A Friend From Different World – Chapter 8

Something hits Xi Men’s mind. He opened up his eyes and looked at her. “Xiao You,” he voiced out suddenly, not too loud to distract anyone else but is heard by Lei and Mei Zhuo. Thank goodness Ah Si is too immerse in his beautiful bride walking down the aisle that he did not hear what Xi Men had uttered, else he might go berserk as this is his wedding for all for them to pay attention of, and not the bridesmaid!

“Xiao You?” Mei Zhuo and Lei asked and immediately turned looking at the bridesmaid Xi Men landed his eyes on. Well, definitely… she is! Anyone could have missed out Xiao You but for sure not Xi Men!

“She has grown beautiful…” Xi Men said, addressing her look. She had her hair curled and dyed dark brown. She had grew matured too.

“But how come we don’t know she is coming for San Chai’s wedding?” asked Lei.

“I wasn’t being informed either. I guess San Chai did ask her to come,” Mei Zhuo said.

“What are you not being informed?” Ah Si glanced at Mei Zhuo, but focused mainly on the dazzling San Chai.

Mei Zhuo immediately looked at Ah Si and smiled. “No, no, nothing,”

Lei smiled at Ah Si, “Your bride awaits you,” he immediately said to change the topic so as Ah Si can focused at San Chai instead of what they were talking.

Ah Si smiled at San Chai, whom walks to Ah Si and firmly stood next to him. Ah Si reached for her hand and hooked it in his arm. Her bridesmaids, whom followed behind her earlier, stood next to each other at the edge.

“Ladies and gentleman…” the pastor begins…

And with then the vow begins, and Xi Men’s eyes couldn’t turn away from Xiao You. Xiao You, realizes Xi Men looking at her, shyly smiles and then looked away.

After the wedding vow, guests are treated for refreshments. It was then Xi Men walked up towards Xiao You, as witnessed by Ah Si, San Chai, Mei Zhuo, Xiao Qiao, Lei and Jing.

“Hi,” Xi Men said, bearing his charismatic smile.

“Hi,” Xiao You replied, smiling at him.

“When did you reach Taipei?” Xi Men asked.

“This morning,” Xiao You said.

“You should probably let us know so we can pick you up from the airport,” Xi Men said.

“It’s ok. What’s the use of cab?” Xiao You smiled.

Xi Men smirked. “Oh… can I get you a drink?”

“Sure, erm…” Xiao You looked around, looking at Jing and Lei happily talking with each other, and with then Xi Men headed towards the buffet table and grabbed a light cocktail and walked back to her, handing her the cocktail.

“Yours,” Xi Men said.

“Thanks,” Xiao You smiled as she took the cocktail from his hand. “Glad to see Lei moved on from San Chai,” she still looked at Lei.

“He did it pretty well,” Xi Men smiled. “San Chai gave him a couple of heartaches previously since Ying De years, but he takes each and every time very well and then unknown to him, he just moved on from San Chai,” he stopped. “And it’s been more than a year already since he moved on from her,”

“Oh, that’s good. I was even wondering earlier what Lei might feel upon seeing San Chai walking down the aisle but he is not the groom,” Xiao You smiled. “You know how painful it feels,”

Xi Men smiled. “He’s good. No worries. In fact…” he looked at Lei. “I’m pretty surprised he seems to be very happy now talking to Jing…” he folded his left hand on his chest and his right hand holds the glass of wine. “We hadn’t see Jing for years though, and San Chai managed to get her to come for her wedding…” he then turned looking at Xiao You. “And you too, which, none of us knew,”

Xiao You smiled. “It’s a last minute decision so Jing and Xiao Qiao did not know either,”

Xi Men smiled, and sipped his drink. “You know… I could barely recognize you just now,”

“But you still did,” Xiao You said, in her turn sipping her drink.

Xi Men smiled again. “You’re beautiful,”

“Thank you,” Xiao You. “So…” she is not sure how to continue or start a conversation.

“What are you up to in Canada?” asked Xi Men.

“I’m a fashion critic,” Xiao You said.

“Huh?” Xi Men asked and stunned.

“Part time fashion critic,” she laughed as she looked at the shocked look of Xi Men. “At a reputable magazine in Canada,”

“Oh… really? So you must have a very good fashion sense,” Xi Men said.

“Depends,” said Xiao You, “I can never be good, there’s always someone better than me,”

“You’re humble,” Xi Men said and smiled.

“It’s the truth,” Xiao You said, and again sipping her drink.

“And what do you work as in full time?” asked Xi Men, getting back in topic.

“You could never imagine this. I am a Business Consulting Manager,”

“Wow…” said Xi Men. “So, what do you do as a Business Consulting Manager?”

“I seek customers, and then helped them with what they want for their company, and I provide the solutions, which is all IT based,” Xiao You said professionally.

