Chapter 47 Cold War
Since parting ways unhappily that day, Ren Zhouyuan and Leonid started a week-long cold war.
This time Leonid wasn’t crawling over to beg for forgiveness. Like he promised, he gave Ren Zhouyuan time and space to calm down, allowing him to truly think about their relationship.
And this time Ren Zhouyuan was truly angered by his actions. No matter how much his final words were moving, it was nothing compared to what he had done. Plus, he was still bothered by something else, so he didn’t have much niceness to show to Leonid those first few days.
The past few nights he returned to his room to sleep. To prevent An An from worrying, when he was at home he maintained a courteous attitude toward Leonid. But An An was sensitive enough to discover the change immediately.
The second night Ren Zhouyuan went back to his room An An asked carefully, “Daddy are you not going to Big Daddy’s room tonight?”
At that moment Ren Zhouyuan’s expression was quite the sight. He wanted to try to trick him, but faced with those big clear eyes he could only nod.
An An said caringly, “Then it must be his fault for making you mad. Yeah! Daddy’s sleeping together with me today, I’m so happy!”
Of course Ren Zhouyuan could tell his son was trying to make him happy. He felt warmed and embarrassed at how immature the adults were acting by comparison.
Ren Zhouyuan had An An to accompany him, but Leonid wasn’t so lucky. Since the first night of their cold war, he was too lonesome to fall asleep. He’d been sleeping alone for thirty years, but after embracing Ren Zhouyuan each night he found it hard to go back.
For the week, he locked himself in the study, working himself to the bone with large quantities of work until he could drag himself back to his room.
But when he lay down in bed again, his brain would start to animate again as he recalled their arguments.
In the first few nights he thought although his methods were questionable, his initial intent was wrong. Plus he’d admitted his own mistakes, so he didn’t understand why Ren Zhouyuan was so angry.
He grew up in Russia, where people cared strongly about family after marriage. One of the most important components of that was the fruit of their love. Whether it was family or friends, everybody had as many kids as they wanted to. He could never understand the Chinese way of restricting births, or the reason why Ren Zhouyuan didn’t want to have another child.
At first he felt that Ren Zhouyuan didn’t love him enough. If he did, of course he wouldn’t refuse his request or become so angry. After a few days of going down this rabbit hole of thought, however, he began to realize that he was in the wrong.
He was trying to bind his partner with a child without his consent, stuffing a baby into his stomach without his agreement.
He didn’t anticipate Ren Zhouyuan would be against this. Just like he said, he wasn’t a woman and had no obligation to birth children for him. Even if he were a woman, the law had no requirement that couples must have children.
A new life should be full of love and expectations, not a weapon for one person’s selfishness.
People can be greedy sometimes. When he didn’t have Ren Zhouyuan, he was over the moon whenever Ren Zhouyuan showed the possibility of responding to him. But when Ren Zhouyuan finally agreed to be with him and brought An An as a surprise as well, he hoped for more, wanting Ren Zhouyuan to belong to him entirely and never escape from his grasp.
Getting one thing then thinking about gaining ground, and finally losing everything.
When he finally puzzled this out, Leonid looked back at what he had done and immediately understood why his actions were despicable.
He used his self-assumed “correctness” and called it “love”, using it to hurt the person he loved the most. How could he have said such pretentious things to disguise his wrongdoing? And it had taken him so many days to wake up to his own mistake.
With all that in mind, Leonid didn’t want to wait another second before knocking down Ren Zhouyuan’s door, proclaiming that he was wrong. Whether or not Ren Zhouyuan forgave him, he would never hurt him again.
Compared to dreams, reality was cruel.
Leonid said everyone should go calm down, so Ren Zhouyuan did just that. He knew calmly that he didn’t want to see Leonid, at least before the banquet ended. Before he could see his parents, he had no intention to start other fights with him.
But no matter how hard the days were, time didn’t stop for anyone. While the two stayed in their cold war, the end of year conference arrived.
Since he knew that Leonid’s family was going to be there, Ren Zhouyuan mentally resisted the idea of this end of year banquet. Thinking about how he would have to see some “female companion” by Leonid’s side while they were still fighting and pretend to play family, his expression only became uglier.
Some part of him, however, wanted to endure the torment and go see who this person was. He wanted to take An An with him and reveal the fact that Leonid had a son. Thinking about the family’s shocked looks brought him joy.
The two were still in conflict, so Ren Zhouyuan wasn’t going to ask Leonid about the banquet. But when he brought An An outside all dressed up, Leonid’s car was waiting outside.
His footsteps paused, looking down at An An by his side. In the end he still opened the backseat door and stepped inside silently.
When arriving, most of the guests were already there. Ren Zhouyuan carried An An out of the car and took his hand, the two of them following behind Leonid. His eyes scanned around the area unconsciously.
Each person he saw seemed like they could be the prospective “female companion”. When he noticed a male companion by the women’s sides, he couldn’t help but breathe a sigh of relief.
Since it was the end of year conference, any organization or enterprise that had collaborated with Vichy were invited to show up at this party. Ren Zhouyuan’s gaze never rested, occasionally distracted by a lady or so. Sometimes he would glance toward the foreigners who looked like they could be Leonid’s family. No matter which appeared, he couldn’t treat it like he normally would.
Leonid of course knew nothing about what he was thinking. The moment he stepped in he noticed Anna and the others. Seeing that they wanted to come up to him, he stopped them with a glance. Seeing Ren Zhouyuan and An An by his side, everyone could only suppress their curiosity, standing far in the corner.
After the past few days, Leonid could barely stand Ren Zhouyuan ignoring him. Glancing around, he called Ron over and muttered a few words to him, after which Ron led An An away by his hand.
Ren Zhouyuan didn’t realize Ron was near. When An An’s hand moved, he reacted strongly and then realized it was Ron. Relaxing, he said hi to him.
Ron said, “I’ll take An An into one of the rooms to rest. There are too many people around right now. When it’s about to begin I’ll bring him out again.”
Frowning, Ren Zhouyuan didn’t refuse. Lowering his head and leaning over, he muttered a few words to An An before letting Ron take him away.
The moment An An left, Ren Zhouyuan felt awkward standing right next to Leonid. But just when he wanted to walk away silently, Leonid grabbed him by the hand and took him in the other direction.
“W-where are we going?” He couldn’t grab his hand back. Leonid had a vice grip on it. Seeing the people around them starting to stare, Ren Zhouyuan could only allow himself to be pulled along.
Leonid brought him to another room that was empty, sitting him on the couch there. He himself crouched on the ground, looking into his eyes and clasping his hands.
“What do you want to do?” Ren Zhouyuan was stunned by this sudden movement. Before he could react, Leonid started to chatter away apologies.
He couldn’t help but interrupt him. “Hold on, what are you doing?”
Leonid said matter-of-factly, “Apologizing.”
“Why?” Ren Zhouyuan asked.
Leonid gave him an odd look. “Because I was wrong. I wanted to apologize and hope for you to forgive me.”
In the moment Ren Zhouyuan was exasperated. If he would start apologizing the moment they had conflict, why in the world did they engage in such a cold war in the first place?
He took a deep breath. “Tell me first, what do you think you did wrong?”
Leonid said obediently, “I shouldn’t have ignored your wishes and overlooked what you were thinking to employ such underhanded techniques to try and get you pregnant when I knew you didn’t want to.”
Very well, sounded like quite a genuine apology.
“But you thought that your original intent was good with getting me pregnant?” Ren Zhouyuan reminded him of what he said that night.
Since that day, Leonid had gone through days of self-reflection and understood the error of his ways. “No matter what my intent was, I shouldn’t have done something like that without consulting you first. I was the one who disrespected your wishes, so I was wrong.”
Seeing Leonid squatting in front of him apologizing so seriously, the rage he had been holding in for days was almost extinguished. Leonid wasn’t the only one who had been thinking. Ren Zhouyuan had been thinking too, asking himself why Leonid would do something like this. And his answer was–
Both of them were insecure in this relationship.
His lack of confidence came from his background, and the fact that he felt like he didn’t have the upper hand in this relationship.
But what about Leonid? He had a happy family, a luxurious life, respect from other people. Yet he was still not confident in himself.
Even after a long time of thinking, Ren Zhouyuan didn’t understand why. Only when he saw Leonid kneeling before him and asking for his forgiveness did he understand.