“Grandmother was so magnificent that gu forgot to greet her. How discourteous.”
Song Haiping and Rong Ting didn’t stay too long in B City.
They left B City on their back foot, and just as their front foot stepped into the house, Song Yuan’s mom, AKA Ms. Chen Linjing, returned from H City.
Chen Linjing was planning to return, so naturally she informed Song Yuan first. Song Yuan knew that the seemingly peaceful day would be chaotic once again. Even if she could lie to others about Rong Ting’s existence and relation with her, she couldn’t lie to her parents. And now her dad already knew, but her mom didn’t, ne. The longer the matter was concealed, the worse it would be. Having made the decision to have a showdown, Song Yuan became unusually attentive. The day Chen Linjing returned, she specially asked for a half-day leave, and in the afternoon she personally drove down to the airport to pick up her mom.
On her way to the airport, Song Yuan didn’t forget to stop by a flower shop and buy a bouquet of flowers.
The airport was packed with people every day. Song Yuan waited at the exit. Upon seeing her family’s mother wearing large sunglasses and a windbreaker and dragging a small suitcase along, she demonstrated a cleverness that she had never shown in the past twenty-two years. She rushed up and hugged her mom. “Mom, I missed you so much, ah!”
Chen Linjing took off her sunglasses and accepted the bouquet of flowers. She took another look at Song Yuan. “Thanks. But don’t you have work today?”
Song Yuan said very fawningly, “What work is more important than Mom, ah!”
Chen Linjing curled her lips up in a smile. “Alright, let’s go, ba.”
Song Yuan took the initiative to pull the luggage. Along the way, she asked after her mother’s well-being1. “Mom, you stayed in H City for too long this time. Did you get used to the food there?”
“I’ve always liked Cantonese food.”
“That’s right, oh, the weather there is nicer. Mom, you just got off the airplane, is it cold, ah? I was afraid you’d be cold, so I brought an extra sweater and kept it in the car.”
Song Yuan had always been a clever and sensible daughter. After divorcing from Song Haiping, Chen Linjing had never considered finding another person to marry because she was afraid that her daughter would be wronged.
Who knew how many people whispered in her ears over the years that women didn’t need to put in so much effort, but how could she not? She worked hard to give her daughter a good living environment.
The mother and daughter pair arrived at the parking lot. Song Yuan placed the suitcase in the trunk and, of her own initiative, opened the passenger door. “Mom, I have a thermos of black tea in the center console. I got the tea from Uncle’s office, so it shouldn’t be too bad. It’s been cooler recently, so you should drink some to warm yourself up.”
Chen Linjing nodded, got in the passenger seat, and fastened the seatbelt. She picked up the thermos from the center console and took a sip. The water temperature was just right and extremely relaxing.
“Mom, I thought you’d be hungry, so I bought some sandwiches and rice balls at a convenience store on my way here. The rice balls have already been heated in the microwave; they should still be warm.”
Chen Linjing looked at Song Yuan.
Song Yuan, from childhood until now, was still very afraid of her mom. Song Yuan couldn’t help feeling a little bit nervous now that her mother looked at her like this. “Mom, why are you looking at me like that?”
“No reason. Your skin’s been dry recently, so I bought you face masks.”
Song Yuan heaved a sigh of relief in her heart. “Good!”
It was not peak rush hour yet, so getting from the airport to the entrance of the community only took about forty minutes.
Song Yuan parked the car and checked her phone. She discovered that she had gotten a text a few minutes earlier, and she tapped it open. It was a message from the bank, notifying her that someone had just transferred 100,000 yuan2 to her.
Song Yuan’s eyes widened. She looked over at the passenger seat at Chen Linjing, who was also sitting there looking at her phone. “Mom, why did you transfer money to me?”
“Are you not short on money?” Chen Linjing was also very surprised.
Song Yuan was truly speechless. So her eager attentiveness and care just now was, in her mother’s eyes, ‘having an ulterior motive’ of being short on money?!
Alright, she really did have an ulterior motive, but it wasn’t for money, ah.
