When Ji Linqiu received a call, it was already ten o’clock in the evening.
“I can’t believe this,” he was working on his lesson plan as he held his mobile phone in his hand, “Brother Jiang, are you inviting me out at this hour?”
“Are you coming or not?” Jiang Wang said lazily, “If you miss it, you won’t have another chance.”
“Okay, where should we meet?”
Ji Linqiu capped his fountain pen, put on a coat, and went out to call a taxi.
The square was still brightly lit at the moment.
Dozens of staff members were checking the payment slips and inspecting the electrical circuits. Many vendors were also coming to replenish their goods or pack their things up after a short break.
“Looking for me only after the excitement is over.” Ji Linqiu pretended to be disappointed.TL/N: Teacher Ji you are so cute (,,>﹏<,,)
“I wanted to invite you after it was over,” Jiang Wang pointed to a distant stage with a smirk. “Let’s go up and have some fun.”
The guitar and microphones were all there, ready to be sung with whatever they liked.
Ji Linqiu didn’t have any plans to become a singer.
He just liked doing things that most ordinary people wouldn’t do.
He looked at the empty stage for a while, it was shrouded in darkness without any lights, and the people nearby were busy moving and unloading, no one would pay attention.
Ji Linqiu wasn’t a fussy person.
He walked up the steps with his long legs, strummed the guitar to test the sound, and sat on the high stool looking down at the empty audience below.
“What should I sing?”
Jiang Wang looked up at him and suggested, “Jay Chou released a new album, called ‘Seven Mile Fragrance’, or something like that?”
“You are quite trendy.” Ji Linqiu smiled, lowered his head, and plucked the strings. “I wrote a song, you can listen to it.”
Jiang Wang chuckled and looked at him carefully.
“Don’t talk about how long you’ll live, so as not to waste your years.”
“People chat and cling to each other, letting the bone soup simmer.”
“But my soul is too far away, floating on the water like the moon.”
“My emotions were in vain again, suddenly forgotten.”
A few clear and clean notes rang out, with a husky voice, deep and gentle.
Ji Linqiu played a simple melody on the guitar, with a few light chords, making it sound like he was singing acapella.
For the first time, he sat in the empty night and sang, facing the distance, and the incessant cicada cries.
“Sometimes I wonder when everyone closes their eyes and falls asleep,”
“Is the shape of the place that hurts quietly the same?”
“I want to hug it tightly, the place in my heart that has been frozen.”
“But I am restless, afraid of seeing the dawn.”
Ji Linqiu opened his eyes, his long eyelashes seemed to be shimmering in the dim light.
“All our choices are weaving the memories into a web of salvation,”
“Maybe if I took another step forward, I won’t need to run away.”
He finished singing and paused for a long time before putting the guitar back in its place, adjusting the stool, and slowly walking down.
“It didn’t feel like anything at first,” Ji Linqiu covered his face with the back of his hand, “But it’s still a bit embarrassing.”
Jiang Wang was still looking up as if looking at a rare place he would never reach.
“I don’t even dare open my mouth in a KTV,” the man stretched lazily. “Tone deaf, I don’t have as such a good condition as you.”
They seemed to have made a silent agreement to continue taking a walk together. Without anyone suggesting, they naturally walked leisurely along the edge of the square.
Jiang Wang couldn’t be bothered to think of a topic, and Ji Linqiu didn’t speak either.
After walking for almost ten minutes, Ji Linqiu looked at him again.
“How was the singing?”
“It sounded good,” Jiang Wang sincerely said, “the voice was nice, with a lingering tone, very pleasant to listen to. I won’t praise you anymore even if you ask me to.”
Ji Linqiu glanced at him and continued walking with his hands in his pocket.
After a few steps, he asked again.
“What about the lyrics? What do you think?”
“You are quite narcissistic.” Jiang Wang couldn’t help but tease him, but he also gave him a serious compliment,
“Although there’s not much lovey-dovey stuff, it’s very pleasant to listen to, and I like it a lot.”
Ji Linqiu seemed to have received an incredible evaluation and looked at his expression carefully.
“I already told you I like it.” Jiang Wang waved his hand, “If I praise you anymore, I’ll get embarrassed, spare me.”
Jiang Wang walked beside Ji Linqiu and felt that this buddy was also a philosophical person.
His childhood friend Yang Kai always liked philosophy. From small things like snow and blossoms to getting married and having children, he could always reflect on a lot of things, sometimes being too verbose to the point of annoyance.
Teacher Ji may have been philosophical for a while as well but, he found it was inexplicably good
He liked it very much.
The carnival opened on time the next day, and the flow of people was even more explosive than the first day, to the point that Jiang Wang had to call a team of security guards to patrol everywhere to prevent people from sneaking in through the gaps in the fence.
This small city was usually quiet as if all the young people and children had gone out, so how come so many people suddenly appeared for the event?
Ji Linqiu had a meeting and training during the day, so he couldn’t come to play.
Peng Xingwang ran around looking for him on high ground and was a bit disappointed in the end.
But kids always find a way, he specially picked several books that adults liked and carefully wrapped them in paper, along with a crispy fried cod fillet and ostrich skewers, asking Jiang Wang to deliver them to his teacher.
