At that moment, Cheng Xi suddenly understood why psychiatrists weren’t allowed to develop feelings for their patients: it made it too easy for them to get nervous.
She was very worried that her nervousness would affect Lu Chenzhou and cause this somewhat haphazard and sloppy therapy session to devolve into something unsatisfactory for both of them.
She was also afraid that the truth wasn’t something that she could handle.
But despite her misgivings, Lu Chenzhou really did trust her, and although she could tell that he was struggling internally, after a moment of silence, he started speaking.
His narrative was disheveled, disorganized, and he even stuttered and stumbled over his words as he spoke. It was clear how deeply this affair had affected him.
But Cheng Xi was still able to get a rough understanding of what had happened. It wasn’t too complicated: Lu Chenzhou’s mother had been a researcher at Donglai Pharmaceuticals, and due to her job, Lu Chenzhou spent most of his time playing in her office.
Of course, he couldn’t enter any of the rooms with specialized equipment, and he spent most of his time waiting for her in the lab office. Lu Chenzhou didn’t usually mess around, so his mother felt at ease leaving him alone in the office. However, she was a workaholic, and would often forget about him when she became engrossed in her work. One day, Lu Chenzhou had gotten so hungry that he decided to try to use an alcohol burner to make some food to eat, but a moment of carelessness had caused the fire to break out.
As the fire developed, Lu Chenzhou had been paralyzed by fear. He initially tried to extinguish it himself, but the flames only grew higher and hotter. He then ran outside the lab and closed the door, naively hoping that the fire wouldn’t come out if he closed the door, and that no one would know about the mistake he’d made.
But he’d forgotten that his mother was still inside the laboratory. Since she had been working overtime on a weekend, there was barely anyone in the laboratory or the factory. Only when the flames grew into a roaring inferno did the security guards notice it. They called the police and firefighters, but by then, it was already too late.
Cheng Xi listened to Lu Chenzhou with full focus, slowly piecing this shocking truth from Lu Chenzhou’s disjointed narrative. She asked him some questions from time to time to ease his emotions, but these questions actually highlighted some of the contradictions in his narrative.
For example, she asked him what his favorite childhood present was.
Lu Chenzhou thought for quite a long time before finally responding, “I don’t have one.”
“Was there one that left the deepest impression on you?”
His eyes darkened as he replied, “I once ate some experimental drugs from the laboratory by accident, and then I ended up being a test subject.”
Cheng Xi was quite shocked. “A test subject?”
“It wasn’t anything huge.” His tone was calm, perhaps even somewhat happy as he remarked, “After that incident, my mother would frequently bring me to the lab.”
Cheng Xi had always thought that his relationship with his mother was very good, but now, she was uncertain and couldn’t stop herself from asking, “Did your mother treat you well?”
“Yes, she did.”
But as he said this, he noticeably shied away from her. Psychologically, this implied that he wasn’t sure about his answer. Cheng Xi didn’t understand why this would be the case, until she talked with his grandparents afterwards.
The two of them had come from the hospital and had made this visit specially to see Cheng Xi.
They brought a lot of food with them, and when Cheng Xi went downstairs, Cheng Yang and the others were all crowded around the table, stuffing themselves with food and drinks while Lu Chenzhou’s grandparents chatted with them congenially.
Since Cheng Xi had vomited everything in her stomach out earlier, she felt famished upon seeing everyone else eating and immediately followed suit. When she started eating, Cheng Yang was quite worried about her, but he finally relaxed when he saw that she was able to keep everything down without a problem.
While Lu Chenzhou’s grandparents went upstairs to bring him something to eat and Lu Chenming was talking with Baldy, Cheng Yang surreptitiously tugged on Cheng Xi’s arm and said, “Come here.”
The two of them then walked outside to talk. This time, Cheng Yang was much more alert. He chose a location where he had a clear view of the surroundings, and he even turned around in circles to make sure that what had happened last time wouldn’t happen again.
When Cheng Yang turned back to Cheng Xi, he saw that she was laughing. “Laugh, laugh, laugh. Let’s see how long you can keep laughing for!” He then turned serious in the next moment. “You’re finished with what you’re here to do, right? In that case, I want you to return home with me right now. Will you?”
Cheng Xi shook her head.
“I promised him that I’d accompany him.”
“You don’t want to see your parents? Do you want to throw away your life, just like that?” Cheng Yang stared at her gravely. “Do you know how pitiful you were earlier?”
Cheng Xi still had a smile on her face. “Being a doctor’s a dangerous profession, after all……”
“Cheng Xi, you’re not going to get out of this that easily! If I can’t persuade you, then I’ll have to call mom and dad here to talk to you.”
As he said this, he turned around as if to leave, leaving Cheng Xi with no choice but to pull him back. “Brother~~~”
“Don’t do this to yourself. It makes my heart weep for you.”
Cheng Xi fell silent for a moment, lowering her head. After a lengthy pause, she looked up and pleaded, “Brother, I want to help him.”
“How?” Cheng Yang looked at his sister. “By using your so-called ‘love’ to melt him? Cheng Xi, when did you become such a naive person? No. Rather, I should ask, when did you become such a saintess? Do you think that you can illuminate the whole world with your holy aura?”
When Cheng Yang earnestly mocked someone, even Cheng Xi couldn’t stand up to him. She looked at him helplessly. “Brother, can you not act like this? I just accidentally fell in love with him while I was helping him.”
“Are psychiatrists allowed to fall in love with their own patients?”
“No. This might be the darkest stain on my professional reputation, but I don’t care.”
His face had gone ashen by this point. “So you’ve already decided, haven’t you?”
But Cheng Yang just couldn’t understand. “What’s so attractive about him? His handsomeness? If you really like handsome men, then I can find you ten men, all of whom are even more handsome than him in a matter of minutes! Is it his wealth? How much money do you want? Tell me! I don’t have much of anything else, but I can definitely afford to support you for the rest of your life? Is it due to how ambitious he is? You’re not lacking in that regard either, so why find someone as crazy as him? Cheng Xi, I’ve always wanted to ask you this. Why were you so persistent in becoming a psychiatrist? Have you always been trapped under the shadow of Grandma’s death? How many years has it been?”
Cheng Xi’s face paled when Cheng Yang mentioned their grandmother.
Cheng Yang immediately realized that he’d broached a sensitive subject, and he turned around and cursed softly. It took him a while before he turned back around and grumpily said, “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to bring up grandma.”
Cheng Xi wanted to smile, but she was no longer able to do so. She looked at the verdant greenery in the backyard and softly replied, “There’s nothing wrong with anything you said…… the reason why I’m so passionate about my job, why I was so insistent about becoming a psychiatrist is indeed because of grandma. I will never stop wondering if she would have survived if she had met someone who could understand her pain and anguish.”
When Cheng Xi spoke like this, what could Cheng Yang say in response? Their grandmother’s death was a touchy subject for both of them, as she’d all but raised them single-handedly.
He couldn’t help but curse in frustration. “Shit! But you didn’t have to fall in love with him, did you?!”
Cheng Xi smiled shyly. “He’s a good man. In my eyes, he’s more honest and sincere than anyone else.”