After gym class, Lin Xian and Shi Man went their separate ways. Shi Man resumed her normal routine of going to Xia Zhijin for dinner alone. Today, the distance from the gymnasium to the cafeteria was relatively close. Shi Man said to wait for Xia Zhijin, so that when Xia Zhijin comes after class, there will be no need to squeeze with others. She still remembered that during the Cold War the week before, Xia Zhijin deliberately slowed down in order to keep pace with them and followed them, thus she arrived at the cafeteria too late and several times she did not get to eat the side dishes she liked.
Lin Xian murmured secretly. At those times, Shi Man obviously gave Xia Zhijin a look of “I can’t see you”, but when did she observe so carefully?
Until she met up with Chen Zhi and Tang Mo at the entrance of the outdoor gym to go to the cafeteria for dinner, Lin Xian thought about the secret that Shi Man had just told her and was still in a little trance.
She has been raised very strictly since she was a child, her home would not have any of a so-called bad reading material, but Zhou Qin and Lin Zhan did not hide from her some topics that must be mentioned. During adolescence, Zhou Qin talked with her about the necessary physiology of the two sexes in a straightforward manner, so that she didn’t have to look at some messy things for herself out of curiosity. Because of their frankness, she was indeed much less ignorantly curious about gender relations, unlike other people of the same age who were naive and curious and longing for it.
In high school, many students became obsessed with novels of all kinds, so much so that they forgot to eat and sleep. Lin Xian followed the trend and read two books, only to feel bored and lost interest. At the same time, Yan Yuhuan was a fan of novels and spent all of her time outside of studying immersed in reading novels. But she is not the same as other classmates who like to share and exchange novel plots with friends. Yan Yuhuan reads novels mysteriously and never tells what she reads, what the title is and what plot is about. Even if Lin Xian presses to ask, she only hesitated to say, “You are so innocent, I still don’t want to ruin you. The door to the new world cannot be opened at will.”
Lin Xian used the excitement to provoke her, saying that she read the small yellow text, that’s why she did not dare to say, and Yan Yuhuan righteously and frankly refused by saying, “I am not, I did not!”
Until, just now, when Shi Man asked her, “Have you been exposed to Danmei1 novels?” It was only after the fact that Lin Xian became suspicious of Yan Yuhuan, was she reading this type of novel and is that why she bit back and did not tell her?
Her mind reverberated with the phrase “the door to a new world, cannot be opened at will” that Yuhuan had half-jokingly said at that time. She only felt that her heart was in turmoil, as if there was something that was really coming out, but could not be grasped.
This, so-called after the opening of the new world, is the scorching light radiating from there? She was almost fidgeting.
The word homosexuality, as if it had suddenly landed in front of her eyes from a distant and remote corner of her life, made her wonder and think.
When she was in junior high school, she first learned this word from a casual conversation with her classmates, who mentioned that “There is a strange and perverted kind of people in this world, we all like each other and the opposite sex attracts one another, but these kind of people are different from everyone else. They, ah, like the same sex”. Lin Xian heard, in her heart she pondered, not the same is strange and perverted? She did not feel right. So she went home for dinner when she asked Zhou Qin and Lin Zhan.
At that time, Zhou Qin’s face seemed a little strange, only carefully and seriously inquired to the reason why Lin Xian brought up this topic. And then, Zhou Qin only told her, “Mom will only tell you in advance that homosexuality is not a perversion, but, specifically about this topic, when you grow up a little more, we will talk about it in detail, okay?”
Lin Zhan wanted to say something, but after looking at Zhou Qin’s expression, in the end, he just nodded to Lin Xian’s warm and loving face and pressed on without mentioning it.
So Lin Xian went to high school again in ignorance, almost forgetting about the incident of this topic. In a school-based elective class, talking about the psychology of adolescence, the head teacher was a middle-aged man about 50 years old. When it came to homosexuality, the teacher said, “homosexuality is not a perversion, but it is also wrong and abnormal.” Normal love can only happen between male and female heterosexuals. The so-called love between the same sex, many of them are just wrong attachments and wrong fantasies during adolescence, not distinguishing between friendship and love, so the illusion is created.
Yan Yuhuan next to her, softly “qie”. When Lin Xian asked her what happened, Yan Yuhuan bit her lips, shook her head and said in a muffled voice: “It’s nothing.”
Lin Xian thought at the time, the psychology teacher, should be a senior person in this area. So is this the truth that her parents pressed not to mention the topic back then? Seems like they said the same thing, they all have said that homosexuality was not a perversion, but neither of them said it was right. Then it should be, that’s what it is, it’s just an illusion.
Because it had nothing to do with her, Lin Xian did not pay too much attention, and did not look for information on her own for proof, so this was stored in her heart as the correct conclusion.
But today, Lin Xian’s long-standing concept seemed to be overturned by Shi Man’s words in an instant, by her own surging thoughts.
Shi Man, such a genuine understanding of the feelings, such a heartfelt affection, can it be explained by the so-called illusion? Lin Xian believes not, she can not deceive herself.
So, the previous psychology teacher, what he said may not be correct, right?
