Baobei made it back to her dormitory with less than five minutes to spare. As she ran past the main office, she suddenly turned around again. Lecturer Jiang’s car was still stationary, and his windows were wound down. She could see Lecturer Jiang under the faint yellow lights of his car, one arm resting on the window, as he smiled back at her and waved.

For once, Baobei put her foot down, mimicked Xia Xu’s child, and threw a big flying kiss across to him. Then, she covered her face and ran off quickly.

Jiang Moxiu tapped his face, trying his best to contain his glee. He waited for a few more minutes for her to get back into her room, then started the engine and drove off. He drove at a very slow speed, and even tapped on his brakes once in a while, as he knew that the young girl was very likely hiding in her balcony looking at him.

He was right about the hiding; but Baobei wasn’t alone. Shi Xiaoxi and Fang Jie kneeled beside Baobei, overjoyed.

“How romantic!” Fang Jie lamented, simply from watching the brake lights from Lecturer Jiang’s vehicle. Young people like her were rather easy to satisfy. Simple pleasures and gestures like these were enough to make them swoon.

“That’s why I said that mature men are better.” Shi Xiaoxi nodded.

Baobei ignored them. Now that Jiang Moxiu had truly left, her brain started to function properly again. Soon enough, she came to a realisation. Her first kiss had been taken away!

Under such unromantic circumstances!

Baobei would never forget how her first kiss was full of the taste of meat porridge.

“Where’s Jiahui?” When the car was out of their sight, Baobei stood up and brushed her pants.

“That woman came back ten minutes before you, but she fell into a deep sleep without even showering.” Fang Jie was the last to enter the room after closing the balcony door. “After she came back from her self-study class, the homeroom teacher even called to give her some instructions. Her face was green when she returned. I am starting to think that she’s been called to do manual labour.”

“Could it be that she had been taken advantage of?!” Shi Xiaoxi’s words shocked the room.

“Girls’ love?” Fang Jie was alarmed. “That’s not a nice sight at all!”

“Can you not be so vulgar?” Baobei rolled her eyes at Shi Xiaoxi. It was obvious that she was still holding a grudge.

“Urgh…” Shi Xiaoxi felt giddy, as she found no words to refute Baobei.

Baobei sat on Jiahui’s chair. True enough, Jiahui was in bed, her breathing weak.

“Have you been really taken advantage of?” This child …

“Pfft!” Shi Xiaoxi was speechless.

“That damned homeroom teacher is inhumane!” Jiahui was close to tears. “It’s her own problem that she’s moving into the teachers’ dorm, why should I have to help her unpack?”

“Then you should just reject her.” Baobei thought about it simply.

“If it wasn’t for the fact that my resume would look better with the roles of class chairman for four years and contributions to the student council, I wouldn’t have given a damn about that witch! I even had to help her scrub her toilet! I’ve never done so my entire life, and my first scrub was for that witch! I even helped her carry a thirty kilogram box up from the first to the fifth floor! She truly thought I was her slave!” Jiahui grew increasingly incensed.

“See? You’re better now.” Baobei left her seat and warmed some milk. She then added some collagen to the milk, and created two servings, one for herself and another for Jiahui.

Shi Xiaoxi pulled out a mask from her desk and put it on. “What’s so good about being the class chairman? That’s the most tiring job! Moreover, the class chairperson is the one with the highest possibility of staying single. This person is also likely the one to go for night self-study classes, spends the most on phone bills, be in a difficult position all the time, have the shortest holiday, be cursed the most, and gets flak for just about anything! I just don’t understand why you like this job so much.”

Baobei walked past Shi Xiaoxi with her milk, and slapped her head hard. “Fang Jie was on a date. You were alone in the room, yet you didn’t know how to shower first. Fang Jie even showered after she came back, but here you are, trying to vie for the toilet when Jiahui and I returned!”

Shi Xiaoxi clutched her head in pain and groaned innocently. “I … You… All of you weren’t around, I’d be so lonely if I showered alone!”

However, they didn’t even have a habit of showering together.

“She’s really asking for a beating.” Jiahui struggled to get up, and thanked Baobei for the milk. As roommates, they were already past the stage of being courteous with each other. She finished her milk and handed her cup back to Baobei, then lay back down on her bed. “I won’t shower today. Help me take time off class tomorrow, and don’t bother me unless necessary.” She then covered herself under her quilt and concussed.

By the time the other three were ready for bed, it was already 1 AM.

Baobei held her phone and exchanged goodnight greetings with Lecturer Jiang. It was then that she truly felt like she was in a relationship.

However, no matter how tired she was, she couldn’t fall asleep. She tossed and turned, then realised that Fang Jie, who was sleeping across the room, was still awake.

“Not sleeping yet?”

"I’m reading a novel.” Shi Xiaoxi, who was next to her, responded.

“I wasn’t talking to you.” Baobei retorted.

“Ohhh…”

Fang Jie stared at her phone, then turned it off. She turned over and heaved out a long sigh.

“What’s the matter, our young Miss Fang? How about you entertain your two sisters here with your unhappiness?”

Shi Xiaoxi was trying to lighten the mood, but the others ignored her.

“Jia Jian spoke to me about looking for a job post-graduation. His parents hope that he can find a job in Beijing.”

“Aren’t we just freshmen?”

“But Jia Jian is already in his final year. His roommates have either found internships, or even jobs. He’s feeling anxious, so he’s been quite moody recently.”

