Chapter 6.1  – Dumb Like a Wooden Chicken

The waiter noticed someone was staring at him and turned to glance in her direction.
Feeling awkward at being caught red-handed, she turned her head away to avoid eye contact.
Fortunately, a taxicab arrived just in time.
She eagerly called it and boarded for home.

There was no time for recuperation even after she got home.
She had to confirm the specifics for tomorrow night’s dinner, sort out the pertinent news to be e-mailed to Gu Siye.
Naturally, as the secretary, she keeps Gu Siye informed with current affairs.
He then has a team of staff members working diligently on delegated tasks.

Gu Siye routinely declined invitations to various occasions despite receiving well over ten per month.
Nevertheless, Gu Siye would surely go to this dinner out of respect for the host, as they were an influential player in the business world.
After sending out the information she had compiled, she finally had the weekend to herself.

She formerly held a regular 8-5 position as a translator at an export-import company.
Now, as a secretary for the president, her typical workday was no longer 8 to 6; she routinely worked overtime, even on the weekends.
Still, she was quite surprised to find out this never put her off; she was always motivated to work.
Prior to this, she was unaware of how career-oriented – perhaps, work-crazed – she was.

*

The following afternoon, she was able to contact Bai Yinan.
Since things can be unpredictable, He Zening wanted for Bai Yinan to be picked up early to ensure she would arrive at the event on time.
And fearing that the plot would take a dramatic turn, He Zening decided to meet Bai Yinan in person.

She invited Bai Yinan to dinner but was told to meet her at a friend’s house instead.
He Zening does not cook.
She could only boil dumplings and mochi, and at most, she could manage to make fried rice.
She had been craving a good home-made meal for some time now, so she accepted the offer with no hesitation.

She followed the directions to get to her friend’s house and rang the doorbell.
A friendly, petite young woman answered the door.

“Hello, I am He Zening,” she greeted.

The young woman had a vivacious personality.
Upon hearing her name, she smiled and introduced herself, “Hello, I am Tian Jing! Nan-nan has talked a lot about you these past two days.”

She invited He Zening into the house, and shouted, “Nan Nan, Miss He is here!” Immediately, He Zening could hear Bai Yinan’s voice coming out from the other room.
“Zening, please wait a minute!”

Tian Jing brought her to the living room and said, “Please have a seat.
Nan Nan will be done cooking in a while.”

“It’s okay.
Thank you,” she replied.
As He Zening went, she inspected their home.
It had a massive area of probably 700 ft.
It was elaborately adorned, with a touch of femininity.
The home was in an older section of the city and was, in general, a typical white-collar residence.

“Let me get you a drink.” Tian Jing gave He Zening a glass of water.
She then sat opposite of He Zening and began to talk.
“Nan Nan mentioned you worked for the big Zhen Feng Group.
You’re incredible!” she enthused.

He Zening smiled lightly.
“I am still working to find my way.
Where do you work?”

“I work in an elementary school,” Tian Jing replied.

“I originally considered going into education, but I realized I would have a difficult time dealing with students.”

“Ha-ha! The students are cute,” Tian Jing grinned.

Tian Jing was an amiable person with a contagious smile; He Zening assumed that she must be well-liked among students.
Moreover, she was highly animated and spirited when conversing.
Their chat brought back memories of her roommates back in college.

A delicious aroma soon filled the living room.
He Zening could not help but commend, “It smells so good!”

“Nan Nan makes excellent food! Her cuisine is akin to that of a hotel chef,” bragged Tian Jing.

“Don’t try to flatter me,” Bai Yinan said as she brought out dishes from the kitchen.
She turned to He Zening as she laid them on the table.
“I did some homemade cooking.
I hope you enjoy them!” she said.

“Of course I like homemade food.
I am not fussy,” He Zening replied.

They sat down the round table and ate.
After the first few bites, He Zening showered Bai Yinan with some compliments.
“The dishes are excellent,” she honestly said.

Bai Yinan chuckled.
“Have some more,” she said, offering He Zening another platter filled with dishes.

As they were eating, Tian Jing suddenly asked Bai Yinan, “Have you delivered your resignation letter?”

“I did…” Bai Yinan replied subduedly, “I’m leaving next month.”

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