Conflicted – Chapter 53

Juliana sits on the couch in the living room of the mansion.

Alone.

She has been sitting there since she came back from the dinner with the F3 and wives.

Too much information.

Too hard to bear.

When Xi Men asked for divorce, she felt her world had tumbled down.

And to hear that Xiao You is Xi Men’s second woman…

She felt betrayed.

A person she had treated as her best friend… is the woman that her husband loves.

And her world now… it is worse than crashed down.

Tears rolled down to her cheeks.

=====

*Flashback.

“I can’t believe after so many years… she would come back… and she still affects him…” Juliana said.

Everyone exchanged glances.

“Although Xi Men said there isn’t, but I wonder if they have done something… together?” Juliana questioned.

“No,” Lei is quick to reply. “Although they have met again, but trust us, they did not do anything behind your back other than a couple of conversations,”

“Really?” Juliana asked.

“Yes, Xiao You is not that kind of person,” Mei Zhuo chipped n.

Everyone’s eyes widened and looked at Mei Zhuo.

“Xiao You?” Juliana asked at the surprised Mei Zhuo.

When she saw that facial expression on Mei Zhuo’s face…

“Xiao You?” Juliana asked again, as she looked at Mei Zhuo in disbelief. “You mean… Xiao You is Xi Men’s second woman?”

Lei closed his eyes at Mei Zhuo’s slip up.

“Is it really Xiao You?!” Juliana raised her voice in a blend of anger and disbelief.

Everyone do not know what to do now, and how to save the situation with that mistake.

“Oh my gosh…” Mei Zhuo could only blame himself for the slip.

Lifting his head up slightly and then swallowed the lump in his throat, Lei then opened his eyes and looked at Juliana, “Since her name has been mentioned,” Lei said.

Everyone turned their heads to look at Lei.

“Then I supposed, we don’t have to keep it from you anymore,” Lei said, and then gave a quick gaze to Mei Zhuo who had blurted that out.

“Sorry…” Mei Zhuo mouthed the word apologetically.

Juliana gritted her teeth and tears fall to her face. “It is Xiao You…?”

“Yes. It is Xiao You,” Lei said.

Everyone exchanged gazes.

Is it a good thing for Juliana to know it is Xiao You?

“Gosh… of all people… why… why is it has to be Xiao You…?” Juliana said, and then buried her face in her hands, feeling utterly betrayed. “WHY?! Why her?!”

“We all know you already know the story between Xi Men and Xiao You in the past. So I will not talk about the past, but what happened now,” Lei said.

Juliana lifted her head up and looked at Lei. “Now…?”

“When Xiao You first came back with Mark, she made no attempt to contact us because of Xi Men. She didn’t even know Xi Men is married, and all of us didn’t know Xiao You is married to Mark. We met her again the same time you met her. When we saw her with Mark, we are convinced that Xiao You has already moved on from Xi Men,” Lei said.

Juliana sniffs.

“All of us reconnected with Xiao You from then, including Xi Men, who is also treating her just as a friend,” Lei said. “Because she is married to Mark, he…”

“Now she is divorced, so Xi Men is interested?” Juliana interrupted and asked, as she is extremely emotional now.

She is sad and angry at the same time.

“Look, Xi Men loves this woman whether you like it or not. And you know it even before you marry him,” Ah Si chips in. “And Xi Men stays within his line and boundary as your husband when Xiao You comes back; staying just as a friend, so watch what you speak, woman,”

Juliana sniffs, undeniably still fears for Ah Si after his sudden outburst earlier.

“Juliana, we need you to be rational with this and listen to us before you jump into conclusion, okay? We will tell you everything we know,” Jing persuades Juliana now, after the warning given by Ah Si may have scare Juliana off.

Juliana finds herself nodding slowly at Jing.

“Xi Men and Xiao You are just friends, they rarely talked… until Xi Men caught Mark cheating on Xiao You,” Lei said.

Juliana looked at Lei in surprise. “Mark cheats on Xiao You…?”

“Yes. Mark cheated on Xiao You with Ivy,”

Juliana’s eyes widened. “IVY? My cousin, Ivy?!”

