Sheng Jiaoyang arrived at the doorway, and she could already hear the sounds of laughter.
She heard her grandfather's hearty laughter, Grandmother Andy's and Grandfather Shen's laughter…and also Lin Yan’s.
Everyone was laughing except herself.
Sheng Jiaoyang didn’t know what kind of mood she retained as she pushed the door open. What came into view was everyone talking and laughing around the bed.
She slowly looked towards the bed and her eyes fell on the person sitting on it. A dazzling smile was plastered on that familiar face.
Having seemingly sensed her gaze, the person sitting on the bed suddenly turned her head. Upon seeing her, that person’s lips unexpectedly curled upwards and her expression turned somewhat playful.
Who are you? Are you Xu Jiaojiao? Sheng Jiaoyang opened her mouth, but no words came out. She could only silently ask.
That person slightly raised her chin and smilingly said, "I'm back!" It seemed as if she was saying that to the other people in the room, but Sheng Jiaoyang knew that those words were actually meant for her.
"Who are you?" Grandfather Yang turned to look at her and asked.
"I’m Jiaojiao!" Sheng Jiaoyang walked forward with an anxious look on her face.
"Yes, she’s Xu Jiaojiao!" the person sitting on the bed said with a smile.
A smile appeared on Grandfather Yang's face, but he was polite and distant as he said, "Oh, what a coincidence. Our Sheng Jiaoyang’s nickname is also Jiaojiao."
Sheng Jiaoyang was unable to speak of her bitter suffering. She wanted to tell her grandfather: Grandpa, take a closer look, I’m your Sheng Jiaoyang! But, even if she said that now, no one would believe her.
"Our princess finally woke up. We must host a party to celebrate this happy occasion!" Fu Lailin smilingly said.
Sheng Jiaoyang felt like an outsider. She was clearly standing next to them, but no one knew her, so she stood aside and watched everyone pamper the other ‘Sheng Jiaoyang’ who’d just woken up.
"Alright, our ‘Jiaoyang’ just woke up. She should rest some more and revitalise herself. Only then will she have the energy to attend tonight’s party."
Sheng Jiaoyang was thus driven out of the room. She wanted to talk to the other ‘Sheng Jiaoyang’ alone, but if she proposed that now, the others would only find her imposing and wouldn’t allow it.
"Grandfather," she called out to Grandfather Yang.
Grandfather Yang smiled. "You’re a born socialiser. What can I do for you?"
Sheng Jiaoyang walked up to him and stared at the relaxed look on his aged face. He must’ve felt better after ‘Sheng Jiaoyang’ woke up.
"What's the matter?"
Sheng Jiaoyang took a deep breath and said, "Grandfather, now that ‘Jiaoyang’ has woken up, did you notice any difference?"
Grandfather Yang muttered a few words under his breath, but under Sheng Jiaoyang’s expectant gaze, he poked the cane lightly on the ground and said, "She’s lost weight."
"…" Sheng Jiaoyang suddenly didn't know what else to say.
"No, I must let someone prepare some extra dishes," Grandfather Yang muttered as he walked away.
Staring at his departing figure, Sheng Jiaoyang’s eyes got teary.
Her grandfather was obviously younger than Grandfather Shen, but he appeared much older than the latter. Just how much suffering did her grandfather go through these days?!
The party was held in a villa’s spacious hall because no one wanted ‘Sheng Jiaoyang’ to suffer from the cold wind as soon as she woke up.
Sheng Jiaoyang stood alone in the corner of the hall, watching the other ‘Jiaoyang’ rigged out in her best, slowly walking down the stairs with an arm circled around Grandfather Yang’s. As Sheng Jiaoyang listened to the cheers and applause around her, she felt perplexed. Why was she standing here, in a corner?
"My Princess." Lin Yan, dressed in a white suit, looked like a prince and a groom. He extended a hand to the other ‘Jiaoyang’ and asked, "May I have the pleasure of dancing with you?"
Sheng Jiaoyang stood there, blankly staring at the two as they walked hand in hand towards the centre of the crowd. They slowly danced to the beat of the music, and their expressions were filled with delight. She clearly saw how the other ‘Jiaoyang’ stared at Lin Yan with a loving and almost obsessive gaze. Meanwhile, Lin Yan was also gazing into her eyes tenderly.
The two looked into each other’s eyes and slowly leaned closer and closer….
No, this isn’t right! Lin Yan, you have a fiancée!
Sheng Jiaoyang wanted to rush over, but someone pulled her to a stop. She turned her head and saw Shen Zhining. His appearance somehow made her feel a little more at ease. She anxiously said, "Zhining, please quickly go and stop them!"
"Why should I?" Shen Zhining's eyes were cold and indifferent.
"Lin Yan, he…he’s already engaged. How could they do such a thing?"
Shen Zhining indifferently smirked and said, "So what if he’s engaged? Even if one’s married, one could still get divorced."
Why was he acting like this? Sheng Jiaoyang was left baffled.
"Don't disturb them," Shen Zhining warned her and then left with a wine glass in hand to converse with others.
Sheng Jiaoyang bit her lower lip and then turned around, but the two were no longer in sight.
She looked around and saw the other ‘Jiaoyang’ standing alone in a room.
"You’re here," ‘Jiaoyang’ said and turned around, as if she’d been waiting for her all along.
"What exactly do you want?" Sheng Jiaoyang coldly asked.
‘Jiaoyang’ smiled upon hearing this. She stroked her cheek and answered, "I’m enjoying my precious time, of course!"
"This life that you’re enjoying is mine!"
