Wo Xin Yong Heng – My Constant Heart
Author: Ming Wei Xue

CHAPTER 1 – SHE’S BACK IN LONDON.. 2

CHAPTER 2 – I SHALL PLUCK UP THE COURAGE! 6

CHAPTER 3 – HE DOESN’T INTEND TO MISS THE CHANCE WITH HER.. 9

CHAPTER 4 – ONLY GOOD FRIEND.. 13

CHAPTER 5 – HAPPINESS HAD RETURNED.. 17

CHAPTER 6 - XUE ZHANG, HAVE YOU REALLY FORGOTTEN EVERYTHING?. 20

CHAPTER 7 – MY WISH WAS TO LET ZHEN SHAN MEI UNDERSTAND YIN XIANG ZHE’S FEELING! 24

CHAPTER 8 - OH, I AM SO HAPPY! 29

CHAPTER 9 – HOW I WISH THIS ROAD WILL RUN LONGER.. 34

CHAPTER 10 – I WILL ALSO STAND BEHIND YOU, JUST TURN YOUR HEAD WHEN YOU NEED ME. 40

CHAPTER 11 – WE ARE THE BEST OF FRIENDS. 45

CHAPTER 12 – THE EMBEDDED SORROW CREPT UP IN SHAN MEI’S BEAUTIFUL AND TRANSLUCENT EYES. 49

CHAPTER 13 – THINKING OF SHAN MEI BECAME PART OF HIS LIFE! 53

CHAPTER 14 – LET’S PUT THIS PICTURE IN A FREEZE MODE. 57

CHAPTER 15 – WISH HE WAS BY HER SIDE. 61

CHAPTER 16 – XUE CHANG, WILL YOU PICK THE SAME ONE AS I?. 65

CHAPTER 17 – THERE WAS REALLY A PHOTO INSIDE, ONE WHICH HE AND SHAN MEI TOOK TOGETHER.. 68

CHAPTER 18 – BECAUSE … BECAUSE … OF TODAY! 72

CHAPTER 19 – SHE WAS REALLY RELUCTANT TO PART WITH XUE CHANG THIS WAY.. 76

CHAPTER 20 – THE PAST MEMORY CAME BACK CLEARLY.. 81

CHAPTER 21 – I’M SO GLAD TO HAVE YOU. YOU BRING ME SO MUCH HOPE. I WISH TO BRING YOU HAPPINESS. 85

CHAPTER 21 – XUE CHANG, HAPPY BIRTHDAY! 89

CHAPTER 22 – THEY LOOKED AT EACH OTHER WITH PROFOUND LOVE. 95

CHAPTER 23 – SHE WAS WILLING TO MAKE COFFEE FOR XUE CHANG FOR LIFE. 100

CHAPTER 24 – I DON’T WANT ANYONE TO DISTURB US … THANK YOU! 107

CHAPTER 25 – FROM NOW ON PLEASE LET ME SPEND THIS PARTICULAR DAY WITH YOU! 113

CHAPTER 26 – HE DIALLED THE NUMBER WHICH WAS MOST FAMILIAR TO HIM... 118

CHAPTER 27 – I WOULD STAY AWAY FOR THE TIME BEING.. 124

CHAPTER 28 – IT’S ME, I’M BACK! SHAN MEI! 129

CHAPTER 29 – “ENGLISH STYLE … GOODNIGHT …”. 134

CHAPTER 30 – WOULDN’T A PERSON BE EXTREMELY LUCKY TO BE ABLE TO MARRY THE GODDESS OF FORTUNE?. 139

CHAPTER 31 – BUT WHEN YOU MEET YOUR TRUE LOVE. 146

CHAPTER 32 – I TRUST HIM AND I ALSO LOVE HIM VERY MUCH.. 151

CHAPTER 33 – IT’S THE EXPRESSION IN XUE CHANG’S EYES WHICH MAKES ME BEAUTIFUL! 157

CHAPTER 34 – THE TWO OF THEM PROPPED UP AN UMBRELLA, SNUGGLED TO EACH OTHER AND WALKED INTO THE RAIN.. 163

CHAPTER 35 – I KNOW YOU ARE MISSING ME …... 169

CHAPTER 36 – BECAUSE OF YOU, BECAUSE YOU ARE ZHEN SHAN MEI … THEREFORE THERE IS HAPPINESS. 175

CHAPTER 37 – “I’M SORRY … I’M SORRY FOR THIS MORNING. IT WAS ME WHO WAS ACTING PEEVISHLY …”. 182

CHAPTER 38 – “BECAUSE YOU ARE MY SUNSHINE …”. 189

CHAPTER 39 – “33 ROSES … THEY STAND FOR I LOVE YOU”. 195

CHAPTER 40 – “THANK YOU … IT SEEMS I SAY THESE WORDS QUITE OFTEN LATELY”. 201

CHAPTER 41 – HAPPINESS IS MADE UP OF INNUMERABLE SWEET TRIFLES IN LIFE. 207

CHAPTER 42 – A Room of Warm Blessings Generated Eternal Radiance …... 213

CHAPTER 43 –. 220

CHAPTER 44 – Do You Believe in Fairytale Like Love?. 220

CHAPTER 45 – I Only Want to Give You All the Smiles I Can Let You Have. 226

CHAPTER 46 – I Saw Thee Weep. 232

CHAPTER 47 – I Love You! 238

CHAPTER 48 – TO FALL IN LOVE WITH HER, HE WAS REALLY FORTUNATE! 244

 

 


 

CHAPTER 1 – SHE’S BACK IN LONDON

Translated with the author's consent by: jamie

“The weather in London is rarely good, nobody would notice even if you are not in a particularly good mood.”
 “Is that so?” She sucked her nose, “I thought you wouldn’t have any worries, you are good looking, and is so fluent in the English language.”…………
She’s back in London.
“Ladies and gentlemen, the flight will be landing in a moment, please fasten your seat belts…” The gentle soothing voice of the airhostess disrupted Shan Mei’s trend of thoughts.
“Oh!” Shan Mei looked out of the window. She was up in the skyline of London.
“London, I am finally back.” Shan Mei muttered, her heart contracted with pain.
“Excuse me, Miss, can you please fasten your seatbelt.” The airhostess walked over to remind Shan Mei.
“We’ll be landing in a short while.”
“I am sorry!” Shan Mei squeezed out a smile as she fastened her seatbelt. She smiled slightly again at the airhostess who was staring at her.
“Zhen Shan Mei, do not think about it again!” Shan Mei gave herself a mental shake before leaving the airport, encouraging herself.
“You can make it, Shan Mei!”
“Shan Mei!” Without any difficulty, Gu Gu identified her from the crowd with just a glance, Shan Mei was truly pleased.
“Gu Gu!” Shan Mei quickened her pace, she was sincerely delighted to see Gu Gu, they had not seen one another for ages.
Gu Gu drew Shan Mei towards her, scrutinizing her from the top of her head to the bottom of her heel, smilingly said, ”You have grown prettier, very pretty indeed!” Shan Mei and Gu Gu embraced together.

After Gu Gu finished cooking dinner that night, she walked towards the direction of Shan Mei’s bedroom, Shan Mei was still sleeping soundly. She had originally intended to wake Shan Mei up, but when she saw how exhausted her face looked, her heart ached. She was aware how tired Shan Mei must be for the past year or more. It’s very tough studying alone in a foreign land like the United States.
“Shan Mei, Shan Mei, wake up, you can continue with your sleep after having something to eat!” Gu Gu patted Shan Mei tenderly.
“Hmmm…” Shan Mei’s eyes opened slowly, catching the lovingly kind glance Gu Gu was bestowing on her.
“Gu Gu!”
“Are you awake? Go freshen up quickly and have your dinner.” Gu Gu smiled lovingly, “I have made plenty of your favorite dishes!”
“Okay!” Shan Mei rubbed her eyes and responded in confusion. This was London, not US. Gu Gu was here!
“The Kimchi Gu Gu made is really fabulousl!” Shan Mei smiled, “it’s delicious.”

“Eat a little more then! How are you getting on in US? Why are you so thin! Are you taking your three meals regularly? Have you gone hungry?” Gu Gu’s heart ached with love for her,
 “Your papa will surely be in tears if I were to inform him!”
 “I am fine, Gu Gu, please do not exaggerate. I have been eating. Look, I am eating such a lot! There’s nothing I can do; as I can’t seem to put on weight! It’s prettier to be slim!” Shan Mei consoled Gu Gu and rewarded her with her sweetest smile.
 “Oh, You!” Gu Gu grinned indulgently.

Shan Mei ate in huge mouthful. In truth, she hadn’t the appetite and was eating very little.
Shan Mei helped Gu Gu to wash and put away the plates, bowls and utensils after dinner.
 “Shan Mei, how long will you be staying in London? Your sudden trip is a pleasant surprise! When will you visit next? Are you seriously considering a job at BBS?”
 “I should be around for two weeks! I am training in BBS and will return to US after the thesis is completed.” Shan Mei replied with a smile.
 “I will be free after obtaining my degree, and will be able to visit London again!”
 “Truly? That’s great!” Gu Gu was delighted to hear that, “But Shan Mei, isn’t it difficult to obtain a degree within a year plus?” Gu Gu was anxious.
 “Rest assured, Gu Gu! I can cope, “ Shan Mei said with a smile, “I want to gather more knowledge when I am young, don’t worry about me!”
 “I know, our Shan Mei is very capable!” Gu Gu stroked Shan Mei’s hair, laughing heartily.
 “Shan Mei, when will you be returning to Seoul?” Gu Gu hadn’t the heart to hurt her, but couldn’t leave the question unasked, “You papa missed you dreadfully.”
 “Seoul?” Shan Mei’ s heart contracted painfully, she hesitated.
 “It doesn’t matter, it’s bedtime! You’ve got to work tomorrow!” Gu Gu patted Shan Mei, she didn’t want to hurt her feelings.
 “Goodnight, Gu Gu.” Shan Mei escaped quickly into her room.

Shan Mei lay sleepless on her bed.
 “Maybe I had slept too much earlier!” She said self-consolingly, but tears had started flowing down her cheek.

She had missed Seoul, had missed her father, had missed aunty, had missed You Zhen and Ying Mei, all her senior colleagues and Zhao Di, Chen Sui, and she had missed – Xue Zhang – so much…
Shan Mei sat up, stretching out her hand to gently touch her anklet.
 “How are you, Xue Zhang?”

***********************
Yin Xiang Zhe’s office in MBC, Seoul, Korea

Xiang Zhe, Xian Da and Yong Xi were discussing the proposal for next season’s “Good Morning Eve” and the arrangement plans of their new recruits.
 “Xian Da, we shall go in accordance to this arrangement plan for the new recruits!” Xiang Zhe glanced at the arrangement table, indicating his approval.
 “Okay.” Xian Da looked at his watch, “Let’s have lunch together since our meeting has ended!”
“Maybe next time, I have some documents to go through.”
Xian Da wanted to persist, but Yong Xi threw him a warning look.
“Okay, but don’t refuse the next time!”
“Xiang Zhe, Xian Da and I shall make a move.” Xian Da and Yong Xi left together.

Xiang Zhe leaned slowly back on his chair, rubbing his eyes with his fingers. When he removed his hands, his eyes fell on the Peter Rabbit; displayed on his desk, it’s really cute. Xiang Zhe lifted the cute rabbit off its place, scrutinizing it carefully. The cute little rabbit was just like… just like the girl, her smile was similar to the radiance of the sunlight, warm and bright, and was tremendously beautiful.

How was she now? Xiang Zhe missed her dreadfully, although … although he had loss a portion of his memory, but he had a clear impression of her smile during the three weeks. He remembered her smile and her … tears. Perhaps he shouldn’t have allowed her to leave, he should have asked her to stay –

******************************
In the peaceful tranquility of the restaurant

“Xue Zhang, thank you for accompanying me.” Shan Mei forced back her tears, “thank you for your willingness to listen … to these matters.”
 “I am sorry, Shan Mei …” Xiang Zhe gazed at Shan Mei, who was trying hard to hold back her tears. His heart ached with pain. In truth, he liked to see her smile, he shouldn’t have let her smile disappear from her face.
“It really doesn’t matter, Xue Zhang, I know you have tried your level best.”
“Shan Mei, do you really have to go?”
Xiang Zhe was aware Shan Mei had decided to leave because of him, he didn’t want her to go,
“Perhaps I could…”
“Xue Zhang, don’t burden yourself with guilt when I am gone! And remember to take your meals regularly, don’t feel lonely, and work hard … keep in touch.” Shan Mei interrupted his words, making an effort to smile.
“Alright.” Xiang Zhe nodded his head, his heart warmed. “When are you coming back?”
“I don’t know, perhaps a year, maybe longer.” Shan Mei sipped at her fruit juice, concealing the pain within her heart.
“Oh!” Xiang Zhe’s heart sank.
Shan Mei smiled sweetly at him when they parted.

*****************************

“Shan Mei, when are you coming back?”
Xiang Zhe gazed at Peter Rabbit. He had really missed her. She had promised to keep in touch, but he hadn’t heard from her for a long time.
Shan Mei had been training in BBS for a week; she was the production assistant. Though it wasn’t an important post, there was tremendous amount of work. Shan Mei was so busy she had been burning midnight oil for the last consecutive nights. Seeing this, Gu Gu’s heart ached with concern! Shan Mei was apologetic, for instead of assisting Gu Gu, she had troubled her further.
It was another night.
“Gu Gu, please go to bed, you do not need to keep me company.” Shan Mei was apologetic.
“I will sleep in a moment, drink the soup first.” Gu Gu didn’t want Shan Mei to feel bad.
“Okay!” Shan Mei took the soup bowl, drinking it down in a gulp.
“Be careful, don’t be too hasty!”
“The soup Gu Gu prepared is delicious!” Gu Gu smiled when Shan Mei finished the soup.
“Go to bed, Gu Gu!” Shan Mei urged.
“Alright, Shan Mei, you should have an early night too, don’t overstretch yourself.”
“I know, Gu Gu.” Shan Mei smiled sweetly, “goodnight.”

After long moments, she finally completed her homework. She would have a half-day break tomorrow before going to the office. Shan Mei was exhausted and intended to sleep awhile, but an e-mail message pop up in her laptop. Shan Mei retrieved the mail, it’s from Pam Bell. What a surprise! It was a short e-mail comprising of one sentence only.

“If you are able to, please proceed to the chat room at our website! – Waiting for you.”
Shan Mei immediately went into the website she shared with Bern Bell and Gao Tai Xi.

“Don’t tell me you are still working at this hour!” Bern Bell
 “I am not, I just woke up.” Shan Mei’s face reddened despite the fact she was just facing the laptop.
“Shan Mei, your face has reddened!” Gao Tai Xi bold the exclamation mark at the end of the sentence.
“I am not, I shall continue with my beauty sleep if you have nothing else to say.” Shan Mei denied. She didn’t want her best friends to worry about her.
“Shan Mei, don’t work too hard, you forget I have a spy.” Bern Bell
“That’s why I am trying my utmost best!” Shan Mei was telling the truth. The practical training was obtained through the assistance of Pam Bell’s father; who was in BBS’s senior management. She didn’t want them to be disappointed. She had to invest in additional effort.
“We know – we know you are still working, you are over exerting yourself!” Bern Bell
“Don’t fret, it’s only a little, furthermore I have a half day break tomorrow!” Shan Mei
“Shan Mei, you can make it!” Gao Tai Xi and Bern Bell
“I won’t disturb your sleep further, go rest quickly!” Bern Bell
“Goodnight!” Shan Mei smiled sweetly unto her laptop.
“It is - daytime here! Shan Mei, have you gone blur?” Gao Tai Xi
“Ignore him, Shan Mei – sweet dreams! Bye!” Bern Bell
“Okay!” Shan Mei went smilingly off line, she switched off her laptop, preparing for bed.
“It’s so good to have these two friends!”

Bern Bell and Gai Tax were friends Shan Mei met in the US. Gao Tai Xi was a Korean and an orphan. Gao Tai Xi was very diligent in his studies. He was a computer wizard, which accounted for the opportunity to further his studies abroad. However, Gao Tai Xi treasured his freedom and did not relish the idea of being tied down, he worked merely on things that were of interest to him. He finally set up his own cyber net company and website. Bern Bell was an English girl and had an optimistic character. She wanted to be independent and had been staying in US for two years. She was first acquainted with Gao Tai Xi. Bern Bell greatly admired Gao Tai Xi. She confessed her feelings for Gao Tai Xi though he tried to escape from such emotional entanglement.

In one occasion, Bern Bell attempted to date Gao Tai Xi, and Tai Xi took the opportunity to claim Shan Mei; who was seated next to his desk as his girlfriend in an attempt to reject Bern Bell’s advances. That was how Shan Mei, Bern Bell and Gao Tai Xi became friends. What occurred next was a much simpler story. Shan Mei found Bern Bell to clarify the incident. In actual fact, Bern Bell had not believed the tale Gao Tai Xi spun about Shan Mei being his girl friend; she was just overwhelmed with temper at the time. They became best friends afterwards. Shen Mei was instrumental in bringing Gao Tai Xi and Bern Bell together, for she had seen how persistent and constant Bern Bell’s love was, and how lost and confused Gao Tai Xi was. It reminded her of …. the way it was between Xue Zhang and herself when he first revealed his feelings to her …. And the current outcome was …. Bern Bell and Gao Tai Xi became a couple!

Shan Mei hurried towards BBS the next day as the contracted host for the program they were producing had an emergency. This created a problem for the production team as they had scheduled to film the outdoor shots in the afternoon.

The atmosphere in the meeting room was heavily tense.
 “It’s our first day today, it’s also the most critical day! How could she pull a stun like that at this hour….”The producer sighed, getting panicky.
“Perhaps we should replace her with someone else…” Somebody suggested.
“But she would not be familiar with our development, the shots today are so critical. I’m afraid…”
Everyone quieted down; a strain silence greeted the meeting room.

All of a sudden, Shan Mei felt the director’s stare on her, she wasn’t sure what to do. The producer also realized that the director’s gaze had been resting on Shan Mei for quite a while, his gaze too fell towards the direction of Shan Mei. The team too seemed to be influenced. Shan Mei felt some realization lurking within at the expectant look of the team.

“It’s you!”
 “That’s right! It’s Miss Zhen Shan Mei!”
“Shan Mei, you should host the program!” The producer retorted firmly.
“Me?”

“Yes! You are the most suitable person around. Our program pointed towards the cooperation with Korea. You are a Korean who is majoring in Mass Communications, with the added advantage of being an experienced newscaster. And you are reasonably familiar with our production plans, there isn’t a doubt you are the most appropriate candidate for the job.” The Director was also in agreement.

After giving it some thoughts, Shan Mei nodded her head with great respect.
“I will strive to do my best!”
“That’s splendid!”
The atmosphere in the meeting room immediately transformed to one of warm enthusiasm.

**********************
Seoul, Korea

Yong Xi and Xian Da forced Yin Xiang Zhe to go out for dinner tonight. They adjourned to the pub later for a drink.
 “Assistant Director Kim is consistently displaying his movements, it appears he plans to produce a new program.” Xian Da warned Xiang Zhe, “You’ve got to be careful.”
Xiang Zhe smiled slightly, as if he was not bothered by the piece of news.
“Xiang Zhe, you are overloaded with work, be careful of your health!” Yong Xi advised.
“That’s correct, you are not merely responsible for MBS, but also shouldering Wen Rong’s other operational functions, is the pressure too much for you?” Xian Da began to worry.
Although there wasn’t a designation change for Yin Xiang Zhe, he had begun to take over the overall operations of Wen Rong; and MBS’s Assistant Director Kim wasn’t very happy about it.
“I am fine, don’t worry.” Xiang Zhe took a sip at the liquor.
“How I wish Shan Mei is still around!” Watching Xiang Zhe’s face, Xian Da blurted out his thoughts.
Xiang Zhe jolted, Shan Mei?
Xian Da realized his mistake, and rapidly change the subject, “It’s nothing, I just said it conversationally.”
Xiang Zhe finished his drink in one gulp, without commenting further. Xian Da and Yong Xi exchange a glance, and refrained from speaking.

After Xian Da and Yong Xi reached their home, Xian Da sat on the sofa without speaking a word. Yong Xi poured them a cup of tea, taking the seat opposite to him.
 “Don’t dwell in self recriminations, Xian Da. You didn’t do anything wrong tonight, Xiang Zhe will not take offence.” Yong Xi understood her husband’s heart.
Xian Da glanced at Yong Xi and smiled, “Thank you, Yong Xi.”
“Why are you thanking me, we are husband and wife.” Yong Xi returned the smile, moving to sit beside Xian Da. “By the way, did you notice that Xiang Zhe is …”
“What’s the matter with him?” Xian Da looked at his wife incomprehensibly.
“In actual fact, Xiang Zhe has always been in love with Shan Mei!”
“Are you implying he is still in love with Shan Mei now?”

“Yes, I have always thought so. Despite having lost his memory, the feelings he had for Shan Mei did not disappear! It’s just that Xiang Zhe wasn’t aware of what was within his heart, and we were too engrossed over the matter of Xiang Zhe’s amnesia, all our energy was focus on that alone!”
 “Is that so?” Xian Da wasn’t entirely convinced.
 “Think carefully, after Xiang Zhe suffered from amnesia, and the time we were assisting him to regain his memory… and Xiang Zhe’s reaction after Shan Mei left … and the way he is now … did you notice the little rabbit displayed on his office desk, that should be a gift from Shan Mei!”

Xian Da gave due consideration to the matter and was finally convinced, plainly because he discovered more than once how fond and attached Xiang Zhe was to the Peter Rabbit, and he knew for a fact that Xiang Zhe watched the programs Shan Mei had recorded previously, coupled with Xiang Zhe’s current demeanor.
 “What should we do then?”
“I don’t know.” Yong Xi sighed. “I just hope Xiang Zhe can cast out the shadows caused by the wounds of his memory lost, and be able to have a clear glimpse of what is within his heart. I wish Shan Mei will return soon.”
Xian Da nodded, that’s the only solution.
The lights in Xiang Zhe’s house were not switched on. He sat on the couch, smoking a cigarette in silence. Shan Mei, where are you? How have you been? I missed you so much! He repeated those words again and again. In reality, Xiang Zhe’s heart was already ….

CHAPTER 2 – I SHALL PLUCK UP THE COURAGE!


MBS’s meeting in the morning the next day.

Assistant Director Kim presented the content list for his new proposal. He had raised a massive attack against Xiang Zhe.
“I admire Assistant Director Kim’s proposed plan.”
To everyone’s surprise, Xiang Zhe gave his seal of approval. Everyone present was stunned; Assistant Director Kim threw Yin Xiang Zhe a defensive glance.
“The new proposal is very good and innovative. I hope to see a detail proposal plan in the next meeting! It will assist in providing us an accurate analysis.”
Xiang Zhe gave everyone a sweeping glance.

“I thought you would oppose.” Xian Da went into Xiang Zhe’s office after the meeting ended.
“I have no reasons to oppose. His idea is genuinely not bad. I will support if it works out.”
Xiang Zhe opened up Xian Da’s report.
“How is the viewer’s rating for this season’s ‘Good Morning Eve’?”
“We have slide down 1%. SBS’s new morning show has affected us, and our presenter is new, the audiences weren’t able to accept immediately. We plan to revise the program.”
“Umm!”
“I understand. I think, “Xiang Zhe lifted his head.
“I will participate in the next meeting, we shall study the program changes together.”
“Okay.” Xian Da knew Xiang Zhe placed a lot of importance on the program.
“If you have no further matters, I shall make a move.”
Xiang Zhe continued with his paperwork at hand, he lifted his head to gaze at Peter Rabbit and smiled involuntarily, his whole being taking on a relaxed demeanor.

At the other side of London, Shan Mei’s four anxious days in production was finally completed. The team’s cooperation was commendable, and they were well satisfied with her performance. The producer was especially impressed with Shan Mei’s fresh, natural and approachable stage presentation. Shan Mei was being offered a job at BBS after she obtained her degree. She rejected the kindness of the producer diplomatically, citing the reason to take a break to recharge her battery. Furthermore, she yearned to return home, visiting her father, aunty, friends and … Xue Zhang. At the same time, Shan Mei’s trip to London was coming to an end, she had completed her thesis, and finished her job, she was returning to the US first thing in the morning.

“You have the whole afternoon, you should do some sightseeing, it’s not easy making a trip here after all.” Gu Gu wished Shan Mei would go out enjoying herself.
“Alright! In fact I am going to visit a gentleman.” Shan Mei understood her Gu Gu’s kind intention.
“Who’s that? Do you know anyone in London?”
“He is the person who introduced me the job, Belle’s father! I should thank him personally.” Shan Mei explained to Gu Gu.
“She is the friend you mentioned having in US?”
“That’s right! I am going visit him now.”

With the address provided by Bern Belle, Shan Mei managed to locate the house of her parents. She had called to confirm earlier. Bern Belle’s parents were warmly hospitable, they had heard a lot about Shan Mei from their daughter. They had the impression that Shan Mei was an optimistic, jovial and hardworking nice girl. And Belle’s father learned from the production team that Shan Mei was very committed and conscientious in her work. She was open and humble, and everyone liked her. After today’s meeting, Bern Belle’s parents further discovered that the smile of this girl was truly incomparably vibrant; it had a soothing effect. It’s apparent they doted on Shan Mei, and Shan Mei treated them with great respect. Shan Mei gave them an update on Belle’s activities in the US, and discussed with Belle’s father on their respective jobs. They got along like house on fire.

“I am sorry it took me so long to make this visit. I should have come when I first arrived.” Shan Mei was apologetic.
“That’s alright, we understand you didn’t want the production team to misconstrue, to cause us any inconvenience.”
Belle’s parents were aware of Shan Mei’s intention.
“Thank you very much!” Shan Mei was delighted they could see through her, she truly didn’t intend to trouble others. If it wasn’t for the fact that Belle had insisted, there was a high possibility that Shan Mei would have chosen another placement job to complete her thesis.
“Shan Mei, can I address you thus?” Bern Belle’s mother was sincerely fond of Shan Mei.
“Of course!” Shan Mei laughed. Her smile was radiantly sweet.

Shan Mei wanted to leave in the evening. Belle’s parents attempted to retain her till dinner, but did not force her as Shan Mei was leaving the next day. However, they reminded her to visit them the next time she was in London. Shan Mei smilingly agreed.

Contrary to what she claimed, Shan Mei did not return immediately. She called to inform Gu Gu she would be late and her intention to browse around London.

“The night view in London is truly beautiful!” Shan Mei sighed appreciatively as she sat in the bus. Once upon a time, she and Xue Zhang sat just like that. Xue Zhang had even introduced London to her non-stop... Memories were wonderful; it has an anesthetic/drunkard effect on the heart. Once –

“Let’s toast for the last meal we are sharing in London.” He would miss her smile.
Shan Mei lightly sipped at her wine; this restaurant was fabulous!
“Isn’t this … too extravagant,” she didn’t want Xue Zhang to spend too much money.
“In truth, I don’t mind a hamburger.”
Xiang Zhe smiled at her; she was too precious to him just to treat her with a hamburger.
“Anyway, thanks for being my friend during this time, it’s been hard on you….” She straightened her body, saluting Xiang Zhe with a hand raised to her temple.
“Thank you, Xue Zhang.”
“You are being cheeky…!”
She smiled sweetly at Xiang Zhe.
“When I first met the accident, I felt as if eight lifetimes of bad luck had descended on me, but…” She took a bite at her food.
“I feel now it is not such a bad destiny to know you.”
“I am not as perfect as you claim.” He felt tremendous joy.
”Your English … has it improved at all?”
“English….” She grinned with embarrassment, “ I have not improved much, but …. I have gained inner strength, frankly speaking….” She stared at Xue Zhang gratefully, “I am really thankful to you. You accompanied me when I was lonely, and treated me with wine… and you were willing to listen to my incoherent stories….”
“It wasn’t a meaningless time…” He looked directly at her, “I have learned a lot from you.”
He had never seen such an optimistic, others centered and selflessly caring girl. It was as if there wasn’t a selfish bone in her body.
Shan Mei was a little shy, she took a sip at the wine, “It’s delicious.” She said in satisfaction.
“It seems to me that the only thing you have learned since arriving in London is to drink…” He glared at her, “your mum might scold you.”
She was momentarily taken aback, “I don’t have a mother…” she gulped down her food, “didn’t I…mention this to you before?”
Xiang Zhe too was shocked, this girl who resembled the sunlight was an orphan without a mother?
“You… don’t need to look at me with such an expression, having a father is sufficient, I have never … felt discontented just because I have only a father…”

She thought for a moment. Hmmm, she was blessed with the world’s best father.
“I’ve never felt that way.” She stressed firmly again.
“You are lucky enough already.” He had the desire to meet her father. What manner of man could bring up such a daughter single-handedly?

“But sometimes I think of my mother too….” her nose had a ticklish feel, “that’s why it’s not considered as fortunate.”
“To live and think of your parents is a form of good fortune.” Xiang Zhe thought of his parents, “Lots of people lived in the midst of unforgiveness towards their parents…”
He threw her a deep stare, “you are indeed a fortunate one.”
Shan Mei thought of Ying Mei, she had once spoken the same words to her.
“Treat and respect your father well…” when he uttered those words, Xiang Zhe was filled with regrets, “and accept your ‘savior’ with an ordinary heart, I feel that is sufficient.”
Shan Mei’s feelings were complex when she thought of Ying Mei. How did a person face someone who sought to snatch everything she possessed from her?
“Perhaps that ‘savior’ has tried her best in her own way to make up to you, you… should treat You Zhen well.”
Shan Mei’s smile was sad, “I am not too clear, sometimes I feel there must surely be some misunderstanding somewhere, but I am not absolutely sure.”
“It’s a sad thing to be jilted, but an even sadder thing will be…not expressing distinctly your heart’s desire, express what’s in your heart.”
“I shall pluck up the courage, although I am uttering these words… but I am so afraid, I don’t know what is going to happen when I return.”

***********
When she reached the station, Shan Mei bought an ice cream in the supermarket by the road – Xue Zhang had bought her one the last time…
The sweet taste, Shan Mei smiled with satisfaction.
She had indeed missed London’s Xue Zhang. Xue Zhang, are you well now?
I shall pluck up the courage!
I am returning to Seoul! Shan Mei had made up her mind.

At the airport, Shan Mei bid Gu Gu farewell.
“I am going back to Seoul as soon as I have obtained my degree. Then papa, aunty and I will come to London for a holiday! We shall meet again then!” Shan Mei laughed.
“That’s splendid! Have a safe journey!” Gu Gu was very happy, she was reluctant to part with her.
“Gu Gu! … goodbye!”
Shan Mei headed inside.

**********************
US Airport

Shan Mei heard someone calling her the moment she got out.
“Shan Mei! Shan Mei!…” Two persons were waving at her.
“Belle! Tai Xi!” Shan Mei quickened her pace.
“You are finally back! I have really missed you!” Bern Belle hugged Shan Mei joyously.
“Shan Mei, your transformation is really great yeoh!” Gao Tai Xi scrutinized Shan Mei.
“What?” Shan Mei didn’t understand.
“Ignore him, “ Bern Belle threw Gao Tai Xi a censoring glance, “of course Shan Mei has turned prettier!”
“No!” Gai Tai Xi shook his head seriously, “it’s---“
“Gao Tai Xi!” Bern Belle was helpless where he was concerned.
“Alright!” Shan Mei restrained the angry Bern Belle, she knew Tai Xi was being mischievous; she had long been immune to his planks.
“How is it?” Gao Tai Xi laughed openly, “I was saying Shan Mei has gone ----- thinner! We should give ourselves a big treat! Don’t be annoyed, Belle!”
The trio laughingly chatted as they left.

A month later, Shan Mei was rewarded for the fruits of her hard work.
“I am truly happy today!” Shan Mei smiled, great consoled, it was worth all her effort.
“Shan Mei, you looked very pretty dressed like this!” Gao Tai Xi complimented Shan Mei with a sigh, looking at her.
“Thank you.” Shan Mei laughed, not forgetting to tease Gao Tai Xi.
” Be careful, Belle may get jealous!”
“I will not!” Bern Belle embraced Shan Mei from behind her body, surprisingly lifting her up!
“My God, why are you so light?” Bern Belle exclaimed with amazement.
“Put me down!” Shan Mei struggled, smiling, “let’s go for a big meal, I shall give you a treat!”

“Are you returning to Seoul tomorrow?” Gao Tai Xi and Bern Belle were both surprised by Shan Mei’s sudden decision. Both halted in their process of eating.
“Yes!” Shan Mei lowered her head, smiling slightly, “I have missed papa, aunty and all my friends, I would like go home and present them with a pleasant surprise….”
Shan Mei lifted her head, smiling sweetly.
“The trip to London contributed to this decision?” Bern Belle watched Shan Mei steadily.
“No!” Shan Mei’s smile was unnatural; she met the disbelieving glance of Bern Belle, lowering her head, “Perhaps!”
“Actually, Tai Xi and I planned to visit Seoul too!”
Bern Belle gazed at Tai Xi, “We had thought of persuading you to come with us!”
“It’s works out well now, we can return to Seoul together!” Gao Tai Xi.
“You are also going back?” Shan Mei wasn’t aware Gao Tai Xi and Bern Belle thought of visiting Seoul!
“I am thinking of going home too.” Gao Tai Xi looked at Bern Belle.
“I’d would like to build a new home with Bern Belle!”
Bern Belle nodded her head too.
“Congratulations to both of you! When did you decide? Are you planning to get married in Seoul?” Shan Mei was happy for both her best friends, “Let’s have a toast!”

******************
Xue Zhang, I am coming back tomorrow! Have you thought of me at all?

Shan Mei finally arrived home! She arranged hotel accommodation for Gao Tai Xi and Bern Belle, and took a cab home afterwards. Shan Mei had called home earlier to check if her father was at home. She did not speak when she heard her father’s voice. ---

Papa was at home! Shan Mei happily imagined how happy her father would be when he saw her, and the delightful smile appearing on his face.
“Papa!….” When Gui Cheng opened the door, a beautiful figure hugged him tightly.
“Shan Mei!?” Gui Chen was pleasantly surprised, drawing Shan Mei towards him, “is it my little daughter Shan Mei?”
“Papa!” Shan Mei’s eyes was a little moist now, truly, she had missed her father.
“Shan Mei! This is fantastic! Come in quick!” Gui Cheng began to laugh; there was moisture in his eyes too. (What a pair of father and daughter!)
“Papa, I have missed you dreadfully!” Shan Mei was unable to control her tears.

Shan Mei, her father and aunty had dinner together that night.
Gui Cheng and Chen Su glared at the beautiful image Shan Mei made in the act of eating. Both grinned with happiness.
“Shan Mei, eat slowly!” Gui Cheng feared Shan Mei would choke.
“Aunty’s kimchi is first class! I am so blessed to eat the dishes prepared by aunty again!”
Shan Mei closed her eyes, smiling with like a satisfied Garfield.
“Ummm …. It’s delicious!”
“Aunty will cook for you everyday if you like!” Chen Su said with a smile.
“Alright!” Shan Mei purred and clung to Chen Su. She said,
“If aunty is here everyday, I shall have the chance to eat everyday, what do you say, aunty?” Chen Su stole a shy look at Gui Chen.
“Papa! What do you say?” Shan Mei swirled her head round towards her father.
Seeing their refusal to reply, Shan Mei’s eyes glittered, sighing purposefully, and pouted her lips as she said,
“I thought I’d be able to eat aunty’s food everyday after I come home, and thought of not returning to the States, now I’d need to reconsider that decision, whether I should stay.”
“Ah??” Gui Cheng and Chen Su were taken aback; both realized there was a hidden message in her sentence.
“Are you saying you will not be leaving?” Chen Su’s vocal chords raised momentarily.
“Am I right?”
Shan Mei glanced at her father and Chen Su’s urgent and hopeful gaze, nodding her head heavily.
“Not leaving anymore! I shall stay back to keep Papa and aunty company!”
Gui Cheng and Chen Su were extremely happy, in particular Gui Cheng, his eyes wet again.
“I am sorry!” Shan Mei looked at the two elderly people, the two people she loved dearly, and her heart ached.
“Don’t apologize. Papa understands Shan Mei’s heart!”
Gui Cheng controlled his tears with great effort.
“Silly goose, it’s enough you are staying!” Chen Su sat beside Shan Mei, stroking her hair.
“Is aunty going to cook for Shan Mei everyday then?”
Gui Cheng and Chen Su gazed at one another, Gui Cheng smiled.
“You should agree to Shan Mei’s suggestion, haven’t we already come to an agreement? When Shan Mei returns ---“
“Really?!” Shan Mei asked in pleased surprise.
“Ummm!” Chen Su was slightly embarrassed.
“That’s fabulous!” Shan Mei shouted with delight.
“Mama!” Shan Mei addressed Chen Su with tears shimmering in her eyes.
The Zhen family recovered the warmth and happiness of the past. Joy illuminated from their laughing chatter.

CHAPTER 3 – HE DOESN’T INTEND TO MISS THE CHANCE WITH HER


AT THE PUB THE SAME NIGHT

“Where’s Yong Xi?” Spotting only Xian Da, Xiang Zhe asked with concern.
“She’s still working, she’s will show up a bit later.” Xian Da took a seat, placing his order for a glass of liquor.
“You should go straight home after fetching Yong Xi.” Xiang Zhe didn’t want to bother his two friends.
“What are you saying? How can you regret your invitation to drink with Yong Xi and me? Are you projecting the high and mighty image of the director? Junior, you are too much!”
Xian Da misinterpreted the meaning of Xiang Zhe’s words deliberately.
Xiang Zhe smiled, throwing Xian Da a glance.
“I fear Yong Xi will get to know how much you have drunk behind her back!”
Xiang Zhe joked with Xian Da, and Xian Da chuckled.
“Err… there is some matter … I think … “ Xian Da hesitated. He stared at Xiang Zhe, undecided whether he should speak.
“What’s the matter?” Xiang Zhe enquired without guile.
“It’s nothing, it’s just about …”
“Senior, what’s wrong with you?” Xiang Zhe swirled round to look at Xian Da.
“Shan Mei has obtained her degree!” Xian Da said in record speed (true to his profession as a newscaster), he felt a sense of relief, and began to study Xiang Zhe seriously.
“Shan Mei?” Hearing a familiar yet strange name, Xiang Zhe was slightly taken aback. He murmured the two words lightly. He turned and lowered his head, lifting the wine glass.
“That’s a good thing!”
“How is she?” Xiang Zhe gulped down the glass of liquor.
“She seems to be doing fine. Shan Mei did her thesis in London last month. I guess she must be celebrating in US now!” Xian Da gazed at Xiang Zhe, explaining.
“I went to Shan Mei’s house last week, her father told me, claiming that Shan Mei worked very hard in her studies in US, and had gotten her postgraduate degree. She is preparing to participate in her convocation.”
“However… however he doesn’t have a clue when Shan Mei… when she’d be coming back, he didn’t ask…”
Xian Da had the feeling Xiang Zhe was listening attentively, though he did not utter a word throughout the whole conversation.
“Xiang Zhe, you and … you and Shan Mei…”
“We are friends, just good friends.”
“What?!”
“Shan Mei said we are good friends.” Xiang Zhe’s smile was forced combined with a touch of helplessness and sadness.
“She said that when she left.”
“Have you fallen in love with Shan Mei? Have you regained your memory?” Xian Da was shocked at Xiang Zhe’s distraught look, his eyes widened momentarily.
“No.” Xiang Zhe retained his calm mannerism.
“Huh?” Xian Da was confused.
“I don’t remember those days.” Xiang Zhe’s eyes were distant and lost. He sincerely wanted to remember.
“However, I really desire to be together with Shan Mei, her smile remains within my heart…”
“I think you’ve again fallen in love with Shan Mei?” Xian Da could see the tenderness in Xiang Zhe when he thought of Shan Mei’s smile and concluded with conviction – it appeared his wife was correct in her deduction.
Xiang Zhe smiled, a touch of shyness visible in his smile. Had he fallen in love with Shan Mei? He didn’t know ….

SHAN MEI’S HOUSE

Aunty helped Shan Mei to unpack her baggages.
“So many presents! They filled the whole suitcase…”
“Yes! This is for Jin Mao Ge, these are for Zhao Di and Chen Sui, this is also for Zhao Di, this is Senior Xian Da’s, this is Senior Yong Xi’s, this is Senior Qing Xi’s … this is aunty’s, oh, it’s mama’s! And this is Papa’s!” Shan Mei said with a cheeky grin.
“You little maid!” Chen Su chuckled happily.
Shan Mei stopped smiling, and removed a carefully wrapped present from the suitcase.
“And this is meant for whom?”
“It’s for You Zhen Ge and Ying Mei.” Shan Mei lifted her head to look at Chen Su, her eyes moist again. Chen Su halted the task at hand, her heart sank in an instant …
Shan Mei hugged Chen Su,
“Mama, I will honor and take care of you and papa!… I shall visit You Zhen Ge in a couple of days, and Ying Mei…”
“Come, come, have some fruits!” Gui Cheng came in, watching both of them.
“What’s the matter with the two of you? Crying again? Aiyah, quick, have some fruits!’
“Nothing!” Shan Mei and Chen Su wiped away their tears, gazing at each other with a smile.
“Then take some fruits!”
“Okay…”

Perhaps it was due to her happiness and excitement, Shan Mei was unable to sleep no matter how she tried. She had a sudden impulse –
She yearned to see Xue Zhang! Really yearned. Shan Mei phoned Xiang Zhe’s house, but no one picked up the phone, only the voice from the answering machine –
“I am Yin Xiang Zhe, please leave your number and I will contact you as soon as I can.”
It’s Xue Zhang’s voice! It’s been so long since she had heard his voice! Shan Mei glanced at her watch, it’s after eleven at night, where was Xue Zhang? His work must be hard on him! She tried his mobile phone, but he had switched it off. Shan Mei was mildly disappointed; she truly would like to hear Xue Zhang’s voice, and to see him! Shan Mei changed her clothes and went out.

When she arrived in front of Xiang Zhe’s house, there was no one at home. Shan Mei was deeply disappointed, but was suddenly glad. It was fortunate Xue Zhang wasn’t home. How could she just run out like this? It’s too reckless, after all Xue Zhang …

It’s best to return home, Shan Mei thought. Her thoughts twisted, she’d steal a look at him from a corner, or else she’d have made a futile trip. Her heart filled with conflicting emotions! As time went passed, Shan Mei’s hesitation transformed into longing, she honestly yearned for Xue Zhang! Shan Mei constantly lifted her head to check, why wasn’t he back yet? A car drove in without warning, the lights flashed --- Shan Mei felt a flash of excitement ... he’s Xue Zhang!

Xiang Zhe parked his car and walked over. Shan Mei quietly gazed at the Xue Zhang she had thought of day and night in a dark corner, her tears flowed down her cheeks unchecked, unable to stop … seeing Xue Zhang passing her by, Shan Mei’s heart ached emotionally, she longed to call out to Xiang Zhe. Xiang Zhe went in. Shan Mei moved out of the corner. Though the stain of tears remained, the radiance of her smile was still vibrantly eye catching! Shan Mei’s smile was honeysweet; it’s enough just to glimpse at him…

“I am already very blessed!” Shan Mei muttered to herself as she made her return journey.
Shan Mei’ was in a very good mood, to have the chance to see Xue Zhang, she’s truly blessed! Thinking thus, Shan Mei smiled involuntarily again.
“Shan Mei!” A familiar voice halted Shan Mei’s progress.
Shan Mei stopped, that’s Xue Zhang’s voice! Was she hallucinating? Was it a dream? Shan Mei swirled her body round slowly, her gaze fell on the person moving towards her, he’s Xue Zhang!

Shan Mei’s heart collided; tears shimmered out of her eyes again. It’s really Xue Zhang, it’s genuinely his concerned gaze…
“Shan Mei!”
Xiang Zhe moved near. He couldn’t believe what lay before his very eyes, his imagination a second ago had transformed into reality! Shan Mei was standing in front of him, that was so real! He didn’t intend to miss the chance with her...
“Xue Zhang!” Shan Mei and Xiang Zhe gazed at one another. They had forgotten everything that surrounded them.

Xiang Zhe drove directly home after he parted with Xian Da. All the way, he had been thinking over what Xian Da had said. Was Shan Mei considering never to return? His heart sank heavily at the thought. He didn’t understand why he missed Shan Mei so much; it must have been love!

He yearned to see her immediately! A tender smile appeared before Xiang Zhe’s lips at the thought of Shan Mei’s honey sweet smile. Xiang Zhe glanced from left to right as he got out of the car. Why did he get this feeling that a pair of eyes was observing him the moment he came out of the car. But there wasn’t a soul around. Xiang Zhe smiled in self-mockery; he was becoming paranoid.

When he returned home, Xiang Zhe sat on the couch listening to the messages left on the answering machine. There were all together three calls. The person who made the third call didn’t leave any messages. Xiang Zhe glanced at the machine, the number was – he lifted his head and thought for a moment, dashing out immediately …

Xiang Zhe didn’t miss her, a girl wearing dark blue jeans and sleeveless red blouse was just ahead – she strolled alone under the streetlights. Her back view was so familiar to Xiang Zhe, something seemed to strike a chord within him, he didn’t want to miss the chance with her….

“Shan Mei!” Xiang Zhe’s heart was uplifted to its maximum.
The girl in front halted, and slowly turned her body around – it’s really Shan Mei!
Xiang Zhe’s felt as if his heart had stopped beating.
“Shan Mei!” A slight tremor could be heard in his voice.
“Xue Zhang!” Shan Mei’s eyes were glistening with tears, and Xiang Zhe’s heart ached, he longed to wipe away her tears.
Shan Mei and Xiang Zhe gazed at one another thus; they seemed to have forgotten everything that surrounded them.

AT XIANG ZHE’S HOUSE

“Drink the coffee!” Xiang Zhe poured Shan Mei a cup of coffee.
“Thank you!” Shan Mei accepted the cup, holding it with both hands, savoring the taste. Xiang Zhe smiled involuntarily as he watched Shan Mei lost in the enjoyment of her coffee – it felt so good just watching her.
“Xue Zhang?” Shan Mei lifted her head, glancing at the preoccupied Xiang Zhe.
“Umm?” Xiang Zhe gathered his thoughts.
“Are you well in the States? When did you return?”
“Very well!” Shan Mei smiled sweetly, her face slightly rosy, “Today! I got back today.”
“Is that so?” Xiang Zhe’s heart moved a little.
“Umm…” Both lifted their heads after a silent pause.
“You speak first.” Xiang Zhe looked at Shan Mei.
“It’d be better for Xue Zhang to speak first!”
Shan Mei recalled the past at that moment. She hoped Xue Zhang would speak first.
“I am going to ask you some questions-loh.”
Xiang Zhe grinned, he liked to be with Shan Mei, but the current Shan Mei appeared very nervous, he didn’t want her to feel uneasy. After a moment’s hesitation, Xiang Zhe didn’t asked what he desired to ask most, “How long will you be staying this time? Are you leaving again?” instead –
“Have you completed your studies in US? How did it go, was training difficult? Share your experience!”
Shan Mei chuckled. Xue Zhang was still very caring, just like London’s Xue Zhang, and similar to the mannerism of the Xue Zhang in the past.
Shan Mei and Xiang Zhe chatted happily together, they consumed cup after cup of coffee. They appeared to have returned to the time they shared in London … the distance between them was closed!

In actual fact, Shan Mei was the one who kept talking, and Xiang Zhe smilingly listened –
Listening to Shan Mei relating the difficulties she encountered in her studies, the little gritty matters in everyday life, and the two new friends she had made … Xiang Zhe felt as if he was there with her, enjoying together with Shan Mei, living together with her…

Shan Mei was tired. When Xiang Zhe called her after retrieving the supper he had prepared, Shan Mei was already curled up in the couch fast asleep.
“Shan Mei?” Xiang Zhe called her softly. It’s not comfortable sleeping there, in case she should catch a cold … Shan Mei did not respond. Perhaps it was due to the long flight, and to visit him so late … Shan Mei must really be exhausted.

Xiang Zhe couln’t bring himself to wake her. He carefully carried the sleeping Shan Mei, laid her on the bed, and lightly covered her with the blanket, ensuring all four corners of the blanket were in place. Xiang Zhe sat at the edge of the bed, watching her quietly. She was thinner, Xiang Zhe’s heart ached at the thought …He stood up long moments later, gazing at her, and with great reluctance, closed the door lightly behind him.

Shan Mei woke from her dreams the next day.
“It’s so comfortable! It’s been ages since I slept so soundly!” Shan Mei smiled with happiness.
“This is – “ Realising that the surrounding environment wasn’t her home, Shan Mei was instantly jolted out of her dreamy state. Shan Mei tried recalling the sequence of the event, she went over to visit Xue Zhang the previous night… this is – Xue Zhang’s house!

Shan Mei got quickly up. A deliciously tempting aroma filled her nostrils as she opened the door.
“You are awake?” Xiang Zhe glanced at Shan Mei, her face was attractively red just having woken up, she looked innocently cute.
“Go freshen up! Breakfast will be ready soon, I will fetch you home afterwards.” Xiang Zhe pushed the confused Shan Mei into the bathroom.

“Hmm!” Shan Mei saw her own rosy red face in the mirror, she felt even shyer now.
“This is nothing – “ She tried consoling herself, automatically picking up the toothbrush, it’s new! The face towel and soup beside was also new! Xue Zhang is always so thoughtfully caring.

“It’s time for breakfast!” Xiang Zhe invited Shan Mei who just got out.
Shan Mei sat down with embarrassment. The breakfast prepared by Xue Zhang was very finely decorated.
“Try it!” Xiang Zhe urged Shan Mei with a smile.
“Okay!” Shan Mei tasted a mouthful of scrambled eggs, shutting her eyes, savouring the taste.
“How is it?” Xiang Zhe asked.
Shan Mei opened her eyes, shaking her head severely.
“Does it taste terrible?” How could that be? Xiang Zhe was confident of his cooking skill.
“No!” Shan Mei saw his discomfiture, and hurried to reassure him, suppressing a smile.
“Don’t force yourself.” Does it taste so terrible? Xiang Zhe was apologetic.
“I’ll prepare another set for you!”
“Xue Zhang!” Shan Mei chuckled.
“Zhen Shan Mei!” Xiang Zhe understood in a flash that Shan Mei was teasing him, but seeing Shan Mei’s radiantly sweet smile, he chuckled too.
“Xue Zhang, you are not angry, are you?” Shan Mei stopped laughing, stealing a glance at Xiang Zhe, he wasn’t her London’s Xue Zhang.
“I will not be angry with you. Finished the food quickly!” Xiang Zhe’s tone was happy and indulgent.
“Oh no!” It occurred suddenly to Shan Mei that she hadn’t gone home, her father must be ---
Shan Mei stood up immediately.
“Xue Zhang, I need to return home at once –“
Xiang Zhe looked at Shan Mei calmly, “Would you like to make a call first?”
“That’s right!” Shan Mei ran over and was about to dial the number when Xiang Zhe stopped her.
“I have already called!”
“Really? What did papa say?” Shan Mei was extremely anxious.
“Your papa said he was about to lodge a police report!”
“Ah? Lodge a police report? Was papa very angry?”
Shan Mei asked carefully, papa must be furious…
“Of course he was annoyed! Claiming his daughter went out without a word, he was furious!”
“I am dead! It’s all my fault!” Shan Mei regretted her thoughtless act.
“Xue Zhang, I am going to explain to papa now … papa must have been extremely worried, he willl surely reprimand me …” Shan Mei spoke to herself, and a sudden thought struck her –
She had left a note to inform her father she was going out, her father should know, even if he had woken up in the morning he should have read the note, he shouldn’t be lodging a police report.
“Xue Zhang!” Zhan Mei’s huge eyes rounded, “You are lying, right?”
Seeing Shan Mei’s cute angry look, Xiang Zhe couldn’t control his laughter.
“I am sorry! Don’t be angry.”
“You are avenging yourself, right?”

Seeing Shan Mei’s austere look, Xiang Zhe repressed his laughter to explain to her.
“Actually, I called uncle early in the morning, telling him that you were so exhausted you had fallen asleep, and urged him not to worry. Uncle has read your note and was reassured.”
“Is that so?” Shan Mei didn’t believe him, she pouted her little lips. “You are not lying?”
Xiang Zhe couldn’t resist laughing when he saw Shan Mei’s cute expression.
“I am telling you the truth!”
“Finished your food quickly! I shall fetch you back.”
Shan Mei glared at Xiang Zhe before bending her head to eat.
“Ah! Xue Zhang will be late for work – “ Shan Mei thought of another important matter.
“Is that so?” Xiang Zhe glanced at his watch, it’s after eight, “it’s already late.”
“Why aren’t you leaving yet?”
Shan Mei was apologetic and anxious, she had inconvenienced and troubled him again.
“Do not worry, I have applied for leave!”
Gazing at Shan Mei’s concern expression, Xiang Zhe was warmth by it.
Shan Mei looked at Xiang Zhe, and eventually smiled…

“Thank you, Xue Zhang!” Shan Mei smiled when they reached the entrance of her house.
“I am going in! Be careful when you drive.”
“Okay!” Xiang Zhe nodded with a smile at Shan Mei, following her out of the car. They gazed at one another in silence.
“Shan Mei” Gui Cheng came out to greet Shan Mei.
“Papa!”
“Uncle, how do you do?” Xiang Zhe greeted Gui Cheng politely.
“Umm! Xiang Zhe, it’s you. Come in, it’s been ages since you last visited!”
Xiang Zhe glanced at the embarrassed Shan Mei, and refused the invitation diplomatically.
“I will visit next time. You would want to spend time with Shan Mei today.”
Xiang Zhe bowed at Gui Cheng, “Goodbye!”

“Papa, where is mama?” Shan Mei had taken a shower and changed into her house attire, she asked her father who was reading the newspaper as she walked into the living room.
“How intimately you are addressing your aunty, aren’t you afraid papa will get jealous?”
Gui Cheng felt slightly awkward.
“Shan Mei!” The front door opened and Chen Su walked in.
“Mama!” Shan Mei moved forward happily.

*******************
During lunch, Shan Mei pretended to act casual as she questioned.
“Papa, how is it you are so friendly with Xue Zhang?”
“Ah? Xiang Zhe visits me and aunty often after you left.”
“That’s right, he brings lots of goodies, claiming it’s to supplement our bodies. Xiang Zhe is truly a good young man!” Chen Su praised Xiang Zhe.
“Xue Zhang really visits often?” Shan Mei’s heart skipped a beat, Xue Zhang was …
“Xiang Zhe said you are his Xue Mei (junior), it’s goes without saying that he should take care of us while you are away.” Gui Cheng glanced at Shan Mei, and remarked seriously.
“Xiang Zhe is truly a remarkable man!”
Shan Mei lowered her head.
“Zhen Shan Mei, you can make it!” Chen Su told Shan Mei loudly.
Shan Mei lifted her head to gaze at her beloved father and aunty, giving them a vibrant smile! The tears glistening in her eyes were crystal clear.

CHAPTER 4 – ONLY GOOD FRIEND


MBS.
“Yong Xi, have you seen Xiang Zhe?” Xian Da softly asked Yong Xi as they returned to the office after the taping of the morning show.
“No, why?” Yong Xi looked at Xian Da with alarm.
“You don’t think something has happened to Xiang Zhe? His secretary told me privately that Xiang Zhe still has not come in yet….”
“Supervisor, are you having a private conversation? Can I listen?” Chen Sui walked over.
Cui Chen Sui! You are loud and not working this morning! Why weren’t you paying attention just now on the show? The director and producers are going to have a talk with you again!” Xian Da barked at Chen Sui.
“Please no, Supervisor! “ Chen Sui begged to explain, “As you know, I have been busy planning my wedding and therefore a little tired. I guarantee I will not loose focus again at the next taping! Supervisor …”
“Chen Sui, remember your place in front of your seniors, don’t fool around!”
Son Kee Jong mocked Chen Sui and everyone laughed, except for the two new persons who didn’t dare laugh out loud.

Xiang Zhe was meeting Xian Da and Yong Xi for lunch.
“Our punctual Director Yin is late; can this be considered headlines for MBS’s news?”
Xian Da teased Xiang Zhe, “Remember not to be late to the meeting this afternoon!”
Xiang Zhe smiled but did not say anything.
“You seem to be in a very good mood?” Yong Xi’s sharp observation revealed that Xiang Zhe’s smile was full of joy and happiness, like it was coming from deep in his heart.
“Really?” Xiang Zhe grinned; he really was in a good mood.
I called you this morning, what’s wrong? You didn’t turn on your cell phone? What were you doing at home? Xian Da was curious.
“I hung up the handset!”
“Huh?” Xian Da and Yong Xi glanced at each other and looked at Xiang Zhe with confused looks.
“Were you sleeping? Xian Da and Yong Xi both thought Xiang Zhe did look tired. Xiang Zhe laughed at Xian Da and Yong Xi’s conclusion, someone definitely did sleep but it wasn’t him.
Can a person really change that much overnight? More smiles and more relaxed …
Faced with Xian Da and Yong Xi’s inquiry, Xiang Zhe did not let on the truth because he had already promised Shan Mei to give everyone a big surprise, the truth can come out when they receive their presents! Xiang Zhe smiled at the thought of Shan Mei’s adorable smile.
Xian Da and Yong Xi suddenly discovered the Yin Xiang Zhe who had fallen deeply in love had returned.

In the afternoon, Shan Mei, Gui Cheng and Jing Sui visited Ying Mei, when they got there; Ying Mei was playing a game with the children.
“Ying Mei!” Shan Mei looked at the contented Ying Mei, feeling very joyful in her heart.
“Shan Mei!” seeing the missing Shan Mei, Ying Mei was very happy too. “Auntie, Uncle!”
You have brought so many things with you again!”
“Oh, we are suppose to!” Gui Cheng looked at Ying Mei with fatherly love.
“Thank-you! I feel so bad, every time Auntie visits, she brings a lot of things … “
“Oh..Ying Mei.” Jing Sui had already thought of Ying Mei as her own daughter.

 “Shan Mei, When did you come back, Uncle and Aunty has miss you so much.” Shan Mei and Ying Mei held hands like they were best friends.
After seeing Ying Mei, Shan Mei with Gui Cheng and Jing Sui visited You Zhen together.
Shan Mei puts a bouquet of carnations in front of You Zhen’s grave, Gui Cheng held Jing Sui while they stood behind Shan Mei.
“You Zhen oppa, I have returned …” Shan Mei’s voice choked as tears started falling.
“I will take good care of Daddy and Aunty, did you know? Daddy and Aunty will be getting married soon … we will soon be a real family …” Shan Mei dried her tears.
“Oh yes, Daddy and Mommy has invited Ying Mei to the wedding … Ying Mei is doing fine … we saw Ying Mei this afternoon, she is living very well … the existing Ying Mei is very happy, you can be happy! You Zhen oppa …” Ying Mei is happy, then You Zhen oppa will be happy, Shan Mei hopes You Zhen oppa is also happy.

MBS’s conference room, a promotional film that BBS had sent was being shown at the time.
Shan Mei’s sweet angelic smile flashed across the conference room at that moment …
“Shan Mei? !” Everyone stared wide eye! Those who knew Shan Mei was even more surprised. Xiang Zhe stared intently at the screen …
The lights came on after ten minutes of the promotional film showing.
“This is the promotional clip that BBS has sent. This is the new program, created by BBS’s well know producers which took a year to produce. It looks like it deals with arts with a strong sense of entertainment interest. This program starts with the introduction of works from the English renaissance era, and also include other European works and cultures … this has a very high artistic value. The first installment has seven episodes, what we just saw was the promotional clip for the first installment.” Purchasing Supervisor Lee explained in great detail.
“We are not the only TV station to receive the promotional film from BBS. Our two strong competitors have also received the clip at the same time.” Supervisor Lee pointed out.
“What is everyone’s opinion?” Yin Xiang Zhe calmly asked.
Xian Da saw Xiang Zhe’s intense look a few second ago, now it turned to calmness, how he envied the way he controlled his emotions.
“Okay, it’s settled, notify BBS right away that we want the program!”
Seeing that no one had an opinion, Xiang Zhe made the decision, but turned his head to ask Kim Jen Kee anyway, “Assistant Manager Kim, Do you have any thoughts about it?”
“I thought the program was pretty good.” Kim Jen Kee answered vaguely.
The meeting adjourned, Kim Jen Kee motioned Xiang Zhe and Xian Da to stay behind.
“Isn’t the Zhen Shan Mei?” Supervisor Kim.” Kim Jen Kee purposely provoked Xiang Zhe.
“I think so.”
“Is she working at BBS right now?”
“I don’t think so. Shan Mei is studying in America, but was in London for an internship.”
“Oh, so that’s why, I thought she was working at BBS, I thought the point of purchasing the program was …” Kim Jen Kee deliberately did not finish his point and turned to Xiang Zhe, “Oh yes, how is it going with you and Miss Zhen Shan Mei?”
“We are fine. If there is nothing else, we will leave now.”
Xiang Zhe answered coldly, but still kept his manners as he left Kim Jen Kee.

INSIDE DIRECTOR YIN’S OFFICE.
“Xiang Zhe, Assistant Manager Kim’s question had other meaning.” Xian Da was a little worried for Xiang Zhe since in the past, Xiang Zhe and Shan Mei were … which is why Assistant Manager Kim would intentionally say those things but Xiang Zhe has lost his memory!
“I’m okay.” Xiang Zhe looked at the purchasing proposal, not minding Xian Da’s question because Shan Mei had returned, this good news filled Xiang Zhe’s heart …
“That’s good. I am leaving now.”
“Okay! You go get busy then.”
After Xian Da’s departure, Xiang Zhe thought a little and pressed a number on the phone.
“Director?”
Please have purchasing bring the BBS promotional tape over. Thank-you!”
“Okay!”

THE FIRST ANCHOR’S OFFICE
“Really?? You said it’s Shan Mei?” Chen Sui grasped at Xian Da and asked loudly. Everyone had a curious look on their faces.
“Let go of me! In front of the new trainees …” Xian Da tried Son Kee Jung’s trick, even before he finished the sentence, Chen Sui had let go.
“Is it really Shan Mei? You saw Shan Mei on BBS’s program?” Yong Xi questioned.
Xian Da nods, “Yes, it’s Shan Mei!”
“Sanbaeneem, are you saying it’s the ex-hostess, Zhen Shan Mei?” The new 31st class trainee, Kim Gi Yeong curiously inquired, because Shan Mei is her idol, which is the reason why Kim Gi Yeong wanted to become an anchor.
“Yes, that’s her, Zhen Shan Mei.” Xian Da answered with certainty. It is really Shan Mei!
Chen Sui knows, Zhao De will also know too, if they knew, no one in MBS will not know right? Chen Sui and Zhao De went to the top floor to start their second honeymoon ….

At night, Shan Mei, Gui Cheng and Jing Sui had dinner together.
“Oh Shan Mei, what do you have planned? Going back to work at MBS?” Back then, Shan Mei’s dream was to become a first-class anchor.
“No plans … I want to give it some thought first, then make a decision.” Shan Mei couldn’t decide, should she return to MBS? After all she was the one who asked to leave …
“Sheesh, don’t rush her! Let Shan Mei rest a bit at home first! Studying in America must have been tiring!” Jing Sui felt bad for Shan Mei, “Look how thin Shan Mei is … you have to eat more, then work!”
Jing Sui glared at Gui Cheng, Gui Cheng smiled weakly, “Oh you … you spoil Shan Mei …”
“What? Can’t I?”
Shan Mei laughed, Gui Cheng and Jing Sui also laughed too ….

“Now you remember us, you are not friends enough?”
Shan Mei called Gao Tai Xi and Bern Bell, and that was the first thing he said.
“How can I forget my good friends?” Shan Mei laughed, “Bern, do you like Seoul? Where are you guys going today?”
“Go? He slept the whole day!”
Bern Bell complained to Shan Mei what a big lazy bear Gao Tai Xi was and she went out by herself, Seoul is an unknown place for her, isn’t he scared she might get lost?
“Slept all day? Very tired?” How can that be? Tai Xi is the kind who likes to go have fun, how can he go sleep and not accompany Bell??
“No!” Gao Tai Xi felt bad because he had to change shift, which is why …. “
“If he doesn’t work, he’s not going to be happy!” Bern Bell hates to see Gao Tai Xi go to work tired.
“Can’t help it, !” Gao Tai Xi felt guilty for not being able to accompany her on the first day.
“It’s okay, don’t get mad Bern Bell. I will go out with you tomorrow!”
“Really! That’s good!”
“I will come pick you guys up tomorrow morning, and you can come to my house for lunch in the afternoon! I will introduce my father and mother to the both of you!” Shan Mei had already spoken to Gui Cheng and Jing Sui, Gui Cheng and Jing Sui were happy to entertain Gao Tai Xi and Bern Bell.
“You are calling her mom already, did your dad and auntie already…..”
“No! But the wedding is close! Both of you have to attend though!” Shan Mei felt happy that her dad and auntie could be together.
“Then congratulations!” Gao Tai Xi and Bern Bell also felt thrilled for Shan Mei.
“Okay, no more chatting, we have to go eat lunch!”
“Now? It’s already a little pass nine.” Shan Mei looked at her watch.
“It’s a pay off dinner…. “ Gao Tai Xi smilingly explained.
“Okay, hope you have fun at dinner! See you tomorrow!”
“See you tomorrow, Shan Mei! Bye-bye!”

Shan Mei left early to pick up Gao Tai Xi and Bern Bell, and window shopped with Bell, and got home a little after eleven.
“This is your house! It is very beautiful!”
Bell praised, this place is so serene and beautiful, no wonder why Shan Mei has such a good personality.
“Come in!” Shan Mei entertained Gao Tai Xi and Bern Bell, and loudly said, Dad, Mom, we are back!”
“Dad, Mom, this is Gao Tai Xi and Bern Bell, they are my good friends that I met in the US.” Gao Tai Xi and Bern Bell bowed to Gui Cheng and Jing Sui, “Uncle, Auntie, nice to meet you!”
“Good, no need to bow, come over and have a seat!” Gui Cheng and Jing Sui welcomed them warmly.

“Thank-you to both of you, Shan Mei told us that both of you took really good care of her! From now on, come visit often!”
Gui Cheng felt thankful, “Shan Mei, you have to show Tai Xi and Bell around!”
“Uncle, don’t mention it, Shan Mei is our good friend, and it’s only natural to be concern about friends!” Tai Xi and Bell felt a little self-conscious.
“Actually, it was Shan Mei who helped us a lot!”
Gao Tai Xi glanced at Bell with a little embarrassment and she smiled, Shan Mei shook her head and laughed.
“Huh?” Gui Cheng and Jing Sui didn’t understand, but Gui Cheng just laughed and broke the awkward atmosphere.
Gao Tai Xi and Bern Bell noticed Gui Cheng’s warm and friendly face and finally understood where Shan Mei’s smiles came from! No wonder!

Lunch was good, Tai Xi told a lot of jokes and made everyone laugh.

In the afternoon, Jing Sui left to go back to her busy store, Gao Tai Xi accompany Gui Cheng in a chess game while Bell and Shan Mei was in the bedroom.
“You look so cute when you were small! … I finally got to see you in childhood times!”
Bern Bell knew Shan Mei had seen her baby pictures during her stay in London.
“This is … is your You Zhen oppa and good friend Yong Mi, right …..”
Bern Bell asked and pointed at the picture just as Shan Mei returned from getting some water.
“Yes!” Shan Mei looked at the picture, her bright face expressed some traces of hurt.
“Shan Mei?” Bell kind of knew the happenings between Kim You Zhen and Yong Mi, she sensed that Shan Mei didn’t tell the whole story, but seeing Shan Mei like this, she felt rueful, “Sorry!”
“It’s okay.” Shan Mei understood Bern Bell’s sentiment.
“Oh yeah, I see that you have not given away most of your presents!” Bern Bell pointed to the desk that was full presents.
“I plan to invite everyone to the house in a few days, and give it to them then …”
“You didn’t notify everyone that you have returned already?”
“No, I thought …”
“Then, he ….. does your Senior know?”
Bern Bell questioned. Even though Gao Tai Xi and Bern Bell didn’t know who the “he” was, but “he” … this Senior definitely exist, and holds a very special place in Shan Mei’s heart!
“We have seen each other … I contacted Senior already ….” Shan Mei nods her head, “Senior is very nice to me … ”
“Then did he say anything?”
“Say what?” Shan Mei stared dumbly at Bern Bell.
“You are driving me nuts!” Bern Bell stared at Shan Mei, “Did he ask you to stay?”
“Senior and I do not have that …. that kind of relationship.” Shan Mei smiled to hide the hurt and pain, “We are friends, really good friends …” Senior did not ask if she was staying, maybe Senior is just Senior. At the present time, Senior and her really do not have that kind of relationship …

“Shan Mei?”

That night, Shan Mei and her family sent Gao Tai Xi and Bern Bell home before returning.
“Dad, are you sure you don’t need my help? Then I will leave by myself!”
Gui Cheng had to accompany Jing Sui to the store, so Shan Mei left by herself.
“You can go home, you don’t need to help … “
“Okay, I know you don’t want me to be the third wheel! Right?” Shan Mei laughed impishly and ran off, feeling happy on her way home.
Everything that has happened since her return to Seoul has been happy, returning home is a good thing.
“**Sigh! … returning home is good!” Shan Mei smiled blissfully, her face shinning like the warmth of the sun.

CHAPTER 5 – HAPPINESS HAD RETURNED


San Mei strolled slowly home, she was in jolly good mood the whole way.
“That is….” San Mei noticed a familiar car parked right in front of her house.
The door of the car opened. It was Xiang Zhe.
He had already seen her from the rear mirror of the car.

Xiang Zhe looked at her with a smile, it was so nice to see her.
San Mei fastened her pace towards him. “Xue Zhang, why are you here?”
“Because of certain things today, that’s why I felt very much like seeing you.”
Xiang Zhe concealed the actual reason behind his desire to see her.
“Have you got the time? Can we go out together?”
“Sure!” San Mei was delighted to see her Xue Zhang.

Inside the car.
“Xue Zhang, what brings you here?” Did Xue Zhang seek her out because of something?
“Yesterday, everyone has seen you in the TV program.”
Xiang Zhe smiled, Shan Mei’s performance was very outstanding.
“Everyone was so surprised…. and very concerned about you.”
“So, did you tell them that I am back?”

“What’s wrong? Why are you so anxious?” Xiang Zhe looked at her uncomprehendingly.
“I don’t want everyone to know that I am back, since I haven’t informed them…” a little cornered ….
but San Mei was a broadcaster..
”I will feel bad, moreover if Zhao Di got to knows about it, she will say I am not friend enough again… Xue Zhang, you didn’t tell them right?” San Mei looked at him seriously.
”Nope, I didn’t but it nearly slipped out.”
Of course not, how would Xiang Zhe do anything San Mei dislike…
“Xue Zhang, you are the best!” San Mei produced the most sweetly radiant sunny smile.
Xiang Zhe watched San Mei’s smiling expression and grinned involuntarily, the tender emotion within his heart refused to subside.
”The stars are so beautiful!” San Mei was very happy. It never crossed her mind Xue Zhang would bring her her to see the stars.
Xiang Zhe couldn’t understand why he needed to bring her to admire the stars, was it because of the dream last night?…..
He accompaned a girl to see the stars…hoping it would wipe away her tears, when the girl swirled her head round, he discovered it was San Mei… and now the dream became a reality. San Mei was sitting next to him, lifting her head to view the stars.

”Xue Zhang, look, there is a comet (shooting star)…..” the comet flashed by, San Mei pointed towards the sky with excitement and told Xiang Zhe …
“It’s a pity I haven’t make my wish yet…” She sounded a little regretful.
Xiang Zhe didn’t want her smile to fade away, saying to her teasingly…”What wish would you like to make? Get ready now… another shooting star will appear soon…
San Mei looked at him, the disbelieving expression on her face was really cute.
San Mei gazed at the galaxy, saying with a murmur: “I wish my Papa, Mama, Gu Gu, Ying Mei, Zhao Di, Senior Xian Da, Senior Yong Xi, Senior Qing Xi, all my relatives and friends and …” She glanced at Xiang Zhe… then turned around to continue, “and … Xue Zhang…” she uttered this sentence with a little slur…but the next sentence was loud and clear to the ears… “hope that everybody were enjoy good health and happiness…”

When Xiang Zhe first heard it, he was slightly tickled. San Mei wasn’t about to recite every single person’s name..? But when he continued to listen, his heart was deeply touched….and he yearned to hear his own name on San Mei’s lips, when he eventually heard his name at the end, his heart was warmth, eventhough it was the last he still felt joyful, because the person San Mei blessed would definitely be happy. Xiang Zhe thought vehemently, the smile at the corner of his lips thickened..

“Shooting star!” San Mei watched the rainbow which slided across the midnight sky again with a surprised sigh, it was too bad she had forgotten to make her wish again on time, “it’s gone again…”
“It’s ok, “ Xiang Zhe didn’t want her to be disappointed, telling her gently, “Everyone will receive your warm heart and sincere blessings!”
San Mei looked at Xiang Zhe, smiling sweetly, Xue Zhang was the best…
“Oh yah, Xue Zhang, Didn’t you make a wish?”
“Make a wish?” His wish was to see her happy, hope this moment could last longer.
“Yup..! Your words are so true, your wish will definitely come true…”San Mei said it very seriously.
“Is it?” Xiang Zhe didn’t understand.
“You said just now there will be another shooting star…and it really came!” San Mei smiled mischievously.
“Oh…You……” Xiang Zhe laughed too.

In front of San Mei’s house.
“Goodnight, Xue Zhang!” San Mei smiled gently, bidding him farewell.
“Good night, sleep early!” Xiang Zhe reminded her tenderly.

After she got down from his car, San Mei shyly addressed Xiang Zhe, “ Xue Zhang, thank You! Thank you for taking me to see the stars, I am truly happy!”
“I am very happy too!…” Xiang Zhe was honestly happy, “…go in fast!”
“Ok!” San Mei docilely nodded, “I am going in!”
Xiang Zhe waited until she was inside the house before driving away.

”Pa, how come you are not in bed yet?” The moment San Mei stepped into the living room, she saw her dad waiting for her, “….You don’t have to wait for me.”
“I am worried about you … umm… I am going to bed now, you sleep early too…….” Gui Zheng saw Xiang Zhe just now, but seeing how joyful San Mei was, he didn’t want her to be distressed and refrain from bringing up the past between Xiang Zhe and her.
“Ok… I know!” San Mei went up the stairs and turned round again.
“Pa, did you make the call…….”
“Yes, I have my princess. I have called everyone, tomorrow is Saturday, invited everyone over at night.”
“Then did you mention that I am back…..”
“No! My princess told me not to tell already, of course I’ll have to listen to her right?” Gui Zheng affectionally looked at San Mei.
“Then tomorrow everyone will be here to give celebrate Papa and Mama’s….” San Mei smiled coyly at Gui Zheng.
“You…this little ….”

After San Mei had taken her bath, she sat at the study table, taking out all the presents.
Don’t know whether Xue Zhang had reached home or not. Was he resting already? Got the urge to give him a call, San Mei picked up her phone, hesitated a while, and put down the phone.
San Mei stood up and opened her bag, retrieving from within a giftbox………
It was a present for Xue Zhang, she forgot to bring it along when she visited Xue Zhang the other day… she smiled sweetlym gazing at the present…..
“ring… ring…” San Mei’s mobile phone sounded, who can it be at this late hour…
San Mei picked it up right away, “Hello, I am Zhen San Mei!”
”San Mei, It’s me. “ It’s Xue Zhang!
After Xiang Zhe got home, he sat on the sofa, San Mei’s smile kept playing inside his mind. And he was unable to resist the inclination to dial the number of her mobile phone.
“Xue Zhang!” San Mei was really happyl. Xue Zhang received her telepathy signals…
Hearing San Mei’s delighted voice, he recalled her beautifully sweet cute smile, and Xiang Zhe didn’t know what to say ….to her now….
“Xue Zhang?” San Mei asked, perturbed , “Are you still there?”
”I’m still here, “ Xiang Zhe didn’t know what to do or say, “San Mei……actually, it’s nothing…..” He couldn’t possibly tell her that he wanted to see her. They had just met up a while ago.
“Xue Zhang?” San Mei softly called out, she didn’t know what to say too. Both of them were just holding on to the phone silently……..
Suddenly San Mei remembered something…”Oh! Xue Zhang, Just now didn’t you say something about the program? What is it?” The stars were too beautiful… she had forgotten to query.
“Emm, it was the program that BBS send over.”
Finally Xiang Zhe found a topic to talk about, “Miss Zhen San Mei’s performance was not bad ooh…! Everyone was well satisfied with it.”
San Mei performance was really very outstanding.
“Really? I am so happy!”
”Is that the TV program you mentioned before that was recorded in London?” San Mei mentioned that to him before.
”Emm!” Talking about this program, San Mei could feel the same nervousness at that time now, “You didn’t know how anxious I was at that time, I was asked to do it last minute, eventhough I understood the production content, I am also aware of a year’s groundwork behind the program. That’s why I was so nervous!” “But I am very happy, everyone treated me well. The director had been very helpful, eventhough I hosted the first 3 episodes only, I have learnt a lot too. ……” San Mei happily told Xiang Zhe, “ and that producer had invited me to stay on in BBS….”
”San Mei, what’s your decision then?”
”Ah? Of course I went back to US to complete my Masters, how can I forget my studies!” San Mei laughed, but Xiang Zhe just kept quiet, “Xue Zhang?”
”San Mei, will you stay back here?”
”Huh?” San Mei was taken aback, was Xue Zhang concerned over her staying/leaving?
”San Mei……” Xiang Zhe’s voice was still soft and tender but his grip on the phone handle tightened.
”I ….. I……”
”Don’t force yourself…” Xiang Zhe didn’t want San Mei to force herself on anything, eventhough if she leaves again, he will miss her even more.
”I want to stay back!” San Mei wanted to stay back, she would like to remain here.
”Really” Xiang Zhe excitement and joy “transmitted” across to her through phone.
”Em!” San Mei nodded her head, smilling, she could feel Xue Zhang excitement too.
”That’s excellent! “ It was as though Xiang Zhe could see San Mei’s sweet smile, “San Mei, can we start all over again?” finally he said it out. The “heaviest” burden/anxiety that Xiang Zhe just laid down returned again…… he shouldn’t have said that, his request might hurt San Mei.
“San Mei, I’m sorry.” Not hearing San Mei’s reply, Xiang Zhe was worried and his heart ached with pity, “I am very sorry for what I have said just now, I am too selfish..has not taken into consideration what you think at all, “ he is really very sorry, it was he himself who had hurt San Mei…. It was him who had forgotten the past, “forgive me, I know you have been very unhappy, but I must say this, San Mei, I like you…. Eventhough I can’t remember the past already but I know that I really like you……” Xiang Zhe spoke out from the bottom of his hearts, hoping that San Mei will give him a second chance.
”San Mei……” Xiang Zhe was worried sick.
San Mei cried. When she heard Xue Zhang confessing he liked her , San Mei’s tears rolling down her cheeks, she couldn’t stop it at all, “Xue Zhang!”
”San Mei!” Xiang Zhe stood up urgently, he shouldn’t have hurt San Mei’s heart again, “I’m so sorry, San Mei……”
”Xue Zhang………….” San Mei wiped off her tears, feeling very happy but she didn’t wish Xue Zhang to say that he liked her because of guilt, “I’m fine. Listen to me, you do not have to feel guilty because of the past, and I do not wish Xue Zhang to feel this bondage because of this….”
”San Mei, if you can’t love someone completely, it’s as good as not loving him at all! I love you, because you are Zhen San Mei!” Xiang Zhe firmly declared his feelings towards her. He loved San Mei, because San Mei is San Mei! It’s got nothing to do with guilt!
”Xue Zhang!” San Mei tears started rolling down again, San Mei felt that she was the happiest person now.
”San Mei, can we start all over again?” Xiang Zhe asked tenderly.
”Em!” San Mei smiled sweetly, Xiang Zhe was smilling too.
Happiness had returned…………

”San Mei, why are you up so early?” Early in the morning, Gui Zheng saw San Mei in the kitchen already.
”I woke up early, so got up early too!” San Mei gave Papa a sweet smile. “but Papa is up very early too, and here’s your breakfast!”
”Em..Looks delicious!” Gui Zheng looked at the happy San Mei, realizing that the sadness in her sunshine was no longer evident, “Do you have anything that you would like to share with Papa?”
”I’m fine!” San Mei glanced at Gui Zheng, and smile again…
”Ai, how come you cook so much for breakfast?” Gui Zheng looked at all the food on the table, and San Mei was packing some into the box, “Where are you taking this to?”
”I am going to send this to Mama’s place later, she must be very busy this morning in the mini market, I will go there to help her!” San Mei packed up Chen Su’s breakfast nicely.
”Ah..” Gui Zheng smiled, “That one no need you to help, you just go enjoy yourself. I have nothing on today, so I’ll be going there later.”
”I’m full already, Papa, you enjoy yours ok? See you later!” San Mei puts down the bowl, picked up the lunch box and walk away.
”Why don’t want to eat already? Eat some more!”
”I am full already!” San Mei cheekily makes a funny face at Papa.
”Be careful on the road!”
”Ok!”
”San Mei took the lunch box, and arrived at Chen Su’s mini market happily.
San Mei’s guess was correct, goods arrived in the morning and Chen Su haven’t had the time to eat anything yet. San Mei asked Chen Su to eat her breakfast at the cashier’s counter there, and she helped Chen Su to tidy up things.
”Goods are here!” The delivery person arrived outside the shop. San Mei rushed out to received the goods.
”I’m sorry, this batch of stock arrived late today!” The delivery person apologized to her, “there are 6 boxes in total!”
”Thank you! No problem!”
”I’ll help you to carry these in.” The delivery person carried the stocks in box by box, Chen Su directed at the side.

San Mei stood outside the shop and saw one box left, so she carried it herself, she didn’t think it would be so heavy.
”Come, allow me!” A pair of big hands took away the box from San Mei’s hands.
”Xue Zhang!” San Mei was plesantly surprised to see Xiang Zhe.
Xiang Zhe blinked at San Mei, carrying the box inside. San Mei followed closely behind him.
”It’s Xiang Zhe ah!” Chen Su was surprised but happy to see Xiang Zhe.
”Excuse me, sorry to disturb!”
”No problem!” Chen Su hoped that San Mei and Xiang Zhe could get back together again, “San Mei, why don’t you and Xiang Zhe go out and have some fun!”
”Mama…..”San Mei looked at Xiang Zhe shyly , and running over to Chen Su.
”Go- lah!”
”But Papa is coming over in a short while, I’m………”
”I’ll let your Papa know! Anyway there’s nothing that you can help here! Just go out and have fun!” Chen Su “gave” San Mei to Xiang Zhe.
Xiang Zhe didn’t drive today, so San Mei and Xiang Zhe was walking shoulder to shoulder.
”Xue Zhang, don’t you have to work today?
”Today is rest day.” Xiang Zhe smiled, he didn’t want to work on a rest day now.
San Mei glanced at the casually dressed Xue Zhang, … it reminded her of the Xue Zhang in London. Honestly, Xue Zhang was really very good looking! Thinking of that made San Mei smile. Xiang Zhe saw the happily smiling San Mei, “What’s the matter?”
”Secret!” She doesn’t want to say, but gazing at Xue Zhang’s curious look, San Mei laughed even more joyously.
”Xue Zhang, have you eaten your breakfast?” Xue Zhang came over so early, had he eated his breakfast?
”You are changing the subject….”
”I am concerned about you mah!”
Listening to San Mei’s speech, Xiang Zhe turned around to look at San Mei, his heart was swelled, “San Mei……”
Being looked by Xiang Zhe, San Mei felt kind of awkward, and asked, “Have you taken your breakfast or not?”
”Not yet!” Xiang Zhe answered her truthfully. He really haven’t eatenanything yet, because he missed her so much and wanted to see her soon…. So he came over early in the morning, standing in front of San Mei’s house waiting. Surprisingly San Mei had gone out so early. Xiang Zhe followed behind San Mei to Chen Su’s shop ….but he didn’t want her to know that .
”Then let’s go for breakfast now!”
”No need! I am not hungry……”
”How can you do that! How can people skip their breakfast?! Breakfast is the most important meal of the day!” San Mei lifted Xiang Zhe’s arm, “let’s go, we shall go for breakfast! I know a very good restaurant nearby!”
Xiang Zhe happily agreed, allowing San Mei to pull his arm without any objection……

CHAPTER 6 - XUE ZHANG, HAVE YOU REALLY FORGOTTEN EVERYTHING?


Xiang Zhe and San Mei spent the whole morning scouting round Han Jiang Park, the duo's spirit were high. They only noticed it's time for lunch when San Mei's stomach began to growl. Xiang Zhe had wanted to bring San Mei for something special but she said, "A burger is good enough!"
In the end, both sat on the grass to enjoy the most delicious burger and drank the most refreshing Coke...
"Xue Zhang, are you sure you need not return to work?" That was the nth times San Mei asked him the question. Xiang Zhe looked at San Mei, "No need, it's my off day." Xiang Zhe was delighted he could spend some time with San Mei, furthermore their date today was different, San Mei didn't seem to realize it yet.
"But you are the Director, and....."
"Precisely because I'm the Director, the head of department, it's more critical to take a break on an off day. Otherwise, what should I do when my brain resembles a blur patch on Monday?" Xiang Zhe retorted jokingly.
"Is that so?" San Mei will never believe Xue Zhang's brains would resemble a blur patch.
"Why are you asking? You have something in mind?" Yin Xiang Zhe was acting true to his colours, he sensed right away San Mei had something in her mind.
"Em, my dad is inviting everyone to come over tonight,..." San Mei was a little shy, "Papa is announcing his the news of his impending marriage... Xue Zhang, would you like to come?"
"Are you planning to exclude me in the invitation?" Xiang Zhe deliberately remarked in a disappointing tone, It's good news that uncle was getting married.
"Of course not..." San Mei didn't want Xue Zhang to misunderstand her intentions, she hurried to explain.
Xiang Zhe glanced at San Mei, and could help laughing at her. He wasn't sure why he just loved teasing her, "I understand what you meant! I'll definitely be there, and will give you a hand in saying something nice!"
"Xue Zhang!" San Mei looked at Xiang Zhe in petulance. She really hoped Xue Zhang would be by her side.
"By the way, Xue Zhang, I really need to thank you!" San Mei thanked Xiang Zhe in all seriousness.
"Huh?" Xiang Zhe was perturbed, she was no longer angry?
"What's up?"
"Thank you for taking care of my parents while I was away studying in US. Thank you very much, Xue Zhang!" there were tears in San Mei's eyes. She shouldn't have left papa and mama behind and went to US. She was sincerely grateful to Xue Zhang.
...
"San Mei!" Xiang Zhe stretched out his hands to wipe away her tears gently.
...
"I'm sorry!" San Mei was very embarrassed, she had just cried again.
"You are really a cry baby!" Xiang Zhe smiled.
"I am not!..." Cry baby? That sounded terrible! San Mei glared at him, she will not admit to that, "I didn't cry just now!"
"Is that so?" Xiang Zhe's smile widen, "Ok...­ so you didn't cry...."
Those words sounded familiar...­ Xiang Zhe was slightly confused, something kept lurking at the back of his mind...
"Xue Zhang.­.." San Mei looked at Xiang Zhe anxiously, "What's wrong, aren't you feeling well? Or is it a headache?"
"It's nothing.. don't worry." Xiang Zhe gathered his thoughts together.
"Are you sure?" San Mei was still very worried, Xue Zhang's head..
"I am fine, don't worry your little head off!" Xiang Zhe reassured San Mei, he was honestly alright, and "San Mei, can we go shopping in the afternoon?"
"Ah?" San Mei stared at Xiang Zhe in surprise. Didn't all men hate shopping? Didn't they think it's very annoying? "Xue Zhang?"
"You were away from Seoul for so long, furthermore I would like to find out what are the current...in things in the mall. It's useful information for our TV programs..." Actually Xiang Zhe already have some plans in mind, but he didn't want to reveal to her yet, so he just use work as an excuse,... "so, want to go or not?"
"Ok!" As Xiang Zhe expected, San Mei agreed right away...
The reason being she feared being a hindrance to his work, Xiang Zhe smiled. But how could he be so sure about it? Seeing the joy in Xiang Zhe's face, San Mei knew she must have unknowingly fallen prey to his tricks, but couldn't put a finger on what it could be...­ it's no bid deal to just go...­.hopefully Xue Zhang won't lose his patience later.

In a jewellery shop
"Xue Zhang?" Glancing at how enthusiastic Xiang Zhe was in his search, San Mei couldn't comprehend his behavior. This was the 4th shop they had visited, was Xue Zhang interested in the jewellery business? Why didn't he enquire about the price?
"San Mei, what do you think of this?" Xiang Zhe pointed at a pair of earrings inside the window display.
San Mei took a look at it, the pair of earrings was simple but elegant, and oozed an aura of serenity. Xue Zhang really possessed impeccable good taste.
Xiang Zhe gazed at San Mei's absorption, and smiled slightly, "Miss, can you retrieve this"­... The sales assistant took it out, placing the earrings in front of them.
"It's really beautiful...­." San Mei gave an approving sigh.
"Miss, I'll take this then!"
"Ok, I'll wrap it up for you, sir."
"Xue Zhang?"
"You must accept this present, no matter what..." Xiang Zhe looked at San Mei with a smile.
"Present?" Why would Xue Zhang buy her a gift?
Xiang Zhe gazed at the perturbed San Mei, and explained with a laughed, "The present's for your parents!"
"Ah??" San Mei ˇ®s mind cleared. She should get Papa and Mama a gift too. Xue Zhang was very thoughtful! And he is reallyˇ­. very nice!
Gazing at the changes of expressions on San Mei's face, from her confusion to realisation, then to pouting her lips for she didn't like to lose, and finally her honey sweet smile...They're so cute! Xiang Zhe laughed too, ...and laughed with great happiness!
.....
Xue Zhang just bought two bottle of wines for Papa, ...Xue Zhang had already bought gifts for Papa and Mama, what should I buy then?... San Mei was very troubled! She searched around with her eyes.. and Xiang Zhe happily following close behind... San Mei stopped her pace abruptly, that's it! San Mei smiled sweetly.
"San Mei?" It was Xiang Zhe's turn to be confused, what have crossed her mind?
"My god! It's 5pm already!" San Mei glanced at her watch, "Xue Zhang, let's go home now!"
"Now?"
"Yup! I need to go back and help Papa and Mama prepare dinner, Zhao Di, Chen Sui and Seniors might have arrived?"
"Shouldn't be, they should all still be at work..­. Hmmm... I got it...­ you are scared that everyone might see you and found out that you are back without informing them, right?" Xiang Zhe gazed amusedly at the San Mei who was still trying to argue her way out with her explanations.
"it's not like this!" Xue Zhang was always making fun of her! But San Mei couldn't resist laughing too, she truly loved to laugh....


Chapter 6-2 : Xue Zhang, Have You Really Forgotten Everything?


The doorbell rang.

“Coming!” Gui Cheng hastened to open the door.

Xian Da, Yong Xi, Qing Xi, Zhao Di, everyone from Studio One came over, except for the two new recruits.

“All of you came together.” Gui Cheng was overjoyed, and welcomed everybody into the house.
“That’s right. We came together right after work.” Xian Da explained, “Congratulations….”
“Congratulations…”

Chen Su exits from the kitchen, “please take a seat, dinner will be served in a moment.”

They sat around the couch, congratulating Gui Cheng and Chen Su.

“This is a gift from Yong Xi and I …” Chen Sui intercepted Xian Da’s courteous congratulating speech midway, “Uncle and aunty, this is a gift from Zhao Di and I…” Zhao Di, leaned against Chen Sui, glaring at him with dissatisfaction. “Zhui Chen Sui!” Chen Sui and Zhao Di were fighting over their honeymoon travel arrangements and Chen Sui seized the opportunity to make amends.

That tickled everyone into laughter and Xian Da stared at Chen Sui in amusement.

“If all of us is sitting around like this, who is going to get dinner ready?” The crowd looked at each other, puzzled. That was indeed a good question! Gui Cheng and Chen Su were chatting with them the whole time, who would be preparing dinner? Gui Chen and Chen Su exchanged a knowing glance and smiled.

“Don’t worry! Dinner will definitely be served; we need only wait here to eat. “ Gui Chen grinned happily. His guests looked at one another in consternation.

“Dinner is ready, come over please!” A familiar sweet clear voice transmitted from the direction of the kitchen, followed by the sweet petite figure of a girl.

“How are you?” Shan Mei bends her head in a deep bow, complimented by the pure, beautiful sweet smile on her face.
“Shan Mei!?” They cried out in surprise.
“Shan Mei!” Zhao Di dashed over, hugging Shan Mei. “When did you return maid?” The rest of the gang moved over to surround her. Shan Mei felt sincerely apologetic, but was embarrassed at everybody’s attentive stare.
“That’s enough, don’t interrogate Shan Mei any further.” This time it was Xiang Zhe who walked out from the kitchen.
“Xiang Zhe?”
“Director Yin!” There was another round of amazed cries, the ‘surprises’ for the day were too big for them to stomach. In the midst of the group’s surprised gasps, Xiang Zhe quietly rescued Shan Mei from the group’s questioning looks, and he lightly held on to her hand.

Dinner began!
“Shan Mei, when did you return? Why didn’t you call to inform us?” Chen Sui did not forget his question.
“I arrived on Wednesday afternoon, I am really sorry, “ Shan Mei was apologetic, “ because I decided to return immediately, there wasn’t sufficient time to notify you.” Shan Mei smiled ruefully.
“That’s fine! It’s really fabulous that we are all gathered together on such a happy occasion!” Chen Sui started to “preach” in a loud voice.
“Yes, Shan Mei, do not be troubled!” Qing Xi stood next to Shan Mei, “nobody will hold you responsible or blame you!”
“The soup has such a fresh taste!” Xian Da sighed appreciatively.
“It’s really delicious!” The group voiced their agreement.
“Xue Zhang cooked that!” Shan Mei wanted to change the subject, but did not foresee being harassed over another sensitive matter.
“Xiang Zhe, you cooked this?” Xiang Zhe sensed trouble looming against the horizon at Xian Da’s question.
“Director Yin’s cooking skills is first class!” Chen Sui couldn’t stop complementing.
“But, why are you at Shan Mei’s house?” Xian Da and co got to know that the wedding was the following Sunday after receiving Gui Cheng’s wedding invitation. He had asked them to meet up today, but the group had wondered why he hadn’t waited for Shan Mei to return? Xian Da discovered later Xiang Zhe was on leave, though it wasn’t a working day, but in the past –
He intended to tell him, but he was uncontactable … he never thought he’d meet him at Shan Mei’s house… Shan Mei and Xiang Zhe? Every pair of eyes was fixed expectantly at the two people in question.

Shan Mei lowered her head, her face was flushed. Xiang Zhe sat next to her, he stretched out his hand, catching hers under the table, he faced everyone with a smile, including Shan Mei’s parents –

Gui Cheng and Chen Su were similarly perplexed, before Xian Da and the gang arrived, Shan Mei and Xiang Zhe came together. Gui Cheng and Chen Su didn’t probe them… and now, everybody is waiting for Shan Mei and Xiang Zhe’s explanation.

“Today is the most important day for uncle and aunty. I too have a very important matter to announce. Shan Mei and I have decided to begin our relationship afresh. Uncle and aunty, I am truly sorry I have caused so many disturbances in the past, and have hurt Shan Mei. But it won’t happen again from today onwards.” Xiang Zhe gazed at Shan Mei with deep love. Shan Mei’s eyes glistened with tears.
“Xue Zhang…” The fingers entwined together under the table tightened their grip.
Gui Cheng and Chen Su gazed at Xiang Zhe with trust and admiration. Everyone’s gaze were fixed on the besotted Yin Xiang Zhe who had just made his declaration of love. They were thoroughly amazed! Regardless of his amnesia, Yin Xiang Zhe’s love life consisted of one person alone, regardless of time, one person alone could bring Yin Xiang Zhe to declare his love so deeply and tenderly…

“Let’s have a toast! May Uncle, Aunty, and all happy couples present be blessed!” Chen Sui was the first to recover. All present lifted their glasses for a toast with excitement…. Xiang Zhe swerved his head round to gaze at Shan Mei. Shan Mei responded with a beautiful radiant smile…

“There are so many gifts!” Zhao Di assisted Shan Mei to bring out all the gifts she brought from the United States. No one was left out, and Zhao Di had two, one of them a wedding gifts.

“Thank you!”

“By the way, you two must have prepared a present for Papa and Mama?” Xian Da glanced meaningfully at Xiang Zhe. He couldn’t resist pulling his junior’s leg. His junior was full of surprises, wasn’t his pace a tag too fast? But, it was definitely … very good!

Xiang Zhe got out the present and handed it to Gui Cheng and Chen Su.

“The brandy – is really not bad!” Gui Cheng was delighted with the choice of gift, it was indeed a joyous day! They suggested testing out the brandy, it was superb!

