Chapter 666: The last song (1)
While Li Linlin had not said it expressly in her text, her meaning was actually very clear: Xu Tingsheng is graduating. Will you come see him?
Going by the traditions of some countries, the graduation ceremony was actually one of the most important times of one’s life. Most of the time, family members and lovers would come over to accompany the graduates.
After a long while, she received a response from Xiang Ning.
‘I won’t be going’. There were just four simple words, without any further reasons or excuses.
“Did you forget how he went to your junior high and performed on stage, celebrating your birthday? It’s the last chance to listen to him in university.”
Li Linlin was rather unwilling to give up as she hoped to stoke Xiang Ning’s feelings. She was doing this not just because it was Xu Tingsheng, but more because she knew that Xiang Ning liked Xu Tingsheng too.
“I also don’t want to listen.”
“You don’t know, Big Sis Teacher, but actually...that wasn’t for me.”
Xiang Ning sent back three consecutive texts.
Li Linlin was left feeling puzzled for a bit.
“I’m going to sleep. Goodnight, Big Sis Teacher,” Xiang Ning now sent.
Li Linlin could only reply, “Goodnight.”
Before going to school the next day, Xiang Ning did not contact Li Linlin at all. Meanwhile, Li Linlin was thinking about ‘that wasn’t for me’. Could she have missed something? Under the current circumstances, she could not bear to force Xiang Ning.
The final week before graduation.
Xu Tingsheng discussed with the students and teachers organising the graduation party and decided on choosing a song suited to graduation, such as Gao Xiaosong’s campus ballads, Shui Mu Nian Hua’s <<Have You In My Life>> or <<Goodbye>> that Zhang Zhenyue had released just a year ago…
Finally, they settled on Pu Shu’s <<Those Flowers>>.
Zhang Ninglang finally did not return to the dormitory at night for the first time in his university life.
He returned to the dormitory the next morning, his face full of fatigue...everyone excitedly gave him meaningful looks. Still, how should they ask about this? How had the first time on the battlefield gone? Had the enemy resisted intensely or had they directly surrendered?
No one asked anything as it was Zhang Ninglang himself who broke the silence.
“I’ve finally discovered the disadvantage of junior’s long plait now,” He said despondently.
“What’s that?” Li Xingming asked.
“We didn’t do anything at all. I spent the entire night hearing the same thing: Senior, you’re lying on my hair. Is that my fault? Her hair is so long, and took up half the entire bed when untied…” Zhang Ninglang sighed, “I was so careful and nervous that I couldn’t sleep for the entire night...one can only imagine-how will it be when we’re married?”
The other four all started laughing very unsympathetically.
Time passed attending lessons in school since Xiang Ning received Li Linlin’s text during the weekend. Monday, Tuesday...soon, it was Friday.
Xiang Ning tried hard to focus on preparing for the end-of-term examinations. She tried hard to remind herself that she would soon be in twelfth grade. She tried hard not to think about that person, not to think about that stiff dancing as he said, “I’m here to celebrate your birthday. Happy Birthday.”
Of the two songs that day, Xiang Ning had always felt that it was Xu Tingsheng saying, “You are my flower, the brightest star in my night sky.”
Men always have many flowers, white roses, red roses, maybe even yellow roses or whatnot. What about me? Maybe I can’t even be considered a rose. Just a short and very small flower.”
What about stars? It means destined to be very distant, right.
In the past, Xiang Ning had loved to mess around, play and talk in the dormitory, also having gotten many points docked from the class as a result. She had been performing much better recently as she was always just lying on the bed and staying quiet.
The English lesson on Friday.
The internship teacher who had replaced Xu Tingsheng conducted her final lesson.
Perhaps because their ages were similar and they were on a different degree of closeness, it was always very easy for students to feel unwilling to part with their internship teachers. This also held true for the internship teachers, who were generally more likely to feel melancholic.
