As a psychiatrist, Cheng Xi was very clear on what accepting Lu Chenzhou as her boyfriend in her heart represented: while not necessarily love, it meant on some level that she had acknowledged him.
She had been too overconfident about treating Lu Chenzhou’s illness with her relationship strategy, and now, she had become embroiled in this whole affair.
Cheng Xi caressed her forehead as she stopped in place with a somewhat bewildered expression on her face. By that time, Lin Fan had already turned around and was looking at her.
She could only steel her expression and walk over.
“Happy New Year,” he said with a smile.
“Happy New Year.”
Beyond the standard greetings, there weren’t many other words for the two of them to exchange. Lin Fan awkwardly said, “Since it’s the new year, I came to check on how she’s doing.”
The two of them then turned to the window together to look at Chen Jiaman. She was doing much better than before. Although her thoughts were still somewhat chaotic and disordered from time to time, and although she still didn’t like bright environments, she was already able to communicate normally with the people she was familiar with.
And she had also picked up her old hobbies again. Today, there were constantly fireworks and firecrackers going off in the streets outside, and the loud noise drew almost all the patients to their windows. But Chen Jiaman remained in her bed, just drawing very seriously under the little lamp by her bed.
Of course, her drawing posture was still very different from the norm. She gripped her pen forcefully, and her expression was always somewhat fierce, as if she were venting her emotions rather than creating a piece of art.
“She’s much better now, as she can already hold a normal conversation with people and think for herself. However, her recovery process still has a crucial hurdle that she has yet to overcome—she has to restore her personality and to properly understand and accept her past. In other words, she has to face reality.”
Once Chen Jiaman regained her personality, she would naturally start recovering and move towards a healthy mindset; but if she didn’t, then she might very well relapse and degenerate into her previous state. Chen Jiaman’s past was, without question, filled with pain and hardship. She was already fifteen, but her life was almost completely devoid of normal kinship or love. Her memories were filled with constant fear of being harmed and frightening humiliation, so Cheng Xi had to be very careful, slow, and methodical about how she approached her mental condition.
“Before we start trying to bring her personality back, I’d like to try my best to establish a familiar and stable environment around her until she feels sufficiently secure. For this reason, there may be a period of time during which her family will be unable to directly meet with her.”
In truth, bringing a patient’s personality back usually worked better with more family members around, and this was the reason why she had initially wanted Lin Fan to visit Chen Jiaman more often. Unfortunately, before any kinship could develop between the two of them, all kinds of things had happened between him and Cheng Xi. To express his stance towards Cheng Xi, he had avoided visiting Chen Jiaman for quite a while, and was naturally unable to be of any help now.
The words “patient’s family members” caught Lin Fan somewhat off guard. He turned to properly look at Cheng Xi. She was wearing a white doctor’s coat, her hands were in her pockets, and her tone and expressions were calm and natural, as if she were talking to a stranger.
Her countenance had no trace of sadness, anger, disappointment, or loss. She was truly treating him as just another patient’s family member.
She had recovered so quickly that it seemed as if there had never been anything between them at all. It was as if the Cheng Xi who had once told him, “I’ve been waiting for you to tell me that you liked me for ten years,” in a simple but bright alleyway had never existed.
Lin Fan’s heart plunged, and he quickly turned around to shove the emotions rising up to his throat down and recollect himself. “It’s not too bad, just observing her like this.”
Not as bad as observing you like this.
This bitter sentence remained locked tightly in his heart. After one last glance at Chen Jiaman, he left the hospital.
Cheng Xi didn’t send him out. She returned to her own office, silently sitting in a daze for quite a while.
Then, someone knocked on the door, waking her from her reverie. Dr. Su walked in. “Why’re you in a daze?”
“I was thinking about my patients’ affairs.” Cheng Xi smiled upon seeing the bags in her hands. “Why are you here? Are you also on duty today?”
“Yes. I’m all alone, remember? So, I might as well help out my colleagues who do have families and mouths to feed,” Su Feng flippantly replied as she set the bag down in front of her. “I recommend you try some. It’s a morning’s worth of labor.”
Cheng Xi laughed as she opened the bag. Inside were a few boxes of small biscuits of various colors, wonderfully pretty.
“Oh, it’d be perfect as a snack for afternoon tea. Wait a moment. I’ll go brew some coffee.”
The hospital wasn’t too busy today; even the normally very busy gynecology department was more or less empty, which was why Su Feng had the time to come over and chat. As the two relaxed, they leisurely sampled the biscuits that Su Feng had made.
