Chapter 13: Seemingly normal
“Business is important, but it’s less important than health. Look at you, you’re obviously wan and sallow lately.” After knowing each other for quite some time, we are considerably close acquaintance. As my speech is a lot more casual compared to before.
“Really? You’re not the only one who said so. I’m not sure what’s wrong, I haven’t had a good night sleep lately.” Yan Pinmin fill up my cup with tea from a teapot and answered me while brushing her cheeks.
“Missing your husband perhaps. Oh ya, I never ask you about your husband’s workplace? I never see him coming back home.” I joked a little.
“O him. He has a Gold futures investment business, which he often flew across borders. In his eyes, our home is nothing less than the hotels.” Yan Pinmin’s eyes darkened as she speaks.
“Maybe he’s just too busy.” I can never say much about Yan Pinmin’s household matters, as I, myself never be in a relationship before. However, based on my principal, try to persuade with forgiveness instead of encouraging separation, I speak only good words for a man whom i’ve never met before. As the saying goes, one rather demolished ten shrines than to destroy a marriage. If one says a wrong thing and ended a marriage, then one would have to face serious karma.
“Sigh, who knows?” Yan Pinmin seems reluctant to mention about her man. She softly sighed then leaned over and refill my cup.
“With so much being said, I still don’t know your husband’s name. I can’t call him ‘hey’ when I meet him later, can I?” Notice Yan Pinmin’s gloomy expression, I pull a little joke for her.
She was also amused by my jokes. “Zhang Zhong. As in hanzi, Gong=bow, chang=long. Zhong as in faithful!”
“Right. I always wanted to ask you a question.” she said, while leaning against the chair after she gave me her husband’s name.
“Speak!” I said. Sipped the tea before I place it on the table.
“Don’t be mad!” Yan Pinmin demanded reassurance before she ask.
“How did you came into your line of work? No discrimination from me, but I just thought that you’re so young, have you ever thought of another job? As you have to deal with black wreaths and paper-made people, it must have cost you a proper relationship, haven’t it?” She slightly hesitated but asked anyway.
“I inherited this shop from my foster father. I become so familiar with this work ever since I was small, despite it, I can’t think of anything which I can work with.” I shrugged.
“Foster father? I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have asked!” Women are such a sentimental human. When she heard I mentioned about my foster father, she immediately realize my background. Thus, her maternal instinct made her gently place her palm on the back of my hands and apologized.
“Your hands are cold!” I counter-grab her well-preserved hands and felt the softness of her skin. But I regretted immediately after I commented on her hands, it was a real mood spoiler. Only a love-rookie like me would do such a thing.
As expected, Yan Pinmin in her activated maternal instinct mode didn’t realize I was grabbing her hands until I commented her hands are cold. As a result, she drew her hand back.
“Naughty little boy, you took advantage on me.” Luckily, she’s not angry. Only rolled her eyes on me and protested croquettishly.
“I’ve finished my tea and it’s time to go. I’ll come by to pay you a visit after a day or two!” Seeing her reaction, I abruptly stood up and bid goodbye. I am awful in having conversation with women, especially a matured, charming lady like Yan Pinmin.
“Now? Going home? Let me walk you out. Come by anytime when you’re free.” Yan Pinmin stood up and ready to escort me to the exit.
However, when she stood up, before she could even make a step, she collapsed to the ground. I rushed over and managed to hold her in my arms. “Sister Pinmin!” I yelled.
“What happened? What happened?” my screams instantly attracted several customers and attendants within the premise of the serene tea house.
“Your boss just passed out.” I awkwardly explained to attendants who gathered around with Yan Pinmin’s curvy body still in my arms.
“Don’t just stand there. Call the ambulance!” Most of the attendants are female and mostly in their 20s, they just stood aside flabbergasted. Seeing this made me yelled at them.
“No, don’t, it’s alright.” Yan Pinmin awoke from the temporary unconsciousness. She promptly stopped me, when I’m just about to ask people to call for ambulance.
“Are you alright, boss?” seeing Yan Pinmin awaken, all of her staffs came forward to express concern.
“Back to your work, I’m alright.” Yan Pinmin commanded all her staff around her to go back to work. On other hand, she slightly blushed when she saw herself in my arms.
“I’m truly sorry for the distraction. Everything’s fine now, please continue your tea session.” After she dismissed the crowd of worker, she turn to disperse those onlookers that seek for answer.
“Send me home!” Only when the tea house finally recoup its tranquility, Yan Pinmin grasp my hand tightly and weakly requested. Slight trembling of her body and cold hands with sweaty palms, I can sense that she was being frightened.
“Alright!” Without questioning why, I gently walk her towards the exit. What’s happening to her that cause her fall into such horror state?
“Come in, can you take liquor?” entered Yan Pinmin’s villa, she let loose of my hands and move her way to a little bar in the living room. She held up a bottle of Hennessy and intent to invite me for a drink.
“I never fond of imported liquor. Do whatever you feel necessary, I can have plain water.” To be honest, I have no interest on these imported goods which its packaging has better taste than its flavor. I got myself a glass of plain water from the dispenser nearby, and I raised my glass to Yan Pinmin too.
“Despite a butler, there’s only me occupying such large house.” Yan Pinmin started, carrying the bottle and make her way to sit on the sofa. Her expression is filled with desolate.
“Sister Pinmin, any reason that caused your black out today?” Listening to her complaint about her household matter, I quickly changed the subject. I am not the right person who gives out opinion on other couple’s matters.
“I did not know why either. Plus today’s episode, it was the sixth time within half of this year.” Yan pinmin frowned and quaff that half glass of liquor.
“Sixth time within half of a year? That means, averagely, you’ve been having these episodes every month?” It’s weird to me. Judging from her looks, she doesn’t seems to have any underlying conditions. Furthermore, the feng shui of this house is working well, which means she should be living an ail-free and disaster-free lifestyle, plus prospering in her business.
“Could it be that I’ve overlooked something?” I thought. I stood up and walked around the premise, studying.
“It shouldn’t be!” I frowned and murmured after a round of inspection of the living hall.
“Sister Pinmin, have you perform any health screening at the hospital?” I wondered deep in thought then turn to ask her. If there’s nothing wrong with the feng shui., perhaps the problem came from her worrying health?
“I have been visiting several major hospitals and the results came back normal. I always have that feeling, that there’s a third person occupying this house. The doctor concluded that this delusion is part of my nervous breakdown, but I know I’m not. Do you know this feeling, Xiaofan? There’s always a pair of eyes at your back staring at any of your movements. I’m this close to loose my sanity.” Yan Pinmin changed from her usual graciousness to apparent hysterical.