Chapter 460: What no one knew (3)
After returning to her hometown, Fang Yunyao cried in her mother’s arms for the next two days.
Afterwards, she brought her parents to Chengdu without telling anyone. A relative of theirs had opened a small store there. Since she had some money saved up, Fang Yunyao thought that it would work out there.
She intended to find a job in Chengdu and henceforth settle down there.
Still, things did not go as smoothly as she had thought. Most public schools in the provincial city had restrictions based on place of origin. Even in those schools in which this was not required, most had actually already reached agreements under the table with teachers originating from their province’s counties.
Having no connections whatsoever in Chengdu, Fang Yunyao gave up on entering a local public school after two failed attempts.
Private schools did not care where one hailed from and generally paid more too. Having both her parents to support, this was an option that she naturally would consider.
With a relatively influential thesis in hand as well as her name on some important university entrance examination supplementary materials, it should not be difficult for Fang Yunyao to enter a private school.
She soon contacted one of Chengdu’s local private schools. The feedback was great as she just needed to sign and she would be good to go.
Even as the principal of that school felt joyous and pleasantly surprised at this first-class teacher who had suddenly cropped up of nowhere, he also felt curious as to why she could be so easily acquired. Didn’t private schools usually offer sky-high prices in trying to poach talents such as this one?
Out of curiosity, he did some research on Fang Yunyao on the internet.
Those rumours...student-teacher relationship, and that incident...he discovered the discussion on all of that on the internet.
On the same day that she was rejected by this private school, Fang Yunyao suddenly vomited while having a meal…
She was pregnant with Fu Cheng’s child...
She felt joyful when she found out, but also conflicted.
Far from her hometown, without a stable job, poor and in dire straits...now she was to be a single mother too? Her parents were resolute on this, wanting her to abort the unborn child.
“How will you provide for the child after you’ve given birth?”
“How will you ever get married with a child?”
“He’ll be laughed at for not having a father.”
Fang Yunyao broke out of her mother’s grasp at the final moment, after her number was called in the hospital. She fled, for the sake of her and his child.
“Mum, Dad, if they abort this child...I won’t be able to continue living,” Fang Yunyao got on her knees and begged her parents.
All parents love their children. Her uneducated mother could only weep, gnash her teeth and curse that she must have owed him something from a previous life. Afterwards, though, she wholeheartedly, diligently concentrated on taking care of her pregnant daughter nevertheless.
Their relative also let Mr Fang who was getting on in years and was limited in his mobility work in his store, thus providing for the family.
Life gradually took shape for them once more.
Often, rubbing her gradually protruding tummy, Fang Yunyao would think of that person, his face filling her mind...how she wished she could tell him: Do you know? We have a baby! Heavens, you haven’t even graduated from university and you’re already a father.
And then she would want to laugh, and she would cry too.
“You shouldn’t cry when you’re pregnant. It’s bad for the child.” Her mother would tell her.
As the schools were afraid of her taking maternity leave after she had been hired, it became even more difficult for her to get a job. This was despite her pleading with them time and time again, saying that she could persist till her delivery date and return to work as soon as possible afterwards.
Unable to get a teaching job in Chengdu, Fang Yunyao could only try the neighbouring counties.
Finally, it was with immense difficulty indeed that she managed to find a job at a private school in Dujiangyan. Even though the school itself and the wages were not that great, Fang Yunyao still returned to the classroom with her protruding tummy.
The school gave her a small dormitory room to stay in. Her mother followed her to Dujianyan, continuing to take care of her. Her father remained in Chengdu.
Having to upkeep herself, her mother and her unborn child with her not-so-high wages, also having to set aside a sum of money for the delivery, Fang Yunyao’s days became extremely tough and strenuous.
Even so, she did not look for Fu Cheng or Xu Tingsheng and co.
“Miss, where’s your husband?” Sometimes, the students would ask Fang Yunyao because of her stomach that was gradually increasing in size.
“He’s in another part of the country,” Fang Yunyao would always say.
“You’re pregnant, and yet he still hasn’t returned to take care of you? Really!” Her students felt greatly indignant.
“He’s really busy,” Fang Yunyao would always say.
“Introduce him to us when he comes back,” Her students said, “We will help you reprimand him.”
Fang Yunyao smiled but did not speak. She thought: Actually, many of you may know him...well, not exactly, maybe, because he also withholds his name and dons a mask. But still, most of you will surely have heard his songs before.
She actually knew how Fu Cheng and Xu Tingsheng were doing. It was readily accessible on the internet how their band was getting more and more famous, how Xu Tingsheng was also very successful in his career.
There was a video of their band performing at some school anniversary performance. When alone in the office, Fang Yunyao would often be unable to resist the urge to watch that. She would look at that half-covered face and listen to him sing <<The Brightest Star In the Night Sky>>. Meanwhile, she would rub her stomach and tell her unborn child who that man was.
The first time she watched it, she heard him say:
“Come back, okay? Let me take care of you.”
“Or, allow me to look for you...when I’ve found you, you’re not allowed to run again.”
Her heart was in anguish that day, its barriers overwhelmed by this sudden assault.