Sighs of appreciation surrounded Chen Su the moment she opened the gift. “The earrings are exquisite!” Chen Su loved the gift, Xiang Zhe was so thoughtful.

“Where are yours, Shan Mei?” Taken by curiosity, Chen Sui asked. Everyone turned towards Shan Mei’s direction, Xiang Zhe was also curious. Shan Mei acted a little mysteriously since they returned.

“Err, please wait for a while…” Shan Mei switched on the laptop she had earlier placed on the table, and ran hurriedly up the stairs. All pairs of eyes followed Shan Mei with wonder. Shan Mei turned round to switch off the lights, “You are requested to close your eyes …” What was Shan Mei up to?

“It’s ready!” The group opened their eyes, displayed on the laptop screen were:-

“Especially for Papa and Mama whom I shall love forever …
Beautiful fireworks were next displayed, followed by copies of old photographs against the background of fireworks. All were completely absorbed in the PowerPoint show, but Xiang Zhe noticed Shan Mei wasn’t around, he looked out of the window …. The last sentence shown on the laptop screen were – Please come outside immediately! Without hesitation, the group adjourned outside the house…

Shan Mei’s smile was honey sweet as she stood, holding up a signage with both her hands. The lights twinkled with the message “Especially for My Dearest Papa and Mama, May All Of You Be Forever Blessed With Happiness!”

Despite the brief time of a few seconds, the beauty of the moment was captured and engraved in the hearts of everybody... The gifts of the laptop presentation and twinkling lights were presents Shan Mei prepared when she missed them. Tai Xi and Bell kept them after she returned home.

“Shan Mei!” Gui Cheng and Chen Su were both in tears.
“Pa, Ma!” The trio embraced one another in a circle of love.


“Thank you! Rest early after you arrive home!”
“Goodbye!”
“Goodnight!”
Their guests left….

Shan Mei insisted seeing Xiang Zhe off part of the journey. “Xue Zhang, I shall see you off part of the way…” Xue Zhang didn’t drive. He had also declined Xian Da’s offer, citing the reason of not wanting to inconvenience him… that was the reason Shan Mei and Xiang Zhe were now strolling together …. The night air was chilly, Shan Mei had Xiang Zhe’s windbreaker on her …
“Ah, it’s raining!” Xiang Zhe grabbed Shan Mei’s hand, finding shelter from the rain in one of the shops.
“Are you cold?” Xiang Zhe looked at Shan Mei with concern.
“I am fine! Xue Zhang doesn’t need to worry.” Shan Mei shook her head, she gazed at Xiang Zhe worriedly. Xue Zhang had given her his windbreaker, and he was drenched. “Xue Zhang, you –“

Two persons ran in haste to take shelter beneath the roof at that moment, and they accidentally knocked against Shan Mei. In reflex action, Xiang Zhe hugged Shan Mei and gathered her into his embrace… he released her slowly.
“I am sorry!” The person who ran into Shan Mei apologised.
“It’s okay!” Shan Mei was slightly overwhelmed, she bowed her head shyly. But there wasn’t sufficient space; Xiang Zhe and Shan Mei leaned close to one another.

The cab came. Xiang Zhe brought Shan Mei back before returning home.

What happened a moment ago kept Xiang Zhe and Shan Mei awake for most of the night.
A rainy night sometime ago, Xue Zhang and she … Xue Zhang said he would release her … thinking about that brought memories of another rainy night, the night Xue Zhang lost his memory. Shan Mei’s vision became blurred, memories of the past surfaced within her heart … the Xue Zhang and her now, was it a dream?


Wen Rong Hospital

“Xue Zhang, don’t you remember a thing?” Shan Mei gazed at Xiang Zhe who was lying on the hospital bed with tears glistening in her eyes, how could this happen? She had waited for three days before Xue Zhang regained consciousness, but Xue Zhang had lost his memory. And the memory he lost was during the period they were together. Shan Mei couldn’t believe and was reluctant to believe it. The relief and joy she experienced when she discovered Xue Zhang had regained consciousness turned into inexpressible pain … Shan Mei forced down her tears. “Xue Zhang, have you really forgotten everything?” She had hoped against all hope Xue Zhang would shake his head, but what she saw was Xiang Zhe’s silent accent. Shan Mei couldn’t hold back her tears any longer, her heart couldn’t take it either. Xue Zhang, how could you forget? Shan Mei left Xiang Zhe’s room, she dashed out, disregarding the raindrops slapping furiously on her frail frame.

Gazing at the departing figure of Shan Mei, Xiang Zhe was terribly confused. He knew he didn’t want to see her weep, but he had to nod his head honestly, because his brain was a mass of white vacuum. Glancing at the heavy rain outside the window, Xiang Zhe said the three words with great difficulty, “I am sorry!”

For the next few weeks, Shan Mei visited Xiang Zhe everyday, and spoke to him about the past. Xiang Zhe listened quietly, he wanted desperately to remember, but his head hurt… all his friends came, they too tried to assist Xiang Zhe in regaining his memory. But everyone’s effort was in vain… During that period of time, Shan Mei’s companion was her brokenhearted tears. There wasn’t a night which passed without her tears drenching the pillows. The Shan Mei during the day though would smile sweetly at her beloved Xue Zhang … it was absolutely dreadful …

Shan Mei didn’t want to give up, but she had always taken the needs of others into consideration before her own. She knew Xue Zhang would feel pressured by her presence in the long run, and she would be a stumbling block. Shan Mei decided to leave, allowing both of them to start their lives afresh. That would signify the end of their relationship, and though she was saddened, Xue Zhang was free to lead a life of his own. He didn’t have to look at her with guilt. That was the reason she chose to leave, it seemed to be the only option available to her at that time, though she would miss her father, her aunty, her friends and her Xue Zhang.

_____________________________________________________________________________________

Shan Mei’s heart was heavy. A year apart had contributed to the heaviness she felt within heart. In the short time of four days after coming home, it felt as if they had returned to old times, Xue Zhang was - ? Her feelings were mixed, a combination of honey sweetness, sadness, pain and confusion. She fell asleep with those mixed emotions.

Xiang Zhe couldn’t sleep after returning home either, Shan Mei and him … he smiled at the thought. He hoped Shan Mei and him could be together. Embracing the sweetness of hope, Xiang Zhe fell asleep but was jolted awake by his dreams. Reality and dreams overlapped, what occurred earlier … Xiang Zhe’s mind became clearer, the images in his memory kept pushing his way, what are they …?

CHAPTER 7 – MY WISH WAS TO LET ZHEN SHAN MEI UNDERSTAND YIN XIANG ZHE’S FEELING!

Author: Ming Wei Xue
Translated with author’s consent by: nho

A week later, Gui Cheng and Chen Su held a simple and happy wedding. Everyone attended and Ying Mei also sent her blessings.

Shan Mei finally went back to MBS to resume work at the First Anchor’s office. Shan Mei took over from Yong Xi to host the new version of “Eve’s Morning” as well as returned to “Tonight’s Postcard” which she loved. As for the other assignments, she had yet to wait for further arrangements. The new version of “Eve’s Morning” were co-hosted by Shan Mei and two novices, Kim Gi Lan and Lee Choon Ming and the Anchor Expedition and Arts Window would be co-ordinated by journalist Kim Qing Wah and novice Pei Na Xian; entertainment and sport news were to be reported by Cui Chen Sui, whereas Lee Qing Xi would still be responsible for the financial segment and the additional new segment on audience interaction would be taken charge by Shan Mei.

The new version of “Eve’s Morning” was finally being broadcast. Everyone was getting nervous, because if the viewers’ rating was not satisfactory, the program would be replaced in the next quarter!

Xiang Zhe was on the filming site and the colleagues from the First Anchor’s office who were not on duty were watching before the TV.

“Hello everyone! I am Zhen Shan Mei! I am happy to see you all again in such a beautiful morning!” Shan Mei was wearing her brilliant smile.

“I am Kim Gi Lan! I hope the audience would give tremendous support to the new version of the Eve’s Morning.”

“I am Lee Choon Ming! I am so happy to be able to meet with you this morning.”

“Today’s weather is not too bad, how about your mood? For a start, let us hear first what Miss Kim Gi Lan has brought to us – the Happy Jigsaw!” Shan Mei was hosting the program in a natural and light-hearted way.

“Good! …”

…………..

At the end of the program, Shan Mei, Kim Gi Lan, Cui Chen Sui and Lee Qing Xi went back to the First Anchor’s office together.

“Congratulations! The viewers’ rating for the first day is 21.1% We have to continue to work harder!” Xian Da encouraged them.

“Shan Mei, your performance was not too bad! Even though you have been away from so long, you still acted so naturally!” Yong Xi admired Shan Mei’s natural way of hosting the program.

“Senior, you are flattering me.” Shan Mei smiled with embarrassment. “Actually I was feeling very nervous, it was Gi Lan who gave me confidence!”

“It was not the case.” Seeing everyone’s eyes were on herself, Kim Gi Lan was feeling embarrassed. “I just told Shan Mei Xue Jie that she was my idol!”

“Yes, it was these words that set my heart at ease!” Shan Mei smiled; she really had to thank Kim Gi Lan.

“Aye, Gi Lan, why didn’t you call Shan Mei Senior?”

“It’s me who asked her not to call me that.” Shan Mei immediately explained on Kim Gi Lan’s behalf, “It is making me feel embarrassed. I have just come back and I can be considered as half new here … that is why Gi Lan can call me Xue Jie!”

“OK! Please go back to work everyone!”

………………..

It was lunchtime and everyone went out to lunch one after another leaving behind Chen Sui and Yong Xi (Xian Da had a lunch meeting).

“Shan Mei, let have lunch together!” Chen Sui asked.

“I can’t, I have things to do.”

“Then I will go first ...”

“OK.”

Shan Mei’s cell phone was ringing, “Hello, this is Zhen Shan Mei!”

“It’s me.” It was Xiang Zhe.

“Oh …” Shan Mei looked at Yong Xi and felt embarrassed.

“Let’s have lunch together!”

“No, I can’t! I have to deal with something. You better eat first and I am going to hang up.”

“Wait a moment. I will leave a message for you in your cell phone in the evening and we will have dinner together.”

“OK!” Shan Mei hanged up in a hurry.

“Was it Xiang Zhe?” Yong Xi smilingly looked at Shan Mei.

“Yes, it was Xue Chang.”

“Why don’t you go?”

“I have some errands to do and I will have to go later.”

“Then come with me after your errands. Xian Da is too busy.”

“OK, then please wait for me for a while.”

“Shan Mei, it looks as if you don’t like to meet with Xiang Zhe in the office.” Yong Xi noticed that Shan Mei was trying her best to stay away from Xiang Zhe in the office.

“It is not like that. I just don’t want to get back to where we were before. I don’t want to cause Xue Chang and myself troubles …” Shan Mei explained with embarrassment.

A person as clever as Yong Xi would surely understand. From the beginning when Shan Mei returned to MBS, although no one said anything, their eyes were watching them! If Shan Mei could not give good performances, rumours could really be hurting and as in the past, it would be more difficult to gain recognition! Not to say her present relationship with Xiang Zhe … she could see that Xiang Zhe loved Shan Mei dearly, but when would Xiang Zhe recover his memory! There was really a knot in Shan Mei’s heart!

“Shan Mei, pep up! I believe in your real strength!” Yong Xi had watched the BBS program and Shan Mei was really terrific and her performance today was excellent; one could see Shan Mei had benefited from her studies in the States.

“Thank you, Senior! It is the second round of encouragement I got from Senior today, I am so happy!” Shan Mei’s smile was so brilliant, “Let’s go out and eat! Or else we will get an admonition from the Supervisor!”

“OK.” Yong Xi smiled in reply.

…………………..

INSIDE A PUB NEAR MBS

“Look at you, you better hurry up and leave!” Xian Da looked at Xiang Zhe who kept looking at his watch and could not help teasing him, “You have a date? Be careful or I will tell Shan Mei!” Xian Da made the dig intentionally, knowing full well the relationship between Xiang Zhe and Shan Mei was progressing very well

Xiang Zhe smiled. He would pick her up later but there was still a lot of time.

As Shan Mei was now taping “Tonight’s Postcard”, he could not go and disturb her and also as Shan Mei had taken over two more programs which were in planning stage, she was extremely busy.

“You are here!”

After reading the news, Yong Xi came to join them, “What are you talking about?”

“It is about Shan Mei!” Xian Da cut in before Xiang Zhe and he asked with deep concern, “Yong Xi, are you tired?”

“I am fine!” Yong Xi smiled, Xian Da really doted on her, “Xiang Zhe, please don’t worry, Shan Mei is still taping the program, she is fine. If you are so worry, why didn’t you wait for her at the office?”

Hearing that Shan Mei was fine, Xiang Zhe smiled, “I don’t want to give her too much pressure.” There was deep affection and tenderness in the tone of his voice.

Even though Shan Mei never complained to him about anything relating to work, Xiang Zhe knew that his past and present relationship with Shan Mei had caused Shan Mei extreme pressure. Seeing that Shan Mei wrinkling her brows due to work pressure, Xiang Zhe’s heart would be aching too, but he would not let her go no matter what; to him, all that mattered was to be with Shan Mei. Therefore he would wholeheartedly respect Shan Mei, treasure Shan Mei … and would try his utmost to untie Shan Mei’s knot in her heart. He also wanted her to know that Yin Xiang Zhe’s love for Zhen Shan Mei would never change … thinking of Shan Mei’s smile, Xiang Zhe smiled too.

Yong Xi and Xian Da saw the profound love in Xiang Zhe’s eyes and they could now let down their worries; seeing Xiang Zhe’s blessed smile also made Yong Xi and Xian Da think of Shan Mei’s sunshine smile. Both of them also smiled, Xiang Zhe fell in love with the right person and only Shan Mei could enter into Xiang Zhe’s heart, letting him know what real love was …

This quarter soon ended, the viewer’s rating for “Eve’s Morning” continuously maintained a steady rate. Everyone could now breathe a sigh of relief. During the weekend, Xiang Zhe treated everyone to a short trip to Cheju Island.

In the evening, Xiang Zhe finally had a chance to spend sometime with Shan Mei alone.

They walked shoulder to shoulder along the small path; Xiang Zhe was enjoying the evening’s coolness and tranquillity.

“Xue Chang, thank you for bringing everyone to this beautiful place.” Shan Mei loved this place, “Here is so peaceful and beautiful and it also has a refreshing and delicate faint fragrance.”

“Refreshing and delicate faint fragrance?” Xiang Zhe laughingly looked at Shan Mei.

“Yes, can you smell it? Here, the air is totally different from that in Seoul!”

“Really?” Xiang Zhe took a deep breath and slowly exhaled it; it was really very refreshing!

Shan Mei stared at Xiang Zhe and waited for his reply, “How is that?”

“It’s really very wonderful!” Xiang Zhe loudly exclaimed, Shan Mei laughed and that laughter was so intoxicating …

………………..

“The stars here are also very bright! Aren’t they, Xue Chang?” Shan Mei watched the sky, “I am so blessed!”

Xiang Zhe looked at Shan Mei and asked smilingly, “We can always come back later to watch the stars again, shall we?”

“Can we really do that?” Xiang Zhe nodded, Shan Mei happily held on to Xiang Zhe’s arm and cried out loudly, “It is fantastic! Xue Chang, you are really nice!” Looking at the enthusiastic Shan Mei, Xiang Zhe decided to say what was in his heart, because he could sense the restlessness in Shan Mei’s heart ….

“Xue Chang, do you think there will be shooting stars tonight?”

“Maybe.” Xiang Zhe was still pondering how to express his feeling in words?

“Shooting stars! Xue Chang, you are so effacicous!” Shan Mei squealed, turning her head to find that Xiang Zhe was making a wish with his eyes closed.

“Xue Chang, what wish were you making?” Shan Mei curiously looked at Xiang Zhe.

“My wish is to let Zhen Shan Mei understand Yin Xiang Zhe’s true feeling!” Xiang Zhe looked at Shan Mei with profound love, “Shan Mei, I love you! Regardless of yesterday, today and tomorrow, I love you!”

“Xue Chang?” The gate to Shan Mei’s heart was all a sudden opened and her eyes reddened. She had once really worried, really hesitated but Xue Chang walked right into her heart and truly understood how she felt …

Xiang Zhe picked up Shan Mei’s hands, “Shan Mei, let me untie the knot in your heart, please accept my love!”

“Xue Chang!” Shan Mei was crying, she really loved Xue Chang, had worried that Xue Chang would … but now she would not do it anymore, “Xue Chang, thank you!”

“Shan Mei!” Xiang Zhe looked at Shan Mei deeply and kissed away her tears …

The nightly sky was really very beautiful!

Xue Chang gave everyone big favours by providing each of them their own room, such as a Xian Da and Yong Xi were given a double-bed suite and Director Yin and Zhen Shan Mei had their room directly opposite to each.

“Goodnight!” Xiang Zhe took Shan Mei to the hotel room door, and reluctantly bade Shan Mei goodbye.

“Goodnight Xue Chang.” Shan Mei’s face was brushing red and her sweet smile was so enchanting.

“Go in.” Although reluctantly.

“Huh.” Shan Mei went inside and Xiang Zhe watched the door with a blessed smile, a good plan was shaping up in his mind, “See you tomorrow, Shan Mei …”

Shan Mei took a bath, laid on her bed thinking of what Xiang Zhe said a moment ago and could not go to sleep …

“Ring, ring, ring …” Shan Mei’s cell phone was ringing. “Hello? This is Zhen Shan Mei!” Shan Mei took the call immediately.

“Guess where we are at this moment?”

“Belle?” Shan Mei was pleasantly surprised, “Where are you? Where have you gone to these days?” When Shan Mei first took over the new program, they met with each other once and then Bern Belle and Gao Tai Xi seemed to have disappeared from this earth and just left her an email telling her that they had gone travelling …

“Don’t ask about our business, please just guess where we are now!”

“Where?” How could she guess? For once, Shan Mei could not give a prompt response.

“Listen carefully …” Bern Belle and Gao Tai Xi called loudly from the end of the phone, “Cheju Island!”

“What?” Shan Mei couldn’t believe it, “You are also here?”

“Right! We have been staying here for three days!” Gao Tai Xi smiled, “When we returned to the hotel tonight, we heard some celebrities arrived from Seoul and Belle guessed you must be among them …”

“But, we have just got confirmation … because we saw you!” Belle and Tai Xi could imagine Shan Mei’s face reddened at the other end of the phone, they could not help but glanced at each other and smiled.

“Tell quickly, who is he? …” Shan Mei’s face blushed red, as if she was a little kid being caught at doing something wrong.

“Aye …” Shan Mei really did not know how to deal with the pair of the “curious babies”.

“Actually, he is Xue Chang …”

“It’s Xue Chang? The one you mentioned before?” Belle exclaimed, “Finally you are getting together again? It is wonderful!” He could understand Shan Mei’s feeling? It would be terrific if that was the case!

“Yes, it is Xue Chang!” Shan Mei exhaled a long breath, her voice very gentle, that was her Xue Chang …

“Congratulations!”” Hearing the happiness and blessedness in Shan Mei’s voice, Bern Belle and Gao Tai Xi ceased to worry, and they were fully aware that with Shan Mei’s character, she would not tell more, so they decided not to ask more awkward questions. Between good friends, it was enough just to show that you cared.

………….

“Let us spend the day together tomorrow, shall we?”

“Good!” Shan Mei agreed. She really wanted to introduce her beloved Xue Chang to her two good friends and let Xue Chang share her happiness …

“Then that is settled, see you tomorrow morning! Goodnight!”

“Good! Good night!”

Shan Mei carried her friends’ blessings and her lover’s sweetness to bed and dreamed beautifully …

CHAPTER 8 - OH, I AM SO HAPPY!



The next day, Shan Mei woke up early in the morning. She dressed up and was about to go out when the door bell rang.

“It’s still early, who will that be?” Shan Mei murmured to herself and opened the door.

“Good morning miss! Here is your breakfast.” The steward politely greeted Shan Mei.

“Good morning! But I have not ordered any breakfast!” Shan Mei was puzzled.

“This was ordered by Mr. Yin at Room 607!” The steward smilingly explained, handed a breakfast box to the surprised Shan Mei and departed deftly.

“Xue Chang, really … why did he sent over the breakfast?” Shan Mei took the breakfast box inside her room. She was hoping to have breakfast with Xue Chang! This breakfast box looked weird and it was long and flat.

Shan Mei opened the breakfast box and could not stop smiling – inside the box was a stem of pale red rose still wearing the morning dew! Attached to the rose was a small card.

“Xue Chang!” Shan Mei smiled and her eyes blurred with tears, her brilliant smile resembled the pale red rose with the morning dews.

Shan Mei picked up the rose which bore the delicate fragrance of the morning dew and which gave one a spiritual uplift.

Shan Mei opened the card:

“Miss Zhen Shan Mei, let us have breakfast together! – Y.”

At the same moment, the doorbell rang again and Shan Mei rushed to open the door.

“Xue Chang! …”

“Good morning Shan Mei! Long time no see!” Aiyo, it was Bern Belle and Gao Tai Xi.

“Oh, it’s you two …” Shan Mei was a little embarrassed. “Good morning!”

“You look disappointed?” Bern Belle sized up Shan Mei.

“No, I’m not!” Shan Mei smiled apologetically, but she was really thrilled to see her good friends!

Watching Shan Mei’s smile as brilliant as the morning sun, Bern Belle and Gao Tai Xi smiled too.

“I don’t care!” Bern Belle came forward to give Shan Mei a big big hug, saying “I miss you so much, Shan Mei!”

“I miss you too!” Shan Mei was telling the truth, she was missing her two good friends.

Bern Belle released Shan Mei and smile sweetly.

“I discover that Shan Mei is getting prettier everytime I see her again!” Gao Tai Xi also stepped forward to give Shan Mei a big hug. Shan Mei could not refuse, he was the same old Tai Xi.

“Xue Chang!” Shan Mei saw Xiang Zhe from the shoulder of Tai Xi. No one noticed when he appeared and stood at the opposite door.

Bern Belle found Xiang Zhe before Shan Mei was made aware of his presence. Could she believe her own eyes? The man was so dashing! So handsome and outstanding, elegant and confident. However there was a hint of anger in his eyes.

Tai Xi released Shan Mei and turned to look behind.

“Xue Chang!” Shan Mei happily faced Xiang Zhe and she stretched out her hands to hold on to his upper arm, “Good morning!”

Xiang Zhe seeing Shan Mei’s brilliant smile, was unable to restrain his smile too.

Bern Belle who was standing aside, was astonished to see this handsome guy who could change his stance so quickly – the hint of anger was in an instance changed to profound gentleness!

“Xue Chang, they are the good friends I met in the States!” Shan Mei held on to Xiang Zhe and introduced him her two good friends. “This is Tai Xi, and he is a computer expert. This is Belle, Bern Belle! Girlfriend of Tai Xi! …”

“How are you doing?” I am Yin Xiang Zhe.” Xiang Zhe smilingly greeted Bern Belle and Gao Tai Xi. Hearing the words “girlfriend” livened up Xiang Zhe’s mood.

“How are you? I am Gao Tai Xi.” Tai Xi also carefully sized up Xiang Zhe. This was the guy Shan Mei was crazy about!

“How are you? I am Bern Belle.” Belle smiling asked Shan Mei, “Are we still going to breakfast together?”

“Let’s go together!” Xiang Zhe smilingly turned to Shan Mei and asked, “Shan Mei?”

“Good!” Shan Mei turned pink in the face and agreed.

So the four of them went to the restaurant.

Belle pulled Shan Mei to walk ahead and Xiang Zhe and Tai Xi followed behind.

“That is the “Xue Chang” you often mentioned when you were in the States?”

“Yes!” Shan Mei was feeling embarrassed.

“Aye, Shan Mei, you never said he is so dashing!” Belle smilingly murmured.

This made Shan Mei all the more embarrassed and luckily Berne Belle did not continue …

The four of them came to the restaurant, and all the people from the First Anchor’s Office arrived simultaneously. They greeted each other and Shan Mei introduced Gao Tai Xi and Bern Belle to each of them.

“Shan Mei, how can you be like this?” Zhao Di suddenly cried out loud.

“What’s wrong?” Shan Mei looked at Zhao Di uncomprehendingly. From the moment they met up, she found Zhao Di spinning her eyes on her. Now everyone copied Zhao Di’s action and stared at Shan Mei, whatever was wrong with her?

Shan Mei restlessly looked at her own clothes and found nothing amiss!

“How can you still look like you are barely twenty? And you look too “sunshine”!!” Zhao Di could not restrain her praise.

Today everyone was dressed in casual wear and looked relaxed and carefree. Shan Mei was wearing a pale red mid-sleeve blouse with a pair of sea-blue cropped jeans and the hair on her forehead was put up with a lil’ clover hair clip, making her look bright and clean, brimming with youth and vitality! Together with her brilliant and innocent smile, she projected a feeling of warmth and happiness …

Everyone looked at Shan Mei and they all nodded in agreement: Shan Mei was like a ray of brilliant sunshine!

Shan Mei was feeling extremely embarrassed under their focus of attention and she looked at Xiang Zhe seeking for help, only to discover that Xiang Zhe’s eyes were looking intently at her with profound love and tolerance. She could not help but whispered, “Xue Chang!”

Xiang Zhe looked at the shy Shan Mei, understandably nodded his head, cleared his voice and said to everyone, “We must all be hungry, let’s go in and it will be my treat.”

Upon Xiang Zhe’s words, everyone seemed to be livened up suddenly and went to find their own sitting place.

Seeing that Xiang Zhe successfully saved her from embarrassment, Shan Mei gave him a sweet smile, “Thank you!”

Xiang Zhe returned with a smile, he really loved to see her smile ….

After an enjoyable breakfast, they decided to split up to go their separate ways or to go in small groups. Xiang Zhe initially wanted to date Shan Mei but Shan Mei could not desert her friends, so they went together.

When they were having breakfast, Xiang Zhe’s thoughtfulness and consideration towards Shan Mei was the envy of all the females! Zhao Di even complained loudly of Chen Sui’s inattention.

“Where are we going?” Shan Mei could not help worrying about her two good friends!

“A place where Belle and I visited yesterday. It is a beautiful place! and you will love it too!” Tai Xi guaranteed.

“It’s true, Shan Mei. If it is no good, we won’t be going there again today!” Bern Belle smartly turned to Xiang Zhe and whispered, “And it is a good place for lovers!”

“Let’s go, Shan Mei!” Tai Xi urged Shan Mei.

“But …” Shan Mei looked at Xue Chang and consented when she saw him smilingly nodded his head, although she was wishing that her good friends would not be playing trick on her.

“Then let’s go.”

“It’s so beautiful!” Watching the sea before her eyes, Shan Mei acclaimed with admiration, “Xue Chang, I really love it here!”

“Me too!” Xiang Zhe looked at the happy Shan Mei and the spacious sea, his heart was filled with affection and clarity …

“Xue Zhang, I have something to say to the sea!” Shan Mei looked at Xiang Zhe solemnly.

Xiang Zhe nodded and gave Shan Mei a smile; a smile which was filled with fondness and blessedness!

“I am so happy! Really very happy! …” Facing the sea, Shan Mei smiled sweetly, her heart was at peace and filled with happiness.

Xiang Zhe watched Shan Mei, his heart was overflowed with tenderness.

However, once again, the past memory made a sudden impact on him! Xiang Zhe was feeling confused, but the happiness he was feeling at this moment in time stopped him from pondering further …

And Bern Belle and Gao Tai Xi who came with them stealthily retreated to one side and silently watching the pair of them.

When seeing the scene of Shan Mei calling out to the sea, both of them simultaneously recalled a similar scene taking place in the States …

Shan Mei was also facing the sea with the waves attacking the opposite shore, calling out loud …

“I miss you so much! Miss you so much! …”

The grief stricken Shan Mei was facing the sea and cried out the words from the bottom of her heart! She was missing Xue Chang! Her Xue Chang! …

Shan Mei was now a happy one. Bern Belle and Tai Xi departed hand in hand. At last they found their good friend no longer in sorrow.

For a long long time thereafter, Xiang Zhe and Shan Mei leaned close to each other looking out to the sea, waiting for the beautiful sunset …

When the setting sun gradually disappeared, Xiang Zhe and Shan Mei treaded on the evening glow hand in hand and left.

“I am so reluctant to leave …” Shan Mei turned her head and looked; she really loved it here and wanted to stay behind …

The moment when they leaned towards each other, Shan Mei felt that her heart and Xue Chang’s heart were so close and near, and it seemed as though Xue Chang had never stayed away from her. The once luke-warm feeling was now replaced by natural warmth and sincerity.

“If you like it, we can always come back to stay for a holiday.” Xiang Zhe dotingly said. He also loved it here, because he could feel that Shan Mei was finally not in retreat!

“Can we really do it?” Shan Mei was so happy, but she gave a sigh, “But we will be so busy with work later on!” When they got back, her two new programs will start production and they would be very busy. She was a bit anxious.

“Of course we can! With an employee so diligent, the boss will give her a reward!” Xiang Zhe smilingly looked at Shan Mei, teasing her.

“Really? But I won’t dare to ask for any reward, I only pray that my boss won’t lose his temper!” Shan Mei pouted her lovely mouth.

“Have I done that?” Xiang Zhe smiled at Shan Mei uncomprehendingly.

“I heard that our Planning Director has a lousy temper! He will glower at you when you don’t perform well in your program!” Shan Mei knitted her eyebrows with her small face in concentration. After her return to MBS, she heard from her colleagues that Xue Chang was very demanding towards his subordinates. It was in order to be demanding but it looked as though Xue Chang also had a lousy temper! Even though Xue Chang was so nice to her, she did not like people say something bad about Xue Chang!

“Shan Mei?” Xiang Zhe stopped walking and looked at Shan Mei anxiously; he did not want to see Shan Mei frowning and he would never lose her temper with her beloved Shan Mei.

“I don’t like Xue Chang behaving like that!” Shan Mei calmly looked at Xiang Zhe and gently spoke out the words from the bottom of her heart. Because such Xue Chang would not be happy and she did not want him to be unhappy!

“Shan Mei!” Shan Mei words were filled with concerns, from which Xiang Zhe could feel the warmth and intimacy.

“Thank you! Shan Mei.” Xiang Zhe picked up Shan Mei’s two hands and enveloped them tightly in his large hands.

Watching Xue Chang’s intimate act and feeling Xue Chang’s gentle eyes on her, Shan Mei smiled gently; that sweet and brilliant smile which Xiang loved best in his life and Xiang Zhe also smiled …

The short holiday ended quickly and everyone went back to their post of duty.

Before they left, Shan Mei bade Bern Belle and Gao Tai Xi farewell and learned of their plan to continue their tour, so she made arrangement for them to contact her when they returned to Seoul.

Shan Mei’s two new programs were about to be broadcast, one of them was a Sunday show hosted by Shan Mei on her own where guests would be invited and it was called “Flying Mood” and it would be broadcast every Sunday from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m.; the other program would be broadcast every Tuesday night and would be a talk show focussing on love and marriage and related matters called “Morning Star” and which would for the time being be hosted by Xian Da and Shan Mei. As for “Eve’s Morning” Shan Mei would only make periodic appearance as hostess after this season’s programs ended, but Shan Mei would still make appearance at the special episode. As to “Tonight’s Postcard”, Shan Mei still insisted on hosting this program.

Today, “Flying Mood” made its first appearance before the audience. Shan Mei invited an overseas student from England and the audience could see a different Seoul … from local customs and food culture to shopping in Seoul through the eyes of a foreigner and the impact Seoul gave to him. After all, what was the magic power and charm of Seoul?

Shan Mei’s fluency in English made the overseas student acclaimed with admiration and so did the colleagues from the First Anchor’s Office who were not on duty and were viewing the program from the TV. At the beginning, the overseas student was a bit nervous, but under Shan Mei’s fresh and calm smile and her sincere and natural guidance, he gradually relaxed his state of mind, thus making the audience feel more comfortable.

Xiang Zhe of course was present at the filming site; he silently stood beside the camera stand staring intently at Shan Mei and constantly smiled.
……

“Seeing the beautiful scenery in Hangang Park and also hearing our friend telling us the last story and laying down on the grass lawn to look up at the blue sky, I don’t know whether those of you sitting by the TV side also want to experience the deep blue gentleness?” Shan Mei gently smiled, “If you go there, please do not forget to let us know your “deep blue” mood! Well, today’s “Flying Mood” is near the end, thank you Jin for coming to our show and thank you the audience!” Shan Mei nodded her thanks to Jin and also bade the audience goodbye.

“Yes, I have to say one more thing. If you go to the Hangang Park, don’t forget to pick up your litters on the grass lawn when you go home!” Shan Mei suddenly wore a solemn face and spoke to the camera seriously. She looked so cute and lovely that everybody in and out of the filming site laughed, even Xiang Zhe laughed. His Shan Mei was always so adorable! And the colleagues from the First Anchor’s Office who were sitting in front of the TV also laughed …

“Alright, see you next time! Thank you all!” Shan Mei wore her brilliant and beautiful smile and the program ended!

As soon as Shan Mei returned to the First Anchor’s office, Chen Sui immediately came forward, “Miss Zhen Shan Mei! I have something important to say – if you go to the Hangang Park, please don’t forget to pick up your litters from the grass lawn! It was really very good, Shan Mei!”

Watching Chen Sui imitating herself, Shan Mei smiled with embarrassment; she only wanted to remind everyone …

Everyone was laughing and it made Shan Mei all the more embarrassed. Luckily Qing Xi came to Shan Mei’s rescue, “Chen Sui, you are not to bully Shan Mei. Shan Mei’s performance just now was really not too bad!”

“Yes, Shan Mei senior, the way you hosted the program was so natural and at ease, and it made the audience very comfortable!” Kim Gi Lan looked at Shan Mei with respect and admiration. After working with Shan Mei for a while, Gi Lan found Shan Mei a nice person as well as a diligent worker and she was worthy of her reputation!

“Shan Mei, you were really very good!” Yong Xi looked at Shan Mei with praise and as if in deep thought. She now finally realized what was affinity with the audience and Shan Mei was the best example.

“Senior, Gi Lan …” Shan Mei’s face reddened, but to have overall sanction by everybody was very important and Shan Mei smiled “Thank you all!”

At this moment, Xian Da came in from outside, “I have something to say,” Xian Da looked at Shan Mi solemnly and everyone was getting anxious, “Miss Zhen Shan Mei, today’s viewers’ rating was … 29.6%! Congratulations!”

“Really?” Shan Mei was overwhelmingly happy, she never thought the first time viewers’ rating would be so good!

“Really!” Xian Da nodded and smiled at Shan Mei, “You have to give us a treat!”

“It’s wonderful!” Everyone was happy for Shan Mei, “Congratulations, Shan Mei!” “A treat! Shan Mei!” Chen Sui loudly exclaimed.

“Yes! A treat!” Son Kee Jong joined in the fun.

When everyone was cheering and having fun …

“Director Yin!” Qing Xi caught sight of Xiang Zhe whom no one knew when he came into the First Anchor’s office, stood up immediately and alerted everyone.

“Director?” Everyone quieted down at once …

“I came in to see all! You are working hard” Xiang Zhe slightly smiled.

Shan Mei saw Xiang Zhe and immediately turned her face. Everyone was laughingly in an unnatural way.

Seized by a sudden inspiration, Chen Sui pushed Shan Mei to the front, “Chen Sui!” Shan Mei murmured, “You …”

“Miss Zhen Shan Mei, Congradulations!” Xiang Zhe came forward and shook hands with Shan Mei, and smiling said to Shan Mei whose face was getting redder by the minute, “The viewers’ rating was not bad! Keep it up!” Then Xiang Zhe turned and said to everyone, “Tonight will be my treat, I will ask Supervisor Kim Xian Da to let you know the time and place!”

“It is wonderful! Thank you Director!” Chen Sui smiled satisfactorily.

Hearing Director’s words, everyone was smiling understandably …

Yong Xi and Xian Da looked at Xiang Zhe and glanced at each other; they suddenly realized that although Xiang Zhe had lost his memory, he had not lost her deep affection for Shan Mei! In fact, due to the longing resulting from the absence from each other and the joy in their reunion all added to depth of that love!

“Then, please carry on with your work and I won’t bother you.” Xiang Zhe glanced at Shan Mei and departed.

The First Anchor’s office resumed its normal operation.

Shan Mei returned to her seat and averted her red face. She was not used to meeting Xue Chang in the First Anchor’s office, she was not used to it before, now she was still not used to it and in future, it would be even more difficult to get used to it!

It was noon and everyone was discussing what to order for lunch.

Shan Mei’s cell phone was ringing and she turned her body to take the call, “Hello, this is Zhen Shan Mei.” “It’s me, let’s have lunch together.”

Although Shan Mei had an idea that it would be Xue Chang who was calling her at this time, she still felt very happy but also very shy.

“I think we better not, we are now discussing what to order for lunch … Xue Chang, you …” Shan Mei lowered her voice.

“Well, let all of us have lunch together, or I can come over! If we all eat together, you won’t …” Xiang Zhe blurted out as he could not wait to see Shan Mei.

“No way!” Shan Mei angrily cut off Xiang Zhe. He had just made promise to treat them tonight, and now … Hearing Shan Mei’s unhappy tone, Xiang Zhe smiled as though he could see the lovely way she pouted her mouth, “Then let just the two of us come out together!”

“But …” Shan Mei wanted to refuse but on second thought, it would be even worse if Xue Chang were to come over, “OK, let us meet at our usual place!”

“Perfect!” Xiang Zhe’s tone of voice was filled with indulgence and happiness.

“I am going to hang up …” Shan Mei hung up and had to apologize to everyone, but she was very happy she was going to have lunch with Xue Chang.

CHAPTER 9 – HOW I WISH THIS ROAD WILL RUN LONGER


LUNCHTIME.

“You don’t have to wait for me tonight.” Shan Mei stared at Xiang Zhe.

“Why?” Xiang Zhe put down the knife and fork, guiltlessly asked, “I am making you losing face?”

“It’s not like that!” Shan Mei immediately denied; Xue Chang was so outstanding that in no way could he make her lose face? “It is just that I don’t want to always remind others of our relationship …” Shan Mei glanced at Xiang Zhe, finding his eyes darkened, immediately corrected herself, “Actually it’s me … Xue Chang, please don’t entertain foolish ideas.”

“Shan Mei …” Xiang Zhe heartbreakingly looked at Shan Mei who was busily trying to explain, “Our relationship gives you a lot of pressure? They …” Xiang Zhe realized that their relationship gave Shan Mei extreme pressure, but all the time Shan Mei had never complained to him. Although he did not want Shan Mei to suffer so much hardship, he did not want to let her go …

“It’s not like that! Xue Chang, don’t talk nonsense!” Shan Mei interrupted what Xiang Zhe was saying. She did not want Xue Chang to worry, although there were a lot of baseless rumours … “Everyone is nice to me! Actually it’s me who will mix up Xue Chang and Director Yin in the office. Oh, how should I word it?” Shan Mei wrinkled her brows, “I don’t know how to separate the two of you!”

“Shan Mei!” Xiang Zhe smiled, the two of me? “Do you have to separate them?”

“Huh?” Shan Mei looked at Xiang Zhe uncomprehendingly.

“Shan Mei, actually the one before you is Yin Xiang Zhe, only him and no other.” Xiang Zhe lightly smiled.

“Xue Chang?”

“Yin Xiang Zhe is only Yin Xiang Zhe, if there is some other title, that will only be Zhen Shan Mei’s Xue Chang and none other!” Before Shan Mei, Xiang Zhe could let down his guard and act as himself. So he did not want Shan Mei to be perplexed, to be feeling bad.

“Xue Chang, thank you!” Shan Mei seeing the profound love in Xue Chang’s eyes, sniffed her nose and could not help but wanted to cry.

“You are really a cry baby! The man who is to marry you will be very tired!” Xiang Zhe smiled, his Shan Mei cried so readily.

“What? I am not crying!” Really, Xue Chang … it was him who induced her to this state and he had audacity to laugh at her!

“OK! Let’s pretend that you are not crying.” Xiang Zhe wore a face of smiles, “Then tonight, you really don’t want me to wait up for you?” He was still not giving up hope.

“No!” Shan Mei vetoed decisively, and then smiled sweetly, “Besides, I have made arrangement with Yong Xi Senior to go together.”

“OK then! But you have to take good care of your health and don’t get too tired.” Xiang Zhe knew Shan Mei was working too hard; sometimes when he took her home, she would fall asleep in the car. She really had him worried.

“Yes!” Shan Mei gave Xiang Zhe a big big brilliant smile.

“Hurry up and eat!” Xiang Zhe too smiled, his heart filled with tenderness.

AT NIGHT IN THE FIRST ANCHOR’S OFFICE.

“I’m back.” Yong Xi was hugging a large pile of documents. There was only Shan Mei left in the Anchor’s office. “Shan Mei, I am sorry to let you wait so long.”

“That’s fine, no problem. Senior! What’s the matter with you?” Shan Mei took over the documents from Yong Xi; she could hear the tiredness in Yong Xi’s voice.

“Nothing the matter. Let’s hurry up and go, they must be waiting impatiently.” Yong Xi looked at her watch, it was already past 8:00 p.m.

“Senior, is it really nothing?” Shan Mei was worrying about Yong Xi, “Do you want to see a doctor?”

“It’s nothing, I am just too busy lately!” Yong Xi pressed her forehead, maybe she was feeling too tired lately, “Let’s go!”

“Senior, Let’s take a cab.”

“OK.” Yong Xi thanked Shan Mei for being so considerate; she really was not in a fit state to drive her car.

In the car, Yong Xi felt her head spinning and could not help but wanted to vomit.

“Senior?” Shan Mei immediately asked the driver to stop the car, and assisted her to alight from the car, “How are you feeling?”

“I am fine! I will be much better with a fresh breath of air.” Yong Xi reluctantly smiled.

“Senior, don’t be obstinate. Let’s go to the hospital!” Not allowing Yong Xi time to refuse, Shan Mei immediately helped Yong Xi to get into the car and told the driver to drive to the hospital.

HOSPITAL.

“Is it really true? You are saying that I am pregnant?” Yong Xi was so surprised to hear what the doctor said. She looked at Shan Mei in disbelief, “Shan Mei, is it really true?”

“Congratulations, Yong Xi Senior!” Shan Mei nodded and congratulated Yong Xi.

“It’s true?” Although it is a surprise, Yong Xi was thrilled, she never thought that she would soon become a mother.

“Uncle Xian Da would be happy when he hears the news!” Shan Mei smilingly looked at Yong Xi.

Yong Xi sweetly smiled and subconsciously touched her still flat stomach; it was really wonderful!

YIN XIANG ZHE’S HOME.

Originally Xiang Zhe wanted to treat everyone to the pub, but as all of the colleagues in the First Anchor’s office were on duty the next day, and “Eve’s Morning” had some live outdoor shots, so Xian Da suggested that they all came to Director Yin’s place to have a small gathering and would give them another big treat on another date.

“Xian Da, you have looked at your watch for numerous times? Do you have to be so impatient?” Son Kee Jong was teasing Xian Da.

Xian Da smiled embarrassingly, but Yong Xi and Shan Mei should have arrived already. Yong Xi was not reading the news today, so why were they so late?

The door bell rang. Xian Da immediately got up and when he made the move, the door was already opened; someone was faster than he was? Xian Da looked at the person who opened the door, it was Xiang Zhe. Who could that be apart from him? He was farther away from the door than he was, how come he was there so fast?

“They are here!” Chen Sui exclaimed. However, the person at the door was neither Yong Xi nor Shan Mei, but was Xiang Zhe’s neighbour. Everyone was disappointed. Xian Da tried calling on Yong Xi’s cell phone once more, but no one answered the phone.

After speaking to his neighbour, Xiang Zhe was looking distracted and was about to close the door.

“Please don’t close the door!” A clear and pleasant voice came from outside of the door.

It was Shan Mei! Xiang Zhe immediately opened wide the door, looking at Shan Mei’s smiling and excited face, Xiang Zhe could not help smiling too, his troubled heart could then relax.

“Why are you so late?” Chen Sui asked Shan Mei.

Shan Mei stole a glance at Yong Xi, slightly smiled, “Something delayed us on the road. I am sorry to make all of you wait so long!” Shan Mei apologized by making a deep bow to everyone. Yong Xi gave an uneasy smile.

“It does not matter. All that matters is that you are now here!” Xiang Zhe tried to comfort Shan Mei and proposed to everyone, “We are all hungry, let’s eat!”

On Director Yin’s order, they all sat down and started dinner.

“Senior!” Shan Mei noticed that Xian Da was pouring wine for Yong Xi and tried to stop at once; it was already her second glass!

“Shan Mei, What is the matter?” Chen Sui stared at Shan Mei, “There is nothing to worry about, it’s just beer. You should have some yourself.”

“But …” Shan Mei worriedly looked at Yong Xi.

“Shan Mei Xue Xie, you really don’t want one?” Kim Gi Lan smilingly asked Shan Mei.

“No, thank you! I am fine with this.” Shan Mei politely shook her head; it would be wiser not to touch any alcohol and as she had a program tomorrow, she had preparation work to do when she got home. As for Yong Xi Senior, there was all the more reason why she should not drink alcohol! Darn, she had promised Yong Xi not to tell ... what should she do?

“That won’t do, we are all here to celebrate the first quarter’s successful viewing rate! Shan Mei, you have to drink this glass!” Chen Sui was making a commotion.

“But …” This made it difficult for Shan Mei to refuse.

Watching Shan Mei’s absentmindedness, instinct told Xiang Zhe that something must have happened and it would be something to do with Yong Xi. Seeing that everyone was urging her to drink the toast, Xiang Zhe smiled, “I will drink this glass for Shan Mei! However, we will have Shan Mei prepare a fruit platter as a form of punishment!”

With the Director boyfriend appealing on her behalf, they really could not refuse his plea! Furthermore, Xiang Zhe immediately raised his glass to everyone.

Shan Mei looked at Xiang Zhe gratefully; Xue Chang was really nice! Her eyes glanced around to find Uncle Xian Da also drank for Yong Xi Senior. Xiang Zhe also looked at Shan Mei’s line of vision … what happened to Yong Xi? She used to have a good capacity for liquor!

……………..

After dinner, Shan Mei took the initiative to prepare the fruit platter. Everyone offered to help, but someone forestalled them … Director Yin was already in the kitchen, so everyone just sat and waited for the fruit platter in tacit agreement!

“Xue Chang, please go outside! You are the host, how can you not entertain your guests.” Shan Mei urged Xiang Zhe to leave, “I can finish it in a minute!”

“It does not matter, I will help you …”

“Xue Chang!?” Shan Mei stopped peeling the apple in her hands and glowered at Xiang Zhe.

“What is the matter? You are angry?!” Xiang Zhe saw that Shan Mei was a mite unhappy and smilingly made an excuse, “Don’t entertain foolish ideas! I am helping you so that they don’t have to wait long and it won’t make you too tired.”

“I am not entertaining foolish ideas! It is Xue Chang who never stops worrying!” Shan Mei pouted her small mouth; this Xue Chang was really talking nonsense. How could she be tired out by doing a small job!

Although he did not want to make Shan Mei angry, Shan Mei looked so cute when she pouted her lips! Xiang Zhe happily laughed. “OK. If you don’t hurry up and work, everyone will be waiting impatiently!” Xiang Zhe cunningly changed the topic, but still carrying on cutting fruits.

“Xue Chang!” Shan Mei had no alternative but to share the job with Xue Chang.

…………….

“Come on! Let us eat the fruit platter prepared by Shan Mei!” Xiang Zhe invited them to come over and Shan Mei was standing on one side smilingly with embarrassment. How could he said that the fruit platter was prepared by her, it was really Xiang Zhe who did most of the work! However, Xiang Zhe was very adept, even the fruit platter looked good!

“Supervisor, come and eat the fruit platter!” Song Xu Cheng called out to Xian Da and Yong Xi who were hiding by one side having an intimate conversation.

“OK!” Yong Xi pulled at Xian Da who was in a daze and the two of them took the plate of fruit from Shan Mei.

Yong Xi touched Xian Da and Xian Da looked at Yong Xi, clearing his voice.

“I have an announcement to make!” Xian Da sounded very solemn. Everyone raised their head feeling perplexed, what was happening?

“Eh … it is like this.” Xian Da was very nervous and everyone kept quiet, “Yong Xi is pregnant! I am going to be a father!”

“Oh?!” Apart from the blushing Yong Xi and Shan Mei who was aware of the fact, there was no response from anyone.

“Congratulations, Uncle Xian Da!” Shan Mei sent her blessings to both Xian Da and Yong Xi from the bottom of her heart.

“Congratulations!” Xiang Zhe congratulated Yong Xi and Xian Da, no wonder Shan Mei was so anxious towards Yong Xi.

Everyone was busy congratulating Xian Da and Yong Xi!

“Thank you!” Xian Da and Yong Xi were both excited and felt blessed.

…………………..

“See you tomorrow!”

“Bye!” Everyone baded each other goodbye.

“Shan Mei, let me take you home!” Xiang Zhe stopped Shan Mei who preferred to go home by herself.

“There is no need.” Shan Mei shook her head. Xue Chang drank a lot just now and he should not be driving.

“I won’t be driving,” Xiang Zhe smiled. He understood Shan Mei’s way of thinking, but he had to take Shan Mei home, “We can ride to your place and then I can return on my own.”

“Can we do that?” Shan Mei hesitated, “But …”

“Don’t “but”. Come on, be an obedient girl!” Xiang Zhe dragged Shan Mei away and raised his hand for a cab.

…………………

In the car, at first Shan Mei recounted the story about Yong Xi Senior, but although she warned herself to stay awake, extreme sleepiness caught up on her …

Xiang Zhe smilingly embraced Shan Mei, letting her sleep more comfortably.

How he wished this road would run longer.

MBS BOARDROOM.

“Supervisor Kim, I hope you can consider again from the Company’s standpoint, …?” Assistant Manger Kim looked at Xian Da angrily.

“I am sorry but I have made up my mind.” Xian Da gave a firm answer.

“Well …” Assistant Manager looked at Xiang Zhe, “What do you think? This program is an important one!”

“I think it should be up to Supervisor Kim Xian Da to make a decision. Furthermore, Supervisor Kim is only hosting on a temporary basis, we need to find another host in the long run.” Xiang Zhe calmly responded. “We now still have time to make decision in picking a host.”

“Still have time? We will be on air next week!” Looking at the calm Yin Xiang Zhe, Assistant Manager Kim had a sudden idea, “I think we have to consult Hostess Zhen Shan Mei! After all, she is also one of the hosts.”

“Then let us ask Hostess Zhen to come here.” Xiang Zhe nodded in agreement.

Xian Da looked at the fully composed Xiang Zhe and felt a bit nervous. He did not know whether his sudden decision would have an impact on Shan Mei?

Why were they asking for her all of a sudden? Shan Mei perplexedly knocked on the boardroom door.

“Please come in!”

Shan Mei took a deep breath, pushed the door open and politely greeted the superiors that were present in the room with a slight bow.

“Please take a seat.” Xiang Zhe smiled, signalling Shan Mei to sit down.

“Thank you!”

“It’s like this – the reason for your presence is because Supervisor Kim wants to resign from “Morning Star and we hope you can convince Supervisor Kim to reconsider from MBS’ standpoint!” Before Xiang Zhe could speak, Assistant Manager Kim impatiently told Shan Mei the reason for asking for her presence.

After listening to Assistant Manager Kim’s speech, Shan Mei nodded her head but did not say anything. It seemed as if Shan Mei was waiting for Assistant Manager Kim to continue. Looking at the calm and still Shan Mei, Assistant Manager Kim was desperate.

“Miss Zhen Shan Mei?” Assistant Manager Kim could not conceal his anger, “It seems as though you don’t value this program! Supervisor Kim wants out, could it possibly be that you don’t care?”

Xiang Zhe glanced at Assistant Manager Kim with displeasure. He could keep silent no longer and finally said, “Miss Zhen Shan Mei, regarding Supervisor Kim’s resignation, being a co-host, can you give us your opinion?”

“Yes.” Shan Mei cleared her mind, no wonder she found that Uncle Xian Da was looking uncomfortable when she came in – it was really a surprise, but Uncle Xian Da must have made the decision because of Yong Xi Senior! “Frankly speaking, when I just heard that Supervisor Kim was withdrawing from “Morning Star”, I was surprised, but I am sure Director Yin and Assistant Manager Kim must know the reason for Supervisor Kim’s decision, and I believe Supervisor Kim has sufficient reason for making that decision. Therefore I myself will not oppose Supervisor’s decision.” Shan Mei of course would not make any objection, even though the program might be affected in a way, she believed that everyone’s hardworking would not be wasted.

“What?!” Assistant Manager Kim was made so angry that he glowered at Shan Mei, “How can you say something like this!”

“Assistant Manager Kim.” Xiang Zhe stopped Assistant Manager Kim from continuing to “bombard” Shan Mei.

Assistant Manager Kim glanced at Xiang Zhe, tried to control his anger, but still glowered at Shan Mei unrepentantly, “Hostess Zhen, what are we going to do with the program?”

“Miss Zhen Shan Mei, do you have any suggestions to make on the program?” Hearing that Assistant Manager was making life difficult for Shan Mei on purpose, Xiang Zhe tactfully re-phrased Assistant Manager’s words. Although he was a little bit worried, he believed Shan Mei would not let him down.

“I think it won’t be necessary to reschedule the broadcast date, because we cannot betray our trust to the audience. As for my partnering host, I think Assistant Manager Kim and Director Yin should already have the appropriate candidate in mind and besides the production team already has a reserve candidate.” Shan Mei smilingly looked at Director Yin and Assistant Manager Kim. Really, they were the one who made decisions regarding the hosts, why did they have to make life difficult for her!

After listening to Shan Mei’s words, Xiang Zhe covered his mouth and smiled secretly. Shan Mei, this attagirl had just by clever maneuvers passed the ball back to them. Assistant Manager Kim wanted to say something but could not find any loopholes in Shan Mei’s words.

“We believe Miss Zhen Shan Mei can manage her job well.” Xiang Zhe stopped smiling, turned to look at Xian Da and solemnly said, “But please don’t broadcast this matter when you go back.”

“ I understand. I will go if I am finished here.” Shan Mei bowed to the superiors and left.

“Now what is Director Yin going to do?” The helpless Assistant Manager Kim then turned his target at Xiang Zhe, “Who is going to be taking charge of this matter?”

“I will be responsible.” Xiang Zhe replied and calmly said to everyone: “We will follow the plan of the program. We will be holding a meeting with the production team, the director, Supervisor Kim and all the relevant personnel at the boardroom this afternoon.”

“Good, I trust Director Yin will find a good resolution to this problem!” Assistant Manager Kim rejoiced at Xiang Zhe agreeing to undertake the task and wishing that he would foul up the matter.

THE FIRST ANCHOR’S OFFICE.

As soon as Shan Mei entered the room, Chen Sui could contain his curiosity no longer and queried Shan Mei immediately, “What did the Management want you for?”

“Nothing important, it is just something about “Morning Star” …” Shan Mei knew she had to keep her mouth shut before formal announcement was made and it was fortunate that Yong Xi Senior was presently not in.

“Shan Mei …” Chen Sui wanted to pry further, but luckily Shan Mei was saved by Song Kee Jong who said, “Chen Sui, don’t be too nosy. Have you forgotten what happened this morning? You have to prepare the manuscript as soon as possible …”

Chen Sui scratched his head and glowered at the “damned fatty”. Why did he have to broadcast his most vulnerable points in front of the trainees and made him lose face … Well it would be better for him to go to the rooftop to meet with Zhao Di. With this idea in mind, Chen Sui seized a chance to escape …. Everyone then got back to their normal routine.

Shan Mei sat down to think and made a decision.

YIN XIANG ZHE’S OFFICE.

Xiang Zhe looked at Xian Da Senior who was wearing a face of apology and worry and could not help but laughed, “Xian Da, Shan Mei really won’t mind!”

“Really?” Xian Da hearing Xiang Zhe’s words of comfort and asked doubtfully. He was apologetic towards Zhan Mei, but he questioned about Xiang Zhe’s certainty that Shan Mei would not mind. Why was he so sure? Maybe he was just trying to console him.

“Please don’t worry about Shan Mei’s response; she fully understands why you made that decision. If I don’t guess wrong, Shan Mei would also try to convince Yong Xi this fact.” Xiang Zhe smiled; he thought Shan Mei could understand Xian Da’s way of thinking more than himself.

“Really?” Xian Da was not convinced and he worried more when he thought of Yong Xi.

“OK, you really want to hide here and not go out?” Xiang Zhe teasingly looked at Xian Da.

Xian Da made a gesture to concede defeat and begged Xiang Zhe not to tease him. However, he really decided not to go back to the First Anchor’s office now …

Ring, ring … Xiang Zhe’s cell phone was ringing.

Xiang Zhe clicked open his cell phone and smiled. It was just a voicemail message left by Shan Mei: “Xiang Zhe, I want to invite Yong Xi Senior and Supervisor to lunch together. Can you invite Uncle Xian Da for me? Shan Mei.”

Xian Da who was sitting on one side, saw the profound love in his junior’s eyes and could guess who it might be calling …

“What is the matter?” Xian Da asked Xiang Zhe who closed his cell phone and refrained from smiling.

“Shan Mei invites you and Yong Xi to lunch.”

“Oh …” Xian Da was at a loss.

“It is time to face the music! Especially Yong Xi, you better make sure your explanation is good. Take this opportunity during lunch to let everyone know your intention.” Xiang Zhe paused for a second, he wanted to see Shan Mei, “I am on your side …”

“OK.” Xian Da nodded his head, but when he saw the non-fadable tenderness in his junior’s eyes, he understood that Xiang Zhe was seizing the chance to see Shan Mei! … However, it would be better to have some help?!

CHAPTER 10 – I WILL ALSO STAND BEHIND YOU, JUST TURN YOUR HEAD WHEN YOU NEED ME

Translated with author’s consent by: nho


It was 3:00 p.m. and in the boardroom. Yin Xiang Zhe, Supervisor Kim Xian Da, “Morning Star” production manager and director were all present, except Shan Mei.

“Where is Shan Mei?” Xian Da asked Kim Gi Lan.

Kim Gi Lan explained in a hurry, “We arranged to come together, but just before we left, Shan Mei Xue Jie received an important phone call, therefore …”

The door was pushed open and Shan Mei apologized to everyone with a bow, “Sorry!” Gi Lan immediately gave away the seat beside herself.

“Please be punctual the next time.” Xiang Zhe’s facial expression was serious but calm.

“Yes.” Shan Mei silently sat down, but she could not hide the worry and anxiety on her face. Xiang Zhe was very worried – what had happened? When they had lunch at midday, wasn’t Shan Mei in a very happy mood? At that time she tried to help Xian Da Senior to convince Yong Xi … what had gone wrong? However, they were in a meeting and Shan Mei …

Supervisor Kim Xian Da introduced his successor, the famous anchor Han Yu Cheng to everyone.

Han Yu Cheng stood up and thanked everyone.

“Hello everyone! This is my first program after my joining MBS, I have to thank Director Yin and all of you who entrust this important program to me. I will try my best to coordinate with the production team …”

“Miss Zhen Shan Mei, I hope we can work well together!” Han Yu Cheng purposely greeted the distracted Shan Mei and Kim Gi Lan had to poke Shan Mei to draw her attention.

“Oh?” Shan Mei was startled. She raised her head and found Han Yu Cheng was looking at her. “I am sorry!” Shan Mei blushed and she was really very sorry.

Han Yu Cheng raised his eyebrow, “Anchor Zhen Shan Mei’s response is really very strange! I hope Anchor Zhen can respond to questions readily and fluently in the course of the program!”

Shan Mei kept silent. She could of course hear the provocation and dissatisfaction in Han Yu Cheng’s words, but she was in the wrong. Xian Da immediately tried to act as a buffer and ease the laden atmosphere.

Luckily, the latter part of the meeting went smoothly. Shan Mei tried her best to concentrate on the meeting and seriously took part in the discussion with the others. However Xiang Zhe could still see the worry and anxiety in her eyes.

“Good. Let us have the rehearsal at 6:00 p.m. this afternoon. We will film the reserve episode Monday morning at 9:00 a.m. and we will be on air Tuesday night.” The production manager made the final arrangement and then turned to Xiang Zhe, “Director Yin?”

“Let’s follow this arrangement.” Xiang Zhe nodded his head.

“End of the meeting ..” The production manager announced.

“Thank you for all your hard work.”

Hearing that the meeting was concluded, Shan Mei lowered her head and busily tidied up and was about to leave in a hurry. Xian Da came over and softly spoke to Shan Mei, “Make sure you won’t be late for your rehearsal later on.”

“Yes!” Shan Mei nodded her head and then left in a hurry with no intention of acknowledging Xiang Zhe’s presence. Xian Da turned to look at Xiang Zhe who could no longer hide his worry; whatever happened with Shan Mei? He was also worried.

“It is already 5:30 p.m. Shan Mei still has not arrived.” Xian Da was hiding in a quiet corner at “Morning Star” filming studio and was speaking to Xiang Zhe.

“Huh, Xian Da. Has Shan Mei returned to the First Anchor’s office at all?” Xiang Zhe pondered.

“Well, no, she has not returned.” As soon as Xian Da replied, he saw Shan Mei appearing in the filming studio and she was greeting everyone, “Here come Shan Mei!”

“Huh, good.” Shan Mei was here and so Xiang Zhe could cease to be worried and he was really afraid that she would be feeling more uncomfortable if she was late again. “I will come to the studio later.” He wanted to be near Shan Mei, to give her support and to guard her.

“Good idea!” Xian Da nodded his consent but he did not forget to tease his junior, “Thank goodness I have withdrawn from the “Morning Star”, if not, it will be very stressful if the Planning Director is to be present to “oversee” every time when the program is on air.” Xiang Zhe was laughing at the other end of the phone line. He wanted to make sure there was nothing wrong with Shan Mei and he also did not want to miss every important moment of Shan Mei’s life!

When both she and Han Yu Cheng sat down on the anchors seats, Shan Mei saw Xiang Zhe come in … Shan Mei felt like crying; she was so touched by Xue Chang’s thoughtfulness … he was the same as before … but, but … Xue Chang, when would you be able to regain your memory? When she thought about this, her heart was aching all the more …

When Shan Mei was in deep thoughts, both Xiang Zhe and the production manager came over. Xiang Zhe politely shook hands with Hang Yu Cheng and also with Shan Mei. Although Xiang Zhe was acting in good manner, Shan Mei could feel that Xiang Zhe did it on purpose. Thank you, Xue Chang! I would work harder …

After giving encouragement to his subordinates, Xiang Zhe stood beside the camera and he watched with a smile and silently said to himself: Shan Mei, I would be by your side, you didn’t have to worry …

The program started; Han Yu Cheng gave a beautiful introduction; Shan Mei could not help looking at Hang Yu Cheng, although this man’s style of hosting the program was entirely different from Xian Da’s warm, sincere and friendly style, his humour, warmth and confidence were really not bad. It was Shan Mei’s turn to speak; she looked at Xiang Zhe who was standing beside the camera and it seemed all her worries were forgotten. Her smile was as sincere and gentle as the spring breeze and as confident and bright as the full moon …

“Now, let’s invite the first pair of our honourable guests!” Shan Mei nodded towards Han Yu Cheng who was stunned speechless, signalling him to carry on the dialogue.

Han Yu Cheng hurriedly took over and the program went on smoothly …

After the rehearsal, the production manager and the anchors thanked the guests and saw them off. They then held a meeting and it was already 8:30 p.m. when they finished.

“Anchor Zhen, shall we have dinner together?” The cameraman asked Shan Mei.

“No, thank you. I have to tape another program. Please go ahead and eat! I have to go, thank you for all your hard work!” Shan Mei tactfully declined, even though she was very hungry. She had to check the taped “Tonight’s Postcard” with the production team. Actually Shan Mei insisted to instant broadcast the program every time, but she had to abide by the rules and prepared a taped program for emergency sake.

Seeing Shan Mei’s departure, Han Yu Cheng could not help but began to change his views on Shan Mei! Before he did not put Shan Mei on a high regard! Also Shan Mei’s performance in the afternoon meeting made him think that Shan Mei was relying on interpersonal relationship to be in a position she was now in … but now he had a change of opinion! He had just had a glimpse of his partner’s spontaneity and confidence, as well as her radiant smile which was as brilliant as sunlight. Han Yu Cheng could not help but believe that Shan Mei really had real worth and possessed potentiality as well!

It was already past 9:00 p.m. when Shan Mei finished running through the program with the working team. Shan Mei went back to the First Anchors’ office. There was a little rose-red coloured card on her desk. Shan Mei picked it up and flipped open it gently …

“Miss Zhen Shan Mei, your performance was excellent today! Keep up the hard work! Let’s have dinner together to celebrate! Always your supporter – Y.”

Shan Mei could not help but smiled sweetly, “Xue Chang! …”

After they finished dinner, Xiang Zhe took Shen Mei home.

“The dessert we just had were so good!” Shan Mei smilingly recollected the pleasant flavour of the dessert.

“Hmm, we can always go back there the next time.” Xiang Zhe dotingly looked at Shan Mei and he was happy to see Shan Mei looking so satisfied. He wished Shan Mei could forget all the troubles and worries …

“We are here, go in quickly!” They reached home; the distance was too short. Xiang Zhe looked at Shan Mei; he loved her dearly and did not want to part with her. Xiang Zhe then took a paper bag from the back seat and handed to Shan Mei, “It’s for you.”

“What is it?” Shan Mei took the bag and opened it up to have a look – it was the dessert they just had .. Xue Chang was really …!

“Xue Chang, you are treating me like a kid!” Shan Mei pouted her lips and could not help laughing aloud.

“”Don’t you like it?” Watching Shan Mei’s laughter, Xiang Zhe’s heart could then relax.

“Then I have to say thank you!” Shan Mei mischievously saluted to Xiang Zhe, followed by a smile. When Shan Mei was about to alight from the car, she hesitated for a moment, should she tell him? Shan Mei looked at Xue Chang who was gazing at her with profound love … “Xue Chang, don’t you want to ask me something?” Shan Mei could not contain herself any longer; she understood that Xue Chang was considerate of her feeling; he never forced her to do anything, but she knew Xue Chang was very worried about her.

“Hmm.” Xiang Zhe thought for a moment, originally he wanted to ask what had happened, but seeing that Shan Mei was trying to avoid himself after the meeting and did not mention anything during dinner … he was really very worried and feeling distressed. However, when he thought of Shan Mei’s grievance and sadness, he tried to restrain himself, all he could do was to be standing by Shan Mei’s side and to give her silent support and guardianship and also to listen and comfort her when Shan Mei wanted to tell. “Do you want to tell me? If not, please don’t force yourself. I can understand how you feel!” Xiang Zhe tenderly looked at Shan Mei, he did not want to make it difficult for Shan Mei, he would rather be the one in distress.

“Xue Chang!” Shan Mei’s eyes reddened again; Xue Chang was always so thoughtful, “Thank you!”

“Silly fool, you are crying again?” Xiang Zhe gripped Shan Mei’s hand, tenderly said, “Don’t worry, I will always stand behind you, just turn your head if you need me.”

“Xue Chang!” Shan Mei could not stop her tears. Xiang Zhe took out his handkerchief, gently wiped away Shan Mei’s tears and his heart ached.

Shan Mei pondered for a moment and decided to tell, “Xue Chang, this afternoon’s phone call was from the Director of the orphanage where Ying Mei is staying. Tomorrow Ying Mei is going to donate her bone marrow to a patient and the operation may be dangerous. I am so worried. The doctor said we cannot disturb them and Ying Mei needs a good rest. I really want to see Ying Mei. I don’t want anything bad happen to Ying Mei …”

“Is that it?” Xiang Zhe breathed a sigh of relief. Even though he did not have any feeling for Miss Hsu Ying Mei, as Shan Mei cared for Ying Mei, he would show his concern too.

“Don’t worry! There shouldn’t be any problem if the doctor decides to go ahead with the operation. Which hospital are they in? What time is the operation? I will accompany you to visit her in the hospital tomorrow.” Xiang Zhe rubbed dried Shan Mei’s tears.

“It’s Wen Rong Hospital and they will operate at 4:00 p.m. I don’t know what time they will finish.” Shan Mei inhaled deeply; she was really very worried, “That time I will be hosting “Morning Star” on air … I want to keep Ying Mei company and I am afraid I won’t be able to perform well. Xue Chang, what am I going to do?”

“Please don’t worry. There shouldn’t be any problem with the operation. I will take you to the hospital tomorrow morning and then we will come back to tape the program. If there is a need, we can always broadcast the one previously taped, so you can go to keep Miss Hsu company.”

“But, it is “Morning Star’s” first debut tomorrow and we can never betray our trust to the audience!” Shan Mei wanted to spend time with Ying Mei, but she did not want to cheat the audience.

“Umm, if you want to host the program, then as soon as it is finished, we will immediately go to visit Ying Mei. You just need to focus on hosting the program and I will be in contact with the hospital about Ying Mei’s news. Actually all you care about is to keep Miss Hsu’s company? Don’t be too concerned about formalities. Miss Hsu won’t like to see you in this state.”

“Hmm.” Shan Mei nodded; Xue Chang’s words made sense.
 “Do Papa and Mama know?”
“The Director told them, but …” Shan Mei nodded; she really did not know how to comfort Papa and Mama.

“Don’t worry. Uncle and Auntie will worry when they hear the news, but if they can keep Miss Hsu company, I believe with all your care and concern, Miss Hsu will be fine. You are not to think too much; you have to take a good rest!” Xiang Zhe pacified Shan Mei and smilingly said, “Please quickly get into the house.”

“Yes!” Shan Mei smilingly agreed. She alighted from the car and so did Xiang Zhe.
 “Xue Chang, please go first!” Shan Mei wanted to let Xue Chang go first.
“I want to see you go in!” Xiang Zhe insisted; he loathed to let Shan Mei go.
“Xue Chang!” Shan Mei pouted her lips and looked at Xiang Zhe with dissatisfaction. “We agreed last time, Xue Chang, please leave first! How can you break your promise?”

“OK.” Xiang Zhe unwillingly agreed; why did he have to say something he did not mean last time … he had to set up some rules so they could each have an alternate say.
 “Please drive home carefully! And give me a call when you arrive home!” Shan Mei urged Xiang Zhe.
“I know. You have to take care yourself, go to bed early, don’t stay up late and also drink your milk before you go to bed, don’t …”
“Aiyo, you nag more than Papa!” Shan Mei smilingly looked at Xiang Zhe, “Go quick, or else I will be asleep when you call me later!”
“OK.” Xiang Zhe smilingly got into his car and through the glass, he could see Shan Mei’s sweet smile and he set his mind at rest.

The next morning, Shan Mei, Gui Cheng and Chen Su were ready to leave home; they wanted to visit Ying Mei as early as possible (as the doctor only allowed them to visit in the morning because he didn’t want the patients to be disturbed).
 “Let’s hurry!” Chen Su pulled Shan Mei along and urged Gui Cheng to hurry up and leave.
“Xue Chang?” They saw Xiang Zhe at the door; Shan Mei was happy and anxious.
“Why are you here so early?”
“Haven’t we agreed yesterday?” Xiang Zhe looked at the anxious Shan Mei, then turned around to greet Chen Su and Gui Cheng, “Good morning Uncle and Auntie! Sorry to bother you so early in the morning.”
“Don’t mention it!” Seeing Xiang Zhe was treating his own little girl in such a way, Gui Cheng was very pleased, “I am so happy that you can come along!”
“I can give both Uncle and Auntie a ride. I have already got in touch the hospital.”
“That is wonderful!” Chen Su was so worried about Ying Mei’s operation and she was relieved when she heard Xiang Zhe’s words.
“There is no need, I can drive myself.” Gui Cheng was about to speak but was interrupted by Chen Su, “OK, don’t delay any longer. I can ride with you and let Shan Mei ride with Xiang Zhe!” Chen Su made a decision.
“Oh?” Gui Cheng looked at the embarrassed Xiang Zhe, the blushing Shan Mei and conspiring Chen Su and laughed comprehendingly, “OK! Let’s go!”

IN THE CAR.
 “I have already consulted the doctor, there won’t be problems with the operation. You don’t have to worry.” Xiang Zhe comforted Shan Mei.
“Thank you, Xue Chang.” Shan Mei quietly said.
“Why do you sound so courteous? Aren’t you my junior (Xue Mei)?” Xiang Zhe smiled, he only wanted Shan Mei to be happy.
“You are not to cry when you see Miss Hsu later on!” Xiang Zhe teased Shan Mei; he wanted her to relax.
“I won’t be crying!” Shan Mei glared at Xiang Zhe, how dared he belittled her!
“OK, OK!” Looking at the angry Shan Mei, Xiang Zhe restrained his smile, “Angry?”
“I am not that mean spirited!” Shan Mei pouted her lips. Xiang Zhe could not help but laughed. He loved watching her every lovely expression.

WEN RONG HOSPITAL.
Xiang Zhe went to say hello to the doctor and did not accompany Shan Mei to Ying Mei’s room.
 “You silly child, why didn’t you discuss the matter with us! Really!” Chen Su dearly watched Ying Mei.
“Don’t worry, Auntie and I will stay outside keeping you company during the operation.” Gui Cheng looked at Ying Mei with fatherly love.
“Thank you for coming to see me. Don’t worry, I will be alright.” Ying Mei smilingly looked at Shan Mei, Gui Cheng and Chen Su.
“Ying Mei, you are to pep up!” Shan Mei encouraged Ying Mei.
“Umm!” Ying Mei nodded and intensively looked at Shan Mei, “Shan Mei, you have work to do and work is more important. Please don’t stay here to keep me company.”
“Ying Mei?!” Shan Mei was surprised by Ying Mei’s seriousness. This did not like the Ying Mei who had lost her memory, this one looked more like the old Ying Mei …
It will make me feel bad …” Ying Mei explained.

By then, Xiang Zhe and the doctor came in together.
 “Ladies and gentlemen, I’m sorry, it is time for Miss Hsu to take a rest.”
“But …” Shan Mei, Gui Cheng and Chen Su were all reluctant to part with Ying Mei.
“Please don’t worry. We will take good care of Miss Hsu.”
“Doctor, can we wait outside?”
“Of course. During the operation, you can wait at the rest room. Director Yin has made arrangements.”
“That’s good!” Gui Cheng helped Chen Su to get up and bade Ying Mei goodbye.
“We will be with you!” Chen Su tried to control her tears.
They were on their way out and Shan Mei could not help but turrned around to look at Ying Mei. “Shan Mei!” Ying Mei was calling out to her at the same time.
“Ying Mei?”
 “Please go back to work!”
Shan Mei nodded. Ying Mei, was that really Ying Mei?
Xiang Zhe drove Shan Mei to work and during the journey, Shan Mei maintained silence, engrossing in deep thoughts of her own …...
And Xiang Zhe could only silently wait by her side …
Both Xiang Zhe and Shan Mei returned to MBS and commenced their respective duties there.
Shan Mei worked diligently with devotion. The recording of “Morning Star” was successful and they awaited the airing of the program in the evening. They hoped everything would run smoothly …


CHAPTER 11 – WE ARE THE BEST OF FRIENDS

The background setting for “Morning Star” was decorated in a dignified way, with warmth and simple elegance. The tables for both the hosts and the guest were joined together with their seats facing each other. In the middle of the table was placed a bright transparent blue telephone in the shape of a half moon which matched the background setting of a deep blue night sky.
It was just 10 seconds away from 8:00 p.m. and in the control room:
“Ready! Countdown time, 5, 4, 3 … Action!”

“MORNING STAR” ON THE SCENE.
 “Hello! Here is “Morning Star”, the guidance to love. I am Zhen Shan Mei. Welcome to the “Morning Star!” Shan Mei’s smile was graceful and elegant.

“I am Han Yu Cheng . From now on, I will co-host with Zhen Shan Mei in “Delightful Tour” of the “Morning Star” and will discuss together emotions such as family love, romantic love and friendship …” Han Yu Cheng smoothly took over from Shan Mei and immediately introduced the main theme in a light-heartedly way. Then Han Yu Cheng changed the topic of conversation, “Today what we are to talk about is the captivating fruit of love. So what is love? How do you view “love”? Miss Zhen Shan Mei?”

“What is the matter? What is this fellow doing? There is no arrangement for him to question Zhen Shan Mei!” The director and the working team inside the control room were all startled. The producer stole a glance at Xiang Zhe who was standing on one side and still looking calm … now the camera was focussing on Shan Mei, pray let Zhen Shan Mei be able to catch on!

Xiang Zhe was also slightly startled by the sudden question thrown at Shan Mei by Han Yu Cheng . However, he trusted Shan Mei would be able to cope with it and at the same time he was curious to know Shan Mei's reply.

“Thank you Brother Han Yu Cheng for giving me this opportunity!” After a few second's pause, Shan Mei softly began to speak and nodded her thanks to Han Yu Cheng .

“Oh?” Han Yu Cheng was speechless, what did she mean?

“Actually, I wanted to talk about it when we were doing the rehearsal, but I just could not find an opportunity.” Shan Mei smiling looked at the camera and earnestly said: “I think love does not simply emit a captivating charm, but it also enriches the growth of each other's mind. Therefore I will treasure my love and also treasure the love bestowed on me from the person who loves me!”

“As to the treasure of love, let us invite the guests of honour from “Morning Star’s” “Love’s Treasure”, and let them inaugurate the first love story under the nightly sky!” Shan Mei looked at Han Yu Cheng nearby, signalling him to take over …

Time slid by and the rest of the programme proceeded without a hitch. Han Yu Cheng didn’t try to ask Shan Mei more difficult questions and the pair of them coordinated with each other quite well. Even though it was not the first time Shan Mei heard about the old couple’s story, she still could not hold her tears in several instances. Watching Shan Mei, Xiang Zhe could not help smiling – oh his Shan Mei, how could she have so much tears to shed?

“Well, now it is time for a commercial break. We will let our lovely old couple and our stars to take a 5 minutes’ rest. We will continue to hear about the rest of the story after our break!” Han Yu Cheng caught the signal from the director and concluded the first half of the programme.

“Thank you everybody! See you later!” Shan Mei and Han Yu Cheng both thanked the audience.

COMMERCIAL BREAK
After apologizing to the old couple, Shan Mei left her seat in a hurry and at the same time Xiang Zhe arrived at the spot.
“Xue Chang! How is it going?” Shan Mei anxiously looked at Xiang Zhe.
“Rest assured! I have just spoken to Uncle and Miss Hsu’s operation is still in progress. I have also asked the medical staff and the operation is going smoothly. Please host the show with your peace of mind and don’t fail Miss Hsu’s kind regard. We will go to the hospital as soon as the programme ends.”

“Hmm!” Shan Mei obediently nodded her head.
 “Go back to the show. The programme will restart in a minute.” Xiang Zhe patted Shan Mei’s shoulder, gently encouraging her.
 “Alright!”

“Shan Mei!” Shan Mei turned to go but was stopped by Xiang Zhe.
 “Huh?”
“Miss Zhen Shan Mei’s performance is not bad, keep up with the efforts (jia yao) !”
“Thank you!” Shan Mei smiled happily and Xiang Zhe was relieved by her sweet smile.
Yin Xiang Zhe returned to the control room and Shan Mei also went back to her seat.

Han Yu Cheng was idly chatting with the old couple. He could not help but lowered his voice and asked Shan Mei, “What is the viewer’s rating?” The director would not tell and Shan Mei ought to have asked Director Yin.

“Oh? I didn’t ask.” Why did this man so concern with the viewer’s rating!
“What?” Did not ask about the viewer’s rating! Han Yu Cheng stared with eyes wide open; it seemed as though this Zhen Shan Mei only took advantage of the break to chat with the Planning Director. The show restarted without giving him a chance to continue pry further.

“Welcome back to the “Morning Star”. Let us take you back to Love’s Morning Star. I am Han Yu Cheng .”
“I am Zhen Shan Mei. During the first half of the show, we have heard the story of the old couple. Now, our hotline is on, each of the old couple will take one call from one audience. If the audience has a question to ask, please dial to the number we gave out at the beginning of the show. Our line is connected. Thanks.”

After concluding this speech, both Shan Mei and Han Yu Cheng were very tense; the workforce in the control room was also very tense – if there were no incoming calls, they would need to carry out the second plan. At this moment, they would have to count the time by seconds … but the tense atmosphere on the spot acted as a sharp contrast to the busy activities on the switchboard.

“How is it going?”
 “Too many phone calls! And a few of them came in at the same time …”
The programme director breathed a sigh of relief; it was so wonderful to have incoming phone calls!
“Then please connect the call according to the time it came through! Shan Mei, get ready to pick up the phone …”
The programme finally came to an end; Shan Mei and Han Yu Cheng thanked the old couple.
“Thank you very much to our lovely couple for letting us understand the treasure of love. Thank you!” Han Yu Cheng thanked them once again.
“Finally, I think many of the audience who don’t have a chance to talk to you two must want to listen to whatever more you want to say to all of us. Can you please say something?” Shan Mei’s smile was like warm light breeze under the night sky.

“Thank you Shan Mei!” The old couple looked at each other and smiled. News anchor Zhen could read their minds as they really wanted to say something.
“We too are very grateful for the TV station to give us this chance, to allow us to have such a good memory in our old age. At last what we want to say is that a blessed life is simple to achieve, all you have to do is to know how to “treasure, to be contented and to be grateful”. This way, your life would be full of utmost splendour! Love can be achieved in this way too.”

“What you have just spoken are great! Thank you!” Han Yu Cheng responded quickly while Shan Mei was just smiling and trying her utmost to control her tears.

“We have to say goodbye now! See you next week under the same sky!” Han Yu Cheng concluded the programme.
 “Thank you everyone!” Shan Mei and Han Yu Cheng bade the audience goodbye.
After the show, Han Yu Cheng and Shan Mei said farewell to the old couple and went to the control room to greet the workforce.

“Let’s hold the regular meeting tomorrow. We are all tired and should go home to rest.” Xiang Zhe seeing that Zhan Mei could no longer hide her worries, made a decision.

“Yes.” The producer agreed and let them off work.

Shan Mei looked at them and looked at Xiang Zhe. She felt very embarrassed, but she was really worrying about Ying Mei.
When Shan Mei hurriedly ran out of MBS, Xiang Zhe’s car was already waiting for her outside.
 “Get in!” Xiang Zhe immediately drove Shan Mei to the hospital.

IN THE CAR.
 “Xue Chang …”
 “Don’t talk, listen to me!” Xiang Zhe tenderly looked at Shan Mei who was still out of breath and said, “Miss Hsu’s operation was very successful. She and the patient are very well. You don’t have to worry any more!” On hearing the good news, Shan Mei was overjoyed.

“Xue Chang, I am so happy! Ying Mei is alright – it is wonderful!” Shan Mei was so happy that she grabbed hold of Xiang Zhe’s arm.
 “You are that happy?” Xiang Zhe looked at Shan Mei’s happy face and he was filled with happiness too.
“But then I am driving, we will have an accident if you don’t behave …”
“Hmm …” Shan Mei immediately let go of Xiang Zhe’s arm and her face reddened, “I am sorry! but I am really very happy!”
“I know and I don’t blame you …” Xiang Zhe smiled; actually all he wanted was for Shan Mei to be happy.
“Xue Chang, you are the best!” Shan Mei smiled sweetly …

After a week had lapsed, “Morning Star” was shown three times and the viewer’s rating although did not rise remarkably, it was rising steadily and the audience’s hot line was non-stopped. The whole production team was full of confidence.

It was another morning, Shan Mei went into the First Anchor’s Office.
 “Shan Mei, isn’t today your rotation day off? Why aren’t you at home resting?” Qing Xi dotingly looked at Shan Mei. Shan Mei was working too hard and Qing Xi was worrying about her.
 “Shan Mei, why are you here?” Xian Da and Yong Xi came from outside and looked at Shan Mei with surprise.
 “It is your rotation day off and you should take a good rest.” Yong Xi was also worrying whether Shan Mei could hold up to the large bulk of work she handled lately.

“I am OK, it’s just that I am on my way and it is just a habit to come up here to have a look … Thank you for your concerns!” Shan Mei smiled to everyone with embarrassment. Actually she was on her way to visit Ying Mei but she left home too early and she didn’t want to go to the hospital so early as to disturb Ying Mei, so she just came in the office. She never thought that it would stir up such a response from everyone.

“On your way? Where do you want to go so MBS is on your way?” Xian Da intended to tease Shan Mei.
 “Well, it is on my way!” On Ying Mei’s request, Shan Mei did not tell anyone about Ying Mei’s hospitalization, so she could not very well explain to Xian Da. Shan Mei’s face was turned a brighter shade of red.

“Good morning, Miss Zhen Shan Mei!” It was Xue Chan’s gentle voice.
 “Xue Chang?” Shan Mei was surprised to see Xiang Zhe standing at the door.
Xiang Zhe looked deeply at Shan Mei before he turned and greeted everyone politely.
 “Good morning Director Yin!” Everyone was silently laughing. Director Yin arrived at a good time ….

ON THE ROOF TOP OF THE MBS.
 “Xue Chang, why did you come?” Shan Mei stared at Xiang Zhe and curiously asked.
Xiang Zhe smiled lightly. How should he phrase his words? Should he tell her that he saw her at MBS door and stealthily followed her?
 “Xue Chang?” Shan Mei perplexedly looked at Xiang Zhe. What was Xue Chang smiling at?
 “Huh … It’s telepathy!” Xiang Zhe tenderly and steadily looked at Shan Mei. Yes, it was telepathy! His and Shan Mei’s telepathy!
 “Telepathy?” Shan Mei’s heart was twitching painfully; that was what Xue Chang had once said to her -----

“Did you believe … in telepathy?” Xiang Zhe gently asked Shan Mei.
 “Long long time ago, I was at a similar place and without sense of purpose, was all the time waiting for a person to appear …” He looked at Shan Mei and continued emphatically, “I sent out strong electric waves and wholeheartedly anticipated she could show her appearance soon …”
Xue Chang was so childish! “Did she show up as a result?” She wished she had appeared and not letting Xue Chang wait in vain.
 “No.” He shook his head and smiled. “It may be that our telepathy did not work.”
 “Telepathy … should only happen when two people are in love with each other!”


“Shan Mei? What’s up?” Xiang Zhe looked at Shan Mei whose eyes were brimming with tears and anxiously asked. Did he say something wrong?

“I am alright!” Shan Mei drew a deep breath and lowered her head. Telepathy … should only happen when two people were in love with each other! She and Xue Chang were two people in love with each other ….
 “Shan Mei?” Xiang Zhe was worrying more. He came near Shan Mei, trying to find out what really happened.
“I am alright, really alright … maybe I am too busy lately, really alright …” How could she tell Xue Chang? Shan Mei’s heart was hurting and she could not control the flow of her tears.
“Shan Mei!” Xiang Zhe’s heart ached. He went forward to tenderly pull Shan Mei into his arms, wanting to stop her tears.
 “Just tell me when you want to …” Xiang Zhe tenderly patted Shan Mei’s back and gently pacifying her.
Enveloped in Xue Chang’s warm embrace, Shan Mei could no longer control her tears and let them fall unhidden …
Shan Mei had to go; she wanted to spend more time with Ying Mei and she needed to give Chen Su a helping hand in the shop later in the afternoon
“Please go back to work and I will wait a moment and leave …” She did not want to be seen together.
“Fine.” Xiang Zhe understood Shan Mei’s wish and nodded with an indulgent smile.
“Let have lunch together and I will go and pick you up. Be careful on the way!” Xiang Zhe bade Shan Mei goodbye reluctantly and at the same time urging her to take care.

“OK! Xue Chang, please get back to work!” Shan Mei urged him; she did not want Xue Chang to neglect his work because of her.
 “Also, don’t get too tired and don’t smoke too much!” Shan Mei beseeched Xiang Che and bade him goodbye.
“Will do.” He always had his priority in work, but he felt gratified by her concern.
“I am leaving!” Shan Mei waved to Xiang Zhe and left the roof top first.
Watching her leave, Xiang Zhe fell into deep thoughts.

The tears just shed by Shan Mei reminded him of something, some blurry vision flashed through his mind. What was that? It was all mixed up! Xiang Zhe shook his head in order to clear his mind.

He should get back to work and in a hurry! He had to pick up Shan Mei for lunch at noon … thinking of this made Xiang Zhe’s mouth involuntarily twitched upwards.

IN WEN RONG HOSPITAL, INSIDE YING MEI’S SICK ROOM.

Shan Mei was sitting beside Ying Mei’s bed and was peeling an apple for Ying Mei.

“Later, Papa will come and he has asked for another day off. This apple was especially bought by Mama yesterday and I heard that this kind of apple is sweet, crispy and smells nice and is also highly nutritious. I can peel you one everyday and when you eat it, you will be as pretty as before! Also …” Shan Mei was trying to relieve Ying Mei’s boredom while peeling the apple. Ying Mei quietly sat there watching Shan Mei’s bright smile and listening to her light hearted jokes. Her heart was filled with a mixture of feelings. Shan Mei was like a warm and bright sunshine trying to comfort her.

“Shan Mei!” Ying Mei could stand no more.
 “Yes?” Shan Mei did not lift her head, but continued to peel the apple. She did not notice Ying Mei’s weired look.
“Why are you so good to me?” Ying Mei’s voice trembled as a result of her agitation.
Shan Mei was dumbfounded. She stopped peeling the apple, slowly lifted her head and looked at Ying Mei uncomprehendingly.
“Ying Mei?” Shan Mei carefully began to speak, she did not know what was wrong with Ying Mei.
“Why are you so good to me?” Ying Mei stared at Shan Mei, as though she was filled with hatred.

“Don’t you know what kind of person I am! Why are you still so good to me?” I hated your kindness! Jealous of your good luck! How can you own all the good things! I really hated you! I wanted to take away everything from you, I made you suffer on purpose! Framing you! Why are you so still so good to me? It was me who caused your job suspension, it was me who cause Yong Xi Senior’s car accident! Why do you have to forgive me? Why? It was me … me that led to You Zhen Oppa’s death! ,…” Ying Mei was crying …crying hysterically.

“Ying Mei!” Shan Mei was crying too but she still made an effort to get hold of Ying Mei, trying to calm her down.

“Listen to me, Ying Mei! Everything was in the past! Really, they were in the past …” Shan Mei’s voice choked with sobs. “You Zhen Oppa loved you, always loved you … He would never wish you to blame and hurt yourself! Also, haven’t we already shaken our hands? Have we agreed to be best of friends? You forgot what I have said? We are best friends! Hsu Ying Mei is Zhen Shan Mei’s best friend! Forget the past, Ying Mei! Start from the beginning, Ying Mei! …” Shan Mei controlled her tears and spoke out what was in her heart.

Ying Mei looked at Shan Mei with tears falling unhidden.

“Thank you, Shan Mei …” Shan Mei used her gentle heart to warm up Ying Mei, in the same way as You Zhen had used his sincere love to warm her up, it was she who didn’t treasure You Zhen Oppa …

“The Hsu Ying Mei I know should be one filled with confidence and always look ahead and never admit defeat. She is the one whom everyone cannot help but admire! Get going, Ying Mei!” Shan Mei wiped her tears, grasped Ying Mei’s hand and encouraged her.
“Thank you …”
“You really don’t want to tell others? Actually they no longer hold any grudges.” Shan Mei wanted to tell others about Ying Mei’s operation and her memory recovery. She felt that was good news!

“No … I really don’t know how to face them. I owe them too much …” She had done so much wrong and she did not have courage to face everyone. Auntie would come later, how could she face her? She really owed Auntie too much! It was due to her that You Zhen Oppa died. Ying Mei was feeling ashamed and sad.

“Ying Mei, you know that the news of your memory recovery and the success of your operation will be good news to everyone and you really don’t have to worry! Furthermore you have disappeared for a period of time and they will be worried about you if we hold our tongues.” Shan Mei held on to Ying Mei’s shoulder, gently comforting Ying Mei.

“But –“ Even though Ying Mei was about to refuse again but she could feel the warmth emitted from Shan Mei’s hand. She raised her head and looked at Shan Mei’s sincere and earnest look.

Shan Mei looked at Ying Mei and smilingly nodded her head. Ying Mei smiled too and also lightly nodded her head. Before she left, she should meet with the others and thank or apologize to them.

The two of them embraced each other.

“With You Zhen Oppa’s blessing, Ying Mei’s tomorrow will be perfect, she will be blessed …” Shan Mei’s eyes reddened, everything came to an end and everything was perfect … Xue Chang, I wished I could bring you happiness!

CHAPTER 12 – THE EMBEDDED SORROW CREPT UP IN SHAN MEI’S BEAUTIFUL AND TRANSLUCENT EYES


It was past 11:00 a.m. in the morning and Chen Su and Gui Cheng together arrived. When Shan Mei told them the news about Ying Mei’s memory recovery. Chen Su lost control and cried. Shan Mei immediately supported Chen Su and softly comforted her.

“I am sorry, really so sorry! It is all my fault …” Watching Chen Su in distress and sadness, Ying Mei felt deep regrets and pain and she was also in tears.
 “Ying Mei, you really can remember?” Gui Cheng wanted assurance, was it true?
“Yes ..” Ying Mei sadly nodded. “I am so sorry …”
“Silly child ..” Gui Cheng wanting to comfort Ying Mei, but didn’t know what to say so as not to hurt Chen Su at the same time. In actual fact, Chen Su bore the most pain.
“Ying Mei?” Chen Su suppressed her tears; thinking of her beloved dead son, she raised her head looking at Ying Mei, should she hate her? She was very worried when Ying Mei disappeared and she pitied this sad child when she lost her memory, but now, what should she do?
“Mama …” Shan Mei softly called Chen Su.

Chen Su turned her head and saw Shan Mei who was standing by her side. Shan Mei’s bright eyes were full of brilliance, as if she was asking her to forgive and forget! And it also seemed as though You Zhen was saying the same thing to her … yes, hadn’t she already forgiven Ying Mei? Why did she have to make a fuss now? It must be You Zhen who was blessing Ying Mei so that she regained her memory and could start afresh!

“Ying Mei, everything was in the past. You have to be good …and not to disappoint … You Zhen …” Chen Su had calmed down but still could not sustain her tears.
“Auntie, thank you!” Ying Mei gravely nodded her head, she would not go astray again.
“Good, good, everything is fine now!” Gui Cheng rubbed his eyes and sighed loudly.

At noon, Chen Su stayed in the hospital as she had a lot to say to Ying Mei. Gui Cheng received a call from the construction site and had to leave. So he bade goodbye to Ying Mei and left the hospital with Shan Mei.

Shan Mei took her father to the car park and bade him goodbye.
“I will take good care of Mama and Ying Mei. You don’t have to worry and please get back to work!”
“I know and you yourself have to take your meals at the regular time …”
“Do you want me to give you a ride?” Gui Cheng had to leave directly for the construction site but he was still worrying about Shan Mei.
“There is no need. Xue Chang will pick me up later. We … we have a date …” Shan Mei shyly smiled.
“Ah, a date?” Gui Cheng stared at his young daughter on purpose.
“Aiyo, Pa ..” Shan Mei cajolely pulled Gui Cheng’s arm.
“OK, OK! I won’t ask you for the details.” Gui Cheng laughed.
“Be careful on the road and don’t forget to have lunch first when you get there! Please give me a call in the evening and don’t let me and Mama worry …” Shan Mei tugged at her father’s arm and cajolely nagged him.
“Alright, you are nagging too much, just like your Mama!” Gui Cheng dotingly touched his daughter’s cute nose.
“You are always like this! If you don’t want me to nag, then you have to behave yourself!” Shan Mei made a face at her father and mischievously laughed.
“Oh you ….” Gui Cheng watching her daughter’s lovely laughter, also roared with laughter.

“Oh Shan Mei, so many things happened lately and Papa had to work, you have to stay strong!” Gui Cheng was feeling guilty towards Shan Mei. He knew Shan Mei was working hard with a lot of stress and with Ying Mei’s accident, she had to take care of everything at the same time. What caused Shan Mei’s heartache most was her relationship with Xiang Zhe. Now with Ying Mei’s memory recovery, she and Xiang Zhe …. Aye! He was really worrying about his little girl.

“Pa, you don’t have to belittle me! I don’t have any problems at work! I became very independent when I stayed in the States!” Shan Mei comforted her father.

“I know! Our Shan Mei is the best! and the loveliest!” Gui Cheng proudly smiled. His little girl had grown up, but he still could not stop worrying about her. She was his precious daughter!

