“Since you said you are here to talk to me… so, take a seat,” Xi Men said.
Juliana walked towards the desk and then glances at the chair, “I don’t think it is necessary,”
Xi Men looked at her.
Juliana puts her handbag on the papers and documents-invaded desk of Xi Men’s and she opened the zip of her handbag.
Xi Men remained staring at her…
…and then she takes out a very familiar looking envelope.
There is a minor change on his facial expression.
Is this what he thinks it is?
Juliana looked at the envelope in her hand, before she emotionlessly extends the envelope to Xi Men.
And yet another small change in his gaze as he looked at the extended hand with the envelope.
“This is what you wanted,”
Xi Men lifted his eyes up from looking at the document to look at Juliana’s expressionless face.
“This is our divorce document,” Juliana said, looking at him.
Xi Men’s eyes lowered to the document in her grip, and then to her face, again.
“I have already signed it,” Juliana said.
He isn’t sure why, his heart beats extremely fast now.
After he swallowed the lump in his throat, he raised his hand and takes the envelope containing the divorce papers from her hand.
He opened the envelope, taking the papers out.
He flipped to the last page and looked at the signatures planted.
One side is his’.
The other is hers’.
She has really signed the document.
What makes her made her decision this fast?
Just right yesterday, she was still texting him, hoping for reconciliation.
And just last night, she asked his friends out for a dinner.
What have his friends told her?
“I can’t sleep the whole night because of this,” Juliana said.
Xi Men lifted his head up to look at her.
“I’ve spent the whole night thinking about it. Can’t really sleep. And even if I manage to sleep, it is not a rested or deep sleep. I wake up more tired than when I go to sleep,” Juliana said. “Thus these bags under my eyes…” she raised her hand up and touched them.
Xi Men swallowed the lump in his throat.
“After a deep… and thorough consideration, I have decided to sign the document and end our marriage,” Juliana said.
Plenty of questions are running in Xi Men’s mind that makes him curious, but he isn’t sure if he should ask.
He indeed wanted to end the marriage, but somehow, it is just weird to have Juliana signed this right now…
“I want you to know,”
He raised his head up and looked at Juliana.
“I didn’t end this divorce because I am letting you to be with your second woman,” Juliana said.
He continued to look at her.
She bites her lower lip.
Emotions had begun swarming her now.
Tears started to form in her eyes.
“I signed this document because of what I have said before,” Juliana said.
A small frown appears on Xi Men’s face.
What is that supposed to mean?
Something she has said before?
What she had said before?
“What… what’s that?” his curiosity gets the best of him and made him ask her.
“6 years ago. I told you. If the second woman ever comes back, I will leave,”
The frown on his face vanishes.
“I said, if the one you love comes back, I will leave on my own,” Juliana said, her tears fell. “And now that she comes back, I am leaving. I have to leave, because I said so,”
“Juliana,” he swallowed the lump in his throat, “I hope you understand that I didn’t divorce you because I want to be with her. And it has nothing to do with that,”
“I know. You’ve said her appearance is what motivates you to take this document out from your drawer and execute it, right?” Juliana asked.
Xi Men has nothing to say.
“Despite that is what you and everyone said, somehow… deep in my heart… I do feel that… you are divorcing me on order to have a chance to be with her,” Juliana said, and then bites her lower lip and at the same time wiped her tears on her face.
“No, Juliana, it really is not,”
“Well… who knows if you will be with her in the future, right?” Juliana said.
He sighed and then he squeezed his nasal bridge forehead. “I don’t know. Let’s not get too far, can we?”
“She’s divorced anyway, and you are too. Who knows you’re going to start dating her right away after this?”
Xi Men lifted his gaze up to look at her. “She… divorced?”
Does Juliana know… something?
“Didn’t you make it happen for her?” Juliana asked.
“Make… what?” he questioned with a frown on his face.
“Her divorce with her husband,” Juliana said.
The frown disappears.
His gaze changed.
He is stunned now.
How the hell did Juliana know about this?
Xi Men rose to his feet and he remains in shock. “Juliana, how did you know about this?”
Juliana tilts her head slightly and sniffs. “Why? I shouldn’t know about this?”
“This…” Xi Men’s mind went blank.
“Everything is making sense to me right after I know who she is,” Juliana said.
He felt blood rushed to the back of his head.
He didn’t know what to think.
“Her husband cheated on her with my cousin. That is why you can’t tell me when you saw them together,” Juliana said.
He looked at her.
This is too intense.
Xi Men momentarily forgot how to breathe.
“And you are the kind of person that does not care about anything, anything at all. But when it involves her, you took action immediately. Seeing Mark is with Ivy, you make him divorce her,” Juliana said.
