Peng Xingwang’s grades weren’t actually that bad.
He didn’t pay much attention in his first grade, but the small towns had also tried to follow the trends. Therefore, they made the children generally learn English early. But in the end, Peng Xingwang just couldn’t keep up.
Jiang Wang was the adult version of this child. He didn’t need to take the Fourth-level English exam when he joined the army. So his level had not improved even after so many years.
“Ai, Xingke, da te (I think that)––”
Peng Xingwang touched his lips and said, ”Ai, xingke (I think)––”
The final exam was only a few days away, so it was good to practice and try to push up the score a little bit more.
Jiang Wang had veteran parents in this field back at his office. While they were knitting clothes, he was thought to cut out cigarette boxes and make them into word cards to be used as teaching materials for their children.
“Is it that simple?”
“Hey, the key is enlightenment, you have to accompany them to develop an interest first.”
After Jiang Wang got home, he took the vocabulary cards and taught him modestly.
“Pai, na, a, po.”
Peng Xingwang sat upright.
“Pai, a, na, po.”
“Wrong, wrong, do it again.”
After repeating ten more times, Jiang Wang turned over the word card.
“So what is 菠萝 in English?”
Peng Xingwang was full of confidence, “Ah, Paipona!If you didn’t get it its pineapple. Mr. Jiang has completely ruined it for our dear Xingwang ╥﹏╥”
Before Jiang Wang’s tutoring, Peng Xingwang could still score up to 62 points for the exam, but after tutoring, it was directly reduced to 48.
The child’s nose had already turned red from crying, he only dared to go home after wiping away his tears. When he handed the paper to Jiang Wang, his mouth was curved down. He was ready to show and directly whip out his butt for him to slap at any time.
But Jiang Wang didn’t have the slightest urge to condemn him.
It’s not that he was more in favor of encouraging education or other things, it was purely because he himself got a lower test score in junior high.
When Peng Xingwang looked at the man holding his paper, he observed his expression carefully like a searchlight.
Jiang Wang had no expression, “Where do I sign?”
Peng Xingwang hesitated, “Aren’t you angry with me?”
‘…How could I dare be angry with myself?’
When the child saw that he had no reaction, he took the initiative to be honest with his thoughts.
“Big brother, you… are so busy now, yet you still remember to help me with homework, but I did worse in the exam… I’m sorry.”
Jiang Wang touched his chin, and suddenly remembered something, “What did Teacher Ji say?”
Peng Xingwang’s eyes turned red again, “Teacher Ji criticized me.”
“He asked me who I learned these pronunciations from, and I said my eldest brother.” The child was particularly aggrieved, “Then he told me to listen more to the tapes and he will check my readings next Monday.”
Jiang Wang finally realized what the point was.
The crane tail cannot guide another crain tailRefers to the last place, or a person lagging behind., indeed.
“Let’s do it this way,” he rubbed the child’s head, and pulled out a milk candy from the drawer for him to eat. “I will contact Teacher Ji later to see if he can accommodate you for make-up classes on the weekend, okay?”
Peng Xingwang decided to punish himself and not eat the sugar. He put the sugar in the stationery box very seriously, “Will Teacher Ji hate me? I’m so stupid.”
Jiang Wei laughed, “Do you think Big brother is stupid?”
“…Not at all!”
“Big brother is not stupid, so you are not stupid, understand?”
The child didn’t understand the logic at all, but still nodded obediently.
When Peng Xingwang went back to watching TV in the living room, Jiang Wang sent Ji Linqiu a text message.
It’s really inconvenient not to have WeChat. He really wanted to see what Teacher Ji’s circle of friends would post.
[Excuse me, Teacher Ji, Xingwang’s English foundation is relatively poor. I don’t know if it is inconvenient for you to have make-up classes with him privately? Thank you very much for your hard work.]
After about fifteen minutes, the other party replied back.
[Mr. Jiang is welcome. I happen to be free on Friday night, so just let him come over at 8 o’clock.]
The conversation should have stopped here, but Jiang Wang continued to look at the screen.
He didn’t really want to talk about money with this person.
Even if Jiang Wang’s image of the ‘gentle and handsome Teacher Ji’ in his heart had already been transformed into the ‘occasionally wet Teacher Ji’, the pure white aura was still inseparable and should not be tainted by trivial matters.
The man thought about how to reply for a while, but his phone vibrated again.
[Does Mr. Jiang often go to the provincial cities on weekends?]
