Chapter 74 – Worry
At the Zhang family manor, Yahan seemed to be in a good mood. She had just finished showering, and her long hair, still half-dry, scattered randomly across her shoulders. She was humming happily and packing some stationary into her pencil case for school.
It was currently 3 in the afternoon — ordinary people would have just woken up from their afternoon nap. Since the sun had been shining brightly the whole day, all the people in the mansion were feeling lethargic, but Yahan was an exception.
Evening dresses, casual wear, high heels, a handbag, a cosmetic box, and jewelry… She viewed them carefully before packing them away. The truth was she was currently looking for clothing to wear on the ‘Dream Star’ luxury cruise amidst the clothes she usually wore to school. While slowly packing, she felt a strange anticipation, but she also did not know why she was feeling like that.
In fact, when she was comparing her various pearl necklaces, and was looking in the mirror she found a silly smile on her face. Just then, the door to her room was suddenly pushed open.
“You’re always so energetic, Yahan…”
“It’s because I'm still young, so I have a lot of energy! Little Mom, you're still young too! You should go exercise more instead of just staying at home all day.”
The woman yawned, then smiled, “Ah… I don't really have anywhere I want to go, and I feel like sleeping all the time recently…”
Yahan glanced sharply at her, “Is it possible… that you're preg—”
“How would it be that…” She waved her hand in denial, “I'm actually here because of your father. Since the cruise is on the second of October, he wanted to know whether you will be coming home first and going with us, or getting there on your own?”
“I have to take care of something at school on the first. I'll go by myself on the second, since I have a car anyways. If I come home first, I'll probably end up packing additional things.”
“I heard that you have requested several cruise tickets this time. Are you going with others?”
“Oh, yeah.” Yahan nodded, “With a few students.”
“Oh really? Come now, don't hide anything in front of your mom. So what is he like? What's his family background? Let me know so I can praise him in front of your father…”
“What are you talking about?” Yahan burst out laughing, “I'm really going with students!”
“...So it's a secret teacher-student relationship?”
Yahan snorted and smiled secretively, not answering again. Her stepmother studied her for a while, before saying, “You're obviously lying, the whole family can tell. You're not the same as before, it has to be love! Little Mom is still young, I've also experienced a fierce and passionate romance; you've probably been unusually energetic due to it…”
“Ok, ok, Little Mom, you don't need to tell me about that romance. My dad's going to get jealous if he hears you talk about it. Also, I don't believe it. When have I not been full of energy?”
“You just aren't acting the same… You usually don't like to dress up, but now you suddenly went to buy new cosmetics and a new evening dress. You’re even greeting everyone you see when you're at home…”
“So what if I went shopping? We're going on a cruise soon... and is it wrong to greet people at home?” Yahan smirked.
“Ever since that incident with Liu Wenli, you've been decidedly cold with your family. However, yesterday morning, you suddenly took the initiative to greet your father. Didn't you see your father almost spit out the soy milk he was drinking in surprise? Oh, speaking of Liu Wenli, was he the guy that knocked me out that night? I'm telling you, if he marries you, I'm going to beat him up first. Besides, as a future son-in-law, he should take my beating quietly…”
“How does that even relate…” Yahan smiled secretively as she fantasized about marrying Jiaming. She was older than him by seven to eight years. If they really ended up like that, she really was his homegrown wife like how he joked.
Her feelings were shambles as she thought about him joking around. Her stepmom cleared her throat, “Forget it. I know you refuse to say anything about it. Besides, we'll be able to see for ourselves on the cruise. But I'm also letting you know; if this guy’s family status can't be compared to ours, you would better let me know so I can smooth it out for you. Your father seems strict on the surface, but he's really worried about you. He has recently donated generously to a few world-famous hospitals, and heard that they were making some developments in America. It's possible that by the end of the year…”
As she was talking, a phone suddenly rang, and Yahan glanced briefly at her stepmom, signaled her to pause, before taking out her cell phone —the brick sized type— from her purse. Then, picking up the call, she said in a formal manner, “Hello, this is Zhang Yahan.”
