In the last chapter, we also got a glimpse of how Zheng Xie realized how some of his habits are related to He He. He also realized the similarity between Yang Wei Qi and He He. And he come to realized that some of He He’s habit with him in the past are actually her habit with no special meaning behind it. Or is it so?
In this chapter, we will read about interesting conversation between He He and her mother. One could sense the concern from her mother and the suspicion from her mother about how He He felt about Zheng Xie.
Enjoy the read!
Chapter 26.5: Sense and Sensibility
The next day, He He sat down together with her mother in the living room, basking in the sun as they were drinking tea and chatting.
He He’s mother asked: “What is wrong between you and Zheng Xie?”
“There is nothing wrong between us.”
“The last time you are back; you were close with him. Last night you refuse to even look at him. Acting like strangers.”
“That……. I am too close with brother Zheng Xie, afraid of Ms. Yang misunderstanding …… no…. afraid that she might mind.”
“You and Zheng Xie are very close for over twenty years. Even if she want to mind, it is too late.”
He He bowed down and said: “Better to be careful. Avoiding is better.”
Then, He He continue reading her novels while her mother continued to read her professional journal.
“That Cen Shi, he is not your marriage interest, right?” Suddenly He He’s mother asked.
“That…..” He He was stunned momentarily, “We still have a long way to go……”
“For you to be willing to bring your boyfriend back to be introduced to me, it means that you are looking at him as a potential marriage partner, that is why you are dating him, right?”
He He carefully asked: “Mother, do you not like him?”
“If you like, I would respect your choice. But to my understanding, the person that you would be willing to marry would be a person that you highly respect and even awe. But your attitude towards him, it does not seem like it.”
He He kept quiet for a long time. Then she suddenly asked: “Mother, did you highly respect dad and are in awe before you marry him?”
“You have never asked about your dad.”
“In fact, I have always wanted to ask but did not dare. How did you met father? Once, I saw in a very old city yearbook in the library that has father’s profile. It says above that he has only completed junior high school education. When you married father, you were already a graduate student. At that moment, I had wanted to ask…. Why did you marry father?”
“Education cannot represent the gap between two people. Your father was a good man.”
“I know. I am sorry. I should not have asked you that, mother.”
“It’s okay. For so many years, many of you think that I do not like to reminisce the past, so no one ever dare to ask me. Both your father and I were orphan, so we grew up together. I look small so was often bullied. Your dad always protect me. Then later he told me to marry him, and he will protect me forever. I went off later to study while he stayed back to work. He wrote me a letter to tell me that he met a blind woman. She makes him feel good and he wants to date her. If it is right, then he wanted to marry her. The next day, I went to school and claimed that my brother was sick and took a leave of absence. I came back to warn him, the promise that he made needs to be fulfilled. He either do not get married in this life or if he wants to get married, it is only to marry me.”
“What happen then?”
“He refused, but I insisted. So he waited until I graduated. I finally married him. He honored the first half of his promised but then in the most respectable way, destroyed the latter half of the promise.”
“Why did you marry Father? You did not mentioned about this.”
“He was a good man. The best man I have ever met. I was thinking, if I missed the opportunity to be with this man, I will regret it later as I will never be able to meet anyone like him.”
“Mother, do you love father?”
He He’s mother thought for a long time: “I only quantitatively study. While the ‘love’ is a void that I do not know.”
“Thank you for sharing these with me.” He He said very seriously.
He He’s mother looked at her for a moment: “He He, you have never said so much to me. And also never asked so much question.”
“That is because we rarely have time to sit and chat together. You have always been busy with your work.”
“When you are young, when you want me to do something for you, you refuse to personally tell me but ask Zheng Xie to pass on the message to me.”
He He kept quiet.
“He He. He He” He He’s mother gently calling her name. He He looked up.
“I always have a question that I had wanted to ask but never found the right opportunity to ask you. During the summer of your freshman year, what happen?”
“That is the summer that Zheng Xie went abroad to study.”
“Nothing…… it has been a long time ago.”
“That year, you also came back together with Zheng Xie. Also suddenly become a stranger, just like how you were last night.”
“Really? I do not remember. Mother, you have a very good memory.” He He laughed twice.
“This time you quietly came back and it is even with a boyfriend. And suddenly things are awkward between you and Zheng Xie. Are these two things related? Or it is just me being suspicious?”
He He looked down and stared at the cover of the book. She did not dare to look at her mother’s eyes. She was silence for a while and then whispered: “Mother, I do not want to talk about it. Please do not ask…..”
“Okay, I do not ask”
After a moment, He He took the initiative and said: “It has nothing to do with him.”
Both the mother and daughter returned to the quiet and understanding moments earlier. It is so quiet that only the movement from the mechanical clock can be heard from the living room.
“He He, is that anything I can do for you?” He He’s mother suddenly asked.
“I do not need anything, mother.”
“Do you like Zheng Xie, hope that Zheng Xie marry you?”
“I have always regarded him and liked him as a brother. I have never had the thought of marrying him. From young until now, I never had such thoughts.”