Translator: xallisonjanex, chiangyushien
“What did I see?” Mai Ding asked in confusion.
“You still want to play dumb? That night at the restaurant.”
It was only then that Mai Ding remembered: “So it really was you. I thought I’ve been mistaken.” Gao Guo rudely interrupted Mai Ding: “Don’t beat around the bush. I know you wanted to report me, then take my position.” Mai Ding still had not figured out what he meant when Gao Guo spoke again: “I didn’t expect meeting you in that place. It’s really unfortunate. Now that the manager’s doubting, what do you want to happen?” Even if Mai Ding was stupid, he understood what he meant. It was indeed the manager’s wife who was with him that night. During that time, Gao Guo and the manager’s wife sat not far away from Mai Ding’s seat. Fortunately, something was blocking them in the middle. However, they could not slip away so easily. It was even easier for them to get caught, so they had to wait nervously for Mai Ding and his company to leave first. As soon as Mai Ding left, they hurriedly went out the door as well. By that time, Gao Guo saw that Mai Ding was stretching his head to look back, so he firmly believed that Mai Ding found out about them. However, he did not panic. It may have been because, during that night, it was not only their secret that had been unraveled. When Gao Guo saw that Mai Ding did not say a word, he added, “You better not think about plotting against me. I also know about your dirty little secret.”
These words made Mai Ding even more puzzled. Gao Guo stood up and said, “Your relationship with that man this afternoon is complicated. If I tell anyone about it, you’ll be too ashamed to stay in this company. Think about it carefully.” That night, An Ziyan’s face was blocked, but Gao Guo heard some of their conversations and he might have mistaken Li Ming as An Ziyan.
There was too much information for Mai Ding to digest. He had not sorted it out yet, so he just stared blankly as Gao Guo left. When Gao Guo went downstairs, he bumped into an oncoming young man’s shoulder. He took a step back. Because of his anxiety, he looked up with a black face and was about to curse the young man, but when he saw the young man’s face, he swallowed his foul language back unconsciously. The young man coldly glanced at him and continued heading inside. Gao Guo’s innumerable intuition of reading people over the years had told him that this person was not someone he should provoke.
Mai Ding only cared about one thing. It was not about the manager’s wife having an affair with Gao Guo, it was not about Gao Guo’s misunderstanding of Li Ming and him, and it was not because he was threatened as well. What he cared about was Gao Guo showing contempt for his feelings. He looked around the whole office room and wryly smiled. Even with these empty seats, he could see everyone’s reactions, secretly whispering with each other, spreading rumors everywhere. All at once, in other people’s eyes, his feelings for An Ziyan would end up being treated like Gao Guo and the manager’s wife’s disgraceful affair, which deserved to be talked about and ridiculed.
Is it shameful?
“Hey.” An Ziyan slowly walked toward him. The place where he passed, every cubicle, the picture that Mai Ding was seeing in his head turned into smoke and was blown away by the wind. Mai Ding’s eyes shone brightly. He fixed his gaze on that man whom his feelings were centered at. Their eyes must be stained with filth; otherwise, who would be bold enough to say that his feelings for that man were shameful.
“What a fool.”
“It’s no big deal, I’ll tell you when we get home.”
An Ziyan looked around indifferently. This was his first time to come up here. He picked up some documents off of Gao Guo’s desk, turned a few pages, then threw them down.
“Don’t throw around other’s stuff.” Mai Ding picked the files up and carefully rearranged them. He pushed An Ziyan from behind, “Hurry up and let’s go.”
He did not wait until they got home anymore. He told An Ziyan briefly about the situation while they were on their way back home. However, he only told him that his colleague and the manager’s wife were having an affair and did not say anything about Gao Guo threatening him. With little interest, An Ziyan listened to him. After listening to the story, he said, “Just pretend that you didn’t know. Don’t be bothered about it.”