“That is for sure!” Shan Mei also proudly raised her chin but could not stop laughing wholeheartedly. Gui Cheng also laughed contentedly.
 “That will do. I have to go! Take good care of yourself!” Gui Cheng got into his car.
“Huh!” Shan Mei gave her father a big smile and waved him goodbye. Gui Cheng drove away.
When Shan Mei walked out of the hospital, the phone began to ring as soon as she switched on her cell phone.
“Hello, Zhen Shan Mei speaking!”
“It’s me.” Xiang Zhe’s anxious voice came through the phone. He had tried calling her for a few times.
“Xue Chang?”
 “I am sorry, Shan Mei. I have to attend a very important meeting so I can’t come to pick you up.” Xiang Zhe was apologetic. He was afraid Shan Mei had been waiting impatiently.
“Oh …” Shan Mei was very disappointed. She originally thought she was able to see Xue Chang at once; she had a lot to tell him.
“Shan Mei? I am really sorry! Are you listening?” Unable to hear Shan Mei’s voice, he was very worried.
“Oh, I am fine. I can have lunch myself. You don’t have to worry about me!” She didn’t want Xiang Zhe to worry, so she tried to comfort him.
“You have something to tell me?” Instinct was telling him this.
 “Nothing!” Hearing Xue Chang’s words, Shan Mei was feeling an indescribable grief.
“I am fine. Really fine! You don’t have to worry about me!” Shan Mei tried to conceal her feeling.
“Shan Mei …” Xiang Zhe was about to say something, but his secretary came in to remind him about the meeting. He signalled his secretary to leave the room as he had something to say to Shan Mei.
“Xue Chang, don’t nag. Please hurry up and attend the meeting! Don’t forget to eat lunch!” Shan Mei heard the conversation between Xiang Zhe and his secretary and urged him to go to the meeting.

“OK. I will give you a call after the meeting. You have to take your lunch on time and don’t go hungry.” Xiang Zhe was feeling frustrated.
 “Yes, will do. I am going to hang up.”
“Good.” Xiang Zhe was very worried, but still agreed dotingly.
“Aye … Xue Zhang!”
“What happens?” Hearing Shan Mei voice calling him, Xiang Zhe held on tightly to the cell phone and getting more worried.
“The meeting you are attending, is it an important one?”
“Yes.” Xiang Zhe answered uncomprehendingly.
“Then ….” Shan Mei paused for a moment.
“What?” Xiang Zhe asked.
Shan Mei laughed with a very sweet smile and the sound of her pleasant laughter drifted through the receiver into Xiang Zhe’s ear.
“Xue Chang, pep up! (jia you)
Xiang Zhe was so touched, he could imagine Shan Mei’s lovely smile.
“Thank you, Shan Mei …” Xiang Zhe replied with deep affection.
“You are welcomed! Don’t forget I am your junior!” Shan Mei smilingly said.
“I am going to hang up!”
“OK.” He was loathed to end the call.

Hearing the sound of Shan Mei hanging up her phone, Xiang Zhe stood up, put on his jacket and got ready to go to the meeting. Thinking of Shan Mei with her encouraging smile, Xiang Zhe’s worries ceased and he could face with ease all the difficulties envisaged to be encountered in the forthcoming meeting.

He would go to see Shan Mei after the meeting! He could not stop worrying, even though he knew Shan Mei was very strong, but he knew Shan Mei needed him by her side.

After hanging up the phone, Shan Mei stared at her cell phone and murmured, “Pep up, Xue Zhang.” If she wanted to help Xue Chang, the onset was not to let Xue Chang worry about her. Even though …

The smile on Shan Mei’s face began to wear off and the embedded sorrow slowly crept up in Shan Mei’s beautiful and translucent eyes.

INSIDE CHEN SU’S SHOP.
 “Thank you! Thanks for the trouble!” Shan Mei sent the two delivery men off and thanking them.
“Thanks for the trouble!” The two delivery men were also very courteous.

After seeing them off, Shan Mei went back to the shop and started cleaning the place. Rubbing the floor, cleaning the windows, cleaning the shelves as well as stocking the shelves with goods, cleaning the countertop … although she was feeling a little tired, she still enjoyed the work. .

“Good!” Seeing that the shop was clean and tidy, Shan Mei flashed a smile of satisfaction.
“This way Mama can have a easy day when she opens the shop tomorrow …” Shan Mei happily smiled and then went inside to wash her hands.
Chen Su closed her shop for a few days so as to spend time taking care of Ying Mei. Now with Ying Mei recovering in good progress, Chen Su wanted to re-open her shop tomorrow, so as not to cause further inconvenience to her valued customers. That was the reason why Shan Mei secretly took advantage of her rest day to help Chen Su cleaning and stocking up the shop …

After washing her hands, she checked once again the goods on the shelves to make sure there was no oversight. Suddenly she could hear the door bell rang. Someone wanted to buy something? Shan Mei walked out from the rows of shelves; she could definitely remember putting up the “Closed” sign on the door!

“Sorry! We are not doing business today. Can you come back tomorrow …” Shan Mei explained to the visitor with a radiant smile.
The visitor stayed silent, just looking at her with a doting smile.
“Xue Chang!” Shan Mei looked at Xiang Zhe with surprise, “Why are you here?” Shan Mei happily ran towards him.
“Huh! I am missing you! So I come …” Xiang Zhe tenderly looked at the happy Shan Mei. He was really missing her, so soon after the meeting, he left instructions for the follow-up work and rushed to see her.

“You have finished your meeting? How was it? Everything OK?” Shan Mei’s face reddened and suddenly changed the topic. She heard from Xian Da that recently many things happened at MBS and she wished Xue Chang could deal with them smoothly.

“Everything is proceeding smoothly!” With Shan Mei’s encouragement, everything just went smoothly for him today.
“That’s terrific!”
“But why are you here?” Xue Chang shouldn’t be off work yet? Was he playing truant?
“Huh …”
“You are really playing truant?” Shan Mei glowered at Xiang Zhe. He was really …
“How can you behave this way? It is office hours …” Before Shan Mei had not finished speaking, she was interrupted by a “Guru Guru” sound, it was her stomach which was protesting!
“I have eaten! I have eaten a lot and was full …” Knowing that she was in troubles, Shan Mei responded quickly and tried to explain to Xiang Zhe. She could see the sudden anger in Xue Zhang’s eyes and could only swallow what she was about to say.
“You didn’t eat lunch, right?” Xiang Zhe sighed helplessly and his voice was full of heartache.
“I have eaten! One hamburger … I am sorry!” Shan Mei guiltily lowered her head with a red face. Xue Chang must be angry with her? Once again she was letting him worry about her, but if she were to go to lunch on her own, she would … aiyo!
“Shan Mei, I am not angry with you!” Xiang Zhe gently picked up Shan Mei’s hand, “Lift up your head and look at me, I am not angry …”
“I am really sorry!” She was so touched by Xue Chang’s gentle concern and infinite tolerance, but she still did not want to raise her head.
“Little fool! You are crying again?” Xiang Zhe laughed, holding tightly to Shan Mei’s hand.
“Let’s go. Let’s find something to eat! Actually I didn’t have a full lunch … let’s go and make up for our lunch!”
“Huh!” Shan Mei happily raised her head and slightly nodded. Xue Chang was super nice!
“But, how about work …” Shan Mei suddenly remembered she was asking Xue Chang about work, how come …

Before she could gather her thoughts, she was pulled out of the shop by Xiang Zhe.
“You don’t have to worry about my work. I have already made arrangements. Just be a good girl and come and eat with me!” Xiang Zhe cunningly smiled.
“Xue Chang!” Watching Xue Zhang locking the door of the shop, Shan Mei could only helplessly called out. Xue Chang was very overbearing! But still very … very nice …
“You really don’t need my help?” Shan Mei poked her head in again.
“No need!” Xiang Zhe assured Shan Mei with a smile and patted her on her cheek, “Be a good girl, go and take a bath and the food will then be ready.”
“OK then!” Shan Mei obediently nodded her head.
Shan Mei was happily taking a shower in the bathroom.

At first, Xue Chang wanted to take her out to eat, but this hour was not a good time, so they came to Shan Mei’s home which was in the neighbourhood. Although she did not want Xue Chang to cook for her, Xue Chang stubbornly wanted her to take a rest and wanted to cook himself. He also asked Shan Mei to try his cooking skill. Hadn’t Xue Chang forgotten? She had eaten the breakfast cooked by Xue Chang! Thinking of that breakfast, Shan Mei sweetly smiled. She made the correct choice to return and she should try her best to hold on to her love! If she was now in the States, then … Shan Mei could not dare to think.

Xue Chang was really very good! But then … why was she was always feeling the unrest! How exasperating!
“Shan Mei! Don’t entertain foolish ideas! Xue Chang really loves you!” Shan Mei was speaking to herself and could not help breaking into laughter.
“Oh, I am so blessed!…”
“It tastes so good!” Shan Mei looked at the food on the dining table and could not help trying to steal a mouthful.
“Little gluttonous cat, are you stealing food?” Xiang Zhe came out from the kitchen and smilingly watched Shan Mei.
“I am not … Eh …” She did not want to admit, but the food in her mouth prevented her to speak on.
Seeing Xue Chang’s laughing face, Shan Mei had to plead guilty.
“It’s because I am so hungry and why do you have to cook such delicious foods?” She sounded so righteous.
“You are saying it is all my fault?”
“That is for sure.” She did not even mince her words.
“You, aye …” Xiang Zhe could only smile, this Shan Mei …
“Then you better hurry and eat, since it is my fault.” He sounded so guiltless.
“Let’s start!” She was really very hungry.
“Have your rubbed your hair dry? Why didn’t you rub it dry?” Xiang Zhe found that part of Shan Mei’s hair was still dripping wet and worried that she would catch a cold.
“It will be fine after a while …” Shan Mei took another bite and smiled at Xiang Zhe.
“You … aye … Be careful not to catch a cold. Let me help you to rub it dry!” He then stood up; walked behind Shan Mei and took up the towel from Shan Mei’s body.
“There is no need, Xue Chang!” Shan Mei immediately tried to stop him.
“Be a good girl and eat your food! Don’t move.”
“But … but … Xue Chang, you are not eating?”
“I am not hungry. It can wait until after I rub your hair dry.” Xiang Zhe gently rubbed Shan Mei’s hair with the towel.
“Good, it’s much better now! Remember to blow dry a bit later.” Looking at Shan Mei’s half-dried hair, Xiang Zhe smiled with satisfaction.
“What is the matter?” When Xiang Zhe went to his seat, he found Shan Mei in a strange state.
“Nothing?” Shan Mei sniffed her nose and tried hard to control her tears.
“You are crying again? You are really a crybaby!” Xiang Zhe leaned closer to her and smiled gently.
“I am not crying! It is all your fault!” Yes, it was all his fault, why did he have to be so considerate and thoughtful so much so it moved her to tears!
“Well well, it is my fault, OK? Come and eat your food quick. I am really afraid that hunger will cause your stomach troubles!” He said with a deep sigh.
“I only have minor stomach trouble, it’s nothing and my doctor said it is not serious …” Shan Mei sounded completely unperturbed.
“You have stomach troubles and you still don’t take your meals on time?” He was agitated. No wonder she was so thin and not in the best of health.
“Huh …” Shan Mei was speechless. Really, how could she tell this to Xue Chang!
“Xue Chang …”
Seeing Shan Mei’s sorrowful look, Xiang Zhe’s heart weakened. He should not have spoken so harsh.
“I’m sorry, I am too agitated. However from now on, you have to take your meals on time and not to stay hungry!” He had to utter these words out.
“Yes sir!” Shan Mei saluted and gave Xiang Zhe a sweet smile.
“OK, go ahead and eat!” Xiang Zhe nodded.
Watching Shan Mei enjoying her food, Xiang Zhe smiled feeling very blessed. At the same time, he vouched he would have to keep an eye on Shan Mei in future! He had to watch over her eating habits.

IN THE EVENING.
“Mama?” Shan Mei carrying a bowl and softly pushed open Chen Su’s bedroom door.
“What is the matter, Shan Mei?”
“Nothing. I have made some soup, please try some!”
“If it is made by our Shan Mei, then I have to try.” Chen Chu took over the bowl.
“How is it? Taste good?”
Watching Shan Mei’s anxious look, Chen Su was grief-stricken.
“No good?” Shan Mei purposely misinterpreted Chen Su.
“No, it is very good …” Chen Su put down the bowl and wiped off the tears that had fallen.
“Mama!” Shan Mei embraced the saddened Chen Su.
“Shan Mei …” Chen Su cried mournfully. She was missing You Zhen very much, why did it have to be liked this? Ying Mei was turning over a new leaf but You Zhen would never come back. Her heart was hurting! “You Zhen …”
“Mama, please don’t be sad … we are all here by your side, You Zhen Ge is also here!” Shan Mei tearfully tried to comfort Chen Su.
“Mama, I and Papa will always love you! Don’t be sad, You Zhen Ge also loves Mama dearly …”
“Shan Mei, thank you …” Chen Su wiped off her tears. She should be happy, she had a good daughter like Shan Mei and Ying Mei had also changed for the better.
“Mama, you are my mama!” Shan Mei cajolely said.
“I can’t stop worrying about Ying Mei, why does she have to go? “ When Ying Mei told Chen Su the news about her wanting to study abroad, Chen Su hoped Ying Mei would stay.
“Ying Mei always has her own ideas and goals! It is a good thing that she has a chance to further her study abroad! We should be happy for her …. Also, I think Ying Mei needs time to adjust her state of mind … Actually the important thing is for her to be happy … don’t we wish her to be blessedly happy?” Shan Mei lightly explained to Mama.
“You are right!” Chen Su sighed, if only Ying Mei could have the blessings … what You Zhen wanted was for Ying Mei to be happy! She would not hinder Ying Mei.
“Mama? Ying Mei said she wants us to go with her to see You Zhen before she leaves …” This was the message Ying Mei asked Shan Mei to pass on.
“Go and see You Zhen?” Chen Su was surprised and once again her tears could not help falling again.
“Mama …” Shan Mei’s heart ached for Chen Su’s sadness. She was also missing You Zhen very much, but she had to stay strong!

“Yes, let’s go together! With your Papa, we will all go …”

CHAPTER 13 – THINKING OF SHAN MEI BECAME PART OF HIS LIFE!


It was already 10:00 p.m., Xiang Zhe gently rubbed his exhausted brows, the work was finally finished.
 “Has Shan Mei gone to bed?” He really wanted to see her, even though they had spent an enjoyable afternoon together.
“I am really missing her …” He gave a deep sigh, why did he always want to see her, if only a glimpse on the sideline was fine …
He dialled the number and hung up.
“She should be sleeping, but …” He laughed at his own foolhardiness; he really could not let her go …
He dialled again, if she …

“Hello! Zhen Shan Mei speaking.” Shan Mei’s clear and musical voice drifted over and he could imagine her “sunshine” face. Xiang Zhe became light-hearted all of a sudden and his fatigue was all gone.
“Hello? Xue Chang, is that you?” Shan Mei’s voice was so gentle and sweet. It could only be him that was calling at this hour.
“Hmm …” Xiang Zhe responded in a light voice.
“What is the matter? Why are you not speaking? Have you finished your work? Have your eaten your dinner? Are you very tired? …”
“Wow, so many questions …Which one do you want me to answer first?” He loved to hear her voice and listened to all trifles in her daily life …
“Xue Chang, did you actually have dinner?” This was what she was most concerned about.
“Hmm. Yes, I ate some toast and also drank some milk. Please don’t worry …”
“Is your Mama OK?” She told him about Ying Mei’s recovery of memory this afternoon; he knew Shan Mei was very concerned about her Mama’s state of mind.
“Mama is fine, but she is still missing You Zhen Ge very much …. I have just finished chatting with her and Mama is very strong …”
“That is good … please don’t worry too much …”
“Huh!” Inexplicably she had a sudden urge to cry but she tried to control it as she did not want Xue Chang to worry.
“Actually, our Shan Mei is also very strong …”
“Please go to bed early … See you tomorrow …” Xiang Zhe glanced at his watch, it was already half past; Shan Mei had work to do tomorrow, she should go to bed early …
“OK! Goodnight, Xue Chang! You should also go to bed early.”
“Goodnight …” He was unwilling to hang up.
She was also unwilling to hang up, but she had to do so, or else she would start to cry ..
“Xue Chang, I am going to hang up …”
“OK.”

Hearing the clicking sound, Xiang Zhe then lightly flipped closed his cell phone.
Tomorrow, he would get up early and then he could see her beautiful smile in (Good Morning Eve).
The thought of Shan Mei’s brilliant and blessed smiles alone would lighten up his mood and make him relaxed and happy.
However, why was he feeling a little heartache? Was it because of the forlorn pain he saw in her eyes this afternoon?
After Shan Mei hung up her phone, she could no longer control her tears and cried …
Oh! There were too many past events impacting on her, too many painful memories stabbing at her and too many thoughts making her cry ….
She was strong, but she did not know how much more she could withstand … but she was still willing to endure, willing to move forward, all because he was her Xue Chang, not just anyone! Because he was the one she loved …
Let her cry now and tomorrow she would continue to move forward!

EARLY MORNING IN THE FIRST ANCHOR’S OFFICE.

“Is it really true?” Chen Sui squeaked with surprise.
“It’s true?”
“Ying Mei she …”
Shan Mei slightly nodded her head; she knew it was a bombshell to everyone. That was the reason she chose this moment after (Good Morning Eve) to tell everyone. At this time, the two trainees should be in a meeting with Supervisor Xian Da.
“As soon as Ying Mei is released from the hospital next week, she will go abroad to further her studies. She is very apologetic to everyone, but Ying Mei really wants to meet you all …”
Listening to Shan Mei telling them about what had happened, everyone was surprised but stayed quiet …
“Of course we will go and see her! …” Again Chen Sui was the first one to speak out, “I will go with Zhao Di! And I will bring her our wedding candies!”
“Yes, we will of course go!” Li Qing Xi nodded her head in agreement and poked Song Kee Jon with her hand.
“Yes … of course!” Song Kee Jon swiftly nodded his head.
“Yong Xi?” Qing Xi turned to ask Liu Yong Xi. Yong Xi Senior was the person Shan Mei worried most.
“I will go, let’s all go together.”
“Thank you everyone!” Shan Mei happily smiled; she knew everyone was concerned about Ying Mei, and she also believed no one bore any grudges against Ying Mei … Ying Mei could now cease to worry!

AT LUNCH

 

During lunch, Yong Xi invited Shan Mei out.
“Supervisor seems to change a lot lately, he looks so anxious …” The thought of Uncle Xian Da’s anxious look, with Chen Sui vividly copying his acts behind his back, all made Shan Mei wanting to laugh. However, she thought Uncle Xian Da was really very … adorable!
Yong Xi smiled with slight embarrassment, but she emitted a feeling of blessedness resulting from being a wife and a mother and was the envy of others.
“Senior, you have to take care of yourself and rest more!” Shan Mei was worried about Yong Xi who strove to excel others, after all Senior was now carrying a baby.
“You are as bad as Xian Da who constantly urges me to take more rest!” Yong Xi smiled, “but, I have to thank you for your concerns!” She knew that Shan Mei genuinely cared for her.
“I have done nothing …” Shan Mei was feeling embarrassed.
“Right, you worked so hard lately all because of Ying Mei?” Ying Mei’s hospitalization and memory recovery must have been traumatic to Shan Mei.
“Hmm … Actually it was no hardship at all.” Shan Mei nodded and then shook her head.
“Ying Mei, she … decides to choose her own future, I think she must be making a big decision!” Thinking of Ying Mei’s decision, Shan Mei gave a sigh.
“I think so, you shouldn’t be too worried! Ying Mei is a strong person who likes to excel others and she should not have any problems.” Yong Xi comforted Shan Mei; she thought Hsu Ying Mei should choose her own life, she just hoped that she would not choose the wrong path again this time.
“Senior, thank you for agreeing to go with us to see Ying Mei together. I think Ying Mei would be very happy to see you!”
“It’s me who should say thank you, Shan Mei.”
“Oh?”

“It’s you who made me realize a lot of things …” Yong Xi thanked Shan Mei sincerely. She did not want to deny that she bore a grudge against Ying Mei, after all Ying Mei nearly took her life! However, when she saw that Shan Mei unconditionally helped Ying Mei, she too put the grudge out of mind. Shan Mei was always so forgiving, including herself! She herself had hurt Shan Mei too, but Shan Mei had never harboured any resentment and instead was genuinely concerned about her …
“Huh?” Shan Mei was all the more confused, what did she mean?
Yong Xi smiled, this was Shan Mei – blurry and adorable, her heart was filled with warmth and innocence, her brilliance was natural and beautiful … that was the reason why Yin Xiang Zhe loved Zhen Shan Mei! The elegant, simple, mellow and contented Zhan Shan Mei!

“What are you chatting about?” A pair of warm hands were slightly holding Shan Mei’s shoulder.
“Can we sit down?” Another voice began to speak.
“Xue Chang! Supervisor!” Shan Mei happily turned her head.
“You are this happy to see me?” Xiang Zhe smiled happily.
“Xue Chang!” Shan Mei glared at him. Really, why couldn’t he stop teasing her? His teasing caused her face reddened with embarrassment. Yong Xi Senior and Supervisor laughed.

“Just sit down if you want to!” Shan Mei muttered to herself, pouting her adorable little mouth.
Xiang Zhe laughed as Shan Mei looked so adorable. Xiang Zhe and Xian Da both sat down.
“Don’t you have a lunch appointment?” Yong Xi asked. They should be attending a very important lunch meeting.
“It was cancelled at the last moment.” Xiang Zhe answered simply and concisely.
“This is all your lunch?” Xiang Zhe glanced at the table, his face darkened. Why couldn’t she listen to him?
“Oh … not really! We …” Shan Mei guiltily looked at Xue Chang, she was caught red handed.

“What is the matter?” Xian Da also looked at the table, only to find that Shan Mei ordered very little food. Yong Xi on the other hand had ordered a lot as she was eating for two!
“Yin Xiang Zhe, what are you doing?” Yong Xi was a bit angry. Really, why was he glaring at Shan Mei in such a way?
“Nothing!” Xiang Zhe sullenly answered.

“Let’s order lunch!” Xiang Da immediately tried to ease the awkwardness and comfort Yong Xi as a pregnant woman should always maintain a good mood in order to benefit the baby.

“Shan Mei has stomach problems and the doctor advises her to have more meals but eat sparingly in each one. That is why Shan Mei could not eat much!” Yong Xi said. Even though she saw Shan Mei’s meaningful glance, she had to speak out as she did not want Shan Mei to be wrongly accused.

“I’m sorry.” Xiang Zhe was very apologetic. It was he who was neglecting Shan Mei, yet it was he lost his temper with her.
“No, Senior, it’s me who is in the wrong!” Shan Mei’s flushed red, she understood that Xue Chang was too concerned for her, too anxious about her well-being to behave in such a way.
“OK, OK … now that we let everything off our chests, let’s hurry up and eat!” Watching Shan Mei who was so protective of Xiang Zhe, Xian Da smiled and busily bade everyone to eat.
“Senior and Xue Chang should eat more! Let’s celebrate you two having a stress-free lunch …” Shan Mei smiled sweetly at Xiang Zhe, hoping Xue Chang could have a worry-free lunch.

Xiang Zhe responded by giving Shan Mei a gentle and relaxing smile. He was too anxious towards Shan Mei. Fortunately Shan Mei did not mind.
“Stress-less lunch? Good thinking!” Xian Da happily laughed, it was a rare occasion that he could have lunch his wife.
“Yong Xi, eat more! This tastes good …” Xian Da’s attention towards Yong Xi was meticulous. When they ordered more food, Xian Da took the opportunity to give Xiang Zhe a meaningful glance.

Xiang Zhe secretly gave a deep sigh, he was helpless and he could only raise the question himself.
“Yong Xi, have you reached a decision yet?” Actually it was Xian Da who requested him to ask this question. The amenable Xian Da would not dare to raise this question! At this instance, Xian Da was anxious to hear her reply …
“I am not planning to give up my job!” Liu Yong Xi was Liu Yong Xi, she did not want to give up her beloved job as the news anchor of the 9:00 p.m. news!
Xiang Zhe looked at Xian Da and did not say a word. He already guessed Yong Xi’s answer well in advance and Xian Da also was prepared, but what could Xian Da now do? Yong Xi was angrily glaring at him!
“Well …” Xian Da was very embarrassed. He understood Yong Xi, but he hoped Yong Xi could take her health into consideration! Now with his junior and his good friend’s daughter watching him, he would not try to reason with her, he was a bit angry and worried …

The atmosphere was all of a sudden tense and depressed.
“Supervisor,” Shan Mei looked at Supervisor Xian Da and also at Yong Xi Senior, gently began to speak, “Yong Xi Senior knows herself clearly, she considers herself to be still able to do her job as an anchor and I think until she realizes that she can no longer carry on with the job, Senior will naturally take a break but not to give up altogether!”
“Oh?” After listening to Shan Mei, Xian Da looked at Yong Xi. Yong Xi nodded in agreement, that was exactly what she meant!
“It’s like that!” Xian Da exhaled a deep breath.

Xiang Zhe gave a soft smile, it looked as though he and Xian Da did not really understand Yong Xi! No, not really! They should understand Yong Xi better than Shan Mei, but they were thinking from their own cognition! Only Shan Mei thought from Yong Xi’s angle … therefore Shan Mei could understand Yong Xi’s feeling, and they misinterpreted the meaning in Yong Xi’s words!
“Thank you, Yong Xi!” Xian Da looked at Yong Xi with profound love. He really loved her very much.
Yong Xi gently smiled, she was glad that Xian Da could finally understand. Actually she was fully aware of Xian Da’s intention.
“Senior, you look so blessed!” Looking at the two of them who had resolved their differences, Shan Mei happily sighed.
“Really?” Yong Xi happily smiled, “Shan Mei, I am also envious of you, someone sent you flowers this morning!”
“Darling wife, I will send you flowers early tomorrow morning!” Xian Da immediately made a response. Really, this junior, why did he have to be so romantic! It always resulted in himself being berated by his darling wife …

“Hmm …” Shan Mei’s face flushed red, it was all Xue Chang’s fault for sending her flowers! Morever, he had a very good reason every time! For example, today’s flowers were for the smooth communications between her and the others … And he also wrote on the card … “Although different flowers represent different meaning, this rose signifies a “talking flower” (which means a beautiful and understanding woman) ! Wishing you all the happiness! .. From Y.”
“Oh, that is it!” Shan Mei suddenly realized, “Thank you, Xue Chang! Also to you Senior!” Shan Mei happily smiled.
“What do you mean?” They were all dumbfounded.
“Hmm … secret!” Shan Mei looked at the three of them, all looking uncomprehendingly and smiled sweetly.
This was secret and she could not tell! This was a happy lunch, even though it was not too much fun with some uncertainties.

AT YING MEI’S HOSPITAL ROOM

 

In the afternoon, all of them from the First Anchor’s Office went to visit Ying Mei after work.
When Zhao Di saw Ying Mei on the hospital bed, she gave her the wedding candies and chatted happily, but was still unable to hold back her tears and cried.
Ying Mei apologized to them all, especially to Yong Xi Senior who had once doted on her … everyone tried to comfort Ying Mei and also urged her to stay behind … Ying Mei was very glad, but she also cried, she was really feeling very sorry …
 “I want to start afresh, so I have to leave.” Ying Mei dried her tears.
“Ying Mei …” Looking at the determined Ying Mei, they were all speechless.
“I will miss you all . thank you all …” Ying Mei smilingly bowed to everyone.
“Ying Mei, you have to pep up!” Zhao Di loudly said.
“I will, thank you!” Ying Mei firmly nodded her head.
The visiting hour was soon over. Shan Mei saw them off and then returned.
“Shan Mei, thank you!” Ying Mei looked at Shan Mei gratefully, she could now leave freely without worry. She really had to thank Shan Mei for letting her know everyone’s feeling.
“Why do you have to thank you? We are good friends!”
“You better leave too, you have work to do!”
“OK then, you have to take good rest! Please call me if you want something!” Shan Mei had to leave because she had to go back to host (Morning Star).
“Huh … about …”
“Mama said we will all go to visit You Zhen Ge this weekend!” Shan Mei nodded to Ying Mei with a smile.
“Thank you!” Ying Mei’s heart trembled, You Zhen Ge, how are you? …

XZ DRIVING SM HOME

 

At night, Xiang Zhe drove Shan Mei home and then they had a walk in the small park nearby.
“What are you thinking of? Are you thinking of me?” Xiang Zhe examined Shan Mei’s lovely face, gently asked.
“I am thinking of ice cream!” Shan Mei sweetly smiled and looked at him mischievously.
“You have not been thinking of me? … How disappointing …” He wore a disappointed and injured look which made Shan Mei breaking into laughters.
“Xue Chang!”
“You really have not been thinking of me? Then if I go to Tokyo will you miss me?” He told her about his business trip to Tokyo for one week during dinner and surely she would be missing him?
“Hmm …”

Watching Shan Mei who paused in her speech, Xiang Zhe was inexplicably anxious. He stopped walking, solemnly looked at Shan Mei and waited for her reply.
“What happens, Xue Chang?” Shan Mei also stopped walking, she turned her head to look at Xue Chang. She could feel the profound love in Xue Chang’s eyes …
“Will you miss me?” He stepped forward, looked at Shan Mei intensely and gently and passionately asked.
“Xue Chang!” She gently nodded, she really missed him, missing him all the time! He may not be aware of this!
“Actually … I have started to miss you already!” Shan Mei’s adorable face reddened.
“Really!” Listening to Shan Mei’s words, Xiang Zhe smiled happily.
“Then can you give me a farewell hug?” She had a program the next morning and could not see him off at the airport, could she give him a big hug now?

Shan Mei pondered for a moment and did not answer. Xiang Zhe was disappointed … but Shan Mei suddenly opened wide her arms and gave Xue Chang a light hug!
“It is English style!” Shan Mei released her arms and shyly smiled.
“I will remember it well …” Xiang Zhe could feel the blessedness and his heart swelled with happiness.
“Actually, hmm …” Xiang Zhe paused for a moment, he did not know whether it was a good time to tell.
“What?”
“I miss you all the time! Do you know that when you were studying in the States, I really missed you …” He confessed to her with profound love. During the time when she was not with him, missing her became part of his life!
“Xue Chang!” Xue Chang was missing her all the time? In the same way as she was missing him? Shan Mei’s eyes reddened, she wanted to cry.
“Don’t cry, Shan Mei … I just want to let you know that my heart has been always with you!”
“Xue Chang, thank you!” She was grateful to Xue Chang for letting her know; she was really very happy, but she still wanted to cry!
“Don’t cry!” He went forward to wipe her tears and lightly pulled her into his arms.
“Xue Chang, I am also missing you all the time! Missing you everyday!” Shan Mei gently said.
It was really a perfect setting for the blessed couples to be able to embrace each other under the gentle and bright moonlight …

 

CHAPTER 14 – LET’S PUT THIS PICTURE IN A FREEZE MODE

 

IN THE FIRST ANCHOR’S OFFICE.

“It’s time to go, thank you all for your hard work!” Supervisor Xian Da announced.
 “I have to thank you for tomorrow, Gi Lan!” Shan Mei was grateful to Gi Lan for changing her rotation day off, allowing her to go with Papa and Mama to visit You Zhen Ge and to see Ying Mei off.
 “Shan Mei Xue Je, you are too courteous! I have given you so much trouble in the past …” Gi Lan was feeling somewhat embarrassed because Shan Mei was always ready to help her when she had a problem.
 “OK! You two please stop being so polite! If you want to thank someone, then please thank Mr. Chui Chen Sui for bringing lunch for us today!”

“Why do we have to thank you, Senior?” Sung Yuk Cheng looked at Chen Sui uncomprehendingly.
 “If it was not for me, one of them would not have the strength to read the news and for the other, how could she be able to run so far away for an outdoor shooting? How can they utter so many polite words!!” Chen Sui sounded so convincing and complacent.
Everyone could not help but laughed.

“OK, Chen Sui, stop fooling around!” Qing Xi laughingly said.
The First Anchor’s Office was always filled with sounds of laughter and happiness.
They bade each other goodbye.

“Shan Mei, can Yong Xi and I give you a lift?” Xian Da stopped Shan Mei.
 “There is no need, Senior. I can just take the bus home!” Shan Mei politely declined; she did not want to trouble Senior.
“No, that won’t do! Director Yin instructed me to take good care of you before he went, and if I don’t take good care of you, I may get the sack … Shan Mei, you are not that cruel?
“Uncle Xian Da!” Shan Mei called out to Xian Da, her face flushed red, really …
“OK, let’s leave together! I think it will be raining later … Shan Mei you won’t let me stand too long, right?” Yong Xi dragged Shan Mei out.
There was nothing she could do, so Shan Mei just followed order.

IN XIAN DA’S CAR.

“Ying Mei is leaving tomorrow and you don’t have to be so bothered.” Yong Xi could see the restlessness in Shan Mei and she tried to comfort her.
“I know, Ying Mei has her own ambition and her future life would be better … but somehow I am still reluctant to see her go away …” Shan Mei felt very sad.
“Shan Mei, how is your Papa lately? Is Da Je (You Zhen’s mother) OK?” Xian Da looked at Shan Mei from the rear view mirror and changed the topic. Ying Mei’s matter should have brought a lot of trouble to Brother Gui Cheng.
“Papa is fine and as always he loves to laugh … Mama although she misses You Zhen Ge a lot, is a tower of strength …”
“Then I can cease to worry. I have been busy lately and I will go with Yong Xi to visit them later …”
“Yes, Shan Mei, after finishing this season’s work, I will arrange for my break and by that time we can afford more time …”
“Thank you Uncle Xian Da and Yong Xi Senior!” Shan Mei sweetly smiled.
“Don’t call me uncle again! It sounds as if I am very old … or else Xiang Zhe will call me uncle too!” Xian Da protested, but could not contain his laughter before he finished talking.
“OK, then I have to change my greeting, Xian Da Senior!” Shan Mei smiled.

“Good. You had lunch with the production manager. How do you feel? Do you get along well with Han Yu Cheng?” Xian Da asked about her work, but he did not say it was his junior who instructed him to do so and also it was an order from his superior!
 “Huh, the production manager is very nice! Though a little bit too severe!” Shan Mei gave a sigh, “As for Han Yu Cheng, I don’t have any contact with him apart from work, but he has good sense of humour when he is in the show! He is very shrewd! But I think he is too proud and I don’t like this kind of person!”
“You also think in this way?” Xian Da smiled. Although many people felt the same way, the only one who would voice her opinion so frankly could only be Shan Mei.
“Yes, I have to congratulate Uncle Xian Da … no, it should be Senior!” Shan Mei hurriedly corrected herself.
“You know the news too? Although there is no formal announcement yet …” Yong Xi smiled. She of course would be happy with her husband’s promotion.
“What Xue Chang said wouldn’t be wrong!”
“I surely know that it was Xiang Zhe who told you! Then he also told you about his official takeover from Wen Rong …”
“Then I have to take extra care of you in future!” Xian Da teasingly asked.

“No, that’s not like that … actually Xue Chang was afraid he wouldn’t be able to congratulate you in time, so he wants me to congratulate Senior on his behalf … therefore I was told! Xue Chang didn’t tell me on purpose …” Shan Mei hastily explained. But the more she explained, the more Yong Xi and Xian Da looked at her in a weird way, causing her face to flush deep red.
“I have to congratulate you too, Shan Mei!” Xian Da smiled.
“Me?” She didn’t get any promotion!

“Since your return, your programs always rank the top! MBS’ (Flying Mood) surpasses the other programs shown in other channels at the same time. (Morning Star) draws a lot of attention! Someone even says that seeing Anchor Zhen Shan Mei’s smile in (Good Morning Eve) will put her in a good mood! Also at the most recent popularity poll, you have outranked Yong Xi and Lee Su Xiao and score No. 1! Now you and the two of them are MBS’ tradenames!” Xian Da was happy for Shan Mei and at the same time reminded Shan Mei to be careful as Lee Su Xiao now regarded Shan Mei as her rival!
“Is it really true?”
“It’s true! It was reported at the meeting Xian Da and they held this afternoon.” Yong Xi smilingly looked at Shan Me, she was happy for her. However she was worried about Lee Su Xiao treating Shan Mei as her rival.
“Senior, thank you very much!” Shan Mei was really happy as her hard work was bearing fruit. However, she could not grasp the subtle hint in both Xian Da and Yong Xi’s words.
“You will have to work harder, Shan Mei!” Xian Da and Yong Xi looked at the naive Shan Mei and could not help but felt worried.
“I will!” Shan Mei happily smiled.

“Thank you, Seniors. I am home, do you want to come in for a few minutes?” Shan Mei alighted from the car and Yong Xi moved to sit in front.
“Not this time. It is going to rain. Yong Xi and I will come to visit later …”
“Please go in, Shan Mei!”
“OK! Bye!” Shan Mei smilingly waved her hand and went into the house.

Xian Da made a U turn and drove home.
“It’s really going to rain! What is the matter, why are you not talking?” Xian Da turned to look at her silent wife.
“Xiang Zhe has gone to Tokyo.”
“I know, Tokyo … what have you discovered?” Xian Da suddenly realized, his voice sounded agitated.
“Nothing … not yet, I am just worrying about Shan Mei …” Yong Xi patted her husband, she was only worrying … she just hoped Yin Xiang Zhe could return from Tokyo safe and sound this time and not run into any accident …”
“I understand, I wish Shan Mei can stay strong … You have to pay more attention to her … on the other hand you have take more rest, don’t tire yourself out!”
“I know …” Yong Xi gently smiled.

Shan Mei went home, had dinner with Papa and Mama and scrambled with Mama to wash the dishes.
“I’m going to my room …” Shan Mei sweetly told Papa and Mama.
“Good, please go to bed early. You have to get up early tomorrow …”
“Don’t work too late; be warned that I will give you a sudden room check later on.”
“Will do! I will go to bed after taking a bath!”

Shan Mei went into her bedroom, tidied up things and had a leisure bath.
“Why doesn’t it ring?” Shan Mei looked at the telephone and then at her watch.
“Xue Chang …” Shan Mei idly switched on the TV but somehow could not pay any attention to it.
“Do I have to call him instead? Has Xue Chang gone to sleep? …” Shan Mei held on to the telephone undecided.
“I better wait for a little while …” Shan Mei used the remote control to turn to another TV channel, Xue Chang was in the TV! Shan Mei couldn’t help giving a sweet smile; she felt very blessed and very contented. As a matter of fact, Shan Mei was watching the video tape which Xue Chang gave her.

“Ring, ring …”
“Hello! This is Zhen Shan Mei!” Shan Mei hurriedly picked up the phone.
“It’s us!”
“Belle, Tai Xi!”
“What? You are waiting for a call? You sound disappointed … It makes me sad!”
“Not really … Belle, please don’t …”
“I’m only teasing …” Belle was laughing at the other end. Shan Mei was always so gullible
“Let’s talk business. It’s me, Tai Xi! Got your email; your new layout design is superb and I have found someone to dub in the music … I will email same to you for approval later!”
“That is wonderful!”
“I have something to add! Shan Mei, if you are so busy, please don’t insist to stay on the line!” Belle interrupted.
“I know! You really can make use of my new layout design?” It was the first time she did it all on her own.
“Of course, we will change our design next week!”
“I think we will have a lot of browers!”
“That is wonderful!” Shan Mei called out happily.
“Right, how are you lately? Any progress?” Belle asked.
“What progress?” Shan Mei could not comprehend.
“It’s you and he! Your Xue Chang!”
“Oh! We … we are doing fine …”
“That’s it?”
“Yes! Xue Chang is really very good to me …”
“Then … what are you going to do next?”
“What? I have not given any thoughts to it, let future takes care of itself!” Shan Mei gave a sigh; Zhao Di asked her the same question just two days ago and her answer was the same … she really didn’t know what would happen in future and she only wanted to hold on to the present!
“The most important thing is for you to be happy!” Belle and Tai Xi both sighed at the other end.
“I understand what you mean.” Shan Mei lightly smiled.
“That’s good. I’m going to hang up. Will call you later!”
“Right, aren’t you waiting for another call? We won’t bother you any more!” Belle and Tai Xi laughed at the other end.
“OK then, speak to you later. Take care! …” Shan Mei didn’t forget to remind her good friends.
“Okey-doke! Bye!”

After hanging up the phone, Shan Mei looked at the TV, Xue Chang was smiling …
“Let me put this picture on a freeze mode!” Shan Mei smilingly looked at the TV screen.
The phone was ringing!
“Hello! Zhen Shan Mei speaking!”
“It’s me!” His low and magnetic voice came through the phone.
“Xue Chang!” Shan Mei happily called out.
“Do you miss you? I miss you very much …” Xiang Zhe said with profound love.
“Huh … I know!” She shyly replied.
“What do you know?” He was teasing her, because he loved to hear her “I miss you”! Now her face should be as red as red apple!
“Xue Chang!” She angrily protested.
“OK OK, no more jokes … hmm, everything fine today? Did you have lunch? Is it raining in Seoul now? Did you get wet?” He was busy changing the topics of the conversation and stopped teasing her.
“I am fine; everything ran smoothly today! I ate one portion of steak at lunch and it was a treat from the production manager! Uncle Xian Da gave me a lift home, so I did not get wet! Oh, he forbids me to call him uncle …” She happily laughed.
“Good …” He could now cease to worry, but he was really missing her.
“Xue Chang, how was your meeting today? Did you have a good journey? You have to take enough rest! And don’t smoke! …” She was feeling bad for not able to see Xue Chang off at the airport. She had a lot of biddings for him!
“Xue Chang? Are you listening?” Why was there no response?
“I am here …” He laughed.
“Why didn’t say something? You hate my naggings?”
“I haven’t heard your voice for the whole day … I just want to listen to your voice …” How could he hate her naggings? He felt so blessed when he knew she cared for him!
“Really?”
“Of course! How can it be troublesome if I can talk to the most popular anchor in MBS and listen to her voice? Congratulations, Shan Mei!” He would like to see her and to congratulate her.
“Xue Chang, how do you know?” She laughed happily; her happy laughters were as brilliant as spring flowers.
“Have you forgotten that I am the Planning Director?” He teased her; actually it was Xian Da who phoned him long distant after the meeting.
“Hey, you are abusing your authority!”
“Aiyo, I am wrongly accused! It was Xian Da who wanted to share with me the joy of his beloved junior Miss Zhen Shan Mei’s achievement!”
“Really?” She would never believe that!
“I am speaking the truth, you don’t believe me?” He laughed; he wanted to laugh when he thought of how adorable Shan Mei looked when she was in doubt. Actually he cared for everything about her.

 “You are taking your rotation day off tomorrow, what are you planning to do?”
“Tomorrow morning I will go with Papa, Mama and Ying Mei to visit You Zhen Ge, and in the afternoon, we will see Ying Mei off ”
“Hmm, please don’t be sad. Let nature take its course and don’t worry … you have to take more rest …” He tried to comfort her. He knew how important You Zhen Ge ranked in her heart, he also knew that Ying Mei played an influential part in her life. But all he wanted was for her to smile and never worry again! Aye, how could she spend her holiday running errands for others? Why couldn’t she take a good rest?
“I know.”
“Xue Chang, you better go to bed early! We will talk again tomorrow!” Shan Mei looked at her watch and found it was already nearly 11:00 p.m.
“OK, you should also go to bed early. Also don’t go reading your book or surf the web!”
“Alright!” She cajolely replied.
“Be an obedient girl!” He couldn’t help but smiled.
“OK!” She obediently agreed; she would watch her emails tomorrow.
“Goodnight!” He was reluctantly to bade her goodbye.
“Goodnight! … Aye, Xue Chang!”
“What is the matter?” Was anything wrong? Why did she stop him? He frowned.
“Hmm … Actually I miss Xue Chang very much! Talk to you tomorrow!” Shan Mei hung up immediately thereafter.

At the other end, Xiang Zhe was speechless, his brows suddenly relaxed and his face started to wear a happy expression; his smile was full of blessedness.
It looked as though he had to return to Seoul as soon as possible; she was missing him so much after just one day. It was fortunate he could hear her voice tomorrow …
“Talk to you tomorrow, my baby!”

AFTERNOON IN THE SEOUL AIRPORT.

“Ying Mei, you have to take care!” Shan Mei got hold of Ying Mei’s hands and her eyes already brimmed with tears.
“I will!” Ying Mei smilingly nodded.
“Please let us know when you have settled down there … You are on your own and you have to take good care of yourself!” Gui Cheng benevolently looked at Ying Mei.
“Come back if you don’t like it there … Don’t think too much of the past. Auntie does not blame you anymore. You have to live a good life for You Zhen!” Chen Su could not control her tears.
“I know. Thank you all! Uncle, Auntie, thank you!” Ying Mei bowed to Gui Cheng and Chen Su.
“Silly child! Don’t be so courteous!”

THE REQUEST FOR BOARDING THE FLIGHT WAS ANNOUNCED.

“I have to go in!” Ying Mei looked at the time and smiled.
“OK, don’t miss your flight …” Gui Cheng and Chen Su nodded in agreement.
“I will accompany you to the departure gate!” Shan Mei wanted to see Ying Mei off at the gate.
“OK …”
“Papa, Mama, we are going …”
Shan Mei accompanied Ying Mei to the departure gate, which was some distance away from where Gui Cheng and Chen Su were standing.
“Shan Mei, I have something to say to you before I go …” Ying Mei smiled.
“Thank you, Shan Mei!”
“You are repeating these words again!”

“They are from the botton of my heart! In the past … I won’t mention again! I will study hard when I am away and I will come back to the TV station and become an outstanding anchor! I have watched your programs. Shan Mei, you are terrific! Although in the past I didn’t want to acknowledge your real worth, I am willing to do so now. You are still my rival! Perhaps when I am back … Shan Mei, you have to be careful!”

“I accept your challenge! I will work extra hard!”
“Good, that is our pact!”
“Let’s work hard together, Ying Mei!”
“I am going inside …” Ying Mei was going on board, but she seemed hesitant.
“Please rest assured, I will go to visit You Zhen Ge for you!” Shan Mei gently smiled and she nodded to Ying Mei in confirmation.
“Good, I am going inside!” Ying Mei waved to Gui Cheng and Chen Su who were standing nearby, looked at Shan Mei once more and then without turning her head, went through the departure gate.
“Ying Mei …” Shan Mei breathed a sigh.
With Ying Mei gone, everything became bygones. She wished Ying Mei could find real happiness and Shan Mei fervently prayed for Ying Mei in her heart.

She would also work hard for her own happiness!
“Keep going! (jia you)”

CHAPTER 15 – WISH HE WAS BY HER SIDE

 

Gui Cheng and Chen Su went home and Shan Mei went shopping by herself. She had to broadcast “Tonight’s Postcards” in the evening, so she decided not to go home.
When she got tired of walking, she dropped by a MacDonald’s nearby and ordered a large Coke and a large order of fries. She sat down near the window and slowly ate, engrossing in deep thoughts.
That morning, they went to visit You Zhen Ge.
Ying Mei knelt down before You Zhen’s grave, with Shan Mei standing by her side and Gui Cheng supporting Chen Su behind.
 “You Zhen Ge! …” Ying Mei cried out with profound love.
“Please don’t worry, I will take good care of myself! I will try my best to stay happy … thank you for your forgiveness, but … I will work hard for my new life, in the way you told me! … You Zhen Ge, I have to leave, but I will come back, come back to see you! … You Zhen Ge, I love you!”
“Ying Mei …” Shan Mei helped Ying Mei to get up, gently patting her on her back, then she tried to control her tears and looked at You Zhen’s picture.

“You Zhen Ge, you don’t have to worry anymore! As soon as I receive news from Ying Mei, I will come to read them to you! You have to pray for her!” Looking at the eternal smiling picture of You Zhen, Shan Mei was feeling sad.

“You Zhen Ge, goodbye!” Ying Mei tearfully bade You Zhen farewell …

 “Aye!” Shan Mei gave a deep sigh and pulled herself back to the present.
She had already drunk more than half of her coke. Looking at the warmly decorated MacDonald’s, this was a joyful world for children.
Several children aged eight or nine years’ old were timidly watching her. They were softly murmuring to themselves and finally they came over.
“Hello!” The leader of the group greeted Shan Mei politely and the others followed suit.
“Hello to you all!” Shan Mei sweetly smiled; her brilliant smile confirmed to the children that she was Anchor Zhen Shan Mei!
“You are really sister Zhen Shan Mei?” The girl with the two large plaits excitedly asked; she addressed Sun Mei with the title “sister” and the others waited anxiously for her reply.

“Yes, I am! It’s my pleasure to meet with you all!” Shan Mei gently replied.
 “It’s terrific!”
“You are really Anchor Zhen Shan Mei!”
“It’s true!”
“You love hamburger?”
The children talked excitedly at the same time.
“Right, you are having a celebration?”
“Yes, it’s Ying Kit’s birthday!” The boy named Ying Kit nodded his head, looking very shy.
“Happy birthday, Ying Kit!” Shan Mei smiled at him, sending him her blessings!
“However, I don’t have a present for you, what should I do?” Shan Mei thought for a minute, “How about me buying you something to eat!” Shan Mei generously asked them to sit down and ordered a lot for the children.
“Sister Shan Mei, you look beautiful in person!”
 “Thank you!” Shan Mei laughed.
“I love your work in (Good Evening Eve)!”
“My brother says he loves Sister Shan Mei!”
“My mom says that too!”
“I have liked your program long time ago!”
“My elder sister is a medical student, she says she loves Sister Shan Mei’s (Tonight’s Postcards)!” The boy named Ying Kit hurriedly said.

With the children’s involvement, Shan Mei spent an otherwise sad afternoon happily. Finally the children unwillingly bade Shan Mei goodbye and Shan Mei was also sorry to see them go.
 “Children’s Day!” Shan Mei had a sudden idea; she would arrange for a special program for the children in (Flying Mood)!
 “But now, I have to go to work first!” She would give Ying Kit a present in (Tonight’s Postcards) later tonight.

(TONIGHT’S POSTCARDS) BROADCAST STUDIO.

At the end of the program, Shan Mei thanked everyone for their hard work and then she was off work and went home. She asked Xian Da not to wait for her tonight as Yong Xi Senior was not feeling well today.

Shan Mei walked out from MBS and got on the bus. As soon as she settled down, her cell phone rang; it was long distant.
 “You are on the bus?”
 “Xue Chang! How come it is you!” Shan Mei was surprised.
“It’s me! The program is finished!”
“Hmm! How do you know I have got on the bus?”
“Xian Da told me he could not give you a lift tonight and I thought you must have just left MBS and got on the bus.”
“Correct, Xue Chang, you are really very clever!”
“Are you a good girl today?” He gently asked.
“Yes, I am ..”
“Really?”
“Hmm ..” She didn’t eat a lot for dinner, but she ate plenty at MacDonald’s when she was with the children this afternoon.
 “Zhen Shan Mei!” He gave a helpless sigh.
“Xue Chang, don’t sigh! I am not hungry! Mama will have some soup ready for me when I get home! You don’t have to worry.” Shan Mei hastily explained.
“You have to take good care of yourself!” He really wished she was by his side.
“I know, from now on I will be an obedient girl!” Shan Mei cleverly responded.
“Did you have a good time today? Give me a good account of it, will you?”
“Hmm!” Shan Mei happily nodded.

Throughout the journey, with Xiang Zhe to keep her company, Shan Mei was really very happy. Xiang Zhe did not hang up until after she reached destination, but he would call again later to bade his beloved goodnight.

THE NEXT AFTERNOON.

(FLYING MOOD) RECORDING STUDIO.
 “Thank you for your hard work!” The filming director announced to all that the work was finished.
Shan Mei and Zhao Di came out together.
“It is finally done!” Zhao Di gave a deep sigh.
“Thank you very much!” Shan Mei gave Zhao Di a grateful smile.
“How did I do just now? Do you think I need to redo some of the shots?” Even though the program had finished recording, Zhao Di was still very nervous.
I don’t think so, we can see the demo after tomorrow’s outdoor shooting … but you are really awesome!” Shan Mei joyfully looked at Zhao Di and did not forget to remind her, “Please do remember to keep it a secret!”
“I know! I will keep it a secret until the Children’s Day!” Zhao Di nodded to give her guarantee.
“However, you have to make it up to me for not able to meet up with Chen Sui for the whole day!” Zhao Di rolled her eyes, formulating a plan in her head.
“Please let me know what you want! Oh, aren’t you missing Chen Sui? Let me take you to see him now …”
“Girl! What I want is for you to treat me to a good meal! Furthermore Chen Sui has a dinner date tonight!” Zhao Di exclaimed, but never thought that she would slip out the truth.
“I know!” Shan Mei smiled, she already knew that Zhao Di wanted a big treat from her. However, this time she deserved it.
“OK, then please wait for me tonight, let’s go and eat Japanese!” Shan Mei picked up Zhao Di’s arm and ushered her out.
“I will order plenty plenty! … I am telling you this, Chen Sui is a mean one, he always complains that I eat too much! If I knew it beforehand, I would not have married him.” Zhao Di complained on the way and Shan Mei couldn’t help but laugh.

AT NIGHT, IN THE JAPANESE RESTAURANT.

Zhao Di ordered a lot, ready to eat a succulent meal.
 “Right, how did you get to know this Japanese restaurant?” The food tasted so good!
 “It was Xue Chang who brought me here, he said this is the most authentic one!” Shan Mei sweetly smiled.
 “Girl! You are so lucky! Aye, if Chen Sui could be half as good as Director Yin, I will be so satisfied …” Zhao Di was daydreaming again.
“Chen Sui is very good to you! I am so envious of you two!” Shan Mei was telling the truth, all she wanted was a tranquil and simple life.
“Well, let’s trade our lives!”
“Aren’t you afraid that Chen Sui will know?”
“I am not really afraid! …That man had the audacity to ask me to go to his place at 9 o’clock tonight – his cousin is getting married!” Zhao Di was not happy as Chen Sui did not show so much enthusiasm when they got married!

“Shan Mei, you have to be careful in future!” The half full Zhao Di decided to tell and she anxiously reminded Shan Mei.
 “What?” Careful about what? Shan Mei looked at Zhao Di uncomprehendingly.
“Lee Su Xiao now regards you as her rival!” Zhao Di reminded Zhan Mei.
“Oh?”
“Don’t “oh” me! It’s true! I heard that the production team is planning to invite you two to appear in (Rivals Talk)!”
“Me and Lee Su Xiao?” Shan Mei’s eyes stared wide open. She and Lee Su Xiao? It was not true? They had met each other a few times in business functions.
“How can it happen?” Appearing in (Rivals Talk)? Last time she and Ying Mei did that. Aye, Ying Mei! …
“Do you feel anything at all apart from astonishment?” Zhao Di was agitated, Shan Mei was really dim-witted in that area!
“I don’t understand.”

“Why do you have to be so superb in the (Flying Mood) and (Morning Star)? Why do you have to rank No. 1 in this MBS popularity poll? You have unexpectedly surpassed Liu Yong Xi and Lee Su Xiao who used to take turns to run the lead, especially Lee Su Xiao! Without you, she would be able to be Liu Yong Xi No. 2 or hope to surpass Yong Xi Senior one day, but now you have unexpectedly surpassed both of them!” Zhao Di made everything clear in one breath.

“Oh! But our style of hosting are entirely different, and our programs are also different types!” Lee Su Xiao and Yong Xi Senior were more like Ying Mei.
 “Don’t “oh” me, Shan Mei! People won’t care what styles or types! Just be careful!” Zhao Di worriedly looked at the Shan Mei who was still at a loss, she had to remind her more often.
 “Hmm!” Shan Mei nodded. She could to some extent understand what Zhao Di meant, and she could also remember the way how Xian Da and Yong Xi hesitated when they spoke to her a couple of days ago. Let it be, but first she had to do something to relieve Zhao Di’s worry.

“There is still one more thing that I have to tell you, Shan Mei!” Zhao Di mysteriously said.
 “What thing?” Something more? Shan Mei drank a mouthful of juice and asked.
“Lee Su Xiao had tried to pursue the Prince Director! Although she was rejected by the Director, she has never given up hope!” Zhao Di lowered her voice and said.
“Oh? kem, kem …” Shan Mei choked.
“Are you OK?” Zhao Di hurriedly asked; scared, weren’t you?
“I’m OK!” Shan Mei picked up her napkin to wipe her mouth, and did not speak for sometime.

“That took place after you ran away. At that time Lee Su Xiao became very popular and became MBS’ tradename and she took over Ying Mei’s work! Director Yin seemed to regard her highly … The scandals about Lee Su Xiao pursuing Director Yin were all over the place! Everyone was thinking that they would become a couple … however Director Yin made a public announcement to clarify that they were just rumours! Lee Su Xiao did not succeed … actually I would like to tell you earlier, but at that time you were studying in the States and the darned Chen Sui did not let me tell you! Please don’t be mad at me, Shan Mei!” Zhao Di on one hand tried to explain to Shan Mei and seeing that there was no response from Shan Mei, finally decided to involve Chen Sui.

“I’m afraid Director Yin won’t have any feelings for anyone besides you!” Zhao Di saw that Shan Mei kept silent for a long time, lightly sighed and made her own conclusion! Seeing that Shan Mei kept staring at her glass of juice, she thought Shan Mei must have misunderstood, so she busily made further explanation.

“I hope you won’t mind what I have just told you! That Lee Su Xiao won’t be able to have her way! You don’t believe me? You see, as soon as you came back, Director Yin immediately behaved like a human again. Even though you have not publicly made known your relationship, everyone knows Director Yin has only you in his heart! The Prince Director is ever so good to you! …….. Girl, you are so lucky! … Shan Mei, are you listening?”

“Oh! I am OK! It’s just that my thoughts are somewhat chaotic …” Shan Mei shook her head, still feeling chaotic.
 “Aiyo, it’s nearly 9:00 p.m.! Chen Sui asks me to be at his place by 9:00 p.m. …” Zhao Di looked at her watch and called out in alarm.
“Oh! It’s time! You better go! I have to go and settle our bill.” Shan Mei responded.
“Then I will leave first! Please don’t let your thoughts wander!” Zhao Di hurriedly stood up, bade Shan Mei goodbye and rushed to meet with Chen Sui.
“Be careful! There is no need to hurry!” Shan Mei called out to Zhao Di from behind.
Zhao Di was somewhat regretting what she had just said to Shan Mei; she didn’t know what Shan Mei would be thinking; had she caused troubles again?
Shan Mei was in the restaurant deep in thoughts, how should she face all these?

MBS CONFERENCE ROOM.

“Yu Cheng, Shan Mei, we have to tape two series of (Morning Star) in advance!” The production manager announced their plan.
 “We already have two taped series in reserve, besides we are broadcasting live everytime. Why do we need to tape so many reserved series?” Han Yu Cheng smilingly asked, even though he was not happy with the arrangement.
 “It is like this, due to the Pushan Film Festival, our program may need to be shown in a different time slot …” The director gave a helpless reply.
 “How can they do that?” Han Yu Cheng exclaimed with displeasure.
The production manager and the director exchanged a glance, there was nothing they could do, now it was Assistant Director Kim who had the say in the policy!
 “Then, will (Seoul’s Splendour) change its showing time?” Han Yu Cheng aggressively asked.
 “Well …” The production manager was speechless. They wouldn’t change the showing time for (Seoul’s Splendour) as it was Assistant Director Kim’s ace program and it was hosted by another of MBS’ most popular hostess, Lee Su Xiao!
 “Then why do they have to change our showing time! It is really too much!”
 “It is a decision from the management! ………. Let’s break up the meeting!” The production manager was helpless.
After the meeting, Shan Mei silently stood up, totally unaware of a pair of exploratory eyes at her back.
In the corridor, Shan Mei thought of what happened just before the meeting ---

Shan Mei was carrying a pile of documents and letters when she walked around the corner of the corridor and she accidentally dropped everything. Shan Mei hurriedly knelt down to pick them up and she heard ---
 “You also heard about it?”
 “I think so, if it is not for Planning Director Yin, she wouldn’t be the first?”
“That is it! If it is not for Planning Director Yin, she wouldn’t be hosting a program soon after her return!”
“But, I am envious of her! How can she have such good luck!”
“Then why did she have to flee? Why did they not get married?”
 “Who knows? Aye, I heard Lee Su Xiao is also in Japan, they have a secret weapon to cope with their program …”
“I also heard that, and also Lee Su Xiao doesn’t seem to have given up hope …”
She could not remember how she left … she later had to hide in the washroom.
Why did it have to be like this? She only wanted to work hard, to be with Xue Chang! Why did it have to be like this?
Looking at herself in the mirror, Shan Mei lowered her head and could not stop her tears; she was really very sad.
She missed Xue Chang, wishing he would be by her side at this moment.
Even though there were these kinds of rumours, she would not give up the love which she had lost and regained! She did not want to run away again!
She had to be strong!
You have to pep up, Shan Mei!

…………..

“Zhen Shan Mei!” Seeing there was no response, Han Yu Cheng had to call Shan Mei’s name loudly.
 “Oh?” Shan Mei was startled and was awakened from the train of thought, she turned her head and saw Han Yu Cheng.
 “What is the matter?”
 “Are you OK?” Han Yu Cheng saw Shan Mei’s pale face and could not restrain himself from asking with concern. She was not looking well since the beginning of the meeting.
 “I’m fine.” Shan Mei reluctantly smiled, “Thank you.”
 “You look pale …” Han Yu Cheng could not help but worry.
 “It’s nothing, I think it must be because I didn’t sleep well last night … do you want me for something?” She had been waiting for the telephone to ring for the whole night!
 “Oh, it is like that. Have you heard what the production manager said?” Han Yu Cheng was curious to see Shan Mei’s response, because Shan Mei was very quiet during the meeting.
Shan Mei nodded and still remained silent.
 “I want to discuss with you our new case; do you have time?” Seeing that Shan Mei was lacking in response, he thought Shan Mei was not interested. He then cleverly changed the topic.

“Good, but I now have work to do and also have an outdoor shooting …”
 “That’s fine, let’s meet at the cafeteria at 3:00 p.m. this afternoon. I will wait for you!” Han Yu Cheng swiftly said.
 “OK! I have to go.” Shan Mei nodded, she wanted to give good performance in her programs.
 “Shan Mei!” Han Yu Cheng stopped Shan Mei who was about to leave.
 “Huh?” Shan Mei was at loss and turned to look at him; was there something more?
 “Your smile is so brilliant! Pep up!” Han Yu Cheng looked at Shan Mei in her face, encouraging her with his smile. Even he himself did not understand why he had to comfort her.

Shan Mei responded with a beautiful smile, even though it was a heartaching one
 “Thank you!”

She really missed Xue Chang! Why didn’t he phone her? There wouldn’t be anything wrong with him? … No, it wouldn’t be …
Shan Mei’s heart trembled and she was on the verge of tears …

CHAPTER 16 – XUE CHANG, WILL YOU PICK THE SAME ONE AS I?


FIRST ANCHOR’S OFFICE.

“Congratulations!” Everyone was congratulating Xian Da’s promotion.
 “Thank you!”
 “It’s double happiness descending on the house!” Chen Sui happily exclaimed.
“Yes it is, congratulations to both of you, Seniors!” Kim Gi Lan and Sung Yuk Cheng exclaimed.
Xian Da and Yong Xi looked at each other and smiled happily.
“Aye!” At the same moment, Song Kee Jong gave a deep sigh.
“What are you doing?” Li Qing Xi poked Song Kee Jong at his shoulder, glaring at him.
“How envious!” Song Kee Jong again gave a sigh, then turned to look at Qing Xi, “Let’s try it too, Li Qing Xi?”
“You …” Li Qing Xi glared at him with embarrassment, how could he brazenly make such a statement in front of everyone!

At this moment, Shan Mei’s clear voice came from outside. Before she stepped into the room, she painstakingly refreshed her state of mind and gave herself a big big smile.
“I’m back!”
“What are you doing?” Looking at the way how they all tried to contain their laughter, she wondered what was happening?
“Shan Mei, Supervisor has been promoted! He is leaving the First Anchor’s office …” Chen Sui held on to Shan Mei and told her the happy news.
“Congratulations, Senior!” Shan Mei smiled at Xian Da.
“Thank you!”
“Now with everybody here, Senior has to announce the plan for the celebration treat …” Chen Sui busily made the suggestion.
“OK, I will treat you all to the karaoke tonight!” Xian Da looked at Yong Xi and deliberately added, “It is an event for colleagues only and no family members allowed!”
“Oh? Senior, you can’t do this!” Chen Sui protested loudly; yesterday Zhao Di already lost her temper with him, and today …
“This is the arrangement! Please get back to work!”
“Aye …”

The helpless Chen Sui had to seek help from Shan Mei.
“Please help me, Shan Mei!” On the pretext of discussing business, Chen Sui murmured to Shan Mei.
“How can I help you?”
“Please tell Zhao Di about Senior’s treat tonight …”
“Zhao Di is not an unreasonable person, you can tell her yourself.”
“But … you don’t know how she lost her temper last night …” Seeing that everyone was watching him, Chen Sui had to lower his voice again.
“Aye, she was angry that you are too enthusiastic about your cousin’s wedding …” He should now understand the root of Zhao Di’s anger.
“She was angry with that?” Chen Sui couldn’t understand.
“Aye! She was angry that you did not show so much enthusiasm with your own wedding …”
“Oh?” Chen Sui was speechless.

“How could she say that I was not enthusiastic with my own wedding? It was she who always looked for troubles and refused to get married! I always let her have her own way … but what shall I do tonight?”
“You can just talk to Zhao Di directly, or you can treat her to lunch to show your repentance, or you can send her flowers …”
“Send flowers?” It seemed like a good idea, but … he better listened and did as Shan Mei said.
“If it still does not work, you have to help me!”
“OK!” Shan Mei looked at the distressed Chen Sui, nodded.
“Pep up, Shan Mei!” Chen Sui patted Shan Mei on her shoulder.
Shan Mei gratefully smiled.
“Pep up! Zhan Shan Mei!” Shan Mei encouraged herself, she would work hard.

It was nearly 1:00 p.m. in the afternoon. Shan Mei and the crew came back from an outdoor shot.
 “Thank you for all your hard work!” Shan Mei baded everyone goodbye.
“Shan Mei, please come to the production office at 5:00 p.m. this afternoon.” The director instructed Shan Mei.
“Yes!” Shan Mei agreed and turned busily looking for Zhao Di.
“Zhao Di, what are you doing? Aren’t you coming in with me?”
“Of course not!” Although Zhao Di gave this reply, she “obediently” followed Shan Mei into the First Anchor’s office.
“You are back! Have you had lunch?” Li Qing Xi greeted Shan Mei and Zhao Di.
“Zhao Di!” Chen Sui immediately came forward, “Let’s go to have lunch! I have been waiting for you!”
“Yes, Senior has been waiting for you!” Song Yuk Cheng caught Chen Sui’s meaningful glance, chimed in.
“Go! I will go later.” Shan Mei pushed Zhao Di ahead.

This darling couple then left together.
Shan Mei gave a happy smile.
“Shan Mei, you have a present!” Yong Xi indicated the parcel on Shan Mei’s desk.
Shan Mei gently opened it and found a clear and bright crystal rose inside.
“Oh!” Shan Mei acclaimed with delight.
“Oh it’s so lovely!” Both Yong Xi and Qing Xi leaned over and also acclaimed.
“Oh, it’s one of the works of art from the Expo!” Qing Xi remembered it was one of the items that were presented in her program.

But Shan Mei’s focus was on the small card inside the box.
“Shan Mei, how are you? I’m sorry I didn’t call you last night. I am sure you must have waited until very late. Please don’t get mad at me! You still have not had lunch, right? Be a good girl and go and take a good lunch. I will call you tonight to explain. Also, I hope you like this crystal rose. Can you understand my sentiment? XZ”

Shan Mei pursed her lips and smiled sweetly.
“Xian Da spoke to Xiang Zhe just a moment ago; apparently after the dinner reception last night, he passed through the exhibition hall and found something there … so he was very late when he returned to the hotel and couldn’t call you …”
“Is Xue Chang very tired?” She waited for his call for the whole night and almost did not catch any sleep. She had the urge to call him several time, but was afraid that she might disturb his sleep.
“Please set your mind at rest; according to Xian Da he shouldn’t be very exhausted.”
“Hmm …”
At the same moment, Shan Mei’s cell phone rang and she hurriedly took the call. Both Yong Xi and Qing Xi both tactfully left her alone.
“Hello, Zhen Shan Mei speaking!”
“How are you? It’s me …”
“Xue Chang!” Shan Mei was thrilled.
“Hmm … Did you receive my gift?” The gift was delivered by courier. Last night something happened and he returned to the hotel too late in the night. He originally wanted to call her, but he did not want to disturb her sleep … he just wanted her to be happy.
“Xue Chang, thank you!” Shan Mei picked up the crystal rose and gently smiled. Last night’s worry and sadness were all swept away.
“It should now be lunch time? Have you been a good and obedient girl?”
“Not yet … I have just came back from an outdoor shooting, but I will go at once. I have brought lunch … please don’t worry! Well, how about you? It was raining in Tokyo last night, did you get wet? You have to take care of your health!”

“I know. OK, don’t talk about me … please be a good girl and go to have your lunch and don’t work too hard …”
“OK! The same to you! … Please go and get on with your work, I am going to hang up!”
“Huh … Shan Mei …” He stopped.
“What?”
“I miss you ….” He declared with profound love.
“Me too …” Shan Mei’s face was flushing red.
After hanging up, Shan Mei was feeling great. Qing Xi urged Shan Mei to go and have lunch quickly.

4:00 P.M. IN THE AFTERNOON, IN THE CAFETERIA.
“Fine, everything is now in good order!” Shan Mei organized the documents and drafts at hand.
“However, do we really need to go and pay them another visit?” Han Yu Cheng sounded helpless.
“Let’s go one more time!”
“Aren’t you afraid they will reject us again?” Han Yu Cheng stared at Shan Mei; he found that this girl was very stubborn and … optimistic. Wasn’t she afraid that she would be kicked out again?
“No, it won’t happen …” Shan Mei shook her head; she believed that they would need only one more try.
“You are that confident?” Han Yu Cheng sighed.
“I think the reason they rejected us is because they don’t want us to be a nuisance to their family and friends, but we need them, not for entertainment! … Actually they also need us … because they also want to get their family members’ understanding! Therefore we have to go there one more time!” Shan Mei picked up the photos and gently smiled.
 “So … we have to go to Pushan!”
“Pushan?” Shan Mei looked at Han Yu Cheng uncomprehending, “Why?”
“Because they have gone to Pushan!” Han Yu Cheng pointed to the materials they had gathered.
“Then what are we to do?”
“Go to Pushan! In any case, don’t they want to postpone our program? So let’s go to Pushan … we are just in time to attend the film festival and pick up the good luck!”
“You have thought it over?” However, she had to think about whether to go to Pushan or not.
“I can’t help it. We will submit our application in tomorrow meeting.” How could a person not lower his head under the eaves? He Han Yu Cheng wanted a better advancement, so he had to reconcile. That was the way of life!
“Don’t feel dejected!” Shan Mei comforted Han Yu Cheng, “Actually we can take the opportunity to try to improve the quality of our program!”
“That is all we can do!”
“Pep up!” Shan Mei gave Han Yu Cheng a smile of encouragement.

“Oh, it’s nearly 5:00 p.m., I have other work to do. I have to go!” Shan Mei looked at her watch, the time really flied.
“OK, you better go. This time it’s my treat!” Han Yu Cheng smiling said.
“Thank you very much!” Shan Mei’s smile was so brilliant and warm like sunshine, making other people at ease.
Shan Mei picked her things and was ready to leave.
“Hey, Shan Mei!” Looking at Shan Mei’s sweet smile, Han Yu Cheng could not help and called out to her again.
“What?” Shan Mei turned to look at him.
“You are feeling much better? Is it because of him?” Han Yu Chen was curious at the change in Shan Mei, he raised the question after some hesitation.
Shan Mei was startled and immediately wore a sweet smile, that smile was so brilliant and also more beautiful.
“Yes!” She did not try to conceal her feeling; yes, it was all because of Xue Chang, but in her heart, it was purely Yin Xiang Zhe, purely Xue Chang, purely her beloved.
“Huh … Thank you!” After her conversation with Han Yu Cheng, Shan Mei left with a smile.

As before, the lovers were “burning” the telephone line at both ends, but Shan Mei was not very happy, even though Xue Chang was returning the next day.
“I am coming back tomorrow … why are you not happy?” Actually he was already aware of the fact that Shan Mei was going to Pushan to work, because he had an inside informer.
“What shall I do? I have to go to Pushan tomorrow!” Shan Mei pouted her lovely little mouth. It was all Han Yu Cheng’s fault, why did he have to suggest a trip to Pushan to join in the fun, causing her not being able to meet with Xue Chang in the airport.
“How long will you be away?” He asked. What would happen must happen.
“Two days! but you are coming back tomorrow and I have to leave.” She was feeling very bad and wanted to cry. This way, they would have to separate for two more days.
“You are missing me, aren’t you?” He was rubbing the fatigue in his forehead and smiled.
“Why aren’t you speaking? Shan Mei!” Hearing no response from her, he gathered his smile and anxiously asked.
“I am OK!” However she could not hide her wobbling voice.
“Just two more days and we can see each other again soon …” He worried about her and tried to comfort her.
“I know …” Her desire to weep grew stronger; she had to control the urge but her voice still sounded tearful, “It’s merely that I … I miss you and I want to see you …”
“Shan Mei, has something happened?” He was also feeling bad. In order to return one day earlier, he worked so hard, thinking that the deep longing would be over soon, but …
“I know … you don’t have to worry! I am really fine … I will be gone for just two days! We will see each other soon!” She wiped her tears, smilingly interrupted his words. She had to be strong!
“Shan Mei …” His eyes were wet too. Knowing full well that she was feeling very bad but she still insisted that she was fine and smiled at him --- his heart was aching for her. He suddenly wished that they had never been separated! He suddenly realized that they should be together forever …
“I don’t care! When I get back from Pushan, you will have to meet me at the airport! I will wait for you!” She smilingly changed the topic; she didn’t want him to worry any more.
“OK!” He dotinginly nodded his head. He also wanted to see her early.
“Huh … Shan Mei! I …” He hesitated.
“What’s up?” Shan Mei gripped the receiver.
“Huh … It looks as though we have never taken a picture together?” He heaved a sigh. He wanted to put a picture of both of them together in his wallet.
“…”
“Shan Mei?”
“Xue Chang … We have taken pictures together …” Shan Mei’s voice wobbled. They had taken some pictures together on her birthday, that was the day before he went to Tokyo. She remembered clearly that was also what he said “It looks as though we have never taken a picture together?” … Afterwards everything changed!
“We have taken picture together? When?” As soon as he uttered those words, he suddenly realized his blunder!
“Shan Mei!” He called her name, worrying about her reaction and aching for her.
“Do you want me to email them to you? You can have a look first and choose one when you come back …” She smiled, a smile without reproach. She had buried all her memories.
“Shan Mei …” He could not set his mind at rest.
“Is it OK?” She cajolely asked
“OK!” He always responded spontaneously. Even though he was very worried …
“Then let me do it now! You better hang up!”
“There is no urgency!” He wanted to hear her voice longer, and was reluctantly to hang up now.
“OK then, let’s chat some more … I will email to you after we hang up …”
Shan Mei and Xiang Zhe put all their worries behind and chatted until both were reluctant to part company.
“Good night …” He was so reluctant, as he could not be able to see her tomorrow, aye!
“Goodnight!”
“Be careful in your trip!” …” He could not stop but to urge her again.
“Aiyo, Xue Chang, you are nagging too much!”
“I learned it from Anchor Zhen!” He teased her.
“You hate my naggings! Then I won’t bother you again in future!” She angrily replied.
“Really?” Yet he laughed happily.
“Really! I won’t care any more!” She purposely said it aloud.
“OK OK, I’m sorry. Shan Mei!” He immediately contained his laughter, so as to avoid her being mad at him.
“I am hanging up. Goodnight!” She repeated.
“Goodnight.”

After hanging up, Shan Mei took out their photo album, looked at them carefully, then she extracted all the photos and emailed them to Tokyo to Xue Chang.
After finishing the last one, she tidied up everything and lay on her bed.
“Will Xue Chang pick the same one as I? Xue Chang … I miss you very much …” Shan Mei mumbled herself to sleep.

TOKYO.
Xiang Zhe received the photos he and Shan Mei took together.
Looking at all the emailed pictures, he could really feel the love they once shared together, they had once been so happy and blessed …
He noticed that the dates on the photos were all June 7 and they were all taken at The Everland, that was …
He noticed that in the photos Shan Mei’s hair was in shoulder length and after he woke up the Shan Mei who saw was also in shoulder length, but now she was wearing short hair, that was because …

He could feel that everything was so familiar, there was something heavy swimming in his chest.
When he was spending the days without her, his life was just so routine: work, home, watching car races, drinking … there did not seem to be any aim, no happiness. But his relationship with his father always was something he could not handle; he could not understand why there was some closeness, why not just distance? Was it because of her? He had thought about … but he preferred to be indifferent. Since Shan Mei’s return, he gradually opened wide his heart and would not reject that sense of familiarity again …
Now that happiness finally returned! His blessedness had returned! His happiness had returned! His hope had returned!

CHAPTER 17 – THERE WAS REALLY A PHOTO INSIDE, ONE WHICH HE AND SHAN MEI TOOK TOGETHER

Author: Ming Wei Xue
Translated with author’s consent by: nho

MBS.
 “Please proceed with the arrangement as planned.” After hearing the update report from each department, Yin Xiang Zhe nodded his approval.
After Yin Xiang Zhe got off from the plane at 8:00 a.m. this morning, he immediately returned to MBS and called out for an urgent meeting.
 “We have been notified today that Mr. Jerry Bern from BBS will be arriving Seoul this afternoon. The other TV stations are planning to invite him to their programs, and we have sent out our invitation.” Supervisor Lee from the Public Relations Department updated the latest news from the information they obtained.
 “Mr. Bern should not reject our invitation. Haven’t they provided their program to be shown by us before?” Assistant Director Kim looked at Supervisor Lee.
 “We should say it was as a result of MBS’ sincerity and the hard work of our Public Relations Department.” Yin Xiang Zhe looked at Assistant Manager Kim, refuting his words.
 “This time, our invitation to Mr. Jerry Bern is sent out with sincerity. Supervisor Lee and Supervisor Kim, can the two of you please take charge of the matter?”
 “Yes.”
 “OK, this meeting is dismissed!” Yin Xiang Zhe did not pay any attention to Assistant Director Kim who was glaring at him. He dismissed the meeting and left on his own.

PLANNING DIRECTOR’S OFFICE.
 “Congratulations! Xian Da Ge!” Xiang Zhe smilingly congratulated Kim Xian Da.
“Thank you!” Xian Da proudly laughed, but he was feeling a little embarrassed.
“Right, thank you for taking care of Shan Mei these days!”
“There is no need to thank me. Haven’t you forgotten that Shan Mei is also my big brother’s daughter? It is my duty to take care of her … it looks as though we have to thank you too!” Xian Da’s words had doubled meaning.
Xiang Zhe laughed, he was feeling happy as well as a little shy.
“Oh, regarding Pushan International Film Festival, our (Good Evening Eve) will also start out our expedition! We will set out this afternoon at 5:00 p.m. and I have to entrust Yong Xi to you!”
“No problem! Huh …” Xiang Zhe hesitated.
“After arriving at Pushan, we will meet up with Shan Mei and then will give you a call!” Looking at the hesitant Xiang Zhe, Xian Da smiled with understanding.
“Thank you!”
“Then let me leave now; I have to talk with Supervisor Lee about the invitation to Mr. Jerry Bern!”
“Good!” Xiang Zhe nodded.
In the afternoon, Xian Da and Yong Xi invited Xiang Zhe to lunch.

“I never realized Mr. Jerry Bern would make such a statement!” Recalling what Mr. Jerry Bern said to the media in the airport about as long as Ms. Zhen Shan Mei was hosting the program, he would definitely appear in the show! Xian Da wore an incredible look. He could not understand what had that to do with Shan Mei. Did they know each other?
“He and Shan Mei know each other?” The astute Yong Xi asked.
“Mr. Jerry Bern is the father of Shan Mei’s best friend, Belle Bern and his trip to Korea this time is to visit his daughter. I think he also want to investigate into the possibility of a joint venture at the same time.”

Xiang Zhe took a mouthful of wine and pointed out the crux of the matter. He had heard from Shan Mei that the news about the marriage between Tai Xi and Belle Bern were only let known to Belle’s parents in England recently.
 “Then how come he is acquainted with Shan Mei?” Xian Da was still not too sure of things.
“Shan Mei’s thesis was written in London and her job in BBS was also arranged through Mr. Jerry Bern. Shan Mei went to visit Mr. and Mrs. Jerry Bern before she left London. She and Mr. Jerry Bern got along so well that they became friends despite difference of age …” Xiang Zhe smilingly explained.

“No wonder he designated Shan Mei to cover the interview!” Xian Da sighed, so that was how it was.

“By the way, what is the outcome of this afternoon’s meeting?” Yong Xi asked Xian Da.
 “There is just one condition: as long as Anchor Zhan Shan Mei is doing the interview!” Xian Da laughed, “Shan Mei really has good personal connection!”
“But, this will cause great commotion in the news media!” Yong Xi was a little bit worried.
“It doesn’t matter, as long as Shan Mei and Mr. Jerry Bern give a good explanation during the program.” Xiang Zhe smiled confidently; he missed her so much.
“Really? But … I somehow sense that something is going to happen …” Yong Xi was not assured. She felt that Shan Mei was suffering from too much pressure lately.
“You are too anxious! I think it is to Shan Mei’s advantage …” Xian Da thought it was beneficial to enhance Shan Mei’s fame.
“It is not anxiety! It is a feeling! Xiang Zhe, Shan Mei is taking on too much pressure!” Yong Xi looked at Xiang Zhe.
Both Xiang Zhe and Xian Da looked at Yong Xi seriously.

“Could you still remember how it was the first time when I ranked No. 1? There was honour but little happiness. You have to work extra hard in order to keep the position of No. 1! Or else that horrible rumour … but my situation was better than Shan Mei’s, before, aiyo, I won’t mention it! But the pressure she is under is too big now. So much has happened and she is working too hard … I am just worrying that if something happens she won’t be able to sustain the stress!”

Xiang Zhe kept silent, actually it was also what he was worrying about? Maybe it was because Shan Mei never complained that made him overlook the matter, but today with Yong Xi’s warning, what was he going to do? What could he do to make Shan Mei happy? Memory was what hurt Shan Mei most, and it also hurt Xiang Zhe most!

“Oh, right, here is something Shan Mei asked me to give it to you …” Yong Xi took a gift pack out from her handbag and handed it to Xiang Zhe.
“What’s that?” Xian Da looked at Xiang Zhe who was holding the gift with a look of wonder on his face.
Xiang Zhe lowered his head to look at the gift which was packed with sea blue wrapped paper and was tied with a beautiful ribbon bow on top. Oh, Shan Mei …
“Shan Mei said you can open it any time!” Yong Xi smiled.
Xiang Zhe raised his head to look at both Xian Da and Yong Xi, gave a soft smile, carefully untied the ribbon bow and gently opened the gift box.
Looking at the way how Xiang Zhe carefully unwrapped the gift, Xian Da smiled.
 “What is inside?” When Xiang Zhe opened the box, Xian Da asked.
Xiang Zhe took out the gift, it was a black leather wallet. What was inside? Xiang Zhe’s heart beat quickened, was it something he wished for?
 “It’s a wallet?” Xian Da took a look and was as puzzled as Yong Xi.
“It looks very elegant!” Yong Xi nodded with approval.
Xiang Zhe opened the wallet, he didn’t guess wrong, inside was a photo which he and Shan Mei took together.
Xiang Zhe smiled and it was a very warm one.
At night, Xiang Zhe got home.

As soon as he got in, he could hear the phone ringing. He immediately dropped his brief case and rushed to pick up the phone.
 “Hello, Yin Xiang Zhe speaking!”
“Xue Chang!” Shan Mei’s sweet and chanting voice came through the receiver.
“Did you just get in? Have your eaten dinner?”
“Huh, … I’ve got it.” He could no longer control the joy he was feeling.
“What?”
“It is a beautiful wallet!” He laughed.
“Hmm …” Her face flushed red and she couldn’t utter a word.
“What’s the matter?”
“Do you like it?” Shan Mei softly asked.
“Umm …” He teased her on purpose.
“You don’t like it?” Her voice was so small.
“I am using it now! Shan Mei, I love it! Thank you!” Xiang Zhe smilingly took out the wallet.
“Then do you like the photo I picked?” She also put the same picture in her purse.
“That is the one I like best … I like this one the best among all the others …” He took out the picture.
“Huh … I was wearing long hair then … do you think it suited me?”
“Very pretty! It was as pretty as your smile!”
“Why did you have your hair cut?” He pondered for a moment, but he still wanted to ask this question.
“… Don’t you think short hair suits me better?” She laughed, her laughter covered the melancholy she was feeling. To wear her hair long … so as to make herself look prettier when wearing her wedding dress! But now …

“Yes, you look really very adorable! But you also look very pretty when wearing long hair …” He looked at her in the photo wearing long hair, she looked graceful and charming as well as innocent and full of spirit! Was it the reason why she had her hair cut short? But he understandably did not try to question further.
“How is the interview progressing?” He smilingly changed the topic.
“They agree! Although at the beginning we were nearly got kicked out!” The thought of Han Yu Cheng’s angry look made Shan Mei titter into laughters.
“What are you laughing about?”
“Nothing, it was Yu Cheng Ge’s look which was so frightening! If he did not lose his temper, they would not have agreed so readily!’ She laughed.

“Yu Cheng Ge?” How they had improved their relationship! There was something amiss with his tone of voice.
 “Yes! That’s what he asked me to call him!”
“Really? Anything happened?” He could not help but rubbed his forehead, he was really not feeling very comfortable.
“Huh! Before I thought he was very proud, but today … when I pointed out to him how things should be … he unexpectedly accepted my words! Yu Cheng Ge even thanked me which made me very embarrassed!” Shan Mei’s face flushed red.
“It was like that! … So you are going to call him Yu Cheng Ge in future?” He breathed a sigh of relief.
“Yes! Oh, Xue Chang, tomorrow I can go to watch the movies … The Pushan Film Festival is really very terrific!” Apparently she could not sense his anxiety and smilingly said.
“You have free time tomorrow? Are you going on your own?” He cunningly asked.
 “Yes, we choose different types of movie! …”
“I have something to tell you: Mr. Jerry Bern from BBS designates you to be the one to interview him!”
“I already had the information, Uncle Xian Da told me on his arrival! Xue Chang, would it bring troubles to MBS?” Shan Mei knitted her brows.
“No! Don’t entertain foolish ideas! That is what all the other TV stations want … we are lucky that we have Anchor Zhen Shan Mei!” The thought of her lovely face all wrinkled up, he laughed.

“Aaah …” She drew a deep sigh.
 “What is the matter? Are you very nervous?”
“Of course! He is Belle’s father! And also was once a famous anchor of BBS and now he is a well-known production manager!”
“Since he specifically designates Anchor Zhen Shan Mei, he should have good confidence in you!”
“Well, what you said are true! … Actually I have already made contact with Mr. Jerry Bern, but only as a friend … He told me he did not want to “blow up” the matter, because his trip here is mainly to visit his daughter … that was why he made such a statement at the airport …”

“Huh …” He echoed.
 “That is why I agree to interview him, but I am to choose the main theme!”
“Good!” He replied simply.
“Will it really work?” She was a little worried.
“Of course, I don’t want this interview to turn simply into a commercial deal.”
“Thank you Xue Chang!” She was very happy at Xue Chan’s reply.
“Then when are you coming back?” That was what concerned him most.
“Tomorrow afternoon!” She happily announced.
“That’s good!” He could finally see Shan Mei again.
“Also, Uncle Xian Da asked me to tell you that he is working very hard!” She could not understand why Uncle Xian Da had to say that.
 “I know! Please thank him for me.” He smiled with embarrassment as he could understand what Xian Da meant.
“Huh!” She happily nodded and looked at her watch.
 “Then let’s say goodnight!”
“Good, goodnight.” He sighed, unwilling to hang up.
“Xue Chang, see you tomorrow!”
“See you tomorrow!” Xiang Zhe was very reluctant to hang up the phone.
As soon as Shan Mei hung up, the door bell rang. She hurriedly opened the door and found Kim Xian Da at the door, perspiring profusely.

“Uncle Xian Da, what has happened?”
In the early morning, Yin Xiang Zhe and his assistant entered the MBS building. When they got out from the elevator, he heard Shan Mei’s voice.
“Hello! …”
“Shan Mei?” Xiang Zhe stopped with surprise, turned his head and looked at the screen – it was Shan Mei! He was not making a mistake, that brilliant smile could only belong to Shan Mei and no one else!
He could not help but smiled.

But what had happened? How come Shan Mei appeared in (Good Morning Eve)?
Xiang Zhe let his assistant go and he himself went to the live studio for (Good Morning Eve).
“Director?” The production manager and the other team workers stood up, surprised at his appearance.
“It’s OK, please carry on with your work.” Yin Xiang Zhe signalled with his hand.
The production manager had just been connected on the phone with Xian Da and he was very smart to hand over the phone the Planning Director.
“Why is there a change of hostess?” Xiang Zhe could not hide the anxiety in his voice.
“It is like that. Miss Kim Gi Lan is suffering from acute enteritis, it looks as if her body does not agree to the change of climate … As we don’t have any choice, we have to ask for Shan Mei’s assistance …” Xian Da explained.

“OK.” Xiang Zhe nodded, his eyes watching Shan Mei in the screen and smiled gently. It looked as if he had to wait for another day.
 “Any problem with all the preparation work?”
 “No problem? Shan Mei stayed up late to read through the materials last night …” Xian Da swallowed back half of the words he was going to say. “Kim Gi Lan is getting much better, she does not want to give up this good opportunity … so I think Shan Mei can return tomorrow …”
 “That’s good, you have to be more careful …” It was not convenient for Xiang Zhe to say more before the team members, so it had to wait until he could call Xian Da at his office again later.

In the afternoon, Xiang Zhe and his assistants had a busy working lunch and they had to continue their meeting later. He knew clearly that he had to formally take over Wen Rong Holdings next month and he would certainly carry this load on his shoulder, because he would not disappoint his mother. As between he and his father, he was not too sure. However, Shan Mei said he should go and visit his father more often, aside from visits relating to business matters. He listened to her and went, even though he was feeling uneasy, but it was not as bad as before.

Xiang Zhe’s cell phone was ringing. He picked it up and answered.
 “What?” Xiang Zhe’s voice was filled with dissatisfaction.
Watching the Planning Director who seldom showed his temperament wearing an angry look made those in the boardroom remained absolute silent.

The other party kept on talking while Xiang Zhe was patiently trying to contain his fury.
 “I know … good, let’s do it that way, thank you!” Xiang Zhe calmly concluded the conversation with the other party.
Putting down the phone, he saw that his assistants were all looking nervous, so he restrained his fury.
 “Please go ahead and finish your lunch, but the meeting will be adjourned to 2:00 p.m. this afternoon.” Xiang Zhe left the boardroom after giving his secretary some instructions.

Inside the Planning Director’s office, Yin Xiang Zhe coldly looked at the newspapers and magazines on his desk.
The department head of the Public Relations Department and the supervisors were looking at Yin Xiang Zhe warily.
 “Director …” The department head began to speak, but meeting Director Yin’s forbidding stare, he swallowed and continued, “We have made contact with these several news agency and everything is under progress … but … but …”
 “What?” Yin Xiang Zhe coldly asked.

“But the photos … we can’t give a good explanation for the photos … Director, I’m afraid it is difficult to give a good explanation … we need you and Anchor Lee Su Xiao to appear publicly in person to explain, but it has to wait until Anchor Lee Su Xiao returns this evening …” The photos spoke it all and whoever looked at them would also have doubts! Although everyone in the office knew in their hearts that Director Yin and Anchor Zhen Shan Mei who had just returned from abroad were still a couple! But would the outside world believe that it was only a make-believe story? The department head was watching Director Yin anxiously, he could see that Director Yin was furious and was very concerned about this matter!

Yin Xiang Zhe calmly nodded, indicating his agreement. Of course he had to straighten out the matter and had to do it fast! He was really afraid that Shan Mei would get to know the matter, afraid that she would get hurt!

So the head of public relations department and supervisor and Director Yin discussed and made plan. They contacted those media who had good relationship with them and also those “big gun” media …

When everybody had left, Xiang Zhe leaned on the back of the chair with fatigue, rubbing his brows with his hand. He wanted to make this incidence disappear without trace, he did not want Shan Mei to be affected by it!

Tomorrow Shan Mei would be back and he just wished this scandal could die down.

CHAPTER 18 – BECAUSE … BECAUSE … OF TODAY!


However, affairs of the human world were difficult to predict. Although with Lee Su Xiao’s return, MBS’ public relations department did not carry out its original plan and all explanations seemed more like “excuses” and more troubles surfaced – The news about Director Yin were deduced in a more dramatic fashion! Even Shan Mei was dragged into the scandal! The evening newspapers even tried to make comparison between MBS’ two prominent news anchors, Zhen Shan Mei and Lee Su Xiao! They even dug out the past news! … Now all spear heads were pointing not at Director Yin but instead their target was at MBS’ news anchor, Zhen Shan Mei! Her sudden departure, her return to the TV station, her love life, her work, her life … these all became the new focal points!

It looked as though this news would not be able to be gagged! How were they going to manage?

At night, Xiang Zhe and Xian Da spoke to each other on the phone. Kim Gi Lan had recovered and Shan Mei was returning tomorrow morning. In the evening, not only would she broadcast (Morning Star) live, she would also have to interview Mr. Jerry Bern, therefore it would be a futile effort to cover the scandal. Xiang Zhe wanted to speak to Shan Mei to explain, but Xian Da thought it would be better to hide it from Shan Mei first. He hoped Xiang Zhe could try his best to suppress the media and clarify the situation immediately, letting the news to cool down first. This way it would not hurt Shan Mei that much. Then later he could explain fully to Shan Mei on her return. as it was not possible to give a detailed account on the telephone! That was why it would be better to keep quiet about it!

Therefore when Xiang Zhe later spoke to Shan Mei on the telephone, he started to speak but hesitated. Although Shan Mei was a little puzzled, she had her head in the cloud with the thought of seeing Xue Chang again soon. Xiang Zhe worriedly hung up the phone and his brows knitted more tightly together.

After hanging up, Shan Mei started preparing the materials for the interview with Mr. Jerry Bern and would get into the chat room in the web thereafter as Belle and Tai Xi would be waiting for her.

At the same moment, Xian Da came to see her.
 “Uncle Xian Da? Come in and take a seat!” Shan Mei opened the door to let Xian Da come in. Xian Da only permitted her to address him uncle when no other person was present.
“It’s nothing, so I won’t come in. I am here just to let you know that I will return with you tomorrow.” Xian Da was a little nervous.
“Oh? Aren’t you going back with the Morning Eve team? Why? Anything wrong?”
“Nothing wrong!” Xian Da hurriedly denied.

“Is Yong Xi Senior not feeling well?”
 “Oh? … Yes!” Xian Da hurriedly responded with a nod. Actually he was really worried about his wife.
“There is nothing wrong with Senior?”
“Nothing! Only …” Xian Da wanted to prepare Shan Mei for tomorrow, but how should he go about doing it?
“What is the matter?” Shan Mei eyed the hesitant Xian Da.
“Oh … Go to bed early! We will come to pick you up tomorrow … Goodnight!” Xian Da left after saying those words.
“OK, goodnight!” Shan Mei watched the back of Xian Da uncomprehendingly.
Shutting the door, Shan Mei was getting more perplexed. However she didn’t waste any thoughts on it, just smiled, sat on the bed and switched on her computer.

The next day at 8:00 a.m., Xian Da and the (Morning Star) working team were waiting at the airport.
“Where is Shan Mei?” Xian Da searched everywhere and could not find Shan Mei.
“She should be here somewhere.” Han Yu Cheng also looked for her everywhere.
Everyone was looking and at the same moment, Xian Da’s cell phone was ringing.
 “Uncle Xian Da, it’s me!”
“Shan Mei, where are you?”
“I am still at the hotel!”
“What? Shouldn’t you be coming with us?”
“It was like that, when I was on the bus, I found I left something behind at the hotel so I went back to pick them up … It now looks as though I won’t be able to catch the plane!”
 “Then what are we to do?” Xian Da anxiously asked.
 “Let Shan Mei take the next flight! There should be ample time to prepare for the program.” Han Yu Chen suggested.
That was the only thing that could be done. Xian Da gave Shan Mei some instructions and then boarded the plane with the others.

ON THE PLANE.

“I hope Shan Mei won’t be so forgetful again!” Xian Da sighed.
Han Yu Cheng turned to look at Xian Da who was wearing a face of worries, lowered his head and thought deeply.
 “It would be better for Shan Mei to come back as late as possible, don’t you think so?”
 “What?” Xian Da stared at Han Yu Cheng with surprise. What did he mean?
Han Yu Cheng waved the newspapers in his hand and gave a helpless smile with a hint of anxiety.
Xian Da was dumbfounded; news really travelled fast! Was Shan Mei also aware of the news? He just hoped she was not.
And at the same moment Shan Mei was not in the hotel, but was with her two friends in the airport. Her eyes were slightly red and swollen.
 “Are you OK?” Belle worriedly looked at Shan Mei.
 “Here! Just apply it to your eyes for an hour or so.” Tai Xi came back and handed Shan Mei an ice pak for her to apply to her eyes.
 “Thank you.” Shan Mei reluctantly smiled.

