Would You Mind If I Play? - Chapter 55 - Operation Cupid[Updated at: 2021-01-11 03:57:31]
Chapter 55: Operation Cupid
Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
The awkwardness between them continued for another three days. And in those three days, Zhang Jun started to find that something had gone missing from his everyday routine. It made him very uncomfortable.
He would usually leave for school at 7:15 am every morning and have his breakfast on the way, because that was the time when Su Fei would be waiting for him outside his house. But, for the past three days, whenever he opened the front door, there was nobody there to greet him, except for an empty stairwell. The only other person he could see was the occasional milkman doing his rounds. The milkman would often do a double take at him, because he was standing in front of the door, staring stupidly into space with a piece of toast in mouth.
When school ended at noon, he did not see Su Fei as he took his own sweet time packing his things before leaving class. She was not outside her class with her arms behind her back, waiting for him as she usually did. Only a disgruntled Yang Pan stood there, repeating the same thing as he did every day, “Hurry up, snail!” The emptiness made Zhang Jun feel so down he could not even bring himself to argue with his best friend like he usually did. All the effort he could muster was just enough for him to put on his backpack and say, “Let’s go.”
Even on their usual route home, when the boys became too focused in a discussion, Zhang Jun would suddenly turn around out of habit and ask, “Am I right, Su Fei?” But, when he realized that the person he was talking to was not there and his question had floated off into silence, he felt his heart sinking where he stood. That’s right, she’s not here, Zhang Jun reminded himself. As he looked up, he was greeted by a perplexed-looking Yang Pan and he felt a little awkward from that. That was when Yang Pan knew it was time he stepped in, so he called An Ke, Kaka, and Ren Yu De for a meeting.
“Sh*t!! If this goes on, Zhang Jun is finished! That little piece of sh*t is so out of himself! We have to do something.”
After hearing Yang Pan out, An Ke only shrugged. “If that’s what you called me here for, I’m out. I don’t give a f*ck if he lives or dies,” he said as he turned around to leave.
Kaka pulled him back to stop him from leaving, and said, “Hey man, come on! We’re all bros right? How can we just turn our backs on a bro?”
“Bah! Just let him go,” Ren Yu De suddenly said. “I bet he’s already thinking about how to come in between them and get to Su Fei himself.”
An Ke heard him and instantly sat back down. “Oy! Just what kind of person do you think I, the great An Ke am? Fine! I’ll stay! Let’s see what else you have to say about me!” he said in a flustered manner. Ren Yu De did not retort, instead he just smirked to himself.
Now that the whole gang was there, the “Zhang Jun and Su Fei Relationship Crisis Summit” officially began.
“If we look at the bigger picture, even if we don’t care about their love life, we also have to think about what’s best for the team! If this goes on, Zhang Jun is only going to become an empty shell of himself on the pitch!” Yang Pan said.
“Well, I don’t think we need that little piece of sh*t to win,” An Ke retorted.
“Are you forgetting about our big match against Zhongyuan?” Yang Pan asked him seriously. An Ke then remembered that Yang Pan was the captain of the team, and decided to shut up.
“As I was saying, their problem is not something that will only affect their personal lives, but the future of the whole team as well. Think about it, if Su Fei and Zhang Jun break up, the whole school is going to go crazy! The number of love letters alone will be enough to drown Su Fei! Haven’t you guys seen that over the past few days?”
The three people nodded in agreement.
“So, in order to get them together, I’ve created a plan. Code name: “Operation Cupid”. But before we proceed, I need to warn you guys first. If any of your personal feelings get in the way and jeopardize this operation, hehe…” Yang Pan gave the three of them an evil grin before continuing, “Try running 10 km every day for a month!”
Operation Cupid was a very well thought out and brilliant plan. At least, its creator Yang Pan thought so. Unfortunately, even before it was set in motion, the plan that Yang Pan took a lot of time and effort to devise, became useless, thanks to Zhang Jun.
When a serious-looking Zhang Jun suddenly sat down in front of Yang Pan in class and said to him, “I’ve been thinking it through for the past three days, and I’ve come to realize that I really, really like her. More than anyone else!” Yang Pan knew that the many pages of his detailed plan were going straight to the trash. He had come up with his plan over their two classes that morning. He was somewhat shocked and glad that his best friend had suddenly figured out his feelings for Su Fei, but also disappointed and frustrated at the same time for all that wasted time as well as brainpower.
“That’s great! So you finally figured it out!” Yang Pan replied while smiling. “Now, go and tell her!”
But, Zhang Jun only shook his head and pulled a long face. “I can’t do it. I can’t bring myself to tell her all that face-to-face.”
“Bro, don’t be such a wimp. All you have to do is walk up to her and tell her that you like her. It’s not like you’re going to rob a bank!”
