Chapter 22: My heart! It aches! (3)
It was close to 9 p.m. when Miao Yuan and Chen Mo finally parted. She saw that it was still early, so she went to the cafe to help with closing. Momo and Mi Lu warmly received her and, after closing shop, they went out. Miao Yuan blinked her misty, round eyes and looked at Momo with rich emotion. “Will you sleep with me tonight?”
Mi Lu shouted from behind, “Miao Miao, are you really going to change genders and marry her?”1
Momo gave him a push. “Go off to that side. Between the two of us, I’m the one who’s more manly. Check your vision, okay?”
“Heh heh,” Mi Lu laughed. “I couldn’t tell.”
Momo karate-chopped him, “If you continue being so annoying, I’ll make sure you’re screwed.”
Mi Lu raised an eyebrow and laughed heartily. “Now?”2
Momo ran out and chucked her bag at him. The bag flew ten metres. Miao Yuan watched at the sidelines with a grin on her face, while Momo stood at the intersection and pointed in the direction where Mi Lu ran off and cursed. “Don’t let me see you again, b*st*rd!”
Mi Lu’s laughter sounded from afar. “Darling, see you tomorrow. And every day after that.”
Momo was so angry she had smoke coming out of her ears.
“All right, all right, that’s enough. What are you always provoking him for?” Miao Yuan smiled as she pulled Momo up.
“Hey, talk some sense. It’s me provoking him? More like it’s him provoking me, okay?” Momo huffed in a fit.
Miao Yuan bit her curved lips. Her smile was profound.
Momo looked at her suspiciously. “Miao, what are you thinking? You have such a perverted expression.”
Miao Yuan cleared her throat and said with a straight face. “I’m thinking of you and Mi Lu. And stuff that has to do with perverted things”
Momo picked up the bag and swung it again. Miao Yuan yelped and turned to escape. She ran all the way home, with Momo close behind. By the time they reached her flat, the two were gasping for air. They both plopped onto bed, too tired to move. Momo rested her arm on the large bunny by the bed. “When did you buy this? How come I didn’t know?”
“That’s from the last time I went to the amusement park. Chen Mo won it.”
Momo formed an O with her mouth. Oh, no wonder!
“Speaking of Chen Mo, have you made up with him? Mi Lu, that b*st*rd, said that you guys had some emotional reconciliation in public.”
“I guess you can say we’ve made up.” Miao Yuan said hesitantly, “To tell you the truth, I feel like there isn’t any meaning in giving the silent treatment.”
“Yeah, I also feel like there’s no meaning.” Momo sighed, girl, you finally gained your senses back.
“To tell you the truth, the whole reconciliation thing was just me and my delusions. In actuality, Chen Mo didn’t even notice.” Miao Yuan said, laying on her back, looking at the ceiling. Her tone was soft and carried a southern Chinese girl’s gentleness and grace.
“Now I feel that I was wrong before. Say, if you really like a person, how could you not worry? Doesn’t loving someone mean thinking about them the whole day, wanting to be closer to them, and wanting to hold their hand? Wanting to hug them, then never wanting to part? That is love!”
“Then, do you think Chen Mo doesn’t like you?”Momo inquired.
“I think that he does. Well, at least he shouldn’t be annoyed by me, right? But, other than that I feel like there’s nothing else. Momo, I can’t really blame him for not being like other guys: thinking of their girlfriends 24/7, calling them multiple times over mediocre things, or wooing and pressuring them to meet up. His love is only so much. Even if you’re impatient, it’s of no use. He can’t squeeze out any more love for you from his heart. The more impatient you become, the more annoyed he gets. Here I am losing sleep and appetite, thinking about those things all day and he didn’t even notice. Today he had no clue that I was upset. Honestly, I feel like those niggling thoughts I had before are really pointless.” Miao Yuan said, feeling aggrieved, choking on those words. She wiped the edges of her eyes, and the back of her hand became wet.
After a moment, Momo sighed. “Oh girl, then what decision have you reached?”
“I haven’t decided anything. Whatever happens, happens. I also don’t want to make a fuss. If it’s yours, it’s yours. If it isn’t, trying to have it is useless.”
“Truthfully, I think Chen Mo treats you pretty well.”
“Yeah.” Miao Yuan said, letting out small sobs. “But I feel like he’s that way towards everyone. Polite and reserved. I think he definitely likes me, it’s just..sometimes I don’t understand what he wants with me. When we get along, I’m ecstatic. But… in the blink of an eye, he’ll just throw me to the side.”
