He Pingyi didn’t know whether he and the boy could now be considered to know each other.
Although he called out to him that day, he didn't even know his name, nor where he was from.
He had been waiting for the day they meet again and exchange a few words.
However, it was also odd how, coming in and out how many times, he did not run into him again.


During physical education class today, He Pingyi originally planned to lie face down in the classroom so he can catch up on sleep.
However, in each class, there were always some boys who were into basketball.
They could let loose and have fun during this time.
The moment the maths teacher announced that class was over, Wang Xiaowei took out a basketball from under the table with his foot, held it in his arms, and urged He Pingyi to quickly go to the sports field.


A half-court game of 3 versus 3 — for He Pingyi, it was a piece of cake.
On top of that, among the students, several could be considered pretty good.
He Pingyi could play smoothly.
When he took aim to shoot the ball, he felt an exhilaration that he had not felt in a long time.
But in the second half, when He Pingyi's state became even better, the rhythm of two people on the court suddenly became disharmonious.
For example, when Wang Xiaowei shot the ball, he wouldn’t look at the hoop so he didn't know where he was aiming.
During the intermission, He Pingyi stepped forward and asked Wang Xiaowei strangely, “What are you doing?”


Wang Xiaowei's face was a little unnatural and he evaded eye contact, unlike his usual shameless appearance.


He Pingyi took a look in the direction of where Wang Xiaowei was sneaking a look and saw a girl sitting on the third step of the bleachers.
She had long curly hair spread over her shoulders and had on a polo shirt that was commonly worn in summer.
Even He Pingyi had to sincerely compliment her beauty.


He Pingyi glanced without any expression, then slapped the back of Wang Xiaowei’s head with his hand.
“Stop looking and play ball.”


But he turned around only to find that at present, on the sports field, Wang Xiaowei was not the only one stealing a look.


He Pingyi held the ball in both hands, head tilted.
He had a feeling that the second half of the game might not be so smooth.


“Hey.” To the side, Wang Xiaowei suddenly caught up with him and whispered in his ear, “Do you know her? I'll tell you, Wen Xiangying, from class eight…”


“Class eight?” He Pingyi paused and immediately became enthusiastic.
He turned around and swept the grounds with his eyes.


What about that little smiling face?


“He Pingyi!”


A teammate suddenly called for him.
He Pingyi’s reaction was somewhat slow.
He had just looked in the direction of the teammate and the ball was already flying over his head.
He looked at the basketball that had rolled a distance, turned back and raised his hand to his teammate, and apologised for his mistake.


He Pingyi ambled off towards the ball and picked it up.
He hasn't given up searching in the huge area.
A group of people gathered in front of the climbing wall on the other side of the sports field.
He could not clearly see the person climbing, but he heard the rowdy jeering from the people below.


“Girls can climb faster than you!”


“It's no use, just come down!”


He Pingyi could not clearly hear the specific content of their jeers, but he squinted and saw two people suspended on the wall, one on the left and the other on the right.
One of them was thin, revealing his fair forearms.


He Pingyi turned and ran a few steps towards the basketball court.
He threw the ball over and shouted to Wang Xiaowei, “Let Da Xiao go first!”


During this brief period of time, when he turned back to walk towards the climbing wall, the boy had already moved up a short distance.
In fact, this climbing wall was not high at all.
It was more like child’s play for him.
However, He Pingyi could see the boy’s struggle.
He guessed that the boy had run out of strength and was merely holding on, yet was unwilling to come down.


He Pingyi softly shook his head, sighed, and walked over.


The girl on one side had reached the top, and the boys on the ground seized this chance to talk rubbish again.
Their jokes were becoming more and more relentless, asking the person above if they could do it or not.


He Pingyi frowned and noticed that the boy's arms and legs had a slight tremble.
He glanced around and saw that the physical education teacher of class eight was also looking upwards nervously.


“Jing Can, come down if you feel tired.
It's normal if you can't finish climbing the wall the first time.”


The physical education teacher also estimated that it was impossible, hurriedly trying to find a way down for the boy who was stuck above.
But the boy did not seem to hear.
One hand trembled while the other reached upwards.


He Pingyi was not the type to study hard, nor was he addicted to the internet.
He luckily still had excellent 20/20 vision in a campus where the myopia rate was steadily rising.
He finally stood in the middle of the noisy crowd.
At this moment, on the back of the boy’s hands, he could distinctly see the blue veins bulging from the force of exertion.


