Chapter 26 – Aren’t you silly?
The guy touched her lips very gently; it was obvious he was holding back. He kept his hand on the small of her back, helping her block the handle from digging in.
Su Yi kept herself from laughing, telling herself that she should not reveal her teeth when kissing. She was about to close her eyes when she felt a sudden empty space in front of her lips –
It’s… it’s over???
Chu Ying held her, and after righting her, immediately removed his hand, picked up the sack by his foot and placed it on the table.
“Strawberries.” His voice – normal.
At the moment, she did not want to eat strawberries at all!
When he saw her still standing there in a silly manner, he asked, “What is it?”
Su Yi snuck a lick of her lips. “… nothing.”
“Have you had dinner?”
She thought about it, and asked him instead. “Have you eaten?”
The Su Yi, who had only just eaten the bento for the crew and a few strawberries, with conviction, said, “I have not eaten either.”
She opened an APP, and after scrolling down the page, a huge plate of seafood successfully caught her attention. She swallowed some saliva and suggested, “Let’s go eat crayfish?”
Removing her face mask to eat crayfish would be too troublesome, so she randomly picked a pair of glasses and a sports cap instead.
She did not expect to run straight into Wu Xue the moment she opened the door. The other was holding a porcelain cup.
“Why are you coming out? It’s just nice, I made some sesame paste…” Wu Xue had yet to finish speaking, when she saw the person behind Su Yi. After a long silence, she finally said, “… Director Chu, good evening.”
Chu Ying nodded as a response.
Wu Xue returned her sight to Su Yi, recovering her smile quickly. “Where are you going?”
Su Yi coughed lightly. “Dinner.”
Her artiste had just finished a huge crew bento, and was now headed to a restaurant, Wu Xue was really angry. “You…”
She had just begun when the Su Yi standing before her, started furrowing her eyebrows and making faces.
Thus, Wu Xue could only tug at the corners of her lips and say, “Do you mind an extra person? I haven’t eaten either.”
That crayfish shop was not too close, they’d to drive there. Su Yi was riding shotgun when she’s pinged on WeChat by the passenger at the back.
[Wu Xue: You just finished a twenty-six dollars bento and are now going for supper, are you trying to make me angry or yourself fat?]
[Goddess Su Yi: I just want to go on a date, is your side job being a lightbulb?!]
[Wu Xue: You think I wanted to come out? There’s so many reporters waiting for you around here, you don’t even wear a face mask?]
Su Yi chose not to reply. She returned her phone to her bag and set her elbow on the box between the two seats in front, staring straight at Chu Ying, her eyes sparkling as much as they possibly could.
Feeling her stare, Chu Ying asked, “What is it?”
“You’re quite busy lately.” Su Yi did not move. “I want to see more of you now that I can.”
The car slowed a little.
While driving, Chu Ying rarely got distracted. He freed his right hand, intending to ruffle her hair, but he did not expect Su Yi to catch it when he reached out.
Their fingers interlaced.
Su Yi held on for barely three seconds before quickly letting go, a smile on her face. “Alright, focus on driving.”
Wu Xue regretted coming along, she was not sure if it was too late to get off the car yet.
The seafood place was in the middle of a heap of costumes, accessories and shoe shops, quite an eyecatcher.
The trio chose a corner seat. Chu Ying took the menu and ran a careless glance. “Two crayfish, mildly spicy.”
The waitress was a little girl, who kept eyeing him while taking the order. “Do you want it large or medium?”
Wu Xue hurriedly said, “Director Chu, two sets isn’t a little too much?”
Chu Ying’s eyes were still on the menu. “Didn’t you both not eat?”
Wu Xue could only laugh a little dryly. “… yeah, yeah, but Su Yi doesn’t eat much, we might not be able to finish two.”
In the end, they still ordered two sets.
The waitress had just left when Chu Ying’s phone rang – it had actually rang many times in the car, just that he had hung it up.
He slowly picked it up. “Hng.”
“Shit, why do you keep hanging up on me?” The male voice on the other end was really loud. “Big brother, where are you now? Is the thing I asked you about last time, done? Your little brother’s, my future happiness, is in your hands now.”
