Ch 37 – Warm winter night
I bent forward to secretly kiss Zhong Yuan. However, at that moment, a yellow thing fell on the back of my hand, and I felt a shocking pain stab at me. I screamed in fright and jumped up from the ground, rubbing my hands in distress. Zhong Yuan was woken up by the scream. He quickly stood up and asked me , “ What happened to you?”
“ I don’t know”, I was almost in tears. I couldn’t get rid of the yellow things on my hands, so I stopped rubbing and looked at what it was. When I could see it clearly, I was scared even more than before. I always knew I was unlucky, but I hadn’t fathomed I would be unlucky to this extent. On the back of my hand, there were two black and yellow wasps. The two seemed to be fighting against each other. One of them pricked me with it’s stinger. This scene was as irritating as it was painful. As I watched the two horrible insects fighting, I almost collapsed.
Zhong Yuan immediately caught my hand and squeezed it wit his fingers. The two insects flew away. I stared at the slowly reddening part on the back of my hand as the pain intensified. Suddenly, the hot, stabbing pain was overcome with the feeling of cool, moist silk. Zhong Yuan had lowered his head and was carefully sucking the back of my hand. His lips softly covered my wounds. As he sucked, gently and then with increasing pressure, a cool and comfortable sense of numbness engulfed me. The feeling spread from the back of my hand to my whole body and my stressed nerves started relaxing
I had never realised earlier that the simple act of sucking could have so many effects. It could make me forget the pain, forget my fear, in fact forget the whole world, so that all my consciousness was centred around the soft, magical mouth. I stared at Zhong Yuan’s slightly wrinkled eyebrows and suddenly I felt my heart overflow with feelings. I didn’t know what caused it , but I yanked back my hand immediately. As I did so, the back of my hand grazed against his teeth and I winced in pain.
Zhong Yuan waited for me to withdraw my hand completely before he caught hold of it again and looked up at me , “ Mu er?”I shook my head as a sore spot in my heart started hurting again.
“ You have to tolerate the pain for a bit”, he said softly and then lowered his head to suck on my wound once again. I opened my mouth, but instead of speaking, tears started flowing from my eyes. The hot tears silently streamed out of my eyes and slid down my cheeks as my face burned with heat. Zhong yuan smiled slightly, but his brows were still drawn together in distress. He released my hand and gently stroked my head, “ Is it so painful?”
I wiped my tears continuously as I shook my head. Now , even Zhong Yuan noticed that the situation was slightly strange. He looked at my face closely and asked, “ What’s the matter with you?”
I started cryin even more in response to his question. What was the matter with me? Just the fact that I like you but I dare not tell you…
Seeing that I was just crying and was not responding, he finally gave up. Shaking his head helplessly, he grabbed my wrist and said, “Let’s go, I am sure the owner of the garden will have some medicine.”
Finally I knew what it was to feel alone. You wanted him to know about your feelings, but at the same time, you were worried that if he knew, he would reject you. That he would start keeping his distance from you. You wanted to forget him, but your eyes were always looking for him. You wanted to pursue him, but when you saw him rejecting the proposals of girls who actively pursued him, you had no courage left. Was this extreme torture? Of course it was, but at the same time, you felt happy, your heart was filled with so many emotions that it was overflowing…
I was convinced that I was mad. Zhong Yuan and I had been in a warm and intimate friendship for more than a month. During this time, Su Yan and he had finished shooting the lion’s share of the film. I had met Su Yan many times, but because Zhong Yuan had now occupied my soul, I paid scant attention to him. Sometimes, Zhong Yuan would look at a girl who was pursuing him and ask me , “ What do you think about her?’
Most of the time I would purse my lips and answer, “Not as good as me.”
To this, Zhong Yuan would look me up and down and then agree, “ Yup, not as good as you.”
Whether he was telling the truth or simply being polite to me, I would feel very happy at that time. Maybe… just maybe, he actually cared about me a little bit?
Sometimes I would fantasize that Zhong Yuan actually liked me. But even I could not convince myself of it. Why would he, when he could choose among the beauties at school or those girls who came from rich second generation families. The days passed slowly, and soon it was winter. It was just mid December, but there was already some snowfall and the days had turned quite cold.
In the evening, Zhong Yuan and I usually went to study till late at night and then returned home in my old bicycle. My battered bicycle, which should have been scrapped ages ago, was still laboriously serving Zhong Yuan and I. It must be said that the bicycle had a strong serving spirit! I was sitting at the back , holding my bag with one hand and grasping Zhong yuan’s shirt with another. Under the streetlights, there was a golden halo on his back and I had a strong urge to lean my body on his back
I shifted my attention and looked up to see the snow flakes fluttering under the sky. The white flakes looked like shooting stars under the dark sky. As they floated down, they created a fairy tale like scene. On the road, a couple was quarrelling. The man slapped the woman hard and walked away. The woman stared stupidly at the retreating back of the man. She stood there silently crying. Suddenly, I thought that my situation was actually quite good. At least , Zhong Yuan and I were in a very harmonious state. He had no plans of walking away from me.
Suddenly, the bike stopped. The sudden halt made my body bump into Zhong Yuan’s back…just what I had been imagining about a few moments back. I coughed a little to cover my embarrassment and asked, “ What happened?”
Zhong Yuan turned back and smiled at me, “ Mu er, would you please get me a cup of tea?”
I jumped out and ran to the tea shop by the side of the road. I rummaged through my pockets and pulled out five dollars. I bought the cup with my last savings and asked for two straws. Zhong Yuan rarely asked me for something. And when he asked it was something so cheap… I was almost ashamed.
Zhong Yuan had already gotten off the bicycle and was holding on the handles when I walked back. I handed over the tea to him. He was holding on to the handles with both hands, so he didn’t reach out to take the tea. Instead, he leaned over, bowed his head and drank from the straw before straightening up once again.
“Hmm..not bad”, Zhong Yuan said, releasing one hand to pat my head in a rewarding manner.
“ Ok, let’s go.”
So the two of us started walking side by side on the road. Zhong Yuan wheeled the bicycle while I held the milk tea . I would place the tea in front of him from time to time so he could drink it. He would take a few sips and I would then pull back my arm and use the other straw to drink the tea myself. I was engulfed in a warm and companionable feeling.
But… I suddenly realised… I looked at Zhong yuan and said, “ That straw is mine.”
“ Oh!”He let go of the straw in his mouth and smiled, “ Is it?”
My face began to warm up again so I bowed my head to avoid his eyes.
“ Mu er”, Zhong Yuan suddenly stopped, “ Do you know which scene we are going to do tomorrow?”
I nodded, but my face started burning even more furiously.
Tomorrow, I had to kiss Zhong Yuan..
Ch 37 – Warm winter night