"But, it's mine now." ‘Jiaoyang’ smirked at her, her expression filled with mockery. "What are you unhappy with? My body, which you’re currently possessing, is perfectly healthy. As long as you don't plan to die, there'll be no issue with living to the age of eighty. What about yours?"
‘Jiaoyang’ lifted her hand and stared at the brightly painted fingernails as she continued indifferently, "Even if I hadn’t woken up, who knows how much longer your body would have lasted?"
Footsteps sounded, and Lin Yan entered with a glass of water.
Sheng Jiaoyang watched him walk in and pass by without looking in her direction. He went straight to ‘Jiaoyang’ and handed over the glass of water while asking how she was feeling.
"Lin Yan…" Sheng Jiaoyang softly called out.
Lin Yan swept a glance at her as if he were looking at a stranger and said, "Please close the door on your way out."
"Don't you recognise me? She’s not Jiaoyang, I am!" Sheng Jiaoyang sounded both anxious and powerless.
Lin Yan seemed to have heard a joke and laughed. "Do you really think that I’ll believe your words when Jiaoyang is right in front of me?"
Hearing this, ‘Jiaoyang’ said, "Jiaojiao, I know that you envy my current lifestyle, but you can’t use this as an excuse to pass yourself off as me. I need to rest, so please leave!"
You know exactly who is the pretender, alright?! Sheng Jiaoyang thought.
Standing in the doorway, she looked back and met the other Jiaoyang’s eyes. The other silently mouthed four words to her.
Get. Out. Of. Here!
Sheng Jiaoyang clenched her fists while the door was heartlessly closed in her face.
"What are you doing standing here?"
When Sheng Jiaoyang saw her grandfather, she felt as if she’d found someone to rely on and anxiously said, "Grandfather, I’m Jiaoyang!" At this moment, she was desperate for someone to believe her.
"Isn't your name Xu Jiaojiao?"
"After the car accident, I woke up and became Xu Jiaojiao. I also don't know how this happened."
Grandfather Yang silently stared at her for a moment before saying, "Child, if you’re suffering from mythomania, you should go see a psychologist."
"I'm not suffering from any illness. I'm really Sheng Jiaoyang. Grandfather, what do I have to do to make you believe me?"
"You want me to believe you?" Grandfather Yang tapped the walking stick and asked.
Sheng Jiaoyang nodded repeatedly.
Grandfather Yang glanced at her and said, "Follow me."
Sheng Jiaoyang followed her Grandfather all the way to the villa’s gate.
"Alright, you can move further away." Grandfather Yang pointed outside.
Sheng Jiaoyang didn’t get it, so she walked forward and stopped where Grandfather Yang was pointing. When she turned around and was about to say something, she was dumbfounded.
The gate, which was open just a moment ago, was now an impermeable wall.
"Where’s the door? The entrance?" Sheng Jiaoyang finally understood Grandfather Yang’s words.
This realisation hit Sheng Jiaoyang like a bolt from the blue. It turned out that even the people closest to her didn’t recognise her.
"Wake up," a voice suddenly said by her ear.
Sheng Jiaoyang opened her eyes and saw the handsome face before her. She grasped the hand he held in front of her face and hurriedly said, "Zhining, you have to believe me!"
Surprise flashed in Shen Zhining's eyes as he stared at her.
"You had a nightmare?"
"Huh?" Sheng Jiaoyang froze.
Shen Zhining retracted his hand and stood up. He cast another glance at her tear-stained face before turning and walking away.
"Go wash up. You have to accompany me home today."
Shen Zhining paused at the door. "In Germany. Get everything ready to go abroad with me."
Sheng Jiaoyang sat up and looked around. Afterwards, she closed her eyes and breathed a sigh of relief.
Thank goodness, it was just a dream…
Wait, what did Shen Zhining say just now? They were going abroad…to Germany?
Sheng Jiaoyang’s eyes widened at this thought. If she went home with Shen Zhining, would she get the chance to meet her grandfather? The dream she had earlier felt unbelievably real, so she still had some lingering fears. If she saw her grandfather and told him about her reincarnation, would her grandfather react the same way as he did in her dream?
She got up and entered the bathroom.
While brushing her teeth, she stared at herself in the mirror and couldn't help but think about the other ‘Jiaoyang’ she’d seen in her dream.
Now that she thought about it carefully, the real Xu Jiaojiao’s personality shouldn’t be like this. It ought to be the same as that of the other ‘Jiaoyang’ in her dream. She’d used her own character as a basis to create an imaginary Xu Jiaojiao waking up in her body.
It turned out that when facing herself she could be angered half to death. She finally understood why those who disliked her hated her so much.
Downstairs, Sheng Jiaoyang unexpectedly saw Ning Xiaoruan, who’d disappeared for a period of time, and Jing Weinan.
"Hello!" Ning Xiaoruan waved at her. "Why are your eyes so swollen?"
Sheng Jiaoyang pushed the frame of her glasses up a bit and said, "I didn't sleep well last night."
"Last night…you didn't sleep well?" A thought suddenly occurred to Ning Xiaoruan. He glanced at Shen Zhining before looking back at her.
Ning Xiaoruan cleared his throat. "For the sake of your health, you have to be abstemious."
"Looks like you’ve been too idle lately, isn’t that so?" Sheng Jiaoyang gritted her teeth.
"No, I've been running all over the south with Brother Nan these days," Ning Xiaoruan triumphantly bragged.
Sheng Jiaoyang sat at the table and stared at the breakfast they’d brought back. She grabbed a cup of soya milk and casually asked, "Then, what are you doing here now? Are you coming along to Germany?"
"Pffff!!" Sheng Jiaoyang spurted out the soya milk she was drinking.
TL: Yuna | Editor: Purpledragon | TLC: Grace