“Sounds pretty challenging,” Xi Men smiled.

“Kind of, if I managed to hit target, I have lots of commissions,” Xiao You smiled. “So how’s your company now? Everything’s fine?”

“Businesses do go ups and downs,” Xi Men said. “But everything is still fine,”

“Oh…” Xiao You said. “That’s good to hear,”

“Err… do you…” Xi Men said, but Xiao You interrupts him.

“I need to go for now, I’ll see you tonight during the wedding dinner,”

“Sure… see you,” Xi Men smiled. He wanted to ask her if she is attached, but seemingly this is not the time to ask… yet.

Xiao You smiled at Xi Men and she politely turned and walked off gracefully.

Ah Si, San Chai, Mei Zhuo, Xiao Qiao, Lei and Jing senses the difference in Xi Men almost immediately when he returned to them to talk. Xi Men is indeed happier and seems like a different person after the short meeting with Xiao You.

“He seems happier now compared to what I see of him yesterday,” Jing said at Xiao Qiao.

“Indeed,” Xiao Qiao smirked.

The next few hours were like a torture to Xi Men to wait for the wedding dinner held in Maple Hotel. Xi Men, dressed in a dark blue pants and a matching-colored coat beneath a white blouse, went to Xiao You’s room which is in the same hotel, only to discover she is not there. So he then headed to the grand ballroom where he saw Mei Zhuo and Lei, dressed smartly in a formal wear minus the tie, standing outside the ballroom.

“Why are you guys standing here?” Xi Men asked, pointing at them as his steps halted in front of them.

“It’s still early to go into the ballroom,” Mei Zhuo who is fixing the buttons on his sleeves, looked up at Xi Men and said. “I thought you were here first, I was behind you at the traffic and I saw you reached here first,”

“Now, you cannot be lost in Maple Hotel, it’s not the first time you come to the grand ballroom,” Lei said as he patted on Xi Men’s shoulder to pat some white flakes away. “You have dandruffs?”

“I’m a stressful businessman,” Xi Men acknowledged. “Dandruffs is just a sign of stress,”

“Anyway… So why are you reaching earlier than us but seemingly disappeared and came much later after us? Where were you earlier?” Mei Zhuo asked.

“I… went to find Xiao You, but she is not in,” Xi Men said.

“She’s inside the grand ballroom,” said Mei Zhuo.

“Huh?” asked Xi Men, stating at Mei Zhuo.

“His fiancée,” Lei pointed at Mei Zhuo, “And my girlfriend is inside the grand ballroom too,”

“Inside the ballroom?” Xi Men asked and then he turned looking at Lei. “Wait… Your girlfriend?” he pointed at Lei. “Did I just hear you said your girlfriend?”

Lei bares a fake smile. Oops. “My soon to be girlfriend,” he immediately corrected.

Mei Zhuo and Xi Men playfully hit him.

“You go man!” Mei Zhuo snarled. “I saw the way you talk to her this morning!”

Lei smiled sheepishly.

“I support you!” Xi Men said. “And you’ve made a pretty quick decision!”

“Well, we talked a lot since her flight touch down yesterday, and we are comfortable with each other in conversations. I still like her. She is based in Japan now and it’s easy for me as I am based in Japan too… I’ll woo her there so who knows we might love each other,” Lei’s smile slowly faded. “Hey, this is Ah Si’s wedding we are attending so we better focus back to him instead of me,” he immediately talked seriously. “And you were saying?” he looked at Xi Men.

“I am asking why is Xiao You inside the ballroom?” Xi Men asked with his thumb pointing to the ballroom.

“Helping to list the seat for the guests,” Mei Zhuo said.

“Are you sure? They don’t have to do that personally,” said Xi Men.

“San Chai insisted. She didn’t want friends and relatives mixed up,” Lei said.

“Correction, she didn’t want Ah Si’s friends and relatives mixed up with her relatives and friends,” Mei Zhuo said looking at Lei, and then he turned to Xi Men. “You don’t know how horrible it will be if mixed ups happens!”

“Jing and Xiao Qiao are far more than delighted to help her,” Lei said.

“And I saw Xiao You walked towards the ballroom just now when I reached,” Mei Zhuo said.

“But I didn’t know any of these plans?” Xi Men wondered. “How could I possibly miss this out when I am mingling all around with you guys but Xiao You did?”

“San Chai mentioned this when you were happily talking with Xiao You earlier in the wedding, and I guess San Chai approached Xiao You personally and tell her this after your conversation ends or maybe looked for her in the hotel after the wedding and tell her. I don’t see the difficulty of San Chai to tell her this,” Mei Zhuo said. “And hey, why are you asking all these stuffs that do not apply to you?”

