When I'm Not Here Anymore
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QOTD (by Crywolf641):
"I’ve once lost you, I can’t afford to lose you the second time. Even if it’s merely a possibility, I still won’t allow it to happen..." -Yang Chen
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Yang Chen tidied up his emotions and came downstairs. Nothing unusual could be seen on his face.
Hui Lin who came back together with Lin Ruoxi was watching television on the sofa. The television was playing a music event, which Yang Chen knew none of the people shown. Hui Lin was quite serious when it came to music and dancing.
“It sure seems like the future’s hottest singer is emerging from our house,” Yang Chen said with a smile.
Hui Lin blushed slightly. “Our… our house?”
Yang Chen felt that it was entertaining to look at Hui Lin’s embarrassed look. “We’ve lived together before after all. You won’t deny me as your cousin after becoming a singer, will you?”
“Why would I do that…” Hui Lin got really shy after being asked the question.
Yang Chen looked behind and noticed that Wang Ma was still busy in the kitchen. He seemed to have come home early today, and caused Wang Ma to rush her dinner preparation slightly.
Yang Chen sighed lightly. Soon, this house may really return to the days where only Wang Ma and Ruoxi lived together.
As he thought, he walked into the kitchen and approached Wang Ma. “Wang Ma, do you need my help?”
Wang Ma smiled delightfully. “Young Master, you may watch television together with Miss Hui Lin. I can handle this, the meal will be ready in half an hour.”
“It’s still better for me to help you, I don’t always get to do this,” Yang Chen said and walked to the chopping board before grabbing a skinned potato and a knife. He asked, “Are you making potato floss?”
Wang Ma saw that Yang Chen was prepared to start working, so she didn’t stop him. Nodding, she said, “It’s also fine if you simply cut them. We’re all a family, we wouldn’t mind the shape too much.”
Yang Chen hummed in acknowledgement and raised the knife before drawing precise arcs on the round potatoes. Using a speed that couldn’t be analyzed by naked eyes, he turned the whole potato into a pile of potato floss which was ready to be stir fried in the blink of an eye.
Wang Ma was surprised. She praised, “No wonder Miss told me that Young Master learned martial arts. Your knife skills are exceptional, like the chefs shown on the television.”
“This little trick is all I know,” Yang Chen said. It was a little trick indeed. To avoid frightening Wang Ma, he could cut things like that in an unimaginable speed.
Yang Chen continued chopping other cooking ingredients as he chatted with Wang Ma. Under Yang Chen’s knife, the various vegetables and meats appeared particularly obedient.
Wang Ma was meticulously marinating a plate of chicken wings, perhaps to prepare them to be deep fried later.
Yang Chen felt warmth in his heart as he looked at Wang Ma cook carefully. He had lived in this house for almost six months and eaten countless dishes made by Wang Ma. Will I get unaccustomed if I suddenly leave a few months later?
“Wang Ma, the dishes you make are really tasty,” Yang Chen said.
Wang Ma smiled cheerfully. Although there were crow's feet at the corner of her eyes, she appeared extraordinary loving. “Everyone who cooks loves to listen to stuff like that.”
Yang Chen nodded in agreement. Softly, he murmured, “Wang Ma, if one day I’m not in this house anymore, just if, I hope you don’t get too upset.”
Wang Ma stunned and stopped what she was doing. “Young Master, why did you suddenly say that?”
“I’m just wondering how this house would look like if I went to a place where nobody can find me. I guess it’d look like the days where I wasn’t here yet,” Yang Chen said.
“Eh, that isn’t something great to think about,” Wang Ma complained.
Yang Chen smiled faintly. “Wang Ma, let’s say the day actually came, you really have to look after the foolish woman who knows nothing other than work. Don’t allow her to stay up late at night or skip dinner because of work. Also, if she’s feeling unwell, get her checked at the hospital immediately. Don’t let the previous incident happen again where she only went for a check up after fainting. The human body cannot be put at this much stress.
“Oh yeah, if she’s unhappy or throwing a tantrum, you may get glutinous rice balls from the shop at First Wen Street. As long as the stuff gets into Ruoxi’s hands, she’ll basically forget every troublesome matter. As she doesn't like to drink medicine, you can get her that as well.
“The woman doesn’t show it, but she’s actually afraid of getting fat so she doesn’t dare to buy it herself. Wang Ma, get her them as often as you can, it’s difficult for her to get fat considering her workload.
