Chapter 72 – Unexpected encounter

After I suggested that Li Xiaoyun should treat us, she looked at me with a wry smile and finally said, “Alright, I’ll pay.”

I breathed a sigh of relief. My thick skin had saved me from an awkward situation. I thought for a moment and then said to Li Xiaoyun, “Don’t go home and tell your parents that I couldn’t afford to treat you to a meal. If this gets to my parents, it won’t look good!”

“Don’t worry, I won’t say anything. It’s just like treating a friend to a meal!” Li Xiaoyun replied cheerfully.

I gave Li Xiaoyun a thumbs up and said, “You’re very understanding, I appreciate that.”

“Sigh! It’s not that I’m understanding, it’s just that there’s no other way! We came out for a blind date, and if you can’t pay, then it’s obviously up to me!” Li Xiaoyun laughed and sighed.

Her words made me feel a bit embarrassed, and I awkwardly said, “I heard that on the road of blind dating, you’re bound to meet one or two oddballs. I guess you’ve met one in me?”

“If we’re talking about oddballs, you definitely take the cake.”

I glanced at Li Xiaoyun’s wallet on the table and then said something even more outrageous, “Since we know each other well, why don’t you do me a favor? I’m really short on cash right now. Could you lend me some? Once I find a job and get my salary, I’ll pay you back. It won’t take long, at most two months.”

“How much?”


Li Xiaoyun immediately took out 1000 yuan in cash from her wallet and handed it to me. I said “Thank you” and shamelessly accepted it.

About half an hour later, Li Xiaoyun and I finished our dinner. In the end, I used the 1000 yuan I borrowed from her to pay the bill. Of course, this was still a decent outcome. It could be considered that I treated her to a meal, because I would definitely pay back the 1000 yuan I borrowed.

In the evening, Li Xiaoyun and I stood at the entrance of the coffee shop. I asked her, “How did you get here?”

“By taxi.”

“Then let me take you home.”

Li Xiaoyun shook her head and said, “No need, my house is not far from here, it’s very convenient to take a taxi.”

I didn’t insist, because I understood that if a woman refuses a man’s offer to take her home, it means she is not satisfied with this blind date.

I could certainly understand Li Xiaoyun. It would be strange if she was satisfied. After all, she was at the age when a woman should be married, and she had to consider the man’s financial foundation more.

Although I understood, I still felt a bit disappointed. Pure love is becoming increasingly rare in this era where everything needs to be proven by money, and it’s even extinct.

After a moment of silence, I said to Li Xiaoyun, “Then leave me your phone number, so I can contact you when I pay you back.”

Li Xiaoyun nodded and gave me her number. I wrote it down and smiled at Li Xiaoyun, “I hope this blind date experience didn’t leave a bad impression on you.”

“Not at all, I think you’re quite interesting. At least we didn’t feel bored when we were together.”

I joked, “Sigh! Hearing you say that, I feel even more guilty. It seems that besides being able to make jokes, I don’t have any other redeeming qualities.”

“Everyone has their own strengths, it just takes time to discover them. But you really need to work hard. Of all the blind dates I’ve had, you’re the only one…” Li Xiaoyun suddenly stopped, realizing something.

I understood what she meant. She must have wanted to say that I was the only one, at the age of 26, who still had no savings and no job.

After the blind date, I drove Mr. Ban’s nearly scrapped Santana 2000 to the river opposite Xuanwu Market. I sat alone on the grass by the river, smoking a cigarette with a heavy heart. This depression stemmed from my inability to sort out my own life.

The water in the moat flowed eastward under the night sky with the autumn wind. I stared blankly at it, gradually feeling like an outsider in this city. The lights of thousands of homes here had nothing to do with me.

I thought of Circle and Yan Yan, and then of Jian Wei and Xiang Chen. These four people made up almost all of my memories from college. Perhaps they were all doing well at this moment.

I lay on the grass, looking at the starry sky with a somewhat silly expression, and suddenly felt empty.

“Zhao Yang, why are you sitting here alone after the blind date instead of going home?” My mother’s voice suddenly sounded behind me.

