Editor: Wahnsinniger Herrscher
Father Hua hung up the phone and noticed that there was yet another unread text message from the housing agency.
He returned the message and sat there for a while.
It was already past two o’clock in the morning when he returned home. When he arrived at the door, he saw that the front of their house was painted red. He felt as if he was back in the past a few years ago when he watched this.
The situation was the same at that time. When he encountered a malicious medical problem, the other party also came to the house.
The other party was his mother who had a slightly ugly expression on her face when she saw him walking in. It appeared as if she didn’t sleep well.
Father Hua said, “The hospital said that they can’t let this matter escalate, and they want me to handle it myself. I won’t take the money out. This is a society with laws and regulations. I don’t believe that they will really dare to kill someone.”
His sister-in-law nudged Grandmother Hua’s elbow and replied, “Second brother, they keep blocking the door day and night. We can’t live in peace if they keep doing this. Xiaojun is only seven years old. If we refuse to give them any money, then what will happen to the child?”
Father Hua answered in irritation, “No, we can’t give in to their demands.”
“Why not?!” his sister-in-law shouted in a sharp and sonorous voice, “I have witnessed a lot of these cases on the Internet! Everyone has been destroyed!”
Grandmother Hua asked with care, “Isn’t your wife a fashion designer who makes over a million yuan a year? She must be rich.”
As Father Hua pressed his temples in irritation, he replied, “We didn’t plan to have any kids, so we don’t have any money deposited in the bank. We both spent our salaries.”
Upon hearing this, the second sister-in-law’s expression was fraught with ire.
Father Hua raised his head and said, “By the way, I send a lot of money to my family every year, mom…”
Out of nowhere, Grandmother Hua erupted in anger, “What do you mean by that? Who paid for your college education? Who raised you with care? You gave us a little money, and you still remember only this? Do you want us to return the money then?”
Father Hua sighed, “Sure. Let’s do that right now.”
After that display of temerity, he quickly left the house, since he couldn’t stay there.
For a moment, Father Hua didn’t know what he had been aiming for?
After the university admitted me, I thought that I was destined for greatness. Later, I married someone I loved, and then I lived like this.
Father Hua realized that the only time when he felt like he was himself was during that period with his wife.
Mother Hua was lying on her bed. A caregiver was already asleep next to her. She was still awake due to the pain on her calf…also, she was musing about many things.
The issue of accountability surrounding the accident and some issues concerning the company.
And more importantly, how was she going to inform Miaomiao about this matter. Miaomiao’s grandmother sent a message stating that Miaomiao was already asleep. But, what if she woke up in the middle of the night and found out that she wasn’t home yet? What would they say to her the next day?
In truth, Mother Hua feared that Miaomiao would be worried. Miaomiao mulled over things very seriously. Now that she was livelier and happier, she wasn’t willing to make her despondent again.
Mother Hua wasn’t wrong.
In the middle of the night, Miaomiao woke up in a daze. She felt like someone was next to her.
For a moment, Miaomiao was stunned.
Grandma is sleeping next to me. Where is mom then?
Miaomiao climbed down the bed and discovered that there were no slippers under the bed for her to adorn, since her grandmother simply wiped Miaomiao’s feet and carried her directly to sleep in her own bed.
The darkling gloom engulfed the room, so Miaomiao had trouble opening the door. As soon as she opened it, she traversed into the next room.
Mom hasn’t returned yet.
Dad used to work overtime too. Especially late into the night…
When Miaomiao entered the room, she climbed onto the bed and didn’t return to her grandmother’s room.
She pulled the quilt over herself and drifted off to sleep.
When mom comes back, we can snuggle up under a warm blanket.
Usually, children slept a lot. After tossing and turning, Miaomiao finally drifted off to her dreams.
The next morning, the ring of a mobile phone woke Grandmother up. When she answered the call, she heard Mother Hua ask, “Mom, have you woken up?”
Grandmother replied, “I’ll get up soon.”
She reached out her hand and touched the side of the bed.
Grandma was so shocked that she sprang up immediately. She hurriedly looked down on the floor, but there was no trace of Miaomiao.
She got out of bed, and she calmly spoke to Mother Hua, “I’ll make breakfast; then, I’ll send Miaomiao off to school soon and visit you at the hospital. Don’t worry, I know how to take care of kids.”
Mother Hua replied, “I was worried, but now I’m even more worried.”
Grandmother quickly ended the call and looked around nervously for Miaomiao in the house.
Fortunately, she soon found Miaomiao in the room adjacent to hers.
Grandmother was almost frightened to death. She thought that Miaomiao ran outside by accident…
Miaomiao awoke leisurely, “Mom?”
“It’s grandma.” Grandmother walked over and hugged Miaomiao.
Grandmother continued, “Mom came back late last night but left again this morning. She said that there was something wrong with the company.”
As she scrunched her face, Miaomiao looked a little upset.
Mom is working overtime again to get more money.
Grandmother took Miaomiao to the bathroom to wash.
Miaomiao closed her eyes, washed her face, and then asked, “What time does class end? Can I call my mother then?”
Miaomiao had a phone watch. The teacher never confiscated it. But the watch told her that she couldn’t make a phone call during class while she was in school.*
Miaomiao thought that there was an end or a repose to her mother’s overtime work, just like how Miaomiao’s class ended every day or had break times.
For a moment, Grandmother was stunned. Then, she miraculously realized that the end of class meant a break.
Grandmother noticed how much Miaomiao yearned for her mother, so she responded, “You can call her right now.”
