Being-Towards-Death - Chapter 4
Shen Tingmian subconsciously touched his wrist.
The moment you bleed, the physical pain would cut through your nerves and take over your brain, creating a safe and happy void that would briefly make you forget the torment of your soul.
It was a stupid way to replace pain with pain, but it costed nothing and worked.
Shen Tingmian carried his bag into the school. He was halfway there when he met Teacher Chen and Li Muzhe.
Li Muze was holding a pile of books, showing only his eyebrows.
Teacher Chen quickly said, “Hey, Shen Tingmian, come and help.”
Shen Tingmian walked up and evened out some of the books in Li Muze’s hand. Li Muze and him looked at each other for a moment before hastily averting their eyes.
As they walked across the playground, Teacher Chen and Shen Tingmian talked: “You went home?”
Shen Tingmian responded: “Well, I was getting something.”
Li Muze and Shen Tingmian walked side by side on the playground; the heart and mind were very much in turmoil.
The soccer practice ball went out of bounds, and for the first time, he unprecedentedly kicked it back. He wouldn’t do it at ordinary times. Whether the opponent stopped chasing the ball when they saw the ball approaching his feet or sent out a friendly call—I hope this buddy can help—he ignored them all.
Why should I help you! Don’t you have long legs! A bunch of idiots.
Li Muze was not used to their troublesome habits.
It’s different now. The person he liked was right next to him. He was happy to help with any favor.
Hee hee hee.
嘻嘻: hee hee. It’s really a stupid/whipped smile. See the pic below to see the different laughing expression lol
Why is the sky so blue today!
His heart was blossoming with spring flowers. He occasionally looked at Shen Tingmian’s profile. The end of Shen Tingmian’s eyes were always glowing red and he was so white. It was really tempting. For the teenage Li Muze, it was a fatal temptation.
He thought Shen Tingmian couldn’t be a human being. His body structure was different from that of human beings. He didn’t need to excrete, and he didn’t have ugly organs such as intestines and liver. Underneath his skin were shining gemstones.
Shen Tingmian heard of Li Muze’s idea later on.
Only God knew that there was an ulcer under his skin.
Fortunately, Li Muze was not a god.
Shen Tingmian smiled when he talked to Teacher Chen.
He was a person who liked to laugh very much. Li Muze would often steal a few glances. He yelled so much in front of the teacher, but at this time he didn’t dare to say a word, pretending to go forward while the corner of his eyes were always on Shen Tingmian’s smile.
He did not dare to indulge in Shen Tingmian’s pear vortex.
Even in a dream, one more glance was blasphemy.
Teacher Chen said: “Shen Tingmian, I have always wanted you to be my class representative.”
Shen Tingmian smiled.
Teacher Chen was also smiling, looking down at her white high heels: “You always listen carefully. In our class, you listen to my lessons most seriously.”
This sounded half-truth and half-false. In the joking tone, Shen Tingmian heard self-deprecation and loneliness, so he was slightly taken aback.
She said that, but did not force Shen Tingmian to answer, and naturally transitioned to Li Muze: “Li Muze, why are you unhappy today?”
Li Muze: “Ah?”
He felt that Shen Tingmian’s eyes suddenly looked a little embarrassed , and his lips were hot: “No, I’m thinking about what to eat at night.”
: embarrassed here can also mean to be in a difficult situation.
“Have you not eaten yet?” Teacher Chen smiled with some surprise.
“Oh, wrong, wrong, it’s night snack.”
After the words fell, Li Muze heard Shen Tingmian let out a very soft laugh.
The setting sun was shining on them. Li Muze suddenly felt that perhaps Shen Tingmian would accept himself. The joy of taking things for granted made him a little confused. His words were floating with excitement: “Teacher, do you know what Liu Chao wrote in that reading question last time?”
When Teacher Chen was in school, she should be the kind of girl who was very quiet and down-to-earth; she always spoke with bookishness. At this time she rubbed her fingers on the hem of her skirt: “Oh, you said that question.”
Shen Tingmian asked: “Which question?”
“Just that one, what kind of person do you want to be in your next life.” Li Muze replied to Shen Tingmian with some earnestness. His voice was a little louder and his palms were sweating, “Liu Lao…Liu Chao said he wanted to be a monk.”
: Liu Lao Gou: Old dog Liu
Teacher Chen smiled: “I am a little impressed. Why did he write that way?”
“He said there is no money charge for the food.”
: 斋饭 (zhai fan): food given to the monk as alms; vegetarian food for monks
All three of them laughed, and Li Muze pretended to ask Shen Tingmian casually: “What did you write?”
Shen Tingmian said, “I wrote that I want to be a bad person in my next life.”
Teacher Chen asked: “Be the black boss?”
“No,” Shen Tingmian said thoughtfully, “It is a bad guy who does nothing wrong, the kind of bad that goes down in history.”
The air seemed to freeze, Shen Tingmian added: “Selfish and self-indulgent, ba.”
Teacher Chen’s tone was so gentle: “Selfishness is not bad, people are selfish.”
Shen Tingmian shook his head: “Being a bad person anyway.”
Li Muze thought Shen Tingmian was so cute.
His manner of speaking was cute, his tone of voice was cute, and even when he said he wanted to be a bad guy, the little yearning that came out of his eyes was so cute.
Damn, he was so cute.
Li Muze couldn’t hide the crazy blinking stars in his eyes when looking at him.
He cleared his throat and tried to pretend to be indifferent while laughing at him: “Come on, just you. Do you think it’s cool to be a bad person, chuunibyou.”
