Cheng Xi didn’t want to face Lu Chenzhou right now, so she started to slowly clean up the dining table. Once she felt like her emotions had settled back to normal, she went out again.
Lu Chenzhou was curled up in his quilt and sitting there like an old monk deep in meditation. When he saw Cheng Xi enter the room, he opened his eyes and asked, “What’s your house number?”
Cheng Xi had originally decided to ignore all his words, but when she heard this question, she could only stifle her indignation and answer.
Lu Chenzhou picked up his phone to make another call. Not long after, the doorbell rang again. Cheng Xi opened the door, and, as expected, someone was here with Lu Chenzhou’s clothes. It was Mr. Chen, who had driven them to Chen Jiaman’s hometown.
He was carrying a large pile of miscellaneous things, including quite a number of bags. Seeing Cheng Xi, he smiled, removed a bag, and then gave the rest to her. “These are presents that old Mr. and Mrs. Lu have prepared for you, to make up for Mr. Lu’s inconvenience.”
Cheng Xi didn’t know what to say.
She twisted her head around to look at Lu Chenzhou, who was sitting upright and still. He maintained an impassive expression, ignoring Cheng Xi’s questioning glance.
With Lu Chenzhou refusing to intervene, Cheng Xi could only say to Mr. Chen, “Please take these things back. Old Mr. and Mrs. Lu are too polite. I can’t accept these gifts.”
Mr. Chen had already walked in and given the bag of clothes to Lu Chenzhou, and he smiled upon hearing her words. “I don’t have any choice either. Old Mr. Lu told me that even if you refuse to take them, I’m not allowed to bring them back. Dr. Cheng, please don’t make things difficult for me.”
After saying this, he immediately left. Without any other choice, Cheng Xi could only say to Lu Chenzhou, “These gifts……”
But before she could finish speaking, she quickly turned around again; Lu Chenzhou, the shameless prick, had just tossed his quilt aside and shamelessly started changing his clothes without any misgivings whatsoever.
Cheng Xi flew into a rage. “Can’t you cover yourself up a little?”
“Oh,” he responded simply before meandering in a circle in front of her and then finally entering the bathroom.
Cheng Xi didn’t know what to say anymore. Once he entered, she went through the gifts that she had been given. They weren’t too expensive, and, perhaps it was because they knew Cheng Xi’s parents worked in a diner, but the gifts mainly consisted of seafood that could be used to make stock—Cheng Xi had even seen some of them in her parents’ diner before.
No one in Lu Chenzhou’s family was simple to deal with; even their gifts were carefully selected so that people couldn’t find a reason to refuse them.
Once Lu Chenzhou had changed clothes, Cheng Xi asked him, “Why don’t you bring these back with you?”
He stood in front of her without looking at the gifts. After quietly staring at her for a long time, he finally said, “Are you worried that if you take these things, you’ll be entangled with us?”
“No. I only feel that I shouldn’t receive these for having done nothing.”
Lu Chenzhou lowered his head, rolled up his sleeves, and coolly replied, “Then think of it as the fee for letting me stay over last night.”
After saying that, he prepared to leave. However, as he did so, Cheng Xi called him back. “You still have clothes……”
As she said this, he kept walking; but before she could finish speaking, the door was slammed shut in her face.
Some time later, Cheng Xi realized that Lu Chenzhou had been angry, but she couldn’t fathom why.
Cheng Xi wasn’t sure what had caused it, and she didn’t want to think about it either. She didn’t have to go to the hospital in the afternoon, but she still had classes at that time. If she didn’t leave now, she would be late.
She rode the bus to campus, which shook over and over on the bumpy road. In the meantime, she tried to call Lin Fan, but he didn’t pick up and instead replied with a terse text message. “Something came up. I’ll call you later.”
Cheng Xi looked at his message, sighed silently, and then called Cai Yi. She had originally wanted to discuss Lu Chenzhou’s case with her, but it turned out that Cai Yi was also on a trip, and she would only return after two days.
Thus, Cheng Xi could only discard her thoughts about him and focus on teaching and working. When she had time, she would ponder Chen Jiaman’s illness. She currently had two very troublesome patients: Lu Chenzhou, she’d already decided to get rid of, but she very much wished to cure Chen Jiaman. Not only because she’d promised Lin Fan that she would do so, but also because this was the only way that she could prove to herself that she hadn’t completely failed as a doctor.
That day, after Cheng Xi had got out of a meeting, the head nurse told her, “There’s a pretty lady looking for you. I told her to wait in your office.”
Cheng Xi thanked her and went back to her office. The first thing she saw as she entered was a well-behaved back sitting upright and facing away from the door. When that person heard the door open, she turned around, her face showing a slight smile.
“Dr. Cheng.” She stood up, greeting her.
It was that colleague of Lin Fan’s, Meng Qingyang.
Cheng Xi was a bit surprised, not because she had come to find her, but rather because her condition seemed to have improved considerably. Even though it had only been a few days since Cheng Xi had seen her, she no longer looked as gloomy, and even her eyes had brightened up considerably.
