In the morning, he took some fever medicine from the living room at his parents’ side and consumed a few anti-inflammatory tablets before he went to school. During their morning break period, Shi Yan went to look for He Nuo, but left when he didn’t see him. Snow like this usually acc.u.mulates for a few days during winter in the northern parts, so they probably wouldn’t do any morning exercises this week. During their third period’s break, Shi Yan saw He Nuo hurry downstairs from afar, and when he returned he had taken a cup to the water room (the place where they kept cleaning tools like mops and rags) and filled it with water before returning to his cla.s.sroom. What’s that guy doing? Tap water during winter in the northern parts was so cold that if you drank it, your teeth would chatter, so it’s no wonder that Shi Yan wouldn’t think that He Nuo was just drinking water.
During their first period in the afternoon, Shi Yan once again saw the same scene from the morning replay, so the moment his second period ended in the afternoon he went to look for He Nuo. When they met, Shi Yan called him but He Nuo replied, “I need to go to the toilet first, I’ll talk to you when I get back.” before he walked away like he was on the verge of peeing his pants. Shi Yan laughed, then stayed and waited for him. When he returned, He Nuo’s face was flushed red, but what was even weirder was that in this cold weather, he had gone to the toilet and not a s…o…b..ll fight, so why is he sweating again? He grabbed him and asked, “Are you feverish?” And he realised that even his palms were sweating.
“A bit.” He Nuo flashed him a pure smile, “Give me a moment okay.”
He Nuo went to fill his cup with water, then returned and said to Shi Yan, “What’s up?”
“You have a fever and yet you’re running around outside after cla.s.s?!”[email protected]@@@[email protected]@@@@=======
“But I went to the toilet?”
“What’s this water for?”
“For drinking bei.”
“You,” Shi Yan still wanted to say something, but cla.s.ses had started, the teacher had already reached the cla.s.sroom door and was urging He Nuo to go in with his gaze. Shi Yan s.n.a.t.c.hed his cup, “No drinking.”
He Nuo just looked on as Shi Yan s.n.a.t.c.hed his water away and walked off without any explanation.
After cla.s.ses ended, Shi Yan poured away the water in the cup and went to the teacher’s office to fill it up with hot water before he went to look for He Nuo, but that guy actually wasn’t around again?! When he came back to a waiting Shi Yan, Shi Yan scolded, “You went to the toilet again?”
“Why the f.u.c.k are you going every period, do you have that much pee and s.h.i.t to spare?” Shi Yan saw that he was sweating and was worried that his sickness would deteriorate if he endured the cold winds.
He Nuo smiled, “You care about the heavens, the earth, and now you’re even caring about how others1…….” He Nuo wanted to say a proverb, and it was a rude proverb too. But he had never used such crude language before, so he faltered in the middle.
“I must care about how you s.h.i.t and fart, so what?” He stuffed the cup that was warming his hands to He Nuo, “Aren’t you afraid that it would freeze you to death? And you still dare to drink cold water, do you think you have a lot of firepower2? (Don’t you know that) You’re so delicate.”
Usually after school ended, Shi Yan would be able to see He Nuo the moment he took his bike out of the bike shed. But today, he had to wait for a few minutes before he saw He Nuo return from the direction of the toilet, and his forehead was still drenched in sweat. Shi Yan was perplexed, “What exactly is wrong with you? Why do you keep going to the toilet?”
“Nothing much, just drank too much water, so I keep wanting to go.”
“Then drink less, it’s so cold yet you’re still drinking cold water.” Shi Yan scolded, but when he thought about it, he realised that He Nuo should drink more water since he has a fever.
From that day onwards, Shi Yan would bring a high quality thermos cup to school and run over to the teacher’s office to fill it up with hot water twice during the morning and afternoon. And of course, he gave it to He Nuo. But this guy didn’t get any better, and even began to cough. Every time Shi Yan went to find him, He Nuo would be talking to him while he coughed. At first he could still talk through his coughs, but it got worse and worse, and now he was coughing so harshly that his whole face was flushed red as he bent over.
