Li Ao finished putting the puzzle together and carried it around the room to look for his father. He realized that his father was taking a shower. Li Ao stood outside the bathroom door and knocked gently.
Hearing Li Ao’s voice, the sounds in the bathroom suddenly stopped.
Li Ao didn’t know that he had interrupted his parents. He looked up and shouted innocently at the bathroom door, “Father, I’m done. Do you want to take a look?”
Su Beibei was slightly nervous and her body tensed up.
Li Li sensed Su Beibei’s reaction. He gently patted her head and said softly, “It’s okay, don’t be nervous.” After comforting Su Beibei, Li Li answered Li Ao loudly, “Come and check later. Go watch television for a while, alright?”
Li Ao tilted his head and asked, “Are you bathing?”
What about Mother?”
Li Li saw that Su Beibei’s face had turned red. He secretly found it funny. “Your mother is also bathing.”
The world of two-year-olds was not as complicated as that of adults. In their eyes, bathing was just bathing. It was purely bathing in the water. “Alright, I will come to look for you after you guys are done bathing.”
Li Ao carried the puzzle and turned to walk out of the master bedroom. Li Ao pricked up his ears to confirm that Li Ao had already gone out, before lowering his head to bite Su Beibei’s earlobe. “Alright, you are allowed to speak.”
Li Li released his right hand that was covering Su Beibei’s lips. Su Beibei immediately turned to glare at him. “It’s broad daylight and Auntie and Neil are both here. Why do you…”
Li Li touched her maliciously, causing Su Beibei to snort.
Li Li smiled. “I miss you so much.”
Su Beibei looked at the smile on his lips. Her bruised heart gradually recovered. She leaned into Li Li’s arms and bit her lip. “Harder.”
Li Li hugged her tightly. “Bear with it.”
Li Ao waited for more than 50 minutes.
Li Li and Su Beibei took a simple shower and changed into clean clothes. Only then did he walk out of the master bedroom and go to the living room to accompany Li Ao.
Li Ao stuffed the puzzle into Li Li’s arms. “Father, look, I’m done.”
Li Li stared at the dinosaur puzzle in his hand and smiled. “Pretty impressive, Neil.”
“Mother bought me a lot of puzzles. I work on them every night.” Li Ao especially liked puzzles and often sat alone on the carpet in his room to play for an hour or two.
Li Ao asked again, “Father, are we going to the zoo in the afternoon?” Li Ao had been looking forward to going to the zoo for several months.
Li Li nodded and gently rubbed Li Ao’s nose. He said, “What animal do you want to see?”
“Lion, panda, elephant, Fiery Bird…” Li Ao read out the names of more than 10 animals in one go.
“Alright, Father will bring you to see animals this afternoon.” After Li Li finished speaking, he looked up and saw Su Beibei walking out of the room. She had changed into a golden halter dress. Her slender body was wrapped in a thin layer of fabric. Her curves were perfect.
He had just tasted the beauty of that body. Now that he saw Su Beibei, Li Li felt hungry again.
Seeing that his father was staring at his mother, Li Ao hurriedly cupped his father’s face and lectured Li Li sternly. “Mother said that the man who keeps staring at girls is a pervert!”
“Pfft!” Su Beibei couldn’t help but laugh. She reached out and rubbed Li Ao’s head. “You’re smart!”
Li Ao stuck out his tongue.
Li Li asked Su Beibei, “You told him?”
Su Beibei sat down in the armchair with a book in her hands. She crossed her legs, revealing her slender and beautiful calves from under her skirt. Li Li thought of how he had cupped those legs and lowered his head to kiss them just now and secretly swallowed. It was strange. They had been married for three years, but every part of Su Beibei’s body still had a fatal allure for him.
He was going to die in this woman’s hands.
Su Beibei heard Li Li’s question and said, “Then are you a pervert?” Before Li Li could answer, Li Ao shouted, “Father is a pervert!”
“Look, even your two-year-old son knows.”
Li Li was speechless. He pressed his son into his arms and pinched his son’s petite earlobe. “When you grow up, you will also become a little pervert.”
