Once she understood what he was saying, metaphorical black lines streaked across Cheng Xi’s face. “Why?”
Had her story made him misunderstand something?
Lu Chenzhou’s expression was innocent. “Aren’t we a couple?”
…Cheng Xi’s only response was to be more innocent than him. “But a couple doesn’t need to ask each other beforehand when doing something like that. Asking implies that the feelings between us aren’t deep enough, and suggests that we should return to being regular friends.”
After hearing Cheng Xi’s explanation, Lu Chenzhou looked at her, deep in thought, not saying anything.
Cheng Xi thought that this episode was over with that, and didn’t pay it any mind. The next day, she went to the hospital immediately. Surprisingly, Chen Jiaman wasn’t buried under her blanket, and was actually sitting straight up in bed, her gaze dully inspecting the sunlight that was filtering in through the window blinds.
Cheng Xi tried to get close to her. When she was about five steps away from the bed, Chen Jiaman turned around. Her expression was frightened, her spine taut, her eyes wide, and her mouth was grinding her teeth hard, almost as if she were about to turn violent at a moment’s notice.
Cheng Xi didn’t approach any further. She passed the sketchbook that she had bought on the way to the hospital to Chen Jiaman and said, “Can I give this to you?” She opened the sketchbook, and drew as she explained, “It can produce many things that you want, just like that little bunny who just wants a hug.”
Her drawing skills left much to be desired, but while critically inspecting the four unseemly bunnies that she had drawn, Cheng Xi blinked, hoping that Chen Jiaman had a vivid enough imagination to look past her drawing skills. “Look, the little bunny is waiting for you to hug it.”
Chen Jiaman was expressionless, and seemed completely wooden. However, her body hadn’t loosened up at all, remaining anxious and fearful. Cheng Xi’s trip to her hometown made Cheng Xi somewhat able to understand her gut reaction, and so she left the sketchbook and pencil on the far side of the bed before slowly leaving.
When Cheng Xi returned to the nurse’s office, she looked at Chen Jiaman via the security camera. In the camera feed, Chen Jiaman didn’t move. She completely ignored the sketchbook and instead turned her head to look outside the window, her mouth mumbling something that Cheng Xi couldn’t quite make out.
After realizing that they weren’t going to make much progress today, Cheng Xi decided to head over to the clinic area. However, before she could open the door, someone stopped her. That person’s hand held a recording pen, and she asked, “Excuse me, are you Dr. Cheng Xi from the psychiatry department?”
Cheng Xi looked at her warily. “Sorry, who are you?”
“I’m a reporter from XX website for the XX department. May I interview you for a moment with regards to the incident in which your wealthy boyfriend booked all of your appointment slots?”
Fuck! As soon as she heard the reporter introduce herself, Cheng Xi, who never cursed, couldn’t help but do so in her mind. How long were they going to harass her for this incident?
Cheng Xi rejected her brusquely. “Sorry, I can’t.” Turning around, she quickly walked towards the exit.
The reporter followed behind her. “You’re the female lead implicated in the incident, aren’t you?”
“But, it has to be a young, pretty doctor in the psychiatry department of Renyi Hospital. I checked, and the only person who matches that description is you…”
“Seriously, it’s you, isn’t it? I don’t have any bad intentions. It’s just that the netizens are quite curious and want to understand more details.”
“If you’re willing to be interviewed, then I can also conduct the interview anonymously…”
“Sorry, you can’t enter this place.” Shocked, Cheng Xi quickly walked into a restricted area that the public couldn’t enter, leaving the reporter behind.
Finally she had some peace and quiet. Cheng Xi released a breath that she had been holding for a long time. She thought that these people were making a mountain out of a molehill, as reporters were even beginning to crowd around her…… When she turned her head around, she suddenly found herself facing a slightly pale face. She was startled and stepped back unconsciously.
Standing in front of her was a female doctor in her forties. She was tall and skinny, and her face was stark white.
The female doctor frowned. “Which department are you from?”
“The psychiatry department.”
“The psychiatry department… Cheng Xi?”
“Yes.” Cheng Xi didn’t expect to actually be recognized, and smiled respectfully back. “Good morning, doctor.”
