Du Wenjuan asked for leave the next day and came back to see her son.
But she knew that it would be more difficult to separate once they met again, so she only watched from a distance and didn’t appear to hug him like the first time.
Peng Xingwang woke up very early and deliberately cooked instant noodles for breakfast for his elder brother. He then went to wipe down the whole house carefully, did his homework, and then wrote an apology letter to his mother. He also went downstairs to buy ten stamps and pasted them all.
He thought that the more stamps were pasted, the faster the letters would be delivered.
At the moment, Ji Linqiu was accompanying him on a swing in the small garden on the corner of the street. The two of them were basking in the sun together, dazedly watching the vehicles coming and going on the side of the road.
Du Wenjuan stood hidden in the distance, her hands clasped and her eyes red.
Chang Hua was waiting for her in the open space next to the station, and refused to come to meet Jiang Wang, presumably for fear of being beaten.
The man stubbornly insisted that he was too busy with the luggage and tickets that he forgot to return the money. He didn’t think he did anything wrong.
Du Wenjuan was originally very thin, she seemed to have become even more haggard and weak after tossing back and forth throughout the trip.
“I’m already pregnant,” she said bitterly. “The due date is in March next year.”
“I really wanted him to… integrate into his new family now.”
“Any later, and it may be too late.”
“ He won’t fit in.” Jiang Wang said, “No matter how early we start, it’s impossible for him to blend in.”
No matter how close they were, no matter how warm, eventually, it will still feel like they were separated by something.
Du Wenjuan watched from the corner all afternoon, unable to get enough of seeing her son playing on the seesaw and building a snowman in the sandbox.
The new life growing in her lower abdomen, made her senses and desires even stronger.
During this time, Chang Hua called her two or three times to urge her, but she hung up directly.
Peng Xingwang turned his head to look at her several times, but the newsstands and the bamboo forest separated them so the child couldn’t see anything.
Du Wenjuan used Ji Linqiu’s mobile phone to talk to him for a long time.
As they spoke the two of them gradually calmed down, looking forward to the next meeting, before finally hanging up.
Jiang Wang drove Du Wenjuan back to the train station.
He looked at the man sitting on the bench with his legs crossed reading the newspaper, and didn’t unlock the car for a while.
“You are too easy to manipulate.” Jiang Wang said lightly, “He will gradually push down on your bottom line, whether it is for Xingwang or in the name of the child in your belly. He’ll always find an excuse.”
Du Wenjuan was taken aback for a moment as if she had never thought about this question before.
“Is it… like that?”
Jiang Wang looked at her deeply, feeling calmer.
“You said, even if my surname is Jiang, we are still a family.”
“If you suffer any grievances, you can come back here and live a safe and happy life. Both Xingxing and I will protect you.”
“Of course,” he took a deep breath and said softly, “We all want you to be happy too.”
Women rarely get men’s promises in this regard, and it could even be said that she had rarely been treated like this.
As an ordinary woman from a small town, Du Wenjuan had grown up and lived in a rough and simple environment. She has long been accustomed to giving up many things.
She seemed to have never known her own cowardice.
“Is that so…” She murmured, “Me and… Mr. Chang, we will live a good life together.”
Jiang Wang laughed.
“How he treats you depends on how you fight for yourself.”
Chang Hua’s personality of bullying the weak and fearing the strong was typical. Knowing that his wife’s family had such a strong cousin, he would be relatively cautious.
Du Wenjuan nodded quickly, then suddenly stretched out her arms and gave him a tight hug.
“Thank you.” She said sincerely, “I feel guilty for leaving Xingxing here.”
From what Jiang Wang remembered, this was the first time he had been hugged tightly by his mother. It made his cheeks immediately get hot.
“Well, it’s annoying to say too much.” His tone softened a lot, “Let’s go, have a safe journey.”
Du Wenjuan waved goodbye as she got out of the car, and then walked towards Chang Hua.
Chang Hua saw Jiang Wang’s car and put away the newspaper vigilantly.
“Let’s go.” Du Wenjuan rubbed her eyes, her heart was still sour. “I will come to see the child another day when I am on vacation.”
Seeing that there was no child around her, Chang Hua breathed a sigh of relief and felt offended at the same time, “What? Xingxing refused to come back with you?”
