"Okay, okay, you are happy and pleased to see Dad quarrel with me because of you, are you dying for me to be in bad luck?" Ding Jiayi gave an angry stare and threw her chopsticks towards Qiao Nan.
Qiao Nan was no longer the Qiao Nan in the previous life - who always turned the other cheek.
When she saw that something was not right with Ding Jiayi's emotions, Qiao Nan immediately averted her gaze.
Qiao Nan swiftly gobbled up all the food in her bowl, and mumbled to Qiao Dongliang. "Dad, I've finished my food, I'm going back to my room to do homework."
Clearly she had not provoked her mother, but the latter was fiercer than her.
Qiao Nan knew very well that there was no point in fighting with her mother. She would not only lose the argument, but also cause an ugly sight, and her father would not be pleased about it.
Having to go through another lifetime, Qiao Nan found the way of life that would make it work.
The reason why Qiao Zijin could please her mother, and let her father think of her as a good daughter, was because she knew how to put up a "sensible" front before her father.
Being sensible was not difficult. She, too, knew how.
The more her mother did, the more wrong her father knew Qiao Nan endured. There was no need to defend herself, she just needed to walk away silently and, certainly, her dad's heart would ache for her.
After being taken advantage of by Ding Jiayi and Qiao Zijin for a lifetime, Qiao Nan knew that, even if they were one family and the closest-of-kin, she needed to play some mind games. Well, they were the ones who had started it.
An eye for an eye.
She did not wish to live like the way she did in her previous life - no dignity and pride. No sense of self-worth.
Upon reflection, Qiao Nan knew that the greatest mistake that she made in her previous life was to have done and said too much in the family.
On the contrary, when she did and said nothing, she sensed that silence was better than words.
Seeing that the daughter was already used to Ding Jiayi's bias and picking, and Qiao Nan's eyes did not have any warmth in them though she was smiling, Qiao Dongliang's heart ached and his tone became more serious. "Who are you throwing the chopsticks at? Pick up the chopsticks."
"I'm not picking them up. Why is Qiao Nan doing her homework now? She saw the chopsticks drop to the floor and she did not even pick them up?" If Ding Jiayi bent down and picked up the chopsticks, she would feel humiliated, so of course she was unwilling to and thus ordered Qiao Nan to do it.
"Not picking them up?" Qiao Dongliang laughed and simply walked over to pick them up himself.
When Ding Jiayi saw Qiao Dongliang doing that, she thought he had relented and today's matter would come to a close. Just when she wanted to heave a sigh of relief, she was shocked and frightened by Qiao Dongliang's next move.
It was just a pair of chopsticks, but Qiao Dongliang broke them into half with his hands and threw them on the table. "Since you don't want this pair of chopsticks, there is no point in keeping them. Wash the dishes up, I am sleeping in the study room tonight."
"You… " Ding Jiayi was shaking, and finally said regretfully, "It's just anger, why take it out on the chopsticks. Now, we need to spend money on chopsticks again."
As the family savings were low, Ding Jiayi was trying to cut the expenses by half, racking her brains on ways to gradually save money.
Not to mention the recent expenses, the 5000 yuan savings that was accumulated by the couple for over a decade, it was an impossible target by saving just one or two cents per day, even for 20 years.
However, if any major event occured at home, such as when illness struck, she definitely had to cough up this sum of money.
Regarding the 5000 yuan, Ding Jiayi was still terrified at the sight of the passbook. She often had nightmares, fearful that Qiao Dongliang would find out about this.
Unless Qiao Nan quit school and worked. If not, she would not be able to make up for the lost savings by herself.
"Each of them are fiercer and tougher than me, all are my lord!" The furious yet helpless Ding Jiayi slapped her thigh, she was full of humiliation, and wiped her tears.
But after she calmed down and finally regained her strength, a table full of stuff was awaiting her to clean up.
In the past, she was always the one who prepared the meals, and Qiao Nan washed the dishes.
However, since Qiao Nan's fever that holiday, she no longer took on any housework of her own accord.
Both daughters were at home. In front of Qiao Dongliang, Ding Jiayi could not just request for one of the daughters, Qiao Nan, to help out.
While washing the dishes, Ding Jiayi sighed, life in the past was good, she had the final say in everything at home. Qiao Nan was also obedient, she took up almost half the load of the housework.
Whenever she argued with Old Qiao, whatever the matter was, Qiao Nan would always take the blame on her own accord.
It was bizarre. It was just a fever, and Qiao Nan became a changed person.
If she had not given birth to Qiao Nan, Ding Jiayi almost suspected that Qiao Nan was swapped by someone, and this was the fake one.
Qiao Nan, who was doing her homework, could not care less about what happened at home, and she totally forgot about what she had done tonight.
She had forgotten. But it did not mean that others had also done so.
The next day, Qiao Nan attended school as usual, but upon reaching the school, she noticed that many schoolmates, some of whom she did not know, were looking at her strangely.
Qiao Nan frowned but did not take this to heart.
When she arrived at the classroom, Qiao Nan saw that the seat beside her was empty, she did not think much of it. She put down her school bag and started revising.
At this time, Zhao Yu, who was seated nearby, casted her a look of disdain and snorted. "What is there to pretend, who are you trying to fool, shameless."
After hearing this, Qiao Nan pulled a long face, she was as fierce as a tiger when she glared at Zhao Yu. She told herself that this was just a spoilt brat, and one that was rebellious and going through puberty. She would not take matters to heart with her.
It had been half a month since school re-opened, of course, Qiao Nan knew why Zhao Yu did not see eye to eye with her and why her words always sounded like sour grapes.
It was because Zhao Yu was the class's Chinese Representative.
In the past, Zhao Yu's grades in Chinese were not the best in class, but her essay writing certainly was.
However, this trend was broken by Qiao Nan in the first model exam after school started. Zhao Yu thus started to dislike Qiao Nan.
Recently, Zhao Yu was extremely motivated to read essay writing books, and sweared that she would score better than Qiao Nan in the next Chinese test.
Qiao Nan was silent. Zhao Yu, who thought that she was feeling guilty because she did something wrong, was complacent, "Why are you still coming to school? Don't tell me you think that we don't know the shameless thing that you've done. Though you are thick-skinned enough to do it, I am embarrassed to say it. Such a person is not fit to sit with us in the same classroom and be our school mate."
Zhao Yu's words were neither too loud nor soft, but it was audible to the rest of the classroom.
At the thought of the news that they heard this morning, everyone was silent. They way they looked at Qiao Nam was really awkward.
"I already thought it was strange, it was already secondary three and she could get full marks for the exam. No wonder, she had sent someone to steal the English paper and checked the answers. This way, who in the class can't get 100 marks?"
Qiao Nan slammed her books down, hard on the table.
She did not even wish to tolerate her mother and Qiao Zijin, why would she tolerate an outsider?