As Xiao You ran the knife down on her main course – a filet of sea bass…
Xi Men lifted his eyes up from focusing on the knife that he is running on the lamb leg, “Hmmm?”
“Since your friends are married…” Xiao You said; her sight remained on her fish. “Have your parents pressured you into getting married too?”
Xi Men smiled briefly. “They do. Once in a while,”
“Oh. So how do you deal with that?” she asked, stuffing a small piece of the sea bass into her mouth. “Do you feel pressured?”
He smiled as he lets out a deep breath, “My parents want me to settle down. After seeing Ah Si, Mei Zhuo and Lei get married and then having kids, they wished for me to live the same,”
“Both my parents have different kinds of concern for me so the pressure is different, though it is quite bearable, or moderate. Not something excessive that would drive me nuts,” he said. “My dad wants me to settle down because he is worried that my age is catching up and all the ladies are taken,”
Xiao You laughed.
He smiled. “My mom wants me to settle down with someone I love and want to be with, instead of settling down with someone for some benefits especially business wise,”
“Ah, I see,”
“My parents’ marriage is a marriage of convenience. It is for merging of business,” Xi Men said. “My mom didn’t live happily, and as we know it, they are divorced. So… my mom didn’t want me to walk the same path as her,”
Taken aback, “Your parents… had divorced?” she asked.
“Oh, you didn’t know?” Xi Men asked, looking at Xiao You.
Xiao You shook. “No…”
“I thought I mentioned,”
“Umm… no, not really. I thought your parents are still legally…”
Xi Men smirked a little bit. “No. They divorced a couple of years ago. I am staying with my mother now, if you want to know,”
“Oh…” she replied. “Umm… okay… sorry for the interruption. You may continue…” she said. “You said your mom didn’t want you to walk the same path as her…” and she casually stuffs a small piece of sea bass into her mouth.
“Yeah, that is what my mom said. And for my dad, he only wants me to get married. He doesn’t care whoever it is. Be it tycoon’s daughter, businessman’s daughter, or a commoner, some college girls… it doesn’t matter. Benefits or not, it is okay. As long as I settle with a woman. And yes, he specifically said, female,”
The piece of sea bass in her mouth almost flew out from her mouth when she heard that and she covered her mouth as she tried to hold herself from laughing out loud.
Xi Men immediately give her a glare. “Excuse me, mademoiselle,”
After holding down her laughter, she cleared her throat. “I’m sorry,” she said. “So you are saying, your dad is worried that you may end up with a guy?” she then reached for the glass of red wine.
“Trust me, he is definitely hinting that,”
Xiao You got choked when she heard that.
Thinking she is laughing at him again, he glared at her again, “Hey, mademoiselle,” he said again.
Xiao You was quick to grab the serviette on the table and then she coughed into it.
Seeing she had taken the serviette up and coughed, his gaze changed as he realized she isn’t laughing at him but she is really choked. “Oh, oh, oh, are you okay?” Xi Men dropped his cutleries as he looked at Xiao You coughing into the serviette.
Xiao You didn’t know if she is laughing or coughing as she is doing both into the serviette. She nodded at him and gave him an ‘okay’ sign with her hand.
“Are you sure you are okay?” he asked.
She nodded again and then lets out a few coughs.
He gazes at her as he wondered if she is alright, but seeing she puts the serviette down and then reached for a glass of water for a sip, he took up his cutleries and then resumed eating.
She cleared her throat and then resumed her dinner.
Looking at her, “You do need a lot of care, huh,” he said.
She glared at him, “Monsieur, what are you hinting, huh?”
“Misstep at the stairs and also losing balance on uneven roads… and even choked on wine…” he teased.
“Wouldn’t get choked if not for your story, you know?” she sulked.
After teasing her, he smiled. “Anyway, sorry for that,” he said.
Seeing he smiles, she also smiled. “It is not your fault. I just didn’t expect to hear that,” she said. “Let’s continue from where we stopped,”
“Sure,” he said.
