"Do you want to know my true origins?"
Origins? Shen Xi had never thought to ask Su Hang this. First, because there were a lot of rumors circulating regarding this subject already. From his return to the Su family at 18 years old to becoming the head of the Su family, Su Hang had always been a popular topic of gossip. And the second reason was that due to Su MingLi's huge mouth, everybody knew that the Su family had first found Su Hang while he was pushing a broken tricycle filled with plastic bottles and cardboard boxes.
But since Su Hang had asked her this sentence, Shen Xi figured that he wanted her to know. So she nodded. "Un."
"I know there are a lot of rumors about my childhood. And everyone knows that I'm Su BoNian's illegitimate son." When Su Hang said the words 'illegitimate son', he almost gnashed his teeth. His hand that was gripping a porcelain spoon tightened, turning his knuckles white.
Shen Xi looked at Su Hang's clenched fist and couldn't help but reach out to put a hand over it. Shen Xi then tried to pull out the porcelain spoon Su Hang was still holding.
When Su Hang felt a soft touch at the back of his hand, his expression eased in an instant.
"Be careful, you might hurt your hand." Su Hang's grip was too tight for Shen Xi to be able to release the spoon. In the end, she could only gently remind him.
The giddy Su Hang finally opened his fist, but the fragile porcelain spoon had already broken into two. With furrowed brows, Shen Xi spread Su Hang's palm and found a red mark.
"It's fine. I'm not hurt." Just as Shen Xi was carefully examining the mark, Su Hang's hand suddenly turned over and seized Shen Xi's hand.
Surprised, Shen Xi raised her eyes to look at the man opposite her.
Su Hang didn't know why he did it. But the feel of Shen Xi's finger still lingered in his palms. He couldn't help but want to keep holding her hand.
"Do you mind?" Su Hang asked, looking straight at Shen Xi.
"What?" Shen Xi was slow to react.
"That I'm an illegitimate child."
Shen Xi had already thought about that issue in her previous life. Truthfully, when she had married Su Hang, the labels attached to him had also attached to her. The number of people who laughed at Su Hang for being illegitimate was the same as the number of people who laughed at her for marrying an illegitimate son. The rumors didn't stop even after their divorce. They would sneer and say 'Ah, look, Shen Xi finally couldn't stand to be married to him. She finally divorced that illegitimate child.'
But how many people knew back then that it was Su Hang who had offered to divorce her.
It was true that at first, Shen Xi had no choice but to marry Su Hang for the sake of Shen Group. But in the five years, she had lived with Su Hang, Shen Xi had learned to appreciate her husband. He was calm and strong, erudite and wise, elegant, and a gentleman. If she hadn't known that Su Hang had another woman in his heart, Shen Xi would've let herself love the man.
"Do you remember your business trip to HK?" Shen Xi suddenly said. "You went on the second day of our marriage."
Su Hang blinked, confused.
"That day, I went to Yun Shu's club and bumped into Su MingLi."
At the mention of Su MingLi, Su Hang's eyebrows furrowed.
"I heard her talking about you."
Su Hang could already imagine the words that came out of Su MingLi's mouth.
"I was outside their room, so they didn't know I was listening. Then...I went in." Shen Xi said.
Su Hang grew nervous, and his hold on Shen Xi's hand tightened a little.
Shen Xi looked at Su Hang in the eye and said: "I poured a glass of wine over Su MingLi's head and warned her that no one can insult my...husband in front of me."
The bowl in front of Su Hang had toppled over from the sudden jerk of his body, causing the soup to spill onto him.
Shen Xi quickly stood up, wanting to see if Su Hang had been burned, but she was dragged back to her chair by Su Hang. Shen Xi turned her head, intending to ask Su Hang what he was doing, but was startled instead. Su Hang's eyes were scarily bright, his facial muscles faintly twitching, and the hand that was still holding hers was slowly becoming a little painful.
The two looked at each other for a long time until Su Hang finally managed to calm down. He stood up and still holding Shen Xi's hand, led her to the sofa in the living room.
As they walked, Shen Xi saw the big wet stain in front of Su Hang's sweater. She hastily grabbed a few paper towels with her free hand, and when they arrived at the sofa, she helped him clean the stain.
Su Hang was sitting quietly. When he looked down and saw Shen Xi busily dabbing at his sweater, he abruptly let out a short giggle.
"You'd better change your clothes. You might catch a cold." Shen Xi had tried to dry the stain, but in the end, she figured that it would be better for Su Hang to change his clothes.
"Shen Xi." Su Hang said out loud.
"Yes?" Shen Xi subconsciously looked up.
"I'm not an illegitimate child." Su Hang looked at Shen Xi and slowly told his story. "My mother and Su BoNian were college friends. My mother was very beautiful when she was young; she was the campus belle. Apparently, a lot of people pursued her. Of course, that included Su BaiNian.
