I Still… – Chapter 10

Time passes by and it’s already 7 years into marriage.

That also means it has been 10 years since they have been together, and 12 years after the billboard incident.

Nice.

Xi Men and Xiao You have been blessed with a daughter named Emily Xi Men Yang Hui-Qi and she is 5 years old.

Xi Men Corporation is doing great.

Yang Ballet Studio is running well too.

Dao Ming Si and San Chai have been married for 9 years now and they have three kids; Dao Ming Chen, son, 7; Dao Ming Mei, daughter, 5 years old and Dao Ming Qiang, son, 3 years old.

Ling Mei Zhuo and Ying Xiao Qiao have been married for 8 years with two kids; one daughter and one son; Ling Wei Yi, daughter, 6, and Ling Wei Juin, son, 2 years old.

Hua Ze Lei and Teng Tang Jing have been married also for 8 years and they have a son, Alex Hua Ze, 5 years old.

**********

One week ago.

Xi Men took up a spoonful of rice and stuffs it into his mouth as he looked at Xiao You, turning her head over to check that Emily, who is sitting next to her, is eating her food.

He then lowered his head down again and extends his chopsticks forward to grab a slice of fish filet.

At the action of picking up the slice of fish, he also gazes at Xiao You who is sitting in front of him.

He looked at her who is paying attention to Emily, making sure the latter is eating her dinner.

He felt that life has become mundane now.

For months, he felt they do not have lots of conversation topics anymore.

They are in silence most of the time.

And it felt more like both of them leading own lives.

He does his job as a CEO in his Xi Men Corporation.

She does her job as a ballet instructor in her Yang Ballet Studio.

Every day, they go to work and attend to Emily.

On weekend, they go and visit friends or bring Emily around.

If they have anything to talk about, it is usually the same few questions.

Each other’s job and each other’s day at work.

And pretty much that’s about it.

Yeah. That’s about it.

So mundane.

So, so mundane.

“I remember you told me you had lunch with CEO Jiang from Grand Solution Enterprise today,” Xiao You said, interrupted his thought.

Xi Men looked at her. “Oh, right, yes, I did,”

“How is he?”

“He is good. He sends his regards to you,”

Xiao You smiled. “That’s very nice of him,”

“Oh, right, I remember now. He had also told me that there is a company function in his company in few months. He has invited me to go,” Xi Men said. “So I have agreed and asked Secretary Xu to put the date in into the calendar,”

“Ohhh, alright,” she said. “When will that be?”

“Hmmm…” Xi Men hummed as he is in deep thought. “I don’t remember the date now. Secretary Xu will inform me,”

“Alright,” she replied.

“So, buy a dress if required, alright?” he said.

“I already had a dress for that,” she smiled.

“Oh?” he asked. “That’s quite rare for you,”

“It just happened that I bought a few dresses the last round, and hadn’t had a perfect function to wear them,” she smiled.

He smiled briefly. “Alright,”

He then lowered his head and continues eating his dinner.

“Today, Katie said the ‘Phantom of The Opera’ musical is coming to town in 2 months. She asked me if it is worth to go and watch the musical…” Xiao You said.

Xi Men smiled briefly again, “You must have told her ‘yes’,”

She smiled. “Yeah, I did,”

“So, she is going?”

“I am not sure though,” she replied. “She is still contemplating. She said ticket is not open for sale yet,”

“Oh. Not yet?”

“No,” she said. “But soon,”

“Alright,” Xi Men responded. “You plan to go and watch?”

“I am not sure yet,” she said. “Maybe,”

“I thought that’s your favorite musical,” he said. “Thought you wouldn’t want to miss it,”

She smiled, “I know. I haven’t exactly checked when they are here so I can’t really decide if I can go. Anyway I will decide later,”

He just smirked.

“Do you want to watch it? But it wasn’t your favorite musical,” Xiao You said. “If you don’t like it… then there is no point if I bring you along…”

He smiled briefly, “We’ll see then,” he said.

“Alright,” she smiled.

He remained smirking, and then he lowered his head down.

‘I guess… pretty high chance… no.’

