Chapter 31 – One Down, One Left

For the next several days, Ehlo and the others continued with their matchmaking plans. With Valerie joining forces with them, they had less to worry about since Jacky seemed to get along better with Valerie nowadays considering how he already found Angela and Sam out. In an attempt to make Sonia forget him, Jacky accidentally stepped into Valerie’s trap because he spent more time with her–mostly planning their upcoming joint program. Valerie would often involve Sonia in various discussions but Jacky didn’t suspect her since it would make sense that she needed Sonia’s guide. After all, Sonia was her senior. While things were smooth sailing at the radio station, things were a bit rougher for Ehlo since he couldn’t find time to come to the Chu resident. Conflict of schedules delayed his trip day by day. He finally pulled Wallace aside one day to set a meeting with Mrs. Chu at the end of the week instead. It might be better for them since Uncle Ben and Aunt June were visiting at that time. It would be a perfect opportunity to ask.

At about the same time, Tony was still trying to get in touch with Yan Yan and was still trying as hard as ever to persuade her to forgive him. However, Yan Yan still refused to talk to him. Even though she managed to cool down because of Chen Yi and Qiao Qiao’s supportiveness but she couldn’t find herself to take it easy with Tony. Chen Yi and Qiao Qiao tried their best not to interfere, giving Yan Yan all the space she needed to think. However, they couldn’t take it anymore considering their impatience nature. They finally confronted her Thursday afternoon after work when meeting her at their favorite café–East Shore Café–once again. This time, Achel was also present.

Qiao Qiao, Chen Yi, and Achel walked toward the pier together this time with Chen Yi in the middle. When they were closer, Chen Yi and Qiao Qiao sat on either of Yan Yan’s sides again like last time while Achel sat on Chen Yi’s other side.

“Hey, you guys,” Yan Yan greeted them in a cheerful tone. “What’s up today? It’s only Thursday and you’re planning a get together already?”

“Yan, you know how impatient Qiao and I are, right?” Chen Yi asked, paving their way for the upcoming topic.

“Of course,” Yan Yan replied in a teasing tone.

“So you would forgive us for pushing this on you.”

Yan Yan could see Chen Yi’s intense expression. She turned to see Qiao Qiao wearing the same impatient expression. “What’s going on here?”

“About you and Tony.”

Yan Yan turned back to face the water. “I don’t want to talk about it.”

“Before you jump ten steps and assume that we’re taking his side, could you hear us out first?”

Yan Yan could hear the sincerity in Chen Yi’s voice so she nodded but kept her attention on the water ahead of them. Instead of continuing with his train of thoughts, he turned and nodded at Qiao Qiao. She returned the nod before looking at Yan Yan again.

“I think you should calm down and take his point of view into consideration,” Qiao Qiao took over.

“That’s right,” Chen Yi continued. “I think you’re mad because you feel that he’s trying to prove to you that he’s powerful or trying to use his power to get whatever he wants. But as a friend, he feels the need to help you with whatever he can. Your boss probably got influenced by his words but I’m sure you were doing pretty well, to begin with, that’s why he even took it up. After all, it’s a very big company; do you think your boss would take such a risk for the future of his company to promote you just to please his old-time good friend? Your hard work must have been seen by others so the other supervisors probably agree to it as well. After all, this promotion was chosen by all the board of directors.”

“Exactly my words.” Qiao Qiao put her hands into her jacket pockets. “I would be mad too if I were you since you know me, always so rash and stubborn. But I think Tony means well. He just does it the wrong way. If he knew you better, he wouldn’t do that. But with him being such a successful businessman, it doesn’t mean he’s immune to goofing up. So…I think you should give him a chance to explain. You wouldn’t want to lose a friend like him, would you?”

Yan Yan turned to look at Chen Yi and then at Qiao Qiao–getting along so well like the good old days. She couldn’t help but smile despite the situation.

“They already said everything that I want to say so I just want to say good luck,” Achel said with a sweet smile.

Coincidentally, Chen Yi and Qiao Qiao put a hand on each of Yan Yan’s shoulders, patting it for encouragement.

“Whatever it is…” Qiao Qiao said.

“…we’ll support you all the way,” Chen Yi finished.

“We’re only asking for you to try and give him a chance just this once,” Achel wrapped it up.

“If this doesn’t work…” Qiao Qiao said.

“…we’ll personally beat him up for you,” Chen Yi finished again.

Yan Yan burst out laughing as Chen Yi finished the sentence. “You guys are making it hard for me to stay mad.”

