During the midsummer of August, the dazzling sun was comparable to fire and the cicadas were chirping incessantly.
Lin Zhexia huddled up on the sofa with a bag of potato chips in her hand. The light in the room was not turned on, only a faint flashing light came from the projector in front of her. The movie just happened to be playing out an intense part, the projector light flashed brightly, and the fierce ghost suddenly rushed out grimacing——
The room was suddenly lightened up, some of the furnishings could be seen from the projection light.
The entire house was overly tidy.
On the table were several Competition Practice books, a black alarm clock, and 2 or 3 black pens.
Apart from that, there was nothing superfluous.
The only thing that looked untidy and out of place here was the pile of snacks scattered around.
After Lin Zhexia watched some more of the movie, she took out her phone and sent a few messages to a certain chat.
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-Rv’p elqkdkvlzu y qaywe.
-Mbl xspv bsaakqukdt xshkl sq vbl ulya kpd’v bsaakqukdt yv yzz, kv’p vs vbl eltall vbyv nyd cl alrsavle vs vbl dyvksdyz ydvk-qaywe nldvla.
10 xkdwvlp zyvla.
-Jwv vbkp tbspv’p pnalyx kp iwkvl wdkiwl.
-Gos yos yos.
Gdsvbla 10 xkdwvlp zyvla.
-Rv’p clld byzq yd bswa.
-Zsw pvkzz byhld’v alrzkle vs xl.
-Gal usw bsapkdt yaswde swvpkel?
Nkd Hblmky bye bla blye zsolale yp pbl lprlnkyzzu plakswpzu vurle vbl plnsde byzq sq vbl pldvldnl osae cu osae: Gde vbld usw bye ps xwnb qwd vbyv usw qsatsv uswa qyvbla, xl.
G qlo plnsdep yqvla vbkp xlppytl oyp pldv, vblal oyp qkdyzzu xshlxldv qasx vbl srrspkvl pkel.
G osae yrrlyale sd vsr sq vbl nbyv okvb vbl dknjdyxl “Oyvkdt Yleknkdl”: [Murkdt…]
A moment later, several lines of characters that can even be viewed as arrogant even through the internet appeared in the chat interface.
-I’m horsing around, very busy.
-As for not replying to you, it’s because
-I’m too lazy to talk to people who are unclear about their seniority.
Before she could reply, the opposite side followed up with another message: Where are you watching the movie?
Lin Zhexia looked around the house. The style here is completely different from her own room. With one glance, one could tell that it was a boy’s room. A projector was set up in the living room, which was the main reason why she would show up here today with snacks.
However, she was a little embarrassed to say this so straightforwardly. Instead, she replied with the word: Theater.
Recalling that no horror movies airing in theaters at the moment, Lin Zhexia changed her words to: …Private theater.
Lin Zhexia knew in her heart that this person was not so easy to fool. As expected, the next sentence after “Oh” was: Take a picture and show me. I’ve never been to a private theater before. Let me enrich my experiences.
Where the heck would she go to take such a picture?
Since she could not hide it any longer, she could only answer honestly: Your house. Didn’t you buy a new projector? But you went traveling so far away right after you bought it, so I’m trying it out for you.
The opposite side seemed to have already guessed this answer.
After a few seconds, he threw back with arrogance:
-So, who’s the father?
As Lin Zhexia’s fingers typed away on the screen, she even omitted the struggle. She directly knelt down in obedience:
-It was I who was unclear about my seniority.
When the conversation arrived at this part, it was interrupted by a phone call.
Lin He’s familiar voice came from the phone, “Xiaxia, it’s dinner soon. When will you be coming back?”
“I forgot about the time,” Lin Zhexia hurriedly paused the movie. “I’ll be back soon.”
Lin Zhexia came back very quickly.
Right after Lin He finished the phone call, she had just brought out the food to the table, and Lin Zhexia had already arrived at the door, “Mom– I’m back.”
Lin He glanced at her, “You came from Chi Yao’s house right?”
Lin Zhexia didn’t expect that she would guess correctly with a single try, “Why don’t you change your profession to fortune telling?”
“Where’s the need to fortune tell?” Lin He could estimate her daughter’s path of action according to time. “You came back so quickly, and it’s not like you would be taking a stroll in the area. But isn’t Chi Yao away for the holiday? He said something about… there’s some matters with his relatives and went to visit them? Why are you going to other people’s homes when they’re not even at home?”
