Lin Ruoxi’s alcohol-induced glow caught both Guo Xuehua and Wang Ma by surprise when they reached home.
Yang Chen was fully capable of purging the alcohol from her bloodstream, but after some thought, he decided against it and chose to respect her decision. After all, she only got wasted to repress her emotions. It would be cruel to deny her of that.
The two seniors, on the other hand, stayed up late anxious for the return of the young couple.
It was Minjuan instead that had accompanied Lanlan to bed. Even though she found her mother different from her usual self, it didn’t raise any concerns in her head.
“This...Yang Chen, why does she reek of alcohol? Oh my, why is she this drunk? What a disgrace.” Guo Xuehua blurted from dismal.
Yang Chen continued his way by piggybacking Lin Ruoxi upstairs. Halfway through, he believed he could no longer stay silent. “Mom, that’s enough. It’s been an exhausting day for her. Being accused of no way of venting her frustration made her resort to alcohol. When she wakes up refreshed the next morning, why don’t you give her a proper apology? I know it might be awkward for you being a senior, but you should amend your mistakes too.”
Guo Xuehua conflictingly glanced towards Lin Ruoxi for moments, before she focused back onto Yang Chen. “Frankly, as a young woman once myself, I can’t say I agree with you. It is only right for the youngins to heed the advice of their elders.
Even though I might be wrong here, my intentions were not overly critical to my daughter in law. If she knew her place this wouldn’t have happened. I too am not an inconsiderate person who wouldn’t consider logical reasoning.
Besides, if I apologize then where should I lay my pride? It’s just one small mistake from us. Must we apologize for something like that?”
“Mom, listen. It’s the twenty-first century now. You about time you have to start thinking progressively. Ruoxi was indeed misunderstood, wasn’t she?” Yang Chen awkwardly chuckled.
“There there now, what’s that supposed to mean? I’m not that old.” Guo Xuehua reasoned, albeit with frustration. “I know times have changed, and I will do as you say. I will apologize to her once she wakes up tomorrow. But it’s all for you. Otherwise, I would never. What is this...I didn’t do it on purpose…”
Wang Ma by the side came to his aid. “Xuehua, come on now. You don’t have to win every argument with your children. I know you must think you’re right in all of this, but for the sake of the family, what’s there to be embarrassed about if you apologize. You wouldn’t want the ‘cold war’ to recommence now do you?”
Yang Chen smiled brightly with immense gratitude towards Wang Ma before he turned around and proceeded with carrying Lin Ruoxi to her room.
Guo Xuehua sighed from dejection. “No wonder the drama series these days all had in-law relationships as their mainstays. If I wasn’t educated, I might have ended up like those fictional in-laws too. I might even end up hating myself, having the child I bore to side with another woman.”
Wang Ma chuckled by the side as she calmly patted Gu Xuehua on the back.
After he carried Lin Ruoxi into her bedroom, Yang Chen quickly noticed Lanlan’s absence in the room from the usual, guessing that she might be sleeping over at Minjuan’s room.
And that made the entire process more convenient, as he carefully removed her shoes, gently laid her down on the bed, removed her coat, and tugged her into blankets.
Lin Ruoxi was pouting her lips as she curled herself up, her back facing Yang Chen as she fell into a deep slumber.
Yang Chen sat by the edge of the bed, his hand lightly patting the woman’s body.
After a while, Yang Chen noticed a familiar plushie over at the far corner of the bed.
Taking a good look, it took no time for him to recall that it was the dumpling that he won back when they were eating dumplings together one time. It was squished at the end of her bed possibly for her to vent her dissatisfaction he presumed.
What he did not know was that he was only half right, the other half was meant for it to support her feet.
Quietly he reached for the dumpling plushie and smoothed it out. “Wifey, you’re asleep aren’t you?”
Lin Ruoxi unsurprisingly did not respond, which now meant his engagement turned to be more of a monologue instead.
“I’m guilty of my actions. I know I have mentioned it in the past but I feel like this is a good time to repeat it once more.” Yang Chen emotionally remarked. “I’m...just not a man with aspiration, maybe it’s because aspirations are just too far-fetched for me. My whole life has been one act of revenge after another.
And now, all the things I do, I do to protect my sources of happiness.
It might be from the absence of affection in my childhood, I find it hard to reject true love. And it is from that fear, it frightens me to wake up and find all of this taken away from me once again.
It scares me, that one day if I reject this love, and I might never get it again.
You might think these are all excuses that I made up from the top of my head but I need you to know this. Even if I love every single one of them, I knew from the start that you’ll be my only wife.
You don’t have to envy them, I say that just to get on your good side. If I could actually tell you the exact reason why you will always be my wife I would, word for word, but right now I just don't have one, so I choose to have complete faith in you.
I used to love this woman so much in the past. We grew up together, experienced countless life and death situations. But even then, I never once felt the feelings I have when I first met you.
You know, this might be fate. It must be fate that brought us together, to bring me here with you.”
Yang Chen paused for a moment before he chuckled. “Actually, it’s always been on my mind, that one day you might get sick of me, that you would choose to leave me.
And if that day truly comes, I will still love you the way I do now, for I can assure you, even if one day you chose not to love me anymore, I will never be the one who would stop loving you first.
Even if we might not grow old together, I truly wish you could be by my side till the day the world ends.
Throughout his heartfelt words, his eyes started watering as he bent down low and gave her a kiss on the cheek.
“I could only say this with you fast asleep, otherwise you would think I’m a shameless bastard with all his crappy nonsense. Lin Ruoxi, it’s tough to be your partner, even more so as your significant other. But come to think of it, how rare it is for the both of us to be drinking out this deep into the night.”
Yang Chen stood up as he made his way to the exit. Yet before he left, he abruptly turned towards her for one last look, before he turned off the lights.
The bedroom returned to darkness.
The next morning, Yang Chen drowsily collapsed onto his expansive king-sized bed. After days of hectic traveling, Yang Chen readily welcomed the opportunity for a pleasant rest.
THUMP THUMP THUMP!
The door of his room was bombarded by successive knocking and banging, which got him to reluctantly crawl out of his bed.
“Why are you knocking, the door’s not locked!”
Before he could finish mincing his words, the door flung open, and in came a chubby little girl!
“Mommy said I have to knock before I come in.” Lanlan happily responded.
Yang Chen pouted in response. “Mommy never taught you to knock lightly?”
“Nope,” Lanlan confidently replied, before she dashed towards Yang Chen's bed and flipped over the blanket. “Bad uncle, wake up! Granny said we have to wait for you before we can have breakfast! Lanlan’s starving!”
Yang Chen sighed at the anticlimactic turn of events as he ploddingly put on his clothing. “Alright alright, you go ahead, I’ll catch up to you.”
Lanlan twitched her little nose. “Bad uncle, what are you shy about? Your chest is so tiny! Mommy’s bigger, I don’t wanna see yours!”
Once she was done making a point, she sprinted out of the room.
Yang Chen was baffled regarding the education she was receiving from the kindergarten on one hand but was nevertheless contented that there is now a child in the household.
Right at that moment by the door was Lin Ruoxi, tidied up along with bundled hair, as she walked into the room, in her hands were his freshly washed clothing.
Taking a quick peek on the man by the bed, Lin Ruoxi proceeded to arrange the clothes into their respective shelves.
Clearing his throat, Yang Chen walked the fine line as he said, “Ruoxi...you...don’t hate me anymore, do you?”
Lin Ruoxi paused where she was, contemplated a little, then turned towards Yang Chen. “Still do, but regardless of how I feel, you’re still my husband.”