Chapter 458: What no one knew (1)
The year she graduated from university, Fang Yunyao attended a recruitment event. Back then, she had actually already had an initial contract with a school from her hometown. She had only accompanied her roommates there.
It was at that recruitment event that she had seen a booth and banner for teachers for Jianhai Province’s Libei County. The banner had read: Talents wanted, birthplace unrestricted, family register and housing matters handled...
While Libei was not famous, Jianhai Province was renowned as an economically developed eastern province.
Fang Yunyao had thought that Libei should be quite good too. Upon asking about it, she had found out that her wages for teaching would be more than twice that in her hometown. There would also be various perks, subsidies and such…
She thought about her father’s ailing health, her mother’s toil, her backward hometown...Fang Yunyao signed up for it.
From the time of her graduation to when she turned 26, Fang Yunyao’s life in Libei and Libei Senior High could actually be considered still as the surface of a lake, aside from that bit of unavoidable loneliness as someone abroad and away from home, like that empty dormitory building…
Still, this was actually nothing considering the few hundred yuan she could send back to her family every month and her own gradually increasing savings.
The 26-year-old Fang Yunyao was still like a female university student in front of her students and colleagues. Still, her family was already starting to get frantic. Her female colleagues were also enthusiastically starting to help her search for somebody.
Fang Yunyao was actually not averse to this. If she was introduced to someone and felt that that someone was okay, she would still go to meet him. After all, as a girl, she did have that yearning for romance and marriage within her.
Sadly, her wish went unanswered as such a person never appeared.
It was during that year that she finished teaching her first ever twelfth grade class. A boy called Fu Cheng whom she had taught for three years had confessed to her at their graduation dinner, drunk. Fang Yunyao had not known whether to laugh or cry at that.
Speaking with her good friend from university over the phone that night, she had confided, “Do you still remember the boy of my dreams that I described to you back in university?”
She said, “I met a boy. He has a warm voice and clear eyes. I don’t know much about him. Still, my impression of him over the past three years is that he has a warm, gentle personality with a bit of shyness and a little artistic talent. Right, he plays the guitar very well and is great at singing too. He’s also very good-looking.”
Her friend replied, “Well, why are you still here talking to me then? Go for it!”
Fang Yunyao said, “He just confessed to me two hours ago.”
Her friend said, “...I see, so you’re showing off.”
Fang Yunyao exclaimed, “That’s not it! I already said it’s a boy...he’s my student. He graduates this year, I’m seven years older than him.”
Unbeknownst to her, that actually marked the start of their tale. There was no way for Fang Yunyao to know of the long, difficult road that awaited her, a story as cruel as it was blissful.
Afterwards, he had helped her to stave off an erroneous relationship, a frightening person. He had gotten into a fight for her that day and stood guard outside her door that night. That was the first time they had sat together and talked.
After she had restfully fallen asleep in front of him, he had gone outside again, waiting there till dawn.
He had said: I just hope that you can find a really good guy, Ms Fang...Yet, her parents aside, he was clearly the very first person to have ever cared about and protected her to this extent.
Yet afterwards, when again inebriated.
She said: A pity you’re much too young.
He said: I’ll grow up if you just wait a bit.
Perhaps they should not have had alcohol that day, for it had granted him so much courage. His audacious confession at the football pitch really startled her greatly. Fang Yunyao felt that she had really suffered a great shock, for never before had her heart beaten as intensely as that.
As for that confession out of the blue at his university’s freshman welcoming party, Fang Yunyao actually felt very vexed just thinking about it sometimes. The awkwardness of it! In fact, she could just have not attended. And yet, she had ‘delivered herself to the doorstep’...to be honest? He had entered her mind. At some point in time, she had started involuntarily thinking about him.
He had sung a song called <<Fairy Tale>> that day. Tears streaming down his face, he had asked repeatedly that she believed him, that they would have a happy ending like in those classic fairy tales.
That night, she had decided to believe in a fairy tale, to gamble the end of her youth, her reputation and so much more...waiting for him to grow up. She knew there would never be another person like this in her life.
She secretly arranged to be transferred over to his city.
She knit him a black woolen sweater.
Afterwards, this woolen sweater had been stained in blood. In those nightmarish memories, he had been the only light. He had fallen to his knees on the podium of his former school and told everyone that he had made a mistake, that his mistake was falling in love with a woman, Fang Yunyao, his teacher.
She thought that in that case, she would make that mistake along with him.
The very first thing she had seen upon waking from that boundless darkness was him. At that moment, Fang Yunyao knew that it was impossible for her to fall in love with another person in this life.
While the recovery period had been very difficult, those had been happy times indeed, despite the fact that that silly guy still always called her Ms Fang, not even daring to hold her hand too.
“This fella can clearly be so brave sometimes, but can be so useless too...if you won’t hold my hand, I’ll be old before you know it,” Fang Yunyao got vexed sometimes.
She wanted to forget about all the consequences, fearing nothing. Yet, when she heard that his parents would be coming to visit her at the hospital, Fang Yunyao felt so very nervous. Looking forward to being accepted, she was willing to put in the effort to that effect, even if it meant she would have to suffer some as a result.
Mr and Mrs Fu arrived at the sick ward, all smiles, genial and concerned. They set down a fruit basket and asked Fu Cheng to go help them book a hotel. In the meantime, they would chat with Ms Fang.
Seeing how his parents were clearly sending him away, Fu Cheng felt rather nervous and uneasy. Fang Yunyao smiled and blinked, telling him that everything was okay.
