Could she have returned to her parents' house?
He Jichen instinctively found Ji Yi's mum's phone number, but the second he was about to tap on it, he paused.
What if she wasn't back home and he was just making her parents worry?
He Jichen hesitated for a second then eventually swiped back to WeChat, where he sent Tang Huahua a message, "Still not back yet?"
Tang Huahua quickly replied with, "Not yet."
The words "Typing..." appeared right above the WeChat chat bubbles. He Jichen waited for about half a minute before he saw another message from Tang Huahua. "He Xuezhang, we have a class at ten. Xiao Yi would never miss class for no reason, so I'll definitely see her at ten."
He Jichen tapped the screen and was about to start typing when he received a line of text from Tang Huahua. "When I see Xiao Yi, I'll ask her where she went last night and let you know."
Tang Huahua didn't know about all the things that happened between him and Ji Yi, so she simply thought he was curious about Ji Yi's whereabouts. Perhaps it was because he and Ji Yi left on such horrible terms that He Jichen felt an indescribable sense of unease. However, he didn't tell Tang Huahua about the anxiety in his heart but instead, he just replied with an "alright."
He Jichen didn't reply to Tang Huahua's smile emoji. He put his phone away and raised his wrist to check the time - it was already half past seven. He had an early meeting at nine, so after he ordered breakfast, he went into the bathroom.
At the start, He Jichen sat in the meeting room at the office, fully focused on the meeting.
When it reached about ten to ten, he started to frequently check his phone in fear of missing Tang Huahua's message on WeChat. The phone was still silent at five past ten.
He Jichen tried to look as though he was paying attention to what the corporate strategy manager was saying as he lowered his eyes to his phone. He tapped the chat with Tang Huahua and started typing.
Just as he typed the three words "How's it going?", his phone vibrated. The text he longed for from Tang Huahua had finally arrived. "He Xuezhang, Xiao Yi really didn't show up to class. The teacher just took attendance and from the teacher's looks, it seems like she didn't give notice for her absence either. I secretly hid under the desk and gave her a call. Right now, her phone is off."
He Jichen started to feel like something was wrong. With complete disregard to the meeting, he dialed Ji Yi's number and raised the phone to his ear.
"Sorry! The number you dialed is currently unavailable."
Tang Huahua said Ji Yi's mum called her last night looking for her. Did something happen at home? Was she at home?
As He Jichen tried to figure out what happened, he kicked the chair back and without saying a word, he grabbed his car keys. Under a row of bewildered stares, He Jichen left the meeting room, headed straight for the underground parking lot, and drove to Ji Yi's parents' house.
Ji Yi's dad was at work, so her mum was the only one at home. She was pleasantly surprised to see He Jichen.
He Jichen handed Ji Yi's mum the nutritional supplements he prepared for her and lied that his mum asked him to drop them off.
He chatted with Ji Yi's mum for a while, but after he realizd that Ji Yi wasn't home, he immediately found an excuse to leave. He quickly said his goodbyes and left.
Back in the car, He Jichen reached around for his phone and called Ji Yi again. Just like before, her phone was off, and that was when he realized the situation was far more serious than he imagined. All of a sudden, he felt incredibly flustered and uneasy.