365 Mom still wants to witness you getting married and forming a family...
Ping! Pei Ge closed the door once she entered the house. Changing into her indoor slippers, she called out, "Mom, I'm back!"
Zhang Manhua quickly placed the picture frame back on the table when she heard her daughter's voice.
"Ge Ge, you're back. Are you hungry? Mom will cook some noodles for you." She got up off the sofa and welcomed her daughter with a smile.
"You don't have to, Mom. I bought you some cake, so let's eat it together!" She walked into the living room with a grin. Her heart would squeeze every time she thought of her mother's illness.
Still, she knew that showing a bitter face to her mother would not help cure the latter's sickness.
Hence, besides finding ways to raise money, what she must do now was make sure that her mother remained in a good mood to fight off her illness.
She laid a box on the coffee table, and after opening it up, exquisite-looking desserts greeted their eyes.
"They look beautiful," her mother praised the many desserts in the box.
"The desserts from that shop are really pretty and delectable. Mom, try them! This black forest cake is really good!" She passed a spoon to her mother.
Her mother received the spoon and scooped up a portion of the cake to eat.
Seeing her happily eating the cake, she also picked up a spoon and started digging in.
"Oh, right. Ge Ge, you went to your second uncle's house…" Zhang Manhua suddenly asked after a few bites of dessert.
Despite not wanting to hurt her mother's feelings, she knew that keeping her mother in the dark about their relatives' true colors was even worse.
She was not a saint and did not want to cover up for them.
Still, she really could not understand it. Her relatives used to treat them really well.
In fact, her second uncle had handled every issue after her father's death. He had even paid off all her father's debts, which had appeared out of nowhere.
Now… Her mother was sick, and they only wanted to borrow 200,000 yuan, so why was it this hard for their relatives to extend a helping hand?
"Mom, I failed to borrow money." She put her spoon down. For some reason, even the fragrant and sweet cake suddenly tasted bland.
"Sigh… Mom guessed as much. It is really a tall task to ask for a loan from your second auntie." Zhang Manhua sighed, not the least bit surprised by this outcome.
She shook her head at this and clarified, "It's not second auntie; it's second uncle."
"Huh? What? Your second uncle?" Zhang Manhua was slightly stunned. She reflexively shook her head in disbelief. "That's not possible. Your second uncle wouldn't reject our request to borrow money."
"Mhm. He didn't say he doesn't want to lend us money; he only said that there's a condition, and that is I become a corporate spy. He mentioned something about checking on a project, but I know that what he actually meant is that I should steal corporate information for him," she mocked.
If it were not for that 'drunken' incident from last time, she would probably still foolishly find excuses for her second uncle's behavior, but now…
She could not even think of an excuse for him.
The last time she revealed her real relationship with Ji Ziming to Pei Zhenghui, she had made it clear that Pei Shishi should not know about it.
However, that time they went over for dinner with Tang Xiaoyu, she could tell that her cousin already knew of her actual relationship with the man.
She really did not know whether it was her relatives or her that had changed. Otherwise, why would things be like this now?
"Ge Ge, what are you talking about?" Zhang Manhua looked at her daughter with utter confusion as her uneasiness grew.
"Mom, what I mean is that second uncle wants me to steal information regarding a project from my company; he promised to lend us money for your treatment if I do that," she explained, her eyes filling with sorrow.
Zhang Manhua's jaw dropped, and she looked at her daughter in disbelief.
"How is that possible…"
"But that's what happened." She sighed. She clearly sensed that her second uncle and second auntie did not care for her mother's life, so she became angry and said those words before leaving their house in a huff.
She regretted none of her actions, though.
After all, she was not a thief and did not want to be one.
"This…" Zhang Manhua was at a loss on what to say at this moment in time and could only bitterly shake her head.
"It's good that you refused their condition; we can't just sell our conscience for money." Zhang Manhua proudly and lovingly eyed her scrupulous daughter.
She nodded her head slightly at her mother's patronizing gaze.
"Sigh… How did your second uncle become like that?" She sighed again. She really could not make heads or tails of this.
"Yes… I don't know when he changed, too," she commented, feeling disappointed.
"He used to be such a good person." A nostalgic look surfaced on her mother's face as she said, "Back then, at your father's sudden passing, our family's pillar of support also vanished. Afterward, you were hospitalized; while I stayed with you at the hospital, your second uncle handled all your father's funeral arrangements."
"Even our house and your father's company were settled by your second uncle. Sigh… If it weren't for his help, we wouldn't know what to do."
Her mother's recount, for some reason, made her feel that something was off. Suddenly, a thought flitted through her mind.
However, when she tried grasping on to this thought, she was unable to do so.
"Perhaps… people change when they have money." Zhang Manhua lightly sighed, not noticing her daughter's frown at all.
"Mom, don't worry. Although second uncle didn't lend us money, I can still borrow from Xiaoyu. No matter what, you don't have to worry about the surgery." She held her mother's hands as she looked at the latter in earnest.
"I'm not worried at all." Zhang Manhua squeezed her hands in reassurance and firmly said, "Mom believes in you."
"Mhm! Mom, you will definitely recover!" She nodded her head resolutely.
"That's right. I will recover. Mom still wants to see you get married and form a family…" Zhang Manhua fondly caressed her daughter's hair.
The mother-daughter pair shared a warm moment together on the sofa. Meanwhile, on a certain CEO's end, the atmosphere was much more solemn.