Note: There’s an incident of dubcon in this chapter.
It’s mentioned briefly and over in a few vague sentences.
Today the sun was shining and no clouds were in the sky.
In such brilliant weather, Jiang Xiao was admitted to Xingfushu Private Hospital.
Although it was a hospital it felt more like a resort.
The scenery was beautiful, the air was fresh, and every patient had their own room.
The wards were beautiful, spacious, and luxurious.
The doctors and nurses were professional and their speech was pleasant.
If Jiang Xiao followed his previous habits, he’d give this private hospital a five-star review, no less than five hundred words of glowing praise and encouragement, thanking them for their hospitality and promising to come back whenever he had the chance.
It was a pity that this costly private hospital with its excellent service and well-deserved reputation wasn’t listed in any rating app.
If not for a friend’s introduction, Jiang Xiao probably wouldn’t have been admitted regardless of money.
And he wasn’t likely to ever be a repeat customer.
When he left this hospital, he’d go out horizontally.
Late stage leukemia.
What bad luck.
Jiang Xiao was only thirty-three this year.
When he got the lab results he didn’t believe it, but the cancer didn’t care about his feelings.
He went to several hospitals and the results were all the same.
He had six months left at most.
Xingfushu Private Hospital really did offer a high standard of medical care, but Jiang Xiao’s condition wasn’t curable.
The reason he chose Xingfushu, aside from the hope of surviving a little longer, was mostly to have a better quality of life during his last days.
Another word for it was hospice care.
Before his illness he was always in a hurry.
Worry was an indispensable part of his life.
In his twenties he relied on his youth, and it was common for him to drink and stay up late when talking business.
There were various circumstances a while ago, so he sometimes felt sick and didn’t have much energy, but he never thought much about it.
Liu, who was in charge of him, gave him some precautions in a gentle voice.
Lastly she said that if he had any visitors, he should notify the hospital in advance so they could arrange for transportation.
“There won’t be any visitors,” Jiang Xiao said with a smile.
“I met all my friends before I came.
During the time I have left, I want to be by myself.
If anyone asks about me just say I’m not here.”
When he smiled politely he revealed a pair of small tiger teeth.
Because he’d lost some weight, the wrinkles at the corners of his eyes weren’t obvious, and his pale face also looked much younger.
Jiang Xiao had the kind of appearance that made people feel happy inside.
Even as he spoke, one could tell his temper and mentality were very good.
This kind of person shouldn’t be so lonely in his final days.
Liu automatically expressed her understanding, but given Jiang Xiao’s age, she wondered about his family.
Even if you didn’t count friends, shouldn’t his wife or children come to see him?
But she’d seen too many people and situations.
She made some guesses in her heart and didn’t say anything.
All the patients in this hospital were rich, and rich people always had their own troubles they’d rather not discuss.
Xingfushu really was a good hospital.
Although they couldn’t save his life, they did their best to reduce Jiang Xiao’s suffering.
He was finally able to relax for once, and he leisurely watched twenty episodes of a drama in his hospital room.
Unfortunately the hospital didn’t supply potato chips and crawfish, otherwise Jiang Xiao would have been even more content.
The bed in the room was so soft that he fell asleep to the sound of the TV.
Jiang Xiao was used to sleeping alone and not recognizing the bed.
He had a long dream that night, thinking of something that happened a while ago.
It was the day he got the examination report from the hospital.
It just so happened that the management committee of Liujiang Industrial Park was holding its annual meeting, and Jiang Xiao, who was always on time, was running late for once.
He was a little distracted for obvious reasons.
When he entered the venue, the staff asked for an invitation.
He paled, smiled out of habit, and froze in place for seven or eight seconds.
Then he fumbled with a stack of papers in his document folder and handed them over.
“Sir, this isn’t an invitation.” The young staff member still had a very good attitude.
He poured a cup of hot water from the side and offered it to him.
“As you can see, it’s a medical file.”
This time Jiang Xiao froze for even longer.
He took back the file.
The logo of the First People’s Hospital of Liujiang City was painfully visible.
He rummaged around in the document folder and couldn’t find the invitation, but fortunately someone came out from the venue.
It happened to be a friend whom Jiang Xiao knew well.
Their factories were close by, and they’d known each other for about ten years.
“Since when does President Jiang need an invitation? Are you new? Why don’t you know anyone?” The man greeted the staff and pulled Jiang Xiao along.
“You, why didn’t you call me if you couldn’t get in?”
The meeting was half over.
Jiang Xiao found a seat at random and sat in the back.
The friend who brought him in was surnamed Su.
Jiang Xiao generally called him Boss Su.
Boss Su noticed he wasn’t in great condition and asked, “Your face isn’t good.