Her childhood friend.
Also the one who talked so arrogantly in the chat just now.
The two have known each other since they were very young.
The Chi family lives in the building opposite hers, and the distance there and back is no more than 3 minutes.
Just looking out from her bedroom window, she could see the curtains drawn in his house.
Lin Zhexia slowly stuffed food in her mouth. She really didn’t have the nerve to say that she one-sidedly went to help Chi Yao test out his newly bought projector. Moreover, being at home during the holidays, it’s always easy to receive a scolding from Lin He. So she found herself a reason, “He… he said he left too hastily and didn’t remember whether the windows were closed. He told me to go and check for him.”
Lin He wasn’t suspicious of this.
As a “Pre High School Student”, Lin Zhexia was living an unrestrained and free summer holiday.
She did well in her middle school examinations. After graduation, she naturally did not have any homework for the holidays.
Lin He obviously couldn’t allow her daughter’s life to be so unrestrained and free, “I bought you some high school teaching materials. Start learning them from this summer holiday, to avoid failing to catch up after school starts.”
“…” Lin Zhexia swallowed the food. “High school… teaching materials?”
“Stupid birds need to start flying earlier. You should understand what this means.”
Lin Zhexia argued for herself, “I already got in the key district, the same school as Chi Yao, I can’t exactly be counted as a stupid bird.”
The results have long been out, and the score cutlines of all schools were announced.
In the past, the scores for Lin Zhexia’s mock exams had always been fluctuating. When she meets the right test paper, she rises like a rocket. When she meets the wrong test paper, her scores would be mediocre. As a result, no one knew what kind of score she would get until the very last moment.
Fortunately, the final test paper was quite suitable for her.
Lin He concluded, “That was a supernormal performance, which belongs to a coincidence.”
“And how do you even have the face to mention that you and Chi Yao are in the same school?”
Lin He spoke slowly, carrying a bit of unbelievable in her tone, “Although you two are in the same school, you barely got in while he exceeded the admission cutoff by more than 90 points.”
Lin Zhexia felt that the food in her mouth was a little choking.
“But come to think of it, it’s strange.” Lin He changed the topic, “He has such a high score that he can apply for No. 1 High School. Why is he staying here?”
No. 1 High School is the key high school in Lianyun city.
Lin Zhexia didn’t apply to it. First of all, she won’t get in. Second of all, it’s too far from home.
Mainly it’s that she wouldn’t get in.
So she firmly applied to No. 2 High School. Although there was only one digit difference between the two schools, the difference between the score cutline was tremendous.
Lin Zhexia and Chi Yao are childhood friends but they have only attended the same primary school together. Due to Lin Zhexia always hanging out with boys during those times, Lin He felt that her personality wasn’t very like a girl at all. As a result, after graduating from primary school, Lin He threw her into a girls’ school.
Only now that her girls’ school career is over, could she attend the same school as this person after a long time.
Lin Zhexia thought for a moment, “Maybe because it’s close to home.”
After that, she tried to change the topic. She saw that only Lin He and she were at the dinner table, she asked, “Where’s Uncle Wei?”
The Lin family is a remarried family. Lin Zhexia’s father left when she was still very young. Lin He single handedly brought her up and met Uncle Wei when she was 7. It was also because they’re a remarried family that Lin Zhexia moved here when she was 7.
“Your Uncle Wei has something to do in the company,” Lin He picked up some food for her. “He’ll probably be back a bit later.”
After Lin He gave her the food, she turned the topic back, “Will 3 books of teaching materials be enough? I heard that the difficulty of high school has indeed increased a lot. Many people are looking for tutors.”
“Three books are already… very enough.”
“You have nothing to do during the holidays, you’ll be idle anyways.”
Lin Zhexia held onto her bowl, the rice was truly too choking to swallow.
In the following days, Lin Zhexia lived in dire straits.
Gone are the days when she hid in Chi Yao’s house borrowing his projector.
In front of her are 3 books of teaching materials, namely, Featured: Summer Holiday Improvement Training, Enter High School in Advance, and 100 Critical Thinking Training Questions.
20 pages a day.
Every, single, day.
-55515 is pronounced wu and sounds like sobbing/crying sfx
-Life is putting pressure on me.
