Chapter 20: Father
“Right.” Silence meant keeping straight ahead. I gave simple directions to my home to Sinmo, and he followed them accordingly. It was calm trip between the two of us, with neither one of us saying anything until we neared my house.
“This place is really off the beaten path!” Sinmo expressed his opinion as he turned onto the only small path that led to my house.
“Because my house is the only one at the end of the road.” I explained.
“Looks like your family is rich too! Paving such a nice little road for convenience sake.” Sinmo laughed.
“This road was here before I moved in. This previous owner probably put it in.” I said lightly as I looked out the window. I’ve actually always liked this road, particularly the two rows of towering trees on its two sides. Their thick branches interwove in the air, as if they were embracing each other.
“Does it have a name?” Sinmo could always think of some special questions.
“Daddy named it Ancient Road.” I remembered that the first time daddy and I had walked down this path, daddy had suddenly wanted to give it a name. Daddy had said then that no matter what, people would only remember something if it had a name. Only then would the world remember it, no matter how strong the currents of time and history.
“Very appropriate!” Sinmo looked at the ancient trees and smiled at me.
“It actually has another name.” I said calmly. “The previous owner came up with it, I think it was Hidden Forest Road.”
“Oh, this name is interesting!” Sinmo kept muttering to himself after he’d responded. “Hidden road, hidden road, a road that is hidden!”
“The daddy that you mention is your adopted father, right?” Sinmo suddenly changed the topic.
“Yes, I admitted.”
“Is he human?” Sinmo kept asking.
“Yes.” I also continued to respond.
“Does he have any other family?” Sinmo asked. He seemed to be very interested in my white collar father.
“It’s just me now.” I thought back to the first time I saw him. It was a truly bizarre night. I was devastated beyond belief, but resigned and without a plan. I was out of my mind and roamed the roads for the entire night. A small car came speeding by around dawn and I was rammed to the ground because I was unable to avoid it. When I woke again, I was lying on a white hospital bed, and the driver was watching over me.
I learned later that he was an orphan, and had grown up in the orphanage because no one had adopted him. He was self taught and found a nice job when he was 28. He met a gentle girl not long after he starting working, and formed a beautiful family after a few years. But all this changed a week before that day. His wife, who was four months pregnant, died in a car accident, and a day after his wife was buried, his wife’s parents used the excuse that their daughter was no longer present to take back the house they had lived in, throwing him out.
Having salt rubbed in his wounds, he drove the little car, the only thing under his name, like a madman on that road. He wanted to drive to the end of the road, to the cliff, and just drive off of it. But his plans were ruined with my appearance. He had to take me to the hospital and he had to take care of me when I was in a coma for two days. Later on, he said that he would adopt me and that I was a gift from the heavens. He would continue living for me. I became his daughter just like that. His name was Lin Youcheng, and he changed my name to Lin Jing. Because he had no place to stay, he went with me to the ancient castle that I had bought with the 100 dollars that my parents had left me. This was also where we were currently headed.
“Thinking of the past?” Sinmo asked when he saw me emerge from my silence.
“Yes! The memories are still so clear even though it’s been two years already.” I sighed with emotion.
“Is this the ancient castle?” Sinmo suddenly pointed the clear image of my home off in the distance.
“Looks like we’ll be there soon.” I answered.
When we neared my house, I noticed that faint beams from a car’s lights came from the front yard. Its lights never cut out, and I wasn’t sure what was going on. If it it was daddy’s car, then he would’ve parked as soon as he came back, and wouldn’t have left the car running in the front with the lights on.
“So it’s you guys!” I realized it was Xiaoyu’s car when our car was parked in front of the yard. I spoke to the three standing by their car when I got out of Sinmo’s car.
“Jing’er, why did you only just get back? And you’re still with him?” Xiaoyu questioned and pointed at me like he was a big brother.
“I don’t think I need your approval for when I return home!” I sternly riposited. This was the first time that I had given him so little face.
“I didn’t mean it that way!” Xiaoyu explained with a face full of embarrassment.
“Then what did you mean? I walked in front of him.
“I was a bit worried about you, so I went to the restaurant. But it was long after hours. I was still worried so I came to your place to see if you came back safely, but we’ve waited until now. We’ve been here an hour before you returned just now.” Xiaoyu gave a detailed account.
“I see. Yes, the restaurant closed earlier than usual today. I took Jing’er for a drive after we left and have only just returned, you have my apologies for making you so worried.” Sinmo rushed to get his explanation in. Xiaoyu and co’s facial expressions became unnatural as they looked at the cheerily smiling Sinmo. I suppose hunters and the hunted will always be ill at ease with each other!
“Since you’re fine, we’ll be on our way.” Xiaoyu said and then got back into the car and prepared to leave, but Xuqing looked back with unwilling look on his face.
“Good bye!” I said lightly and watched as their red car drove off.
“I should go home as well!” Sinmo also left.
“Thank you for bringing me home!” I expressed my gratitude and watched him leave. I turned to walk through the front door. There weren’t any lights on at home, so daddy wasn’t home yet. Why is it that daddy always came home quite late these days, was work that busy?