Chapter 68 – I want to leave with a smile

Inside the car, Circle sat in the passenger seat while I sat in the back. The three of us exchanged only a few words during the journey. After a long silence, Yan Yan finally said to me, "Zhao Yang, Circle told me about your resignation. He misunderstood you. There shouldn't be any transaction between you and Mi Cai. You told her about the power conspiracy in Zhuo Mei's upper management because you couldn't get past your own conscience, am I right?"


I remained silent for a long time. I didn't expect Yan Yan, an outsider, to give me an understanding explanation at the moment of my departure. She was right. I wanted to secure my career while helping Chen Jingming, but I couldn't get past my own conscience, which caused me to struggle for several days.


Seeing my silence, Yan Yan softly said, "Circle shouldn't have said that about you, but I hope you can understand him. You two shouldn't let this matter ruin your relationship. Neither of you is wrong, it's just a matter of different standpoints…"


Before Yan Yan could finish, I interrupted, "I do understand Circle. I just hope he doesn't see me as someone who forgets his principles for personal gain. Maybe I did make a mistake in this matter, but I don't regret it. Subconsciously, I believe I did the right thing, whether it was for Mi Cai or anyone else."


Yan Yan sighed, "I don't know what to say. It's a pity about the job… By the way, Circle has received his appointment notice. He is now the deputy manager of Bao Li's planning department, and Zhao Li has become the team leader of the planning and copywriting team. So, you don't need to worry about Circle."


This news made me both happy and disappointed. I was happy for Circle but disappointed for myself. However, I didn't let myself wallow in disappointment. I quickly asked Circle, "What about Chen Jingming? Has he made it to the upper management of the company?"


Circle shook his head, "No, he doesn't have any chance to become a core member of the company's upper management anymore."


I could hear the dissatisfaction and disappointment in Circle's voice. I had ruined Chen Jingming's hard-earned opportunity. I knew that after losing this chance, given his age, he would hardly have any opportunity to become a core member of the company's upper management.


The three of us fell silent again. It was Yan Yan who broke the silence. She asked me, "Zhao Yang, did you tell Mi Cai about this in person?"


I shook my head, "No, I just wrote her an anonymous letter."


"You're really silly. You should at least let Mi Cai know, so she owes you a big favor. Given her status in the business world, the favor she returns to you won't be small." Yan Yan sighed after finishing her sentence.


I just smiled and said, "If I had that mentality, wouldn't I really become the person Circle described?"


This time, Circle unexpectedly took over the conversation. He said in a low voice, "I'd rather you be that kind of person than see you return to Xu Zhou with a downcast face. Do you know how upset I am?… I'm pissed off that you ruined Chen Jingming's opportunity, but what I don't want even more… is to see you leave like this. It's suffocating, do you understand?"


Circle's words made my eyes well up with tears. At this moment, I realized that no matter how fiercely we argued or misunderstood each other, we were brothers at heart. We were real brothers who had struggled together in this city for a long time.


At this moment, I didn't know how to express myself. I just looked up, not wanting the tears swirling in my eyes to fall. Yan Yan, who was driving, had already taken out a tissue to wipe the tears from her cheeks.


As I looked back at the city, I realized that I hadn't been able to leave my pain behind as I had imagined. What I took with me was only a sense of grey injustice and unwillingness.


Circle sighed heavily and took out a box from his bag and threw it to me, "These are lung-cleansing capsules a friend sent from abroad. They worked well for me. Try them and smoke less in the future. When you run out, call me, and I'll have my friend send you more."


I just nodded and put the lung-cleansing capsules in my bag. Finally, in silence, we arrived at the train station, marking the moment of our farewell.


I took my luggage from Circle and Yan Yan, waved goodbye to them, "I'm leaving. Come visit me in Xu Zhou when you have time."


Yan Yan nodded and said, "We will miss you. Have a safe journey."


I smiled and asked Circle, who had been silent, "What about you? Aren't you going to wish me a safe journey?"


Instead, Circle suddenly hugged me, his voice choked with emotion, he patted my back heavily and said, "Say hello to Mr. Ban for me… and… don't just get by, settle down as soon as possible, don't make Yan Yan and me worry… understand?"At this moment, my emotions were deeply stirred. I gritted my teeth and swallowed back my tears. I remembered how we had vowed with such passion to settle down in this city after graduation. After years of struggle, Circle had truly settled down here and married the woman he loved. As for me, after more than two years of painful struggle, I could only leave with my body…


I looked up and took a deep breath, finally managing a smile. I said to Circle, "Don't worry, I'll get better. Maybe before long, you and Yan Yan will receive my wedding invitation."


"Keep going, on your wedding day, Yan Yan and I will definitely give you a big gift," Circle hugged me tightly and said.


Yan Yan also came to my side, pushed Circle away, and choked up as she hugged me, "Keep going, Zhao Yang, we will find time to visit you in Xuzhou! And when you have a girlfriend, you must let us meet her first, we'll help you check her out."


I was moved, but I pushed Yan Yan away, forcing a smile, "Stop playing the emotional card, you two. I, a man of seven feet, can hardly stand it! Don't make me cry, I don't want to cry, I want to leave with a smile."


Yan Yan laughed through her tears and slapped me lightly, "Alright, we'll let you leave with a smile. When we have a vacation, we'll visit you in Xuzhou."


"Please, this is the third time you've said you'll visit me! But if you do come, I'll definitely welcome you."


Yan Yan nodded, straightened my clothes that had been messed up from the hug, and said, "Call us when you get home."


"I know, if you keep nagging, I might start calling you mom…" I paused, then added, "You two should also live a good life, continue to be the fairy-tale couple that I envy… Alright, it's about time, I should go. You should go home too."


Circle held Yan Yan in his arms, and they waved at me. I looked back at the city one last time, slung my guitar over my shoulder, and walked towards the station without looking back. But the guitar on my back felt heavier and heavier!



A moment after saying goodbye to Circle and Yan Yan, I boarded the train to Xuzhou. As the scenery outside the window became more and more unfamiliar, I finally felt that I was really leaving. But what kind of life was waiting for me?


I hoped that Mr. Ban would arrange a stable job for me in their state-owned enterprise, and my mother would arrange for me to meet a beautiful girl. What I had to do was to do a good job in the work arranged by Mr. Ban, and then fall in love with the beautiful girl introduced by my mother… Life would be fresh and new, and the old past would be blown away by the wind!

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