As he ran his hands on the flowing water from the sink in the gents, Xi Men then lifted his face up and looked at himself in the mirror.
He turned his head to the right slightly to look at his left cheekbone.
It’s been three days since he met Raymond.
The hard punch from him has now left a red bruise on his handsome left cheek.
It is now served as a reminder to himself of how much of a jerk he is to be given a punch from his competition for hurting the woman they both loved.
He wanted to put a bandage on the bruise to cover it up, but putting on a bandage would make it even more obvious that he has an injury on his face.
After checking that his fringe can cover the spot on certain angle, he leaves it as it is, but he has gotten used to flicking the fringe off with the gentle fling of his head that he had unintentionally revealed the bruise to everyone he had interacted with for these 3 days, including some staffs in the office, security guards and potential clients.
He lowered his head down and looked at his hands on the running water, washing it thoroughly.
Xi Men immediately closes the tap and then reached for a sheet of tissue to dry his hands.
“Hold on for a little more…” he murmured as he then dives his dry hand into the pants’ pocket to retrieve his smartphone.
Xi Men looked at the ringing cellphone and saw the name and picture on the screen.
He is surprised to see the name and he immediately picks the phone up without hesitation.
Xi Men: Hello, Xiao You?
Xiao You: Hi.
Xi Men (smiled slightly as Xiao You is willing to call him): Umm… hi.
Xiao You (smiled): I’m calling to…
Xi Men: Hmm?
Xiao You: To apologize.
Xi Men: About?
Xiao You: About my outrage two weeks ago.
Xi Men: Oh… umm… it is okay…
Xiao You: I guess… my fever has gotten to my head to say such things…
Xi Men (smiled briefly): I won’t exactly blame you. I mean… I know why you will say that.
Xiao You: I am sorry. Please don’t take it to your heart.
Xi Men: It is okay, Xiao You. It is okay.
Xiao You: Anyhow… as a correction to what I have said then… it is not possible for me not to see you… since we will have to meet whenever it comes to talk about the ballet studio or Emily…
Xi Men (smirked): I know…
Xiao You: Can I make it up to you…?
Xi Men: Make it up?
Xiao You: Yeah. Hmm… dinner, maybe? If you are free, that is.
Xi Men: Dinner?
Xiao You: Yeah, with Emily.
Xi Men: Three of us?
Xiao You: Yeah.
Xi Men (smiled): Sure. When will that be?
Xiao You: Hmmm… what about tomorrow night?
Xi Men: Tomorrow? (*surprised that she would suggest ‘tomorrow’ instead of some other further days)
Xiao You: You are not free tomorrow? Then… maybe on Saturday? (*heard his surprised tone and thought he is occupied tomorrow)
Xi Men: Oh, I am free tomorrow night.
Xiao You: Ah, that will be great.
Xi Men: What do you want to eat?
Xiao You: I would like to have… hmmm… Korean food.
Xi Men (smiled): Then we’ll go for Korean food. We’ll go to the restaurant that you like, alright?
Xiao You (smiled): Sure. Is 7pm alright with you?
Xi Men: Sure. 7pm it is.
Xiao You: Okay. See you tomorrow.
Xi Men: I can come and pick you up wherever you want me to pick you up from.
Xiao You: No worries. Jin can drop me off.
Xi Men: Oh. Alright…
Xiao You: So… see you?
Xi Men: Sure. See you.
Xi Men holds the smartphone onto his ear until he heard Xiao You hangs up the call.
He then slowly lowered the smartphone down.
He smiled, “At least… she is willing to see me again,”
He looked at the mirror again, immediately noticing the red bruise on his left cheekbone.
And that reminds him (Xi Men) of who gave him that bruise.
His smile fades immediately.
“And I don’t give a shit to Raymond asking me not to meet Xiao You,” he blurted out.
“I am meeting Xi Men tonight,”
Raymond turned to look at Xiao You, “You are meeting Xi Men tonight?” he repeated after Xiao You.
Xiao You smiled faintly and nodded, “Going for dinner with him, and Emily,”
Raymond looked at Xiao You. “He asked you to go for dinner with him?”
“No, I asked him,” Xiao You said.