Jiang Wang was already tired from doing so much work, so he just left the work to his assistant secretary to handle and went to deliver the takeout prepared by the child.
Before leaving, he suddenly remembered something and went to the plum blossom cake stand and ordered a large portion.
The hawker then recognized him: “You! Aren’t you that person!”
The assistant was afraid that the hawker would grab Jiang Wang for fortune-telling, and prepared to intervene like a bodyguard.
“I still owe you three bags of cakes! You wait for me to bake them for you!”
Peng Xingwang was about to accompany him all the way to the car, but when he heard this, he said curiously, “Why three bags?”
“Brother, besides my share, who else do you want to give it to?”
The child was very vigilant about the fact that someone was fighting for his brother’s attention.
Jiang Wang didn’t bother to explain, he just reached out and took them when they were baked and tasted a few while they were still hot.
“No need to send me off, I’m leaving.”
Peng Xingwang exclaimed and realized what was happening a little too late.
“Eh? Didn’t you buy this for me?”
“You brought pocket money.“ The elder brother didn’t think there was a problem. One person swept away all three bags, “See you tonight, remember to go home early and do your homework.”
He drove away from the square, finally freeing his ears from the blasting sound that had been bombarding him all morning.
Jiang Wang had been pondering carefully about what Ji Linqiu meant by the word ‘alien’.
His soul lived in the year 2026 so he was able to see the world clearly.
Who doesn’t pretend to live according to the rules, forcibly conforming to the crowd for decades, trying not to reveal that they are different?
No need to pretend.
The old lady was as usual, heating water on the coal stove at noon, filling the entire hallway with the smell of sulfur dioxide.
Jiang Wang pinched his nose and knocked on the door, shouting like a child in a long tone.
Ji Linqiu took a while before opening the door, and his wrist was still stained with some fresh red ink.
“Yo.” He smiled, “Did Xingxing give this gift? Thanks.”
“Why can’t it be from me?” Jiang Wang was used to entering his room without hesitation, even changing into slippers like he was familiar with the place, “The child was afraid that you would not be able to go and be sad, so he bought whatever he saw.”
“It just so happens that I haven’t eaten either, so share some with me.”
Ji Linqiu was still correcting papers, busy with teacher evaluations and other things, and motioned him to eat first.
“I’ll join you in a bit.”
Jiang Wang wasn’t too polite, he went to the kitchen to find bowls and plates to help prepare the table.
After entering, he let out a sigh. “Why are they all disposable?”
The man poked his head out, “You don’t buy ceramic plates?”
Before Ji Linqiu could speak, he went to rummage through other cabinets.
“Wow, the cups are all disposable paper cups. Don’t teachers use insulated cups now?”
Ji Linqiu put the pen back and walked over, leaning against the wall to explain.
“Tea stains are hard to clean, and insulated cups get cold easily if left for too long. Disposable cups are convenient to use and throw away.”
“Really?” Jiang Wang took out several paper dishes and paper bowls, “Are you that busy?”
“Being a teacher is this busy.” Ji Linqiu said calmly “Keeping it clean and also saving time, there is no problem with that.”
Boss Jiang didn’t say anything, and by the time he brewed a pot of tea, he had set up all the takeout that the kid had asked him to bring. It was a decent lunch with meat, vegetables, and staple food.
If Jiang Wang hadn’t come, Ji Linqiu might have forgotten to eat until two or three in the afternoon.
He wasn’t used to being taken care of so attentively.
Jiang Wang ate slowly and calmly, even taking the time to pour tea for him.
“I thought you were living very comfortably.”
“It’s not too bad,” Ji Linqiu recalled something and sipped his hot tea slowly, “You respect teachers so much. Did you have any experiences in the past?”
Jiang Wang chewed on ostrich meat with some effort but didn’t avoid the question.
“Well, I was taken care of before.”
“I became a soldier at the age of fifteen. At that time, I had just finished junior high school. Nine years of compulsory education ended there. I really couldn’t afford to pay the tuition anymore.”
“My physical fitness happened to meet the requirements, and I had won awards in track and field. I was recruited into the army as a special enlistee.”
The man poured himself a cup of tea without looking at him.
“The notice was sent out saying that I am going to the north, where it can get as cold as minus ten degrees with heavy snowfall. Even the tips of your toes can be frozen off.”
“I was waiting at the train station, lost in thought when I happened to meet that teacher.”
“He recognized me and asked where I was going, then he took off his coat and gave it to me, saying that it was cold in the north and to take care along the way.”
Jiang Wang remembered something, and his tone gradually slowed down, as if he was admitting his mistake.
“I kept that coat for many years. At first, the sleeves were superfluous and long, but later I grew taller so I had it altered by a tailor, using the same fabric and the same buttons.”
“But one year, I accidentally fell into the water, and the old clothes couldn’t withstand the soaking. By the time it dried, it was no longer wearable.”
Ji Linqiu stopped moving, as if he could see Jiang Wang’s guilt, and said gently, “That teacher, you must miss them very much.”
Jiang Wang raised his gaze to look at him and smiled.
Thank you for reading! Ko-fi? ~旦_(^O^ )
Translator: asoc1a7 ꒰˶• ༝ •˶꒱
|↑1||TL/N: Teacher Ji you are so cute (,,>﹏<,,)|