Chapter 21 Zhang Shicai’s Despair
Zhang Shicai was not as lucky as Zhang Youping, one of his eyes was removed the hospital. His face was also covered in multiple scars, leaving him completely disfigured. The several hundreds of kuai collected by villagers were also used up very quickly, but there still no sign of Zhang Qianlong. That bastard had simply gone into hiding somewhere outside. Zhang Qianlong’s wife along with her children had gone to her maternal home. It was reckoned that Zhang Qianlong had also gone there. The house whose foundation was still not laid was abandoned mid-construction. By the time the villagers ran up to Liu Yuju’s maternal home for interrogation, Zhang Qianlong husband-and-wife couple had already left that place and had already gone together to Guangdong for seeking work.
Liu Yuju’s family actually spoke a few placating words, saying that Zhang Qianlong didn’t have any money. The little bit of money he had had been spent on materials. Now that this matter has happened, his house also cannot be built. However, they are taking responsibility for this matter, and have gone to Guangdong to make money, in order to be able to bear the responsibility.
Village Branch Secretary Zhang Dechun couldn’t go to Guangdong to catch hold of the husband-wife couple. He also didn’t have that authority. Even if he had that authority, with Guangdong being so big, how could he have been able to search for them?
Zhang Qianlong’s family truly had raised a pig, but it was being prepared for being butchered on New Year’s eve. At the moment it only weighed about a hundred or so jin. It couldn’t be sold to raise sufficient enough money. Considering the enormous medical expenses of Zhang Shicai, it would be like a cup of water on a burning cart of firewood.
Not even two days after completing surgery at the hospital, Zhang Shicai’s family weepingly returned home from the hospital. All that Village Branch Secretary Zhang Dechun could do was to call for a tractor to carry Zhang Shicai.
Since the wound still hadn’t recovered completely, the head gauze hadn’t been opened, the Hospital prescribed some medicines that he could take at home after going back. In actuality, it was just letting Zhang Shicai live or die on his own. Whether or not he could survive depended on Zhang Shicai’s good fortune.
Zhang Youping and his wife took a wicker basket filled with tens of eggs, and several kuai of money covered in red paper, as they went to Zhang Shicai’s home. As they were leaving, they warned Zhang Jiaohua several times to watch himself and stay at home and to not go anywhere. The villagers disliked Zhang Jiaohua, if Zhang Jiaohua went to others home, his playfulness would worsen other people’s complexion.
However, how could Zhang Jiaohua honestly stay put at home? He secretly followed behind, and also went to Zhang Shicai’s home.
“Youping, Qiaoye come, ah.” Zhang Shicai’s mother Luo Ximei upon noticing Zhang Youping husband and wife couple coming while carrying somethings, she at once very cordially welcomed them.
“At the time when Shicai was hospitalised, I also ought to have gone to the hospital to visit. However, this time I also got injured and felt that taking such a long journey would have reopened the wounds. Upon hearing that Shicai has left the hospital, I came to take a look.” Zhang Youping explained promptly. Many people in the village had gone to the hospital to pay Zhang Shicai a visit. Zhang Youping truly felt grieved upon not being able to pay a visit.
“It’s all right, it’s all right, Aunt knows that you have a good heart. Unlike that Qianlong who has the heart of wolf and lungs of a dog. While asking everyone to lend a hand, he spoke nice and pleasant words. He didn’t want to pay anyone even a single fen in wages to those helpers, and when something bad happened, not even his shadow can be seen. Youping, how is your wound healing? Your luck is quite good, unlike my family’s Shicai…….” Luo Ximei would start weeping after saying these things whenever somebody came to visit these days.
“Aunt, you shouldn’t be worried, Shicai will soon become better.” Zhang Youping was feeling glad that on that day he had evaded to the side, otherwise, his situation would have probably been several times worse compared to Zhang Shicai .