(T/N: Campus belle is the school flower/the prettiest girl in the school)
"My mother came from a remote mountain village and relied on scholarships to study at university. It was her first time in a big city, so naturally, she hadn't exposed to much of the world. Su BoNian, with his gentlemanly style and smooth-talking skills...well, she practically had no resistance to that sort of person.
The story of a rich son and a poor girl. It was almost like a fairy tale.
"But my mother was very conservative. Her affair with Su BoNian had used up all her courage. So when Su BoNian wanted more, my mother proposed getting married first." Su Hang then laughed self-deprecatingly. "I think Su BoNian actually liked my mother at the time. They actually did get married."
"Then they had me soon after. But after they graduated, the rich and powerful Su family started creating drama." Su Hang's tone began to turn cold. "The Su family couldn't accept my mother, and therefore, couldn't accept me. My mother didn't even get to talk to anyone. Su BoNian just handled the divorce procedures himself in the Civil Affairs Bureau and then sent the divorce certificate to my mother. Six months later, he got engaged to Liu Fang and the two went abroad."
When she heard this, Shen Xi's opinion of Su BoNian had hit rock bottom. Anyone can make mistakes, but one should admit to them and take responsibility.
"We couldn't stay in the city. My mother had to take me away to live in H City instead." Su Hang continued. "Honestly, when we went to H City, I had a good life. My mother didn't think about Su BoNian. Instead, she tried to live her own life and even started dating someone when I was 6."
"I guess she was just unlucky. Just when she was finally starting a new chapter in her life, a car accident took everything." It had been more than 20 years ago since he last talked about this incident. When Su Hang started telling Shen Xi all this, he found that he no longer felt the heart-wrenching grief he used to have whenever he talked about his mother's death. Instead, it was Shen Xi who was feeling distressed.
"Then...did you go to the orphanage?" Shen Xi asked.
"No." Su Hang shook his head. "My mother left a letter explaining my origin. The police sent me to the Su family."
"But you weren't 18..." Shen Xi was surprised.
"When I arrived at the Su family house, Li Fang was pregnant with Su MingLi. She didn't seem to know of my existence and when she found out about me, she reacted so badly she almost miscarried." Su Hang said. "How can an abandoned child compare with the child in Liu Fang's stomach? I naturally couldn't stay with the Su family. So they decided to send me away."
"Su BoNian wanted to find a family to adopt me, but Liu Fang, under the pretext of protecting the Su family from getting too involved, offered to find a family for me instead." As he said this, Su Hang couldn't help but sneer.
"Then how did you end up in an orphanage?" Shen Xi wondered.
"Eventually, a middle-aged couple arrived and took me. They brought me to their car and told me that their place was very far, so I should sleep for a while. And I did fall asleep. But when I woke up, I found myself alone in a desolate and uninhabited meadow."
"What?!" Shen Xi shouted in disbelief.
"But I was lucky enough to encounter a kind camper who took me back to the city and brought me to a police station." Su Hang recalled. "The police tried asking me about my family, but I didn't say anything. The police tried to find my family for a long time, but in the end, they didn't find anything, so they took me to the nearest orphanage."
"Su Hang..." Shen Xi's nose was becoming sore, and her eyes were turning red.
"I'm fine." Seeing that Shen Xi looked like she was about to cry, Su Hang was at a loss.
Shen Xi couldn't keep the tears in her eyes from flowing out. A small drop fell on their hands that were linked together. Su Hang panicked. "Don't cry."
But Shen Xi couldn't stop. Feeling immensely distressed, more and more tears started flowing.
"I didn't mean to make you cry, I just wanted to explain to you my past." Su Hang didn't know how to properly express himself, and eventually, his words descended into incoherent nonsense.
"I'm sorry!" Shen Xi stood up, then jumped into Su Hang's arms.
As Su Hang embraced Shen Xi, he couldn't help the swell of joy and bitterness that bloomed in his heart. He didn't know how much of Shen Xi's grief was because of him, and how much was just sympathy.
I'm sorry Shen Xi thought, over and over. During the 5 years of their marriage, she had thought herself clever. She believed that Su Hang had strong self-esteem and that he never cared about other people's opinions. She thought he didn't care if she knew his past or not. Even when he occasionally mentioned his past, Shen Xi had deliberately avoided the conversation.
But today, Shen Xi finally understood that it just looked like he didn't care about the opinions of the people around him. She finally understood that his supposed self-confidence was just a way for him to protect his heart.
Back then, Su Hang must've thought I was really bothered by his past.
"Let's go see your mother this weekend." Shen Xi suddenly said.
"Un." Su Hang nodded.
In the end, it didn't matter whether it was sympathy or not. I don't care, as long as you're willing to stay close to me.
Updated 40 Episodes