In this chapter, you’ll see another side of Lu Jun, the humane side. He can be very nice in helping Xia Ye to wash the dishes, wanting to give a skirt to her and letting her take a nap during office hours. However, he does things in an indirect way, resulting in many grievances for our poor Xia Ye who is rather slow. As you can see, I didn’t dupe you with my previous cover picture of Lu Jun getting Xia Ye a skirt:P
Chapter 10: Breakfast
In my depressed state, Lu Jun looking quite fearful and wanting to keep a safe distance from me, gives me a pink bank note ($100) across the coffee table. He tells me that the food in the fridge has expired and asks me to go to the food market next to the apartment to buy the ingredients to make mapo tofu, twice cooked pork, dry-fried potato slices, sweet and sour pork and tomato and egg soup. I’ve to cook these four dishes and one soup.
Holding that flimsy bank note, my eyes are misty: “General manager, didn’t you say you’ll treat me to a meal?”
Lu Jun’s answer is as crafty as his character: “I did say I’ll not ask you to pay for the meal but I did not say you don’t need to exert yourself.”
= = Jerk, playing word games with me again!
I arrive at the food market and move between the countless stalls to bargain before buying the vegetables and meat which I need. Then, I return to the apartment and grit my teeth to work hard on making the four dishes and one soup. I finally finish cooking at about one plus in the afternoon. My only consolation after exhausting myself is that I’ve twenty-seven yuans left. I carefully put them in my own pocket.
After putting the dishes on the table, the doorbell starts to ring. Suddenly, I become combat ready. It can’t be that little brat who nearly made me vomit blood last time?
Lu Jun gets up to take a look and my eyes follow his movement to see a home delivery boy politely says: “Sir, this is the dong quai you’ve ordered.”
Big Boss Lu quickly pays him, gives the parcel to me and calmly tells me: “Later, remember to bring it back for auntie.”
I immediately become speechless. This is not what he said on the phone yesterday?
Lu Jun seems to be only a bit hungry. He quietly tastes some mapo tofu, a few shredded potato, a small piece of sweet and sour pork rib, a slice of twice-cooked pork and drinks a small mouthful of soup. He obviously looks very satisfied and relishes eating his meal. Whereas I am very hungry because I’ve been busy cooking for half a day so I gobble up my share. Hence, both of us eat happily together. The only difference is that he eats in a graceful and refined manner while I eat in a crude and unsightly manner. In the end, the lion’s share of the food goes into my stomach.
After I’ve eaten my fill, it just so happens that I hear an advertising slogan on tv: “If your teeth is good, your appetite will also be good and whatever you eat will be tasty!”
Lu Jun stares at my bulging belly and says with a teasing smile: “Xia Ye, your teeth is really good.”
I am a little embarrassed and want to take the dishes on the table for washing, but I do not expect Big Boss Lu to beat me to it and says very gently: “Let me wash them.”
After gathering the dishes, he takes them into the kitchen, but before long, he shouts:. “Xia Ye, come here for a moment.”
I am angry, ask me to stand guard again?
I reluctantly walk to the kitchen and see Lu Jun’s hands are soaked in the water. The apron exemplifies his tall and straight body and his handsome side profile appears good in the kitchen, especially when he is seriously and gracefully washing the dishes. He looks just like an outstanding high quality man ……
Illusion! It is definitely an illusion! While I am strongly denying all this, he suddenly turns around and says to me: “Quick, help me to roll up my sleeves a bit more.”
I am busy helping him to roll up his sleeves. I don’t know whether intentionally or unintentionally, his head starts to droop and his breathing is fanning my cheeks. I immediately feel some dryness in my mouth……
Because I cannot stand his close breathing, I quickly roll up his two sleeves and flee from the kitchen. When I am in the living room, I don’t know whether to sit or stand and question myself why I am infatuated with this two-faced beast in human clothing. Am I that hungry that I am eating what is available!?
“Xia Ye, come in.” While I am still feeling torn, Lu Jun deliberately wants me to have no peace and calls me to go into the kitchen.
