Xue Jiayue’s heart was occupied by Song Yikun. She planned to find more chances to ask him out so that she could get in touch with him and learn more about him. Maybe in this way, she could get the answer that she wanted.
Throughout the whole afternoon, Xue Jiayue was lost in thought, wondering whether Song Yikun was her brother or not. Even Cheng Wei noticed the strange situation and asked her with concern what happened.
Xue Jiayue felt it not good to tell him about this at present, so she smiled to pass it off, and pretended to be busy with her design draft. Actually, she couldn't calm herself down at all.
Suddenly, her phone rang. She turned to look at the beating name on the screen. It was from Xu Yanwen.
"Jiayue," Xu Yanwen said on the phone, "I don't go home for dinner tonight. I’ll have to accompany the Gu's project representative and I’ll probably come back late. You should pay attention to your safety at home and go to bed early. Don't stay up late."
"I see, you pay more attention to your health and drink less wine," Xue Jiayue answered. Only after Xu Yanwen hung up the phone did she realize that Xu Yanwen just now was reporting her about his trip of the night.
She couldn’t believe herself why Xu Yanwen should voluntarily call her and tell her about this.
While Xue Jiayue was busy with this and that, another girl was worrying about her family's livelihood.
This afternoon, Zhang Xiaojiao went to the hospital to buy medicine for her mother. She changed buses twice before returning to her home on the outskirts of the city.
This was an urban fringe area. They lived in an old building of seven floors with a history of more than 20 years. It had no lift, so every time they had to climb the long and steep stairs to get home. The walls allong the corridors were covered with various small advertisements, while the floors were filled with dust. Occasionally, someone would sweep the little space in front of his door. Outside the building in the streets, there were no lights at all. It was all dark there. The conditions around were very poor.
Zhang Xiaojiao climbed to the sixth floor, opened the door of Room 6-1, and walked in with the medicine.
Mother Zhang in the house heard the movement at the door and slowly walked out of their only bedroom, trying hard to steady herself. When she saw Zhang Xiaojiao, she smiled and her voice was weak, “Xiao Jiao, you are back! Let me heat the food up for you.”
"No, Mom," Zhang Xiaojiao quickly stepped forward and helped her sit down on the broken old sofa nearby, saying to her softly, "The doctor said you need to rest more.You are not well, and you should listen to the doctor.”
Mother Zhang agreed and sat down. When she saw Zhang Xiaojiao's hand holding the medicine, she couldn't help but sigh, "You went to buy me medicine again. Did it cost you a lot of money?"
"Not that much. You don't have to worry. I work very well, and the salary is quite good, so buying some medicine for you is not a problem for me." Actually, on the way back, Zhang Xiaojiao had thrown away the medicine bill, just to avoid letting her mother see it. She didn’t want to distress her.
"I'm the one who got you into this," Mother Zhang said while wiping her tears, "If I didn't get sick, you wouldn't have such a hard time."
"Mom, we don't talk about this. Let’s change the topic. Actually, I'm very happy to be with you. To me, it may be hard work, but it's better than before," Zhang Xiaojiao comforted her mother.
"As for your job, I'm really worried about you. You see you have to go out at night..." said Mother Zhang.
"Mom...” Zhang Xiaojiao interrupted her mother, “Don’t worry. My job was introduced by Sister Qin. She has worked there for many years and she has been safe and sound. You can rest assured when she takes care of me.”
"Okay, Mom, let’s stop here. I'll prepare for supper now," Zhang Xiaojiao turned around and entered the kitchen. She didn't want to continue talking to her mother about the topic. She knew her mother could not stop worrying about her job.
The night fell on Tangcheng Xiaoyue, and it soon presented a scene of feasting and revelry, where the rich were given to comlete sensual pleasures. It was a paradise for people with money.
Tang Yichuan was sitting on a sofa in the corner of a box, coldly looking at the few people next to Vice President Ye chatting and drinking happily.
At first, Tang Yichuan didn't want to come. However, his elder brother needed to go to Ju City for business and could not accompany the guests of the company. Mr. Ye tried to persuade him to replace his brother. He was the general manager of the company, and it would be better to have him in the banquet.
Vice President Ye assured him, "You will just sit by and look at it. Just leave the other things to me, will you?"
Tang Yichuan was a nominal general manager in the company, and he was responsible for nothing, so whether he was present or not made no difference. But the vice president Mr. Ye insisted that he should come, so he nodded and agreed. As expected, when he did come, he just sat there and drank only. All other things were left to Mr. Ye.
After sitting for a while, Tang Yichuan felt bored. He stood up to walk around outside. Vice President Ye quickly grabbed him and asked him where to go.
Tang Yichuan glanced at him and said lightly, "To the restroom."
Mr. Ye had to let go of him, but he whispered to him, "Remmeber to come back soon."
Tang Yichuan gave no answer to him, but just walked away.
