Please Be More Serious 53 & 54

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Chapter 53 - Let's take a long walk...

F
inally, Yin Ting was carried away because the bride personally came and made her come out of hiding. Before she was taken, she solemnly gave the bouquet to Zhengqing, which made everyone boo.
Yin Shi eventually went to join Zhengqing. The man held the bouquet nonchalantly, as though the lead in the ‘drama’ was not him.
When they returned to their seats, everyone’s interest in Zhenqing was piqued. The men began to talk to him and were curious about his background. Zhengqing was very polite, and answered everyone’s question; personal and work related without haughtiness. So gradually the table talk ended up being about business.
It really became a meeting room, ah! Yin Shi thought despairing.
Yin Shi sat quietly next to Zhenqgqing while crying in his heart; Sister, you said I should take care of Zhengqing because he would be lonely, but you didn’t say how brother in law should take care of me when I am lonely.
At this party, Zhengqing made some friends. He has glad to have met people he could have good discussions about business with. They exchanged contacts and suggested Zhengqing go out drinking with them soon.
Yin Ting was finally released by the girls, but she was smiling as she put her hand on the crook of his arm.
‘Your friends?’ he asked.
‘They know, but are not familiar. But they are very happy you came and talked with them,’ she replied with a smiled, ‘this could be considered a successful entry into my friends’ circle.’
Yin Shi, who was standing near, coughed. He could guess that her friends knew every detail of their relationship, that his sister had in her hand a high flying Vice President and in addition, that very public show of love. Sister, you must succeed in marrying him, ah! Or else, all those friends of yours will gossip and make fun of you and your brother!
Zhengqing and Yin Ting were obviously not thinking about such things so far ahead (Zuben: Nope). She took a sniff of the bouquet and very happily said, ‘Next is; I enter your friends’ circle.’
‘My friend circle?’ Zhengqing asked. He didn’t have many personal friends, most people he knew were work related.
‘Well, for example, what is your secretary’s name?’ Yin Ting asked sweetly.
Zhengqing raised an eyebrow and looked down at her. Yin Ting laughed.
Yin Shi coughed, breaking their bubble, ‘Shall we go home now?’ he asked Yin Ting. As they are brother and sister, they could go back home together.
‘I will take her home,’ Zhengqing said. Yin Ting nodded vigorously. (Zuben: They want to play kissy face)
Yin Shi was aghast. Was this right? You’re taking her, why not take me too?  He bemoaned. He had had some alcohol, so he would have to find someone else to drop him at home.
Yin Ting looked a bit sheepish, ‘Our place is on his way home.’ 
Yeah right, Yin Shi thought, but he did not say anything. He only shook his head and went to find someone who would drive him home. 
‘It is on the way, isn't it?’ she asked Zhenqing.
‘Correct, it is.’ Zhengqing replied soberly. If they went back to his house, it would suit him very well.
Zhengqing and Yin Ting got into his car; he turned to her and asked, ‘Shall we go for a drive?’
‘Yes,’ she replied with a smile.
He drove around for a while and it was quiet in the car. The two sat in a comfortable silence. After while, he turned the car in the direction of Yin Ting’s home. She was not his wife yet, so he always had to take her come. (Zuben: You could always “live in sin”, but writer-sama wants you guys to be all proper about it). As they got closer, he was reluctant to let her go, so he asked, ‘The weather is very good, shall we take a walk?’
‘Alright,’ Yin Ting replied with a smile.
He found somewhere to park and the two of them walked in the night hand in hand.
‘Are you working tomorrow?’ she asked.
‘Yes.’
‘My dad isn’t working tomorrow, he is very tired from the journey, so he’s going to rest. So I’m not going in tomorrow. I plan on going to the orphanage to see everyone and confirm the old lady’s situation. And then, to see Yu Fei to help, since I am her maid of honour.’
‘It sounds like you have a busy day.’
‘Yes, but I will endeavour to be at yours by half past six.’
‘Good,’ he said with a laugh.
‘Are you going to work overtime tomorrow?’
‘No,’ he must fight to get home early.
Yin Ting also laughed, satisfied. She did not tell him about her cooking lessons or her driving lessons. She wanted it to be a surprise. She was very busy.
‘Shall we go shopping this coming weekend?’ she asked.
‘Yes.’ They hadn’t bought the items they needed for their diary.
‘Do you get annual leave?’ she asked.
Zhengqing hesitated. Yes he did, but he never took a break. There were too many public holidays, there was no need.
‘Why?’ he asked cautiously.
‘No reason. I just wanted to confirm your schedule for the Spring Festival.’