The sun still loomed in the sky.
He Ping thought that the boy at the top must be terribly uncomfortable.


The boy slowly moved his hands and feet, and finally, with much difficulty, he reached the top.


He Pingyi stood quietly, facing the dazzling sunlight, keeping his head raised all this time.
It wasn’t until he saw the boy get off the climbing wall safely that he gave a sigh of relief, and headed off to the washroom.


The tension left his body and he walked slowly.
He Pingyi began to carefully recall what name the others called him with just now.
Jing Cai? Jing Can?


He Pingyi turned his head and saw that the boy did not stand with his classmates.
Instead, he walked forward with his head slightly lowered towards the shade of the trees on the side of the sports field.
A billboard stood at the entrance.
He Pingyi walked to the toilet entrance, and the boy hid behind the billboard.
He Pingyi stood for a while, but being blocked by the billboard, aside from the occasional small movements of a pair of shoes, he couldn’t see anything else and didn't know what the boy was doing.


He Pingyi estimated that the boy would not be able to run for a while.
He hasn’t really figured out how to get acquainted with each other.
So he went to the toilet, washed his hands, and walked back with his hands in his pockets.
Halfway there, He Pingyi felt that something felt odd and pondered for a moment.
He ran to the equipment room to borrow a basketball.


He tossed the basketball back and forth in his hands, feigning indifference.
When he reached the shade of trees, He Pingyi exerted a little force with his left hand and intentionally let his right hand slip, and the basketball was “accidentally” pushed out.


The boy was squatting on the ground.
The basketball rolled right in front of him and stopped.


Pingyi trotted after the ball, delighted. A three-pointer, game set and match.


“I'm sorry, uhm…” He Pingyi hesitated, and one hand unconsciously patted his leg.
“I wasn't careful.”


The boy looked up and seemed astonished when he saw He Pingyi.
He Pingyi looked down and followed the line of his arm.
It turned out that he was not tying his shoelaces, but had rolled up his pants leg to examine the wound on his ankle.


“Are you hurt?” He Pingyi asked immediately.


The corners of the boy's mouth twitched, but he still looked straight at him without opening his mouth.


“Is it from wall climbing?” He Pingyi asked naturally, as if he didn't care about his silence.


This time, the boy pulled down his pants leg and stood up.


In fact, He Pingyi was really not easy to get along with.
If it were someone else, He Pingyi would have already left without a second glance.
But it was baffling how He Pingyi's mind was preoccupied with what to say next, he didn't even have the time to think about why he was being ignored, let alone be able to feel any resentment.


He Pingyi raised his hands, extended out his index fingers and pointed to himself, “Don't you remember me?”


The first time was in the corridor, and the second time was in the sports field.
Both only lasted a few seconds.
Yet those two fragmented seconds have been passed through He Pingyi’s mind thousands of times.


The boy kept on ignoring him.
But He Pingyi clearly couldn’t see any dislike towards himself in the boy’s eyes.
When he was about to tell the boy how they met, the boy opened his mouth.


“Have we met?”


Calm, hesitant, these were the tones He Pingyi could understand.


This was the first sentence spoken to him, and was also the first time he heard his voice — the first time he heard him say “we”.
For a long, long time in the future, these words will move He Pingyi’s heart when he thinks about it.


“Yes, we have.” He Pingyi said.


The boy listened and pushed his spectacles up with a hand, drooped his eyes and lowered his head.
He Pingyi tilted his head and leaned forward slightly, continuing to look at his face.
He Pingyi noticed that the boy's eyelashes were extraordinarily long.
Just now, the boy’s glasses rested low on the nose bridge, so He Pingyi was unable to notice.
But looking at him now, he found that those eyelashes seemed to sweep against the lenses.


“On the basketball court,” He Pingyi appreciated the boy’s eyelashes, his words tumbling out unscripted.
No, I accidentally hit you on the stairs and I also waved hello to you during the running exercises.”


Unable to breathe, unable to swallow, He Pingyi can only ask tentatively, “Do you remember?”


The sun's rays flew down to touch the eyelashes that quivered.


He Pingyi was patient and waited long enough.
Unexpectedly, the boy who smiled at him a few days ago shook his head and said, “I don't remember.”


This time, He Pingyi was completely shocked.
But under the boy's gaze, he quickly nodded and said, “It doesn't matter.
My name is He Pingyi, from class 21[1].
Just a moment ago…
I heard them call you, but I didn't hear it clearly.
What's your name? I'm afraid I remembered it wrong.”


