Book 1 Chapter 205 - Time for Graduation Has Arrived
It's only after the May 1 Labor Day vacation that Bai Luoyin and Gu Hai return to school.
At this time, the atmosphere inside the classroom is full of the smell of gun powder as if in a battlefield. Girls that used to like to show off their beauty now come to class without even combing their hair. Boys that used to be unable to keep still now all become honest. Even the ones who used to lie on their desks and sleep all the time now sit up straight. Thus, when Gu Hai and Bai Luoyin leisurely walk into their class, they are instantly viewed as different.
"Huh... Didn't you immigrate abroad?" You Qi looks at Bai Luoyin with a surprised face.
Bai Luoyin moves the corners of his mouth, "Immigrate? Who said I was immigrating?"
"How can you believe in his words?"
"Then where had you been all this time?" You Qi asks.
Bai Luoyin doesn't want to answer the question and so switches the topic.
"Oh yes, I heard you had an interview exam at Beijing Film School. How did it go?"
"I passed it." You Qi says without much expression, "Now I'm just waiting for cultural studies exam."
Bai Luoyin shows excitement on his face. "Way to go, young fella. I heard the exams are even more difficult to get into Beijing Film School than Tsinghua University. How did you do it? Isn't it said that you should have connections and you have to spend a lot of cash?"
"I'm also wondering about that. I just went to the exams trying my luck and didn't expect I can get in at all. But then a teacher got interested in me at the initial exams. Later he kept contacting me and gave me instructions for free. When the exam result came out, I didn't go check it out. It was the teacher that called me to inform me about it. I didn't believe it at the time. After the third round of exams, I started to prepare seriously. Even though I didn't expect too much, I still passed. Honestly, I'm quite surprised."
Seeing You Qi's spirited face, Bai Luoyin is very happy for him from his heart.
"Remember to give me your autograph on the graduation day. If you get famous one day, I can sell it for a decent amount."
You Qi laughs, "Don't say that. We will still keep in contact later. Even if I become a big shot, I won't look down on average people like you." After this, he takes out a tissue to wipe his nose.
Bai Luoyin then looks at You Qi with a caring expression, "I really worry for you that your nose would run amok before you are able to finish a song on stage."
"Can you stop always making fun at me with this?"
Bai Luoyin just smiles without saying anything.
You Qi suddenly remembers something. He grabs Bai Luoyin's hand with an urgent expression.
"Yinzi, you have to help me. I'm really bad in cultural studies! Even though I've passed the interview, if I get eliminated because of not passing the cultural studies exam, it would be really regrettable. There is still quite some time before the college entrance exam. Could you tutor me please?"
"Sure." Bai Luoyin accepts without hesitation.
Just as You Qi was about to say a few words to express his gratitude, he suddenly feels his hand has a sharp piercing pain. Somebody has taken off a screw from the desk and threw it directly at the two hands that were holding tightly. It hit the target right on without mercy. The back of You Qi's hand now has a red dot from the hit.
Bai Luoyin's cold eyes sweep toward his back.
You Qi speaks up this time. "Oh yes, Gu Hai. I forgot to say thank you! I went for my interview a few days after you beat me up. I had bruises all over my face. The teacher at the oral exam thought that I had some kind of defective beauty. That made me stand out among the examinees and left a lasting impression on the chief examiner."
Gu Hai moves the corners of his mouth, "In that case, let me give you a couple more fists, and maybe you'll get a role call for filming a movie in no time."
After the school, without prior notice the teacher wants to have a talk with Gu Hai in private. Bai Luoyin stands right at the school front gate to wait for Gu Hai. When Gu Hai comes out, Bai Luoyin is sitting on the gate rail and smoking a cigarette. Gu Hai walks over and takes the half finished cigarette from Bai Luoyin's hand and inhales from it a couple of times in his mouth and then gives it back to Bai Luoyin.
The two of them took a bike to school together. It's been a long time they have had this feeling. Bai Luoyin stands on the back of the bike with his hands on Gu Hai's shoulders and looks at the paved roads getting shorter and shorter.
"Do you still remember? At the time we first got to know each other, you sat on the bike facing backward."
How can Bai Luoyin not remember. At that time, he found faults everywhere on Gu Hai. Now that he thinks about it, he doesn't understand. They were surely each other's worst enemies. How can they have developed into this kind of relationship? If there is a way for Bai Luoyin to get back to how he was while looking at the things happening right now, he would have shocked himself so much that the world would seem to have turned upside down.
Sometimes, the thing that we had least expected to happen turns out to have in fact happened in our lives.
"Tell me, how long do you think we can still ride on this bike?" Bai Luoyin asks.
Gu Hai faces down to take a look, "This bike is pretty sturdy. The only thing is that the chain is a bit rusty. After we're home, I can put some oil on it and it's as good as new. I estimate it can last a couple of years more."
