Cheng Xi looked at Lin Fan in shock. Of course, what shocked her the most wasn’t that he had come looking for her—he’d made an appointment under someone else’s name—rather, what shocked her the most was that he had come looking for her at all, rather than someone else.
She cautiously asked, “Are you sure that you want me to help?” She glanced at the fake name he’d booked an appointment under, Meng Yao, and then said, “Actually, I can recommend you to some other doctors that would be more suitable.”
She knew he understood her underlying meaning.
But Lin Fan shook his head, and in a somewhat apologetic tone, said, “She said that she only wants to see you, and that she only trusts you.”
Cheng Xi was silent, and only after a while, asked, “Where is she?”
“At home.” He continued explaining the general situation. “She may be showing signs of a miscarriage, so it’s inconvenient for her to leave the house right now. I wouldn’t have troubled you like this otherwise.”
Cheng Xi muttered under her breath as she thought out loud for a moment. Then, she reluctantly agreed. “Alright, I’ll take a look at her. However, this has to wait until after I get off of work.”
“That’s fine. Should I pick you up then?”
“Give me your address. I’ll head over myself.” As she said this, she handed a notepad to him, gesturing for him to write the address down.
Lin Fan didn’t press her any further. Only after Cheng Xi finished all her rounds did she learn that he had also visited Chen Jiaman. For him to come all this way here just to entreat her to make a house call, and even doing so during visiting hours…… Cheng Xi didn’t know whether she should think of his actions as considerate or cold.
Sometimes, intentional consideration was just another form of coldness.
Cheng Xi asked the nurse on duty, “How did Chen Jiaman respond?”
She was very afraid, but I did sense that she was somewhat curious towards him.”
Cheng Xi nodded, and then went to see Chen Jiaman again. She wasn’t feeling all too bad right now, and was currently sitting on the bed with a pile of snacks in front of her. When she saw Cheng Xi, her eyes lit up, and she cutely called out, “Dr. Cheng.”
Cheng Xi smiled. “What’re you doing?”
She pointed at the snacks in front of her, and then tilted her face as she asked, “Dr. Cheng, is he really my brother?”
Chen Jiaman’s expression became slightly dazed, and only after a while did she tighten her grip and quietly say, “They all told me that he’s a bad person.”
This “they” naturally referred to the people who had been by her side back then: her relatives, neighbors, and perhaps even Chen Jiaman’s father and grandmother.
Cheng Xi asked her in a neutral tone, “Then, what do you think of him?”
She shook her head, perplexed. “I don’t know.”
Cheng Xi smiled. “Good. Don’t make snap decisions. Actually, I’ve known him for many years now, and we were even classmates in the past.” She then explained her past history with Lin Fan. “He’s a very studious and hardworking person. When I first met him, he refused to talk, but he had a good heart. One day, there was a thunderstorm, and lightning nearly struck the window by me. I was so scared that I couldn’t even sit down in my seat, which was by the window. But at that moment, he unexpectedly stood up and offered to switch seats with me. After that, I got to know him better, and he’s really not a bad person at all. However, no one’s perfect, and the words ‘good’ and ‘bad’ are both relative. As long as people have a baseline that they won’t cross, then they’re good people.”
What Cheng Xi told Chen Jiaman was quickly proven to be correct. Whether or not people were good or bad was relative, and it depended solely on the person judging.
That evening, after work, she went to the address that Lin Fan had given her. He had long since moved out of the original apartment that he’d been renting; after he got married, he had bought a new house. The location wasn’t the best, but the house was very big, as it was a duplex with almost 650 square meters. The interior decor wasn’t particularly luxurious, but it was still a comfortable home.
Cheng Xi knew that Lin Fan had truly put his best effort into marrying Meng Qingyang just by looking at this house.
Since Meng Qingyang was pregnant, the Lin family had employed a nanny to look after her. On the ride over, Cheng Xi had carefully perused through Meng Qingyang’s pregnancy medical records, and she indeed had the initial symptoms for a miscarriage. After staying at the hospital for forty days and then going home to recuperate, she had reported a poor appetite, low sleep quality, and sudden mood swings. The gynecologist had instructed her to rest in peace, avoid any kind of stimulation, stay calm throughout her pregnancy, and consult a psychiatrist as necessary.
