289 You are in a relationship with that person surnamed Ji!
The autumn wind was cold. Thus, no matter how high the sun in the sky was or how warm it was during the day, the temperature would become very chilly when night arrived.
This was especially the case at a certain villa community that was surrounded by lush greenery and was next to some man-made small lakes.
Thus, Pei Ge and Zhang Manhua, who had just exited Pei Zhenghui's house, felt freezing.
The moment they stepped out of their relatives' house, the calm and composed Zhang Manhua started bawling.
"Ge Ge, mom has let you down. Mom has really let you down. If it were not for my uselessness, you would not be spoken of like that by your second auntie. It's because mom is so useless." She pulled Pei Ge's hands to hers as she wept.
None of the resolution and strength she had displayed just then was present as she cried.
Zhang Manhua could obviously catch on to Liu Yan's attitude toward them, but since Pei Zhenghui's family had helped them, she decided to feign ignorance.
However, after Pei Zhenghui's cruel words and Liu Yan's disdain and disregard, the weakest link in Zhang Manhua's heart seemed to have been cut off.
"It's because I'm useless. If I had a job back then, you would not be looked down on by your second auntie like that. I'm really useless. I didn't help your dad look after you properly."
Memories of her daughter's past hardships surface in her mind, and sorrow heavily gripped her heart.
Her precious daughter had never suffered any hardships when her husband was still around.
My poor child…
"Mom, mom, don't cry; please don't cry. I am really fine. It is not your fault. Don't cry." Pei Ge's eyes also reddened at the sight of her mother holding her hands and weeping bitterly.
"It's all because I'm useless. If I were only able to support our family back then, Liu Yan would not dare say those horrible things to you today." Her mother continued crying.
"Mom, don't blame yourself anymore. As long as you trust me and stand on my side, I will never be sad." She hugged her mother with a light smile and leaned her head on the latter's shoulder.
"Mom, don't be angry. Second auntie is just that kind of person. You don't have to bother with her words," she lightly soothed.
It was impossible for Pei Ge not to mind Liu Yan's words, but she knew better than to take them to heart, so she decided not to think of her second auntie's hurtful words at all.
"How can I not mind her words? Your second auntie is really too much today! Since when did we use their things and eat their food? Your second uncle merely helped us sell your dad's company when he died that year and chipped in some money to pay off his debts."
Zhang Manhua wiped her tears away and looked at her obedient daughter before continuing, "Even if we owed them anything before, we already paid all of it off!"
She looked at her mother and knew that the latter was only saying these things out of anger.
Eventually, she would revert to being grateful toward her second uncle.
"Yes, yes, yes. Mom, don't be angry anymore." She did not say any contradictory words and merely continued to speak softly to her mother.
"That's right, Ge Ge! Your second uncle mentioned earlier that your boyfriend's surname is 'Ji'. I clearly remember that your blind date partner last time is surnamed 'Wen'. What exactly is going on here?" Zhang Manhua, who had finally calmed down, recalled the things she did not understand earlier.
"Ah…" She was momentarily stunned by her mother's question.
She did not expect for her mother to remember things so clearly.
"What exactly happened today?" Zhang Manhua looked solemnly at her daughter, feeling that there was more to the story than met the eye.
"I'm actually also not too clear on this." She shook her head with a frown.
Although she knew why Pei Zhenghui would position Ji Ziming as her boyfriend, she really did not know what her second uncle meant by her making the man steal the Pei family's project.
"Was your second uncle referring to Xiao Ji who had come over to our house before?" An idea flashed in Zhang Manhua's mind when she remembered Ji Ziming, who had previously visited their house.
When she saw her daughter's awkward expression, she knew that she had guessed correctly.
"You are actually in a relationship with him?!" Zhang Manhua completely forgot about the heartache she felt just then as her mind became filled with: My daughter is actually dating someone behind my back! She's in a relationship!
Noticing her mother misunderstanding something, she hurriedly waved her hands and explained, "No, no! Mom, what are you thinking? How can he be my boyfriend?!"
"Why did your second uncle say that, then? Even Liu Yan. I was thinking of why she's acting weird and saying incomprehensible things, but I finally understand now. It turns out that the boyfriend they were talking about is Xiao Ji!" Her mind was clear as day now, and she easily put two and two together.
"Mom, it is really not what you think." Pei Ge could only speak the truth to prevent her mother from misunderstanding further. "CEO Ji is probably using me to block some peach blossoms, so he is telling others that I am his girlfriend. That's how cousin misunderstood us."
Zhang Manhua was still skeptical.
"Mom, it's really the truth. I'm not lying." Pei Ge pouted helplessly.
"Why didn't you tell your cousin and second uncle the truth, then?" her mother asked with puzzlement.
"Sigh!" Feeling resigned, she explained, "I want to actually tell the truth, but…"
She hesitated but eventually decided to be honest with her mother, lest the misunderstanding should worsen. "It's just that… the real man my cousin likes is my boss, CEO Ji, and not Zhou Zhuoyang."
Zhang Manhua was struck silly by her statement.
"Shishi doesn't like Zhuoyang? Tha - That's impossible!" She vigorously shook her head in denial. "If Shishi doesn't like Zhuoyang, then why did she get engaged with him?"
"That, I'm not sure of, but I'm certain that the one cousin likes is CEO Ji. Unfortunately, my boss doesn't like cousin one bit. I don't want cousin to know of this and hurt her feelings, so I didn't explain things to her."
"I didn't expect for everything to progress like this, though…" A look of loss and confusion filled her face.
She was really saddened by this. She was only sparing her cousin the hurt, but she somehow became a bad person in their eyes.