Did you and your family have a fight?”
Jiang Xiao shook his head.
“Don’t be stubborn.” Boss Su patted him on the shoulder.
“Your family isn’t happy that you’re selling the land in the industrial park, right?”
Jiang Xiao’s manufacturing plant had been open for over ten years.
There were more than a hundred workers in the factory producing daily necessities like towels and slippers.
In the past few years, the annual output value easily exceeded one hundred million.
But recently the call for industrial transformation in Liujiang City was getting more and more intense.
The industrial park was in a very good location, and the top echelon planned to create a high-tech industrial demonstration zone.
The factories inside would either comply with the policy of transformation, or sell and move far away.
It couldn’t be denied that Jiang Xiao’s manufacturing plant belonged to a low-end industry.
He’d missed the chance to modernize, and now the profits were declining while expenses were growing higher.
Day by day he was increasingly unable to hold on.
But Jiang Xiao owned the land where the factory was sited.
Back when he bought the land it wasn’t worth much, so he acquired it easily.
Boss Su didn’t quite understand the reason Jiang Xiao wanted to sell.
The industrial park was a key project and Jiang Xiao wasn’t short of money.
If it stayed in his hands he could collect millions in rent every year, wasn’t that delicious?
Jiang Xiao listened to him talk and squeezed the document folder which contained the test results he’d just received.
“It’s better to sell.
It’s pointless to keep it,” Jiang Xiao said.
“… I don’t have much time left.”
These last words were spoken to himself, in a voice so quiet it was almost inaudible.
In fact, the sale had almost been finalized.
The reason he came today was to cooperate with the last few steps of the process.
The other company and the Park Committee were very accommodating, and the money was quite generous.
Jiang Xiao’s selling price really wasn’t high.
When the money arrived, he took out a large portion and paid a lot of severance to the hundred or so employees of the company.
The factory’s accountant, Sister Chen, had been working for Jiang Xiao since the beginning.
She was old enough to take the money and retire, and she was one of the few who knew what was going on in Jiang Xiao’s life.
She cared more about Jiang Xiao as a person than the factory closing down.
“Your complexion is really bad lately.
Is it because you haven’t taken a break?” She added, “Why didn’t Xiao Lin come for such a big event?”
Jiang Xiao didn’t answer.
Lately he’d been in a daze.
“He’s not available.” Jiang Xiao slowly added, “As you know, he’s busy and hasn’t been back for more than a month.”
“What kind of a reason is that?” Sister Chen was incredulous, “He…”
At this point she closed her mouth, maybe because Jiang Xiao’s face was so haggard.
She didn’t want to say anything else to make him feel bad.
Sister Chen took the money and left.
Jiang Xiao sat alone in the office for a long time.
Late at night, he slowly stood up and prepared to go home.
He didn’t drive that day but walked back from the factory.
The wind was cold as a knife in the dark night.
Jiang Xiao passed through the crowds in the street, and a new financial magazine was displayed in the street newspaper kiosk.
On the cover was Lin ChengYu, whom he hadn’t seen in a long time.
He had an elegant and reserved temperament no one else could match, like a walking luxury product.
As an upstart in the financial circle he seemed able to easily get the love of others.
When Jiang Xiao passed by he saw two young girls laughing and smiling as they bought the magazine.
It was certainly easy to get Jiang Xiao’s love.
He stood in front of that newsstand for a while.
The Lin ChengYu on the cover was perfect, but Jiang Xiao was pale and his hair was disheveled, like a homeless, wandering soul.
No one would have thought these two were a couple.
He could still remember what happened all those years ago.
He first met Lin ChengYu at the age of nineteen.
At the time, Jiang Xiao had dropped out of school and was doing manual labor.
He was struggling to make a living on his own when he came across a person in an alley.
Lin ChengYu had lost his mother and father by then, and there wasn’t a yuan in his pocket, so it wasn’t clear why a group of punks surrounded him and began to beat him up.
Jiang Xiao thought he was just doing a good deed.
He didn’t know he’d end up entangled for the rest of his life with the man who’d break his heart again and again.
Lin ChengYu was covered in rags like he’d come from a garbage heap, but when he was taken home and washed clean, he became a shining pearl.
He was very good-looking, and the injuries on his face didn’t damage his youthful beauty but made his appearance even more heartbreaking.
When he smiled at Jiang Xiao he was as handsome as a fairy or an elf, so the heart of young Jiang Xiao began to race.
He fell head over heels.
After Jiang Xiao fell in love, he suddenly had a goal and hope for the future.
He willingly provided for Lin ChengYu, offered to send him to college, and didn’t let him suffer a single bit.
