LMA – Chapter Two
Luo An Hai used to be obsessed with opposing her father and Mai Fang that she didn’t care about having a school social life. In her first lifetime she didn’t have close school friends. But she lived a healthy life, no drugs, alcohol, clubbing and she wasn’t in a gang.
She was always ranked first academically at school, because she thrived competition. Although she inherited her mother’s beauty, boys were intimidated by her and they didn’t pursue her.
At school she didn’t have friends, but being her father’s daughter meant students feared offending her. She was a snob toward fake students who tried to befriend her because their families wanted business connections with Luo’s company.
Being a thirty-year-old woman trapped in her fourteen-year-old body was tedious during school lessons.
At lunch time she considered going home, but Han Ting Hua appeared and he plonked his lunch box on her desk.
‘Why are you here?’ she asked.
The last time she checked, he wasn’t a student at her school. Who let him into her school? It looked like he came to eat lunch with her.
‘It’s a half-day at my school,’ he said. ‘My mother asked me to eat lunch with you, and I’ll be driven home after lunch.’
Half-day? She didn’t remember anything about his school having half-days. But back then she used to knock lunch boxes out of Mai Fang’s hands so Mai Fang wouldn’t ask him to eat lunch with her in case she mistreated him.
Her accepting Mai Fang’s lunch box in the morning must have changed the sequence of life events.
‘Why won’t you this obedient in the car this morning?’ she asked.
She didn’t know why the sight of him put her in a talkative mood.
He opened his lunch box. On the top tier were fruit slices, the middle tier were ribs with vegetables and the bottom tier were rice and omelette.
She salivated watching him eat the omelette.
On the other hand, he had no choice when his mother asked uncle Luo’s driver to take him directly to Luo An Hai’s classroom for him to eat lunch with Luo An Hai.
The sight of him eating made her hungry. She picked up the lunch box Mai Fang prepared for her and opened it. Her lunch box had fruit slices, a small milk carton, scrambled eggs with tofu vegetables and combination noodles. How did Mai Fang know her favorite dishes?
‘Last night my mother asked Mrs. Chen what are your favorite dishes,’ he said.
His adoptive mother ignored Mrs. Chen’s cold treatment, and pestered Mrs. Chen until Mrs. Chen divulged all of Luo An Hai’s favorite dishes. His adoptive mother even bought a new blue lunch box for Luo An Hai because blue was Luo An Hai’s favorite color.
She stared at her opened lunch box and knew Mrs. Chen must have given Mai Fang a hard time, but she wasn’t moved by Mai Fang’s gesture.
‘Does your mother think she can buy my approval with a lunch box?’ she asked, chewing the combination noodles. ‘Tell your mother to keep dreaming.’
Regardless how delicious Mai Fang’s food was, she would always resent Mai Fang.
He silently ate because whatever he said would only fuel her.
Even though no one at school dared to pick on her, they naively saw him as easy prey.
‘Am I seeing things?’ Ly asked. ‘Luo An Hai, are you eating a homemade packed lunch? And who is this little boy? I didn’t know you had a relative at school.’
She wasn’t interested in replying to a teen bimbo. But news travelled fast. Of course everyone in her school knew his mother was her father’s new wife. Since the bimbo wanted to provoke her then she’d play along.
‘Miss Ly, this is my father’s distant relative, Mr. Han,’ she said. ‘We don’t share the same family name.’
The female student backed off after Luo An Hua’s warning, and ran away.
‘Little boy, what are you looking at?’ she asked.
‘Looks like you have some classmates who are either scared of you or hates you,’ he said.
He wasn’t blind. He noticed how her classmates kept their distance from her.
‘You’re wrong,’ she said. ‘I have many classmates who hates me.’
‘Do you like being a loner?’ he asked.
‘Yes, I rather be alone than be surrounded by people I hate,’ she said. ‘I especially hate anyone with a Han family name.’
She wanted no future with him.
‘I heard my teacher say there is a thin line between love and hate,’ he said. ‘Do you think it’s true?’
Her face turned red and she lost her appetite. She didn’t understand why a thirty-year-old woman couldn’t combat a smart-ass little boy.
‘Little boy, have you heard of different degrees of hate?’ she asked. ‘My biggest pet hate is horrible people acting innocent. Especially gold diggers who act innocent to attract a rich prey.’
She didn’t understand why he looked so pitiful after she died. He should have forgotten everything about her, including her name and moved on with his life. Why was he such an idiot? She couldn’t stand being in the same room as him, and ran outside the classroom.
At the school front gate she heard running footsteps behind her. She turned around and saw him running toward her.
‘Why are you following me?’ she asked. ‘You should go home.’
‘I’m sorry if I said anything to upset you,’ he apologized.
He didn’t know what he did to upset Luo An Hai. But his mother said he had to apologize if he upsets Luo An Hai.
‘I don’t need your fake apology,’ she said.
He didn’t know how to comfort upset girls.
‘What do you want me to do so you won’t be upset anymore?’ he asked.
She was surprised by his question, and contemplated what he should do to forget her in the future.
‘Never enter my bedroom,’ she said.
‘Huh?’ he asked.
‘Even if I’m not in my bedroom, you’re not allowed to enter my bedroom,’ she said.
‘Oh,’ he said.
What he wanted to say was he had no interest in her bedroom. But if agreeing with her made her happy then he’d play along.
‘And you can’t…’ she said and noticed a gang of boys from a nearby public school. ‘What are you brats looking at?’
‘Aren’t you the ice beauty Miss Luo?’ the gang leader asked. ‘Do you want my friends and I to show you a good time?’
Han Ting Hua frowned and stood in front of Luo An Hai to protect her.
The gang members laughed at a shortie like Han Ting Hua standing up to them.
