Chapter 18: Dr. Wei! What’s gotten into you!
In the afternoon, the two of us went to the supermarket to buy some daily necessities, all in colorful couple styles. Once we got home, Wei Nanlin instructed me to help tidy up the house, water the plants, weed the garden, and mop the floors.
“Aren’t I a guest? Shouldn’t you be helping me on my first day here, instead of making me clean?”
“You are the master now,” Wei Nanlin said earnestly.
“Ah…” If I had known, I wouldn’t have taken the keys, “I see, you just want a free housekeeper!”
“Don’t you feel a sense of accomplishment when you tidy up the house?” Wei Nanlin said.
“Not really.” I flopped onto the sofa.
Wei Nanlin didn’t hesitate to pull me up from the sofa, “Are you a fluid creature? You come home and just flop down. Can’t you move a little? Put your things in the bathroom and then come with me to water the plants in the courtyard.”
Is he really planning to put me to work as soon as I move in?
I’ve seen through him!
What’s even scarier is that Wei Nanlin proceeded to outline the cohabitation rules!
1. No sleeping later than 11 PM, and no getting up later than 7 AM.
2. The one who cooks doesn’t do the dishes, and the one who does the dishes doesn’t cook.
3. The sweeper doesn’t mop, the mopper doesn’t sweep.
4. Wash and change clothes daily, alternate this task weekly.
5. Change and sun dry bed sheets and covers weekly, wash every half month, postpone in rainy weather; alternate this task monthly.
6. Put used items back in their original places, conduct a family deep cleaning weekly.
7. Evening gatherings shall not go beyond 10 PM return home. In case of special circumstances, prior notification is required.
Fifty rules were meticulously listed, not even fitting on a single A4 paper. For the first time, I realized the terror of a doctor.
What era are we in? Why do such things still exist?
I struggled, “I think you’re intentionally making things difficult for me, Pan Hu!” [Note: Pan Hu is a reference to the comic character Hui-Ming Li in the Chinese cartoon series “Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf”.]
Wei Nanlin replied, “Who’s Pan Hu?”
“Don’t change the subject!” I got up from the sofa in anger. “Wei Nanlin, you’ve got quite the audacity. Why didn’t you list all these rules when you suggested cohabitation? If I knew it’d be this troublesome, I wouldn’t have moved in!”
“Is this too much trouble for you? I still have many more that I didn’t list,” Wei Nanlin said.
He has the nerve to say that!
I irritably put down the contract, “I’m packing up and going home!”
“Hey, what’s wrong?” Wei Nanlin grabbed my arm, pulling me down. “You’re getting upset just like that?”
Did you think he would sweet-talk me and tear up the contract, saying he would follow my lead from now on?
No, you underestimate the determination of a doctor.
Wei Nanlin gently rubbed the back of my head and said, “Well, then, let’s see which ones don’t fit, and we can modify them together.”
“The first one is already a misfit! You know I like to sleep in, what’s a weekend without sleeping in?”
“Alright,” Wei Nanlin reluctantly added a stroke to the number “7,” changing it to “8.” “Is that better now?”
I snatched the pen from his hand and added a “1” before the “8.”
“You’ve gone too far,” Wei Nanlin sighed.
I didn’t care.
“And what about cooking? I can’t cook at all, and you never mentioned that I had to cook… Can I order takeout?”
“Takeout isn’t healthy. Besides, if you don’t know, you can learn. I can teach you how to cook. In fact, all of this is quite simple; anyone who’s willing to try can learn.”
“What about laundry then? I’ll have to wash your clothes, and I already have enough of my own to handle.”
“We have a washing machine at home; you just need to iron them.”
“Can’t you just not wear shirts?”
“…” Wei Nanlin sighed, “Let’s scratch out the laundry parts. I’ll do your laundry.”
I’m the type who yields to softness, not force.
When he assertively asks me to do something, I may resist. However, as soon as his attitude softens, I immediately feel embarrassed.
“Then, can you give me some space to adapt? Let me ease into this, okay? I’ll wash once a week this month, then add another week next month…” I could hardly believe I was saying this.
“No problem!” Wei Nanlin pecked my forehead. “Such a good kid!”
This approach is simply like pacifying a child.
The treaty was revised repeatedly until the last clause: after lying down on the bed, no playing games is allowed; only hugging the person beside is permitted.
Wei Nanlin preemptively held onto this clause and said seriously, “This one can’t be changed!”
I nodded with a smile.
After spending some time together, I gradually discovered that although Dr. Wei was friendly, he was quite dominant in certain aspects.
He wouldn’t blame or criticize me, but he wouldn’t blindly concede either.
For instance, with household chores, he would help me, but he wouldn’t allow me to be lazy. Even my cute tantrums wouldn’t work on him.
His most frequent line was, “This is very simple, I’ll do it with you. Be good.”
He was skilled at using tenderness to dissolve any conflicts.
I always felt that he dealt with me like one would handle a mischievous child.
One day, I asked him, “Do you find it tiring to be with me?”
“It’s okay, a bit tiring when you’re mischievous, but very adorable when you’re well-behaved.”
His answer confirmed my suspicions even more.
“I think you treat me like a son.”
“Is that a bad thing?”
“Not at all, it feels like an Oedipus complex.”
“Isn’t that kind of exciting?”
What’s wrong with you!
I could hardly believe those words came from the mouth of someone who was always engrossed in studying medical textbooks.
At the beginning of the month, our company received a good project. A well-known men’s clothing brand was opening a store on Tmall. Apart from setting up the online shop, they also entrusted us with the design of clothing packaging, gift bags, and promotional items, aiming for a comprehensive series promotion. This brand had several sub-brands, and if the results were good, our company would likely be in charge of the sub-brands as well.
Our boss showed unprecedented enthusiasm for this project, organizing us to visit the main office of the major brand, holding extensive discussions with clothing designers, which would take about two weeks.
I told Dr. Wei about this when I got home.
“We’re leaving early tomorrow. This business trip will last for about two weeks, possibly longer depending on the boss’s mood. He said we’ll return when he decides.”
Wei Nanlin appeared very calm, speaking while washing dishes, “I’ll help you pack your things. The temperature is dropping recently, so bring some warm clothes.”
“Why are you so nonchalant? I’m going on a business trip for over two weeks!”
Wei Nanlin smiled, “What kind of reaction should I have? Hug you and cry?”
“Well, not exactly…”
After cleaning up the kitchen, he indeed helped me organize my clothes, and he detailed everything just like a parent, “When you’re outside, don’t keep ordering fried chicken and bubble tea. I packed some peach oolong tea bags for you. If you don’t like drinking plain water, you can brew it. Stomach medicine and vitamins are in the side pocket of your backpack. Don’t forget the power bank tomorrow. Oh, and this…”
He took out a cashmere scarf from the drawer beneath the wardrobe, gray and white intertwined, feeling very soft and comfortable to the touch.
He draped the scarf around my neck and said, “Remember to keep warm. Your cervical spine isn’t great, so be careful not to catch a chill, otherwise, it might cause long-term problems.”
I opened my arms and encircled his waist, nuzzling into his shoulder, and he gently rubbed the back of my head a few times.
I used to envy domestic pets a lot – they ate, drank, played, and stuck to their owners, without needing to do anything else. I even wished I could be reincarnated as a cat.
But not anymore.
Because I couldn’t hug Dr. Wei.