“Woo woo… Dad… woo woo…”
“Zaizai! What’s wrong with you? Quickly tell Dad!” Lu Ying was in a panic. He couldn’t remember the last time his son cried. Zaizai cried very rarely; even as a baby, when he was at his most helpless, he would rarely cry once he was clean, fed and wearing warm clothes. If he fell, he would struggle and get up on his own. One time he hit his head and bled and he only grunted once. He also had no fear of the injections that children dreaded. Lu Ying knew very well that it wasn’t because his son was brave and strong, but because he was a tough, thick-skinned boy, not very sensitive to pain.
No one would dare to believe it if he said that, but Lu Zaizai would be six years old soon and he had never been sick. In his three years of kindergarten, he was the only child in the whole school who had perfect attendance. From time to time parents and teachers asked him how to keep their children in good health but Lu Ying had no experience to speak of. It was the same as appearance, he was just born like that.
Hearing the child crying at this moment, what Lu Ying was most afraid of was ‘Is the child injured?’ Deep remorse and self-blame churned in his chest. Zaizai was still a child, why had he left the child alone at home!
“Good boy, wipe your tears and talk to Dad. Did you get hurt?” Lu Ying hurriedly pulled off his hat, got up and left the noisy crowd.
“Oooh, Dad, my hand is bubbled, it hurts so much, oooh oooh… Why aren’t you back yet, I don’t want you to go to work, I want Dad to stay with me, oooh… I don’t want to be home alone, woo…”
“Oooh, I don’t want to be home alone, oooh… I want Dad to stay with me, woo…”
Lu Ying held his phone as he walked, his tears pouring uncontrollably. He wiped them haphazardly, trying to calm himself down.
“Zaizai is good, Dad will be back now. Tell me slowly, why are there bubbles on your hand?”
“Oooh, I don’t know, ah, I just kept doing the puzzle, oooh… then I used the warm baby (heating pad), oooh…”
“Was your hand burned by the warm baby?” Lu Ying asked anxiously.
“But the warm baby wasn’t hot at all…”
“Dad knows, be good and don’t touch the injured area, wait for me to come back.”
Lu Ying hurriedly found a colleague and said: “Sorry for trouble.”
“You go back quickly, the child is important. Remember to call your supervisor to clear it up.”
On the road, waiting for the red light, he briefly explained the situation to Supervisor Li, and then hurried home with all his heart.
When he arrived downstairs of the community building, he got off the moped and rushed up the stairs, his running speed not slower than taking the lift. As soon as he appeared at the entrance of the corridor, he heard a happy cry mixed with tears: “Dad!”
Lu Zaizai had opened the door at some point and was outside, waiting for his father who had said he would be home soon.
He knew his dad would never break his promise.
“Zaizai…” Lu Ying caught his son who pounced on him, taking his hand carefully, “Let me see your hand, did you pierce the bubble?”
Lu Zaizai shrank his hand and sobbed again with his eyes red and swollen: “That bubble was so big, I thought it would go away if I poked it… woo woo woo… it hurt when I poked it, woo woo… it doesn’t hurt so much now… it’s because I missed Dad too much… I only hurt when Dad wasn’t home.”
He tightly wrapped his arms around Lu Ying’s neck and cried. Lu Ying was heartbroken and amused: “Cry if it hurts but let go and let me take a look.”
“Look, look, my hand doesn’t look good at all, woo…”
Lu Ying frowned and stared at his son’s little hand. A large area was red, the bubbles were pierced and the skin was wrinkled, the red and the yellow looking really terrifying. He encouraged, “Don’t be afraid, Dad will take you to the hospital now to rub the medicine. it will be fine in a couple of days.”
“Oooh! I won’t cry when Dad comes back.”
“Don’t use electrical appliances indiscriminately in the future when Dad is away, heating pads are small but they are dangerous.”
“En, but today I was suddenly so cold at home alone, oooh. I wanted to warm my hands. I blame the warm baby for being too naughty today, oooh, I think it deliberately bullied me…”
“……” Lu Ying was suspicious: why was his son much more fretful than him? This must have been inherited from someone who was spoiled.