“That’s what we’re here for.”

“And we don’t want to see you sad,” Qiao Qiao continued.

Without any words, they got up from their spots at the same time.

“I guess I’ll just call him up and have a talk now, huh?” Yan Yan asked the others.

“No need,” Chen Yi told her.

Yan Yan turned to him, confused.

“We took it into our hands and called him already,” Qiao Qiao explained. “But if it didn’t work out this time, we would’ve called it off.”

Yan Yan turned to look at Chen Yi and Qiao Qiao once more before turning toward the café again. They saw Tony walking up to them from a distance.

“It’s better to talk face-to-face than over the phone, right?” Chen Yi asked her.

Yan Yan took in a deep breath before exhaling. She smiled at them one last time before walking toward Tony.

As they watched Yan Yan go, they secretly crossed their fingers and hoped for the best to come from this upcoming conversation.


After a long week of hiatus, Ehlo was more than ready for action. As he was walking toward the mansion with Uncle Ben, Aunt June, and Wallace on that Saturday morning, he silently reminded himself to stay calm no matter how the situation would turn out. Wallace, who was walking on Aunt June’s right, suddenly felt a sense of uneasiness rising. He remembered back to various times when Jacky got into conflict with his father because of Jo. Of all those times, he could only remember for sure that he came to Jacky’s defense with the grand total of…one. No wonder Jacky never confided in him as much as did Ehlo and Johnny.

“Why are you two looking so tensed?” Uncle Ben asked. “It looks like we’re going to war more than visiting some relatives.”

Ehlo felt a deep appreciation for Uncle Ben’s consideration of taking him in as part of the family, but he couldn’t help feeling a strong sense of disgust creeping up from within for having to associate with such a complex family. Of course, he couldn’t blame Jacky’s parents for always trying to think of the correct path for their son, but they had no idea how much trouble they were causing more than helping.

Since both Ehlo and Wallace were so deep in thoughts, they didn’t seem to care to speak up to defend themselves. Uncle Ben and Aunt June exchanged a look before Aunt June spoke up.

“Why are you two looking so morbid?” Aunt June inquired. “We’re not going to a funeral. Lighten up.”

We might as well be, Wallace thought silently.

They finally reached the door so Ehlo and Wallace didn’t have to force themselves to come up with an answer. However, they had to paste on a pretentious smile when the housekeeper opened the door.

“Hi, Sharon,” Aunt June greeted the housekeeper. “How’s it going? It has been a while.”

Ehlo and Wallace snapped to alertness again since they could detect the fake friendly voice Aunt June was using to greet Sharon. Sharon didn’t seem to detect it though since she returned the smile gratefully. Maybe it was because they were around Uncle Ben and Aunt June more frequent so they could sense it while Sharon couldn’t. Uncle Ben flashed on his fake friendly smile also as Sharon led them into the house. Ehlo and Wallace exchanged a look before following the other three in.

“What in the world is going on here?” Ehlo whispered to Wallace. “Don’t tell me the parents are at odds as well.”

“How the world should I know?” Wallace whispered back, shrugging his shoulders. “I’m as surprised as you.”

To take suspicions off themselves, they stopped whispering when they reached the back door that led into the garden. They decided to watch and see before speaking up regarding the matter.

They could see that Mrs. Chu was sitting at a table next to the rose beds and was drinking tea.  So typical, Ehlo thought silently. He and Wallace sat down after the others did. Sharon returned inside after Mrs. Chu gave her some orders.

“How have you two been?” Mrs. Chu asked, smiling at Ehlo and Wallace.

Ehlo and Wallace exchanged a look before either one answer, wondering silently if their morbid look had suddenly disappeared without them realizing it themselves.

“Splendid, Auntie,” Ehlo replied in a fake cheerful tone.

“Never been better,” Wallace said with an equally fake smile as Ehlo and in a sarcastic tone to match.

Aunt June turned to Wallace. “Wallace, show some manners.”

“Sorry,” Wallace said, toning his voice down a bit.

“It’s all right,” Mrs. Chu said. “It must be stress from work, right?”

Although Aunt June was scolding Wallace, both Ehlo and Wallace could detect a glint of conspiracy in her eyes. They knew that she was silently approving their behaviors. It made their heads spun even more, pondering of the matter.

“I guess he’s not in so we might as well start,” Uncle Ben said, breaking the temporary silent atmosphere.

“He’ll be back tonight if you both would stay for dinner,” Mrs. Chu informed them.

“I think we’ll be done in a bit so no need.”

