Chapter 1: mirror open
Original Translations: Crafted with Care, No Unauthorized Reposting Allowed.
"Click." Everything went from dark to light, the screen flickered and the picture began to appear.
This is a staff dormitory, a hundred-year-old school group of buildings in the most nooks and crannies of a building, remote, the College mostly sent young crop of young teachers to live. This house looks beautiful outside the red brick and white steps, ivy Shu a thousand charming vines climbing around the old townhouse, who passed by can not help but look twice, but fortunate to become a teacher, went inside this is a great realization - the original Fang House years of repair, the interior walls have been layers of mottled, like a make-up countless times of weary face.
Tired to even digital TV is lacking, allotted to each room of the dormitory building, is a vintage cable TV.
"Heavy to torrential rainfall in the middle and lower reaches of Yangtze River one after another ......"
The teenager walked past the entrance of the building, the sound of TV programs coming through the window glass of the communication room, and the old lady on duty used to stop him and yell:
"Hey, young student Nong Xiao Xiao do not know? This is the staff dormitory, where the teachers live, you a student do not always run inside."
But today, the old lady did not cross-examine him, perhaps she was in a daze, old eyes dimming, not aware of his passing in the dark.
He went straight up to the third floor and knocked on the familiar iron door.
The door creaked open and the woman in the door probed, "Is that you?"
The teenager whispered, "Thank you, teacher."
Although it was late and the teenager was an uninvited guest, she was his teacher and the closest person to him in the school, and the woman welcomed him inside after a brief moment of surprise.
Make a cup of tea, cut ginger slices to add into, it was raining outside, she felt wet and cold on the teenager, hot ginger tea can drive away the cold.
Teacher Xie placed the steaming cup of tea on the tea table in front of him, "When did you get back?"
"Just got back today." The teenager stood shakily in front of the couch.
Teacher Xie: "Sit down quickly."
Only then did he sit down, his hands curled in his lap, restrained, without touching the teacup.
"How come you didn't even tell me in advance when you came back. There's a bus to school this late?"
"So how are things at home being handled?"
The teenager was quiet for a moment, looking down and picking at the holes in his jeans.
"My mom still wants me to drop out of school ......"
Mr. Xie was silent.
She talked to the mother of the teenager in front of her, promising to give special-needs families a tuition waiver, hoping that the mother would allow her child to finish her hard-earned college education.
But the mother pointedly refused -
"Read what? Learn Chinese? Who can't speak Chinese? You are just scammers!"
She patiently reasoned with the mother: "The child is very talented, look, it is already a sophomore, is it a pity to give up halfway? Besides, after two more years of study, he can find a job in society. With his grades, it is not a problem to get a teaching job, this is the dream of the child, and the teacher's job is stable ......"
"He can't be a teacher! It's not like you haven't seen his face!"
The mother's words came down like a dull knife, cutting between invisible currents.
Ms. Xie felt angry, but she didn't know what to respond to.
"I want him to go home and work now! There's no money in the family! Don't waste time! That face - that face ...... reads the book, what's it going to do! Which school would want a teacher like that!"
What kind of face is that?
Mr. Xie had an incandescent lamp on in his house, low wattage, which seemed dim, but still illuminated the teenager's face.
His face, Mr. Xie has been very accustomed to see, but anyone who first saw this face, will draw a cold breath - half face Yin Yang, I do not know what disease, bruises from the forehead to cover the neck, like covering a rotten skin.
Striking and starkly/nakedly abnormal.
"Don't go near him, it's not likely to be contagious."
"Hey! Yin-Yang Man!"
Along with this face and he grew up with, is the shadow of the abuse and ridicule.
Because of the disease, because the disease does not know how to hide, ugly do not know how to hide, the teenager grew up suffering from the eyes of the white. Even if he studied harder and gentler with people, he was still like an evil dragon wandering under the blue sky, not getting any equal treatment.
Few people share Mr. Xie's ability to find the normal half of his face to be well behaved and gentle.
He was always bearing everyone's ridicule gently and numbly, sometimes laughing along with himself as if he had really done something wrong.
But what exactly did he do wrong?
Mr. Xie saw in his eyes, he always studied the most serious one, honest and honest, divided in the group always silently do the most work. Others bully him, he also always good-naturedly suffer, not much to say.
