Chapter 29- Piano
Meng Ting covered her face: “Don’t you dare to touch me again.’’
Jiang Ren withdrew his grip on her: “Ok. Now could you please tell me, what are you doing here all alone?”
He wished and prayed in his heart, that she was here for him.
Although he knew clearly that the possibility of it was very minimal.
Meng Ting’s eyelashes trembled: “I came here just to stroll around and calm myself down.”
He was well aware that she wasn’t speaking the truth. As she seldom lied, he could look past her with just a glance.
Yet, he did not expose her and said in a calm tone:” It is getting dark now, you shouldn’t stray around in the streets alone. Head home early.”
Meng Ting nodded quickly.
Jiang Ren was still worried about her safety. He drove today, so he fetched out his keys and said: “ Come on, I’ll give you a ride back home.”
“It’s alright. I’ll take the bus.”
“Hurry up, do you still wanna go home.” He was being aggressive and unreasonable, he did not give her an option.
When Meng Ting reached home, she was surprised by the appearance of an unexpected person
Xu Jia came down to take out the trash.
There was a rubbish collection spot in the neighbourhood, he bumped into Meng Ting after turning into the corner.
The sky was gloomy, the breeze of November made the blowing leaves rustle.
She was getting down from a teenager’s bike.
The teenager chased after her after she walked a few steps. Xu Jia recognised him, it was Jiang Ren. Jiang Ren was the boss of their grade. It was rumoured that Jiang Ren made a big mistake and was kicked out by the Jiang family, and he had the audacity to beat up the class teacher.
Xu Jia didn’t attend the same school as them. However, he recognised Jiang Ren, the real estate in H city was dominated and owned by the Jiang Family.
Jiang Ren chased after Meng Ting, he noticed that Jiang Ren was lifting his arms, trying to hug Meng Ting. However, when she turned over, he withdrew his hand and smiled, acting as nothing had happened: “See you tomorrow.”
Xu Jia knew and was very familiar with this look.
During middle school, there were many people that liked Meng Ting. They would secretly follow behind her, just to look at her dance and play the piano. Everyone would take the chance and speak to her as well, however at that time, she was well-behaved and sensible. She would just smile and didn’t really talk much.
The look of Jiang Ren’s face right now was exactly the same, trying to approach and have a get close to her but was still pushed away. Xu Jia felt that he knew a lot at the moment.
He threw away the rubbish in his hands.
After Jiang Ren left, he walked over and approached her: “Meng Ting.”
Meng Ting thought to herself for a few seconds, and finally figured out that he was Uncle Xu’s son, what was his name again?
Xu Jia smiled and nodded.
He did not mention Jiang Ren. Instead, he asked:” Are you going to be participating in the piano competition, this December? My mom is currently recruiting participants.”
Ever since Du Dong Niang visited, word had spread around the neighbourhood. Xu Jia knew that she was in a difficult situation at the moment. When she was 14, she lived a harmonious life, needless to worry about her family. She is a grown-up now and has gone through a lot. She must feel awful as Du Dong Niang had caused a lot of troubles and chaos today.
Xu Jia clearly knew what she needed.
Meng Ting only then remembered, Xu Jia’s mom was a music teacher in a vocational high school. Her eyes brightened up, and accepted the offer: “Yes!”
Xu Jia modestly smiled: “ You should come over to my house and fill in the form.”
She was afraid that she would disturb him. The Xu family greeted their guests warmly, they would make her stay and have dinner with them. Hence, she visited the family after having dinner.
Song Li Juan, Xu Jia’s mother, is currently a music teacher of Grade 7 Class (4) in Li Cai Vocational School.
Song Li Juan is a sensible and intellectual woman. It was Xu Jia that welcomed her when Meng Ting arrived. His mother’s eyes glowed once she saw her: “Ting Ting! Come and have a sit, I’ll go cut up some fruits.”
