Love/Hate – Chapter 24

Lei opened the door of room 323. He is greeted with many pairs of eyes staring straight at him from inside the cold, quiet room.

“Lei,” one breaks the silence. Mei Zhuo.

Lei smiled at them. “Hey,” he said softly.

They all replied softly.

“How is she?” Jing said, walked in behind Lei and she turned looking at Xiao You, before she put down the bag she is carrying, and stuff it into the cabinet next to the bed. Xi Men followed behind her.

“Sleeping beauty,” San Chai smiled.

“Didn’t wake up at all?” Jing asked.

“Just a while. She saw us, smiled a bit, and sleeps back,” Xiao Qiao said.

“Smiled a bit?” Lei asked.

“Yeah. She woke up, glanced at us, smiled, and then turned her head and just sleeps back. She didn’t even say a word,” San Chai said.

“Oh,” Jing said.

“Why you look so sad?” Ah Si, standing next to the door, suddenly speaks.

All of them turned and looked at Ah Si, who is looking at Xi Men. Then they all looked at Xi Men.

“Why, what happened?” Mei Zhuo asked.

Xi Men looked at Ah Si, and then everybody, and then he looked at Xiao You. Xi Men shook.

“Are you sure you are alright?” Ah Si asked.

Xi Men did not respond.

“What is wrong with him?” Mei Zhuo asked, looking at Lei.

“Well, he had a lot to think,” Lei said. “Just let him be,”

Xi Men walked to the bed, and he looked at Xiao You’s peaceful face.

He looked down to her hand at the side of her body, and he gradually picked the hand up, and entwined her fingers with his.

All of his friends looked at what he is doing, with frowns and stares.

He slowly raised her hand up, so that he can sit on the spot of the bed where her hand was.

Thank goodness, the whole movement thingy did not wake her up.

“I’ll be here to take care of her, so… if you guys wanted to go back, go ahead,” Xi Men said.

“Why? Why you?” San Chai asked.

“It’s okay, we can take turns,” Jing said, interrupted them. “We can start from Xi Men and then alternate among us to take care of her,”

“It’s okay, Jing. It will be fair… if I am the one that do it,” Xi Men said.

“Why?” San Chai asked again.

“Because,” Xi Men said. And then he slowly turned his head and looked at San Chai, “She is my woman,”

“WHAT?” Ah Si, Mei Zhuo, Xiao Qiao and San Chai said.

“What?” Lei and Jing said after that, because it took them some time to let the matter sink in into their brain after what had happened earlier.

Xi Men took a deep breath. He dunked his head, looking away.

“What is that you are talking about?” San Chai asked from the other side of the bed at Xi Men.

One side of the bed is Xi Men, the other side is San Chai, and Xiao You is in the middle.

The respond by the team and the question set by San Chai is of course, louder than a whisper. Especially when they are next to Xiao You. Xiao You is awakened by them but she has not opened her eyes or makes any movement, yet.

“I said… she is my woman,” Xi Men said, looking straight at San Chai.

Xiao You heard it. She turned her head fast to the voice, slowly opened her eyes and looked at Xi Men straight into his eyes. “What?” she asked with her coarse voice (just woke up’s voice).

“Xiao You…” Xi Men said, looking at her. He did not expect she will wake up that soon!

“Okay, she is awake now. We don’t have to talk softly anymore. I mean… WHAT?!” San Chai yelled.

“This is hospital!” Ah Si yelled at her.

“SHUT UP!” San Chai yelled back.

“SHHHH!!!!!” all of them said.

“What are you saying?” Xiao You asked Xi Men.

Xi Men swallowed the lump in his throat. “How are you feeling?” he asked.

“I mean…” she raised her hand and she felt the tense of her hand, she looked down and saw that his fingers are entwined with her fingers. She quickly flaps her hand away from him. “What is this?” she looked at him. “And…” she stammered. “You better explain. I don’t want you to outrage my modesty by holding my hand,” she pointed at him in anger.

“Outrage your modesty? I just hold your hand and you call that outrage?!” Xi Men asked. “Do I need to do that?!” he jumped up and he is on his feet.

“Yes. Why are you sitting so close to me? Who do you think you are? We are not on a good terms least to say to let you sit so close to me!” Xiao You said.

“Not on good terms? I always treat you as one, Xiao You,” Xi Men said.

“That is your part. I have never treated you as one, Mr. CEO,” Xiao You said. “Now that explains why you outrage my modesty I guess?”

“Why do you have to say that, Xiao You? You are trying to keep your identity from me. Did I hurt you or something? Why do you have to treat me like this?” Xi Men asked.

