His mother could not remember much about that day. When she gained consciousness next, Song Menghwa was already sleeping beside her. At the time, she had been the first to wake up. Her initial reaction was one of shock. She rolled out of bed, skipped even the convocation, and left the university without much notice.
The next time his mother met Song Menghwa, it was twenty years later.
His mother, in her hurry to escape the university, did not claim her graduation certificate. She wasted four years of university life. It was hard finding a job without a degree, so she ended up as a salesgirl in the mall.
Su Zhinian's grandparents were very traditional in the sense that they believed the purpose of having a daughter was to get her to marry. Therefore, after his mother's graduation, they kept pushing her toward that direction. There was a person living in his mother's heart, but unable to resist her father's orders, she went on one date after another.
There was a man who was about ten years older than her who showed interest in her. His family owned a factory, so he was fairly wealthy. He promised his grandfather a great sum as dowry, and after hearing the promised amount, his grandfather could not wait to marry his mother off.
Before his mother could even say no, she realized that she was pregnant. The era his mother was living in was much more conservative than today's society. His mother, who got pregnant out of wedlock, was practically the shame of society.
His grandparents lost face because of this and decided to send his mother away from the city and back to the countryside.
He returned to the city when he was three years old. Initially, their plan was not to return to his grandparent's place. However, that was also the year when his grandparents decided to move. The government provided assisted living, but the size of the place was decided by the size of the family. Therefore, Su Zhinian and his mother were ordered to move back in with the family.
When he was accused by everyone of being a monster when he was eight, his mother had stood with the rumors instead of with him. Truth be told, he did spend a period resenting his mother.
However, at the end of the day, this was his mother, one of the few people who would treat him with sincerity and kindness without asking for any return. Furthermore, was there really anything that could come between the bond between the mother and her son?
Actually, even though his mother was a push-over, she still showed occasional bursts of courage. For example, when she asked Song Menghwa if he had any intention of re-marrying. Even though he felt she was being very impolite, at the end of day, she was merely seeking another opportunity, right? Regardless, it was ultimately not meant to be. What she got in return was another devastation and a final conviction.
His mother was also a kind person. She would rather suffer this secret on her own than ruin Song Menghwa's happy family. She did not want to hurt Song Menghwa's two children, to have them know that their father actually had a bastard son outside of the family.
Therefore, when he read these thoughts from his mother's mind, the emotion he felt was tenderness to his mother.
Bigger than his love for Song Qingchun was his responsibility and respect to his own mother. His birth was his mother's pain, but she had raised him without regret. He was his mother's source of joy and a secret that she was unwilling to tell anyone.
Therefore, if his mother wanted to keep this secret then so would he. If his mother wished to continue her kindness, then so would he.
Even if he had to stand before Song Menghwa for the rest of his life, knowing that he was his biological father, he would continue to refer to him as his 'Uncle Song'. That was the least he could do for his mother.
"is my father?"
When these few words fell from Su Zhinian's lips in such an unaffected manner and drilled themselves into Song Qingchun's ears, she felt like lightning had struck her.
Shock, surprise, disbelief, denial At that moment, Song Qingchun felt like she was physically being shattered into pieces. Her world was falling apart around her.