Epilogue 3: Ye An & Xie Shuo
Ye An and Xie Shuo’s second child came quickly.
It was in the third month of their attempts to conceive…
One morning, Ye An woke up feeling a bit sick. She even dozed off while styling Xiao Tangyi’s hair.
Seeing her lack of energy, Xie Shuo assumed she hadn’t slept well the night before. After she finished styling Xiao Tangyi’s hair, he took her backpack and said, “Don’t go today. Go back and get some more sleep. I’ll take her to school.”
Xiao Tangyi looked at her, tilting her head and asking, “Mommy, are you not feeling well?”
Ye An originally wanted to insist that she was fine, but under Xie Shuo’s stern gaze, she could only pat Xiao Tangyi’s head and told her, “Mommy won’t accompany you to school today. Be a good girl and listen to Daddy, don’t misbehave.”
Xiao Tangyi nodded vigorously, then turned to Xie Shuo, opening her arms. “Daddy.”
Xie Shuo bent down and lifted her into his arms.
Xiao Tangyi stretched her neck and kissed Ye An on the cheek, waving at her. “Mommy, see you later.”
Ye An also waved, smiling. “See you later, Yi Yi.”
After the father and daughter left, Ye An returned to the bedroom. After taking a nap and about to get up to go use the bathroom, she suddenly thought of something and froze before grabbing a pregnancy test.
A few minutes later, Ye An opened the bathroom door, her face filled with joy, and she immediately called Xie Shuo.
When he received the call, Xie Shuo had just left the kindergarten on his way to the office. Hearing the words “Yi Yi might have a little brother or sister,” he smiled.
Ye An’s second pregnancy was a bit more challenging than when she was carrying Xiao Tangyi. The baby seemed to be restless in her belly, often keeping her awake at night, and her appetite wasn’t great.
Coincidentally, at this time, Xie Shuo became exceptionally busy due to matters in some critical projects, so he often left early and returned late and occasionally had to go on business trips.
Ye An stayed at home every day, and her emotions became more unstable.
On this particular day, Xie Shuo went to participate in a charity event. Since regaining his vision, Xie Shuo has been donating a certain amount of funds annually for public medical welfare, and the company also invested in healthcare.
In the past, Ye An used to accompany him to such charity events, but now, with her physical condition not being convenient, he had to go alone.
That night, after putting Xiao Tangyi to sleep, Ye An waited for him in their bedroom. As time passed and it got quite late, there was still no sign of him returning.
As the minutes ticked away, with the lights outside sporadic and quiet, she sat on the bed. The longer she waited, the more restless she became. She felt frustrated and couldn’t sleep despite wanting to.
Around 10:00 p.m., there was finally a faint noise at the door.
Xie Shuo entered the room quietly, expecting her to be asleep. However, when he saw her still sitting in bed, he couldn’t help but ask, “Why haven’t you gone to sleep?”
Ye An looked up at him, a bit irritated. “Who told you to come back so late?”
Xie Shuo smiled and walked over to the bed, leaning down to embrace her when he remembered something and pulled back his hand.
With her keen sense of smell, Ye An detected the smell of alcohol on him. She immediately grabbed his tie, bringing it close to her nose to confirm.
The smell of alcohol was quite strong.
Feeling a bit sick, she frowned. “Didn’t I tell you to drink less?”
Xie Shuo held her wrist and explained, “I didn’t drink. Someone bumped into me when I was leaving, and a bit of alcohol spilled on me.”
Ye An immediately seized the key points in those two sentences. “Was it a man or a woman?”
Xie Shuo glanced at her, as if afraid she might overthink it, and ambiguously replied, “Didn’t pay attention.”
After saying that, he pulled the tie from her hand and threw a casual “I’ll go take a shower first” before turning to go to the closet.
Seeing his reaction, there was no need to guess—it was definitely a woman, and perhaps the other party did it intentionally.
Married for so many years, even though he had never caused any scandals, Ye An knew that during his social engagements, there were surely people with ulterior motives.
