397 Need some space
Mei Li looked at Ryn in a puzzle. The woman did not move from where she was standing. She just turned around and looked at her manager helplessly.
Ryn sighed heavily.
Mei Li went back to her. She pulled her into her arms and stroked her back gently. "Shh... everything will be alright."
Ryn sniffed when she felt herself being enveloped by Mei Li's arms. She could smell the scent of Mei Li, her favorite perfume. She closed her eyes and let herself go. She cried.
Mei Li did not say anything. She just stroked Ryn's back gently, trying to make the younger woman feel better. She was confused as well. How could she help the couple? No. Her priority right now was Ryn. She should focus on Ryn's wellbeing instead of thinking about how to make the couple in peace again.
They spent another half an hour there, hugging. Some people came and went, checking on those two but none of them interrupted the two. They simply looked and then went back to their place. Even the boss of the agency came to check on them.
Ryn finally lifted her head from Mei Li's shoulder and looked at her manager. She wiped the tears from her face with a wobbly smile. "I'm sorry."
"Why do you apologize to me? You did nothing wrong," Mei Li replied. "Are you... feeling better now?"
Ryn stepped back and wrapped her arms around herself again. "Am I that bad?"
"What do you mean?"
Ryn took a deep breath and turned back to look at the trees and other buildings. "I feel so suffocated right now. I'm so tired of dealing with arguments. I feel like I am guilty of trying to stand for myself. Am I... not supposed to think?"
Mei Li opened her mouth but nothing came out. She had no idea how to make the situation better. It was clear how stressed Ryn was. She wanted to help but...
"I think it's better for me to live elsewhere for the time being and..." Ryn looked at her with calm eyes, "I hope you can keep this from everyone."
"What... what do you mean?" Mei Li asked nervously. Somehow she did not like where this was heading to.
"I... I think I need some space to think but at the same time, I don't want to affect my work. I won't go far, Mei Li. I'll still fulfill my commitment for the jobs we've arranged," Ryn said slowly. She felt like this was the best way for her to get through this. She needed to get away from everything and took the time to think. She needed to think about what she really wanted in her relationship and most importantly what she wanted in life.
"Are you sure about this?" Mei Li asked.
"Hmm... I think it's the best option for me. I need some space, Mei Li."
Mei Li pinched the space between her brows. She did agree that Ryn needed to have some space for herself but in her emotional state, could she be left alone?
"Are you sure you can be alone? Why don't you stay with me?" Mei Li suggested. She was worried to let Ryn alone. What if something happened and no one was there to help?
"It's okay, Mei Li. I don't want to trouble you with my problem."
"I don't want to leave you alone, Ryn. At least, when you're staying with me, I can watch over you," Mei Li coaxed. She took Ryn's hands and gently stroked them. "Please say yes. You can take the guest room. You can stay as long as you need."
Ryn sighed. It was an enticing offer but...
"I'm sorry, Mei Li. I really need to be alone," she said finally.
"I really need to be alone to sort my thoughts," Ryn said firmly.
Mei Li sighed.
"I'm sorry, Ryn, for what you've been through."
Ryn gave her a weak smile. "Can you give me a lift?"
"Yeah, sure," Mei Li nodded. She wrapped her arm around Ryn's and pulled her to the door. "Where do you want to go?"
Ryn sighed. She actually had no idea of where she would go after this. All she could think of was first going to visit Harry and then she would start thinking where she should spend the night. No more than that.
The others who saw them walking did not stop them. They just smiled but gave a signal at Mei Li, asking silently about Ryn. Mei Li gave them a smile but did not answer their question. She simply led Ryn toward her car.
Once both of them got into the car, Ryn who was buckling the seatbelt looked at Mei Li. "Can you help me?"
"What can I help you with, Ryn? Anything," Mei Li said hurriedly. She buckled her own seatbelt and started the engine. She turned to look at the back in order to reverse the car out of the parking lot.
"Can you keep my whereabouts a secret from everyone?"
"Everyone? Including Mika and ... your parents?" Mei Li had the suspicion that Ryn would keep what happened today a secret from her parents. Ryn was too secretive with almost everything. She kept everything inside, even her problems. She would deal with them by herself without sharing the burden with anyone. Not even her, her manager.
"Hmm..." Ryn nodded. She decided that it was better for her to be truly left alone so no one could force her to accept their decision. She really needed to do this alone.
"What if they..."
"Mei Li, please," Ryn begged.
Mei Li sighed heavily. It seemed simple enough but in reality, it was a hard request. Especially when she has to face both Jeremy and Mika from the Long family. She might get pressured to get the information.
"It's not like I'm going to break with everyone. I just need some time alone just to gather my thought. I don't think I can do that when people trying to push their opinion to me," Ryn explained slowly.
"I understand what you mean but..."
"Please, Mei Li, please help me. Keep my whereabouts from everyone. I promise you. I promise you once I make up my mind, I will return back to my place. I will personally contact them one by one once when I am ready," Ryn begged.
Mei Li sighed.
"And one more thing..."
"What is it, Ryn?"
"Keep my schedule from everyone," Ryn requested. She paused for a while before added, "Especially Jeremy and Mika."
"What... what do you mean? Keep your schedule from them?" Mei Li choked out.
"I don't want to meet Mika or Jeremy. You know how they are," Ryn explained. Luckily she remembered about her schedule. Jeremy and Mika have the habit of dropping by to pick her up from her work and currently, she had no mood to meet them. In fact, she decided to put her phone on silent after calling her parents to explain.
No. Not silent. She would buy a new number so she could switch off this number she was using. She would buy herself a new phone. A cheap one to use for her new number so only Mei Li and maybe her mother could contact her.
Yes, that is what she should do now.
"Fine. I won't tell them anything," Mei Li said finally with a heavy sigh. It would be a challenge to handle the pressure from the siblings but she must stay strong and respect Ryn's request.
"Thank you, Mei Li. Thank you so much. I owe you a lot," Ryn said with a weak smile.
"Anything for you," Mei Li used one hand to pat Ryn's hand comfortingly. She then frowned, "So, I assume you don't want to go home?"
"Yes, send me home. I need to pack," Ryn said. Even if she is going to stay in a hotel, she doesn't want to buy new clothes and other necessities. She could bring them from home.
"Afterward?" Mei Li asked. She wanted to know where Ryn would stay to make it easy for her to pick up and send Ryn back.
"I actually need to visit a sick friend," Ryn confessed. Harry was the reason why she was fighting with Jeremy but it did not make Ryn blame him. He was innocent. And the argument, even when it hurt her so much seeing how ignorance Jeremy was toward her feeling, still did not put off her plan to visit Harry. She has given her words, hasn't she?
"A friend?" Why Mei Li's heart told her this 'friend' the reason behind the argument?
"Harry is sick," Ryn explained simply.
Harry? Mei Li frowned. She knew it. No wonder Jeremy was so angry today. That man was the owner of the vinegar factory. He always gets jealous when Ryn close to any man. In fact, whenever Ryn was doing her job, when he could not be there to observe, he would ask her to observe Ryn, to make sure that none of the male models nor any staff trying to woo Ryn away. Of course, Mei Li just laughed it off albeit not in front of him. She felt it was ridiculous and over. Ryn was professional and it was clear her heart belonged to Jeremy. So it was impossible for anyone to 'steal' Ryn away from him.
But maybe... this time...