The clean boy wore his clean bead bracelet on his wrist, making the skin around his wrist look fair and smooth.
He’d changed his clothes. He was no longer in the battle uniform that we wore when we were in the field but in his favorite long robe, which was made of silk with silver linings. It brought out his elegance, like a prince.
He wore a clean blue shirt under his hooded long robe. Shimmering, his shirt was sewn with a row of star buttons down the middle, which twinkled under his long robe like stars in the night sky. A silver pendant hung before his chest, turning him into an elegant and wise scholar.
He walked before me in silence, like a prince of the universe who was walking out from the bursting galaxy light from afar. He gave out an elegant, natural purity.
“Raffles.” Everyone called his name gently.
He was blushing gradually, his gaze flickering and unable to focus on me.
“Shh!” Arsenal put on a glum look and gestured for everyone to keep quiet. They guys quickly covered their mouths and sniggered.
Sis Cannon held her face and became anxious. Xue Gie stared at Raffles. Xiao Ying covered her blushing face. Sis Ming You smiled enviously.
Raffles stood before me and didn’t say a word for very long. He bit his lips that were already as red as blood. He furrowed his eyebrows like he’d gathered all his courage. Then, he took a deep breath and looked up at me, with that same deep, burning gaze that held many words but was unable to let any out.
My heart stopped beating.
“Lil Bing…” He called my name gently as he gazed deeply at me. “I plucked a star for you. I kept the star in a place where only you can find it. I wonder… if you will… find this star with me…” He extended his right hand to me. Then, he lifted the ends of his robe and he knelt on one knee before me.
*Buzz!* My head was instantly buzzing. Why did he kneel down when he is just going to give me a present?
“Raffles! Raffles!” The guys cheered excitedly.
“Go, Captain!” The girls shouted.
I could feel my temples growing tense and my head buzzing as they cheered.
“Stop it!” Arsenal reprimanded and everyone became quiet again.
“Lil Bing…” Raffles knelt on one knee before me as he looked up at me. “I want to become your star and watch over you at all times… guard you at all times…”
*Lub-dub!* My heart hammered against my ribcage, making me feel dizzy. Raffles wants to become my star… Raffles wants to become my star!
What he means is…
“I like you, Lil Bing…” The moment he said that, my head went blank. I took a step back and focused only on the door. “So- sorry!” I ran away again. Just like when I’d been in the medic room earlier, I ran away from Raffles. I ran away right before his eyes, before his extended hands.
I ran out of my room and kept running. I ran in between the silent black wheat fields that were empty of people. Finally, I stopped next to the greenhouse under the silent moonlight.
“Phew!” I stopped and panted. Resting my hands on my knees, I realized that I was still holding onto the access card to Love Hut.
I wanted to throw the box away but Elder Alufa had given it to me as a present. I couldn’t throw it nor could I keep it. I shook the box in my hand. Why has it become like this?!
Now, I was even more annoyed than when I’d first run out. Because I had run away when Raffles had been confessing his love to me. How could I run away like that? How can I face Raffles in the future? Would I be like Harry avoiding Sis Ming You whenever I see Raffles?
But I saw how painful Sis Ming You had felt. I saw how painful it had been to be avoided by a person she’d liked. Raffles is my favorite person. How can I make him suffer…
He is my favorite person… Favorite person…
I suddenly felt heartache and upset. I couldn’t breathe when I thought of him suffering. I regretted running away. I am so useless. I, Luo Bing, would run away before trouble too!
*Pitter-patter!* Hearing footsteps, I became nervous and my heart started racing. Is it Raffles? How should I face him if it is Raffles?
What should I do? Should I continue to hide or should I face him?
However, I couldn’t make a decision in time. While I was hesitating, I saw a lengthened shadow in the moonlight.
“You would run away too, huh?” I heard a voice and let out a breath of relief. I quickly looked at him, and he returned me a shocked look.
I looked at him anxiously. I stared at his blank gaze; his amber eyes were quivering in the moonlight. It was as though the moonlight had turned into a flowing river and rippled within his eyes.
“What should I do? Harry!” I ran forward and held his arm.
He came back to reality and pushed my hand away, avoiding my gaze diffidently. “It’s not nice… Don’t always pull me…”
“You’re the one who said that you are my brother! What’s wrong if I pull you?” I shouted in reply.
Taken aback, he turned around and looked at me. His gaze looked lost again. “Yeah… I am your brother…”
“Is Raffles doing okay?” I asked. I was in a mess.
“I am your brother…” he continued to mutter. A strong disappointment engulfed him, as though it was about to drown him in darkness. He looked like a shell that had lost its soul. He stood there blankly as if he was in pain, yet at the same time it seemed like no pain could truly torture his shell because he’d already lost his soul.
“Harry!” I pushed him harshly. He startled and was dumbfounded.
I didn’t know why I was pissed off. I couldn’t hold myself back and ended up grabbing his collar. “What’s wrong with you?! Why are you acting so strange too! Don’t tell me you really like Raffles?!”
His amber eyes shot open.
“Because you like him, that’s why you helped him. Am I right?!” I tugged his collar and pushed him away.
His eyes opened even wider. I pushed him away in annoyance. “Forget it. I’d rather be alone. I definitely can’t face Raffles. I am so stupid…” I held my forehead and turned around. Then, I hugged my head as I walked away. It was pitch silent behind me. Everything was wrong. What was Harry thinking about? He should have come here on behalf of Raffles. But when he saw me, he either looked at me with a numbed daze or he looked elsewhere blankly.
Everything had changed. Raffles had changed, Raffles had changed, I had changed, everything had changed. Everything had become strange. It was so strange that the three of us had become strange too.
Previous Chapter Next Chapter