In the 2G era without video calls, long-distance calls between provinces were too expensive, and express mail delivery had just emerged, so Ietters were still the most commonly used medium for communication.
Du Wenjuan’s handwriting was beautiful and elegant, much like her style.
[ Brother Jiang Wang,
Long time no see, how are you lately?
It’s always raining in Cizhou recently. Sometimes when I see children treading on the water wearing rubber shoes, I think of you guys and miss you even more.
I wrote a letter to Xingxing, telling him to be obedient and diligent in his studies and also to eat fewer snacks to avoid gaining weight.
After thinking about it, I also decided to write you a letter, I hope you don’t feel it’s too abrupt.
When I saw you before, I noticed you had a scar near your eye. Have you been bullied by someone? How are you doing on making a living outside alone?
I have always admired your independence and ability, but I also want to advise you a little bit as a cousin.
Jiang Wang, don’t resort to violence or take risks outside, safety comes first.
Of course, it is important to make money. Just as I hope that everything will go well for Peng Xingwang, I hope that you have nothing to worry about as well, eat on time, and have sweet dreams every night.
Wishing you joy, health, and well-being. Du Wenjuan. ]
July 31, 2006
Jiang Wang received a letter from his mother for the first time.
As if he had forgotten how to read, he stared at it several times, reading each line of words over and over, smiling with his eyes lowered.
In a sense, his mother had sent a letter to his childhood self as well as his present self.
Each letter represents concern and warmth.
Jiang Wang carefully stored Peng Xingwang’s letter in his locked drawer, to be opened for him when the child came home. He read his own letter attentively and looked for pen and paper to reply at a loss.
Mom wrote to me.
Mom told me to protect myself, she cares about me very much.
Jiang Wang tried not to pay attention to the child-like excited thoughts in his heart, he pursed his lips and thought for a while, but he didn’t know what to write.
He began to regret sleeping through several of his Chinese classes, his mind suddenly became very empty when he really wanted to write something.
In the end, he returned a short, slightly awkward message, sealed it with tape, and then sent it back through the courier.
The whole process took only forty minutes, but it felt like it would take several days to fully digest.
His empty chest seemed to be filled with something, like two marshmallows and a few pieces of letter paper, it made his heart feel stable and comfortable even as it shook.
Peng Xingwang seemed to feel Jiang Wang’s awkwardness. He had just called the day before yesterday and was calling again today.
The first thing he said was, “Brother! I miss you so much!”
Indeed, he was as sweet as ever.
Jiang Wang responded with a childish tone that didn’t match his age, “Your mom wrote a letter to you and also wrote one to me.”
“Ah! Mom wrote to me! Read it to me quickly!” The child became anxious on the phone, “Why did I go to summer camp? I want to read the letter too.”
But he was able to cheer up quickly and asked eagerly, “Brother, will you write to me in the future?”
Jiang Wang thought for a while, “Let’s just call each other.”
He was a little overwhelmed by such delicate matters.
The child whined and rolled around listening to what Du Wenjuan wrote to him and what he replied, and repeatedly told Jiang Wang to protect his letter, he couldn’t wait to fly back and read it now.
After the phone call ended, Jiang Wang stretched lazily and got off work, humming a song on the way to pick up his car.
The setting sun was warm and gentle like a thin coat, embracing everyone equally.
His cheeks were warm and his heart was warm too.
When the child was here they usually didn’t go to bed early and stayed in the living room watching cartoons. Jiang Wang ate an orange and watched half an episode of “Approaching Science”TL/N: Mentioned in Chapter 16.2. It was rare for him to feel so sleepy by 8:30 in the evening.
He decided to wash his hair and go to bed, living a healthy lifestyle for one night.
The summer night was calm and peaceful, and even the dreams were mundane and unimportant.
As he was immersed in his thoughts, Jiang Wang suddenly heard an anxious knocking on the door.
“Mr. Jiang, are you there?!”
He slept so soundly that it took some time to realize that it was a voice in reality, he turned over and got out of bed walking over to open the door.
Ji Linqiu’s face was pale, he had never seen him in such a disheveled state.
“Brother Jiang, help me,” he was completely panicked. He was stuttering a little when he spoke, “My father– my father had a cerebral hemorrhage and is now undergoing emergency surgery in a provincial hospital. The doctor has issued an urgent notice. Can you take me there?!”
Jiang Wang quickly brought him a glass of wain water, “Hold on, I’ll put on some clothes and drive you there.”
Ji Linqiu had never asked anyone for help in the middle of the night. He felt guilty and at a loss, muttering, “It’s too sudden, I’m sorry…”
”If you keep saying that, we’ll become strangers,“ Jiang Wang had put on his shoes and patted him on the shoulder before closing the door and going downstairs, instinctively wanting to give Ji Linqiu more strength, “We’re buddies, it’s natural to take care of each other when there’s a problem.”
At 3:30 in the morning, even the attendants at the gas station were sound asleep. Jiang Wang hammered on the door three times before someone came out wiping their drool and almost filled up the tank with the wrong fuel.
Jiang Wang happened to be driving the company’s luxury car used for business negotiations, which had a smooth start on the gravel road, much better than the third-hand Xiali.
He drove fully concentrated on the road, letting the bright headlights disperse the night all the way.
