For The Rest Of Our Life – Chapter 153

How much of her youth can she afford to waste away again?

Leaving the hospital, Lin Zhan only then noticed the light rain falling from the sky. Worried that Lin Xian would get wet and catch a cold, he wanted her to wait here while he went to fetch an umbrella from the car to come back and pick her up. But as he looked at Lin Xian’s silent and stubborn expression, he remembered Zhou Qin’s warning, fearing that Lin Xian might leave without saying a word in the end.

Taking off his coat to shield Lin Xian’s head, he comforted her, “The rain isn’t heavy. Let’s walk a bit faster and we’ll be fine.”

Lin Xian glanced at him, then looked up with a smile full of bitterness. Stepping out from under the cover of his clothes, she walked into the vast curtain of rain without any hesitation.

On the way to Lin Xian’s grandmother’s house, Lin Xian closed her eyes slightly, her right hand holding the white jade pendant given by Xiao Wanqing, thinking of Xiao Wanqing’s appearance when parting and the accusing words of Wen Tong, feeling unbearable heartache.

As her emotions calmed slightly, she turned her head to look at the passing scenery outside the window and softly spoke, “Dad, although I’m going back with you now, I won’t compromise.”

This day was probably one of the most difficult, chaotic, and heart-wrenching days Lin Zhan had experienced in half of his life. His beloved wife was still lying in the hospital bed, and his beloved daughter was in a state of sorrow and helplessness he had never seen before. Caught in between the two, he found it hard to move forward or retreat. He was frustrated with Lin Xian’s immaturity but also pained by her ignorance of the world.

After sighing deeply, he softened his tone and advised Lin Xian, “Xianxian, your mother’s attitude may be a bit extreme now, but she’s just anxious and it’s for your own good. Listen to her, give everyone, and yourselves, a bit more time and choices, okay? You don’t have enough experience now, there are things you may not fully understand. Maybe after a long time, when you grow up a bit more, you will look back and realize how ignorant you were.”

“Dad, how old do I have to be to truly grow up?” Lin Xian’s dark eyes stared quietly at Lin Zhan, speaking in a low voice, “Maybe in Mom’s eyes, I will always be a child and can never be independent.”

In the eyes of parents, no matter how old the child is, they will always be a child, especially in the eyes of a mother like Zhou Qin who always worries. Lin Zhan couldn’t deny this fact, feeling choked up by Lin Xian’s words.

He remained silent for a few seconds before replying, “But it’s different in my eyes. Lin Xian, when you truly grow up, able to bear the responsibilities of your future life, I will respect you. However, Lin Xian, you’re only 17 and haven’t yet matured, but you’re already involved with Xiaowan. I have to doubt whether you’ve been influenced by Xiaowan, or if you haven’t distinguished between admiration and love, between family, friendship, and romance. I know Xiaowan is a charming and outstanding person, and between girls, being too close can easily blur the boundaries of feelings. Besides, you’ve never dated boys before, you will meet many people in the future and have many possibilities, how can I hastily believe that you like girls and not boys?”

“Dad, how do you think one can define whether a person really likes someone, and how to define if love is true love?” Lin Xian asked with difficulty.

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“I have the same feelings and thoughts towards her that you have about Mom. She didn’t influence me; I liked her without knowing she might also like women. You watched me grow up, and Auntie Xiao has been a close friend of yours for many years. Don’t you know what kind of people we are? It was me who took the initiative to influence her, to pursue her. Both you and mom, stop protecting me or blaming her. She’s already feeling guilty and burdened. Without me pressuring her with death, she wouldn’t have agreed,” Lin Xian explained while trying to hold back tears, her voice trembling.

“Pressuring her with death?” Lin Zhan forced himself to calm down and listen seriously to Lin Xian’s words, his brows furrowing.

“Dad, maybe you see my actions as childish, but I had no choice. At that time, Auntie Xiao couldn’t accept me, and to avoid me, she even considered leaving Anjiang City. I was convinced that I could never like anyone else in my life. Without her, I would be better off dead, so I had to take a chance. Mom asked if being with Auntie Xiao would upset her, but she doesn’t know that without Auntie Xiao, I would also feel like dying,” Lin Xian explained, struggling to maintain composure.

Lin Zhan turned to look deeply at Lin Xian, rubbing his hands on the steering wheel, shaking his head heavily. “Lin Xian, what you said is right. In my eyes, you are indeed immature. You may think you’ve grown up, but when you truly mature and become a responsible adult, you will understand how immature your previous actions and words were. In this world, no one truly cannot survive without someone else. Only children act impulsively for love to the point of life and death. You claim you pressured Xiao Wanqing, but if you’re not a child, you should know you shouldn’t go against her will in this way.”

