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Stand by Me Recap, Plot, Synopsis

> Stand by Me

Stand by Me Synopsis

The drama focuses on the growth of a young girl, Luo Qiqi, and tells the story of love, friendship, and the changes that occur in the lives and thoughts of everyone around her.

Stand by Me Recap

Episode 1 Recap

In the year 2008, Luo Qiqi returned to that place after many years. She remembered a girl who came from there, grew up here, and became her own self. Sitting quietly, Luo Qiqi recalled her past. She said to herself, "Hello, Luo Qiqi, and thank you, Luo Qiqi."

In December 1994, during the first semester of her sophomore year, Luo Qiqi entered the classroom with her backpack. A girl was painting her nails, and when she saw Luo Qiqi enter, she approached her, wanting to paint Luo Qiqi's nails too. Luo Qiqi didn't want to pay her any attention, but the girl persisted. Annoyed, Luo Qiqi accidentally spilled the nail polish on the floor.

The owner of the nail polish was Lin Xin, who had just come over to confront Luo Qiqi. A classmate loudly announced that the teacher was coming, and they all scattered. Luo Qiqi remained calm, reading a book. When the teacher asked her what she was doing, Luo Qiqi replied that class had not started yet. The teacher felt that Luo Qiqi was being disrespectful and angrily expelled her from the classroom. Inside the classroom, the teacher had the class monitor distribute the test papers. Luo Qiqi's grades were not good, and the teacher criticized the students, speaking mostly for Luo Qiqi's benefit outside the door.

This was Luo Qiqi's high school - teachers, classmates, going to school, coming back from school, but she didn't have many friends. She didn't need friends either, but there were always a few enemies. Every day after school, she rode her bicycle through the city to a familiar place called "Yao'er Alley." Luo Qiqi brought some magazines to sell to people there, but the person told her that these magazines were outdated and asked her to leave. Luo Qiqi found it strange since they had agreed just a few days ago. When she saw a few troublemakers across the street, she understood what was going on. Those people thought Luo Qiqi had taken their business, putting pressure on the boss. They chased Luo Qiqi through several streets, and she challenged them to do something if they had the guts, or else she would find Jiajia, another person.

Xu Xiaobo arrived and helped Luo Qiqi chase away those troublemakers. Xu Xiaobo was Luo Qiqi's older brother, and she had been with him in the streets of Yao'er Alley since she was young. Xu Xiaobo turned out all the magazines from Luo Qiqi's backpack and asked his friends to take a look. If they didn't want them, he suggested burning them. Xu Xiaobo rolled up Luo Qiqi's sleeves and applied medicine to her wounds. He asked her why she was making money, and Luo Qiqi told him she just liked making money. Xu Xiaobo told her she didn't need to make money since they had enough to eat and drink. She should focus on her studies.

Luo Qiqi always stayed in Yao'er Alley until very late, even when she returned home, everyone was already asleep. She didn't mind; she only cared about those who cared about her. Xu Xiaobo was her brother, like another family member. He spent his evenings in the game hall after school and had to take care of his sick mother when he got home. Uncle Li often helped Xu Xiaobo, like another family member. Xu Xiaobo was determined to get into his ideal university, and even though he had taken a year off, he was working hard. Luo Qiqi wanted to help him achieve his dream. She went to a recording studio, wanting to buy a tape recorder to listen to English tapes, but she didn't have enough money to buy it. As she left the store, she was confronted by Lin Xin and two others; they wanted Luo Qiqi to be their friend, but she wasn't willing.

Luo Qiqi hit the three of them with her backpack, and they chased her. In the end, all four of them were apprehended by the neighborhood security. Luo Qiqi was taken home by her mother, who told her to go to her factory, but Luo Qiqi refused and they argued. The next day, Luo Qiqi returned to the classroom to find her desk covered in paint, and her newly bought tape recorder was missing. She found Lin Xin and her group and asked for it back. As the leader, Lǎn Jiě knocked the tape recorder to the ground, and Luo Qiqi angrily spilled nail polish on her. The teacher asked Luo Qiqi to have her parents come in. When Luo Qiqi went to call her mother, they argued again, and her mother physically punished her.

Episode 2 Recap

Luo Qiqi arrived at school, and her desk mate, Zheng Yuxia, asked her if everything was okay at home. Luo Qiqi told her that it was fine and that she had already gotten used to it. Luo Qiqi glanced at Lan Jie and approached her to chat, but Lan Jie refused. They had planned to go ice skating together with Lin Xin and the others after school, and Luo Qiqi had followed them to the ice rink. When they were ready to leave, Luo Qiqi continued to follow them. Lan Jie couldn't tolerate it anymore and angrily confronted Luo Qiqi. She told Luo Qiqi not to think she wouldn't dare to act, but Luo Qiqi replied that she had fought before and that they couldn't beat her.

Luo Qiqi told Lin Xin and the others that her issue was with Lin Lan, and they had nothing to do with it. She asked them to leave quickly, and Lin Xin and the others had already wanted to leave. Lin Lan challenged the two of them to try and leave if they dared, and they were not afraid of Lin Lan, so they left. It was just Luo Qiqi and Lin Lan left. Lin Lan asked her what she wanted to do, and Luo Qiqi told her that she didn't want to cause trouble at school. She wanted to focus on her studies, and in the future, they should go their separate ways, and their paths shouldn't cross. Lin Lan informed her that her mother had already arranged for her to drop out of school. Luo Qiqi was shocked to hear this; she had no idea, and she felt a chill run down her spine.

Back home, Luo Qiqi confronted her mother, asking if she had arranged for her to drop out of school. Her mother had to admit it, but even so, Luo Qiqi refused to comply with her mother's plan to work at the factory. She told her mother that she wouldn't even go to the factory to wash dishes. The two of them argued again, and Luo Qiqi went to apply for a job at the cinema. The boss initially thought she was too young, but seeing that she was clever, he agreed. Luo Qiqi then went to the arcade to find Xu Xiaobo, but he wasn't there. She saw a child sitting on a bench nearby who looked very much like she did when she was young. She couldn't help but approach him, gave him some food, and chatted with him for a while.

When Xu Xiaobo saw Luo Qiqi waiting for him, he approached and asked if she was preparing for exams. Luo Qiqi didn't know how to answer, so she just nodded. Xu Xiaobo continued, saying that if she studied the materials he had given her, she could achieve above-average results. Luo Qiqi didn't know how to tell Xu Xiaobo that her mother had arranged for her to drop out of school. She asked Xu Xiaobo if he found the third year of high school tiring, and he replied that it was indeed exhausting. Luo Qiqi then asked why he persevered if it was so tiring. Xu Xiaobo said he liked being at school because it was very pure and quiet there. He encouraged Luo Qiqi to study well.

Luo Qiqi didn't dare to tell Xu Xiaobo about dropping out of school; she was afraid he would be angry and disappointed. She studied alone in the classroom, and when school ended, she went to find Xu Xiaobo again. She told him that her hair had grown long and asked him to help her cut it. While cutting her hair, Luo Qiqi revealed to him that she had dropped out of school. Xu Xiaobo was furious and asked her what she was thinking. Luo Qiqi told him that she didn't want to work in the factory as her mother had planned; she could earn money by working elsewhere. Xu Xiaobo was very angry and told her to go home right away and tell her parents that she didn't want to drop out of school. In the midst of their argument, Luo Qiqi left in frustration.

Luo Qiqi went to the bus station with the intention of leaving this place, but when the ticket seller asked her where she wanted to go, she had no destination in mind. She sat on the station bench, staring at the clock for a long time. She thought about the happy times she had spent at her grandfather's house when she was a child. She remembered her grandfather cutting her hair, making pumpkin lanterns with her, preparing her favorite dumplings, and telling her stories at night until she fell asleep on his lap. Initially, all of this was beautiful, but one day, her mother came to take her away.

Episode 3 Recap

Luo Qiqi bid her grandpa a reluctant farewell and returned home to Hannan with her mother. Jun Hong was delighted to see Luo Qiqi, realizing how much she had grown. Luo Qiqi started at her new school, where the teacher assigned her to sit with Chen Jin and instructed them not to talk during class. During break time, Chen Jin initiated a conversation with Luo Qiqi, who was curious about why the teacher had forbidden them from speaking. Chen Jin explained that it was because his father was worried about his studies and didn't want him to have a talkative desk mate. Luo Qiqi asked if no one talked to him anymore, and Chen Jin nodded. She assured him that she would talk to him in the future and that she wasn't afraid of the consequences.

Luo Qiqi informed Chen Jin about a dead bird on the playground and asked if he wanted to go see it. Chen Jin agreed, so Luo Qiqi raised her hand to inform the teacher that both of them needed to use the restroom. Although the teacher was surprised, she agreed. They went to the playground and found the dead bird. Luo Qiqi suggested giving it a proper burial. She thought Chen Jin was very clever, but Chen Jin believed there were smarter people than him. Luo Qiqi couldn't understand the classical Chinese text Chen Jin shared with her, thinking he was the smartest. Chen Jin taught Luo Qiqi how to read quickly, and their relationship grew stronger.

However, one day, Chen Jin skipped a grade and moved up to the eighth grade, leaving Luo Qiqi without anyone to talk to. One day, their classmate Zhou Yun lost her pen, and another classmate, Liu Jun, accused Luo Qiqi of taking it. Luo Qiqi was scolded by the teacher and had to stand at the back. Zhang Jun, who got into a fight, was also punished to stand against the back wall. Luo Qiqi saw the mistakes on Zhang Jun's test paper and explained them to him, realizing that her explanation matched what the teacher had said. When she returned home, Luo Qiqi received a pen and overheard her mother telling her father that giving her the pen was a bad habit from her childhood. Hearing this, Luo Qiqi planted a negative seed in her young heart.

On Sundays at home, her father, Hongjun, was always busy accompanying her younger sister, dancing and playing games, completely neglecting Luo Qiqi. She felt like she was back at her grandpa's house, so she retreated to the closet to read and play on her own. As she played, she fell asleep. When she woke up, the house was pitch black, and there was no one around. She called for her sister and father, but no one answered. She ventured outside and ended up at the Yanger Guaijiajia Arcade. While carrying a drink, she bumped into Wu Zei, who loudly asked whose child she was and told her to go play somewhere else. This was Luo Qiqi's first encounter with Wu Zei.

The next morning, Xu Xiaobo arrived at the arcade and saw Luo Qiqi sitting in the corner. He approached her and asked why she hadn't gone home. Luo Qiqi was so engrossed in her book that she didn't hear what he said. Luo Qiqi's mother happened to find them there, and she angrily scolded Luo Qiqi, mistaking Xu Xiaobo and Wu Zei for troublemakers and scolding both of them. When they returned home, Luo Qiqi's mother punished her once again. Luo Qiqi felt very wronged, but her mother didn't understand her. She even told her not to be like her grandpa because no one would like her if she acted that way. Luo Qiqi was shocked and raised her head, thinking her grandpa was wonderful, so why wouldn't anyone like him?

On her way to school, it started raining heavily. Zhang Jun happened to be passing by with an umbrella, so he gave it to Luo Qiqi and told the teacher that he had slipped, but Luo Qiqi insisted on going in together. As a result, both of them were punished to stand outside the classroom. Zhang Jun, impressed by Luo Qiqi's help with the math problem last time, thought she was very clever. He took Luo Qiqi to meet the math teacher, Teacher Gao, who gave her some basic math problems. Luo Qiqi answered them all correctly, and Teacher Gao invited her to join the math class to bring honor to the school. Luo Qiqi asked if her parents would like her if she did this, and Teacher Gao told her that not only her parents but also many others would like her.

Episode 4 Recap

Luo Qiqi looked at a girl named Zhou Xiaowen who was sitting alone in class, and she felt a bit sad. This girl's desk mate was Zhang Jun, her good friend, but he hadn't been coming to school for the past few days. Unable to contain her curiosity, Luo Qiqi asked Zhou Xiaowen why Zhang Jun hadn't been coming, but Zhou Xiaowen didn't know what had happened. Feeling upset, Luo Qiqi rested her head on her desk. At that moment, a new student named Guan He entered the classroom. The teacher was angry to see Luo Qiqi still lying on her desk and scolded her, saying that she wouldn't be able to get into college like this. Liu Jun joined in, saying that even he, with three hands, could go to college now. Luo Qiqi, furious, used a stone to strike him on her way home.

Liu Jun and his friends chased after Luo Qiqi. Luckily, Zhang Jun was waiting at the corner, and he pulled Luo Qiqi aside. She asked Zhang Jun why he hadn't been coming to school, and he explained that something had happened at his home, but it was resolved now. Luo Qiqi gave Zhang Jun a piece of chocolate that her grandfather had given her, saying that she usually only ate one piece a day, but today she had two because she wanted to share one with him. She had been carrying it for a week. Luo Qiqi also gave Zhang Jun her math practice book, which contained the key points taught by Teacher Gao. They made a pact to win first place together. When Zhang Jun returned home and started working on the practice problems, his dad came back and told him that he and his mom were getting divorced.

Zhang Jun was overwhelmed with emotion, unable to believe that his mom would leave him. He cried and wanted to run out to find his mom, but his dad stopped him and told him that he would be going on a business trip next week. His aunt would come to pick him up and gave him some pocket money, which Zhang Jun angrily threw on the ground. The next day, Luo Qiqi participated in a math competition and won first place in the city. However, Zhang Jun didn't attend, and she couldn't find any joy in her victory. Teacher Gao praised Luo Qiqi as the youngest winner of the first prize and the one with the highest score. Luo Qiqi asked Teacher Gao if Zhang Jun had won any prizes, but Teacher Gao comforted her by saying that he didn't win this time but could win next time.

When Luo Qiqi returned home and proudly showed her award certificate, her younger sister, Luo Yuanyuan, asked for an apple, using it as an excuse to distract Luo Qiqi. While Luo Qiqi was away, Luo Yuanyuan tore up her award certificate. Angry and hurt, Luo Qiqi hit her sister. When their parents returned home, they saw Luo Qiqi hitting Luo Yuanyuan and scolded her. They dismissed the importance of the certificate, saying it was just a piece of paper. They patiently consoled Luo Yuanyuan and then went to comfort Luo Qiqi. Left alone, Luo Qiqi retreated into her closet and tore her award certificate into tiny pieces, crying alone for a long time.

