Chapter 24: Left Behind
Although she never asked him, Lin Xin was able to guess that Lin Xinyu often refused to eat whatever the Dean gave him, whether it be meat or the apple. Now that she saw him chew on the braised pork, an inexplicable happiness welled up from within. She unconsciously lifted her hand to touch his head, but then she stopped herself in midair before putting her hand back down. Lin Xin watched the boy until he finished up his meal with two more mouthfuls of rice. She wanted to tell him to keep a far distance from her, but for some reason, she couldn’t find the words to say.
A long time passed before Lin Xinyu took the last bites of his meal. Finally, Lin Xin spoke up and said, “Don’t follow me from now on.”
Lin Xinyu asked, “Why?”
She could only insist, “Because I don’t like it when you follow me.”
This could not be considered a valid reason, but in another point of view, Lin Xin thinks that a person doesn’t need a reason to dislike something.
Lin Xinyu’s heart felt heavy. Obviously, Lin Xin was very gentle when she watched him finish up his meal; why was she suddenly so cold the next moment? Lin Xinyu felt wronged, but he could only swallow his words. He took his lunchbox and left the table. For a while, the boy stood at the cafeteria entrance and stared at Lin Xin for a good while before walking away silently.
As he walked away, Zhao Qiang came up to Lin Xin’s side. Having finished his meal, the chubby young boy was full of energy. He even forgot her hurtful speech to him at the backyard previously.
“Lin Xin, you shouldn’t play with a weakling like Lin Xinyu.” He thought that she wanted to isolate Lin Xinyu this time around. “He and us are not from the same country.” [note] Denoting that they are not the same ‘kind’ of people; in a country that is nationalistic, it is an insult to say someone is not from that country[/note]
Lin Xin looked up at Zhao Qiang and said mockingly, “And whose country am I part of? Yours? Or perhaps Wu Anan’s? Last time I checked, I am nothing like you or Wu Anan. Whether it’s you or her, I believe no one here belongs to their own ‘country’.” Her words were filled with hurtful needles to provoke Zhao Qiang’s anger.
Unfortunately, Zhao Qiang was too simple-minded; he shook his head in response, but he couldn’t figure out the actual meaning behind her words. However, he could sense Lin Xin’s dissatisfaction.
After their past few interactions, even the foolish Zhao Qiang knew that Lin Xin was someone with a ruthless spirit and a smart mind. Despite her small stature, her strength could not be underestimated when she lashes out. Zhao Qiang didn’t want to provoke her again after suffering twice from their last two fights, but he still refused to be on the losing side. The boy slammed his lunch box loudly on the table and exclaimed, “Still, you and Lin Xinyu don’t belong to the same kind of people!”
Lin Xin didn’t bother with his anger, so she took her lunchbox and went over to a quiet corner. Her silent response provoked his temper once again. Unwilling to chase after her, Zhao Qiang shouted behind her back, “Hey! Hey you! I’m talking to you!”
Lin Xin suddenly turned back and glared at him coldly, causing Zhao Qiang to shrink back. His courage immediately collapsed and he dared not speak again. He was still unwilling to give up and leave, so he followed her to the sink where she washed her dishes. The boy came up beside her to rinse his own lunchbox.
As the water and soap washed away the residue, Lin Xin suddenly asked him, “Has anyone come to visit the orphanage?”
Zhao Qiang was anxious to break their awkward silence, so when she asked this question, he began to ramble eagerly, “Someone came to the orphanage to adopt long ago. You may know Wu Anan’s older sister, Wu Pingping. The family favored her more than her sister so they offered to adopt her, but she didn’t want to be separated from Wu Anan. That’s why Wu Pingping immediately got her ID card by the age of 16 and went to work, in order to adopt and support her younger sister. In fact, there are no shortages of kids who are ill or lacking limbs in the orphanage, but there are still people willing to adopt them just like normal children. In fact, there was a family that wanted to adopt Lin Xinyu.”
“Is that so?” Lin Xin questioned.
“Even if you don’t believe me, I have no reason to lie to you. The family that wanted to adopt him came from overseas; they said Lin Xinyu needed to go abroad to have his disease treated, but he refused their kindness. The family soon left the country, while Lin Xinyu was left behind to eat a loss, since no one was willing to adopt him from then on.”