There's no clear boundary between winter and spring in Haishi.
It seems that overnight, the cold wind has disappeared and the tree branches have sprouted new buds.
In early March, classmates shed their heavy winter uniforms and donned light and colorful spring uniforms.
Yu Xinlu's gossip was indeed true.
During this week's class meeting, the homeroom teacher announced the sports meet.
However, the students in the advanced class were not enthusiastic about the sports meet. The boys were okay and managed to fill up all the spots in the events, but there were relatively few girls in the class, and after a few days, there were still many spots left.
The homeroom teacher looked at the empty list and became worried.
Finally, she announced that each girl must sign up for one event.
Cheng Chu arrived late and only the 1,200-meter long-distance race was left. The sports committee member was a tall and strong boy.
He looked at Cheng Chu, who had a troubled expression, and kindly suggested, "Why don't you try finding someone else who is willing to switch with you?"
The spring sunshine poured down, and the girl in front of him stood in a warm yellow light. Her small face was as white as snow, and her slim school uniform outlined her curvy waist.
She looked delicate and weak, and the sports committee member thought to himself that she would probably faint after running a few steps.
Cheng Chu sighed, "Forget it."
Since this was the leftover option, it was definitely not something anyone wanted.
After all, she was late to sign up, so she had to accept her fate.
But even for an 800-meter test, she needed to prepare herself mentally a week in advance.
This 1,200-meter test would be enough to make her suffer for half a month.
The slightly warm spring breeze blew by, and the shadows of the trees on the playground swayed in the evening.
"How many minutes has it been this time?" Cheng Chu leaned on her knees, a few strands of hair dampened by sweat sticking to her face.
Gu Miao looked at the stopwatch in her hand. "Six minutes and forty-five seconds."
A few drops of sweat slid down the girl's smooth forehead.
She casually wiped it away with her hand, her voice muffled.
"This is terrible. I'm sure I'll be last if I run like this."
"No, you won't," Gu Miao comforted her in a gentle voice.
"You've already, made a lot of progress."
From not being able to complete the entire course at the beginning, to seven and a half minutes, seven minutes, in half a month, she slowly made progress step by step.
Cheng Chu was not one to shy away from challenges. Perhaps it was because she grew up in a privileged family, loved and pampered by her family, that she developed a resilient character. She never avoided difficulties, but chose to face them head-on.
But running is not something that can be learned in just a few days.
She pursed her lips, feeling a tightness in her chest after finishing her run.
Her voice was tinged with frustration as she spoke, "If it weren't for you leading me, I wouldn't have been able to run the whole way."
At first, she couldn't even run the entire distance, but Gu Miao suggested that he lead her during their next practice.
It was a good method, and with his help, Cheng Chu quickly improved.
However, this was not a long-term solution.
Gu Miao's eyes darkened, but his tone remained gentle like a spring breeze in March, "You've made great progress recently. You'll definitely be able to do it during the competition."
His encouragement made Cheng Chu feel a bit nervous, and she looked up at Gu Miao seriously, "But in a few days, I'll be the only one competing."
After taking a few deep breaths, she casually sat on the grass field.
Cheng Chu lifted her gaze and saw a young man standing straight in front of her.
She patted the grass beside her and said warmly, "Please sit down."
Gu Miao hesitated for a few seconds, then moved his steps and sat down a little away from her, restraining himself.
His drooping eyelashes trembled slightly, and after hesitating for a while, his voice became hoarse as he said, "During the competition, I will be waiting for you, at the finish line."
"But isn't it forbidden for anyone other than the cheerleaders from each class to enter the track during the competition?" Cheng Chu asked, trying to avoid chaos during the event, the school had set this rule.
Gu Miao fell silent for a while, then finally said in a deep voice, "I will find a way."
The sports committee member had been busy with the sports meet lately, but he didn't expect to encounter something that would give him a headache a hundred times worse in the afternoon.
He frowned and looked at the slender and upright young man in front of him. The gentle spring sunshine shone on his face, but it seemed unable to melt the coldness and indifference between his eyebrows.
The young man tightly pursed his lips, struggling visibly before finally speaking up: "I want to join the cheerleading squad."
"What are you joking about?" Yang Kai was so shocked that he almost fell off his seat. "Are you crazy or something?"
But the young man in front of him looked at him with a determined and serious expression.
Yang Kai choked up, hesitating before saying, "Are you still half asleep or something?"
Although each class had three spots on the cheerleading squad, it was either filled with girls or boys with booming voices that could scare people, or sports committee members like him who used the cheerleading squad as an excuse to give the participants in their class a boost.
Yang Kai didn't know him well. Gu Miao had only recently joined the class and had a cold personality, not fond of talking.
Today was their first interaction.
Who would have thought it would be like this, a bombshell.
It was just at dusk, the sunset reflecting into the classroom, creating a dreamlike scene.
The young man's frosty eyes were reflected in the crimson clouds, revealing a hint of tenderness.
He looked at Yang Kai with a serious expression, "I'm not joking, I really want to participate."
