Lost in thoughts, Lotus entered the classroom with Gao Sheng. She sat down nervously. She felt her heart was banging in her throat.
The girls in the city were really pretty. Many of them were wearing fashionable clothes, with their hair beautifully made. Their manners was gracious, while hers was wild and awkward.
There was a girl sitting in the middle of the classroom who was the center of attraction. She was wearing a white blouse, and a black skirt. The blouse had a turned down cowl collar, which made her look fresh and clean. The skirt was above her knee with folds and creases singing in the light. She talked happily with others, and when she laughed, two dimples appeared on her face, very attractive.
The girl noticed that Lotus was looking at her all the time and she turned around. She eyed Lotus disdainfully, and frowned. Lotus felt ashamed of herself. “I must look bad,” Lotus wondered. She began to examine herself too, plain clothes, plain appearance, plain air. No wonder other students didn’t like talking to her.
“Where are you from?”, the girl asked.
“From a nearby village”, Lotus said loud. Unlike the girl’s slow and gentle voice, Lotus found her voice hoarse and rude.
The girl raised up her eyebrows again. She was about to say something when suddenly some naughty boy pushed Lotus hard. Her desk fell turned upside down, and knocked the girls’ desk too. Then a bottle fell pouring water over the painting on the girls’ desk. All of a sudden, the whole classroom was in a mess. Other students stopped talking and gathered in a circle to see what was happening.
Quite unexpectedly, the girl in front of Lotus gave an exaggerated childish cry. She picked up her painting, and gave Lotus an anguished and despised look. Later, Lotus was to find out that it was a painting of a famous star.
“Are you blind? Don’t you have eyes?” The girl began to shout.
“I am sorry, I will make it up for you.” Lotus was a bit worried. She apologized sincerely.
The girl looked Lotus up and down mockingly, with a pair of eyes that seemed to penetrate Lotus’ shabby clothes. Lotus suddenly felt shame of her nakedness.
“How?” the girl asked in a cold and sarcastic tone. More and more students began to gather and see what was happening. If only they could leave her alone! Lotus thought desperately.
“What is up?” a friendly voice was to be heard. Lotus was relieved. Suddenly Lotus had a strange sensations: she seemed to hear rain drops falling after a long drought.
Gao Sheng saw that Lotus was in trouble, and came to rescue. Lotus pale face turned paler, as if a white pearl. Gao Sheng turned to the girl, “Hello, my name is Gao
Sheng.” He held out his hand.
“Wu Qing.” The girl held out her hand graciously with an air of a well-educated lady.
Lotus saw Gao Sheng’s face turned red.
“Ok,” Gao Sheng said, “I am here to apologize for my friend for her carelessness. I saw she got your painting wet. I would like to buy you another one of the kind if you like.”
Lotus was very grateful tor Gao Sheng for his generosity. For an instance to Lotus, Gao Sheng appeared to Lotus like a knight errand with an armor and sword, fighting for honor and beauty.
The girl, Wu Qing, looked deeply hurt by Gao Sheng’s intervention. She glanced at Lotus hatefully, but smiled at Gao Sheng, “Do not give yourself too much trouble. It is really a piece of cake.”
“Ok, that is it then,” Gao Sheng said. Wu Qing and Lotus shook hands stiffly, and parted.
Gao Sheng returned to his seat. Staring at his figure for a long time, Lotus thought Gao Sheng’s very image was like a balm to her heart, and she felt warmth all over the body. From that day on, she began unconsciously to revolve around Gao Sheng. Like most school girls who adored their idols at this age, she placed Gao Sheng as her sun and was revolving around it. Also, she firmly believed that he would also care about her, true to his words, “I will be your better angel forever.”