1 Alone and Abandoned

The woman with curly hair and a glamorous dress sat with her legs crossed. Her sharp phoenix eyes seemed to glow in a dim room, and her lips curled up in amusement. Her beautifully painted nails grazed onto the paper in front of her as she playfully touched them.

"Why are you so stubborn? Do you think he would forgive you after what you have done?"

Meng Shuchun, the elegant woman with curly hair, spoke to her sister-in-law, who sat opposite her. Compared to Meng Shuchun, the woman looked very plain in her black cotton long pants and a simple long-sleeve white shirt. Her hair was tied neatly to the back, but her face looked haggard as if she hadn't slept well for days.

"Li Caiyi, I have never met someone as shameless as you before. You have done something outrageous and smeared our family name, and you still have the gall to step into our house?" Meng Shuchun grinned even wider when she witnessed how Li Caiyi was trembling. "I felt sorry for my brother for having a vicious wife like you, so I volunteered myself to tell you this. My brother wanted to divorce you."

Meng Shuchun's light-hearted voice bore so much malice. Li Caiyi bit her lips while suppressing the urge to cry. She didn't want to believe that her husband would treat her like this. They have been married for three years. Even if there wasn't any love between them, wasn't their relationship just fine? They respected each other and treated each other sincerely, so why would he do this to her?

"Why? Do you feel wronged?" Meng Shuchun's words snapped her back to reality. "Out of all people, you should've known that your sister is the apple of my brother's eyes. She is the one he loves, but you are his wife. You should've felt content with that, yet you just have to be jealous and ruin the little affection my brother had for you. You only had yourself to blame."

"No, that's not true. It wasn't me. I never hurt Chunhua. Why would I do that to my twin sister?"

"Every evidence pointed to you, and you still want to deny it?" Meng Shuchun's tone grew harsher as if she had enough of this charade. "You're the one who gave Li Chunhua that drink, and she collapsed as soon as she drank that!"

"I might be the one who gave her the drink, but I did nothing to it. Someone clearly wanted to frame me!"

"Do you have proof?"

Li Caiyi stiffened. After hearing Meng Shuchun's question, words that had been on the tip of her tongues couldn't come out. Li Caiyi forcefully swallowed them, then took a deep breath. "Shuchun, I know I might look like the most suspicious person in that circumstance, but what reason do I have to harm Chunhua? You said I was jealous of her, but if I really wanted to harm her, then I would've done so since long ago. Why wait until now? Why would I harm her in a public event when pairs of eyes were watching my every action?"

Li Caiyi tried her best to reason with her, but Meng Shuchun wasn't impressed. "Who knows? You probably want to play reverse psychology by doing this. You deliberately used the method where you might be suspected, so we would think that you might be framed while you're the main culprit all along!"

Li Caiyi wanted to cry because of frustration.

Why would no one believe in her? Her husband didn't believe her, and her family didn't believe her. Now, even her sister-in-law wants her to sign a divorce agreement for her brother.

What did she do wrong? She had always treated Li Chunhua well. When people sent things to her family, she always let Li Chunhua have the best. When Li Chunhua was sick, she would always leave whatever she was doing to stay by her side. When Meng Renshu told her he was in love with Li Chunhua, she silently endured the painful heartbreak and helped them get together.

Li Chunhua was her twin sister. She had always been sickly, but she had a bright and optimistic personality, so many people were drawn to her naturally. Her parents often worried about her since she could be reckless sometimes and depended on Li Caiyi to take care of her. Never once did Li Caiyi think that Li Chunhua was a burden. Even when she knew that Meng Renshu would never look at her, she never hated Li Chunhua.

They were sisters, and Li Caiyi sincerely cared about Li Chunhua.

There should be no one who'd ever treat Li Chunhua better than her. For her, Li Chunhua was even more important than her own life.

Just where did everything go wrong?

Meng Shuchun slammed the table impatiently as she pushed the divorce agreement to her. "Whatever the reason is, my brother had decided that you guys should divorce. Stop being so pathetic and accept the reality in front of you! You are nothing in my brother's heart. You should feel grateful that my brother was willing to take a dull woman like you as a substitute wife. If not for your similar face to Chunhua, would my brother even look at you?!"

Her words were like a hundred knives stabbing Li Caiyi's old wounds. The words of truth were always the ones that hurt the most. The idea of being abandoned almost suffocated Li Caiyi to death.

No, that wasn't correct. How could Li Caiyi be abandoned when he never had her in his heart? For him, she was nothing.

