To my SWAK novel readers, I apologize for my lack of update in translation work. I suddenly had the urge to translate another small piece of the novel. Hope you all will enjoy reading this! If you've forgotten what you read last, you can check out the previous chapters on the Current Projects page.Next chapter has more Mo Shaoqian! Yay for me! I'm so unmotivated to translate the Xiao Shan's parts.
One time when we finished solving the problem, we both return to our seat. Lao Ben said in a very pleased matter, “We just need to pair them up and we’ll have the perfect solution.” He used the wrong word choice and the whole class roared into laughter. I blushed red to the tip of my ears and did not dare to raise my head for the rest of the day. These words spread in our class for the longest time, even others outside of our class heard these “famous” words that came out of Lao Ben’s mouth. However, not many of our classmates would tease Xiao Shan and I about this incident. I assumed they thought we did not suit each other at all. Xiao Shan was outgoing and smart while I was the typical average good student. Quite a few people actually teased Xiao Shan and Lin Zixian. The girls would always tease Lin Zixian, “Oh Juliet, where’s your Romeo?” Sometimes when a group of boys and Xiao Shan stood in the hallway and see Lin Zixian come down the staircase, the boys would rally up to tease “Oh! Juliet, Romeo is here!”
Lin Zixian was very graceful and open-minded. She never took offence to the teasing. The most she ever did was titled her face upward to give those boys upstairs a gentle smile. She had a great personality. Her temperament was warm and kind. She befriended many people. Not only did she have a ton of female friends but countless guys became very good friends with her.
On Xiao Shan’s birthday, he treated the whole class to Pizza Hut because he won the prize for the Olympiad competition. The head-teacher of the class was absolutely ecstatic. He felt Xiao Shan would be guaranteed admissions into a prestigious university. So he decided to give everyone a break and we all went out for a meal. It was the most lively class gathering, even more animated than our hot-pot gathering after the end of college entrance exams. Because it was only our second year in high school , we all wanted to have a good blast before our dreaded senior year crams for the college entrance exams. It was rare to have a small break from the harsh monotony of our study cram.
 High school in China is only 3 years.
After we finished eating at Pizza Hut, the head-teacher of our class and a few other teachers left. We all decided to quietly go to a barbeque restaurant, not to eat but more for drinking. The boys secretly took a sip of bear here and there while the girls drank coke. I don’t remember what I ate that day, but I remember a fellow classmate whose nickname was “Monkey” persistently insisted that Xiao Shan drink with him. Xiao Shan was forced to consume quite few drinks and finally resisted at the impossible situation. Lin Zixian intervened to help Xiao Shan out. “Don’t push Xiao Shan to drink anymore. Otherwise, he’s definitely going to get drunk.”
侯玉冬一脸痛苦状捂住脸：“O Romeo, Romeo! Wherefore art thou Romeo?”
Hou Yudong, with a face full of agony, muttered “O Romeo, Romeo! Wherefore art thou Romeo?”
Everyone burst into laughter at Monkey’s strange accented tone. Monkey said, “If Romeo can’t drink, Juliet can! Why don’t you help him drink this?” When she was about to take the beer glass, Xiao Shan took it away. “It’s fine. I’ll drink it.”
Xiao Shan tilted his head back and slowly gulped down the glass of beer. All the girls clapped with their hands and the boys also whistled in awe. After Xiao Shan finished, Monkey smiled sly and wrapped his arm around his shoulder, “Good, this is what we called ‘good character’”
I sat in a corner eating the grilled chicken wings. It was so spicy I was forced to gulp down one cup of water after the other, and slowly felt my stomach in pain.
It got quite late when everyone split up that day. Everyone departed in groups of three to go home together. I did not live close to anyone, so I just wanted to rush to the subway station to catch the last train home. Surprisingly, Xiao Shan caught up to me and said, “I’ll go with you.”
I asked,” Don’t you live on the west side?”
He said, “My parents are back, so I’m going home.” He hurried me, “Let’s go quickly! Otherwise, we’ll miss the last train.”
We madly ran like the 100-meter sprint to the subway station. While we walked down the staircase, we could hear the loud rumbling noise of the approaching train. We both ran for our life. When the tip of our toes touched the platform, we heard the peeping sound of the opening doors. Seeing that the doors were about to close on us, Xiao Shan shot like an arrow into the train passenger car and turned around to grab my arm and dragged me into the passenger car as well. I could sense the train doors closing behind me and my hair almost caught in between them.
My ears pressed against his chest. Under the soft fabric of his T-shirt, I could hear his pounding heart. Thump, thump, thump, thump… His heart was beating much faster than mine. Because we ran too fast, we both were trying to catch our breath. I could still detect the slight smell of beer on him. He was much taller than me. His breath was blowing on top of my head, inhaling and exhaling, gently blowing the strands of hair on my forehead. They trickled my face. I could feel burning hot from my ears to my neck. In those few seconds, I almost lost all my abilities to react and could only lift my head up. He was also staring directly at me. His pupils were deep black with brightness, like all the stars in the sky shattered into pieces and pouring down at me. I felt I was being showered with this shattered pieces of stars and didn’t even know how to breathe anymore.
I lost all track of time. Xiao Shan finally released his hold on me. But when his hands went free, he took the chance to grab my hand. I did not dare to raise my head and struggled for bit. But his grip was too tight. He said to me, “There’s a seat.”
I mumbled, “This is not right.”
“Yes.” He shot a smile at me and said, “We’re traveling the wrong direction.”
I could only stare in silence when I heard the announcement of the train stop. We were heading toward the wrong direction. I only concentrated on running, closely following him from behind, and hurriedly took my monthly pass to rush forward. I didn’t even realize he entered the wrong platform and just followed him in haphazard bafflement and got on the wrong train.
He seemed to be quite happy and gave a hearty laugh. I did not know the reason behind his happiness, but I would never forget the way he laughed that day. His brows arched wide, his face brightened with laughter. Under the white lighting of the train passenger car, his face felt a little blurry with lines of light and shadow. After so many years, his laughter still showed up in my dreams.