Chapter 12.1: As It Turns Out
(translated by lidge and edited by peanuts)
Mo Sheng went to work with red eyes. Xiao Hong carefully looked at her eyes and asked in a grieving tone: “Broke up with your boyfriend?”
Mo Sheng replied in a low voice to match her grieving tone: “Comrade Xiao Hong, do you want to treat beef rice to comfort a heart broken colleague?”
Xiao Hong thought for a while: “Then, you better don’t break up with your boyfriend.”
Colleague Bai bought a newspaper with Ying Hui on the cover. Mo Sheng saw the newspaper on his desk so she conveniently brought it over to her desk to read. The long article chronicled his life with praises and pomposity. True to a tabloid newspaper’s distinguishing feature, there was gossip and speculation about Ying Hui’s wife.
Mo Sheng put down the newspaper and stared blankly for a long time.
She did not know many people in the U.S. She was closest to sister Juan, but they lost contact after she returned to China. The other person was Ying Hui. Actually in regard to Ying Hui, Mo Sheng only felt gratitude because he had helped her a lot. That time when he was drunk, he did not cross the line and hurt her.
After hesitating for a while, Mo Sheng turned on her computer, went to SOSOmail website, then her not often use mailbox to look for Ying Hui’s email address.
After changing what she wrote several times, only one sentence remained in the end.
——”Ying Hui, what happened last night at the hotel lobby, thank you.”
A few minutes after sending the email, her inbox had an alert for new mail. Mo Sheng refreshed the screen and clicked to open the email.
Recipient: Zhao Mo Sheng
Topic: Re: No Subject
Two simple words appeared, like from a stranger. Mo Sheng’s fingers stilled on the keyboard, not knowing what to say. She remembered the gossips she heard from students in C University, then quickly replied.
“Ying Hui, have you met her again now that you’re back in China? Maybe you still have a chance.”
A reply did not come forth in a long time.
Mo Sheng regretted it.
Maybe she overstepped herself, as everyone has an untouchable part in the heart. Maybe that girl was his deepest wound.
That night, Mo Sheng and Yi Chen talked about what happened. Yi Chen frowned at her and said two words: “Really slow.”
Then, he added: “Thank goodness you’re slow.”
Mo Sheng did not understand.
More than one month later, when Mo Sheng checked her mailbox on a regular basis, she saw Ying Hui’s reply. Looking at the date, it was sent two days ago.
Mo Sheng opened the email.
Recipient: Zhao Mo Sheng
Sender : IN
Topic : Re: Re: Re: No Subject
Not everyone can wait so long in loneliness like He Yi Chen.
Sheng. I’ve had a change of heart.
P.S.: Wish you an early Merry Christmas!
Mo Sheng stared blankly at the screen.
Just a few lines, why did it take so long to reply? Maybe the sender changed the message over and over and thought about it for a long time before sending it.
In that moment, Mo Sheng felt she was beginning to understand something. But the idea only flashed quickly before the intuition disappeared.
She moved the mouse to the delete option, hesitated for a moment and moved away. Finally she logged out of her mailbox.
Maybe she would never use this mailbox again.
That message would lay quietly online in a corner. No one would open it, yet it would never disappear.
Autumn quickly faded with the arrival of the chilly winter. Under the influence of Xiao Hong, Mo Sheng was hooked on knitting scarves. Such a pity, Mo Sheng always made mistakes, sometimes knitting too tightly, sometimes knitting too loosely. Finally her first product was done. She felt excited like a child who just accomplished an amazing feat and wanted to brag to its mother. Yi Chen was extremely grateful but he refused to wear it on his neck when going out.
On Christmas night, Yi Chen invited Yi Mei and her boyfriend Zhang Xu to have dinner together. Zhang Xu was Yi Mei’s boss, a steady man with a sense of humor. This was Yi Chen’s first time meeting him.
After dinner, they went outside and discovered it had started snowing.
In the street, young people and children jumped and cheered for the arrival of the first snow in A City.
Mo Sheng and Yi Mei stood side by side on the walkway to wait for Yi Chen and Zhang Xu who went to get their cars. Yi Mei smilingly said: “Initially, I plan to marry next year and invite you to be my bridesmaid, but who knows Yi Chen couldn’t wait. However, you can’t blame him because he probably has endured for a long time……” Yi Mei said ambiguously as she winked at Mo Sheng.
Mo Sheng blushed, not knowing when Yi Mei became so outspoken.
