He Jichen raised his hand and took a hard drag. Through the lingering smoke, he glanced at Han Zhifan, who had an indescribable look on his face.
"What's up? Not happy at B-film?" Han Zhifan spoke again. At the mention of B-film, Han Zhifan continued, "I did tell you... You already got your bachelor's degree from a prestigious university. They even wanted to send you to study at an American university, but in the end, you wasted so many years of your academic career to start over at B-film?"
"I really don't know what to say. Can B-film even compete with prestigious schools? Can it compete with America?"
"In any case, if you're bored of studying, it'd probably be easy for you to just become a CEO of a listed company with all your years in university!"
"Not to mention, even if you didn't want to be some CEO, couldn't you just go home and take over He Enterprises?"
"No matter which path you take, anything is surely better than coming to B-film to study from scratch?"
"I just don't get it. Why did you give up your bright future and unbound glory and insist on starting again from scratch? Aren't you wasting all your years of hard work and struggle?"
Given all the criticism, He Jichen wasn't phased. Instead, Han Zhifan started to feel regretful on He Jichen's behalf yet energized at the same time, "Say, just how depressed must you have been to make such a decision? Honestly speaking, I really do pity you. I'm not afraid of anything, but I'm scared you've given up far too much and you'll come to regret it one day."
He Jichen, who'd been quiet the whole time, showed no signs of wanting to talk.
After going on his monologue for so long, Han Zhifan paused for a moment. Then, as though something had clicked for him, he turned his head to He Jichen with some uncertainty and said, "Jichen, are you hiding something about why you came to B-film?"
"I've been your classmate for four years now, but I've never heard you say you're interested in directing, so don't give me that "it's my dream" bull. Tell me straight upare you here because of someone?"
He Jichen's fingers trembled as he held the cigarette between them.
After a while, he drew the cigarette over to the ash tray and lightly tapped it. The ashes fluttered down.
Like a detective, Han Zhifan also recounted, "Every month during the four years in university, you made a trip to Beijingdid you go see someone?"
"A man or a woman?"
"Does that person have something to do with why you've come to to Beijing?"
"And this person, are they in B-film too"
"Waiter, bill please!" After remaining quiet all night, He Jichen finally said his first words of the night.
"I can't have possibly guessed right... right?"
When Han Zhifan finished speaking, He Jichen paid the bill, put out his cigarette and took off.
The Golden Lounge and China World Hotel, Beijing were so close to one another that the two of them simply walked between them.
When they reached the front doors of the Golden Lounge again, Han Zhifan pointed upstairs at the cards room that wasn't empty yet, "Do you want to go up to play for a while?"
"I can't; I have class tomorrow morning."
Han Zhifan could tell that He Jichen really had no intention of going back up, so he said his goodbyes and walked up the stairs.
He Jichen stood at the front doors of the Golden Lounge for a while before going to the parking lot.
As he drove off, He Jichen headed towards the university.
The light from outside the window flashed across his handsome face. He stared straight ahead with a calm expression for the entire journey. It wasn't until he drew closer to the university that he suddenly hit the brakes.