Chapter 18: Long Time No See
Henyee Translations Henyee Translations
The next day, Chen Fan headed towards Coco bar, right after dinner around seven.
University-town was a suburban area surrounded by several colleges and universities.
There were the Chu Zhou University, Chu Zhou City Teacher's University, Chu Zhou Engineering College, Chu Zhou City College, and the Chu Zhou City Health Science School. In fact, the Ivy League High School was technically within the jurisdiction of the University-town. Unlike the Ivy League High School which was located at the edge of the University-town, Coco bar was right at the center of it.
Chen Fan thought to himself.
When he walked into the bar, he found out that Sister Ying had told him the truth. There was no ear-deafening bass nor scantily clad girls in the bar.
This was a bar for relaxing and meeting up with friends, not for picking up random girls. Like Sister Ying had told Chen Fan, many customers were university students.
Chen Fan nodded approvingly, and then he stopped a waitress that walked past him: "Excuse me; I am the cousin of Sister Ying. She told me to come here to look for her."
He told the girl exactly what Chen Ying had told him to say. The waitress was a beautiful girl in her early twenties. Chen Fan wagered that she was a student from the college working part-time at the bar. Surprise flashed across her face, and she said: "You are Sister Ying's cousin? Hmm… high school uniform… Are you still in high school?
"Everyone calls me Ziqi, but you can call me Sister Ziqi. I will take you to your cousin."
"Ziqi, What's going on?" A young man with a pale face and a pair of sunken eyes came over to the girl and asked hotly.
"Ah? Boss Yang!" Ziqi was startled by the young man, and she hurried a reply, "This is the Sister Ying's cousin. He is here for her."
"Well, take him to her then, don't dawdle! The customers are waiting." Boss Yang refuted annoyedly.
"Yes." Ziqi lowered her head and replied.
After Boss Yang was gone, she spat out her tongue and said to Chen Fan mischievously: "Boss Yang is the vice manager of our bar. We heard that he knows some important people in the city and he owns a significant portion of the bar's share. Don't let him scare you; he just likes to bark at people."
Chen Fan smiled and didn't speak. He reckoned that the girl had to be a very easy going person to stomach a douchebag boss.
When Chen Fan arrived at the general manager's office on the second floor, a broad smile broke over Sister-Ying's face. Greetings over, she asked Ziqi to take Chen Fan downstairs and introduce him to everyone.
Later, Chen Fan learned that he was going to be the Fruit Boy, and his job was simple: holding the platter of fruits when the customers ordered their food.
"There are three people in our bar who you don't want to mess with. Sister Ying was one, and the other one was Boss Yang." Ziqi told Chen Fan:" Rumor had it that Brother Dong was backing Boss Yang. He is very influential around here, and even Sister Ying had to watc what she said when Brother Dong is around. "
"The last one is the ‘residence-girl' of our bar, ‘Sister Ding-Ding.' To make her come work for us, Sister Ying had nearly begged her. She ranked 20th in last year's pageant show in the Jiangnan District. She attracts many customers and is good for business. But Ding-Ding has a very short temper and blames us for minor mistakes. You need to be very careful around her."
Chen Fan nodded.
The business of the bar was dictated by the student's schedule, and therefore, people started to fill up the bar right around seven in the evening. That was when Chen Fan started to get busy.
Just as Sister Ziqi had warned him, Boss Yang was very rude to his subordinates, including Chen Fan. Chen Fan was scolded many times for being slightly slow on his first day of work. Chen Fan also found out that Boss Yang harassed the girls working with him, pinching or groping the girls whenever he wished.
"How can Sister Ying allow this kind of scumbag to work in her bar?" Chen Fan furrowed his brows, but he had kept his complaints unspoken. After all, he barely knew Chen Ying.
In the few days that followed, Chen Fan went to school during the day and worked at the bar in the evening. It wasn't long before he started to gather a group of new friends around him.
Most of the workers at the bar were students living in the University-town. All of them were from poor families outside of the city. Driven by financial stress, they had come to the bar to work. Chen Fan preferred spending time with his friends at the bar much more than his spoiled rich classmates. At least no one looked down on him while he was with his new friends.
Since Chen Fan was the youngest worker at the bar and he was also Sister Ying's cousin, other employees looked after him like they would to their own brother. But Boss Yang didn't like that.
"Hurry up, Xiao Chen! Didn't you see that the customer at table seven is getting impatient?" Seeing Chen Fan and a waitress was chatting with each other, Boss Yang frowned and then chided.
"Okay." Chen Fan replied thinly.
In this bar, Boss Yang was no doubt the most hated and annoying person.
