"You can see what’s inside when you’re home, let's go," Grandfather Yang reminded the two, who appeared emotionally stirred as they stared at the boxes in their hands.
Sheng Jiaoyang blinked and suppressed her tears. She turned to look at the box in Shen Zhining's hand. What kind of gift did mother prepare for Shen Zhining? She wanted to know, but she knew that no matter how curious she was, he wouldn’t show it to her. Likewise, she also wouldn’t show her gift to him even if he asked, humph!
At the bank’s exit, they split up and went their separate ways.
Sheng Jiaoyang naturally left with Grandfather Yang. In the car, she impatiently opened the box.
An envelope lay on top which read ‘Jiaojiao’.
Sheng Jiaoyang’s hand trembled as she picked up the envelope. She turned to look at her grandfather, took a deep breath, and slowly opened it.
Mother envisions that by the time you read this letter, you must be wearing a beautiful wedding dress and ready to go to the wedding venue. However, it's a pity that I couldn’t see all this.
The most blissful thing in my life was giving birth to you. When I learned that I was pregnant, I was as happy as a poor person winning the lottery, but then the doctor's following words poured cold water on me. He said that with my physical condition, I wasn’t allowed to get pregnant because it was very dangerous. And, if I insisted on having a baby, I might die in the delivery room. At that time, I pondered about this and hesitated. But, in the end, I chose to give birth to you.
When you were born and I saw you for the first time, I felt that even if I had to go through worse pain to give birth to you, it was all worth it! My little darling, on the first day, you stared at many people with a pair of adorable round eyes, and no one could resist your cuteness. Even your grandfather, who grumbled about the fact that I insisted on giving birth to you, never said a word of complaint to me anymore after seeing you.
Your eyes resembled that of your father, bright and clear, with a touch of ingenuity. You’ve been smart ever since you were a child, and you learned everything very quickly.
Darling, I'm sorry. How I wish that I could shower you with infinite love every day. Every morning, the thought that today might be my last day appears in my mind, hence I wanted to teach you as many things as possible. That way, even if we were all gone in the future, you could still take care of yourself. So, while other children were still playing games and eating lollipops, you were learning to read, and while other children were laughing and having fun, you were learning to control your emotions. I'm really sorry for pushing you to adulthood when you were supposed to be enjoying your childhood as an innocent and unconcerned little girl.
When Ningning came to our house that year, I noticed that you started smiling more even though he also made you cry more often. Only then did I realise that you didn’t have any friends. How could a five-year-old child not have any friends? You might not remember, but I later asked you why you didn't play with other children. You replied that other children were too childish and were unpleasant to the eye. At that time, I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. Afterwards, I asked you, “Ningning ignores you all the time, so why do you still want to play with him?” Take a guess at what you said.
You said, “Brother Zhining is very good-looking!”
I really wonder, would you feel embarrassed now that you’re reading what you said back then?
Ningning is a good child. I believe that you’ll be very happy if you’re together with him. Of course, I earnestly hope that you two end up together.
Darling, if you could, it’s still better for you to avoid getting pregnant. I don't want you to follow my footsteps. You should be happy and spend the rest of your days with the person you like, unlike your father and I. Don't blame your father, it's all my fault. I’m leaving you my diary, and there, I recorded my life’s journey. I hope that you can learn from my mistakes and get along well with your husband.
The biggest regret in my life is that I didn't manage to apologise to your father in person. When there’s a chance, I hope that you can tell him in my stead that if there’s an afterlife, I hope that he won't come across me again. This is because when we were together, I always instilled my own wishful thinking onto him and thought that he ought to do this and that, yet I never asked him for his opinion.
With regards to many things, once you've fired the arrow, there's no getting it back. Thus, I hope that you’ll do as I once taught you: Think twice before you do anything, and don't leave any room for regrets.
Lastly, I wish you happiness and hope that you can grow old with the person who walks down the aisle with you, hand in hand.
I love you my little darling,
Sheng Jiaoyang covered her face with the letter in her hand and wasn’t able to control her emotions, even after a long time.
Grandfather Yang didn’t say any comforting words. The only thing he could do at this moment was to let her get over this by herself.
While Sheng Jiaoyang was secretly grieving, a collection of photos was circulating on the internet, which successfully caught the attention of the netizens under the Internet Water Army’s impetus.
When Sheng Jiaoyang received a call from her manager, she was sitting next to Grandfather Yang in the middle of reading the diary left behind by her mother.
"Sis Ping, what's the matter?"
"Did you break up with Mr Shen?" Xu Ping went straight to the point and asked.
Sheng Jiaoyang stared blankly for a moment before sitting up straight. "How’d you know?"
"You’re on the hot search list again," Xu Ping explained.
Sheng Jiaoyang laughed. "Are my affairs that interesting? It’s just a break up. Something like this is quite normal, isn't it?"
"Jiaojiao, have you offended someone lately? Since your debut, there’s always been someone worsening things behind the scenes whenever you get into a scandal. Otherwise, your fame alone isn’t enough to repeatedly boost you all the way to the hottest search list," Xu Ping solemnly said.
"Someone I’ve offended?" Sheng Jiaoyang raised an eyebrow in contemplation. Afterwards, she added, "I’ve offended so many people that I’ve lost count."
Xu Ping was rendered speechless.
