Table For Two Chapter 209
Joann had talked to her mother-in-law, her daughter, practically everyone pertinent to this crisis other than the man himself. She thought she would be ready when she heard everyone's opinion but reality proved otherwise. If anything the opinion by others only added to the mess of thoughts in her mind.
Joann had been holed up in her room for quite a long time already. In fact, she had not left her room other than for meals since she had that conversation with her daughter.
Even though she rejected Xu Jing's kind offer, she didn't want to wander out of her room suddenly on the off-chance that she might run into him. Xu Jing seemed to understand that because he had seemingly moved into the study. He took it one step further in terms of his isolation compared to Joann because he didn't even step out of the room for food. Instead he had the maids carry all of his meals to the study for him. This way she wouldn't chance running into him when she went out for her meals.
The pair of husband and wife shared the same roof but they tried their best not to cross the other's path. Xu Jing was doing that out of deference to his wife's wishes but Joann was committing to this because... Well, even the woman herself didn't know why.
Probably it was because she still needed time to think and seeing her husband might influence her thought or it was simply because she wanted to inconvenience her husband as a form of revenge.
Joann glanced at the calendar. It had been a week since the big revelation. She wondered how long she could keep this up and how long before her husband's patience run out. Same as earlier, she didn't know the answer.
Frustrated at the lack of progress, Joann figured a change of scenery might help. She grabbed the set of car key off the cupboard and left her bedroom. She paid special attention when she opened the door, after making sure no one saw her, Joann slipped out of the house and jumped into her car.
Joann started the engine, pulled out of the driveway and drove into the city. Since it was a weekday and around 2 in the afternoon, there was little to no traffic on the road. People were mostly at school or at work.
Joann's car zoomed through the street without obstacle. She rolled down the window and allowed the breeze to comb through her hair. It was a small gesture and it gave her a sense of freedom and liberation that she needed.
Joann cruised around the city because technically she had nowhere specific to go to. She only wanted to escape the suffocating confines of the Xu family house. Joann leaned back in her seat, put one hand on the steering wheel and allowed the city street to take her to wherever it wanted to.
Joann passed through familiar streets and section of the city that she didn't even know existed before that day. The sun was shining brightly when she left her home but as she cruised through the city, the rain clouds started to gather.
It didn't take long for raindrops to fall on the windscreen. It was still raining softly but it had signs that it would pour heavily after a bit. Joann didn't want to drive in the rain so she looked for a place where she could hide from the rain.
To her surprise, when she looked around, all she saw was buildings from her youth. She must have wandered back to the old neighborhood that she stayed at when she was still studying unknowingly.
She looked to her left and she saw the rental apartment that she once stayed at when she was struggling to make ends meet. The place hadn't changed, it was as dilapidated as she remembered. Joann was honestly quite surprised that the old building hadn't crumbled under its own weight after all these years.
Joann found an empty space to park and she allowed the waves of nostalgia to wash over her. This proved to be the perfect distraction that she needed. It helped to take her mind off things.
The rain picked up and sitting inside the comfort of her car, looking at the images and locations from her youth, it gave off the sensation of being inside a time capsule. Through the rain, Joann saw a young woman racing through the street, trying to get under the awning of a nearby shop. It reminded Joann of her young self. It was not a carefree life that she led back then but at least the source of her worry was completely different.
At the time, she worried about how she was going to put the next meal on the table, instead of how she was going to deal with a cheating husband. As difficult as it was back then, she found herself missing that simpler life.
Of course, she could not return to the past but she could at least revisit it vicariously through these relics from her history. Joann restarted the ignition and pulled out in the street because she thought another important locale that she suddenly had the desire to visit.
Following the map from her memory, Joann curved around the twists and turns before she finally found it. The humble shop still stood where it was.
With the rain falling around it, it created an illusion that Joann had truly gone through a time tunnel. The fact that seemingly everything had remained unchanged helped tremendously to create that illusion.
Even after so many years, the shop didn't have a sign to call its own. Joann recognized the place with the same method that she used back then, which was through the silvery sheen of the row of large steel barrels that lined the front of the counter.
Joann parked the car and got out. She allowed the rain to fall on her as she ran through it to reach the shop just like how she did many times years ago.