The people and the events that happened in the world seemed to be predestined by destiny. People bypass some people without getting acquainted, while they get reunited with others whom they were acquainted with after traveling to various places.
The story of Qin Sheng and her started in Chengdu and two years had passed since. They had met out of coincidence, yet they had both felt that they had gotten to know each other too late in their lives. Eventually, they went separate ways and their memories of each other faded with time.
When they parted ways, they had agreed not to deliberately keep in contact. They would rather let fate decide if they would ever meet again, or be forever separated.
Qin Sheng remembered that before they parted, he had said that he would go after her if they were fated to meet again, even if she said she was not going to give him a chance. She had laughed and requested for Qin Sheng to first treat her to a meal of hotpot if they bumped into each other again.
Qin Sheng had nodded in agreement at that time and watched her walked off and disappeared into the night.
Time flew by, and it had been two years since they bade farewell to each other. On many occasions, her dreamy smile, her silence, her gesture of lifting a glass for a toast, her chats with him would appear in Qin Sheng’s mind.
At the carpark of Guojin Tower the other day, Qin Sheng thought the beautiful lady whom he spotted had resembled her so closely that Qin Sheng thought it was indeed her. He even followed her in his car for a good while, before he lost her. Qin Sheng put off the thought after a while, thinking that he must have missed her too much and imagined that he saw her.
In fact, he had enacted in his mind the scene which they were to meet again. It was to happen during a snowing day somewhere in the north, or on a cloudy day with drizzles in a southern town. Perhaps even at a bar which not many people knew, where he strummed away on a guitar on the stage of the bar and sang her favorite tune, “The Southern Lady”, while she drank beer and looked at him with a smile. Perhaps during a particular day’s sunset, he coincidentally turned around while walking on the street and spotted her standing there alone.
However, he would never have imagined the scenario today, that he would see her in a photograph. What was even more unexpected was that she was the goddess Xia Ding swooned over.
Not only did his mind go blank, he felt immensely awkward.
Qin Sheng fell into deep thought for a long time while Xia Ding was totally clueless about what was going through Qin Sheng’s mind. He even thought that perhaps Qin Sheng had also been smitten by his goddess. That seemed reasonable to Xia Ding, who thought that his goddess was indeed the dream girl of every man. Otherwise, why would Qin Sheng look so love-struck?
“Do you have enough of looking at the photo, Boss? I can almost see you drooling!” Xia Ding took his phone back from Qin Sheng’s hand and said half-jokingly.
Qin Sheng suddenly recovered and frowned, saying, “Did you say she was there at the charity banquet the other day?”
“Yes. You left before she came. She arrived only when the auction started. It was later that I found out that she and her friend were the ones who started the charity fund organization. My goddess is such a kind person. Didn’t you say that a kind-hearted person is true beauty?” Xia Ding said, feeling proud of her.
Qin Sheng squinted and asked, “Do you know where she lives?”
“Of course I know. By I don’t dare to stalk her, lest she finds me repulsive. However, I also know where she works and I have an undercover who works in the same company. I heard that she had been working overtime these past few days. Perhaps she is still at her office,” Xia Ding did not hold any information back from Qin Sheng as he would never suspect Qin Sheng.
Without any hesitation, Qin Sheng said, “Come, let’s go look for her.”
Xia Ding did not know what was going on, so he held on to Qin Sheng and said, “Wait, Boss. What’s happened? You seemed more anxious than me, and why should we go to look for her when I had given up on her?”
“To go after her,” Qin Sheng said, with rekindled fervor in his eyes.
Xia Ding was even more lost, and he said, “Boss, I said I’ve given up. What do you ask me to go after her again? I’m not the kind of man who would lower myself just to gain the favor of a woman. It’s just one woman after all. I’m not going to give up a forest just because of one tree.”
Qin Sheng shook his head and said, “Not you. I’m the one who’s going after her.”
Xia Ding still did not understand what Qin Sheng was trying to say. “What are you saying, Boss?” Xia Ding asked, looking totally confused.
“I said I’m going to go after her,” Qin Sheng repeated.
“What the fuck? Boss, what’s going on? Why are you going after my goddess?” Xia Ding was baffled as to what situation this was.
Qin Sheng suddenly realized that he owed Xia Ding an explanation. He then sat down, took a sip of water and started to explain. “Do you remember what I asked you to do for me when I went to Tianshui?”
“Of course I remember.”
“One of the things was that I left a lady’s phone number with you, to call and tell her that I’ve failed her in my promise to treat her to a meal of hotpot,” Qin Sheng said with mixed feelings.
A surprised expression appeared on Xia Ding’s face as he came to a realization. “Don’t tell me this lady is my goddess!”
“As a matter of fact, she is indeed your goddess,” Qin Sheng confessed. “Is her name Lin Su, and did she originate from Lin Po?” Qin Sheng continued.
When Xia Ding heard Qin Sheng’s response, he collapsed onto the sofa and cried out, “My God, are you joking with me? My goddess is, in fact, my boss’s woman. Could anything turn out to be more absurd than this?”
Qin Sheng berated him saying, “Don’t be ridiculous. Didn’t you say you’ve given up on her?”
“I did say that, but I just don’t feel good to give up just like that. I’ve been a lady killer all my life, but how am I an utter failure this time?” Xia Ding shook his head as he sighed.
Qin Sheng paused for a second and continued, “That’s alright. Since you don’t feel good about giving up, why don’t you continue to pursue her? I will not look for her. If you win her heart, I will let go of my past completely. However, if you decide to give up totally, I will go look for her.”