Li Caiyi had always known, and she was prepared if someday Meng Renshu decided to leave her and reconcile with Li Chunhua. But not this way. Not in this manner.

"I… I want to talk with Renshu about this."

Meng Shuchun scoffed mockingly. "I see. It seems you still want to hold on to a sliver of hope. Well, go on, call him."

Li Caiyi ignored Meng Shuchun's contemptuous glare and dialed her husband's number with trembling hands. She waited anxiously, but the call was connected to a voicemail. She tried again, but this time, the call was swiftly rejected. After numerous times of being rejected, Li Caiyi laughed bitterly as tears welled up in her eyes.

Meanwhile, Meng Shuchun was having fun watching Li Caiyi slowly sink into despair. "See? You should've signed it obediently when I told you so. I heard he's in the hospital right now, beside his true love. Why would he waste time picking up on your call?"

Her provocation made her ears burn, so Li Caiyi ignored her. Meng Shuchun almost exploded from anger, but she suppressed it with a snort. "So stubborn."

Li Caiyi texted Meng Renshu frantically. She repeatedly texted him to pick up the call because she had something important to discuss. She bit her lips nervously as she waited for him to reply. After a few seconds that felt like forever, the reply finally came. Li Caiyi read it and felt like her world was falling apart.

[I don't want to talk or to see you anymore. Li Caiyi, marrying you was the biggest regret in my life. Please don't contact me anymore].

Her mind was blank. Her hand that was holding the phone lost its energy and limped helplessly to her side.

Li Caiyi felt that her heart was being torn into pieces. It hurts so much. Much more than when he admonished her in anger for hurting Li Chunhua.

Did he really not care about her, even a little? No matter what, she had been by his side, supporting him wholeheartedly for years. How could he break their relationship with a mere text?

Li Caiyi's eyes slowly lost their light. Her complexion was so bad that people probably couldn't tell which was the sickly one if she stood beside Li Chunhua right now.

"Stop torturing yourself. Keep the last remaining pride with you, and just end this. That way, everyone would be happy." Meng Shuchun pushed the paper towards her again.

Li Caiyi hadn't looked at it properly before this, so she thought the paper would still be blank. She was shocked when she saw that someone had filled the form thoroughly without missing even one, except her signature. Li Caiyi couldn't possibly not recognize her husband's handwriting and signature.

He couldn't even wait for her to read and fill it in by herself, so he filled in everything beforehand?

He didn't want to bother with her, so he sent her sister to give her this?

Was he in so much hurry to get rid of her?

Li Caiyi felt she might not know Meng Renshu that well for the first time. They were supposed to be childhood friends, but not even that could stop him from treating her so ruthlessly like this. He didn't believe her and didn't bother to listen to her explanation. He just wanted to divorce her.

Perhaps he actually had been waiting for this chance.

Li Caiyi laughed bitterly. The tears that had been pooled in her eyes spilt uncontrollably, soaking the paper. She stayed that way for seconds, and Meng Shuchun didn't urge her for once.

After she had her fill of crying, she weakly held the pen, then wrote down her signature.

To think that three years of marriage would end in such a way. Everything was jumbled up in her mind, and Li Caiyi was sitting absentmindedly with a vacant expression. She didn't even realize when Meng Shuchun left with the divorce agreement.

It was quiet. This house was her wedding house with Meng Renshu, but she was the only one here. Probably, Meng Renshu would prefer to stay in hospital with Li Chunhua rather than in this house with her.

Li Caiyi was very sad, to the point that she felt like nothing else mattered in this world. However, she stubbornly held onto the last bit of sanity in her and dialed her mother's number.

Even if it was a fake kindness, she wanted someone to tell her that everything would be alright. She wanted someone to tell her it was okay for her to be here. She wouldn't ask for anything else if even one person said that.

However, her mother didn't pick up the call after several tries. Li Caiyi was disappointed, but her mother was probably busy taking care of Li Chunhua.

She tried contacting her brother, but he turned off his phone. Li Caiyi bit her lips. Her brother was probably busy with his study again.

She contemplated a bit before she finally dialed her father's phone. As expected, he didn't pick up. It has always been like that.

No one picked up the call. Li Chunhua wasn't in the best condition to pick up her call, and she had no friends.

For the first time in her life, Li Caiyi lamented how barren her life was.

'Ah, that's right. Everyone must have been worried about Chunhua right now. I hope she is okay.'

Everything in front of her looked bleak and colorless. The indescribable amount of heartache felt like it was going to kill her. She felt stiff all over, and her abdomen was throbbing in pain.

Finally, she closed her eyes tiredly.

It was cold and lonely.

She was alone.

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