Chapter 236: Am I Late?
At this point, Cheng Xi decided to just hand the phone over to Lu Chenzhou with the words, “You tell her.” Then, she turned the speakerphone mode off as she passed it over.
Her decision was wise, because even after she disabled speakerphone mode, she could still hear her mother’s loud, high-pitched voice from faraway. “If you’re only getting ready to have a baby, then what’s the rush?! Do you think that we would gobble you up if you got the marriage license over here?! Why didn’t you even mention this to us?!”
Oh, she was truly infuriated now.
Lu Chenzhou warily held the phone at a fair distance from his ears. He actually didn’t feel put on the spot at all; instead, he patiently explained to Cheng Xi’s mother, “I”m sorry. I only learned of this when Cheng Xi brought me to the civil administration bureau.”
Cheng Xi’s mother’s shock was palpable even through the phone. !!!!
Cheng Xi thought to herself, My goodness, are you pushing all the blame onto your wife?!
Later on that night, she received a call from her mother, which was another scolding. “Why did you force him to get married with you out of nowhere? Are you that worried that you won’t be able to find a husband?”
Cheng Xi honestly and obediently replied, “That’s right. Haven’t you and Father been quite worried that I wouldn’t be able to find a husband due to my age? So when I found someone that I liked, of course I would try to get married with him right away.”
Her mother was actually momentarily at a loss for words.
Then, after Cheng Xi clarified what had happened to her family, she took a selfie of her holding hands with Lu Chenzhou, and then posted it on her feed with the caption: I’m married.
This was her official marriage announcement to her friends and relatives.
Once the news spread, messages started flooding into her phone, which soon enough became a non-stop beeping machine. Cheng Xi ignored all the notifications, as she went right back to work after they received their marriage license. And since she still had to host a dinner later that night, she instructed Lu Chenzhou, “Go find a hotel and then book two tables’ worth of food of whatever you’d like to eat.” Then, she even joked, “After all, I’m the one who’s marrying you.”
Lu Chenzhou nodded and left as Cheng Xi returned to work. At noon, she returned home to prepare Chen Jiaman’s lunch as usual. Lu Chenzhou was unexpectedly not home, so she called him and asked where he was. His response was even more succinct; after saying, “I’m busy,” he hung up.
He didn’t even give her any time to ask if he had made all the preparations for the banquet. Cheng Xi held her phone as she muttered, “Gosh, things have changed so much after we got married! He’s so much colder to me now.” When she raised her head, she saw that Chen Jiaman was looking at her. Cheng Xi smiled at the sight and gently said, “Little bunny, let me tell you something. I just got married today. And tonight, I’m going to have some friends over for dinner. Will you accompany me?”
Chen Jiaman looked at her with a dazed expression.
“This is a very important event of my life, and I’d love it if you could be there to share it with me.”
Cheng Xi didn’t overly emphasize the event, and neither did she try to force Chen Jiaman to accept Lu Chenzhou. Something as nebulous as trust required hard work and time to forge; it was impossible and counterproductive to rush it.
Instead, she just told Chen Jiaman that she was nervous, and so wanted her company. Cheng Xi’s attitude gave Chen Jiaman an unexpected burst of happiness: it turned out that even her mama bunny, who seemed capable of doing anything and everything, could get nervous as well.
Cheng Xi even took out two pairs of bunny ears and said, “Why don’t we wear these tonight?”
The fluffy little rabbit ears were very cute on her head. Chen Jiaman squeezed them and shyly agreed. “Alright.”
Her voice was very soft, but she did accept. Cheng Xi let out a pent up breath at succeeding.
After lunch, Chen Jiaman went to rest in her room, and Cheng Xi returned to the hospital. During the ride to work, Cheng Xi spent her time replying to the flood of unread messages and missed calls. Because there were just too many messages, however, Cheng Xi had no choice but to turn her phone off when she got back to work. When she finally remembered that she needed to check up on Lu Chenzhou regarding the banquet, it was already late in the afternoon.
Cheng Xi hurriedly walked out of the ward and into a nearby hallway to make the call. Just then, she saw Ceng Xing come in from the outside. He had spent the day working on liaison affairs and only just now returned to the hospital. He stopped in front of her as he asked, “Did you really get married?”
Ceng Xing looked suspiciously at her. “I’m this close to concluding that you’re just drawn in by his money.”
Cheng Xi smiled. “Yes, that’s right. He made the money himself, and I won’t argue that it’s a part of his charm.”
Ceng Xing shot a supercilious gaze at her before leaving.
Even though he disapproved of Lu Chenzhou, he still went over to her place with the department head later that night.
After calling Lu Chenzhou, Cheng Xi was reminded of his pickiness for food, and so she left work a bit earlier than usual to buy some groceries so that she could make dessert. She expected everything to have been prepared when she got home, but when she arrived, she found that nothing had changed besides the fact that Chen Jiaman had finally finished her first piece of art while in Gansu.
