It was not a secret that Professor Bai Hua favored our gang of four students over others in the class. On the night of the Lantern Festival, as arranged, Bai Hua waited for us near the bike racks. A dark gloom had overtaken the chilly winter air. “Shall we go to Fuzimiao? I want to show you a flavor of the local Nanjing culture,” he said.
In the southwestern part of the city, Bai Hua bought us each a paper lantern strung on a stick. I lit my lantern, and it glowed a brilliant red. Anya and Bai Hua each had pink ones. When she smiled gleefully, Bai Hua looked at her. My heart twinged, as if I’d developed a small crush.