Thinking about this, Ye An felt a bit stifled, so she opened up the blanket and lay down.
The sound of rushing water echoed from the bathroom. As she listened, drowsiness gradually overcame her.
By the time Xie Shuo finished showering and climbed into bed, she was already half-asleep.
She felt Xie Shuo tucking her in and then softly kissing her forehead. He was cautious about the baby, so he didn’t embrace her but instead held her hand under the covers.
Ye An stirred slightly but couldn’t open her eyes.
In the latter part of the night, she slept restlessly, dreaming of various chaotic scenes, all related to Xie Shuo.
She dreamed that he had reverted to his demeanor from a long time ago, being both indifferent and disdainful toward her. He even mentioned wanting to divorce her and marry a younger girl.
In the quiet of the night, she woke up from her nightmare and instinctively reached out to the warmth beside her.
There, peacefully sleeping, was Xie Shuo, his breath steady and calm.
Turning over, she gazed at him, unable to discern his features in the darkness but able to feel his familiar presence.
Perhaps influenced by the unsettling dream, she suddenly felt a hollow ache in her heart, an unsettling emotion washing over her.
Closing her eyes again, she still couldn’t sleep, so she decided to turn on the bedside lamp.
The warm light gently illuminated his sleeping face as Ye An stared at Xie Shuo for a while before quietly slipping out of bed, careful not to disturb him.
The night sky stretched infinitely, and the cool breeze brushed past softly.
Ye An walked onto the balcony, dazing for a while. Worried about waking Xie Shuo, she turned around and left the bedroom.
Originally intending to check on Xiao Tangyi in her room, it was too late at night; what if she startled her… Thus, she found herself alone in the study.
Yin Yin had been moved to Xiao Tangyi’s room. The study was quiet and empty. Ye An randomly picked up a book from the shelf and sat by the window, flipping through the pages.
After only a few pages, her patience wore thin. She put the book down and decided to get some fresh air on the balcony.
Just as she stood up, the door to the study suddenly opened. Xie Shuo walked in, approaching her.
He glanced at the book on the desk and wrapped his arm around her shoulder before asking, “Or do you not feel well?”
Ye An looked at him bitterly and paused for a few seconds before saying, “I dreamt that you were interested in a younger woman and wanted to divorce me.”
Xie Shuo: “…….”
Xie Shuo fell silent for a moment.
Knowing that she had been emotionally sensitive lately, he patiently pulled her into his arms and said gently, “That will never happen; don’t overthink it.”
Ye An leaned against his chest, feeling a twitch in her nose.
She knew that she was being unreasonable. When they were planning their wedding ceremony, he had ignored her objections and canceled their prenup with the lawyer. He had been exceptionally good to her in these years. However, perhaps due to witnessing her parents’ marital tragedy, she couldn’t help but be pessimistic.
She reached out to hug him, burying her head in his neck, feeling his warmth and heartbeat, gradually calming down.
Xie Shuo gently stroked her back and kissed her forehead, saying, “Can’t sleep? Want me to keep you company?”
Comforted by his gesture, Ye An returned to her usual self. She shook her head. “It’s so late, go back to bed; you have work tomorrow.”
Ignoring her words, Xie Shuo led her to the music room, holding her hand.
Ye An was a bit confused at first, but when he sat at the piano, she realized he wanted to play the piano for her.
Under the light, the man’s side profile looked handsome. His slender fingers lightly touched the piano keys, and a slow, melodious tune flowed like water from his fingertips.
Ye An sat on the chair beside him, quietly listening. Her thoughts gradually drifted away.
Before long, she closed her eyes, falling asleep.
Turning around, Xie Shuo saw her quiet figure on the chair. Once he confirmed that she had fallen asleep, he stopped playing the piano and walked over to her before gently picking her up and carrying her back to their bedroom.
The latter part of that night, Ye An slept exceptionally soundly.
