It’s not that I can’t forget you, it’s just that I can’t forget the pain you left behind

The next morning, when Lu Zizheng woke up, Jiang Huaixi was no longer by her side.
On the white single pillow, there was only a small indentation and a few strands of Jiang Huaixi’s long, soft black hair.
Lu Zizheng reached out and picked up those few strands of hair, staring at them blankly for a while.

When Lu Zizheng finished freshening up and arrived at the living room, she saw Jiang Huaixi already dressed in a new outfit, looking refreshed and with a delicate makeup, standing by the dining table helping Mama Lu set the tableware.

Seeing Lu Zizheng awake, Jiang Huaixi handed her an extra pair of chopsticks and said, “It’s rare to have breakfast with Auntie, and you don’t even know how to make a good impression.

Lu Zizheng took the chopsticks and sat down, trying to explain, “If I did too well, then you wouldn’t have had a chance to show how considerate and obedient you are.”

Mama Lu can be considered an expert at smoothing things over.
“I know Jiang Huaixi is well-behaved and sensible without her having to prove it.”

Lu Zizheng: “…”

After breakfast, Jiang Huaixi first took Lu Zizheng back to her place to change into clean clothes, and then she drove her to the company.

It must be said that Jiang Huaixi has always been punctual, just like when they were in college, she would always arrive earlier than Lu Zizheng.
When Lu Zizheng arrived at the company, she still had fifteen minutes before work.
In college, Jiang Huaixi’s punctuality used to annoy Lu Zizheng to no end, but now she just felt relieved that she wasn’t late.

As she stepped out of the car and entered the office, she bumped into a colleague whom Lu Zizheng had absolutely no recollection of.
The female colleague greeted her warmly, saying, “Hi, Gu, the translator…”

They entered the elevator together, and the female colleague enthusiastically asked, “Was the person who dropped you off at work your boyfriend? Nice car, by the way.” Her tone couldn’t hide the envy.

Lu Zizheng couldn’t be bothered to explain and responded with a nonchalant “Hmm,” without saying much.

Sometimes she felt that if people in this world didn’t have so much curiosity, weren’t so concerned about others’ personal matters, and didn’t have such rich imagination, maybe there would be fewer controversies.

Most people in this world seemed unaware of the weight and impact of their every word.
They were accustomed to asking, speaking, babbling, and speaking their minds freely.
Fortunately, she seemed to have learned to pretend that she was impervious to their words.

Lian Xuan, wearing elegant black high heels and a stylish black skirt, tapped on Lu Zizheng’s office door.
Confidently, she pushed the door open and smiled, saying, “Good morning! Are you getting used to work?”

Lu Zizheng didn’t believe that Lian Xuan had come solely for that statement.
She nodded and replied, “It’s alright.
You can rest assured, Ms.

As expected, Lian Xuan continued, “That’s good to hear.
We might be quite busy in the coming weeks, so it might be challenging.
Please take a closer look at the information Secretary Zhang gave you yesterday.
Come to my office at ten o’clock, and we’ll discuss some issues.”

Lu Zizheng responded with a “Sure” and began to focus on organizing the relevant documents.

As she lowered her head to examine the files, she heard the sound of Lian Xuan’s high heels clacking against the floor as she walked toward the door.
Suddenly, the sound ceased.
Curiously, Lu Zizheng looked up and saw Lian Xuan turning back, looking at her, and adding, “After all these years, you still have a habit of daydreaming in the morning.”

In that moment, Lu Zizheng almost forgot how to smile in response.

At 9:55 a.m., Lu Zizheng left her office to go find Lian Xuan.
On the way, she happened to run into Lian Xuan and her group seeing someone off.
Lu Zizheng stood aside, preparing to wait for Lian Xuan to return after seeing off the guest.

The handsome and upright young man at the forefront suddenly greeted Lu Zizheng, “Hello, Miss Lu.”

Lu Zizheng couldn’t recognize him for a moment.

Lian Xuan smiled and asked him, “Does Mr.
Jian knows Zizheng?”

Jiang Huaichuan smiled gently and replied, “Miss Lu is a close friend of my sister.
We’ve crossed paths a few times.” Then, he politely said to Lu Zizheng, “Whenever it’s convenient for you, please come to our house for a visit.
My mother has always wanted to meet you.”

Lu Zizheng finally recognized the young man before her, dressed in a tailored suit.
He was the sincere and earnest young man who had come to find her before.
Upon closer inspection, she could still see traces of Jiang Huaixi in his features.

She smiled slightly, nodded, and accepted Jiang Huaichuan’s polite words.

Leaning against the wall with her eyes closed, memories echoed in Lu Zizheng’s mind of Jiang Huaichuan’s young and innocent voice saying, “Miss Lu, if you don’t like my sister, please don’t hurt her.
Please, I beg you.”

It was shortly after her first inexplicably unpleasant encounter at the library with Jiang Huaixi.

How had she treated him back then?

She looked at him with curiosity and said lightly, “Sorry, I don’t know your sister.”

The young man lowered his head and said, “My sister is Jiang Huaixi…”

At that moment, Lu Zizheng’s anger turned into a bitter smile, and she coldly retorted, “Young master Jiang, you have quite a sense of humor.” Who was hurting whom? He seemed to have mistaken the subject and predicate.

The young man’s face turned red instantly, but he earnestly pleaded again, “Even if you don’t like her, please don’t hurt her, I beg you…” His voice was low, but filled with sincerity.

