Chapter 188: All I need is for you to care about me
Xu Tingsheng’s emotions had fluctuated very greatly today.
From his initial difficult decision to take responsibility, to his happiness that was mixed with sorrow when Xiang Ning had folded his sleeves for him, to that final raising of a hand that had weighed incomparably heavily on him, to his consolation when he had seen Apple leaving happily, with an easy gait…
Xu Tingsheng had thought that he was already mature and powerful enough, that he would be able to bear anything.
It was only till Xiang Ning’s innocent wave of a hand as she had said, ‘Bye, Uncle’ that Xu Tingsheng finally knew that he actually still couldn’t handle even a tiny bit of her despair, a passing wave by her as they separated.
With this wave of her hand, Uncle might forever just be an Uncle who stood far away, looking at her. Xu Tingsheng might not be able to totally push Xiang Ning away this way, but he needed to restrain himself from now onwards.
After having left, Xu Tingsheng went to where he and Apple had agreed to meet.
He smoked one cigarette after another, having to repeatedly find someplace nearby to wash his face afterwards such that he would appear calm as well as happy. This was the happiness and sense of security that he wanted to give Apple.
Apple removed her makeup and changed her clothes at her fastest possible speed.
When she left via backstage, she was stopped by her agent. The leopard print man seemed to always be wearing the same style of clothes regardless of the seasons.
He blocked Apple’s way in his leopard print bat shirt, pointing towards her as he said in a strange tone, “Hey, you think that you’re free just like this? Let me tell you, come over to the company once with me immediately. Boss wants to talk to you…I advise you to think about it properly. If you’ve got the right idea, become sensible, you might even have a chance.”
Apple reached out and pushed away this agent who always liked to get in front of her and act overbearing for the first time, “To be honest, I’ve always really hated you going around and around in front of me telling me to do this, do that. Finally, I won’t have to do it anymore. Goodbye. As for chances, I think that I won’t need them anymore.”
Leaving behind her agent who was still temporarily unable to get his head around things, Apple came before her assistant, holding her hand, “Sis, the happiest thing for me here at Tianle over this period of time was having met you. I’ve leaving now, to love someone. He’s the best man in the entire world. Rest assured, Sis, I’ll be very happy.”
“Apple, I like the you when we first met the most. Go back to being yourself! This Sis wishes you happiness,” Apple’s assistant hugged her, asking softly, “Right, is he handsome?”
Girls always seemed concerned with this question.
Apple rested her head on her shoulder, nodding repeatedly. Even as she shed tears, she was also smiling.
“Sis really wants to see him, to see exactly what sort of a person he is, able to make you as pitiful as this, as happy as this. Apple, never come back. I’ll visit you when I have a chance.”
“Yeah. I’m leaving now. Bye, Sis.”
Xu Tingsheng and Apple saw each other at virtually the same time.
Xu Tingsheng threw away the cigarette in his hand.
Apple stood far away in the distance, just like that day in Yanzhou when it had been snowing. She had gotten off from a taxi, looking at Xu Tingsheng from far away whilst on tenterhooks. Right, she was still on tenterhooks even at this moment.
Xu Tingsheng walked over, “What is it?”
“I walked a really big round, Xu Tingsheng,” Apple said, “I feel like I just went out and walked one big round, finally still ending up like this in front of you. Once, I thought that when I’d returned, I’d already have proven myself worthy of standing beside you. In the end…”
“In the end, you failed?”
“But I’m so happy. I’ve discovered that actually, all I need is for you to care about me.”
The concert was still not over yet. There were many taxis waiting outside. The two of them stood by the roadside and hailed one. After getting on, Xu Tingsheng asked Apple where they should go, and Apple said to his place.
“Don’t you have to go back and pack up your stuff?” Xu Tingsheng asked.
“I just have a bit of stuff. Song Ni helped me to bring it over to where you’re staying,” Apple said.
“So, tonight…I’ve got to stay together with Song Ni,” Apple continued, her expression containing a little bit of that slyness of the past.
Xu Tingsheng thought for a moment, but did not respond.
Back at the motel, Song Ni had booked another room, but she was still back there watching the concert. Her interest in concerts was much higher that Xu Tingsheng’s. Also, she had gotten a VIP ticket from Apple and was reluctant to let it go to waste.
Xu Tingsheng could only accompany Apple for the moment. Only when Song Ni had returned would he have some private space of his own.
A love relationship. Strictly speaking, considering only this life, this might be his first love in the truest sense of the term. Xu Tingsheng suddenly discovered that he already didn’t know how to embark on a relationship with a girl anymore.
