In the afternoon, Wang YinCheng walked around and checked in the house that Lao Liu rented for him, became familiar with the neighborhood and bought some daily necessities, and then he took the time to write some film reviews.
At 6 p.m. in the evening, he went out. He had an appointment with Lao Liu to meet in a restaurant near the newspaper office. When he called, Lao Liu said a few words and then sighed: “ChengZi, your sister-in-law will also be there later. Yes, if she says something that you don’t want to listen to, please don’t mind her. You also know that women love to gossip those things when they get older.”
Wang YinCheng: “It’s OK. I haven’t seen Sister-in-law* for a long time anyway.”
*(T/N: not his real sister-in-law but called with respect and closeness because he is a good friend with Lao Liu and also with her.)
The place where Lao Liu and Wang YinCheng made an appointment to meet was not far from the newspaper office. In fact, that place was also not far from where Wang YinCheng lived. A restaurant full of decorations in unique southern style, the floor and surrounding walls were made of wood, many small private rooms were made and separated by the beautifully hollow-carved wooden partition walls, Chinese lanterns were hanged along the aisles, and the waiters wore Hanfu* and their long hair were styled with flowers and hairpins.
*(T/N: Hanfu – a type of ancient Chinese clothing.)
When Wang YinCheng arrived, Lao Liu and his wife had already arrived, and they waved at Wang YinCheng as soon as they saw him enter the restaurant. Wang YinCheng walked towards them with a smile, and Lao Liu and Li Juan stood up at the same time. The old friends met again and their eyes turned red in that instant. The two hugged Wang YinCheng together.
Wang YinCheng’s personality was cold and indifferent since he was a child. So, he had not many friends, nevertheless the friendship between Lao Liu, Li Juan and him was especially good even after many years had passed and it could even be said as a miracle. Li Juan and Wang YinCheng were classmates in their school years and it was only because of that, Wang YinCheng got to know Lao Liu.
Wang YinCheng hugged them back, and his eyes were also a little red when he sat down. Looking at Lao Liu and JuanZi, he could not help but sighed with emotion: “JuanZi marries you, it’s really like putting flowers in cow dung.*”
*(T/N: 一朵鮮花插在牛糞上- Literally: “a fresh flower stuck into cow dung”
(figuratively) a beautiful or talented woman marries an ugly or untalented husband) - wiktionary)
And, JuanZi – Li Juan
ChengZi - Wang YinCheng; it’s kind of like nicknames like “Lao Liu”.)
Lao Liu rubbed both his hands on his thighs and made his eyes widened and acted like he was angry, and then, he cursed: “Come on, you little! You are just jealous of me!”
Li Juan poured water for Wang YinCheng and glared at her husband: “Shut up!”
Lao Liu raised his chin at Wang YinCheng in a ‘look at this’ manner: “You see, you see! JuanZi’s always like this. She will always protect you but not me! I really doubt that the marriage certificate we received that time was a false certificate!!”
Wang YinCheng smiled, and when his smile reached and reflected in his eyes, those golden-tea-colored eyes became so beautiful and fascinating.
Li Juan stared at Lao Liu: “Oh, not only that! The son is also fake! He’s made of mud! I stuffed him into my belly and then pulled him out!”
Lao Liu laughed out loud: “No, no! Don’t be angry, my darling! I give up! Now that I think about it, our son has asked me once, about how he was born!”
Li Juan snorted, but her smile suddenly froze on her lips. However, she quickly adjusted it. She took and gave the menu to Wang YinCheng and said: “Let’s order, let’s order first! The special dishes of this restaurant are really good, but it takes a long time to cook. We’ll first order and we can continue our talk after that.”
Lao Liu also realized that he had said what he shouldn’t have said, he also followed his wife’s words hurriedly: “Yes, yes! Let’s order first! Let me tell you, ChengZi! You must try their mandarin fish with pine nuts from this restaurant! It’s very fresh and delicious! I mean it!”
Wang YinCheng smiled lightly and spread his hands, “It’s your treat anyway. You order whatever you see fine. I’ll eat them. I’m only responsible for eating.”
JuanZi agreed very quickly: “OK! No problem. It’s our treat!”
JuanZi ordered six dishes and a soup. After the waiter left with the menu, Lao Liu and Wang YinCheng started talking about some work-related topics.
Lao Liu took a sip of water: “ChengZi, this time, you really have to put up a great performance and help me, your brother, to tidy up those bad stuff in our office. I showed the financial reviews you wrote before to our CEO. Our CEO then slapped the table on the spot and said that we must dig you up to come and take charge of the finance section. For this matter, I’ve offended someone, a stinky girl in our finance section. Wait till when you come to work tomorrow and you’ll know it! Oh, really! She can’t get quiet, not even for a second! Why does she have to make a big fuss every day? If not for her being the niece of the wife of our CEO, I would be too lazy to take care of her. What a thing!”
