After calling Song Jia's name twice and getting no response in return, she finally placed a hand on her shoulder and gently shook it.
Snapping out of her thoughts, Song Jia turned around to face the mother-son duo- still looking a little lost. "I- I am sorry I didn't hear what you were just saying."
"Are you alright?" Wu Zhang asked gently, as his hands found their way to her shoulders, squeezing them gently to bring her comfort.
Giving a sweet smile and putting up a facade, she nodded her head. "Yes, I am fine. I just thought I heard a familiar name being called out."
"It's nothing new to hear a familiar name in such gatherings. All the people present here belong to the same social circle and they know almost everyone, either directly or indirectly," Mo Biyu explained. She had believed Song Jia's words and didn't think over it a lot.
Then Mo Biyu glanced at her watch and frowned. "Why are they not starting the auction? It is time." She was one of the lead donors for the organization of the auction and therefore knew the entire schedule. Not only was she the lead donor for the organization of this charity auction, but also the qipao that she has donated for the charity was the most expensive item that was to be displayed as the highlight of the auction. It was a mulberry silk qipao embroidered with real threads of gold. But what made the qipao the star of all the items in the charity was that it was inspired by the famous painting 'Lotus and birds'' by the famous painter Bada Shanren and was designed exclusively for Mo Biyu by one of the most renowned fashion designers of the twentieth century.
As some more time passed, the voice of the auctioneer was heard in the hall, asking all the guests to take their seats and settle down as an indication for the start of the auction. Mo Biyu nudged her son and Song Jia to walk ahead and sit with her in the first row.
Song Jia's seat was originally assigned in the third row as first and second rows were booked for the VVIPs and the organizers of the charity. But due to Mo Biyu's identity as Madam Wu itself, no one dared to question her and they obediently switched Song Jia's seat to the first row.
Just when they have settled down, someone from the organizers approached Mo Biyu and Wu Zhang. "Mrs. Wu, CEO Wu we will start with a small speech and since you have come, I would like to invite you to do the honors."
Wu Zhang had been approached long back to give the inauguration speech but because he has not confirmed his arrival, it was not sure who would do it. But now that he was here, the organizers didn't want the opportunity to slip from their hands. Just the fact that Wu Zhang not only attended the auction but also gave the inauguration speech, would be enough to increase the price of the objects to be auctioned manifold.
As for Mo Biyu, she had given a huge donation for organizing the charity, so it was natural for her to be invited on-stage to give a speech.
Wu Zhang didn't really want to go as making last minute plans was not his way of doing things, but seeing the expectant look on his mother's face he agreed. Seeing that he was not denying, the staff member spoke further, "Please come backstage with us."
"Will you be fine, alone?" Wu Zhang asked Song Jia.
"I am not a child that I will get lost. Go now," she chuckled and signaled him to go.
And with the crew member, Mo Biyu and Wu Zhang left.
"Excuse me, I think you have taken the wrong seat," a woman in her early-twenties approached Song Jia and spoke pointing to the chair.
Song Jia frowned and looked up at the woman who had a very displeased expression on her small face. "This is my seat. You might be mistaken."
"I am not-" before the woman could finish her sentence, the voice of a middle-aged woman interrupted her.
"Did you get your seat, Xiao Ming?" Both the woman had a displeased expression on their faces.
"No mom, this woman-"
"Miss Song?" The young lady was again interrupted by her mother when her mother recognized Song Jia and exclaimed in surprise upon seeing her.
Song Jia looked at the woman and immediately recognized her. "Mrs. Zhao, so she is your daughter?"
"Yes, she is my daughter Zhao Li Ming. I am very sorry on her behalf for bothering you. This seat was assigned to her. But due to some mismanagement, it was switched. But never mind, I will get a different seat arranged for her." Mrs. Zhao's tone had taken a complete 180-degree turn after meeting Song Jia- a stark contrast to how annoyed she looked when she had come here.
"But mom this was my seat!" Zhao Li Ming whined at how her mother had switched sides so quickly and was now supporting a complete stranger over her own daughter.
"Stay quiet!!" Mrs. Zhao shushed her daughter with a glare. "Sitting in the second row won't make much of a difference."
"Are you sure?" Song Jia asked feeling quite weird. Why would this woman so willingly let the seat go?
"Oh yes, it is absolutely fine. Don't worry." Mrs. Zhao smiled and then pulled her daughter away by her arm before she could retaliate. Not wanting to go, Zhao Li Ming reluctantly allowed her mother to drag her away with a sullen look on her face.
Very soon after they left, the host greeted the guests and invited Wu Zhang upon the stage, followed by his mother to speak about the purpose of organizing the auction.
"Good evening everyone." Wu Zhang gave a sincere bow before he started talking." No matter where you reach in life when you forget to give back to the society from which you have earned everything, nothing in your possession lasts long..."
The speech continued but Song Jia could not pay attention to it. All her focus was on the possibility that her mother might be present here somewhere in the same room as she was. So Close but still she could not reach her. Just this thought was enough to drive her crazy and lose all focus. Her eyes were anxiously scanning the hall to the extent she could without letting people notice her movement.
Her heart was beating rapidly and she didn't even realize how sweaty her palms had become. Very soon she saw Wu Zhang coming in her direction with Mo Biyu and that was when she realized how lost she was that she had missed the entire speech of both the people.
She immediately straightened her back like a ramrod to not to lose focus again.