Chapter 21 — Do you think it’s possible to like someone you dislike?
A month ago, Xia Wei would absolutely never have imagined herself to be crushing on Mr. Jiang from downstairs.
He was prejudiced against her from the start and stood far away from her whenever he was in the same elevator. He was a cold-hearted, taciturn, and unfriendly man. When the leaky water problem was not resolved immediately, he went straight to her nail salon and began lecturing her on the harmful effects of nail polish; this trade-building straight guy even derided her for calling herself a girl despite being close to thirty years old…
He simply was notorious for his misdeeds. There was no guy worse than him.
But he fed the stray cats and made delicious food. Whenever he reached a crosswalk with no traffic lights, he would slow down to allow pedestrians to pass first….
There was a saying by someone she could not name. If two people revealed the best part of their personality to each other upon their first meeting, then you will increasingly discover shortcomings of the other party the more you interact with them. If two people revealed the worst part of their personality at first, then you will discover more merits of the other party the further you interact with each other.
That was truly too fucking right.
Xia Wei squirmed and buried her face into her pillow. She was crushing on him—what was the use in doing so? He definitely did not like her. And she, she could not determine when she would fall ill again.
She really was unsuited for dating.
Slowly, her accelerated heartbeat calmed as time passed.
In order to forget about Mr. Jiang as quickly as possible, Xia Wei did not disturb him during mealtimes for two days. She did not seek him out, yet Jiang Zhi Zhou actually took the initiative to seek her out.
Jiang Zhi Zhou: 「You there?」
Xia Wei: 「Not here :)」
Jiang Zhi Zhou: 「…」
Jiang Zhi Zhou: 「Next week is Sun Jiao Jiao’s birthday. My sister-in-law is making me pick a birthday gift in advance for her. I don’t know what I should get.」
Xia Wei: 「…Who is Sun Jiao Jiao? :)」
Jiang Zhi Zhou: 「You saw her last time, my blind date」
Xia Wei: 「Oh, then how does this concern me? :)」
Jiang Zhi Zhou: 「Didn’t you say you’ll be my good-for-nothing adviser?」
Xia Wei: “…”
How many flags did she insert…
Xia Wei: 「I am the adviser; you are the good-for-nothing. Thanks『smile』」
Jiang Zhi Zhou: 「…」
Xia Wei: 「If you need me to give you advice, I can, but first I want to ask: what are you eating tonight?」
Jiang Zhi Zhou: “…”
Jiang Zhi Zhou: 「Whatever you want to eat, I’m eating that.」
Xia Wei couldn’t help but laugh. This trade-building straight guy was quite smooth.
Xia Wei: 「I want to eat sweet and sour pork and crispy fried fish.『cute』」
Jiang Zhi Zhou: 「…okay」
Xia Wei: 「Then we’ll meet up tonight『cute』」
After reading through the chat history again, Xia Wei hurriedly wiped the smile from her face. Why was she smiling?! What was there to be happy about?!
She bitterly closed the chat window with Jiang Zhi Zhou and opened up the best friends chat.
Asking For Suicide At Eighteen This Year: 「I have a question; do you think it’s possible to like someone you dislike?」
Eight Treasures Congee Female Hero: 「Have you never seen films? One day, you realize that you love the one you previously disliked. Then this affection will last for the rest of your lives『smile』」
Asking For Suicide At Eighteen This Year: 「……」
Invincible Little Sweetie: 「Who do you like?」
Not Losing 5kg Not Changing Name: 「Who else does she dislike other than Mr. Jiang from downstairs?」
Asking For Suicide At Eighteen This Year: 「… you’re all too suspicious. I’m just asking randomly. Going to work; can’t talk『smile』」
Afraid that they would continue to interrogate her, Xia Wei exited the chat a second later and muted it. That evening, in order to freeload food off of Jiang Zhi Zhou, she went downstairs early, promptly pressing on 1808’s doorbell at exactly 7PM.
With an apron on, Jiang Zhi Zhou opened the door for her. Xia Wei sniffed lightly and said to him, “That smells like crispy fried fish!”
Jiang Zhi Zhou chuckled and gave her a pair of slippers. “Come in.”
Xia Wei stared at the feminine slippers in front of her and froze for a moment. “This is…Sun Jiao Jiao’s?”
“I bought it just this afternoon, since I felt that you might be coming over frequently to mooch off food.” Jiang Zhi Zhou walked back to the kitchen as he spoke. Xia Wei’s heartbeat actually became unsteady because of his response.
She pouted at his back and put on the slippers. Tangeriney was curled into a round ball and napping on the sofa, seemingly very content. Xia Wei stroked it twice, causing it to lazily raise its head to meow at her.
“Tangeriney’s whiskers seem a bit longer!” Xia Wei exclaimed in pleasant surprise, aiming her voice in the direction of the kitchen.
Jiang Zhi Zhou casually replied, “Mn.”
Xia Wei turned her head back around to keep playing with the cat and inadvertently caught a glimpse of the flower arrangement in the living room. There weren’t a lot of flowers, and it was arranged in a very small flower basket. The flowers were very vibrant, however, and arranged elegantly. It verily warmed the heart and delighted the eye.
It was also completely incompatible with the apartment that belonged to a straight guy like Jiang Zhi Zhou.
Xia Wei’s eyes darkened slightly. She was no longer in the mood to play with the cat. After Jiang Zhi Zhou served the sweet and sour pork and crispy fried fish on the table, she somewhat accusingly questioned, “Who gave you that flower arrangement? It’s not your style.”
Jiang Zhi Zhou subconsciously glanced at the flower arrangement and replied, “Sun Jiao Jiao gave it to me. She’s learning flower arrangement; she won awards for her work.”