‘Because…’

Sigh.

And he continues his dinner.

In silence.

*****

Xi Men walked out from the bathroom as he glances at Xiao You who is lying on the bed, deep asleep.

He just stares at her, and then he took a deep breath, before he straightened his head and then walked towards his walk-in closet.

After putting on a pair of clean change after his shower, he heads to the king bed.

He lifted the blanket up, sits down on the bed and then covers the blanket over himself.

He casually turned his head and looked at Xiao You who is deep asleep next to him.

He stares at her, in a very deep thought.

‘When was the last time we actually talked to each other before one of us goes to sleep?’

‘We used to wait for each other…’

She suddenly moved, and that awakes him from his thought too.

She happened to turn over and faces him.

And she slowly opened her eyes, looking at him, and then closes her eyes back.

“Sleep, Xi Men…” she murmured.

“I will,” Xi Men said. “Are you tired?”

She nodded. “Very,”

“Alright, go to sleep, okay?” he said.

She nodded again.

Very soon, he heard those peaceful breathing from her.

She had fallen asleep, again.

He sits there, looking at her, with his hands clasped in front of him.

Breathing in.

Breathing out.

Breathing in.

Breathing out.

Deep breath.

“It is time. It is really the time,” he solemnly said.

**********

[Present]

Today.

Xiao You enters the empty ballet room and locked the door.

Now, that is unusual.

No, not about entering empty room, but about locking the door.

She usually will just close the door and left the door unlock just in case someone came to look for her or any of the students, then they can come in straightaway – without needing her to walk to the door to unlock it.

But today, she locked the door.

She loosened the grip of the bag in her hand and puts it down on the floor at the corner of the room.

She then sits down next to it as she slowly takes off her shoes, and then took the ballet shoes out of the bag and wears it.

She is ready to use the room all for herself.

It is nothing new for her.

Occasionally, when she felt like dancing, she will go into any empty room and dances there.

Everyone in the office knows it.

She loves dancing ballet, which is why she enrolled into Performing Arts course for her degree, and majored in Ballet.

To her, ballet is a form of expression.

She tightened up the strings on her ballet shoes and after making sure it is nicely tied up, she stands up. Using her smartphone to play one of her favorite songs, she started warming up before she dances away.

She dances gracefully.

And then… her mind starts wandering away.

=====

*Flashback to the night before.

“Is Emily asleep?” Xi Men asked, as he looked at Xiao You closing the door behind her slowly and softly.

“Yeah. She is asleep,” Xiao You replied, moving away from Emily’s room’s door.

“That is good…” he said, lowering his head for a while.

Xiao You looked at Xi Men, “Are you alright? You look bothered,” she said. “Are you tired or something? If you are, you should go to sleep first,”

Xi Men lifted his head up and looked at her. “Xiao You,”

“Hmm?”

“There is something I want to tell you,”

“Oh? What is it?” she asked.

He stares at her. He lowered his head again and swallowed the lump in his throat, before he looked up, and gently flings his head to make sure his fringe that the style he had kept for years stays at the right place; and he looked at her in her eyes.

“Let’s divorce,”

=====

[Present]

As Xiao You tip-toed on her right left and lifted her left leg, she can feel tears are about to form in her eyes.

=====

[Flashback again]

Xiao You is stunned with what she heard.

Xi Men looked at her, hoping for a respond from her.

She remained staring at him in shock. “Di… divorce?”

Xi Men looked at her, and then he swallowed the lump in his throat. “Yes,”

Shock and sadness immediately filled her mind and soul, “Wh… why? What happened?”

Xi Men took a deep breath. It is not easy for him to say he wants a divorce, and it is not easy to do it in a way without breaking her heart.

He knew it is hard for both him and her.

This is a woman he had been with for 10 years and married for 7 years.

This woman had given birth to their beautiful and adorable daughter.

This is the woman who had spent so much time together with him.

“Do you… have a mistress out there?”

“No,” he replied immediately upon hearing that. “No,” he reaffirmed his answer. “I do not have someone else out there and I will not cheat while still in a relationship or marriage. I will never be with two women at the same time. You know this part of me very well since 10 years ago,”

“Then are you saying you are planning to be with someone else?”