When Cheng Xi arrived, Lin Fan was also at home, and the nanny was currently feeding Meng Qingyang dinner.
That’s right, she was really being fed. At their feet, Cheng Xi could see some leftover food scraps that hadn’t been cleaned off, and there was even a bowl and chopsticks by the foot of the bed.
When Meng Qingyang saw Cheng Xi arrive, she pushed the nanny away. “I don’t want to eat anymore.”
The nanny glanced at Lin Fan, who waved his hands to shoo her away, and only then did he bring Cheng Xi inside.
Meng Qingyang was sitting on the bed, looking at her steadily. “You go out as well. I want to have a private conversation with just Dr. Cheng.” It had been almost half a year since Cheng XI had last seen Meng Qingyang, and she hadn’t changed very much. However, her complexion had obviously gotten a bit paler, and her cheeks slightly spottier. Her slightly uplifted cheekbones only added to her jaundiced look.
However, Lin Fan stood still without moving, which triggered Meng Qingyang. She suddenly exploded as she lifted the cellphone by her bed and threw it at him. “Scram! Didn’t you hear me?”
An embarrassed look appeared on Lin Fan’s face, but he didn’t say anything. Without even glancing at Cheng Xi, he quietly picked up his phone and put it back on the nightstand before walking out without a word.
As the door closed, Meng Qingyang started laughing, but shortly after, she steeled her face and coldly said to Cheng Xi, “I hate him. I’ll return him to you, alright?”
Cheng Xi looked at Meng Qingyang. Half a year ago, she had lost her will to live. Now, she seemed desperate, almost hysterical.
She gave off the impression that she was mired so deeply in her struggles that she couldn’t escape from them, no matter what she did; that was how deep her despair ran.
Cheng Xi calmly asked her, “Do you want to fight me?”
Meng Qingyang coldly replied, “Would you?”
Meng Qingyang actually began chuckling at Cheng Xi’s response. “Of course you won’t.” Then she gritted her teeth angrily as she yelled, “None of you will! Actually, you’re just the same as him! You look so nice and gentle, but in reality, you’re as cold as ice!”
Cheng Xi and Meng Qingyang ended up talking for almost an hour. When Cheng Xi came out of the room, she saw Lin Fan instructing the nanny. “Heat up all of those things again…… I know that it must be hard for you, but she’s pregnant and has a bad temper. Please, if you could, empathize with her.”
He had changed clothes; right now, he was dressed in casual white home clothes, and his hair was stuck gently to his forehead, giving him an extremely gentle look as if he were a considerate male host.
When he heard her exit, he immediately turned around. “Is she alright?”
Cheng Xi shook her head with complicated feelings in her heart. “She’s already asleep.”
He softly said, “Thank you,” before asking, “Is it prenatal depression?”
“Yes and no.”
He stilled for a moment at her unexpected response. “What do you mean?”
Cheng Xi glanced at the nanny who was looking at them curiously. She then said, “I have to leave, but I’m not too familiar with this place. Can I trouble you to send me out?”
And so, he sent her out. Originally, he had intended on driving her home, but Cheng Xi refused. It was raining outside, a heavy downpour intermixed with thunder and lightning. Since the lighting in this area wasn’t very good, the two of them stopped and stood in the walkway underneath the building. Cheng Xi opened her umbrella to block the onslaught of the rain and then turned around to look at him.
Before talking to Meng Qingyang, she had felt like he had returned to his youth with that dark melancholic aura present once again. However, after meeting with Meng Qingyang, she now understood that that youth was lost for good.
Her voice wasn’t very audible in the dark and stormy night, but it was enough for him to make out her words. She said, “You asked me just now whether or not she has prenatal depression, and now I can tell you. Lin Fan, the one who’s truly ill isn’t her, but you.”