Xi Men sat in his private jet to Canada, finishes his cup of black coffee. He then stared at the empty cup stupidly. For a while, he wondered why the cup is empty until he realized he is the one who emptied it just a couple of seconds earlier.
“CEO Xi Men, you want another cup of coffee?” Secretary Xu asked.
“Yes, sure,” Xi Men said as he handed the cup to Secretary Xu. He took a deep breath.
It didn’t take long for Secretary Xu to come back with another cup of coffee. “Here it is, CEO Xi Men,” he said, as he put the cup of coffee at the table in front of him.
“Thank you,” Xi Men said, exhaling a deep breath.
“CEO Xi Men, are you tired?” asked Secretary Xu.
“No, not really. I’ve been thinking quite a lot for now,” Xi Men said.
“I see…” Secretary Xu said. Seeing Xi Men looking out the window with no further requests or instructions, Secretary Xu slowly walked to his own place, a few seats away from Xi Men.
Xi Men’s mind flew back to the day he sends Xiao You to airport after Mei Zhuo’s wedding…
Xi Men reached Maple Hotel to fetch Xiao You sharp at 12pm. The whole journey to airport is silent. Xi Men focused to his driving while Xiao You’s eyes focused on the view outside the car. After Xi Men parked his car at the airport, he carried Xiao You’s luggage and walked with her into the airport, as a truly gentleman.
“Your passport,” Xi Men instructed. His first word to her since picking her up from the hotel.
“I can do the check-in myself,” Xiao You said.
“Let me,” Xi Men said as he handed out his hand, waiting for the passport.
Xiao You gave in to his request, dunks her head and searches her bag for her passport and then handed it to him. Xi Men took the passport.
“Have a seat here,” Xi Men said as he put down her luggage at an empty seat, and he turned away, walking towards the check-in counter.
Xiao You senses sadness in Xi Men’s eyes. Xi Men has never been exceptionally quiet like he is today. Even the way he walks seems so weak. There is something in his mind.
“Done,” Xi Men suddenly appeared in front of Xiao You. Xiao You looked up at him and got shocked, as she is into deep thought, not realizing when Xi Men has actually walked up to her. He handed her the passport.
“Oh, thanks,” Xiao You said, taking her passport from him.
“No problem,” Xi Men said as he sat down next to Xiao You.
It was an absolute silence. It’s 12.30pm.
“Can we go for lunch?” asked Xiao You, breaking the silence.
Xi Men then looked at his watch. “Oh, sorry. I didn’t know it’s lunch time already. Sure,” he stood up.
They headed to a cafeteria in the airport for food. Xi Men paid for the food. Again, silence surrounded them when they are having food.
“You have something to ask me or tell me?” Xiao You asked, breaking the silence.
“I do, a lot,” Xi Men said.
“Say it,” Xiao You said. “I don’t get used to you around and not talking,”
Xi Men looked at Xiao You. “When can I see you again?”
Xiao You looked at Xi Men. “I have yet to go back to Canada, and now you’re asking me when you can see me again?”
“I…” Xi Men went silent again.
“I’m not sure,” Xiao You said, biting into her sandwich.
“I can foresee the next wedding will be Lei’s but not sure if it is soon or later. Will you come?”
“I cannot guarantee,” Xiao You said as she continued eating.
“It’s been pretty hard to talk to you,” Xi Men said.
“It’s very hard to set a conversation with you,” he looked at her.
“How is that suppose to mean? It is very hard to set a conversation with YOU,”
“Your words are killing me,”
“What kind of words?”
“Your words are so hard to be interpreted. At some point, some words from you are straightforward, and at some point, your words are complicated or mean,”
“But you sure know when is which,” she stared at him straight into his eyes.
“Yes, by the way you look at me,” Xi Men clarified his statement. “Can you be a little straightforward with your words at least for this conversation?”
“No, I don’t get what you mean,” she folded her arms on her chest.
“Look. 10 months ago when I see you again, I felt your hatred towards me. Probably because of your life in Canada that I resembles the bullies in your school, but, I am not them! And now, when I see you again, you were like… ok, probably it’s your lost of boyfriend but why are you acting mean?”
“Mean? I am not!”
“You were giving me mixed signals. Talking to you needs tremendous of efforts to understand what you are trying to convey! It was like I was put to blame for your lost of boyfriend and how your life goes!”
“Because I took a couple of years to let you go and I failed, Xi Men!”
Xi Men stared at her.
“I took years to forget you. You were there in every corner of my life. I tried avoiding you this time when I come back to Taipei. You… and you just come over, kiss me and hug me, for all of a sudden, and now, you are the one giving me mixed signals!”
“There is no mixed signal involved!”
“It’s been 3 years since I left Taipei to Canada and we never keep in contact. If for a second what you are doing onto me is because of your attitude as a playboy, I understand…”
“I am not anymore!” Xi Men defended.
