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Chapter 6: Will you be my boyfriend? (Part 1)
Upon facing the harsh reality of making a living, I don’t even have the courage to begin! Yet, what wrong did I make in carefully planning for the future?
There was a popular quote on the Internet: every girl will meet a scumbag when she grows up. I scoffed at it, and thought that it should be changed to: every stupid girl will meet a scumbag when she grows up. A girl like me, who doesn’t have dreams about love, and is utterly unlovable, can never fall in love with a man that she shouldn’t love.
I never imagined that many years after my impressionable years that I would be facing such a plight one day. Although Wu Julan isn’t a scumbag, to be fond of him is probably not much better than liking a scumbag.
I know very clearly that my feelings for him shouldn’t be and aren’t right, and I wish I could pluck and burn all these feelings that have grown in my heart; like pulling out weeds and burning scrap paper. However, these feelings that have grown aren’t weeds in a flowerpot that can be easily pulled out whenever someone says they need to be pulled out, and they’re not scraps of paper in the trash which can be simply burned when someone says they need to be burned. The only thing I can do is to use logic to restrain and weaken these feelings until they disappear little by little with the passage of time.
I have always thought that there was no eternity in this world. If we must say eternity, the only eternity in this universe is that everything disappears with time.
Whether it is love or a vow; whether it is a mountain or the sea; even the Earth we are on, the sun that shines on us. The universe that holds everything, as long as there is enough time, will eventually all die and disappear.
Even the things that seem eternal, like the sun and the universe, will disappear with time. This is even more so for my insignificant feeling.
I’m confident that it’ll go away if I give it time.
Although I wanted to get rid of these unwanted feelings in my heart, I didn’t plan to drive Wu Julan away. Not only because I promised to help him through this unfortunate time, but also because Wu Julan didn’t make any mistakes when working. It’s my own fault that I like him, and I can’t punish him for my own mistakes.
I decided to use a gentle way to separate from Wu Julan and downplay my feelings.
First, I started paying him because Wu Julan has multiple jobs so his salary must be higher than a waiter. He will be paid 2,500 yuan for food and housing a month. In terms of money, I have made it clear that Wu Julan and I are in an employment relationship, and that everything is measured by money.
I’m also less casual when I speak to him. Using ‘please’, ‘not to trouble you’, and ‘thank you’ as a way to be as polite and courteous as possible in every interaction. I know how tedious this is because my stepfather did this to me as well. My stepfather studied in the UK for many years, and he taught me everything about the etiquette of British nobles and their servants. Always be polite, always. He appeared so gentlemanly, but every move, every word, and every deed reminded me that he was the master, and I was an outsider living in his house. There was always a gap between our statuses.
In the end, I tried my best to avoid being alone in the same space with Wu Julan. If I had something to tell him, I would stand at the door and say it in a polite tone, then leave immediately. Keeping distance was the best way to resolve these ambiguous feelings.
I think Wu Julan noticed my change immediately, but he didn’t care at all. It was as if I had treated him like this from the beginning, and he was still indifferent to it.
I clearly made the choice to end these feelings. I shouldn’t care about his reaction. I should actually be happy that he doesn’t care, but seeing with my own eyes that he didn’t care at all, made me feel uncomfortable, and even harboured a sense of disappointment and shame.
Is every woman in love always contradicting themselves?
Trying to ignore the other person, trying to create a boundary, but seeing that you have been ignored by the other person, you’ll feel sad and frustrated.
In the midst of my internal conflicts, my attitude towards Wu Julan became more and more strange. Not only Wu Julan, but even Zhou Buwen and Jiang Yisheng noticed it. Zhou Buwen just watched coldly and didn’t question it, but Jiang Yisheng couldn’t restrain himself.
One night, the four of us had dinner together. When I said, ‘not to trouble you’ to Wu Julan again, Jiang Yisheng frowned and said, “Didn’t you two have a fight? If you have any resentment, just say it with consideration. Don’t keep it in your heart. This tensed atmosphere is even making me feel uncomfortable.”
I immediately denied it, “No! Why would we fight? Shouldn’t I just be polite?”
Jiang Yisheng stared at me. His expression showed that he was in disbelief.
“There’s really no conflict. If there was a fight, Wu Julan would have left a long time ago. This place isn’t nice enough for someone unhappy to remain, right? Wu Julan? It’s not like I have a nice place to stay when I’m unhappy. Right, Wu Julan?” I looked at Wu Julan pleadingly.
Wu Julan raised his eyes to look at me. His gaze was, as usual, calm and profound, indifferent. I knew I was pushing myself and maybe also Wu Julan.
Wu Julan said coldly to Jiang Yisheng, “There wasn’t a fight.” After saying that, he lowered his head and ate his food in silence.
My heart ached, but I didn’t look at Wu Julan. Instead, I deliberately talked and laughed with Zhuo Buwen, chatting about embarrassing things when I was a child, as well as the fun and happy times.
I once read a line in a book, ‘Women are born actors’. I didn’t understand it before, but now I do. Everytime I deliberately hurt Wu Julan, I was actually more uncomfortable than he was, but I acted like I didn’t care at all.
