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Don’t be So Proud - Chapter 13.1

Published at 12th of April 2018 09:46:08 PM

Chapter 13.1

Chapter 13 . 1 — I’ve Always Been Here (1)

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Because of the surname, Zhong, Shen Xi was roughly able to infer that the person in the phone was He Zhi Zhou’s family or relative . Zhong Yu was surnamed Zhong, too, right?

Clearing her throat, Shen Xi sweetly greeted, “Hello . ”

Such a remarkable feeling . After the two of them were together, they had each begun to integrate into the other person’s life . He Zhi Zhou knew her family, and she would also come to know many of the people in He Zhi Zhou’s family .

On the other end of the line, there was a moment of silence . When that person spoke again, there was slight laughter within the voice . “You’re Shen Xi?”

From the voice, the woman sounded to be around thirty, forty years old . Shen Xi was slightly taken aback, not expecting that the other party would know her name . Her face began to flush . Could it be that everyone in the Zhong family knew that He Zhi Zhou’s girlfriend was named Shen Xi?

“I am Shen Xi…” Shen Xi spoke quietly, feeling a little bashful .

The person on the other end also introduced herself . “I’m He Zhi Zhou’s mom . ”

Shen Xi: “……”

He Zhi Zhou’s mom… Wasn’t that her future mother-in-law?! Reaching her hand out, Shen Xi supported herself against the balcony wall, afraid that she would accidentally faint . Her heart was thump-thumping away chaotically, and her lips began stammering .

“You… are… He Zhi Zhou’s mom?”

Inside the phone, the woman gave a laugh . “You don’t need to treat me like a stranger . You can just call me Auntie . ”

“Hello, Auntie . ” Shen Xi hurriedly gave this astute greeting .

The woman was still chuckling . Then, she began to ask about her son . “Where’s Zhi Zhou? Is he there?”

Shen Xi cast a look at the bedroom . He Zhi Zhou was showering . But if she answered that he was showering, would it evoke other more suggestive thoughts? Would Mother-In-Law think she was picking on her son? … Shen Xi made a little fib . “He’s doing homework . ”

More laughter came from the phone . “That’s hard to come by . I still haven’t seen what my own son looks like when he does homework . ”

Shen Xi felt abashed . She was so dumb she couldn’t even tell a lie smoothly . She said to Auntie, “Would you like to talk to him now?”

“No, it’s okay . Just have him call me back a little later . ”

Shen Xi: “Mm-hmm, mm-hmm . ”

“Goodbye, Shen Xi . ”

Shen Xi: “Auntie, bye . ”

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After hanging up the mobile phone, Shen Xi’s entire body went limp . She calmed her emotions for a while before finally, as if she had set down a huge burden, went back into the bedroom . Lying flat on her back on the bed, she reflected on the content of the phone conversation just now .

Such a close call! Good thing she could think fast on her feet!

Copyright of Fanatical, hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com . If you are not reading this from hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com, the translation has been taken without consent of the translator .

He Zhi Zhou stepped out from his shower and, still rubbing his hair dry with a towel, touched the woman who was on the bed—no reaction .

Fine . Bending at the waist, he directly went and gave a knock on Shen Xi’s knee . Due to her body’s knee-jerk reflex, Shen Xi gave a couple of twitches, and then her mind returned back to reality . “Do you know whom I was on the phone with just earlier?”

He Zhi Zhou: “… My mom?”

See! Sure enough, playing games with a man with high IQ was no fun at all . Shen Xi abruptly sat straight up from the bed . “I was so nervous just now!” He Zhi Zhou extended his hand to her . Like a good girl, Shen XI put her own hand into it . “Don’t you have anything you want to ask me?”

He Zhi Zhou gave a lift of his eyebrows, indicating he had nothing to ask . Giving her head a pat, he went out to the living room to call Zhong Jing Yue back .

Shen Xi sat on the edge of the bed, feeling that He Zhi Zhou did not understand her anxiety .

Copyright of Fanatical, hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com . If you are not reading this from hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com, the translation has been taken without consent of the translator .

