LMA – Chapter Five
Han Ting Hua didn’t know why he didn’t want Luo An Hai to let go of him. He impulsively chased after her and took possession of her car. His mind was completely blank that he didn’t have a destination in mind so he drove her to her penthouse.
Inside her penthouse, he didn’t expect homey furnishings and soft colors. It was too huge for just one person to live inside. An open living room, aquarium, bar and kitchen on the first floor. Upstairs had three bedrooms and bathrooms.
‘Sit down already,’ she said from the sofa and pointed at the first aid kit on the coffee table.
First aid kit? He didn’t know when she started growing sympathy. What if she wanted revenge because he drove her car? Revenge or no revenge, he sat on the sofa next to her.
‘Arm,’ she said.
He felt like he was having a heart attack. She was actually treating his wound. It was the first time they sat side by side, and he could count her long eyelashes.
She tightened the bandage around the wound she cleaned on his right arm when he stared at her for too long.
‘Take off your shirt,’ she said.
‘Why?’ he asked. ‘Where are you hiding the real Luo An Hai?’
‘Hurry up and take off your shirt,’ she said.
He took off his shirt while she went to bathroom. She returned with a wet towel.
‘Show me your back,’ she said.
He showed his back to her, and she gently cleaned the wound on his back.
‘Why are you an idiot?’ she asked. ‘I know how to dodge a hot teapot.’
‘What about hot water?’ he asked. ‘You’re a woman. I didn’t want you to receive burns on your skin.’
‘Idiot,’ she whispered and dabbed the wet towel hard on his back.
‘Ouch, that hurts,’ he said.
She did take revenge, his back stung.
‘If you love playing the hero, pain is nothing to you,’ she said.
He didn’t care if she was taking petty revenge on him. When he was ten, he got beaten up to save her, but she didn’t bandage his injuries like how she was killing him with kindness on the sofa.
‘Call a truce with uncle Luo,’ he said.
‘Isn’t being a hero enough for you?’ she asked. ‘Now you want to be a meddler too?’
‘Luo An Hai, do you understand what it means to be reasonable?’ he asked.
She crossed her arms. ‘Say what you want to say.’
‘Every birthday gift you gave uncle Luo, he keeps it in a locked chest,’ he said. ‘Every day uncle Luo takes out the ship models you gave him, and he checks for scratches.’
She was speechless at her father’s habit.
‘Since you’ve been gone, uncle Luo eats dinner late,’ he said. ‘Uncle Luo sits in the living room staring at the front door. He doesn’t need to open his mouth for us to know he’s waiting for you to come home to eat dinner. Your father does care about you, he just doesn’t know how to act around you to show that he cares about you. And you haven’t given your father a chance-’
‘Enough,’ she said.
‘Luo An Hai, you can hate me and my mother,’ he said. ‘But your father isn’t your enemy. He’s at an advanced age-’
‘Shut up,’ she said. ‘What do you know? You know nothing. Just leave.’
She got off the sofa, walked upstairs to her bedroom and slammed the door shut.
He looked up at her closed bedroom door and sighed.
In her bedroom, she laid on her bed and memories of her mother scarred her. She remembered helplessly watching her mother self-destruct. Her mother broke everything her mother could pick up.
‘Why is your father treating me like this?’ her mother asked. ‘An Hai, I only have you. Your father doesn’t need us. I love your father so much. But why doesn’t your father love me?’
Her mother held onto her tightly and cried for hours.
Her father’s servants pitied her mother too.
‘I heard Mr. Luo has a mistress and wants to divorce Mrs. Luo,’ a servant said. ‘I feel sorry for Mrs. Luo.’
‘Their arranged marriage was to benefit their family businesses,’ another servant said. ‘No one expected Mrs. Luo would fall in love with Mr. Luo.’
She witnessed all of her parents’ fights.
‘Luo Cheng Hua, why are you treating me like this?’ her mother asked. ‘You’re deluded if you think I’ll divorce you so you can marry your tramp. I’ll never divorce you.’
‘Sign the divorce papers,’ Luo Cheng Hua said.
‘Never,’ her mother said. ‘I love you. An Hai, beg your father to stay with us.’
