Editor: Wahnsinniger Herrscher
Jingjing felt sad for her little friend. She whispered, “They didn’t let you dance?”
In her opinion, Miaomiao’s dancing was very cute. She was certain that others would share the same opinion. Therefore, if they permitted her to dance, she would certainly enrapture them.
“No,” Miaomiao shook her head.
Zhou Yuan desired to rub her little head through the screen when he saw her little face filled with frustration.
“Don’t worry. Your grandma will like you,” Zhou Yuan said to comfort her.
Miaomiao didn’t want to look at Zhou Yuan’s eyes. To avoid looking at him, she lowered her head and hummed in response.
Her nose turned sour as she thought to herself, ‘Zhou Yuan and Jingjing don’t know that I didn’t behave properly at all. When Grandma spoke to me, I didn’t reply. If Zhouzhou knew about that, he wouldn’t have said those words.’
She continued to mull over this, ‘While I was at school, I was brave enough to speak to Zhouzhou and the others, but when I returned home, I couldn’t even say one word.’
While Miaomiao was doing her homework, her mother and grandmother were cooking dinner in the kitchen. Her great-grandmother was watching them.
In the kitchen, Mother Hua poured oil into a frying pan and added green onions, ginger slices, and garlic. She then asked her mother, “Mom, did he call you?”
Her mother shouldn’t be cognizant of their divorce within such a short time span. Mother Hua could only assume that Father Hua had called her to tell her.
Her mother merely nodded, “Yes. He didn’t say much. But he wanted me to come see you.”
Mother Hua mused for a moment before replying, “I think it’ll work out in the end.”
Her mother laughed and said, “I’m not here to convince you not to get divorced. I’m here to cheer you up and spend time with my granddaughter.”
“Miaomiao is a piteous child, indeed. If you do get divorced, then your grandmother and I will be available to take care of her at home.” her mother added.
Mother Hua had a job and was normally very busy with her work.
If Miaomiao’s grandmother stayed with them, then she could at least pick Miaomiao up from school and help her with her grocery shopping.
This moved Mother Hua’s heart*, and she hugged her mother, “I’ll consider this matter with care.”
Miaomiao was still very young. If Mother Hua proceeded with her divorce, then Miaomiao’s environment, that she was accustomed to, would change. It could have an adverse effect on Miaomiao.
When Miaomiao grew up, the Hua family could tell her that her biological parents were sentenced to jail. Since Mother Hua had adopted Miaomiao, the Hua family might even verbally attack her. Mother Hua didn’t want this to occur.
From the beginning, the Hua family persistently believed that Mother Hua’s and Father Hua’s assets should belong to the male heirs of the Hua family.
After they finished cooking, they all sat down at their dinner table to indulge in their meal.
Mother Hua smiled at the three and said, “Look at us now. We have four generations living together in one house.”
It really is like this.
Miaomiao hummed in response. Then, she remembered something Zhou Yuan told her. She had to pick dishes, which were easy to chew, for her grandmother and great-grandmother since they found it difficult to chew most foods.
Miaomiao carefully scanned the table for them.
Which foods are easy to chew and are more delicious?
Meatballs tasted delicious, but they’re difficult to chew.
Stir-fried carrots aren’t delicious since carrots, in general, don’t taste good. That is why Zhouzhou avoided them.
Stir-fried bok choy didn’t taste good, and it wasn’t soft either…
The minced meat-eggplant curry was placed in the middle of the table like an island in the middle of the sea.
Miaomiao adored the taste of eggplant. She recalled its softness and succulent taste.
Miaomiao held her chopsticks soberly, picked up a piece of eggplant, and placed it into her great-grandmother’s bowl.
When her grandmother witnessed this, she said with an effulgent smile on her face, “Miaomiao is such a good girl. You know how to offer food to your great-grandma. Would you care to do the same for me?”
Miaomiao only had one pair of chopsticks; therefore, she intended to proffer food to her great-grandmother at first before offering some to her grandmother.
After grandmother said that, she hurriedly gave her some food.
Her grandmother jauntily said, “Miaomiao is so good. She’ll be blessed in the future.”
This compliment lifted up her spirits, but her shyness still beset her. She finally did something that pleased her grandmother and great-grandmother, but she still didn’t know how to reply back.
The two elders always went out for a stroll after eating. It was a habit that they had for years.
Their apartment was on the seventh floor, but there was an elevator that alleviated the burdens of the two elders.
