Song Qingchun was surprised by Auntie Su's sudden demand. Even though she was confused, she still nodded obediently and said, "Sure."
The hotel's caf was empty. Song Qingchun and Auntie Su found a table close to the window and sat down across from each other. Auntie Su, in her youth, had brought up her son on her own. At the time, she had wished that she could join the other young women her age in these high-end cafes to have a leisurely afternoon coffee, but she could not because of her purse strings. As she got older and richer, she no longer enjoyed the smell of coffee even though she could now purchase the best coffee in the world. When the waiter came with the drinks menu, she ordered a pot of tea that was more to her taste considering her age.
After the tea was served, Song Qingchun reached out to pour the tea, but Auntie Su was faster than she was. The older lady picked up the pot, poured two cups of tea, and served one to Song Qingchun.
"Thank you." Song Qingchun accepted it with both hands. Auntie Su nodded with a smile as she raised the other cup. She took a small sip, and the fragrance of tea dispersed in her mouth. However, her heart was twisted with pain and guilt.
Auntie Su did not say a word but continued to sip on the tea. Her silence caused a bad omen to settle in Song Qingchun's heart. She stole a glance at Auntie Su over her tea cup, and after who knew how many times she did that, Auntie Su finally placed the cup down on the table and commented with a kind smile, "That's a good brew of tea."
Song Qingchun was not much of a tea connoisseur, so when Auntie Su said what she did, she merely nodded along. Auntie Su added more hot water into the tea pot and poured another two cups of tea in her graceful ways.
When Auntie Su placed the tea pot down on the table, Song Qingchun finally could not hold it in any longer and asked, "Auntie Su, didn't you say you have something to discuss with me?"
"Yes," Auntie Su answered, but she did not continue straight away. After a pause, she added, "It is cold outside. Have some tea to warm your body first, and we'll talk after that."
Since Auntie Su had said that, Song Qingchun did not dare to openly urge her anymore. She could only wait patiently. After Auntie Su poured the fourth cup of tea, she finally said, "Qingchun, first, I wish to thank you for looking after Ah Nian throughout this difficult time."
Song Qingchun's hand that held the cup to her lips moved downwards, and she quickly said, "Auntie Su, you shouldn't have said that. Su Zhinian got into this accident because of me. I'm merely doing everything that is within my responsibility."
Auntie Su smiled and did not comment anymore. She looked at Song Qingchun for a while before lowering her eyes and sighing softly. Eventually, she cut to the chase. "Qingchun, to tell you the truth, the reason I was late to visit Ah Nian these past few days is because I was away to interview a private nurse for Ah Nian."
Interview a private nurse? Song Qingchun was startled, and a burgeoning idea of why Auntie Su asked her up was forming in her mind.
Auntie Su formulated the words in her mind and said, "I hope you don't see this as an offense. After all, you need to return to work, and your father needs you. I cannot make you stay by Ah Nian's side to look after him day after day"
Song Qingchun was unable to tell whether Auntie Su was merely being polite to her or there was a hidden meaning, so she stretched her lips but did not say anything.