“Then why are you answering him?” Lei asked Mei Zhuo.

“Blunt, straightforward, stupid… you named it,” Mei Zhuo looking at Lei.

“Let’s go into the ballroom then,” Xi Men said, taking a step forward to enter the ballroom.

“Sure, I wonder where we will sit,” said Lei followed trail.

“Wait…” Xi Men said as he turned and stopped Lei and Mei Zhuo with his hand and palm extended out placing on Mei Zhuo’s chest.

“What?” they asked, looking at Xi Men.

“If San Chai separates it like this… then… is Xiao You going to sit…” Xi Men said.

Mei Zhuo laughed. “No worries,”

“We’ll be gladly to ‘mistakenly’ do the mix up for you if that ever happens!” said Lei.

Mei Zhuo and Lei laughed, knowing what Xi Men means. Xi Men embarrassed, and they walked in into the grand ballroom.

Xiao You, Jing and Xiao Qiao smiled looking at them. San Chai and Ah Si is nowhere to be seen. Xiao You is dressed to kill that night with a silver tube top satin dress’ length to heels, and the way her hair tied up, is enough to make a guy go wild for her.

“So where is my seat, baby?” Mei Zhuo smiled giving her a kiss on her lips.

“Table 3, that side,” Xiao Qiao said pointing to a table.

“So… is Xiao You sitting with us?” Lei asked.

“Lei!!!”  Xi Men yelled softly.

Xiao You smiled. “Yes, I am. Because if sitting at San Chai’s area, I will be alone,”

“Oh, great then. It’s been some time and we really need to catch up with you,” Mei Zhuo said, looking over Xi Men whose eyes seems to glitter.

**********

Xiao You sat next to Xi Men and throughout the whole dinner, Xi Men, being gentleman enough, picks the dishes and handed it to her.

“Can I talk to you after the dinner?” Xi Men asked. “Personally?”

Xiao You looked at him. “Personally?”

“Well… only wanted to know more about what happen to you recently,” Xi Men said as he stuffed a slice of fish into his mouth.

“Oh… no problem,” Xiao You said.

After the dinner is over, Xi Men sat at the bar with Xiao You, where both of them still smartly dressed in the dinner attire.

“So… you wanna talk personally with me…” Xiao You said.

He nodded. “Just some conversation,”

“Oh,” Xiao You smiled. She clasped her hands together, waiting for Xi Men to start.

“Do you like your life in Canada?” asked Xi Men.

“Yes,” said Xiao You said, grabbed the glass of wine and plays with it. “You?”

“Moderate,” said Xi Men. “Life’s pretty hectic,”

“You need to know how to release your tension, else you might end up in the hospital again,”

Xi Men laughed. “You knew what happen to me too?”

Xiao You smiled. “Yes, I do,” she looked at his coat. “But I supposed you are still the same workaholic Xi Men and still stressful as ever as your dandruffs gives way about your hectic life still,”

Xi Men smiled. She had a great pair of eyes for details at that point. “Well… yeah,”

“Learn to ease your stress,” she sipped her glass of wine.

They went silent.

“So when are you going back to Canada?” he broke the silence.

“In 2 more days,” she drank the glass of wine and emptied the content.

It was silence for a moment, again.

“You have a boyfriend in Canada?” Xi Men asked, finally, when his awaiting question was being cut off earlier in the day as Xiao You left him to do her stuff.

Xiao You smiled. “So I am taking this question as the reason why you wanted to talk to me personally,” she refilled her drink.

Xi Men just smiled. “Do you?” he repeated.

“Maybe I am too intimidating to many guys in Canada. I hold a high post at such a young age, and not to mention, I am a top student when I am studying,” Xiao You smiled as she drank the red wine, but did not empty the content this time.

“Those are not the reasons you can intimidate guys,”

“You don’t know how it feels when the moment you reach a well-known school as a newbie and everyone starts to bully you!” Xiao You suddenly snapped.

Xi Men is shocked with her reaction. Earlier she is still very sweet and friendly but in a split second she changed to fiery and furious, “I…”

“I gone thru hell everyday in school, bullied by people who is so filthy rich… just like you back in Ying De with your friends threatening other students and San Chai!” Xiao You said.

“Me? I…” Xi Men stunned. “We don’t simply bully people, we just…”

“It was then I am inspired by a person, to teach me to go ahead with life, and treat them like they are transparent, and in which, I am then, the top student,” Xiao You said.

“A person?” Xi Men said.

Xiao You nodded. “Upon graduation, I worked hard, and within 2 years, I am promoted to manager. All for my effort,” she played with her wine. “Thanks to the person,”

“And who is that person that helped you all the way to the top?” Xi Men asked, curiously.

“My boyfriend,” said Xiao You. “And yes, I do have a boyfriend, as for your earlier question,”


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