Chapter 56

       Ning Junyan’s cousin was two years younger than him and his wife just gave birth to a son this year. During the meal, the little child was carried to the table, and the family was happy and amused, all teasing the child.

       Shu Rong picked up the child, played with him in her arms for a while, and then suddenly put him in Ning Junyan’s arms.

       Unprepared, Ning Junyan reached out for the child and looked up at Shu Rong.

       Shu Rong stood beside him and asked him, “Isn’t he lovely?”

       Ning Junyan looked down at the child in his arms, and replied indifferently, “He’s lovely.” Then he got up and returned the child to his mother.

       At this time, Ning Junyan’s second uncle said, “If you think he’s lovely, give birth to one yourself sooner.”

       Ning Junyan smiled when he heard the words, and didn’t intend to continue the topic, so he did not say anything.

       It was a long family reunion dinner, and when they were full, the men in the family still sat around the round table smoking and chatting.

       Only Ning Junyan stood up, walked out through the living room, put on his coat and walked outside into the cold and gloomy courtyard.

       When he went out, Shu Rong stopped him from behind, “Are you leaving now?”

       Ning Junyan said, “I’m going out to get some fresh air.”

       After a while, Shu Rong also put on a thick coat and followed him out.

       Shu Rong was in her fifties this year. She took good care of her health, she had fair and tight skin, and a figure she tried hard to maintain. She looked like she was still in her early forties.

       She had opened a beauty and plastic surgery hospital with a friend about ten years ago, with her as the director. Now more than ten years had passed, the hospital’s business was getting more and more prosperous, and she was getting prettier and prettier, like a living billboard for the hospital.

       Ning Junyan’s father, Ning Zhanghong, was the deputy director of another public tertiary hospital in the city. If Shu Rong’s personality was that of a typical businessman, Ning Zhanghong was a low-key and dedicated scholar. Part of Ning Junyan’s personality was inherited from his father; who was quiet and indifferent and didn’t talk much. The other part might come from his mother, who has a strong personality and was difficult to control.

       He was not close to either of his parents even without the experience of being abducted by human traffickers twenty years ago.

       The door light of the living room door could only illuminate a small area of the courtyard, the rest of the flowers and trees were hidden in the darkness.

       Shu Rong wrapped her long coat tightly and asked Ning Junyan, “Are you on duty during the Chinese New Year?”

       Ning Junyan said, “On duty1typically some people will take 1-2 weeks holiday near Chinese New Year.”

       “How many days are you on duty?”

       Ning Junyan answered her, “The second and sixth days of the Chinese New Year.”

       Shu Rong nodded and said, “Then come back home on the 30th night and we’ll spend the New Year together, and come back on the 3rd day as well, we have guests at home that day.”

       “No,” Ning Junyan said, “I have my own arrangements.”

       Shu Rong frowned, “What are your plans for the Chinese New Year alone? What is more important than going home to celebrate the New Year with your parents?”

       Ning Junyan said calmly, “Isn’t it quite a lot? Studying, making money, isn’t it all more important than a family reunion?” After he said that, he heard movement in the living room, turned around and saw that it was grandpa coming out of the dining room, so he walked inside.

       He walked up to his grandfather, bent down and said a few words of New Year’s greetings to him, and then said, “I have things to do at home, so I’ll go back first.”

       Unlike his father, his grandfather had an amiable personality. He grabbed Ning Junyan’s hand and asked, “What’s going on at home?”

       Ning Junyan said softly, “I’ve hidden someone who is waiting for me at home.”

       When Grandpa heard this, he wrinkled his face with a smile, patted his hand and said, “Then go quickly.”

       Ning Junyan said again, “Don’t tell others.”

       Grandpa said, “I promise not to tell.”

       Ning Junyan returned to the dining room to say goodbye to the others. When Ning Zhanghong heard that he was leaving so soon, he just frowned slightly but nodded without asking anything.

