何所冬暖 何所夏凉 SEASON: Chapter 4.2

This chapter marks the end of Jian An Jie’s time in China for the time being. Starting next chapter, we’ll be in a new setting. Finally!

HAHA … This picture might be a bit misleading. LOL

My relationship with him seemed to be destined. Every time we meet, there’s  mutual hostility and then we’ll part on bad terms.

When I returned to my room, I couldn’t help recalling the conversation from just now.

Xi Xi Chen, while this person is cold tempered, he exhibits domineering characteristics. To outsiders, he appeared to be an unusually lucky person. More than exceptional, more than perfect. This kind of person, he totally doesn’t benefit from interacting with me, but I’m not stupid, if the countless times he’d tried to get close to me was only to embarrass me, this reasoning couldn’t be justified. But, if it’s really like what I’d suspected, and he wanted to change the relationship with me for some reason, and this reason is one that I’d refused to guess, then, how can the results be guaranteed? Truth is, Jian An Jie and Xi Xi Chen will never be able to interact harmoniously. From the bottom of my heart, I dislike him. The kind of dislike that’s filled with disgust and hatred. In fact, the conclusion has long been there, had it not? There’s no point in seeking alternative routes, all I need to do is follow it.

“Sister.” A familiar, sweet sound interrupted my chaotic train of thoughts. Jian Yu Lin was standing by the door.

“If I tell you you’re not welcomed, will you leave?”

As expected, he shook his head. I didn’t bother wasting anymore breath and just let him be. When I got downstairs, I saw the servants cleaning and casually asked: “Where’s Xi Xi Chen?”

“Mr. Xi returned to his room.”

I grabbed a bottle of water when I entered into the kitchen, as I returned to the second floor, I couldn’t help looking at that closed door and thought: I wonder if it’s feasible to ask for his assistance to have Jian Yu Lin carried out of the room. After all, just moments earlier, we were still in a verbal standoff at the dinning table. Not to mention…. After thinking about it, I still went over, knocked on the door and after a while, opened the door. I was surprised. It’s obvious that he had just came out from the bathroom, wearing only a black trouser and his upper body was naked. His hair was messy and damp. Compared to his usual stern image, this added three parts unruly and three parts sexiness to him. To be honest, I’m very, very not used to it. I think I really came at a bad time.

He was also slightly surprised to see me. He turned around to get a white shirt from the bed to put on. “Need something?” He asked.

“Jian Yu Lin is in my room.” The meaning cannot be more clear and I believe he should understand my implication.

“Can we have a discussion?”

My footsteps paused slightly. “I don’t believe there’s anything to discuss between us.”

“Mr. Ye is an artist under the management of Mei Shang Corporation. I’m sure you’ve heard of this before.”

I stopped my footsteps.

“In the near future,” Xi Xi Chen’s tone sounded like he’s deliberating how to express his thoughts, but also trying to suppress the sudden coming of ill thoughts. “He will likely encounter some trouble.”

“I didn’t know Mr. Xi was also interested in the entertainment business.”

The Xi Family owns the Mei Shang Corporation.”

I was stunned. It seems I really am ignorant. “Why are you telling me all this?” I’m referring to Ye Lin.

“You’ll want to know.”

“Then, thank you for your presumptuousness.”

“Jie An Jie. If we give each other a chance, we can interact harmoniously.”

Interact harmoniously?

I didn’t want to hear anymore of his nonsensical words. As for Jian Yu Lin, he can do whatever he want! However, before I even stepped out two steps, Xi Xi Chen already appeared in front of me and blocked my way. Appearing very melancholy. “The crime that you’d implicated me with, what is the time limit that you’d set? How long is it?”

I took a deep breath. Due to his sudden unusual gaze, my heart felt like it was shrinking uncontrollably, making it hard to breathe. “Who has the ability of convicting Mr. Xi of a crime?”

“There is. Jian An Jie, you know, you’ve always had the ability!” His pair of eyes were dark and flashed with some sort of danger. In the next moment, his lips were imprinted on mine and my breath was taken away. Excessive fright caused me to forget to resist.  By the time his tongue had aggressively invaded into my mouth, I panicked and wanted to break free from him, but his right hand slid into my hair to suppress my struggles. The kiss gradually deepen, and my body was completely pressed against his scalding chest.

