Chapter 4: If you mess up next time, then…
Pei Ziran and Ai Jing returned home the next day. The atmosphere around them was stiff, completely unlike a couple who had just returned from their honeymoon. Pei Ziran tried to explain his actions, but Ai Jing avoided it.
Mrs Pei was surprised to see them return earlier than they had planned to.
“A’Ran, A’Jing, why did you come back so early?”
Pei Ziran didn’t know what to say. But Ai Jing quickly responded, “I wasn’t feeling well so we had to depart earlier than our scheduled date, mom.”
Bing Mi looked at Ai Jing’s face. After some thought, she smiled meaningfully.
“Young people these days ah…. You two should take care of your health too. Don’t think about having fun all the time, children.”
Pei Ziran understood what his mother meant in a heartbeat.
“Geez mom! Stop thinking too much about it!”
“Aiyah! Why is it my fault? A’Ran, be more considerate of A’Jing from now on. Don’t tire him out too much.”
This time, Ai Jing also understood her implication.
A faint tinge of red appeared on the tip of his ears.
Seeing him blush, Bing Mi chuckled.
“Okay, okay. I won’t tease you anymore. Go and get some rest.” Saying this, she strode towards the garden.
Pei Ziran and Ai Jing also went up to their room.
Ai Jing was tired. He didn’t give Pei Ziran any chance to talk and directly went to sleep after washing up.
Pei Ziran sighed. In order to not disturb Ai Jing’s sleep, he silently walked out of the room.
When Bing Mi walked in to the living room, she saw Pei Ziran sitting on the sofa in a daze.
“What happened, child? Why do you seem so worried?”
“It’s nothing, mom.”
Pei Ziran hesitated. Seeing his hesitation, Bing Mi sat beside him and asked, “Did you have a fight with A’Jing?”
Pei Ziran shook his head and then nodded, “We didn’t fight! It’s just that I…. I did something that made him angry.”
Bing Mi spoke slowly, “Although I don’t know what you did to make him angry, I am sure he’ll forgive you if you apologise sincerely. You have to coax him till he forgives you. Gift him something that he likes. ”
Pei Ziran thought for sometime and his eyes lit up, “Thank you mom, I know what to do now. I will be borrowing the kitchen later.”
“Okay…” Bing Mi smiled watching Pei Ziran run out of the house in a hurry.
It was already time for dinner by the time Ai Jing woke up.
As he got up rubbing his eyes, he was startled to see Pei Ziran standing beside the bed . He gritted his teeth, “What are you doing, standing there like a statue ?”
“A’Jing… That… I have prepared something for you.”
Ai Jing was uninterested. He decided to ignore him and walked into the bathroom.
When he came out, Pei Ziran was still standing there showing a pitiful look on his face..
“A’Jing”. Pei Ziran held Ai Jing’s hand. Ai Jing tried to break free but couldn’t do so.
“Let me go.”
“A’Jing, I am sorry, please listen to my explanation. Allow me to make up for my mistakes, just this once.”
Ai Jing only stubbornly repeated, “Let me go.”
Pei Ziran let go of his hand, “Please, A’Jing, allow me to apologize. Okay?
Almost pulling him along, Pei Ziran finally brought Ai Jing downstairs which was covered by a layer of darkness.
“Why are the lights switched off?” Just as Ai Jing was beginning to start asking questions, Pei Ziran pushed him down on the chair while he walked to the other side of the table. He lit up the candles placed on the table, making it become the only light source in the room.
Ai Jing looked at Pei Ziran who was arranging the table. He felt a bit unreal remembering that the same person was kissing another man the previous night.
“A’Jing.” Pei Ziran’s voice pulled him out of his daze. He saw a slender hand extended in front of him. He raised his head to look at the face which enchanted him. He sighed.
‘Why am I being upset here? It’s not like I can say that I love him sincerely.’ He thought as his eyes moved to the table.
“What is all this?”
“Uh… Food?” Pei Ziran answered, somewhat sheepishly.
The veins on Ai Jing’s forehead bulged. “Are you serious?” He almost yelled.
“Uh… That… I… I’m sorry, A’Jing! I swear I’ll never do it again!” Pei Ziran, who had never apologised or coaxed anyone except his mom in his entire life, was currently at a loss.
“And just how do you guarantee me of that, Mr. Pei? Those are some incredible words coming from you.” Ai Jing remained cold. He wanted to see how far the man sitting in front of him would go. He wanted to make sure that nothing of this sort happened in the future.
“If I were a cat, I would’ve liked to spend all nine of my lives making you happy.” Pei Ziran said, trying to become his confident self again.
“I’m being serious here, Ziran. What assurance do you give me of your loyalty?” Ai Jing flicked one of Pei Ziran’s most cherished lines straight out of the window.
“A’Jing, although I’m unable to give you any assurance now, I promise that time will make you believe that I’ve changed.” Pei Ziran tried to appear serious while he said these words.
Ai Jing stared at him for a while, trying to figure out whether Pei Ziran was bluffing or he was really serious this time. He didn’t detect any dishonesty in his eyes so he half-believed him already.
“Mm.” He nodded slightly. “I forgive you, but beware, this will be your last chance. If you mess up next time, then…” Ai Jing didn’t complete his words.
Pei Ziran was starting to feel a bit frustrated. No one had left him hanging in his 25 years of life.
“Then what?” Ai Jing raised his eyebrows at Pei Ziran’s question. “Why do you want to know that? Do you plan on repeating this again?” He fired the bullets.
“I… Ah… No no no. I wouldn’t dare…” Pei Ziran’s neck shrank. To be honest, he wasn’t as afraid of the consequences as he was, of his mom. In her raging mode, Bing Mi spared no one. When she would start reproaching him, her lecture would go on for hours, draining all his energy. Perhaps, he feared her more than he feared even the devil himself.
Thinking of her, Pei Ziran shuddered. Bing Mi valued relationships. She believed in free love so she didn’t want anyone to be forced into something they didn’t want. She hated the restraints. Her son’s playboy nature, though a bit irritating, was acceptable to her just because she knew that he hadn’t forced anyone to stay with him.
“Then, what else do you want to say?” Ai Jing asked, trying to change the flow of the conversation.