Mother Hua was hesitant to join them and asked Miaomiao, “Does Miaomiao want to join us?”
Grandmother additionally suggested, “Little Miaomiao should join us for a stroll also. Walk a hundred steps after a meal, and you’ll live to the age of ninety-nine.”
Great-grandmother muttered, “How old am I now?”
“Mom, you’re eighty-three years old.”
Great-grandmother responded, “I thought I was going to be ninety-nine…”
By that time, Miaomiao was already standing by the side of her great-grandmother, holding her hand.
During the era of her great-grandmother, people weren’t as tall as they are nowadays. Great-grandmother was now old, and her back was hunched; therefore, she was even shorter now.
Holding her hand, Miaomiao sauntered out slowly with her great-grandmother.
Miaomiao always walked slowly because she preoccupied herself with the thought of not falling whenever she took a step.
When she walked with her mother, she always tried to walk more briskly, but now that she was walking with her great-grandmother, she synced her walking speed to hers with perfection.
Mother Hua and grandma observed the young and old walking slowly together without concern.
Great-grandmother normally wouldn’t allow anybody to hold her hand while she walked. But she bestowed upon Miaomiao the honor to hold her hand as she traversed. She used to be a strong woman when she was younger, and she was still stubborn now that she was older. She didn’t want to trouble anyone with her problems.
Great-grandmother thought she was merely accompanying a child out for a stroll; therefore, she willingly held Miaomiao’s hand. She even decided to adorn the hearing aid that she didn’t like using.
The two slowly strolled into the elevator. Grandmother and Mother Hua followed them.
Mother Hua asked, “Grandma, where would you like to go?”
They had just moved here recently. She was busy taking care of Miaomiao, and she busied herself with work, so she couldn’t go outside much.
Great-grandmother asked, “Is there a place for square dancing** here? Your mother is quite a good dancer. Let’s go watch her dance.”
Mother Hua was stunned and couldn’t suppress her exuberant laughter. “Mom, you went square dancing with some other people when you were in your home?”
In the past, Mother Hua suggested square dancing to her since she had nothing to do. However, her mother refused. She said that she was very old. Additionally, performing in front of so many people would abash her greatly…
Grandmother felt very helpless since her mother had betrayed her.
My mother’s memory isn’t that great. She would intermittently forget certain things, so why does she remember this so clearly?
Grandma said, “Let’s go see people square dancing, but you can’t dance. You also have to pay to get in.”
Square dance performers didn’t just dance without a care in the world. They were organized and disciplined.
“I’ll negotiate with them.” Mother Hua, who had never witnessed her mother dancing before, immediately replied, “I won’t allow anything to hinder your dancing career.”
Miaomiao listened to their conversation carefully. She learned that grandma could also dance.
Is it my turn to dance?
She didn’t say this aloud, but she kept the matter hidden in her heart.
Then, she remembered Jingjing’s words. Jingjing said that people would always like her if she danced.
‘I must find a way to dance with my grandma,’ Miaomiao thought to herself.
By doing this, my grandma will like me.
Many families came out for their nightly promenades in this area. Their own family of four slowly strolled out of their community and reached the square.
When they reached there, a song was already loudly playing. “The husband earns money for his wife, and she spends it on what she wants…”
Miaomiao saw throngs of dancers who all performed very well. She thought that they were just as skilled as Jingjing.
Miaomiao never knew that there would be so many dancers…
Miaomiao never went outside during the evening. Her time was never free since she barely had any time to indulge in any nightly strolls.
She scanned her surroundings in astonishment.
Grandmother asked Mother Hua to keep an eye on Miaomiao, then she and great-grandmother approached the person in charge of this event.
Mother Hua squatted down in front of Miaomiao. She noticed that Miaomiao didn’t fear the crowd, and this relieved her heart.
She considered taking Miaomiao out so that she could enjoy the night air, but back then, she was still frightened of a place bustling with activity like this one.
Mother Hua wasn’t aware that Miaomiao knew that this whirlwind of activity was called dancing, and she learned how to dance from Jingjing; therefore, she had nothing to fear.
*The other person did something that made you feel very happy/moved/warm.
**In China, square dancing or plaza dancing, is an exercise routine performed to music in squares, plazas, or parks of the nation’s cities. It is popular with middle-aged and retired women who have been referred to as “dancing grannies” in the English-language media.
「Bonus Chapter Challenge 1
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