‘I am resting during the Spring Festival.’ He did not care for annual leave, for him to put in vacation time during a normal working day was unbearable for him.
‘My friends were talking about going away for the Spring festival, but now I wonder if you would like to go?’ She asked. ‘You’d probably need to take annual leave for the day before and the day after the Festival.’
Zhengqing’s first thought was he did not want to go. Spending money and time for nothing was a very inefficient idea to him. For him, travel was not interesting. (Zuben: Can she go by herself then?)
If he was to go abroad, he’d go for business. He did not like to travel and he did not think it was interesting, but also to use annual leave. His work would be held back.
When Zhengqing did not say anything, Yin Ting understood. So she said offhandedly, ‘It’s not set in stone, so we can think about it again.’
‘Alright,’ Zhengqing replied relieved although he did not want her to be unhappy.
‘We can go to a new restaurant that just opened. The online reviews were very good, and I would like to go and try it.’
‘Okay,’ he replied in relief. He held her hand tightly, and she turned and smiled at him. Zhengqing’s brain short-circuited. He was suddenly pulling her to the dark door of a shop, he gently tucked her into a corner and kissed her.
Truthfully, there were too many holidays. He did not want to go anywhere. He just wanted to be at home with her and play with Miao-dada, make a nest on the sofa and watch TV. Even if there was nothing good on TV, even if they didn’t talk, just being lazy together felt very good to him.
Yin Ting’s heart beat fast in her chest. Ambiguous words were not said, the atmosphere was a little embarrassing and now he was suddenly heated up. This man was really yellow. Even when he was serious he was yellow. But she liked his passion for her.
Yin Shi returned home. Their father was watching TV in the living room when he entered. When he heard the door he swept a glance in Yin Shi’s direction. When he saw only his son come home, he asked,
‘Where’s Xiaoting?’
‘She’s out on a date with her boyfriend.’ He answered honestly.
Guohao frowned, looking unhappy. Yin Shi bowed low, the old man was harsh to him and he was not like his sister who could coax him out of a bad mood. He knew their dad was really eccentric, but like their mother before them, his sister was really patient with him. The Printing Factory was so boring, but she insisted on going with their father every day. He could not do it. But he didn’t understand why this old man would account for his sister’s doings on his own head.
Like now…
‘How come you didn’t come back together? It’s so late, it is not safe outside,’
‘She is with Qiu Zhengqing, she’s fine.’ Yin Shi replied with an exasperated sigh.
His father did not speak for a time, so Yin Shi said, ‘I’m going to my room,’
‘Ah,’ he replied. As Yin Shi went past him, he said, ‘Give your sister a call, tell her to come home early. It is cold outside.’
‘Alright, alright.’ Yin Shi said as he went to his room. He undressed, intending to take a shower and then maybe give his sister a call. He didn’t want to call his sister, but his father wanted him to take the blame of beating apart the mandarin ducks.
Yin Shi took a very long bath, so long the bathroom became a sauna. When he came out, he was met with his father’s resentful face,
‘Yes yes, I will call her right away. I’ll just put on some clothes first then call her.’
He went to his room, dried off and put on fresh clothes. He checked the time, it had been nearly an hour since he arrived, he thought it should suffice. So he decided to call her,
‘Is father making you do this?’ she asked directly.
‘You know him well. Come back and save your gege, your only brother in the whole world.’ He said in an exaggerated manner.
‘You should appease him.’
‘How do you want me to do that? Hold his arm and say, “Our little sister is so hateful, she didn’t come back home early. I will scold her when she returns”’ he said mimicking the way coaxing tone Yin Ting would take on when she tried to appease the old man. (Zuben: LOL)
‘If I tried it, he would kick me down the stairs!’
Yin Ting laughed, ‘Alright, hold the fort. I’ll be back soon.’
‘Good, hurry back.’ He said.
Twenty minutes later, Yin Ting came home, holding the bouquet, smiling brightly – looking sweet. Even a blind person could see she was in love.
Yin Guohao had no expression, kept his gaze on the TV. Yin Ting came over  and sat beside him,
‘I’m back!’ she said.
‘Welcome home,’ he said gruffly. Yin Ting was tired of her father’s ‘ice-cream’ face (Zuben: Google), so she showed off the bouquet brightly,’See, I caught Arlene’s bouquet!’
Yin Shi was in the dining area, pretending to pour himself a glass of water while he eavesdropped and watched his sister’s coaxing drama. Some tricks one cannot learn, you had to have the talent. Yin Shi was surprised to that Xiaoting was saying she snatched the flowers. He supposed she could not tell her dad a whole big man like her boyfriend caught the bouquet for her.
‘Just flowers…’ her father said disdainfully.
