"I encouraged him to go to work. Through my husband, he was able to take part in a Hollywood picture. In fact, he personally wanted to take the leading male role for the movie. Despite me having caught him staring at your photo in a daze or standing in bewilderment, not knowing what to do with himself, at times, he gradually was able to feel less hurt by you.
"However, forgetting someone isn't something that happens overnight. Though he drank and smoked, didn't speak much, and was a little bit of a loner, at the very least, he was able to live like a normal person again. So much so that he didn't come to see me for as long as a month. At the time, I was really happy. I thought he'd finally stepped out of the darkness and pain. But then, you reappeared... yet, he didn't have the courage to continue your story together... Eventually, he still wanted to work things out with you and re-immersed himself in that state of suffering and unease..."
A single tear rolled from Qiao Anhao's right eye, falling down into her coffee cup.
"Actually... Qiao, I really don't understand you. At first, you clearly rejected him by saying he was unworthy of you. You rejected him that heartlessly, so why did you come to find him after..."
Qiao Anhao raised her head in surprise. She stared at Lucy, then moved her lips. "I never rejected him."
"How could that be? Nian wouldn't lie to me. If you hadn't rejected him,why would he had thought that death was better than life... How would've his heart turned to ashes?" Lucy's expression looked as though she was accusing Qiao Anhao of lying. "All in all, Nian probably didn't want to touch on the matter, but he told me everything in detail. From what he said, I understood that he waited a really long time for you, then confessed, but you rejected him..."
"I didn't." Qiao Anhao shook her head, her pitch-black pupils evidently lifeless. Her eyes quivered and she suddenly looked as though she was speculating something. She then abruptly stood up from the sofa. "Han Ruchu, it must've been her!"
Qiao Anhao was so impatient, she spoke Chinese. Lucy didn't understand, able only to stare at Qiao Anhao's look of rage in bewilderment. "Qiao? I don't quite understand."
Qiao Anhao remained lost in her own thoughts, whilst repeatedly mumbling to herself. Eventually she quietly grit her teeth and said with certainty, "She definitely did something, did something... I won't let her off... definitely won't let her off!"
"Qiao? Qiao?" Lucy couldn't help but stand up and nudge her arm.
Qiao Anhao snapped back to her senses.
"Qiao, are you alright?"
Qiao Anhao suppressed her emotions in a hurry, and forced a smile at Lucy. She said in English, "I'm good. Thank you, Lucy."
From there, Lucy told Qiao Anhao many things about Lu Jinnian's time in America, but all Qiao Anhao could think about was what Han Ruchu could've done to force Lu Jinnian to leave his hometown and frequently be in a daze.
Having sent Lucy off with much difficulty, she shut the doors and angrily rushed up the stairs. She found her car keys and without even changing out of her lounge wear, she rushed out the house, wanting to go to the Xu family to question Han Ruchu.
The moment she sat down in her car and was ready to drive off, she suddenly remembered Xu Jiamu's call on the night Lu Jinnian and she got married. He had mentioned that there would be a charity event in Beijing soon.