Luo Qiqi returned to school and saw Zhang Jun. She asked him if he had looked at the notebook she had given him, but Zhang Jun ignored her.

Luo Qiqi kept pestering Zhang Jun with questions, and he finally showed her the notebook, saying it was useless. Luo Qiqi, angry, hit Zhang Jun. The teacher called Luo Qiqi into the office and asked her mother to come to the school. However, the school staff told her that Luo Qiqi's mother wasn't at work and that her grandfather had passed away. Her mother had gone to handle the arrangements. Upon hearing this, Luo Qiqi was shocked and ran out of school. She reached a crossroads, crouched down, and started crying. Coincidentally, Xu Xiaobo passed by and asked if Luo Qiqi had gotten lost again. Luo Qiqi told him that she was going to Nanzheng to find her grandfather, and Xu Xiaobo accompanied her.

Luo Qiqi arrived at a place she was familiar with and crawled into the closet she used to hide in. She talked to her grandfather as she used to, asking him questions and waiting for answers, but this time, she heard nothing from her grandfather. She touched the drawings she had made inside the closet, reminiscing about the joyful times with her grandfather, and cried alone. Her younger sister, Luo Yuanyuan, heard her crying and came over, happily eating a duck leg. She told Luo Qiqi that she couldn't have any because their mother had said it was for herself. Heartbroken, Luo Qiqi left with Xu Xiaobo, and they went to Li Shu's house. Li Shu was worried about her and had Xu Xiaobo and Jiajie keep an eye on her. Yangerguai became her temporary home, but she decided to leave and bought a ticket to Xi'an.

Episode 5 Recap

Luo Qiqi was sitting in the newly opened nightclub run by Jiajie and heard the sound of Xu Xiaobo's arrival. She stepped outside and met Xu Xiaobo, informing him that she had already bought a ticket and planned to leave after the Chinese New Year. Xu Xiaobo asked her if she really had to go, to which Luo Qiqi replied that she was not happy here. Xu Xiaobo questioned whether happiness was the most important thing, and Luo Qiqi emphasized that it was crucial to her. Although Xu Xiaobo seemed upset on the surface, he had actually been secretly working to resolve some issues related to the nightclub's name.

Luo Qiqi's parents were also arranging for her to work in the factory, but she didn't want to be forced into their plans and tried to escape, only to be stopped by both of them. They had booked a private room and intended to introduce Luo Qiqi to some people from the factory. Luo Qiqi escaped from the taxi and called Wu Zei and Xu Xiaobo for help. Xu Xiaobo witnessed Luo Qiqi's mother hitting her, and he felt deeply saddened as he rushed in to rescue her. Luo Qiqi asked Xu Xiaobo if he had really gone to find the documents, and he nodded. Wu Zei searched all over Han Nan but couldn't find any place to make signboards.

He took a wooden board, wrote "Water Side" on it, and hung it at his new shop, setting off fireworks to mark the opening. Once again, Xu Xiaobo asked Luo Qiqi if she truly intended to leave, and she remained silent. Xu Xiaobo expressed that he had always considered her a little sister and had imagined that one day she would leave, but he hadn't expected it to happen so soon. He had hoped that she would focus on her studies, get into a good university, and have a bright future. He believed she was very intelligent and well-read, but he hadn't realized how unhappy she was here. Xu Xiaobo asked her to let him know when she decided to leave so he could see her off. Wu Zei encouraged her not to give up on her education.

Zhang Jun went to the cinema to find Luo Qiqi but was informed by the cinema staff that she had already left and was said to be working elsewhere. Zhang Jun brought something to see Teacher Gao and ran into Chen Jin there. They talked about Luo Qiqi, and Zhang Jun was surprised that Chen Jin still remembered her. Chen Jin, recalling that she was his desk mate and very intelligent, said that he often saw her name in Han Nan's library. He mentioned that the book on mathematics, which he wanted to read, was still with her. Zhang Jun asked Chen Jin for a favor, and when Luo Qiqi returned books to the library, she ran into Chen Jin. He stopped her and expressed that he remembered her. They once again engaged in a math competition at the library.

Luo Qiqi realized her mistake, but she no longer cared about these things. She believed she wouldn't make money from studying and no longer attended school. Chen Jin told her that he remembered her not just because she was his desk mate but because she had read more books than he had. Chen Jin asked her why she wasn't going to school, believing that people who liked the library should also like school. Luo Qiqi asked him not to meddle in her affairs, but Chen Jin felt it was a pity that she wasn't going to school anymore. Luo Qiqi boarded a long-distance bus bound for Xi'an, and Xu Xiaobo came to see her off. He asked if she really couldn't bear to leave.

Luo Qiqi remained silent and started solving math problems on the bus window. Suddenly, a beam of light hit her face. When she opened her eyes again, she found herself in a field in Nanzheng. She encountered her younger self, who felt embarrassed for losing to Chen Jin. In truth, Luo Qiqi didn't want to leave; she was just tired of feeling unloved by her parents, and Xu Xiaobo was the only one who cared to listen to her stories. Finally, Luo Qiqi came to her senses and decided not to leave. She called her mother, admitted her mistake, and said that she didn't want to go anywhere. She wanted a chance to stay and go to school, hoping her mother would give her that opportunity.

Episode 6 Recap

"In the Water Side" officially opened, with Jiajie, also known as Wu Zei, as the boss. Some people in the crowd encouraged him to say a few words, and Jiajie was delighted, hoping for a prosperous opening and financial success. Luo Qiqi was helping out, and Xu Xiaobo asked her if she was exhausted. Luo Qiqi replied that she wasn't tired, but Wu Zei was the one exhausted. Xu Xiaobo said he was happy inside. Luo Qiqi asked Xu Xiaobo how much money they thought they could earn today, and Xu Xiaobo replied that it would definitely be more than what they earned at Jiajia's. He wished they could have this many customers every day. A waiter came to tell Xu Xiaobo that some people from Meinong had arrived, who were rivals of Jiajie. They came looking for him but couldn't find him, so they approached Xu Xiaobo instead.

Xu Xiaobo told them to behave if they were there to consume, but if not, they should leave. Luo Qiqi asked why they were here, and Xu Xiaobo explained that they knew the new shop was opening today and wanted to join the celebration. He warned Luo Qiqi that they were not easy to deal with and asked her to stay away from them. Luo Qiqi returned to school, where the homeroom teacher told her that she could come and go as she pleased since the school was practically hers. He told her she could come, but if her grades didn't improve and she continued causing trouble, she might have to leave. After chatting with the homeroom teacher, Luo Qiqi was on her way back to her classroom when the Chinese teacher called her. She informed Luo Qiqi that the essay she had written last semester had received the highest score.

The teacher told Luo Qiqi about a speech competition next week and suggested that she participate. However, Luo Qiqi said she didn't want to. The teacher insisted that her talent shouldn't go to waste and encouraged her to think it over. Lin Lan and the others were discussing the speech competition when they saw Luo Qiqi enter the classroom. They stopped talking and wondered why she had come back. They thought she was annoying. Xiaofei also arrived in Hannan, and Zhang Jun's good friend was instantly smitten with her. He saw her every day at her stall. While Xiaofei was strolling downstairs, she ran into Wang Zheng and asked where he was headed. Wang Zheng said he was going to perform at a new shop.

After chatting for a while, Wang Zheng told her his dream was to earn enough money to go to Xi'an to record songs. He didn't expect her to understand, mounted his motorcycle, and prepared to leave. Xiaofei asked him where he would be singing, and he replied it would be at Yaoger, inviting her to visit him there. After school, Luo Qiqi ran into the people from Meinong, who invited her to play with them. They took her to the roller-skating rink, where she bumped into Zhang Jun. Luo Qiqi asked them why they were here, feeling that there was no one left in Meinong because of her. Mimi Ge told her it had nothing to do with her, but someone she knew. Luo Qiqi said they didn't dare to look for Xu Xiaobo, so they came for her instead.

Zhang Jun told Mimi Ge that she was his classmate and asked them to leave her alone. Luo Qiqi didn't want to get involved with him and took out some money to pay for roller-skating, saying she had come to spend money. She wondered why Zhang Jun, who was a student, was hanging around outside all the time. Zhang Jun explained that he did it to avoid bothering his father, to be able to go out every day, and not to become a real troublemaker. He then asked Luo Qiqi why she had returned to school. Before she could answer, Xu Xiaobo and the others arrived. Xu Xiaobo came to pick her up and informed her that Uncle Li had told him that anyone who spent over 100 yuan at Water Side would receive a Meinong admission ticket. However, they needed to get rid of Black Leather.

Wu Zei confronted Black Leather and gave him a beating, warning him not to touch their people again. Luo Qiqi told Xu Xiaobo about the Chinese teacher inviting her to participate in the speech competition, and she had decided to join. Luo Qiqi realized that when she had wanted to leave before, it wasn't because she hated school or her mother. It was because she wanted to find her own way out, and now she understood that it all depended on herself. Zhu Hui arranged for Xu Xiaobo to come to her house for additional lessons on Saturday, and he agreed. In the classroom, the Chinese teacher announced that Luo Qiqi would participate in the speech competition. Lin Xin, thinking she had plagiarized her essay, declared that anyone who talked to Luo Qiqi would be in trouble. Luo Qiqi spent a long time writing her speech and finally placed it on the Chinese teacher's desk. On her way home, Xiaofei was followed by someone and mistook Zhang Jun's good friend Ma Li for a bad guy.

Episode 7 Recap

Zhang Jun found Xiaofei and asked her to explain things at the Neighborhood Watch. Otherwise, his good friend Ma Li would remain detained. Luo Qiqi saw the girls in her class playing volleyball and decided to join in. Lin Xin accidentally hit her with a ball, but Luo Qiqi retaliated by hitting the ball right back at Lin Xin's head. Because Zhang Jun had been dragging Xiaofei to the Neighborhood Watch, they both got caught by the teacher and were punished by standing outside the classroom.

The Chinese teacher asked Xiaofei to select the essays for the competition, and if any were marked, they should be excluded. One particular essay was not chosen. Late at night, Xiaofei was reviewing the essays, and she came across the one written by Luo Qiqi. When she saw Luo Qiqi's name, she froze. Her thoughts were suddenly transported back to their childhood when they used to play together. Xiaofei couldn't help but cry. She remembered the times she and Luo Qiqi used to play together and recalled the story of the matchstick girl that Luo Qiqi had told her. Before she could finish reminiscing, her father burst in and slapped her.

The Chinese teacher told Luo Qiqi that her essay didn't meet the standard, which frustrated Luo Qiqi. The teacher insisted that rules were rules, and Luo Qiqi had to follow them. Luo Qiqi asked what the standards were or if it meant she, as a person, didn't meet their standards. The homeroom teacher chimed in, telling Luo Qiqi not to look down on the school or the teachers. If she disagreed so strongly, she could stand on the ping pong table. In anger, Luo Qiqi walked over to the ping pong table, reflecting on all the injustices she had encountered along the way. She was furious but had no way to vent her frustration.

On another ping pong table nearby, Chen Jin was playing ping pong with his classmates. He glanced at Luo Qiqi and continued playing. Lin Xin, outside the classroom, looked triumphantly at Luo Qiqi, feeling that she had won. Luo Qiqi noticed everyone was watching her and thought about what her grandfather had told her — that caring too much about what others think can be exhausting. Xiaofei spotted Luo Qiqi and joyfully ran over, calling her name. Luo Qiqi recognized Xiaofei, and the two embraced each other happily. They sat by the field, gazing at each other, and both thought the other had become more attractive. Xiaofei told Luo Qiqi that after she left South Zheng, she cried for a long time and even asked her mother where Luo Qiqi had gone.

Xiaofei revealed that she rediscovered Luo Qiqi when she saw her essay. Luo Qiqi recited a poem she liked, and Xiaofei liked it too. Luo Qiqi gave Xiaofei a ride back home on her bike. After Xiaofei went upstairs, she took a few steps and ran back to hug Luo Qiqi, telling her that they must meet again tomorrow. As Luo Qiqi walked away, she heard an argument from Xiaofei's home. She felt concerned and hurried back. She reassured Xiaofei that her English paper was the best she had ever written, and the English teacher had asked her to present it. Xiaofei responded, and Luo Qiqi finally felt at ease. The next day, on the way to school, Luo Qiqi ran into her Chinese teacher.

She asked the teacher why she didn't like her speech, but the teacher insisted she didn't dislike it. Luo Qiqi asked if she was satisfied with the speech she had written herself, and she replied that she was very satisfied because it expressed her thoughts. The teacher told her that if she was satisfied, why care about others' opinions? She warned Luo Qiqi that if she cared too much about what others thought, she would gradually lose herself. Luo Qiqi seemed to understand what the teacher was trying to convey. Riding her bike on the way back home, her mood became brighter. She felt that she came into this world to find her own sunshine. Although her speech hadn't been selected, she had found Xiaofei.

Episode 8 Recap

Luo Qiqi and Ge Xiaofei were studying together when Ge Xiaofei complained to Luo Qiqi about the difficulty of chemistry. Luo Qiqi asked her whether she would choose humanities or sciences in the future. Ge Xiaofei told her that she would definitely choose humanities because she was terrible at science. When she goes to college, she plans to major in Chinese language, and she'll write lyrics for Wang Zheng. She'll become the famous lyricist Ge Xiaofei. Zhang Jun happened to pass by them, and Luo Qiqi lifted her head to look at him. Ge Xiaofei guessed her thoughts, and although Luo Qiqi didn't admit it, Ge Xiaofei told her that she knew her secret, and they both knew each other's secrets, which nobody else could know.

Luo Qiqi invited Ge Xiaofei to Inshuiyi, but Ge Xiaofei wanted to take her to watch Wang Zheng's rehearsal.

