He pretended to not hear the sounds of her frantic attempts to pry the door open as he walked straight up the stairs and up to the second floor.
Back in his bedroom, he laid limply on the bedand silently stared at the ceiling for some time. He reached his arm out and blindly felt for the ashtray and lighter on the coffee table. He lit a cigarette. Just as he did in the past, he didn't smoke itbut silently enjoyed the burning smell of tobacco.
When the cigarette was about to burn out, he sat up and looked for his phone. He gave Zhang Sao a call, who was currently on holiday.
"Come back early... On your way back, stop by the mall and buy some women's clothes in size Small. Yes, the smallest size... Also, are there oats at home? If there aren't any, remember to buy some. Come back and make some oatmeal congee; it's her favorite... Oh right, she's in the gym..."
After a pause, He Jichen added, "...Oh, when you've made the congee, open the door for her. I've locked her in. Then, tell her I've gone out..."
He Jichen stopped to think if he'd forgotten something. Then he hung up the phone.
The doors to the gym weren't opened until noon.
It was Zhang Sao. It was like she knew exactly how it looked inside, so she didn't enter or take a peek into the room. She merely reached her hand in while holding out a bag. "Miss, Sir told me to prepare some clothes for you."
When she finished, Zhang Sao crouched down, put the bag down, and shut the door again.
... Clothes that He Jichen prepared. If she had a choice, Ji Yi wouldn't have worn them, but she was reluctant to go back to school with her clothes all disheveled.
Having weighed her options, Ji Yi figured it'd be better to wear the clothes Zhang Sao brought her.
There wasn't a receipt in the bag, but Ji Yi knew this brand, so she searched online for the price. She looked for her purse but realized she didn't have enough cash. After a while, she decided to look for Zhang Sao to send her the money through Alipay or WeChat and ask her to pass it on to He Jichen.
Zhang Sao hadn't actually left but was right outside the door of the gym. As soon as Ji Yi pulled the door open, she saw her standing there.
"Miss, you haven't eaten anything this afternoon. I made oatmeal congee; please have some?"
Ji Yi shook her head, but before she could say anything, Zhang Sao said, "Miss, Sir has left, so I'm all alone here."
Ji Yi shook her head again. "No thank you. I'm not hungry."
"But, Miss... I made congee for you.It'd be a waste if you don't eat..."
"Thank you so much, but I really don't have an appetite and I'm busy."
Zhang Sao wanted to protest but Ji Yi spoke again, "Oh yeah, Zhang Sao. Do you have Alipay or WeChat? I'll send you the money for the clothes."
He Jichen ordered her to buy those clothes for Ji Yi, so how could she accept the money on his behalf? Without any hesitation at all, Zhang Sao rejected the offer, "Why would I take your money?"
Ji Yi thought about it for a while, then decided to get some money and drop it off when He Jichen wasn't home. She gave Zhang Sao a smileand said her farewells, "Alright, I won't disturb you any longer then. Goodbye."
Zhang Sao wanted to stop Ji Yi, but Ji Yi had already turned, pushed the door open, and left.