The Untold Story - novelonlinefull.com
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"Shifu, Golden Huaken Building, that okay with you?"
The driver looked at her and hesitated. Yang Zhao thought she'd been rejected, but to her surprise, the driver nodded and said quietly, "Get on."
Yang Zhao could hardly believe her ears. "Excellent," she told the driver. "Just a sec! I need to move something!" Yang Zhao had to yell at the top of her voice to make sure she was heard amidst the rumbling thunder and pouring rain.
No longer caring about her umbrella, Yang Zhao carried the box to the car, stuffed it into the backseat, then rounded back to sit in the front pa.s.senger seat.
The car windows rolled up, and the door was shut. At last, she was separated from the heavy rain.
Being completely drenched, she wet the seat as soon as she sat down. Evidently noticing this, she apologized to the driver, embarra.s.sed: "Sorry for being so wet. I'll pay you more later."
The driver shook his head, "No need." He started the car and turned towards the Golden Huaken.
The car was moving very slowly but smoothly. Perhaps afraid that the floodwaters would kill the engines, the driver drove very carefully.
Unlike the previous driver, this driver made no small talk while driving. Yang Zhao could not hear anything else apart from the sound of the rain and the windshield wiper.
Her head felt somewhat heavy; she suspected that she caught a cold. Absently, she cast a cursory glance at the driver's license information displayed before the front pa.s.senger seat. ID photos were everyone's nightmares, but this driver's photo turned out well. The man in the photo had clean cropped short hair and a poker face. All in all, he looked very neat and proper.
Yang Zhao read on.
License plate number: J4763.
J4763, Yang Zhao recited it in her heart. This string of numbers sounded vaguely familiar. Suddenly, it hit her: J4763— Wasn't that the car plate number of the driver who fought with Yang Jintian a few days ago?
Yang Zhao straightened up in her seat and surrept.i.tiously cast a sideways glance. Absorbed in driving, the driver was none the wiser.
Previously, back in the police station, the man had stood in a dimly lit corner of the room, and Yang Zhao never did manage to get a good look at his face. Yang Zhao didn't know if that person was him.
However, she dimly recalled his voice. In that slightly noisy police station, the way he spoke had made an impression. His manner of speaking was very mild, and he hadn't argued with Yang Zhao.
After thinking back to how he'd told her to get on just now, Yang Zhao was certain that the person standing in the corner that day was this person.
Before, there was a moment where he paused after rolling his car windows down. Was that because he recognized her?
Yang Zhao felt bad. This man could have ignored her, but he still let her get on. He hadn't said anything, as if he didn't know her.
Or perhaps… thought Yang Zhao cynically, he was afraid I'd demand money from him.
While Yang Zhao was lost in thought, the car rocked violently without warning and came to a stop.
Yang Zhao looked out the window. They were very close to the Golden Huaken building. But the sudden stop was obviously not the driver's doing. Her worst fears were realized after all: The cab stalled while crossing a gutter.
It's not a good idea to start a car that's submerged in water, so Yang Zhao turned to the driver and said: "Let's get off and try pushing the car. I'm very familiar with this area. It's not too deep out here. We should be able to push it out."
The driver grasped the steering wheel, as if absorbed in thought. It was not until Yang Zhao called him that he snapped out of his reverie. He told Yang Zhao: "We're almost there. You can get off now and walk back."
"It's no problem," said Yang Zhao. "I can help with the pushing."
The driver shook his head. "No need, just go."
Yang Zhao wasn't too happy about this. She felt that this Chen Mingsheng was very petty.
If you say so, thought Yang Zhao as she rooted out some bills from her wallet. As it happened, she had enough small change. She placed the money on Chen Mingsheng's dashboard and wordlessly got off.
The omnipresent rain continued to fall.
Yang Zhao went to the backseat to retrieve her parcel. During the entire process, Chen Mingsheng sat in the driver's seat without moving an inch.
Yang Zhao shut the door and started walking towards her apartment.
At length, Yang Zhao looked back. Chen Mingsheng was still sitting in his car.
"Inexplicable…" Yang Zhao muttered to herself. She sneezed again. She quickened her steps.
Yang Zhao slowed down upon reaching the first floor of the apartment building, unable to stop brooding over tonight's events. This driver's actions weighed on her mind and made her feel like a wicked person.
Eventually, Yang Zhao left the box with the security guard's office at the courtyard entrance for temporary safekeeping and went back.
The entire time while she walked, Yang Zhao felt that she was going crazy.
Even as thoughts ran through her head, her feet never stopped moving towards the place where the car had stalled.
Almost ten minutes had pa.s.sed. She didn't know if that person had already pushed the car out. Yang Zhao turned at an intersection. Through the misty rain, she spotted that figure with a glance.
The driver was wearing a black top and pushing the car's rear. Without using an umbrella. Yang Zhao made her way over in spite of herself. That driver didn't see her.
The way the driver was pushing the car struck Yang Zhao as odd. Normally, one would lower one's body and keep a low center of gravity before pushing. But he was facing sideways, and wholly relying on the left side of his body to push the car.
Was it just her imagination, or was this driver rather weak?