"It's okay, teacher, I'm already happy that you can talk to me. In the past, when I was in the village, people went around when they saw me, and no one ever listened to me so intently as you did."
"The students were all very nice too, at least they didn't hit me with a brick."
He spoke calmly, but his head was always bowed and his shoulders were hunched, carrying a heavy insult for a long time, making his spine have grown deformed and bent.
She later told him, "You can come to me for individual tutoring after evening study whenever you want, and if you don't understand anything and need my help, just ask."
He smiled embarrassingly, his half-normal face showing some embarrassment and shy red.
She had known him for the past two years and was used to him knocking on her dormitory door with his back slightly hunched, bringing her his own written essays, essays, and even poems for her guidance.
These days many people like to curse, but few people like to write poetry.
Instead, he wrote doggedly.
Classmates laughed at him, the ugly monster writing ugly things, sour, more sour than your rotten grape cheeks.
He smiled and wrote again honestly.
But now, he doesn't even have that power anymore.
Mr. Xie thought about what happened before, sighed in his heart, and looked at the boy in front of him with pity.
The teenager said, "I came this time to say goodbye to my teacher. I'm leaving tomorrow."
"...... Well, sort of."
The teenager paused: "Teacher, if my illness wasn't on my face, but somewhere invisible to others, people would be kinder to me. That would be so nice."
The teacher Xie's eyes finally could not help but red, things have come to this point, what efforts have been made, but unfortunately she is not his family after all, she can not make the final decision, and can not save him. The teenager's family situation is more than a day, the mother regretted letting the boy out to study, the family after all, there is an able-bodied second son, only to study in high school, the sick one called back, then you can replace the able-bodied child out.
She didn't think what she did was wrong either. As a mother, she also had to weigh the family situation, and she was fair.
"The paper you ...... you left with me last time and asked me to read for you, I haven't quite finished rewriting-"
Mr. Xie felt that he could not hold back his tears and hastily changed the subject.
"But I read the front very carefully, do you want to do the school leaving procedures later to go, when I have all approved ......"
"No." He smiled and shook his head, "I'm leaving as soon as it's light."
She was so remorseful, why did she always think there was still time?
Why not stay up one night?
And why, to go shopping, gossip and have that long and meaningless meeting?
Here is a student's dream that will be broken, and a heart that will not be able to beat, she as his last teacher, but can not give his dream a bouquet of flowers for goodbye.
"That's okay." He said, "But I ended up writing a poem, can I give it to you?"
She was busy nodding her head.
He then took it to her from the book bag, the pages were very thin and held in his hands as if there was no weight.
She read it word by word, a very loving love poem, hot and passionate, but careful, she had seen many masters of love written. She had read many love poems written by masters, from the ancient "When to lean on the false front, the two photos of tears dry." The first thing you need to do is to get a good idea of what you are looking for.
He didn't break anything, as if saying it would be a rhyme missing.
The young man is a poet, know that the loss of poetry, the status of the disparity of love, there will be only embarrassment.
"It is left as a memento for you."
The ugly face and the normal face have tenderness written all over them.
"I'm sorry, teacher, I just can't afford to buy any gifts for you."
"There's nothing better than that." She turned her back, suppressing a choked sob, "You, you eat something, I'll go get you some refreshments."
Borrowing from the rummage and controlling his emotions, Mr. Xie took a jar of cream cookies and put it on the coffee table.
The teenager thanked politely, and under the watchful eye of Mr. Xie, finally touched the teacup carefully, but retracted his hand and said softly, "It's hot."
She touched it, "How? It's warm."
But still, he was given some cold water to go back to.
The teenager drank it little by little with his favorite cookie.
After eating and drinking, the night is still long.
He said, "Teacher, can I read with you a little longer?"
The teenager laughed again, a little helpless: "All to go, and finally so much trouble you."
"It's okay, you can stay a little longer ...... Right, after you go back, give me an address again, I'll send you a copy of all the good books I see. You are so smart, in fact, even if you are self-taught ...... will not be bad." Mr. Xie can only talk as a comfort, "If you need any help, you can find me on WeChat."
The teenager looked at her, "Thank you."
There was a pause.
