Ooh, I Love! Xue Zhao finally meets his competition, and it feels so good to put him in place, though not exactly! And the flashback in this chapter is too funny, as this cements the fact that Ming Xing really does suffer from a small case of EQ. Anyways, this chapter is filled with feel-good moments. There’s also a small peek into the beginning of Liu Jin and Xiao Xi’s relationship.
CHAPTER 3 (Part I): Waiting.
Li Ming Xing carefully put on the best dress she owned. But she went for a no-make-up look.
After ten whole years, she was going to meet all of her old friends. Her phone started ringing and she answered it. “Ming Xing,” she heard Xiao Xi’s excited voice coming from the phone. “Where are you?”
“I’m getting ready. I’ll be coming directly from the office,” she assured Xiao Xi.
“Wear something pretty, you know. I want my best woman to look the most beautiful, but not more than me!” warned Xiao Xi.
Ming Xing laughed at Xiao Xi’s silliness. “Okay, okay! Now, if you end this call I’ll be able to finish getting ready.”
“Okay, see you!”
Ming Xing ended the call. She stared at the front camera of her phone and then looked at the screen. The camera was like a substitute to a mirror. On one ear she had on hoops and on the other she had a small diamond stud shaped like a star.
She decided to go for the stud and removed the hoop. She was wearing a simple golden gossamer gown. She applied a little lip gloss and put on a simple chain around her neck.
She opened the door of her office, ready to leave, when she saw Mo Wen Ru standing outside as if he was about to knock on her door.
“Oh, Mo Wen Ru!” she exclaimed, taken aback. “What’s wrong?”
Mo Wen Ru seemed to be in a stupor, as he took in her appearance. “Uh, nothing,” he said a bit too quickly. “You’re going somewhere? A date?”
She frowned. “No. It’s my friend’s wedding.”
He seemed a bit relieved. “Then I hope you wouldn’t mind if I stall you for a while?”
“I want to thank you for the other day when you helped me out.”
“There’s no need for that! It was just a small thing!”
“Oh please! Don’t refuse! At least, let me treat you to a cup of coffee?”
Ming Xing hesitated. But she knew that she would come off as rude and unreasonable. So she said, “Um, okay!”
So she found herself sitting uncomfortably in the Coffee Shop right opposite to the Office Building. He’d ordered a latte for her and a Cappuccino for himself, as if showing that he remembered her preferences. But little did he know that remembering what Coffee someone likes isn’t an indicator of how much they cared for each other.
It’s the feeling that goes behind the remembrance.
The memory of Egg Noodles that she shared with Han Xue Zhao was poignant because it was something that they both shared. The coffee here is more like an individual. There’s no feeling of belonging to it. And besides, coffee always tastes bitter, no matter what form you take it in.
She silently stirred the coffee in front of her as Mo Wen Ru sat opposite her talking on his phone. Suddenly, her own phone pinged. She checked the message.
From: Unknown Number
To: Li Ming Xing
When are you coming down?
She frowned. The she realized who the possible sender could be. She quickly typed an answer.
From: Li Ming Xing
To: Unknown Number
Sub: Re: —
I’m in the cafe opposite of the Office Building.
She waited in trepidation for his reaction. Then she got a simple message.
From: Unknown Number
To: Li Ming Xing
Sub: Re: Re: —
I’ll be waiting for you.
She smiled. He’s always waited for her patiently and without complaints. She knew that this won’t be the last time he’ll be waiting for her. Somehow, she just knew it.
Li Ming Xing has always had a habit of visiting the temple in the morning. She wasn’t overtly religious, but she was still a believer.
But more than that, she’d always felt peaceful in the temple.
That day, she prayed to the gods that the annoying Han Xue Zhao wouldn’t turn up in the library. But the gods were too busy to hear her prayers. So when she’d gone to the library hoping against hope, she found him sitting right on the bench that’s the closest to her desk.
Actually, when she’d seen his Royal Challenger Thunderbird outside the library itself, she’d known that it’s a hopeless situation for her.
As it’s a holiday today, she had decided to work for longer time. There weren’t many people either and Madam Qin was on a leave.
She ignored Xue Zhao as she went around keeping the returned books back in their places. She occasionally helped readers who were searching for a particular book.
Actually Xue Zhao didn’t do anything more than pester her to get this book or that. But it got on her nerves because she was under the impression that he’s trying to take advantage of her.
The library’s phone rang. It was Xiao Xi. “Hi Ming Xing!” she squeaked into the phone.
