The sun shone beautifully in the afternoon, making it the perfect time to visit the park.
Honghe Park was a combination of an amusement park and walking paths. There were no places like Happy Valley here, just a large open park with some small entertainment facilities.
Du Wenjuan was afraid of heights, and Chang Hua lacked interest. So instead, two unrelated men played with the child the whole time.
Sitting on the carousel together, riding the small rollercoaster, and then bumping around in the bumper cars ride with the child in their arms. The three of them laughed loudly as if they were made to be a family since birth.
After finishing the rides that involved being tossed up and down, Du Wenjuan led Xingwang to fish for goldfish and do some manual work. Chang Hua sat next to them, talking and laughing.
Jiang Wang breathed a sigh of relief and leaned on the street lamp to smoke.
“How about you?” he asked, turning his head to the side. “Would you like one?”
“Isn’t teaching in the countryside boring? “Jiang Wang chuckled. “You seem pretty pure, I thought you’d be interested in a lot more things.”
Ji Linqiu was still looking at the mother and son next to the goldfish pond, and said, “She’s not afraid of heights, is she?”
“Hmm,” the man glanced back and said lightly. “It’s good they picked him up at this point.”
No wonder they chose to pick up Xingxing at this time.
If they missed this chance, they might not have another opportunity in the future.
“But having said that, as his eldest brother, I can continue to care about him.” Jiang Wang suddenly remembered something: “From the high school entrance exam and even the college entrance examination, I can still take care of his study materials, right?”
“Even when he transfers schools, I will take care of his study materials and school bags as well.”
Ji Linqiu sighed for a long time: “That’s… so sweet.”
The two talked for a while, and then Ji Linqiu went to play some epoxy with Peng Xingwang, while Du Wenjuan came over to drink some water and rest.
Du Wenjuan looked at her husband who was talking on the phone again in the distance, and said with emotion, “It’s not easy to raise children. You two are really patient. Teacher Ji is kind.”
Jiang Wang hummed and then changed the subject, “Actually, the kid sometimes trembles in the middle of the night when he sleeps.”
“I noticed it a few times when I tucked him under the quilt. Sometimes when I go to the toilet at night, I see the small light in his bedroom turned on.”
“Probably because he was always beaten before,“ lowering his eyes he said, “Although he is a lot more cheerful now, he still dreams of bad things.”
“However, now that you’re with him, he may gradually stop having nightmares in the future.”
Du Wenjuan’s eyes turned red immediately, and she was about to agree when an old couple with children came over to them.
“Wenjuan?!! Is it Wenjuan?”
“Hey, Grandpa Huang!”
The old couple was very happy to see Wenjuan, as they had watched her grow up. They also saw Jiang Wang standing next to her and praised him repeatedly.
“This cousin of yours is amazing, truly amazing!”
“He opened several bookstores in our city and donated a lot of money. He is a great benefactor!”
Jiang Wang felt embarrassed that his ears turned hot from the sudden praises while next to his young mother.
“Don’t be so polite.” He tried to stop them, “It’s all trivial matters.”
“Hey, Wenjuan, if you have time, talk to your cousin about marriage. My nephew’s daughter is very nice!” The old man persisted, and said with a thumbs up, “This young man is so handsome! He has a good heart and a thorough job, and he also sends eggs to us elderly people!”
Du Wenjuan suppressed her laughter and bid goodbye to the two old people. Looking at their backs, she said “It’s really nice.”
“I especially envy you.” She turned her head to look at Jiang Wang, and admired him sincerely from the bottom of her heart, “You put up your own business that you like, make friends everywhere, and you are very free.”
Jiang Wang felt that the tips of his ears were already too hot, and his face was a little red. He coughed and pretended everything was fine, “You can do it too. You’re only in your thirties, and there are plenty of opportunities now.”
“Well, for me,” Du Wenjuan smiled a little embarrassed, “I guess I can already see myself in old age with just a single glance.”
“But it’s okay. Now that I have picked up Xingxing, I have one less regret.” She said gently, “You also take care of yourself. It’s hard to make a living on your own outside.”
Jiang Wang looked at his mother’s young face, something was melting and rolling deep in his chest.
It was like something he deliberately ignored fell out of the safe and dangled back and forth in his empty chest.
“Mm, I will.”
“We’re all family members, even if the surname is Jiang, you are also my relative,” Du Wenjuan said solemnly, “We will contact you often in the future.”
Ji Linqiu left early after dinner. Jiang Wang sat with them for a long time before finally taking Peng Xingwang home.
Peng Xingwang played all day and went back to Jiang Wang’s house as usual to sleep that night.
When they returned to the familiar and warm home, the man stayed still for a while before reminding Peng Xingwang.
“It’s time for you to pack your bags.”
“You can take whatever you like with you, Brother will help you with the luggage.”
The child didn’t move when he heard the words, only standing still, not knowing what to do.
Jiang Wang squatted down so that he could be at eye level with him.
“What’s the matter?”
Peng Xingwang’s eyes turned red.
“I don’t know,” he shook his head quickly. “I don’t know what to do.”
He really wanted to say, ‘Brother, I don’t want to leave‘, but he was supposed to go with his mother. All the children in the world were supposed to be with their mothers.
——And mom had already come to pick him up.
Jiang Wang condemned himself in his heart for being completely unprincipled, he patted the child’s head, and said, “Then you don’t have to stay.”
“Just think of it as if you are going to take a trip with your mother, go to a new place to play for a few days, and then come back to see your brother when you are tired, okay?”
Peng Xingwang stared at him blankly, “Can I really come back to see you and Teacher Ji?”
