-
Advertorial
-
FOCUS
-
Guide
-
Lifestyle
-
Tech and Vogue
-
TechandScience
-
CHTF Special
-
Nanhan
-
Futian Today
-
Hit Bravo
-
Special Report
-
Junior Journalist Program
-
World Economy
-
Opinion
-
Diversions
-
Hotels
-
Movies
-
People
-
Person of the week
-
Weekend
-
Photo Highlights
-
Currency Focus
-
Kaleidoscope
-
Tech and Science
-
News Picks
-
Yes Teens
-
Fun
-
Budding Writers
-
Campus
-
Glamour
-
News
-
Digital Paper
-
Food drink
-
Majors_Forum
-
Speak Shenzhen
-
Business_Markets
-
Shopping
-
Travel
-
Restaurants
-
Hotels
-
Investment
-
Yearend Review
-
In depth
-
Leisure Highlights
-
Sports
-
World
-
QINGDAO TODAY
-
Entertainment
-
Business
-
Markets
-
Culture
-
China
-
Shenzhen
-
Important news
在线翻译:
szdaily -> Budding Writers
Saturdays at Little Home (II)
    2017-December-6  08:53    Shenzhen Daily

Helena Xiong

Our first conversation lasted a little bit longer than that, but it was similar to the beginning of any teenage relationship.

When I walked out of Little Home, the sun was even brighter, and I attempted to advert my eyes, an indescribable sense of daydreaming slithered upon me. It lasted the entire drive home.

I didn’t see Wan Qi again until my third week of service, and I did not let myself think about Little Home when it wasn’t the service day. Before that, on other weekend tasks, I’ve always made myself sick thinking about it during the weeks, until any significance in going to them is gone and the job becomes, quite literally, a job. This time I tucked Little Home at the back of my head as soon as I left it, on Saturday midday, hopefully this way I’d stay invested longer.

The second time that I saw Wan Qi, she sat in the same bottom bunk and had the same desk propped up and schoolbooks around her. I squeezed the copy of “Philosopher’s Stone” in my hand as I walked into her room.

Wan Qi started talking as if we’d been friends forever.

“You know these, right?” she asked, after taking a pause.

There’s an English test paper on her desk.

“Sure.” I said.

“Can you take a look at this for me?” She smiled shyly and asked. Wan Qi does smile a lot, mostly at the beginning and the end of a sentence; it’s as unsettling as it is comforting.

We drilled the seven types of exam questions for the rest of the time we had, and by the end of it we both had the question types engraved inside our heads. It is odd, almost mesmerizing, seeing from the sideline, someone focusing on their task at hand.

We traded WeChat accounts and phone numbers that day, though it’s only customary — we’d both be too polite to “disturb” each other.

In the weeks after, we practiced more mock papers, speaking exams and once even philosophy and politics.

Even when she moved back to the hospital, the studying still continued. Though I didn’t know whether to address that we were in the hospital room or not, she didn’t acknowledge it so I didn’t either. But the single subject that made us more than the “volunteer and sick teen” cliché, was — another cliché — Harry Potter.

On the last day, I visited her in the hospital at night instead of in the morning.

“So, should we just relax and watch one of the Harry Potter movies?” I said. “Since it’s 7 p.m. at night anyway.”

“Of course!” Wan Qi replied. It’s actually a relief that she agreed to this. She usually seems like she’d never let these mock papers go.

So we watched the movie. It was fun, not just because its Potter and I haven’t seen it in years — we were laughing so loud the women on the bed next to her screamed at us to be quiet.

We talked for a long time after the movie ended. About the future and school and Harry Potter, then just random things.

“I think maybe I’d pursue law in the future.” “Like become a lawyer?” I said.

“Yeah, something like that. Or anything law related that let you sit down a lot while working,” she replied, yawning lightly. Just to clarify — realizing that I’ve skipped this Wan Qi had porcelain doll disease.

“So any nine to five job...?”

“Nah, my affection for life hasn’t died yet.”

My phone rang just before I could think of something witty to say.

“Sorry, Uber...” I said.

“That’s okay,” she said. “Just stay here until it arrives at the front door.”

Just like the first time we met, our goodbye was quite dull as well. But unlike the hurried first encounter after a morning of being a responsive toy to the little kids, there was a peaceful yet urgent sense that boiled inside my stomach. It took some time for me to figure out that perhaps I wanted an epic, almost fiction-like goodbye.

But we still have those “politely reserved” WeChat conversations that we now use more often.

By the time I got onto the Uber it was already midnight, and for the first time since I started, I did not tuck everything related to Little Home into the back of my mind.

深圳报业集团版权所有, 未经授权禁止复制; Copyright 2010, All Rights Reserved.
Shenzhen Daily E-mail:szdaily@szszd.com.cn