Cheng Xi didn’t expect that Cheng Yang’s reaction would be so extreme, and was unable to stop him from snatching the phone away.
“No, what’s the matter?” After quite a while, she recovered and looked at him as if she were looking at a headache. “Are you a two-timing bastard who’s cheating on someone?”
Cheng Yang was already feverishly inspecting his phone, and only felt a sense of relief wash over him when he confirmed that he’d kept the identity of that person secret, listing the name only as 001 on his phone.
Then, when he heard his sister’s words, he couldn’t help but want to vomit blood. “Am I that kind of person in your heart?”
Cheng Xi harrumphed. “Who knows?! That sentence was very problematic. What did she mean by ‘He sees you in broad daylight, but I can only hide in a corner?’ It sounds just like a line out of heart-rending drama! It’s as if you’ve swindled an innocent naive little girl, who, even though she knows that you already have a girlfriend, couldn’t bear to leave you. And in her grief, she silently became your mistress. And whenever she sees you going out with your actual girlfriend, she’s reminded that she can only hide in a corner and sneak glances at you, jealous and hurt.”
As she continued describing the setting in her head, she started to believe her words more and more. “You said that you went out to play cards with a friend, but who knows what you were actually doing? And why was your phone even here? You must’ve arranged dates with both of them at the same time, and since you couldn’t go to both at once, you had no other choice but to throw your phone aside!”
She accused him with such absolute conviction, it was enough to make Cheng Yang angry enough to laugh. “You can really make things up!”
He was a proficient liar, unlike Cheng Xi. Cheng Xi would only lie if she had to, and she even preferred to awkwardly remain silent. Cheng Yang, however, could lie to anyone and everyone without a single hint of guilt or remorse when he did so.
“Please, stop trying to make me out as some kind of two-timer. The guy who texted me is crazy, and he’s always pestering me endlessly for some reason or another because he thinks that everyone around him is a love rival. Who knows where he saw me, and what kind of craziness he has going on in his mind?”
As he spoke, Cheng Xi fixed her gaze on him. His expression was very calm. Back when Cheng Xi had been studying psychoanalysis, she had frequently practiced it on him. So, although he couldn’t analyze someone else as shrewdly as she did, he could at least cover up his tells quite well.
Unfortunately, he was up against Cheng Xi.
After he finished his spiel, Cheng Xi said, “Hmm, it doesn’t seem like you’re lying. I’ll believe you.”
Cheng Yang relaxed at her placid words. Cheng Xi then casually asked, “Did you drive over by yourself yesterday?”
Cheng Yang was flummoxed by the seemingly random question, and he reflexively nodded and answered, saying, “Yup.”
He thought that he had dodged a bullet, but then he suddenly heard Cheng Xi say, “You’re lying.”
Cheng Yang automatically rebutted, “What do you mean I’m lying? I clearly drove here alone……” As he continued to look at Cheng Xi, he fell silent before becoming flustered and exasperated. “Cheng Xi, stop doing this to me!”
Cheng Xi smiled. “You didn’t deny it, did you? Lying so naturally like that……” As Cheng Xi’s words trailed off, she stopped smiling. Then, her tone turned severe as she castigated him. “Brother, to me, you’ve always been a good man. I think that you’re a very capable person, so don’t do something that’ll make me look down upon you, okay? Earlier, I even had to tell someone else that there were two guiding principles that one should always follow to maintain their humanity: not take money you shouldn’t take, and not reciprocate feelings you shouldn’t reciprocate. Loving someone and receiving that person’s love in turn, generously and under broad daylight, is a form of respect to that person, and also a form of respect to yourself.”
“Alright, alright.” Once she started morally lecturing him, Cheng Yang couldn’t stand her anymore. In defeat, he mumbled, “I know what I’m doing.”
But he still didn’t confess to anything.
Cheng Xi sighed, wanting to say more. But before she could do so, Cheng Yang started the car and preemptively said, “I’m driving. I can’t be distracted right now, so I can’t talk to you.”
It was a total refusal to communicate. Helpless, Cheng Xi could only ignore him for the moment, taking solace in the thought that she would have a proper chat with him later.
Later, she would be busy, so busy that she forgot all about this conversation. And when she finally remembered… At that time, Cheng Xi would wish that Cheng Yang had merely been a two-timing bastard.
When they returned home, it was already way past midnight, and Cheng Xi’s parents had fallen asleep as soon as the new year arrived. Cheng Xi herself was similarly exhausted, and fell asleep right after she finished washing up.