Fu Cheng left the ward. Fang Yunyao pushed herself up from her bed with some difficulty.
“Uncle, Auntie, I’ll pour you some water,” She was actually very nervous.
“No need. Also, you’re nearly thirty. It’s a bit too much to call us Uncle and Auntie,” Mrs Fu’s attitude was completely different now that Fu Cheng had left as Fang Yunyao’s heart sunk to abyssal depths.
“I, I’m twenty-seven, East Asian age,” Fang Yunyao explained earnestly like a helpless child.
“Whatever. Anyway, the reason we have come...just take it that we’re begging you to let Fu Cheng off,” Mr Fu said.
“Yeah! You can’t be so selfish, Ms Fang,” Mrs Fu continued, “You’re seven years older than Fu Cheng, you know? Just based on this alone, I would never agree to this. Moreover, you’re also his teacher! How could that do?”
“You’re even linked to a homicide.”
“That’s got nothing to do with me, Auntie…”
“Flies attack not the uncracked egg. Outsiders won’t listen to your explanation, just as these scars of yours will never fade no matter what.”
“The entire Libei is already in an uproar because of you. It’s fine that you’ve wrecked your own reputation, but you have even involved our Fu Cheng. Even our Old Fu has been affected...he’s already Chief of the Trade and Industry Bureau now, but he can’t even properly raise his head outside because of you, you know that? When outsiders see him, all they talk about is things between you and our Fu Cheng behind his back.”
“Let me put it this way. Old Fu’s family, Fu Cheng’s grandfather was the head of Libei County before. His father has also already gone from Vice Bureau Chief to Bureau Chief in the Trade and Industry Bureau. Considering his age and the current relationship between us and the Xu family, it’s not impossible for him to become County Head in the future…”
“What about our Fu Cheng? He has our Fu family, and as you know, his relationship with that child of the Xu family. Basically, he’ll definitely surpass his father and grandfather in the future.”
“If he marries you? A woman seven years older than him, his teacher from senior high, and involved in a homicide...how is he to live his life respectably? What about his future? He even entered a jail cell for you already. It wasn’t easy at all for us to wipe that off record. How else do you want to ruin him?”
“I, I understand.”
“You just can’t be so selfish. If you really like Fu Cheng, let him off. Take it that I’m begging you, okay? How about I get on my knees and beg you?” As Mrs Fu looked like she was really going to do just that, a tearful Fang Yunyao hurriedly stopped her, shaking her head.
“Fu Cheng’s only twenty, actually. Do you think he really likes you? He’s just insensible. It’ll be different in a year or two,” Having previously been silent, Mr Fu suddenly spoke, “Don’t hinder him, and don’t hinder yourself.”
Fang Yunyao fell silent.
“Ms Fang, we’re all acting for Fu Cheng’s sake, right. Have mercy, don’t ruin Fu Cheng, please,” Mrs Fu said.
Mr Fu dialled a number and told Fang Yunyao, “Fu Cheng’s grandpa hasn’t been in very good health these past few years. He was even angered to the point of hospitalisation recently too. Their generation cares much more about status and reputation. Listen to what he has to say…”
Fang Yunyao took the phone and heard an old man’s voice, “Ms Fang, is it? Actually, I concede that you aren’t entirely to blame for this. I also don’t mean to blame you. Our Fu family has also helped in this time’s incident. All this is fine, except for between you and Fu Cheng...anyway, if you enter our Fu family, this old man...cannot die in peace.”
And that was it, a bolt from the blue.
Reality ultimately differed from the stuff of fairy tales. What she had chosen to believe in...was so cruelly shattered…
“Uncle, Auntie, I’ll do as you say,” Fang Yunyao said with tears flowing down her face, “It’s just, it’s just...could you give me and Fu Cheng two months’ time? A month and a half would do too. Please?”
She wanted to love him properly for once, even if this time was short, even if the fairy tale was only enacted once. She had to do this relationship the least bit justice.
Mr and Mrs Fu pondered in silence.
“Please! I’ll definitely do as I said,” Fang Yunyao got on her knees, her wounds aching intensely from the resultant tearing exertion.
Mrs Fu wanted to say something.
Mr Fu stopped her, saying in a gentler tone, “Fine then. I hope you can understand our heartfelt intentions...Fu Cheng is our only child. You should think about your own future too. If there’s anything that you need help with, just give me a call. I promise that I’ll do whatever I can.”
“Thank you, Uncle.”
“Also, our Fu Cheng didn’t grow up by our side since young. We didn’t teach him well, his personality is wanting..so, we hope that he doesn’t learn about what we just said here. You understand, right?”
Fang Yunyao nodded.
“We’ll take our leave then.”
“Uncle, Auntie, if you go out and see Fu Cheng coming back, can you delay and talk to him for a bit first? Just say that we had a nice chat. I...I want to wash my face and compose myself...I’m afraid he might be able to tell, otherwise.”
“...Thank you for being attentive,” Mr Fu sighed, appearing somewhat uneasy and guilty too.
More than twenty minutes later.
Fu Cheng returned to the ward.
Fang Yunyao smiled as she saw him.
“How did the chat go? My Mum and Dad said...it went pretty well,” Fu Cheng asked, sounding a bit nervous whilst also anticipatory.
Fang Yunyao smiled sweetly, nodding rather bashfully as she said, “Yes.”
So did the foolish Fu Cheng believe that all had truly gone that smoothly...Previous Chapter Next Chapter