Chapter 57 – I want to be myself

I hesitated for a long time before answering Mi Cai's phone call. Her voice seemed lower than usual as she asked, "Have you finished work?"


"Yeah, haven't you finished work yet?"


"I'm about to finish too."


"Oh, where is your company? I'll come pick you up. Today, I helped you move, so I feel relieved."


I smiled and said, "Are you helping me move because you're afraid I'll continue to bother you?"


"You used the term 'bother' quite well!… I just asked where your company is, and you haven't answered yet."


I paused for a moment before replying, "I'll come to Zuo Mei to find you. The rice noodles downstairs at Zuo Mei are good. Today, I'll treat you as a thank you for helping me move."


"Alright, come over. I'll be waiting for you at the entrance of the rice noodle shop."


I agreed with Mi Cai, and then we both hung up the phone. I temporarily put my emotions aside and left the company with my backpack.



When I arrived at the north gate of Zuo Mei Shopping Center, Mi Cai was already waiting for me at the entrance of the rice noodle shop. Today, she didn't wear any makeup, but she was still so beautiful. It was peak shopping time, and as people walked by, they couldn't help but glance at her, attracted by her beauty. After all, completely natural beauties without any makeup were rare these days.


But I was a man who didn't appreciate her beauty much. Since the first day we met, I felt that her beauty had nothing to do with me. What I cared about was whether she would let me stay in that room. But in the end, I still moved out.


If I were to stretch it a bit, moving out of that room was a compromise with reality. Although I lived in that room for over two years, while Mi Cai lived there for less than a month, because her name was on the property deed, I was the one who moved out in the end. The length of time and the depth of emotions had nothing to do with it. It was just a compromise under the pressure of reality.


Perhaps I am really an idealistic person, which is why I used the length of time living in the house as a standard and imposed the identity of a tenant on Mi Cai. I didn't think there was anything wrong with doing so. It was only natural. And now it seems that I am the tenant, or maybe I can't even be considered a tenant. At least Mi Cai, the one with the property deed, never agreed to let me rent that room.


I approached Mi Cai, and both of us silently looked at each other, as if without the confrontation, we had no topics to talk about.


Finally, I asked her, "How long have you been waiting?"


"Not long. Let's go. There are almost no seats inside." Mi Cai glanced behind her as she spoke.


I nodded and walked towards the rice noodle shop before Mi Cai. For the first time, I politely opened the glass door for her. Mi Cai looked at me with surprise, but still politely said, "Thank you," before entering the shop.


Mi Cai found an empty seat, and I went to order. After waiting in line for a while, I ordered two bowls of rice noodles and some other snacks. Then, holding the receipt and the order number, I sat down across from Mi Cai.


We had been eating rice noodles at this shop for two days in a row. I couldn't help but ask Mi Cai, who was sitting opposite me, out of boredom, "Is the reason you like eating rice noodles because your name is Mi Cai?"


Mi Cai glanced at me but didn't answer. She just picked up her tea cup and took a sip of water, clearly unwilling to answer my boring question.


I smiled and didn't mind. After all, I had gotten used to her indifferent attitude towards me, although in very few situations, we could still be considered ordinary friends.


After a while, the food we ordered was brought over by the waiter. Mi Cai only ordered a bowl of rice noodles, and she pushed all the other snacks to me.


I pushed the chicken leg and tofu in front of her and said, "You have to help me move later. It's physical work, so you should eat more."


"I'm only responsible for driving. Besides, do you have a lot of stuff? Last time when you moved out, I saw you dragging everything by yourself and moved out in one go."


I remembered the scene when I ran away without giving the money back to Mi Cai. I awkwardly smiled and said, "I just wanted to find an excuse for you to eat more, and then use your mouth to destroy your beauty. Let's see how you look like after becoming fat!"


"You really have evil intentions! But unfortunately, I don't get fat!"


Seeing Mi Cai's slightly proud look when she said she doesn't get fat, I genuinely laughed from the bottom of my heart. Although she was often indifferent, there was still a childlike side to her. The childlike side she unintentionally showed in front of me also indicated that she no longer had any guard against me. Perhaps all the conflicts and unhappiness between us were really just because of that room.



After finishing the meal, Mi Cai and I went to Robben's place. I didn't have a lot of things, and I originally asked her to wait downstairs, but she insisted on coming up with me. She helped me carry a few lighter bags, showing the typical behavior of most women who say one thing but mean another. However, this kind of behavior only proved that she was a kind-hearted woman. That's why Mr. Ban judged her as a good girl after only meeting her twice.


When we arrived at the new house, I quickly cleaned the room, while Mi Cai helped me set up the bedding at the same time. I felt guilty about this. I remembered that shortly after we first met, I rudely threw her blanket and quilt downstairs. Although it was for venting my anger at the time, comparing our actions now, I suddenly felt inferior.After tidying up everything, I ignored my fatigue and went downstairs to the beverage shop to buy two cups of hot juice. I gave one to Mi Cai and moved a chair for her to sit and rest. She was suspicious, wondering if I was preparing to sweet-talk her again, then renege on my words, and shamelessly ask to move back into that room. In fact, she misunderstood. I was just feeling guilty for my previous rudeness and current concealment from her.


Mi Cai only drank half of her juice. She put the juice on the coffee table and said to me with a relieved expression, "You've finished your business too, I should go now."


"Oh, take care on your way."


"Mm." Mi Cai responded, already picking up her handbag.


I opened the door for her and said, "If you have any problems living over there that you can't handle, feel free to call me anytime. I'll be there whenever you need."


Mi Cai nodded, turned around and walked towards the door. I added, "If you want to eat home-cooked meals, come over here. I'll cook for you. Besides, it's close to your company."


"I know." Mi Cai didn't look back, but her tone was not as indifferent. I understood her 'I know' was not just to appease me. Maybe one night she would really come over for a dinner I cooked, with porridge, rice, and a few simple home dishes.


Mi Cai was getting further and further away. Watching her back, I was filled with mixed feelings. Perhaps Mi Zhongde would soon implement his power conspiracy. If I continued to hide it, even if I told Mi Cai later, she wouldn't have much time to react.


Mi Cai had entered the elevator and disappeared from my sight. Mr. Ban's words asking me to treat her well suddenly flashed in my mind, causing me another round of painful torment. In this continuous torment, I finally felt fed up. I gritted my teeth and told myself: I want to be myself, the scumbag in others' eyes, but with a bottom line, a self that I can stand by.


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