“We will be able to board the plane within half an hour and upon arrival, we will drive for about 2 hours and will be in Seoul nearly the same time as the next plane and moreover we will be arriving at the door of MBS.” Tai Xi explained the route they were going to take.
“Please don’t worry anymore!” Belle patted Shan Mei’s shoulder.
“Hmm.” Shan Mei smilingly nodded.
An hour later, Shan Mei, Belle and Tai Xi were on the plane.
Shan Mei closed her eyes, leaning on Belle and fell asleep. She was too tired and she needed rest.

MBS.

Xian Da and others finally arrived MBS.
 “Heaven! We are finally back!” Han Yu Cheng gave a deep sigh. The scene at the airport just now was really frightening!
 “Thank goodness Shan Mei was not present!” Xian Da wiped away the sweats. He really never thought there would be such a scene at the airport! With so many reporters and news media people! How could matters develop to such extent? If Shan Mei was present, how could she deal with the situation!
Xian Da and Han Yu Cheng parted company with the others and went back to the First Anchor’s office.
“Senior!?”
“Xian Da!”

Everyone was very tense, because they were all looking for Shan Mei.
 “Oh …” Before Xian Da could say a word, the phone was ringing and it was looking for him.
 “Hello?”
 “Supervisor Kim Xian Da, please come immediately to my office!”
Xian Da complied and before he went out, he looked at the others.
 “Shan Mei is taking the next plane back.” It was better for him to make this announcement first.

DIRECTOR YIN XIANG ZHE’S OFFICE.

“How can it be like this? Do you think someone is making troubles?” Xian Da pointed out his suspicion.
Watching his junior with knitted eyebrows and a hint of suppressed anger, Xian Da was slightly stunned and immediately realized: Yin Xiang Zhe was fully aware that someone was making trouble!
 “Then what are we to do? Are we lodging a counter-attack?”
 “What time is Shan Mei coming back?”
 “She is taking the 4:00 p.m. flight … but the situation at the airport is not too optimistic, the news media are all waiting for her there! I’m afraid as soon as Shan Mei gets off the plane …”
 “I know! I just phoned the hotel and Shan Mei has already checked out …” Before Xiang Zhe finished his words, the phone was ringing again.

“Hello, Yin Xiang Zhe speaking!”
 “Director Yin, I’m sorry but Miss. Zhen Shan Mei is not on this flight! …”
Xiang Zhe did not pay attention to the rest of the words, all he knew was Shan Mei had disappeared!
“What is the matter?” Xian Da looked at the wooden Xiang Zhe, asked anxiously.
“Shan Mei, she … has disappeared!”
“What? It can’t be!” Xian Da cried out with astonishment.
“Then what are we to do?”
Xiang Zhe stayed silent, he was in deep thought.
He realized that Shan Mei must be aware of what happened, she must be feeling very sad! That was why she was in hiding?
Where were you, Shan Mei!

Making her suffer caused him the most heartache! However what he didn’t want to happen had now happened! He always thought that even though people loved to gossip and disseminate rumours and scandals, it would easily be forgotten after it ran its cycle. Furthermore time would often review the truth! However, he had forgotten how destructive rumours/scandals could be! Since he did not want her to suffer more hurt, he had to initiate a counter-attack!

“Xiang Zhe?” Xian Da looked at Xiang Zhe whose face was getting more sombre and he could not help getting more worried.

4:00 P.M. IN THE BOARDROOM.

“One last thing to discuss: It looks as if this evening’s (Morning Star) will not be able to broadcast on time, won’t it?” Kim Jen Kee looked at the working team of the (Morning Star), sounding as if he was feeling sorry, but in actual fact he could not hide the satisfaction in his voice.
Everyone was looking at each other and stayed silent.
 “Then, let’s substitute it by (Seoul’s Splendour). What do you think? Director Yin?”
 “If it’s the own way.” Xiang Zhe nodded mildly.
 “Then, Miss Lee Su Xiao, we have to trouble you. Then how about the interview thereafter …” Assistant Kim looked at Lee Su Xiao.

At the same moment, the door to the boardroom was opened.
 “Sorry, I am late!” Shan Mei pushed open the door, gave a slight bow and calmly took a seat.
Everybody was startled.
 “Assistant Manager, I think I can appear in (Morning Star) and will also be able to continue the interview program thereafter. I am all ready.” Shan Mei smiled at Kim Jen Kee, full of confidence. She did not look at Xiang Zhe, only talking to Kim Jen Kee.
 “Eh …”
 “If there are no more questions, we can continue with (Morning Star). Assistant Manager, we have to hold an emergency meeting, can we?” (Morning Star) production manager immediately seized the chance to fight for their rights.
 “Well … OK!” Assistant Manager Kim finally consented.
The production manager immediately rejoined.
So all the (Morning Start) working team, with the tacit approval of their superior, moved out from the boardroom.

From the time she came into the boardroom until the time she left, Shan Mei did not even glance at Xiang Zhe. She looked calm and indifferent. However in Xiang Zhe’s eyes, his Shan Mei was so fragile! He could see her grief, he ached for her endurance, but for now he could do nothing, he was in a meeting and he had to face more problems.

“I’m sorry, Shan Mei!” Xiang Zhe silently muttered to himself.
 “Oh Shan Mei, what shall I do in order for you to understand my mind? … Oh Shan Mei …”
 (Morning Star) was about to be on air.
 “Shan Mei, have you thought it over carefully?” The production manager asked the last time.
 “Yes!” Shan Mei nodded resolutely.
 “Then let’s go ahead!” The production manager had to nod in agreement.
 “Let’s all pep up!” The production manager had to leave the shooting site and went back to the control room. He once again encouraged the working team.

Shan Mei and Han Yu Cheng went to sit down at the anchors’ seat, and were ready for the shooting to start.
 “Shan Mei, pep up!” Han Yu Cheng sincerely looked at Shan Mei.
 “Thank you! I will!” Shan Mei calmly nodded. She would be strong, she definitely would!
The time came and (Morning Star) was greeting the audiences on time.
 “Hello everybody! Welcome to our starlit sky and (Morning Star) is here as promised. We are bringing you something different today and we hope you can all understand today’s modification. We have cancelled all direct incoming calls, but you can still leave your messages with us and I will try to ask our guest those questions for you.”
 “Today the main character of our story, and also our guest of honour is … Miss Zhen Shan Mei! MBS’ anchor and my partner!” Han Yue Cheng smilingly looked at Shan Mei and the camera then turned its focus on Shan Mei.

Shan Mei made a slight bow. When she raised her head, she nearly could not control the urge … Xue Chang was still standing there and his eyes were wearing the same expression …
Shan Mei gently smiled, trying to steady her nerve. She could feel the complex emotions and tenderness from the expression in Xue Chang’s eyes.
 “First of all, I have to thank the audiences for their continual support and indulgence, then I have to thank all the colleagues of (Morning Star) for giving me this opportunity! I am really very grateful to everyone for letting me express my feeling clearly … I hope, after today everything will be back to normal and everyone will return to their own place. Thank you!” Shan Mei’s voice slightly wobbled, but her smile did not falter.

Looking at Shan Mei, Xiang Zhe suddenly realized what the production manager meant a moment ago: Shan Mei wanted to respond to the outside world! What was she going to do? Xiang Zhe was getting more worried.

……….

“Recently something happened, and it is something which we don’t want to see it happen. We were all at Pushan when it all happened. Sorry, can you tell us when did you get to know about it?”
 “Last night but accurately speaking, it should be 1 o’clock this morning. I saw it on the internet!” Shan Mei calmly responded.
 “You knew about it before I did?!” Han Yu Cheng was slightly startled.
 “I don’t know whether I knew about it before you did, but I can still clearly remember about the time.” Shan Mei’s revealed the pain she was suffering.
 “You didn’t tell anybody … Why?”
 “I don’t know, at that moment I just couldn’t think straight …”
 “And later you …”

“Slipped away.” Shan Mei forced a smile, “I am sorry for making you all worry about me.”
 “Why did you slip away?”
 “Because I didn’t know how was I able to cope with the matters and how to face everyone! I really didn’t know! I also didn’t know how to put my own emotion in order … At that moment, I was feeling so confused, I just didn’t dare to face things!”
 “You didn’t dare to face things? Then you are feeling better now?”
 “No, even worse! But …”
 “What?”
 “I have the courage to face things!” Shan Mei’s expression was solemn, this was something she must cope with.
…………

It was now in the second half of the program. A moment ago when they were in the commercial break, Shan Mei deliberately tried to avoid Xiang Zhe.

Now the program re-started and Han Yu Cheng had a summary of the “essential” questions that needed to be asked.
 “Shan Mei, can we now answer those questions raised by the audiences outside? There are a lot of them.” Han Yu Cheng looked at Shan Mei apologetically. He worried that some of the questions might be too direct and hurting!
 “OK.” Shan Mei nodded. She was well prepared. And Xiang Zhe was still standing there silently guarding her.

“The first question, two years ago why did you suddenly leave MBS? Hadn’t you decided to stay?” There were so many speculations from the outside world and many people were so curious. The people, including Gui Cheng, Chen Su, Xian Da, Yong Xi, Zhao Di, Chen Sui, Belle and Tai Xi and all the audiences, were watching Shan Mei anxiously in front of the television.

Shan Mei remained silent. What should she say? Her eyes involuntarily turned to Xiang Zhe.
 “Because … because … of today!”
 “Because of today?”

“Because something happened, something unexpected happened, so I wanted to run … I left because I wished to forget all the unhappiness. Tomorrow would be better, therefore I had to start from today, to lead new life …” Shan Mei controlled the tears that were about to fall down and gave a tender smile. “Furthermore after I took up the job of news anchor, I found myself very inadequate, so I decided to advance my education … huh, if I did not study so hard, I think I would not be able to co-host (Morning Star) with Brother Han Yu Cheng! And there would not be a me of today! Therefore I said it was for today!”

“Oh, so that is the reason!” Han Yu Cheng understood Shan Mei did not tell the crux of the matter, but he was not so hard-hearted to try to get to the bottom of the matter.

“I know your father dotes on you and you are a “stay-at-home” person, so when you were out of the country, did you miss Seoul, did you miss your family?”

“So much! I missed everything about Seoul, I missed all my family and friends, I missed … missed my Xue Chang!” Shan Mei hesitated for a moment, uttering out those words gently, although her face was peached red.

Listening to Shan Mei’s words, Xiang Zhe’s heart ached and swelled with happiness at the same time. However all he could do at the moment was to stand guard for her.

“Shan Mei, I will also be standing guard for you!”
 “Therefore you wanted badly to return?” Han Yu Cheng continued, trying to change the topic.

Yet Shan Mei shook her head.
 “You didn’t want to return?” Han Yu Cheng asked woodenly.
 “Although my thoughts for them were strong and deep, relatively I did not want to come back.” Shan Mei forced a smile, that was really how she was feeling then.
 “But today you have already returned, what made you think of returning?”
 “Because … because … of today!”
 “It is because of today too?”

“Yes, if I did not come back, I would never know how things would turn out, I would never have today! Therefore I made the decision to return, I didn’t want to give up my dream and my … happiness!” If she did not return and met up with Xue Chang again, how could she be able to see that Xue Chang’s eyes were filled with profound love, how could she able to know that she could still be so happy? Although there were troubles, she would bear them willingly … all because she loved him!

CHAPTER 19 – SHE WAS REALLY RELUCTANT TO PART WITH XUE CHANG THIS WAY

Author: Ming Wei Xue
Translated with author’s consent by: nho

The program (Morning Star) was still on air.

 “This question is: You believe these rumours which concern him? Don’t you?” Han Yu Cheng slowly asked.
“No, I don’t believe them!”
“Oh, you are so sure? Why?” Han Yu Cheng was flabbergasted at Shan Mei’s firm answer and resolute look in her eyes. Everyone also watched with astonishment.
“Didn’t you say that they are rumours? If they are rumours, they are not true, they are fabricated on purpose. So why do I have to believe them?” Shan Mei looked straight at Han Yu Cheng and counter-questioned him.
“Oh?” Han Yu Cheng was dumbfounded. Her line of thinking was unlike others!
“Then why …”
“Do I have to say it here and now?” Shan Mei tried to control her tears and continued, “Because I don’t like these kinds of rumours! I hate to face them!” She frankly spoke out what was in her mind.
“Sorry, may I interrupt? I am speaking as a friend, Shan Mei, be strong!” Han Yu Cheng said sincerely.
“I will! Thank you Yu Cheng Ge.” Shan Mei gently smiled.

“Then when you heard about all sorts of rumours concerning him and yourself, how … did you feel?” Han Yu Cheng continued asking the audience’s questions; he did not want to hurt Shan Mei, but he could not withhold the questions.
“I am very sorry, but I am not sad.” Facing the camera, Shan Mei’s eyes shone with brilliance and she spoke each word out resolutely.
 “?” Han Yu Cheng looked at Shan Mei uncomprehendingly. Was there any difference between these two words? Everybody’s eyes were also starring at the screen.
 “I’m sorry, really sorry … I can’t understand why these things happened? Why happened to me and Xue Chang? I believe in Xue Chang, although I don’t understand him fully. But …” Shan Mei paused for a moment, sniffed and controlled her tears, “I believe in him! … That is why I am not sad! Only sorry, sorry … that I, Xue Chang, my family, friends and those who care about us, and of course Miss Lee Su Xiao, have all been hurt …”

“Why do you trust him so? Sometimes love can make you blind …” Han Yu Cheng spoke without thinking. That was also a question which everyone wanted to ask!
 “Because … because he is not just anybody, he is Xue Chang! Because he is Xue Chang!” Shan Mei, with tears in her eyes, directed a captivating smile towards her London Xue Chang. She gave the camera and the audience her most beautiful smile and buried all the pains in her heart.
 “That is the only reason?” Han Yu Cheng was astonished and could not speak until after a while.
 “Yes!” Shan Mei did not try to hide the depth of love in her heart.
Yes, because he was Xue Chang! The Xue Chang who gave her profound love, the Xue Chang who always tolerated and indulged her; the Xue Chang she loved deeply!

Xiang Zhe looked at her besottedly, he could read her meaning and his eyes were a little wet. His heart was hurting and could barely control the rise and fall of his heart. He knew Shan Mei would not believe in rumours, but when he saw the pain in her yes, his heart seemed as if pinned by needles.
 “Shan Mei, never, never again will I let you be hurt again … Please forgive me, Shan Mei! I won’t allow any tears in your smile again!’

“Time really flies today! It’s now time to conclude our program …” Han Yu Cheng caught the signal from the director, trying to calm his own state of mind
 “Thank you, Miss Zhen Shan Mei!” Han Yu Cheng gave a sigh.
 “Our program will be concluded at this point, thank you for watching (Morning Star)!” Looking at the beautiful but sad Shan Mei, Han Yu Cheng gently announced the end of the program.

“Thank you very much to everyone!” Shan Mei bowed deeply to everyone, trying to control her tears and smilingly said goodbye.
“We will give the audience a happy story next time under the beautiful sky! Bye! Thank you all once again!”
After (Morning Star), Shan Mei could not actually meet with Xiang Zhe. She was so busy and even though before she interviewed Mr. Jerry Bern, they would have an opportunity to meet, but Shan Mei tried to avoid him on purpose and she did not meet Xue Chang’s eyes.

The interview with Mr. Jerry Bern went very smoothly. One could see that Mr. Jerry Bern took good care of Sun Mei’s emotion and they were in tune with each other. Mr. Jerry Bern cordially addressed Shan Mei as “little friend” and Shan Mei called him “uncle”. During this interview, the atmosphere was very friendly with just one small hiccup.

During the last section when they talked about the determination of news, Mr. Jerry Bern stated his views and purposely asked Shan Mei whether she would consider his suggestion working for BBS.
These words gave everyone a big surprise. Both Xiang Zhe and Xian Da who were on the location were startled. Xian Da could not help glancing at Xiang Zhe as he wanted to know his reaction.
Everyone looked at the screen curiously, waiting for Shan Mei’s reply …

“Give me one reason why I should go please?” Shan Mei tried to calm her nerve and asked mischievously.
“I thought my little friend wants to read the news, isn’t it your dream? … So, Shan Mei, can you consider my suggestion?” Mr. Jerry Bern said with a dignified smile.
Shan Mei reminisced.
She remembered she once practised before a mirror –
“MBS News Zhen Shan Mei reported!”
Her few seconds of silence seemed longer than a few hours to those waiting for her reply … thank goodness she did not let everyone wait too long.
Finally Shan Mei revealed her own brand of smile: sweet and brilliant which made other feel happy!
“Thank you Uncle! Although all the time I have my dream of becoming a news anchor, what I must do now is to work hard to upgrade myself! One day when I find I can handle the job, I will try my best to fight for the opportunity to become a news anchor!’
“Then, Shan Mei, can you give me a reason, a reason not wanting to go to BBS.”
“I can’t give up Seoul, can’t give up everything here! In the same way as you could not give up London and go to CBS …” Shan Mei lightly said.

………..

This interview let everyone see another side of Shan Mei; this Shan Mei was beautiful and capable, delightfully fresh while permeating a charm of intelligence! It was totally different from her usual mischievous and winsome self; totally different from her refreshing and delightful self in the (Flying Mood) and totally different from her elegant and simple self in (Morning Star) a moment ago!

After the program, Mr. Jerry Bern, accompanied by his daughter and his son-in-law, met with the top management of MBS. Shan Mei was also present as she was the reporting anchor. However, under this kind of occasion, she and Xiang Zhe still could not find a way to meet privately.

Belle saw the uneasiness in Shan Mei, therefore she requested a tour around MBS and invited Shan Mei to accompany her and Tai Xi.
Xiang Zhe purposely stayed behind a few steps, as he wanted to look at Shan Mei for a longer while.
Gazing at Shan Mei’s departure, Xiang Zhe’s heart followed, except that he covered up himself really well.

Shan Mei brought Tai Xi and Belle into the First Anchor’s office and that was the last place she could show them.
“So this is the place where you work! Where are you sitting?” Belle looked around and turned her head to ask Shan Mei.
“It’s here.” Shan Mei pointed at her seat and mildly smiled.
“It’s not too bad, Shan Mei!” Tai Xi came over; he wanted to search for some differences between here and a normal office.
At the same time, someone called Shan Mei.
“Shan Mei!” It was Zhao Di’s loud voice; one could feel her presence when one heard her voice.
“Zhao Di!” Shan Mei was very surprised to see her good friend.
“You are not off work yet?”
“I am worried about you!” Zhao Di got hold of Shan Mei and looked at her up and down.
“Are you OK? … Your performance in the show was really awesome! You are terrific! … Right, how did you come back?” …”

………
“This is the synchronisation and dubbing studio, the place where I work!” Zhao Di led Tai Xi and Belle to her working place and proudly made the introduction.
 “So it looks like this! Don’t you know, I wanted to visit this place when I was small, but my father did not permit me to do so!” Belle heaved a sigh.
 “Please look around, I am going to get you something to drink …” Shan Mei gently smiled at her friends who were looking happy.
 “OK! Thank you very much!”
In the cafeteria, Shan Mei put the coffee on a tray and planned go to back. When she was half way, she remembered that Belle took her coffee with cream, so she decided to turn back to get it.
When she got back, she saw Xue Chang and Yong Xi Senior both walked into the cafeteria. She stopped and retreated to one side, undecided what to do as she was not ready yet.

“Thank you.” Yong Xi smiled at Xiang Zhe who brought coffee and tea.
 “It’s me who should thank you to accompany me here!” Xiang Zhe gave a nonchalant smile.
 “Why do you arrange to see her here and with me to keep company?”
 “I want to have a third person here to act as witness. Xian Da is not a suitable person. It would be better if you are here. I only want to clarify what happened in Tokyo….”
 “Was something really happened in Tokyo? Xiang Zhe, I really never thought you would admit it!” Yong Xi looked at Xiang Zhe with surprise.
 “You are startled?” Xiang Zhe gave a weak smile.
 “Yes! I never thought you would be like this! …” Yong Xi cried out in alarm.
However, when she saw the candidness and sincerity in Xiang Zhe’s eyes, Yong Xi knew there must be some inside story, so she smiled.

Shan Mei who was about to leave, was suddenly startled and she nearly dropped the tray she held in her hands. She could not think and could not even hear the rest of conversation.
Shan Mei left with the tray in her hands, but her tears were already falling unhidden down into the cold coffee …
When Shan Mei turned and left, Lee Su Xiao entered the cafeteria from another entrance.

“Director Yin, you … Yong Xi Senior?” Lee Su Xiao saw Liu Yong Xi at the same time she saw Yin Xiang Zhe.
 “Please take a seat.” Xiang Zhe politely greeted Lee Su Xiao.
 “I am asking Yong Xi to be present to avoid further dispute. Actually it is necessary to have a third person present when we meet so late in the evening.”
 “I understand.” Lee Su Xiao nodded, she fully understood Yin Xiang Zhe’s intention: he did not want any further scandal to occur between them!
 “I am very grateful to you for helping me to choose some gifts in Tokyo. However, I wish Miss Lee Su Xiao can honestly tell the truth in public. After all, the speculation from outside will also have a bad effect on Miss Lee Su Xiao. Can you accept my suggestion?”
 “I will! I will clarify the matter at tomorrow’s press conference!” Lee Su Xiao proudly agreed.
 “Thank you! I have to attend to some urgent matter and I have to go. Yong Xi, can you please give Miss Lee Su Xiao a lift!” Xiang Zhe sincerely thanked again and stood up to leave.

“OK!” Yong Xi responded with a smile.
Lee Su Xiao watched Yin Xiang Zhe leave and her heart was grieving because she was really infatuated with Yin Xiang Zhe!
 “You want to order something to drink?” Yong Xi gently asked.
 “There is no need!” Lee Su Xiao refused.
 “There are a lot of things you just can’t have by force, you have to let go when it’s time to let go!” Yong Xi drank some tea and slowly said.
 “But I am really attracted to him! Not because of his rank and status!” Lee Su Xiao got emotional and blurted what was in her heart.
 “In what way can I not be compared with Zhen Shan Mei? Senior, haven’t you fallen for him before too? Why do I have to give up? I am not going to give up!”
Yong Xi was slightly startled; she lowered her head and thought before she answered.

“Do you know? I have once been deeply in love with Yin Xiang Zhe! I had been waiting … waiting for him to understand my feeling, waiting for him to open up his heart to me. But, my efforts were useless, because I was not the one he wanted! Even though Xiang Zhe had once been an advocate of celibracy, however when he met Shan Mei, he finally recognized his own feeling! I think, he is someone who clearly knows what kind of person he needs. Frankly speaking, at first I didn’t know the reason why Xiang Zhe loved Shan Mei so much, but now I understand the reason: Shan Mei is his sunshine! After he met Shan Mei, the cold and indifferent Yin Xiang Zhe disappeared and he smiles more … Xiang Zhe really loves Shan Mei! Therefore even though I was unwilling to give up, when I saw the smile of happiness he was wearing, I really understood and I let go then!”

Lee Su Xiao stared at Liu Yong Xi speechless, she was stunned. She regretted saying those words just now. Although she had heard rumours about Liu Yong Xi’s story, when she heard the words straight from her mouth, she could not help feeling surprised.
Yong Xi drank some more tea and gently smiled.

“In actual fact, I am now blissfully happy and very contended! However, if I didn’t let go, I wouldn’t have the happiness I am now experiencing. You have to rely on yourself to strive for happiness, but you can’t insist on getting a love which would never belong to you … Su Xiao, don’t you understand?”

“Shan Mei really loves Xiang Zhe very much. Is it possible that you can’t see it from today’s program? They are in love! You don’t know how hurt is Shan Mei by whatever happened … Aye! There is something I cannot tell. But I hope Xiang Zhe and Shan Mei can be happy … Su Xiao, can you please let go?” Yong Xi raised her head and starred at Lee Su Xiao with sincerity.
Lee Su Xiao looked at Liu Yong Xi with surprise, because she could see from Liu Yong Xi’s eyes the tender loving care she had towards Zhen Shan Mei!
What kind of a girl was she! How could she manage to have everybody like her, dote on her and care for her?
Recalling Zhen Shan Mei’s beautiful sad face a moment ago in the program and recalling the candid speech made by Zhen Shan Mei, Lee Su Xiao’s heart palpitated with emotion. She could not help nodding her head, maybe it was time for her to have a good thinking.

……………

Hiding in the corner, Shan Mei took out her cell phone and lightly pressed the number. After pressing three numbers, her tears were already falling down – she could not help dialling Xue Chang’s number!
Shan Mei dried her tears, flipped close her cell phone and tried to control the ache in her heart. She flipped open the cell phone again and dialled her father’s number.

“Pa, it’s me …” Shan Mei called out gently.
 “Shan Mei?” Gui Cheng was surprised.
 “Pa …” Shan Mei could no longer control herself and wept.
 “Shan Mei! Shan Mei … Shan Mei, don’t cry!” Gui Cheng anxioiusly called out to his little daughter.
 “Pa … I am feeling so distressed …”
 “Papa understands! Where are you?”
 “I want to leave …” Shan Mei tried to control her tears and gently said.
 “Come home quickly … Papa will wait for you …”

……………

“Shan Mei, I have to go! Chen Sui is anxiously looking for me! Talk to you tomorrow!” Zhao Di greeted Shan Mei who was on her way in and then hurried away.
 “Shan Mei, why did it take you so long? … Shan Mei, what happens to you?” Belle looked at Shan Mei’s red and swollen eyes, hurriedly asked.
 “Tai Xi, Belle! Please take me away now!” Shan Mei anxiously clutched at Belle.
 “Now? Didn’t you say ..” Tai Xi looked at Shan Mei with surprise.
 “I want to go home now! I miss home!” Once again, Shan Mei could not control her tears.
 “But …” Tai Xi tried to dissuade.
 “OK! I will make arrangement! Tai Xi, you better drive!” Belle found out that Shan Mei was in distress, immediately agreed.
 “But can we leave like this?” Tai Xi could not help worry.
 “We wouldn’t care less! Just like when we were in Pushan … Let’s go!” Belle gave the feeble Shan Mei a helping hand.

………….

On the way home, Shan Mei stayed silent and did not speak a word.
Tai Xi met Belle’s eyes through the back view mirror and Belle worriedly shook her head.
Finally they reached Shan Mei’s home, Tai Xi and Belle led Shan Mei from the car.
 “Take a good sleep and it will be better tomorrow!” Belle comforted Shan Mei.
 “Yes, don’t think too much …” Tai Xi nodded in agreement.
 “I am so sorry … Thank you for all your help…” Shan Mei forced a smile.

When she saw the familiar car coming in their direction, her heart ached again and her eyes could not help …”
 “Shan Mei, what’s wrong?” Belle saw Shan Mei’s eyes flooding with tears again, asked worriedly.
Looking at direction of Shan Mei’s glance, Tai Xi and Belle also saw Xiang Zhe’s approaching car.
Xiang Zhe stopped the car, got out and waited quietly.

“Shan Mei, we have to go!” Tai Xi held on to the impulsive Belle and bade Shan Mei goodbye.
The helpless Belle angrily glowered at Yin Xiang Zhe … it was this man who let Shan Mei love and let Shan Mei get hurt!

“OK, goodbye …” When her friends were there, Shan Mei did not quite know how to face Xue Chang. Now with her friends gone, she just stood there not knowing what to do.
 “Xue Chang?” Shan Mei gently called out and her heart was actually hurting deeply. How she had wanted them to meet earlier, but … but now …
 “Let’s go for a walk, shall we?” Xiang Zhe worrying that Shan Mei would refuse him, asked her very carefully.
 “OK …” Shan Mei nodded obediently, she was really reluctantly to part with Xue Chang this way.


CHAPTER 20 – THE PAST MEMORY CAME BACK CLEARLY

Author: Ming Wei Xue
Translated with author’s consent by: nho

IN THE BEAUTIFUL AND QUIET PARK.

“Shan Mei …” Xiang Zhe looked at his darling, he wanted to look at her again and again. They had not seen each other for a long time … therefore they did not know what to say to each other at first.
 “Xue Chang?”
“Shan Mei, thank you … thank you for your trust …” He solemnly looked at her.
“Actually … that was only the truth, I was telling the truth …” She turned her head, not wanting to look at him. She would be reluctant to let go if she looked at him.
“Shan Mei …” He urgently wanted to clarify the matter.
“It’s me who should thank you for coming to see me … I am fine …” Shan Mei gently smiled.
“Shan Mei, do you want to listen to my explanation?” He had to make things clear.
Yet she shook her head, insisting on avoiding his eyes and also ignoring his care and concern.
“Shan Mei!” Xiang Zhe cried distressfully; he could only forcefully turn Shan Mei around.
“I don’t want to listen!” Shan Mei shook her head; she did not want to listen to any explanation!

When Xiang Zhe lowered his head to look at her face, her tear-stained face stopped the words he was going to utter. The extreme heartaches he was feeling made his eyes water.
“Shan Mei …” He could not stop her tears, so he gently pulled her into his arms, hoping it would comfort her.
In Xue Chang’s warm embrace, Shan Mei would no longer control herself and wept.
“I’m sorry, Xue Chang …” Her voice choked with sobs.
“Shan Mei, please forgive you, can you?” It was he who caused her so much grief and he hoped she would forgive him.
“I am not angry, I am not angry with Xue Chang …” Shan Mei unwillingly left the warm embrace of Xue Chang.
“Shan Mei …” Looking at the way she tried to restrain her tears, he felt extreme heartache.
“I need time to think. Can you please let me have time to have a good thinking?…” She could not meet Xue Chang’s love-filled and heartbreaking eyes.
“OK … I will wait for you …” He gently nodded, but he did not want to let go.

“I am going in. Xue Chang, thank you! I … believe in you!” Shan Mei hurriedly ran in; she was afraid that if she stayed longer, she would cry … she would not be able to restrain herself, she would certainly … certainly change her mind! She had to be strong, she wanted Xue Chang to be happy, she had to be strong.

“I will wait for you!” Watching the departure of Shan Mei, Xiang Zhe repeated with profound love. He had a horrible premonition: Shan Mei was going to leave him!
But he would wait for her, wait to see her eyes when she turned to look at him, wait for her to realize how much he loved her and wait for her to believe she was everything to him!
The morning broke and last night some people did not sleep a wink.
The moment when the sun crept in from the window, Xiang Zhe dialled Shan Mei’s cell phone number. However there was no one answering, did she not want to take his call?
Xiang Zhe hesitated for a moment, his heart could not stop worrying so finally he dialled Shan Mei’s home number. After a long while, there was still no one answering!
There was no one at home? Xiang Zhe put down the phone and his entire person stayed motionless.
Was Shan Mei trying to avoid seeing him on purpose? She really needed time to reorganize her thoughts.
Shan Mei, why was I the person to hurt you?
The person who loved you most was the person who grieved you the most!
At MBS press conference location, Xian Da and the public relations department head were busily taking charge of the decorations and arrangements.
“Supervisor Kim, it’s a call from Director Yin!”
“OK!” Xian Da took over the phone and hid in a quiet corner.
“Now?” Xian Da asked with surprise.
“That’s OK …” Xian Da could doing nothing. He left instructions for his assistants and went to the back.
Xiang Zhe was standing before the window in the corridor. He was smoking and watching the scenery outside.

“You want me for something?” Xian Da was asking the obvious question. The First Anchor’s office was in receipt of Shan Mei’s application for leave early in the morning. She wanted to take a break and she felt remorseful for taking her leave!
“Shan Mei, she …” Xiang Zhe extinguished the cigarette and turned his head to look at Xian Da.
“I think eh …” When Xian Da saw the forlorn pain in his eyes, he could not say anything…
“How is the decoration going on in the ceremonial hall?” Xiang Zhe withdrew his glance, turned and looked down at the scenery again.
“It’s doing nicely! We are well prepared. But is it a good time to carry out a press conference?” Xian Da worriedly asked.
“It is according to plan.”
“But … now, the time is too sensitive! I fear that the press conference will become entertainment news report!”
“I only want to tell the truth!” Xiang Zhe’s voice sounded mild but firm.
According to Wen Rong Holdings’s original plan: the theme of today’s press conference was to announce the formal takeover of Wen Rong by Yin Xiang Zhe who was to become the chairman.

Yin Xiang Zhe’s style of personality and dignity enabled the press conference to go smoothly and his learning and superior judgment also surprised those who were recalcitrant!

The Senior Chairman Yin looked at his beloved son’s calm and unperturbed manner and smiled without worry. However at the same time, his heart also ached for Xiang Zhe and Shan Mei. How he wished that accident had never happened! If that accident had not happened, Xiang Zhe would now be blessedly happy! Xiang Zhe would have married Shan Mei and perhaps they would have already given him a grandchild … Shan Mei that girl should be the key to Xiang Zhe’s soul.

During the Q&A session of the press conference, finally some reporters raised the “most sensitive” questions!
“Chairman Yin, can you please let us know your response to the recent “scandal”?”
“Is Anchor Zhen Shan Mei still your girlfriend? Then the photos taken in Tokyo … what is your explanation?”
“Also, what is your response to Anchor Zhen Shan Mei’s statement last night? There is rumour that Anchor Zhen Shan Mei has left MBS, is it true?”
Facing with insistent questions from the reporters, everyone looked at Yin Xiang Zhe and wondered how he was going to response?
“Miss Zhen Shan Mei is my girlfriend and she is the one I hope I can protect for the rest of my life!”

“Regarding the incident that happened recently, I feel very regretful and hurting! I am very grateful to Shan Mei for her trust in me. Actually regarding rumours, initially I did not want to probe into the root of the matter, because I always thought that rumours would die down after running a full cycle, however I forgot that rumours could really be very hurting! Miss Zhen Shan Mei is now on vacation and she has not resigned from MBS and I hope you can all report the truth of the matter.”

“As to the photos, as a matter of fact I really met with Miss Lee Su Xiao in Tokyo … therefore the photos are not faked, but the story invented by the newspapers is untrue! It is true that I appeared in that jewellery shop, but not meeting Miss Lee Su Xiao at a rendezvous as alleged by the newspapers. At that time I was accompanied by two male friends and we were together the whole time. I really wonder why they don’t appear in the photos!”

“Then what actually happened?”
 “I think, my explanation will still be explanation, perhaps I can ask Miss Lee Su Xiao to tell you the whole story! At the same time I have contacted my friends in Tokyo and you can seek confirmation from them! You can also make enquiry at the jewellery shop!” Xiang Zhe calmly and composedly said and called upon Miss Lee Su Xiao.
Lee Su Xiao calmly gave an account of what happened in Tokyo and she did not hide anything.
The truth was finally out and the reporters got what they wanted.
It seemed as though everything came to a satisfactory ending and it seemed as though everything returned to normal.
However Shan Mei was not there!
The cocktail party at noon was very grand and impressive and Xiang Zhe could not absent himself. However he was not a little bit happy, his taking over from his father was something he would sooner or later do and to celebrate without the love of his life, without the hope of his life, would make everything become meaningless!

In the afternoon, Xian Da finally managed to contact with Gui Cheng. It was more correct to say that it was Gui Cheng who made initial contact with Xian Da. Getting Shan Mei’s news, Xian Da had to ignore his work and hurriedly looked for Xiang Zhe.
At the same moment, Xiang Zhe was in a meeting and Xian Da broke into the boardroom in a rush. Everybody turned his head to look at him.
“I’m sorry …” Xian Da immediately responded apologetically.
Looking at Xian Da’s anxious and excited look, Xiang Zhe immediately understood. However, he could not finish the meeting at once and it would take another 20 minutes.
“Supervisor Kim, can you please wait for me in my office! Let us continue with the meeting.” Xiang Zhe calmly made this decision and tried to suppress the beating of his heart.
“I’m sorry!” Xian Da immediately made his departure and went to wait in Yin Xiang Zhe’s new office.
Xian Da kept looking at his watch, listlessly surveying the new chairman’s office.
The door was pushed open, Xiang Zhe finally came in.
“What happens to Shan Mei? Where’s she?” Xiang Zhe did not try to hide his anxiety and expectation.
“In London!”
“London?”
“Sit down and let me tell you slowly!” Xian Da held down the anxious and heartbroken man before him.
“I too don’t know how they could now be in London. However, Big Brother Gui Cheng phoned me and said they are now in London. They took the early dawn flight to London and they left in a hurry. They didn’t even bring a lot of luggage, just the bare necessity. However, they are not planning to return soon …”
“Shan Mei, she …” Xian Da looked at the man before him who was watching him intently with a face of heartaches; this made Xian Da involuntarily breathe a deep sigh.
“How is Shan Mei?”

“Not good apparently. Big Brother didn’t want to tell, but he mentioned that to go to England was his and Dai Je’s (You Zhen’s mother) idea. Because they really … their hearts are breaking when they see Shan Mei in this state! … Actually, I think it would be better for Shan Mei to have a change in environment. Big Brother also feels the same way, so they went …” Xian Da confusingly explained. He really did not want to see these loving couple suffered in this way!
 “I understand …” Xiang Zhe closed his eyes, leaned back and stayed silent.
 “Xiang Zhe …” Xian Da compassionately tried to say something to comfort him, only to find that tears fell from the corners of Xiang Zhe’s eyes. His heart also sank to the bottom and could not utter anything.
Why did Heaven have to treat them this way? Aye!
Xian Da silently withdrew and left Xiang Zhe alone in his office.
All this time, he just sat there motionless.
At night, Xian Da and Yong Xi invited Xiang Zhe to have dinner together, because they really worried about him.

IN THE RESTAURANT.

“Why isn’t he here yet?” Yong Xi worriedly looked at her watch.
 “Could it be traffic jam? … It couldn’t be at this time of the night …”
“You saw Xiang Zhe this afternoon, how was he? There wouldn’t anything wrong with him?”
“No!” Xian Da hurriedly decided in the negative.
“Xiang Zhe is a strong man! He won’t have any problem! I think he may want to get in touch with London."
“Really? Xiang Zhe’s strength is aiming at Shan Mei! What is he going to do without his sunshine?” Yong Xi quietly sighed.
Xian Da was startled, yes, what was Xiang Zhe going to do without his sunshine?”
The waiter again came over for their orders and Xian D was getting impatient.
At the same time, his cell phone rang.
“Hello, Kim Xian Da speaking.”
“What! Car accident! … OK, we are coming over now!” Xian Da’s face turned pale.
“What happened?”
“Xiang Zhe was in a car accident and he is now in Wen Rong Hospital!”
“What!”
When Xian Da and Yong Xi hurriedly arrived at the hospital, there were already many people waiting there.

The nurse informed them that Xiang Zhe was not in danger, furthermore he was not in the hospital ward – he had gone home about 4 minutes ago. It was the Senior Chairman who was found in Professor Yang Jun Ho’s office waiting for Xiang Zhe’s physical examination report.
 “Uncle, how is Xiang Zhe?” Xian Da and Yong Xi anxiously looked for Mr. Yin Senior and Professor Yang Jun Ho. They saw Mr. Yin Senior as soon as they entered Professor Yang’s office.
 “Oh, he is all right, just a few scratches.”
 “Xiang Zhe is not in danger.” Professor Yang confirmed with a nod.
 “That’s good.” Xian Da breathed a sigh of relief.
 “How did the accident happen? I find the doctors and nurses are all very busy outside …” The sharp-witted Yong Xi still did not feel relieved.
 “It was a car accident, but Xiang Zhe is not the one who suffers severe wound. He and a few others were involved but are not severely injured, even though they need plenty of rest.”

“Then he should be allowed to go home!” Xian Da worriedly asked.
 “Aye, Xiang Zhe insisted to go home.” Yang Jun Ho responded and tried to console Mr. Yin Senior.
 “Fortunately he took a comprehensive physical examination and there should not be anything wrong …”
At the same moment, one of the doctors came in with the examination report. Professor Yang read it carefully while everyone was waiting anxiously.

“Is there anything wrong?” Mr. Yin Senior was very worried.
Professor Yang Jun Ho put down the report and smilingly said, “Everything is in good order, you can stop to worry.”
 “That’s good.” They could then let down their hearts which were in tenterhooks.
After seeing off the Senior Chairman, Xian Da accompanied Yong Xi to have a physical examination.
They both did not understand why Yin Xiang Zhe had to hurriedly leave the hospital? It was not his usual way of doing things! He would not have abandoned his father and friends behind … so why?

Darkness permeated the entire room. Xiang Zhe sank low into the sofa and past memory came back crystal clear …

What was that? That was the love of his life …
In London, they met each other!
Xiang Zhe was driving his BMW silver convertible waiting for the red light to change. He intently looked at the traffic lights and as soon as the light changed he turned on the engine without further thoughts.
 “Oh …” That girl was almost thrown on the bonnet of his car and then fell down to the ground.
Good heaven, Xiang Zhe was frightened out of his wits and quickly stepped on the brakes to stop his car …
……

“I’m not really hurt,” She touched his car, this BMW convertible sports car must have cost the earth, “Your car … it looks it’s still in good condition. I suppose there is no problem?”
Under the circumstances and to one’s surprise, she was worrying about the car?
 “The doctor asked you to come back for another visit tomorrow …” Wearing dungarees and looking like a doll, she looked as if she needed protection. “Have you taken your re-visit card?”
Shan Mei searched for it in her pocket, “Yes, it’s here.” She showed it to him.
………….

“I’ll take you home, please get in.”
 “No, there is no need. I’m fine.” She quickly replied.
 “If we pursue responsibility, I shouldn’t be held responsible. Don’t be mad with me.”
 “No, I am not mad. I just don’t need a lift from you. You don’t have to feel responsible. I can go home myself …” She gave a slight bow, “Goodbye.”
…………..

“I am much younger than you are, young enough to be your younger sister.”
 “Right, because I am more experienced than you are in many ways
………….

“What if I’m scared off by your English?”
 “I will catch you back.”
…………..

“Hey, my lunch ….”
 “Oh, I’m sorry, I have eaten them all.” His mouth was full, both his cheeks were bulging out with the inside stuffing full with her lunch. Shan Mei glared at him.
 “Well, there weren’t many left!”
 “Of course not, I have only eaten two pieces.”
 “So calculating! You are mean!”
 “It is not an issue of meanness …”
………….

“It’s for my papa,” She stood on her tiptoes and pulled the cap off from Xue Chang’s head, “The papa I love most …”
…………..

“Good music!” Shan Mei acclaimed. “I have to listen to English everyday in school so much so that my ears are in blisters.”
Xiang Zhe threw her a glance and then suddenly, his fingers slid across the piano keyboard. He was playing another piece and started to sing to her:
Your figure resembles the waves from the blue ocean calling out to me, leaning close to me …
…………..

“Anyway, thank you for being my friend during this time, it must have been a hard time for you …” She sat up straight, and saluted to Xiang Zhe, “Thank you, Xue Chang.”
………….

“I don’t have a mother …” She put food into her mouth, “I … haven’t I mentioned to you before?”
 “You … don’t have to look at me this way, it’s enough that I have my papa. I have never felt any regret for just having my papa …” She pondered, yes, her papa was the best in this world, “No, I never had any regrets.” She determinedly emphasized one more.
……………

She took out a gift box from her bag, “But, Xue Chang … I have bought yours.”
 “Really?” He took the gift with surprise, “What is it?” He unwrapped it and to his surprise, it was a Peter the Rabbit.
 “Cute?”
He nodded and took out the rabbit, “But … don’t you think this thing … doesn’t suit me?”
 “It suits me!” She laughed, she found it great fun to give to a big man like Xue Chang a little Peter the Rabbit as a gift, “It is the thought that counts! Don’t be petty.”
………….

“When I am not around, you have to remember to take your meals on time. Don’t feel lonely and study hard … then return to our country filled with honour, and also please keep in touch.”
……….

“Come,” He opened wide his arms, “An English farewell hug.” Shan Mei went into his arms and let him plant a light kiss on her cheek, “Goodbye.” He gently said.
 “Goodbye, you have to miss me!”

CHAPTER 21 – I’M SO GLAD TO HAVE YOU. YOU BRING ME SO MUCH HOPE. I WISH TO BRING YOU HAPPINESS

 

Wo Xin Yong Heng - My Constant Heart (Chapter 21 X2)
Author: Ming Wei Xue
Translated with author’s consent by: nho (CA)


Three years went by swiftly; he returned to his homeland all because of his mother and also because of her!

Xiang Zhe closed his eyes with tears silently falling down. How could he forget whatever had happened?

“Xue Chang?” She cried out in pleasant surprise, “Xue Chang …” Shan Mei laughingly rushed forward to hug him tightly.

…………

She laughed with her mouth gaped open, “How long have we not seen each other? When did you come back? Have you missed me?” She was so serious that her face nearly touched his. “Have you actually missed me?”

………..

“That’s terrible!” Shan Mei wrinkled her face, “It seems very difficult to find a job …” If Xue Chang wanted to look for a job … “Right, do you want to work at my papa’s construction site?”

…………

“I really missed you …” She smiled at him sweetly, “I've thought about the times we spent in London. I'm sure you didn't know that …”

…………

“You ….” She sniffed, “Can you … stay where you are and take a snapshot of me with your eyes again? This scenery and the way I look, I hope you will remember it for me. From now on, I will forget everything, but I hope … you can always remember it for me …” She turned around to look at him, “Will you do that?”

…………

She stood on the bridge with her hands encircling her mouth, and cried out loudly, “Kim You Zhen, you are an idiot, a fool! Do you think you will be happier abandoning me and live a better life?” She sobbed, “You … would never have a good life, you are a scoundrel, I … I will curse you every day … Yes, really, I will curse you every day …” She felt so heartbroken, why did the man she loved did not love her? But … she still wished him happiness.

“You Zhen Oppa, I … wish you happiness, you … must be happy!”

…………

“Love, friendship, Papa whom I love the most in the world, Auntie, summer coastline, together with white clouds, starlit sky, gentle breeze, beer, snacks and you, Xue Chang. All the beautiful things in this world are free. Am I right?”

“Our Shan Mei is the happiest girl in the world. The man who marries you is very lucky.. He can make you happy without spending a single cent …”

…………..

“You will have a lot of work to do in future, you just cannot cry each time!”

“I didn’t cry …” She certainly would not admit it!

“Alright, let’s take it that you didn’t.” He dotingly acceded to her. “Please go in.”

She walked halfway and turned to go back to his side. Xiang Zhe was surprised by her return; Shan Mei stood on tiptoes and planted a swift kiss on his left cheek, “English style …”

…………..

“I sent out strong telepathic power, waiting with my heart and mind for her to appear soon …”

…………..

“Xue Chang …” Shan Mei walked a few steps and then turned her head saying, “The telepathic messages I sent out … did you receive them?” She asked Xiang Zhe in a light voice.

…………..

“Actually …” She was a little shy, “Today’s lunch really … touched me, I was really moved.”

…………..

“Xue Chang, I have made it …” Shan Mei’s cheerful voice and her cry for joy came through the telephone.

……………

“I am willing to wait for you. But from now on, you forget that I am waiting for you. If you are not willing, just simply forget what I have said.”

“They are really a bunch of scoundrels! How dare they use an innocent child as their hostage! Using this means to seek money is the most despicable act in the world!”

…………….

“Thank you, Xue Chang.” She walked close by Xiang Zhe, “Although I am telling you it over between us, I feel frightened. If even you do not stand by me, I may not be able to take it.”

……………..

“Xue Chang …” Shan Mei stopped walking, making Xiang Zhe turn back to face her, “Do I really need to go to say hello?” Being aware that she had became the focal point of all eyes, she was a little bit scared.

……………..

“If only you do not commit any errors.” She was really worried that he would do something contrary, “Wait … You are not to make any foolish jokes.” She felt more assured for forewarning him.

…………….

“For example, you are not to say that I am your fiancée or your girlfriend or something like that …” She was really very worried, “Please remember not to say something foolish.”

He was touched by the heart, “Please rest assured! Let’s go …” Xiang She dotingly smiled at Shan Mei.

…………..

“Father …” Xiang Zhe bowed to his father and when Chairman Yin looked at his son, he introduced Shan Mei, “She is my fiancée.”

Xiang Zhe straightened up and turned to look at the dumbfounded Shan Mei, “You just asked me not to make these kind of jokes?” He gave a naughty smile.

…………….

“Xue Chang,” Shan Mei stopped him, “You have a habit of doing things, so it is very easy to understand and that is …” She uttered each word out distinctly, “Very … hypocritical … and false.”

……………..

“They are really a bunch of scoundrels!”

……………….

“I’m sorry. I didn't intend to call you. It's like a habit. I called you without realizing it. I regard you as my London Xue Chang. But I know you are a different person now. You won’t have time to listen to me grumbling anymore.

……………….

“Xue Chang … I'm so sad!” She wept loudly, “What should I do? … I thought Xue Chang … you wouldn't come to me again.”

…………………

“I want to see you go in. Don't brood over it. Just have a good sleep …”

“No,” She shook her head, “You leave first. I don't want you … to see my back all the time. Because you're Xue Chang.”

…………………..

“This Saturday is my birthday, you … do you want to come?”

…………………..

“Yes, I can’t express how happy I am feeling.” Shan Mei was so excited that she phoned him during office hour. This was the most super present she had ever received and she wanted to share the news with Xue Chang.

“Good, I’ll see you later, but before we meet, let me first say …” Even though Shan Mei could not see his expression, Xiang Zhe still gently smiled to Shan Mei through the telephone, “I wish you Happy Birthday!”

…………………

“One year, two years, 10 years or 20 years later, I hope I will keep you company on your every birthday thereafter.”

…………………..

“Peridot, my lucky stone and it’s the only gem that originates from the outer space. This stone is a fragment of the falling meteorite that didn't burn out in the earth atmosphere. If your pearl comes from the sea, then peridot comes from another end of the universe. But yet they are chained together now.”
……………….

“There is mentioned in some movie that giving an anklet as a present will make two people meet again in their future lives. Let’s pledge to meet each again in our next lives.”

…………………

“I’m so glad to have you. You bring me so much hope. I hope to bring you happiness.”

“In the past, I never thought I was lucky, but I’m really lucky to have met you.”

…………………

“I am very fond … very fond of Xue Chang. It’s Xue Chang I am fond of and no one else. You have to believe me.”

………………….

“If you don’t care one bit about your You Zhen Oppa and come to me, I’m afraid I won’t like it either. Because you're Zhen Shan Mei and I like you because of this. Don't feel that you have let me down. I can wait for you.”

………………..

“0706.” Xiang Zhe loudly said; he wanted Shan Mei to hear the words, “It’s the birth date of a friend I care about.”

……………………

“Xue Chang, actually, actually I am …” She loved him.

…………………..

“From now on I will make the decisions and I won’t listen to you anymore. You must do it my way. I have no idea what happened between us, but it does not matter any more. From now on, you can only think of me and love me because I'll do likewise ...”

…………………..

“What day is it?” He gently asked.

“Today is the date I was knocked down by your car. We should meet today, but it's already 11.30 p.m.” Shan Mei replied and she was wearing the red baseball cap.

………………….

Shan Mei was waiting by the front door; she looked into the distance watching out for his car and never thought that Xiang Zhe unexpectedly ran all the way panting for breath. When he saw Shan Mei, he breathed a deep sigh and said laughingly that he nearly missed it.

Xiang Zhe looked at his watch, “There is still five minutes. All the way I was thinking about what we should do when we met and have finally made a decision.”

He went forward and hugged Shan Mei tightly; he wanted to hold her securely in his arms.

“You want to do this even for just five minutes?” Her coquettish tone of voice made his heart ache. He used his large hand to lightly caress her hair and draw Shan Mei’s head against his neck. “It would be a pity to do something else.”

…………………….

“I am always grateful for Xue Chang’s care and concern given to me. No matter what unreasonable things I did to you, you still silently remain by my side guiding me.” She could no long contain her tears, “Tomorrow, please don’t come to see me off at the airport. I don’t want and I am unwilling … to let Xue Chang always watching me leave,” She did not want to leave him, she really was reluctant to do so. “There are things which anyone feels he has to do right away. When I'm in England, I will be strong. Thank you very much for everything you've done for me. Goodbye, Xue Chang.” Shan Mei released the seat belt and got off the car.

The way she uttered these words made him unable to contain his tears. Shan Mei was right in front of him in reachable distance and he had to let her go; how could one endure such torture?

Shan Mei was waiting for the red light to change; her vision was nearly blinded by her tears.

The relationship between them … was originated in an intersection.

Xiang Zhe did not care anymore, “Shan Mei,” He pushed open the door of his car.

Shan Mei turned her head, with tears shining in her eyes. He rushed forward, “There are things which anyone … feels he has to do right away.”

She looked at him with pleasant surprise, Xiang Zhe got hold of her hand, took out a ring he carried with him and put it on her finger. “Will you marry me?” His voice was husky with emotion and he looked at her, “Please don’t leave.”

Looking at the ring on her finger which symbolized the promise from the beginning, Shan Mei nodded and happy tears gushing from her eyes non-stop.

She did not go and would not go anywhere else. Shan Mei melted into tears. She would no longer let the Xue Chang she loved waiting for her, she would no longer let him see her departing back … she would follow him no matter where he went.

“Shan Mei, I love you.” In this intersection and in between the heavy traffic, Xiang Zhe kissed his beloved Shan Mei on her lips; they were kissing each other with profound love …

……………..

How could he forget? Forgot about her sweet and gentle smile? Forgot about her glittering tears? Forgot about her persistent and fragile heart? How could he forget about his sunshine, his hope?

Xiang Zhe’s heart was aching deeply!


As two chapters 21 were posted, so in order to avoid confusion, I am posting the second Chapter 21 too.

CHAPTER 21 – XUE CHANG, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

 

SECOND CHAPTER 21 – XUE CHANG, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

The moon was sinking deep in the night.

Xiang Zhe’s heart was also sinking; how could he let himself be hurt? How could he forget? The thought of Shan Mei enduring pains and torture as a consequence made Xiang Zhe’s heart ache more. How did his Shan Mei live through that period of time? Exactly how many tears she had shed behind his back although she always smiled in his face? Unexpectedly he got himself injured after her birthday, unexpectedly he lost his memory before the engagement ceremony! His promise, his love – they all became a weapon hurting Shan Mei!

Oh, Shan Mei, please forgive me!

Xiang Zhe closed his eyes, with tears silently falling down. His heart was really aching, he was really really missing her! Would that blessed and sweet period of time be returning?

All the way home Xiang Zhe and Shan Mei did not say a word, but the atmosphere in the car was very warm and also very sweet.

Whenever Xiang Zhe thought of how he and Shan Mei kissed each other in the intersection, he could not control himself and smirked. How blessed he was …!

As to the adorable Shan Mei, she kept her head bent since Xue Chang dragged her running back to the car. How dare she and Xiang Zhe embraced and kissed each other on the street … how embarrassing! On the other hand she also felt so blessed!

The car stopped, they reached Shan Mei’s home.

“We are here. It is too fast …” Xiang Zhe was unwilling to part with Shan Mei. The car journey was too short, he really wished that one day they could go home together! That day would soon be arriving … when he thought of this, Xiang Zhe had to smile again.

“I have to go in …” Shan Mei raised her head to steal a look at Xiang Zhe and gently said.

“OK … do you want me to take you in”

“No! … Because I still haven’t decided what to tell Papa!” Her sudden decision to stay would make Papa happy, but did Papa know that Xiang Zhe had proposed to her? How should she tell Papa? Shan Mei could not help but frowned. It seemed as though she had to tell a lot of people and there would be a lot of questions too!

“OK then, I will come to visit uncle another day … Don’t worry, there is me! Just let me deal with everything. All you have to do is go and have a good sleep and everything will be in order tomorrow!” He looked at Shan Mei tenderly; he could deal with everything.

“That’s fine!” Shan Mei nodded, “Then I’m getting in …”

Shan Mei got off the car and Xiang Zhe followed too.

“I’m getting in … Xue Chang, be careful on the road, don’t drive too fast. Also, please call me when you get home …”

“OK …” Xiang Zhe happily responded. Looking at the way Shan Mei uttering these shy biddings, he could not control himself and smiled.

“What are you smiling at?” Shan Mei’s face was still blushing, but when she saw that Xue Chang’s wicked smile, she finally could not help asking.

“Huh …” Xiang Zhe looked at Shan Mei with profound love; he smiled again, recalling the kiss with her not long ago.

“Xue Chang!” Shan Mei lowered her head.

“Shan Mei, thank you!” Xiang Zhe stepped forward to hold Shan Mei’s hands tightly and held them up to his chest.

“I have to thank Xue Chang too! I feel I am so blessed!” Shan Mei raised her head, her eyes shining with radiant lustre.

Xiang Zhe smiled, bent down and kissed lightly on her cheek.

“Goodnight.”

“OK, goodnight …” Shan Mei shyly nodded and gently smiled.

A MONTH THEREAFTER IN ONE AFTERNOON AND INSIDE MBS BUILDING.

Zhao Di firmly took Shan Mei to lunch

“Girl, you are so lucky!” Zhao Di stared at Shan Mei whose face was filled with sweet blessedness and grunted.

“Here you go again! Chen Sui is very good to you too …”

“Good? I don’t know what that guy is doing! He doesn’t even know how to propose!” Zhao Di gave a deep sigh.

“Aye, how did the Prince propose to her? Was it very romantic? He made you give up being the special correspondent to England the night before you were leaving? Aye, come tell me!”

“There is nothing extraordinary to tell!” Shan Mei immediately denied. She would not dare to tell! It was in order to tell Zhao Di that Xue Chang proposed to her on the street, but if Zhao Di got to know that she and Xue Chang kissed each other on the street …. she shook her head, under no circumstances could she tell! But every time when she thought about she and Xue Chang … Shan Mei’s lovely face would blush red.

“What are you thinking? Are you hiding something from me?”

“Nothing, please don’t get the wrong idea ..”

At the same moment, Shan Mei’s cell phone was ringing.

“Hello? Zhen Shan Mei speaking.”

“It’s me! Are you having lunch?”

“Yes! I’m with Zhao Di.” Hearing Xue Chang’s voice, Shan Mei smiled sweetly.

“Where are you? Have you had lunch?”

“I’m in the office. Still haven’t had lunch, but I am having a lunch meeting later on. Don’t worry about me, please have a good lunch.” Xiang Zhe bade.

“Yes Sir!” Shan Mei puckered in smile. This Xue Chang always treated her as a child! On the other hand, she loved being doted on, she felt so blessed!

“I’ll have to go to the meeting and hang up. See you at the usual place tonight.”

“OK, see you tonight!” Shan Mei flipped close her cell phone, her face full of sweet smile and fascinated blessedness.

“It’s like that every time! The Prince Director is so good to you!”

“What?” The blurry Shan Mei looked at Zhao Di not knowing what she meant.

“He picks you up everyday, and meets you for lunch and dinner. If he is too busy to see you at lunch, he would always call you! Furthermore you receives flowers everyday! Wow! How envious!”

Shan Mei stayed silent, lowered her head and smiled.

“How do you know Xue Chang picks me up?” Shan Mei suddenly recalled that they never met in front of the office building, so how were they found out?

“Everyone in the office is aware of that! Someone saw you! You don’t mean to say you don’t know?” Zhao Di stared at Shan Mei in disbelief.

“Oh?” It should not be like this. Shan Mei frightfully looked at Zhao Di. Didn’t Xue Chang say that it did not matter? He also said no one would find out.

“Aiyo, it is not surprising that all lovers behave in this way!” Zhao Di comforted Shan Mei, “However, the Planning Director is very possessive towards you! He really dotes on you! Aye, if only Chen Sui can be half like the Prince Director!”

“You are saying that again, aren’t you worry that Chen Sui will get to hear that?”

“So what? I’m not afraid!”

As soon as these words were spoken, someone cried out –

“Chao Zhao Di!” It was Chen Sui’s voice.

“Wow!” Zhao Di jumped up and wanted to run, but Chen Sui already arrived.

“Rooftop calling!” Chen Sui cried out in great rage and then turned and left.

“Wait! Aye, Shan Mei, you better pay! … Chen Sui! …” Zhao Di excused herself and ran after Chen Sui.

Shan Mei could not help but chuckled. When she picked up her coffee, she saw the ring on her finger and could not help and smiled sweetly.

At night, Xiang Zhe and Shan Mei went out for a meal.

“Did today’s work go smoothly? I heard from Xian Da that covering a news item is not an easy task.”

“I’m fine. I can manage! … Huh, this soup is so delicious!” Shan Mei happily smiled.

“Delicious, we will come again in future.” Xiang Zhe dotingly smiled. He loved to watch Shan Mei’s contented and happy look. Her happiness would always infect him.

“That’s good!” Shan Mei took another mouthful.

“Right, will you be able to finish your assignment before Sunday?” Xiang Zhe posed this question as if he was not really interested.

“It doesn’t seem so … Aye, anything the matter?”

“Nothing, I’m not working that day and would just like to have a date with you.” Although Xiang Zhe was a little disappointed, he did not reveal his feeling.

“We can always go out in the evening!” Shan Mei sweetly replied.

“OK.”

………………….

SUNDAY MORNING.

Xiang Zhe woke up and washed. When he was about to make some toast, the door bell rang.

“Who can it be so early?” Xiang Zhe looked at his watch with surprise, it was only just after 7:00 a.m.

Xiang Zhe opened the door, there was no one outside. When he was about to close the door, a hand stretched in through the opening of the door. Xiang Zhe opened wide the door again - - his sunshine! It was the brilliant smile that he was craving for!

“Shan Mei?!”

“Good morning, Xue Chang!” Shan Mei winsomely smiled.

Xiang Zhe happily smiled, he never thought that it would be Shan Mei. He looked at her carefully: a white open-necked T-shirt covered with a little light blue vest, copulated with a pair of sea blue cropped pants. She was also wearing a pair of deep blue sandals on her feet and a blue backpack on her back and was holding a tall and big box in her hands. The entire her simply looked beautiful and elegant.

“So pretty!” He exclaimed in admiration.

“Thank you!” Shan Mei was embarrassed by the way Xue Chang was looking at her.

“Xue Chang, Happy Birthday! This is my present!” Shan Mei handed over her present.

“Oh, how do you know it’s my birthday today?”

“You don’t want my present? Why don’t you invite me inside?”

“Come in quickly!”

Xiang Zhe pulled Shan Mei inside and closed the door.

“Please take a sit. I will get you a cup of tea.”

“Thank you!” Shan Mei took the teacup, expressed her thanks and handed him her present again.

“How do you know it is my birthday today? Don’t you have to work today?” Xiang Zhe took the present, and was still wondering.

“Oh, how come it’s milk?” Shan Mei frowned. Should it not be tea?

“Drinking tea in the morning is not good to your health! I guess you must not have eaten anything this morning … ain’t I right?”

“Xue Chang, you are awesome, you know everything!”

“Don’t try to butter me up; you still have not answered my question.”

“I have finished my assignment. I asked Uncle Xian Da not to tell you! Regarding - - Xue Chang, why didn’t you tell me today is your birthday? Why didn’t you say anything?” Shan Mei glowered at him.

“Huh …”

“You don’t want to let me know?”

“No! I just didn’t want to make it difficult for you; you have a job to do!”

“How can you say that?” Shan Mei pouted her lips and looked annoyed.

“OK, don’t be angry! I stayed abroad for a long time and have got used to not celebrating my birthdays, so … actually I wanted to tell you last night.” He sounded so guiltless.

“Really?” Shan Mei looked at the guiltless Xue Chang, still not believing him.

“Really!”

Shan Mei glowered at Xiang Zhe for a long time, then broke into laughters.

“The most important thing is for Xue Chang to be happy! However, I wish I can spend all future birthdays with Xue Chang, can I?” Shan Mei gently said.

“Thank you, Shan Mei!” Xiang Zhe was so moved. She always brought him pleasant surprise and … hope.

“Aren’t you curious at what my gift is?”

“Can I open it and look?”

“Of course!”

Xiang Zhe looked at Shan Mei’s expectant face, smiled with blessed happiness and unwrapped the box.

“Do you like it?”

“A thermo flask?” Xiang Zhe raised his head uncomprehendingly.

“Huh! You open and see!”

Xiang Zhe obediently opened it – it was breakfast!

“This is …”

“I prepared it. Do you want to try?” Shan Mei sweetly smiled.

On the dining table, there were several dishes.

“How is it? It was the first time I made this kind of congee … I don’t mind even if you tell me it’s not good …” Shan Mei stared at Xiang Zhe.

“This tastes pretty good!”

“Really?” Shan Mei happily smiled.

“It’s really delicious … but, Shan Mei’s gift is out of ordinary!” He teased her; actually Shan Mei’s gift made him warm? his heart.

“You don’t like it?” The smile on Shan Mei evaporated.

“No! I like it very much.” Xiang Zhe quickly explained.

“Thank you Shan Mei. There has never been anyone who treats me like this! I really have to thank you – your gift is so unusual and is the most super gift I have ever received! Don’t be mad!” It was true, many people gave him presents before, but only what Shan Mei gave him was warm and genuine.

“I am not mad! Xue Chang, I will give you something much better in future! More …” She hesitated purposely, “Pleasant surprises!”

“I am waiting with expectation! … OK, let’s eat!”

“OK!”

…………………..

Xiang Zhe’s home was now a real home with continuous sound of laughter.

IN THE AFTERNOON, IN A FLOWER SHOP.

“Sir, your flowers.”

“Thank you!” Xiang Zhe politely expressed his thanks and walked out of the flower shop.

The same as last time, he picked the same flowers, two bunches, one for his mother and one for Shan Mei.

Shan Mei was waiting for him by the side of the car and smiled when she saw Xiang Zhe’s return.

“The flowers are so beautiful!” Shan Mei exclaimed with delight. Not only were these flowers beautiful, but also pure and unblemished.

“Two bunches? Aren’t we going together?”

“Shan Mei, this bunch is for you.” Xiang Zhe smilingly handed her the flowers.

“Oh?” Shan Mei looked at Xiang Zhe in wonder, “Xue Chang …” Wasn’t Xue Chang buying flowers for auntie?

“I want to give the flowers to the person I love most!”

“Thank you!” Shan Mei smiled; she was so moved.

Looking at Shan Mei’s brilliant smile, Xiang Zhe felt the warmth in his heart.

IN FRONT OF XIANG ZHE’S MOTHER’S GRAVE.

Xiang Zhe gently placed the flowers before his mother’s grave.

“Mother, this is Shan Mei, the adorable girl I told you last time!”

“Auntie, how are you? I am Shan Mei.” Shan Mei smiled ingeniously.

“Mother, Shan Mei is going to spend the lifetime with me … If there are future lives,” Xiang Zhe turned to look at Shan Mei with profound love, “I wish we can meet again and I will love her forever!”

“Xue Chang!” Shan Mei looked at Xue Chang’s profound love and she really wanted to say “Me too!”

……………..

“Auntie, although I have never met you, I know you love Xue Chang very much and Xue Chang also loves you and he really loves you. I think, Auntie would also hope to see Xue Chang lives his life happily, therefore … please accept my love!”

Finished saying those words, Shan Mei took out a delicate card from her backpack, gently put it before the grave, closed eyes and gently murmured something.

………………

“Mother, we have to go.”

“Auntie, we will come to visit you often!”

“Next time we come, I think there will be one more person calling you “Mother”!” Xiang Zhe happily told his mother.

“Xue Chang!” Shan Mei shyly called out, but seeing Xiang Zhe winking his eyes at her, she could not help but laughed.

“Let’s go …” Xiang Zhe got hold of Shan Mei’s hands and left silently with Shan Mei.

……………………

“Where are we going?”

“Huh, let’s have a date tonight! Shan Mei?”

“Aren’t we having a date now?”

“Really? I want a lover-like date, not just a date to celebrate birthday …”

“OK! I’ll do as you say …”

“You said that, and don’t go back on your words!”

………………….

The receding setting sun lengthened their blessed shadows.

 

CHAPTER 22 – THEY LOOKED AT EACH OTHER WITH PROFOUND LOVE

 

Author: Ming Wei Xue
Translated with author’s consent by: nho (CA)

EARLY MORNING, MBS.

In Director Yin’s office.

“This is the rating report for the last quarter. Please take a look …” Xian Da handed over the document to Xiang Zhe.

“Huh …” Xiang Zhe looked at the rating report and proudly smiled.

“Good Morning Eve’s rating climbs to a new height. Shan Mei’s achievement is by no means little!” Xian Da looked at Xiang Zhe with a smile, “We want a celebration, do you want to come with us, Director Yin?”

“A celebration?”

“Yes! To speak the truth, ever since Eve has commenced broadcast, the last quarter’s average rating is the highest, therefore everyone unanimously considers that we should have a celebration! Are you joining us or not?”

“Huh …” Xiang Zhe pondered; he did not want Shan Mei to feel embarrassed. Even though their love affair was already made known to the public, he knew Shan Mei was under extreme stress, therefore he was still hesitating.

“We are just going out to have some fun, there won’t be any problem!”

“OK then, please include me.” Xiang Zhe made a decision, he did not want to miss any opportunity of spending time with Shan Mei.

“Great! … Aye, right, how was your birthday celebration yesterday?”

Hearing Xian Da asking about yesterday’s birthday, Xiang Zhe could not stop smiling, a tiny embarrassed smile.

“Aye, you are blushing? I’m sure it must have been good?”

Xiang Zhe nodded, revealing a face of blessed happiness and making whoever watching him getting envious.

“That’s wonderful!” Xian Da happily smiled. Looking at his junior who finally tasted happiness after all the hardships endured, he also felt very gratified.

“If there is nothing important, I’m getting out …” Xian Da stood up and left.

Watching Xian Da go, Xiang Zhe relaxed his state of mind. He lightly leaned on the back of the chair, recalling how it was yesterday, he genuinely experienced blessed happiness, genuinely felt the love Shan Mei had for him …

Xiang Zhe looked at his watch and could not help but smiled, as it was a gift from Shan Mei – an Omega watch.

Last night, Xiang Zhe took Shan Mei home after dinner. When they reached Shan Mei’s place, Shan Mei took out another gift from her backpack.

“Xue Chang, this is for you!” Shan Mei shyly smiled.

“This …” Xiang Zhe asked uncomprehendingly.

“Your birthday present!” Shan Mei sweet smile was so tender and so beautiful.

“Birthday present?”

“Yes! See whether you like it. I have spent a long time picking it!” Shan Mei put the gift on Xiang Zhe’s hand, nodding at him as a signal for him to unwrap the gift.

Xiang Zhe carefully unwrapped it, it was an Omega watch with delicate workmanship and simple features.

“Is this a pleasant surprise?” Shan Mei naughtily smile.

Xiang Zhe’s heart was flooded with blessed happiness; Shan Mei always knew how to give him pleasant surprises!

“Do you like it?” Shan Mei inclined her head to look at him.

Xiang Zhe smiled and his smile gradually grew bigger. He turned to look at Shan Mei and gently pulled the alluring Shan Mei into his arms.

“Xue Chang?” Her voice was so tender and light.

“Thank you! … Shan Mei, I love you!” He stated with profound love and then slowly released her.

“Xue Chang!” Shan Mei’s eyes revealed her answer.

“Shan Mei!” Xiang Zhe went forward to tenderly and deeply kiss Shan Mei’s soft and enticing lips ….

………………..

THE FIRST ANCHOR’S OFFICE.

“Then let’s make the decision! This weekend we will all go to have a barbecue to celebrate our success.” Xian Da announced the result of unanimous agreement.

“Terrific!” Everyone happily clapped their hands.

“Oh, Director Yin will also be joining us!” Xian Da looked at Shan Mei and added another sentence.

“Aye, Director Yin also wants to join us …” Chen Sui who sat near to Shan Mei, gently nudged her with a sneaky smile. Shan Mei lowered her head in embarrassment.

AT NIGHT, IN THE PUB.

Xian Da and Xiang Zhe were together.

“Is Shan Mei against you joining the barbecue?”

“No.” Xiang Zhe took a light sip of the wine.

“Oh, it does not like Shan Mei …”

Xiang Zhe smiled, recalling the look of Shan Mei pouting her lips in disagreement but on the other hand wishing him to go. He wanted to laugh. This Shan Mei was really so adorable!

“Aye, where is Shan Mei? You are not worrying about letting her going home alone?” Xian Da scoffed at Xiang Zhe although he already knew the answer to his question.

“I’m going to pick her up later. She has to record followed by live broadcast.” Xiang Zhe gave a soft smile.

“That girl, really, why can’t she agree to broadcast pre-recorded programs? … If she goes on this way, after the barbecue this weekend, she would have to go back to the TV station … Xiang Zhe, can’t you talk to her …” Xian Da wished Xiang Zhe could persuade her.

Xiang Zhe silently smiled. He was always aware of Shan Mei’s diligent working attitude. The reason why she did not wish to broadcast recorded programs was in some way resulting from what happened in the conference room last time! What could he say in order to persuade her? Watching how hard she worked, although he ached for her, he just could not say anything …

…………………

“Oh … I have to go.” Xiang Zhe looked at his watch again. It was nearly 9:00 p.m. He did not want to miss any of Shan Mei’s programs and he also did not want Shan Mei to get too hungry.

“OK. Anyway Yong Xi will arrive soon and I won’t miss company!” Xian Da smiled.

……………………

The weekend arrived soon. They all went to have a barbecue in the countryside, what a lively party!

“Yong Xi, come, this one is done!”

“Yong Xi, taste this …” Everyone could see how Xian Da doted on his wife.

On the other side, Song Kee Jong was also very attentive to Lee Qing Xi.

Chen Sui apparently wanted to follow and imitate, however the same actions provoked Zhao Di’s anger? Well … it was really hard to understand!

“Aiyo, Zhao Di! …”

“Chen Sui, you hateful man, you are scalding me!”

“No … Zhao Di!”

…………………

But with the presence of this delightful couple, everything became much more fun!

“Don’t think that Chen Sui and Zhao Di always fight, actually they are a good match!” Shan Mei happily laughed.

“Yes.” Xiang Zhe nodded in agreement.

Shan Mei and Xiang Zhe sat a little away from the others, just so that they could quietly talk to each other.

“Xue Chang, can we go to fly the kite?”

…………………

Shan Mei carried the kite with her and ran forward happily with Xiang Zhe staying by her side, closely guarding her.

“Wow, the kite is flying so high!” Both Chen Sui’s and Zhao Di’s attention was drawn.

“Please take a look! The kite is flying very high!” Chen Sui called out to the others.

“Really!”

“It’s so high!”

“I want to fly the kite too!”

“Let’s go to fly the kite!”

………………….

“Please come over here, the food is ready!” Qing Xi and Yong Xi called out to them.

“You had a long run, are you thirsty? Look – you are sweating all over!” Xiang Zhe took out his handkerchief and carefully wiped the sweat from Shan Mei’s forehead.

“You really behave like a child!” Xiang Zhe dotingly patted Shan Mei’s rosy cheek.

“I do not!” Shan Mei pouted her mouth in denial, but she happily laughed. She was really very happy!

“Xue Chang, you should wipe your face too!” Shan Mei took out her own handkerchief and handed it to Xiang Zhe.

They looked at each other with profound love.

“Aye, so loving!” Xian Da embracing Yong Xi, jokingly said.

“How envious!” Zhao Di sighed audibly.

“Let me wipe it for you!” Chen Sui at once tried to please earnestly.

“Why are you so rough?” Zhao Di was initially very pleased, but once again, Chen Sui tried to act smart but failed miserably again.

Everyone laughed. Both Chen Sui and Zhao Di bent their heads in embarrassment.

Both Xiang Zhe and Shan Mei also smiled at each other.

………………….

ANOTHER QUIET AND SUNNY MORNING.

Xiang Zhe parked his car by the side of the road some distance away from MBS.

“I have to go!” Shan Mei gave Xiang Zhe a beautiful smile.

“OK!” Xiang Zhe dotingly nodded and tidied up Shan Mei’s hair with his hand.

“Bye!” Shan Mei got off the car.

“See you in the office!”

Watching Shan Mei’s fast receding back, Xiang Zhe then drove away.

Since hearing what Zhao Di said, Shan Mei no longer wanted him to pick her up, but Xiang Zhe insisted. Because he wanted to see her first thing in the morning! Shan Mei was really helpless and could not win any argument over him, so everything just went on the same way.

Accordingly to Xiang Zhe, to be able to look at Shan Mei’s smile early every morning, was the same as looking at the brilliant sunshine every morning.

When Xiang Zhe stepped into MBS, he soon discovered strange looks from everybody.

Anything happened? He hoped not!

Xiang Zhe went in to his office with queries in his mind. He picked up the newspapers on his desk and the headline all at once caught his attention!



“Oh my God! How come they get hold of this photo?” Xiang Zhe looked at the photo with astonishment. Wouldn’t Shan Mei be scared when she looked at it? In any event, their photo witnessed his blessed happiness and the love between him and Shan Mei.

How should he deal with the matter?

Xiang Zhe’s face broke into a smile …

FIRST ANCHOR’S OFFICE.

Shan Mei looked at the report in the newspaper, with her face down and crimsoned.

No one knew what to say.

Fortunately, Director Yin came in.

Everyone looked at both of them with surprise and curiosity.

“Shan Mei, please come to my office.” Xiang Zhe did not say anything further, he just took Shan Mei back to his office with her head bent low.

“Don’t worry. Just carry on your work free of worry. It will be alright.” Xiang Zhe held on to her shoulder and took her back to his office, trying to comfort her.

“But, Xiang Zhe …” Shan Mei raised her head nervously. The news about her not going to England had just recently died down with difficulty and now unexpectedly …

“Finally you are willing to raise your head? I thought you would spend the whole lifetime with head lowered!”

“Under the circumstances, how can you still have the frame of mind to make jokes!” Shan Mei angrily pommelled Xiang Zhe.

“OK OK … I am in the wrong. Don’t get angry and don’t pull a long face.” Xiang Zhe grabbed hold of Shan Mei’s little hand, laughingly coaxing her.

“But, what are we going to do?”

“Huh … Just let nature take its course …”

“Oh? … What!”

“Believe me, I will take care of everything and you just carry on with your work free of worry!”

“Huh …” Shan Mei saw the profound love in Xue Chang’s eyes and nodded involuntarily, smiling gently.

“At last you are willing to smile?” Watching Shan Mei’s smile, Xiang Zhe finally set his mind to rest.

“I didn’t!”

“OK, OK, you didn’t!”

“Huh … I’m getting back to work.”

“Now?” Xiang Zhe looked at Shan Mei’s face carefully.

“What is the matter?” The way Xue Chang looked at her made her nervous.

“Huh …”

“Aiyo, is my face very red?” The adorable Shan Mei finally realized.

“Yes, just like a adorable tomato …” Xiang Zhe smilingly dropped a light kiss on Shan Mei’s cheek.

“Xue Chang!” Shan Mei’s face got more crimsoned and also more captivating.

………………..

A SMALL PRESS CONFERENCE CONCLUDED.

Xiang Zhe’s communicated with the media in honesty. His regal personality bowed over all those present.

“I really admire you. You could talk to them in such a way!” Xian Da was as usual a bystander.

“I don’t want this to cause Shan Mei any perplexity.” Just let him deal with everything, because he did not want to cause Shan Mei any hurt. Also after today’s interview by the media, Shan Mei would think there would not be any more trouble in future and her working pressure would not get bigger. On the other hand, to be able to obtain that valuable photo, he was very happy. He wanted to send it as a gift to Shan Mei. When he thought of this, Xiang Zhe could not help smiling and his heart was flooded with tender feeling.

“Aye, oh, this …”

“If there is anything you want to ask, please ask!” Xiang Zhe gave a little smile when he saw the hesitant way Xian Da tried to say something.

“When are you and Shan Mei getting engaged?” Hadn’t he already proposed? So when would it be?

“Hmm …” Xiang Zhe was very embarrassed.

“You too do not seem to be in a hurry?” Xian Da curiously looked at Xiang Zhe. Was his fellow anxious to get engaged or not?

“Shan Mei and I do not plan to get married right away and we are not anxious to get engaged soon. I hope Shan Mei can enjoy life, enjoy being in love and this is also my wish. All I want is for Shan Mei to be happy, therefore … we are not in a hurry. When the right moment comes, I will discuss the engagement matter with Shan Mei.”

“It’s good that you have something planned. It’s so nice to see that you and Shan Mei are happy.” Xian Da smiled.

“Thank you!” Xiang Zhe laughed heartily.

He was waiting expectantly, but only when she was happy, he would then have blessed happiness.


CHAPTER 23 – SHE WAS WILLING TO MAKE COFFEE FOR XUE CHANG FOR LIFE

 

Winter had arrived and it was so rare that Shan Mei had a holiday that she slept until after 11:00 a.m.

“Oh!” Shan Mei stood before the window and drew in a deep breath, then she began to wash up.

After washing up, Shan Mei took out the new dress Papa bought for her.

“He is treating me as if I am still a child!” Shan Mei looked at herself in the mirror and made a grimace.

This suit of casual dress was of fine quality, simple in style and was in the latest fashion.

“Papa is reluctant to let me go!” Shan Mei lightly sighed; actually she also was reluctant to leave Papa!

That day, Xiang Zhe made a special trip to call on Gui Cheng and raised the marriage proposal issue.
……………..

“Uncle, thank you for agreeing to entrust Shan Mei to me! I will treasure her, protect her and make her blessedly happy!” Xiang Zhe was grateful to Gui Cheng from the bottom of his heart.

“Our Shan Mei … Xiang Zhe, it’s because of you that I don’t have to worry!” Gui Cheng realized how deep Xiang Zhe’s love was for Shan Mei; furthermore he also knew that Xiang Zhe was not only distinguished, he was also a man of responsibility.

“Xiang Zhe, I also hope that Shan Mei can bring you happiness! You too have a long way ahead of you and if you can live a good life I won’t have to worry any more …” Gui Cheng tried to restrain his tears; he sincerely sent his blessings from the bottom of his heart, even though he was very reluctant to let her daughter go.

“Papa! …” Shan Mei could not restrain herself, her tears were shining in her smile.

“Shan Mei, from now on you have to be more understanding of Xiang Zhe and not to behave childishly! Understand? …”

………………….

The Shan Mei in the mirror was crying again. Even though no date had yet been set for the wedding, she was still feeling sad.

“However, I am really very blessed!” Shan Mei wiped dried her tears and gave herself a happy smile.

On the other hand, the way Xue Chang behaved that day was really …. very funny! She had never seen Xue Chang behaved so nervous and gingerly! Usually Xue Chang was humorous and warm, gentle and thoughtful and always tried to tease her, and the Planning Director was always so calm and confident with a superior air!

“But why …” Why could not all people be like this?

Auntie, You Zhen Oppa, and also Ying Mei … Too many things had happened and now everything … aye, maybe Xue Chang was right, everyone had their own form of happiness!

Since auntie knew of Ying Mei’s whereabouts, she often went to visit her. To Auntie, taking care of the memory lost Ying Mei became an extension of love to the dead You Zhen Oppa! This was also a form of dedication for Auntie? You Zhen Oppa must also be trying to protect and bless Auntie and Ying Mei … The weather was getting colder, Auntie must have gone to send something to Ying Mei?

……………….

Shan Mei went downstairs, and her eyes caught a glimpse of a piece of paper on the table. Shan Mei picked up the sheet and could not help pursing her cute little mouth.

“Shan Mei: I’m sorry. Something urgent happened at the construction site, so Papa won’t be coming back tonight. Please be careful with only yourself at home and take good care! Papa has already cooked your favourite congee and put it in the fridge. Please heat it up after you get up. Also, Xiang Zhe phoned and don’t forget to call him. Bye, my little girl!! Papa.”

All Shan Mei could do was to heat up the congee in the kitchen. Then she carried the congee, sat down on the sofa and began to listen to the voicemail messages.

“You have two messages, the first one:

“Shan Mei, you are a lazy cat, still have not got up? Then sleep for a little while longer… I’m sorry, I have been so busy lately and can’t take good care of you. Don’t be angry! … Also, don’t pout your lips when I call you lazy cat! I will call back.””

Listening to Xue Chang’s messages, Shan Mei pouted her lips, but could not help breaking into laughter. Xue Chang knew her so well!

“The second message:

“Shan Mei, I have to go into a meeting. After you get up, please don’t call me. I’ll call you when the meeting breaks up … sleep well, my baby!”

Shan Mei ate her congee, wearing a sweet smile. She looked at the time and noted that he called at 11:00 a.m.

“Xue Chang has to attend so many meetings! Can’t even take a rest during holidays …” Shan Mei’s note of complaint revealed heartache.

Actually Xiang Zhe and Shan Mei were planning to go out in the weekend, unfortunately there were too much to deal with in the office.

Shan Mei cleaned up her room and also made coffee. She kept looking at her watch, it was already 12 noon!

“It’s time for Xue Chang to get out of the office? Shouldn’t he eat his lunch? Shouldn’t the meeting already be finished?” She murmured to herself and picked up the phone.

“But Xue Chang asked me to wait for him to call!” So she just had to put down the phone again. Shan Mei’s eyes kept staring at the phone while thinking about the time.

The phone finally rang! Shan Mei immediately picked it up.

“Hello!”

“It’s me. Did you sleep well? Little lazy cat?” Xiang Zhe’s voice sounded carefree.

“What now! I only slept a little longer!”

“OK! I know! Don’t pout your mouth!” He teased her.

“I am not that petty!” Shan Mei pursed her still pouted mouth.

“Xue Chang, did the meeting go smoothly?”

“I miss you so much! Do you miss me?”

“Xue Chang! I am asking you serious matters! How did the meeting go?”

“You really do not miss me?” He had the audacity to carry on asking.

“Xue Chang!” Shan Mei angrily cried out.

“OK, don’t be angry. Everything went smoothly and the meeting went well! Don’t worry!”

“I know Xue Chang is awesome!” A praise from the woman he loved was a wonderful thing and Xiang Zhe was feeling very happy.

“You don’t miss me, then did you dream of me?” Sleeping until late, shouldn’t she have dreamed of him?

“No, … I don’t think I have dreamed at all!” Shan Mei honestly replied. She was always this artless and candid!

“Really?” Shan Mei could hear the disappointment in Xiang Zhe’s voice.

“Xue Chang …” If she did not miss him, why did she stay by the phone? “Oh … Xue Chang, the door bell is ringing, please hold on a second!” Shan Mei put down the phone and hurriedly went to open the door.

When she came out, she saw from the doorway a tall and handsome man leaning by the car, with one hand holding a bunch of flowers and the other holding his cell phone.

“Xue Chang! How come it’s you!” Shan Mei excitedly ran out and pulled his arm.

“These are for you - - pink roses, as beautiful as you are today … miss me?” He passed her the flowers and looked at her with profound love.

“Thank you! Huh … actually, I was missing you just now!” Shan Mei took the flowers and smiled shyly.

“Really?” Xiang Zhe happily smiled.

………………

“Xue Chang, come and try?” Shan Mei poured Xiang Zhe a cup of coffee.

“Thank you!” Xiang Zhe took the cup and carefully savoured the taste of it.

“How is it?”

“Excellent! The taste is just perfect!” He could smell the coffee aroma as soon as he stepped into the house. He never thought that it was also so fine and rich in taste.

Shan Mei happily laughed; her beautiful and warm laughter was so brilliant that Xiang Zhe could not tear his eyes away from her.

“Thank you, Shan Mei!”

“Oh?” It was just a cup of coffee and he had to thank her?

“Finally I can drink the coffee made by you!” Xiang Zhe lowered his head, continuing to carefully savour the taste of happiness.

Hearing what Xue Chang said, Shan Mei really loved Xue Chang dearly. She was willing to make coffee for Xue Chang for life!

……………..

“What is that?” Shan Mei pointed to the big box which Xiang Zhe put on the table.

“Open it up and see!”

“OK!” Shan Mei obediently did as he said.

“Pizza? The authentic Italian pizza?” Shan Mei called out with pleasant surprise.

“Did you tell me last time that you wanted to eat pizza?” Xiang Zhe smiled at her dotingly.

“Xue Chang, you are so nice!” She had only mentioned to him carelessly once and Xue Chang remembered everything.

“Thank you, Xue Chang …”

“You have to thank me just for the pizza?” He imitated how she looked a moment ago.

“It is not that … Xue Chang, you …”

“What is the matter?” Xiang Zhe looked at her, wondering what she was going to say?

“Xue Chang, you pamper me in such a way, you will spoil me … besides, you will be very tired this way?” Shan Mei worriedly looked at Xiang Zhe.

“Silly girl, if I can, I am willing to pamper you for life! If there are future lives, I am willing to pamper you forever! Believe me, Shan Mei, my love for you will only make me blessedly happy. To love you is the most happy thing to me!” Xiang Zhe’s voice contained both affection and tenderness.

“Xue Chang …” Shan Mei tenderly smiled, trying to hide the tears in her eyes.

“Come, eat quickly! …” Xiang Zhe dotingly nodded.

“OK! …” She responded with her most beautiful smile.

………………..

After they finished their happy lunch, Shan Mei saw Xiang Zhe off.

In the afternoon, Zhao Di, who was also on vacation, invited Shan Mei to go shopping and also to have an hairdo.

“It really makes me mad! That darned Chen Sui has the audacity to …” Shan Mei tried to comfort Zhao Di for half a day, but she was still angry.

“Don’t be mad anymore, Chen Sui is not that kind of person!” Shan Mei believed that it was a misunderstanding; it was true that Chen Sui loved Zhao Di!

“Don’t try to put in nice words for him! … However, I will dress up myself beautifully! I will get a new dancing partner for the Christmas Ball!” Zhao Di proudly announced! Actually she trusted Chen Sui, although she was still mad!

………………..

To get into a happy mood had to start from the “head”, that was why they were now in a famous hair couture house.

“You really want to have such an hair style?” Shan Mei looked at the hair style Zhao Di pointed to her and asked with surprise.

“Yes! Shan Mei. What do you think? This is a special creation!” Zhao Di was in a very enjoyable mood.

“But - - Don’t you think this style is really too …. You better try this one!”

“This? Nothing special! … I think I better choose that one!”

‘Zhao Di, I think this suits you much better; besides don’t you want to make Chen Sui mad? Please choose this one, it will really make you very beautiful!” Shan Mei guaranteed.

“Yes, Miss, I also feel this style suits you better! Since you are doing it for Christmas, this one will suit you …” The hairdresser who was standing by the side always suggested Zhao Di to pick this style.

“This …” Zhao Di hesitated.

“Say yes, please try this one.” Shan Mei continued to persuade her.

“OK … this one! Let’s try and see how it looks!”

So Zhao Di began having her hair done and Shan Mei kept her company waiting by the side.

“Shan Mei, you can have an hairdo too? This way, you won’t feel bored waiting for me!”

“I don’t know what to do … However, I want to do hair treatment …”

“Wow, girl, you have such nice hair and you still want treatment? … Aye, don’t you want an haircut?” Zhao Di cried out as if she had discovered the new continent.

“Huh … I want to wear my hair longer and see how it looks like …” Shan Mei excused herself.

Another hairdresser came over to look after Shan Mei.

“Really? You want to wear your hair longer? I have never seen you with long hair! I have to wait and see!” Zhao Di turned her head excitedly and nearly got her hair cut up the wrong way …

“Please stay still!” Shan Mei anxiously reminded Zhao Di.

“I know! …” Zhao Di immediately paid attention. Anyway, she was still extremely curious to know the reason why Shan Mei wanted to wear her hair long …

………………..

After they had their hair done, Zhao Di in malleable mood, dragged Shan Mei to go crazy shopping, buying clothes!

“OK, this is the last one! Let’s go in!” Zhao Di “comforted” Shan Mei, this was the last one!

“Good!” Shan Mei finally revealed a smile full of fatigue, at last she could take a rest.

This Zhao Di was really awesome! She had already spent the whole morning shopping with two other friends and continued shop with Shan Mei the whole afternoon until near 7:00 p.m., however she was still full of energy!

“Oh, I think I have come here before!” It looked familiar!

“This dress is so pretty!” As soon as Zhao Di came into the shop, she took a fancy to a light green evening gown.

“After visiting so many shops, I finally find the one I want!” Zhao Di happily called out to Shan Mei.

“It’s really pretty good!” Shan Mei looked at the dress carefully.

“How do you too feel about the dress? If you like it, you can try it on!” The proprietress came over and asked.

“Aiyoo, isn’t it Shan Mei? How are you doing?”

“Oh? How are you! I’m fine!” So it was this shop, no wonder it looked familiar.

“You know each other?” Zhao Di asked Shan Mei in a small voice.

“Xue Chang brought me here before …”

“Do you find something you like? Just try it on!”

……………

Zhao Di happily changed, came out and looked at the mirror.

“So beautiful!” Shan Mei praised.

“Really! And it goes well with your hair style too!” The proprietress added her praise.

Zhao Di smiled with pride and satisfaction.

Because of her acquaintance with Shan Mei, Zhao Di was given a 20% discount.

“Oh, Shan Mei, don’t you want to choose a dress for the Christmas Ball?” When Zhao Di paid for the dress, she could not help staring at Shan Mei and asked.

“Eh, I haven’t thought of it …”

“Shan Mei, I have put aside a few dresses, do you want to try them?”

“Well …”

“What kind of dresses? Shan Mei, please try and see …” Zhao Di persuaded Shan Mei.

“No, I don’t want to!”

“I’ll go and get them for you!” The proprietress was full of enthusiasm.

………………….

“These are all very pretty, Shan Mei, come and try them on!” Looking at the dresses brought out by the proprietress, Zhao Di was more excited than Shan Mei.

“There is no need. Although these dresses are so pretty, I don’t think they suit me!” Shan Mei looked at the dresses and tactfully declined.

At the same time, Zhao Di’s cell phone rang and she immediately went to one side to pick up the call. The proprietress on the other hand was showing Shan Mei more dresses …

“Aiyo, Shan Mei, I have to go, I’m sorry!” Zhao Di impatiently and anxiously apologized to Shan Mei.

“It’s OK! I know it is Chen Sui! You better go!”

“I’m taking off! … Oh, you have to pick one!” Zhao Di left, not forgetting to deliver her bidding.

At night, Shan Mei and Xiang Zhe had their dinner.

Xiang Zhe took Shan Mei home. The two of them took a walk hand in hand in the small park and Shan Mei gave an account of all the amusing things that happened in the afternoon.

“Right, why didn’t you pick one?” That was indeed what he had specifically requested the proprietress to do … he never thought that Shan Mei would have gone to the shop first.

“Hmm … Actually I already have an evening gown!” Shan Mei happily smiled.

“Huh?” Xiang Zhe paused, turned his head to look at her.

“Who gave it to you? Did you buy it?”

“No! It’s Papa!” Shan Mei raised her head to look at Xiang Zhe, her eyes shinning bright, “It is a present from Papa! Papa always wants to give me the best, and he always arranges everything for me …”

“Shan Mei … I’ll love you the same way as your Papa!” He loved everything about her and his love to her would not be any less.

“Thank you, Xue Chang! I know you will!”

“Xue Chang …”

“What is the matter?”

“Huh … didn’t you say that you are taking me to see the Chairman …”

“You finally agree to go?” Xiang Zhe looked at Shan Mei with pleasant surprise, she was finally agreeable?

“I want to pay Uncle a visit at Christmas, can I?”

“Good!”

“Xue Chang, I will love Xue Chang’s parents and family the same way I love Papa and Auntie!” Shan Mei’s eyes were shining with artlessness and sincerity.

“Shan Mei …” Xiang Zhe’s heart was burning hot. He was moved and also admired Shan Mei – she could always use her gentle heart to tolerate and forgive and could always use her candid eyes to appreciate and savour the positive side of everything!

“Xue Chang, what’s wrong with you?”

“I want to hug you!” Xiang Zhe said and took action. He gently drew Shan Mei into his arm, and let her had securely settle on his shoulder.

“Xue Chang?” Shan Mei softly began to speak.

“Shhh – five minutes will do …” Xiang Zhe closed his eyes, gently caressed Shan Mei’s soft and shinning hair, and soaked up Shan Mei’s pure fragrance …

Shan Mei too leaned on Xue Chang obediently, closed her eyes and soaked up Xue Chang’s warmth ….

CHAPTER 24 – I DON’T WANT ANYONE TO DISTURB US … THANK YOU!

 

Author: Ming Wei Xue
Translated with author’s consent by: nho (CA)

MBS SMALL CONFERENCE ROOM.

Yin Xiang Zhe and Jin Xian Da were in a meeting with Production Manager, Cui Hao Yuan and its Director, Zhao Meng Long.

Xiang Zhe was carefully reviewing the new proposal for while the others sat quietly waiting.

“How’s the new proposal?” Watching Xiang Zhe finally finishing perusing the last page, Xian Da breathed a sigh of relief.

“Hmm … Pretty good!” The coordination of the entire program was really good, especially the proposed special concept aiming at each individual segment was really very interesting … “What do you think? Anything more to add?” Xiang Zhe smilingly commented.

“The Director’s viewpoints are exactly as ours. We all think that although there may be some difficulties in carrying out the special features, it is very meaningful to the audience and also very touching! We would like to try our first “experiment” in Christmas.” The Production Manager, Cui Hao Yuan pointed out the difficulty issues in carrying out the plan.

“You don’t have to worry about this. Good coordination among the various departments is a must and we can increase the production cost, but the quality of the program has to be guaranteed! We can’t disappoint our audience!”

“That is wonderful! In this way we can act with a free hand!” Xian Da continued quickly.

“Good, we will submit a detailed proposal in our next meeting …”

“Then let first see how you are doing at Christmas!”

………………..

After the meeting broke up, Xian Da alone was invited to go to the Planning Director’s office.