I reluctantly walk into the kitchen again and look at the man who is slowly washing the dishes and ask: “General manager, what is the matter?”
When he sees me coming in, he turns and smiles warmly: “There are foams sticking on my face so come over and help me to wipe them away.”
I look at the foams on his cheeks and become speechless. Washing a few dishes also needs to torment me to run around, so might as well let me wash them myself!
I halfheartedly simply wipe his face and accidentally touch the side of his warm and soft lips. To my surprise, he lightly licks his upper lips which I’ve just touched. Then he coquettishly touches his brow and says lightly: “Taste salty, you did not wash your hands?”
I feel numbed for a moment, this time I run for my life from the kitchen.
Standing in the living room, my face is a little red. I really do not know whether that man did it deliberately or I am too impure. A moment ago, the soft lips, moist soft tongue and his light licking action are really…… terribly sexy! I reckon if I didn’t run out of the kitchen just now, blood will run out of my nose!
While I am still feeling frightened, I hear a sound from the kitchen: “Xia Ye, you ……”
“Ah! General manager, I have something on so I am going back first!” Before waiting for him to finish his sentence, I interrupt fearfully and rapidly rush out the door with the dong quai.
If I don’t leave, even if I don’t play to death by him, I’ll also be seduced by him!
“Don’t go yet, I have ……”
When I hear him shouting at my back, I run even faster like I am being chased by a ghost!
When I am in the elevator, the phone starts to ring and it is really from Lu Jun. Thus, I calm my nerve and pretend not to hear the ringing, until one minute later, the ringing stops and I breathe a sigh of relief.
After I get out of the elevator, I run out of the apartment. When I am in the bus, the phone starts to ring again. Since I am already in the bus, he has no reason to call me back. Thus, after hesitating for a moment, I pick up the phone: “Hello?”
His voice sounds normal, neither happy nor angry: “Why did you run away?”
I dare not snub him, so my tone sounds like begging for mercy and currying favor: “General manager, I went to your house today to accompany you for so long and you’ve already eaten your fill so please let me off ……”
After I’ve finished talking, I notice all the passengers around look at me with strange eyes. Then I realise what I had just said will make people’s imagination run riot.
At this moment, I hear a sigh from the other end of the phone: “In fact, I called you just now to say ……”
I’m afraid he’ll call me back, so I stress that: “I am already in the bus now!”
He seems not to be affected by what I just said and continues to say: “I want to say I’ve something to give you.”
After hearing that, I immediately become interested and quickly ask: “What is that?”
He pauses before saying: “Coincidentally, someone has just given me a skirt. Since it is of no use to me, I want to give it to you.”
Ha, Boss Lu, when you said you wanted to give my beloved mom the dong quai, you seemed to also say like this!
It is merely a skirt. I feel that I should not so spineless, so I pretend to tactfully and politely decline by saying: “I am already in the bus and it is inconvenient for me to go back, so your kindness is … … ”
“I remember, the price tag seems to be more than $200.” He suddenly interrupts.
I breath out another sigh of relief. Fortunately the price is not too expensive, so I am unaffected and can continue to decline: “I appreciate your kindness……”
“But it is in US dollars.”
I seem to be struck by thunder and lightning and suddenly feel wildly excited. My tone immediately becomes determined: “I appreciate your kindness, so I’ll come and get your skirt straight away!”
She hears a chuckle from the other side: “No need, since you are already in the bus and it is inconvenient for you to come back.”
Although I know he cannot see, I still shake my head and anxiously say: “No, no, no, quite convenient, very convenient. I’ll get off the bus when it arrives at the next stop.”
His voice is very friendly and all of a sudden he becomes humane: “No need, I’ll bring it to the office for you tomorrow.”
Suddenly I feel very touched and give my heartfelt praise: “General manager, you are so thoughtful. I really don’t know how to thank you enough ……”
He seems to be waiting for me to say that sentence and says very seriously: “It is good that you are grateful. In the future, I don’t want to go to the restaurant across the office to eat breakfast. Hence, you know what to do, right?”
I rack my brain and think for a long time before suggesting: “Then, in the future, you go to the restaurant next to the office to eat!”
