Dance With Me
“…” Ning Ning blinked. She did not speak, she just slowly raised her hands and hugged him.
The two of them were hugging in the darkness for a while.
“Can you give me a kiss as well, Ning Ning?”
“…Don’t take advantage of the situation!!”
A cold laugh rang out from a short distance away. Chen Shuang He sat on the floor, looking at them. “What Ning Ning? Isn’t that Zhao Yu Fen?”
Although he could not make out her face, he recognised her voice.
It was the female lead for <<After Juliet’s Death>>—Zhao Yu Fen—who had just left while talking and laughing with Qu Yan.
“It’s me.” The woman at the door looked at him and said, “The person who visited your mother’s grave with you. Thanks for your coat, I’ll give it back to you after we get out of here.”
Chen Shuang He was shocked for a moment. He laughed in spite of himself as he looked down. “What are you talking about? My mother is still alive.”
“I’m talking about the future, not now.” A pair of red high heels walked up to him, a pair of hands held up his face. In the darkness, a pair of seemingly familiar eyes gazed at him. “Becoming famous at a young age, becoming a movie emperor before the age of thirty. Everyone likes you, people recognising you no matter where you go… These are your future, this is my memory of you.”
Chen Shuang He looked at her in a daze. He was lucky that the lights were not turned on, because only then could he cry in an unbridled manner in the darkness.
With a clack, the lights were switched on, catching them off guard.
The two of them were both stunned for a moment. Chen Shuang He turned his face away awkwardly, quickly wiping the tears off his face. He looked at Shi Zhong Tang who was standing beside the light switch with some anger. “What are you doing? Switching the lights on so suddenly, it hurt my eyes.”
“Haha, what a bad excuse.” Shi Zhong Tang laughed out loud, he did not let Chen Shuang He keep his dignity at all. “Speaking of, Little Boy Chen, aren’t you an actor? If you are an actor, then don’t don’t be afraid of standing under the spotlight. Get up!”
“Who says I’m afraid?” Chen Shuang He jumped up from the floor with gritted teeth, his vision shifted towards Ning Ning uncontrollably. He did not understand why he had to look at her, he also did not understand why he wanted to put up a strong front in front of her.
“Becoming famous at a young age, becoming a movie emperor before the age of thirty. Everyone likes you, people recognising you no matter where you go… These are your future, this is my memory of you.”
These words made Chen Shuang He feel—Ah, so my memories are real, I am real…you are also real.
“I have already disappointed a lot of people, I’m only left with you, then at the very least…I shall not disappoint you.” He looked at Ning Ning as he thought softly. Ning Ning, on the other hand, was looking in the direction of Shi Zhong Tang and saying, “I’m a little late. I have to quickly learn how to dance, otherwise, I will be exposed.”
Shi Zhong Tang reached out a hand towards her, beckoning at her with his finger.
“How’s your dancing skill?” Ning Ning raised her eyebrows in a picky manner.
“I’m super good at it.” Shi Zhong Tang bragged in a serious tone.
The two of them started from the left and right side, walking towards each other, meeting in the middle of the dance studio. Both their footsteps came to a stop, they bowed graciously at each other.
Like Romeo and Juliet’s chance meeting at the masked ball, amidst this mortal realm, among the groups of men and women, among the masks, they saw each other and picked each other.
“I’ll leave it to you.” Ning Ning placed her hand on his shoulder.
“Just leave it to me.” Shi Zhong Tang laughed as he placed his hand on her waist.
The two person ball began.
Their dance steps were like a couple in love chasing each other, the mirrors that surrounded the room reflected their dancing figures, her scarlet dress was like an ignited passion, swirling in the air, and as it swirled…the image changed. From night to day, the mirrors surrounding the dance studio now reflected the dancing figures of Ning Ning and Chen Shuang He, their dance steps sped up, till finally the scarlet dress swirled in the air slowly.
After the music stopped, Director Chen clapped, “Very good.”
“You improved very quickly.” He looked towards Chen Shuang He and cracked a rare smile. When he looked at Ning Ning, his expression was almost freezing cold. “You deteriorated quite a bit, have you been slacking off?”
“I’m sorry, Director Chen.” Ning Ning looked down. In the span of three days, she could only achieve this level. After all, she was an actress, not a professional dancer, she did not have Zhao Yu Fen’s ten years of dancing experience. If she were to shoot a movie with Director Chen, she could only rely on her acting skills to make up for it.
After reprimanding Ning Ning, Director Chen called the other two male lead substitutes over. He sized them up slowly and said, “The time allotted for dance practice is almost over, you know what that means right?”
The three male lead substitutes stole glances at each other. Of course they knew what that meant, it meant that—the male lead was about to be born.
“All of you have worked hard in this period of time, I have taken note of that.” Director Chen laughed. “As for the choice of male lead, I already have someone in mind. You don’t have to be depressed if you aren’t chosen, the second and third male roles have been reserved for you, they are also very good characters.”
His words slightly eased the tension between the three of them. After all, Director Chen’s works were all top quality. Not only would the male and female lead gain popularity, the other supporting roles would also gain popularity along with them.
After appeasing them, Director Chen shot a glance at Ning Ning. “Follow me.”
Chen Shuang He was taken aback. Just as he was about to say something, Ning Ning secretly waved her hand at him, then followed behind Director Chen.
