Chapter 5 — Teacher Yao
“Ning Xi, your acting was good just now, but you should have run a little slower.” The director looked at the screen and looked back at Ning Xi. “Shall we shoot again?”
Ning Xi was gasping for breath. She lifted her face for the makeup artist to give her a touch-up and gave the director an ‘okay’ sign.
Seeing her being so agreeable, the director gave a smile of satisfaction. In fact, the previous scene had come out quite well. If the actors didn’t want to re-shoot, he wouldn’t have insisted. But it was always better to aspire for perfection.
“Alright. All the teams, prepare for the scene.”
It was still raining, and a car was driving on the road. She desperately ran, as if when she reached the end, she could finally gain her happiness.
She was completely drenched and her long hair became wet, with strands sticking to her cheeks. Her entire face had become pale as paper.
She was crying, her tears mixing with the rainwater. As the bus went farther and farther, she began to despair. But behind her, the car didn’t stop.
When the car crashed into her, she fell down silently, her hand stretched towards the direction of the bus. The rain became heavier, washing away the mud on her back, but dyeing the soil beneath her with her blood.
The bus stopped this time – somebody had discovered the car accident behind. The man dressed in a white shirt stood around like an ordinary passenger, curiously looking at the scene of the accident.
Until two pedestrians passed by.
“This is too sad, she was just a little girl.”
“I heard that she died on spot… really terrible.”
His heart was suddenly filled with unprecedented panic. He crazily got out of the bus and ran, pushing past the crowd, finally seeing his beloved’s face.
Stumbling towards the girl, he slowly held her outstretched hand.
“Good! Well done!” The director called for a cut, waiting for the staff to give both Chu Heng and Ning Xi thick, warm towels.
Ning Xi wrapped the towel around her body and drank a few gulps of hot soup, slowing down to wipe her hair with a dry towel.
“Brother Chu, you looked really good in this scene. The director was praising you just now.” Chu Heng’s assistant said to him, conveying the director’s words also.
Chu Heng smiled but didn’t speak. He wiped his face off the drops of water and turned to look at Ning Xi. Her assistant was helping her on the sidewalk. “Don’t you have medicines to prevent a cold?”
The assistant nodded.
“Hand over one to Ning Xi.”
This newcomer had great potential. If Jiuji Entertainment vigorously nurtured her and pushed her to the forefront, there was a great chance that she would become a highly acclaimed actress.
“Okay, Brother Chu.” The assistant hurriedly went.
“Let’s go.” The man who had been standing outside the set for a long time recovered his gaze and turned towards the car.
“Yes, boss.” The secretary was feeling very puzzled and didn’t understand her boss’ actions. How did he suddenly take an interest in others filming a scene?
She looked at her boss walking in front of her, he was tall and his back was straight. He was a very attractive man.
After getting into the car, she looked at the boss carefully. Although he was bowing his head and wasn’t saying anything, the mood had become a little strange.
She didn’t dare to ask and quickly retrieved her gaze. She turned to look out the window and saw drops of water trickling down from the top in a straight line.
Ning Xi didn’t have many scenes in the movie ‘My Heart Longs for You‘, it took only a few days to finish the filming. For some time, Zhang Qingyun didn’t give her much work, but assigned a teacher for her to learn music, poise, dialogue delivery and other aspects of acting, so she lived a fairly laid back life.
When she received a phone call from her high school teacher, she was applying moisturiser.
Before she went abroad to study, this class teacher had helped her a lot. So in the past few years, they had kept in touch. She used to send some gifts to her during the holidays and the teacher would send back some products from the country.
This time, she hadn’t told anyone about her return. She smiled when she heard her teacher’s voice full of concern for her. “Teacher, this time, I won’t be missing your 55th birthday.”
“Yes, I have already returned.”
“No, you don’t have to worry about me, I will come.”
Hanging up the phone, Ning Xi went to her closet, searching for the right clothes to wear, put on some makeup and stepped out carrying her bag.
She had renewed her driving licence last month, but she usually didn’t drive a car so she didn’t even have a car anymore. When she was carrying a large bag, waiting in the sun for half an hour without being able to catch a cab, she began considering buying a car.
Finally getting a cab, she reached her old high school. Around 5 to 6 years had passed, and not much had changed here, but the trees had grown taller and the greenery had become lusher.
Boys in uniform were playing on the grounds while girls were standing on the sidelines cheering for them. Seeing this scene, Ning Xi couldn’t help but smile.
Walking in the direction of the staff rooms, she climbed till the fifth floor and knocked on the door of Teacher Yao.
The door opened and Teacher Yao stood there wearing glasses. Seeing Ning Xi, she was pleasantly surprised and opened the door wider, welcoming her in.