After dinner, when Jiang Yisheng was going home, I dragged him aside and whispered, “Do me a favour.”
Jiang Yisheng followed me upstairs and into my bedroom, and found that the curtain rod of one of the windows had come loose. It’s not technically a difficult job, but two people need to hold the pole together and keep it at a certain level before it can be fixed.
After the curtain rod was fixed, Jiang Yisheng jumped off the table, pushed the table back to its original position, and said, “Are you and Cousin Wu arguing? You didn’t want to get him to fix this, but you came to me?”
I leaned against the window and said nothing.
Jiang Yisheng said bitterly, “You don’t have many relatives. I think Cousin Wu treats you well. Humans should cherish happiness. So don’t take it for granted!”
In a muffled voice, I said, “He’s not even my cousin. We have no blood relations.”
Jiang Yisheng was stunned for a moment and said, “No wonder I thought that something was a little off. But because I decided that you two were related, I didn’t think too hard about it. You, you…” His face showed a sudden realisation and asked in shock, “You… It’s you… Isn’t it?”
I knew what he was going to ask. I looked out the window into the night, and admitted frankly, “I like him.”
Jiang Yisheng sighed and said, “Cousin Wu is very nice, but I’ve always hoped that you would like Big Head.”
I said bitterly, “I wish I could like Big Head too!”
Jiang Yisheng asked, puzzled, “What’s wrong with you? Cousin Wu isn’t a monster. If you like him, you like him. What’s there to be worried about?”
I hesitated for a moment and said, “He lied, not only about his identity, but also about his occupation. He didn’t go to college, and he didn’t even know how to type on a computer. How could he know anything about programming?”
“So he just turned out to be a liar!” Jiang Yisheng got angry, rolled up his sleeves, and wanted to beat someone up.
I quickly grabbed him, “Wu Julan didn’t lie to me! The first time I saw him, he was a penniless homeless man. I asked him about his education and job, and he told the truth. He had no degree or job.”
Jiang Yisheng looked at me in shock as if he was listening to a wild story, “You mean you just randomly picked up a homeless man and went home?”
Jiang Yisheng touched my forehead and murmured, “Xiao Luo, you don’t have a family history of mental illness, do you? How can you do something so crazy?!”
“I’m not crazy. I know what I’m doing! You’ve never known homelessness and you can never understand what we…” I smacked his hand away, indicating that I didn’t want to talk anymore about this issue, “If I had to do it again, I would!”
Jiang Yisheng asked, “Have you seen his ID card? If you know where he’s from, I can find a way to check him for you.”
I felt a little guilty and said hesitantly, “He said… that he didn’t have an ID card. I don’t know if he lost his ID card, or …if he is unregistered, he wouldn’t have an ID card at all.”
Jiang Yisheng hit my head and said angrily, “Maybe he’s a wanted criminal! After murdering people and stealing things, he came to us.”
I pursued my mouth and looked at JIang Yisheng. Not knowing whether to cry or not.
Jiang Yisheng’s heart softened immediately, and he quickly comforted me and said, “I’m not trying to scare you! Wu Julan doesn’t seem to be a bad person. If he was a bad person, he would have done all the bad things that a bad person should do. But… Xiao Luo, you clearly know his circumstances, how can you still like him? Is this kind of person suitable for marriage?”
I turned my head and said in a low voice, “It’s precisely because I know I shouldn’t like him, that I am in such pain now!”
Jiang Yisheng patted my shoulder and sighed, not knowing what to say.
I lowered my head and said sadly, “It’s more miserable to fall in love with this kind of person than to fall in love with a scumbag!”
Jiang Yisheng said with reassurance, “Okay. Okay! It’s just what it is! Look at my girlfriends. At first, they all jumped at me, chasing me and saying they loved me. But as soon as they arrived at my house, they all gave up when they saw my father and my grandmother’s appearances. It’s proof that it’s not difficult for women to give up on a relationship. Since you know it’s not going to work, just give up!”
I gave Jiang Yisheng a punch, dumbfounded, “Are you comforting me or scolding me?”
Jiang Yisheng said with a smile, “No matter what it is, as long as you’re happy.”
I said, “I’m fine. Go home quickly!”
Since the both of us were too familiar with each other, I only sent Jiang Yisheng to the stairway, “Remember to lock the courtyard door.”
Jiang Yisheng said, “Don’t feel bad. There’s someone else waiting for you!” After speaking, he pointed to the room at the other end of the corridor.
I raised my foot and tried to kick Jiang Yisheng, “Go away!”
Jiang Yisheng quickly took the flip-flops off my feet and threw them. They hit the door of Zhou Buwen’s room. While yelling, I jumped on one foot to pick up my shoes.
Zhou Buwen opened the door and asked with a smile, “What happened?”
Jiang Yisheng laughed and rushed downstairs, “I’m leaving. Have a good chat, you two!”
T/N: This is the last bit of Starry translations we have left… May or may not be continuing this novel bcus we’re getting busy 😦
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