“……” He keeps quiet for a while, then says something and hangs up the phone immediately, without giving me a chance to refuse: “Tomorrow morning, I want to see the breakfast you’ve personally prepared on my desk.”
I am on the verge of tears. No wonder, he suddenly wanted to give me a skirt. At it turns out, he has an ulterior motive! This is precisely his ploy ……
While I am on the way home, I see a vaguely familiar figure. She doesn’t seem to see me because of the distance so I quickly turn around and try to run away. Then I hear the sound of footsteps and a familiar roar behind me: “The person with the surname Xia, stand still!”
Soon after my collar is seized, so I turn around to see Ai Li having her hands on her waist: “Have you forgotten that I used to be a sprint champion in school? You actually dare to flee from me?”
I try to pacify her by smiling: “I wasn’t trying to flee. It is just that suddenly, I feel like jogging.”
Ai Li looks at me as if I am an idiot: “Silly girl, in fact, I did not notice or recognize you just now but when I saw somebody turned and fled, then only I realised it is you!”
I sweat a little, as it turns out I am too smart for my own good!
I look miserable and says in a desolate tone: “Li Li, I’m very tired now so I don’t have energy to comfort you ……”
Ai Li glares at me: “Who wants you to comfort? I’ve a new boyfriend, who is a lot better than my ex-boyfriend who is a jerk. I just want to inform you that there is a student gathering on the evening of the 7th of this month. You didn’t attend the previous five student gathering but this one is organised by the class monitor so you can’t evade this time!”
I am a little hesitant so I ask: “Will there be a lot of students attending?”
Ai Li nods her head: “It is said most of the students in this city will go.”
My heart feels uneasy and I lower my head: “Linna will also go ……”
Ai Li beats the back of my head: “Xia Ye, can you don’t hide whenever Sen Yu Ming is mentioned? He is the one who betrayed you and let you down. You are the victim but why are you acting like you’ve done something and dare not meet people? Aren’t you foolish!? I suggest you should stand tall and attend the gathering to let everyone see you can live well without Sen Yu Ming. Show them how well you are doing, don’t let me feel ashamed of you…… ”
“Ok, ok, ok, calm down, I’ll I go, okay?” Listening to her angry rambling, I quickly appease her and stroke her back to compromise and beg for mercy before she explodes in anger.
After I agreed, I start to worry, as most people will attend the gathering in pairs. They’ll want to bring their boyfriends along to show off their blissfulness. The fast ones will come with their husbands. Of course, there will also be those who will attend alone which is no big deal. But if I attend alone, it will certainly be very embarrassing because Linna will definitely be attending with her fiance, Sen Yu Ming. Almost all the students knew I dated Sen Yu Ming for four years before he cruelly dumped me ……
That night, I am distressed and worried about the student gathering. Lying on the bed, tossing and turning, I cannot sleep. I rack my brain to think of countless options to avoid embarrassing myself, but none of them seems workable. Finally, I only manage to fall asleep at two plus in the morning when I feel extremely tired and my eyelids shut themselves.
Although I suffer from a serious lack of sleep, I still wake up half an hour early than usual on the next morning to prepare breakfast. After all, he is my boss so I cannot afford to offend him. If I let Big Boss Lu goes hungry, my few days old rice bowl will likely be smashed. What’s more, I still have my eyes set on that expensive skirt!
I feel dizzy when I get up from the bed early in the morning. I look at the empty kitchen and stare blankly for a while. In the end, I use some ready-made flour to produce a few pieces of scallion pancakes. Then I carefully put them into a food plastic bag, bring them to the office and place them on the general manager’s desk. Although this breakfast looks ugly, he only said he wanted to see the breakfast I’ve personally prepared on his desk and did not mention it has to be very sumptuous, right?
After solving the boss’s breakfast problem, I go to the bathroom to wash my face with some cold water. It is barely enough to keep me awake. Then I begin to organize the files needed for today’s meeting. Before long, I can’t help but lie down and take a nap.
