After the autumn rain, the air was cool and moist.
Last night, it was Qin Ying’s shift. Today, it was her day off. When she returned in the morning, the two kids had gone to class already. Even more, they ate at lunch. Therefore, she bought streaky pork for tonight and cooked a good dinner for the children.
This day, Zhen Pingjin returned home early as well. He washed his hands and sat at the table, casually asking about his younger son’s studies. He suddenly heard a weak and soft voice, however.
Compared to his younger son, he didn’t like his older son as much. Although he had good grades and was well-behaved, he had a weak personality. Every time he heard him whispering like a mosquito, he had to hold in the urge to hit him.
The atmosphere on the dining table slightly changed. Zhen Pingjin had a cold face and said, “Repeat. I didn’t hear it.”
Qin Ying knitted her eyebrows too.
Zhen Youxiu looked at his brother who was fiddling with his rice with chopsticks. He uneasily looked at them and said, trembling in fear, “I, I want to transfer schools…”
“Someone bullied you again?” Qin Ying asked, “What’s the matter? I’ll go talk to your teacher.”
Zhen Yuanbai hurriedly denied. “No, no one bullied me.”
I…had injured someone and made them lose a lot of blood.
The most important point was that the person was incredibly scary. People gave him the nickname “Unoffendable”. Without a doubt, when “Unoffendable” comes out of the hospital, he would definitely beat him to death. He could already imagine the hell-like days he would experience in the future.
But he never got in trouble as a kid. He didn’t dare to tell them about this at all. Seeing that his parents were about to discuss who was going to the school to ask about the situation tomorrow, he felt goosebumps all over his body.
“Unoffendable” was injured outside of school. Zhen Yuanbai called the ambulance and hid to the side while waiting for him to be carried away by the ambulance. Then he ran home. If his parents decided to go to school and ask about it tomorrow, maybe everyone will find out about this.
When the time comes, everyone would know that he caused “Unoffendable” to be injured. Without him making a move first, his group of friends would’ve beaten Zhen Yuanbai up first.
Zhen Yuanbai’s heart thumped rapidly and he looked back and forth between his parents. When they mentioned going to school, they weren’t willing either. They started to toss the responsibility on each other. Zhen Yuanbai was too weak. Zhen Pingjin and Qin Ying both believed that it was humiliating to help their child settle down a bullying matter. They would rather Zhen Yuanbai bully others and make them cry. They would even pay for the medical expenses for him.
Zhen Yuanbai could tell that he could not transfer schools. He didn’t dare to mention more and hurriedly said, “I’m not transferring. I just…think the teachers aren’t doing a good job at teaching. That’s, that’s all.”
Zhen Yuanbai was at Shengyi High School. He didn’t dare to talk about the others, but at least in this city, whether it be the learning environment or the qualifications of the teachers, it was top-notch in the school.
While the three were strangely silent, he took a few bites of rice and then quickly ran back to his room.
The door closed but Zhen Yuanbai’s heart thumped rapidly and constantly still. He was afraid of causing trouble. Whenever he encountered the bullies, he would hide when he could. He would endure the teasing when possible as well. But he didn’t know what got to him today. When Shi Bufan was on his skateboard and teasingly called him “fool”, he suddenly had an evil idea. While Shi Bufan was sliding down the road, he pushed him off.
He didn’t know what gave him the guts to do this up to today still.
It was just an indescribable urge.
He sat there for a while, remaining puzzled. His mind played the scene of the puddle of fresh and bright red blood Shi Bufan laid under, over and over. That stopped when Zhen Youxiu came over and knocked on his door. “Mom wants you to take a shower and sleep.”
“I know.” Zhen Yuanbai quickly replied. When there was no movement outside, he opened the door and rushed to take a quick shower.
The moment he walked out, he met his brother’s investigating gaze. His heart thumped rapidly again. “What’s the matter?”
“Did you cause trouble?”
