After the afternoon recess, Gu Yan took half a day off to get an injection at the hospital, as she was not feeling well.
When she got back to the Lu Mansion, Mama Zhang was herding the ducks in the garden.
“Ms. Gu? Why are you so early today?”
Gu Yan’s face was sickly pale. Holding the cup of warm water in her hand, she continued to walk inside as she replied, “I’m not used to the climate here.”
Then, she paused for a moment before asking, “How’s Brother Yushen doing today?”
“Well, after Young Master Yushen took the medicine, I lit up the incense for him in his room as you told me. He just woke up, and I guess he’s making a hairpin for Ms. Fu Zhi right now.”
Gu Yan froze in her tracks.
Mama Zhang did not notice the change in Gu Yan’s expression as she continued to talk, her voice filled with relief. “Ms. Fu Zhi doesn’t seem to like wearing hairpins bought outside, so Young Master Yushen made one for her. Ms. Gu, it’s all thanks to your incense and your psychotherapy method!”
Gu Yan felt her head buzzing. “What did you say?”
“I mean, Young Master Yushen usually would do nothing but paint and draw in his room. It’s all thanks to you, Ms. Gu, that he’s changing…”
Gu Yan did not want to listen anymore. She walked into the mansion and slammed the door shut.
Mama Zhang was startled, and the ducks were quacking nonstop.
Gu Yan rushed upstairs and went to Lu Yushen’s room.
The door had been left ajar, and she could see Lu Yushen, who was sitting in front of his desk.
His head was hung low, and his long, neatly-arranged eyelashes cast shadows on his cheeks. He looked just like a prince that had walked out of a fairy tale. Even though he could not speak, he was still a fine specimen.
Next to his room was Fu Zhi’s room. When she saw that their doors were extremely close to each other, she felt a surge of helplessness and grievance sweeping through her stomach.
She had never felt like this before in her life.
She had rejected the love proposal of a successful businessman. She had set aside her studies to tutor Fu Zhi. She had put the Chu Family’s admission exam last on her list. She could only talk to her parents through video every day.
She had sacrificed so much for Lu Yushen, yet she was no one to him. She was an unimportant figure, and he cared for a sister who not only had no blood ties to him but was also someone he had just gotten to know a few months ago.
Lu Yushen liked Fu Zhi. Even Mama Zhang could see that, so Gu Yan did not know how to continue living in the self-deceptive world she had created for herself.
She had loved Lu Yushen for many years, and she could not afford to lose him.
Gu Yan’s jealousy was brewing inside of her, and she decided to let loose the green-eyed monster that she had been containing in the cage this whole time.
Without any hesitation, or perhaps because she had been wanting to do this for a long time, she took a few steps forward and pushed the door to Fu Zhi’s room open.
There was a lot of sunlight in the room, which was filled with plushies. She scanned the room and found her target in front of the desk—Fu Zhi’s chair.
She saw Fu Zhi and Lu Yushen’s names on the chair. The rhinestones were pretty and as bright as the box of rhinestones that Lu Yushen had given her.
She then pulled a pair of scissors from Fu Zhi’s drawer and removed Lu Yushen’s name from the chair before throwing the rhinestones into the dustbin.
Then, she went to Lu Yushen’s room.
The young man had finished making the hairpin by following a video tutorial.
“Is it for Fu Zhi? It’s so pretty,” Gu Yan said as she squatted beside him. “Let’s put it in Fu Zhi’s room, shall we? I’m sure she’ll be surprised.”
Lu Yushen cocked his head to look at her.
Gu Yan was smiling at him.
Then, he got to his feet and paced to Fu Zhi’s room. He pushed the door open and walked toward the desk. His cheeks flushed pink, and he put the hairpin on the desk.
Fu Zhi’s desk was clean. There was nothing on her desk other than some books and a few pots of flowers.
Lu Yushen was both nervous and happy. He looked around, and when he saw the rhinestones in the dustbin, his expression froze and his heart dropped into his boots.
He hastily turned around and saw that only Fu Zhi’s name was left on the chair.
Gu Yan was standing behind him, her jaw tightly set and her expression dark.
Lu Yushen felt his blood turn cold, and his brain went blank for a moment.
After a short while, Gu Yan walked up to him and put her hand on his wrist. In a soft voice, she asked, “What’s wrong?”
Lu Yushen opened his mouth, but no sound came out. His eyes were red and watery. He quickly pulled his phone out and typed, his hands shaking profusely, [Zhizhi’s chair is broken.]
“Is it? Let me see. Nope. It’s not broken. The chair is still perfectly fine,” Gu Yan said.
Lu Yushen shook his head and typed, [It’s broken. My name…]
“Oh, you’re talking about the blank space? Was your name supposed to be there? Was it embedded with rhinestones too? But why were those rhinestones in the dustbin? Could someone have thrown them into the dustbin?” Gu Yan fired a series of questions at Lu Yushen while he was typing on his phone.
[No. No one threw my rhinestones into the dustbin. The chair is broken.]
“But how is there any possibility the chair would suddenly break? And why is it that only your name is missing?” Keeping her eyes trained on Lu Yushen, Gu Yan threw caution to the wind and pressed on. “Has it ever crossed your mind that perhaps Fu Zhi doesn’t like you? After all, Fu Zhi is extraordinary, and many people in the school idolize her. You’re her brother, but unfortunately, you can’t talk. To her, you are nothing but a burden.”
Gu Yan found a photo on her phone and showed it to Lu Yushen.
In the photo, Fu Zhi was sitting in a car. The car was a Lamborghini.
“This is a photo that someone sent me. Fu Zhi needs to live a normal life, or she wouldn’t have joined the Lu Family. She will need to find a boyfriend and maybe start a family of her own. Your reliance on her is taking a toll on her. You’re dragging her down with you.”
She paused for a moment before adding, “From a psychological perspective, Fu Zhi is insecure. As an observer, I can see that she doesn’t know how to reject you or how to keep a distance from you. After all, there’s no sister in this world who would want a brother that cannot speak.”
[She… She doesn’t like… me?]
Lu Yushen touched his Adam’s apple in confusion. His face was pale, and his brain was a muddled mess.
Looking at the sweat on Lu Yushen’s forehead, Gu Yan pulled his hand and moved on. “But I’m different. I will take care of you, and I will never leave your side. You don’t need other people, so don’t feel too sad, alright?”
Lu Yushen shook her hand off. After a few seconds, he took a step back, then two, then three. He then broke into a sprint and rushed out of Fu Zhi’s room in a panic.
Gu Yan followed him, as she still wanted to talk to him. However, he locked the door from the inside once he entered his room.
He took the candy figurine out of his safety box. He poked at it, and tears started welling in his eyes.
Lu Yushen knew that other than his parents, no one would like a dumb person like him, not his friends at kindergarten, and not his cousins.
All of them thought he was an alien or a timebomb that could blow up and hurt other people at any time.
He had known he was different from normal people since he was a kid. After all, a normal person could talk and would not fantasize about having a sister.
Every night when he was dreaming, he would express his sadness and share his happiness with his sister in his dreams. It was the only moment he could be his true self.
He could not talk in front of other people, but in front of his sister, in his dreams, he could say everything that was on his mind.
His sister was always glowing like a star in his dreams. That was why he liked to collect rhinestones, as rhinestones could sparkle like stars as well.
Only his sister could understand him, so he had bought many rhinestones to give them to her.
It was only when he looked at the rhinestones that he felt his sister really existed and there was a child who liked him and would never leave him.
Even though Fu Zhi was not his real sister, she resembled the sister in his dreams a lot.
She would give him milk candy, buy bubble tea for him, and play games with him.
Everything had seemed to be developing in the direction he liked, but when a person was complacent, he always forgot his inferiority and defects.