Jia He’s mischievous side comes out. Poor groom. LOL. Some things, you will never be completely ready for them. But Yi Wenze has been helping her, as much as possible, prepare for it. It’s time. 🙂
Chapter 18.3 — Prelude to the Wedding (3)
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As it turned out, after just one phone call, Wu Zhilun very readily agreed to the request and was even awfully excited, saying he had never been asked to be a best man before, probably because he was too handsome and the groom would feel stressed from the pressure that brought.
Jia He was quite speechless at this, but still she echoed his words. “Yup. I reckon if you’re the best man, the bride will feel a lot of stress, too.”
The person on the other end of the call was very much of the same opinion. “That is true. I need to discuss that with A-Ze. For your wedding, I should stay away from the spotlight to avoid putting too much stress and pressure on you.”
Her heart gave a little skip. She wanted to ask if Yi Wenze had mentioned anything.
However, after thinking about it, she swallowed those words back down.
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Fortunately, Heaven bestowed its favour and the radiant sun shone high in the sky on the wedding day. The only pity was that it was deep in the winter and frightfully cold.
As Jia He, sitting in the dressing room, took in Qiao Qiao’s stunning appearance, she remarked with feeling, “If you were willing to shave your jaw and chin down so you have a nice, sharp chin, you could definitely go into acting.”
Qiao Qiao glowered at her. “On this day that I’m most psyched, can you avoid saying words that I don’t like hearing?”
Jia He laughed. “The other day, I read a saying on Weibo that I really wanted to forward to you: ‘Usually, the person in your life whose words are the harshest and most callous is the person who cares for you the most.’”
Qiao Qiao scowled. “Then you can only rank second. No one can compare to Xiao Yu.”
Jia He very much concurred. Walking over, she helped Qiao Qiao straighten her wedding gown. “In a bit, there are going to be six flower girls. Walk slower. If you’re not careful and trip, that will be a problem.”
Jia He had only arbitrarily mentioned this, but Qiao Qiao instantly became paranoid and began discussing with her how things should be handled in the event that she did trip, even practicing the elegant postures she would assume when she fell and when she rose back to her feet. In the end, the makeup artist was overcome with chortles, probably having never come across such a zany bride before.
Except, what she had not considered was that surprises are everywhere.
When the priest announced that the couple could exchange rings, the elegantly-attired best man standing to the side suddenly, in very light voice, called, “Qiao Qiao.”
Qiao Qiao paused in surprise. The groom was utterly stupefied.
With everyone’s stares on him, Wu Zhilun stated words that were imbued with deep feelings. “I’ve actually always liked you. When I agreed to be the best man, I had thought I would be able to give you my sincere well wishes—but I can’t do it.” Very slowly, he extended his hand to her. “You still have a chance to make a choice.”
For a moment, stillness enshrouded the entire wedding site. Even the priest was round-eyed, likely only having seen such a scene in movies and never having thought that he, too, would have such luck to be part of one.
One was a director who had just received an award. One was a celebrity and idol who had been popular for more than a decade.
Qiao Qiao’s life had finally, on her wedding day, made a complete comeback…
She was quiet for a long time, seemingly mulling this over…
At the head table, Xiao Yu very wickedly looked at Jia He. “Are you the one directing this production?”
An “Ah?” slipping from her, Jia He asked, “How’d you know?”
Xiao Yu was somewhere between tears and laughter. “That buddy of Yi Wenze’s actually dared to act it out, too. But the actual words of the monologue really sucked. You must not have put much effort into writing that.”
Her face falling, Jia He was about to say something, but Qiao Qiao was already speaking.
She first gave a little peck to the groom. “Darling, I’m sorry.”
Then she brought her gaze, which teemed with deep love, onto Wu Zhilun. There was a sense that she truly was going to leave with him.
But to everyone’s surprise, the next instant, as if she could not hold herself in any longer, she burst out in mirth. “All right, just say it: how much was the appearance fee that Jia He paid you? I had originally wanted to act along with you, but alas, the most amazing man in the entire world is by my side and he totally beats you. Like, crushes you.”
Out of reflex, Wu Zhilun rubbed his nose. “Now that you mention it, she never did discuss with me what my appearance fee would be… Forget it, then. I’m quitting this production.”
With this dialogue between the two, everyone else clued in, and noisy laughter resounded.
Only now did Qiao Qiao again smile tenderly at the groom, whose face had gone through a series of expressions, and finish the second half of what she had been saying. “Darling, I’m sorry. I have kept some bad company and gave you a bad scare.” Cheng Hao pulled at the knot of his tie, his face still not having recovered its colour yet…
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A grand wedding was thus kicked off.