As soon as Tang Yichuan left, Sister Qin led a few girls in and greeted everyone present with a bright smile and a pleasant voice, which delighted the whole company.
Zhang Xiaojiao quietly followed at the end of the line. After entering the box, she did not look around until a voice next to her said, "The one in the yellow skirt, come here."
Zhang Xiaojiao was the only one in the yellow skirt. She thus looked up, and saw a round-faced fat man waving to her.
"Hurry up," Sister Qin pushed her quickly. She knew that Zhang Xiaojiao's family was tight in economy. Mother Zhang needed a lot of money for her sickness. Whenever there was such kind of chances, she would bring her out. She only felt that Zhang Xiaojiao was a little too shy. If she could be more active and enthusiastic, she could attract more customers and earn more money with her good-looking face. And she would be able to earn more money to buy good medicine for her mother.
Zhang Xiaojiao was pushed out by Sister Qin. The round-faced fat man waved at her. She could only take two more steps forward. The man took a close look at her and found she was the type he liked, so he said with satisfaction, "You stay."
Thus, Zhang Xiaojiao was kept there.
The man ordered two other girls to accompany him, and they were much more active than Zhang Xiaojiao. They both went straight and sat on the left and right sides of the man. The man was so pleased that he ordered two bottles of wine.
Zhang Xiaojiao, however, sat still on the sofa honestly. She did not try to push the man to drink, but unexpectedly, she aroused the man’s interest.
He turned his head to her and asked, "Why don’t you speak?"
The girl next to him immediately replied, "Her mother is sick. She is worried about her mother."
"Really?" the man asked.
"Yeah. She came here to earn money for her mother, " before Zhang Xiaojiao could answer, the girl said quickly. She had a grudge against Zhang Xiaojiao. Even though Zhang looked better than her, she still pretended to be weak and pitiful. Besides, Sister Qin was always protective of her, so that she had gained a lot of benefits recently. Wherever there were wealthy customers, Sister Qin would ask Zhang Xiaojiao to come for company. And every time, she seemed to have done nothing special, but the bosses were willing to order wine. In the end, Zhang Xiaojiao got a lot of commissions, which made the girl very jealous, so she said those words to the man on purpose.
"Came here to earn money?" repeated the man. There was a playful smile in his eyes. The girl took the opportunity to whisper in his ear. The man then glanced at the girl. The girl smiled at him. The man thus turned his head and looked at Zhang Xiaojiao again, asking, "Do you really want to earn money?"
Zhang Xiaojiao raised her eyes and looked at the man. She was perturbed to meet the man's ambiguous smile, so she answered hesitatantly, "...Yes…"
Of course she wanted to make money. Her mother’s imported medicine was too expensive. The boxes of medicines she bought today had already used up all the money she had earned.
The man thought everything would be easier if she wanted to make money. He reached for his wallet from his pocket, took out a stack of money and threw it on the table. And then he crooked his finger to beckon her, "Come here. As long as you keep me company and make me happy, I'll give you all this money as a tip."
There was a lot of money in that stack. It's a lie to say that Zhang Xiaojiao was not moved by it. She hesitated for a moment, and then she got up and walked towards him.
Coming out from the washroom, Tang Yichuan smoked another cigarette, and stayed outside for more than ten minutes before going back.
As soon as he pushed open the door of the box and walked in, he saw Zhang Xiaojiao was swigging beer out of a bottle. In front of her were two empty beer bottles and a stack of money on the table. People were coaxing and cheering to make her drink all the remaining beer…
"After drinking this, the money is yours!"
"Come on… Come on!"
Tang Yichuan stared coldly at the group of people in front of him. Under the dim light, their face were distorted and deformed, just like ghosts and the monsters.
Zhang Xiaojiao drank up the bottle of beer in her hand, slammed the empty bottle on the table, and went to get another one.
She held the beer bottle in her hand and took a deep breath. In fact, she could not drink any more, but for the sake of the money and her mother's medical expenses, she had to stick to it.
So she raised her head and swigged beer from the bottle. The cold liquid came out and slipped through her throat. She gulped and swallowed hard. The beer finally flowed into her stomach along her esophagus.
Those beers, in fact, were not good at all.
But she had to drink one bottle after another...
When Zhang Xiaojiao was going to get another bottle, her hand was grabbed tightly by someone.
She looked up and met a pair of dark and deep eyes.
Before she realized what had happened, she was dragged out of the box by Tang Yichuan.
Tang Yichuan abruptly took her to the corridor, and his tall body pushed her against the corner of the wall. He looked sullen. He questioned angrily, "You just want money but not your life?"
The author’s note--
Xu Yanwen: I am professional in spoiling my wife.
Tang Yichuan: Ha ha, ho ho.
Xu Yanwen: As for you, you deserve to be dumped!
Tang Yichuan: Heartbroken...