How To Say I Love You

 
 

How To Say I Love You Chapter 2


Rebellious Turtle

The atmosphere during dinner was extremely awkward. Xiao Jiashu, who, as the little grandson who had just returned to the country, should have received the most care and attention, was ignored by Old Master Xiao from the beginning to the end. The other grandchildren surrounded him at his sides, acting smart and cute to curry favour, and chatting merrily. His two uncles and his father were talking business, his two aunts were murmuring amongst themselves, not paying any attention to Xue Miao. In front of Old Master Xiao, they would not express their disdain towards Xue Miao, but would not hide their indifference towards her. After all, they both came from prestigious families. Xue Miao and they were people of entirely different worlds.

The mother and son were obviously already accustomed to this kind of treatment. They simply ate their food peacefully, never once displaying anything unusual. Three hours later, the family of four finally boarded the car to go home. Seeing the mansion disappear among the dark thick greenery, Xue Miao secretly loosened her breath. Xiao Jiashu on the other hand was like a cat, limpidly sprawled against the back of the chair with his belly exposed, his two legs aggrievedly cramped within the gap between the seats.

Father Xiao looked down at his jeans which were ripped all over, and scolded, “What are you wearing? Did I not give you enough living allowance? You can’t even afford a set of presentable clothing? Don't wear this crap ever again, you made lose face!”

Not waiting for Xiao Jiashu to respond, Xue Miao exploded. “What do you know? This is a new design that ACNE Studio released this year. It’s one of the key items that Jonny Johansson was personally involved in designing. When Xiao Shu wears it, his legs look longer and straighter, and he looks more handsome than the head models of other companies. How does it look bad? If you and your father are so conventional, why aren’t you two wearing changpao’s[1] and buttoned mandarin jackets? The Great Qing Dynasty is already over, wake up, you old antique! What, if you’re so dissatisfied, from now on, I won’t call you by your name, I’ll just call you Brother Qijie[2], satisfied now? Or maybe I should call you Wang-ye[3]? You sure are shameless!”

Xiao Jiashu’s face was expressionless, but inside he was giving his mum a thumbs up. He knew he looked really handsome wearing these jeans. There was absolutely no issue with them at all.

Father Xiao was so angry he had to put a hand over his heart. “In front of me you’re harsh and unreasonable, but I didn’t see you saying a single word to refute my father just hours before. Can’t you see that I’m doing this for Xiao Shu’s own good? My father likes people who are proper. Can’t Xiao Shu be more considerate towards an elderly man and make himself a little more comfortable on the eyes?

“Likes people who are proper? Are you kidding me, Xiao Qijie! He simply doesn’t like the look of Xiao Shu! Not matter what Xiao Shu wears, no matter what he does, your father will still be able to pick out countless flaws. Xiao Shu is merely wearing a pair of holey pants, showing his knees. Your two good nieces, one exposed half her chest, the other couldn't even cover her panties, why didn’t your old man bring those up? When they wear it, it’s considered fashionable, trendy, while when it comes to Xiao Shu it’s tattered. That’s not the way to be bullying people!”

“Have you had enough yet? I’ve noticed that you’re getting more and more fond of nagging on and on…”

“I have not had enough! Today I'll clearly explain to you how unreasonable your entire family are…”

Their exchange escalated into a full on argument. They were so noisy Xiao Jiashu started getting a headache. He spent a good while trying to stop their fight, but neither would listen. He had no choice but to tell the driver to stop the car and get off. Xiao Dingbang’s car was right behind. When his car passed Xiao Jiashu, it slowed down but didn’t stop, and in the end disappeared in the distance.

Xiao Jiashu stood motionlessly for a few minutes. He couldn’t tell if he felt freer or lonelier. He originally thought that if he was accepted into Wharton University, his father and grandfather would acknowledge him, but they hadn’t. He thought that if he came back with honour and glory, they would acknowledge him, but they still hadn’t. It was as his mother said, no matter what he said, what he did, it was all pointless. There were some people in the world you would never be able to please.

Then what was the point of persevering? Xiao Jiashu felt wronged and indignant. He walked around aimlessly for a while. When he caught sight of a Makeup & Styling Studio, his eyes flickered, and he went straight in.

“I want to dye my hair. Milk grey, onion green, poop yellow, dye it whatever non-mainstream colour you have.” He thought for a moment and then added, “Oh right, also give me a tattoo and an ear piercing.”

