Gu Jing pinched Zhen Lang’s hand.
Zhen Lang retrieved his hand and he shook hands with the man in front of him. ‘I’m Zhen Lang.’
‘Your family name is Zhen?’ Di Ruan Wei asked.
‘Um. My big brother follows his dad’s family name,’ Gu Jing said.
‘Oh! I see,’ Di Ruan Wei said.
Gu Jing laughed awkwardly and Zhen Lang glared at her.
‘There is a Chinese restaurant nearby. Let’s all go there and eat together,’ Zhen Lang said.
‘Ok. First let me pay for us,’ Di Ruan Wei said.
Gu Jing looked smugly at Zhen Lang.
Zhen Lang ignored Gu Jing’s smugness. When the man opened his leather wallet to pay, Zhen Lang smiled.
The three of them left the cafe and Zhen Lang drove Gu Jing to the Chinese restaurant.
‘Mr Vet, why are you eating lunch with us?’ Gu Jing asked.
‘Didn’t you say I’m your big brother? Is it too much to ask you to eat lunch with your big brother?’ Zhen Lang asked.
Gu Jing couldn’t argue because Zhen Lang didn’t expose they weren’t siblings in front of her third blind date. Instead she thought about the delicious food at the Chinese restaurant.
Inside the restaurant Zhen Lang picked up food into Gu Jing’s bowl and he chatted with the man.
‘Mr Di are you working as a lawyer for Mr Han’s law firm?’ Zhen Lang asked.
‘Um,’ Di Ruan Wen said.
‘Is uncle Han Xiang well?
‘You know my boss?’ Di Ruan Wei asked.
Di Ruan Wei didn’t expect Gu Jing’s big brother knew his boss. His boss’ law firm was the best in the city and their clients were rich and influential people.
‘Um, we met a few times,’ Zhen Lang said.
Zhen Lang omitted he was Han Xiang’s doctor and he performed a minor surgery on Han Xiang.
Gu Jing lifted her head from her empty bowl and she wanted to tell her third blind date about Zhen Lang’s job, but Zhen Lang distracted her.
‘Do you want to eat crabs?’ Zhen Lang asked.
Zhen Lang picked up crabs and he put the crabs in his empty bowl. He peeled off the crab sh.e.l.ls and he put the crab meat into Gu Jing’s bowl.
Gu Jing happily ate the crab meat Zhen Lang peeled for her and she didn’t bother to listen to Zhen Lang and her third blind date’s conversation.
‘I just remembered, aunty Gu didn’t get to say everything before my phone battery died. Little sister, do you think aunty thinks you hung up my phone on purpose?’ Zhen Lang said.
Gu Jing dropped the piece of crab meat she held between her chopsticks into her bowl. She worried her mum would suspect she purposely hung up Zhen Lang’s phone and her mum would punish her later.
‘I need to call mum and explain,’ Gu Jing said.
Gu Jing stood to go outside, but Zhen Lang pulled her back onto her chair.
‘Little sister it’s better if I explain,’ Zhen Lang said. He stood. He looked at the man and he smiled. ‘I’ll go outside to look for a phone booth to call mum. You two stay here and chat.’
Gu Jing heard how Zhen Lang called her mum ‘mum’ intimately that even she believed they were siblings.
‘Use my phone, these days phone booths are hard to find,’ Di Ruan Wei said.
Zhen Lang accepted the man’s phone. ‘Thank you.’
Zhen Lang walked outside to send text messages. Then he walked inside and he sat next to Gu Jing.
Zhen Lang returned the phone back to the man. He scooped a bowl of soup for Gu Jing and he chatted politely with the man for a while.
‘Little sister, are you full?’ Zhen Lang asked.
Gu Jing rubbed her belly and Zhen Lang laughed. ‘It’s good you’re full.’
A pretty young girl walked into the restaurant.
‘Can I ask if-’ the first girl said to a waiter. But the girl spotted Di Ruan Wei and she walked to his table. ‘Ruan Wei, you’re here?’
Zhen Lang saw the man looked shock. He stood and he pulled out a chair next to the man. ‘Miss if you know Mr Di then sit with us.’
‘If I knew Ruan Wei was here then I wouldn’t have come,’ the first girl said.
Zhen Lang smiled politely. ‘Miss how do you know Mr Di?’
‘I’m Di Ruan Wei’s girlfriend,’ the first girl said.
Di Ruan Wei’s face turned bleach white.
Another pretty young girl walked into the restaurant. She heard Di Ruan Wei’s voice and she walked to his table.
‘h.e.l.lo, I’m Di Ruan Wei’s girlfriend,’ the second girl said.
‘Who are you? When did Di Ruan Wei date you?’ the first girl asked.
‘Ruan Wei, tell her I’m your girlfriend,’ the second girl said.
