Chinese New Year (ซินเจียยู่อี่ซินนี้ฮวดช้ายไม่ใช่ภาษาจีนกลาง)
Non-fiction ความรักของนักเรียนในอังกฤษ ที่ชวนให้คุณให้ความสนใจสีในชีวิตประจำวันมากขึ้น

My dormitory was named after a street around the campus. I found it’s not even the street it was settled down on. I have hated the room since the move in, actually, before that. It’s on the first floor, facing the university entrance, a shortcut to Tesco, and opposite to the nursery playground. When I first arrived, the building was still wrapped around scaffolds, and only a couple days before the promised date that the last helmet sign was taken off.

I walked to Tesco more often those days than before, with the dearest friend from the previous dorm, Milan. We consciously used that campus exit just to have a peek at my future accommodation again, that was when I saw a furnished room with the light on among the dull building.

There was an obvious reason they lit that specific room up, its extra triangle space has the two-side window that perfectly stands up to the three-way junction, like it was greeting every moving thing passing by.

‘Any room but that one’ Milan agreed.

And I got that room.

I was so close to switching the room with Milan, she was living in the university Village, my first option on the list. She hated her cold dark basement room, while I couldn’t stand hot weather in my dorm in September. She said her life will be miserable if she isn’t licked by the morning sun, but for me I thought dim atmosphere is going to work well with my writing mood. Luckily, that was the last practical summer day, I feel grateful for the sun every day, and luckily Milan’s crush is her next door.

Most days, I wake up to the bright sun, either the window is eastbound or it is noon. And some other days, I just sit awake since all are dark, that I thought it was black, until the sun drops its white dot, revealing a whiter shade of the night, then I realised it’s velvet navy, and if I wait a little longer, the dot will soon wipe the blue away.

Today, different from yesterday, I am free and so is Shawn, my Chinese boyfriend. At 11 am, he was standing at the junction, his cobalt school bag must be heavy with Korean rice I asked him to buy from the Asian market. He was smoking, the activity he doesn’t enjoy but just has nothing to do while walking. He said when it comes to walking, earphones also kill, and it sounds much dumber than dying from smoking. I was staring at him from the window, wondering if the tobacco ash would accidentally set his azure puffer jacket ablaze. It is his favourite one, his favourite aunt bought him as a new year present, his favourite festival. He lent it to me once, when it was cold and I was in a party I didn’t want to attend, when I went outside and rang him, when he ran from his home to the location I sent via LINE, when we were not in this relationship.

He was waiting for the cigarette to burn out. He wasn’t aware of my sneak peek, just watching the final red flame faded away. Last suck. Sunken cheeks. Long exhale. And I got a message.

Shawn: Arrived

I already knew.

In: Put the hood on
Shawn: For what?
In: You look like Doraemon today

He wouldn’t take his shoes off, standing in front of the heater knowing that shoes are prohibited in my region. He handed me the rice and a red envelope with a gold Chinese character printed on it. I knew tomorrow is Chinese new year. I knew it because Milan had gone back to Macao for this kind of envelope. I knew how much Shawn has to miss out this year.

‘Bundle up, you gotta celebrate the day with me.’

Then we walked to Tesco for some ingredients, down this foggy lane. His bag was now empty, I also took mine; we always bought more than we had planned. He was lighting another cigarette again, pushing me ahead learning that I hate the fume. I remember the first time I saw him smoking and he offered me the chain smoke when I told him I had never tried. I remember the grass beneath our feet the first time we took a slow walk in summer, when the street didn’t look so monochrome. It was warm that we both wore scandals and were tingled by Stinging Nettle. We were stubborn to keep wearing them until they let our feet flooded with slippery leaves in the following fall.

‘Look, it’s snowing!’
‘Come one, it’s like once a year in my hometown.’
‘But it’s only the third time for me, think of yourself when you were three, I am that boy, Shawn.’

At Tesco, we saw pumpkins. He said his grandma loves pumpkins, and jackfruits too. He laughed because it was ironic that she got diabetes, a disease I taught him how it should be pronounced, and jackfruits contain too much sugar, so he kept it away from her. And it was when I asked 'what about you? What’s your favourite?’, and he said ‘Does it matter?’, that I thought to myself, almost like pinning a note in my head, ‘Take care of Shawn.’

a writer in progress
A Creative-Writing Graduate, A Copy Writer, A Girl