Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
The two elders had thought it through very quickly. There was no choice for them as this was their generation’s problem. The problem had been presented to them by their father, who else could they go to with this query?
They were not about to let it affect any of Yan Huaian’s future relationships.
All the two elders wanted was for Yan Huaian to find himself a girlfriend from a good family.
From the looks of it, the Yu family really fit the bill.
Yu Gesheng and Yu Han could no longer maintain their upset expressions when met with Old Lady Yan’s enthusiasm.
Both of them answered honestly to every question Old Lady Yan posed to them.
Yan Huaian had finished preparing dinner and called out for everyone to join him at the dinner table.
Everyone tasted the dishes and thought Yan Huaian’s culinary skills were pretty good.
Yu Gesheng and Yu Han were terribly hesitant to say so. They had to admit Yan Huaian was a good boyfriend, but at the same time, they were not willing to openly praise him.
Yuan Hejing had no such qualms and immediately praised him, “I would never have expected Huaian’s cooking to be so good.”
“That’s so true. Huaian was never a spoilt child. When he was studying overseas, he had to completely take care of himself. You don’t need to worry about Yu Zi marrying him. I can guarantee she won’t be bullied. Yu Zi doesn’t need to do anything after marriage. Just let Huaian handle everything,” said Old Lady Yan.
Yuan Hejing was very relieved and happy. She looked at the Yan family and thought about Yue Jingchen’s family. One would not realize how big of a change there was without that comparison.
Yu Gesheng, “…”
Yu Han, “…”
Why did she bring up marriage?
Old Lady Yan’s advances were as persistent as they were formidable.
“By the way, when are you planning to get married?” Old Lady Yan asked.
Yu Zi, “…”
Their relationship was still quite new.
It was not the right time for Yan Huaian to voice his opinion. He wanted to marry Yu Zi as soon as possible but it was obvious that the Yu family would not agree to it.
If he were to say something now, the Yu family might find him too flippant and was not sincere in his wish to marry Yu Zi.
Anyway, being a son-in-law was a tiring job.
Yu Gesheng was the one who replied politely, “These two kids had just begun their relationship. Isn’t it too soon to talk about marriage?”
Old Lady Yan replied, “It’s not too early at all. They will still need to get engaged, then we would need to decide on a good day for marriage. There’s also the issue of booking a hotel, arranging the wedding dinner, taking the wedding pictures and getting their marriage license. There’re so many things that we should start preparing for right now. When next year comes, we should more or less have everything done and by that time, Huaian and Yu Zi would have been in a relationship for quite a while. It would be the right time for them to get married. If we start preparing only next year, wouldn’t they need to wait till the year after to get married? For the hotel, it would be quite convenient as our family-owned Sheng Yue would be most suitable for it. What do you think?”
Yu Gesheng, “…”
They did not give it the slightest thought.
Who would look at things this way?!
Old Lady Yan ignored them. She was already holding Yu Zi’s hand. “I feel close to Lil’ Yu. I’ve liked this child from the moment I met her.”
Old Lady Yan pulled out a little purse while she said this.
The purse was truly exquisite. At a closer look, it was double-sided embroidery. It may just appear to be a little purse but judging by the handiwork, it was worth quite a bit of money.
One could tell that it was embroidered by hand and not by machine.
Embroidery by hand gave the handiwork a sense of liveliness. It looked of higher quality than standard machine embroidery.
It was rare to find such exquisite work nowadays. It would not be an exaggeration to refer to it as a national treasure. One might not be able to buy a purse like this even if they had a lot of money to offer.
Old Lady Yan opened the purse and took out a royal green jade ring that’s surface was the size of a thumbnail. It was slightly transparent. One would be able to see through the thick ring surface and see the skin color of the person wearing it.
“This is for you. My mother-in-law gave it to me for keepsake on Huaian’s behalf. It’s supposed to be given to his wife. There used to be a ring setting beneath this, but my mother-in-law was worried the size would not fit, so she removed it and left the ring surface for me to keep. She wanted me to pass it on to Huaian’s wife. This is for you to keep. You can get the ring setting altered according to your ring size,” Old Lady Yan pushed the little purse and ring surface into Yu Zi’s hands.
Yu Zi felt the heavy weight of the item in her palm.
“You don’t need to do this. This is too valuable, especially since they’ve only just started the relationship,” Yu Gesheng said with the intention of rejecting it.
Old Lady Yan’s enthusiasm was too much for them to handle.
Old Lady Yan waved her hand and refused to take it back. “There’s nothing wrong with this. You don’t know Huaian well enough. This is the way he is. He will not be in a relationship unless he finds someone who he can seriously consider a potential life-partner. I have never seen him get close to any women all these years and he had never gotten himself a girlfriend. His brother and I have been feeling anxious at home about this. He’s only just started a relationship with Yu Zi at such a mature age. That means he has no thoughts about breaking up, he has made up his mind to marry Yu Zi. That is why it’s not too early to give this to Yu Zi.”
“This is from my sister-in-law. Do accept it,” Yan Huaian held Yu Zi’s hand in his, covering the little purse in Yu Zi’s palm with his.
Yan Huaian said seriously, “Uncle, Auntie, I’ve liked Yu Zi for a long time. That has not changed, and it will never change in the future.”
Yuan Hejing nodded in acknowledgment while Yu Gesheng said nothing.
In the end, he negotiated with Old Lady Yan and decided to let them both date for half a year and get to know each other well before talking about marriage. This would delay it by six months.
Old Lady Yan reluctantly agreed.
Before she left, she even warned Yan Huaian, “Cherish this relationship with everything you’ve got. Don’t create any trouble that will end up with you losing your girlfriend whom you worked so hard to court.”