Ge Xiaofei took Luo Qiqi to the place where Wang Zheng was rehearsing, which was in an underground basement. Luo Qiqi asked if Wang Zheng was rehearsing here, and Ge Xiaofei said she had tracked Wang Zheng several times to find out. Luo Qiqi asked if she wasn't afraid of being discovered by Wang Zheng, and Ge Xiaofei said, "Let him discover." Ge Xiaofei felt that listening to Wang Zheng's songs made her feel free, as if he was singing to her. She had seen Wang Zheng's father scold him several times, but he would always come out, just like Luo Qiqi, ready to resist.

Luo Qiqi went ice skating at the rink, and Zhang Jun was playing basketball nearby.

The members of Wang Zheng's band told him that this time he had to write his own lyrics, and if he had his own style, it would definitely work. Ge Xiaofei quietly stood outside, listening to him sing and play the guitar. Luo Qiqi was standing at the classroom door reading a book when a classmate ran into her. As Luo Qiqi was about to go down the stairs, she happened to bump into Zhang Jun. She panicked and tried to run away, but Zhang Jun looked at her and said, "See you at the Binhe Park on Saturday." Luo Qiqi didn't respond and quickly went downstairs, but she was secretly happy. She arrived at Inshuiyi and happened to run into Jiajie, who is Wu Zei, and his girlfriend, who were having an argument. They ended up parting ways, and Jiajie's girlfriend, Wang Ling, asked for a breakup.

Jiajie, heartbroken, drank and sang. Xu Xiaobo asked him how long he planned to keep drinking since he had to work the next day. Jiajie said he would stop drinking when Wang Ling came to find him. Luo Qiqi's mother called her to go to her aunt's house, but Luo Qiqi refused. She went to Binhe Park, where Zhang Jun was playing shooting games. He saw Luo Qiqi standing not far away and walked up behind her, saying that he knew Luo Qiqi would come. Luo Qiqi was startled by Zhang Jun, and she hastily said she wasn't there to see him; she was looking for her brother. Zhang Jun offered to accompany her in finding her brother, but Luo Qiqi declined. Zhang Jun then held Luo Qiqi's hand and invited her to have soy milk.

Looking at Luo Qiqi drinking soy milk, Zhang Jun said that soy milk shouldn't be drunk in vain and suggested they go play bumper cars together. They played again and again, thoroughly enjoying themselves. On the other hand, after Wang Zheng and his band left, Ge Xiaofei secretly entered their rehearsal room. She sat in Wang Zheng's seat and looked at his sheet music, feeling very happy. On her way home, she happened to meet Ma Li. She asked him why he was here, and Ma Li told her that he lived nearby. Ge Xiaofei saw Ma Li's backpack and inquired, learning that Ma Li knew how to drive. Ge Xiaofei was very curious, so Ma Li asked her if she wanted to try driving his car, and Ge Xiaofei happily nodded.

Zhang Jun asked Luo Qiqi if they could continue to play together in the future, but Luo Qiqi didn't answer. She didn't know how to respond because her mindset had changed a lot with age. She made an excuse, saying she needed to go to the restroom, but quietly left. Jiajie, feeling upset due to his breakup, also came to Binhe Park to find Wang Ling but saw her having a good time with another guy. They got into an argument, and a woman nearby came over and slapped both Wang Ling and Jiajie. Jiajie was dazed and stopped causing trouble. Jiajie was about to leave, but then he changed his mind, returned, and challenged the other guy to a beer-drinking competition, which the other guy lost.

Episode 9 Recap

In 1989, Xu Xiaobo's father left his job due to a work-related injury. The factory officials made him wait, citing paperwork issues as an excuse not to provide compensation, and only the factory manager gave him a small sum of money to send him away. Xu Xiaobo visited his mother, who was mentally unstable. His mother told him that his father would be off work soon, and they would go to pick him up together. She was unaware that his father had already passed away. Two women happened to be discussing their family matters, and Jiajie, despite verbally claiming he didn't want to help Xu Xiaobo, still cursed at the two women in defense of Xu Xiaobo. Xu Xiaobo asked the people in charge of reimbursements to double-check the amount of money his mother was reimbursed; it didn't add up.

Director Xie told him that his mother's medical expenses couldn't be reimbursed by the factory anymore. He suggested an alternative: Xu Xiaobo could take his father's place in the factory and work directly there. Xu Xiaobo declined the offer. He still wanted to go to college, and when he did, he would take his mother to the city for medical treatment. Fast forward to the present, classmates were discussing who had answered the last question in chemistry correctly. They thought Xu Xiaobo had, but in reality, he hadn't. It was actually Cui Yang, one of the over twenty students in the class, who had answered it correctly, achieving the top score in chemistry. This dealt a heavy blow to Xu Xiaobo, who had consistently been the top student. He went to the rooftop alone to clear his mind.

Luo Qiqi was running on the sports field when she met Chen Jin, who was also running. She stopped Chen Jin and told him she wasn't doing well in English and wanted to know how to improve her English scores. Chen Jin advised her to compare her exam papers with others'. Luo Qiqi realized her vocabulary was lacking, and Chen Jin suggested that she start by memorizing the course material. If she could memorize the textbook, she would be well-prepared for the high school exams. Luo Qiqi felt that nobody's memory could be that good to remember the entire textbook, but Chen Jin asked her if she still remembered reading "One Look, Ten Lines" when she was younger. Luo Qiqi seemed inspired, and her eyes became determined.

Chen Jin felt that in this school, many people make resolutions every day, but it's easy to make resolutions and hard to stick to them. He hoped that a year later, Luo Qiqi would still be committed. Luo Qiqi started reciting English every day and quickly prepared for the exam. In July 1995, on the first day of the college entrance exam, Xu Xiaobo sat in the examination hall. Jiajie paced back and forth at home, saying that he had never been so nervous for an exam before. Luo Qiqi remained silent. Jiajie asked if she hadn't just taken her final exams; how did she do? Luo Qiqi told him that the teachers had gone to invigilate, so they didn't know yet, but if she didn't do well, her mother would send her to work at the factory.

Luo Qiqi returned with ice popsicles, and Jiajie told her he had taken a short nap. When he woke up, Xu Xiaobo's mother was nowhere to be found. Luo Qiqi quickly went out to look for her and coincidentally ran into Xu Xiaobo, who had returned after the exam. Xu Xiaobo went home to get a picture of his mother and rushed out to search the streets. Despite searching into the night, they couldn't find her. Xu Xiaobo asked Jiajie if his mother had taken her medicine. Jiajie confidently claimed she had, but when he felt his pocket, he realized the medicine was still there. Xu Xiaobo angrily punched him. Xu Xiaobo continued to search for his mother through the night and arrived at the exam hall early the next morning.

Thinking about his mother, he found it impossible to concentrate, and it was the same on the third day. He gave up, submitting his exam paper with fifteen minutes to spare. After leaving the examination hall, Luo Qiqi told him that they had found his mother. Xu Xiaobo cooked a meal for his mother, and while cooking, he couldn't hold back his tears. He confided in Luo Qiqi that he was finished. He thought about his father and how he had always wanted to leave, but if he did, what would happen to his mother? He felt incredibly selfish. Luo Qiqi witnessed Lin Lan being bullied by three girls. She approached and helped Lin Lan, and the two of them smiled at each other and went to Binhai Park to have fun. Lin Lan talked to Luo Qiqi a lot, thinking that she was very intelligent and could go far by going to college. She was determined to go to college and encouraged Xu Xiaobo not to give up. They both had to move forward; Xu Xiaobo couldn't stop.

Episode 10 Recap

Jiajie arrived at his shop, and a girl came in. He told the girl that he wouldn't bring just anyone here. Jiajie brought out some drinks and wanted to share them with her. The girl asked why he was being so nice to her and if he wanted to be friends. Jiajie replied affirmatively, saying he wanted to be really good friends. The girl turned her head and saw Luo Qiqi and Xu Xiaobo peeping through the window, which startled her. Jiajie told her that they were his friends, and everything was fine.

Just as they were about to share an intimate moment, a waiter came and informed them that there was a fight in the dance hall.

Jiajie went outside to check and found that among the women causing the disturbance was the one who had slapped him when they broke up. He looked at the situation and mocked her, revealing that she was actually the third party in their relationship, and he insulted her. Xu Xiaobo advised him not to go too far, but the woman got angry, saying he was a fool who didn't know anything, and she left.

The waitress came to say that she had forgotten her bag, and Xu Xiaobo went out to return it. He apologized to the woman on behalf of Jiajie. The girl didn't mind, and she explained what had happened earlier to Xu Xiaobo. Xu Xiaobo noticed that her shoes were damaged and offered to fix them, but the girl declined and left wearing the damaged shoes.

Xu Xiaobo began his senior year, and his teacher advised him to maintain a good attitude, which was more important than anything else. Luo Qiqi and Ge Xiaofei went to the swimming pool together. Just as they changed into their swimsuits and came out, they bumped into Ma Li. Ge Xiaofei pulled Luo Qiqi over to greet Ma Li. When Luo Qiqi raised her head, she saw Zhang Jun, and he saw her too. He quickly approached her, but Luo Qiqi kept avoiding him.

Ma Li's good friend, Lin Yue, approached them, and Ma Li introduced Ge Xiaofei to her. Lin Yue's bar was about to open, and her birthday was approaching, so she invited Ge Xiaofei to her bar. Ge Xiaofei asked if Luo Qiqi was going, and if she didn't go, she wouldn't either.

On the way back, Ge Xiaofei told Luo Qiqi that there was no military training for their grade, but they would make it up this time. Luo Qiqi asked if all the grades' students would train together, and Ge Xiaofei seemed to understand her thoughts. She asked if Luo Qiqi had spoken to Zhang Jun, but Luo Qiqi didn't reply and left.

Luo Qiqi and Ge Xiaofei were sitting under a tree chatting when suddenly Wang Hua and Song Peng threw a ball near them. They made inappropriate remarks and teased Ge Xiaofei. Luo Qiqi couldn't stand it and spoke up. However, Song Peng pushed her to the ground. Zhang Jun, who was sitting not far away, saw this and, during the running exercise, deliberately stepped on Song Peng's shoe, seeking revenge for Luo Qiqi.

They argued, and the instructor punished them with a run. A girl suggested running with Zhang Jun, and their classmates began to cheer. Luo Qiqi, feeling angry, left the scene.

Xu Xiaobo's classmate at the front desk told him that their school had a collaboration with a prestigious school in Xi'an, and his name was on the list. Xu Xiaobo went to the teacher, who explained that only one student from each class would be selected, and they were looking for a student with good academic performance from a financially disadvantaged background. The teacher wanted to recommend Xu Xiaobo for this opportunity. However, Xu Xiaobo hesitated because his mother was ill, and there were many family matters to attend to.

The teacher believed it was a rare opportunity and advised Xu Xiaobo to think it over carefully before giving her an answer. She assured him there was no rush. Luo Qiqi was doing her homework when Jiajie persuaded her to meet his friend, who turned out to be Lin Yue, the girl they had seen at the swimming pool earlier. They had met before. Coincidentally, Zhang Jun was also present. Jiajie asked Luo Qiqi to sing, and Zhang Jun selected a song to sing with her. Zhang Jun invited Luo Qiqi to go for a spin, and he kept talking. Luo Qiqi didn't want to deal with him and left. Zhang Jun followed her and took her to the skating rink.

Zhang Jun told her that he wanted to be friends with her. Luo Qiqi questioned if he thought any girl would follow him around just because he wanted them to and threatened to have her brother break his legs if he bothered her again.

Episode 11 Recap

Luo Qiqi went to the water house to fetch water, and Zhang Jun was also there washing his hair. He looked up and saw that Luo Qiqi had left, but she hadn't noticed that the water was overflowing. Jiajie was very happy and told Xu Xiaobo that Meinong had fallen, and now they could have some fun. Jiajie informed him that Chen Xiaojun was behind all this, and Xu Xiaobo should just focus on his own matters and not worry about others. They were about to celebrate the grand opening, and Chen Xiaojun arrived. They warmly welcomed him, calling him "Sixth Brother."

Ge Xiaofei came to the grand opening, and Lin Yue introduced her to her friends. Ge Xiaofei's mind was on Wang Zheng, but when she came to find him, she saw him hugging another girl.

Ge Xiaofei walked away feeling upset. She watched Wang Zheng singing on stage and felt like it was all a dream, standing there in a daze. Two drunk men noticed her and started to harass her. Mali saw this and quickly approached, driving the two men away. Mali pulled Ge Xiaofei out and asked if she had really come. Ge Xiaofei said she was just curious and wanted to take a look. She said she was going home and asked Mali to go to work. Mali knew it was chaotic there and was afraid Ge Xiaofei wouldn't be safe alone. He told her he would escort her home. Ge Xiaofei told him she wasn't actually looking for Lin Yue; she came to listen to Wang Zheng sing.

She had always loved listening to Wang Zheng sing since she was a child, and Mali understood what Ge Xiaofei meant. He didn't say anything more. The bus arrived, and Mali watched Ge Xiaofei board it. As the bus left, he said, "Be careful on the way."

Luo Qiqi was at home doing her homework when she saw the name "Zhang Jun," which she had written earlier. She crumpled the paper in frustration and threw it away. Luo Qiqi asked her dad for twenty yuan to buy study materials, but he refused. She took her comic book to a bookstore to sell, but the store refused. Just as she walked out of the bookstore, she ran into Chen Jin. Chen Jin told her to give him the books, and he gave her his study materials.

Chen Jin asked Luo Qiqi to take him to the game center on Yao'er Turn; he hadn't played games in a long time. Luo Qiqi took him to Jiajia Game Hall, and Chen Jin asked how she did on her exams. Luo Qiqi told him she ranked tenth, and Chen Jin said she was improving quickly. Luo Qiqi felt that she couldn't rely solely on rote memorization anymore, and she was slowly catching up on what she missed, which was very challenging. Chen Jin encouraged her not to give up and said that reaching the summit would make it all worthwhile.

Luo Qiqi asked him why he didn't go to Peking University even though he had been recommended for it. Chen Jin told her that he couldn't study the major he wanted at Peking University, so he was going to Tsinghua instead.

