Chapter 12: Pressure (7/8)

The first 10 minutes of Elle’s driving consisted of JZ pleading, “Baby please tell me what I said that made you so upset.  I didn’t intend to make you so upset.”  The next 60 minutes of her driving consisted of tense silence and an exhausted JZ giving her directions to his suite.  The entire 70 minutes of her driving consisted of JZ tightly holding on to his car door’s handle and the seat.

When she parked it in the parking garage, she said in a low and tense tone, “Bring me my clothes to work tomorrow and I’ll bring yours.”  She grabbed her purse and angrily walked with her fists clenched.

***

“Hey! What happened to you?” CeeCee asked with a little concern.

With exhaustion and defeat, JZ pointed at the side of his face, “She hit me,” and pointing at his ripped shirt, “She ripped it.”

She chuckled.  “Where is she?”

He sighed.  He dropped everything on the couch and put his arms around her.

“What are you doing? Aren’t you with her?” she asked very confused and not hugging back.

“Most likely, she’s on her way home.  I want to feel her against me again, but you don’t feel the same as her,” he said a little blue.

“Sorry.  Why don’t you tell me about it?” she asked trying to be comforting.

“If your boyfriend told a friend of his, ‘I’ll let you know when she expects my child,’ how would you react and why?” he asked without energy.

CeeCee moved from the coffee table with a mirror and make-up all over, to the chair closer to him.  She tried not to react too strongly when she asked, “Did you really say this?”

He nodded.

“She knows more about you than you do about her, and if she doesn’t feel like she wants to have a child with you, then there’s a really good chance that she isn’t ready to have a child with anyone.  Don’t you feel like she’s a stranger sometimes? You just started getting to know her.  I know the pressure your parents are putting on you, because my parents started before I was her age, but you shouldn’t rush this.”

He kept looking at her, waiting for the answer to his question.

“Let me add something.  You have to realize that having a child can be very permanent,” she said serious.  “Put aside the paperwork.  Let’s say I get pregnant with a daughter.  If my boyfriend doesn’t want a daughter and forces me to have an abortion or put her up for adoption, I would break-up with him.  However, Elle spent most of her life in America; maybe the best people to ask are Hero and Mike.”

“Thanks.  Can you let yourself out?”

“Good luck,” she said and rubbed his shoulder, packed up her make-up, then left his empty and cleaned-up suite.

***

“Hi mom, hi dad,” said JZ with a fake smile.  “Sorry I’m so late,” and took a seat at his parents’ table.

“Where is she?” his mother asked looking behind him.

“She’s not feeling well.  She was arguing with me because she really wanted to come, but I couldn’t let her come with her feeling as she was.”

“We can’t have you marrying someone with such a weak immune system.  Here take a look at these girls,” his mother said, and took out her phone, put on her reading glasses, and flipped through the pictures.  “Take a look at this one; she’s the top lawyer in all of Hangzhou, and she’s only 27! Ah, this one is the top doctor in all of Shanghai, and she’s only 28.  This one is-”

“Mom, I don’t want any of those girls.  I only want Elle,” he said tiredly.  “I also don’t know if she wants to marry me.”

“Every girl wants to marry you.  All you have to do is choose.  Here, take a look at this one-”

“I don’t want to look at any of those girls.  I only want Elle.”

“She’s no good for you.  Look at the picture your dad and I saw of her earlier today.  She was in a hair salon with that red face like she’s been in the sun all day, with the caption, ‘Can you spot all the things that are wrong with this picture?’ I told you this morning that I don’t want your future wife to be a girl that makes the family look bad.”

“She had an allergic reaction to something she ate and that’s why she isn’t feeling well.”

“Bad genes.  That’s another reason not to marry her.  Besides, I want a grandson, and you’re not getting any younger.”

“Time doesn’t stop for anyone, mom.”

“You disrespectful little snot.  I got you out of a dumpster, tutored you with music lessons every day, now you have your music career known by all of Asia, and you disrespect me with your smart-ass comments? You don’t think I’ll spank you in this restaurant so everyone can see?” she said angrily with a raised hand ready to spank.

“I’m sorry mom, I’m sorry,” he loudly whispered, glancing at the other diners watching his mother parent him.  “Please show me more of the girls you want to set me up with,” he said, forcing all the sincerity he had.

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