Chapter 3: Midsummer Wind
Xia Mingxiu came back home very late at night and he brought along supper. Then the two of them ate peacefully in the living room.
After a few days of research on the difference between Xia Mingxiu and I, this was my main finding: except for being clumsy and having terrible culinary skills, he was better than me in every other aspect.
Besides appearance and feelings, Xia Mingxiu won because he and Luo Yuchen interacted on an equal footing. He never had to interact the way that I did with Luo Yuchen; Xia Mingxiu didn’t always went along with Luo Yuchen’s bidding
I no longer felt indignant that everyone in the world was not equal. Xia Mingxiu was neither humble nor arrogant and he was an independent person. I felt that I should learn from his character.
By right, what was yours will be yours. If it wasn’t yours, it wouldn’t be yours no matter how much you beg for it so there was no need to be pretentious and there was definitely no need to go as low as me.
Xia Mingxiu liked Luo Yuchen but he didn’t look like he couldn’t handle a life without Luo Yuchen so Luo Yuchen was very gentle when he was with Xia Mingxiu. If he wasn’t gentle, he couldn’t guarantee that Xia Mingxiu would continue liking him. This was different from me who was thoroughly ensnared by him.
Xia Mingxiu was one of the most perfect person that I had ever seen in this world. His appearance was moving and he had a heart of gold. Even his conduct was right. People couldn’t help but think that he was a creation of god when his mood was good.
I deeply loved Luo Yuchen and I had felt that he was also once just as perfect.
The result from getting together with me and being waited upon by me was that he became a cold and violent person who liked to do things his way.
Fortunately, he only acted that way towards me.
He was a very good lover when he was with Xia Mingxiu.
I remembered a fairy tale that I had heard before where two imperfect people became perfect together when they meet.
It was a mistake for him to be with me. It was only natural that he couldn’t become perfect.
He became more perfect now that he was finally able to meet and be with someone that was perfect.
I was much more selfish in the past. I wished for Luo Yuchen to be happy but I always broke Luo Yuchen and Xia Mingxiu apart when they were happy together. I wasn’t able to pretend that I didn’t see them and I definitely wasn’t able to give them my blessing.
It was impossible for me to give up. As long as I was alive, I wouldn’t be able to see him with someone else. I could truly set him free only when I die.
I didn’t know whether I should laugh or cry now that I had become a ghost.
I now only look at them in admiration. I had learned to admire how beautiful it was to see them together.
Despite that, there must be something that I had not done well enough since I was still unable to ascend to heaven.
Maybe I have to wait for the day when I can sincerely wish for their happiness in order to be free.
How strange. One week ago, I had thought that this was something impossible to achieve. Yet now, I could feel that such a day would come very soon.
I had nothing to do when the two of them were deep asleep and the surroundings were quiet so I would continue to evaluate my love rival’s perfect character.
Xia Mingxiu was also a very strong person.
He was fighting against a very serious illness when we were at the hospital that year. However, he was smiling the brightest when he was in front of the screen afterwards.
I had always been especially envious of him but I wouldn’t dare to pray to god to make that person disappear from Luo Yuchen and my life.
He was suffering from Leukemia and could die at any moment when we were at the hospital.
I didn’t dare to joke around with god about matters regarding life and death.
I was brought by Luo Yuchen to see him even though I was unwilling to do so. He looked so pale every time I saw him but he tried his best to smile and always asked us to talk about our childhood stories.
He was so sick at that time that he couldn’t walk well so he could only spend time gardening. There were many rows of plants arranged beside the window. His face was full of mud as a result of him rubbing his face. For some crazy reason, he would come up with a name for each flower bud.
At that time, both Luo Yuchen and I didn’t think that he could survive.
When Luo Yuchen cried while carrying him, he would comfort him by saying, “I haven’t given up yet so why are you crying?”
I still wished for his recovery even though I was jealous that he had stolen all of Luo Yuchen’s attention.
