The chilly morning breeze carried a refreshing scent as it drifted through the campus.
When Cheng Chu arrived at her classroom, it was already quite late. She put down her backpack and walked to the front row to collect the English test papers from the previous month's exam. Her classmates cooperated well and had already laid out their papers, making the process go smoothly.
The classroom was filled with a strong aroma. It was the smell of meat buns. The buns sold at the entrance of Haishi No.1 High School were famous for being delicious, and many people woke up early just to get their hands on them.
As Cheng Chu approached a classmate who was eating a bun, he was rummaging through a cluttered desk, while chewing on the bun and saying incoherently, "Cheng Chu, you were so strong yesterday."
"Thank you," Cheng Chu replied politely as she took the test paper. Perhaps feeling guilty about isolating her in the past few days, these classmates were particularly friendly today.
Several girls even invited her to go to the school store during break time.
Cheng Chu felt helpless and ironic.
These people never understood how a casual remark could have such a big impact on others. Words can be dangerous, and if it were a sensitive and fragile person, who knows how much psychological trauma they would suffer.
The weather outside was gloomy, and the classroom was dimly lit.
As Cheng Chu walked to her seat, Gu Miao was quietly writing English words and handed her a test paper when he heard her footsteps.
On the cover of the paper, "71" was written in big red letters. Cheng Chu secretly glanced at it and saw that he had almost all the wrong answers for one of the sections and got nearly half of the reading comprehension questions wrong. She knew that based on Gu Miao's grades, he could easily secure a spot in the top three of the class, and even make it into the advanced classes without much effort.
His physics and chemistry were excellent, always ranking first in the class, but his English was lagging behind.
Perhaps he despised English, because in all the days that Cheng Chu sat next to Gu Miao, she had never seen him open an English book outside of class.
Suddenly, someone turned on the lights in the classroom.
The bright incandescent light illuminated the once gloomy classroom.
Cheng Chu lowered her gaze and looked at the young man's dark head. He was writing words stroke by stroke, but it wasn't smooth, and he paused from time to time.
This was the first time she had ever seen Gu Miao study English so seriously.
Cheng Chu lowered her head and adjusted her test paper, suppressing her doubts, and continued walking forward. Today's morning reading was Chinese language.
When Cheng Chu returned to her seat, she saw Gu Miao bowing his head and putting the English words he had just written back in his drawer.
On a sheet of paper the size of a textbook, there were words written all over it, with most of them corrected in red pen. Cheng Chu pursed her lips and silently took out her Chinese textbook.
Time flew by during the class, and when it was over, Cheng Chu was registering the papers that had been turned in when she suddenly realized that Song Xinyu had not yet turned in her paper.
Song Xinyu's seat was right in front of Cheng Chu's, so she reached out and tapped her on the back, "Song Xinyu, you haven't turned in your paper yet."
Without turning her head, Song Xinyu pulled her paper out of the drawer with a "swish," swung her elbow back, and the paper floated lightly in the air like a falling leaf before slowly landing on the desk.
What an attitude! Cheng Chu rolled her eyes and pulled the paper over with a bad temper. As for Song Xinyu in front of her, she turned her head and looked at her with watery eyes, whispering, "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to."
Cheng Chu couldn't stand her fake behavior and didn't even bother to look at her, coldly saying, "You know whether it was intentional or not."
It was the middle of winter, and the students were so afraid of the cold that they didn't even want to leave the classroom after class. The classroom was packed with people.
Cheng Chu didn't want to argue with her and cause more trouble, so she picked up her papers and left the classroom.
The winter wind was bone-chilling.
When Cheng Chu returned to the classroom, the hand that had just held the papers was already icy cold.
She rubbed her hands together, and as soon as she sat down, a warm water bag was placed in her hands.
Cheng Chu was surprised and looked up. The warmth from the water bag was like an electric current, instantly spreading to her heart. She heard Gu Miao's deep voice say, "Warm y-your hands."
The young man was willing to speak now, perhaps because he had been talking more and his mindset had improved. Although he still stuttered at times, he had come a long way from before.
But Cheng Chu didn't know how much this quiet and reserved young man had sacrificed behind the scenes just to be able to speak smoothly.
