Return To 1990

Return To 1990 ~ Chapter 3




“Yeah, I had nothing to do at home this afternoon so I cleaned up a bit.” Lu Feng’s gaze fell on Jiang Xiaoyan’s other hand.

The bag contained vegetables, soy sauce and a small piece of pork; the plain water hanging noodles from lunchtime was not very nutritious and Lu Feng was now starving to dizziness.

Jiang Xiaoyan followed Lu Feng’s gaze to look at the bag in her hand and said, “I borrowed 80 cents from Sister Li at the electronics factory and bought some vegetables and meat; please hold it from me, I’ll cook right away.”

Lu Feng took the bag and said, “Look after the child, I’ll cook.”

Jiang Xiaoyan put the snoozing Duo Duo on the bed, looked at the clean and tidy home and then looked at Lu Feng’s busy figure in the kitchen. The whole person was like a walking dream.

Is this really true? Is it because God thinks I am suffering too much and wants to give me something sweet?

Jiang Xiaoyan had never wished for anything in her life, yet she looked at the busy man in the kitchen and just wished for a few more days like this, or even a few more hours and she would be satisfied.

Lu Feng was not this excited even when his company went public for the first time, and now he looked at the few taels of meat and could not calm down his frame of mind for quite some time; he sighed realizing that the prices are really cheap now.

Just eighty cents to buy such a large pile of things, He thought.

Now, some small places still use food stamps; consequently, the big white rabbit costs a three pennies a piece and pork is less than 50 cents a catty. Jiang Xiaoyan is very diligent, with her income enough to keep the family clothed and fed.

The meat slices went into the pot, nourishing the mouth-watering aroma of meat. Lu Feng skillfully stir-fried the vegetables in the pot, and the smell of meat wafted out of the house and into the hallway.

Inside another rented room, an obese woman in her forties sniffed loudly and asked the man beside her, “From whose house is this meat smell coming from?”

“Why do you care whose house it is? Let’s eat.”

“There are only a few families in this building that can afford to eat meat: it’s neither a holiday nor an occasion. I have to check it out, what if it’s Lu Feng’s family?”

“That Lu Feng is a gambling addict; he can’t even afford to drink the Northwestern winds, and he still eats meat?”

“What if he wins money? His wife borrowed a dollar and twenty from me two months ago and paid back only 60 cents, there’s still 60 cents left damn it. She avoids me whenever she sees me.”

The woman said as she pushed open the door and walked out.

Lu Feng put the food on the table, looked at Jiang Xiaoyan and said, “Eat, don’t disturb Duo Duo; just save some for her.”

Jiang Xiaoyan nodded and sat down opposite to him. Looking at the table full of food made her eyes moist. She wanted to say something, but when she opened her mouth tears fell down.

“What’s wrong?” Lu Feng picked up a steamed bun, stuffed it into his mouth and ate it in a big bite, asking, “Why are you crying?”

“It’s nothing, I’m just happy.” Jiang Xiaoyan wiped her tears and choked up, “You’ll find a job in a few days and we’ll have a good life, don’t hang out with your foxy friends anymore okay? I’m begging you.”

“Yes, no more.” Lu Feng nodded his head, agreeing but as for finding a job, he didn’t promise. After this meal, he had to go back.

Lu Feng glanced at the sleeping Duo Duo, in his heart he wished the mother and daughter a good future and lowered his head to eat.

The woman wandered around the hallway for a while before finally locking onto Lu Feng’s house and reaching out to knock on the door.

“Who is it?” Jiang Xiaoyan asked.

“Me! Li Da Fang.” The voice outside the door was low, as if it carried a hint of fire.

Jiang Xiaoyan looked a little nervous at the name. Every household in the building knew that Li Da Fang was difficult to mess with and if it wasn’t for the fact that she couldn’t make ends meet two months ago; she would not have borrowed money from Li Da Fang.

“What’s wrong?” Lu Feng sensed that something was wrong with her.

“Nothing, it’s just that I have 60 cents that I haven’t returned. I’ll go tell her that I’ll pay her back first thing when I get paid this month.” Jiang Xiaoyan said as she stood up and went to open the door.

“I’ll take the dishes to the kitchen.” Lu Feng picked up the dishes and went inside the kitchen.

The kitchen basin was already half-filled with water and hooked to the socket with the two wires. Lu Feng looked at the setup in front of him, took a deep breath and started fidgeting with the wires; silently praying in his heart for it to work and hoping that when he opened his eyes again, he would become Chairman Lu Feng!

Jiang Xiaoyan opened the door and saw Li Da Fang with a dark face; she greeted her with a smile and asked, “Sister Li, it’s so late, what’s the matter?”

