• Akiko: Talking Elbows

Volume TWO. Countdown

The middle-aged woman walked quickly to the entrance of Fulai Supermarket. She looked at the old man: “Uncle Zhang, why is Qingchen coming to you to play chess again.”

中年女子快步走到福来超市门口,她看向老头:“张大爷,庆尘怎么又来找你下棋。”

Both sides also know each other in speech.

言语中双方也是认识的。

It’s just that Uncle Zhang’s tone is not so polite: “Your own son, you ask me? He has no living expenses, so he can only make a little money for himself by playing chess.”

只是张大爷的语气就没那么客气了:“你自己的儿子,你问我?他没生活费了,只能靠下棋给自己赚点小钱吃饭。

The middle-aged woman Zhang Wanfang was stunned for a moment: “But I have to pay his father

Qingchen every month.”

中年女子张婉芳愣了一下:“可我每个月都有给他爸爸打庆尘的生活费啊。”

These words stunned Uncle Zhang as well: “Then I don’t know what’s going on.”

这话把张大爷也说的愣了一下:“那我就不知道怎么回事了。”

Uncle Zhang thought, Zhang Wanfang was not a poor man, and it seemed that the living expenses for Qing Chen were not small, but why did the young man still live so tightly?

张大爷思忖着,张婉芳也不是什么穷人,看样子给庆尘的生活费也不算少了,但为什么那少年还把日子过得紧巴巴的?

Qing Chen is not like a prodigal son. He spends his days carefully calculating and never takes a sip of his beverages.

庆尘可不像是败家子啊,一天天过日子都精打细算的,饮料都从来不喝一口。

“But isn’t he supposed to study by himself last night?” Zhang Wanfang asked.

“可他这时候不是应该在上晚自习吗?”张婉芳问道。

Uncle Zhang just remembered at this time: “He seems to say that he is waiting for someone.”

张大爷这时候才想起:“他好像说他在等人。”

“No, I have to take a look at home,” Zhang Wanfang said.

“不行,我得回家里看一眼,”张婉芳说道。

As she said, she was about to walk away with the cake, but she heard the man next to her suddenly say: “Wanfang, Haohao has a place for today’s birthday. We have already booked a spot. After eating, we have to take him to the movies. !”

说着,她便要拎着蛋糕快步离开,却听她身旁的男人忽然说道:“婉芳,昊昊今天生日,我们已经订好了位置的,吃完还得带他去看电影呢!”

Zhang Wanfang looked back at the man: “Qing Chen may have skipped class. I don’t care if I ask.”

张婉芳回头看向男人:“庆尘可能逃课了,我不管不问也不行吧。”

“He is seventeen years old and can take care of himself. Besides, there is also his father,” the man said slowly, “Actually, it is okay to wait for the weekend to see him again. Today we will accompany Haohao. ?”

“他都十七岁了能管好自己,再说了,还有他亲爸呢,”男人说完之后便缓了缓语气:“其实等周末再去看他也行的,今天我们先陪昊昊?”

Zhang Wanfang frowned when she heard this, but after a few seconds she finally sighed: “Okay, let’s accompany Haohao for his birthday today.”

张婉芳听了这话便皱起眉头,只是几秒后终究是一声叹息:“行,今天先陪昊昊过生日。”

Qing Chen walked silently under the camphor tree in the tree-lined path of the Xi Family Courtyard of the City Hall.

市府西家属院的林荫小道里,庆尘默默的在香樟树下行走着。

Different from the high-rise buildings in modern cities, the courtyard is full of four-story low-rise buildings from the 1970s. There is no elevator, no gas, and sewers are blocked from time to time.

与现代都市的高层楼房风格不同,这院子里都是上世纪七十年代的四层小矮楼,没有电梯、没有燃气,时不时下水道还会堵塞。

High-power electrical appliances cannot be used at home because they will trip.

家里是不能使用大功率电器的,因为会跳闸。

Qing Chen walked into the dim doorway, ignoring the psoriasis-like opening and selling advertisements on the wall, and took out the key to open the door on the first floor.

庆尘走进昏暗的门洞,无视了墙上如同牛皮癣一般的开锁、卖房广告,掏出钥匙打开了一楼的家门。

A 76-square-meter house, two bedrooms and one living room, the first floor of the house is not well lit.