The father-son duo hugged each other and watched television. Su Beibei lowered her head to read. Hearing the father-son duo’s laughter, Su Beibei would occasionally look up at them. Seeing the father-son duo hugging each other happily, Su Beibei felt satisfied.
The auntie finished cooking and brought it over. “Madam, Mr. Li, it’s time to eat. Neil, come over. Auntie will bring you to wash your hands.” Li Ao slid down from the sofa and followed the auntie to wash her hands.
Su Beibei got up and walked towards the dining table. When she walked past Li Li, Li Li hugged her waist. Li Li pulled her head into his arms and leaned close to her face. He praised in a low voice, “You look very good in this today.”
Su Beibei asked him, “Then how about we wear this to the zoo?”
Li Li’s face darkened.
This dress accentuated her figure too much. It was like she was not wearing it at all. Instead, it made people reluctant to look away. Li Li allowed Su Beibei to wear it at home for him to see, but he didn’t allow her to be seen by others.
Su Beibei sneered. “Stupid man.”
After dinner, under Li Li’s strong request, Su Beibei was forced to change into a light blue waist-length line dress and tie up her curly long hair.
Li Ao was very happy that he could finally go to the zoo. On the way to the zoo, he was so excited that he couldn’t fall asleep. He kept talking the entire way.
Later on, they got on the expressway and drove slowly. Li Ao finally couldn’t resist his sleepiness and fell asleep in the child safety seat, drooling.
The car circled the parking lot before finding a parking space. Su Beibei carried a small backpack while Li Li carried the still-sleeping Li Ao. The family went to check their tickets and successfully entered the zoo.
It was late summer and the temperature in Wangdong City had already started to turn cold. However, it was still hot at noon, but it couldn’t resist the enthusiasm of the tourists. It was very crowded and lively. Li Ao was very awake.
“Father, Father, I want to see a panda!” Li Ao had yearned for a panda for a long time.
“Alright, let’s go to the Panda Center first.”
Wangdong City’s wild zoo was the largest wild zoo in the country. There were more than 500 types of animals in the park. There were those who flew in the sky, those who ran on the ground, and those who swam in the water.
There were a total of 12 pandas in the Panda Hall. When Su Beibei and the rest entered, three were sleeping while the rest were chewing on bamboo.
There were quite a lot of people in the panda hall. Li Ao felt that his vision was not good, so he leaned close to Li Li’s ear and said, “Father, carry me. Carry me high.”
Li Li hurriedly carried Li Ao on his shoulder. Li Ao hugged Li Li’s ears with both hands. He saw the honest and cute panda and instantly cried out excitedly, “Panda! Mother, look, it’s a panda!”
Su Beibei hurriedly put a finger to her lips and told Li Ao, “Shh, Neil, be quiet. Don’t scare the panda.”
Li Ao quickly shut his mouth, afraid of waking the sleeping panda.
After shopping at the Panda Center, they went to the elephant base, giraffe park…
It was getting dark and they still had half of the project to visit. Li Ao didn’t want to go back yet. He asked Li Li, “Father, can we stay here tonight? We can play another day tomorrow.”
Su Beibei remained silent and looked at Li Li. Li Li looked at Su Beibei, then at Li Ao, and agreed. “Alright, we’ll stay here tonight.”
The three of them booked a pandthemed suite online and went to the hotel. Li Ao was attracted by the panda figurines. He pulled Su Beibei’s hand and said, “Mother, let’s take a photo and send it to Miaomiao and the rest!”
Li Ao pulled Su Beibei to the hotel to take photos. Li Li accompanied them for a while before receiving a call from the hospital.
“I’ll take this call,” Li Li told Su Beibei.
Su Beibei asked, “Who called?”
Li Li was very honest. He said, “It’s the hospital.”
Su Beibei didn’t say anything. She nodded and pulled Li Ao away.
Li Li walked to a quiet corner and asked in a low voice, “Hello.”
The person who called was the nurse Li Li hired for his mother. The nurse asked, “Hello, is this Mr. Li?”
“Hello, I am. How is my mother today?”
The nurse told Li Li, “Her appetite is alright today. She drank some soup and ate some porridge, but she was unwilling to let me clean her body and insisted on doing it herself. Mr. Li, no matter what I said, she refused.”
Mother Li was the older generation and couldn’t let go. She refused to let strangers wash and change her clothes for her, so she was throwing a tantrum. Li Li felt helpless and pressed his hand between his brows before saying to the nurse, “Give my mother the phone.”
The nurse said to Mother Li, “Auntie, I’ll get your son to talk to you.”
Mrs. Li took the cell phone and placed it by her ear. Before Li Li could leave, she asked, “Ah Li, when are you coming over from work? I’ll wait for you.”
“Mother, I have something on today and can’t come. Didn’t I hire a nurse for you? She’s a professional and is very experienced in taking care of people.”
Hearing this, Mrs. Li felt aggrieved and said softly, “Then, I’m not familiar with her. The first time we met, I asked her to bathe and change my clothes for me. I…”
Li Li remained silent.
Mother Li sensed her son’s silence. She remained silent for a moment before asking, “Are you working overtime?”
Li Li said, “Mmm, I haven’t worked for a few days. The documents are piled up like a mountain and I can’t spare time today. I’ll visit you tomorrow.”
Knowing that her son was busy with work, Mother Li could understand. She said, “In that case, I won’t shower today. When you come over tomorrow…” Before Mother Li could finish her sentence, Li Li interrupted her.
He said, “Mother, I am your son, but I am also an adult man. Do you think it is appropriate for me to wipe your shower and change clothes for you?”
Mrs. Li didn’t think much of it and instinctively said, “You are my son and a piece of flesh from my body. What’s wrong with that?”
When the nurse heard this, she looked up at Mother Li and thought to herself that this mother was really ignorant.
Li Li felt a headache coming on. “I am a piece of flesh that fell from your body. This is not fake, but I am also an adult man. A few days ago, you were lying in bed unable to move. I was worried about you and helped you wipe your back, wash your feet, and change clothes. This is something I should do. But I have found a professional female nurse for you now. They are all women. What’s there to be embarrassed about?”
“I would be embarrassed if you let me come!” Li Li was angry and his tone was inevitably a little harsh.
Mother Li was stunned by Li Li’s shout.
She was stunned for a moment before tears streamed down her face. She questioned Li Li with a trembling voice, “Are you despising me? Li Li, are you despising me? Oh! You found a young and beautiful vixen and you despise me for being an old and ugly mother, right? I’m lying in bed now and can’t take care of myself. You’re not even willing to help me take a shower?”
Mrs. Li had just undergone surgery for a few days and the wound on her head had yet to heal. After speaking so fiercely, her head started to hurt again. She scolded in a hoarse voice, “Li Li, you’ve really been eaten by that vixen!”
“Mother!” Li Li was furious and scolded Mother Li loudly. “What are you saying! Beibei is my wife. You keep calling her a vixen. What do you take me for? What do you take your grandson Li Ao for!”
Mother Li hung up angrily and refused to speak to Li Li anymore.
She threw her cell phone on the ground and cried. “This heartless girl doesn’t want me as her mother after having a vixen. She despises me as an old woman after seeing too many young women’s bodies. What’s the big deal? That vixen will also grow old and ugly one day!”
The female nurse was speechless.
She picked up the cell phone on the ground and checked the screen. Seeing that the cell phone was not broken, she stuffed it back into her pocket.
The nurse looked at Mother Li with a disdainful expression and couldn’t resist saying something fair. “Auntie, say less. That’s your daughter-in-law. Saying such things about your daughter-in-law is stepping on your son’s face!”
Mother Li glared at the nurse. “What do you know? That woman is a vixen. She only knows how to smoke, drink, and seduce men all day long.”
The female caregiver shook her head and said, “You’re so energetic and you don’t even pant when you speak. I don’t think you need to be hospitalized. You can just be discharged.” With that, the female caregiver turned and left, not caring if she lost her job.
She couldn’t even be bothered to serve such an ignorant old woman.
After being hung up by Mother Li, Li Li also felt very angry. He kicked the wall of the hotel but couldn’t vent his anger.
Su Beibei’s voice suddenly sounded from behind him. “What did the hospital say?”
Li Li wiped his face and turned to smile reassuringly at Su Beibei. “It’s nothing. She just told me about our mother’s health.”
Su Beibei asked him, “How is she today?”
Li Li reached out his hands to Li Ao in Su Beibei’s arms and said, “Come, Neil, let Daddy hug you.”
Li Ao was carried back to his room by Li Li. Li Li left to take a shower. Li Ao was checking the photos his mother had taken for him. He said, “This, this, and these two photos are all beautiful. Mother, send them to Miaomiao and the rest, alright?”
Su Beibei simply added a filter to those photos and posted them on her social media. Li Ao sat beside Su Beibei and asked her, “Has Miaomiao and the rest seen it yet?”
“Not yet. Go take a shower first. You will receive Miaomiao’s reply soon.”
Li Ao stripped naked and entered the bathroom to take a shower with Li Li. After showering, Li Ao asked again, “Did Miaomiao look for you?”
Su Beibei waved her cell phone and said, “Miaomiao asked where you are. Did you see Koala?”
Li Ao snatched Su Beibei’s cell phone, found Song Ci’s WeChat profile, and called her directly.
Song Ci accepted the video call and saw that Li Ao was playing with Su Beibei’s WeChat. She asked Li Ao, “Neil, did you go to the zoo with Father and Mother today?”
Li Ao smiled sweetly and said, “Auntie Song, I saw a panda and an elephant today…” Li Ao said for a long time before asking Song Ci,” Where’s Miaomiao Junjun? ”
“Wait, Auntie will go look for them.”
The two sisters had also just taken a shower and were playing with toys on the carpet in the room.
Song Ci fixed her cell phone on the ground and Miaomiao and Junjun appeared on screen. Miaomiao squatted in front of the cell phone and asked Li Ao, “Did you eat sausages today? Roast sausages are so delicious.” Han Miao had a deep impression of the sausages in the zoo.
Li Ao didn’t eat it but lied. “Yes, I ate three.”
Han Miao said, “Wow! Have you eaten that ice cream? It’s blueberry.”
Li Ao continued lying. “Yes, I prefer vanilla.”
Han Miao exclaimed, “Wow!”
Su Beibei was not interested in their conversation. She took her bathrobe and went to take a shower. After coming out of the shower, she realized that Li Li was smoking. She walked over and extinguished Li Li’s cigarette. She said, “Neil is in the room. Why are you smoking?”
Li Li hurriedly threw the cigarette into the ashtray and patted his thigh. “Come, let me hug you.”
Su Beibei sat down on Li Li’s lap.
Li Li pressed her into his arms. Su Beibei heard the man’s dull heartbeat. “Is there something on your mind?”
Li Li said, “Thinking about my mother.”
Su Beibei remained silent.
Li Li licked his lips and said hesitantly, “My mother fell this time and fainted for the entire night. She was lucky this time and managed to survive. If this happens again…” Li Li didn’t finish his sentence. He believed that Su Beibei could understand him.
They couldn’t avoid this matter. If Li Li didn’t mention it today, they would still discuss it when Mother Li was discharged. Su Beibei asked him, “What do you want to do?”
Li Li said, “I was thinking if I should bring her over and live with us? This way, we can look after each other.” Li Li was very nervous. He knew that his suggestion was very outrageous, but he had no choice.
He only had this one mother and his mother had indeed sacrificed her entire life for him. He knew that his mother was a fool, but he couldn’t really ignore her.
Without his mother, there would be no him.
Su Beibei sat up from his arms. She looked at Li Li deeply and asked with a serious expression, “If you want to bring her over to live with us, I naturally can’t refuse. But Li Li, are you sure you can handle our conflict?”
Li Li instinctively said, “I will settle it.”
Su Beibei reached out to interrupt him. She said, “Think about it carefully. If you don’t handle our conflict well, in the future when we live together, we will fight and argue. If there are too many conflicts, our relationship will naturally have problems. By then, a family might just be broken.”