But that doctor ended up saying, “You’re that doctor whose appointments got booked, aren’t you?” She looked her up and down. “Since someone wants to pamper you, why are you out here being a doctor?”
After saying that, she left swiftly, leaving Cheng Xi standing there alone, stunned speechless.
At this time, a few more doctors and nurses walked out. Cheng Xi quickly turned around and followed that female doctor out of the room. After exiting, she couldn’t help but turn back around, and look at the department sign clearly—it turned out that she had wandered into the gynecology offices.
Cheng Xi was somewhat dispirited, and didn’t hurry back to her office. She got on the phone and checked in with her colleague. “Am I still on vacation?”
Her colleague laughed. “You can still come to work. The head of the department, who was just swarmed by a horde of reporters, probably wants to have tea with you and talk about your life.”
She firmly decided to continue her break. Besides visiting Chen Jiaman, she barely stepped foot into any other work location. Even so, Cheng Xi couldn’t escape the fate of constantly being teased and mocked by her colleagues in the department. The teasing really started to make her hate Lu Chenzhou, the instigator of this whole fiasco. The key was, even though he knew that he had caused trouble for her, he was still unwilling to cancel the appointments. When she asked him why, he responded, “It’s too troublesome!”
Cheng Xi really wanted to ask why he didn’t find it too troublesome to make the appointments in the first place.
This series of gossip lasted for a few days. When Cheng Xi went to go teach, even her students asked her about it. Like the majority of people on the Internet, these excitable kids were poor and bored. Because the matter involved doctors and rich people, they passionately wanted to learn more about the male and female leads implicated in the whole scenario. This led to news articles popping up about many of the rich people in town; the buzz had ended up causing many of them to release statements clarifying their lack of participation in this affair.
Whenever something like this popped up, Cheng Xi would end up going 囧囧. Even her parents had heard about the news, and her mother had even specifically called her to ask, “Who was it that got all her appointments booked in your department?”
Cheng Xi bluntly replied, “I don’t know.”
Her mother was disdainful. “Then what are you doing at work? Everyone’s saying that that woman is from your department, but you don’t even know who she is?”
Cheng Xi was so 囧 that she couldn’t 囧 any further. At least those reporters had some semblance of decency and hadn’t reported her name.
Her mother implored her to find out more about this gossip, and her brother made even more excessive demands. He asked, “See who was it that managed to tame such a generous man, and find a way to introduce me to her; I’m doing business and really need to be familiar with such people!”
Cheng Xi couldn’t respond. While she was glumly waiting for this fiasco to blow over, Lu Chenzhou suddenly called her. “That man named Liu is here. Do you want to meet him?”
“Chen Jiaman’s math teacher?”
Cheng Xi was quite shocked. These past two days, she had actually been following up with the police about Chen Jiaman’s affairs. At the beginning, they had investigated for quite a significant period of time, but their conclusion had solely been that Chen Jiaman’s mental condition was caused by her loneliness and sensitivity. In other words, they hadn’t heard about any bullying at all.
Cheng Xi believed the police, and slightly suspected that what the little girl had said was untrue. She was still debating on whether or not she should return to the town to speak with Mr. Liu. But unexpectedly, he had shown up here.
“Sure, where is he? I’ll go and meet him.”
Lu Chenzhou told her to meet him at the caf on the third level of Donglai Hotel, in a private room. When Cheng Xi arrived, she saw Lu Chenzhou and Mr. Liu already sitting face to face; the former wore a cool, bored expression while the latter was antsy, fidgeting, and constantly looking around.
Seeing Cheng Xi’s presence, he even seemed to relax. This time, he put on the face of the kind and caring teacher she had seen first. “Lawyer Cheng.”
Cheng Xi nodded. “Hello.” She looked at Lu Chenzhou, and he coolly looked back at her before saying, “He has something that he wants to tell you.”
Cheng Xi then turned to Mr. Liu. “Please, do tell me.”
Mr. Liu rubbed his hands together. “Didn’t you ask me about why Chen Jiaman quit school? Actually, I know the reason why, but I hope that you’ll keep it amongst the three of us, and that you won’t request me to be a witness on any occasion.”
Cheng Xi’s heart started pounding. From this first statement, she could already imagine that the truth behind Chen Jiaman’s illness was not simple indeed.