‘Little boy, do you want to play the hero?’ the gang leader asked. ‘Get out of my way now or I’ll beat up.’
Han Ting Hua kicked the gang leader’s leg.
‘Ah! You little punk!’ the gang leader said. ‘Boys, bash him!’
Han Ting Hua didn’t run away. He grabbed one of the gang members’ raised arm and he bit the arm.
‘Ah! Let go you little punk!’ the bitten gang member said and pushed Han Ting Hua to the ground.
‘Run!’ Han Ting Hua said to Luo An Hai.
Han Ting Hua got up from the ground and charged at the gang leader to buy time for Luo An Hai to escape.
‘Little punk, I’ll grant your death wish!’ the gang leader said and pulled out a pocket knife.
Luo An Hai grabbed the gang leader’s arm and twisted his arm until he dropped the knife. She picked up the knife and held the knife against his neck.
She wasn’t a damsel that needed saving. She had martial arts training to vent her anger, and knew how to fight with weapons. Dealing with a school yard brat was no sweat for her.
‘Little brats, back off or your bratty leader will be dead meat,’ she said.
‘Boys, stop fighting!’ the gang leader panicked.
The boys listened to their gang leader and stopped fighting.
‘Little brats, kneel on the ground,’ she ordered.
‘Miss Luo, please spare me,’ the gang leader said. ‘I’m sorry.’
‘Spare you?’ she asked. ‘I’ll spare you if you break your right arm that you used to take out this knife.’
The gang leader was too scared to reply.
‘Hey, the big brat over there,’ she said. ‘Fetch a rock and break your bratty leader’s right arm.’
The gang members were wrong to lust after the scary ice beauty.
‘Little hooligans, what are you doing loitering around private property?’ a bodyguard asked from the distance.
She dropped the knife on the ground before the bodyguard reached the school front gate.
‘Little brat, if you and your bratty friends cause trouble for me again, I’ll chop off your arms,’ she said. ‘Now scram.’
‘Yes Miss Luo,’ the gang leader said.
The gang members ran away like scared chickens.
Han Ting Hua ignored the painful cuts and bruises on his face. He brushed dirt off his clothes and wiped blood off the corner of his mouth.
‘Miss Luo, Mr. Han, are you two hurt?’ the bodyguard asked.
The bodyguard was relieved Mr. Luo’s daughter didn’t have a scratch on her face.’
‘Still alive,’ she said and walked off with Han Ting Hua. ‘Little boy, learn to measure your own strength.’
Later at the Luo Mansion, Luo Cheng Hua lectured his daughter because of Han Ting Hua’s injuries. Luo Cheng Hua said it was his daughter’s fault for skipping lessons. If she didn’t skip lessons then she and Han Ting Hua wouldn’t run into hooligans.
Luo An Hai refused to admit she did anything wrong. Her father grounded her in her bedroom and made her fast until she apologized. If she chose to be stubborn, her father would hire a teacher to home school her.
She wasn’t fazed by her father’s trivial threats. Instead of explaining what happened, she turned on music and had a relaxing bath.
After taking a bath, she dried her hair and got ready to take a nap.
Someone knocked on her bedroom door. The door opened, it was Han Ting Hua holding a platter of apple juice and bowls of herbal soups.
She wasn’t moved by the cuts and bruises on his face. It was the herbal scents that tickled her nostrils.
‘My mother is stalling uncle Luo,’ he said. ‘She asked me to secretly bring you dinner.’
‘Your mother is good at sucking up to people,’ she said. ‘What are you doing standing at the door? Why aren’t you coming into my bedroom?’
‘You said I’m not allowed to enter your bedroom,’ he said.
She took a deep breath and exhaled. ‘I’m giving you permission to enter my bedroom on this occasion.’
He entered her bedroom and placed the platter on the coffee table.
‘How does it feel to be a punching bag?’ she asked, sipping apple juice.
‘At least you’re not injured,’ he said.
He didn’t care if he was a punching bag because he was a boy. But he didn’t want to see anyone hurt a girl.
She gripped the glass of apple juice. ‘Little smart-ass, I don’t need you to play the hero to protect me.’
‘I would have done the same thing for a stranger,’ he said.
‘I see,’ she said. ‘If you want to act like an idiot, don’t be one in front of me. Understand?’
He was confused. He didn’t know what he did to upset her again.
‘I don’t know why you’re upset,’ he said. ‘It’s obvious I saved you even though you didn’t need help. But I wanted you to run to call for help because I didn’t want you to be injured.’
‘Han Ting Hua, I don’t need you to lecture me!’ she said.
She had enough lectures from her father. She didn’t need lectures from a little boy.
‘I don’t want to lecture you,’ he said. ‘I only want you to be more careful and stay away form dangerous situations in the future.’
‘I don’t need you to butt into my business,’ she said. ‘Little boy, do your best to learn to protect yourself. Even if I’m in a dangerous situation, I don’t need your help. Look at yourself, if I didn’t help you then your injuries would have been more serious. Just don’t act like an idiot in the future and stay out of my bedroom.’
He didn’t want to reason with an unreasonable person and walked outside her bedroom. At the door he turned around.
‘Now I know why many of your classmates hate you and keep their distance from you,’ he said and closed the door.
She didn’t care about his insult. What appeared in her mind was the scary moment he charged into the gang of boys to protect her. How could he let himself get beaten up? Why didn’t he protect himself? Why did he ask her to run? Why must he act like an idiot and deal with the boys double his size on his own? His idiot behavior made her frustrated like how she was powerless to stop him from wasting his life after her death. Why couldn’t he hate her? If he hated her then he’d lived a good life, and she wouldn’t be frustrated watching him live a good life. What should she do for him to hate her?
End of Chapter Two