Those Steps We Walked Together chapter 2

Angled Steps on the Subway Station

On the first Monday class, the creative challenge was oficially announced.

Cheng Kesong arrived at the classroom too early, so he sat on an empty desk and looked at the materials he had in hands.

Their group’s subject is ‘steps’, a simple word. They need to create a story based on just that word, a graphic research about steps and also draw the storyboard from the beginning to the end, with three full-colored paintings by hand.

“Good morning, Kesong.”

Hugo came through the door, threw his schoolbag on the table and leaned slightly towards Kesong.

Cheng Kesong greeted him by pressing their cheeks together and then sat down again. Doing that on the left and the right side was the greeting ceremony everywhere in Paris.

“So what do you think about our subject? Difficult?” Hugo smiled.

Cheng Kesong’s nose was filled with the woody fragrance carried by the other person, a smell slightly spiced with tobacco, but not a bad smell.

“Stairs, I don’t think it’s difficult.”

“Well, steps can symbolize lots of things and can have lots of meanings. It’s a bridge connecting low and high places and a tool to get somewhere higher” Hugo casually sat on the table.

“Connection, bond, this is good.” Cheng Kesong answered.

“There’s actually many legends about steps. Are there any parables or stories about stairs in China?” Hugo asked.

Cheng Kesong smiled: “In ancient China, an emperor built his palace on a very high place and many a stair with many steps so that the officials would have to climb a mountain every time they wanted to go to the dynasty. That would make everyone feel shocked and think that the emperor was high above them, full of majesty.”

Hugo raised his eyebrows slightly and his piercing moved as he made a surprised expression: “This can also be a meaning!”

While they talked, the four others also arrived.

“Hey there, Valentin! How was the battle yesterday?”

“Morning, Bruno. Don’t even talk about yesterday, my mother sent me out to buy onions five minutes after I started the game…”

“Good morning, Leia!”

“Morning, Julia!”

“Good morning, Kesong” Julia stepped out of the four member party, looked at Cheng Kesong and smiled. “Yesterday, Simon from your class came to me saying you are a ‘omnipotent croissant*’ and told me how jealous he was of my good luck.”

Croissant: Kesong 可颂 means ‘croissant’ in chinese.

Cheng Kesong answered modestly: “I can only draw a bit, I had a headache only from hearing about the research report.”

Julia raised an eyebrow: “Just give the report to Hugo, the guy will do his best!”

Valentin interrupted: “Talking about that, what can be said about steps?” That sentence immediately created an inspired atmosphere.

After an hour of brainstorming, everyone decided that they should walk around Paris and find some unique stairs with unique stories, take photos and then draw them, then they would prepare for future research.

The six students were divided into three groups of two to do a graphic research about steps.

“Kesong, be with me” Hugo smiled

Cheng Kesong immediately accepted.

The two packed up their respective things. Cheng Kesong brought a sketchbook, water-soluble colored lead and filled the tap water storage with water. Then he walked out of school side-by-side with Hugo.

Both Hugo and Cheng Kesong have heights about 1,80 meters and it’s difficult to judge who’s taller. It’s just that Cheng Kesong was keen on sports back on China and so his body was well-proportionate while Hugo looked a bit too skinny. He also prefers loose clothing, so it looks like the wind is capable of blowing him away.

However, Hugo doesn’t appear weak.

His aura was not weakened by his lean body and delicate features at all, like a bamboo forest on the wind.

“Speaking of the stairs in Paris, I can’t think about one” Hugo said. “Is there any stairs that impressed you when you arrived here?”

“Of course” Cheng Kesong smiled. “When I just arrived in Paris, there was a stair that really gave me a headache.”

“Tell me about” Hugo stared intently at Cheng Kesong.

“At that time, I was living at the 98th province in a very cheap house I rented. There was nothing but a bed, so I had to go out to buy a desk myself” Cheng Keson said. “I thought there were elevators in the subway stations of Paris or that there would be barrier-free facilities everywhere, but I didn’t expect that the elevator in that station was closed for maintenance.”

“So you had to carry the desk by stairs?”

“Yeah,” Cheng Kesong laughed. “The point is that I didn’t only buy a desk that day, I also bought a small bookshelf, so it all had about 30 kilograms. To reach my old house I had to take two buses and a subway, then finally a tram. And that staircase in question had very high steps, around two meters each…”

Hugo used his delicate face to make an exaggerated expression, surprised: “That’s really impressive!”

Cheng Kesong smiled.

“But you are in such a shape that means you’re very strong” Hugo joked.

Cheng Kesong: “I’m in a good form?”

“Yeah” Hugo smiled and asked. “You still live in the 94th province?”

Cheng Kesong shook his head: “I’m now living in Versailles, it’s on the 12th subway line.”

“It’s very convenient to go to school.”