Yin Ting did not mind, she giggled, ‘This is a happy bouquet.’
Guohao’s face relaxed a bit at his daughter’s tone.
‘They’re travelling abroad for the wedding, it will be simple and comfortable.’ (Zuben: Someone obviously hasn’t had to organise a wedding in another country.)
‘Where is it good? You should be getting married and having a banquet at home with your friends and family.’ Guohao said. He was an elder, who had old-fashioned ideas.
‘Arlene’s father isn’t happy about it, but his darling daughter insisted. I’m warning the both of you, none of this travelling abroad nonsense.’ He said also looking and Yin Shi at the dining table. Yin Shi gave him a wide eyed look. He was only here to get a glass of water, why was he being implicated, ah! He didn’t even have a girlfriend.
‘If you marry willy-nilly, I will cut off your legs.’
‘You can cut off my legs, but Yin Shi-gege will have to make money to support the family,’ she said in a pitiful voice.
‘Silly…’Guohao replied tapping her head.
‘Dad? We’re not visiting relatives this Spring Festival right?’
‘Hm.’ Guohao was still rather tired from the last trip. He wasn’t very strong these days.
‘So it’s all set then. Can Qiu Zhengqing come for dinner? He doesn’t have any family, so it would be nice if he had a family meal, what do you think?’
Yin Shi was choked, he hadn’t expected this. He poured himself another glass of water.
Guohao did not speak.
Yin Ting was nervous, he knew Zhengqing did not want to go away for vacation. Although, she didn’t agree with it, she understood and respected his wishes. She knew that if she wanted to be with him for a long time, she would have to make concessions like these. So she decided to take the opportunity to get him and her dad together.
If her father did not agree now, there was still time till the festival, she would think of another way. But it was better if this kind of thing was scheduled well in advance.
Yin Shi was nervous for Yin Ting, and Zhengqing. Their father’s attitude could be really cold.
‘That’s fine,’ Guohao said finally, ‘There is a lot of food to go around. Let him come.’
Yin Ting was relieved. This old fellow really was not cute at all.
Brother and sister shared a look. Yin Ting was secretly pleased. She could not wait to  tell the good news; her father had agreed to see Zhengqing!

I forgot where this pic came from. I did not create it. 

Chapter 54: Gaining points

Z
hengqing was surprised to hear the news. There was a sense of trepidation, was it a little - was it a lot, he could not tell. Just that it was there.
‘When is the Spring Festival this year?’
‘February 18th.’ She replied.
‘A little over a month from now.’ He said,
‘Yes,’ she replied, ‘enough time to prepare.’
Zhengqing was suddenly overcome; on the evening of February the eighteenth, he was going to have dinner with his future in laws.
‘What should I buy?’
‘My dad likes to drink tea. I’ll help you find out what good ones are out there. We’ll get a nice tea set as well, wrap it nicely…’
‘Fine, sounds good.’ Zhengqing said in agreement. He only knew how to capture the customer’s experience, he did know much about how to woo father-in-laws. He felt listening to Ying Ting was the right thing to do. (Zuben: Hmmm…)
‘We’ll get you something nice to wear as well. You have to look good.’
‘Alright,’
‘And a haircut. I will remind you closer to the time.’
What was wrong with his hair cut; it was a normal workplace standard thrity-seven. Not trendy or trendless, not long or short, just a normal office workers haircut. He really shouldn’t think too deeply about it, and just listen to Xiaoting, ‘Good,’ he said.
‘What to do, serious, I am a bit nervous.’ She said with a slight tremor in her voice.
‘Shouldn’t I be the nervous one here? You can’t join in…’ Zhengqing said seriously.
‘You don’t sound nervous at all.’
‘Then you don’t need to be nervous,’ he said.
‘Right.' She said then she asked, 'Do you play chess?’ 
‘No.’
‘Checkers?’
‘No.’
‘What did you do as a child?’ Yin Ting asked, she did not expect much from him since he wasn’t a playful adult. He probably just went to school and studied a lot in his free time.
‘When I was young…?’ He made an effort to recall. It was a long time ago, when his father was alive. He used to help with the farm work. Then they lost their farm, so his father went to work in the city. He decided to work hard in his studies so that he could make his parents’ lives comfortable when he grew up. What did he do as a child…?
‘Ah! Kill rabbits, feed chickens, made pickle…’
‘Not work - play.’ She cut him off. Listening to all that made her head hurt.
‘Play!  Yeah, kicking sandbags, riding my bicycle around the town, stealing fish from the fish pond, skipping rocks…’ he paused then asked, ‘Are these alright?’
