Would You Mind If I Play? - Chapter 82 - The Ending Is Still the Beginning[Updated at: 2021-01-11 03:57:39]
Chapter 82: The Ending Is Still the Beginning
Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
As Zhang Jun ate his breakfast, he could feel the insecurity in his father’s eyes. His smiles were pretentious too. Even his strict and solemn mother was adorned with a mysterious smile. This was the same smile Uncle and Auntie had when they saw him at their house. Zhang Jun could not help but shiver.
In the end, after he was done with breakfast, Zhang Jun was kicked to Su Fei’s house.
“Off you go for your tuition! Your college entrance examination’s coming soon!” His father could say those words with such righteousness even though “soon” was actually still half a year away.
When Zhang Jun arrived at Su Fei’s house with his bag, Auntie instantly said to Uncle, “Let’s go. Accompany me shopping!”
“Oh? Are you two going out?” Zhang Jun asked as he noticed Uncle and Auntie wearing their shoes outside their house.
“Hehe! Yes, we adults need a break from parenting!” Uncle smiled as “happiness” was written all over his face. Auntie gave him a punch, but her face was also filled with the same sense of “happiness”.
“Father, Mother, enjoy yourselves!” Su Fei smiled. She sent her parents out of the door and closed it. After that, she turned around and smiled at Zhang Jun. “Alright, let’s get started!”
It was 9.00 am and Yang Pan just ended his five-kilometer jog. He was covered in sweat as he arrived at the courtyard to have breakfast.
“Is tomorrow the finals?” The uncle who sold noodles smiled and gave him a bowl of chicken noodle soup. There was also a piece of freshly fried scallion cake. Yang Pan was his regular customer. He would always have breakfast at the uncle’s place after he was finished with his morning jog. Yang Pan did not even need to say anything, he already knew what Yang Pan wanted. No matter rain or shine, Yang Pan would have his morning jog every day, and this food stall was the same as well.
“Mmm.” Yang Pan took a bite of the tasty scallion cake and the aroma instantly filled the place. The uncle’s fried scallion cake had been around for eight years and its taste never changed.
“Looking at how the both of you are working so hard every day, will you be getting to the championship?” During this time, there were not many customers around having their breakfast, so the uncle could sit down and have a chat with Yang Pan.
“That’s… Both of us?” Yang Pan lifted his head to look at the uncle, who was smiling.
“Hehe! That’s right! That kid, Zhang Jun jogs every day too. But, he wakes up really early when the sky isn’t even bright yet. When he gets back, he would greet me.” The uncle’s breakfast stall had already been set up in front of the courtyard for eight years. They often went to him for breakfast when Zhang Jun and Yang Pan were still in elementary school, because his scallion cakes were the best in the neighborhood. After one or two visits, everyone was familiar with each other.
Yang Pan looked thoughtfully in the direction of Zhang Jun’s house.
That uncle added, “I’ve never seen him working so hard before, jogging every morning. He’s different from you, in a sense that he does have a bit of laziness. But now, he’s become very serious. That’s why I said the championship won’t escape you!”
“I didn’t know…”
“I didn’t know he’s been jogging every day…”
“He wakes up early and it’s different from your jogging time, so you two have never bumped into each other. He’d be running back even before the sky becomes bright and the streets are still empty. He’s even earlier than me! I’ve never seen him working so hard before, tsk tsk!” The uncle rubbed his bearded chin as he replied.
“Li Yongle, I knew that your physical fitness was good, but I never thought it would be this good!” Zhang Yang lay down on the basketball court and watched as soccer balls flew across his line of sight. They slammed into the basketball post, where some went in while some did not even hit the edge. He was already tired just from picking up the balls, but Li Yongle was still running around, launching his big kicks…
“Tomorrow’s already the finals! If you keep tossing around like that, will you still have the strength for tomorrow? There’s only three hours between now and 7.00 am!”
As Zhang Yang commented, Li Yongle trained. He had tossed his jacket aside earlier on and also taken off his trousers. On that early winter morning, he only wore a long-sleeved sweater and a pair of sports shorts. Yet, he was covered in sweat.
Zhang Yang was helpless and all he could do was lay on the ground as he watched the soccer balls fly across the sky like birds. Beside him were all the soccer balls that Li Yongle had kicked over. Before long, he would have to kick them back.
Shu Guang High School’s Teachers Apartment, Building 4, Unit 701.
It was a very messy apartment with a messy living room, bedroom and dining area. Diligent women would not have been able to suppress their urge to clean as soon as they saw it.
In front of a messy bed, there was an extremely untidy table, and on that table there were leftovers. It was uncertain how long the food has been there. On the right, there was a row of sofas and in front, there was a television. The television had been switched off and this was seemingly the most valuable item in the house. In addition, the owner’s clothes were left on the sofa.
