“All you have to do is stay…” Xi Men said. “Just… stay…”
Xiao You didn’t know what to respond; she only looked at him, deep into his teary brown eyes.
This is an inner conflict.
This felt so right; but this is so wrong.
Xi Men. Emotion. Mark. Divorce. Juliana.
There is a change to her facial expression.
This is definitely wrong.
This request doesn’t even make sense at all.
“No, I am not going to do that,” she uttered.
With a cold gaze now, she violently flings Xi Men’s hands off from her because this is now a desperate attempt to go.
Just as she flings his hands off, Xi Men is quick to grab her right arm again and this time he pulled her to him, enveloping her into an embrace with his hand around her shoulder.
This is happening too quickly that she did not have time to register what is going on in her mind.
As soon as her head lands on his chest and his chin is just inches away from her ear…
“Xiao You, I love you,”
She is so… shocked.
Her eyes brightened up.
She is basically frozen in the embrace upon hearing that revelation.
“Xiao You, I love you,” Xi Men said again, tightened his grip on her shoulder; enveloping her firmly.
A tear fell onto her face.
He finally admitted his feelings towards her.
And a tear fell onto his face too.
“Xiao You, since the day you left for Canada… (*MG1) I have started developing feelings for you. The day you showed me the billboard is the day I begin to love you,” he said, sniffing already. “I have silently loved you for 12 years…”
Xiao You finds her tears flooding her eyes.
These are the words she had been waiting to hear all her life…
“You are right, Xiao You. I have never moved on from you. I tried. I can’t. I couldn’t. I failed…”
Xiao You bites her lower lip as she tried to contain those tears that are threatening to fall.
“It was my fault that I did not pursue you back then,” he said.
More of her tears fell as she listened to him.
“I regretted tremendously when you told me you have been waiting for me…” tears fell onto his face again. “Xiao You, I am sorry…”
She sniffed, her hands; at his back, slowly raised.
“Xiao You, I am really, really sorry…”
Her tears fell uncontrollably to her face as her hands rest on his back.
He could feel her touch on his back.
That is when Xi Men closed his eyes and more of his tears fell.
His words are what she had wanted to hear…
Right at this moment, she realized what her feelings towards him are.
She had kept them well for over a decade; putting them aside and choose to love Mark.
And these feelings to Xi Men… they have emerged and unveiled by itself slowly, without her knowledge since Xi Men stepped in right after her divorce.
She discovers them today, right now.
She discovers the feelings towards him had never faded.
She also discovers that… despite for the last few years she had spent loving Mark, the feelings she had towards him could not overpower what she has for Xi Men.
She… she still loves Xi Men, so much.
And… he reciprocates.
He admitted to it.
Xiao You bites her lower lip hard to control herself, but the emotions in her is too overpowering; she ends up sobbing.
Hearing she sobbed, he hugs her tighter; not like the hug is not tight enough.
Now he has to fight with the emotions stirring in him.
All of these emotions and feelings that he had buried deep in his heart…
He closed his eyes, cherishing the closeness they have now.
And listens to her sobbing in the embrace.
When her sobs softened down, he quickly brush away the tears on his cheeks and then loosened the grip on her shoulder & gently pulls back slightly to look at her face.
He raised his hands up and wiped the tears on her face, and looked into her teary brown eyes.
A brief smile formed on his face while he looked at her still clenching her teeth tight to control her emotions.
Xi Men then leaned over and kissed Xiao You on her lips.
She is slightly surprised with that action, but her senses had directed her to close her eyes… and then, she slowly kissed him back.
He had long longed for her.
He had longed to touch her again.
And now that she kissed him back, he embraced her tighter and continued kissing her.
He didn’t want this to end.
He had overflowing affections towards her which he had kept well within himself; and right at this moment, he is no longer holding them back.
This is what he feels towards her, how much he loves her.
He caressed her cheeks and continued kissing her, with the kiss turning more and more intense.
Xiao You could feel his overwhelming feelings from the kiss and even the way he holds her; like a channel to unveil his concealed emotions has been found.
The intensity of the kiss has revealed how much both of them have been tormented in their lives without each other.
He doesn’t care about anything anymore.
He just wants her in his life now.
Where as for her…
Her senses suddenly tell her that although this felt so right; this is… so wrong.
She suddenly remembered.
Xiao You immediately puts both her hands on his chest and then pushed him, breaking off the kiss and the embrace.
“No,” Xiao You said as she stared at him, and gasped for air after the passionate, deep and emotional kiss. “No,” she said again, distancing herself from him. “You and I are different now,”
“Xiao You…” he doesn’t understand.
“Juliana,” she said.
