Tea Leaves and Red Silk
Match One: Proposal, Tangled, and Murder:
On April fifteenth, 2014, I killed my soul even further. Yao and I lay in bed together in the early morning hours. I didn't even really think when I blurted it out.
"Yao, I think we should get married," I told him. He narrowed his eyes at me.
"What?" Yao asked. This decision didn't come easily for me. I have my motives for this idea.
"I'm not doing this for a romantic notion," I admitted.
"Ju…" he murmured.
"Please hear me out." I pressed my lips together. To be honest, I didn't plan this out beforehand. Even in my head, the idea was awkward. This wasn't how it was supposed to end up. Why couldn't I just kicked out the idea from jump?
"It's for security reasons," I explained. "I want to make sure that my clan survives."
"What are you talking about? We've had three strong years with this clan financially."
"But how long will that long? I don't want to let down my family when they need me most."
Yao raised an eyebrow. "Is this about Szu?"
I shook my head. "It's more than her! There's my uncle, the missing money, and the strange things that been happening to all of us." I didn't think that my heart would be racing so fast as I spoke. My words just spilled out one after another. I swallowed a mouthful of air. Stop. Stop. Stop! I rubbed my forehead and closed my eyes.
"I just want to make sure there a safety for us all to fall back on."
"But why marriage?"
"I don't know." I couldn't answer that question for myself. This decision wasn't even made with my heart. "Please just go with me on this." I grabbed onto his hand. Please stop me. I'm not in control of my slipping sanity.
"You're only nineteen," Yao said.
"Not anymore," I said. "I just became of age four hours ago."
"Thank you." It sounded hollow out of my mouth. I haven't been a child since my mother died. My father trained me as his heir from the age of four. Still, I can't blame him for what I am trying to do.
"We don't have to do this," Yao said in a low voice.
"I feel like I must," I said back. "Don't ask me why." Even the voice of reason in my head fell on deaf ears. "Just think about it at least." Yao grabbed my hands.
"I will help you," he said. He sealed the death of my soul with those four words. Why couldn't you turn me away? I hoped that you would've said no or talked me out of this. I bowed my head, kissing his hand.
"Thank you, Yao," I murmured. Once again, I stabbed my own soul in the heart. I will watch it die again and again on our wedding day.
-Five Months Ago-
I unlocked my front door, sighing. What did I go and do that for? The only thing I thought of now was doing my homework, taking a bath, and going to bed.
"Ju!" I heard someone shout as I opened the door. I turned around and my jaw just dropped. Stefan walked up my driveway with that charming smile he had on his face all those years ago.
"Ello," he greeted me. I didn't have the words I wanted to say to him. Part of me hoped to be dreaming right now.
"Is that really you?" I asked. Stefan walked up to me and took hold of my waist.
"Of course!" he said. I blinked at him as I tried to think of a way to reply.
"What do you want?" I asked. Stefan flashed his famous grin at me.
"What else?" he asked. "I want you back." I opened my mouth to speak, but he was quick to shush me. My heart raced in my chest as he was about to kiss me. We can't be doing this. Stop! Stop!
"Ju! I have found a lead on Huan's boyfriend!" someone shouted at me. Stefan and I looked up to see Yao walking up my driveway with a folder in his hand. My eyes grew big in panic as he slowed to a stop. I looked between both me—my past and my future. How did it turn into this? Yao raised an eyebrow at us.
"What's going on here?" he asked. I stood there with all of the color drained from my face. I wanted to sink into the floor and disappear.
"Yao!" I yelped. Yao's eyes shifted to Stefan.
"Who the hell is this?" he asked.
"Uh…" I started to say. Say something, stupid! Stefan stepped forward, bowing his head.
"I was just seeing myself out," he said. "Goodbye." Yao and I stare blankly as my ex walked out the door. I didn't get time to run away as hell fell from the sky and crashed to the ground.
"Ju, who was that?" Yao asked. I bit on my lower lip.
"Uh… well…" I said. I lowered my head and gave him my answer. "He's my ex-boyfriend."