When the plane landed, it was 4 p.m.
As Ye An exited the airport and turned on her phone, she received a call from Ye Yuan Nian..
“Hi, An An, what’s going on between you and Xie Shuo?”
His voice sounded anxious over the phone.
Ye An held her phone and sneered. He’s calling to ask now? A bit too late.
“What do you mean ‘what’s going on’?”
She said indifferently.
Hearing her tone, Ye Yuan Nian grew even more anxious. “I’m talking about the divorce rumors between you two.”
Ye An gripped her suitcase handle and pursed her lips in silence. She suddenly felt the urge to just tell him that they were already divorced.
But then, to make him mad by lying didn’t seem worth it.
“An An, listen to Daddy. Our families’ union isn’t a joke. Don’t act petulant. Now that A’Shuo regained his sight, you should work on your relationship with him. It’s best to have a child as soon as possible…”
Ye An: ……. Where does he get the face to urge me to have a baby?
After rambling on for a while and seeing that she wasn’t responding, Ye Yuan Nian, afraid that she might be irked, changed the subject, “Do you want to come home for a few days?”
Ye An looked up at the bright sky outside the airport. She was going home, but not to the Ye family.
“No, I don’t have time.”
Her tone was insipid.
In the past year, Ye Yuan Nian had noticed her distant attitude, but he had been trying to maintain a facade of harmony. However, he couldn’t hold back any longer and asked, “An An, are you… still harboring resentment toward Daddy?”
Ye An left the airport, and the bright spring sunlight was somewhat glaring. Gazing at the green leaves on the trees by the roadside, she suddenly didn’t feel like continuing to feign civility with him.
After a while, she said unhurriedly, “I don’t resent you, but I also don’t want to return to the Ye family. The money you gave back then was repaid when I married into the Xie family. Regardless of whether I’m with Xie Shuo or not in the future, it doesn’t have anything to do with the Ye family.”
Blood ties couldn’t be severed, but grievances could be settled.
Not expecting her to suddenly say such things, Ye Yuan Nian’s expression changed. “An An, are you still unwilling to forgive Dad?”
Ye An didn’t know how much of his eagerness to repair their father-daughter relationship was driven by self-interest and how much was genuine, and she didn’t want to delve into it. She replied calmly, “There’s nothing to forgive or not forgive. Over these years, I didn’t have a dad, and I’ve managed just fine. I’m not a child anymore, and I don’t need these things.”
She paused for a moment before continuing, “That’s it for now. I have something to attend to, bye.”
She hung up the call, gripping her phone tightly, her fingertips turning white. After calming her emotions for a moment, she straightened her back and continued forward.
The warm spring day brought forth colorful blooms along the streets, lifting people’s spirits.
By the time she arrived at her home’s doorsteps, it was already dusk, and the aroma of dinner wafted through the hallway. Her stomach growled in hunger as she pressed the doorbell.
Soon, someone came to open the door, and when Xia Jin saw her, she looked surprised. “An An? Why did you suddenly come back?”
Ye An smiled. “I took a long break and came back to rest for a while.”
“Why didn’t you tell me beforehand?”
A hint of nervousness flashed across Xia Jin’s face as she hesitated for a moment before letting her in.
Ye An dragged her suitcase into the house, and the sound of cooking came from the kitchen. She had hired a nanny for Xia Jin to take care of her daily life.
Hearing the noise, she assumed it was the nanny. As she glanced toward the kitchen, she was surprised to see a middle-aged man wearing glasses. He was wearing a gray sweater and light-colored pants, looking refined and scholarly.
Ye An was taken aback.
The man turned around and also froze in surprise when he saw her.
Xia Jin followed behind and felt a bit embarrassed as she introduced. “This is Xu laoshi, my art teacher.”
After a brief moment of surprise, Ye An immediately understood the situation. Her mom seemed to be starting a new chapter in her life.
No wonder every time she mentioned coming back home, her mom appeared a bit nervous and emphasized that she should inform her beforehand.
She politely smiled and greeted, “Hello, Xu laoshi.”
Xu Jitong smiled amiably. “You must be An An, right?”
He then turned to Xia Jin. “Should we add two more dishes? I’ll go down to buy them.”
He started to untie his apron as he spoke, but Ye An quickly said, “No need to trouble yourself. I’m not very hungry.”
Seeing this, Xia Jin also said, “No need, there are some things in the fridge.”
Xu Jitong nodded before turning to get some dishes from the fridge.
Ye An withdrew her gaze and said nothing before carrying her suitcase into her bedroom to unpack.
In the living room, Xia Jin glanced at Xu Jitong and then in the direction of Ye An’s bedroom, feeling somewhat uneasy.
Before long, dinner was served. Xia Jin went to Ye An’s door and knocked.
The three of them sat at the same table, and the atmosphere was a bit awkward. None of them spoke much.
After dinner, Xu Jitong left. He lived in the same neighborhood, just two buildings away.
