Su Wan’s Secret Love

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Part One

On a weekend night in junior year.

Su Wan finally could not hold the throbbing in her heart in anymore. She confessed to him over the phone. She said, “I-I-I…”

On the other end, no one uttered a word.

Su Wan finally squeezed out the syllables on her tongue, “I like you.” When she finished, however, she seemed like the one who was being confessed to. Her eyes were open wide with a bashful red face, but she could not hear anything from the other end. She clumsily hung up and then glared at the phone as she panted like she was about to die.

She had finally said it.

She had confessed to Li Chengran, the person she had had a crush on for three years.

Su Wan tugged at her hair, as she gritted her teeth, “Why did I hang up? Why did I hang up? Oh oh, I’m such an idiot!” Hadn’t she… not heard his reply yet. She had even summoned all of her courage and made that first step, but how come she had not continued? She was just like a soldier going to war, who put a bomb there and ran away, abandoning his helmet and shield…

What was she doing?!

Su Wan tossed and turned restlessly in bed. The next day, she went to class with black circles under her eyes.

She and Li Chengran  went the same way to school. About a hundred meters from the school, Su Wan saw Li Chengran. He was buying a bun from a breakfast shop. Su Wan’s head that had drooped for the entire night suddenly became energized, but her body felt almost locked to the ground- unable to move.

But when all was said and done… he was still her classmate, so she would have to see him eventually.

Su Wan told her best friend, Wang Xin about her love confession. Wang Xin looked at her with shock and exclaimed, “Are you crazy?! We’re in junior year!”

Su Wan also felt a bit guilty and said, “I just couldn’t restrain myself. Say… say, if I were to rile up his emotions and disrupt his studying, what shall I do…”

Wang Xin looked at Li Chengran in front of her, who was memorizing words. Su Wan also tilted her head and looked over. Then, she felt a bit wronged, “But it seems… I haven’t influenced his feelings.”

Wang Xin patted her chest, “After class, I’ll go help you ask about the result.”

When she asked, Li Chengran said, “It’s too difficult for me to answer you during school.  I’ll call her at night.”

Su Wan heard this and felt excited yet nervous, “He said he would call me? Really? When?”

“Since you’re this anxious, you might as well go ask him right now.”

“…” Su Wan lowered her head, “Last night, I hung up the phone like a failure. Where am I going to get the guts to ask him to his face…” After she thought about it, she grabbed her pen and jabbed it into her homework book, “Actually, maybe I can imagine he will reject me.” After all, she wasn’t very pretty, her grades weren’t that good, and with junior year pressing, who would accept a love confession?”

Wang Xin patted her back and did not speak.

That night, Su Wan did her homework listlessly. Then, she hugged her cell phone and turned around on the bed. 10:00, no call. 11:00, no call. 1:00 am, no call. Until 3…

Still no call.

Su Wan felt Li Chengran probably wouldn’t call her.

But she still didn’t give up, as she charged her phone and kept turning it on to check.

How come he didn’t call her? Didn’t he say he would call her? Didn’t he say he would reply to her…?

Su Wan felt too wronged, and thus, with swollen eyes she went to class again.

Today, she didn’t meet Li Chengran on the way. Because she was late, by the time she walked into the classroom, the class had started their morning readings. The teacher weaved between the desks. When he saw Su Wan come in, the teacher waved his hand.

According to the rules, people who were late had to stand outside as a punishment until the teacher let them in.

Su Wan obediently stood in the entrance of the door, keeping her head down, and not looking at anyone.

When the first class in the classroom began, she came into the classroom, still hung her head dejectedly, like a dog who had suffered a beating. Wang Xin asked her softly beside her, “Were you rejected?”

It was alright if no one asked, but now that someone cared, Su Wan immediately let out a sob. “He didn’t call me.”

Wang Xin went blank. “I’ll help you ask after class.”

Su Wan fiercely nodded.

When everyone got to this age, they probably all had thin skin and little guts. When something big happened, one would cry a little; when one had something to say, one did not dare say it directly, forcing one person to act as a go between to communicate for two people.

After Wang Xin got back from asking him, she looked at Su Wan expressionlessly. “Oh no, it’s all my fault. I ruined everything.”

Su Wan was confused, “What happened?”