Qin Sheng had been very kind to Xia Ding by taking a step back. Feeling bad, Xia Ding quickly responded by saying, “No way, Boss. You two got acquainted before us. I was just venting. I said I’ve given up, and I mean it. I’m certain she wouldn’t fall for someone like me. She wouldn’t notice me no matter what I do. She would not notice any of my strengths. Moreover, I just realized that my rivals are too powerful for me to overcome. On the other hand, you two were acquainted from the past, and she seemed very important to you. At least she has that place in your heart. Being a gentleman, I shall not try to sabotage you. I fully support your decision to go after her. You will be my idol if you win her over.”
Qin Sheng opened a can of beer and said with a smile, “The time I met her was when I was at the lowest point of my life. I was so lost then. We regretted that we met each other too late. We had kept each other company while we were touring various places. Meanwhile, we found that we were congenial with each other and we were able to see eye-to-eye in many things, including our views on history, geography, etc. There was almost nothing that we didn’t talk about. However, there’s a time to everything, including biding goodbye to each other. I had to fulfill my grandfather’s wishes, while she had to travel somewhere else. Before we parted ways, we had agreed that we would not try to contact each other. We left it entirely to fate. Almost two years had passed since, and we really didn’t try to contact each other. I thought she had forgotten me. I had told her that I will go after her if we ever meet again, regardless of whether she’s willing to give me a chance or not. She didn’t reject the idea, neither did she agree to it. She merely asked me to treat her to a hotpot meal if we ever meet.”
“I see, Boss. I sense that you haven’t forgotten her after these two years,” Xia Ding said thoughtfully, after hearing about their story.
Feeling emotional, Qin Sheng said, “During the past two years, I would think of her occasionally. After all, I had fatefully bumped into a confidante like her. It was difficult to get her out of my mind.”
Xia Ding felt touched by Qin Sheng’s words and said, “Boss, don’t bother about me. I will give my best support to you in your marriage. Wait here for a while while I shower and get changed. Let’s go and look for her. I may have lost the battle, but at least you can do us, the boarders of 316 Hall, proud.
They were merely going to go after a woman, but Xia Ding made it look like they were going to die for their nation. While Qin Sheng found it funny, he was grateful for Xia Ding. If not for him, Qin Sheng would miss crossing paths with Lin Su once again.
After half an hour, Xia Ding was showered and changed. He contacted his undercover whom he employed with a high fee, to confirm that the goddess was still in the office. Then they got into his Aston Martin and sped towards Baoli square on Binjiang Road in Pudong.
“Boss, have you thought over how you are going to face her when you two see each other again after such a long time?” Xia Ding asked casually as he drove, as he started imagining the scene Qin Sheng and Lin Su meet again.
Qin Sheng shook his head and answered, “Just take it as it is, to face it openly. I haven’t had time to think about it since it happened so abruptly.
“Would you like me to set up a romantic environment for you? We can’t just go up to her office to look for her; we would be thrown out by the security guards!” Xia Ding said, all excited.
Knowing that Lin Su was not into this kind of thing, Qin Sheng shook his head to turn down Xia Ding’s offer. “It’s alright. I can wait for her downstairs. Oh, how does she usually get to work everyday?”
“Talking about this, I’m really in awe of her. The goddess resides in Liujiazui Central apartment next to Shanghai Technology Museum, which was close to Century Park. Every morning she would jog for half an hour in the park, then, later on, she would take the public bus to Baoli Square. She is an environmentalist who goes green on everything,” Jia Ding said with admiration. Her daily routine was to work from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. unless she had special entertaining to do. He also found that the goddess had come from a family of impressive background. It seemed that they originated from some royal family. It was a wonder that they managed to keep such a low key.
Qin Sheng had expected all these and was not surprised.
“Just drop me at the building. I’ll wait for her downstairs. You may leave me there, and I will contact through my phone later on,” Qin Sheng said after he did some planning in his head.
Looking helpless, Xia Ding said, “Boss, don’t forget about the friend you have in me after you win your girl! Would you not at least give me the chance to witness this historical moment?”
“Cut the nonsense, just do as I say,” Qin Sheng chose not to take Xia Ding’s words seriously.
“Alright, alright. I’ll just do as you say.”
Finally, the Aston Martin turned into the lane beside Baoli Square after ten over minutes. Xia Ding had already pointed out the block of the office building to Qin Sheng earlier on. Qin Sheng alighted and walked towards Tower C of Baoli Square. At this time, Baoli Square was brightly lit with night lights and many people were still working overtime in their offices.
Qin Sheng found a bench at the lawn next to the building to sit down. It was only after he finished smoking four sticks of cigarette that the woman whom he had been thinking day and night appeared, accompanied by some of her colleagues.
Two over years had passed, but she still looked the same as before. As the wind blew on her long flowy hair, it appeared that she felt cold from the wind. She frowned and wrapped her coat more tightly around her. She was also wearing a scarf she knitted. Her colleagues were chatting and laughing while she smiled and remained silent.
Qin Sheng felt a surge of emotions arose in him and his heart started pumping faster. He almost forgot how long it had been since the last time he had such sensations. It was likened to the first time a person told a lie, the first time a person confessed his love to someone or even the first time a person went up to the stage to receive a prize.
He took a deep, long breath and braced himself. When she was almost reached where he was, he got up from the bench and stopped right in front of the company.
“May I treat you to a meal of hotpot, beautiful?” Qin Sheng said to her.