Table For Two Chapter 186
Before Joann could turn the situation on Xiu Ling, she took the first strike, "Do you not believe me? Do you think I will lie to you?"
"I..." Joann paused. She did not think both her daughter and her best friend would work together to come up with this elaborate lie to mess with her head but the alternative was to believe that her faithful husband had cheated on her with her junior. Both did not sound believable to Joann's ears.
After the truth had been shed on Qing Qing, Joann had no trouble believing the young woman would stoop to such a low level but there was no way her loyal husband would fall for it... Would he?
Xiu Ling knew she needed more than a statement to convince Joann and she went on to provide the details. These were the things that she had told Sylvia several months ago and the things that she should have told her best friend even before she had Lin Xi. Dragging it until so late was a mistake.
She told Joann about how she saw the two of them go into a motel and she did not miss out on the specific detail where she thought Xu Jing was drunk at the time. Xiu Ling had no idea that would figure into Joann's consideration or not but on the off-chance that it might, Xiu Ling did not want to miss it.
After all, she was doing this because she was looking out for her friend, her ultimate motive wasn't to tear up the couple. If anything, she wanted them to overcome this and grow old together. She really did think Xu Jing was quite a good match for her friend but she did not think their relationship would go the distance if there was such a huge secret sitting between them.
Xiu Ling missed no details in her retelling of how she ran into Xu Jing and Qing Qing that night. Even though it had been almost a year ago, Xiu Ling remembered it clearly because she knew one day she would have to repaint the entire picture for her best friend.
Xiu Jing went into the details not out of malice and she was trying to rub her friend's face in. She did not want her friend to think that she had created a story so she made sure to include all the details. After all, it were the details that make an authentic story.
Joann listened to Xiu Ling silently. She was so silent that she almost appeared stone-like. There was not even non-verbal response like nodding or head shaking. Joann just sat there impassively taking in what her friend had to say.
When Xiu Ling was done, Joann still had not broken out of her self-induced trance. The two other women did not say anything, they also sat there waiting for Joann to come to a decision. Xiu Ling had her hands over Joann's and Sylvia was leaning against her mother. The three formed quite a picture. Joann was sitting in the middle so it looked like both Xiu Ling and Sylvia were forming a barrier around her, trying to protect her.
The original plan was to give Joann as much time as she needed to process the bombshell but the silence had stretched on for so long that it was starting to unsettle Sylvia. As uncouth as it was to point it out, there were simply a lot more at stake for the young woman than compared to Xiu Ling. After all, the future of her whole family was on the line. It was understandable that her senses were a bit taut.
Therefore, the young woman turned to her Auntie Xiu Ling for help. Xiu Ling caught Sylvia's eyes and she noticed the concern in them. She did not think it was a good thing to interrupt Joann while she was trying to come to terms with the betrayal but since Sylvia was urging her so, Xiu Ling considered it. After all, if she did not say something, Sylvia might and as much as Xiu Ling loved the girl, she had the tendency to say stuff that had not been through the filter. In this fashion, she was just like her mother.
In other words, Xiu Ling believed she had more tact than the young woman, which was honestly the truth. She had more experience and her personality was more cautious and reserved than both Joann and Sylvia.
Xiu Ling thought about what to say and finally settled on a topic that she believed would be quite harmless and might even help push her best friend along to acceptance. It was the reasoning. If you understood the reason behind one's action, you would be able to fit into one's shoes better. And from there came understanding and acquiescence.
In other words, Xiu Ling would try to explain things from Xu Jing and Qing Qing's perspective. "Actually, Joann, you might want to know that they did this because..."
At this point Xiu Ling was stopped by Joann raising her palm. In a tone that was surprisingly calm, Joann said, "Thank you, Xiu Ling. Knowing you, I believe you have done plenty of research and background check before you come to break this news to me. I'm fine but I do not want to hear you justifying this for either one of them."
Joann smiled a quick smile at Xiu Ling. She wanted her friend to know that she was not that fragile. Yes, the betrayal did come as quite a surprise but she was determined not to let it break her. "Now do not get me wrong, I do wish to hear an explanation. In fact, I'm going to give them both chances to explain themselves, and that's the main thing, I want to listen to them explain personally, not through another person. I want to hear it myself, from their very lips. Xiu Ling, I know you only mean well but this is something within the Xu family and I wish that you would not intervene. But know that I am indeed thankful for everything that you've done."