There was a time where Xia Mingxiu fainted for a few days. I was thinking about how I should comfort Luo Yuchen during those days but he actually woke up. He was obviously so close to death just a moment ago but with his usual smile, the first thing he said when he woke up was, “I’ve told you guys already. My life is long so I won’t die.”
Even the god of fate was defeated by him in the end. He managed to find a suitable bone marrow donor at the last minute.
I hugged the trembling Luo Yuchen during the few hours outside the operation room. I was suffering much more than Luo Yuchen during that long wait.
Luo Yuchen was just overly concerned. The operation was relatively safe with a satisfactory success rate of 80%.
However, I felt my dark impending future. From now on, Xia Ming would forever appear in our lives. The thought that he would snatch Luo Yuchen away from me haunted me and I felt restless.
The operation was very successful in the end. I still remember Luo Yuchen breaking free from my embrace after hearing the news. He kneeled down to heaven and his tears were falling like rain.
I cried just like him but it was for a completely different reason.
When Xia Mingxiu held on to fate that day, I understood that I had lost the most important person in my life.
Luo Yuchen and Xia Mingxiu’s warm and sweet days continued on for over ten days. I could now calmly watch them.
I can’t actually say that it was completely calm since I continued to magnify their most minor conflicts to satisfy my dark and twisted mind.
I was picking on Xia Mingxiu’s every mistake.
I would scorn him on one side when he clumsily dropped a plate. If he made a mess out of the food, I would laugh heartily. The real Xia Mingxiu was somewhat dense in his daily life and Luo Yuchen had been taken care of by me for many years so he couldn’t do anything much by himself. Consequently, the house that Luo Yuchen and I have been living in for eight years was made into a mess within weeks.
The two of them still treated each other warmly and gently despite that. Luo Yuchen would eat Xia Mingxiu’s cooking without fail no matter how poor his cooking was. He was never picky, unlike when he was with me. The two of them would spend the whole afternoon searching whenever they forgot where they placed an item. Luo Yuchen was never once angry at Xia Mingxiu.
Domestic violence would have already occured if it was me instead of Xia Mingxiu.
Xia Mingxiu wouldn’t obediently back away like me even if Luo Yuchen were to shout at him. If he dared to hit… I believed that Luo Yuchen wouldn’t do that. I didn’t even dare to imagine the action of him lifting his hand.
The past me became the weaker one because I worshipped him like a god. The reason why I was constantly bullied by him was probably my own fault. I was careful and I always went along with whatever he wanted.
After learning so much from Xia Mingxiu, I wondered if I could have turned a bit of the tides if I had another chance.
“I haven’t seen Xiao Heng for so long. Is he alright?” It was lunch break at work and Xia Mingxiu and Luo Yuchen happened to be on the same floor. Xia Mingxiu brought some lunch boxes and came to find him. Xia Mingxiu suddenly asked this question while eating.
He was always the one who brought me up ever since I was with Luo Yuchen in this form.
I initially felt grateful but now I was starting to believe that he had ill intentions because every time he brought me up, Luo Yuchen would just hate me even more.
I could tell that Luo Yuchen looked unhappy.
From what I could see, Xia Mingxiu was either crazy or he had ill intentions. A new wife who kept asking about the ex-wife would logically be hated or deemed to be too annoying; she might just touch the wrong chord and cause the husband’s love for the ex-wife to blossom again.
Of course, the latter case was impossible for me. Maybe Xia Mingxiu was constantly mentioning me to make Luo Yuchen compare me to him. It would be a comparison between the ordinary ex-wife and the dazzling new wife.
“I don’t know.” Luo Yuchen replied stiffly.
“I used to see him three to four times a week…” After saying so, Xia Mingxiu looked around as if searching for me.
Actually, I’m right beside you. You can’t see me can you? What a pity.
“Hey. Cheng Li, have you seen Xiao Heng these days?”
An ordinary and dense looking man who was obediently sitting behind them diligently shook his head.
Luo Yuchen secretly sighed. Even I felt a headache when I saw that fellow.
