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Staring at the 30 thousand dollars Xu Jingwen handed her, An Xiaoning asked in astonishment, “Aren’t you penniless?”

“I borrowed from someone to return it to you. I don’t wish to work for you anymore from today onwards,” said Xu Jingwen, turning around to leave as soon as she handed her the money.

An Xiaoning counted the money to find that it was indeed the correct amount.

“Sis, do you think she could’ve possibly gone to become a social escort? She seems to be in a daze lately, something feels off about her,” Mei Yangyang said softly.

“Stay out of her business. She’s already an adult, she’s responsible for her own life and actions. Zhang Li is there to tend to the store. Although we don’t know when Xu Jingwen will come by again, we shouldn’t be wasting our time on such matters. I’m planning to invest in a movie, the director is the one in charge of the production unit we worked at previously, Jing Tian. I’ve read his fortune long ago. He’s 29 this year and he’ll be enjoying bright career prospects. The movie he’s directing is going to become a blockbuster, so I’ve decided to invest in it,” said An Xiaoning.

Mei Yangyang’s eyes lit up and answered, “I heard you’ll get to earn a lot from investing in a movie.”

“Yes, we’ll let you become the female lead, how does that sound?”

“Sis… are you kidding?” Mei Yangyang asked in shock and disbelief.

“Why would I be kidding about that? Haven’t you filmed a shampoo commercial before? I’d like for a newbie like you to star in a movie like that. Yangyang, I strongly believe you can surpass famous actresses like Sun Weiwei and Song Yan.”

“Sis, why do I feel like you’re trying to create a star instead of investing in a movie? Sis, why don’t you just start a film production company? Or you could also become an artiste manager, I’ll be your first artiste.”

“I’ll have a really hectic schedule then. I don’t like living such a busy lifestyle with so much to tend to everyday. Besides, I’m planning to pick up a foreign language soon. Yangyang, if you’d like to star in a movie, I’ll just invest in one to let you become the female lead. You don’t have to stick to the same industry forever. Your freedom will be restricted once you bind yourself to a contract with a company.”

“Sis! You’re really my role model! I’ve never seen a woman who’s so enthusiastic about living her life to the fullest,” Mei Yangyang exclaimed, gazing at An Xiaoning in utmost awe.

“You won’t have time to think about redundant ideas as long as you make full use of each day. Only then will you… stop being upset. I think there’s still a lot for me to learn about in this life. But sadly, time is never enough.”

An Xiaoning stood up and said, “I went to bed rather early last night, but strangely, I’m starting to get a little tired now.”

“I’d like to go home to take a nap,” she continued, stifling a yawn.

Noticing how weary An Xiaoning was, Mei Yangyang said, “Go home to get some rest then, I’ll tend to the store.”

“Alright.” She stopped walking all of a sudden as she approached the entrance and turned around to ask Mei Yangyang, “Yangyang, what’s the date today?”

“Sis, it’s the 12th of July today.”

“My birthday is on 15th of July,” said An Xiaoning in sudden realization.

She walked back towards Mei Yangyang and continued, “I can’t remember the last time I got my period. But it feels like Aunt Flo hasn’t paid me a visit in a long time.”

After some thorough thought, Mei Yangyang answered, “Sis, the last time you got your period was before we went to the resort.”

A frown creased An Xiaoning’s forehead as she said, “Does that mean my period has been late for more than half a month?”

“Sis, you’d better visit the hospital for a checkup. Your hormones and cycle must have gone out of whack. It happened to me before too, but everything returned to normal after my mother cooked me some herbal medicine. That was back when she was still healthy and agile.”

“I’ll head to the hospital then.”

An Xiaoning was ill at ease for she did not receive ideal results during her previous checkup.

An Xiaoning made a trip back home specifically to get her human skin mask before making her way to the hospital. Throughout the journey, she was preoccupied with the thought of being plagued with gynecological problems on top of being infertile.

Upon arriving at the hospital, she proceeded to inform the gynecologist about her condition right away, claiming that she had been missing her period for quite a while now.

After taking a look at her medical records, the gynecologist said, “Based on your condition, I highly doubt you’re pregnant. But to be safe, we’ll just conduct an ultrasound scan on you before proceeding with the other checkups once it’s confirmed that there’s no abnormalities.”

An Xiaoning proceeded to queue up for her turn for the scan.

She began to feel like it was unfortunate to be a woman upon seeing the massive number of women present at the clinic, waiting for their turn for consultation.

There is bound to be a few days of discomfort during a woman’s menstrual cycle each month. But then again, it was not too comforting to miss one’s period either.

In fact, a missed period only induces fear and worry.

This was a fact that all women could agree upon.

It was finally her turn after queuing up for a long period of time.

“Lie down and lift up your shirt,” instructed the doctor conducting the scan.

She did as instructed, feeling rather calm and composed, strangely enough.

Holding up the ultrasound wand and hovering it around her stomach, the doctor said in surprise, “This is not a gynecological problem you’re faced with.”

An Xiaoning remained silent and waited for the doctor to continue speaking.

“You’re pregnant. The fetus is five weeks old.”

“I’m pregnant?” An Xiaoning exclaimed in shock as she sprung up immediately.

“Yes, please lie down, we’re not done with the scan yet.”

An Xiaoning lied back down onto the bed as her hands trembled uncontrollably in nervousness.

After conducting another round of check, the doctor said, “The fetus has been successfully implanted in your womb. However, your condition is not looking too good, I suggest you undergo an abortion.”

An Xiaoning’s initial happiness and excitement vanished immediately.

Her hopes had gone up in smokes.

“Why?”

“The fetus is embedded right on top of the scar in your womb. Don’t you get it? Although you’re very lucky to have gotten pregnant successfully, I’m afraid you’ll suffer a miscarriage very soon, unfortunately. Alright, I’ll write you a referral letter and get the gynecologist to explain it to you,” said the doctor, throwing a piece of facial tissue at her, which she used to wiped her stomach before getting off the bed.

With a heavy heart, she made her way back to the gynecologist’s office again.

The gynecologist gasped in shock upon reading the referral letter.

“You’ve managed to get pregnant?”

“Yeah, the doctor said I’ve been pregnant for five weeks. Didn’t you say that it’d be difficult for me to conceive?” An Xiaoning asked in bewilderment.

“Yes, that was the case. Just how did you manage to get pregnant again? Have you been having unprotected intercourse with your boyfriend very frequently?” asked the gynecologist as she scrutinized the referral note.

“It’s not frequent…”

“You’ve left a strong impression on me. I remember you mentioned the previous time that you don’t intend to get married and have children, am I right?”

“Yes,” An Xiaoning acknowledged with a nod.

“Well, schedule for an abortion tomorrow or today after noon. There’s no way you can give birth to this child. It is highly likely to be deformed or suffer from a certain disability. From the looks of it, there’s a 90% chance you’re going to suffer a miscarriage,” the gynecologist said truthfully.

An Xiaoning felt as if her heart was being stabbed a million times. The child she had previously had died before she even came to know about its existence. Yet, she had to bring herself to undergo an abortion, now that she was aware of this fetus.

“Why? Are you planning to keep the child and just let nature take its course?”

After a long moment of silence, An Xiaoning said, “I’d like to give it a try.”

An Xiaoning drove to a remote area after leaving the hospital and began bursting into tears as she placed her head onto the steering wheel.