In the warm sunshine of winter, when Qiao Qiao placed her hand into the groom’s and began this first dance that she had dreamed about for twenty years, it was almost instantaneously that she dissolved into tears. Deeply moved, as if this was all happening to her personally, Jia He felt her nose tingle. She watched as Cheng Hao held Qiao Qiao close, speaking continually in her ear with soft tones, but Qiao Qiao’s sobs only came ever fiercer until she basically became a blubbering mess of tears and forgot all her dance steps.
In order to fulfill this first-dance dream of Qiao Qiao’s, Cheng Hao had practiced for nearly a full week, and everyone had believed he would be so nervous he would end up making a mistake. Contrary to all those expectations, he now merely adeptly held Qiao Qiao in his arms and perfectly drew everyone into the atmosphere of this first dance.
As Jia He, her hands resting on the tabletop, admired this picture, she suddenly felt extremely envious.
“Would you like to dance?” A voice unexpectedly caressed over her ear.
Startled, she turned her head around and was met face to face with Yi Wenze’s smile. Her heart began racing crazily. “Didn’t you say you wouldn’t be able to make it back on time? “
Yi Wenze only smiled. “You don’t want to dance?”
Jia He gave him a plaintive look. “I don’t dance very well.”
The result of this, sure enough, was that he pulled her out onto the floor. She gazed at him with slight apprehension. There were lots of people here; even though they were well acquainted with many of them, there were also a lot of strangers and outsiders. This was his first time appearing with her in public.
Her eyes had been fixed on him for too long, and, finally, he brought his face down and returned her gaze. “It’s your friend’s wedding today. Are you wanting to be the star and centre of attention?”
Jia He’s mind still had not caught up yet, and she looked at him in bewilderment. He moved in a little closer to her. “I haven’t seen you for many days. If you have that thought, I won’t really mind either.” That expression in his eyes, and also this particular angle…
She fell into complete gloominess. “I’m the maid of honour. I need to have integrity in my role. We cannot wreck the event… Qiao Qiao would hack me to death.”
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The entire wedding lasted for twelve hours. At the end, when everyone was partying away in drunken revelry, Jia He finally gave a tug to Qiao Qiao and told her, “I’m leaving first. I can’t hold up anymore.”
Qiao Qiao knew very well what she was thinking. “You go. You’re just scared that your Yi Wenze is going to be destroyed by all the gazes on him, aren’t you?”
Jia He mumbled some sort of response, not daring to say that Yi Wenze had actually flown two back-to-back legs today to get here on time and she was afraid he was too worn out.
When they arrived back at his home at night, she straightaway went inside and began nonstop packing.
From upstairs to downstairs, she over and over carefully opened up bags, asking him if the contents were okay, and then painstakingly sealed them back up again and put them into the suitcases. Yi Wenze sat beside the bar counter and drank water. Seeing her staring anxiously at him, he beckoned to her. “There’s no need to be so rushed. We’re not flying out until tomorrow afternoon. We’ll pack in the morning.”
It was only with these words of his that she realized it was already the middle of the night.
Poor him. He’d been exhausted for a whole day and had still stayed with her for another dozen or so hours at Qiao Qiao’s wedding… Stepping over to him, she took a drink of water from his glass, then softened her voice to ask, “Tired? How about we go to bed?”
He pulled her away slightly, filling some hot water into the glass. “Don’t drink too much cold water in the winter.”
Uttering an “mm,” she took the cup from him, clasped it between her hands, and, following after his every footstep, went upstairs with him.
Once she stepped into the bedroom, a very remarkable feeling struck her. Their relationship had begun in Shanghai, but they lived in Beijing. She was familiar with every room in this place, with the exception of his bedroom, which she had never stepped foot in. However, even with her eyes closed, she could guess what it looked like. It was the layout and interior colour scheme that he was accustomed to. Barefooted, the drinking glass cupped in her hands, she very contentedly evaluated his bedroom. She gave a deliberate sniff. “There seems to be a woman’s scent in here.”
Yi Wenze took exception to that. “One just walked in.”
Very pleased, she held the glass near its mouth and set it down on the table. Then, of her own accord, she sidled up to him and took his face between her hands. Pursing her lips in a smile, she flirted, “Well, hello there, handsome fella. At the wedding earlier, I’d actually had my eyes on you for a long time.”
Seeing this seldom show of exuberance from her, he reckoned that she had been influenced by the atmosphere of her friend’s happy occasion. Very cooperatively, he played along with her, slipping one arm around her waist and bending himself down closer to her, but he only gazed at her. After some time, he finally breathed, “Men should be the ones to do the hitting on.”
When he finished saying this, he gave a faint smile, successfully sending her heart into overdrive.
One should not so readily provoke real, skilled actors…
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The next day, rain fell in a deluge.
