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Chapter 48 – No love
"Marry me." Ye Zhengchen said these words to me even before I had time to take off the engagement ring. I thought of the ten thousand reasons I had to refuse his proposal.
For example, I had not formally broken off my engagement yet with Zhong Tim, I had not told my parents anything yet, I had spent no time to get re-acquainted with this Ye Zhengchen in uniform, I did not have the courage to fall in love with him again, I had no idea if this very imperfect lover could be a perfect husband, a good son in law ; I had not even met his parents yet and had no clue if they would accept me…
Really, there were ten thousand reasons why I could not accept, but these could not stop my heart from beating faster and faster
Suddenly I felt icy water trickle down to my mouth. The ice in the towel was now melting.
Felling cold, I shivered and wrapped my arms around my body.
Ye Zhengchen realised that the ice was melting and immediately threw down the towel on the table. With his fingers, he stroked my face to generate heat, gradually moving downwards to my neckline
His hand froze as soon as he reached my collar and he looked straight at me
" You.." maybe because of the cold, my lips were stiff. " Can you really help him?" there was a tremor in my voice.
"Yes", his eyes fell on my lips, "I will ensure that you are completely satisfied."
" Oh…" Did that mean that I too would need to ensure he was completely satisfied as well?
His face moved closer to mine and I could feel his breath on my face. This time, I felt that even my brain had frozen and was in a complete state of shut down.
His lips were getting closer and closer to mine. They looked like the cherry petals I had seen in japan, gently fluttering and causing a strange sensation in my body.
I could not stand this display of tenderness from Ye Zhengchen. I was in two minds - should I push him away or draw him closer?
The door bell sounded and brought me back cruelly to reality.
Ye Zhengchen cursed in a low voice and then looked at the door.
There weren't too many people who would turn up in the middle of the night at my door. One was sitting in front of me, the other…
At the thought of the other person, I came to my senses and hurried to open the door.
Through the peephole, I could see Zhong Tim standing at the door. He was looking down at the ground. In his hands there was a plastic bag with the name of a pharmacy chain emblazoned on it.
Artlessly, I looked back at Ye Zhengchen, hoping that he would move into the other room. He sat on the couch and calmly looked back at me. He had clearly guessed who was on the other side, but he had no intentions to hide himself from his sight.
I felt colder, as if I was in an ice box now.
There was no way I could prevent Zhong Tim from drawing ugly conclusions. I hesitated a bit, wondering of there was anyway I could let him keep his dignity intact and avoid seeing this scene altogether.
" Why are you not opening the door? Are you afraid of his anger? Or do you think…" Ye Zhengchen smiled, his tone expressionless, "that he will say he has forgiven you?"
I realised that this man in front of me was terrible. Or maybe he had always been terrible and I had only found out now.
" I am afraid that he will kill you", I muttered through clenched teeth.
Ye Zhengchen looked dismissively at me, the turned his attention to the door again.
Yin Zhong Tim waited for a while, then rang the doorbell impatiently again. The insistent ring really assaulted my eardrums.
Some things were better faced immediately. If not now, he would need to face this sooner or later.
I unlocked the door, then slowly opened it as if waiting for a time bomb to explode.
As soon as the door opened, Zhong Tim eagerly stepped forward and grabbed my hand, " Little Bing, I am sorry.. I should not have hit you, I was just too.."
His words petered away as his eyes moved behind me.
I knew how he felt. It was the same way I felt three years ago when I saw another woman in somebody else's home.
I knew that he felt like the worlds' greatest fool right now. I knew that he felt like he should jump off the highest cliff just so he would not have to face this strange tableau again for the rest of his life.
The always even tempered Zhong Tim threw down the bag on the floor and crazily rushed towards the room.
Seeing his clenched fist, I immediately blocked his way." Don't…"
He reached out his arm to push me away. I tottered briefly. From the corner of my eye, I saw Ye Zhengchen jump up from the couch and move towards Zhong Tim. I moved forward and pulled hZhong Tim's hands. I wasn't worried that he would hurt Ye Zhengchen, I was worried that Ye Zhengchen would beat him up in his anger.
Things had already gone too far. He had no dignity left. If on top of this Ye Zhengchen beat him up, he would be embarrassed beyond any redemption.
" Let me go!"
" Tim Tim, please calm down, you can't beat him up."
Zhong Tim looked at me.
Before I could say anything else, he angrily pushed me away and walked towards the door. In a blink of an eye, he had left the apartment
His face was pale and stricken. I was reminded of that time when I was kneeling in the temple and praying to God when my father was very sick.
I was asking Buddha to grant my father some relief. Every day, Zhong Tim had accompanied me , knelt and prayed next to me.
When I had sat night after night on the hospital bench in a daze, waiting for my father to get better, he was the one who sat beside me all night without a word.
When I had sat under the old elm tree, my lips purple from the cold, he was the one who had put a coat on me. At that time, I was convinced that he was the only one who could bring me back to the land of living and emotions.
What did I give him in return? Subject him to an ugly betrayal? I didn't even allow him the opportunity to vent…
" Zhong Tim!!"
As soon as I shouted his name, my wrist was pulled and I was forced to get back into the room
With a loud ban, the door was shut closed.Zhengchen looked at me, the expression on his face terrifying.
In the silence, one could hear the sound of ice water dripping slowly from the towel to the floor.
Then he moved forward , and his strong arms enclosed me in a hug. As his arms tightened around me, his face descended towards mine and his lips kissed me..
I had been kissed by him many times before. But this kiss was like wildfire, unrestrained and burning in it's intensity. I tried to move back, but he stubbornly continued, pulling me even closer to him as his lips plundered and pillaged madly. His tongue forced itself in my mouth and sucked my tongue wildly.
I found it more and more difficult to breathe. My eyes blurred. My body melted in his and I collapsed bonelessly in his arms, no longer clear if what I felt was lust or resentment for him.
My surrender alerted Ye Zhengchen that something was wrong. He abruptly ended the kiss and held my crumbling body.
" What's the matter with you girl?"
My head was spinning. " I am just tired."
Ye Zhengchen looked at my face and realised that I didnt look well. " Where do you feel uncomfortable?"
" Just a bit dizzy,"I found it hard to speak. I had worked the whole day and the last meal had been hours ago. I had skipped dinner. On top of all that, I had to go through an emotionally exhausting few hours. I wasn't surprised that I was on the verge of collapse.
" Wait", Ye Zhengchen assisted me to the bedroom, lay me down on the bed and then rushed towards the kitchen.
In a little while, he brought a hot cup of sugar water. He held me up and held the cup to my lips. The sugar water was just the right temperature and sweetness. As I sipped, I could feel heat and energy diffuse through my body.
" Feeling better?"He put down the cup and gently wiped my lips with his finger.
" I'm fine."
I looked at the person in front of me. He was so gentle and tender, I felt as if I was dreaming, a beautiful dream.
If this was a dream, I hoped that all that had happened was a dream as well
When I woke up, I would be back at my small apartment with the cherry blossoms at my window.
I would be sleeping with him in sheets with a lotus leaf pattern, our fingers would be interlocked and two sets of couple watches with balck and white bands would be on the bedside table.
Yu Yin would not appear, yin Zhong Tim would not appear. It would just be me and him, emjoying the world while I paid off my debt of tuition fees.