Table For Two Chapter 172
After leaving the store, Xiu Ling and Lin Kang went for a short walk around the mall. Lin Kang kept urging her to visit the many stores, pushing her to pick out the things that she liked. Xiu Ling politely declined every time. Lin Kang assumed his wife was feeling shy or she did not know what to select since there were so many choices. Therefore, he took things into his own hands and started to make the purchase on her behalf. While he did so, Xiu Ling merely stood to the side and watched her husband at work. She waited patiently for her husband to return to her side after he made those impossible orders. She made sure to say thank you every time but her words of appreciation sounded weak even to her own ears.
After this had gone on for a while, Xiu Ling said she wish to go home, citing lethargy. Lin Kang did not buy that reason but he obliged anyway. For some reason, he felt weirdly guilty like he had done something wrong and needed to make amends.
Perhaps it was the way he had dealt with the sales promoter or perhaps his wife did not appreciate the gift that he had prepared. Lin Kang could have asked Xiu Ling directly about it but he was afraid, afraid to hear the answer.
Xiu Ling remained silent in the car and halfway through the journey, Lin Kang finally could not hold it in anymore. If he did not get to the bottom of the truth, he might not be able to have a good night sleep ever again. He desperately needed to know where he had done wrong, so he had a chance to change.
Shattering the silence in the vehicle, Lin Kang asked with the desperation of a sinner seeking salvation, "Xiu Ling, what's wrong? Do you not like my gifts?"
Xiu Ling turned to look at her husband. Her first reaction was to say the typical, "No, everything's fine. I love them," just to bring the topic to rest but looking at the anxiety and regret on Lin Kang's face, she could not bring herself to do so. It would be like tricking an innocent child, you might get him to stop harassing you but eventually you'd feel guilty for doing it.
Xiu Ling sighed and it caused her husband's heart to sink. He asked urgently, "What do you not like about it? Do you not like the things that I picked for you? I can have people change them or I can go prepare some new ones."
Xiu Ling smiled good-naturedly. "No, It's not that. I do appreciate the presents. It's just that in comparison, I was having more fun spending time with you before you turned into my personal shopper."
Then it hit Lin Kang. He was so busy trying to make the day special for her that he forgot to do the simplest thing, which was to accompany her.
"I love the gifts, I really do. You have very good taste but it's not like I'll ever wear all of them." On top of that, Xiu Ling wasn't really a brand chaser. In fact, now that Lin Kang gave it a serious thought, he had never seen his wife in anything branded or overly expensive ever since she married into the Lin family, unless it was demanded by the occasions.
'So, it has been a failure after all. Everything is for naught.' Lin Kang thought despondently. Xiu Ling could not bear to see that puppy dog-like pout on her husband's face. It was so drastically different from his usual demeanor that it just made him feel extra pitiable.
Xiu Ling felt guilty for what she said. She knew how much effort Lin Kang had placed into preparing this gift. After all, it wouldn't have been easy to purchase an entire shopping mall. Xiu Ling felt bad for raining on his parade like that.
Xiu Ling tried to cheer him up, "But you did a good job already. I'm really thankful and happy."
In that moment, Xiu Ling felt like she was dealing with Lin Xi. She had a vague memory of saying almost the same thing when her son was feeling grumpy from failing to reach his self-defined standards. Like father like son, Xiu Ling remembered her mother-in-law saying.
Xiu Ling's words of consolation only made Lin Kang sink his head even lower. It felt like she was taking pity on him and that was not a good feeling to have on a date.
Feeling the need to make her husband not feel so devastated, Xiu Ling tried her best but her words fell flat. However, as the car zoomed forward, she caught something out of the corner of her eyes.
Xiu Ling reached forward and asked for the driver to stop.
The driver did what he was told and the car jerked to a stop. Lin Kang was confused at what Xiu Ling was doing and that temporarily drew him out of the slump. "Why did you stop the car?"
Instead of answering him, Xiu Ling pushed the door open. She stepped out and extended her hand towards Lin Kang in invitation, "Come with me."
Lin Kang still had no idea what his wife was up to but this was an invitation that he would not refuse.
Lin Kang took her proffered hand and exited the car. They were standing in the middle of a busy city street with cars bustling around them. Some of the pedestrians stopped to toss them curious looks, wondering what the pair was up to.
To be honest, Lin Kang was as confused as they were.
Xiu Ling walked down the street to one of the shops that she saw passing through the window earlier. Lin Kang told the driver to go for a rest and he quickly ran to catch up to Xiu Ling.
When he fell into a steady footsteps beside her, Xiu Ling said, "Since we do not have much time to spend on a date at the mall, we're here to make up for lost time."