“But that’s just it, bro! I can’t bring myself to say that to her face! Look, we’ve been hanging out for so long and I’m so used to being casual around her. It’s really awkward for me to suddenly keep up a serious and straight face while I talk to her. Especially if it’s something important like this. I just can’t do it!”
Yang Pan sighed. He never expected Zhang Jun, who was usually very quick-witted to become so useless during an important situation like this. “So, what’s your plan? How are you gonna show her how you feel about her?”
“That’s why I need your help bro! My plan is to…”
“What?! That little sh*t wants to score another hat-trick in our next match?” An Ke exclaimed loudly. Kaka and Ren Yu De, who were sitting next to him turned and gave him a shut-the-f*ck- up look. The both of them did not expect the news as well, but they certainly did not expect their friend to shamelessly announce it to the world like that.
“Okay, okay! We all know you have a loud voice! Don’t go shouting to remind us!” Yang Pan said as he covered his ears.
“So, he plans to use this hat-trick to show Su Fei how he feels?” Kaka asked.
Yang Pan nodded.
“But, Yingcai’s keeper isn’t your average keeper. He’s really good! In the many matches since the start of the season, he’s blocked every shot from his opponents. He never lets any ball pass,” Kaka continued. He had doubts if Zhang Jun knew who he was up against.
“That’s what I told him. But, he said that if the opponents are stronger, that just makes his hat-trick even more meaningful,” Yang Pan explained.
“He’s crazy!” An Ke retorted.
“I don’t get it. This hat-trick idea is his own way of expressing himself. How is Su Fei going to understand why it’s so special?” Ren Yu De asked.
“That’s where we come in! Operation Cupid has changed,” Yang Pan answered. “Alright, we have two new objectives now. Our first objective is to find a way to let Su Fei know that Zhang Jun’s hat-trick was meant for her. We are not allowed to tell her directly, so we have to create a situation where she’ll ‘accidentally’ find out herself. And, if she comes and ask us about it, we’re just going to say that we don’t know. That’s so Zhang Jun can keep some of his pride.
“The second objective is much more straightforward, but harder to pull off: Help Zhang Jun score that hat-trick, regardless of how strong that Yingcai keeper is!”
Su Fei had just finished packing up and she was rushing to the field. It was the last day of training before the team’s next match. Tomorrow, Shu Guang High was going to face off with the current season’s dark horse, Yingcai High on its own turf. However, the Shu Guang players did not really care if their opponents were dark, or white, or even horses. All they cared about was teaching them a lesson for the last time.
As she was just about to enter the locker room, Su Fei heard someone’s loud voice coming from inside.
“What?! That little sh*t wants to score another hat-trick in our next match?” An Ke exclaimed loudly. Kaka and Ren Yu De, who were sitting next to him turned and gave him a shut-the-f*ck up look. The both of them did not expect the news as well, but they certainly did not expect their friend to shamelessly announce it to the world like that.
“Okay, okay! We all know you have a loud voice! Don’t go shouting to remind us!” came Yang Pan’s voice.
“So, he plans to use this hat-trick to show Su Fei how he feels?” Kaka asked.
“Yup, that’s what he said,” Yang Pan replied.
“But, Yingcai’s keeper isn’t your average keeper. He’s really good! In the many matches since the start of the season, he’s blocked every shot from his opponents. He never lets any ball pass,” Kaka continued.
“That’s what I told him. But, he said if the opponents are stronger, that just makes his hat-trick even more meaningful! He’s such an idiot!” Yang Pan explained.
“Hey, that last bit wasn’t included in the script!” Kaka whispered.
“Improv!” Yang Pan whispered back.
“He’s crazy!” An Ke was reading out his lines from a piece of paper as dramatically as he could.
“But, he’s scored so many hat-tricks before. How is he going to show Su Fei that this one is different from the others?” Ren Yu De finally had a line.
“That’s what he’s worried about. Sigh, how can a witty guy like him become such a dumbass at a time like this? It’s just three words! ‘I like you!’ How hard is it to say?” Yang Pan continued with his lines, but made sure that he sounded loud and clear when he was at the “I like you” part of the script.
And just outside the locker room door, Su Fei’s hand trembled when she heard it.
“Easy for you to say! You’re not the one professing your feelings. You can say it as many times as you like, and it still doesn’t matter!” An Ke rebutted.
“So, that means Zhang Jun can only do what he knows he can do, and that is to score, and keep on scoring. Whether or not Su Fei can figure out what he’s trying to tell her with that is beyond him. God, please help my brother!” Kaka drew a cross on his chest and prayed.
“Poor guy!” Ren Yu De sighed.
