Although everyone knew that the relationship between Ruan Tian and the Zhou family had reached a freezing point, there were still many people who were eager for any scrap of news who went to Zhou Xiaoqiao to ask for more details.
Zhou Xiaoqiao naturally just pretended to be ignorant of the situation and would instead try to deflect to other topics.
The people who had come to Zhou Xiaoqiao for news could obviously tell that she was deflecting and they felt vaguely dissatisfied, but they didn’t say anything in the end.
But even if they didn’t say anything, they remembered this dissatisfaction in their hearts. After all, the Zhou family of today was very weak. The situation of their family company had only been getting worse and worse recently. The Zhou family today was no longer the same Zhou family from before, and this Zhou Xiaoqiao was no longer qualified to act so arrogant in front of them.
Even the shares in her hands had been reduced to scrap paper since long ago.
Meanwhile, Mother Zhou had been very busy running around and trying to save the flagging company these days. She even put down all of her face and personally paid Shen Shu a visit, but despite that the Shen family still had no intention of helping.
Mother Zhou was so anxious that her mouth had developed blisters, and her whole person looked haggard and worn. The company was practically a spent force by this point and it was difficult to even stabalize what little they had left since their enemies continued to circle them like vultures. They couldn’t afford to make any mistakes.
Mother Zhou spent several months working hard trying to salvage things. During this period of time she could only occasionally come home to rest and, whenever she did, she felt herself feeling vaguely annoyed with the eldest daughter who she used to think was so perfect but who actually only seemed to know how to cry.
When something happened in the company, she could only cry.
She didn’t have the skills to actually help at all. Moreover, even if she tried to help she would definitely only make bigger a mess.
One day when Mother Zhou was relatively free, she sat down in front of her daughter and asked, “Xiaoqiao, what happened between you and Shen Shu that day? These days he is really not leaving any kindness for our family.”
Or, more like, he was being unusually ruthless towards them.
Mother Zhou didn’t believe that Shen Shu would suddenly become so heartless if it was just a small spat between the younger generation. There must be something deeper.
At first, Zhou Xiaoqiao wanted to brush her mother’s question off casually, but when she saw the extremely sharp way her mother was looking at her she suddenly didn’t quite dare to lie. Thus, she just lowered her head and kept her mouth shut.
Mother Zhou had been a strong woman all her life, but facing the empty villa around her and the silent daughter in front of her, it seemed as if she suddenly aged ten years. Her whole body seemed to deflate and look tired.
She didn’t have the best relationship with her husband, but she could still manage that.
However, the matter of the company, and the matter of her child, they just gave her nothing but headaches, one bigger than the next.
And she had become vaguely aware that this eldest daughter of hers, whom she had always thought was pure and kind, might actually not be as innocent as she seemed.
Finally, Mother Zhou sent her daughter a fierce glare and asked, “Do you want me to ask Shen Shu instead?”
Zhou Xiaoqiao’s eyes reddened and began to tear up, and she nails dug into her palms from how hard she was clenching her fists. She knew that once she spoke the truth, she definitely wouldn’t be able to have her mother’s trust and favor like before.
But when Zhou Xiaoqiao met her mother’s sharp eyes, she knew she couldn’t hide things forever. Her heart tightened, but eventually, she still whispered: “Don’t ask him. I was the one who did something wrong.”
But, in the end, she still lied, “Mom, I once drugged Brother Shen Shu and he found out it was me.”
Mother Zhou’s eyes widened with disbelief: “What? You drugged him! ? When did it happen?”
Zhou Xiaoqiao lowered her head and stopped talking.
Mother Zhou only had to think for a moment before a guess appeared in her mind. She gritted her teeth and asked, “Was it three years ago? It was, wasn’t it?”
Mother Zhou found she couldn’t sit still any longer. She angrily stood up and began pacing around.
For the first time in her life, she really raised her voice against Zhou Xiaoqiao. She angrily pointed at her daughter and shouted, “Why would you do such a disgusting thing?”
Mother Zhou suddenly couldn’t help but recall what had happened back then. Not to mention her, everyone had thought that Ruan Tian had been the one who had done that thing.
Because of that matter, Mother Zhou, who hadn’t been very satisfied with Ruan Tian in the first place, had disliked the girl even more.
After all, in her mind, it was really disgraceful for a daughter of the Zhou family to use such a method to get a man.
But Mother Zhou had never expected that the person who had really used the disgusting method was actually her eldest daughter that she was so proud of!
Bright stars seemed to flicker in front of Mother Zhou’s eyes, and she stopped pacing and barely managed to stay standing by tightly gripping the coffee table. She was so angry that she was completely speechless for a long time.
In the end, she just said slowly, “Xiaoqiao, you really let me down.”
Zhou Xiaoqiao began to cry and went forward to try to help her mother, but her mother immediately pushed her away and said angrily, “I want to go upstairs and get some rest.”
Zhou Xiaoqiao knew her mother was very angry this time.
She sobbed softly and said, “Mom… I just loved him so much back then…”
Mother Zhou didn’t respond at all. She merely felt a splitting headache coming on as she left the room.
Zhou Xiaoqiao sat in the living room alone, surprised and frightened by this turn of events. After a few moments of silence, she wiped away her tears, then grabbed her cell phone like a final life-saving straw, and dialed Shen Shu’s number.
A moment later, the call was answered by Shen Shu’s assistant.
The assistant said: “Miss Zhou, President Shen is currently in a meeting. I’m afraid that he can’t take your call.”
Zhou Xiaoqiao agreed and hung up the phone.
But she still didn’t give up and, after waiting a while, she called a few times more. However, all of her calls were answered by the same assistant who brushed her off each time in an increasingly rude way.
Zhou Xiaoqiao felt like she was having a breakdown. It seemed… that Shen Shu would really no longer pay her any attention.
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