It is time to meet the parents. Now, you know why Lu Jun likes Xia Ye. It is because both are also the victims of their quirky mothers 😛
Chapter 38: “Mother-in-law” (translated by foodie)
The three of us wander around the zoo. I am very much like a child who is visiting the playground for the very first time. Everything is wondrous and novel. Our eyes search for all sorts of animals hidden behind the plants and fences. Lu Jun follows me around kindly, patiently explaining and introducing the species names of all sorts of animals that I have never seen before to me.
Little brother Lu is resentful about being ignored, and he starts complaining, “Brother, you haven’t answered me. Why didn’t you include me in this firm outing?”
I turn my head and look at him. I deliberately irritate him. “It is because the rule says that this event is only for regular employees. You are only a member of the cleaning staff. At most you only count as half an employee.”
Little brother Lu looks angrily at me, “Brother, see how she talks? Shouldn’t you interfere and reason with her?”
Lu Jun raises his eyebrows slightly. He looks serious as he turns to me, “Xia Ye, it is not right for you to say this.”
Seeing that someone is speaking on his behalf, little brother Lu looks quite pleased with himself. He looks at me provocatively.
Before I have a chance to embarrass myself, Lu Jun continues to speak in his serious tone, “To be precise, Little Lu is still under his trial employment period. He is not yet formally employed. Thus he is not even quite half an employee.”
Little brother Lu’s smiling facade freezes, his visage instantly turns into an expression that resembles a Chinese bitter melon. “Brother, you always side with her. I think you should wake up, ponder and reflect. Do you still treat me as your younger brother?” We are standing next to the gorilla cage at this point. He points to me and says, “Brother, if you have to feed one of us to the gorilla, either Xia Ye or me. Which one of us will you push into the cage?”
Lu Jun hesitates slightly. He smiles lovingly at little brother Lu and says, “Do you have to ask? Of course I will push you in.”
Little brother Lu is nearly hopping mad at this point, “Why? Do you not care about me, your younger brother, at all?”
Seeing little brother Lu is looking rather pitiful in his angry state, I relent, pat his shoulder a couple of times and console him, “Actually, it is not that your brother doesn’t have any concern for you. It’s just that he knows you won’t be in any danger.”
“Really?” Little brother Lu’s expression warms up slightly. “How is that?”, he asks expectantly.
“Because you don’t look that different from the gorilla. Once you are in, the gorilla will treat you like one of its own. Not only it won’t eat you, it might even share its food with you.”
Little brother Lu: “……”
At long last, little brother Lu has learnt to walk behind us quietly, and is determined to talk to me no more. He carries a bag with him and feeds the animals quietly. Keeping a distance of about 3 meters behind us. I have nothing better to do at this time, so I ask big boss, why this pitiful fellow doesn’t get an official position in the company. Instead, he is compelled to resign. I had thought that this is due to the stingy and vicious nature of the big boss. But the actual reason was beyond my prediction. It turns out that little brother Lu is not willing to stay in school, and instead insists on joining the work force. Lu Jun had hoped that his younger brother will further his studies abroad, so he deliberately arranged a cleaning job for his brother and tried to make him quit.
After hearing this, my curiosity arises and I ask, “How can he make this decision on his own? Uncle and Auntie Lu are unable to talk him into staying in school?”
Lu Jun sighs. Frustration flashes across his eyes. “They are very busy and are unable to find the time to attend to these small matters.”
“Busy with what?”
He looks at me, his black eyes suddenly flashes, “Do you want to know?”
I indulge myself and nod vigorously. Lu Jun thinks for some time and then he says, “Okay. I had intended to prep you some more to strengthen you before taking you to them. However, since you brought this up, there is no point in postponing this further. Why don’t I take you home to meet my parents tonight?”
I look at him in the midst of my confusion. He is going to bring me home to meet my [future] in laws? As I think of this, my face turns red. My heart is filled with both excitement and anxiety. I am excited over the thought of being brought home to meet his parents. Could he be planning on selecting a date for the two of us to get married? I am nervous about meeting the in-laws for the first time. Would they object and disapprove of me when we meet?
But his earlier words, about prepping me up to be stronger before being taken home to meet his parents. What does that mean?
As we walk through the zoo exit, I still do not understanding this point. Lu Jun has gotten very tight-lipped at this point. He is not willing to elaborate, no matter how many different ways I ask.
A street vendor by the zoo exit is selling puppies. They are so furry and cute that I cannot resist. I bought a puppy. I play with the puppy in my embrace gently, “Little baby. You must be hungry? Come home with me to eat yummy food.”
At this moment, I see a hand coming above my head. I raise my head to see Lu Jun’s smiling eyes. He imitates, “Little baby. You must be hungry. Come home with me to eat yummy food.”
“Step aside!” I brush his hand away with dissatisfaction. I suddenly think of a very important issue. “Oh yes, general manager. This is my first time visiting your home. Should I buy a gift?”
“Gift?” Lu Jun shakes his head. He says leisurely, “That sort of thing is only presented to elders for extra points. But you definitely don’t need to give a gift to get the extra points.”
“Really?” I am surprised and pleased. My smile is so wide that my eyes have diminished into slits. “Do you mean that I am already so perfect so that I don’t need to bring any gifts to gain additional points?”
Lu Jun shakes his head slowly with a faint smile. “I meant to say that your total score is in the negative range. No amount of gifts will be able to get you to a passing score. Hence there is absolutely no need to go through the trouble of getting a gift.”
