Editor: Wahnsinniger Herrscher
The Great Visit
Teacher Li wasn’t surprised about Zhou Yuan’s inquiry involving Miaomiao. After all, they were tablemates, and she could tell that they had a good relationship.
Teacher Li explained to Zhou Yuan that Miaomiao’s mother was hospitalized, and Miaomiao went to the hospital to pay her a visit.
Zhou Yuan finally realized that ‘working overtime’ was merely a cover or euphemism for Mother Hua’s hospitalization.
When school concluded in the afternoon, Father Zhou came to pick up Zhou Yuan. As soon as Zhou Yuan departed from the classroom, Father Zhou heard him inquire, “Did you bring any money?”
Father Zhou looked at Zhou Yuan warily and said, “What do you want to do? Your mother just reeducated you ideologically yesterday. Don’t let your thoughts drift to useless things today; otherwise, your mother will chastise me again.”
Zhou Yuan sighed, “I want to go to the hospital to visit my classmate. If you have some money on you, we could buy some fruit as gifts.” He didn’t have any money today.
Father Zhou replied, “Your mother took all my pocket money yesterday.”
This meant that these two people had no money on them, which is beyond embarrassing.
Father Zhou looked at his son, “Maybe you should ask your mother for some money? Then, I could drive you there.”
Zhou Yuan looked at his father, “You ask her.”
Father Zhou: “You are her son for whom she secretly stitches thick clothes before you leave out of fear that you will return later*. You ask her.”
Zhou Yuan: “You are her husband, and you two share a deep, affectionate love for each other. You ask her.”
Father Zhou: “I asked her to give me some pocket money today when she was about to leave this morning. Guess what she did. She raised her hand and tried to hit me. There’s no affection or love at all. You’ve been watching ‘The Peacock Flying Southwest’ again, haven’t you?”
Zhou Yuan: “Is there a problem with that?”
“Do you even understand the feelings behind that?” Father Zhou rubbed his nose and asked.
“I don’t understand the feelings, but there are a lot of other insights,” replied Zhou Yuan.
Father Zhou was astounded, “…”
“So, you won’t ask for pocket money, right?” Zhou Yuan asked again.
“No, but it’s all right. They’re your good friends. You could simply waltz in and visit people that you like. You don’t need to buy any fruit,” Father Zhou said.
Zhou Yuan replied, “I’m a kid. It doesn’t matter if I don’t buy it.”
In the end, Father Zhou drove Zhou Yuan to the hospital. Zhou Yuan went up to the door of the ward, but he didn’t go in yet.
At the door, Zhou Yuan heard Miaomiao’s cheerful voice, “Mom, mom. Can I call Zhou Zhou?”
Zhou Yuan: “…” Is our friendship in vain just because I’m not willing to be a greengrocer?
Zhou Yuan knocked on the door, and they told him that he could come in.
Zhou Yuan pushed open the door and traversed in. He saw Miaomiao gaping at him with a blank expression.
“Zhou…Zhou Zhou, why are you here?” Miaomiao asked.
Zhou Yuan answered, “I’m here to give you your homework sheets and to explain today’s lesson.”
See, even if a kid didn’t bring any fruits, he still had a valid reason to visit his tablemate at the hospital.
Mother Hua also froze for a moment and said, “Zhou Zhou, did you come here alone?”
Mother Hua immediately thought of something bad since certain incidents involving some troublemakers tarnished the reputation of Miaomiao’s class. She had to clearly ask him. If he did sneak out by himself, she had to tell his parents as soon as possible; otherwise, they would become fraught with consternation and anxiety.
“My dad has something to do at the hospital, so I came with him. He’s on the fourth floor right now.”
Mother Hua nodded, realizing that her trepidation and concerns were unfounded.
Zhou Yuan opened his schoolbag and handed both papers to Miaomiao, “Here’s today’s homework. Take a look at it and if you have any questions, you could ask me to clarify them.”
Since the homework was primarily related to the lessons that were taught in class, Miaomiao didn’t understand anything.
Mother Hua asked her caregiver, who stood near her, to peel some apples for the two children.
Just then, Father Hua sauntered in.
Miaomiao wasn’t surprised by his visit. She was about to call him dad, but she hesitated for a moment and held herself back. After all, her parents did have some issues with each other.
She wasn’t even sure if her father is still her father anymore. Her grandmother watched a TV series where the father of a little child didn’t always return home. He eventually becomes the father of someone else, and then he never returns. But that little child would pester her mother and ask her to call her father back to sharpen her pencil. Miaomiao watched that scene and felt very angry since the child’s mother must feel egregiously sad…
Adults always assume that children don’t understand anything, but they actually do understand.
Miaomiao gently held Zhou Yuan’s hand and didn’t even glance back at her father.
If he isn’t my father anymore; then, I won’t ask him to sharpen my pencil. I’ll sharpen it myself…
Zhou Yuan continued to talk to her. Obviously, he noticed the awkward atmosphere, which was beginning to form in the room.
Father Hua was shocked, so he walked to Miaomiao’s side, “Miaomiao, do you remember me? I’m your father.”
Miaomiao turned to Father Hua and whispered, “Dad went to work overtime.”
Deep within her heart, Miaomiao thought, ‘Mom and dad separated because of me.’
Since she was a child, she had no idea how to deal with her dilemma.
Mother Hua said, “Miamiao has a bad memory. You never called her for such a long time. It’s normal that she would forget. Don’t mind it.”
Mother Hua knew that he was basically married to his job and that children were an entirely different existence from adults. Furthermore, he didn’t put much effort into helping raise Miaomiao and didn’t cherish her as much as she did.
In the end, Mother Hua desired to talk to him even less.
The ward was plunged into even more awkwardness. Zhou Yuan leaned close to Miaomiao’s ear and cooed, “Would you like to step outside and walk around for a bit? My father is alone outside, and I’m afraid he’ll get lost.”
Miaomiao nodded. Losing one’s way was a big deal, and Miaomiao decided it was better to go check up on Zhou Yuan’s father.
She declared to her mother, “Mom. I’m going with Zhou Zhou to look for his father, okay?”
“Go.” Mother Hua said. Then, she addressed the caretaker next to her, “You should also go with them.”
After all, it was a hospital. Many people walked around, and she was concerned about two children walking around alone.
Miaomiao and Zhou Yuan were led out by the caregiver, leaving the two adults to talk amongst themselves.
Father Zhou stood in the hospital like a lone wolf since he didn’t bring any fruit or gifts. He welcomed the sight of the two children.
Father Zhou, who almost lost his way: “…”
*This verse is from a poem describing the affection a mother has for her son.
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