Chapter 518: A mere blank stare
Huang Yaming had previously said that he did not have much conscience remaining…
Now, he said: I’m a scumbag now, my former beloved.
‘My former beloved’ was a phrase that few ever used. Still, in reality, how many people did not have these? Once beloved, yet no more, two people who once held hands only able to look awkwardly at each other when next they met once more…
Perhaps it would be even more intense sometimes...not all breakups ended amicably, after all.
For example, those who met again years later in senior high and university class gatherings.
One might ask genially, “How’s it going?”
The other might composedly answer, “Pretty good. What about you?”
This is already good, for it demonstrates that both parties are over it as all emotions, positive or negative, have dwindled down to nothing over time. You can still smile and exchange pleasantries in this case, though it will just not be advisable to overthink things.
“How’s it going?”
“None of your damn business.”
This is actually not as bad as it might sound. It at least demonstrates that somebody remains unable to put the relationship behind them, even if it only means gnashing their teeth. In this case, if you are shameless enough and stand steadfast, you might actually be able to relive those cherished times for a bit after the alcohol amidst all the tears, complaints and weakly pummelling fists.
“How’s it going?”
If they say nothing, avert their gazes and walk away, no longer wishing to pay you any heed, you had best take note of their expression. If they do not secretly dab at their tears after passing you by, you should really give up on speaking to them already.
“How’s it going?”
“Sorry, who are you again? I kind of forgot.”
This one...is a little tragic. It could be deliberate, but that is just as tragic. Do yourself a favour and don’t overdo it.
“How’s it going?”
“Great, of course. I’m waiting for you to die first.”
This one...probably hates you so much they’re waiting to set off fireworks and jump in joy at your grave.
“How’s it going?”
“Swimmingly your arse. This old dame will claw you dead!”
This one...not only does she hate you, she also hates all her other men who came later. To summarise: It’s fortunate that you broke up when you did.
“How’s it going?”
“Scram! You’re in charge of picking up the kid later.”
These are the ones which did come to fruition. A pity that they are ultimately few in number.
‘Former beloved’. Some want to see them but cannot; others want to see them but dare not.
‘Former beloved’. This evokes nostalgia and gloom for some, induces waterworks for some, continues to bring some happiness and relish, yet leaves some only feeling hatred.
Huang Yaming definitely hated Tan Qingling. Her betrayal from back then was definitely a factor here. Still, more crucial might be her returning to look for him this time as her motive and her means had completely sullied the final bit of happiness in Huang Yaming’s mind which still remained.
She had caused the passion of his teenage romance to finally become truly for naught.
As the drama drew to a close, Tan Qingling left the hall accompanied by her classmate, headed back to her room to pack up her belongings. A car was waiting downstairs to send them back to Xihu City. She appeared relatively composed throughout, which was pretty reassuring.
If someone who was a very good schemer lost hope in something, they would terminate that particular scheme before letting things settle down as uneventfully as possible.
“Yaming was really...too ruthless this time, both to himself and to Tan Qingling,” Song Ni said, “Well, I just knew it. How could he possibly still have feelings for Tan Qingling? Let’s not talk about last time. Her motive in returning this time was just too obvious. It’d be impossible for Yaming to be fooled.”
Xu Tingsheng and Fu Cheng exchanged glances, smiling but not saying anything.
Song Ni pressed, “What? Isn’t that right?”
Xu Tingsheng replied, “No, it’s nothing. You’re right.”
Perhaps only Xu Tingsheng and Fu Cheng understood Huang Yaming. Song Ni believed that he no longer had any feelings for Tan Qingling, and maybe Tan Qingling herself thought so too now that such a thing had happened.
Yet, that was not actually the case in reality.
Huang Yaming had personally arranged for the cars responsible for transporting their relatives here from Libei. He was definitely behind the two families both having failed to show up in time.
This was his leniency towards Tan Qingling, the residual reluctance following that inner struggle.