The next morning, while Ye An was styling Xiao Tangti’s hair, the little one suddenly said, “Mommy, I dreamt someone was playing the piano last night, sounding like Daddy.”
She turned around and looked at Xie Shuo puzzledly. “Daddy, did you play the piano last night?”
Xie Shuo smiled but didn’t answer, glancing at Ye An.
Ye An looked up and met his gaze, smiling slightly.
Two or three months later, Xie Shuo was no longer as busy, spending most of his time at home with Ye An and working from home as much as possible.
Although Ye An still experienced discomfort due to the pregnancy, her mood had noticeably improved. She enthusiastically engaged in various prenatal activities every day.
When they were choosing a name for Xiao Tangyi, they had several backup names for both boys and girls. Ye An looked at the list again but was unsatisfied, so she pulled Xie Shuo to do another round of names.
After much deliberation, they nearly finalized the name for a baby girl, but the name for a baby boy remained undecided.
Holding a thick dictionary and a stack of books, Ye An joked, “How about calling him ‘Xie Xie’ then?”
Xie Shuo looked up at her.
Putting the books aside, Ye An embraced his neck, playfully suggesting, “Or maybe ‘Xie Xiao Shuo’?”
Xie Shuo embraced her waist, smiling. “Up to you.”
Rather than being pleased with his agreement, Ye An got upset and glared at him. “How can you be so casual! Is this how a father behaves?”
Xie Shuo: “……”
Ye An let go of him, continuing to flip through the dictionary.
Seeing her determination, Xie Shuo had no choice but to continue to help her pick a name.
It wasn’t until bedtime that Ye An finally settled on a name from a heap of options: Xie Mingjun.”
The days passed day by day, and it was finally time for the delivery.
Ye An smoothly gave birth to their second child—a baby boy.
Excited about having a little brother, Xiao Tangyi eagerly leaned over the crib, watching the baby with fascination.
Ye An initially thought that given how spirited Xiao Mingjun was in her belly, he would be even more of a ruckus after birth.
To her surprise, he turned out to be exceptionally well-behaved.
Putting him to sleep was an easy task; he rarely cried during the night and remained calm during the day.
With such a well-behaved baby, Ye An and Xie Shuo found themselves worry-free, a stark contrast to the hectic days of caring for Xiao Tangyi.
Xiao Mingjun’s facial features resemble Xie Shuo and coupled with his collected and aloof demeanor, he seemed like a miniature version of Xie Shuo—beautiful and handsome. Anyone who saw him couldn’t help but offer compliments.
Xiao Tangyi adored her little brother and the first thing she did after school was to visit him. She would bring a small chair and sit beside him, chatting away.
As Xiao Mingjun grew older and learned to walk and talk, Xiao Tangyi started dragging him to play everywhere.
The siblings entertained themselves, playing games for entire afternoons without the need for adult supervision.
Occasionally, Xin Li would bring Zhao Zhao over, and the three little ones would play together.
Toward their son, Xie Shuo was stricter with him. After Xiao Mingjun turned one, he began implementing a study plan for him, unlike his spoiled treatment given to their daughter.
Xiao Mingjun, however, seemed oblivious to this, diligently learning whatever was taught to him earnestly.
Seeing his focused appearance of learning the piano and reciting poetry, Ye An felt like she was seeing a younger version of Xie Shuo.
On the 10th anniversary of Ye An and Xie Shuo’s marriage, their family of four went on a vacation to an island.
On the morning of their departure, the sun was shining brightly. Ye An, still half-asleep, heard a knock on the door.
Since she and Xie Shuo tussled pretty late yesterday night, they also slept pretty late.
After several knocks, feeling a bit irked, she was about to kick Xie Shuo to get up and answer the door. However, Xie Shuo, being very conscious, had already gotten up and opened the door.
Opening the door, he saw Xiao Tangyi holding Xiao Mingjun standing at the doorway. Xiao Tangyi’s eyes sparkled as she cheerfully exclaimed, “Daddy!”
Seeing his daughter’s radiant smile, Xie Shuo’s expression softened a bit as he let the two little ones into the room.