Momo rubbed her temples. “You see, men are all like this, saying sweet words one moment, then mentioning cold ones in the next. You have to know that they aren’t like us. They don’t think as much as us. Nobody is a tapeworm in your stomach. So how is he gonna know that you miss him and want to see how he is?”
“I know, that’s why I’m saying I understand things now. I don’t want to fuss over him anymore. When I saw him today, I knew that it was of no use. If I throw a tantrum, nothing good will come from itt. There’s no meaning to being depressed by myself for three or five days. When I firmly decided to give him the cold shoulder, I thought I was so mighty… But… in reality, just the sweep of his gaze made me buckle. Earlier today, his look was so cold. I was genuinely afraid he would ignore me. I was so terrified that my whole body became an ice sculpture. But, when he came over and held my hand, I felt alive again. Momo…” Miao Yuan turned on the bed to hug Momo. “Do I only do things I know I’ll regret?”
“It’s not that. Don’t say it like that.” Momo felt that Miao Yuan’s brain was paste. In truth, love was always like that, a moist, thick lump, like a slurry of batter. From the outside looking in, it seemed like such an obvious thing. But those two people just had clouded visions, because they are in the middle of it, and what they see is a world of hazy white. Momo felt that she had been dragged into that pile of batter by Miao Yuan. She also couldn’t see clearly.
Miao Yuan buried her head. “I also feel like I’m hopeless, but I really, really like him. I liked him since the first time I saw him.”
Momo lightly laughed and patted her back.
“Don’t laugh! I know that, before, I used to suddenly become infatuated with someone, then claim I liked that person. But those feelings were fleeting. Thinking back, I can’t even remember what they looked like. But Chen Mo’s different. He unexpectedly just barged in. You don’t even know how I felt when I was at home that day, and he knocked on the door and entered. It was like I was dreaming. Also, later on the Ferris wheel, when he hugged me, I felt like I was about to soar up to heaven. That time I thought, ‘How wonderful, so this is what it’s like to fall in love for the first time, I’m so blessed… But why do I now feel so anxious?”
“You are what’s called ‘worried about not getting what you want, and worried about losing what you have.’ You know that saying, right? You’re a prime example.” Momo laughed so hard her laughter became uneven. “In the future, if the Chinese Idiom Dictionary releases a new edition, then that saying will just have a picture of your face. Nothing would need to be explained. It’d be complete.”
Miao Yuan gritted her teeth and pinched her. The two wrestled on the bed.
“You’re crying so hard you’re laughing. You’re so embarrassing!” Momo joked.
Miao Yuan wiped her eyes. “Girl, my love life has suffered a setback. And you can’t even let me vent.”
“The problem is, I think Chen Mo is a pretty good person.”
“Now you’re on his side. Who was the one who called him a doggone b*st*rd?”
Momo immediately raised her hand. “I definitely didn’t invent that phrase.”
Miao Yuan tilted her head and thought for a while. “In any case, it also wasn’t me.”
Momo elbowed her. “Hey, it’s time to sleep. Have you brushed your teeth?”
“I’m not brushing my teeth!”
“You’re gonna die from the filth!”
“Let me die!”
“Very well!” Momo pulled Miao Yuan up and threw her into the bathroom. “Isn’t it just a guy? Guys are like clothes, you got it? We’re like sisters. I’m like your right-hand woman. So don’t dirty your hands for some article of clothing!”
Miao Yuan brushed her teeth. She shyly peeped out half a head. “But I’ve streaked naked across life for twenty something years in a state of disorder. At this point, I yearn for the feeling of some clothes on my body…”
Momo balled her hands into fists just as Miao Yuan quickly ducked her head back.
Once she’d finished tidying herself up, she lay back in bed. After chatting and chatting, she fell asleep. Miao Yuan thought of that period when she had just arrived in Xi’an. As a single person living in a small room, she was very flustered. Momo would sometimes come over and sleep with her. The two girls would ramble about all sorts of gossip. They would chatter until, at some point, one fell silent. The other would then also sleep in a daze. Life back then was actually pretty good. There was nothing distressful. There weren’t any major ups or downs. It was a simple life. Their youth passed like this.
But how to describe that period. She said she wanted to find a love unique to this world. On this planet, she wanted to find The One, and treat him really, really well, then live as happily as everyone else. That person appeared and she fell in love. But, why is it that despite all that, she felt distressed within all of this happiness?
Could it be that this was love’s true face?