76平米的房子,两室一厅,一楼的屋子采光很不好。

He took out his phone and opened the address book, then dialed out: “Hey, Dad…”

他掏出手机翻开通讯录,然后拨了出去:“喂,爸……”

The voice on the other side of the phone has interrupted him: “Go to your mother for living expenses. I have no money. She is very rich now.”

电话那边的声音已经打断了他:“要生活费找你妈去,我没钱,她现在有钱的很。”

While talking, the sound of rubbing mahjong came from the other side of the phone.

说话间,电话的那一边还传来搓麻将的声音

“I don’t want money,” Qing Chen said in a low voice, “I haven’t asked you for money for a long time.”

“我不要钱,”庆尘低声说道:“我已经很久没找你们要过钱了。”

“What is that?” The man said impatiently: “Going to school to hold a parent meeting again? Go to your mother, this kind of thing…”

“那是干什么?”男人不耐烦道:“又要去学校开家长会?找你妈去,这种事情……”

Before the other party could finish speaking, Qing Chen took the initiative to hang up this time.

还没等对方说完,庆尘这次主动挂断了电话。

He gently leaned against the closed door, then opened the sleeves under his school uniform jacket.

他轻轻的靠在紧闭的家门上,然后掀开自己校服外套下的衣袖。

He stared blankly at the white numbers and symbols on his forearm that looked like an LCD screen: the countdown was 5:58:13.

他怔怔的看着自己小臂上,宛如液晶显示屏似的白色数字与符号:倒计时5:58:13。

The white numbers are like fluorescent tattoos embedded in his flesh and skin. No matter how much he rubs them, there is no way to erase them.

白色数字像是镶嵌在他血肉与皮肤中的荧光纹身,不论他怎么揉搓,都没有办法将它抹掉。

Looking closely at them, Qing Chen also saw special and fine lines in the numbers, like mechanical parts interlocking with each other, full of a sense of future technology.

细看它们,庆尘还看到那数字中有特殊且细密的纹路,像是机械的零件在相互咬合着,充满了未来科技感。

The numbers are changing silently.

数字在无声的变动着.

The countdown is 5:58:12.

倒计时5:58:12。

The countdown is 5:58:11.

倒计时5:58:11。

There are 5 hours, 58 minutes and 11 seconds left. All this seems to remind Qing Chen that after 5 hours and 58 minutes, something incredible will happen.

还剩下5小时58分钟11秒,这一切都似乎在提醒着庆尘,5小时58分钟后,会发生一些不可思议的事情。

Obviously there was no sound, but Qing Chen clearly heard the beating of the second hand in his heart.

明明没有声音,庆尘却分明在心里听到了秒针跳动的声响。

Qing Chen glanced at the phone that hung up the phone, then glanced at the empty room.

庆尘看了一眼挂断电话的手机,又看了一眼空无一人的房间。

He doesn’t know what kind of life he will welcome in 5 hours and 58 minutes. He only knows that he can only rely on himself.

他不知道5小时58分钟后自己将迎接怎样的人生,他只知道,他能依靠的只有他自己。

Time is a very heavy unit of measurement. The length of life and the breadth of civilization are all used to mark it.

时间是个很沉重的度量单位,生命的长度,文明的广度,都习惯以它来标记。

The concept of time exists in everyone’s life.

时间的概念存在于每个人的生活中

So when there is any countdown in your life, no matter what it counts down, it will give you some sense of urgency.

所以当你人生中出现任何一个倒计时的时候,不管它倒计的是什么,都会让你产生一些紧迫感。

There are still 5 hours, no one knows what the end of this countdown is.

还有5个小时,没人知道这倒计时的终点是什么。

Could it be dangerous?

可能是危险?

Maybe another life?

也可能是另一种人生?

Qing Chen couldn’t be sure, he could only plan for the worst first.

庆尘没法确定,他只能先做最坏的打算。

So he must prepare something before the countdown is over.

所以他必须在这倒计时走完之前,准备一些事情。

If there is a real danger, then he must at least allow himself to be within his power and have some ability to resist danger.

如果真有危险来临,那他要让自己起码在力所能及的范围内,有一些抵御危险的能力。

Qing Chen put on a clean gray coat and covered his appearance with the shadow of his hood.

庆尘换上一身干净的灰色外套,用兜帽的阴影遮住了自己的模样。

Taking advantage of the night.

趁着夜色。

He went out and walked towards the farmers’ market. The October sky in Los Angeles was already dark very early.

