Xiao You: Is everything good?
Harry: Yes, everything is good.
Xiao You: Really?
Harry: Hey, trust me. Things are going well. I make her talk and tell me all the things that bugged her. It took a bit of effort though.
Xiao You released a deep, relieving breath: Well, at least I am glad to hear that right now. I have been so stressed up.
Harry: Don’t worry about it. Just go to sleep tonight. Get a good one.
Xiao You: What did she told you?
Harry: Haha, sorry. It is confidential.
Xiao You: Confidential?
Harry: She asked me not to tell you. I have agreed to her, so, sorry about that.
Xiao You (surprised): So you are going to keep this from me just like how she kept from me?
Harry: Unfortunately that is how it seems to be. I have promised her so you can’t expect me to break my promise especially to a kid. But what I can tell you is that she knew she needs to make a decision and she needs some time for it. Just give her the space.
Xiao You: Alright… any idea what decision she will make…?
Harry: No idea. I didn’t ask her to make a decision now or influence her to make a decision based on what and how I want it. I only talk to her and said things from a neutral perspective. And I hope what I told her actually makes it easier for her to make a decision.
Xiao You: Okay… I am sorry that she has to come and bug you.
Harry: No worries about it, really.
Xiao You: How is she now?
Harry: She had already gone to bed.
Xiao You: Oh.
Harry: I’ll send her back tomorrow morning. Don’t worry, alright? So, please sleep well tonight.
Xiao You: Sleep well? How am I supposed to sleep well?
Harry: Just sleep well like how you have always slept before all these problems came. Emily is good. You don’t have to worry about her. So you indeed should try to sleep well.
Xiao You: I will try…
Harry: Great. Send my regards to Xi Men.
Xiao You: Will do. Thanks Harry…
Harry: No problem. Goodnight, Xiao You.
Xiao You: Goodnight, Harry.
And Xiao You puts down the smartphone.
“How was it?” Xi Men asked, as he has been sitting in front of her in the dining table.
“He said everything is good. She is asleep… and he sends his regards to you,” Xiao You said.
“Oh,” Xi Men said. “You should send the regards back when he said that,”
“Well, you can do it yourself when you see him tomorrow,” Xiao You said. “When he sends Emily back,”
“Oh, okay…” Xi Men said. “Umm… that is all?”
“Nothing about what Emily said?”
She shook. “Emily has made him promise not to tell me,”
Xiao You smirked. “Yeah. So… we are left knowing nothing,”
“Alright… well, there is nothing we can do,” Xi Men said, extending his hand and gripped on Xiao You’s hand. “Have a good sleep tonight, alright?”
Xiao You smiled. “That is the same thing Harry said,”
Xi Men smiled, and then he stood up, leaned forward and kissed her forehead.
Xi Men lied on his bed in the guestroom as he worked his hands on his smartphone.
Lei@whatsapp: Xi Men, how’s thing?
Xi Men@whatsapp: Just as usual. How’s everybody?
Ah Si@whatsapp: Great. Just woke up.
Xi Men@whatsapp: Eh? You are here? I thought only Lei is here…
Mei Zhuo@whatsapp: I am here too! And Ah Si, you just woke up? It is almost noon and you just woke up? So not ‘Ah Si’ to me.
Ah Si@whatsapp: Dude, I just came back from Macau last night around 1am. I slept late, of course I woke up late!
Mei Zhuo@whatsapp: Oh really. I thought you were infected by Lei or bitten by some Lei’s bug. Haha.
Lei@whatsapp: Yeah, right… Drag me in into these situations again.
Xi Men@whatsapp: F4 will always be F4. Great to know all of you guys are here. So how’s everybody’s wife?
Mei Zhuo@whatsapp: Xiao Qiao is okay.
Lei@whatsapp: Jing is good.
Ah Si@whatsapp: San Chai is doing pretty well.
Xi Men@whatsapp: Good to know.
Lei@whatsapp: And you, Xi Men? How are you coping with your stuffs there?
Mei Zhuo@whatsapp: I thought you asked earlier? Browse up and see the chat.
Lei@whatsapp: I mean, with Xiao You?
Xi Men@whatsapp: Xiao You is okay.
Ah Si@whatsapp: And Emily?
Xi Men@whatsapp: Still giving me the cold shoulder. SIGH.
Lei@whatsapp: Seeing the caps of the word ‘sigh’ means you really sigh big time.
Xi Men@whatsapp: Yes I am.
Mei Zhuo@whatsapp: I thought she has a good impression about you?