Xu Jia smiled:” Don’t mind my mom, she’s very out-going”
Meng Ting shook her head and said it’s fine. When Song Li Juan was back, she smiled softly with her eyes curved like a crescent moon. She then sweetly addressed Aunty Song, the voice of hers was so beautiful and sweet, even a middle-aged woman like Song Li Juan was dumbstruck.
Xu Jia reminded his mom: “Where is the form? ”
Only then Song Li Juan recalled about this matter, then passed the form to Meng Ting. She saw the price of the reward, the champion of the competition would be awarded $15,000. During that year, it was a sky-high figure.
Song Li Juan said: “Although it is a huge amount of prize money, it is a difficult competition. How many years of piano experience do you have?”
Song Li Juan frowned: “ That is a bit short.” She took a glance at her son, then smiled: “ Did you practice the piano recently?”
Meng Ting shook her head, and honestly said: “I have not been practising the piano for a long time.”
“This wouldn’t work if you continue like this. There is still one month before the competition, Ting Ting, you should practice more.” She knew that the Shu Family was currently going through a tough phase, she didn’t have a piano in her house. She then suggested: “ I have the access key of the school’s music room, would you want to come over to practice after the classes?”
Meng Ting was delighted, her eyes shined bright like the stars: “Thank you, Teacher Song !’
“Why are you calling me Teacher Song” Song Li Juan complained, “You just addressed me as Aunty Song a few moments ago”
Meng Ting laughed and agreed with her.
While Meng Ting and Song Li Juan talked on, Xu Jia just sat quietly and looked at his book on the sofa not too far from them.
After they finished, he then went out and sent Meng Ting home.
Xu Jia closed the door, and met with his mother’s ridicule gaze: “Xiao Jia, didn’t you follow her home during your middle school days? If I didn’t head out to look for you, I don’t think you even wanted to head back home. But now she has come over, yet you didn’t speak a single word to her. “
Xu Jia gazed at his mother faintly, smiled and peacefully said: “ I was too young at that time.” He reminded his mom again: “ Mom, please don’t mention it to Meng Ting, she will feel awkward.”
“Tsk, you are not cute at all after you grow up.”
Xu Jia kept quiet, he picked up all the fruits that Meng Ting just ate, and brought it into his room.
Song Li Juan didn’t notice this.
On the second day, Meng Ting said to Shu Zhi Tong with a stern face: “ Dad, you must not participate in the radioactive experiment anymore. You promised me you won’t regret your decision. After me, Shu Yang and Shu Lan become working adults, the family will get better soon, just wait for a little while more.”
Shu Zhi Tong smiled bitterly: “ Ok.”
She was joyful and rode her bicycle to school.
The weather was chilly, Meng Ting wore a pair of bunny-shaped gloves, and cycled to school.
On the gloves, there were cute pictures of carrots.
Zhao Nuan Cheng did not score well for last month’s examination and was scolded for it these few days. She said in a frustrated voice: “ I am not good at chemistry at all, what can I do about it.”
Meng Ting thought for a second, after categorising her exam papers, she patted Zhao Nuan Cheng on her shoulder: “Look at this.”
Zhao Nuan Cheng looked back.
It was all the past year papers of each district, only the past year paper from the capital city was left out.
Meng Ting said:” There are seven chemistry questions in total in the stimulation exam papers. The format of each question is fixed. For example, the first question would always be a multiple-choice question that is related to elements.” She spoke in a soft voice, Hong Hui with his blushed face secretly sneaked over.
Meng Ting shifted her pen, “The second question would always be the chemical equation…”
Seeing Zhao Nuan Cheng’s eyes widen, she continued: “Also, I discovered a pattern in answering the question. The first four questions, you must evaluate each ABCD option.”
Zhao Nuan Cheng flipped through seven to eight papers and was shocked.
“For the last three questions, there is a high possibility that the answer would each be B, C and D.”
Zhao Nuan Cheng swallowed.
In short, if you manage to score 3 questions out of the 4, you could take a guess at the last question if you have no idea on how to do it.