“Yes. And Xi Men… exercised his power,” Lei explained.

“Po… power?” Juliana asked.

“Xi Men is the one that makes Mark divorced Xiao You,” Lei said. “By force, with threat, and even without Xiao You’s knowledge,”

Juliana is shocked.

“In short, Mark divorces Xiao You because of Xi Men. And Mark has to leave Xiao You immediately,” Lei said.

Juliana covered her mouth with her hand, as she is in disbelief over what she heard.

“That’s the toughest period Xiao You ever had,” San Chai said. “She is on her own,”

“Xiao You soon found out Xi Men is behind her divorce. She also found out why Mark has to leave. So she knows that Mark cheats on her, and the other woman is Ivy. She knows everything that’s going on,” Lei said.

“Except me…” Juliana continues the statement.

“That’s not all, Juliana,” Lei said.

Juliana looked at Lei.

“Mark asked her to leave the place, so she has to move out,” Lei uttered and then looked at Jing.

Jing returned the gaze to Lei.

“And you offered her your extra house,” Juliana said.

Lei shook.

Juliana frowned. “What do you mean?”

“It is not my house,” Lei uttered.

“Not your house? Then?” Juliana asked.

“It is Xi Men’s,” Lei said.

Juliana’s eyes brightened up.

She could feel her blood traveled up to her head.

And she couldn’t even think.

“Xi… Xi Men’s?” Juliana asked.

“Yes. Back then, we can’t tell you this is Xi Men’s house because we know you don’t know about it, and also… you don’t know how complicated the whole situation is. So I tell you it’s mine,” Lei said.

“When… when did he even have a house out there…?” Juliana asked.

“He never had. He bought it for Xiao You to stay,” Ah Si said.

“He bought it for Xiao You to stay?” Juliana repeated after Ah Si.

“Well, it’s because Xi Men was told she has been asked to leave the apartment she stayed with Mark. He wanted her to stay comfortably, so he gets a house for her to stay,” Lei said.

Juliana looked at them, (she) looking lost.

“But that is all. He only offered her a place to stay,” Lei said. “Xi Men probably talked a little more with her since then, just to make sure she is comfortable and she is doing well after her divorce. Nothing else is going on between them,”

And then he remembered that Xi Men had confessed to Xiao You.

But that…

Juliana does not need to know.

“We are sorry for hiding so many things from you. And I am sorry that Jing and I have lied about the house to you,” Lei said.

“The one who’s sorry is Xi Men… not you…” Juliana claimed.

Lei and Jing exchanged glances, before they turned their heads and looked at the rest of the friends.

“I finally understand now,” Juliana said, sniffed and wiped the tears off from her face.

Understand?

Everyone looked at her.

“This is why he is happier. Why he seemed to smile more recently…” Juliana uttered.

Lei happened to exchange glances with Mei Zhuo and then Ah Si.

“He also said… seeing her is enough to make him happy; and that she doesn’t need to do anything…” Juliana continued.

They didn’t know what to say.

“Gosh…” Juliana uttered. “I can’t believe all of these happened and I remained clueless,”

“Juliana, we are really sorry…” Jing said.

Juliana sniffed. “I treat Xiao You as my best friend. And apparently, she is the woman that my husband has been in love with. Her husband cheated on her with my cousin, and my husband is the one that causes the divorce to happen. And now… my husband…” tears rolled down her cheeks again.

Lei exhaled his deep breath.

Jing reached for his hand and gripped it.

Lei smiled briefly at Jing.

And Jing just nodded at Lei, indicating Lei has done a good job.

The secret is out.

They do not have to pretend anymore, in front of Juliana.

“Oh my gosh… this is so hard to digest…” Juliana said, and then buried her face in her hands again and sobbed.

*Flashback ended.

=====

Juliana lifted her hand up and wiped the tears off from her face.

Maybe this has explained everything.

How she tried to approach Xiao You, but Xiao You seemingly is trying to avoid her.

Why Xiao You seems to refrain from telling her things…

Juliana sat there and blinked numerous times.

From this dinner, she found out a lot of things she had never knew or expected to hear.

