To borrow the words of Eminem – maybe that’s what happens when a tornado meets a volcano.
Yun Jin recalled telling Shen Ju An confidently “We’re nothing alike.” It turned out that Ju An was more insightful afterall. In that moment, he had merely looked at her and smiled. In retrospect, Yun Jin found it hilarious as well. She wasn’t as independent as she believed herself to be. She didn’t know if it was the various situations that called for it or because of her innate personality but she found herself extremely reliant on Cheng Zheng.
She wasn’t as adamant in protecting her pride and dignity as her younger self. Since she had no heart or courage to leave, then she’d rather not dwell on her disappointing change and remain by his side. By treating him a little better everyday, her conscience eased up. Day by day, Yun Jin was even more attentive to Cheng Zheng’s needs and more tolerant of his every mood. In return, Cheng Zheng was more in love with her than ever. If this was not bliss, then what was it?
After working in the company for nearly two years, Yun Jin’s good performance in Customer Service caught the team leader’s attention. Thus the scout, who was chiefly responsible for her recruitment, sent an employee from Human Resource to enquire if she was willing to transfer to Market Analysis where she would participate in planning marketing strategies for enterprises. Yun Jin did not need to think twice; although Market Analysis was not as easygoing as Customer Service, there was brighter job prospects. She really needed this opportunity.
Thereafter, her workload increased tremendously. There were meetings to prepare for, proposals to write, marketing research to conduct amond other tasks. Working overtime became the norm and she even had to entertain potential clients. Yun Jin had to maintain the delicate balance between looking after Cheng Zheng meticulously and meeting the demands of her job. She shuttled between home and her workplace endlessly such that her walking pace became faster than the average person.
Cheng Zheng’s career was as promising as had been expected – he was young, intelligent and had a good grasp on his field of work. He was also willing to put in the hours and effort so it came as no surprise to anyone that he rose up to the position of group leader quickly. Following the promotion, he became more swamped with work.
Working overtime was a given. Cheng Zheng also had to review every single blueprint that was drawn. As part of his training, he was offered many opportunities to go overseas for various projects. To everyone’s surprise, this fine young man who appeared so carefree was actually easily homesick. Unless absolutely crucial, he was unwilling to travel. Even if he had to, he would return home at the first opportunity and never dallied in the foreign land.
As for social activities, he would reject all invitations. Since he was unable to get off work punctually, he cut down on his recreational time instead. He was never shy in proclaiming that he was going home to his lover. Everyone was curious to know the identity of his mysterious lover; how powerful was she that Cheng Zheng, a fine member of the male gender, could be so devoted to her?
Yun Jin knew she ought to be grateful she had such an adoring partner but she couldn’t help but feel more pressured instead. Since Cheng Zheng was so attached to her, naturally he expected the same affection in return. So whenever she neglected him, be it for work or any reasonable cause, he would sulk. She tried her best to please Cheng Zheng by spending all her spare time with him.
His love was so overwhelming that it became a burden she had to bear.
One autumn night, Yun Jin and two other colleagues finally wrapped up dinner with a client. Although her alcohol tolerance level had vastly improved from before due to the constant meetings such as this, she couldn’t walk straight after the client had plied her with two cups.
“Yun Jin are you alright? Do you need a lift back?” her male colleague asked in concerned through his lowered window as he drove up to her.
“Thanks but it’s fine!” she smiled and waved at her colleague. Cheng Zheng’s jealousy made her instinctively avoid any situations in which he might get the wrong impression. Cheng Zheng was currently overseas on assignment and wasn’t able to pick her up tonight. Thus, she was able to stay on for the full dinner course. If he were to see her in her current state, his ire would surely be raised.
On thinking of him, she fished out her handphone from her purse and had the shock of her life – she had multiple missed calls and unread texts from him:
Where are you now? Do you miss me? I wish you were with me.
I’ve completed my assignment early and am flying back soon. See you at home!
Why are you not picking up?
I’m home. I didn’t bring my keys. Where are you?
PICK UP MY CALLS! Where on earth are you? I’m at the door.
Yun Jin if you don’t appear in the next few seconds you’re dead meat.
Don’t frighten me, I’m getting worried.
The light evening breeze blew past her on this otherwise pleasant night but Yun Jin was in no mood to enjoy it. At the shock of Cheng Zheng’s ill-timed arrival home, all the alcohol influence evaporated. She didn’t dare read the remaining unread texts. She quickly hailed a cab and pleaded with the driver to use the fastest speed possible to send her back. As she panted on rushing out the elevator, she saw Cheng Zheng leaning on the metal grill. His coat was in his hand and his bags were in a heap at the side.
Yun Jin traversed the distance in a few big strides “I’m so so sorry; I didn’t think you were coming back so soon. Have you been waiting long?”