Baobei wanted to remark that it was quite unmanly for Jia Jian to take his anger out on Fang Jie for his own inability to find a job. However, she held her tongue, in consideration for Fang Jie.

“I definitely want to return to my hometown after I graduate. Initially, I thought that since we were from the same hometown, we would work hard together there without having to deal with a long distance relationship in future.” Fang Jie looked upset.

“You’re still a freshman. Even if he found a job in Beijing now, there are still a number of years till you graduate. Who knows what will happen then?” Baobei could only console Fang Jie.

“Yup.” Apart from thinking about the situation this way, there was nothing else that Fang Jie could do to console herself.

After all, this was a relationship in university. No matter how much a couple was in love during their school days, graduation, employment, and future jobs were all real obstacles for couples. Many couples would start out thinking of getting through all these together, but eventually would break up even before anything could start.

Of course, there was a generation of people who survived these obstacles. They did not care about savings, housing loans and cars. All they needed was mutual love. That was enough for them to cycle on their bikes to register their marriage, and then return home together. They would then suffer through the years but remain committed and loving. Yet, the world today was a realistic one. Financial bearing determined one’s social status. It was no wonder  why some would say that a female university student was probably the future wife of an established man with a good career, and the wife of a male university student was probably still holding hands with other young boys somewhere.

No matter how fortunate or sheltered someone was, and no matter how smooth their relationships had been, they had to grow up someday. They would always have to deal with grief, be it the loss of a family member, the leaving of friends, or the grievances from a lover.

Many people would have such an experience many years after they graduated from university. They would be awake in the middle of the night. It wasn’t that they couldn’t fall asleep; they were stubbornly staying awake. They would lay on their bed alone, quietly thinking. Thinking about how you, me and us were like in the past. Perhaps better, perhaps worse. Maybe happier, maybe sadder. In reality, reminiscence has become a habit. A habit that is enjoyed alone at night; a habit that brings grief for someone alone at night; a habit that protects the loneliness at night. It’s not a habit by choice, yet it wasn’t easy to get rid of.

As youth passes, you’ll miss the past you. You’d sigh at the passage of time, and would always think, “how good would it be if I could return to the past! However, I would require the knowledge that I currently possess in order not to repeat the stupid mistakes made then.” You would then think again, “being young is about making mistakes. Sometimes, one would make the same decisions as before, even if you knew that it was not the right choice. The cries from youth were because of helplessness and frustration; even the fingers that were wiping away the tears carried with it some foolishness and pity. It’s not like that in the future, with the passing of youth. Crying then was only because one had truly felt grief.”

“Ahh! The male lead has died…” Shi Xiaoxi was hiding under her covers and biting the corners of her blanket as she sobbed uncontrollably.

“...”

“...” Silence ensued. After all, fortune favours the foolish; people with lower IQ truly lived happier than others.

=========

Mo Liu [1] was roused by the chirping birds in the morning. He had a splitting headache from his hangover, as the events from the previous night flashed across his mind. He suddenly opened his eyes. He was in a completely foreign place.

He recalled the events again carefully. Last night, a group of them had gone to a sauna to play, and had downed plenty of sake.

He slowly sat up and tapped his head, then took a proper look at the woman whom he had spent the night with.

He heaved a sigh of relief. It was an unknown woman who still looked pretty even without makeup.

He checked his watch. There was still enough time to return to his room for a shower and then meet Xiaomi for breakfast.

The woman on the bed had also slowly awakened. Seeing that the man had dressed and was preparing to leave, she called out to him anxiously. After all, she had picked up this man in the corridor last night. He was handsome and well-dressed. He was probably a wealthy bachelor who had gotten high from drinking, hence she used this to her advantage. If fate was on their side, they could try to develop their relationship. Otherwise, she would just take it as a one-night stand.

“I still don’t know your name.”

Mo Liu turned.

The woman was supporting her head with an arm on the pillow. Her bosom was almost visible under the blankets, and her chestnut-coloured hair made her look extremely alluring.

However, this was still not good enough for Mo Liu. After all, he was a wolf in sheep’s clothing; he had played multiple women. Even if he wasn’t drunk, the women that he dated were all extremely beautiful.

Mo Liu turned his head and gave a gentle smile, his white teeth gleaming. “You can call me Lei Feng.”

The sneaky bastard Mo Liu!

When Mo Liu was on the way to pick Xiaomi up, he called Jiang Moxiu.

“Big brother Jiang, it’s me, number six … If you are free, let’s meet to discuss the case in the North … Sure … What have you been busy with? I haven’t seen much of you even after you returned … Getting married? Are you out of your mind?! … Hurry! Bring her out for me to inspect! Who could this be? … How dare you touch my man! … Bullshit! Isn’t the sister-in-law of my third brother my sister-in-law too? How could she not be under my protection? … After all, I have also seen Baobei’s growth over the years, and she hung out with me for three years!!! … Call her Baobei~! … If you dare, you marry her now! … No! No! You have to treat all of us to a meal and make your relationship official … I don’t care! You can’t make her suffer … I’ll gather the folks, you’ll just bring her along … Don’t worry, I’ll make sure everyone’s around …”

The development of a relationship would require the couple to be immersed in each other’s life and friendship circles. This was already a noisy circle; but with the return of Jiang Moxiu and the addition of Baobei, things were going to get even livelier.


[1] Mo Liu is the sixth brother of the Mo family. San Shao is the third.