Unlike Xiao Tangyi’s excitement, Xiao Mingjun seemed not fully awake. As he walked in, he rubbed his eyes; his steps were a bit unsteady.
Hearing her daughter’s voice, Ye An propped herself up in bed and paused when her gaze fell on Xiao Mingjun.
“Your clothes… who helped you change?”
Xiao Mingjun, still half-asleep, stood by the bed. The buttons of his top were barely buttoned, and his collar was not neatly arranged. His hair was also messy.
Xiao Tangyi proudly declared, “Mommy, it’s me!”
Ye An: “……”
With the two of them causing a commotion, Ye An couldn’t go back to sleep. She got up, picked up Xiao Mingjun, and straightened out his clothes.
Xie Shuo brought over the new shoes he had bought for him and took their son from Ye An’s arms, saying, “I’ll do it.”
He rarely took the initiative to hold their son, so Ye An let go and got up to freshen up.
Xiao Mingjun sat in Xie Shuo’s arms, staring at him without blinking. Suddenly, in a baby voice, he called out, “Daddy.”
Xie Shuo looked down. “En?”
Xiao Mingjun grabbed his clothes and pursed his lips, saying, “I can do it myself.”
Xie Shuo smiled and handed him the shoes.
Xiao Mingjun took the shoes and bent down to put them on by himself.
Xie Shuo held him with one hand to prevent him from falling.
Meanwhile, Xiao Tangyi ran to the full-length mirror. She had already changed into a new, pretty dress, admiring herself in the mirror while urging, “Didi, are you done yet?”
After freshening up, Ye An came out of the bathroom and saw her in this state, speechless: So little yet already like this, who knows where she learned it from.
Xiao Mingjun finished changing his shoes and turned to look at Ye An. She came over and patted his head, smiling. “Our baby knows how to put shoes on by himself already?”
Xiao Mingjun turned around and called out “Mama,” while still holding tightly onto Xie Shuo’s clothes, reluctant to let go.
He leaned in and whispered something in Xie Shuo’s ear.
Xie Shuo lifted him up into his arms, carrying him toward the bathroom. Xiao Mingjun let go of his clothes and instead wrapped his arms around his neck.
Seeing this, Xiao Tangyi also wanted to follow, but Ye An stopped her.
“Comb your hair first.”
After everyone got ready, they went downstairs for breakfast.
Xiao Tangyi, eager to go out and play, quickly finished her omelet on her plate, put down her chopsticks, and said, “I’m full.”
Ye An gestured to the glass of milk in front of her with her eyes. “What about the milk?”
Under her mother’s unyielding gaze, Xiao Tangyi could only pick up the glass of milk and drink it sip by sip.
Finally, when her mother finished breakfast as well, Xiao Tangyi hopped down from her chair and instinctively extended her arms toward Xie Shuo, saying, “Daddy.”
Catching sight of this, Ye An halted Xie Shuo’s attempt to pick her up and said, “Yi Yi, didn’t you say a few days ago that you’re grown up and can walk on your own, without needing Mommy or Daddy to carry you?”
Xiao Tangyi looked at Xie Shuo, pouting and looking pitifully.
Although Xie Shuo was soft-hearted, he chose to remain silent when confronted with Ye An’s warning gaze.
Since acting spoiled wasn’t working, Xiao Tangyi could only reluctantly lower her arms.
Unlike his sister, Xiao Mingjun showed no inclination to be carried. Instead, he took a few steps forward, reaching out to hold her hand as if comforting her.
Seeing her little brother, Xiao Tangyi became cheerful again, and the siblings walked hand in hand toward outside.
Ye An smiled and exchanged a glance with Xie Shuo before following them outside.
This time, they took a private plane for their vacation.
Under the clear sky and boundless horizon, the bustling city was nestled among mountains, rivers, and streams.
Xiao Tangyi and Xiao Mingjun leaned against the window, gazing at the blue sky and white clouds outside, excitedly chatting away.