“Ai, how would it become good? He doesn’t have one eye. People from Yinxiu’s maternal home are instigating Yinxiu to divorce Shicai. How can all of this be made good…….” Luo Ximei didn’t know how many times she had cried after returning.
Zhang Youping husband and wife entered the room and saw Zhang Shicai lying down on the bed. His one eye was not only injured, it also looked lifeless as it stared at the tiles of the ceiling turned jet-black from smoke. In his eyes, no hope for life could be seen. His world had already given up hope. Zhang Shicai’s wife was not in the house, don’t know if she was really intending on leaving Zhang Shicai.
“Shicai.” Zhang Youping didn’t know what to say.
Zhang Shicai, as if he hadn’t heard, continued to stare at the ceiling.
“Shicai, you shouldn’t despair so much. After escaping from disaster there will be a blessing, we are able to save a life, we must keep on living well.” Zhang Youping said.
“Elder Brother Youping. Why have you come, ah? I am an unlucky person. You should keep your distance from me, so as to not get infected by my bad-luck.” Zhang Shicai said with a hollow and dispirited voice. He truly had already given up hope on living. That explosion had thoroughly destroyed his ambitions in life.
“Shicai, How can you say like that? I also had nearly lost my life on that day. Although you were injured much more seriously than me, but aren’t you also living? You still have one functional eye, four perfect limbs, apart from the fact that in the future you might find movement somewhat inconvenient, how are you any different compared to others? Pull yourself together!” Zhang Youping was quite anxious upon seeing this depressed Zhang Shicai.
“Elder Brother Youping, You just leave me alone. In any case, I also don’t have anything to worry. Do you know? My wife has left me and ran back to her maternal home, she would divorce me. I have been foolish, she has come to regard me as a ‘burden’.” Zhang Shicai was getting more and more agitated.
“Shicai, you say that you don’t have any worries? Then if you were to have any sudden accident, what would Aunt do? Aunt has raised you by herself, let you marry, was it all easy? If you want to be like this, how will Aunt live? If it were not for your this condition, I would have really wanted to use my two hands, and beat you till you wake up.” Zhang Youping bellowed.
“Right, I still have Mother. I can let down anybody, but I can’t let down mother. Elder Brother ah, I have been foolish. Later, in the event that I am no more, would you please support my mother, ah?” Zhang Shicai sat up. He was very deeply hurt, and tear drops were incessantly flowing out.
“Shicai, you shouldn’t feel sad. You must not in any circumstance feel disheartened at your current situation!” Zhang Youping promptly said consolingly.
“Youping, you speak nicely to Shicai. He shouldn’t be agitated in his current situation.” Liu Qiaoye seeing this appearance of Zhang Shicai, was very much worried, for fear that their arrival could trigger the worsening of Zhang Shicai’s condition.
“Sister-in-law, I am not a man with no water in his eyes. I am able to recognise what Elder Brother Youping is doing is for my good. What Elder Brother Youping said is right, I shouldn’t abandon myself to despair. I must pull myself together, even if just for sake of my mother, I must keep on living. If Yinxiu is unwilling, I also won’t force her.” Zhang Shicai had awakened greatly all of a sudden.
At this time, Luo Ximei suddenly spoke from outside, “You are Youping’s child right. I know you, you are called Jiaohua. Why don’t you come in? Grandma will get something tasty for you.”
Zhang Jiaohua had come while following secretly, but he didn’t dare come inside Zhang Shicai’s house. He just kept secretly listening to what was going on inside through the backdoor of Zhang Shicai’s house. He didn’t expect that he would be discovered by Luo Ximei who had come to the back of the house to pick vegetables.
“I didn’t come with my parents, I was just here to pluck thorn vine buds (wild rose) for eating.” Zhang Jiaohua said in a low voice. He was afraid that if his parents came to know that he had come here secretly, he would be severely scolded. Even though he became excited upon Luo Ximei’s mention of tasty treats, he firmly rejected the enticement.