To Our Youth That is Fading Away: Chapter 4

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Hm… Zheng Wei… alcohol will totally fix your situation… but I’m sure we can all blame it on Ruan Guan. ^_^


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The first person to to return was Ruan Guan.  The moment she pushed the door open, she saw Zheng Wei, whose face was red from crying, sitting alone. She could not help but be surprised at Zheng Wei’s blank, sobbing gaze.

She quickly put a book down before walking over, “What happened? Who bullied you?”
Upon seeing seeing seeing a familiar face, Zheng Wei couldn’t have cared less that she hated Ruan Guan.

Her first reaction was to grasp Ruan Guan’s clothes tightly, saying, “Ruan Guan,  Lin Jing left!”
Ruan Guan’s worry eased. Earlier she had worried that Zheng Wei had been bullied, but she was actually crying over Lin Jing. Only after realizing this did Ruan Guan sit by Zheng Wei’s side, slowly asking questions. Zheng Wei had already run out of tears and her face was covered with dried streaks. She only continued to suck in air through her nose. She briefly gave Ruan Guan a brief description on what had just happened.
“Why? I don’t understand; what did I do wrong? Wasn’t it going well between us? He left so abruptly.  Fine, fine he can leave, but he has to say something. Ruan Guan, where do you think I went wrong?”
Ruan Guan felt very awkward. She didn’t know what to say.

She stayed with Zheng Wei for a while, listening to her ramblings of, “What should I do?”

Ruan Guan patted Zheng Wei’s hand, saying, “Just wait.” She then went to find something from under her bed, and she took a paper box from it. Zheng Wei had seen this box before, but she had always assumed it was for Ruan Guan’s books. Instead, Ruan Guan ripped it open after two or three tries and at the top of the box were some books, but when she took the books away and almost as if by magic, there appeared two cans of beer in her hands, she gave one to Zheng Wei and kept one for herself.
Zheng Wei was startled, and stared at her hard. She even forgot about sobbing. She and Ruan Guan squatted down together and used their hands to turn through the paper box.

Unconsciously, Zheng Wei said “Wow.”

Underneath all those books were just cans of beer. She looked at the beer and looked at Ruan Guan, not believing her eyes. So it was Zheng Wei who was too normal, and the people around her were abnormal… Why was it that in such a short period of time everything had turned around?
“Didn’t you ask me what you should do? In these kinds of situations I don’t know how to comfort you, this stuff is still the best.  What, you’ve never drunk it before?”
Frankly, at 18 years old, Zheng Wei had never drunk beer before. But of course, she wasn’t about to say this. When Ruan Guan’s words sunk in, she started trying to open the bottle, using her hand to turn the bottle tab.

“Why should I grieve? That’s only disturbing the peace!” Zheng Wei said.

When she finished speaking, she started chugging the beer bottle.
“Slow down, slow down.” Ruan Guan saw her present attitude.

She was not only quick to lose her temper but also quick to smile. But she, herself, was only an eighteen year old who just happened to be friends with Zheng Wei. Even though she had gotten relationship problems before, she hadn’t ever met a situation where any source of consolation was futile. So why not just have some beer in this situation? After one, the pain in her heart numbed, and once her head started aching,  maybe it would be easier to accept.
Zheng Wei’s relentless attitude when she was drinking alcohol, and her speedy chugging, led to Ruan Guan just drinking two mouthfuls when Zheng Wei flipped the empty bottle over and belched. She liberally reached into the paper box to grab some more beer.
“Ai, ai, restrain yourself, drinking just enough will be fine. Don’t drink too much or else that won’t be good,” Ruan Guan blocked her.

She pushed Zheng Wei’s hand away, “Stepmother! You’re being selfish, isn’t it just this small bit of beer? Someday I’ll repay you with car!”

Saying this, she opened the second can.
After she had drunk half of the bottle, she started rambling to Ruan Guan, talking a bit about her youth with Lin Jing. She explained how growing up in the single big courtyard, she was the matching half to the prince. Everyone older than her all loved her but she only liked to hang out with Lin Jing, the person who never hung out with her friends.

When little kids created havoc in the courtyard, the big kids would go out to have fun. It was only Lin Jing who stayed behind at his house’s patio watching over the misbehaving kids. His face was so handsome.

She didn’t know what time he began to have a place in her heart.

At school, she would solemnly declare, in front of many people, “Lin Jing, listen to me, I will marry to you someday.”

All the big kids laughed in front of her and Lin Jing also couldn’t restrain himself.