Chu Ying moved the phone further away in distaste. “No.”
Liu Xi still understood his childhood friend. This tone was a sign he was hanging up. He hurriedly said, “Don’t, let’s talk in person, where are you?”
At this point, a few more customers entered, and the waiter at the door suddenly shouted into the sky, “If you want to eat crayfish –”
The other waiters outside harmonised, “You come to Xiang Yi Jia!”
The other hung up immediately.
Su Yi had a good hearing and memory. She immediately caught on that it was Liu Xi’s voice and asked, “He’s coming over?”
Wu Xue asked, “Who?”
“Oh, one of Chu Ying’s friends.” Su Yi poured some hot water in her bowl and washed it with her chopsticks, then washed Chu Ying’s as well. “Liu Xi.”
Wu Xue paused. “Which Xi?”
Chu Ying said, “The one from the Imperial Jade Seal .”
He was greeted with silence.
The crayfish had yet to be served when Wu Xue suddenly got up, pushing her chair back with a screech. “I suddenly remember that I have something to do, I’ll go back first.”
Su Yi looked confused. “What’s the rush?”
Wu Xue said, “I have a few phone calls to make. There’s a lot of scripts for you recently, I need to go clean it up.”
“I’ve only just started filming, even if they find me I can’t take them up, just reject them all.”
Wu Xue leaned close to her and whispered, “Do you still want your fucking date?!”
Tsk, this person, swearing now?
Su Yi’s expression remained unchanged. “Then it’s all on you, take care.”
After Wu Xue left, Su Yi shifted closer to Chu Ying.
The crayfish was served very soon. She wore the glove and picked up a crayfish. “I’ll help you peel it? I’m good at that.”
Just as she finished speaking, the crayfish in her hand was taken away by the person beside her.
The guy was fast and in moments, a few pieces of meat were placed in her bowl. “Eat.”
When Liu Xi arrived, he was shocked to see the huge heap of crayfish shell in front of Chu Ying.
He hurriedly sat beside Chu Ying, afraid that he would run away. “You would come and eat Mala crayfish without asking me to come along?!”
Chu Ying did not even look at him. “I did not call you this time, didn’t you still come?”
Liu Xi did not care. Upon seeing Su Yi, he smiled in a friendly manner, “Why don’t you wear gloves when peeling crayfish, your hands would smell later.”
Just when he finished speaking, he saw his brother naturally place the peeled crayfish meat into Su Yi’s bowl.
Since they were in toddler pants to up until now, Chu Ying had never helped him get food even once!
His eyes widened. “Hey, no, you’re… is it?”
Su Yi leant towards Chu Ying, smiling.
Liu Xi was different from Chu Ying. He had a special group on his WeChat that had no less than fifty female celebrities and was thus rather clear about the inner workings of the entertainment industry. Recently, the gossip on Su Yi was really raging. While he was not clear about that Liang Bo, at a glance, he did recognise that ‘bigshot’ in the parking lot as Chu Ying. Just as he had thought about clarifying it with Chu Ying, he was blacklisted on WeChat. He did not expect them to really be together!
“Congratulations, congratulations, this sort of good news warrants celebration.” Liu Xi raised his hand and asked the waiter to bring them a few bottles of Tsingdao beer, then raised his chin at Su Yi. “Yi yi, you don’t mind me being a lightbulb?”
Chu Ying side-eyed him. “Call her sister-in-law.”
“Sister-in-law.” Liu Xi had something to ask of her, and thus made sure to sound as sincere as possible. He asked despite knowing the answer already, “Why are you in Shanghai?”
Su Yi was almost tempted to give him a red packet. “Filming.”
Liu Xi picked up one crayfish, and elbowed Chu Ying’s arm, asking, “So, who chased who?”
Su Yi was about to say something when the guy beat her to it. “Me.”
“Tsk tsk.” Liu Xi’s entire heart tipped towards Su Yi. “Sister-in-law was really blind.”
Thus, she cancelled Liu Xi’s angbao.
