She thought that, as a final gift to him, she could at least give him a child, to be with him and be there for him in her place. But now, even that little light of hope has been snuffed out. She came out of the hospital, feeling empty, and lost. She doesn’t want to go back to the villa, the villa without Gu Zechuan. It’s cold there.
But where else could she go back to, if not there?
In the luxurious and spacious villa, there was only Xia He. Alone. Today was her birthday, but it was devoid of people. Before, no one other than her grandfather cared for her, and now that even he had since passed away, and now she was truly a lone entity in this world.
But Xia He’s heart remained positive. Even if no one in the world would love her, she would still love herself! It would not do if she let the world get her down, not today, not on her birthday! Just for today, Xia He had decided that she would be going shopping. She will shop and shop and shop until there is nothing left to buy!
Xia He had decided to buy a ring for herself. When she and Gu Zechuan married, he didn’t prepare a ring for her. Looking at her ring finger on her left hand, still empty without a ring, Xia He felt the coldness and the irony stronger than ever this day, on her birthday.
When Xia He began to look intently at the rings, she heard the store clerk exclaim excitedly.
"Mr. Gu! Ms. Yang!"
Mr. Gu? Startlement struck Xia He. In this entire city, is there another Mr. Gu that would excite store clerks so? No. This could be no one other than Gu Zechuan himself.
"Mr. Gu, this selection here is our True Love series. As per our store policy, each gentleman may be permitted to place exactly one order for one ring from it. It represents love eternal, ever enduring, and never ending. Might you be interested in taking a look?" The store clerk spoke to Gu Zechuan with forced calmness, trying very hard to hold back on their excitements.
The most fundamental skill of a store clerk, especially those who caters to high classed customers, is the ability to observe. Standing closely beside Gu Zechuan, was a woman of stunning beauty and grace, slender and tall and almost appearing to glow with an otherworldly glow. Together with Gu Zechuan, the two stood side by side as if they were made for each other. Really, the store clerk really couldn’t be blamed for assuming that it was Mrs. Gu standing beside Mr. Gu.
When Xia He heard the store clerk, she twisted her neck sharply to her side, and indeed Yang Qinglian appeared through the entrance of the store, with Gu Zechuan’s arm in hers. The way she leaned against his embrace and the smile that bloomed on her face appeared so brightly to Xia He that it may as well have stabbed and blinded her eyes.
"One order. On the inside of the ring, remember to engrave the character for ‘lotus’. It’s one of the characters in her name." Gu Zechuan said to the store clerk without even needing the time to think. A testament to how much he cared for Yang Qinglian.
The ring that could only be made to order once in his life. A pang stabbed into Xia He’s heart, so excruciatingly painful that she thought she might die from it right on this spot. Indeed, the one that Gu Zechuan loved Yang Qinglian the most. Redness filled Xia He’s eyes immediately. The heart that pumped inside of him, the heart that used to love Xia He more than anything else in the world, Gu Zechuan now gave it freely to another woman. All strengths left her, and Xia He wavered and almost fell from the sudden wave of feebleness.
Yang Qinglian recognized Xia He immediately as soon as she entered the store. Looking at Xia He making a selection on the rings, all alone by herself, nothing else in the world can make her even happier.
Yang Qinglian pulled and hugged Gu Zechuan’s arm even tighter, "Zechuan, looks like Ms. Xia is also here. Let’s go over and say hello."
In actuality, Gu Zechuan saw Xia He even before he came inside the store. That’s why he intentionally led Yang Qinglian into the store with him. This woman had expended all ploys and tactics just to be able to marry him, and always said things like how much she loved him. Now that she could see with her very own eyes him being together with another woman, could she still be as calm and collected as she always had been? That’s the part that Gu Zechuan hated most about her, that air of coolness and confidence that everything seemed to be in control in accordance to her will.
"Ms. Xia, what a pleasant coincidence to see you here. Are you buying something?" Wang Qinglian put on her brightest and most innocent smile, and walked over to Xia He.
At this point, it was already impossible for Xia He to pretend to act that the two of them weren’t here.
"Yes." Xia He nodded lightly.
She already heard everything that Gu Zechuan said to the store clerk. And now, she still must pretend that she didn’t care about any of it. It was painful, beyond what she ever imagined, but onwards she must keep up her pretense of perfection, and endure through with her wounded heart in tatters, still bleeding from the hundreds and thousands and ever increasing stab wounds.