“Li Li, think it through before telling me.”
Su Beibei was naturally not foolish enough to reject Li Li’s suggestion. He was Mother Li’s biological son and naturally loved her deeply. If Su Beibei rejected him outright, if anything happened to Mother Li in the future, Li Li would push all the blame to Su Beibei.
In that case, their marriage would still be in trouble.
Su Beibei kicked this multiple-choice question to Li Li like a rubber ball. Li Li instantly felt a headache. He pressed his temples and sighed. “Tell me, why is my mother so stubborn? My father is clearly guilty!”
Su Beibei couldn’t give Li Li an answer. She stood up from his arms and carried Li Ao to the children’s bed.
Li Ao fell asleep very quickly. It was only 10pm now, but Su Beibei and Li Li couldn’t fall asleep. In the past, they would definitely have gone to bed to exercise, but tonight, neither of them were interested.
Su Beibei laid on the bed, seemingly asleep.
After a while, Li Li laid down beside her. Li Li hugged Su Beibei’s shoulder from behind and said, “Your birthday is coming soon. How do you want to spend it this year? I was too busy with work last year and couldn’t accompany you.”
Last year on Su Beibei’s birthday, Li Li had gone on a work trip, but the gifts and flowers had still arrived. Su Beibei had something on her mind, so she was not interested in birthdays and didn’t say anything.
Li Li said, “Let’s go see the stars, alright?”
Hearing this, Su Beibei couldn’t help thinking of the night before their wedding when they went to the mountains to look at the stars. It was also on that day that they had their first time in the tent.
Su Beibei knew what Li Li was thinking. He was trying to please her.
Su Beibei’s heart softened again. She said, “Alright.”
The atmosphere between the two of them softened slightly. Li Li couldn’t resist kissing Su Beibei’s neck. After a moment, he suddenly said, “Do you want to have a second child?”
Su Beibei’s eyes widened.
She thought of those terrible experiences when she was pregnant with Li Ao and suddenly shook her head. “No.”
Li Li saw her expression change and guessed that she had recalled something unpleasant. He also felt slightly resentful. Li Li said, “The matter of you giving birth to Neil seems to have happened yesterday. That time when you escaped death, I was so scared that my legs went limp. It’s good that you didn’t give birth. I just want you to be fine.”
Thinking of what happened on the day Neil was born, Li Li was afraid and instinctively hugged Su Beibei tightly.
Su Beibei patted his arm and said, “Sleep.”
Li Li rubbed his body against hers. He said, “It’s still early. There’s no hurry to sleep.” He turned off all the lights in the room, leaving only a wall lamp.
His hand reached under Su Beibei’s skirt and went all the way up. Li Li kissed Su Beibei’s earlobe and neck. Feeling Su Beibei trembling in his arms, Li Li’s temperature rose and he quickly turned over to press her down.
The next afternoon, the family returned home.
After shopping at the zoo for the entire day, the three of them felt very tired after returning home. Li Ao ate dinner and went to bed. Su Beibei was also very tired.
She saw that Li Li had changed and looked like he was going out. She asked him, “Are you going to the hospital?”
Li Li nodded. “Mmm, I didn’t go yesterday. I have to go today no matter what.” Li Li saw that Su Beibei was staring at him and felt slightly upset. He asked, “Why don’t you come with me?”
Su Beibei shook her head. “Forget it. If she sees me, she might be so angry that her blood pressure will increase.”
Li Li felt sorry for Su Beibei.
He sat by the bed and held Su Beibei’s hand. He said sincerely and guiltily, “I feel very sorry for you. I clearly promised to give you a happy family before our marriage, but now…”
Li Li laughed self-deprecatingly and said, “It’s simply a mess.”
Su Beibei could feel Li Li’s apology. She also felt terrible. She said, “Ah Li, you know that as long as you still love me and think of me, I can endure these grievances.”
Li Li nodded and promised. “I will always be on your side and protect you well.” He lowered his head and kissed Su Beibei’s fingers. He murmured, “I’m sorry. That’s my mother. I can’t ignore her.”