During the journey, Ji Linqiu’s mobile phone rang non-stop, with a woman crying for help, saying that the situation was urgent, and the doctor gave them notice to prepare.
Jiang Wang had never been in contact with Ji Linqui’s family before, he didn’t need to ask who the woman on the other side was. After thinking for a moment, he gave out a name.
“Teacher Ji, use my phone to call this person. He has connections in the provincial city.”
Ji Linqiu helped him watch over the long road that was so dark that the water on both sides couldn’t be seen while dialing the phone.
No one answered the first time, they must have been sleeping too.
“Keep calling,” Jiang Wang was not afraid of offending people. “After they pick it up, put it on speaker.”
The second time it took only two reverberations before it was immediately connected, loud and angry cursing came from the other side, “Do you f**king know what time it is?”
“Ye, help me find someone. Do you know any friends from the People’s Hospital?” Jiang Wang stared straight ahead, speaking quickly yet calmly. “My teacher’s family member is critically ill and there are no available beds right now, it’s urgent.”
“Doctors don’t take red envelopes anymore at this time of night. How could there be a way?” The person on the other end cursed again and thought for a moment. “My brother-in-law works as a doctor at another hospital. They usually reserve beds there. If it’s possible, you can transfer the patient— what’s the illness?”
Ji Linqiu spoke up at this moment, “Cerebral hemorrhage.”
“What a coincidence. My brother-in-law is a neurologist at that hospital. Wait, I’ll send you his contact information and you can call him.”
After a few back and forths, it turned out that the matter was successfully negotiated on the road.
The hospital where Ji Linqiu’s father was currently dealing with a series of car accidents at the same time. The hospital had become too saturated to admit more patients, so they could only finish the operation and provide emergency treatment before being transferred to another hospital.
Ji Linqiu didn’t exhale until the matter was settled, but his face remained pale.
“I owe you a favor for this,” he rubbed his eyes with the back of his hand, his voice trembling from the stress. “…Thank you, I owe you one.”
“It’s nothing,” Jiang Wang skillfully double-flashed his lights on the car in front of them to watch the road. “Is your family in the provincial capital?”
“No, they just happened to be here visiting my sister. She got married and moved here many years ago.”
Ji Linqiu took a deep breath and put his forehead against the car window. “My father is getting old and his living habits are not good, alas.”
Jiang Wang actually envied people like him.
Both parents were still around, even if they were stumbling in their daily lives, they still cared for each other, and they were surely at ease in their hearts.
He didn’t say it out loud, just focused on driving.
“It’s okay, I’ll accompany you to take care of this.”
By the time they arrived, the sky was already misty and bright, as if it had been dyed gray by the mist.
Father Ji had been transferred to the neurology ward and resting at the moment.
The surgery was successful and the prognosis was good, as long as the medicine was taken smoothly and carefully, it would be fine after a period of recuperation.
When Jiang Wang accompanied Ji Linqiu up, Mother Ji was tearfully thanking someone.
She was short and hunched as if she had experienced a lot of hardships in life, her cheeks and the back of her hands were full of wrinkles.
But she was decently dressed, like an educated person.
There was also a young woman beside her wiping tears, her face was a bit similar to Ji Linqiu, presumably his sister.
“Mom.” Ji Linqiu called out in a low voice.
“This is Brother Jiang, he helped coordinate the hospital bed.”
The two women hurriedly greeted Jiang Wang, expressing their gratitude repeatedly.
Jiang Wang wasn’t very good at dealing with this kind of situation. After a few polite words, he said that there was a call he had to make, then he hid in a safe passage nearby to smoke.
He had never seen Ji Linqiu look so panicked and disheveled before, so he felt a little embarrassed being involved now.
But in any case, as long as the person was safe, it wasn’t a big problem.
Just as he was thinking this, the sound of a crisp slap in the face suddenly came from a distance.
“You useless waste!”
Jiang Wang’s face changed, he quietly pushed open the fire door a crack, only to see Ji Linqiu being slapped and his head turned to the other side.
“Your father and I have tried our best to persuade you countless times,” the woman said hysterically and in an unguarded manner without regard to the outsiders present. “We have carefully arranged connections for you. As long as you come here, you can work at the bank. If you don’t want that, you can easily find a good job to earn money. Why teach in that poor place? You almost couldn’t make it on time! What if he passed away!!”
Ji Linqiu’s back appeared very thin.
He was silent for a long time, his voice still cold.
“It’s okay now.”
“No, it’s not, this is a big deal!” The woman’s voice was sharp and harsh as if she didn’t care if the people in the ward were awakened, “You are the only son of our Ji family, and Your father wants you to come to the city because he couldn’t bear to leave you behind.”
“Let me ask you, when will you find someone decent to marry.”
“You’re almost thirty years old. If you don’t want your father to wake up and die of anger, you’d better figure it out!”
“Our Ji family – we can’t afford to have no descendants!!”
Hello everyone! Releases will be 2-3 chapters per week, specific schedule TBA hehe, and I promise to finish this novel this year for sure (*˘︶˘*).｡*♡
Thank you for reading! Ko-fi? ~旦_(^O^ )
Translator: asoc1a7 ꒰˶• ༝ •˶꒱
|↑1||TL/N: Mentioned in Chapter 16.2|