Saturday, December 17, 2011

[Translation] Chapter 2(5) of Sealed with a Kiss Novel

      我点点头。
I nodded my head

他似乎停了几秒钟,最后说:“那就这样吧,我搭地铁回去。”
He paused for a few seconds and said, “Okay then, I’ll take the subway home.”

“那我也走了。”
“I’m going to go then.”

“再见!”
“Goodbye!”

“再见!”
“Goodbye”

我转身一个人慢吞吞朝前走,把双手都搁在大衣口袋里。一边是蛇油的瓶子,硬硬的;另一边口袋里则是那只纸鹤,软乎乎的。走了没几步忽然听到有人叫我的名字,我扭头一看他不知道什么时候追上来,还冲着我一笑,露出整齐雪白的牙:“忘了跟你说,明天新年快乐。”
I turned around and slowly walked forward with both my hands hidden in my jacket’s pockets. One side felt hard with the bottle of snake oil while the other pocket contained the Origami crane lying softly in my hand. After a few steps, I suddenly heard someone called out my name. I swung my head around and saw Xiao Shan running after me with fat smile and neat row of white teeth on his face. “I forgot to say to you ‘Have a Happy New Year Tomorrow.’”

今天是除夕了,我于是也释然微笑:“新年快乐。”
Today was New Year’s Eve. I finally loosen up with a smile. “Happy New Year.”

我站在那里看着他转身离开,汇入行色匆匆的人流。他步子迈得很大,走得很快,虽然天气阴沉沉的,但我总觉得云隙里有一束阳光是打在他身上的。让他熠熠生辉,在那样多的行人中间,能让我一眼看到他的背影。
I stood there watching him turn around to leave, disappearing into the mad rush of the crowd.  He strode with great speed. Even though the sky was gloomily depressing, I still felt a beam of sunlight in between the clouds shining on him, illuminating a glow. It allowed me to trace his silhouette even in the mix crowd of people

那天我一个人在街上逛了很久,直到黄昏快要天黑的时候才回到舅舅家。舅妈在做饭,舅舅在厨房里给她帮忙,表妹歪在客厅沙发里看电视,这样和美的家庭气氛,越发让我显得格格不入。我到厨房跟舅舅舅妈打了个招呼,就悄悄回到房间去。
I wander in the streets for a long time that day and didn’t return to uncle’s house until dusk when the sky had already started to darken.   Once inside, I saw Uncle’s wife cooking while he helped her in the kitchen and my younger cousin slouching on the sofa watching TV. My sense of alienation grew even more poignant against this cozy family atmosphere. I went to the kitchen to greet my uncle and his wife, and then silently returned to my room.

我把纸鹤从大衣口袋拿出来,它已经被揉得皱皱巴巴,我把它的翅膀重新捋平,夹在日记本里。我不想写日记,所以只用笔在纸鹤上写下了今天的日期。
When I took the Origami crane out of my jacket’s pocket, it was already crushed with wrinkles. I tried to flatten out its wings by sliding it within the pages of my diary. I didn’t feel like writing in my diary, so I just used a pen to write today’s date on the paper crane.

“生日快乐,童雪。”
“Happy Birthday, Tong Xue.”

我在心里对自己说,客厅里电视机的声音很大,卧室窗子正对着小区的车道,有车子正驶进来,模模糊糊的声音,周遭的一切都嘈杂而琐碎。这是我十六年来独自度过的第一个生日,没有蛋糕,没有礼物,没有父母的祝福与温暖的笑容。可是以后的生日,我都要自己一个人过了。
In my heart, I uttered those words to myself.  The sound of the TV in the living room roared loudly coupled with the indistinct sound of a car driving by my bedroom’s window, which faced the street of this residential district, disrupted my surrounding with a mix of bustling and indiscrete broken noise.  For the first time in sixteen years, I had to spend my birthday alone. There was no cake, no presents, no good wishes, and no warm smiles from my parents. From now on, I would have to spend all of my birthdays alone like this.

开学后我们的《威尼斯商人》以微弱票数,输给了另一个小组的《罗密欧与朱丽叶》,演朱丽叶的是林姿娴。林姿娴人如其名,姿态娴雅,美丽大方。是我们班的英语课代表,曾经代表我们学校参加全市的中学生英文演讲比赛。还有人说她就是校花,但我们学校漂亮的女生颇有几个,所以校花到底是谁,就一直没有定论。但她演的朱丽叶让全班都拍红了巴掌,实在是精彩,风头把演罗密欧的那位男同学完全压了下去。后来英国老太太强强合并,重新调整人员排了《罗密欧与朱丽叶》,萧山演罗密欧,林姿娴仍旧是朱丽叶。这出剧当年颇为轰动,俊男美女,优雅标准的英文发音,一度两年间在本校的外宾来访、友好学校联谊时,成为表演的保留节目。
When school resumed, our Merchant of Venice group lost to the Romeo and Juliet group in a slim margin of votes.  The girl who played Juliet was Li Zixian [12]. True to her namesake, she was elegantly refined in manner and physique, a real beauty with a generous heart. She was the model student of our English class and once represented our school to take part in the Municipal English Speech and Debate Competition for secondary schools. Some said she was the “flower of our school” (meaning the most beautiful girl on campus), but there were quite a few beautiful girls on campus, so it was difficult to label in absolute term who was most beautiful. But her performance as Juliet excited the whole class in loud cheers. It was utterly speculator. She completely stole the spotlight away from the boy who played Romeo.  Later, the English old lady consolidated the strongest performers into a group and reorganized all the players to completely act out Romeo and Juliet. Xiao Shan became Romeo and Li Zixian retained her role as Juliet. After its official release, this play stirred quite a sensation since it was filled with handsome boys and pretty girls and their elegant articulation in Standard English. For the next two years, it became the school’s must-have performance on its menu to entertain visiting guests and school liaisons.  

