I Still… – Chapter 11

A simple decision on whether she should go to work had become the toughest decision in the world.

Xiao You didn’t feel like going to work.

But she didn’t feel like staying at home even more.

She hasn’t been able to sleep last night.

She has been crying on and off the whole night.

Even if she is not sobbing, tears will remain falling.

The news hits her pretty hard.

It is definitely very hard for her to accept.

Nobody could really accept that.

What happened?

What went wrong?

Where did it go wrong?

Why did things have to be like this?

It affects her so much that she couldn’t sleep.

For the whole night, she could only lied down on the bed, the tears rolled to the pillow, staring at the spot where Xi Men used to sleep at.

At times, she will close her eyes and then opens it back, hoping she will see Xi Men next to her again.

She wished this is just a nightmare she had in her sleep.

But it wasn’t even a part of a dream.

It is real.

She fell asleep in the end because her eyes are tired due to the cries.

She wakes up feeling lethargic and but still makes a decision to go to work.

At least, she can get herself distracted with her work.

A minute of distraction is better than none.

Depending on her schedule of classes, sometimes she goes to work earlier and sometimes later. She doesn’t have a fixed time on going to work.

Jin usually sends her to work, and on certain days where she feels like driving, she will drive herself to work. Yes, Xiao You owns a car too.

Xi Men on the other hand, favors driving himself to work, and at times, he might offer to send Emily to school and Xiao You to work.

Today, Xiao You wakes up earlier because she couldn’t sleep well.

Although she doesn’t have a class in the morning, she decided to go to work earlier.

She spend a long time on the dresser as she stares at her wedding ring, which she hesitantly wears because nobody knows about their marriage break down.

Emily happened to ask for Xi Men when they ate breakfast this morning because there is no sight of Xi Men at all.

And all Xiao You could say is that Xi Men had gone to work.

*****

Clasping her hands together on the table, Xiao You’s mind drifted and wonders if there is a way to salvage the marriage.

What can she do to get Xi Men back?

Knock! Knock!

Xiao You lifted her eyes up to look at the small glass panel on her door, to see who it is.

“Come in,” she said, and then turned her head and focuses on her laptop.

“Xiao You,” Katie called as she entered the room. “We have two parents wanted to enquire about your classes for their kids. Are you free to do the consultation with them?”

Xiao You shook almost immediately. “Ask someone to talk to them. I don’t want to talk to anyone,”

Katie is surprised with that respond. “Oh?”

Xiao You is always happy and is excited to talk to potential customers.

There is never a time that Xiao You said no unless she has a class to catch… thus this is a first.

Katie suddenly is concerned with Xiao You.

Katie lowered and tilted her head slightly to look at Xiao You.

She remembers Xiao You looking quite lethargic and gloomy the moment she walked into the studio this morning.

“Xiao You… are you alright?” Katie asked.

Xiao You’s eyes lowered for a brief while before it returned to the laptop. “Don’t I look fine to you?”

“Umm… to be honest… no,” Katie said.

Xiao You slowly lifted her eyes up and looked at Katie.

Katie saw Xiao You’s reddened eyes, and is immediately surprised. “Xiao You, what is going on? What happened?”

Xiao You looked away and her tears formed. She then pressed her lips together.

“Can we just pretend everything is alright for now? I didn’t want anyone to know we are divorcing,”

“Xiao You…” Katie sits down on the chair in front of Xiao You.

But Katie already saw her eyes and could sense something is not right. If Xiao You didn’t tell her and she (Katie) happened to ask anyone else in the office if they ever notice Xiao You’s red eyes… then everyone will know something is troubling Xiao You.

Seeing the close relationship as well as the trust that she had with Katie…

“Don’t tell anyone,” Xiao You murmured.

“Sure… okay…” Katie looked at Xiao You attentively.

Xiao You swallowed the lump in her throat. “Xi Men and I… we have separated,”

Katie’s eyes widened. “WHAT?”

Xiao You puts her finger on her lips as her tears fell on her cheek.

Katie immediately covered her mouth upon seeing that finger action by Xiao You.

Xiao You tried hard to hold her emotions, sniffed and then wiped her tears away, “It just happened yesterday. So, everything is still very fresh. And at this moment, the media didn’t know this yet. So please do not tell anyone or talk about this until the media has published the news,”

Katie nodded, “Yes, Xiao You…” she looked at Xiao You. “Are you… alright?”

Xiao You shook and then took a deep breath. “Which is why I can’t see anyone with this state. And there is a chance I won’t be able to do it well. So please arrange someone to talk to the parents,” she wiped the fallen tears again.

“I know what to do, Xiao You. I’ll look for someone else to talk to the customers. Don’t worry, alright?”

