Table For Two Chapter 188
Qing Qing arrived at the destination wearing a simple white dress and sensible shoes. She walked through the front door and her face lit up with joy when she saw Joann. She started to bounce towards her like the joy in her could not be contained and she needed the physical activity to help disperse the ball of joy within her.
Whenever she acted in this manner, Joann used to think how cute and innocent she was. But now that the veneer had fallen away, Joann realized how calculated Qing Qing's every move was. Joann had been paying attention to the entrance, waiting for Qing Qing to arrive.
Before the young woman entered the cafe and saw Joann, her footsteps were slow and determined and her face was frozen in a serious expression like she came with a purpose. However, the moment Qing Qing saw Joann, her demeanor shifted completely like she was taken over by a joyful spirit. There was an added bounce in her step and her facial muscle moved to take on the appearance of a disarming smile.
Joann could not help but be impressed by the young woman's acting skill. She didn't think she would be able to embody a character as fast as Qing Qing did, especially when the camera wasn't rolling.
Joann continued to observe Qing Qing and as much as it pained her to do so, she added a smile to her face because she did not want Qing Qing to know she had been exposed. She wanted to observe Qing Qing in her natural habitat to dissect how she had managed to slip under her detection for so long.
"Good morning, Sister Joann." Joann did not respond because when Qing Qing reached Joann's table, Sylvia just so happened to walk out from the bathroom. Sylvia took the seat next to Joann naturally and she looked up at Qing Qing with a defiant look in her eyes.
Joann paid close attention to Qing Qing's expression when Sylvia joined her at the table. She was not going to let any detail escape from her eyes. Qing Qing's face turned from surprise to alarm, and then caution and finally returning to a charmed happiness.
'The woman is a natural actor.' thought Joann to herself.
"This is my daughter, Sylvia. Do you mind if she joins us?" Joann said, making the introduction.
Qing Qing flashed her pearly whites at Sylvia. "Of course not." Although in her mind, she was already coming up with schemes where she could make use of the daughter.
She extended a hand towards Sylvia. "Nice to meet you, I'm Sister Joann's junior. You can call me Qing Qing."
Sylvia let the young woman's hand hang in mid-air. She showed no sign of reaching towards it. The atmosphere slowly turned awkward. Just as Qing Qing thought about taking her hand back, Joann lectured her daughter, "Sylvia, don't be rude."
Sylvia could not understand why her mother was still acting so nice around the b*tch but since she was there to support her mother, she was going to do what she wanted. "Fine," Sylvia grumbled with dissatisfaction before she went ahead to grab Qing Qing's hand. Sylvia quickly pulled her hand away after a brief shake like Qing Qing's hand was something disgusting.
Sylvia leveled her mother a dissenting gaze, telling her non-verbally that she did not understand why she needed to play nice with Qing Qing.
Qing Qing looked at this with interest. 'Looks like there's a riff of some sort between the mother and the daughter. This is something I can manipulate. I wonder if the apple falls far from the stupid tree. Hopefully the ditz is equally manipulable as her mother.'
Qing Qing brushed the offense off with a smile as she pulled out the seat and sat down. "Sister Joann, why did you call me out today?"
Joann answered back with a smile of her own, "I actually want to introduce you to my daughter."
"Huh?!" Both women turned to look at Joann with shock.
It was obvious that Sylvia bore open hostility towards Qing Qing so the latter could not understand why Joann would do something like this. However, Qing Qing's mind changed after giving it some more thought. 'Wait a minute, if I can turn the girl against her mother by pretending to be her buddy, this might not be such a bad idea after all...'
Sylvia was equally confused by her mother's words. If she remembered correctly, they were there that day to expose the girl for the horrible person that she was so why did her mother suddenly turn this into a play date? She had no interest in becoming the girl's friend. She had the desire to pound the girl into a pulp, she doubted that was a quality you would want to find in a friend.
Sylvia was about to say something to her mother when Joann said, "You two are close in age so I believe you'd have plenty of topics to talk about. Furthermore, Qing Qing, do you know Sylvia is actually an entertainment news reporter? The paper she worked for has written plenty of news on us. Right, Sylvia?"
Qing Qing's eyes lit up with interest. 'A newspaper reporter you say? Perhaps this girl is more valuable than I thought. Thank you for handing me such a precious resource on a silver platter, you dumb *ss."
At the same time, it dawned on Sylvia. 'So this is the segue mother is going for. Sure I can play along.'
Sylvia turned around and suddenly became friendly towards Qing Qing. "Mother is right. I do work for a publishing paper. In fact, I perhaps might have written a few pieces on you before."
The change in Sylvia's attitude triggered an alarm in Qing Qing's mind. She could not shake the feeling something was up but she could not figure out what.
Qing Qing tried to convince herself she was simply reading too much into this. In Joann's mind, she was still her lovable junior, so perhaps she was sincere in wanting to share this resource with her.