Chapter 35: Home-Wrecker

Wu Zhou finished his meal. Nevertheless, he did not feel happy at all.
Just by looking at the crystal clear rice grains in the other customer’s bowl, and comparing it with the greasy rice grains in his own bowl, he knew right away that his Egg Fried Rice had too much oil. There was even a thick layer of it pooling at the bottom of the plate, beneath the rice.
The eggs and rice were fairly scattered, while some still stuck together in clumps and were not properly spread out. There were very rice grains that were perfectly wrapped by the eggs. Furthermore, it even had a slight taste of MSG.
This is what one would call the difference between heaven and earth.
Regarding the seaweed soup, it was too sad to even mention it. Apart from the turbid soup, the seaweeds inside were diced into tiny pieces. It looked like plain water with scattered pieces of low quality seaweed, the ones that cost 1 RMB for 1 kilogram. Having gotten used to the superb seaweed soup in Yuan Zhou’s restaurant, Wu Zhou could taste the strong flavor of bleaching powder in the soup, which made it difficult for him to swallow.
The pickled radish had been mixed with black pepper oil, sugar and MSG. Previously, Wu Zhou felt it tasted pretty good, but now it almost made him throw up. He couldn’t taste any bit of the delicate flavor from the radish due to the offensive combination of inferior seasoning oil, too much sugar and strong taste of MSG.
One should never compare, for comparing will only cause pain.
Wu Zhou wept in his heart. He kept hypnotizing himself, forcing himself to believe that what he was eating was the Egg Fried Rice cooked by Yuan Zhou. However, the more he imagined, the more he recalled the former flavor. When he returned to reality, the formerly decent taste instantly became hard to swallow.
Having gotten back to his room, he put down the briefcase and collapse on his bed. Then, he slept like that until the next day.
“Dong Dong Dong”
While Wu Zhou was well asleep, a knock on the door woke him up.
“God, my girlfriend is here. I haven’t even changed my clothes.”
He changed into pajamas in a hurry and pretended that he just got up. Then he went to open the door.
“Hey, there you arrive. Have you had breakfast?”
There stood a short-haired, slim and delicate featured girl dressed in a white one-piece dress. She was Zhuang Xinmu, the girlfriend of Wu Zhou.
“You stayed up late last night? It’s already ten. I guess you must have worked overtime again last night. You didn’t even give me a call,” The short-haired girl looked at Wu Zhou and showed him the breakfast bag in her hand, then she started question him..
“No, no. We got off work earlier than usual yesterday.” Wu Zhou never lied to his girlfriend.
“Then why do you look so tired?” Zhuang Xinmu looked at Wu Zhou doubtfully and went up to the table in the living room, placing the breakfast there.
“It’s all because I have been working too hard these days and fell asleep once I got home last night. Next time, I will definitely call you first. Let me go wash up.” Scratching his head, Wu Zhou rushed into the bathroom quickly.
The apartment was close to the city highways, thus the rent wasn’t expensive since it was not near the city center. Considering that his girlfriend would come by every week, Wu Zhou had rented a suite for convenience, and also because they wouldn’t be disturbed. Small as the apartment was, it had everything necessary.
“Ah, this guy!!!”
While saying that, she started to tidy up the rooms.
As a young man who had a girlfriend, Wu Zhou naturally didn’t wash his clothes even though he had a washing machine. Zhuang Xinmu was now looking for his dirty laundry in the rooms and sorting them into categories. She then put them all into the washing machine.
Since breakfast was still placed on the table, it was not the right time to sweep the floor. So she just picked up all the litter scattered across the floor and cleared away the stuffs on the sofa as well. It was then when Wu Zhou came out from the bathroom.
“Come have breakfast,” Zhuang Xinmu called him.
“Ummmm”
“Thanks, sweetheart.” Wu Zhou went up and kissed on Zhuang Xinmu’s cheeks in a flattering manner.
