Table For Two Chapter 176
Lin Kang saw this as a crisis that was bigger than it actually was because he did not want to appear like a failure in front of his wife. He wanted Xiu Ling to be able to depend on him, not the other way round. He did not want to let his wife had the impression that he was weak.
Other than that, Lin Kang did not treasure the idea of making a fool and an embarrassment out of himself in front of his wife. Call it the male ego but Lin Kang wished to maintain this image of a dashing man who could handle anything should the situation demand for it. He wanted to be the shoulder for Xiu Ling to depend on.
There was also a need to not give Xiu Ling any reason to laugh at him. He wanted to be the king in Xiu Ling's heart, not the court jester. Lin Kang did not think he could ever live down the experience of Xiu Ling laughing condescendingly at him.
However, the man failed to consider the trait of vulnerability could be viewed as something charming in a man. He was fixated on this certain ideal that he had to fit into to get Xiu Ling to fall for him that he failed to consider it might not even be the reason why Xiu Ling even liked him in the first place.
This was something Xiu Ling had expressed concern about earlier. The man would be so focused on one thing that he lost sight of the bigger picture.
In any case, as the man stepped onto the plate, the color slowly drained from his face. Even though he tried to make this as inconspicuous as possible, Xiu Ling still noticed there was something off about him. She assumed he was being nervous although she had no idea what was making him so unnecessarily nervous. After all, it was only a game.
The game started and the basketballs rolled towards the man. Lin Kang picked one up and his hands were unconsciously shaking. He prayed for a good shot as he closed his eyes and made his first throw.
With an accuracy that was only possible in fiction, somehow the ball that he threw ended up in the hoop of the adjacent machine. In a way, it was nothing short of amazing.
The timer was still ticking but Lin Kang froze at his spot. He was waiting for the mocking laugh to come. He could practically hear his positive image crumbling in his wife's mind.
Of course, things were not as bleak or nearly as dramatic as the man was making it out to be, but woe is the man who was caught in the entrapping of love. In the desperation and hope to please his love, every perceived failure would be enlarged to an impossible proportion.
Xiu Ling was indeed surprised by Lin Kang's first throw but she saw it as nothing more than a trick shot. Perhaps her husband was that good at the game so he was trying to make it amusing?
When she saw Lin Kang frozen at the spot, Xiu Ling opened her lips to say, "Lin Kang, why did you stop? The time is still going, you know. You're not going to beat me if you just stand there."
Lin Kang turned around to look at his wife with surprise on his face. "Wait, you want me to continue?" There was a genuine question in his voice which confused Xiu Ling.
"Of course, I don't want you to give up without a fight," Xiu Ling said like her husband should have understood something as simple as that.
Encouraged by his wife, Lin Kang finished the game. He broke the record. The record of having the lowest point ever scored on that machine. It barely broke the double digit which was arguably was something that was harder to do than breaking the high score. Even a child could score at least 10, so in a way, Lin Kang was a veritable genius.
Lin Kang kept his head low to hide his embarrassment from Xiu Ling. To his surprise, Xiu Ling merely said, "Yay, I won! Alright, what shall we try next?"
Then she prepared to move away. Lin Kang caught her arm and asked, "Wait, that's all you have to say?!"
Xiu Ling looked at her husband with a question mark on her face. It was as if she was asking, 'What do you mean?'
Lin Kang pointed at the hoops machine next to them. "Aren't you going to comment on how bad I was?"
"I did, didn't I?" Xiu Ling looked at Lin Kang with a frown.
"Yay! I won! And you lose!" Xiu Ling pumped her fist in the air with an exaggerated manner before turning to look at Lin Kang with a smile on her face. "There, how about that? Better?"
"No, I'm not talking about that. I mean aren't you disappointed that I fail so badly at the game?"
Xiu Ling looked at her husband like she didn't even understand his question. "Why would I? It's only a game. So you are not good at basketball, what's the big deal?"
Lin Kang could barely believe his ears. "You're serious? You'll not think less of me because of how much I suck at sports?"
"Of course not. Like what I've said earlier, it's just a game. Plus you're good at so many other things so why should this bother me?" Now that Xiu Ling had put it that way, it did make Lin Kang feel like a fool for being such a worrywart.
In the end, it was only in his head.
That was not entirely true. Xiu Ling had phrased her words and conducted herself in a certain manner after she realized how much the basketball game bothered him. After Lin Kang recovered from his first throw, Xiu Ling could have guessed what was going through her husband's mind.