Chapter 130: Back to School in the Village
“Besides, where did such an elder brother come from? I won’t recognize anything that had nothing to do with me. We don’t share the same father nor the same mother, what kind of relative is he?” Qiao Mei said.
Zhang Qian had stood there for the entire afternoon without saying a word. He was too embarrassed to stay here when his mother was being so unreasonable and worried that he might need to say something later. Zhang Qian dragged Zhang Wei and Zhang Chao and pushed them towards Qiao Mei.
“These are your mother’s children! Take them with you! They are related to you so you can keep them!” He then turned around and wanted to leave with Old Madam Zhang and Zhang Cong.
“Mother, let’s go!” Zhang Qian shouted and hurried out without looking back, as if he was trying to avoid the god of plague.
Being asked to leave when she had only taken five dollars, Old Madam Zhang became anxious again as she had not gotten the money she wanted. She pointed at Li Gui and said, “Give me 500 dollars! You still have to pay for Cong Cong’s supplements and medical fees! Otherwise, you can keep these two children for yourself! Don’t even think about sending them back to the city to study! You can give up on that!”
“Grandma!” The two children panicked when they heard that they would have to stay in the countryside forever. They had been brought up by their grandmother since they were born and although she had never treated them well, they felt that it was still better than being with their mother. After all, Old Madam Zhang had always said bad things about their mother and they had believed it for so many years. This was not something that could be changed just by talking about it today.
When she heard that the children could not go to school, Li Gui got herself in a frenzy. If they did not go to school, they would be illiterate, then what kind of future would they have. They could not stay in this village for the rest of their lives, otherwise their lives would be over and they would not be able to find a good wife. The two children’s future could not be held back by her just like that.
Qiao Mei said to Li Gui, “Why are you panicking? There’s an elementary school in the neighboring village. They can just go there, it makes no difference where they go to school.”
The school in the neighboring village was only a few miles away from here and all the children in the village took the horse carriage ride in the morning. It picked them up to go to school in the morning and brought them back in the evening.
“That’s right, that’s right. It’s only seven or eight miles away. Our village has a horse carriage to send the children,” Auntie Zhou said.
When Zhang Wei heard that there was also a school in the village, which meant that he would not be able to go back to the city, he cried even harder.
“I don’t want to study in the village! How can the school in the village compare to the one in the city!” Zhang Wei cried.
“Alright, alright, don’t cry. You’re also ranked at the bottom in school in the city. Who knows, you might even be the best or second best student when you come back here. The other children will be so envious of you and think that kids from the city are so grand,” Qiao Mei said to Zhang Wei and Zhang Chao.
When Zhang Wei heard this, he immediately stopped crying. There would be children who would be envious of him? Zhang Wei was overjoyed. It turned out that his results were among the worst in his class and his classmates always laughed at him for being a villager. If being here meant that there would be kids who would be envious of him and that his results were comparatively better than theirs, then he could not be happier and so he immediately stopped crying.
Qiao Mei cut up the watermelon for the two children and the sweet smell immediately made the two children unable to look away.
“Who told you that the countryside is not good? Look across the street. That’s my house. In the countryside, you can grow whatever you want and eat whatever you want. You can also raise chickens and ducks in the courtyard and pigs as well. If you want to eat meat, you can eat meat. If you want to eat vegetables, you can eat vegetables. Can you eat like this in the city?” Qiao Mei said as she looked at the two children.
In that case, there was indeed nothing good about the city. In the city, everything had to be given to their grandmother, grandfather, father and elder brother first. It never got to be their turn. This watermelon was so sweet and tasted so much better than any melon that they had eaten in the city.
“I hope you’re not lying to me.” Zhang Chao still had doubts.
“Why will I lie to you, it’s not as if it benefits me to lie to you. Go in and take a look at Zhang Qin and Zhang Miao. You can just ask them.” Qiao Mei pointed towards the house.
As soon as the two children entered the house, they saw Zhang Qin and Zhang Miao sitting near the fireplace and eating sweet melons. When they saw their two brothers, Zhang Qin and Zhang Miao did not dare to move. Although their two brothers did not bully them at home, they were told that good things should be given to boys first.
Their two younger sisters had indeed gained weight and were also wearing new clothes. Zhang Wei and Zhang Chao were tempted by the fact that they would be able to live in such a big house and have nice food here. To them, having things to eat was more important than whether they could go to school and everything else was unimportant. Just like that, the two children accepted their fate without crying or making a fuss.