Cheng Xi quickly pushed open the door. Luckily, Baldy wasn’t too close to Lu Chenzhou, and he was also wearing a face mask.
It seemed that Baldy was as skilled at pushing the blame onto others as ever. Even before he finished coughing, he had started criticizing Cheng Xi. “Were you eavesdropping on our conversation?”
Cheng Xi really wanted to dismiss him with a supercilious look, but after deciding that she probably couldn’t win in an argument against him, all she did was gave him a serious reminder. “The patient needs to rest, so I highly recommend you avoid coughing or sneezing in front of him at this stage.”
Baldy wanted to talk back, but Lu Chenzhou warned him with a stern glance. Stymied, he could only stuff his words down and pretend that he hadn’t been about to say anything. After he stopped coughing, he put on a smile as he told Cheng Xi, “Dr. Cheng, you sound just like an outsider right now. In fact, it makes my teeth hurt even just watching you. I really miss the you who would pay ‘prostitution fees’ to Boss Lu.”
Cheng Xi was stunned by Baldy’s shamelessness.
Her scalp prickled, and she distanced herself frostily. “Mr. Gao, you did pretty well just now by consciously distancing yourself from the patient when you started coughing.”
Baldy laughed out loud, and even Lu Chenzhou’s eyes crinkled out of amusement.
Cheng Xi ignored them both and instead focused on performing her job. She walked over to check Lu Chenzhou’s daily medication, and Baldy followed behind, asking, “So you can prescribe medicine for infections?”
“Not really.” Having finished reading though the drug records, she put them down as she continued, “But I can get a sense of how the illness is progressing from the change in drug dosage and administration.”
“Then… has Zhou’s illness gotten any better?”
“What a decisive response, Dr. Cheng. Can I take this to be a sign that you want to keep Zhou in the hospital so you can see him every day?”
One of Baldy’s unique talents was to make Cheng Xi want to throw something at him every time he opened his mouth. How on earth had he come up with such a ludicrous conclusion?
She looked at Lu Chenzhou with an amused expression. “You really have unusual standards for your friends.”
Lu Chenzhou was sitting by the bed with a laptop in front of him. But when Cheng Xi had entered the room, he had stopped looking at the laptop.
Right now, he was looking straight at her, and his gaze deepened even further after hearing her words. He nonchalantly replied, “Yes.”
Cheng Xi could read these two words in his gaze.
A small smile unconsciously crept into her face. When Baldy noticed the two of them making eyes at each other, he grabbed at his own and exaggeratedly complained, “My eyes are going blind just from watching you two! Alright, I’m going to leave. You two have fun doing whatever you’re doing.”
And with that, he went out swiftly.
Luckily for the two people remaining in the room, they weren’t regular people who would feel awkward from what Baldy had said.
Instead, Cheng Xi continued that train of thought and asked Lu Chenzhou, “Have you ever thought about what your girlfriend or wife would be like?” When she didn’t get a response, she laughed a little and said, “Hmm, I can guess a part of your thoughts. From the nature of your friends, I think that you most likely prefer girls who are lively and open-minded, right?”
Baldy, Xu Po, and Xie Ziming: Lu Chenzhou considered all three of them to be his friends, but Lu Chenzhou was clearly closer to Baldy than the other two. From a psychological perspective, this was most likely because they had complementary natures: people who were introverted and more serious preferred to spend time with easygoing and simple people.
Cheng Xi wasn’t planning on conducting any sort of therapy. Rather, she only wanted to find a topic to talk about that could further her understanding of him. Earlier, whenever she brought up kinship and friendship before, Lu Chenzhou had been uninterested without exception.
But it seemed like she had finally found a good topic this time because Lu Chenzhou’s gaze sharpened, as if he were seriously considering this question. After quite a while, he asked in response, “Are you lively and open-minded?”
Cheng Xi thought for a moment before replying, “No, not really.”
“Then no, I don’t.”
And then he gazed at her.
Cheng Xi briefly thought about the subtext of his response for a moment, and then stilled. “Are you saying that you like girls like me?”
Lu Chenzhou didn’t say anything, but Cheng Xi didn’t change topics. “That really surprises me. I still remember that when we first met, the first thing that you told me was that I was really ugly.”
“I have a peculiar sense of beauty.”
This was him using her words against her, and Cheng Xi was speechless at his brazenness. “If you always chat like this, then you’ll kill off any conversation you ever have.”
“You don’t like my responses?”
“I don’t think that anyone would, no.”