“Jian. Miss Jian, Mr. Xi, you’re…..”

The suffocating feeling withdrew, I could feel him holding me in his arms. I slightly looked at the front in a trance.

“Lin ma, go into Miss Jian’s room and bring Yu Lin to his own room.” In a haze, I heard his low voice had already restored to it’s usual calm, mixed in with a faint trace of dullness.

When I felt him kissing the side of my hair, I finally realized I’ve allowed him to hold me in his arms this whole time. I suddenly pushed him away and ran down the stairs. My behaviour could easily be classified as fleeing. I walked around in the garden restlessly. Although the temperature outside was negative zero and I only had on a layer of thin sweater, I didn’t feel cold at all. I seldom kissed Ye Lin back in the days. During the occasional times we were intimate, it was still only a gentle touch. This Xi Xi Chen simply is…..I’ve always thought he had enough self control and sensibility, but that appeared to not be the case. I couldn’t help being overflowed with bitter laughter. Evidently, the clear boundaries set between us have now been blurred by him.

Remembering what the servant had told me today in regards to my father returning tonight, if my father returned but Shen Jing Yu still didn’t appear, then I don’t think I will continue to wait any longer. After all, that apology can remain unspoken, even if I remain guilty. I’m more scared that the gains reaped from the continual wait will not outweigh the loss.

Xi Xi Chen likes me? That’s the most comical thing I’ve ever encountered.

Right at this moment, a car light flashed and the black vehicle drove into the garage. I stood next to the dimly lit flower shrub as I watched father got out of the car, followed by Shen Qing Yu. Looks like I can leave this place.

I stayed outside for another 15 minutes. By the time I walked into the living room, father was on the phone and a mature and capable woman was holding Jian Yu Lin talking on the side. Passage of time seemed to not have left many traces on her face.

Father saw me and finished his phone call. “An Jie.” He hesitantly walked towards me while trying to find a topic he can talk about. “I was just asking Lin ma where you were. It’s so cold, why did you go outside?”

I remained calm and collected, silently waiting for his next words.

He looked at Shen Qing Yu. “Some times ago, your Aunt Shen was also in Singapore, so we returned together this time.”

I made a “en” sound.

Father saw that my expression was so indifferent, unsure of how to continue. He sighed before continuing: You and your aunt haven’t seen each other in six years, inevitably there will be unfamiliarity. It’ll be better once you interact more in the future.

I couldn’t help chuckling. Me and her, we’ve never been familiar.

“An Jie.” Shen Qing Yu finally made a sound. “I heard from your father that you’d returned earlier. Originally, I’d wanted to come back sooner, but I couldn’t find the time. As a result, it got dragged till now. Coincidentally, I returned on the same day as your father. Welcome home. I’ll be home tomorrow, we can have a good chat.”

“Okay. If there’s nothing else, I’ll head up first.” I head up the stairs, walking around the man standing there.

Once the door closed, I unloaded my defence and fatigue.

The next day, when I went downstairs, there was no one in the living room. The TV was on and the person being broadcasted on the television program was actually Xi Xi Chen. I’m not sure what reasoning prompted me, but I paused there.

“We are very honoured to have invited CEO Xi Xi Chen to be on this season’s [Celebrity]”. The host started professionally and routinely received a round of applause.

Xi Xi Chen sat on a single sofa, wearing a tailored fit black suit and his slender legs were overlapped. If I  evaluate him objectively, he looked really elegant and luxurious. Coupled with him having some kind of light aura on him, it really adds a layer of mystery to him.

“Our program team has invited many successful entrepreneurs before, but I dare say, Mr Xi, you are the youngest and most handsome entrepreneur we’ve ever had on our program. As far as I’m aware, you are not thirty yet right?”

“Yes.” Xi Xi Chen answered very simply.

“You’ve accomplished so much this young, really admirable.”

“My father, the founder of Xi Shi Holding, was an extremely dedicated entrepreneur. I just used the platform he gave me, that’s all.”