“What’s wrong with you? Didn’t you take any medication?”
“I, cough, coughcough, cough…..did.” He Nuo only answered with these two words.
“What lousy medicine did you take again? I’ll bring some medicine over for you in the afternoon.
A student returned from the outside, and when he pa.s.sed by He Nuo, the cold air that he brought along with him triggered another bout of violent coughs. He didn’t even have any s.p.a.ce to breathe in between, and his heart felt so stuffy that it hurt. His face was flushed red due to the asphyxiation, but he still waved his hand at Shi Yan to express his intention of not bothering him.
“Aren’t you done.” Shi Yan patted his back to make it easier for him to breathe and endure this onset of coughs. In the afternoon, Shi Yan brought along many different kinds of cough medication — there were capsules, tablets, cough syrups and several expensive anti-inflammatory medication, and he gave them all to He Nuo. Three days later, He Nuo’s situation saw no improvement, and if it wasn’t because he understood He Nuo’s personality, Shi Yan would have really doubted that he had lied to him about taking his medicine on time.
On the fourth day, Shi Yan’s physical education cla.s.s in the afternoon had become a free period because their school had no indoor gymnasium where they could exercise in during the winter. Their teacher would usually throw the students a soccer ball when the field was clean for them to play with, but when snow built up they were free to do whatever they wanted. Shi Yan played downstairs for a bit before he went back upstairs. He had just turned a corner when he heard suppressed coughs that travelled over from the water room, and each cough that was being strongly suppressed would make its listener wince in pain. Shi Yan didn’t even need to guess to know that it must be that sickly guy again.
By the time he reached the water room at the end of the corridor, the coughs had already stopped. He saw that guy paying respects towards the wall in the corner of the room — the round of coughs just now was so bad that He Nuo had to hold onto the wall for support. He Nuo slowly stood up and turned around, then saw Shi Yan standing at the door. He smiled, “Why are you here? O, your cla.s.s is having PE now.”
Shi Yan walked over, “You came out cause you don’t have cla.s.s? Why not go to the hospital for a check-up?”
The He Nuo who had already stopped coughing immediately started up another round of coughs when Shi Yan approached him. He anxiously waved his hand to motion Shi yan to move away. When Shi Yan saw how uncomfortable he looked, he had wanted to pat him on the back and support him up, but He Nuo’s rejection had infuriated him so much that he turned around to leave. Yet, he was stopped by an anxious He Nuo who quickly walked over to grab his sleeve. He Nuo had to press one of his hands on his chest as he coughed, while he used his hand that was grabbing Shi Yan’s sleeve to pry Shi Yan’s hand open. He Nuo used the hand on his chest to write on Shi Yan’s hand, but his constant coughs made his fingers tremble as he wrote.
Shi Yan withdrew his hand and patted his back, “It’s okay, we’ll talk later.” When He Nuo felt a bit better, he said, “I…that wasn’t what I meant…you were outside…so when you came in, your body has…cold air, which makes me cough…just now, in cla.s.s…a latecomer suddenly…opened the door and came in…, I wasn’t prepared…and it triggered such…a bad round of coughs….that the teacher couldn’t continue with lessons…so I came out to cough…”
Shi Yan asked him to go to the hospital, but He Nuo refused. He said that the hospital would just prescribe him some cough medication. Shi Yan thought that the medication prescribed by the hospital wouldn’t be as good as the ones he gave He Nuo as the medicine he got were those given only to cadres, so he didn’t insist on the idea. But as he looked at He Nuo like this who coughed behind him everyday until he almost coughed his heart out, it felt uncomfortable, and the sound grated on his ears.
1. You care about the heavens, the earth, and now you’re even caring about how others s.h.i.t and fart is the full version that He Nuo couldn’t say lmao?
2. A phrase used to describe youngsters who have a strong body so they don’t need to fear the cold?