Chapter 52: Don’t Enter That Mall

“Boss, can I get an advance on my salary?” Shen Xi asked Li Si.

Shen Xi thought her performance that month was not bad.
She wanted to get an advance so she could install the air conditioner at home.
As it stood, she felt uncomfortable watching her parents place blocks of ice in front of her fan every night so she would not feel hot.

At first, Shen Xi thought of buying an electric fan, but now that she had more money, she decided on the air conditioner instead.

Li Si answered without hesitation, “Sure, sure.”

With her debit card in hand, Shen Xi went to one of Rongcheng’s largest shopping malls and spent 10,000 yuan on three 1.5-horsepower air-conditioners from L & X Household Appliances.

The Shen family home was not big, so 1.5 horsepower should be enough.
One for each of the two bedrooms and one for the living room.

“Please write down your home address for delivery.
We will arrange for someone to install it for you,” the salesman said politely.

Shen Xi scanned her contacts list and wrote her father’s contact details.
Her father would be horrified if he learned she was doing all the heavy lifting and would probably give her an earful if she did not let him help her.
To save herself the trouble, she pushed the rest to her father for him to handle.

After penning the information, Shen Xi instructed the salesman, “Please arrange for someone to deliver the units in the next two days.
It’s urgent.”

The salesperson nodded with a smile and said, “Yes, yes.
We’ll have it delivered as soon as possible.”

Since she was in a home appliance store, Shen Xi looked at the refrigerators and washing machines on sale.
She did not plan on buying them for the time being, but it was a good idea to know how much each would cost.
At least then, she could plan and budget for what they needed using her next paycheck.

Just as Shen Xi was about to return, she received a call from her father.

“Xixi, have you finished class, today?” Shen Yan’s voice sounded from the other end of the line.

Shen Xi peeked outside.
It was already dark out.
Shen Xi quickly fumbled for her watch, not expecting it to already be past nine in the evening.

Shen Xi had applied for leave to go shopping for the air conditioners and, in her enthusiasm, lost track of time.

“Classes just ended.
I’ll be home soon,” Shen Xi said.

“Oh, that’s good.
Your mother and I are in Rongcheng, so we should go home together,” Shen Yan answered while holding his wife’s hand.

Upon hearing Shen Xi agree, Shen Yan hung up, a wave of relief washing over him.

All month, Shen Xi had been leaving at the crack of dawn and returning well past the early hours of dusk.
It was a worrying trend that concerned Shen Yan and Lu Shan, hence their decision to pick up Shen Xi.
They vowed never to let her travel home alone again.

They lived in a remote area, and it was not safe for a girl to travel by herself so late at night.

No matter what Shen Xi said or tried, they would put their foot down on this issue.

“Mom, Dad!” Shen Xi called out when she spotted Shen Yan and Lu Shan at Rongcheng’s gates.

The couple were dressed casually in simple t-shirts and shorts that looked a little off-colour from repeated washing.

Yet, their clothes did not detract from their striking looks.
Shen Yan and Lu Shan were holding hands like a young couple, which attracted a fair share of attention from curious passersby.
No one would have thought the pair were 37 years old.

Lu Shan was the first to notice Shen Xi’s approach and immediately let go of her husband’s hand to hug her daughter.
“Xixi, how were your classes? Are you tired?”

Shen Xi shook her head and replied, “Mom, I’m not tired.”

It occurred to her that she had never gone shopping with her parents before.
Since she still had a little left, it would be fun to check out some clothes.
Her parents were in serious need of changing their outfits.

“Mom, Dad, shall we look around? The mall closes at 10 o’clock, so we still have some time.
We can go and buy some clothes,” Shen Xi suggested.

Shen Yan and Lu Shan shot each other looks of despair, waving their hands awkwardly in refusal.
“There’s no need.
Our clothes are perfectly fine.”

Shen Xi thought her parents were concerned about the cost and hurriedly assuaged them, “Mom, Dad, I have some money.
You don’t need to worry about the cost.”

Shen Xi pulled her mother towards the shopping mall as she spoke.
Lu Shan met her husband’s eyes, silently begging for help.
They absolutely could not enter the shopping mall.
Otherwise, they would have wasted ten years of their forced isolation.

“Xixi, it’s getting late.
Let’s go back today.
We’ll come back in a year.
Dad and mom will accompany Xixi to shop as much as she wants then,” Shen Yan tried, anxious to stop his daughter from making a mess out of things.

Shen Xi was very confused.
It was just a shopping mall.
Why did they have to wait a year before entering?

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