What happened before and after Mingxi's death in her previous life.
At that time, Mingxi's college entrance examination scores were mediocre, so she only went to an ordinary Non-Double First-Class university.
The Zhao family's circle of friends and family didn't pay much attention to academic qualifications. After all, most of the children either went abroad to flaunt their education background after finishing college or studied abroad since college. However, the Zhao family still somewhat felt that Zhao Mingxi couldn't achieve much.
Although she was beautiful, judging from her grades, she was not that smart.
Not to mention that both Zhao Zhanhuai and Zhao Mo already had their own careers. As for Zhao Yuan, she applied for a full scholarship to a famous American university after high school, and then traveled across the ocean to study. Now, she returned to Mr. Zhao to help out with his company. She gradually emerged in the circle and was much stronger than her.
Compared with the other children of the Zhao family, Zhao Mingxi's strengths were really lackluster.
The Zhao family didn't know that Mingxi would have various problems every time she took her exams. They only felt that it was the fact that she grew up in a poor and backward small town for the past 15 years which restricted Mingxi's growth.
The education she received was too shallow, and the environment she lived in was too barren. So much so that she became a girl with mediocre talent and sharp personality.
The tit-for-tat between her and Zhao Yuan may be a large part of what affected her studies.
And Mingxi couldn't refute, because even she herself didn't know what was going on with her.
Sometimes she would clearly have a vague idea in her mind, but the next second it would seem to be suppressed by a mass of dark clouds, and her mind would become a mess. Some thoughts and ideas would be lost before seeing the sky, strangled by an invisible hand before returning to the muddled chaos.
Mingxi only thought that she was really inferior and that she was not good enough.
Before the age of 15, the reason why she ranked first in the distant town every time was because the town had few people, so she could become the crested leader. Now that she came to a big city with a huge crowd, of course she would fall down hard, barely even catching up to the end of the pack.
She just had to work hard to get over it.
Throw your starting point in the mud, admit that you suck, and put in more time and energy than anyone else.
At this time, of course, Mingxi couldn't like Zhao Yuan, and couldn't accept Zhao Yuan's existence.
But there were some things she had never done— for example, the allergy attack that Zhao Yuan suffered when she was 17.
In this matter, she had no choice but to endure in silence. She couldn’t explain her suffering.
At the beginning, she tried to get the care and attention of her family and did a lot of things to please them, but after her junior year, Mingxi rarely did such things.
Faced with cold expressions day after day and the awkward expressions of having to choose Zhao Yuan between her and Zhao Yuan, even if she was a fire, she would be extinguished again and again. Even she would have moments when she could not ignite herself.
She gradually felt a little tired.
Moreover, at the beginning of junior year, Mingxi's health suddenly began to go downhill.
During that time, she often caught colds and felt dizzy every now and then.
Mingxi didn't think too much about it. What could happen to her at such a young age? She thought it was because she often stayed up too late.
But even after Mingxi deliberately adjusted her schedule and ate three meals a day on time, she was still not in good spirits.
In June during her senior year, Mingxi had a high fever and was absent from her defense. She almost dropped out of university.
Fortunately, the mentor was a good person and didn’t expel Mingxi.
At that time, Mingxi rarely went home. She stayed far away from Zhao Yuan, made a sprint, and was admitted as a graduate student in a fairly good local university.
After starting graduate school, Mingxi became even more busy. She forgot to go to the hospital for a comprehensive physical examination for a while.
After switching between good and poor health for a while, Mingxi finally went to the hospital.
Before the examination, Mingxi swore to her lab classmates that she was absolutely fine, at most it would just be hypoglycemia.
But there were many things that she could never expect.
For example, when she was found by the Zhao family at the age of 15, her whole life was changed from then on. Or, when she walked out of the hospital, she was pinching the medical bill with her pale fingertips.
The cruelty of life does not lie in the hurdles waiting for you to pass, but in the unknown fog ahead. You don't know when it will jump out and bite you with its fangs.
One month after Mingxi disappeared, the Zhao family realized that something was wrong.
Because she was studying in graduate school, she didn't come back very often. She only returned two or three times during the semester holidays. And usually, she didn’t like to contact her family on the phone. Sometimes it would be normal for her to not call for more than a month.
So when the whole family didn't receive calls or text messages from Mingxi for a month, no one thought much about it.
That was until Mr. Zhao came back from a business trip in South Africa where he brought gifts for Madam Zhao, Zhao Yuan, and Mingxi. Zhao Zhanhuai called Mingxi, but her mobile phone was turned off. Zhao Zhanhuai felt that something was wrong.
Zhao Zhanhuai immediately called Mingxi's university again. However, her university friends said that she had already requested to end her programme and had left school for a month.
