With over 20 yuan left, I went upstairs to McDonalds to buy lunch.
Fortunately, I could eat a Big Mac set meal because of lunch special deals on weekends.
After drinking the final drop of Coke, dipping the last bit of ketchup up with French fries, and idling for a while in this seat, I was close to looking broke.
I was incredibly handsome so I shouldn’t put myself in situations that would end me resembling a bum.
So I ended up walking slowly back to school and found my classroom on the schedule.
Class was already in session and the large room was filled with people.
With his back facing the class, the professor continued to write questions onto the board.
No one noticed as I snuck through the back door.
Realizing this, I found a seat in the last row and took out a book from my bag.
After paying attention for a some time, it dawned upon me that the book I brought was not for this class at all.
At this point, I lost all hope in my life so I gave in to my struggles and rested my head down on the table, my head titled to the side.
In all seriousness, there wasn’t a better place to sleep in than during classroom.
The warm heat emitted by human bodies, the hypnotic aroma of books, and professor’s meaningless and confusing lectures were intertwining to form a giant sleepy net, lulling me to sleep more effectively than melatonin.
I had a dream where I was floating in mid-air, and a faint voice called my name from the clouds.
And something hard was poking me aggressively.
I woke up from the dream and heard the professor calling my name, “Lin Jing.
Is Lin Jing here?”
I quickly stood up and announced, “Here!”
Slight laughter sounded throughout the classroom while some students looked back at me.
The professor pushed up his glasses and stared at me.
What happened? Should I say something? What should I say?
A tissue was quietly pushed towards my way with line of scribbled words on it.
With my excellent eyesight, I immediately recited off of it.
The professor nodded.
The classroom was enormous, holding around 70 or 80 students, and so he probably didn’t notice that I was lying on my stomach.
Therefore, he didn’t make things difficult for me and simply said, “That’s right.
I breathed a sigh of relief.
When I sat back down, I couldn’t help but turn my head to glance at the chivalrous brother (not actually siblings; Chinese people sometimes refer to people they like as siblings) beside me who previously poked me awake with a pen.
I vaguely remembered that this row of seats was originally empty.
So was this fellow classmate also late?
However, he didn’t look like the type that would play truant or come late to class.
He sat upright, his shoulders were straight, his hands rested on the table, and even his chest sat close to the edge of the table.
This formal posture of listening to lectures could not developed overnight.
From the side, I could only see his dark hair and eyebrows.
His skin was very white, nose bridge very straight, and eyes were bright.
I had seen many handsome men and beautiful women.
Growing up, there were not many ugly people around me so it wasn’t strange for me to also be good-looking.
But this person had me take a few extra glances unintentionally.
He appeared to be very clean, neat and meticulous.
I wanted to chat with him but he chided, “Shh, pay attention to class first.”
Wow, he was also very unbothered.
Sure enough, even if I gave him an up and down look, he never once flinched.
Class was over until he finally replied, “It was no trouble.”
Then he said, “In this professor’s class, questions in class are counted towards the overall grade.” He looked at me and continued, “It’s very difficult to get even an average grade, and he is also a very aggressive person.
You better be careful.”
It turned out that he was an experienced student.
He may be from here and already knew the ways in class.
I inquired, “Why didn’t you bring any books?”
He said, “Professor Huang doesn’t follow the textbook during class.
Also his PPT is very detailed and it’s fine without a textbook.
However, If I were you, I’d go to his personal website and download all the coursework.”
It really was someone experienced! The disrespect! The disrespect!
I couldn’t help but ask, “You are so serious.
Why didn’t you sit in the front row? Wouldn’t it be such a waste to sit in the back?”
He earnestly said, “I’m too tall and I’d block all the classmates behind me.”
It turned out that he was a naive person.
Although I thought this fellow brother was rather interesting and despite of us meeting by chance, he didn’t intend to prolong the conversation with me or asked to exchange contacts.
When class ended, we politely said our goodbyes and went our separate ways.
After class, I exited the classroom and it was freezing cold again.
I checked my pocket to reach for my phone.
This was great.
There was no money in the Alipay WeChat bank account.
If there was no money, there was nothing to waste it on.
I couldn’t even afford the hand pancakes sold on the street so I still had to go back home to eat obediently.
I dragged my ignorant self back home.
Indeed, there was food at home and it was not bad.
For dinner, Cheng Yichen made braised beef brisket simmered with potatoes, garlic vermicelli shrimp and steamed sea bass, stir-fried cabbage, pork ribs, and winter melon soup, serving me a bowl of white rice.