“Yesterday…” Wang Xin scratched her head, “Yesterday you said you knew he would probably reject you, so after I met him accidentally after school, I said, Su Wan even knows the outcome clearly in her heart. When I just asked him why he didn’t call you yesterday, he said, ‘Since she knows clearly, then there is no point in talking to her’.”

When Su Wan heard these words, her expression immediately crumbled, “What I know…” Half-sobbing, she said, “What I know is only what I know from guessing. How could he not tell me and just… just not call me. At least he could call to tell me he wasn’t going to call me!”

Wang Xin wiped at her sweat, “Do you know what you are saying…”

Seeing that Su Wan was feeling extremely wronged, Wang Xin urged her, “Then why don’t you just find Li Chengran yourself and talk to him? In any case, he is right there so he can’t run off.”

“He’s already rejected me, so what else can I say?” Su Wan leaned on the desk, I’m going to do homework now.”

After her failed secret love, Su Wan was depressed for a period of time, but she was quickly drowning in a flood of homework and test after test. These tests that had her hands full continued until graduation.

On the day they finished testing, the entire class got drunk.

Su Wan hugged Wang Xin and cried, “In the future, I won’t be able to see you, I won’t be able to see you.”

Wang Xin hugged Su Wan back and cried, “I will remember you, I will remember you.” Their words were as painful as parting forever, but actually, their homes were only three bus stops away.

Meanwhile, Li Chengran sat in a corner, drinking with his pals. After Su Wan and Wang Xin finished crying and hugging each other, Su Wan sat in another corner watching Li Chengran drink. Whenever Li Chengran drank a cup, she would drink a cup. When Li Chengran stopped, she also stopped. When Li Chengran laughed, she also laughed. When Li Chengran sighed regretfully about parting, she would follow along and furrow her brows.

She had been rejected, but at that moment of separation, she didn’t know  whether she still liked him, or… if she only  liked the idea of him. Li Chengran was too good. She was probably never going to be able to pursue him to the end anyways.

After drinking too much, Su Wan got a bit drunk,

She felt that after today, she would never see Li Chengran ever again.


At 2am, everyone came out of the KTV. Su Wan didn’t bother with Wang Xin anymore. She silently followed Li Chengran, and walked with him and his pals. They continued walking like this for two blocks. It was still Li Chengran’s classmate who glanced at her drunkenly and remarked, “Su Wan!”

Everyone stopped in their steps and looked back. They were in a sciences class, so there were more guys than girls. One of the guys asked, “Didn’t they already indicate who you would go home with? How come you’ve managed to wander and follow us here?”

Su Wan did not speak. She took a few steps and grasped Li Chengran’s clothing, as her tears began to fall.

All the boys there were drunk, but they still had their reason. They looked at Su Wan and then looked at Li Chengran, and finally they looked at each other.

Su Wan didn’t speak. She only grasped Li Chengran’s clothing and cried soundlessly, with tears that fell like rain.

The scene remained silent like that for a moment. In the end, it was Li Chengran who grabbed her hand and grasped it in his palm. “Let’s go.” He said, “I’ll take you home.”

Su Wan did not reply, all her energy gone into crying her tears.

Only after Li Chengran had taken her home and only after Su Wan had cried until her whole face became swollen did she look at him pitifully, “In the future, in the future, I won’t be able to see you again, right?”

Li Chengran did not answer. He only took the last napkin out of his pocket and gave it to her. “You’re home.” Then, he watched Su Wan wipe her nose as she sobbed and walked into the corridor and got in the elevator.

Why would she cry like that…

Li Chengran threw away the empty napkin packaging as he looked up at the building. He only left after Su Wan’s room on the 18th floor lit up.

Su Wan really felt she would never see Li Chengran ever again.

Part Two

When their university admission notices came, Wang Xin excitedly called her. She had gotten into X University, Li Chengran had also gotten into X University, and Su Wan… had also gotten into X University!

She had initially said that they would never see each other again, but in a flash, those words became meaningless, as they fluttered about and disappeared.

Her family members were very happy that she had gotten into X University, and they granted Su Wan’s request that she had kept asking them for, for the last three years.

They allowed her to learn taekwondo.

Su Wan wanted to learn taekwondo solely because Li Chengran was also learning taekwondo.

She had finally gotten what she had always wished for. The only thing was, Li Chengran was in the advanced class while she… was in the beginners class.

As she ran around with a group of junior high students, wearing a white belt, Su Wan felt she had gotten too old. After a day’s practice, she felt she had already broken all her bones from fatigue, but when she was walking out of the building, she coincidentally bumped into Li Chengran who was leaving his advanced class.

Li Chengran looked at her, startled. Su Wan’s cheeks immediately reddened. “What… what a coincidence. You also happen to be learning here.”

Every single person in their high school class knew Li Chengran was learning here…

However, Li Chengran did not expose her lie and nodded, “Have you finished class? We can go home together.”

Su Wan went blank, “Oh, oh… uh, okay.” Her heart was almost about to blossom with flowers.

Her house and his house were in the same direction. In the past, they had also returned home together via the public bus. Rarely would they not recognize anyone else on the bus. As they sat together, Su Wan could almost hear her own heart jump.

Actually, after they  sat down  together, they had not spoken much. Su Wan kept her head down, afraid to even peek at Li Chengran.

When she returned home, she had taken out her diary. Because she was too excited, Su Wan couldn’t write down a single word. Instead, she drew two children in her diary. One was her, the other was Li Chengran. They sat side by side, with Li Chengran looking outside the window while she looked at her own knees.

Looking at the two people who didn’t match, Su Wan felt her heart pump with scorching hot blood that warmed her entire body.

They had sat on the bus together ah.

Their arms were next to each other.

Their palms were so close to each other.

Su Wan covered her face, and rolled around on the bed happily.

Later after training, every time Su Wan passed by the advanced class door, she would always straighten her back and walk like she was walking on the red carpet. She would make sure she looked good, and walk slowly, glancing inside the entrance as she walked by. If she could secretly see Li Chengran’s figure in her eyes, she would feel so elated.

What did “But I have seen my husband, And how should I not rejoice?” mean 1? This was the very epitome of that phrase.

[1] “But I have seen my husband, And how should I not rejoice?” is a phrase that comes from the poem 風雨 (Wind Rain) from the Book of Poetry (詩經). The poem is a love poem. It is special because it uses the setting to depict the mood. The entire poem is 32 sentences, but the first two lines of every stanza begins with the setting. When the wind and the rain are battering at the same time, when the day is dusk, when the cock crows randomly, a woman is longing for her husband. The wind and the rain descends and acts recklessly like her chaotic feelings. The dusky sky is just like the darkness of her mood, and the chaotic cock crowing emphasizes the moodiness in the scene. At this time, her husband appears. How can she not be overjoyed? When she sees her husband, her chaotic feelings immediately become calm; when she sees her husband, it is like she has suddenly recovered from a  heavy illness. In the beginning, the poem has so much depression, but later, it is full of happiness. The poem is full of dramatic changes, which serve to vividly create a feeling of passionate love. [credits]

To read the poem, go here.

Later, Su Wan began to become unsatisfied with just seeing Li Chengran in the taekwondo building. One time when they came home together, Su Wan saw Li Chengran holding two sandbags, and she asked him what they were for.

Li Chengran answered, “It’s for heavy training. They build your strength.”

Su Wan’s eyes brightened momentarily, “Can I borrow them for a few days?”

Li Chengran turned around and looked at her. The street lights outside the bus window streaked past, creating mottled light and shadows on their faces.

“I’ll give them to you then.” He gave the sand bags to Su Wan.

Su Wan took them and her face immediately turned painful…the bags were… so…heavy…

How was she going to practice when these were so heavy?! She looked over at Li Chengran, but Li Chengran had already turned to look outside. Thus, Su Wan could only lug the two sandbags home.

There was no way she was actually going to use these sand bags to practice. She only wanted to borrow something of his, and then find an opportunity to return them.

But on the day she was to return the sandbags, Su Wan made a big mistake. She called Li Chengran’s cell phone, but he didn’t answer. He was probably at home, right? Thus, she called his home phone number, but who knew Li Chengran’s mom would pick up? Su Wan said she wanted to return Li Chengran’s belongings. His mother was very confused. “Isn’t Chengran at taekwondo practice?”

For a moment, Su Wan’s mind went blank, and she subconsciously said, “No, today there isn’t taekwondo class.”

When she finished, she realized something was wrong, but her words were like spilled water, and she could not take them back.

Mother Li hung up.

Su Wan worried for the entire afternoon.

When nighttime came, Li Chengran called her and asked her to return his sandbags.

Su Wan grabbed the sandbags, crestfallen, and looked at Li Chengran. Timidly, she handed them back. “What happened this afternoon…”

“This afternoon, I was out playing with Ah Mao.”

Ah Mao was a high school classmate. They and a few others were usually together to play games at the internet cafes.

Su Wan knew she had done something wrong. She whispered, “Sorry… it was all a slip of my tongue… you weren’t scolded, were you?”

Li Chengran glanced at her and took the sandbags. However, he suddenly lifted his hand and rubbed her head for the first time ever. After he rubbed her hair so much, it turned into a nest, he said, patronizingly, “So dumb.”

When he finished he turned around and walked off, almost as if he hadn’t bullied her just now.

“Hey! You!” Su Wan became subconsciously angry, but when Li Chengran had walked far away, she touched her head, and grabbed her hair as she laughed like a fool. Su Wan felt… there was probably no hope left for her.

Over the next few days, every night after she finished training Su Wan would always see Li Chengran outside on her way out of the taekwondo building. At first, she thought it was just a chance encounter, but later the feeling that Li Chengran was waiting for her became more and more obvious.

Even if the advanced class didn’t have class, Li Chengran would be waiting there for her after class. They rode the bus back together.

Su Wan finally felt that her relationship with Li Chengran over summer break had made a bit of… headway?

One night on the way home, Su Wan mulled over this for a long time, when she finally summoned her courage, and stuttered, “L-l-li…”

Li Chengran looked back at her.

Su Wan’s face immediately flushed with blood. After a long time, her next words were left unsaid, and Li Chengran turned towards the front again. Su Wan became anxious, “Li Chengran…”


“How come… how come you’ve been waiting… waiting for me to go home these past few days?”

Li Chengran didn’t reply, as he continued to walk in the other direction.

Su Wan couldn’t be shy at this moment. She immediately lifted her legs and followed, “Li Chengran…Li Chengran!” In a moment of desperation, she tugged on Li Chengran’s clothes. Then, suddenly realizing what she had done, she hurriedly let go. After she let go, she couldn’t bear to let him go, so she anxiously held onto him again.

This was just like how it had been throughout this entire year. She was afraid when she grabbed onto him, but then she couldn’t bear to let go of him.

Li Chengran finally looked back at her.

Su Wan hung her head down. While she was still thinking about whether she should hold on or let go, a hand had already grasped her hand.

“With you asking so frankly, aren’t you afraid that the person you’re asking will become embarrassed?” He said, but he didn’t seem the least bit embarrassed. He made Su Wan perplexed, as if she could not process his words, “Plus, with such obvious actions, do you really need someone to explain everything to you before you’ll understand?”

Understand? She asked because she didn’t understand…

Li Chengran glanced at her. “You’re so dumb.” As he said this, he became serious, “Su Wan, do you still remember when you called me one time and said you liked me?”

She remembered, she remembered it too vividly. She hadn’t even gotten a proper rejection to that love confession. How could she forget it?

“Is your love confession still valid?

“Is your love confession still valid?

“Are you still there?”

Su Wan wasn’t dumb, so she immediately turned red and said, “Yes yes yes.”

Then, Li Chengran took out his phone. In a moment, Su Wan’s phone rang. Li Chengran had called her. Su Wan picked up her phone blankly, hearing Li Chengran say on the other end, “Su Wan, I like you too.”

Su Wan started crying immediately, “What is this… how come you only replied today, how come…”

Li Chengran lifted his head to look at the sky, “I said I would reply to you at night.”

He didn’t say which night…

And weren’t we supposed to be studying during junior year? What’s the point of thinking about trivial matters…

The author has something to say:

The story was based off of a story in real life, but the original story was a tragedy.

In reality, the girl secretly loved the boy for five years, but was never able to be together with the boy.

In the end, she let the boy and the girl he liked be together

Secret love is usually more oppressive in real life. In addition, it oppresses you everyday and at all moments. To take that first step is perhaps a good idea.

Furthermore, the last sentence is the truest sentence in this short story.