During that period, it was late autumn and there were light showers.
It was already November, and there were less than 20 days before the deadline for the preliminaries of the New Concept Writing Competition. Meng Shengnan wrote a 200-word short story and used another 200 words to create an outline, but reading from beginning to end, she was still unsatisfied with it.
So, she wrote and deleted.
In short, no matter what she did, she felt annoyed. She had no new ideas for her manuscript, nor could she bring any energy to study. Her mind was always wandering in class, thinking about all sorts of random things that she didn’t even know herself, and her nerves were always tense. On Saturday, she locked herself in her room and changed the outline to a new topic. Her hair was falling out badly, if she didn’t have a remaining want to reach her goals, she probably would have died young already.
When she was younger, she liked to read all sorts of books.
Later, she had her own ideas, so Sheng Dian encouraged her to write. For this, Meng Jin asked his liberal arts friends to recommend dozens of youth literature, and from then onwards it became uncontrollable. Later, she started to read O. Henry, and came to like satire writing, so she tried to practice and imitate it herself, but the truth was it looked very childish.
At the age of fifteen, she began to write stories.
Sheng Dian said that in order to write the novel ‘The World of Plainness’, the author Lu Yao lived in the rural village of Yan’an for three years. It was also because of this, that his prose, ‘From the morning to the afternoon’ was created. Thus, Meng Shengnan began to write realistic stories. She sent in a few of her manuscripts, but there were no responses. Sheng Dian then said that when literature was booming in the 1930s and 1940s, the writer Shen Congwen lived in a ten-square-meter house and ate steamed buns and pickles one day and starved the other, relying on friends to help him out. He spent three years like this before others began to admire his works, and given that Meng Shengnan was only fifteen years old and didn’t have to worry about having a roof over her head, she didn’t need to rush.
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It Keeps Raining When My House Leaks: “I agree.”
Scholar Jiang’s Talents Are Exhausted: “I agree.”
Zhang Yiyan: “Everyone bring your faces together.”
The three: “Why?”
Zhang Yiyan directly sent a slap to each person.
Meng Shengnan looked at the screen and couldn’t help but laugh, her laugh didn’t last for a second, and the group began to laugh too.
Scribblings asked: “Xiao Meng, are you online but not talking again?”
Her nerves tensed
It Keeps Raining When My House Leaks: “The only knowledgeable and educated girl in our six-person group, can you say something for your brother, me?”
Zhang Yiyan was angry: “Who is unknowledgeable and uneducated here, I dare you to keep talking.”
Meng Shengnan laughed hard.
Scribblings: “Damn, the brat Zhou Ningzhi is not online.”
Scholar Jiang’s Talents Are Exhausted: “Since Xiao Meng is not there, he must be off in seclusion.”
Meng Shengnan sucked in a deep breath, and showed up quickly as the jokes got too far.
“Good evening, fellow heroes and beauties.”
These three heroes directly sent: Cr*p!
“The power of the public opinion is still great1He means that their gossip is great enough to get the FL to show up.” Scholar Jiang’s Talents Are Exhausted said, adding several ‘haha’ expressions at the end.
Meng Shengnan: “……”
The five people started chatting about this and that, and later on began talking about Zhou Ningzhi helping the editor review the manuscripts sent in.
At that time, Zhang Yiyan had gone to the No. 675 street2remember this is the competition place for a stroll, and saw manuscripts spread all over the floor of the corridors, coming from all over the country. This was the first time she had seen such a scene, so she was quite overwhelmed. That day, she happened to meet Zhou Ningzhi. Zhang Yiyan said that he was seriously reviewing the manuscript without even looking up at her once. At that moment, she really wanted to beat him up. Several people in the group sent a big smiley expression.
They then asked together: “What happened afterwards?”
Zhang Yiyan said that several other male editors were also reviewing the manuscripts, so she chatted casually with them. During that period, many manuscripts were handwritten, and their pictures were stuck onto the registration form sent in. When they saw a beautiful woman, the male editors’ eyes bloomed and everyone wanted to take a look, only Zhou Ningzhi had his head lowered, it was a surprising sight.
