Baobei, Baobei

Chapter 14

Jiang Moxiu was a successful man used to being in the limelight. When he was in the United States, Chinese newspapers would publish articles on him, and he was even occasionally cited as a model of success by some mainstream financial magazines. However, this was the first time that his personal life had made the news.

If Mojie and his henchmen knew about this, they would certainly be in shock.

Moreover, Lecturer Jiang had intentionally done so today.

A girl had dashed out from the side of the road when his car was at the gates of the university. Lecturer Jiang remembered this girl - she had publicly expressed her interest in him, but he did not remember her name. She had asked for a lift because she was going to be late for a lesson. If he hadn’t started his relationship with Baobei, he would have ignored the girl. However, he decided to do a good deed today and gave the girl a lift.

Students at the Business School witnessed this scene and started spreading rumours: Lecturer Jiang had sent the school belle Su Yutong to class, and both of them had even appeared at the entrance of class together.

This was newsworthy! After all, wasn’t Lecturer Jiang seen hugging Xia Baobei publicly just last week? Only one week had passed, and Xia Baobei was now jilted?

Baobei paused when she said the two entering the classroom one after the other, and then lowered her head nonchalantly to look at her notebook. Shortly after, Shi Xiaoxi received a message that shocked her out of her wits.

Obviously Shi Xiaoxi had made an effort to spread the news, as those within two metres of her quickly knew about the incident that had just happened. Baobei happened to be one of them.

She glanced coldly at the man on the podium, then noticed that he was looking at her with a wide grin.

Admittedly, Baobei was furious when she heard the explosive piece of news from Shi Xiaoxi. However, she calmed down immediately when she saw his expression. This man was simply perverse; he was doing all sorts of things to agitate her over the last few days, because he said that she didn’t seem to adapt to their relationship fast enough.

However, their relationship had only just started; what else was he expecting from her? What did he mean that she was not fast enough? Or did they have to sleep together already? Baobei thought about it. She felt that it was time to teach him a lesson, or he’ll think that he was able to lord over her.

“Baobei! What shall we do now? We’ve got to come up with a detailed plan against the enemy! We shouldn’t allow a prized gem like Lecturer Jiang to fall into the hands of others!” Shi Xiaoxi was all hyped up.

“What are you trying to do when we don’t even know what’s going on? Who knows, it might be the enemy’s way of messing up our moves! Let’s observe the situation first, we shouldn’t lose our cool yet.” said Fang Jie.

Baobei was tickled by the situation. “I must say, who’s the one in the relationship now?”

Shi Xiaoxi said, “You heartless woman! Can’t you see that we’re concerned about you?”

Jiahui chimed, “A relationship is between two people. Let Baobei handle this herself”.

Baobei tapped her notebook with her pen halfheartedly, “Besides, there’s no problem at all."

Having finally completed the first lesson, Shi Xiaoxi gathered her courage and walked to the podium, and posed her question with some agitation.

Lecturer Jiang had known from Baobei’s cold glare alone that his motive has been met. Hence, faced with the “interrogation” from Baobei’s good friend, he simply smiled but made no attempts to explain further. He simply told her that Su Yutong had stopped him so he just gave her a lift out of convenience.

Shi Xiaoxi returned to her seat after receiving a satisfactory reply. A minute later, under her deliberate incitement, Su Yutong became a cunning b*tch who would use underhanded means to steal someone else’s boyfriend. And the conversations that followed became a sharing of Su Yutong’s "misdemeanors".

Female A: “Sigh. Didn’t you hear? She got together with the top student Xue from the Business School last year, but they broke up shortly after?”

Female B: “They must have broken up! Why else would she come and pursue our Lecturer Jiang so openly?” Ever since Lecturer Jiang became Baobei’s boyfriend, all the girls in law school were treating him as if he was their family.

“That’s just too much! I heard from Xue's roommate, who's a close friend of mine, that Xue had often stayed out last semester, and they were all envious that he could spend the night with Beauty Su!” All sorts of rumours started spreading.

“Doesn’t that mean that they have already done the deed?!” Female C covered her mouth in shock.

“If it were in the past, she would probably be his woman, but in the current generation, even if they had done the deed, it wouldn’t mean anything!” [1] Shi Xiaoxi pretended to sigh heavily.

Baobei did not participate in the conversation. If word had gotten out that she had made a comment on the issue, then it would have sounded as if she was deliberately slandering Su Yutong. This young lady was smart; she knew when to speak up.

However, she was furious at the culprit. A man has his flaws. Lecturer Jiang might be almost perfect in others’ eyes, but for someone who had a pampered and smooth-sailing life, he was likely to be selfish. It was clear from this incident. He was only trying to make her jealous, but he didn’t consider the feelings of the girl that he had made use of.

However, Baobei was no saint too. She recalled Lecturer Jiang’s words: only things with flaws are real. He was just heartless to others. She thought about it further. Both had to be willing parties in this incident. Would Lecturer Jiang not know that Su Yutong was trying to cause some friction in their relationship? He was only playing along to spice up his relationship with Baobei.

By this interpretation, she found that this man was actually rather adorable.

If he wanted to see her jealous, she'd play along for his sake.

When the lesson ended, many were still discussing the incident at the car park. For once, Lecturer Jiang was left alone.

It took him less than two seconds to feel the pair of eyes on him. He looked up, and stared directly back. For someone who grew up in the United States, he didn’t know to restrain his feelings. To him, love had to be expressed.

Baobei motioned for him to go to her.