Although Mrs. Chu still maintained her smile, Ehlo and Wallace could see that it was just a forced one. They exchanged another look, wondering if the four–including Jacky’s dad–had some sort of meeting already. Had they walked into a war unprepared after all?

Aunt June cleared her throat at that time. “I know it’s not up to us to have a say in this, but isn’t it a bit abrupt that Jacky suddenly decides to get married?”

“Everyone matures sooner or later,” Mrs. Chu said. “Maybe he finally decides to settle down.”

“Getting married does not equal to maturity,” Uncle Ben pointed out.

Again, Ehlo and Wallace could detect the harsh tone in Uncle Ben’s voice. He sounded like a rebellious kid more than the respectable adult that he was. Or was it because of his concern for his nephew breaking past the barriers of acting his age? Before they could speak up to ease the tension, they heard Uncle Ben continuing.

“The way I see it, you two are just too concerned for him. I like it that you don’t favor your son so much as to bully outsiders, but forcing your own son to get married to someone he doesn’t like is just…”

Mrs. Chu’s smile finally faded. Instead, it was replaced with traces of tension and sternness. “We’re not forcing our son to do anything he doesn’t like. He said it himself that he wanted to marry Jo. We didn’t force him. We only asked him not to continue with Sonia and ruin his future.”

Ehlo and Wallace exchanged a look again. They focused more on Mrs. Chu’s next words since it was getting into the subject of interest.

“Whether Sonia ruins him or not, it’s his choice,” Uncle Ben said.

“If he doesn’t like anything, he can just tell us,” Mrs. Chu said. “He’s not afraid of that in the past. Did he send you both here to talk for him?”

They could see Mrs. Chu turning a bit red in the face–from frustration. It possibly could be from the disappointment of her son’s possible betrayal as well.

“You already know how brave your son is,” Uncle Ben reminded his sister-in-law. “He doesn’t need us to back him up. But the way I see it…”

“I said it before and I’ll say it one last time, we didn’t force him,” Mrs. Chu gritted. “I think you both should stop watching too much modern dramas. It doesn’t work that way. This is real life.”

“If what you’re saying is true, then he’s not the nephew we know.”

Uncle Ben and Aunt June got up at the same time. Ehlo and Wallace got up also–half wanting to show their support and half because they saw no need to stay if their allies were leaving. Mrs. Chu got up as well.

“Just because he finally sees it our way doesn’t mean he’s not your nephew,” Mrs. Chu said.

“If you’re firm on your belief, then I have nothing left to say,” Uncle Ben finished.

Uncle Ben took the side path that led out front after saying those words. Aunt June followed while Ehlo and Wallace uttered their goodbyes absentmindedly–still confused while they were catching up to their allies.

When they were finally by the car, Wallace volunteered to drive since Ehlo wanted to take the investigator’s role into his hands. Wallace pulled out after making sure everyone buckled up.

“Forgive me for being outright rude, but what in the world was that?” Ehlo asked, staring at Uncle Ben and Aunt June with cautious eyes.

“We didn’t believe it, but we found out about Jacky getting married the other day,” Uncle Ben explained.

“Our behaviors were unacceptable but…” Aunt June hesitated, not knowing how to phrase it correctly and possibly still in disbelief of Jacky’s marriage.

“So it’s all true?”

Uncle Ben and Aunt June took the next hour explaining to both Ehlo and Wallace of how they found out. They met up with Jacky’s father on Thursday coincidentally and found out through him about Jacky’s upcoming marriage. They couldn’t believe it themselves so they wanted to hear it right from Jacky but Jacky had been avoiding them. They ended up talking yesterday with Jacky’s parents but it ended in a rush because of other commitments. They continued talking on the phone last night and finally decided to meet again today to talk. However, Jacky’s parents were still providing the same vague answers, causing more frustration and disagreements from both sides.

Ehlo and Wallace managed to stay quiet for the whole time. After Uncle Ben and Aunt June were done, Ehlo spoke up first.

“This is outrageous,” Ehlo said, his anger rising. “I swear it is arranged. But then it would be ironic ‘cause Jacky have been using every and any way he could to get rid of Jo. If he wants to get married, why Jo? It’s all his fault for withholding information. I’m so going to give him a piece of my mind when we get back. Not to mention that…”

“I think we need to stop somewhere to calm down before we confront him,” Wallace said.