Yang Kai was at a loss for words, "But our class' cheerleading team is already full. There's me, Yu Xinlu, and Luo Ranran. I'm the sports committee member, and the homeroom teacher requires me to go."
Gu Miao looked disappointed and lowered his eyes.
He was the same height as Yang Kai, but much thinner. When he hung his head, his eyelashes trembled like a big dog that had lost its food, appearing somewhat pitiful.
Yang Kai cleared his throat and spoke slowly, "If you really want to join the cheerleading team, you can ask Yu Xinlu and Luo Ranran. If one of them is willing to give up their spot, then you can go."
The young boy in front of him looked up, his dark eyes sparkling like fireworks. "Really? Thank you so much."
His voice was filled with excitement and gratitude, which touched Yang Kai.
He didn't expect Gu Miao, who had only been in their class for a little over a month, to already have such strong feelings for their class.
Yang Kai reached out his large hand and patted his shoulder heavily, saying loudly, "No need to thank me. We all want this class to become better. But I'll give you a little reminder, those two girls are not easy to deal with, so be careful when you talk to them."
"Okay." Gu Miao nodded heavily, his eyes filled with even more gratitude. "Thank you."
"Never mind, it's nothing," Yang Kai was a friendly guy, he put his arm around Gu Miao's shoulder and said, "We're brothers, no need to thank me."
On the early spring playground, new greenery had sprouted and birds were chirping, the campus was full of vitality.
Yu Xinlu stood by the track, handing water to Cheng Chu,
"Don't be nervous, Chu Chu. The teacher said as long as you finish the race, our class is already doing well in the rankings. We don't need to worry about this sports score."
"Okay," Cheng Chu felt her hand holding the water bottle was shaking, but she saw Yu Xinlu looking nervous beside her, so she couldn't help but comfort her, "I'm fine, I've been practicing for over half a month."
A classmate with a red armband came over and reminded her, "You're Cheng Chu, right? Hurry up and get ready, it's about to start."
"Go, Chuchu!" Yu Xinlu tightly held Cheng Chu's hand and solemnly said, "I'll be waiting for you at the finish line."
The cheers of the crowd echoed across the grassy field, with each class's cheerleading squad cheering on.
Before starting, Cheng Chu looked over in that direction, but still didn't see that slender figure.
Perhaps to prevent slipping, the plastic track was made into small pebbles, giving a strange sensation when stepped on.
Cheng Chu looked at the dividing lines on the track, feeling a bit empty inside.
The referee was already shouting to get ready, so she focused and got into position.
On the sunny spring day on the playground, with the sound of the starting gun, the girls charged out like swords.
The warm breeze brushed against Cheng Chu's cheeks, and all the nervous and anxious emotions were blown away like sand in this moment.
One lap, two laps, her heart raced and a sharp stone seemed to block her chest, causing a dull pain and even obstructing her breathing.
One person after another passed her by, and she hurriedly quickened her already sore and exhausted steps, gritting her teeth and running faster.
But ahead was empty, the distant holly trees still lush and green, yet no one slowed down. Turning her head, there was nobody who would gently say to her, "Hold on, just a little bit more and we'll be there."
In the gentle wind, there seemed to be bits of gravel, and between her broken breaths, she felt a sharp pain in her throat and lungs.
With only half a lap left to the finish line, Cheng Chu felt her consciousness slipping away.
From the distant stands came cheers, but the sound was muffled as if obscured by a layer of fog. Suddenly, with the gentle spring breeze, a clear voice of encouragement pierced through half of the playground and reached Cheng Chu's ears.
"Cheng Chu, come on!"
The voice even trembled a little.
Cheng Chu gathered her strength and looked up. Across the vast expanse of the playground, she saw a young man with a tall and straight figure. H
e stood among a group of girls in the cheerleading squad at the finish line, holding a comically large megaphone in his hand.
But soon, the voices of encouragement from other classes gradually drowned him out.
Yet he still stood there, holding the megaphone straight up, ignoring the bewildered looks of those around him. He gritted his teeth and shouted over and over again -
"Cheng Chu, come on! Cheng Chu, come on!"
He was always reserved and restrained, keeping everything inside.
Cheng Chu never imagined that one day he would hold a megaphone so boldly, as if announcing to the whole world to cheer for her.
Despite the pain and hardship in her heart, a surge of strength rose up within her, flowing like a trickle of water through her veins and into every corner of her body.
Cheng Chu picked up her pace and sprinted forward.
The wind whistled past her ears, and her racing heart felt like it was on fire, propelling her forward without hesitation.
Someone was waiting for her up ahead.
Gradually, she passed one person, then two, then four.
Finally, she crossed the finish line.
The final whistle was like a bucket of water, extinguishing the raging fire within her body. In an instant, her exhausted body was drained of all its strength.
With a loud 'bang', she fell onto the track. As her vision gradually blurred, her last memory was of Gu Miao's panicked voice, which had become distorted.
The author has something to say:
Gu Miao: I did something a little embarrassing, but I don't regret it.
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.