“Are you sure you should do that?”
“Why not? You know we have to meet up after all… since Emily is our daughter…”
“I didn’t say you can’t meet up with him. I mean, isn’t that a little too soon for you to meet him again?” he asked. “You’ve just signed the document slightly more than 3 weeks ago…”
“Almost 4 weeks,” Xiao You interrupted.
“Alright, almost 4 weeks, and I mean, you were depressed and even got yourself hospitalized because of that. Your health had just started getting better and you are nursing your broken heart still, and you are already meeting him now?”
Xiao You pressed her lips together and then she lowered her head down, “I feel that… I shouldn’t have vented my anger to him like that…”
“To be honest, I didn’t see any wrong in your outburst,” Raymond said.
Xiao You smiled faintly.
“Xiao You, I am not against you meeting him, but… are you really sure you are ready to meet him, without getting yourself sad and depressed again at the end of the meal because you are no longer married to him?” Raymond asked.
Xiao You took a deep breath, “I still have to face him someday,”
“I know. What I meant was, you don’t have to do it now,” he said.
“I also need to tell myself… I will be okay without him. I need to tell myself that I must become a strong person now…” Xiao You said.
“Xiao You, you don’t need to tell yourself that. These will come to you naturally when you are ready,” Raymond looked at Xiao You, “Because, deep within you, you are a strong person,”
Xiao You smiled. “Thank you,”
“Always remember that,”
Xiao You nodded. “I will,”
He exhaled a deep breath, “So, are you sure you want to meet him tonight? You can cancel it now if you have doubts,”
Xiao You shook. “No doubt. I am sure about meeting him tonight,”
“Well, alright then, since this is your decision. If you feel like cancelling it before the dinner, do so, alright? Don’t force yourself if you can’t do it, because nursing your heart is more important,”
Xiao You smiled and nodded. “Okay, got it. Thank you, Raymond,”
“Always,” Raymond smiled back.
She chuckled. “You are the best, Raymond,”
“Ah, that too, always,” he smiled.
She laughed harder now.
“For tonight, if there is anything, remember to call me,” Raymond said. “Don’t get into depression yourself, alright?”
Xiao You smiled briefly and nodded. “Okay,” she said. “Thank you, Raymond,” she leaned over for a hug, and he hugged her briefly.
And soon, the smile on his face fades.
Xi Men tapped his fingers on the menu on the table.
He had arrived at the Korean restaurant at 6.20pm, although they had agreed to meet for dinner at 7pm.
He had browsed the menu and tempted to order the set that Xiao You loves to eat, but he holds back, wondering if she wants to eat the particular set or may have cravings to eat something else.
With his eyes on his tapping fingers, “Daddy!” he heard.
Xi Men lifted his head up and looked at Emily running towards him.
“Hi, sweetie,” Xi Men smiled, spreading his hands and then hugged Emily.
“I miss you, daddy,” Emily said.
“I miss you too, sweetie,” Xi Men replied.
He then saw Xiao You walking towards their table.
“Hi,” Xi Men smiled, as Emily then eases herself from the hug.
Xiao You smiled as she slowly sits down at the seat opposite of him. “Hi,” she replied, looking at Emily sitting down on the seat next to her. She then switched her gaze to Xi Men. “You are early,”
“Just slightly,” Xi Men smiled. “You are early too. I mean, we’ve agreed to have dinner at 7pm,”
Xiao You just smiled. “I have gotten used to be early,”
Xi Men lowered his head down slightly, “I know,”
“But still not as early as you,” Xiao You said.
Xi Men could only smile.
“Ummm, have you ordered the food?” Xiao You asked, looking at the menu in front of Xi Men.
“Oh, not yet,” Xi Men immediately flipped the menu open. “I wanted to order the set that you like to eat…”
“You mean the BBQ set for 2 people?” Xiao You asked.
“Yeah,” Xi Men said. “Do you want to? Or do you want to eat something else…?”
“What do you feel like eating?” Xiao You asked.
“Anything is fine with me,” Xi Men smiled, gently flings his head to move his fringe away from covering his eye. “I haven’t had the BBQ set in a while too,”
“Oh, then the BBQ set it is,” Xiao You said, looking at him, and immediately spots the dark red bruise on his face now that the hair has moved away.