He was someone assigned to Xia Mingxiu to help do odd jobs. The reason why the whole company knew him was because he was always so absorbed whenever he saw Fang Xieyi. Everyone could tell what he was thinking by looking at his face and his clumsy peeping skills even though he thought that he had concealed his thoughts well. The whole company saw him as a toad who wished to eat swan meat.
Every time I mentioned him to Xiao Lu, Xiao Lu would rebuke me by saying, “Who are you to talk about someone else? Aren’t you just as attached to Luo Yuchen and not willing to let him go? You are the same as him.”
That was unjust treatment. I may have been shamelessly attached to Luo Yuchen but at least I was rich. I could still be considered handsome, stylish, mature, and charming even though I didn’t earn the money myself and I wasn’t as handsome as Luo Yuchen and Xia Mingxiu. There were so many business company bosses who sent their daughters and mistresses over to me ever since I became the director. If I wasn’t insistent on that one tree, I would probably be hugging women on both hands and perhaps have a bunch of sons.
Although Xia Mingxiu was kind, he probably thought of Fang Xieyi as well when he saw Cheng Li. He spoke to himself, “Now that I think about it, I haven’t seen manager Fang recently.”
Manager Fang would become director Fang after the inheritance was handed over.
From now on, the original director Xiao would vanish in the passage of time and become a star.
I’m just ridiculing myself.
“Manager Fang seemed to have… gone on a business trip.” The dense guy who wanted to eat swan meat answered softly by the side.
Damn, he actually knew much more than others.
Three days later, Fang Xieyi returned and the company learned about the change in director.
The new manager was the chief fashion designer who was the director of a world famous brand, Mr Lu De Vici.
My sworn friend was Luo Yuchen when I was young. As our friendship went awry, the new sworn friends consisted of Fang Xieyi, Xiao Lu, and I. There were no secrets between the three of us. Xiao Lu liked Xia Mingxiu. He would often joked with me by saying that he wanted to break them apart and we would each have one half. Xiao Lu had thrown away his own company and came here under director Fang’s authorization. I understood the meaning behind his actions.
I wasn’t able to sincerely wish for Luo Yuchen and Xia Mingxiu’s happiness but I didn’t wish for Xiao Lu to butt in.
Xiao Lu wasn’t someone from the entertainment circle. However, he was a mixed blood of chinese and french with a height of 1.9m. His beauty and talents were something both humans and gods were jealous of. Even Luo Yuchen wouldn’t be his opponent if he had really made a move.
The matters regarding Xiao Lu wasn’t the most important thing right now. There was a small problem over here. Xia Mingxiu was currently seated on the sofa, seriously asking Luo Yuchen, “Just what is going on?”
Luo Yuchen replied, “How would I know.”
Luo Yuchen truly didn’t know anything. He didn’t even care so how would he know? However, his cold attitude made people think that he was purposely showing that he didn’t care since it didn’t concern him.
“Is Xiao Heng okay?” Sure enough, Xia Mingxiu shot up from the sofa. His face was slightly red due to anger.
“How would I know.”
“If you don’t know, call and ask about it! Something so serious has happened yet you are not worried about him at all?” After saying so, he took Luo Yuchen’s phone from the table and started searching the contact list.
“What are you doing!” Luo Yuchen hated when others casually touched his items. Stepping forward, he pushed the phone towards the floor.
The emerald-colored phone fell onto the floor and issued a cracking sound.
Oh. I just realized that this still existed.
This was probably the only thing on Luo Yuchen that was not thrown away even though it belonged to me. I didn’t realize it before.
Well, it was already done for when I realized—
Just when I thought that Luo Yuchen’s imposing manner could pressure Xia Mingxiu to stop, I saw Xia Mingxiu holding Luo Yuchen by the collar and pressing him down on the sofa in a flash.
I would never expect Xia Mingxiu who was usually cute like a rabbit to be so strong and imposing in this crucial moment.
“Luo Yuchen, why are you running away?” He suddenly said something I couldn’t really understand.
