Chapter 27 — It was impossible for him to like her.
Although Xia Wei began thinking of moving, renting an apartment was a troublesome matter. Finding a suitable apartment was even more difficult. She intended to take her time finding one after Tao Yu returned to D City.
After she got out of bed, washed her face, and changed clothes, Xia Wei sat in front of her vanity to put on makeup. Sunshine circled around her feet a few times before curiously looking up at her. When she started to leave, it stuck close to her. Xia Wei stood at the doorway slipped into her shoes and stooped down to pacify it. “Sunshine, be obedient. I need to go buy you dog food and a dog house. Look after the house obediently. I’ll be back soon.”
Bark. Sunshine still looked at her with a wagging tail, looking as if it absolutely wanted to follow her.
“It’ll be really inconvenient to bring you along. I’ll take you for a walk when I return this evening, okay?” Xia Wei opened the door and used her leg to keep it inside. “I’m leaving and will be back with something tasty for you this evening.”
The moment she was about to close the door, she saw Sunshine’s pitiful expression and lost the heart to leave Sunshine at home. It would have been alright if she raised it together with the orange cat, as everyone should have a companion. Unfortunately…she had already decided to move.
Tao Yu was staying in a hotel near Starlight Plaza, so the two of them met up at Starlight General Merchandise and picked up dog supplies for Sunshine along the way.
Xia Wei originally thought that a straight guy would dislike window-shopping with a girl, but Tao Yu had always possessed a lot of patience and even gave her many suggestions. Once shopping was more or less done, they went to eat. The two of them headed directly to Tian Xia Restaurant. Today, Tian Tian also came. Before they even reached the door of Tian Xia Restaurant, Tian Tian had sent them a text saying she was already there.
Asking For Suicide At Eighteen This Year: 「You got off work so early today? (⊙0⊙)」
Invincible Little Sweetie: 「Of course, today is Saturday, no?『smile』They need to consider our basic rights when making us work overtime.『smile』」
Asking For Suicide At Eighteen This Year: 「Haha, okay. We’re about five minutes away.」
Like before, they reserved an ordinary private room. When the waitress was leading them inside, Jiang Zhi Zhou just happened to pass by. He had emerged from the kitchen to see the guests, dressed in a chef uniform. When he saw Xia Wei and Tao Yu enter a private room together, his steps paused subconsciously.
They came here to eat? He intentionally took note that the private room they entered was Full Moon Hall.
…How come he always felt that this private room’s name seemed to be mocking him?
“Boss Jiang, is something wrong?” A waitress saw Jiang Zhi Zhou suddenly stop and stand there, frozen, and felt that she had done something wrong somewhere.
“No.” As he spoke, Jiang Zhi Zhou’s expression returned to its usual neutrality. “Later, pass me the menu that the guests in Full Moon Hall over there chooses.”
The waitress guessed that Boss Jiang wanted to make something from the menu when she reported the ordered menu. When Jiang Zhi Zhou accepted it, he glanced at the dishes.
Egg fried rice again—Miss Xia from upstairs changed men very quickly, but her eating preferences were actually very straightforward. When he re-entered the kitchen, the chefs were a bit surprised. “Boss Jiang, didn’t you already make a dish today?”
“Mn, but I suddenly want to make egg fried rice.”
“…” Boss Jiang really adored this party.
He had the waitress deliver the dish once he prepared it and went directly to change afterward, not bothering to stay in the kitchen any longer. When he opened his locker, he caught sight of his reflection in the mirror and froze, his eyes darkening.
Why were his brows furrowed? What was there to feel unhappy about?
He carefully thought back and felt that this mood probably originated from seeing Miss Xia from upstairs and her old classmate show up together.
What was alarming about this? They were only eating together. Moreover, this was not the first time he saw her with another man.
He closed his locker, but his brows still did not relax. Why did he care so much about Miss Xia from upstairs?
Jiang Zhi Zhou’s mind vaguely settled on an answer, but he very quickly vetoed this possibility. He had mysophobia, and she had dated quite a few men previously. It was impossible for him to like her.
It probably was because he was interacting with her too frequently, so he was becoming too concerned about her.
Meanwhile, in the private room, Xia Wei tasted Tian Xia Restaurant’s egg fried rice once again. She actually felt her body ache slightly. If she wanted to eat egg fried rice, she should just harass Mr. Jiang some more and eat it free of charge. Why come to Tian Xia Restaurant and pay to eat…
“Mn?” After she tasted the egg fried rice, she puzzledly stopped to examine it.
“Excuse me, is there something wrong with the taste?” The waitress standing to the side asked, deeply concerned. This egg fried rice was personally stir-fried by Boss Jiang, so there shouldn’t be any problems with it.
Xia Wei raised her head to look at her and asked, “Is this personally made by your boss?”
The waitress smiled and said, “Yes.”
Xia Wei: “…”
Was Mr. Jiang currently fond of egg fried rice?
“Okay, Xia Wei, you can now eat Mr. Jiang’s cooking, but haven’t you been freeloading food off him frequently?” Tian Tian looked at her ambiguously.
Xia Wei coughed and said, “Not often.”
Tian Tian didn’t tease her again and turned to greet Tao Yu. “Tian Xia Restaurant’s dishes are very famous in A City. Xia Wei hates coming to eat here, yet she specifically invited you here today, so make sure you eat quite a bit.”
Tao Yu had already heard about Mr. Jiang’s practice of only making one dish a day. He glanced at the dishes on the table, his gaze ultimately falling on Xia Wei’s egg fried rice. “Can I try some of the egg fried rice?”
