“I knew since long ago that she was Qingyan’s half-sister,” said An Xiaoning, who had already discovered the truth earlier on.
“Oh, you already knew it… I heard from Commander-in-Chief that you were born on the 15th of July in the year XXXX and that you’re 29 years old this year. Is that so?” Madam Xu got straight to the point.
Clenching her mobile phone in her hands tightly, An Xiaoning answered, “Yes, I’m 29 years old this year.”
“My daughter was born on the exact same birthdate as you. I know you don’t know who your biological parents are so… I just wanted to ask when you’d be free for a DNA test…”
An Xiaoning was taken aback, not expecting Madam Xu to bring that up. “I’m overseas right now and I’ll only be back in a month’s time,” she answered.
“We’ll do it when you’re back then, alright?”
“Okay, I’ll call Head-of-Office Yang and get him to inform you when I’m back.”
“I’ll tell you the phone number of my landline and you may call it directly when you’re back. Alright?”
“That’ll do, too.”
“Alright, note down the number…”
An Xiaoning ended the call, filled with puzzlement. Born on the same day, month, and year?
How could there be such a coincidence?
It had never once crossed her mind to search for her biological parents.
After all, she had been living rather well on her own throughout all these years even without her biological parents.
Besides, she now had three sets of Godparents and no longer lacked parental love.
However, An Xiaoning was vaguely worried after receiving such a call from Madam Xu out of the blue.
If… if she was really Madam Xu’s biological daughter, what was she supposed to do?
She did not want to step foot into the Xu family at all.
They had left a bad impression on her.
In fact, they had once caused her to live in immense fear for her safety because of how blindly they defended Xu Youran and how they’d repeatedly forgiven her for her mistakes.
However, she felt that it was unlikely that she would be their daughter, though it was indeed rather coincidental that she shared the same birth date as their daughter.
She thought that her appearance…
An Xiaoning sprung up abruptly as a sudden thought crossed her mind.
She picked up the mirror and began scrutinizing her features.
To her dismay, she suddenly began to find that her eyes and eyebrows resembled that of Madam Xu’s.
Are my eyes playing tricks on me?
Why haven’t I noticed the resemblance before?
Staring at her own reflection in the mirror, an ominous feeling began to grow within An Xiaoning.
Gu Beicheng entered the room. Noticing the grave expression on her face, he asked, “What are you doing?”
“Have you met Madam Xu?”
“Which Madam Xu?”
“Xu Youran’s mother.”
After some careful thought, Gu Beicheng answered, “I have, what’s the matter?”
“Beicheng, take a good look at my features. Do I resemble Madam Xu a little?”
Gu Beicheng leaned forward to take a closer look at her. They held each other’s gazes, both remaining silent.
“You do look a little like her…”
“In which aspect?”
“I can’t quite put a finger on it, but I just find that you two look a little alike somehow. What’s the matter?”
An Xiaoning told him about what Madam Xu said over the phone, after which Gu Beicheng squinted and said, “It can’t be, can it?”
“I don’t think it’s possible either. It shouldn’t be the case.”
“So what if it is or not? If it turns out to be the case, then you must really be something. Look how powerful your background is. I’d really be amazed though,” Gu Beicheng jested, chuckling.
“No, I really hope not. I don’t feel good about the Xu family at all, not even a little bit. Whatever it is, I’ll find out the truth after taking the DNA test when I get back.” An Xiaoning explained. “Oh crap!”
She turned to face him all of a sudden with a look of horror on her face.
“What’s the matter? You seem really shocked.”
“Qingyan and I made an agreement not to speak more than two sentences to the opposite gender unless it was work-related. We’re not allowed to stare at the opposite gender for more than two seconds either. But look, we’ve already talked and stared at each other for so long,” An Xiaoning lamented.
Gu Beicheng was speechless. He smacked her head playfully and said, “Forget about that agreement. I’m your brother, remember?”
“You’re right, he’s allowed to speak freely to his mother, sister, and Auntie Chen. I should be allowed to talk to you as a family member too. He won’t know anyway, don’t tell him about it.”
“Do you think I’m stupid?”
“Hahaha.” Rubbing her aching temples, An Xiaoning groused, “I really hope I’m not the Xu family’s daughter. I seriously hope not. It’d better not be, please.”
“Look how petrified you are. Is it really such a big deal? Actually, I think there won’t be a disadvantage to you even if you really turn out to be their daughter. You’ll at most have another set of parents and family. That’s at least better than having one more enemy, isn’t it?” Gu Beicheng pointed out.
“But to me, they’re my enemy now.”
“That’s all because of Xu Youran. Think about it, would the Xu family have done those things to hurt you if not for Xu Youran?”
He did make sense…
The knotty situation was giving An Xiaoning a major headache. “I don’t want to talk about this anymore. I’ll worry about it when we return home. You and Lin Mingxi have gotten married not long ago, yet you’re already being separated from each other. Don’t you miss her?”
Staring at her, Gu Beicheng said, “The person I want to see most is right in front of me right now.”
An Xiaoning rolled her eyes and scorned, “Screw you.”
“Just kidding… we may not get to meet, but we’ve been talking over the phone and video-calling each other every day.”
“I’m glad to see that you’re happy. I’ve always been feeling rather guilty towards you. Beicheng, you’re a good man,” said An Xiaoning, who was laying her head on the table.
“You actually know that I’m a good man?”
“Of course, I’ve known it all along. We’ve known each other for ages. I’m very clear about what kind of a person you are,” An Xiaoning said smilingly.
Gu Beicheng gazed at her and asked in a mellow voice, “Are you tired?”
“Yes, I’d like to take a nap,” she said, closing her eyes.
Gu Beicheng gazed at her while she closed her eyes, overwhelmed with a tingling misery in his heart.
Perhaps it’s true that one would always want what they can’t have. Despite it having been so many years, his love for her did not lessen and instead grew even deeper.
His marriage did not change anything at all.
He was merely trying to fulfill his mother’s wishes and carry on the bloodline of the Gu family. Indeed, he was being unfair towards Lin Mingxi in this aspect.
Well, because she could only have him but not his heart.
His feelings for An Xiaoning had never once faded ever since he decided to give her his heart.
He had always kept his love for her to himself and rarely expressed his feelings blatantly.
Gu Beicheng went to the restroom to retrieve a blanket, which he then laid across her gently. He then sat down slowly and continued to gaze at her.
He had no clue if he would ever love another woman so passionately again in his life. He really had no clue at all…
Sometimes, love is about letting go. He was willing to let go of her and allow her to seek her true happiness. However, he hoped that he could find the courage and power to fall in love with someone else one day.
Little did An Xiaoning know, Madam Xu had been sitting by the telephone at home to wait for her call ever since the conversation they had over the phone that day, though she was aware that An Xiaoning would only be back a month later.
She would not go out of the house and instead spend all day waiting by the telephone.
She refused to budge despite her husband and sons’ persuasion.
“She already said that she’d only be back in a month’s time. What’s the point of waiting near the telephone all day? Rest assured, we’ll get the test done once she’s back,” Xu Yang advised.
“Xu Yang, I have a strong hunch that the Reverend was referring to Ms. An. The more I think about it, the more it seems to be the case. I’ve met her a few times, and I couldn’t help but feel a strange sense of familiarity with her every single time.”
“Mother, that’s just your own imagination. Why don’t I feel that way when I see her?” Xu Yang scoffed with skepticism.