“I have to go out for lunch. Do you want me for something? You want to invite me to lunch?” Xian Da asked uncomprehendingly.

“Don’t you have something to ask me?” Xiang Zhe smiled meaningfully.

“How was it going? What did Uncle say? Have you and Shan Mei fixed a date yet?” Xian Da shed his pretence and wore a smiling face.

“It is confidential for the time being! I can’t tell …”

“Aye, Yin Xiang Zhe, you are a spoilsport? If you are not telling … I’m going to ask Shan Mei! Even Yong Xi is also very curious!”

“Hmm … You will know it at Christmas Eve! So don’t go and try to force it out from Shan Mei …”

“That will be the day after tomorrow?”

“Right! That is also a very important day to !”

“That would mean you know whose idea is it?”

“It’s Shan Mei’s!” Xiang Zhe proudly announced. Apart from Shan Mei, he could not think of anyone who would think of something so sweet and touching

“You know her so well!” Although Xian Da believed that Xiang Zhe might have guessed, he was really surprised by Xiang Zhe’s firm reply.

Xiang Zhe just smiled, neither in disagreement or denial; his heart was on his adorable angel!

Xian Da could not help nodding in agreement; his junior looked really blessedly happy!

…………………

“You really can’t have lunch with me?” Xiang Zhe regretfully gave a sigh.

“I’m sorry! Xue Chang! I am so busy right now! You better go yourself!” Shan Mei too was reluctant to say no to Xue Chang, but she had too much work to do! Besides … Shan Mei stuck out her tongue.

“That’s fine! Tonight we can …”

“Xue Chang, I have to do live broadcast tonight …” Shan Mei said in a small voice.

“I know. I’ll wait for you!”

“But, but …”

“Don’t say “but”. I will bring you something to eat tonight and you are not to say no!”

“Xue Chang, I’m really very sorry!” Shan Mei was full of remorse - - Xue Chang should be more busy than herself, because it was near New Year and there were a lot of matters that needed to be put in order and to be accounted for, as well as new plans to draw up! Furthermore, Christmas was fast approaching and there were many things to take care of …

“Don’t worry about me! Just do your program well and it is the greatest help to me!” If and her special features were successful, it would mean big profit for MBS. It looked as though her Shan Mei still had not realized that she was already a big help to him!

“I know! Director Yin! Thank you Director for your encouragement!” Shan Mei naughtily smiled. She did not have to worry. Xue Chang could always understand her so well and she would not disappoint him and also would not let herself be disappointed.

“Zhen Shan Mei!” Xiang Zhe helplessly laughed - - When Shan Mei addressed himself as “Director Yin”, it would not be something amusing!

“OK, Xue Chang, you ask me not to worry, then please go and have lunch! Also, please don’t worry about me, I won’t get hungry! … I have to hang up! See you tonight!”

“Alright!” Xiang Zhe smilingly flipped close his cell phone.

He longed for Christmas to arrive, he wanted to give her the best present … in the same way as he also waited expectantly for the pleasant surprise she was going to give him!

Although there were no stars on the nightly sky on the night of Christmas Eve, it was still very beautiful.

“Will it snow? … Xue Chang, we stealthily hide ourselves here … can we do it?” Shan Mei raised her head to look at the nightly sky and then turned her head to look at Xue Chang.

“There won’t be any problem … Are you cold?” Xiang Zhe got hold of Shan Mei’s hand and that was all he worried about.

“There won’t be any problem …” Shan Mei imitated Xiang Zhe’s words, but could not help laughing.

“Naughty!” Xiang Zhe lightly touched her cute little nose.

“Xue Chang, it really won’t cause any problem if we hide out here?” Xue Chang indeed was tonight’s VIP!

“Anyway, one should spend Christmas night with his loved ones!” Xiang Zhe sounded so reasonable! He really wanted to spend the wonderful Christmas with Shan Mei alone … The lights inside were too bright!

“Really? Shouldn’t it be Valentine Day that you have to spend with your loved one?”

“Well then we can make arrangement to spend Valentine Day together! I will give you a romantic Valentine Day!” Xiang Zhe held up Shan Mei’s hands with profound love to look at the ring on his finger. He smiled with satisfaction and gently planted a light kiss on her ringed finger.

Shan Mei shyly raised her head and responding to Xiang Zhe’s profound love, she tenderly smiled.

………………

It was already 11:30 p.m., Xiang Zhe and Shan Mei had to go in.

“Xue Chang, one moment … do we have to make the announcement?”

“Of course! … Shan Mei, are you regretting?” Xiang Zhe worriedly gripped Shan Mei’s hand tightly and tried to search Shan Mei’s eyes, fearing that she would escape.

“No! I’m just … a little bit worried …” Shan Mei busily explained.

“Huh?” Meeting Shan Mei’s eyes, Xiang Zhe was relieved. He could understand what Shan Mei meant.

“Set your mind at ease and everything is under control! All you do is to smile …”

“Really! You won’t seize the chance to play jokes again?”

“No! I guarantee!”

“Then it’s OK!”

“Let’s go in! Come …” Xiang Zhe tenderly tidied up Shan Mei’s hair, so dedicated as if he was performing a very important task.

Shan Mei was wearing longer hair, but tonight she did not put them up. Instead she was wearing a princess style. The lovely princess hairstyle coupled with a simple style silvery white little gown, together with light makeup, tonight’s Shan Mei was the most beautiful princess.

Xiang Zhe was also wearing a white suit and standing together with Shan Mei made them both a beautiful couple.

To reward Xue Chang’s thoughtfulness, Shan Mei’s face was split into a enticing and charming smile, which was so sweet and warm that could melt the night’s frostiness …

Xian Zhe re-entered the ballroom with Shan Mei hand in hand and walked straight to his father and Gui Cheng.

“Uncle, Father …”

“You are back . I think it’s nearly time …” Chairman Yin looked at his son and future daughter-in-law affectionately.

“Yes …” Gui Cheng nodded in agreement. His daughter’s happiness was his happiness!

“Let’s go up and make the announcement!” Xiang Zhe looked at the embarrassed Shan Mei and smiled confidently.

…………………

Xiang Zhe took Shan Mei’s hand and walked up the podium, ready to announce the news about their engagement.

Actually everyone’s eyes were already focussed on them from the moment they re-entered the ballroom, so when both Xiang Zhe and Shan Mei stood on the podium, everyone consciously expected something to happen and they began to quiet down.

“First of all, I would like to wish you all an enjoyable night! …”

Everyone listened with full attention, the Director would not just send them greetings?

“Before the arrival of the midnight, I have an announcement to make: Miss Zhan Shan Mei and I will be engaged on August X next year and I hope everyone will be coming to our engagement party … Thank you!” Xiang Zhe and Shan Mei looked at each other with profound love.

Everyone was deeply moved by the beautiful sight before them ………

At the same moment, the countdown clock woke everyone up from their dreamland.

“Please pay attention everyone! Later when the light is out, everyone has to exchange their blessings by kissing each other!” Tonight’s MCs were Cui Chen Sui and Sung Zai Yuan from the Second Anchor’s Office. The two of them were buoyant characters and were good at creating a joyful and festival atmosphere.

“Right! Everyone has to make good of this opportunity! Because after tonight there won’t be any opportunity of kissing someone again!”

“Yes! Ready!”

“Shan Mei is now my fiancee and I don’t want anyone to disturb us … Thank you!” Xiang Zhe politely made the announcement. Shan Mei’s adorable face was blushed deep red!

“Oh!”

“Wow!”

The light was suddenly all out …

When the light was on again, the party’s atmosphere had reached its climax; everyone was dancing exultantly and jubilantly!

Xiang Zhe and Shan Mei had already left the ballroom.

At the moment when the light was switched off, Xiang Zhe held Shan Mei securely in his arms, closely guarding his treasure. And Shan Mei also nestled close to Xiang Zhe …

“Let’s slip away …” He murmured in her ears.

“Hmm …”

………………………..

IN THE CAR.

“Oh, it’s snowing!” Shan Mei looked out of the window and cried out excitedly.

“Xue Chang, please look … It’s so beautiful!”

“Is it really snowing? Then your wish comes true …” Xiang Zhe indulgently smiled.

“Yes! It won’t be a nice Christmas without beautiful snowfall … Right, Xue Chang, where are we going?” Shan Mei curiously looked at Xue Chang. Where were they heading to?

“We’ll go to my place first! Then I’ll take you home.”

“Huh?”

“I have something to show you in my place!” He was waiting expectantly for Shan Mei’s happy smile!

“What is it?”

“Secret!”

…………………….

“Come in! Be careful …” Xiang Zhe opened the door, but did not switch on the light.

“Xue Chang?”

“Please stand there and don’t move. Wait for me!”

“OK!” Shan Mei obediently replied.

When Shan Mei was anxiously and excitedly waiting in the darkness …

The glittering lights were switched on and the beauty before Shan Mei’s eyes was a Christmas tree, one adorned with so many beautiful objects!

“Xue Chang?”

“Christmas tree stands for gifts and hope, so I want to give it to you. I wish you happiness …. do you like it?” Xiang Zhe came back to Shan Mei’s side, his soft voice was full of deep and profound love.

“Hmm …” Shan Mei nodded vigorously.

“Xue Chang … Thank you!” Her eyes were brimming with tears, but her smile was filled with happiness as usual.

“Shan Mei …”

Xiang Zhe bent down to embrace Shan Mei; he kissed away her salty tears and seized her sweet soft lips …

Shan Mei responded heartily to her beloved Xue Chang …

……………………

The next day was Christmas Day and launched its Christmas special feature.

This special feature, with the first half of it on entertainment aspect relating to Christmas tales and musicals, the middle part on blessings, with the anchors from each segment conveying their blessings and broadcasting happy news in Christmas and the last part focusing on the warmth and sweetness side with the tape-recording of outdoor shooting teams spending Christmas Eve with the a group of innocent and carefree orphans from an orphanage on the outskirts of Seoul. The program ended with the full working team of delivering presents to the children ….

At broadcasting studio, Xiang Zhe was still standing here; he had to remember today and he wanted to take snapshots of her every twinkle and smile with his eyes …

THE FIRST ANCHOR’S OFFICE.

There was no doubt that the rating of ’s special feature soared sky-high! Or else Supervisor Jin Xian Da’s eyes would not come together to a narrow slit?

“Today was really wonderful!” Chen Sui was so happy that he laughed so much that he could not keep his mouth shut.

“Shan Mei, thanks to you for having such good ideas!” Zhao Mei Xi from the same group smilingly looked at Shan Mei.

“No, it’s not. It was a result of everyone’s hard work, especially the outdoor shooting team who brought back such a superb program!”

Shan Mei was very pleased, but the outdoor shooting team had really done a superb job!

“In future, everyone will have a chance to do outdoor shootings and the future anchor’s outdoor assignment will intermingle with the special features and I hope all of us will work harder!” No wonder Xian Da was the supervisor!

……………………..

In the afternoon, everyone who did not have an assignment had all left for the day.

Shan Mei finished recording the latest . She went back to the First Anchor’s office to pick something up and then she was ready to leave. She carried a memo pad on one hand, while the other hand was pressing the elevator button.

The elevator’s door opened and Shan Mei apparently did not pay attention. Therefore the door closed … at the same moment, a hand pulled her into the elevator and the door closed.

“Oh?” Shan Mei was taken aback and raised her head to look.

“Xue Chang!” Shan Mei’s startled look immediately turned to a smiling face.

“Merry Christmas, Miss Zhen Shan Mei!”

“Merry Christmas, Mr. Yin Xiang Zhe!”

Both of them looked at each other and could not help smiling.

“Can you leave now?”

“Yes, I can! But I have to go and pick up something, so …”

“See you at the usual place … Shan Mei, haven’t we already announced our engagement? Exactly when will you be willing to meet me in the office?” He sounded disgruntled! Aye, he was really worried that she would never acknowledge him in the office!

“It is all your fault! Why did you have to make that announcement … Zhao Di tried to cross examine me for the whole day! Luckily I could run …”

“OK! It is my fault …” The elevator came to her floor.

“Remember to meet me at the usual place!” Xiang Zhe watched Shan Mei go out and repeatedly reminded her again.

“I know!” Shan Mei waved her hand at Xue Chang.

When the elevator door was to shut, Shan Mei could not help turning her head, and at the opportunate moment saw Xue Chang winking his eyes at her …

Shan Mei lowered her head and softly smiled. They had not seen nor talked to each other for nearly the whole day, maybe Xue Chang made a special trip to meet her in the elevator …

Xiang Zhe had his dinner at Shan Mei’s place. Gui Cheng went out to meet his friends after dinner and left the two of them alone.

It was getting late in the night, Shan Mei walked out with Xiang Zhe.

“Go back in!”

“Hmm!” Shan Mei smartly nodded.

“Oh, Xue Chang, please wait a moment …” Shan Mei hurriedly went in and took out a large box.

“This is …”

“This is my Christmas present to you!” Shan Mei’s crimsoned face looked so adorable.

“The box is so big! What is in it?”

“You’ll know when you open it.” Shan Mei put the box on the car.

“Can I open it now?” Xiang Zhe laughingly asked.

“Huh!”

Xiang Zhe obediently opened the box.

“One whole set?” Xiang Zhe looked at his gift with interest.

“Right! . This is the pullover, this is the scarf, these are the mitts and this is the hat! Now you won’t feel cold in winter!” Shan Mei happily pointed to Xiang Zhe item by item.

“I have also knitted Papa and Uncle each one set! But I have not finished knitting the scarf … I will also knit one set for Auntie … Xue Chang, let you put it on for you!”

Shan Mei laughingly picked up the scarf and wrapped it around Xiang Zhe.

“How is it? Do you like it?” Shan Mei searched for Xiang Zhe’s averted eyes.

“I love it!” Xiang Zhe’s voice sounded wobbled. He knew this gift incorporated Shan Mei’s care, thoughtfulness and … love.

“Thank you!” Xiang Zhe raised his head and looked at Shan Mei closely. Shan Mei was really the angel sent to him from heaven above! He would guard her well!

“Xue Chang …” She found Xue Chang’s eyes had reddened.

“All right, let me give you a 5-minute hug!” Shan Mei mischievously looked at Xiang Zhe.

Xiang Zhe smiled with blessed happiness. He stepped forward and held Shan Mei tightly in his arms.

………………

“You better go in …” Xiang Zhe was reluctant to say goodbye to her.

“Xue Chang, goodnight!”

“Goodnight …”

 

CHAPTER 25 – FROM NOW ON PLEASE LET ME SPEND THIS PARTICULAR DAY WITH YOU!

Author: Ming Wei Xue
Translated with author’s consent by: nho (CA)


NOON, INSIDE A CAFÉ.

“Shan Mei, how exactly did you spend your Valentine Day? What kind of present did Prince Director give you? It must be something very special!” It was already two weeks since Valentine Day and Zhao Di still kept on pestering Shan Mei. She was really too nosy!

“Nothing special …” Shan Mei lowered her head and drank her coffee.

“Really? I won’t believe you! Last time when I asked how the Planning Director proposed to you and you didn’t tell the truth! This time you must … aiyoo, the two of you wouldn’t have kissed each other again publicly in the street?” Zhao Di’s voice was getting louder.

“No! Don’t make wild guesses!” Shan Mei immediately stopped Zhao Di.

“I have to watch out for the latest editions of the newspapers, they will probably post your pictures! … Anyway, the two of you are so romantic! I am so envious …” Zhao Di gabbed in a low voice.

“Zhao Di!” Shan Mei could not help sighing.

She was unable to tell Zhao Di what Xue Chang gave her! Because Xue Chang gave her the “Century Kiss” photo! Furthermore Xue Chang kept the negative print and one photo as a memento for himself! Therefore under no circumstances could she tell as most probably the whole world would know … It would be better not to say anything!

“You bad girl, you are really not going to tell! You are hiding everything from me! In future, I won’t tell you anything either! I won’t talk to you anymore!” Zhao Di deliberately tried to threaten Shan Me.

“Zhao Di! When have I ever kept anything from you? Haven’t I told you everything about Christmas and New Year? There is really nothing to tell!” Shan Mei was helpless.

“Really? I feel you are keeping something from me!”

“Aren’t you doing the same? You don’t tell me everything about you and Chen Sui! Exactly when are you two planning to get married?”

“I have to wait until Chen Sui gives me a romantic proposal. For now, I certainly want to enjoy the happy life of being single!”

“That’s good …”

“I’m sorry!” Zhao Di suddenly apologized to Shan Mei.

“What for?”

“Am I too nosy?”

“It’s OK! I know you are concerned about me and also curious. In future, I promise to tell everything which I’m able to tell, because you’re my best friend!” Shan Mei smiled.

“You are my best friend too!” Zhao Di laughed.

“OK then, let me treat you to some ice cream later!”

“Good, you promise! Aye, you are off this afternoon, why don’t you have a date?”

“Xue Chang is away on a business trip …” She missed him so much.

……………………..

Xiang Zhe had gone to the States on a business trip. He had gone for the whole week. Everyday, the loving couple would spend a long time on the telephone.

Xiang Zhe really loved to tease her, loved to listen to her sweet enticing voice and think of her adorable face. However, the adorable Shan Mei could not even utter the words “I miss you”.

Today, Xiang Zhe finally returned.

At night, Xiang Zhe and Shan Mei had their dinner in a quiet and elegant restaurant. They sat in a quiet corner.

Shan Mei happily recounted to Xue Chang all that happened and Xiang Zhe smilingly nodded, responded and indulgently gazed at her.

The dinner plates were replaced with coffee.

“It doesn’t smell as good as yours!” Xiang Zhe took a light sip and raised his head to glance at Shan Mei deeply.

“That is for sure! The coffee I make is first class!” Shan Mei’s smile was so sweet.

“Xue Chang, yesterday … huh …” Shan Mei did not know how to say to Xue Chang, but she could not hide what was in her mind.

“What’s the matter?” Xiang Zhe looked at Shan Mei worriedly.

“Yesterday I went with Papa and Auntie to visit You Zhen Oppa and … Ying Mei!” Shan Mei lowered her head.

Xiang Zhe looked at Shan Mei attentively, silently waiting for her to continue.

“Yesterday was You Zhen Oppa’s birthday!” Shan Mei’s tears fell into the coffee.

“Auntie felt so sad that she wept badly … I too miss You Zhen Oppa very much …”

“Shan Mei …” Xiang Zhe’s heart ached at the sight of Shan Mei’s tears. He really loved her dearly.

“Don’t be sad. I don’t think You Zhen Oppa would like to see you in this state …” He felt so bad for not being able to stay by her side.

“Xue Chang …” Shan Mei raised her head with tears still glittering in her eyes.

“From now on, please let me spend this particular day with you!” He wanted to share all her worries; he wanted her to be happy.

“Umm!” Shan Mei nodded; she could never forget what You Zhen Oppa said to her that morning ….

…………………….

“We are here. Please go in …” Xiang Zhe looked at Shan Mei, not willing to part with her.

“Hmm!” Shan Mei smilingly nodded.

The two of them alighted from the car.

“Good night!”

“Good night, go to bed early!” Xiang Zhe patted Shan Mei’s beautiful hair. He could not forget what Shan Mei told him at Valentine Day the reason why she was wearing her hair longer. It would make her look prettier wearing her wedding gown with her hair putting up as a chignon! She had murmured in his ear that she wanted to be his most beautiful bride! He was filled with expectation!

“Xue Chang!” Shan Mei went to the door and then turned back.

“Yes?”

“Actually, I missed you very much!” Shan Mei rushed in after finishing saying her speech.

She finally answered his question.

“Huh?” Xiang Zhe was dumbfounded, but was awaken up immediately.

When he raised his head, Shan Mei was at the door waving to him.

Xiang Zhe happily smiled, happily ….

………………………

In broadcast studio, Shan Mei was doing live broadcast.

“The last letter I am going to read today is from a girl from the Seoul University who signed her name as “Tomorrow”. “Tomorrow” is a foreign student from China. She has been studying in the Seoul University for two years and has not since returned home. She really misses her family and friends, especially her boyfriend in her homeland. In this year’s Valentine Day, she and her boyfriend talked to each other on the phone … Her boyfriend mailed her a present and a tape expressing all his love for her. His boyfriend recorded a song called “Existence” at the end of tape. Miss “Tomorrow” said that she cannot stop crying whenever she listens to the song. She wants to share this song with you all and wishes everyone a Happy Valentine! Thank you Miss “Tomorrow” for your letter and your blessings. I manage to locate this song and have asked our language department to translate the lyrics … Let’s all listen and enjoy this song - - “Existence”!”

Shan Mei nodded to the outside and the program director chimed in with the song.

Your existence can prove that love is so beautiful
Your existence makes my world more wonderful
Your existence will last until the end of time
No one can let go of his hand first
My existence is the antidote when you are down
My existence gives you joy and not perplexity
My existence lends you support until eternity
From now on the sparkle of love will illuminate our starry sky
No more fretfulness and no more concerns about worries
Let’s willingly tie together until ripe old age
Your existence can prove that love is so beautiful
Your existence makes my world more wonderful
Your existence will last until the end of time
No one can let go of his hand first
My existence is to remind you to remember to eat to the full
My existence coaxes you to go bed early
My existence is when you are ill
To stay by your side when you take the bitter medication
The song gradually faded and Shan Mei also finished reading but her tears started falling down.
“Well, today’s program is about to end. Thank you all for listening to our program. I have to thank Miss “Tomorrow” once again for introducing such a good song to us. I hope all lovers have a wonderful valentine every day. Bless you all!”

The program ended. Shan Mei wiped her tears and went into the program director’s office to say goodbye.

“Thank you all for your hard work!”

“Shan Mei, you read so beautifully!”

“Yes! Even I was moved to tear when I were reading the lyrics!” One of the male working team smiled with embarrassment.

“It is because the lyrics are too well-written!”

“Right!”

“OK, let’s finish for the day!”

“I’m on my way!” Shan Mei smilingly departed.

…………………..

Shan Mei voluntarily came to their usual meeting place and Xiang Zhe’s car was already waiting there.

Xiang Zhe saw Shan Mei approaching and immediately got off the car.

“Get in!” His voice was full of tenderness.

Shan Mei gently smiled and got into the car obediently.

………………………

ON THEIR WAY HOME.

“Xue Chang, how was tonight’s dinner? Why did you leave so early?” She was really very apologetic that she could not go with Xue Chang.

“It was not bad. It was only that I was on my own, without company and I was very lonesome!” His mouth curled upward and he sounded so piteous.

“Huh! I won’t believe you!” Shan Mei pouted her cute little mouth. Xue Chang was so distinguished, so handsome and he was always the focus of attention!

“Really! I was on my own and thoroughly bored, so I took advantage and left early.” He was speaking the truth; without Shan Mei to keep company, he was really very boring. Furthermore Shan Mei was always on his mind every moment of the day!

“Really? There should be many female milling around you!”

“Are you jealous? Let me look …” He turned his head to search her eyes.

“I certainly am not!”

“Really?” He sneaked a smile. Not admitting eh?

“I really am not jealous. It’s only that I won’t believe you are lonely! There were so many people attending the dinner and it was such a big affair!”

“Being lonely has nothing to do with the number of people, environment or circumstances. It is the state of mind of the individual!” Without her, his world was grey in colour and the beauty and prosperity of the outside world were irrelevant and unimportant to him.

“Really?” Shan Mei looked at Xiang Zhe. Since the announcement of their engagement, Xue Chang took her home a few times. She could see how he kept his family at a distance and she could also recognize the dissatisfaction and hatred Xue Chang had against Jin Auntie! Although she could soften the awkward atmosphere, but she did not know how to untie the deadlock in Xue Chang’s heart! She wished she would bring Xue Chang joy and happiness; what was she going to do? She was all the time perplexed by this question.

“What is the matter?” Seeing that Shan Mei remained silent, Xiang Zhe thought he had said something inappropriate.

“Nothing!” Shan Mei bucked up and gave Xue Chang a “not to worry” smile.

“Oh, Xue Chang, when did you come out? Did you listen to my program?”

“What do you think?” He smiled. He would never miss any of Shan Mei’s programs.

“Then the last song, did you listen to it?”

“Huh!” Xiang Zhe nodded.

“Xue Chang, thank you!”

“Shan Mei …” Xiang Zhe turned his head to look at Shan Mei.

“Really, Xue Chang, I really have to thank you!” Shan Mei lowered her head and murmured. Xiang Zhe could not see Shan Mei’s eyes.

“We’re here!”

Xiang Zhe accompanied Shan Mei to get out of the car.

“I’ve to go in …”

“Shan Mei, wait a minute!” Xiang Zhe stopped Shan Mei and stepped forward to take her hands.

“Shan Mei, your existence can prove that love can be so beautiful, your existence makes my world more wonderful, your existence will last until the end of time and no one can let go of his hand first!” Xiang Zhe’s pupils were so deep that they could hold the nightly sky.

“Xue Chang!” Shan Mei’s eyes could not fight the emotion and allowed the tears to fall.

“Shan Mei, this song is also what I want to say to you!” He hoped Shan Mei could understand how important she was to him! She was his hope and the source of his happiness!

“Xue Chang, I know!” Shan Mei’s tear-filled eyes sparkled with sweet happiness, “In the same way as Xue Chang is to me!”

Watching Shan Mei’s open brilliant smile, Xiang Zhe also smiled with blessed happiness. Facing her, his mood could always change for the better and brighter!

And Shan Mei read from the mistiness in Xue Chang’s eyes of how she was going to do …

Under the lamp light, Shan Mei was reading again the diary left to her by her mama; she wished she could get some stimulus from her mother.

At the same time, Gui Chen pushed open the door and came in.

“You are still awake?”

“Papa!” Shan Mei stood up.

“Come, try this, the soup I made! I learned it from your Auntie who said this can improve your beauty … Come!” Gui Chen benevolently handed the bowl to his little daughter.

“Good!” Shan Mei took the bowl obediently and sat with Papa on the edge of the bed.

“It really tastes good!” Shan Mei revealed a contented smile.

“Really good? Then Papa will make more for you in future!” Gui Chen patted little daughter on her head. He was really unwilling to see her little daughter got married.

“Pa …” How could Shan Mei not understand his father’s sentiment? She too was unwilling to leave Papa, the Papa she loved most!

“How is Auntie today?”

“She’s OK …”


“Auntie must be missing You Zhen Oppa very much …”

“You don’t have to worry about that. Your Auntie is a strong person! She won’t get bored with work to do.”

“Papa, is time the best painkiller?”

“Time can wash away some of the pain. Although we will still remember, if we can only think of the good things, we won’t feel sad. Because to have good memory is a blessed thing. Besides, tomorrow is full of hope, therefore we have to be positive and happy to welcome tomorrow, and let the future life have a better memory. In this way, you won’t fail the people who pray for you and who have high expectation of you … Furthermore, don’t Auntie and I still have you?” Gui Chen was also very worried about Chen Su, but he was always optimistic. He wished his little daughter could always be happy …

“Papa, thank you! I will work hard …” Shan Mei leaned on his father. Her father’s words and her mother’s diary both sounded alike. She understood a lot better and she would work hard to greet each new day.

…………………..

“Good. Go to sleep now and don’t work too hard.”

“Papa, goodnight!” Shan Mei saw her father out of the room.

Sitting down under the lamp light, Shan Mei closed her mother’s diary, deep in thoughts and then she knew what she was going to do.

 

 

CHAPTER 26 – HE DIALLED THE NUMBER WHICH WAS MOST FAMILIAR TO HIM

Author: Ming Wei Xue

Translated with author’s consent by: nho (CA)



The drizzling rain enhanced the beauty of the night scenery.

Xiang Zhe and Shan Mei were holding an umbrella and strolling in the rain.

“Are you OK?” Xiang Zhe humorously looked at the tear-stained Shan Mei and gently asked.

Shan Mei did not answer; she just picked up her handkerchief and wiped dried the lingering tears from the corners of her eyes.

“I shouldn’t have brought you to see this movie ...” He gave a long sigh.

Shan Mei glowered at Xiang Zhe; she was already feeling embarrassed, why did he have to make fun of her too!

“OK! No more teasing ... we will come again next time, but I don’t know whether I can still choose this kind of comedy ...” Initially he thought that watching a comedy would enable him to see Shan Mei’s warm and beautiful smile ... What a pity, it was a wrong move!

Shan Mei smiled with embarrassment. Xue Chang really was ...

“This movie is so sweet and also so amusing! The old grandma and the little kid are both super! ... Aye, Xue Chang, why didn’t you shed tears? This movie doesn’t move you?”

She looked at Xue Chang in puzzlement. Why hadn’t he be moved by this touching movie?

“I am deeply moved, but not enough to shed any tears! Besides, I have to help you hold your handkerchief!” He grinned.

“Really? If I came with Papa, Papa definitely would be smiling and weeping at the same time. I will come with Papa and Auntie to see this movie again some other day!” Shan Mei happily laughed.

“Good idea! It will be my treat!” He too liked Shan Mei’s father’s joviality and sincerity which made him feel very comfortable and at ease.

“Xue Chang, shouldn’t you also invite Uncle and Auntie too?” Shan Mei impulsively made this suggestion! As soon as these words were uttered, she was already regretting them! She was really worried about Xue Chang’s response.

Xiang Zhe’s heart suddenly suffered a tremor. He lowered his head.

He was already aware that Shan Mei had been trying to amend his relationship with his father and that side of the family and he really tried to act according to her wishes. Actually it was not all because of Shan Mei that he was willing to get close to his father and improve their relationship. Even though he liked the present situation, when he saw his step-mother, he would remember his mother’s expectation and hopeless despair and his heart would feel as it was fierced by a sharp knife! This was a hurdle he could never overcome!

Today, when he saw the sincerity and enthusiasm in Shan Mei’s eyes and when he saw how Shan Mei looked as if on tenterhooks, he felt really very contradictionary and was also very touched ...

Seeing that there was no response from Xue Chang, Shan Mei also remained silent.

They slowly strolled. The rain softly fluttered down on the umbrella and they could hear its rustling sound.

“Wow, it’s so refreshing!” Shan Mei closed her eyes, trying to savour its flavour.

“Xue Chang, try and see!” She opened wide her eyes, signalling to Xue Chang.

“Huh?”

“Try and see!”

Xiang Zhe followed suit and the refreshing air soothed his anxiety and doubts.

“I remember when I was little and Papa was not at home, every time when it rained I was very frightened and You Zhen Oppa started schooling much earlier than I and with Auntie busy at work, I had to face it all on my own ... I had to phone Papa in tears. Papa told me that if I was willing to imagine myself becoming friends with the rain and thunder, and that was their special ways of saying hello to me! Papa also taught me to watch the rain, to listen to the rain and later when I watched the rain on my own, it would seem as I was watching a clean and bright heart ...”

“Xue Chang, you don’t have to force yourself. You only have to act according to your heart’s desire ... If Xue Chang was willing to do this, I will feel very happy ...”

“Xue Chang, you once said that I brought you infinite hope ... Don’t you know? My biggest wish is that Xue Chang can really fly high, to set your heart free, be happy and blessed ...”

“Shan Mei ...” Xiang Zhe’s heart was touched by Shan Mei’s words. He could read from Shan Mei’s eyes the awareness of love and infinite hope...

..................

CONFERENCE ROOM.

“Mother’s Day is coming soon. We have to work extra hard for this special program!” Production Manager Cui Hao Yuan encouraged everyone.

“Yes - -”

“Xian Da, Shan Mei, I think this time you two have to strike out in joint force!”

“Good!”

“No problem!”

“There is nothing wrong with the proposal. We have to discuss the details ...” Director Zhao Meng Long looked at the proposal and continued.

......................

After the meeting, they left one by one in order.

“Shan Mei, I have to rely on you this time to interact with the elders! I have another meeting and I will go this way ...” Xian Da requested Shan Mei. Who asked that his best friend’s precious daughter to be so likeable and so charismatic to the audience! He really could not help but be overwhelmed with admiration!

“No problem! But, Senior will have to give me a treat!” Shan Mei naughtily smiled.

“A treat? Who is treating?” Chen Sui asked as soon as he heard what Shan Mei said.

“No one is treating!” Xian Da immediately denied.

“Really?” Chen Sui looked at Shan Mei.

“It’s Senior who is going to buy me ice-cream ...” Shan Mei’s smile was so adorable!

“You want some?” Xian Da breathed a sigh of relief, seizing the chance to look at Chen Sui.

“Huh ... I have to go. I still have an article to write on the sports news ...” Chen Sui slipped away. He would rather go and find Zhao Di to have a big meal together!

“Oh, you!” Watching Chen Sui go, Xian Da glared at Shan Mei and could not help but laughed.

“Senior, don’t forget my ice-cream!” Shan Mei left with her adorable smile.

When Xian Da was about to turn the corner, he was stopped by someone from behind.

“Supervisor Jin Xian Da!”

Xian Da turned around and found Xiang Zhe and his assistant, Jin Zheng Hao. It was Jin Zheng Hao who called out to him.

“Supervisor Jin Xian Da, the meeting time has been postponed to 3:00 p.m. this afternoon in Room B ...” Jin Zheng Hao explained the reason for stopping Xian Da.

“It has just been decided ...” Xiang Zhe nodded to Xian Da and then gave him some instructions. Jin Zheng Hao nodded in agreement and then left.

“Did the meeting go smoothly?” Xiang Zhe came forward.

“Pretty good! However, apart from the special program this time, we still have a “secret” weapon - - this is top secret!” Xian Da wore a secretive look.

Xiang Zhe smiled lightly. He had already perused the proposal and he was also one of the members who was requested to keep the matter confidential.

They chatted on their way and got into an elevator.

“How long have you been following me?” Xian Da asked deliberately, trying to ridicule with self-satisfaction.

“Are you having lunch with anyone?” He was evading his question!

“Huh?” Xian Da looked at Xiang Zhe with surprise; was he inviting the wrong person?

“I want to invite you and Yong Xi and have already booked the place ... are you available?”

“Good! Anyway we are free at noon!” Xian Da quickly accepted. It was good being treated! Only he expected that his motive was not that simple ...

“That’s good. If Shan Mei is also free, please invite her too ...” The glee in Xiang Zhe’s eyes betrayed his happiness of succeeding his secret plot ...

So that was how it was! This method of dating was quite extraordinary!

Xian Da smiled .....

Xian Da got out of the elevator on his floor.

“Bye!” Xian Da and Xiang Zhe waved each other goodbye.

“Oh, Shan Mei loves the concoction of chocolate and milk ice-cream and she prefers strawberry if it is in fruit flavour!” Xiang Zhe’s face was full of smiles.

“Oh?” Xian Da was astounded but immediately broke into laughter. The elevator was already shut.

Actually how much did Xiang Zhe love Shan Mei?

It had already been raining for the last few days. Today it was still pattering down.

FIRST ANCHOR’S OFFICE.

“It is raining again!”

“How I wish the sun will come out tomorrow!” Yong Xi raised her head to look out of the window and sighed.

“If it rains, maybe many people have to stay home ...” Cui Yong Zhen pondered.

“That would means more people will watch TV!” Chen Sui thought wonderfully.

“This kind of weather makes me want to sleep ...” Song Kee Jong’s words interrupted Chen Sui’s dream.

“Yes, if it’s possible, I want to sleep too ...”

“Then what are we to do? Shan Mei, please say something!” Chen Sui urgently looked for reinforcement.

“It doesn’t matter, I think tomorrow will be a sunny day ...”

“Aye, Shan Mei’s words are always right! Tomorrow will be a sunny day!” Chen Sui happily made the announcement.

They all hoped it would be true.

At night, Xiang Zhe took Shan Mei home.

“We’re here, go to bed early!”

“OK! ... Oh, darn, I have missed the weather forecast ...”

“What is the matter?”

“We arranged to listen to the weather forecast ...”

“Really?” Xiang Zhe raised his head to look at the sky, “It should be sunny ...”

“Really?” Shan Mei also raised her head; she wanted to be sure.

“What is so important?” He curiously looked at her.

“If tomorrow is sunny, we can then go out happily! ... Besides, I have asked for a half day leave ...”

“Huh?” Xiang Zhe looked at Shan Mei uncomprehendingly, the diligent Shan Mei would take a holiday?

“I can go after we finish doing . Uncle Xian Da gives me a half-day holiday ...”

“Really? You are going out with Uncle tomorrow?” Xiang Zhe knew that Gui Cheng was on leave.

“Tomorrow is Mother’s Day. I want to stay at home keeping Auntie and Papa company ...” Shan Mei’s eyes met Xiang Zhe’s eyes.

“Tomorrow Xue Chang can see my special announcement ...” Shan Mei smilingly nodded.

“Shan Mei, are you hinting something to me?”

“Oh?” Shan Mei knitted her adorable eyebrows. Had she been found out?

“I am aware of your intention ... Actually, I have also arranged to have afternoon tea with my father ...” Xiang Zhe was embarrassed. Although he could never accept his father’s present wife, he was willing to understand and forgive his father.

“Really?”

“Hmm ...”

“Xue Chang, that is wonderful!” Shan Mei happily smiled. She hoped Xue Chang could also be happy!

“Shan Mei, one more thing: Can you come out with me in the afternoon? I want to go with you to visit my mother and your mother ...” He really wanted to know Shan Mei’s mother and thanked her for giving birth to such a good daughter.

“Xue Chang?” Thinking of her Mama, Shan Mei felt very sad, but at the same time she was touched by Xue Chang’s thoughtfulness.

Watching the change of emotion on Shan Mei’s face, Xiang Zhe basically could understand what was in Shan Mei mind.

“I want to get to know your mother, can I?”

“Huh! Sure!” Shan Mei drew a breath and revealed a smile.

“Goodnight then ...” Xiang Zhe gently tidied Shan Mei’s hair and was unwilling to let her go.

“Goodnight!” Shan Mei sweetly and tenderly smiled.

Shan Mei’s trademark smile was what Xiang Zhe could never resist and it was also what Xiang Zhe wanted to possess in his lifetime ...

..............................

Time flied and after Mother’s Day, it was now already June.

Yong Xi had just recovered from an ailment. In order to thank everyone for their care and attention, Xian Da invited everyone to dinner at his place on Saturday night. It lasted until after 11:00 p.m. at night before everyone parted company.

Xiang Zhe unwillingly took Shan Mei home because he had to go to Tokyo early the next day to attend a 2-week long seminar.

“Goodnight, when I think I won’t be able to see for two weeks ...” Xiang Zhe grasped Shan Mei’s hands unwilling to let her go.

“It doesn’t matter, business takes priority ...”

“But June 7 is your birthday ...” Xiang Zhe was apologetic. He had promised before that: “One year later, two years later, ten years later, twenty years later that I wish I can spend every one of your birthdays with you.” However, now he had to ...

“It really doesn’t matter! We can spend my birthday when you are back! Besides, Xue Chang is always in my heart and has never left me!” Shan Mei’s eyes were shining as bright as the heavenly stars, sincere and pure.

“Shan Mei, thank you ...” He was touched by her thoughtfulness and profound love and he could feel the soreness in his eyes ...

“Xue Chang! You have to do your job well! Don’t shirk your duty! ...I will wait for your return!” Shan Mei sweetly smiled, her smile was so beautiful!

Xiang Zhe had been in Tokyo for five days. Today was June 7.

Chen Su came over very early. She gave Shan Mei a beautiful dress. Then she made breakfast with Shan Mei and ate with Gui Cheng joyously.

“I’m full! I’m off to work!”

“Aiyo, it’s time already .... let me do the tidy up ...”

“Thank you Auntie! ... Pa, you better spend the day keeping Auntie company!”

“You naughty girl ...”

“Take care on the road ...”

“I know!” Shan Mei picked up her bag and happily went out of the door.

Shan Mei got on the mini bus and sat down at her usual window seat. She looked out of the window; it was the same outside, however she was in a very good mood, if only ...

“Is the scenery good?” Someone sat down by Shan Mei’s side and looked her up and down.

“Very good!” Shan Mei turned her head in reply.

“Happy Birthday! Miss Zhen Shan Mei.” Xiang Zhe handed the beautiful budding rose which he was holding in his hand to Shan Mei.

“Xue Chang!?” Shan Mei was extremely thrilled.

It was really the smiling and devoted Xue Chang!

“I miss you so much ...” Xiang Zhe gently placed the rose in Shan Mei’s hand.

“Xue Chang, is it really you?” Shan Mei was so touched, was she dreaming? If so, she would not want to ever wake up ...

“Yes, it’s me. I’m back.” Xiang Zhe smiled and nodded to her.

..................

Because of today, Xiang Zhe took the midnight plane to hurry back and he had to board the 1:00 p.m. to return to Tokyo. However, he did not want to miss ... then Xiang Zhe requested help from Xian Da, to let Shan Mei have half-day’s leave.

Although there was only half day, the two of them were very happy and treasured their time together ...

Xiang Zhe took Shan Mei to the Everland Amusement Park and they had an enjoyable time there. They took the roller coaster, rode the Pirate Ship and ate ice-cream together ... then they went to take photo stickers and finally took some photos ...

How time flied! In midday, Shan Mei accompanied Xiang Zhe to the airport.

“Goodbye!” Shan Mei tried to control her tears.

“Don’t cry ... I’ll be back soon ...” Xiang Zhe heartachingly embraced Shan Mei.

“Xue Chang, please take care!”

“I know, you have to be a good girl and behave. Wait for me to come back ... in August, we will get engaged. In Valentine next year, we will be together forever ...”

“OK ...”

Shan Mei reluctantly watched Xiang Zhe depart.

Xiang Zhe went back to Tokyo and continued to participate in the seminar until the evening.

It was already 9:00 p.m., the fatigued Xiang Zhe finally went back to the hotel. He longed for Shan Mei and wondered whether she had received the birthday cake? Did she like it?

Xiang Zhe took off his jacket and sat down on the sofa. He picked up the phone and dialled the number he was most familiar with ...

Unexpectedly, there was a sudden blackout and the ground started to move and vibrate.

Whatever was happening?

It was an earthquake!

 

 

CHAPTER 27 – I WOULD STAY AWAY FOR THE TIME BEING

 

Author: Ming Wei Xue
Translated with author’s consent by: nho (CA)


Some of the dazzling sunlight shone in through the window. Xiang Zhe lowered his head.

It was morning.

He suppressed his surging heart and he resolved to hold back his memory at this point! From now on, he would treat Shan Mei ...

Xiang Zhe raised his head and looked at where the sun crept in; it looked as if he could see her tearful smile, brilliant and beautiful and made one feel very comfortable and made his heart ache!

“Shan Mei ... ” He painfully closed his eyes and let his tears fall down freely.

... ... ... ... ... ... ... .

Xiang Zhe took a shower and changed into clean clothings.

Today was June 1, a new day and Xiang Zhe should go to work at Wen Rong Headquarters.

In London, Shan Mei’s Gu Gu, Gui Xian enthusiastically welcomed the whole family of Gui Cheng.

At night, Shan Mei went to bed early, but she could not go to sleep no matter how hard she tried, so she got up.

Their trip to London was in a such hurry that they did not bring a lot with them, but she had still brought with her the box of treasure that would never leave her side.

Shan Mei took out the video tape and watched it one more time.

“Hmm ...  I feel shy, but I have to ignore it. The reason I gave you this tape was because ...  Zhen Shan Mei, please don’t cry anymore! If you cry, it will be the most heart-wrenching thing to me on earth.” It was Xiang Zhe on the screen.

Shan Mei curled up her body and sat on the bed, smilingly watched.

The scene then changed: it was Shan Mei.

“How are you? I am No. 1058 Zhen Shan Mei. The reason I want to become a news anchor is because ...  I want to pass on good news to every corner of the world ... ”

“The US$1 billion investment by the Japanese Industry for the construction of a grand-scale variety image hall will be constructed in Haeundae in Pusan, therefore Pusan will become the image culture ...  Let me try once more, please!”

“How do you do! This is Zhen Shan Mei. The Eye-opener ... .(hiccup) !”

“The Odongdo Island Forest at Hallyeohaesang National Marine Park which has been damaged by the long-term construction works in that area has now restored to its original condition ... ”

“In the midst of the tattered modern civilization, the dancers’ posture symbolized human distress made all those present involuntarily show their respect ... ”

“Thank you ... ” The camera was fixed on Shan Mei’s beautiful smile.

“This is the expression I love best. I will make sure you smile this way all the time. I guarantee!”

Shan Mei could not help but cried and her hand came into contact with the anklet on her ankle ...

... ... ... ... ... ...

She could clearly recall that day - early morning of June 8.

The management level of MBS was in a state of chaos; it would be more accurate to say that the whole of the Wen Rong Group was in a state of chaos ...

Until 10:00 p.m. at night, Wen Rong Hospital was the busiest and most disorderly place.

After undergoing an operation in Tokyo, Xiang Zhe was sent back to Seoul and he was now staying in the intensive care unit.

Outside the patient’s room, many people were waiting ...

After hearing the news, Shan Mei who loved to cry, did not utter a word and did not shed a tear. She stayed silent and now she still remained silent.

The doctor came out and President Yin and the other all stood up.

“How is he?”

“His condition is steadily improving and there is no life danger. Please don’t worry. However we still need to put him under observation for a little while longer ... ”

Shan Mei did not hear the rest of the words. All she knew was that Xue Chang was all right ...  crystal clear tear drops were falling on the back of her hands, she was finally able to cry.

Gui Cheng immediately supported his little girl and Shan Mei cried silently in her father’s arm ...

Three days passed. Xiang Zhe’s condition was improving but he still had not waken up. Shan Mei relentlessly stayed by Xiang Zhe’s side. She bravely smiled.

It was raining outside, very heavy rain.

Xiang Zhe knew all the way that there was someone keeping him company. It would seem she had never left his side. Who was she? Apart from his mother who was now dead, who would that be? He slowly opened his eyes.

“Xue Chang!” Shan Mei cried out in wonder.

“You wake up! You finally wake up!” Shan Mei wanted to cry.

“Oh ...  you ...  Who are you?” Xiang Zhe looked at the girl before him who was on the verge of tears. He unexpectedly felt a twitch in his heart for her. Who was she?

“Xue Chang!” Shan Mei looked at Xiang Zhe in astonishment. Xiang Zhe was also fixing his eyes on her.

“Xue Chang, what happens to you?” Shan Mei was frightened. She immediately called for the doctor.

After inspection by the doctor, Xiang Zhe was confirmed to have lost his memory - - his memory only remained where his mother had passed away not long thereafter.

“Xue Chang, you really can’t remember anything at all?” Shan Mei tearfully asked Xiang Zhe who was lying on the sick bed. Why was it like this? She waited for 3 days for Xue Chang to wake up, only to find that he had lost his memory. What was lost was the memory of them together. There was no way Shan Mei could believe this and she also did not want to believe. The gladness she just experienced when Xiang Zhe woke up had now turned to unexplainable grief ...

Shan Mei tried to suppress her tears, “Xue Chang, you really forget everything?” How she wished Xue Chang could shake his head, but she only saw Xiang Zhe nodding his head silently. Shan Mei could no longer contain her tears and her heart could no longer withstand this torture. Xue Chang, how could you forget? Shan Mei left Xiang Zhe’s room ...  She ran out and let the heavy rain beating down on her body ...

Watching Shan Mei’s departure, Xiang Zhe was very confused. He knew he did not want to see her cry, but he still nodded his head honestly, because his brain was a big blank. Watching the heavy rain outside of the window, Xiang Zhe uttered three words in difficulty, “I am sorry!”

Thereafter, everyone knew what had happened, everyone all at once fell into a state of confusion.

Soon after, Xiang Zhe left the hospital. As he had lost his memory, he did not immediately get back to work in Wen Rong. Shan Mei also did not go back to work, as she was unable to concentrate in her work. She only wished Xue Chang could remember ...

Everyone and Shan Mei wanted to wake him up to his memory, so Shan Mei still came to visit Xiang Zhe every day, telling him everything that happened in the past and Xiang Zhe would always listen quietly. He really liked Shan Mei’s smile and he really wanted to remember, but his head would ache ...  Although he wanted to remember what happened in the past, he had also accepted the reality. However, regarding what happened between him and Shan Mei ... . everything seemed to be futile ...

It was now August and another tearful night for Shan Mei.

Taking her painful experience to heart, Shan Mei decided to leave!

She never wanted to give up, but she knew that if things carried on this way, she herself would trammel Xue Chang. She also knew that everyone was trying hard for them. It would be better for them to lead a new life. This way, Papa, Auntie, Uncle, Xian Da, ...  all of them would feel better! Let herself alone to bear the grief! This way, Xue Chang could live his own life and never needed to look at her with guilty feelings ...  Therefore she decided to leave, even though she was unwilling to leave Papa, Auntie, everyone and Xue Chang ...

After Shan Mei spoke to Papa and Auntie, she decided to further her study in the States. Gui Cheng was very supportive of his little daughter. He knew Shan Mei’s grief. He wished his daughter could face life bravely. To change environment would be beneficial to Shan Mei! As to Shan Mei’s decision, everyone stayed silent. Let her leave for the time being ...

That evening, Shan Mei invited Xiang Zhe to an elegant restaurant.

After dinner, Shan Mei told Xue Chang her decision.

“Xue Chang, thank you for keeping me company.” Shan Mei suppressed her tears, “Thank you for willing to listen to me.”

“I’m sorry, Shan Mei ... ” Xiang Zhe watched at Shan Mei who was trying to suppress her tears and felt a pang in his heart. Actually, he really loved her smile, he should not have let her smile disappear.

“It really doesn’t matter, Xue Chang. I know you have tried your best.”

“Shan Mei, do you really have to go?” Xiang Zhe knew Shan Mei’s decision to go was because of him. Actually he did not want her to leave, “Maybe I can ... ”

“Xue Chang, after I leave, don’t feel guilty! Also, you have to remember to have your meals on time, do not feel lonely, you have to pep up ...  and keep in touch.” Shan Mei interrupted Xiang Zhe’s words and tried hard to smile.

“OK.” Xiang Zhe nodded, her words warmed his heart, “Then when are you coming back?”

“I don’t know, maybe one year or longer.” Shan Mei took in a sip of fruit juice, trying to hide the pain in her heart.

“Oh!” Xiang Zhe’s heart sank low.

When they parted company, Shan Mei gave Xiang Zhe a sweet sweet smile.

So she went to the States and tried very hard to study ...

... ... ... ... ... .

Shan Mei wiped away her tears, but she could never wipe away the pain in her heart!

“Xue Chang!”

Shan Mei stood up and walked to the window. She tearfully looked up to the moon and revealed a beautiful smile ...

The Wen Rong Group meeting was finished at 10:00 a.m. in the morning. Xiang Zhe went back to his office. He looked at the document on his desk, opened it and then closed it. The Xiang Zhe who behaved in a composed and dignified, haughty and ambitious manner just a moment ago had now disappeared. He stretched out his hand to pick up Peter the Rabbit, the pain in his heart was getting worse.

“Shan Mei, please forgive me?” Xiang Zhe murmured painfully.

This was the only thing left to him by Shan Mei. All the other things she gave him in the past - where were they? Xiang Zhe closed his eyes in deep pain. He had to recover everything, he had to find her!!

At this moment, his phone was ringing. His secretary transferred a phone call from MBS.

“Hurry up and watch the TV now!” It was Xian Da’s voice filled with anxiety.

“What happens?”

“Don’t ask! I have tried my best effort to keep this program on! We are all watching! ... ”

Xiang Zhe switched on the television.

Was it a dream? Shan Mei’s calm and adorable smile was directed at him!

“Shan Mei?”

In the TV ...

“OK, our dear little friends, let us invite our guest hostess for today, Zhao Zhao Di Jie Jie ... ”

Zhao Di appeared and she looked a bit nervous. But after all, she was a bright and excellent student graduated from the mass communications faculty, she became adapted to the camera in no time and together with Shan Mei, they hosted today’s ...

This week’s was the Children’s Day’s present to the children. Shan Mei especially invited Zhao Di to introduce the secret of dubbing animated cartoon and backstage dubbing. They also played with the children at the amusement park, ate with them at MacDonalds and read with them in the library ...

When the program ended, Shan Mei and Zhao Di bade the audience goodbye and wished their little friends a Happy Children’s Day!

The camera was fixed at Shan Mei’s face, at her curving eyebrows, her crescent eyes and her sweet sweet smile ...

He wanted to go to look for her at once; he wanted to see her immediately! However he was worried about her rejection. Since she had said that she wanted to have time to straighten out her thoughts, then he better waited for a few more days! Oh Shan Mei please, you had to straighten out your thoughts!

A few more days and then they would never have to separate again!

... ... ... ... ... ... ... ..

MBS, JIN XIAN DA’S OFFICE.

“Last night, Mr. Bern and his daughter have flied back home together ... ” Xian Da gave a detailed report of his work in progress.

“Is the negotiation going through smoothly?”

“Everything goes on well! You don’t have to worry about this. Huh ...  I bumped into Shan Mei’s friends yesterday and they were aware of ... ”

“Huh.”

“What was it with this morning’s program?”

“Shan Mei has recorded this week’s program well in advance. Originally they wanted to substitute it ...  fortunately the production manager let me watch a preview ...  therefore I tried my best effort to keep it on!”

“Thank you very much, Xian Da Ge!” This program was Shan Mei and everyone’s labour of love.

“We’re brothers (i.e. very good friends), there is no need to stand on ceremony! Furthermore, Shan Mei has not disappointed us!”

“I still have to thank you ... ” Thanked you for caring since always - my lifetime drinking companion!

“Huh? What happened to you? ...  Right, how is your wound? Have you applied another medication to your shoulder wound? Uncle is very worried about you ... ” Xian Da looked at him carefully with concern.

“I’m fine, really, everything is fine.” He did not feel any physical pain; the aches and cravings in his heart took precedence over everything.

Actually, to him, everything really turned out better! It was just that he would want Shan Mei to be the first to know as he wished to share everything with her.

“Oh?” Xian Da looked at Xiang Zhe; subconsciously he knew something had happened but he was sure what that was ...

“Don’t worry! Nothing will happen to me ...  Xian Da Ge, do you have any contacts with Shan Mei?”

“No ... ” Xian Da shook his head, “Big Brother has not called me again. I am thinking of phoning him ...  What, you want ... ”

“In a few days’ time, I am going to London!” He would take the next few days to deal with the matters in Wen Rong, although his heart had already gone there.

“Now? But, you have just taken over Wen Rong ... ”

“I know. I’ll make arrangements before I go!” He did not want to miss the opportunity again.

“Well, it’s better this way ...  Oh, Shan Mei is staying with her Gu Gu. Her Gu Gu is ... ” Xian Da understood Xiang Zhe’s state of mind.

“Auntie’s restaurant is very famous there!”

“Oh? How do you know?”

“I have been there! Do you forget that I studied in Cambridge?”

“Oh yes!” Xian Da nodded.

“OK, I have to go. As for MBS, please watch out for me!”

Xiang Zhe departed and Xian Da still was not sure what he thought did not fit in!

Actually, Xiang Zhe could know that Shan Mei’s Gu Gu’s restaurant was very well known, but did he know for certain which restaurant Shan Mei’s Gu Gu owned?

... ... ... ... ... ... ... .

For the past few days, Gui Xian’s restaurant closed early. She was very happy to see her elder brother whom she had not seen for years. Knowing that he and Chen Su were now together, she could then cease to worry. However, when she looked at Shan Mei who was exhausted and lonely, but tried to pull herself together, she was really aching for her. Privately, Gui Cheng told her everything he knew. Both Gui Xian and Gui Cheng could only sigh; they never thought that their loving treasure could have such a difficult love life!

Shan Mei was also aware of Papa, Mama and Gu Gu’s concern, so she really wanted to stay stronger.

This was Chen Su’s first visit to London and Shan Mei wanted Papa to show her around. Of course Gui Cheng and they knew of Shan Mei’s intention, so they did not ask any questions. They just wanted to surround Shan Mei with their love.

Gui Xian and Gui Cheng accompanied Cheng Su on the city tour. Shan Mei however did not leave home the last few days. She either stayed at her bedroom melancholy or she would help in Gu Gu’s restaurant.

This evening, Shan Mei was helping in Gu Gu’s restaurant. Gui Chen and others came back very early.

“We’re back!”

“Why are you back so early?” Shan Mei ran out when she heard their voices.

“See who’s here!” Gui Cheng stepped aside.

“Shan Mei!” A beautiful foreign girl came forward to hug Shan Mei.

“Belle?” Shan Mei smiled with pleasant surprise and when she looked further behind, it was Tai Xi who stood beside to Papa.

“We meet again, Shan Mei!” Tai Xi smilingly greeted Shan Mei.

In fact, on the second day after Shan Mei left, Belle and Tai Xi made a special trip to see her, but they could not find anyone in her place, so they went to the TV station and bumped into Zhao Di before they knew Shan Mei was on vacation. Belle was so angry that she wanted to find Yin Xiang Zhe to get even with him, but instead she saw Xian Da coming out from Xiang Zhe’s office. Through Xian Da, she knew that Shan Mei had gone to London, so in that evening they both returned to London with her father.

Belle particularly worried about Shan Mei’s state of mind. Today they especially came to give Shan Mei a pleasant surprise. When they were asking the way by the roadway, by a happy coincide they bumped into Gui Cheng who was returning from outside, so they all came in together.

Because of this priceless couple friends, Shan Mei’s mood was getting better and was wearing more smile on her face. When Gui Cheng saw the smile on Shan Mei, he was also very happy.

They just hoped everything would be much better tomorrow!

 

CHAPTER 28 – IT’S ME, I’M BACK! SHAN MEI!

Author: Ming Wei Xue
Translated with author’s consent by: nho (CA)

CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY, LONDON, ENGLAND

It was so nice to be back in London, everything in the past had gone and one could live his life with freedom!

London was still the same as before, but would people stay the same?

Today, Shan Mei and Gui Cheng strolled into the beautiful and scenic campus and Shan Mei was telling her father all she knew about Cambridge.

After a few day’s careful thinking, Shan Mei’s state of mind had improved a lot. Her usual optimistic self could now smile again. Shan Mei did not want to tell others of whatever happened. She needed time to straighten out her thoughts; she wanted to ascertain her own feeling and also allowed Xue Chang time to think …

Later, she had to be strong to live her life, a happy life. Even if she lived her life with Xue Chang’s memory, there was nothing bad about it …

She knew that during the past days the person who was most concerned about her was her father. Therefore she especially made this trip to Cambridge with him. She was really grateful to her father for accompanying her to London; her father was her strong backup. She had the best father in the world!

Gui Cheng did not ask Shan Mei about what had happened, but he knew his little daughter was not happy. All he wanted was for her little daughter to be happy but she had cried her eyes swollen and it was really hurting him too! He knew Shan Mei did not want to tell, so he never asked. That was why he did not contact Xian Da in Seoul again, wanting to let Shan Mei have a peaceful holiday! All he could do was to let his little daughter have a tranquil mind and to comfort her using simple language. Now when he saw his daughter’s resolute smile, he felt so proud but also was aching for her …

………………

Tomorrow was a very special day for the Zhen family – June 7, it was Shan Mei’s birthday.

However, Shan Mei could not go to sleep tonight.

“One year later, two years later, ten years later, twenty years later that I wish I can spend every one of your birthdays with you.”
“If your pearl comes from the sea, then peridot comes from another end of the universe. But yet they are chained together now.”

“There is mentioned in some movie that giving an anklet as a present will make two people meet again in their future lives. Let’s pledge to meet each again in our next lives.”

“I’m so glad to have you. You bring me so much hope. I hope to bring you happiness.”

“Miss Zhan Shan Mei and I will be engaged on August X next year and I hope everyone will be coming to our engagement party …”

“Shan Mei, your existence can prove that love can be so beautiful, your existence makes my world more wonderful, your existence will last until the end of time and no one can let go of his hand first!”

“I know, you have to be a good girl and behave. Wait for me to come back … In August, we will get engaged. In Valentine next year, we will be together forever …”

………………

“Xue Chang!”

Last year, she was lucky she could meet with Xue Chang in the States, but how about this year?

“Xue Chang, how are you now?”

She missed Xue Chang, really missed him!

…………………

Shan Mei got up very early and changed into the new dress given to her by Gu Gu.

Shan Mei looked at herself in the mirror: she was wearing a light blue dress, the same colour as today’s sunny sky.

Shan Mei came to the dining room and there were milk, bread and a note on the table.

“Happy Birthday! So Papa and Mama have gone to Gu Gu’s shop early in the morning … I’d better eat my breakfast fast!” Shan Mei looked at the note and softly smiled.

After eating her breakfast, Shan Mei went to Gu Gu’s shop.

“You’re so beautiful, Shan Mei! … This is my daughter …” Seeing her little daughter, Gui Cheng could not help showing her off to everyone.

It was so crowded in the restaurant, it was mostly customers from the group tours. Both Gui Xian and Chen Su were terribly busy and they were worrying about an order.

“What’s up, Gu Gu?” Shan Mei came over, offering help.

“It is an order from an old customer, but we are now short of helping hands and won’t be able to deliver …”

“Yes, what are we to do?” Chen Su was also very agitated.

“Let me go! Anyway I am available!”

“It can’t be done. Today is your birthday!” Gui Xian did not want Shan Mei to get tired.

“It doesn’t matter! In any case, we have a lot of time today …”

“Let her go!” Gui Cheng cast Gui Xian a meaning glance.

“OK then, I will leave this matter in your hands, Shan Mei! Here is the address …” Gui Xian was relieved.

“Good, give me the stuff! I will come back as soon as I have delivered them!”

“Be careful on the road!”

“I will!”

Shan Mei picked up the large food container and went out, but never noticed how expectant the people behind her looked …

“It’s here? I finally come to the right place!”

Shan Mei rang the doorbell. The phone was ringing and the door was opened. She went in. The smooth musical notes were reverberated in the air; Shan Mei followed the source of the music and slowly walked inside.

The music sounded so beautiful! Who was playing this beautiful music? Why was there a feeling of familiarity?

Who was playing the piano?

Shan Mei popped in her head and looked through the door. Heaven! This person’s back … was it Xue Chang? It was Xue Chang! Shan Mei was stunned. She besottedly walked to the doorway, shouldn’t it be a dream? If it were, then she wished it would last longer and she could just stand there and listen.

“Zhen Shan Mei, come over and sing this song!” That person discovered her presence, turned his head and dotingly smiled at her.

Was it a hallucination? An interlock of the memory and reality?

Xiang Zhe looked at her with profound love, then his hands lightly glided through the keyboard; the music changed and he was singing to her …

Like the ocean waves on the blue sea
That summon me, your shadow is leaning close to me
Gently walks into my expectant heart
The time and dream which I lost
They all reappear in my memory


Shan Mei’s tears were swirling in her eyes. Was it really true? Xue Chang he …

Xiang Zhe stood up and walked to Shan Mei.

“Xue Chang, is it you?” Her voice was light and hesitant, filled with expectation and pain.

“It’s me, I’m back! Shan Mei!” Xiang Zhe pulled Shan Mei into his arm. He finally came back to her side and she also finally returned to his side!

“Xue Chang …” Shan Mei leaned on Xiang Zhe’s shoulder, her tears resembled pearls on a broken string.

“Shan Mei, I’m sorry, I’m sorry …” Her tears were making his eyes wet.

“Forgive me, can you? … Shan Mei, I am really very sorry …” His voice was choking with sobs; there was a lot he wanted to say, but …

“Xue Chang - - ” Hearing Xue Chang’s these words, Shan Mei then comprehended and more tears were flowing down. The long time heartache, grievance, longing and hope … could finally be set free!

Xiang Zhe embraced Shan Mei tightly; how he hoped he could stay like this always.

He understood how Shan Mei felt. He loved Shan Mei dearly and ached for her, but he was more willing to hold the present in grasp and never let go! Just let her cry to her heart’s content and he would guarantee her smile in future …

For a long time thereafter, they gently tore themselves apart.

Xiang Zhe gathered Shan Mei’s hair together, his eyes full of indescribable tender feelings.

“Xue Chang, is it really true? You really can remember me?” Her voice made his heart ache.

“Happy Birthday! Shan Mei!”

“Xue Chang?”

“I have said to you before that “One year later, two years later, ten years later, twenty years later that I wish I can spend every one of your birthdays with you.” Sorry, Shan Mei, I didn’t keep my promise. However I won’t do that again and from now on, I will take good care of myself and stay by your side … Believe me, Shan Mei!” He looked at her tear-filled eyes and made an eternal pledge.

“Xue Chang …”

“Shan Mei, I love you!”

“Xue Chang, I know and I believe you!” She smiled, her tears were filled radiant pleasure.

There was a beautiful small garden at the back of this house. In the garden was two big trees and two flowers bushes: one was bright-coloured red rose bush and the other was the elegant and graceful white magnolia bush. There was a table and two swing chairs by the side the bushes.

At this moment, Xiang Zhe and Shan Mei were sitting on the swing chairs and enjoying the good food.

“So the order was made by you! Why didn’t go to Gu Gu’s shop?”

“Huh …”

“When did you arrive? You came like this, how does the company manage?”

“I have made arrangement for the company before I came and you don’t have to worry …”

“Oh!” Shan Mei nodded. She believed in Xue Chang’s ability. There would not be any problem.

“Huh … there is something I want to tell you …” Xiang Zhe was a little bit nervous, but he had to tell.

“What is the matter?”

“I have now taken over Wen Rong!”

“Yes.”

“No questions from you?”

“I already know about this.” Shan Mei looked at Xiang Zhe, revealing her smile.

“I read it from the web. It’s such a big news that it’s on Wen Rong’s home page … Right, Xue Chang, you didn’t tell me when did you arrive?” She felt she had so much questions she wanted to ask him.

“Last night, I went to Gu Gu’s shop …”

“Huh?”

“I met with Uncle and them …”

“Huh? That means … Papa and they all know you arrive! … So … you are all in conspiracy together!”

“I just want to give you a pleasant surprise! … I’m sorry, Shan Mei …”

“Xue Chang, don’t say sorry! Xue Chang, I can understand your mind! We can treat it as a test from Heaven above! Now haven’t we both passed the test! Isn’t it perfect? … Furthermore, I believe our tomorrow will be a much better tomorrow! We have to treasure what we have in present!” Shan Mei exhibited her sweet sweet smile. She could read the profound love, tenderness and infinite guilt from Xue Chang’s eyes.

“Thank you Shan Mei!” He was so grateful for her cheerfulness and tolerance. He had to treasure well this hard-earned blessed happiness.

In the afternoon, Xiang Zhe and Shan Mei went to Cambridge. However, Shan Mei’s state of mind this time was completely different than that of yesterday’s.

Xiang Zhe recounted all that happened in the past few days to Shan Mei. Even though he knew Shan Mei trusted him, he did not wish Shan Mei to bear any misunderstandings in her heart.

“You were injured? Where did you hurt? Was it serious? Let me take a look …” Hearing that Xue Chang had an accident, Shan Mei was so agitated that she was nearly in tears.

“I’m fine! It was just a slight scratch at the shoulder, and it is now healed …” He grasped Shan Mei’s nervous hands and tightly held them in his big hands.

“How could you be so careless!”

“I’m sorry! It was a traffic accident and I’m really fine! Thanks to this accident which made me recover my memory!”

“I would rather you still suffer from memory loss than to get hurt!”

“Little fool, how can one lose his memory so easily … From now on, I will drive carefully and no more worries!”

“Huh! You have to do as you promise!”

“Come, let’s go to take a boat ride …”

………………….

On River Cam, the scenery remained the same and it would seem that Shan Mei and Xiang Zhe had gone back to the past.

“What are you thinking?”

“Secret!” Shan Mei broke into laughters.

What was she thinking? As a matter of fact, she had misjudge Xue Chang and Lee Su Xiao … however, now that Xue Chang had recovered his memory … everything was fine! She would treasure well …

Xiang Zhe watched Shan Mei’s smiling face; event though he could not comprehend, he was very contented … However - -

“Oh!” Shan Mei busily closed her eyes and tried to dodge the water spray that Xiang Zhe was splashing on her face.

“Xue Chang!” Once again, he was playing a trick on her.

He laughed, and she too could not help herself and laughed …

 

CHAPTER 29 – “ENGLISH STYLE … GOODNIGHT …”

 

Author: Ming Wei Xue
Translated with author’s consent by: nho (CA)


Across the bright and cloudless sky, a plane took off from London and flew to Seoul.

On the plane, Shan Mei was sleeping soundly in the arm of Xiang Zhe.

“Sir …” It was time to serve lunch and the air hostess came over to ask Xiang Zhe.

“Thank you, let’s have it later …” Xiang Zhe looked at the sound sleeping Shan Mei, and tactfully declined.

“Sure …” The air hostess who also noticed how gentle and tender Xiang Zhe looked at Shan Mei, smilingly departed.

Xiang Zhe tenderly fixed up the blanket which was covering Shan Mei’s body and gently combed back the hair that fell on her forehead.

…………….

“I want to wear my hair long … because I want to be Xue Chang’s beautiful bride!”

………………

“Shan Mei …” Recalling Shan Mei’s words, Xiang Zhe’s heart was filled with tenderness and remorse.

During the past few days, Xiang Zhe and Shan Mei toured around London leisurely; they watched the stars together, fed the pigeons together, took the boat ride together … they were so blessedly happy as if living in a dream world …

Xiang Zhe treasured this hard-earned happiness very much, however he could not forgive himself this lifetime for losing his memory, for letting Shan Mei spent her time lonely in the States, and for letting Shan Mei bear so much grief …

Xiang Zhe could not help recalling the night before they left, that was the third night after Shan Mei’s birthday when Gui Cheng solemnly asked to see him on his own.

By that time, everyone was aware of Xiang Zhe’s recovery of memory and everyone was surprised and happy.

Shan Mei and Xiang Zhe would be leaving for Seoul the next day and Gui Cheng and Chen Su decided to stayed in London longer as they wanted to treat the London trip as their honeymoon.

That night, Gui Xian’s restaurant was closed, so Gui Cheng picked that place to talk to Xiang Zhe.

“Xiang Zhe, I will entrust Shan Mei to you …” Gui Cheng looked at Xiang Zhe gravely and solemnly spoke out what was in his heart.

This was first sentence uttered after the two men sat down for a quarter of an hour.

“Uncle …” As a matter of fact, Xiang Zhe was at first worried about Gui Cheng’s reaction, but when he heard what Gui Cheng, he was shattered.

“I know your intention towards Shan Mei is sincere and I also know about Shan Mei’s feeling … therefore I won’t oppose to your being together … You don’t have to worry about this. That was not your fault and I believe Shan Mei won’t blame you …” Gui Cheng’s eyes got moistened; he really was unwilling to let go of her little daughter.

“After you have experienced so much hardship, I only hope the two of you can cherish each other! Oh Xiang Zhe, Shan Mei, she … In future you have to be more tolerant of her, dote on her more … In this way, I can then rest assured …” During the past few years, Shan Mei had suffered so much hardship and had shed so much tears … Gui Cheng’s heart really ached for her! Therefore he really wished her real happiness!

“Uncle, I will! I certainly will take good care of Shan Mei! Please rest assured!” Xiang Zhe solemnly made his promise.

“Good, good! …” Gui Cheng smiled, with tears in his eyes. He always trusted Xiang Zhe and believed that he could made her daughter blessedly happy.

“Uncle, thank you …” Xiang Zhe was very touched as he was at first worried that Gui Cheng did not have faith in him, but to his surprise Gui Cheng not only did not condemn him, on the contrary, he could read his mind and set his mind at ease.

…………………

“Shan Mei, I won’t break my promise again. I will protect our love well and never desert you on your own …” Xiang Zhe gazed at Shan Mei with deep affection and made this pledge silently in his heart.

“Oh …” It must be the telepathy that worked; Shan Mei slowly opened her eyes.

“Why do you wake up? Am I disturbing you?” Xiang Zhe’s voice was filled with indulgence.

Shan Mei who suddenly woke up, looked like an angel descending from heaven, innocent and beautiful …

“Xue Chang? Are you calling me?” Shan Mei sat upright and blinked her eyes to make herself more awake.

“Then … You did receive my telepathy?”

“Huh!” Shan Mei nodded vigorously.

“Did you dream of me?”

“Huh!” She really dreamed of Xue Chang just now.

Recalling that dream, Shan Mei could not help smiling; that was really a wonderful dream and that would no longer be just a dream soon.

“So happy? Then in future I have to send out stronger telepathy …” Xiang Zhe looked at Shan Mei’s sweet smile, his heart felt so warm and so fulfilled.

“Xue Chang …” Shan Mei blushed a little.

“Are you hungry? It’s time for lunch …” Xiang Zhe understandably changed the topic.

“Huh …”

Because of the time difference, Seoul was still in daylight and it was also bright and cloudless when they arrived.

Xiang Zhe took Shan Mei home to settle down. After a little while, Shan Mei reluctantly bade Xiang Zhe goodbye.

“Go back in! After speaking to Uncle, please take a bath and sleep for a while … I will come to pick you up this evening …” Xiang Zhe tenderly patted Shan Mei’s shoulder.

“OK … Xue Chang, be careful on the road! … Huh … I’ll wait for your call …” Shan Mei obediently nodded.

“Good … go back in!”

Xiang Zhe got into the car and Shan Mei smilingly waved to him. Until Xiang Zhe’s car was out sight, Shan Mei then went in to her house.

It was now evening, he really had not had such a good sleep for a long time.

Xiang Zhe grabbed his watch and looked: it was already past 6:00 p.m. He hurriedly got up and washed. He had to go to pick up Shan Mei later.

“Are you awake? Did you sleep well? Miss me?” Xiang Zhe was fixing the buttons of his jacket while talking to Shan Mei.

“Huh! I had a good sleep! It’s always more comfortable to sleep on one’s own bed! … Xue Chang, how about you?” Shan Mei’s voice was so sweet.

“Me? Huh … very good. I haven’t had such a good sleep for a long long time! …” Xiang Zhe tenderly smiled and he wanted to see her immediately, “Right, I am leaving home now. You only need to wait a little while longer …”

“I know and please drive carefully …” Shan Mei did not forget to add her bidding.

“Good, see you later …”

“I miss you! I’ll wait for you …” Shan Mei added before she hung up the phone.

These words made the smile remain a long time on Xiang Zhe’s face …

In the early evening, Xiang Zhe was driving with Shan Mei in the car.

“Xue Chang, will I do this way?” Shan Mei nervously asked Xiang Zhe.

“Very nice – Very pretty!” Xiang Zhe smiled at Shan Mei.

Tonight she was wearing a long pink floral sleeveless dress. She was also wearing light makeup and had put up her hair with an hair clip. Her whole being looked serene and elegant.

He loved every image of her.

“Really?” Shan Mei revealed her sweet smile and she finally ceased to worry.

………………

They arrived and parked the car outside the restaurant.

Xiang Zhe and Shan Mei alighted from the car and the waiter drove the car away.

“Xue Chan …” Shan Mei raised her head to look at Xiang Zhe.

“Don’t be nervous, relax … just be your natural self!” Xiang Zhe tenderly pacified Shan Mei. He held on to Shan Mei’s hand tightly, trying to give her strength.

Shan Mei nodded her head as she had complete confidence in him.

“Let’s go …” They walked into the restaurant hand in hand.

In one of the elegant rooms in the restaurant, Chairman Yin was waiting there. He arrived early as he wanted to see his son and Shan Mei, his future daughter-in-law at the earliest moment.

Actually on the night before Xiang Zhe went to London to look for Shan Mei, he had a long discussion with his father.

During the past two years, his feeling towards his father was half-hearted. In the beginning he was not able to determine the good feeling and hatred towards his father after his memory loss, not to say he could not face his father’s other family! Later, it was due to his busy working schedule and he intentionally made himself more busy, to be too busy to have time to think … luckily Shan Mei returned, luckily he recovered his memory, he could finally set free what weighed in his mind and had a good talk with his father.

Even though Xiang Zhe did not tell his father about recovering his memory, Chairman Yin could also guess. Yesterday he received a call from his son and he was really very happy! What made him happy was not only because his son finally came back, it was Xiang Zhe who finally could have his own happiness!

Today, Xiang Zhe was taking Shan Mei to see him. He was very nervous but also very happy.

“Father, we are here.”

“Uncle, how are you?” Shan Mei politely greeted Chairman Yin.

“Shan Mei, come, sit down please!” Chairman Yin was very courteous. Actually he had long since treated Shan Mei as part of the family.

“Thank you!”

“Xiang Zhe, hurry up and order and don’t let Shan Mei go hungry …”

“Yes I will …”

……………..

“Shan Mei, how do you like this dish?”

“It tastes so good! … Uncle, please have some more …”

…………….

“Right, when will your parents come back?”

“Papa and Mama are coming back next week …” Shan Mei glanced at Xue Chang.

“Well … I want to invite your father to come fishing with me, how about next Sunday?”

“Good, I will tell Papa when I go home …”

“I can give him a call myself … Actually, this period time must have been very hard for you! … Your wedding, I don’t think we have to delay it any longer … After I meet with your father and talk with him, we will arrange a time to formally discuss the matter … Xiang Zhe, what do you think?” Chairman Yin asked for his son’s opinion. He had already noticed the ring on Shan Mei’s finger. He knew Shan Mei’s father was an open-minded person and he believed they could easily reach an understanding.

“Perfect!” Xiang Zhe happily agreed.

“Shan Mei, how about you?” Chairman Yin also asked Shan Mei.

“Huh … Good …” Shan Mei shyly lowered her head. Xiang Zhe smiled with blessed happiness.

……………….

“The stars are so beautiful …” Shan Mei stared at the beautiful night sky and her heart was filled with blessed happiness.

After parting company with Chairman Yin, Xiang Zhe and Shan Mei went for a ride and now they were sitting on the same place they had came before.

“Shan Mei, I’m bored. Stop looking at the stars. Look at me …” Xiang Zhe deliberately heaved a sigh.

Before Xiang Zhe finished speaking, Shan Mei could not help breaking into laughters.

“Xue Chang, I feel I’m so happy … How wonderful if there are shooting stars … Will there be shooting stars?” Shan Mei expectantly waited for Xiang Zhe’s reply.

“You want to make a wish? Then you have to get ready! There should be some shooting stars …” He did not want her to be disappointed, but there was nothing he could do!

“Huh!” Shan Mei obediently closed her eyes, concentrating on reciting the words in her mind.

At the same time, a meteor was shooting across the horizon!

“Shan Mei, look – Shooting star!” Xiang Zhe looked at that flash of brilliant lighting with pleasant surprise.

After making a wish, Shan Mei opened her eyes, just in time to see the remaining brilliance.

“Xue Chang is still so awesome! … Xue Chang, are you the manager in charge of the operation of the shooting stars? You are so accurate every time! …” Shan Mei naughtily smiled.

“You naughty girl!” Xiang Zhe smiled indulgently. He also remembered the several incidences when he and Shan Mei watched the stars and made wishes.

Every time there was also such a coincidence … However, what did Shan Mei wish for this time?

…………………

It was getting late in the night and Xiang Zhe took Shan Mei home. Tomorrow, they were going back to the office, to resume work and start their new life.

………………….

“Xue Chang, you have really notified everybody?”

“Huh, those who ought to know already know …” Xiang Zhe looked at Shan Mei’s anxious face, couldn’t help smiling, “What’s the matter? Haven’t we already agreed on everything?”

“But .. but .. we don’t have to do it so quickly! …” Why could he give her more time to think? What was the urgency?

“Who asks you to resume work tomorrow … why don’t you go back to work next week …” He was worried that she would work too hard.

“It can’t be done! I have to hurry back … I have already accumulate too much work!:

“You are really one of the disobedient lady! … Therefore you don’t have to worry even more! Tomorrow just wear your smile to work …”

“Huh …” That was all she could do, however it would be more difficult if she were the one to tell.

“Go to bed early and I’ll come over to pick you up tomorrow … Oh, no objection … that is what I have promised Uncle!”

“Xue Chang!” Shan Mei pouted her mouth, looking disgruntled. How could he use her father to pressurize her …

Watching the adorable look of the angry Shan Mei, Xiang Zhe could not help lowering his head and smiled.

“I will park my car at the usual place, will that do?”

“Then it’s OK!” Shan Mei gently nodded. She was really worried about going back to the office to face everybody … Although she did not mind, however it did not seem right …

“All you have to do is to work with your peace of mind and patiently wait to be my bride and leave the rest to me to handle …” He wanted her to have a worry-free life and he would give her the best wedding and he did not want her to be sad again.

“OK!” Shan Mei could understand Xue Chang’s mind and she also knew that Xue Chang was still feeling guilty, therefore she obediently let Xue Chang deal with those “irritating” matters! She herself would make efforts to do her job well!”

“I really don’t want to let you go … Goodnight, please get in …”

“Huh …”

Shan Mei was about to go in, but turned around and stood on tiptoe to swiftly plant a kiss on his left cheek, “English style … Goodnight …”

Suddenly, Xiang Zhe felt his heart swelling, he was really very blessed …

Shan Mei went in, but she stood inside the door waving to him …

At night, Shan Mei spoke to Xiang Zhe on the phone, then she also dialled to her father. She sent her regards to Chen Su and Gui Xian and spoke to father for a long time, telling him about Uncle’s invitation.

“That’s good. Once we are back, we can then decide on your matter …” Gui Cheng laughed loudly.

“Aiyo, Pa!” Shan Mei whined coyly.

“Haven’t you told me this? I heard from your own mouth that you would be getting married immediately … and it made Papa very sad …”

“Pa …” Shan Mei felt ashamed. It was true that she said those words in front of Papa on the day of her birthday after she returned home and both Gu Gu and Mama were present and so was Xue Chang. That was their mutual decision and the wedding would be in August.

“OK, I’m not going to say anything further … Go to bed early, don’t you have to go to work tomorrow?” Gui Cheng laughed heartily.

“Huh! I know … Right, where will you be going later on?”

“Mr. Gao invites us to go for a picnic … We are now getting ready …”

“Really? Is he an admirer of Gu Gu?”

“Lower your voice! Your Gu Gu does not admit …”

“You have to create opportunities for them!”

“That is for sure! OK, I’m not going to dally with you further, or else your mother will say I am disturbing your rest! … Goodnight!”

“You folks have a nice time! … Goodnight …”

Shan Mei unwillingly hung up the phone and then went to bed.

“After you have spoken to Uncle, go to bed early! … Tonight you will have a sweet dream! …” That was what Xue Chang said when they spoke on the phone just now.

“Tonight I will make a sweet dream!” Shan Mei smilingly closed her eyes.

Yes, tonight both of them would have a sweet and beautiful dream and that dream would come true soon …

 

CHAPTER 30 – WOULDN’T A PERSON BE EXTREMELY LUCKY TO BE ABLE TO MARRY THE GODDESS OF FORTUNE?

 

Author: Ming Wei Xue
Translated with author’s consent by: nho (CA)


In the next day, Shan Mei woke up very early in the morning. She really had a wonderful dream!

“Is it raining?” Shan Mei had already prepared breakfast; she came before the windows, drew the curtain and could see the pattering rain outside.

“Xue Chang he …” She better stopped Xue Chang from coming over. Shan Mei made a decision and decided to give Xue Chang a call.

The phone kept on ringing but nobody answered. It seemed that Xue Chang had already left home.

Shan Mei worriedly picked up an umbrella and went outside to wait at the front door.

The rain was falling heavier …

Xiang Zhe drove along the familiar road and when he turned the corner, he immediately saw her. She was dressed very homely in white, propping open an umbrella and waited at the front door looking around … He felt so warm …

“Xue Chang!” Shan Mei finally saw him and happily came over.

Xiang Zhe got out from his car and dodged under her umbrella.

“Why did you come out? You should wait inside …” He took over the umbrella and looked at her with concern as there were traces of rain on her dress.

“I am worried about you! You shouldn’t come when it’s raining!” She pouted her lips grumbling, but Xiang Zhe could see the concern in her eyes and lowered his head and smile.

“OK, OK … it is my fault, let’s get in quickly …” He wrapped his arm around her shoulders.

“Did you have breakfast?” Shan Mei put away her umbrella and poured a cup of tea for Xiang Zhe.

“Not yet …” He smiled; how could he have time to eat when he had to rush out so early in the morning.

“I have made breakfast, but …”

“What? You haven’t prepared my share? … It doesn’t matter, I’m not hungry!” He thought she had only made one portion of the breakfast, so he hastily tried to comfort her.

“No, it’s not that! … I’m just afraid that what I prepared does not suit your appetite!” Shan Mei hurriedly explained.

“How can that be? I remember your cooking skill is pretty good!” The first gift she gave him on his birthday was the congee she prepared. It was very tasty!

“Then you are not to regret later!” Was she warning him? He laughed.

“Can I eat now?”

“Umm …” She led him to the dining table.

“It is so sumptuous!” There were three small dishes on the table.

“I’ll bring you the congee …”

…………..

“It tastes so good … Can I have one more bowl?” He enjoyed the food so much.

“OK!” She wanted to refill the bowl for him.

“Let me do it myself. Come eat your breakfast!” He really filled up his own bowl.

“Xue Chang …”

“What is the matter?” He swallowed a mouthful of the congee and raised his head to look at her.

“Nothing …” She answered untruthfully. Actually she was worried that he only pretended to enjoy the food so as to make her happy.

“Shan Mei …” He thought for a moment and decided to speak out first.

“I love the breakfast you made! And I am not pretending!”

“But you always eat western style breakfast? Fried eggs, sandwiches … and also milk!”

“How do you know?” He looked at her with interest.

“It’s you who told me that you always eat bread in the morning! And also that morning, the breakfast you made for me was fried eggs! Besides there are also lots of bread in your fridge …” She seriously replied.

“So that’s why you think I like western style breakfast …”

“Huh!” Shan Mei nodded; was it possible that she was wrong?

“It was what I learned when I was studying abroad and later got used to it. Another reason is because it is easy to make and time-consuming … Actually, before I went abroad, my breakfast was the same as today! Everyday my mother would make …” Speaking of his mother made his voice wobbled.

“Xue Chang …”

“So, thank you, Shan Mei!” Only she could let him feel at home. He smilingly gazed at her.

“Then in future I will cook them for you often!” She smiled, her brilliant and beautiful smile made his heart palpitating with excitement.

“Let’s make a pledge!” He smilingly nodded. Actually she could not escape as they would be together for the rest of their life and every morning they would be together like this …

Because of the rain, Xiang Zhe drove Shan Mei straight to MBS.

“Get in! …” He handed over the umbrella to her and did not go in with her together because he did not want her to feel embarrassed.

“OK!” She smilingly nodded and took the umbrella.

“Don’t worry … you can rely on me!”

“Umm!” She could feel Xue Chang’s warmth and strength and she trusted him.

………………….

IN THE FIRST ANCHOR’S OFFICE.

Xian Da came over early to notify everyone that Shan Mei was coming back to work today.

“Really?” Chen Sui exclaimed.

“Shan Mei Senior was really coming back?” Jin Gee Lan was excited.

“Really!” Yong Xi gave a definite reply. It could not be denied that when they received a call from Xiang Zhe yesterday, both Xian Da and Yong Xi were astonished by the fact that both Xiang Zhe and Shan Mei had returned and would be resuming their respective duties today.

“Good morning everybody!” Shan Mei came in at this moment and she smilingly greeted everyone.

“Shan Mei!” Everyone looked at Shan Mei with pleasant surprise.

“It is really Shan Mei!” Chen Sui happily came over.

“Welcome back to the team! Shan Mei!” Xian Da extended his hand.

“It’s wonderful!” Everyone was delighted to see Shan Mei.

……………………..

Shan Mei smiled happily; she was really so blessed to be able to work in the First Anchor’s Office.

The busy scheduled commenced and imperceptibly a week had already passed.

Gui Cheng and Chen Su had come back and yesterday they formally met with Xiang Zhe’s father and Auntie and the two families discussed and fixed the wedding date. Actually the date was fixed by Xiang Zhe when they were still in London. He and Shan Mei wanted to get married in August.

As the date was fixed, the two families started the busy preparation as they had only two months left!

Xiang Zhe wanted to give Shan Mei the best and the most beautiful wedding. He wished her to be the happiest bride in the world and he wanted to give her endless love.

Now that Shan Mei had caught up with her work in hand, she especially conveyed her thanks to the viewers and the working team in the (Flying Mood). She thanked everyone for their constant support and care during her absence. She really had never thought that there would be so much support, so much encouragement and also admiration from so many viewers and audiences! Even the ever so proud Han Yu Cheng felt admiration for her! All this strengthened Shan Mei’s determination to perform her job well.

On the other hand, Xiang Zhe was even more busy. His responsibility was not light! He was busy at work and had to busily make arrangement for the wedding too! Luckily he had Shan Mei’s smile which would always give him strength and encouragement.

Because both of them were so busy that Xiang Zhe and Shan Mei would not have a chance to eat lunch together, but he would always give her a call, urging her not to forget to eat lunch.

He originally had a lunch appointment today, but it was suddenly postponed to another time. He wanted to meet with Shan Mei, but never thought that she was taken away by Xian Da and Yong Xi.

As a result the four of them were happily eating lunch in a Chinese restaurant.

So Yin Xiang Zhe finally had his wish to have lunch with the adorable Shan Mei, even though there were too many people present …

“Be careful … There are too many fish bones in this piece. You better take this …” Xiang Zhe looked after Shan Mei with great care and extreme consideration.

“OK … Huh … Let me do it myself!” Shan Mei pouted her lips in embarrassment.

“No, let me do it …” Xiang Zhe’s watchful eyes did not leave Shan Mei even for a second.

Xian Da and Yong Xi who were sitting on one side could not help laughing.

“There are so many fish bones. Yong Xi, you have to be careful!” Xian Da also picked up a boneless piece of the fish for Yong Xi.

“Thank you!”

Shan Mei’s flushed face was so adorable. Even though Xiang Zhe also noticed but he behaved in a natural way. It was so rare that they could have lunch together, he certainly would let her eat the best! He would not want Shan Mei to eat her lunch in a hurry every day! She had a lot of work to do in the afternoon and also had a recording to do in the evening … he would not have time to think of other things!

Since Xue Chang was so natural and poised, how could Shan Mei not understand Xue Chang’s intention? Therefore even though her little face was red with embarrassment, she submissively accepted Xue Chang’s consideration and care …

Another new week started and on Monday morning, Xian Da and all who should receive notification from Wen Rong received formal notice of the public announcement.
The Wen Rong Group announced to the public media the news about the wedding between Chairman, Yin Xiang Zhe and news anchor, Zhen Shan Mei! All at once the news spread around and the peacefulness was once again shattered!

“You are getting married?” These were the first words Xian Da spoke to Xiang Zhe.

“Right!” Xiang Zhe smiled, with his feelings of sweet happiness shown in his manner.

“So quickly?” Xian Da was surprised, everything took place so suddenly. He felt that there was a difference in Xiang Zhe after his return this time …

“I don’t want to miss the chance again …” To him, it was not sudden at all! They should have done it long ago.

“Xiang Zhe?”

“I have recovered my memory! And found my Shan Mei again!” They had wasted so much time and they just wanted to stay together now!

“Really!” Xian Da looked at Xiang Zhe with wonder, it would be fantastic if it was the truth.

“Yes!” Xiang Zhe blamed himself again when he thought of the stress and grief Shan Mei suffered during his memory loss.

“Senior, can I ask for your help?” He thought of an idea which had already lingered in his mind for a few days.

“What?” Xian Da looked at his junior with bewilderment.

“It is like this: I want you to arrange …” Xiang Zhe told Xian Da his plan. Although he and Shan Mei had prepared themselves, he was still worried that it would be too stressful for Shan Mei and he did not want her to be hurt again.

“Well …” To keep it from Shan Mei might be a bit difficult.

“I’ll leave this matter in your hands.”

“OK then!” Since it was a request from his junior, he would do it, not to say he was his boss!

At night, this should not be the time when (Morning Star) was doing its live broadcast, but (Morning Star)’s entire working team were all busy except Shan Mei, because they were doing live broadcast immediately! At the same time, Shan Mei who should have left the office with the others were asked to stay behind by Yong Xi. They were discussing some news items.

“It’s 8:00 p.m. soon. Xian Da said there will be a special program tonight – let’s watch TV!” Yong Xi anxiously looked at her watch and her heart was not at the news discussion.

“Good!” Shan Mei found Yong Xi’s strange behaviour today quite extraordinary, but she thought Xian Da’s words truly made sense: pregnant women sometimes were very nervous and sometime would behave in a strange way! So Shan Mei just did what she was told.

They switched on the TV and turned it to the MBS channel.

“Welcome to the additional special issue of the (Morning Star)! Although we have cancelled the live call-in and furthermore there is only me to host this program, I think today’s (Morning Star) won’t be a disappointment to the audience …” Han Yu Cheng told the differences in today’s issue of the (Morning Star).

“Yu Cheng Oppa?” Shan Mei looked at the screen with surprise, why was she not told about the additional issue of the (Morning Star)?

“… I am going to introduce today’s guest of honour -- the young Chairman of the Wen Rong Group, Yin Xiang Zhe …”

“Xue Chang?” The camera turned to focus on Yin Xiang Zhe.

“What is happening?!” Shan Mei was so astounded that she had to stand up!

IN THE (MORNING STAR) LIVE BROADCAST STUDIO.

“I have never thought that you two lovers would successively appear in the (Morning Star) … Can you tell me the reason for appearing in our program?” Han Yu Cheng smilingly pointed out that Shan Mei had recently appeared in this program.

“I think you must all be aware of this morning’s announcement. I am here to answer everybody’s queries …”

“Yes, we all know about the good news. You and news anchor, Zhen Shan Mei are getting married? You are really getting married?”

“Yes, in August … the details of which please find in Wen Rong’s recent announcement …”

“Then first let me offer my congratulations!”

“Thank you!”

“I think you should know that everyone is very envious of her, some are even jealous of her … Besides, do you know one of news anchor, Zhen Shan Mei’s nickname?” In the eyes of the outsiders, Shan Mei was the lucky Cinderella and Han Yu Cheng could not help but worry about Shan Mei.

“Is it the Goddess of Fortune?”

“Yes!” Han Yu Cheng continued idiotically.

“On the contrary, I feel I am a very lucky guy!” Xiang Zhe smiled with assurance.

“Oh?” Han Yu Cheng was speechless.

“Wouldn’t a person be extremely lucky to be able to marry the Goddess of Fortune? … Maybe even more lucky than being the Goddess of Fortune!” Xiang Zhe maintained his smile. Not only was he lucky to be able to marry Shan Mei but he was also blessed!

“Oh?”

Everyone was astonished by Xiang Zhe’s speech, however, they could not help but had to agree to his reasoning, it was very amusing …

To Xiang Zhe, he was very blessed to be able to walk through the stormy weather and could still be with Shan Mei … Thinking of Shan Mei’s smile, his mouth could not help but twitched at the corner and revealed a smile.

“It seems that Chairman Yin is smiling …? Can you tell us what is in your mind at this moment? Are you thinking of her?” Han Yu Cheng tried to probe.

“Yes! I love her smile and I too wish I can guarantee to make her happy …” Xiang Zhe firmly nodded. Han Yu Cheng was astonished by his composure.

“I thought you would have denied!” This did not look like the Managing Director they usually saw!

Xiang Zhe smiled, even though his smile could not hide his shyness, but his eyes told everyone that he loved her! There was no need to say anything further!

Han Yu Cheng suddenly felt he looked like a fool to say what he had just said and he too smiled.

…………………..

“Many people are wondering why you two didn’t get engaged or married at that time, and news anchor, Zhen Shan Mei even went abroad to further her study … Can you tell everyone why you suddenly decide to get married?”

Xiang Zhe understood he was not trying to invade his privacy. Actually he himself wanted to tell everyone the reason and this was one of the purposes of appearing in this program.

“This is because I …” Xiang Zhe recounted the whole story about how he was hurt and lost his memory and how Shan Mei decided not to be a burden to him and went abroad and later returned … Even though he did not give account in detail, everyone could understand his cause.

So that was what it was! After listening to Yin Xiang Zhe’s story, Han Yu Cheng was stunned. He never thought they had so many complications! He never thought Yin Xiang Zhe would incredibly reveal this matter to the public. He was trying to protect her! He never thought that even though Shan Mei suffered so much grief, she could imperturbably still have her brilliant and sweet smile which was so heart-warming to others! She was really a wonderful girl!

……………….

“To Shan Mei, apart from love, I still feel conscience stricken … but her warm heart on contrary wants me to let down this burden … I want to say to you, Shan Mei – I will try my best and I will work hard to let my burden transform into my love for you …”

………………

“Xue Chang!” Shan Mei who was watching before the TV, was already in tears. She understood his motive; he did not want her to be harassed by the outside world again. He wanted to protect her and he wished he could bring her happiness …

“Yong Xi Senior, I want …” Shan Mei really wanted to see Xue Chang at this very moment; she wanted to be by his side.

“I understand! You better go!”

“OK!” Shan Mei wiped dried her tears and hurried to broadcasting studio.

“Yin Xiang Zhe …” Watching the back of Shan Mei, Yong Xi heaved a deep sigh. This was the Xiang Zhe she did not recognize, maybe she had never really known him at all.

Yong Xi involuntarily rubbed her bulging stomach and she felt so blessed as it had a family feeling.

Shan Mei already arrived at the scene and she was standing at the spot where Xiang Zhe used to stand.

……………..

“You two are really a wonderful combination and a match from heaven!” Recalling how Shan Mei behaved and Yin Xiang Zhe’s behaviour today, Han Yu Cheng was really convinced.