“Really, don’t you remember my cell phone number?” Jiang Wang had never been so gentle, “As long as you call me, I’ll fly over to see you.”
“Why?” The child said in a daze. “Mom picked me up, your mission is over.”
“Let’s not get too sentimental,“ Jiang Wang thought he couldn’t help it at all, rubbed his face, and said, “Go take a bath.”
Du Wenjuan was worried that the child would not be able to get along with them, so she bought a ticket for 5:30 in the afternoon, but now it seems that it was actually too late.
Jiang Wang only brought some change of clothes for the child and basically didn’t bring many toys and books. The only thing he remembered was to repeatedly remind the child to take all his summer homework with him.
This time, Ji Linqiu didn’t wait for Jiang Wang to ask him; he took the initiative to come over and say goodbye together.
When Du Wenjuan left, she especially gave them two large boxes of Cizhou specialties, and held Peng Xingwang tightly, looking at them with a relaxed smile.
“We’ll see you when we have time, we will definitely take care of Xingxing.”
The child was still staring at the two of them in a daze.
Ji Linqiu waved goodbye from behind the ticket gate. “We won’t buy station tickets to go in and wait inside. You guys go and get more familiar with each other.”
Jiang Wang was still a little reluctant, but seeing that the child was about to enter the station, he squatted down and opened his arms.
“Come on, let your big brother give you one more hug!”
Peng Xingwang rushed over with his bag on his back and kissed Jiang Wang’s face vigorously.
“Brother, I will miss you! Even if I’m only away for one day, I will miss you very much!”
“Okay, the time is almost up,” Chang Hua knew that he couldn’t fit in with them. He checked his watch frequently and said, “Hard seats are easily robbed as well as luggage racks. So we have to line up early.”
Peng Xingwang said curiously: “Do I have a seat too?”
“You can sit on the box, since you aren’t more than 1.4 meters tall, you don’t need to buy a ticket.”
Jiang Wang watched as they disappeared at the security gate, and suddenly felt cold after standing for a while.
The world became too quiet, and he couldn’t get used to it.
“Let’s go,” Ji Linqiu said with his hands in his pocket, “You’re welcome, I know you’re lonely.”
“I still owe you the 8,000-word essay on teacher experience.” Jiang Wang sighed, “I haven’t written an essay in 800 years. Can I copy one on the Internet?”
“Of course not,” Ji Linqiu took the car keys in his hand, “Go for a drink?”
Jiang Wang was still looking at the ticket gate, but when he looked back, he became a ruffian again, as if he didn’t care about anything.
“I’m broke these days, so Teacher Ji will have to treat me.”
On the other side, Du Wenjuan sat on the innermost seat, and Chang Hua laboriously moved several boxes onto the luggage rack.
“When we get there,” he wiped his sweat and said, “You can sleep on the sofa for a few days. I will set up a small bed for you when I free up the study.”
“When you arrive at the new school, you have to listen well and make your mother proud.” The middle-aged man touched his head, thought for a while, and took out an apple from his backpack: “Are you hungry? Do you want instant noodles later?”
Peng Xingwang shook his head first, then realized something.
“I haven’t decided whether I want to transfer or not.” He said in surprise, “Didn’t you say that I can get a few days to decide?”
“I was just kidding,” Chang Hua saw that the child was already on the train, so he didn’t bother to hide it anymore, “Do you still want to go back here? Your mother is in Cizhou, so why come back?”
“But brother–” Peng Xingwang became anxious, “Brother said…”
“Your Brother lied to you.” Chang Hua interrupted directly, “From now on, you will be a native of Cizhou, and will live a good life with us.”
Du Wenjuan’s face changed slightly, trying to stop him, “Don’t do this.”
“The train is about to leave, why are you still coaxing him?” Chang Hua frowned, “He’s already eight years old, and it’s not like he’s being sent with us to suffer. There is no need to be so careful.”
The train whistle sounded loudly in response, like a horn on the eve of war.
Peng Xingwang’s face turned pale. Suddenly, he turned around and ran away.
He felt scared and instinctively thought that he had to get out of there quickly.
“Come back! The train is about to move!”
The child almost knocked down an uncle holding instant noodles. He jumped off the train in a panic and ran all the way to the ticket gate.
Du Wenjuan got up and wanted to chase after him, but the train was already slowly moving.
Meanwhile, Jiang Wang waited for his grilled lamb skewers to be served.
His emotions had been fluctuating too much today, and he was especially hungry tonight.
Ji Linqiu brought two cans of cold beer over and then glanced at the crayfish on the next table.
“Let’s order a plate too,” he hesitated a little, “but I’m not very good with spicy food.”
“If you’re a man, it should be spicy. “Jiang Wang patted the table and said, “Let’s do it!”
The beer hadn’t been opened yet when the phone suddenly rang.
“Jiang Wang!!! Xingxing is gone! Quickly go find him!!!”
“Ran away? Isn’t he with you–”
“Before the train left, Chang Hua said something he shouldn’t have said. The child was scared and ran off the train. Please go and find him!” Du Wenjuan was already crying and said in a hurry, “The train station is so chaotic, and there are many human traffickers. Please go quickly, I will find a way to come back as soon as I can!”
“Don’t worry, I’ll go now,” Jiang Wang got up and said, “It’s okay, he has 200 yuan in his pocket and knows how to take a taxi back.”
Blood quickly drained from Du Wenjuan’s face, “Didn’t Chang Hua return the money back to you?”
“Returned?” Jiang Wang frowned and said, “What do you mean he gave it back to me?”
“Oh no, the child has no money! Please go and find him quickly!”