Xi Men@whatsapp: Not until she was told I am her father.
Ah Si@whatsapp: So what are you going to do about it?
Xi Men@whatsapp: I am not sure. I am still trying. She breaks all my effort right from the start. Right now she is at Harry’s place and she is staying there overnight. I couldn’t say this to Xiao You. I have a feeling Emily headed to Harry’s place because she couldn’t stand having me in the house.
Lei@whatsapp: Hey, don’t think too much. Maybe she used to sleepover at Harry’s place.
Xi Men@whatsapp: This is her first time. And Harry is only staying 10 minutes away of walking distance from Xiao You’s house.
Nobody responded for while. Xi Men stared at the smartphone and took multiple deep breaths. Chatting on whatsapp with each other feels like they meet in some coffee house and chatted, or mocked each other. The eerie silence right now is as though all of them are looking at each other without saying anything.
Lei@whatsapp: I hope you are not saying you are giving up.
Xi Men@whatsapp: No. Well, almost, but Xiao You gives me support. Right now, I just don’t know what else to do.
Ah Si@whatsapp: Umm… is there anything we can actually help?
Xi Men@whatsapp: I don’t think so. But I am glad I can talk to you guys. My dad has officially taken over my company. Any idea how has it been?
Lei@whatsapp: No idea.
Xi Men@whatsapp: Was just wondering, since I left… how is the company coping and sort.
Ah Si@whatsapp: Maybe you want to ask Secretary Xu?
Mei Zhuo@whatsapp: Dude, it is not your concern anymore, right?
Xi Men stared at Mei Zhuo’s respond in the chat. He bites his lower lip. He took a deep breath. ‘Right. I am no longer the CEO now… so I shouldn’t be concerned about it…’
Xi Men@whatsapp: I am just curious.
Lei@whatsapp: Don’t worry about things here. Your prime concern now is Xiao You and your daughter, so stay focus there. And since it is your dad managing it, I don’t think there will be any problem since he has been managing Xi Men Corporation in Taiwan all along until he sets up a new one in New York after this company has been passed to you.
Xi Men smirked a bit.
Mei Zhuo@whatsapp: Lei is right about that. We’ll inform you if we have any information about it. Do you need any money? If you need them, I’ll transfer some to you.
Xi Men@whatsapp: I am still good with my finances. Thanks. And thanks, guys. For being there.
Ah Si@whatsapp: No problem. We hope to get good news from you.
Mei Zhuo@whatsapp: I hate to admit but I already start missing you.
Xi Men starts laughing uncontrollably when he reads it.
Lei@whatsapp: Oh gosh, please. Don’t sound so corny, will you?
Ah Si@whatsapp: Mei Zhuo, are you gay?!
Mei Zhuo@whatsapp: If I am gay, you will be my first partner, Ah Si!!!
Xi Men laughed again. “Poor Xiao Qiao then,” he said.
Although he felt sad about his situation now, a part of him feels glad that he still has a bunch of true friends supporting him no matter what.
Xiao You sits up straight on the couch in the quiet living room, waiting for Emily to come back home.
Xi Men is sitting at another couch placed on her left and didn’t talk to her as he is immerse into his job-finding task as he browsed for jobs in his smartphone.
No one else is there.
TV is off.
After noticing the silence when his browsing almost ends, Xi Men lifted up his head from looking at his smartphone, and looked at Xiao You. “Xiao You, are you alright?”
Xiao You turned and looked at Xi Men as she heard him speak. “Sure… sure, I am perfectly fine,” she said, and then she cleared her throat and looked straight again.
“Don’t worry about it. Harry said he will send her home, it means he WILL send her home,” Xi Men said. “And he is your best friend, not some kidnappers and you trust him the most,”
“I know… I have no doubts about him sending her back. But I am worried… just worried if she will ever want to come home…” she took a deep breath.
Xi Men stood up and he sits next to her. He placed his hand over to the other side and then rubbed her arm. “This is still her home. She will definitely come home,” he said. “Don’t worry, alright? I guess it is because she sleeps overnight at Harry’s house for the first time, and adding in your stress about how she has been feeling these few days… that is why you are worried unnecessarily,”
“I guess you are right…” Xiao You said.
“It is okay,”
*Car approached house. Engine stopped.
Xiao You turned and looked out of the window, and that action leads to Xi Men standing up immediately and looked at the window.
She stood up as well. “Is it Harry?”
“I don’t know. It is a black…” after seeing Harry opening the door of the driver’s seat and emerging from it, “Ah, it is Harry,” Xi Men said.