Xiao You nodded. “Thank you,” she sniffed, trying to hold her tears.

Katie could only look at Xiao You. “Do… do you want to go home?”

Xiao You shook. “I would like to occupy myself with work,”

“Oh… okay…” Katie said. “If… if you need anything, call me…”

“Sure, thank you,” Xiao You said.

Katie then lowered her head down and slowly walked out from Xiao You’s room.

She looked at Xiao You thru the glass panel right after she closed the door.

‘I have always admired her relationship with Mr. Xi Men… they look so good together and they love each other tremendously. They are even crowned the most desired couple in Taiwan. It is very shocking to hear this will happen to them… and I feel so sad for her. And… and she is so tough… she can still focus on her work even though she felt absolutely devastated at whatever that is happening…’

**********

“It is so rare to see you come and eat dinner with us on weekdays,” Mr. Yang said.

Xiao You lifted her head up and looked at her father with a small smile on her face, “So… I can’t come, dad?”

“Of course you can come,” Mr. Yang laughed. “It’s just rare. Usually, you will go for dinner on weekdays with Xi Men,”

“I assume Xi Men must be busy,” Mrs. Yang said.

Xiao You nodded. “Yeah,” she turned her head to look at Emily, making sure she is eating her dinner too. “He… umm… will work until late at night,”

“Since he is a CEO, sometimes work comes unexpectedly. So I truly understand,” Mr. Yang smiled.

Xiao You smiled, and then she lowered her head and looked at the bowl of rice in her hand.

She has no appetite at all to eat; after all, who could have an appetite to eat after such thing had happened, but not wanting her parents to be suspicious about it, she forces the food down her throat.

*****

After she is done with her shower, Xiao You walked to the dressing table and sits down.

She took the comb up and combed her hair, while looking at her image in the mirror.

Her eyes gaze towards the bed at the reflection in the mirror.

An immense sadness grew in her heart.

She remembered…

Everytime she sits at the dresser to comb her hair or to apply facial products, Xi Men will always be sitting on the bed working on his smartphone.

So she will look at his mirror image via the mirror.

And then they may talk…

But Xi Men is right.

They don’t have much to talk about now.

But isn’t that normal?

You don’t exactly have to talk a lot every single time.

You don’t necessary need new topics everyday.

What’s more, all he does the whole day was stuck in his CEO room or going out for meetings; trying to get deals.

And all she does the whole day is dancing, update students’ data, and possibly arrange schedule, and at most, be the consultant to talk to potential students or their parents.

Is there anything else?

But… maybe it is just an excuse.

Perhaps, the real reason is because he doesn’t love her anymore and things get bored, so he is finding a way out.

Tears formed in her eyes.

“Xiao You, I don’t love you anymore,”

It is heartbreaking to hear this.

Knock! Knock!

“Mommy…”

Xiao You immediately sniffs and wiped the tears in her eyes.

She puts her comb down and she walked to the door & opened it, seeing her daughter standing outside the door.

“Yes, sweetie?” Xiao You asked, crouching down so as her eyes’ level will be the same with her daughter.

“I haven’t see daddy today. What time will daddy comes back?” Emily asked.

Xiao You looked at Emily. “Umm… I don’t know. Daddy has a lot of work to do so he will work very late today,”

“Oh,” Emily said.

Xiao You smiled faintly, extending her hand out and patted Emily’s head. ‘Emily… how am I supposed to tell you… your daddy will never come back to this home anymore…’ she thought to herself as she pats Emily’s head.

The tears formed in her eyes, and then she quickly wiped it.

She immediately smiled as she looked at Emily, “Don’t wait for daddy, alright? You need to go to bed,”

“Okay mommy,” Emily said.

Xiao You smiled and then she stood up, extending her hand to hold Emily’s hand, and then walks with Emily to her (Emily) room.

*****

“We are home, master,”

Xi Men opened his eyes and turned from left to the right and then to the left to look at the view outside of the car.

He had closed his eyes after he gets into the car from office due to the dizziness in his head.

And his dizziness was because he couldn’t sleep well the night earlier.

He hopes that he can sleep well tonight.

Looking at the view outside, he realized it is the mansion.

He stares at it for a while, and then he opens his mouth, wanting to ask his mansion’s chauffeur, Patrick, why he (Patrick) drives him (Xi Men) to his mansion, only to close his mouth again almost immediately.

Thank goodness he didn’t ask Patrick.

He had temporarily forgotten that he had moved back to mansion.

When he enters the mansion last night after he leaves the penthouse, he surprised the butler and all the maids.

Butler Liu, who is stationed at the mansion, dashes to the door to greet him and the maids gathered to make a line when he walks in into the mansion.

When Butler Liu asked about the luggage that Xi Men brought with him as he enters the mansion, Xi Men replied and told everyone there that he will NOW be based in mansion.