“But Dad, letting her love me and be with me doesn’t go against her true will. We both have mutual affection; isn’t her genuine heart loving me and being with me? Making her feel conflicted and going against her true feelings is something you are imposing on us now. I’m not pressuring her; it’s your prejudices and constraints that have turned my pursuit of her into coercion,” Lin Xian accused.

“Lin Xian, are you now blaming us in turn? But Lin Xian, empathy dictates that our opposition, our concerns, our conflicts are all part of human nature. You’re only 19; how can we believe that you truly know what you’re doing, what you’re choosing, and what consequences you will face in the future?”

“Xiao Wanqing is 14 years older than you, beautiful and caring in every aspect. It’s not impossible to confuse admiration and infatuation for genuine feelings. But as time goes on, as you grow older and interact more with society, when you’re at your prime, Xiao Wanqing will gradually age. You might then realize that the exceptional qualities that once captivated you about her are fading. But by then, it will be too late, and what you both lose because of this relationship will be lost forever. The cost of such regret is too high; how can we gamble? I know you probably don’t understand our perspective right now, maybe when you become a parent one day, you’ll understand.”

“Dad, I won’t regret it,” Lin Xian promised with tears in her voice. She knew that words alone were powerless; at this moment, she couldn’t provide any evidence of the deep affection between them other than words.

As expected, Lin Zhan watched the windshield wipers swaying back and forth, coldly refuting, “In all relationships, people often fervently make promises like this, but the likelihood of truly following through is slim.”

He looked at his daughter, who stubbornly argued through her tears, and felt a bit softened: “Xianxian, let’s take ten thousand steps back. When you grow a bit older, gain more experience in a few more years, truly enter society and can live independently, if you still are certain that you truly like girls, then Dad will be on your side, okay? For now, please listen to us, don’t be angry at your mom, take a step back.”

These words sounded like a compromise, leaving room for discussion, showing understanding towards her. Yet, Lin Xian choked up instantly. She tried her best to hold back her tears, but couldn’t help sobbing, her words coming out intermittently, “Dad, this isn’t fair. Like you said, Auntie Xiao is older than me, I can wait a few more years, but how many more years does she have to spend like this with me? How can I bear it…?”

Her eyes turned red, bloodshot, each word resolute, “Dad, I’m sorry, but I will not back down.”

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In that moment, Lin Zhan seemed to have truly seen something called deep love in the eyes of his young and naive daughter.

Lin Zhan was moved.

That night, Lin Xian sat calmly in the guest room prepared by her grandmother, refusing to eat. No matter how much her grandparents urged her, she remained unmoved. Seeing the old couple worried, she felt guilty, but felt there was no other way.

Zhou Qin was certain she couldn’t tell the old couple what had happened, and Lin Xian was equally certain Zhou Qin wouldn’t talk to them either, leaving more room for maneuvering. Since the matter had spread to the whole family, it was no longer just their family matter. Zhou Qin couldn’t make decisions alone. Although the grandparents didn’t know what had happened, they dared not let her leave easily. They loved and pampered her, and once Zhou Qin’s health improved a bit, they would eventually try to intervene, talk to her, and help apply pressure on Zhou Qin. Moreover, Lin Xian could see her father’s resolve wasn’t as strong, and she was gambling on that, expecting that Lin Zhan would not stand by and yield to her in the process.

Xiao Wanqing was worried that staying outside Lin Xian’s home with such a worn-out appearance and mental state would lead to criticism from the neighbors, so she quietly hid in the stairwell next to the elevator. Through the small window in the stairwell, she gazed at the sky that was pleasant when she arrived but had turned dark and rainy in the blink of an eye.

She opened the window, extending her hand to quietly collect the raindrops falling into her palm, feeling the bone-chilling numbness spreading throughout her body.

No umbrella. She couldn’t help but think.

Who would have thought that the weather, which was so nice just a moment ago, would suddenly turn rainy? Just like how no one could have anticipated that they would have to face the cruel reality in such a festive day for everyone.

Man proposes, God disposes. Lin Xian’s plans for their future fell through, and her efforts to convince Zhou Qin for some extra leverage didn’t come to fruition. It was as if everything happened at the worst possible time, almost like it was fate.

Can I win this battle? Xiao Wanqing held the cold emptiness in her hand and bitterly questioned herself.

The rapid clicking sound of high heels echoed urgently in the corridor, but Xiao Wanqing didn’t react at first. It wasn’t until the footsteps were close that Wen Tong, not seeing Xiao Wanqing’s figure through the stairwell door, called her name with a hint of confusion. Slowly, Xiao Wanqing recognized that it was Wen Tong who had arrived.

She tidied her hair with her hand, blinked forcefully, and pushed herself to focus before opening the stairwell door and softly responding to Wen Tong, “I’m here.”

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The pale and tired eyes of Xiao Wanqing met Wen Tong’s gaze, stirring up a deep ache in Wen Tong’s heart.

