Chapter 98: Happy New Year
Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
Training was cancelled that day. On top of that, school ended one class earlier. Everyone sitting in the classroom were absent-minded. The teachers were also very reasonable and did not drag the students off to their office just because they were absent-minded. The reason for all this was simple. That day was 31 December, 1999. The next day would be the 21st century. Another millennium would have passed.
“A millennium?” Zhang Jun looked at the smiling Su Fei.
“You don’t know?”
“I only know that the 20th century is ending and the 21st century is coming.”
“That’s why I said you are stupid!” Yang Pan patted Zhang Jun’s head.
While packing her school bag, Su Fei explained to the youths who were ignorant of current issues, “The year 2000 will be the beginning of the 21st century and the year 1999 will be the end of the 20th century. However, this is not the only thing. The year 1999 will also be the end of a millennium, the end of 10 centuries. A millennium has passed since year 1000. Think about how rare it is for the end of a century to coincide with the end of a millenium! It’s good luck that we get to encounter it!”
“Oh.” Zhang Jun nodded and replied, “No wonder people are so excited these days. Isn’t it just a new year? So there was this kind of meaning behind it.”
“Don’t you watch television?”
“I do! Of course, I do! I watch Bundesliga, Series A, the Premier League, and soccer night!” Zhang Jun counted with his fingers as he replied.
“Hmph!” Su Fei turned her back on Zhang Jun.
“Today at six in the evening, there’ll be a live broadcast of new millennium celebrations around the world. The live broadcast will last for 24 hours,” Yang Pan said.
“Oh, so that’s why we’re leaving school so early today. Everyone’s going home to watch the television. But Su Fei, won’t you be going to your grandmother’s house?”
“Yes. I’ll be watching at my grandmother’s house. How could I miss this chance of a lifetime?” Su Fei bounced up and down in front of him like a rabbit.
“Judging from what you’re saying, I suppose you aren’t going to watch it?” Yang Pan asked Zhang Jun. “You don’t seem to be very interested in this.”
“Who said that? Why would I not watch it? At that moment, that program would probably be on every channel. What else would I be able to watch?”
A family of three with the table full of food. The next day would be a new year. Zhang Jun threw the last piece of twice-cooked pork into his mouth. It would be his last piece in the 20th century. Zhang Jun thought of that as he emptied his bowl. This is my last meal in the 20th century. This is my last dish in the 20th century. This is my last bowl of soup in the 20th century.
There was a lively program on television. Residents and tourists of Fiji were all singing as well as dancing to welcome the first dawn of the new century.
Zhang Jun’s eyes did not leave the television screen, but his attention was elsewhere.
Su Fei had gone to her grandmother’s house to celebrate the New Years. Otherwise, he would not have been so bored.
It’s been more than a year since I met her. Many things have happened over the past year! Life has been wonderful. If I hadn’t come to Shu Guang, if I hadn’t met her and heard her say that she liked soccer, if she hadn’t been the manager of the team or if I didn’t like soccer, I wonder what I’d be like. What would I be doing if all of this didn’t happen?
Fortunately, the world doesn’t have so many ifs. I like soccer, I met Su Fei and because of her words, I didn’t give up on soccer. We struggled and became champions in the qualifiers for the nationals. The most important thing is that I love Su Fei…
“Everyone. The most exciting moment has finally arrived! In 20 seconds, China is going to enter the 21st century. Let us do a countdown to the new century! Fourteen! Thirteen! Twelve! Eleven! Ten! Nine! Eight!…”
Zhang Jun picked up the phone next to him and placed his hand on the keys.
He started dialing.
“…Five! Four! Three! Two! One! Zero! The 21st century is here! The new millennium is here!”
However, all Zhang Jun heard was the dialing tone of the phone.
*Duuu duu.. Duuu duu…*
The line was busy. After listening to the tone for a long time, he reluctantly put the phone down.
“Happy New Year! Happy new century!” The host in the television greeted. However, Su Fei’s ears could only hear the dialing tone of the phone; the line was busy. After listening to it for a long time, she reluctantly put it down.
Just as Zhang Jun put down the phone, it rang. He excitedly picked it up. “Hello!”
“Happy New Year!” It was Yang Pan.
Zhang Jun grinned. “Happy New Year.”
“Alright, I’m hanging up now! I still need to call the others!”
After that, the dial tone resumed.
Zhang Jun put the phone down only for it to ring again.
“Happy New Year, Zhang Jun!”
Zhang Jun replied, “And you are?”
“You can’t recognize my voice? You can’t recognize people now that you’re a champion?”
