Song Yan, let’s get back together.
Xu Qin woke up in the middle of the night, the dreaming version of her said this.
The conscious version of her was momentarily flustered by the words she had blurted out.
If he had agreed, what would happen next
Would she dare to let her parents know She wouldn’t dare.
Could they stay together for a long time Not necessarily.
She knew it was impossible, but that day she was like a crazy, drowning person who just wanted to grab onto her piece of driftwood, to save her from her withered life.
If rescued, could she really abandon her so-called former life and break off all ties with her family
Xu Qin knew the answer very clearly.
So when he rejected her, other than the pain and despair, there was some sense of safety and happiness from not needing to adjust her current situation.
She had always been torn between these conflicting views, she had never been resolute.
The night was silent, she thought, she must have looked so ugly at that time.
Song Yan must have clearly seen her ugly self under the mask, so he was disgusted and despised her; so he was unwilling to make amends with her, and didn’t even look back.
At three o’clock in the morning, she sat on the bed with chills along her arms.
The windows were open, and the night wind was too cold.
The weather in the north always cooled down unexpectedly quickly, without any warning.
Autumn was already here.
Otherwise, how could it be so cold at night.
Xu Qin was actually native to the south.
Before the age of ten, she grew up in the fertile region of Liang City.
Ever since she was young, she had a delicate and pretty appearance, with a fine head of hair, soft and supple with a natural flax color, resembling an exotic foreigner.
In the days when hair dyeing was just emerging, this was the envy of her classmates.
Even more enviable was her identity, the mayor’s daughter, how assertive that sounded; the daughter of a well-known sculptor, how romantic that sounded.
She lived in a large villa since she was little, listened to symphonies and looked at famous Renaissance paintings, studied piano and violin, and traveled all over the world, she was the proud daughter of the heavens.
One day, her good life suddenly started to break apart from the inside.
Mom and dad were no longer in love, quarreling day and night, mom screamed: “Liar, liar, I’m going to report you.” Dad snarled cruelly: “If we can’t continue on, just get a divorce, what exactly do you want to do”
Xu Qin didn’t know what her father had lied to her mother about, and she didn’t know exactly what her mother wanted.
She couldn’t make sense of any of these issues.
Her mother set fire to that happy home late one night, burning to death herself and her once beloved husband.
Perhaps she had also wanted to burn the fruit of their love –– Xu Qin.
But Xu Qin was rescued and sent to the orphanage.
The gossip was rampant in the school in the city, the expressions of the people around her became different, jeering at her with amusement.
The childcare workers and children in the orphanage didn’t like her, and spoke of her parents’ affairs behind her back like it was a joke.
Sometimes she would scream and fight with people, and was punished by the workers to stand, to work, to starve, and not allowed to sleep.
Her classmates at school also humiliated her: “Xu Qin, why doesn’t your family’s luxury car come to pick you up anymore” “Xu Qin, where did your Barbie doll go” “Xu Qin, how come you don’t wear calfskin boots anymore” Using the story of her parents, they made up a song and sang it while following her around, pulling her hair and tripping her with their feet.
She became more and more quiet, more and more like an invisible person who did not exist.
Until one day, Dad’s comrade-in-arms Meng Huaijin and his wife Fu Wenying appeared and said, “Qin Qin, we’re here to take you home.”
Twelve-year-old Meng Yanchen reached out to her with a warm smile like the sun: “Qin Qin, I’m your brother.”
At the age of ten, Xu Qin went to the far north.
Meng Huaijin treated Xu Qin as her own, and doted on her.
In his own words, he and Xu Qin were fated to be father and daughter in this lifetime.
Xu Qin loved her adoptive father like she loved her biological father.
Adoptive mother Fu Wenying also took great care of Xu Qin, but as Xu Qin gradually integrated into the family, the relationship between the two siblings caught her attention.
When Xu Qin first came to the Meng household, Meng Huaijin was busy with work and rarely exercised his control.
On the other hand, Fu Wenying’s natural disposition was haughty and strict.
She was a woman who believed in sticking to the rules, and strict training was unavoidable for Xu Qin who was not familiar with the rules of the family.
Xu Qin trembled day and night, fearing that Fu Wenying would be dissatisfied and force her back to the orphanage.
