Chapter 3: Past and Present
Although it could not be said that Ye Fan had a successful career, because of certain events that transpired he actually had quite a bit on hand and actually purchased a Mercedes which was more expensive than Liu Yun Zhi’s Toyota. This way of deciding prestige or wealthiness felt vulgar to him and thus he did not make comparisons.
Ten minutes later, Ye Fan drove his car to the meeting point at Sea Moon City.
This was a restaurant and bar of one of the super casinos, it was located in a prime location and the luxury cars that were parked there were testament to the opulence of the area.
Having only graduated from University for three years, most of the students did not have successful careers yet. Ye Fan felt that choosing such a venue for gathering was a bit extravagant.
Upon leaving the carpark and arriving at Sea Moon City, Ye Fan saw some familiar figures of old classmates, there were even classmates whom he had not seen for three years.
“Ye Fan!” A handsome and cultured looking young man walked up to him with a smile on his face: “This is your city however you are so late to show up, you should be the first to arrive to organise and lead the gathering, this is your mistake.”
This cultured youth was Wang Zi Wen, he was one of the organisers and was a very energetic personality back in University. In the three years since it was rumoured that his expansion into another city was very successful and his business was flourishing.
The few others also came over and although a long time had passed the feelings amongst them were warm and jovial.
It was obvious that Wang Zi Wen was there waiting for somebody and the person who could make him stand in front of Sea Moon City to welcome them was very obvious as it could only be that one or two people.
Wang Zi Wen was a very intelligent person and he did not continue waiting outside alone but rather led the group of people into Sea Moon City. The fifth level was a small business centre that could hold anywhere between thirty to fifty people and was already booked.
It was already nightfall at this point and most of the classmates attending the gathering had already reached.
The arrival of several people made the scene lively and greetings were thrown out here and there. Being able to gather together once again made them feel as though time had rewinded and they were back in their University days.
Having graduated for three years, everybody was already twenty five years or older, several people had already married and there were even two who were mothers already.
Everybody had their own life’s path however a majority of the classmates could be said to be living ordinary lives, the dreams of the past had long since been worn away by the passing of time and the dullness of life had made their lives ordinary.
With their dreams lost, a majority of the people felt the reality of being fated to be an ordinary person.
Ye Fan was brought by Wang Zi Wen to one side of the gathering, upon closer inspection, the classmates here were more affluent; either because of a successful career or having someone to depend on in their family.
“Ye Fan, you were so late to arrive, you must be punished with three glasses.”
“Three glasses are too little, you guys are underestimating Ye Fan’s drinking capacity.” Lin Jia sat by the side, eyes glancing sideways, body slender with graceful curves, sexy and moving.
“Which pretty woman wants to punish me?” Ye Fan jested as he referred to both the men and women in the group.
“You’ve only just arrived but are already taking advantage of us, punish, we must punish you!” The men and women chimed in unison.
Liu Yun Zhi also had some background in the city and was thus also a part of this affluent group. He naturally said: “I actually thought that you would arrive even later considering that you had to take a cab over.”
Once Liu Yun Zhi spoke the atmosphere immediately became awkward. The classmates there knew that Liu Yun Zhi and Ye Fan had some grievances back in University and now that Liu Yun Zhi had been successful with his business in the city he bluntly pointed out that Ye Fan had taken a cab to come, it was clear what his intentions were.
The other classmates also noticed that the atmosphere was weird and looked over however Ye Fan only smirked but did not say anything.
“I’ll go out to pick up Zhou Yi.” Wang Zi Wen attempted to change the topic and turned to leave.
Lin Jia and two other female classmates started discussing about cosmetics and designer products whilst other people started to reminisce about the goofy events that occurred in the past and the awkward atmosphere gradually melted away and began to warm up again.
However, the atmosphere was still delicate and nobody talked about punishing Ye Fan and more conversations were talking about Liu Yun Zhi.
Although Ye Fan was an outstanding personality back in University, once one graduated success in one’s career was what was most sought after.
From time to time there were glances over to this area; this area was one for the more affluent classmates and they had mostly been successful since graduating. This group of classmates were gradually ostracizing Ye Fan.
When faced with this, Ye Fan was very calm however he eventually decided to stand up and join another group of classmates. He did not want to be marked and ignored by the others at the table.
Cosmetics and designer goods would always be the favourite topic for the ladies while the guys would talk about soccer and the latest news.
Half an hour had passed and the participating twenty five people for the gathering had all arrived. The class initially had thirty three people however three people were overseas and the remaining five had other commitments that prevented them from coming.
The gathering had several organisers to hype up the atmosphere and people split into small groups and began chatting away.
A period of time had passed and it was finally time to toast to the reunion. There was no fixed position to stand in however groups of people had congregated together for the toast.
Ye Fan was not part of the group with Lin Jia and Liu Yun Zhi but was very comfortably seated at another table.
After another round of speeches the scene became even more hectic. People were going from table to table to toast and there were some people who had no time to move as they were continually drinking toasts.
With the passing of three years many events had occurred and the changes in everyone were drastic. Maybe the alcohol helped to loosen everybody up as many classmates started to talk about their lives, some spoke of their fortunes while others their disappointments.
Some people hated how their bosses were too strict, always wanting them to do over-time work yet their pay was so meagre.
A female student bragged about how her boyfriend was a manager of a well-known enterprise, another student bragged about her husband already being the corporate vice-president of a company, there were even people who bragged that their fiance was the niece of a person in an influential position in the bank.
There were others who became speechless after hearing the bragging, many people’s lives were not that smooth sailing.
There was a particular female classmate who looked particularly haggard, there were rumours that she had married somebody that she did not love, the marriage was not blissful and her husband was a drunkard. Classmates who visited her when they were in her city even saw bruise marks on her body.
“Please find me if you have anything that you need help with……”
Towards this haggard looking female classmate Ye Fan was filled with compassion. He still remembered the days in University when she was innocently standing by the soccer field and cheering him on.
It could be seen that her life was really pitiful. She was grateful to hear those kind words and softly said: “Thank you….”
“Ye Fan, I think you should help yourself first……”
The girl who said her husband had risen to a manager in a well known enterprise said while intoxicated. “Look at how successful Liu Yun Zhi is.”
The classmates of Ye Fan’s table looked at him then looked at Liu Yun Zhe sitting at the table with the affluent classmates.
“Ye Fan, it’s not that I want to badmouth you, back in University you were certainly a big shot, however things have changed since we graduated, we have to work hard to succeed.” The classmate whose fiance was the niece of an influential person in a bank preached to Ye Fan.
Hearing them mention of the table of Liu Yun Zhi and the affluent classmates, there were some classmates on this side who lamented that the people there who were previously inferior were now in entirely different leagues.
There were also people who became very boisterous and drunken, saying that the people came to the gathering just to flaunt their success.
There were even a few female classmates who laughed at Ye Fan, saying that they were lucky to have only secretly liked him and only felt remorse at having rejected Liu Yun Zhi’s advances.
Still the same city, still the same people. However, each person had drastic changes to their personalities due to their circumstances.