“I know because San Chai told me that! You changed completely since I left!”
Xi Men looked at Xiao You. “You know this too?”
“That is why I said you gave me mixed signals! What is the reason for you to kiss and hug me if you ain’t the playboy anymore?”
“I wasn’t a playboy anymore because of you. I discovered my feelings towards you are not like any ordinary friends anymore because I fell for you. It was you who changed me,”
“And with then giving you the license to hug and kiss me the way you want?”
“What is wrong with me kissing you when you responded to the kiss itself?”
Xiao You stared at him, and then looked away. “I don’t know what to do with you anymore. Just leave me alone,”
“Now I think I know the reason behind all these tough conversations. Can I confirm it is the kiss yesterday that causes all this?”
Xiao You silent as she looked down to her drinks.
“Yes, talking with you is much simpler before the kiss. And after the kiss, I felt like you are completely a different person!” Xi Men said.
“Because I don’t understand what makes you do that!”
“I just told you that I fell for you!” Xi Men said.
“Do you know what you have done to me makes me very awkward?”
“What is there to be awkward of?”
“Mixed signals like I told you, and it feels so blur!”
“What is there to be blurred of?”
“What kind of status are we to be in such state?” Xiao You said, staring at him.
“Yes, it was the kiss that makes you feel I am a totally different person,”
“Because I don’t know how to face you and treat you!”
“You really want to know? You kissed me back. You still like me. That is how you will face me and treat me,” Xi Men said, poking his hand onto his own chest.
“I told you I missed my boyfriend,” Xiao You snapped at him. “Can’t I make a mistake by thinking that you were him for once?”
“You still like me,”
“I was,” she looked at him. “WAS,” she emphasized.
“You still do,”
“Could you just for once stop being a jerk and respect me?”
“Since when am I a jerk to you?”
“Since you keep asking me the same question repeatedly,”
“What’s wrong with admitting the fact?” asked Xi Men.
“Xi Men,” Xiao You said looking at him, staring straight into his eyes.
“Here,” Xi Men replied.
“It was you. You ruined my life,”
“It seems like forever to get you out of my head. It never succeeds,” Xiao You said. Xi Men looked at her. “It always seems like you were there all the time to see me succeed or fail,”
“I couldn’t love my boyfriend with all my heart because of you,”
“When he is by my side, it feels like you’re the one. And when he does things for me, I am so happy that I often felt I am so lucky to have found him. But there never seems to be a time that I can really take you out of my head. And sometimes it is unfair to him, because I tend to treat him as you and I know I shouldn’t be doing that… all because I cannot forget you,” she looked away, looking at people walking around. “I didn’t know how many times I have tried to forget you. I didn’t know how much percentage that I had managed to get you out of my head after all these years,” she then turned looking at him. “And now you come back, kissed and hugged me, like it was your privilege. You came back and haunt me again, and now I don’t seem to be able to get out of this anymore,”
Xi Men listened attentively. All the questions and statements are repeated again and again. It feels like a video tape at work.
“I really didn’t know what to react and what to do with you anymore. You make my life more complicated, in a way I wish it didn’t happen,”
“Passengers boarding 2pm flight to Canada, please proceed to departure gate 2. You may board the plane now…” the announcement was heard inside the whole airport.
“That’s my plane, I got to move,” Xiao You said as she stood up. What a perfect way to end a conversation that she didn’t want to talk about!
“You can still talk to me for another few minutes,”
“I don’t see the need,” Xiao You refused.
“I’ll walk you to your gate then,” Xi Men said.
They walked towards the departure gate. When Xiao You almost reached the guard to present him her passport, Xi Men held her arm and halted her steps. Xiao You turned looking at Xi Men.
“It’s still one hard and tough conversation we had,” Xi Men said.
“The conversation is going nowhere,” Xiao You said. “I got to go now,” she abruptly turned her head to the guard.
“Wait,” Xi Men said, pulling her back with his grasp on her arm.
She turned and looked at Xi Men again. “You still want another conversation with me? The conversation is still the same, going nowhere and a little bit of sarcasm,”
“Do you love your boyfriend?” Xi Men blurted out.
“Yes,” she stared straight at his eyes.
“Honestly?” he asked gently. There seems to be pain hidden in the eyes of Xi Men.
Xiao You looked down and took a deep breath. “Not in a way like how I’ve loved you once,”
Xi Men caressed her cheek. “I’m very sorry for his death. I know it is not easy for you to cope, after what you have been through with him for 2 years,”
“Yes, thank you,” Xiao You said, and she turned.
“Xiao You,” Xi Men called, holding her arm once again.
Xiao You turned back looking at him.