She didn’t dare to speak or leave the room, so Meng Yanchen would accompany her and watch her carve wood for what became countless days.
She didn’t dare make a sound at home for fear of disturbing Fu Wenying, Meng Yanchen would go up and down the stairs to open and close the doors making the house rattle; often getting scolded by his mother.
She was afraid to be a picky eater, afraid to choose things she liked, and afraid to eat too much for fear that Fu Wenying would think that it was too expensive to raise her.
Meng Yanchen would take her to restaurants, she ate until her belly was bulging and wiped the oil from her mouth before returning home.
She often had nightmares about the screams of her parents being burned to death, dreamed of being bullied, insulted, and ridiculed, unable to sleep at night.
Meng Yanchen would accompany her to draw and tell her stories.
Gradually, children grew into young boys and young girls.
Although the relationship between the two were very good, like real siblings, but after all, they were not real siblings.
As a mother, it was inevitable to worry about crossing the line.
One day, Fu Wenying proposed to go through formal adoption procedures and asked Xu Qin to change her name to Meng Qin, and to write it down in the household registry.
Xu Qin was unwilling, sat at the dinner table and wiped her tears, saying that although she loved Meng dad, she wanted to be named after her own father.
Meng Huaijin couldn’t bear it and suggested not to change it, saying that a surname was just a surname, even if Qin Qin’s surname was Xu, she would still be his daughter for a lifetime.
But Fu Wenying was very persistent on this matter.
Xu Qin ultimately agreed –– Meng Yanchen was the one who persuaded her.
A month later, when she was in high school, Xu Qin suddenly proposed to go to a boarding school.
Fu Wenying agreed.
She changed high schools and it was her first time staying in dormitories, the female classmates in the same dormitory were all from the same junior high school department of the school and were familiar with each other.
Meng Huaijin was afraid that she would be bullied, so the whole family sent her to school together.
Meng Yanchen also bought a bunch of snacks for the girls in the dormitory in order to buy their favor.
However, this yielded very little success.
Xu Qin didn’t like to talk, and lacked expression.
The girls in the dormitory made a lot of noise, so she naturally felt that she didn’t fit in with the group.
After her family members left, the roommates all gathered around a girl to look at the Sony player in her hand, they all asked if there were any good songs on the tape, and to play them out loud to listen to.
A girl kindly called on Xu Qin: “Meng Qin…” She turned around and saw the wine-red CD player on Xu Qin’s bed, and exclaimed: “This CD player is not sold in China.
God, this wine-red color looks even better than the one on the advertisements!”
The other two girls looked back towards her: “Can we give it a try”
Xu Qin nodded lightly.
“Hey, why is it all classical music”
“Nevermind, if it’s classical just let it be, let’s be more culturally refined.”
The three girls browsed through the discs in high spirits, Xu Qin observed their happy faces intently.
“Meng Qin, is your family very rich”
Xu Qin shook her head: “It’s just that Dad is willing to buy it.”
“Was that tall and handsome boy your brother”
Xu Qin was silent, and lowered her head to sort out the CDs that everyone had messed up.
“Can you introduce me He’s exactly the type I like.”
Xu Qin shook her head.
“Why not, don’t be so stingy.” The other party kept on asking.
Xu Qin raised her head and said seriously: “He won’t like you.”
The other party was flabbergasted, the entire dormitory looked at her in surprise.
“What are you doing”
“Yeah, saying that is going too far.”
“It’s just a joke, don’t introduce me if you don’t want to, why say hurtful things.”
Xu Qin held the box in her hand tightly and remained silent.
“Not even going to give an explanation, that’s too much.”
What was originally a smooth integration process fell to a freezing point just like this.
Xu Qin’s first dinner in the new school was eaten sitting alone in the cafeteria.
On the first day of school, she was still sitting alone in the corner.
The classmates around her all reunited with old friends, she changed school districts, so naturally no one paid attention to the new face.
The homeroom teacher’s surname was Lu, he allowed everyone to introduce themselves and ask questions.
Fifteen and sixteen year-olds were very noisy, they also all knew each other, leading to all kinds of strange questions.
For example, did you accidentally enter the men’s bathroom in junior high school, did you have a failed confession at the junior high school sports competition All kinds of awkward incidents were revealed.
