Table For Two Chapter 185
Joann was a firm believer in the axiom, if you have time to worry about it, you have time to work on it. She was a hands' on person. Therefore, with Xiu Ling and Sylvia building up to a revelation that sounded like it would be a great concern to her unsettled Joann deeply, even though she tried not to let that show.
While Joann tried to calm herself, her daughter nudged forward in her seat as if trying to provide her comfort with physical support. Sylvia added, "Mom, blackmailing Lee Mu and Zao Ming is not the only thing the girl has done."
"Is that so? What else then?" Joann asked as if on instinct. However, there was a quiver in her voice that hinted at notes of dread. This was the first time in her life Sylvia had heard such a tremble in her mother's voice. From Sylvia's perspective, her mother had always faced the world with a brave face and she did not know the meaning of fear.
Even the build-up to the news had worried her so. It was as if her mother could predict the upcoming news would be one of a devastating scale.
Sylvia hated this so much. Why did they have to do this? She could not bear to see her mother crumble before her face. That would have been impossible to take in. It would be like seeing the person you had always idolized crumble upon itself. You would not know what to do because normally it was said person who comforted you and not the other way round. It would have created a psychological distress not only on the hearer of the news but also on the bearer of the news.
At that moment, Sylvia thought about calling it quits, just stopping at the news of the blackmail and calling it a day. After all, hadn't they delivered enough trauma for one day?
However, Sylvia knew if they dragged this out, it would only get worse. They had let this secret fester long enough. They had helped Xu Jing keep this secret for so long because they hoped the man would eventually talk to Joann about it himself. After all, things would be so much clearer coming from the man himself. The chance of seeking redemption that way would have been much easier as well. The first step to seeking forgiveness was to admit one's mistake.
They had given the man plenty of time and opportunities. If he wanted to own up to his mistake before his wife, he would have done it by now.
To be honest, Xiu Ling was leaning more towards letting things rest but the tipping point was Sylvia. As the daughter, and the party that would be most affected by the secret being exposed, she managed to convince Xiu Ling that it was for the best of all if they deal with this.
Sylvia could not deal with the secret being a ticking time bomb just waiting to explode in her parent's marriage. She'd rather them deal with it and move on. She might not be able to get past it but ultimately she would appreciate honesty than deceit. Sylvia knew her mother well enough to know that she would think the same way. Her mother was not the kind of woman who appreciated knowing she had been lied to the better part of her life. It was better to deal with the problem now rather than later.
Sylvia was thinking of her parents when she made this decision. Now, they were still young enough to have a brand new beginning. Of course, she hoped that they could start on this journey together but if god forbid, they couldn't, at least they still had the choice to rebuild their lives. She did not want the secret to leak when they were already old and grey and there was nothing plausible to be done other than to be resigned to fate.
One could call it Sylvia's act of kindness, although Xu Jing probably would have a hard time seeing it that way.
Sylvia gathered her breath and she announced with clarity, "Mom, I'm sorry but father was cheating on you with Qing Qing."
Of course Sylvia had no idea whether the affair had already ended or not. For all she knew, perhaps her father was still cheating with that girl to this day. However, she opted for the choice of past tense because that seemed to be logical thing to do. Furthermore, it aligned with her hope that it was already all in the past.
If they thought Joann was resistant to accepting the reality before, this was 100 times worse than that. Joann did not even pause to consider its plausibility but jumped into denial mode almost instantly, "Sylvia, what are you talking about? How can that be true?"
Joann started to laugh like she believed this was just a joke her daughter had played on her. When Sylvia did not join in her laugh, Joann's laughter started to turn hollow. Her defense began to crack.
"Mom, I'm not joking. What I said is 100 percent true," Sylvia repeated, hoping to get her point across this time.
Naturally, it would not have been as easy as that. Joann had too much faith in Xu Jing, or rather her hold over her husband, to believe something like that. Joann's defenses went up even higher than before and instead of hearing what Sylvia had to say, she turned to shoot the messenger. "Sylvia, how can you say such things about your own father? Don't you believe him? Who has been feeding you these lies? Who told you about this? I'll go question them in person and you'll see that they've been lying to you all along."
"Mom..." Sylvia began to protest but Xiu Ling cut her off by talking over her, "Joann, it was me who told Sylvia that. I was the one who told her your husband has been cheating on you."