Editor: Wahnsinniger Herrscher
Small Class President
A slight feeling of embarrassment besieged Zhou Yuan, as he believed that she should’ve recognized him but after musing over it, he realized why she could not recognize him. When she was a child, Miaomiao was locked up in her house all day and didn’t have much contact with the outside world. In other words, their brief encounter could be likened to the time a young child entered the world for the first time. She encountered new people and new information every day, and his absence had weakened his presence in her life; therefore, she would naturally forget him.
Zhou Yuan hadn’t experienced any embarrassing incidents for many years, but he was embarrassed today. “Did you remember me?”
Miaomiao nodded, “Yeah.”
Neither of them knew what to say next. They were almost like strangers who had some vague notion of familiarity between them.
Miaomiao had very few strong impressions of her child. She only recalled that she constantly underwent scar removal treatments, endured a lot of pain, and played with her classmates; therefore, she did not remember too much of it.
Their taciturnity was proof that they were too embarrassed to even utter a word. They had no idea what to say to each other.
Especially Miaomiao, who was filled with exhaustion and panic. She was physically and mentally fatigued today, which made this incident even more awkward.
When Miaomiao returned home, the first thing she did was to scour her room for her childhood belongings.
The last time she moved, she had discovered a lot of things from her elementary school, which were stowed away within a box in her room.
Mother Hua was a little surprised, “Miaomiao. What are you looking for?”
“Do you remember a classmate named Zhou Yuan? He was there when I was in elementary school.”
Of course, Mother Hua remembered him. Not only did she remember Zhou Yuan, but she also remembered how dejected Miaomiao was when he left.
When Zhou Yuan departed for college, she comforted Miaomiao by telling her that he would come home during the weekends, and since they lived in the same community, they could play together and phone each other.
But since his family had moved away, Zhou Yuan’s phone number couldn’t be reached. For a while, Miaomiao was sad, and she eventually stopped mentioning him. A child’s forgetfulness slowly erased all traces of him from her memory.
Mother Hua didn’t mind talking about this boy, who had left a huge impression on her, now that Miaomiao was all grown up.
“When you were in elementary school, he was your first tablemate in first grade. He assisted in fixing your tablet and even bought you a phone watch. He was very close to you at that time.”
Miaomiao froze for a moment since she knew that the other person still had remembrances of her, but she had forgotten him. She felt a little guilty when she finally digested her mother’s words.
“I only remember that there was a person, but I do not remember the rest. He is almost like a blurry shadow who’s been relegated to the back of my mind.”
Mother Hua was taken aback for a transitory moment. Mother Hua realized that she had to be careful with her words since people often didn’t like hearing the truth, for it could cause their worldview to collapse. Therefore, she said nothing about him cutting off all contact with Miaomiao and his friends later on, nor did she mention that his WeChat account didn’t work. This saddened Miaomiao for a long time since she had lost her good friend and felt as if Zhou Yuan cared little for a little child like her. Mother Hua didn’t mention any of these uncomfortable truths, but rather she asked, “Why do you remember all of this all of a sudden?”
“He’s currently my deskmate, and I had misunderstood him and imputed malice to him.”
As she rummaged through her childhood items, Miaomiao said, “And he still remembers me.”
She combed through a box that contained everything that she collected. Her toys, puppets, dolls, used hairpins, gifts that her classmates gave her when she graduated from elementary school, and childhood postcards. They were all in this box.
Memories were very magical things. Her childhood was lost and forgotten, but when she sifted through her memories, those blurry childhood memories began to slowly become clearer and clearer. When she saw these objects, she remembered that her group of elementary school classmates hugged and cried together during their graduation ceremony, saying that they would return to their school frequently to see their teacher. They vowed to contact each other often in the future.
In fact, she returned several times to their elementary school with Jingjing and Deng Feng. At that time, they waited and frolicked outside their school for many hours, but they never saw their classmates ever again.
Miaomiao found a small box. She could not recall what was inside.
When she opened it, she saw three yellow sunflowers painted on a sheet of paper inside.
When Mother Hua saw it, she said, “While he was getting ready to leave, you scrimped and saved some money so that you could buy him some flowers as a farewell gift. But you never gave him those flowers. After they had moved away, you drew a picture of them.”
