Xi Men sits alone at the bar in VS.
F4 will still visit this pub occasionally for beer nights for all the years.
But this is his first time in 10 years, alone, in VS.
More than a week has passed since Grand Solution’s dinner that he attended with Xiao You.
The matter that Xiao You told him had got him into tremendous stress.
Every single day he is in massive stress as he didn’t know how to settle it.
Xiao You had enough of pretending to be still happily married to him.
He scrapes the bottom of the glass in his hand on the bar.
He knew he had put her into a really difficult position and he felt bad about it.
He hopes to end this for her, but he is also unsure how to deal with this.
He wasn’t ready at all to announce their separation.
For 7 years, everyone knew both Xi Men and Xiao You had a really wonderful relationship and marriage.
A couple of years ago, there was even an interview with him, asking him for the key of his extremely successful relationship with his wife.
His relationship has been widely known as one of the best in the country.
He sighed again.
Not announcing the separation has nothing to do with keeping the tag for their best relationship in the country, but he didn’t want to create chaos.
He didn’t want the media to highlight the breakdown of his relationship as a world’s news.
He didn’t want any kind of media attention towards Xiao You, Emily or him.
All he planned was to only announce it after they have officially divorced, and that means, after signing the papers.
Well, sooner or later, everyone will know about their divorce.
F4. His parents. Media. Everyone.
Like, every single soul in the planet.
But he wished to keep it for as long as possible.
It is his relationship. It is his personal matter.
Not the world’s.
He could only blame his identity.
For he is Xi Men.
The CEO of Xi Men Corporation.
How and where should he begin?
If it isn’t because of Xiao You… he wouldn’t be in his helpless situation.
It is because he respects her, and he didn’t want to make things even worse for her.
He had seen her breaking down because he decides to separate from her.
He had seen her scolding him because he believes that Emily needs the mother more than him.
He had seen her in tears because she was force to handle the things against her desire.
He felt terrible because what she is experiencing now is all because of him.
And yet he still asked her to pretend to be his lovely wife and that everything is okay, when she knew he doesn’t love her anymore.
And because of him, she had no one to turn to at this point of time; because nobody knows they have separated.
Maybe it is really too much of a request from him.
He took a deep breath.
He knew he needs to start somewhere.
“Maybe I should start from my friends…” he murmured, and then lifted up the glass of vodka in his hand up and gulps it down.
He puts the glass down and then pours himself another shot.
“But I am not ready,” he murmured. “Not ready at all…”
“But… it doesn’t seem that I will ever be ready…” his finger then circled the brim of the glass.
He tapped his fingers on the bar.
Xi Men turned his head over to his left.
He smirked at the lady standing next to him. “Yes,” he said.
“Can I join you?” she asked.
“Take a seat,” he said.
She smiled, and then she sits down next to Xi Men. She looked at Xi Men from top to his waist.
Strong jaw line.
Office wear with sleeves rolled up.
Tag Heuer watch.
Her eyes widened by slight.
This dude is… rich.
Wait, there is a ring on his left hand’s ring finger.
“Married?” she asked.
Xi Men turned his head to her direction by slight when he heard that.
The only way for one person to ask that question out of a sudden is definitely because of his wedding ring on his hand. He looked at the ring on his hand. He still wears the ring because he wanted to avoid suspicion from employees and business partners, or simply anyone that sees him.
“Maybe,” he replied, returning his gaze to the vodka.
‘Maybe?’ she wondered.
What a weird answer.
But… that also means…
He is probably out to party?
“I am Rebecca,” she smiled. “Rebecca Ke,”
“Xi Men,” Xi Men replied.
“Xi… Men?” she asked.
Hearing the way she repeated his name, “Is my name weird to you?” he asked without looking at her.
“No. It’s just… the same as the name of a major company,” she said, and then she tilted her head and looked at him. “Do you have any connection to the company?”
“Probably,” he just smirked. “I am here to drink. Not to talk about my life,” he then looked at Rebecca. “Hope you can understand that,”
Rebecca just smiled back at him, “Sure,” she said, paying attention to his facial features and silently accessing him.
This guy is handsome.
Xi Men then straightened his head and looked at the glass of vodka in his hand.
She smiled. “You are handsome,”
“Thank you,” Xi Men turned his head to look at her again.
Seeing that she said he is handsome, he looked at her, for the first time, trying to register the look of her face into his mind.
“You are pretty,” he said. ‘Though not as pretty as Xiao You,’ he thought to himself.
Rebecca smiled even more. “Thanks. I am a model,”
“That explains,” he said, looking at his glass of vodka again. “Runway model?”
“Umm, sometimes. I appear mostly on magazines,” she said.
Magazines. Means, she is a model for photographs.
“I see. Sorry. I don’t read magazines,” he said. “So I don’t really know,”
“It is okay,” Rebecca smiled. “I hope I managed to increase your interest in reading magazines now,”
He smiled. “I don’t really have time for that,” he lifted his glass up and drinks it.
“Oh,” Rebecca said, smiling faintly.
She looked at Xi Men filling his glass with vodka again.
“Umm… are you willing to buy me a drink?” she asked.
