Chapter 107 - Returning to the Village
Chapter 107: Returning to the Village
Early the next morning, Qiao Gui and Wang Qin went to the brigade to look for Zhao Liang, afraid that Qiao Mei would bring people around to cause trouble again. If that happened, Wang Qin wondered where she could hide her face. She did not want Qiao Mei to go looking for her superiors to say that she had occupied someone else’s house and in turn caused her to lose her job.
After paying 150 dollars and getting the original agreement, Wang Qin finally felt relieved. Zhao Liang quickly took the 150 dollars and went to Qiao Mei’s house. On the way, he could smell the fragrance of food from afar. It would appear that it was not a lie to say that Qiao Mei was capable.
“Brother Qiao! Brother Qiao, are you there!” Zhao Liang shouted from the door.
Qiao Mei hurriedly came out when she heard the sound. “Uncle Zhao, why are you here so early! My grandfather went out to pick vegetables.”
Zhao Liang took out the money from his pocket and handed it to Qiao Mei. “This is the money that Wang Qin’s family came to pay this morning. I came by to give it to you. Take a look.”
Qiao Mei walked over and put the money in her pocket without looking at it. She said smilingly, “Uncle Zhao, of course I trust you. Uncle Zhao, I just made steamed pumpkin, how about having some! Come in and eat. My grandfather will be back soon.”
Zhao Liang waved his hand and was about to leave when Qiao Mei suddenly said, “Uncle Zhao, does our village still have any homestead, as I want to get one for my mother.”
Zhao Liang thought for a moment and looked at the surrounding houses. He pointed in the southeast direction and said, “Look at that area. It’s not very big, but it’s quite close to your house. Otherwise, the area next to your Auntie Wang’s house is still empty, or the area close to Qiao Zhuang’s place. You can decide which area you like and just come to the brigade to let us know.”
Qiao Mei looked in the direction that Zhao Liang was pointing at and thought that it was not too bad, except that there was only one and a half mu of private land. Still, she thought that she should not ask for too much. Now that she was a prominent person in the village, people would talk about it if she asked for more private land. Besides, her mother would not have the energy to manage so much land, and having more land also meant that the Zhang family could demand for more later.
“Yes, alright! Uncle Zhao, I’ll go and look for you after I eat with my grandfather! Take care, Uncle Zhao!” Qiao Mei did not force Zhao Liang to stay. After sending him off, she went into the house to get the dishes ready and waited for Qiao Qiang to come back to eat.
At the dining table, Qiao Qiang could tell that Qiao Mei had something on her mind, but he did not say anything as he knew this child well. The previous Qiao Mei was impulsive and willful and he was always worried that she would get bullied outside. Given that she was all grown up now, he need not worry too much.
“Grandfather, do you think it is alright if the homestead for my mother is located next to Auntie Dong’s house?” Qiao Mei looked at Qiao Qiang with her big bright eyes.
Qiao Qiang smiled. “Sure, as long as you think it’s alright. Grandfather trusts you.”
“Right! I’ll talk to Uncle Zhao about this later.” Qiao Mei started to eat faster to quickly finish the food in her bowl.
“Hey! Slow down, slow down! You’re going to be a mother soon, yet you’re still so rash. It’s not good for your child if you’re like this!” Qiao Qiang hurriedly stopped Qiao Mei.
Qiao Mei put down the bowl in her hand and smiled foolishly. She had almost forgotten that she was the mother of two children. She touched her slightly protruding stomach and put down the bowl and chopsticks.
“I know, I know. I was so anxious that I forgot.” Qiao Mei looked at the time and said, “Grandfather, I’m off to the brigade.”
Qiao Mei went to the brigade to choose the location of the homestead and exchanged her work points for some wood. Then, she asked Uncle Zhao to help her find out where she could find someone who sold mud bricks from home. Although people were not allowed to buy and sell items in private during this period in time, it was fine to carry out it secretly and nobody would talk about it.
She then went home and got on her bicycle to go to the train station to pick up Li Gui. After all, that was still her mother. Although Li Gui was not by her side to take care of her when she was young, she still looked forward to having her mother around.
When Qiao Mei reached the train station, it was still much earlier than the scheduled arrival time. The month of June in the northeast of the country was not as hot as summer in the south, and it did not feel stuffy while she waited at the train station. Looking at the clouds in the sky, Qiao Mei felt much more relaxed. A train slowly stopped in front of Qiao Mei and as there were not many people getting off at the mountain village, Qiao Mei saw her mother at one glance.
“Mom! Here!” Qiao Mei waved her hands and looked at Li Gui. She also noticed the two little girls beside Li Gui.