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Season 10

Episode 22

(I“ve Loved Her for a Longer Time, and More Than You Do (2)

The moment his gaze landed on her face, an evident trace of astonishment surfaced in his eyes. The cigarette between his fingertips swayed slightly, and after a few seconds his awkward expression disappeared and he returned to normal. He looked into her eyes and did not say anything.

When the foreign man saw them looking at each other, he spoke again. This time, his words were directed at Lu Bancheng instead of Xu Wennuan. “Cheng, do you know her? Is she your friend?”

Upon hearing the foreign man’s words, Lu Bancheng retracted his gaze and gave the man sitting before him a slight nod. He extinguished his cigarette in the ashtray. When he realized that Xu Wennuan was standing her ground and showing no intention of leaving, he lifted his head again and glanced at her. He asked her the exact same thing he had the first time he had spoken to her after their divorce—”Is something the matter?”

The presence of the foreign man made Xu Wennuan even more nervous. She grabbed her jacket and had just mustered enough courage to start speaking when Lu Bancheng cut her off before she could say anything. He said in English, “Johnny, excuse me.”

When the foreign man nodded with a smile and gave his approval, Lu Bancheng rose and pointed outside of the bar. He then took quick strides out the door. Xu Wennuan returned the foreign man’s smile when he offered her one and then lifted her heels and followed behind Lu Bancheng.

They crossed the street and walked into a small deserted alley. Lu Bancheng stopped and spun around to look at Xu Wennuan, who had stopped three feet behind him. He did not speak; instead, he waited for her to go first.

Xu Wennuan swallowed her mouthful of saliva and looked back into Lu Bancheng’s eyes. She said, “I… I want to borrow some money from you.”

Lu Bancheng maintained his silence. His gaze remained completely unruffled, as well. Such an expression made it impossible for Xu Wennuan to know what he was thinking. She grew slightly erratic while studying his expression and bit down on her bottom lip before she continued. “I accidentally lost my bag this afternoon, and I don’t have a single cent on me. My phone isn’t with me either… And I just happened to see you…”

Xu Wennuan gave him a clear explanation of what had happened and no longer had the courage to look into his eyes. She lowered her head and was silent for a short while. “I hope you can help me. I’ll return the money to you the moment I get back to Beijing,” she added.

The truth was Lu Bancheng had already found her the moment he had arrived in Lijiang that morning. She just hadn’t found him until now. When he had seen her sitting on the streets like a fool during dusk, he had staged a chance encounter and planted himself in the bar, which she could see from where she sat.

So, she lost her bag…

Lu Bancheng stayed distracted for too long. Xu Wennuan initially thought that he didn’t wish to help her, and she grabbed the hem of her shirt tightly and made a final plea. “I don’t know anyone here, and my luggage is in Lijiang, so…”

Before Xu Wennuan finished speaking, Lu Bancheng returned to his senses. “How much do you need?”

“Huh?” Xu Wennuan was taken aback by Lu Bancheng, who had suddenly spoken after his long silence. When she realized that he was willing to help her, she quickly calculated how much she needed for a car service back to Lijiang and her expenses for the following day, as well as the fare she would need to get home from Beijing.



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