I was startled and sat up from the grass, staring blankly for a moment before asking, “Mom, how did you follow me here?”

“I followed you into the coffee shop. I’ve been sitting at the table behind you with Xiaoyun’s mother.”

My mother’s words made my heart pound. If she had been sitting behind us all this time, then she must have heard my conversation with Li Xiaoyun!

I asked, “Didn’t you say you wanted us to be alone? Why did you follow us?”

Ignoring my question, my mother looked at me sternly and said, “You unreliable son, who borrows money from a girl during a blind date?”

“Mom, I really don’t have any money!” I sighed weakly.

My mother sat down next to me. Instead of getting angry, she softened her tone and asked, “Tell me, how have you been living in Suzhou all these years?”

After a long time, I answered, “Just living irresponsibly… Mom, I’m really not a good son. I’ve been worrying you and Mr. Ban all these years!”

“People make mistakes when they’re young. It’s okay as long as you correct them. There’s still a long way to go.”

“Mm.” I nodded heavily.

My mother hugged me and smiled, “I’ll try to persuade your father to arrange a job for you. From now on, you can stay with us.”

“If Mr. Ban really doesn’t want to, then forget it. I’ll find a job myself. Correcting my mistakes starts with finding a job.”

“He’s just old-fashioned. If he doesn’t help his own son, who will he help?”I was speechless, in fact, I was also confused: asking Mr. Ban to help me find a job, was it right or wrong?

After a while, I finally said, “Mom, you go back first, I want to be alone for a while.”

“Alright, but before I leave, I have to ask you something.”

“Go ahead.”

“What do you think of Xiao Yun? Do you want to continue dating her?”

I thought for a moment and said, “Let’s talk about dating later, everything is unstable now.”

“Just one blind date and you’re already chickening out?”

I wiped my face and lay back on the grass without saying a word. I admit I was a bit cowardly, but it wasn’t because of the blind date itself, but my own situation.

I realized: leaving Suzhou, although I temporarily said goodbye to the pain, I was even more at a loss, at a loss for my future.


That night, I stayed by the river alone for a long time, and thought a lot, but I didn’t come up with any ideas, and whether the future is good or bad is not something that can be decided just by thinking.

I didn’t want to go home, still driving around in Xuzhou, the city where my life began, looking at the towering buildings outside the car window, I suddenly remembered, I once had ambitions, I wanted to be an outstanding entrepreneur, not only to realize my own value, but also to help more people realize their self-worth.

I don’t know when I forgot this great wish, started learning guitar, and from then on, I played the guitar and sang all kinds of songs, but I couldn’t sing a complete love song, so I was even less willing to think about that wish of becoming an entrepreneur!

People either succeed, are content with the status quo, or degenerate. My bad luck, in the end, I just degenerated like this, but I often can’t remember how I degenerated and when I started to degenerate!

When degeneration becomes a habit, you gradually don’t feel ashamed. So I went to the game arcade again, bought a small basket of game coins, and started playing a fighting game with a kid who looked like a middle school student.

I was smoking a cigarette and controlling the character Iori Yagami in the game, after a light kick, I followed with a heavy hand, then a three-move combo, and finally a Maiden Masher, instantly KO’ing the character controlled by the kid.

The kid looked at me with a red face and didn’t dare to speak, which made me feel an invincible loneliness in my heart, and then I laughed at myself, I had actually degenerated to the point of seeking a sense of existence in a game.

I threw a game coin to the kid, indicating him to continue. The kid turned his sorrow into joy, put the game coin into the game machine, and the two of us started fighting again. Amid the kid’s screams, I slapped the game machine, making a “pop pop” sound.

“Zhao Yang, you’re pretty good at this game!” A woman’s voice sounded behind me.

I was fully focused on the game and didn’t pay attention at first. Suddenly I realized: how could anyone in the game arcade know my name? I turned my head abruptly and found Mi Cai standing behind me.

I stared at Mi Cai like an idiot, thinking I was dreaming, and thinking I was still in Suzhou, while the kid took the opportunity to unleash a big move, killing my character in the game!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *