My spirits were low. I had thought I would remain chaste until the day my marriage with Xi Qingchuan ended. I hadn’t expected something like this to happen.
I called Qiao Yi. Her voice sounded drowsy over the phone.
“Were you asleep?”
“Why do you sound so surprised?”
“It’s barely eight.”
“Are there rules saying one can’t go to bed at eight?”
I wasn’t interested in quibbling with her over this. I got straight to the point.
“Come out for a few drinks.”
“With your tolerance for alcohol? Forget about it.”
“Qiao Yi,” I said sorrowfully. I was very upset. “I had sex with Xi Qingchuan. I need you to console me, quick.”
“What?” Qiao Yi’s voice perked up instantly. I could hear her leaping off the bed. “What’s the situation? You finally managed to infiltrate enemy territory?”
“Zip it. I’ll wait for you at Qing Bar.”
“What’s so great about that bar? There’s not a single good-looking guy there. I know a great place. The guys there are hot. I’ll send you the address!”
I made my way to the bar with Qiao Yi’s instructions. I had a strange feeling about the place even before I stepped inside. The feeling intensified after I entered the bar, ordered a beverage and settled down in a private suite.
There were barely any women here. Almost everyone were men. Qiao Yi had been right though. Every single man in the bar was extremely attractive.
Even the young waiter who served me my drink was irresistibly handsome.
He left immediately after he served the drink though. He appeared especially unfriendly and cold.
I might not be in the same league as Helen of Troy, but I was still considered an extremely good catch in Hua City. There was no need to look at me with such distaste even if he already had a girlfriend.
I poured myself a drink and slowly sipped at it. Then, I surveyed the place casually.
Hmm? I might have just seen something terrible.
Why was that good-looking young man leaning his head on another tall, muscular man’s shoulder? Why was the other man touching his ass?
A revelation dawned upon me. Qiao Yi appeared then, and parked her ass beside mine.
“Qiao Yi, that, over that. Do you see that?” I pulled her closer and pointed at what I had just discovered.
She appeared unfazed.
“What’s so strange about that? All of them are paired up like that here.”
I blinked, then said when my senses finally returned to me.
“You brought me to a gay bar?”
“What’s wrong with that? There’re more hot guys in gay bars!”
“Are you crazy? Who cares if they’re all hot? They’re not interested in you at all.”
“At least the view is good. Since you married Xi Qingchuan, there hasn’t been any guys worth looking at. What a loss,” Qiao Yi sighed as she pulled one leg over her knee and made a grab for her glass. She had a thin stick of cigar stuck between her lips.
That was when I realized she was dressed in a rather masculine attire today. Shirt and pants. A business suit. She was naturally tall. If she hadn’t been born in a well-to-do family, she would’ve gone into modeling. Her clothes looked good on her five-feet-and-nine-inch frame.
“What are your intentions?” I yanked at her clothes.
“Maybe they’ll treat me as a man, and a beautiful romance will blossom between us. Who knows?”
“Won’t you be exposed once you get into bed?”
“Don’t be so crass. Haven’t you heard of platonic love?” She smacked me with her elbow. “So, what’s going on between you and Xi Qingchuan? Spill.”
I hadn’t been able to keep my silence earlier because of how depressed I had felt. Now that I’d calmed down, I was beginning to regret what I had said. I had promised Xi Qingchuan that I would keep his secret. That was why I decided to leave out the most important part of the story.
“I went to his office to look for him. Then…”
“Oh?” She was extremely intrigued. The stick holding a slice of watermelon remained pinched between her fingers, forgotten. “You mean it was that exciting? I thought he doesn’t even look at you when you’re at home. Why did things change during your office visit?”
“How should I know?” But I did. I just couldn’t tell her.
“Maybe,” she leaned towards me, saying,” he has some kind of fetish. Maybe he likes doing it in certain spots. Like in the office, or the meeting room, or the elevator.”
“Stop being a pervert.”
“That’s hardly perverse. Nowadays, some people like locations that are even more exciting. Places like the graveyard or a deserted field…”
“How do you know all these things?” Qiao Yi might have a filthy mouth, but I knew that she was still a virgin. She had a different boyfriend every day. They split up in the evening. Few of them lasted a full day.
“Hang out on the internet and you’ll know everything there is to know.” Qiao Yi took a huge mouthful of beer, then stared at me. “What’s it like?”
“What do you mean, ‘what’s it like’?” Her stare was making me uncomfortable.
“Doing it with Xi Qingchuan. How did it feel?” Her face was almost kissing mine.
The bar was dimly lit. The lights hanging above our heads swayed lightly. No one would notice it even if I were blushing at the moment.
I drained two full mugs, the alcohol gradually washing away my sense of shame.
“Lies. Did you know? Xi Qingchuan’s been topping the ranking for the most good-looking man in Hua City for ages.”
“Where did you find such a ranking?”
“I told you to attend those socialites’ parties with me but you never do. You’ve fallen behind in gossip!”
The parties that Qiao Yi was talking about were the gatherings that the ladies and missuses of the rich and powerful in Hua City attended. There was no chance I was going to attend those.
“I won’t go. The chain of contempt is real there.”
I knew my place. My family might be considered as one of the four great families in the city, but my mother was not legally married to my father. I wasn’t treated very well by the Xiao family because of that.
Fortunately, my father liked me and treated me kindly. He had brought me back to the Xiao family after my mother had passed away. I had an elder brother and two elder sisters. We weren’t very close. In fact, when my father wasn’t around at home, my two sisters treated me like how Cinderella’s sisters treated her.
That was why I couldn’t truly assimilate myself into the circle of rich young ladies. I was an outsider who hovered outside, looking in.
“What chain of contempt? My mother’s a mistress too,” Qiao Yi said without shame.
I glared at her, earning an immediate apology from her.
“Sorry, sorry. I know your mother and my mother are two different persons. Your mom was too kind, and too unlucky. She passed away too soon. My mom, on the other hand, is a terrifying character who forced the evil wife out of the house and took her place. Hahahaha!”
She had the guts to laugh out loud. I wouldn’t be able to be as heartless as she was.
I sipped at my drink, my eyes wandering around the bar.
There was no cursedly loud music and no disc jockeys yelling at the top of their lungs, trying to liven up the atmosphere. It was a pretty good environment for drinking.
When I had too much, I got up and headed for the washroom. When I passed a corner, I saw two men hugging each other.
This was a common sight in this bar. Besides, they were entwined in a beautiful embrace. Hardly a sight for sore eyes.
I only spared them a brief glance. The handsome profile of one of the men immediately made me stop in my tracks.
He wore a white shirt and black pants. It was how the elites in the corporate world dressed.
Wasn’t that Bai Yu? He was still dressed in what he had worn in the day.