Having gone to the extent of a public washing of dirty laundry, vengeance was unquestionably a part of it. Still, there was also a second goal here, which was for Tan Qingling to completely lose hope such that their relationship would be irreparably beyond salvation.
That Huang Yaming had chosen to do so demonstrated that there was actually still a spark left within his heart. After all, what Tan Qingling was offering him now was what he had once most looked forward to. Hence he was afraid, afraid that he might not be able to resist it, afraid that even knowing that it was fake and not love, he would still come to accept the relationship…
This sort of thing does exist in this world. Some people are so head over heels that even knowing that they are being cheated as the other party does not actually love them, they willingly accept it nevertheless. They pretend to be oblivious...willing targets of deception.
Huang Yaming would not allow himself to become this sort of person, reaching such a point. Even if only a mere spark remained, he would see all embers extinguished. And so he had utilised this farce of an engagement to push their relationship off the cliff, cutting off all his wishful thinking for good.
Tan Qingling was gone and Huang Yaming had not appeared. Things seemed kind of strange now as everyone did not know whether to stay or to remain.
Xu Tingsheng got up and raised his glass, “Let’s take this as us bros treating everyone to a meal today, alright. Thank you all for your continued support and care. A toast to show our gratitude!”
After this glass of wine, things got lively in the hall again.
Most of those present were either rich or esteemed. It was really not often that they got to gather together on such a scale. And so, accompanied by wine, they happily mingled and discussed possible cooperation etcetera.
Fu Cheng went to the tables where their ex-classmates were. Tan Yao entertained Huang Yaming’s classmates from university.
“Just think of this as a class gathering.”
“Just think of this as a meal together.”
With that, the engagement banquet had deviated to a whole new trajectory.
Xu Tingsheng and Fu Cheng returned to their seats. Then, they consecutively received texts from Huang Yaming. The contents were more or less the same, just a bit different in wording.
To Fu Cheng: Can you forget about your wife and child and come accompany this fool for a while?
To Xu Tingsheng: Can you forget about your little wifey for a bit and come accompany this lonely soul?
Fu Cheng texted back: Where?
The reply came: In the garden downstairs where you guys live...bring a few cans of beer.
Xu Tingsheng and Fu Cheng lived in the same building and Huang Yaming often came over to play. On this special occasion when he had fled from his own engagement banquet, he had gone to the place where Xu Tingsheng and Fu Cheng lived...a lot could be seen from this.
After entrusting the happily eating Xiang Ning to Ms Fang and Song Ni and handing things over to Tan Yao, Xu Tingsheng and Fu Cheng departed early from the scene.
“Hah, I’m so tragic,” Huang Yaming said cheerily right upon seeing them, “The two of you: One’s gonna revolve around wife and kids for the rest of your life, and the other attracts girls all around and acts out whatever ‘only a single flower will I partake of this hallowed garden’. How cliched to death..."
“How tragic. It wasn’t easy that one came for me. It’s still okay that her goal was too direct, but did she really have to act so freaking lousily...how great would it be if she could fool me with it?!”
“How tragic. Even the two of you have forsaken me…” Huang Yaming continually gave those mock sighs as he complained.
Fu Cheng retorted, “Scram! Haven’t we come to accompany you now?”
Huang Yaming pointed at him and said aggrievedly, “Right, you even called me a dumbass.”
Fu Cheng smiled.
“Smile your arse,” Huang Yaming said, “Nowadays, I feel like calling you two out to drink sometimes but daren’t even do so.”
Huang Yaming cupped his face with both hands and rubbed it.
At this moment, with old romance having turned into enmity and his bros all having found their own happiness, it was only he alone...infrequent bouts of weakness, yet nowhere to voice it to.
All was empty all of a sudden.
All presence was lost, a mere blank stare.
But maybe it was exactly this that could produce a legend-one would do well to remember that kings and emperors of yore...all referred to themselves as ‘this solitary/widowed one’(孤家寡人).Previous Chapter Next Chapter