Lu Jinnian leaned back into his car seat with his eyes shut. His phone screen lit up with the post Qiao Anhao has just uploaded on Weibo.
He didn't ask his a.s.sistant to drive in, but to stop at the entrance of Mian Xiu Garden's neighborhood. He got out of the car, alone, and walked in.
The gates of the mansion were locked. He searched his pocket for ages before he pulled out a set of keys. They were the keys Qiao Anhao had left him in the car on the day she left. He still clearly remembered when he gave her the keys, when they weren't that close. He had tried hard to appear distant, afraid that he would reveal the excitement he felt inside.
He unlocked it and pushed open the steel doors, stepping in. Without Madam Chen, the courtyard hadn't been swept for half a month already. The day Qiao Anhao left, the entire courtyard was filled with blooming flowers, but now, they were all withered on the floor.
Lu Jinnian stood on the fallen flowers at the entrance of the mansion. He entered the pa.s.scode, pushed the door open, and walked in.
The mansion was empty inside, just like his heart. He walked up the stairs, towards the bedroom. It was the same as the day Qiao Anhao left. The windows were shut. A few days ago, there was a storm, which left strokes of mud marks from the rain.
The silent room stifled Lu Jinnian's heart. He looked at the bag on the floor of the changing room, and thought of what Qiao Anhao had said to him before she left: Inside, there were clothes that she didn't want.
Lu Jinnian paused for a moment, then walked over. He opened the bag and pulled out each item of clothing. He took the coat hangers from his clothes and hung her's up.
In the bag, there were also Qiao Anhao's cleaning products. He put them under the shower and washed them. Then, he placed them back in their original places.
Once he had tidied up everything, Lu Jinnian's heart felt the slightest bit better. By putting the things she didn't want back in their places, it felt like she was still living with him in the mansion.
After Xu Jiamu was discharged, he was stuck in the Xu family estate for the entire half a month without going outside. He wasn't even allowed to take a walk in the courtyard, as the housekeeper or Han Ruchu would make a huge fuss and order the servants to follow behind him, afraid he would get into an accident.
Though he was clearly living an enviable life of luxury, Xu Jiamu felt like it was a prison. He felt incredibly oppressed. One day, he finally snapped and sneaked out of the house when Han Ruchu was at the company and the housekeeper was cooking.
Before sneaking out the front door, Xu Jiamu had called for a taxi in advance. Once he got in the car, he tried to call his close friends to come out with him.
As Xu Jiamu couldn't drink, he thought about it again. In the end, he decided to hold the party at Mian Xiu Garden, where he promised everyone to cook a lavish dinner.
Before he went to Mian Xiu Garden, Xu Jiamu personally took a trip to the supermarket and bought a bunch of ingredients. He casually left the address and sent the food off for delivery.
The Xu family would send someone over to Mian Xiu Garden to clean the mansion. Within two minutes of Xu Jiamu's arrival, Qiao Anxia and Chen Yang had already come over. Xu Jiamu called them over to sit anywhere. Before he could even pour them two cups of water, the doorbell rang. It was the supermarket food delivery.
Xu Jiamu pointed at the water dispenser as a signal for Qiao Anxia to help herself. He then pulled the door open, standing there to check his order with the delivery men. That was when he saw Lu Jinnian standing on the balcony of the mansion next door.