He would lower his head as Zheng Wei’s small bun-shaped head had a very serious expression. “To know that the famed Jade Small Flying Dragon wants to marry me is too fortunate, but Small Flying Dragon, you are still too young.”

While talking, Ruan Guan had also finished her can of beer and unconsciously grabbed another one.  Thus, she also began to ramble about the boy who had taught her to drink beer. He said that although beer might bitter and slightly astringent, one shouldn’t rush it down, but rather savor the taste with your tongue and gradually a feeling of fragrance and sweetness would appear even more so as if the tip of one’s tongue had grown a flower. When he got to this part his flower bloomed in her heart.

Both had been equally excellent students in high school and it was in this way that their hearts began to intertwine.  Almost everyone knew of their relationship and and even the teacher began to worry as she lived in the same home with the boy. They were only allowed to be together as long as their relationship would not impact their high school testing. But what could stop a 17-year-old’s young love?
She had never thought of testing into the same university, but the boy got into the top tier of colleges with high scores, also coming from a prestigious family while she would have gotten into the same tier if it hadn’t been for that one point that put her in the second tier of colleges.

So even if she had gotten into one of the the famed engineering colleges, they were still separated by 1000 meters. While separated, the two made a promise to stay true to each other, no one could change, and they could definitely see the clouds part and the sun rise. Thus, it was that the phone,  online chatting, and letters became their relationship.
“Just based on these connections plus the distance between you guys, aren’t you afraid that he’ll change his heart someday?” Zheng Wei was entranced and didn’t forget to ask questions.
Biting her beautiful lips, Ruan Guan said, “I believe him almost as much as I believe myself. Why wouldn’t I? Even if the end result cannot be changed,  by believing, isn’t it happier?”
Zheng Wei agreed reluctantly,  “Ruan Guan,  I am jealous of you.  You are prettier than me and smarter than me; even on the subject of love you understand more than me.”
Ruan Guan laughed, “Who can compete against the invincible Jade Small Flying dragon? It’s not only guys who like her, even I do.”
Zheng Wei grabbed Ruan Guan’s shoulder, “Since you have feelings for me then I guess I will accept. In this period of being without a boy, let us give each other mutual comfort.”
Ruan Guan raised her hand to her chest. “You have enough evil intentions.”
“Even if I am more evil I will never be able to beat your name. Frankly I have endured your name for a long time now–later I’ll just call you Ruan Ruan; this nickname is a lot better than your real name.”
Ruan Guan couldn’t help but laugh, “My boyfriend calls me that too. Okay then, call me Ruan Ruan. Names are just a source of identification.”
When Zhu Xiao Bei pushed the door to come in, she saw this scene: Zheng Wei and Ruan Guan were leaning on the bed and sat on the floor, their hands on each other’s shoulders. In front of them were also a few empty beer cans.
“Oh my, what happened here?” She walked over, while clicking her tongue. “Zheng Wei, your eyes are already pretty spectacular, you weren’t stung by a scorpion right?
Zheng Wei was feeling like a rebel today and patted the space beside her,  “Zhu Bei [1], sit beside me, here is some beer that we can’t finish. Quickly, let me drink with my left arm and hug you with my right.”
Zhu Xiao Bei scoffed. “This is probably the definition of crazy. Ruan Guan, you’re also acting crazy with her.” Saying this, she walked over to the paper box and took a can of beer from the paper box. “This is some great stuff,  even if it can’t compare to my Bei Dong region’s Gao fine grain wine,  but it suits the occasion.”
They say that three girls together make a drama and these three girls were no exception. After a while, the three girls could not stop their fits of laughter. Ruan Guan was a little better, but Zheng Wei and Zhu Xiao were laughing so hard that there were tears in their eyes.

A few minutes later Ruan Guan asked, “What are you even laughing about?”

