Chapter 52: Schemes (Part 1)
For the next few days, Xiaonian faced unprecedented problem at TianZhi.
First, the heating system went down, but Xiaonian was used to living in a rundown apartment where breakdowns in the heating were very common. She wasn’t unused to taking a cold shower especially in summer, so she simply used the cold water and when necessary heated up some water in the pan or microwave.
But it came as a surprise that such a thing would happen in a place like TianZhi where the richest of the rich live.
Looks like, these problems crop up everywhere and even the rich are not immune to it. There was something satisfying about it.
She wanted to complain to the building maintenance but she did not know the number and she definitely did not want to call any one related to Gong Ouyang for help.
It could jinx her.
- * *
The next day, Xiaonian woke up to find that the water supply stopped.
This was TianZHi, right?
The money that went into paying for a square foot of this place was more than she could afford in ten years, and they still had these run down apartment problems?
If the building was doing maintenance, they would definitely inform her and she did not get any notice, so this cannot be it.
Xiaonian could not help but become slightly suspicious at this point.
First the heating, then the water.
Was it Gong Ouyang retaliating for what happened a few days back?
Xiaonian immediately brushed off her ridiculous thoughts.
How can someone like him have tim etc play such silly games with her. Most probably, he just got bored of her like Feng De said he would and went back to live his old life.
She still had a big deadline before her, so she quickly sat down before her table and started working on it.
She completed most of the arc and she called her editor to discuss any changes or additions they might make and by the time she hung up, it was already dark outside.
She stretched her arms and slowly hopped to the kitchen.
This big apartment was really not suitable for a single person stay. Just to walk to the kitchen she had to spend 10 minutes with her condition.
The big house just magnified her loneliness.
There was some water in the bottles and a spare tank supply for every apartment and it will last her for another day or two if she used it judiciously, but she still had to do something about this.
Just as she was hopping over to the dining table, the power went off and in the dark, she misjudged the distance between her and the chair and knocked herself against it.
Xiaonian clutched her foot and clenched her hands in pain.
After a few minutes, once the pain in her shin subsided, she looked at the dark room and became excessively timid.
Since she was 7, Xiaonian has been very scared of the dark.
It all started when she was left alone at a relatives place for 3 days by her adoptive parents. They left on a tour with Shi Yue, the relatives children were very mischievous and locked Xiaonian in a dark basement away from their main house for a whole day and night.
The basement was once used as a grain storage facility and had been left unused for a long time, and infested with rats, Xiaonian, a 7 year old child then,tried to scream and shout for someone to help her but because of the thick walls no one was able to find her until the next day.
From then, Xiaonian was very scared of complete darkness and rats. It was only later when Mu Qian Chu came to live them that she learnt to be less scared of being in dark places. After all, Mu Qian Chu was then a blind person, and dark was all he could see and with his help, she learnt to sleep with only a bed light on.
Xiaonian slowly started chanting hymns and sutras to calm herself and slowly edged towards the kitchen counter. The bacon was just to the left and if she opened the curtains, she could see some light.
Suddenly, the phone in her pocket blared out a ringtone loudly and Xiaonian almost jumped put of her skin in fear.
For a long time, she just sat there stiff taking time to realize that it was just her phone.
Once she realized that it was the phone in her pocket, she quickly pulled it out and answered without even looking at the caller ID.
In these circumstances, talking to someone would feel safer.
“Hello?” she greeted and a hint of fear leaked through her tone across the phone to the other person.
She wanted to leave this place now and go somewhere filled with bright lights.
“Xiaonian, did something happen? You sound tense” a man’s smooth voice came through the cellphone.
Mu Qiacn Chu’s voice.
When Xiaonian heard the voice, she immediately looked at her phone screen and saw that the it was indeed Mu Qian Chu’s phone number.
Xiaonian still stared at the screen in daze when she heard Mu Qian Chu’s voice repeating her name on the phone, “Xiaon nian? Xiaonian? Are you there?”