He looked at her; his eyes widened slightly.
“You are with her now,” Xiao You adds.
For once, he had forgotten about that part of his life.
He is married.
He… is married.
He lowered his head down. “I…”
“I am sorry I shouldn’t have done that,” Xiao You uttered.
But it wasn’t her fault.
He confesses to her, making her heart goes weak and eyes go teary, and…
She gave in to him.
To his words.
To his confession.
Unearthing the hidden feelings that she had buried deep in her heart…
“I mean… I shouldn’t have responded to that (the kiss),” Xiao You corrected herself.
Xi Men lifted his head up and looked at Xiao You.
At this moment, she wants to leave this place.
She needs to leave.
She picked up her handbag and is about to head to the door when Xi Men grabbed her arm and stopped her.
“Go back home to your wife,” Xiao You said, trying to get rid of his grip.
But his strong grip…
“I said go back home! You are married! Juliana is your wife!” Xiao You yelled the moment she couldn’t get rid of his hand.
He didn’t let her win in freeing herself. “Don’t leave me,” he said, looking at her. “Please,”
Xiao You stopped at what she is doing and looked at Xi Men in disbelief. “Don’t leave you?”
Staring intently at her, he nodded. “Please,”
“Xi Men, don’t beg me to do that. You can’t. You shouldn’t. You are married,” she reasoned. “And my marriage died because he has another woman. I am not going to do the same to someone’s marriage. I don’t want to do that,”
“Xiao You, just don’t leave me. Stay with me,” he said.
“I am not going to be your mistress! I am not going to be the other woman! I hated that status and I will never be that!” she shouted to his face and still struggling to set herself free.
“I am not asking you to be my mistress. I won’t make you the other woman,” he calmly said, and ends up holding her hand tighter.
“You are hurting me!”
“YOU are hurting me if you leave!”
She stopped rebelling and she looked at him again.
“Xiao You, don’t leave me. I just want you to be around so that I can see you. I am happy with just that,” he looked at her closely, his tears fell. “I just want to see your face,”
She looked at him, as her tears fell too.
“That is why I come to see you… all the time…” he said.
“Xi Men… don’t be selfish, will you?” she asked.
“Seeing your face will make me live,” he said, releasing his grip. “And I will keep on living with just that,”
She looked at him.
“Please, Xiao You, I beg you,” he pleaded.
“Xi Men, come to your senses, please,” she said. “You have Juliana. She is your wife,”
“Juliana?” he asked. “I shouldn’t have married Juliana. I don’t want to be with her. Now that I have married her, I have locked myself out and now I am stuck with her and loving you,”
Xiao You could only look at him, didn’t know what to do. “But…”
“But? What do you know about her? What do you know about how I felt for her?” he asked.
“I DON’T LOVE HER!” Xi Men yelled. “I don’t f*cking love her…”
Xiao You pressed her lips together, and she could sympathize with what he is feeling.
But then again, it doesn’t make sense to hear what he said (about loving Juliana) and compares it to what Juliana had said…
“But…” she said. “Based on what Juliana described… you…”
“Describe what? She told you I love her?” Xi Men asked. “I have never said that to her,”
Xiao You shook. “She just said, you do show her affections thru gestures, like, you rubbed her shoulder when she goes to bed…”
Xi Men smirked as he wiped his tears, “Because that is all I can do to her,” he said. “I can’t do anything else,”
She looked at him; she doesn’t understand.
He stared at Xiao You intently, “The truth is…”
Xiao You looked at him.
“I didn’t want to date her. I didn’t want to marry her either. I marry her out of gratitude. I marry her because that is what our parents want us to,” he said.
She did not say anything.
“I marry her because I give up on my happiness,”
She looked at him, surprised, and partially in disbelief upon hearing that.
“Do you know I don’t kiss her? Do you know how hard I have to push myself to touch her? She thinks it is my way of showing affections to her by hugging or rubbing her shoulder. But she doesn’t know I don’t want to do it!” he said.
Xiao You could not respond to this.
“Do you know I can’t even sleep with her?” he asked. “I am a man! I have needs! But I can’t do it with her! I feel so horrible to be close to her! Do you know I have to drink every single time before I sleep with her? Because I could only find strength from the alcohol in my system to touch her!” he ranted painfully.
She could only look at him, sad to hear about his pain and could only sympathize with what he is having.
“Yes, I was a playboy; I can sleep with anyone without having feelings for them. I thought I could still do that… but since I had fallen in love with you, I can’t do it anymore!”
Tears formed in her eyes again.
“Because I did not go after you… I end up like this… right now…” he uttered.
A tear fell onto her cheek.