“I, I have my own money, la.” Song Yuan had still been slightly nervous at first, but after this incident, she calmed down. “But I’ll still accept the transfer. Thanks, Mom.”
Raising a child was truly very expensive.
Song Yuan felt that her face was very thick-skinned. She had already graduated from university, and was still so unperturbed when taking her parents’ money.
With her current salary of seven or eight thousand yuan3, it was very difficult to have high-quality childcare. Not to mention, she had inquired about the nearby kindergartens that were said to be average and not too good, and it cost four thousand yuan a month.
Gugu also liked to read books. Just this month alone, she had spent a lot on buying books for him.
In other words, her mom and dad were her support. Otherwise, with her abilities, she and Gugu would likely have to live on a strict budget.
Chen Linjing got out of the car. “I’ll be staying here for a few days.”
Song Yuan would have been ecstatic, but thinking about Rong Ting and her dad at home, she didn’t dare to answer too straightforwardly.
“Why, not convenient?”
“Not at all, not at all. I wish I could live with Mom every day!”
Chen Linjing put her sunglasses back on. “If you really think so, then come back home with me in two days.”
Before graduating, Song Yuan had stayed in her family’s large villa outside of her time living in the dorms during the semester.
After graduating, she moved out, saying that she wanted to be independent. In fact, it was for another reason. She knew that her mom would date from time to time, and she felt that it was inconvenient for her to stay at home.
She was no longer as strongly opposed to her parents’ seeking another happiness as she had been as a child.
The her now wished for her father to live well and her mother to live well. It was especially so for her mom. She shouldn’t constantly be living for her.
The two people walked into the elevator. Song Yuan was still very timid when facing her mom, but she realized at this moment that she should give her mom a heads-up. Otherwise, if she waited until Chen Linjing saw Rong Ting and her dad, the situation might become chaotic.
“Mom, we don’t need to go out to eat later.”
“Why? You want to cook?”
“Not me.” Song Yuan gritted her teeth. “It’s Dad. He’s been taking care of me since he came back.”
Chen Linjing ‘oh’d, not surprised. She was not that sort of selfish mother. She wouldn’t divorce her ex-husband, then monopolize her daughter and prevent him from getting close.
The elevator doors opened with a ‘ding’, and Song Yuan realized that she hadn’t said the most, most important thing she needed to say. Why was the elevator so exceptionally fast today! It was usually so slow, but it was too fast today, ba!
She hadn’t even finished her sentence, and they had arrived.
Song Yuan wanted to say a bit more, but Chen Linjing had a rash temperament. She immediately stepped out of the elevator and headed straight to the house with her head high and chest out.
Song Yuan had told her father that she had no psychological resistance to her relation with Rong Ting, but when she thought about telling her mother… she had a bit of an ostrich mentality5. She had thought to do it a few days ago but dragged it out until today. On the way back, she thought that since she was driving, it wouldn’t be good to tell her mom about these things, so as not to affect her focus on driving. If they got into an accident it would be a big loss, ne. So it was delayed again until they got off the car, then it continued to drag…
To put it bluntly, she was scared.
She was afraid her mom would be angry and afraid she would be disappointed.
When she was young, her grades were always the same, never going up or down. When she was in high school, she had almost had an early romance, which had affected her grades. She had gotten a particularly bad test score that month and fell nearly ten places in ranking. Her teacher had asked her to take her transcript back home and have her parents sign it. She had looked for her father, never daring to seek out her mother.
If her parents had not divorced, then their little family would have been the most stereotypical strict mother and kind father, tiger mom and kitty cat father combination.
Even since she had grown up and gone to college, her mother had become less strict with her than before.
Chen Linjing walked to the door and saw that it was open. This was, after all, the home of her family’s daughter; she wasn’t polite and immediately opened the door and walked in.
She walked in, originally thinking of changing out of her shoes, but she saw Song Haiping coming out of the kitchen with an apron and smilingly feeding a sparerib to a little boy.
“Is it good?”
“Then you can eat less!”