In the last few minutes before the bell signalling the end of class rang, the internship teacher who, while not actually beautiful, was still very cute had tears in her eyes as she said goodbye, told them in English ‘I love you all’.
Saying I love you in the Western style was rather more easily conveyed.
The students responded enthusiastically.
“I love you guys,” The internship teacher sniffed before smiling as she said it now in Mandarin.
This time...there was virtually no response, not because of anything else, but simply because the Chinese seemed to very seldom say this even among lovers...let alone family and friends.
Also, in Yanzhou’s local dialect, there actually didn’t exist ‘I love you’ at all. While it was certainly possible to forcibly say it, the pronunciation would inevitably become very strange.
The English teacher pretended to be sad for a bit before she continued, “It seems that everyone generally feels shy about saying I love you and can’t say it. Actually, in many countries in the West, it is a common practice to say I love you to family and lovers. If you have a chance, everyone should remember to say I love you to your Mum and Dad too.”
Because of this, Xiang Ning recalled how she had once watched a movie which said that more than half of the texts of Italians contained the word ‘love’. She had even emotionally told Uncle this then.
What about between me and him? It seemed that most of the time, they only used ‘like’ rather than love. Were they not used to conveying it? Or was it truly different?
Xiang Ning tried to remember if Xu Tingsheng had said I love you to her before. It seemed he had not even done so in English.
At the front of the classroom, the English teacher continued on this topic, “Does anybody know how to say I love you in other languages?”
Since there were still a few minutes before the end of class, she began to chat with them.
“Salangheiyo,” A boy said.
Everyone laughed. In this era where Korean dramas were all the rage, it was rare for people not to know of this. Still, it was limited to just that.
“Let me tell you guys a few more then,” The female teacher said, “Eu amo-te, I love you in Portugese. Szeretlek, Hungarian. Miluji te, Czech, Ich liebe dich, German...S’agapo, Greek…
Xiang Ning was taken aback.
If Xiang Ning was asked to say ‘I love you’ in various languages, she would definitely be unable to do so. Still, as the female teacher had said them one after another...Xiang Ning was very sure that she had heard many of them before.
While her memories of them were vague, she had definitely heard them before.
She had been fifteen going on sixteen that year. Her home tutor at the time had been called Xu Tingsheng.
Mr Xu’s English was very good. Still, even he would make a mistake from time to time.
Every time he made a mistake, he would glance at Little Xiang Ning, saying nervously, “I said this wrong.”
The second time he had said something wrong.
Xiang Ning had said, “Uncle, this is the second time you’re saying something wrong.”
Xu Tingsheng said, “I know, I remember.”
Xiang Ning said, “I remember too. I’ll help you to keep count.”
Xu Tingsheng said, “Alright, you keep count.”
Their conversation from back then surfaced in her mind…
So, he had said ‘I love you’ so many times long ago, with her oblivious.
The bell signalling the end of class rang.
Class was dismissed. The teacher left, the students who didn’t stay in school during the weekend eagerly leaving as well.
Xiang Ning sat in her seat.
He had really looked terrible the first time they had met, crying and smiling at the same time. He had been so funny the first time he had tried to hit on her, pretending to ask for directions. He had really been thick-skinned when delivering noodles to her. There were also those paper aeroplanes he had folded and the sunlight between the tree branches that day…
He had said: Be good, Xiang Ning. Turn around, close your eyes and cover your ears…
He had said: I can give everything of mine in exchange for you…
He had said: Meeting you is the best thing that ever happened to me…
He had said: I’ll definitely marry you.
There was still so much, so much.
It was still fine when she was not thinking about it, but as soon as she did so, it all surged to the surface.
He was leaving.
Would he go to Shenghai? Xingchen was there, and he didn’t handle affairs at his other companies.
He might be leaving tomorrow…
“Big Sis Teacher, I want to go take a look at that graduation party...still, can you please not tell him?”
“I just want to see him again.”
Xiang Ning texted Li Linlin.Previous Chapter Next Chapter