She watched her parents’ marriage breakdown. Her mother died of a lonely heart, and her father brought home Mai Fang and Han Ting Hua three months after her mother died. If her father chose to turn his back on her and her mother then she didn’t need to care about her father either.
Why did her father look broken after she died if her father hated her? Why did Han Ting Hua looked like his world shattered after she died? She didn’t want to accept that Han Ting Hua loved her. Why did Han Ting Hua love her when she hated him the most for stealing everything that was her birthright? Why did Han Ting Hua love her deeply like how her mother loved her father deeply? Why did Han Ting Hua die of lonely heart like her mother? She never needed Han Ting Hua to love her. She didn’t want to love Han Ting Hua and live in pain like her mother.
She didn’t know when she fell asleep or when she started mumbling Han Ting Hua’s name in her sleep.
‘Han Ting Hua…’
‘Luo An Hai, wake up,’ he said.
‘Han Ting Hua…’
‘You’re dreaming,’ he said. ‘Wake up.’
He heard her talking in her sleep from the kitchen. When he entered her bedroom to check on her, he didn’t expect her crying and calling his name in her sleep.
She slowly opened her eyes, and her vulnerableness cut through his heart.
‘Why are you here?’ she asked and sat upright on her bed.
He sighed. The ice beauty returned. He walked to the bathroom, and came back to her bed with a wet face towel.
‘Wipe your drool,’ he said and tossed the towel on her lap.
‘Get out,’ she said. ‘I don’t need you.’
‘I made dinner,’ he said. ‘Come downstairs after wiping drool off your face.’
He walked out of her bedroom without gloating about her having nightmares and crying in her sleep. Why did he protect her and care about her even after their fights? She didn’t understand him in her first lifetime or second lifetime. She felt like she lost her strength to continue fighting with him.
She got out of bed, walked downstairs and sat at the bar near the kitchen.
‘I’m still here,’ he said on the phone. ‘Luo An Hai bandaged my right arm.’
From the kitchen he saw Luo An Hai at the bar so he put his phone on speaker.
‘Xiao Hua, why are you being stubborn?’ Mai Fang asked. ‘You still refuse to call An Hai big sister. How is An Hai? Don’t fight with An Hai.’
‘Mother, don’t worry,’ he said, carrying dinner bowls to the bar. ‘An Hai is fine. We’re not fighting.’
She stared at the bowls of sweet and sour fish soup and noodles he placed on the bar. How did he know she liked eating sweet and sour fish soup when she never ate it at the Luo Mansion? She hesitated and started eating since dinner was his fee for trespassing.
‘Tell uncle Luo not to worry,’ he said and sat next to her at the bar.
She stopped eating when they mentioned her father.
‘Yes mother, I’ll take good care of her,’ he said.
She picked up the glass of apple juice and sipped.
‘Mother, ask Paul to bring my luggage here,’ he said. ‘Bye.’
Luggage? She glared at him while he ate dinner.
‘Why is Paul bringing luggage here?’ she asked.
‘Uncle Luo is worried about your wild night life,’ he said. ‘He wants me to keep an eye on you.’
‘What?’ she asked.
She didn’t need a younger man to babysit her.
‘I want you to leave,’ she said.
‘I’ll leave after you call your father,’ he said and offered his phone to her.
She didn’t want to have another ugly fight with her father. She accepted Han Ting Hua’s phone and broke it on the bar.
Monday morning, Luo An Hai’s executive assistant, Elle hesitated knocking on Luo An Hai’s office door. But the employees under Luo An Hai begged Elle to soothe the ice beauty so they could stop walking on eggshells at work. No one knew why Luo An Hai scheduled a morning meeting to distribute a year’s worth of work to everyone, and asked them to complete it by next month.
Elle answered the ringing phone on her desk.
‘Elle, there’s a hot model waiting at reception,’ Lily said.
‘Escort the model here,’ Elle said.
Lily escorted Han Ting Hua to the executive floor.
‘Do you have an appointment?’ Elle asked.
‘I’m here to-’ Han Ting Hua said.
‘Elle, bring me…’ Luo An Hai said from her office door. ‘Han Ting Hua, why are you here?’
Han Ting Hua raised a lunch box. ‘I’m here to bring your lunch box.’
End of Chapter Five