[12]The name “Zi-xian” is derived from two of the characters in the Chinese proverb “zi tai xian ya” which means elegantly refined in manners and physique.

我脸上的冻疮已经好了,蛇油非常有效,虽然味道有点膻膻的,但涂了几次后就见了效果,没等那瓶蛇油用完,我的冻疮早就无影无踪。新学期开始之后调整了座位,萧山不再坐在我后面了。下课十分钟他仍然见缝插针地去打篮球,他课余的活动也很多,跟林姿娴排练《罗密欧与朱丽叶》,参加奥赛培优……我的全部心思也都在学习上,下半年就要高三了。偶尔我还是向他借英语笔记,因为他写的笔记又工整又齐全,班上不少人找他借来抄。
The chilblains my face healed. Despite its rank odor, the snake oil was quite effective since I saw good results after a few applications. Before I used up the bottle, my chilblains had already disappeared. The class seating arrangement changed once the new semester started. Xiao Shan no longer sat behind me. He still capitalized on his time to play basketball in between classes. He also had packed schedule of extra-curricular activities: Romeo and Juliet rehearsals with Lin Zixian, training for the Olympiad competition… Since I was going to become a senior next school year, I devoted all my time in studying.  Occasionally, I would still ask Xiao Shan to borrow his English notes because his handwritten notes were neatly organized and legible.  Quite a few people in class asked him to copy his notes.

我最喜欢数学课,因为教数学的老奔最喜欢的学生就是我,而老奔最没辙的学生就是萧山。因为萧山数学成绩好归好,但却是不听话的学生。老奔一讲例题,就把我和萧山叫上去在黑板上先做解答。同一道题目,我们总会用不同的方法解出来。我的解答方式总是最稳妥的,而萧山的解答方式总是最简单的,他为了偷懒经常会用让人觉得异想天开的步骤,好比武侠里剑走偏锋的险招。而我循规蹈矩,出错的机率最小。老奔喜欢看我们两个同台竞技,如果我哪次比萧山解得好、解得快,他就会笑逐颜开地夸奖我。要是萧山解得快,他就会负手站在一边,看我奋笔疾书解答步骤,仿佛武侠小说里的老怪,唯恐得意的弟子输给了旁人。其实我也喜欢和萧山一起做题,并肩站在黑板前听指端的粉笔吱呀吱呀,眼角的余光瞥见对方一行行换算正飞快地冒出来,胸中萌生一种齐头并进的快感。我总是一心想要赢过他,但大多数时候我们平分秋色,偶有胜负也是他赢我更多。
Math was my favorite subject, because I was the math teacher’s (Lao Ben) favorite student. And the student whom Lao Ben felt most helpless about was Xiao Shan. Even though Xiao Shan had excellent grades, he was also a disobedient student. Whenever Lao Ben gave a math example, he would always ask Xiao Shan and me to go up to the blackboard to solve it. We always used a different method to solve the exact same math problem. I always gave the safest solution while Xiao Shan’s solution was always the simplest. To save time, he always used the most audacious steps that others least expected, like the risky and dangerously edgy sword techniques in the wuxia world. As for me, I tended to follow standard procedures with the lowest risk of errors.  Lao Ben loved to watch us compete simultaneously in our math solving techniques. Whenever I solved a math problem faster and better than Xiao Shan, he would always openly praise me with a smiling face. If Xiao Shan answered the problem faster than me, he would stand on the side with his hands clasped behind his back and watch me write out the steps to the solution in a vigorously spirited speed, as if he was one of the old eccentrics in a wuxia’s fiction fearing his discipline would lose the battle to an opponent.  Actually, I also loved to solve math problems with Xiao Shan, both of us standing side by side and shoulder to shoulder in front of the blackboard. The sound of the sharp scraping sound of chalk against the hard surface, the image of other person’s rows of calculation gradually flashing before the corner of our eyes, this whole experience created a sense of intense camaraderie and rivalry to launch forward and pleasant sensation sprouted out of my chest. I was always mentally determined to beat him, but we mostly ended in a stalemate. Even in the few instances where a winner emerged, he won more often than me.

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