Editor: Wahnsinniger Herrscher
Miaomiao and Zhou Yuan came out of the ward; they were still clutching the apple that the caregiver had sliced for them. Father Zhou peered at Little Miaomiao; his facial expressions betrayed his abashment.
Miaomiao approached him. Father Zhou picked up Zhou Yuan almost every day; therefore, Miaomiao, who was his deskmate, was considered to be Father Zhou’s acquaintance.
Zhou Yuan led Miaomiao to a bench outside of the ward, where they sat down. Father Zhou joined them and also sat down.
A feeling of embarrassment consumed Father Zhou since she was someone else’s daughter; thus, he was unfamiliar with her. Therefore, he had no idea how to start a conversation with Miaomiao.
Communication between adults and children was very important, especially with those from other families; however, adults limited themselves to phrases like “I’ll buy you some candy” or “I’ll buy you a toy.”
He didn’t have any money on him, so he couldn’t do these exchanges.
In the end, they were all sitting on a bench in silence.
During this time, confusion had consumed Miaomiao, for she was wrestling with the idea of giving an idea to Father Zhou. Miaomiao and Zhou Yuan were each given an apple by the caregiver. Her heart told her that it would be unwise to give the apple to Zhou Yuan’s father, even though she wanted to.
She actually wished that she could eat the apple. Besides, it was lunchtime, and she had not yet eaten.
Zhou Yuan then broke the silence, “Miaomiao, are you going to school tomorrow?”
After processing Zhou Yuan’s words, Miaomiao gulped and replied, “I’m going to school tomorrow. I didn’t go to school today since I couldn’t sleep last night. So I came here to sleep.”
After she had finished uttering these words, Miaomiao decided to present the apple to Zhou Yuan’s father.
For a moment, Father Zhou was taken aback. After all, a child was giving him something. It wasn’t good to refuse her offer, so he asked, “What would you eat if I decided to eat it?”
She turned her head around and caught a glimpse of Zhou Yuan’s apple, and she responded, “I’ll share Zhouzhou’s apple. We’re children, so we don’t eat much.”
She and Jingjing often ate the same apple at school. Jingjing would take a bite, and then Miaomiao would take a bite.
Father Zhou glanced at Zhou Yuan, who had already bitten down on his apple.
Zhou Yuan stared at Miaomiao with a befuddled expression on his face. Father Zhou had never seen his son display such bewilderment.
“It’s really sweet,” Father Zhou commented after taking a bite of the apple.
“You can have the rest,” Zhou Yuan told Miaomiao as he tried to hand her the apple that he had just bitten into.
Father Zhou: “…” Now I’m starting to feel that my wife was correct. It’s better for him to befriend people of the same age.
Miaomiao took a bite and then gave it back to Zhou Yuan. Then, Zhou Yuan took it and also took a bite.
Father Zhou handed his apple that he had already bitten into to Zhou Yuan and said, “Son. You don’t have to starve yourself. I still have one more apple here.”
Zhou Yuan’s face was devoid of expression, and he wasn’t willing to accept it. “Dad, you’re an adult. Eat it yourself.”
Father Zhou: “…” He’s sizing me up with his little friend. Now, he’s blatantly showing his disgust.
By the time they had finished eating their apples, the discussion within the ward had concluded. When Father Hua stepped out, a nurse came to look for him, and he left immediately.
Afterward, Miaomiao followed the caregiver back to the ward.
Zhou Yuan and Father Zhou were preparing to head home since Mother Zhou had already urged them to do so.
After Miaomiao returned to the ward, the caregiver decided to head outside to buy dinner.
The apple’s juices sheathed her hands, so Miaomiao went to the bathroom to wash her hands. After rinsing her hands, she went and laid beside her mother atop the bed.
Mom was stuck in bed all day today.
After musing for a bit, Miaomiao decided to massage her mother’s shoulders. Although Miaomiao possessed little strength, she still decided to rub gently, but Mother Hua still appreciated her act, for she felt great comfort.
Mother Hua was naturally unwilling to allow her own daughter to massage her for too long. She wrapped Miaomiao in her arms and cooed, “Does Miaomiao no longer like her father?”
This question caught Miaomiao off guard; then, a wave of despondency washed over her, and she remained silent.
Father Hua never came back during this period. Miaomiao was sad, and at the beginning, she blamed herself. She felt that she was the primary reason for their separation.
When she first noticed her mother struggling so hard to eke out a living, she felt even more despondent. She had watched two episodes of a TV series with her great-grandmother. In that series, the child’s father abandoned them like this as well. Miaomiao believed that she shouldn’t cry. She shouldn’t ask her father to sharpen her pencil when he leaves…because it would just make her mother lapse into sadness and despondency.
The sorrow in her heart struck Miaomiao like a tidal wave when her mother mentioned this matter, and she couldn’t suppress her emotions anymore.
