Chapter 17 — Skirts (5)
The post on the forum was deleted very quickly, and no one knew if Mo Xiaoxiao had read it.
The new uniforms were issued, and Mo Xiaoxiao now owned a checkered skirt that was a little long. The day she received it, she looked at it for very long, then carefully tucked it into her bag.
On Sunday, Li Zi could no longer hold herself back from calling Mo Xiaoxiao. The girl did not have a mobile phone, and when Li Zi called her at home, the one who picked up was Mo Xiaoxiao’s mother, Cai Liyun.
“Oh, it’s Li Zi!” Cai Liyun’s voice sounded energetic. She was not highly educated, and she mainly worked as a housekeeper now. If she was not working at her employer’s place, she would be working part-time, delivering food. Taking care of her daughter alone was hard, but she rarely complained. “Xiaoxiao is studying, I’ll get her.”
Li Zi waited patiently for a while. She heard the sound of flipflops across the floor, and Mo Xiaoxiao soon picked up.
“Hello?” There was not much of a change in Mo Xiaoxiao’s tone of voice. Cai Liyun was still next to her, and the woman said, “Ask Li Zi to come to our place to play.
Mo Xiaoxiao smiled, telling her OK. On the line, she asked, “Did you hear that? My mom asked you to come over to my place.”
Li Zi made a faint sound of acknowledgement. After a pause, she continued, “There’s a flag-raising ceremony tomorrow, remember to wear your uniform.”
Mo Xiaoxiao froze, a little uncertain. “You called me just to tell me this? I know that.”
“Mn.” Li Zi wondered if she should ask Mo Xiaoxiao to wear her skirt. After a bout of silence, she asked with feigned casualness, “Have you tried on the skirt? Does it fit?”
“It fits well!” Mo Xiaoxiao seemed very happy. She thought about it for a moment, then added, “My mother thinks I look very nice in it.”
Li Zi finally laughed. She said earnestly, “I feel that you’ll definitely look very nice in it as well.”
At night, Cai Liyun helped Mo Xiaoxiao to iron her skirt. Humming to herself, she hung up her daughter’s school skirt along with her school blouse. Gazing at it for a long time, she could not stop herself from smoothing out some small wrinkles on it.
Mo Xiaoxiao left her room to get a drink of water. When she saw the skirt, she paused.
“You’ll be able to wear it tomorrow.” Cai Liyun was clearly even happier than her. “I’ve even shined your shoes; they’ll match very well with your skirt.”
Mo Xiaoxiao did not speak. It seemed as though she wanted to smile, but before her lips could curve up, her eyes reddened first. Looking downwards, Mo Xiaoxiao spoke, a beat later, “Mama, I won’t be wearing the skirt anymore.”
Cai Liyun got a shock. She grasped her daughter’s hand, pulling her into her arms, coaxing, “Why are you crying? If you don’t want to wear the skirt, then we just won’t wear it. I’ll take your pants out.”
Mo Xiaoxiao nodded. She wiped her tears away, but she was also reluctant to let go of the skirt. Twisting her fingers, feeling conflicted, she looked at the skirt, then looked at her own leg.
Cai Liyun did not know what happened in school to make her daughter suddenly refuse to wear the skirt. She was unable to come up with anything that could comfort her daughter, and so she could only look at her face, speaking with a pained heart, “No matter what you wear, in my eyes, Xiaoxiao is the best-looking. My daughter’s leg is nothing to be ashamed about at all.”
Mo Xiaoxiao shook her head. She clasped her arms around Cai Liyun’s neck, and spoke after a moment of silence, her voice muffled, “I also don’t think that there’s anything to be ashamed about of my leg.”
She sniffled, speaking in a very soft voice, “But I’ll still be scared.”
Li Zi arrived very early on Monday morning. She first sat in the classroom and waited. But after a while, she was tired of waiting and decided to stand at the classroom door to wait. Lu Rong took a few glances at her, and finally could not resist asking, “Are you going to pick her up at the school gate?”
Li Zi gave him a quick glance, her response sounding indifferent. “How I wish I could just go to her house and help her put on the skirt.”
Lu Rong lowered his lids, smiling a little. “Don’t be so nervous. Maybe she didn’t even see it.”
“Good things never come easily, but bad things will always happen. My intuition has always been very accurate.”
Just as she finished speaking, Mo Xiaoxiao appeared around the corner of the corridor.
Simultaneously, both Lu Rong and Li Zi looked towards the girl’s lower body. They did not see that pretty, new checkered skirt, but a pair of black school trousers like the boys.
