Friday arrived in a flash, the train was announced to arrive at 9:30 in the evening but it also might come late. Jiang Wang woke up at five in the morning.
After waking up, no matter how many pancakes he made he couldn’t go back to sleep. So instead he cleaned up the house carefully and changed the sheets and quilt covers. He then took the child to take a fragrant bath from top to bottom. He told him he was no longer allowed to go rolling in the grass with his classmates.
Then he went to work and was restless the entire time.
Men had always been very good at making excuses, putting on the face of a conscientious and good parent, he sent a message to Ji Linqiu, who was still asleep.
[In the next two days, Xingwang’s mother would come over. Is it convenient for Teacher Ji to accompany us and talk about the child’s situation?]
The gentle Teacher Ji didn’t wake up until half past twelve, and his reply to the news came very late.
[Oh come on.]
[Ask me directly for help next time, don’t pretend. You’re all just big-tailed wolvesSomeone who is pretentious or hypocritical.]
Jiang Wang, the big-tailed wolf, recognized the jab happily.
[Yes, I’m really a bit cowardly. You accompany me to see them these next two days, then this buddy will buy you a drink later.]
[I don’t drink alcohol, instead you can help me write an 8,000 words essay on teacher experience. Hand it in a word document, I’ll send you a text message for the format. ]
By nine o’clock in the evening, two adults and one child were dressed like model dogs and had taken their seats at the station.
Peng Xingwang also learned from the TV and brought a placard with the words “Welcome Home, Mom.” on it.
Jiang Wang felt really embarrassed when he saw the placard. But it was hard to dispel the enthusiasm shown by Xingxing all afternoon, so he followed the welcome with an expressionless face.
It was late, and the old railway station smelled of dust.
There were already homeless people dragging cardboard woven mats to a corner nearby, finding a place to lie down in. There were also old people playing with spinning tops in a small square nearby. The sound, ‘papapapa’ was particularly annoying.
Jiang Wang was already accustomed to the high-speed rail station and airport in his time. It was hard not to dislike it when he returned to such a place. He started to fight mosquitoes within just ten minutes from arriving.
Teacher Ji changed back to his school look, standing next to the child and chatting patiently with him.
It wasn’t until 9:40 that a middle-aged man and woman dragging suitcases hurriedly came out.
The woman looked about 31, and the man was estimated to be close to 40. She was well dressed, at least much more decent than Peng Jiahui.
Jiang Wang had never seen Du Wenjuan like this.
The mother in his memory was a gentle and vague shadow, not even her face was clear enough.
Twenty-seven years was enough for a person to forget many things.
But when the woman walked towards them, a bit of cold desire like an intravenous injection suddenly gushed in his heart. A dusty blood relationship resonated in response, urging him to go over and greet her.
But at this moment, they were all just strangers.
The child rushed over with a cheer, and was held in the arms of the woman. She rubbed his head vigorously.
“You’ve grown so tall, you look like a little adult!”
Jiang Wang remained silent and took a step back.
Ji Linqiu also did not interrupt, giving the mother and son sufficient time for intimacy.
He clasped his hands, and again had the docile appearance of an English teacher.
“Homesick? Go back and have a look when you have time.”
“I can’t go back.” The man smiled lightly, “It’s a pity.”
Ji Linqiu’s eyes changed slightly, as he patted Jiang Wang lightly on the shoulder.
People on both sides deliberately only had dinner left at this point, and it was only a short ride on the road.
Ji Linqiu had booked a restaurant in advance, and in addition, he specially ordered a light and stomach-nourishing casserole porridge.
The man next to Du Wenjuan was surnamed Chang and works in the health bureau in their city.
“Would you like some wine?” He said attentively, “Both of you have worked hard, thank you for coming to pick us up.”
Jiang Wang looked at the yogurt in Du Wenjuan’s cup, and motioned to the waiter for two more, “It’s too late, let’s drink something simple. It’s fine.”
Mr. Chang laughed stiffly, sat back and said, “Wenjuan and I came here this time because we thought we should check on Xingxing.”
The child raised his head, and as if he understood something, he concentrated on eating without asking questions.
Ji Linqiu got up and toasted them all. The couple hurriedly responded, and then began to talk about the elementary school education in the two cities.
“Yes, we are also teaching English over there. And hey, tutoring classes are especially valuable now.”
“Thank you Teacher Ji, for caring so much about our family’s Xingwang––”
Jiang Wang was overwhelmed when he heard this.
What was this ‘our’ about, didn’t you just come today?
Women were also self-aware and knew when one was in was wrong. She worked hard to serve vegetables for the child at the table, and settled the bill after she excused herself to the bathroom.
Jiang Wang did not stop her, he just quietly watched the few of them interact.
“I’m planning to spend some time with Xingwang for the next few days,” Du Wenjuan got up and filled them with yogurt again, smiling apologetically, “I didn’t spend a lot of time with my child before. Tomorrow I will take him to the playground and zoo. It just happens to be summer vacation.”
The child suddenly remembered something.
“Can I sleep with my mother tonight?”
“Of course you can.”
Jiang Wang was about to say yes without thinking, he raised his head when he heard the objection.
“The child is already nine years old,” Mr. Chang smiled, “Xingxing, you are already this old, you have to learn to sleep by yourself, you know.”
Peng Xingwang seemed to have been stabbed, he pursed his lips and said, “I just turned eight years old, and I usually sleep by myself.”
Du Wenjuan looked at Mr. Chang disapprovingly. The latter frowned and shook his head, “You have to pay attention, what if you pressure the child?”