Luo Qiqi looked at Chen Jin's study materials, memorized key points, and her grades improved significantly. She shared her joy with Xu Xiaobo, who was surprised that she had raised her scores by twenty-five points in such a short time. Luo Qiqi told him that it's not about the quantity of questions but the quality of understanding. She asked Xu Xiaobo if she could get into Beijing, and he assured her that she could if she wanted to. He told Luo Qiqi that the school had asked him to go to Xi'an for an exchange program, but he couldn't leave his mom and Luo Qiqi behind. Luo Qiqi told him he should go because he had been working hard, and it was a great opportunity.

Luo Qiqi told him that if he went, she, Jiajie, and Uncle Li would take care of his mom. Ge Xiaofei ran into Wang Zheng again and called out to him. Wang Zheng returned the money to her, and she asked if the girl he was with that day was his girlfriend. Wang Zheng told her it was just one of his fans. Ge Xiaofei mentioned the lyrics she had written, and Wang Zheng thought they were good, so he sang them. The new semester began, and there was a power outage at school. Lin Xin and her friends initially demanded to be let out early, but the class leader and some boys prepared to go outside to fetch water to cool down the classroom. As soon as they walked out the door, they encountered the boys from Zhang Jun's class playing with water. The two classes started fighting, and Zhang Jun happened to run into Luo Qiqi. He took Luo Qiqi with him to go swimming.

Episode 12 Recap

Luo Qiqi and Zhang Jun secretly climbed over the wall to get to the swimming pool. They were competing to see who could hold their breath the longest. After coming out of the water, Luo Qiqi asked Zhang Jun why he wanted to make amends with her. Zhang Jun told her that his aunt wanted him to go to a boarding school this semester, but he didn't want to, and he didn't know how to refuse. On his way there, he saw Luo Qiqi riding her bike and reciting a poem he had never heard before. That's why he decided to stay, to become friends with her.

Luo Qiqi compared people to the sea, calm on the surface but turbulent inside. What's beneath the surface might hold wonders like seastars waiting for people to touch and explore, but people don't always know about them.

Zhang Jun looked at Luo Qiqi and reached out his hand, saying, "Give it to me." Luo Qiqi didn't understand what he meant, so Zhang Jun clarified, "Your seastar." Luo Qiqi shared this story with Ge Xiaofei, who asked how it felt to give away her seastar. She also inquired if Luo Qiqi and Zhang Jun had truly made amends, but Luo Qiqi turned her head and didn't answer. Ge Xiaofei told Luo Qiqi that she had told Wang Zheng that she had written those lyrics. Luo Qiqi asked how it went, and Ge Xiaofei said that because of Wang Zheng and Luo Qiqi, she had become braver. Just as they were talking, Guan He walked in, so they quickly left.

They continued discussing Guan He on the stairs, and suddenly, Zhang Jun appeared before them. They exchanged smiles happily. After school, Zhang Jun took Luo Qiqi to a place where they used to play together when they were kids. Zhang Jun mentioned that he had come there later and knew that Luo Qiqi had been there too. He had seen her. Zhang Jun wanted to see if the things they had written on the wall were still there, but Luo Qiqi thought it had been too long and they were probably gone.

Zhang Jun asked Luo Qiqi if she wanted to visit Teacher Gao on Saturday, but she suddenly spotted someone and quickly asked Zhang Jun to hide with her. When Luo Qiqi returned home, she looked at herself in the mirror and didn't understand why Zhang Jun had suddenly left.

She suddenly realized that during her adolescence, she wanted to grow up, but others might not feel the same way. After that day, Luo Qiqi and Zhang Jun didn't contact each other again, and the plan to visit Teacher Gao fell through.

Xu Xiaobo decided to go to Xi'an, and Jiajie asked him if he really had to. He told Xu Xiaobo that there was nothing better in Xi'an than in their town. Xu Xiaobo said it was an opportunity given by the school, and he had to seize it. He also advised Jiajie to manage the business well and not give Chen Xiaojun a chance to gain control. Jiajie said he wasn't afraid of Chen Xiaojun. As they were driving, they happened to see the girl who had attacked Xu Xiaobo earlier. Her bus had broken down.

They helped push the bus from behind, and once it started moving, Jiajie suggested giving her a ride. The girl's name was Wang Yan, and she had previously been in a relationship with Director Xu's son. Today happened to be the wedding of Xu Kang and Tao Xiaohui, so Wang Yan had come to see Director Xu and offered a drink to both Jiajie and Xu Xiaobo.

On the way back, Jiajie bought a set of skincare products, while Xu Xiaobo bought an aquarium. Xu Xiaobo drove with Luo Qiqi, Jiajie, and Wang Yan to go have fun. Luo Qiqi, Jiajie, and Wang Yan played cards together, and Luo Qiqi won. Jiajie jokingly told her that she couldn't win against her future sister-in-law anymore. Wang Yan told him not to make random jokes. They laughed and arrived at a gas station to refuel. Coincidentally, they saw Lin Yue with Zhang Jun and others preparing to go out, so Jiajie invited them to join for a barbecue.

When Xu Xiaobo was ordering food, he specifically asked Luo Qiqi what she wanted to drink. Zhang Jun became a little jealous and asked why Xu Xiaobo, who had been busy lately, suddenly had time to go out. He made some sarcastic remarks, and Luo Qiqi saw Zhang Jun throwing stones on the side. She walked over, and as she did, Xu Xiaobo looked at their backs with a sense of disappointment. Jiajie gave the skincare products he had bought to Wang Yan, and it was clear that they had been together.

Episode 13 Recap

Luo Qiqi and Jiajie had just arrived at Shui Yifang when Shufang informed them that Ge Xiaofei had gotten into a fight inside with someone else. Luo Qiqi quickly ran over and pulled Ge Xiaofei behind her, telling the two girls to back off. The two girls were still arrogant, but when Jiajie arrived, he told them that this was his territory and ordered them to leave. Jiajie could tell that this conflict was because of Wang Zheng, so he had Shufang fetch Wang Zheng.

He told Wang Zheng that he came here to work hard and not to cause trouble. Wang Zheng looked at Ge Xiaofei and told her that it was fine to enjoy his singing, but she shouldn't cause trouble. He now disliked Ge Xiaofei and asked her to disappear from his sight.

Ge Xiaofei looked at Wang Zheng's retreating figure, tears in her eyes, and recited the diary she had been writing all along. Wang Zheng, listening, was stunned. He looked at Ge Xiaofei in amazement.

Luo Qiqi asked Xu Xiaobo if Ge Xiaofei would suffer, and he told her that Wang Zheng was a playboy. He hoped Ge Xiaofei would be lucky. Luo Qiqi looked at Xu Xiaobo and asked if he had someone he liked. Xu Xiaobo patted her head and said she shouldn't inquire about adult matters. He then asked Luo Qiqi about her relationship with her classmate, Zhang Jun. Luo Qiqi told him that she wanted to become like they were when they were kids, but Zhang Jun didn't want to.

Zhang Jun lay on his bed, looking at the stone Luo Qiqi had given him when they were kids. He thought about Luo Qiqi and felt conflicted. The phone at Luo Qiqi's house kept ringing, but when her sister Luo Yuanyuan answered it, there was no response, and she cursed at the caller. In the evening, the phone rang again, but when Luo Yuanyuan answered and heard no response, she didn't want to answer it. Her mother had Luo Qiqi answer it, and Luo Qiqi picked up the phone, hearing Zhang Jun's voice. Zhang Jun told her he was right outside her house and wanted to talk to her. Luo Qiqi went downstairs and saw Zhang Jun. He told her that he wanted to talk to her, but she petulantly said she didn't want to. Zhang Jun reached out his hand, asking her to give him the seastar.

From then on, the two of them spent their days going to school and playing together, very happily. Luo Qiqi and Zhang Jun lay by the side of the swimming pool, and Luo Qiqi read a book to him. She asked Zhang Jun if he understood what she was reading, and Zhang Jun replied that he didn't understand, but it felt comfortable. Zhang Jun suggested they go see Ma Li together, as Ma Li's school was about to graduate, but the school had said they wouldn't provide job placements. They were all waiting here for the principal to give them an explanation. The school had cut off the electricity to avoid them, and Zhang Jun and Luo Qiqi brought them food. Luo Qiqi looked at them, feeling very confused.

Xu Xiaobo and his classmates sat downstairs, chatting. Suddenly, a basketball rolled to his feet, and he saw Wang Lihua not far away. He planned to pick up the ball and give it to him, but one of his classmates snatched the ball and threw it to Wang Lihua. He knew that Wang Lihua had been badmouthing him behind his back, saying that Xu Xiaobo often went to entertainment venues and even went to Yao'er Guai for help. Wang Lihua was still bragging in class, so classmates who got along well with Xu Xiaobo couldn't stand it and spoke up for him. In the classroom, Wang Lihua said that Xu Xiaobo's father had died, and his mother had gone insane, so that's why the teacher let him go.

Upon hearing this, Xu Xiaobo rushed in and punched Wang Lihua. He was also suspended from school. Zhang Jun invited Luo Qiqi to go see Ma Li together one evening, but Luo Qiqi didn't want to go. She felt something was off between them and didn't want to join in their joy when they were all about to graduate and face unemployment. She told Zhang Jun to go find them himself; she was going to see Xu Xiaobo. She hadn't seen him in days. Just as Luo Qiqi walked to the door, she overheard Jiajie and Wang Yan talking about Xu Xiaobo not being able to go to Xi'an and getting suspended. Luo Qiqi found Xu Xiaobo and asked him why he didn't explain things to them. Xu Xiaobo thought Luo Qiqi didn't understand anything and that he had violated the school's rules, so it was only right for someone more suitable to go in his place.

Episode 14 Recap

During the Chinese class, Luo Qiqi's mind wandered outside the window as she kept looking at it. The Chinese teacher approached her and asked what interesting things she saw outside. Luo Qiqi told her about the sun, trees, and shadows. The teacher, annoyed, asked if this was how one attends class. Luo Qiqi argued with her, and the teacher asked her to stand outside.

Upon seeing Luo Qiqi outside, Zhang Jun seized the opportunity to join her by creating chaos. He raised his hand and loudly claimed that the teacher's wig was crooked. As expected, the teacher asked Zhang Jun to stand outside, and he happily complied.

The Chinese teacher asked Luo Qiqi if she thought she was impressive just because she dared to challenge the teacher and had her own thoughts. She implied that the world couldn't function without Luo Qiqi. Before Luo Qiqi could explain, the class bell rang, and the teacher told her to go to class first.

Ge Xiaofei and Wang Zheng had a meal together and chatted. One person mentioned that the school on the light industry side no longer had job allocations. Ge Xiaofei realized it was Ma Li's school and was shocked. In the evening, Ge Xiaofei called Luo Qiqi and informed her that something happened at Ma Li's technical school, asking her to accompany her to check it out. Luo Qiqi and Ge Xiaofei arrived at the technical school, finding chaos inside. They located Ma Li and Zhang Jun, who felt it was unsafe inside and left with them. The four of them went to a restaurant to have a meal.

Except for Ma Li, the other three were not in the mood to eat. They felt sorry for Ma Li. Ma Li reassured them that everything was fine and not entering the factory was actually good. He had a plan, saved some money, and planned to start a taxi business. After hearing Ma Li's plans, the others felt relieved and started laughing together. The four of them happily wanted to form a close bond, discussing their rankings and enjoying themselves.

Luo Qiqi went to school to find the Chinese teacher Zeng Hong. She searched many places but couldn't find her. In the library, she met Guan He, who knew where Teacher Zeng lived. Guan He took Luo Qiqi to find Teacher Zeng. Teacher Zeng asked her what couldn't be discussed in class, and Luo Qiqi told her it wasn't about class. Luo Qiqi asked her if she had ever felt like the most special person in the world. Teacher Zeng admitted she had felt that way but pointed out that Luo Qiqi was still young and would realize there were more outstanding people outside, just like beyond the walls of the house. Luo Qiqi told Teacher Zeng about Ma Li's situation, wondering how to face unexpected changes. Teacher Zeng told her that everyone couldn't predict such things, but that's the beauty of life.

Guan He asked her father about the news of canceling the job allocation after graduation. Her father asked how she knew, and she told him it was from classmates. Her father praised the classmate for being so young and already caring about social issues, suggesting Guan He associate more with such classmates.

Luo Qiqi invited Xu Xiaobo to dinner, and they went to a very luxurious restaurant. When Xu Xiaobo saw it, he wanted to leave, but Luo Qiqi told him she could afford it and insisted on treating him. It was their first time taking an elevator, and Xu Xiaobo thought Luo Qiqi was spending money recklessly just to be fashionable. Luo Qiqi told him she had money and wanted to spend it willingly.

Luo Qiqi shared with Xu Xiaobo about going to find their Chinese teacher today. She was confused these days about why Xu Xiaobo, despite working so hard, couldn't achieve what he wanted. Now she understood that she couldn't look back; she had to move forward, not retreat, and strive for good grades to get into college. She told Xu Xiaobo that the only weapon against destiny is oneself, inspiring him.

People seeking excitement gathered at D-Bo, and when the police discovered it, Xu Xiaobo wanted to run but was caught. He took responsibility for everything and was expelled from school. Xu Xiaobo sent his mother to his uncle's house and went to study in Xi'an.

Episode 15 Recap

Xu Xiaobo arrived in Xi'an and went to his new school. The teacher took him to the new dormitory. Mimi found Lin Yue and asked why she hadn't come to see her when Six Brother's car was smashed a few days ago. Lin Yue told her she was busy. Mimi asked if it was because she didn't want to or didn't have time. Lin Yue told her it had nothing to do with Xu Xiaobo, so Mimi said she would wait for her downstairs at her home. She would tell Lin Yue's dad that she was her girlfriend. Lin Yue was speechless with anger. Zhang Jun happened to see this and came over, took Lin Yue away, and said a few words to Mimi. Mimi warned Zhang Jun not to be too arrogant and to keep a low profile.

Zhang Jun returned home, lay on the sofa, and watched TV. His aunt came to tidy up his room and asked him to call his dad to greet him. Zhang Jun was very reluctant because his dad had a new family now. However, due to his aunt's face, he had to make the call. After the call, his aunt complained that he didn't look good. They argued, and he stormed out, slamming the door. Ma Li really became a taxi driver. He took Zhang Jun out to relax, and Zhang Jun asked him how much it would cost to rent the car for a night since his dad had increased his allowance. Ma Li told him that the money was his, not for Zhang Jun, and if he wanted a ride, he had to pay. He wouldn't specify where they would go. Luo Qiqi went to Zhang Jun's class to find him, but his classmates told her that Zhang Jun hadn't come and had gone out to play.

