It had to be said, the awards handed out at the Hong Kong Film Festival carried a great amount of weight in the entertainment industry. These days good screenplays were landing on Ruan Tian’s desk one after another.
After going through and picking and choosing, Ruan Tian finally picked her next project. A screenplay where she would play a particularly villainous female lead.
It was a character straight out of the classic fairy tales, both physically and mentally abusive.
Basically, her character was a beautiful witch who brought calamity to the country and who had no sense of right or wrong.
The film had a huge amount of up-front investment, and it would probably take more than a year for the pre-production alone.
Ruan Tian had purposefully picked a project with such a long delay before filming would begin in order to give herself time to continue going to school. So long as she passed her upcoming exams, the time would be more than enough.
Before the height of summer arrived, Ruan Tian happened to meet Mother Zhou before the latter left the country to go abroad.
When they met, Ruan Tian stared at this woman who had given birth to her yet never treated her as a daughter.
She couldn’t help but notice there were many changes in Mother Zhou compared to the last time she had seen her.
Mostly, Mother Zhou seemed more haggard than ever before and her entire person seemed dispirited. Clearly, the successive blows she had received recently had left their marks on her.
Of course, Mother Zhou hadn’t deliberately sought out Ruan Tian in search of this reunion. Rather, they just happened to coincidentally meet on the street.
Mother and daughter looked at each other awkwardly, neither taking the initiative to speak.
There was really nothing much to say.
Mother Zhou couldn’t help but recall the scene back then when she had first gone to that small town and seen Ruan Tian for the first time.
At that time, Ruan Tian had been dressed in shabby, over-sized clothes, but she had also clearly been making an effort to keep herself presentable despite her poverty.
When she had seen that, Mother Zhou had felt very sorry for this daughter she had never met. She had resolved on the spot to take this girl home and let her live a good life.
Yet, somewhere along the way, her initial goal had been forgotten.
She couldn’t remember how it happened, she only remembered that she had slowly become more and more disappointed in this daughter along the way.
Over time, Ruan Tian grew more and more distant, and before she knew it things had developed into their current irreconcilable relationship.
Mother Zhou looked into this pair of eyes that were similar to her own and said, “You…”
She took a deep breath, “We’re moving abroad.”
Ruan Tian slowly nodded but didn’t give any other reaction.
Mother Zhou saw her daughter’s cold and indifferent expression. It made her a little angry, and her chest felt stuffy and blocked, so she said, “Don’t you have anything you want to say to me?”
Ruan Tian shook her head coldly. “I really don’t.” Then she turned on her heel and walked away.
Mother Zhou looked her estranged daughter going further and further away. She was almost in a trance, her hands clenched into fists and trembled faintly.
Eventually she snapped out of it and also turned to leave. However, as she was walking out of the store, Mother Zhou suddenly had an accident. She hadn’t been watching her step, and she tripped, fell, and nearly broke her leg. The pain was so bad that she couldn’t stand up for a long time.
As the time for the college entrance examinations approached, Ruan Tian discovered that she actually had a fairly wide circle of friends.
For instance, Xu Jing, who hadn’t been in touch for a long time and who she had only seen once recently during the award ceremony, sent her an encouraging message:【Good luck. Don’t forget to bring your ID and admission card. 】
She received many such words of encouragement from various friends and people she had worked with in the past.
At first, Ruan Tian hadn’t felt very nervous about the exams, but after replying to these messages one by one, she could no longer be as calm as before.
It seemed that her exams had turned into some sort of grand event? So many people knew about it now.
Wouldn’t it be very humiliating if she couldn’t pass?
Maybe because of that nervousness, Ruan Tian headed over to the examination venue a day in advance to take a look around. She found that her examination room was the middle classroom on the second floor. She went inside and sat down by the windows, then looked out over the circle of iron railings that were built on the periphery of the promenade. Beyond the iron rail, she had a clear view of the square down below.
After Ruan Tian sat down, a pretty little girl entered the room and took the seat to the left of her own.
The girl turned to her and said, “Classmate, could you keep an eye on my bag for me? I need to go find my uncle. I only need a moment, I’ll be right back.”
Ruan Tian was wearing a medical mask that concealed most of her face and she was also dressed in a casual style like a student, so it wasn’t too surprising for the girl to mistake her for a fellow student.
Ruan Tian didn’t correct her. She just nodded and said, “Sure, go ahead. I’ll watch it for you.”
The little girl quickly dashed away.
Less than five minutes later, she came back to the classroom with her uncle in tow.
Ruan Tian was surprised. She really had never expected that the little girl’s uncle would actually be Shen Shu.
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