While packing away the last of the stuff, Jia He gave Qiao Qiao a phone call. “You are just too lucky. The weather you had yesterday was so good.”
Qiao Qiao made some moans and groans before, after some time, asking, “Do you know what day it is today?”
Jia He closed her suitcase. “Sunday.”
There was silence on Qiao Qiao’s end of the line. Finally, she snapped aggrievedly, “It’s the day after I got married! The day after I had my wedding night! Commonly known as ‘the honeymoon period,’ you know? Do you get it?!”
Jia He knew that the person on the other end had completely erupted. Just as she was about to say something and then rapidly hang up the phone, Qiao Qiao unexpectedly added, “Whatever. Considering that you are flying out this afternoon and are just too excited, I’ll forgive you. O wonderful maid of honour, I’ve given you an awesome vacation gift. Remember to wear sunglasses, a face mask, and a hat when you go to the airport.” Dropping her voice, she continued, “The best is if it’s one of those wide-brimmed sun hats for the beach. It needs to be big enough.”
“… It’s not that serious, right?” It was not as if Yi Wenze’s travel plans were completely transparent to the public eye.
“Who told the two of you to dance out in the open yesterday? It’s a Weibo society nowadays, get it?”
Oh no, she was thoroughly done for…
She hung up the call. Flusteredly watching as Yi Wenze came down the stairs, she shuffled over one little step at a time. “I’m done for.”
He looked at her in wry amusement. “Done for for what?”
Jia He anxiously clutched his arm. “In a bit, we must split up to go to the airport. From the moment we leave here, we’ll go in two separate cars.”
“I’m scared of the media…” she explained honestly. “For sure there would have been people at the wedding yesterday who took pictures and uploaded them onto Weibo. I’m scared that if I go with you, we’ll be chased and surrounded. It’ll just cause you trouble.”
He gave a little laugh. “You need to get used to it.”
Used to it?
As Jia He took in his rather unconcerned expression, she grew even more tense. She had always been someone accustomed to hiding outside of the spotlight. The best would be if no one paid any attention to her. That way, she could be relaxed and do whatever she pleased. But now… for this New Zealand trip, which she had already been nervous about to begin with, her heart was already shuddering in panic from simply thinking about how she would even get out the door.
Seeing her gazing at him, wanting to say something but then swallowing her words, Yi Wenze smoothed her hair with his hands. “Because this is the first time, everybody really wants to know what you look like. Just be confident and open and let them take their pictures. Then the next time, it will be more natural.”
She understood the logic, but it wasn’t that simple… What would follow was all the close scrutiny, things like “Photos of Yi Wenze’s Girlfriend Out and About Unkempt,” “The Two have not Seen Each Other for a Long Time, Suspicions of Breakup,” etc.… Even imagining this was enough to stress her to her wits’ end. No wonder so many people chose to keep things underground. There were positives to each, but for her personality type, she just might be more suited to staying hidden away…
While her thoughts were in this mad helter-skelter, Yi Wenze had already made the decision. “Honey, you’re marrying a popular idol. We have to provide some sort of explanation. My fans are all very reasonable and sensible; they should protect you.”
He was starting to use a beauty trap again… Jia He sighed secretly, giving in to her fate.
Ah, forget it, forget it. Doomed if I do and doomed if I don’t.
Her teeth clenched together, she mumbled, “Just who’s marrying you? …”
His smile was very light and his response brimmed with profound meaning. “Isn’t your goal to ‘keep the beauty hidden away in your golden house’? I’ve been respectfully awaiting this for several months already.”
Jia He’s mouth open and closed wordlessly. Then, she thoroughly wilted.
He’s not… going to have me be the one to propose, is he?
This question swirled about in her head. Even when they had arrived at the airport, she was still pondering on what he had meant. But she also remembered what he had once said, that some things, he should be the one to do them… Ah, forget it, forget it. She was not going to overthink anymore. She was just overly excited after seeing Qiao Qiao get married. They hadn’t even been together for a year yet. Things shouldn’t be moving to the marriage stage that quickly.
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Prior to getting off the car, she, in great seriousness, even asked A-Qing for a face mask.
A-Qing stared back with wide-eyed perplexity at her. “Boss’s Wife, why would you want that? You just need to stand by Boss’s side and you’ll be like the female lead of a young idol drama.”
Nearly choking to death on that, Jia He pleaded softly, “Let me off the hook, please? Hurry, just hand over everything you have that can be used to cover the face.”
Beside her, Yi Wenze took a look at her and, finding this all very comical, pointed out, “You’re not scared that people will write, ‘Yi Wenze’s fiancée is still recovering from plastic surgery and wore a face mask to hide from cameras’?”
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