Mother Hua then asked, “By the way, I washed some strawberries. Would you like some? You loved strawberries when you were a child, but now you hardly ever eat them.”
Miaomiao scrutinized her childhood paintings, and then she inhaled the strawberries’ scent. Suddenly, dusty memories from her childhood began to flood her mind as if she had gone back in time.
All of a sudden, Miaomiao stood up as if she had remembered something.
Miaomiao was stunned. Fragments of long abandoned memories began entering her mind, which caused the corners of her eyes to turn red and teary. The strawberry fragrance was like a thread leading to a long forgotten memory that emitted the same strawberry scent.
Miaomiao’s eyes were red and teary, and within her heart, there was this familiar yet unfamiliar feeling of returning to that girl who was once weak, lonely, and nescient of the world, but despite her weakness and nescience, she still wanted to wholeheartedly embrace the world and see its wonders.
This emotion had some indescribable healing quality as if one was drenched in an ocean of warmth and comfort.
Miaomiao decided to take her old schoolbag to school the next day. Her sunflower painting was also in her schoolbag. She felt as if she carried her entire childhood on her back.
Miaomiao felt more like she was carrying the happiness that came out of all those years. When she combed through those childhood items, she remembered the euphoria that she felt during that time. She felt as if luck was on her side since she had attended and grown up in such an ebullient school.
However, Miaomiao recalled that Zhou Yuan was precociously intelligent as a child. Later, he went to college.
Why did he come back to high school?
When she arrived at her classroom, she noticed that Zhou Yuan hadn’t arrived yet; she took out her painting.
Her classmates entered the classroom one after another. They greeted her as they sauntered past her table, “Good morning, class president!”
“Class president, the swelling on your face has finally lessened.”
As she greeted each of them, Miaomiao always felt that Jingjing had the most effect on her since her childhood years.
It wasn’t until this moment when she realized that Zhou Yuan had affected her the most, at least on a subconscious level.
She unknowingly adopted the same mannerisms and characteristics of Zhou Yuan when he used to be her classmate in elementary school.
She scrutinized the painting that she had made as a child, and she sat dazed in her seat. She could feel his embarrassment when she told him that she had finally remembered him. Her apology only served to worsen his abashment.
But no matter how well their relationship was during their childhood…they were but strangers now. It has been ten years since their first meeting, and she had no memory of him. Their first meeting since their separation ended in disaster since she had wronged him, and furthermore, she had no memory of him at all.
Miaomiao mused for a while and stowed the painting under Zhou Yuan’s table because she recalled that she always stowed things under his desk during her childhood.
At that time, she eagerly wanted to gift her best friend with something since he was leaving. She wanted him to always remember her.
Zhou Yuan’s books were neatly stacked up on his table, and none of them had been moved.
She awaited his arrival all morning long, but he never showed up.
As class president, she approached her teacher to inquire about Zhou Yuan’s situation and whereabouts.
“I don’t think he’s coming.”
“Why?” Miaomiao stiffened for a moment when she processed her words. “Is it because I had offended him?” she asked.
The headteacher was incognizant of the reason but said, “It might be.”
When Miaomiao departed the office, panic began to fill her heart. It was true that she had overreacted at that time.
After a brief moment of reflection, she returned to the headteacher and asked for Zhou Yuan’s address.
When noon arrived, she took a taxi and went to the address provided by the headteacher.
She rang the doorbell; her nervosity was gnawing at her. After waiting for a little while, the door opened.
She peered into the hallway, and Miaomiao noticed that the person opening the door was busy conversing with somebody on his cell phone. He looked at Miaomiao before turning his attention back to his cell phone, and then he coldly uttered to the phone, “You can solve it by yourself. I’m not going to get involved.”
He hung up the phone, and then he turned his gaze back to Miaomiao, “What’s the matter?”
After learning that this person was her elementary school classmate, whom she had wronged, Miaomiao didn’t know how to face him.
For a moment, she pondered to herself, ‘I…I should just get right to the point.’
She was trepidatious.
“First of all, I want to apologize for wronging you. I take full responsibility for this situation and its consequences. And secondly, I apologize for having forgotten about you.”
A trace of surprise gleamed in his eyes as he heard her uttering those words, “It’s okay. I understand.”
It’s nice to see that she has grown up to be healthy. Surely, she’s surrounded by her loved ones who support her.