“Alright,” Xi Men lifted his hand up to flag the waiter. “BBQ set,” he pointed at the menu.
“Yes, sir,” the waiter said, briefly glances at Xi Men (because of the bruise) before he then walks away.
Xi Men then returned his gaze to Xiao You and smiled slightly.
He is really glad to have her here, dining with him.
“What happened to your face?” Xiao You asked, looking at his cheek.
“My face?” Xi Men asked.
“Yeah, it is bruised,” Xiao You said.
He raised his hand up and instinctively touched the bruise on his cheekbone. The gentle touch on his face generates pain and he immediately remembered. “Oh, this…” he said.
“Yeah, that,” she said.
It will be odd to actually say Raymond meets up with him and flew a punch to his face. Besides, he knew the reason why Raymond punches him, and it is not for no valid reason.
“I… I hit my face onto a cabinet…” he said.
“Oh,” she said, blinked for a few times, “A cabinet…?”
“Yeah,” he replied. “I… I didn’t see it,”
She smiled faintly, “I have never heard you hit your face somewhere, because you are particularly aware with your surroundings when it comes to close ups to your face,”
Xi Men smiled faintly too, “It just happened,” he said.
“I guess… you must have been distracted when it happens,” Xiao You said.
“Yeah,” he answered.
She smiled briefly and then it is silence.
She silently traced his facial features.
She noted he had lost some weight, even just analyzing from his face.
“How have you been for the last few weeks?” she asked, extending her hand to the wooden box on the table, where it stores the utensils.
He looked at her.
Did she mean after signing the divorce papers?
‘Miserable, Xiao You. I’ve been miserable,’ he thought to himself.
“It is usual,” he answered instead, looking at her taking the utensils out from the box. “Umm… I was told you don’t have fever, flu and cough anymore,”
“Oh yes, I have healed, thanks,” she smiled, putting the utensils on the table. “Thanks for paying off the bill for my hospitalization,”
He swallowed the lump in his throat. “No worries. It is something that I need to do…”
Xiao You just smiled faintly, and then looked at the waiter putting down 12 plates of side dishes on the table.
“Mommy, is that fish cake?” Emily asked, pointing at a plate of side dishes, causing both Xi Men and Xiao You to turn to look at the plate that Emily had pointed.
“Oh yes, it is your favorite fish cake,” Xiao You smiled, as she took the plate and puts it in front of Emily.
“Yay!” Emily said excitedly at the sight of the fish cake.
Xiao You smiled as she looked at Emily taking a piece of fish cake up with a spoon.
Xi Men smiled at the sight too. “Has Emily moved back to the penthouse?” he asked.
Xiao You turned to look at Xi Men, “Moved back to the penthouse?” she asked.
“She has been staying at your parents’ place when you had fallen ill,” Xi Men said. “Right?”
“Oh… you knew about that?” Xiao You asked.
Xi Men smiled, “Yeah. Actually, I didn’t know until Lei told me…”
“Oh,” Xiao You said. “Umm, yeah, she has moved back to the penthouse about 4 days ago,”
“That is good,” Xi Men said.
Xiao You smiled faintly, returning her sight to Emily munching on the fish cake happily.
It is very obvious now that they had seemed so distant apart.
“How is ballet studio?” he asked.
“Oh, it is good. Like normal,” she said, turning to look at Xi Men again. “New sign-ups are lower for these 2 months,”
“Oh. Any financial issue in the studio?” he asked.
She shook. “Still getting profits,”
“I see,” he said. “That… that’s good,”
The waiter came with meats, and then placed the meats on the grill plate in front of them and began grilling the meat.
She looked at the waiter working his hands on the meats, while Xi Men looked at her, tracing her facial features.
Her beautiful eyes.
Her sharp nose.
Her cute lips.
And the fine shape of her face.
She is still the pretty Xiao You.
He noted that she still looked the same as the last time he saw her, without losing or adding any weight.
But now, she looks good and slightly more cheerful.
The waiter then left as the meat will take a while to cook.
