The fist with which he hid into the pocket of his school uniform clenched once more, and he had already made plans that if Zhou Lin insisted on pestering him, he would be open to beating him up here – not sure if he could beat him up or not, but after all, he could alert the security office not far away.
“Don’t scream, I’ll go I’ll go.” Zhou Lin looked at him humbly and said, “I’ll see you again on Friday.”
Tang Junhe didn’t say anything and looked at him with cold eyes.
When Zhou Lin lowered his head and hurried away, it was only after a few minutes that he leaned against that tree trunk and let out a long breath.
Looking up towards the basketball stand again, Yang Xuan was turning his back to him, bending down to pick up the clothes on the side, as if he was preparing to leave.
He had just lied and used Yang Xuan, Tang Junhe mused, but it didn’t matter, Yang Xuan wouldn’t know, because he was no longer interested in his private life now.
He grabbed his bag strap and ran out of the school quickly. There was a bus parked right at the stop at the entrance, and it was about to close the door, so he went, rushing over to take a ride.
Tang Junhe ran over, hopped on the bus, picked a window seat, and turned around to watch the bus drive past the school gates, and also past the empty basketball court that was directly opposite the school gates.
It was almost 7:30 when he got home, food was on the table, Yang Chengchuan and Tang Xiaonian were sitting on the sofa waiting for him, and a boring news feed was playing on the TV.
“Back so late today?” As soon as he returned, Tang Xiaonian immediately stood up to greet him, “Someone isn’t really following you, right?”
“No,” Tang Junhe put his bag aside, “The last exam was a half hour late at the end of class.”
“Oh, take off your school uniform and come eat.” He lied with ease, so Tang Xiaonian didn’t become suspicious of him and took Tang Junhe’s school uniform jacket and asked, “Will homework be harder in the first middle school than in the third?”
“It’s all the same.” Tang Junhe headed for the dining table.
“Your Uncle Chen didn’t get you tonight and thought you’d left first.” Yang Chengchuan’s eyes moved from the news feed on the TV to Tang Junhe’s face. He was mildly nearsighted, and the way he wore his silver-rimmed glasses reminded Tang Junhe of the word “dressed up animal“.
“There’s a special bus route in front of the school, so don’t bother Uncle Chen to pick me up every day,” said Tang Junhe, “The school’s evening dismissal time might not be that regular either.”
Tang Xiaonian looked up at him and snapped, “You’re still not willing when someone picks you up.”
Sitting upright at the dinner table, Tang Junhe didn’t move his lips to sneer back at her, so she continued. “I haven’t seen you happy even when someone comes to cook for you either.”
Tang Xiaonian’s face turned slightly pale and was about to say something when he was interrupted by Yang Chengchuan, “Junhe is more sensible than Xiao Xuan, since you insist, then after that, I’ll talk to Uncle Chen, so he doesn’t need to pick you up every day.”
Tang Junhe nodded, “Yeah.”
“Here, but this is for you to keep.” Yang Chengchuan came over to the table in front of him and placed a brand new cell phone, the latest model advertised on TV, which Tang Junhe recognized with a glance.
“Thank you,” he declined imploringly, “but I … don’t like to use my phone very much.”
“Take what’s given to you,” said Tang Xiaonian, “It’s easier to call me and tell me when you are late at night later.”
Yang Chengchuan sat down at the table, “Take it, it’s already got your mother’s number entered in it, and your older brother’s and mine too.”
Tang Junhe didn’t say anything more and bowed his head to start eating.
When he finished eating and went back to his room, he spread his homework out on the table and stared at it for a moment, but he didn’t do anything.
After a couple of minutes, he reached for that silver phone, flipped out the memo, and deleted Yang Chengchuan’s number. Then he clicked on the one from Yang Xuan, selected delete, and was about to press the OK button when his hand paused, turned the screen off, and put the phone back.
Forget it, Tang Junhe thought, he won’t use this phone later anyway.
MC has his own reasons…