Li Zi stood there stiffly. Her fists clenched tightly, and her little face was grim.
Mo Xiaoxiao looked up. She seemed a little startled when she saw them and averted her gaze in guilt. Taking some time to muster her courage, she finally put on a smile and greeted, “Good morning…”
Lu Rong frowned. He looked up, sighing unnoticeably. “Morning.”
Li Zi did not speak.
Mo Xiaoxiao scratched her head. She was not the type to hide or conceal anything. Reaching out and grabbing Li Zi’s arm, she swung it slightly, her voice was a little ingratiating, “I thought about it… and I still think that I should wear pants.”
After a pause, she continued quietly, “I’m quite cowardly, I’m afraid that someone will talk about me on the forum again.”
Li Zi felt as though someone had poured boiling water down her throat. Feeling both ashamed and indignant, her eyes reddened. Covering her eyes with her hands, she was unwilling to look at Mo Xiaoxiao, and it took her some time before she spoke hoarsely, “Don’t be scared, I’ll change to pants as well.”
Mo Xiaoxiao grinned, “What nonsense are you saying? Your legs are so nice, you look amazing in a skirt.”
Crossing her legs, Lin Zhao sat in her seat. As she skimmed through the school forum, her phone vibrated a few times — Lin Mu sent her a text.
“We’re having the flag-raising ceremony with the first-years today”. Lin Mu’s text was succinct. “Help me look at the uniform of the girl with the metal leg.”
Lin Zhao tapped swiftly on her screen. “Why doesn’t the school allow us to check the IP addresses? What is that scoundrel Zhong He thinking? That damned servant!”
Lin Mu was speechless.
Lin Zhao was probably the only one who dared to criticize their own principal like this. She rarely attended culture class, and she did not have to suffer Zhong He’s t, so she dared to be this unbridled. Even someone like An Jincheng would not want to truly offend Zhong He.
Everybody knew that Kunqian’s Chu Lin was famous for being sharp-tongued but softhearted — a tigress on the outside, yet extremely gentle towards her students, especially the ones with special needs. In comparison, Zhong He was the truly harsh one, only thinking about the school’s profits and any potential upcoming development for it. He was the reason why there was such an intense studying environment in the school — he ruled with an iron fist, and never understood how to be humane.
Even after scolding Zhong He, Lin Zhao did not feel any better. When the bell of the ceremony rang, Cao Zhan pulled at her before she finally stood up.
The classes were lined up neatly. The first-year classrooms were located on the ground floor, and the students made their way to the sports ground, then followed by the second-year classes coming from a level above. As the third-year students were studying for the university entrance examinations, they were allowed to skip the ceremony.
The elite class of the second year stood right in front. Lin Mu was about to sprain his neck, yet he still could not see where Lu Rong’s class was. Suddenly, his phone vibrated in his pocket. Taking it out, he saw an emoji Lin Zhao sent him.
Lin Zhao: 【Angry!】
Lin Mu: “You saw her?”
Lin Zhao: “She’s not wearing a skirt.”
Lin Mu: “…”
Lin Zhao: “I’m so pissed off! Why was the post deleted so quickly! I want to argue with that scumbag! From the moment the sun rises until it sets! From the moment the sun sets until it rises! Let’s see who will be scolded to death first!”
Oh, come on, there’s no way somebody can be scolded to death, Lin Mu thought to himself.
He kept his phone in pocket, turning his head to see Sun Hai watching him.
“Where’s the girl with the metal leg?” Sun Hai asked him anxiously.
Lin Mu thought about it, then answered, “She’s wearing pants.”
Sun Hai’s eyes widened, and a moment later, he swore indignantly. “Fuck!”
Lin Mu, too, was rather indignant about it. Today, it was An Jincheng speaking on the podium, but he was not interested in listening. His hand fiddled with his phone in his pocket for some time; then he took out his phone and sent Jiang Tianhe a text.
“You finally have a chance to pay back the promise you owe me.” After sending the text, Lin Mu seemed a little worried, and so he sent another message. “Don’t think about denying the fact that you owe me one. We made a deal on that day, and whoever who denies it doesn’t have a dick.”
A while later, Jiang Tianhe’s reply came, and it was only a line of ellipses.
“You have to run around the sports ground and shout, ‘I, Jiang Tianhe, don’t have a dick!’”
Perhaps Jiang Tianhe’s wrath was ignited by that. He typed for a long time and a reply finally came. “What the fuck do you want me to do?!”
Lin Mu sent him a very irritating response. “Well, I just wanted to make sure that you remember about owing me a promise.”
Jiang Tianhe was wordless.