"This is just a small issue. Ask the PR department to take care of it and direct the topic to my new drama. We can earn some extra publicity in passing."
How is this a small issue…? Xu Ping turned to look at President Li standing beside her.
After hanging up, Xu Ping prudently said, "President Li, Jiaojiao confirmed that she’s broken up with Mr Shen."
Li Yu’s expression stiffened. Wasn’t she supposed to be the future Lady Boss?
Xu Ping sized up Li Yu. She didn't quite understand the relationship between Mr Shen and President Li, but from President Li's look that seemed to say ‘I’ve suffered a great loss’, she could perceive that Mr Shen wasn’t an ordinary person.
"Alright, you can leave and make the arrangements accordingly!" Li Yu waved.
Xu Ping nodded and turned to leave.
Li Yu added, "Xu Jiaojiao’s winter holiday is starting soon, so arrange more work for her."
"Okay," Xu Ping acknowledged and went out.
Li Yu's gaze fell on the photo displayed on his phone screen. The photo showed a man and woman walking out of the bank, each with a beautiful box in their hands, and both of them parted ways without giving the other a second glance.
As he scrolled further, another photo came into sight. It was evidently taken at night and on it, a tall and slim girl wearing a mask was seen coming out of a residential area with a suitcase in hand.
If people merely looked at the photos, they might find this confusing. But, if they were to read the blogger’s post before looking at the photos, they’d immediately understand. The blog post started off with the introduction of the residential area and then exposed that Xu Jiaojiao used to live in the innermost villa with her mysterious boyfriend. It also mentioned that someone had seen Xu Jiaojiao and her boyfriend jogging outside and having breakfast together in the morning, seemingly extremely affectionate. Following this, the blogger revealed that Xu Jiaojiao was dumped and left alone at night with her suitcase in hand. There were also some speculations about the photo of the two walking out of the bank together holding a box each and going their separate ways, assuming that the two went to retrieve the love tokens they’d deposited at the bank.
"They were only together for a few months…was it two months?" Li Yu murmured under his breath.
In a restaurant’s private room, Xu Qing's and Li Wei's family finally met.
"Xu Qing, why isn't your daughter here?" Liang Dahui specifically asked.
"Right, why didn't Jiaojiao come today?" Li Li also asked.
"You…you’ve met Xu Qing's daughter?" Liang Dahui looked towards Li Weiqi's family.
"Of course, we even made an appointment for a beauty treatment," Li Li replied.
Liang Dahui choked. How come they’re so close?
Xu Qing swept a glance at Liang Dahui and said, "Jiaojiao can't make it today, but she met Weiqi's relatives yesterday."
"Aunty, I read online that Jiaojiao broke up with her boyfriend. Is it true?" Zhang Aiyan took the opportunity to ask.
"Boyfriend?" Xu Qing was surprised. "Jiaojiao didn't tell me that she had a boyfriend!"
"No way! At present, everyone knows that she has a boyfriend and that they used to live together. Xu Qi, am I right?" Zhang Aiyan glanced at Xu Qi beside her.
Xu Qi nodded and affirmatively replied, "Yes, that's what people are saying on the internet."
Xu Qing suddenly felt a sense of loss in her heart. Looks like her daughter was now an independent grown-up girl and wasn’t willing to share anything with her anymore.
Li Li curiously asked, "Why did the netizens expose Jiaojiao’s relationship? Is she an internet celebrity?"
"Uhhh, what you just asked is justifiable. Jiaojiao is indeed quite popular on the internet these days. Let me show you some entertainment news related to her," Zhang Aiyan grabbed her cell phone and moved closer to Li Li.
"Wow, why are so many people scolding Jiaojiao?" Li Li asked in surprise while skimming through the entertainment news.
"When one is popular, one tends to attract a lot of gossip!"
There were a lot of voices scolding Xu Jiaojiao on the internet, saying that she’d sold her body at a young age, that she deserved to be abandoned, and all kinds of other ugly terms were thrown at her. Reading these comments, those who weren’t familiar with the situation might really think that Xu Jiaojiao was such a person.
As the saying goes ‘Public clamour can obscure the actual truth’. For example, if you listened to one person speak ill of another, you wouldn’t assume right away that the other was a bad person. But, if you heard a crowd speak ill of that same person, you’d naturally think that he or she was as bad as they’d described.
However, Jiaojiao wasn’t the same Jiaojiao who’d just debuted. She now had a fanclub supporting her. As soon as the haters started posting, Jiao fans immediately countered them. As Jiaojiao’s fanclub had introduced the Fan Supervision Regulations, Jiao fans were relatively more civilised and rational. This made some netizens see Jiaojiao in a different light. An idol represented their fans and vice versa. The Jiao fans' rational actions in maintaining their idol’s image were more than enough to let others have a grasp on Jiaojiao’s character.
While the Jiao fans argued with the haters online, Jiaojiao's first drama titled ‘Redeeming My IGD Boyfriend’ was being promoted.
As the female lead, Jiaojiao naturally had the obligation to engage in the publicity. Her manager and assistant started forwarding the daily posts from the production team’s official Weibo. As for Jiaojiao, she had to partake in a variety show to promote the drama.
Meanwhile, Lina called and said that she was coming to China with the production team to promote her upcoming movie.
TL: Yuna | Editor: Purpledragon | TLC: Grace