Baobei, Baobei

Chapter 20

Baobei spent her weekend at her sister’s place. There wasn’t much happening, except that a few guests visited, and Baobei had been “kidnapped” on a few occasions.

On Sunday, Xia Tian also suddenly appeared. This was rare, because he was usually out on weekends, and even Baobei didn’t know where he went. Xia Xu had also never been concerned about what her brother was doing, as her parenting style for boys was to let them loose. Lecturer Jiang explained that he had to catch a flight to Hong Kong in the afternoon, and did not have the time to send her back to school, hence he summoned Xia Tian to serve her. Baobei was surprised; after all, few were able to get Xia Tian to do their bidding, so why did he give Lecturer Jiang this honour?

However, the weekend wasn’t all peaceful; the sibling quarrelled, all over the issue of their names.

Baobei started it all. She said that since she was the elder sister and Xia Tian was the younger brother, then Xia Tian should be called Xingan, since she was called Baobei [1]. Imagine if a man was called Xingan. She was just looking for trouble! And would Xia Tian let someone step over him? He mocked her in return, saying that if their eldest sister was named Xia Xu, then why wasn’t Baobei named Xia Zha [2]!

The exchange of words eventually escalated into a physical battle. Of course, Baobei won. After all, a real man never fights with a woman, and of course, Lecturer Jiang was also watching them closely.

“I’ll curse that your husband is not a virgin!” Xia Tian covered the scratches on his neck. He really wondered if this woman was his biological sister. She might not have allowed others to bully him, but she had never let him off easy when she bullied him herself.

Baobei didn’t expect Xia Tian to remember something that she had said in passing previously, that her future husband had to be a virgin, so that it was a fair marriage.

Baobei clapped her hands, then looked at Lecturer Jiang, who was rubbing his nose sheepishly.

“I’ll curse that your wife forever remains a virgin!”

“Damn you!” Xia Tian stared fiercely at Baobei.

“Don’t stare at me like a fly! It’s disgusting!”

“Who’s staring at you? Do you think you are shit?”

“Xia Tian, are you itching to be beaten up?”

“There! There! Big brother Jiang, this is Xia Baobei’s true colours. Think carefully! If you don’t want her anymore, you should dump her sooner! I’m more than happy to see that happen!” When he saw Baobei raising her hands, he retreated backwards to the door.

Baobei pouted, and looked at Lecturer Jiang. The latter smiled as he held her small hands in his. “I’ll be away for three days. If there’s anything, you can look for Xia Tian or number six, I’ve already informed them.”

Her attention immediately turned to him. Lecturer Jiang’s words made Baobei unhappy. “Don’t treat me like a child, I’ve lived well enough even before I met you.”

Lecturer Jiang only continued to smile. “Be a good girl.”

What was that?! Xia Tian looked at Baobei, thinking about how she had been acting tough, but immediately became spineless after a single word from Lecturer Jiang. He wanted to gorge his eyes out; he couldn’t stand the sight of Xia Baobei’s bashful look!

Alas, Xia Tian accompanied Baobei to the airport to send Lecturer Jiang off, before sending her back to the dorm. The entire journey back and forth took up the entire day. However, the day didn’t end there. When they reached the dorm, the young mistress requested for supper, and even listed out the exact places where she wanted the food from, and that the food had to be warm when it was delivered to her.

“Damn you Xia Baobei, why don’t you go eat shit instead?” Even though he said that, he still obediently took the car and drove out to purchase the food.

Back in the dorm, Fang Jie was unexpectedly in, playing Chinese chess with Jiahui. Shi Xiaoxi was huddled in a dark corner drawing circles, a dark aura emanating from her. When she saw Baobei, she almost dashed over in tears.

“Baobei … Baobei … Bwah!!!”

“Why are you crying as if you are at a funeral?” Baobei disdainfully tried to shove her aside.

“Liang Jienan asked me out on a date! He asked me to watch a movie with him!”

“And that’s the reason for your tears?” Baobei frowned.

“Look at my hair!” Shi Xiaoxi pointed at her watermelon hairstyle. “If you want me to go for the date with this hair, I’d rather die!”

“Then you can just not go.” Baobei placed some snacks that Lecturer Jiang had bought on the table, then turned to the washroom to wash her hands.

“Don’t go? Don’t go? Then you might as well kill me!” She mimicked Sect Leader Ma [3].

“Then you can shave your head, and ask if he’s willing to become a monk with you. If he is, then you can immediately pounce on him, otherwise, you can kick himn aside.” Baobei was becoming impatient.

Fang Jie and Jiahui were unperturbed, and stayed away from the conversation. Baobei walked over to them; the two appeared to be in a stalemate, and seemed frozen in their seats. However, the game didn’t seem to be this intense; there were many moves that both sides could take.

Baobei quietly watched the game. Shi Xiaoxi was clueless about chess, but she also quietly stared at them. After a while, Fang Jie raised her head and asked, “Whose turn is it now?”


Thirty minutes later, Xia Tian finally arrived with supper. The lady in the control room saw that it was Baobei’s twin, so she allowed him in without any questions. Xia Tian was carrying five portions of porridge, his expression gloomy. He was a driver for an entire afternoon, then had to serve dinner, and even supper.

“Thank you, younger brother Xia Tian!” Shi Xiaoxi was immediately revitalised from looking at a handsome man.

Xia Tian nodded, then glanced at Shi Xiaoxi casually. Immediately, he did a double take, then turned as his shoulders started to twitch.

