"What have I done wrong? Why are you replacing me?" Sheng Shiyun looked at Lin Yu with reddened eyes in an attempt to get his support and a few words of comfort.
"You didn't do anything wrong, you just need to rest." Standing next to her, Sheng Jiaoyang replied.
Lin Yu nodded approvingly and said, "Shiyun, you'd better go home and have a good rest."
No matter how much the others had said, their words didn’t hit her as hard as Lin Yu's last sentence. In that instant, Sheng Shiyun felt as if she’d been abandoned by the whole world. She stared at Lin Yu and burst into tears.
Lin Yu sighed. He then walked to Sheng Shiyun. "Let’s go, I'll take you home." After all, he’d known her for almost ten years and couldn’t bear to see her helpless appearance.
Sheng Shiyun's eyes lit up and her mood seemed to improve in a flash. She blindly followed Lin Yu, and the two left the auditorium.
Watching the two departing figures, Sheng Jiaoyang inexplicably smiled. Lin Yu was technically her first boyfriend, and they’d been together for nearly half a year. However, she didn’t manage to fall in love with him during that period. The reason was that not only was there someone else in her heart, but also because of his personality. He was a filial boyfriend and excellent in every aspect, but he was too kind. He couldn’t discern the dark side of human nature, and he had compassion for everyone who was weak and vulnerable. She found this to be a great burden because she’d never been sympathetic towards those she disliked.
After a round of rehearsals, the members of the Poetry and Dance Club, who hadn’t had their dress rehearsal yet, took advantage of everyone's break to take the stage. The girl who’d replaced Sheng Shiyun stood in the position that originally belonged to the latter. At first, she couldn’t keep up as she hadn’t trained with the rest of the members before. This made her even more anxious and her dance steps became messier.
"You can do it, break a leg!" Suddenly, a gentle shout was heard in the audience.
When the girl looked over, she happened to see Xu Jiaojiao, who stood out even though she was surrounded by a crowd. Xu Jiaojiao simply smiled at her. The girl believed it was because of Xu Jiaojiao that she’d gotten this chance to perform, and warmth instantly filled her heart. She was brimming with energy again and adjusted her state of mind. She ceased her flustered dance movements and stood still for a moment. Afterwards, she joined the procession again, with every step on the right beat. It was as if she’d gone back in time to when she’d repeatedly practised these dance steps alone in secret. She had, in fact, learned everyone's steps, and now that she was immersed in the dance, she could understand the essence of it.
"Wow, that girl is quite amazing! She’s actually managing to keep up with everyone so quickly."
"Her dancing skills are on par with the others."
"Jiaojiao, you’re seemingly quite supportive of her. You even cheered for her. We didn’t see you cheer for us during our rehearsals." A girl standing near Sheng Jiaoyang pouted.
Sheng Jiaoyang laughed, "I was praising her for taking the initiative to fight for this opportunity. After all, God isn’t a philanthropist who’ll deliver privileges to her door without rhyme or reason. One must fight for opportunities themselves. Let's give it our all to make tomorrow's evening party more exciting."
"Okay!" Standing nearby, Teacher Zhou was the first person to respond. He now had a very good impression of Xu Jiaojiao. Before this, he’d never interacted with her and only knew that she’d made a teacher retire. Although the teacher was at fault and didn’t do his job well, he still felt that Xu Jiaojiao was disrespectful towards teachers like him. However, after their short interaction, he realised that she was completely different from what he’d imagined. She turned out to be a polite and optimistic girl, full of positive energy. Now he understood why the dean of the Foreign Language Faculty had strongly recommended for her to participate in the New Year’s evening party.
"Everyone, like Jiaojiao said, let’s do our best and make tomorrow's party more exciting. Come on, break a leg!" Teacher Zhou shouted.
A boy whispered, "Old Zhou is extremely energetic."
After Teacher Zhou’s shout, everyone was brimming with vigour and fighting spirit.
The students were evidently more attentive during the second dress rehearsal.
Meanwhile, in Lin Yu's car, Sheng Shiyun was tattling on someone.
"It’s all Xu Jiaojiao’s fault that my parents divorced yesterday. My mother and I were kicked out of the house, and now we can only huddle in a small apartment. My mother was still crying when I left this morning. Tell me, how can I not hate her after what she’s done? What should I do if my mother goes blind from crying too much?" Sheng Shiyun sobbed.
"What did Jiaojiao do?" Lin Yu asked. Although he sympathised with what had happened to Sheng Shiyun, he wouldn’t one-sidedly believe her because he felt that Xu Jiaojiao was a very magnanimous person.
Sheng Shiyun’s smile faltered. She didn’t like the fact that he’d said Jiaojiao so affectionately. This meant that he already regarded that little b*itch as a friend. She was currently struggling to answer his question. If she told the truth, she’d only embarrass herself, but if he were to hear the truth from someone else, she’d lose him forever.
"Lin Yu, you’re probably unaware, but my aunt thinks that my mother is rich because she married into a rich family. So, my aunt often asked my mother for money. But, my father never really cared about us and my grandparents were the one who gave us pocket money. Every time my aunt came crying for money, she’d take most of our pocket money away. During those times, my mother and I were left in dire financial straits, and we couldn’t even afford a piece of new clothing."
