Cactus in Distress Chapter 36

Chapter 36

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Chen Rui stabbed her with words, “If you have anything else hurtful to say, just say it all at once.”

Sun Yutan remained silent, and after standing for a while, she walked around him and headed back.

Chen Rui no longer stopped her.

When Sun Yutan returned home, her parents were sitting together on the sofa.

Su Nan noticed her expression and said, “Did you have a fight? I told you that something was off during dinner, and your dad even said he couldn’t tell.”

Sun Ping said, “I didn’t notice anything, I thought you two were just shy. Tantan, your mom said that you and Chen Rui only got together recently?”

Sun Yutan sat on the other side and responded with an “Mm.”

Su Nan asked, “Does his family know?”

“No, they don’t.”

Su Nan and Sun Ping glanced at each other. Sun Yutan explained, “It was me who forbade him from telling them.”

Su Nan asked, “What did you fight about?”

“We didn’t fight. Chen Rui went crazy and said he wanted to marry me.”

When she heard this, her mind went blank, so her first reaction was to flee.

After Chen Rui’s accusations, she remained silent because she found herself unable to argue back.

Chen Rui’s words stripped away her protective veil, as he accused her of not taking things seriously, not loving him, and always being ready to give up without looking back.

It was really easy. Was the ability to give up easily something to be proud of?

Only Chen Rui had the confidence to insist that what he believed in must belong to him.

Sun Yutan was so angry that she spoke without thinking and hurt him with the thing he was most sensitive about. But by hurting him, she only hurt herself more.

She still couldn’t accept it. As she explained to Su Nan, they hadn’t been together for long. Was it her fault that she hadn’t thought further ahead in just a few short months?

She thought Chen Rui was like her. She was wrong.

She also thought she didn’t want to get married, but why did she feel so light-hearted at this moment?

Then she looked up and saw her parents’ expressions, and the balloon gradually deflated. Tonight, it wasn’t just her who was caught off guard by Chen Rui’s sudden announcement. Her whole family was too.

But after the initial surprise, Sun Ping only said to her, “You child, why is it crazy to want to get married? It just shows that Chen Rui is capable and responsible. It’s just that our families’ backgrounds will be messed up.”

Su Nan gave him a blank look. “He’s talking nonsense,” she said, frowning. She was worried about something else.

In Su Nan’s mind, her family and the Chen family were never equal. After all, her family had taken advantage of theirs from the start. She had never felt at ease during those three years in Haicheng, accumulating a sense of discomfort that made her feel like she was sitting on pins and needles but couldn’t get up.

She was grateful to the Chen family and hoped to repay them. But she also didn’t want to have a long relationship with the Chen family from the bottom of her heart, so she urged Sun Ping to move back to Shaocheng as soon as Tantan went to study in Tangcheng.

But after so many years, the younger generations of the two families have become entangled with each other.

She knew very well that if they interacted, her family would inevitably be “tainted”, and she would have to live forever in those three years.

Su Nan only asked, “I remember when you just returned to Haicheng, you told me that Chen Rui couldn’t stand you and was difficult to get along with?”

“There was a misunderstanding between him and me before.” Sun Yutan understood her mother’s meaning. “Chen Rui is very good to me.”

“He mentioned marriage, what do you think about it?”

Sun Yutan looked at her mother, “If you don’t want to, then I don’t want to either.”

She told Chen Rui that she cared about other people’s opinions, but in fact, she didn’t care. She was afraid of Su Nan being in a difficult position from beginning to end.

Su Nan’s difficulties back then were like a mirror to Sun Yutan. She knew her mother too well, and also knew what her mother was afraid of.

Su Nan was very surprised, “Why?” She suddenly understood and her eyes turned red, “You silly girl.”

Sun Yutan felt so sad, but still smiled and handed her mother a tissue, “Don’t cry, don’t cry, Mom. I’m not even sure about him yet. Don’t worry.”

“You’re such a fool!” Su Nan pinched her heavily. “What are you anxious about?”