Just as they finished speaking, the grandfather and grandson pair noticed Chen Linjing standing in the living room, watching them.
Song Haiping’s fear of his ex-wife seeped deep into his bone marrow, and he cowered.
Chen Linjing couldn’t help but squint at his reaction. She fixed her gaze on Rong Ting for a moment, then said to Song Haiping: “Come out. I have something to discuss with you.”
Saying this, she didn’t concern herself with how the other person reacted and walked straight out. He bumped into Song Yuan on his way out, and the father and daughter exchanged looks.
Song Haiping somewhat unwillingly took off his apron and followed her out.
Song Haiping whispered: “Your mom said she has something to discuss with me. Did you tell her?”
Song Yuan shook her head. “I didn’t. I was scared.”
“Song Haiping!” Chen Linjing impatiently demanded from outside.
Song Haiping immediately went out.
Song Yuan wanted to follow him out to take a look, but Chen Linjing had already closed the door. She stood in the hallway, not knowing if she should go out or not. Rong Ting walked over to her side and lamented, “Grandmother was so magnificent that gu forgot to greet her. How discourteous.”
The ‘magnificent’ Chen Linjing in Rong Ting’s eyes was currently eyeing Song Haiping coldly.
“What are you thinking, ma?” Song Haiping felt his hair rise from her stare. He asked impatiently, “I still have spareribs cooking in the pot, ne. If you have something to say, then hurry up and say it.”
Chen Linjing still had a good relationship with Song Haiping’s sister-in-law7. The two of them used to be sister-in-laws, but they got along very harmoniously. After the divorce, they treated each other like best friends. She had heard while she was in H City that Song Haiping had had a son with who-knew-what woman. Recently, it seemed that he had thoughts of bringing the little son to be recognized by his ancestors and had been taking him to all sorts of occasions. She hadn’t shyed away in the slightest as she looked at the photo that Sister-in-law Song had sent her. Although the photo was a bit blurred, she could tell with just a glance that the little boy being fed spareribs by Song Haiping was the one in the photo and Song Haiping’s illegitimate child.
If it weren’t for the child’s young age, and her conclusion that he was not a child conceived during their marriage, Chen Linjing would have been disgusted enough to throw up last night’s dinner.
And now, Song Haiping actually brought that illegitimate child to their daughter.
Chen Linjing thought about when her daughter had been in elementary school and her classmates had made fun of her for not having a father, and she had felt aggrieved to the point of tears. Feeling all sorts of emotions, she lifted her hand with a cold face and slapped Song Haiping.
She had long lost her affections for her ex-husband when she had found out about his affair. It was only that she felt heart-broken for her daughter, and that she feared her daughter would be hurt.
Song Haiping was stunned by the slap. He stared at her blankly. For a moment, he didn’t react to what had just happened.
“You’re so disgusting. Before, when we divorced, what did you promise Yuanyuan? You said that in this life, you would only have her, this one daughter. What is this now? I don’t care about you having a son with another person, but how could you bring that child to Yuanyuan? Song Haiping, you really disgust people. Get out of my sight!”
 嘘寒问暖: lit. to let out the heat to warm people suffering from the cold; fig. to ask about the other person’s life and expressing concern over their well-being; to be careful, thoughtful, and considerate
 Just a bit over 14,000 USD, or 13.000 EUR (as of May 2020)
 Between 990-1,130 USD, or 910-1.040 EUR. I’m assuming this is per month?
 Approximately 560 USD, or 520 EUR (per month)
 鸵鸟心理: referring to the saying that ostriches stick their head in the sand when they’re scared
 (你)就这点出息: I think it’s something along the lines of ‘you’ve already reached the limit (of your future, abilities, etc.)’, ‘you only come out to this much’, or ‘you’re only worth this much’. Used to express disappointment or a letdown of expectations
 嫂子: [elder] brother’s wife
Cheese: how do you think grandma will react once she realizes that rong ting is her grandson? awkward but super cool (in rong ting’s eyes)? immediately doting and replacing song yuan with rong ting as the #1 in her heart? f in the chat for song haiping taking a slap for the team