“…Sure.” She picked up a clean, small bowl and filled it halfway with egg fried rice for Tao Yu. Tao Yu tried some and fell silent before saying, “His craftsmanship is indeed pretty good.”
Tian Tian curiously asked, “Teacher Tao, can you cook?”
Tao Yu nodded. “Mn, during holidays, I have to cook for myself, but my cooking pales in comparison to Mr. Jiang.”
Tian Tian said, “Why on earth are you comparing yourself to him. This is his job; he specializes in this industry.”
Tao Yu quirked his lips into a smile but didn’t make a sound.
Tian Tian muttered to herself irresolutely and didn’t say anything else either. They finished eating relatively early. Xia Wei thought about inviting Tao Yu to sing or go out to eat some snacks when Tian Tian suggested, “Let’s go to a bar!”
Xia Wei looked at her strangely. Amongst their friend circle, Tian Tian was the one who liked drinking the least, even being prejudiced against bars. How come her spirits were so high today? “You want to go drinking?”
Tian Tian said, “Tao Yu came here, so it’s a rare occasion today. Besides, I’m always working overtime and want to relax a bit. How about we go to South Clarity Avenue? After we drink, we can go eat barbecue!”
Xia Wei actually had no objections to this, but she didn’t know whether Teacher Tao liked going to bars. “Do you want to go?”
Tao Yu thought for a moment and said, “Let’s go. Since I came all the way to A City, I don’t want to return to the hotel so early.”
Tao Yu drove them, and they reached South Clarity Avenue relatively easily. South Clarity Avenue was a well-known street in A City, filled with all kinds of bars and people.
They chose a fairly popular bar and got a feel for A City’s nightlife. Since Tao Yu was driving, he only ordered one drink. Xia Wei didn’t drink much either, whereas Tian Tian soon found herself intoxicated. With her looking like that, Xia Wei did not plan on going to eat barbecue afterward and had Tao Yu drive her home directly.
“I’m truly sorry. Tian Tian was probably feeling highly pressured at the moment. Their company hardly gives vacation days.” Xia Wei supported the already asleep Tian Tian as she explained this to Tao Yu.
Not seeming to mind, Tao Yu said, “It’s fine. Working in a major city certainly places a lot of pressure on a person. She’s a girl here and has probably suffered a lot.” Once he said this, he brought up an old matter with Xia Wei. “D City will always be your home. If you’re tired, just come back.”
“Mn…” Xia Wei looked at Tian Tian, who was asleep on her shoulder, and felt her heart move slightly. At that time, they did their best to pass the exam to come to A City. Once they had graduated, they insisted on staying in A City to work. Was all this really worth it? Eight Treasures frequently ran around to construction sites and often had to go abroad on work trips. Tian Tian worked overtime every day, as if her work was never done. What about her? She ran a very small nail salon. She was her own boss, but she still had to be industrious every day, rising early and going to bed late…
A decade ago, their dream of A City…was this it? They only saw A City’s flourishing outer appearance but forgot that this city would not permit someone to be ordinary.
Outside the window, the sky gradually darkened. The entire city lit up gloriously, with all sorts of people frequenting the streets. It all flashed unceasingly before her eyes.
How much effort did they have to exert every day to make themselves have an ‘ordinary’ life in this city?
Tian Tian lived in a two-person dormitory provided by her company. Once Tao Yu drove them there, Xia Wei woke up Tian Tian and helped her exit the car. “Today, we’re truly troubling you. I’ll escort her upstairs, so you can just return early.”
“It’s fine. You bought so many things that you’ll be unable to carry them back alone. I’ll wait here for you.”
“Alright then. I’ll be right back.”
By now, Tian Tian had sobered up a bit and leaned against Xia Wei as she forced herself to walk straight. Fortunately, the complex had an elevator. If not, Xia Wei really would get a headache from this.
There was no one else in the dormitory when they arrived. Xia Wei went to pour Tian Tian a cup of water and used a towel to wipe her face, sobering Tian Tian up a bit more. Tian Tian suddenly grabbed her wrist and asked her, “Do you like Tao Yu at the moment?”
Xia Wei looked at her and instead asked, “How come you’re suddenly asking this?”
Tian Tian giggled. “Because I think Tao Yu seems to like you.”
“You’re saying this as if he used to like me…”
Tian Tian was silent for a bit before she hugged a pillow and sat so that she faced Xia Wei. “You always call others ‘straight guys’ who don’t understand what goes on in a girl’s head when, in fact, you also don’t understand other’s thoughts.”
Xia Wei froze. Really? Was she so dense?
“During high school, Tao Yu liked you.”
Xia Wei frowned. “But I wrote him a letter. If he liked me, why didn’t he respond?”
Tian Tian rolled her eyes and looked at her with rosy cheeks. “Are you talking about that love letter in the physics text book? I kept that letter, so Tao Yu never saw it.”
Xia Wei: “…”
She digested this for a moment and then said, “Are you really that drunk?”
“Haha, I’m not drunk.” She staggered as she stood. She then dragged over a cardboard box and rummaged through it. “Found it!”
She turned around and handed a pink envelope over to Xia Wei.
Written on the cover with a fountain pen were the three words: 「To: Tao Yu」.
She remembered that she had practiced writing this name several times, all in order to write it just a bit more beautifully.
Xia Wei stared blankly at that letter. She had only ever written one love letter, and a decade later, it had been returned to her hands once again.
Ying, I should not plant a FLAG; the orange cat side story has been delayed once more qwq
Expressing thanks to sponsors