“I’m beyond annoyed already. He calls us his friends but he keeps acting so sneaky. It’s like he’s playing the pitiful card on purpose to convince his parents otherwise. If I find out what he’s up to, I’m going to…”

“I don’t think you guys should give him more pressure,” Aunt June said. “And I agree we should stop somewhere and calm down before anyone of us talk to him. We didn’t handle the meeting well. But we can’t take it out on Jacky when he needs us.”

“If he needs us, he’s doing a poor job of showing it.”

“Maybe he’s torn between us and his parents?” Wallace suggested.

“Since when was he so filial?”

“Huang Yu Rong!” Wallace stepped on the break-in time as the red light appeared.

“All right, all right. I admit that he only attacks Jo and not…”

“Whatever it is, we…”

Ehlo turned to Wallace since he didn’t know why Wallace stopped for since no one was interrupting him. Then he saw the scene in front of them. However, he could only stay silent for a minute.

“Go!” Ehlo urged in an impatient tone. “What are you waiting for?”

“Ehlo…” Uncle Ben called out, trying to calm Ehlo down.

Ehlo turned to see Uncle Ben’s expression. He knew he stepped over the line. He turned back to Wallace.

“Sorry, man. I…”

Wallace stepped on the gas again since cars were honking behind them. “It’s all right. It’s nothing. Where was I?”

Although Ehlo was the one who urged Wallace to go earlier, he couldn’t help cranking his neck back to see where Tony and Cyndi had gone.

“Anyway, it doesn’t matter what’s really going on,” Wallace continued. “We shouldn’t pressure Jacky so much because…”

“Oh…he’s actually with Yan Yan, Chen Yi, and Xiao Yu too,” Ehlo reassured Wallace, cutting him off by accident.


Ehlo finally faced front again and attempted to resurrect their conversation. “The bottom line is I think we just give him way too much time and space. We need to invade his space fast before he digs a deeper hole for himself.”

“You think it’s wise?”

“You have a better idea?”

“Let’s find a safe place before we discuss this any further.”

Ehlo could see that Wallace was serious so he decided to trust Wallace for this once. Deep down, he knew that his temper always got to him and the wrong words would come out. It would only make matters worse. He silently prayed that Wallace had a great plan.


Johnny got up to open the door as Jacky headed into the kitchen. Jacky was somewhat relieved that Ehlo and Wallace weren’t around for the majority of the morning since he could use a break. Angela and Sam had been so persistent since Tuesday to imprint Sonia’s image into his mind that he was on the brink of breaking down. He must thank Valerie for helping him in fending them off. Although it was ironic that it would end up with him having to sit face-to-face with Sonia for the majority of the time. At least, it was better than their verbal attacks. Sonia had been a bit better and was more focused on her work that it made him feel slightly reassured. As he was pouring himself some lemonade, he heard Qiao Qiao calling him from the living room. He looked up to see her and Chen Yi walking in. As he silently pondered if they were Angela and Sam’s backup, Qiao Qiao was standing in front of him already.

“Jacky ge!” Qiao Qiao called out to him cheerfully.

“You make me miss Xiao Jie so much,” Jacky said.

“Really? I don’t know. I’m getting used to calling you Jacky ge. Anyway, guess what? Great news.”

“Book sale?”

Qiao Qiao wrinkled her face. “Very funny. As I was saying, great news.”

“What’s so great about it?”

“Brotherhood bracelet!”

As Qiao Qiao was shouting out those words, she waved a handmade colorful yarn bracelet in front of him.

“Neat or what?” Qiao Qiao asked, her cheerful smile still on.

“We got them at the shop earlier,” Chen Yi explained. “I meant the yarns ‘cause the girls were browsing the shop. Then the girls decided to make all sorts of bracelets. I’m surprised that they didn’t end up making necklaces for us too.”

Qiao Qiao turned to Chen Yi. “Great idea! Why didn’t I think of that?”

Chen Yi smacked himself on the head before making his way back to the living room, dropping down next to Johnny on the sofa.

“You brought this upon yourself, you know,” Jacky said to Chen Yi.

Qiao Qiao turned back to Jacky. “Anyway, made you one! Am I a good sister or what?”

“Hooray,” Chen Yi said in the utmost sarcastic tone that he could.

Qiao Qiao turned to Chen Yi again. “You should be glad you’re not forced to wear three different bracelets.”

“Three?” Jacky asked, puzzled.

Qiao Qiao turned to Jacky once again. “Xiao Yu made him two. One for friendship and one for…”

“Oh…” He eyed Qiao Qiao’s hand. “I honestly hope mine isn’t that bright.”