他出门朝农贸市场方向走去,洛城里十月的天色已经暗的很早了。

There was the sound of cooking in the residential buildings, the popping sound of vegetables and oil juice after colliding, and then there was an alluring smell wafting out.

居民楼里传来炒菜的声音,蔬菜与油汁碰撞后发出的爆裂声响,紧接着便有诱人的气味飘散出来。

The taste of eggs, pork, and mutton flooded into Qing Chen’s mind like pieces of information. When he needed this information one day, he could extract a certain “archive” from his mind.

鸡蛋、猪肉、羊肉的味道,如同一条条信息要素似的涌进庆尘脑海,当某一天他需要这些信息的时候,就可以从脑海中抽取出某一根“存档”。

He bought pliers and shovel at a hardware store, a bag of rice and a bag of noodles, and edible salt at a grain and oil store.

他在五金店买了钳子与铁锹,在粮油店买了一袋米和一袋面,以及食用盐。

He also bought several boxes of antibiotics in the drugstore, and bought batteries, flashlights, and compressed biscuits in the supermarket.

他还在药店买了几盒抗生素,在超市买了电池与手电筒、压缩饼干。

When he didn’t know what he was going to face, he could only prepare as much as possible.

在不知道自己将要面对什么的时候,他只能尽可能的准备充足一些。

These things almost spent all Qing Chen’s savings.

这些东西,几乎花光了庆尘所有的积蓄。

Qing Chen went home with his things and went into the kitchen. He first put all the available knives on the chopping board in the most convenient place in the house.

庆尘拎着东西回家之后便进了厨房,他先将案板上可用的刀具,都放在了屋子里最趁手的地方。

The kitchen knife is placed under the pillow, and the deboning knife is placed on the bedside table.

菜刀放在枕头下面,剔骨刀则放在床头柜上。

The countdown is 2 hours, 43 minutes and 11 seconds.

倒计时2小时43分11秒。

He confirmed that the doors and windows were closed tightly, so he sat on the side of the bed and began to meditate: Do you want to find a helper?

他确认了一遍门窗都关严了,于是便坐在床边开始沉思:是否要寻找帮手?

Who are you looking for?

找谁呢?

The mother has a new family, and the father is a gambler.

母亲有了新的家庭,父亲是个赌徒。

In fact, when Qing Chen found a countdown on his arm a few hours ago, when he was only 17 years old, he subconsciously wanted to seek help from his parents.

其实当几个小时之前庆尘发现自己手臂上出现倒计时的时候,只有17岁的他,下意识便想要在父母那里寻求帮助。

But he denied this idea.

但他又否定了这个想法。

Qing Chen took out his mobile phone and tried to take a photo of the white countdown on his arm, only to find that the white lines that were clearly visible to his naked eyes did not appear on the phone screen at all.

庆尘拿出手机试图对着自己手臂上的白色倒计时拍照,结果却发现,明明自己肉眼可见的白色纹路,却根本没有出现在手机屏幕中。

There are no lights in the dimly lit room, and the windows are not soundproof. Because it is on the first floor, he can often hear the footsteps of pedestrians passing by outside.

昏暗的房间里没有开灯,窗户并不隔音,因为是一楼的关系,所以他还时常可以听到外面行人经过的脚步声。

The sound of footsteps outside, the sound of breathing in the house, and the faintly bright mobile phone screen, everything is so quiet and weird.

外面的脚步声,屋里的呼吸声,微弱光亮的手机屏幕,一切都是那么的宁谧而又诡异。

This kind of weird and outrageous thing, I am afraid it is useless to ask ordinary people for help, and I don’t have any special friends in school.

这种诡异而又离谱的事情,找普通人帮忙恐怕是没用了,而且自己在学校也没什么特别要好的朋友。

Even if it does, ordinary people shouldn’t be involved in this kind of thing, right?

就算有,也不应该将普通人卷进这种事里吧?

Therefore, if you want to find a helper, you can only think of other ways.

所以,要找帮手的话,只能再想其他的办法。

Wait, Qing Chen seemed to have thought of something, and got up and went into the living room to search.

等等,庆尘似乎想到了什么似的,起身走进客厅翻找起来

Two minutes later, he silently looked at the Guanyin Bodhisattva pendant in his hand.

两分钟后,他默默的看着手里的观音菩萨吊坠。

Then he put it in front of him earnestly, and bowed nine times.

然后认真的摆在面前,拜了九下。

The last preparation is done.

最后一项准备工作,做完了。

Author caitou

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