They told Luo Qiqi to page Zhang Jun, and disappointed, she left. For the next several days, Luo Qiqi continued to look for Zhang Jun but couldn't find him. She devoted all her time to studying, but her mind was not at peace, causing her to perform poorly in Chinese and English. She asked her classmates for study advice, but they couldn't offer any. Guan He went to the library to return books and encountered Luo Qiqi. Guan He told Luo Qiqi that her Chinese and English grades were good, and she asked if Luo Qiqi wanted to hear some advice. Luo Qiqi nodded, and Guan He told her that her reading volume was good, unmatched by others.

The problem was not understanding the test paper's pattern. Guan He said she could find some test papers for Luo Qiqi to analyze and find a suitable method for herself. After school, classmates invited Guan He to the bookstore. Guan He saw Luo Qiqi heading towards the bookstore and agreed to go. Several boys followed Luo Qiqi, and Guan He, who was reading in the bookstore, noticed. She walked over and asked Luo Qiqi if she needed her to find a policeman. Luo Qiqi told her it had nothing to do with her and asked her to leave quickly. However, Guan He did not leave but followed Luo Qiqi. The two of them came to a small alley, and Luo Qiqi asked Guan He if she was afraid. Guan He told her she was fine, and they continued walking forward.

They were stopped by a group of people who asked Luo Qiqi if she had smashed Six Brother's car window. Luo Qiqi told them it wasn't her and that she was studying last Saturday. They didn't believe her and thought she did it to avenge Xu Xiaobo. At a critical moment, Guan He loudly said that last Saturday, they were studying together and even showed an English test paper. Those people finally believed them and let them go. Guan He saw that Luo Qiqi was injured, so she took her to her home, let Luo Qiqi take a bath and change into her clothes, and helped her with the wound.

Guan He told Luo Qiqi that she wanted to be friends with her because the people here are always the same, but Luo Qiqi keeps changing. Guan He took out the college entrance exam questions she had organized for Luo Qiqi, and Luo Qiqi was very grateful. Mimi found Zhang Jun and pressed his head onto the table, pouring beer on him. The owner of the place they visited earlier came and asked if Zhang Jun had been there before. Zhang Jun told him he used to come often but wouldn't come anymore. The owner scolded Mimi and took Zhang Jun away, saying he would apologize to him. He played Bach's music for Zhang Jun, telling him to listen to some good music and broaden his horizons. Zhang Jun made an appointment to meet Luo Qiqi, and the two talked for a long time.

Episode 16 Recap

Zhang Jun and his good friends are playing basketball together, and Luo Qiqi is watching him play on the side. Zhang Jun comes over and asks Luo Qiqi for water. He asks her if he looked cool playing just now, resembling Liu Dehua (Andy Lau), and Luo Qiqi says he looks more like Liu Qingyun. Just as they are playing, a girl comes to find Zhang Jun. She flirts with him, saying that from now on, if he wants her to help with homework, he has to pay. Luo Qiqi watches them, feeling somewhat sad. Coincidentally, Ge Xiaofei and Wang Zheng, along with others, come to buy water. Luo Qiqi greets her, and Ge Xiaofei leaves with Wang Zheng. Ge Xiaofei arrives at Luo Qiqi's home, and Luo Qiqi asks why she wasn't in class a few days ago when she went to find her.

Luo Qiqi reminds Ge Xiaofei that the exams are coming up, and sensing Luo Qiqi's anger, Ge Xiaofei quickly acts cute to appease her. Luo Qiqi asks her if Wang Zheng treats her well, and Ge Xiaofei tells her very well. Ge Xiaofei then asks Luo Qiqi if Zhang Jun treats her well, and Luo Qiqi tells her that she feels Zhang Jun has many friends and plays around a lot. Ge Xiaofei senses Luo Qiqi's disappointment and suggests that they don't let him play with others. Ge Xiaofei proposes that this Saturday, she, Luo Qiqi, Ma Li, and Zhang Jun go out together. She also suggests they talk all night like they used to when they were kids, and Luo Qiqi happily agrees.

Xu Xiaobo and Luo Qiqi have a phone call and chat about recent events. Xu Xiaobo's roommate says that since he arrived, he has been studying hard and hasn't played with them. Xu Xiaobo says he wants to go to university in Beijing, so he needs to work even harder. The four of them, as planned, go out to play. They arrive at Lin Yue's old house. Zhang Jun arranges rooms for them, and Ge Xiaofei teases him about being familiar with the place. Zhang Jun says he comes here often, so it feels like home. Ge Xiaofei and Ma Li go play badminton, leaving Zhang Jun and Luo Qiqi looking at each other. Feeling a bit awkward, Luo Qiqi says she's going to wash persimmons.

When she enters the kitchen, Zhang Jun follows her. Inside, they chat and laugh together. Outside, Ge Xiaofei sees this and smiles happily. Ma Li asks her how things have been lately, and Ge Xiaofei says everything is good, both with Wang Zheng and in general. Ma Li doesn't say anything, and they continue playing badminton. Luo Qiqi asks Zhang Jun about his familiarity with Lin Yue. Zhang Jun tells her that his parents divorced, and he grew up at his grandmother's house. Lin Yue lived above his grandmother's place and used to come over every day to find his cousin, so they became familiar with each other. Zhang Jun suggests meeting Luo Qiqi in the evening, and she asks if it's just the two of them. Zhang Jun nods, and Luo Qiqi happily takes a persimmon and leaves.

Ge Xiaofei feels lucky to have Wang Zheng and Luo Qiqi in her life and wishes for their continued happiness. Zhang Jun and Luo Qiqi go out together. They participate in a hoop-throwing competition, and Luo Qiqi wants a canned orange. Zhang Jun throws all the cans into the hoop, and Luo Qiqi asks if he's foolish. Zhang Jun tells her he's only foolish for her, advising her to cherish her fortune. Luo Qiqi rolls her eyes at him. Lin Yue comes to bring them food, knowing that Zhang Jun and Luo Qiqi are out playing. She wants to find them, but Ge Xiaofei says they'll be back soon. However, Lin Yue still wants to find them. Luo Qiqi, holding a canned orange, stands aside. Lin Yue approaches and talks about her relationship with Zhang Jun, hoping Luo Qiqi will back off.

Angry, Luo Qiqi leaves. Zhang Jun wants to go after her, but Lin Yue stops him. Luo Qiqi returns to Lin Yue's house, and hearing that Ge Xiaofei skipped class again for Wang Zheng, she gets very angry. They have their first argument. Luo Qiqi and Ma Li go back together, and she tells Ge Xiaofei to return with Zhang Jun tomorrow. Luo Qiqi doesn't understand why Ge Xiaofei can give up her career for Wang Zheng. She hates all the recent changes. Ge Xiaofei returns home and sees her dad hitting her mom. She opens the door but doesn't close it, forcing her dad to stop hitting her mom.

Episode 17 Recap

Ge Xiaofei and Wang Zheng had a quarrel. He grabbed Ge Xiaofei, but she shook off his hand. Wang Zheng handed his guitar to Ge Xiaofei, telling her that the guitar is his fate, and now he's giving it to her. After saying this, Wang Zheng leaped into the river. Ge Xiaofei was frightened and quickly called him to come out, saying she wasn't angry anymore. When Wang Zheng came out, he told Ge Xiaofei that he must sing well, release an album in Beijing, and sing in front of the whole world. He urged Ge Xiaofei to believe in herself, and she was completely moved by his words, nodding happily. Ge Xiaofei was completely captivated.

Back at home, Ge Xiaofei's mother asked her to roll up her sleeves and noticed her mother's injuries. Ge Xiaofei asked if her father had beaten her again and why her mother didn't divorce him. Her mother explained that with a child, it's not easy to just divorce, and she encouraged Ge Xiaofei to study hard to succeed in the future. Ge Xiaofei looked at the shoes her father bought for her, took them off, and threw them aside. Ge Xiaofei went to a hotel to apply for a job. When the school grades were out, Ge Xiaofei's performance had declined significantly. Luo Qiqi looked at it but didn't say anything.

Ge Xiaofei waited for Luo Qiqi in her classroom and told her that the midterm exam was difficult, especially the last two geography questions that many couldn't answer. Luo Qiqi remained silent. Ge Xiaofei apologized for the previous incident and asked Luo Qiqi not to take it to heart. She also mentioned that Wang Zheng had talked to her, asking her not to interfere in Luo Qiqi's affairs, and that Wang Zheng wanted to invite Luo Qiqi to dinner to get to know her better. Luo Qiqi, upon hearing this, acknowledged that sometimes she spoke harshly and told Ge Xiaofei not to take it to heart. Ge Xiaofei said she didn't mind. Ge Xiaofei soon started working at the hotel, while Luo Qiqi immersed herself in studying in the classroom.

Zhang Jun invited Luo Qiqi to play basketball, but she declined. Later, he invited her to go swimming, and she agreed. On the way home from school, Zhang Jun asked Luo Qiqi if it would be better if he were two years older than her, and she didn't understand why. Zhang Jun said it would be fun because then he could "train" her. Luo Qiqi asked why he wanted to train her, and he said it would be entertaining. Guan He had been helping Luo Qiqi with her studies, and their relationship had improved. Ge Xiaofei waited for Luo Qiqi at the school gate and saw her coming out with Guan He. She invited Luo Qiqi to play by the water, and Luo Qiqi agreed.

While watching Ge Xiaofei and others having fun, Luo Qiqi became angry and walked away. Ge Xiaofei, who seemed different now, gave the money she won to Luo Qiqi. Luo Qiqi told her not to return the money, expressing her displeasure with Ge Xiaofei's usual behavior. Ge Xiaofei explained that they were rich, and she usually enjoyed free meals with Wang Zheng, and they wouldn't mind. Luo Qiqi argued that even if they didn't mind, she did. Ge Xiaofei asked if Luo Qiqi thought she was cheap, and they stared at each other.

Ge Xiaofei took Luo Qiqi to where she worked and got a room for them. While having fun in the room, Ge Xiaofei's colleague warned them to be careful not to be discovered by Manager Fan, or they might get fired. Luo Qiqi, now aware of the situation, was very angry and asked Ge Xiaofei what was going on. Ge Xiaofei explained that she was working there and didn't want to go to school. She wanted to go to Xi'an with Wang Zheng, so she needed to earn money. Luo Qiqi was furious, feeling that Ge Xiaofei had given up studying for Wang Zheng. They argued, and Luo Qiqi slapped Ge Xiaofei.

Episode 18 Recap

Guan He looked at Luo Qiqi with a bad mood. She asked Luo Qiqi if she wanted to go out for a walk. Luo Qiqi said she didn't want to go out and needed to work on her paper. Guan He told her that Teacher Zeng had advised her to write down her thoughts after finishing a book. Guan He showed Luo Qiqi the book review she recently wrote for Anna Karenina and asked for her opinion. Luo Qiqi absentmindedly said it was good. Guan He shared more thoughts, and Luo Qiqi expressed her view that loving someone is not wrong, but losing oneself in the process harms only oneself. After this, they fell silent, each engrossed in their own thoughts.

Since the argument with Ge Xiaofei, she had devoted all her time and energy to studying. Xu Xiaobo's roommate asked why he wasn't going out during the break, and Xu Xiaobo said he needed to stay in the dorm and study. His roommate, He Zhi, invited him to have dinner at his house. Xu Xiaobo agreed, and at He Zhi's home, his parents liked Xu Xiaobo, considering him not only a good student but also a good person. They asked Xu Xiaobo about his future university plans, and he mentioned his desire to study in Beijing. At night, He Zhi suggested that Xu Xiaobo share a room with him. Xu Xiaobo asked about his father's profession, and He Zhi said his father was involved in research, making Xu Xiaobo admire him greatly.

In He Zhi's home, Xu Xiaobo saw a glimpse of his future and eagerly anticipated exploring the world at university. Xu Xiaobo attended a lecture by a research professor, attentively listening with eyes full of aspiration. After the lecture, the professor gave him a book, which he respectfully accepted. Chen Xiaojun tried various methods to make his business thrive. Zhang Jun felt needed by someone who enjoyed his business, a subtle and attractive feeling, even though it was risky. Wang Zheng got drunk, thinking he was the best piano player in the world.

People in the band he was with left because of him, and Ge Xiaofei came to ask him to leave. However, Wang Zheng was heavily intoxicated and refused to leave, despite Ge Xiaofei's efforts. Ge Xiaofei had no choice but to help him leave. Wang Zheng tried to kiss Ge Xiaofei, but she rejected him and asked about the other woman. Wang Zheng denied it, and Ge Xiaofei, feeling insulted, told him she wasn't foolish. Wang Zheng, seeing Ge Xiaofei angry, once again claimed he would die for her. This time, Ge Xiaofei exploded, telling him to go ahead and show her how he would die. She said she lost friends for him, but he insisted on taking her with him.

Ge Xiaofei was extremely disappointed, and Wang Zheng said he wouldn't wait and would leave next month. Ge Xiaofei challenged him, and he assured her they would meet in the rehearsal room next month. While working, Ge Xiaofei encountered Ma Li. She gave him a gift for his grandmother. Ge Xiaofei felt the distance between her and Ma Li was increasing, and as she watched his departing figure, she silently said goodbye, Little Ma.

Ge Xiaofei went to Wang Zheng's rehearsal room and found it empty. She sat on the stairs waiting for him, despite the cold. Ge Xiaofei's mother took out the clothes she bought for her and felt heartbroken for her daughter.

Hearing a noise, Ge Xiaofei rushed in and saw other members of the band. They told her that Wang Zheng had left early in the morning. Ge Xiaofei cried heartbrokenly, and others advised her not to believe what Wang Zheng said, as his words were not trustworthy. Ge Xiaofei walked on the road, reminiscing about Wang Zheng's promises and feeling utterly devastated. While walking, Ge Xiaofei encountered a group of bad people who forcibly took her into a car. Guan He noticed that Luo Qiqi had been studying too hard lately. She took a break and brought Luo Qiqi to the riverside to relax.

