Time always flies during student years. After the sports meet, it was as if someone had hit the accelerator, and before they knew it, the final exams were approaching.
After the final exams, they stepped into their senior year.
It was the toughest year that Cheng Chu had ever experienced.
It was as if it was a turning point in fate. That year, she lost her brother and her dreams.
Like a bird with clipped wings, she was destined to never feel the vastness of the sky again.
As the final exams approached, everyone was putting in their best effort to study. The teaching building, which was usually filled with laughter and chatter, became much quieter.
This exam would be the last chance for the class to be reshuffled.
In their senior year, the school decided not to implement the system of moving students between classes to stabilize everyone's emotions.
After school, the two of them walked side by side on the path in the campus as usual. On a June evening, the crimson sun cast fragmented shadows through the camphor tree leaves onto the path.
"Do you feel nervous?" Cheng Chu asked, pursing her lips.
Gu Miao shook her head. He was a diligent student with a lot of drive, and he had never fallen out of the top ten since entering the elite class, so he had nothing to worry about.
"That's good," Cheng Chu nodded slightly.
There were some unknown small flowers planted on the side of the road, and a light floral fragrance gradually drifted over.
Cheng Chu hesitated for a moment, then pinched the corner of her clothes and said, "I might be going to the music annex next semester."
She was an art student, and this December was the joint exam, so the entire first semester of her senior year would be spent preparing for it.
No. 1 High School and the music annex had a partnership, and all the music students with special talents in the school would go there for training in the next semester.
Gu Miao's footsteps slowed down, and the hot summer wind stuck to his face. "How long will you be gone?" he asked with a hoarse voice.
Cheng Chu replied, "Almost one semester. I'll be back after the December entrance exam."
The sound of cicadas was long and far away, and Gu Miao's hand trembled slightly, feeling melancholic. He looked up and saw the lush camphor trees along the path.
Six long months.
When she comes back, even these leaves will have fallen.
Cheng Chu noticed his silence and quickly said, "Six months will pass quickly. If..."
She lowered her gaze, her long eyelashes fluttering like butterfly wings.
Finally, she suppressed her shyness and whispered, "If you miss me, just give me a call."
The girl's voice was clear and pleasant, and the stuffy heat around them seemed to dissipate a bit. Her words carried a hint of ambiguity, causing Gu Miao's heart to skip a beat.
His ears gradually turned red as he pressed his lips together, suppressing the shallow joy that was rising in his heart. "Um, yes, if, if you," he said.
He shyly lowered his eyes, revealing his bright red ears. After steadying himself, he continued, "If you also... you can also call me."
The last ray of sunset disappeared on the horizon, and the shy look in his eyes was now hidden by the darkness of night. But it couldn't conceal the cautious tone in his words.
He was never as bold as Cheng Chu, perhaps cheering for her from afar during the sports meet had already exhausted all the courage he had in his lifetime.
The two of them were alone here, so close that if he lowered his gaze slightly, he could see the girl's clear eyes that seemed to see through all emotions.
The words "miss me" seemed to ignite a fire within him, causing a painful ache in his chest.
The dim streetlights cast a yellow glow, but in the end, Gu Miao couldn't bring himself to say those two words.
But Cheng Chu didn't mind. She smiled, her eyes filled with joyful understanding, and spoke lightly, "Hmm, I'll call you."
This time, Gu Miao's face turned red.
As the camphor tree beside them swayed in the wind, a few leaves fell to the ground.
He pursed his lips, his black eyes sparkling, and thought shyly in his heart: Does she mean that she will miss me?
After the final exams, No. 1 High School planned to have a few more weeks of classes, so the exams this semester were earlier than usual.
But once the exams were over, Cheng Chu had to leave. It was early June, and the campus was lush with green trees. She stood in front of the teaching building, feeling melancholy.
When she was saying goodbye to her classmates, many people came to bid her farewell. Her eyes were red with emotion, and Gu Miao just stood to the side, but anyone could see the reluctance in his eyes.
Ji Mingyue patted her on the back and whispered, "Chuchu, let's go."
"Mm." Cheng Chu lowered her head and said softly, "Let's go."
Six months wasn't that long, was it?
Those who truly care about you will always be waiting for you to come back.
The summer wind mixed with heat, making her chest feel stuffy.
Cheng Chu and Ji Mingyue walked side by side towards the school gate. "Cheng Chu," she stopped in her tracks and turned around in disbelief.
The young man stood in the June sunshine, his hair slightly tousled by the breeze.
Ji Mingyue chuckled and said tactfully, "Chuchu, I'll wait for you at the milk tea shop near the school gate."
In the distance, cicadas chirped incessantly. The young man's nose was still dotted with sweat, and his silver-framed glasses had slid down to the tip of his nose, with a few strands of hair sticking to his forehead.
Emotions churned in his dark eyes, as if he was hiding some unresolved feelings.
Cheng Chu's eyes lit up with joy and she smiled, "Gu Miao, are you here to see me off?"
The young man pursed his lips and walked up to her before whispering, "Mm."
Cheng Chu's eyes sparkled like peach blossoms in the summer sun.
Her tone was gentle and indulgent, "It's not like I'm not coming back."
