Huang Xuan felt bad luck. He had caused a mess with a spring water bottle, and the girl before him had been the direct victim. He hadn't recognized her, but now his smile had given him away.
Paulino was teaching the class passionately. Huang Xuan shrank his head and asked in English, "You are?"
"Galatea." She smiled again. Her eyes and brows all turned into new moons.
With Rolin's help, Huang Xuan responded quickly, "The Goddess of the calm seas?"
Galatea was the name a Greek sculptor gave to his best sculpture. Later, he fell in love with Galatea, but when Galatea woke up, she regarded the sculptor as her father. Many suitors fought for her or even for just one look at her. The kind Galatea cried so much that she became blind. She thought she didn't deserve to have come to the world, so she jumped into the river one evening and killed herself. After her death, she was called "The Goddess of the calm seas".
Rolin had explained the meaning of the name as plainly as he could. Huang Xuan thought that Rolin's chatter had never been so useful as right now.
Galatea was surprised. In Greece, her name could be understood by many people, but now it was Brazil, and the teenager who was even younger than herself wasn't even a westerner.
At this moment, Paulino was teaching the Spanish wording structure. Huang Xuan said in a low voice,
"We missed each other, and you decided to look beside,
"The blue eyes just passing by are looking at you,
"From the moment I saw you,
"The glimpse, the silence."
Although the intonation was jerky, Galatea was smiling, showing her white teeth.
The Chinese writer Li Ao had once said that when a man saw a beautiful woman, all his body parts became soft except one. It was such a simple thought. Huang Xuan wasn't a grown-up yet, but he thought he had become a man. Now the fact spoke louder.
"I am Huang Xuan," the "man" introduced himself slowly in English.
"I understand Spanish." Galatea seemed to have forgotten what had happened at the airport. "We can communicate in Spanish."
Huang Xuan shrugged. Finally, he saw the importance of languages Rolin had been talking about, but he barely knew anything about Spanish.
"I…" he squeezed out in English.
Then he shut up again. Galatea craned his neck, with her hair hanging down softly.
"Rolin, can you help me learn foreign languages really fast?"
Rolin complimented Huang Xuan on his spirit. "There are no such ways. Even when the base reaches level 21, it will still need two months."
That gave Huang Xuan something to expect in the future. He decided to give Galatea a good impression first. He looked at his phone, stood up and said, "Sorry." Then he rushed out from the back door.
On his way home, he kept reminding Rolin, "Remember Galatea's looks and then tell me her phone number."
"No problem," Rolin gave a pleasant answer.
Huang Xuan decided to work hard on foreign languages. It occurred to him that he didn't even know where Galatea came from.
Huang Xuan wasn't used to cutting school. He sat there, panting. He wanted to do something, anything, but his mind was in a mess. He just sat there, absent-minded, until dinner was ready.
"Rolin, should I write her a letter?"
"Galatea!" Huang Xuan pronounced that name smoothly.
"That will be a love letter," Rolin said honestly. Huang Xuan's face went pink. He mumbled something and started writing. Then came the problem. Since he had never written a love letter before, and he wasn't good at writing, writing a love letter to a foreigner seemed beyond him.
"Hey, any good ideas?" He had to ask Rolin for help.
"The love letter. Do you know how to write one?"
"No," Rolin said bluntly.
"I am hurt. I can't believe you refused to help me when I need you so much," Huang Xuan pretended to grieve.
Rolin didn't fall for it but still offered his help: "I suggest you translate an ancient Chinese love poem."
"Poem?" Poems were good. His father loved literature. Huang Xuan nodded his head in satisfaction. "But which one to translate?"
"An Ode to the Goddess of the Luo River by Cao Zhi1," Saying this, Rolin started translating it and displayed the Chinese and Greek versions to Huang Xuan by energy projection. Meanwhile, he read in a low voice,
"She has a thin neck and fair skin,
She doesn't wear make-up and ties her hair up high,
Her eyebrows curve slightly,
Her lips are red and her teeth white,
Her eyes are sparkling,
With dimples in her cheeks, she is so beautiful and elegant,
She speaks gently and charmingly…"
Although Huang Xuan had heard the story that Cao Zhi had been able to write a poem when he had been seven years old, he had never heard of An Ode to the Goddess of the Luo River. He had spent most of his time fooling around with Liu Penggang.
Even though he didn't get it, the poem moved Huang Xuan. Art was similar. Whoever could appreciate beauty could do art too.
Rolin was imitating Huang Xuan's tone as he read the poem. Then he started to read the Greek Version of it, which had been translated beautifully in a classical style. It sounded uncertain, misty, and as peaceful as the moonlight.
Huang Xuan was lost for a minute. When Rolin finished reading, he asked, "Will she believe that I wrote it?"
"She doesn't know you. As long as you possess this quality when you see her again, it is yours."
Huang Xuan was encouraged, but he knew himself well. Not to mention writing a poem in Greek, he could barely write an article in Chinese. He couldn't even finish a composition in months. He didn't understand why Rolin had insisted on letting him learn foreign languages.
He spread his hands and said, "Fine, I will learn Greek from you, but I can stop it anytime."
"OK," Rolin agreed, as long as Huang Xuan was willing to take the first step.
"When shall we begin?"
"The upgrade of the base to level 21 will take about one week. Just wait."
Cao Zhi (192-232), a poet and essayist of the Han Dynasty.