“General manager, good morning!” The sound of the polite greeting wakes me up from my slumber and I immediately don’t feel sleepy anymore.
After the shock, I quickly stand up to see Lu Jun looking impressive and elegant walking into the office. The tailor fitted brand new suit makes him look high-spirited. His handsome face has a refined and graceful smile. When I look at it, I can’t help but think of the words, beast in human clothing.
After a moment of careful observation, because of the lack of sleep last night, all the women in the office except me, look refresh today. Because of the hard labor activity yesterday, all the men in the office except Lu Jun, look feebly, really …… unfair!
Lu Jun walks straight to the desk and sees the scallion pancakes placed there. He looks at me, raises his eyebrows and asks: “You personally made them?”
I nod my head repeatedly and reply in a firm tone: “Yes, general manager!”
He takes a piece of the scallion pancake from the plastic bag, but instead of putting it into his mouth, he scrutinizes it.
I fear he will think I’ve done it half-halfheartedly, so I quickly say in exaggeration: “General manager, you should not look down on this pancake. I’ve devoted a lot of time and effort on each and every one of them. After I’ve slowly and carefully kneaded the flour, I gently and carefully pan fried them to produce such exquisite pancakes. Each of them also went through many steps in their production, layer upon layer of seasoning and a lot of hard work to transform from the flour to become the scallion pancake in your hand. It is not the gift that counts, but the thought behind it!”
While I am giving my long-winded speech, Lu Jun lifts up his eyes, frowns slightly and interrupts unhappily: “Which is why you did not sleep well?”
He changes the subject of our conversation too fast, so I’ve to pause for a while before I can react. I promptly take advantage of the situation for my own benefit and reply sincerely: “Yes! In order to let general manager has a delicious breakfast, it is no big deal to sleep a few hours less!”
I don’t know how much Big Boss Lu believes me, but I see him smiles. Then he puts the scallion pancake into his mouth, takes a bite gracefully and swallows it before saying: “It tastes pretty good.”
I immediately feel relaxed and breath a sigh of relief because it looks like I’ve got through the ordeal.
“But” All of a sudden, he changes his tone to become serious: “Secretary Xia, you knew you’ve to work today, but did not ensure getting adequate sleep, resulting in goofing off to sleep during working hours. Such action is a serious violation of the company’s staff code of conduct.”
I feel worried and is about to cry, but keep on scolding this scoundrel and beast in my heart. I have already exhausted myself to talk him round but he still won’t let me off the hook. Yet, on the surface, my manner is still respectful and I say my repentance in a pathetic voice: “General manager, I know that I am in the wrong, I really know my mistake ……”
He looks stern and serious and says in a formal manner of speaking: “It is good that you knew you’ve been in the wrong. The company plans to order a new batch of leather sofas. Today, someone will send a sample over and you will be responsible for testing the quality to make amends for your previous faults. You’ll be responsible for any mistakes.”
I am so depressed until I want to beat my chest and stamp my feet! Although, I’ve seen and sat on a sofa before, I don’t know anything else about sofa. Thus, how do I test the quality of a sofa? It is just like someone who has seen a pig and eaten pork before, but has never kept a pig. Hence, how to identify whether the pig is in good health?
Half an hour later, in an elegant and quiet lounge, I yawn, stretch my limbs and recline on a brand new shiny leather sofa. I praise Big Boss Lu for being so humane after all.
The so-called test the quality of the sample sofa is to let me lay on the sofa for two hours. Two hours later, I am to examine if the surface of the sofa is depressed or it can quickly spring back, thereby deciding whether to buy the batch of sofas.
At that time, his facial expression and manner of speaking were so serious and formal. I was so scared and really thought I was in big trouble. Who would have imagined it turned out to be such a terrific job.
He is really baffling. If he feels guilty due to my lack of sleep in order to prepare his breakfast and wants to let me take a nap during working hours, just say so directly to me. Why did it in such a roundabout way? Really awkward!
I sigh and close my eyes. My weary nerves slacken as I allow my consciousness to become bleary. Just like this, during working hours, I recline on the cozy sofa and openly take my sweet and pleasant nap.