When he received the call from Han Dong, Xie Meng’s class was about to attend their physical education session. After informing Zhang GangGang, Xie Meng walked alone to the side of the field.
“Zhuo Xiaoyuan has returned to school?” Han Dong asked. “Isn’t he still recovering?”
“His cast has not been removed… Why didn’t you guys call me then?”
Han Dong laughed, “Why should we call you? You might end up killing someone. Isn’t it good that someone’s standing up for you instead?”
“It’s originally Zhuo Xiaoyuan’s fault anyway. If he hadn’t believed the wrong person, you wouldn’t have suffered so much.” Han Dong continued, “At that time, his sister was sick, and so he could not report this matter to the school. In the end, that buddy of his started saying nonsense, and Lin Hengjing also used his authority and blocked Zhuo Xiaoyuan’s IP, and made it impossible for him to post it on the school’s intranet.”
Han Dong sighed, “His sister’s health has stabilized recently, that’s why he has the time to deal with this matter, and he feels guilty towards you. Lin Hengjing found a group of people to threaten him, but got beaten up by him and sent to the hospital instead, and finally managed to vent this anger.”
Xie Meng was silent for a moment, “How’s his sister?”
“That’s a little harder to deal with.” Han Dong whispered, “He knows, and is prepared. Ji Qinyang knows about this as well.”
“… Ji Qinyang?” Xie Meng was surprised. “What does this have to do with him?”
This time, it was Han Dong who was startled. “You weren’t the one who told him about the middle school thing? Zhuo Xiaoyuan was worried that Lin Hengjing would go and harass you, so Ji Qinyang even accompanied you home. When he was being threatened, it was also Ji Qinyang who got a group of people to go and save him.”
Xie Meng, “…”
Han Dong, “Lin Hengjing has been dismissed today. Be on your guard these few days, I keep feeling that he won’t give up so easily.”
“I understand,” Xie Meng promised. “Thank you, be careful yourself.”
Han Dong snorted. “He dares to do anything to me?”
Xie Meng laughed, and they moved on to other matters. Han Dong suddenly asked, “How is Zhang Ganggang recently?”
“?” Xie Meng felt that this abrupt change in topic was too random. “Why are you asking about him?”
Han Dong had a pretty good reason for it. “I’m helping Rourou to ask after him.”
Xie Meng was a little suspicious.
“Girls are shyer.” Han Dong said.
Xie Meng thought that he made sense. “What would you like to know?”
“What is he wearing today?”
Xie Meng looked over at Zhang Ganggang. When the latter noticed him looking, he still foolishly raised his hand in a ‘V’ gesture.
“…” Xie Meng waved at him, and said into his phone, “A school uniform.”
“Just a school uniform? So obedient?”
Xie Meng could only say, “School uniforms are more convenient.”
“Oh.” Han Dong still did not give up. “What did you guys do today?”
“Went to class, dismissed from class, lunch, returned to class.”
“…” Han Dong was a little angry. “Can’t you be more serious about your answer?”
Xie Meng was helpless, “What do you want to hear about then?”
Han Dong thought about it, and mumbled, “Then, tell me about what classes he attended, and what did he eat during lunch.”
Xie Meng, “…”
After the basketball game, Ji Qinyang sat by the court and chatted with Qi Fei. A few girls surrounded the, and Wu Xiaomei was the first to notice Xie Meng.
“Xie Meng!” The girl extended her arm and waved at him.
There were two bottles of sport drinks in Xie Meng’s hands. When he drew closer he handed them to Qi Fei and Ji Qinyang. As he passed it to Ji Qinyang, he gave a small smile and said, “Thank you.”
Ji Qinyang did not ask him what he was thanking him for. He twisted the cap open and drank some before smiling, “You’re welcome.”
Next to them, Qi Fei was confused. “What charades are you playing this time?”
Ji Qinyang drank from the bottle without a word. Xie Meng gave an excuse that he had to run with Zhang Ganggang, and left. Qi Fei pulled at his hair unhappily, “How mean, why are you hiding things from your buddy.”
“It’s his private matters, I can’t tell you about it.” Ji Qinyang stood up. He did some warm-up exercises, and looked down towards Qi Fei. “Shall we play basketball tonight?”
“You’re not going home with Xie Meng anymore?”
Ji Qinyang paused, then smiled. He said lightly, “There’s no longer a need for that.”
Nearly two months into the second half of the semester, the school finally started preparing for its sports meet. W High’s sports meet did not only have track and field, but also included ball games like basketball, badminton, table-tennis as well as dodgeball. If not for the small student population, they could even organise a football competition…
However, even though only five players were needed for basketball, some classes found it difficult to gather enough participants.
Only Ji Qinyang, Qi Fei and a boy named Chen Dong often played basketball in Class Three. As they really could not find anyone else, Qi Fei had no choice but to drag Zhang Ganggang in.
“How, I only know how to dribble the ball!” Zhang Ganggang’s attitude was very positive, but his actions were a little pessimistic. “So little time left, how is that enough…”
Qi Fei, “I’ll teach you! Now, we just need one more… We have to get enough players first!”
Chen Dong suggested, “There’s only Xie Meng left who’s considered taller in our class. Are any of you close to him?”
The three of them looked simultaneously at Ji Qinyang.
“…” Ji Qinyang glanced at Zhang Ganggang and said lazily, “As if you’re not close to him?”
“That’s different! My relationship with Xie Meng is more complicated, I’m indebted to him for giving me new life!”
Qi Fei, “… What the hell, you’re even talking about him giving you life?!”
Ji Qinyang placed his index finger on his temple. He seemed to fall into a daze for a moment before laughing, “Fine, I’ll ask him.”