“Sure. Order what you want,” he said.
“Thank you,” she smiled, and then she flagged the bartender over. “One ‘Sea Breeze’,”
“Alright!” the bartender replied.
“That’s a nice one,” Xi Men said, referring to the drink that Rebecca had just ordered.
She smiled. “This is the first time I see you in VS,” she looked at him and said.
He casually turned to look at her and then smiled briefly, “I’ve been here regularly since a decade ago,”
“Really?” she is surprised.
“I still come here with my friends once in a while. But I haven’t been here on my own for a long time, until today,” he said.
“Sounds like it is my lucky day to meet you here,” she smiled, and then the bartender puts down a glass of alcoholic drink in front of Rebecca.
He smiled. “So, why are you here?”
“Trying to meet more people,” she smiled.
He chuckled in disbelief. “Really?”
“Don’t be surprised that pub is a good place to meet people,” Rebecca said, taking her glass up and takes a sip.
Other than meeting people, pub is also a perfect place to locate people.
He remembers Xiao You looking all over the places for him. This is the same place where she found him. And she dragged him out to see the billboard that Xiao Gen had wanted to show him.
He slept with her after that.
She gave him her first time.
He was so gentle towards her… and it was his first time he felt love, and has a capability to actually love someone sincerely.
And everything changes since then.
Every single thing.
He turned his head and looked at Rebecca when she speaks and had interrupted his thought. “Hmm?”
“Will you come here often?” she asked.
“I don’t know. Maybe,” he smiled.
Rebecca smiled faintly as she took her glass of Sea Breeze up and takes a sip again. She notices that he is a quiet person. And she sense reluctance when it comes to talking. Maybe he wasn’t in a good mood. Maybe a bad day at work. After all, he came to VS from work – since he is wearing his office wear now.
Xi Men suddenly sits up straight and takes his wallet out.
“Hmmm? Are you going off?” Rebecca asked, after seeing he took some cash out from his wallet.
“Yes,” Xi Men said.
“Umm…” Rebecca is slightly taken aback that he really plans to leave.
She had just met him and is quite interested to know him even more, and he is leaving now?
And the most important part of the meeting? They hadn’t exchange phone number!
“Enjoy your drink. Nice meeting you,” he said, putting the cash down on the bar and he gets down from the high chair.
“Ah,” she stretched her hand out as a mean to stop him (but didn’t touch him).
Xi Men stopped, turned and looked at her. “Hmm?”
“Umm…” Rebecca said. “Do you mind to give me a ride home too?”
He remained staring at her, and then he looked at her glass of Sea Breeze. “But you haven’t finish your drink,”
Rebecca turned to look at her glass of Sea Breeze. Just a bit left. So she took it up and gulped it down. She then turned to look at Xi Men again. “I am now. So, do you mind to send me home?” she asked again.
Xi Men smiled briefly. “Sure,”
Rebecca is surprised when she saw Xi Men heading towards a premium model of Mazda and unlocked the car.
This dude is really rich!
He gets into his car and starts his car engine.
Rebecca opened the door and then she also gets in, “This is your car…?”
“I don’t think I should say this is my neighbor’s car or a stolen car… huh?” Xi Men asked, buckling up his seatbelt.
She laughed. She just realized he can actually make a joke.
“Why? Is it very surprising to see me drive this car?” Xi Men asked, engaging his car into D [drive] gear and gets out from the parking bay.
“No. it is just… I didn’t expect that,” she smiled.
He smiled. “So, where do you stay?”
“Mingde district,” she said. “Do you know where it is…?”
“Yes,” he said.
“Wow,” she said. “Now that is surprising,”
He looked at her briefly before he returned his sight to the road. “Why so?”
“Not many people actually know about that district,” she said.
Now this guy is good.
Handsome. Smart. Rich… and has a sense of humor.
“Sweetie, time to go for bed,” Xiao You smiled at Emily who is sitting in the living room.
“Mommy…” Emily pouted.
“It is late, sweetie. You gotta sleep,” Xiao You said.
“I miss daddy…”
Xiao You’s smile fades almost immediately.
Xi Men hadn’t arranged to meet with Emily for a while now.
The last time was probably the Grand Solution’s corporate dinner. No, it is way before that, as on that day itself, Emily didn’t even get to see Xi Men as she had been sent to her grandparents’ house before Xiao You left for the dinner.
It’s been days now.
It is understandable that this kid misses her father tremendously since she hasn’t seen him for that long of a duration.
“Umm… if you want to meet daddy, I’ll arrange so that you can meet him soon, alright? What about tomorrow?”
“I don’t want. I want to see daddy now,” Emily said, tears already forming in her eyes.
“Awww… honey. It is quite late now… daddy needs to rest too, you know…”
Emily started crying.
“Oh dear…” Xiao You could only say.
“I want to see daddy…”
“Then…” Xiao You said. “Umm… umm… if that is the case… do you want to sleep at grandpa’s house tonight with daddy? If you want to, I’ll ask Uncle Jin to drive you to daddy’s place?”
“I don’t want to go there! I don’t want!”
