Before Su Zhinian could respond, Song Menghwa interrupted her. "Why are you still calling him Su Zhinian? Qingchun, you should call him your older brother from now on."
Older brother When these two words fell into Song Qingchun's ear, a trace of nervousness flashed across her eyes. She unconsciously lowered her gaze and gripped her purse. She held her breath silently for two seconds before she finally looked up at Su Zhinian. "Right, I've forgotten, I should call you older brother from now on"
The brighter the smile on Song Qingchun's face, the deeper the wound in her heart. The curve of her smile rose awkwardly. As she looked at Su Zhinian, she opened her lips and said, "Brother"
A simple term of endearment drastically pulled their distance apart. Su Zhinian stared at Song Qingchun for a long time. The lack of expression on his face made it difficult for one to tell his thought. After some time, he responded with an emotionless nod.
However, for Song Menghwa, that one 'brother' from Song Qingchun made him immensely happy.
Song Cheng's death had been a fatal blow to his heart. However, Su Zhinian's appearance was, as Song Qingchun said, a much needed balm to his heart.
Even though she knew this was coming, when she was standing there, experiencing it personally, Song Qingchun realized that she had overestimated herself. That one 'brother' almost drained all of her energy, so when she heard Su Zhinian's reply, she immediately gave a random excuse and rushed upstairs.
That night, Song Qingchun locked herself in her room and only showed herself when it was dinner time.
At the dinner table, Song Menghwa was actually the most excited. Fang Rou had always put herself as second place in deference to others, so when she noticed how happy Song Menghwa was, she was happy for him as well. Su Zhinian, with his years of experience in the business world, was an expert at hiding his real feelings, so he chatted easily with Song Menghwa at the dining table.
Only Song Qingchun felt out of place.
Even though she tried to make it seem like there was nothing out of the ordinary, that dinner was really the hardest meal she had ever had in her life.
However, that night was merely the beginning.
Perhaps because Song Menghwa was in his twilight years or because he wanted to make up to Su Zhinian, he often called Su Zhinian over to join them for meals. This was, for Song Qingchun, day after day of torment.
Of course, that was not all. Even before Song Menghwa knew Su Zhinian was his own son, he was already worried about his marriage, so he only got more 'hardworking' after the reunion. One time, when Song Qingchun came back from work, Song Menghwa walked out of the study with a thick stack of pictures in his arms. He then showed them to Su Zhinian.
Song Qingchun's first reaction was to hide upstairs, but Song Menghwa spotted her before she could escape. He removed his glasses to call her over. Then, after she sat down, he showed the pictures to her as well, asking her to help Su Zhinian pick a possible candidate.
Truth be told, any one of the girls in the photographs was outstanding in their own right, but in Song Qingchun's eyes, they were no better than a pile of cow dung. She really didn't want to be there, but she could only suppress her heartache, force herself into the role of an obedient little sister, and help Su Zhinian find his match.