However, despite how tired she was, she started thinking of Lu Chenzhou even as she tried to sleep, the image of his white and flawless skin creeping into her mind. She became so gloomy over it that she rolled about a few times in bed, hatefully pounded on her bed, and resolved to herself that, next time, she would tell him again that casually undressing himself and revealing his naked body was too unacceptable!
And so, during the first night of the fresh new year, Dr. Cheng, who led a sunny life and rarely had any sexual desires, had a very embarrassing dream. It was almost pornographically obscene, and when she was woken up by her mother in the morning, she almost yelled out, “You hoodlum!”
But as soon as she said, “ho-”, she saw her mother’s face and her mind immediately regained some clarity. She quickly rolled around in her bed to hide her flaming red face. A few seconds later, she finished the rest of her sentence, saying, “-me! Leave me at home to look after the house. I’m so tired!”
And then her mother ruthlessly pried the blankets off of her.
She woke up, got dressed, ate, and greeted her relatives. For the first three days of the new year, she had to visit her relatives, dine with them, and entertain them by playing cards with them. Amidst all this hustle and bustle, Cheng Xi also had to make sure that Shen Wei was doing fine. She’d been slightly troubled these last few days, mostly because her pregnancy had reached the stage where it was causing nausea. Perhaps it was her turbulent feelings that were exacerbating the degree of her nausea, but regardless of the reason, Shen Wei threw up almost everything she ate.
Cheng Xi very much wanted to drop everything and go visit Shen Wei, but she was always busy. On the fourth day of the new year, her parents had to host a whole crowd of visitors at their house; in preparation, they had set up quite a few tables for cards, and even took over Cheng Xi’s room for the day.
Cheng Xi was forced to play a few rounds of mahjong with the guests, but was quickly kicked off of the tables for being too “lucky.” She wasn’t upset at all, and her response was to smile and say, “I’ll go and buy something for everyone to eat!” before running out the door to catch a breath of fresh air.
She went to the supermarket and bought the snacks and drinks that were running low back at the party. As she started walking back with her bags of refreshments, she received a call from Lu Chenzhou. “It’s time for a date.”
Cheng Xi was caught off guard. This sort of systematic wooing routine was hard for her to handle, and she tried to say, “I’m busy…” But before she could finish, she felt something hit her foot. When she turned around, she saw that it was Lu Chenzhou’s car, which slowly following behind her.
He was sitting inside the driver’s seat, his strong jaw supported by the hand holding the steering wheel. The afternoon sunlight was warm and soft, and it framed his calm and cool face with a harmonious sense of peace.
She dodged aside as his car stopped in front of her.
Cheng Xi looked at the bags in her hand. “I still have guests at home.”
He got out and said, “Give me a moment,” and then entered the supermarket. Not long after, he emerged with a whole slew of supermarket employees, all pushing shopping carts filled with various items like fruits, drinks, cigarettes, alcohol, sweets, snacks; all in all, there were three full shopping carts’ worth of food.
Lu Chenzhou then instructed those people to load everything into his car. Cheng Xi felt that something was amiss and cautiously asked, “What are you… planning on doing?”
He turned around and coolly answered, “Going to your place.” And then he added, “I don’t mind having our date at your home.”
Cheng Xi was shocked at his audacity!
But I do mind very much, thank you!
In her desire to stop him, she entertained the thought of yelling out, “I’ll go out with you!” And then they would lug all that food around while they went on a date on the fourth day of the new year. By this point, Cheng Xi was haggard in both heart and soul. She couldn’t even dredge up the will to speak to him, and just pouted and stared outside the window like a stone statue.
Then, Lu Chenzhou’s phone rang. She heard him grunt several times before handing the phone to her. “It’s Baldy.”
Because it was the start of the new year, Cheng Xi couldn’t very well reject it, so she had to stop pouting and accept the phone.
Baldy had naturally called to give her his New Year’s greetings. But after that, he said, “That guy went to your apartment on the second day and stayed there for the entire day. Then, the next day, he dragged me out and made me accompany him for half a day. I asked him why he didn’t just call you, and he said that you were busy… This is the first time that I’ve ever seen him act so caringly. I feel like I’m talking to another person!”
Cheng Xi didn’t pay attention to Baldy’s next words. She put the phone down and turned around to look at the man beside her. “You came to my place on the second?”
Her voice was somewhat unsteady as she asked, “Because that day was a date day?”
“No,” she heard him say with his stereotypical cool voice and cold tone, but with a gentleness that seemed to have been missing previously. “Because I’ve been thinking of you.”