So … who still remembers Shen Ju An?
On Lunar New Year’s eve the following year, Shen Ju An and Zhang Yue’s wedding invitation arrived. Zhang Yue was over the moon to say the least and Cheng Zheng was the very first person she called to tell of the wonderful news. She said since they were family, she would save on his wedding invitation and that she looked forward to Cheng Zheng and Yun Jin being there on her special day. She added cheekily that she would ask for their assistance if she should require it. Compared with the free-spirited Zhang Yue who had spent most of her life abroad, Shen Ju An was a stickler for tradition – he insisted on personally delivering Yun Jin an invite.
They arranged to meet on Yun Jin’s lunch break one wintry afternoon at a nearby cafe. They were lucky that day because the sun made a grand appearance in the sky. Seeing the wedding invitation that he was slowly sliding her way, she said “Actually Zhang Yue has already called to inform us. We know all about it.”
He replied “Zhang Yue telling you is her initiative. Now, I’m inviting you in my name. You should know I don’t have many friends and relatives.”
Yun Jin bowed her head and laughed “If I were to congratulate you now, would it seem very pretentious?”
Shen Ju An responded with mirth “I should really act a little more awkward as befits our complicated past.”
Yun Jin chuckled once again “To receive an ex-boyfriend’s wedding invitation, I should feel a little sad and wistful.”
“There are too many coincidences in life.” He said gently, lacking none of the warmth of yesteryear.
“No matter what, I must congratulate you. Really Ju An, I wish you and Zhang Yue a life of eternal happiness.” When Yun Jin raised her head to meet his gaze, her face was full of sincerity.
“Thank you.” Shen Ju An smiled lightly as he gently swirled the ice in his beverage.
Yun Jin studied the wedding invite. There was a picture of Zhang Yue and Shen Ju An’s wedding shoot on the pink thick card. The design was exquisite and not at all gaudy. She could tell a lot of thought had been invested in it.
“Zhang Yue must have overseen the designing; she has always had an eye for detail. You’re very lucky you know, Zhang Yue is a wonderful person.” Yun Jin truly meant every word she said for although Zhang Yue was a young heiress, she was generous and had hardly any character flaws.
“You’re right. She’s really wonderful.” Shen Ju An’s focus was still on his icy beverage. In such wintry weather, customers who ordered chilled beverages was few and far between. “Actually … it doesn’t even matter if she’s wonderful or not.” His tone remained light.
Shock flashed across Yun Jin’s eyes momentarily but she chose not to pass comment.
Shen Ju An laughed as he said “I’m marrying someone called ‘Zhang Yue’. Her surname and influential father, that’s all I care for. Anything else doesn’t matter.”
“Why are you telling me this?” Yun Jin could no longer find it in herself to force out a smile. He was still the handsome and gentlemanly boy she knew, how could his words be colder than ice? “My good friend once told me that to live and let live is blissfulness so while I won’t comment on your perspective, you shouldn’t hurt her.”
“No one deserves to be hurt.” He sipped his water with deliberation as though oblivious to the cold. “Trust me, like I’ve said before, I know what I want. Moreover, I’m giving her a husband she wants and a relationship she longs for. There’s nothing more she could want.”
Yun Jin didn’t debate with him. She looked hard at him and remembered a line from a classic novel: People can be heartless or moving. Who can resist a man with such a warm smile? She started to realise that maybe Cheng Zheng’s childishness may not be quite as unbearable as she thought.
“Why are you telling me this?” she repeated as she sighed inwardly.
“Don’t be mistaken Yun Jin, I’m not trying to restore our past relationship. I’m telling you all this simply because I feel we’re the same in certain ways. This could be why I’ve always been attracted to you.”
Yun Jin’s finger lightly traced out the sun on the window next to her. She took a long while before replying “You’re wrong Ju An. We are nothing alike.”
“Is that so?” His smile was unreadable.
That night when Yun Jin returned home, she looked at Cheng Zheng tenderly. After the two of them had their moment of passion, Yun Jin was about to doze off while lying in Cheng Zheng’s embrace when she felt something cold touch her ear. She reached up to find a pair of earrings.
She rested on the headboard and took it off and studied it intently. It turned out to be a pair that they had come across while shopping. The small, blue pair of earrings had been placed in an inconspicuous corner of the window display. Cheng Zheng had noticed that she had taken a fancy to it and had immediately asked the counter staff for it. On closer inspection, there was a tear-shaped aquamarine crystal in it which made it seem more dignified. Aquamarine stones are typically not very pricey but because the two crystals in the earrings were of exceptional clarity combined with top-notched workmanship by an esteemed craftsman, Yun Jin quickly set it down after noting the price.
Cheng Zheng had insisted they get it because he had always wanted to get her jewellery but she had never displayed interest in such items before. Now that there was finally one that she was interested in, how could he not buy it?
Seeing how adamant he was, she tried to quell his impulsiveness, “You can buy it if you really want to but you can only use your salary. Don’t touch your family’s money. Besides, I have no earholes so even if you buy it, I can’t wear it.”
Cheng Zheng had no choice but to leave the shop empty-handed that day. Yun Jin had assumed that with time, he would forget about this. Who knew that he would persist in scrimping and saving up for months? Additionally, he commissioned the jeweller to change it to a clip-on design.
Yun Jin was moved as she carefully put it on once again. The two small aquamarine crystals dangled slightly and was a perfect match with her disposition.
“Don’t you ever lose it.” Cheng Zheng said as he rested on her chest.
Yun Jin stroked his hair lightly and said “Don’t you ever abandon me.”