Chapter 23: My heart! It aches! (4)
People often feel as though they can change their lives, but in truth, life is more unyielding. What’s being changed is always the person themselves.
Miao Yuan realized she would have to accept that Chen Mo wouldn’t call in his spare time, and that he wasn’t going to exhibit certain gentle considerations like other guys. She would also have to accept that while working, he needed to be fully focused and wouldn’t carry a distracting phone. Once she came to terms with this, life didn’t seem as bad.
Truthfully, a person’s happiness is related to their expectations. Some people are happy just eating a bowl of stir-fry paomo, while others will sit in the renowned Xi’an Restaurant and bemoan how plain it is. People are really different. If you believe some things are not commonplace, then when you experience them, you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
Miao Yuan believed that one had to let the world keep its surprises, and not take things for granted. It makes life more beautiful.
I love him that much. Though it might not be my whole life, at least the first half of my life will only have him. In that case, I’m happy to treat him a little better and go at his pace, right? I really don’t care that much about some things. If I really want to be upset, then it shouldn’t be over those customary dating norms.
If you show him attitude, you won’t feel good about it. Then you will be unhappy, which will cause him to stop smiling and hurt you even more.
Girl, we’ve already reached this point, so stop torturing yourself.
Chen Mo sharply perceived that Miao Yuan’s attitude toward him changed. She wasn’t awkward and stiff. She no longer seemed like she wanted something, yet she still pretended that she didn’t. It made it difficult for him to guess whether she really wanted or didn’t want that thing. But as to why she changed, this sort of deep question wasn’t something that could be derived through intuition. Chen Mo confirmed that he couldn’t find the answer. He suspected that it really was as other people said: You best not guess a woman’s heart. She’s angry one moment, then happy the next. One moment she treat you hopelessly well. The next, she’s saying you’re bullying her.
Really, girls’ thoughts are on a entirely different wavelength than those of guys. So not being on the same wavelength is normal. If a couple were, that would be the real miracle. Otherwise, how could there be such a big deal about misunderstandings? Chen Mo decided to not search further for answers. He was an army man, and he liked looking forward. He liked clear goals, and didn’t like to attach himself to a riddle of the past. That was like a completed mission. If the end result managed to meet the expectations, he didn’t have any interest dwelling on it. After all, energy should be devoted to the future.
If marriage was a task, Chen Mo analyzed himself and thought that he was doing pretty well so far. Each step he had taken had gone smoothly. First of all, he chose a suitable person. Then, their interactions were harmonious and happy. Really, it was more wonderful than he had expected. Then, what was there to be worried about?
What sort of mission didn’t carry risk? What sort of mission would not have regrets after it was done?
So, everything was normal.
Usually, when everyone went on vacation, it was the busiest time for those in the service industry. Chen Mo felt from a certain viewpoint his line of work could also be considered a service profession. It was almost Chinese New Year’s, and during this time, the quick reaction force prepared to be especially attentive with their work. Over the New Year’s, even if someone were to raise the smallest bit of trouble, it would be harder than normal. If someone deliberately tried to cause trouble, it would ruin the mood for everyone in the city..
What does “just in case” mean? “Just in case” means ten thousand days of peace and one day of turmoil. But what if that one day is the last one for that person? Then those ten thousand days would be for nothing. 1
When he passed the military dormitories, he looked up and saw a row of big red words:
Chen Mo sighed. That’s why they had to be ready at any moment!
Cheng Hui waved to him from a higher floor and mentioned that the Qin squadron of the special forces had arrived and were waiting inside. Ever since Chen Mo’s skill had shocked those around him, Qin Yue would come over for a visit when he was free. Using Qin Yue’s words: “I thought the armed police would just hole up here and wrestle for fun. I never thought you guys had real work to do.”
The members of the specials forces always spoke in a very haughty way. There was wind in their steps, and their eyes shone with a light that radiated in all directions. Anywhere they stood was a very eye-catching existence, something you couldn’t ignore. If you stood within ten metres of a member, his gaze would make you skittish.
You see, men—and moreover army men—are all very competitive. Though Qin Yue had lost badly last time, he still wasn’t willing to give in. He specifically applied for a martial arts competition with the fifth squadron as a mutual learning experience. For leaders, the only thing to fear is a group’s lack of effort. Martial arts competitions were cheap yet pumped people up. Plus, it was easy to produce results. Upper management would approve of the competition without a doubt.
Chen Mo laughed bitterly and thought, Do you not know how much I dislike these annoyances? Even so, he would never do something half-heartedly.
Qin Yue came to deliver the schedule and specifics of the martial arts competition, as well as the reward system. Upon meeting, they shook hands. Qin Yue passed over the documents to Chen Mo, who skimmed it over and then passed it to Cheng Hui. In any case, Cheng Hui had the power to deal with such matters, so it could be left in his hands.
Qin Yue smiled and scooched over. “When the time comes, will Captain Chen also participate?”
“All right!” Chen Mo saw Qin Yue’s gaze and knew that he couldn’t get away with saying no. Even if he managed to reject Qin Yue, he wouldn’t be let off by the troop detachment leader, so he decided not to bicker.
