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Published at 27th of December 2018 05:38:08 PM
Chapter 7


October 23, 20XX (Tuesday)

Café Procope

Mei Li knew that love was for the selfless . Knowing how selfish she could be, she expected a loveless life but that changed when she met Chen Zhong at a party with one of her university friends . Their romance was a whirlwind of fast and impulsive decisions . What fueled this romance was their mutual love for the arts . Yet now she realized that it was not the similarities that make a couple lasts rather it was the differences that they choose to accept that matters most .

She had refused to give everything to him due to her principle of staying a virgin until her wedding night…

And he did not choose to wait for her…

And now look at her; Brokenhearted in a romantic city .

Her eyes wandered back to her book while her hands slowly inching towards her Chocolat Viennois which was placed at the centre on the circular table, mindful not to wet the pages of her opened book . Litters of opened honey packets messily gathered at the side of her Crêpes flambées au Grand Marnier plate .

She was faced to face with love in a form of a stranger with dark hair and an annoying smile but unfortunately, she didn't know that . She had no idea that this foolish stranger with red wine was love only for her .

Until coincidences decided to put them together in a way of a crowded cafe and a vacant seat in front of her .

"Is this seat taken?"

She shook her head no as an answer and averting her eyes elsewhere . Anywhere is fine as long as it's not a stranger's eyes .

"Would you mind?" the stranger asked .

"Not at all," She replied gesturing towards the seat with palms out . Her eyes now focused on her book . Just another stranger she will never meet again; nobody important . She returns to reading her book as if nobody was there in front of her memorizing all the contours of her face .

At first, she bore no mind the unknown man with the pretty dark eyes, cute smile and a horrid decision to drink wine for lunch with the same Crêpes flambées she ordered .

Nevertheless the man sitting in front of her, cleared his throat loudly to gain her attention and it did .

'AHEM!'

Mei Li could not help but to finally look up with a jolt . Immediately, light brown eyes meet with dark ones similar to her best friend's, who had already boarded the private plane headed to Beijing just hours ago .

Mei Li instantly recognize the stranger, already staring at the man's face with avid interest before the sudden realization came . She coughed awkwardly to hide her nerves since she doesn't know how to behave with this particular Zhao .

"Is something wrong, CEO Zhao?"

Mei Li was not sure if the upturned of his lips were sarcastically or amusedly placed . Or he could be both because here they are, both the epitome of opposites; The North to her South Pole .

"You recognize me?" His amused question did not falter the grin plastered on his face . Mei Li briefly wondered if there was a time when he stops smiling?

"Are you really asking me that?" She felt as if being tested by him .

There was a brief awkward silence before he responded with the same grin, "… I wouldn't ask if I wasn't wondering . "

"Technically, you didn't ask me a question . You merely stated an obvious . "

Mei Li noticed the way the man leaned back into the seat while shifting his legs . Mei Li could notice the grin faltering now . Why was it faltering? Did she say something wrong again?

"Let me rephrase then . How did you recognize me?"

Mei Li could not stop the disbelieving scoff, "Did you forget your identity as Zhao Yang the 24th head of Zhao Conglomerate, probably the richest man in the capital, richer than half of the world, of noble blood, magna cum laude graduate in our alumni university… and really you want to ask how I recognize you?"

"Yes, I want to ask how you recognize me . " The prompt answer made Mei Li blink amidst her sarcastic revere . She sighs, this man was not ordinary . If he was, he would have already assumed she was referring to his countless appearance on TV and Magazines but he persisted knowing she knows more .

"I saw your family's pictures in Zhao Mansion . " In fact, she first knew of his existence because he was her best friend's brother . Mei Li was an old school painter and an avid bibliophile . The only news she readily sees was the weather forecast .

Yang nodded firmly, his right hand cupping the glass of wine she could tell was expensive guessing by the way the waiter cradled the bottle like it was his first born child . He took a sip from his glass with his eyes still trailed into Mei Li while the girl followed the movements of his hands .

"Will you also comment on my increasing intake of alcohol?" His mother had ranted, spatted, quarrelled with him everything concerning alcohol .

If this woman did, he would bolt out away from her with no second to spare .

"No," Mei frowned with a glare she continued, "I'm wondering which of the risks will show first Alcoholic Liver disease, Alcoholic hepatitis, Cirrhosis, Pancreatitis, Ulcers and gastrointestinal problems, Heart Disease and Cardiovascular problems, to name a few…"

'…Just like all the uninteresting ladies,' he spat in his thoughts, growing bored by her .

Zhao Yang wanted to stand up and walk away but was stopped by a simple question from Mei Li, "Will you allow your mother to bury the child she raises?"

Her voice was tantalizing to his ears, soft and feather like the satin sheets caressing his skin on one airy summer night yet the harshness in her eyes and the savageness of her words hit him straight in the heart . Amidst his way to stand up, his knees weakened with that horrifying thought . His mother was annoying but he did not want to make her suffer deliberately .

"I'm not telling you to stop drinking altogether just limit it… You have parents that worry about you; an orphan like me could only watch in envy . " Mei Li noticed his annoyance when she started to comment on his habits but stopped when she had started to be vicious . She decided to abandon her unfinished crepe to walk out before he could .

Zhao, nee Xing, Hui Ying is the woman that took her into her arms with her own child when she and Yue graduated from University . Yang and Yue's mother was the mother she hoped she had and the mother she hopes she can be in the future . The thought that the woman she admired most had a son so unfilial to her, irritated the orphan in her . Mei Li knew how much Mother Zhao had worried about her son's love for wine and other alcohol even Father Zhao had expressed his concern .

Seeing him drinking so nonchalantly while his parents were worried about him, made her blood boil . Sometimes, people unconsciously take someone's love for granted without realizing, especially when it was readily available .

Mei Li's silhouette disappeared from view, she was unknowing about the intrigued eyes that followed her . Yang was silent, he did not expect their first meeting to be this… interesting . She had managed to shake him . Yesterday she had gained his interest with her sass and now she had shaken her with her empathy to the people who was his responsibility to be filial with .

Isn't this also a slap to his face by her? It was as if she was saying to him, A stranger cares more about your parents than you do .

He had not expected this .

The grin on his face vanished as he finished the crepe he had ordered while staring at the empty space that was once occupied, the wine on his side was left untouched for the rest of his meal .


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