Luo Yuchen seemed thoroughly angered by this sentence of his. The expression on his face was so ruthless. It was an expression that I knew; I would be hit the very next second after seeing that expression. However, that expression only lasted for an instant before it disappeared. His anger actually dissipated after being glared at by Xia Mingxiu. He tidied his collar embarrassingly and picked up the phone.
He unwilling fiddled with his phone obediently. It was very quiet in the house so I could hear the robotic female voice on the phone.
“Sorry, the number you have dialed is power off.”
Luo Yuchen grew impatient. He pressed and called again.
The result was still the same.
It was normal. Although my phone has a long battery life, it couldn’t last without charging after so long.
“Something must have happened.” Xia Mingxiu sat back down with a serious expression.
Luo Yuchen humphed in disagreement. To him, I was probably playing the cat and mouse trick again.
It was approaching Christmas. The streets were decorated beautifully and the colorful lightings and ribbons were hung onto trees. The glass windows outside the shops were decorated with various stickers of bells and gift boxes. Everything looked especially cute.
Xia Mingxiu was very busy with work during Christmas. The contracts of many exclusive models under Lu De Vici had expired. Lu De Vici purposely signed a contract with Xia Mingxiu to be his new model. He had a high chance of becoming the brand ambassador for the new series of leisure suits called “Midsummer Wind”.
What high chance, what “Midsummer Wind”. Xiao Lu obviously designed it for Xia Mingxiu… 
Previously when I was still extremely jealous of Xia Mingxiu, I had asked Xiao Lu a question: Xiao Lu, you can get whatever and whoever you want. Yet, why do you like Xia Mingxiu?
What I got in return was Xiao Lu’s cheesy reply. He said, “Don’t you think that he’s perfect?”
You don’t say.
Xiao Lu and Luo Yuchen are both the same. Why does everyone in this world like perfect things? What about the imperfect people like me?
The day of Christmas is Luo Yuchen’s birthday. As expected of a bigshot, he took a day off on his birthday. Xia Mingxiu was called away early in the morning by the chief fashion designer, Xiao Lu. Xiao Lu obviously did that on purpose. Xia Mingxiu looked very apologetic when he was leaving but Luo Yuchen didn’t look particularly unhappy. He stayed alone at home idly. However, ever since this afternoon, I could clearly see his face turning darker each passing hour.
He kept checking his phone, waiting for something. He might have been looking at the time. He looked very impatient
Based on my understanding of Xiao Lu’s shameless character, he would definitely try all that he could to make Xia Mingxiu stay longer.
Both Xiao Lu and I were similar in regards to our persistence.
I wondered if Xia Mingxiu would be able to hold up against Xiao Lu who was shining with boundless radiance.
Luo Yuchen’s mood was extremely terrible by the time it was 7 PM.
Of course it was. It was meaningless to spend one’s birthday alone. This was especially true when you knew that your lover was currently “working” with your love rival.
This was retribution. Whenever it was his birthday, I would cling to him. I would gather many people and I would call Xiao Lu and even Xia Mingxiu to come. However, whenever it was my birthday, he was always “working”.
He always had to work on that day every year and he would work until it was especially late. For ten years, his work was coincidentally on my birthday.
I got used to it afterwards.
I can probably expect a storm when Xia Mingxiu returns later.
Luo Yuchen suddenly held up his phone and ferociously stared at the screen. Then… he switched off his phone. He took the handset of the home phone up and he placed it on one side.
I couldn’t comprehend his actions. What was the point of him venting his anger at a phone? Not being able to contact each other wasn’t going to change the fact that Xia Mingxiu would be returning here tonight.
Xia Mingxiu unsurprisingly came back late at 9 PM with a huge cake, flowers, and a gift.
Compared to my efforts in the past years, it was really low class.
Contrary to my expectation, Luo Yuchen wasn’t dissatisfied or angry. He forced himself to eat the sweet and greasy cake that he didn’t like.
I had nothing to say.
The next day, the two of them slept until the afternoon as usual.
It was Xia Mingxiu who woke up first again. He walked out of the room with his pajamas. I could only describe his appearance as “cute” even though I was jealous of him.
