"At the time, I really hated him. When I stepped in this place and saw him, the first thought I had was that if I knew I was going to bump into him, I wouldn't have come to the dinner party with my classmates.'"
"That day, he wasn't in a great mood. Everyone was chatting aside from him. He just stared out the window."
"The hot pot was all ready and everyone was calling him over to eat, but he didn't react and just smoked one cigarette after another near the window."
"It was winter and the hot pot was boiling, so there was condensation on the window. Later, he started writing words on the window."
After she said this, Ji Yi turned to look over at the window like she'd gone back to that day and recited the words he wrote one word at a time. "He wrote 'the person I love isn't my lover..."
"Chen Bai, did you know? After reading it that day, that's when I was filled with curiosity."
"That's when I wondered how this person who had sucha sharp-tongue, rotten temper, and brash and arrogant personality could have such a soft side?"
"That night, he didn't eat a thing. After we were all full, someone said they wanted to play a game. For the first time, he wanted to take part."
"The game was simple. You just had to write a note. Someone wrote one for me. Nobody knew who it was from but I did. He wrote it..."
Ji Yi didn't continue but pulled out her purse from her handbag. She searched around for a while and pulled a piece of paper then handed it to Chen Bai.
Chen Bai hurriedly put down his chopsticks and opened the note to see He Jichen's handwriting.
"Ji Yi, I'm sorry."
"He apologized to me for the Lin Zhengyi incident. Even though I ignored him that day and on set, Chen Bai, did you know? I already forgave him when I read this note that night."
"But I just didn't want to admit it. I clearly hated him, but I never thought about why I kept that note in my purse and carried it with me everywhere."
Ji Yi raised her beer glass, clinked Chen Bai's glass then downed the whole thing and said, "Then he left. I only realized recently that he didn't actually leave then - he was the one who showed up downstairs, in front of the wishing bell..."
Ji Yi didn't tell him how they kissed under the wishing bell nor did she mention what He Jichen said under his breath. Instead, she chose to stop her story there.
The room fell silent.
Besides the bubbling sound from the pot, there was no other noise that could be heard.
Chen Bai knew Ji Yi was sad and that there was no use in saying anything to comfort her, so he continued to pick up food and put it onto her plate. "Eat some more. Don't think too much."
Ji Yi didn't touch the food Chen Bai picked up for her. Instead, she picked up the glass of beer and downed it.
After she put the glass down, she inhaled and felt an aching feeling in her eyes as she spoke to Chen Bai sitting opposite her. "Chen Bai, even though I did well in front of Qian Ge and didn't embarrass myself, did you know? My heart really aches..."
"...Qian Ge was right. I ruined him."
In the end, tears streamed down from the corners of Ji Yi's eyes. "...If it weren't for me, he wouldn't have become like this today."