Zhong Jing Yue was in New York City . Before calling, He Zhi Zhou first checked the time . Right now, it was approximately eight in the morning over there . Based on Zhong Jing Yue’s habits, she should have just finished her morning run and was likely eating breakfast . He Huanwen was also in the United States, but the two lived in different cities . They each had their own fixed lovers; this was something both were clear about . They did not love each other and did not care about the other person, but they would not divorce, either .

Tonight, Zhong Jing Yue’s phone call was specifically to inquire with him on the question of why he was not going to that American research institute for further studies . In regards to this matter, He Huanwen had called him about it as well .

Like He Huanwen, Zhong Jing Yue asked for a reason .

He had no reason to provide them . Zhong Jing Yue detachedly made a conjecture . “Because of that girl just now?”

Copyright of Fanatical, hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com . If you are not reading this from hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com, the translation has been taken without consent of the translator .

When He Zhi Zhou returned to the bedroom, Shen Xi was completely sprawled in the middle of the bed, looking a little glum . He walked over and patted her arm . “You’re still not going to shower?”

Shen Xi tilted her head to the side . “I saw you on the phone just now…”

He Zhi Zhou answered with an “mm . ” “And?”

“The look on your face when you were talking to your mom wasn’t all that good . ” Shen Xi’s heart and mind were a tangled mess . She had nervously speculated on many different possibilities, but the most probable one was “Your mom doesn’t like me?”
Exhaling, He Zhi Zhou answered with a question . “You have so little confidence in yourself?”

Flipping herself over, Shen Xi retorted with an answer that begged for a beating . “As if! I’m too confident in myself! If you look, those empress dowagers in the ancient times all hated women who were beautiful . Right now, that’ s my worry . ”

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He Zhi Zhou gave Shen Xi a look, then tossed her pajamas directlyto her, ordering, “Hurry up and take a shower!”

If it could be said that in Shen Xi’s head, the two’s future together was still merely a simple idol drama, then for He Zhi Zhou, their future meant “home” and “family” to him .

Shen Xi believed that love is affection, is intimacy, is someone who will forever keep you company and be with you in this great, vast world . He Zhi Zhou, in contrast, believed that love is valuing and caring, is one and only, is a miracle that does not come about easily between two people .

Copyright of Fanatical, hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com . If you are not reading this from hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com, the translation has been taken without consent of the translator .

Late in the night, a sleepless Shen Xi wrapped her arms around an also-sleepless He Zhi Zhou . The clock on the wall was making its ticking sounds . She listened to the sound of his beating heart for a long time before at last speaking up . “He Zhi Zhou, I don’t want there to be any sort of misunderstanding between us, so you have to tell me everything that’s going on with you, including whether your family likes me or not . ”

He Zhi Zhou tousled Shen Xi’s hair . “Don’t worry; they all like you . ”

Shen Xi shook her head . She had her own ability to comprehend things and make judgments . “Even if they don’t like me, it’s okay . Those are all very minor issues . I don’t want an out-of-the-blue breakup for some unfathomable reason . I can accept that in the future, you won’t like me anymore, but I cannot accept that you will give me up because of such a small thing . ”

He Zhi Zhou: “……” What was Shen Xi even thinking?!

Shen Xi lay in He Zhi Zhou’s embrace, feeling terribly wronged . One of the main reasons for her [older, female, patrilineal] cousin’s breakup with her boyfriend was that that boyfriend’s mother had not liked her cousin, and then there had been a lot of back-and-forth misunderstandings in between . The relationship and all those good feelings of love and affection had been stressed and tormented away until there was none left .

If, year after year, misunderstandings are allowed to accumulate more and more until the person who was once most precious to you is now the reason for mental and physical stress and exhaustion, then, in the end, letting go of that relationship actually becomes a form of release and relief .

Could it be that falling in love is too easy, and no one is willing to really put in the work to be together?

Shen Xi’s beliefs about love and relationship were this: The only reason for breaking up should be that there is no longe love between the two people . There is no problem in this world that is unsolvable, and there is no misunderstanding that should last longer than three days . Everything else is simply excuses, excuses, and more excuses .

As He Zhi Zhou gazed into Shen Xi’s eyes that glimmered with moisture, his awareness started back, and he asked her, “What were you thinking just now?”