Ever since that traumatic experience of getting lost in that mansion, Emily didn’t want to go over there at all. She hasn’t even mention that she wants to stay with Xi Men.
“I want daddy…” the little one sobbed.
Xiao You could only caressed her head as tears continue to stream down Emily’s cheeks.
“Why can’t daddy and you stay in the same house?” Emily asked, sobbing.
Xiao You looked at Emily, feeling utterly terrible.
How should she tell Emily that they are no longer together?
And Xiao You looked at Emily bursts into tears again.
At the end of the day, the one that suffered the most in a relationship breakdown, is the daughter.
“I’ll call daddy and see if he can come and see you now, okay?” Xiao You persuades her daughter.
Emily looked at her mother with a couple of sniffs and tears all over the face. And then she nodded.
Xi Men dives his hand into the pants and takes out the phone. After seeing the name on the screen, he picks up the call.
Xi Men: Hello?
Xiao You (lowered her head): I am sorry to bother you.
Xi Men: No problem, what is it?
Xiao You: Emily is crying and she refused to sleep until she gets to see you. Do you mind coming over now?
Xi Men (eyes brightened): Emily?
Xiao You: Yes, if you could, please come and persuade her to sleep.
Xi Men: Okay. I’ll come over now.
He hangs up the call.
Rebecca immediately turned her head and looked at Xi Men. “Come over where?”
Xi Men lifted his eyes up upon noting a familiar sign at the side of the road.
“I have something urgent to attend,” he said, as he puts on his car signal to show that he is going to the right.
“Something urgent?” she asked.
Xi Men then brings the car to halt. “The MRT station is there. Sorry, you gotta go off on your own,” he said, finally turning his head to look at her.
Rebecca stared at Xi Men in disbelief. “What?”
“I can’t stop my car for too long over here. This is a ‘no waiting’ area. Please get off quickly,” Xi Men said.
Though stunned, she turned and obediently opens the car door, and gets off.
As she slammed the door close, Xi Men winds down the window.
“I’ll call you. Goodnight,” he said, and without looking at her for another second longer, he accelerates and leaves the place.
“What do you mean by calling me?! You don’t even have my number!” Rebecca yelled.
Xi Men nodded at Butler Pan that had just opened the door.
“Daddy!” Emily ran to him upon seeing him entering the penthouse.
Xi Men immediately lowered his body as he saw his beloved daughter running towards him. “Hi Emily,” he said, as he hugged her tightly and carried her up in his hands. “Mommy said you are not sleeping,” he said as he stood up, and then he looked at Xiao You who is standing in the living room now, looking back at him and Emily.
“Daddy I miss you…” Emily said, her tiny hands wrapped around Xi Men’s neck.
Xi Men smiled. “I miss you too, sweetie. But you shouldn’t make mommy’s life so difficult,” he said in the hug.
“Daddy, you don’t come back anymore…”
The smile on Xi Men’s face fades. “Umm…”
Xi Men and Xiao You exchanged glances upon hearing that.
“You used to come back everyday… but now it is so difficult to see you…”
Xiao You gives him a hand signal, indicating he should bring Emily to her (Emily) room.
Xi Men nodded, and he turned around, carrying Emily to her room. “Daddy will try to arrange so that I will see you more often… okay?”
That is the last thing that Xiao You can hear from where she stood in the living room, before Xi Men closed the door of Emily’s room.
Xiao You then sits down on the couch. She raised her hand and rubbed her forehead.
20 minutes later,
Xiao You heard the door opened, and then Xi Men emerged quietly from the room.
Xiao You stood up at the sight of him as he closed the door slowly and then walked off.
“Is she asleep?” Xiao You asked as Xi Men approached her.
“Yes, finally. I didn’t know how many songs I have to sing to lullaby her to sleep,” Xi Men said, turning his head to Li who is standing at the corner. “Li, can you get me a glass of water?”
“Sure, master,” Li said and heads to the kitchen immediately.
Xiao You smirked at what Xi Men said. “As long as she is asleep,” she said, standing in front of him.
Li returns and passes the glass of water to Xi Men and he gulped it down.
“Sorry to have troubled you to come over so late at night, just to persuade Emily to sleep,” Xiao You said, and then she sniffs a couple of times to smell something.
“It is okay. I will still come even if it is 3am,” Xi Men said, passing back the empty glass to the maid.
He then looked at her. He hadn’t seen her for a while. The last time he saw her was the corporate dinner night and that intense conversation where she couldn’t take it anymore had taken place.
He still couldn’t find a way to actually settle it. He didn’t know how.
Facing her now, he felt that… she is waiting for him to address the matter.
He lowered his sight, doesn’t dare to look at her in her eyes for he doesn’t have the answer.
Under tremendous stress at this moment, he decided that it is best to leave… “Umm… I… I gotta go,” he said. “It’s late now, and you need to rest,”
“Sure, thank you for coming,” she said. “And you’ve drank quite a bit. Do drive safely,” she turned and walked away, heading to her room.
Xi Men lifted his eyes up and looked at her, his eyes followed her as she walked away.
He lifted his right arm up to his nose for a sniff, and then switched to raising his left arm up to his nose for a sniff.
Is the alcohol smell too strong?