“No, there is no someone else. This is only between you and me,” Xi Men said. “Trust me that this is ONLY between you and me,”

“Then? What is going on?” tears formed really quickly and it streamed down her cheeks. “What happened…?”

“Things have changed,” he uttered.

“Changed…?”

“Have you noticed that things nowadays are no longer the same as the way we know anymore? We have limited conversation topics, causing us nothing much to talk and to share and are always about the same few subjects. We use to find excitement in talking to each other but it is gone and things are mundane. And now, we mostly do our own things. Every single day, we are just busy with our own lives and Emily. Work and Emily … and nothing else,”

“How…” she didn’t know what to say.

“This matter has been lingering in my heart and mind for a while now. It is not easy for me to say this, but it needs to be said and done,” Xi Men said. “We are not the same as the way we know anymore,”

She looked at him, remained speechless. “I…”

“Xiao You, this is not the life that I had expected and wanted,” Xi Men said. “As hard as it may seems… divorce is our only way out. I am sorry this had to happen,”

“But… but Xi Men, I… I thought we love each other…” she holds both his arms.

He could only look at her as those tears keep on rolling down her cheeks.

“Xi Men, I still love you…” she said.

“Xiao You, I don’t love you anymore,”

=====

[Present]

With the flashback playing in her mind, Xiao You gets even sadder.

She lowered her leg, and slowly turned to look at herself in the mirror of the ballet room.

Tears that she had tried to hold back slowly streamed down her cheek.

=====

[Flashback again]

Xiao You stood next to the door as she looked at Xi Men packing up his bag in the master bedroom.

Despite not sobbing, her tears didn’t stop flowing down to her face.

She looked at Xi Men making repeated trips to the walk-in closet to collect his clothes and then puts them into the luggage.

Knowing Xiao You is standing next to the door looking at him, with his back facing her,

“I will move back to the mansion and you can stay here with Emily,” he said.

Xiao You lowered her head when she heard it.

“Butler Pan, Jin and everybody else in this house will continue to serve you and Emily,” Xi Men said.

Xiao You swallowed the lump in her throat.

“I will credit spousal and child monetary support into your account every month. I will not neglect Emily, so I hope we can have joint custody,” Xi Men said. “If you do not have enough, do let me know. I will give you more,”

She sniffed.

“I will contact my lawyer and asked him to prepare the documentations. It may take 2 years to officially divorce but I can use my influence and try to shorten it. I will ask him to get it done and hopefully the documentations will be ready to sign soon,” he said.

She sniffs again and wiped her tears.

“You will continue enjoy the benefits and what you have as Mrs. Xi Men. I will not ask or take it back from you. Your welfare will never be compromised and will always be protected. Nothing will be different for you,”

“The only difference is to live without you,” Xiao You uttered.

Xi Men’s eyes strayed. He knew it is very heartbreaking for her. He then continued stuffing his clothes into the luggage. “Can we…”

Xiao You looked at him, wondering why he stopped, and also anticipates what he is about to say.

“People will somehow know sooner or later, but since this is still quite fresh…” he slowly lifted his head up by slight, and he turned to look at Xiao You. “Can we just pretend everything is alright for now? I didn’t want anyone to know we are divorcing,” Xi Men asked, “I’ll announce when it is time,”

“Xi Men…” Xiao You said as she walked towards him, “I can pretend you have never uttered those…” she hugged him. “I don’t want to divorce…” she begins to sob.

Xi Men felt heartbroken to hear her cries and sees her reacting like this. It is all because of him.

This is a woman he used to love… so, so much.

But it is needed to be done.

“Xi Men… don’t leave me…” she pleaded as she wrapped her hands around his upper waist. “Please…”

He puts both his hands on her shoulder. “Xiao You, I am sorry,” he said, and he gently pushed her to remove her from hugging him and as the result of it, he is also making her took two steps back.

He returned his gaze to his luggage and this time, he closed the luggage and zipped it up.

Xiao You could only control her sob with her hand covering her nose and mouth.