Beside her, Gu Miao clenched and unclenched his hand. He looked up at the girl in front of him. The scent of the gardenia flowers on the roadside wafted by lightly, and the girl wore a simple summer school uniform, her eyes clear and bright like water.
A slight bitterness rose in his heart for no apparent reason. The girl seemed unaware of how important she was to him, unlike the naive infatuation of other peers. It was a deep and heavy love. She was the only light in his dark world, his redemption, his courage, and his hope for a better future.
But now she was leaving, for such a long time. Gu Miao felt a pang of pain in his heart, clenching and unclenching his fists before finally taking out a light blue box from his pocket.
"Is this for me?" Cheng Chu asked hesitantly. This is a jewelry from a niche brand, with a starting price of at least four digits. For a young man who always struggles with money, this is a big sum.
"Mm." Gu Miao nodded, a hint of anticipation in his pitch-black eyes.
Cheng Chu reached out and gently opened the box. A delicate moon bracelet lay on the light blue velvet lining, with a small crystal shining brightly at the tip of the moon's horn in the sunlight.
"It's so beautiful." Cheng Chu gently stroked the little moon, her peach blossom eyes full of smiles. "I can wear it when I go to the music annex."
At No. 1 High School, there were strict rules against wearing jewelry, but it was different at the music annex. They were always open to this kind of thing.
"Can you help me put it on?" Cheng Chu thought for a moment and reached out her slender, snow-white wrist to him.
The summer sun was shining brightly. Gu Miao lowered her gaze and caught sight of the snow-white bracelet on her wrist, causing her cheeks to flush.
"Hurry up, my hand is getting tired," Cheng Chu teased.
The young man lowered his head, his hands trembling as he carefully wrapped the delicate bracelet around the girl's wrist.
As he accidentally brushed against her smooth, snow-like skin, his heart skipped a beat.
"Do you know how to fasten it?" Cheng Chu asked, noticing the boy's hesitation and trembling fingers.
"Yes, I do," he replied, taking a deep breath.
Suddenly, he caught a whiff of the girl's light fragrance, reminiscent of the summer season's gardenia flowers, and his heart raced. When he had bought the bracelet, he had looked up how to properly fasten it online, never expecting to actually use the knowledge.
In the distance, the bell signaling the end of class could be heard, indicating that the first-year students had already finished for the day.
With his head down, Gu Miao suppressed his abnormal heartbeat and his fingertips trembled uncontrollably.
Cheng Chu let out a soft laugh and said in a gentle voice, "It's okay, take your time."
The noise from the teaching building could be heard, and Gu Miao pursed his lips, took a deep breath, and hurriedly put on her bracelet.
The girl adjusted the angle of the small moon with her hand and asked with a smile, "Is it pretty?"
Her peach blossom eyes were watery, as if they were adorned with countless dazzling stars.
"It's beautiful," Gu Miao praised in a low voice.
What couldn't she wear that wouldn't look good? Even a simple and plain hair tie would look extremely beautiful on her.
As it was already the end of class, a few lively first-year students ran out of the teaching building.
The boy lowered his head and looked into her eyes, which were filled with joy. He suppressed the pounding in his heart and said, "Happy birthday."
"Birthday?" Cheng Chu raised her eyebrows in confusion. "It's still a few days away."
Gu Miao's eyes darkened slightly as he said, "Well, I wanted to wish you a happy birthday in advance. I won't be able to see you in a few days, so I wanted to say it in person."
"Thank you." Cheng Chu fidgeted with her wrist, and the bright little moon on it shimmered slightly.
She lowered her gaze and thought for a moment before saying, "Then I'll also wish you a happy birthday in advance."
The boy's eyelashes trembled, and a look of surprise flashed in his dark eyes. "What?" he asked.
"Isn't your birthday two days after mine? So I'll also wish you a happy birthday in advance," the girl said with a smile in her voice.
The evening breeze of summer was long and carried a hint of stuffiness.
Gu Miao felt as though his heart was swaying in the wind, and with every breath, a dull ache would arise. But the feeling was not uncomfortable, instead, it made his eyes well up with tears.
Few people remembered his birthday. For many years, he often forgot about it himself.
Sometimes, it would take him several days to remember.
He would always think, after his parents passed away, there was no one else in the world who remembered this day.
As the evening sun set, Gu Miao lowered his gaze and looked at the girl he loved most in the world.
She stood beautifully in the crimson sunset, and her lovely peach blossom eyes reflected only his image. It was as if in this chaotic world, she could only see him.
A sour taste rose in Gu Miao's throat, but when he opened his mouth, he found that he couldn't make a sound.
The girl in front of him lowered her gaze and unconsciously clenched the corner of her clothes.
She said softly, "But I left the gift at home. I didn't bring it today. Give me your address, and I'll mail it to you in a few days."
There's still a gift?
Gu Miao was completely stunned and stayed in place.
"Oh, Mingyue called me. I have to go first. Remember to send me your address," Cheng Chu said.
Gu Miao finally came back to his senses, but he couldn't contain the smile on his face. "Oh, okay."
In the sunset, the girl turned her head and waved at him. "Goodbye, Gu Miao."
The shadows of the camphor trees on the roadside were faintly visible.
Gu Miao watched the girl's figure disappear into the distance and whispered, "Goodbye."
The author has something to say:
Gu Miao: she is like a small moon, shining brightly in my heart.
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.