Chapter 48 - Back From Singapore
Debbie waited, but Carlos didn't reply to her message even after her next class had begun.
Meanwhile, an Emperor sped in the direction of ZL Group along the road.
The man in the backseat read the message he had received repeatedly, and his heart began to sing with joy.
Tristan, who was in the passenger seat, opened Carlos' schedule and started his report. "Mr. Huo, you are going to Singapore tomorrow for a couple of days. An accident has occurred in one of the factories there, and the problem still hasn't been resolved yet."
In the evening, Debbie lay in bed and paid full attention to every single noise that came in from outside the window. However, it was past midnight already and she still didn't hear the sound of Carlos' car.
'Is he angry at me? Did he really decide not to come home?
Did I cross the line? After all, this is his house and I kicked him out of it.'
With such thoughts running in her mind, Debbie felt troubled and restless.
Then she sent him another message to see how he would react. "Mr. Huo," she simply typed on her phone.
To her surprise, Carlos responded almost immediately, with a single-word reply, "Yes?"
Unfortunately, she didn't know what to say next as she stared blankly at her phone screen. Debby hesitated for a long moment. "Where are you?" she finally asked.
"Office." Carlos had just arrived at the branch company in Singapore and was set to work.
However, Debbie didn't know that he had gone abroad. She thought that he was still in Y City and had decided not to come back because of her message. "Well, about today, in the classroom, I... It was not my fault. You ignored me in front of everyone. Perhaps you should come back. It's okay. I can just avoid you in the villa,"
she gibbered nervously. She felt like she owed him an apology, but she was too embarrassed to go through with it.
Carlos guessed how conflicted she was at that moment as he read her message. 'She is so cute, ' he thought to himself.
Since he couldn't go back right now, Carlos replied, "Go to sleep."
Having noticed how short his replies were, Debbie assumed that he was angry with her. 'After I made the effort of contacting him, still, he doesn't want to come back. How can he be so petty?" She covered her head with the blanket in frustration.
'Fine. Suit yourself. I have apologized anyway." Soon after, she drifted into deep sleep.
But the next two days were unsettling for Debbie, because she hadn't seen Carlos even once. Neither at the university nor at the villa. For some reason, all his classes were postponed until further notice.
Confused and worried, Debbie finally asked Philip about Carlos' whereabouts. When she had finally learned the truth, she was relieved but also furious.
Debbie realized that he had already reached Singapore when he had gotten her messages the other night, and he had deliberately decided not to tell her the truth.
'I've been beating myself over this for two days, you self-centered son of a bitch.'
Two days ago, she had planned to go shopping with Kasie and Kristina, but then something had come up and they had to get a rain check on their plans.
Now that she knew Carlos didn't disappear because of her, she felt like binge shopping and soon, the three girls went to Shining International Plaza. Debbie bought clothes and cosmetics to her heart's content. Every time she spent Carlos' money, she felt as if she were kicking him in the sheen. She felt fantastic.
After Debbie had paid for the cosmetics, Kasie whispered, "Tomboy, you've been acting weird lately. You are wearing makeup, you've been buying cosmetics, and you are buying clothes that you would have never worn before. This isn't you. Are you really in love?"
Debbie cast a short glance at the fashionable clothes in the bags, and shook her head earnestly. "Believe me. I'm not in love. It's just that my self-esteem was hurt, so now I'm trying to fix it."
Challenged and then rejected by a man, she started to suspect that she wasn't charming enough for him.
"Okay. Since everybody is free tonight, why don't we hang out together?" Kasie suggested. Besides, the next day was Saturday. No school.
After arranging to meet at East City Villa, they left for the supermarket to buy some food and drinks.
When they got to the elevator, Debbie spotted a man and a woman in an ad on the LED screen.
In the ad, Olga, delicately made up and in a cream dress, was intimately standing by a man wearing a dark blue suit. With their arms interlocked, she was smiling at the camera happily.
"Mr. Huo and Miss Mi, you two make a perfect couple," the host said.
Olga didn't say anything but smiled at the host. A clever move. In this case, silence was the best response.
Kasie shook Debbie's arm and pointed at the screen excitedly. "Isn't that Mr. Huo? And the woman next to him is... Wait. Why is that Olga with him again? Are they getting married or something?"
"She really isn't good enough for Mr. Huo. Mr. Huo is not only handsome but also well-read. Olga would be lucky to be with a man like him," Kristina sighed.
The ad and her friends' comments made Debbie's insides boil up with anger. She stared at the man in the ad angrily and cursed him in her heart.
'There he is, a married man, fooling around with another woman. Bah! What a pig!'
Kasie caught her resentful glare. "Debbie, don't hate Mr. Huo so much. Even though you two seem to be fated to be enemies, at least you are lucky enough to have met a man like him. We, however, weren't blessed with the same kind of opportunities."
Debbie kept her lips pursed. When they got everything from the supermarket, they headed for the villa.
Tonight would only be about Debbie and her best friends. Jared, Dixon, Kristina, and Kasie had been to the villa a couple of times before Carlos had moved back, so they were familiar with the place.
After Debbie had sent Julie home early, the boys and girls were left alone to eat, drink, and be merry. They had a lot of fun.
At 10 p.m. after having gulped down tens of can of beer, they were all quite tipsy. The living room was a mess. Empty cans and boxes, used tissues, and fruit peel covered the floor, looking like a carpet of garbage. Debbie and Kasie were singing a soppy love song. Kristina and Dixon crouched on the sofa, whispering and laughing amongst themselves while Jared was alone. Suddenly, he lifted his leg and gave Dixon a kick. "Hey, careful with your cute back and forth in front of me, man. I'm all alone here. Otherwise, I'll have to steal your girlfriend one day."
Dixon kicked him back and yelled, "I've been single for more than 20 years. If you dare steal my girlfriend, I'll hunt your down and end you."
Jared felt goosebumps all over his body.
The two boys' conversation has Kristina giggling away. Debbie was too drunk to steady herself. After the song, she got up to sit on the sofa when she accidentally fell into Jared's arms.
Debbie accused Jared of tripping her and the latter complained that she was putting on weight. While they were exchanging pinches and kicks, the door of the villa was opened from outside.
In the eyes of the man at the door, it looked like they were flirting with each other.
When they saw the man's face, Debbie's friends exclaimed. "Ah! Mr. Huo!" They all sprang off the sofa in fright. Only Debbie remained where she was. She brushed her hair and stared at the door still in trance. "No, it can't be him," she murmured. She had inquired Philip about Carlos' itinerary. He wasn't supposed to be back until two more days.
'I must be very drunk,' Debbie thought.
The man was dressed in a black suit and vest, with his jacket hanging from one arm. His eyes swept around the room, and caught sight of the mess in the living room.
Tristan, who was standing behind Carlos, looked at the woman who was staggering to her feet. His eyes widened in astonishment. 'Mr. Huo has rushed back from Singapore and this is what he sees? Mrs. Huo is going to be in a lot of trouble.'