Quality Check: Kittsune
First Published on Ainushi.
Chinese New Year’s passed by in fake tranquility.
I discovered that they had started to strictly control the amount of cash I had on my hands, and they basically never gave me money again. If I wanted to buy something, they would call the store to deliver it, or they would accompany me to purchase it. I basically never had the opportunity to go outside alone. They would always escort me at my side, or if they didn’t have time, they would have Mama Yu chaperone me.
They were afraid that I would run away again.
I didn’t think I would run again though. Since they managed to find me despite how far away I ran, this signified that their influence was much greater than I had expected. Where could I go that was out of their reach?
Winter vacation was almost over, and the new semester at school was about to start.
“You’re not planning to go to school?” Seeing me still lazing about, Zhao Yi Bo asked strangely.
“I’ve probably been expelled already,” I said indifferently. When I had run away, I had already thought about this outcome, and fully prepared myself for it.
“Who said you were expelled?” Hearing what I said, Zhao Yi Xuan shot a weird look at me.
“I’ve cut classes for a month without an excuse, and didn’t even take the final exams. There’s no way I haven’t been expelled by this point.”
“I requested an absence for you. The university agreed to allow you to postpone your final exams,” Zhao Yi Bo explained.
What? They requested an absence for me? I haven’t been expelled? I sat up in my chair in amazement and gaped at them.
“How is that even possible? The university only grants extended absences in extraordinary circumstances. What kind of excuse did you use?” I asked with doubt and surprise.
“Sick leave. The Zhao family owns a hospital, so it’s not hard at all to get a medical note. Besides, even if we hadn’t requested an absence, I’m sure we could easily have gotten you back into school anyways.”
Listening to their words, the corner of my mouth curled with displeasure. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to go back to school. Rather, the condescending and arrogant tone in their voice really did not sit well with my ears. Isn’t it great to be so high and privileged?
When I thought about how I might be able to go back to school, I felt slightly excited. However, when my eyes fell onto the distinct and sinister scar on my wrist, I felt like giving up. How was I going to face my professors and classmates at school?
“Never mind. I might as well stay at home, since I have people to take care of me anyways.”
They followed my gaze to the bright red and protruding scar on my wrist. Their expressions darkened for a moment, and regret flashed through their eyes.
“The doctor said the scar could be removed with surgery. Since the cut was too deep, it can’t be completely erased, but at the very least it could be made less obvious. I’ve already contacted the best plastic surgeon in the Zhao clan hospital, and we’ll do the surgery tomorrow. By the time you start school, it should be gone.” Zhao Yi Xuan sat down next to me, lifted my hand, and gently rubbed his thumb over the sinister scar on my wrist. It was almost as if he wanted to rub it off my body.
I nodded. If it could be removed, that was for the best. Every time I looked at the scar on my wrist, I’d think the past me was very reckless for actually harming myself like that. Only after being at death’s door did I finally recognize the value of life. A dead person has no hopes.
When the new semester started, I smoothly returned to school. After undergoing plastic surgery, the scar on my wrist had already faded to the point it that was barely visible, and all it left behind was an indistinct white mark. Zhao Yi Xuan gave me an exquisite, rose-shaped silver wristwatch, and it covered this faint mark.
“Is your injury better?” Seeing me appear in the classroom, Xia Mei Wei immediately rushed to my side and asked with concern.
“What injury?” I looked at her with doubt.
“Didn’t you take a month off school because you got into a car accident?” She looked at me skeptically.
Car accident? Didn’t the twins say that they had requested sick leave for me? How did it become a car accident?
“Ah, I’m already better.” I hurriedly responded.
“Anyways, you call yourself my best friend, but you didn’t even come see me when I got into a car accident? Weren’t you worried?” Seeing how she was still staring at me suspiciously, I quickly pretended to be angry and turned the tables on her.
“It wasn’t that I didn’t want to come see you! It was during final exams and since I’m the kind of person who usually doesn’t study hard, I have to cram at the last minute. Time was really tight! Besides, I didn’t know which hospital you were staying at. The celebrity twins only said that you got into a car accident, but didn’t say which hospital you were in. I wanted to clear this up, but I wasn’t able to meet the twins. For a nobody like me, I’m not able to meet those kinds of prince charmings just because I say I want to meet them.”
“Forget it. I forgive you.” I forgave her with fake generosity.
“Hey, did something happen between you and the twins on that night?” She suddenly crept onto my ears and whispered mischievously.
That night? I looked at her in confusion.
“Aiya, I’m talking about the night of the mixer.” She smacked my back, once again letting me experience the incredible strength of those bear-like paws.
Everything that happened on that night once again flashed through my eyes. Remembering the strong odor of alcohol, passionately entwined bodies, vague moans, and heavy panting caused my heart to pound again.
“How could something have happened? They’re just children, and I was so drunk I couldn’t remember anything.” I took out the textbooks from my bag to hide my reaction and randomly flipped through it.
“Nothing at all?” Her voice was filled with disappointment. “Everyone thought that something romantic and hot might have happened. What a bummer. You completely blew your chance.” She resentfully whacked my back again, sending me sprawling on the desk.
Please, don’t hit me anymore with your superwoman strength. I’ll get internal organ injuries!
“Oh right, what kind of relationship do you have with those celebrity twins? Don’t tell me that they’re actually interested in you? Why did they volunteer to send you home? And why did they help you declare a sick leave?” She found a topic that intrigued her, and continued to press further with her questions.
My friend, where’d you get all these questions? If you want to know so badly, why don’t you ask the Zhao brothers? I wailed with anguish seeing how this conversation of ours was attracting the attention of all the female students in the class.
“Truthfully, I’ve known them since a while ago. A senior at the Western Literature club introduced me to them, and I was their private tutor for a year. You could say I know them fairly well. They don’t actually like me. Rather, they like to tease me and watch me get worked up. Even though they normally look mature and sincere, in reality, they’re still kids. Besides, they’re from such a distinguished family, and they can get all the beautiful women they want. There’s no reason they would be interested in such a plain and ordinary person like me.” Seeing the murderous look in the eyes of my female classmates, I chose my response carefully. It’d be bad if I slipped up and got butchered because of it.
The bell that signaled the start of class finally rang, and Xia Mei Wei released me before returning to her seat. The attention of everyone also moved away from me for the time being, and I let out a long sigh. I finally managed to escape.
Damn you Zhao Yi Bo and Zhao Yi Xuan! It’s all your fault! I marked this down in my heart.