[If it is convenient, can I hitch a ride? Thank you very much.]
Jiang Wang’s eyes lit up.
He does go to provincial cities every weekend to have meetings with clients. He basically drove by himself, and his seats were very empty.
[Convenient, where is Teacher Ji going?]
[There is often a weekend book market near the Normal University, and some lectures are also held there. I have always been very interested.]
[Okay, see you then.]
Jiang Wang had always had some sort of obsession with Ji Linqiu.
He inquired vaguely, and the feedback from the neighbors was consistent with his memory.
Ji Linqiu had a polite and friendly relationship with his colleagues, but he didn’t have many close friends.
Such a good teacher, how could he live alone until he turned forty or fifty years old in such a clear and cold manner.
Every time he thought of him, a bit of childish obsession emerged from deep in his heart.
If you want to make the teacher happy, you should make the teacher’s life a little more lively and comfortable.
They will definitely be able to talk a lot on the road.
While thinking about this, Jiang Wang felt a glance from the little one.
“What are you thinking?” Peng Xingwang took the lead and said, “You’ve been laughing for a while.”
The man glanced at him, “Something wrong?”
The child held himself back and stood at the door for a while, then he took two or three steps to the side of his chair, and then once again stopped himself for several seconds.
“That… Big brother, don’t be angry.”
“I’m not angry, just say what you have to say.”
Peng Xingwang’s cheerful aura disappeared a little, then he lowered his head to look at his toes and said, “I… I want to go home some time.”
For fear of breaking the heart of his beloved elder brother, he quickly raised his head and quickly looked at the man’s expression, “Don’t get me wrong!”
“I… I am afraid that my father will die.”
“Although he often beats me, Grandma Huang also said that he made my mother angry so she left… but I am still afraid that he will die.”
Jiang Wang went silent for a few seconds, then stretched out his hand to hold him.
“I’ll take you there tomorrow, okay?”
He knew what he was afraid of when he was young.
Drunks don’t care about others, let alone themselves.
Once a person became deeply intoxicated, his sense of autonomy would slowly wither away, making him easily choke on vomit and suffocate.
Jiang Wang wiped his father’s face many times with a hot towel when he was a child.
The towel was originally a new towel given to him by Aunt Zhang next door to wash his face. Back then, the snow-white cloth was still printed with pears, but later it was dyed into a ragged piece of cloth by yellow turbid vomit.
It was extremely memorable that many years later Jiang Wang would stay for a long time in the supermarket when buying towels.
But anyway, he still had to accompany Peng Xingwang in person, to make sure that the bastard father wouldn’t do anything out of line.
The next day, school finished a bit earlier, and the sky was clear and brilliant at four o’clock in the afternoon. Jiang Wang accompanied Peng Xingwang to walk slowly in the direction of his old home.
The child now had a lot of things he had only dreamt of.
A clean and tidy room, with a desk, lamp and his favorite books. After finishing his homework, he could also watch two episodes of “Naughty Blue Cat’s 3000 Questions”.
But he still thought of his father who had never been kind to him.
The alleys were still crowded and lively. The aunt was standing in front of the open-air vegetable stall with a bag of tomatoes and chatting casually. The vendors were sweating and roasting lamb kebabs.
Jiang Wang walked step by step, imagining what his father was doing right now.
The roles of parents were similar to teachers, which means they also have an aura of greatness and invincibility towards children.
It seems that as long as they were mentioned, the bloodline would still evoke a lot of longing and joy, even if they knew it shouldn’t be like this.
Peng Xingwang was alive and kicking as he walked down the road, but the more he walked, the more nervous he became.
“Actually, my father is very good sometimes,” he suddenly defended himself, “When my father doesn’t drink, he will take me to the park to play and fry fish for me to eat.”
“Dad… he… is under too much pressure at work, and he always drinks too much alcohol when he is unhappy. ”
The man listened quietly, and his past memories also slowly emerged.
“Really, Big brother,” Peng Xingwang smiled embarrassedly, “Do you… hate my father?”
Jiang Wang looked down at his younger self and thought about it for a long time.
“I don’t know.” He replied, “Maybe I… I’m not very familiar with him either.”
When the two had walked to the depths of the shanty town, they suddenly smelled the scent of pork ribs and kelp soup.
The child’s eyes lit up all of a sudden, “It’s the soup made by Dad! I drank it a long, long time ago. Big brother, did you tell him in advance that we were coming?”
