Hard to Escape Chapter 8.1

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Niang Niang: aw shuckles to my f.u.c.kles, thanks to Candle for her editing magic ❤ ❤

The next day was a Sat.u.r.day. By the time I woke up, it was already afternoon. I circled the house to look for Yin Li but just as expected, he had already left to conduct whatever business he had. He only left me a note informing me that food and fruits were in the fridge, and that if I needed him, I could call him. The sentences were simple and his writing seemed just as aloof as himself. At the bottom, he signed a simple "Yin" character (尹).

Without knowing why, I felt a bit disheartened. Though we lived together, we rarely saw each other. He always seemed to control this aspect perfectly. He wouldn't let us grow too close and wouldn't let me venture too far out. For example, he would never eat at home two nights in a row. In a week, he'd invite me out once at most. He wouldn't speak more than twenty sentences to me every day. He had the propriety to always dither along my life's edge, yet I couldn't expel him and couldn't get him any closer. This reality somehow made me feel indescribably vexed.

When Wei Yan's car honked outside promptly at 7pm, I floundered with momentary shock before deciding to agree to his invitation to dinner. After changing in a hurry, I ran out with my bag.

A pity he was dissatisfied with my promptness. He looked at me, nitpicking, "You don't even take the time to get dolled up before going out?"

But my attention was elsewhere. I craned my neck and looked around the car. "There aren't any other students?"

Wei Yan's warm tone suddenly became pointed. "I certainly wouldn't bother going to Polaris just for some cla.s.smate gathering." Then he looked at me. "Yan Xiao, you live in such an unexpected place. When I looked through the student registry for your contact information and came upon your address, I thought I was dreaming."

I couldn't see his expression clearly in the night and could only feel the car steadily driving forward. His voice sounded evenly in the dark, "Yan Xiao, do you know how much money it costs to live in your neighborhood? You can fool those other girls but you can't fool me. Your clothes are undeniably the real thing."

Then his tone carried some suspicion and curiosity. "I really want to know what your family does. Who do you live with in that house?"

To be honest, when I entered Wei Yan's car, I found the atmosphere to be slightly off and  regretted agreeing to dinner. Upon being asked those questions, my regret only deepened. I could faintly guess what he really wanted to ask.

I don't mind outside attention but I don't like people prying into my private life.

But it seemed like Wei Yan really wanted to know the answer. He ignored my silence and continued asking: "On your records, the boxes for family are all left blank. Do you live by yourself?"

I couldn't bear it anymore. "Wei Yan, I don't know what you are trying to sound out but I'm not obligated to report my personal life to you."

Wei Yan looked at me again with that playful expression of his. "You really don't know what people are saying behind your back?"

I mimicked Wei Yan and looked back at him with a profound expression. "Saying what? That I have the money for designer clothes because I'm being kept by someone? That I'm some shameful mistress?"

As expected, his eyes lit up. He looked at me expectantly, hoping I'd expound on the details. He seemed confident that I would defend myself and clear the rumors.

I held my profound expression. "I believe in the saying: 'Walk your own path and let others talk.'" Then I gave a brilliant smile. "I also know this saying that goes 'Meddle too much and you treadle in s.h.i.+t.'"1

1 Yes, “treadle” is a real word. I had to look it up cause I thought Niang Niang was trying too hard to make “tread” rhyme with “meddle”.

Rather than becoming angry, Wei Yan's spirits lifted. This high mood persisted through the dinner. Even as I ate like a buffoon, he maintained his high spirits. And even when the bill came, he paid it without blinking.

"I'll help you translate! After we earn money, I'll invite you out to eat!" I was embarra.s.sed at how big of an appet.i.te I had. Wei Yan was different from Yin Li and Mo Xing Zhi. He wasn't some young master. From our conversation, I had gleaned that he started his own business in the second year of college and opened up a French translation service. His car, clothes, and everything else were all earned by him, nickel and dime. I started to see him in a whole new light.

Wei Yan looked at me with an indiscernible smile. "You seem to take advantage where you can. Work is hard but with this meal, you've made things easier."

Sure enough, friends.h.i.+ps are formed at the dinner table. Having eaten to my heart's content, I reclined back and felt my stomach. On the way back, the atmosphere was lighthearted.

When we arrived, I noticed that the main building's light was on. Yin Li had already returned. Wei Yan also noticed the light and his expression was strange. But in the end, he didn't say anything. He simply nodded and said, "Go in" before driving off.

I stood in the night wind and belched. Then I collected myself. Just as I was about to fish out my keys and unlock the door, I heard a meow from the shrubs. It was a meek sound that sounded hurt and cautious, as if trying to feel me out. Out of curiosity, I followed the sound and dug through the shrubs. As expected, I found the source of the sound in the far corner of the bushes.

It was a stray kitten covered in dirt. At the moment it was timidly and inquisitively trying to win my favor, meowing at broken intervals. Though it was scrawny, its eyes were exceedingly beautiful. They reminded me of Yin Li's eyes.

This was a wealthy suburb and there shouldn't have been any stray cats around, especially one as scrawny and weak as this kitten. Afraid that it would die of starvation or freeze by tomorrow, I couldn't help but crouch down and lift the kitten up. It s.h.i.+vered in my arms and then, after a moment's hesitation, nestled up against my body. It then gently meowed at me and looked at me with a fixed gaze, as if I were its whole world. It was so small, so light, and so weak. In this strange world, it had only me to rely on.

My heart softened.

Hard to Escape Chapter 8.1

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Hard to Escape Chapter 8.1 summary

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