“Just laugh out loud.” Baobei placed the supper on the table, and was ready to send Xia Tian out.

When Shi Xiaoxi heard those words, tears immediately started pouring out again.

“Xia Baobei, one of the portions is mine.” Xia Tian was salivating after his fifth portion.

“One portion alone is insufficient for me. Be good, and get lost now.” Bang! The door closed in Xia Tian’s face.

“Baobei, it’s not good to treat Xia Tian like that.” Jiahui and Fang Jie had already ended their “intense game”, and huddled together to split the supper.

“You are only feeling bad because Xia Tian is handsome. If he’s incredibly ugly, you probably won’t even think like this.” Baobei opened the porridge.

“She’s too honest!” Fang Jie laughed. From their room, they could hear the long horn from a car. Shi Xiaoxi spilled the porridge that had almost entered her mouth, then sighed, praying silently that Xia Tian would be able to die a peaceful death after this.

Baobei finished her food and washed up, then lay on her bed satisfactorily. She was exchanging texts with Lecturer Jiang in bed. He had settled down, and was preparing for a fierce battle over the next three days. Baobei felt sorry for him, but at the same time, she was proud of him. How did she manage to snag such a good man?

“Wow, Baobei is in her honeymoon period.” Fang Jie was too lazy to even text. Her relationship had been on the rocks, and they would quarrel over the smallest things. Fang Jie had given it some thought and decided to take some time off so that she could identify where the sticky points in their relationship were. “In about a year or so, you’ll realise that no matter how sweet a couple is, there’ll probably be a few days a week where they’ll want to kill each other.”

Baobei laughed out loudly, not sure about how to respond. She had just started her relationship, of course she would hope that her love would forever be sweet and smooth.

Jiahui had just covered herself with her quilt, then whipped out her phone to check the temperature for the next day. Suddenly, her phone rang. She paused for a moment, then a smile appeared on her face.

“Woohoo! It must be Ke Xiaoliang again.” Shi Xiaoxi teased.

Ke Xiaoliang was Jiahui’s childhood sweetheart. Jiahui had held a torch for him for six years, but had never confessed to him. Jiahui had said this previously, their relationship was more like that of siblings, so she couldn’t bring herself to confess, otherwise they might not even be able to continue as friends. They would call each other about once each semester, and also occasionally text each other during days like festive holidays. Ke Xiaoliang had a few girlfriends, all of whom he brought before Jiahui to appraise. Her sisters in the dorm saw how badly affected Jiahui would be, hence they thought of ways to introduce Jiahui to other guys.

Jiahui gestured for them to stay silent, then picked up the call.

“What’s the matter, Ke Xiaoliang?”

“Jiahui, lets get attached.” His low voice sent shivers to Jiahui through the speaker.

She could hear some commotion behind him, and even some snickering. She was stunned for a moment, then laughed. “Sure.” Then added, “What’s the matter? Did you lose a drinking game and had to carry out a dare?”

Ke Xiaoliang was silent for a moment, then said lightly. “I’m serious about it this time. Jiahui, I’ll be flying over to Beijing tomorrow, we’ll talk about it face to face.” He then hung up the call.

Jiahui was stupefied.

She was reminded of their younger days. She would sneak some glances at him during the morning group exercises, and notice that a few males and himself were not moving at all, and would even throw some looks in her direction. During lunch break, she would stand at the corridor to observe him on the basketball court, covered in perspiration, as he battled it out with the other male students. When school ended, she would hope that he left alone. He would follow behind her nonchalantly, and not speak to her at all. After they reached her home, then he would walk a few more steps down to his own house. During school outings, he would give her a lift on his bicycle, but complain that she was heavy. Yet, during mealtimes, he would always say that her food intake was too little. Everytime they were choosing the class president, he would incite all the other male students to vote for her. She had left her hometown for university before he did. He did not send her off, but the night before she left, he casually left a large bag of common medication at her door…

The dorm was silent, and the other three could make out the contents of the conversation. They were sincerely happy for Jiahui.

“All the best for tomorrow!” Baobei felt especially blissful.

It wasn’t that love didn’t exist in the world; but often, restlessness and fickle-mindedness would result in us passing it by. We would always say, it’s not that I don’t care, but I’m helpless even if I cared. However, it’s always because of our own fears that we will choose to ignore, or even shy away; we just don’t have the resilience to try to use our heart to warm someone else’s.

Instead of envying the women who had everything in life, at least you can see what others have given up, and how brave they have been. Always remember, only extraordinary women will be given be blessed with good fortunes.

Mediocre as we may be, we would at least need to have some courage. We can tell ourselves that our lives are not perfect, but we are still happy. We can tell ourselves, even though we might have lost some things, some friendships might be lost, and some relationships might be hard to get, but learn to cherish the people and things in your life. We can run and stumble many times, but we shouldn’t restrain ourselves for life. Even if we fall, we should laugh graciously. No one will be brave on your behalf. Once you have made the decision, choosing your own path, then you should follow it through, even if it means you might fall.

[1] 心肝 (xin gan) - an affectionate term for ‘darling’. The two terms ‘xin gan’ and ‘bao bei’ are also commonly put together into a phrase to mean ‘sweetheart’ or ‘precious’.

[2] The words 絮 (xu) and 渣 (zha), when put together, refers to the process of flocculation, used for water purification, sewage treatment. The word zha also means dregs, which also means “scum”.

[3] 马教主 (ma jiao zhu) - Sect Leader Ma, referring to Ma Jingtao, an actor who is known for his roles in soap dramas.

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