Chapter 695 (Extra) — Retirement Life
Lu Xia truly achieved her dream of making money while lying down when she retired.
However, it took her several attempts to fully retire.
The first time she prepared to retire, the school appealed to her emotions and reason, rehiring her.
Lu Xia thought that since Jiang Junmo hadn’t retired yet, it wouldn’t be meaningful for her to go back on her own, so she agreed.
As a result, the first time led to a second time.
It wasn’t until the third time, when Jiang Junmo also retired, that she managed to retire after much persuasion.
The two of them found it somewhat challenging to adapt after retiring.
So Lu Xia thought for a while, directly booked tours for both of them, and began traveling all over the country.
Jiang Junmo also resumed his painting along the way, stopping to paint a picture whenever he encountered beautiful scenery.
Gradually, they stopped traveling with organized tours and went wherever they pleased.
After traveling around China, they went abroad, as they were proficient in several languages and had no issues with communication.
They often said, “Let’s just go.”
This greatly worried their children at home, but it couldn’t stop the elderly couple from longing for freedom.
After several years of traveling the world, they finally settled down.
They returned to their original small courtyard, tended to the land, tended to flowers, and went fishing; it was quite pleasant.
And as Jiang Junmo’s painting skills improved and he accumulated more and more paintings, Lu Xia thought about organizing an art exhibition for him.
Initially, Jiang Junmo disagreed because painting was just a hobby for him, and he didn’t want such publicity.
However, Lu Xia felt it would be a shame not to let others see such excellent paintings.
So, she discussed it with him and their children behind his back, delegated tasks, and finally arranged a date for the exhibition.
Because their children were well-off, they chose the largest exhibition hall in the capital, and the exhibition was entirely free, attracting many visitors.
Even many friends and former students of Lu Xia and Jiang Junmo came to the exhibition.
It wasn’t until the day of the exhibition that Jiang Junmo found out that his wife and children had organized such a significant event behind his back.
However, at that point, it was too late to stop it, so he had no choice but to accept it.
Although his expression appeared helpless, his actions were swift as he hurried back into the house to find the new clothes Lu Xia had bought for him a few days ago, which he hadn’t worn yet. After changing, he felt somewhat embarrassed.
“Do I look okay like this?” he asked.
Observing him carefully, Lu Xia nodded, “Not bad, you’re a handsome old man!”
Only then did Jiang Junmo feel at ease.
When the two arrived at the exhibition hall, there were already quite a few people there.
Listening to the praise surrounding the exhibited paintings, Lu Xia noticed Jiang Junmo beside her secretly relieved and no longer as nervous.
She chuckled inwardly but pretended not to notice.
Then, she took him around, although many paintings were exhibited, they were not all chosen—just a selection of those she liked.
At one point, they stopped in front of a particular painting.
Perhaps, the audience favored Jiang Junmo’s post-retirement works. By then, his painting skills had matured, and his works were more outstanding.
Lu Xia had mostly chosen paintings from this period, fewer from his early days.
But the one in front of them was from that earlier time.
“Why did you choose this painting?” Jiang Junmo asked as he gazed at it.
The name of the painting was “Harvest.”
In the picture, a group of farmers was energetically busy in the fields, their faces beaming with joy and the satisfaction of their harvest.
The people in the painting were very familiar—they were the villagers from Da Ying Village back then.
And this painting was one of his works from his time in the countryside.
“Do you remember what I said back then?” Lu Xia asked him, looking at the painting.
Jiang Junmo remained silent for a moment, then smiled, “I remember.”
Back in the countryside, when Lu Xia first saw this painting, she boldly claimed she would hold an exhibition for him in the future. Unexpectedly, that claim had now materialized.
Thinking about this, Jiang Junmo’s eyes welled up with some emotion. Despite the deepening lines on his no-longer-young face, his smile persisted, still making him a handsome old man.
Lu Xia smiled too.
Then, she looked back at the painting with a sense of nostalgia. “I really like this painting!”