Some people always seem to keep all their love and pain hidden in their hearts.
The bright incandescent lamp above their heads illuminated Gu Miao's English book on the table.
Cheng Chu's hand gradually warmed up as she released the hot water bag and pulled out a notebook from her backpack, handing it to Gu Miao.
The young man looked puzzled, but obediently took the notebook.
"This is my English notebook. Take a look, it should be helpful," Cheng Chu said.
Gu Miao's hand trembled as he asked, "But what about you?"
He spoke with some difficulty, his voice low and hoarse, but he didn't stutter.
"I don't rely on this, it's okay, you go ahead and take a look first." Cheng Chu waved her hand. "You don't have to rush to give it back to me, take your time."
The light blue notebook was adorned with small flowers, as if carrying a faint floral scent of a young girl.
Gu Miao's hand holding the notebook trembled as he whispered, "Thank you, thank you."
The moon tonight was not very bright.
Gu Miao had just finished his shift at the noodle shop.
Hearing the sound of the door opening, his uncle and aunt sat on the sofa, glanced at him, and then continued watching their TV drama.
Gu Miao returned to his room and pulled out the notebook from his backpack.
On the title page was the elegant handwriting of a young girl, "Cheng Chu, Class 2-2."
Gu Miao curled his fingers and carefully turned to the next page. The notes were very detailed, almost excessively so. From the grammar of each unit to the words, to the tricky and commonly tested points, everything was written clearly and neatly.
Under the dim light of the desk lamp, Gu Miao's dark eyes were filled with warmth.
Looking at those notes, his impoverished heart seemed to sprout tender shoots.
That beam of sunlight seemed to be a little closer to him.
Gu Miao even thought, if his English improved, would it be possible for him to enter the top class? If Cheng Chu returned to the top class later, he would shamelessly follow along.
If she couldn't go back, he would stay here.
Wherever his sunshine fell, he would stay there.
Outside, a light rain began to fall, and the fine raindrops drifted onto the window. The warm light of the lamp cast a cozy glow over the simple room. With his head down, Gu Miao silently recited English, his heart burning with passion.
Their homeroom teacher, Lin Yue, was strict in her teaching and gave weekly quizzes.
This time, the quiz was out of 100 points, and Gu Miao surprisingly scored an 80.
To others, this may not seem like much, but Cheng Chu knew how difficult this progress was for him.
After all, in the past, he struggled just to pass.
Gu Miao had a tenacious spirit within him. Whatever he wanted to do, no matter how difficult, he would do it with all his might.
He wanted to overcome his stuttering, so he woke up before dawn every day to practice speaking. He wanted to improve his English grades, so he used his free time to memorize vocabulary and practice grammar.
But even though his love for her overflowed from his heart, he still couldn't bring himself to take another step closer.
She was like a brilliant and dazzling sunrise, growing up in the midst of countless adoration. But he was poor and lowly, socially awkward and stuttering, unable to even speak a few words to her without feeling anxious and flustered.
The bell for the end of class rang leisurely, and most of the people in the classroom left for their next class, which happened to be psychology.
Cheng Chu was pulled a few steps by Luo Qianqian, then turned around and asked, "Shall we walk together?"
Gu Miao put down his pen, nodded, and got up to follow them.
Thursday was the most anticipated day for everyone, as the first class after English was always a relaxing psychology class.
The psychology classroom was a considerable distance from the teaching building.
After class, Gu Miao walked through the crowd and returned to the classroom.
He walked so fast that he created a gust of wind under his feet, faster than anyone else.
When he arrived at the classroom, there was no one in the class.
As Gu Miao walked into the empty classroom, he felt the chill of winter still clinging to him, and the piercing wind blowing through the empty room.
He lowered his gaze and his eyes drifted over Cheng Chu's seat. His dark eyes flashed with a cold light, and a chill spread through his body in an instant.
On the once clean chair, there was a pool of bright red ink slowly dripping down, spreading out under his feet.
It looked like fresh blood.
Translations during sleepless nights. I can sleep when I'm dead! ...Please let me sleep. Happy readers keep me awake, and lots of love and a huge thank you for supporting my hobby!
Give me feedback at moc.ebircssutol@ypeels.