There was a tree-lined path on campus, and a girl was leaning against a tree trunk with a poetry book in hand, flipping through it leisurely. The mottled shadows of the tree fell on her face, accentuating her side profile.
In the afternoon, everyone went home to rest, and the girl was the only one left. As time went by, the girl eventually closed her poetry book and her eyes, taking a nap under the tree.
At this moment, time seemingly froze, and only the girl’s quiet breathing could be heard.
“President Fu, this is the area where students usually take their break before their next class. As you can see, the environment here is quite good! Why don’t we go in and take a stroll?!”
The middle-aged man smiled and said, his eyes narrowed to crescents.
The man donning a black suit looked around with one hand in his pocket, and nodded. “Indeed, the environment isn’t bad. Let’s go in!”
The tree-lined path was covered with grass, making it seem like the path was layered with a green carpet. A few meters ahead, there was a stone table and four stone seats. As they walked, Fu Bainian enjoyed the scenery with a look of satisfaction on his face.
Seeing this, the middle-aged man couldn’t help but chuckle.
Then, Fu Bainian suddenly stopped in his tracks when he caught sight of a figure under the tree. A beautiful young girl was sleeping soundly with a poetry book scattered on the grass next to her. This scene looked harmonious, like a painting.
Fu Bainian tried to stop the middle-aged man, but it was already too late as his mid-spirited voice reverberated in the surroundings.
Consequently, the girl awoke with a start, and she abruptly opened her eyes. Seemingly not fully awake yet, she looked around her with a dazed look on her face. Upon seeing the middle-aged man, her eyes widened in shock, and she abruptly stood up while patting the leaves and withered grass off her clothes.
The girl smiled and greeted. Her eyes narrowed into crescents, and two tiny dimples appeared on her cheeks.
The headmaster of C High School was a man in his fifties with a Mediterranean haircut. His favourite task was to take the sponsors of C High School to tour around the school.
He was a very kind person and liked to joke around with the students. Occasionally, he’d hear the students talk about him behind his back, but he wouldn’t get angry, and instead, he’d smile and joke with them.
Lan Jinyao quite liked the Headmaster too.
“The next class is starting soon, yet you’re still sleeping over here? Don’t let the math teacher make you stand outside the classroom again.”
“Headmaster, I’ll head back to the classroom right away.” The girl trotted away, but she suddenly turned back and said, “Headmaster, thanks for waking me up!”
The Headmaster smiled and waved. He then turned to Fu Bainian and said, “That girl usually likes to stay here and quietly read poems on her own. She’s a very good child, but it’s just that she favours some subjects over others. She always gets full marks for literature, but when it comes to math, she always fails. That child will have a headache as soon as she sees the math teacher. Sigh, when the time comes for the students to fill in the form concerning their aspirations, I really wonder what she’ll fill in!”
“Is she also one of the sponsored students?” asked Fu Bainian.
Seeing that Lan Jinyao’s figure had disappeared from sight, the Headmaster turned around, and smiled as he said, “No, she’s from a wealthy family. In fact, many things in this school were donated by her family. Her parents stay abroad all year round, and they rarely come home. Therefore, they asked the school to take care of her in return for their donations. There were, inevitably, rumours going around, saying that she came in through the back door, so she’s not close to anyone in her class. She likes to be alone.”
“I heard that President Fu was the complete opposite. You had good grades and were very popular in school. It’s really a pity that you didn’t study at our school…”
The man paused, and after a moment, he suddenly asked, “Oh, by the way, how come you’ve decided to sponsor the students in our school this time?”
Fu Bainian remained silent as his gaze suddenly landed on the poetry book on the grass. He walked over and bent down to pick it up. He stared at the name on the book and smiled softly as he murmured under his breath, “It’s a collection of English poems!”
The Headmaster called out again behind him, “President Fu?”
Fu Bainian retracted his gaze and faintly replied, “Our company will soon select a new batch of non-graduated students to groom as trainees, so I’m planning to select some students from your school. Of course, it’s just a selection process, and it won’t affect the students’ preparation for their college entrance examination.”
“I see. Our school will certainly cooperate fully if President Fu decides to do so.”
“I still have something else to attend to, so I’ll leave first. I’ll come back again another day!”
“Alright, let me send you back then.”
Fu Bainian glanced towards the exit of the school building, and said, “No need, my car is parked outside.”
The Headmaster smiled and no longer insisted. When he saw Fu Bainian leave with the poetry book in hand, he furrowed his brows in puzzlement. Why did President Fu take the poetry book along? Could it be that he also likes poems?
At this thought, the Headmaster’s smile widened.
In June, the weather was scorching, and the asphalt road glistened under the bright sun, as if it were melting.
The students who’d just finished their college entrance examinations were happily planning and discussing their summer trips in groups of two or three. They exuded youthfulness and there were confident smiles plastered on their faces.
On the other hand, Lan Jinyao unhurriedly left on her own while dragging a huge suitcase behind her. Her house was nearby, so after the exam was over, she moved all her things back home. She decided to spend the entire summer at home. Actually, she quite liked this kind of simple life; when she was alone, she felt satisfied as long as she had poems keeping her company.
On the way back, Lan Jinyao suddenly remembered that her poetry book was nowhere to be found; she didn’t know where she’d lost it.
At the school gate, a black Land Rover was parked by the side of the road. The windows were tinted, so no one could see what was going on inside.
Fu Bainian sat in the car, staring at the slowly departing figure. The students around her looked so happy, yet her expression remained indifferent and out of place.
He was holding onto the poetry book, which now had a pink bookmark inserted in it. When the girl’s figure disappeared from his view, he retracted his gaze. Afterwards, he opened the book and gently traced the pink bookmark with his finger.
When Fu Bainian turned twenty years old, Mother Fu had found him a beautiful potential girlfriend. The girl wore a pink dress; she appeared gentle and noble.
However, when Fu Bainian saw the girl for the first time, he frowned.
It was different. Sure enough, it wasn’t the same. Even though her appearance met all of his conditions, when she stood in front of him, he realised that the feeling she gave off was different.
That night, the girl didn’t stay long at the Fu family’s home; she glared hatefully at Fu Bainian and left in tears.
Mother Fu sat down next to her son and softly asked, “You don’t like her? But, she met all of your conditions!”
Fu Bainian’s frown deepened. He slowly shook his head and muttered, “No, she didn’t give me the right feeling.”
Mother Fu sighed. “Then, what exactly is the right feeling? You’ve already driven away countless girls who like you. Tell me, what kind of girl do you fancy?”
What exactly is the right feeling?
At this moment, a girl napping under a tree suddenly appeared in his mind.
After a long moment of silence, he finally said, “Mum, I won’t keep you waiting for long.”Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Please enjoy ~ Side Story #1