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She did not mean for things to end up this way, either.

Her reason for getting married was to have someone to spend the rest of her life with.

Right from the beginning, her intentions had been pure, and she merely wanted to have an everlasting marriage.

In reality, she was just being over-idealistic.

When things come crashing down, leaving becomes harder than it seems.

She had definitely developed feelings for him across the span of the few months that they had been married. She could not blame anyone for what had happened, but neither could she live with herself, knowing that she could no longer treat his family like her own even if she chose to stay.

She did not regret her decision.

An Xiaoning entered the door, dragging the luggage along. Jin Qingyan then drove off in his white Bentley as soon as she closed the door.

Jin Qingyan was in low spirits and returned home with a sullen look on his face.

Having guessed where he had gone, Fan Shixin stepped forwards and asked cautiously, “Young Sir, would you like to have some hot milk? I’ll get Auntie Chen to make you some.”

“No, I’d like to be alone for a while, don’t disturb me.”

He headed upstairs and returned to his bedroom.

Sitting on the couch, he poured himself his very own concoction, Dreamy Yanghe, glass after glass. He had rarely gotten drunk from drinking it, ever since he invented this concoction.

Tonight would be one of the very few times he’d get intoxicated from it.

Unable to rest his mind, Fan Shixin moved a chair to the door outside of his bedroom and sat on it.

Within less than an hour, sounds of objects being smashed and thrown around could be heard coming from inside, just like Fan Shixin had expected.

Though the sounds were getting louder and louder with each passing minute, Fan Shixin stayed put and allowed him to continue, as much as he had wanted to go in and stop him. He continued to wait ’til Jin Qingyan was almost done venting his frustration before opening the door gently with the spare key.

The room was dimly lit with the warm yellow light.

Jin Qingyan was in a drunken stupor as he sat on the carpet, leaning against the bed.

“Young… Young Sir?”

Jin Qingyan moved a little and opened his eyes slowly. “Shixin,” he called, tears streaming down his face uncontrollably.

Fan Shixin squatted down in front of him and answered, “Yes? I’m here. Young Sir, please don’t act like this.”

“I’m terribly upset, so upset that I feel like dying.”

Fan Shixin watched as he continued to bawl continuously like a child, his nose turning red from all the crying. He was well aware that Jin Qingyan had always been known to be well tempered and that he rarely showed his weak side or emotions, let alone cry.

It was evident from the many empty liquor bottles lying around on the ground that Jin Qingyan had been drinking his sorrows away. If it weren’t for the effects from the massive amount of alcohol he had drunk, he probably would have never come in touch with his emotions and reveal such a fragile and emotional side of himself.

Fan Shixin helped him up onto the bed and proceeded to place a cold towel on his forehead. “You’ll be fine after a night’s sleep.”

“I won’t… we’re divorced, and she said it’s best that we don’t see each other at all in the future. I know she blames me for not choosing to save her. I blame myself for that too, for not doing enough to protect her. It was my mistake and negligence that caused all of these to happen. She was right to have chosen to get a divorce, she was right…” he murmured with half-closed eyes.

“Young Sir… it’s not your fault,” Fan Shixin said softly.

Jin Qingyan shook his head and turned on his side, after which he instructed, “Bring me a glass of water and you may leave after that.”

“Alright.” Fan Shixin tucked him beneath the duvet and proceeded to bring him a glass of warm water, which he then placed onto the table. He had no choice but to get someone to clear the mess Jin Qingyan had created in the bedroom. Too worried to return to his own room to sleep, Fan Shixin wrapped himself in a blanket and sat outside Jin Qingyan’s bedroom instead. He left the door slightly ajar, so that he would hear every noise in the room clearly, in case anything happened. However, he felt rather sleepy, nonetheless, and would probably stay asleep unless there was too loud of a noise.

As much as he was already drunk, Jin Qingyan still could not bring himself to fall asleep, and he laid in bed wide awake.

Even alcohol could not save him from his sorrowful thoughts and allow him to just forget everything for a short while.

He reached into his pocket and retrieved a small bottle. He knew clearly what it was, despite being drunk.

He recalled the present she had given him for his birthday.

She had gifted him with a watch, a letter, and danced for him while wearing nothing except a scarf.

She danced passionately around him, swaying her svelte and slender body gracefully.

He could not get her out of his head. He missed everything about her dearly — her petite frame, her poised and elegant demeanor, even her little tantrums.

They were all deeply etched in his mind.

He could not figure out when she had started to become so important to him.

All he knew was that it was all too late now.

Jin Qingyan opened the cap of the bottle in his hand as a single teardrop streamed down his face.

——

The sudden rumble of the thunder jolted An Xiaoning awake as she sprung up immediately, breaking into a sweat.

She began to pant heavily, overwhelmed with a sudden feeling of helplessness and discomfort.

“Sis… did you have a nightmare?” asked Mei Yangyang as she turned on the lights and sat up slowly, rubbing her eyes wearily.

“No, I don’t know what’s with me, either,” An Xiaoning answered, leaning against her pillow.

“You’ve been looking flustered and rather haggard ever since you were done with the divorce proceedings. Sis, are you starting to regret your decision?”

“I’m not. I don’t ever feel regret after making up my mind,” said An Xiaoning, still refusing to believe that she was regretting her decision.

“Don’t dwell on it, it’ll all be over soon. New life, new beginnings.”

Turning to the side to face Mei Yangyang, An Xiaoning asked, “Yangyang, do you feel happy after getting together with Long Tianze?”

“I do. I was too wishy-washy at the start, constantly worrying about this and that. But I’ve stopped overthinking everything now. I’ve decided to just let nature take its course and accept everything that comes my way.”

“That’s great, you two are in love with each other,” An Xiaoning said in between sobs.

“Sis.”

An Xiaoning covered her eyes with her hands and said, “I don’t know why, but I just feel like crying all of a sudden.”

“Sis, you’re a decisive person with a mind of your own. Just do whatever makes you happy, you don’t have to worry about what others think or have to say about the decisions you make. You’re in charge of your own life,” said Mei Yangyang as she leaned forward to give her a hug and a pat on her shoulder.

“Boss, someone is calling you again!” cranked her ringtone.

An Xiaoning shivered in shock and reached out to grab her phone. At the same time, she took a look at the time and realized that it was four o’clock in the morning.

It was a call from Long Tianze.

“Hello, Yangyang is beside me right now.”

Long Tianze cut straight to the chase and said, “I’m not looking for Yangyang but you. Qingyan is in the emergency unit right now, hurry and make your way here.”

“What?” An Xiaoning gasped in shock.

“Don’t you understand English? Qingyan had downed some poison and he’s currently being rescued in the emergency unit of the first People’s Hospital. Come here right away. Would he have done that if not for you? Stop wasting time and make your way here now!”

An Xiaoning quickly cast her mobile phone onto the bed. Upon seeing what just happened, Mei Yangyang hurriedly picked up the mobile phone and took over the call.

In no time, An Xiaoning had already sped outside barefooted.

“Sis! Wait for me!” Mei Yangyang yelled at the top of her lungs as she grabbed two sets of clothing and hurriedly made her way downstairs.

Long Tianze’s words were constantly ringing in An Xiaoning’s ears as she drove along the roads. She could not believe what she had just heard.

The Jin Qingyan she knew was full of pride and was well tempered. He had always been an objective person who often looked at the bigger picture and viewed things from a greater perspective. She had never expected him to take his own life because of her.

She could still clearly remember when she asked about his thoughts on sacrificing his own life for love, to which he answered: “There are plenty of fools in this world who are silly enough to give their lives up for love.”