The table was messy with cups and plates but he still noticed the handset that fell onto the floor. With a half-awake expression, he picked it up and placed it back properly.
The phone rang the moment he placed it back so he picked it up.
“Hello, Luo Yuchen’s residence.”
“… Who are you looking for?”
“Ah, he… isn’t staying here anymore…”
It seemed like someone was looking for me.
I had many friends but only Fang Xieyi and Xiao Lu would call the home phone since I couldn’t let others know that I was staying with Luo Yuchen.
There was no way Fang Xieyi would call. It wouldn’t be Xiao Lu either since I don’t think Fang Xieyi would hide my matters from him. I also don’t think Xia Mingxiu would speak so formally if it was Xiao Lu.
“Um… we’re not in contact right now but we should be able to contact him…”
“Yes… okay, okay… What, what did you say?”
I thought of a possibility when I saw Xia Mingxiu’s heavy expression.
A terrible possibility.
Xia Mingxiu hung up the phone. He no longer looked sleepy. His whole face was pale and he was wobbly as he sat on the sofa.
At this moment, Luo Yuchen came out from the room as well.
“What’s wrong?” He asked.
“…Did you know that Xiao Heng was ill?”
Luo Yuchen would normally say something like “what does him being sick got to do with me”. However, Xia Mingxiu’s expression was so terrible that it obviously frightened him. He shook his head in ignorance.
“S city’s central hospital just called. They said they found a suitable bone marrow…”
Xia Mingxiu looked up towards Luo Yuchen. There was a deeper meaning behind his eyes that I couldn’t understand. Luo Yuchen visibly shook for a moment when he heard his words.
Both of them knew the significance of a bone marrow since it was a precious thing that saved Xia MIngxiu’s life.
Xia Mingxiu looked at Luo Yuchen. I looked at Luo Yuchen as well. His lips were slightly trembling. All of a sudden, his cool image was gone and he looked like a helpless child.
“You don’t know…” Xia Mingxiu lowered his head and suddenly laughed. He was laughing rather strangely. It sounded to me like he was mocking Luo Yuchen. I had yet to understand what was going on when he stood up abruptly. As if remembering something, he quickly grabbed Luo Yuchen’s phone.
He called me. The notification that my phone was switched off sounded as expected.
Then he called Fang Xieyi. He called once. Then he called again but both of the calls were rejected.
It was understandable why Fang Xieyi rejected Luo Yuchen’s number.
Luo Yuchen seemed to have turned into a fool. It was worrying as I watched him stand there.
Fortunately, he quickly calmed down. Xia Mingxiu was dressed up and ready to head out but Luo Yuchen held him back.
It was Xia Mingxiu who was more anxious for me. Although I felt grateful for his noble character, I felt mocked at the same time.
“Aren’t you worried about Xiao Heng? I will head to the office and ask Fang Xieyi…” Xia Mingxiu explained while wearing his shoes to head out.
“He will be fine.” Luo Yuchen said while holding him back.
Xia Mingxiu spoke up for me before I could even do a proper evaluation of Luo Yuchen’s “He will be fine.”
“Fine?” Xia Mingxiu broke free from him. He retreated backwards and looked at Luo Yuchen as if he was looking at a monster.
“How do you know that he will be fine? Don’t you know what a bone marrow is? Why would Xiao Heng need such a thing? Why did he suddenly leave and give the company to Fang Xieyi? You are not concerned about him at all. Are you going to regret it only after something has happened?”
Luo Yuchen was stupefied when Xia Mingxiu’s words fell onto him. He stood stiffly and watched as Xia Mingxiu leave while slamming the door shut.
Then he just stood there stiffly in a daze for a very long time.
A toad who wished to eat swan meat – Someone craving for something he’s not worthy of.
Cat and mouse – Making cunning moves to capture the opponent.
The Xia(夏) word in Midsummer Wind (盛夏之风) means summer. The Xia(夏) is also Xia Mingxiu’s(夏明修) surname.