Originally, first love should see a couple walking together, eating together, then going to watch movies and shop along the streets during the weekends?
Then, the first time they shyly held hands, or hugged…
Yet, this love relationship seemed different. At the same time, it was also a responsibility where he had to care for her, pacify her. Moreover, Xu Tingsheng’s heart was troubled somewhat. Thus, even Uncle who didn’t really lack experience in this area from his past life didn’t know what he should be doing now.
Xu Tingsheng made two calls.
The first was to Huang Yaming. He asked him how things were going at Tianyi, also telling him the current status of Apple with Tianle. Huang Yaming didn’t seem too interested in the matter of the two of them getting together. After blustering a little, he began ranting never-endingly on about his entertainment tycoon developmental plan. Xu Tingsheng directly hung up on him.
This was the good thing about Huang Yaming. He wasn’t concerned with things like this, Xu Tingsheng thus daring to tell him about them.
Fu Cheng was different. If Xu Tingsheng called to talk to him about all this, he would definitely reply with some deep, earnest words, such as checking whether Xu Tingsheng’s relationships were progressing correctly, whether he could let go of Xiang Ning, whether it was fair to Apple…
Therefore, Xu Tingsheng did not give Fu Cheng a call.
The other call was to Lu Zhixin. Xu Tingsheng had originally wanted to tell her that Apple would be moving into the riverside residence. Still, after thinking about it, he felt that there was no way he could broach the topic. If he did, he would have no way of explaining it, and Lu Zhixin would understand it as her being kicked out…maybe she would already have moved out when he had returned to Yanzhou.
Therefore, Xu Tingsheng could only pretend to have called to ask about Hucheng’s situation these past few days.
“When will you be returning?” Lu Zhixin asked.
“Tomorrow,” Xu Tingsheng said.
“Let’s talk when you’ve returned then,” Lu Zhixin said, “I’m very busy right now.”
“You’re still working this late?”
“Yeah. I’ll be finishing the adjustments and preparation for the expansion of the platform’s services before you get back. Then, you can take a look at them when you’ve returned, quickly getting the changes online. Well, I’ll be working then.”
Lu Zhixin hung up, and Xu Tingsheng was left listening to the busy tone on the phone. Lu Zhixin was actually the most special girl that Xu Tingsheng had encountered up to now. Their story had begun with a rather sensational confession with a seemingly clear goal.
Yet, after they had truly gotten to know each other, there had been no inclinations towards them becoming lovers at all. Lu Zhixin was far more interested in her career than Xu Tingsheng was. The two were increasingly gaining a tacit understanding in their work, becoming more and more like business partners in their relationship.
Xu Tingsheng actually felt this to be a very comfortable relationship, apart from the occasional unease as well as guilt.
Xu Tingsheng heard knocking on his door at around 1am in the morning.
Xu Tingsheng clambered out from his bed, walking over to the door. Through the peephole, he spied Apple with a panicked expression on her face on which tears could clearly be seen.
“Apple, what is it? Quick, come in. Come in and sit,” Xu Tingsheng hurriedly opened the door, asking anxiously.
Apple stood at the doorway, not willing to enter as she sobbed, “I remember, I remember! I suddenly remembered just after I lay down on the bed just now. When you raised your hands today, you were very hesitant. Xu Tingsheng, is it that you actually don’t like me? Is it that you actually want to renege? You just pity me, right?”
Xu Tingsheng could see her anxiety and her frailty.
“Apple, don’t panic. Listen to me. Things aren’t like how you think they are. It’s just that I was afraid that someone might discover me at the time. Because of that, I thought about how I could do it a little more covertly whilst also letting you see it. Just think about it. With so many crazed male fans of yours there just now, if this lucky fella over here was found out by them, wouldn’t I have been beaten to death? Aren’t I right?” Xu Tingsheng pacified her in a warm, gentle tone.
“I…sorry,” After having calmed down, Apple felt rather embarrassed.
“I’m thinking-have you come to my room on purpose? You’re desperate, aren’t you?” Xu Tingsheng purposely joked.
“Like real!” Apple who had truly entered the state of a maiden in love seemed to lack her original ease as she hurriedly retorted, “I, I’m going back. Otherwise, Song Ni really will misunderstand.”
After Apple had left, Xu Tingsheng pulled out his handphone and saw the message Song Ni had just sent over:
“She’s been crying for more than two hours. She wouldn’t even speak to me afterwards, just vomiting on and on.”
Xu Tingsheng began feeling increasingly worried about Apple’s condition. She should have been feeling the most blissful today. Yet, her emotions had suddenly changed so intensely and dramatically in the middle of the night even then. What was to be done about her from now on?