The two of them left the dance studio and entered the rest area. Director Chen quickly turned around and told her bluntly, “I want to switch you out.”
Ning Ning was not surprised. Because he was a strict and practical person, if one could not meet his expectations, then they would be abandoned heartlessly, even if they were his biological son.
“The filming is about to start, changing actors now would be very troublesome.”
That was what Ning Ning thought, but she was not the one who had said it. The two of them looked over to the voice. They watched as a person got up from the sofa, looking like he had just woken up. He seemed to have been taking a nap here before they had arrived—a handsome look similar to Chen Shuang He’s facial features, it was Qu Yan.
Boss Qu bent down and said something in his ear. He repeated the words with a smile like a voice recorder, “Why not give her another chance?”
“Chance?” Director Chen had no patience for mediocre people. On the contrary, he would always give special treatment to geniuses. He smiled and asked, “What kind of chance do you think I should give her?”
Qu Yan looked towards Ning Ning, or more accurately, Boss Qu—who was behind Qu Yan—looked towards Ning Ning.
“How about trying out a scene?” Qu Yan stared at Ning Ning. This was, after all, a movie. Although dancing was important, acting skill was more important.
“Let me think…let’s try this part.” Boss Qu stared at Ning Ning. Like a puppeteer behind the curtain, manipulating the puppet strings in his hands, controlling the limbs and mouth of the puppet. “Juliet’s father found out that his beloved daughter was actually already seeing his enemy’s son behind his back.”
An improvisation, they would have free reign over it. The name of the scene would temporarily be <<Father’s Rage>>.
The location would be right there at the rest area.
Qu Yan rolled off the sofa. He walked towards Ning Ning with a smile, but when he was halfway towards Ning Ning, the smile on his face froze, because Boss Qu walked past him and stood in front of Ning Ning.
There was an open window on the wall. The two of them were standing in front of the window, white light shone in from outside, illuminating everything inside, except for Boss Qu.
“Why?” Boss Qu asked. His voice was very quiet, underneath the quiet hid his seething rage.
Qu Yan who was behind him took a look at him before frantically repeating after him, “Why?”
“Papa…” Ning Ning’s had a panicked expression—the expression of someone getting caught red-handed by a parent.
“Out of all the men in the world, why must you choose the one I hate the most?” Boss Qu asked.
Ning Ning looked down. She eased her expression before slowly looking up at him. “The person you hate is his grandfather, not him. He was still young when it happened, he doesn’t even know what had happened, let alone doing anything…”
“It doesn’t matter.” Boss Qu interrupted her. He said coldly, “No matter if it was his grandfather, his father or him…I hate them, I hate everyone in their family!”
Once he finished his words, he caressed her face gently and dotingly, as if trying to curry her favour. He said, “Pick another one, one that Papa does not hate as much, treat it…treat it as showing pity to your father.”
He was so sad, it made Ning Ning feel sad as well.
Life Theater gave her two choices, either of the choices would make her feel pain and sadness, but she could not not pick. Because, other than her, who else could stop Boss Qu?
“Papa, can you really not let it go?” Ning Ning said to him, “The person you truly hate, he’s already dead…”
The ancestor of the Chen family, Chen Jun Yan, had long died a hundred of years ago.
Boss Qu looked down as if he was thinking of something, then, under Ning Ning’s look of expectation, he suddenly laughed.
“Heh heh, heh heh heh heh…” Boss Qu slowly looked up. He asked her while laughing, “Then what about the person I truly love? Is she alive, or is she already dead?”
Ning Ning was stunned.
“Tell me,” Boss Qu took a step towards her. There seemed to be a trace of tear flowing behind the snow white mask, “that she’s still alive…”
Tell me that she did not—along with my nemesis—die a hundred years ago.
Tell me that I am not the only one who remembers the hatred of the murder of my daughter those years ago, that she remembers it as well, that she is still standing by my side…
Tell me that you are her, my daughter…
“Cut!” Director Chen suddenly shouted, then he quickly got up and walked towards Ning Ning with rosy cheeks, gesticulating in a deranged manner that would make one want to call the police. He pressed on Ning Ning’s shoulder and said, “The female lead is you! It has to be you! It must be you! Ah! I have to edit this part in the script. Li Shan Zhu, Li Shan Zhu!!”
“I’ll help you get him.” Qu Yan wiped the sweat on his forehead, then shot a look at Boss Qu, indicating for the latter to follow him.
This might be the first time Boss Qu had shed the role of a shadow and did something without his consent. Qu Yan was fearful and exasperated, he wanted to look for a place to have a good talk with him.
Ning Ning was being pestered by Director Chen. She looked back at Boss Qu and shouted, “Wait…”
Boss Qu stopped in his tracks before leaving resolutely. Ning Ning watched in a daze as he left; she knew that unless she chased after him, he would not stop, his hatred would not stop for anyone.
“Scenes could be added for the father role.” Director Chen was rubbing his chin by the side, rambling, “Just like he said, he will not forgive anyone in the family, including the male lead and his father…”
Indeed, he would not forgive anyone in the Chen family.
Ning Ning slowly turned her head to look at Director Chen, thinking, that was why Boss Qu was in this movie—to deal with you, along with Chen Shuang He!
???? Every time she calls him “Papa”, the feels rush in. I so hope he can finally move on but would the theatre let him?
I also feel so sad whenever she says papa. She truly treats him like one despite his past.