Cheng Xi could tell that Lu Chenzhou wasn’t very happy, and she was already thinking about what she could make for dinner to pacify him. After all, being woken up without enough sleep really was quite annoying, and recently, Lu Chenzhou seemed to have taken a liking to watching Cheng Xi cook.
Cheng Xi quickly decided on a menu for tonight and then swiftly went on to think about other matters instead.
There were currently a lot of people in the hospital. Lin Fan’s mother was walking slowly through the crowd when Cheng Xi rushed up to her.
“Mrs. Lin, you’re here very early today,” Cheng Xi greeted in a tactful manner.
Lin Fan’s mother acted rather distantly towards Cheng Xi. In the past, she gave off the feeling that she was looking down on her, but now, it was just simple displeasure. “Unlike you, I don’t have the time to worry about other people. I’m busy enough just worrying about myself.”
There was no way for Cheng Xi to respond after such a curt response, so she decided to just shut up. But after they walked into the department, Cheng Xi solemnly said, “It’s not quite visiting hours yet, but since you’re so busy, Mrs. Lin, I can make an allowance for you this one time. However, there’s something I’d like to tell you beforehand. Chen Jiaman’s illness is quite different from the norm, and there’s a possibility of her emotions getting out of control. If that or something unexpected happens, please don’t let her see that you’re afraid of her.
Lin Fan’s mother stared right at Cheng Xi as she replied expressionlessly, “She’s my daughter.”
Fair enough; Chen Jiaman was her daughter, even though she hadn’t taken any responsibility for her over all these years. Cheng Xi said nothing else, and just silently arranged her visit with Chen Jiaman.
Of course, before the two met up, Cheng Xi asked Chen Jiaman for her consent beforehand. They’d discussed her mother before, and Chen Jiaman knew a lot about her—of course, it had all been from the people that used to be around her, and it wasn’t anything that put her in a good light.
However, Cheng Xi felt that even if the entire world disparaged her mother, Chen Jiaman would still have a puerile admiration for this mother of hers that she had never met.
Cheng Xi cut directly to the chase with Chen Jiaman, saying, “Your mother wants to see you.” She paused for a brief moment before continuing to ask, “Do you want to see her?”
Chen Jiaman was dazed.
She sat there by the windowsill, the morning light falling gently down onto her young and tender face.
And then she ran and withdrew into her blankets, shivering. “No, I don’t want to see her. My grandmother will beat me to death if I do!”
This was her illness acting up again; after she had recovered enough to remember that she had killed her grandmother with her own hands, she would fall into such confusion from time to time, and every time, Cheng Xi would patiently remind her, “Your grandmother’s already dead. She can’t hit you.”
And then, after Chen Jiaman took some medicine, her head would clear up again, and she would always seriously say, “I killed my grandmother, but it was an accident.” Sometimes after that, she would cry, and sometimes she would defend herself woodenly. “I’m not a bad child.”
Cheng Xi pacified her like normal, and once Chen Jiaman took her medicine and quieted down, she told Chen Jiaman about her mother coming to visit her again.
This time, Chen Jiaman seemed entirely clearheaded. She blinked once and them pitifully asked, “Dr. Cheng, does she still want me?”
Cheng Xi smiled. “Of course she does.”
And so Chen Jiaman nodded.
But when the two actually met up, there wasn’t the tear-jerking scene that one would normally expect at such a reunion; tears didn’t run down Lin Fan’s mother’s face, and she didn’t show any signs of sorrow or regret, for that wasn’t her personality. Instead, all she did was look at Chen Jiaman evaluatively. A few long seconds passed before she finally said, “You’ve grown so big.”
Those words were a signal for Chen Jiaman’s tears to fall. They rolled down her face in big, fat drops that she couldn’t stop.
On that day, besides crying, Chen Jiaman didn’t say anything else at all, and Lin Fan’s mother only said two sentences to her daughter. Besides, “You’ve grown so big,” the other one was, “Get well soon, and then I’ll bring you home.”
When she left the ward, her eyes were red, but when she saw Cheng Xi, her expression turned cold once again.
As Lin Fan’s mother left, she told Cheng Xi, “Actually, I didn’t originally intend on seeing her today. I mostly came here to find you, but now, I don’t regret that I saw her.” She looked at Cheng Xi. “I have to admit, you’re quite skilled as a doctor. As you wish, I’ll shoulder my share of the responsibility for her, but I hope that you can promise me one thing.”
“I hope that you’ll stop meddling in Lin Fan’s affairs.”
Cheng Xi frowned. “I don’t understand what you mean.”
Lin Fan’s mother laughed coldly. “During this period, have you been treating Meng Qingyang?”
“What illness does she have?”
Cheng Xi’s expression hardened. “I’m sorry, but you should ask her this yourself, or perhaps her partner. Without express permission, I can’t reveal any personal details of my patients.”
But Lin Fan’s mother just smiled at her response. “That’s fine. Regardless of whether her illness is real or fake, if you’ve ever loved Lin Fan, Dr. Cheng, I hope that you won’t urge Qingyang to target him. Lin Fan has had an unfortunate life. Please don’t make his misfortune worse just because he loved the wrong person.”
After making this request from seemingly nowhere, Lin Fan’s mother then left without even waiting to hear Cheng Xi’s response.
Cheng Xi didn’t know what to think.
In the end, she found out that it was because Meng Qingyang had asked her uncle to fire Lin Fan. At the time, Lin Fan was in the middle of a new project, and his firing, which came out of nowhere, meant that all of his work would only go to benefit the person who would take over. Furthermore, Meng Qingyang and the Longchang Corporation even took steps to prevent him from working in a similar field for the next five years. The thirty-year-old Lin Fan would have to abandon everything he’d built up so far and start afresh from nothing.
No wonder Lin Fan’s mother was mad.
Cheng Xi found out all this when Meng Qingyang came for her next regularly scheduled therapy session. She explained all this with a mystified air. “He was the one who wanted me to do all this. He said that he didn’t want anyone to say that he had only accomplished so much because he married me.”
Then, still in an understanding tone, she said, “I think that I now know what you mean when you said that two people who love each other should be independent, Dr. Cheng. We were the happiest when there was nothing between us; that was when he was gentle and kind to me. At that time, I was just his colleague, but now, everyone thinks that he’s just leeching off of my position. And I think that’s the main reason why he’s unhappy and isn’t treating me well.”
She said everything in a winding manner, but Cheng Xi understood that Lin Fan was just trying to change the nature of the relationship between the two of them. From what she had seen so far, this sort of change would indeed be beneficial to them, or at the least, be beneficial to Lin Fan and Meng Qingyang’s relationship.
From a doctor’s perspective, it was certainly a good thing to see a patients’ family members accommodate their desire for change, and this was certainly a positive thing for everyone involved. Cheng Xi decided that this happiness wasn’t born out of her selfishness, so she ignored Lin Fan’s mother’s words. On that day, Lin Fan brought Meng Qingyang to her therapy session himself, and on the way out, Cheng Xi spoke to him with a calm heart; her emotions no longer rippled in his presence.
After Cheng Xi’s approval, Lin Fan started bringing Meng Qingyang over to see Chen Jiaman regularly. For some reason, he would also come see her almost everyday during visiting hours, sometimes with Meng Qingyang and sometimes alone.
As a result, Cheng Xi basically saw him every day. Their conversation topics were more or less limited to Meng Qingyang and Chen Jiaman. The unfortunate part about his visits stemmed from the fact that she had originally introduced Lin Fan to her colleagues as her boyfriend, and she had also never overtly explained that she had broken up with him afterwards.
And since Lin Fan came over so often, even if they knew that he was Chen Jiaman’s brother, some of her colleagues had started teasing Cheng Xi, saying that Cheng Xi and Lin Fan were dealing with their private matters in public and giving Cheng Xi no opportunity to explain herself. As the rumors started growing out of hand, Cheng Xi had no choice but to announce to everyone during a departmental meeting that Lin Fan was already married, and to stop joking around about them too. Only then did they stop harassing her about it.
But one of her colleagues, who was on maternity leave during her announcement, never heard the update. One day, Lu Chenzhou, who disliked stepping into a hospital at all, happened to arrive early to pick Cheng Xi up. And while Cheng Xi was talking with him, that oblivious colleague yelled out to her, “Dr. Cheng, your boyfriend’s here.”
Cheng Xi looked at Lu Chenzhou.
Lu Chenzhou looked back at Cheng Xi.
After a long moment of silence, Lu Chenzhou chuckled mirthlessly and then asked expressionlessly, “Boyfriend?”