“I understand you now even more although the conversation we have is a little weird. And I know you couldn’t love your boyfriend like how you loved me because he is not me. And I understand you are willing to marry this man if he propose because of what he did to you, not because for your love for him,”
“It is none of your business,”
“Because your heart still belongs to me,” Xi Men said. “Completely,”
“It’s not that way…” Xiao You said, but was cut short when Xi Men pulled her and hugged her tight. Xiao You was stunned with his action, but she slowly wrapped her arms around him.
“You took my heart away when you go to Canada 3 years ago. I’ve develop feelings for you, Xiao You. I love you,”
“The news came a little too late, Xi Men. I’ve lead my life in Canada and I’ve been thru so many things that you couldn’t imagine…”
“At least I let you know,” Xi Men interrupts her again. “I don’t know how to respond to what you have said just now but I thanked you for saying it out,” he smiled. “I know you will feel better after you have said it out. I know you blame me for this so that you can lead your life better, and I won’t disagree with it as long as you are happy. I wouldn’t mind you say that I ruined or complicates your life or came back haunting you after the kiss because you have your reasons for treating me that way. And I completely understand that. I allowed you to say and think that way as long as you are happy with it. Put all the blame on me if you can release yourself from suffering. I am more than willing to suffer that for you,”
He then releases her from the hug. Xiao You looked at him with little teary eyes. It was at the moment he knew that they both did like and love each other still, and it’s just Xiao You refusing him. She had mixed feelings at the moment because of her feelings for Xi Men and her deceased boyfriend. He knew he couldn’t do anything. He leaned over for a quick kiss on her lips.
She looked at him after the quick kiss.
“You won’t slap me for kissing you?” Xi Men asked.
Xiao You smiled and shook lightly. “I’ll take it as a goodbye kiss instead,”
Xi Men smiled. “Can you promise me one thing?” he asked.
“What is it?”
“Can we have a more meaningful and straightforward conversation next time?”
“Shouldn’t be a problem. But what do you expect from a fashion critic?” she smiled.
Xi Men smiled. “I don’t want a fashion critic talking to me. And I don’t want a business consultant talking to me. I want the real Xiao You talking to me,”
“That sounds pretty demanding,”
“What do you expect from a CEO?” Xi Men laughed.
“I don’t want a demand from a CEO, I only want the real Xi Men talking as he is,”
Xi Men laughed. “We’re great at imitating each other,”
Xiao You then laughed. She stared straight at Xi Men. “Am I being mean and harsh on my words in the earlier conversation?”
Xi Men shook. “You are just saying what’s in your mind. I would love to hear that, if it helps you ease your pain, worry and whatever you want to eliminate from your life. At least I don’t need to talk to you like you are complete stranger anymore next time,”
Xiao You smiled. She looked at the boarding and departure board. “I really need to go,”
“I know this won’t work, but I want to give it a try. Will you please don’t leave?”
Xiao You shook. “I already bought the plane ticket,”
Xi Men smiled. “Great joke, Xiao You. But I’m serious, will you please don’t leave?”
Xiao You shook. “Thanks for trying,” she took her luggage, turned and walked towards the security guard at the departure gate.
Xi Men looked at Xiao You giving her passport to the security guard for checking. Then she turned looking at Xi Men. She waved and smiled lightly.
Xi Men waved back and smiled.
Xi Men smiled as he recalled the moment. He realized right now he is on his private jet, on the way to Canada after triggered by Lei’s words.
“It really took an effort to talk to that fashion critic,” he mumbled.
“CEO Xi Men?” asked Secretary Xu.
“Yes?” Xi Men turned and looked at him.
“Are you… talking to me?” Secretary Xu asked.
Xi Men smiled and shook. “I just remembered something,”
Secretary Xu smiled. “It seems to be a girl from the way you smiled, CEO Xi Men. Is it the girl in your computer? The desktop picture and screensaver?”
“Even in my cell phone, and my wallet,” Xi Men said.
“She must be someone very important to you, CEO Xi Men,”
Xi Men nodded lightly. “But it was my fault for not going after her sooner. Hopefully I am not late now,”
“She is in Canada?”
“Yes, I know she is in Canada all the time. I just didn’t make an effort to find her,” he took out Xiao You’s business card and handed it to Secretary Xu.
“Miss Yang Xiao You,” Secretary Xu said, reading from the business card.
Xi Men nodded. “I’m so stupid to take so many years to admit my feelings for her,”
“Better than never, right?”
Xi Men smiled and laughed lightly. “So, my objective for this trip, is her,”
“Understood,” Secretary Xu said.
“I wrote down her home address behind this business card. Copy it down and prepared the chauffer with both these addresses,” Xi Men said. “And give me back the business card after that,” he winked.
“Alright, right away,” Secretary Xu said and headed to the table and copy down the addresses. He then passes back the business card to Xi Men.
“Prepared a bouquet of red roses for me,” Xi Men said.
“Sure, and once we reached Canada, where will we go to first?” Secretary Xu asked.
“Her house,” Xi Men said.