“Alright, that’s enough. There’s no point talking about it all day! Let’s just pass the ball to him whenever there’s an opening in tomorrow’s match. Now, let’s start training. We’ve been changing clothes in here since forever!” Yang Pan included that last part in his sentence to let the girl standing outside the locker room door know that there were guys still changing inside. It would be a really bad idea to walk in on them right now. But the truth is, they needed time to get rid of the scripts they were holding.
When the people in the locker room sounded like they were finally making their way towards the door, Su Fei quickly ducked into a corner to hide herself. Even though the corner she picked was too obvious to miss, the guys pretended that they did not see her there and carried on with their training. After hearing them leave, Su Fei stood up from her hiding spot.
Since everybody likes the same girl, I should also get myself to the starting line just to be fair. And since we haven’t talked at all over the past three days, I think it’s fair to say that we’ve gone back to square one. So, I’ll be starting with the same conditions as everybody else. That way, nobody can complain that I’m at an advantage! Only this time, I will get her. Definitely! I’m not letting her go to anyone else! And I’m sure I will win her heart, because I love her more than anybody else!
Zhang Jun caught himself daydreaming in his room again. He smiled wryly as he shook his head to clear it of random thoughts. He then continued to focus on the Math problem in front of him.
“Hmm, hmm, this… Hmm… Mhmm… This question… Ugh…” After grunting at the question for a very long time, he finally admitted defeat. And just like every single time he had a problem with his homework, he reactively stood up, brought his homework and a pen with him, got out the front door, and headed straight to Su Fei’s house. But just as he was about to knock on her front door, he realized what was wrong with the picture. They had been avoiding each other for the past few days. Suddenly showing up in front of her house and asking for help on his homework was going to be about the most awkward thing possible for the both of them.
“Am I doing this out of habit?” Zhang Jun asked himself as he smiled and shook his head. But just as he turned around and was about to head back, the door opened with a creak. Light poured out from behind Zhang Jun as he turned around again, just to find Su Fei standing there looking at him.
“Umm… This is… That’s because… I think… Umm… I was actually thinking…” Zhang Jun quickly became very flustered and his speech seemed to have failed when he saw her looking at him in a calm manner. “…I think I’m good. I should go…”
“Which question are you having a problem with?”
Zhang Jun hesitated for a moment before handing over his homework and said, “Question No.7, the third part…”
“Come in, I’ll explain it to you.” After saying that, Su Fei turned around and headed into her own room.
Zhang Jun watched her back and turned to look at his front door. But eventually, he stepped inside Su Fei’s home.
“Oh, Zhang Jun! I haven’t seen you dropping by for some time. What have you been busy with?” Su Fei’s mother was still as friendly as always.
“Huh? Oh! Haha! No-Nothing! Hi, Aunty!” Zhang Jun stuttered at first, but after exchanging greetings, he went into Su Fei’s room. The familiar sight and smell of the girl’s room greeted him. He had not been there in a while. Zhang Jun took a deep breath, sucking in as much of that sweet smelling aroma that he missed so much.
Su Fei was already seated at her desk and waiting for him. He sat down at his usual spot next to her, but left an obvious gap between them on purpose. Even though he was very sure about his feelings for her, he still thought that it was better to keep some distance between them for now; until the next match was over at least. After all, he was still uncertain of Su Fei’s feelings for him at the moment.
Su Fei naturally noticed this. While she patiently explained the Math problem to him in detail without any noticeable emotion on her face, she was saying, “Stupid!” over and over again in her heart.
Lying in his bed after returning from her place, Zhang Jun was reminiscing about the scene in Su Fei’s room. Although they only discussed homework and nothing more, Zhang Jun was still more than happy about it. This was their first time talking so much after avoiding each other for so many days. He finally saw a glimmer of hope and heard the ice on their frozen relationship breaking! Now, he was much more confident that she would understand the meaning behind his hat-trick in the next match.
With a heart full of hope for a beautiful tomorrow, Zhang Jun dozed off on his bed. The happiness of many would be riding on the match tomorrow.
“Godfather, please! I know that my request isn’t an easy one, but I’ve never asked you for anything big like this before. I promise, this will be the first and last time I ask you to do something like this! Please, help me!”
“But this… What you are asking me to do is very risky!”
“I know that, but you are the only person I know with enough influence to pull this off. As long as we do it secretly and leave no trail for the reporters, nobody will be able to link you to the referee if they can’t find any evidence!”
“Please, Godfather. Just help me this one time! Just this time!”
The man on the phone was silent in thought for a while, but he finally made his decision. “Fine! But only this once! There will be no more next time!”
“Yes sir! Thanks! Godfather, you’re the best!”
The man then let out a sigh. “You troublesome punk…”