Xiao You immediately headed to the door at the speed of light and opens it.
Xi Men walks to the door and sees Harry opening the door of his car and Emily climbs out.
“Mommy!” Emily cheerfully called.
“Emily!” Xiao You said as Emily runs to her and then hugs her.
Xi Men smiled upon seeing them, and then he turned his gaze to Harry, as well as Christina walking towards them. “Hi Harry,” he called. “Hi Christina,”
“Hi Xi Men,” Harry smiled as he walked.
“Hi Xi Men, how are you doing?” Christina asked.
“Just normal, thanks,” Xi Men said, and then he glanced over to Xiao You who is talking softly to Emily. “Thanks for taking care of Emily for the night. And at the same time I am sorry because she bugged you…”
“Hey, no worries about that. We all know Emily wants to do that. And how is Xiao You doing last night without Emily?” Harry said.
“Not too good. But it is because Emily has never been reacting like that all her life,” Xi Men said. “It will truly adds some stress to see Emily like that and then she insisted to talk to you instead of to the mother,”
Harry smiled. “I understand,” he said.
“Have you taken breakfast?” Xi Men asked.
“Not yet,” Harry said. “We are going after this,”
“Umm, well, if you haven’t… then maybe we can have breakfast together? That is if you don’t mind,” Xi Men offered.
“It is okay. We will be going for breakfast date,” Harry extends his hand and wraps it around Christina, placing it on her shoulder. “We can have breakfast together some other time,”
Christina only smiled.
Breakfast date? HUH?
“Oh,” Xi Men said.
“Enjoy your family time,” Harry said, patting Xi Men’s arm with his (Harry) other free hand. (*since the other hand is at Christina’s shoulder)
“Thanks Harry,” Xiao You suddenly pops out of nowhere and said.
“Oh, no worries,” Harry smiled, looking at Xiao You.
“Thank you Uncle Harry, Aunty Christina,” Emily said.
“No problem,” Harry smiled, looking at Emily, and then he looked at Xiao You. “We gotta go,”
“So soon?” Xiao You asked.
“Of course. We don’t want to waste too much of your time,” Harry smiled.
“Oh hey, you won’t,” Xiao You said.
“It is okay. We’ll talk some other time,” Harry smirked. “I’m going for a breakfast date with Christina. So, see ya,” he waved as he turned and walked to his car with Christina.
Christina lifted up her hand and waved as a sign of ‘bye’.
“Trust me, that Harry… he is looking for excuses to go off,” Xiao You said, glanced over to Xi Men.
“I know, it is so obvious,” Xi Men said, and then he turned and looked at Emily.
Emily returned his gaze.
Xi Men smiled at her. “Uncle Harry said you haven’t had breakfast. So… wanna go for breakfast?”
Emily looked at him, and then she turned to look at Xiao You, who is also looking at her.
She returned her gaze back to Xi Men, she smiled lightly back at him, “Thank you for the offer but I don’t want,” her smile faded, and she turned around, walking towards her room.
Xi Men and Xiao You stood there and looked at Emily walking away, and then entered her room.
Xiao You then turned and looked at Xi Men.
Xi Men meets her in the eyes, before he then lowered his head down and raised his right hand up and the thumb & middle finger pressed the sides of his forehead, and at the same time, he exhaled a deep breath, feeling utterly disappointed.
Xiao You extends her hand out and rubbed his arm as she bites her lips. “Xi Men…”
He took a really deep breath, “It takes time, right?” he asked, looking at her.
She nodded and smiled faintly.
He tilts his head and closed his eyes for a while as he inhaled deeply. “I am only close with my dad after so long. I didn’t want the same thing to happen to me and Emily,”
“It won’t be the same,” Xiao You said. “It won’t,”
He took yet another deep breath. He then turned and walked, by passing her.
“Xi Men, where are you going?” Xiao You asked, turned and her gaze followed him.
“To my room. I want to be alone for a while,” Xi Men said.
Xiao You only stood there when she heard him saying that; and he walked down the corridor and disappeared into his room.
“Mommy, can I have half boiled eggs for breakfast, please?” Emily suddenly asked as she approached Xiao You, who is sipping her black coffee at the dining table.
“Half boiled eggs?” Xiao You asked Emily.
Emily nodded. “Just thought of it all of a sudden,”
“Umm… okay,” Xiao You immediately stands up, heading to the kitchen.
“Where are grandpa and grandma?”