“I have to thank everyone to give me this opportunity! Shan Mei and I wish to have everyone’s blessings and we too will give our blessings to everyone … Thank you!” Xiang Zhe caught the sight of Shan Mei and his eyes could no longer move away from her.

“I think everyone and I will send you our blessings …” Han Yu Cheng followed Xiang Zhe feverish gaze on Shan Mei who was standing behind the camera.

“Alright, today’s most special (Morning Star) has to bade everyone goodbye and tomorrow night, I and news anchor Zhen Shan Mei will bring to you the most expected story about Bushan! Goodbye!”

After the program ended, Xiang Zhe extended his thanks to Han Yu Cheng, stood up and walked to Shan Mei’s side.

“Xue Chang, thank you!” There were tears in her eyes, but the blossoming smile was beautiful beyond description.

“No more tears …” Xiang Zhe dotingly took out his handkerchief to wipe away Shan Mei’s tears and gazed at her passionately.

This scene was captured by the cameraman who had not switched off his camera and thus he passed on their blessed happiness to the thousands of viewers who were watching in front of the TV …

 

 

CHAPTER 31 – BUT WHEN YOU MEET YOUR TRUE LOVE

 

Author: Ming Wei Xue
Translated with author’s consent by: nho (CA)

Under the leadership of Xiang Zhe, his and Shan Mei’s wedding arrangements were proceeding smoothly.

After the live broadcast of Monday night’s special series of the (Morning Star), not only did he call for a press conference the next day, he also accepted exclusive interviews from three of the most popular magazines, agreeing to let them publish an article. However, thereafter all the news announcement would be handled by the Public Relations Department of the Wen Rong Group. Therefore the Public Relations Department of the Wen Rong Group was recently very busy, as they had to answer all enquiries from outside media. Fortunately Chairman Yin agreed to cooperate as long as it did not involve Shan Mei.

Xiang Zhe arrived at Shan Mei’s place early in the morning, while Gui Cheng and Chen Su had already gone out for a walk.

“What have you made today? Radish kimji?’ Xiang Zhe looked at the dishes on the table; it was so sumptuous every morning. How could there be so many varieties even for breakfast!

“Xue Chang, please try and taste it! I especially learned it from Gu Gu and it tastes like Gu Gu’s.”

“Really? Then let me take a bite …” He smiled; he could fully understand her intention.

………………

“Has the Public Relations Department or the production team harassed you lately?” He took a mouthful of the congee, pretending to look unconcerned.

“No!”

“That’s good.” He wished she would not be bothered by those irritating matters. Now he needed not have to worry so much.

“But Zhao Di keeps on inquisitioning me …” Shan Mei glared at Xiang Zhe. “It’s all your fault!”

“What happens? What did she ask you?” Her face was crimsoned and she lowered her head and did not say a word.

He looked at her embarrassed look and lowered his head to smile. He could understand what she meant.

That day after the conclusion of (Morning Star), he came to her side. He really thought they were off air and never thought that the camera recorded everything – his passionate look, his tender act, her sweet smile and the heart-rending tears! And the way he kissed away her salty tears in a grip of passion and her sweet lips ….

……………..

That should be the matters Zhao Di was trying to interrogate her! From the kiss in the zebra crossing to the kiss before the camera, every time it made others exclaimed with admiration and envy!

………………

At today’s lunch break, Xian Da was really too busy to take off, so he asked Shan Mei to look after Yong Xi and to accompany her to lunch.

As soon as they were seated, Shan Mei received a call from Xue Chang.

“I am having lunch with Yong Xi Senior … You don’t have to worry about me …” Shan Mei looked at Yong Xi in embarrassment, signalling Yong Xi Senior to make the order first.

“You too have to eat your lunch properly and not to make do with what is available …” Shan Mei urged as Xue Chang always had working lunch to save time.

“OK, I know … I will pick you up tonight …” Xiang Zhe happily responded.

“Hmm! That’s good, I have to hang up now … I know, I will take care when I am out on the outdoor shot this afternoon … You have to work hard too …”

“Shan Mei, I miss you …” He could not help but had to declare with profound love.

“I know …” Shan Mei softly smiled and her face flushed pink.

“Me too …” She embarrassingly looked at Yong Xi Senior who was wearing a smiling face.

……………….

“I’m sorry for keeping you waiting, Senior …” Shan Mei was very apologetic and quickly apologized to Yong Xi as soon as she hung up.

“It doesn’t matter! I have ordered the food. Please see whether they are to your appetite?” Yong Xi was very considerate to Shan Mei.

“Thank you Senior! You have to eat more, Senior …” Shan Mei’s smile was so sweet that it warmed up Yong Xi.

………………..

“Right, Senior, you really plan to stop working altogether as from mid August?” Shan Mei heard that Yong Xi Senior had already handed in her maternity leave report and had also turned down some exclusive interviews. It looked as Senior had changed her mind.

“Yes, I think I really need to take a good rest … Although I am reluctant to do so, it would be better for the baby …” Yong Xi was feeling more and more that the baby should come first, so she changed her mind from the original plan of taking her leave in October.

“It’s terrific! Uncle Xian Da can now cease to worry! Senior will be able to take an early rest and the baby will surely be a healthy one …”

“Thank you!” Yong Xi thought of Shan Mei’s wedding arrangements, “Oh, how is the wedding arrangement getting on? Are you busy?”

“Everything is proceeding smoothly! All that needs to be done is progressing well … but Xue Chang said he does not want me to be bothered by trivial matters, so he is in charge of nearly everything. He only needs my opinion … that is why he is extra busy these days!” Xue Chang took charge of everything, including from house-hunting to buying tea sets, but he always asked for her opinion beforehand. She really loved Xue Chang dearly, but she could not do anything to help. What should she do? She would need to have a serious talk with him some day.

“So it’s like that …” Yong Xi gently sighed; this was not the Xiang Zhe she knew, maybe because the object was Zhen Shan Mei, everything became normal …

“How about your wedding gown? How is it going? Have your had your fitting yet?” Yong Xi asked with concern.

“Xue Chang has made an appointment with the designer for me and I will go to have my measurement taken next Sunday … so my wedding gown has to wait …” Thinking of her wedding gown, Shan Mei smiled sweetly. Counting the dates, she still had about two months to go before she would be Xue Chang’s bride …

“I really look forward to seeing how you look like in your wedding gown …” Yong Xi smiled. Xiang Zhe would certainly be waiting expectantly.

………………….

IN THE AFTERNOON, AT MBS FIRST ANCHOR’S OFFICE.

“Zhen Shan Mei, the production team invites you and Lee Su Xiao to appear in the talk show.” Supervisor Jin Xian Da personally came to the First Anchor’s Office to notify Shan Mei.

“Oh?” Shan Mei was slow to respond. Talk show?

“That is the (Rivals’ Talk)!” Chen Sui had already guessed.

Yes, that was the Rival’s Talk in which she and Ying Mei … Shan Mei could not help but sighed.

“Senior, do you mean …” Several of the trainees looked at Chen Sui.

“That is the program which invites rivals to their show and tries to incite contention between them! It is a very good program … I remember last time Shan Mei and Ying Mei were invited …” Chen Sui excitedly explained to the trainees.

“Shan Mei, you can refuse if you are not reluctant to go …”

“Whose idea is it? Is it Assistant Director Jin’s?” Ying Xi hit the mark with a single comment.

“Yes, but actually it is not only Assistant Director Jin’s idea, it is also the production team’s idea … Of course it needs Shan Mei’s agreement.” Xian Da explained. Actually Xian Da was in an awkward position, on one hand it was Assistant Director Jin’s decision and the production team’s idea, and on the other hand he had to give an explanation to Xiang Zhe who entrusted Shan Mei to him ….

Everyone looked at Shan Mei, waiting for her response.

“I and Miss Lee Su Xiao? It’s OK.” Shan Mei made a decision. At first, she did not want to go, but as it was Assistant Director Jin’s idea, then she had to go. She did not want Assistant Director Jin to make things difficult for Xue Chang because of this.

“Shan Mei, don’t force yourself!” Yong Xi was a little worried, after all, there was once rumour
of a scandal between Lee Su Xiao and Xiang Zhe.

“Yes, don’t go if you don’t want to!” Lee Qing Xi was also on Shan Mei’s side. She was afraid someone would deliberately make things difficult for Shan Mei.

“It doesn’t matter!” She would face whatever she had to face! Shan Mei smiled, “Supervisor Jin, I agree.”

………………………

Both Shan Mei and Lee Su Xiao were invited to appear in the live talk show (Rivals’ Talk) and same as last time when Shan Mei and Ying Mei appeared on the show, most of the audiences were female. The program was about to begin.

The host: “Hello everyone, this is the time for the (Rivals’ Talk). Today we have specially invited MBS broadcast department’s (Flying Mood’s) Miss Zhen Shan Mei and (Seoul’s Splendour’s) Miss Lee Su Xiao … Welcome to the two of you!”

Both Shan Mei and Lee Su Xiao came out from the backstage. Today Shan Mei was wearing a white suit of simple cut and Lee Su Xiao was wearing a rose red dress suit. Last time Ying Mei was also wearing red and Shan Mei remembered it when they were backstage. And today …

At the other end of the scene, being the Chairman of the Wen Rong Group, Yin Xiang Zhe also showed up. As a matter fact, Xiang Zhe was attending a meeting in MBS, but after the meeting, Xian Da incidentally told him this news.

He could not stay away. Xiang Zhe would not miss any moment of Shan Mei’s life and he wanted to use his eyes to take snapshots of Shan Mei’s every move. Furthermore, he knew Shan Mei only appeared in this program because of him. She did not tell him this.

“The two ladies do not seem to be on familiar terms. What are your initial impression of each other? Miss Zhen Shan Mei?” The host once again threw the first question at Shan Mei.

“Huh … I feel Miss Lee Su Xiao is a serious person and her style of hosting is very similar to my best friend! Also she is very pretty!” Shan Mei earnestly looked at Lee Su Xiao; she did not understand Lee Su Xiao, but her instinct told her that she was someone who was willing to work hard.

“Thank you!” Lee Su Xiao thanked Shan Mei. She never thought that Shan Mei did not bear her any grudges.

“Then how about you, Miss Lee Su Xiao? What is Miss Zhen Shan Mei in your eyes?”

“What I can see is a Miss Zhen Shan Mei with firm determination! I envy her for owning such a sweet smile …” Lee Su Xiao was really very envious of Shan Mei for having such a sweet and brilliant smile which made Yin Xiang Zhe fall in love with her.

“Thank you! Not many people have told me this …” Shan Mei happily smiled.

…………………..


The program was still on.

“Can everyone remember the first question we put forward to Miss Zhen Shan Mei last time at the beginning of the program? However this time we can only direct the same question to Miss Lee Su Xiao and I have do that …”

The host smilingly faced the two guests of honour.

Shan Mei stealthily stole a glance at Xiang Zhe who stood on one side of the camera. Xiang Zhe was gazing at her with profound love. She lowered her head and softly smiled.

“So, Miss Lee Su Xiao, can you let us know what your dream man is?’

“I …” Lee Su Xiao also saw Xiang Zhe who was out of the camera. She knew he was not here because of her. What happened recently made her see things rationally. Although she was unwilling to do so, she had given up and let go. However, with this question thrown at her by the host, she decided to speak out what was in her heart.

“I like someone full of confidence and is capable of taking on responsibility. Also … Actually if it is someone like Miss Zhen Shan Mei’s fiance, it would be ideal!”

Wow! Her words made the audiences who were present exclaimed with surprise. Even the experienced host was struck speechless for a few seconds. She was really very daring.

“So, after hearing Miss Lee Su Xiao’s speech, what will Miss Zhen Shan Mei’s response be?” Would it dig out the dirt which had long since been buried?

“Huh …” Shan Mei could not help but stealthily glanced at Xiang Zhe again. Their eyes locked together.

“This seems to be a difficult question to answer … Let us give Miss Zhen Shan Mei another 10 seconds to consider.” The host took over from Shan Mei, but the audiences were waiting expectantly. Lee Su Xiao who was sitting next to Shan Mei was also looking at her intently.

Although Xiang Zhe who was standing to one side of the camera was a bit worried, he believed Shan Mei would certainly give a brilliant answer.

“Aye, I really don’t know! At first I felt a little bit happy and also a bit uncomfortable … but after 10 seconds, I felt – it’s no big deal! I only feel happy!” Shan Mei forthrightly and naively told what her thoughts were.

“You no longer feel uncomfortable?”

“Huh! Because … Actually I think Miss Su Xiao’s reply is very true. She only picks a real man to be her model! So her answer is really superb! Don’t we all have imagination of an ideal man in our heart which is based on some model? However when you meet your true love, meet that one person in your life, I think, then there won’t have anything more to do with that model, because – the ideal man in your heart is he!” Shan Mei finished speaking with a grin.

“Zhen Shan Mei, thank you for your reply!” Lee Su Xiao could not help but conceded willingly.

Xiang Zhe smiled. His Shan Mei always brought surprise. There were applauses from the audiences present in the show.

“What follows is to invite our guests to take part in our new item (Crossfire Questioning). That means you can ask each other two questions! Just two questions! Understand?” The host look at Shan Mei and Lee Su Xiao.

Shan Mei and Lee Su Xiao looked at each other and nodded.

“Of course, I wish both of you can answer the questions honestly! This is also the wish of the audiences! So who should ask the questions first? It’s Miss Zhen Shan Mei’s second appearance in our program, so can I ask you to raise the questions first?” The host suggested.

“I … haven’t thought of any question!” How could there be such an item? Shan Mei smiled helplessly and she really had nothing to ask.

“Then … How about Miss Lee Su Xiao?”

“Then let me be the first one to ask!” Lee Su Xiao looked at everyone and smilingly said.

“So please begin!” The host announced.

“May I ask Miss Zhan Shan Mei that when there is a conflict between love and career, what would you choose?” Because Yong Xi was about to begin her maternity leave, there would be vacancy in the 9:00 p.m. news for the anchors. Lee Su Xiao was curious to know what Shan Mei who was preparing for her wedding, was planning to do.

“I would choose love!” Shan Mei replied determinedly and without hesitation.

“Really, why?” Lee Su Xiao asked insistently.

“You can work hard to achieve success in your career, but for love, just hard work won’t do, you also need to face it with genuine heart and devotion! Besides, umm … Also, to me, love, family and friendship are very important! Therefore I will choose love! Of course I will still work hard in my job and won’t be a disappointment to everyone …”

Shan Mei’s eyes once again locked with Xiang Zhe. She softly smiled.

Everyone smiled at Shan Mei’s smile.

“Does this count as a second question?” Shan Mei suddenly asked the host.

“This … I think so …” The host turned to look at Lee Su Xiao who nodded.

Xiang Zhe lowered his head and smiled. Shan Mei’s present expression was very adorable! Nevertheless Shan Mei could really be ultra “smart” sometimes.

“I have finished asking my questions!” Lee Su Xiao smiled but could not help worrying about Shan Mei’s questions.

“OK, then it’s Miss Zhen Shan Mei’s turn. Please begin.”

“Huh … I only want to ask one question, just one question… I want to know … what has happened to the (Folklore and Customs) in (Seoul’s Splendour’s)?”

Oh?? Shan Mei’s question was really – it was really a big surprise to everyone!

“This …” Lee Su Xiao was speechless with surprise. How she thought Shan Mei would ask … really!

“Actually, I ask this question for my mother. She loves to watch (Seoul’s Splendour) and I watch it with her when I have time. Therefore I want to know whether (Folkfore and Customs) is still on as I like this segment!” Shan Mei explained with a grin.

Lee Su Xiao looked at the sweet smiling Shan Mei and all of a sudden felt very warm – that was what she had denied all the time and she had to calm her state of mind.

“(Folkfore and Customs) is still on although it is presently under rescheduling and I apologize for causing uncertainties and I have to thank Miss Zhen Shan Mei for letting me take this opportunity to make things clear to everyone.” Lee Su Xiao’s answer was poised and natural.

“I see! So, Miss Zhen Shan Mei, have you finished with your question?”

“Yes.” Shan Mei smiled.

“Well, we will have to say goodbye to our audiences! But before the program ends, can we ask our two guests to say something to our audiences? This time, it’s Miss Lee Su Xiao’s turn first!”

“I’m pleased to have this opportunity to speak with Miss Zhen Shan Mei in close contact. Frankly speaking, I wish to become friends with her, however I still regard her as my rival! Because my target is to become the country’s best anchor! I will work double hard … Thank you everyone!”

“Miss Zhen Shan Mei?”

“Huh … I will continue to work hard in my career and my life although I won’t force myself. I will make extra efforts from now on and won’t fail your expectation and support! Also, thank you for Lee Su Xiao’s words and I will regard her as an encouragement to go forward! … Thank you!”

……………….

The program finally ended.

Xiang Zhe left first as it would be terrible if he was caught in the camera again! However, he went to the make up room to wait for her. He missed her very much. Shan Mei found that Xue Chang had left after the program ended. After she thanked the working team, she hurriedly went to remove her makeup. Xue Chang was waiting to have dinner with her. However she did not let him know about her appearance in the talk show, would he be angry? She was a bit worried. She knew Xue Chang wanted to protect her, but she herself went to the show instead and did not even let him know. She was happy and also very surprised when she saw Xue Chang just now.

“Xue Chang?” Shan Mei saw Xiang Zhe as soon as she stepped into the makeup room.

“Your performance today was pretty good, Miss Zhen Shan Mei.” He was wearing a smiling face. Her performance today was really not bad.

“Xue Chang, you …” He was not angry?

“I am not angry!” He stepped forward and jokingly looked at her, “Miss Zhen Shan Mei does not look happy?”

“Of course not! I am worried that you …” Shan Mei stopped speaking as she did not know how to explain.

“I can understand your mind!” Xiang Zhe picked up Shan Mei’s hand to envelop it in his big hand and looked at her with profound love.

“I know!” She knew Xue Chang could always understand her mind.

“Go and remove your makeup quickly and I will wait for you. We’ll go to have pizza later!” He released his hand and patted her adorable cheek.

“OK!” Shan Mei smiled. She loved the taste of pizza! Xue Chang was the best!

He too smiled and he was very blessed because he had Shan Mei’s happy smile.

 

CHAPTER 32 – I TRUST HIM AND I ALSO LOVE HIM VERY MUCH

Author: Ming Wei Xue
Translated with author’s consent by: nho (CA)

 

It was another chilly night with drizzling rains.

However it was very warm in Xiang Zhe’s place. Shan Mei and Xiang Zhe were busily preparing dinner in the kitchen. It would be more correct to say that Shan Mei was only standing there keeping Xiang Zhe company.

“Xue Chang, why is your cooking skill so good?” Shan Mei was watching Xiang Zhe carving a flower from a carrot.

“What’s up?” Xiang Zhe took out the steak he prepared.

“Nothing, just hungry!” Shan Mei took over Xiang Zhe’s tray, “It smells so good! It must taste good too …”

“Hungry? We have to wait for another few minutes for the soup to be ready before we can eat. Why don’t you eat some snacks first. I made a special order for them!” Xiang Zhe smiled indulgently.

“I know! I will go to lay the table … Will be back to keep you company in a few minutes!” Shan Mei gave Xue Chang a sweet smile and gracefully left the kitchen.

Xiang Zhe’s eyes followed Shan Mei’s movement and did not leave it for even an inch.

CANDLELIGHT DINNER.

“It smells really good …” Shan Mei was eating the steak which Xue Chang helped to cut into pieces for her and revealed a smile filled with satisfaction.

“You like it … That’s good …” Xiang Zhe smiled indulgently. He loved her looking this happy and satisfied.

“Xue Chang, you have to teach me!”

“You want to learn my skills?”

“Umm! I want to cook it for Papa and Mama and later I can also cook it for Xue Chang …”

“To cook for your hubby!”

“Xue Chang!” Her face was flushed crimson.

“Ain’t I right?” He smiled happily and with satisfaction.

……………….

“Xue Chang, you really don’t need me to do anything?” There was still a little more than a month to go before she would be the wife of Yin Xiang Zhe.

“Of course I need your help. I am waiting for your suggestion and decision! Later you have to look at many materials …” Their house was the most important! He wanted to give her the most beautiful home!

“I want to do something more substantial!” He should understand what she meant.

“Decision making is the most important and you have to spend a lot of your energy … therefore you have done a lot … What’s up?”

“But …”

“Don’t “but”. I know you are worrying about me, right?”

“Huh!” It seemed he already understood her mind.

“You are worrying … that I am not doing my best?” He tried to control his laughter.

“Oh? Of course not! I’m worrying about your health” Really!

“I know …” Xiang Zhe smiled; how could he not understand her mind?

Why did he have to smile? She angrily put down her fork.

Angry? Xiang Zhe also put down his knife and fork. He did not want her to get angry.

“Shan Mei,” He picked up Shan Mei’s hand and made her look at him, “I know what you mean, but I really wish to give you a happy and blessed wedding … All the time, you have been under so much pressure and I, who had once promised to guard you, had caused you pain and sadness. Luckily, the bad moments have gone. Furthermore, after you marry me, you will have to bear more pressure from outside – I’m really so sorry!”

“Xue Chang …” The profound love and deep tenderness in his eyes made her want to cry.

“So let me take charge of all the preparation for the wedding? OK?” He gently wiped away the tears that fell down on her cheeks.

“I know and I can understand Xue Chang’s state of mind! But, but you are working too hard …” Another tear fell down.

“I will take care of myself and won’t let myself work too hard. Therefore you can rest assured. The September groom will be a healthy one!” He smilingly comforted her and wiped away her tears.

“Xue Chang!” She blushed.

“I will take care of the details of the wedding and you just make the decisions, OK?”

“OK!” Was it a concession from Xue Chang? It seemed so, so Shan Mei nodded.

“So this is our final decision!” He smilingly nodded.

“Huh!” She gave him a smile. However, at this moment she made another decision, but she would not let him know for the time being!

…………………

“The food has cooled down … Let me heat it up, otherwise your stomach would ache again …” He looked at the food on the table, “You wait a moment!”

“Let me do it …”

………………..

Needless to say, they both ended up working busily in the kitchen …

………………….

On Monday, the entire team member of MBS’ First Anchor’s Office had a morning meeting at their offices. Yong Xi who originally planned to take her maternity leave in mid August formally bade each other goodbye and announced her plan to withdraw from all programs at the end of the week.

Everyone was very surprised as they never thought that Liu Yong Xi would start her maternity leave so early. Although they were sad to see her go, they all supported Yong Xi’s decision.

After the meeting, Yong Xi signalled Shan Mei to stay behind.

“Shan Mei, I have recommended you in my report to be the anchor for the 9:00 p.m. news …” Her resignation was really a surprise to the management level. Therefore the audition for the successor of the 9:00 p.m. news was brought forward. Actually to avoid repetition of the same situation happening in the future, the management level decided to arrange for three groups of anchors. So this audition was very strict as well as very important! With the recommendation from Yong Xi, it would be more to Shan Mei’s advantage.

“Senior?” Shan Mei was a bit shocked.

“I still remember when you interviewed Mr. Bern, hadn’t you said that you wanted to read the news?” Yong Xi favoured Shan Mei and she believed with Shan Mei’s present proficiency, it would not be a problem for her!

“But …” Shan Mei was still hesitating.

“What is the matter?”

“I am not prepared at the moment … Besides, I have handed in my application for leave … I’m afraid I won’t be able to attend the audition … However, I have to thank you, Senior!” She wanted to take over the wedding preparation from Xue Chang and had made a decision to do so.

“So … when do you want to take your leave? Does Xiang Zhe know?” Although Yong Xi felt it was a pity, she found there was no regret in Shan Mei’s eyes and so she decided not to say anything more.

“After the conclusion of this quarter’s programs, around the beginning of August … I still haven’t told Xue Chang!”

“You are planning to take your leave until after the honeymoon?” Recalling how Shan Mei chose love before career in the (Rivals’ Talk), Yong Xi smiled.

“Right!” Shan Mei lowered her head in embarrassment. Although she had failed Yong Xi’s expectation, she had made her decision. She did not want to let Xue Chang work so hard and if there were chances again in the future, she would fight hard for them.

At night, Xiang Zhe and Shan Mei went to a simple and elegant restaurant.

“Xue Chang?” Shan Mei thought for a while, not knowing how to begin.

Actually Xiang Zhe was already aware that Shan Mei had refused Yong Xi’s recommendation. He was curious to know the reason, but it was better to wait until she told him herself.

“Today Yong Xi Senior told me she has recommended me to the 9:00 p.m. news post, but I have refused. Because I will begin my long vacation next month …” Shan Mei told Xiang Zhe her decision.

“It is a good thing that Yong Xi recommends you, why do you decide to take a long vacation?” He knew Shan Mei’s dream and the wedding arrangement could be left for him to take care.

“Huh, I think I have more important things to do now! I want to take my vacation as soon as this quarter ends and in this way, you don’t have to work so hard …” She was really worried about his health. Besides, she wanted to be a good wife to Xue Chang – but she could not tell this to Xue Chang now.

“I understand … but Shan Mei …” He wanted to persuade her because he knew this was a rare chance and he did not want Shan Mei to give up for him.

“Xue Chang, there will be a lot of chances like this in future! … I really want to help you! Let me take care of the wedding arrangements? OK?” Her coaxingly tone of voice could not help but forced him to surrender and her thoughtfulness warmed his heart.

“Thank you, Shan Mei!” He looked at her with profound love and tenderly smiled.

“Who asks me to be your Xue Mei? Of course I have to help!”

“Oh you!” Looking at Shan Mei’s adorable look, he laughed. He was really very blessed. Only he feared that there might be objections from MBS when they became aware of Shan Mei’s decision. He had to think of a way in order not to let Shan Mei get hurt.

Although the management level of MBS was taken aback by Shan Mei’s decision, they all knew in their mind that they could not refuse her. Furthermore even Senior Chairman appeared to back her up. However Assistant Director Jin still seized a chance to give Shan Mei a dressing down. Inside the large boardroom, Shan Mei apologized to Assistant Director Jin and to MBS. However, she still cordially and with self respect stood firm with her decision. So at the end Assistant Director Jin could only give vent to his pent up feelings on pretext.

It was because Shan Mei had to take her long vacation commencing from the beginning of August, so she had to put in order and hand over the work in hand. Some of the programs had to be recorded ahead of schedules. The live broadcasted (Morning Star) was temporary taken over by Jin Gee Lan who would be partnering Han Yu Cheng and there would be new arrangements when Shan Mei returned from vacation. As for (Flying Mood) and (Tonight’s Postcards), these programs needed to be recorded ahead of schedules and (Tonight’s Postcards) would continue to use Shan Mei’s recordings in the earlier period. The interaction segments in (Good Morning Eve) would need to be recorded in advance to prepare for emergency requirements. Therefore, Shan Mei was now so terribly busy.

In the First Anchors’ Office, she was presently discussing the program of (Morning Star) with Jin Gee Lan.

“May I know who is Miss Zhen Shan Mei?” A young flower delivery man was knocking at the door and politely enquired.

“It’s me!” Shan Mei turned her head to glance at the door and the others were also curiously raised their heads to look.

“How are you, these flowers are for you. Please acknowledge receipt.” The flower delivery man was holding a large bunch of white roses in his hand.

“Flowers for me?” Shan Mei looked at the delivery man with uncertainty and Shan Mei’s cell phone was ringing at the same moment.

“Hello, this is Zhen Shan Mei!” Shan Mei hurriedly picked up the phone.

“77 white roses for you means we are meeting again!”

“David?!” Shan Mei exclaimed, “You are really in Seoul!”

“Like it, my little Princess?”

Shan Mei sighed; she never thought Belle’s words were true! David was really here in Seoul! “I appreciate your kindness, David, but I can’t accept them … Hello?” Shan Mei refused but he had already hung up.

“I thought you would be happy to receive my flowers!” There appeared a man at the door, one tall and handsome guy with gold hair and green eyes.

“Then would seeing me in person make you happier?” That man was wearing a smiling face.

Shan Mei looked at David and weakly smiled. She was really very happy to see him, but she was angry that he always poked fun at her.

“You are smiling. That means you will take my flowers.”

“You know I don’t like it!” Shan Mei glared at David helplessly.

“But … OK! Shan Mei, you haven’t changed one bit!” David smilingly took the flowers from the delivery man.

Shan Mei gave a sigh, “Please David, I am at work!”

“OK!” David put up his hands and smilingly said, “I have arranged to have lunch with Belle and Tai Xi. I’ll wait for you outside! Don’t fail to turn up! My little Princess!” Thereafter he really took the flowers and left, not caring that other people were staring at him.

Watching David’s back, Shan Mei helplessly sighed. However, Chen Sui who was standing beside Shan Mei, gave an exclamation as if he had found the new continent, “I know who he is! David – the champion of XXX car race!”

“Aye? Correct, no wonder he looks familiar.” Song Kee Jong also remembered.

“Car racing champion?”

“But Shan Mei, how come you know him?” Chen Sui glanced at Shan Mei, “He has the audacity to call you his “little Princess” and he can even speak Korean! …”

Finding all their eyes were on her, Shan Mei smiled with embarrassment, “We met each other in the States. He is Belle’s cousin and he treats me like a sister …”

“So he is Belle’s cousin …”

“He is so handsome …”

However, everyone could see that Shan Mei was not interested to say anything further, so they stopped asking more questions. Anyway it was an “explosive” news.

Shan Mei decided to continue the discussion with Jin Gee Lan. She sat down and found that Xian Da was looking at her and she could only smile helplessly.

…………………..

At noon, Shan Mei, Belle, Tai Xi and David were having lunch in the restaurant opposite MBS.

“David, why did you pick this restaurant? Western food again? Why don’t you try some different?” Belle asked curiously.

“You still don’t drink, right?” David ordered juice for Shan Mei before he answered Belle’s question, “There will be a lot of chances later!”

“You will be staying here long?”

“Yes! I am participating in the car race and also I have to discuss and conclude a commercial film deal, so I will be here for at least two months! So I can attend Shan Mei’s wedding!”

“Really? You are trying to make trouble?” Belle showed a face of distrust.

“Why are you looking at me this way, Shan Mei! Don’t you too think I will be like this?”

“Not really! It’s only …” Shan Mei did not know what to say.

“But you told me over the phone that you would be courting Shan Mei!” They got a fright and had to hurriedly let Shan Mei know.

“That’s right!” David calmly took a sip of the wine, “I said that!”

“Then why did you say …” What actually was going go?

“I am going to court Shan Mei!”

“Oh!?” The other three exclaimed in different tone of voice.

“Such a good girl has to get married soon, so I must try my best to have my final fight, if not, I will regret later!”

“David!” Shan Mei was a little angry. Hadn’t they told him clearly? Weren’t they just good friends?

“Don’t worry, I won’t break you up. I only want to meet that lucky man to see whether he is the right one for our little Princess!” Soon after he landed in Seoul he heard about the story between Xiang Zhe and Shan Mei. In addition he heard the news from Belle and Tai Xi and was really curious about that man.

“What do you want to do?” Belle and Tai Xi asked anxiously.

“To court our little Princess of course! I will court Shan Mei!” David announced, “However, Shan Mei can still treat me as her brother and friend! I won’t mind!”

“Oh?” Shan Mei really did not understand David’s line of thinking.

“Shan Mei, you need not concerned about my way of doing things and please don’t feel embarrassed. We will always be good friends! And I will not break you up. Just treat this as my being worried about you …”

“David?”

“I can’t stop worrying as our little Princess is getting married …” David sighed.

“David, thank you for your concern. However, Xue Chang is really a very nice man. I trust him and I also love him very much!”

Although Belle, Tai Xi and David all knew that Shan Mei was deeply attached to his Xue Chang, when unexpectedly they heard the shy Shan Mei publicly announcing her own feeling, they were shocked. This made David want to meet with Xiang Zhe all the more and he was really absolutely curious and expectant!

After lunch, Shan Mei was not in a happy state of mind. However once she thought of Xue Chang, her mood improved immediately!

In the afternoon, Shan Mei took advantage of the break to send Xue Chang several short messages, letting him know what happened during the first part of the day and also asking him whether he was working too hard. However, she did not mention the incidence about David. She would try to introduce them to each other one day! She believed Xue Chang’s charisma would conquer David and David would surely understand and send them his blessings! Would Xue Chang be jealous? She smiled when she thought of this …

After the meeting, Xiang Zhe switched on his cell phone and could not help smiling, as tender feeling flooded his hearts. He hurriedly replied to her voicemail. It was a shame that she was on duty tonight and he himself had to attend a dinner function.

He really missed her, missing her brilliant smile!

 

CHAPTER 33 – IT’S THE EXPRESSION IN XUE CHANG’S EYES WHICH MAKES ME BEAUTIFUL!

 

Author: Ming Wei Xue

Translated with author’s consent by: nho (CA)


Xiang Zhe and two of his assistants returned to his office. Once he stepped into his office, his secretary informed him that Senior Chairman Yin was waiting for him. Xiang Zhe hurriedly gave instructions to his assistants and went into his office.

“Father? Why are you here?” Xiang Zhe opened the door and found his father sitting on the sofa reading a Wen Rong news report.

“Xiang Zhe, come, sit down! I have just finished playing golf with some of my friends and thought I would come by to pay you a visit on my way.” Senior Chairman Yin put down the newspapers and greeted his son.

“Miss Han, can we have two cups of coffee please!” Xiang Zhe pressed the intercom to ask his secretary to bring in coffee.

“Father, how are you these days?”

“I’m very well and you don’t have to worry. It’s you I should worry about. You have so much to do and have to bear so much stress …”

“Father, I can manage. You don’t have to worry. Huh … how’s everyone?”

“They’re good …” Senior Chairman Yin gratefully nodded. He understood his son’s mind and it was rare for him to express concerns for his other side of the family.

“Bring Shan Mei home one of these days … Oh, I have decided to send Yin Man abroad to study after your wedding. Aye! He really doesn’t like to study …”

“I will bring Shan Mei home some other day. As for Yin Man, Father, don’t worry too much, he is still young.”

“I know … Come, these are for you …” Senior Chairman Yin took out two manila envelopes and handed them to Xiang Zhe.

“This …”

“You open it up and see …”

Xiang Zhe opened the first envelope as told. There were two documents inside, one was a share transfer of all Senior Chairman Yin’s shareholding in Wen Rong whereby he transferred all his shareholdings to Xiang Zhe, so now Xiang Zhe became the majority shareholder of Wen Rong and was worthy to become the chairman of Wen Rong. Another document was Senior Chairman Yin’s will.

“Father! …” Xiang Zhe’s heart was in turbulence.

“This is a proper way to do and I should have done it long ago, but I was really worried about your state of mind … That’s why I only show you the transfer form now. From now on you will have to bear more responsibility and Wen Rong is now yours!” Senior Chairman Yin handed Wen Rong totally to his son.

“Father …”

“As to the will, I will give to them, mother and son, two houses and I have set up a trust fund for Yin Man’s study and career establishment. As for the rest, I hope you can accept them.”

“Father, actually …” Xiang Zhe never thought that his father would arrange things this way.

“I know what you mean! But I owe you and your mother too much! Besides this is the best arrangement for both you and Yin Man … You have to accept it!”

Looking at his father’s benevolent and expectant expression and who were trying to restrain his tears, Xiang Zhe could only nod in agreement.

“Come, let’s look at the second envelope!”

Xiang Zhe calmed his state of mind and opened the second envelope.

It was … it was a title deed! What was so surprising was not because it was a title deed, but it was unexpectedly the title deed for the property he chose two years ago! The owners of that property were now Zhen Shan Mei and Yin Xiang Zhe.

“This is my gift for you and Shan Mei … This is the house you chose two years ago. Later when you had that accident, I could only decide to buy that piece of land first and then let them build and construct the building accordingly to your design. It has now finished construction. You can go and see whether it is still suitable or whether it needs further renovations. I’ll leave the rest of the design for you and Shan Mei to decide!” Senior Chairman Yin explained.

Xiang Zhe had just calmed his state of mind, but now he was moved emotionally. To Xiang Zhe, it was initially a regret. This was the reason why he had not found a house until now, but now his father helped him to fill this blank.

“Father, thank you!” Xiang Zhe’s eyes were brimming with tears. He could realize how deep his father’s love was for him.

“This is what Father should do!” Senior Chairman Yin patted his son on his shoulder.

“Don’t forget to bring Shan Mei home one day …”

“Yes!”

“Then I won’t disturb you … I’m going home …”

“Let me show you out …”

…………………………..

It was 10:00 p.m. at night and Xiang Zhe returned home from a dinner party.

As soon as he got in he pressed the voicemail button on the phone, then took off his jacket and sat down on the sofa.

“Xue Chang, it is now 8:00 p.m. You haven’t come home? Right, you should still be in the dinner party. I am home and have just finished dinner with Papa and Mama. I’ll tell you some good news. Gu Gu is coming back! She will be here in two days’ time! … After you take your bath, please don’t drink any more … Go to bed early! Goodnight!”

Listening to Shan Mei’s tender loving urgings, Xiang Zhe revealed a face filled with blessed happiness.

He quickly picked up the phone and dialled the number he was most familiar with.

“Hello, how are you?”

“Xue Chang! You are home! How is it, a very long day? You have drunk a lot? Do you have a headache?”

“I’m fine! How are about you?” He loved to hear her speaking those comfortable and caring words.

“I’m also fine!”

“Umm …” He wanted to tell her about the house.

“What’s the matter? You are not speaking! I am not going to speak too!” She pouted prettily.

“Umm … I miss you!” He decided to wait until the house had finished decorating before giving her a pleasant surprise, so he was not going to tell her now.

“Huh …” She also had something to say, but she could not tell at the moment.

“What? Our Shan Mei also has nothing to say?” He deliberately teased her.

“Xue Chang!”

“OK, I’ll stop teasing …” He could imagine how adorable she looked.

“Tomorrow is my rotation morning off, so you don’t have to come over tomorrow morning! I have left some breakfast in your fridge.”

“Really? I rather go to pick you up … When did you come over?”

“Secret!”

“OK, I won’t ask further …” He was already beaming with smiles.

“Xue Chang, you should go to bed early and sleep late in the morning …” She was worried about his health.

“OK … Let’s say goodnight …” He reluctantly hang up.

“Goodnight, Xue Chang.”

The next morning, after Shan Mei saw her father off to work, she opened up their mail box.

“Oh, terrific! … Mama, there is a letter from Ying Mei!” Shan Mei took the letter and happily went into the house.

Shan Mei read the letter to Chen Su and Chen Su was happy and feeling sad at the same time.

“Mama, I want to visit You Zhen Ge later … I promise Ying Ying to read the letter to You Zhen Ge …”

“Well … then you better go!” Chen Su was hesitating whether to let Shan Mei go and her eyes were brimming with tears.

“Ma, don’t be sad … I know you went to see You Zhen Ge the morning before yesterday …” Shan Mei considerately patted Chen Su on her back.

“I’m fine … When you are there, please tell him that I send my greetings and also tell him that I am really happy for Ying Mei …” Chen Su still could not control her tears.

“I know! Oh, please tell Papa for me … I may go directly to work in the afternoon!”

“OK, be careful on the road and don’t work too hard! And remember to eat a good lunch …” Chen Su urged.

“I know! I certainly will remember every word!” Shan Mei obediently nodded.

“Oh you!”

…………….

“Mama, I am leaving …” Shan Mei tidied up everything and bade Chen Su goodbye.

“Remember to be careful on the road!”

…………………

She left home and took the bus to see You Zhen.

Once she got off the bus, she went to the florist shop on the corner. This was the florist shop the whole family frequently came to shop and all the flowers they bought for You Zhen were taken from there.

“Hello!”

“Hello! You want the same flowers as last time?” The salesperson courteously greeted Shan Mei.

“Yes! The same carnations and in white colour please …”

“OK, I will wrap them up for you immediately …”

When Shan Mei was looking over the florist shop, someone tapped her from behind.

“Y?”

“It’s me. What a coincide to meet you here!” David looked at Shan Mei with pleasant surprise.

“David?”

“You are buying flowers? White carnations?” David pointed to the bunch of white carnations in Shan Mei’s hands.

“Yes!” Shan Mei paid for the flowers.

“I am just taking a look. Let’s leave together … let me help you carry the flowers.”

“Thank you!” Shan Mei and David walked out of the florist shop together.

“Can I request the pleasure of your company for a cup of coffee? Do you have time?” David smiled.

“Good! But I can only afford time for one cup of coffee. I have an errand to run.”

“No problem! Let’s go!”

………………………

They picked a table by the window and put the flowers on an empty chair.

“Do you still ask for Bluemountain black coffee? No sugar and no cream?”

“You can still remember? But now I am drinking it with cream! Miss, can I have a glass of “Black and White Ice Coffee”? Thank you!” Shan Mei sweetly smiled.

“You no longer drink black coffee?”

“Yes! It’s just right to drink sweet and cold coffee in this season!”

“It seems you now have a different state of mind!” David looked at the Shan Mei’s sweet smile.

“Umm …” Shan Mei nodded and shyly smiled.

At the same moment, the waiter was serving their coffees and to avoid colliding with a child, the tray in his hand accidentally slipped down on Shan Mei’s table. The coffee was splashed all over the table and some of it dropped on Shan Mei’s handbag.

“I’m so sorry! I beg your pardon!” The waiter repeatedly apologized and hurriedly cleaned the table.

“It doesn’t matter.” David was also busily helping Shan Mei to clean up.

“My letter!” Shan Mei hurriedly opened her bag, took out the letter and anxiously inspected it.

“It’s lucky it’s not soaked!” Shan Mei sighed with relief.

“Whose letter is it from? Why are you so anxious?” David looked at Shan Mei’s extremely careful look and asked curiously.

“It’s from my best friend Ying Mei who is studying abroad …” Shan Mei flapped the envelope.

“Xu Ying Mei? She … is she really your best friend?” David asked exploringly.

“What?” Shan Mei looked at David uncomprehendingly.

“She has hurt you, hasn’t she?”

“Erh …” Shan Mei looked at David with astonishment, and was speechless.

“It is not difficult to know the story. When I asked some agent to investigate about Yin Xiang Zhe, they gave me all the related materials. You and Xu Ying Mei are rivals, she even had set you up …” David explained everything he knew. When he read from the materials that Shan Mei was suspended from work as a result of the “cell phone incident”, he could guess the truth. Because it was not too difficult to imagine.

Hearing David’s words, Shan Mei lowered her head, gently stroke the letter and was in deep thoughts. Finally her face revealed a small smile. There were a lot of things she should have told David before.

“David, are you interested to listen to the story of my life?” Shan Mei raised her head.

“Certainly …” David nodded. This was what he was concerned and curious to know.

“OK, but you have to accompany me to a place first!”

………………….

Shan Mei took David to You Zhen’s grave and she gently put the flowers before You Zhen’s tombstone.

“You Zhen Ge, I and Ying Mei are here to see you! How are you recently? We are all missing you. I’m sorry that I haven’t come to see you for a long time … Mama and Papa are in good health. You don’t have to worry!” Shan Mei tried her best to calm down her state of mind and tried to control her tears.

“This is my friend I met in the States. He and Belle take good care of me …” Shan Mei introduced David to You Zhen.

“Hello! I heard Shan Mei talked about you.” David looked at You Zhen’s picture, so this was the big brother Shan Mei grew up with.

“You Zhen Ge, I received a letter from Ying Mei yesterday and I am reading it to you now …” Shan Mei opened the letter and slowly read.

“You Zhen Ge, Shan Me, Auntie and Uncle, how are you all? … Recently I have to follow a very tight study schedule, but luckily I’m doing very well … I am leading a good life here. You Zhen Ge, shall I tell you? Yesterday …… I am really fine and also very happy … I will send my blessings from afar …. Ying Mei.”

Shan Mei finished reading the letter, put it back and raised her hand to rub away the tears at the corner of her eyes.

“You Zhen Ge, you can really cease to worry now! Ying Mei is very good, really very good … I’ll come to visit you next time!” Shan Mei deeply bowed to You Zhen’s tombstone.

“Let’s go, David.”

“OK! Goodbye!” David also bowed to You Zhen’s grave.

Shan Mei and David left the graveyard together. On the way, she told about her childhood and her growing up, about the love between You Zhen and Ying Mei and also how Xue Chang’s guardianship and care to her and their love …

…………………….

It was now midday, so Shan Mei invited David to a famous Korean restaurant.

David listened attentively all the way and now he realized that the story was complicated and in a way simple. After Shan Mei finished narrating, he could not help giving a sigh, expressing sorrow for You Zhen’s demise, also exclamation for Ying Mei’s repentance and all the more admiration for Shan Mei’s resilience!

What astonished him most was Yin Xiang Zhe’s depth of love which he could not get to know from reading the materials provided by his agent. What he also found incredible was Shan Mei and Yin Xiang Zhe’s journey could unexpectedly be so rough and bumpy ….

“Thank you for listening to my babblings!” Shan Mei sniffed and wiped dried the last tear.

“Shan Mei, I’m sorry and wish you won’t mind what I have said before …”

“David …”

“I send you two my blessings!” David looked at Shan Mei with sincerity.

“David, I understand your intention! We are still good friends!”

“We are lifetime good friends!”

“Huh!” Shan Mei smilingly nodded.

David looked at Shan Mei’s bow-like eyebrows and eyes liked crescent moon together with her sweet smile and could not help but felt regretful.

What enabled Shan Mei to own such happy and bright smile even after experienced so much hardship and grief? Was it because of optimism? Was optimism made Shan Mei so strong and persevering! Or was it because Shan Mei was born with a happy and kind heart? Her unadulterated and generous heart was the source of that happiness!

“You have to introduce me to your “Xue Chang” some day!”

“When we are available one day, I certainly will introduce you to Xue Chang!”

At the same moment, Shan Mei’s cell phone was ringing.

“Excuse me …” Shan Mei flipped open her cell phone.

“It’s OK, go ahead …”

“It’s me, can you recognise my voice?”

“Xue Chang …”

David looked at Shan Mei’s happy face and already guessed who the caller was.

“I just called you at home and Auntie told me that you went out early this morning … How are you? Did you have lunch?” His voice was filled with indulgence.

“I’m having lunch with a friend who came from afar. We are at the restaurant we often go.”

“A friend from afar?”

“Yes, a friend I met in the States. He is Belle’s cousin … I will introduce you to him one day …” Shan Mei glanced at David, gently smiled.

“Good, then you have to entertain him well!”

“I know, that’s why I took him to this restaurant! … Xue Chang, how about you? Is this a break from your working lunch?”

“You guess right!” He light-heartedly laughed.

“It’s not guessing. I know you are always like this!”

“Hmm …” He smiled helplessly, but he felt very blessed.

“You are still laughing? Do you have any appointment tonight?”

“Miss Zhen Shan Mei wants to date me?”

“Xue Chang! If you continue to behave this way … I will …” Shan Mei’s face was bright red with embarrassment.

“OK … I won’t tease you anymore! I’m available this evening and let’s meet! Haven’t seen you for a whole day, I miss you so much …”

“I will meet you at the usual place this evening!”

“Good. I’ll wait until we meet.”

“I’m going to hang up …” Shan Mei hung up. She raised her head and found David staring at her smiling. “David, why are you looking at me this way?” She asked in embarrassment.

“I’m so envious!”

“What?”

“Happiness is written all over your face! Anyone looking at you will be envious of you!”

“David!”

“Shan Mei, you are really very pretty! More beautiful than before!” David said earnestly.

“Thank you!” Shan Mei lowered her head and smiled.

After some thinking, Shan Mei raised her head and looked at David seriously.

“It’s the expression in Xue Chang’s eyes which makes me beautiful!”

Hearing Shan Mei’s words, David’s smile froze, but immediately thereafter smiled again. This “Xue Chang” was really very charismatic! However, he believed her words!

Shan Mei also smiled. Her smile was really very sweet and very beautiful …

 

CHAPTER 34 – THE TWO OF THEM PROPPED UP AN UMBRELLA, SNUGGLED TO EACH OTHER AND WALKED INTO THE RAIN

Author: Ming Wei Xue

Translated with author’s consent by: nho (CA)

 

After finishing a day’s work, Xiang Zhe finally could have dinner with Shan Mei.

When the two of them were together, time always flied. Now it was already 10:30 p.m. and Xiang Zhe was taking Shan Mei home and the two of them were reluctant to part company.

“Let’s make it on next Monday night … I’ll let David know.”

“OK … Go to bed early and don’t tire yourself …”

“I know … Goodnight Xue Chang …”

“Goodnight …”

Xiang Zhe went home carrying with him the happy smile and longings. When he had just arrived home, the door bell rang.

Who would it be at this hour?

“Xian Da and Yong Xi? It’s you. Come in and take a seat!” Standing at the door were Xian Da and Yong Xi and Xian Da was carrying a box. Xiang Zhe hurriedly invited them to come in.

“We are making this special journey to deliver this …” Xian Da and Yong Xi came in and Xian Da put down the box.

“It is …”

“It’s what Shan Mei entrusted to us and now we are returning it to the original owner!” Xian Da explained.

“We came here earlier but you were not in, so we have to carry it with us to the concert and now we can give it to you at last … You can check the contents later!” Yong Xi smilingly said.

“They are all your stuff! I guarantee that Yong Xi and I have never opened it up and peeked into it! Everything is in perfect condition!”

“Yes, although we are very curious. We have put it in a good place! … A couple of days ago when we were tidying the room for the baby … We think now is time to return this to you …”

“Shan Mei entrusted this to you?” What was it?

“OK, you can look into it later … We have to go!” Xian Da and Yong Xi was in a hurry to leave.

“What’s hurry? Do you want something to drink?”

“No, Yong Xi needs her rest … We better go …” Yong Xi had already started her leave, but Xian Da seemed to pamper her more.

“That’s OK, until next time!” Xiang Zhe saw them off and closed the door.

……………….

“What exactly is inside?” Xiang Zhe crossed his arms and sized up the box.

He stretched out his hands to tear off the sealed tape from the box and opened the box by force.

What exactly was inside the box?

The first thing he took out was a deep blue velvet rectangular box and inside was an “Omega” watch. Xiang Zhe picked up the watch and adjusted the time and then put it on his left wrist. There was a letter inside the box. Xiang Zhe took out the letter and read. It was letter from Tokyo which stated that they were returning Yin Xiang Zhe’s belongings that were left in Tokyo when the accident occurred, including this watch.

Xiang Zhe’s eyes reddened. He put down the letter and stretched out his hand to pick up another box. Inside unexpectedly was a thick pile of letters. They were the letters written to him by Shan Mei after they parted company in London, including some of the emails printed by him. Xiang Zhe read over each of them and it seemed as though he returned to that period of time which was filled with longings.

After reading the last letter, Xiang Zhe picked up the thermo cup. This was the cup Shan Mei used to hold the congee when she delivered the breakfast to him on his birthday. He told her that he would look at the same cup when he was having congee and it would make the congee more tasty, therefore he kept it. So Shan Mei had saved it for him.

Then Xiang Zhe picked up a roll of drawing and he gently rolled it out. It was a large picture, the picture of Xiang Zhe and Shan Mei kissing each other in the cross section when Xiang Zhe proposed to Shan Mei that night! Xiang Zhe tenderly caressed Shan Mei’s face on the picture and could not help sniffing and tried to calm his state of mind.

Putting down the roll, Xiang Zhe picked up a large handicraft bag and untied the bow knot. Inside was a set of blue woollen sweater, hat, scarf and gloves! They were knitted by Shan Mei for him!

Xiang Zhe closed his eyes and embraced the bag, for a long long time …

Everything was taken out from the box and there was a letter lying on the bottom. It was a light blue envelope: on it was drawn the back of a girl wearing a straw hat and she was facing the endless sea and looking outward to afar …

Xiang Zhe gently opened the envelope; it was a very short letter and it was in Shan Mei’s handwriting.

“Dearest Xue Chang, there are still two days before you can be discharged from the hospital. I will store up everything for the time being and entrust them to Uncle Xian Da and Yong Xi Senior. I only hope you can restore to your health soon … I will wait for you to come back! – Shan Mei!”

The tears which were lingering at the corner of Xiang Zhe’s eyes were finally falling down unheeded. He involuntarily sat down and he was gripping that letter tightly in his hand.

“Shan Mei …” He could understand how Shan Mei felt when she made such a decision during that time.

When Xiang Zhe gradually calmed his state of mind, he finally dialled Shan Mei’s number.

“Hello …” At the other end of the line was Shan Mei’s soft and lethargic voice. She had already gone to sleep.

“Hello, who is speaking?” …” Hearing that no one was answering, Shan Mei rubbed her eyes to wake herself, “Xue Chang, is that you?”

“Huh … It’s me … Have you gone to sleep?” Xiang Zhe finally responded. His voice sounded wobbly as he could not calm his state of mind further.

“Xue Chang?”

“Huh … I only want to give you a call …” He explained.

“Xue Chang, what happens to you?” Shan Mei forced her eyes open with worry.

“I’m fine … Maybe I miss you too much …” He tried hard to calm himself down but he got more agitated when he heard Shan Mei’s voice.

“… Xue Chang, I miss you too … What actually has happened? Please tell me quickly!” She anxiously asked.

“You don’t have to worry.” He could hear the anxiety in her voice and he tried to comfort her, deciding to tell her the truth. “Xian Da and Yong Xi came to my place just now and bought to me a box … I opened it … I’m wearing that watch …” His voice no longer tried to hide his feeling.

“… Xue Chang, are you blaming me?” Her voice was very thin.

“Shan Mei …”

“I shouldn’t have moved your things … but … but …” He could hear that she was about to cry.

“Shan Mei, I do not blame you … I know you didn’t want to let me worry, am I correct?”

“Everything is now in the past … Xue Chang … Please don’t feel guilty anymore …”

“Then you are not to cry …” He tenderly coaxed her.

“I am not …” She did not want to admit and hurriedly rubbed dried her tears.

“OK … You are not if you say so … Huh … you forgot to pack one thing …”

“Huh?”

“The lovely Peter the Rabbit … All the time it is sitting on my desk in my office … I think it will tell me how you feel …”

“Xue Chang, I know your heart has never left me …”

“Thank you, Shan Mei …”

………………….

On Monday night, Xiang Zhe and David finally met each other. Shan Mei asked Belle and Tai Xi to accompany them.

“I have never thought you can speak fluent French? Tai Xi and I can speak English and Korean together … Now I can say something they can’t understand …”

“Really? French is your mother tongue?”

“That’s right! I am Anglo-French and my mother is French … I never thought you would guess accurately so soon …”

“That is why you always stay in Paris …” Shan Mei suddenly realized. If Xue Chang did not mention it, she might never know that David was mix-blooded.

Xiang Zhe smilingly looked at Shan Mei. He knew she never cared what her friends’ background was.

“I have never mentioned it to Shan Mei …”

“Actually you speak Korean pretty well …” Xiang Zhe watched the recent TV interview. David was indeed a famous car racer.

“I was learning Korean in order to pursue Shan Mei!” David looked at Xiang Zhe with his face wearing a happy expression.

“David!” Both Belle and Tai Xi exclaimed. Before the meeting, David told them he would send his blessings to Shan Mei, but now …

Shan Mei was so nervous that she gaped open her mouth. This David was deliberately trying to goad Xue Chang.

Everyone was waiting for Xiang Zhe’s response.

Actually Xiang Zhe had already heard from Xian Da about David sending Shan Mei flowers. Although he was feeling perplexed, he trusted Shan Mei. Later Shan Mei suggested introducing David to him, he already came prepared. Now when he met David, he felt that David’s smile looked very much like You Zhen, it was very warm. The difference between him and You Zhen was that David was more cynical. Although he had read the fondness from the solicitude he saw in David’s eyes. However, hearing the words straight from David’s mouth, Xiang Zhe was shocked.

Xiang Zhe looked at Shan Mei sitting by his side. Shan Mei would certainly be anxious as well as angry and also very nervous.

Under the table, Xiang Zhe gently grasped Shan Mei’s hand. Ten fingers entwined tightly together and her face was red with embarrassment and looked very beautiful and graceful. Xiang Zhe lowered his head and smiled.

“Can you tell me how you are feeling now?” David was pressing hard for a response.

“All the time what I am most worried is not just me who can recognize Shan Mei’s “special quality” … now when I hear your statement, although I really don’t feel too good, I still feel happy, because not only me can recognize Shan Mei’s inner beauty …” Xiang Zhe raised his head and looked directly at David, clearly spoke out his own feeling “I love Shan Mei … I won’t let go …”

“Then all I can do …” David deliberately and solemnly paused, then revealed a big big smile, “I send you my blessing!”

“David …” Bell and Tai Xi were all the more astonished.

“Thank you David …” This time it was Shan Mei’s turn to smile, her face dimpled like flowers.

“Thank you for your blessings … I will treasure and guard Shan Mei well and use my lifetime to love her …”

“I think I don’t even have a small chance … but I will now love Shan Mei as my sister and care for her as a friend … I hope you won’t be jealous …”

I know your concerns for Shan Mei. I think we can be friends …”

“Friend?” David looked at Xiang Zhe with astonishment, but soon after smile appeared in his face, “I think we are already friends …” He could read the sincerity in Yin Xiang Zhe. This was a Yin Xiang Zhe entirely different from the Yin Xiang Zhe he read from the materials! It was Shan Mei, only Shan Mei could make this unfathomable man have this candid and open smile.

“Belle, I am going to Cheji in a few days’ time and may not be seeing you for a while …” David changed the topic. He had really given up and had peace of mind.

“You are going to Cheji?” Belle asked.

“Yes! I’m going there to work.”

“Racing? Shan Mei caught on.

“No, it is to shoot a commercial film! I have mentioned it to you last week …”

“Oh, I forget again … Sorry …” Shan Mei was a little bit embarrassed.

“That is the reason why we are such good friends … Only you don’t treat me as a celebrity, you only look upon me as an ordinary car racer … We are forever good friends!” David looked at Xiang Zhe and smiled at Shan Mei.

“How long will you be gone?”

“Around ten days or so … Don’t worry, I will be back in time for your wedding … I have to send you a big wedding present!”

“Thank you!” Shan Mei’s face was flushed with beautiful red colour.

“Now let us give you a toast … We are good friends …” Tai Xi raised his glass.

“But if there is future life, I will surely join in the fair competition!” David also raised his glass and jokingly said.

“Future life?” Shan Mei and Xiang Zhe glanced at each other and smiled – They had already pledged for their future lives!

Seeing the tacit understanding in their expression of the envying couple’s eyes, David, Tai Xi and Belle could now cease to worry.

…………………

After dinner, Xiang Zhe took Shan Mei home. On Xiang Zhe’s request, Shan Mei recounted the process of her acquaintanceship with David.

“Xue Chang?” Seeing that Xiang Zhe stayed silent for a long time, Shan Mei could not help asking.

Xiang Zhe still remained silent.

“Xue Chang? Are you listening?” Didn’t he ask her to tell him the story? He just said he would like to get to know more about her friends – because they were his friends too.

“Huh …” He was a little bit jealous, but he could not help it.

“Xue Chang?”

“We have arrived …” They were at Shan Mei’s door and Xiang Zhe stopped the car. He turned his head to look at the adorable Shan Mei.

“Xue Chang?”

“Huh …” Xiang Zhe lowered his head and smiled with embarrassment. He grasped Shan Mei’s hand and pulled into his arms.

“Xue Chang, what’s wrong?” Leaning on Xue Chang’s shoulder, Shan Mei softly asked.

“How I wish we could stay like this forever …” Xue Chang’s voice was filled with deep longing.

“Xue Chang …” Shan Mei sweetly smile. Xue Chang’s bosom was the most blessed place for her. Happiness had not brushed past them.

…………………..

Shan Mei’s application for leave was granted in early August and it would be from August 11 until September 22.

Today was Shan Mei’s last day at work and commencing from tomorrow Shan Mei could take her holiday.

In the evening, when everyone was departing in succession, Shan Mei was still very busy.

The cell phone rang and Shan Mei picked up the phone.

“Hello …”

“It’s me, but I think you thought it’s him!” It was David’s laughter.

“David!”

“I’m only teasing …”

“What is the matter? Are you in Cheju?”

“Yes, the scenery here is very beautiful … Where are you? Are you off work?” David did not know how working for a TV station was like.

“Not yet, I have a lot to finalize.”

“It’s your last day at work? Do you want me to find someone to pick you up? How come it is always raining in Seoul?” Belle must have grumbled to David about raining in Seoul again.

“There is no need! I still have work to do … Now it is rainy season in Seoul. When it rains, the weather won’t be so oppressive. I guess it must be Belle who grumbles to you about the weather.” She explained about the weather condition and enquired thoughtfully, “Oh, don’t you have to work tomorrow? Please go to bed early and don’t go causing people troubles …”

“OK! I know you would refuse my offer. You are the only person who has ever refused me!” David gave a sigh on purpose and pretending to be wronged.

“Really! I think you are doing it again!” He was teasing her too!

“OK! I will stop bothering you and keep you from your work … or else Belle will scold me again …”

“OK, goodnight …”

Finally she could settle down to work. Shan Mei took out the draft and review it once more.

……………………

It was already 9:30 p.m. and Shan Mei finally finished her work.

"It's still raining?" Stepping out of MBS, Shan Mei found that the rain was still pouring heavily and involuntarily gave a sigh. She suddenly missed Xue Chang very much. Had Xue Chang brought his umbrella? It was just when she had no alternative but to crawl under a waterproof, an umbrella was propped up at top of her head.

Who would that be? Shan Mei stopped with astonishment and turned her head to look.

"Xue Chang?" Shan Mei looked at Xiang Zhe with pleasant surprise. "Aren't you going to attend a friends' gathering after the meeting? How come you are here...?”

"I sneaked out!" He cheerfully looked at Shan Mei's happy face.

"Can it be done?" Shan Mei looked at Xue Chang worriedly.

"These kinds of gatherings are numerous and I have lots of opportunity to participate, but the chances to pick up my fiance are not too many ..." He tenderly combed her hair which was ruffled by the wind. She would become his bride very soon.

"Xue Chang!" Hearing the meaning in Xue Chang's words, her face brushed red and to tease him back, a bright idea occurred to her.

"Xue Chang, if you think time is too short, maybe we can postpone the date ... This way you can ..."

"Zhen Shan Mei!" Before she could finish, his eyes instantly stared wide open and Shan Mei on the other hand broke into laughters.

"I am just teasing ..." Shan Mei laughingly pulled at Xiang Zhe's shoulder coaxing.

"Oh you! ..Please don’t make this kind of jokes in future ... I'm getting old and cannot withhold this kind of fright ..." He could not harden his tone of voice when faced with her cajoling.

"Yes sir!" She gave him affirmative smile.

"Let's go! My car was parked at the other side ..." He smilingly wrapped his arms around her,

"I'm sure you haven't eaten your dinner, I have bought you the little dumblings ..."

"Thank you! Xue Chang is the best ..." Her smile was so beautiful and charming.

The two of them were holding one umbrella and snuggled close to each other, walking into the rain ...

 

CHAPTER 35 – I KNOW YOU ARE MISSING ME …

Author: Ming Wei Xue
Translated with author’s consent by: nho (CA)

 

The phone was ringing non-stop and Xiang Zhe searched for his cell phone with closed eyes.

It was already 7:00 a.m.! Was Shan Mei waiting impatiently? This made Xiang Zhe wide awake. He hurriedly got up to wash and tidied up his room.

When he anxiously put on his jacket, picked up his car keys and opened the door, he could not help breaking into laughter.

He had forgotten that Shan Mei commenced her vacation as from today, so from now on he would not have any excuse to go and pick her up early in the morning. Furthermore last night Shan Mei purposely reset his cell phone alarm to one hour later so as to make him sleep more.

It must be the habit of seeing her early in the morning … Xiang Zhe was deep in thoughts and conveniently closed the door.

“Xue Chang …” It was Shan Mei’s clear and pleasant voice.

“Shan Mei?” Xiang Zhe opened the door with pleasant surprise.

“Good morning, Xue Chang …”

“Come in quickly …” He pulled her inside and looked at her up and down. Today Shan Mei replaced her professional attire with a light green dress and put up her hair on a pony tail. The entire her looked particularly elegant and exquisite.

“I am delivering you breakfast …” She took out the meal box from her bag.

He smiled and the dejection he just felt was replaced in full with sweet happiness.

……………….

“Let me do the cleaning up … You better go to work!” Seeing that Xue Chang was washing up the dishes, Shan Mei hurriedly snatched the task from him.

“I still have lot of time. Just let me do it …” He stubbornly did not want her to exert herself.

“Xue Chang …”

“Be a good girl, let me do it …” He patted her on her adorable cheek and smiled.

“OK then …” Xue Chang was really pampering her and was reluctant to let her do the laborious task.

Time flied and Xiang Zhe had to go to work.

“I am reluctant to leave you …” He tenderly looked at Shan Mei, “Luckily we will be getting married immediately …”

“Xue Chang, go to work quickly …” Shan Mei’s face was brushed red, “Be careful on the road, don’t work too hard and remember to take breaks …” Shan Mei saw him to the door.

“OK … You too also have to take a good rest and don’t go wandering around if you are tired …” He knew today she began making arrangements for their wedding.

“Yes sir …” She laughingly pushed him out of the door.

“Today is very hot and don’t go walking under the sun for too long …” He did not forget to repeatedly reminding her.

“OK, I’ll be a good girl!” She gave him a smile of assurance and he brought happiness with him to work.

…………………

At 10:00 a.m., Shan Mei came to the coffee shop where she arranged to meet with Yong Xi.

“I’m sorry to keep you waiting, Senior …”

“It doesn’t matter, I am just early … I have nothing to do at home, so I just came out early.” Yong Xi smilingly looked at Shan Mei. She seldom met with Shan Mei in private. The Shan Mei she saw now was different from the one in her impression: Shan Mei who was not wearing professional attire was beautiful and charming and the Shan Mei who was wearing the light green dress with a pony tail was attractive and artless. Yong Xi could not help but praised Xiang Zhe for his excellent judgement.

"Senior, you still have not ordered your drink? What would you like to order?" Shan Mei was a little embarrassed by Yong Xi's scrutiny.

"A cup of tea would be fine ..." Yong Xi smiled; Shan Mei was too shy and easily get embarrassed.

"I'll have a glass of black and white ice coffee ..." The waiter delivered their drinks soon after Shan Mei placed their order.

"Senior, have you gone to pre-natal classes? I heard that you can learn a lot from those lessons and it will be beneficial to the baby ..."

"Yes, I have enrolled myself to one of them and am attending the class every morning ... but I have to spend the rest of the day on my own, therefore when you ask me out ... I'm really very glad." Yong Xi had been feeling easily annoyed and impatient lately as she was not really used to being idle all of a sudden and had to pay attention and be careful in her activities.

"Senior has the baby to keep you company! You can talk to him ..." Shan Mei comforted Yong Xi.

"Yes, I'm lucky to have him ..." Yong Xi could not help but smiled. "Aye, actually what worries me most is that I will become ugly and my body will get out of shape ..." Yong Xi touched her own face.

"No, you haven't. Senior still looks as pretty as before ... Aren't pregnant women the most beautiful?" Shan Mei looked at Yong Xi and she was speaking the truth. Although Yong Xi Senior was now big with the baby, she still looked dignified and beautiful.

"Thank you ..."

"It's me who should thank Senior!"

"Don't mention it. In any case I have lot of time to kill. If there is anything I can be of help, I will surely do it ... Actually, it's you who is keeping me company ..."
.........................

Yong Xi accompanied Shan Mei to the wedding planning centre which specialized in providing pre-wedding services to the bride to be.

"The facilities and services here are the best ... I engaged their services in helping me preparing my wedding ..." Yong Xi was reminiscent when she revisited this place.

"Xue Chang has already made arrangement for me. He doesn't want it to be too hard for me."

"Aye, this is the Xiang Zhe I can’t hardly recognize ..." Yong Xi could not help but smiled, "However, there are a lot of things men won't understand ... Let's go in and I will introduce you to the best ..."

Hearing Yong Xi's words, Shan Mei lowered her head and smiled.
..........................

"You've got very good skin! I never thought that someone who works under the mercury lamp would still have such good skin!" The beautician did a skin test for Shan Mei and under the silver lamp light, Shan Mei's skin was smooth, clean and delicate, "It's really very delicate, as soft as a baby's skin ..." The beautician gave sigh of admiration.

"Even better than mine?" Yong Xi smilingly asked.

"Senior ..." Shan Mei's face was flushed red.

“How is it? Shouldn’t you already have a treatment program?” Yong Xi did not tease again and asked seriously.

“No problem, Miss Zhen Shan Mei’s skin is very good and during this period of time, as long as she keeps it in good care and maintenance and plus enough rest, her skin should be more tender and whiter …”

“Don’t make your guarantee too hastily … Has Shan Mei’s bridal makeup and physical fitness been entrusted to you too? She will get married in about one month’s time and by that time everyone will be focusing their eyes on her … So, I urge you to do your best.”

“Please don’t worry …” The beautician turned to look at Shan Mei again and smilingly said, “Miss Zhen Shan Mei will certainly be the most beautiful bride …”

“Thank you …”

………………………

During the midday break, Yong Xi took Shan Mei home, but the lunch was prepared by Shan Mei.

“Senior, how is it?” Shan Mei looked at Yong Xi expectantly.

“Umm … It tastes pretty good …” Yong Xi smilingly nodded with approval, “It is authentic cuisine …”

“Really?”

“Really! I never thought you have such good cooking skill …”

“Actually I could only cook passably before … Don’t you know, Xue Chang’s cooking skill is exceptionally good. He can even make a very good fruit platter! So I am now learning diligently to improve my skill!” Shan Mei’s eyes were filled with the brilliance of happiness.

“That means you are learning for him?” Yong Xi smiled as she hit the nail on the head.

“Huh!” Shan Mei nodded with a smile. Although she was embarrassed, she still gave an honest answer.

“He is really very lucky to marry you!” Yong Xi looked at Shan Mei as if she suddenly understood; she recalled Xue Chang’s public statement the other day on the TV: “Shouldn’t the person who is able to marry the Goddess of Fortune the luckiest one? … Maybe even luckier than the Goddess of Fortune!” Perhaps Xiang Zhe was not only just lucky, he was also blessed! Perhaps she too should learn to cook well …

“Actually … I am really very lucky!” After some thoughts, Shan Mei revealed with a smile of satisfaction.

“I will always send you my blessings …” Yong Xi said from the bottom of her heart.

“Thank you Senior. Xue Chang and I would also send you our blessings …”

“However, to prepare for your wedding is very hard work and the following days will not
be more relaxed than going to work …”

“It doesn’t matter. I have drawn up a plan: I will go for my workout every morning, … There is a lot of time in the afternoon. Actually Xue Chang has already made a lot of arrangements and all I have to do is to approve and confirm! So it won’t be too hard for me …”

“Then you will take care of your health …”

“I know … Thank you Senior!”

…………………

The twilight lights were glittering in the midst of the heavy traffic.

Shan Mei should not be standing here at this hour. She really should not be so foolish to stand here waiting. As she did not need to go to work today, he naturally would not come to pick her up here.

They only met briefly in the morning and did not even call each other on the phone. Thinking of this, Shan Mei could not help flip open her cell phone, but she closed it again – Was he very busy today? She went to the Wen Rong Building just now and the security guard there told her that the Chairman still had not left! However … however she really missed him … She better called him to ask after him but not to tell him that she was waiting for him …

When Shan Mei was still hesitating, she raised her head and found a familiar shadow standing in front of her and looked at her with indulgence.

“Xue Chang! How come it’s you?” Shan Mei’s voice was full of pleasant surprise, “How do you know I am here?” Shan Mei’s face dimpled like flower.

“Because … huh … I know you want to see me … So I immediately came down from upstairs!” Xiang Zhe smiled with indulgence. He knew her brilliant smile was directed at him only!

“Of course not! I just passed by!” Shan Mei flushed red and denied his speculation, “Perhaps you saw me when you were just passing by too …”

“Huh … I thought you received my telepathy …” Looking at her look of denial, Xiang Zhe pretended to look serious, “So you don’t want to see after all.” He wore a disappointed look.

“I don’t mean that …” Shan Mei hastily explained, but before she finished speaking, Xue Chang’s face revealed a self-satisfied smile, “Xue Chang!”

“OK, let’s go … Come to my office first,” Xiang Zhe laughed and pulled Shan Mei’s hand and left, “then we will go to have Japanese food afterwards …” It felt so good to hold her hand.

“Xue Chang …” Before Shan Mei could respond, she obediently let Xiang Zhe pull her into the Wen Rong Building.

It was Shan Mei's first time to visit Xiang Zhe's office. She took a look at the room which was bright and spacious and was well equipped with nothing missing. So this was the chairman's office.

When Shan Mei's eyes fell on Xiang Zhe's desk, she could not help smiling. Wasn't it Peter the Rabbit she gave to Xue Chang? Shan Mei walked over and picked up Peter the Rabbit and gently patted it on its head, "So this is where you are!"

"How is it? What do you think of my office?" Xiang Zhe carried with him a cup of coffee and a glass of fruit juice, "Come, take this."

"It's pretty good." Shan Mei hurriedly put down Peter the Rabbit and took the juice from Xiang Zhe.

“Ice cold apple juice, do you like it?” He knew what was in her mind and did not ask any question. Actually he paid attention to her each and every move just a moment ago.

“It tastes so good …” She smiled, but she remembered that he had still work to do, “Xue Chang, you better get back to work! I can wait outside.”

“There is no need, you better sit on this sofa and it will only take me a few moment to finish my work …” He made her sit down and fetched some magazines for her, “If you are bored, you can read these.”

“OK, please do not pay me any attention … Go back to work quickly!” She urged him.

“OK, I’ll get back to work … I won’t be too long.” Xiang Zhe went back to his desk and resumed work again. Shan Mei sat on the sofa drinking the apple juice and reading the magazines.

Perhaps it was Shan Mei’s company, he did everything smoothly.

Finally finishing his work, Xiang Zhe gently sighed and raised his head to look at Shan Mei. She was in deep concentration reading a financial magazine. Watching her frowning one moment and sighing the next, Xiang Zhe could not help but laughed. Why did she have to read this magazine and not the others? On the other hand, it was a good angle to watch her from where he was sitting, a perfect curve.

“Shan Mei …” He smilingly went to sit down beside her.

“Xue Chang? You have finished your work?” She put down the magazine and happily smiled.

“Huh! … Why don’t you read the other magazines?”

“I want to learn more … Anyway I have nothing to do …”

“Securities? Investment?” Xiang Zhe picked up the magazine.

“Huh! It is really very hard to understand! It’s so boring!” Shan Mei helplessly sighed.

“Shan Mei …” He already understood her intention. She had never interested in this subject and even repelled against it. Now she … she did it for him!

“Shan Mei, if it troubles you so much, then don’t delve into it.” There were heartaches and love in his eyes.

“Xue Chang, you don’t have to worry about me. I won’t force myself. I just want to learn a few phrases in order to understand what I am reading when I read the financial news in future!” She suddenly realized that he was worried about her, so she gave him a sweet smile.

Her beautiful smile cleared his mind. She was always so thoughtful to others.

“Shan Mei, give me a moment. I have something for you …” He stood up and after some thinking, decided to give something to her now.

“Xue Chang? What is it?” Shan Mei followed Xue Chang and stood up, watching him take something from his drawer.

He turned to look at Shan Mei and put his hands at his back to hide the thing.

“What is it? Why the secrecy?”

“Originally I want to give it to you the day after tomorrow when you go for your wedding gown fitting … but I can’t wait but to give it to you now …” Xiang Zhe nervously brought out the box from behind.

“Xue Chang, this is …” Shan Mei looked at Xiang Zhe.

“Mother left this to us … Now I will entrust it to your care …” Xiang Zhe opened the jewel box and took out a crystal necklace from inside. The crystal heart glittered in the lustrous platinum gold. The necklace was chained to a crystal heart which was also made of platinum gold and on top of it was engraved “Love” which was composed of tiny diamonds.

“So beautiful …” She raised her head to look at him.

“You have been wearing our ring on a crystal necklace … Now I have melted my mother’s ring and re-molded it into the crystal and this “heart” is my heart … Although my mother did not have a happy marriage, I think my mother would send us her blessings and I will always be guarding you …”

“Xue Chang …” Looking at the necklace Xue Chang gave her, Shan Mei’s eyes reddened, “I will take good care of it …”

“Come, let me put it on for you.” Xiang Zhe walked to Shan Mei’s behind, gently lifted up her hair and tenderly put on the necklace for her.

Shan Mei gently touched the “heart”, her heart was filled with gratefulness and blessed happiness. She turned around, her clear eyes shone with glittering brilliance and her tender lips wearing a sweet sweet smile.

“Xue Chang, thank you …”

“Shan Mei, I love you …” His smile contained indulgence and happiness.

“I love you too …” She responded with embarrassment.

Hearing Shan Mei’s words, Xiang Zhe stepped forward to embrace her into his arm in a grip of passion.

………………..

Today was the day when Shan Mei had her wedding gown fitting and having her wedding photos taken, a very special day.

The designer had prepared three wedding gowns for Shan Mei, one for the wedding ceremony, one for the reception and one specially for the outdoor wedding shots. Relatively, Xiang Zhe also had three different formal suits for different occasions.

After Xiang Zhe and the designer greeted each other, the female attendant asked Shan Mei to try on her wedding gown.

“Go in, I will wait for you outside …”

“Xue Chang …” Maybe Shan Mei had been waiting for this day for too long, she was a little nervous. She was now about to try on the wedding gown she was going to wear for the wedding ceremony, she did not know whether it would be her dream gown?

“Don’t worry …” She could read the assurance from his eyes.

“OK …” Her voice was filled with enticing sweetness.

After Shan Mei followed the female attendant inside, the other attendant came over to invite Xiang Zhe to try on his suits.

“Mr. Yin, please come this way.”

It was not certain whether men always dressed up faster than women?

Xiang Zhe was now dressed up and ready. He was wearing a white tuxedo and looked handsome and elegant like Prince Charming from the fairytale.

He walked into the parlour and waited expectantly for his bride. The two female attendants standing on one side were stunned speechless: This bridegroom to be was so gorgeous!

“Xiang Zhe, how is it?” The designer looked at Xiang Zhe up and down with satisfaction. He was the designer for the couple’s wedding dresses. Indeed he had made several trips between Seoul and Paris for this occasion.

“Thank you … It must be hard work for you.” This was the style he loved, so he was naturally satisfied with it. However he was not sure whether Shan Mei like her wedding gown?

“Don’t mention it! However … I never thought you will get married! It is so surprising!” The designer was a schoolmate Xiang Zhe met in Cambridge and during that period of time he was aware that his fellow countryman and school mate avoided love like a plague.

Hearing his friend’s words, Xiang Zhe smiled with a little embarrassment. It was true that he too had never thought that there would be today as he was determined to stay single. However with Shan Mei, his sunshine appeared and changed everything. She let him know what love was, and also let him taste that happiness.

“On the other hand, you have good taste. The bride is really very pretty! This wedding gown suits her perfectly …”

While the two of them were talking, the door to the parlour was opened and Shan Mei walked out wearing the wedding gown. Everyone’s eyes were focussed on her.

Shan Mei’s wedding gown was modern revived medieval style with high-banded waist and a sweeping train. It was a perfect blending of modern and classical style.

Shan Mei raised her head, wearing a soft smile on her lips. At this moment, she looked like a holy and chaste angel, innocent and beautiful, elegant and gentle!

Xiang Zhe besottedly gazed at Shan Mei and his heart was overflowed with happiness and sweetness. Shan Mei was so embarrassed by everybody’s staring that all she could do was to lower her head and softly smile.

Looking at Shan Mei’s shy and sweet smile, Xiang Zhe realized that she was feeling shy and embarrassed, so he hurriedly went forward, took her hand and leaned forward to whisper in her ear.

“You’re so beautiful …”

Shan Mei raised her head and looked at Xue Chang, her face breaking out in a more beautiful smile.

Xiang Zhe gently pulled her into his arms, paying no heed to the bystanders’ watchful eyes. Luckily everyone tactfully retreated temporary and leaving the loving couples to enjoy this beautiful moment together.

 

CHAPTER 36 – BECAUSE OF YOU, BECAUSE YOU ARE ZHEN SHAN MEI … THEREFORE THERE IS HAPPINESS

Author: Ming Wei Xue
Translated with author’s consent by: nho (CA)

 

Tonight it was especially boisterous in the Zhen family home. Zhen Gui Xian made a special trip to Seoul from London to attend Shan Mei’s wedding. At this moment, everyone was looking at Shan Mei and Xiang Zhe wedding photos which Shan Mei had just picked up this afternoon.

“Shan Mei in wedding gown is very beautiful … You and Xiang Zhe are really a perfect pair!”

“This one is very beautiful too …” Gui Cheng pointed to another photo, with tears in his eyes – his little girl was finally going to get married.

“Pa …” How could Shan Mei not understand what her father was feeling?

“I’m OK!” Gui Cheng hurriedly brushed away the tears from the corners of his eyes, “Let’s look at the photos!”

“Oh you! How can you cry when your daughter is getting married!” Chen Su nudged Gui Cheng. Actually she too was unwilling to let Shan Mei go, but if Gui Cheng cried, it would make Shan Mei cry too.

“Right, brother! You have to be strong! Shan Mei will certainly be happy …”

“Pa …” Shan Mei said with tears in her eyes.

“Oh you two ….” Chen Su and Gui Xian looked at each other and could not help breaking into laughter.

The door bell was ringing.

“Let me go and open the door!” Shan Mei was the first to stand up.

“It should be Xiang Zhe …” Gui Xian smilingly looked at Shan Mei.

“Pa, look at Gu Gu …” Shan Mei appealed coaxingly at her father.

“Open the door quickly and don’t keep Xiang Zhe waiting …” Chen Su patted Shan Mei.

“Yes …” Gui Cheng also nodded in agreement.

Shan Mei shyly smiled, stood up and went to open the door.

It was really Xiang Zhe at the door and Shan Mei smilingly opened the door.

“Xue Chang!”

“Miss me?” Xiang Zhe happily looked at Shan Mei, discovering there were traces of tears in her eyes, “What happens?”

“Nothing … I have looked at the wedding photos with Papa, so …” Shan Mei’s voice wobbled again when she was speaking.

“I’m sorry, Shan Mei …” Xiang Zhe gently patted Shan Mei’s shoulder.

“Xue Chang?” Shan Mei did not understand what Xiang Zhe meant.

“I will take good care of Uncle and Auntie …” He was going to take away the pearl of the Zhen’s family and Gui Cheng’s previous treasure.

“Huh!” Shan Mei smilingly nodded, “Let’s go in. Gu Gu and they must be waiting impatiently …”

“Wait a minute, I have some presents in the car.”

“Presents?”

“Huh … they are for Gu Gu …” Xiang Zhe took out the presents from the car, wrapped his arm around Shan Mei, “Let’s go in …”

………………….

“Gu Gu, how are you?” Xiang Zhe handed over the presents.

“Thank you …”

“Xiang Zhe, come take a seat. We are now looking at your pictures … Come over and take a look!” Chen Su greeted Xiang Zhe.

“Really? OK …” Xiang Zhe stole a look at Shan Mei. Her lovely face was flushed beautifully red.

They were all sitting on the sofa and Chen Su handed over the photos.

“You haven’t looked at them yet?”
“No …” Xiang Zhe enthusiastically took the photos.

Xiang Zhe carefully looked at the photos. Shan Mei in the wedding gown was really very beautiful! He could not help recalling the day they took the pictures … Xiang Zhe’s face revealed a smile of sweet happiness and Shan Mei in the photo was also smiling sweetly and that was his angel who was smiling …

Shan Mei who was sitting next to Xiang Zhe watched the way Xiang Zhe looked at the photos. Initially she looked forward expectantly to seeing how Xue Chang would react when he looked at the photos, but now she was both excited and anxious.

“Oh, I heard that it is a trend to take the wedding photos in the countryside …” Gui Xian curiously wondered why they did not take any outdoor shots and could not help asking.

“Yes, originally we planned to take one session, but as the weather is recently not too good …” Xiang Zhe busily readjusted his line of thinking and answered Gui Xian’s query.

“Yes, not to say we don’t want to make too much trouble …” Shan Mei carried on with the explanation.

“So, you have finished shooting the photos?”

“Not yet, there is still one session to do next week … The main reason is because I am too busy. I’m sorry.” Xiang Zhe explained. It was because his busy schedules that made Shan Mei sacrificed so much of her time.

“Xue Chang, don’t say that …”

“Making arrangement for the wedding should be handled by both of you and you don’t have to feel bad!” Gui Cheng smiling said.

“Yes …” Xiang Zhe gratefully nodded and Shan Mei also smiled.

“Right, how is your house hunting coming up?” This was one of the big task and Gui Xian had not heard Gui Cheng mentioned anything.

“House …” Xiang Zhe looked at Shan Mei and decided to tell and it was actually time to tell, “We have already found the house …”

“Xue Chang, you have found somewhere suitable?” Shan Mei was astonished. She knew Xue Chang was worried about finding a house and never thought that he had found one already.

“Yes, you have found somewhere suitable?” This was also what Gui Cheng was concerned about.

“Yes, the house is now under decoration. Actually I should have told Uncle and Shan Mei. I’m sorry.”

“It doesn’t matter! Where is your house? How is it?”

“I plan to take Shan Mei there this weekend and if it is OK, we will take it.”

“That is wonderful! We’ll wait until you make your decision before we will go and take a look …” Gui Cheng heartily laughed. He finally could cease to worry about this matter.

“OK, don’t talk anymore. It’s time to have dinner …” Chen Su looked at the time.

“OK, let’s go to lay the table …” Shan Mei hurriedly went before Chen Su.

Gui Cheng let Xiang Zhe go first and everyone went into the dining room.

“Come, let have a drink together …” Gui Cheng took out the good wine.

“Yes, let me toast Uncle.” Xiang Zhe took over the wine bottle from Gui Cheng and poured him a glass.

“Good …” Gui Cheng happily quaffed the wine in one gulp and Xiang Zhe also finished his bottoms up.

“Aiyoo, Pa!” Shan Mei hurriedly dissuaded, “Please don’t drink it so fast …”

“Why?” Gui Cheng happily looked at his little girl, but signalled Xiang Zhe to pour the wine.

“Right, drink it slowly!” Chen Su added.

“You too have some wine! Gui Xian too. Let’s all have a drink together! Today is a happy day!”

“Well …” Chen Su was hesitant.

“Right, this is my first meal in Seoul on my return. We have to drink a toast …” Gui Xian was reminiscent.

“OK then!” Shan Mei picked up more glasses, but did not forget to add her bidding to her father , “You can only have one more drink! And don’t drink it too fast …”

“I know, you nag too much …”

“She cares about you …” Chen Su glared at Gui Cheng.

“That is for sure!” Gui Cheng intimately patted Shan Mei’s cheek and laughed. Shan Mei also laughed.

Everyone was laughing at this wonderful pair of father and daughter and Xiang Zhe felt blessed happy as this felt like home.

…………………..

After dinner, Shan Mei and Xiang Zhe strolled in the park situated at the back of the Zhen home.

“It’s so good to stroll here …” He picked up Shan Mei’s hand and sighed with blessed happiness.

“Huh …” She gave him a happy glance.

“Xue Chang, I received a letter from Ying Mei today.”

“A letter from Miss Xu?”

“Yes, that’s Mama and I plan to go to see You Zhen Oppa tomorrow morning and to let him know that Ying Mei is leading a good life.”

“I’m sure Reporter Kim will be very happy to hear that …”

“Yes, now You Zhen Oppa can really cease to worry!” Shan Mei was still feeling sad in her heart.

“Don’t worry!” Xiang Zhe comforted Shan Mei.

“I know …” Shan Mei nodded, “I wish I can see Ying Mei …”

They slowly walked.

“Right, it seems that Gu Gu did not return on her own …” Xiang Zhe skilfully changed the topic.

“Yes, Gu Gu came back with her knight in shining armour …”

“Really? Then they …”

“Huh! Papa told me privately that Gu Gu has agreed!” Shan Mei confirmed happily.

“That is really terrific!” Xiang Zhe was really glad for Gui Xian as they became good friend when he was in London.

“Xue Chang, this is a gift from my Uncle to be. Do you think it looks good?” Shan Mei picked up the necklace from her neck to show it to Xiang Zhe.

“Very beautiful!” However he would wish her to wear that necklace instead, “Right, why aren’t you … wearing that necklace?” Xiang Zhe asked, pretending he did not take it to heart.

“Huh … I want … I want to wear it on our wedding day …” Shan Mei lowered her head and said softly.

“Shan Mei …”

“That is your Mother’s wish, so I will carefully treasure it in my heart …”

“Shan Mei, thank you …” He gripped her hand tightly and said with profound love.

They continued to stroll leisurely and chatted softly to each other.

“Xue Chang …” Shan Mei was hesitant and she was too embarrassed to ask.

“Huh? What’s wrong?”

“Huh … Can we have the last session of our wedding photos “there”?” Shan Mei asked probingly.

“Where?” Xiang Zhe pretended to be muddleheaded.

“That is … is …” Shan Mei hesitated and suddenly saw the flash of satisfied smile on his face, “Xue Chang! You clearly know what I mean!” She angrily glared at him.

“OK, I won’t tease you any more …” He stopped walking and wrapped his arms around her shoulders, “We will shoot the last session this Sunday at our home …”

“Our home?” Shan Mei smiled with expectation and her smile was so soft and beautiful.

“Yes, our home!” Xiang Zhe gazed passionately into Shan Mei’s beautiful eyes.

……………………..

Because of Gui Xian’s return, the cooking lessons Shan Mei planned to take were no longer necessary. Gui Xian and Chen Su were both good cooks, especially with Gui Xian being the expert one and now with the addition of Uncle to be who was skilful in preparing French cuisine and English desserts, lessons from them would keep Shan Mei very busy. So the cooking lessons were now taken place in Shan Mei’s home.

This evening, Shan Mei packed a good French meal into a thermo box and was ready to deliver it to Xiang Zhe for him to try.

“I’m on my way … Please don’t wait dinner for me.”

“We know, have an enjoyable time with Xiang Zhe …” Chen Su and Gui Xian saw Shan Mei off.

AT XIANG ZHE’S PLACE.

Shan Mei and Xiang Zhe already finished dinner.

“Come, here is the juice for you …” Xiang Zhe handed the glass to Shan Mei.

“Thank you …” Shan Mei took the glass and took one mouthful, “Huh, it’s so refreshing! It’s water melon juice …”

“You have good taste buds …”

“Of course, my Gu Gu runs a restaurant!” Shan Mei proudly smiled.

“Oh, right, Xue Chang, I bumped into Yin Man this afternoon …”

“Really? How did you meet each other?”

“It was by accident! He seemed to be with friends. I accidentally bumped into him when I came out from the department store …” Shan Mei was telling herself to stay calm, as it did not make one feel good when telling a lie, especially when she was lying to Xue Chang.

“Really?” Xiang Zhe found Shan Mei was looking somewhat strange but he did not ponder on that as he only thought she was just worried about his relation with his family. “You don’t have to be nervous … I am now fine with my family.” He did not want her to bear any burden.

“Huh!” Shan Mei exhaled slowly and nodded, “Is Yin Man in senior high?”

“Yes, Father said he would send Yin Man abroad to study … What’s up?”

“Oh, nothing! It’s just that I found Yin Man has grown bigger …” Shan Mei nodded. She finally realized why Yin Man wore a worried look. The reason must be that he did not want to go abroad and she would find a way to help him!

“Shan Mei …” He also had something to say.

“What?” There was something he could not utter.

“Xue Chang?” She put down the glass and sat beside him.

“Is it too much for you?”

“Oh?”

“I want to give you happiness and I never thought that I could make it so hard for me …” During the last few days, Shan Mei had been busily making arrangements for their wedding. Although it was hard work, she also gave him smiles and laughters and never complained. She also specially went to take cooking lessons … He knew she was doing this all for him.

“Xue Chang … Actually I am very happy!” Shan Mei enveloped his large hands with her small hands, “Although I am a little tired, I am really feeling very blessed and happy when I am doing all these works! You don’t have to worry about me!”

“Shan Mei …”

“I also know that Xue Chang is taking care of the decoration work for the house in the midst of your busy schedules, but does Xue Chang also feel as happy as I do? I have once asked Xue Chang why were you so good to me, I now know the answer, therefore I really feel very blessed …”

“Because of you, because you are Zhen Shan Mei … Therefore there is happiness …” This was how he was feeling. Xiang Zhe turned over his large hands to envelope Shan Mei’s small hands in them -- She was his hope, it was she who made him feel blessedly happy …

The door was ringing at this moment and broke the up the sweetness of the couple’s world.

“Xian Da Ge?” Xiang Zhe got up to open the door and unexpectedly found the distressed Xian Da at the door.

Xiang Zhe asked Xian Da in and sat down. Shan Mei hurriedly poured him a cup of tea and then sat beside Xiang Zhe.

“You have a quarrel with Yong Xi?” Xiang Zhe asked, coming straight to the point.

“Senior, what has happened?” Shan Mei was very worried.

“Eh …” Because of Shan Mei’s presence, Xian Da was feeling embarrassed.

“It doesn’t matter, come tell!” Xiang Zhe realized Xian Da was embarrassed. He patted Shan Mei on the back of her hands, giving Xian Da a sign of an affirmation.

“Aye! That was because of our trip to the night club … There was nothing I can do!” Xian Da felt ashamed and wrongly accused at the same time.

“Uncle Xian Da?” Shan Mei cried with surprise. She never thought that Uncle Xian Da would go to that kind of places.

“You mean Yong Xi knows about your trip to the night club, so she is very angry …” Xiang Zhe pointed to the crux of the matter, but did not continue the sentence to say “to kick you out”.

“I never thought the situation would get out of hand!” Xian Da had no more scruples and loudly said.

“Yong Xi only takes her break because of her pregnancy … She is so emulative and it is no wonder that she has lost her temper …”

“I understand … but!” Xian Da deeply sighed and lowered his head. It looked as if there was more to this matter.

The air congealed all of a sudden.

Shan Mei knew there was something Xian Da wanted to have a long talk with Xiang Zhe, therefore she got up to go home.

“Xue Chang, it’s getting late. I better go home, or else Papa and Mama will get worried.”

“OK, I will drive you home!” Xiang Zhe also stood up.

“There is no need. You better keep Uncle Xian Da company!”

“You better let Xiang Zhe take you home. I’m fine.” Xian Da was also worried about Shan Mei going home on her own.

“Xian Da, I am taking Shan Mei home. You better stay here tonight. Meantime, please take a bath first and I will come back to have a good chat with you.”


ON THE ROAD.

“Xue Chang?” Shan Mei wanted to speak out her worry.

“What do you want to say?” He turned his head to look at her.

“Huh … Yong Xi Senior is alone at home. I am very worried about her … so …”

“So you want to go over and see her …”

“Yes. Senior now needs someone to stay with her …”

“I understand. You better call Uncle and Auntie to let them know first.”

“OK!” Shan Mei nodded.

Xiang Zhe turned his car around and drove to Xian Da and Yong Xi’s place.

They arrived there soon. Xiang Zhe parked his car and walked Shan Mei to the door.

“Xue Chang, aren’t you going in?” Shan Mei saw Xiang Zhe standing at the door but without any intention to go in.

“I will see you go in and leave. I have to go back to talk to Xian Da.”

“OK! Goodbye!” Shan Mei also thought Xiang Zhe was doing the right thing. It would be better for her and Xiang Zhe to proceed with their separate mission.”

“Goodbye! Take good care of yourself.” Xiang Zhe tenderly combed Shan Mei’s hair on her forehead.

“Be careful on the road!”

“OK … I’ll give you a call when I get home …”

Xiang Zhe went back to his car, opened the car window and watched Shan Mei pressed the door bell. After a moment, Yong Xi came out to open the door.

Seeing Shan Mei followed Yong Xi inside, Xiang Zhe could then cease to worry and drove home.

 

CHAPTER 37 – “I’M SORRY … I’M SORRY FOR THIS MORNING. IT WAS ME WHO WAS ACTING PEEVISHLY …”

Author: Ming Wei Xue
Translated with author’s consent by: nho (CA)

 

It was just dawn breaking when Xiang Zhe drove Xian Da home.

“Don’t know whether they have got up yet?” Xian Da looked at his house through the car window.

“Shan Mei just sent me a SMS. She is up arisen but Yong Xi is still sleeping. Let’s go in …” Xiang Zhe parked the car.

“Let’s go!” Xian Da bucked up courage and got off the car.

Shan Mei almost did not sleep a wink at Xian Da’s place. She was now busy making breakfast in the kitchen. She just communicated with Xue Chang by SMS and knew they were on their way.

Hearing the sound of the door opening, Shan Mei immediately came out from the kitchen to go forward to look.

“Uncle Xian Da, Xue Chang!” Shan Mei gave Xiang Zhe a “Don’t Worry” smile.

“G’morning …” Xiang Zhe carefully looked at Shan Mei, finding shadows in her eyes although she was still smiling. It really made his heart ache!

“Thank you for the trouble, Shan Mei. Yong Xi, she …” Xian Da looked up at the floor above.

“Senior is still sleeping. She didn’t go to bed until very late.” Shan Mei explained.