When the beer was served, Liu Xi placed one bottle in front of Su Yi and offered his phone with both hands, the QR code ready. “Sister-in-law, let’s be friends on WeChat?
He’d forgotten about it last time they ate together and never managed to add her, or he would not have gone to find Chu Ying.
They had just finished adding each other when Chu Ying abruptly stood up.
When Chu Ying left, Liu Xi shifted his derriere and sat next to Su Yi. “Sister-in-law, you’re agent doesn’t mind when you’re out so late?”
Su Yi was about to say something when she received a notification on her phone.
[Chu Ying said: Come out.]
“My agent just left.” Su Yi hurriedly got up and carried her bag. “I need to use the washroom too.”
Liu Xi paused, momentarily at a loss to continue what he was saying.. When he came back to himself, he was the only one left at the table.
He gulped down some beer.
It’s fine, he’d continue asking when sister-in-law returns.
Su Yi fastened her seatbelt. “It’s fine to leave him alone there?” Although she asked, her smile had already sold her actual feelings out.
“Ignore him,” Chu Ying said. “Where do you want to go?”
Su Yi looked at the time. Nine thirty, too early to go back, but she was not wearing a mask and it was not convenient to go where there would be crowds.
As she was racking her brains, a huge building flashed by the window, the sign flashing brightly: XX Cineplex.
At the front desk of the movie theatre, Chu Ying passed her the movie flyers. “What are we watching?”
“Sir, I’m sorry,” the ticket seller reminded them. “Within half an hour we only have one show, the other shows need at least an hour’s wait.”
Su Yi did not look closely at the movie details. “Then let’s go for that show.”
They bought a popcorn set and entered the theatre.
They had picked a centre seat. When they entered there was no one around. It was only when the show was about to start that another couple came in and sat right beside them.
Perhaps it was due to the bad viewership, there was no advertisement for this movie. It went straight into the film. The film opened with a group of middle schoolers gathered together, talking about Ouija.
A locally produced horror film? Su Yi yawned.
As they played Ouija, the movie’s soundtrack slowly started getting darker, just like the typical ‘horror’ flick produced locally.
To create the atmosphere, the sounds in the movie faded out, and from the front seat came the girl’s ‘I’m so scared’ and ‘The background music is so creepy’. Su Yi maintained an indifferent face, taking a sip of cola.
She had not had it in such a long time, this felt awesome.
In the movie, the girls held the pen and started moving it around. Half an hour in, a cheeky girl opened her eyes and the camera suddenly started shaking. It was immediately followed by a scary, long-haired lady in a white dress showing up by the girl’s side.
“Ah!” The girl in front screeched, burrowing into the guy’s chest. Then, in a teary voice she said, “It’s so scary, so scary… (wu wu…)”
The guy turned around and hugged her, kissing her as he comforted her. “Baby don’t be scared, I’m here, don’t cry, don’t cry.”
That’s something that can be done???
Su Yi’s eyes brightened immediately. She sat upright, held her breath and began watching the show seriously.
Soon, that creepy soundtrack returned.
After another ten seconds, they finally reached a minor climax and that woman in white appeared on the screen once more.
Her opportunity is here!
Su Yi did not even think about it, closing her eyes and trying to burrow into the chest of the person beside her.
Alas, she did not reach that warm and steady chest she imagined she would.
As she went in the wrong direction, she… hit the guy’s arm.
… really hard.
… really hurts.
She felt the pain coming from her head and thought, is there some hole for her to go stay quietly in for a while?.
Just as she was about to slowly retract her neck, a hand reached out, and held her neck. Then, another hand ran through her hair, found the place she hit and started rubbing it gently.
Chu Ying sounded at once humorous and helpless.
“Aren’t you silly?”
 玺 (Xi), the character in Liu Xi’s name, is from 玉玺 which is known as the Imperial Jade Seal in english; it’s how it’s clarified which ‘Xi’ is in Liu Xi (there’s a lot of characters pronounced similarly – 夕(Xi) from 夕阳 (setting sun) or 西 (west) are some examples off the top of my head)
this chapter was edited by larkspur!