Episode 19 Recap

Ge Xiaofei told Luo Qiqi about the day when three men abducted her and mistreated her. Luo Qiqi, feeling very upset, asked why Ge Xiaofei didn't tell her earlier. Ge Xiaofei thought it wouldn't make a difference if she did. She found joy in seeing Luo Qiqi cry and told her to leave, not wanting to see her anymore. In a hurry, Luo Qiqi ran out to find Zhang Jun. She sat on the sofa, crying without moving. Zhang Jun tried to make her some food, but Luo Qiqi grabbed his hand, asking him to stay with her.

Jiajie took care of his father in the hospital, clumsily receiving his father's complaints. Just as they were talking, Luo Qiqi arrived. Luo Qiqi went to fetch water for Jiajie's father and entered the gynecology department on the way. She wanted to ask the doctor on behalf of Ge Xiaofei about how to check for pregnancy. The doctor provided her with some information on physiology and mentioned that if someone were pregnant, they could terminate the pregnancy. Shocked, Luo Qiqi rushed out and vomited. Later, she went to Ge Xiaofei's house to find her.

Upon seeing Luo Qiqi, Ge Xiaofei started scolding her. Luo Qiqi asked if Ge Xiaofei had her period, to which Ge Xiaofei replied no. Luo Qiqi opened the curtains to let in the sunlight, suggesting Ge Xiaofei get out of bed and move around. Ge Xiaofei struggled not to get up, but Luo Qiqi hugged her, comforting Ge Xiaofei that it wasn't her fault. They sat together on the bed, and Luo Qiqi told Ge Xiaofei that she would accompany her through everything.

Luo Qiqi then went to ask the head teacher for leave. The head teacher criticized her for taking leave frequently, with her grades also dropping. She reminded Luo Qiqi of her initial commitment to focus on studying. Guan He spoke up in her defense, and the head teacher eventually agreed to grant the leave. Luo Qiqi thanked Guan He for helping her and admitted she might have been wrong before. She expressed that she shouldn't belittle those who have been hurt and believed that it wasn't the fault of the victims but rather the world's malice towards girls.

Guan He encouraged her to do what she wanted, assuring that she would help with school matters. Luo Qiqi and Ge Xiaofei lay on the bed, discussing gossip about entertainment stars. Luo Qiqi even told Ge Xiaofei stories about Zhang Wuji, just like when they were kids. They sang childhood songs together, creating a harmonious and beautiful moment. Ge Xiaofei suggested going out to have fun in a couple of days, inviting Zhang Jun and Little Ma as well. She told Luo Qiqi that she didn't want to dwell on that matter anymore and asked Luo Qiqi to help her forget it.

On New Year's Day in 1996, Ge Xiaofei, Luo Qiqi, Zhang Jun, and Ma Li danced in a nightclub. Ge Xiaofei intentionally created a private space for Luo Qiqi and Zhang Jun. She and Little Ma went out, and he asked her why she cut her hair. Ge Xiaofei replied by asking if she looked good, and Ma Li said she looked good no matter what. The four of them then watched TV at Zhang Jun's home, anticipating their future together as Hong Kong was about to be reunited.

Xu Xiaobo continued writing letters to Luo Qiqi, updating her on his life in Xi'an. Luo Qiqi also called him to wish him a happy New Year, and they talked for a long time. Jiajie took care of his father in the hospital, with Wang Yan keeping him company. The new semester started, and Ge Xiaofei returned to school. Luo Qiqi told her to come to her class if she needed anything. After a brief conversation between Luo Qiqi and Ge Xiaofei, they returned to the classroom. Ge Xiaofei spoke to her desk mate, and her emotions seemed stable.

While Guan He and Luo Qiqi were studying, Ge Xiaofei came to take Luo Qiqi away, wanting her to participate in a cultural performance. During the performance, a group of boys in the back seat, including Ma Li, gossiped about Ge Xiaofei, leading to Ma Li beating them up.

Episode 20 Recap

Ma Li left the school gate and got into a taxi, ready to leave. Zhang Jun kept chasing after him, shouting. Teacher Zeng learned about Ge Xiaofei's situation and asked Luo Qiqi to take Ge Xiaofei home first. She assured them that she would handle school matters for them. Teacher Zeng told Ge Xiaofei that it wasn't her fault and advised her to take care.

Zhang Jun inquired and found out that Ma Li had entered the police station for causing an accident while driving. The other party suggested a compensation of two thousand yuan. Zhang Jun thought it was too much and asked if they could reduce it. Luo Qiqi accompanied Ge Xiaofei back home, where Ge Xiaofei asked if she was really at fault. Luo Qiqi reassured her that she wasn't.

Zhang Jun called Lin Yue, wanting to borrow money, but she only had two hundred yuan. Hearing colleagues calling Lin Yue in the background, Zhang Jun changed his mind about borrowing money and hung up, saying there was no problem. Unable to borrow money from friends, Zhang Jun called his father but hung up when his aunt answered the phone. Left with no other option, he went to Guo BaYin to borrow money. Guo BaYin asked why he hadn't been around lately, and Zhang Jun explained that he had school matters to attend to. Zhang Jun informed Guo BaYin that the person Ma Li had hit, Fu Peng, often visited their place, but Guo BaYin left after saying he would only help his own brothers.

Luo Qiqi took Ge Xiaofei to the library to read books, selecting many she had read before. After school, the two played by the railroad tracks, shouting out their inner thoughts happily. Ge Xiaofei used colored pens to paint Luo Qiqi's nails. They planned to eat lamb skewers together when suddenly Ge Xiaofei said she wanted to report to the police. Luo Qiqi agreed to accompany her. They went to the police station, and Ge Xiaofei explained the situation to the police in detail.

She mentioned the specific time, location, and explained why she wasn't home at that time. Ge Xiaofei told the police she was planning to run away from home that day to go to the rehearsal room, but the person's friends informed her that he had already left, and she couldn't leave. Ge Xiaofei felt very sad and powerless; she wandered aimlessly, followed by three men who covered her mouth and dragged her into the car.

The police asked if the three men had specific features. Ge Xiaofei gave some details about each of them. Suddenly, another police officer came in and said Ge Xiaofei's mother was here. Ge Xiaofei's mother, however, didn't want to report to the police, finding it embarrassing. She told Ge Xiaofei not to go to the police station the next day and suggested transferring her to another high school in the neighboring county. Ge Xiaofei insisted that she would go to the police station. Her mother wondered why Ge Xiaofei, who used to be obedient, had changed. Ge Xiaofei explained that she used to be obedient to avoid getting beaten by her mother. After saying this, she cried while eating, and her mother remained silent.

The next day, Ge Xiaofei went to the police station. The police asked her to identify the suspect, and she saw the third person from that day. He provocatively taunted Ge Xiaofei, and she pointed at him, saying he was the one. Ge Xiaofei told Ma Li that she was leaving; she might go to Shanghai or Guangzhou but hadn't decided yet. Ma Li asked if she would take care of herself, and Ge Xiaofei asked if he liked her. Ma Li was about to cry and admitted he did. Ge Xiaofei assured him that they would definitely meet again.

Ge Xiaofei told Luo Qiqi that she was leaving. She considered herself a coward, having relied on others since childhood, especially after witnessing her and her mother being beaten. However, now that she had awakened from her dream, she wanted to live for herself.

Episode 21 Recap

Ge Xiaofei was standing outside a clothing store when Luo Qiqi arrived, holding an umbrella. She told Ge Xiaofei not to run around randomly and explained that she had been looking for her. Luo Qiqi mentioned that she wasn't deliberately avoiding Ge Xiaofei; it was because she had evening self-study classes. Ge Xiaofei remained silent, not looking at Luo Qiqi. Luo Qiqi said that if Ge Xiaofei ignored her, she would leave. Saying this, she started walking away, and Ge Xiaofei quickly caught up with her.

Luo Qiqi woke up and realized that it was all just a dream. Xu Xiaobo looked at Luo Qiqi and advised her to rest early, emphasizing the importance of being well-rested for effective studying. They sat on the sofa to eat, and Luo Qiqi asked about Uncle Li's condition. Xu Xiaobo said he needed to stay in the hospital for a few more days for observation.

Xu Xiaobo shared information with Luo Qiqi about computers, explaining how connecting to the internet allows you to chat with friends from all over. He mentioned the joy of communication and made Luo Qiqi smile. Xu Xiaobo asked her how she had been recently, and Luo Qiqi expressed that she felt quite unpredictable, believing that she could only control things that belonged to her. Xu Xiaobo asked if she thought her English was weak, and after dinner, he planned to help her find ways to learn English. He shared Li Hezhi's method of learning English in Xi'an—reading more, reading aloud, and listening more to develop a sense of language and make progress.

Xu Xiaobo found an English movie, and they sat together on the sofa to watch it. While studying and playing, they were interrupted by Shufang, who informed them about a disturbance outside. They found Mimi and Zhang Jun setting off firecrackers. Xu Xiaobo congratulated them on the New Year on behalf of In the Water, and Jiajie was infuriated. He wanted to confront them, but Xu Xiaobo stopped him, saying they had accepted the gift and would return the favor in a few days. Luo Qiqi found Zhang Jun and asked him why he associated with the troublemakers from Overindulgence, stating that they weren't good people. Zhang Jun retorted by asking if Xu Xiaobo was a good person, and this angered Luo Qiqi, who hit Zhang Jun with her schoolbag.

Unbeknownst to Luo Qiqi, Zhang Jun was upset because he saw her with Xu Xiaobo, feeling jealous. Back home, Luo Qiqi worked on math problems. As she wrote, she absentmindedly formed the characters for "bow" and "long," which combined to resemble Zhang Jun's name. Growing angrier as she wrote, she crumpled the paper and threw it away. Luo Qiqi asked her father for twenty yuan to buy study materials. Her father told her to use the materials provided by the school as he didn't have money. Her mother readily gave her the twenty yuan, telling Luo Qiqi to spend whatever was necessary on study materials.

At the bookstore, Luo Qiqi coincidentally met Guan He, who recommended many study materials for her. Luo Qiqi and Guan He swung on a swing together, chatting about various topics. Luo Qiqi went to Overindulgence to find Zhang Jun and witnessed Mimi and the others causing trouble. Luo Qiqi took Zhang Jun away and asked if they were going to beat him up. Zhang Jun replied that it was their rule, telling Luo Qiqi not to interfere, which made her leave in anger.

Luo Qiqi turned all the troubles into motivation for studying. Luo Ruanruan watched her study so seriously that she loudly declared Luo Qiqi couldn't possibly become the top student. Their argument attracted the attention of Luo Qiqi's father, who advised Luo Qiqi to ignore Ruanruan and not set too ambitious goals. After a few exchanges, Luo Qiqi left.

Luo Qiqi visited her elementary school teacher, and they discussed her current plans. She expressed her determination to study well and become the top student in her grade. The teacher shared insights into Zhang Jun's difficult family situation, which left Luo Qiqi with mixed feelings. She went to Zhang Jun's house to find him, telling him they were from the same country, and her lucky star was still with him. She extended her hand, asking Zhang Jun to give her his lucky star, and he agreed, letting her take care of it.

Episode 22 Recap

Guan He carried many books, and Luo Qiqi asked her if she had finished reading all of them. Guan He told her no, she had only read one book, and they went to the library to return the borrowed books. Guan He shared with Luo Qiqi that her family was a blended family, and her father was much older than her mother. Her father was good to her, but the condition was that she must be an outstanding daughter. Classmates paid attention to her clothes every day, but those clothes were hand-me-downs from her sister. Luo Qiqi felt that those clothes only garnered attention when worn by her. Guan He asked why Luo Qiqi stopped reading novels, and Luo Qiqi explained she had a new goal now.

She wanted to rank first in her grade. Guan He thought it was a bit radical, but Luo Qiqi believed it would give her motivation. Every day after school, Luo Qiqi went to study with Zhang Jun, and Guan He immersed herself in studying too. Xu Xiaobo asked Luo Qiqi why she didn't have homework today. Luo Qiqi told him she was going to read a book, not following the school's schedule but her own learning methods. She felt taking notes was a waste of time and wanted to focus on listening carefully. She considered learning as a conversation with knowledge, finding it beautiful. Luo Qiqi's English foundation was weak, so she spent half an hour every morning memorizing vocabulary.

The class teacher talked to Luo Qiqi, expressing concern that many teachers reported she wasn't paying attention in class and wasn't doing homework. Luo Qiqi showed the teacher her completed homework, done on Sundays, and explained that she had questions to ask the teacher. Guan He mentioned to Luo Qiqi that she hadn't submitted homework these days, expressing concern that they were not like Chen Jin, who hadn't mastered their pace yet. Luo Qiqi told her it was just an experiment, and if it didn't work, she would revert. She borrowed a set of questions for the college entrance examination from Guan He and decided to start practicing. Luo Qiqi woke up very early, and when her mother asked why, she said she wanted to read her books every day.

Zhang Jun was doing homework when Overindulgence members were forced by Black Leather to stand in a row. Zhang Jun finished packing up, ready to leave, but Mimi stopped him, asking him to stand properly. They were told that a customer at Overindulgence lost something, and Black Leather instructed everyone to empty their bags for inspection. Zhang Jun resisted, but Mimi forcefully emptied his bag. Seeing Zhang Jun studying trigonometric functions, they made fun of him. Zhang Jun squatted down to pick up his belongings, and Mimi stepped on them. Zhang Jun didn't say anything.

Back at home, Luo Qiqi called Zhang Jun, asking how his day was. Zhang Jun said it was good, and he was still studying. He understood the trigonometric functions Luo Qiqi gave him. Li Hezhi came to see Xu Xiaobo, bringing study materials. Xu Xiaobo told him he wouldn't go to school and asked if Hezhi could inquire with the teacher if he could participate in the final two mock exams. Li Hezhi thought it would be better if Xu Xiaobo spoke to the teacher himself.

Luo Qiqi struggled with a problem despite her efforts, and the idea of giving up appeared in her mind again. She wondered if it was really her fault and whether she should quit. Sitting by the river, Luo Qiqi pondered for a long time, deciding she shouldn't give up. On her way home, Luo Qiqi encountered her younger sister being bullied, and she intervened, chasing away the three bullies. While heading home with her sister, she learned that Luo Ruanruan had run away from home. Upon reaching home, Luo Qiqi's mother scolded Luo Ruanruan. Luo Qiqi studied on the balcony, and her mother told her she would cook something delicious for her tomorrow. Luo Qiqi solved a major problem from the college entrance exam, surprising Guan He. The two of them were delighted in class, and the chemistry teacher thought he had made a mistake, double-checking the blackboard.

Episode 23 Recap

Luo Qiqi and Guan He came to the rooftop. They discussed the books they had read and shared their thoughts on them. Luo Qiqi expressed herself vividly, making Guan He burst into laughter. They talked about everyone having weaknesses, but Luo Qiqi insisted that Chen Jin had no weaknesses, only strengths. Luo Qiqi and Zhang Jun studied together. She explained math problems to him, and after a while, she asked if Zhang Jun understood. He replied earnestly that he did. They continued discussing the problems, and Mimi and Hei Pi also joined them. Mimi called out to Zhang Jun, teasing him about studying so hard on the weekend and the need for company. Zhang Jun tried to leave with Luo Qiqi, but they were urged not to rush by their friends. After walking a distance, Zhang Jun handed his backpack to Luo Qiqi and went back. Hearing sounds of a scuffle from inside, Luo Qiqi decided to distract herself by reading a book from the backpack. When Zhang Jun returned, with blood on his mouth, he preemptively shared the results of the problems Luo Qiqi had explained, making her laugh.

Xu Xiaobo went to Xi'an to find Teacher Yuan, requesting assistance in organizing materials for the college entrance examination. He bought a lot of fruits for Teacher Yuan, but the teacher declined the gift. Teacher Yuan agreed to help organize the materials and allowed Xu Xiaobo to participate in the second mock exam.

To improve their English skills, Xu Xiaobo and Luo Qiqi began conversing in English about the movies they had watched, creating a lively and expressive dialogue. Xu Xiaobo asked Luo Qiqi what she would do if she didn't achieve the first place, and she replied that it didn't matter as long as she aimed for the top. Seeing Luo Qiqi's confidence, Xu Xiaobo smiled contentedly.

A few days before the mid-term exams in the second year of high school, Mimi messaged Zhang Jun, asking why he hadn't come to work and if he deserved a beating. Zhang Jun ignored him and continued studying. Luo Qiqi was also focused on her preparations. When Guan He saw the exam papers, she remembered Luo Qiqi's goal of ranking first in the grade. Inspired, she started studying diligently and soon faced the intense mid-term exams.

The results of the mid-term exams were out soon. Luo Qiqi's hard work paid off as she ranked first in the class and third in the grade. However, Guan He, who had assisted her, saw a decline in her own grades, leading to inner imbalance. Classmates rushed to inform Zhang Jun, who went out to congratulate Luo Qiqi. However, she wanted to share her joy with Xu Xiaobo first, leaving Zhang Jun slightly disappointed. Luo Qiqi's mother received a call from the school and happily bought chicken legs for her daughter. In contrast, Guan He faced questions from her parents about her declining grades.

Zhang Jun found Ma Li to celebrate their improved exam results. However, Ma Li had to work, and an argument erupted between them due to Zhang Jun spending time with someone involved in dangerous activities. Luo Qiqi looked for Zhang Jun, but classmates informed her that he had not been attending school recently. Guan He's mother visited the school, requesting the removal of Guan He's position as a class leader to focus on her studies. Sensing Guan He's distress, Luo Qiqi accompanied her in studying and took her ice skating.

Episode 24 Recap

Luo Qiqi angrily pushed the cart forward, with Guan He worriedly calling after her. Guan He asked if Luo Qiqi was upset because of Zhang Jun, but Luo Qiqi didn't want Zhang Jun mentioned and questioned why he had the right. After a while, Luo Qiqi decided to take Guan He home first. Zhang Jun arrived at school, looking for Luo Qiqi, but was called away by a teacher. Luo Qiqi ignored him, and when his friend asked if she intended to keep ignoring him, she didn't turn back. She went to the waterside and asked Xu Xiaobo if Zhang Jun was forced to be with them. Xu Xiaobo explained that it was just the way things were here, and there was no coercion, which was why they didn't want her around too much.

In the evening, Zhang Jun followed Luo Qiqi persistently. Unable to hold back, she asked him why he went street racing just because his boss told him to. Zhang Jun asked if she regretted it, and Luo Qiqi told him she didn't. Zhang Jun suggested reconciling, but after waiting for a long time, he didn't receive a response. As Zhang Jun was about to leave, Luo Qiqi called him back. She asked why he went street racing, wanting him to tell her the reason. Zhang Jun explained it was all for Ma Li. Previously, due to Ge Xiaofei injuring someone, they needed money, so he sought help from the street racing boss.

Luo Qiqi questioned why he still went street racing now, and Zhang Jun told her it was sometimes for happiness. Luo Qiqi chose to reconcile with Zhang Jun, who was very happy. He said he would come to see her tomorrow. While they were talking outside, Luo Qiqi's father suddenly appeared, causing Zhang Jun to flee. Zhang Jun, Luo Qiqi, and Guan He then went to a riverside to play and had a joyful time. Later, Guan He went to buy water, and when she turned back, she saw the once lively waters calm again. Zhang Jun and Luo Qiqi were walking side by side. Confused, Guan He asked when they reconciled, as Luo Qiqi had been angry just a couple of days ago.

Luo Qiqi told her it wasn't that important anymore, and Guan He couldn't understand why. Refusing to answer, Luo Qiqi changed the subject, saying she planned to relax with Zhang Jun next week and invited Guan He to join. Zhang Jun, Luo Qiqi, and their friends sang together. Guan He also joined, and in front of everyone, Zhang Jun gave Luo Qiqi a necklace to celebrate her first-place achievement in the exam. Luo Qiqi declined, saying she didn't want to accept gifts from him. Zhang Jun's friends, understanding the situation, left tactfully, leaving only Guan He, Luo Qiqi, and Zhang Jun. Zhang Jun angrily threw the necklace away.

Guan He asked why Luo Qiqi rejected the gift, and Luo Qiqi explained that the money Zhang Jun used for it was earned from street racing. She didn't want Zhang Jun to become like Mimi and Hei Pi. Zhang Jun asked her not to judge him, and he could give her time. Luo Qiqi agreed but set a time limit of a week. Zhang Jun thought it was too long, and Luo Qiqi shortened it to five days. Zhang Jun agreed, saying he would come to see her after five days. Guan He's mother suggested getting her a tutor, but Guan He thought their lives were already too dull. She couldn't understand why her mother didn't see it that way, thinking it was the life many people dream of.

Guan He went to the street racing spot alone to ice skate. Zhang Jun saw her and told her it was too chaotic there, suggesting she go to Binhe Park and let Luo Qiqi teach her. Guan He insisted she could learn on her own, but Zhang Jun, worried for her, said he would teach her. Xu Xiaobo performed well in the exams, and his classmates felt he could choose any university in Xi'an. Xu Xiaobo received a message from his uncle that his mother had disappeared again. He called his uncle in the evening to inquire about his mother's situation. His uncle told him they found her and scolded him for not taking her away. Xu Xiaobo promised to send money to his mother in a few days, and his uncle didn't say much after that.

The fifth day arrived quickly, and Luo Qiqi and Zhang Jun finally met.

Episode 25 Recap

Guan He changed seats with someone, and Luo Qiqi asked her why. Guan He said she wanted to return to her original seat because her eyes have been uncomfortable lately, and Zheng Yuxia struggles with math. Since Luo Qiqi is good at math, she can help her. Luo Qiqi questioned why Guan He didn't tell her earlier, and Guan He felt it was a small matter she didn't want to bother Luo Qiqi with. Watching Guan He with her previous classmates, Luo Qiqi felt uneasy. Mimi and the others caused trouble at the water side's entrance, but Jiajie asked them to leave, which they ignored.

Shufang, angry, poured a bucket of water on Black Leather's head. He approached her, but Mimi stopped him. Jiajie told Shufang to call the police, and Mimi escorted them away. Luo Qiqi went to find Xu Xiaobo but hesitated to call him. The phone rang, and Luo Qiqi answered. She heard Zhang Jun's voice, who suggested meeting on the weekend. Luo Qiqi, claiming to be busy this week, suggested another day, but the call ended abruptly. While doing homework distractedly, Luo Qiqi and Zhang Jun were both preoccupied. His friend advised him to give up, but Luo Qiqi didn't care about him at all, and Zhang Jun told him to go away.

Guan He and her former friends were studying together, and they noticed Luo Qiqi nearby. A girl called Luo Qiqi over, but Guan He ignored her, claiming she had homework upstairs. Guan He left, and the others followed, leaving Luo Qiqi alone. Back in the classroom, Luo Qiqi saw a male student scolding their class monitor. She helped him and learned it was about student council matters. The class monitor asked her to check why his grades were dropping.

Luo Qiqi generously agreed and explained chemistry problems to him. Impressed by her ability to solve even national exam questions, he mentioned that he heard Luo Qiqi solves a national exam question every day. Luo Qiqi told him to be tough on himself. The class monitor noticed a change in the relationship between Guan He and Luo Qiqi and advised Luo Qiqi not to care about others' opinions. Luo Qiqi asked if it was because she changed, and he said her current way of explaining problems resembled Chen Jin's. Zhang Jun came to school to find Luo Qiqi and got angry when he saw her tutoring Chen Wen Zhe.

Zhang Jun waited for Luo Qiqi at the staircase and asked her to help him with his studies. At his home, Luo Qiqi planned to help him review and showed him the English study method she organized. Zhang Jun got angry, feeling that all Luo Qiqi cares about is studying. They argued, and Zhang Jun stormed out. Luo Qiqi, sitting and reading, saw Guan He and her friends preparing to watch TV at her house. She called Guan He and asked why they didn't hang out anymore. Guan He said she disliked her, and Luo Qiqi felt it wasn't her fault that Guan He's grades dropped. Guan He stated that was the reason she disliked her. Luo Qiqi declared she would rank first in the grade, just to prove a point. Zhang Jun fought Chen Wen Zhe for Luo Qiqi, and despite everything, Luo Qiqi still wanted to find Zhang Jun.

Episode 26 Recap

Luo Qiqi was tutoring Zhang Jun in the library when they overheard people discussing that although Luo Qiqi did well in the recent exam, her name might not be seen in the top ten of the grade next time, calling it a fleeting moment. Zhang Jun, upon hearing this, was ready to confront the person talking, but Luo Qiqi stopped him, telling him that she didn't care about such things. Ma Li, busy looking for work, received a text from Zhang Jun inviting him to his birthday celebration at his home next week. Ma Li, upon reading the message, remained silent and quietly put away his phone.

Luo Qiqi gave Zhang Jun a bottle of stars she folded herself as a birthday gift. Just as Zhang Jun was about to open it, they heard a knock on the door. Luo Qiqi told him to go and open it, and to their surprise, it was Ma Li. Carrying bags, Ma Li explained that he didn't work that day and came specifically to celebrate Zhang Jun's birthday. Ma Li started cooking in the kitchen while Luo Qiqi and Zhang Jun played games in the living room. Luo Qiqi bought a cake for Zhang Jun, who wanted to eat it before the meal to make a wish. Luo Qiqi asked Ma Li to turn off the lights, sing the birthday song, and when it was time for Zhang Jun to make a wish, she urged him not to say it out loud, as it would lose its magic. The three of them spent the birthday happily.

Later, Zhang Jun's teacher confronted him about a fight at school. Zhang Jun denied it, but when the teacher mentioned Chen Wentao's class teacher contacting them, Zhang Jun remembered that Chen Wentao was the guy in the library talking about Luo Qiqi. Zhang Jun explained to the teacher that he didn't physically fight Chen Wentao; it was just a verbal argument because Chen Wentao insulted Luo Qiqi. The teacher didn't believe him, thinking it was irrelevant to Zhang Jun whether someone ranked first or third in the class. Angry, Zhang Jun left the office and punched Chen Wentao, confirming the accusation against him. Zhang Jun felt upset because Chen Wentao falsely accused him, and no one believed him.

Zhang Jun was suspended from classes for a week. While watching Luo Qiqi organize study materials for him, he thought about what the teacher said about Luo Qiqi being a material for top universities. This motivated Zhang Jun to study hard. Luo Qiqi informed the teacher that Chen Wentao insulted her, physically attacked her, and had no evidence. Chen Wentao felt helpless. Luo Qiqi asked him how he felt, and Chen Wentao thought she was petty. Luo Qiqi said it was better than being a hypocrite. She proposed a bet, challenging him to see who would be the top student next time. Luo Qiqi and the class monitor studied together, and Luo Qiqi apologized for Zhang Jun's behavior. The class monitor reassured her, saying Zhang Jun had already apologized, and as a guy, he understood.

Luo Qiqi hoped Zhang Jun could get into the same university as her, and Zhang Jun, inspired by Luo Qiqi's dedication to studying, worked hard. Zhang Jun unexpectedly learned about the bet Luo Qiqi made with Chen Wentao to help him. Instead of being happy, he felt like he lost his self-esteem as a boy. While buying books at the bookstore, Zhang Jun ran into Xu Xiaobo. Xu Xiaobo asked him to help deliver things to Luo Qiqi and advised him to distance himself from Luo Qiqi and focus on studying. Xu Xiaobo told Zhang Jun that Luo Qiqi no longer planned to go to Beijing because of him, and he suggested Zhang Jun stay away from her.

Zhang Jun gave Luo Qiqi many stones, saying each represented a year. Luo Qiqi questioned the idea, as it would waste time. Zhang Jun explained that she still had to go to university, and Luo Qiqi felt he was acting strangely. Zhang Jun asked if she remembered being falsely accused of stealing pens when they were kids. In reality, he was the one who stole the pens and caused Luo Qiqi to be falsely accused. Luo Qiqi assured him that she didn't mind. When Luo Qiqi saw Zhang Jun sitting with some people, she approached and asked why he hadn't come to her. She made an improvement booklet for him, but Zhang Jun declined and, through a letter, told Luo Qiqi to end their friendship.