“Oh, please take a seat.” Xian Da invited both Xiang Zhe and Shan Mei to sit down, “Last night you …”

“Senior and I talked until very late, she is …” Shan Mei glanced at Xiang Zhe and paused for a moment, “feeling better now.”

“Thank you, Shan Mei.” Xian Da lowered his head and he was still low in spirit.

“Uncle …” Shan Mei encouraged Xian Da, “Please don’t look so downcast. Senior and the little baby need you to take care of them!”

“Xian Da.” Xiang Zhe patted Xian Da.

“I have made breakfast. Do you want to have some, Uncle Xian Da?”

“Yes, you have to go to work later. Please eat some. Shan Mei’s cooking skill is not bad!”

“OK …” Xiang Da did not want to refuse Shan Mei and Xiang Zhe’s hospitality and unwilling nodded.

………………….

They were sitting in the dining room and on the table were milk and sandwiches.

Xian Da uninterestingly took a bite of the sandwich and suddenly thought of something.

“Has Yong Xi eaten anything?”

“Hmm!” Shan Mei hurriedly nodded, “Senior drank some milk before she went to bed. She loves the baby dearly. You don’t have to worry.”

“Umm …” Xian Da ceased to worry, but in a short while, he had a change of thought and said to Xiang Zhe, “I want to ask for leave.”

“I can help you taking care of Senior. Uncle can go to work with your peace of mind …”

“No, it is not like this …” Xian Da shook his head, “I want to stay by her side.” His eyes were filled with loving tenderness.

“Thank you, Shan Mei!”

“Let’s do it this way. You take your leave to stay home to be with Yong Xi and come to work after you have dealt with your family affairs.” Xiang Zhe stood up, looking at Shan Mei.

“Senior, I have to go too.”

“You too are going just like this?”

“Hmm. I am taking Shan Mei home and then go back to the office. You can rest at home and don’t have to worry …”

Xian Da saw Xiang Zhe and Shan Mei out.

“Please be careful on the road.”

“I know. Take care of Yong Xi”

“I will!”

“Oh, Senior, there are some congees in the thermo pot and they are specially prepared for pregnant woman. Later when Senior wakes up, please just heat it up …”

“Thank you, Shan Mei!”

“Let’s go” Xiang Zhe took Shan Mei’s hand and got into the car.

From the moment Shan Mei got into the car, she did not utter a word. Xiang Zhe glanced at Shan Mei again and knew there was something on her mind.

“Tired? Please have a good sleep when you get home.”

“Hmm.” Shan Mei softly replied.

“Remember to drink a glass of milk before you go to sleep, or have something to eat.”

“Hmm.”

“Do you … have something to say to me?”

“Nothing.” Shan Mei turned her head to look out of the window, avoiding Xiang Zhe’s questionable eyes.

“Are you OK?”

“Hmm.”

Xiang Zhe realized Shan Mei did not want to talk and did not try to force her.

There was silence all the way.

When it was near Shan Mei’s place, Xiang Zhe again turned his head to look at Shan Mei; she had already gone to sleep. Xiang Zhe stopped the car, but did not wake her. He just let her sleep on. Looking at her fatigued form, his heart was filled with protective tenderness and longing.

“How many times have I watched her sleeping face?” Xiang Zhe thought and his lips could not help breaking into a happy smile.

She in mischief, she acting cajolingly, she in tears, she in profound love, she in grief, she in joy – Shan Mei had experienced stormy weather and had now grown up from the innocent and childish, bright and adorable girl she once was.

“Shan Mei …” He had to guard his angel well. Xiang Zhe released his seat belt, turned around to hold Shan Mei’s hand in his grasp and stayed close to his treasure with profound love.

The peaceful morning, the fresh air, the clear sky and the beautiful girl.

……………….

“Isn’t it Xiang Zhe’s car?” Chen Su and Gui Xian both came home from shopping early in the morning, but found a car parking in front of their place.

“Let’s go and take a look …”

Chen Su and Gui Xian went over and looked through the car window, they found Shan Mei in deep slumber and Xiang Zhe waiting patiently beside.

At the same moment, Xiang Zhe discovered someone outside the car, turned to take a look and found Chen Su and Gui Xian. He hurriedly opened the car door. Shan Mei too was waken up by the noise.

“Mama, Gu Gu!” Shan Mei hurriedly tidied her hair and got off the car.

“Good morning, Aunties!” Xiang Zhe politely greeted them.

“G’Morning.” Chen Su and Gui Xian looked at each other and nodded.

“Mama, Gu Gu!” Shan Mei’s cute little face was flushed red.

“Oh, have you had breakfast? Please come in and eat with us.” Chen Su asked.

“Yes, thank you. I have already eaten.”

“Then please come in and sit for a while.”

“No, thank you. I have to go to work. I will come in another time!” Xiang Zhe looked at the embarrassed Shan Mei, smilingly said.

“Then come to have dinner with us tonight. I will do the cooking.”

“Well …” Xiang Zhe stole a glance at Shan Mei and when he saw her nod, hurriedly agreed, “OK, I will come back this evening. You better go in.”

“OK, goodbye!”

“Goodbye!” Xiang Zhe looked at Shan Mei and got into the car.

“Xue Chang, be careful on the road!” Shan Mei waved her hand.

Xiang Zhe who was inside the car smilingly nodded.

……………………….

It was already 3:00 p.m. in the afternoon. Shan Mei finally woke up from a good sleep and went downstairs.

“Pa!” Shan Mei rubbed her eyes, seeing Gui Cheng sitting on the sofa in the sitting room reading a newspaper. As she turned around, she suddenly felt something was not right.

“Pa! When did you come back?” Shan Mei happily ran over and wrapped her arms around her father.

“You finally discover Papa’s presence!” Gui Cheng was in all smiles, “I have gone for four days. Have your missed Papa?”

“Huh! Deeper than the ocean and higher than the sky!” Shan Mei happily smiled.

“Really?” Gui Cheng indulgently patted his little daughter on her face.

“You too are doing this again …” Chen Su popped out her head from the kitchen.

“Mama is jealous!” Shan Mei turned her head, stealthily stuck out her tongue.

“Hmm!” Gui Cheng smilingly nodded.

“I really don’t know how to deal with the two of them!” Chen Su was laughing in the kitchen.

“Yes!” Gui Cheng nodded with deep feeling.

“Pa, has the formalities been concluded yet?”

“Yes!” Gui Cheng nodded and took out a manila envelope, “They are all inside.”

“Pa …”

“I am finally retired …” Gui Cheng heaved a sigh.

“Papa.” Shan Mei sat down beside Gui Cheng.

“I’m fine!” Gui Cheng patted Shan Mei’s hand, “I always wanted to come home before. I was so worry to always leave you on your own at home. Now it is good, Papa can be home everyday.”

“Papa …” Shan Mei’s tears fell down. Now with Papa staying at home, she however was getting married.

“From now on, I will wait for my precious daughter to come home.”

“Papa, I don’t want to leave you …”

“Papa also doesn’t want to let you go …”

“OK, you too. Shan Mei, you come over and eat something …”

“Go and eat …”

“OK …” Shan Mei rubbed dried her tears and broke out in smile.

………………………

“Can I come in?” Gui Cheng carried a fruit platter, knocking on Shan Mei’s door.

“Please come in …”

“You are going out?” Gui Cheng saw that Shan Mei had changed and was carrying her handbag.

“Huh! I have arranged to meet with a friend.” Shan Mei nodded.

“Eat the fruit first before you go out …”

“OK!” Shan Mei made Gui Cheng sit down.

“Is it good?”

“Huh!”

“Oh, how was last night? Was Xian Da OK?” Gui Cheng heard about this from Chen Su when he got home.

“Yong Xi Senior was very sad and Uncle Xian Da was very sorry. However, … I think everything should be fine now. Uncle Xian Xia is staying at home keeping Yong Xi Senior company.”

“That’s fine! A married couple should be tolerant of each other.”

“Pa, do you think Uncle Xian Da is right?”

“Xian Da was really not doing the right thing this time and deserved to be punished.”

“Huh!”

“However, a married couple should be tolerant of each other. There are bound to be conflicts and disagreements in life. A married couple should be considerate to others, self-criticize oneself and consider matters in a concessive way. Of course there should be trust between each other and they should be able to discuss everything frankly and clearly … This also applies to people when they get along with each other.” Gui Chen talked with confidence.

“Huh …” Shan Mei smilingly nodded.

“Why are looking at Papa this way?”

“Papa can make your appearance in our program!” Shan Mei tipped her head and cajolely embraced his father’s shoulders.

“You naughty girl!” Gui Cheng smiled broadly.

“Huh!”

“Go quickly and don’t be late! Remember to come home early tonight. Xiang Zhe is coming to dinner …”

“I know …” Shan Mei smilingly went out.

………………………..

Shan Mei hurriedly went into a cold drink bar and Yin Wen was already waiting there.

“I’m sorry I’m late! Have you been waiting long?”

“No, I have only just arrived. Shan Mei Je please take a seat!”

“OK!” Shan Mei put down her handbag and sat down.

“What would you like to drink, Shan Mei Je?”

“Huh … A large coke and vanilla ice-cream. How are about?”

“I would like to have another frosty smoothie …”

“There is no need to stand on ceremony here. I can afford to pay for the cold drink. Please order anything you like! It’s me who ask you out …”

“Thank you.” Yin Wen’s smiled was relaxed.

Their cold drinks were served and Shan Mei expressed her thanks.

“Yesterday when you went home … Is everything alright?” Shan Mei looked at Yin Wen and carefully asked.

“Everything is fine …” Yin Wen lowered his head.

“So …” Shan Mei paused to think and decided to ask the question direct, “You are unhappy all these times because you have to go abroad to study?”

“Erh …” Yin Wen raised his head in astonishment, but immediately lowered his head again, “Yes.”

“It’s Xiang Zhe who told me, your brother.”

“Oh.” Yin Wen already thought of this. He also knew his brother did not like him and his mother.

“Yin Wen, you don’t want to go?”

“No, it’s just …”

“What?”

“Huh …” Yin Wen hesitated.

“If you don’t want to tell, just don’t force yourself.”

“It’s not that, Shan Mei Jie. Actually I am very afraid as I have to give up everything here and have to face a completely strange environment …” Apart from Shan Mei Jie Jie, he did not have anyone to talk to, so he decided to pluck up courage and tell.

“Have you told your parents?” Shan Mei gently asked.

“No …” Yin Wen lowered his head and courageously spoke out what was in his chest, “I am … also very afraid … afraid that I would be a disappointment to them …” He really did not want to disappoint his father, but he felt so alone.

“Then … what have you decided to do now?”

“I don’t know … In any case there are still two months to go.” Yin Wen lowered his head, stirring his drink. He would comply with his father’s wish, but when faced with the future, he felt very lonely.

“Yin Wen, if you are worried about this, then you should rest assured! You will do!”

“Really?” Yin Wen raised his head, his eyes filled with expectation.

“Huh, do you know I went to study in the States?”

“Yes, I know.” Yin Wen nodded, “but Shan Mei Jie Jie was already a splendid news anchor at that time!”

“But before that I went to London to study English! At that time I had just enrolled in the University. You know, Xiang Zhe and I met in London.” Shan Mei planned to tell Yin Wen her experience in studying abroad.

“Yes!” He had heard of this from his father.

“At that time my English was …” Shan Mei paused for a moment, “It was so bad. No, it was really very lousy!” Shan Mei nodded vigorously.

“Really?” Yin Wen was doubtful, “But Jie Jie’s English is so fluent when you are in the TV! Our teacher has said that Jie Jie speaks particular good standard of English.”

“That is now! I can now speak very fluent English.” Shan Mei smilingly looked at Yin Wen, “So don’t worry that you won’t adapt. A person would always feel frightened when he first arrives at a foreign place, but you can easily adapt. Be brave to face what lies ahead and live your life positively. Besides although you are abroad, your family will think of you, your friends will send you their blessing and it can be a blessed thing … I too will cheer you all the way!”

Listening to Shan Mei’s words, Yin Wen’s heart was filled with hope.

“Shan Mei Jie Jie, will I be as outstanding as my brother?”

“Of course! You are brothers, aren’t you? However Yin Wen has to work very hard before you can be as good.”

“Huh! I will!”

“That is the right attitude, you have to pluck up your courage!”

“I now want another smoothie!” Yin Wen looked at his smoothie with embarrassment, his constant stirring had melted the ice into liquid.

“No problem!” Shan Mei smiled.

The evening sun was gradually setting down, Shan Mei and Yin Wen stood before the cold drink bar.

“Go home quickly …”

“OK, Jie Jie you too have to be careful on the road.”

“OK …”

“Shan Mei Jie Jie, thank you for your concern! Thank you for sending me a card in every festive season and for every birthday present!” Yin Wen got on the car and opened the window.

“You are welcomed, Yin Wen and I are good friends, aren’t we? Remember to email me when you have any problem!” Shan Mei waved to Yin Wen.

Sending Yin Wen off, Shan Mei walked on the road alone, reminiscing what had happened in London before.

“Xue Chang …” Shan Mei was in deep thought and involuntarily dialled Xiang Zhe’s number.

“Hello! Yin Xiang Zhe speaking.”

“It’s me, Xue Chang.” Hearing his voice, she felt so warm.

“Shan Mei? Are you at home? I am off work and am on the road.”

“No, I’m also … on the road.” Shan Mei hesitated, “Xue Chang …”

“What is the matter?” Xiang Zhe’s voice sounded so tender.

“I’m sorry. I’m sorry for this morning. It was me who was acting peevishly …”

“I haven’t blamed you … Are you feeling better now?” He knew she was feeling guilty, “Where are you? I will come to pick you up.”

“There is no need. I can get home by myself.”

“Don’t you have something to say to me? I will come to pick you up.”

“Huh! I am at No. XXX YYY Road. I will wait for you here.”

“OK, I’m coming now and please wait for me.”

“Aye, Xue Chang …” Shan Mei called out to Xiang Zhe the minute before she got off the phone, “I miss you …”

“I miss you too … See you in a minute.” Thinking of Shan Mei’s sweet and smiling face, Xiang Zhe’s face was filled with smiles and his heart was overflowed with sweet happiness.

CHAPTER 38 – “BECAUSE YOU ARE MY SUNSHINE …”

Author: Ming Wei Xue
Translated with author’s consent by: nho (CA)

 

When the first ray of sunshine filtered through the curtain and lighted up the interior, Shan Mei had already arisen. She quietly washed up and returned to her room. Today Gui Cheng and Chen Su arranged to have breakfast with Gui Xian, so Shan Mei did not have to help to make breakfast.

“It’s only past 4:00 a.m. …” Shan Mei sat on the bedside, picked up her watch and read the time and could not help laughing. It was still too early for Xiang Zhe to come to pick her up. It was her fault for getting up so early, “Aye, I’m afraid Xue Chang won’t be here so early …” Shan Mei could not help sighing. But she was really too excited to sleep soundly. Because today was a special day as Xue Chang was taking her to see their house … It was to be their home …

“How is it like?” Shan Mei was thinking deep, trying to draw a picture in her mind, her lips were filled with sweet happiness and her eyes sparkled with excitement and she was feeling a little nervous inside.

“Anyway it’s still early, let me change first.” Shan Mei opened her wardrobe, getting ready to change.

“Oh, what should I wear?” She wanted to give him a beautiful Shan Mei, because today was his birthday and she loved dearly Xue Chang’s birthday.

“Exactly what should I wear?” Shan Mei worriedly looked at the clothes on the bed and inside the wardrobe, “The pink suit? The long white dress? Or this …”

“Aye, what …” Shan Mei could not make up her mind and she could only sit on the side of the bed. A sudden idea came to her and she hurriedly went to look for an exquisite box from inside the wardrobe.

“This is it …” Shan Mei opened the box and inside was very stylish clear blue long dress.

After Shan Mei changed into the blue dress, she came to sit down before the dressing table. She carefully combed her hair and then gave a sweet smile to herself in the mirror.

“What jewellery should I wear with this dress?” Shan Mei opened her jewellery box and carefully chose. Finally she decided to put on that heart shaped pendant.

Shan Mei stood before the mirror, gently caressed the necklace and when her hand slided through the pendant, her heart gave a sudden lurch – it must be Xue Chang’s guardianship, Xue Chang’s love!

“I really shouldn’t have lost my temper with Xue Chang …” Shan Mei stuck out her tongue at the mirror. Although she had already apologized to Xue Chang, she still felt guilty in her heart.

That night, Xiang Zhe and Shan Mei strolled in the park after dinner. The wind was blowing softly after the thunderous rain and the air was lightly caressing one’s face. Shan Mei once again genuinely apologized to Xue Chang.

“It doesn’t matter …” Xiang Zhe and Shan Mei stood face to face. He picked up Shan Mei’s hand and tenderly comforted her.

“Really?” Shan Mei still was not convinced. Although Xiang Zhe behaved very well during dinner, Shan Mei was still feeling uneasy.

“You little fool, I am not angry one bit …” Xiang Zhe made Shan Mei look at himself, not allowing her little brain to entertain foolish ideas.

“Then why didn’t you call me the whole day …” Shan Mei pouted her lips. He always called her before, but today he did not even call her once! She wanted to find something in Xue Chang which could convince herself, but she could not find anything.

Xiang Zhe watched Shan Mei’s rolling eyes and was touched. He blinked his eyes, smilingly said “So you are wearing a long face because of this …”

“Of course not!” She immediately raised objection, but when she saw the complacent look on Xue Chang’s face, she could not help but getting mad in her heart, “I just don’t care!”

“It is really regretful!” Xiang Zhe purposely put on a “lost” look.

“Huh!” Shan Mei immediately nodded and she would not want to be deceived again.

“Miss Zhen Shan Mei, is it really like this?” Xiang Zhe continued to insist a reply.

“Of course!” Shan Mei tried her best not to laugh out loud, because Xue Chang’s facial expression was now very adorable!

“Zhen Shan Mei!” He really was not a match for her.

Shan Mei could not help breaking into laughters and stretched out her hand to coyly pommel Xiang Zhe lightly. Xiang Zhe picked up Shan Mei’s hand and drew her into his arms.

“You missed me very much today?” Xiang Zhe’s deep voice was filled with profound love.

“Hmm.” Shan Mei softly responded with infinite tenderness.

“I too missed very much.” He poured out his deep longing and pledged in her ears, “Don’t worry, I guarantee what you are worrying about will never happen!”

“Xue Chang! I believe you …” She should not get angry for something that would never happen; she loved him and she trusted him.

“I know.” Xiang Zhe pulled some distance away from her. He of course could understand that it was not because she did not trust him, she was just throwing a tantrum.

“Thank you, Xue Chang.” He could always figure out what was in her heart and Shan Mei smiled.

“OK now?” He studied her face, wanting to make sure that she had let go of her worries.

“But, what shall we do in order to help Uncle Xian Da?” Shan Mei was very worried about Xian Da and Yong Xi, especially with Yong Xi in her present condition.

“Huh … All we can do is to wait. After all we cannot interfere in this kind of situation. However, we can always create opportunities for them at the right moment.”

“Then do you think Yong Xi Senior will forgive Uncle Xian Da? I am so worried about Senior’s health.”

“Well, Yong Xi should be getting better. Actually Xian Da has not done anything to betray her. As long as Xian Da behaves well, they should be able to reconcile in no time.”

“Umm!” Shan Mei nodded in agreement, “I just hope they can make up soon!”

“Oh, right, didn’t you chat with Yong Xi until very late?” It was not that he was nosy, he was just worried that Shan Mei would have heard something bad.

“Huh, we didn’t really talk much! Senior only recounted to me stories in the past, about her school days and the most important was the story between her and Uncle Xian Da. I now finally believe what Chen Sui had said. So Uncle Xian Da really borrowed the idea from Chen Sui when he proposed to Yong Xi Senior!” Recalling how Chen Sui and Xiao Da respectively complained to her, Shan Mei laughed.

“So that was all you chatted about?” He asked as though he was unconcerned.

“Yes! There was nothing more and it was all about Senior’s past …” Shan Mei nodded and suddenly she thought of something amusing, “Oh, Senior also said that I had to keep a close watch on you!”

“What?” Xiang Zhe was a little nervous.

“Senior said there was a crowd of women chasing after Xue Chang, so I have to watch you closely …” Shan Mei was all smiles, “And I replied that there may be lots of girls behind you which I may not be aware of …

“Shan Mei …” Xiang Zhe grasped Shan Mei’s shoulder, not allowing her to joke any more.

“Huh?” Shan Mei pulled herself together and looked at Xiang Zhe, “Xue Chang, what’s wrong?” Why had his face changed colour?

“Do you need me to explain?” That was what worried him most; he was afraid that Shan Mei would misunderstand.

“Explain?” Shan Mei looked at Xiang Zhe blankly. What was Xiang Zhe talking about?

“Do you intend to listen to what Yong Xi said?” Xiang Zhe rubbed his knitted brows and asked in a different way.

“No!” Shan Mei simply replied, “Anyway I have you to act as my shield. It doesn’t matter even though there may be many people standing in line at your back! Because Xue Chang and I will be facing each other, I can only find my reflection in your eyes! Furthermore, I know what kind of person Xue Chang is! However, you must not get angry with me for being prickly this morning! I was only disappointed at Uncle Xian Da …”

“Shan Mei, look at me.” He was moved emotionally that his voice sounded a little husky. Listening to what Shan Mei said, Xiang Zhe could then let down the heart that was in his mouth and his worry could then be set free. It was because he had her complete trust -- “Complete Trust”!

“Huh?” Had she said something wrong? Why did he look at her like this, “Xue Chang?”

“I want to kiss you, can I?” He sounded so tender, as if he had some spell-binding power.

“Oh …” Shan Mei opened her little mouth in surprise, weren’t they chatting?

“Shan Mei …” Not waiting for her response, the smiling Xiang Zhe already gently planted his lips on Shan Mei’s opened mouth.

How could he behave in this way, she had not given her consent … however Shan Mei’s thought could only stay at that point, because she was already responding to Xiang Zhe involuntarily and he deepened his kiss and the two of them became inseparable …

“Oh …” Her face was crimsoned!

Shan Mei patted her cheek and pulled herself back to reality. However, she could still remember the last sentence he uttered before they parted – it was not to bade her goodnight, but was “It feels so good to kiss you!”

“Don’t dwell on it again!” Shan Mei shook her head, stood up, walked to the window, drew the curtain and took a deep breath.

“The weather looks pretty good today, but will it rain again suddenly?” Shan Mei looked up the sky and murmured to herself.

When her eyes turned to the front door of her place, she involuntarily cried out aloud.

“Good heaven!” Wasn’t that Xiang Zhe?

Right, it was Xiang Zhe. Today he was in casual wear and wore a casual white jacket and at this moment he was leaning by his car. He was holding his cell phone, but was not dialing it.

“Xue Chang …” Shan Mei did not have time to think. She hurriedly closed the curtain, ran before the dressing table to comb her hair and then picked up her bag and rushed downstairs.

When Xiang Zhe was leaning by his car, silently waiting, the door to Zhen’s residence was opened suddenly. Xiang Zhe turned to look, it was Shan Mei!

“G’Morning!” He went forward and his face could not help breaking into a smile.

“Xue Chang!” Shan Mei’s original anxious face changed into the lovable smiling face.

“You look so pretty today!” He looked at her up and down, the greenish blue dress she was wearing made her sweet and adorable self looked bright and cheerful. The necklace she was wearing complimented her beautiful collar bone. He could easily read her mind.

“Thank you! Xue Chang is looking pretty good today too! Happy Birthday!” Shan Mei’s voice was very sweet and her crescent eyes shone with brilliance.

“Thank you!” He smiled, relaxed and carefree and his heart was filled with blessed happiness.

“I love the way Xue Chang looks today …” Shan Mei’s face blushed naturally. She loved Xue Chang this way, casual and elegant, without a compelling severity and allowing others to get closer.

“Oh …” Xiang Zhe looked at Shan Mei intently. Oh, it was very difficult not to gaze at her!

“Xue Chang!” Shan Mei was embarrassed by the way Xue Chang looked at her with intense passion and hurriedly cried out, changing the topic, “Oh really, why didn’t you call me? You can give me a ring …”

“How did you know I am here?” Xiang Zhe lowered his head and smile.

“I saw you from upstairs, or else …” Or else he would have to wait a long time. Before Shan Mei could finish talking, she saw the smiling Xue Chang staring at her and his expression looked very satisfied as though he had found some hidden treasure.

“You got up very early to wait for me? Right?” Xiang Zhe was smiling happily.

“Huh?” Shan Mei did not want to admit, but she nodded involuntarily.

“I too was so excited that I couldn’t sleep, so I came over early.” Xiang Zhe explained. “I never thought we have the mental rapport …” He was afraid she could not sleep, so he came early to wait for her. And she was also waiting for him for the same reason.

“Let’s go to our new home …” Xiang Zhe stretched out his hand to grasp Shan Mei’s hand and led her to the car.

After they got into the car, Xiang Zhe helped Shan Mei fix the safety belt.

“I can do it myself …” Xue Chang helped her fix it every time. Couldn’t he let her do it this once.

“Be a good girl.” Xiang Zhe fixed it for Shan Mei before he fixed his.

“Now, let’s go …” Xiang Zhe turned to look at Shan Mei.

“Huh!” Shan Mei nodded and gave Xiang Zhe a smile of trust; her eyes were filled with expectation.

“We are here …” Xiang Zhe stopped the car and pointed to the house in front of the car.

From the moment Shan Mei and Xiang Zhe alighted from the car, Shan Mei’s eyes focused at the house before them. This was a two-storey house and this was also their future home.

Xiang Zhe picked up Shan Mei’s hand and walked her to the door. He took out the keys to open the front door, “Get in …” Xiang Zhe went into the house holding Shan Mei’s hand.

They came to the living room which was fitted out with basic furniture.

“This sofa …” Shan Mei looked at the sofa in the middle of the living room with pleasant surprise, “How can it be? Xue Chang!”

“What do you think? Like it?” Xiang Zhe indulgently looked at Shan Mei.

“How did you find it? This looks like the sofa we had in our previous place!” Shan Mei happily touched the sofa and then sat on it, “It feels so comfortable sitting on it …”

“It’s good that you like it!”

“Exactly how did you find it?” Shan Mei ran over to pull at Xiang Zhe’s shoulders and asked cajolely.

“It was Uncle who told me. I found a manufacturer who specified in restoration sofas and placed my order according to the picture I gave him. It seems this style is now quite popular.”

“Thank you Xue Chang!” This was memory from her childhood days and she had to thank Xue Chang for this!

“You’re welcomed. Let’s go and see some more! I guarantee there will be more surprises!”

“This is my study. Come and look …” Xiang Zhe led Shan Mei into the study.

“It is fully equipped!” Shan Mei inspected the room, “Books …” Huh, it was pretty good and with nothing missing.

“Oh, this door is …” Shan Mei pointed to the sliding door on the side, curiously turned her head and asked Xiang Zhe.

“You open it and see!” Xiang Zhe smiled.

Shan Mei looked at Xue Chang and pulled open the door heedless of his “self-satisfied” smile.

It was actually another study, identical to the other one. Naturally it had its own door and it looked as the two studies were connected by the sliding door.

Although the layout of this study looked similar to the one next door, it was entirely different in that it generated an atmosphere of leisure and ease.

“This is …” Shan Mei turned to look at Xue Chang.

“This is the study for you. This way, we won’t be disturbing each other’s work, but we won’t be too far away … You will be next to me …” There were deep longings in Xiang Zhe’s eyes.

“Xue Chang … Thank you!” To Shan Mei, Xue Chang was always thoughtful about everything.

“Let’s go upstairs …” Xiang Zhe pulled Shan Mei from the parlour.

“I want to look at the guest rooms …” Actually Shan Mei was unwilling to leave the piano in the parlour.

“Really? Don’t you want to watch me play the piano?” Xiang Zhe smiled. Shan Mei was really not good in finding excuses. After he told her just now that this piano was the one he played with his mother when he was in his childhood, Shan Mei’s eyes were filled with protective love and lingering hope. She really treasured this piano.

“Let’s go! Later when we come down, I will play the piano for you …” Xiang Zhe pulled Shan Mei upstairs although she kept looking back.

“OK …”

“Get in …” Xiang Zhe nodded to Shan Mei.

He was creating suspense again – Shan Mei looked askance at Xiang Zhe and gently smiled. She opened the door.

Bright and spacious – This was the sun room.

“It’s so cozy here!” The assemblage of light in this room was superb. The floor length window enabled the ray of the sun to refract into the room and anyone standing in this room could feel the sun here.

“Xue Chang, we can put a side table here and two reclining chairs!” Shan Mei described her own ideas, “During the day, we can enjoy the tea under the sun and at night we can watch the stars …”

“Good idea, then I’ll leave it to you to arrange everything here.” Xiang Zhe poked Shan Mei on her forehead and looked at her with indulgence.

“Huh!” She would arrange for a perfect sun room and gave Xiang Zhe a comfortable place to relax.

“The next door is our bedroom. Do you want to go in and look?” Xiang Zhe winked his eyes and teased Shan Mei on purpose.

“Huh, there is no need! Let’s do it next time!” The shy Shan Mei indeed refused as expected. Although she wanted to have a peep, that was Xue Chang and her … When she thought of this Shan Mei’s face was flushed crimsoned like a red apple.

“Don’t worry …” Xiang Zhe whispered into Shan Mei’s ear and pulled her into the bedroom.

“Hehe …” Shan Mei laughed with blessed happiness. She never thought that the bedroom was decorated in the style and colour she wanted. Her tentative plans were all fulfilled.

“Do you like it?” Xiang Zhe gently asked. He wished she would like the design he had unilaterally arranged.

“Huh!” Shan Mei nodded, her crimsoned face was filled with sweet radiance.

“That is good …”

“But …” Shan Mei looked at the photo on the wall again, her voice was very faint.

“What?” Did she find anything not to her liking?

“Can we change that picture …” Hanging on the wall was their “Century Kiss” photo.

“Well …” He loved that picture the best and he did not want to change it.

“Xue Chang …” Shan Mei cajolely looked at Xiang Zhe.

“This is perfect. You want to change it?” He faltered.

“What if, what if someone sees it …” Shan Mei’s adorable face was scarlet.

“It doesn’t matter …”

“Xue Chang!” Shan Mei cried out in objection.

“OK then …” He unwilling nodded, “However, I am the one to make the decision on what to change …”

“OK!” Shan Mei immediately nodded. Anything was fine so long it was not this picture.

“Come …” Xiang Zhe led Shan Mei to the window, pulled apart the curtain and wrapped his arms around her.

“From here you can see our garden …”

“I want to plant roses, the same kind we can find in London …”

“Good idea, you plant roses and I will plant sunflower …”

“Sunflower? Why?”

“Because you are my sunshine …”

“Xue Chang …”

“Huh?”

“Thank you for everything you have done for me …” Shan Mei was in tears. She was the happiest person in the world and Xue Chang’s love made her feel so blessedly happy.

“Little fool …” Xiang Zhe turned Shan Mei around, making her look at him face to face, “Don’t cry …”

“I am not …”

“OK, let’s take it that you are not crying …” Xiang Zhe took out his handkerchief to gently wipe away the tears in Shan Mei’s face.

“Xue Chang!” Shan Mei softly began to speak.

“Huh?” What? Xiang Zhe looked at her. Shan Mei stood on her tiptoes and gently kissed Xiang Zhe on his lips.

“I love you, Xiang Zhe!” Her bashful smile was so beautiful.

“I love you too! Shan Mei!” Xiang Zhe’s heart was all of a sudden filled with sweet happiness. This was the first time Shan Mei called his name to tell him she loved him.

Looking at her sweet smile, he could not help kissing her sweet lips. She shyly responded to his passion and gave him sunshine-like happiness.

CHAPTER 39 – “33 ROSES … THEY STAND FOR I LOVE YOU”

Author: Ming Wei Xue
Translated with author’s consent by: nho (CA)

 

It was 9:00 a.m. in the morning and both Shan Mei and Xiang Zhe were standing outside the house. Xiang Zhe had just received a phone call and had to return to the office to attend a meeting. And Shan Mei was about to go home to pick up her father to bring him over to visit their new home. Besides, Shan Mei was ready to decorate their new home.

“You better hurry up and go …” Shan Mei pushed the reluctant Xiang Zhe into the car.

“You really don’t need me to give you a lift …” Xiang Zhe got into the car, still asking “It is on my way.”

“There is no need!” Shan Mei immediately refused as they were really in different directions, “Xue Chang, hurry up and go, or else it will hold up your work …” A large group of people were waiting for him to start the meeting, but he did not seem to be in a hurry.

“Zhen Shen Mei, you are so fierce!” Xiang Zhe looked at Shan Mei who was wearing a face of no concession, smilingly joked.

“Now you know how fierce I can be, you better hurry up and leave!” Shan Mei shut the car door, still wearing a serious face.

“OK.” He nodded and started the car engine, but he did not forget to urge, “Be careful when you call for a cab.”

“I know!” Shan Mei nodded.

Xiang Zhe drove away and through the rearview mirror, he saw Shan Mei’s slender figure. She was waving her hand, smiling sweetly and she was beautiful. She certainly knew that he was watching him, so she was giving him strength. There was deep longing in her eyes – Aye! Xiang Zhe could not help but sighed and endless tender love flooded from his heart.

When Shan Mei watched Xiang Zhe’s car slowly disappeared from her sight, the tears were then slowly falling down from her eyes.

“Xue Chang …” Shan Mei picked up the large chain of shining keys and fixed her eyes on them.

This key chain was the key to their home, the home of their love and … also the home for their mind and soul.

“I have to start working!” Shan Mei put the key chain in her handbag and called a cab to take her home. She had to begin her busy working schedule. First of all, she would carry with her the excitement to go home to change as she could not work when she was dressed in this way. Besides, Gui Cheng and others were waiting at home. Shan Mei answered Mama and Gu Gu’s questions while she was changing and Gui Xian would immediately pass the information over to the her brother waiting outside the door.

“It is really more convenient to dress like this …” Shan Mei looked at the mirror and looked at the way she had dressed.

“What are you doing?” Chen Su curiously looked at the way Shan Mei dressed: light blue Capri pants with the same colour sleeveless top and looked neat and tidy.

“I want to move some of my stuff there …” Shan Mei put up her hair into a pony tail.

“Today? Will it be too much of a hurry?” Gui Xian helped Shan Mei putting on an hair clip, “It’s done.”

“No, it won’t. I have already packed them up. Actually I don’t have a lot to move over as Xue Chang has everything in place!” Shan Mei sighed. She really admired Xue Chang. Gu Gu would certainly be startled if she could how the kitchen was furnished.

“You are moving your own things over?” There would be a lot to move over and Gui Xian began to hesitate.

“Not really … Papa told me he will always keep my room intact, so I don’t have to move a lot …” What she needed to move was her clothing and daily necessity and she was not in a hurry to move them over.

“No, there isn’t a lot. Let’s go and start work …” Chen Su did not want to defy Shan Mei’s wish.

“OK, let me ask Jun Xian to come with us …” Gui Xian compromised.

“Thank you Gu Gu!” Shan Mei embraced Gu Gu, “Let start work immediately!” Shan Mei was fairly excited.

Both Gui Cheng and Jun Xian respectively drove their own car carrying with them Shan Mei, Chen Su and Gui Xian together with Shan Mei’s belongings and came to Xiang Zhe and Shan Mei’s new home. They parked their cars in the garage and Shan Mei was waiting with Chen Su and Gui Xian at the front door.

“Huh, the location is pretty good, peaceful and clean …” Alighting from the car, Gui Cheng summarized his comments on the neighbourhood during the journey here.

“Yes, I heard this is a newly developed residential area. It shouldn’t be more than two years since its development and the tree planting is well planned.” Chen Su also nodded in agreement. This place was just half an hour’s car journey to their place. Gui Cheng looked at the lamp sculpture at the front door, smilingly said: “This lamp is pretty good, it lights the place at night and it serves as a decoration in daytime.”

“It’s a western angel …” Gao Jun Xian carefully inspected the lamp sculpture, “It should symbolize hope …”

“OK, don’t pay any more attention to the beautiful lamp. We are all holding something heavy! Shan Mei, hurry up and open the door …”

“OK!” Shan Mei opened the door, made a “welcome” sign with her hand, “Papa, Mama, Gu Gu and Uncle Jun Xian, please go in …”

When they walked past the foyer and entered the living room, Gui Cheng immediately spotted that set of sofas.

“Oh, Xiang Zhe really managed to do it …” Gui Cheng was surprised. Once when he chatted with Xiang Zhe, he accidentially mentioned that Shan Mei loved this kind of sofa when she was little as it was big and could envelope her whole body. At that time he could see some idea in his eyes, but he never thought that Xiang Zhe really managed to find this kind of sofa.

“Pa, it really looks the same, isn’t it? Come and sit down!” Shan Mei pulled her father down on the sofa.

“Xiang Zhe this child is really very thoughtful …” Chen Su looked at the sofa, her heart filled with reminiscence. Chen Su knew that the original sofa was bought by Shan Mei’s mother at their first wedding anniversary and Shan Mei loved to sit on that sofa since she was little.

“Where is Gu Gu?” Shan Mei watched them put down her belongings, but could not find Gu Gu and Uncle Jun Xian.

“Yes, where have they gone to?” Gui Cheng also asked.

“Where can they be? They should be in the kitchen …” Chen Su smiled. Perhaps it was her profession, Gui Xian paid most attention to the kitchen. Gao Jun Xian naturally would keep her company.

Shan Mei dragged Chen Su and accompanied Gui Cheng to the kitchen, only to find that Gui Xian and Jun Xian were exchanging ideas on the kitchen. And Gui Xiang exclaimed at how well the kitchen was equipped.

“It’s so well equipped with nothing missing, including different sets of dinner service sets. It’s even better equipped than my restaurant! There is even barbecue and picnic appliances, not to say microwave, oven and this automatic dish washer and dish dryer …”

“Xiang Zhe is really so meticulous.” Chen Su looked at Shan Mei smilingly.

“Even I never thought Xue Chang could be so organized.” Shan Mei’s little face was flushed deep red. No wonder Xue Chang told her not to worry about kitchen appliances and only allowed her to pick some dinner and tea service sets that she loved.

“Shan Mei, I have something to show you.” Gui Xian signalled Gao Jun Xian to get something.

“What is it?” Shan Mei looked at Jun Xian who was carefully holding a box and smilingly asked.

“It is our gift to the two of you.”

“Gu Gu has already given me too much …” Because of Shan Mei’s wedding, Gui Xian had already given a lot to Shan Mei. Even Gao Jun Xian was spending big money in buying Shan Mei’s gifts.

“It’s for you to keep …” Gui Xian let Jun Xian put down the gift so as not to damage it. Jun Xian put down the box with extreme care on the dining table.

“Gu Gu!” Shan Mei looked at her father.

“Open it up!” Gui Xian glanced at her brother, She expected an exclamation for her niece.

Shan Mei obediently opened the gift, “Gu Gu, aye, this is your treasure!” Shan Mei never thought Gu Gu would give her the set of the French dinner service set she valued the most herself, so she hurriedly refused.

“How can this be do? It is too valuable. I can’t accept it.”

“Foolish girl, what can be more valuable than you in our family! This is just a set of silver dinner service set!” Although it was her most cherished treasure, Shan Mei was more valuable. Gui Xian saw Shan Mei’s reluctance, so she said, “I have already agreed to Jun Xian’s proposal and you can count this set of dinner service set as a first meeting gift from him …”

“How wonderful!” Gui Cheng laughed happily. His darling sister was finally getting married.

“Yes, Shan Mei. Please give me the honour …” Gao Jun Xian also smiled. He really liked this niece-to-be.

“Then I have to thank Gu Gu and … Uncle!” Shan Mei teasingly thanked them.

“Now your Gu Gu outshines your Papa!”

“Big brother, you must have forgotten, you were the one who financed me to buy this set years ago! Sister-in-law, let’s count this as our mutual gifts to Shan Mei …”

“That’s good …” Gui Cheng was so happy that there were tears in his eyes.

“Thank you Gu Gu!” Shan Mei cried too. She was really too happy!

“Aye, you two, like father, like daughter!” Chen Su came over to help Shan Mei wipe away her tears.

“OK, let’s continue to look into other areas …” Gui Cheng also wiped away his tears.

“Let’s go to take a look at other rooms. Huh … Let’s go to the study!”

After they had inspected the whole house, Shan Mei walked them inside from the small garden through the foyer.

“Right, Uncle Jun Xian, what do you think of the design of this house?” Shan Mei asked for Gao Jun Xian’s comments as he was one of the most famous interior designers.

“It is pretty good. The overall layout is acceptable. It uses white as its main colour scheme and makes the style of the house on the whole look simple but impressive and when further combined with different colours and decors, it appears warm and cozy. The decor downstairs is simple without losing its elegance and magnificence. The upstairs on the other hand is filled with spirit of warmth. Huh, the gathering of light in this house is also pretty good, especially the light in the foyer is exceptionally good with the sunlight falling directly before the piano. The garden at the back on the contrary is very exquisite …” Gao Jun Xian involuntarily commented from a designer’s angle. As a matter of fact Gui Xian invited Gao Jun Xian to come for the purpose of helping Shan Mei to design the house, but he never thought that Xiang Zhe would act so fast and finish decorating the house. He was a little disappointed, but when he saw the house now, he could not help but nodded his approval.

“We are planning to plant roses and sunflowers!”

“It’s a good idea to plant flowers!” Gui Cheng nodded; he really liked the garden at the back, “By that time if you are too busy, we can come and help you water the flowers.”

“Thank you Papa!” Shan Mei happily embraced her father, “Oh, Uncle Jun Xian, I will entrust the decoration of the sunroom to you then!”

“Don’t worry. I will draft for you a perfect design accordingly to what you have just said!” Gao Jun Xian responded. He finally could do something.

“Now you will be able to brush up your skill …” Gui Cheng teasingly looked at his sister, Gui Xian.

“OK, let’s hurry and tidy up. We have already wasted enough time …” Chen Su could see that Gui Xian was embarrassed, so she hurriedly changed the topic.

“Oh …” Shan Mei laughed happily.

“Let’s go …” Gui Cheng looked at Shan Mei’s happy face, although he was unwilling to let her go, he could also feel happiness in his heart.

Time passed like a flash and it was now already 5:00 p.m. in the afternoon. During midday, Shan Mei, Gui Cheng and others had lunch in a restaurant nearby. After tidying up the house, Gui Cheng and others returned home. Now there was only Shan Mei alone in the house. Gui Xian and Chen Su had already cleaned up the kitchen just now and everything was in spics and spans. She was now busy in the kitchen, preparing dinner and making a birthday cake to celebrate Xue Chang’s birthday.

When the hour hand of the clock drew past 6:00 p.m., Shan Mei had already finished preparing some French dishes. She took out that valuable set of French dinner service set from the cabinet and placed them on the dining table. Afterwards she placed the candles in the candlesticks.

“It’s done …” Shan Mei sat down on the dining chair, looked at everything she had arranged and revealed a sweet smile.

At the same moment, Shan Mei’s cell phone rang and she hurriedly took the call. It was from Gui Cheng. He told Shan Mei that the weather had changed and it was going to rain and urged her to keep the doors and windows tightly shut.

“I know … OK, I will be careful.” Shan Mei promised, “Huh! I know … Good, bye Papa!” Shan Mei hung up and inspected the doors and windows. When she walked out the foyer, she could see through the floor-length window, the patter of rain beating against the window.

“It really is raining …” Shan Mei looked at her watch, “What should I do? Xue Chang is still at work …” Shan Mei unconsciously looked the clothes she was wearing – she was still wearing the apron and she could not really see Xue Chang dressed in this way!

“Let me go and take a bath …” Shan Mei took off the apron and went upstairs.

Luckily Chen Su worked fast and had brought over some of Shan Mei’s clothings and daily necessities, or else Shan Mei did not know what to do.

After bathing, Shan Mei blew her hair half dry and changed into a long silver dress. Then she put on that necklace. Shan Mei looked at the mirror, silently saw the reflection of the photo in it. She involuntarily stood up and turned to look at that photo, recalling the scene which was permanently imprinted in her mind …

Xiang Zhe picked up her hand, took out the ring he carried with him and put it on her finger. “Will you marry me?” His voice contained too much emotions and sounded broken. He looked at her, “Please don’t go.”

Staring at the ring on her finger which symbolized the promise from the beginning, Shan Mei nodded and the happy tears were gushing forth from her eyes non-stop. She would not leave and would not be going anywhere. Shan Mei was all tears; she would not let her deeply loved Xue Chang wait for her again, she would not let him see her back … She would follow him wherever he went.

“Shan Mei, I love you.” In this cross section and in the middle of heavy traffic, Xiang Zhe kissed the lips of his beloved Shan Mei and they were kissing each other with profound love …

“Xue Chang …” Shan Mei’s tears were slipping down. During all these times, she really suffered so much, but she had never given up hope and Xue Chang also tried his best and finally … finally after experiencing so much, they came together and found the happiness that belonged to them.

After a long while, Shan Mei rubbed dried her eyes. She switched on the light and reluctantly closed the door and walked downstairs.

She was so tired after working hard for the whole day and she could finally sit down. She had to wait for Xue Chang, but as soon as she sunk into that soft sofa and wrapped her arms around the thick cushion, Shan Mei could not stop yawning and under the fluttering of the natural breeze, Shan Mei slowly closed her eyes. When the evening twilight completely covered the earth, Shan Mei who was curling in the sofa had quietly gone to sleep.

It was past 8:00 p.m. and the rain had stopped. The humid air was filled with soft breeze and it was very refreshing.

Xiang Zhe drove to their new home. When they spoke on the phone in the afternoon, Shan Mei said she wanted to celebrate his birthday here. However he was busy that he could not get away from the office until now. In order to express his apology, he specially went to buy 33 white roses.

“Why was it so dark?” Xiang Zhe was surprised that Shan Mei did not switch on the light. Was she giving him a surprise? Xiang Zhe laughed.

“Shan Mei …” Xiang Zhe walked into the door, but he could still see no activities. He involuntarily called out softly, but there was no response. Xiang Zhe was a little worried and hurriedly switched on the floor lamp nearby. He immediately saw Shan Mei who was curling in the sofa.

So she was sleeping. Xiang Zhe gave a soft smile and he hurriedly turned the light dimmer, leaving only a hazy light. He put the flowers in the vase and then knelt before Shan Mei’s sofa.

She was sleeping so soundly and it looked as if she could not be waken up momentarily. She must have worked very hard today. Xiang Zhe inspected the room and tried to find the changes. The light was too dim, but he could still see her face. Xiang Zhe might as well sit on the carpet and silently waited for Shan Mei to wake up.

He longingly looked at Shan Mei’s beautiful and peaceful face and his heart was filled with sweet gentleness. Seeing that a lock of hair fell on her forehead and made her itch. Xiang Zhe smiled and carefully moved away that lock of hair and his hand accidentally touched Shan Mei’s face. He hurriedly removed his hand quickly, afraid to wake her up.
However Shan Mei only slightly wrinkled her brows and did not open her eyes. She did not wake up and Xiang Zhe could not help laughing at his own caution. He testingly grasped Shan Mei’s hand but she did not show any resistance. However he dared not take more action, just held on to Shan Mei’s hand, lest that Shan Mei would be waken up with a startle.

Perhaps he too was tired, not long thereafter Xiang Zhe too was asleep. With her warmly breathing beside him, he was sleeping soundly. However he was still holding her hand tight.

A long time thereafter, Shan Mei slowly woke up. She slept so soundly! Shan Mei wanted to get up, but found that her hand was not under her control. Shan Mei could not help open wide her eyes, only to find Xiang Zhe beside her.

“Xue Chang!” She woke up all of at once, so it was Xue Chang who was holding her hand. Shan Mei smiled. She tried to pull out her hand, but could not no matter how hard she tried.

“Xue Chang!” Shan Mei could not help but grumbled softly.

“You are awake?” Xiang Zhe’s low and husky voice was filled with laughter. He opened his eyes.

“Xue Chang!” This time her voice was louder.

“Good evening, Miss Zhen Shan Mei!” He picked up her hand and planted a light kiss on it.

“You are already awake, right?” Her voice was soft and enticing, making his heart beat fast.

“Come …” Xiang Zhe stretched out his hand and pulled her down to the carpet, wrapping his arms around her. “Were you comfortable sleeping on the sofa? Did it make you tired?” He tenderly asked.

“Because the sofa is large and soft, so it is very comfortable to sleep on it …” She dimpled like flower.

“You mean even if I were to sleep in the living room, it wouldn’t be uncomfortable?”

“Xue Chang also wants to sleep on the sofa?”

“Huh … Do you want me to sleep here?”

“Huh?” Shan Mei ignorantly looked at Xiang Zhe, with a face of innocence.

“Oh …” Xiang Zhe lowered his head and lightly laughed. It was better to leave this question until later. He pointed the flowers on the table and asked: “Like them?”

“They’re so pretty! Thank you!” The white rose under the red glow of light appeared very beautiful.

“33 roses, they stand for I love you!” Xiang Zhe lightly pecked at Shan Mei’s lips

“I love you too …” Shan Mei’s lovely face turned crimson. Uttering those words made her blushed, so she hurriedly changed the topic to say: “Happy Birthday, Xue Chang!”

“I’m one year older …” He purposely sighed.

“Of course not, Xue Chang is handsome and mature, and you are the best and the most gorgeous man I have ever met!” The adorable Shan Mei was really very straightforward and frank.

“Really?” His eyes shone with radiance.

“Huh … Of course!” However Shan Mei was already regretting her words, but it was pity that it was too late as she was not allowed to speak.

The kiss was so deep and sweet and it was so passionate that it could nearly drown everything. Xiang Zhe had no choice but to restrain himself and pulled Shan Mei into his arms. This was the reason why he would not dare to venture too deeply each time. He was really afraid that he would lose control and hurt Shan Mei. Luckily they were getting married soon. He drew in a deep breath and calmed his state of mind.

“Xue Chang …” Her weak and enticing voice was vague but filled with trust.

“Today is my birthday, let spend the time together. Didn’t you say that you have made a birthday cake yourself?” Xiang Zhe pulled Shan Mei up and helped her to tidy up her dress and hair.

“Huh!” She dared not raise her head to look at Xue Chang’s eyes. What happened just now made her not knowing how to face him.

“Let’s go.” He picked up her hand, put on the light and walked into the dining room, ready to celebrate his birthday.

“OK …” Shan Mei obediently complied.

Shan Mei served the food deftly. She took out the birthday cake, put on three candles and light them up.

“Xue Chang, you have to make wishes, make three wishes.”

“Huh, let me think. Actually what I mostly wish already comes true!”

“Really> What is that?”

“Before I met you, I didn’t have any wish. After I met you, I wished that my Xue Mei, Shan Mei would accept my love and later I wished that she could marry me and live with me ever after -- There is still 19 days before we will get married and this wish will finally come true. Besides, after that accident, my biggest wish was to be able to see your smile again - This wish has also been fulfilled.” Xiang Zhe picked up Shan Mei’s hand, looked at her with profound love and related to her his strong tender feelings, “Thank you Shan Mei, my biggest wish now is to be able to give you happiness and joy in our lives hereafter …”

 

CHAPTER 40 – “THANK YOU … IT SEEMS I SAY THESE WORDS QUITE OFTEN LATELY”

Author: Ming Wei Xue
Translated with author’s consent by: nho (CA)

 

The quietness of the late night was only interrupted by the hour hand of the clock making ticktack sound.

Xiang Zhe did not return to his apartment but stayed at their new home. The hour hand of the clock would soon slip past 12 midnight and Xiang Zhe’s birthday this year would be marked with a perfect ending.

At this moment, Xiang Zhe was sitting in the study and his hand was holding that thick volume of diary which contained a full record of Shan Mei’s life and sentiment.

“Oh …” Xiang Zhe shut the diary and drew a deep sigh. Did she want him to cease to worry?

He loved her deeply and wanted to give her happiness. However after experiencing so much, he was afraid that he would love her too much and stifled her; on the other hand, he was afraid that he would not love her enough and thus make her feel disappointed and grieved.

“Zhen Shan Mei …” Now, he knew what he should do, to love her, just as always, with deeper love and more tolerance and to give her freedom of happiness …

Xiang Zhe put down the diary and took the box on the desk. This was the birthday present Shan Mei gave him when they just parted company.

“This is your birthday present and you are not allowed to open it until you get home!” Her artful smile and graceful look was so adorable.

What would it be? Xiang Zhe gently pulled open the bow knot, opened the box, took out a card on top and read it.

“My dearest Xue Chang: Happy Birthday! Here are 12 different fruitful tastes of lollipops, I wish you each month of the coming year be filled with relaxing and good mood! – Zhen Shan Mei”

“Lollipops?” Xiang Zhe could not help laughing. He counted and there were just 12 lollipops. These were Shan Mei’s sweet thoughts!

Suddenly, the phone was ringing and disturbed the night’s peace.

“Hello, this is Yin Xiang Zhe.” Xiang Zhe automatically picked up the phone.

“Xue Chang, where are you? You are still awake?” Shan Mei’s anxious voice was transmitted from the other end of the cell phone.

“Shan Mei?” Xiang Zhe was all of a sudden wide awake.

“Xue Chang, what happens to you? How come you are not at home? What has happened?” Shan Mei’s voice sounded anxious and worried. She had been trying to call him, but there was nobody answering at Xiang Zhe’s place! She was nearly in tears until she thought of calling him on his cell phone.

“Don’t cry, Darling. I’m fine …” Xiang Zhe hurriedly comforted Shan Mei, “I’m … at our new home …”

“Xue Chang …”

“Thank you … It seems I say these words quite often lately. I am in the study, reading …” Xiang Zhe’s voice choked with sob and he tried to control himself, “I was reading your diary …”

“Xue Chang …” Shan Mei’s voice was so soft and tender. Did he know her intention? Her heart really bled for him.

“I can now really cease to worry.” He loved her dearly for her virtue, but ached that he himself had once hurt her well-being. Following the passage of time, that period of time when he had lost his memory became the most aching moment of his life. He felt worst when he had let Shan Mei exile on her own. Every time when he thought of this, he felt empty inside and it was hurting so much! However he could really let down his worries now. He really could throw away the restlessness and let down the burden in his heart and also really could let her feel the tender love he had for her all the time.

“Then … Xue Chang, have you read the last page?” Shan Mei’s voice was so soft and filled with expectation.

“I read it.” He took the diary and turned to the last page, his finger smoothed over the picture sticky, smoothing over her pretty face and her sweet smile and his finger remained on the words: Zhen Shan Mei loves Yin Xiang Zhe! Forever and Forever!”

“Let’s go there again some day …”

“Good!” Shan Mei happily smiled, “Let’s make it a date then!”

“OK.” Her happy smile affected his mood and he smiled indulgently.

“The diary … Do you still have it in your hand?” She could feel that he was still reading the diary.

“Right.” His tender voice revealed his mood, “When will you let me see that tape?” He was hard pressed to see what she looked like at that time.

“Umm, not now, because …” Shan Mei paused and softly let know the reason, “That was my wedding present for Xue Chang …”

“I too have some present for you …”

“What is it?”

“Huh …” He refused to let her know.

“Tell me, please?” Her cajolery voice was so enticing and sweet.

“Don’t seduce me, Zhen Shan Mei!” He laughed. He really did not know how he could resist her alluring self.

“I haven’t.” Shan Mei retorted.

“Really?” Xiang Zhe did not think the same, so he changed the topic, “I will stay here tonight.”

“Why? Why don’t you go home?”

“It’s too late … Besides, I’m to tired …” Shan Mei would certainly abide by that.

“OK! Then Xue Chang you better go to bed quickly! But I haven’t brought over any toilet articles. What would you do?”

“It doesn’t matter. I will rush home in the morning!” He gently smiled, “Huh … I will sleep in the guest room tonight …”

“Guest room? Why? You can sleep in …” Shan Mei’s speech was half finished when she heard his laughter, “Xue Chang!”

“OK, OK … I won’t laugh any more … Are you angry? Why are you not saying a word?”

“I’ll ignore you, you always set me up!” He could imagine how adorable she looked when she was angry.

“Shan Mei … OK, I won’t tease you anymore, OK?” Xiang Zhe could not help himself, he just loved teasing her.

“Xue Chang …”

“Huh?”

“Happy birthday!” The hour hand of the clock had just slipped past 12 midnight.

“Thank you …”

“Goodnight …” Xiang Zhe hung up his cell phone, closed his eyes and leaned backward. Perhaps the smell of Shan Mei still lingered in the house, he felt asleep not long thereafter.

……………………..

In the afternoon the next day, Shan Mei made a special trip to have lunch with Xiang Zhe at Wen Rong.

There was nothing she could do. Xiang Zhe stubbornly wanted to express his thanks to her birthday present and in actual fact he just wanted to see her. Furthermore, Shan Mei did not want to let Xiang Zhe rushing around. Anyway she now had time to spare, so she just came.

“See you tonight then. I will come to pick you up.”

“Good!” Shan Mei nodded, smiling said, “It’s awesome that Yong Xi Senior and Uncle Xian Da finally patched up their differences … I will buy Yong Xi Senior a present …”

“Good idea, Yong Xi will be pleased …”

“Huh! I have to go …” Shan Mei bade Xiang Zhe goodbye in front of the elevator.

“Let me give you a lift …” Xiang Zhe wrapped his arm around Shan Mei’s shoulder.

“There is no need …” She had eaten an uncomfortable lunch. Who asked them to pick the staff canteen? They had to take on the staff’s focus of attention on them.

“It doesn’t matter, I will show you out …”

“Please don’t!” Shan Mei was flushed red, “Besides, people who only talks of love in the office … will be dismissed by his superior!” She smiled sweetly and walked into the elevator herself.

He too smiled, watching her waving her hand, he felt so relaxed.

However Shan Mei did not leave the Wen Rong Building immediately, because she ran into two people in the entrance hall – Belle and Tai Xi.

“You have come back? When?” Shan Mei knew Belle and Tai Xi were invited to go to Cheju for a holiday.

“Belle, what happens to you?” Shan Mei found that Belle was looking strange and was not her usual warm and bright self.

“I’m … fine …” Belle started to speak but she hesitated.

“The firm has acquired a big case, so Belle and I can only give up a wonderful holiday …” Tai Xi pointed to the document folder in his hand.

“From which company?” Shan Mei asked and an idea came to her, “Is it Wen Rong?”

“You’re so clever, you guess right the first try!” Tai Xi nodded and said “Right, Shan Mei, we have something we need your help …”

“No problem! When?”

“It’s best if it is today … But Belle and I are tied up, so how about 3:00 p.m. tomorrow afternoon?”

“OK, I will go to see you at your office tomorrow afternoon at 3:00 p.m.” Shan Mei grasped Belle’s hands.

“Then we are off.” Belle nodded and she was almost in tears.

Shan Mei watched the departure of her good friends and could not help but worry. Exactly what had happened? When they met tomorrow, she had to ask Belle and Tai Xi earnestly.

7:00 P.M. IN THE EVENING, INSIDE A WESTERN RESTAURANT.

“This way …” Xian Da raised his hand to signal to Xiang Zhe. Xiang Zhe nodded to Xian Da and walked over.

“I’m sorry, I was delayed just when I was on my way out …”

“Is it raining outside? Where is Shan Mei?” Yong Xi asked.

“Right, where is she? I thought you would be coming together.” Xian Da asked.

“It’s just a little rain. Yong Xi, how are you?”

“I’m fine. Xian Da accompanied me to a checkup today and everything is fine.” Yong Xi’s face was filled with the happy smiles of an expectant mother and Xian Da’s face was also filled with contentment and happiness.

“That is good. Shan Mei will be coming late. She has to accompany Gu Gu for her wedding dress fittings.”

“You are saying that the wedding of Shan Mei’s Gu Gu is all fixed?” Xian Da smilingly asked.

“Yes, Gu Gu is planning to hold a simple wedding in London during Christmas and then return to spend New Year in Seoul.”

“I can hear the envy in your voice?” Xian Da smiled.

“A little bit …” Faced with his two best friends, Xiang Zhe did not try to hide his emotion. He really wished to hold a simple and happy wedding under the blessings of friends and relatives. However he was bound by the status of being Wen Rong’s chairman, thus also put Shan Mei to inconvenience.

“OK, don’t brood over it!” Yong Xi pondered and then smilingly said, “I on the contrary think that Shan Mei is more positive than you are! She certainly would be able to handle things!”

Hearing Yong Xi’s words, Xiang Zhe smilingly nodded. He knew Shan Mei’s mind and he also knew she was so optimistic and strong.

“Here, this is for you.” Xiang Zhe took out the present Shan Mei asked him to give to Yong Xi.

“This is - - “

“This is the dress Shan Mei specially picked for you. She has made a lot of research in books and magazines …” Xiang Zhe smilingly explained.

“Please thank Shan Mei for me.” Yong Xi looked at the dress inside the bag and gave an understanding smile.

“Shan Mei also said that if the dress does not fit you in any way, you can go to that dress shop.” Xiang Zhe took out a business card and handed it to Xiang Zhe, “Shan Mei said she is very friendly with the owner.”

“Thank you.” Yong Xi took the business card and gently smiled.

“What’s up?” Xian Da looked at the flash of emotion in his wife’s eyes.

“Yong Xi?” Xiang Zhe also noticed.

“This shop specializes in maternity evening dresses. Although Xian Da and I are well prepared in various aspects, I would sometimes still feel worried, especially about myself … Shan Mei is really very attentive, I have only mentioned it carelessly to her …”

“I’m sorry, it is me who overlooked …” Xian Da grasped Yong Xi’s hand. After all giving birth to a baby was a big sacrifice to Yong Xi.

“No, you have done very well …” Xian Da was always very considerate to herself, Yong Xi knew very well, “I will thank Shan Mei myself. It’s because we are both female, besides Shan Mei is always so thoughtful and considerate …”

“I will thank Shan Mei in person …” Xian Da tightly held Yong Xi’s hand.

“Looking at the two of you, I’m so envious …” Xiang Zhe was happy for Xian Da and Yong Xi and at the same time, envious and proud.

“You have to treat Shan Mei well, or else …” Yong Xi’s voice was very serious and Xiang Zhe lowered his head and smiled.

“I don’t think you need to say that!” Xian Da patted his wife’s hand and mockingly smiled at Xiang Zhe. His junior indeed had loved Shan Mei miserably.

“It is raining heavier now …” Yong Xi noticed that people who just came into the restaurant all looked distressed; it seemed they had been wet by the rain.

“Yes …” Xian Da also noticed and he said to Xiang Zhe, “Please call Shan Mei. If she is far away from her, then ask her not to make trouble to come over.”

“Good idea.” Xiang Zhe dialled her cell phone.

“Hello, who’s calling please?” It was Shan Mei’s sweet voice.

“It’s me, where are you? Still with Gu Gu?”

“Yes, Gu Gu has just picked a grey evening gown … I think I can’t come over until later. Please convey my apologies to Seniors. Don’t wait for me and order first…” Shan Mei smilingly said.

“So …” Xiang Zhe smilingly looked at Xian Da and Yong Xi, “It is pouring outside. Please don’t come if it is not convenient for you. Yong Xi and Xian Da won’t mind.”

“Is it raining?” They had not paid any attention, “Then Xue Chang, have you brought your umbrella?”

“Yes … OK, I know and I won’t get wet. You too … I will come to pick you up later?”

“There is no need … Gu Gu and I will be careful … Huh, I will remember to eat …”

“OK, Goodbye. I will call you tonight.” Xiang Zhe unwillingly hung up.

“Shan Mei asked me to convey her apologies to you!”

“It doesn’t matter! Let’s place our order!” Xian Da beckoned to the waiter.

“That’s fine. Yong Xi is now eating for two and can’t stay hungry, or else Xian Da Ge’s heart will ache …”

“You are teasing me again …” Xian Da smiled when his cell phone rang and it was for Xiang Zhe.

“Anything wrong?” Xian Da ceased to smile.

“Hmm, something urgent props up and needs my attention.” Xiang Zhe’s face looked very serious.

“How can you be so busy!” Yong Xi was a little bit fed up.

“I have to leave you to your dinner. I’m so sorry!” Xiang Zhe stood up and was ready to go.

“It is so difficult to invite you two to dinner … Next time it will be your treat …” Xian Da pulled at Yong Xi, signaling her not to make life difficult for Xiang Zhe.

“OK …” Xiang Zhe smiled apologetically and left. However he settled Xian Da and Yong Xi’s bill before he left as a compensation for his and Shan Mei’s breaking the dinner date.

It was late in the night and the rain was falling heavy.

It was already 10:00 p.m. Xiang Zhe bade his subordinates goodbye after the urgent meeting and returned to his office. Wen Rong Industries’ matter was finally concluded and he could temporarily breath a sigh of relief.

Xiang Zhe put on his jacket, picked up the umbrella and left his office. He directly went down to the underground carpark and drove his car home.

When Xiang Zhe was driving and turned in the intersection, his eyes accidentally looked at the coffee shop by the roadside and could not help braking his car.

“Shan Mei!”

He was right; Shan Mei was standing under the ceiling of the coffee shop, craning her neck to look in all directions. At this moment, Shan Mei also found Xiang Zhe’s car and she could not help blossoming into smiles.

Xiang Zhe hurriedly parked his car on the side of the road and ran over to dodge under Shan Mei’s umbrella.

“Why are you running about during this heavy rain?” Though he gently took her to task, he was extremely touched.

“I’m here to meet with you!” Her smile was so sweet and her eyes were filled with concerns.

“Why didn’t you come inside to look for me?” She surprisingly stood there waiting for him. Thinking of how she stood there lonely and helplessly waiting, he could not help but blamed himself and his heart ached even more.

“I have just arrived and I have been talking on the phone to Papa, Mama and Gu Gu all the way … Oh, Mama made Japanese food today and it tasted super. You should come and try it one day!” She smilingly explained, “Then I arrived here and I have drunk a cup of hot coffee.”

“Oh you!” Xiang Zhe sighed and his heart was filled with happiness and longing.

“The coffee here is very fine! You see, I have order a takeout for you!” Shan Mei raised up the bad held in her left hand, trying to make him feel relieved.

“How did you know I was here?” He took over the umbrella, wrapped his arm around her and walked to their car.

“I spoke to Yong Xi Senior on the phone and she told me that you had to miss dinner in order to rush back to deal with some crisis in the office.” She sounded very disgruntled. This man did not even know how to treasure his health!

“Please get in! We have ordered and eaten some snacks.” Xiang Zhe smilingly explained. He knew most of his subordinates, like him, were hurriedly notified at the last moment because of the urgency of the matter. So he ordered snacks for everyone and they ate them during their break.

“Xue Chang is really a good boss!” Shan Mei put on her seat belt and smiled.

“Thank you! Then do I get any material reward?” Xiang Zhe inspected Shan Mei’s seat belt and also tied up his and then turned to look at her.

“Huh …” Shan Mei rolled her eyes and smilingly said, “I will make dinner for you later!”

“Then what are you making for me?” He asked and there were profound tenderness in his eyes.

“The most tasty … ramen!” She mischievously laughed.

“OK … Thank you!” He patted on her adorable cheek and drove away.

On the way, with Shan Mei to keep him company, Xiang Zhe’s tiredness was all gone and he could only feel sweet happiness. Of course Xiang Zhe could also enjoy the most tasty ramen Shan Mei made for him tonight!

 

CHAPTER 41 – HAPPINESS IS MADE UP OF INNUMERABLE SWEET TRIFLES IN LIFE

Author: Ming Wei Xue
Translated with author’s consent by: nho (CA)

 

In the early morning, Xiang Zhe habitually gave Shan Mei a ring.

Yesterday was the weekend and Shan Mei and Xiang Zhe took their wedding photos in their new home. This was also the first time they saw each other wearing the traditional Korean costumes. It was originally planned that they would go out for a date after the photo shot, but unfortunately it rained and it was that kind of drizzling and cool rain. Shan Mei happily suggested that she wanted to shoot the raining scenes too, so they had an additional photo session. As a result, Shan Mei was sneezing at the end.

He wondered how she was now? Yesterday he did not have dinner with her because of busy working schedule.

The phone was picked up by Gui Cheng. Shan Mei was sick and was sent to the hospital at dawn because of a fever.

“Uncle, what did the doctor say? How is Shan Mei?” Xiang Zhe was burning with impatience and the hand that was holding the phone was already sweating with anxiety.

“She has just gone to sleep … Last night she had the drip feed and her fever has now gone. The doctor said she just needs more rest to get well.” Gui Cheng comforted Xiang Zhe and explained Shan Mei’s condition.

Aye! Shan Mei caught a cold after getting wet in the rain and with the exhaustion she suffered as a result of several days of hard work, that was why she had fallen ill all of a sudden.

“Uncle, how is Shan Mei how?” Xiang Zhe could not help blaming himself. It was not as if he was not aware of Shan Mei’s hardwork during the last few days. What he worried most had now happened. He should not have let Shan Mei taking photos under the rain! What he was most angry about was he could be so incredibly remiss; he clearly found out Shan Mei’s voice was thick with nasal sound when they talked on the phone last night, but he did not delve into it.

“She is fine now. You don’t have to worry and please go to work with your peace of mind. Shan Mei is afraid that you will worry, that’s why she would not let me contact you last night.”

“I know. OK, Uncle … Goodbye.” Xiang Zhe tried to calm his frame of mind, so all he could do was to let her have her peace of mind.

………………….

It was midday and Shan Mei woke up. Gui Cheng specially cooked some congee for his darling daughter.

“No, I don’t want to eat …” Shan Mei cajolely pouted at his father and refused to eat the congee.

“Be a good girl, the doctor said you can only eat congee now … Come, Papa made it myself …” Gui Cheng coaxed his little daughter.

“Pa ..” Shan Mei shook her head, still refusing to eat.

“Oh Shan Mei …” Gui Cheng could not get the better of his daughter. He wanted his daughter to get better, but he did not want to force her.

“You two are still in a seesaw battle …” The door was pushed open and Chen Su came in and at the same time, brought someone with her. That person of course was Xiang Zhe; his hand was holding a large bunch of white lily.

“How are you, Uncle?” Xiang Zhe looked at Shan Mei and he politely bowed to Gui Cheng to greet him.

“Oh, you are here!” Gui Cheng was happy to see Xiang Zhe, especially when he saw the anxiety and concern in his eyes and he could not help but ceased to worry.

“Yes.” Xiang Zhe nodded and his eyes returned to Shan Mei. Chen Su took Xiang Zhe’s flowers and put them in the vase.

“I’m just trying to persuade the patient to eat, but she is unwilling …” Gui Cheng pointed to the bowl in his hand.

“Aiyoo, Pa!” Shan Mei looked at her father with displeasure, “I have recovered!”

“Since when she was little, whenever she is sick, she just loves to act like a spoiled child …” Gui Cheng roared with laughter and Shan Mei’s little face was flushed red.

“Let Xiang Zhe do it, I think it won’t work with you.” Chen Su took the bowl from Gui Cheng’s hand and handed it to Xiang Zhe, then she smilingly pushed Gui Cheng out of the room.

“I’m not hungry!” Shan Mei pouted prettily at the smiling Xiang Zhe with the bowl of congee in his hand and hurriedly combed her hair with her hand; he should not see her in her present state.

“Auntie said you have eaten nothing since last night.” He picked up the comb and handed it to her and then sat down at the bedside, looking at her. “You are looking pale …” His voice was trembling a little.

“I’m fine … I was sleeping and I don’t feel hungry …” Shan Mei combed her hair, touching her face, only to find Xiang Zhe’s heartache expression, “Xue Chang …”

“I’m sorry …” He did not take good care of her; his heart ached and he felt guilty.

“It is not your fault. Please don’t feel bad.” Shan Mei extended her hand, wishing to smooth the pain in Xiang Zhe’s brows. She knew he must have worried for the whole morning.

“I know.” Xiang Zhe tenderly grasped Shan Mei’s hands, trying to feel her gentleness and also wanting to pass her his warmth.

……………

“Come, have some congee …” His magnetic voice was filled with gentle persuasion.

“I really don’t want to eat …” Shan Mei shook her head; she did not have any appetite.

“I know, but you have to eat some regardless, or else you will have a stomach ache.” Xiang Zhe took a spoonful of congee, “Please do me the honour …”

“Huh …” Shan Mei turned her head.

“Come, be a good girl …” Xiang Zhe put the congee to Shan Mei’s mouth, coaxing her gently.

“I really don’t want …”

“Let’s do it this way. Let’s take one spoonful each, OK?”

“OK …” She compromised.

“How do you like the congee made by Papa?”

“It’s yummy, very tasty.”

“You must have taken no lunch, you should eat more.” She passed the spoonful of congee before her mouth to him.

“OK.” He welcomed and took the congee, “Anyway we have plenty of time, let’s eat slowly …”

“You are playing truant! How can you do that?” Shan Mei hurriedly swallowed the congee.

“I haven’t …” Xiang Zhe put down the spoon, put out his hand to gently pat her back, “Don’t get agitated …”

How could she not get agitated? What she feared most was Xue Chang would neglect his work because of her.

“The meeting is at 3:00 p.m. and now is lunch break.”

“Really?” Xue Chang was a serious worker. Before he would indeed make good use of the lunch hour, and besides he himself always work overtime without taking any rest.

“I have made preparation and there won’t be a problem!” He again fed her with another spoonful. If he could not see her getting well, his heart would not be settled down and at peace.

“Huh!” Shan Mei nodded.

“I will bring you little dumpings in the evening …”

“OK!” He seized the change of saying “OK” to feed her with a big spoonful of congee, only to exchange for her look of “displeasure”, but he on the other hand laughed.

“From now on, you have to rest and get well and leave me in charge …” He wanted her to be his bride with her peace of mind.

“OK …” As soon as the words were out, she regretted.

“You have already agreed …” He smiling eyes were very calculating.

“You’re shameless!” She murmured, but she conceded.

“There are still 9 days to go …” He put down the bowl and said gently.

“9 days?” Really, there was 9 days more and she was getting married.

“I will take care of the rest of the arrangements …” He drew near her and planted a light kiss on her forehead and his eyes were filled with extreme tenderness.

“Huh …” She shyly nodded, her fluid glance was filled with tender smile.

……………….

After Xiang Zhe left, Shan Mei took a little nap. After she woke up, Shan Mei was visited by a continuous stream of visitors. Fortunately, she had recovered her health and she was in good spirit. All she needed was a good rest.

The first group of visitors was Belle and Tai Xi. A few days’ ago, Shan Mei went to Tai Xi’s workshop to help and finally knew what had happened between Belle and Tai Xi and also enabled them to clear up the matter.

As a matter of fact, it was Tai Xi’s secretary, Jin Yan Zhu who contracted the Wen Rong case for the company, making Belle and Tai Xi rushing back from Cheji. Of course, the crucial point was the following conversation between them when they met ...

……………………

“Belle misunderstands the relationship between me and Jin Yan Zhu …” Tai Xi anxiously explained to Shan Mei. He had already wished that Shan Mei could be of help.

“Misunderstand? Jin Yan Zhu told me in person! Haven’t you two got together? …” Belle was so agitated that she burst out the truth. Actually after they hurried back to Seoul from Cheju, Tai Xi threw himself into work. However Jin Yan Zhu seized the opportunity to talk to Belle and let her know that she and Tai Xi had decided to be together and she wished Belle could help them to fulfill their hope.

“None of this is true! I absolutely have not been with her!” Tai Xi exclaimed. He never thought that Jin Yan Zhu would say that. “Belle, please believe me!”

Apparently Jin Yan Zhu was telling lies, but what was the reason?

“It’s not that I don’t believe you. It’s only … I’m angry that you could incredibly let her get so close to you! How can you let other have an opportunity of taking advantage of us?”

“You trust me, don’t you?” Tai Xi pulled at Belle’s hand.

“You fool, of course I trust you! If not I would have gone long time ago! I am waiting for you to solve this problem, but you didn’t seem to understand!” All this time, Tai Xi thought she was just jealous.

“It looks as if you have now solved your differences?” Looking at her two good friends who were now eyeing each other with profound love, Shan Mei broke the silence and jokingly asked.

“I’m so sorry …” Tai Xi looked at Shan Mei and felt apologetic and his face flushed red.

“I should be the one to say sorry …” Before she even had a chance to speak, the differences between the two of them were resolved. “Has the war ended? Don’t be like it next time … You too must communicate with each other in a better way in future …” Shan Mei nudged Belle.

“Next time?” Tai Xi glowered, “I wouldn’t dare! There won’t be next time!”

Belle could not help breaking into laughter when she heard this.

“If you two are alright, I too should begin work ..”

………………..

Today, Belle and Tai Xi came purposely to exhibit Shan Mei’s “work achievementg” and never thought Shan Mei would have fallen ill, so they not only brought lot of fruits but also a large bunch of carnations, in total 99 of them!

“Heaven!” How could they brought such a big bunch! Shan Mei was really surprised and happy.

“On one hand, it is to wish you get well soon and on the other is to thank you …” Belle smilingly explained.

“Really, 99 of them means forever and in good health!” Tai Xi added.

“Thank you so much …” Shan Mei happily smiled and she together with Belle and Chen Su placed the flowers in the vase.

…………………..

Inside Shan Mei’s bedroom, Tai Xi switched on his computer notebook, placed the compact disc inside and Wen Rong’s home page appeared.

“You can only open the link through your and “your Xue Chang’s” special column … I indeed worked earnestly to create this disc for you.” Belle explained, purposely emphasizing on the words “Your Xue Chang”.

“Thank you!” Shan Mei clicked on Xiang Zhe’s picture.

“You picked a very good picture … Why didn’t you choose one with the two of you together?” Belle starred at the monitor and could not help blowing a whistle, “However, he is really very gorgeous …”

“Really?” Tai Xi stood behind them, and sulkily interrupted.

“He really is …” Belle sighed, “Even more handsome than Tai Xi. If all Korean men are like this … Wow! Tai Xi!” Belle turned and found Tai Xi’s eyes looked at herself deeply.

“What’s up?”

“You scare me to death!” Belle glared at Tai Xi, massaging her own chest.

“Stop it you two and no more fooling around …” Shan Mei knew Belle was purposely trying to provoke Tai Xi. She exited the window and clicked open other columns.

Belle stuck out her tongue and continued to watch the screen with Shan Mei. Tai Xi also stopped the squabbling match and joined in their discussions. Xiang Zhe’s special column was designed by Shan Mei personally and this was also her wedding present to Xue Chang.

After seeing this couple of darling friends off, Shan Mei again received another pair of darling couple – Cui Chen Sui and Zhao Zhao Di.

Looking at Chen Sui who was holding a large plant in his arms and wearing a face of embarrassment, Shan Mei and her family were so startled that they did not what to say.

“Uncle and Aunties, how are you all?” Zhao Di and Chen Sui greeted the elders by bowing to them.

“Eh … Hello!”

“You … What is this?” Shan Mei hurriedly motioned Chen Sui to put down the plant.

“How’s that? A surprise to you?” Chen Sui took the tea from Shan Mei, “Thank you!”

“Yes …” Shan Mei nodded and took another look at the plant which was pale yellowish green, “But what is this?”

“Aloe vera! This is the best one we can find in Seoul …”

“Yes, Chen Sui and I went to several shops … We heard that not only can aloe be used as medicine, it can also enhance your beauty and also can clean the air … It also looks quite pretty!”

“Thank you!” Shan Mei was touched by her friends’ thoughtfulness.

“We really have to thank you.” Gui Cheng was also very touched.

“Right, how come you know I am sick?”

“I heard Senior Xian Da talking on the phone with Senior Yong Xi! Of course Zhao Di and I have to come to pay you a visit … I think Seniors are coming too.”

“Thank you, but don’t you have to go to work?”

“I ask for leave to accompany Zhao Di to a medical checkup in the hospital …”

“Zhao Di, what’s wrong with you?” Shan Mei looked at Zhao Di with concern.

“Nothing’s wrong …” Zhao Di’s face flushed red and she lowered her head.

“What’s up?” This did not like Zhao Di, Shan Mei grasped Zhao Di’s hand.

“I’m going to be a father!” Chen Sui’s face was red with excitement.

“Really? Congratulations!”

“Yes, this is good news …” Chen Su nodded in agreement and turned to go into the dining room to pick up a kimji pot.

“We don’t have anything good to give you. This kimji pot is very good to your health, please take it home when you go …”

“Thank you Auntie …”

“Be careful in future and take good care of Zhao Di …”

“I know!” Chen Su was very happy.

Chen Sui was correct. Soon after 7:00 p.m., Xian Da and Yong Xi came to Shan Mei’s home. Yong Xi specially bought some nutritious food for Shan Mei and Gui Cheng invited them to stay for dinner. Not long after, Xiang Zhe also came and they had dinner together.

After dinner and after seeing Xian Da and Yong Xi off, Shan Mei and Xiang Zhe took a stroll in the park at the back. Shan Mei put on Xiang Zhe’s jacket. She recounted to him what had happened today, especially about the aloe vera brought by Chen Sui and Zhao Di.

“Xue Chang, I received an email from Ying Mei yesterday. She said she is unable to come back for our wedding.” Shan Mei’s voice was filled with a slight sorrow. She thought of You Zhen again and watching the sad Auntie, she could still feel the pain.

“Miss Xu has her own life to lead. We should respect her choice and not to mind.” He comforted her, not wishing her to be hurt by anything or anyone.

“Huh!” Shan Mei nodded and said “Ying Mei seems to be living a substantial life … She also sends us her blessings …” Her heart was touched.

“We will go with Uncle and Auntie to visit You Zhen one day … He too can cease to worry.” Xiang Zhe wrapped his arm around Shan Mei’s shoulder, knowing that her eyes would certainly redden.

“Good …” Shan Mei nodded, but tears still fell down unheed. She was still a cry baby.

“It doesn’t matter, please go ahead and cry …” He gently pulled her into his arms, giving her a warm embrace.

“Thank you, Xue Chang …” She tenderly murmured.

He wiped away the tears on her face, not leaving any trace, letting her smile returning to her beautiful face.

“Xue Chang, I feel I am so blessedly happy …” She revealed a sweet smile and raised her head to look at Xiang Zhe.

“Really?” When she was blessedly happy, he then would be blessedly happy.

“Although I am sick, everyone is go good to me …”

“It is because our Shan Mei is most adorable …” She was always so easily satisfied. She was his adorable angel.

“Xue Chang, how about you! Are you happy?”

“Umm …” He took her hand, looked at the ring on her finger and revealed a happy smile, “I’m very happy …” They were getting married immediately and to be able to marry her, he was really very blessed.

“Xue Chang, we are really very blessed …” They were the most blessed people in the world.

“There is still 8 days to go …” He smilingly murmured.

“Why is it 8 days?”

“Today will soon be over …” Xiang Zhe counted the days and could not help laughing, “We can still each other every day …” Because Shan Mei was sick, the two families were very concerned and naturally would allow them to see each other every day.

Her face reddened and she unexpectedly thought of the conversations with Yong Xi before dinner –

……………….

“You two are “profiting from a misfortune” …”

“What?” Shan Mei looked at Yong Xi uncomprehendingly.

“It is traditional that the bride and bridegroom cannot see each other three days before the wedding. However Xiang Zhe can now have an excuse to see you …”

“Senior …” Shan Mei was flushed crimson.

…………..

“What are you thinking?” Xiang Zhe looked at the crimsoned face Shan Mei.

“Nothing …” However she was worried about how he thought, “Xue Chang, do we really have to arrange the wedding in this way?”

“I have already discussed with my father and he agreed. Uncle also thinks it is better this way …”

“That’s good.” She could now cease to worry.

“It’s a pity that our vacation is too short …”

“Three weeks, it is long enough … It won’t be a problem to record the charm of Europe.”

“Workaholic …” He pinched her cute nose. He was talking about honeymoon but instead she was thinking of a working holiday.

“I just don’t want to get back to work later without achieving anything. This way I will be sacked by my boss …” Her beautiful and adorable look was very alluring.

“Really? What kind of boss is that? Let’s give him the sack …”

“Oh …” She could not help breaking into laughter, “Xue Chang!”

“OK, no more jokes. Let’s spend a happy honeymoon, shall we?” His love-filled eyes were full of expectation, “That is the time for us alone, we must not be distracted …”

“After work, I will do that …” She nodded, giving a intimate pledge. Because she knew, even though they might be on a honeymoon, he would remote control the company and carry out long distant work on the internet. After all, he had just taken over Wen Rong and there was a lot waiting for him to deal with.

“Me too …” He promised.

“Let’s turn back, or else your cold would get worse …” He wrapped his arm around her and returned together to the house.

“OK …” She obediently agreed.

“When you get back, remember to take your prescription, also drink your milk and do not surf the net.” He did not forget to add his instructions.

“I know and I will be good and listen.” She gave him a sweet smile. She loved his concern, his urgings, even though they are insignificant. However, happiness was made up of innumerable sweet trifles in life.

 

CHAPTER 42 – A Room of Warm Blessings Generated Eternal Radiance …

Author: Ming Wei Xue
Translated with author’s consent by: nho (CA)

 

On September 10, the sun shone bright and beautiful in the morning, but now the sun was slowly losing its blazing light.

On a plane flying from Seoul to Paris, Shan Mei fell asleep soon after boarding. Xiang Zhe asked for a blanket from the air hostess and gently placed it over Shan Mei’s body. Thereafter Xiang Zhe picked up a newspapers, reading the headline and revealing a slight smile.

The headline of the news was “The chairman of the Wen Rong Group, Yin Xiang Zhe and MBS’ Chief Anchor, Zhen Shan Mei held a grand wedding ceremony in Seoul on September 9 and MBS broadcasted the whole ceremony live”. The news also reported that Xiang Zhe and Shan Mei flew directly to Europe for their honeymoon soon after the grand wedding ceremony. Although with the absence of the leading roles, the magnificent wedding feast was still very merry. There were a lot of media waiting at the airport, but it was a pity no one was able to get a shot of their departing form.

However, Shan Mei and Xiang Zhe were now on the plane to Paris. Actually what had really happened?

Xiang Zhe put down the newspapers, turning his head to look at Shan Mei who was leaning on his shoulder and his eyes revealed infinite tender love. He grasped Shan Mei’s hand and the corner of his mouth could not help twitching upwards.

“We held their hands; we were to grow old together with them.” (These are the pledges from the husbands to their wives and the original Chinese verses are taken from an ancient poetry Ji Gu from Shijin [Book of Odes].)

Now they were finally together and Shan Mei finally became his wife!

Yesterday was the most memorable and beautiful day in his life. It should be correct to say that since he met Shan Mei, there were resplendent colours in his gray world and every day was filled with warm sunlight and infinite hope. However when she left him, he only had loneliness to keep him company and he led a hopeless life. It was only that there were worries in his heart which even he himself could not understand: worry about her and it was destiny. Fortunately, after experiencing so much, they could finally come together, they could at long last grasp happiness in their hands. Thinking of all these, Xiang Zhe’s hand which was holding Shan Mei’s hand tightened. Yesterday at the same time, he was still waiting, waiting for his bride to walk towards him.

Actually what happened after Shan Mei and Xiang Zhe’s wedding then?

At 10:00 a.m. on September 9, inside the specially designated bridal restroom, a group of people was around Shan Mei.

“Princess, you are so amazingly beautiful today …” Zhao Di exclaimed.

“Yes, if David gets to see you like this, he would certainly be overcome with regrets!” Belle jokingly said.

“Shan Mei, congratulations!” Yong Xi who was sitting on one side, offered her heartfelt blessings.

“Thank you …” Shan Mei’s shy red face was all the time brimming with happy smiles. At this moment, Shan Mei’s Gu Gu brought in some snacks and invited them to have something to eat first.

“Right, Senior, can I ask you to do something for me …” While others were not paying attention, Shan Mei quietly said to Yong Xi.

After hearing Shan Mei’s words, Yong Xi smilingly nodded in agreement and then found an excuse to go out to look for Yin Wen. Shan Mei knew Yong Xi slightly misunderstood her words, but she really wanted to see Xiang Zhe now. Because Shan Mei had recovered her health very fast, Xiang Zhe did not have an excuse to meet with Shan Mei. He had to obey the elders’ wishes, so they had not seen each other for two whole days.

At this moment Xiang Zhe and his father were meeting guests at the entrance and the grand wedding ceremony was about to commence.

“Brother …” Yin Wen came over and quietly pulled at Xiang Zhe’s jacket.

“What’s up?” Xiang Zhe turned to look at his younger brother.

“I have just spoken to Yong Xi Je and they agree to let you go in to see Shan Mei Je Je …”

“What did you say? You should now call her Sao Zi [i.e. sister in law] Where is your manner?” Yin Zheng Hao reprimanded Yin Wen lightly.

“Pa, it doesn’t matter. Shan Mei also likes Yin Wen to call her that. I will go in and see …” Xiang Zhe tried to help Yin Wen out of the awkward situation and Yin Wen lowered his head and stealthily struck out his tongue.

“OK, but don’t be too long. The wedding ceremony is about to start …” Yin Zheng Hao instructed Xiang Zhe.

“I know …” Xiang Zhe, accompanied by Yin Wen, got around the crowd and quietly came to the bride’s rest room.

“Brother, please go in. Yong Xi Je has already sent the others off.”

“Thank you.” Xiang Zhe patted on Yin Wen’s shoulder and gently pushed open the door to the rest room.

“Shan Mei.” He softly called out her name.

“Xue Chang …” Shan Mei who was sitting in front of the dressing table, turned her head and when she saw it was Xiang Zhe, she gave a sweet smile.

“You look so beautiful today …” He stepped forward, gazing at her with besotted look. Although he had already seen how beautiful Shan Mei looked in the wedding gown before, now she was looking somewhat unreal, resembling a fairy.

“Xue Chang.” Shan Mei shyly lowered her head.

“Are you nervous?” He knelt down before her, grasping her hand.

“Huh! It looks as if my heart is jumping out from my throat …” She raised her head and her voice was filled with nervousness.

“It’s OK, all you need to do later is to walk straight towards me and not looking at other places.”

“Hmm!” Shan Mei nodded and smilingly said: “Actually it was me who asked Senior to have Yin Wen to get you here …”

“What is the matter? You are not to tell me that you want to flee before the ceremony?” Xiang Zhe looked anxious and the hand that was holding Shan Mei’s hand tightened.

“Of course not!” Shan Mei angrily interrupted Xiang Zhe.

“Then what?” He smiled. He loved to see her agitated look.

“This pair of ear-rings was bought by Papa and Mama in their wedding anniversary and Mama specially bought them for me …” Shan Mei’s hands touched the pearl ear-rings on her ears, “Papa put them on for me this morning, therefore I want you to personally put on that necklace or me … In this way, our Mamas and we will be together …” Xiang Zhe’s eyes followed Shan Mei’s glance and fell on the box on the dressing table.

“It’s very remiss of you …” Xiang Zhe stood up and took the necklace. He circled to the back of Shan Mei and solemnly put the necklace around Shan Mei’s neck.

“It’s done …” Xiang Zhe fixed the necklace and gently put down Shan Mei’s hair.

“Thank you!”

“It is I who should say thanks …” She was always so attentive and caring.

“We will be blessedly happy, because our Mamas will be guarding us …” Shan Mei grasped the hands that stayed on her shoulders and she in the mirror was wearing a light and sweet smile. Xiang Zhe could not help losing himself in Shan Mei’s beautiful smile.

It was 11:00 a.m., following the sound of the wedding march, Xiang Zhe and Shan Mei’s wedding ceremony began.

Shan Mei holding on to her father’s arm, walked straight towards Xiang Zhe. She did not see the crowd clapping and cheering on both sides and also did not feel the flashing lights and the camera. All she could see was Xiang Zhe in front, smiling at her and waiting for her.

Finally, Xiang Zhe waited successfully for his bride.

“Xiang Zhe, I am giving Shan Mei to you.” Gui Cheng with tears in his eyes, trying to suppress his feeling and handed Shan Mei over to Xiang Zhe.

“Pa …” Shan Mei’s voice was very low and her eyes were filled with tears.

“I will cherish Shan Mei for the rest of my life.” Xiang Zhe picked up Shan Mei’s hand and pledged to Gui Cheng.

Under the witness and blessings of the people present, Xiang Zhe and Shan Mei pledged their vows of love – to love, to honour and to cherish each other.

Before the officiant finished uttering the words “The bridegroom may kiss the bridge”, Xiang Zhe was already kissing his beloved Shan Mei, a passionate and beautiful kiss …

With the conclusion of their wedding ceremony, their beautiful life commenced.

After the wedding, the bride and the bridegroom only attended the first half of the wedding dinner and made their excuse to leave for the airport in the interim break. Thereafter the wedding dinner was taken charge by the two families. Actually after they changed their wedding dresses, they did not go to the airport as reported in the news, but they went to the Everland instead! – This was part of Xiang Zhe’s plan.

It was after 2:00 p.m. in the afternoon and after Xiang Zhe and his bride made their escape from the wedding dinner, they went directly to the Everland! Riding in the roller coaster and the pirate ship, taking pictures in the flower fair, eating ice-creams and taking photo stickers, devouring hamburgers and listening to the open-air concert … distancing themselves from the tedious dinner reception and social etiquettes, Xiang Zhe and Shan Mei really enjoyed themselves tremendously!

However at 6:00 p.m. in the evening they had to behave and drove back as they had to participate in their family gathering. Actually, only their families knew that they were still in Seoul and in order to suppress this news, Xiang Zhe requested everyone to keep this a secret. Of course tonight’s gathering was also his idea.

“We have arrived.” Xiang Zhe stopped the car, it was their home.

“Do you really have to change?” Xiang Zhe smilingly turned to look at Shan Mei. Actually he already reckoned that she would want to come back to change her clothes.

“Don’t you have to change too?” It embarrassed her to go to visit her in-laws dressing in causal jean wears. Furthermore no newly wedded couple would run away from their wedding reception to play in a playland? She was slightly regretful that she agreed to Xue Chang’s suggestion, but she really could not resist that temptation.

She alighted from the car and he smilingly followed from behind. However when they were about to go into the front door, Xiang Zhe stepped forward quickly.

“We are home.” He took her hand, looking at her straight and his heart was filled with gladness. Finally they were going home together, and also it was the first time they were going home together.

“Xue Chang …” The expression in Shan Mei’s eyes changed from slight consternation to tender feeling of joy.

They went to their bedroom and Shan Mei was still pondering what to wear.

“Change into your wedding gown.” He “kind-heartedly” suggested.

“Xue Chang …” She glared at him.

“Our Shan Mei is the most beautiful in her wedding gown …” He wore an expectant look, however he was really voicing his innermost feelings and thoughts.

“I am going to change!” Looking at his crafty smile, she pushed him out of the door, without giving him a chance to speak.

“I have to change too, but I’m not in a hurry … I’ll wait for you.” He knocked on the door and smilingly said.

Finally Shan Mei picked a simple and elegant blue chiffon long dress. She washed up and put on the dress quickly. She did not want Xue Chang and others to wait too long. However Xiang Zhe did not wait outside the door.

Shan Mei went downstairs and she could hear the sound of beautiful music floating in the air. Xiang Zhe was playing the piano in the parlour.

“Xue Chang …” Shan Mei’s face was filled with laughters.

“Zhen Shan Mei, do you want to join me?” Xiang Zhe looked at Shan Mei indulgently and tenderly asked her with a smile.

“Sure …” Shan Mei gracefully sat down and together with Xiang Zhe, they were playing a duet. Shan Mei felt herself to be the most blessed and her dream came true - she had wanted to play a duet with Xue Chang one day.

Every now and then they looked at each other in tacit understanding; their fingers were flying on the key boards and the bridal chamber was floating with wonderful and happy musical notes. After the music ended, Xiang Zhe and Shan Mei looked at each other with a smile.

“It is time to go to Papa’s place.” Shan Mei stood up, remembering that they had to attend the gathering and they should not be late.

“There is no need.” Xiang Zhe made Shan Mei sit on the sofa in the sitting room and revealed a “conspiracy” smile.

“What?” Shan Mei wore an uncomprehending look.

“Everyone has gone to Cheju tonight.” Xiang Zhe explained the “true” condition.

“Erh?” Shan Mei looked at Xiang Zhe incredibly.

“Tonight belongs to the two of us and I don’t want to be disturbed.” Xiang Zhe gently rubbed Shan Mei’s adorable cheek, she really had not changed one bit.

“Xue Chang, exactly what were you talking about? You don’t mean … You conspired with them, didn’t you?” Shan Mei suddenly realized.

Xiang Zhe nodded, although he wished the grand ceremony would provide her with assurance, but at the same time he also knew that it would be very laborious to face so many people and things at the same time. Besides there were many complicated human relation to deal with and all these would imperceptibly affect their real happiness. Furthermore, he always knew that all she wanted was a sweet and simple wedding, but now she had to accept all these arrangements because of him. Therefore he meticulously and carefully made this arrangement today.

“I hope you won’t get mad at me …” He knew he should not deceive her.

“You must have persuaded them! Papa and they unexpectedly didn’t tell me a thing!” Shan Mei thought back and another question came to her mind, “How did you know we would come home straight? If we went directly to Papa’s place, then … Xue Chang! You already predicted that I wanted to change my clothes, ain’t I right?”

“Very clever!” Xiang Zhe smiled. Shan Mei was very brainy today.

“No wonder you purposely let me dress up like this this afternoon. You even said that I looked more carefree this way … You’re a cunning man!”

