Author: Dong Mi
Translator: tend0u, SyKim5, NancyChen3
Haiqing stopped his bicycle when he finally found a spot where he could park it in the parking lot that was full of motorcycles and bicycles. Thank heaven and earth! Although he knew that there was always going to be a lot of people here during the weekend and holiday festivities; nonetheless, this place could even pass for a tourist destination — but at that moment, he only wanted to quickly find a spot to park his bicycle, so that he could go swimming.
The parking space was narrow to the point that it made one wonder whether the bicycle could be taken out after it was parked, but Haiqing was not affected by it at the slightest. He skillfully rode in halfway before he got off and held the seat and pushed it in. These actions were done in one go. At times, he thought that he was probably the kind of person wherein the more emotional he was, the greater his ability was.
Where are you going? Come back!
Suddenly those excoriating words flashed by in his mind, whereas his brows knitted together from annoyance.
Didn’t I tell you to take care of grandpa? You’re hiding in the room and drawing these types of ghost-like pictures. Can’t you even take care of him?
As more words emerged in his mind, his movement became more rough and impatient as he was leaving the parking lot. Haiqing practically fled the scene in utter awkwardness and franticness. The strong afternoon sunlight swayed freely on his soft-textured outerwear, like a wave of water on the surface of the pool.
He let out a long sigh before he firmly pressed on the power switch of the semi-auto door. Without waiting for the door to completely open, he had already thread his way through the narrow opening. The lady that was calculating the monthly cards and receipts behind the counter probably had never seen someone who was so eager to exercise, as she continued laughing when Haiqing threw the monthly card at her.
“During holidays and weekends, our cleaning hours are in the evening.”
She kindly reminded him as she stamped on his monthly card. She assumed he was in a rush because he remembered wrongly and wanted to avoid cleaning hours after the opening hours to public.
“Thanks.” Haiqing completely did not listen to what she said. He grabbed his card and walked toward the elevator.
The lady at the counter rarely saw people in such a hurry. She turned around to look at the time and it was only three o’clock at that moment. Was he in a hurry to immediately dive into pool? Was it really that hot outside?
“Hey, Sister Zhang, did you see the guest just then…” She turned to another counter lady to gossip. Today’s topic for them was undoubtedly going to be about that anxious, young, handsome boy.
The swimming pool on weekdays was no comparison to the holidays. However, the heat could possibly hound people to death, now that it was the summer season. The heat given off by the sun’s warm hospitality was even more daunting than the sale at the market, so it was natural for people to wish to be in a cool and refreshing place, like spending the summer holidays at the swimming pool.
Inside the locker room, Haiqing repeatedly dodged three boys, the youngest of which was in kindergarten, while the oldest was most likely in the third grade. Afterwards, he reached the edge of the pool, took a second to focus, then headed straight forth the fast water lanes!
These water lanes had the fewest people. After all, most of the people who swam at the city’s sports center were not people who were pursuing speed or self-breakthrough. They were most likely there to choose either the practice or slow water lanes — where the activity known as ‘swimming’ was actually more like ‘playing in the water.’ The fast water lanes were often empty, and this was suitable for him, who needed a great swim.
“Sorry, excuse me.”
He pushed out a couple of girls who did not swim and needed their boyfriends to teach them and moved quickly to the fast water lanes. All the surrounding sounds were muted at this time as if they had been muted by the press of a mute button. No more girls who were yelling, “Don’t, don’t let go!”; no more old people who gathered together and said, “Ah, you’ve exercised so much today, that’s great!”; and even the sound of the lifeguard’s whistle had become distant. Now Haiqing, had the feeling of gradually calming down.
While he was underwater, through the distorted view of the water, he saw the bottom of the pure-blue pool. The waves from the water flow brightened up the color. He swam around. At first, he rapidly advanced, followed by water splashing furiously, and then, he gradually slowed down. He even went to the next lane. By dragging their boyfriends down to the water, the girls finally could swim a bit. All of the grievances and resentment that filled up his chest were absorbed by the pool’s water.
“Hu…” Haiqing loudly sighed. Now, because he suddenly relaxed after the rapid movements, it created a shock all through his body — his shoulders, thighs, along with his calves, felt like they were bitten by the cold water. He regretted that he was too impulsive. It would cause a cramp if he swam again.
While everyone was practicing in the middle of the pool, Haiqing desperately dived to the edge of the practice water lane, then he grabbed the ladder and went up. Usually, he could just climb out of the pool without relying on the ladder. After climbing up and out of the pool, he felt really dizzy, so that it affected his movement. He quickly pressed on his temples and slightly knelt down, waiting for the dizziness to subside.
Splash, splash — He listened to the crisp sound of the water splashing and, at the same time, he could feel a few footsteps coming near his right side.
