Chapter 116 - Mixed Feelings
Chapter 116: Mixed Feelings
In life, one man’s joy could be another man’s sorrow. The Zhang family had been living an eventful and exciting life for the past week. In the beginning, when Li Gui left with the two children, there were three less people to feed in the house and the happiest person was Old Madam Zhang. However, as time went by, when no one did the housework and she had to do the cooking, she complained non-stop.
“You good-for-nothing! Go and find Li Gui and get her to come back!” Old Madam Zhang shouted at her son, Zhang Qian.
Zhang Qian ate in silence. He had already gotten used to such verbal abuse which had been going on for a week. In the beginning, he would even retort a little, but later on, Old Madam Zhang was brazen enough to go from house to house to spread rumors that she had been beaten up by her son and that her daughter-in-law had run away. She may be shameless, but Zhang Qian still cared about his reputation. Otherwise, in the past, he would not have spent so much money on betrothal gifts to marry a beautiful widow.
Zhang Cong quickly stopped Old Madam Zhang and said, “Grandma, what can she do here when it’s better to let her earn money there. She can make more than 30 dollars a day. That’s easily 300 dollars in a month.”
It was not that Zhang Cong did not want Li Gui to come back, but he had taken a fancy to a girl in the factory. Her surname was Sun and her full name was Sun Yan. She was 19 years old, beautiful and capable. Her registered residence and household register was in the city, so her family wanted a lot of betrothal gifts. They wanted 300 dollars and the Four Big Things.
At that time, it was popular to have the Four Big Things, also known as ‘three turns and one sound’, which referred to four items, namely a wristwatch, a bicycle, a sewing machine and a radio. They were all symbols of respectability. The Sun family even said that if getting the ‘one sound’ was not possible, they were fine with the ‘three turns’ and 500 dollars.
“As if I don’t know what you’re up to! You just want to marry Sun Yan! You got her pregnant and now you need your family to clean up your mess!” Old Madam Zhang berated him. The Sun family was not in a hurry and insisted on having the ‘three turns and one sound’ as the betrothal gifts. If they could not get it, they would report Zhang Cong for committing rape and send him to jail.
The only people in the family who were able to go out and make money were Zhang Qian and Zhang Cong. They could not count on the two younger ones. Zhang Wei was only ten years old, while Zhang Chao was eight years old. They could not go out to work and still depended on the family to support them.
Zhang Qian did not care whether Zhang Cong wanted to marry the daughter of the Sun family. After all, he would support his son if his son liked beautiful women as it would make the family look good. Moreover, he handed over his salary to Old Madam Zhang every month. He did not have a single cent to his name and Zhang Cong would never come to him for money.
“The supply and marketing cooperative has stopped taking in bean sprouts recently! If you ask me, Li Gui just made up a lie and ran away! How much money can she make from selling that! It would be hard to make 30 dollars a month, what more to think about 300 dollars.” Old Madam Zhang looked at Zhang Cong and rolled her eyes. This Zhang Cong was still counting on Li Gui to earn money. It would already be good enough if she came back.
“What!” Upon hearing this, Zhang Cong panicked. His plan to propose to Sun Yan this month was about to go down the drain. It would be so embarrassing as he had already made a promise to her. That would not do, he would need to go to the countryside to take a look.
As soon as he decided on that, Zhang Cong left home early in the morning to go to the village to find out more. He even brought along a big bag, thinking that even if he could not get the money, there was at least farmland in the village and he could get some vegetables and send them to Sun Yan’s family to appease them. This could probably help to ease the tension and get him a grace period of a few more days.
Zhang Cong had just bought the train ticket and was about to leave when he heard a bunch of people near the county train station saying that they were going somewhere to buy something. Zhang Cong followed them out of curiosity and when he got closer to the destination, he could smell the fragrance of fruits .
Li Gui and the other two aunties had already been selling vegetables and fruits in the area since early in the morning. Due to the bumpy road on their journey, the basket of watermelons was not transported properly and some of the bigger watermelons with thinner skins had cracked open. Li Gui was initially worried that it would not be easy to sell the cracked watermelons, but it turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Due to these cracked watermelons, people could smell the fragrance from faraway and were attracted to the area to buy them. Some people even got into arguments and fought over the watermelons, and it did not take long for them to be sold out.
Zhang Cong also went forward curiously to find out the source of the fragrance. When he got closer and saw Li Gui, he was so shocked that he quickly covered his face and turned around to leave. He only dared to look around secretly after he reached a corner. This business was so good that she could not say she did not have any money. Zhang Cong now felt that he would be able to get the money for the betrothal gifts this month.