The classroom burst with laughter.
After a whole class period of disturbances, the bell rang to end class, Teacher Lu asked: “Everyone introduced themselves right, then next time let’s––”
“Old Lu!” A male voice resounded in the back row of the classroom, arrogant and lazy, “That little kid hasn’t been introduced yet.”
Referred to as the “little kid”, Xu Qin turned her head slowly and looked back, in the last row sat a tall boy with a loose school uniform, one foot on a chair.
He tilted his head slightly, raised his right hand, and pointed his right index finger lazily at her.
The laughter stopped for a moment.
The gaze of the entire class followed his index finger to focus on her.
Xu Qin looked at him quietly, he didn’t have any superfluous expressions, his eyes were the same as hers, looking straight at her and probing.
Teacher Lu was very apologetic and let Xu Qin take the stage.
Xu Qin was neither nervous nor excited, and said in a calm tone: “Hello everyone.
I’m Meng Qin.”
After she finished her introduction in one sentence, there was no sound on or off the stage.
Teacher Lu wanted to encourage her to say a few more words: “Meng Qin, do you have any hobbies, tell everyone about them.”
Xu Qin shook her head: “I don’t.”
Teacher Lu looked at the whole class: “Then time for questions, is there anything anyone wants to ask”
Someone with no information, what can be asked.
At this moment, the boy’s voice sounded from behind: “Which Meng and which Qin”
Xu Qin: “Zi pan meng, shui xin qin1.”
“So obedient eh.” The boy who asked the question raised the corner of his mouth, his messy hair partially covered his eyes, inside them was the reflection of the classroom fluorescent lamps, the white light was bright and sparkling like water.
“Brother Yan is dallying with girls again.”
The boys burst into laughter.
“Song Yan!” Teacher Lu scolded him.
Some classmates responded: “Song Yan didn’t introduce himself either.”
The rowdy jeering came and went, revealing that he was a popular bad boy.
Song Yan stayed in the same spot: “Everyone’s familiar with each other, I won’t say more.
––Old Lu, class is over.” After speaking, he got up and walked towards the door of the classroom.
Dissatisfied noises ran out.
“I haven’t asked yet.”
A male classmate who was separated from Xu Qin by a hallway asked loudly: “Last year Zuo Li –– the one who got pregnant and dropped out –– her parents came to the school and six boys in your class skipped that day.
Say, where did you go that day
“Went to find your mother.” Song Yan said while he walked through the hallway.
The hoarse voice from the youth fell from above Xu Qin’s head.
He walked out of the classroom, leaving Xu Qin with a view of his condescending back.
Xu Qin acknowledged that she didn’t even have the least bit of interaction with Song Yan.
She methodically went to class, finished class, returned to her dormitory, doing everything alone.
She was like a lonely soul floating around campus.
As for Song Yan, wherever he went he had a group of friends, males and females surrounded him.
As long as he was there, the classroom would be unbelievably noisy.
But he was rarely there, he skipped school, cut classes, smoked, got into fights, couldn’t be seen all day.
But after school that weekend, without any warning, Song Yan blocked Xu Qin’s path and announced to her that he liked her.
The two stood facing each other for more than an hour, but in the end Song Yan gave in.
He was very unhappy, took out a cigarette, lit it, and smoked it without saying a word.
It wasn’t until he finished smoking that he turned his head to glance at Xu Qin with a “you don’t even know” expression.
But he looked at her, and finally smiled faintly, raised his hand to pat her head, and said: “Go along then.”
Xu Qin walked away, passed by him, and heard him say: “See you next week.”
He let her go home, but that doesn’t mean that he set her free.
“See you next week, Meng Qin.” Song Yan said.
Xu Qin didn’t feel any different when she got home.
She only said that she got delayed along the way, and never mentioned the “harassment” by Song Yan.
But on Monday, Song Yan didn’t go to school at all.
1子皿孟，水心沁 – the individual characters that make up her name, Meng(孟) Qin(沁). Together, 子皿 forms 孟 and 水心 forms 沁.
Mini fact of the day: The character on the left side of 沁 is what’s known as the “radical” form of the word 水，it’s called 三點水 (three dots of water).
Most characters that have a radical, there’s a non-radical form of the word.