“Oh…as expected, the hobby of a heiress.” She recalled how Twiggy was also a ‘Ms. Perfect.’ How come she didn’t have such an elegant hobby?
“You’re not falling all over the sweet and sour pork and the crispy fried fish? Have you lost your appetite?” Jiang Zhi Zhou saw her lips were thin; she didn’t look particularly happy.
Xia Wei picked up her chopsticks and placed a piece of sweet and sour pork into her bowl. “How can I not have an appetite?! If this was a bowl of egg fried rice, I’ll have an even bigger appetite!”
“…Don’t be avaricious and insatiable.” Jiang Zhi Zhou looked down on her. “You were just playing with the cat; have you washed your hands?”
When Xia Wei returned from washing her hands, the orange cat had already bound over to her side, staring anxiously at the crispy fried fish. This plate of crispy fried fish was made for Xia Wei, so there were many seasonings used that a kitty could not ingest. Jiang Zhi Zhou did not intend to give it any. “This is your dried fish.”
He carried the orange cat over to its food bowl. The orange cat sniffed curiously at the bowl of dried fish. It did not smell as delicious as the fish on the table, but it still reluctantly ate it. Jiang Zhi Zhou went to wash his hands after he saw the cat behave. He then took a seat across from Xia Wei.
Xia Wei had already consumed several pieces of crispy fried fish. Jiang Zhi Zhou’s crispy fried fish was very crunchy. The fishbones could be eaten as well, so she ate with no worries at all. “Oh, that’s right. You said you wanted to give Lady Sun a gift. Do you know what she likes?”
Jiang Zhi Zhou thought for a moment. “She likes to make flower arrangements, play the piano, and read books.”
Xia Wei: “……”
She did not know whether to roast Lady Sun’s interests or to roast Jiang Zhi Zhou first.
“I did not mean interests. I meant…purses, lipstick, and so on.” When she said ‘purses, lipstick,’ she suddenly felt as if these vulgar words would taint Lady Sun…
Jiang Zhi Zhou furrowed his brows and said, “I never heard her mention any of that.”
“You have never asked? What do you two normally talk about?”
“We have only met three times. She sometimes talks about interesting anecdotes of her life, or we talk about movies and music.”
“…Do you not talk about celebrity gossip or trending internet topics?”
Jiang Zhi Zhou stared at her. “You normally chat with others about these types of things?”
…Yes. Sorry, I’m such a worldly person. “I think that…although Lady Sun has received an elite education since she was young, she is still a girl. Things an ordinary girl likes, she will also surely like. Things like skirts, purses, lipstick—no girl should dislike these, right?”
“Isn’t that a bit vulgar?
Xia Wei smiled. “Sorry, I am a very vulgar person.”
Jiang Zhi Zhou: “…”
Xia Wei ate a piece of sweet and sour pork to relax before saying, “Although, since her family circumstances are very good, she certainly doesn’t lack in these things…” Her eyes flashed slightly. Ultimately, she looked Jiang Zhi Zhou in the eyes. “I feel that she is lacking a husband. How about you wrap yourself up as a gift to her?”
Jiang Zhi Zhou fell silent for a moment and then asked himself aloud, “Why did I think that you could give me good advice?”
Xia Wei: “…”
For the sake of the sweet and sour pork and crispy fried fish, she did not get angry.
“Then what do you think?” Xia Wei did not intend to take charge. If she was not here in order to mooch off food, she would definitely not suffer such embarrassment. “Ai, I actually want a lot of things, but I have no boyfriend to give me them.”
Jiang Zhi Zhou was a bit curious. “What do you want to buy?”
“Face slimming massager and retinol serum.”
“What do you want a face slimming massager for?”
“To slim my face of course! But it’s very expensive; I don’t want to spend that much.”
“Then use your hair to hide your face…”
Xia Wei quirked her lips to the side. “Plus, I have dark circles, but retinol serum is also very expensive!”
“Just sleep earlier.” Jiang Zhi Zhou spoke meaningfully as he said this. “Dancing all night will naturally give you dark circles.”
Xia Wei: “…”
She slammed down her chopsticks angrily and glowered at Jiang Zhi Zhou. “You straight guy, what do you know about love?!” She was going to dance when she returned home that night!
Jiang Zhi Zhou was amused at her expression and looked like he wanted to say something—only his phone rang all of a sudden. It was Sun Jiao Jiao calling. He pondered for a moment before walking over to the window to answer. “Hello.”
Xia Wei pricked her ears up when she heard him speak. Jiang Zhi Zhou’s voice had softened a bit, but she could still hear him clearly enough.
“Mn, I placed the flowers in the living room… Some other time; I have something tonight. I’ll treat them to dinner next time. Mn, okay…”
Xia Wei listened, and suddenly, sadness began filling up her heart. Even the sweet and sour pork and crispy fried fish could not lift her mood. She pursed her lips and picked up her bag. Softly and quietly, she left Jiang Zhi Zhou’s apartment.
When Jiang Zhi Zhou hung up the phone, the table behind him was absolutely bereft of company. He stared blankly, brows slightly furrowed. He opened up QQ and sent Xia Wei a message. 「Why did you leave?」
When Xia Wei returned home, she flopped onto her bed. Her heart ached so unbearably that she wanted to weep. Did her monthly come or something? Why else would she be so melancholy and moody?
Her phone screen suddenly turned on. Xia Wei stared at Jiang Zhi Zhou’s message, lost in thought. She then replied: 「Hmph, I didn’t want you to make me stay behind and wash the dishes.『smile』」
After she replied, she tossed her phone to the side; she didn’t want to look at it anymore.
Yet, something more heartbreaking than liking someone you previously disliked…is liking someone that will absolutely never like you back.
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