This post is a bit sad as An Ning recalled her parents’ divorce. I think the author Celine’s parents are also divorced so she may be writing from her experience.
Chapter 13.2: What’s Most Precious?
When An Ning and Qiang Wei came out from the cafe, they unexpectedly ran into Zhou Xi. The two sides were also a bit surprised and Zhou Xi was the first to react. She smilingly and sweetly asked: “Ning Ning, have you finished shopping with your friend? Do you want to go home yet?” She was holding two bags of clothes of a brand usually wear by students. There were also some Lunar New Year decorations. Having to carry so many things, she looked a little tired.
Seeing this, An Ning hesitated whether to go and help her. Yet she really felt a little awkward so eventually she only answered ‘well’. Fortunately Qiang Wei was there to save the day right away. She said to the lady: “Auntie, we still want to shop around so we are going now.”
“Is she your stepmother?” After walking a few steps, Qiang Wei asked.
“She appears not bad.” She stated factually.
“Yes, not bad.”
In fact, this stepmother’s character is rather similar to her mother. In a lot of aspects, she may even be a little more gentle and soft but An Ning just did not know how to communicate and get along with her.
She can still vaguely remember the first time she met Zhou Xi, her father’s secretary when she was in high school. Her mind always remembered secretary Zhou’s beautiful long and flowing purple skirt which will sway from side to side as she walked.
But later, this beautiful auntie said this to her mother: “The one he loves is me, so why can’t you let us be together?!”
Why? Why someone can think that by using the name of ‘love’, she can go and break up a family legitimately? Whereas the wife who had shared her husband’s hard lot and accompanied that man to walk step by step from the beginning, became a stumbling block to this great ‘love’? An Ning did not understand, but she knew that her mother’s health deteriorated further because of this. So much so that, she had stomach bleeding which resulted in her being hospitalized. At that time, she did not realize the seriousness of the situation. She just stayed sadly by her mother’s side, no one else but only her.
When her mother woke up, she said to her: “I’ve been a teacher for more than a decade, but I am weary not because like ‘silkworm keeps on making silk until death’. Rather, I am embroiled in this kind of out doing one another ‘love’. This is truly shameful.”
Mom agreed to a divorce but her custody was awarded to father. When this marriage ended, mother only cried because her daughter cannot follow her.
On that day, father called someone to take her to G city. That person looks very much like Zhou Xi, good-looking facial features, smiling eyes and a completely natural demeanour. At that time, she did not know what happened? Suddenly she resented that kind of sanctimonious very much …… She cried and also vented her feelings because she simply did not want to leave X city, did not want to leave her mother.
When recalling a lot of those memories now, they were a little fragmented. However some of the uncomfortable emotions still cannot be erased.
Qiang Wei saw An Ning kept quiet all the way, so she reached out to touch her arm, “Meow Meow, brother-in-law is here!”
An Ning looked around but where got Xu Mo Ting? She cannot help but frown, “Why do you frighten me?”
“Puahaha”, Qiang Wei laughed out, “Why are you ‘frighten’ of seeing Xu Mo Ting ah?”
An Ning felt a little angry, but her bad mood unknowingly vanished substantially.
Qiang Wei held on to Meow Meow’s arm, “Let’s go. Accompany me again to go to another place!”
“Still have to meet people?” An Ning was having headache, “How many appointments have you actually made?”
Qiang Wei comforted her, “Don’t worry, the next one is a woman.”
She felt even more anxious.
Qiang Wei went to the car park to get her bike which was parked between the cars. Under the watchful eyes of the passer-by, Qiang Wei calmly unlocked the bike while asking: “Meow Meow, do you know that your dormitory was broken into?”
An Ning was startled, “When?”
“Just yesterday. Zhao Yang said in the middle of the night, someone broke in and groped about in the dark to steal things. In the end, he was beaten until has to be hospitalized. Tsk, this thief really knows how to pick dormitory as Zhao Yang holds a national level two athlete certificate!”
“Uh …… being a thief also needs to be technically skilful.” Speaking of which, An Ning could not help recalling a matter, “In order to study PhD in our university, a national level certificate can add 10 points ah?”
“Who did you hear this from? No such thing. Last time, Zhao Yang even purposely went to ask the teacher about this. The extra credit policy is for those who will sit for an entrance exam for a postgraduate program this year.”
An Ning stared blankly.
Qiang Wei frowned, “Is someone trying to sell you fake certificate?”
“Not fake certificate, not fake certificate issue ……” Instead, it was fraud ah! Too lacking moral fiber, lacking moral fiber. An Ning clenched her teeth. Xu Mo Ting, this person …… can be said is not that good and honest.
Qiang Wei straightened up and put the lock inside the vehicle’s basket. Seeing that Meow Meow looked confused, “You didn’t really get cheated, right?”
An Ning said softly: “I want to go back to X city.”
At this moment, the car parked next to them suddenly wound down the window, “Beauty, where do you want to go? Can I give you a ride?”
Qiang Wei sized up the vehicle owner, as well as the Peugeot car. She gave an indifferent smile and said: “Thank you, but no need. I have my own vehicle.”
While coming out, An Ning smilingly said: “Mercedes-Benz is pretty good ah.”
“That also won’t do because I’m waiting for Aston Martin!”
The person Qiang Wei wanted to bring Meow Meow to see was sister Fu. According to Qiang Wei, her older sister ran away from home. Thus she asked An Ning for help to persuade her, “My mother has been asking her every day, whether she had a wage rise? She has been under a great deal of pressure lately. She shouted, ‘When I stop supporting my younger sister, the daily wage will rise!’ Then she left home.”
