Late at night, Gu Miao carried his heavy backpack and stepped into his home.
There was no moon tonight, and the house was pitch black. After hastily washing up, he lay on his wooden bed, feeling a sharp pain in his empty stomach.
He had been busy all day, and the bowl of porridge he had in the morning was the only thing he had eaten all day.
Approaching midnight, Gu Miao still forced himself to get up and boil a pot of hot water.
The kitchen was filled with steam, and he added some cold water to the boiling water before taking a sip. Finally, the pain in his stomach eased a bit.
He took a few more sips and looked at the clock on the wall. It was already midnight, and he had to wake up early for class tomorrow. He quickly lay back down on his bed.
But after a moment, the strong pain in his stomach returned. He tightly closed his eyes, hoping to fall asleep quickly to resist the surging pain in his stomach.
Outside the window, the cold wind howled. In his wandering thoughts, Gu Miao remembered the warm bowl of porridge in the morning and the girl's clear and charming eyes.
She was someone he had once thought was too sacred to even think about, but now they were so close.
Gu Miao knew that she had probably forgotten about him, forgotten about the awkward and pitiful stuttering boy he was.
All of her previous kindness and gentleness were simply because she was a good-hearted girl.
But she was warm and passionate, like the winter sun, illuminating his cold and lonely heart.
She probably didn't know what she meant to him.
In the darkness, all senses seemed to be amplified.
For a moment, Gu Miao could clearly hear his own heart beating loudly, fierce like a towering wave.
The school life was dark for Gu Miao. He felt like a soulless zombie, wandering around the campus. The mockery of his classmates and the indifference of his teachers were like sharp swords, piercing his already dark heart.
But ever since Cheng Chu came back into his life, he began to look forward to the times he used to avoid. He longed to sit behind the girl in class and catch a glimpse of her back, breathing in the faint fragrance that surrounded her.
That night, Gu Miao had a good dream.
On Monday morning, before six o'clock, Gu Miao woke up.
After getting up and washing up, the sky outside was still gray. He sat at his desk and turned on the desk lamp. The warm yellow light illuminated the dark and cramped room. Gu Miao opened his textbook and began to read the lesson quietly.
He was reading 'Wandering Beyond the Boundaries' from the Chinese textbook, deliberately slowing down his pace, but still stuttering.
"In the north, there is a fish called Kun. Kun is so big that no one knows how many thousands of miles it is." The boy's voice was low and smooth, like a melodious cello.
The ticking of the clock in the bedroom accompanied his intermittent reading.
After stumbling through this short ancient text for twenty minutes, Gu Miao looked up at the clock with a disappointed expression. He had spent so much time on it.
He recorded the time in his notebook, packed his bag, and prepared to go to class.
This was Gu Miao's first day practicing speaking.
He had never had any expectations in this area before. Deep down, he always avoided speaking, thinking that as long as he didn't talk, others would lose the ammunition to mock him.
But since seeing the girl at the hospital yesterday, a seed had been planted in Gu Miao's dead heart, and a thought began to grow - he wanted to speak fluently, or more accurately, he wanted to say a few words to the girl fluently.
Gu Miao knew the girl had long forgotten about him.
Did that mean she had also forgotten that he stuttered?
He fantasized about the next time they spoke, even if he couldn't speak smoothly, he wouldn't be as pitiful as he was a year ago.
The cool morning breeze brushed against Gu Miao's face like a mist of water, without any force.
But inside, his heart burned like fire, imagining over and over again how he would talk and laugh with the girl, like a dream.
After the second period of the morning at Haishi No.1 Middle School, there was a 20-minute break. Most students would choose to have breakfast during this time.
The classroom was empty, and new desk mate Luo Qianqian pulled Cheng Chu aside and asked, "Chuchu, do you want to go have breakfast together?"
Luo Qianqian had heard of Cheng Chu before. In her impression, a beautiful and outgoing girl like Cheng Chu should be arrogant and aloof, holding her head high and enjoying everyone's pursuit.
But after spending just two days with her, Luo Qianqian realized that her previous thoughts were completely wrong. Cheng Chu was actually a very approachable girl.
There were only a few people sitting in groups of two or three in the quiet classroom. Cheng Chu quietly looked back and saw Gu Miao sitting in his seat, reading with his head down.
The young man sat up straight, like a slender poplar tree in the wind.
She shook her head at Luo Qianqian and whispered, "I'm not going."
"Okay." Luo Qianqian was a little disappointed. "Then I'll go with someone else."
She sat inside and needed Cheng Chu to turn sideways when she came out.
A few crisp bird calls came from outside.
Cheng Chu took the opportunity to turn slightly in the direction of Gu Miao, her bright peach blossom eyes unconsciously looking at him.
The young man was bowing his head, holding a pen in his hand, his fingers long and slightly white.
Cheng Chu hesitated and pursed her lips.
She wanted to talk to Gu Miao, but seeing him so focused on studying, she was afraid of disturbing him.
After thinking for a moment, she lowered her eyes and turned back obediently.
At the back of the classroom, Gu Miao had not turned a single page of his book. The air was filled with the delicate fragrance of the girls around him.
His heart was pounding like a wild rabbit, hoping that the girl before him would initiate a conversation, yet fearing that he would stutter and reveal his nervousness.