He appeared to expend a great deal of energy when he pushed, yet his efforts did not translate into much success. He was not the skinny type, and in fact Yang Zhao felt that he had a relatively robust physique.
Moments later, after apparently exhausting himself, he made his way to the car door to fiddle with the steering wheel.
In the short steps he took to go from the back of the car to the car door, Yang Zhao finally managed to figure out what was so odd about him.
When this driver walked, he would support his right hip with his right hand. His entire leg was extremely stiff, and walking itself took a fair amount of effort.
This driver… Yang Zhao c.o.c.ked her eyebrow.
No wonder the cop helped to pa.s.s the slip of paper on his behalf back then.
Yang Zhao walked over.
Chen Mingsheng discovered Yang Zhao's presence when they were approximately 10 meters apart. As soon as he saw her, he stopped short. Yang Zhao crossed over to the car's rear end. "Come on," she called to him. "We'll push together."
Chen Mingsheng stared at Yang Zhao. The rain fell heavily all around them, obscuring both of their faces. Yang Zhao told him: "The car won't get out by itself if you just stand there."
Chen Mingsheng bent his head. Dragging his leg, he hobbled beside Yang Zhao.
Only then did Yang Zhao realize that Chen Mingsheng was very tall.
They pushed the car's rear end. Even though she's a woman, it was still an additional source of strength, and with her help the car was successfully pushed out.
Yang Zhao rolled up her damp pants and said to Chen Mingsheng: "Do you want to try restarting the engine?"
Chen Mingsheng shook his head. "The engine's waterlogged and the car's too old. If you suddenly start the car, the connecting rod might get damaged."
Yang Zhao knew how to drive a car, but she was clueless about its mechanics.
"What next?" she asked Chen Mingsheng.
"Push it to the side," said Chen Mingsheng, "then get a mechanic from the auto repair shop to come over."
"Auto repair shop?" Yang Zhao snorted dismissively. "You must be joking. You want to call them now? Can they make it over here? Tell me, which auto repair shop would be so professional? I'd like to be their customer too."
Yang Zhao's rapid fire questions made Chen Mingsheng lapse into silence again. Yang Zhao suddenly stopped speaking. The two continued to get drenched. After a while, Chen Mingsheng was the first to speak up.
"You can go. Leave the rest to me."
Yang Zhao said, "This is a development zone. There isn't a place you can go to take shelter. How are you going to settle it?"
Chen Mingsheng looked up and shot her a look. His hints for her to leave had been far from subtle. This woman was not stupid, so why did she pretend not to understand?
Yang Zhao wiped away the rainwater on her face. It got wet again. She didn't know what she was thinking when she blurted out to Chen Mingsheng: "My home is nearby. Leave your car at the side and we'll take shelter at my place."
For the first time that night, Chen Mingsheng's expression changed. He did not seem to have heard Yang Zhao's words properly, so she repeated it again. Chen Mingsheng lowered his head and rejected her: "Thanks, but I'll pa.s.s."
Yang Zhao said: "I'm not afraid, so what are you afraid of?"
It was very childish of her to try to provoke him in this manner, but it was very effective against men.
Chen Mingsheng frowned. "It has nothing to do with that. You should leave."
"Are you bearing a grudge over last time?" asked Yang Zhao.
Chen Mingsheng looked up and locked gazes with Yang Zhao through the heavy rain. Chen Mingsheng understood that Yang Zhao had recognized him. He lowered his head and said quietly: "It has nothing to do with that. I'm still preparing the money. I'll hand it to you soon."
Yang Zhao said: "I'm not asking you to pay up."
Chen Mingsheng didn't want to say any more. Dragging his leg along, he opened the car door. He lowered himself into the seat with some effort. Yang Zhao stopped the door with her hands and looked down at him: "You're refusing?"
Chen Mingsheng refused to meet her gaze. "I can settle this by myself."
Yang Zhao could see the crown of Chen Mingsheng's head from this vantage point. The rain had caused his his wet hair to clump together. Chen Mingsheng's hair was short and stiff, the sort that stood on their ends even when they're soaked.
Yang Zhao stared for a moment, laughed grimly and said: "This is not a discussion."
Chen Mingsheng remained silent.
Yang Zhao said coolly: "What kind of strings did you pull to obtain the cab driving license?"
She felt Chen Mingsheng stiffen. Though Yang Zhao's head felt a little woozy, she retained the ability to think clearly.
"I don’t remember China having a law permitting handicapped people to become cab drivers. The cops from the police station seem to be pretty chummy with you. Did they have a hand in falsifying your papers? What did you do, send gifts? Offer bribes? If i reported you, how do you think you guys would be penalized?"
Chen Mingsheng's hands were firmly pressed on his right leg. His hands gripped his outer pants so tightly that they almost formed fists. Yang Zhao c.o.c.ked her head and looked inside. When Chen Mingsheng turned his head, Yang Zhao saw that his pupils were very black. Perhaps it was just an illusion caused by the rain, for she felt that his eyes were so dark that they shone.
The suppressed anger in Chen Mingsheng's voice was evident.
"What exactly do you want?"
Yang Zhao collected herself and said evenly: "Like I said, leave your car at the side, and take shelter at my place. If you don't do as I say, well, just wait and see."