“What?” she snarled back angrily.

“You are XYZ!” Xi Men said.

“WHAT?!” they all said.

“Oh dear…” Lei and Jing said.

Xiao You looked at him, and then she turned looking at Lei and Jing, “You told him!”

“We went to your house to pack, and he found your mask,” Jing said.

“It has nothing to do with them. It is me! I found your mask! You are XYZ!” Xi Men said.

“Xiao You… it’s you?” San Chai asked.

Xiao You breathes in and out in anger as she stared at Xi Men. “You shouldn’t be going to my house,” she then looked at Lei. “Why do you let him enter my house?!”

“Enough of pushing responsibilities away, Xiao You. I followed them to your place. And they don’t know anything about you keeping your mask in your wardrobe and let me find it!” Xi Men said.

“I don’t care who this XYZ you said I am, there are identical masks in this planet!” Xiao You said.

“You don’t know I paid every single details of the mask, do you? And what is the likelihood of matching mask with the pheromones of yours?” he asked.

Xiao You looked at him.

“Still denying?” Xi Men asked.

“Are you sure… Xi Men?” Mei Zhuo asked.

“Yes, dead sure,” Xi Men said. “Nothing beats my eye on details and that pheromones on her!”

“But… but…” Mei Zhuo said, looking at Xiao You. “If she is XYZ… then… that night…”

“Yes,” Xi Men said, staring at Xiao You. “It’s her,”

“Yes, I am XYZ. So?” Xiao You asked.

“Oh my gosh… oh my… oh my…” Mei Zhuo said in fear.

“Why…?” San Chai looked at Mei Zhuo.

“You are the one that push Xi Men to XYZ that annual dinner night,” Lei said at San Chai.

San Chai gaped, “Me…?” she pointed back at herself.

Jing nodded. “Yes… you encouraged him to pursue her that night…”

“You know I’m looking all over the place for XYZ, for you, you heard me during the reunion, you…” Xi Men said.

Xiao You swallowed the lump in her throat. “Yes, I know you are looking for me. So?” she looked at Xi Men. “I don’t have to tell you it’s me,”

“That is very cruel, Xiao You… I…” Xi Men said. “I searched for you…”

“I don’t want to be searched. That is why I told Lei and Jing to not spread it and let the identity die with the annual dinner. Why do you have to be so persistent with this on looking for me? I don’t want to be found, you got me?” Xiao You asked. “I’ve told you not to look for me,”

“After so many things happened?” Xi Men asked.

“So many? What kind of things do you think we have TONS to do with?” Xiao You asked back.

“You know it!” Xi Men said.

“WHAT!” Xiao You said.

Xi Men took a deep breath as he slides his hand into his hair and messes his fringe. He looked around as anger surrounded his mind, before he then leaned over to the bed and faces her, face to face.

“You asked me just now what did I say, right? Now I tell you again right to your face and listen properly,” Xi Men said. “YOU. ARE. MY. WOMAN.” he said word by word. “GET IT?”

All the friends watch it like a drama. They are not sure what and how to react.

“I am not,” Xiao You said.

“I slept with you and that is enough to prove that you are my WOMAN!” he yelled.

“You slept with XIAO YOU?!” San Chai and Ah Si yelled.

As fast as lightning, Xiao You throws a slap on Xi Men’s face with her left hand. Xi Men stunned a bit as he is facing to the right.

He then looked at her right hand that has been attached to the sodium water constantly dripping and to be transferred into her body.

The slap came from the blind spot. He didn’t see it coming.

So as everyone. They are all quiet.

“Get it clear,” Xiao You said. “That night. It is just intimacy. No emotional feelings involved. One night stand. That does not constitute making me your woman,” she looked at him. “I thought a playboy like you will understand that concept, clearer than anyone in this world do,”

Xi Men looked up at her. “I have long forgo my life as a playboy. I can treat one night stand with any other woman. BESIDES YOU, XYZ,”

Xiao You looked at him. “XYZ?”

“And XYZ is you. And no wonder XYZ is you,” Xi Men said.

“What… what do you mean?”

Xi Men took a deep breath. “Never in my life had I felt like this towards a woman. Besides you. And XYZ. And it is even better now, that you are XYZ,”

Xiao You turned away. “Whatever it is, Xi Men. You can keep all the reasons to yourself,”

Xi Men smiled lightly, but it is not for long. He bites his lips. The red trace of Xiao You’s slap is clearly seen on his left cheek. “Xiao You… what is this…”

Xiao You turned and looked at Xi Men, when he slowly takes out a pregnancy test kit out from his pants’ pocket. All of them looked at Xi Men.