“I won’t be bothered about it. It’s not like I ran into a petty thief who’s breaking the law. Even if their behavior’s wrong, it’s other people’s private matter after all, and no matter what, I’m still an outsider.”
“You know, I thought you’d angrily take the manager’s wife and your colleague to the front and give them a serious lesson.”
“I’m not a fool who teaches people a lesson at the drop of a hat.”
“So, you mean to say that a person who teaches people a lesson at the drop of a hat is a fool?” An Ziyan dug into the loophole in Mai Ding’s words. With regret, Mai Ding could not respond to him. After some time, Mai Ding replied, “I’ve told you about work, and now you’re telling me about school. We need to communicate more about each other’s lives.”
“Get up, go to school, come home from school.”
“Can’t you say a few more words?”
“After I get up, I go to school, then I come home from school.”
“Wow, you made a sentence!” Mai Ding yelled.
Mai Ding went to work as usual and thought that the rumors about the manager’s wife would slowly subside. The manager already had his doubts, so Gao Guo and the manager’s wife should break up and return to their respective lives. His way of thinking was a lot simpler than the matter. Everyone in the company was clear that the mysterious man was in the company.
The manager came out of his office and everyone bowed their heads. Without emotions, he said: “Mai Ding, come to my office.” This was the first time that the manager called for Mai Ding. Usually, he did not care about the interns at all. Mai Ding was aware of the whispers that had started roaring about behind his back.
When he reached the manager’s office, the manager gestured him to close the door and with his small eyes, he looked at Mai Ding up and down with a strange expression. After being silent for a long time, he said: “You’ve been in the company for a while now.”
“I heard from Gao Guo that you have no intention of working at all, so what do you do every day in the company?”
Mai Ding did not know how to respond to him. He was still a student and had not mastered the art of flattery and how to fawn on his superior. Faced with work and society, he was like a blank sheet of paper, uneasy and cramped. The more the manager spoke, the angrier he sounded: “I spent money for you to come to this company, not for you to have meals for free. You disregarded your real occupation, and you even dared seducing my wife?” Mai Ding raised his head in shock. “I…I didn’t.”
“Of course, you won’t admit it. She told me everything, that you’re stalking and pursuing her, but she doesn’t want to be with you, you then threatened her that you’d tell others about your affair. She’s too afraid to say anything about it. Who would’ve thought that the more the story went on, the more that she couldn’t stand it. Some have confirmed that the rumor was spread by you. If you’ll think about it, it all started not long after you entered the company.” The more that the manager spoke, the more that he firmly believed and considered that everything that had happened was all because of Mai Ding. As he fiercely spoke, his dearly beloved wife’s expression flashed through his mind from time to time, like when how much she felt wronged, and he still blamed her.
“I, I didn’t.” Mai Ding did his best shaking his head and repeating his explanation. What else could he say? He was the easiest person to bully in the office, so it would be natural for him to be the most suitable one to be the scapegoat. Who would believe what he said? There was a powerless fact: Words were measured proportional to the status of the speaker. It was more ridiculous than an exaggerated advertisement, saying that everyone was equal.
The manager had foreseen that Mai Ding would not yield and pretended to be merciful as he said: “You honestly recognized your mistake. I’ll pretend this didn’t happen. I’ll give you your salary and you leave.”
“I can’t admit to something I didn’t do.”
“Okay! So, you’ll still keep on denying it!” He still wanted to say more but the phone next to them rang and it was an important customer. He covered the speaker and said: “Get out! Also, I’ll tell the security guard downstairs to watch over you. Without my permission, you won’t be allowed to leave the company. Who knows if you’ll steal something.”
Mai Ding left the office and returned to his seat under the watchful eyes of his colleagues. Gao Guo whispered coldly: “I think that you should confess about your own mistakes. Use my scandal to cover your own. No matter what, it’s still not as shameful as you who likes men.”
“Then tell them.” Mai Ding said with no expression on his face: “Do you think I’ll be scared? Do you think I’ll be ashamed?”