“You’re really… Haha.”
“Sorry about that. Happy New Year!”
“Wait, Liu Peng’s with me. He wants to speak to you too.”
“Happy New Year!” Liu Peng’s voice came through.
“Happy New Year, Liu Peng!”
“Hey, Zhang Jun, do you still remember that you need to win the National Championship during winter break?”
“I remember. How can I forget? I need to win on behalf of you and the monkey as well.”
“Make sure you do not break your promise! Alright. I won’t say anymore. I am going to hang up now. The monkey still needs to call his female monkey…”
“Go to hell!” Yuan Gang’s voice could be heard on the other side of the phone. “Zhang Jun. Do not listen to him! What female monkey? You should be calling her sister-in-law!”
“Alright! Alright!” From the sounds of it, it seemed that Liu Peng was busy resisting Yuan Gang’s fierce attacks. “Truly a monkey. His claws are formidable! Alright. I won’t say anymore. Zhang Jun. Even monkeys have female partners… Oops! You better not waste time and work hard!”
Zhang Jun hung up the phone and then leaned on the sofa, thinking that Yuan Gang was probably still quarreling with Liu Peng. Didn’t I use to be with them? Even Yuan Gang has a girlfriend now. Time flies. Everyone’s growing up.
His father then received a call. Based on his speech, it should have been a call from Chen Huafeng, his disciple. His mother also made several calls to her business customers and wished them New Year’s greetings.
Twenty minutes passed by unwittingly. The phone at home finally turned quiet. Zhang Jun extended his hand towards the phone once again, wondering whether the line would be busy again this time. At this moment, the phone rang.
He picked up the phone. “Hello?”
“Happy New Year!” The caller this time was Li Yongle.
Zhang Jun felt like throwing the phone away. “Happy New Year,” he responded lazily.
“I couldn’t get through earlier. You busy?”
“You better work hard next year! Go and win the National Championship. You better not return empty-handed!”
“Hey! The National Championship isn’t something you can win by just saying it.”
“My opponent can’t be that weak. Go and win the National Championship, then wait for me to recover and take it back from you!”
He then hung up the phone. Everyone told him to win the National Championship, but it was not something that could be won just by talking about it. Seriously, it was easier said than done!
Zhang Jun then leaned on the sofa and suddenly remembered what Su Fei said to his face, “Go and win the National Competition, okay?”
Wasn’t she just casually talking about it? So, why am I giving up after hearing her words? Since she’s said it, I have to really win it…
Zhang Jun’s parents had already gone to bed. He pressed a button on the remote controller and then got ready to return to the bedroom. After that, he heard the phone ring.
He froze for a while and waited for some time before he hurried to pick it up. “Hello?”
“Happy New Year, Zhang Jun!”
Zhang Jun took a deep breath. “H-Happy New Year, Su Fei.”
“I called you earlier, but the line was busy.”
There was a moment of silence. After a long time, Su Fei’s voice could be heard again. “Hello? Zhang Jun, are you still there?”
“Ah, yes, I’m still here.”
“What time is it now?”
Zhang Jun looked up at the clock on the wall. “It’s 12.35 am.” He then heard Su Fei clear her throat.
“It’s already a new year.”
“Yes, a new year has arrived.”
“It’s already a new millennium.”
“Yes, a new millennium.”
“There isn’t any snow this winter.”
“Yeah, El Nino.”
“I love you.”
“I don’t like you. It’s love. Zhang Jun, I love you.”
Zhang Jun felt that he had received the best New Year’s gift. He lowered his head and felt his heartbeat become faster as he tried to catch his breath. Every word from Su Fei hit him heavily in the chest.
Su Fei did not know what was happening as she could not hear a response.
“Zhang Jun, Zhang Jun, are you listening?” Her worried voice brought Zhang Jun’s soul back into his body.
Zhang Jun was weeping embarrassingly. He wiped away the tears on his face.
“I’m here. I’m listening, Su Fei.”
“Then, why didn’t you say anything?”
“I-I wasn’t sure. I thought I was dreaming. I was afraid that I would wake up when I spoke. I…”
“I love you.”
Su Fei’s voice was firm, tender and without hesitation.
At 12.41 am on the 1st of January, 2000, Zhang Jun experienced the happiest day of his 17 years of life.
His happiness was so sudden that his mind became confused. On that day, his eyes stayed open until dawn…
At 12.41 am on the 1st of January, 2000, Su Fei had finally confessed. She had the most beautiful dream in a long time that day, and she had a smile on her face…