While speaking, Sheng Shiyun became teary-eyed again.
"I’d wanted to study abroad for a change of environment, but my father didn’t support me. My mother wanted to help, but she was powerless. My mother cares about me a lot, so she…" Sheng Shiyun turned to look at Lin Yu and choked with sobs as she continued, "She secretly pawned my sister's jewellery in exchange for money to send me abroad."
At the intersection, Lin Yu stopped when the traffic light turned red. He turned to look at Sheng Shiyun and asked, "Your mother took Jiaoyang’s jewellery?"
Sheng Shiyun lowered her head and didn’t dare to look him in the eye. She then said with an aggrieved voice, "I know that my mother was wrong, but she did it for my own good. My sister has a rich grandfather, so a little jewellery is just a drop in the ocean for her. Besides, my sister has already passed away, so thinking that her jewellery will only gather dust in her room, my mother made the mistake of taking a piece to pawn.”
Lin Yu sighed. He took out a tissue and handed it to Sheng Shiyun. As soon as the traffic light turned green, he continued driving.
Sheng Shiyun accepted the tissue and wiped her tears. At the same time, she secretly peered at Lin Yu. Seeing that there was no change in his expression, she knew that she’d made the right choice. She couldn’t say that she was also involved and decided to just put the blame on her mother. A kind-hearted person like Lin Yu certainly wouldn’t blame her.
"If that’s the case, how is this related to Jiaojiao?"
Sheng Shiyun froze. She hadn’t expected him to still ask the same question and quickly thought of what to say. "Xu Jiaojiao is now the newly acknowledged granddaughter of Jiaoyang’s maternal grandfather. She brought Mr Yang to my house to make a scene, blaming my mother for taking my sister's jewellery. She also said that I was an accomplice and made Mr Yang pressure my father. As a result, my father got angry with my mother and kicked us out."
From the beginning till the end, Sheng Shiyun had presented herself as an innocent victim in great detail, so Lin Yu didn’t doubt her.
"Don't be sad. When Uncle Sheng calms down, you can explain it to him again. Everything will be fine." Lin Yu comforted.
Sheng Shiyun reached out to cover her face and sobbed softly.
"Is it here?" Lin Yu asked, parking near an apartment complex.
Sheng Shiyun looked out the window and nodded.
When she’d gotten out of the car, Lin Yu stared at the teary-eyed Sheng Shiyun and gently consoled, "Have a good rest and don't think about anything else. Also, you should tell Aunty to not dwell on this as there's a solution to every problem."
"Lin Yu, you don't want to come upstairs and sit for a while?"
"No, I have to rush back to school now. Go in and rest."
Lin Yu stood there with a warm smile on his face. Seeing such a modest and good-looking gentleman, how could one not be moved? At least, Sheng Shiyun was unable to stop herself from loving him.
"Lin Yu!" Sheng Shiyun threw herself at Lin Yu and asked, "I need you in my life! Without you, I really wouldn’t know how to face this kind of situation."
Lin Yu raised his hand, but it paused in midair. He then patted Sheng Shiyun on the back and comforted, "I won’t ignore you. I’ll always care for you like a little sister."
Sheng Shiyun's expression briefly twisted, but her face was buried in Lin Yu's shoulder, so he couldn’t see her. She hugged him for a while longer before squeezing out a smile. "Lin Yu, you should go. I'll watch you leave and then go in."
Lin Yu nodded and turned around to walk back to the car. He waved at her before driving away.
Sheng Shiyun bit her lip as she watched the car disappear into the distance, her expression constantly changing.
"Have you made up with Lin Yu?" Someone suddenly asked from behind Sheng Shiyun.
Sheng Shiyun turned around and saw Liang Xiaohui, who was on her way out. She nervously turned her head, but Lin Yu's car was already nowhere in sight. As such, she faced Liang Xiaohui and asked, "Mum, where are you going?"
"I've been crying so badly that my skin has worsened these last two days. I'm going to have a beauty treatment at the salon," Liang Xiaohui explained. "Has Lin Yu finally accepted your feelings?"
"No…Mum, he said that he’d always treat me like a sister. Do I still have a chance?" Sheng Shiyun murmured.
Liang Xiaohui walked towards Sheng Shiyun and patted her arm. "Shiyun, I saw you two hugging each other. Since he said that, it means that he’s close with you. You can't simply wait for him to accept you; you have to find a way to capture his heart. Sometimes, you have to resort to certain means when necessary. Lin Yu is an excellent guy, and his family conditions are also good. If you miss this chance, you may not be able to meet a better man."
"I don't know why, but no matter what I do, he still doesn't see me as a woman. What can I do?" Sheng Shiyun wept with a mournful expression.
"If you become like Sheng Jiaoyang, won’t he like you then?"
Sheng Shiyun was stunned by Liang Xiaohui's words.
Liang Xiaohui sneered. "I hate to admit it, but those men are attracted to someone like Sheng Jiaoyang."Previous Chapter Next Chapter
TL: Yuna | Editor: Purpledragon | TLC: Grace