Too much.

But they are needed.

And necessary.

She begins to have answers to a lot of things now.

And things begin to make sense now.

Xi Men loves Xiao You.

She is the second woman of Xi Men’s life and she is the only person that Xi Men had really loved.

Things are beginning to fall into places.

Juliana continues to sit there while thoughts ran in her mind endlessly…

*****

Sitting on the couch in the living room, Xi Men lifted his hand up and looked at the time on his wristwatch.

‘It is almost 10pm now. And they are not home yet…?’

*Rubbed.

The rubbing movements, though not on Xi Men, interrupts Xi Men’s thought, causing him to look at the little boy sitting on his thighs.

“What are you doing, Alex?” Xi Men asked and tilted his head to look at Alex, whose face is facing the TV with the cartoon channel on but rubbing his eyes.

“My eyes are itchy, Uncle Xi Men,” Alex said, continued to rub his eyes.

“Ah, don’t rub too much. It’ll get itchier than it is,” Xi Men said, holding Alex’s hands and then puts them down.

“But it is really itchy, Uncle Xi Men,” Alex said, now he shuts his eyes tight due to the itchiness and that Xi Men disallow him to rub his eyes with his hands.

“You are sleepy, aren’t you?” Xi Men asked.

“I don’t get to stay up late when mommy and daddy is around,” Alex said.

“Ah, that is why, huh. So, you are supposed to sleep?”

“Ummm…”

Xi Men turned his head to look at the butler standing next to the door. “What time does Alex sleeps usually?”

“Master Xi Men, Alex usually sleeps before 10pm,” the butler replied.

Xi Men then looked at Alex, “Ah, so it is the time you are supposed to sleep. Come, let Uncle Xi Men lullaby you to sleep,” Xi Men said, carrying Alex up in his arms and stands up.

“But I want to wait for mommy and daddy…” Alex said.

“I don’t know what time they are coming back…”

Alex pouts.

“Alright. I’ll let you wait for another 10 minutes. If your daddy and mommy are not back yet, then you will go to bed, okay?” Xi Men said.

Alex smiled happily, “Okay! Thank you Uncle Xi Men,” he said. “You are the best!” he eventually kissed Xi Men on his cheek.

Xi Men chuckled as he sits down on the couch again, and also lets Alex sits on his thigh to watch TV.

**********

DING DONG!

Xiao You opened her eyes, and looked at the door of her room.

Who would still come over to her house at this time?

But then again, who else?

Nobody really knows she stays here other than…

Xi Men Zhong Er Lang.

Duh.

She closed her eyes again.

She is not afraid now; because she knew Xi Men cannot enter the house without her opening the door, since she locked the door with the extra lock she had installed.

But what if the one behind the door is not Xi Men?

Then… who could it be…?

Her parents?

Ah!

Xiao You sits up on her bed now.

Yes! What if it is her parents coming back a few days earlier?

She quickly gets down from the bed now and then heads towards the door.

DING DONG!

Xiao You then walked to the main door.

Wait.

Paused.

What if this is really Xi Men?

Xiao You looked at the door.

Hmmm…

Maybe she should just take a peek first.

She unlocked the locks on the door, leaving the chain on; and she opened the door and takes a peek at the visitor from the two-inch gap/opening.

“Hello, Xiao You,”

“Hi Xiao You,”

*Wave.

Surprised, “Ah, Jing, Lei…” Xiao You uttered from the two inches opening of the door.

“Can we come in?” Jing smiled.

“Oh sure, let me open this…” Xiao You said and then closed the door.

And then off the chain, before she opened the door again.

Since she had the door opened widely, it gives Lei a chance to take a good look of her. He looked at her from top to toe. “You are… sleeping?”

She noted when he looked at her from top to toe, and she is quick to take action, “Yes, I mean, I have just lied down. I haven’t fall asleep,” she turned around, “Oh, please close the door for me! Be right back!” she hurriedly walked to her room to get a change.

Not that nice to have her guests around with her wearing pajamas.

“Alright!” Jing replied with a smile and both of them entered the penthouse.

