Chapter 60 – Fork in life

Arriving at the Zhuomei Shopping Center, I entered a café called “Seaview Coffee”. I didn’t order anything because it was a pre-paid, sea-themed café with expensive drinks. So, naturally, I had to wait for Mi Cai to arrive.

After choosing an empty seat and texting the café’s name to Mi Cai, I picked up a fashion magazine to pass the time. Outside the floor-to-ceiling windows, the sky was gradually darkening. The various lights that were turning on blurred the city shrouded in autumn rain. I put down the magazine and listened to the sound of raindrops hitting the window, somewhat lost in thought…

Mi Cai walked into the café without me noticing. She sat down across from me and asked, looking at the empty table, “Why didn’t you order anything?”

“It’s pre-paid and too expensive. A pot of oolong tea costs more than 200. The owner of this place is a real rip-off!”

Mi Cai ignored my complaint, called over a waiter, and ordered a pot of oolong tea for me and a cappuccino for herself.

I tasted the 200-plus tea, but couldn’t discern any special flavor. This only confirmed my belief that the owner was a swindler, but I didn’t think it was because my consumption level was low.

After drinking a cup of tea, I looked at Mi Cai, who was stirring her coffee with a spoon, and asked, “You look a bit tired. Have you been working hard recently?”

“A bit,” Mi Cai replied, rubbing her temples subconsciously.

I raised an eyebrow and smiled, “You’re shooting yourself in the foot. What’s the point of going to such lengths to kick me out? If you’re tired, I can take care of your daily life. I promise to make you comfortable.”

Mi Cai frowned and said coldly, “Zhao Yang, don’t joke about this.”

“Your thinking is a bit off. When I say I can take care of you, it doesn’t necessarily mean as your boyfriend or husband. I could be your male nanny. I don’t mind being your male nanny!”

Mi Cai was speechless with anger. After a while, she muttered “boring” and ignored me, continuing to stir her coffee, but her expression was thoughtful.

In a short while, I finished the pot of oolong tea. Feeling hungry, I called the waiter over and ordered a pasta salad. I also kindly ordered a tiramisu for Mi Cai. Of course, she was the one who paid.

I didn’t mind taking advantage of a woman. She was much richer than me. Spending her money was just a way to narrow the wealth gap, reconcile the main contradictions in society, and build a harmonious society.

I quickly finished the pasta salad and took out a scarf from my backpack, which was packed in a bag, and handed it to Mi Cai.

Mi Cai took the scarf and glanced at my Reebok backpack. She couldn’t help but smile.

I said discontentedly, “What’s so funny? This is just my entertainment spirit. Reebok also has women’s backpacks. Do you dare to use them?”

Mi Cai shook her head to indicate that she didn’t dare. She took the scarf out of the bag and looked at it. She seemed to like it very much and said to me, “It’s pretty!”

“Of course, the best thing my mother has ever done in her life is knitting!”

Mi Cai nodded, then put the scarf in her handbag. She didn’t rush to leave. Her expression was more relaxed than before. She rested her chin on her hand and looked at the world outside the floor-to-ceiling window, which was wet from the rain but illuminated by neon lights.

I also didn’t want to leave. I looked out the window with Mi Cai, turning each neon light into a piece of prosperous world, and then contrasting myself with the bleakness.

Around 9 p.m., Mi Cai and I said goodbye in the café. She drove off into the city’s lights towards the old house, while I walked to my newly rented apartment, dodging falling leaves in the autumn rain.

After a night, the sky was no longer gloomy. It was a sunny morning. Although I had been awake all night listening to the rain, I still got up early in the morning.

The morning after a rainy night, the sun seemed to carry a hint of chill. The wind was blowing the fallen leaves on the ground. I bought a bag of soy milk and a few steamed dumplings from the breakfast shop downstairs and ate as I walked.

After throwing the empty bag into the trash can, I looked up and realized that there were so many people hurrying by. I seemed to have become still, disconnected from the city.

Enduring the cold wind, I stood alone for a long time. Finally, I took out the letter I was about to give to Chen Jingming from my pocket. The helplessness of standing at a crossroads in life once again filled my heart.

I had completed the promotion plan yesterday. Regardless of the final execution result, I had done my best on this plan. It could be considered my last explanation to Chen Jingming.

When I arrived at the company, it was almost nine o’clock. As usual, after clocking in, I came to the office where I had worked for nearly three years. Sitting at my desk, which bore my mark, my mind was blank. I was just waiting for Chen Jingming to come to the company, and then find an appropriate time to hand in my resignation.

A little while later, Circle also arrived at the company. He put down his briefcase, looking radiant and in a good mood. But his appearance filled me with guilt. However, there was nothing I could do. Whether I should or shouldn’t have done what I did, I had done it. To Circle and Chen Jingming, all I could say was sorry.

Circle invited me to make coffee in the break room. I nodded, picked up my cup, and followed him.

We each made a cup of coffee and found a corner to chat.Circle placed the coffee cup on the windowsill and patted my shoulder, his voice low but excited, “Zhao Yang, I have reliable news. After this promotion event, we will receive our appointment notices. I will be the deputy manager of the planning department, and you will take my place as the leader of the planning copywriting team!” He paused, looking at the sunlight flickering on the blinds, and sighed, “We’ve been struggling in this city for two years, and finally we have a foothold… Life will definitely get better and better, right, Zhao Yang?”

A wave of sadness surged in my heart, and I didn’t know how to respond. After a while, I forced a bitter smile and said, “Perhaps.”

“Why are you so calm? Aren’t you excited at all?”

“I’m just indifferent to fame and fortune, which only highlights how worldly you are!” I joked bitterly with Circle. In fact, I was not indifferent to fame and fortune. If I could really become the leader of the planning copywriting team, I would definitely be excited. But now, I was already prepared to hand in my resignation to Chen Jingming, so there was no point in talking about excitement.

In the midst of our conversation, Chen Jingming’s female assistant found Circle and me, saying that Chen Jingming wanted us to go to his office.

Circle said he would go right away, but I had a bad feeling. Perhaps Mi Cai had already used these few days to dismantle Mi Zhongde’s plot, and as a chain reaction, Chen Jingming’s plan might have fallen through.


Circle and I immediately went to Chen Jingming’s office. Chen Jingming, sitting in his office chair, unusually lit a cigarette for himself, his face looking very unpleasant.

Circle was puzzled, but I already understood, knowing what was going to happen next.

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