Les Interprètes Chapter 9

I remembered that I never mentioned this, but I talk in italics in parentheses. So within the book, as you see stuff like (this) that’s me talking and confirming stuff…sorry if that confused anyone but that is not in the original book format just to clear things up.

Cheng Jia Yang

I returned to the school, to get news of Fei. I called the Dorm Head and asked her to try to find Qiao Fei’s phone number, but there was still nothing. A little anxious, I asked her, “Are you currently on break?” (Like summer break, spring break)

“Not yet, but after the students finish taking the test they can leave the school. Who are you looking for?”

“Qiao Fei. French Department.”

“Qiao Fei went home.” Someone behind me said.

I turned, there were two girls, their hair wet. It looked like they had just returned from bathing. They looked at me, and nodded their heads, “Senior brother.”

“How did she go home? What time?” I asked.

“Monday morning. It was yesterday,” their expressions looked pretty curious.

“Ai ya, then what am I going to do?” I thought of something, it would just be a matter of asking for her address, “Last time, she took the interpretation job under me. Do you guys have her address? I have to give her some mail.”

“I have it, it’s here.” The Dorm Head said, “Her dorm registration form has it.”

I wrote down the address, Fei lived in the Dong Bei area in a medium-sized industrial city, I felt as if I was missing something. “Is there no phone number?”

“No. She didn’t leave a home phone number.”

It was currently Tuesday morning at 11:00 AM, so Fei had left already for a day and half, but before I left for Canada I only had two days. Nevertheless, two hours later I boarded the plane for Shen Yang.

After I got to Shen Yang, I had to take a train, but the train was unavailable that day, so I could only ride a long-distance bus. I rode with the goods of the business owners and peddlers in the bus. The smells permeated the bus that I rode for 3 hours. When it was almost nighttime, I finally arrived in Fei’s city.

Summary before you read the next part: Cheng Jia Yang finds Qiao Fei’s house, but she’s not in. Thus, he has to wait for a time…

I saw that people were coming. It faintly looked like Fei’s silhouette, her hand holding some object, and it wasn’t just one person.

I stood up and walked over.

By her side was a woman who was selling cigarettes. Fei supported her holding the smokebox. She wore a blue small dress, her black hair was tied into a ponytail, little like a prostitute, but more like a junior high school student.

I could see her clearly, she walked over to my side. She saw me, but maybe because it was too dark, she didn’t recognize me.

In a low sound I said, “Fei.”

She stopped, and turned her head, “My gosh, I was wondering how it could be you.”

Qiao Fei

Note: In Qiao Fei’s part, it’s just her responding to Cheng Jia Yang’s questions. She is the only one talking.

“Right this is my house, someone gave the house to us. This is my mom, right, she is deaf. My dad is also deaf. So at our house we aren’t comfortable with phones. He was hospitalized, and just went through heart surgery and came back from the hospital, I just cared for him.

Right, it’s because of this we need money.

No, no, I’m pretty good. This is nothing.

I missed my dad and my mom so I returned.

Really? You have been looking for me?

……

Do you need anything.

Oh.

I don’t know. I’ve never been a tourguide before.

How much money will I earn?

Oh. Then maybe I can try it. Yes, there is still next semester’s learning fees.

Can you give me the phone number of the travel agency? Ok, I will contact him.

……

How did you get here? Are you tired?”

Cheng Jia Yang

Fei’s mom brought me cold water, Fei talked to me while she helped her mom dry the cigarettes bag by bag. Before, I was always very curious what Fei’s household was like. She had a very high talent for language, a hearty and lively personality and a radiant beauty.

From what I could see this was a small room of 50 meters or so, besides the kitchen, the bathroom and the hallway. There were also two rooms, one big one small. The big room looked to be no more than 10 meters. Inside the room, it was extremely clean but very out of date, not to mention the lack of decoration.

Using sign language, Fei told her mom that I was her classmate.

I saw a photo of Fei and her parents on the wall, she was still very small, her hand held a big red plastic apple and she laughed brilliantly. She looked a lot like her dad.

Towards the touring work, after she knew what the assignment entailed, she became extremely enthusiastic. I gave her (if you remember last time, I talked about the Xiao Ping, Xiao Chao thing because Xiao Chao was the one who called Cheng Jia Yang but then afterwards, Xiao Ping was mentioned instead of Xiao Chao…well I can only assume that Xiao Ping and Xiao Chao are both in the travel agency…) Xiao Ping’s phone number and she put in her notebook.

I yawned, she asked if I was tired.

I shook my head.

She said, “I’ll give you some hot water, wash up, and then rest here.”

I shook my head again, quietly, but underneath I was very happy.

At her bathroom, Fei used a wooden board to cover the toilet, and filled a kettle full of hot water, as well as a blue wash basin full of hot water. To me she said, “This is where I wash my face, you can fill it with hot water when it gets cool, but don’t burn yourself.”

I washed my head and rinsed my body. I felt very indescribably tired. When I got out, Fei had already washed my T-shirt and my pants, and hung them in the balcony.

She walked over and put the dry washcloth on my head. I thought she would help me wipe some.

She said, “Today you can sleep in my room, I’ll sleep with my mom.”

I said, “Won’t this be intruding on you?”

“No problem. How could you not go to work? Did you run out?”

“I was just about to talk about this, I was afraid you had encountered a problem.”

She laughed, “The person who makes me have problems hasn’t been born yet.”

“Tomorrow I’ll go. The next day after that, I have to go to Canada.”

She looked at me, “Then sleep well, tomorrow I’ll send you.”

Fei put a new bedspread on the bed and I lay on it. I could faintly smell soap.

The second day I woke up and Fei and her mom had already prepared breakfast. Soymilk, fried dough sticks, mixed with tea eggs and bean sprouts. Fei’s mom gave us two tea eggs, that filled one with a fresh fragrance, and were pleasing to the mouth. Then, we all left Fei’s house. Her mom went to her street stall and Fei and I sat in on the train to Shen Yang.

I dazedly sat on the train, looking out at the landscape. The events that had passed these past few days, and what I had thought about (…wow), made me secretly shocked.

This was not fickle.

That afternoon, my heart had a hole after Ming Fang’s wedding, and by chance, Qiao Fei came to fill that gap. This young woman who had come into my life was too different from me, causing a big impact on me, as it was, my heart’s hole had been fully covered by her, occupying my whole heart.

My head only had her, when I left, I could not help but worry. In the end I still said, “You won’t be going to “Allure” again right?”

“No.”

She waved in my direction, her black hair blowing up, like the fluttering banner in the summer breeze.

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