In the next moment, her expression changed from her usual stern-looking face into a brightly smiling one, “Oh, it’s Jiaming. Are Lingjing and Shasha ready to go? I went shopping yesterday and found two necklaces that are quite suitable for the two of them… Don’t worry, it’s not expensive… Huh? You have something to do and can’t go? ...Oh… ok… No it’s fine… You can just sell the tickets, I don’t know who else to give them to… Oh… Then you can give them back to me at school… Ok, bye…”
From her stern expression changing into a brilliant smile and then changing to a slightly depressed look, Yahan’s expressions did not escape the woman beside her. When she saw her end the call, she quietly asked, “What happened? Was there an emergency?”
“No, he's just staying with his two girlfriends…”
“What? He has two girlfriends?!”
“I'm kidding,” Yahan forced a laugh, “They really are just students.”
“Yeah right. From when you first picked up the phone to now, your expression has told me everything. Springtime has arrived for you! Look, your cheeks were as red as a delicious-looking apple when you first picked up the phone… and now, you look faded like a candle that’s about to flicker out…” She pinched Yahan’s cheeks, looking at their reflection in the mirror. Yahan reluctantly said, “The only reason that I’m fading, is because you’re squeezing my cheeks. Little Mom, please…”
Leaving behind pinch marks on Yahan’s face, she let go. Yahan only smiled and rolled her eyes, while her stepmom said in a huff, “Fine then. If you insist on not saying anything, then I won’t ask anything anymore. However, are you still going on the cruise?”
“Of course I’ll go. Now leave me alone, I have to finish packing…”
“Ok, I’ll let you pack in peace. But you know, since you’re heartbroken, I won’t be noisy, but if…”
“Ok, ok, I’m leaving…”
She closed the door behind her as she left. After finishing with her packing, Yahan sat down on her suitcase and eyed the mirror. Her cheeks were no longer red, but her heart was also no longer as excited for the cruise.
Springtime? How could that be possible? He is only a sixteen years old child... Of course, even though she treated him like an adult, he was still only a child. Just a child!
At around 4pm, she put on her usual school clothes like an old spinster and dragged the suitcase behind her. She continued feeling unsettled and got lost in her thoughts as she was driving. It seemed that her car had ran past a red light and she was jerked out of her reverie by the sound of the siren as the traffic police caught up to her and pulled her over. When the police started talking to her about the traffic laws she had broken, she stared listlessly at her steering wheel and seemed like a lost stray swan unable to rejoin her flock for winter...
Once an idea is sown, sometime they take root and slowly start to grow. Love is the same and so is language… Now she was disorientated by it.
Late at night, the gentle melody of the piano could be heard from ‘Nordic Fantasy’. A bicycle stopped in a small alley that led to the back of the restaurant. It seemed that Jiaming had arrived early, so he sat on the railing by the roadside waiting for Lingjing, who seemed to be slightly later than usual.
Illuminated by the yellow glow of the streetlights, that street did not have a lot of pedestrians. Not long after, three young men with dyed hair passed by. The group of three resembled a traffic light as each of them had their hair dyed in one of the three different colors. They exchanged glances as they saw the young man sitting on the railing. After a moment, the red head and the green head casually sat next to Jiaming.
“Hey, little fellow. You got any money?”
“Nice bike you have there…”
Inside Nordic Fantasy, Lingjing was prepared to leave work when she encountered Zhang Jingfeng and greeted him, “Manager Zhang.”
“Hey, Lingjing. Since you’re taking three days off for National Day, do you have any plans?”
“Yeah, originally I had plans, but now I don’t. However, since I have already requested those days off, I decided to take a break. What’s the matter? Do you need someone on those days? I can work if you need me to.”
“Haha, no, no. I just feel like it’s such a coincidence since you booked those three days off and don’t have any plans. Oh yeah, have you seen the commercial for the ‘Dream Star’ luxury cruise on television?”
“Hmm…” Lingjing paused, then hesitated before nodding, “Yeah, I’ve seen it.”
“Oh, that’s great then. My father actually had some business dealings with the people that organized this cruise and received a couple of tickets. I have an additional ticket and since you’ve been doing so well at work, I felt that it would be good to gift it to you. Come, please accept this…”
Looking down at the piece of paper that Zhang Jingfeng had given her, Lingjing could not help by smile helplessly. Compared to this ticket, there were higher tier tickets in her handbag, not just one, but five tickets, but… they had decided not to go…
5/7 chapters (next release is May 30).
Waiting for last chap of the month to be edited (: