The warm spring sunlight shone through the gaps in the curtains and landed on a white bedsheet. The person on the bed was slightly pale. Her hair soaked the fine sweat on her forehead, and it stuck onto her face.
Jian Ai's eyebrows were slightly furrowed, and she was in a daze. She felt as if some lead had filled her head. Her nerves were throbbing, and she felt as if they were about to explode. Her back, which was on a mattress as hard as a rock, was in pain. Her sweat-soaked undergarments stuck to her body, making her feel extremely uncomfortable. Her eyelashes trembled slightly and only then did Jian Ai slowly open her eyes with difficulty.
In a daze, the first thing she saw was an old-fashioned closet with yellow paint peeling off. There was a green glass vase on the shabby handmade bedside table next to the bed. A wilted daffodil was on the verge of collapse, and an alarm clock that looked like a cherry ball was staring at her with wide eyes.
Jian Ai only felt a flash of white light in her mind. Her dispirited spirit was instantly stimulated back into her body, and her weak body sat up from the bed.
Surveying her surroundings, she realized that this was not her high-class apartment in the capital. However, the white bedsheets, the light muslin curtains, and the furnishings in the room were all very familiar to her.
This was not her house or even the capital. It was her home in Baiyun City, where she grew up!
Unbelievable! Jian Ai looked at everything in front of her with a dazed expression. Why was she here? Wasn't this old house demolished a long time ago?
As for herself…
Jian Ai closed her eyes and tried her best to recall everything that had happened. She had lived in this old house until she was seventeen years old and entered a university in the capital. At nineteen years old, her mother passed away due to cancer, and her elder brother went out to work in the construction team to earn money for her studies. However, he unexpectedly met with an accident and left the world. From then on, the two most important family members in Jian Ai's life left her one after another, leaving her in her third year of university.
However, this did not wholly defeat her. After being immersed in sorrow for a while, Jian Ai decided to face the future alone.
The construction team provided monetary compensation for her brother's death. Jian Ai also managed to get a large sum of money from the demolition of the old house. With this money, Jian Ai started her business in the capital with her unique wisdom and skills. It was as if she had a natural sensitivity to doing business. In just a few years, Jian Ai made a name for herself in the capital's real estate industry and became a female boss worth tens of millions.
The scene froze at the last frame in her mind. The driver was driving her to sign a contract with her business partner. At an intersection, a truck driving beside her suddenly turned sideways…
So… was she dead?
She opened her eyes and looked at everything that made her feel dazed yet familiar. Or could it be that her real-life was just a dream?
Getting off the bed, Jian Ai skillfully went to the closet and opened it. There was a mirror on the inner side of the door. In the mirror, her face was pale, and her body was thin. It was obvious that she had not yet recovered from a severe illness. But this was also how she used to look!
She raised her hand and carefully touched her face. It felt so real that Jian Ai couldn't help but tear up.
Stacked at the top of the closet was her high school uniform. It was old-fashioned and had friendly colors.
At this time, the sound of the door opening suddenly came from outside. Jian Ai's heart thumped, and her body involuntarily trembled.
She rushed to the door and opened it. In the small living room, Wang Yunmei was putting down the fruits in her hands. When she heard the voice, she couldn't help but turn around. When she saw her daughter standing at the door with a worn look on her face, she exclaimed, "Oh, Xiao Ai, why did you get off the bed so quickly? Go back and lie down. Don't catch a cold."
As she spoke, Wang Yunmei quickly walked over to Jian Ai. Just as she was about to help her into the room, her daughter suddenly hugged her.
Jian Ai seemed to have used up all her strength to call out 'mom.' She could no longer control herself as she threw herself into her mother's arms and started crying.
In Jian Ai's memory, her mother worked as an escort at a nightclub for as long as she could remember. This was an indecent job in the eyes of others, and because of this, the neighbors criticized her mother. Even her maternal grandparents and uncles never made extra contact with her family.
Other than that, her mother rented a small stall on the street not far from her house. Every morning, she had to wake up early to fry some fried dough sticks and sell breakfast. Her mother had repeated such a life for more than a decade, just to support herself and her brother.
Jian Ai and her brother did not know anything about their father. Since her mother did not say it, they did not ask. In her heart, only her mother and brother were important.
However, when she was nineteen years old, God made a joke with her once again. Her mother was diagnosed with terminal liver cancer and passed away in just two months. This made the already difficult family even worse. She did not even get to see her mother for the last time as she was in a university in the capital.
Feeling the familiar fragrance on her mother's body, Jian Ai cried until she almost went limp. If this was all a dream, she was willing to exchange everything she had for this dream and not wake up.
On the other hand, Wang Yunmei was startled by her daughter's sudden hug. When she regained her senses, she quickly patted her daughter's back in a comforting manner. "Alright, my dear daughter, what are you crying for? Quickly go back and lie down. Your fever just subsided. Don't catch a cold again."
Looking at her daughter's red eyes from crying, Wang Yunmei couldn't help but smile dotingly. "The doctor said that you were frightened, so your emotions might fluctuate. How would I know that your emotions would fluctuate so much? This is the first time Mom has seen you cry so hard."
She wiped her tears. Although she could not calm down quickly, Jian Ai still pretended to be normal and said, "Mom, I want to take a shower first. My body is sticky and uncomfortable."
"Alright, take a shower first. I'll change the bedsheets for you. It's probably drenched in sweat."
Wang Yunmei assumed that her daughter had been frightened, so she didn't think too much about it.
In the bathroom, the simple showerhead sprayed water intermittently. Jian Ai's heart gradually calmed down.
It was the beginning of spring in 2002. It had been twelve years before her accident. All of this was not a dream. She had returned to twelve years ago when she was fourteen!
However, if she could not change anything in this life, what was the use of this opportunity? Hence, Jian Ai clenched her fists and swore to herself. This time, she must save her mother and brother and change the life of her family.