Zhen Youxiu and his personality were of two extremes. Although he didn’t cause trouble, he wasn’t afraid of it. Plus, he was steady and calm since he was a child. His father frequently said that Zhen Youxiu was someone who would do great things in the future. Usually, at this time, he would take a look at Zhen Yuanbai, then resentfully sigh.
Zhen Yuanbai heard this and immediately straightened up. He said, “Nonsense. I didn’t.”
Zhen Youxiu was younger than him by three years. He wasn’t as tall as him right now, so he wasn’t scared of him. He reprimanded. “Don’t criticize what an adult is doing when you’re a child. Go back and sleep.”
Zhen Youxiu raised his eyebrows and watched as he returned to his room.
Zhen Yuanbai laid in bed and rolled back and forth. His heart felt tormented. He finally slept for a while but then a sudden scary thought flashed through his mind. He quivered and woke up.
Although no one saw that he was the cause of Shi Bufan’s accident, he knew though! Wouldn’t he call the teacher and complain about him? Then the teacher would call his parents. From this, wouldn’t his parents be called to school tomorrow?
Zhen Yuanbai’s body was covered in cold sweat.
He brought his phone over and looked at the time. It was already midnight. Usually, at this time, there was no way Shi Bufan wasn’t awake yet. Unless he…
Zhen Yuanbai couldn’t sleep even more now. He flipped back and forth, his mind on the accident. The wind blew at the curtain and he could feel Shi Bufan’s ghost coming to find him.
He opened the lamps and panted heavily under the blankets. Then he climbed out of bed and rummaged through his piggy bank.
He wasn’t an extravagant person. He would save whatever remaining money he had left over from his parents’ allowances and buying materials. He counted the bills on his bed and realized he had two thousand.
Zhen Yuanbai decided to visit Shi Bufan at the hospital. If he was still alive…he would go apologize to him and pay the medical expenses for him too. Hopefully, he wouldn’t be beaten to death.
He pulled the curtains open and looked at the pitch-black sky outside. His mind had been on Shi Bufan and there was no sign of sleepiness anymore.
Why didn’t his parents receive a call yet? Could Shi Bufan be unconscious still? He couldn’t have possibly died.
Zhen Yuanbai was guilty, restless, and frightened. He fell back asleep and had constant nightmares. For a while, he dreamed of Shi Bufan saying “give my life back”, and later on he would dream of Shi Bufan punching his face fiercely and gloomily. He had seen Shi Bufan beating someone up before. He was cruel and fierce with his moves. He looked murderous and reckless, like the birth of a demon.
When he saw this scene, he ended up having nightmares for a few nights in a row.
It was because of this that he never dared to offend Shi Bufan.
The sun was gradually rising. Although the alarm hadn’t rung yet, Zhen Yuanbai sat up on his bed. He hadn’t slept much the entire night but he wasn’t tired at all.
He must go to the hospital to verify whether Shi Bufan was alive or not.
The sound of him rinsing woke Qin Ying up. She opened the door and rubbed her eyes. “Smart one? Isn’t today Saturday? Why are you up so early?”
Zhen Yuanbai’s original name was Zhen Congming (Smart one). He had that name in middle school and it was because of this name that people gave him the nickname of “fool”. Zhen Yuanbai had cried several times and tried his best to persuade his parents to change his name. Finally, they did right before his freshman year. But in his new school, there were his middle school friends too. Zhen Yuanbai had good grades and this boosted his popularity. Therefore, the news of his name spread around.
Shi Bufan teased him because of this name too.
Zhen Yuanbai didn’t like this name. He gurgled and spit the water out of his mouth, correcting Qin Ying, “Don’t call me smart one.”
Qin Ying said, “It’s because your name is Cong Ming so you’re smart now.”
Zhen Yuanbai remained silent. He purposefully rinsed the toothbrush in the cup out loud as if he was protesting against her. Qin Ying scratched her hair and corrected herself, “How about Yuanyuan?”
