Milady's Fine Gentleman Chapter 344: THE TRUTH
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Inside the Chen dream house's study room, Chen Lingfang and Jiang Biyu waited uncomfortably for their son.
Actually, only Jiang Biyu was flustered, and in truth, she wanted to evade the impending confrontation.
She had wanted to wait in her room for when her son was available to talk to them, but Chen Linyun had requested them to stay together at his study while he was still entertaining Xue Jinxu's side of the family, and while he sent off the other guests.
Mother Chen couldn't help but fidget in her chair. Her brows arched anxiously. She felt horrible and she appeared as if a tear would roll down any minute, except that there were no tears.
Once in awhile, she heaved a heavy sigh wearily.
Chen Lingfang pitied his ex-wife. All these years, he had remained loyal to her, and if it was within his power, he would have wanted to narrow the gap between them. Like, for this instance, he would have wanted to comfort her with all his might; however, he was not qualified to do so.
He was partly responsible for her misery and sufferings up until present. He had inflicted her pain a long time ago – a pain that could never be buried with earthly things nor could it fade over time.
He had condoned everthing that her estranged ex-wife had wanted with the intent to at least alleviate her sufferings because of him, but then some things had to stop somewhere.
A lie would not be correct no matter how much accurate it appeared. It would continue to be a lie – its core identity.
That's the very reason why Mother Chen was so frightened of the confrontation. She knew that a huge, important treasure is at risk. Her world will change after the dreaded discussion. If she had disclosed the truth with her mouth, it will disrupt the natural flow of her world…
Yet, she knew too that it's high time to set the truth free from her selfish grasp.
She felt as if the energy within her body vaporized with the ticking of the clock. Waiting for what was to come seemed to be killing her slowly, bit by bit. But she had nowhere to go, nowhere to run. She could not go back, and wanting to run towards the end of it would mean the collapse of her world.
Damn, she's stuck.
Alas, the door of the study room opened.
The Chen couple came hand-in-hand.
Xue Jinxu had renewed energy from her afternoon slumber. She insisted in accompanying her husband to provide the support that he most needs at this particular time. She wanted to act as the pillar that would be stable for them both, regardless of what they would learn that afternoon.
The air was stale and stifling when the two found their seats.
"So… Mother… Father… Where were we? Where did we leave off?" Chen Linyun started the discussion to end all misconstrued information.
Father Chen cleared his throat, urging Mother Chen to speak up.
Jiang Biyu glared at her ex-husband as if to say, 'You're not helping.' Or 'Don't push your luck.'
But then she started stuttering while her eyes gazed anywhere except at people's faces. She was clearly panicking.
Chen Lingfang interrupted. "Do you want me to take over? Can you do this? Will you be alright, Biyu?" He looked worried.
Mother Chen was already shaking all over. She motioned her hand signaling her approval to Father Chen.
"Can you tell me what happened back then?" Chen Linyun touched the bottom rim of his eyeglasses, in an attempt to cover his face.
Hearing this, Jiang Biyu broke into tears silently. She didn't want to uncover the truth.
At this point, Chen Lingfang moved his chair next to Jiang Biyu's, passed the box of clean tissue paper to her, then rubbed her back soothingly.
Mother Chen took it and blew her stuffy nose.
"Well… About more than two decades ago, Jiang Biyu and I were living such a harmoniously life with our little son."
"One day in February, I was away on duty. Our son was around four years old at the time. He had a severe asthma attack. Your mother was pregnant with our second child, a daughter."
"At the time, your Aunty Mo wasn't living with us yet. She was living her own happy life with her husband, who was still healthy and well."
"Your mother was left with some of maids at home."
"Even with the maids, the feat was too great for her. In the middle of the night, she sent our son to the hospital and stayed their alone and waited for my arrival day in and day out."
"During those times, I wasn't as free as I am now. I was just starting in my career as an officer – I couldn't leave my post."
While Father Chen was retelling the story of the past long gone, Mother Chen's tears flowed like waterfalls. It was as vivid in her mind as if it all just happened yesterday, and the pain was as fresh.
"Your mother kept on waiting and waiting, and once to twice to thrice every hour, I received calls from her. My post was four hours away from the hospital."
"No one could imagine how much I wanted to be there with her, but I couldn't."
"To this day, I regretted my decision, because I did not know that that would be the end of my family."
"My son's lungs refused to function well. The constriction of his airway due to asthma was controlled with medication, but his lungs got infected with pneumonia."
"He died in front of my wife."
"I wasn't there."
"I couldn't imagine how much pain it had caused to a mother to see her son die in front of her."
"Without support, feeling abandoned at the lowest point of her life, she was overcome with grief."
"In the end, she was induced into labor just to save the child inside her womb. Still, I wasn't there. At this point, your Aunty Mo had arrived at the hospital."
"Your mother survived, but the baby girl… It was a stillborn at only five months."
Jiang Biyu wailed and wailed. Her eyes ruined swollen in no time.
"When I arrived, your mother nearly lost her sanity. If I had been there… If I had given her support… Perhaps the burden could have been halved, or the strength needed to endure it could be shared between us two…"
"But I wasn't there… I came too late. I rushed back as soon as I can, but still, I was too late."
Xue Jinxu was also crying. Even Chen Linyun's face was scrunched and distorted, and his face came out hoarse, "And then? What happened?"
"Your mother and I got divorced. If it would just be my decision, I wouldn't want the divorce… But, the lost was far too great for me to be selfish. I had to do it for your mother. She couldn't see me without hurting, without remembering what happened."
"But one day, she reached out to me so suddenly… I thought she wanted to take the divorce papers back. She said she wanted to meet, and to discuss something important."
"When I saw her, she was with a little boy, the same age as our boy."
"Your mother had requested me to keep the boy as our son, named as our son. He wanted the boy to live as would our son."
"So we called him Chen Linyun, the same name we gave our boy."
"Son, to put it bluntly…" Chen Lingfang stared straight at his son's pale, expectant countenance.
"You are not our real son."
"The little boy was you."
Chen Linyun squinted his eyes and mumbled weakly, "I somehow sensed it."
He nodded slightly, "I had a hunch. I have suspected as much, but I couldn't quite believe that it really is the truth."
Xue Jnxu covered her gaping mouth with her right hand. She was completely shocked. Actually, it was an understatement.
"How did you… How did I meet you, guys? Do you know my… my parents?"
"It's so awkward to say it without referring to you, guys." It was more of a whisper.
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