Qiao Qiao realized it. “Nah, this is just a sample. Hold on.”

Jacky stopped walking and waited for her to pull out a different bracelet from her jacket pocket. He could see that it was a mixture of navy and sea blue. There were tints of white on it as well. He must admit it gave off a very comfortable feeling. He absentmindedly took it into his hands and observed it more carefully.

Chen Yi and Qiao Qiao exchanged a quick secretive smile as Jacky was still mesmerized by the bracelet.

“Does this have anything to do with your schemes?” Johnny whispered to Chen Yi.

“Don’t expose us,” Chen Yi whispered back.

Johnny returned his attention to the TV as Jacky finally snapped out of his trance.

“Tell me, sis,” Jacky finally said.

“What?” Qiao Qiao asked innocently.

“Did you actually make this?”

“Okay, I didn’t really think of it. It was actually everyone’s contribution but it suits you, right?”

Jacky turned toward the other two to see Chen Yi nodding in agreement. He turned back to see Qiao Qiao’s cheerful smile so he decided to stop being paranoid. “I guess I should accept this or you’ll be crying for months to come.”


Chen Yi burst out laughing at Qiao Qiao’s childish reaction. Qiao Qiao returned his silent stab with one of her glares. As Jacky put the bracelet on his hand, he smiled to himself, realizing that it was the wisest decision he ever made when he took Qiao Qiao in under his wing. Having a younger sister was actually a very good idea.
Johnny had to give Chen Yi and Qiao Qiao credit for it since he hadn’t seen Jacky smile a real smile for a long time now. He admitted that he must have underestimated them major time, considering their age and constant bicker. They weren’t a bad team at all. But too bad they weren’t…he didn’t dare to let his thoughts wander anymore, especially when Chen Yi was right there.

As they were enjoying this little precious moment of seeing their friend’s sudden smile, they heard the door being opened. Actually, it was being shoved open, causing them to all turn and see for themselves the cause for such ruptures. They saw a very mad Ehlo storming in. Then they could hear Wallace’s voice yelling to Ehlo from outside. Johnny and Chen Yi got up from their seats at that time, hoping to shield Jacky from Ehlo’s possible attack. Ehlo didn’t seem to acknowledge their existence since he only directed his vision toward Jacky.

“Zhu Fan Gang,” Ehlo drawled out. “I’ve had enough with you and your stupid reasoning. It’s out with the answers now or I’m going to…”

Wallace finally reached the door at that time. “Ehlo! Could you stop it?”

Ehlo turned to face Wallace again, pointing at him. “For the umpteenth time, stop shielding him from reality. He wants to hide. That’s all he’d been doing the past month. I want to wake him up, okay? You guys are giving him too much space. I need to break that protective layer up and let him smell some of that reality air rather than what you guys are feeding him now.”

“What’s going on here?” Qiao Qiao asked.

Ehlo turned back to Jacky again, not caring to acknowledge Qiao Qiao.

“This has nothing to do with you guys,” Ehlo said with his cold stare. “Zhu Fan Gang…”

Jacky finally stepped forward, walking past Johnny and Chen Yi. “Are you at it again? I told you already. No need to trouble you guys with what’s going on. I can take care of it.”

“You think I can’t beat the answer out of you? Uncle Ben and Aunt June even shed off their pride and fought for you. This is what they get? Your cowardly responses? What’s the big deal here? I understand you don’t want to go against your parents. But marrying Jo? You have got to explain it to me or I’m so walking! I mean it this time.”

They could see how angry Ehlo looked. The others suddenly didn’t know what to do. Even Chen Yi looked clueless, turning to Johnny for guidance.

“Yu Rong…” Jacky said.

“Don’t ‘Yu Rong’ me!” Ehlo yelled out, cutting Jacky off. “Every time you’re acting morbid, you bring out the whole ‘Yu Rong’ thing to shut me up! Could you stop the cheesy act? I’ve had enough!”

Jacky had been trying to observe Ehlo silently, wondering if Ehlo was just acting out of rashness again. But he couldn’t detect anything. Or was it because his own sharpness had been dropping several notches lately that caused him the inability to detect the common signs that his friend was displaying?

“Stop it with the morbid look already!” Ehlo exclaimed, breaking through Jacky’s thought. “Could you at least treat us like a bunch of adults and tell us what is exactly going on?!”

Qiao Qiao stepped forward at that time, shielding in front of Jacky. “Would you stop it?! If you want to be treated like an adult, why don’t you stop acting like a little kid then?!”