“They’ve gone to the market at around 8.30am,” Xiao You said, filling the pot with water. “So they will be back soon,”
“Oh,” Emily said, and then starts looking around. “And why are you alone?”
Xiao You turned to look at Emily as she puts the pot to the gas stove. “Xi Men is in his room,”
“He said he wants to be alone,” Xiao You said, exhaling a deep breath as she knew the reason Xi Men is like this because of Emily, but she can’t say it to Emily.
“Oh,” Emily said, turned her head to look at Xi Men’s closed door.
“Emily, two eggs?” Xiao You asked as she opened the egg box.
“Yes, mommy,” Emily replied right after she turned her head to look at Xiao You.
“Alright…” and she took out two eggs.
“Has he taken breakfast?” Emily asked.
“You mean Xi Men?”
“No, not yet…”
“Oh… umm… then why are you only making breakfast for me?” Emily asked.
“Huh? Didn’t you ask for half boiled eggs just now?” Xiao You asked in surprise.
“I mean… why didn’t you cook for him too?”
“Oh, umm…” Xiao You pressed her lips together. “I am not sure if he wants…”
“Make for him too since he haven’t had anything,” Emily said.
Xiao You looked at Emily. “But if he is not eating, did that mean I need to stuff myself?”
“I am sure he will eat, mommy,” Emily smiled at her.
“Why?” Xiao You frowned.
“Because it is you cooking it,” Emily said, before she hopped to the living room.
“Ah?” Xiao You looked at her hopping away.
Xi Men sat on his bed looking out of the window. His back leaned against the headboard.
He closed his eyes and tilted his head for a while, before he opened the eyes up and then grabbed his smartphone on the side table.
Xi Men@whatsapp: Anybody around?
Xi Men waited for about one minute…
Lei@whatsapp: I am here.
Xi Men@whatsapp: Great. I needed someone to talk to right now.
Lei@whatsapp: Why? Something happened?
Xi Men@whatsapp: Gosh, this is so depressing.
Lei@whatsapp: Huh? What happened, dude?
Xi Men@whatsapp: Emily just came back from Harry’s house. I asked her if she wanna go out for breakfast. And she said no.
Xi Men@whatsapp: I mean, I was seriously hoping things are going to be better because she went over to Harry’s place. A huge part of me really wants to see some positive changes. When she said no, it is devastating to me. She rejected my offer!
Lei@whatsapp: Well… she probably just didn’t want to go out to eat breakfast.
Xi Men@whatsapp: Trust me, she went over to Harry’s house to take a break. I am so darn sure she loathes the sight of me.
Lei@whatsapp: Hey, come on. You might have think too much.
Xi Men@whatsapp: A part of me died. And I feel so damn sad about it.
Lei@whatsapp: Just because she said ‘no’ to your breakfast invitation?
Xi Men raised his head up and rested it on the bed’s headboard. He stared at the ceiling but his focus wasn’t there. Things are running wildly in his mind instead.
Things have slowly changed for better for him in this house.
But not when it involves Emily.
“Ahhhh, why is it so difficult?” Xi Men said in frustration.
Lei@whatsapp: Dude, I understand your frustration. But really, you can’t really pinpoint much with just a word ‘no’ to your invitation to breakfast. Take it easy.
Xi Men reads it and lets out a deep breath.
“I really, really, really hope I can do that…” Xi Men mumbled.
Lei@whatsapp: And as you have always known, she has been giving you cold shoulder for a week. So saying ‘no’ to you is actually nothing extraordinary. It just means you gotta try harder. Don’t let one small rejection like this crush your spirit. You are Xi Men. You won’t give up. You can’t give up. She is your daughter.
Mei Zhuo@whatsapp: Sorry, guys. Just got back from my in-laws’ house.
Lei@whatsapp: No problem, Mei Zhuo.
Mei Zhuo@whatsapp: And I’ve read the conversation lines. Lei is right. Take it easy, Xi Men.
Xi Men looked at the chat.
Mei Zhuo@whatsapp: What you need to do now is to keep on encouraging yourself and motivate yourself to win her. Xiao You is standing on your side to win Emily, right?
Xi Men@whatsapp: Yes.
Mei Zhuo@whatsapp: Well, then all you need to know is that she is not the only one standing at your side. Because you have me, Lei, and Ah Si; though I don’t know where Ah Si is right now, but you know all three of us will be here supporting you.
Lei@whatsapp: Yes, Mei Zhuo is right. We will always stand by your side.
Xi Men’s eyes turned to look at the door.
‘I already said I want to be alone’ his mind said.