Su Beibei nodded. “Go ahead.”
“Mmm, I’ll go then.”
Li Li left, but Su Beibei was no longer sleepy. She went to the study, opened the document, and stared at the new novel that she had just written. She was in a daze.
She sat in front of the computer for a long while before placing her hand on the keyboard to start writing.
No one disturbed her. Su Beibei was quite inspired and wrote more than 5,000 words in two hours. She was slightly tired, took off her glasses, stood up, stretched, and turned off her computer.
Su Beibei was about to drink a cup of tea when she went to the kitchen to boil some water. She was bored waiting for the water to boil, so she opened WeChat. Only then did Su Beibei realize that an hour ago, Cong Nuo had sent her a voice message.
Cong Nuo spoke English. He said: [Bei’er, did you receive my birthday present?]
Su Beibei was slightly puzzled. She replied: [Little kid, you gave me a present? What is it?]
Su Beibei had just sent the message when Cong Nuo replied. It looked like he had been waiting for her to reply.
Cong Nuo said: [You haven’t received it yet? But I see that you have already signed for the package.] Then, Cong Nuo threw a screenshot of the package to Su Beibei.
Su Beibei scanned the number and clicked on the package. She realized that the package had been signed by the guard yesterday morning. Su Beibei told Cong Nuo: [It might be at the guard.]
Su Beibei took off her halter dress, changed into a dress, and wore sandals to the guardhouse.
The guard at the door was familiar with Su Beibei. Seeing her, the guard smiled and said, “You’re going out so late, Madam Su?” The security guard thought Su Beibei was going out to buy something.
Su Beibei walked up to the guard on duty and asked, “Brother Lin, I received an international package yesterday. Is it with you?”
Su Beibei handed the package to the security guard, Brother Lin, for a look. Brother Lin leaned close and said, “I signed it, but Mr. Li already came to collect the package yesterday.”
“My husband took it?”
Su Beibei smiled at the security guard and said, “Perhaps he left it at home and forgot to tell me.”
Su Beibei returned home from the security office. She changed into indoor slippers and stuffed her outdoor sandals into the shoe cabinet. She realized that there was a brand new pair of sneakers in the shoe cabinet. She had bought them a few days ago at a flagship store online. These shoes had also arrived yesterday morning.
It looked like Cong Nuo’s present had indeed been taken home by Li Li.
Su Beibei searched the entire house but couldn’t find Cong Nuo’s present. She took out her cell phone and asked him: [Child, what present did you give me?]
Cong Nuo said: [It’s my first album.]
Cong Nuo added: [Bei’er, didn’t you receive it?]
Su Beibei said: [There are too many packages. I have to search carefully.]
Su Beibei looked around but couldn’t find the album. The auntie saw that she had been looking for something and asked her, “Madam, what are you looking for?”
Su Beibei thought of how the auntie had arrived early yesterday and asked, “Auntie, did Sir help me retrieve the package yesterday? Did you see where he placed it?”
The auntie thought for a moment before saying, “I remember that he opened the package at the entryway. I don’t remember where he placed it, but I saw a small delivery box in the dustbin…”
Hearing this, Su Beibei’s pretty face froze, then turned slightly ugly.
“Auntie, where did you throw the trash yesterday?”
When the auntie heard Su Beibei’s words, her expression changed. She thought that the delivery box contained something valuable and her heart started racing. She observed Su Beibei’s reaction and asked carefully, “Madam, did you lose something valuable?”
“No, it’s just a CD. My friend gave it to me.”
“Oh, you scared me.” The auntie patted her chest and hurriedly said to Su Beibei, “After you guys left yesterday afternoon, I also left. I threw all the rubbish at home into the trash downstairs. I’m afraid you can’t find it now.”
“Alright, I understand. Auntie, it’s getting late. Go back and rest first.”
“Alright, I’ll tidy up the kitchen and leave.” The auntie tidied up the kitchen. Su Beibei ran to the room to look at Li Ao. Seeing that he was sleeping soundly, she said to the auntie, “Let’s go down together.”