-My life’s so bitter
-I can’t live anymore
Between the gaps in Lin Zhexia’s question solving, she pressed the textbook under her phone and poked at the screen of the phone word by word:
-I’m about, to, collapse, from, pressure.
The person opposite her continued to use his arrogant attitude to respond.
-I’ll burn some paper money for you on Qingming2qingming: a day to mourn for the dead
Lin Zhexia, “…”
After taking a deep breath, she withdrew from the chat and tapped open the contact card. She then changed the nickname “Eating Medicine” that’s homophonic with Chi Yao’s name3eating medicine is also spelled chi yao to “Chi Dog”4calling someone a dog is an insult btw.
The two words “Chi Dog” weren’t enough to soothe her anger.
However, with her poor vocabulary and good personal upbringing, she couldn’t think of any words more insulting for the time being.
So she decided not to chat with Chi Yao anymore.
She tapped around in her contact list and opened another chat.
Then click clack click clack as she typed.
-You are not human
-You are a dog
-When you come back, I will definitely beat you up.
The contact with the nickname “Big Buff” replied with a long string of dots.
Big Buff: ……
Big Buff: Why are you two arguing again?
Big Buff: I mean, say it to him, don’t let it out on me?
Lin Zhexia replied: Ain’t this because, I’m scared that I can’t beat him.
Big Buff: I’ve learned.
There are many kids of the same age group in their community. Big Buff is also a member of their group of people that grew up together. Big Buff’s actual name is He Yang, he was quite chubby as a kid, which is why people nicknamed him “Big Buff”.
After He Yang inquired about what happened, he comforted her: Be satisfied. He doesn’t even reply to the messages I send him, only one word occasionally, which is “read”. You have, lemme count, six words. In contrast, my Yao-ge’s reply to you is so enthusiastic that I can’t help but feel jealous. You can secretly feel thrilled for yourself.
This time it was Lin Zhexia’s turn to remain silent.
-I am so grateful.
Lin Zhexia put down her phone and solved a few more questions. When the hour hand passed 11, just as she was preparing to sleep, she suddenly thought of the pile of snacks she had left behind at Chi Yao’s house.
“I was originally going to leave the rest for you to eat, as a payback for borrowing your projector,” Lin Zhexia said to herself, gently poking the page of the book with the tip of her pen. “But I didn’t expect you to be so inhumane.”
When Lin Zhexia thought of this, she decided.
She threw down her pen, wanting to get her snacks back.
She hurried out the door and didn’t notice that the dark window in the opposite building suddenly lit up.
A little over 11 o’clock.
The community was pitch black, and only the street lamps were still on.
Lin Zhexia ran into the opposite building with the key in her hand.
The main reason she has the key to Chi Yao’s house is that ever since she was young, she would always go over. It was so frequent that it made Chi Yao annoyed, so he threw the spare key at her and told her to open the door herself.
Like this, the key remained in her hands for many years.
Chi Yao’s parents are very busy at work. Most of the time, they’re doing business outside and it’s usually just Chi Yao alone in the house.
So when Lin Zhexia inserted the key into the door lock, she did not pay attention to whether there were any sounds on the other side of the door.
It was when she opened the door that she noticed that the lights were on the inside.
Then she glanced around the living room and saw a black suitcase.
The last time she came over, she didn’t see this suitcase.
She didn’t even have time to think about who came back.
Because the next second.
The bathroom door was pulled open.
The person who came out wore a black T-shirt, his hair was not dried, and his slightly long bangs lay on his forehead.
He was very tall, currently in his adolescence. It seemed like his bones hadn’t grown to their fullest yet. As a result, the first impression he gave others was that he had a thin waist and long legs. Lined with the black shirt, his skin looked overly pale, it even made him look a little sick.
The youth’s contours are well-defined. His eyebrows seemed as if they had been heavily outlined over, they were uninhibited and carefree.
He was hanging his eyes down at the moment. His eyes were long and narrow, and his double eyelids were deep. Different from the heavy-colored eyebrows and eyes, the color of his pupils was unexpectedly very light, with a touch of sharp edges.
Chi Yao glanced at Lin Zhexia, who came in from the door. After a while, he said carelessly, “Isn’t it quite unexpected?”
As if he didn’t see Lin Zhexia’s puzzled expression.
He dropped another sentence.
“Your father’s back.”
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YAYYYY ANOTHER CHILDHOOD TROPEEEEE