The Encounter with a Bandit
It was getting late. There were not many customers left in the restaurant when the two went out. Furthermore, the alley where the restaurant was located was now empty.
Shen Jia Yao followed behind Pang Jing Dong in silent, no one tried to say anything.
Not long after, a skinny shadow leaped out from a dark corner carrying a sharp knife and said to them, “Don’t move! Give me your money!”
“I’m not in a good mood right now, you better leave!” Pang Jing Dong stopped moving and said to him in an icy cold voice.
Shen Jia Yao was calm too, who took out her phone and was about to dial it.
“Don’t call the cops!” snapped the panicked bandit, who rushed up trying to grab her phone. However, just as he moved his feet, Pang Jing Dong kicked his wrist carrying the weapon, which dropped onto the ground making a *Ding Dong* sound, as Pang Jing Dong slashed at the bandit’s neck with his hand.
The bandit took a few steps backward with his hands holding onto his neck while coughing violently. His face twisted in pain.
Pang Jing Dong did not allow the bandit to have time to recover; he dash forward and seized his jaw with his right hand, pushing him hard forward and pressed him against the wall.
The bandit tried his hard to fight back with his fists and kicks, but Pang Jing Dong’s arm was locking him like a chain. After a brief period, the bandit’s face was turning pale, his actions were getting less powerful as he was throwing up white foam.
Pang Jing Dong knew if he kept it going, the bandit would die from suffocation; hence he slightly released his grip.
“Hello? 110 Emergency?” Shen Jia Yao’s voice came from behind, as the call was connected.
“No need to call the police!” Pang Jing Dong told Shen Jia Yao.
Shen Jia Yao gave him a confused look, and hang up the call even though she was not sure why.
Pang Jing Dong let go of the bandit and asked, “How many times?”
The bandit looked terrified at Pang Jing Dong, trying to catch his breath while replying, “My… My first time…”
“Why aren’t you handing him to the police?” asked Shen Jia Yao.
“I believe you!” Pang Jing Dong waved his hand and said to the bandit, “You can leave!”
The bandit did not believe what he just heard. He hesitated for a while and started crying, “I didn’t mean to… I have worked hard for a year, but my salary was gone when the black-hearted contractor ran away with all the money… My family is still waiting for me to send some moneyback… but I can’t even afford to go back…”
Pang Jing Dong took 200 bucks from his wallet and handed them to the bandit while telling him, “Take this money and buy yourself a ticket home, or to cover your daily expenses for a while! This is all I can do! Remember, you have to rely on yourself!”
The bandit received the money, stared at Pang Jing Dong for a moment, before saying, “Thank you!” He ran off without glancing around.
“You sure to let him go just like that?” Shen Jia Yao could not understand Pang Jing Dong’s intention in doing so.
“First of all, he’s wearing simple clothes, just like a rural migrant worker. The real criminals on the other hand would wear fancy clothes. Secondly, his expression is honest and his eyes have a helpless look, but I did not sense any malicious feeling from them. It seems like he was forced into doing something he wasn’t willing to; Thus, I didn’t want to make it more difficult for him.”
“Looks like someone has a pair of sharp eyes at identifying people’s characteristics!”
“Don’t forget what I do for a living!” said Pang Jing Dong with a smile.
“Oh right! You guys would be good at observing people!”
“How would you be so sure? Have you used our service before? You should ask me. Considering we knew each other for so long, I’ll give you a 20% discount!”
“I’m not interested for now. As a ‘Midnight Cowboy’, you should save your energy to serve your customers!” Shen Jia Yao started laughing which was charming in Pang Jing Dong’s eyes. After pausing for a brief while, she said, “But he did commit a crime!”
“If you can choose to forgive, then don’t choose to punish, because you might destroy his life. After spending a few years behind bars, he might turn into a real criminal after being released.”
“Didn’t know you are an expert in this kind of things! Did you actually just come back from overseas?”
“Doesn’t matter which country you’re in, most of the principles are the same!”
“Oh! Looks like you didn’t waste your time living overseas, helping you to understand a lot about life!”