It was so delicious that I immediately forgot about the embarrassing situation from earlier this morning.
Truth to be told, these dishes were not as complex and luxurious compared to what I ate in my previous years.
When I was younger, I often followed those friends of mine, so what delicious food did I ever lack? I often spent time around fancy establishments to eat, drink, and entertain myself.
I was served wagyu at every turn, ate king crab at least 3 times, and went to Michelin restaurants frequently.
But I didn’t have many opportunities to enjoy a home-cooked meal.
When I was living with Lee in Los Angeles, I witnessed his lack of cooking skills.
In addition, we were both too busy with work so we relied on going out for food and ordering takeaway to satiate our hunger.
However, American Chinese food was lackluster, considering that they provided nothing more than just the typical steamed dumplings, Mapo Tofu, and General Tso’s chicken.
Cheng Yichen was the first person I’ve ever met that cared enough to cook 3 meals at home.
He ensured that there would be meat, fish, and vegetables on the dining table.
In this era in which office workers were content to eat milk and bread for breakfast, he’d diligently wake up earlier to cook porridge, fried eggs, and prepare side dishes.
Initially, I thought it was too much and the effort was a waste of time.
Wasn’t it better to sleep in until the last minute and later eat bread while on the road? Wasn’t it easier to play games while enjoying pizza?
However, in just a few days, I found myself falling in love with the feeling of having hot food waiting for me on the table.
Even before I went to bed, I wondered whether it would be yam millet porridge or lean meat porridge with preserved eggs waiting for me tomorrow.
Would it be noodle soup? Or would Cheng Yichen return after buying deep-fried dough sticks?
I didn’t know how to describe this new way of life.
It was too warm, comfortable, and disturbing.
It felt like I was slowly being domesticated.
I didn’t need to lift a hand at dinner because Cheng Yichen thoughtfully served both Lu Feng and me.
Lu Feng sat across from me, eating quietly like a giant beast, suddenly asked, “Can I drink some wine?”
I almost spat out a mouthful of soup onto his face.
Cheng Yichen responded, “Yes, but only one can of beer, not too much.”
Lu Feng immediately got up to head for the kitchen with a little bounce in his steps.
He opened the refrigerator to grab a beer.
When it came to domestication, Lu Feng was the domesticated one!
After dinner, Cheng Yichen suddenly said, “Xiao Jing, I have something for you.”
He took a box out from his room and held it in front of me, opening it, “Look, do you like it?”
I was already taken aback by the Yeezy box, but was even more surprised when I opened it.
Originally, I really wanted this shoe before it was officially released but I couldn’t get my hands on it at all after returning to China.
I didn’t have money.
I didn’t even think about second-hand either, as prices were sky-high.
He carefully tried to read my expression, “You said you wanted these shoes.”
I couldn’t wait to take them out and appreciate them, my eyes all over the shoes, “It’s my size!”
He smiled and said, “Of course, I bought it for you.”
Sneakers were the romantic language of us young people, and I was uncontrollably ecstatic, “Thank you, Uncle Chen.”
“It’s great as long as you like it.”
He watched me with a gentle smile on his face.
My heart suddenly softened.
Cheng Yichen was very attentive towards me.
Along with his mother-in-law like nagging, he was simply like a real father to me.
Did he take me as his own child? Was it because he didn’t have children?
“You mentioned that you like these shoes but I couldn’t find any stores here and I didn’t know where to buy them,” he explained, “I asked my son to buy them abroad and bring them back here.
Young people are more familiar with this.”
It turned out he did have a son.
I suddenly lost interest.
“Does your son work abroad? I haven’t seen him.”
At the mentioning of his son, his face brightened up, “Oh no, he hasn’t graduated yet.
He is also from your T University, studying for a master’s degree.
Yet, he’s also in charge of the company’s affair so he’s very busy.
Not long ago there was a new project at hand so he was on a business trip during the 2 days of Chinese New Year.
He just returned to China today…”
Well, it seemed like he was a very good son.
In comparison, I remembered how I talked back to him this morning and caused him to choke on my words, “You’ve studied and read so many books, but none of that did anything for you!”
Regardless, other people’s sons were much more useful than me.
They were relatively better.
I was the most useless one.
As soon as this thought seeped out, I couldn’t help but become irritable.
What was going on? It was only March.
Yet, why did I feel like I was suffering from the May disease? I felt sad.
I often felt depressed.
Ah, it was not like me.
Who am I? I’m Lin Jing.
Even if I’m such a waste, I have to be a righteous person!
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