He spoke like he was trying to cheer up a child, making Ji Yi's eyes fog and well up with tears.
Her eyelids concealed her eyes, so he couldn't see that the rims of her eyes were wet. All he knew was that she wasn't saying anything. After some time, he spoke again with a persuasive voice: "I know you're feeling bad. If you don't want to say anything then let's not talk. I'll tell Chen Bai to call the chef and recite the menu. If you hear anything you want to eat, you can nod, alright?"
He said "Alright" again and this time, it sounded even more gentle and affectionate. Ji Yi's heart suddenly shook when she heard it as a single tear inescapably fell from the corner of her eye and crashed down heavily.
Even though that tear fell on her fair hands, it felt like it fell on He Jichen's heart, drilling a hole straight through his heart.
"Why're you crying?" asked He Jichen naturally.
It would've been alright if he hadn't said anything at all. When he spoke, a single tear fell again.
He Jichen hurriedly reached his hand out and cradled Ji Yi's face. He used his thumb to gently wipe the tear from her face.
He had wanted to comfort her, but he never imagined that his comforting words would make her cry; her tears fell so suddenly like a collapsed river. The tears started to stream even more fiercely.
"There there, don't cry..." said He Jichen so quickly that he sounded muffled. He might as well have not said anything and kept his silence as he helped her wipe her tears, flustered. The more he wiped, the more tears there were on her face. He gradually started to feel helpless as Ji Yi let out a gentle sob.
He Jichen's heart ached. The next second, he withdrew his hands from her face and without any regard for the surrounding employees in the canteen, he got up, reached out his hands and pulled her into his embrace. He carefully placed her head on his chest, gently patting her back and trying to cheer her up.
His shirt was quickly soaked with her tears.
He didn't say anything but silently stayed with her and let her cry freely on his chest.
After some time, he felt her tearful, shivering body gradually quiet down.
He continued to embrace her for some time before he gently pulled her away from his arms.
Her eyes were red from crying and his heart ached as he reached his hand out to wipe the tears from her eyelashes. Then he said: "Do you feel better now? If you're a little better, how about we go get something to eat?"
Seeing as Ji Yi didn't really have an appetite, she shook her head.
It's definitely not okay to not eat... He Jichen was about to try to coax Ji Yi when he suddenly caught a glimpse of the nearby employees whispering amongst themselves from the corners of his eyes. Then he abruptly stopped what he was about to say.
He was so focused on trying to cheer her up that he forgot they were in a public space.
With both her eyes bright red from crying, he certainly didn't want so many people watching her.
At that thought, He Jichen changed what he was about to say. "...If not, how about we first get something to eat? After we order, we can go back to the office and let the chef cook our food. We'll eat when you're hungry, is that alright?"
This time, Ji Yi didn't shake her head in disagreement but silently nodded.