Therefore, between the same sex, there can be real love, there will be tenderness, there will be admiration, there will be affection, there will be all that male and female love may have, right? Although few people talk about it and few people pay attention to it, such feelings, are not abnormal or wrong, are they?
She didn’t know why, there seemed to be a fire in her heart. From a small cluster of flames, it gradually grew and burned, forming a prairie momentum in an instant. Lin Xian’s heart was on fire and her heart was beating like the thunder.
After finishing her meal and putting down the chopsticks, Chen Zhi and Tang Mo were still drinking soup, she finally couldn’t hold back her mind’s amazement and curiosity, and carefully probed them, “Do you read novels?” It was like the usual small talk about everyday life.
Chen Zhi nodded carelessly and said, “I will read it when I have the time, recently I have been catching up with several of them every night.”
Tang Mo also immediately responded, “I am too, but there has been a shortage of books recently.”
The two of them left Lin Xian behind before she could continue to probe and they chatted away from her, asking and answering questions on their own. Tang Mo asked Chen Zhi if there was anything she could recommend and Chen Zhi asked Tang Mo what type of novels she read and Tang Mo answered Chen Zhi without thinking, “I eat Danmei romance.”
Chen Zhi marveled, “Ah okay. I used to read romance, but then, once I entered the door of corruption, I could not read romance anymore.”
Lin Xian had always stretched her ears to listen to their conversation. Hearing “danmei romance” these two sensitive keywords, she immediately straightened her body, unconsciously clasped her hands and rubbed them together, joined the conversation, and asking abruptly, “Danmei, is it a novel about the love between male, which… such feelings…. are normal?”
When Chen Zhi and Tang Mo at first heard the word “normal”, almost exploded. What is normal? What is abnormal? But they looked at Lin Xian’s expression, her eyes were clean and full of curiosity, there was no trace of malicious present. Chen Zhi then slowed down her speech and replied to Lin Xian. “Of course it’s normal, what’s not normal about it. Nowadays, in many countries, people of the same sex can get married, but our country is still conservative. I didn’t expect it, Lin Xian, are you also conservative?”
Lin Xian didn’t know why, but there was a curve of smile on her own lips that she couldn’t hold down. She waved her hand repeatedly and explained, “I’m not, I was just rather stupid myself. I didn’t know and was fooled by some unprofessional teacher.”
Why, inexplicably, did she feel that there was a place in her heart, soothing and cheerful?
There was a flash of Xiao Yuqing’s face in her mind, but soon, it was suppressed by Lin Xian, she thought. She thought, she might be happy for Shi Man and Xia Zhijin’s love to be properly known.
Later, by the afternoon class, Lin Xian gradually forgot about this matter again.
She had thought that this topic, this term, probably, should just stop. She understood, she knew, and that’s it, there will be nothing more.
However, after school, when she returned home, she saw Xiao Yuqing’s beautiful face, she suddenly realized that she didn’t know herself anymore.
She returned home as usual, put her school bag on the sofa first, and then ran to the kitchen to look for Xiao Yuqing. As expected, Xiao Yuqing, as usual, was wearing an apron, pulling up her hair, and standing in front of the gas stove cooking. She quickly approached Xiao Yuqing, intimately rubbed her chin against Xiao Ivana Qing’s arm and complimented, “It smells so good, what are you cooking, Aunt Xiao?”
It was obviously a normal scene that has been repeated countless times recently. A normal action that has been done countless times, but in the next second, when Xiao Yuqing looked down and scolded her “greedy little cat”, everything seemed to be different.
Lin Xian raised her eyes in a daze and looked at Xiao Yuqing’s gentle smile that was close to her, looking into her gentle eyes, and suddenly, it was as if sparks of fire had burned through her whole body, making her fiercely hot.
It was as if she could hear her heartbeat as loud as thunder all of a sudden, and along with the gentle sound of Xiao Yuqing’s low, soft, and doting “greedy little cat”, it began to beat rapidly and frantically.
She let go of the hands that were wrapped around Xiao Yuqing’s arms. Her heart was in turmoil and she didn’t dare to look at Xiao Yuqing anymore, but quickly dropped the phrase “Aunt Xiao, I’m going to take a shower first” and ran away.
Xiao Yuqing turned sideways in a daze, looked at the girl’s fast disappearing figure, and her eyebrows knitted slightly. She pulled her hair scattered on her cheeks behind her ears, turned off the fire, and secretly pondered; Today, there was something abnormal about Lin Xian. Is it because of school? Or is it because of her? But she just said a perfectly normal thing…
In any case, Xiao Yuqing could not have imagined that Lin Xian’s abnormal, was because of looking at Xiao Yuqing’s charming face with lowered eyes. The thought that rose up in her mind for a moment was actually: girls, can like girls…. then can she also…
No, it’s not, it can’t be.
Lin Xian dazedly took two cold showers before she could suppress the unexplained heat in her heart. She admonished herself that this matter has nothing to do with her and she is not allowed to think about it anymore.
However, when it came time to eat, she uncontrollably still hit herself in the face.