He Pingyi tried his best to make it so that his words were hard to reject, and in his heart, he sweated hard for himself in fear that he would still be rebuffed.
He Pingyi has never taken the initiative to make friends before.
He didn’t expect to get off to a bad start.
He looked down at the basketball he had brought over on purpose.
Thinking about it, he insisted on getting to know someone in such an embarrassing way, rather like a formal marriage interview, who could endure it?


“Jing Can.”


Before he could despair, He Pingyi heard a voice very clearly.


He looked up at him, just in time to meet his gaze.
This look gave him a familiar feeling.
It was the way he smiled at him that day in the corridor and during the second lap of the run. Like the smile, this sight softened He Pingyi's heart until it melted into a puddle.


At this time, He Pingyi was certain that the boy was probably too wary of him.
Such as during the running exercises and just now, too.


“Mhm,” He Pingyi suddenly felt a sense of satisfaction.
He looked into his eyes and tasted the name repeatedly on his lips.
He couldn't restrain the corners of his mouth from lifting up.
If Wang Xiaowei sees He Pingyi's smile at this moment, he probably won’t believe that this was his deskmate who can only smile in a lazy manner.


“Which ‘Can’ character?”


“That one with a lot of strokes.”[璨]


Unlike before, after Jing Can said his name, he was a lot less taciturn. He did not allow He Pingyi to carry on a one-sided conversation.
This also confirmed He Pingyi's conjecture about his wariness.


the one with a lot of strokes.”


He Pingyi repeated in a murmur, turning his eyes to the direction of the playground and saw different groups of students playing various sports.
It was highly peculiar that even though it was so noisy over there, the place where He Pingyi stood with Jing Can was serene and comfortable.


“Our class is going to assemble.”


What broke the silence was the silence itself.
He Pingyi immediately nodded after hearing those words.


Seeing that he still had no intention of leaving, Jing Can asked again, “I'm leaving.
Are you not going to play basketball?”


“Ah,” He Pingyi finally recovered his consciousness.
“I’m going, I’m going.”


He took a step forward and bent down to pick up the ball.
He stood up and saw Jing Can looking at it.


“Are you good at basketball?”


“I, uh,” He Pingyi thought for a while and decided to be more modest.
“I can still be considered not bad.
Do you want to play basketball? I'll teach you.”


Jing Can's smile this time was much wider than when He Pingyi first met him.
It was still the best looking.


“I'm too short.”


“That's okay.
It's all just for fun and height doesn't matter.” He emphasised again, “If you want to learn, come to me and I will teach you.”


It couldn''t be determined if it was because the class eight physical education teacher whistled, or if Jing Can really wanted to learn.
In any case, Jing Can nodded with a smile and said, “Okay.”


After receiving this reply, He Pingyi held the basketball and planned to leave.


“Oh, by the way,” He Pingyi glanced at Jing Can's ankle when he turned around.
He Pingyi recalled the broken skin and bruises he saw.
“Do you want to go to the infirmary to get your wound looked at? If you don't treat it, it's easy to get inflamed during summer.”


“It's okay,” Jing Can didn't care much about it.
He also lifted his foot and rolled it around.
“It's not serious.
I'll apply some medicine after school.”


He Pingyi nodded.


He Pingyi ran a certain distance holding the ball in his arms.
When he looked back, he found that Jing Can was still standing beside the billboard, looking at him fixedly.
His expression seemed to be tranquil again.
He Pingyi's heart trembled, he turned his body and stepped back, waving his hand at Jing Can.


Jing Can had no reaction.
He Pingyi stopped, tilted his head and wrinkled his brow, but looked at him with a smile.


Until Jing Can finally smiled at him, and gently waved his hand.






(Sorry) for the wait!




[1] He really did say Class 21.




He Pingyi’s thoughts and actions make me blush ///


I tried to time myself how fast I can finish a chapter.
In between translating + editing the grammar and prose, it takes the most part of a day.
I hope I can gain speed as I do more chapters otherwise idk how I will finish once I’m back to studying full-time while working.


Also, if you get stuck midway while wall climbing, you can be safely brought down using the harness attached to you.
Wall climbing is a great experience.
I highly recommend it! (says the blob who also got stuck the first time she went wall climbing before like Jing Can babey)

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