“Also, if she doesn’t come home at night, deliver a warm lunch box to her at her office. She’s actually lying to you every time she says she’s eating outside. If she’s not willing to eat, tear up in front of her and lament about your feelings, she’ll definitely eat this way. Ruoxi is actually very soft-hearted, she can’t look at people get sad…”
Wang Ma’s hands were stunned at their original position as she lightly opened her mouth, looking at Yang Chen as she couldn’t speak.
Yang Chen noticed that he said a lot of weird stuff. Smiling awkwardly, he said, “Wang Ma, it’s just a casual chat, don’t take it too seriously.”
“Oh… oh, luckily that’s the case.” Wang Ma finally relieved herself. She didn’t know how to react. “Young Master, the words you said chopped my heart up like dumpling stuffing. Why are you acting like the people in TV series? My eyes are now watery even at such an old age. Young Master, you can only talk about it as an if. If you really ain’t here anymore, the two of us will live a really sad life.”
“Why would that be the case? If I’m not here anymore, you guys can still live comfortably since Ruoxi’s money can be stacked to form the Great Wall of China,” Yang Chen said.
Wang Ma sighed. “Things like money don’t come with you when you’re born, and they don’t go with you when you’re dead. It’s great to just have enough money to spend. Having more of it is not only a burden, but a responsibility as well. The poor isn’t necessarily unhappy while the life of the rich isn’t necessarily meaningful. At the end of the day, a family living together peacefully is the best.”
After Wang Ma finished speaking, she poured oil into the pan and continued her cooking.
Yang Chen cut the last green pepper and arranged the different kinds of vegetable before silently walking out of the kitchen.
On the sofa, when Hui Lin noticed that Yang Chen came out, he hurriedly turned her head in front and acted like she’d been watching the television.
Yang Chen smiled secretly. Hui Lin was brought up by Abbess Yun Miao after all, she could definitely cultivate internal energy to some degree. She must’ve heard the conversation in the kitchen.
Yang Chen didn’t expose her. Sitting on another sofa, he started reading the newspaper.
Hui Lin saw that Yang Chen didn’t say anything. She couldn’t help but to ask, “Brother Yang… do you really want to divorce my elder sister?”
“Didn’t you listen everything earlier?” Yang Chen asked.
Hui Lin pouted. “I feel that… you don’t actually want the divorce to happen, am I right?”
Yang Chen put down the newspaper and gazed at Hui Lin for a while. Solemnly, he said, “Hui Lin, can you promise me something?”
Hui Lin nodded. “Please say, Brother Yang.”
“If I left this house some day, can you still live together with your elder sister? At least don’t leave her like me, always keep her company,” Yang Chen said seriously.
Hui Lin was rather confused. She didn’t know what Yang Chen meant.
“Although your sister looks dignified, even she herself doesn’t know that she’s actually very pitiful. A lot of things are much more brutal than the ones she’s seen.” Melancholy could be seen in Yang Chen’s eyes. He continued speaking, “I can tell that she’s actual suspecting your identity. You need to know that you two are blood-related sisters, there’s actually a lot in common between you. However, she never asked further questions but treats you sincerely instead. That proves she actually likes this younger sister of hers. So, I hope that you can spend more time with her. You learn martial arts and have a personality which suits her temper, I guess there isn’t a better choice than you.”
Hui Lin lowered her heart as she felt rather sour at heart. “Brother Yang, I used to think you didn’t look like a good guy, so… so I was rather afraid of you. But now I feel that you’re actually a very good person. If you leave my elder sister, I’ll get sad about it as well.”
“Stupid Kid, your life continues whether I’m here or not. Planet Earth spins no matter who leaves. Even if I leave, your elder sister can still live very well,” Yang Chen said with a smile.
Hui Lin nodded. “I understand, I’ll keep this promise.”
After a short while, Wang Ma finished preparing the meal. Yang Chen and Hui Lin helped her carry the dishes out while Wang Ma went upstairs to call Lin Ruoxi down to eat.
However, after a while, Wang Ma came down feeling rather helpless. She said, “I don’t know what Miss is busy with again. She asked me to send the food upstairs for her. She’s always been this worrying.”
Yang Chen said, “It’s fine, Wang Ma will have to work hard for a bit and send some food upstairs.”
“Sigh.” Wang Ma was very used to doing this. She quickly got some food and sent it upstair for Lin Ruoxi.
After the meal, Yang Chen wore an overcoat and grabbed the car keys. He said to Hui Lin and Wang Ma, “I’ll go out to meet someone, you guys don’t have to wait for me as I may come back rather late tonight.” As soon as he finished speaking, he went out and entered his car before driving away into the night.