A mother’s love and a brother’s(?) love.
Translation based on raw version. I am also reading as I translate. Please do not post spoilers in the comments section.
Bei Xiaowu’s mother dragged him away in tears while exclaiming, “how did I meet such a bunch of bandits?” As she wiped her tears, she took another two large bunch of chillis off our house compound walls.
Father sat in his wheelchair and looked at Mother coldly. His mouth quivered for half a day before he managed to squeeze out a few words, “Look at that daughter you gave birth to!”
Mother’s eyes were red, she closed her eyes and the tears fell. She held her palm up and gave me a tight slap, “You are not only naughty, you even influenced Liang Sheng.”
There was a loud, crisp sound of a slap but my face felt nothing. I opened my eyes and realised Liang Sheng was standing in front of me and holding his cheek. He was fiercely protective of me and whispered, “Mother, please don’t hit Jiang Sheng, she didn’t do any wrong. That jar was given to me by Bei Xiaowu. You need to believe me!”
Liang Sheng’s voice was so soft, it was scary. Father, who saw that Mother accidentally hit his son, leaped over like a crazy lion. However, he forgot. The him now is sitting on a wheelchair. He is a cripple! So, when half his body flew past the door and heavily landed in the yard, only a loud “bong!” can be heard.
Father was sent to the hospital once again.
Liang Sheng was also hospitalised. The doctor said he was suffering from malnutrition. Father, who couldn’t move at all, could only use his two eyeballs to stare fiercely at Mother. Mother felt maligned.
What they didn’t know was that everyday, Liang Sheng would feed me with all the good food.
Everytime, we would climb up the roof and look at the water-like moon, listen to the insects chirp. Liang Sheng would usually hide all the good food in a big bowl and bring it up the roof to me. He will smile as I swallow the food up. I once asked him, “Brother, aren’t you hungry?”
Liang Sheng said, “Brother have eaten. Just eat up.”
Under the moonlight, I heard the chirping of the insects but I forgot to listen to Liang Sheng’s stomach which was also grumbling away. At that time, I thought it was the sound of another insect.
Oh, I forgot to add, because of Mother’s slap, Liang Sheng’s right ear became slightly deaf. From then on, when I call him Brother, I had to increase my volume. Because of this, I had secretly cried. I said, “Brother, I would have rather that it was myself that became deaf.”
Liang Sheng said, “Silly, Liang Sheng is a boy. It is okay. You are a little girl, if you become deaf, you won’t be able to marry off in the future.”
The re-hospitalisation of Father made our lower-middle class family poor. Initially, because Father had suffered an injury during work, his workplace made compensation. But this time, it is due to personal reasons, the news agency was not willing to continue filling up this endless hole.
Father lied on the bed like a lifeless zombie. The neighbouring patient’s young daughter happened to sing a song she just learnt from school for her mother — Socialism is good, socialism is good, socialism allows the people to make decisions and be leaders!
Tears welled up in Father’s eyes as he watched that scene. Hence, he pushed Mother to send Liang Sheng to school at all cost, “Liang Sheng is already past school age, what kind of mother are you, why are you still not sending him to school!”
Mother only lightly nodded her head, and said she will do that.
I told Bei Xiaowu, “Liang Sheng and I are going to school.”
Bei Xiaowu is a copycat. He went home and cried to his mother.
Not long after, Bei Xiaowu’s mother sold a few hens and Bei Xiaowu carried his newly bought schoolbag to attend school.
Also not long later, Mother went to sell her blood illegally. Liang Sheng and I also carried the school bags Mother had rushed to make overnight to attend school. Mother didn’t want to let me go to school initially. I looked pitifully at Liang Sheng. Liang Sheng said, “If Jiang Sheng is not going to school, then I’m not going either!”
Mother was helpless. She hardened her heart, gritted her teeth and once again went to sell her blood illegally. I got to go to school as well. After attending school, Liang Sheng and I both learnt to sing that “socialism is good” song. We also sang that song to Mother and she smiled happily, like a beautiful flower.
But Mother, please forgive the daughter back then. She was too young, she did not understand what was blood selling. She thought there was no difference between that and Bei Xiaowu’s mother selling hens…..
Chapter 4 of 83
Click on the tag 凉生，我们可不可以不忧伤1 to look through all translations in this volume.
This chapter, we can see how Liang Sheng puts Jiang Sheng before himself. It seems like he never forgot about the vow he made to the moon. Be it receiving a slap on behalf of Jiang Sheng or letting her go to school, he always put her as first priority. The only question is — was it out of guilt? Love for a sibling? Or something else?
Jiang Sheng’s mother is an admirable lady. Even under such harsh circumstances, she never once complained about her fate. She takes great care of her now-paralysed cheating husband and treats his son with another woman like her own even though that jerk of a husband is not appreciative at all.
Hope you enjoyed this chapter. Next chapter should be ready by this weekend 🙂