Xi Men swallowed the lump in his throat.
“And that house she is staying? It is not Lei’s house. But yours! To make her comfortable, you even bought a house… just for her…”
Xi Men couldn’t say anything.
“Despite so many years had passed and that you even married me, you could not move on from her. You still love her very much!” Juliana said.
Xi Men gazes at Juliana.
Juliana dropped her gaze from his face to his tie, “And I am a fool,” Juliana said, patting her own chest.
Xi Men looked at her.
“For once… I thought you really love the tie that I bought for you…”
Xi Men’s gaze strayed now.
“I bought it after I listened to her advice. And because she is a part of this… that is why you love the tie,” she looked at the tie he is wearing today… and he has been, everyday.
“I…” Xi Men didn’t know what to say.
“It makes sense now,” Juliana adds.
Xi Men swallowed another lump in his throat again.
“Can a cup of black coffee be a clue too? She orders black coffee everytime we go out… just like you,” Juliana said, “Drinking it the same way you do… loving it like you do…”
Xi Men looked at her. “That…”
She lifted her gaze up to look at Xi Men in his eyes, “I have never imagined she is the one that you loved,” Juliana said, tears rolling down her face. “The first time I see her… seeing how close she is with everyone, I had never even once, thought; why is she so close with everyone. In fact, I just want to be the same as everyone. I want to be close to her…”
Xi Men continued to look at her.
“I make my way to be close to her… and I treated her as my best friend. I even asked her to help me save my marriage,” Juliana said. “I can’t believe I treated the woman that my husband loves as my best friend…”
Xi Men lowered his gaze down.
“I also found out that…” she uttered. “For 5 years I have married you…”
Xi Men lifted his eyes up again.
“I mistook your gestures to me as a way you show your affection,”
He continued to look at her.
“I never had the slightest idea at all about how tough it is for you to do them. That you could even prepare so well that you’ll never impregnate me,”
Xi Men lowered his head down.
“You see… the only thing I wish from you is to have you love me, even just a little bit. I didn’t know it is something so hard for you to do,” Juliana said.
He looked at her.
“I guess I learned from this. I cannot make someone like me. If he doesn’t like me, no matter what I do, he’ll never like me,” Juliana said, looking at Xi Men.
He pressed his lips together.
“I learned. This is a very painful lesson,” Juliana said.
“I am sorry,” Xi Men finally said something.
Juliana looked at him, “On a personal note, although I love you very much, I am ending this marriage because after all that had happened… I don’t think I can continue living another day as your wife and pretended everything had never happened. My husband, my best friend, and my cousin; all in one situation that is not acceptable nor can I comprehend,” she swallowed the lump in her throat, “And I can understand why everyone is keeping it from me. But I am glad I found out about it now, as I have a perfect reason to tell myself that I did not make a wrong decision to sign this,”
He swallowed the lump in his throat.
“But I want you to have this etched in your mind; I divorce you because I have told you I will leave when she comes back. Not for any other reasons,”
Xi Men finds himself nodding.
Tears rolled down to her cheek.
He knew what he had done to her. He knew what he could not provide to her.
She suffered even more, as she has been waiting and putting in efforts to make this marriage work.
He failed as a man.
He failed as a husband.
All of these thoughts bring tears to his eyes.
“I am sorry about all those that I’ve put you thru, Juliana,” Xi Men said, blinked for a few times as his vision blurred by his tears. “I have never… done anything… to be rightfully called your husband,”
Juliana bites her lips and then smiled forcefully, and also at the same time, tried hard to control her emotions.
“I’m sorry. Please live well,” Xi Men said, his tears fell and he wiped it; and then he swallowed a bitter lump that had formed quickly in his throat.
Juliana nodded. “I will. I believe I will live better now without you,”
That statement is like a knife stabbed into his heart as well as busting his ego as a man; but he knows there’s truth behind it.
With no intention to counter what she had said, he nodded instead.
He blinked a few times, trying to hold the tears in his eyes, as he didn’t want them to fall to his cheeks.
He looked at her.
She swallowed the lump in her throat and then she sniffed, “I know it is hard for you to do this but… can I hug you for one last time?”
He smirked at that one simple request. “Sure,” he nodded.
And the pool of tears came back.
He walked towards her and with no hesitation, he wrapped his arms around her, embracing her.
Juliana closed her eyes with more tears falling as she raised her hands up to hug him back.
This is the sincerest, and tightest hug Xi Men had ever given to her.
As he remained hugging her, his tears fell now.
