Yang Chen’s return marked the first reunion the family had in awhile. It quickly turned into an eating competition between Yang Chen and Lanlan with the younger even glancing over to Yang Chen every now and then before she continued inhaling her food.
Guo Xuehua was originally worried the child would suffer from indigestion but had quickly realized that her worries were in vain. The child had a digestive system tougher than iron, even munching on steel wouldn’t hurt her.
Halfway through, Wang Ma thought of Guo Xuehua’s intention for a visit to the cemetery, which she then took to reconfirm. “Xuehua, I nearly forgot, did you visit the cemetery today?”
Guo Xuehua was caught off-guard as she awkwardly turned towards Lin Ruoxi.
Lin Ruoxi was confused. “Mother, what cemetery visit?”
“Oh...this past noon I came by the office to look for you. I wanted to see if you had the time since it was Chongyang tomorrow after all. I was thinking of paying your mother and grandmother a visit.”
Lin Ruoxi felt a tinge of comfort. “You could’ve told me earlier. I was at the cafe around noon. I did have some time in between.”
Guo Xuehua was quickly overwhelmed by a slew of thoughts as she confronted her. “Cafe? Alone at noon? Why didn’t you have a proper meal?”
At the mention of the question, Yang Chen, who was in a playful chopsticks battle with Lanlan abruptly halted.
Guo Xuehua’s remark might seem harmless, but Yang Chen knew full well that it was a test to see if Lin Ruoxi was hiding something.
Yang Chen internally sighed at her distrust for his wife. But since it was already out there, he was curious about her response.
Lin Ruoxi was reminded of Li Jianhe’s desperate plea but quickly snapped out of her thoughts as she shook her head. “Nope, was with Qianni, she wanted to have desserts.”
“Just Qianni? No one else familiar?” Guo Xuehua was seemingly eager to dig deep.
Yang Chen at this point felt like she was getting slightly overboard as if she was interrogating a suspect.
“Mom, stop pushing her. She went with Qianni didn’t she? Right, Ruoxi?”
Lin Ruoxi halfheartedly smiled at her husband, yet her hands began to sweat. Back when Li Jianhe stopped by her office, Yang Chen’s overblown reaction still left her shaken.
“Mother, why are you suddenly interested in this though. Like I said, I was with Qianni, just the two of us, no one else…” Lin Ruoxi made a solid attempt to stay as clear-headed as possible.
Upon her response, however, Yang Chen's expression that was previously relaxed had turned noticeably stiff.
Guo Xuehua was too seemingly taken aback as she disgruntledly stared at Lin Ruoxi, her face turned bitter and unpleasant.
It did not take long before Lin Ruoxi noticed that something was off just from their responses. “Mother, what’s going on? Did I say something wrong?”
“I can’t say for sure if you were with Qianni, but I sure did see a different person.”
Guo Xuehua whilst talking retrieved her smartphone, swiped to the photo gallery and thrust it to Lin Ruoxi’s face.
Lin Ruoxi was taken aback, but after a quick glance, she realized what Guo Xuehua was hinting at.
Everyone else by the table was left dumbfounded with the drastic change in mood at the dinner table.
Yang Chen placed his chopsticks on the table, with an aggrieved expression he remarked. “What is this then?”
Lin Ruoxi paid careful attention to the photo. It was herself a few hours ago when Li Jianhe was exaggeratingly holding her hand. It seemed as if their hands were holding onto one another.
It was at this moment, Lin Ruoxi’s face turned pale.
But her own nonetheless were rapidly replaced by subsequent panic, but mostly dejection and disappointment!
“Mother...you..you stalked me?!” Lin Ruoxi slammed the phone on the table.
That moment, even Lanlan was terrified, the young child was seemingly caught off guard by her mother’s anger. She stared in confusion at the adults of the table.
“Young Miss, what...what’s the matter? Calm down alright, we can always discuss this.” Wang Ma instinctively comforted, while simultaneously reached out for the smartphone to take a good look.
The photo was not much, but Wang Ma knew who Li Jianhe was. “This...isn’t this Li Jianhe from your college, Young Miss? I did see him once when the old CEO was still around, how did you meet? Isn’t he married abroad now?”
Wang Ma’s harmless remark came out as a completely different remark to Guo Xuehua’s ears.
“What? A married man?!” Guo Xuehua exploded. “Ruoxi, all I did was coincidentally take this photo by accident by the road!
But the real issue is you lying! Is there something you couldn’t tell us about?!”
Lin Ruoxi was flushed by a mixture of anger, despair, and desolation from being wronged. Tears started flowing down against her will. She then slammed the table and stood up!
“Mother, are you doubting me?”
“I always thought you were an honest child. If you were innocent then why wouldn’t you tell the truth?”
“I have my reasons! And if it was what you think it is, then why can’t I have one too?” Lin Ruoxi ranted.
“Do you think it’s right?!” Guo Xuehua too started yelling.
Lin Ruoxi shook her head in dismay. “I never once considered the fact that you might actually think of me this way...”
“And how instead did you treat my son?!” Guo Xuehua unleashed her heedless dismay. “Did you know when I showed Yang Chen that photo, he was defending you because he believed you’d tell the truth! He even convinced me to trust you! He didn’t even let me confront you!
But you dare lie to us?! After all the nice things he said behind your back while you slither around!”
Lin Ruoxi was furious before she sneered at Yang Chen. “Oh, so you defended me behind my back I see. You saw the photo and felt I was a sly woman but you keep it all to yourself I see? So you wanted Mother to come to interrogate me from the side? Or are you too scared to ask for yourself, like the coward you are?”
Yang Chen at that moment was fuzzy in the head. Partially disappointed and downcast, but mostly frustrated.
Lin Ruoxi’s cynicism was like fuel to the fire.
“Lin Ruoxi, you thought I was using Mom as a front to interrogate you?”
“I dare you to say it one more time…”
“Why not, you vile man!”
Yang Chen shot upright, his face red as a tomato as he yelled, “I trusted you with all my heart but you think I’m vile?”
Guo Xuehua at this point was boiling with rage, while Wang Ma had finally realized that she had unintentionally sparked a forest fire as she hurriedly urged Minjuan to take Lanlan upstairs in an attempt to remove the child from future trauma.
“Must be fun to play me like an idiot, isn’t it?”
Lin Ruoxi glared at Yang Chen. Without another word, she turned around to retrieve her coat on the shelf along with her handbag and darted towards the door!
Yang Chen’s face spiraled with fury red and pale from distraught as he clenched his fists so tight it started crackling!
Guo Xuehua whilst wiping her tears cried out. “Yang Chen, catch up to her! You have to get to the bottom of this!”
Yang Chen took a long, depressing sigh. Frustrated, he went after her.
In the backyard, before Lin Ruoxi could start the car engine, Yang Chen went ahead and grasped onto her hand.
“Where do you think you’re going?!”
“Let go of me!” Lin Ruoxi’s puffy eyes were devoid of emotion.
“Are you running away?”
“Run? Where to?” Lin Ruoxi sarcastically rebuked. “Doesn’t matter where I go, you’re gonna stalk me anyway, aren’t you?!”
“What the hell are you rambling about? Mom saw you by accident. I never spied on you!” Yang Chen furiously remarked.
“Oh, you’d know.”
Yang Chen cursed under his breath as he stared helplessly at her. “Lin Ruoxi, what’s with you today?! If it’s a misunderstanding then make it clear to everyone! If you never met Li Jianhe, and never held his hand, all of this wouldn’t happen!
Even if Mom went out of her mind to take that photo, that doesn’t make this her fault! If you were honest we wouldn’t have wronged you!”