Lu Chenzhou wasn’t at home, and when she called him, he only responded with, “Don’t worry.”
“The guests are almost here.”
Cheng Xi took a deep breath to calm herself, choosing to believe him. She put it out of her mind, washed up with Chen Jiaman, and then made snacks with her. Cheng Xi wasn’t very good at baking, and she only knew the basics: slice some fruit and then mix it with vegetables to make a salad, fry some eggs for a savory snack, and bake unleavened dough for a basic flatbread.
Their bread was strange, and it came out in all sorts of shapes and sizes—because Chen Jiaman had kneaded the dough. As the two of them laughed at the unusually shaped bread that they’d made, the department head and her other colleagues arrived.
When they first walked in, everyone was shocked by the size of the place. Then, they saw that Cheng Xi and Chen Jiaman were the only ones around, which prompted them to ask, “Where’s the groom? How can he be absent right now?” The department head then pointed at the large pack of beer that two men were carrying behind her. “After he plucked one of the prettiest flowers of our hospital, everyone rolled up their sleeves and readied themselves to have a go at him.”
“He’s out doing something. He’ll be back soon.”
Cheng Xi waved everyone in and asked them to try her fruit salad and freshly baked bread, which everyone laughed at. A young man noticed Chen Jiaman and “secretly” asked, “Who’s the girl by Dr. Cheng’s side?”
The aforementioned girl was Chen Jiaman. When everyone arrived, she ran to Cheng Xi and grabbed her arm. Now, she was looking at the crowd with an expression of abject fear.
When Cheng Xi heard the young man’s words, she held onto Chen Jiaman’s hand tightly as she said, “Alright, since everyone’s here, then it’s time to make some introductions. This is my daughter, a little bunny.”
Ceng Xing massaged his forehead at the incoming uproar. The department head had an excited expression on her face as the rest of the crowd’s jaws dropped in unison.
The young man who’d asked the question was so scared that he even started stammering. “R-R-Really? She’s your daughter? My goodness, Dr. Cheng! You’re not even thirty yet, are you?”
He actually believed her. Cheng Xi couldn’t help but burst out into laughter, and even Chen Jiaman smiled shyly, her back somewhat straightening.
The young man was an exuberant fellow, and when Cheng Xi didn’t explain herself, he didn’t give up and instead turned to ask Chen Jiaman, “Is Dr. Cheng really your mother?”
Chen Jiaman was so scared that she tried to hide behind Cheng Xi. The young man hesitated for a moment. Cheng Xi pretended not to notice Chen Jiaman’s abnormal reaction as she gently told her, “Don’t worry. Tell him that you’re not. If he dares to bully you, then I’ll beat him up.” Then, her tone took on a fierce edge as she continued to say, “In the future, if anyone else dares to bully you, then just tell me and I’ll beat them all up.”
Everyone quieted down almost immediately as they focused on Chen Jiaman. At this point, even if she didn’t say anything, they had all noticed her abnormality.
Luckily, Chen Jiaman didn’t let Cheng Xi down. Under everyone’s watchful gaze, she eventually drummed up the courage to say, “I’m my mother’s daughter. Forever and ever.”
Cheng Xi began to laugh, and everyone relaxed imperceptibly. After Chen Jiaman took this first step, she would slowly find that interacting with others wasn’t as difficult as she thought it was.
The lights outside turned on almost right after Chen Jiaman finished speaking, causing the whole river to light up.
Chen Jiaman was facing the big pane of glass in the living room, so she was the first to discover all the lamps turning on. As they lit up one by one, she was so shocked that she opened her mouth wide and said in awe, “The stars have fallen into the river.”
Everyone laughed at her words, but they soon also felt that something amiss and turned around. Bath in the resplendent lamplight, they saw fireworks light up the dark blue sky.
Bursts of fireworks blossomed in the sky like vibrant and incomparably magnificent flowers. The lights along the river were equally dazzling, and the combination of the light displays drew everyone’s attention.
Everyone was dumbstruck by the marvelous scene. Only after a while did someone run outside, shortly followed by everyone else.
“What’s going on?”
“What’s the matter?”
Cheng Xi already had a guess in her heart. She followed behind them, holding Chen Jiaman’s hands as she walked out. But even though she had already guessed it, when she actually saw the familiar shadows standing in her backyard, she still couldn’t help herself from letting out a deep breath of shock.
Tian Rou, Baldy, Shen Wei, Cheng Yang, and her parents…… Her closest friends and family were all smiling under the lamps, waiting for her.
“There was a traffic jam, so we were slightly delayed.” The man who had orchestrated everything wiped the sweat off his forehead, walked up to her, and then seriously asked, “Am I late?”