On March 12, National Treeplanting Day and Mr. Chen’s birthday, they got married.
Mr. Chen had decided on the wedding day. When he previously discussed things with Miss Cheng, he’d said, “We can’t set it on Valentine’s Day, nor can we set it on your birthday.”
Miss Cheng had found it odd. “Why?”
“Because I need to give you a gift on our wedding anniversary. If it’s on the same day as a holiday, I can only give you one gift for both holidays. You’d lose out.”
Miss Cheng pondered it over deeply before nodding her head. “Then we can’t set it on White Day either, or your birthday.”
“No, you can only choose between these two days,” Mr. Chen said. “That way, you’ll give one gift less to me and I’ll help you save money. See how well I can run a household.”
Miss Cheng rubbed his head in praise while Mr. Chen was delighted.
On the day of the wedding, there was a little accident. According to tradition, Mr. Chen Youlin should first pick up Miss Cheng Yiran from her house, where he’d be ridiculed and jeered at by her friends before piggybacking his bride down the stairs and onto the marriage car.
As Mr. Chen finished being viciously oppressed by her friends until they let him through, he prepared to pick up his bride. However, the rusty lock that had hardly been oiled since Miss Cheng’s youth decided to forsake its owner.
They couldn’t open the door.
No matter how the person inside pushed and shoved, or the people outside pounded, poked, or pulled, the iron grille door stood stubbornly between the groom and bride like the Queen Mother of the West separating two lovers on the shores of life and death.
The crowd had worked themselves up into a sweat as they kicked up a row and called for the lock company. Miss Cheng held her forehead inside the door and sighed, while Mr. Chen stubbornly turned on the key outside. “Release my wife, let her go, ah, let her go! Give my wife back to me! Give her back, you bastard!”
Only in stories would the male lead get a golden finger from the author. Reality didn’t work like that.
So no matter how much the male lead resented and struggled, all he could do was wait for the lock company’s employee to let his wife out.
Naturally, the wedding ceremony was delayed by an hour before proceeding as planned.
Everyone who’s gotten married in China knows that this was a laborious event. After busying themselves for a day before returning home, the new groom and bride took a shower, lay on the bed, and went into their respective dream worlds.
On the morning of the second day, Miss Cheng woke up before Mr. Chen. She climbed off the bed and cooked a pot of porridge, cleaned up around the new house, and set the table before lifting up Mr. Chen’s covers to kick him off the bed and wash up.
When they were eating breakfast together, Cheng Yiran saw that Chen Youlin’s hand was a little shaky. She took it for a look and found out that this idiot had used too much strength yesterday turning the key. He’d actually rubbed a layer of his skin raw. With a sigh, she helped him stick on a band-aid before stroking his head again.
“I used up all the band-aids in the house on the first day of our marriage. Your task when you come home tonight is to buy a pack of band-aids as our reserve, understand?”
Mr. Chen docilely nodded his head and went to work.
After getting married, Miss Cheng became Mrs. Cheng. The well-behaved and kindhearted Mr. Chen never dared to bring Mrs. Cheng any trouble when he went home. However, today’s rainy day broke that streak.
Cheng Yiran looked at the soaking wet form of Chen Youlin holding a dog, her eyes like daggers digging into his flesh. “What is this thing?” Hands on her hips, she blocked the way into the entrance hall, forbidding Mr. Chen from taking off his shoes and walking in.
“It’s…a dog,” Mr. Chen replied meekly.
Outside, the lightning and thunder threw Mrs. Cheng’s mood into sharp relief as she glared. “Don’t I know it’s a dog! I’m asking why you brought it here? Both of us work during the day and our house is so small, how can we raise him?”
Like the dog, Mr. Chen was looking at Mrs. Cheng. “But don’t you think he’s very pitiful?”
“Awroo…” the dog chimed up in agreement.
Mrs. Cheng kneaded her forehead. “Chen Youlin, I say, you should think about the reality first.”
“He’s very pitiful. Are you going to cast him aside?” Mr. Chen’s face was all disappointment, his eyes shimmering brightly. “I married a wife with a heart of stone.”
Blue veins popped out on Mrs. Cheng’s forehead as she gripped her , ready to hit him. But seeing Mr. Chen’s eyes, her heart softened as she sighed. “Fine, we can leave him here for the night. But we have to send him away first thing tomorrow morning.”
Mr. Chen immediately took off his shoes and went inside the house, bringing the dog to the bathroom. “Then let’s talk about temporarily taking him in first.”
“I said we’re only keeping him here for now! Tomorrow, we’re sending him away!”
“Regardless, it’s still taking him in.”
Mrs. Cheng gave a helpless sigh. She knew it’d be nigh impossible to send this dog away tomorrow.
The first dog they’d ever adopted in their lives was called Meatball. Mrs. Cheng didn’t like him very much in the beginning, but after a few more days, she was completely taken prisoner by the white and furry Meatball. It was Mr. Chen who raised the first complains. “Let’s send the dog away. Tonight, you put more meat in his bowl than mine for dinner.”
