Author: Yin Ya
The peephole in the door reflected a bald head, and approximately one centimeter of hair had grown on this bald head, which was not at all looked good-looking. However, its owner had a good-looking face, just that, at this moment, he looked completely at a loss.
“Boss, I’m embarrassed to trouble you again. I know that you may feel a little disgusted, but I can’t help it. It’s already late in the evening, so it’s too late to go to the supermarket, and at this point, it seems like there’s nothing…”
“Get to the point.” Chu Yifeng interrupted his chattering.
“Can you… lend me some ingredients?” Wang Cheng put his hands together, as if he was praying. He had already figured it out that it was much easier to get the ingredients than the ready-made food.
“Still haven’t eaten yet?” Chu Yifeng folded both hands over his chest and leaned against the door frame with half of his body. Then, he looked at Wang Cheng with his brows raised and did not confirm if Wang Cheng could borrow or not.
“Yes, until now, my big brother hasn’t come back yet, and the refrigerator has nothing to eat in it. I don’t know where the nearby supermarket is. I don’t have a phone to call for home delivery. In fact, I shouldn’t have come over to find you, Boss. It’s just that, you’re the only one I know here.” Wang Cheng hurriedly said this with a smile, while blaming the whole thing on his big brother, who hung up on him at the last moment. The fact that he knew his younger brother was coming over, in any case, he should have put something in the refrigerator, even if it was just some snacks, it would have been enough.
Chu Yifeng did not speak and turned back into his apartment.
What could this mean?
Wang Cheng looked at the half-open door. Did he or did he not understand, was the boss letting him in? It doesn’t matter. For the sake of my stomach, I must break through the dragon’s pool and tiger’s den in one dash.
While he followed his boss into the kitchen, Wang Cheng was passably thinking that his boss and big brother’s kitchen were two of a kind. Looking at it carefully, this kitchen did not have the brand-new-and-never-opened feeling of his big brother’s. It seemed that it was used for cooking meals once in a while. The kitchen utensils looked very new and had superior quality. The refrigerator was also exceedingly large in size, blackcurrant purple in color, and was both gorgeous and stylish.
“Take whatever ingredients you want yourself.” Chu Yifeng leaned on the side.
The refrigerator opened from the middle. The top was filled with many light and convenient seasonings, fruits, beverages and such fully stuffed more than half of the refrigerator. Wang Cheng looked down and there were no fruits nor vegetables that he wanted.
“Below.” Chu Yifeng reminded him.
Wang Cheng opened the lower half of the refrigerator, and at once, many fresh vegetables appeared right before his eyes. There were also fish, shrimp and other ingredients. Each small box was neatly stacked up. Below the refrigerator was a cabinet with a large number of frozen foods, dumplings, stuffed steamed buns, boiled glutinous rice flour balls and so on. To say that this refrigerator was a mini-supermarket was not an exaggeration.
“Boss, I didn’t expect your refrigerator to actually be stocked up with so many ingredients. I can’t make out that you usually spend time in the kitchen cooking.” As the big boss of a company, he must have led an easy life, with everything provided. Before he came to borrow ingredients, he did not have much hope. He did not expect such a pleasant surprise.
“It’s not me.”
“What?” Suddenly hearing this sentence, Wang Cheng only had this small reaction.
“The ingredients in the refrigerator are prepared by Sister Liu. She’s the servant I ask to come and go to the supermarket once a week to purchase these.” Chu Yifeng explained calmly.
Today happened to be Monday. It seemed that he was quite fortunate. However, Wang Cheng still decided to take back his word — the big boss really was someone who only needed to open his mouth to be fed and hold out his arms to be dressed. He hesitated, then decided not to take the fruits and vegetables. It was currently half past eight, and apart from that, he still did not know how to use his big brother’s kitchen. The food would probably be done by eleven or twelve o’clock and could already be regarded as a midnight snack.
“Boss, have you eaten dinner?” Taking out a packet of frozen dumplings, Wang Cheng hesitated, but nevertheless politely asked.
Not expecting to receive this unexpected answer, Wang Cheng almost choked on his own saliva. He was planning to leave already; however, upon hearing this answer, he could not feign ignorance to what he heard, let alone return home with the ingredients that he borrowed. He had to pay back for the favor he received, “Boss, how about if I cook a little more, then we could eat together?”
“Just cook them here.” Chu Yifeng did not understand what his politeness was for and just agreed to it. Wang Cheng honestly pointed out that he would do it without the slightest bit awkwardness.
Wang Cheng took out another packet of pork and shrimp dumplings from the refrigerator, which befitted their own tastes. A packet of frozen dumplings contained twenty pieces and it was not even enough for himself to eat. He then found a pot and poured some water into it. After the water boiled, he put the dumplings in.
Since there were dumplings, there must be dumpling dipping sauce, too.
Wang Cheng rummaged through the fridge. Soy sauce and sesame oil were both there, garlic, chopped green onion, and fresh ginger were also there. That Sister Liu was able to comprehend and prepare all the ingredients needed better than what he imagined.
Chu Yifeng leaned against the kitchen door and watched his busy image. At first, it seemed that he was not use to the modern kitchen utensils very well, but after that he smoothly cooked dumplings, washed vegetables and made seasonings. It was clear that he usually cooked regularly and had good knife skills. After three or two strokes, he cut the seasonings into fine pieces.
