This is the second last chapter of the novel. There won’t be any epilogue since the author had disappeared online. This chapter is mainly about Xia Ye’s pregnancy. Pregnant or not, Xia Ye is still the same old silly self 😛 Don’t expect me to post the final chapter anytime soon because I’ve a big problem saying good-bye 😦
Chapter 44: Interlude
Facts have proven that it is not that easy being a soon-to-be mother. I can consider to have first hand experience in this. In addition to a lot of taboos, there is also a series of prenatal preparatory work which must be done. One day, Lu Jun bought back a set of exercise guide for pregnant woman, so I am forced to stand in front of the television to watch and follow the exercises in real-time. Whereas big boss Lu sits leisurely on the sofa to supervise and give guidance.
This exercise guide has an action that is like spinning a hula hoop, having to twist the waist clockwise and counterclockwise. I find this action particularly difficult. After just twisting a few times, I am already grasping for breath. Thus I cannot help but turn my head and ask in a depressed voice: “General manager, do you think I’ve been eating too much lately? Why I feel my body has become more fleshy and fat until the waist is almost gone?”
However he seems not to have heard my query because he does not even lift up his eyes. Instead he gracefully picks up a magazine and flips through it.
I cannot help but stamp my foot to complain: “I’m talking to you, so why aren’t you replying?”
Only then he has a bit of reaction, which is raising his eyebrows: “Are you talking to me? I am no longer your boss. Call me hubby and ask again.”
This man is truly awkward! I am speechless so I remain silent for a while. Then I’ve no choice but to change the way of addressing him and repeat my question: “Well, my hubby, do you think I’ve been eating too much lately? Why I feel my body has become more fleshy and fat until the waist is almost gone?”
Only then a satisfied and gentle smile touches the corners of his mouth. Then he comforts me: “Don’t indulge in flights of fancy, how can you have no waist?”
After hearing him said that, I immediately feel not so depressed. Then I hear him continuing to say: “Take a look yourself, isn’t everything below the neck all waist?”
Everything below the neck is also waist. In that case, my figure still resembles a bucket? Damn it!
It is time to eat lunch again. When I look at the table of non-greasy or strongly flavored dishes, I lost my appetite. Although pregnant women should not eat food that is too salty or too spicy, I have been eating such bland and tasteless food every day. How can someone who loves strongly flavored and spicy food like me live like this?!
Lu Jun projects the image of a gentle and good man, as he unties his apron after arranging the bowl and chopsticks on the table. Then he looks up at me tenderly : “Why aren’t you eating?”
I frown and complain in grievance: “Every day also these non-greasy or strongly flavored dishes, can there be a change of taste ah?”
He thinks for a while, then nods: “Of course can, then change to eating medicinal cuisine tomorrow.”
“……” Forget about it. I have even less appetite for those dishes that included stem of chicken’s blood (Millettia), Chinese foxglove (Rehmannia), poor man’s ginseng (Codonopsis pilosula) and other medicinal ingredients! Originally, eating is one of life’s great pleasures, but when eating becomes like taking medicine, what joy is there?
Lu Jun is handling me the chopsticks and says in a gentle and soft voice like he is coaxing a child: “Be good, quickly eat la, or do you want me to feed you?”
No, I cannot be so submissive! If I do not get to eat spicy food, I will die! Thinking of this, I firmly refuse to take the chopsticks. Then I slap the table, stand up and roar like a lion: “I’m going to the kitchen to get the chili sauce!”
His warm and courteous face immediately becomes dark. His faint voice sounds icy cold which gives people the creep: “Oh? What are you going to do with the chili sauce?”
Looking at his chilly expression, I immediately become like a deflated ball with no air left. After withdrawing my hand, I give a mocking laugh: “Heehee, what can I do? Of course, to throw it out into the rubbish bin ……”
Only then his complexion starts to improve. He strokes my head to his satisfaction and says lovingly: “This idea is very good, so I’ll throw it for you. Quickly eat la.”
Thus I quietly take the chopsticks. Once again I am compelled by his intimation to obediently eat these bland and tasteless dishes.
As if I am suffering from anorexia, I slowly chew one mouthful at a time. After more than half an hour, finally I finish eating my meal. While Lu Jun is clearing up the table, he apologetically says: “Oh, by the way, I have to work overtime in the company tonight, so I’m afraid I cannot come back to eat dinner together with you. The food is ready-made, so you only need to heat them up before eating them. Don’t forget to drink the chicken soup in the kitchen tonight.”
This sounds like a gift from heaven. My eyes immediately twinkle like the stars. Then I ask excitedly: “Do you really have to work overtime?”
He squints in a dangerous manner: “Are you very happy?”
Realizing that I appeared too obvious and to prevent him from changing his mind, I quickly adjust my facial expression and say in a disappointed voice: “Of course not. Can’t you see that I’m very sad now?”
He leans over to look seriously at my facial expression. Then he says slowly in a low voice: “I really can’t see that.”
I quickly say in a long-suffering tone: “Imagine this scenario – on an ice-cold dark night, the cool breeze brings a gush of chill air. The husband is working overtime in the office, whereas the pregnant wife stays home alone and sitting all by herself at the dining table to eat without much appetite. How miserable and sad is this?! Hence how can I be happy, right?!”
“Oh? Like this ah ……” He looks calmly at me: “But the weather is warm now, so where’s the cool breeze? Our house’s lighting is bright so where’s the darkness of the night?”
I am speechless and stay silent for a while. Please, can you have a little imagination? I really cannot think of anything else to convince him, so I snappily shout: “It is up to you whether to believe or not. If you don’t believe, then forget about it! Anyway, I am really feeling very sad! Feeling sad until the heart is tearing and the lung is cracking! Feeling sad until carved in the bones and engraved in the heart!”
