Very soon, the man was escorted away.
In the meantime, the crowd had already disregarded the incident earlier before the host on stage could even speak. “Pick me, Sophia! Pick me!”
They all raised their hands enthusiastically to ask questions. As for the deliberately controversial question earlier, people were already treating it as if it never happened.
Sophia smiled. She then called out a seat number at random.
The questions that followed soon after were all uncomplicated, and with that, the one-and-a-half-hour forum concluded. Many students below the stage were unwilling to leave as they were hoping to take a group photo with Sophia.
Sophia was usually not known to be kind-hearted by any means. However, she halted in her tracks upon recalling how the students came to her defense earlier. “Mr. Rubin, why don’t you all make your way to Grand Plaza first? I’ll be there after taking a few pictures with them.”
Marcus happily obliged. “All right. I’ll head over there first with Joshua and Mr. Xenos.”
Before he left, Marcus asked for confirmation, “I’m sure you still remember the directions there, right?”
“I don’t forget things that easily, Mr. Rubin.”
“Haha, I really am getting old. I’m the one who’s got a bad memory.”
Sophia chuckled. She then said to the host, “You can let them through. I’m going to take a group photo with them.”
Dozens of students came over as soon as the host finished speaking. However, no one fought for priority as the students got into an orderly line before moving forward to take a picture with Sophia.
In the end, Sophia also asked for the staff’s assistance to help take a group photo.
Sophia then grabbed her purse and hurriedly made her way to Grand Plaza after the group photo session ended.
The campus was having its anniversary celebration that day, so various cultural booths were set up on campus grounds, and a celebration event had been scheduled for the evening. In light of this, many alumni had also returned to join in on the festivities.
There was a small pathway from the auditorium that led to Grand Plaza. The path was practically devoid of people as it was coincidentally lunchtime at that hour.
The person behind Sophia had already been following her for some time. Sophia soon stopped when she reached the palm groves. “Oh, it’s you,” she quipped.
“Long time no see, Sophia. Don’t you remember your old classmate?”
Sophia smiled as she saw Yvette standing before her. “My apologies. I don’t quite remember who you are.”
Yvette froze momentarily upon hearing Sophia’s subtle insinuation. At that moment, the expression on her surgically-altered face looked frightening.
Raising a brow, Sophia questioned, “Do you need something?”
In the past, Yvette always never saw eye to eye with Sophia. Hence, Sophia also had no desire to talk to her.
“Oh, it’s nothing. I’ll be getting married soon, so I’m thinking of organizing a gathering before that happens. However, I couldn’t find or get in touch with you after graduation. That’s why I came here to try my luck.”
Yvette took out an invitation card and said, “It’s been five years since our graduation. We’ve not seen each other for a long time, so why don’t you come over?” She then paused momentarily before continuing, “Oh, by the way, I know you don’t care much about us former classmates, but I think you should check in on Tanya. She’s been through a lot over the last couple of years. I heard she’s also suffering from depression and attempted to take her own life not too long ago.”
The smile on Sophia’s face faded as she replied, “Thank you. I wish you happiness.”
She then took the invitation card and continued her way onward.
Meanwhile, Marcus and the others were already inside a private room when Sophia reached Grand Plaza. Upon seeing that Sophia had arrived, he requested the staff to serve the food.
Sophia recomposed herself and put on a smile before entering the room. “Sorry to keep you and everyone waiting, Mr. Rubin.”
Once lunch was over, Sophia and Alexander departed.
These people were now top executives at their companies and were busy people. They had already shown a gesture of sincerity for being able to take time out of their schedule to return to the university for a morning.
Sophia did not say much on their way back and was obviously in a bad mood.
Alexander called out to her, “Sophia?”
Only when she heard his voice did Sophia regain her senses. “Yes?”
“What’s on your mind?”
“I was just thinking about some things from my student days.”
“May I know what those are about?”
Sophia was not in a talkative mood that day. “I haven’t really looked into it yet. I’ll tell you once I figure things out.”
The things that happened back then might not be as simple as I thought.
“All right. Is there anything I can do to help?”
