When Han Wuting's car was far into the distance, Zhao Lifei turned toward Yang Ruqin with a deep scowl. She crossed her arms and glared daggers from her eyes.
Yang Ruqin shrunk back, knowing she was in for an earful.
"Another blind date?! That was the fifth time this month!" Zhao Lifei bit out, her temper slightly rising.
No matter how many times she told Yang Ruqin that she was fine being single, the stubborn woman wouldn't listen! Blind dates after blind dates and in the least expected times too!
"But Feifei, you're going to be lonely when I leave for my trip next month!" She whined, grabbing Zhao Lifei's arm and swaying her side by side.
Zhao Lifei sighed, pinching the spot between her brows. "Like I've told you a billion times before, I'm fine being single. I like my peace and quiet." She frowned. She knew Yang Ruqin was looking out for her. The blind dates came from good intentions, but she was beginning to grow annoyed at Qinqin's persistence.
What's wrong with being single?
"No buts." Zhao Lifei interrupted, hailing down a cab to take her home.
Yang Ruqin pouted upon seeing how eager she was to leave her. "Don't leave me yet! You might not be lonely, but I most certainly am!" Like a child eager to spend more time with her parents, she clung onto her Feifei.
Zhao Lifei laughed at her childish friend.
Yang Ruqin's pout was absolutely adorable and if she was a man, she'd surely do anything to please her.
But she wasn't and pouts didn't work on her. "My dear, you have a lot more friends—"
"But I like you the most!" Yang Ruqin childishly stomped the ground, her silver anklets twinkling.
The long list of friends and acquaintances that Yang Ruqin had were endless. It was incredible how she was able to make so many friends have constant plans, and yet still have time for herself.
Because Yang Ruqin was the only daughter of the prestigious and wealthiest family in the country, many people clung onto her like flies. They always sought after Yang Ruqin's presence in social gatherings because it would significantly boost their status.
Zhao Lifei was different.
She didn't follow after Yang Ruqin like a lost puppy. Instead, she was independent and very selective of her friends, which forced Yang Ruqin to cling onto her instead.
"Don't be mad at me, Feifei. I only wanted the best for you." Yang Ruqin widened her eyes and jutted her lips out into a deeper pout.
Zhao Lifei laughed and patted Ruqin's head. "Okay, okay, fine. Come to my house and I'll lecture you for a bit more, then we can watch that show you really like."
- - - - -
After going back to Zhao Lifei's apartment condo, binge-watching an entire season of a variety show on blind dates, and then throwing popcorn at the screen, Yang Ruqin was officially burned out. Slumped on the couch, she was in a deep slumber. She slept like a child with her body curled into a ball and arms tucked underneath her face.
Zhao Lifei chuckled at the sight and placed a heavy blanket over her. After tying up her long hair, she began to clean up the mess they've made. If this was the woman from two years ago, she would've left the chore to the house cleaner.
Zhao Lifei figured it was best to not be so lazy. She was twenty-three this year and a grown adult. Being able to clean the house and do her laundry was something she should have mastered the minute she moved out of her parent's house.
But she didn't. She used to act like a spoiled brat, one that no one loved, but have to get along with if you wanted good things in life.
She knew she could never fix the sins that she had committed in the past, the friendships and relationships she had severed, but she swore to herself she would definitely try to make positive changes in her present and future life.
When she was sweeping the popcorn bits into the dustbin, her phone went off. Looking at the contact, she frowned.
Her mother was calling her and the woman only did it when she wanted something from her.
It had been a couple of months since they've last spoken and that was when her mother tried to splash boiling hot water onto Zhao Lifei's face. She was quick to side-step the attack, or else her face would've been permanently scarred. Her mother never liked her and after what happened with Zheng Tianyi, the hatred was evident.
Zhao Lifei hesitated to pick up the call, but on the last ring, she did. The minute she did so, her mother's voice blared out of the phone.
"Why did you take so long to pick up? Are you trying to disrespect your mother?!" The woman screeched over the phone, her voice rising louder and louder.
Zhao Lifei held the phone away from her ears.
Wang Nuoli rambled and yelled about Zhao Lifei's hesitation of picking up the call and making her wait longer than needed. After a few minutes of nonstop insults, Zhao Lifei couldn't handle it anymore. "Mother dearest, please reach your conclusion soon."
"Yes, yes, I'm a disgrace, and you wish you didn't give birth to me twenty-three years ago. We've already established that." Zhao Lifei already memorized her mother's insults.
Every brutal stabbing of reality was given by her mother. The woman was ruthless and showed no love for her eldest daughter. Instead, she focused all of her attention and love on her prized younger daughter, the perfect star of the Zhao family: Zhao Linhua.
"Your younger sister's birthday is coming up. Give us some face by showing up to the banquet." Wang Nuoli bit out. As much as she despised her eldest daughter with every inch of her soul, Zhao Lifei was inevitably extremely useful. She was able to have the terrifying backing of Zhao Moyao, the Monarch of the Zhao Corporation and the man with the highest share in the company.
Wang Nuoli hates to admit it, but this brat was smart. Cultivating a good relationship with her grandfather at the tender age of four, she had a perfectly safe spot in his cold heart.
"Are you sure you want me there? I can transfer this call to grandfather since that was your ultimate plan." Zhao Lifei hummed, nonchalantly inspecting her nails.
Wang Nuoli nearly lost her composure. Of course, her true purpose in inviting Zhao Lifei was to lure out Zhao Moyao. Having such a grand, influential, and powerful man show up at her youngest daughter's birthday would bring endless benefits that no money could afford.
Out of all of his five granddaughters, Zhao Lifei was Zhao Moyao's favorite.
Wang Nuoli didn't know how Zhao Lifei was able to curry his favor and adoration, but she effortlessly did so. If it wasn't for her strong backings, she would've never contacted Zhao Lifei.