Jiang Xiao set up the factory with only a junior high school diploma, burning money to help Lin ChengYu make it through the hardest period in his life.
Jiang Xiao helped Lin ChengYu enter the best investment bank, and little by little he climbed up to where he was now, commanding the wind and rain.
As he recalled all this, Jiang Xiao realized how much time had passed.
He and Lin ChengYu first met fifteen years ago.
When he mustered the courage to chase him, Lin ChengYu didn’t refuse.
In total, they’d been together for ten years.
He used to think he was lucky to have a successful career and live with the person he liked, going from hard times to the good life he had now.
Even if it felt difficult sometimes, he always thought he’d be able to enjoy the fruits of his hard work together with Lin ChengYu in the future.
It was a pity he was dying.
He couldn’t wait until Lin ChengYu had time, not to mention that he and Lin ChengYu were both men and couldn’t get married.
In the legal sense they were nothing more than strangers.
In the financial magazine just now, the reporter wrote that Lin ChengYu was single and unmarried.
Jiang Xiao was now thirty-three years old.
He’d missed too many opportunities to improve himself because of all the challenges before.
Even though he’d gained some experience from his hard work, the limitations of a junior high school education meant he couldn’t adapt to the current trend of highly sophisticated reforms.
The factory was sold, he’d been Lin ChengYu’s invisible, unnamed lover for ten years, and the hospital said he had leukemia.
How did life suddenly turn out like this?
He was dumbfounded when he got the test results.
The first time he called Lin ChengYu, he left a dozen or so calls, but no one answered.
That night it was the secretary who called Jiang Xiao back.
Although her tone was good, if you listened carefully every sentence was loaded with sarcasm.
Lin has been in a lot of meetings.
There were big orders in the last few days, and the company is very busy,” she said.
“If you have something, let me know in advance and I’ll arrange something for you.”
Jiang Xiao didn’t have the energy to wrangle Lin ChengYu’s secretary, and he didn’t call after that.
The illness was like the last straw.
It crushed Jiang Xiao.
The closure of the factory was a blow, and the leukemia was an even bigger blow.
When he learned his days were numbered and he wanted to find the person he felt closest to for support, Lin ChengYu, as always, wasn’t there.
Jiang Xiao was a passionate person.
He knew Lin ChengYu’s temperament was cold, so it was only natural that his feelings weren’t as strong.
Jiang Xiao was one who fell in love first, and he’d fallen deeply.
He always thought there was nothing wrong with giving more.
He never kept score when it came to the person he loved.
Lin ChengYu was busy, so the two people almost never enjoyed the dating a normal couple would have done.
In recent years much of Lin ChengYu’s business focus had shifted from Liujiang to Binhai City, thousands of miles away on the coast.
He was gone even more, but Jiang Xiao endured it.
If not for this disease, maybe Jiang Xiao would have continued to deceive himself.
But when so many things piled on at once, he stopped pretending.
His whole body was shaking, like he’d walked to the edge of a cliff.
A week after Jiang Xiao finished dealing with the factory’s affairs, he saw Lin ChengYu at home.
By then Jiang Xiao had known about the leukemia for a long time.
Several of his close friends knew about it too.
One introduced Xingfushu Private Hospital to Jiang Xiao, and he went through the admission procedures alone.
He was scheduled to be admitted the day after tomorrow.
Maybe when the work at hand was done, Lin ChengYu would come back.
He was wearing a black suit as if he’d just come from a banquet.
Standing at the entrance he casually pulled off his tie.
When he looked up at Jiang Xiao, the sight of his face moved Jiang Xiao’s heart, the same as always.
He was one year younger than Jiang Xiao, thirty-two years old this year.
He was in the prime of his career.
Of mixed race, his eye color had a little blue and gray, and his peach blossom eyes possessed a natural attractiveness.
His entire face was impeccable.
The slightest trace the years had left only made him more mature and attractive.
Handsome and successful.
If you lived with such a person, you’d feel happy, right?
Countless people thought so, but Jiang Xiao, the person who’d actually accompanied him and experienced everything, had mixed feelings.
Lin ChengYu was cold as a winter’s day for ten years, and no matter what Jiang Xiao did, he couldn’t warm his heart.
He’d cooked a bowl of congee in the evening but couldn’t eat any more, so he pushed the bowl aside.
Lin ChengYu also looked a little tired.
He sat on the couch and opened a bottle of red wine.
In the past, Jiang Xiao would sit next to him, then naturally squeeze into his arms and find a topic to talk about.
This time Jiang Xiao was abnormal.
He took the bowl into the kitchen to clean up.
Lin ChengYu waited for a while, then glanced at the kitchen suspiciously, but he didn’t move.
It was too silent.
The atmosphere in the room was too strange.
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