Miaomiao was a little surprised. As it turned out, she could call her right now.
She hurried to call Mother Hua. Mother Hua’s phone number was saved in her phone watch.
Miaomiao was a little nervous as she heard the beep sound.
Then, she heard a questioning voice, “Miaomiao?”
“Mom!” Miaomiao quickly shouted.
“Hey, mom is here. Does Miaomiao miss me? I missed you too.”
Miaomiao was morose, and she almost cried. She said, “Well, I miss mom.”
“Mom misses Miaomiao a lot, too. Mom will be working overtime for a few days, and then I’ll come back. Afterwards, I won’t need to work overtime anymore,” said Mother Hua.
A few days…
That’s a long time…
She has to work overtime to make money…
It’s all about the money.
Miaomiao remembered what Jingjing told her about her tuition fees.
Miaomiao’s thoughts circled around her vegetable-selling idea that she concocted and said, “Mom, you don’t have to work overtime anymore. I’ll stop studying so that you don’t need to pay for my tuition fees or for my school meals…I’ll grow some vegetables and sell…Chinese cabbage for two yuan…”
Mother Hua listened to her and felt surprised by her statements. She felt like laughing, but her heart was simultaneously filled with saturnine sadness.
How does this youngster come up with these ideas? Also, growing vegetables and selling them like an adult.
Mother Hua said, “Mom promises you that I will work for a few more days. Don’t worry, I’ll call you every day. And you must study. How will you know how much to charge someone for two and a half catties when you start your vegetable business?”
Miaomiao was stunned.
Two and a half catties. A catty costs two yuan and 50 cents; then, two and a half catties would be…how much?
“I’ll let Zhouzhou count,” Miaomiao replied.
“But Zhouzhou has to study. He has to go to university. Jingjing and Deng Feng also have to go to university.”
While Mother Hua was busy conversing with Miaomiao, Grandmother took advantage of this time to quickly make breakfast.
Grandmother made two cups of soy milk with red bean paste and red dates; then, she served them to Miaomiao, “Miaomiao, eat your breakfast. Grandma will bring you to school later.”
Miaomiao reluctantly ended the call.
Miaomiao was sitting on the table with a sullen expression. She started at the seeds after her arrival at school. During this transitory moment, she wished that the seeds would quickly sprout and grow so that she could begin her vegetable business.
When Zhou Yuan arrived, Miaomiao raised her head and asked him, “Zhouzhou, I have a question for you.”
“Huh?” Zhou Yuan asked, putting his schoolbag on the desk. He noticed that Miaomiao was in a sullen mood today.
She was like a small sapling, whose leaves were drooping.
“If one catty cost 2 yuan, how much should someone give me if they want to buy 2 and a half catties?” This question was nagging Miaomiao during her entire journey to school; therefore, she asked it very eloquently.
“Five yuan. What’s wrong?” Zhou Yuan asked.
“Zhou Yuan. Can you help me collect money when I grow vegetables in the future?” Miaomiao held her cheek in her hand and peered at Zhou Yuan, awaiting his response.
She already asked Jingjing, but Jingjing gave no response for a long time.
Zhou Yuan: “…” How do I answer this?
He couldn’t help but remember something that he once said, ‘God didn’t bestow upon me this IQ just to use in kindergarten and first grade…’
Is it possible that I was conferred this IQ to become a greengrocer and to collect money from my vegetable sales?
Miaomiao continued, “I’ll give you half of the money when the time comes.”
Zhou Yuan wasn’t interested and replied, “You should read more books, and then you’ll forget about it later.”
Like an adult who was crushed by the burdens of life, Miaomiao sighed, “Oh.”
She continued, “I don’t want to go to school anymore. Mom has to earn money to pay for my tuition…”
Zhou Yuan: “…” If I recall correctly, her family doesn’t have any money problems; they aren’t in a state of indigence. Why does Miaomiao always complain about not having enough money at home?
“Miaomiao, did something happen?” questioned Zhou Yuan.
“My mother has to work overtime again.” Miaomiao said, “She came home late last night; then, she left early in the morning. I don’t get to see her at all.”
Miaomiao said as she lapsed into a saturnine mood, “It would be great if I didn’t have to study and work overtime with my mother to earn money.”
As he watched the tears forming in her eyes, Zhou Yuan said, “But companies only recruit college students. You have to finish college before you can find a job and work with your mom.”
Miaomiao hummed, slouched down on the table, and replied, “University. It’s so far away…”
Zhou Yuan wanted to tell her that if everything goes according to plan, he would be able to attend university next semester.
Watching Miaomiao long for her mother with inexplicable forlornity caused him to become a little concerned about one little thing.
If I’m no longer in this class, would she also yearn for my presence?
Wait, this shouldn’t be something I need to think about.
Headteacher Li stepped into the classroom and saw Miaomiao lying on the table. She looked very glum.
Teacher Li also felt sorry for Miaomiao. Earlier today, a classmate told her that Sister Hua was involved in a car accident; therefore, she couldn’t come to her.
She walked over to Miaomiao and ruffled her hair. “Is Miaomiao alright?” she asked.
Miaomiao was in a sullen mood because she still missed her mother. Her mother said it would be several days before her overtime work concluded. Miaomiao whispered in response, “Miaomiao doesn’t feel so good…”
Hello, everyone! I do hope you guys enjoy reading Miaomiao and Zhouzhou’s story. We’ve updated our Patreon page. There are now three levels so you can read up to 12 chapters in advance, with the lowest tier for $1 a month and allowing access to up to 3 chapters. Thank you ☺