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‘I’m making a wish,’ Qiao Tan Yuan said. ‘Haven’t you heard about making a wish if you see a shooting star?’
‘What wish did you make?’ Gu Jiao Wu asked.
‘I can’t tell you,’ Qiao Tan Yuan said. ‘If I tell you then my wish won’t come true.’
‘If you tell me, I can make your wish come true,’ Gu Jiao Wu said.
‘You promised,’ Qiao Tan Yuan said. ‘I wish to leave this island right now, and go back home.’
‘You still haven’t changed your mind,’ Gu Jiao Wu said.
‘I won’t change my mind,’ Qiao Tan Yuan said. ‘I want to go home.’
‘Tomorrow is the seventh day,’ Gu Jiao Wu said.
‘It doesn’t matter what day it is,’ Qiao Tan Yuan said. ‘I won’t change my mind.’
Gu Jiao Wu grabbed Qiao Tan Yuan’s waist, she lost her balance and fell on his chest.
‘Qiao Tan Yuan, are you saying for the last six days you’ve only thought about giving me the same answer?’ Gu Jiao Wu asked.
‘What other answer do you want me to give you?’ Qiao Tan Yuan asked. ‘My answer is I want to leave, go home and distance myself from you…’
Gu Jiao Wu didn’t want to hear the wrong answer from Qiao Tan Yuan’s lips. He kissed her lips, and rolled them onto the sand. Then he took off their clothes, and drove her wild until the tide was high.
Qiao Tan Yuan was vaguely aware when Gu Jiao Wu carried her to the house. She didn’t care about the sand on her body, she needed sleep more than a bath. But he made a detour to the bathroom. He held her under the shower head, and rinsed sand off their bodies. Although he was standing behind her, she didn’t need to see desire on his face to know he wanted her because her back felt the moment he hardened.
After midnight, Gu Jiao Wu carried Qiao Tan Yuan to the bed. The moment her head touched a pillow, she fell asleep and dreamt of escaping.
On the seventh morning, Qiao Tan Yuan opened her eyes. Gu Jiao Wu was dressed in a white shirt, and black pants. It was the way he looked at her like he was the plaintiff, and she was the defendant that made her want to kick him if she had energy.
‘Today’s the seventh day,’ Qiao Tan Yuan said. ‘Will you let me go home now?’
Gu Jiao Wu silently looked intensely at Qiao Tan Yuan.
‘You promised,’ Qiao Tan Yuan said. ‘I haven’t changed my mind. I want you to give Xiao Bao back to me, and you can’t interfere in my life anymore.’
Gu Jiao Wu pulled Qiao Tan Yuan to sit upright on the bed, and he hugged her.
‘Qiao Tan Yuan, why is it so hard for you to believe me?’ Gu Jiao Wu asked.
Qiao Tan Yuan felt Gu Jiao Wu’s hot hands on her back. She put her hands on his chest, and looked directly at his hopeful eyes.
‘Yes,’ Qiao Tan Yuan. ‘It’s hard for me to believe you.’
Qiao Tan Yuan was scared Gu Jiao Wu wouldn’t release her from the island. She loved him, but she couldn’t overlook there were too many obstacles between them. In the last seven days, he took care of her and protected her though it didn’t mean he loved her. On the island he would rub cream on her swollen fingers after she washed dishes, but she didn’t believe he would treat her the same way after they returned to the city. He said he brought her to the island as a way of making up to her for not taking her on a honeymoon during their marriage. But no one could go on a honeymoon for the rest of their life. Their honeymoon ended, and it was time for them to return to their own separate lives.
Qiao Tan Yuan accepted Gu Jiao Wu didn’t love her. He liked her, like a man who was curious about a woman he was attracted to. He would be curious about her for a short period, but she couldn’t hold his interest for the rest of their lives. She was arrogant, selfish and stubborn. Their failed marriage showed he couldn’t stand living with her.
Gu Jiao Wu wanted to hear Qiao Tan Yuan tell him the truth, he knew she loved him. For seven days and nights, it was just the two of them and he got to see many different sides to her. Most of the time she was like a loveable child, and he would wonder if she was a glimpse of what their daughter would be like when their daughter grew up. It was like his past was fading, and he could only see Qiao Tan Yuan. He loved Qiao Tan Yuan. He wanted to spend the rest of his life with Qiao Tan Yuan, and raise their daughter together as a family.
‘Qiao Tan Yuan, I love you,’ Gu Jiao Wu said.
Qiao Tan Yuan was moved by Gu Jiao Wu’s words and actions. She almost hugged him, and almost told him that she never stopped loving him. But her hands on his chest pushed him away.
‘A pity, I don’t love you,’ Qiao Tan Yuan said.
‘You’re lying,’ Gu Jiao Wu said. He held Qiao Tan Yuan’s hands. ‘You love me.’
‘I don’t love you,’ Qiao Tan Yuan said.
‘Last night under me, how many times did you say you love me?’ Gu Jiao Wu asked.
‘Gu Jiao Wu!’ Qiao Tan Yuan said.
It wasn’t only last night, for seven days Gu Jiao Wu wouldn’t let go of her until she told him she loved him.
‘You forced me to say I love you,’ Qiao Tan Yuan said. ‘Gu Jiao Wu, I admit physically you satisfy me. But physical desire isn’t love. I don’t love you anymore.’
Gu Jiao Wu didn’t believe Qiao Tan Yuan’s firm voice. He stroked her cheeks, and felt her cheeks tensed. He retrieved his hands and stood.
‘Get ready to leave,’ Gu Jiao Wu said. ‘We’re leaving in one hour.’
What? Qiao Tan Yuan watched Gu Jiao Wu leave the bedroom. He didn’t turn around to look at her. For a second, she thought his stiff back looked lonely. Was he serious about letting her leave in one hour?
End of Chapter Ninety-Seven
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