Kou Chen’s letter had Huo Ran laughing for five minutes, and when he was done laughing, he felt a bit sad.
Although the letter was short and it sounded like a little kid wrote it, he knew that Kou Chen was serious when writing it.
He could also feel that Kou Chen loved his dad, and the Second Kou loved his son too.
It was just like how Kou Chen put it, they’re different, and couldn’t understand each other.
Or more like Kou Chen could try and understand, but Second Kou still had that stubborn ‘I’m your dad’ mindset, so it was hard for him to understand Kou Chen.
In that aspect, Huo Ran felt that his parents were a lot more open-minded.
Even though their open-mindedness may have stemmed from that previous tragedy, they still tried their best to raise him in an environment without much pressure, one that a lot of people would be envious of.
On the surface it looked like they ‘didn’t really care’, but it would have cost his mom and dad a lot.
-I’ve grown up, and I’ve slowly come to see the worries behind your lenient attitude towards me.
In my opinion, it’s also a bit stressful.
I can take on a lot more than you think, so I hope you can relax some more, and be happy.
That’s what he wrote in his letter.
In comparison, his and Kou Chen’s letters were pretty much worlds apart.
“You basically grew up in a **ing great environment, didn’t you” Kou Chen stood under a tree about a hundred metres away from the building, watching the arriving parents.
“What about it” Huo Ran asked.
“You don’t have any complaints about your parents,” Kou Chen glanced at him.
“I bet my dad would love a son like you.”
“Your dad cares for you too,” Huo Ran said.
“You know that, it’s just his methods that are a bit… A lot of parents are like that.”
“There’s not many teachers like Old Yuan.” Kou Chen said.
“Are you gonna go listen” Huo Ran asked.
“Nah, let’s go to the cafeteria.” Kou Chen said, before adding after a moment a thought, “I’ll listen for a little bit.”
Xu Zhifan’s dad didn’t come to this parent teacher conference, he went to the police station.
They wanted to head over to the cafeteria to chat, so Xu Zhifan wouldn’t feel bad.
They didn’t know if Aunt Hu’s family reported the incident or not.
Xu Zhifan’s dad reported it about a month ago, and there still wasn’t any progress.
Now that Aunt Hu’s awake, his dad went back to see if the police could get some new information.
“Fuck, my dad’s here.” Kou Chen immediately hid behind the tree.
“Why are you hiding” Huo Ran looked at him, “Didn’t he already ridicule you about your grades”
“Dunno,” Kou Chen leaned against the tree, “Just looking at him makes me wanna hide.”
“Scared he’ll hit you Or yell at you” Huo Ran glanced over and saw Second Kou looking like he’s on the way to a gang meeting.
He was talking to someone else’s parent as they walked into the building.
“He’s not gonna yell at me in public.” Kou Chen said.
“Then what are you hiding for” Huo Ran said.
“He went inside.”
“I don’t know why I’m hiding either,” Kou Chen peeked out from behind the tree, “I just wanna.
I feel like most people our age, especially the guys, will feel awkward with their parents.
So we should still try to avoid them as much as possible.”
“I don’t.” Huo Ran quirked his lips.
“That’s why we complement each other.” Kou Chen said.
Huo Ran couldn’t figure out what he meant by that.
After the parents all arrived, Old Yuan and Wu Xiaochen went inside with a box.
Xu Zhifan, Xu Chuan, and the others walked out, and waved at them.
“Let’s go listen a little” Xu Zhifan said.
“Okay.” They all nodded.
We’re sorry for MTLers or people who like using reading mode, but our translations keep getting stolen by aggregators so we’re going to bring back the copy protection.
If you need to MTL please retype the gibberish parts.
Ktfs tfjvfv eqrajlgr ab olcv atja atf ktbif mijrr kjr mgbkvfv bearlvf atf mijrrgbbw.
Rbgwjiis, fnfgsbcf kbeiv rajs jr ojg jkjs jr qbrrlyif, obg jr ibcu jr qbrrlyif.
Rbk, atfs kfgf qgfaas wemt jii tfgf, klat rbwf rajcvlcu bc atf rajlgr jcv fnfc raevfcar ogbw batfg mijrrfr.
“Tbe uesr jgf jikjsr vblcu rbwfatlcu vloofgfca.” Vbwfbcf rjlv.
“Jealous” Jiang Lei didn’t see who it was that said it, and just threw that out there as he walked up the stairs.
“Old Yuan’s gonna have trouble if someone ends up complaining about it.” Someone said.
“Watch that,” Xu Chuan said, “Who are you cursing”
“Cross your fingers!” Wei Chaoren glanced at everyone, “Whoever said that, cross your fingers behind your back!”
“Okay okay,” A guy from Humanities 2 said, “Alright now So superstitious.”
“Only when you talk about Old Yuan like that.” Wei Chaoren said.