She then happened to gaze and saw the watch on Xi Men’s wrist.
It is the watch that she had bought for him as the ‘final anniversary’ gift.
While the bangle he bought for her…
Remains in the drawer in the office.
Still in its box.
“And… how is Xi Men Corporation?” she asked, lifted her head to look at him.
He lifted his eyes to look at her, “Hmmm… business is as usual. Projects aren’t much too for the last 3 months,”
“Does that mean you are freer since there aren’t many projects?” she asked.
He smiled. “Not really. I am working on some proposals, and I am planning to submit some tenders too,”
“Oh, okay,” she said. “Don’t work too late, and remember to eat,”
He smiled as he nodded.
She is still the caring Xiao You. She still cares for him.
And he knew she still loves him.
And she signed the paper, agreeing to divorce because that is what he wants.
“Thank you,” he said.
“For showing concern,” he said.
“Oh, you are welcome,” she smiled.
He misses her smile so, so much.
Looking at this woman in front of him; being so beautiful, being so caring; he understood now why Raymond is going after her.
Even if it is not Raymond, any guy out there will go after her.
But just like Lei had said before, no guys will dare to go after her for she has been labeled as Mrs. Xi Men. Only someone who didn’t know about F4 nor feared for F4 will go after her.
And it had happened.
And the worst thing is, Raymond is based overseas, currently here in Taipei for work. He had the tendency to bring Xiao You back to his home country when his work here is done.
Although Raymond had never expressed to Xi Men that he might bring Xiao You back to his place, he had already hinted to Xi Men that he is going after her.
Especially that Raymond had come and asked Xi Men to stop meeting her.
Xi Men could feel Xiao You is slowly slipping away from him.
He could feel he is losing her.
The thought of it saddened him.
If he had not been silly, he would not do this and would not lose her…
Xi Men’s focus returned to Xiao You. “Yeah?”
“The meat is cooked, you can start eating,” she smiled.
He looked at the pieces of meats that the waiter apparently had cut it up from one big piece and then placed them in a plate.
“Okay,” Xi Men said, grabbing his chopsticks on the table.
He then looked at Xiao You taking a lettuce, and then carefully places a tiny piece of meat on the lettuce, wrapping it carefully and then feeds it to Emily.
“So, how is it, sweetie?” Xiao You asked, looking at Emily.
“Delicious!” Emily said it out loud.
Xiao You chuckled.
He looked at Emily, and then he looked at Xiao You.
‘If I don’t do something about this… I might lose Emily,’
‘And I will lose Xiao You,’
‘This is my family. I can’t let Raymond have them,’
‘They are mine,’
“Thanks for sending Emily and I home,” Xiao You said, turning her head to look at Xi Men sitting at the driver seat of his Audi.
Xi Men smiled faintly, “No worries,” he said. “I do that all the time…”
Xiao You pressed her lips together for a while, “I can ask Jin to drive us…”
“It is okay. It’s been a while since I last send you home,” Xi Men said.
Xiao You looked at Xi Men, whose eyes are now focusing on the road.
His face looked blank.
She couldn’t derive anything at all from his face.
Seeing the expressionless face of Xi Men, it reminds her of what he said months ago; when he voiced out to her that they are separating.
Because, at that time months ago, Xi Men indeed looked like this.
She looked at his face again. Right… there is a sign of it.
He does look bothered.
But who is she now to ask what is bogging his mind?
Xiao You slowly turned to look straight to the road, and Xi Men turned to look at her briefly, before returning his gaze to the road again as he is driving.
She could see from the corner of her eyes when he turned to look at her earlier, so she turned and looked at him again, looking at the side of his face as he is looking straight to the road.
“Do you have something to tell me?” she asked.
Xi Men turned his head, meeting her in her eyes, “Something to tell you?” he asked.
“Yeah,” she said.
He looked at her and he smiled, “Thanks for meeting me for the dinner,” he said.
“Oh,” she replied. “Umm… thanks for paying,”
“My pleasure,” he said.
She just smiled.
She knew whatever Xi Men is thinking or maybe, wants to say, is not something about the dinner.
But regardless he wants to say it or not, it is up to him.
He is just her ex-husband now.