“What’s so good about this place?” The man complained, “He really doesn’t know what’s good or bad, we’re over there…”
“Shut up.” Du Wenjuan said bluntly, “If you stimulate him again, I will slap you.”
She had never used such a tough tone before, as if she had finally figured something out.
Chang Hua’s eyes widened, and he said in surprise, “What are you so irritated by?”
He was a little angry but he was worried about the child in her stomach, “We have such a good relationship, don’t ruin it over this little thing.”
Du Wenjuan sneered, “Be glad Xingwang didn’t have an accident.”
“If he had hurt his leg when he jumped off the train or was abducted when he ran out of the train station I would definitely not be so easy to talk with.”
“Chang Hua, you sometimes go too far.”
The man’s face turned red, he wanted to quarrel with her but knowing he was in the wrong, he simply slapped the 200 yuan back into her hand.
“I got it, I got it,” he said impatiently. “I’ll be more careful in the future. We’ll pick him up after you give birth and recuperate for a while, so don’t worry about it anymore.”
Du Wenjuan let him carry her bag, and walked slowly ahead, thinking about many things.
She really shouldn’t have endured it blindly. She should have thought of this a long time ago.
This incident did not bother the little one for too long. He quickly began to get busy with new things.
Jiang Wang knew that summer and winter vacations were the golden periods for selling books. During this time, he was wandering around looking for inspiration.
Selling in quantity was still not as good as selling in quality. In fact, from his current assets, it was more than enough to open a large supermarket similar to Walmart or Carrefour.
But things like books were not time-sensitive, they were easy to transport and easy to store. They can be immediately printed locally even if the transfer was not yet ready. It was really suitable for business.
When he thought about it, he felt that the city was too quiet and lacked excitement.
——Modern festivals were limited to discounts on clothes in department stores and Christmas trees being placed in the surrounding areas with bare-ass little angels. It gets boring to see after a while.
Jiang Wang looked around and decided to rent the small square to hold an unforgettable carnival.
But of course, selling books was the most important part.
There were three categories of different themes to display, textbooks, best-sellers, and comics.
He first ordered more than a dozen cardboard standees, then hired a few people to dress up as mascots and interact with the tourists. In between, there will be fun and delicious stalls on Saturdays and Sundays! The whole city will celebrate the holidays together.
With the idea certain, everything moved extremely fast.
Peng Xingwang was responsible for inquiring about what comics and animations the students have been watching recently. It was best to take a small notebook and fill out the wish list before calculating the ranking on popularity.
Jiang Wang went to apply for a permit with the fire department and the police station, as well as found enough small vendors to participate in the carnival.
There were a few plum blossom cakes and pork floss cake vendors invited. He tried to pick clean shops with business licenses to set up stalls.
He also added some ring-toss games and fortune-telling booths with tarot cards to count the line of love, academics, and wealth, covering all levels from elementary to high school.
Peng Xingwang didn’t have time to think about life as he was busy with things. Every morning, he visited households with his small notebook and collected information. He also used a landline at home to chat with people. His mouth had become sharper than ever before.
Jiang Wang also took this opportunity to get in touch with several elementary and high school principals in the city. He inevitably found guests to have a drink with and unexpectedly gained a lot of new friends.
A vice principal even decided on the spot for Peng Xingwang to come to their school to study in high school. Regardless if he scored low in the entrance examination.
Jiang Wang drank a large glass on the spot and looked so drunk that he was about to speak nonsense, but he was careful with his words and actions.
The scale of his company was growing day by day, and all the employees had to be personally inspected by him before being hired, each one more capable than the other.
Nearly half of City A knew Jiang Wang, even if they didn’t know him personally, they have heard of or visited the four bookstores he opened.
——After the last 5,000 copy incident, the scale of the warehouse had further increased. A new store had also been renovated and opened at lightning speed.
Jiang Wang emptied several containers of No. 93 gasoline for the carnival. In the end, he fell asleep and still dreamed about doing business.
He worked meticulously and strictly guarded against incidents such as fires and stampedes. Especially now in 2006, when the restrictions were looser, he paid attention to everything properly. The management plans were constantly revised, to the point where his employees wondered where the boss got so many ideas from.