Episode 27 Recap

Xu Xiaobo was studying when he suddenly received a message from Wang Yan. She informed Xu Xiaobo that Jiajie was on the verge of collapse, having not slept for two days. People looking for trouble come every day, and someone must keep an eye on him. Xu Xiaobo explained that he was about to take the college entrance exam in a few days and couldn't go back now. Wang Yan understood the urgency and asked Xu Xiaobo to visit Luo Qiqi when he had time, as she was not in good condition lately. Xu Xiaobo inquired about the reason, and Wang Yan told him it was because Zhang Jun was ignoring her.

Xu Xiaobo went to Luo Qiqi's school and waited at the entrance for a while, but as she didn't appear, he went to her classroom. Luo Qiqi told him she needed to finish a math problem, so Xu Xiaobo waited for her in the classroom. When they left together, Xu Xiaobo expressed great confidence that Luo Qiqi would rank first in the final exam. When she asked why he believed in her so much, Xu Xiaobo explained that he had asked around. He encouraged Luo Qiqi, assuring her that she would definitely enter the same university in Beijing as him in the future. Touched by his words, Luo Qiqi couldn't hold back her tears, and Xu Xiaobo comforted her, saying she was the best girl in the world and Zhang Jun was blind not to see it. He advised her not to cry over him; it wasn't worth it.

Xu Xiaobo met with Teacher Yuan to check his grades. When asked how he felt, Xu Xiaobo urged the teacher not to keep him in suspense and tell him right away. Teacher Yuan said, "Take a pill to calm your nerves," and informed Xu Xiaobo that he scored 583, ranking fifth in the class. If he maintained this performance, he would undoubtedly achieve his goal of entering Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications in twenty days. Guan He, upset about Luo Qiqi's recent test results, discussed the matter with Teacher Zeng. She felt she worked equally hard and wondered why she couldn't achieve first place. Teacher Zeng advised her that comparing oneself constantly with others is a painful endeavor, and it hinders progress.

Guan He believed that Teacher Zeng favored Luo Qiqi more and accused her of being a genius. Teacher Zeng assured her that she treated everyone the same. Angered, Guan He left, declaring she wouldn't come back. While Luo Qiqi was explaining a problem to Luo Yuyu, their parents outside were arguing about unemployment. The two sisters discussed whether their parents might lose their jobs and brought up the topic of Zhang Jun. Luo Yuyu revealed that their mother had asked her many times, and she had been covering up for Luo Qiqi. Luo Qiqi told her not to cover up anymore, as Zhang Jun was no longer her friend. The phone suddenly rang, and Luo Qiqi rushed to answer it. It was Ge Xiaofei, who knew she wasn't comfortable at home and gave Luo Qiqi her phone number to call.

Luo Qiqi called Ge Xiaofei from the convenience store, and they talked for a long time. Xu Xiaobo visited Jiajie at the water's edge. Jiajie asked why he came when he should be preparing for exams, and Xu Xiaobo told him he had finished the third mock exam, and it went well. Jiajie felt guilty for holding Xu Xiaobo back, but Xu Xiaobo didn't blame him, saying everything had passed. Mimi, accompanied by Hei Pi, came to the water's edge looking for trouble again. Jiajie asked Xu Xiaobo to take Wang Yan away while he dealt with it alone. Halfway through, Wang Yan became worried and told Xu Xiaobo that Jiajie and Uncle Li were not treating him well. Xu Xiaobo reassured her and asked her to call the police while he returned to the water's edge.

Mimi took out a bottle of urine for them to drink, which infuriated Xu Xiaobo when he saw it. Enraged, he picked up the bottle and smashed it towards Mimi. The police arrived, and Jiajie asked Xu Xiaobo to leave quickly. Luo Qiqi arrived at the water's edge only to find it sealed off by the police. Recognized for her abilities, Luo Qiqi's classmates encouraged her to give private lessons. Luo Qiqi ranked first in the whole grade, and Xu Xiaobo later messaged her, letting her know he was okay.

Episode 28 Recap

Luo Qiqi walked into the classroom, and her classmates applauded for her. They thought Luo Qiqi was amazing because she not only talked the talk but also walked the walk, achieving the first place in the exams, surpassing Chen Wentao. Luo Qiqi asked them about Guan He's exam, and they informed her that Guan He didn't perform well.

Xu Xiaobo waited for Luo Qiqi at the school gate. He watched her chatting and laughing with classmates, and he smiled too. When Luo Qiqi saw him, she quickly ran over and asked if everything was resolved. The class monitor invited Luo Qiqi to have hot pot, and after that, they would study together. However, Luo Qiqi declined, saying her brother had returned, and she wanted to spend time with him.

Luo Qiqi asked Xu Xiaobo to treat her to lamb skewers as a reward for her first-place achievement. She mentioned that they had originally planned to go to Xi'an together, but now they were going to Beijing. Next year, they would work hard together to get into university and go to Beijing. Xu Xiaobo couldn't take the college entrance exam due to issues on the water side. He mentioned that Uncle Li heard about Luo Qiqi's good performance and wanted to celebrate. Luo Qiqi asked about Jiajie, and Xu Xiaobo assured her that he was fine now. They planned to go shopping together on Sunday.

Xu Xiaobo took Luo Qiqi to choose a dress. After trying many, they both liked a green one with floral patterns. Luo Qiqi wanted to check the price, but Xu Xiaobo assured her not to worry about money. Luo Qiqi suggested Xu Xiaobo buy something for himself as well. He put on a straight suit, looked at himself in the mirror, and recalled the hidden days. He mentioned his decision to stop studying to Uncle Li, who initially wanted to say something but became silent after hearing Xu Xiaobo's thoughts.

Amid Luo Qiqi's call, Xu Xiaobo returned to reality. He asked if he looked handsome in the suit, and Luo Qiqi thought it was excellent. She wore the new dress and high heels that Xu Xiaobo bought for her, and he invited her to dance.

Walking by the lake, Luo Qiqi recited an article by Lao She, and Xu Xiaobo guessed the content. They talked a lot, and Luo Qiqi felt that, with people coming and going, only Xu Xiaobo remained by her side. She asked if he planned to change schools the next day, mentioning Tsinghua and Peking University. Xu Xiaobo shared that his lifelong goal was to go to university to change his background as a knowledge worker. Still, now he had a different perspective. He didn't want to go to college anymore. With the incident on the water side, Uncle Li's health declining, and Jiajie still not out, his dream now was for everyone to be safe. Luo Qiqi accepted that not going to college was okay, and Xu Xiaobo suggested ending their friendship. In response, Luo Qiqi, upset, accused him of being crazy. Realizing the impact of his words, Xu Xiaobo apologized and hugged Luo Qiqi.

Luo Qiqi went to the water side to find Xu Xiaobo but only met Shufang, who informed her that Xu Xiaobo said he wouldn't see her again. Despite waiting for Xu Xiaobo every day at the water side, Luo Qiqi didn't find him. Chen Xiaojun was reported for smuggling and got arrested by the police, and Zhang Jun, manipulated by Chen Xiaojun, was also taken into custody.

Episode 29 Recap

The Luo Qiqi family of four was having dinner when her mother suddenly left. Luo Yuanyuan asked her sister Luo Qiqi what happened to their mom, and Luo Qiqi told her that their mom had been laid off. Luo Qiqi's dad reassured her that it was okay, just taking a break, but her mom started crying. She couldn't understand why it had to be her; she had been a dedicated and outstanding employee for twenty years.

Zhang Jun also faced disciplinary action because of Chen Xiaojun's incident. In front of the whole school, he made a self-criticism. Upon hearing his voice, Luo Qiqi, feeling stunned, walked to the classroom and fell asleep. She slept the whole day with her head on the desk, and some classmates were worried about her studies, while others thought it was none of their business.

On her way home, Luo Qiqi felt someone following her. She called out to Xu Xiaobo, only to find out that the person behind her was Zhang Jun. Guan He's dad asked her how she did in the exams this time, and her sister Yingying said it definitely didn't go well. Guan He's mom mentioned that she had found a way for her; she met Hu Jianjun from the Education Bureau, who told her that their school was expanding the quota for sending students to the provincial demonstration and that Guan He might have a chance. She wanted Guan He to attend a normal school, and after graduation, she could go abroad directly.

Guan He was not very willing, as she wanted to go to college, but her mom persuaded her a lot, so she reluctantly agreed. The teacher informed them about an educational trip to Beijing, and they had to bear the cost of 800 yuan. The teacher also mentioned the issue of provincial demonstration enrollment. Luo Qiqi, hearing that there were no tuition fees and all miscellaneous fees were waived, raised her hand because she didn't want to go to Beijing with Xu Xiaobo. The class teacher told her parents about it, but Luo Qiqi's mom disagreed with her going. Luo Qiqi felt that it was her own business and didn't need their interference, thinking back to when she came to Hannan, her mom didn't care about her, so why care now.

The class teacher talked to Luo Qiqi and Guan He separately, asking if what they were doing was responsible for themselves. Their grades now could be better. The teacher wanted to persuade them to withdraw their applications, but they didn't. The teacher, looking at their determined expressions, felt both unwillingness and helplessness. When Luo Qiqi returned home, she found only her mom there, who showed her some things. She told Luo Qiqi a lot, about her grandfather and how she missed the opportunity to go to high school due to a disagreement.

Luo Qiqi's mom told her that she had disappointed her grandfather, but Luo Qiqi couldn't afford to. Her grandfather had high expectations for her, even more than she had for herself. She took out a passbook with 20,000 yuan, the money her grandfather left for her to go to college. The class monitor informed everyone about the physical fitness test in the afternoon, and those who didn't pass couldn't take the college entrance examination. Luo Qiqi happened to have her period but endured the pain to participate. She quickly became the last one due to physical exhaustion. Just when she couldn't run anymore and stopped in place, she seemed to see Zhang Jun. He pulled Luo Qiqi and ran to the finish line.

Luo Qiqi sat alone on the steps, feeling that they all ignored her. So, she decided to stay here, not going anywhere, just living at home and waiting to die, as they didn't care about her anyway. Suddenly, she heard Xiaofei's voice, saying they had already made an appointment to treat her to lamb skewers when they went to Beijing. Encouraged by her former good friends, Luo Qiqi sat there crying for a long time. She saw her younger self, who told her that some paths were like this; when you move forward, some people take a different path at the crossroads. Just like when she wanted to go home with Xiaofei as a child, but her home was in the west, why not in the south? What could she do but go back home?

Episode 30 (Ending) Recap

Ge Xiaofei was holding candied hawthorns at the entrance of the Beijing Zoo, waiting for Luo Qiqi. When Luo Qiqi saw Ge Xiaofei, she excitedly ran over and hugged her. Luo Qiqi remarked that Ge Xiaofei looked even more beautiful than before and asked how she had been. Ge Xiaofei replied that she hadn't lost weight; in fact, she had gained some. She shared that when she first arrived in Beijing, she lived in a basement and worked by washing dishes and distributing flyers. One day, while handing out flyers, an older sister brought her here because there were many people. Ge Xiaofei mentioned enrolling in a foreign language class and expressed her desire to work in the foreign guests department of a hotel for better pay. She sent money home, but her father still refused to acknowledge her.

Luo Qiqi reflected on the twists of life, noting that Ge Xiaofei used to excel academically while she struggled, but now, she was doing well academically while Ge Xiaofei had stopped studying. Ge Xiaofei assured her that she would accompany her, but Luo Qiqi fell silent as she looked at Ge Xiaofei. Ge Xiaofei suggested taking photos together, and they chose clothes for the occasion. Meanwhile, Guan He was ice skating at the rink, where she encountered Zhang Jun. She remarked that she used to see Zhang Jun with a group of friends, and now he was alone, feeling somewhat uneasy.

Zhang Jun told her that he now enjoyed being alone and inquired about Guan He's decision regarding normal school. Guan He revealed that she couldn't continue her studies, feeling uninspired. Zhang Jun, however, argued that if it were Luo Qiqi, she would surely persevere. Guan He emphasized that she wasn't Luo Qiqi and left. Chen Jin took Luo Qiqi to his university, Tsinghua, and asked her about her thoughts on attending Tsinghua University. Upon learning that Luo Qiqi had topped the class in the recent exams, he believed she could come to Tsinghua if she wished. However, Luo Qiqi expressed hesitation about what she truly wanted.

Feeling lost without the person who had promised to come to Beijing with her, Luo Qiqi questioned the meaning of her existence. Chen Jin advised her that everyone encounters such dilemmas, and only she could find her own answers. He gave her his library card, suggesting she find answers there. Guan He's mother had already arranged her future path, and Guan He, feeling happy, didn't question it. Teacher Zeng informed Guan He that her essay had been published in a magazine, and she could participate in the semester's writing competition if interested.

Luo Qiqi, in the library, recalled her grandfather's words from her childhood, and with tears in her eyes, she exclaimed that she had found what she was looking for. She called Guan He, urging her to take the college entrance exam. When asked why, Luo Qiqi explained that she was currently at Tsinghua's library, thinking of Guan He and their shared moments of studying. She remembered Guan He's words about passionate aspirations being the greatest driving force. Encouraging Guan He not to lose to herself, Luo Qiqi rushed to the exam with only fifteen minutes left.

Before the exam, Luo Qiqi glanced at In the Water, which had been demolished. She hurried to the exam hall and participated in the test. The scene shifted to the year 2008, where Luo Qiqi visited the former Yao'er Alley. She reminisced about her high school days and the excitement when her exam results were announced, becoming the city's top scorer. Guan He also got into her ideal school. They waited for Zhang Jun, but after a long wait, he didn't appear. Luo Qiqi represented the graduating students in a speech, and Guan He performed on the erhu during the graduation ceremony. Zhang Jun went to Ningxia with his father to repeat a year. Xu Xiaobo and Jiajie ventured into business together, while Ma Li continued driving a taxi and occasionally kept in touch with Xiaofei.

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