Table For Two Chapter 181
Sometimes, the pieces just fell so perfectly in place that you'd think the author behind your life was purposely designing it that way.
After Sylvia left her office, she started to have second thoughts of exposing everything to her mom. For one, she did not know how her mother would react to the news and for another, all she had was a speculation and a witness, if she was a lawyer, she would have no case to build around it. She needed more concrete evidence if she was to convince her mother.
Sylvia thought about it and she considered the option of bringing in reinforcement. There was a suitable candidate in her mind.
Since it was her Auntie Xiu Ling who revealed to her the news about her father's infidelity, perhaps she could be the one to help her tie all the links together and help her mother see the truth. On top of that, Auntie Xiu Ling was her mother's best friend, if anyone was going to get through her mother's stubbornness and hardheadedness, it was going to be her Auntie Xiu Ling.
Sylvia pulled out her phone to give Xiu Ling a call.
In a stroke of coincidence, Xiu Ling was considering calling Sylvia as well. She too had something to tell Joann and similar to Sylvia, she also only had half of the puzzle. However, the half she had was exactly the half that Sylvia was missing.
The two women were shocked to find out they each held a part of the puzzle. They compared notes on the phone and after a brief discussion, decided it was finally time to bring this up with Joann. Xiu Ling would be the one making the call to Joann, she would ask her best friend out to a meeting on the pretext of their Three Months Club.
Sylvia suggested the meet-up be held at her home. She would find a day where her grandmother and father would not be home and they could have the whole place to themselves. This could provide the comfort of home ground to Joann should she need it. Xiu Ling agreed with Sylvia's suggestion.
The day of the grand expose came sooner than expected or at least it felt that way. Sylvia and Xiu Ling had been thinking about what to prepare but then again, what could you prepare for a thing like this?
Sylvia believed all they could do was to be honest and show compassion as well as support, however Xiu Ling had a different idea in mind. Xiu Ling believed there was a reason driving everyone's action. After understanding their drive, one could have a better grasp of the whole picture and that would provide a better information to be used during negotiation.
In other words, Xiu Ling had some legwork to be done. She approached Lin Kang for help and the man was willing to lend her some of his men without asking for any details. He could have grilled the men on the orders his wife had given them after they returned but he respected Xiu Ling too much to encroach into her privacy. If there was no trust between them, how was he going to get Xiu Ling to place her faith in him?
Before the fated day, Xiu Ling had garnered all the information she needed. She had even paid a few key individuals a visit. Everything was now in her grasp, from her vantage point, she could see the whole cause and effect that had led to the current unfortunate situation.
While she had her own opinion on the issue, on why certain things had happened the way they did, Xiu Ling was not going to implant her own perspective when she revealed the incidents to Joann. Her best friend was directly involved in this chain of events and thus she had the right to make her own opinion. Xiu Ling was not going to infringe on her freedom of thought, if anything, she was going to make sure that she did not influence Joann with her personal perspective.
On that day itself, Xiu Ling arrived about one hour earlier than the designated time. Instead of going to find Joann directly, Xiu Ling took a detour and met up with Sylvia first. This was to discuss their game plan which could be summed up as, proceed as how thing goes.
This was also why when Joann came down the stairs to head into the living room, she saw Xiu Ling sitting next to her daughter on the sofa. They looked like members at the AA meeting welcoming a new member into their fold. Their eyes were glowing with support and encouragement that she did not quite understand.
Joann sat down more cautiously than she normally would have, as she got increasingly uncomfortable by the non-verbal outpouring of support that she had been picking up from the other two.
"So... What's the occasion?" Joann began carefully.
She caught her best friend sneak a look at her daughter and there was some kind of communication that happened between them. She did not appreciate being left out and for some reason, a bad feeling started to form at the bottom of her heart.
"Joann," Xiu Ling was the one to start, her voice sounded really heavy like it had taken her a great effort to continue her words, "I don't know if there's a better way to phrase this so I'm just going to come out and say it."
Joann gulped subconsciously like she knew something huge was coming and her body was reacting appropriately to it. Xiu Ling rarely employed such a serious tone in their conversation, especially during their tri-monthly meetings which were usually reserved for lighter topics.
It enhanced that bad feeling in her heart. "What is it, Xiu Ling?" Joann urged even though she was rather afraid of finding out the answer. Joann was not one to watch her steps normally but she believed in her best friend's judgement. If the incident was serious enough for Xiu Ling to adopt such a serious tone, then it must be of a great severity and import.