“Xiao Xi,” groaned Ming Xing. “I’m working right now!”
“I know, I know! But just answer my question quickly, okay?”
“Is Senior Brother Han Xue Zhao with you right now?”
“Oh!” Xiao Xi sounded disappointed.
“But why are you asking?” questioned Ming Xing, suspiciously.
“It’s just that Liu Jin has been searching for him since quite a long time and hasn’t been able to find him. So he asked me to ask you whether Senior Brother Han is with you!” explained Xiao Xi.
“Well, if you put it that way, he’s in the library.”
“How do you know?”
“Because I’m in the library too!”
“But you just said that he’s not with you.”
“Well, he really isn’t with me. He’s in the library. See, did you spot the difference now?”
“Li Ming Xing, you’re so hateful! Because of you, my phone bill always rises,” cried Xiao Xi.
“Aw, Xiao Xi, but the fact that you’re teaming up with Senior Brother Liu is raising my Blood Pressure. So I guess we’re on even ground!”
“Ming Xing, you shameless, betraying…” Xiao Xi began her rant.
“And just a few minutes back, a certain somebody was crying about their rising phone bill!” quipped Ming Xing, drawing silence from the other end.
Xiao Xi seemed to have changed her stance from offensive to defensive, as she carefully asked, “Ming Xing, do you know why Senior Brother Han is around you nowadays you?”
“How am I to know? He probably loves to torment me! Or maybe he just has no other place to go to than the library! But again, he does have many other works to do so he possibly doesn’t have the library as his only refuge. He isn’t telling Senior Brother Liu where he’s going? Now, that’s really suspicious. But again, maybe he just wants privacy and some quiet? Or maybe…” Ming Xing started making conjectures.
“Ming Xing ah,” Xiao Xi shed tears. “This is exactly the reason why I’m afraid to call you. You totally raise my phone bill, la! Goodbye!”
“Hey, Ah Xi! Wait…” she protested. But she only got static from the other side.
Wei Xiao Xi turned to the handsome Liu Jin who was laughing beside her. Suddenly, she felt the need to defend her best friend.
“Hey, Ming Xing may have low EQ, but that doesn’t mean you should laugh at her, la!” she yelled.
Liu Jin composed himself. “I wasn’t laughing at Ming Xing. I was just imagining how hard Xue Zhao must work his ass off to convince her that he has feelings for her!”
Xiao Xi frowned. “That’s true! But are you sure that he really likes her?”
“You think I don’t know my own friend?”
“No, Senior Brother Liu! I just don’t want to create false hope in my best friend’s heart, especially because she has a very antagonistic feeling towards love.”
“Trust me, those two people are simply different. They’re like dynamites ready to explode. And when put together, only they can understand each other.”
“And I didn’t understand you.”
Liu Jin chuckled. “Have you ever seen Han Xue Zhao acting desperate?”
“Well, if you go to the library now, you’ll find him doing exactly that.”
“Because Li Ming Xing is the only person in this world who makes him desperate.”
Oh, I love this SO much!
I love this peek into what others think of their relationship. And I can’t believe that the trait of Ming Xing’s which helps Xue Zhao the most is also the one which is coming back to bite his arse: her obliviousness.
Her obliviousness helps to ward off potential love rivals, but it also makes Xue Zhao’s task harder. So you can’t help but laugh at the way the arrogant guy has to humble himself to get to her.
He isn’t a black belly: that’s been established. But he isn’t a saint either.
And as for the readers’ queries:
Well, the novel has about ten to fifteen chapters. But I’m planning to club some chapters together and divide some other for convenience’s sake. And also, regarding the ending, the novel was originally planned to have an OE, where the leads are happier apart, knowing that they can’t really stay together, but their memories of the times they spent together keeps them happy.
But after an incident, Xiao Li decided for the novel to have a HE, where they persevere and finally manage to stay together and in love.
So, Bottomline: This is a HE novel.
That’s a major issue addressed. But don’t expect a spoiler from me because I plan to keep the suspense of the journey intact, as I know that the majority of you didn’t even know that this novel exists. And I totally want this novel to progress with the fun of no knowing what happens next.
Xiao Li is totally basking at this moment, and is thankful to all of you for your support. She loves reading your comments and opinions and hopes that you will stick with her throughout this novel’s journey.
Well, I hope that you all will express your feelings on this chapter and henceforth, too. In the next post, we’ll be back with more of TLSIMC!