The living room now only had them mother and daughter left, and an eerie silence hung in the air.
Xia Jin had always been strong-willed, but at this moment, she showed an unusual and stiff expression. It took her a while to speak up, “An An, Xu laoshi just occasionally helps out; there’s nothing more…”
Looking at her, Ye An said calmly, “Mom, if you think he’s suitable, I have no objections.”
In fact, she had wanted to urge her for a long time. Life was long, and there was no need to be stuck in the past. It was time to let bygones be bygones.
Xia Jin was taken aback. “You’re not mad at Mom?”
Ye An smiled. “I’m not home often and having someone to take care of you is a good thing.”
This way, she wouldn’t have to worry so much in the future.
After finally speaking openly about it, Xia Jin breathed a sigh of relief. After a moment’s hesitation, she brought up another topic, “I heard that Xie Shuo’s eyes have recovered?”
Upon hearing that name, Ye An’s mind started wandering before she replied, “Yes, he has recovered.”
“That’s great to hear…” Although Xia Jin wasn’t pleased with how hastily she had married into the Xie family, she still felt happy about this news. “Then, why didn’t he come with you?”
Ye An hesitated for a moment but decided not to mention the divorce. “He just returned to work at the company, so he’s been quite busy lately. He’s currently on a business trip abroad.”
After a few more questions from Xia Jin, she didn’t press any further and went into Ye An’s bedroom to prepare the bed for her before telling her to rest early.
The next day, Xu Jitong came over to teach Xia Jin painting as usual and even brought two paintings as gifts for Ye An.
Looking at the two of them chatting and painting in the art room, Ye An suddenly felt a bit out of place. After staying home for three days, she packed her bags, preparing to leave.
Xia Jin was puzzled. “Weren’t you planning to rest at home for a while?”
Ye An: “Staying at home all the time is boring. I want to go out and travel to relax, and this season is just right.”
Xia Jin looked at her, wanting to say something but hesitating.
Ye An dragged her suitcase and smiled at her. “Really, it’s fine. I just want to go on a trip.”
Although Xia Jin was a bit upset, she could only say, “Remember to take care of yourself, and call me if you need anything.”
Ye An nodded and waved her hand before leaving with her suitcase.
After coming down, she breathed a sigh of relief, silently telling herself that being alone wasn’t a bad thing as a smile formed on her lips.
Along the way, the weather was sunny, with a gentle breeze and clear skies. The willow branches swayed gracefully, and colorful flowers were in full bloom. It was truly a season of renewal and new beginnings.
When Xie Shuo returned to the country, it was on the second day of Ye An’s trip.
Upon leaving the airport, he instructed the chauffeur to head directly to the condo where Ye An was staying.
He didn’t call Ye An in advance, intending to give her a surprise.
The spring scenery outside the car window was beautiful, and Xie Shuo couldn’t help but smile, a hint of mirth in his eyes.
The car passed through the gated community and stopped in front of the condo building. Xie Shuo got out of the car, took the elevator upstairs, and rang the doorbell. However, there was no response for quite some time.
He had asked in advance, and she had been on vacation these few days, so she shouldn’t be at the studio.
Thinking about how she was still recovering from a cold, Xie Shuo became a bit worried. Instead of ringing the doorbell again, he took out his key and opened the door.
Upon entering the condo, a sense of desolation hit him. It was eerily quiet inside, and the flowers on the table had withered halfway.
He searched around but couldn’t find anyone. He decided to call Ye An, but her phone went straight to voicemail with the cold message: “The user you are trying to reach is currently unavailable. Please try again later.”
Standing in the room, Xie Shuo became restless. No matter how upset she had been in the past, it had never reached a point where she disappeared without a word, leaving him unable to find her.
She had clearly promised to wait for him to come back before he left.
With the condo empty and her phone unreachable, Xie Shuo decided to make a visit back to the Xie family estate.
Seeing him, Xie Baiyan asked about the divorce rumors from a couple of days ago, “What’s going on between you and An An?”
Xie Shuo frowned and remained silent.
Looking at him, Xie Baiyan sighed. “I know that you were unwilling about this marriage. But no matter what, An An is a good girl. This past year, she has taken care of you and spent a lot of time and effort. If it was someone else, it’s uncertain if they could do as well as she had. Even if you truly want a divorce, remember her good. Don’t rush it too much and make it hard on her.”
Suddenly, Xie Shuo said, “We won’t get divorced.”
Xie Baiyan was taken aback.
Xie Shuo paused briefly and emphasized, “I won’t divorce her.”
This came as a genuine surprise to Xie Baiyan. So, all this commotion was because his daughter-in-law wanted a divorce?
After saying this, Xie Shuo turned around and went upstairs.
Xie Baiyan watched his son’s retreating figure, feeling a bit worried. This son of his had always been outstanding since childhood, good at everything, but his personality…
Back in his bedroom, Xie Shuo took off his coat and sat down on the sofa, wearily rubbing his temples.