Onion green, poop yellow. Are you sure you haven’t come here to destroy the reputation of my store? The stylist inwardly cursed inside, but still agreed with a big smile. You want non-mainstream, then I’ll give you non-mainstream, but it definitely can’t look ugly! For the sake of his store’s reputation, the stylist looked at the young man carefully and then his face turned red. Isn’t this customer a little too good-looking? He was not the currently in vogue pretty flower boy, and not the tough masculine handsome guy either, but the gorgeousness created from the combination of the two, exquisite facial features, but also coolly handsome; a face so striking you'd never forget it[4].  High and straight nose, thin and red lips, two peach blossom eyes with a slight upwards tilt, almost capable of sucking out one’s soul!

With this beautiful face, he wouldn’t look ugly even if I dyed his hair into a rainbow! The stylist said with full confidence, “Then I’ll dye a gradient in your hair. The roots will be black and it will slowly, slowly, slowly turn to grey. Your hair is really good, very silky, and the length is enough. When you lift up your hair, you’d be able to see the shades and colour transition, it’ll look beautiful.” As he explained, it brought out an iPad to let the customer see what the end result would be.

Xiao Jiashu stared at the video for a while and then tapped the screen and said, "Then I’ll have that." Both stylish and dazzling enough. What was important was that his father definitely wouldn’t be able to accept it.

The stylist seemed very cheerful and started happily humming a song when he adjusted the dye colour. He liked all beautiful things, and what he liked even more was personally making beautiful things even more beautiful.

Four hours later, a brand-new Xiao Jiashu walked out of the makeup & styling studio, gradient on his head, obsidian stones on his ears, but no tattoo. He was scared of pain. As soon as the stylist brought out the tools, he was terrified, and hurriedly paid with his credit card and pathetically fled. When he returned home, Xue Miao was wearing face mask. When she saw her son’s new look, the face mask flopped onto the ground.

“Where’s dad?” Xiao Jiashu's face was unperturbed but his palms were covered with cold sweat. He had always been a well-behaved and obedient child; this was the first time he had ever rebelled.

“Why do you look like this?" Xue Miao asked with disbelief.

“Felt like it.” Xiao Jiashu tussled up his hair and let his mother see his cool and dazzling hair. He pretended to casually ask, “It doesn’t look good?”

“It certainly does look good, just a little painful.” Xue Miao helplessly pressed her hand against her forehead.

“Dyeing didn’t hurt. I’m not allergic to hair-dye.” Xiao Jiashu changed into slippers, and took out a new face mask from the fridge.

“I’m saying that it might hurt later when your father beats you up with a stick. Son, quickly go hide out in your room.” Xue Miao said pityingly, accepting the facemask.

Xiao Jiashu: “…”

Even after hiding out in his room for an entire day and night, Xiao Jiashu still got a beating. If Xiao Dingbang hadn’t suddenly come home to discuss with his father about the company acquisition matter, his buttocks and calves wouldn’t have survived. But even against an immense amount of pressure, no matter what, he still wouldn’t dye his hair back. After Father Xiao’s temper subsided, he stopped trying to force him, but whenever he saw him, he would let out a deep sigh of despair, as if he had seen a pleasure-seeking planet gradually rise up to a become a nova.

Xiao Jiashu didn’t have many friends in the country and normally didn’t smoke drink, play around with girls, or gamble. He liked going on joyrides even less. The only hobby he had was playing games. Just give him a high-tech computer, an internet connection, and enough food, and he could stay at home a good few months without setting a foot outside. Therefore, Father Xiao’s worries were completely unnecessary.

But Xue Miao couldn’t take her son’s dispiritedness. She knew that if this continued, sooner or later, her son would break down in both spirit and body. He was living, pursuing nothing, and without any goals, like a walking corpse – and that was what was most scary. After thinking it over and over, she pulled out her son’s internet cable, dragged him to take a shower, changed him into clean and suitable clothes, and then finally took him outside.

“Crown World Entertainment? Mum, why are you bringing me here?” Xiao Jiashu asked, puzzled, lifting his head to look at the signboard on the skyscraper. In a mere few months he had shrunk several dress sizes, and there were thick dark circles under his eyes. He looked extremely unhealthy.

“I’m taking you to work.” Xue Miao walked into the elevator, pressed the button to the top floor, and after waiting for the doors to close, said, “I have Crown World Entertainment shares. In the future, those shares will be transferred to your name. You can also be considered a major stockholder of Crown World Entertainment so you'll have to visit your own company to have a look sooner or later."