Xie Shuo sat across from them, working on his laptop while Ye An cuddled beside him, holding a book in her hands, looking stunning from the side.
The plane soared through the sky, finally landing on a picturesque island.
After disembarking the plane, Ye An and Xie Shuo took their two children to the hotel they had booked. Along the way, they attracted many glances.
Upon reaching their hotel room, Xie Shuo had to attend a meeting for an hour. Meanwhile, Ye An tidied up their luggage while Xiao Tangyi took her little brother to the balcony to look at the distant sea.
After the meeting, Xie Shuo felt a bit tired, so he massaged his forehead and dozed off for a bit on the sofa.
Ye An finished unpacking and turned around, only to see him looking exhausted. She picked up a blanket and gently covered him.
Xie Shuo slept for quite a while, and in his deep sleep, the surroundings were quiet.
He found himself back in a distant past, surrounded by boundless darkness, alone and unable to see anything.
No one was there to playfully tease him, and there was no one to cuddle with until falling asleep.
His world was reduced to darkness and desolation.
He frowned, abruptly opened his eyes, and light flooded in…
Fortunately, it was just a dream.
The room was empty, and he inexplicably felt a sense of anxiety. Instinctively turning around, he finally spotted a familiar figure on the balcony.
Ye An was sitting at a small table with their two children, patiently cutting up something for them to eat with a knife and fork.
“Daddy’s sleeping; be quiet a bit, and don’t wake Daddy up.”
As the sun dipped toward the horizon, it cast a gentle glow on her face, and she appeared even more gentle and loving.
Suddenly, Xie Shuo’s heart calmed down.
He had always been aloof since childhood, even during his younger and more reckless days. Yet, he remained calmer and more collected than most of his peers.
From childhood to adulthood, almost every step of his life was meticulously planned—from completing his education to taking over the family business. However, Ye An… was an unexpected variable.
Before meeting her, he had always thought he would eventually choose a wife from a similar background, someone he might or might not like a lot. They would get married, have children, and spend the rest of their lives together.
Yet, fate took an unexpected turn, leading him through a hardship that brought her into his life.
When did I start developing feelings for her?
He couldn’t quite pinpoint the moment.
Perhaps, it was when she held him on a bustling street, promising to be with him for a lifetime. Maybe it was during that afternoon when she fell asleep on his shoulder while reading poetry… Or it could have been the first time he regained his sight and saw her.
Her lively and enthusiastic nature easily stirred his emotions, making him unconsciously want to keep her by his side.
Ye An entered the room holding a portion of a mousse cake. Seeing him gaze at her so warmly, she smiled. “You’re awake?”
She sat beside him and scooped a spoonful of cake, offering it to him.
Since he lost his sight, she had a habit of feeding him like this, a habit that hadn’t changed till now.
Xie Shuo habitually opened his mouth, eating the cake she fed him.
After he swallowed it, Ye An fed him another spoonful, continuing to bring it to his lips.
Xiao Tangyi, who was originally focused on eating her cake, caught sight of the scene inside the room and discreetly nudged Xiao Mingjun.
The two children watched with their big, bright eyes, fixated on their parents inside the room.
After a while, Ye An finally noticed their gaze.
Feeling a bit embarrassed in front of the children, she withdrew her spoon, saying, “Let’s go eat dinner.”
However, Xie Shuo, unabashed, smiled and kissed her.
Xiao Tangyi blinked and covered Xiao Mingjun’s eyes with her hands.
Usually calm and obedient, Xiao Mingjun tried to pry apart her fingers with force this time.
After dinner, Xiao Tangyi couldn’t wait to go and play by the seaside. Since Xie Shuo wanted to take a shower and change clothes, Ye An and the accompanying bodyguards took the two children out first.
The setting sun was approaching the horizon, casting a shimmering glow on the sea. The waves gently lapped against the shore, and the breeze carried a hint of moisture.