The waitress gave Chen Fan a placating look. Chen Fan got up reluctantly and walked to table seven with a pint of dark beer.
Suddenly, he heard a surprised voice calling out to him: "Chen Fan?"
Chen Fan turned around and saw a group of young boys and girls sitting in a booth, one of them was Jiang Churan who he hasn't seen for a while.
"Why are you here?" Jiang Churan gazed at Chen Fan as she got up from her seat and came up to him.
"Who is this, Ran-ran? A friend of yours?" A man with silver-rimmed glasses asked. He looked much more mature than the rest of the crowd, and his voice was warm and charming.
A light flashed in Jiang Churan's eyes as she wrenched her gaze away from Chen Fan's face. She replied, "He is the child of my mother's best friend, and we study at the same high school."
The man nodded and said, "My name is Li Yichen. Since you are friends with Ran-ran, why don't you come join us here?"
"There is no need." Chen Fan refused; his voice was stingingly cold.
He had recognized this person at first glance.
He was Li Yichen, the greatest rival of Chen Fan. He was from a prominent family and was the president of the student council. He had been and was going to be Jiang Churan's future boyfriend at university.
If Chen Fan's memory served him right, Li Yichen was also a friend of Shen Junwen.
To Chen Fan, the sight of Jiang Churan hanging out with Li Yichen had rubbed salt into the old wounds.
"I am working; you guys have fun." Chen Fan nodded slightly to Jiang Churan, and then he turned around and started off the stairs.
"Hey, wait for a second!"
Jiang Churan paused for a second, letting the hesitation hang in the air. But eventually, she came up to Chen Fan.
"Brother Yichen seems like there is more than what meets the eyes between the two." A burly young man standing right next to Li Yichen said in a deep voice.
His name is Mo Hill, and he is the leader of the Sports Interest Group at the Student's Council. Like most other people who sat in the booth, Mo Hill was a student leader. They were here for a group party. Jiang Churan didn't want to come at first, but she couldn't resist the insistent request of her fellow student leaders. However, she never thought that she would meet Chen Fan here.
"He is just a worker at the bar; there is no way Ran-Ran would fall for him." A beautiful girl with heavy makeup next to Mo Hill said with a contemptuous smirk.
"Why would she know someone of his kind? Could it be that they met at the nightclub?"
The same girl said as she glanced at Li Yichen.
She was the leader of the arts interest group, and her name is Lou Xiaoxiao. She had always liked Li Yichen and considered Jiang Churan as her biggest rival. She wouldn't pass up the opportunity of smear her opponent's reputation.
Li Yichen's face remained placid, but doubt and jealousy flickered in his eyes.
Jiang Churan caught up with Chen Fan at the bottom of the stairs, and she grabbed his arm. "Why are you working in a bar? Does my mom know about it? What about your school?"
Chen Fan looked at her with a half smile. "You knew my grades. Do you think that I could get into a first-tier university even if I tried?"
Jiang Churan was suddenly out of words.
Chen Fan had told her and her dad that his grades were in the top 500 at the Si Shui County. That translates to being at the bottom of the Ivy League High's ranking. Even if Chen Fan started to study 24/7, he would at best get into a second-tier University.
"Plus, I am only here for two hours a night. If I can't get into a good university, I need to prepare myself for society." Chen Fan said.
Even as Chen Fan was talking to her, Jiang Churan heard her friends calling out her name.
Chen Fan pulled her hand away and said: "Your friends are looking for you. I have to work."
Chen Fan turned around and started away, leaving Jiang Churan at a loss. She was not sure what to make of this discovery.
Her friend's voice finally caught her attention. As she looked back, she saw Li Yichen was also standing on the landing, looking at her. She turned around and hurried upstairs.
Right before she reached the landing on the second floor, she felt something was missing inside of her, as if part of her soul had suddenly been taken away.
Chen Fan, the boy who could subdue a big brawny man with one punch had to put away his dignity and labor inside of a bar. Reality had taught her a good lesson today.
When Jiang Churan reached the second floor, she looked up at everyone and found that no one was smiling. Even Li Yichen's face was cold and disapproving. She managed a smile and then said, "Well, let's forget about him, and party!"
"Yeah, why should we let a random dude stop our fun?" Mo Hill slapped the table and said, "Come here hot stuff. Let's have a toast in the name of Brother Yichen! No one other than Yichen could have landed our council that one hundred thousand yuan sponsorship fund. "
"Very well. Thank you, Yichen!" Jiang Churan grabbed the glass and poured its contents down her throat. However, even as the hot wine burnt all the way to her belly, she heaved a deep sigh in her mind.
‘Perhaps, we truly live in two different worlds.'