Shen Xi buried her face into He Zhi Zhou’s chest and nuzzled it there before saying, “You’re really unhappy today . I want to know, is it because of me?”

He Zhi Zhou was taken aback for a moment, but then brought his face down and kissed Shen Xi . When two people came together, it was such a remarkable thing . He was no longer just one person; even his mood did not belong only to him .

At the same time, though, he was very surprised, for he actually was not against this type of feeling . Shen Xi said she did not want any misunderstandings; he, too, did not want any misunderstandings .

“My dad and mom want me to go to the U . S . ” He Zhi Zhou laid everything out in the open . “Last year, when I was an exchange student in the U . S . , I applied for an opportunity to further my studies in a research institute, and I was accepted . ”

Shen Xi mouth fell open slightly . So that was it . She suddenly felt that her ability to handle things was still okay . At least this was way better than He Zhi Zhou’s mom not liking her . She glanced at He Zhi Zhou . “So do you want to go?”

“No . ” He Zhi Zhou switched off the light, then tightened his arms around Shen Xi, ready to go to sleep .

Still not really believing him, Shen Xi clutched He Zhi Zhou’s clothes and asked again, “Honestly?”

As a signal to her that it was time for her to sleep, He Zhi Zhou extended a hand over to directly cover her eyes and said, “I’ve already signed on with S&N . I’d have to pay a penalty for breaching the contract, and that dollar amount is so high that even selling the wife won’t be enough . ”

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Was that supposed to be comfort… or just a lame joke? Shen Xi gave a relaxed little giggle . “It doesn’t matter what it may be; you have to tell me everything . ”

He Zhi Zhou gave his promise to this .

Copyright of Fanatical, hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com . If you are not reading this from hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com, the translation has been taken without consent of the translator .

She wanted to pinky swear .

He Zhi Zhou was holding her in arms, however, and could not pull out a hand to do it .

Shen Xi gave a couple of coughs . Being under the covers was very convenient for doing naughty things . Her hand explored downwards and she “pinky swore” with He Zhi Zhou’s big ding-a-ling instead, giving it a couple of tugs . While she was tugging, she even sang, “Pinkies tug and up they hang…”

Such a… little vixen! He Zhi Zhou did not so much as twitch, his entire body frozen in place .

In a mere second, the male god with the placidly pure heart and an absence of any desires and lust morphed into a hot-blooded man . He Zhi Zhou flipped over, pinning Shen Xi beneath him . Through the clothing, he applied some pressure . He needed to let her know, being his girlfriend did not mean she could cross the line and take advantage of him .

Cross the line, take advantage…

That’s right . Shen Xi was crossing the line in her “bullying . ” Shen Xi gave He Zhi Zhou a look . “I know you don’t dare…”

Ha ha . He didn’t dare?

Throwing a fierce glare at her, He Zhi Zhou pressed his body on top of Shen Xi’s and did not get up . She and he both knew what sort of act this was . Things were heating up everywhere inside the covers . He Zhi Zhou was not in merely a little bit of suffering . Finally, he pulled himself off of Shen Xi .

Shen Xi rolled, swathing herself in the blanket . He was like that every time, always all this fearsome talk but no action .

Copyright of Fanatical, hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com . If you are not reading this from hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com, the translation has been taken without consent of the translator .

Lin Yu Tang wanted to treat her to lunch .

When Shen Xi asked He Zhi Zhou whether he would grant her the approval to go, he returned an “Approval not granted” to her . Shen Xi saw He Zhi Zhou out the door . “Then I’ll just secretly go . ”

He Zhi Zhou knew there was nothing he could do about it . “Go early, then, so that you can come back early . ”

Lin Yu Tang was treating; the restaurant was her choice . In the end, Shen Xi selected a restaurant in the plaza near S&N that served Jiangnan [usually referring to southern Jiangsu, southern Anhui, and northern Zhejiang] cuisine .

Why was Lin Yu Tang treating her? The reason was simple . It was mid-August, and his internship term was coming to a successful close .