“It’s a good day for your family to eat meat!” Li Da Fang leaned against the door frame and said, “You still owe me 60 cents, when will you pay? Even though I can’t eat meat as a lender; borrowing money to eat big fish and meat, aren’t you thick-skinned?” Taunted Li Da Fang

Jiang Xiaoyan said with a face full of embarrassment, “Sister Li, my family is having a hard time, so I borrowed 80 cents from someone today to improve my food; please allow me a few more days and I will positively pay you back the day I get paid.”

“Don’t talk such nonsense, how long have you been dragging your feet? I’ve given you time till now, haven’t I? Now, pay me back!” Li Da Fang was unforgiving.

Jiang Xiaoyan hurriedly searched her pocket, but there were only 30 cents left out of the 80 cents she borrowed, so she said, “I’ll pay you back 30 cents now and when I get paid, I’ll definitely pay you back the other 30.”

Li Da Fang snatched the 30 cents away and said, “Where are the other 30 cents? If you don’t pay me back today, don’t blame me for berating you.”

“Sister Li, will you allow me a few days?” Jiang Xiaoyan’s voice was beseeching, already red-eyed. Her life finally began seeing hope and believing that the future would surely be better.

“I beg you!” pleaded Jiang Xiaoyan trying to hold Li Da Fang’s hand.

Li Da Fang shook off Jiang Xiaoyan’s hand and said coldly, “Don’t give me that nonsense; pay me back right now or don’t blame me for being ungracious.”

“Sister Li, can you allow me a few days, just a few days! I’m on my knees for you.” Jiang Xiaoyan was in tears and knelt down on the ground with shaking legs.

It was only apt to pay a debt; she had no choice but to plead.

In the kitchen: Lu Feng had turned on the switch connected to the socket, sending out a burst of sparks. He heard the conversation at the door in his ears, and secretly told himself that this had nothing to do with him anymore, and that he had to go back.

“Cut the stupid crap!” Li Da Fang shouted at the top of her voice in the hallway, “Come out and take a look, Jiang Xiaoyan owes me money and won’t pay!”

Each houses’ residents opened their respective doors to see what was going on, and muttered endlessly.

“This woman really is shameless; she owes someone money and has the guts to not pay it back.”

“You don’t know, but there are more shameless ones.”

“Someone saw her soliciting!”

“Where did you see her?”

“Never mind where, it must be true. Her man always eats outside, drinks, goes to prostitutes and gambles; where do you think he gets the money from?”

“Yes, that’s the only thing being pretty is good for.”

Jiang Xiaoyan was so ashamed that she got up, shut the door, ran to the bed and cried with a headache.

“Open the door, why are you hiding inside like a turtle? Are you justified in not paying the money you owe?” The sound of Li Da Fang shouting outside the door was followed by a kick in the door.

“Who on this floor doesn’t know you’ve a watch? If you don’t have money, go sell it! Borrowing money and not paying it back; why are you so thick-skinned?”

“Open the door!!!”

“Isn’t it useful to be pretty? You have the guts to find a man to pay back the money you owe?”

Jiang Xiaoyan hugged her knees and cried bitterly, she didn’t dare to go out and argue. A single word from the other side to pay back the money would render her speechless; she could only suffer in silence. She couldn’t even remember the number of times she had been abused like this over the past few years.

Lu Feng kept telling himself, Don’t be softhearted, you have to go back. You’ve worked hard for ten years for your success and it’s gone before you can enjoy it.

But Jiang Xiaoyan’s fragile and helpless cries outside the kitchen caused him pain, for he was someone who was afraid of women crying the most. Taking a deep breath, he decided to put his hand into the water basin, if he went back, everything here would have nothing to do with him.

‘Bang Bang!’ The sound of banging on the door continued,

“Open the door! Pay it back!”

The loud banging on the door woke Duo Duo straight out of her dreams and she woke up bawling.

Jiang Xiaoyan hurriedly took Duo Duo in her arms and the mother-daughter duo huddled in the corner of the bed as she kept patting Duo’s back and telling her it was okay.

“Daddy! I’m scared!”


Duo Duo’s cries were heartbreaking!

Lu Feng’s hand was just about to touch the electrified water in the basin when he heard Duo Duo’s hissing and fiercely withdrew it, taking a deep breath and saying to himself, “God, you win!”

“If I don’t let this mother and child have a good life, my name is not Lu Feng!”


Things are different on the domestic front. Slowly the threesome is melding into a happy family…then an old enemy comes calling.


The scenario sure is interesting, read the next chapter to find out how Lu Feng deals with the situation!


Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: