A sudden thought began running through his mind over and over again.
He regretted his decision.
He regretted not insisting on saving her back then. If only he had decided to save her at all costs, she would not have wanted a divorce so resolutely, and they would not have lost their precious child even before he came to know of its existence.
Throughout his entire journey home, Jin Qingyan was occupied with a myriad of thoughts.
He stared at the dishes on the dining table with a pair of chopsticks in hand.
He had no appetite at all.
“Young Sir, please have at least a little to eat. You can’t go on an empty stomach, your body won’t be able to take it. Besides, you’ve had so much alcohol last night,” said a worried Auntie Chen.
“Alright, you may take your leave,” he answered as he began to dig in.
He would occasionally put down his chopsticks and gaze at the spot where An Xiaoning used to sit as he reminisced about the past. However, the spot was now empty, and all he had left was a memory of her.
Jin Qingyan mindlessly chowed down on the food, which tasted bland and tasteless, just like his life now.
Fan Shixin entered the house, only to be greeted with the sight of Jin Qingyan who appeared forlorn and soulless. “Young Sir, have you been crying?” Fan Shixin asked in astonishment.
Jin Qingyan wiped the tears off his face and said coldly, “What’s the matter?”
“Your divorce with Ms. An has been exposed. The media wants a piece of exclusive news, do we give them a reply?”
“No, there’s no need to share details of my private life with the public all the time.”
Fan Shixin then turned around and left quietly, finally heaving a huge sigh of relief as soon as he reached the entrance. Jin Qingyan was in an extremely worrying state.
Despite having worked for Jin Qingyan for years, Fan Shixin had never seen him so devastated before, so much so that he’d tear up without even realizing it.
Jin Qingyan’s sudden yelling sent Fan Shixin shivering in shock as the latter hurriedly ran towards to the door. “Young Sir, have you got any orders for me?”
“Come here,” Jin Qingyan bellowed, gesturing for Fan Shixin to come forth.
“Coming,” said Fan Shixin as he quickly hurried over.
“Have you started dating recently?”
“Huh?” Fan Shixin asked in surprise, puzzled that Jin Qingyan seemed to be concerned about his personal life all of a sudden.
“No, I spend all my time around a bunch of guys every day. Where would I get the chance to meet girls?” Fan Shixin answered, feeling a little gloomy.
“Okay,” said Jin Qingyan as he rose from his seat and took out a handkerchief to wipe his mouth.
“Young Sir, don’t tell me you’re thinking of setting me up with someone? Since when have you become so concerned about your employees?”
“You’re reading too much into it, I was just casually asking,” Jin Qingyan replied coldly, flinging his handkerchief onto the table before making his way upstairs.
Jin Qingyan took a deep breath after closing the door to his bedroom. He then removed his jacket and threw it onto the couch forcefully, before sprawling himself across the bed.
“You don’t know any better, An Xiaoning. Did I not treat you well enough? I already said I would make it up to you in the future. Why do you have to insist on a divorce!? Why!?! How I wish I could strangle you to death!” Jin Qingyan yelled in despair, repeatedly throwing his fists into the bedsheets and grasping the pillow tightly.
“How do you expect me to choose between my wife and my sister? How was I supposed to make a decision? How, how, how! Do you know how terribly upset I’m feeling? You definitely don’t, otherwise, you wouldn’t have demanded a divorce.
“An Xiaoning, do I look like I’m lacking in women? Have you any idea just how lucky you are to have been chosen by me? Let me tell you, you’re dead lucky!”
Jin Qingyan shrugged his slippers off and sat cross-legged on the bed, almost exploding in anger.
He felt like he was at his wits’ ends, on the verge of losing his sanity and becoming deranged. He laid in bed and stared at the empty bedroom, rid of all her belongings, except for her lingering scent.
He sat up again and opened the drawer beside the bed to see that the jewel necklace and wedding ring were both inside.
There were still a few pieces of her clothing left in the wardrobe, but she did not buy those herself. Her toothbrush was still in the bathroom while her slippers were still sitting by the doorstep downstairs.
“Damn you, you should’ve taken everything with you when you left, including my memory!” Jin Qingyan placed her slippers into a bag and sorted the toothbrush, as well as the remaining clothes which belonged to her, all of which he then put away in a suitcase.
Being the gentleman that he was, he felt an obligation to deliver it to her.
He felt an urge to tell her to bring her belongings with her, lest they become an eyesore!
Jin Qingyan had never once felt at ease throughout the entire day, ever since he returned from the Civil Administration Bureau.
Every second was arduous and painful.
The weather began to turn gloomy in the afternoon.
The initially clear skies turned gray as it became covered in dark clouds and gradually began pouring.
The rain had gotten heavier by evening.
Jin Qingyan arrived at Dongpo Road in his car.
He would not have known about the fact that An Xiaoning had bought herself a mansion there if he had not gotten Fan Shixin to check up on it.
Was she already expecting that their marriage would not last long, since the beginning?
That was the reason she had prepared herself beforehand, just in case, wasn’t it?
Jin Qingyan parked his car at a spot further away from her place and stared at the two buildings not too far away while sitting in his car. He seemed to be able to imagine just how she would have decorated her home.
He took a look at the luggage in the back seat and proceeded to send An Xiaoning a text message with his phone, after which he got down from the car with a black umbrella in hand.
He carried the umbrella in his right hand and tugged the luggage along with his left.
He then walked towards her house slowly.
Just as he arrived at the entrance, the gate opened and out came An Xiaoning, dressed in a set of thick pajamas with an umbrella in her hand.
“I’ve already cleared all my belongings.”
“I’d be throwing them away, anyway. You might as well just keep them,” he said, handing her the luggage.
An Xiaoning decided to accept it, seeing how sincere he was to have delivered it to her personally. “Thank you, for especially bringing it to me despite the heavy rain,” she said.
“Don’t mention it, I enjoy doing charity.”
“Alright, I’ll be heading in then,” said An Xiaoning.
Just as she was about to return inside, Jin Qingyan pursed his lips and blurted, “Wait a minute.”
An Xiaoning stopped in her tracks and turned around to look at him. “What’s the matter?”
“If I told you that I’ve fallen for you, will you return to my side?” he asked, avoiding eye contact with her.
An Xiaoning was taken aback, for she had never expected that such words would come out of his mouth.
She could not think of an appropriate answer. After hesitating for several seconds, she said, “We’ve already gotten a divorce, is there any point in saying such things now? Since I’ve already decided to divorce you, I don’t ever plan to get back together with you. Jin Qingyan, let us part without hard feelings and refrain from seeing each other again in the future, unless necessary.”
Tears welled up in his eyes at the instant that he heard her words. “Okay, you’d better not regret this ever!” he said as his heart was wrenched in agony.
His figure gradually faded in the rain after he turned around to leave.
An Xiaoning burst into tears as she held onto the umbrella and luggage.