Chapter 371: Every Man for Himself
Atlas Studios Atlas Studios
It was time for winter break after the examinations ended. Gu Junling and his friends intended to go on a vacation by the beach. Wen Xinya was extremely tempted to go on the trip with them. However, as the nominated candidate of the Zhishan Club, she had no choice but to take part in the winter break charity drive hosted by it. Hence, she had to turn her friends down reluctantly.
The drive was rather simple, and all she had to do was to deliver some wheelchairs that had been bought by the Zhishan Club to the elderly in a sanatorium in the suburbs.
Wen Xinya arrived at the sanatorium at ten o’clock in the morning. She had previously found out all the relevant information about the sanatorium that had caught the attention of Zhishan Club because they were known for accepting patients from all walks of life.
After speaking to the director of the sanatorium, Wen Xinya completed the task and began strolling around the premises leisurely.
She caught sight of a woman in a wheelchair who was bending forward in a bid to pick up something from the ground. Noticing that she seemed to be in a dangerous position, Wen Xinya strode towards her quickly and picked up a golden bangle for her. “Auntie, here’s your bangle!”
The woman had a deadpan expression on her gaunt and emaciated face. Her complexion was dull and pale, and she seemed to be terminally ill.
The woman grabbed the bangle away from Wen Xinya forcefully as if she was afraid that someone might steal it. “The bangle is mine. It’s meant for my daughter’s dowry.”
Her voice was muffled and she appeared a little nervous. Tears began to well up in Wen Xinya’s eyes.
“Wen Xinya, what are you doing here?” asked a shrill voice that had popped up out of nowhere.
Wen Xinya turned around instinctively, only to see that there was an extremely emaciated silhouette standing behind her. She widened her eyes and took a closer look at the silhouette.
“What do you want? Don’t you dare hurt my mother.” The girl warned, running forward agitatedly. She stood in front of the woman in the wheelchair as if shielding her from Wen Xinya. She trembled uncontrollably and yet, she refused to take a step back.
Wen Xinya finally realized that it was Shen Mengting, who had become even thinner since the last time Wen Xinya had seen her in school. She seemed much more haggard, to the point where she was almost unrecognizable.
She had turned from a youthful and lively teenager to a horribly thin and sickly-looking girl.
Shen Mengting had a change of expression and suddenly dropped onto her knees in front of Wen Xinya. Weeping miserably, she pleaded. “Wen Xinya, I was wrong to have tried and hurt you with the knife. I apologize. If you want revenge, take it out on me. Please don’t hurt my mother, her days are numbered…”
“I’ve never thought of taking revenge or hurting your mother. If I wanted to take revenge on you, I wouldn’t have let you go at the Institute the other day. Don’t assume that I’m the same as you,” said Wen Xinya, staring at Shen Mengting, who was no longer as prideful and haughty as before. After all, everyone had a softer side to them which they were willing to show in order to get what they wanted. Shen Mengting was no exception, for she was willing to sacrifice her pride for her mother’s sake.
Shen Mengting began to quiver, and then she bit her lips tightly. She turned as pale as a sheet, and there was a complicated mix of emotions in her eyes.
Staring at her calmly, Wen Xinya said, “Even till today, do you still think that everything that you did was worth it? Have you ever reflected on yourself or blamed yourself for ending up in such a sorry plight?”
Shen Mengting froze and guffawed loudly all of a sudden. “Wen Xinya, what rights have you got to lecture me? Yes… I may have brought all of these upon myself, but so what? You and I are different. You are the subject of everyone’s envy. You’re wealthy, have an enviable family, status, and everything that I don’t have. I have nothing except an ill-stricken mother who also has depression. I just want to live a better life and send my mother for better treatment. What wrong did I do?”
Wen Xinya was suddenly filled with a complicated mix of emotions. Recalling her previous lifetime, she had also lived a horrible and pathetic life, and even lost herself during the process, unlike Shen Mengting, who always remembered what she wanted and would resort to all means to fulfill them. She suddenly realized that she indeed was in no place to lecture Shen Mengting.
Staring at her maniacally, Shen Mengting continued, “No one else is there to plan my future for me, except myself. Every man for himself. What wrong did I do? Tell me, just what did I do wrong?”
Noticing that Shen Mengting’s emotions were getting unstable again, Wen Xinya decided not to argue with her any further. After all, Shen Mengting’s values had nothing to do with her. Hence, she turned around and left.
“Mother… Mother, are you alright?” Shen Mengting asked worriedly, looking at her mother who was twitching and having a terrifying seizure.
Shen Mengting broke into hysterics and began screaming and yelling at the top of her lungs, “Mother, what’s wrong with you? Don’t scare me. Mother…”
The woman opened her eyes and raised her dry and wrinkled hands together in a bid to caress Shen Mengting’s face. However, she dropped them again soon after. “Meng… Mengting!”
“Mother, Mother… I’m here, I’m here!” Shen Mengting exclaimed in surprise, for it had been long since her mother called her name lucidly. She grabbed her mother’s hand and placed it on her face.
The woman then raised her trembling hand and shoved the golden bangle into Shen Mengting’s hand. “I… don’t have anything else… other than this… It’s… your dowry… dowry! Don’t… don’t listen to Ning… Ning Shuqian… She’s… she’s not a decent person. She’ll harm you. You must… live… well…” Before she could even finish speaking, her eyes rolled backward and she twitched in pain. White foam then gushed out of her mouth.
Wen Xinya recovered from the shock and hurriedly proceeded to call the doctor.
The doctor rushed towards them in no time and immediately proceeded to do a brief checkup on Shen Mengting’s mother while Shen Mengting wept in agony. She pleaded. “Doctor, please save my mother. She’s the only one left that I have in this world…”
The doctor frantically advised. “Send her straight to the hospital for an emergency rescue! There are equipment here, but they’re not enough!”
Unfortunately, the ambulances in the sanatorium happened to be away at the time. Yet, Shen Mengting’s mother was in critical condition and had to be treated as soon as possible. Wen Xinya had no choice but to get the driver who helped deliver the wheelchairs to send them to the hospital.
The sanatorium assigned one doctor and two nurses to perform emergency rescue on Shen Mengting’s mother while Wen Xinya headed to the hospital together with them.
Although she had had a feud with Shen Mengting previously, she could not bring herself to leave them in the lurch.