“Ok, now is not the time to dwell on my shortcomings, but is the time to deal with our stomachs. Aren’t you hungry? You have only eaten one hamburger today?” He worried about her stomach and took advantage to change the topic.

“I’m fine …” She was in a state of excitement all day and did not feel hungry.

“Let me make dinner for you …”

“No, let me do it.” Both of them wanted to make dinner for each other, and as a result, they reached a compromise: they would each prepare a portion, she would make it for him and he would make it for her. So it ended up there were two people wearing aprons in the kitchen; they were busily working and were also enjoying happiness.

In the quiet of the late night, Shan Mei finished bathing first. She wore a big and loose dressing gown and sat in the sun room watching the moon and waiting for Xiang Zhe. However when Xiang Zhe came in, due to the day’s excitement and fatigue, Shan Mei who was nervous at the beginning was now sleeping soundly.

Xiang Zhe’s love-filled gaze contained deep tenderness and indulgence. How could he have the heart to wake her up? He gently lifted her up in his arms and carried her to their bedroom. He then gently put her on the bed and covered her with a thin blanket. Thereafter he lay down beside her and tenderly held her in his arms.

Tonight the moon was shining particularly bright and clean and through the curtain the light spilled gently into the room. Xiang Zhe took advantage of the moonlight to look at Shan Mei in his arms and was seized with an irresistable impulse to gently kissing her lips. It seemed that Shan Mei in her dream came into awareness and responded to his kisses. At this time the moon slowly crept behind the clouds and the light gradually diminished.

“Shan Mei …” Xiang Zhe could not help calling her name with profound love and kissed his “sleeping beauty” awake.

“Xiang Zhe …” Shan Mei slowly opened her dazed eyes and clashed with Xiang Zhe’s tender gaze.

“I love you …” He poured out his love for her and deeply kissed her on her lips. She also could not help responding to him. It was a long time before they could separate each other from their passionate kisses.

“May I?” Xiang Zhe’s magnetic voice was filled with sexy huskiness. He wished she was ready for him.

“Huh.” Shan Mei timidly nodded, her bashful eyes shone with the light of trust and she gave herself to him. He lowered his head, kissing her lips, kissing her cheek, kissing her earlobes and kissing her neck …

When the moon emerged from the clouds, its warm and enriched brightness illuminated the room which emitted a romantic tender feeling and exquisite sweet fragrance and also that sweet eternity.

In the early morning of the following day, the sunlight filtered in early through the curtains. Xiang Zhe was already awake and he was now happily gazing at his beloved wife who was sleeping soundly in his arms.

For reasons unknown, Shan Mei was slowly waken up from deep slumber. Her long eye lashes twitched open and her black and white distinct eyes looked at the ceiling vaguely. She blinked several times and then as a habit, looked around the room.

“Oh!” A handsome and familiar male face appeared right before her eyes. Her eyes starred wide open, her mouth half gaped and she looked like a frightened innocent angel.

“You are awake? Good morning.” He gently planted a kiss on her forehead and looked at her tenderly. He knew she had apparently forgotten his existence, that was why she was wearing a face of bewilderment.

“Good morning …” Shan Mei’s face flushed crimsoned. This was the only way she could respond to him. Because she knew she was in his arms, she dared not move and dared not look at him in his eyes. So her eyes could only drift to the scenery outside of the window.

“Shan Mei, do I look very repulsive?” His tone of voice sounded with slight regret. He purposely tried to tease her.

“What?” As expected Shan Mei’s attention was drawn back. However, it seemed she did not hear clearly Xiang Zhe’s words.

“Shan Mei, it is normal for husband and wife to be like this …” He gently smiled, combing her soft hair.

“I know …” Her voice was so low that it was near inaudible. Fortunately they were so close that he could still hear her.

“So the “passion” between us is also very normal …”

“Xue Chang!” This time Shan Mei looked straight at Xiang Zhe, her beautiful eyes glaring big and round.

“OK, I will tease you no more … Please give me a smile. You have the most beautiful smile!” He reached out his hand to caress her cheek, wanting to see her smile. As expected, she blossomed into a smile, a shy and sweet smile.

He looked at her; he could see himself deep in the pupil of her eyes and in turn, he could also see her in his own eyes. He could not help gather his arms and shortened the distance between them.

“Xue Chang …” She could feel his breathing and wanted to withdraw to a safety distance.

“Ssh …” He stopped her words by kissing her on her mouth and gave her sweeter love.

When the sun was shining bright, Xiang Zhe and Shan Mei finally had to get up.

“I will go and clean up first and you can sleep on for a little while …” Xiang Zhe planted a kiss on Shan Mei’s forehead. Then he got up to pick up the dressing gown, put it on and turned to look at Shan Mei. As expected, she obediently closed her eyes and her tense face was blushing red.

Xiang Zhe smiled and went to the bathroom next door, leaving the whole bedroom and the en suite bathroom to Shan Mei. Until she heard the sound of Xiang Zhe closing the door before Shan Mei then opened her eyes. She drew a long breath and hurriedly got up. She picked up her dressing gown and went for her bath. She wanted to make breakfast for Xue Chang as today was the first day after their marriage.

After taking the bath, Shan Mei changed into a beige homely outfit. She combed her still damp hair and returned to the bedroom.

“Oh!” The bedroom was already cleaned up. The floor-length curtain was also drawn apart and the windows were half opened. Apparently Xiang Zhe had just cleaned the place up.

“Xue Chang …” Shan Mei smilingly murmured and hurriedly went downstairs. She was ready to make breakfast, but saw the dining table was already laid with breakfast.

“Xue Chang?” Shan Mei revealed a look of wonder. She never thought that on the first day after their marriage, Xue Chang would make breakfast for her.

“How’s that?” Xiang Zhe came out from the kitchen with an apron around him. He put down the tray, took the apron and smilingly looked at Shan Mei.

“You … I …” She originally planned to make Xue Chang a blessed breakfast but instead she got a pleasant surprise. However some feeling of grief and remorse could not help but swelled up from the bottom of her heart.

“What’s the matter?” He came to her side. Watching her facial expression, the considerate Xiang Zhe could understand Shan Mei’s feeling of remorse and gratefulness as she originally planned to give him a pleasant surprise.

“I’m sorry Xue Chang …” Shan Mei lowered her head and her voice was also very faint.

“I can read your mind. You don’t have to apologize …” He wrapped his hands around her from her back and softly kissed her cheek, “From now on we will take turn to prepare breakfast … But do you like the breakfast I made?”

“Huh!” Shan Mei revealed a smile.

“Come and eat breakfast then!” He pulled her down to sit on a chair.

“Although I love eating the food you prepare, I love to watch you eat the food I prepare more …” He held her hand and passed his thoughts to her.

“Thank you!” Shan Mei sweetly smiled, Xue Chang was always so thoughtful.

“I wish I can give my wife blessed happiness and I will try my best to do it, I guarantee!”

“Xue Chang will spoil me rotten …”

“I won’t. Our Shan Mei is the most well-behaved and the most adorable … However to be the mistress of Wen Rong will be a rough task.” Xiang Zhe’s voice was filled with heartaches as he really could not be hardhearted to let her bear so much burden.

“Xue Chang, I have faith in you. You have to trust yourself too!” Her flower-like smile was filled with strength, “No matter what, I will be with Xue Chang together.” She nodded and her eyes seemed to say: “Because you are my Xue Chang and the one I love is Xue Chang.”

“Thank you!” He too nodded and his eyes told her: “I love you too …”

“Eat quickly, we are in a hurry to catch the plane!” Shan Mei remembered that they had to catch a plane.

“It doesn’t matter if we can’t catch the plane, we can spend our honeymoon at home …” He laughed.

“Xue Chang!” She really could not get the better of him.

“OK, I’ll be good …” He was like a well-behaved child who acknowledged he was in the wrong.

“Really …” Shan Mei replied, but could not help laughing and Xiang Zhe laughed too.

A room of warm blessings generated eternal radiance.

 

CHAPTER 43 –

 

 

CHAPTER 44 – Do You Believe in Fairytale Like Love?

Author: Ming Wei Xue
Translated with author’s consent by: nho (CA)

 

The first stop of Xiang Zhe and Shan Mei’s honeymoon was at Paris. It was noon local time when they arrived.

After they had checked in the hotel, Shan Mei opened up their luggage and was about to unpack.

“You better take a nap first as you didn’t sleep well on the plane. We are taking a boat ride cruising River Seine this evening …” Xiang Zhe stopped Shan Mei from unpacking.

“No, I better tidy up first, or else this evening …”

“Let me do it. Please be a good girl. I won’t let you doze off during the boat ride …”

“I won’t do that. I am full of energy!” Shan Mei obstinately replied.

“Really? I hope you will tell me that after the boat ride tonight …” The corner of his mouth twitched with a smile and started to unpack the luggage.

“Xue Chang …”

“Be a good girl! Restore your energy so that we can have a good time this evening!” He tenderly coaxed her and accompanied her to the bedroom.

“OK, but you also have to take a rest yourself …” Shan Mei was really feeling a little bit tired. After they got off the plane when their car passed through the Arc de Triomphe, they jumped out to take a look and afterwards they also went to see La Tour Eiffel. Shan Mei was very excited and Xiang Zhe complied with all her wishes; he just wanted her to be happy and pleased.

Xiang Zhe finished unpacking in no time. When he got back to the bedroom, Shan Mei was already lying on the bed and sleeping without undressing. Xiang Zhe gently and noiselessly drew the curtain close and then lay down beside Shan Mei.

“Xue Chang?” Shan Mei blurrily opened her eyes and then shut them again.

“Sleep well …” Xiang Zhe gently wrapped his arms around her and also closed his eyes.

………………….

At 9:00 p.m., Xiang Zhe and Shan Mei finished their dinner. They boarded the tour boat and took the night cruise along River Seine with the other tourists, enjoying the Paris night scenery. At this moment they were on the upper deck of the boat.

“What are you thinking?” Xiang Zhe looked at Shan Mei’s enchanted face and smilingly asked. He was afraid that she would catch a cold and put his overcoat around her shoulders.

“It’s so beautiful and very charming, isn’t it?” Shan Mei pulled close her jacket, wearing a lovely smile on her lips.

“Yes …” Xiang Zhe nodded in agreement. It had a different kind of romantic and fascinating atmosphere when compared with London.

“I am thinking of things in the past …” She murmured.

“Past?”

“Huh! Because David had described the scenery of Paris to be so beautiful that made me want to come to take a look. Now finally my wish comes true. As a matter of fact, Marseilles’ Le Montrachet Lobster Bisque tastes as good as David described!” Actually David had invited her to spend her vacation here, but she refused. She only wanted to enjoy the Paris night scenery with her beloved and also to taste the Paris cuisine together.

“Shan Mei …” Xiang Zhe held her hand.

“Xue Chang?” She turned her head.

“Thank you …” From David, he learned of something which was not recorded in Shan Mei’s diary, including, of course, her declining David’s invitation. Frankly speaking, he was a little bit jealous at the beginning, but he had now set his mind at ease.

“Oh! Right, David handed me a present on our wedding day. He said it was a present for you from Belle and them together and he also said I was not to open it ahead.” It was because they were in a hurry to leave for their honeymoon that she nearly forgot all about it.

“Really? We have to specially thank them one day …” He also held Shan Mei’s friends in high regards.

“Huh! Oh, I have put the present in my luggage and you can open it up after we return to the hotel …” She remembered where the present was.

“Good, I am really curious as to what they gave us …” Xiang Zhe smiled.

“Me too, aye …”

At the same moment, a sound was heard from afar and the guests on the boat all turned to look in the same direction. It was the firework - the sparkling and colourful firework lighted up the sky and there was exclamation of praises from the guests.

“It’s so beautiful!” Shan Mei watched the brilliant firework in the sky and exclaimed with pleasant surprise.

“It is really very beautiful …” Xiang Zhe held on Shan Mei’s hand tightly and enjoyed the colourful sight with her.

When they returned to the hotel, it was already past midnight.

Xiang Zhe took the bath first and waited for Shan Mei in the bedroom. With nothing to do, he looked for that present.

“What is it?” Xiang Zhe ripped open the wrapping paper and found it was a tape. He switched on the TV, put in the tape and then sat down on the bedside.

“Hello, Yin Xiang Zhe! This is a tape about Shan Mei’s daily life. You can count this as our blessings to you and Shan Mei … Because it looks as if you are not missing anything … So we specially made up this tape for you. This should be in concert with the tape Shan Mei gave you … Actually most of the shots were taken by me and Tai Xi surreptitiously without Shan Mei’s knowledge … We hope you won’t mind … The shots were put together without being edited and it is a 20 minute original edition … without a duplicate copy. This is the mother tape … Let Shan Mei know after you finish watching it … We hope you will treasure Shan Mei well … and let there be no more regrets …” David, Belle and Tai Xi were all talking at the same time.

“OK, let’s move on to the main subject …” Following Belle’s speech, the scene suddenly changed.

It looked as if it was inside a library. Under the brilliant sun was the back of someone – it was the short-haired Shan Mei. The shot went on for more than 10 seconds. Belle softly called out and Shan Mei turned her head. At first she was surprised, but immediately smiled in response. She did not forget to make a “keep silent” sign and then smilingly turned back to continue reading.

The next scene was apparently inside an apartment. Shan Mei and Belle were baking cakes. Tai Xi was shooting them with a DV. When the task was done, Tai Xi gave Shan Mei’s cake a close up shot – the pattern on top was very simple, it was just a chocolate “Y” …

The scene changed again and it was still Shan Mei’s backside, but the light was quite dim. She was sitting in front of a computer earnestly checking data and doing homework. Apparently this shot was taken without Shan Mei’s knowledge …

Finally the scene came to a standstill – it was also on Shan Mei’s back. She was facing the sea, standing still for a long time, completely unaware there was someone behind her.

Looking at her soft and meek but at the same time unyielding back, tears slowly fell down from Xiang Zhe’s eyes.

“Xue Chang …” Shan Mei softly called out and placed her hands gently on Xiang Zhe’s shoulders. She had come out from the bathroom for quite a while. She really never thought that Belle and they would actually send this present to Xiang Zhe.

“Shan Mei …” Xiang Zhe grasped Shan Mei’s hands and pulled her down to sit beside him.

“Xue Chang …” She could clearly see the tears in his eyes and her heart tightened.

“Don’t say anything …” Xiang Zhe pulled Shan Mei into his arms and held her tight.

……………………………..

The next morning after breakfast, Xiang Zhe and Shan Mei went to visit the Château de Versailles in the outskirt of Paris. It was until the sun set in the west before they returned to the hotel. At night, they went to the Rive Gauche (left bank() to try the coffee there. Shan Mei and Xiang Zhe each ordered a cup of black coffee.

The uniqueness of the Parisian coffee was very different from the American, Japanese or even Italian coffee in that they all played with all kinds of added flavours and here they sold mainly pure and unadulterated black coffee, that was expresso. Actually the most important thing was to enjoy the savour of atmosphere and environment.

“Xue Chang, how does it taste?” Shan Mei smilingly asked.

“It tastes rich and mellow … How about you?” He knew Shan Mei drank black coffee all the time when she was in the States.

“Huh … It’s different from what I drank before … Maybe because here is Paris.” Actually the real different was that he was now by her side. Before she could taste the bitterness of the coffee no matter how much sugar she added in and now the black coffee tasted so mellow and refreshing.

Watching San Mei lowered her head, Xiang Zhe puckered in smile and his face was radiated with happiness. Didn’t he have the same feeling as she?

“Do you want to try something else? The café latte here indeed is quite exceptional. Shall we try some?” After finishing one cup, Xiang Zhe made another suggestion.

“Terrific, I love coffee with milk the best!” Shan Mei nodded, smiling sweetly.

“Don’t you love Xue Chang the best? I remember someone told me this last night …” He teasingly said.

“Xue Chang!” Shan Mei’s adorable face turned crimsoned all at once.

“OK, I am only teasing … I will say “sorry”!” He was really afraid that she would lose her temper and ran away leaving him behind, so he immediately apologized.

“You are always like this! However, I am not that petty.” Shan Mei picked up the café latte and gently took one mouthful, “Huh, it tastes so good …” She sweetly smiled, looking very satisfied.

“It’s good that you like it …” Her smile of satisfaction made him feel utmost happy.

On their third day in Paris, Xiang Zhe and Shan Mei kept a very busy schedule during the day. In the morning they visited one of the three largest museums in the world – the Louvre Museum. Shan Mei fell particularly in love with Venus de Milo which was one of the three most famous works of art in the museum. So Xiang Zhe bought her a crystal Venus figurine as a gift. In the afternoon they strolled along the romantic Les Champs-Elysees and also followed this road’s world famous central axes point to visit Paris’ many famous tourist spots. They also took many pictures and used their DV to record the scene of the whole length of Les Champs-Elysees.

The next day after some rest and recuperation they departed from Paris. Originally Xiang Zhe would like to take Shan Mei shopping in Avenue Montaigne in Paris’ right bank, but Shan Mei did not want to spend time in shopping and she would prefer to visit more places with Xiang Zhe, after all there would be plenty of opportunities to shop later and they could wait until later. As a consequence they left Paris earlier than scheduled and entered the national boundary of Switzerland and reached Geneva.

In the same afternoon they made a special trip by car to Sainte Croix, the town of music boxes and after visiting the Sainte Croix Museum, they bought many beautiful and exquisite music boxes and automatic music dolls.

At night, Shan Mei sat down on the carpet and played around with the music boxes which they were taking back as presents and she was now trying to decide which one to give and to who. However she loved them too much to want to part with them.

“We can keep them all …” Xiang Zhe came over, rubbing dried his hair with a towel. He kissed her gently on her cheek and sat down beside her.

“How can we do that? They are all gifts!”

“Aren’t you unwilling to part with them?” He imitated her usual tone of voice.

“Yes … but I can just keep these two …”

“Why?” Xiang Zhe’s eyes fell on the musical doll pointed by Shan Mei’s finger and could not help giving a wicked smile.

“It’s not what you think!” Shan Mei hurriedly explained and hid the two musical dolls behind her back.

“I didn’t say anything. Could it be that you want to …”

“You’re annoying and I’m not speaking to you!” Shan Mei turned away and really ignored him.

“Let’s open up all the musical boxes . I want to listen to …” Although he loved to see her adorable pouting look, he loved her sweet tenderness more.

She did not say anything, but obediently opened up the music boxes one by one. The pleasing musical notes were soft and leisurely, very touching.

“Don’t be angry, OK?” He pulled her into his arms, tenderly took over the music box from Shan Mei’s hand.

“I’m not!” She smiled. In fact she was only teasing him!

“Naughty!” He held her tightly in punishment and kissed the words from her cute mouth passionately and inseparably.

“Xue Chang …” They slowly drew apart. She opened her hazy eyes, experiencing his passionate breath.

“I love you …” He kissed her mouth once again, softly.

Accompanied by the sound of the light and pleasing music, their love was exploding.

The next day was a sunny day. Xiang Zhe and Shan Mei toured around the parks in the City of Geneva arm in arm. Then they went for a boat ride on Lac Leman and cycled in the countryside. With fresh flowers everywhere, there were so many beautiful things in Geneva than anyone could take in which gave them a good memory. They made a promise that when they came to visit again the next time, they would go skiing in the neighbouring Alps districts and also go swimming in the Rhone River.

Xiang Zhe and Shan Mei’s next stop was Italy which was also one of the important places in this tour. The first city they visited was the water city, Venice. Here, apart from the bridges over the canals where they could linger, the cuisines were of a greater variety and were more delicious than the other cities. There were different kinds of strawberry wine that even Shan Mei who could not drink, was surprised by its ranges. Also because of the fine foods, they stayed in Venice for three days. Later on, they especially took cooking lessons to learn to make the local specialty, saghettine al nero di sepia ( spaghetti with black cuttlefish liquid). Xiang Zhe was more talented than Shan Mei. It was presentable and tasted pretty good the first time he made this dish. When they left Venice, Shan Mei and Xiang Zhe bought some exquisite crystal products as souvenirs. Thereafter they entered Florence which was an important city in the Italian Renaissance.

Florence had two very special piece de resistance: trippa all fiorentina ( muscular lining of beef stomach) and bistecca alla fiorentina steak. Shan Mei was specially fond of bistecca alla fiorentina steak and ordered it for two consecutive dinners. The next afternoon they went to Pisa which was in the central part of Italy and visited the world famous Leaning Tower of Pisa and took a picture together.

Afterwards they went to Rome which was their last stop in Italy.

Thanked to the movie (Roman Holidays), Fontana di Trevi was the largest and the most famous fountain in Rome and Xiang Zhe and Shan Mei’s first stop was here.

Facing the sculpture of Poseidon in the Fontana di Trevi, Shan Mei threw in a coin, making a pledge to stay together forever. Xiang Zhe also solemnly threw in a coin. He wished he could give her blessedness and make her permanently happy.

After a night’s rest, Xiang Zhe and Shan Mei were both full of energy and they formally started their Rome tour on the second day. Because Rome was itself a treasury of fine arts and a famous city of culture and the ancient city resembled a giant open-air historical museum, therefore they were filled with curiosity and expectation when they visited every spot in Roman.

This was their third day in Roman. The mysterious and ancient Rome brought infinite novel and beautiful memory to Xiang Zhe and Shan Mei. They were going to leave this place the next day.

This afternoon, they came back from Basilica di Santa Maria degli Angeli and they rode on the double-deck bus. Because Shan Mei was a little tired, Xiang Zhe let Shan Mei lean on his shoulder to take a short rest.

Although the sun was setting on the west, the sunlight was still very glaring. Shan Mei felt very uncomfortable even with her eyes closed. Xiang Zhe found out and he thought for a moment.

“Come …” Xiang Zhe gently moved Shan Mei’s head upwards and then bent his arms, using his hands to block off the light from outside of the window. Watching Shan Mei’s calmly sleeping face, Xiang Zhe’s mouth revealed an indulgent smile.

Because it stayed motionless for quite sometime, Xiang Zhe’s arm felt numb when they alighted from the bus. Shan Mei’s heart ached for him and she also reproached herself and felt vexed. Therefore since they returned to the hotel until they finished dinner, they had not said anything.

…………………..

When the bright moon was hanging in the nightly sky, Shan Mei and Xiang Zhe were each kept very busy.

After taking a bath, Xiang Zhe sat in the sitting room. There was a notebook and a cup of coffee on the side table. Xiang Zhe was reading the recent stock reports of Wen Rong and some working papers. The door between the sitting room and the bedroom was kept open and through the hallway, Xiang Zhe could see Shan Mei in the bedroom.

She had just had her bath and was sitting before the dressing table, combing her hair. Her long hair was like black silk, flowing down with soft brilliance. Xiang Zhe withdrew his enamoured eyes, focused on the monitor before him and opened his email. After half an hour, Xiang Zhe finished his work. He raised his head to look over, to find Shan Mei also closed her notebook and stood up to put it back into her backpack. Xiang Zhe shut down his computer and smilingly went in the bedroom.

Shan Mei did not look at Xiang Zhe, but forthwith opened the luggage to put in the clothing and daily necessities. Xiang Zhe thought of what happened in the afternoon and knew she was angry with him, so he hurriedly came over to help. He handed over the folded clothing to Shan Mei. Shan Mei lowered her head and took them without saying a word.

“Books …” Xiang Zhe handed over two thick volumes.

“Aiyo!” Shan Mei’s and Xiang Zhe’s hands missed each other and the books dropped on the floor. Xiang Zhe hurriedly bent down to pick them up.

“My shoulder is still feeling a bit numb, so …” Xiang Zhe put the books in the luggage, looking at Shan Mei.

“Xue Chang …” Shan Mei pulled at Xiang Zhe’s shoulders, looking at him anxiously.

“Still angry?” He smilingly looked at Shan Mei and pulled her to sit beside him.

“Are your shoulders still sore? Let me massage them for you …” Shan Mei low-pitched voice sounded wobbled.

“I’m OK. Actually my shoulders do not ache at all. I purposely said that just now.” Xiang Zhe patted Shan Mei’s hand, seeing her in tears made him feel distressed, “You don’t have to worry.”

“Really?” Shan Mei sniffed her nose, looking at Xiang Zhe, wanting to make sure.

“See …” Xiang Zhe bent his arm, “It is in good shape!”

“You’re annoying!” Shan Mei wiped dry the tears which were still falling down.

“Today is our last night in Rome, please don’t cry any more …” Xiang Zhe picked up a handkerchief to wipe away the last drop of tear in her face. She melted into smile, pulled at his shoulders and massaged for him. Xiang Zhe looked deeply at Shan Mei, his eyes were filled with infinite tenderness.

Departing from Rome, Xiang Zhe and Shan Mei entered Vienna, the city of the sound of music. They went to the Viennese Opera House to enjoy the performance of (Swan Lake). Xiang Zhe and Shan Mei were both dressed up, especially it was the first time when Shan Mei put up her hair, wearing a black evening gown and she looked very elegant and cultivated, and with Xiang Zhe’s matureness, they complimented each other well.

Shan Mei went back to the hotel with her the musical notes still lingering in her ears. She originally felt a little tired, but after taking the bath, she switched on the television to wait for Xiang Zhe and all of a sudden her sleepiness was all gone. The television was playing the movie (Sissi) and now the movie was playing the part when the actor and the actress encountered each other

As soon as Xiang Zhe came out of the bathroom, he saw Shan Mei wrapping her arm around a pillow, staring intently at the TV screen. He gave a soft smile and sat down on the bedside, but she did not notice.

“Shan Mei, can you please look at your husband?” He helplessly called out to her, hoping his darling wife could spare sometime for him. He had already came out for half an hour and another movie (Mädchenjahre einer Königin) (Girlhood of a Queen was) now playing.

“Oh?” Shan Mei turned her head to find Xiang Zhe’s pitiful look.

“Xiang Zhe …” She put down the pillow and smiled apologetically.

“Can you understand?” He leaned on the back of the bed and pulled her into her arm, smilingly asked.

“Huh, although it is in its original language, I have watched a numerous times that I can guess what they are saying. Not to say I can understand by the way they act …” She obediently found comfort in his embrace and raised her head to look at him, “Xue Chang, I want to finish watching it. You better sleep first …”

“I will keep you company …” He certainly would not sleep first. He rather kept her company with his arms around her.

“OK …” She happily smiled.

The movie did not end until 4:00 a.m. in the morning. Shan Mei finally could not hold up and closed her eyes as soon as the story ended its climax. Xiang Zhe put her to bed, placed a blanket around her, switched off the light and lay down beside her.

“Xue Chang …” Her voice was very soft.

“Huh?” He pulled her into his arms and gently asked.

“Do you believe in fairytale like love?”

“I believe in it, I believe in true love … It does exist and it will last …” He tenderly kissed her forehead and his voice was very low, but firm.

“Huh, I too believe in it …” She smiled and brought with her sweet happiness into her dreams.

 

CHAPTER 45 – I Only Want to Give You All the Smiles I Can Let You Have

Author: Ming Wei Xue
Translated with author’s consent by: nho (CA)

 

After they left Vienna, Xiang Zhe and Shan Mei spent one day in Salzburg, the hometown of the music prodigy, Mozart.

At night, when they went back to the hotel, Shan Mei was pleasantly surprised to discover that Xiang Zhe had unexpectedly rented a piano! As a matter of fact, he wanted to play a duet with Shan Mei again!

“Xue Chang …” She touched the piano keyboards with wonder.

Watching her pleasure, his heart was also brimming with happiness.

“Let’s play together!” He pulled her to sit down; they smiled at each other and in tacit understanding they played a musical composition that belonged to them alone.

“Xue Chang, you played it really well …” Shan Mei’s “not properly trained” technique was less skilful than Xiang Zhe..

“Our Shan Mei is the best …” Xiang Zhe gave a meaningful reply.

“You are kidding me …” She smiled unbelievingly.

“I am not …” Xiang Zhe shook his head and looked at Shan Mei seriously, “The highest level of music is not the skill, nor the technique, but the feeling … Only someone with deep feeling can play a piece of music that is heart-shaking, that can really move people ,,,, ‘ He picked up her hands and enveloped them in his palms cherishingly.

He was aware that she learned to play the piano for him and the learning process must certainly be very hard and tiring.

“Xue Chang …” She did not want him to be troubled and gave him a sweet smile, her enveloped little hands moved slightly and scratched his palms.

“Oh you …” He could not help breaking into laughter and pulled her into his arms.

“I love Xue Chang’s embrace the most …” She obediently buried her head in his chest, listening to his heart beat and murmured after a moment.

“Shan Mei …” He closed his eyes, enjoying this moment of profound happiness and tenderly embracing her soft fragrance. He knew that his heart could be beating with so much energy only when he had her in his arms.

“Xue Chang, I want to hear you sing …” After a long time, she raised her head, looking into his eyes and let him know her wish.

“I’m deeply honoured …” He softly smiled and his eyes were filled with deep loving indulgence.

“Thank you …” She tenderly gave him a brilliant loving smile.

He released his hands, looked at her and started playing. Once again he sang that song (I’ll give you all) for her … He really wanted to give her everything …

THE NEXT AFTERNOON AT THE AIRPORT.

Xiang Zhe arranged for part of their luggage to be shipped home and after dealing with the check-in formalties, he turned his head to look at his adorable wife – she was behind him all the time and was still in a state of depression!

As a matter of fact, Xiang Zhe specially took Shan Mei to have kimji at noon today. It was all because his wife stared at the bread and milk vacantly this morning !

After touring around half of the city with some difficulties, they finally came to the best Korean restaurant in town. However the atmosphere inside the restaurant intensified Shan Mei’s home-sickness and tomorrow was Mid-Autumn Festival which she nearly forgot about! As soon as she knew that Mid-Autumn Festival was approaching, Shan Mei lost her appetite and was feeling depressed. She thought that if they could not return to Seoul, how wonderful if they could go to London instead! However this afternoon flight was to Germany and Xiang Zhe was silently observing his wife without revealing his feeling.

“Shan Mei …” Xiang Zhe lowered his head and smiled, stretched out his hand to hold on to Shan Mei. There was still no response from her, letting him lead the way.

“Oh …” She was still walking ahead while he had already stopped. When he turned around, she just bumped into him.

“Are you OK? Shan Mei?” His hands steadied her.

“Huh?” Shan Mei finally got her wits back, “I’m fine. How are about you, Xue Chang?” She blamed herself for her carelessness.

“I’m fine. Actually it’s you … Are you still unhappy?” He gently pointed at her cute nose.

“I’m not …” She forced a smile.

“Shan Mei …” He was a little helpless. He really did not want to see her looking injured.

“I’m really fine … Aren’t we going to board the plane?”

“Yes, we are here …” He gestured to the boarding gate before them.

“Oh …” Shan Mei nodded and looked in the same direction.

“London?” Shan Mei exclaimed and turned to look at Xiang Zhe.

“Shall we go to London?” He casually asked.

“Fantastic!” Shan Mei fervently wrapped her arms Xiang Zhe and laughed joyously; her dream came true!

“Xue Chang! You are wonderful!” She could not help planting a kiss on his cheek.

“Are you happy now?” Xiang Zhe looked at the happy Shan Mei in his arms and smiled with indulgence and his heart was brimmed with tenderness.

“Huh …” Shan Mei happily nodded and at the same time found people around them were looking at them, so she buried her crimsoned face in his chest.

“Don’t worry. No one here will recognize us …” He murmured in her ear, stealing a fragrant kiss and boarded the plane with her struggling in his arm.

However, the situation on the plane was worse than before they boarded the plane.

Shan Mei stayed silent while reading a novel in her hands and paid no heed to Xiang Zhe no matter how he teased her. Xiang Zhe remained in good temper.

“Shan Mei … Are you still angry? You are so petty …” He intentionally wanted to provoke her to talk.

“I’m not.” She raised her head to look at him, revealing a sweet smile, but immediately went on reading again.

Looking at her alluring smile, he felt rejuvenated, but immediately felt lost again.

“Zhen Shan Mei …” He was a little helpless.

“Xue Chang … You did it on purpose! Seeing that I was so sad, you dared to deceive me …” She suddenly raised her head, closed her book and grabbed him by his shoulders.

“At last you are willing to pay me attention?” His face was full of smiles. He knew she was actually angry with herself and not at him.

“How did I not pay attention to you?” She sighed and quietly said, “Xue Chang should be the one to get angry with me … It’s I who is neglectful and was in a tantrum just now …” She was looking very solemn.

“Why should I get angry? It was my fault today.” He smiled. He had made the arrangement well in advance and he just wanted to give her a pleasant surprise. Actually when he saw how disappointed she looked in midday, he really wanted to let her know, but he tried to control the urge really hard.

“It looks as if Xue Chang always stands in front of me … Why did I forget this?” She asked.

“Umph … Because I am older than you and as I need less sleep, I have more time to think …” At first he tried to look as if he was in meditation, then made jokes in order to comfort her.

“Really …” She was teased to laughter by his expression.

“You finally laugh …” His gentle hand caressed her soft cheek and tenderly said,

“I think I am too blessedly happy, so I tend to forget everything …” Looking at his eyes, she spoke out the true feeling in her heart, the kind which would let him feel at peace and make him also feel blessedly happy.

Xiang Zhe and Shan Mei walked out of the London Airport hand in hand.

“Xiang Zhe, can you guess what I am thinking?”

“Huh … Are you thinking of me?”

“Here you go again … Indeed I am not thinking of you! I am thinking what happened few months ago …”

“We flew back to Seoul from London hand in hand …” How could he not know what she was thinking? It was actually what he was also thinking.

“You see, aren’t you not thinking of me?” Drawing up her hand to eye level, he winked his eyes.

“Huh …” She leaned her head to one side to look at him, nodded her head and smilingly said, “Xue Chang, what are wishing for in London?”

“Huh … I hope tonight will be one with dissimilar feeling …” He implied with subtle meaning.

“Dissimilar feeling?”

“Yes, after all we have another home here!” He skilfully quashed her doubts.

“Right. Apart from Seoul, London is the place I love best … I’m so happy we have another home here!”

“Let’s go. We will go and get something to eat, then we will go home … our London home …” He nodded, echoing her brilliant smile. Actually what he wanted to say was whenever Shan Mei was, that place would be the place he loved best. Without her, everything would become meaningless.

After dinner, under the soft and beautiful night light, Xiang Zhe and Shan Mei strolled back to their home in London.

After her bath, Shan Mei lay down on the sofa with her hair down, continuing reading her novel and waiting for her husband. After sometime, Xiang Zhe came out from the bathroom. He was drying his hair and searching for his wife.

“Shan Mei …” His voice grew softer following his vision.

Perhaps she was feeling extra comfortable today, or perhaps because she was tired after days of travelling, Shan Mei fell asleep after reading just a few pages, but she was still gripping the book tight in her hand.

Xiang Zhe deftly came over and slowly took away the book from Shan Mei’s hand, afraid to disturb her. He looked at her closely and could not help breaking into smile. Her Shan Mei unexpectedly was wearing as pyjamas the black sport shirt and shorts they just bought and she looked so adoring!

“Zhen Shan Mei …” He smilingly sat down beside her, combing her hair smoothly with his hand and tenderly gazed at his newly wedded wife.

At this moment, she looked like a new born baby contentedly going to sleep and her lips were wearing a flower-like smile. She must be having a good dream. Her delicate and white porcelain-like skin complemented by the black shirt looked exceptionally pure white and smooth. Slowly he discovered that she looked innocently sweet and alluringly … sexy!

“You are so beautiful …” He could not help getting bewitched. The faint delicate fragrance from her body made his heart beat rapidly and excited him and in the end he could not help but to lower his head to kiss her smiling lips.

“Xue Chang …” She was a little awake, slowly struggling to open her blurry eyes. She naturally wrapped her arms around him and then shut her eyes again.

“What have you dreamed of?” He suppressed the blazing desire in his heart, kissing her lips and tenderly asked.

“You …” Her voice sounded like sound of nature.

“I’m really honoured … and what else?” He once again softly kissed her alluring fragrance and lifted her up.

“Huh … There was also me …” She meekly nestled in his arms.

“Perfect …” He gently put her down on the bed and his body tightly pressed down on her body, “Shan Mei, can you open your eyes?” His tender, husky and sexy voice was filled with seduction.

“Huh …” She slowly struggled to open her eyes and looked directly into his burning black pupils.

“You are finally awake, Shan Mei …” He passionately murmured and kissed the fragrant lips which were about to speak. He rained kissed on every inch of her face and continuous masses of tender kisses were sprayed all over her hair and neck. His hands tenderly caressed her skins, making her heart beat in the same rhythm as his.

Under the London nightly sky, the lovers were tasting that intoxicating sweet happiness. Everything came out as Xiang Zhe wished for: the night in London had a dissimilar feeling …

……………………………….

The next morning, out in the yard, Shan Mei was putting the breakfast on the small table.

Xiang Zhe looked at the busy Shan Mei and wanted to offer help, but due to the fact that he had agreed to let her prepare breakfast for two that he could not lend a hand. Actually the main reason was because when he obstinately tried to help in the kitchen just now, Shan Mei was made very angry, so now he could only watch her slender shadow running around. However, the bubbles of satisfaction were brimming in her heart.

“OK … we can eat now!” Shan Mei sat down on the swinging chair opposite Xiang Zhe.

“It’s so sumptuous … Thank you, Shan Mei!” He looked at the table full of food and his heart was filled with blessed happiness.

“You’re welcomed! Xue Chang, please taste this …” Shan Mei smilingly looked at Xiang Zhe and then at the sky, “It’s really nice to eat breakfast outside! The air is so fresh and the vision is broader!”

“It is rare that London can have such nice weather …” He smilingly looked at him and his eyes were filled with infinite tenderness. She was so easily satisfied and she treasured everything in life.

After breakfast, Xiang Zhe was washing the dishes in the kitchen. Shan Mei wanted to help but he declined.

“It is because washing up is not part of the preparation work!” This was the righteous reason he gave.

“How can that be?” Shan Mei was not convinced.

“Be a good girl and do as I say …” Xiang Zhe insisted as he did not want the hands of his precious wife to become roughhewn by such tasks. Although he would not mind, he was worried about her response. Furthermore he wanted to give her a happy life and not to deal with such mundane tasks.

“OK …” She knew he doted on her, so she did not insist anymore.

“Good girl …” He had already finished and was about to wash his hands.

“Oh … Xue Chang, please wait for a moment …” Shan Mei suddenly thought of something, turned and ran out of the kitchen.

When Xiang Zhe had cleaned his hands, Shan Mei already came back.

“Xue Chang, give your hands to me …”

“What?” Xiang Zhe suspiciously looked at Shan Mei, but he still stretched out his hands.

Shan Mei took out a bottle of hand cream from behind and carefully put some cream on his hands and tenderly massaged every one of his fingers.

“OK! From now on when Xue Chang is doing the washing up, I will nourish your hands with hand cream …” She looked at Xue Chang’s hands and tenderly said.

“Shan Mei …” His heart was touched by her consideration and thoughtfulness and he turned his hands to grip hers, enveloping them tightly in his hands.

“Xue Chang, I can understand your mind …” Her clear pupils were shining with absolute pure ray of light, he would also understand her mind.

……………………………..

In the morning thereafter, Shan Mei and Xiang Zhe were each busy on their own.

Xiang Zhe had to deal with the documents faxed over and Shan Mei at first was busy with tidying up her notes and the DV they recorded, then she began to make calls.

First of all, Shan Mei talked to Papa, then Mama and Gu Gu and always Father – her and Xue Chang’s father and Auntie and Yin Wen who was now studying overseas. Then she spoke to Seniors and friends, conveying to them her and Xue Chang’s Mid-Autumn Festival blessings.

“Huh …. Finally it’s all done …” Shan Mei put down the phone in good spirit.

“So busy …” He sighed gently. He had stood behind her for a while and she did not even notice.

“Xue Chang, you have finished?” She asked him happily.

“Yes, what do you want to have for lunch?” Her smile always made him feel good.

“Today is Mid-Autumn Festival, I want to have sponge cakes …”

“Good idea …”

“But if only we can make them ourselves …” She had a little regret.

“Huh …” He nodded, and went to the kitchen leading her by the hand.

“Come one, open the fridge and look …”

Shan Mei obediently opened the door of the fridge and was surprised to see all the ingredients were ready; everything was there including the ingredients for making sponge cakes.

“Xue Chang, these are …”

“Huh … I ordered for them in advance …” He smilingly looked at her. That was the reason why he insisted to help in the morning as he was afraid she would find out the contents in the fridge.

“You ordered them well in advance, right?” So he had planned everything in advance, he was just waiting for her to discover …

“I just want to win a smile from my wife … Well, have I succeeded?”

“Xue Chang … Why are you so good to me?” When faced with his fervent care, she would always find herself shedding unspeakable tears.

“I only want to let you have all the smiles I can give you … so Shan Mei, don’t cry. I want to see your smile … Come quickly give me a smile …” He tenderly coaxed her.

“Xue Chang …” She tried to control her tears and revealed a happy smile.

“Let make them together!” Xiang Zhe suggested.

…………………………

Xiang Zhe and Shan Mei were both busily preparing their lunch and at this moment, they were making the sponge cakes.

Traditionally speaking, sponge cakes had to make from top grade rice which after being ground into rice flour, was to be mixed with boiling water to make into a dough. Thereafter it could be shaped into many beautiful forms and stuffed with sesames, red bean or walnut bits etc. in the centre. Of course, there were more varieties of stuffing nowadays.

“Xue Chang, you see …” Shan Mei handed one of the finished sponge cake to show Xiang Zhe.

“It’s so pretty …” He had just started work and she easily put into the stuffing and made it into a good shape!

“Really? I think it is pretty myself …” Shan Mei put the finished sponge cake in the pan and smiled sweetly.

“I never thought you can do it so well …” Xiang Zhe was telling the truth this time. He really never thought that Shan Mei could do it so quickly and so well!

“Huh … Maybe it was because Mama worried about me … so in her diary she wrote down the method of making sponge cakes in great detail and also drew up the different shapes of sponge cakes … Before I would follow instructions to make sponge cakes for Papa every year at Mid-Autumn Festival … But during the past couple of years …” Shan Mei’s eyes redden, she really missed Papa and Mama very much.

“Shan Mei …” Xiang Zhe put down the dough in his hand and stretched out his hands to reach for Shan Mei, “Can I hold you?”

“Sure …” She smilingly nodded.

He pulled her into his arms and gave her a warm embrace.

“Xue Chang … I’m fine …” In his arms and leaning on his shoulders, she really was filled with courage.

“From now on we will make sponge cakes together every year, then we will give them to our elders, OK? …” He gently asked.

“Huh …” She nodded and she was suddenly feeling more cheerful, “Then let us get on with the job quickly, or else we won’t be able to eat them until tonight …”

“OK …” He looked at her with indulgence. She was wearing sunshine on her face and he was feeling sunny himself.

They spent the whole Mid-Autumn Festival at home, leisurely intoxicating in the intimate and sweet moments that belonged to them together, telling each other their dreams and discussing the past and future. Perhaps this Mid-Autumn Festival was the most simple day during their honeymoon, without amusement and fun, but with just the two of them staying close together.

 

CHAPTER 46 – I Saw Thee Weep

Author: Ming Wei Xue
Translated with author’s consent by: nho (CA)

 

Because Shan Mei wanted to visit the world famous Aegean Sea, so after they left London, their next stop of their tour was at Athens in Greece.

Standing at Cape Sounion, seeing the Aegean Sea the first time made Shan Mei both very excited and happy. She was like a bird wheeling high in the sky and jumping with joy. Xiang Zhe who was standing beside her, was also wearing smiles on his mouth; he enjoyed the blue sky and the turquoise sea, but he enjoyed her sweetness, cheerfulness and enthusiasm more! He used his DV to take video of her and the Aegean Sea and also used his eyes to take shots of all her smiles. On the other hand, she often ran over demanding to film him too.

They left behind their charming and comfortable presence and the sound of happy and relaxed laughter along the coast of the Aegean Sea.

When they were tired from walking, they leaned against the white wall and looked out to the faraway Aegean Sea together.

Suddenly Xiang Zhe recalled how Shan Mei called out to him at the sea. At this moment, she was beside him. They were holding hands with fingers entwined. His heart was filled with gratefulness and he held on to her hand tighter.

“I saw thee weep---the big bright tear
Came o'er that eye of blue;
And then methought it did appear
A violet dropping dew:
I saw thee smile---the sapphire's blaze
Beside thee ceased to shine;
It could not match the living rays
That filled that glance of thine.
As clouds from yonder sun receive
A deep and mellow dye,
Which scarce the shade of coming eve
Can banish from the sky,
Those smiles unto the moodiest mind
Their own pure joy impart;
Their sunshine leaves a glow behind
That lightens o'er the heart.


Xiang Zhe’s voice was low and husky and every verse gently crept into Shan Mei’s heart.

“It’s Lord Byron’s (I Saw Thee Weep) ...” Shan Mei turned her head to look at Xiang Zhe, her eyes were shining with pearl-like radiance.

When dusk came, Xiang Zhe and Shan Mei reluctantly departed from that beautiful piece of turquoise sea scenery and returned to Athens.

That evening, they enjoyed an authenic meal of lamb souvlaki and spent a night of blessedness under the white villa. That blessed happiness made one want to remain in a drunken state of ecstasy.

Originally Xiang Zhe and Shan Mei planned to visit the Santorini the next day, but unexpectedly some mishaps took place the next morning ˇV Shan Mei had fallen ill and she was in a coma. Even though the doctor explained that Shan Mei fainted because she was unaccustomed to the climate there and it was nothing serious. However Xiang Zhe could never relax his mind, especially when he saw Shan Mei’s colourless and unconscious face, his heart was feeling heavy. It was until the evening when Shan Mei woke up from unconsciousness before Xiang Zhe’s heart could calm down.

Perhaps it was because of having fallen ill, Shan Mei wanted very much to go home. After consultation with the doctor, Xiang Zhe immediately booked their flight back to Seoul and cancelled their next trip to Germany.

On the plane, Shan Mei was not in a good physical condition and also had a small fever for a little while. Fortunately under the immediate care of the medical staff on the plane and after taken an injection, Shan Mei’s fever was soon down. However throughout Xiang Zhe did not dare to relax and painstakingly attended to his precious darling.

It was evening when they returned to Seoul. Shan Mei woke up but she was still feeling woozy.

Early next morning, he woke up very early. It was more correct to say that he had just closed his eyes and then opened them again. Watching her sweet and delicious look and listening to her steady breathing, his night of worries and tiredness were all swept away and his heart was filled with delight and gratefulness. He kissed her tenderly on her forehead and then slowly got up releasing her hand.

He was busy downstairs. First he phoned the airline company and confirmed the shipment of their luggages. The other side promised delivery in the afternoon. Then he got in touch with the cleaning people to ask them not to come in today and he would do the work himself. Then he started making congee. He had consulted Shan Mei’s father before that this kind of congee could only tempt Shan Mei to eat whenever she got sick and lost her appetites. He specially asked the way of making it and never thought that he could try it so soon. After finished working, Xiang Zhe went back to the bedroom, silently sitting besides Shan Mei on the bed.

When Shan Mei woke up, it was already noon.

“You are awake? Feeling better?” Xiang Zhe combed away the hair which was falling on her forehead and tenderly asked.

“Huh ...” Shan Mei smiled spontaneously; she still had not fully waken up.

“Let me see ...” He put his hand on her forehead.

“You’re fine ...” He smiled with relief and his heart could finally beat normally.

“I let you worry again ... It seems I can only bring Xue Chang trouble ...” She was wide awake and blinked her eyes hard, trying to stop the tears from falling down.

“Shan Mei ... I don’t like you to say things like this ... Besides we are already husband and wife ...” He sighed deeply, his brows slightly wrinkled and he gently wiped away the tears from the corner of her eyes.

“Xue Chang ... I ...” Seeing him frown, she could not help stretching out her hand, wanting to smooth away his pain.

“So long as we are together, anywhere is fine ...” He gripped her hand, letting her palm rest on his face.

“Huh!” She nodded.

Seeing that she wanted to sit up, he hurriedly grabbed a pillow, letting her lean against the headboard.

“You were watching me sleep all the time?” She tidied up her slightly dishevelled hair.

“Oh, where is my body pillow?” She stretched out her hand to search, but could not find the body pillow anywhere.

“Body pillow?” His mouth beamed with a self-satisfied smile.

“Yes ...” She was holding a large sea turtle when she went to sleep and she remembered holding it for the whole night. She felt so warm and comfortable that it looked as if she was lying in the arms of Xue Chang.

“Are you sure?” He smilingly looked at her.

“Huh?” She looked at his smiling face apprehensively and slowly came to realize, “Xue Chang ...”

“I am pleased to be your body pillow ...” His smile contained so much sweetness. Last night she was holding him so tightly, as if she would not let him go. He did not tell her that after she took the medication last night and when the drug efficacy took effect in the middle of the night, her body was feverish with sweat. He had to rub her dry back and forth a few times. In order to make her comfortable, he also helped her change into another dressing gown. Thereafter fearing that she would throw away the duvet due to the fever, he let her hold him to sleep as a body pillow. Last night was simply a night of sweet torture.

“Why didn’t you sleep in the guest room?” Her adorable face was flushed crimson and she spoke in a faint voice. Hadn’t he promised her that last night!

“Haven’t we agreed that even if we are in a quarrel, we won’t sleep apart from each other ... Never again will I be separated from you ...” He gripped her restless hand. He had already missed too much, from now on he wanted to spend every day and every moment with her .”

“But that was different ... I was ill! How could you ... I don’t want you to catch my virus ...” Her voice slightly trembled and the eyes which looked at him were moist.

“I know ... I will take good care of myself and I have taken some medication ... Don’t worry ...” He held her in his arms, his voice tender with deep affection.

“Xue Chang ...” She leaned on his shoulder, letting her tears flow down freely.

He gently patted her on her back, allowing her to give vent to her depression. Thereafter he supported her and gave her a handkerchief to wipe away her tears.

“Thank you ...” She wiped away her tears in embarrassment.

“Although I can’t agree again that you look beautiful when you weep, I think I still love your smile the best ...” He teased her, but he was speaking the truth and this made her melt into smiles.

“You must be hungry. I have brewed some congee and I will get you some later.”

“Don’t trouble yourself, I can do it myself ... I’m going to tidy up first ...” She got up as she spoke.

“Don’t take so much trouble ...” He picked her up in his arms.

“Xue Chang ...” She exclaimed.

“I will take you to tidy up, then I will take you downstairs ...”

“There is no need ... Please let me down, will you ...” She hurriedly begged him.

“You behaved better when you were asleep ...”

“What ...” She looked at him uncomprehendingly.

“Think ... How did you get home?” He smiled wickedly, stopping at the door of the bathroom. Shan Mei recalled her memory from his smile and suddenly understood what he meant. He carried her in his arms all the way! From Greece to Seoul!

“Xue Chang ...” She could not imagine how Xue Chang could under the eyes of the public ...

“You were asleep then, so I could only carry you from one plane to another, from one car to another, before we could arrive home ...” He recounted the truth which she was already aware of, “But this time, I am carrying you only to the door ...” He regretfully let her down.

“Yin Xiang Zhe ...” She looked at him cajolely, her heart was brimming with sweet bubbles, but she still ached for him.

“Go in ... I guarantee I won’t wait here ...” He unwillingly parted with her.

After washing up, Shan Mei opened the door and poked her head out to look.

“Xue Chang is really not waiting here ...” She came out from the bathroom with relief and entered the bedroom.

“He is really a fast worker ...” Shan Mei swept a look at the bedroom to find that the bed was made up and the curtain was also drawn apart with the window half-open.

“You are out ...” He pushed open the door and came in. He drew her away from the window and put a jacket on her.

“I thought you have gone downstairs ...”

“I am here to pick you up ...” He smiled, and once again picked her up and carried her downstairs.

“Xue Chang ...”

“Ssh ... Be a good girl and do as I say ...”

He carried her all the way to the dining room and put her down on a chair.

“Thank you ...” Her face was flushed red.

“How are you going to thank me?” He knelt in front of her, starring at her lips and the corner of his mouth was wearing a smile.

“No!” She shook her head and as a reflex action, she covered her lips ... aye she was still sick.

“You are so mean ... I was the one who carried you back all the way ...” He sighed with regrets. However, taking advantage of her wanting to retort, he leaned over and kissed her once on each cheek.

“One is for good morning, the other is for your “thank you” ...” He appreciated the beauty of pouting smile.

“Xue Chang ...” Her crimson face looked exceptionally adorable.

“OK ... You should eat something ...” He stood up and filled up a bowl of congee for her, “Come and eat ...”

“I don’t have any appetite ...” She could not help looking at the bowl vacantly without any intention of eating.

“Let me feed you ...” He pulled over a chair and sat down.

“Can’t I not eat it?” She cajolely looked at him.

“Be a good girl, just try one mouthful?” He carried the congee to her mouth, but she still shook her head.

“No ...” She looked at him piteously.

“OK then ...” He put down the spoon and gently said, “It looks as if I too will not eat today ...”

“You still haven’t eaten?” She asked anxiously.

“I plan to eat when you have finished ...” He looked at the bowl and spoon in his hand

“What ...” She pouted her adorable mouth, because she knew he always did what he said, so she unwillingly nodded her head.

“Our Shan Mei is the best ...” He successfully put one spoonful of the congee into her mouth.

“You find the congee I prepared so tasteless?” Looking at the way she found it difficult to swallow the food made his heart ache and it also made him doubt about his cooking skill.

“No ... I really don’t have an appetite ... Xue Chang, you better eat something first! I will naturally eat when I am hungry. You don’t have to worry.” She always lost her appetite whenever she was sick.

“I remembered Papa once told me that you always act like a spoiled brat whenever you are ill ...” He smiled.

“Of course not ...” She glared at him.

“No? Then be a good girl and finish the bowl!” His tender voice contained some irresistible power.

She glowered at him and reluctantly took another spoonful.

“Good girl ...” He patiently coaxed her and successfully passed the whole bowl of congee into her mouth.

“I’m full ...” She looked at the empty bowl in his hand and conveniently took out a tissue to wipe her mouth, announcing that she was full, in order to try to stop him from filling another bowl for her. She really could not resist his tender coaxing.

“OK then.” He smiled. He fully understood and he would not try to force her again. Actually he had only filled in half a bowl.

“It’s now your turn ... Let me fill it for you ...” Her eyes were crescent-shaped.

“I know.” He stopped her, “I can do it myself, you sit down like a good girl ...”

“I am fully recovered ...” She protested, but to no avail. He filled up a full bowl for himself.

“I’m aware of that, but you have just recovered, you better take a good rest.” He tenderly looked at her facial features.

“OK ...” Although she was not contented, his tender loving care warmed her heart.

“Can you keep me company? I won’t have an appetite eating on my own.” After taking just a couple of mouthfuls, he raised his head to look at her.

“Of course ...” She obediently nodded her head and then swiftly took the water jar on the table and poured herself a glass of water.

“Shan Mei ...” Looking at her smiling face, he realized that he had failed in his “little plot”.

“I will sit by this side to keep you company, unless you don’t want me to ...” She sweetly looked at him, knowing he could say nothing to refuse her.

“You are so clever ...” He smiled helplessly but his eyes were filled with indulgence.

“I think Xue Chang is the cleverer one ...” She held up her glass and laughed mirthfully.

“But, it’s so strange ... This doesn’t seem like the one I was wearing last night ...” Shan Mei suddenly pulled at her dressing gown and looked at the pattern on the sleeves, but could not think of what was wrong.

“Maybe I brought you the wrong one last night ...” He explained. Watching her action, he knew that she had found out.

“Oh ...” Shan Mei nodded and did not question further. She thought the patterns of both dressing gown looked similar, so Xue Chang did not recognise the difference. However Xiang Zhe swallowed the congee with relief and hid his smile.

After Xiang Zhe finished eating and washed up the dishes, and after Shan Mei had her medication, they went to the sun room.

He was still carrying her and took her upstairs.

“Shan Mei, haven’t you eaten some congee?” He frowned.

“Oh?”

“Why do you still weigh the same as before, so light ... You should eat more!” He said with regrets. All the way from Greece to Seoul, he thought of the ways to make her eat more. She was really too thin!

“I just don’t want that. You won’t be saying the same thing the day when I really get fat!” She shook her head.

“Really?” He smilingly look at her clear and lucid eyes; didn’t she know that he loved Zhen Shan Mei no matter how she looked?

“You better take a little nap ...” He put her down on the reclining chair. A roomful of sunlight was at this moment shining on them.

“Xue Chang ...” She pulled at his clothes, stopping him from leaving.

“What’s up?” He turned over his hand to grip her hand.

“Can you keep me company for a little longer?” She knew he might go to the study, but she did not want him leave now.

“OK ...” He revealed a tender smile and lay on her side, letting her lean on his arms.

“We came back early ...” She murmured.

“There will be a lot of opportunities later. We will go again when we have holidays! Don’t feel bad ...” He could understand what was in her mind.

“I’m sorry, it’s all my fault ... If not, we could go to Heidelburg ...” He told her that he wanted to go with her to a local bar in Heidelburg, to experience the romantic mood of the university town and reminiscence how they first met.

“Nonsense ...” He stopped her from continuing to blame herself and the arm holding her tightened.

“Xue Chang, ain’t I very wilful? She asked.

“Hmm ... A little bit, but the wilful Shan Mei is still exceptionally adorable ...” He smiled.

“Only you will say that ...”

“Next time we will start our tour from Germany ... First of all we will go to enjoy the nightlight of Schloss Neuschwanstein, then we will take a cruise to Heidelburg ... Huh, we can also buy Steiff’s plush dolls ...” He slowly told her about the plan of their next trip and took her thoughts to the wonderful future.

“Plush dolls? Good ... No! You are treating me like a kid again ...” She responded with a pout.

“Aren’t you not?” He laughed, tenderly kissing her hair with indulgence.

“Of course not ...” She struggled to leave his embrace in protest.

“OK OK ... No, you’re not ...” He held her tightly, comforting her.

She smiled, turning her head to look at him and clashed with his pair of passion-filled eyes.

“Xue Chang ...” She called him in a low voice.

“You really are not ...” He stared at her sweet smiling face and his hold on her tightened more. He could not help but kissed her lips. His kiss was so passionate, but was also so careful, as though he was picking up the roses under the morning dews.

Before everything went out of control, his reason told him he had to stop. She had just recovered from her illness and he was afraid that her body could not withstand too much.

He was holding her tightly, putting her head in front of his chest. They both closed their eyes, breathing gently and slowly and together enjoying the wonderful sunlight.

 

CHAPTER 47 – I Love You!

Author: Ming Wei Xue
Translated with author’s consent by: nho (CA)

 

The next day, the early morning sun gently crept into the interior of the room.

Xiang Zhe half sat up to look at the sky outside of the window and then looked at Shan Mei who was sleeping soundly in his arms. His lips were brimming with drunken happy smiles. She was now looking much better with rosy cheeks and she had restored her usual luster. She must have recovered her health and his fretful heart could finally relax completely.

“Really don’t have the heart to wake you up, but if I don’t wake you … You will grumble when you wake up …” He was in a dilemma. He looked at her sweet and pretty face and his fingers slid across her honeyed lips.

“Huh …” When his fingers touched her, she moved slightly and an idea came to Xiang Zhe’s mind.

“Shan Mei …” He murmured, tenderly caressing her; his hands were stable but did not contain any desire, yet both tender and passionate.

Soon thereafter, Shan Mei woke up.

“Xue Chang … What are you doing?” She caught the wandering hands that were skimming over her tender flesh.

“You’re awake?” He looked at her with a tender smile, yet with a little regret

“Huh …” How could she not be when she was teased in this way.

“G’Morning!” He lay back beside her again and kissed her on her cheek.

“Good Morning …” Shan Mei murmured with her eyes turned to the other side, not daring to look at his naked body.

“Little coward …” He smiled, fully understood what was in her mind, but just tried to provoke her.

“I’m not.” She retorted but the eyes that threw him a quick glance were trying to dodge and her cheek had turned crimson.

“OK … You are not …” He echoed what she said and pulled her back into his arms.

“Xue Chang, it’s time to get up …” The cheek that was pressed against his chest was flushed deep red.

“I know. I have been waiting for you …” He laughed, inhaling the fragrance in her hair.

“Huh … I’m sorry …” It was she who woke up late. Today they were to go to his father’s place and they should have got up early.

“Sorry? Then how are you going to compensate me?” He was trying to take advantage of her.

“You mean-spirited man! You want compensation even for that …” She gently poked at his chest.

“Zhen Shan Mei, I think the one who is mean-spirited is you …” He grabbed her hand. Last night he had to try all kinds of tactics before she would let him hold her to sleep.

“Then what do you want?” Her overweening look was so captivating.

“I want only you …” He held her tight and whispered passionately in her ears, “Only you …” His voice gradually diminished in his kisses.

It was nearly 11:30 a.m. before Xiang Zhe and Shan Mei arrived the Yin family villa.

“It doesn’t matter … You don’t have to worry …” He gripped her hand tightly after alighting from the car.

“It’s all your fault … Otherwise we could be here sooner …” She poutingly blamed him

“Anyway we come here for a meal only … Father likes you and he won’t mind. You don’t have to pay attention to other people …” He pacified her, knowing that she was really very nervous. Actually if they could, he preferred to stay at home with Shan Mei instead of visiting these relatives.

“OK …” Shan Mei nodded.

“Good girl …” Looking at her savvy look, he could not resist planting a light peck on her cheek.

“Xue Chang …” Her face flushed red … This was his family home! She looked left and right and luckily no one passed by

“It doesn’t matter, we are husband and wife … Just try to get used to it …” He said it in a righteous manner.

“But I am not used to it yet!” She frowned.

“OK, I will behave in future … Don’t frown, it’s my fault …” He knew all the time she was worried and he could not help feeling apologetic in his heart. He could not bear to see her frown, so he hastily apologized.

“It’s me who is over sensitive …” She knew he was worrying about her, so she gave him a smile, “Xue Chang, I am fine. Let’s go in quickly and I am getting tired standing here …”

“OK …” He too smiled. He picked up her hand and went inside.

Before the door, Xiang Zhe stopped.

“What’s up, Xue Chang?”

“Shan Mei … There is something I want to tell you: You look so pretty today …” He solemnly looked to her, not hiding his love for her.

His eyes shone bright when he saw that she was wearing Fall fashion this morning: white turtleneck long sleeve woollen sweater with beige checked skirt. She looked elegant as well as gentle and delicate.

“Thank you …” She gave him a sweet smile; his words made her heart swell with sweetness.

“Let’s go in …”

The participants in today’s lunch were plenty – except for Yin Wen who was studying abroad, all the relatives were here.

Seeing nearly all the relatives on her mother’s side were present, Xiang Zhe arranged to unload all the gifts from the trunk of his car and gave them to his relatives, so as to save the trouble of having to deliver them later. It looked as if Father’s insistence to hold a lunch party had its advantage. The lunch was in a buffet style and everyone scattered in the villa and the garden.

After Shan Mei courteously called on his father, she was nearly surrounded by female relatives from his mother’s side. On the other hand, Xiang Zhe had to deal with other people, except that his eyes often searched through the crowd and fell on her body.

Shan Mei was smiling all the time and she nearly answered all the questions that were directed at her but occasionally would wrinkle her brows. This made Xiang Zhe very worry. He politely finished off a conversation with two elderly relatives and went towards Shan Mei.

“Xiang Zhe …” Someone stopped him, it was Kim Jen Kee.

“What’s the matter?” Xiang Zhe tried to control his impatience.

‘It’s nothing. I just want to ask whether you have a good trip?” Kim Jen Kee anxiously tried to make a good impression.

“Thank you for your concern. Everything was fine.”

“That’s good! Actually I want to discuss with you – Shan Mei is coming back to work in MBS tomorrow. We are now planning a new program and want Shan Mei to host it … You too know that Shan Mei got more attention through Cultural Theatre and hosting our program will be of benefit to her …”

“It will be Shan Mei’s decision … I think it would be better if you talk to Shan Mei directly.” Xiang Zhe cut off Kim Jen Kee’s solicitation. Regarding Shan Mei’s work related matters, he cared about them but he respected her more and he frequently warned himself not to interfere.

“I think Shan Mei won’t refuse …” Assistant Manager Kim wanted to probe once more.

“Uncle, I don’t want to see anyone taking advantage of Shan Mei’s kindness and force her to do something against her will. If that happens, I will be forced to take whatever action to protect my wife and when that happens, I have to beg your forgiveness.” Xiang Zhe’s words were ice-cold but courteous. He politely made a slight bow and turned to go.

“Erh …” Assistant Manager Kim was nearly choked. He had never thought that Xiang Zhe would address him as uncle and also never thought that Yin Xiang Zhe would do anything for his beloved regardless of all circumstances.

“Shan Mei …” A masculine voice interrupted the female discussions going on this side.

“Xue Chang …” Hearing him calling her, Shan Mei turned around.

“Hello everyone …” Xiang Zhe politely greeted the elders and said hello to some cousins who were of the same age group; yet at the same time got close to Shan Mei without being too obvious.

“What’s the matter, Xiang Zhe? Coming to rescue your wife? Don’t worry, we won’t eat her!” One of the older female smilingly teased.

“Of course not. I’m not worrying about this at all. It’s Father who asks me to come over to get Shan Mei …” Xiang Zhe smilingly explained, holding Shan Mei by her waist, “Please excuse us, we will come back in a moment …” Not waiting for responses from these female relatives, Xiang Zhe already walked away with Shan Mei in his arm.

“Sorry …” All Shan Mei could do was to turn her head and smilingly offered her apology, yet in her heart she was feeling rejoiced.

“How are you? Did they make life difficult for you?” Walking her quickly to one side, he looked at her steadily.

“No …” Shan Mei shook her head.

“Really?” He still did not feel relieved and his eyes shone with worries. Her Shan Mei was kind and tolerant, but her heart was also sensitive and could be easily hurt.

“I’m really fine … Xue Chang, you don’t have to worry.”

“OK then.” He reluctantly accepted and said, “If they say something unpleasant, you have to let me know. Don’t bury them in your heart – I don’t want you to distress yourself.”

“I know … Xue Chang, don’t worry!” Shan Mei smiled sweetly and in turn pulled at his arm, “Actually they haven’t said anything that embarrassed me. It is just that I could not fully understand what they said. I know clearly that there is a vast difference in the way we value things. I also know that they are surprised that you would unexpectedly pick me, but they certainly do not harbour any evil intention; maybe they are just curious about me!”

“Shan Mei …” Hearing her saying the word “unexpectedly”, he could not help but frown. The way she said it made his heart ache.

“Xue Chang, we don’t need to broadcast to the others what happens between us. It’s sufficient that I know what is in your heart!” She answered all their questions, but she also had her own principles and baseline. The most important thing was that she trusted her husband!

“Thank you, Shan Mei! I only want you to know – I love you!” Looking at her beautiful and soulful eyes, he declared with profound love.

“I know … I love you too …” She softly said, her lips wearing a faint smile.

“How I wish it is not so bright here …” He held her tight, staring at her lips and suddenly gave a deep sigh.

“Xue Chang!” Shan Mei could not help breaking into laughter. Fortunately they did not speak in a loud voice, so they did not attract too much attention from the others.

“Let’s go, Father really wants to see you …” Xiang Zhe continued to walk with Shan Mei in his arm.

“Oh …” Shan Mei nodded with a light smile.

………………………

“Father, I have brought Shan Mei here …” Xiang Zhe and Shan Mei came to the main table where his father was sitting.

“Father and Auntie, how are you!” Shan Mei sweetly greeted the two elders.

“Shan Mei, it must be gruelling for you? Please sit down and have something to eat …” Hearing Shan Mei’s intimate address, Xiang Zhe’s father was feeling the joy in his heart. Shan Mei was a lovable girl.

“Yes!” Shan Mei obediently nodded while at the same time did not forget to greet the elders who were sitting in the same table.

“Your Auntie has just picked up some food for you. Please see whether they are to your appetite? If not, just let Xiang Zhe pick up some more for you.”

“Thank you Auntie!” Shan Mei grateful looked at Mrs. Yin.

“Don’t mention it You have to eat more. I remember Xiang Zhe saying that you love eating this kind of fish, so I have picked some for you.” Mrs. Yin’s was full of smiles. Not only had Shan Mei bought some gift for Yin Wen, she also specially gave her something. She opened it up to find it was an expensive silk scarf. She thought it must have been chosen by Xiang Zhe and Shan Mei together.

“Thank you Auntie!” Xiang Zhe said, although his tone of voice was little cool, Mrs. Yin was gratified.

Because of Yin Senior, the relatives could no longer find an opportunity to spend time with Shan Mei alone. Instead it was Xiang Zhe who socialized with them all the time. The lunch party did not break up until 4:00 p.m. in the afternoon and Xiang Zhe and Shan Mei then took leave and went to Gui Cheng’s place.

When they arrived, Shan Mei and Xiang Zhe found that Gui Cheng was already standing there waiting for them.

“Pa …” Shan Mei hurriedly alighted from the car and ran over to give her father a big hug while Xiang Zhe took out the gifts from the trunk.

“You are back …” Gui Cheng held on to her daughter with complicated feeling.

“Pa, why are you here waiting for me? Haven’t I asked you not to?” She grumbled sulkily on the verge of tears.

“It’s you who said you want to see me at the first instance … What? You don’t miss Papa?”

“Of course not, I just don’t want Papa stand here waiting!” Shan Mei pulled at her father’s shoulders, “I really miss you Papa! Where is Mama? Why can’t I see her? Where is Gu Gu?”

“They are making preparation inside!” Gui Cheng wiped his tears, glancing at Xiang Zhe who was holding the presents by one side, “OK, don’t cry, Xiang Zhe is looking …”

“Huh …” Shan Mei stopped the tears and glanced at Xiang Zhe with embarrassment. Seeing that he was smilingly gazing at her, her face could not help getting more flushed.

“Papa … Shan Mei and I are back.” Xiang Zhe stepped up to greet Gui Cheng.

“Good … Let’s get inside quickly. They must be getting impatient inside …” Gui Cheng happily pulled his daughter and son-in-law inside.

“Aiyoo, Shan Mei …” Hearing the sound of the door opening, Chen Su and Gui Xian came out to welcome them.

“Mama, Gu Gu …” Shan Mei rushed forward to give each of them a big hug.

“The two of you, father and daughter must have “cried in one another’s arms”, ain’t I right?” Chen Su could guess from Shan Mei’s red rimmed eyes.

“It is not as serious as you imagine!” Shan Mei glanced at Xue Chang who stood on one side watching her with laughter and felt very embarrassed.

At the same time, Xiang Zhe came over to greet them and handed over the gifts.

“Come, Xiang Zhe come and sit here …” Gui Cheng invited Xiang Zhe to sit down and Shan Mei and Chen Su on the other hand went in to get the tea.

“Xiang Zhe, I’m glad you are back. Shan Mei’s father was missing her very badly!” Gui Xian teasingly recounted how her brother was feeling.

“Sorry, Papa …” To Gui Cheng, Xiang Zhe’s heart was filled with gratitude and respect and also a little guilt.

“Aye, when I look at how jubilant Shan Mei looks and how blessed happy she is, I know you must have taken good care of her! You must not say things like that in future! I have already entrusted Shan Mei to you. I am relieved to see that you both are well!”

“I understand, Papa.” Xiang Zhe solemnly nodded. In future he would treasure her more and made her more happy.

“I hope Shan Mei did not give you too much trouble during your trip? This girl can sometime be very stubborn; has she given you a lot of troubles?”

“No, Shan Mei was very good …” Xiang Zhe revealed a shy and happy smile which surprised Gui Cheng and Gui Xian, but at the same time they were also relieved.

“Here is the tea …” Chen Su and Shan Mei brought out the tea and Xiang Zhe hurriedly stood up to help.

“Thank you Mama!” He took the tea from Chen Su’s hands and thanked her with a bow.

Time passed swiftly and the autumn day got dark early and Shan Mei finally finished recounting the anecdotes in their honeymoon trip.

“Here …” Xiang Zhe handed another cup of tea to Shan Mei. He was listening on one side all the time and would occasionally add in some remarks.

He loved to see how vivid she looked when she talked with sparkling witticism and glowed with high spirits. This made him recalled what happened this afternoon when she sat at the main table keeping Father company when she also merrily talked about the interesting things they encountered during their trip and the people in the whole table gradually began to listen her stories with total concentration. Shan Mei was intelligent and very poised then whereas she was now winsome and amusing.

“Thank you …” Shan Mei took the tea cup; she was really very thirsty.

“Aye, I really envy you two …” Gui Xian sigh, how nice to be young.

“Actually, I also have a lot of regrets this time …” Shan Mei confessed. As she had fallen ill, she could not accompany Xue Chang to Heidelburg.

“There must be some regrets in life before there is hope, before you know what is worth fighting for, and only then you would learn to treasure more! Therefore, my little girl, don’t feel sad! Gui Cheng enlightened his daughter.

Shan Mei nodded, understanding what her father meant; Xiang Zhe also nodded with perception and quietly gripping Shan Mei’s hand tightly.

“OK, it’s getting dark and we have to eat … Tonight’s dinner is especially prepared by Gui Xian!” Chen Su smilingly said.

“Right …” Gui Cheng nodded.

When they were about to sit down for dinner, Shan Mei pulled back Xiang Zhe.

“What’s up?”

“Why are you looking at me with such an expression?” She pouted her mouth with displease.

“What?” He pretended to be muddle-headed on purpose and smilingly stared at her.

“That is you were looking as if you knew all and you were smiling stealthily with a hint of satisfaction and gratification … the same way you are looking now!” She finally managed to find the right words to described him.

“Have I done that?” Xiang Zhe pointed at Shan Mei’s lips, “You look especially adorable when you are acting capriciously …”

“What!” She flushed and feared that others would notice.

“It doesn’t matter, let’s go in quick, or else Papa and they will be getting impatient …”

They had a merry dinner. Xiang Zhe only had a few drinks with Gui Cheng. It could not be helped as the ratio of the Zhen female was higher and they had more authority! It was getting really dark before Shan Mei and Xiang Zhe departed for home. If they did not have to go to work the next day, Shan Mei really wanted to accept Xiang Zhe’s suggestion to stay the night there. They soon went back to their “little nest”.

When the car stopped, Xiang Zhe bent to untie the seat belt for Shan Mei and smilingly looked at the sweet and delightful she.

“Xue Chang, I really have to thank you for today!” Shan Mei thanked Xiang Zhe at the first opportune moment.

“Why are you so courteous all of a sudden? How do you want to thank you?” He always loved to tease her, he just could not help it.

“Huh …” Shan Mei thought while she alighted from the car.

“Still thinking?” Xiang Zhe picked up Shan Mei’s hand and entered the house, all the way up to the second floor.

“Hmm!” She was still thinking, she really wanted to express her “thanks”.

“Tired? You’d better take your bath first and think while you bath …” He collected the clothing for her and added, “Need some help?”

“Oh?” Shan Mei did not get the message at first, but one look at the passion in Xiang Zhe’s eyes alerted her, “No!” She retorted, took over the clothing and escaped into the bathroom.

“Take it easy …” Watching his fleeing wife, Xiang Zhe laughed with blessed happiness.

Inside the bathroom, watching herself in the mirror, Shan Mei suddenly remembered how she once practised before the mirror, she lowered her head and smiled – she knew how she was going to thank him!

After her bath, Shan Mei put on her dressing gown, looked at the mirror and drew a deep breathe.

“Pep up, Shan Mei!”

“You’ve finished?” When Shan Mei walked out, she found Xiang Zhe standing before the window and he also turned his head to look at her.

“Xue Chang too?” His hair was still a little wet.

“Have you thought of how you are going to thank me?” He walked close to her and asked her teasingly.

“Huh!” Shan Mei nodded, looking at Xiang Zhe’s eyes which were filled with expectation and sweetly replied: “Thank you, my dearest hubby – I love you!”

“Shan Mei …” Xiang Zhe really never thought that Shan Mei would say something like this! Looking at Shan Mei’s brilliant gaze and her passion-filled but shy face, his heart suddenly was filled with gratitude of joy!

“Xue Chang, are you OK?” Getting no response from him and seeing his stunned look, she worriedly pulled at his shoulders.

“It’s you who said you have to thank me …” Not letting her time to think, he bent forward to kiss her lips and wrapped her tightly with passionate and sensuous emotion and also making her involuntarily response to his love.

A long time thereafter, he held her sleeping in his arms. Watching her gentle beautiful face, his heart was silently murmuring – “I love you very much, Shan Mei – my wife …”

 

 

Message from the author:

“Exactly how long since I last posted … I must apologize!
For the future, I can’t promise how long I will post the next chapter, but also for the future, I will continue to write.
My heart is constant and I will never leave …”


CHAPTER 48 – TO FALL IN LOVE WITH HER, HE WAS REALLY FORTUNATE!

 

Author: Ming Wei Xue
Translated with author’s consent by: nho (CA)

Xiang Zhu and Shan Mei’s honeymoon ended and today they had to return to their respective post of duties.  
 
In the early morning, after eating a tender loving breakfast, they were ready to take off.    
 
Before the changing mirror, Shan Mei was earnestly helping her husband fixing his necktie. “It’s done …”
 
“Will it do?”  With arms around her slender waist, XZ’s eyes were filled with sweet blessings.
 
“Hmm!”  Of course it would do.  She nodded.
 
“Oh … it’s  what you said.”  With a gentle pull, her whole body was pushed into his arms.
 
“Xue Chang …”  SM softly exclaimed, “Your clothes will get creased …”
 
“Just give me five minutes …”  Inhaling her fragrance and caressing her hair, he tenderly said.
 
“Huh …”  She responded delicately.
 
“… To think that we will not see each other until tonight, I really hate to let you go … Aye …”  He involuntarily sighed.  He was really unwilling to let her go.
 
“Xue Chang …”  She tenderly beckoned him.
 
“When you get to the office, work earnestly but not at the risk of your health, do not work overtime during lunch and think of me during your break …”  He was really concerned about her when she was out of his sight.
 
“Huh …”  His careful urgings made her heart swelled with sweetness.  “You do the same too …”
 
“Come …”  He gently released his arms.  He tidied up the hair on her forehead and once again imprinted her look in his mind.  She also helped him fix his tie and then his business suit and smiled sweetly.
 
As there was not much traffic on the road, they soon arrived at the MBS Building.
 
“We’re here …”  XZ stopped the car and turned to look at his wife with eyes filled with tender feelings and reluctance to part with her.
 
“Xue Chang, thank you.”  Shan Mei unfastened the seat belt, “See you tonight …”  They reached an agreement that he would not accompany her inside.
 
“You really don’t want me to keep you company?”  He nodded, but he was still not convinced and repeated his question once again.
 
“There is no need, I have work to do.”  Although she too hoped he could be by her side, there were many things she had to face on her own.  
 
“OK then, take good care of yourself, and let me know if anything happens …”  He nodded and tenderly looked at her.  “Then let’s meet tonight at the usual place.  I will come and pick you up …”  He too really did not want to pressurize her.
 
“Huh …”  Shan Mei obediently responded and after getting off from the car, she smiled sweetly at Xiang Zhe behind the window, “Xue Chang, you have to eat lunch on time, and also … you have to think of me …”
 
“Huh …”  He winked at her and saw her walk into MBC until she disappeared out of sight before he drove his car away.
 
……………………………………..
 
Walking all the way to the First Anchor’s office, Shan Mei drew in a deep breath and stepped in.  “Good morning everyone!”  Shan Mei entered the First Anchor’s office beaming with smiles.
 
“Shan Mei …”  Chen Sui was the first one to come up to greet her, nearly wanting to embrace Shan Mei in his arms.  Several of the trainees also hurriedly stood up.
 
“It’s wonderful.  We finally can have a gathering again!”  Chen Sui happily laughed.  “But Shan Mei, do you have any souvenirs for us?”
 
“Of course … but it will have to wait until this Saturday.  How about if I invite everyone to my place for a gather together?”
 
“That’s terrific!”  Chen Sui was the first to respond.
 
Having said hello, they each went back to their respective seat and began the day’s work.  When Shan Mei had just finished putting together a brief report, the phone started to ring.  “Hello, First Anchor’s office.”
 
“Hello, Shan Mei, can you please come to the Second Anchor’s office in 5 minutes’ time.”  That was Xian Da.
 
“Will do.”  Shan Mei put down the phone and  picked up the file folder and note pad ready to go to the conference room.
 
Outside the conference room, Shan Mei gently knocked on the door.
 
“Please come in …”
 
“Good morning everyone …”  Shan Mei greeted each of them and then sat by one side.
 
“Welcome back, Anchor Zhen!”  Xian Da smilingly nodded.
 
“Thank you Assistant Manager.”
 
“Huh, actually the reason we want to talk to Anchor Zhen is …”  (Morning Star)’s production manager, Li Sheng You looked at Shan Mei in embarrassment, as after all Anchor Zhen had contributed painstaking to this program.  Shan Mei had just returned and if they were to take such action, would it be going too far?
 
“You better let me handle this …”  Xian Da broke the awkward situation.  Let him act the “bad guy”, but those were the words he too felt were difficult to utter.
 
“Assistant Manager Jin and Production Manager Li, are you talking about the proposal about changing the anchor for (Morning Star)?”  Looking around the conference room at her embarrassed  colleagues, Shan Mei gently pointed out.
 
“Anchor Zhen?”  Xian Da asked, revealing slight surprise.
 
“I have read the recent brief report and I have all the time paid close attention to the viewer rating condition.  Anchor Han and Anchor Jin are both very excellent and they are very suitable persons to co-host this program … therefore I can understand the thoughts of the production team and the company, I am willing to resign!”  Shan Mei paused for a moment, earnestly looked at everyone and took out a proposal from the file folder, “This are some suggestions I have for Morning Star and inside there is also the reason for my resignation …”
 
“Well …”  Xian Da and the Production Manager looked at each other in astonishment.  It was really unexpected.
 
“I hope the Company and the production department can consider my proposal.”  Shan Mei passed over the proposal.
 
“We will consider it.”  Xian Da took Shan Mei’s proposal.  They had really never thought that their problem could be solved in this way.
 
…………………
 
After the meeting, Xian Da stopped Shan Mei who was about to leave, “Anchor Zhen, can you please follow me to my office …”
 
“Huh …”  Shan Mei nodded and followed Xian Da.
 
Getting into his office, Xian Da asked Shan Mei to take a seat, “Do you want something to drink?”
 
“No, thanks …”  Shan Mei smiled, “Assistant Manager, do you want me for something?”
 
“Privately, you can call me Senior!  I am now talking to you as your senior!”  Xian Da was quite used to Shan Mei’s way of addressing him.  
 
“Yes … I know!”  Shan Mei smilingly nodded, “Senior, please go ahead!”
 
Xian Da too smiled but immediately regained his composure and asked, “This plan of yours, does Xiang Zhe know about it?”
 
“I haven’t said anything to Xue Chang …”  She wanted to resolve this kind of matter before she told Xue Chang, but she needed to ask Senior about this, “Senior, how about you?”
 
“Erh, this is only an internal proposal and has still not be confirmed …”  Xian Da looked at Shan Mei slightly embarrassed.  Actually, no one in the production department dared to submit this plan directly to the superior authority, because anything concerning Shan Mei must be reported to the superior authority, so they considered it easier if they worked from Shan Mei’s side.
 
“So, do you want me to tell it for you?”
 
“There is no need, we better follow the usual procedure.”  Xian Da shook his head, “Shan Mei, actually the reason I asked you to come here was to ask your opinion.  If you don’t want to resign, then don’t do it against your will.  I too will be on your side.”  Xian Da was a little worried that Shan Mei made concession because she was too considerate of others.  Besides, Shan Mei had been working hard all the way and he was clearly aware of it.
 
“Thank you Uncle Xian Da!  I have made my decision and it doesn’t really matter!”  Shan Mei was very grateful to Xian Da.  She smilingly comforted Xian Da, “Actually not only do Gee Lan and Yu Cheng Oppa match well in their appearance, their collaboration coordinates well with the program’s overall style!  I think their continued partnership would certainly become more versatile!  Therefore, please proceed with the proposed plan of the production department!”
 
“OK then!”  Xian Da nodded, “I will let you know when things are confirmed …”
 
“OK!”  Shan Mei responded and then asked, “Right, how is Yong Xi Senior doing lately?  She has stopped working.  How’s her health?   It must be tough on her now …”
 
“Yes … Please come over some day.  Yong Xi really misses you …”  Xian Da nodded.
 
“Good!”  Shan Mei nodded.  She had some gifts for Yong Xi Senior.  “I am off if there is nothing more you want …”
 
“OK.”  Watching Shan Mei leave, Xian Da opened up a document folder and it was Shan Mei’s proposal.  After reading it, Xian Da was lost in deep thoughts.  Regarding Shan Mei’s work, they all seemed to overlook something.
 
The day passed swiftly and it was already time to get off from work.  Shan Mei was still bending over her desk busy with work and she had completely forgotten about the time.  Waiting in vain in the usual place, Xiang Zhe could only get into the MBS Building.  He had to pick up his wife and took her home.
 
“Hi, Xiang Zhe …”  Coming out from the correspondents’ office, Xian Da saw his superior waiting for the elevator when he just turned around the corner.  
 
“How are you, Xian Da Ge? …”  Xiang Zhe turned around and greeted Xian Da.
 
“How was the trip?  Everything  OK?”
 
“Thank you, it was perfect …”  Xiang Zhe’s face revealed a tender smile.  At the same time, the elevator arrived and both Xiang Zhe and Xian Da went inside.  There were by coincidence just the two of them.  
 
“Right, what are you doing here at this hour?”  Xian Da looked at Xiang Zhe teasingly and lowered his laugh, “Are you here to check up on us or are you here to preside over a meeting?”
 
“Neither …”  Xiang Zhe smilingly shook his head and pushed the button, then turned to look at Xian Da, saying naturally, “I’m here to pick up my wife from work …”
 
“Ha ha …”  Xian Da roared with laughter.  Fortunately there were only the two of them in the elevator, otherwise they would draw a lot of attention.
 
“What?  Have I said something funny?”  Xiang Zhe, with his hands at his back, asked with suavity of style.
 
“No, no … no …”  Xian Da shook his hands and tried hard to contain his laughter, “It’s just  totally unexpected …”  
 
“Really?”  Xiang Zhe took exception to his words and raised his head to look at the floor indicator.  There were still two floors to go.
 
“I am laughing at your natural confession …”  Xian Da explained.  The Xiang Zhe he knew was intelligent, self-contained and good at hiding his inner feeling and at work, he was a ruthless man with strong detouring tactics.  But now Xiang Zhe really surprised him!  Actually it should be said that both Shan Mei and Xiang Zhe surprised others.  They were really a couple who gave people a pleasant surprise!
 
“Thank you, I will take it as a compliment … Oh, I have reached my floor.”  Xiang Zhe walked out from the elevator.  He turned to look at Xian Da and smilingly made a suggestion, “Xian Da Ge should go home early when you have finished your work .  See you later!”  
 
 
After bidding goodbye to Xian Da, Xiang Zhe walked quickly.  Very soon he reached the First Anchor’s office.  At this hour, there was only Shan Mei in the whole of the Anchor’s office.  Watching Shan Mei’s tender and laborious back, Xiang Zhe could not help silently give a sigh, he finally could see her.  He did not disturb Shan Mei, he just stood behind her and continued to wait for her.
 
Approximately 20 minutes’ later, Shan Mei finally finished the proposal in hand.  She switched off her notebook and was about to clean up her desk and at the same time, she conveniently looked at her watch.
 
“Good heaven!”  Shan Mei exclaimed, was it this late now?  Xue Chang should have already been waiting for her for an hour!  “Xue Chang …”  Shan Mei hurriedly stood up and packed things into her bag and was ready to rush home.  Really, how come she did not pay attention to the clock on the notebook!  Xue Chang must be getting impatient!
 
“Don’t rush …”  Xiang Zhe smiled tenderly, putting down the newspaper in his hands and walked over to help Shan Mei pick up the pens which had fallen down over the floor.
 
“Xue Chang …”  Shan Mei looked at Xiang Zhe in surprise.
 
“What we have is time …”  Xiang Zhe handed over the pens to Shan Mei and looked at her tenderly.
 
“Xue Chang, when did you arrive?”  Shan Mei held on to Xiang Zhe both apologetically and happily.  “I’m sorry, I forget about the time … You have been waiting long, have you?”
 
“Huh …”  Xiang Zhe did not speak, just smilingly looking at her.
 
“I’m sorry ..  There won’t be next time!  Xue Chang …”  Shan Mei cajoley guaranteed.
 
“OK …”  He nodded, expressing his generosity to let her have her way this time.  Actually his heart ached for her.
 
“Thank you Xue Chang …”
 
“But …”  Xiang Zhe picked up Shan Mei’s cell phone from the desk and asked, “Why didn’t you switch on your cell phone?”  At the beginning he sent her short messages, until later he had to call her directly on her cell, but still there was no response.  Finally he had to come up in person, because he had promised Shan Mei before that unless required by business, he would not make unnecessary appearance in MBS.  Did she know that he was so worried  and anxious waiting outside for her?
 
“Oh …”  Shan Mei remorsefully lowered her head, “I forgot, I switched it off before this afternoon’s meeting and later forgot about it …”
 
“Shan Mei, look at me …”  Xiang Zhe let Shan Mei raise her head, “Don’t apologize and I am not angry.  I’m just worrying about you.  In future, please remember to switch on  your cell phone, or you can send me a SMS to let me know you are busy …”
 
“Huh!”  Shan Mei obediently nodded.  She would pay attention in future.  “Xue Chang, thank you …”  He was really very forgiving and considerate to her.  
 
“OK, let’s go home!”  Xiang Zhe took Shan Mei’s handbag, wrapped his arm around Shan Mei and left.  “I’m so hungry.  What are we having for tonight?”
 
“Let me make dinner …”  Shan Mei offered.
 
“OK, then I want to eat ramen and also …”  Xiang Zhe laughed and soon they came before the elevator.
 
“There is no problem!”  Shan Mei immediately responded.
 
“Oh, Shan Mei, according to reason, I should be the one to cook dinner …”  Xiang Zhe said smilingly, helping Shan Mei get into the elevator.
 
“Huh?”  What reason Xue Chang was talking about?
 
“Don’t you think so?  All the staff in the First Anchor’s office have gone.  Tonight you are the last one to leave?  Shouldn’t I give you a reward …”
 
“Really?”  Shan Mei thought and suddenly realized that they were in the office.  Her face flushed red and she struggled to let lose Xiang Zhe’s hand which was placed around her waist.
 
“What’s up?  Shan Mei?”  He fully understood her intention and action, so he would let her have her way this time.
 
“Huh …”  Shan Mei did not know how to answer.  She was a little bit afraid.  She would not want to let other witness their intimate acts in the office.
 
“It doesn’t matter.  I understand …”  Xiang Zhe patted Shan Mei’s shoulder and smiled at her sympathetically.  
 
“Xue Chang?”  Shan Mei raised her head and looked directly into Xiang Zhe’s jet black and gentle pupils.
 
“I said it before, just act naturally …”  He did not want to add to her burden, so he was willing to submit to her wishes.  
 
“Huh …”  Shan Mei lowered her head.  Actually she knew full well that they had to face it, but every time when she faced it, she discovered that she was not ready yet, however she could not use this reason every time.  The elevator reached the ground floor.  Xiang Zhe stepped out first and waited for Shan Mei.
 
“Xue Chang …”  Shan Mei walked out.  She raised her head, her face was filled with colourful radiance.
 
“Huh?”  Xiang Zhe looked at her.  Shan Mei smilingly stretched out her hand to gently grip his hand, “Let’s walk out together?”
 
“Huh!”  Xiang Zhe turned over his hand to grip Shan Mei’s hand tightly, leaning closer to her and walked out together.  They must accept other people’s attention on them, although this made Shan Mei feel somewhat uneasy and she involuntarily wanted to timidly retreat.  Xiang Zhe immediately noticed and he gripped Shan Mei’s hand tighter.  “It doesn’t matter, you will get used to it …”  He murmured in her ear and gave her encouragement, gave her comfort.
 
“Huh …”  Shan Mei finally revealed a brilliant smile.  Watching Shan Mei’s smile, Xiang Zhe could cease to worry at last.  
 
Finally, they walked hand in hand and shoulder and shoulder out of MBS.  
 
 
It was 10:30 p.m.  Xiang Zhe finished his work and switched off his computer.  He then went to the dining room and poured two cups of coffee and went back to the study, walking past the connecting door.  Shan Mei was working on the other side.  
 
“Haven’t you finished your work already?  What are you doing?”  Xiang Zhe put down the coffee and gazed at her tenderly across the desk.
 
“I’m writing my diary … Please give me a moment …”  Shan Mei answered spontaneously and did not raise her head.
 
“Oh …”  He meaningfully uttered an “O” sound and turned around to stand beside her and bent his body.
 
“Xue Chang …”  Shan Mei did not get a response, so she raised her head.  What happened to the man in front of him?  When she turned her head, it just bumped into Xiang Zhe’s lower jaw.
 
“Aiyoo …”  They cried out loud at the same time.  Xiang Zhe straightened his waist and painfully rubbed his jaw.
 
“Xue Chang!  Are you OK?”  Shan Mei anxiously stood up.  She was not hurt, only got a fright.
 
“I’m OK … how are you?”  Xiang Zhe pulled Shan Mei close and stretched out his hand to brush aside the hair on her foresaid and examined  it carefully.
 
“Don’t just care about me!”  Shan Mei pulled down Xiang Zhe’s hand, and worriedly looked at him.  
 
“It’s nothing … Just a little pain means nothing …”  He stealthily wrapped his arms around her.
 
“Really?  Why didn’t you just stay there … and --- Could it be that you want to peep into my diary?”  Shan Mei suddenly realized  and her eyes were opened wide all at once.  
 
“Of course not!  I only wanted to look at you and you just did not raise your head.”  He was feeling a little bit guilty, but he just denied simply.  Actually he was just a little curious, because Shan Mei had been writing diary all the time and he really wanted to know how she described their honeymoon trip.
 
“Really?”  The corners of her mouth glided down, revealing a slight taunting smile.
 
“You don’t believe me?”  He slowly held her tight and smilingly enjoyed her adorable look.
 
“Huh!”  Shan Mei nodded and could not help bursting into laughter.
 
“I was so good to serve your coffee, but in return, I was nearly knocked over and my motive misunderstood, I am really wrongly accused …”  He winked his eyes at her and his tone of voice was filled with grievance.
 
“Does it hurt much?”  Her heart ached for him and she gently rubbed his jaw.  “Is it better now?”
 
“That’s more like it …”  He revealed a very satisfying smile, enjoying her tender care.
 
“You’re shameless!”  She scratched his perfectly straight nose, “A little massage will make it better … Xue Chang, you have to be strong!”  She smiled with much tender.
 
“Shan Mei …”  He was a little embarrassed; this naughty girl had the audacity to treat this as something playful.  However, she looked  very pretty with her curving eyes shining with brilliance.  
 
“Are you angry?”  Watching the smile recede from Xiang Zhe’s face and his eyes starring at her, Shan Mei  pulled together her playful mood.
 
“Huh …”  He gently hummed, deciding to seriously tease her.
 
“Please don’t be mad?”  With her hands on his shoulders, she cajoley looked at him.  
 
Aye, her cajolery tone of voice made his heart ache.   Where came the anger?  “How can I get mad?”  He moved to allow some space  between them, gently touching her cute nose, watching her pouting mouth with scotching eyes and could not resist raining gentle kisses on it.  Shan Mei’s eyes opened wide as she was stunned by his sudden attack.
 
“Shan Mei, can you please close your eyes …?”  He was about to kiss her eyes.
 
“Huh …”  She was not given time to respond and closed her eyes instinctly.  He really kissed her eyes, kissed her eyebrows, kissed her cheeks and kissed her ear-lobes.  He also kissed her neck … He was so tender, he treasured her so …….
 
After a series of intimate kisses, he embraced her tightly in his arms.
 
“Xue Chang …”  She leaned against him, burying her head in his chest, heaving softly.
 
“Huh?”  He gently caressed her hair, trying to calm his own surging heart.
 
“You did it intentionally …”  Her voice was very thin; and he laughed because she was aware of what he was trying to do.  
 
“I love your kisses …”  Her voice so soft and filled with great tenderness.
 
The true and honest confession surged the love in his heart.  He gently kissed her hair … To fall in love with her, he was really very fortunate.
 
- End of Chapter 48 -
 
 
NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR:
 
PS:  (My Constant Heart) finally continues!  Wow … It was really so difficult.  I really didn’t know what to write, that’s why it was taking me so long.  Luckily, I have stated before that (My Constant Heart) is about their whole life …
 
But this time I have to state clearly once again, I am really prepared to continue writing my AAE sequel (My Constant Heart).  Before when I saw my work posted in Baido’s website, I felt very sad not only because it was not posted with my name as the author, but it was publicly declared to be the true and complete version.  Therefore I have to say it once gain, I want to share my love for AAE with you all, but please pay me some respect.
 
Tomorrow I will be going home and really want to relax and meet with my friends … Oh, finally I can go home and read the Xue Chang and Xue Mei’s stories once again …
 
“I love AAE, my heart is constant …”  --  MING WEI XUE