Sophia looked at him and smiled. “Not at the moment.”
After a pause, she asked, “I bet you’re feeling happy. Am I right, Alexander?”
Ever since Sophia first set foot in Jadeborough, her goal was always to get closer to Alexander.
Alexander looked down at her and furrowed his brows. “My heart aches more than anything.”
He held Sophia’s hand as he spoke.
Sophia chuckled. “This is my own choice, and I have no regrets.”
There was no such thing as perfection in life. Sophia would never know what the outcome would be if she never initially came to this place. Be it a momentary or a lifetime of regret, Sophia was more than willing to pay the price for the impulsivity of her actions.
Alexander only held her hand tightly and said nothing in response.
Soon, the car slowly pulled over at the premises of Sunshine Group.
Upon returning to the office, Sophia called for Yvonne through an internal landline.
Very quickly, Yvonne knocked on the door and stepped inside. “Yes, Ms. Yarrow?”
Sophia raised her head and glanced at Yvonne. “Ms. Leighton, I need you to look into a classmate of mine from university. I’d like to know how Tanya has been doing over the past few years. Also—” She paused for a moment as she spoke. “Also, please look into that incident in my senior year of university.”
Back then, a man named Connor Wilkinson never saw success in his three-year-long attempt to gain Sophia’s affection. Thus, he decided he would drug Sophia on her birthday when she was in her senior year of university. Sophia’s classmate, Tanya Gomez, overheard Connor’s conversation over the phone with someone, and she went to see Sophia in private.
After Sophia managed to avoid that catastrophe, she asked Yvonne to give Tanya an internship placement at Sunshine Group. However, Tanya refused the offer and cited her need to recuperate in the countryside for health reasons.
Yvette had always disliked Sophia, but it was clear from their conversation that something was wrong with Tanya.
I remember Tanya was always a lively person back then. How could a cheerful person such as her suddenly spiral into depression?
Sophia was a firm believer in the concept of karma. However, she became more suspicious and felt something was amiss in that incident all those years ago through her conversation with Yvette.
Although Sophia had already made an assumption, she did not want it to be true.
Yvonne grew acquainted with Sophia in their sophomore year at university. She also knew about the incident all those years ago and even had Connor jailed for a few days. Despite that, Sophia never expected she would ever bring up this matter again after five years.
“Understood, Ms. Yarrow. I’ll have someone look into this immediately.”
Sophia nodded. “All right. Thank you.”
As for the matter regarding Alexander and Sophia’s attendance at the anniversary celebration, Marcus had not allowed the media to take pictures of the event.
However, what he failed to take into account was the enthusiasm shown by the students at Jadeborough University. In just over two hours, Sophia was already trending on social media.
The thing that made Sophia viral this time was a video of her brewing coffee during the forum. As it turned out, a female student impressed by Sophia’s coffee-brewing skills was the one who recorded the video with her phone.
The video showed Sophia demonstrating fluidity and skillfulness through her movements. Even the barely active official blog of Jadeborough University became flooded with comments when the video was uploaded there. It was later reposted by an influencer in the coffee-brewing scene, thus making the video even more popular.
At around three to four o’clock in the afternoon, “Coffee-Brewing Goddess” had already become the third most trending topic on social media.
Meanwhile, Katherine was done with her brand ambassador photography session. Upon browsing Twitter, she immediately logged onto her main account and wrote: “My goddess looks gorgeous even when brewing coffee.”
Katherine no longer needed to be secretive ever since the discovery of her alternate account on social media.
Jonice initially thought such a discovery would undoubtedly cause a decline in fans. She, however, never expected Katherine’s protectiveness of those dear to her would instead garner her many fans after that incident. Hence, Jonice also stopped minding Katherine’s posts about Sophia on social media.
Not like she could ever monitor them all in the first place.
After Katherine was done with her post, she thoughtfully sent Sophia a link, wanting the latter to see all the netizens’ flattery.
Sophia raised a brow and texted back: There’s no need for that. You flatter me all the time anyways.
Katherine did not know what to text back in response.
In fact, she always felt Sophia was scolding her but had no evidence to prove otherwise.