“Mr. Xi, you are too modest. Based on my intel, Xi Shi Holding in the past five years have been developing extraordinarily. Mr. Xi must have an unique and correct view in regards to the management of an enterprise.” The host then continued to ask some questions about the concept of business management and he replied accordingly.

I watched for a bit, then went into the kitchen. I found two pieces of bread and ate it with water. When I came back out, the hostess looked at the audience as she said:  Next, we are going to respond to the audience’s requests. More accurately, the female audience’s request. We’ll like to consult with Mr. Xi on a few personal questions.” Immediately, there were applauses.

“Mr. Xi has always been low-key, we’re all curious if Mr. Xi is married or not?”

“Not yet.”

“As expected, still a bachelor!” The hostess continued half jokingly. “But don’t tell me Mr. Xi, you plan on being single forever?”

“I will marry.” He said.

“Does this mean, at the moment, Mr. Xi already have a suitable wedding candidate? If so, I think the unmarried female audience before us and in front of the TV will express envy and jealously. Not sure if Mr. Xi can reveal a little bit on the future Mrs. Xi?”

“I’ll be happy to, but I don’t think she will want me to mention her.”

“He recorded this two days ago. He never participated in this kind of program before, and yet, he seemed to be handling it easily.” Not sure when Shen Qing Yu arrived behind me and then came towards me. She happily told me, “This is the television program I am responsible for. I’d asked him several times, he finally gave me face this time.” When she got to the end, it turned into self muttering. “But, when did Xi Xi Chen have a girl he fancied?”

I opened my mouth. “It seems like you are all living well.”

Shen Qing Yu’s expression looked slightly unnatural. “An Jie.”

I took a deep breath before I slowly stated: “The incident from that year, both my father and your nephew had assumed I did it on purpose, but you should know best whether that was the case or not?”

Her expression turned sour. “The stuff from the past, don’t let it burden our heart. In the future, we should all live happily.”

I quietly laughed. “Don’t worry, I only wanted to tell you, I’ve always felt guilty that I didn’t managed to hold onto you, and let your child die. But that accident wasn’t my fault, you are very aware of this. So please stop your dead child from looking for me.”

“You…..” Shen Qing Yu looked at me in amazement.

I didn’t wait for her to say anything else and went upstairs to pack my luggage. The moment I got to the room, my stomach started acting up. The spasms were so disgusting I couldn’t stop retching. I ran to the washroom and threw up some water.

I’d seen psychiatrist in France before because at night I was too scared to sleep.

Just when I’d finished packing my luggage after washing my face and returning back to the room, a servant knocked on my door to tell me my father will return in the afternoon, and wanted to eat lunch with me.

I pondered, but eventually nodded my head uselessly. Give an in-person farewell, after that, I won’t care about anything here anymore.

Contrary to my expectations, I had only hoped to receive some fair treatments, but even such request was too extravagant.

Before dinning, the servant came to inform me that my father wanted me to go to the study room.

When I got to the study room, before knocking, I looked out of the window at the end of the hallway. The grey sky appeared so oppressive, it seemed like a sleet storm was approaching.

“Come in.”

When I pushed open the door, I discovered the unusualness of the atmosphere. Father, Shen Qing Yu and even Xi Xi Chen were all there. Father and Shen Qing Yu were standing by the table in a discussion, while Xi Xi Chen was sitting on the side with his head down. His bangs blocked the light, and shadows had formed on his eyelids, causing his expression to appear deep and inexplicable.

“An Jie.” Shen Qing Yu kindly called out.

“Need something?” This kind of atmosphere made me feel uneasy for no reason.

“Yes, and it’s a good thing.” Shen Qing Yu said happily.

“An Jie, father wanted to tell you something.” Jian Zhen Lin’s voice was overly serious and cautious.

Jian Zhen Lin walked over and handed me a picture. The picture showed a very proper looking man. “This is Mr. Chen Qi Jun.”

I froze for a moment, then promptly stared at him in disbelief. There was guilt in Jian Zhen Lin’s eyes. I took a step back, an overwhelming sense of suffocation engulfed me. The picture in my hand slipped, and slowly, both of my hands on my sides clenched into a fist.

