Lin Fan was still angry. He knew that, at this time, he should calm down, act kindly, and be considerate of her actions.
But he couldn’t stand it.
His mind was consumed by agitation and a tinge of sorrow, but his tone did become gentler. “Do you care that much about him? What about me? Even after I came here in this wretched state, why didn’t you ask why? When I said that I was drunk, did you really believe that? Why was I drunk, what did I do while I was drunk—don’t you care about any of that? Do you only care about him?”
Cheng Xi took a deep breath. What he was saying wasn’t technically correct; in reality, she had asked him all those questions when he had first entered through the door. It wasn’t that she didn’t care, but rather that she could tell that he didn’t want to answer.
But now wasn’t the time to worry about this. She looked at him directly. “Lin Fan, I already know why you got drunk, and I also know why you’re not feeling well. But I can only say one thing: I’m not romantically involved with Lu Chenzhou at all. As I said yesterday, he’s ill, and there’s a reason why I have to personally take care of him. If you believe me, then I’ll be very happy, but if not, then I also understand why.”
“This again.” Lin Fan smiled a desolate smile. “You say all this as if I’m a petty person. You always ask me to believe you, but how can I? Don’t you feel that your care and attention to him is way beyond what’s normal? Cheng Xi, I really want to be generous and gracious, but I don’t like that you’re so close to him. No matter what you think, I don’t like it.”
He had finally revealed his deepest thoughts. With his heart bare, he looked at her, his expression pleading for her to consider his feelings.
Before, Cheng Xi had always felt that Lin Fan was too introverted and that he was bottling all his emotions up in his heart. She didn’t expect that a day would come when he could be so forward.
But this was fine too, as it allowed them to exchange thoughts candidly. She didn’t get mad, turning back around instead. “Alright, I’m sorry. I was too hasty when deciding just now.” She reached out for his hand and guided it to her face. “I know that it’s not good for me to act like this since it bothers you. However, please don’t be angry, alright?”
“Then are you still going to go?”
Cheng Xi didn’t respond, so Lin Fan slowly retrieved his hand and left without another word.
Cheng Xi called out to him a few times, but he never responded. In the end, she had no choice but to let him go.
She felt that, since he was still angry, it would be better for her to wait for him to calm down before explaining everything, but she didn’t realize that, when Lin Fan saw no sign of Cheng Xi chasing after him as he walked out, the disappointment in his heart was almost enough to drown him.
All men held an insatiable desire within their hearts. Before Lin Fan and Cheng Xi’s relationship had solidified, Lin Fan had been able to wait for her patiently despite her other “boyfriend”. However, now that their relationship was confirmed, Lin Fan found that he wasn’t able to stand seeing her care so much about any other man.
Especially after what happened last night.
After Lin Fan’s outburst, even though Cheng Xi was certain that she would be able to get back together with him, she didn’t feel very well.
She rubbed her face vigorously, and then did so again. Only after she felt like she had rubbed all her unease away did she rush to the hospital.
The Lu family was arranged in a neat little row. After a night had passed, Lu Chenzhou’s father had also arrived, and he was currently standing with his parents in front of Lu Chenzhou’s ward. Apparently, his brother had also come, but Cheng Xi didn’t see him anywhere. Lu Chenzhou’s grandmother explained, “He’s still a kid in school. It’s useless for him to be here, so we made him leave first.”
Cheng Xi didn’t mind, and instead tried to persuade Lu Chenzhou’s grandparents to rest. “If there’s nothing to do, then the two of you should go rest as well. Mr. Lu will have the best doctors taking care of him. If you persist, then not only will be delaying his recovery, but the two of you might also get sick.”
Lu Chenzhou’s father was also trying to persuade his parents to leave.
Lu Chenzhou’s grandmother, however, was very stubborn. “I’m not leaving. With the way he is now, how can I leave without worrying?”
Lu Chenzhou’s father logically rebutted, “But you can’t help even if you’re here.”
He was trying to take care of his mother, but this was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Lu Chenzhou’s grandmother was originally just worried about her grandson, but when she heard this, she became so angry that she stopped caring about her image and turned to her son, prepared to give him a public scolding. “Then, how about you? Are you of any use right now? As his father, are you even worried about your son? If I hadn’t called you so many times last night, would you have come home at all? When have you ever cared about your son? You’re already middle-aged; a failure of a father leads to a failure of a son. If someday the two of us die, then this family’s going to fall apart too!”
Lu Chenzhou’s father was a middle-aged man in a position of power, and he was made so discomfited by this public humiliation that he turned to leave, not even properly greeting Cheng Xi.
Lu Chenzhou’s grandmother began to tremble in anger, and his grandfather’s expression also turned more serious as the corners of his mouth drooped.
Cheng Xi felt very awkward about stepping into this situation and was getting ready to leave when Lu Chenzhou’s grandmother suddenly pulled on her hand, complaining, “What’s going to happen to our little Zhou? He’s never been close to his father even when he was young, and now he’s fallen ill—he’s still not married. What can he do in the future?”
Only then did Cheng Xi find an excuse to leave. “Don’t worry. Even though septicemia is a troublesome disease, it’s not hard to treat once we determine the bacteria responsible for it. Please don’t be too anxious. I’ll go look at him, alright?”
Lu Chenzhou’s grandmother finally let go of her.
Cheng Xi then proceeded to look at Lu Chenzhou. He was lying in a germ-free ward, still deep in sleep. If not for his hospital gown, this would have been the most peaceful that Cheng Xi had ever seen him.
She really felt quite guilty as she headed to the doctor in charge of Lu Chenzhou, an authority in the field. He had already finished looking at Lu Chenzhou’s file, and wasn’t in a hurry to answer her questions. Instead, the first words out of his mouth was, “He’s the boyfriend who booked all of your appointment slots because he was worried you’d be tired, isn’t he?”
Was this gossip not over yet? She was speechless, but still had to say something in response. “It’s all a misunderstanding. Could you please tell me how he’s doing?”
“Not well at all! Despite his good physique, he’s taken such poor care of his body that he’s lucky he’s not dead yet.”
Cheng Xi didn’t say anything, and only looked at him with pleading eyes until the doctor smiled and said, “Alright, stop looking at me like that! And to think that your professor said that you were her best student—it doesn’t seem like you’re anything special. Don’t worry. We just have to treat him slowly. At the very least, he won’t die on my watch.”
Even though he didn’t mention any specifics, Cheng Xi still relaxed. Next, she went over the possible reasons for his illness again, saying, “I asked my mom. She washes and dries that quilt every year, so we don’t know how he ended up getting an allergic reaction. If you need it, I can get you a sample of it.”
“Alright. Please do so, as we have to check everything.”
And so, Cheng Xi went to her department, took a day’s leave, went home, got a sample of the quilt, and then sent it to the lab before receiving yet another call from Lu Chenzhou’s grandmother. “Dr. Cheng, are you at the hospital? Can you come over quickly? Our little Zhou refuses to stay in the hospital and wants to leave. What do we do?!”