The sunlight shone into the house and onto the owner’s face too, but it did not disturb him from his dream. Who knew what he was dreaming of, maybe victory? Or, was it defeat?
In front of the sofa, many video tapes were scattered across the floor and they had different colored labels. The only feature they had in common was the three words neatly written on them: Zhongyuan High School.
An Ke gently opened the door and exited like a thief.
“An Ke,” his mother’s voice sounded from the back.
An Ke sighed and turned.
“Where are you going?”
“Me? Hehe! I’m going to go for training!” An Ke rubbed the back of his head and smiled.
“Training?” His mother slapped An Ke on the head. He was dressed in a shiny leather jacket, a pair of jeans and leather shoes, which could have doubled as mirrors. In addition, his hair had obviously been moussed. An Ke that he had no skills when it came to lying. He sighed again and closed the door, taking his shoes off and replacing them with slippers.
“Wash your bed sheets and quilt!” After his mother threw these words to him, she returned back into the house.
An Ke looked at the tub and whined. A preschooler could have used it as a bathtub. It was filled with bed sheets and quilts.
“What are you whining about?” His mother carried another pile of clothes in and she threw them into the washing machine. “This is a family tradition; you wash the ones that are difficult to wash and I’ll wash the ones that are easy. Have you forgotten?”
What kind of tradition is this? An Ke only dared to say it in his heart. He was afraid that if his mother heard him, she would throw all the clothes from the washing machine into the tub before him.
When An Ke was younger, he was the “flower of the motherland who loved labor”. He would often carry out work no matter if it was within his strength or not, and he was praised by his parents for his performance. On one occasion, he acted on a whim and began to wash all the sheets in the house. At that time, he was in his first grade of elementary school. It looked like he was being caught by the water. He did not know if he was washing the sheets or being washed by the sheets. But in the end, he managed to overcome the bed sheets, which looked like a python in his eyes. When his parents saw the hung bed sheets along with An Ke, who was standing next to them, dripping wet, they could not believe that An Ke was the one who washed them all. So, he was naturally praised by them. “Our An Ke knows how to wash the bed sheets all by himself!” But, what An Ke enjoyed the most was being able to feast on delicious meals for two days.
Since then, An Ke had a sweet tooth and requested that he would be in charge of the sheets! His parents agreed to this win-win situation, where “their son would be trained and they would be saved”. An Ke did not expect to step on this “pirate ship”, where he would be in charge of it for 10 years. After that, An Ke finally started to have a bigger “understanding” of things. He wanted to quit, but his parents would always talk about dignity. Whenever An Ke wanted to give up, his resolve would be crushed. However, An Ke’s “endurance and suffering” were not meaningless during the past 10 years. Because of that, both of An Ke’s hands had great power, so it was not a problem for him to grab a basketball for a slam dunk. When he was in middle school, he had to perform several grips, which also happened to be one of the factors for his success as a goalkeeper.
The washing machine made a deep buzzing sound while An Ke squatted in front of the big “tub” to scrub the bed sheets.
“An Ke, Wen Wen has been feeling unhappy these few days, did you bully her again?” His mother approached him and watched as he washed the bed sheets.
“You’re joking! Me, bully her? As if I dare!” An Ke replied.
“Then, why is she so unhappy?”
“How would I know… Oh? Mom, when did you notice her being like that?” An Ke turned his head to look at his mother.
His mother thought for a bit. “A week ago.”
An Ke returned to washing his bed sheets.
“What did you say?”
“Ah! No, it’s nothing! Oh, mom, are you and dad coming to watch the match tomorrow?”
“Of course! It’s our son’s finals, why wouldn’t we go! Hmm, but our son is on this team and our daughter is on the other team, who should we support? It’s hurting my head a little…” His mother frowned and muttered to herself. She did not hear An Ke sighing softly.
When Ren Yu De ran down the stairs, his father was just about to leave.
“Dad!” he hesitated before calling out.
“This… Ah, goodbye!”
His father stared at him blankly, then nodded. He turned around and left. As the president of Sanli Group, he was also the head leader of Luoyang, so he was always leaving hastily every day to get busy with work and socializing. This seemed to be the only way for any successful businessman.
Watching the white BMW exiting the courtyard, Ren Yu De was lost as he sat on the sofa. He was not interested with the lively channels that were broadcasting on the television.
When his father turned around, the words he wanted to say suddenly pulled back into his stomach. He could not even call out to him. He knew that his father was very busy and he would not get to see him a few times a week. He could not speak more than 20 sentences to him. His father had little concern for him. Perhaps, it was probably one of the main reasons why he chose to rebel. There was a time where he thought the house was just a place for him to sleep. There was no “home” at all. His father was busy with work and socializing all the time. He said that the way to support the next generation was to practice the “earn a lot of dollars” policy. His mother was busy too as she took care of his younger brother. She had no concern for him because he “already seemed to understand things”.