An Ning black line, “Then how should I persuade her? I also don’t know your sister well.” They have only met once before, will she be interfering?
“It is okay since she quite likes you!”
This has nothing directly to do with like or not?
She did not get to see sister Fu as expected on that day. Qiang Wei guessed, “I reckon she has gone to cupping therapy. A few days ago her body was exactly like a seven-spotted ladybug. Oh, by the way, when will the two of us also go for cupping therapy? Reportedly, it can circulate energy, improve blood circulation and balance the yin and yang!”
“……” I wanted to go back to X city.
At this moment in X city, although the temperature was still a little cold, it was rare to have the sun shining brightly. Therefore leader Xu who was having the weekend off, was walking the kitten. All the people who occasionally passed by the forest trail cannot help but glance at this handsome man, as well as the cute little black kitten who was following him closely.
Xu Mo Ting walked to the wooden chair and sat down. The small fat cat was well-behaved, as it followed him right away and jumped up to sit beside him. It licked the hair at its back and miaowed at its master. Mo Ting smiled, “You are very cooperative, unlike —— ” While saying that, he stroked the little kitten’s head. At this time, the mobile phone in his pocket rang. Xu Mo Ting answered the call. The other side said: “Leader, come out to play ball!” Lao San also lost money to him.
The person who was basking in the sunshine languidly said: “Not free.”
“Why not free ah? Sister-in-law is not around.” He will not give up if he cannot win his money back!
Xu Mo Ting narrowed his eyes and felt a little like he had hit the bullseye. “Do you still have money?”
Damn it, insulting people like this! Lao San got angry and resorted to use the ace in the hole, “I have a photo of sister-in-law!”
Xu Mo Ting laughed, “If I want her photo, I could have taken it myself.”
Lao San also laughed, “Heehee, but I’ve the photo which was taken by sister-in-law when she entered the university as a freshman. She was 19 years old ah, 19 years old, can you take that? Ah ha ha ha ha!”
Mo Ting snorted softly once, “Do you want to die?”
On the afternoon of that day, when An Ning was on her way home, she received a strange phone call, “Sister-in-law, when are you coming back ah ah ah?!”
It did not sound like Zhang Qi’s voice, then who can it be? Sounded a little familiar.
When An Ning entered the house, Zhou Xi had already come back and was cooking dinner in the kitchen. She heard some noise and asked, “Ning Ning has come back?”
“Yes, where is grandmother?”
Zhou Xi smiled and said: “In her room. It is about time for dinner. Can you please call grandma to come out?”
The elderly lady was wearing reading glasses and watching Beijing opera. An Ning walked over and sat on the edge of the bed. The elderly lady pulled her somewhat cold hand into the blanket. “You still don’t like people from the Zhou family?”
An Ning slowly shook her head, “Not really don’t like.”
The elderly lady patted the back of her hand, “If you don’t like, no need to force yourself. After all, some people are just passing through in your life. Heehee, a few years later, I’ll really be passing through in your life.”
“Grandma is sure to live to a ripe old age.”
The elderly lady laughed heartily, “In that case, I hope your words come true.”
After finished eating dinner, An Ning stayed in the living room to accompany grandma and Zhou Xi to watch an hour of television before going to her room. As soon as she switched on the computer, she saw the rarely seen Xu Mo Ting was online. An Ning thought for a while and sent a smiley face icon over to him.
Xu Mo Ting replied: Switch on the video.
An Ning: = =! As soon as online, have to switch on the video right away, too frivolous. The tragedy of the speed of typing is faster than the processing speed in the brain.
In the end, it was video plus voice chat. The two had not seen each other for three to four days. When seeing him, An Ning discovered that she unexpectedly missed him very much. Xu Mo Ting always dressed very casually and comfortably at home, either woolen sweater or cashmere sweater. His appearance and character can be considered cold but he favours soft cloth material and mild color.
An Ning coughed once and said: “Long time no see.”
Xu Mo Ting raised his eyebrow slightly, “Indeed long time.”
“Cough cough …… are you very busy lately?”
“……” She reckoned she will never reach his level in her lifetime.
The two chatted for a while. An Ning thought of the previous phone call and what Qiang Wei told her. Then she tried to insinuate: “Mo Ting, is senior brother Zhang from X city?”
“Zhang Qi and Lao San are both from this city.”
“Oh, you went gambling?” An Ning initially wanted to be tactful and will ask step by step: Did you go and play ball with senior brother Zhang and gang? Then will ask: Will you be penalized if you lose the game? Lastly will ask: What is the penalty? In the end ……
Xu Mo Ting looked at the person lying on the table, the smiling expression in his eyes was obvious, but his tone was still quite insipid, “Actually, it is possible to return them the money.”
An Ning looked up, “Really?”
“The person I like …… to repay the debt in kind (body).”
Leader Xu, were you a bandit in your previous life? She could not help but utter, “Luckily, you are not here.”
“Since wifey is inviting me, in that case, I’ll come over.”
An Ning did not respond for a very long time. When she recovered her composure, the other person has already said: “It is quite late now, so go to bed early.”
How could she sleep?!
On that night, An Ning suffered from insomnia, so tossed and turned the whole night. Eventually she managed to fall asleep but had nightmare of the coming of the big bad wolf. The big bad wolf smilingly said to the little white rabbit: If you want me to give you carrot, you have to let me bite you.
A pitiful Meow Meow forgot that the gambling debt actually has nothing to do with her.