“Then what should I say? Something like, ‘I like people like you?’”
Lu Chenzhou sat upright and placed both of his hands on his knees, giving off a regal aura as he did so. From this position, he looked seriously at Cheng Xi and said, “Cheng Xi, I like girls like you.”
Her face heated up, and she was barely able to continue the conversation.
When Cheng Xi finally remembered her capacity and responsibility as a doctor, she mustered up all her will and put on a serious expression. “Can I ask what you feel when you like someone?”
Lu Chenzhou paused, thinking back to what his grandparents had said about how, when he liked someone, he had to be reserved and tactful, or else he would scare them away. At that time, he hadn’t thought much of this advice because he had already spoken unreservedly to Cheng Xi a few times before, and she hadn’t been scared away those times.
The reason why she was unable to accept his feelings was simply because she didn’t like him and because she persevered in maintaining a distance between them; it had nothing to do with directness.
After this random thought, Lu Chenzhou suddenly felt a bit uncomfortable. He frowned, before directly saying, “I want to have sex with you.” Afraid she would misunderstand, he even added, “Whenever I see you, it makes me want to know what making love feels like.”
At least he looked cold and aloof. Otherwise, Cheng Xi really would have wanted to drag him outside and give him a beating like he were a hoodlum.
Instead, she scratched her face awkwardly. “That’s just a physiological reaction. I don’t think that it truly counts when you think about a girlfriend or wife because, when you truly love someone, you’ll want to be close to her both physically and mentally. Many types of love have nothing to do with sex or desire, and instead focus on mutual understanding and cooperation.”
Hoo~~ She had finally dragged the topic back to the original one she had started with.
Lu Chenzhou actually understood her, and remarked in a deep voice, “A platonic relationship.”
Cheng Xi smiled. “That’s right.”
“You want a relationship like this?”
He looked at her, his gaze as deep as ever. After a while, he calmly concluded, “That man can’t give you this.”
‘That man’ referred to Lin Fan; Lu Chenzhou didn’t remember his name.
Cheng Xi smiled bitterly. “Why are you so perceptive?”
“Because your eyes are melancholic.” And you seem hurt. Of course, her eyes were also brimming with tears, but Lu Chenzhou didn’t want to mention these things; why would he point out her grief for other men if he could help it?
Once Lu Chenzhou took his medicine, Cheng Xi’s rounds for the day were done.
She still hadn’t had a successful conversation with him. In the end, it had become another dissection of her feelings. If Chen Jiaman had bundled herself up securely as a safety measure, then Lu Chenzhou’s safety measure was to equip himself with logic.
As long as he was clear-headed, Cheng Xi had never gotten anything out of him, which made her feel like her intellect was of little use.
Metaphorically speaking, she was a little girl climbing a hill with a shovel. And on this hill was a tough wall in the way, preventing her from climbing up any further. Her only option was to slowly scrape away at it with her shovel. The wall was very thick, and the shovel very small, so her progress was minuscule.
Cheng Xi felt like she should continue talking about this issue with Cai Yi, and coincidentally, Cai Yi ended up coming to see her at around that time. When the head nurse saw Cheng Xi, she asked, “You’re back? Professor Cai was just here. She has something to tell you, so she wanted you to go to the head’s office to find her when you get back.”
After being informed, Cheng Xi turned around and headed to the head’s office.
But the head wasn’t there; Cai Yi was the only one in his office. She was wearing reading glasses, and she was looking at a copy of a patient’s medical records in her hands. When she noticed Cheng Xi walking over, she smiled and said, “Have a seat.”
Cheng Xi sat down. “What’s the matter, professor?”
Cai Yi didn’t answer her, and instead started talking about Chen Jiaman. “I heard that her condition had a breakthrough?”
“Yes.” Upon mentioning Chen Jiaman, Cheng Xi’s feelings instantly improved, and she began describing Chen Jiaman’s earlier behavior to Cai Yi in detail, and Cai Yi listened very seriously. After Cheng Xi finished, she smiled at Cheng Xi. Her face was naturally good-natured and kindly, and her smile accentuated those aspects of hers.
But the words that she spoke next chilled Cheng Xi’s body to her core.
“I didn’t expect her to have a breakthrough at this time. As your professor, this’ll look like I’m trying to snatch away your contribution.”
“Professor?” Cheng Xi was somewhat shocked.
Cai Yi was still smiling. “But what can I do? Chen Jiaman’s family has already officially started her transfer proceedings. Tomorrow, she’ll be transferred to my laboratory.”