“An Jie, I only wanted to do something for you, to compensate you.” Jian Zhen Lin’s voice was dull. “I hoped for someone to take care of you, and to love you. Mr. Chen Qi Jun’s personality is straightforward, has a lofty position, and a successful career. For you, there’s no better candidate.”

“An Jie, you don’t have to worry or think unnecessary thoughts. Mr. Chen thinks highly of you. Even though there’s a seven years age difference, but older man and younger woman relationships last even longer.”

“If you agree, I will mention it with Mr. Chen tomorrow. An Jie, you have to trust father. Father won’t harm you. The reason why father would do this is for your own good, for your future.”

“Enough!” I finally couldn’t restrain myself anymore and shouted loudly. I’d never thought of getting revenge on them ——- getting revenge on my father for abandoning me, or retaliation on Shen Qing Yu for her false accusations. But that doesn’t mean they will give up on hurting me again and again.”

“An Jie?”

I looked at my father, whom every word was of his desire to “compensate” me. “You’re amazing father. For the sake of your own business, you called back a daughter you’d kicked out six years ago. Mr. Chen Qi Jun was it?” I bent over and picked up the photo by my foot. “He fancies me. What does he like about me? Is it my face, or my subpar, ruined body? Have you ever told him your daughter has mental illness. Or that your daughter’s right hand is crippled.”

“Wha, what?”

His expression of surprise made me want to laugh. “You’d never cared about how I’ve lived up till now, what right do you have to control my future? For my own good? What a hypocritical excuse. Why don’t you just tell me directly that you want to use me for your own benefits. Wouldn’t that seem more sincere? At least I won’t feel this revolted. If that were the case, maybe I would’ve even mercifully helped you out!”

“An, An Jie. What did you say? Disable….” Shen Qing Yu wanted to grab my hand.

I evaded her touch. “Shen Qing Yu. You clearly don’t like me, and yet, you put on a concerned act. Who are you doing this for? Isn’t it tiresome?”

Shen Qing Yu was a little anxious. “An Jie, I don’t dislike you. I’m just, just not sure how to interact with you…..”

I smiled bitterly — — my eyes swept over the people in front of me. My shocked father, the tensed Shen Qing Yu and Xi Xi Chen, who has had his head down this whole time. “I originally thought, why did they asked me to return this time? To apologize for the years of abandonment? Turns out, it’s just to use me as a bargaining chip for marriage. Which one of my picture did you show Mr. Chen? From before I left the country? When I was still seventeen or eighteen? Mr. Chen like minors? Also, this house that you said you’ll give me before, was it meant to be my dowry? You’re too generous.”

“An Jie, don’t be like this.”

“Don’t be like this? You guys joined together to send me away. I shouldn’t make any sound in this situation? I’m not the same Jian An Jie from before. I won’t be so weak and incompetent as to be discarded again. Even less so to be exploited and degraded.”

“An Jie, why do you have to be so extreme?” Jian Zhen Lin’s body trembled like the dead leaves in the cold wind. “Also, what happened to your body exactly? Why is your right hand disabled?”

I forced myself to not shed tears. “To say these cheap kind words now, will only make me hate you more.”

Jian Zhen Lin looked at me pathetically, utterly stunned.

I pulled out the credit card that I’ve always kept in my pocket and threw it in front of Jian Zhen Lin. “I’m returning this to you. There’s not a cent missing from there. In the future, I no longer have any relationship with you, Mr. Jian.”

The moment I finished my last sentence, I straighten my back, turned, and left with all of my pride. Proving that this time, Jian An Jie wasn’t kicked out from the Jian household. I walked through the entrance, passed the garden, and freely allowed the cold rain droplets to land on my body. When I crossed the iron gate, I thought this time, it’s really over.”

I remember there’s a line in a poem, it said: what’s beautiful is not the small building, but rather, the story within the small building.”  On myself it became, “the building remained as the beautiful small building, but what I’d experienced here, never had any relation to beauty.”

The tears flowed like the rain, fell off my cheeks and landed on the cold ground underneath my feet.

“Brother, take me away from this place.” I collapsed into the arms of Pu Zheng who had ran towards me with an umbrella.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *