Tea Leaves and Red Silk


Match Twenty: Mistrust:

-Present Day-

Lately, Bik had been cold towards her husband. She would ignore him and not do anything nice. His shirts were wrinkled. Bik would delete or withhold important messages from him. The nurse stopped making him dinner.

"Dear?" Hen-to would ask. "Where's dinner?" Bik ignored him in the kitchen.

"Honey?" he asked. The nurse walked past him. Hen-to turned around, eyebrow raised.

"Sweetie, did I do something to offend you?" he asked. Bik put up her middle finger as she went upstairs. Hen-to tilted is head with a confused look on his face. What was all of that about?

For days, Bik kept up with her passive-aggressive campaign against her husband. Hen-to gritted his teeth as this game wore on his nerves. On Sunday afternoon, he came home early from a meeting to find Bik pulling out fresh mooncakes from the oven. She broke into a huge smile when she saw him.

"Hi, babe!" Bik cheered. Hen-to raised an eyebrow.

"What is all of this?" he asked, looking at the kitchen.

"I made you a little treat," his wife said, handing him the baking pan of mooncakes.

"What did you put in these?"

"Nothing, I just wanted to make something yummy for the husband that I love."

"Funny, you've been acting so cold towards me. I wonder why."

The nurse shrugged. "I got over it."

Her husband didn't buy it. "Is that right?"

"Yes!" Bik said, nodding. "Don't you trust me?" That alone became a red flag, but he still needed a way to test her. Hen-to was about to open his mouth when the front door opened. The couple looked up and saw Chih walking in.

"Uh… am I interrupting anything?" he asked.

"No, honey," Bik said. "Do you forget something?"

"Uh… yeah. I left my case notes in my room," their adopted son said. Hen-to grabbed a mooncake and headed it to Chih.

"Mama just made mooncakes," he said. "Would you like one?" Their son shrugged.

"Alright," he said. Bik's eyes widened as he picked up a cake.

"No!" she shouted. "No, no! Those are for your father."

"I don't mind sharing," Hen-to said. "Useless Mama put something in them that she doesn't want you to eat." Chih held the cake to his mouth. The nurse sighed, dropping her shoulders.

"Fine," she said. "I put in herbs to cause some food poisoning-induced diarrhea."

"I knew it!" Hen-to shouted.

"You guys are weird," Chih said before setting down the mooncake and heading to his room. Hen-to turned back to his wife.

"Why would you do that?" he asked. Bik gritted her teeth.

"Do you still love me?" she asked.

"Of course I do!"

"Who do you love more—me or Daiyu?"

Hen-to looked so confused. "What are you talking about?"

Tears formed in the nurse's eyes. "I heard you talking to Ju when she was trying on Daiyu's wedding dress. You're still in love with Daiyu, aren't you?"

"She was my first love."

"And when were you going to tell me this?"

"When would've been a good time to tell you? When we got married? When you got pregnant? When Biao took his first steps? When Chih came into our lives? When the boys graduated from high school? Daiyu is dead! I love you. I've moved on. You said yourself, you wouldn't compete with a ghost. You have me and we will stay together until we die!"

Bik dropped the baking pan and cried. "I'm so sorry." Hen-to hugged his wife and sighed.

"What am I going to do with you, woman?" he asked.

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