Montparnasse station, the closest to school, reached the 12th line directly.

“About subway steps, they are actually more interesting around the Louvre area.” Hugo said, “The subways station there retains the ancient wrought-iron handrails and wrought-iron ceilings, it’s very beautiful.”

“I think they are pretty around Montparnesse, too. They are interlaced and rich in layers” Cheng Kesong smiled.

Hugo smiled too with his beautiful light-brown eyes.

“So our theme will be the subway steps? Is there any story to tell about it?”

The two have now reached the Montparnasse station and if you look up, you can see the elevator and stairs leading to the second floor platform, the modern linear handrails extended on both sides of the stairs, turning a corner before continuing upwards.

Cheng Kesong speeded up a few steps and standing in the steps in front of Hugo, turned around and looked down at him, saying: “Those steps can tell a story about a chance encounter.”

Hugo connected their thoughts: “The people here come and go in a hurry, no one looks at each other, but if someone is always on your sight, you will inevitably pay attention to them. And taking the subway is very everyday action, so it’s not impossible for two people to go down the same stairs everyday. So this is a love story?”

“Yes, a love story.”

Cheng Kesong stared at Hugo’s eyes that looked up through thick eyelashes and said with a very serious tone.

Hugo’s face suddenly changed: “Careful!”

His voice echoed at the same time Cheng Kesong gasped. Cheng Kesong turned his head subconsciously and saw just a huge suitcase sliding down the stairs, coming down. In a blink of an eye, the suitcase hit Cheng Kesong’s calf strongly.

Cheng Kesong immediately lost his balance and fell down the steps.

Hugo stood right in front of him and, taking a step forward, took him in his arms.

But Cheng Kesong fell from a high place and the impulse brought Hugo down into a trance, his backward steps were empty.

Weightlessness suddenly came. In that brief moment, in less than a second, Cheng Kesong only felt that time seemed to be in slow-motion— the two chests were close together, joining their breaths, they could heard each other heartbeat clearly.

Cheng Kesong unconsciously turned around to protect Hugo from the fall with his own body, stretched out his left hand and grabbed the handrail next to the stairs, stumbling, and then finally stabilized their bodies in a half-lying position.

Hugo rested against him, hand over his shoulder.

The suitcase slipped past the two and fell violently to the corner of the platform, at the bottom of the stairs.

“Oh my God! I’m really sorry!”

A chubby lady immediately run with her heels to the two of them, looking worried and regretful: “Are you two okay? Are you hurt? Oh, I’m really sorry!”

Hugo popped pulled himself up and stretched one hand to pull Cheng Kesong off the ground, his face didn’t look very good: “You should use the elevator if you have such heavy luggage! That’s very dangerous!”

The lady immediately apologized.

Seeing Hugo and the lady making a few more remarks, Cheng Kesong pulled his arm: “Forget it, she didn’t mean it.”

Hugo was willing to let it go.

“Are you okay?” With the perpetrator away, Hugo frowned as he looked at Cheng Kesong.

Cheng Keson turned his arm slightly and looked at his scraped elbow: “I have to go to the pharmacy.”

Hugo’s face changed immediately. He stepped forwards, grabbed Cheng Kesong’s wrist and lowered his head to look at his injury. After a while he looked up, annoyed.

“That lady should at least pay for your medicine!”

“It doesn’t matter, it’s just a minor injury” Cheng Kesong smiled indifferently.

Montparnesse Station is a very important station in Paris. It connects to the train station and is divided into three areas. The space inside the station is vast and has many shops, pharmacies can be found here and all over Paris.

The two bought a disinfectant at the drugstore at the station and found a bathroom to clean the wound.

Hugo squeezed the cotton and carefully helped Cheng Kesong wipe the skin around the wound.

“How do you feel, does it hurt?”

“It’s alright, nothing serious” Cheng Kesong smiled.

Hugo was worried: “Can we still go out to draw?”

“I didn’t hurt a bone, just the skin” Cheng Kesong really didn’t care.

Hugo didn’t answer.

Cheng Kesong tried to divert his attention: Since you said the Louvre Subway’s stairs are very special, let’s go to the Louvre. I remember there’s a lot of steps in the Louvre Museum, we can draw a few sketches and put them on the research report in the future.”

That was very effective. Hugo raised his head and smiled when he heard it.

“Okay, let’s go.”


Those Steps We Walked Together

Those Steps We Walked Together

那些我们一起走过的台阶
Score 8.8
Status: Completed Type: Author: Released: 2018 Native Language: Chinese
Cheng Kesong had an itch inside his heart since the first time he saw Hugo.He was helpless since that exotic boy was in a different class.Until one day, the school released a group challenge to separate classmates.Cheng Kesong looked at Hugo’s name on his team, excitement burning inside his heart.

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