Yi Mei laughed, turned her head and saw Zhang Xu waved at her opposite the road. Hence, she told Mo Sheng: “I can’t accompany you to wait because I have to leave first.”
“All right.” Mo Sheng nodded. Yi Mei walked a few steps and stopped but she did not turn around.
“The two of you must be very happy, think of it as……” Yi Mei whispered, her voice barely audible, “for me.”
Mo Sheng was stumped for words. Yi Mei has already run and crossed the street, not looking back.
Yi Chen returned to see Mo Sheng standing in a daze staring at her toes: “Yi Mei left already?”
“Yes.” Mo Sheng looked up but did not see the car.
“It’s snowing, let’s walk home.”
Seeing her lackluster reaction, Yi Chen was somewhat surprised. He thought she would be jumping excitedly because of the snow.
Mo Sheng lowered her head and walked absentmindedly. She was close to bumping into a streetlight, but a pair of big hands pulled her back.
“What are you thinking about? Do you want to write a self-reflection report again?” Yi Chen frowned.
Mo Sheng’s mind slowly returned to reality. She innocently looked up to see his familiar face mixed with a bit of anger. Suddenly she wanted to hold him…… her hands involuntarily sneaked into his coat and hugged him: “Yi Chen……”
Startled by her sudden action, Yi Chen asked softly: “Are you all right?”
The head that buried in his embrace kept on shaking slightly, her voice muffled: “……I’m all right.”
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Yi Chen wanted to loosen her arms to see what was wrong with her, but Mo Sheng refused to let go and held on tighter.
“Mo Sheng!” Yi Chen said helplessly, not knowing why she was suddenly so clingy.
“You’re too big now to act like a spoiled child. People will laugh at us.” Yi Chen lowered his head to whisper in her ear.
Nonsense! How could she be like a spoiled child!
“Well…… I’m just checking to see if this coat I bought is warm.”
Just leave her be. Yi Chen has no way out but to let her to hold onto him. He smiled wryly at the ambiguous or envious looks from people waking by.
Under the snowy night, on a crowded street, for the first time, she felt Christmas was a holiday worth celebrating.
This year’s Lunar New Year came early. Not long after Christmas, the Lunar New Year arrived in the blink of an eye.
Naturally, they have to go back to Y City to celebrate Lunar New Year. Y City is not far from A City, about a little more than three-hours drive, but the roads were crowded because of the holiday. Yi Chen and Mo Sheng departed early in the morning but actually arrived in Y city at a little more than one o’clock in the afternoon.
Feeling that the person next to him was quiet for a long time, Yi Chen turned his head to take a look. From yesterday, Mo Sheng has been feeling tense, but why she felt better when she arrived in Y City?
Mo Sheng looked out of the car window in a daze, not aware of Yi Chen staring at her.
Yi Chen looked at his wife with an indescribable emotion, paused for a moment and suddenly called out: “Mo Sheng!”
“Uh……” Mo Sheng reacted after a while, turned around and asked: “What?”
“Do you know how to play mahjong?”
Play mahjong? Mo Sheng thought she heard wrongly.
“Auntie loves to play mahjong, so if you don’t know how, she’ll probably be very disappointed.” Yi Chen’s tone was mild and light, but the words were deliberately made to sound serious.
Mo Sheng was distracted, the thought of not going which has been circling in her head just now flew away, leaving only the word “mahjong.” “What to do? I don’t really know how to play.” Mo Sheng was very upset, “Why didn’t you tell me earlier so I can practice?”
“You still have time to practice.” Yi Chen said with a laugh and parked the car.
“Mo Sheng, we’ve arrived.”
How many years had Mo Sheng not been a part of such a lively Lunar New Year celebration?
Snow fell outside the windows and the sound of firecrackers can be heard continuously. The whole family sat together to eat Lunar New Year’s Eve family dinner and to listen to the elderly nagging.
“The older both of you are, the less filial. One has a boyfriend already but did not tell mum. One simply got married without saying……”
Yi Mei made a face at Yi Chen: “Mom, you’ve complained the entire afternoon.”
“It’s not often the kids come back, so let them enjoy their meal. Don’t keep on nagging non-stop.” Mr. He said.
“I think you are the one who find me irritating……” Mrs. He turned to talk about Mr. He. Mr. He who has always been afraid of his wife, immediately appeared uncomfortable.
Zhang Xu could not understand the dialect so he kept on asking Yi Mei to translate. Yi Mei felt vexed. A big man unexpectedly started to act shamelessly like a kid.