Pang Jing Dong smiled without saying anything, although the smile was filled with vicissitudes of life. As the two had arrived at the entrance of the alleyway, Pang Jing Dong said to Shen Jia Yao, “I’ll be saying goodbye here! See you tomorrow!”
“Sure!” Shen Jia Yao nodded her head ad took out her car keys from her bag. She shook the keys around and said softly, “See you tomorrow!”
Shen Jia Yao entered a gray BMW parked at the side of the road, and soon drove away. Pang Jing Dong watched her leaving, until the car had completely disappeared from his vision. He then walked aimlessly on the street, trying to find a less crowded bar.
Even if Shen Jia Yao did not ask him out, Pang Jing Dong had decided to get some drinks by himself, as today was a special day for him, that even Shen Jia Yao had no idea about it. On this particular day every year, Pang Jing Dong would drink himself into oblivion, but he never told anyone the reason.
Pang Jing Dong was walking on the street when someone tapped him on the shoulder.
“Zhou Tong?” Pang Jing Dong turned around to find this beautiful office lady staring at him smilingly. The difference was instead of her professional attire; she was wearing a pair of jeans and a T-shirt.
“Boss Pang, why are you lurking around by yourself here? Are you trying to find a romantic encounter?”
“How about you? Trying to find one yourself?” said Pang Jing Dong with a grin.
“Yeah! Too bad instead of meeting some handsome guys, I’ve met a middle-aged man!” Zhou Tong replied smilingly.
“Oh? Is it because all the handsome guys are gone? That would be great news!”
“Not really! Aren’t you a handsome guy too?”
“Just because I am one, I hope that the others would be gone!”
“Hehe! Are you also hoping the brains of beautiful ladies to malfunction? It’s every man’s dream!”
“Not sure about the other beautiful ladies, but I believe yours would never malfunction!”
“I was just joking!” Zhou Tong pointed to her back. She then placed her hands behind her, slightly shaking her body when she said, “I was having a gathering with my old classmates at the KTV there. We just finished.”
“All of them are females, right?”
“How did you know?
“Because I didn’t see anyone sending you home!”
“Hehe! How about you? Why are you lurking around by yourself?”
“To find a place and have some drinks!”
“Then let me give you some accompany, how’s that?”
Pang Jing Dong thought for a while before nodding his head smilingly. They both entered a bar, ordered a bottle of Chivas and started drinking.
As a secretary, Zhou Tong often had to attend a lot of business entertainment occasions, which helped her to improve her alcohol tolerance. Even though Pang Jing Dong would drink at times, his tolerance was not great. As Zhou Tong kept on urging him to drink more, Pang Jing Dong was falling drunk soon.
Initially, they were having a fun time chatting while drinking. However, when Pang Jing Dong’s cheeks started to blush and began to feel drunk, he turned silent, lowered his head and continued drinking.
Zhou Tong realized Pang Jing Dong was unusual today, and as Pang Jing Dong was completely drunk, she could not help but ask, “Is anything bothering you?”
Pang Jing Dong who was lying on the table, raised his head and glimpsed at Zhou Tong, giving her a wry smile, “I have never told anyone before… You are the first one to hear this… Today is the anniversary of my parents’ death.”
“Oh! I’m sorry to hear that!” After being silent for a while, Zhou Tong cautiously said, “I think, you should find another way to remember them!”
“How’s that possible? It’s a few kilometers away…”
“It’s overseas…” Zhou Tong nodded her head.
“Not only that, on this day ten years ago, my life had changed completely…”
The topic sparked Zhou Tong’s interest, “What kind of change?”
Pang Jing Dong did not answer. His head slanted to a side as he fell asleep.
“Boss Pang! Boss Pang!” Zhou Tong pushed Pang Jing Dong a few times, who was deeply asleep.
“Huh, I have to send you home now! But I don’t even know where’s your house?” Zhou Tong looked at Pang Jing Dong helplessly. “The fact that you said your parents had passed away had clarified that you are not a wealthy kid.”