Mrs. Cheng disapproved as she smacked away his hand and took the dog into her arms. “Can’t you get your own meat?”
“My wife doesn’t even love me anymore,” Mr. Chen pretended to rub his tears away, but was spurned by Mrs. Cheng.
“Who was the one that said we should take him in because he was pitiful? As I see it now, none of your acting cute and pretending to be pitiful can compare to my Meatball. Move aside.”
Mr. Chen clenched his teeth in hatred and regret, and the succeeding days in the household were filled with scenes of a man and dog vying for affection. Every time, Mr. Chen would suffer a crushing defeat. Of course, sometimes the pure and innocent dog still couldn’t compare to the sinister man who sold his body in the middle of the night.
A gorgeous, multicolored sunset painted a beautiful scene for the weekend. Mrs. Cheng cleaned up the last of her documents, wondering how long it’d been since she and Mr. Chen had a date. When she calculated the expenditures for the month, she decided that seeing a movie and eating a big meal out was still acceptable. Thus, she immediately tidied away her things and went to Mr. Chen’s office.
She didn’t tell him what she was thinking because she planned to give him a pleasant surprise, but who knew that Mr. Chen would give her a fright, first?
Cheng Yiran leaned against her car door. She saw a man and woman walk out from the elevator of the garage, the male supporting the female with an anxious expression. The woman laughed and pretended to say she was all right, but kept leaning in towards the man’s chest.
Cheng Yiran raised an eyebrow, feeling that her position had been publicly challenged. She dialed Chen Youlin’s cell phone and watched as he fumbled to take the call. “Where are you?” she asked.
“Yiran, I’ve run into some trouble today and won’t be able to come home for dinner. You…” Mr. Chen raised his head to see Mrs. Cheng looking at him, smiling yet not smiling. He suddenly sensed something amiss as his hand supporting the woman abruptly felt hot and uncomfortable.
“Oh, what kind of trouble? Tell me about it.”
The voice on the phone reached his ears at the same time as Mrs. Cheng’s own voice. Mr. Chen withdrew the hand supporting his female colleague and rubbed his head with a grin. “Ahahah, it’s just that, I accidentally tripped someone, so I was planning to help her home.”
Mrs. Cheng nodded as her gaze settled on the female colleague. The latter suddenly understood the relationship between them and awkwardly straightened up, not daring to even raise her head. “I…hiccup, there’s no need to take the pains, it’s the same if I call a taxi home, the same thing,” As soon as she finished, she nimbly fled the scene of the crime.
Mrs. Cheng pretended not to understand. “Hn, her feet are pretty agile.”
Mr. Chen nodded in astonishment. “Yeah, it was pretty serious before…”
Mrs. Cheng gave him a sideways glance before snorting coldly and getting in the car. A crestfallen Mr. Chen went to sit in the driver’s seat. The entire way, Mrs. Cheng only stared at the scenery without saying a word until Mr. Chen couldn’t hold back anymore. “How about we go to the supermarket?”
That person’s tone made Mr. Chen want to curl up and shiver. Nursing a grievance, he said, “To buy a washboard so I can kneel on it at home…”
“Don’t we have a keyboard? Put it in a corner and kneel there for the night.”
“Can I kneel for half a night…? I have to sell my body and serve you for the first half.”
Mrs. Cheng couldn’t resist a laugh, though she still felt mad thinking of what had happened. Her hands gave Mr. Chen’s arm a vicious pinch. “This is for holding on so tightly! You’re a man with no morals!”
“Hurts, it hurts. Yiran, I really did trip her. I was afraid I’d hurt her, because then I’d waste my time serving you, serving her instead…”
“That’s a lame argument!” Mrs. Cheng determined. “Tonight I’ll award you to Meatball. Go serve him, you’re not allowed on my bed!”
Mr. Chen had no choice but to sigh, but he was happy in his heart. He knew such a small case of eating vinegar couldn’t hurt the deep feelings between them. Occasionally, a show of jealousy or two could regulate feelings between husband and wife, allowing one to realize that the other still cared about them. Mr. Chen thought back to everything that had happened. Back when he was still chasing after Mrs. Cheng, she was still someone else’s girlfriend. The vinegar he’d ate back then was like acid corroding his bones to drip onto his intestines. But after his insides had been eaten up, the feelings left in hindsight were still hopelessly in love with Cheng Yiran.
There was no helping it. Who told him to fall in love?
 Chen Youlin (陈佑林) – Chen is a surname that means “lay out, put on display, explain,” You is “help, protect, bless,” Lin is “forest, woods, grove.”  Cheng Yiran (裎依然) – Cheng is a surname meaning “rule, regulation, order,” Yiran means “still, as before.”  Miss Chen became Mrs. Cheng – traditionally speaking, Chinese wives don’t change their surname after marriage.  eating vinegar (吃醋) – chi cu, another word for jealousy, because being jealous is akin to the sour, burning sensation of eating (drinking) vinegar.
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