“You said… your dad is hinting you not to end up with a guy…” she said, running her knife on the sea bass again.
“He keeps on emphasizing ladies, females, girls… I can catch those hints,” he replied.
Xiao You just smiled.
“He would frequently ask me if I am dating, because he really wants me to date and meet someone,” Xi Men said. “And there are a couple of times he actually suggested to go for match making dates with some daughters of his friends or business partners or clients… and I said no. I told him I don’t need to resort to those ways to meeting girls. I prefer to meet one on my own, and I told him I’ll bring her back home if she is the one for me,”
“So, it looks like your dad would like to see you to be with someone you love,” Xiao You said. “Just the same thing your mother had told you,”
Xi Men took a deep breath. “He didn’t say ‘someone I love’. He actually said, to find one that loves me or willing to be with me,”
“He loves my mom but my mom doesn’t love him, so he suffered the entire marriage,” Xi Men said.
Xiao You looked at Xi Men as he explained it solemnly.
“My mom wants me to be with someone that I love, and my dad wants me to be with someone who loves me… so… in conclusion I should find someone that I love and also loves me back,” he then slowly smiled.
Xiao You’s smile regained on her face. “Yeah,”
“My mom also mentioned…”
“If I couldn’t find one… it is better I live alone than suffer with a partner that I don’t love,” he said.
Xi Men just smirked as he stuffs another small bite-size of meat into his mouth.
“I guess it is… umm, speaking from experience?” she asked.
“Yes,” Xi Men said. “Both my parents are speaking from their experiences,” he sighed. “Thus, she wanted me to be with someone I love because she was married to my dad whom she doesn’t love; and my dad wants me to be with someone who loves me; because he married someone he loves but doesn’t love him back. Thus, my parents want me to have something they didn’t get,”
“They want you to be happy,”
“I know,” he runs his knife on his piece of meat.
She pressed her lips together as she then pokes on a small piece of the fish and puts into her mouth. She then smiled. “You will meet someone you love and also love you back. I have faith in you,”
Xi Men lifted his gaze up and looked at her. “Remember…”
She also looked at him. “Hmmm?”
“Remember 2 days ago, we were talking about finding and meeting ‘the one’?” he asked.
“Yeah,” she said.
“I think you didn’t realize I didn’t say I agree or believe I will meet ‘the one’,”
She stares at him. “You didn’t?”
Xi Men gives her a smirk and then he shook. “You said you believed I will meet her, but I don’t,”
She frowned. “I thought…”
“You did say a lot of things at that time, trying to convince me that I will meet someone. You also said, you wished that I will meet ‘her’. But I never said I believe I will meet her. I said… ‘I hope you will meet him’. As in, you, not me,”
“Really…?” she questioned.
“Well, you may not remember. But I remember,” he smiled.
“Then… why not?” she asked. “Is it because…”
He looked at her. “Because?”
“You can say that out,” he said.
“Maybe… because you have gotten used to being playboy… so you don’t think you can get rid of that lifestyle? That… you didn’t want to meet this person, get married to her and… umm…”
He looked at her.
“Umm, I mean, forcing yourself to stop being a playboy so that you can stay loyal to her?” she asked.
He remained looking at her, and then a small laugh escaped his mouth. “I will not force myself to do what I didn’t want to do. If I am really ending up in a situation as described by you, I will end up having a mistress, or mistresses,”
Upon hearing that respond, she looked at him, and specifically, her gaze changes. “Mis… mistresses?”
“If, I said,” he repeated.
She doesn’t understand.
“You look confused,” he said.
“I am,” she replied, slightly bothered with what he had told her.
“Then let me explain, if I have to force myself to stop being a playboy and to stay loyal to a person, it means I don’t love her. And if I don’t love her and forced myself to be with her, it is just the same as what my mom had. And that means, I won’t be happy. Therefore, I will end up having mistresses,”
Xiao You stares at Xi Men.