“Mum, you’re still involved in the entertainment circle? If Dad finds out…” Xiao Jiashu started getting worried for his mother, completely forgetting that he had come here to work.

“So what if he finds out, what can he do anyway? If worse comes to worse, we’ll have another fight. He won’t let you into the Xiao Group, but I can’t just let you waste your life like this. No matter what, you’re still a first-rate graduate of Wharton University. Don’t tell me that after graduating, the only thing you can do is play games? Are you afraid that after you enter the entertainment circle, your father and grandpa will scold you? If you’re scared, I’ll take you back home right now.”

“Why would I be scared? They don’t care what I do anyway.” Xiao Jiashu felt a bit timid inside, but his face was calm and collected, as if he was completely fearless.

It is said that “No one knows a child more than their mother.” Based on Xue Miao’s understanding of her son, she naturally understood what she had to do to bring him out of the cage his father and grandpa built for him. She had sacrificed half her life for Xiao Qijie, and since then had been cheerless and forced to compromise. She absolutely did not want her son to repeat the same disastrous mistake she had. Who cared if his grandfather got mad again? Could he eat the two of them?

As her thoughts ran wild, the elevator door opened, and a middle aged man in his forties walked over to welcome them, his face carrying a smile of pleasant surprise. He was very tall, and peerlessly handsome. Not only did his frivolous, and somewhat evil and uninhibited looks fail to impair his bearing, it made him appear even more attractive. He hugged Xue Miao tightly, and then quickly let go. He exclaimed, “Miaomiao, I thought that you would never come back. Have you been well?”

“All the same.” Xue Miao didn’t want to invent a fairy tale to trick her good friend, and had also numbed herself to it all. She shook her head with a wry smile, and then said to her son, “Xiao Shu, this is your Uncle Xiu, hurry and greet him."

Xiu Changyu was the boss[5] of Crown World Entertainment and also an influential figure in the entertainment world who could call the wind and summon the rain[6]. That year, Xiao Jiashu's mother had signed under him, and he had raised her up to fame with his very own hands. After a long period of co-operation, their superior and subordinate relationship had changed into one of good friends who could openly talk with each other. However, ever since his mother married into the Xiao Family, she had broken off all contact with her friends in the entertainment circle. Hence, this Uncle Xiu was a stranger to Xiao Jiashu. Nonetheless but this didn’t stop Xiao Jiashu from being able to recognize this handsome face which often appeared on business and entertainment magazines.

“Nice to meet you, Uncle Xiu.” Xiao Jiashu obediently bowed and nodded.

He had inherited Xue Miao’s unrivalled exquisite looks, and didn’t look the slightest bit like Xiao Qijie. In Xue Miao's first drama, she was the main lead and had played a female crossdresser, incisively and vividly acting out an elegant, unconventional and unruly hero. From then on, she became popular and was idolised by millions of girls. She had much bigger female fanbase than male, and the genes Xiao Jiashu, whose face bore a 70-80% resemblance to her, had inherited from her had undergone an upgrade, shooting his looks up to an even higher level.

Xiu Changyu suddenly felt a fondness towards this spirited Little Sapling[7], not to mention he was also Miaomiao's son.

[1] Changpao - traditional Chinese men's robe

[2] Adding A-ge (big brother) is an way to call older males you are close to

[3] Wang-ye – prince

[4]五官既透着精致,也透着酷帅,看上去很有侵略 - “Exquisite facial features, but also coolly handsome; a face so striking you'd never forget it.” I had trouble understanding and translating the last part (so I kind of made it up), so I welcome any suggestions. Something like, "A face with a strong aggressive quality to it", or (more direct translation) "Looking at him, his face had quite an aggressive/invasive quality/nature."

[5] 掌舵者 - the person who controls the company, makes all the main decisions etc. I stuck with the simple word 'boss' to avoid bringing in words like director or CEO, since it doesn't say specifically what he is.

[6] 圈呼风唤雨 - Idiom:  to summon wind and rain; to control the forces of nature. It  means that he's really influential, powerful and can control what happens in the entertainment world

[7] As mentioned previously, The 'shu' in Xiao Jiashu's name means 'tree'. Xia Changyu calls him 小树苗 - Xiao Shu-Miao: little sapling, little tree sprout. Xiao Shumiao is also one of Xiao Jiashu's nicknames. Can you guys tell me in the comments which you prefer: Little Sapling, Little Treesprout, or Xiao Shumiao?