Mo Sheng smiled while listening. She was used to spending Lunar New Year by herself aboard. Being a part of a warm family atmosphere such as this, she even felt afraid to talk, afraid that this magical atmosphere might disappear.
After the meal, Mrs. He really organized the family to play mahjong. Yi Chen sneaked upstairs to the study room and Yi Mei volunteered to wash the dishes. In the end, Mo Sheng, the prospective son-in-law and Mr. He, who has never dared to oppose his wife, joined the game according to Mrs. He’s wish.
Mrs. He is an experienced player for several decades with profound skills. Mr. He who has been practicing for several decades with his wife is naturally also not weak. Yi Mei’s boyfriend is a businessman so he is naturally good at calculating. The only pathetic person was Mo Sheng since she only remembered how to play slightly because she had lived abroad for the past couple of years. The game barely started, but she was already defeated soundly.
Yi Chen came out of the study and could not believe his eyes: “It’s not even an hour, but you’ve lost so much already?”
Mo Sheng was very embarrassed and stuttered: “It’s just bad luck……”
Yi Chen patted her on the shoulder and told her to stand up: “Leave it to me.”
Now, the players were evenly matched. Mo Sheng sat at the side and looked on as the game became more interesting. It was already one o’clock in the morning yet she still refused to go to bed. Yi Chen told her twice but in vain. Finally he glared at her, only then did Mo Sheng go to sleep.
During the night, half asleep half awake, Mo Sheng heard the door open so she switched on the table lamp. “Finished already? Did you win or lose?”
Yi Chen looked tired when he pulled back the quilt and got into bed: “Only auntie lost.”
Mo Sheng glared at him: “Three big men so shameless to take advantage of a woman!”
“The He family has a rule which is there are no concessions at the mahjong table. Also, if auntie doesn’t lose completely, she won’t stop.” Yi Chen pulled her into his arms. “Quickly go to sleep. I’m exhausted and it’s all your fault.”
Mo Sheng immediately felt extremely ashamed. Normally, he was very busy working. When he returned home to celebrate the Lunar New Year holiday, he still could not rest because of her, truly pitiful. Thus, she obediently lay in his arms to sleep, no longer making any noise to disturb him.
After quite a while, she felt his warm lips on the back of her neck. Mo Sheng panted: “Aren’t you very tired?”
“Yes!” Yi Chen’s voice was vague, “I still can be a bit more tired.”
In the morning, on the first day of the Lunar New Year, Mo Sheng woke up at a bit past seven. As she sat up and began to dress, Yi Chen pulled her back under the quilt.
“What are you doing, getting up so early?” Yi Chen asked sleepily.
“I have to make breakfast…… let me go.” Mo Sheng tried hard to loosen his grip on her waist, but Yi Chen did not even bother to move his fingers. Hence, Mo Sheng was annoyed and gave up: “Yi Chen……”
“Stay in bed with me for a bit more.”
Really! Mo Sheng muttered. “Yi Chen, you’re a little strange today.”
Yi Chen’s body became stiff and kept quiet for a few seconds. His voice sounded a bit unnatural: “Strange how?”
“You’re acting like a kid!” Mo Sheng complained.
Yi Chen’s fingers relaxed slightly: “Be quiet, go to sleep.”
There were no voices outside so it appeared no one had gotten up yet. Thus, Mo Sheng obeyed him, since she could not escape from his embrace anyway. “Then I’ll sleep a bit more.”
However…… it was uncomfortable to sleep like that!
Closing her eyes for barely a minute, Mo Sheng became restless. She wanted to lift her head out of Yi Chen’s arm.
“How could a girl sleep like this?” Yi Chen opened his eyes, “Can you stop moving around?”
Mo Sheng frowned because she wanted to lay her head on a pillow, as it is softer and more comfortable.
“……Yi Chen, if I sleep this way, your arm will be numbed.”
She will really ‘give thought for his sake’. The outcome of releasing her to sleep alone will probably be catching a cold together. Hence, it was best to hold her as tightly as possible so he can sleep at ease. Yi Chen simply pretended not to hear her and closed his eyes to sleep.
Mo Sheng glared at him for a long time but she still could not sleep. She looked around the room to finally rest her eyes on the handsome face next to hers.
Yi Chen…… is truly handsome!
Quietly kissing him on his cheek, Mo Sheng finally began to feel a little sleepy. Her mind hazily thinking she still has to get up early……
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