The Number “Six” Chapter 1

The Number “Six”

Short Story:

My fate with him seemed to revolve around the number “six”.

In a daze, I thought of the very beginning again.

Fate began when we first became deskmates after everyone was divided into their respective classes during the first year of high school. He had neat short hair, distinctive and sharp facial features, and a dimple below the corner of his mouth. He was always smiling when someone looked at him.

I had forgotten a lot about my days as a student, but in the depths of my memory, I still vividly remembered his words every time I thought of it.

 

When I had just entered high school, I wasn’t used to it, especially with my negative mentality after I saw that I was deskmates with a boy I didn’t know very well. As soon as I sat down, I stared blankly at the table.

He happened to come in after looking at the class exam scores. When he saw me, he smiled. “I am six points higher than you in the exam to divide up the classes!”

I was confused.

He said, “We went to the same middle school. Do you remember me?”

To be honest, I really didn’t remember him.

He chuckled helplessly. “I was in Class Five, and we were once classmates in the advanced class.”

It was only then that I recalled some kind of impression of him.

 

I had a very quiet personality in middle school. I studied all the time and was always oblivious to what was going on outside. I didn’t remember the classmates in my class, and naturally I did not pay attention to those who were not in my class.

He said he noticed me when we were in the third year of middle school, because I was in sixth place that year. He always wanted to be in sixth place, but he fell short of it every time.

He smiled and asked me, “Do you like the number six? Otherwise, how can you be in the same position and not move from it after several exams like you’ve been welded into that position?”

I rubbed my nose and smiled. Truthfully, it was not like that. It was because the top five above me were all very serious high achievers, so there was no way I could pass them. It was like being crucified, so my classmates nicknamed me Little Six. However, I didn’t tell him that.

He was six points higher than me on this exam, and he seemed very happy. “Geez! You don’t know how excited I am, I finally broke the curse and surpassed you.”

His smile was so contagious that I couldn’t help but smile too and said, “Congratulations.”

At that time, no one thought that the number “six” would be the string that tied us together.

 

Classes in the second year of high school were split up between liberal arts and science, and we were in the same class.

I couldn’t tell when we started spending so much time together, or when my feelings for him started becoming different.

In the first exam during the third year of high school, we were separated by six points. I received a recommendation for admission to a key school in the north, but he did not.

It was a huge blow to him. He no longer smiled all the time during class, and he didn’t go to the courts to play basketball in the afternoon after school. He sat quietly in the classroom studying by himself.

I really wanted him to not take the recommendations that seriously and to not tire himself out. However, just when I was going to say those words, I bit my tongue. I didn’t say anything. I just packed my things and was ready to leave school.

Before I left, he stopped me.

He said, “Your future will be bright.”

I couldn’t hold my tears back and thanked him as my shoulders shook.

 

Later, when I went back to school to take graduation photos, he gave me a seating chart with the sixth desk on it. I looked at it and it was my class seat from the first year of high school.

The names on the seating chart had changed, and the only thing that remained the same were how our names were written close together on the same desk.

We had been deskmates since the first year of high school, and this had never changed even during the second year or the third year of high school.

He said, “I found the chart while I was flipping through the book. I always thought it was a coincidence, so I left it every time. Let’s keep it as a memento for the future.”

The sixth desk—our student days.

 

I had not been in touch with him since then.

I didn’t know it yet, but my obsession with him had just begun after that meeting.

I couldn’t escape this number that was between us.

The first time we met again was at the school gates where he took the college entrance examination. I stood under the shade of a tree at a corner with a bouquet of flowers and watched him standing there talking with his parents just after the exam.

As if he had sensed something, he looked back. We were separated by a sea of people, but no one came forward to find the other person.

I realized that this was the end of school for the both of us.

 

The second time was on the platform of the high-speed railway station in L City.

He said hello to me and I realized that it was him. I was surprised and said, “What a coincidence!”

He also smiled. “Yes, what a coincidence.”

After the college entrance examination, he applied for a school in the south and was successfully admitted. College was about to start. He was preparing to go through compulsory military training.

I was preparing too. One north, one south—the trains traveled in different directions.

 

The third time was at my college. At that time, I had graduated. Occasionally, I would pass by my school and I would go see my former professor.

In the stairwell, I was going up and making a phone call. I looked up and I saw him coming down the stairs wearing a white t-shirt.

For a moment, we froze at the same time. One above, one below—we stood on the stairs and quietly stared at each other. Finally, we exchanged dull “long time no see” with each other.

 

The fourth time was in a small town on New Year’s Eve. There was light snow that day. The plaza was very crowded, and I was pulled by my friends to join the fun.

There were so many people. It was really hard to see where I was going, but I saw a familiar figure standing close by in the crowd of people.

It was different from the past. This time, there was a beautiful and lovely girl next to him. He looked at her with gentleness in his eyes.

He was in love.

 

The fifth time was at the class reunion. It was the first time I had attended the reunion after so many years. I didn’t expect to see him there.

During that reunion, some classmates made jokes about us. They said that we were deskmates for three years, but were not close anymore.

I could only smile.

 

The sixth time was farewell.

It was at his wedding.

Recently, I received his wedding invitation and only then did I know that he was going to get married. The girl on the invitation was the person I saw in the plaza on New Year’s Eve.

They were smiling in the shot. The girl’s head was slightly leaning on him very intimately.

It was the same at the wedding. They never looked away from each other when I glanced at them.

He was really in love with this person.

They came over to make a toast. I smiled and followed everyone in saying a few words of blessing to them. He still teased me with a smile, saying that I was no longer a child and that I should hurry up and find a man who would treat me well.

I could only smile.

 

After that, I never saw him again.

I accidentally saw his new post on Moments. He was taking his wife and family to live abroad.

I suddenly smiled, as if my feelings from so many years were let go. It had finally come to an end.

A few months later, I was promoted and the company sent me to a branch in another province. I ended up living there for a long time.

After so many years, he and I—we never saw each other again.

 

One day, my daughter happily ran to find me. She was holding a piece of paper in her hand and excitedly said, “Mom, there are words on this paper.”

She put the white paper under the blue light. Surprisingly, a line of small characters appeared—

Mianmian, I really like you.

Memories rushed in at that moment.

It’s a pity that we could only exist in each other’s memories.

 

——[The End]——


The Number “Six”

The Number “Six”

“六”这个数字
Score 7.6
Status: Completed Type: Author: Released: 2021 Native Language: Chinese
The sixth desk on the seating chart summaries the youth between you and I. Ultimately, he did not wait for the summer cicadas to sing. And he did not wait for my words— “I like you.”

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