“”Basketball?” Xie Meng was sorting out the garbage, and tied up each garbage bag one by one. He looked up, “You want me to participate?”
Ji Qinyang tossed the garbage bags to one side, “There’s not enough players. We’ll only be able to register if you join us.”
Xie Meng frowned slightly.
Ji Qinyang looked at him, “What other ball games did you sign up for?”
“Then just participate in one more for fun.”
Xie Meng sighed, “I’m not very good at basketball… At most, I only know some basics.”
Ji Qinyang smiled, “I can teach you.”
Xie Meng was a little hesitant. Ji Qinyang continued, “Don’t worry, there’s still Zhang Ganggang to make you look better.” When he said this, Xie Meng happened to be looking at his eyes. Maybe due to the lack of melanin, Ji Qinyang’s eyes were very light as well, and when he smiled at others, he seemed a little indifferent.
“So how?” Ji Qinyang smiled at him lazily. “Let’s have fun together, I’ll teach you.”
And so, muddleheaded, Xie Meng agreed. After the five of them registered, they realised that there were actually quite a lot of issues. There was less than one month to the sports meet, and they had to teach two rookies.
Qi Fei called out first. “Zhang Ganggang, I’ll teach you. You better be serious, ok?”
Zhang Ganggang bowed, his adrenaline pumping. “Yes! Sir!”
Chen Dong played the rear guard position, and had nothing much to teach. Hence, Xie Meng was naturally handed over to Ji Qinyang.
As such, the four of them would be together every day after school, and they could often be seen playing 2v2 on the court. During the sessions, Qi Fei felt that Zhang Ganggang really had no basics, and decided to pull him aside to give him his full attention. To others, he called this their secret training, but actually, it was just to not let his disciple disgrace his master too much.
In comparison, Xie Meng was a genius who progressed rapidly, with good resilience, great focus, and fast reactions. After teaching him for a few days, Ji Qinyang had nothing left to teach him. When the two of them played against each other alone, although he still lost more than he won, but Xie Meng could now score a few points from Ji Qinyang.
“Press your back into me, push against me, then turn and shoot.” Ji Qinyang demonstrated it for Xie Meng. “Your turn.”
Xie Meng accepted the ball. His back faced Ji Qinyang, dribbled the ball, and when he retreated, he used too much force, and fell into Ji Qinyang’s embrace.
Ji Qinyang steadied himself, his arms went around Xie Meng’s waist, and held him in what looked like a hug.
“…” Xie Meng, “Sorry.”
Ji Qinyang leaned into Xie Meng’s ear and laughed, “It’s fine. This would happen to all novices. Practise it a few more times and you’ll know how to do it.”
… In the end, there were many times when Xie Meng still could not control his strength, and again fell into Ji Qinyang’s arms.”
Xie Meng was a little embarrassed. “Am I doing something wrong?”
Ji Qinyang told him patiently, “ Your movements are correct, but don’t feel rushed. Press close to me, and just push against me.”
Xie Meng repeated it one more time. He followed the actions Ji Qinyang taught him, his back pushing closely against his chest. The warmth of the boy’s chest could be felt through his shirt, and Xie Meng could even smell the scent of Ji Qinyang’s sweat. Soaking in the warmth of the sun, even the air around them felt heated.
Ji Qinyang looked down and saw that the ends of Xie Meng’s hair were damp. With his two arms around the other person’s sides, he leaned into the boy’s neck and said quietly, “Come in closer, look for an opportunity.”
Xie Meng shrunk his neck subconsciously, and with a moment of distraction, the ball got stolen by Ji Qinyang.
Xie Meng, “…”
Ji Qinyang spinned the ball with one hand, raising his eyebrow with a smile, “Focus.”
Xie Meng wiped the sweat on his forehead, “Let’s continue.”
Ji Qinyang tossed the ball back at him, and the two of them again began practicing dodging. It took five times before Xie Meng grabbed the opportunity to break through the other person’s defense and shot the ball into the basket.
“Let’s end here today.” Ji Qinyang took his phone out. Slanting his head to one side, he looked at Xie Meng, “Rest for awhile before we leave?”
They sat by the court. The evening wind of April will still chilly, and Xie Meng pulled on his jacket after sitting for a few moments. Out of habit, he tugged his sleeves over his hands.
A few girls were standing by the court side, and they seemed to be looking over at them. Amongst them, Xie Meng saw Sun Tian.
“What are you looking at?” Ji Qinyang suddenly tilted his head over. He squinted slightly, “Is there a pretty girl?”
“No…” Xie Meng felt a little awkward. He saw Sun Tian look in their direction.
Ji Qinyang put one hand on Xie Meng’s shoulder, looking back indifferently. At first, Sun Tian still stubbornly stared at him, but it did not take long before she bit her lip and turned away.
“…” Xie Meng hesitated. “You’re…”
Ji Qinyang again revealed that dispassionate smile of his, “We broke up long ago.”
Xie Meng nodded.
Ji Qinyang’s arm was still around him. “What about you?”
“?” Xie Meng took a moment to understand, and smiled, “I don’t have a girlfriend.”
“Don’t plan on looking for one?”
“When would I have the time…”
Ji Qinyang apparently did not intend to let him off lightly. “What type do you like?”
“…” Resigned, Xie Meng found that he could not avoid this topic, and could only answer, “Obedient, sensible, adorable, black hair, big eyes… Just these I guess.”
Ji Qinyang regarded him thoughtfully, “You don’t like dyed hair?”
“It’s not about whether I like it or not,” Xie Meng thought about it. “It depends on the person I think.” He swept his eyes towards Ji Qinyang’s head. “You…”
Ji Qinyang seemed to still be thinking of something else, and responded after a moment, “What?”
“… Nothing.” Xie Meng said. “Let’s go home.”