Meng Ting saw that she understood what she was explaining, smiled and continued: “ The big questions at the back are the same as well. As an example, for chemistry, they would often examine a question about elements and each of them uses the same answering rules. If you conclude all the college entrance examination papers, you would discover that all the answers are almost similar. Plus, Elements CU, FE and its complexes are most commonly tested. If you still don’t have an idea, you should look through all the papers and find a pattern out of it.”
Zhao Nuan Cheng was stunned again.
She never thought that an excellent scorer like Meng Ting would know this kind of nonsense.
“You are brilliant, Ting Ting !”
Meng Ting scoffed and felt slightly embarrassed. The year that she was disfigured because of the fire, Zhao Nuan Cheng wept in sorrow in the hospital. Meng Ting failed to attend the college entrance exam, Zhao Nuan Cheng, on the other side, did not score well as she was too weak in the chemistry paper. After she was given a second chance, she had been thinking day and night on how to assist her best friend in scoring her best.
Hong Hui was also intrigued by the tips and exam patterns that Meng Ting just said. After he took a look, all she said was true!
Meng Ting reminded her: “This is not a constant pattern. Hence, you should still work on your fundamentals, and work hard for it”
Zhao Nuan Cheng was too happy and almost couldn’t resist kissing her on the lips, and repeatedly promised her that she would work hard. After that, she went to dig out her own exam papers.
After school, Meng Ting did not go home. From this day onwards, she needed to practice her piano in Li Cai Vocational High.
Vocational High School had the most complete set of musical instruments, the music room and dancing room were all new and modern. Yet, The exterior gave off an ancient vibe.
That year, Li Cai’s music and dance room was still situated in a small red brick building.
During the summer, the plants would cover the walls. In the winter, these plants would then hang down from the third floor, giving it an elegant touch.
Although Li Cai offers art and sports classes, there were only a few that practised their piano in school. Meng Ting opened the door with the keys. In the empty classroom, a piano was placed in the middle of the classroom.
Meng Ting took off her gloves, inhaled a deep breath and sat on the piano bench.
She has not touched a piano in such a long time. There was a piano score in the classroom, she flipped and opened the first page to find that the first piece was < Blue Danube>.
She replayed the chords in her heart, after a while, she did not follow the piano score, her fingers that were dancing on the keys were smooth and light.
Class in Li Cai Vocational High School had also ended.
He Jun Ming and the others skipped their classes to play basketball. Playing basketball during the winter season was very challenging. Often, they would feel cold then subsequently hot. However, after they took off their clothes, they were shivering again.
Next to the field was the red-bricked building.
When the rhythm of the piano echoed, the boys looked up.
The rhythm was crisp and clear, yet gentle and passionate at the same time.
The plant hanging over the building brought liveliness to the cold winter.
He Han said: “ It is rare to hear someone practising the piano.”
He Jun Ming nodded, although he had no idea what song was being played, but it was truly amazing. He suggested: “ We should go take a look.”
Fang Tan’s heart froze and glanced towards Jiang Ren. Jiang Ren hung his jacket over his shoulder, he did not even look up as he had no interest at all: “There is nothing much to look at, I’m going home now.”
Jiang Ren went back.
When he passed by the building, he stopped.
He Jun Ming tsked: “ Boss Ren still can’t get over it.”
Jiang Ren’s mother was known for her elegance, he hated his own mother. Since young, he didn’t like women that could dance and play the piano.
Deep down inside his heart, the first thing he got to know about this world, was just the cold piano rhythm and his mother’s mean gaze.
He Jun Ming was serious.
The girls in their school either pretended to be cute or are either too rude. He believed that someone that could play the piano, must be a good looking and elegant girl.
He Han patted his shoulders:” You should go now. Haven’t you experienced enough of Boss Ren’s beating?”
He Jun Ming immediately fell silent, regretfully looked at the building again and stepped out of the school.
Meng Ting practised the piano for a week, the details of the competition had been published.
It was not easy for her to let go of the grievances she felt in her heart to participate in the competition, but the date still took her by surprise.
It was right before Christmas, during the Christmas eve.
It was her 17th birthday.