Xi Men grabbed the luggage, “I can’t pack everything yet… I will come over and pack them soon,” he said, as he looked at her.

Xiao You turned her head away, as she tried hard not to sob.

He looked at her, that right now, the sight of her wants to make him cry too.

He swallowed the lump in his throat as though it is his sadness that he swallowed.

He didn’t say anything else, and he just heads to the door.

No words are necessary.

Xiao You didn’t say anything too, and she just lets him go.

*Flashback ended.

=====

[Present]

Xiao You couldn’t hold back her feelings anymore.

She felt she has lost all the energy and motivation to dance.

She slowly lowered her body down, and ends up sitting on the floor.

She sniffed so many times… and then she covered her face with both her hands and…

Sobbed hard.

Alone in the ballet room.

*****

The painkiller did not help at all. The throbbing pain didn’t seem to go away.

He couldn’t help it. He stopped working in his CEO room.

With both of his hands supporting his head and the elbows are on the table, he pressed his temple and his eyes closed.

And his mind traveled…

=====

*Flashback to yesterday again.

Xi Men grabbed the luggage, “I can’t pack everything yet… I will come over and pack them soon,” he said, as he looked at her.

Xiao You turned her head away, as she tried hard not to sob.

He looked at her, that right now, the sight of her wants to make him cry too.

He swallowed the lump in his throat as though it is his sadness that he swallowed.

He didn’t say anything else, and he just heads to the door.

No words are necessary.

Xiao You didn’t say anything too, and she just lets him walks away.

“Master…” Butler Pan called as he looked at Xi Men heading to the door with the luggage.

Xi Men had to stop walking as Butler Pan called him. He then looked at the butler, “Butler Pan, I will move back to the mansion. Take care of Xiao You, and also Emily. Call me if there is anything,”

Butler Pan has expected to hear the word ‘travel’ or ‘business trip’, and is utterly shocked to hear the word ‘move’ is being uttered instead. “Ah?” that is all he could respond.

“Don’t ask anything,” Xi Men said, heading to the door now.

Butler Pan immediately dashes to the door and opens it for Xi Men.

Xi Men walked out from the penthouse, and didn’t even turn his head to look back.

Butler Pan and the maids exchanged glances.

With every step Xi Men took and furthering away from the penthouse, tears formed even more in his eyes. He stopped in front of the lift and pressed the lift button.

DING!

As the lift’s door opened, he walked in and pressed for B1, the level where he parked his car.

Door closed.

He lifted his head up, purportedly to look at the board, but the main motive was to hold his tears from falling down to his cheek.

His tears flooded his eyes and blurred his sight.

In the end, it still falls.

He sniffed as he runs the back of his palm over his face to wipe the tears.

Mixed emotions filled him, and his right hand slowly reaches for the collar of his t-shirt and he gripped it tight.

“It hurts so much. Why am I feeling like this?”

“Why?”

*Flashback ended.

=====

[Present]

Even just thinking about it could stir the mixed emotions in Xi Men up.

Xi Men opened his eyes and the overwhelming feelings in him bring him to tears. He sniffed.

He then turned his swivel chair around to look at the skyscrapers outside of his office.

Although the view is magnificent, his mind is blank.

Blank.

Life will never be the same, definitely.

But life goes on.


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21 thoughts on “I Still… – Chapter 10

  1. OMG… divorce??….whats the problem…c’mon xm think again?…… i hope its not the end for relationship…? hiks…hiks

  2. okay..i’ll just wait for your update on what’s wrong with XM then. couldn’t believe he said he don’t love her anymore! beside why Alex doesn’t have a last name sis(neither mommy or daddy)? haha just curious.

  3. *Sigh*..so I was half right like you said. I should have realized that was the reason since you did have XM mention that as part of his fears in the previous chapters. So is SC or the other three, i can esp. see Lei in this situation, beat some sense into him? Please let that happen..I wanna see it happen to the idiot that we all love. lol

    • ‘I should have realized that was the reason since you did have XM mention that as part of his fears in the previous chapters.’
      What part? Which one are you referring to?

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