Still being hugged by his son, Lu Ying simply picked Zaizai up, walked into the apartment, took his son’s medical insurance card and ID card and then went to the nearest top-three hospital.
There was a community hospital next door, but it had a very general reputation, and Lu Ying vaguely remembered hearing people say that burns from heating pads were low temperature burns, more difficult to deal with than high temperature ones. He felt more assured to go to one of the top three hospitals to see a doctor.
The top-three hospital was not far away, so they took the subway at the entrance of the community. Three stops later they got off, registered, got a ticket, queued, and waited.
Lu Zaizai, who had only had vaccinations in the community hospital and had never been in a big hospital, stopped crying a long time ago because there were so many little babies and big babies crying here. There were so many people, his ears were buzzing and he couldn’t quiet down for half a second. He looked around in a daze, cowering in fear and nervousness in his father’s arms, his heart beating like a drum. Woo woo, he wanted to go home.
Lu Ying waited with his son and half an hour passed in a blink of an eye. Seeing that the doctor was expected to leave work at noon, he regretted coming here. Had he known the situation, he might have just as well gone to the community hospital.
“Come on, let’s go inside with Dad and ask.” If they kept waiting for a call in the hall, he didn’t know how long it would take. When Lu Ying entered the corridor, there were two patients waiting in line outside the doctor’s office. A nurse came out from inside and Lu Ying immediately asked, “Nurse, I want to ask how many more numbers can be called in the morning? My son’s hand burns need to be treated urgently, can it be arranged in the morning? Can you please look if there is a way to temporarily treat the bubbles? Or tell me what medicine to rub on it, it’s all soggy now, what should I do?”
When Lu Ying grabbed his wrist, Lu Zaizai remembered his poor hand again and suddenly cried, aggrieved, sobbing and choking very eloquently.
The nurse was slightly shocked by this and gently held up Lu Zaizai’s chubby hand: “Oh, what’s wrong with it? You should have said earlier that it was so badly burned. Is it from the heating pad? This is a low temperature burn that is very troublesome. How come you punctured it indiscriminately, are you not afraid of bacterial infection? What a father, really!”
Lu Ying bowed his head in shame.
The nurse pulled Lu Zaizai towards the front of the ward, “Director Zhang, there’s a child with burns, can you take a look first? I’m sorry, Madam, you see this child is little, can you let him go in first?” She asked the last female patient at the door with embarrassment.
The lady who seemed to have an extraordinary temperament stepped out of the way immediately, “Go in, it doesn’t matter, I just have a minor injury.” After saying that, the woman turned her head and looked in Lu Ying’s direction.
Lu Ying, whose mind was originally on his son, suddenly looked up at this moment and could not help but stare.
Mrs. Qin smiled faintly, “Lu Ying, it’s been a long time.”
“…yes.” Lu Ying smiled dryly.
Mrs. Qin exhaled quietly; she didn’t expect to meet Lu Ying again in Qixia Town. Was it the narrow path of the enemies or was it fate?
“Dad, I’m scared, I’m scared, I want to go home, I don’t want to see a doctor, oooh…” Lu Zaizai suddenly broke away from the nurse and rushed into Lu Ying’s arms, crying.
Lu Ying anxiously comforted him: “Good boy, Dad is with you, you are a man, don’t be afraid of such a small injury. The doctor will give you medicine and you’ll get better soon. Dad will never lie to you.” He went in with the child in his arms. The doctor’s words were the same as the nurse’s and even more terrifying than the nurse’s words. It was absolutely necessary to apply the medicine. In the worst case, a surgery would be needed, which scared Lu Ying to death. On the contrary, the emotional Lu Zaizai slowly calmed down, his eyes swollen and his nose sniffling.
When the doctor cleaned the wound, Lu Zaizai couldn’t help howling again, his voice and energy making Lu Ying’s scalp tingle.
