Urban Tales of Demons and Spirits
Vol 2 Book of Xun – Chapter 28 Dorm Mates
First Published on Chaleuria.
Chapter 28 Dorm Mates
There were four people in our dorm. Two of them were from the North, and the other two were from the South. The distribution was balanced. The dorm head was named Di Zizhen, who was not only the head of the dorm but also the oldest among us. He was two years older than me and slept on the top of my bunk bed. He was also from the North like me, therefore, he had a straightforward character and always spoke frankly inside our dorm. We never questioned his authority.
“Get lost, no one is talking to you. I am talking to my little Gu Yu, it’s none of your business,” Di Zizhen said impolitely.
After hearing what he said, the second dorm mate popped his head out and began to quarrel with Di Zizhen, “Dorm head, that’s not fair. How did little Gu Yu become yours? Don’t you remember we agreed that little Gu Yu was ours?”
I felt embarrassed and helpless. But before I could say something, the second dormmate turned his head and looked at me.
“But Gu Yu, I feel that you’ve been in a bad mood these two days. What’s wrong? Did you quarrel with your boss? Did he bully you?” The second dormmate got anxious as he continued talking, “I’m telling you, if he ever bullies you, you must tell us. We guarantee that we will beat him up until his mother can’t recognize him.”
This one, who was laying on the bed and popped his head out from his bed, was the second dormmate in our dorm. His name was Zhou Lang. According to him, Zhou was the character from ‘Zhi Zhou Wan Wu’ (the phrase means erudition), Lang was from ‘Lang Lang Qian Kun’ (the phrase means the vast universe). He was the glibbest person in our dorm. Of course, he insisted that he was an eloquent speaker. In fact, he was the first person that called me by the nickname ‘little Gu Yu,’ and now the whole dorm jokingly called me by my nickname. What’s more, he was the most ‘filthy’ one in the dorm and frequently told us dirty jokes, which led to his second position in our dorm, though he was not the second oldest.
“Alright, who do you think I am?” I shook my hands helplessly and argued, “I am not a china doll, and I am not a girl. I can handle my things on my own. Please don’t act as my bodyguards all the time. I don’t want you to do this.”
“Those two are your bodyguards, don’t count me in.” At this moment, our third dormmate, who was doing his assignments on his laptop, raised his head up silently.
I was relieved. But before I could thank him for saving me from this conversation, I saw that he suddenly gave me a puzzling smile.
“We don’t know Gu Yu’s relationship with his boss. In my opinion, he’s acting like a girl who quarreled with her boyfriend. It is possible that his handsome boss did not bully him, but instead, maybe he was given ‘special care.'”
Our third dormmate was Qi Bojian. He was the top student in our class and a student committee member. He looked quiet and people who did not know he often saw him as an honest and obedient child. However, after spending some time with him, I found that he had a black heart. After we got familiar, he sometimes teased someone by surprise or gave terrible jokes that did not sound funny at all. And right now, he apparently made another lousy joke again.
Although I knew in my heart that they were merely just kidding and they didn’t really think I was a princess who needed protection, I still felt a little uncomfortable despite knowing their words were just throwaway. However, they did not deserve all the blame as during the National Day holiday, Wen Jiubo helped me resolve my family crisis and I had felt relieved to some extent. Not long after returning to the dorm, I told them the story under their persistent inquiry, however, I did not reveal all the details.
They became silent and looked at me with sympathy when they heard that my mother raised me as a girl since I was a child and even forced me to wear female clothes. The dorm head tried very hard to comfort me with his poor language ability. Since then, the other three dorm mates changed their attitudes towards me. They stopped treating me casually like a regular guy, but instead, they called me ‘little Gu Yu’ and protected me as I were a little princess and sometimes made jokes about me and other guys.
I knew they had no bad intentions, or rather I could say that their intentions were good in an awkward way. These sloppy guys did not know how to express their concern after they heard my story and so they tried to take care of me by treating me like a girl.
“Alright, stop it.” I did not know how to extract myself from this situation, so I argued helplessly, “Stop guessing. I said I am fine; please stop worrying.”
They looked at each other with worried looks on their faces. Zhou Lang came closer, “Gu Yu, we’re not trying to make fun of you. You always kept secrets to yourself and say nothing. We want to help you but don’t know how to.”
Qi Bojian nodded as well, he glanced at Di Zizhen and then said seriously, “I discussed with the dorm head yesterday, and we thought Gu Yu may have been involved in some conflict between street gangs and could not escape. We thought you did not tell us the truth because you wanted to keep us safe.”
“No, no, I heard another rumor,” The dorm head interrupted. “Liang Kaifeng from another class said, the place you work is a place for exorcism, and that your boss is an exorcist. But of course, none of us believe this rumor. It’s impossible that the supernatural exists.”
“It’s true.” I started washing my clothes.
The whole dorm was silent for a few seconds. There was no sound in the dorm except for the sound of me washing clothes. After a while, Di Zizhen asked, “Gu Yu, what did you say?”
“I said it’s true!” I popped my head out and said, “Liang Kaifeng is right, I work part-time for an exorcist.”
Suddenly, the whole dorm broke out in excitement. The three of them jumped out of their beds and started to ask me tonnes of questions.
“Really? Gu Yu, don’t fool us!”
“Don’t you dare to fool me just because I don’t know as much as you. Is there really an exorcist in Yan city?”
“No, no, we won’t be sleeping tonight. Little Gu Yu, tell us your story!”
As I mentioned before, I studied in the Chinese Language Department of Yan City University, majoring in Chinese literature. There were only a few male students in the Chinese Language Department in the first place. Coupled with our school’s high score requirements for enrolment, out of the forty-odd students in our class, only eight were males. The male students lived in two dorms, and I lived in one of them.
Probably for this reason, the relationship between the male students was pretty harmonious. Even if I either frequently went to the old residence or stayed with Shi Yitong and Su Xiaoyun and was continuously absent in the dorm since the beginning of this semester, they never kept a distance from me. Whenever they went out for dinner or fun, they always invited me to join. However, I always made different excuses to decline their invitation.