“It’s great that he didn’t drink today,” Peng Xingwang tried to make himself behave naturally, rubbing his eyes and smiling, “I told you not to tell Dad, really…”
Before Peng Xingwang could finish, a woman with strong perfume wisped past their shoulders and walked over. Her small high heels were sharp and thin, and her voice sounded crisp.
Peng Jiahui was currently tasting the food in the kitchen, when he heard footsteps he hurriedly combed his hair with his hands and went out to greet her.
“Sorry, sorry. I should’ve come out to pick you up. Xiaoyan, are you tired of walking, let me cut you an apple?”
The woman let him hold her waist and walked in with a smile, “Brother Peng~ I seem to have seen a lot of outsiders.”
The child stared blankly into the distance, suddenly not knowing what to do.
He was only seven years old, and he usually acted like he had a good idea of what to do. But at this time, he finally showed panic that was appropriate for his age.
Two more steps forward, you could look at the balcony and living room through the window.
Jiang Wang calmed down for a few seconds and wanted to bend over to pick up the child.
But Peng Xingwang took the lead and took one step back, his voice much lower, “Big brother, it’s getting late. I’ll go home and do my homework first.”
Jiang Wang wanted to say something comforting, but Peng Xingwang walked faster with his back to him, “Okay, it’s alright. I’m relieved that he hasn’t choked to death. Thank you Big brother, for accompanying me.”
Making sure the child was sent home, the man went downstairs in his coat and returned to the shanty town alone.
He stood not too far away from the old home and smoked. He wasn’t entirely focused on smoking, but seemed more so in a daze through the smoke.
The kelp soup was very fragrant, and it could be smelled more than ten meters away.
He also hadn’t drunk pork ribs soup for many years.
Obviously, there was a large pot worth tens of yuan in the restaurant, but he had never drank it.
He didn’t know how long it took as he stood there waiting for Peng Jiahui, who was bidding farewell to the woman. Peng Jiahui walked back and was startled when he recognized Jiang Wang.
“Hey? Is it you?”
Jiang Wang leaned against the wall and spit out a smoke ring, neither looking at him nor speaking.
Peng Jiahui, who was in his early thirties, showed an embarrassed smile, knowing that he had seen it.
“Xingwang him… how is he?” Peng Jiahui also knew that he had no more face to mention his child, and explained sternly, “I just changed my job, and now I drink less than before.”
“Everyone envies you for making money, and says that you manage him very well. I feel very grateful towards you.”
The middle-aged man didn’t know that Jiang Wang was a blood relative from the future, so he said a lot to himself.
“I also know that drinking all the time is not a good thing, but I have relied on it too much in the past few years, and I can’t quit it entirely.”
“When I can buy a decent house, I will definitely…”
Jiang Wang interrupted him suddenly.
“Xingwang was worried that you were choking, so he asked me to take a look.”
“No, no,” Peng Jiahui smiled embarrassedly, and quickly told him to wait a minute. He ran home to pick up a few things, then came out with a pile of stuff in his arms. He tried to choose a few large bills from his stack of broken money and handed them to Jiang Wang along with the pile of miscellaneous things.
“This is a practice question that Xingwang hasn’t finished. This is the lamb he likes to sleep with and this book… I drank too much and became angry before so I tore it, but now it’s all glued together.”
Jiang Wang looked at him silently for a few seconds, then took out five hundred yuan from his pocket with a cigarette in his mouth, and stuffed it toward Peng Jiahui with the broken money.
“I’ll take the things, you can take the money. At least buy a few decent clothes and don’t embarrass the child.” His voice was hoarse, as if he was pressing down words he wanted to say, “I’m leaving.”
Peng Jiahui stood at the end of the alley with the money. Standing until Jiang Wang had already left for some time before leaving himself.
Jiang Wang sat at the barbecue stand alone.
He didn’t want to think anymore about these things, and he was not a person who would think about philosophical family problems.
He simply drank two glasses of beer, smoked a few more cigarettes, and packed a ham and sausage pancake to-go.
The child had finished his homework and had already gone to bed. But he hadn’t used his pocket money for dinner, and didn’t even eat the newly bought potato chips in the living room.
It may also be that he wasn’t sleeping, and just didn’t want to face him.
Jiang Wang didn’t speak, he leaned over and stuffed the dirty old lamb next to the child’s face. After thinking about it, he directly tucked the lamb into the quilt.
He heard faint sobs as he left the room.