During our first year of high school, we moved to the school building. Perhaps my lonely appearance looked too pitiful, or maybe my new homeroom teacher just didn’t understand my personality of carrying a handle on Huzhou Road bearer; she actually assigned me a seat at the same table!

The moment I saw my new table, it was like the monkey that had been crushed by Mount Wuzhi for centuries was finally rescued. I was so excited that I almost went up to scratch my new tablemate’s hair to catch some lice.

I sat down next to the girl, Ting Ting, before class started. The first thing I did was turn this socially-inept child, who had been ignoring people including me when I tried to strike up a conversation, into a person who could tell half a classroom stand-up, just like any comedian sitting on a small bench.

One time, I remember getting my period and eating ice cream cones until I was sick. As a result, during geography class, I started getting stomach cramps. It was so bad that I fell on the table and fainted for the whole class. 

At that time, because geography was the most disliked class, and geography teachers basically did not care about discipline that much, I also had prior experience of lying down for a whole period in geography class even before this…

When the bell finally rang, I woke up and said to my tablemate, “You don’t care about me at all! I literally fainted from the pain, and you never even noticed! Last time you had a stomach ache, who helped you go to the nurse’s office! You have no conscience!”

The girl, Ting Ting, stood up while looking down at me. After staring at me for a full ten seconds, she then arrogantly said, “Don’t think I don’t know. You were obviously asleep.”

Me: “……”

Recalling the incident, I repeated the scene to the third master and asked him how he felt after listening to it.

The third master perfunctorily replied while drawing a picture of something, “It’s very good. Definitely your usual style of writing.”

I glared at him. “It’s not something I made up! It really did happen! I actually fainted from the pain!

“Impossible, how could anyone……” Halfway through his sentence, the third master finally felt something was wrong. He looked up at me. “Ah, you’re so pathetic. You actually fainted from the pain!”

I nodded. “If you were at the same table as me, what would you have done?”

The third master replied, “Frankly speaking, if you were lying in a geography class, I would’ve just thought you were sleeping… ah! No!”

The second half of his sentence faltered under my intimidating glare, and immediately he changed his tune, “If it were me, I wouldn’t have let you faint from pain!”

“How?” I thought he would say that he would take me to the infirmary right away if he saw something wrong with me.

However, he ended up replying with, “For example, I would’ve helped you finish the ice cream cones. This way, the root cause of this tragedy would be prevented!”

As I looked at him, he had an expression on that said, “This is the correct answer — come and praise me”. 

With a look, I took a fruit puree popsicle from the refrigerator and gave it to him. “You better draw me a picture.”


One time, during a physical education session and after playing table tennis with the third master, I sat directly on the concrete table, listening to music with my headphones. I remember it was Khalil Fong’s song, a cover of “Red Beans”. 

He talked a lot that day and kept telling how great a singer Khalil Fong was, who was not very famous yet at that time. He recommended to me a lot of singers, all of them were quite niche, but he had a good eye. Later on, these niche singers became famous and more mainstream for various reasons, which often prompted this disappointed look from him.

Just like that one time, my book club suddenly became lively. I ended up spending more of my time chatting in the group than talking to him. Whenever I became more attentive in preparing gifts for the other members than paying attention to him and our relationship, he always had that same look on his face.

Eventually, he told me, “I don’t want so many people to know about you.”

I asked him, “Didn’t you say that what you like most about me is how nice I am to people?”

He shook his head. “No, you remembered it wrong. I don’t like you being this good to others. I only want you to be good to me.”

His sad look reminded me of the day Khalil Fong won multiple awards. With complicated emotions, he said then, “There’ll be many people who will like Khalil Fong in the future.”

Third Master was sometimes very sensitive. He was like a little animal that was not exactly aggressive but one that knew how to avoid danger. I touched the back of his hand and told him seriously, “Perhaps one day, many people will like me, but don’t worry, my favorite…”

While he was waiting for my answer, I suddenly realized how cheesy the promise was going to sound. So, I raised my hand and patted him on the shoulder. “My favorite must be the best-looking one!”

Later on, the third master was so angry that he did not eat lunch.

But in my heart, you always look the best, ah.


I have asked the third master this question many times before, “In high school, what is the thing you remember most about the both of us?”

The third master gave a lot of versions of his wonderful answer.

Answer No. 1: “The five-dollar hamburgers at the downstairs snack bar were really good. For a while, we stopped eating dinner, and we went to buy that every day. Oh, and the five-dollar chicken roll was also very delicious!”

Answer No. 2: “You’d regularly tell yellow jokes to everyone. They were pretty funny!”

Answer No. 3: “On the way to the bus after school, there was a dark corridor with no lights. I liked that part of the road the most! Oh, hey, hey, hey~”

I continued to press him on, “Isn’t there anything specific that stands out to you?”

He replied, “Well, if you want me to be more specific, the yellow joke about Little Mushroom impressed me the most that one day…”

Black lines formed around me, “Okay, you can stop. Didn’t you claim to have had a crush on me since you were a child! How can you not even remember a specific thing about your crush of so many years?”

The third master asked rhetorically, “Well, do you have anything that left an impression on you?”

I said confidently, “Of course! For example, the two of us were sitting on the tennis table listening to music together. The sky was remarkably blue, the clouds were fluffy and big, and the leaves were a vibrant green. We listened to ‘Red Bean’ with one earphone each. I can never forget this.”

The third master was silent for a while, probably reminiscing about that moment, before turning to me with a bit of contradiction in his response, “Actually, we didn’t play together that often in high school, and there were no special memories. You did like someone back then, but it wasn’t me.”

I grew silent after he did too. 

Then, there was a guilty feeling that swelled inside of me. It was as if I was caught on a date with the old wang next door. I broke the silence with a dry smile, “Oh, it’s been so many years ago, it doesn’t matter if you don’t remember, ha, ha, ha, ha.”

After that, he told me that, while he couldn’t recall many details, whenever it came to thinking back on his high school days, he would always feel a spark of joy as there was always a vague figure of me in his life during those years.

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