Wang YinCheng understood the hidden meaning, “So, originally, she should be the one to take charge of the finance section?”
Lao Liu nodded: “She’s a graduate student of H University, the niece of Our CEO’s wife. She’s been in our newspaper office for a year, and I don’t know what the CEO’s wife told her when she entered the office but she seems to have always wanted to be in charge of the finance section. At first, I was in charge of it. Later, when I was promoted to chief editor, she wanted to take my seat. As soon as I recommended you, all of her sweet dreams were washed away. Hey, you say! That little girl has just graduated, and she wants to take over a newspaper section! Even if she is a graduate student of a prestigious university, isn’t it necessary for her to have some experiences and qualifications before she wants to take an executive position? She is such a narrow-minded person. I’ve already told the boss very early that she’s no good.”
For some reason, Li Juan did not bother to listen to Lao Liu complaining, and she also couldn’t help but interjected and said: “I’ve seen that girl. She has a mean look and thin cheeks. She’s actually a little beauty, but don’t know how her parents raised her so that her temperament became that way. It’s really a waste of her beauty.”
Lao Liu continued: “Anyway, you don’t care about that girl later. Just make some small tasks for her to be responsible and it’ll be enough. That little girl is too arrogant, and thinks that everyone’s level and qualification is not as high as her. If I let her be in charge of the finance section, the newspaper office will definitely go bankrupt after three months!!”
Wang YinCheng nodded: “I understand.”
Although Wang YinCheng had not worked in the newspaper office before, their circle was so big. He had been mixed in this line of work for a long time, had written several film and economic and financial reviews, so he knew a lot of things he should know. He understood that in any company, people entering through nepotism are a serious problem for the old employees. If they could work and mix well, others would be jealous. If they couldn’t mix well and perform very badly, then others would judge them. So, no matter whether they could perform well or not, it was inevitable that there would always be a dark shadow of judgment over them by others.
Li Juan looked at Lao Liu: “Hey, I remember you said before that your office is trying to get a special interview from...who was it? From what Huarong Pharmaceutical or something? Liu Heng??”
Lao Liu: “Yes, and very soon, ChengZi will be responsible for that. As your first assignment, if you can interview him and better if you get an exclusive interview, ChengZi, you will have no problem with the year-end bonus this year.”
When mentioning the rich and single men, women couldn’t control themselves but gossip. Just like now, she couldn’t hold back herself and asked: “Hey, Lao Liu, I remember that Liu Heng still hasn’t married yet?”
Old Liu pointed a finger at his wife: “When there’s some Gao Fushuai*, what all women like to ask first is whether they are married or have a girlfriend! Ahh... really!”
Liu Juan: “Does he already have a wife or not?!”
*(T/N: 高富帅 Gao Fu Shuai - Mr.Perfect: tall, rich and handsome)
Lao Liu: “No, not yet! He’s a high quality golden bachelor! It is said that he doesn’t even have a girlfriend! But .....”
Lao Liu got very excited at once, “I remember someone told me before, that Mr. Liu has a boyfriend abroad? Who knows? But he is too low-key, and he always has a good grasp of his actions. I heard that there was a magazine which got some first-hand information about it before. They originally wanted to publish it, but later, don’t know how and where Liu Heng got the news, he just put pressure on that magazine, and that news was nowhere to be found.”
Li Juan sighed: “That’s so boring. Why did he have to suppress the news? Why can’t he let our ordinary people enjoy and have some fun.....?”
Wang YinCheng and Lao Liu laughed at the same time, and at that time, the waiter came and served the dishes. Wang YinCheng made way for him, and didn’t know what JuanZi had thought, she asked: “ChengZi, are you still single these days?”
“Ah?” Wang YinCheng was stunned when he heard that question. “Yeah, I’m still single.”
Li Juan: “What kind of type do you want to find? I have some resources there.*”
*(T/N: in gay circle)
The waiter served the dishes, put the bills next to the table, and then he turned around and left.
Li Juan: “Aren’t I taking care of my child at home these days and not working now? Sometimes, I do some charity work or something, so... what kind of type do you like?”
Li Juan leaned close to Wang YinCheng and blinked: “Really~ Say what kind of type you like. And, don’t worry! I have every type~~ and these people are all very good! Aren’t they doing some charity work, so they are not that bad?”
Wang YinCheng showed ‘please spare me!’ expression. “Forget it. It’s best that I do my job first, or else, your husband wouldn’t let me enjoy life!”
Li Juan: “It’s okay. Your job can be changed anytime! The key is to find a good husband while you are young ~~”
Lao Liu and Wang YinCheng didn’t know whether to laugh or cry!
It was a very happy meal indeed. Everyone was adults who were already in their thirties. They all understood that there were some things they shouldn’t pry into and there were also some matters they shouldn’t talk or ask casually for some reasons.
