Chapter 79 – Respectively

When I got home, it was already 11 o’clock at night. I thought Mr. Ban and my mother had already gone to bed, but to my surprise, they were both sitting in the living room watching TV.

I closed the door, took off my shoes from the shoe rack and was about to put on my slippers when my mother turned down the volume of the TV and asked me, “Zhao Yang, did you have dinner with that girl tonight?”

“Yes, I took her to have hot pot.” I quickly added, fearing they would ask more, “She’s going back to Suzhou tomorrow.”

My mother nodded and didn’t ask any more questions, focusing back on the TV drama.

Before I could breathe a sigh of relief, Mr. Ban suddenly asked, “Did she come to ask you to go back to work in Suzhou?”

“Something like that,” I gave Mr. Ban a vague answer.

“How did you lose your job in Suzhou? Why did she say your job loss had something to do with her?”

“Mr. Ban, I don’t plan to go back to work in Suzhou either. It doesn’t make much sense for you to keep asking, does it?”

Mr. Ban said sternly, “You can stay in Xuzhou, but find a job on your own. Don’t expect me to arrange it for you.”

I said helplessly, “Haven’t I been looking for a job on my own recently? Don’t worry, I won’t trouble you with my job.”

Mr. Ban didn’t pay any more attention to me and focused on the TV drama.

Back in my room, I leaned on my bed, lit a cigarette, and couldn’t help but think about the pressing issue of finding a job. If possible, I would like to work in a department store, but there are only a few department stores in Xuzhou, and they don’t have a strong demand for staff. It’s probably not easy to find a job like my previous one. If all else fails, I might have to lower my expectations and look for some low-paying planning jobs.

In my despair of not seeing a future, I thought of Mi Cai. Admittedly, going back to Suzhou with her seems like a good choice for now, but that city really tires me out. I have almost no anticipation left, and I don’t want to go back and walk the same path I’ve walked before.

Sometimes people are like this. Before I decided to leave Suzhou, I had regrets and nostalgia. But once I made leaving a reality, those feelings gradually faded. And that’s the main reason why I refuse to go back to Suzhou.

The next day, as agreed with Mi Cai, I arrived at her hotel before 7 o’clock, and we said goodbye in the morning sun.

I handed a box to Mi Cai and said, “This is a specialty of Xuzhou, a kind of candy for kids. You can chew on it when you’re bored at night, it won’t make you fat.”

Mi Cai took the box from me, looked at it, and then smiled and said, “Thank you.”

“Drive slowly on the road. If you’re tired, stop at a service station and take a nap.” I was a bit worried about Mi Cai driving long distances alone, so I reminded her.

“I know.”


Mi Cai looked at me, waiting for me to continue.

“Come visit Xuzhou again when you have time.”

Mi Cai looked a bit disappointed, but she still smiled and nodded. Then she said to me, “I will. If I have the chance, I hope to come here for hot pot again.”

“Okay, then goodbye, take care.”

“Take care!”

After saying that, Mi Cai walked towards her car. I finally remembered what I wanted to say and shouted at her back, “Mi Cai, be careful of your uncle Mi Zhongde. He won’t give up easily.”

Mi Cai stopped in her tracks but didn’t turn around. She nodded and then drove out of the hotel parking lot without any further delay.

Watching her car gradually disappear into the traffic, I felt a strange sense of loss. I didn’t want to dwell on this feeling too much, so I sighed lightly, opened the car door, got in, and drove in the opposite direction to Mi Cai.

Throughout the day, I applied to several companies. Some were satisfactory, some were not. As for the final interview results, I would have to wait for their notifications.

In the evening, I found the phone number of my first blind date, Li Xiaoyun, and dialed it.

After a moment, the call was answered. I got straight to the point and said to Li Xiaoyun, “Are you free tonight? I’d like to invite you to dinner properly, and also return the money I borrowed from you last time.”

“I’ll be off work soon. Where do you plan to eat?” Li Xiaoyun didn’t refuse.

“You choose the place, whatever you like.”

Li Xiaoyun thought for a moment and said, “Let’s have Japanese cuisine. A new Japanese restaurant has just opened on Fashion Avenue. I heard it’s good.”

“Sounds good. Which advertising company do you work for? I’ll come pick you up.”

“No need. I drove today. We can just meet at the restaurant.”


I arrived first at the newly opened restaurant on Fashion Avenue. After reserving a table, I waited outside for Li Xiaoyun. About fifteen minutes later, a red Ford hatchback stopped in front of me. Li Xiaoyun got out of the car, waved at me, and asked, “Have you been waiting long?”

“Just a little while. I’ve already reserved a table. Let’s go in.”Li Xiaoyun nodded and followed me into the restaurant.

In the small private room for two, Li Xiaoyun and I sat across from each other. The food we ordered was served shortly. In reality, I wasn’t particularly fond of this cuisine, but since Li Xiaoyun requested it, I maintained my gentlemanly demeanor and indulged her.

As we ate and chatted, Li Xiaoyun suddenly asked me, “Zhao Yang, did you know that our mothers were sitting behind us when we were having lunch at the coffee shop that day?”

“Of course, I knew. Otherwise, how could I have paid you back so quickly? My mom scolded me quite a bit, but still gave me some pocket money out of her love for me,” I replied with a laugh.

Li Xiaoyun chuckled and said, “Do you know what my mom thinks of you?”

“I’m sure it’s not anything positive.”

Li Xiaoyun burst into laughter and said, “My mom said it was an eye-opener for her. It was the first time she saw someone borrowing money from a girl during a blind date.”

I sighed and said, “Ah! Your mom has completely dismissed me. It seems our marriage is not meant to be. But I can’t blame your mom, it’s my own fault for being so unconventional.”

“Don’t be so pessimistic…”

I laughed and asked, “So you’re saying there’s still a chance for us?”

“Uh… That’s not what I meant.”

“Then you don’t need to comfort me. Let’s just enjoy our dinner tonight.”

Li Xiaoyun nodded and said, “Let’s not talk about this anymore. By the way, are you looking for a job recently?”

“Yes, I’ve been troubled by this for over a week now.”

Li Xiaoyun asked with some surprise, “I heard you graduated from Suzhou University, a pretty good school. And your dad is a section chief in a state-owned enterprise. With your qualifications, it shouldn’t be hard for you to get a job in his company, right?”

“Don’t mention it, I was adopted!” I said, somewhat frustrated.

Li Xiaoyun laughed and didn’t dwell on the topic. She asked, “You used to work in planning, right?”

“Why, are you planning to introduce a job to me?”

Li Xiaoyun nodded and said, “You could say that. Our advertising company’s planning department is currently recruiting commercial planners. With your experience in planning for large department stores, you should be able to handle the planning work in an advertising company, right?”

“There shouldn’t be a problem. The nature of the work is quite similar, I should be able to get the hang of it quickly.” I said confidently.

“Great, send me your resume later. I’ll pass it to our planning director tomorrow. If he thinks it’s okay, he’ll arrange an interview.” Li Xiaoyun said.

“Alright, thanks for your help.”

“Why so formal? Our families and Aunt Zhang (the aunt who introduced me and Li Xiaoyun for the blind date) are all quite close. Consider it a favor among friends. By the way, I have a good relationship with Director Zhou from our planning department. There shouldn’t be a problem with the job.” Li Xiaoyun said with a smile.

“Then I won’t thank you now. Once I secure the job, I’ll treat you to a meal.”

“Actually, I’d prefer if you invited me to dinner after you’ve achieved something in your work. The meal might taste even better then.”



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