“Yeah, why be anxious?” Sun Ping was really straightforward.

“You don’t understand anything.” Su Nan glanced at him, took her daughter’s hand, and slowly said, “Tantan, Mom asks you, do you like Chen Rui?”

Sun Yutan nodded.

Su Nan said, “Okay, Mom seriously tells you that as long as you like him, these things are not worth worrying about at all. You can do whatever you want. It’s already a new era. Where can we find a situation where two people who love each other cannot be together because of their families?”

Sun Yutan’s nose became sour, and she leaned over. “Mom…”

Su Nan sighed, “It’s my fault, I have too much pride and always make you feel like you have to keep your distance from his family.”

On the morning of the 30th, Su Nan was making breakfast when Chen Rui rang the doorbell.

“Hello, Auntie,” he greeted, holding two bags of fruit.

“Why did you bring more things?” Su Nan politely invited him in. “Tantan hasn’t woken up yet. Chen Rui, have you had breakfast?”

“Not yet.”

“Oh, then please go and wake up Tantan. We’ll eat together later.”

“Thank you, Auntie.”

Chen Rui approached the door to Sun Yutan’s chamber, his knuckles rapping softly against the wood. On the other side of the threshold, Sun Yutan had already roused from her slumber. They no longer shared a bed, as they once did, their arrangement resembling the days before liberation.

“Enter,” Sun Yutan’s voice rang out, though she had long since heard Chen Rui’s approach.

The door swung open, revealing Chen Rui’s form clad in a khaki-colored coat. He stood tall and upright, an imposing figure by her bedside. Hands tucked into his pockets, he gazed down at her with a stern expression.

Due to the residual anger from their argument, no one spoke.

Sun Yutan lifted the quilt and got out of bed. It was too unimpressive to lie down.

“Did you sleep well last night?” Chen Rui’s tone was sarcastic.

“Very well. How about you?”

“Not well at all.”

“Chen Rui, why are you becoming more honest now?”

“What do you think?”

Sun Yutan made a gesture of seeing off guests, “Okay, let me change my clothes. Can I ask you to wait outside for a moment, honored guest?”

At the dining table, Sun Yutan drank milk while looking at Chen Rui opposite her. Chen Rui looked back at her.

Su Nan served two bowls of noodles, one big and one small. Chen Rui stood up to take them.

The broth of the noodles was a rich blend of tomato and beef brisket, with a tantalizing array of eggs, preserved meats, and vegetables strewn atop. The colors of green, red, and white combined to create a visually striking and appetizing dish.

“Give her the smaller one,” Su Nan gestured to Chen Rui.

Sun Yutan asked, “Where’s Dad?”

“He went to load goods early in the morning. If it’s not enough, just tell me. There are still vegetables in the kitchen under the gauze cover.”

“Okay. Thank you, Auntie.”

“When will Dad be back?”

Su Nan looked at the clock on the wall. “In a little over half an hour. Why?”

“Let’s come to the store later to help unload the goods.”

“No need, no need! Where do we need you to come? Tantan, take Xiao Rui out for a stroll today.”

“It’s okay, Auntie,” Chen Rui said, “I’m happy to help.”

In the end, the three of them went out together.

Su Nan whispered, “How could you really let him come along?”

“Should I let him eat for free?”

“You naughty girl. How could he move?”

On the way to the supermarket, Su Nan met many neighbors and acquaintances, who expressed their curiosity about the handsome young man behind her. She introduced him as Sun Yutan’s friend, and those who were tactful understood without asking, and praised the young man’s spirit and Xiao Tan’s good fortune.

Chen Rui, who understood only half of the exchanges, stood by with a pleasant smile on his face.

Those with less tactful demeanors probed further, inquiring after Chen Rui’s background with an almost invasive curiosity. Su Nan had to quickly pull him away.

Sun Yutan looked back at him, and he returned to his expressionless face and asked her, “What are you looking at?”

She jokingly gave him a thumbs up.

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