Zheng Wei let out a “Hehe” sound and said, “I don’t know why I’m laughing about either. Zhu Bei is laughing, I’m laughing, hahaha. I saw you laughing and you looked funny so I was laughing at you, you beautiful flower dinosaur [2].”
She continued to laugh hard.
When she was tired from laughing, Zheng Wei said boldly,  “Talk a bit, what are your dreams? We are all young dreamers, Ruan Ruan you go first.”
“Me?” Ruan Guan lowered her head, “I don’t have ambitious dreams and I’m not asking for the best, I only ask for comfort. To bring up dreams, my only dream is to stay young, funny right? I don’t have any foresight on my older life.”
“Yes, I am the same.” Zheng Wei agreed,  “Sometimes I will walk along the alleys and see some old ladies walking, their whole face yellow, with bald head, and the ladies’ big stomachs. It was too terrifying.”
Zhu Xiao Bei said, “A girl’s youth is pretty short, after passing 25 years, she will begin to become old.  When we get to 30 years old the yellow flowered vegetables will cool, becoming old more quickly especially in my Dong Bei region, girls all marry early and become old very quickly, one of my cousins who is 23 years old has two children, which makes her seem like she is 32 years old.”
Zheng Wei patted her chest, “But young fresh-faced girls like us will continue to remain so young.”
Ruan Ruan said, “So my dream is to remain so young, stay happy, and die at my happiest moment.”
“You’re so dumb. To die at at your happiest moment is stupid. “ Zhu Xiao Bei said with disdain,  “My thoughts are that while we are still young and beautiful, my crush will tell me that he has loved me secretly and for a long time.”

When she was thinking thinking deeply, she began to feel the drunkenness settle upon her, and she began to laugh unconsciously.
“Small one, I didn’t think that you would play the game of secret admirer?” Zheng Wei grabbed Xiao Bei, “I hate those kind of people the most. You obviously have feelings for each other, but are still going around in circles. If you don’t say it, then who will know?”
“You won’t understand this then. Feelings are supposed to be hazy and only then will they have an aesthetic feeling. If I confess my feelings and others have complaints, I’ll be very miserable. But as long as I don’t say it, I can have hope forever and also dream. Things that may not be true make for beautiful dreams for that day, when he tells me that he has always loved me.”
“Then you just be an obscenity,” Zheng Wei said. “You can forever wait for the day that may not be true. Only until you guys meet after high school will you know that you missed your opportunity, only when he tells you then.”
“I agree.” Ruan Guan said. Zhu Xiao Bei kicked her, but Ruan Guan pulled free.

“Zheng Wei tell us your ambitious dream.”
Zheng Wei pulled her cheek. “Do you know the place called Wu Yuan?”
“I know, isn’t it just a famous canola flower place?” Zhu Xiao Bei responded quickly.
“Yep, it’s there. My dream is to go to Wu Yuan.”
Ruan Guan laughed, “If I remember correctly, Wu Yuan is at your hometown’s provincial border right? If you want to go there, it won’t be that easy. Xiao Bei, do you have any dreams of what you want to become?”
“Yes, yes, to not be sober.” Zhu Xiao Bei said.
Zheng Wei waved her hand, “You guys don’t understand. Wu Yuan doesn’t count as very far from my home and I haven’t been there before, but from a young age I always heard my mom say that Wu Yuan has a small village called Li Zhuang and that was where my mom met her first love, but also where she had sent off the person she loved. When she was younger, it was under those trees that she had experience all her love and joy. It’s so romantic. I’m always thinking about that old tree in my heart, seeming as if it’s right in my heart, so I have to go to Wu Yuan to find that tree. Of course, I won’t go alone―I’ll go with someone I love, and who also loves me back. Let the old tree be a witness to my love.

Then, her happy face dimmed down a little and she said sadly, “Originally, I had thought that I could go to the forest with Lin Jing, but now I don’t know.”
“What are you guys doing?” Zheng Wei’s words were interrupted by the door.

Li Wei Juan and He Lu Ya fellow students came back. When He Lu Ya saw their state of disarray, she became very surprised and her mouth opened.

But Li Wei Juan stamped her foot and said, “You three are actually drinking in the dormitory? How did it become like this? If the teacher or the Dormitory Inspector finds you guys they won’t be able to believe the situation. This is too humiliating!”
Zheng Wei crooked her mouth, “Even if the teacher comes, the one who is burdensome is us three. How did this become your problem? Why are you jumping around so angrily?”
Zhu Xiao Bei dusted off her butt, standing up, “Li Wei Juan, it seems to me that the Dorm Leader isn’t you right now, so it’s not worth it to share your heart stories. Do what you’re supposed to do and what you need to do. We’ll worry about what we’re doing. Just turn a blind eye.”

Only Ruan Guan lowered her head, clearing the empty cans from the floor, “Guys stop bickering, okay?”


[1] Zhu Bei- Since pig (zhu) is a homophone for Zhu Xiao Bei’s surname, Zheng Wei is also calling Zhu Xiao Bei a pig.

[2] Beautiful Flower Dinosaurs: Chinese slang for a very pretty Chinese girl or person.

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