The Seven of them squeezed towards the door.
The door was open, and the parents filled up the classroom.
At the back of the room, the dean had a chair as usual, and was sitting with the other teachers.
Although the dean always looked stern and scary, every time Old Yuan had one of his ‘crazy’ ideas, he would agree and even join in on the fun… no, observe.
Old Yuan wasn’t standing at the lectern.
Instead he was walking around the classroom and handing out the letters himself.
Wu Xiaochen followed behind him with the box.
“Today’s parent teacher conference actually doesn’t have much to do with the students.” Old Yuan said as he handed the letters out.
“I’ve stressed that all parents must attend today, with the exception of special circumstances.
Because this parent teacher conference will truly be an exchange between parents and teachers, but it won’t be through talking about your child behind their backs…”
“Please don’t open the letters yet.” Wu Xiaochen reminded everyone.
“The point isn’t so you can go home and show off your child,” Old Yuan said.
“Much less for you to use the excuse of ‘your teacher said this’ to yell at your child.
We have two goals today…”
Old Yuan returned to the lectern after handing out all the letters.
He leaned onto the stand and swept his gaze across all the confused parents: “First, to learn respect.
These letters were written by the students out of trust for me and you.
They spoke freely in their letters.
Some may be positive, some may be negative, and some may even be a bit extreme.
They wrote these letters because they trusted us, so I hope that everyone can respect their trust.
Please keep the contents of your letter a secret for them.
It is their most precious and heartfelt worlds.”
The parents all went quiet.
Some looked at the letter in their hands, and some looked at Old Yuan.
Others looked deep in thought, but nobody opened their letters yet.
“Second, to learn to truly understand your children.” Old Yuan continued.
“The writer of the letter in your hands may be the ‘someone else’s child’.
They may not be happy at all, they can be a lot of sadness and dissatisfaction.
The writer may be the child that you tell yours to ‘not hang around’, and they may be engaging and humorous… We don’t know, and there’s a possibility for anything to be true.
These are your children, and I wish that everyone, along with me, can give up your parental point of view, and try to understand your child through their own eyes.”
After a short silence, somebody started clapping, and then everyone followed suit.
“There are three parents that were unable to join us today, so the three extra letters will be opened by me, the dean, and Miss.
Sun.” Old Yuan handed the dean and Miss.
Sun their letters.
“Furthermore, if you have any doubts about the contents of your letter, please speak to me privately.
We will burn the letters after reading, so Wu Xiaochen will collect them at the end.
Thank you for your cooperation.”
Old Yuan gave the go ahead to open the letters, and then it was quiet.
All you could hear was the rustle of papers.
“Fuck, I think I see mine.” Jiang Lei whispered.
“Who got it” Huo Ran asked.
“Dunno,” Jiang Lei said.
“Looks like a pretty nice auntie.
I complained about my mom throwing away my toys.
It’s already been over ten years, I bet I’ll remember it my whole life.”
Huo Ran stared at the back of his dad’s head.
It was usually his mom that came to these things, but after hearing about what was planned, his dad was very eager to come.
His dad’s attention was focused on the letter in his hands.
He could see the letter was pretty long, it was two pages full of words.
After his dad read a bit of it, Huo Ran could see him smile.
Kou Chen’s dad’s expression was different.
He was also very serious, but he was frowning.
The letter was only a few sentences long, but he read it over and over.
All the students outside the door were quietly staring at their parents inside the room.
A couple minutes later, one auntie leaned over the desk, and then her shoulders started trembling softly.
“My mom,” Tang Wei said.
“She probably got a sad letter.”
And then a couple other mom’s lowered her heads and wiped their tears.
Huo Ran even saw a few dads quickly wipe their own tears away.
Seeing the state of everyone inside the room, some of the students standing outside started crying too.
Compared to their parents, they cried out loud a lot more freely.
Someone even blew their nose.
Before long, everyone started tearing up, both inside and outside the room.
Huo Ran thought it was quite curious.
Perhaps it was Old Yuan’s words, or perhaps it was just this atmosphere.
The parents were touched by the inner thoughts of these children crying outside the door, making it more effective than anything else could be.
Perhaps in a few days, over half of these parents would go back to normal.
Half of the remaining would be affected for longer, and then another half, and another.
In the end, maybe the parents that would actually try to change their ways would be very few, but no matter what, this parent teacher conference would be meaningful.
Huo Ran didn’t cry.
Compared to most of his classmates, he didn’t have a reason to, like Kou Chen…
He turned and immediately saw that Kou Chen’s eyes were red.
“Chenchen” He suddenly remembered the contents of Kou Chen’s letter, and he felt a pang of sadness.
He reached out and patted Kou Chen on the back gently.
“How corny can you be, Ranran” Kou Chen said softly, voice nasally.
But the wetness in his eyes disappeared quickly.
