius at Physics.
His perception and insight into the world is almost a hundred times greater than that of the others. Such a person, with a certain amount of reserve knowledge, can often find new ideas in tedious and boring subjects.
And his associative ability is so strong that a complex Physics formula, which is a step-by-step mathematical deduction in the eyes of ordinary people, can be a vivid physical image before his eyes. He was able to naturally correspond those deep-rooted formulas to intuitive physical phenomena and this keen intuition allowed him to take many less detours than the rest of the world.
Zhang Man was slowly becoming dazed.
She had met some nice guys in her previous life in college, including those who later joined in the workplace. But in her heart she would always subconsciously compare them to the young man she remembered, and there was no one else who could make her heart flutter as much as he did, to the point where she could never forget him.
She had loved his brilliance before and now, likewise, fell in love with the other part of him that gave rise to his sharp mind.
She was probably so engrossed in her thoughts that Li Wei knocked on the table in front of her with his right hand and only then did she come back to her senses.
The young man was leaning over to examine the exercise set in front of her, his thin lips gradually pursed to the point that he even snorted at the end.
He put down the exercise set and pushed it away from himself, as if he never wanted to see the terrible answers again.
“You’re switching to Liberal Arts next semester, you’re not cut out for Physics.”
Zhang Man opened her mouth, and secretly said, “Oh no, I was so focused on choosing the wrong option and I forgot how to do it properly.”
She could only force to redeem herself, “I actually am still very interested in Physics, it’s just that I’m just a little unfamiliar with it in high school. And although I have a poor foundation I’m not dumb, you teach me, I will surely do well.”
The young man listened to her sincere words, his appearance a little gentler, retrieved the paper and looked at it carefully.
After about ten minutes, he looked at her over his shoulder seriously, his expression a little angry: “…… I can’t summarize your questions, each of your mistakes are all different points and have no pattern. Zhang Man, a person’s thinking and logic, whether right or wrong, should at least be consistent. Your answers, however, do not reflect logic at all, so there is only one possibility. You picked them all randomly.”
He said standing up and with a grimace he gathered up her books and papers and put them in her bag.
“You go back, don’t come here anymore, your focus is not on studying. I don’t want to waste both of our time.”
Li Wei was disappointed, it seemed that this fair deal in his eyes had already changed into something else. What she wanted might not be what was agreed upon in the beginning.
……. Really couldn’t fool him at all.
Zhang Man saw that he wanted to drive her away, and instantly got anxious and stood up to stop him: “Li Wei …… Don’t be angry and please don’t drive me away! I admit that I just wrote randomly. I admit that I just scribbled it down a while ago. I completely didn’t understand what the teacher said and was worried that you would think I am not good at it if I didn’t write any words. So, I just wrote it all in scribbles.”
She lowered her head and carefully pulled his sleeve, her voice was low: “Li Wei, I don’t want to be transferred to a regular class next semester, only you can help me ……”
The tears that came out involuntarily and in large drops came out as she spoke, the emotions that she had just tried to suppress were being mobilized at this moment and the various heartaches and worries about him were manifesting themselves at this point, rather like the grievances and distress of being misunderstood.
Her tears hit the floor and quickly dripped into a small puddle of water stains. It was so obvious on the light-colored wooden floor. The young man stared at the water stain and suddenly his heart clenched.
He squeezed his palm.
He had seen many people cry, sobbing quietly, tearfully, hysterically…… There are always all sorts of things that are not as they should be in the world. But those cries never made him stop and stay, because for him, weeping was just the helpless vulnerability of incompetent people in the face of overwhelming difficulties.
But now that she was red-eyed and pulling at his shirt, crying in front of him, he suddenly felt it, a strange sourness somewhere in his heart as she sobbed.
–Did he speak too harshly? Maybe he shouldn’t judge her with the demands he made on himself or try to guess what she was thinking with too much confidence.
He tried to lower his voice as much as possible, took some tissues from the table and handed them to her, saying uncomfortably, “Don’t cry …… If you still want to learn, let’s continue.”
The young girl in front of him slowly stopped crying at his words, wiped her face clean, sat down and took out her book and exercise set again and spread it between them.
Her eyes were fresh from crying and still wet, and her mouth was puckered as if she was still a little aggrieved. She sniffed her nose and poked at a topic on the exercise book with her pencil: “Here.”
The white fingers holding the pen made a stark contrast to the black ink on the exercise booklet.
Li Wei suddenly felt a little itchy in his heart and he hurriedly shifted his gaze, not daring to look at the young girl’s flushed cheeks.
I received pajamas and pillows as Christmas presents yesterday.
Is this a sign that I need to sleep more? LOL