“You must not have had very good meals in those foreign countries all these years. You have become so much thinner.” Teacher Yao was distressed. She accepted all the things Ning Xi had bought for her, saying she shouldn’t have. Her husband, Teacher Zhang sat on the other side, smiling. He had a very good temper.
“Teacher, have you been alright with all these years with Uncle Zhang?” Ning Xi accepted a cup. Seeing the couple who looked quite healthy, she sat down.
“Everything is good, everything is good.” Teacher Yao and Teacher Zhang were blessed. They had a child who was filial and motivated. He had just graduated and got a job and wasn’t living with his parents anymore.
Both teacher and student spoke for a while when Teacher Yao mentioned Ning Xi’s work. “You graduated from an elite university. It ranks among the world’s top 30. You should have smoothly got a job when you came back.”
“I’ve already signed with a company and I’m getting along well with my colleagues, don’t worry.” Ning Xi smiled. She cut the apples in her hand into two and handed them over to Teacher Yao and Teacher Zhang.
Teacher Yao looked at the skinny girl in front of her. Even if Ning Xi weren’t thin, she would have felt distressed for her. The little girl once regarded as the pearl in her parents’ palm had grown up.
Only, the cost of maturity was too heavy. So heavy that she often worried about this girl’s life in the past years.
When it became noon, Teacher Zhang went to the kitchen to get lunch. Ning Xi stood up to help him but was stopped by Teacher Yao.
“Let him go, it will give us some time to talk.” How could Teacher Yao let Ning Xi enter her kitchen? “When we spoke all these years, you only mentioned the good things, not the bad ones. I don’t know how you have lived abroad alone all this time.” Saying so, she sighed, “I know you are a promising child. Just… you live alone. If you have any difficulties, you must tell me.”
“Okay.” Ning Xi smiled and nodded, holding two longan rolls in her hand. “I haven’t faced many difficulties over these years.”
Even if there were some past events which weren’t good, she didn’t even want to mention them.
Perhaps to celebrate her arrival, the lunch was very rich. Although it was the cooking of an ordinary home, Ning Xi still ate two full bowls of rice.
The cooks are the happiest when they see people eating their food with a hearty appetite. The Teacher Zhang had a very good relationship with Ning Xi, he knew about her past experiences. He had also helped her a lot in her journey. In his eyes, she was his half-student.
Just when she finished her lunch, Ning Xi’s cell phone rang. It was Zhang Qingyun.
Apparently, ‘My Heart Longs for You‘ was going to release on a national holiday, during the mid-autumn festival. Although Ning Xi had very few scenes, she had to do publicity on social networks along with the others.
But Ning Xi hadn’t registered for an account on any social networking platform, so Zhang Qingyun told her to come to the company and discuss this matter together.
Ning Xi told Zhang Qingyun her location and he said that he would come to pick her up.
Ning Xi sat with Teacher Yao for some time. When she got up to leave, Teacher Yao knew that it was work-related so didn’t retain her any longer. But she repeatedly told her to come over when Ning Xi was free for a chat. Teacher Yao also told her the location of where her birthday party was going to be held.
After Ning Xi left, Teacher Yao sat back on the couch, and facing Teacher Zhang, she sighed.
“Your old student has just come to see you, why are you still sighing?” Teacher Zhang patter her back and advised her, “I think she has her own ideas, I’m sure she can lead a good life. It’s meaningless to worry about it.”
“I worry about my students, how is it meaningless?” Teacher Yao stared at her husband. “She is the same age as our child. We worry even when our son is so big, how could I not worry about a little girl living alone?”
Teacher Zhang also sighed, not speaking anymore.
“How come you came to this place?” After picking up Ning Xi, Zhang Qingyun saw the board – it was the name of a high school.
It was one of the best high schools in the capital. If you didn’t score well, you couldn’t continue studying there.
“I came to see an old teacher.” Ning Xi fastened the seat belt and smiled. “When I was in high school, I was quite a fat little girl.”
Zhang Qingyun started the car, looking at her slim, beautiful body. “No, I really can’t tell.”
Ning Xi smiled and looked at the high school gate getting farther and farther away. Lowering her eyes, she said, “Haven’t you heard the saying?”
“When a girl turns eighteen, she becomes more and more beautiful.”
Zhang Qingyun could sense a trace of irony in Ning Xi’s words. He then laughed and said, “You are much better off; I have never looked good in my whole life.”
“Do not worry, I’m not picky about how my agent looks.” Ning Xi held her chin and looked at him with ridicule.
Zhang Qingyun: “…then I must really thank you.”