Table For Two Chapter 211
After the two ladies hugged it out, Auntie Xiao asked the first question that entered her mind, "Joann, you're here alone?" She stopped to look behind Joann and out the door, "Where is that boyfriend of yours that trail behind you like a loyal puppy? Is he parking the car for you? Tell him to come in, don't be shy, Auntie Xiao will treat him to a good meal."
A flash of injury crossed Joann's eyes when Auntie Xiao mentioned Xu Jing but she quickly used her acting skill to cover it up. She already had a long list of people worried about her, she did not want to add another to the roster.
Joann was thankful that so many people cared about her but it also added an invisible pressure to her shoulders. She did not want to fail them but she didn't know what was the answer that would be approved by them either. People lending her support had their own perspective and Joann felt the pressure to give in to their demands since she was taking advantage of their support. However, if she really did that, then she would be torn into many different directions.
Furthermore, one of the reasons Joann paid Auntie Xiao a visit was to give herself a break from thinking about the extra-marital affair. She wanted to catch up with the lady, not get her to be worried about her.
Therefore, Joann forced a smile and said, "He's actually my husband now but he's at home, busy with work. I sneaked out alone."
There was a twinkle in Auntie Xiao's eyes when she heard that. "You two are married now? Wonderful! I've always thought you two are a very good match. Even back then, I can see that he adores you. This is great news."
Joann did not know how to feel with Auntie Xiao reacting so positively to her marriage with Xu Jing. Before the big revelation, she would have agreed full heartedly with Auntie Xiao but now she was having second doubts. If Xu Jing adored her as much as Auntie Xiao claimed, then why would he cheat on her?
In any case, Joann did not have the time to deal with her thoughts because the smile on Auntie Xiao's face turned upside-down and she grumbled like many a Chinese elder would in this kind of situation. "Why didn't you invite me to your wedding then? I didn't even know you got married. I would love to be there to give you my blessing," Auntie Xiao grumbled with mock offense.
Joann knew Auntie Xiao was just kidding but she gave her a serious explanation, "I was too busy at the time. As you know, my career had just started to take off so I did not have the time to organize a lavish wedding. Auntie Xiao, if there was a wedding, I definitely would have invited you. You're the reason why we even got together in the first place after all."
Auntie Xiao chuckled, "Of course, I was just kidding. I'm surprised that the boyfriend of yours didn't make much fuss when you said you didn't want a wedding. If I'm not mistaken, he's their family's only son, right? This is the only chance his parents was going to welcome a daughter-in-law into their family. I'm sure your husband must have spent a lot of time to persuade them to accept the decision. This went to show how much he cares and loves you, Joann, you're a lucky woman to have snatched up a man like him."
The smile on Joann's face froze. Auntie Xiao was just being kind. It was the socially-accepted thing to do to compliment your friend's spouse but the senior lady had no idea she had been poking at Joann's wounds.
Other than that, Auntie Xiao also brought up a point that Joann had not considered before. At the time, Xu Jing did bring up the possibility of having a wedding but Joann denied it instantly. Her career had just taken off and her agency warned her from having a public relationship because it might affect her popularity.
Therefore, not only did Joann do not have a lavish wedding, her relationship with Xu Jing at least during the very initial stages of her career was very hush-hush. Xu Jing attended her public functions for so many times after that he managed to win over the heart of Joann as well as her fans. It was then that Joann's agency allowed her to face the world with the truth.
Joann remembered rolling her eyes at Xu Jing's insistence of throwing a wedding. She playfully mocked him because he was adamant on having a Cinderella wedding even though he was a man. He showed far more insistence than her who, according to traditional gender roles, was supposed to have the vision of this dream wedding. At the time, she remembered thinking, if she did not mind skipping the wedding, why did he care so much.
Now, with the reminder from Auntie Xiao, she understood why. It was for the sake of his family. Joann could imagine how hard it was for Xu Jing to explain to his parents why they could not see their only son go through the traditional Chinese wedding rituals.
This made Joann feel guilty towards Xu Jing and it messed up her mind. Did two wrongs make a right? Did this mean she should just call it even?
Joann sighed and her mask slipped for that second. However, Auntie Xiao was still bright-eyed enough to catch it.
Sensing she had touched upon a sour spot, she immediately hurried Joann to the chair and expertly changed the subject, "Come, come. Take a seat. Look at me, yapping about the past like an old woman. I guess that comes with getting old. Enough about the past, we're in the present. We should look towards the future. So Joann, tell me what you're up to? How are things? Why did you suddenly decide to pay your Auntie Xiao a visit?"