Chapter 256: Chen Jianxing’s tale
That ‘wow’ from earlier had actually been pretty fake.
Of course, Xu Tingsheng had no way of telling Little Xiang Ning that he had only just casually mentioned it. They had already been pretty okay before. Wrong, not pretty okay, but just nice. Also, he liked them that way, having gotten used to it as well.
Of course, this referred to the the original 22-year-old Xiang Ning.
After sending Little Xiang Ning away, Xu Tingsheng was a little out of sorts that afternoon. Still, due to having met with Xiang Ning, there was something else which he remembered, this being a long overdue meal.
Chen Jianxing was actually rather surprised to receive Xu Tingsheng’s call. Following that ‘park incident’, Xu Tingsheng who had said that he would treat him to a meal afterwards had actually not contacted him again at all.
“Our levels have ultimately still been drawn completely apart.”
This was what Chen Jianxing had been thinking over this period of time. Just after having made the decision to try to strengthen his relationship with Xu Tingsheng, he had suddenly discovered that he already seemed no longer to possess the qualifications for such.
Chen Jianxing had personally witnessed the scale of the incident at the park that day. He had also been paying constant attention to Xu Tingsheng’s development. Without even having been instructed by him, he had even helped to make a few positive reports for Hucheng afterwards.
Yet, the other party seemed to already no longer need him at all, he who was merely from a city-based newspaper.
As for the meal that Xu Tingsheng had previously mentioned, Chen Jianxing had believed that he had already completely forgotten about it. He also lacked the ability to mind this. In truth, in this past one over month, some major changes had wholly overtaken his life.
Xu Tingsheng’s call had come in at just the right time.
“Bro Chen, I’d like to ask-are you free today? If you are, how about we have dinner together?” Xu Tingsheng asked over the phone.
Chen Jianxing who had been sitting dismally in his rented room for that entire day put down the photo album he was holding, adjusting his mood as he asked, “Yeah, I’m free. Where shall we meet?”
Xu Tingsheng thought for a moment before saying, “Bro Chen should be more familiar with Yanzhou than I am. How about you pick a place for me?”
Chen Jianxing thought about it, “Okay then, I’ll arrange it. How many people will be coming over on your side?”
The reason for him asking this was that he had actually experienced many such meals before…there would usually be many people with various titles there whom he did not recognise at all, with him being a mere accompaniment most of the time.
“It’ll just be me over here,” Xu Tingsheng said, “Does Bro Chen want to bring any friends or family members along? That would be nice; I haven’t had the chance to meet Sister-in-law and your kid yet. “
Hearing Xu Tingsheng say this, Chen Jianxing’s face turned somewhat pale and tragic as he said, “I’ll be alone too.”
After a moment’s hesitation, Chen Jianxing continued, “It’ll be just the two of us then. Since that’s so, I’d like to ask first-does Brother Xu mind drinking a bit of wine? What I mean is-I’m in the mood for drinking right now, actually.”
Sensing something strange in his tone, Xu Tingsheng considered this for a moment before saying, “Okay.”
“I’ll call you in a while then,” Chen Jianxing said.
“Alright. I’ll be troubling Bro Chen with this,” Xu Tingsheng said.
After hanging up, Chen Jianxing washed his face, found the big suitcase from the corner of the room in which his clothes were stored and opened it, intending to find something slightly more presentable to wear. Every article of clothing inside the suitcase was clean and folded up neatly as from them emanated the fragrance of sunlight and soap.
Chen Jianxing quickly closed that suitcase before his mood could deteriorate any further.
They ate dinner at a relatively high-class family restaurant.
The restaurant was located slightly away from the more bustling districts. It was composed completely of private rooms which could seat two to more than twenty people. Its ambience was refined as well. Xu Tingsheng and a rather dishevelled-looking Chen Jianxing entered a room for two together.
Chen Jianxing was a person who valued ‘propriety’ greatly. He had been dressed all neatly even during that first time when they had met in the Citizens Square.
Seeing how he looked and remembering his words over the phone, Xu Tingsheng sensed that something should be the matter with Chen Jianxing who was therefore likely to try and get himself drunk.
Therefore, after the first glass of wine, Xu Tingsheng raised a hand and stopped Chen Jianxing who had been about to immediately raise his refilled glass.
“Let’s eat first, Bro Chen,” Xu Tingsheng said, “I’m afraid that you might get drunk. Let’s discuss proper matters first. I’ve actually always remembered that incident at the park and those articles you wrote about Hucheng afterwards. It’s just that I’ve been very busy over this period of time…”
However, looking at his hand that was about to go to his bag, Chen Jianxing forced a smile, “Wait! I know, there must be an envelope inside your bag now that you intend to give to me.”
“Can I not take it this time?” Chen Jianxiang asked, “If I take it, I won’t be able to drink this wine. I want to speak to you as I would a friend.”
Xu Tingsheng was momentarily taken aback by this. There might indeed be many people in this world who did not have someone that they could speak unreservedly to.
He retracted his hand, raising his second glass of wine.
Soon, Chen Jianxing fell into a semi-intoxicated state. Then, Xu Tingsheng came to learn the gist of his current situation.
Chen Jianxing had gotten a divorce three days ago, the marriage being terminated with no assets falling to him whatsoever.
Also, he might soon be transferred, thereon becoming a member of the management board of the city’s Publicity Department at the tender age of 34.
Xu Tingsheng actually did not want to hear the rest of Chen Jianxing’s story at all.
Chen Jianxing had forsaken his wife and daughter as he intended to marry a woman who was two years older than him and had been twice divorced. This woman’s father was an important official of Yanzhou City’s municipal party committee.
“My wife cried for a whole month, refusing to sign the divorce papers. I threatened her with suicide.”
Chen Jianxing said, “Finally, just three days ago, she called me, asked me to come home…she said that she had already signed it. I went home, and she had already packed up all my stuff for me. When I left, my daughter was crying all throughout, constantly asking me where I was going. I said not a single word.”
“Why?” Xu Tingsheng asked the first question that he had asked that night.
“Wait till I get a little more drunk,” Chen Jianxing said.
More than an hour later, Xu Tingsheng was no longer able to judge with finality if Chen Jianxing’s actions were right or wrong.
Chen Jianxing was not a local resident of Yanzhou, having once worked in a rather more remote place. Eight years ago, he had met his current wife during a large scale training activity.
The two were very compatible as they had fallen in love at first sight, their feelings for each other only growing as time went by.
Chen Jianxing had been feeling most pained and troubled back then by the fact that he had no way of getting transferred to Yanzhou. Yet, he could also not bear his wife, still his girlfriend at the time, having to move all the way to that remote city of his to work.
He had proposed a breakup because of this. His wife had refused, saying that she knew a method to get everything sorted out.
Then, Chen Jianxing had been incomparably joyful upon discovering that he had been transferred to this news agency just two short months later, this being the exact same news agency where his wife worked.
Things had quickly borne fruit between the two.
It was only more than a year after their blissful married life with their daughter having been born that Chen Jianxing had suddenly wondered thus: His wife came from an ordinary family, having no unique background as she was just a normal public servant…just how had she managed to get him transferred back then?
This question had constantly plagued Chen Jianxing like a thorn in his heart.
Finally, after half a year of frenzied investigations, Chen Jianxing discovered that his wife had actually been the mistress of their news agency’s Vice-Chief for two years prior to their marriage.
In addition, almost everyone in the news agency seemed to know about this.
Everyone except for him, Chen Jianxing.