February 12, 2022

Chapter 72: Clear-Headed

Something hot was surging in Zhang Zhiyuan’s chest. It made his heart beat faster, and his throat became inexplicably dry.

Whatever he wants to say, the emotion he wants to express is on the tip of his tongue, but there is always a hint of clarity in his mind.

“I, I…” He said, “I also think it’s best not to fall in love in high school.”

Zhang Yansheng’s mouth opened and closed.

Zhang Zhiyuan felt hot on his face, but still insisted: “Learning is more important. We only have more than 900 days.”

Zhang Yansheng stared at him for a few seconds, then suddenly covered her face.

It can’t be said to be a disappointment, she just thinks it’s… funny.

“You…” She couldn’t help laughing.

Zhang Zhiyuan was embarrassed and then he also thought he was funny. He wanted to hold back from laughing, but couldn’t hold it back, so he bit his lips hard.

The two of them laugh at each other in the night and under the lights.

When Zhang Zhiyuan said it, he was worried that Zhang Yansheng would be disappointed or something. But when he saw Zhang Yansheng’s laugh, he knew that she had completely seen through his forced turning point.

But she was neither disappointed nor angry, so she must also understand what the emotions in his heart were, and at the same time she also understood that what he said was right.

Zhang Yansheng was indeed in this state of mind at this time.

She didn’t expect that the young man’s mind would be so clear at such a hazy and charming moment, when he was in love with his first love.

There is no point in being angry. That little expectation fails, and all it brings is unstoppable laughter.

The two laughed enough, and Zhang Yansheng said, “You are right, so don’t have puppy love. Q University is still waiting for you.”

Zhang Zhiyuan looked up to the sky: “Don’t put pressure on me.”

Zhang Yansheng smiled again, and was about to speak, when suddenly a woman’s voice sounded behind him: “Zhiyuan.”

The atmosphere of hormones and youth was dissipated.

Two people looked over at the same time, and a middle-aged woman was crossing the small iron gate embedded in the big iron gate, and asked hesitantly: “Didn’t you say you’re going downstairs to take out the garbage? Why did you get here?”

Zhang Zhiyuan called her “Mom” and said, “I’m just talking about something with my classmate.”

The middle-aged woman looked over, and Zhang Yansheng called politely: “Auntie.”

The middle-aged woman responded and asked, “Why are you still out so late? What’s the matter?”

When the adult saw the two children outside at this time, she asked her. Strictly speaking, there was actually no problem with the content of her words.

The problem is her vigilant tone and cautious attitude.

Zhang Zhiyuan saw that the smile that had naturally appeared on Zhang Yansheng’s beautiful face had disappeared. Instead, it was replaced with a reserved and indifferent smile.

“Mom!” He said immediately, “We will finish talking soon, so you can go back first.”

Zhang Yansheng glanced at Zhang Zhiyuan, a little surprised by the toughness in his tone.

He said before that he was too aggressive when talking to Xu Lichen, but Zhang Yansheng didn’t really believe it. Because in their class, the girls basically have an impression of Zhang Zhiyuan as ‘tall, gentle, and handsome’.

In particular, he was extremely patient with Zhang Yansheng. The slower speed of speech and the lighter voice while discussing a topic make people feel his gentleness. It even reached the point where Zhang Yansheng felt that his character was a bit warm.

Now, it seems that he really has a strong side.

“We’re finished talking, I will go home now.” Zhang Yansheng still gave Zhang Zhiyuan face, and said politely, “Goodbye, Auntie.”

Zhang Zhiyuan said, “Be careful on the road.”

Zhang Zhiyuan’s mother asked in surprise, “You don’t live here?”

She thought that this girl, like them and a few other classmates, rented an apartment in Dongfeng Dongli for the convenience of going to school.

“No.” Zhang Yansheng replied, then raised her chin to look at Zhang Zhiyuan, “I’ll go now.”

Zhang Zhiyuan nodded.

Zhang Zhiyuan’s mother hesitated.

At night, such a beautiful girl is alone… As an adult, Zhang Zhiyuan’s mother thinks it’s best if someone can send her home, but as a mother, she doesn’t want her son to have more opportunities to be alone with the girl who came to her son after running around outside at night.

Just when she hesitated whether to send the girl by herself, the girl had already stridden across the small road.

The driver of a black Mercedes-Benz on the opposite side got out of the car and opened the door for her. Then, the car drove away.

Zhang Zhiyuan’s mother was even more surprised.

“Your classmate’s house conditions are pretty good?” she asked.

Zhang Zhiyuan made an “umm” sound and said: “Maybe. I don’t know.”

The high school students really do not pay attention to these things. Well, Mercedes-Benz is too popular, and Zhang Zhiyuan also knows it. But if Zhang Yansheng was to ride in the Rolls Royce or Bentley at home, he may not be able to distinguish the brand.

He doesn’t know and he doesn’t care.

The two walked back silently. Zhang Zhiyuan’s mother didn’t say anything, and didn’t ask Zhang Zhiyuan why he ‘threw the garbage’ outside the community.

There are some things that she knows in her heart, and if they are broken, they are not easy to deal with.

But she couldn’t help but say, “That girl is very beautiful.”

The corners of Zhang Zhiyuan’s mouth are hooked: “The boys in our class are always jeering, saying that she is the current school flower.”