He didn’t explain why he is based in mansion now, but he told Butler Liu that he will talk about it when it is time.

However, he kinda knew that the news about him and Xiao You would have traveled fast – since Butler Liu can call Butler Pan in penthouse to ask.

And he already senses the weird atmosphere from them this morning when he leaves the house for work.

In general, none of the maids or butlers from both households will or should know that Xi Men and Xiao You had separated and are on the road to divorce since nobody is around when Xi Men says that to Xiao You, but they (maids and butlers) would know that something had happened to their relationship, or a massively huge fight that leads to Xi Men moving out from the place.

“Okay,” Xi Men said, unbuckling his seatbelt.

*****

After making sure Emily had fallen asleep, Xiao You quietly walks out from Emily’s room and heads back to her room.

She enters her room and looked at the bed in front of her.

Standing at the door for a while as she looked at it, she then bites her lips and lowered her head; turning around and closed the door behind her.

As she slowly turned again to face the bed, her eyes traveled to the spot where Xi Men will usually sit. Or rather, his side of the bed.

She then lowered her head, looking down by slight.

She swallowed the lump in her throat.

She walked slowly to the bed and when she reaches the bed, she slowly sits down on her side of the bed.

She hopes tonight, she can have a better sleep than yesterday, though she didn’t expect she will have a good one.

She switched off the lights and lied down on the bed, facing to her right.

The moment her cheek touches her soft pillow, her eyes stared straight at the empty and cold spot in front of her.

This is the spot where Xi Men sleeps.

She remembered Xi Men again.

=====

*Flashback.

The moment her cheek touches her soft pillow, her eyes stared straight at Xi Men, who is also lying on his pillow, smiling at her.

“Goodnight, sweetie,” Xi Men smiled.

“Goodnight, honey,” Xiao You smiled wider.

He leaned over and plants a kiss on her forehead.

Xiao You’s smile grew wider after the kiss.

*Flashback ended.

=====

Xiao You’s eyes are fixated at the empty spot in front of her, which belongs to Xi Men.

Used to be.

No longer Xi Men’s.

He is not here now.

Or rather, he won’t be here anymore.

That thought itself causes tears to form again.

She tried to bite her lips; she tried not to cry.

But she has been enduring these hurtful feelings for the whole day at work, and the urge to cry is even more right now that she is alone in the dark.

She could not hold back anymore.

She finally sobbed.

Her perfect marriage is over.

*****

Xi Men lied down in the middle of his king bed.

His dizziness is causing him to feel that everything around him is turning around, and around, and around.

“Please… some sleep tonight…” he murmured.

After closing his eyes for a while, he ends up opening it when he felt that the dizziness has lessened by slight.

He stared straight at the extremely familiar ceiling of his room.

A ceiling that he had been seeing almost all his life; minus the last 7 years.

“After 7 years,” Xi Men said. “I am back here again,”

Back to this mansion.

A mansion that he had grew up in since he is born.

A mansion that is never a home.

And he is back to loneliness again.

**********

2 days later,

Holding the phone in his hand, Xi Men wonders how to convey a message to Xiao You that he would love to meet up with Emily tomorrow.

He isn’t keen with calling her, for he is afraid she will beg him to go back to her upon hearing his voice.

In fact, thinking about this, he felt that it is best if both of them do not talk to each other; do not hear each other’s voice to eliminate such opportunities.

And that is enough to justify if she calls him, it is wise to not pick up the phone as she might plead him to take her back.

Yeah, she does have the tendency to do so since she did plead him that day…

Anyway.

So, in this situation, ruling out making calls…

And since no one else knows about the separation, he cannot ask someone to pass the message instead.

He looked at the smartphone in his hand again.

“Send text message to her. Whatsapp. Yeah, whatsapp,” he said, and then he immediately worked his hands on the phone.

***

BEEP.

Xiao You slowly turned her head to look at the phone, looking at the notification light blinking.

She slowly scoops her phone up and takes a look at it.

A whatsapp message… by Xi Men.

Xi Men?

The name itself makes her heart beats faster.

After all, this is the man that she loved and still loves…

But, why is he texting?

She clicks on it and reads it…

Xi Men: Hi, I would like to meet up with Emily tomorrow for dinner. I can pick her up at preschool and sends her home before her bedtime. Is it alright with you?

“Yeah… what else will make him texts her… no other than the topic about the daughter,” Xiao You heaved a sigh.

‘I need to stop putting hope about our relationship.’

‘Because Xi Men is the kind of person that makes decision after a detailed consideration.’

‘He wouldn’t ask for divorce if he hadn’t thought about it well.’

And she replied the message.

Xiao You: OK.


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