Everyone laughed again.
Zhang Yiyan: “I’ve exposed his private affairs, will he beat me up?”
Scribblings: “Because of my feelings for you, I won’t just sit back and watch.”
It Keeps Raining When My House Leaks: “I agree.”
Scholar Jiang’s Talents Are Exhausted: “Your brother, I, is timid, I can pass you a stick if you can’t fight over him.”
Meng Shengnan laughed till her stomach hurt.
These people unanimously criticised him: “Scram.”
At the end of their chat, it returned to the main topic: the progress of their manuscript. In the end, except for her, these people had sent theirs out 800 years ago. Everyone except Zhang Yiyan had sent around five manuscripts. So, under their stimulation, Meng Shengnan ran to the city library to borrow books the next day to find inspiration.
Later, she didn’t find any inspiration, but she met Fusong.
They stood beside a row of bookshelves, one to the left and the other to the right. This person was definitely so serious when he did things. The distance between his head and each page of the book was equidistant, and the time he used to turn each page was all the same. Meng Shengnan didn’t dare to bother him, so she borrowed a few books and left the library.
After a few steps, she heard someone calling her from behind.
“Why are you walking so fast?” Fusong had finished speaking and arrived at her side.
Meng Shengnan said softly: “Why did you come out?”
“Why didn’t you call me just then?”
“You looked so serious, would I live if I called you?”
Fusong gave her a long drawn-out look.
“From a psychological point of view, such thinking obviously means you are too nervous and treat me as a stranger. Moreover, we have known each other for some time now. Although we don’t talk about everything together, we help each other out when in need. Generally speaking, your personality is not bad. In conclusion, if you just said hello, I wouldn’t let you die, maybe I could even give you pertinent advice on borrowing books.”
She asked: “What advice?”
Fusong looked down at the books in her arms.
“A Hundred Years of Loneliness, Lost Paradise, Red and Black, Decameron, Border Town?”
“Hmm, is there a problem?”
“Four plus one?”
Meng Shengnan: “What’s wrong?”
“You are sixteen this year, it is not a suitable age to read Lost Paradise.”
“You are still a little young.” Fu Song looked at her for a while before saying.
Meng Shengnan glanced at him up and down.
“Aren’t you just seventeen, are you really old?”
“Older than you.”
Meng Shengnan took out Lost Paradise and shook it before his eyes.
“You’ve read it?”
“What is it about?”
He paused for a second.
Meng Shengnan’s mouth opened wide: “Philosophy Rat, you really aren’t an ordinary person.”
Because it was a famous novel, she had borrowed it, but she couldn’t just return it as soon as she left the library. Therefore, Meng Shengnan used this as an excuse to read it.
“Then you can lend me this book.” The boy said.
“Notify me when you return the book, and I will give the book back to you then.”
Meng Shengnan: “……”
“Don’t you still have some maths questions you don’t know how to solve, tomorrow Monday I can help you when I have time.”
Meng Shengnan: “……”
A long time afterwards, Meng Shengnan went to university.
She accidentally saw this book in the university library and borrowed it. That night, she lied on her bed and read it using the bed-side lamp. However, she blushed before even reading a few pages. At that time, she couldn’t help but thank Fusong for giving her a few more years of innocence.
When they arrived at school on Monday, neither of them mentioned yesterday’s happenings.
Fusong still went through the questions with her, his expression was meticulous and serious.
Nie Jing also came over: “I also don’t know how to do this, Fusong, can you speak slowly.”
The boy paused, slowing down his words.
Meng Shengnan understood it by the time he had gone through it halfway, so she turned her head back. Nie Jing was still listening to Fusong, and a few minutes later, she turned around and whispered to Meng Shengnan.
“What he said is still a bit fast, did you understand it, can you teach me again.”
So, one question lasted for nearly ten minutes.