“Having married to me for 5 years… I have only kissed you once… and that’s during our wedding. Do you want that right now too?” Xi Men asked, still hugging her.
Juliana opened her eyes upon hearing it.
Xi Men has never offered that.
“I am sorry. I will do it for you now if you want me to. I will…” Xi Men said, feeling utmost guilty towards Juliana.
“There’s no point if you had to force yourself to do it,” Juliana uttered.
“It is okay. It is just one last time,” Xi Men said, and he pulled back from the hug.
He looked at her, and Juliana sniffed.
He raised his hands up and wiped the tears off from her face.
Perhaps, this is the first time he looked at her this closely.
Juliana looked at the teary-eyed Xi Men, gently wiping her tears.
She has never seen this side of Xi Men before.
And apparently he could do this… it’s just that… he couldn’t do it to her.
After he had cleared the trails of tears from her cheeks, he leaned over and kissed her on her lips.
She is overwhelmed.
As said, this is the second time he kissed her.
And this is going to be the last.
Kiss of farewell.
And Xi Men pulled back, ending the short kiss.
The moment the kiss ended, Juliana gasped as she could not handle the overwhelming emotions that she is forcing herself to hold back.
And more tears rolled down to her face while she tries hard to contain her sadness.
“I love you, Xi Men…” she finally sobbed. “I love you very much,”
He wrapped his hands around her and embraced her again. “I know,” he replied, rubbing her back. “I am sorry,”
She remained sobbing and he only listened to her crying on his chest.
He knew it is difficult for her to let him go because she really loves him.
But after hearing what she had said, he knew on top of deciding to leave because she has somewhat promised to leave when Xiao You comes back, he knew what he had done behind her had also upsets her too.
After she had cried for a while, she sniffs hard and then she gently removed herself from the hug.
He looked at her, as she forces herself to stop sobbing.
She swallowed the lump in her throat and then wiped the tears on her face away.
“Please give me a few days. I will pack and leave the mansion,” she said, wiping the trails of her tears on her jawline now.
He nodded. “Okay,”
She walked to the desk and takes her handbag that she had placed on it, and then turns around and walked to the door.
She lowered her head down and walked as he watches.
Just when she passed by in front of him,
“Take care,” Xi Men said.
She stopped right there. “Take care,” she said. “Too,”
Gripping tight on the handbag’s strap, she walked to the door, opened it and walked out.
*CLACK (door open)
Secretary Xu immediately looked at the door and sees Juliana walking out slowly from the door.
She stopped her track as she closed the door behind her.
Right there, she digs for her sunglasses in her already-opened handbag.
After she found it, she puts it on.
She zips up her handbag and took a step forward.
“Goodbye Mrs. Xi Men,” Secretary Xu said.
Juliana stops on her track when she heard it.
She then turned and looked at Secretary Xu.
She smiled. “That’s a very nice name to be addressed at,”
CRAP. What is that supposed to mean?
“Thank you. Goodbye Secretary Xu. Take care. And take care of CEO Xi Men,” Juliana said, and then she continued walking again.
“C… CEO…?” Secretary Xu said, while his head followed her as she walked away, to the lift.
He frowned as he looked at Juliana’s back; and she walks away, until she disappears from his sight.
He just looked at the direction, pondering about what Juliana had just said, “Why does she call CEO Xi Men, CEO Xi Men (instead of just Xi Men)? And why… why is…”
“Oh, wait. Miss Yang is in the boardroom,” Secretary Xu immediately stands up.
But before he moves out of his seat, he tilts his body left and right, trying to look out for Juliana.
Just to make sure she did not backtrack or come back.
Okay. She has left. Confirmed.
Secretary Xu hurriedly walked to the boardroom.
When he reached the door, he knocked on it before he opened the door.
“Miss Yang,” Secretary Xu called, and then looked at Xiao You sitting on one of the chairs. “Mrs. Xi Men has…” he paused for a while as he recalls something.
“Juliana has left?” Xiao You asked.
And he recovers from the pause by her statement, “Yes, Miss Yang. She has left,”
“Okay…” Xiao You stood up. “So… I can see Xi Men now?”
“Yes, Miss Yang,” Secretary Xu said.
“Thank you…” Xiao You said, grabbing her handbag and then she walked out from the boardroom.
As Secretary Xu walks behind Xiao You, he ponders again.
‘Mrs. Xi Men.’
‘Why did Mrs. Xi Men say it’s a nice name to be addressed at?’
‘Why all of a sudden?’
‘And she calls him CEO Xi Men?’
His eyes suddenly widened. “Does that mean…”
And at that same time, Xiao You, without knocking on the door, just turned the door knob and opened the door to Xi Men’s CEO room.