Salad Days [Chapter 5.2 - onwards] - 6.2
After lunch, Jiang Shen was about to go to the Children’s Palace again. Tan Lingling specially cooked two eggs for him to bring. “If you are hungry, eat these. How about your dance shoes?”
Jiang Shen squatted on the floor of his room and dragged his shoes out from under the bed. “It’s here.”
He carried a backpack, stuffed his clothes, shoes and also the eggs, “I’m going!”
“Your pocket money,” Tan Lingling reminded him, and gave him loose change. “Be careful on the road.”
Jiang Shen ran all the way to catch the bus. When he passed the bookstore in the town, he saw the old man reading his newspaper beside the window.
Jiang Shen called him. “Grandpa!”
The old man lifted his eyelids lazily from under the reading glasses. After seeing Jiang Shen clearly, he waved his hand impatiently.
Jiang Shen stroked his hair. He looked serious, opened his arms, turned 360 degrees, and finally bent down 90 degrees to make a curtain call.
The old man froze for a moment and couldn’t help but laugh and curse, “Little Bunny, you are annoying!”
Jiang Shen grinned so much that his eyes were gone, and he waved at the old man again before he hurriedly caught up with the bus.
After entering April and May, the weather was getting warmer. Jiang Shen entered the dance room and saw the room full of flowers, the girls’ skirts and dance shoes were everywhere. Under the sun, everyone shone like beautiful butterflies.
Song Xin saw him first, and was not very satisfied: “Why is your skin dark again?”
Jiang Shen looked at his arm and was a little embarrassed: “I have to work out in the fields at home. It’s very sunny.”
“Your skin doesn’t look good when it’s dark.” Another girl said, “You need to apply sunscreen.”
Jiang Shen didn’t understand much: “What is sunscreen?”
Song Xin hurried him to change his clothes: “Hurry! I’ll paint your face after.”
When Teacher Lin entered the classroom, she saw Jiang Shen sitting cross-legged in the corner. A bunch of girls surrounded him, smearing something on his face. A little girl in her teens held lipstick that was probably stolen from her mother’s cosmetic collection. In addition to Jiang Shen’s red lips and cheeks, he also had a red dot in between his eyebrows.
Teacher Lin doesn’t know whether she would cry or laugh. “Don’t bully Jiang Shen, he is a boy.”
The girls said eloquently: “But he is too dark, just like the boys next door.”
Teacher Lin pulled Jiang Shen out of the swarm of girls, and did not know what brand of sunscreen was applied to the boy. The neck and face were divided into two colors: “Go wash.” She took out the makeup remover and cotton pad from her bag. “Pour a little up and wipe your face slowly, after that wash your face with water.”
Jiang Shen had never used such a fashionable thing before. He had never seen it on his mother’s dressing table. He carefully remembered the steps on the way to the bathroom, and when he came to the sink, he saw that there was already someone there.
Bai Jinyi was very sweaty; leaning on the sink washing his face. Jiang Shen walked closer only to see that he was actually a little shorter than Bai Jinyi, and estimated height of half a finger.
He wiped his face and straightened up while twisting his black thick eyebrows.
For some reason, Jiang Shen was afraid of him and took the initiative to explain. “I want to wash my face…”
“Who painted your face?” Bai Jinyi asked.
Jiang Shen opened his mouth and answered, “The girls did.”
Bai Jinyi snorted: “Girly.”
Jiang Shen glanced at him, not very happy, and went to open the faucet in silence.
When Bai Jinyi didn’t leave Jiang Shen didn’t really care. He awkwardly followed the procedure and poured the makeup remover on the cotton pad. Because the sink had no mirror, he could only wipe his face blindly.
“There is still paint on the left side.” Bai Jinyi suddenly said.
Jiang Shen paused, hesitating for a while, and obediently wiped it away.
“Right.” Bai Jinyi spit out a one-word command, “wipe on the right side again.”
He sighed, “Why are you so stupid.”
Jiang Shen: “…”
Bai Jinyi took the makeup remover, he poured some on the cotton pad and looked at Jiang Shen impatiently, “Come here.”
Jiang Shen was not happy: “I can do it myself…”
Bai Jin sneered, he bit his right glove, dangled it in his mouth, took out his phone, took a picture of Jiang Shen’s face without a word, then turned over the phone and lifted the photo in front of Jiang Shen’s face.
Jiang Shen didn’t know if he is naturally photogenic, or if Bai Jinyi’s hand was too steady, but the photo was not blurry, the details and flaws clear, the lipstick marks on Jiang Shen’s face smudged into pieces, and his lips colored red and white. A cinnabar shade lined his half dazed expression, which was really interesting.
Bai Jinyi put away his phone and tossed his boxer’s glove to the side. Regardless of Jiang Shen’s reaction, he pressed Jiang Shen’s face with the cotton pad: “Open your mouth.”
Jiang Shen: “…”
Pointe technique- is the ballet dance technique in which the dancer puts all of their body weight on the tip of their pointe shoes.
Curtain call- occurs at the end of the performance where the performers go back to the stage to get recognized by the audience.
Red dot between the eyebrows (Huadian)- is a cosmetic style that was famous in the Tang and Song Dynasty where women would apply different types of pattern in their forehead (flower petals, dot, animals, etc.) in different colors and materials. It is mostly known as “Shouyang makeup” or “Plum Blossom makeup.”