Zhen Yuanbai then unwillingly replied. “I already made plans with my friends to go out and play today.”
“You have friends?”
Zhen Yuanbai knitted his eyebrows and began to wash his face. He softly said, “Of course.”
He pretended to carry his book bag and pushed the electric bicycle out of the house. After coming out of the elevator, he wore his dustproof mask and rushed straight to the hospital.
It was late autumn and it had been chilly in the morning recently. Zhen Yuanbai wore a thin jacket and pulled the zipper up completely. His slightly curly hair was blown behind his back. When he arrived, he parked the electric bicycle at the door and scratched his messy hair. He walked to the reception desk and asked, “Hello, which room is Shi Bufan in? He’s the one who was carried here from the south door of Sheng Yi High School yesterday.”
He had a doll-like face. His hair took after his father, naturally a bit curly. He looked well-behaved and shy. The receptionist at the front desk revealed a warm and friendly smile. After she found out, she even considerately pointed in the direction for him.
Zhen Yuanbai thanked her and followed her direction.
He hadn’t been to the hospital so he didn’t know that there were numerous patients waiting in line, no matter the day or night. It was always packed with people.
Zhen Yuanbai followed the crowd inside and walked to the instructed floor. His heart pounded quickly.
He already confirmed that Shi Bufan was alive. At the same time he was relieved, he felt his entire body aching. While thinking about whether Shi Bufan would push him against the wall and beat him in the hospital, he cowered at the closed door. He stood on his tippy toes to look through the glass window of the door.
He saw Shi Bufan’s…long legs. It should be Shi Bufan. He wore a patient’s clothes and was leaning his legs against the small table on the bed. Zhen Yuanbai believed that other than a school bully like him, no one would dare to prop their legs against the table. What an arrogant person.
But since he’s awake, why didn’t he call the teacher to talk to his parents?
It seemed like only Shi Bufan was in there.
Zhen Yuanbai had an inner battle with his mind and still didn’t dare to open the door. After standing for a while, a tall male doctor walked over and smiled at him. “Hey kid, you’re here to visit your friend?”
Zhen Yuanbai hurriedly stood to the side and nodded hesitantly.
“I already contacted his parents through your school. But they aren’t here yet. Well, you got the news quick.” As the doctor said this, he opened the door and said to the young man laying on the bed and crossing his arms over his chest, looking at the ceiling, “There’s a kid here. He should be your friend. See if you recognize him or not.”
Zhen Yuanbai stood at the door, not daring to walk inside. The doctor waved at him and said, “Here, come in and close the door.”
Zhen Yuanbai shifted step by step slowly and hesitantly, carefully walking into Shi Bufan’s line of sight.
Shi Bufan’s indifferent gaze landed on his face and he subconsciously lifted his hand, greeting him robotically like a “lucky cat”, “Hi…”
“Who are you?”
Zhen Yuanbai was confused.
The doctor sighed. “It seems like he doesn’t recognize anyone.”
Zhen Yuanbai looked bewilderingly at the doctor. He gradually widened his unbelievable eyes after hearing his explanation. He controlled his trembling hands due to excitement behind his backpack. “So, you’re saying…he lost his memory?”
The doctor nodded and asked Shi Bufan a few more questions. Before he left, he said to Shi Bufan, “Today is Saturday so you guys probably don’t have class. Stay with him for a while. I already notified your teacher and they should be coming in a while.”
Zhen Yuanbai couldn’t control the corner of his lips curling up. He nodded firmly and said, “Ok, thank you, doctor.”
There were only two people left in the room quickly. Zhen Yuanbai clutched the strap of his backpack and heard Shi Bufan asking calmly, “Who are you?”
“I…” Zhen Yuanbai’s mind turned quickly and he said, “See, I’m the first one to visit you, so I’m obviously your great friend.”
Shi Bufan looked up and glanced at the hard to cover ecstasy in his eyes. He raised his eyebrows and said, “Oh?”
A good friend would be happy at my memory loss?