Gu Jing ate a small bun and her eyes looked back and forth between the two girls fighting.
The first girl put a hand on Di Ruan Wei’s shoulder. ‘You vixen! This is my boyfriend.’
‘Look at yourself. Even if you paid someone to date you no one would want you,’ the second girl said.
‘He and I have a child together. How can I not be his girlfriend?’ the first girl said.
‘You only have one child with him. I have two children with him,’ the second girl said.
Gu Jing threw half a bun on the table. She couldn’t believe girls in the modern era competed about how many children they had.
Di Ruan Wei wanted to explain to Gu Jing, but another pretty young girl walked into the restaurant.
The third girl walked toward Di Ruan Wei. ‘I’m Di Ruan Wei’s wife-’
‘How many children do you have with him?’ the second girl asked.
‘I don’t have any children with him,’ the third girl said.
‘Then aren’t you ashamed to call yourself his wife? Ruan Wei are they stalking you? Tell them to leave,’ the first girl asked.
‘Who are these girls? Di Ruan Wei, you owe me an explanation,’ the third girl said.
‘They both said they are his girlfriends, but you said you’re his wife. Mr Di who should I believe?’ Zhen Lang said.
‘Girlfriends? We’re getting married next month but you’re dating other girls?’ the third girl asked.
Gu Jing’s ears ached from hearing the three girls fight with each other, but she didn’t know who they were.
Zhen Lang whispered in Gu Jing’s ear. ‘Are you full?’
Gu Jing nodded her head. Zhen Lang held her hand and he pulled her off her chair.
‘If you’re full then let’s go. A battle is about to start here,’ Zhen Lang said.
‘Um, it’ll be a lively battle to watch,’ Gu Jing said.
‘We’ll go outside and watch the battle,’ Zhen Lang said.
Zhen Lang held his curious sweetheart’s hand toward the front door. He turned around and he warned the third girl. ‘One of his girlfriends said she has one child with him and his other girlfriend said she has two children with him. You should tell your fiance it’s bad to endanger the health of girls.’
Zhen Lang led Gu Jing outside.
Inside the restaurant a screaming match erupted, bowls and chopsticks fell onto the floor and Di Ruan Wei explained nonstop.
Outside the restaurant Gu Jing held her full stomach and she laughed uncontrollably until Zhen Lang dragged her to his car.
Zhen Lang opened the front pa.s.senger door for Gu Jing. She picked up a big rock and she sat inside his car.
‘Did you plan it?’ Gu Jing asked.
‘Plan what? I’m not his girlfriend. What can I plan?’ Zhen Lang said.
Zhen Lang sat in the driver’s seat.
Gu Jing scoffed. ‘Other people don’t know the real you, but I know the real you. Did you borrow his phone to call his girlfriends?’
Zhen Lang laughed. ‘Lawyers interact with many different people so lawyers will list their phone numbers in different groups. I accidently sent a text message to the people on his list personal phone numbers. In the text message I wrote I found this phone and I asked for the owner to come to the restaurant to collect the phone. I didn’t expect many owners would come to the restaurant.’
‘How did you know he’s a player? He behaved like a gentleman and he didn’t say anything offensive,’ Gu Jing said.
‘It’s the look in his eyes. When a man looks at a woman there are different kinds of looks. It’s clear to see if a man looks like he wants to play with a woman or if he is sincere about a woman,’ Zhen Lang said.
‘How can you judge a man you don’t know by the look in his eyes? What if you made the wrong a.s.sumptions?’ Gu Jing asked.
‘When he opened his wallet, I saw two condoms inside his wallet. If he didn’t have a girlfriend, why would he carry condoms around?’ Zhen Lang said.
Zhen Lang helped Gu Jing put on her seatbelt.
Zhen Lang put on his seatbelt and he turned on the ignition.
Gu Jing checked her surroundings and she threw the big rock out the window. The big rock dented her third blind date’s car.
‘Hurry up and drive home,’ Gu Jing said.
On the way home Gu Jing propped her hand on her chin and she contemplated for a while.
‘Little girl, there are many men who take advantage of women. How often do good men go on arranged dates? There isn’t anything good about being deceived by bad men. Will you stop going on arranged dates?’ Zhen Lang said.
Gu Jing didn’t object Zhen Lang’s advice. Even if he didn’t advise her to stop going on dates with strangers she didn’t plan on going on anymore dates.
Gu Jing wondered if men were all players like her third blind date who had a fiance and cheated on his fiance with other girls. Then she wondered if men were all stingy and archaic like her first and second blind dates.
‘Mr Vet, are you a virgin? You don’t need to satisfy your manly urges? Or is it because you don’t have manly urges?’ Gu Jing asked.
Zhen Lang braked abruptly and Gu Jing almost kissed the windshield.
End of Chapter Twenty