Seeing her teary, red eyes, Mother Hua realized how much this dilemma had deeply affected her. At first, she thought that Miaomiao wanted nothing to do with her father, as long as she excused his absence by saying that he was working overtime. However, it seemed as if she had overlooked Miaomiao’s grief.
Mother Hua kissed Miaomiao’s forehead, “Miaomiao…”
Miaomiao whispered, “Mom.
This scenaria from that TV series prompted Miaomiao to ask this question.
He’ll never return, and I can’t speak to him again.
Mother Hua was stunned for a moment, “Who said that?”
“The father of that Hua girl was like that. She wanted her father to sharpen her pencil, but her mother told her that he will never come back to her.”
Mother Hua was stunned.
Hua girl? Wasn’t that the kid from the TV series that grandmother watched?
Mother Hua quickly replied, “No, no. Your father is just very busy. Many patients require his help, just like the uncle who changed mom’s bandages today. Your father is just like that. Many people require treatment.”
Miaomiao nodded her head as she digested her mother’s words.
Mother Hua continued, “We don’t live with your father anymore because I think that it’s better for both your father and me to separate. Mom finds it exhausting to live with him. It’s my fault for not asking for your input sooner. I’m sorry.”
One had to consider other things after having a child. Some things, which were previously tolerable, would now be considered intolerable.
“No…” Miaomiao whispered.
Mother Hua continued, “Although your father won’t be living with us in the future, he’ll still be your father. He’s very kind and has helped many people. And most importantly, he loves you very much.”
Mother Hua lacked confidence when she said the last statement, but she still decided to say it to assuage Miaomiao’s distress, although she didn’t know what her husband felt for their daughter.
After digesting her mother’s words, Miaomiao hummed in understanding. Her mood seemed to have changed again, and her sour mood instantly dissipated.
Father Hua left the ward after standing at the doorway for a while.
The next morning, Father Hua came over and said, “I’ll bring Miaomiao to school.”
“Miaomiao’s grandmother is going to come over.” Mother Hua mused for a while and tidied up Miaomiao’s clothes. She cooed, “Thank you. I will call her to let her know that she doesn’t need to come here anymore.”
Father Hua squatted down in front of Miaomiao and took her schoolbag, “Miaomiao, let’s go to school.”
Miaomiao followed her father obediently, and she immediately grasped her father’s hand as they left the ward.
I must hold an adult’s hand when going outside. I don’t want to lose my way.
The hospital elevator thronged with people.
Miaomiao understood that she had to be carried by an adult when in a large crowd since she was too short and was afraid of being left behind. So, she requested that her father carry her.
Father Hua stared at Miaomiao who unexpectedly stretched out her arms. After a few seconds of disbelief, he returned to his senses, picked her up, and walked into the elevator.
People still recognized him even without his white lab coat. Father Hua was from the inpatient department, after all.
“Dr. Hua, good morning.”
“This must be your daughter. She’s so beautiful.”
Miaomiao recalled her mother’s words from yesterday.
Dad is busy helping people every day.
Miaomiao felt an ineffable sense of pride.
Miaomiao remembered a phrase that Teacher Li often said in class, so she whispered to her father, “Dad, you’re amazing. You’ve helped so many people.”
Father Hua froze for a moment, and then his nose turned sour. He then realized that he was still worried about whether Miaomiao was still afraid of him. That was why he didn’t take the initiative to hold her hand. Subconsciously, he remembered an incident that happened on Miaomiao’s first day of school. He hugged her, which in turn frightened her. As a result, he always avoided doing things that might scare her.
However, she was now able to hold his hand and allowed him to carry her. She even whispered, ‘Dad, you’re amazing. You’ve helped so many people.’
Father Hua thought for a moment about whether or not he had overlooked some important event. He realized once again that the decision he made a few days prior was the correct one.
He whispered, “Miaomiao is also very good.”
“I’m not good right now. I’ll be good when I grow some vegetables in the future,” Miaomiao said, a little embarrassed.
Miaomiao’s fear of her father completely ebbed away when her mother told her that her father loved her very much, and that he was busy assisting many people.
So, she was more than willing to speak with her father, “I will grow some vegetables, and then I’ll sell them.”
“Then, would you like your father to assist you?” Father Hua questioned, a little surprised.
After mulling for a while, Miaomiao replied, “No need. Zhouzhou will help me gather the money. I’ll just grow the vegetables. Dad has to help other people.”
Father Hua set her down into the child safety seat. He never removed that seat from his car.
Then he said, “Dad wishes that he could change places.”
He barely had any semblance of family life, for he spent many years living like this. He was always tethered to this job. In any case, he had already fulfilled his childhood promise.
Father Hua received a call from them as soon as he ensconced himself in the driver’s seat.
His family left. Not only did they leave, but they also took a lot of stuff away, claiming that everything was none of his concern, so he didn’t need to ask for money.
He felt no joy, nor did he feel a sense of forlornity due to their abrupt abandonment of him.
He just felt a sense of relaxation.
Finally, the father and daughter are bonding.
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 ☺