The rays of the summer sun were extremely bright, already piercing to the eye even though it was not yet noon.
Hugging a box filled with her office items, Pei Ge felt loss as she exited the company where she had worked for four whole years.
When she looked down at her packed items, she suddenly found the whole situation funny.
Despite being at Pei Family Real Estate for four years, the number of items in her box was meager, almost as though she had never belonged there.
Pei Ge, you poor thing... Pei Ge said to herself.
When she left, no one came up to bid her goodbye. It was as though she was merely an interloper in the company.
Pursing her lips, she lifted her head, straightened her back, and walked away.
It's alright. Leaving is the right decision. From now on, I won't have to worry about making mistakes or speaking up because the company is Second Uncle's.
Very quickly, Pei Ge found a seat on a public bus. Since it was the office hours, few passengers were on the bus with her and the roads were not heavy with traffic.
After much contemplation, she decided to call her mother.
"Ge Ge, why are you calling me at this hour? Did something happen?"
Hearing her mother's voice on the phone, Pei Ge's initial readiness to announce her resignation dissipated.
"You've arrived at XX station. Passengers, please take all your belongings..." The public bus announcement rang, just as Pei Ge was considering how she should tell her mother about the resignation.
"Ge Ge, you're not in the office?!" Zhang Manhua asked, alarmed to hear the bus announcement on the other end of the phone.
"Yes. Mom, I resigned," Pei Ge replied softly, relieved that her mother had asked.
"Resigned?!" Zhang Manhua cried out. Perhaps, it was due to the shocking news, but her voice sounded sharper. "Why resign when you are doing just fine?!"
Before she called, Pei Ge had already anticipated such a reaction. Through the years, she had always thought of resigning but, due to her mother's objection, that had never come to fruition.
She did not wish to tolerate it this time, though.
Although Pei Ge understood that Second Uncle had always treated her family well and she did not hold the issue of Zhou Zhuoyang against her cousin, the rumors circulating in the office really made her feel disgusted and uncomfortable.
"Mom, I've already tendered my resignation," Pei Ge calmly told Zhang Manhua.
"You go back now and take back that resignation letter this instant!" Zhang Manhua was already angry at Pei Ge for that incident this morning, so hearing about her sudden resignation made her angrier.
"Mom, I'm never going back there," Pei Ge said firmly. She had really made up her mind to not compromise this time.
Hearing Pei Ge's reply, Zhang Manhua was furious. "This child! Are you unhappy with Second Uncle's family? Did you resign because of that incident with Shishi and Zhou Zhuoyang? Ge Ge, why are you being petty?! That's your cousin!"
Zhang Manhua's words pierced her heart like knives.
Pei Ge could feel her nose warming. She had never been affected by other people's words or how much they ridiculed her in the office.
However, now that even her mother was saying the same thing....
"Mother!" Pei Ge sniffed, her tone rising as a result of being triggered by Zhang Manhua's words. "Mother, I don't care whether you agree or not. I am not going back to work at Second Uncle's company. After four years of being an errand assistant, I have had enough!"
"Pei Ge!" Furious, Zhang Manhua called her full name. "What's wrong with being an assistant?! The pressure of work is high now. Your Second Uncle is so nice to you; 4000 dollars a month with all the benefits included what more do you want?! To get such a high-paying job, you need to have good qualifications!"
At her mother's chiding, Pei Ge felt wronged, and the tears that she had been fighting back began to fall uncontrollably.
"Mom, have you ever thought of it from my perspective? Have you considered why I would choose to quit after being an assistant for four years?" Sniffing, she continued, "You always mind about the feelings of Second Uncle's family, but have you ever thought of mine? My ex-boyfriend disappeared without a trace and, three years later, returned not just out of the blue but also as my cousin's fianc! "
"..." Zhang Manhua was slightly stunned by Pei Ge's crying voice.
"Mom, I'm really tired. I don't want to live like this anymore. I don't want to go on blind dates three times a week, and I don't want to rely on Second Uncle. I, Pei Ge, am not worse off compared to others. I can support myself."
Once she spoke her mind, Pei Ge hung up without waiting for her mother's reply and switched off the phone.
How tiring... Why did my life turn this way?
Pei Ge leaned fully on the bus's window, letting the bright sunlight shine directly on her face.
Dad... If only you were still around. Glistening tears rolled down silently from the corner of her eyes and on to her clean clothes.
When her father was still around, she was a little princess with no worries and no stress; in fact, she was always the envy of others.
Good studies, good looks, good family the younger Pei Ge was a winner in life.
However, everything changed the moment her father passed away.
Without any income, she gave up revision time to work part-time outside, cut down on spending, and wore mainly her school uniform throughout the four seasons.
From a princess that everyone envied, she became a pauper who needed the school's bursary to pay for school fees.
"You've arrived at XX street...."
When she saw the bus door opened, she came back to her senses and alighted from the bus.
Breathing in the fresh air outside and feeling the excitement in the crowd, Pei Ge's mood improved.
This was a popular street so, despite it being office hours, it was pretty crowded.
Following the crowd, she walked aimlessly down the street as her mind pondered on her future plans.
At the traffic light, Pei Ge glanced at the road briefly.
Pei Ge's initially calm expression turned to one of shock, with her eyes instantly widening.
A little girl wearing a pink princess dress had suddenly run to the middle of the road!
"Look out!" Pei Ge cried out. She threw the box in her hands to the ground and dashed toward the little girl when she saw the fast-approaching car.
This sudden occurrence caught the attention of the people around.
"Oh, my god! So dangerous!"
"What the?! Rolls-Royce!"
Only when Pei Ge heard the discursive whispers around her did she dare open her eyes.
When she opened her eyes, she shuddered at the realization that she was only ten centimeters away from the lorry.
"Waaaa!" The little girl in her arms started crying.
Without caring that she almost died just then, she started consoling the crying child in her arms.
"Heyun, what's going on outside?" Ji Ziming asked with a frown as he sat in the car.
"Apologies, CEO Ji. A child ran out all of a sudden," the driver said, his eyes still filled with shock. Had the woman not rushed out in time, he would have collided with the child that was currently squatting on the ground.
"The child is fine, I hope." Ji Ziming's frown deepened at Heyun's words.
"Yes. Thankfully, a woman rushed out in time."
Ji Ziming winded down the window and heard the voice of a woman consoling a child outside. Strangely, he found the sight of the woman's fleshy back familiar.