When they were having a peaceful dinner, Li Juan received a call: “Hey….... Um... no, I don’t have... Oh, yeah...? I don’t know... um, um, OK... OK. Then ask the one who knows, I’ve been busy with my child lately, so....... I don’t know..... Well, it must be certain... and, of course, I’ll definitely come out when there is time.”
Li Juan hung up the phone, and Lao Liu asked, “Who? Why are you so formal?”
Li Juan looked at Wang YinCheng. “It’s Zhou Yan. I wonder how he knows that ChengZi has come back. And, he asked me for ChengZi’s phone number, saying that he will make a welcome party when we have time.”
Wang YinCheng didn’t speak, and Lao Liu cast a quick glance at Wang YinCheng, saying: “Let’s eat! Let’s eat! Don’t care about him anymore. Or, the dishes will get cold!”
It was a very enjoyable meal for all of them. When the three came out of the restaurant, it was almost ten o’clock. The son of Lao Liu and Li Juan was only five-year-old this year. Therefore, they didn’t bring him along this time.
Lao Liu put his arm around Wang YinCheng’s shoulder and walked slowly along the road, while Li Juan went to get the car. “Brother, listen to your brother! The past has already passed. There is nothing that can’t be changed and you’ll get over it. The days will surely pass as usual, isn’t it? JuanZi, she really wants to introduce you to some good people.”
Wang YinCheng just smiled, his elegant face exuded a kind of languid feeling under the dim yellow street lights, and the golden-tea-colored eyes seemed to flash a hint of luster: “You guys think too much. Well, I’ve been pretty good in the past few years.”
“Then, why are you still single?”
Wang YinCheng smiled again, a faint smile spread on his lips: “I’m living in a very narrow life circle, and there is no suitable one. If there is someone suitable for me, I won’t stay single either. You guys can rest assured!”
Lao Liu thought for a while and felt that he had said it all, and if he continued, it would be too unreasonable and forcing on him (WYC). He patted Wang YinCheng’s shoulder: “Cheng! Just follow this brother and everything will be OK! Also, let’s go to my house someday! I’ll take you to meet with that big fat boy of my family!”
Lao Liu and Li Juan lived outside the Third Ring of the city, and a bit far from here, but Wang YinCheng just had to walk for fifteen minutes to his place, so he did not let them send him back.
After Lao Liu and Li Juan left, Wang YinCheng walked slowly along the roadside, putting his hands in his pockets. He had this particular habit; he had to walk every time when he had to think about something. He couldn’t just sit still, otherwise he would feel anxious.
He remembered that just when they were having dinner, there was a moment of awkwardness flashed across JuanZi’s face. Although she quickly disguised it, Wang YinCheng was very sensitive to people’s thoughts and looks, so naturally, he saw it. However, he still pretended as if he didn’t see it, and he also knew why JuanZi was awkward at that time.
At that time, they were talking about the topic of “son”.
Suddenly, Wang YinCheng remembered a memory of many years ago. He was lying on a hospital bed, squinting his eyes. There was a dazzling bright white light over his head. He wanted to and struggled to get up, but his body was so weak that he had no strength, and he heard someone talking in haziness...........
“Take the child away. As stated in the contract, he has no right to look at the child and does not have the guardianship or custody of the child.”
“No need, take him (baby) away. This is for his own good.”
“Yes. After this matter is over, he can still continue to live a good life.”
“No, you are hurting him if you do that. If he (WYC) takes a glance at him, he will remember him for the rest of his life, and feel the pain for a lifetime. So, go. Just go, take it as I beg you.”
Wang YinCheng stopped at the next intersection. Before his eyes, there was busy and multicolored traffic, red and green lights and colorful crowds. He stood there motionless and both his palms were wet with cold sweat.
There were some memories that had been locked in a black box for a long time, and he didn’t want to touch them again for all his life. However, some memories could never be suppressed and hidden. It was like sandstone lying at the bottom of the river for a long time. You would think it would not be able to flip over or make ripples, but at the end, it turned out that with the seasonal changes and tides, it could still flip over and make some unexpected waves at the bottom of the river.
It’s the same. Those memories would never be forgotten, and he too could never be able to forget those.
Even if Wang YinCheng’s personality was very indifferent and cold, he would always remember that day, a cold operating table, a swollen belly, a dazzling surgical light above his head.......that was a tiny body that came out of his own body, was a part of his body……........ It was the baby he gave birth to after carrying it for ten months.
However, in the end, he had never seen its face for once.
Wang YinCheng would always remember that day…….. May 18.
It was just a transaction. When Wang YinCheng had no other way but to help Zhou Yi’an repay his debts (ZYA’s), his life has turned upside down and completely overturned since then. No one could understand his state of mind during that time. There were those who ridiculed him, despised him and laughed at him. Wasn’t it all the same as slowly torturing him in the most extreme way?
The author has something to say: We have to wait for a while for the little bun to meet his ‘mama’! Mr. Liu Gong hasn’t even officially spoken with Xiao ChengZi yet~~