“Xingxing,” the woman bit her lip and said, “It’s late, and I didn’t bring towels and a toothbrush with me. Mom will pick you up tomorrow morning, okay?”
Peng Xingwang nodded, and continued to bury his head in the last dessert.
The child was eating slowly, and Teacher Ji was still drinking porridge. Mr. Chang got up and went out to smoke, leaving the few of them in the room to chat.
Jiang Wang pretended to go to the bathroom, and went out to smoke after a while.
“Hello, good work.” Chang Hua shook hands with him in a business-like manner, “I heard Wenjuan say you are her cousin?”
“Far from it,” Jiang Wang said casually, “After going through several branches in the bloodline, there should still be a relationship.”
“So you aren’t very familiar with each other?” Chang Hua breathed a sigh of relief, took a deep breath and said, “I made you laugh just now, sorry.”
“But we are all men, you know,” he said in a subtle voice. “Why did this child have to also be her ex-husband’s son? Sticking too close… horrible.”
Jiang Wang smiled, “I understand.”
It was indeed very horrible.
“Wenjuan is fine everywhere, but she gets confused when deciding things. She only told me a month before the wedding that she had a son outside.” Chang Hua rolled his eyes with his back to Jiang Wang, and pressed the cigarette out on the railing. “The child’s father doesn’t even care about her. But she let it bother her every day.”
“But don’t worry, when this child is picked up by us, I will definitely treat him like my son.” The middle-aged man’s mouth became sharp again. “I will arrange a famous elementary school for him, and he will definitely live as well as he currently does.”
Jiang Wang let out a sigh and threw the freshly lit cigarette into the trash.
It was already eleven o’clock when the two groups parted ways. Both the mother and the child were a little reluctant to part.
“See you tomorrow,” Chang Hua said with a smile, “Sleep well, Xingxing.”
Jiang Wang pulled up the corner of his mouth and carried the child back into the car.
Ji Linqiu sat in the front passenger seat and waited for the car to get further before relaxing.
He had been quietly adjusting the atmosphere throughout the meal, so now he was too tired to speak.
Peng Xingwang looked at his mother’s distant figure through the window of the car, and whispered, “Mom is so beautiful.”
“She had to work hard, but now she finally has the opportunity to come and see you.” Jiang Wang turned the steering wheel and spoke perfunctorily: “You have to get up early tomorrow. When we get home, take a shower and go to bed.”
The child had been looking outside, and suddenly said, “Brother, you are an adult now, do you still miss your mother?”
Jiang Wang looked at the distance where a vehicle passed through like a meteor. His voice was very soft as he answered, “Yes.”
“Maybe now, I will think about it more often.”
Ji Linqiu laughed, his voice drowsy, “There is only either thinking or not wanting to think, how can there be any other possibility.”
Peng Xingwang heard their conversation and felt that he shouldn’t be so ashamed. It was not shameful to think of his mother.
“When I was holding my mother just now, it felt like being in heaven.” He whispered, “Her hair smells so good, and she keeps kissing me.”
The car drove all the way from the restaurant to their apartment. The two men led the child upstairs. The corridor was still dark, and they could only see the faint red light from the coal stove at the door of the old lady next door.
When they parted, Peng Xingwang asked again.
“In the future, will I call Uncle Chang, Dad?”
Jiang Wang raised his eyes to look at Ji Linqiu, surprised at his blunt words.
“There is no longer a need to coax him at this time,” Ji Linqiu stared at Jiang Wang, “He knows exactly what is happening.”
Peng Xingwang thought for a while and behaved very generously.
“It’s okay, I’m a very talkative child.” He waved his hand, “Thank you, Teacher Ji, good night!”
Jiang Wang took a shower and then directly fell onto the bed, still feeling a little squeamish for a while.
It was definitely not possible for him to do this.
He had a violent temper, and he was very good at dealing with the troublesome business of gangsters. But there was no f*cking way he could deal with this kind of complicated family relationship.
Even Ji Linqiu had to come over to help on the spot, otherwise he might have left with a black face halfway through.
It may also be that it was too warm when the three people made dumplings and watched TV together.
That kind of scene made him have an illusion of warmth, as if he could raise his young self alone, regardless of the lingering blood ties.
Jiang Wang turned over, and suddenly wanted to grab the sheep by Peng Xingwang’s bed and hug it to sleep.
The door was suddenly knocked on twice.
“Brother, are you asleep?”
“May I come in?”
The child groped around holding the sheep and stood by his bed to look at him.
Jiang Wang raised his eyebrows, he was irritable and said unceremoniously, “Don’t be afraid of oversleeping tomorrow.”
Peng Xingwang blinked.
“Brother, can I sleep with you?”
Jiang Wang thought to himself, he was already very strange when he was a child.
If he slept with his arms around his child-self tonight, it would be like a f*cking scene in a Stephen King novel.
“If you move around, I’ll kick you down.”
The child snorted. He hugged the sheep and slept next to him, obediently not moving, and lying very upright.
Jiang Wang closed his eyes and continued to sleep.
After pretending to sleep for a while, he stretched out his arms, took the child in expressionlessly, and hugged him tightly.
Peng Xingwang was gathered in his chest like a cat, his furry head resting against his chin. The child could only respond with excitement.
A small squeal flowed out.
Then he fell asleep very obediently, without snoring all night.
UwU the last scene, why are they so cute?!! (⁄ ⁄•⁄ω⁄•⁄ ⁄)
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