In just a few seconds, he had imagined countless possibilities in his mind.
However, she turned away without saying a word.
Suddenly, the front door burst open with a loud "bang".
Some people had returned from the small convenience store with fried chicken legs and steamed buns, and they sat down to enjoy their snacks.
Cheng Chu was about to open her textbook and review the next lesson, when a boy next to her offered her a steamed bun, "Cheng Chu, would you like a bun?"
"No, thank you," she politely smiled.
Yu Yin stretched back his hand with a hint of dissatisfaction and tried to make small talk, "Cheng Chu, were you in Class 2 in your first year of high school?"
"Yes," Cheng Chu nodded.
"I was in Class 1 before, right next to you," he said with a hint of pride.
Both Class 1 and Class 2 were top classes. At the beginning of their second year of high school, students were rearranged based on their grades. Those who passed stayed in their original class, while those who failed were placed in regular classes.
Cheng Chu didn't want to talk to him anymore and just nodded absentmindedly, "Oh."
But Yu Yin didn't notice her lack of interest and continued to chat. After a while, he took out a box of chocolates from his drawer.
As he passed it across the aisle, he shouted, "Oh, I almost forgot, do you want some chocolate?"
Cheng Chu was about to refuse when she saw someone standing behind her.
In the morning light, the figure of the young man was particularly tall and straight.
She looked up and saw Gu Miao holding a water cup, his lips tightly pursed, his deep, dark eyes slightly lowered, coldly staring at the hand in front of him.
"No need, thank you." Cheng Chu said to Yu Yin, "Um, you seem to be blocking someone."
Yu Yin looked up, glanced disdainfully, and reluctantly withdrew his hand.
He looked at Gu Miao's back and sneered heavily.
Cheng Chu tilted her head slightly and saw the contempt and disdain on his face, feeling annoyed.
She didn't want to talk to Yu Yin anymore, so she opened her textbook and started reading it seriously.
In the morning light, the girl lowered her head slightly, her profile smooth and graceful.
Yu Yin finally fell silent with some resentment in his eyes.
He absentmindedly twirled his pen in his hand, his gaze slowly passing through the glass and gloomily watching Gu Miao's back. A thought quietly rose in his mind.
There weren't a lot of people taking water in the morning. Gu Miao's movements were quick, and in just a few minutes, he returned to the classroom.
The classroom was quiet and peaceful, with a gentle breeze blowing in through the window cracks, causing the pages of the books on the desk to flutter slightly.
As Gu Miao walked into the classroom, the haze in his eyes gradually dissipated as he looked at the girl's black and soft hair.
His eyes couldn't help but glance at her body, and when he walked to her side, he felt his breathing unconsciously slow down.
Suddenly, his foot was tripped by something, and Gu Miao instinctively reached out to push the table on the other side.
With a loud "bang," he lost his balance and knocked over the books and water cup on the table next to him.
He knelt on the ground in a sorry state, his knees throbbing with pain, but he didn't care as he quickly got up, using his scraped palms to support himself on the floor.
He couldn't let her see him in such a sorry state, Gu Miao thought to himself.
But someone clearly had ill intentions.
As Yu Yin saw him stand up, he immediately pushed him and shouted, "What the hell are you doing?"
Gu Miao had a slight case of hypoglycemia, and he was already feeling dizzy and disoriented from falling to the ground. Now, being pushed, he stumbled and lost all his strength.
With a loud thud, he fell to the ground again.
His knees and hands were scraped and the pain seeped into his flesh like tearing.
His vision went black, but he gritted his teeth and groped to pick up the books and water bottle on the ground, bending over in the process.
Cheng Chu glared at Yu Yin and scolded, "Why did you push him?"
The classroom was filled with countless pairs of eyes, all fixated on one corner.
Cheng Chu bent down to help Gu Miao pick up the scattered textbooks, whispering to him, "Are you okay? Did you hurt yourself badly? Do you need to go to the infirmary?"
Yu Yin watched the girl crouched on the ground, her whole being focused on Gu Miao.
His anger grew stronger.
Looking down at Gu Miao, who was still crouched on the ground, Yu Yin cursed in disgust, "You stuttering fool! You bumped into my desk and you don't even know how to apologize?"
Gu Miao propped himself up with her hands and slowly stood up.
The chilly November wind blew into the classroom, and Gu Miao seemed to exude a wintry coldness. His dark eyes were filled with a sinister glint.
For a moment, Yu Yin was intimidated by his gaze and took a step back.
But soon, when he saw the pretty girl, he felt that he couldn't lose his dignity.
He straightened his chest and said to Gu Miao, who was persistent and unyielding, "Damn it, you broke my things and didn't even apologize?"
He always liked to trouble Gu Miao, and now this person who couldn't read the situation properly had made him even more unhappy.
Gu Miao was half a head taller than him, and when he slightly lowered her eyes, his deep eyes were filled with coldness.
He silently glanced at the girl next to him, tightly pursed his lips, and after a moment, he turned and left without saying a word.
Suppressing the anger in his heart, Gu Miao thought to himself that he had already embarrassed himself in front of her by falling just now, and he couldn't say anything more.
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.