"If everyone was like you, then maybe ......"
He lowered his head and said no more.
She had the most books in her dormitory, and because he was ugly and sickly and naked, he was the center of attention every time he went to the library, so she invited him to come to the faculty dormitory and lend him her collection of books to read.
The young man thus spent the whole night reading in the faculty dormitory, as if he wanted to take all these words back to his homeland by this one night.
He was rarely so self-conscious. Once upon a time he would not stay too late, always worried that he would disturb the teacher's normal routine. But today was an exception.
She did not blame him for this last caprice, but she stayed up with him until the latter part of the night, indeed some sleepy, unconsciously ambling to sleep.
In a haze, she heard the teenager suddenly say to her again, "Thank you, teacher."
She answered him vaguely.
"There's one more thing I want to apologize to you for."
"Before the class theft ...... those few students always lose things, how can not check, causing you to be criticized. Those things, in fact, I took them."
She woke up in a daze, but her body was too tired and heavy to get up.
The teenager said with slight sadness: "But I didn't ask for those things, I didn't ask for a single penny. They laugh at me like this, I actually have resentment in my heart ...... I threw all their bags to the haystack and later burned them all clean. At that time they suspected to me, but you asked did not even come to ask me, and excused me. In fact, the person who did this, it is true that I am not wrong."
"I don't have the courage to admit that I've only ever been a normal person in the eyes of one person, or even a good person."
"That person is you."
"Teacher, I'm vain aren't I? ...... But if even you are disappointed in me, I don't know what I'll do. You are the only recognition I have ever received in my life."
His voice became softer and softer as he spoke.
The eyes, however, are clear, almost transparent, as if relieved.
"-The most regrettable thing I did was this ...... Thank you teacher, I'm really sorry. My illness seems to have shifted from my face, to my heart. If there is another life, I really want to be a normal person ...... I don't want to be so sick that I don't even have the qualifications to love."
"Mr. Xie ......"
The wind blew into the window, blowing the paper pages on the table, like a streamer inviting the soul.
And then, everything returned to silence.
The tea on the table got cold.
When Mr. Xie woke up early the next morning, he found himself sleeping at his desk all night, the house was clean, the teenager was a very polite person, but this day he did not wait to say goodbye to the teacher before packing up his things and leaving.
Inevitably, she got up and went to the living room with sleepy eyes.
Look down to the coffee table -
But the whole person such as a shower of ice water, fiercely surprised big eyes!
Yesterday she poured the tea for the teenager, has been iced, but ...... but ......
The room temperature is clearly 27 or 28 degrees!
She stared wide-awake beads in the house looking for more and more traces to keep her heart cold - the cream cookies in the tin box, she clearly watched the teenager eat yesterday, but now it seems that a piece is not missing. The water in the teacup was frozen into ice, but it wasn't missing either, and finally -
In the end, the page of the subtle love poem, the content is still in her heart resting, he gave her a piece of paper for goodbye.
The paper is missing.
Or maybe there never was that page ......
She was almost trembling, suddenly "ding", the phone vibrated, so she jumped up, grabbed it, the original is spam. She sighed with relief, but woke up like a dream and thought of something, so she quickly dialed the teenager's phone.
Duh. Duh. Duh.
Heartbeat and mechanical sounds flutter together.
The person who answered the phone was a familiar middle-aged woman's voice, gruff, but with some crying at this point. She exchanged a few words with the mother of the teenager on the other end of the line.
The heart falls hard into a black hole that it cannot see into and falls down.
She heard it -
"It's you guys! It's you guys again!!! I haven't even had a chance to look for you! You're the first to call!"
The woman was complaining, what she said before she could not remember, her mind was almost blank, only to hear the last mournful cry like a bang: "He is dead! Dead!"
Blood flows like ice.
"It's all your compulsion!!! He and I argued, ran out, it was raining hard outside, and the police said there was a section of cable exposed there ......"
Mr. Xie's ears buzzed.
In the fierce abuse and wailing, she could only barely hear two more words, like ghosts and ghosts, like a farewell that does not belong to the world.
On the other end of the line, the woman's voice broke:
"What else are you looking for? What else are you looking for?!"
"Yesterday was already the seventh day of his head!!!"