Lin Yu Tang would be returning to H City . Shen Xi went to the roast duck restaurant that Shen Jian Guo liked and bought two roast ducks . In addition, there were Grandddad’s insoles for his shoes and Wu Ling’s facial masks, all of which she needed to trouble Lin Yu Tang to bring back for her .

With a large bag of things in her hand, Shen Xi appeared in the restaurant . During this summer break, she and Lin Yu Tang had both been in S City, but today was the first time they actually saw each other .

Lin Yu Tang skin tone was darker, and he had lost weight . Garbed in a simple button-up shirt and jeans, he sat in a spot by the window to wait for her . There was a close and dear feeling when she saw Tang Tang, but there was also a slight sense of unfamiliarity .

A watch now circled Lin Yu Tang’s wrist . Auntie Lin had bought it for him . Last time, when Auntie Lin was online, she had had Shen Xi help choose it with her . Shen Xi took a seat across from Lin Yu Tang and asked, “Was internship a lot of hard work?”

“It was okay, but it was tougher than school . ” Lin Yu Tang took the menu and handed it over to her . Shen Xi had no real preference on what they should eat, so Lin Yu Tang ordered a few of dishes that she would like based on her habits before .

In between, Shen Xi got a call from He Zhi Zhou . Lin Yu Tang also took a phone call .

Setting down her chopsticks, Shen Xi informed him of something . “Last time, Auntie Lin was secretly asking me and trying to find out whether you have a girlfriend . ”

“And how did you answer?” Lin Yu Tang asked .

Shen Xi grinned . “Of course I told her not to worry . If you lined up the the girls who are trying to win your heart, the line could wrap around this Times Square several times . ”

“Not yet . ” Lin Yu Tang made a point to answer Shen Xi’s question . Chuckling a couple of times, he added, “If I do have a girlfriend, I’ll let you know for sure . ”

So, that meant he stll didn’t have one yet . Shen Xi did not inquire further . She felt very fortunate . At least she and Tang Tang could still sit down like friends and talk .

Lin Yu Tang asked her if she was doing well .

Propping her face on her hand, Shen Xi replied, “You can see from how my face has a healthy red glow that I must be doing well . ”

Lin Yu Tang nodded to express his agreement with this, then extended a hand and peeled a shrimp . It was not until he had finished peeling it that he remembered he never ate shrimp . As his hand held that peeled shrimp, there was an unavoidable sense of awkwardness .

Shen Xi also saw the shrimp that he was holding . Lin Yu Tang was allergic to seafood . In the past, when she ate with him, the shrimp he peeled would all be placed into her bowl .

She lifted her eyes, but then lowered them back again . Lin Yu Tang set that peeled shrimp onto his own plate .

In between, likely because he was afraid she might feel awkward, he had told her about some of the amusing things from his internship term . In a very happy tone, Lin Yu Tang said, he liked those days when he was on internship . There was a greater sense of achievement than going to school, and it was like he was walking on solid ground with a clear goal ahead of him .

Shen Xi gave him her praise . “You’ve always had a sense of purpose and had your own goals . Before, when you were in school, if you wanted to get the top marks, you would never only be second best . ”

“Really?” Lin Yu Tang’s lips pursed together . “Maybe it’s just in work and school that I’m like that . ”

This lunch was very pleasant and enjoyable . At the end, Lin Yu Tang walked Shen Xi to the downstairs of the S&N office building, then hailed a taxi and left .

Before they met up, she had, with her own ulterior motive, pulled a little mind game on Lin Yu Tang . Lin Yu Tang had understood but not exposed her . She had purposely chosen this place to be where they met up, and he had very easily understood the reason behind it . As for the simple relationship that she wanted between them, he also obliged her and helped her to preserve it .

Shen Xi shook her head . When it comes to love and feelings, thinking too much on them only creates problems for yourself . And in love, you cannot be too greedy; if you’re greedy, there’s a high chance you’ll end up two-timing .

While Shen Xi was taking the sightseeing elevator up the building, on the street below, the traffic flowed unceasingly and vehicles came and went . An old song was playing on the radio inside a car . The program host said this oldie song was dedicated to an old friend, and the well wishes that came with it were, “The girl I love, I wish that you forever will have happiness . ”

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