The third class of the afternoon was physical education. At that time, Meng Shengnan’s mouth was dry and she was thirsty. Everyone went to the small sports ground during the class break, and she went to the tap to get some warm water to drink. She met an old classmate from her first year high school class and chatted for a while. Seeing that class was about to start, she hurried back to the classroom to place her water cup. The classroom was too quiet, only leaving Li Yan and the class head, she didn’t know what they were talking about.
The conversation stopped as soon as she entered the classroom.
Li Yan’s expression was awkward and looked disgusted. The class head glanced at Li Yan and walked sideways out of the classroom. Meng Shengnan couldn’t point a finger at that expression. She stood by her seat and dwadled a bit.
“Hey, don’t you have physical education class?” The girl called out.
Meng Shengnan was blank for a moment, it seemed that this was the first time the two had a conversation since the beginning of school. The girl started with a “Hey”, she obviously didn’t know her name, but there was a sweet smile on her face.
“Aren’t you going to physical education class?” The girl asked again.
Meng Shengnan let out an ‘oh’, and hurriedly said, “I’m going now.”
“The preparation bell has already rang, hurry up and go.”
Meng Shengnan was a little surprised at the girls’ sudden eagerness: “What about you?”
“I’m waiting for someone, then I’ll go.”
Meng Shengnan felt a little strange, but nodded with a smile, and then walked out of the classroom. But until she walked out of the school building, she looked back. The girl didn’t come out at all, was she skipping class? Waiting for someone? Who was she waiting for?
In her physical education class, the teacher just said a few words and they were allowed to freely exercise.
Meng Shengnan was called by Xue Lin to play badminton. The sunset rays were still shining, and there were lively figures everywhere on the small sports ground running. Nie Jing counted the balls on the side, and saw that Meng Shengnan was a little absent-minded.
“What are you thinking about, there is only one ball left.”
After playing several rounds, Meng Shengnan didn’t win at all and was always screwed as soon as she started playing.
Nie Jing asked: “You used to play pretty well, are you okay?”
“That’s right, are you sick?” Xue Lin also leaned closer.
Meng Shengnan shook her head and thought for a while and said: “You guys play, I will go back to the classroom to drink some water and rest.”
She didn’t know if she was bewitched or there was something wrong, perhaps using Fusong’s language, it really was a psychological problem. Ever since she heard Li Yan say that she was “waiting for someone”, Meng Shengnan couldn’t concentrate anymore.
In the school building, there were sounds of teachers giving lectures and the rowdy noise of students.
However, Meng Shengnan felt that everything was especially quiet, little by little, she approached the classroom she had just left, step by step, walking up the stairs. Her heartbeat sped up every time she stepped.
The last step, it was the back door of the classroom.
She hadn’t even approached yet, and heard a low gasp from inside. The flirtation between a man and woman, a girl’s gentle and charming voice, and the sound of heavy breathing that spread like thorns, spreading bit by bit into Meng Shengnan’s ears.
“Miss me?” The boy’s voice was deep and hoarse.
“I don’t miss you.”
“You really don’t?” The boy finished asking, the girl hummed, and the boy chuckled.
The girl protested, her voice was still sweet and delicate.
“Your hands, they’re moving around.”
“Where did I move, here, here?” The boy’s voice was even deeper.
“Ah, Chi Zheng.”
“I am shy.”
The boy lowered his head slightly and said two words in the girl’s ear. The girl blushed and rubbed against his chest to bury her face even closer.
At that time, the breaths around her seemed to slow down.
Meng Shengnan didn’t hear what he said at the end, just listening to it made her flush and heart beat fast. For a moment, she felt that she was sick. How could she come here like a fool because of the words of a girl? Did she really want to verify that the person she was waiting for was the same person she occasionally thought about, the same person that she anticipated to meet every time she went to guitar lessons?
Almost immediately, she turned around and fled.
[Translator’s Note: My heart broke a little TL-ing this chapter for our FL. Unrequited loves are too difficult! One day we will make ML pay!! (Just kidding or am I not?)]