The Long Chase for the President’s Spouse – Chapter 30: Flashback
Quality Check: Tezuka
First Published on Chaleuria
Chapter 30: Flashback
Throughout supper, Gu Zhun did not utter a single word. He silently sucked on the snails with his head lowered. It was still the same taste that he yearned for. It had been a long time since he ate it.
After Gu Li clarified that matter, they did not have anything to talk about. Without any apparent reason, they unexpectedly digressed and talked about Gu Zhun.
“Are you serious?”
“Are you top or bottom?”
“Good.” Gu Li approved tacitly.
The whole conversation was strangely inexplicable. Gu Zhun couldn’t understand what his sister and Zhang Heng were talking about.
What was being ‘serious’? Zhang Heng always did things seriously, although he was occasionally hot blooded, which caused his chuunibyou to relapse.
What was ‘top or bottom’? Were they referring to the fluctuations in the financial sector and the stock market once the news was released? Then shouldn’t it bottom?
He didn’t understand… Therefore Gu Zhun kept quiet and obediently sucked on the snail. He could not drink. If Zhang Heng and his sister drank until they were intoxicated, at least he would still be sober.
“But this was all my fault. I was a poor judge of character. Frankly speaking, you were not obligated to help me out with such a favour…” Gu Li felt bad that Zhang Heng spared no effort to help her.
Zhang Heng raised a toast to Gu Li and said: “You don’t have to be so polite, Sister Gu Li. Sooner or later, we will all be family. We just aren’t one yet.”
Gu Zhun raised his head from a pile of snail shells and looked at Zhang Heng. He said family. Did he view me as his family? Does he like me that much? Was it not as simple as seven years ago, when he was only teasing?
Zhang Heng continued speaking: “I can still remember. In the past, my family wasn’t always at home. There would be no one to attend the parent-teacher meeting, but ever since you invited me to your house for a meal, there would always be someone to attend my parent-teacher meeting…” Gu Zhun saw that Zhang Heng, who usually had a bright smile, now looked like a forlorn dog, revealing a sad and pitiful expression.
Zhang Heng recalled what happened seven years ago.
Once again, it was Friday, the day they could go home. As a boarding school, there was nothing more delightful than being able to go home. Unless there was no scheduled parent-teacher meeting in the afternoon. However, for a selective school like Green Leaf West City District, it was used as an excuse for the parents to praise and reward themselves.
As such, Gu Zhun finished packing his bag around 3PM. He placed the class meeting notebook  that the teacher requested onto the desk, walked out of the classroom, and waited in the corridor for his sister to arrive.
Zhang Heng, who sat in the back, did not have many things to pack. He had no interest in studying, unlike Gu Zhun, who packed a lot of textbooks to bring home. Even if he brought them home, they would be left untouched. He would bring his school bag back to school without even unzipping it.
He carried his empty, sagging, symbolic school bag and walked out from the back door of the classroom. Just as he walked out of the classroom, he saw Gu Zhun leaning against the rails with a bulging school bag, staring at the empty sky.
Zhang Heng silently snuck up behind Gu Zhun and shouted ‘Boo’.
Gu Zhun stood motionlessly on the spot. Zhang Heng stretched his head forward and asked: “What happened? Have you been scared silly?”
Who would have thought, this kid Gu Zhun was tolerating it again.
Zhang Heng saw a few teardrops around the rim of Gu Zhun’s eyes that stubbornly refused to slip down. It seemed that he did not like it when Zhang Heng teased and made fun of him.
Gu Zhun could tell anyone directly ‘I am unwilling’ or ‘I don’t like it’, yet from the first time he met Zhang Heng at the pavilion and told him ‘I don’t wanna’, he was unable to say those three words again.
He was unable to reject him. He also did not know the reason for it.
“Which member of your family will come for the parent-teacher meeting? You’ve said it before, you don’t have a dad and mom…”
Gu Zhun placed the school bag on the floor, sat cross legged on the floor, and replied: “Sister.”
Zhang Heng nodded his head and sat on the floor: “That’s nice.”
“…What about you?”
Zhang Heng crossed his hands, placed it between his head and the railing, and laid back: “No one is coming. They are busy.”
Zhang Heng spoke those words with a nonchalant expression. Even his tone was calm. Zhang Heng was used to this sense of loneliness ever since he was young, so he became accustomed to it. During primary school, whenever there was a parent-teacher meeting or a campus activity, he would be elated and took the school’s notice back home. His dad, mom, grandfather, and grandmother would unwillingly entertain him before they casually brushed it off and focused on their business battlefield.
In the end, Zhang Heng didn’t bother to bring the school’s notice home. If it needed a signature, he would sign his own name.
When the class teacher asked why he signed his own name, Zhang Heng would reply: “I am a parent. I am responsible for myself.”
Gu Zhun suddenly felt a little sympathetic for Zhang Heng. Although his parents never asked about him and his sister after they divorced, he still had his sister. Gu Zhun and Zhang Heng were now in the ninth grade. Ninth grade was the time they prepared for their exams. As such, the parent teacher meeting was for the teacher to cooperate with the parents and to better improve their child’s academic grades.
Of course, Gu Zhun never made his sister worry. Every time Gu Li went there, she would bring back a pile of various printed information and listened to the changes in the enrollment policies, and it would be done.
“In that case, at the next parent-teacher meeting, I will ask my sister to be your guardian.”
Gu Zhun said it solemnly. The expression on his face was also very serious. After all, he had a stoic face.
Just when Zhang Heng wanted to reject, Gu Li climbed up the stairs, walked over, and saw Gu Zhun and Zhang Heng sitting on the floor. Gu Zhun saw his sister and told her of his idea.
Gu Li looked at Zhang Heng. He looked like a rebellious child with a hint of stubborness. Without questioning the reason, she just petted their heads, smiled, and said: “Okay.” She then walked into the classroom.
The other students gathered in groups at the basketball field and played basketball while they waited for the parent-teacher meeting to end. Whereas, Gu Zhun and Zhang Heng arched their backs and hid below the window along the corridor. They clung onto the window and peeked inside.
Gu Zhun and Zhang Heng were seated closely, one in front and the other behind. When Gu Li came to Gu Zhun’s table, she moved Zhang Heng’s desk that was piled high with books at the back right next to it. Even though it took up the entire aisle, it did not affect anyone because it was in the back row. Moreover, most of the parents were seated.
Gu Li joined the chairs together and sat in between them. After that, she took out Gu Zhun’s class meeting notebook and another class meeting notebook with the same cover from Zhang Heng’s drawer. She held a pen in each hand and was prepared to record the crucial points in the teacher’s speech.
The class teacher on the stage asked in surprise: “Gu Zhun’s guardian, what are you doing?”
Gu Li was like a primary school kid, she raised her hand before she stood up and answered: “From today onwards, I am Gu Zhun and Zhang Heng’s guardian. I am here for both of their parent-teacher meetings.”
She spoke with conviction, leaving no room for argument.
The class teacher let Gu Li sit down, gave a helpless smile, and said: “Well— Our parent-teacher meeting will begin now.” At the same time, the class teacher felt slightly happier.
Zhang Heng crouched outside the window. He suddenly felt overwhelmed by an inexplicable warmth in his heart. He wanted to cry… but he trembled and held back. He was already in the ninth grade. If he cried, he would look bad…
Gu Zhun patted Zhang Heng’s back and spoke in a soft voice to comfort him: “Good boy, don’t cry.”
Damnit, can’t you read the situation??!