This version of Xiao Wanqing reminded her of the Xiao Wanqing from many years ago, who faced a great change and tried to appear strong. Would Lin Xian ultimately bring her the same devastating blow?

Wen Tong leaned on her umbrella handle, unconsciously exerting pressure, steadying her tone as she looked at Xiao Wanqing’s face masked by a mask and asked her softly, “Why are you wearing a mask?” She remembered what Lin Xian had said, that Zhou Qin had hit her, clenching her teeth.

Xiao Wanqing awkwardly pulled a smile at the corner of her lips, a strained smile flashing in her eyes, pretending casually as she answered Wen Tong, “It’s a bit windy today.”

Narrowing her eyes, Wen Tong suddenly reached out and swiftly pulled down the mask from beside Xiao Wanqing’s ear. Her movement was a bit forceful, causing the mask to scratch across Xiao Wanqing’s cheek, making her wince involuntarily with a soft “hiss.”

Upon hearing the sharp intake of breath, Wen Tong’s hand trembled and she froze. She looked at the horrifying red and swollen five-finger marks on Xiao Wanqing’s pale face, her nose tingling, a tear slipping from the corner of her eye.

Xiao Wanqing bit her lip and looked at her friend with a hint of embarrassment. She could see the concern in Wen Tong’s eyes and blinked, softly saying, “I’m fine.”

Wen Tong sniffed and composed herself before turning back, furrowing her brow tightly. “Regardless of whether you’re fine or not, let’s go. Come back with me to apply some facial mask first.”

Xiao Wanqing stubbornly responded, “I’m fine, Wen Tong. Did you manage to find out about the hospital for me? Can you go check on Zhou Qin and Lin Xian first?”

“She’s fine! Xiao Wanqing! When will you ever start thinking about yourself first?” the worry and affection in Wen Tong’s heart turned into anger at Xiao Wanqing’s attitude, raising her voice in frustration.

Xiao Wanqing was stunned by her outburst, staring blankly at the furious Wen Tong, a hint of grievance slowly appearing in her eyes.

Seeing her expression, Wen Tong furrowed her brow. After a moment, she sighed deeply and softened her tone, “Fine, let’s go. Go see what you need to see, but after that, go to the outpatient clinic to have your face checked. She definitely didn’t hold back in her anger.”

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Upon hearing that Wen Tong had already obtained the address, Xiao Wanqing, eager and anxious, didn’t pay attention to the rest of what was said, quickly agreeing, “Okay, did you already make the call? Who answered? Is Sister Zhou Qin awake? Let’s hurry.”

Wen Tong had been too hasty when she arrived and didn’t consider that Xiao Wanqing also had a car. To avoid Xiao Wanqing having to return to the heart-wrenching place, she drove her own car to a nearby paid parking lot, then took Xiao Wanqing’s car to the hospital where Zhou Qin was.

During the drive, Xiao Wanqing sat wearily in the passenger seat, finally asking Wen Tong, “Which hospital are we going to?”

“Xiehe,” Wen Tong turned her head to answer Xiao Wanqing.

As soon as the words left her mouth, Xiao Wanqing trembled all over. She seemed frozen in place, her complexion turning pale, trying to maintain a calm facade but clearly showing fear and panic.

Wen Tong subconsciously asked her, “What’s wrong?”

Xiao Wanqing clenched her fists tightly, tears starting to well up in her eyes. After a long while, she struggled to speak, “My parents… passed away there.”

Wen Tong also froze at once.

She thought she remembered every detail about Xiao Wanqing’s past, but after all these years, she had all but forgotten about this particular incident.

Some wounds, even with the passage of time, can never truly fade for those involved. Some pain, even with the deepest empathy, can never truly be understood by others.

Wen Tong slowed down the car, licked her lips, and hesitantly asked Xiao Wanqing, “Do you want to skip this? Wait for me nearby, I’ll go take a look, and then come back to pick you up. Besides, even if you go, you won’t be able to see her.”

In Xiao Wanqing’s mind, the horrifying image of her parents stiffly lying on a hospital bed covered in white sheets played on a loop, a scene that had haunted her in her recurring nightmares, keeping her awake in fear during those early days.

The long-buried pain seemed to resurface with the mention of “Xiehe,” overwhelming Xiao Wanqing. Her throat tightened, a heavy weight pressing on her chest, making it difficult to breathe, her temples pounding intensely.

Unconsciously, she raised a hand to her chest, trying to suppress the almost overwhelming sobbing, weakly saying, “No, I have to go. Wen Tong, regardless of whether she sees me or not, this is something I must do, something that weighs heavily on my conscience.”



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Daosin

hello may i ask? is there no update today? sorry to bother you

Daosin

is oke. take your time and get well soon :’)

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