After reaching high school, Ren Yu De changed and his father knew. However, because of other reasons, the two of them never spoke more than 50 sentences a week. When he planned to call out to his father earlier, he wanted to chat about the final match, but the moment he saw his father turn around, he suddenly went blank. Was it because it had been so long since they last communicated, that even under the situation of being face-to-face with his father, he did not know how to speak anymore?
“Dad, tomorrow afternoon’s the finals, come and watch!”
Ren Yu De began to regret it as he lay down on the sofa. Why did he not say that earlier? Even if they won the finals tomorrow, he would still regret it…
The Luoyang Post and Telecommunications Bureau had quite the “special existence” in the bustling, modern city center.
Kaka was sitting in the No. 8 telephone booth and he was making a call—an international long distance one.
“Dad, did you know, when I first ran back to China, I didn’t want to follow the route you set up for me. So, I can’t return to Brazil.” The soundproofing effect between the telephones were good and any sound inside could not be heard outside. Hence, the person inside the booth would not be disturbed from the outside.
“I know that you’re only doing it for my own good, but I’m not a kid anymore. I already know how to think for myself and I know what I want for myself. I will continue to follow my own wish. No matter what happens, I won’t regret it.
“I’m only making this phone call to ask for your blessings and get some peace. But, you always say this kind of stuff to me all the time. You have a business to be busy with, so I’m not requesting you to visit me in China again. It’s all good here. I have a big group of friends and we play soccer together. There’s nothing back there at all. Homesick? Hehe, Father, you told me that China’s my home and now that I’m home, what’s more to miss? No matter what, I want to complete my high school here. Then, I’ll decide if I want to return to Brazil or not. I know that I’ll have to bear such responsibility in the future, but that will only happen later. I just want to live my life now—a happy life where there’s soccer and friends, so let’s not talk about all this, alright? I love you, Father, Mother and Little Reich. If he’s naughty, please discipline him properly, hehe. Think about how I was before. I pray every day that you’ll all be blessed with peace. I’m good here, so Father, please don’t fret, I will surely return. I will return to your side, but now, I have even more important things to do. Alright, Father, the long distance is very expensive, so I have to go. Father, I love you all!”
Kaka hung up and got out of the phone booth. Due to his youth and handsomeness, he could not help but attract a few stares. Kaka had apparently gotten used to it. He smiled to those who were walking past him and they smiled back.
After he got out of the door, he squinted both of his eyes. Luoyang would have scorching sunlight in the winter and tomorrow’s weather would be great for his match. He took his sunglasses out of his pocket and exited the crowd of people.
That afternoon, the third and fourth place play-off was staged at the Xigong Stadium. As Yang Pan said, the focus of the game was the one and only Fan Cunjie of Dingding. For the past three years, Dingding had not received any honors, but soccer fans and experts loved their mastery of the midfield, plus it was Fan Cunjie’s last game. The game attracted quite a lot of people. They all came to see this tragic hero. Fan Cun Jie was a well-deserved master and he had outstanding skills. He was very easy-going towards anyone, including the reporters and he never refused others’ requests. He also strictly abided by the sport’s ethics on the field. Not to mention, he had the utmost respect of his teammates, opponents and audience, because he was never given any recognition from the start to finish It won the sympathy of many people. Once he left, there would be no more “Artistic Master” in Luoyang.
After Lin Ling left the year before, Tongxing could no longer compare with Dingding and Zhongyuan High School. The third and fourth place play-off had no suspense. Halfway through the second half, Dingding had locked in a 3: 0 victory. Fan Cunjie assisted two goals and scored one. Every time he touched the ball, ran, passed, and took a shot, a roar of cheers came from the stands.
The match ended with Dingding’s victory with a score of 3: 0 against Tongxing. When the final whistle was blown, all the soccer fans in the audience, except Tongxing’s cheerleaders shouted Fan Cunjie’s name. They expressed their respect for the player who gave them three years of enjoyment and happiness without giving up.
The screams also made Fan Cunjie, who initially planned to hide in the lounge, to stay on the field. He walked around the field to wave and say his goodbyes to his soccer fans, teammates and opponents. The were still some remaining tears from prior week, after he took off Dingding’s jersey and the captain’s armband. At that moment, he could not restrain himself anymore and his tears came flowing out. As he said his goodbyes, he realized that it was goodbye to everything in the past. Whether it was his grandness, a persistent dream or the bitterness of failure, everything would be blown away with his tears in the wind…
Watching Fan Cunjie embracing his opponents and his teammates on the field as well as waving goodbye to the audience, Zhou Jian Sheng sighed in the live room. “An era is over…”
However, the next day, a new era would begin…