For The Rest Of Our Life – Chapter 143

It was the first time with my girlfriend

Approaching the end of the semester, Lin Xian, Shi Man, Chen Zhi, and Tang Mo formed a study group to revise together after class at the library. Xia Zhijin took a long break to film and wouldn’t be back until after the exams. Without Xia Zhijin’s company, Shi Man started having lunch with the main group in the cafeteria.

One day near New Year’s Day, while having lunch, Shi Man suddenly asked Lin Xian and the others, “Do you have any plans for New Year’s Eve? This year, the New Year’s Eve gala on TV will be held at our National Olympic Sports Center, in collaboration with Shixing, and we have internal tickets. Do you want to go together?”

Chen Zhi got excited immediately, her eyes shining as she asked, “Is it the New Year’s concert with Fu Zhiqiong and Liang Han? I have no plans at all, was just thinking about how to spend the night.”

Unusually, Tang Mo declined, “I won’t go. I promised to spend New Year’s with someone else.” It was obvious who she was referring to.

Chen Zhi and Shi Man exchanged ambiguous glances and teased her.

Lin Xian noticed Shi Man’s reaction when she heard “Fu Zhiqiong,” and she clearly contained her smile and furrowed her brows. Setting down her spoon, she asked Shi Man with concern, “Will Sister Zhijin return to spend New Year’s with you?”

“I don’t know,” Shi Man replied casually. She lowered her head, her bangs covering her usually lively eyes, leaving Lin Xian unable to read her expression.

“What’s wrong? You should be worried about Sister Zhijin, thinking about how hard she works outside. Ah, who knows if she’s struggling to sleep at night, missing you until tears flow.” Lin Xian, sensing Shi Man’s mood, teased on purpose.

Shi Man chuckled and lightly patted Lin Xian’s shoulder with a hint of disgust, “You’re so gross with your words, it’s giving me goosebumps.” After a pause and a glance at her friends, she changed the subject, “I’ll ask her later. If she’s back, we can go together to the event without any conflicts.”

“Lin Xian, you haven’t said if you’re going or not,” Shi Man asked, pressing for an answer.

“I’ll go ask Xiao Panpan, if she’s going, we can go together. I don’t know if she’ll think it’s too noisy.” Lin Xian’s expression softened at the mention of Xiao Wanqing.

“I’ll go ask Xiao Panpan… Ah, some people always change their tone like this when mentioning someone.” Chen Zhi jokingly smoothed the goosebumps on her arms, imitating Lin Xian’s sweet tone.

Everyone burst into laughter.

Accustomed to teasing, Lin Xian ignored them, giving each a playful eye-roll and joined in the sweet laughter. Seeing the happy scene, Shi Man smiled but then let out a sigh.

On their way to the classroom, Chen Zhi and Tang Mo walked hand in hand ahead, while Lin Xian and Shi Man walked side by side a few steps behind.

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Worried about Shi Man’s lowered mood after mentioning Xia Zhijin earlier, Lin Xian called out to her hesitantly, “Manman…” before pausing.

Seeing the concerned look on her friend’s face, Shi Man sighed deeply and finally opened up about her pent-up frustration, “Xianxian, I’ve been so annoyed lately.”

“What’s wrong?”

“Do you know why Fu Zhiqiong signed Zhijin?” Shi Man asked Lin Xian with a serious tone.

Lin Xian naturally had no idea.

“Do you know Starlight Entertainment is under Shixing? I went to the company’s anniversary banquet with my mom recently, met some people, and heard some unsettling news.”

She took a deep breath and continued, “You may have read in the media that Fu Zhiqiong is an orphan. Before her debut, she had a long-term relationship with a girlfriend who grew up with her in an orphanage. This story is true. Her girlfriend always supported her from behind, including funding her training at the arts school and covering the expenses for various talent shows. However, after winning a competition and becoming famous, Fu Zhiqiong, in order to protect her career, followed her agency’s advice and broke up with this girlfriend. Two years later, the girlfriend, struggling with an illness and unable to afford treatment, gave up and passed away. Fu Zhiqiong only learned about this a year after her passing, was deeply affected, withdrew from the spotlight for two years, and eventually regained her strength and returned to the entertainment industry.”

“Zhijin is so much like her girlfriend,” Shi Man said solemnly while biting her lip.

Lin Xian was initially lamenting the fate of Fu Zhiqiong’s girlfriend but was taken aback when hearing Shi Man’s last statement, looking at her incredulously.

Shi Man forced a smile and added, “I had someone check later. In reality, they don’t look alike at all. But, Zhijin exudes a similar spirit to her. I asked Zhijin, and she admitted that Fu Zhiqiong once told her she resembled an old acquaintance.”

Understanding a bit of why Shi Man was feeling down, Lin Xian blinked and tried to reassure her, “Even though Sister Zhijin signed with her studio, Fu Zhiqiong’s schedule is so hectic, they probably don’t see each other much. Plus, Fu Zhiqiong just announced a relationship earlier this year. Manman, try not to overthink it.”