“……” I flash him an indignant glare. Can I really be that bad? No way; even if I cannot get a passing score after I bring a gift, at least I won’t be as far down in the negative range. With this thought, I insist on bringing a gift.
Lu Jun looks a bit troubled as he ponders deep and quietly. Then he points decisively at the little guy in my embrace, “Why don’t you gift this guy then?”
It is a relatively classical style villa. There is a small yard before the front gate filled with a good number of trees and flowering plants. The villa is nestled among the greens, looking simple and natural. A quiet and leisurely retreat away from the hustle and bustle.
Although the environment here is relaxing, I am still very nervous as I stand here before the door. Both of my hands are relentlessly grabbing the edge of my clothes. What Big Boss Lu said before leaves me with a lingering worry. Could he mean that his parents are not easy to get along with?
My hands are in a tangled sweaty mess. A hand suddenly holds my hands lightly. I raise my head in reflex and I find myself gazing into Lu Jun’s shiny black eyes. His voice reveals a special sort of gentleness. “What is it? We are only meeting and having a meal together. You don’t have to be so nervous.”
Perhaps his gentle words have some effects on me. My heart lightens up a bit. However, I still cannot help asking, “But what if they don’t like me?”
Lu Jun pats the back of my hand and comforts me, “Silly girl. Don’t think too much. I think they will like you.” I am still a bit apprehensive. His soft coaxing continues, “Besides, even if they don’t like you, I have made up my mind. No one can stop our relationship.”
“Really?” My widened eyes stare at him in surprise. I ask him expectantly, “Since you have already made up your mind, whether they like me is not as important. Then I don’t have to go in anymore tonight. Is that okay?”
Lu Jun’s face darkens. He is quiet; maintains an air of efficiency. He holds my collar and pulls me into the house. Little brother Lu looks at me as if I am putting on a show. Little brother Lu follows us into the house.
I nervously stare at the tip of my feet. I only hear Lu Jun’s introduction in his clear voice, “Mom and dad, her name is Xia Ye. I especially bring her to meet you today.”
I raise my head, hold my breathing and say hello politely, “Uncle and auntie, how are you?”
At first sight of Mrs. Lu, I feel relieved. She is the sort of lady who radiates elegance and kindness. As soon as she sees me entering the house, she stands up next to the couch and steps into her slippers. She approaches me rather hurriedly. She looks delighted to see me; holds my hand cordially and asks, “You must be the young lady that our Lu Jun is very, very fond of?”
Then she addresses the two sons, “Jun, hurry and get some beverage to serve. Xiao Qian, bring some snacks. This is her first visit, we can’t be impolite.”
She looks at me carefully after she spoke to the two sons. She nods approvingly as she says excitedly, “Aiya, Aiya. Very well. Looks good and with good temperament. Quite good.”
Mama Lu is so cordial and kind. My previous worries had been unfounded. Darn this Lu Jun. Scaring me for no reason that I ended up worrying in vain.
I soon find myself in cloud nine after the compliments, but I still speak modestly despite my elation. “Ah, not at all. Not at all, auntie. You flatter me. How could there be anything special about my looks and my temperament?”
Mama Lu looks at me lovingly, “Look at this child. So modest. Let me tell you. Recently I have been watching a TV drama series that is cute and very lovable. The heroine is particularly so. But I think you look even cuter and more likeable than her. Had the heroine been you, this series would have been even cuter and more lovable.”
After this series of words and praises, I’m feeling rather light-headed. I am even compared to the heroine of a TV series. Though this sounds a little tall, but it is still rather pleasing. I have been smiling so much that I don’t think the corner of my mouth could be raised any higher at this point. “Really? Auntie.. I am so undeserving of your kind praises.”
Mama Lu smiles kindly,” I have only been speaking sincerely. I have been very fond of you since I first laid my eyes on you, child.”
“Thank you, auntie”. I reveal a shy smile. Suddenly I think of something, I cannot help but ask with curiosity, “Oh yes, auntie. What is the name of that TV series that you have been watching recently?”
Mama Lu: “The Idle Big Sister Ma (闲人马大姐).”
I: “…… > <”
(Peanuts: How can the mom compare Xia Ye with this auntie lol?)
A line of crows flies over my head. Thunder and lightning aim at me. A hammer hits me in the head. What is the worst hit to my self-esteem? It is not from being on level ground and then fall into the abyss. But rather, it is from floating lightly in the air and then plunging deep into the abyss.
Mama Lu smiles amiably and takes my arm and walks us towards the couch. “Come, don’t just stand around. Let’s sit and rest.”
At this time, Big Boss Lu is back with the beverage. He gives me a secret glance, as if he sees the helplessness in me. His glance seems to say to me, I should now know what he was talking about.
Little brother Lu shows up with some cookies, “Mom, sister Xiao Ye has wanted to come to visit you for a long time. She is even bringing you a gift.”
I only recall after little brother Lu’s reminder. Although this gift is a bit awkward to give at this point, I might as well do it now. So I hand over the puppy, “Oh yes, auntie. I bought this especially for you. I hope you will like him.”
Mama Lu has only started paying attention to the puppy now. Her face is filled with surprise. “Aiya. This little guy is so cute. I love raising small pets!”
At this point, Uncle Lu who had been quiet so far speaks up, “Do you know how to raise a puppy?”
Mama Lu looks at him disgruntledly, “How can I not know how? If I didn’t know how, how could I have raised Jun and Xiao Qian?”
I, Uncle Lu, Lu Jun, Little brother Lu: “……”