In the middle of their downtime, Shen Wei called Cheng Xi, saying that she couldn’t come in today, but that she was feeling calm and stable. However, Shen Wei’s tone sounded a bit like she was trying to curry favor with Cheng Xi; it was quite a bit cuter than her usual.
But Cheng Xi couldn’t forget about how Shen Wei had nonchalantly said, “I want to kill people.” The more adorable Shen Wei acted, the more worried Cheng Xi became.
When she hung up, Cheng Xi couldn’t help but sigh. Su Feng casually asked, “Your patient?”
“Is she difficult to treat?”
“Somewhat.” And then Cheng Xi couldn’t help herself from adding on, “Actually, from a doctor’s perspective, the hardest thing to deal with isn’t a rare or difficult illness or something like that. Rather, it’s a patient who’s too clear-headed and too opinionated, someone who confidently acts in a self-serving manner.”
Cheng Xi wasn’t very lucky, as she had two such patients, Shen Wei being one of them. Then her phone rang, and she sighed again. “My other trouble is calling as well.”
The one whom Cheng Xi had designated as her ‘other trouble’ was Lu Chenzhou. His first words were, “You’re at the hospital?”
And then he hung up. Su Feng raised her eyebrows. “Just that?”
“No.” Cheng Xi stood up. “Our afternoon tea session has to end here. I’m sorry, but I have to go out for a moment.”
And then, before Su Feng could react, Cheng Xi ran off. Su Feng tried to follow her, but only saw a vanishing silhouette running down the stairs.
Cheng Xi quickly ran down two floors and then pressed all the elevator buttons. It was probably because it was New Year’s Eve, but there were quite a number of delivery workers riding the elevators. Only on the third try did Lu Chenzhou appear.
When he saw her, he first looked at the floor number on the elevator before raising his eyebrows at her.
Cheng Xi didn’t even need him to say anything to be at a loss for words.
She looked at the people by his side, who were each carrying a huge bundle of something, and then took a deep breath. “Did you bring all these people with you?”
Lu Chenzhou nodded, and she pulled all of them out. “I’m sorry, but please go back. Go back to where you came from, thank you.”
Lu Chenzhou watched as she bustled about. And when she had finally chased everyone out, he smiled at her, still in the elevator. “Did you think that would be effective? Some people are already upstairs.”
So all those delivery workers she had seen earlier were his people?!
In the end, Cheng Xi became famous in the hospital once again; her mysterious nouveau riche suitor sent her an entire feast on Lunar New Year’s Eve. It was so much food that even all of her colleagues in the psychiatry department couldn’t finish it. They had to invite all the hospital workers over to help, and only then did everyone witness their plight.
In truth, everything had been sent over by Lu Chenzhou’s grandparents, who were concerned that Cheng Xi had to work even on Lunar New Year’s Eve. So naturally, they had to comfort her with food and drinks.
But Cheng Xi wasn’t comforted; instead, she was somewhat incensed as she dragged Lu Chenzhou outside.
“I have to work, so I have no choice but to accept your good intentions. But with that, you can go back now.” She pushed him into his car forcefully, a rare thing for her.
“But I haven’t given you my present yet.”
“I’ve received all that just now.” Even though she had been forced to do so.
“That’s not from me. That’s from my grandparents.”
She beat her chest in frustration. “Then what do you want to give me? Let me make this clear: I don’t want food, tools, or any flowers, because storing them and dealing with them is very troublesome.”
Lu Chenzhou nodded obediently.
“Then give it to me.” She stretched out her hand.
Lu Chenzhou rested his head against the window with one palm supporting his lower jaw as he looked at her. “Are you sure that you want to receive it here?”
Under the dim yellow glow of the streetlights, his calm and indifferent expression was unusually handsome, but it only gave Cheng Xi a very bad premonition. After rethinking the situation, she decisively said, “Go to my house first, and I’ll be there shortly.”
This ‘shortly’ ended up being quite long, because when Cheng Xi returned to her department, she received an unprecedented welcome. Even the head nurse, who was on leave, called her to comment on the situation. “How’s your boyfriend going to feel when he hears of this?”
Yes, they all still thought that Lin Fan was her boyfriend.
Her head hurt.
Cheng Xi felt that this Lunar New Year was going to be a horrendous mess, but the truly aggravating incident had yet to come. When she finally got home, she encountered a naked Lu Chenzhou sitting on the sofa with just a blanket to cover himself.
At least he had prepared a blanket for himself, but he had also redecorated her living room. It was quite the sight to behold, adorned with large swathes of red ribbons, the hue so vibrant that it hurt her eyes.
While she stared at the scene open-mouthed, he pulled off his blanket and presented his stark naked body to her. “This gift, please accept it.”
He even dared to act demurely!!!