Seeing as he had to maintain his cool, handsome, and strong image.
The Seven of them left before the parent teacher conference finished.
“I’m amazed,” Jiang Lei said.
“My mom didn’t even bring tissues.
Good thing someone handed her one, or else she wouldn’t even be able to blow her nose.”
“That’s the thing you focused on” Xu Chuan laughed.
“I feel like,” Wei Chaoren said, “The point should be that we won’t get yelled at over our finals this time, so we can celebrate New Years in peace.”
“You have a point,” Xu Chuan patted his shoulder.
“Good thing you don’t have to do a make-up exam, or else who knows if this will keep your dad happy when he sees you failed that too.”
“If my dad saves me face,” Wei Chaoren waved his arm, “I can pass even if I eat Xu Zhifan.”
Xu Zhifan glanced at him: “Don’t you dare.”
Top Student,” Wei Chaoren put an arm around Xu Zhifan, “You didn’t participate in finals this time, how do you feel”
“I feel great.” Xu Zhifan laughed.
They were happy that Xu Zhifan was still in the mood to laugh with all the stuff happening at home, how he missed finals, and nobody came to the parent teacher conference…
“I’ll ask my sister to buy the tickets, give me all your documents and I’ll have her buy them all.” Kou Chen scrolled through his phone as he hung off of Huo Ran.
“Did you tell your parents” Xu Zhifan asked.
“Yup, told them we’re going on a trip, and I don’t know if I’ll be back in time for New Years so they don’t have to wait for me.” Kou Chen said.
“They’re disappointed that they can’t discipline me now.”
They all laughed.
“We’ll probably be back before then” Huo Ran said.
“We still have over half a month, and we’re not actually going on a trip.
We’ll be able to find some clues by then, right”
“Li Ling texted me this morning,” Xu Zhifan said.
“I was gonna tell you guys later.”
“What happened” Kou Chen asked.
“Aunt Hu’s not in good condition, so she didn’t say much, but it’s not the kind of group that restricts your movements,” Xu Zhifan said.
“It’s the brainwashing kind.”
“Holy **,” Huo Ran said.
“What about your mom”
“They weren’t together.
She came back because the person that brought her there was forced back home by her family.” Xu Zhifan said.
“Aunt Hu came back because she ran out of money.
She wanted to get some more from Uncle Li and go back, but they didn’t let her, and that’s why she tried to overdose.”
They all froze.
“Then your mom might have been brainwashed” Huo Ran asked.
“Maybe,” Xu Zhifan said.
“The good thing is that we’ll be able to find her more easily, since she won’t be locked up and can go wherever, but the bad thing is… what if she doesn’t want to come back…”
“We’ll drag her back.” Kou Chen said.
“Find her, call the police, then drag her back.
Did she say who brought her there I just want to know who’s **ing idea it was!”
“One of Aunt Hu’s classmates.
She’s still over there right now.” Xu Zhifan said.
“Fucking hell!” Kou Chen cursed, and then turned towards the gates.
“I’m going to **ing kill that Li whatever idiot!”
“Kou Chen! Kou Chen!” Huo Ran held him back, “What’s your problem Didn’t we agree to go look for Zhifan’s mom That’s our priority!”
“We’ll still have time after I beat him up!” Kou Chen said.
“I’ll **ing send him to the hospital to keep his mom company, and then we can go!”
“You’ll go to jail first.” Xu Chuan held him back as well.
“As a sausage.” Xu Zhifan said.
They sat together in the cafeteria, and discussed their plans around a map on their phones.
Kou Xiao bought them tickets for the day after tomorrow.
Kou Chen paced around in a circle with his phone.
“What is it” Huo Ran nudged him gently.
“My dad loves to reminisce.” Kou Chen said quietly.
“He looks back on his memories with his high school and college friends all the time.”
“…He’s getting old” Huo Ran said.
“That’s what I thought too.
Is Second Kou getting old” Kou Chen said.
“But now, I think maybe that’s not it.
Say, if we weren’t students, if we weren’t so rash, would we be doing this Running off to look for someone just like this”
“Dunno, it depends.” Huo Ran thought about it.
“I think it’ll be hard.
If we all had jobs and families,” Kou Chen said, “I really would be difficult to.”
“Mhm.” Huo Ran looked at him.
“So I was thinking that what we’re doing this winter break,” Kou Chen rubbed his hand on his leg.
“Will be something I’ll remember for the rest of my life.
No matter how many years have passed, no matter what I’ve experienced, I’ll never forget it.
I’ll talk about it all the time like, back then when I was in high school, I did something really cool with a really cute and good looking guy.”
Huo Ran looked at him in silence.
A while later, he patted him on the cheek and nodded: “I agree.
I’ll probably be the same way.”
“Hey, watch yourselves.” Jiang Lei looked at the two of them, “We’re talking business right now.”