The room was empty, quiet, and cold. Since she moved out, it seemed like all the vitality had left this place; even the plants on the balcony looked listless.
He could almost hear her voice again, lively and willful. When she was around, she always found ways to engage him in conversations and laughter.
The setting sun slowly sank, casting a blood-red glow across the horizon and painting the sky in fiery colors.
After sitting for a while, Xie Shuo picked up his phone and went online. He checked and found that the divorce rumors from a few days ago had disappeared without a trace, long forgotten by netizens.
He searched for Ye An’s profile on Weibo and clicked on it. Her latest post was from over half a month ago, promoting a variety show.
For this post, she had even recorded a voice message.
He played the voice message. It was a line from a script, delivered with a tone that sounded sweeter and less casual than her usual way of speaking.
After listening, he continued scrolling through her posts. There were very few personal posts, mostly promotional content for her voice-acting projects. As he scrolled, he abruptly paused at a certain post.
A photo suddenly caught his eye.
In the photo, two hands were clasped, with wedding rings on their ring fingers. There was also a red rose placed next to the hands. The image was beautifully romantic, enhanced with a filter.
The caption read: “The person who drinks it knows best whether the water is hot or cold. I’m doing well, and so is my husband.”
Xie Shuo was momentarily stunned, and he was flooded with memories of dark scenes where there was only sound but no visuals.
At that time, how did she handle all this?
Looking up, he gazed out at the fiery sunset outside, lost in thought.
Suddenly, he had a realization.
This marriage had started as a transaction, followed by over half a year of emotional abuse from him. For her, there were no beautiful memories to cherish. It was no wonder she couldn’t get over that hurdle and remained unwilling to believe him.
After being lost in thought for a while, Xie Shuo picked up his phone again, found her number, and dialed it.
This time, it was finally not the cold and empty ringing tone.
The phone rang for quite a while, so long that Xie Shuo almost thought she wouldn’t pick up. Finally, he heard her familiar voice on the other end.
Xie Shuo said softly, “I’m back.”
There was a short “oh” from the other end.
In the past, he might’ve found her talkative, but now he felt she was saying too little.
Xie Shuo: “I just went to the condo, but you weren’t there.”
Ye An: “I went home. Didn’t I tell you last time? I’m going to take a break and stay at my mom’s place for a while.”
Her tone was similar to her usual one, seemingly not upset.
Xie Shuo asked again, “What’s your home address?”
Hearing this question, Ye An became wary instinctively. “Why are you asking for this?”
Xie Shuo said straightforwardly, “I’ll go find you.”
Ye An hurriedly said, “No need, I’m not at home right now; I’m on a trip.”
Xie Shuo then asked, “Where are you going?”
Ye An was sitting on the veranda and watching the peach blossom trees in the courtyard. Perhaps because the peach blossoms were so vibrant, her mood was great as well. She was in a playful mood and decided to tease him a bit, saying, “Guess?”
Xie Shuo: “……. Can you give me a hint?”
Ye An lightly tapped her chin with a finger, pondering for a moment before mentioning the title of a poem, “River On a Spring Night.”
Xie Shuo furrowed his brows in contemplation.
“The hint is already so obvious. If you can’t guess it, then forget it.”
After saying that, Ye An hung up the phone.
She had no expectations that he would guess right. There were some things he had probably long forgotten; even if he could guess it, he definitely wouldn’t have the time to come find her, given how busy he was.
In his heart, she had always been the last priority.
Thinking about this, she couldn’t help but feel a bit melancholic. Sigh, why did she fall for a man who had no emotions?
Meanwhile, as Xie Shuo looked at his darkened phone screen, he smiled as he thought of something.
He put his phone away and headed out of the study. When he passed by a corner where “Little Penguin” was placed, he paused for a moment.
Little Penguin immediately flapped its wings and said pitifully in a cute voice, “Master, I miss you so much…”
He reached out and imitated her previous actions, gently patting Little Penguin’s head.
The next day at sunset, Xie Shuo stepped into the inn next to the Thousand Moon Lake, where they had once stayed during their honeymoon. He found Ye An in the courtyard, playing with a small black cat.
The afterglow painted the sky in shades of gold and red. Peach blossoms were in full bloom, with the occasional petals adrift in the breeze.
Amused by the adorable antics of the little cat, she laughed and mimicked its meow with uncanny accuracy.
With a cat as a companion, reveling in simple joy.
Not knowing how long had passed, she finally noticed something and looked up.
At that moment, Xie Shuo was reminded of the first time he saw her after regaining his sight. The sunlight was warm, and she turned around with a smile, her eyes shining bright.
Ye An’s hands froze in the midst of her playful antics with the cat, staring in disbelief at the familiar figure before her. She almost thought she was hallucinating.
Shouldn’t he be busy at work?
“Why are you here?”
The man, tall and slender, with one hand in his pocket, stood under the spring sun with a faint smile on his typically stern face.
“To see you.”