Cheng Xi nodded back, and then asked Meng Qingyang how she was doing, if she were an old friend. “Why didn’t you call me before coming over?” Then, as she put her documents down, she asked, “Would you like something to drink?”
“Do you have coffee?”
Cheng Xi smiled. “I recommend water instead. It’s better for you.”
“Doctor, it’s not that you don’t have any coffee, is it?” Meng Qingyang was even making jokes now; her tone was a bit pampered, but at least, she hadn’t gotten mad from her demands not being met.
“Haha, you’re right. So do you want a glass of water?”
Cheng Xi poured her a glass, and then one for herself as well. She looked at Meng Qingyang as she commented, “Your complexion looks much better.”
“It’s because…” Meng Qingyang rubbed the glass in her hands and smiled lightly as she drew out the words in her answer. “I also found a very beautiful boy.”
Cheng Xi raised her eyebrows in surprise. “Really? Then, congratulations.”
For patients suffering from depression, being able to fall in love and having someone to look after them was a very good thing. Cheng Xi was truly quite happy for her, even if she thought that the speed at which Meng Qingyang had found love was somewhat fast. But in modern society, a fateful encounter that led to romance could take place in the blink of an eye.
Meng Qingyang asked, “Doctor, will you be happy for me?”
“Of course,” Cheng Xi answered with a nod. “In the future, you have to continue telling yourself that you’ll get even better. There’ll be many more wonderful experiences for you to discover in life.”
Meng Qingyang stared at Cheng Xi with a focused gaze for some time before she cryptically said, “Doctor, you’re a good person.” She then stood up and politely said, “I’m going to leave now. I came here today to thank you. If not for what you said that day, then I really might have dug myself into a dead end.”
Cheng Xi smiled. “No problem. It’s your own strong will that dug yourself out of there .”
She got up to send Meng Qingyang to the door. But right before Meng Qingyang was about to step out, she suddenly paused, her hand on the door handle but not making a move.
Cheng Xi found it somewhat odd, and carefully called out to her. “Miss Meng?”
Meng Qingyang turned her head around and abruptly asked, “Dr. Cheng, what happened with you and the boy you met?”
Was she trying to find strength from her? Cheng Xi smiled. “Em, he’s my boyfriend now.”
Meng Qingyang raised her head to look at her again. Cheng Xi thought that her gaze was a bit strange; it felt like she was very interested in her story and that she also wanted to try to do the same. At that moment, Cheng Xi thought that Meng Qingyang’s longing gaze was because she also wanted to get together with the beautiful boy she’d met. But not long after that, Cheng Xi found out that she was wrong.
Nothing was as she’d thought it was.
After Meng Qingyang left, Cheng Xi thought of Lin Fan again and sent him another message. “Just now, your colleague Meng Qingyang came to talk to me.”
Almost instantaneously, Lin Fan called her, even though he hadn’t picked up any of her calls that day. He sounded particularly anxious. “She went to find you? Did she say anything… bad?”
Was he concerned about her? Cheng Xi smiled. “How could she? Unless you think I look like someone easy to bully?”
Lin Fan didn’t speak. Cheng Xi softly asked, “Are you not angry anymore?”
Lin Fan responded, “Yes.” After a pause, he said, “I know what sort of person you are, so I believe you.”
If he really believed her, then he wouldn’t have ignored her calls for a few days in a row. But Cheng Xi was willing to let it slide as long as he thought it through in the end; who didn’t have a bit of a temper? It was ok as long as it wasn’t excessive.
Cheng Xi smiled. “Alright. Since you’re being so obedient, I’ll treat you to dinner tonight, ok?”
After hanging up, Cheng Xi pondered what she should make for dinner today. When she thought about it, this was their first real date after their relationship started, so she had to do a good job.
Lin Fan liked rustic flavors, so she decided to make dinner by hand. She also planned to later explain to him what was going on between her and Lu Chenzhou. Despite his saying that he believed her, Cheng Xi didn’t want to leave a twisted knot inside of his heart.
Between two people, an appropriate level of trust was also a type of respect.
After she got off of work, Cheng Xi went out of her way to buy a Western-style cookbook along with some vegetables. She was planning on making a candlelit dinner with red wine and steak. Given how long Lin Fan had been overseas for, he would probably enjoy it immensely.
But as soon as she returned home with her supplies, without even having any time to change out of her shoes, she received a call from Cai Yi. “Lu Chenzhou’s sick. Did you know that?”
Cheng Xi was slightly shocked. “What?”
“He went down with a serious flu as well as an allergic reaction. He’s only half-alive right now. If there’s nothing urgent right now, then you should go over and see him. I’m flying back right now, and I’ll be there early in the morning tomorrow.”
Cai Yi’s tone was unusually solemn; clearly, there was more to Lu Chenzhou’s illness than just that.
But as soon as the call ended, the doorbell rang. And on the monitor appeared Lin Fan’s youthful and gentle face, smiling at her through the screen.