Jiang Junmo replied, “I like it too… I like painting, but I like the person beside me even more…”
Chapter 696 (Extra) — Meeting “Her”
In 2022, 67-year-old Lu Xia had started to feel quite restless one day.
Her partner, Jiang Junmo, couldn’t quite figure out what was wrong with her. He asked her, but she didn’t say anything. All he could do was call their children back to spend the day with her, hoping that would uplift her mood.
Even after the children left in the evening, Lu Xia still felt low in spirits and remained sitting on the bed, lost in thought.
Jiang Junmo, noticing her state, became increasingly worried. After all, they had been together for so many years, and this was something entirely new.
Lu Xia, seeing his concern, was at a loss about how to explain.
Even at night, lying in bed, they both tossed and turned, unable to sleep.
Jiang Junmo, feeling the same, eventually suggested, “Why don’t we go to the hospital tomorrow? Or perhaps see a psychologist?”
Lu Xia shook her head at his suggestion. She wanted to say something but couldn’t bring herself to do so. Finally, she just said, “Wait until tomorrow. Could… could you accompany me somewhere?”
Not catching the few words she mumbled, Jiang Junmo nodded, saying, “Alright, let’s sleep early. Whatever you want to do, I’ll be with you tomorrow.”
Lu Xia nodded at his words, then closed her eyes, forcing herself to sleep, unaware of the worried gaze from Jiang Junmo in the darkness…
Jiang Junmo hardly slept all night, finally dozing off as dawn approached. He jolted awake, startled not to see Lu Xia beside him.
Only when he faintly heard sounds from outside did he venture out and find Lu Xia already sitting in the yard, engrossed in watching her favorite reality show on a tablet. He finally heaved a sigh of relief.
Seeing him, Lu Xia smiled, “You’re up? Hurry and have your meal. Didn’t we agree that you’d accompany me somewhere today?”
Witnessing her smile, Jiang Junmo somehow sensed a hint of relief and a weight off his shoulders. Finally feeling at ease, he sighed and turned back inside to freshen up.
Observing his retreating figure, Lu Xia also smiled. It was good, she was still here, and so was he…
The two of them finished their meal, and then Lu Xia took Jiang Junmo out in the car.
After retirement, their children had planned to arrange a driver for them.
But Lu Xia declined. At their age, they found it convenient to drive themselves and saw no need for a driver. They thought they could consider it when they couldn’t move around easily.
Jiang Junmo never asked where they were going. He just watched as Lu Xia’s car went farther away from the city center until it finally stopped near some densely built self-constructed houses outside the fifth ring road.
Once they arrived, Lu Xia didn’t immediately get out of the car, and Jiang Junmo didn’t rush her. They both remained in silence.
After a while, it seemed like Lu Xia had finally prepared herself, and only then did they step out of the car.
It was a workday, and this area was where many out-of-towners rented affordable housing while working in Beijing. So, most people had already left for work using public transportation, leaving the place sparsely populated at this time.
Lu Xia wandered around the self-built houses, glanced at the nearby market, restaurants, and supermarkets, her eyes carrying a mix of unfamiliarity and reminiscence.
After a while, she finally made up her mind and headed towards one of the buildings.
Throughout this process, Jiang Junmo refrained from asking any questions.
It wasn’t until Lu Xia suddenly stopped that he did too.
She had seen a person coming out of the building they were approaching.
It was a young girl in her early twenties.
Of average height, with a delicate appearance and a somewhat frail body, she wore a mismatched tracksuit. Her eyes held curiosity as she emerged and glanced around.
Accidentally catching sight of them, she flashed an embarrassed smile, then, seemingly recalling something, straightened up, smiled at them, and left.
Lu Xia stood still, watching her walk away, then enter the supermarket across the street. The girl’s eyes were filled with curiosity as she observed the variety of products inside, and finally, she made a few purchases, hurriedly scanning the items using her phone.
When she finally emerged, wiping some sweat from her face, she visibly relieved and smiled, her face carrying excitement and anticipation…
Wow. I’m so happy for ‘Lu Xia’, she’s so cute ahahaha!