Chapter 4: Grandpa
Atlas Studios Atlas Studios
Wen Xinya took a deep breath. She strolled leisurely in the courtyard at the back of the Wen Family's old mansion. In the courtyard, there was a viburnum tree with branches evenly spread apart. It looked spectacular. It was a warm spring season this year, and the pure white flowers had already started appearing on the branches before the arrival of summer. The petals swayed gracefully under the mild breeze, resembling dancing butterflies. It was a magnificent view.
Upon her return to the Wen Family, she fell in love at first sight by the romantic ambiance created by this viburnum tree. When given a choice to which room she would like to stay in, she told Grandpa she wanted a room closest to this tree.
At this moment, the night breeze blew on her face, still warm from the booze she had earlier. It was an indescribable feeling of comfort.
She took a deep breath and noticed the mild fragrance of the viburnum flowers that greeted her nose. It helped her to instantly calm her raging heart that was full of vengeance.
How long had it been since the last time she enjoyed the pleasant night breeze?
It had been 10 years!
That's right! It was 10 years ago when she returned to the Wen Family for the first time. And then experienced death by heart failure at age 25 when Wen Ruya injected a high dosage of drugs into her body. It had been 10 years of suffering where she lived in someone else's shadow. She was always at the mercy of others and constantly being plotted against, causing her to fall into despair.
Wen Xinya opened her arms and raised her head. Looking at the sky, she thought to herself:
"Where did you go? Why did you come back so late?"
It was a deep, stern voice, sounding cold and harsh. Wen Xinya froze. She stood right at the same position, feeling stiff. She did not even have the courage to turn her head! This was the old man who cared about her, and he was also the one who gave up on her in her previous life.
Old Mr. Wen said, "You have just returned to the Wen Family. You'd better stay at home and not loiter away. The media has their attention focused on you now. You have to watch your behavior carefully and not act as you wish like last time." There was disapproval in his voice. He knew about Wen Xinya's shameful past but had insisted to fetch her back to the Wen Family on account that Wen Xinya was his descendant. After all, he could not bear to see her continue living astray. Little did he expect that Wen Xinya had not changed for the better and was disappointed in her when he found out she pushed Ruya into the water.
Wen Xinya gently wiped the tears in her eyes and turned slowly towards him, acknowledging. "Yes, Grandpa, I know. I will stay at home more often from now onwards."
Old Mr. Wen walked towards her. He frowned when he detected a strong smell of alcohol from afar. He warned. "You have no excuse to get drunk no matter what happened. You are no longer the Zhang Xiaolan who used to lead a thug life, but the prestigious Miss Wen Xinya of the Wen Family. I do not care if you are able to adapt to your current lifestyle, but you need to learn how to behave like the descendant of an affluent family."
"Grandpa, how should the descendant of an affluent family behave? Is it just like how Xia Ruya behaves?" Wen Xinya asked Grandpa in a soft tone, with a strong feeling of being wronged.
She had just returned to the Wen Family and never had the opportunity to live with Grandpa. On the other hand, though Xia Ruya was adopted, she had been living with Grandpa for 20 years and therefore had a closer relationship with him. Wen Xinya hoped Grandpa would realize who was the genuine eldest daughter of the Wen Family.
Old Mr. Wen was at a loss for words. He had just recognized the fact that Wen Xinya had lived a stray life for the past 15 years, unlike Ruya who had the opportunity to learn the virtues and values of being part of an affluent family.
Looking at the speechless old Mr. Wen, Wen Xinya lowered her head, pulling the edge of her skirt sadly. She said, "Grandpa, am I a disgrace to the Wen Family? Do you regret fetching me back?" There was anxiousness on her face when she continued, "I did not push Ruya into the water deliberately. Please believe me, Grandpa, it wasn't deliberate. Please don't send me away…"
Old Mr. Wen frowned deeply and said, "When did I say I wanted to send you away? You are the eldest daughter of the Wen Family. Now that you are back home I have no intention to send you away."
Wen Xinya mustered her courage. Looking at Grandpa, she said, "But Grandpa, I don't know what I should do to be like Xia Ruya. Does it really not matter?"
Old Mr. Wen got angrier. He said, "You and Ruya are different, do not compare yourself with her. She stayed in the Wen Family at a very young age and have had a very different upbringing than you. You just came back, thus you will have to start learning from scratch."
Wen Xinya started sobbing and felt sorry for herself. She replied, "Everyone has been comparing me with Xia Ruya, feeling that I am uncouth and lack her good virtues."
In this lifetime, she had made up her mind not to be compared with Xia Ruya anymore. She would go all out to create better opportunities for herself. From now onwards, she wanted her Grandpa to be full of compassion for her and stand by her side.
Old Mr. Wen recalled the scene where Xia Ruya came to visit the family. Everyone surrounded her, happy to see her. While Wen Xinya was hiding in a corner, feeling envious. He had chosen to act as if nothing had happened. Now, he felt sorry about this incident, and told her, "You just returned to the Wen Family and have not adapted yet. Soon I'll get a teacher to teach you all about etiquette."
Wen Xinya's eyes lit up with excitement and happiness. She asked, "Grandpa, do you mean that I will have the opportunity to learn and work on skills like social etiquette, social dancing, wear high heels and red wine tasting?"
"Yup, and a lot more…" replied old Mr. Wen. He suddenly had mixed feelings. Having been away for 15 years, Wen Xinya had lost all the time and love she would have with the family. She should have been given the right education and the chance to learn about good virtues. Old Mr. Wen realized his impatience. He had neglected the child's feelings by wanting her to act by his standards without giving her more time to learn.
After hearing this, Wen Xinya had a sparkle in her eyes. She said happily, "Grandpa, please be assured, I will put in my best effort to learn these skills. I will become the prestigious Wen Family's daughter and not let you down."
The young girl glowed with determination. She was wearing a red dress that did not fit her. The dress was too tight for her hips, and too long for her height. It made her look extremely weak and small. Old Mr. Wen recollected this was the dress Ning Shuqian had recently bought from France as a present for Ruya. Ruya only wore it only twice and did not wear it again. He did not expect this dress to end up with his precious granddaughter.
It had been almost five days since Wen Xinya returned home and she did not even have clothes that belonged to her! The Wen Family had truly neglected her. It was hard to blame her for her actions today.
She was his genuine granddaughter and the Wen Family's eldest daughter! Old Mr. Wen realized he had not been a good Grandpa.
Wen Xinya felt a sense of hope. She just returned to the Wen Family, and Grandpa's attitude towards her would determine her status in the family. She knew she could not behave too aggressively or show her determination to fight for Grandpa's attention. Either way, she would easily be compared to Xia Ruya. If she remained calm and innocent, she would be able to get everyone's acceptance easily.