“I don’t know why I have to put myself thru this… for 5 years. For 5 damn years!” he said.
She lowered her gaze slightly and bites her lower lip.
“Is it too much for me to ask you to stay? After all I have been thru…”
She slowly lifted her head up and looked at him.
He holds both of her arms. “Xiao You… this is all I ask from you. Please stay. Please. I’ll do anything to make you comfortable here, anything to help you start all over again, anything for you,” he pleads again.
She wiped her tears, and swallowed the lump in her throat; as though swallowing all the sadness in her.
“I am sorry to hear about what you are going thru…” she uttered.
He looked at her.
“But no,” she shook.
A tear fell to his cheek.
“No,” she shook harder now, holding back her emotions. “I am not going to stay,”
She flings his hands away from holding her, “After hearing all that you have said… I feel the need to leave even more now,”
Another tear fell to his cheek.
“Although having my presence can make you happy, but what is the difference of that than treating me like your other woman?” she asked.
His gaze towards her is emotionless, but yet his tears continue to fall.
She shook. “I don’t want that. I don’t want my presence here affects someone’s life. Especially someone’s marriage; whether directly or indirectly,” she said. “I really, really hate that,”
He sniffed while continued to stare at her.
“If you resent what you have done to yourself… it is still you who chose this path,” Xiao You said. “Please respect yourself. Please respect Juliana. Please respect me,”
He looked at her, feeling mixed emotions in him.
She sniffed hard, and then turned her head away as she didn’t want to look at him. “I’ll be leaving in 2 weeks with my parents,”
He continued to stare at her.
“So I will take these 2 weeks to pack up. Don’t worry. I will return the house keys to you, and everything in the house will be returned to you the same way you gave it to me,” Xiao You said.
Xi Men’s gaze went away after hearing that.
“I am going to leave and I am never going to come back,” Xiao You said, and then clenched her teeth. “Anymore,”
His gaze returned to her.
Xiao You wiped the tears on her face, and after making sure she has all the trails of tears on her face wiped, she then returned her gaze to Xi Men.
She then gave Xi Men a bow, and he watches her expressionlessly.
She sniffed as she straightened her back (from the bow).
“Thank you for taking care of me,” she said, looking at him. “I appreciate it,”
Xi Men closed his eyes and tears fell again.
Xiao You watches the tears roll down on Xi Men’s cheek.
She decided to leave before her tears might form again after seeing Xi Men like this.
She clenched her jaw, and walked towards the door, only to step onto something after taking two steps.
She lowered her head and looked, and noticed it is the envelope that consists of her divorce papers underneath her foot.
She immediately lowered down to pick up the envelope and continued her footsteps to the door.
Xi Men opened his eyes, turned around and watched her opening the door.
*CLACK. (door open)
*PAK. (door closed)
Still standing there, Xi Men gritted his teeth as tears of sadness continued falling.
After holding on for too long, the pain in him wins.
He draws his breath loudly and sharply, as he is choked in his own emotions.
The bitter yet poking feelings in him are so hard to bear.
Stopped at a busy intersection, Lei stares at the traffic light with his hand gripping onto the steering wheel, waiting for it to turn green.
He gazes to his smartphone that he had put at the passenger seat.
Lei’s eyes brightened slightly to see the name.
“Strange that he would call at this hour,” Lei mumbled and then picks up the call by pressing the button on the Bluetooth headset on his ear. “Xi Men? What’s up?”
Xi Men sniffed, with his gaze fixed to nothing.
“Lei… where are you now?”
Lei frowned open hearing the voice. “I…” he looked at the intersection. “I am out. I am going to meet a client…” he paused. “Xi Men, are you okay?”
He then heard Xi Men sniffed again.
“Xi Men, what is going on?” Lei asked worriedly.
“Lei, I need to talk to you. Now,” Xi Men uttered.
“Now?” Lei’s eyes brightened up even more. He then looked at left and right of the intersection. “Umm… sure. I’ll be there in 15 minutes,”
And then the call ended.
Lei frowned. “Did not say bye…” he uttered. “But that’s a very worrying tone…”
He then looked at the traffic light again.
He grabbed his smartphone and began scanning the list of contacts.
He then dropped the phone onto the passenger seat again.
As he looked at the traffic light again, he adjusted the Bluetooth headset on his ear.
“Hello, Susan?” Lei said (*Susan is Lei’s secretary) on the Bluetooth headset. “Can you call over to YW Enterprise and cancel my appointment? Tell them I have an emergency now. Reschedule the appointment for me, please. Thank you,”
When the traffic light turned green, Lei cuts across 3 lanes to make a turning to the right and head to Xi Men Corporation.