The friend even asked in surprise on the phone, "Are you someone from Zhao Mingxi's family? You don't know about such a big thing?"
"Such a big thing? What's the matter?" Zhao Zhanhuai frowned, and suddenly a very bad feeling rose in his heart.
The student sounded rather speechless on the phone.
After a while, he added Zhao Zhanhuai's WeChat account and sent him a medical diagnosis.
The living room of the Zhao family was full of joy and laughter.
Mr. Zhao hadn't come back for a long time, so Madam Zhao and Zhao Yuan were very happy to see him. Zhao Yuan knelt on the carpet, opened her gift, and showed a surprised look, "Dad, it’s so beautiful!"
She turned her head and pleaded softly to Zhao Zhanhuai, "Brother, help me put it on."
However, Zhao Zhanhuai’s eyes were glued to his phone, and his posture on the back of the sofa became extremely stiff. He stood there with a straight back and ignored her call. Zhao Yuan didn't pay much attention to it, thinking that there was something wrong with his company and he was just looking at a report sent by his assistant. So, Zhao Yuan turned around and asked Madam Zhao to help her.
Madam Zhao and Zhao Yuan put the necklaces on each other and rushed to the bathroom to look in the mirror.
Zhao Yuning was currently studying in university and was about to graduate. He was wearing a white sportswear, and his short hair had just been shaved in the shape of a lightning bolt. He was afraid of being scolded by Mr. Zhao, so he’s been wearing a navy blue baseball cap for the past few days, looking like a very cool guy.
He looked around in the pile of presents, and saw that Mr. Zhao only got him a few books on business management instead of the keys to the Hummer he wanted. He immediately expressed his dissatisfaction. "Dad, It's not fair. The gifts you brought for the three of them are worth hundreds of thousands per person. Mom’s necklace is worth more than one million. How come I only get a broken book worth tens of dollars?"
Zhao Yuning got a girlfriend recently. Since he was not earning any income, he easily spent hundreds of thousands last month.
Mr. Zhao didn't bother to pay attention to him.
Mr. Zhao took a sip of tea and turned to look at Zhao Zhanhuai. "Where's Mingxi? Isn't the Mid-Autumn Festival coming soon? She hasn't come back yet?"
But Zhao Zhanhuai's expression was not quite right.
He held the mobile phone, his knuckles turning white as he was gripping it too hard. He looked at Mr. Zhao.
"What's wrong?" Mr. Zhao frowned.
Zhao Zhanhuai's mind was buzzing. He could only squeeze out a few words, "She took a long break from school and dropped out."
When Madam Zhao who just came out of the bathroom heard this sentence, her expression changed immediately. She said angrily, "Did she get into trouble again? Dropped out of school? Why didn't we know about this at all? She’s been acting up since she was in high school, and she got better after she went to college. Now why— What trouble did she get into again? Give me the phone, tell her to come back quickly—"
Before she finished speaking, she was interrupted by Zhao Zhanhuai, "No, not this time."
"Then what happened, why did she drop out so suddenly?!" Madam Zhao asked anxiously.
Zhao Zhanhuai handed the phone to Madam Zhao.
Madam Zhao's voice came to an abrupt end, as if someone had pinched her throat out of thin air.
The Zhao family home was dead silent, the atmosphere depressing like it was a tomb.
The family was in a state of chaos these past few days.
At the beginning, because they only saw a medical diagnosis sent by Zhao Mingxi's classmate, the Zhao family still didn't believe it. Mingxi usually came back looking healthy and energetic, with no physical problems, so how could she suddenly be in the last stages of a terminal illness?
This was simply a fantasy.
They wondered if it was Mingxi trying every means to attract their attention.
But they couldn't get through to Zhao Mingxi on the phone. Also, all WeChat and various accounts that could be canceled had already been canceled, and those that weren’t canceled had no trace showing that it was ever used again. She had stopped updating since a month ago— and they just found out today.
The Zhao family still didn't believe it. Madam Zhao was still wondering if it was Zhao Mingxi who was doing all the acting.
Zhao Zhanhuai noticed that something was wrong, mainly because Mingxi's friend who answered his phone did not speak in a tone that matched Mingxi's performance at all.
Zhao Zhanhuai was worried. As for Zhao Yuning, he thought that Zhao Mingxi was not the kind of person who would do such a thing— a desperate trick. She has never used it since she was 15 years old, and now that the relationship between the whole family and her was relatively harmonious, it was pointless for her to set up such a cry for attention out of nowhere. Thus, Zhao Yuning was also a little worried.
So the two flew to the province and city of Zhao Mingxi's university that afternoon.
