Since he had met Chu Qianqian at the hospital a few days ago, Shen Rong had not appeared to visit his father for a few days in a row.
Shen Xi did not care about this. Shen Rong’s reaction was what he expected. It was Zhou Mingmei he was paying attention to. Unfortunately, Zhou Mingmei was very calm, as if she was completely unaware of Chu Qianqian’s existence, and did not respond in any way.
It surprised Shen Xi and made him even more wary of Zhou Mingmei.
Another one who surprised him was Li Mingxuan. It was not that Shen Xi didn’t feel some signs of goodwill from Li Mingxuan, but it was precisely what made him alert. He didn’t believe the newspaper articles about the Li family making two bets, so what was Li Mingxuan after? Did he sympathise with him? Shen Xi felt that this idea was ridiculous. Based on Li Mingxuan’s friendship with Shen Ji, how could he possibly feel sympathy for him? In his previous life, he had never seen this cousin of his since the moment of his imprisonment till his death, and he did not think that being reborn would suddenly create a deep brotherhood between them. So what exactly did Li Mingxuan want? Was there something about him that the Li family wanted?
Shen Xi had never been afraid to guess the worst about the people’s intentions, but no matter how much he thought, he could not guess what Li Mingxuan was thinking.
However, when he thought about the news shared by the reporters, the corner of Shen Xi’s mouth curled up into a sneer. As the saying goes, three men make a tiger (repeated rumour becomes a fact); he didn’t believe that Shen Ji could look at these articles day in and day out and still be firmly convinced in Li Mingxuan’s brotherly love!
That day Shen Xi did not go to the hospital as usual, but arrived at the cemetery early in the morning.
Today was Shen Xi’s mother’s birthday, and Shen Xi really did not want to go to the hospital to play the role of a filial son to a doting father on this day. For five years he spent abroad, except for the first year, every year after that, Lao K had come to the cemetery to pay respect to Shen Xi’s mother in his place. This time Shen Xi would finally be able to accompany his mother in person.
The cemetery in the early morning was quiet and solemn, and Shen Xi lightly manoeuvred between the marble tombstones with his mother’s favourite lilies of the valley in his hand.
In the flower language the lily of the valley meant happiness, and it was said that if you received a lily of the valley, you would be favoured by the god of luck. Unfortunately, many people did not know the other name of the lily of the valley, “Our Lady’s Tears”.
Shen Xi did not believe in these statements, but when he thought of his mother’s life, he could only sigh silently.
Looking at his mother’s tombstone from a distance, Shen Xi paused in confusion. As he came closer, he could be sure there was no mistake. A bouquet of white lilies of the valley lay quietly in front of his mother’s tombstone, its faint fragrance filling the surroundings.
Shen Xi took a look around. There was no one else but him, so who would be sending flowers today? What’s more, who would be sending his mother’s favourite lilies of the valley?
Lao K’s name flashed through Shen Xi’s mind and then he shook his head. Lao K knew he would come to the cemetery in person today and would not do such a superfluous thing.
After thinking about it for a long time, Shen Xi couldn’t think of who this person would be, so he could only suppress the doubts in his heart for now. No matter who the sender of the flowers was, Shen Xi was grateful for the thought.
Gently placing the flowers in his hand together with those in front of the tombstone, Shen Xi sat down against his mother’s tombstone and began to recount the events of the past few days, as he always did. When he reached the point where his father had a big fight with Shen Ji and insisted on keeping Chu Qianqian by his side, a hint of mockery appeared on Shen Xi’s face.
“Look, Mom, he is such a selfish person. He claims to love Fang Yun, but he still finds one substitute after another, first Zhou Mingmei and then Chu Qianqian. He told everyone that Shen Ji was his most cherished son, but he knew that the existence of Zhou Mingmei and Shen Rong was a thorn in Shen Ji’s heart, and yet he still jabbed this thorn into his heart day after day. And now he has scolded his beloved son for the sake of a Chu Qianqian whom he has seen just once.”
Shen Xi snorted, “So he doesn’t love anyone, he only loves himself.”
A gust of wind blew by and the lilies of the valley in front of the tombstone gently swayed with the wind.
The corners of Shen Xi’s mouth slowly curled up to reveal a smile, “Mom, you agree with me?”
The lilies of the valley swayed even more.
The smile on Shen Xi’s face grew bigger, but his eyes gradually moistened. If his mother could hear him in heaven, would she regret having fallen in love with such a selfish man back then? Would she regret giving up her life so easily at such a beautiful age?
Unfortunately, Shen Xi would never be able to know the answers to these two questions.
After staying quietly all morning, Shen Xi left the cemetery near noon.
This was when Lao K called him. “At the cemetery?”
Shen Xi gave a soft “en”. “Just leaving.”
Lao K chuckled. “Come back early, I’ll be waiting for you to have a hotpot tonight.”
Shen Xi said “en” again, thought for a moment and checked, “Did you send flowers to the cemetery?”
“Send flowers?” Lao K was puzzled and then denied, “No, why?”
Shen Xi mused, “I came to the cemetery this morning and found that someone had come before me and left my mother her favourite lilies of the valley.”
“Could it have been your father?” Lao K asked cautiously.
Shen Xi laughed coldly, “How could it be? Father is in the hospital with Chu Qianqian, how could he think of mother!”
“Should we check it out?” Lao K suggested.
Shen Xi thought about it and rejected Lao K’s offer, “Forget it, whoever it is, it is a token of appreciation.”
Hanging up the phone, Shen Xi was too lazy to call for a taxi, and walked slowly along the quiet road in front of the cemetery, carefully considering what he was going to do next.
Only when Shen Xi had checked everything in his mind and felt that there was nothing wrong did he come back to his senses and realise that at some point the sky had darkened and there were vague signs of rain.
Shen Xi’s brow furrowed as he looked around the empty road without a single car passing by. The cemetery was located in the suburbs and it was difficult to find a taxi there, and now the weather was getting worse. For the first time, Shen Xi regretted that he was used to taking a taxi after returning home and was too lazy to buy a car.
The rain started to fall. At first it was a light rain, nothing but two or three drops, but soon it turned into a heavy rain, pouring down. There were a few thunderous noises from time to time and the whole sky was as black as ink.
Shen Xi stood in the rain in embarrassment; there was no place to shelter from the rain around. His clothes were wet quickly, and the chill started to seep into Shen Xi’s body little by little.
Shen Xi shivered and fished out his mobile phone but it automatically switched off when it unexpectedly got under the water. Shen Xi thought bitterly, fortunately, Lao K knew he was here and would definitely come looking for him later.
The rain was getting heavier without any sign of stopping. Shen Xi simply took off his jacket, put it on top of his head and found a high place to sit down. He was soaked to the bone anyway and it didn’t matter if he would catch a cold.
Shen Xi stared unconsciously at the raindrops that kept splashing at his feet. The ear-piercing sound of brakes sounded on the side of the road, and Shen Xi looked over in surprise.
A familiar face appeared in the rolled down car window.