“Hmmm?” Xi Men tilted his head as he looked at Xiao You staring at him. “Still confused?”
“Oh,” Xiao You immediately lowered her head down. “I understand now,” she then cuts a small piece of sea bass.
Xi Men smirked as he also lowered his head down and focused on his main dish. “But it will not happen,”
Xiao You lifted her eyes up and looked at him again. “Why?”
With the smirk remained on his face, “I have said two days ago, I will only be with someone I love and also loves me back, just the way my parents want me to. I am not going to force myself to be with someone I don’t love or be with someone who doesn’t love me back,”
“Oh,” Xiao You responded.
Silence for a brief while.
“Can I ask you something?” Xiao You asked.
“Sure,” Xi Men said, without looking at her as he is focusing on slicing his lamb leg.
“If you happened to get married to someone you love and also loves you back…”
“Hmmm?” Xi Men is listening, as he awaits the continuation of her statement.
“Do you think you can…”
Xi Men lifted his gaze up and looked at Xiao You, still waiting for her to continue.
She happens to be biting her fork. “Umm… stop fooling around with other girls?”
“You mean, stop being a playboy?” he asked.
She then looked at him, smiled briefly and nodded.
He smirked. “Why do you ask?”
“I am just curious,” she said.
Xi Men smiled, returning his gaze to his food as he ran his knife on it. “If I can find a woman that can make me want to marry her…” he then looked at her. “It means I love her very much and I want to spend the rest of my life with her,”
She looked at him.
“And that also mean, she is special and unique. I have no reason to continue my lifestyle as a playboy and sleep with women who meant nothing to me the very next day,” he said.
“Oh,” she replied. “And that sounds like… you won’t have mistress too…”
“Remember I told you, I grew up becoming a playboy at the thought of inheriting the gene from my father?” he asked as he slices his lamb leg.
“Yeah,” she replied without looking at him.
“I watch him having mistresses by his side and I did thought I will do the same in the future,” he said.
Xiao You lifted her head up to look at him as he just cuts his meat and not looking at her.
“But upon finding out my dad has mistresses because of unrequited love from my mom…” he uttered. “I realized he does that because of a situation, not because of some stupid needs to have different women by his side or tendency to have an affair or cheat on my mom. And I stupidly thought it was all in the blood when it has nothing to do with being a Xi Men. I learned that my dad loves my mom tremendously. He loves her and only her. He had her but he couldn’t keep her heart. He has mistresses because of my mom,”
Xiao You nodded briefly upon listening to him. “Yeah, that is what you told me…”
“I learned about my misconception of my father. I thought he isn’t capable to love. I thought he is the one causing pain to my mom, when it was actually my mom causing misery to him. She has been asking for divorce from him for years… but he couldn’t let go because of his love for my mom and he hopes she could accept him someday,” Xi Men said. “But that day never came,”
Looking at him for a while, her gaze returned to her fish and she resumed eating.
“He granted my mom the divorce she wanted. I was there witnessing them signing the divorce papers. At that time when they signed the papers, I realized my dad still loves my mom very much,” Xi Men said, stuffing another bite-size meat into his mouth. “It is just sad that my mom doesn’t love my dad the way he… and I wanted her to,”
Xiao You could only press her lips together and gave a small smile.
“As for your question,” he said. “I am not going to do the same thing like my dad did,”
Xiao You lifted her head up and looked at him.
“As mentioned, if I were to get married, it is because I love her very much and she loves me back. If she loves me, then I have no reason to have a mistress. If my dad has the capability to love my mom tremendously until the day they divorced, it means I have the capability to love as much as he is too. The capability to love is in the blood. The playboy gene is not in the blood. It wasn’t even a gene in the first place. It is in the mind. I can get rid of that,” Xi Men said.
Xiao You smiled briefly.