Qin Yue didn’t expect Chen Mo to answer heartily and felt that Chen Mo was understanding his intentions. He couldn’t contain himself and blurted, “Then I’ll include whatever Captain Chen is good at in the program.”
“Anything is fine. Do as you see fit. Also, don’t keep score for me! Just take it as for fun.” Chen Mo thought that as a Major, stealing the troop members’ prizes had no meaning.
Qin Yue’s face because unsightly. “Even with those words, I still don’t know what you’re good at! But I’ve heard that your old troop and mine are roughly the same—”
“No, there’s a pretty big difference between the two,” Chen Mo interrupted with a serious expression.
Cheng Hui suddenly raised his head. From the two people’s expressions, he knew that sparks were flying. He could only shake his head and bitterly laugh.
“Oh, then tell me.” Qin Yue said.
“Let me put it this way. Our intrinsic nature is different. Just like this room. You guys are the dogs guarding the doors. You scare people off by having them discard any nefarious intentions once they see you at the door. But us… We’re hiding inside the room. No one knows of our existence, and while everyone is unaware, we’ve already taken care of all there is to take care of.” Chen Mo wasn’t good at making analogies. What he said of the Qilin troop was truth.
He could calmly anger a person to the point of fainting and then very sincerely ask why the person was so upset. So when Qin Yue’s face whitened, Chen Mo somewhat apologetically nodded his head and said, “I also can’t describe it well. I’m not very good with words, but it should roughly be this sort of meaning.”
“You…” Qin Yue gritted his teeth.
Cheng Hui quickly came over and walked Qin Yue out, placating him all the while.
Not long after, Cheng Hui slipped back in and pointed to Chen Mo with a laugh. “You… Oh you…”
Chen Mo looked over. “Didn’t you also let the topic run on without changing it?”
Cheng Hui scratched his head. “I didn’t like the look of him. Before when our squads were competing in boxing, that fella had the audacity to borrow people from the local sports university to spar with us because he feared losing. I just wanted you to shut him up. But I never thought you’d shut him up like this. His face had turned green. I had to say a whole basket of nice words to make him feel better.”
“His tolerance is too low. He isn’t mentally stable enough.”
Cheng Hui nearly spewed out in laughter. “ Well ain’t you just dandy, do you think everyone is like you? Oh, that’s right. Chen Mo, have you ever gotten upset?”
“Then how come I’ve never seen your expression change? It’s always the same no matter what. People don’t even know what you’re thinking. Do you also face your girlfriend with this sort of face? Oh, I also invited them for dinner. We’re all of the same branch and bound to bump into each other one way or the other. It won’t be good if this gets too awkward and out of hand.”
“Uh… Invited them for dinner? Cheng Hui, when you invite people for dinner, you also have to ask if I’m available. I’m going out to eat and watch a movie with Miao Yuan tonight.”
Cheng Hui was flabbergasted. “Then why don’t you go discuss it with your troop members. Ol’ Qin Yue is so mad he’s turned green. If you stand him up on top of that, he’ll never let you go.”
Chen Mo knew things were going to be hard to do. He gave Miao Yuan a call.
Miao Yuan just so happened to be tidying up. She was going out tonight so she had to finish making the cakes in the afternoon. Seeing ‘Chen Mo’ flash on her cell phone screen, her heart dropped. She answered the call with a meek “Hello?” As expected, Chen Mo said there would be a change in plans for tonight.
Miao Yuan silently nodded and then suddenly asked, “Chen Mo, what if I really want to see that movie today?”
“This…” Chen Mo calculated the movie’s start time. He had invited people for an evening of drinking and socializing, not just for a meal. No matter what, he wouldn’t make it. “I’m afraid it will be hard. Why don’t you go see it by yourself, okay?”
“Mm, okay!” Miao Yuan hung up and stared at the phone in her hand in a daze.
Momo stuck her head over. “Girl, hurry up and stop daydreaming. If you want to go on a date, then put in your effort. It’s hard to make the cakes and go on a date.”
Miao Yuan flung the glass bowl aside and lazily said. “No need to rush, take it slow. I won’t need to take this evening off. There’s been a change in plans.”
Oh… Momo tactfully shrunk her head back. She gloomily thought that Chen Mo was indeed some doggone bastard.
Cheng Hui booked a renovated Hunan2 restaurant for dinner. It was decorated fashionably. The private dining room’s walls were plastered with fervent propaganda posters of the Cultural Revolution. Chen Mo saw the revolutionary soldiers each carrying Mao Zedong’s Little Red Book and facing east. Underneath was a big row of characters that read: “For a common revolutionary purpose, we must walk together.” He suddenly thought of how Miao Yuan often exclaiming, “Hey Chen Mo, let’s go revolutionize! And do you know what revolutionizing is? It’s treating others to a meal!”
Chen Mo looked at his watch. The movie was about to start. He didn’t know if she had returned the other ticket.
Because the members of the Special Armed Forces and the criminal investigation squad worked together during missions, they were familiar with each other. Chen Mo had taken office for a little more than a year yet no one had ever hosted a dinner for everyone before. Cheng Hui knew this would be the perfect opportunity to host one for Qin Yue, thus ridding Chen Mo of the troublesome social obligations. After inviting everyone out before Chinese New Year’s, Chen Mo wouldn’t have to deal with this sort of thing for a whole year.