Ehlo turned on Qiao Qiao. “You still want to protect him?”

Jacky suddenly remembered that he and Qiao Qiao were on the same boat–almost-–and it was his duty as a god-brother to protect her from possible harm so he stepped in front of Qiao Qiao again, decreasing his distance from Ehlo. “This has nothing to do with her.” He sighed out. “Let’s just drop it, all right? I made my decision already. Stop making it sound like my life revolves around everyone. All of us must move on at one time or another. I have already chosen my time. Could you just let it rest?”

“You think you can lie to us? What’s with you and dying with the secret?!”

Before anyone knew it, Ehlo’s hand connected with his frustration, causing him to deliver a punch toward Jacky. Jacky managed to push Qiao Qiao out of the way in time, receiving the blow in full. The others finally unfroze themselves from their spots to pull Ehlo out. Wallace was actually trying to hold Ehlo back while Johnny stepped in front of Jacky. While the other two guys were trying to separate Jacky and Ehlo, Chen Yi stepped forward to catch Qiao Qiao.

“Ehlo!” Wallace exclaimed, still trying to restrain Ehlo.

“Guys!” Johnny yelled out at about the same time as Wallace. “We don’t have to do this.”

“He’s forcing me to do it!” Ehlo shot back.

Although Ehlo’s voice was as loud as before, he had taken a step back from Jacky. Wallace had let go of him also.

“I didn’t mean to force you into anything!” Jacky shouted back. “Why can’t you just leave it?!”

The others were a bit surprised at Jacky’s sudden outburst. Since Tuesday, Jacky hadn’t been upset toward them at all. He had been quiet for the most part, but that was about it. Had the pressure finally break through?

“I don’t care if you want to destroy yourself!” Ehlo continued with his frustrated tone. “But stop being so selfish that you’re taking Uncle Ben and Aunt June down with you! Zhu Fan Gang, you’re not a coward since the day you were born! Whatever happened to that guy since three months ago?! And don’t give me the crap about life happens! I don’t believe you!”

Qiao Qiao attempted to step forward once again but not in front of Jacky or Johnny this time around. She stopped at Jacky’s left side. “Could we all stop this and show him some support for once?! This is getting way out of hand! Like he wants to be like that! Why does everyone expect him to be perfect? Why can’t we all just support him for who he is instead of loving him because he’s a hero? Can’t you see how hard it is to be…to be…”

The others–even Ehlo–stopped and turned to Qiao Qiao. They could see that she was crying at that point. Jacky turned to Qiao Qiao and took her into his arms, trying to comfort her as best as he could.

“It’s okay, sis,” Jacky soothed. “It’s my fault. Don’t cry. Don’t…”

Jacky didn’t realize that he was on the verge of breaking down as well. He swallowed back the lump in his throat and continued to pat Qiao Qiao’s shoulder. The room became unbearably quiet except for Qiao Qiao’s sob and Jacky’s reassuring tone. Even Ehlo had forgotten what he was about to say a minute ago. However, as if resurrected by magic, Ehlo’s intense expression turned back on again. He spoke up once again, but this time, his voice was less aggressive.

“Zhu Fan Gang, don’t think you can get away just because your sister’s crying in front of us,” Ehlo said.

Jacky turned toward Ehlo with one hand still patting Qiao Qiao’s shoulder. “Huang Yu Rong, you’ve gone overboard. Qiao has nothing to do with this.” His tone was still leveled yet stern at the same time.

“Don’t try to pin it on me. Whether Qiao’s crying at this moment or not, it doesn’t change the fact that your family’s falling apart because you’re unwilling to face your true self.”

“I can…”

“Yes, you can take care of it all right! By making it worse!”

Qiao Qiao finally pulled away from Jacky but her tears were still falling down her face. “Could we not discuss this right now?”

“Why is it always my fault when I’m trying to get us all straightened out?”

Chen Yi stepped forward at that time also, standing on Qiao Qiao’s left. “No one’s blaming you so you don’t have to restore your reputation by sacrificing others.”

For some reason, Chen Yi shifted his eyes to Wallace after giving Ehlo a stern look.

Wallace cleared his throat quickly. “Ehlo, perhaps you shouldn’t…”

Ehlo turned to face Wallace. “Now you’re lecturing me too?”

“I just think that…”

“I get it that you don’t agree with my way but do you have to help him hide more and more? It’ll only destroy his life than help.” He turned back to Jacky. “Zhu Fan Gang, last chance.”

© Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

Re-posted: Wednesday, February 8th, 2011