In the afternoon, Mo Shaoqian’s chauffeur calls me and inquires out of routine if he needs to come to my school to pick me up. This is Mo Shaoqian’s style. The people he hired never fail to act like him as well. On the surface, they always insist on maintaining propriety and behave with the utmost courtesy. I politely reply that he doesn’t need to come. I can go back myself.
Mo Shaoqian comes to this city infrequently and can be away for 10 days to 2 weeks. But since he is a rich capitalist, he still keeps a car and a chauffeur here. Like how he still has a house, a dog, and me here. .. Keep in mind, my name is listed behind Loveable.
In the evening, I pass through the busy crowd on campus. Everyone seems to be in walking hurriedly, probably heading to the cafeteria or the water room. The scene of students carrying their books in one arm and using another to hold an empty water container is a common sight on campus. These students busily rush from one place to another, often accompanied by their fellow roommates chitchatting away in a heated conversation. When Mo Shaoqian is not around, I would usually stay in my dorm room. Like these students, I would also be getting water and running about with my ears plugged up listening to MP3.
While I cross the street, a car almost hit me because I was standing on the street median of the zebra-stripe crossing and I thought I saw Xiao Shan. I cannot say with certainty because I didn’t see him clearly. I only saw the back of a figure that resembled him on the other side of the street. It was just a short glimpse from a far distance, and then he was nowhere in sight. I could not even take another step forward because of heavy flow of car traffic that separated us and the huge width of the street. I’m not even sure if my eyes were lying to me or if my own logic was lying to me.
I feel lost, confused, and completely out of my senses. Perhaps I shouldn’t have thought of him. I shouldn’t have thought of the past. Even though our universities are situated extremely close to each other , I never saw him, not a single time. In the past three years, he became like a water bubble, successfully evaporated into the endless sea of people. And so I assured myself and assumed that I would never see him again.
 Even though the author never explicitly stated the name of Tong Xue’s university in the novel, it is still pretty evident she’s attending Peking University in Beijing (the Chinese equivalent of Harvard). Xiao Shan should be studying at Tong Xue’s neighbor school, Tsinghua University (the MIT equivalent in China). Both schools are located literally next to each other, only separated by a single street.
I head toward the direction that I last saw the man. I trail a great distance in the same direction, despite clearly knowing he won’t be there anymore. In the end, I give up in futility. Even if that back belongs Xiao Shan, what’s the use?
In the subway passenger car, I lean against the handrail and reminisce about the night many years ago when Xiao Shan and I ran after the last scheduled train. The sound of our beating heart still resonates clearly in my ears. I finally realize at this moment that fate was once very clear about our future. From the start, Xiao Shan and I took the wrong direction, and from then onward, we could never go back to the place we wanted to head to.
When I return to the mansion, Mo Shaoqian asks me to change my clothes for dinner. It’s better this way. I’m really in a bad mood today. If I have to face him alone at home, I fear I may inadvertently show something and break my pretense.
Once we arrive at the restaurant in the exclusive club, I realize why he is taking me here. Tonight’s dinner is practically an exhibition of rich man’s mistresses. There are only four men seated at the table, but there are five women. One of the men has two beautiful ladies seated at his sides. When Mo Shaoqian and I enter the private room, we hear someone teasingly say, “Director Wang is feeling quite the interest tonight. The cannon fires with two roars.”
I recognize this Director Wang. He was in the news two days ago because he participated in this ribbon-cutting event with the city’s mayor
I’m totally not overreacting, because Mo Shaoqian has never taken me to these types of dinner parties. Formal social gatherings have nothing to do with me because I’m not even his wife. For informal gatherings such as this dinner, I suspect he probably think I’m too unworthy in appearance to compete with all the beautiful women out there. I’m still a student after all, definitely not good enough for public display and showoffs.
The man treating everyone to dinner is Director Wang, because he’s sitting at the main host’s seat. I didn’t forget all of my training in the rules of etiquette. I still understand how the host and guests are arranged to sit at the dinner table.
I think these men probably grew tired of eating expensive seafood delicacies because all the dishes they ordered are exquisitely refreshing and uniquely cooked. The taste is unquestionably flawless too. The men appear not to have anything serious to talk about and are more concerned with the food and drinks.
Since I’m afraid I would say something wrong and cause embarrassment to Mo Shaoqian, I just focus my attention on the food and keep what I say to the minimum. The two ladies that Director Wang brought with him are breathtakingly beautiful creatures that look around my age. Their impressively high alcohol tolerance is shocking as well. Both are holding their wine cup and toasting the guests to the left and right on behalf of Director Wang.
Toward Mo Shaoqian, they seem particularly attentive and talkative. I wonder where Director Wang found these two seductive goddesses. They are certainly on par with the You Sisters in Dream of the Red Chamber . After some observations of everyone’s behavior at this dinner party, I slowly realize that Mo Shaoqian is the guest of honor while all the others were just invited to accompany him.
 One of the four classic Chinese novels. The You Sisters are famous for their loose behavior and flirtatious seductiveness.
The two "You Sisters" suavely entertained everyone with their wits and considerate attentiveness. Not a single guest felt left out. Not only did they manage to humor several men to break out into roaring laughs, even the ladies at the dinner table smile with laughter in their eyes, except for Mo Shaoqian.
It's not that the "You Sisters'" aren't socially savvy enough to humor him. It's because Mo Shaoqian has been accustomed to being “Mo Shaoqian.” I guess his lukewarm attitude probably caused a sense of failure for the two women. Without warning, they begin to shift their attention toward me. The one hold a wine glass, in a very delicate and affectionate tone, said "I haven't seen this little younger sister before. Since today is our first meeting, let’s have a toast."