Teacher Chen looked at him with a smile: “Aren’t you chuunibyou?”
Li Muze disdainfully said: “I am very mature.”
Teacher Chen had her hands behind her back and jumped in her steps: “There is nothing wrong with chuunibyou. It’s comfortable to be a child.”
Li Muze was still peeking at Shen Tingmian.
Shen Tingmian’s smile always brought him happiness, a lot of happiness.
Even if he didn’t like him, this happiness was worth cherishing.
Shen Tingmian returned to the classroom. He sat in his seat and took out a pen to listen to the listening audio that was played at a regular time each day amidst the sounds of restlessness.
The place near the back door was always the last place to quiet down. A few people were biting the water card as they hurriedly went to get water. Li Muze knew the student who was late for today’s inspection, and they were chatting with him at the back door, giggling without any seriousness.
Shen Tingmian shook his pen, digesting today’s guilt and self-blame.
He had not told anyone that most of the time the happiness was pretended. Sometimes he would very occasionally feel real happiness, that would make him terrified and afraid, as if he had done something wrong, because it was not what he deserved.
And once people knew, no one would believe that his occasional unhappiness was real.
But he didn’t care about that anymore, now. To be precise, it didn’t matter that much anymore, because he would be over it in a few days.
The peace that death brought him allowed him to make peace with his self-loathing these days.
The class committee took turns in managing discipline during the week.
Today would be Li Muze’s turn. He went to the podium to sit with his textbooks while the students had their evening study.
Li Muze pretended to do his homework, but he kept peeking at Shen Tingmian.
The frequency was too high and his movements were so clumsy that Shen Tingmian felt it.
Shen Tingmian didn’t want to care at first, but he himself was someone who couldn’t concentrate. He was interrupted by Li Muze several times, so he raised his eyes to look at him.
Li Muze and his gaze ran into him. But he had no time to dodge, so he simply looked at him.
He couldn’t help but want to laugh when he saw Shen Tingmian. When he didn’t pay attention, his mouth opened.
Oops! He pretended to avert his gaze as if nothing had happened, acting skillfully as if he were speaking to someone behind him. Shen Tingmian looked at him for a while, then lowered his head to continue to do his homework.
The heart beat. Li Muze reflected on himself; he couldn’t learn this lesson well.
During break, Li Muze walked over with his hands stuffed in his pocket. Zhao Chen was dozing off, so Li Muze grabbed his head.
He actually came to find Shen Tingmian, but he wouldn’t say anything, so he came to harass Zhao Chen.
Zhao Chen yelled while getting up: “What are you doing!”
Li Muzhe did not dare to look straight at Shen Tingmian, nor did he dare to talk to him, but the person he liked was right in front of him. He was so excited that he talked loudly to Zhao Chen, trying hard to make Shen Tingmian notice him.
Meng Yuanyuan stood up to get the water. Li Muze also joked with her, in an excited tone: “Meng Fangfang, go and collect the water. Give me a glass.”
: not sure if a typo a nickname. But anyway, fang 方 means square.
Meng Yuanyuan had a good temper and really said, “Where is your water bottle?”
Li Muze pointed to the podium.
Meng Yuanyuan glanced at Shen Tingmian: “You and I take it together.”
Without waiting for Shen Tingmian to speak, Li Muze waved his hand and said, “He doesn’t need it, it’s full!”
Shen Tingmian raised his head and said, “No, thank you.”
Li Muze didn’t know why but he just felt how gentle and soft this sentence sounded. He was very jealous, pretending to look out the window to hide his unhappiness.
Shen Tingmian slowly turned over the paper, looking at the front and then the back, as if he was working on a question.
Li Muze was annoyed and said to Zhao Chen, “Have you finished that snack I gave you, give me some.”
Zhao Chen tossed the table: “Ah! You really, all right—”
He found a packet of potato chips and gave it to Li Muze. Li Muze looked at Shen Tingmian with the corner of his eyes while ripping open the packet, giving a share to his neighbor, and then giving it to Shen Tingmian: “Here.”
He rolled his eyes up and down and was glanced by Shen Tingmian. He quickly averted his gaze.
Shen Tingmian said: “I don’t eat.”
Li Muze retracted his hand resentfully and asked stupidly, “Huh? Then do you want to eat or not.”
Shen Tingmian quietly replied, “Yes.”
Zhao Chen found their conversation funny. His shoulders hunched as he laughed.
Shen Tingmian also followed suit and smiled.
The meal still had to be eaten.
Eating is a task, enjoy the pain, ba.
He smiled with his eyes down like this, fiddling with Li Muze’s heart pool, where there were circles of ripples swaying.
Li Muze’s little heart was not so good. He panicked and turned his head to look at the boys at the table in the corridor. They were leaning together to read the sports magazine.
Li Muze ran away, and plunged in, pretending to take the shoulders of the two boys: “Hey! Class teacher.”
Several people raised their heads one after another, and then gave him a punch. Old Dog Liu put him upside down and clamped him under his armpit, hammering him hard.
Zhao Chen muttered: “What the hell.”
Shen Tingmian glanced at Li Muze’s staggered back. His thin lips seemed to be transparent.
Little did he know at the time that someday in the future, Li Muze would be holding him and they both would be crying. Li Muze huffed and kept soothing his back, saying over and over again, “This is not right, you know? It’s not right.”
“You can’t, because you avoid being hurt again, you don’t dare to be loved or love others anymore.”
Li Muze rubbed the tears from Shen Tingmian’s face with his palms, breathed into him, and said tremblingly:
“No matter what happens, you have to believe that I will never give up on you.”
Here’s the type of laughing