6 Spilling the Beans
"Jingjing? Please, talk to me." After over five minutes of silence as he held her, the only sound her wracking sobs echoing throughout the empty salon, she seemed to have quieted down. Her cries began to soften and she ceased shuddering. Patting her one last time, he forced her to look him in the eye.
Red rimmed and puffy, her dark eyes stared back at him. They were dry enough, he decided, for him to continue the conversation.
"Mm? Do you want to tell me what happened so we can do something about this?"
Slowly, she took a deep breath and opened her mouth.
Her voice was raspy and almost indiscernible, even in the silent salon.
"Yesterday, we went over to celebrate my birthday with my family, as you know. He had been acting a bit strange recently, but I wrote it off as work problems. How much more cliché can that get, huh? I can't believe I didn't see..."
"Hey, Jingjing, instead of continuing to digress and throw this self-pity party, continue with the story, okay? You'll only make yourself feel worse."
"Well, when we went to bed, everything was all fine and dandy. Lan and I were planning on going out the next day to celebrate with just the two of us; he'd even said he'd take a day off from work, something he hasn't done in ages since his promotion. I thought everything was going great. Then..."
"And then?" Hong impatiently followed up, leaning forward. Seeing her face, however, he reined himself in and tried to calm down. "Jingjing?"
"Then... the next morning, I woke up, and the bed beside me was cold. I went to check the kitchen for a note, because sometimes he goes out on these early morning runs, you know? I mean, there were a thousand different reasons he could've been gone. But then, I noticed that my computer was different. I had this faint fear, that I just couldn't get rid of. So I pulled up my laptop and my bank account statement page showed up, since I'd never bothered to close it the night before. And bam."
"What do you mean, bam... Oh no. He did no--"
"He did. Everything. Every last cent."
Wordlessly, Hong's hand came up to cover his mouth and chin, utterly in shock. There was no lower move than stealing from your woman. Nothing.
"And... that's not even the worst part. He left me a note. A frickin note. None of it was real. And he wasn't even short money. He just did it because he was some sick psycho who got a thrill out of manipulating woman and completely ruining their futures, breaking their hearts in the process. Can you even imagine? He left a frickin note, signed with a stupid smiley face, for me to read." As Jinghe spoke, her voice gradually grew louder as she was filled with outrage. But by the end of her tirade, her voice had become no more than a broken whisper.