From then onwards, she would have a hand tightly gripping the mouse every time she watched that video in order to make sure that she would be able to turn it off in time.
She dared not hear him say that again, afraid that the sorrow and tears would be detrimental to their child.
She dared not hear him say that again, afraid that just one more time and she would be unable to stop herself from listening to him, from going to look for him.
“It’s not just me now. There’s our baby too!” ...Sometimes, the number was already entered on the keypad on her phone, but that call button was just horizons away.
He was looking for her, she knew that. He even went to her hometown once…
Upon learning of this, her mother asked her what was to be done about that.
Fang Yunyao knew that he would go there again if he was not made to give up. Thus, when her mother proposed distributing wedding candies to their relatives and neighbours in their village, she did not oppose it.
Her mother had done this such that if they had to go back one day or on the off chance that Fang Yunyao’s pregnancy or child was coincidentally spotted by a fellow villager here, they could cover this up and prevent it from being known that this child was born out of wedlock.
This would be laughed at to death in the village. One could be drowned dead by the saliva…
As for Fang Yunyao, she only wanted him to give up so that she would not hinder his future.
The days passed one by one just like that.
Perhaps not having fully recovered from her major injuries or perhaps because life had been so difficult during her pregnancy itself...Little Niannian was born prematurely, mother and daughter only barely managing to survive childbirth.
Fang Yunyao had used up all her savings.
She never dared think back on how she had managed to get through this period of time. When infrequently looking at the mirror, though, she realised how much more haggard she appeared. Time and hardship had left their mark on her face. “...Would you still like me the way I am now?”
Her daughter’s pet name was Niannian...Niannian, as in unable to forget...while a bit thin and weak, she was still growing up healthily and well. She was very smart and pretty. She looked like her. She looked like him too.
However tough life was, Fang Yunyao’s face always regained her happiest, warmest smile whenever she saw this child of theirs…
When the time came to choose an official name for the kid, Fang Yunyao said, “She’ll be Fu Qing.”
Her mother looked at her but said nothing. She just sighed, tears in her eyes as she exited the room.
“Fang Yunyao almost died giving birth, but that husband of hers never even appeared.”
“What husband? That child’s most certainly born out of wedlock…”
More and more rumours started to circulate.
Once in a while, people would probe and ask if she needed help finding a man.
Fang Yunyao rejected them all.
When Little Niannian was a little older, Fang Yunyao would sometimes bring her to the office, turning on that video for her to watch and listen to on the computer… “Will Niannian be good at singing in the future? Look at how great your Dad is…”
“Come on, Niannian, take off Dad’s mask…”
“Do you want to see Dad, Niannian?”
Afterwards, the number of videos they could watch increased by one.
He could be seen inside Apple’s music video for <<Long Time No See>>, searching all around.
So much time had passed. He was still looking for her…
When Little Niannian was a bit more grown, an unimaginable change happened. She actually always smiled towards those two videos, chuckling as she extended her little hands to touch them.
She decided to bring Little Niannian to the bar, Bright Brilliance, where Fu Cheng sang as a member of Rebirth. Information on this had surfaced on the internet along with pictures and videos thanks to Apple showing up there.
Fang Yunyao did not want Little Niannian to never once see her father, even if...she was only able to stare at him from a faraway corner, unable to stand in front of him. Now, Niannian was still just a baby too.
As the plane ticket was too expensive. Fang Yunyao carried Little Niannian and rode a train for two days and three nights, going from Chengdu to Xihu City. There, she took a bus to Yanzhou where she lodged in a small hotel, waiting for Fu Cheng to perform at the bar.
She was stopped at the door of the bar that day. The security guard denied her access as she was carrying a child.
It was a young lad who had obstructed her. Fang Yunyao pleaded for a long time and finally managed to be let in.
She sat in the darkest corner.
Fu Cheng went on stage, wearing a mask.
He sang two songs that night, <<Fairy Tale>> and <<The Brightest Star In The Night Sky>>.
“Are you listening, Niannian? Look, that’s your Dad…”
“Can you see him? Take a good look and remember, Niannian. We won’t be coming here again. You also can’t blame Dad when you’re older! All this is Mum’s fault...Mum will take good care of you.”
One of the bar’s security guards appeared in front of her, blocking her line of sight.
“What’s the problem with you? Why did you come in here with a kid?”
Fang Yunyao stared distractedly at him for a moment before she replied, “Sorry. We’ll leave right away.”
“Go on, hurry up!”
At the doorway with her daughter, Fang Yunyao stopped short.
“Take another look, Niannian…”
Actually, she herself desired just as much to take another look.
The security guard asked, “Hey, why did you stop? Go on...if our boss finds out, we’ll be scolded to death.”
Fang Yunyao took one final glance, then raised Niannian’s little hand and waved it towards that person up on stage…
She turned and left.
Niannian in her embrace, Fang Yunyao had only just crossed the road when a Mercedes-Benz pulled up at the bar’s entrance. Now Huang Yaming got off from within...he walked into the bar...Previous Chapter Next Chapter
This marks 2/3 of the novel completed. End of flashback! Time for reunion. Feels...