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Season 6

Episode 17

(Liela's ploy work's)

Leila sat quietly for a long time, carefully thinking what to do. She was still unable to make up her mind.

After Chris left, Leila kept thinking about her suggestion. Leila felt what Chris proposed sounded quite reasonable.

Yes, she wanted to marry Charles, and the best way to get intimate with the man was to spend more time with him.

Love, she believed, would follow in time.

But Leila still had certain misgivings. Voluntarily applying for a position in the Shining Company was not a good move. Charles would easily see her real intention. She needed to figure out a plan. 'How can I make Charles ask me back to his company?' Leila thought.

As usual, Charles called Leila that evening to ask her out for drinks. She hesitated but then finally declined his invitation. "Mr. Lu, much as I also want to have a drink with you, I'm too tired to go out," she said with an excuse. "You know I have to work hard to raise my son. I've been at the supermarket the whole day, and I am exhausted, so I want to rest early tonight," Leila told Charles.

"You're working at a supermarket?"

Charles couldn't keep the surprise out of his voice. He knew Leila was competent and highly educated but now she was just working as a salesperson to earn a living for her son. Her revelation shocked Charles, and he wanted to know why.

"Why are you working at the supermarket?" he inquired. Charles hoped his question did not offend her.

He held the phone and couldn't help feeling baffled at Leila's current employment situation.

The woman he knew was arrogant, so it was difficult to imagine her accepting a job as lowly as a supermarket salesperson.

"Yes, I am working at a supermarket as a saleswoman now," Leila admitted. "You sound surprised. Why? Is it because you never expected me to be doing this?" she asked. He couldn't see her smiling bitterly. Leila drew in a breath before continuing, "You do know I am a single mom. So I need to make money to support our life, and take care of my son." Leila saw the opportunity to set her plan in motion. "I had offers from some companies before, but I had to refuse them because I had to take care of my son. When I tried applying again, I was told to stop working and look for another job when my son is big enough and doesn't need too much attention," she said lengthily.

There was a pause as she thought of what to say next. "Mr. Lu, you were born into a prominent family, and don't have to worry about such trivial matters. But, like most everybody else, I have to work hard to earn a living. If I don't work, I won't have a source of income," she wove her story smiling. Sighing, she ended with, "So, I'm afraid I can't go out drinking with you anymore."

Leila was taking a huge risk with this strategy. Each time Charles asked her out for drinks was a chance to become closer to him. But their past outings got her nowhere.

She now knew that to get more intimate with Charles required a reckless move such as this.

If this risk paid off, then things would hopefully fall into place. But if she failed, Leila knew she would lose her last chance at becoming close to Charles again.

As she ended her tale, Leila fidgeted while waiting for Charles to say something. He was silent for a long time, making her even more nervous. Leila was on her way to getting upset, with a sinking feeling that it was over. She was close to accepting defeat.

She began to regret all that she just told Charles, but there wasn't anything she could do to remedy the situation. Instead she smiled bitterly and said, "Mr. Lu, I am so sorry. I have to hang up now." Still no reaction. "I need to give my son a bath."

It truly disappointed her that she screwed her chances with Charles, so she took a deep breath and was ready to hang up.

But before she could do so, Charles suddenly spoke up, "Wait a minute, Leila."

Hearing his voice suddenly made Leila nervous. Was the situation about to change? She didn't realize how tight she held the phone, but her voice was shaky as she asked, "Do you want to say something, Mr. Lu?"

After realizing Leila's situation, Charles began thinking how desperately he needed people to help him manage the day-to-day company affairs. Leila could help him manage the company. It would also be good to have her around to remind him of his missing wife. Charles was sure that if Autumn were still alive, she, too, would be a single mother, like Leila.

He considered all this and became determined to help his former secretary. Charles thought it would also make him feel better to help Leila at this point in her life. He also hoped that Autumn would meet someone who would want to do the same for her.

He drew in a deep breath and asked, "Are you available tomorrow?" Before she could respond, he added, "If you're free, come to Shining Company. I want to talk to you." Charles couldn't believe how relaxed he sounded while speaking. And Leila was beside herself with joy.

Cheerfully, she replied, "Yes, of course, Mr. Lu. I will be there tomorrow."

But she controlled her excitement and pretended to cough slightly to ease her embarrassment. "I mean I will be free after bringing my son to school in the morning," she told Charles. "I'll be free around ten o'clock, Mr. Lu. Is that a good time for you? Will you be in a meeting then?" she asked politely. "I don't want to inconvenience you," Leila hastened to add.

"So, I'll see you at ten o'clock tomorrow. Just wait for me if my meeting isn't over," Charles told her. He hesitated before speaking again. "Anyway, get a good night's rest. I'll hang up now."

Leila hung up and couldn't control her excitement. She did it! The woman could not stop giggling as she slumped on the couch. Charlie looked at her with disdain. He got up and was about to leave the room when Leila stopped him.

"Charlie, mom will have a new job by tomorrow. Are you happy for me?" She shared her good news with the boy. It was a big deal for Leila, but Charlie remained indifferent. He didn't care about her good news and looked at her with cold eyes.

The boy looked Leila in the eye and mocked, "Don't be so cheerful. I'm sure that in a few days, they will dismiss you."

Leila was not discouraged by his words. "No, Charlie. I can assure you it will be different this time. Now, I have a better chance to keep my job," she told him. Leila flushed in embarrassment at Charlie's words. To earn a living, Leila had been forced to accept jobs she did not like. But because she was educated and overqualified, she would become arrogant and complain about everything.

Eventually, she would be fired or would resign. And Charlie was aware of her employment history in the last several years.

Nothing could change her mood, not even the boy's apathetic attitude.

"Charlie, you have to trust me this time," she said. "I promise that this time, I will work hard to provide you with a better life," Leila said emphatically.

"And I will not only make a lot of money but also bring your father back," she added.

Her last words made Charlie stare at Leila. His expression remained passive, but he asked, "Really?" His tone aloof, Charlie mockingly said, "Well, congratulations!"

Charlie may be a young boy, but he was more mature than most children at his age. Though Leila always treated him well, he found it difficult to show affection for her. And he could never figure out why he never felt close to Leila, except that it was like instinct to stay away.

And this instinct told him to seek advantages but avoid disadvantages.

"So, what do you want for breakfast tomorrow?" she asked the boy. Smiling, Leila offered, "I will prepare it for you." While waiting for his response, she heaved a sigh of relief.

"Thanks, but there is no need to prepare breakfast especially for me," Charlie declined. His tone was cold, but Leila ignored this. He walked back to his bedroom.

Leila was grinning from ear to ear, as she leaned on the couch to rejoice over her victory.

The next day, Leila still cooked a hearty breakfast for Charlie and kept urging the boy to eat some more.

He stared at the egg Leila handed him, and then frowned. Charlie set it aside quietly and said, "I am already full."

After a few moments, he announced, "It's time to go to school." Charlie put his fork down, wiped his mouth gently and looked at Leila to signal he was ready.

Today, there were no mood swings.

She was surprised by his desire to leave for school. Leila asked to be sure, "Have you finished eating breakfast? Please give me a moment so I can walk you to school." Leila quickly stood up to clear the dishes and got ready.

Unlike most children who held their parents' hands while walking, Charlie always walked by himself, with Leila by his side. He had never walked hand-in-hand with his mom.

He always look like a young adult in a suit.



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