Finally he lifts the corners of his mouth and smiles. Then he nods his head and says: “Okay, I believe you.”
I pretend to appear lost and heave a sigh. Then I droop my head to look sadly at the floor. From an angle which he cannot see, I cannot help but break into a smile. This is great. At last, I can eat a big meal freely like a pig tonight! Indeed even the wisest like Lu Jun also can have a momentary lapse in judgement. By throwing away the chili sauce, he thought I’ll not be able to eat? Even if there is no chili sauce at home. I can still order takeaway! What should I eat tonight? Spicy chicken dices, spicy hot tofu, fried shredded pork with chili pepper, braised spicy wings …… Even just thinking about these food can get my saliva flowing in the stomach.
However when it is time for dinner, I only discover that I made a big mistake because there is not even a penny in the whole house. Some small change in the drawer also has disappeared without a trace. Even the coins inside the piggy bank are all gone.
I am forced to reluctantly eat the non-greasy or strongly flavored pregnant woman meal. Feeling grief and indignation, I gnaw at the stewed chicken leg in one big mouthful. This cunning man! No wonder, he felt so assured. Actually he had already prepared well in advance!
I hang around the house for two more days. Besides eating, all I do is sleeping. I neither go outside of the front gate, nor stride toward the second (inner) gate (never leave home and have little contact with the outside world). I live like a pig being raised in an enclosure.
Lu Jun will get off work on time every day to return home to keep me company. He will amuse me by saying something funny and laugh with me to make me happy. Under his tender care, life on the whole is still pretty delightful. However since that day, he will always say he has to work overtime. In the past few days, he has been very busy until coming home late. Furthermore after returning home, he did not keep me company. He kept on saying that he is very tired and wanted to rest. Then he will go into the bedroom and fall asleep straightaway.
As a matter of fact, it is approaching ten o’clock at night now, but he has yet to come back. I am holding the pillow sulkily and curling up on the sofa. While watching television, I constantly pick up my mobile phone to look at the time. As time goes by, my mood is increasingly restless. I cannot help but dial his mobile phone number. After ringing for a long time, only then the phone is picked up. His faint voice can be heard over the receiver: “Hello? What’s up?”
I suppress the displeasure in my heart and try to speak as calmly as possible: “What are you doing? Why are you still not back yet?”
He seems not wanting to say much, so he says succinctly: “If you are sleepy, go to bed first. I am working overtime in the office and will be back in a moment.”
I continue to ask: “How long is a moment? I want to wait for you to come back before I go to sleep.”
His tone has a hint of helplessness: “Don’t be wilful. Be good, quickly go to sleep. Don’t need to wait up for me.”
At this time, I vaguely hear a female voice over at his end. Although it is not clear over the phone, I’m certain this is definitely a woman’s voice. My heart is immediately on the alert, so I raise my voice to ask: “Who are you with now? Why did I hear the voice of a woman?”
He seems to have a guilty conscience and quickly says: “Nobody, you probably heard wrongly. Okay, I’m very busy now. If there is some thing else, we’ll discuss it when I get home. I’ll hang up now.”
After the call has ended, I still foolishly hold my mobile phone and listen to the busy tone. A sense of grievance bubbles forth in my heart. Although my brain does not work too well some of the time, my hearing has always been very good. Hence I definitely did not hear wrongly just now. What kind of woman is he together with now? Moreover why is he hiding her from me, not wanting to let me know?
“Do you still need to ask? My silly girl ah, there is clearly a problem here. Oh dear, my advise is that you better be mentally prepared!” Over the phone, Ai Li’s voice reveals infinite compassion.
I immediately start to get a little worried and console myself by thinking out aloud: “It is highly unlikely because I feel that he is not that kind of person.”
Ai Li heaves a sigh: “At the beginning, a lot of men use working overtime as an excuse to have an extramarital affair. I see a lot of such incidents where the men don’t go home at night but fool around with other women outside. Furthermore you are pregnant now, so inconvenient to do that thing. It is also precisely at this period of time that handsome Lu is full of energy so it is very normal for him to be unable to control his urge.”
I feel a bit apprehensive, but I still sound very firm: “Don’t frighten me. I definitely don’t believe he will do something to betray me!”
Ai Li burst into a laugh: “Well, you look frightened until your voice is starting to sound wobbly. I am just analyzing it like this. As to whether it is true or not, you can investigate to find out.”
I don’t understand so I ask: “How to investigate?”
Ai Li ponders for a short period of time: “Didn’t he say that he has been working overtime for the last few days? You used to work as a secretary in his company, so you should know some people well there. Just ask and you will know whether it is true or not?”
Oh yes, you are right! Why did I not think of it? After hearing Ai Li’s remarks, suddenly I see the light at once and hurriedly end the call. Afterwards, I give Manager Wang a call.
The phone quickly got through. Manager Wang seems very surprised when he hears my voice: “Secretary Xia Incorrect, I should call you the general manager’s wife. Why are you calling me?”
I ignore the awkward title he is addressing me and get straight to the point by asking: “Is the company especially busy recently until need to work overtime frequently ah?”
He says inexplicably: “No, ah! There is no overtime arrangements in the company recently. Why are you asking this?”
My heart misses a beat: “Really, no overtime?”
He says with certainty: “Why will I lie to you? Aren’t you living together with the general manager now? Thus, if you don’t believe me, you can ask him ah!”
After hanging up the phone, my heart feels cold. Could it be that Ai Li’s big mouth really hit the mark?