What Chu Yifeng said about not having dinner was true. Sister Liu was asked to leave as soon as he arrived. Since then, he busied himself in the study room. If Wang Cheng did not ring the doorbell, he would most likely still be in the study room.
The fragrance of the dumplings wafted out from the kitchen, blending with the indistinct fragrance of the fine dumpling dipping sauce, brought about somewhat a rich distinctive flavor.
“Boss, where are the bowls and plates?” Wang Cheng’s voice came over from the kitchen. The dumplings were ready to come out of the pot, but he could not find the utensils.
Chu Yifeng was reading the news in the living room. When he heard Wang Cheng’s voice, he came over and saw that Wang Cheng was wholeheartedly testing the flavoring of the dumpling dipping sauce, so he had to go and take it himself. He occasionally cooked some frozen foods himself. He took out a large plate and two bowls, then handed the big plate to Wang Cheng.
Wang Cheng fished out the dumplings closely arranged them on the large plate. When the plate was troubling him, he conveniently handed it over to Chu Yifeng, “Boss, do you mind taking this out of the kitchen?”
Chu Yifeng silently took it.
Wang Cheng put the dumpling dipping sauce in the two bowls, then sprinkled some chopped green onions to top it off. He took out two pairs of chopsticks and two small plates from the cupboard where Chu Yifeng took the bowl from just a moment ago. When he walked out of the kitchen, Chu Yifeng had placed the dumplings on the table.
It was already half past nine when the two men sat down at the opposite sides of the table.
“Boss, try my cooking.” Wang Cheng picked up a dumpling and placed it on Chu Yifeng’s dish. Although he did not wrap the dumplings himself, cooking it also required cooking skills. If it was overcooked, it could become mushy, which was simply not delicious. The dumpling dipping sauce was also an important factor. If the flavoring was not good, the main course, which were the dumplings, would be tasteless.
Chu Yifeng stared at the dumpling that was placed on his plate. Ever since knowing this man, this was the first time he had quite a lot of respect to offer this person.
“Hurry, it’s not tasty once it’s cold.” Wang Cheng did not find anything strange about his boss’s face. Once more, he picked up a dumpling for himself, dipped it, placed it in his mouth, and ate it at once. As a result of not being careful, he ended up burning his tongue. While he was fanning his mouth incessantly with his other hand, he looked up and saw that Chu Yifeng was already in the middle of eating the dumplings.
While they were not talking, the two men ate the dumplings as if they were in a competition.
They were really not alike — Chu Yifeng ate fast as well, yet it was very ordinary, while Wang Cheng was stuffing them in, one by one, directly into his mouth. Once in a while, when they eat with too much force, the dipping sauce would spill over the edge of their bowls, finally soaking the table. Soon, the two ate a full plate of forty dumplings. For ordinary families, this was the exact portion for three to four members, but for them, it seemed that they ate no matter how full they were. Wang Cheng had also eaten seven or eight servings to his content.
As a guest, Wang Cheng consciously put away the dishes and chopsticks and put them in the kitchen sink. Just when he was thinking about washing them, the doorbell suddenly rang, and like a switch, Wang Cheng finally remembered he had forgotten about his big brother. It was already ten o’clock. Perhaps, his big brother had already returned. If he finds that Wang Cheng was not in the apartment, his big brother must have thought that he had gone out or was missing…right?
Wang Cheng came to the living room and headed for the door, where Wang Ning’an was standing outside. The latter also looked in, saw him, and was momentarily startled.
“Mr. Chu, sorry to disturb you. He’s my younger brother. I’ll bring him back.” Wang Cheng heard his big brother say this to Chu Yifeng, then looked at him again, “Still not coming out?”
Wang Cheng silently walked out. As he passed by Chu Yifeng’s side, he whispered: “Boss, see you tomorrow.”
“Cheng Cheng, why were you at Mr. Chu’s home? Didn’t I let you cook for yourself but you ran to other people’s home?” Wang Ning’an clearly did not hear his brother’s parting words to Chu Yifeng. He inquired immediately after they returned back to his home. Although he and his younger brother did not spend much time together as with his younger sister, they would not go as far as becoming unfamiliar if they had not seen each other for a few months.
“For the first issue, he’s my boss. When I came to this neighborhood to look for you, I was blocked by a security guard. It was Boss who helped me. And for the second issue, Big Brother, there’s nothing in your refrigerator. Without any better options, I went to find my boss to borrow some ingredients. It just so happened that he also hadn’t had dinner yet, so I cooked a little bit more, then ate together with him.” Wang Cheng touched his head. Actually, his big brother did not realize that his refrigerator had no ingredients in it.
His guess was not wrong. Wang Ning’an had not replenished the food in the refrigerator. He usually replenished the refrigerator once a week. However, he was busy the whole day yesterday and forgot about it.
Wang Ning’an just remembered that Mama Wang had indeed told him that his younger brother was coming over to work in a real estate company. Little did he know that his neighbor, who had just moved in not long ago, was his younger brother’s boss, anyway… when Wang Ning’an sized him up with his eyes, he was unable to lift his forehead. Contrary to what one might expect, Wang Cheng’s clothes were not worn-out or ragged, but his wide shirt and bucket pants were obviously washed many times. The color had turned faded away. In the end, how could their parents not tell him to change his clothes and just let him go looking like this when he went to work in the city.
“If you go out in these clothes again next time, don’t say that you’re my brother.”