Xiao You’s face turned angry. “What is that?!” she asked back.

“I took this from your condo,” Xi Men said.

“Don’t you respect people’s privacy? Don’t you think just because you are a CEO and you are Xi Men, you are allowed to gain entry into my condo, see the things and take it, and even keep it and then ask me about it?!” Xiao You fumed.

“It is positive,” Xi Men said, looking at the pregnancy stick. “Are you pregnant?”

“Pregnant?” all of them asked.

San Chai stared at Xiao You in disbelief, before she (San Chai) looked at Xi Men again.

“You don’t have the right to ask about this!” Xiao You yelled as she grabbed the pregnancy stick from his hand. “Why do you have to be so nosy to stick your nose into other people’s business?!”

“I want to know if…”

“SHUT UP!” Xiao You screamed at him. “You better know where you stand now. You have NO RIGHT to ask about me, about the stuffs taken from my condo and everything else!” she pointed at him. “So as everybody else has no right to ask about this!”

“Xiao You…”

“LISTEN CAREFULLY,” Xiao You said at him. “I can tell you it is mine. I can tell you it is my friend’s. I can even tell you it is my male friend’s girlfriend. Look, I don’t hold any obligations to tell you whose stick is this. Are you going to feel better if I say it is my sexually-changed-friend who miraculously gets pregnant with his gay partner’s sperm?”

“Huh? Since when a male produces eggs and he has a uterus?” Mei Zhuo asked.

Xiao Qiao slapped his arm for they know Xiao You was saying something ridiculous, and merely impossible unless technology in this world has come to that point.

“That is why I say ‘miraculously’,” Xiao You said, looking at Mei Zhuo.

“Oops,” Mei Zhuo said.

Xiao You looked at Xi Men, “And even if it is mine, so? This has nothing to do with you. So quit asking,”

“I…”

“Xi Men,” Jing patted him and shook. She doesn’t want Xiao You to burst in anger again. She knows Xiao You is pregnant, and being angry does no good to her condition.

Xi Men dunked his head. “Ok…” he softly said.

Xiao You took a deep breath before she turned her head away from looking at him.

It was silence for a moment, everybody is staring at everybody. San Chai doesn’t even know how to approach her best friend lying on the bed.

Sadness filled Xi Men’s heart. He didn’t know what to react, what to say and how to think. In the midst of the silence in the room, he suddenly says, “I’m sorry…” tears formed in his eyes.

Xiao You turned and looked at him. “What…?”

He trembled and choked a little bit, “I’m sorry… I… I wouldn’t want to do this to you, Xiao You…” tears flowed down to his cheek. “Is the intimacy… causes you to treat me like you don’t even want to acknowledge me as your friend?”

“I don’t have to answer you that,” she said. “You only have to know that I hate you,”

“Of course she’ll hate you for doing that to her!” San Chai said.

“I… I’m sorry… but… but you also wanted it to happen that night…” Xi Men said, looking at Xiao You, “But you know it is me… why do you want to do this to me? Why do you let me do this to you?”

Xiao You smirked. “Why, you ask me?”

“You… you meant to do that to me?” Xi Men asked.

“Let’s just put it in a way that you are full of lust,”

“NO! I am not like that! I…”

“Oh well. Yeah, probably. Maybe you are just full of lust that night at the sight of Miss XYZ, I supposed?” Xiao You said sarcastically.

“Xiao You, yes, I admit I was attracted to XYZ, but I can assure you, it wasn’t something that happened frequently or rather, it has not even happened in my life before! The feelings and emotions that I had that time towards XYZ is so strong I can’t even put the right word to it – because the word ‘strong’ is not strong enough for me to describe it. It makes sense now why I can be attracted to XYZ as peculiar as this. It is because of you. Because I know you,” Xi Men said. “When I talk to you in the annual dinner, I felt the connection there. It just so familiar to me…”

Xiao You interrupted, “You don’t have to give me so many reasons just to convince me about that night whether you are in lust or emotionally connected, because I am not interested. So can you shut up now?”

“I want you to know what I felt and I wasn’t…”

“You know what, Xi Men?” Xiao You interrupted again and looked at him sternly. “I hate you to the core, don’t you even know that?”

“Because of what I did, right?” Xi Men said. “I am so sorry…”

“I kinda figured…” Lei said softly to Jing.

“Yes, it is what you did. But it is not that night. It is 6 YEARS AGO!” Xiao You shouted at him.

“6 years ago?” all of them asked.


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