‘My dad likes fishing. Do you know how to use a fishing rod?’ she asked.
‘No…’
Yin Ting sighed, ‘Never mind, we’ll think of something. This time we have would be used as remedial time. We can arrange some activities so you can spend time with my dad and score some points.’
‘Alright,’ he replied quietly. He wasn’t really confident about how well things would go. He really didn’t know the first thing about entertaining an elder, he hadn’t done something like that in years. In addition, he could not play the games Yin Ting had mentioned earlier. Could he really be brought up to scratch in one month?
‘You need to be more confident.’ She said, ‘Although, it will possibly be hard work and you may not enjoy it, but we need to be prepared. As long as the first impression is good, the rest will fall into place. Maybe we should get you to spend time together over the holidays. Actually, that may work. His impression of you may be high, since Qin Shu likes you and wanted you to be his son-in-law. My dad has a high regard for Qin Shu. They must have the same thought process.’
‘Maybe,’ he replied. I hope so, he thought to himself. He really wanted to marry Yin Ting, he hoped her father could see that.
But in the following days, Zhangqing and Yin Ting were very busy.
Zhengqing was very busy at work with the end of year details. But due to ‘house rules’, he could not work overtime every day. But as time went on, Zhengqing slipped, Yin Ting was very strict about her punishment; he didn’t turn up on time for dinner, she didn’t come the next day. At first Zhengqing felt guilty, but with so much work to do, he was grateful for the chances to work overtime.
He also felt Yin Ting was also using this time to do her own things. Yu Fei’s wedding was on the fourteenth of February, and it was approaching quickly. Since Yin Ting and Yu Fei were best girl friends, Yin Ting was deeply involved in wedding preparations.
So the two lovers who had planned to meet every day, could not. It was either one to two times a week or on good weeks up to three times, but they asked for leave frequently.
They got the chance to go to the craft store to by the tools they needed to make the binding for their first love diary. Zhengqing personally created the binding, and the two, high on the sweetness of the day, promised to make the diary thick.
They promised to write about things that touched them in their relationship. If the diary was light, they hadn’t seen each other in a long time. If there was nothing, they hadn’t done anything at all.
It was consensus between both of them to nuture their love.
However, they hadn’t considered one thing. The diary did not increase or decrease by much, because they hadn’t met much of late due to busy schedules. And even if they met for dinner, even touching things, if there are repeated everyday, became mundane.
Yin Ting was so busy with preparations for Yu Fei’s wedding that she did not fill the diary. When she finally got a chance to read through it, it was emptier than she imagined. They had met many times, but there weren’t many entries. She sighed, though it had seemed simple when she had the idea, in reality, it was not.
Yin Ting arrived home late on evening. She realised she hadn’t looked at her phone all day, so she fished it out of her bag. There was a message from Zhengqing
Zhengqing: I’ve got home. I will watch videos on fishing. (Zuben: hahah, dork)
 She replied: Study well. If the weather is good, we can go out of town to fish this weekend.
Zhengqing called her back, ‘Are you home yet?’
‘Yeah, I’m home.’
‘That’s good.’
They two of them did not know what to say to each other. He had to be at work in the morning. She was picking up the bride’s dress. This situation was not her ideal state of love. Two busy people unable to keep their promise to each other.
‘It’s late, go to bed early.’ He said.
After hanging up, she looked at the diary again. Nothing to report, she sighed and turned away.
That weekend, they both had sometime to spend with each other so they went fishing. In the cold of winter, there were only a few people fishing. But they soon realised they found fishing boring. While fishing, Zhengqing answered work emails. Yin Ting was just unhappy but could not figure out why. Zhengqing had been very cooperative with her, so she could not be stingy, but even with that she felt depressed.
The situation continued until Yu Fei’s wedding on Valentine’s Day, February 14th.
Yu Fei and Yingjie’s wedding was simple and warm. Yin Ting felt the happiness of the marriage from start to finish, although, Yu Fei spent most of her wedding eating. Yingjie, regardless of the scene, let his new wife eat as she wanted. So the bridemaids ran around to help.
Zhengqing was a guest at the wedding, but because he was only friends with the couple and not other people, he was sat at a table with Yin Shi. Yin Shi was again on duty looking after his future brother-in-law. Guohao was sitting with Qin Wen Yi. But along the way, more Qin relatives arrived so Yin Guohao decided to go an sit with his son who was sitting with Zhengqing.
Yin Shi was very nervous about this development. Damn, how could this happen? He wondered. Sister isn’t here. If anything happened would she blame him?
Zhengqing was also nervous, he quickly reviewed the details Yin Ting had told him in his mind; what kind of tea he liked, his fishing skills, what television series he was watching. Still he struggled to bring up a topic of conversation.