Lu Zizheng felt surprised, yet her anger remained evident.
The inexplicable humiliation left by Jiang Huaixi was unforgettable in her life.
Looking at the handsome young man before her, she couldn’t help but think that wealthy people were always like this, fond of talking to themselves for no apparent reason.

She ignored him and walked away without a word.

What an unpleasant encounter it was.
Who would have thought that so many years had passed in the blink of an eye?

But, Lu Zizheng smiled to herself.
Little brother, you worry too much.
Jiang Huaixi seems to have an indestructible body, a heart as solid as a diamond.
How could she be easily hurt by anyone?

When Lian Xuan returned, she saw Lu Zizheng standing against the opposite wall, her arm wrapped around herself, eyes closed with a serene and peaceful smile on her face.

Lian Xuan couldn’t help but admit that time had favored Lu Zizheng.
After all these years, Lu Zizheng remained as she had always remembered her, beneath her alluring and captivating appearance, there was a pure innocence that had been etched into her very bones.

Lian Xuan looked at her deeply, closed her eyes, rubbed her temples, and then approached Lu Zizheng, gently patting her shoulder.
Suddenly, Lu Zizheng’s eyes widened in alarm and she instinctively took a step back, hitting the back of her head hard against the wall with a loud “thud”…

Lu Zizheng didn’t even have time to touch the back of her head.
She quickly moved to the side, creating some distance between herself and Lian Xuan before sheepishly saying, “Sorry, Ms.
Lian, I was just lost in thought.”

However, Lian Xuan grabbed her hand, leaned closer, and tilted her head, examining the back of Lu Zizheng’s head.
In a warm and caring voice, she asked, “Are you okay? Did it hurt when you hit your head? I’ll have my secretary bring some medicine for you.” Her voice was soothing and filled with concern.

There was only a fist’s distance between them, and Lu Zizheng could clearly smell the faint scent of Lian Xuan’s perfume.
This proximity, which Lu Zizheng had longed for years ago, would have made her heart race with excitement.
But now, she felt her heart racing for a different reason, and she realized it wasn’t due to joy.

She turned her head to the side, took a step back, and awkwardly smiled, changing the subject, “It’s nothing.
Lian, I’ve reviewed the documents.
What do you think…”

Lian Xuan glanced at her, a momentary awkwardness quickly fading from her expression, and she smiled again, saying, “Well, let’s go inside.” With that, she turned and opened the office door.

The discussion proceeded smoothly.
Lu Zizheng had a solid background in International Trade and Japanese language, thanks to her undergraduate studies.
Her expertise proved more than capable, and she faced no difficulties.

During the discussion, Lian Xuan’s serious demeanor caught Lu Zizheng off guard.
The absence of her usual smile transformed her facial features into a surprisingly stern and composed expression.

Lu Zizheng couldn’t help but ponder: Could it be that beneath Lian Xuan’s gentle and beautiful exterior, there also lies an unexpectedly cold and resolute heart?

Over the years, she had never quite mastered the art of seeing through people’s hearts.
She wondered if it was her own foolishness or lack of insight.

At noon, she declined her colleagues’ invitation and went to the cafeteria alone.
She picked up her tray of food and deliberately chose a corner seat by the window.
Glancing outside occasionally, she took a few bites of her meal.

The seat opposite her at the table had remained vacant for years.
However, as she observed the groups of people sitting side by side or facing each other in the cafeteria, Lu Zizheng felt no envy.

She had long grown accustomed to quietly eating her meals alone.

Besides, someone who accompanies you during a meal doesn’t necessarily become a friend.
The reason for their company may not stem from genuine camaraderie; perhaps, it’s just a result of mutual loneliness.

Suddenly, she noticed a couple holding hands as they entered a neighboring building.
The man was tall and handsome, while the woman exuded elegance and beauty.
They walked hand in hand, laughing and talking, captivating those around them.
Clearly, they were heading towards the newly opened second-floor Western restaurant.

Lu Zizheng recognized her at a glance.
The woman walking hand in hand with the man was Lian Xuan, who had eagerly invited her to have lunch together after their discussion earlier.
Lian Xuan had mentioned that if Lu Zizheng declined her invitation, she would have to eat fast food alone in her office.
Lian Xuan’s expression appeared so serious and aggrieved that Lu Zizheng almost believed her, to the point where it became somewhat difficult to refuse.

Now, in retrospect, Lu Zizheng felt a complete loss of appetite.

She quickly finished a few bites of her meal, collected her tray, and absentmindedly returned to her office for a lunch break.

However, Lian Xuan never seemed to let her off so easily.
Leaning on the office desk, closing her eyes, Lian Xuan’s image vividly appeared in Lu Zizheng’s mind.
Her voice lingered, whispering in Lu Zizheng’s ears.

Wearing a pristine white school uniform, Lian Xuan stood opposite her with a tray in hand, smiling as she asked, “Zizheng, can I sit across from you?” At that time, Lu Zizheng held her chopsticks, her heart racing, almost bursting out of her chest.
Overwhelmed with joy, she nearly forgot how to react.

At the beginning, everyone smiled innocently, pure and angelic, radiating warmth and friendliness that seemed genuine.

But those were all bygone days.
Why can’t we just say, “We’ve forgotten it all” and let go?

Lu Zizheng couldn’t understand herself.

Why did she always hold onto every hurt so tightly, unable to resist revisiting that painful sensation again and again, as if she were slowly grinding a blunt knife against her own flesh? It wasn’t a lethal pain, yet it left her feeling immensely uncomfortable.

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