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97 Jealous

 Mei Xiawen was still groggy from sleep, but Gu Nianzhi's cheerful voice snapped him out of his brain fog.

He loved her voice. Every time she spoke he could not help but hang on to her every word; he did not want to miss a single syllable.

"Yeah, when I came back yesterday the front door was already locked. I had to wake the resident advisor, have him open the door for me. He wasn't too pleased about that." Mei Xiawen's voice was still a little raspy. He supported himself on the bed and slowly sat up.

Gu Nianzhi was relieved to hear that Mei Xiawen had returned to his dormitory yesterday, instead of partying the night away with his high school classmates. She inwardly gave Mei Xiawen a thumbs-up.

"It's already noon. Are you hungry? How about I get you something to eat?" Gu Nianzhi was in a good mood, and when she was in a good mood she was inclined to be extra nice to Mei Xiawen.

After all, Mei Xiawen had diligently brought her breakfast for two or three months in a row, in addition to accompanying her for lunch and dinner.

She always repaid her debts. Even if she had none, it was nice to do a good deed for someone else, once in a while...

Mei Xiawen had not expected Gu Nianzhi to offer to bring him lunch. He was deeply touched by it. He said, pensively, "Is this what they mean when they say good things come to those who wait?"

Gu Nianzhi: "...Hahahaha, you're overreacting. What, don't you eat lunch?"

"Of course I do. I still can't believe you're actually offering to get takeout for me. I'm eating it, no matter what." Mei Xiawen rolled out of bed, and discovered that he was all alone in his dormitory room.

He lazily shuffled into his slippers and put on a T-shirt. He opened the front door to air out the rooms - only to find Ai Weinan standing before him.

Mei Xiawen was dumbfounded. He turned to look at the number on the front door.

There had been no mistake: it was his dormitory room, all right.

Ai Weinan was carrying a plastic bag; in it were containers of food she had bought from a restaurant.

"I know you haven't had breakfast or lunch." Ai Weinan casually raised the plastic bag, her tone easy and unaffected. "Eat up, these are all your favorites."

Mei Xiawen had not expected Ai Weinan to be so persistent. He sighed, and shook his head. "Why are you doing this to yourself?"

"It's not what you think. I've accepted that we're never going to be together. I just want to be friends." Ai Weinan patted him on the shoulder. "It hurt when you rejected me last night, but I've thought it over, and I think I have to thank you. If you hadn't rejected me, my future husband may find out one day and resent the both of us, and I'd regret it for the rest of my life."

Mei Xiawen's face finally broke into a smile. He nodded and said, "I knew you'd understand." He continued in a teasing manner: "You're a good girl, Weinan, I'm sure there are dozens of men out there waiting for you to give them a chance. You shouldn't be too picky."

"I know. I'll stop looking for someone like you, Class Rep." Ai Weinan tilted her head to one side and gave a small smile. It was surprisingly lovely to look at.

Mei Xiawen smiled and patted her on the shoulder. He seated himself at the table and watched as Ai Weinan removed the boxes of food from the bag. She arranged them on the table, and placed a pair of disposable chopsticks before him.

Mei Xiawen was ravenous. These were his favorite dishes, and he could not resist them. He picked up the chopsticks and dug in.

Gu Nianzhi had been watching them from the open doorway for a while now. She had brought Mei Xiawen food from the school cafeteria. She finally knocked on the door, and smiled as she said, "Oh, you already ate?"

Ai Weinan turned and saw that it was Gu Nianzhi. She quickly said, with great enthusiasm and warmth, "Is that you, Nianzhi? Come in, come in. Well, speak of the devil - Xiawen was just talking about you!"

Gu Nianzhi forced a smile. She entered the room, and set a lunch box down in front of Mei Xiawen. "I got this for you, I didn't know you had food of your own. Anyway, it's yours - you can either eat it, or give it to Strongman if you don't want it. He eats everything."

Mei Xiawen had turned a light shade of red.

He should not have eaten the food Ai Weinan had brought him.

Gu Nianzhi had told him she would get him something to eat, and he should have waited for her. His actions had been very disrespectful to Gu Nianzhi.

