When the cup of water hit her, Xu Xu was getting money from her purse to pay the bill.
Mr. Chen, whom she had awkwardly conversed with for the past half hour, was already so angry his face was red. The back of his hand that got splashed with tea shook.
“What do you mean by that? You strung me along for half a month, you ate and drank as you wished, and now you want to break up?”
His voice wasn’t loud, but it still drew numerous looks in the quiet book cafe.
Xu Xu didn’t like the feeling of being watched, especially when she had water running from her hair and down her chin.
She rummaged for tissues in her bag. Her voice sank slightly as she suppressed her anger. “First, our relationship is but a blind date. It cannot be considered breaking up. Second, know that I believe I have not spent a single cent of yours. Third, your ex-girlfriend came and made a big scene at my studio yesterday. For the reputation of my studio and myself, I wish to maintain a distance from you in the future. Is such a request excessive?”
Before Mr. Chen could speak, Xu Xu had already taken out a stack of photos from her bag and pushed them in front of him.
Because of her bad mood, a few photos slipped off the corner of the table, landing scattered on the ground a couple tables behind them.
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The two had been friends for many years and were plenty casual in private.
After they finished discussing official matters, her friend mocked her, “I told you that blind dates were risky. How many times have you failed already? The matchmaker is probably afraid of you to send this veteran of the battlefield of love to make you surrender.”
Xu Xu: “Surrender? Are you insulting me?”
“Tsk. Look at you, you’re pretty and you make a lot of money. Do you simply have a lonely constitution?”
The corner of Xu Xu’s mouth twitched, not really willing to answer.
“Your standards for a spouse are not that high either, why is it so hard to find someone to marry?”
Xu Xu’s steps paused and she pursed her lips.
That’s right, is it so hard to find a man that doesn’t mess around?
After a pause, she said, “Yuanyuan, I’ll try one more time. If the next one still doesn’t work out, then I just won’t get married.”
The next day was Saturday. Xu Xu got up early because of construction on the walls in the studio.
Seeing her, Xiao Pang at the front desk was surprised.
Xu Xu: “Have the classes for the next few days been taken care of?”
Xiao Pang hurriedly nodded. “Yes yes, they’ve all been informed and rescheduled to next month. Aside from a Ms. Zhang who returned her year pass in dissatisfaction, the other parents all expressed understanding.”
Xu Xu studied dance in university and opened a teaching institute with some classmates after graduation. Five years later, they had gained some fame and reputation in their city.
After confirming some details with the construction crew, Xu Xu made a trip to the antiques market.
When the ex-girlfriend came and made a fuss, a vase that she really liked was broken. If not for this, Xu Xu might not have the desire to deal with a girl like that.
The antiques market on Saturday was packed.
Xu Xu wore a light green windbreaker, walking down the side of the street in high heels. She looked into every shop.
It was soon noon and except for the woven red string bracelet on her wrist, her hands were empty.
As a person involved in the arts, Xu Xu had always had a relaxed mindset when it came to buying things.
It was good, of course, if she encountered something she liked, but if she did not, their fate had simply not come yet.
She raised her head to look at the sun and decided to look at one more shop.
Coincidentally, as soon as she stopped over the threshold, her eyes landed, in front of the counter, on the white jade porcelain in the man’s hands.
At two fingers long and its mouth small, round, and exquisite, it was perfect for exhibiting her flower arrangements.
Xu Xu unconsciously took two steps closer.
The man paid and turned around. His elbow unexpectedly bumped her shoulder with significant force. Xu Xu stumbled. Her heel caught on the wooden threshold and she fell backwards.
Her arm was gripped by a swath of warmth. It firmly held her arm through a layer of fabric and helped her upright.
“Are you okay?”
The voice that came from over her head was deep and pleasant to the ear.
Xu Xu, having experienced a case of false panic, raised her head amidst heart palpitations and unexpectedly ran into a pair of deep eyes.
This man was kind of handsome.
Xu Xu exclaimed in her heart. She expressionlessly straightened herself and took half a step back. “I’m okay.”
The man stared at her ankle for a moment, his eyebrows slightly furrowed. “Did you twist your ankle?”
Xu Xu was about to shake her head, but suddenly thought of something and hesitantly nodded. “A little.”
The man said, “I’ll send you to the hospital?”
“No need…” Xu Xu’s eyes looked away for a moment and she pointed at his left hand. “That, can you let me have that? Just take it as… compensation.”
The man was silent.
Xu Xu spoke again, “I’ll ask the price you bought it for, the number is up to you.”
The young man in a black magua2magua: a type of jacket worn by men during the Qing dynasty (Wikipedia) behind the counter looked at the two of them. Just as he was about to speak, the man nodded, “Since Miss likes it, then I’ll let you have it for the original price.”
Xu Xu perked up. “How much?”
Xu Xu was afraid he would take back the offer and quickly took out her phone to pay.
When adding his WeChat, Xu Xu glanced at his profile. His profile picture was the letter L against a black background, the same as his nickname.
Watching the man’s tall and straight back disappear into the crowd, she thought, this man has a pretty good temper.
 Home Inn: hotel chain in China (Wikipedia)
 magua: a type of jacket worn by men during the Qing dynasty (Wikipedia)