Zhao Mingxi's tutor mentioned that Zhao Mingxi's tone was very sad. "She had a couple of dizzy spells a few months ago, but no one thought of it at the time. After all, she was still so young... I didn't fulfill my responsibility as a tutor. I really didn't know what help I could offer her. This child… It’s a pity. We tried to persuade her to seek hospitalization, but the prognosis of this kind of cancer is very low, and she has to go through painful chemotherapy. So she refused, saying that she wanted to use the last bit of time to do something she wanted to do... But you are her family, how did you not know until now?"
After listening to these words, Zhao Zhanhuai and Zhao Yuning didn't know how they got out of university in the end.
At noon, with the scorching sun in the sky, the two were in a trance, their vision darkening at the edges.
These terrifying words were like heavy hammers, knocking on their hearts again and again, making them struggle for air.
The two never thought that such a thing would happen to Zhao Mingxi. She was still so young! Such a vibrant life was going to face the torment of illness!
Moreover, why did she not tell anyone in the family about such a thing? Was it because she didn’t trust her family members, or was it because she didn't want to see them in her final moments?
But then the two of them came to their senses— when the family members learned that Zhao Mingxi might be sick, what was their first reaction? Their first reaction was to not believe it! They thought Zhao Mingxi was acting!
The two were about to suffocate.
It was conceivable that if Zhao Mingxi got the result in the hospital and went home immediately to tell her family members, she might still have to face questioning words from her family members such as "Are you acting?" and "Stop making trouble!". How would Zhao Mingxi, who was exhausted and in pain, react? Would it be the last straw for the crushed camel?
Just thinking about it caused the two of them to feel as if their hearts were being grabbed by a big hand. It hurt severely.
"What- what should we do? Where can we find Zhao Mingxi now?" Zhao Yuning noticed that he was shaking when he said this.
Zhao Zhanhuai managed to calm down. "Mingxi doesn't have much time left. She can't be allowed to give up treatment. No matter what, she must be found as soon as possible. I'll contact the best foreign surgeon first. Go home and tell our family about the current situation."
Although Zhao Yuning has been an adult for several years, he was still a young college student in front of Zhao Zhanhuai. He was at a loss when encountered with such a thing.
He went home just as Zhao Zhanhuai ordered.
What followed was the disbelief of the whole family, chaos, and in the end Madam Zhao's loud cries.
After the horror that Madam Zhao felt, she was heartbroken.
She burst into tears in pain.
No one could accept that their daughter, whom they had carried in their stomachs for ten months, had been lost since childhood, and was finally found again, had been diagnosed with a terminal illness after just eight years of being reunited and building a family relationship.
It never occurred to her that such a thing would happen.
In other words, she thought she would spend her whole life slowly getting along with this belated foreign child. It's not a big deal to quarrel once or twice. She thought that she had brought Mingxi back, and since Mingxi was her daughter, it was impossible to lose her again, right?
—But unexpectedly, she and Zhao Mingxi did not have so much time to resolve all the embarrassment and estrangement between them.
The last time she talked with Mingxi on the phone was more than a month ago. Because Zhao Yuning didn't call back often, Madam Zhao was used to it, and she was getting angry, so she didn't even think about calling Mingxi on her own initiative— Who knew that in just over a month, such a big thing would happen to Mingxi.
How much despair was Mingxi in when she received the diagnosis?
She said something, but her first reaction was to think that she was directing and acting a movie of her own.
Madma Zhao began to recall the last sentence she said to Mingxi.
She didn't treat Mingxi well at that time. Mingxi said that she had some business to attend to and she couldn't go home, so she directly said, "Who cares if you come back or not? Yuanyuan is much more obedient and sensible than you."
Before Mingxi lost all hope of life, what she said to Mingxi was such a vicious sentence.
Madam Zhao felt a pang of pain in her heart. She desperately begged Mr. Zhao and Zhao Zhanhuai to find Zhao Mingxi as soon as possible.
It's not easy to find someone.
The last use of the card given to Mingxi by her family was one and a half months before she went through the formalities of dropping out of school.
Her phone card didn't have any signal anymore. She must have thrown the phone card away. Her WeChat, Weibo and other social accounts have never been logged in again.
He Yang scolded Zhao Yuan because of something that happened during their schooling days, so the relationship between the Zhao family and the He family has always been relatively unfamiliar. As for the Dong family, they openly wanted to take Mingxi away, and had some quarrels with the Zhao family.
But now that things have reached this point, they couldn’t care so much.
As early as the first day of looking for Zhao Mingxi, Zhao Zhanhuai went to the He family and the Dong family to look for her.
But it was to no avail.
Even He Yang, Mingxi's best friend since childhood, didn’t know where Mingxi had gone.
The Dong family didn't even know about it, and when they learned that Mingxi was terminally ill, they almost broke out into a fight with the Zhao family again.
After searching for half a month, they concluded that Mingxi had completely disappeared.
She seemed to have evaporated.
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