He could even recite the map of the city with his eyes closed. Where the industrial zone was, where the delicious honey-glazed pork chop restaurant was, and which communities have the most pocket money for children.
As he circled back to the old town area, he saw Peng Jiahui Ieaning on a trash can drinking in broad daylight.
From a conventional perspective, Peng Jiahui, who was addicted to alcohol and often beat children, looked like a very unpleasant villain, dirty and unkempt
But it was a bit funny to see such a villain drinking next to the trash can with a melancholy face.
Jiang Wang placed his hands on the steering wheel and watched his father shaking and drinking messily, wondering if he had a tendency towards masochism.
He still chose to stop and walk over once again.
Peng Jiahui slouched and drank sadly. He didn’t care about the eyes of the people around him as well as how they covered their noses when passing him.
Then he saw Jiang Wang coming over.
He tried to sit up a little straighter in a panic and then realized that he was leaning against a trash can, neither standing nor sitting.
Jiang Wang wore a suit and leather shoes. He combed his hair back and sat next to the trash can with Peng Jiahui in a leisurely motion.
“Haven’t I just fished you out of the inpatient department a few days ago?” Jiang Wang looked at his watch, “It’s only half past four in the afternoon. Have you been fired from work?”
“No,” Peng Jiahui shook his head with tears in his eyes, “I have finished my work assignment.”
It’s okay as long as I finish work on time.
Jiang Wang looked at him with a sad look, but his tone was playful, “Then what?”
“And then—” Peng Jiahui belched, he raised his head and chugged the alcohol with tears streaming down his face, “Xiaoyan and the yellow fish seller were both in my bed.”
He raised his hand and used the bottom of the bottle to hit his head as if trying to knock off the invisible green hatcuckold; the partner is cheating on them on it.
“One after another, why are they all like this!” The middle-aged man cried with a sad face, “I’m rubbish! Waste! A failure!”
Indeed, he was.
Jiang Wang was in a good mood seeing him miserable like this. He felt he was too tired from work and needed to take a break. He sat next to him and lit a cigarette. He also took out from his pocket the half-pack of paper that Peng Xingwang hadn’t used last time.
How come both the father and son were like this, he obviously felt that he didn’t have this kind of comedy talent in him.
Peng Jiahui’s action of blowing his nose was exactly the same as Peng Xingwang’s, pitiful as if he had been bullied miserably.
“Do you know what she said?” The middle-aged man wiped his face violently with the tissue, “She said that I run around the factory every day, and the motor oil was more smelly than the yellow fish seller.
“Then Xiaoyan deleted my phone number in front of me, and left with her nose high in the air! I’m so stupid!”
Peng Jiahui took a deep breath and said solemnly, “Let me tell you, love is a bad thing.”
“Don’t touch love even if you touch tobacco or wine!!!”
Jiang Wang rubbed his nose and reluctantly accepted the first life lesson given to him by his biological father.
“Don’t touch it,” he just found it funny. “Then you shouldn’t touch it either.”
When one’s experience and income were higher than that of one’s biological parents, it seems that many unresolved thoughts could be easily brushed off.
He had too many advantages now, even sitting next to the trash can and Peng Jiahui felt like they were people from two different worlds.
“I can’t touch it anymore.” Peng Jiahui felt particularly melancholic, “I’m such a waste.”
“Then stop being a waste.”
The middle-aged man twitched for a moment, then wiped his eyes with the back of his hand.
“Is it that simple?”
“It’s that simple.” Jiang Wang’s mobile phone in his pocket vibrated again, probably news related to the carnival.
He suddenly remembered something and patted Peng Jiahui on the shoulder.
“Do you want to sell cotton candy?”
Peng Jiahui was stunned in place and repeated, “Me? Sell cotton candy?”
“That’s right.” Jiang Wang threw the mineral water bottle that was poking his buttocks in the trash can, and said naturally: “There’s a carnival I’m organizing and I need someone to sell cotton candy.”
“I’ll rent you the machine, and the booth fee will be waived, so you can just come and have some fun.”
It was the first time Peng Jiahui heard this kind of thing, touching his head he said, “Can I do it? But I can cook, I can cut cucumbers into very fine strips, so it should be okay?”
“Come, get up,” Jiang Wang propped his arms up, “You go and change into some decent clothes first.”
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