On the way home.
There were still a few more stops to North Heping Street. Dong Xuebing was waiting for his bus at a bus stop outside of a shopping center near to West bridge. He had been waiting for the bus for a long time, but that did not dampen his mood. He was humming a tune as he took out the packet of Hongtashan Cigarettes from his pocket. He took out a cigarette and light it. This was the packet Dong Xuebing bought after Director Li Qing gave him a cigarette. He had opened up the pack a long time ago, and the taste of the cigarette changed. Dong Xuebing choked on the smoke and was almost in tears.
The taste was awful!
Dong Xuebing threw the cigarette on the floor and stepped on it to extinguish it. He also threw away that packet of Hongtashan into a bin.
The bus had still not arrived. It was more than 20 minutes.
Just when Dong Xuebing was considering if he should take a taxi back, he saw a familiar figure walking towards his direction from the corner of his eyes. That person was about 6 to 7 meters away. Her hair was tied up into a bun, and her facial features were beautiful. She had a slim figure and long legs. This woman was that elegant woman which Dong Xuebing had helped her to get her wallet back. She was wearing a black colored ladies suit and a pair of black heels. She was stunning. Her beauty was totally different from the gentle Qu Yunxuan. She was more of the elegant type!
Dong Xuebing could not take his eyes off her. How could someone be as pretty as her?
Oh, the last time we met was also not far from here. Does she stay around here? This place is quite close to my place.
“Chief Xie!” A middle-aged man appeared from another direction and walked towards that woman.
That woman turned to look at him and smiled. “Old Li, you have just come back?”
That man nodded and smiled. “I went to the parents-teachers meeting at my kid’s school. Are you going out?”
“Yes. I have some on.”
That man looked at her. “Chief Xie, can I delay your time for a while? I had asked someone to redo the thing I showed you the last time. We changed the core components to mechanical productions, and there are some other modifications……”
The woman smiled and waved her hand. “Can we not talk about work on our off days?”
The middle-aged man paused for a while: “This is still not approved by Minister Zhao’s side. This……”
The woman was still smiling, but her eyes narrowed. “Bring the proposal to my office tomorrow when we are at work. Can we not talk about work now?”
Dong Xuebing was curious. That man was in his forties. Although he was not smiling, he was standing straight unlike that woman, who was standing there casually. From their conversation, that man had addressed her politely and had used honorifics. This woman should not be more than 30 years old and should be holding a much higher position than that man. Chief Xie? Chief? Could she be some divisional chief from a private company? If she was working at a state-owned enterprise or government agency, she should be holding a similar position as Dong Xuebing in the General Affairs Office, based on her age. Although the title was “Chief” but the actual rank was still Section Chief.
Dong Xuebing saw the woman walking nearer towards him, and he hesitated and wonder if she should speak to her.
This woman had said she will treat Dong Xuebing for dinner when she has the time. But almost one month had passed, and she still has not contacted Dong Xuebing. She must have forgotten about this. She might even forget how Dong Xuebing looks like.
Dong Xuebing’s mind was wandering when the woman suddenly stopped and looked at him.
“Huh? It’s you?”
She still remembers me? Dong Xuebing replied. “Hi. We meet again. You are living nearby?”
“Yes. My workplace quarters is nearby.” The woman smiled. “I wanted to thank you for that day and had said I will treat you to dinner. But I have been swamped. I don’t even have time on weekends. I am on my way to meet clients over dinner. I’m afraid that I cant treat you today.”
Dong Xuebing looked at her pretty face and replied. “It’s fine. You don’t have to treat me.”
“Haha, I must give you a treat. My wallet contains lots of important cards. Identification card can be replaced if it is lost. But the name cards in my wallet cannot be replaced.” The woman twirled her long hair with one finger. “Oh, I still do not know your name. My name is Xie Huilan.”
“Hmm… nice name.”
“Huh? It’s a common name. Your name sounds nicer.”
“Are you above 25 years old this year?”
“I am almost 24.”
“Hehe, I am older than you. I will call you Xiao Dong ok?”
The other passengers, waiting at the bus stop, were staring at Xie Huilan. It was rare to see a woman as pretty as her.
Xie Huilan laughed and chatted with Dong Xuebing for a while. After one minute of chatting, she looked at her watch and took out a piece of paper from her handbag. She wrote a string of numbers and passed it to Dong Xuebing. “I got to go. This is my number. I owe you a favor. If you need any help, call me. Hmmm……. I am working at the Research division of the News Bureau under the Publicity Department of the Communist Party of China, Ok?”
Dong Xuebing took the paper from her and looked at the numbers. Her handwriting was beautiful.
Eh? Wait! Where was she working at?
Damn! Publicity Department of the Communist Party of China? News Bureau? Research division?
This Publicity Department of the Communist Party of China was different from other government departments. The research division under the Publicity Department of the Communist Party of China was not a Section level department. It was a real Divisional level agency!!!
Dong Xuebing was stunned. “Sis Xie, I heard that man called you Chief Xie earlier. You…… You are the Chief of the News Bureau’s Research Division?”
Xie Huilan laughed. “I’m only a Deputy.”
Even if she was a Deputy, she was also a Deputy Divisional Chief!
She was promoted every two years, or did she enter the government service earlier?
It might still be possible for Xie Huilan to reach her current rank if she is in the Communist Youth League. But she is working for a department under the Central Government. She is a Deputy Divisional Chief under the Publicity Department. She is a leader from the Central Government! Although her rank might be the same as Deputy Branch Bureau Chief Xu Yan, their positions are totally different. In terms of authority and career prospects, Deputy Divisional Chief of the News Bureau, Research Department is much better compared to State Security, Deputy Branch Bureau Chief! Her position is not a position where anyone can reach with just capabilities alone!
Dong Xuebing was stunned and looked at Xie Huilan’s departing back view.
A Deputy Divisional Chief under the age of 30? What background does she have?!
Xie Huilan was pretty, elegant, have a strong backing, capable, have good career……
The woman was too perfect!
Dong Xuebing was shocked by Xie Huilan. He thought to himself if he should also try harder? At least, he should get the rank of a Deputy Section Chief first.
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