"Excellent timing! I'm so hungry, give it to me, quick!" Mei Xiawen thanked Gu Nianzhi with exaggerated enthusiasm as he opened two lunch boxes.

Ai Weinan smiled as she looked over. "That's from the cafeteria, yes?"

She shook her head. "Xiawen only eats beef, he's not a fan of pork. As for seafood, he only eats crustaceans caught from the sea. He won't touch those that have been raised in farms."

Gu Nianzhi inwardly rolled her eyes. She was so annoyed she could barely contain herself.

What a nutcase!

Who did she think she was? Mei Xiawen's mother?

And Mei Xiawen wasn't exactly blameless either. His family must have spoiled him silly...

Gu Nianzhi was furious: was Ai Weinan trying to imply that Gu Nianzhi wasn't sophisticated enough to know the difference between seafood that had been caught from the open sea, and seafood that had been raised in farms? What did it matter, as long as the seafood was fresh? Mei Xiawen was way too picky...

Gu Nianzhi responded to Ai Weinan with a deadpan "Oh, really?", before turning to Mei Xiawen to say: "Xiawen, you should really reconsider. The ocean is contaminated with heavy metals, and the heavy metals tend to bio-accumulate in wild crustaceans. You should avoid those, and switch to eating farm-raised shrimp and crab instead. I know a place in C City that produces excellent farm-raised crustaceans, you can't get them yourself because they're usually set aside for government agencies. They're so much better than 'wild' shrimp and crab - you don't even know where those are from."

Every word in her speech was a direct jab at what Ai Weinan had said.

Ai Weinan flushed. She did not want to get into a heated argument with Gu Nianzhi in front of Mei Xiawen, however, so she did the next best thing: she gave a snort of laughter and said, "Wow, I'm surprised you actually know about those fancy government suppliers, haha..."

Gu Nianzhi immediately regretted her words.

Why was she acting like a jealous girlfriend? It was stupid. She had never officially agreed to be Mei Xiawen's girlfriend.

She had made a complete fool of herself for nothing.

Mei Xiawen, on the other hand, was in high spirits. He was the only one in a good mood.

Gu Nianzhi being jealous meant that he was slowly but surely working his way into her heart.

His efforts over the past few months had not been in vain.

He placed the food Gu Nianzhi had brought before him, and said, with a smile on his face, "I'm so hungry I could eat a horse - what's a few boxes of food? I'll finish every last speck of food, watch me."

Gu Nianzhi gave a small chuckle. "Well, take your time. I'm leaving." She turned and left the room as soon as she said this, fuming inwardly.

She fully regretted being extra nice to Mei Xiawen. She should not have bothered getting take-out for him...

It was obvious to her that Mei Xiawen and Ai Weinan had grown even closer. So what was Gu Nianzhi to him? Chopped liver?

Gu Nianzhi's face darkened as soon as she stepped out of Mei Xiawen's dormitory building.

Ai Weinan watched Gu Nianzhi leave. A thought occurred to her; she said to Mei Xiawen, "Eat up, I have to go now. I'm flying back to my college today."

"Want me to drive you to the airport?" Mei Xiawen wolfed down his food. "I'll be done in a minute."

"It's okay, you stay here and eat. Look at you, you're so skinny now. Hongcha would be so upset if she saw you like this." Without warning, Ai Weinan suddenly brought up the name of Mei Xiawen's first girlfriend, Jiang Hongcha.

Mei Xiawen had choked on his food upon hearing the name. He erupted into a violent coughing fit.

Ai Weinan was secretly happy to see Mei Xiawen react so badly.

She did not mind losing him to Jiang Hongcha. She had never been a match for her, anyway.

But Gu Nianzhi? Gu Nianzhi didn't deserve him.

Ai Weinan ran down the stairs, taking the steps three at a time, and caught up to Gu Nianzhi halfway down the road.

"Nianzhi! Nianzhi! Wait up!" Ai Weinan ran up to her, out of breath.

Gu Nianzhi would rather not wait for her, but Ai Weinan's running and shouting had attracted the attention of the students around her. She briefly considered pretending not to have heard her, but Ai Weinan's voice was much too loud for that. Gu Nianzhi had no choice; she was forced to stop and turn to face her. "Was there something else?"