He was obviously grovelling for her attention, but he still put on a pretense. He put his hands in his pocket and walked with his head high towards Baobei, then plonked himself on her table.

“You idiot! You’re sitting on my notebook!” They had barely started to talk, and he had stepped on a landmine.

There were some things that Baobei cared very much about, to a point of compulsiveness. For instance, she did not allow anyone to touch her books and notebooks. In her mind, if you treated your books well, they would also reciprocate, and learning would be easier. Another instance was the notes in her wallet. She would always spend some time organizing her money whenever she had obtained some cash. The corners of the notes would be flattened out, and her coins would have a compartment of its own. When she returned to her dorm, she would take out all the coins and deposit them. She had three coin banks: one each for a dollar, fifty cents, and ten cents. She felt that if she treated her money well, then she would be favoured with monetary fortunes.

Today, Lecturer Jiang had violated one of her rules.  

But the man was not angry at being scolded. He reached out to pinch Baobei’s cheeks, and even moved his dignified ass aside for her.

She swept her notebook, as if it had been stained with something dirty.

Lecturer Jiang was still quite satisfied with her performance. Previously, she had resisted when Lecturer Jiang pinched her cheeks. However, he did not give up, and just a few days later, she allowed him to do so freely. He’ll have to slowly train her on the other things.

“What do you feel like having for supper?”

“How do you know that I called you over to discuss supper plans?”

Lecturer Jiang had already found out from Xia Tian that Baobei had a habit of eating supper. He wanted to tease her by asking, “If it weren’t for supper, why would you be so chubby?” But he held his tongue. Baobei was no different from other girls; she was also concerned about her appearance. Hence, it was imperative that her looks were not criticized.

“Because our hearts are linked.”

Baobei felt revolted.

“I want bacon porridge for supper. The grains have to be cooked till soft, the porridge has to be thick, and it has to be cooked using a meat broth.” Baobei loved eating all sorts of porridge.

Baobei distinctly heard Shi Xiaoxi swallowing her saliva.

“Sure.” Lecturer Jiang was quick to agree.

“I’ll need a large portion. Fill four insulated containers with the porridge, and send it to my dorm. I’ll come down to pick it up.” Baobei gave a fake smile. “Also, pick up a bottle of vinegar along the way. I love drinking vinegar when I’m thirsty”.

Lecturer Jiang raised his brows, overjoyed.

“Aren’t you going out to eat with me?” The next thing he thought of was how he could benefit from this.

“I need to accompany my roommates”. She said smugly.

Lecturer Jiang immediately looked at her three roommates.

Of course, only Baobei was slightly resistant to his dashing looks.

Shi Xiaoxi immediately betrayed her. “It’s fine! We’ve all grown up and are able to take care of ourselves. Our lecturer’s wife, please go ahead and have fun with our lecturer!”

Baobei could feel her temper hurting, and she turned to glare at Shi Xiaoxi.

Shi Xiaoxi lowered her head in shame.

Shortly after, Lecturer Jiang returned to the podium. Baobei stared furiously at Shi Xiaoxi. She said scathingly, “Shi Xiaoxi! I always thought that your life is full of misgivings, but I’ve only found out today that being stupid is not your intention, but that God was throwing a tantrum”.

Shi Xiaoxi widened her eyes innocently.

Jiahui patted Shi Xiaoxi’s shoulder. “Take it easy, there’s only a few years left to her teasing.”

Shi Xiaoxi had not recovered even after Baobei had left in Lecturer Jiang’s car. Jiahui brought her back to the dorm. The poor girl was still tugging on to Jiahui’s sleeves pitifully. “Jiahui, tell me, how many years does Baobei still intend to tease me for?”

“Don’t you remember what Xia Tian said previously? He had just betrayed her once, and he had to bear the consequences for three years!” Fang Jie said. “Good luck to you.”

Jiahui tried to console her. “At least she’s preoccupied with Lecturer Jiang now. She’ll probably be busy dating, and won’t have time to make things difficult for you.”

The four of them cherished their friendship, as it was rare for all the roommates to be able to get along well. Baobei had once said, “Ten years down the road, I hope that I’ll still be able to have one such friend. This friend would not be tied down by material pursuits; she would invite herself into my house and drink from my fridge; look at the mess in my house and say, “don’t rely on me to help you clean up”; pester me to cook for her while she drinks my coke; use me in her jokes, tease me for being an idiot, but would still eventually clean up for me without asking if I’m well. And we would laugh together.”

What a good relationship this was! After graduation, Jiahui and Fang Jie returned to their cities. Even if they lived far away, they never lost contact with one another. Shi Xiaoxi and Baobei remained best friends for life. However, Shi Xiaoxi had never been able to invite herself into Baobei’s home. After all, she would never have the guts to kick the door of Lecturer Jiang’s home! She also never had the opportunity to clean up for Baobei, since Lecturer Jiang always kept their house in tip-top condition, as if it was a model house.

[1] The exact two phrases used were: 生米煮成熟饭 and 生米煮成爆米花

生 (sheng) 米 (mi) 煮 (zhu) 成 (cheng) 熟 (shou) 饭 (fan) simply means to cook the rice; idiom for saying that it’s too late to change anything now. In the past, if the deed has been done, the woman would have to belong to the man.

生米煮成爆 (bao) 米 (mi) 花 (hua) - 爆米花 refers to popcorn. This is a modern take on the term. Exaggerates the older idiom, but has an added connotation in the next line: no matter how cooked the rice is, if it’s not yours, it’s not yours.  

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