Chapter 37 - Handwriting Verification (1)
In the restaurant, Fu Bainian sat with his hands on the table while he blankly stared out the window, his mind in utter disarray. He’d started to feel that the letter in his chest pocket was like a red-hot iron; making him extremely uncomfortable and ill at ease.
Fu Bainian recalled when Lan Xin had asked to meet Chen Meimei for the first time. The first thing she’d said to him was, “Is it alright for me to meet her? I don't want to destroy your family, so I need to confirm one thing; it’s really just a contract marriage between you two? If not, then I...”
Lan Xin didn’t finish her sentence, but he could surmise from those words that Lan Xin had never met Chen Meimei before, let alone secretly help her write a letter of recommendation.
Moreover, as far as he knew, Chen Meimei had always called Lan Jinyao a ‘Shrewd Fox’ behind her back. Only he’d known the extent of Chen Meimei’s hatred towards Lan Jinyao. Therefore, even if Lan Xin had helped her to write a letter of recommendation, according to Chen Meimei’s temper, she indeed wouldn’t have accepted it. So, in regards to the letter, there were too many dubious points associated with it, and he had to clarify things.
He’d asked Lan Xin to meet up with him at five o’clock, and it was now ten-to-five. Before this aforementioned time, he’d already been waiting for no less than forty minutes, and the cup of warm water placed in front of him had long turned cold.
At eight-to-five, Lan Xin appeared in the doorway of the restaurant. The first thing that Fu Bainian did was snap out of his dazed state and watch the woman slowly walking towards him.
Today, Lan Xin was dressed in a sea-blue cheongsam that swayed with the wind as she walked. There were fragmented flower patterns embroidered on the dress which made her look pure and fresh. With the addition of a retro black British-style hat, she gave off a pleasant and charming vibe.
As far as he could recall, Lan Jinyao had always dressed like this. It was only when she was attending a large-scale event that she’d wear a sexy and alluring evening dress. But, as soon as the event ended, she’d immediately change into another outfit.
And, what he liked most about her was this virtue of hers. The first time he saw her, his heart had skipped a beat, and he’d fallen in love with her at first sight.
“Bainian, have you been waiting for long?”
Lan Xin sat opposite him and placed her bag behind her. Fu Bainian watched her movements, and his lips curled up into a faint smile.
How could it not be her? Her habits were the same!
He’d seen many girls put their bags on their legs while they were eating, or they’d have a cross-body bag with them that was worn across their chest. Some would also let their boyfriends safeguard it. It looked like only Lan Jinyao would put her bag behind her and never worry about it being stolen by a thief.
“No, I just got here!” he lied with a straight face.
However, she quickly debunked his lie. She chuckled and mischievously tapped his nose with a fingertip as she said, “Heh, Bainian, you’re lying! Look, the cup of water in front of you has already become cold, so you must’ve waited for a long time. I’m really sorry; I got held up by some issues. Otherwise, I would’ve arrived earlier.”
Ever since Lan Xin had allowed him to pursue her, the two had become closer and more intimate with one another. When they were outside, she didn’t even mind showing public displays of affection.
Often, when the two of them started to be intimate with each other, he’d fall into a kind of delusive trance. It felt like all of this was surreal. The Lan Jinyao from the past had always been so far away from him, untouchable, and kind of out of his reach. Every time he saw her, he could only look at her from afar as her line of sight landed elsewhere, and as she smiled at Shen Yu.
Fu Bainian had never been a timid person; he’d just loved her too much. His love was deep and profound, causing him to start acting more cautious and solemn.
“Oh, by the way, you asked me out today... It wouldn't be as simple as just having dinner, right?” Lan Xin withdrew her hand and propped up her chin, her long eyelashes fluttering as she continued, “Let me take a guess; you wanted to talk about Chen Meimei?!”
She was certainly clever. She could easily guess what his intentions were and what he was thinking about without much effort.
Fu Bainian nodded. “That’s right; it’s indeed something related to her!”
“Is it about the divorce? Did Chen Meimei agree to go with you to sign the divorce papers? Has she returned her ring to you yet?” she briskly asked several questions in a row, seemingly delighted.
Fu Bainian subconsciously shook his head and replied, “No, it's about something else.”
At this moment, even he didn’t know why he’d lied. Chen Meimei had already returned the ring on the date of their wedding ceremony. She’d also told him that whenever he was free, she could go with him to organise their divorce.
“Oh!” answered Lan Xin grumpily. She then propped her cheeks up with her hands, an unhappy expression on her face.
Fu Bainian didn’t understand it. The person in front of him was obviously more vivid than the one in his memories, but why did he feel less attracted to her? Was it really like people say; absence makes the heart grow fonder?
“You know how Chen Meimei’s an artist under my company, right? Well, she’s currently aiming to star in a certain role, but things on the Director’s side are slightly difficult to handle. However, you were rather close to this Director and had a good relationship with him in the past. Could you maybe make a call or write a letter to discuss this with him? As long as you speak up, the role will easily be Chen Meimei’s.”
Fu Bainian tried his best to make his pleas sound as earnest as possible.
He was an expert at concealing his emotions, and as long as he wasn’t willing to show anything, no one would be able to guess his thoughts.
After saying all that, Fu Bainian felt his heartbeat pick up speed.
“You want me to help Chen Meimei? But, everyone out there already thinks that I’m dead. Besides, I don’t want to return to the entertainment circle. So, this request, may I refuse it?” She pouted adorably and continued, “Moreover, I don't really like Chen Meimei all that much. She always reminds me that it's me who destroyed her family, even though that wasn’t really the case.”
At that instant, Fu Bainian felt a chill spread in his heart.
He was right; she hadn't written that letter.
Lan Xin extended her hand and waved it in front of his eyes. “What's the matter with you? Could it be that you aren’t happy because I’ve turned down your request?”
She pursed her lips, looking slightly saddened as she said, “Bainian, are you...”
She paused for a long time before abruptly asking him, “Have you already fallen in love with Chen Meimei?”
“How’s that possible? In this lifetime, I’ve only ever liked one person, and that’s you!” Fu Bainian stated decisively.
However, soon after, he broke out into cold sweat due to shock. No, his feelings toward Chen Meimei had already changed. In the past, he would either ridicule or look down on Chen Meimei. But now, when he would confront that woman, he’d unexpectedly be more tolerant and a little more patient.
“Let’s eat quickly! I still need to go and ask Chen Meimei to return the ring to me. Since you don't want to speak to the Director for her, then forget it. I’ll just let Chen Meimei choose some other role another time!”
Lan Xin nodded gravely and said, “OK! Thank you, Bainian. You’re so nice to me.”
Fu Bainian smiled faintly, but his heart felt awfully heavy.
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