It wasn't that Qiao Anhao didn't get tired, but knowing she would be in the same cla.s.s as Lu Jinnian gave her a strong drive to carry on.
She persisted and was rewarded with surprisingly good grades in the exam that would decide her cla.s.s. All the teachers were shocked, naming her the black horse.
As per her wish, she successfully entered the first cla.s.s for the science.
However, she only realized after that Lu Jinnian had done badly that exam, entering the third cla.s.s.
Just like that, Qiao Anhao's dreams were dashed... She became cla.s.smates with Xu Jiamu and Qiao Anxia entered the third cla.s.s for the arts.
All her friends were happy to see her doing well, but she could only plaster a forced smile to accept their blessings. Afterwards, she had hid in the small forest behind the teacher's block, crying till dusk.
Even though she was upset, she knew that the outcome would stay the same. The fact that they were not cla.s.smates was a reality that she had no power to alter. Just like in year one, she continued to observe him secretly from afar.
The girls in the third cla.s.s were vastly different from the girls from the first cla.s.s. Third cla.s.s girls didn't care about their studies and if they liked someone, they would go all out. Every time Qiao Anhao pa.s.sed by the third cla.s.s, she would see Lu Jinnian being surrounded by a group of girls who seemed to be trying to get his attention. Even though he would always wear the same cold expression, ignoring their presence, Qiao Anhao couldn't help feeling jealous. Bitterness would often eat at her the whole day, making her moody.
Several times, Qiao Anhao saw Lu Jinnian talking to a girl after school at either the gate or at the bus stop nearby. She recognized her as his cla.s.s president who was involved in multiple communities in school. At that time, Qiao Anhao felt as though a dagger was thrust into her heart, the pain she felt was so unbearable as though the world was going to collapse.
She would try to decipher and a.n.a.lyze their relations.h.i.+p when she was at home.
It wasn't that Qiao Anhao and Lu Jinnian didn't share good memories, though. For instance, in year two, there was one time when she had hurt so badly from her monthly cycle that her face went pale as a sheet, and she had to use the wall as a support, not able to continue walking. He had then supported her all the way to the nurse's office.
Even today, she could still distinctly remember the events of that day. She lay on the bed in the nurse's office and he had sat on the chair next to the window reading a book. They didn't speak at all but the warmth she felt was enough. She had felt as though she owned the world at that moment.
But in the end, they still made small talk. That was because the girl she had seen talking to Lu Jinnian several times before coincidentally came into the nurse's office to buy plasters and then came over to initiate a conversation.