“Ok, ok. Eat now. Otherwise, it will be late.”
………..
“Let’s go outside and eat beef steaks in the afternoon, shall we?” when they almost finished the meal, Zhuang Xinmu asked suddenly.
“Ok, sure,” without thinking any bit, Wu Zhou agreed directly.
However, after he agreed, he suddenly realized he didn’t have much money left, only 200 RMB or so. “It might be barely enough for beef steaks.” Wu Zhou was a little doubtful.
“Then after that, let’s go watch a movie. A new one came out recently which has been up for days. I wanted to watch it with you.” Zhuang Xinmu smiled, revealing her small dimples.
“No problem.” When he saw his girlfriend so happy, he immediately forgot he didn’t have enough money.
Only now was he worried about that.
They had been together for several years and knew each other quite well. His girlfriend found out the instant Wu Zhou revealed his worried expression.
“What’s wrong? You don’t want to go?” Zhuang Xinmu asked with puzzlement.
“No, No. It’s not that I don’t want to go,” Wu Zhou hurriedly explained and told the real reason when he realized his girlfriend had misunderstood him.
“It’s because I have only 200RMB or so for my living expense. I used up the rest,” Wu Zhou said ashamedly.
“You ran out of money? There are still 10 days left before the end of this month. What have you bought?” Zhuang Xinmu knew her boyfriend very well. He always treated her well and would never squander money, always telling her whenever he spent large amounts. Therefore, it was really strange when he said he had almost used his living expenses. Usually he would have at least 1000RMB remaining at this time of the month.
“No, I didn’t buy anything. It’s just having meals.” Upon thinking of the dishes in Yuan Zhou’s restaurant, he instantly felt saliva filling his mouth, therefore he swallowed a mouthful of porridge immediately.
Nevertheless, this reaction was suspicious in Zhuang Xinmu’s eyes. If he wasn’t guilty of something, then why would he lower his head and pretended to be eat?
“Are you hiding something from me?” After saying that, Zhuang Xinmu’s tone sounded dangerous.
“No, only this matter.” Wu Zhou was confused. He didn’t understand why his girlfriend’s tone suddenly changed, since she was the one who often told him not to be hard on himself and get eat some good food.
“Oh, really? Then why did you use up all the money so quickly this month?” Seeing the innocent expression on Wu Zhou’s face, she suddenly felt rage rising from her heart.
“It has really all spent on food.” Wu Zhou explained to her honestly.
“You and your colleagues went out to party? You treated them?” Zhuang Xinmu started to interrogate Wu Zhou, one question after another.
Wu Zhou was just sitting there tamely, answering all the questions carefully.
However, in Zhuang Xinmu’s mind, his suspicious fluster this morning and the dubious action of drinking soup just now indicated that he was definitely hiding something from her.
Then she thought about what her close friend had mentioned to her before, about lovers in a long distance relationship were more likely to cease to be faithful. She started to look at Wu Zhou up and down. When she realized that Wu Zhou had a good-looking face and a decent job, she believed that there might be some younger sister falling in love with him.
Instantly, the topic came up. “Tell me, did you fall in love with some other girl?”
Suddenly, Zhuang Xinmu’s pretty face was full of grievance and her tears started rolling down her eyes.
Wu Zhou immediately became worried. “No! Never! How could you think like that? It truly is because of food, just food.”
Although they had been together for years, Wu Zhou couldn’t understand how this matter of spending money suddenly turned into falling in love with other girls. These were two very different things in Wu Zhou’s mind. But the years of experience with his girlfriend told him it was always right to coax her first when his girlfriend wept.
“Honey, be good. I really am not involved with other girls…”
This lasted for half an hour. Eventually, Zhuang Xinmu stopped and Wu Zhou gave a sigh of relief. After thinking for awhile, he asked his girlfriend tentatively, “I really spent all the money on food. A new restaurant opened recently near our company. It serves delicious dishes at a fair price. What about going there for lunch at noon?”

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