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Her Little Dimples

7

Why Run?

1

"Who was looking at you!"


Shameless.


She only dared to say the latter part in her mind.


Xu You was embarrassed and angry, her expression sullen, but she didn't dare yell too loudly at Xie Ci. After saying that, she ran forward.


The person behind her deliberately called out, "Hey, it's okay if you were looking, I don't mind."


She ignored him, holding her breath until she was almost at the classroom, then finally exhaling.


Slowing down, Xu You pushed open the back door of the classroom, raised her hand, and softly called out, "Excuse me."


The English teacher, holding a workbook, was explaining a problem. She looked at Xu You for a while, then slowly asked, "Where have you been?"


This teacher, surnamed Zhang, was a middle-aged woman going through menopause. She was particularly harsh on students, and poor Xu You, being new, didn't know this.


Xu You bit her lip, not wanting to waste class time, and stammered, "I'm sorry, teacher, I was in the bathroom."


Teacher Zhang asked, "Xie Ci, were you also in the bathroom?"


What?


Xu You froze.


Hearing laughter behind her, she turned abruptly and was startled, her shoulders trembling.


Xie Ci, at some unknown point, had already come to stand behind her, the two of them very close. His tall figure leaned casually against the doorframe, his jacket slightly open, revealing the skull on his T-shirt, which, like its owner, seemed to be gloating in Xu You's face.


Seeing her utterly bewildered expression, Xie Ci's smile widened, and he leaned in, his voice low and teasing, meant only for the two of them. "You know, if you're going to watch, you should pay."


There were some jeers from the back.


“——I’m asking you a question! Xie Ci! Why do you have to be late for every class? You went to the bathroom because you are feeling uncomfortable again?” Mrs. Zhang slammed her book on the podium and asked loudly.


Xu You’s heart pounded with fear, not daring to speak to Xie Ci any further, she lowered her head and stayed silent.

After a few seconds.


Behind her, Xie Ci looked up and, with a careless tone, asked, "How do you want me to be comfortable?"


......


After a moment of complete silence, the whole class erupted in an uproar.


The boys in the back were especially rowdy, some whistling, others laughing so hard they were doubled over their desks.


Wu Pengfei shouted at him, "C'mon, Ci, can't you talk nicely? Why are you suddenly being so crude?"


Their playful banter and lack of restraint only fueled the teacher's anger. His face flushed red, he gritted his teeth, holding back in front of the whole class.


In the end, Xu You was allowed to return to her seat, while Xie Ci was sent outside to stand in the hallway for the rest of the class period.


But he wasn't that obedient. After just a few minutes, he disappeared from outside the classroom.


Teacher Zhang picked up the book again, shook it, and said sarcastically, "The exam is the day after tomorrow. Let's see if you can still laugh like this when the results come out."


This remark triggered a chorus of groans from the class.

Someone asked, "Teacher, it's only been a short time since school started..."


"Exactly because it's been a short time since school started, I want to give you a heads-up."


Xu You took out all her books, pressing her palm against her lower abdomen, her chin resting on the desk as she worked on her third English reading exercise.


Feeling unwell, she tried to distract herself with her homework.


As soon as the bell rang, signaling the end of class, the teacher left and the classroom erupted into chaos. Xu You lay listlessly on her seat, her face pale.


Zheng Xiaolin, who was sitting in front, turned around with a paper and pen, intending to ask a question, but was startled by Xu You’s weak appearance.


She put her things aside and leaned in closer to ask, “Are you okay?”


“She’s on her period and has stomach cramps,” Fu Xueli answered on her behalf, cracking sunflower seeds without missing a beat.


As fellow girls, Zheng Xiaolin immediately understood and said "oh oh".


Xu You lifted her head from her arms and asked weakly, "What's wrong? Is something up?"


"No, nothing. I wanted to ask you about a question, but if you're not feeling well, forget it."


"Which question?"


Zheng Xiaolin pointed to an English question in her exercise book with a pen and asked, "Why is 'feel' placed here in this sentence? The teacher spoke too fast and I didn't understand."


"Let me see," Xu You took the book and carefully read the question.


A sharp pain pulsed in her abdomen.


Cold sweat beaded on her forehead. She licked her dry lips and carefully explained to Zheng Xiaolin, "Feel is a linking verb, followed by a predicate adjective, which describes the state of the subject, so..."


Xu You felt weak but forced herself to continue explaining the problem to Zheng Xiaolin.


After a while...


"Oh! I get it now!"


Zheng Xiaolin's face lit up with understanding. She thanked Xu You gratefully, clasping her hands together, "You're a lifesaver! Thank you so much. I'll copy this into my corrections notebook right now."


With that, she turned back to her desk.


Xu You couldn't hold herself up any longer and collapsed back onto the table.


She rested for a moment, waiting for the pain to subside. Then, she fumbled for her water bottle in the drawer, used the table to help her stand, and headed to the water dispenser at the back of the classroom to get some hot water.