       Only Shu Rong was still dissatisfied, and followed Ning Junyan to the place where he parked his car, “It’s fine if you don’t come back at thirty, you’d better make time to come back on the 3rd day of the first month.”

       Ning Junyan asked, “Is there something wrong?”

       Shu Rong said, “I told you that there were guests at home that day.”

       Ning Junyan opened the car door to get in the car, but he felt that Shu Rong looked very unhappy, probably about to lose her temper, so he said, “Okay, I’ll try to come back.”

       Shu Rong backed away from the car and stood on the side of the road watching Ning Junyan drive away.

       Before the car turned the corner of the driveway in the neighbourhood, Ning Junyan raised his head and took a look in the rearview mirror. He saw Shu Rong still standing on the side of the road, as the view in the rearview mirror changed with the turning of the car, Shu Rong’s figure disappeared from it.

       When Ning Junyan arrived home, Chen Yuncheng was setting up a ladder to hang curtains in the living room. He didn’t go out today, so he took down all the curtains at home, washed them, dried them and hung them on the windows.

       “Isn’t there an aunt to do the cleaning?” Ning Junyan walked to the side of the ladder and reached out to support Chen Yuncheng’s leg.

       There was an auntie at his house who came over regularly to do the cleaning, and a full cleaning should be done before the New Year.

       Chen Yuncheng had already hung up the curtains, and was holding onto the ladder to get down, “The auntie can’t finish it all day. I’m free today anyway, so I took down the curtains and washed them.”

       As soon as he had just come down two frames on the ladder, Ning Junyan stretched out his hand and hugged him down, put his forehead close to him, and rubbed his face affectionately.

       Chen Yuncheng was startled, reached out and hugged his shoulder, and asked, “Why did you come back so early?”

       Ning Junyan said, “I came back after dinner, what did you eat tonight and why didn’t you return my messages?”

       Chen Yuncheng subconsciously touched the pocket of his trousers, only to realize that he had left his mobile phone on the bed in his room. He hadn’t looked at the mobile phone all night, so he could only say, “I didn’t see it. I ate instant noodles at night.”

       Ning Junyan said, “No instant noodles.”

       Chen Yuncheng raised his hands to pinch his ears, and said with a smile, “You are really lenient.”

       Ning Junyan said in a serious tone, “No instant noodles.”

       Chen Yuncheng smiled and promised him, “Okay, next time I will order takeaway instead of instant noodles.”

       Ning Junyan went to take a shower, and then dragged Chen Yuncheng who had already returned to his own room, to his room, lying on the bed and hugging Chen Yuncheng tightly in his arms.

       Chen Yuncheng stretched out a hand to feel around Ning Junyan’s head.

       Ning Junyan asked, “What are you touching?”

       Chen Yuncheng said, “I wonder if the injury on your head is still not healed.” During the time when they first met as adults, Chen Yuncheng felt that Ning Junyan had completely changed, yet after a long time, he felt that Ning Junyan had not changed at all.

       Ning Junyan said to him, “It’s not healed yet, the injury is inside, you can’t touch it like this.”

       Chen Yuncheng smiled. He pinched Ning Junyan’s nose, and then pinched his ears, as he often did when he was a child. Ning Junyan would just look at him stupidly, never knowing to be angry, now Ning Junyan was not angry either, but would kiss him hard.

       Only after he was a little out of breath, Chen Yuncheng pushed Ning Junyan away and asked, “Who was there for the reunion dinner tonight?” He had never heard Ning Junyan mention his family before.

       Ning Junyan answered his question seriously, “My grandfather, my second uncle’s family, my aunt’s family, and my parents.”

       Chen Yuncheng thought of Ning Junyan’s parents whom he met sixteen years ago. He no longer remembered their looks, but his impression of them was they were a tall and handsome middle-aged man and a beautiful and delicate woman, “Are you not in a good relationship with them?” He felt a little strange, he remembered that Ning Junyan’s parents were very emotional when they found him, and his mother even cried bitterly while holding him.