“Which is why, I am not going to marry someone I don’t love or someone who doesn’t love me back,” Xi Men said. “So, no mistress. Or mistresses. Or girlfriends,”
Xiao You remained smiling. “You sounded quite sure about that,”
Xi Men smiled. “I wish to walk the same path as Ah Si, Lei and Mei Zhuo. Not my dad’s. I have enough fun with different women all my life. If I marry one, it means I am going to commit to her and only her, just the right way a man should do,”
The smile on Xiao You’s face grew. “You’ve changed a lot since the last time I saw you,”
“Change? Just the mindset about marrying someone I love and also loves me back, as well as having mistresses?”
“Back then, you submitted to the fact that you will marry someone your parents arranged you to instead of someone you love or loves you back,”
Xi Men smirked.
“And also, the idea or topic about love doesn’t seem to exist in you,” Xiao You said.
His smirk turned into a small smile, “What you know about me was 10 years ago. My parents’ divorce is just a couple of years ago. Their divorce taught me a couple of things. And besides… although they would be okay to set me up for marriage of convenience, they would prefer I marry for the sake of love than for business,” he said. “It is about the rest of my life,”
Xiao You nodded. “Alright, I understand now,”
The small smile remained on his face. “Although I wished to walk the same path as the other F3, it doesn’t mean it will happen to me. I don’t think I’ll ever meet ‘the one’,”
Xiao You lifted her eyes up and looked at him. “Why so?”
Xi Men smiled and then looked at her, “I just believe so,” he said, and then stuffs the piece of meat into his mouth.
Xiao You notices that handsome smirk on his face. “Well, you should believe in yourself,”
Her eyes widened a bit as it seems that he hadn’t called her name in a while.
With his fringe covering part of his left eye, “I had a very bad past. As you already know, I sleep around and I don’t even know how many I have slept with in my life. No parents want a son-in-law like me. No woman wants a husband like me. I know I can score any woman to be my wife just with my name, my look and my money; but most guys are the same; they (guys) do not want a significant other that only concentrates on the guy, boyfriend or husband’s fame and riches. It may came as a package, but what the guy want is the sincerity. And if someday, he is not rich or famous anymore, will she still be with him? Or let’s say, citing me as an example; if I am no longer rich, no longer famous, hardcore poor, will the lady still stay by my side?”
“I know what you mean, Xi Men,” Xiao You smiled. “There are still girls out there that look beyond fame and riches of the guy and be with him. You just need to get that kind of luck to find and meet one just like that,”
He smiled as he looked at Xiao You, and then he instantly realized Xiao You is that kind of girl.
His smile slowly fades.
She doesn’t care about his identity as a CEO of a giant corporation in Taiwan. She didn’t treat him differently just because he is a CEO. She treated him like an ordinary guy here in Paris.
She doesn’t care if he is rich. Instead of trying to take a sum of his riches while she could, she mocked him for using money unnecessarily. She demanded to take subway when she knew she had the luxury to sit on a chauffeured car in Paris. She didn’t ask him to buy her expensive things in Paris though he decided to buy it for her, and he had to basically demand her to accept them.
Although she knew he is a playboy, she still likes him and even daringly confessed how she felt for him… well, 10 years ago.
And right now… she doesn’t like him anymore. She had moved on from him.
Life goes on.
‘I already met her. But she doesn’t love me.’ Xi Men thought to himself. ‘I don’t love her either.’
“And like I have told you, Xi Men,” Xiao You suddenly speaks, interrupting Xi Men’s deep thought.
Xi Men looked at her.
“I believe there is someone for everyone, but whether you will meet her or not, that is a different story. If you are meant to meet her, you will meet her no matter what. I am not asking you to put in hope that you will definitely meet her or will meet her sometime soon, but I am asking you not to give up in finding your significant other. Whether she will appear in your life or not, you need, and should give yourself hope and chance in life,” Xiao You said.
Xi Men smiled again. “We will see,”
Xiao You smiled briefly. “Good luck, Xi Men,”
He just smiled.