"Who is talking about this?" Bai Luoyin almost chokes. "I meant to ask how long we still can ride on the same bike like this?"
"As long as you want." Gu Hai says happily. "If you want, once in college, I can still take you to and from school on the bike. Let's agree that you won't live in the dorm and will still live at home. It's not a problem even if it's far. In college, time is not as strict. We have plenty of time to spend on the road."
Imagination is always beautiful. But Bai Luoyin feels deep down that the time for them to ride a bike to school together only has twenty some days left.
Three days before the college entrance exam, the school starts its vacation.
Bai Luoyin wants to use a couple of free days to go back to his family. He would like to make them less worried about the exam. By chance he bumps into Yang Meng at the school front gate. They then walk together.
"Oh yes, I haven't asked you. What school and major you are going to pick?"
"Don't mention it." Yang Meng's face crumbles, "I've been so bothered by this matter."
Bai Luoyin takes a glance at Yang Meng, "Why? Did you set your goals too high?"
"My dad insists that I go to a military school. He said for generations our family has not had a soldier. He is expecting me to bring honor to the family. He also said soldiers' compensation is nice. They get jobs right after school. I couldn't dissuade him. So, while biting my teeth, I applied for them before other schools."
Bai Luoyin bursts out laughing, "What is your dad thinking?"
"How do I know? Whatever he thinks things should be, that's it." Yang Meng sighs. "What am I going to do if I really get in? Now I get scared everyday."
"Don't be like that at all!" Bai Luoyin pats the back of Yang Meng's head, "Rest easy. For sure you won't pass the military exams."
The two walk in silence for a while. Yang Meng then suddenly opens his mouth to ask: "Yinzi, what happened to you a while ago?"
Bai Luoyin doesn't know what to say.
"Yinzi, are you no longer treating me as your close buddy?" Yang Meng asks testily.
Bai Luoyin pauses his breathing and tightens his grip on Yang Men's shoulder.
"To be honest, after so many years, the only true friend I have left is you. The word buddy is not even enough to express how close we are to each other. I always see you as part of my family. But you also know that there are things you can't tell people that are close to you. Because I care about you, I'm afraid of hurting you."
"It's not a problem if you don't treat me as your brother." Yang Meng hit Bai Luoyin's shoulder while smiling, "It's not bad if we are good sisters."
Bai Luoyin, "... You make me think, if you take the exams for female soldiers, you probably will pass."
Yang Meng gets on Bai Luoyin's back and gives him a good beating.
The two of them part with each other at the entrance to the narrow alleyways. Yang Meng walks first into one of the alleys, then Bai Luoyin takes a few steps further and walks into another. While they're separated by a row of houses in the alleyways, Bai Luoyin suddenly hears Yang Meng shouting.
"Yinzi, you are my idol. You are the goal post of my life. No matter what you do, I always support you!"
The corners of Bai Luoyin's eyes become wet.
Gu Hai comes to open the front door for Gu Yang. After Gu Yang walked in, he expresses his surprise to find that Bai Luoyin is not there also.
"How rare this is! Only you are home?"
"Yep." Gu Hai has a unpleasant face. "He went back to his family."
Gu Yang asks haphazardly, "Have you eaten?"
"I've grabbed a few bites."
Gu Yang takes a cold glance at Gu Hai, "Let me ask a question."
"Go ahead." Gu Hai lights a cigarette.
"Are you living this life just for him?"
Smoke comes out of Gu Hai's mouth. His eyes seem honest and determined. He is definitely not half joking, "Not only for him, but also for myself."
"Do you have your own life view and values?" Gu Yang asks.
Gu Hai laughs coldly, "Why are you talking in the same way as Gu Weiting?"
"I'm just questioning what you said." Gu Yang narrows his eyes slightly. "I don't see at all where you're thinking for yourself."
"Thinking for him is the same as thinking for myself."
Gu Yang shows a superficial smile, "You can't be cured, Village Chief Gu."
"Still better than your unfeeling immorality, you impotent do-no-gooder." Gu Hai shakes off some burnt cigarette.
Gu Yang's face gets back to normal, "I'm not here to talk nonsense with you. The school I'm attending has a branch campus in Hong Kong. I plan to continue my study there. After graduation I'm also going to stay there for work for a while. I'd like to ask you if you would be interested in going to Hong Kong?"
"No." Gu Hai's reply is swift. "I can't leave Yinzi alone here in Beijing."
"When you're studying, don't think of much else." Gu Yang is objective. "How long you can keep your relationship can't be measured by the amount of time you spent together. If you're just going to abide by rules and attend the two schools you've applied, I really advise you not to waste your time. If you just want a diploma, I can get you one right away."
"Gu Yang, don't think that I should look up to you for everything just because I took some money from you. I know very well how much money you've given me. It won't be long before I pay you back every penny. Don't expect to constrain me with family ties and money. The path ahead of me, Gu Hai, is one that I blazed alone and not one that you guys paved for me."