Xiao Yuqing calmly served soup to Lin Xian, but she did not say a word, but she took a few minutes to observe Lin Xian more than usual. Naturally, she soon found out that Lin Xian had been stealing glances at her, intentionally or unintentionally. But when she looked at her, she would quickly withdraw her eyes and act as if nothing was wrong.
If Xiao Yuqing hadn’t been reassured and went to the washroom to look in the mirror to make sure that her makeup was normal and her dress was normal before and that Lin Xian was not acting abnormally, Xiao Yuqing would have thought that there was something strange on her face.
Xiao Yuqing has always been an open-minded person who does not like to doubt herself. Communicating with others, she has always known what is not harmful and can be said; what cannot be said, she keeps her mouth shut. She had suspicions about Lin Xian in her heart, so she was a little relieved. Trying not to probe the young girl’s privacy, but afraid that she may have encountered some difficulties, but in the face of the other, it was difficult to speak. She hesitated for a moment, but decided to ask Lin Xian straightforwardly, “Xianxian, did you encounter something today?”
Lin Xian’s chopsticks paused for a moment and reflexively denied it, “No, nothing happened.” She raised her head, looked at Xiao Yuqing, saw her look of concern, and at Xiao Yuqing’s bright watery eyes, her heart seemed to start beating abnormally again.
In the end, she still couldn’t help but confess and ask, “Aunt Xiao, do you think that it is normal and right to be gay?” When Lin Xian asked Chen Zhi and Tang Mo, she was still very calm despite being a bit nervous. At this moment, she obviously noticed that her voice, when she asked Xiao Yuqing, carried a few undetectable trembles. She did not dare to look at Xiao Yuqing’s expression, her heart felt anxious to the extreme.
So she missed the surprise, panic, and melancholy that flashed in Xiao Yuqing’s eyes when she asked this question and she missed the hands that trembled as they clenched and unclenched at the edge of the bowl in the moment she was nervous.
It was only after a long time that she heard Xiao Yuqing’s warm and soft voice, asking her instead of answering, “Why are you suddenly asking me this?”
Lin Xian answered half of the reason frankly without thinking, “Because today I was talking about novels with my classmates and suddenly the topic of this came up.”
Xiao Yuqing’s rare panic and complicated look was slightly dispersed. She quietly breathed a sigh of relief and deliberated for a long time before cautiously answering Lin Xian, “In my opinion, homosexuality is normal, and there is no right or wrong in love.”
Lin Xian smiled, her heart strangely relieved. She looked towards Xiao Yuqing with some delight, and heard Xiao Yuqing’s soft and pleasant voice continue to add, “However, the result of such love, which shouldn’t hurt anyone, will always, unavoidably, hurt some people.”
Lin Xian felt that when Xiao Yuqing spoke, her expression carried some heaviness and sorrow that she could not understand. She seemed to understand, hesitated again and again before asking, “That is, anyway, for you, Aunt Xiao, you think it is right and you don’t oppose it, right?”
Xiao Yuqing’s eyes were deep, like an ancient pond, and her deep eyes seemed to be tinted with a layer of mist that Lin Xian could not see through. The smile on her lips was somewhat shallow, and her voice was faint, “I think, it is right.” She slightly lowered her head, her soft hair covered her beautiful face, and Lin Xian could not see her expression.
Her voice, as if she was speaking to Lin Xian, was also as if she was speaking to herself.
Lin Xian’s heart had an unspeakable excitement suppressed. The young girl’s clear, bell-like laughter rang out in a room of warm light, echoed, “I also think it is right!” That teacher, don’t talk nonsense if you don’t know! Misleading people!!
Xiao Yuqing suddenly sighed softly and let out a nice airy breath. “Ha…” She stood up, ready to clean up the dishes, raised her hand and rubbed the fine soft hair on top of Lin Xian’s head, and lamented despondently, “I don’t know if your mother will want to beat me when she finds out what I said to you. “
Lin Xian opened her heart at this moment, although still some inexplicable restlessness, she moreover enjoyed Xiao Yuqing’s close action to her very much. She was like a little puppy whose fur was comfortably rubbed smooth, gently shaking her head and rubbing against Xiao Yuqing’s hand, smiling and confidently said, “My mother will not. You are right, and my mother knows it. She is not a conservative person like that.”
Xiao Yuqing lowered her eyes and looked at Lin Xian’s childish smile that was not familiar with the world, just pursed her lips, did not speak, and the color of her eyes were obscure and difficult to understand.
But, my parents, have they ever been conservative people?
At the end of the day, Xiao Yuqing just gently stroked Lin Xian’s tender cheeks and prayed hopefully in her heart: Lin Xian, if you can, I hope you never have to face this topic.
Although, I will always support and protect.
But, I dare not say, I have not regretted.
The author has something to say:
When I was 15 years old, I thought lily was a flower. I never expected that from then on , I entered the lily as deep as the ocean… Do you still remember how you got started?
A little bonus chapter for Steven just because!!
1 Danmei – mainly BL but GL too
Translator: *holding my head in deep thoughts* I kind of do??? Lol. I enjoyed reading the others’ stories in the comment section though. Besides the stories, some mentioned Tamen De Gushi and others Citrus.
!!! Oh Right!! Lin Xian is too naive!