       Ning Junyan said, “It doesn’t matter if it’s good or not, maybe I haven’t lived up to their expectations.”

       “You are so good and you still can’t meet their expectations?” Chen Yuncheng thought it was unbelievable as he tried to sit up with his hands.

       But Ning Junyan didn’t let him move, he had to hold him in his arms and said fiercely, “Don’t move.”

       Chen Yuncheng didn’t move anymore.

       Only then Ning Junyan was satisfied, rubbed his hair with Chen Yuncheng’s hands, and said, “I don’t remember things clearly when I was a child, but I remember when they brought me home when I was fourteen, my mother went crazy and took me everywhere for extra lessons, and insisted that I participate in the high school entrance examination at the age of 15 just like others. “

       At that time, he almost abandoned his studies for four years, and there was a big gap between him and his peers.

       Shu Rong was a person who had plans for her life; Ning Junyan was her only son and she loved him very much, and because of that love, she had higher expectations. After experiencing the great sorrow and joy of losing and finding her son, she calmed down and began to put as much pressure on herself and her son. She believed her son was the best, so she went crazy and took Ning Junyan to make up for all the four years of missing in a year.

       Ning Zhanghong might not agree with her ideas, but he never intervened. Most of the time, he shut himself in the study, read documents, or burried himself in hospitals and laboratories. Occasionally when he saw Ning Junyan who was staying up late reading at home, he could only say indifferently, “Come on, don’t let your mother down.”

       Studying was not making Ning Junyan suffer too much, so most of the time he calmly watched the parents, enduring Shu Rong’s hysteria that lasted for a long time.

       Until one night, not knowing what was in his thoughts, he suddenly threw aside the books and exercises in front of him, opened the door and left alone.

       He didn’t get very far before being taken back by his parents.

       Shu Rong asked him where he was going in horror.

       Ning Junyan said indifferently to her mother, “I’m going to find Chen Yuncheng.”

       Ning Zhanghong frowned when he heard this, while Shu Rong grabbed his shoulder and asked him nervously, “What are you looking for him for?” They all knew that Chen Yuncheng was a child who lived with Ning Junyan in the trafficker’s house.

       Ning Junyan said, “I miss him.”

       The couple looked at each other, Shu Rong grabbed Ning Junyan’s hand and said to him, “What do you miss him for? He has gone home with his parents, you won’t be able to find him.”

       Ning Junyan said, “He has no parents.”

       Shu Rong said, “Then he’ll have other relatives, and he won’t miss you either, you’ll each have your own lives, you’ll have new friends later, and in time he’ll forget you, and you’ll forget him too.”

       Ning Junyan shook his head, “I will never forget Chen Yuncheng.”

       Shu Rong turned cold, “Mom will get angry if you say that again, be a good boy and come back with us. Stop thinking about it.”

       From that day onwards, apart from taking Ning Junyan to tutoring classes, Shu Rong also added one more thing to his life, which was to take Ning Junyan to see a psychologist.

       She did not want Ning Junyan to remember that experience, and even more so, she did not want Ning Junyan to bring up that experience, she felt that it was Ning Junyan’s psychological trauma, and also hers. As long as Ning Junyan mentioned Chen Yuncheng’s name, she would tell Ning Junyan repeatedly that Chen Yuncheng had forgotten about him, that they were both unimportant existences to each other, and that they would meet someone more important later.

       Ning Junyan didn’t like Shu Rong’s nervous chatter, and later never mentioned the word Chen Yuncheng again.

The author has something to say:
This is how Ning Junyan’s character takes shape

Mentally deranged tiger mom, huh

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1 Comment

  1. ellie

    at first i was like oh ig she can be a little mentally deranged bc she lost her child but then i realized she was wayyyy more than a little mentally deranged lol. she should have gone to the psychologist instead. literally gaslighting my baby.

    thanks so much for the chapter!!!


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