In truth, even Lin Xian didn’t fully believe her words. Empathizing, she thought that perhaps everyone would care in such a situation.

Shi Man glanced at Lin Xian, shaking her head, “Fu Zhiqiong and her so-called boyfriend have a business relationship, mutually beneficial. It’s not real.”

“…” Lin Xian was speechless for a moment. “Then… does Sister Zhijin know?”

“I don’t know if she knows, but even if she did, it wouldn’t change anything for her. Just like she wouldn’t enter the entertainment industry because she dislikes it or switch to Starlight just because she’s dissatisfied. Xia Zhijin is resolute, and nothing will make her change her mind.”

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Feeling relieved after venting, Shi Man playfully nudged Lin Xian’s arm and suddenly put on her usual smiling face, changing the subject, “Oh well, we can’t solve it in the short term anyway. Let’s not worry about it and focus on being happy. After the exams, we’ll have a break. Are you planning to go out with Aunt Xiao during the winter break?”

Watching her friend pretend to be cheerful, Lin Xian wanted to say something comforting, but as an outsider, any words seemed powerless. In the end, she could only advise her, “Manman, try to communicate more with Sister Zhijin. Talking about the issues will make things better.” This was the truth she slowly understood in her relationship with Xiao Wanqing.

Shi Man nodded with a smile, not committing either way.

Later that evening, when Lin Xian and Xiao Wanqing were soaking in the bath together, Lin Xian mentioned the idea of going to watch the New Year’s Eve gala together. Unexpectedly, Xiao Wanqing wiped some bubbles off her and said with a smile, “I was also thinking of asking you about that. Wen Tong gave me two tickets, allowing me to go with you when I have free time.”

Resting against Xiao Wanqing’s chest, Lin Xian raised a smile and replied, “Then I won’t take up Manman’s spot. My Xiao Panpan also has some skills. Should we go?”

Xiao Wanqing kindly responded, “If you want to go, let’s go together.”

“Do you think it will be too noisy?”

“No, it won’t be.”

“In that case, let’s go.” Lin Xian turned her head and kissed Xiao Wanqing on the face, cheerfully agreeing.

“Great.” Xiao Wanqing affectionately ruffled Lin Xian’s hair.

On December 31st, which was a Sunday, Lin Xian and Xiao Wanqing first went to a movie theater near the National Olympic Sports Center in the afternoon to watch a movie. They had an early dinner and arrived at the venue just in time for the security check with their tickets.

The bustling crowd around them, with excited young couples chattering ahead, shouting about who they would soon see. Lin Xian glanced curiously at them, looked around, walked beside Xiao Wanqing, unexpectedly showing a mixture of excitement and nervousness.

Walking towards the VIP area inside with Lin Xian, Xiao Wanqing held her hand and asked with a smile, “Xianxian, is this your first time attending a concert?”

Lin Xian nodded, explaining, “Yes, I’ve been to music concerts before, but this kind of concert is my first time. The atmosphere is different from music concerts and plays. Panpan, have you been to one before?” Xiao Wanqing didn’t seem like someone who enjoyed crowds, and Lin Xian had never heard her mention any particular interest in a celebrity.

Xiao Wanqing nodded and replied, “I used to be a reporter in entertainment sections before, and I’ve worked at concerts a few times.” Lin Xian pouted, feeling a bit melancholic about the moments she missed, but Xiao Wanqing quickly added with a charming smile, “But this…” She leaned close to Lin Xian’s ear and whispered softly, “It’s my first time with a girlfriend.” With that, she tilted her head slightly and gently shook the hand intertwined with Lin Xian’s fingers.

Lin Xian couldn’t help but smile brightly at her words.

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“Quickly give way, you’re blocking the road.” Suddenly, a magnetic, teasing female voice came from behind them.

Xiao Wanqing and Lin Xian both turned around at the same time to see Wen Tong standing behind them, tall and graceful, with a smile in her eyes but a deliberately disdainful expression on her face.

It was still early, and only a few people had taken their seats in the front row of the VIP section. Xiao Wanqing chuckled softly, checked the seats, obediently led Lin Xian inside, and wondered if Wen Tong was sitting there too. Suddenly, out of the corner of her eye, she saw Shi Jinglan walking out behind Wen Tong, with a light yet still imposing appearance, causing her question to get stuck in her throat.

“President Shi, long time no see,” Xiao Wanqing put on a formal smile and politely greeted her.

Shi Jinglan also noticed her and relaxed her brows, returning a dignified and friendly smile, saying humorously, “We should say Happy New Year. Shixing and I have been looking forward to this New Year for a long time.” After the New Year, Xiao Wanqing was about to join Juxing.

Before Xiao Wanqing could respond politely, a young female voice exclaimed in surprise, “Mom, you’re here too?”

Shi Man led Chen Zhi, furrowing her brows slightly as she looked ahead at Shi Jinglan, appearing surprised.

Shi Jinglan had been on a business trip recently, and Shi Man hadn’t seen her for almost half a month. Judging by her schedule, Shi Jinglan had just returned from overseas today.

