Couple of Mirrors – Chapter 28: Love Me, Love My Gifts
Yan Wei stares into the bin. ‘These are all the things Zhou Heng brought you?’
‘Yes,’ says Xu Youyi, and she recounts what really happened when Zhou Heng came to see her.
As in Yan Wei’s imagination, Zhou Heng holds up an earring to Xu Youyi’s ear. ‘Do you still remember these earrings? I gave them to you when we first met. You said you liked their simple style.’
But this time, Xu Youyi waves his hand away. ‘That’s enough, Zhou Heng. There’s no need to parade these things in front of me one by one. I once loved you,’ she adds, ‘so I loved all the gifts you brought me too…’
‘But things are different now,’ Xu Youyi goes on. ‘I no longer love you, so all your gifts have become meaningless. If you do still care about me, you should sign the divorce papers as soon as possible.’
As in Yan Wei’s imagination, Zhou Heng falls to his knees. ‘I’m so sorry, Youyi. I wasn’t thinking clearly. I know it’s all my fault. I hope you can give me another chance. I’ll treat you and the baby well for the rest of my life, I promise.’
But this time, Xu Youyi tells him, ‘It’s too late, Zhou Heng.’
‘You’re right, it is getting late,’ says Zhou Heng. ‘I’d better let you get some rest. Can I come back and see you another day?’
As he heads towards the door, Xu Youyi tells him, ‘You should take all these things back with you.’
Zhou Heng pauses at the threshold. ‘If you really don’t need them,’ he says over his shoulder, ‘then just throw them away.’
And Xu Youyi does.
Back in the present, Xu Youyi concludes, ‘So don’t think of me as being weak and easily tempted, all right?’
Yan Wei stares at her in shock. ‘But I thought you liked the luxurious lifestyle you used to have,’ she blurts out.
Xu Youyi looks down at the shopping bags which Yan Wei left near the bin. ‘So… you bought all this just for me?’ she asks.
‘Yes,’ says Yan Wei.
Xu Youyi bends down to inspect their contents. ‘Weiwei-a, it’s not that I want to nag, but your studio has been shut for half a month. You must have used up all your savings buying these!’
Yan Wei looks a little uncomfortable. ‘I wouldn’t go that far,’ she demurs.
‘You’re right,’ says Xu Youyi. ‘I do like the finer things in life. But not so much that I would abandon my principles. Besides, now that I’ve become used to your ‘bath soap’ and your shower’s wildly fluctuating water temperature, I really don’t mind. So you didn’t have to—’
‘Oh,’ says Yan Wei, and to Xu Youyi’s horror, she starts putting the shopping bags into the bin.
With lightning speed, Xu Youyi snatches the bags away from Yan Wei. ‘What are you doing?’ she demands. ‘I didn’t say I didn’t like them! Are you an idiot? Do I have to come right out and say it? Fine, I like them, I like them very much, will that do?’
Yan Wei stares at her again, and then smiles. ‘Good.’
‘Allow me,’ she says, chivalrously taking the shopping bags from Xu Youyi. She struts back towards the studio.
Later that evening, Xu Youyi gazes delightedly at the spread in front of her. ‘Wow! When did you learn how to cook?’ she asks Yan Wei. ‘I’m so impressed!’
‘Only just now,’ says Yan Wei proudly. ‘I’m a fast learner.’
Xu Youyi leans down to take a bite…
…and promptly gags.
‘Does it taste bad?’ asks Yan Wei anxiously.
Xu Youyi fights valiantly to keep her expression pleasant. ‘No, it’s delicious. I just have touch of morning sickness.’
Yan Wei takes a bite of the food herself…
…and is equally traumatised.
She takes Xu Youyi’s hand. ‘Come on, let’s eat out instead!’ she says.
The kitchen is, predictably, a disaster.
Elsewhere in the city, the police are on the trail of missing actor Chen Shuangcheng. ‘Boss, we’ve worked out where Cheng Shuangcheng is hiding,’ Jiang Bin’s subordinate Chen Yong reports, as they speed along in their police car. ‘He’s at Huali Hotel!’
‘Good!’ says Jiang Bin.
They arrive at the hotel and position themselves outside Cheng Shuangcheng’s room.
Chen Shuangcheng lies in wait behind the door, gun in hand.
Jiang Bin knocks. ‘Room service, sir. We’ve brought you your dinner.’
‘Just leave it outside,’ Chen Shuangcheng instructs from inside the room.
‘Yes, sir,’ says Jiang Bin. He exchanges a meaningful look with Chen Yong…
…and then they burst through the door, guns drawn. ‘Don’t move!’ Jiang Bin barks at Chen Shuangcheng.
Chen Shuangcheng points his own gun at them.
‘Be careful!’ shouts Chen Yong, as a bullet whistles past. ‘He has a gun!’
Jiang Bin tackles Chen Shuangcheng to the floor, and Chen Shuangcheng’s gun falls to the floor beside him. Chen Yong kicks it out of reach.
Jiang Bin puts handcuffs on Chen Shuangcheng. ‘You’re under arrest!’
In the police car, Chen Shuangcheng protests his innocence. ‘Detective Jiang, you have to believe me! I wasn’t the one who killed Chu Huizi. I’m not the kind of person who would do something like that! I did have a fling with her once, but that’s all over now. Detective Jiang, you have to trust me!’
‘Stop flailing about,’ commands Jiang Bin, who’s sharing the back seat with him.
‘You started shooting the minute you saw us,’ says Chen Yong, from the driver’s seat. ‘And you’re still saying you didn’t kill her?’
‘I was so scared that I didn’t even realise who you were,’ says Chen Shuangcheng. ‘I wasn’t deliberately targeting the police!’
‘What are you scared of?’ asks Jiang Bin.
‘I’m afraid someone’s going to kill me in order to silence me,’ says Chen Shuangcheng.
‘So you know who the real murderer is?’ asks Jiang Bin.
‘The real murderer is…’ Chen Shuangcheng begins.
Please view the original manhua here.
- The title of this chapter in Chinese is 爱屋及乌, literally ‘the love for the house extends even to the crows perching on its roof’. It means that, if you love someone, you’ll love all the people and things connected with that person as well. This is often rendered as ‘love me, love my dog’ in English.