He straightened his posture and ignored her. Upon getting a wift of alcohol, his expression became even more icy. When she finally opened the main door, he deliberately stepped round her and headed in without a backward glance. Yun Jin stood at the entrance stunned but quickly recovered. She composed herself before picking up his luggage and following him in.
Cheng Zheng didn’t switch on the lights. He sat down forcefully on the couch and said not a word. Having grown accustomed to his tyrannical behaviour whenever he threw a fit, Yun Jin was at a loss at his current atypical behaviour. She turned on the lights meekly and brought his luggage to the room before sitting down across him.
“Have you eaten? Are you hungry? Shall I whip up some food for you?”
“I rather starve to death.” he gritted out.
Yun Jin forced on a smile before leaning forward and placing her hand over his “I’m sorry. My colleagues and I met with an old client today. We’ve had many interactions before so it wouldn’t be too nice to reject his invitation to dinner. Besides, I didn’t know you were coming back ahead of schedule …”
“Yeah. When you know I’ll be back, you’ll be home waiting for me. If not, you would be having a roaring good time outside. Is this how you patronize me? Su Yun Jin, sometimes I realise I don’t know you at all.” Cheng Zheng retracted his hand from her clasp.
Yun Jin inhaled sharply as she slowly brought her hand back to her side “Cheng Zheng please be reasonable. I was really only doing this because my work demands it. It was way too noisy tonight so I didn’t hear the phone ringing in my bag. I didn’t think you would forget your keys either. I’ve already apologised, what more do you want?”
“Don’t make out your stupid job to be so important! It’s just drinking with dirty old men isn’t it? I’ve waited at the door for you for three hours. THREE HOURS. To think I rushed home the moment I finished my duties there. Since disembarking from the plane, I’ve not even had a drop of water.”
“I know you’re angry but you have your career and I have mine. I’ve never stopped you from entertaining clients so shouldn’t you spare a thought for me as well?”
“I don’t know how to see things from your perspective. I’m not mature enough and I’m no Shen Ju An. I’m not as warm and understanding as he is. I don’t even know who is in your heart and honestly I don’t care anymore.”
Yun Jin couldn’t hold it in any longer. She wanted so badly to slap him but her rational side reminded her that anger would not lead anywhere. Thus she decided not to argue with him any further. She would give him space to cool down, after all why add fuel to fire? She tried hard to temp down her emotions as she rose and said “I’ll go get you some water.”
Cheng Zheng watched her go coldly. When she extended the cup of water to him he struck it “Su Yun Jin, are you aware that I hate it whenever you’re like this? You keep everything inside and don’t voice your thoughts. Are you even capable of anger? Of feelings? You always have this wronged look, like you have to accommodate me. I want a human lover, one that has emotions and not an all-serving robot who sleeps with me.”
Yun Jin’s outstretched hand was thrown to a side viciously and half of the water spilled out. She steadied herself before throwing the remaining water in Cheng Zheng’s face. She dashed the empty glass on the floor where it smashed to smithereens loudly.
Yun Jin’s voice was unsteady “I think we’re both satisfied at how things turned out.”
The water coursed down Cheng Zheng’s face but he made no move to wipe it dry. He pointed a solitary finger at the door “Leave. I don’t want to see you.”
Without a moment’s hesitation, Yun Jin got to her feet but Cheng Zheng was faster. He jumped up and used his brute strength to pin her tightly onto the couch. Yun Jin was in great pain and she glared hatefully at him. In the midst of their struggling, both fell off the couch onto the floor. Cheng Zheng’s body was now under hers so before he could react, she struggled up to get away from him. Alas, he was agile and with lightning speed, he grabbed at her ponytail to stop her from escaping.
Yun Jin was in so much pain that tears were forming. She couldn’t hold it in as she whirled around and slapped him. Her sharp nails drew fresh blood on Cheng Zheng’s neck. Just like a leopard that smelt a whiff of blood, Cheng Zheng lost his senses and shoved her on the floor with renewed rigour before forcefully ripping off her clothes and his own.
Yun Jin knew what he wanted but under such circumstances, they would be no different from animals so she valiantly tried to fight him off even though she was no match for him. She was the injured, dying prey to his vicious predator. In no time, Cheng Zheng established his victory. Yun Jin felt defeated and she surrendered, allowing him to do as he wanted with her.
How could two lovers be so close physically yet so distant emotionally? The moment Cheng Zheng got what he wanted, he felt an acute sense of loss. He pressed his forehead gently against hers and mumbled “Is it I who have hurt you or you who have hurt me? What must I do to have you, all of you?”
Yun Jin felt dead inside “Let it go Cheng Zheng. Let’s go our separate ways. We’ll both be happier.”
Cheng Zheng shook his head slowly but resolutely “No. I will never let go. Even if our love drags us down to hell, I still want to be with you.”