Xiao Tangyi pulled her little brother along, running back and forth on the beach. When they got tired, they would squat down and build sandcastles with sand and pebbles.
Ye An watched over the siblings, occasionally turning around to check on them.
Not long after, Xie Shuo also joined them. Ye An turned around and saw his figure from afar. She quickly instructed the siblings not to run around, then briskly walked toward him.
Under the setting sun, the man’s silhouette gradually became clear. Time had left little imprint on his face, instead adding a mature charm.
Just a few steps away, Ye An ran directly into his arms like a young girl experiencing her first crush.
Xie Shuo embraced her waist, gently brushing aside her hair tousled by the evening breeze with a smile on his face.
Embracing her, they walked over to Xiao Tangyi and Xiao Mingjun.
Looking up and seeing him come over, Xiao Tangyi joyfully exclaimed, “Daddy, we’re building a sandcastle!”
Ye An asked, “Who is the sandcastle for?”
Before Xiao Tangyi could respond, Xiao Mingjun answered in his baby voice, “Mommy and Daddy.”
Xiao Tangyi immediately became unhappy. “What about me?”
Xiao Mingjun added, “And jiejie.”
Ye An chuckled and spent some time with the siblings before walking hand in hand with Xie Shuo for a stroll.
The waves lapped onto shore continuously, and the gentle evening breeze blew past; the hem of her dress blew like water, occasionally brushing against her ankles.
The setting sun was submerged in the sea by a half, painting the sky with a variety of hues.
After walking for a while, Ye An suddenly leaned on Xie Shuo’s back, embracing his neck. “I can’t walk anymore, carry me.”
Xie Shuo effortlessly piggybacked her, adjusting her position before proceeding to walk along the coastline.
Ye An leaned near his ear and softly called out, “Honey.”
“I love you.”
Xie Shuo smiled.
Behind them, a trail of footprints extended into the distance.
On the other side, the siblings had worked hard for quite some time and finally built a “sandcastle” with a garden. Excited, Xiao Tangyi looked up and shouted toward the distant Xie Shuo…
The sea breeze scattered her tender voice, reaching Xie Shuo’s side as fragmented whispers. Both of them didn’t pay much attention, just glanced back and continued walking, whispering as they went, basking in the glow of the setting sun.
“Didi, when Daddy and Mommy are together, we’re not in their view.”
Xiao Tangyi sighed, looking sadly at the sunset on the horizon, portraying an unexpectedly matureness.
Xiao Mingjun couldn’t quite understand his sister’s “sadness.” He picked up a stone and started writing beside the sandcastle.
After a brief moment of melancholy, Xiao Tangyi joined her brother, delineating territory, and began writing words.
She first wrote her own name, then crookedly inscribed a line of poetry… “In the vast desert, a lonely smoke rises straight; along the long river, the setting sun forms a perfect circle.”
After finishing, she asked Xiao Mingjun, “Can you recite the poem Daddy taught you yesterday?”
Xiao Mingjun nodded and started reciting with a baby voice.
“Alright, put me down.”
Seeing the blurry figures of the two little ones, Ye An requested to be put down from Xie Shuo’s back.
The moment her feet touched the ground, she swiftly planted a kiss on his lips when he wasn’t paying attention.
She turned around to escape but was caught by him, holding her wrist.
Ye An turned around with a smile, her eyes sparkling with stardust. “You kissed me at first, and now, I kissed back to even the score.”
Xie Shuo pulled her in front of him, wanting to kiss her. Ye An intentionally turned her face away, not letting him succeed.
After the sun completely sank below the horizon and the last remnants of daylight disappeared, night fell, and lights illuminated the seaside.
Ultimately, Xie Shuo planted a kiss on her forehead.
The bright moon rose in the sky, shining brilliantly.
Hand in hand, they walked back, fingers interlocked, with wedding rings on their ring fingers meeting*.
The sound of children’s laughter echoed not far away as the waves rhythmically lapped the shore.
This marked their first decade together.
Year after year, with time, they will always be together, just like the full moon tonight.