“Come to the practice pool and do the warm-up exercises first.”
He lingered beside him with the corner of his eyes and recognized it was the center’s swimming coach at a glance. He felt more than once that the words on the coach’s swimming cap was very ugly. In order not to hinder others, Haiqing retreated while enduring his dizziness that had not fully subsided yet. He went back to where he placed his towel and phone, then sat down.
“Hu…” He exhaled after taking off his goggles and swim cap. He immediately felt the pressure was alleviated. He guessed that, perhaps, he was not able to wear the goggles properly so that its constricting effect was too tight.
Next time, he absolutely must not do this again — not doing the warm-up exercises and just diving into the water — it was too dangerous. Haiqing warned himself in his heart. If it was not for today’s series of grievances, he would also be unlikely to get so out of control like this so that he rushed out of the house and directly charged into the swimming pool.
“Coach~ can you come help me out a bit? I’m not really good at coordinating my breathing….” One of the girls beckoned.
“Okay!” The coach replied. Then he instructed his other student: “Hey, Big brother, for now, practice by yourself first. Practicing water kicking is a must. Don’t push yourself. Call me if there’s a problem…”
“Coach~ hurry up!” The girl said.
There were obviously all kinds of sounds around the side of the pool, but the man and the two women’s voices were distinctly clear and close by. Haiqing instinctively covered his body and half of his face with the towel, then slowly raised his face. However, he basically did not need to search. The two characters for “coach”  on the swimming cap was lit like an LED light and was hard to ignore.
( The two characters「教练」 or “jiao lian“ or “coach” in English, was written on the coach’s swimming cap and Haiqing somehow finds it ugly. Lol)
Were they really here to learn how to swim? Haiqing’s line of sight followed the two girls, who were leaning on the side of the pool. Their hands were tightly clung onto the edge — refusing to let go. Their swimsuits were more like a decoration for their body than for practical use. Okay, that was entirely his own personal opinion on swimsuits. In fact, the coach did not seem to be focused on teaching anyway.
“I’m not lying to you girls. I can really swim through the entire lane in 5 seconds…”
“You’re lying! It’s impossible”
The girl’s flirty voice was like magic. Regardless of distance, her voice soared right into Haiqing’s ears. He looked at the coach who kept on saying “really” and at the girls who kept on yelling “liar” — Just like the dialog in a low-budget idol drama. He could not help but to be fed up with it, so he turned his face.
“Pfff..,” he covered his mouth to hide his laughter. He fixed his gaze on the man who was splashing in the water, but barely advanced. He paid his attention to him, simply because his movement was too… interesting. Haiqing was a frequent visitor in this sport center and he had seen many beginners’ swimming. But that man’s movement completely betrayed his handsome appearance as he tried several times to take a breath and sink into the water while his hands randomly moved in a rush — not to mention his attempts to ventilate during swimming. Perhaps, he was in such an awkward predicament wherein he could not even see his own feet properly — this made Hai Qing unable to take his eyes off him. Was it because he was clumsy but brave enough to try, so that it made him very dazzling? Or was it the contrast of being so handsome and yet he moved like a child in the water? In the end, Haiqing unconsciously switched on his camera app in his phone. After he switched off the sound and covered it with a bath towel, he secretly took his picture.
The man rushed out from the pool and raised both of his hands to his chin — a pair of heroic double-edged sword eyebrows, coupled with a pair of bright clear eyes were rapidly captured by the camera’s face recognition.
He had been practicing several times, yet, had not shown any progress. His dejected manner as he swam back to the edge of the pool, panting and swallowing hard, looked sexy and enticing.
He stopped to catch his breath, then he took a deep breath and intended to try again. Haiqing took the chance to snap a photo once before he entered the water and another when he surfaced.
“Hey yo, the next time you girls come, you can wear a little less. Let me tell you girls a secret. Bikinis are the best swimwear for beginners.”
“You’re so naughty~ I never heard of this before!” The girls, one after another, covered their own chests as much as they could, but that kind of rejection only gave the man wish to look at them more.
“It’s true. It’s because there’s no unnecessary fabric so there would be no resistance in the water…”
Bullshit. Haiqing could not stand the coach’s nonsense anymore. He really did not know how this particular coach was still able to continue to conduct open classes and accept students when he was not serious in teaching. He clicked his tongue and moved his gaze away from the coach. It was better for him to concentrate on looking at that man…
“Huh?” Where did the man go?
Haiqing remembered that just a moment ago, the man took a deep breath then dived. Normally, he should be able to see him pop his head out from under the water nearby to take a breath, right?? However, when he focused his gaze on the surface of the water, he still could not see his face. Instead, he saw a shadow of someone struggling under the water. He felt his breath tighten.