Yu Gesheng and Yu Han were numbed from everything Old Lady Yan said by now. They could never find the right words when talking to her.
It was one week later when Yu Zi received a call from Yue Jingchen close to after-work hours.
She had no idea what he wanted to say but Yu Jingchen informed her that he was waiting for her in a café next to her office building.
Yu Zi gave it some thought and decided to drop by.
It was a few minutes before the day was over, but Yu Zi decided to leave work early.
She spotted Yue Jingchen when she stepped into the café.
He had picked an open spot, not a hidden corner at the back of the café. This gave Yu Zi great relief.
She walked over when she saw Yue Jingchen wave her over.
Yue Jingchen had lost a lot of weight. He was not as pale as the last time she saw him at the hospital, but he still looked dispirited.
“Thank you for seeing me,” said Yue Jingchen.
Yu Zi sat down and glanced at his wrist. “Is it better?”
Yue Jingchen nodded and looked at the scar on his wrist. “I’m sorry for what happened the last time. I was in the wrong. I shouldn’t have forced you.”
“I just hope you won’t do it again in the future. You should live your life fully. You still have a livelihood and your parents. Don’t make them worry for you again,” Yu Zi said gently.
“I know,” Yue Jingchen replied.
The waiter came by to get their orders, but Yu Zi did not want anything.
She explained to Yue Jingchen, “Huaian will be picking me up soon. I can’t stay long.”
Yue Jingchen’s expression stiffened at the words. “You’re together now?”
Yu Zi nodded. “I’m sorry.”
Yue Jingchen shook his head and smiled bitterly. “You have nothing to apologize for. I wronged you first by allowing you to suffer and be pushed around. He can give you whatever I can and even what I can’t give you. He takes better care of you. I’m the one who wasn’t good enough.”
As he said this, Yue Jingchen’s eyes went red. He tried his best to hold back his tears. He turned away from her and tried to calm his emotions.
He took a deep breath before continuing. “There’s no ulterior motive in me coming here today. I just want to apologize to you. And… I want to tell you that I won’t be giving you trouble again. I won’t come looking for you and my parents will stop harassing you as well.”
Yu Zi’s felt a choke in her throat. She had never expected both of them would end up this way. They could not even stay friends even after breaking up, and probably would never see each other until the day they die. This felt worse than being strangers with one another.
“Yu Zi, I wish you happiness. I hope he can achieve whatever I couldn’t and take very good care of you. I’m so sorry. I wasn’t able to protect you. I couldn’t keep my promise,” Yue Jingchen sniffled and looked at the woman across from him intensely, not even blinking his eyes.
He would not be able to look at her this way again after today.
This was a woman he had loved for six years, and suddenly, she no longer belonged to him.
It was something that Yue Jingchen still could not accept even until today.
However, he would need to accept this reality.
Yu Zi did not say anything else. She did not even say that she wished Yue Jingchen would be able to find his own happiness.
Of course, she wished for him to be happy and to let go of his past.
But his parents…
It would sound a little ironic if Yu Zi wished him happiness.
Yue Jingchen’s noticed something and the corners of his lips twitched. “He’s here. He’s picking you up, right?”
Yu Zi turned her head at his words and saw Yan Huaian standing outside the café. He did not enter. It looked like he wanted to give her some space to talk to Yue Jingchen.
Considerate as always.
Yu Zi saw Yan Huaian and a warm smile appeared on her face.
The smile was so warm that it nearly blinded Yue Jingchen. There was a bitterness in his heart as he realized that with Yan Huaian around, there would never be a chance for him to be with Yu Zi.
Yu Zi turned back toward him and Yue Jingchen said, “There’s nothing else I’d like to say. Go home with him. I’d like to sit here for a while longer.”
Yu Zi nodded. “I’ll… Take my leave then.”
She took one last look at Yue Jingchen. A part of her was unwilling to let him go. It was not because she still loved him but for the past six years, she had loved him whole-heartedly. He was the young man who had accompanied her throughout her youth.
It was an unwillingness to let go of the past and the memories, an unwillingness to let go of a friendship and a connection.
Yu Zi sighed quietly. She made the decision to dismiss her unwillingness and turned to leave.
When she walked out of the café, Yan Huaian was standing where the evening light was shining on him. It looked like he was being surrounded by a soft golden-red light.
He gave Yu Zi a warm smiled when he saw her. His eyes were filled with love and acceptance for her.
He reached his hands out to her and Yu Zi placed her hand in his. She took the initiative to explain, “He came here to apologize to me. We’ll never see each other again.”
Yan Huaian nodded. “Let’s go. Let’s go home.”
Yu Zi followed Yan Huaian towards the carpark. Their shadows leaned on each other as their silhouette stretched longer as they walked away.
There was a quiet, happy atmosphere between them as the people bustled noisily around them.
Yu Zi turned to look at the tall, reliable man next to her. Her lips could not help but curve up into a smile.
She felt safe whenever she was with him. She wanted to always be with him from here onwards.
There were no second thoughts about getting married to him. No confusion or worry.
Yu Zi lowered her head to look at their holding hands. She held on tighter and her other hand slid into his arms. She snuggled closer to him intimately.
She had lost the love of her youth. What she gained in return, was an enduring, warm companionship.
With him around, there were no longer any regrets.
Her heart was filled with ease and comfort. There was a quiet sense of contentment as her heart moved for him.
Yue Jingchen walked out of the café slowly and watched them walk further and further away. They looked so compatible, so meant for each other.
Just like that, Yu Zi walked further and further away from his life.
Who would have thought that she would end up spending the rest of her life with another man?
Yue Jingchen looked away only after they got into the car. He quietly turned away and walked off.
Only he knew how much his heart hurt.
-The End –