“Come in and sit down. Would you like something to drink?”
When Miaomiao walked in, she discovered that his home was bereft of furniture, but the place still possessed a very clean and tidy ambiance.
Miaomiao sat down and asked, “Well. Are you coming back to school in the afternoon?”
Miaomiao’s face was no longer swollen. Her big, watery eyes were fixed on him. A feeling of seriousness radiated from her.
He went to pour her some water. He smiled and said, “So, is the class president here to rebuke this truant for his absence?”
Back then, she wanted to be called “the small class president”.
Miaomiao received the cup of water, and she lowered her eyes in disappointment, “No. I am…I feel sorry for the displeasure that I have caused you.”
Zhou Yuan wanted to say that he didn’t want to attend school later, but he found it hard to do so.
When he was younger, he remembered that whenever Miaomiao asked to do something, he would agree to do it.
It didn’t matter if she had implored him to provide assistance or not, he would still agree to help if she had asked him.
After he left, he didn’t dare contact her. His biggest concern was that if he had contacted her, he would revert back to being an elementary school student.
Miaomiao’s best friend was Jingjing. In a blink of an eye, she went from being a little girl who shyly and timorously blushed whenever she raised her hand to a class president who was able to solve problems on her own. She would scold and reprove any unruly boys in her class, and she would encourage and embolden the girls to speak up for themselves. She underwent a medical procedure to remove the scars on her arms. Both her great-grandmother and her grandmother had passed away…
He was no longer her best friend either, for he had disappeared from her life a long time ago.
Zhou Yuan furrowed his eyebrows and asked Hua Miaomiao, “Does the class president want to return to school? I’ll give you a ride.”
Miaomiao raised her head in surprise, “Are you coming back to school also?”
Zhou Yuan nodded and took his jacket, “I can’t just let the class president’s journey go to waste, can I?”
Miaomiao breathed a sigh of relief.
When they entered the elevator, it just so happened that they were the only two people inside. An implicit, unspoken awkwardness filled this confined space.
Miaomiao wondered how she could break the silence, but she didn’t know what to say.
After noticing her cautious look, Zhou Yuan recalled their first meeting. Her expression was exactly the same.
He realized that he had no idea what to say to her. Talking about their childhood was out of the question, and he had no experience with a girl of his age, nor did have any formal business experience.
He found it very difficult to launch into a conversation.
Miaomiao finally broke this awkward silence by saying, “Thank you for taking such good care of me when I was a kid.”
“There’s no need to thank me for that.”
The two fell into silence once more.
Fortunately, the elevator reached the basement at this time.
They both stepped out, and it was no longer embarrassing.
They returned to school shortly after a short drive. It was still nap time. The students, who attended their daytime classes, went to sleep at home, whereas the residential students slept in the dormitory.
The classroom was devoid of students. As they walked in, someone called Miaomiao, “Hua Miaomiao.”
Miaomiao turned around to see the class president of Class 5 standing there, not too far away from her.
On the surface at least, Miaomiao and the fifth-class president acted amicably with each other, even though the two classes were often inimical to each other due to their rivalry. Since the school considered the two classes to be brother classes, they had to do many activities with each other.
Miaomiao walked over, “What’s the matter?”
The teacher asked us to tally up the number of poverty subsidies this semester. I have already counted them. I would like to borrow two places from your class.
Miaomiao responded, “I was about to ask you about that also. We don’t have enough places in our class either. I thought that you have some extra places.”
“Have you counted them already? Didn’t you take leave two days ago?”
“I tallied them up last night.” Miaomiao recalled some things about the students and continued, “There are three students in our classroom with low-income guarantee certificates. And there are four students with certificates that proved that they were from poor, indigent households who have established cards. The students on the application form have all been verified by me.”
The class president from Class 5 had nothing more to add and went back to her classroom.
Miaomiao darted back to her own classroom and turned on the classroom computer. Then, she read the applications, which were handed in to her by her classmates, and she input them into the computer.
Seeing her solemn demeanor, Zhou Yuan asked, “Do you need any assistance?”
Her gaze was fixed on the material, and her hands continued to glide over the keyboard as she replied, “Thank you for your kindness, but I should be able to finish this on time.” She had much more experience doing this sort of stuff. Combined with the fact that there was only one computer, this often inconvenienced others when they offered her their succor.
The headteacher requested that the forms be sent to him by noon the next day, but the fifth-class president said that he would speak with the class teacher later. Once she submitted the forms, it would mean that their classroom would be devoid of extra spots for additional students.
She almost couldn’t attend classes during her first year of high school because she didn’t understand how the applications worked. There were only five students in their class who had submitted their applications at that time. There were only ten allocations for each class, according to the teacher. The class president next door cried, declaring that there weren’t enough spaces in their class. Miaomiao thought that the state subsidies were supposed to be given to poor students; therefore, it should’ve been the same for all of the classes.
She didn’t expect them to privately discuss their problems and split their money privately for those five allocations.
Miaomiao knews that several of her classmates had financial difficulties, but they didn’t submit their applications on time since their destitution embarrassed them.
Miaomiao’s father oversaw their orchard during the weekends, and Miaomiao decided to take everybody to their orchard so that these few destitute students could earn some income working there. Miaomiao had already prompted everyone from her class to write and submit their applications on time after her headteacher had mentioned this matter. Now, all those, who possessed proof of their destitute status, were treasured, and they realized that their indigence was nothing to be embarrassed about.
Miaomiao’s fingers basically flew over the keyboard, which revealed her fingers’ suppleness and flexibility. Her eyes scanned every detail, ensuring that she didn’t input any incorrect information, especially the students’ ID numbers and bank card numbers, as this determined whether the money could be successfully deposited into their accounts.
Personal info, bank card info, and application forms…
All this information fatigued Miaomiao’s eyes, but she finished with her task anyway.
After rubbing her eyes, she rechecked everything once more, and then she found out that…twelve students had applied this time.
Miaomiao was stunned for a brief moment, and there were actually two more classmates above their permitted threshold.
When she filled in the information and perused it, she realized that everyone’s situation wasn’t very good.
She was in a very prodigious class, so about half of her classmates had good grades in different districts and counties.
This situation wasn’t unexpected.
One by one, the students returned to their classroom.
Miaomiao emailed the complete list of files to their headteacher.
After organizing the file, she went to find the member of the literature and arts committee who sat in the last row.
Miaomiao asked, “Wu Lang. Did you bring your cell phone?”
“Yes. What’s wrong?” Wu Lang asked while handing the phone to her.
Miaomiao received it and clarified, “I dropped my phone. May I use your phone?”
Zhou Yuan watched as Miaomiao borrowed someone else’s phone, and he realized that, in her eyes at least, he was nothing more than some familiar stranger to her.
Miaomiao took the phone as well as the information about her classmates, and then she trekked towards her teacher’s office.
Zhou Yuan directed his attention to her and realized that he had truly missed out on a lot.
The timid little child, who witnessed this world, truly had grown up.
Her growth was an ephemerality, for it passed by quickly, and he had missed out on this brief event. It was impossible to describe Zhou Yuan’s feelings at that moment, for he felt lost.
During this transient moment of self-reflection, a feeling of ambivalence began to creep into his heart, for he had no idea whether he had regretted his original decision or not.
In fact…he thought that studying in college would be fun, but it wasn’t.
In fact…he thought that earning money would be exciting, but it wasn’t.
In fact…it was much more rewarding and wonderful to have a silly friend rather than someone who constantly thought about backstabbing you just for some clout and money.
He remembered his mother’s words from that time.
‘You could go to university whenever you want, but you could only spend your childhood once. Do not regret it later.’
At that time, he insisted that he would not regret it. He insisted that he despised his elementary school life.
He finally got what he wished for but at a cost. He left elementary school, and he had entered the world of adults far ahead of time.
Hey guys. I’m so sorry I only uploaded the second half of chapter 75 on Monday so that’s why there was a shift in the setting. I realized it after reading F_J’s comment now. I’ve corrected it. Thank you, F_J, and once again, sorry to everyone.
Bonus Chapter Challenge 4
Task: 11 reviews on the Novelupdates.
Reward: Extra chapter on Friday.
Hello, everyone! I do hope you guys enjoy reading Miaomiao and Zhouzhou’s story. We’ve updated our Patreon page. There are now three levels so you can read up to 12 chapters in advance, with the lowest tier for $1 a month and allowing access to up to 3 chapters. Thank you ☺