Xie Ci was sitting in the third row by the aisle, his long legs stretched out and crossed in the walkway. He was chatting casually with Song Yifan.


He was absent-mindedly glancing around when he noticed Xu You standing beside him.


"Excuse me, I'd like to get some water. Could you please move your legs?"


Her head was slightly lowered, her face pale, and her voice was so soft that it was almost drowned out by the noise of the classroom.


Xie Ci either didn't hear her or deliberately ignored her, not even bothering to look up.


Xu You waited for a moment, but his feet remained firmly in place. She didn't have the energy to argue with him, so she simply lifted her foot to step over his legs.


Xie Ci suddenly smirked, his tongue touching the inside of his cheek. While still talking to his friend, he unexpectedly lifted his right foot.


Xu You's ankle was caught off guard, colliding with his foot. Unable to stop her momentum, she stumbled forward. She flailed her arms, trying to grab the edge of the table to steady herself, but her balance was lost.


In the chaos, she felt someone forcefully pull her arm to the side.


Song Yifan's mouth gaped open in shock as he watched Xu You, in a split second, fall directly onto Xie Ci.


A thought suddenly flashed through her mind: Did Xie Ci do this on purpose?


Xie Ci was hit in the face by the water bottle, hissed in pain, and opened his arms to catch Xu You as she fell.

His back hit the desk behind him, and he let out a muffled groan.


The commotion caused by the two of them was so loud that the world seemed to fall silent for a moment. Everyone's eyes were drawn to them, witnessing this intimate scene.


His warm breath tickled her ear as he breathed in and out.

It felt like it happened in an instant, yet it also seemed like a long time had passed.


Xu You had not yet recovered from the shock, and after a few seconds of reaction, she trembled violently, quickly pushing away Xie Ci, wanting to stand up.


There were only malicious whistles and jeers in her ears.


Xie Ci had one hand on her shoulder and the other supporting her waist. Through the thin school uniform, he could feel the girl's softness. There was a faint scent of jasmine on her.


"You... let go of me quickly."


Feeling her struggle, his throat moved up and down, his face approaching, his voice low, "I am being a human cushion. You should at least say thank you?"


Xu You was shocked by this person's thick-skinned attitude, and for the first time in her life, she didn't want to talk to someone. She bit her lip, her face blushing with embarrassment, and tried hard to break free from his grasp. "Classmate, let go of me first."


"Why call me classmate, don't you know my name?" With a click of his tongue, he laughed even more fiercely, his chest vibrating.


Seeing the two of them struggling for so long, the voices of the onlookers grew louder and louder.


“Hey hey, you two should pay attention to where you are right now,” said someone with a whistle.


The rest of the people chimed in: "Yeah, don't do anything inappropriate in public, Ci."


"Xie Ci, let go of me." Xu You said each word slowly, extremely embarrassed. Even with her good temper, her patience was wearing thin.


Xie Ci chuckled and said slowly, "Aren't you the one clinging to me?"


Fu Xueli heard a loud noise and quickly turned around to look. After a few seconds, she walked over quickly, pulled Xu You up, and frowned, "Ah Ci, don't go too far."


Xie Ci let out an "oh" and casually patted his clothes, the lazy, roguish smile on his lips not diminishing.


After Xu You steadied herself, she whispered a thank you to Fu Xueli. Then, under the watchful eyes of everyone, she silently squatted down and picked up the books that had fallen to the ground one by one, putting them back on the table. From beginning to end, she didn't look up, didn't say a word, and slowly walked back to her seat.


The oversized school uniform jacket draped over her body made her figure appear even more delicate.


"Dude, what are you doing, harassing her?" Song Yifan finally reacted and asked a stupid question.


Xie Ci didn't respond, his dark eyes fixed on Xu You's back.

Fu Xueli frowned and accused, "Xu You is already feeling unwell, and you're deliberately bothering her."


"Huh?" Song Yifan was shocked, "What's wrong with her? Is she sick?"


"You idiot, you're the one who's sick." Fu Xueli was exasperated and hit him, "Why would a girl be feeling unwell!"


Xie Ci didn't say anything from the side. He slowly bent down and picked up the blue water bottle that had rolled to the side.


---


Xu You propped her forehead with one hand, biting her lip tightly, and repeatedly wrote down mathematical formulas on the scratch paper.


From trigonometric functions to solid geometry, points, lines, planes, square roots, parentheses, decimal points...

After writing for a while, her mood was still extremely agitated, unable to calm down.


She lowered her head, just about to pull out the math exercise book from the drawer to find some problems to solve, when her face suddenly felt hot.


Xu You was startled and reflexively looked up.


Xie Ci leaned lazily against her desk. The corner of his mouth slightly raised, he held the water bottle, now filled with warm water, against her face.


He lowered his eyelids, leaned down slightly, and said with a smile, "Don't be angry anymore, okay?"

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