Lei closed the door behind him.

They walked towards the living room, and sits down on the couch.

And then Lei gazes over to the corner, where there are few boxes placed there.

They waited for about 5 minutes where Xiao You walked out from her room, clad in a tee and shorts now.

“Sorry about what I was wearing,” Xiao You said, walking towards them.

“No worries about it. Nice to see you again, Xiao You,” Jing smiled and gave Xiao You a hug.

Xiao You wrapped her hands around Jing for 2 seconds, “Yes, Jing. Nice to see you again,”

“Sorry about coming at this time. We didn’t know you’ll go to bed this early,” Lei said, his turn to give her a friendly hug.

“No, no. I usually sleep at 12am,” Xiao You said, scratching her head again after the hug.

“Oh? Then why are you going to bed so early tonight?” Lei asked, sitting down again on the couch.

“Well, it’s been a tiring day,” Xiao You said, sitting down on the couch opposite theirs.

“Tiring day?” Jing asked. “What have you been doing?”

“Just packing,” Xiao You smiled.

Lei and Jing exchanged glances.

And then Lei’s eyes went to the boxes again.

“I heard from Xi Men that you want to leave…” Lei said, and then returned his gaze to her.

With the small smile on her face, she nodded. “Yes. I’m leaving in 6 days,” she said.

Lei and Jing exchanged glances again.

“On your own?” Lei asked.

This time, Xiao You shook. “My parents are currently in Alishan, and they will be back to Taipei tomorrow. They will then tour Taipei for the next few days while I pack the rest of my things… and then we’ll leave Taipei together, back to San Francisco,”

Lei and Jing looked at each other again.

“Don’t worry. I’ll ask you guys out for dinner for one last time before I leave. I will give a proper farewell,” Xiao You said.

Lei and Jing only smiled.

“So,” Xiao You said, “Why do you guys come here and look for me at this hour?”

“Well, we haven’t see and talk to you for a while, so… we thought of dropping by,” Jing said.

“Oh,”

“I mean, we know you are unhappy with us…” Lei said, and then gazes at Xiao You.

“Un… unhappy?” Xiao You asked.

“Yes, that we didn’t tell you about Xi Men’s decision to divorce Juliana,” Lei said.

“Umm…” Xiao You looked at them.

She is indeed unhappy that the F3 and wives did not tell her about Xi Men’s divorce, but now that Lei and Jing came to her house and basically confronts her, she didn’t know if she should admit or…

“No, no… I am not,” Xiao You smiled. “I am just busy with packing so I didn’t have time to talk to you guys,”

“Oh, really?” Jing and Lei asked at the same time.

“Yeah,” Xiao You smiled, clasping her hands together.

They all know very well it isn’t…

But since Xiao You says she is not… then they’ll take it as it is; and consider the matter as solved.

“Umm, what I meant earlier was, I didn’t expect you guys to come at 10pm…” Xiao You said. “I mean, you can come earlier… and then it wouldn’t be that embarrassing for me to…”

Lei and Jing chuckled.

“Don’t worry about it. We just had dinner so we came straight after that,” Jing said.

“Oh? Dinner? Until 10pm…?” Xiao You asked.

“Yeah. We have a lot of things to talk about, that is why our dinner ends late,” Lei said.

“Oh…” Xiao You replied.

Jing then turned her head to look at Lei.

Lei gave Jing a quick gaze and met her in her eyes before he straightened his head to look at Xiao You.

And Xiao You finds them looking really odd with that exchanged gazes between them.

“Xiao You,” Lei called.

“Yeah?” Xiao You asked.

Lei then takes a deep breath, “We want to tell you that…”

Xiao You looked at Lei. “Hmmm?”

“Juliana already found out about you,”


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7 thoughts on “Conflicted – Chapter 53

  1. Ohhhhh…so what will happen? Will there be any confrontation between xy…ximen and juliana…….ummmppphhhhm…i can’t wait for the latest update…..

  2. so she finally know the truth.what would she do then if ya say it gonna get messy sis. i don’t like the sound of that. hehe. beside uncle XM is not so bad a baby sitter, lullaby..:))

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