As a result, the two did not speak directly to each other, but chatted to the people around their table.
‘Steady, don’t be nervous,’ Yin Shi whispered to Zhengqing as he text Yin Ting.
Yin Shi: Dad has come to meet your man at the table. Help!
Yin Ting: Hang tight, now is the time to show your strength. Don’t be nervous!
Yin Shi’s expression darkened with trepidation at the reply. He had no strength! He really needed help. He looked at Zhengqing who looked back at him. He looked at his father, he was teasing a friend at the table.
‘Eat,’ he said to Zhengqing, ‘Just eat, even if you can’t.’
Zhengqing nodded; this was really reassuring, ah! At the present moment, it was the only thing he could do. His future father in law sat near him, he could not start talking to others, he could be judged as arrogant. But he could not be quiet, he could also be judged as a different kind of arrogant. So eating was the only thing he could do. He did not notice, Guohao had been studying him from the corner of his eye.
Some time after, Yin Ting came to their table.
Both Yin Shi and Zhenqing breathed sighs of relief. Yin Ting did not look at both of them as she passed, she went directly to her father’s side and held his face her hands,
‘Dad, how come you’re here? I can’t take care of you today, you know.’ She said with a laugh. (Zuben: There was supposed to be a language pun here.)
Guohao laughed and said, ‘Don’t worry about me, you’re busy today.’
Yin Ting smiled and looked at Zhengqing. He smiled at her.
‘Xiaoting ah, your boyfriend is handsome, when are we going to attend your own happy occasion.’ Someone at their table teased.
Yin Ting glanced at her father, but his expression was still happy, so she calmed down and said, ‘About this problem, I am very shy.’ Everyone laughed including her father, Yin Shi and Zhengqing.
‘I’d better get back to Yu Fei,’ she said hugging her father.
Guohao waved her away, ‘Go, go.’ He said. As Yin Ting left she passed by Zhengqing, who held her hand for a quick squeeze and let her go. Yin Ting’s face went sweetly red and she ran off.
Guohao noticed the exchange, but continued eating.
Not long after, Wen Yi and his friends were toasting the guests so they came to get Guohao to come along. Yin Shi and Zhengqing relaxed, but he wasn’t gone for long. When he came back, he made Yin Shi move so he could sit beside Zhengqing.
Yin Shi gave up his seat in a flash. Zhengqing sat politely.
As he ate, Guohao began to talk to Zhengqing about business. Zhengqing was relieved, this was a topic he was well versed in. Zhengqing and Guohao talked about many things; from the changes in customer spending, to brands to new markets. Yin Shi watched the exchange, and sent a text to his sister to report
Yin Shi: Dad and your man have been chatting for a while.
Yin Ting: Really?
Yin Shi: I’m not lying. If you don’t believe me ask Zhengqing later.
After the wedding, Yin Ting asked about it and Zhengqing nodded. He was very happy about it, ‘We talked about a lot of things, our views on business are very similar. So we were able to have a good conversation.’
This was an unexpectedly good thing. He could feel Yin Guohao was beginning to regard him well, and it was by accident. A man must work hard; strive to excel, in order to gain regard. (Zuben: You forgot ‘know how to get along with others outside of the work enviornment’)
So talented ah, to get future father in law's regard.
Yin Ting was very happy, ‘This is great.’ She said, ‘You don’t have to be nervous when you come to my house for Spring Festival dinner.’
Zhengqing nodded. He also felt that way.
Yin Ting snuggled deeper in his arms and breathed a long sigh. She was particularly tired today but she was happy. Her best friend was married to the love of her life and she looked very happy. They were going to have babies which will bring them more happiness. And to top it off, her dad got along well with the man she loved. She couldn't possibly be happier!
‘Please be more serious, I haven’t been good to you recently. Because we were a little busy, we didn’t meet up as much.  After the end of the year, we must find time to rekindle our love.’
‘Why do we have to find time to fall in love?’ Zhengqing did not feel that way at all.
Yin Ting laughed, he could be really slow and dense. It was a good thing she liked him so much, and now her dad liked him too.
‘Anyway, after the Spring Festival, I will be at yours to accompany you for dinner everyday. You won’t be busy, so no overtime.’
‘Very good.’
Four days later, on the eve of the Chinese New Year, Zhengqing arrived at his Yin Ting’s home for dinner with a gift for her father.
He was full of confidence, thinking that things had been fine at Yu Fei and Yingjie’s wedding, so there should be no problem with Yin Guohao.
Zuben: Will it be all okay? We shall see.

Index ❀ Chapter 55&56

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