Her mother never enjoyed attending meaningless and noisy events like this. Usually, after returning from a business trip, she would prefer to spend time at home tending to flowers or taking a nap. Has the sun set in the west today? Shi Man unconsciously shifted her gaze to Wen Tong standing next to Shi Jinglan.

Lin Xian and Chen Zhi were both meeting Shi Jinglan for the first time. After glancing at Shi Man and then at the graceful and elegant Shi Jinglan, who looked to be in her thirties, they couldn’t help but think, When did Shi Jinglan have Shi Man?! Wen Tong and Shi Man exchanged a glance as they observed each other, then looked at Shi Jinglan, feeling a sudden jolt in their hearts. Xiao Wanqing looked at Shi Man, then at Wen Tong and Shi Jinglan, suddenly wanting to laugh at the complicated relationship.

Fortunately, Shi Jinglan was experienced in handling all kinds of situations. She glanced at Shi Man calmly and retorted, “Am I not allowed to come?” She scanned Chen Zhi standing beside Shi Man and asked lightly, “Where is Zhijin?”

Shi Man withdrew her gaze from observing Wen Tong, pursed her lips, and led Chen Zhi to their seats, sitting behind Xiao Wanqing and Lin Xian, and replied, “She had to take an extra shoot today and couldn’t make it back in time. She’ll come back tomorrow.”

Shi Jinglan nodded and didn’t say much more. She glanced meaningfully at Wen Tong and then turned around calmly and walked to the front, taking a seat in the center of the row in front of Xiao Wanqing.

Wen Tong hesitated for a moment but eventually followed suit and sat beside her.

Lin Xian’s “gaydar” was buzzing, and she gossiped to Xiao Wanqing, “Panpan, isn’t there something going on between Aunt Wen and Shi Man’s mom?”

Xiao Wanqing glanced at Lin Xian, sighed in amusement, and scolded her, “You little troublemaker. Actually, I’m not sure either.”

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Lin Xian looked at Shi Jinglan’s back several times like a mother-in-law looking at her son-in-law, thinking to herself, “Shi Man’s mom looks so young, probably only a few years older than Aunt Wen. Rich, beautiful, capable – I think Aunt Wen is lucky this time.” Mainly, if Aunt Wen has a partner, Xiao Panpan working at Juxing will feel more reassured!

As she spoke, Shi Jinglan in the front suddenly turned around and called out to her, “Lin Xian?”

Caught off guard being called out while gossiping, Lin Xian nervously shut her mouth, accidentally biting her tongue and letting out a pained “ouch,” unable to speak from the pain.

Xiao Wanqing nervously lifted her chin and touched her cheek, trying to check on her, both amused and sympathetic.

Amused by Lin Xian’s reaction, Shi Jinglan looked at her, then at Xiao Wanqing’s caring eyes, gradually understanding. She lightly apologized insincerely, “Sorry for startling you. I often hear Shi Man and Zhijin talk about you, so I wanted to get to know you. Thank you for taking care of Shi Man and Zhijin at school.”

Lin Xian was pleasantly surprised and said, “Auntie, you’re too kind.”

Wen Tong, witnessing the whole scene, couldn’t help but tease Shi Jinglan, “Is scaring children fun?”

Feeling a bit embarrassed, Shi Jinglan unzipped her long down coat, revealing a slim long skirt and a white neck underneath. She casually picked up a glowstick from the seat, pinched both ends with her slender fingers, and with a slight force, twisted the glowstick into a ring shape, placing it on Wen Tong’s wrist resting on the armrest of the seat.

She lifted her gaze to look into Wen Tong’s deep eyes, teasingly asking her, “Who finds scaring others fun?”

Wen Tong clearly recalled the last time… remembering past grievances, she quickly withdrew her hand from the glowstick, staring at Shi Jinglan with a mix of reluctance and embarrassment.

Lin Xian was unusually interested in her love rival’s love life. Forgetting the pain in her tongue, she couldn’t help but unconsciously focus on the interaction between the two in front. Seeing the glowstick resembling handcuffs clasped around Wen Tong’s wrist, along with Wen Tong’s awkward movements, Lin Xian suddenly had a thought and couldn’t help but curve her eyes with a smile.

Excitedly, she eagerly asked Xiao Wanqing in a hushed tone, “Panpan, since it’s Chinese New Year today, can I have a little holiday treat?”

“Hmm?”

“How about tonight, we take out the birthday gift that Shi Man gave me last year and play with it?” Lin Xian said with sparkling eyes, trying to act cute.

What gift? Xiao Wanqing was puzzled for a moment. Following Lin Xian’s gaze towards the twisted glowstick in front, she slowly realized what Lin Xian was referring to.

Blushing in embarrassment at discussing such matters in public, Xiao Wanqing’s fair face quickly turned red, and she scolded playfully, “Lin Xian!”

Lin Xian snuggled into her embrace, being cute and mischievous, and Xiao Wanqing couldn’t resist and eventually let out a barely noticeable “Hmm.”



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