The mother observed her son’s expression and said, “High school…”

Zhang Zhiyuan sighed and stopped: “I won’t fall in love. I have more important things to do.”

Zhang Zhiyuan’s mother believed him. When she was looking for her son and found him at the gate just now, she heard the last sentence Zhang Yansheng said, saying that she agreed not to fall in love, and said that Q University was waiting for Zhang Zhiyuan.

The words are quite pleasing to the ear, as if the two of them are indeed not secretly dating.

After taking a few steps, she couldn’t help but say again: “She seems to be a girl with a big temper. I didn’t say anything wrong just now, did I?”

The change in Zhang Yansheng’s attitude can even be felt by Zhang Zhiyuan, and of course she will not be imperceptible as an adult. She just thinks that Zhang Yansheng is a very proud little girl, and it is probably possible that beautiful little girls all have that air of arrogance — this is the general perception of parents.

Zhang Zhiyuan was silent for a while, and said bluntly: “Don’t do that to my female classmates in the future.”

Mom asked: “Do what?”

“Don’t guard against others like thieves.” Zhang Zhiyuan said helplessly, “Your son is only a baby in your heart, but he is nothing in the eyes of others. No one cares about it.”

Mother angrily said: “What are you talking about?”

But that kind of defense against others has become her instinct, and it is not something that can be changed in a few words. Zhang Zhiyuan said no more.

His mother said: “It’s not that you won’t be allowed to fall in love, but it can’t be now. When you get into the university, then we’ll talk again. In the three years of high school, the college entrance examination was a plank bridge crowded by thousands of troops and horses. An exam is a lifetime event and it can determine your life…”

These are all clichés, so Zhang Zhiyuan said: “I know, so you don’t need to say it repeatedly.”

“You children, you know that you have done things that always make your parents worried.” His mother said, “I have to go to your dean next week. This matter cannot be so qualitative. I heard from Li Shuqing’s mother that the boy in Class 8 has already been punished previously. Doesn’t this prove that he is a problematic student? Surely the responsibility cannot be divided in half by one person, so why should you be punished…”

Her son said, “If you only listen to me when I tell you not to call the police, then nothing will happen.”

His mother stopped, looking sad.

She also regretted it.

In her heart, her son is a ‘good boy’ who was beaten by a student from the same school. She must blame the other party, but she didn’t expect other people’s ideas to be different from hers.

The dean said that the video only showed that two students were talking, and then they clashed. At first, they pushed each other. Later, even though Zhang Zhiyuan was ‘beaten’, it could only show that the other child was fighting hard, but it does not mean that he is fully responsible.

So, he called the two students for questioning, wanting to ask clearly. But who knows that the two of them will say the same thing. After the dean counseled them for a long time, her son didn’t change his words. In the end, the responsibility was divided in half for each of them.

She regretted it to death.

Zhang Zhiyuan turned to look at her and saw the regretful and sad expression on her face. She has grown old very quickly in the past few years, and she has a lot of gray hair on her sideburns. She always said that she wanted to dye it, but she didn’t dye it, and she didn’t spend this money on herself for something unnecessary.

There are many things left at their home, so she didn’t want to rent it out, for fear that the tenant would ruin the house. Therefore, in the past three years, they had to bear the additional rent in Dongfeng Dongli. Because there are many customers like them who rent houses for their children to go to school, so the rent here has been high…

Zhang Zhiyuan walked back and put his arm around his mother.

He surpassed her in height when he was in middle school. He hugged her like this. Looking from behind, he thought she was a child and he was an adult.

“Don’t worry about it.” He said, “I have talked with our class head teacher and the punishment can be revoked. Our whole class has also talked with the dean and he agreed not to put it in my record as long as I entered the top class. It will be withdrawn for the reason that I had made great progress in my studies. So, don’t worry.”

In the dim night, there was the sound of the boy who was whispering.

“Why did you come down to find me? I only came down for a short while.”

“Didn’t you work overtime again today? Why haven’t you rested already?”

“I’ll go to bed later. I haven’t finished brushing up on a set of questions.”

“Don’t worry…”

The son is filial but tough: “You and I are the only two people in the family. Can you discuss anything with me before doing it?”

His mother said helplessly: “I know, ah…”

The two went home.


After the second class ended on Monday, everyone went out one after another, preparing to go to the playground.

Xu Lichen blocked Zhang Yansheng at the door of Class 2’s room. Under the sidelong gaze of the classmates, the two of them fell behind and talked.

“I went to the dean’s office after the first class.” Xu Lichen said, “It’s done.”

He took the initiative to take over all the responsibilities. The dean probably saw him so pleasingly for the first time. Even the words of educating him were more gentle than usual, and he smiled at him for the first time.

Xu Lichen got goosebumps.

Zhang Yansheng glanced at Xu Lichen.

Yi High School requires uniforms to be worn on Mondays.

Even if Yi High School is such a good school, the appearance of the school uniform can’t escape the look from outside, it’s so ugly.

Xu Lichen, who put away his hippie smile and was wearing a school uniform, was actually no different from other boys except for his handsome appearance.

Zhang Yansheng let out a “Oh” and said, “Okay. I got it.”

She walked out, but Xu Lichen grabbed her arm: “It was a fair deal.”

“You want to talk about it here?” Zhang Yansheng glanced at him, “…wait for me at the subway station after school.”

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