There was no doubt that he had been lucky over the years. A child who is not sick can save his parents a lot of hardship. Other parents said that it was difficult to bring up their children, and even more difficult when they were sick and had to go to the hospital. If a child suffers, adults suffer even more, with physical exhaustion and psychological stress being a constant source of devastation. No matter how naughty or lively a child is, when he is sick he is either listless or crying and clingy, unlike his usual self.
Seeing Lu Zaizai’s tears pouring, Lu Ying couldn’t do anything. He neither comforted nor reprimanded him. Anyway, crying enough was good, a few tears were not a problem.
“Be careful not to touch the wound when you get back, and not to get it wet. First apply the medicine for two days to see how the recovery goes. If it doesn’t go well, the rotten skin will have to be treated surgically. All right, go pay at the ATM outside, then pick up the medicine on the first floor.”
“Thank you, doctor!”
Lu Ying, having no doubts about his son’s recovery abilities, breathed a sigh of relief and walked out of the doctor’s office, only to realise that Mrs. Qin was still at the door. Remembering that she had given them her position, Lu Ying said, “Thank you, Mrs. Qin.”
“It’s as it should be, children are important. I just got a little burn while cooking. This is… your son? How old is he?” Mrs. Qin awkwardly gossiped, speaking slowly as if groping for every word. That wasn’t her style at all.
“En,” Lu Ying let out a long sigh, lowering his eyes and stroking his son’s head, “Zaizai, say thank you to grandma.”
There were still tears on Lu Zaizai’s chubby white and tender face as he sniffed and smiled, “Thank you, Grandma.”
Mrs. Qin was slightly surprised: “Haven’t I seen you before? At Dr. Hu’s clinic.” That time she didn’t have the heart to pay much attention to the child. She didn’t expect it to be Lu Ying’s son. Counting that, this was the third time she had seen him. It was really… fate.
“Grandma, that’s my godfather’s house.” Lu Zaizai was in a bad mood and replied in a cranky voice.
This child… even if he was Lu Ying’s son, she still couldn’t hate him.
White and chubby, how nice.
“What a coincidence.” Mrs. Qin smiled gently and leaned down to look at Lu Zaizai’s hand, “Does your hand still hurt?”
“It hurts, woo…” Lu Zaizai was still aggrieved. He had never been so painful in his life.
Lu Ying was speechless. A little hurt, the fat boy immediately turned into a petulant little princess, what a blast!
He didn’t even look at who he was being coquettish to, huh?
“Oh, look at your tears, be good, don’t cry. Grandma will give you a little gift, I hope you’ll get better soon.” Mrs. Qin put a small box she had been holding into Lu Zaizai’s palm. It was the only thing she had with her at the moment that was suitable for giving out.
Sure enough, Lu Zaizai really stopped crying and looked at the box curiously, asking in a somewhat tearful voice, “What is this?”
The box was small but very delicate, and not cheap at first glance.
Lu Ying wanted to say something but didn’t.
“A cute little pig, a kind of meeting gift from Grandma to you.”
“A little pig! I like little pigs the most! Thank you, Grand… Dad, can I have it?” Lu Zaizai braked just in time to eagerly consult his father’s opinion. Dad had said that anything given to him by an adult must be received with his consent.
Seemingly afraid that Lu Ying would refuse, Mrs. Qin hastily explained, “It’s not something expensive, the bank gave me a souvenir for free and I kept it. I just happened to meet you and your son, so you can let the child take it.”
After a pause, she added, “Your son is very cute.” She was even a little envious at heart.
Mrs. Qin thought that Lu Ying would not accept it easily, but to her surprise, he nodded readily, “Take it. Say thank you to Grandma.”
“Thank you, Grandma!”
“So good.” Mrs. Qin smiled kindly and looked at the chubby little face that she wanted to touch.
“Zaizai, say goodbye to Grandma, Dad will go home and make lunch.”
“Bye bye, Grandma!”
“Bye, Mrs. Qin.”
“Bye bye… bye.”
Lu Ying held his son’s hand and walked out.
It took a long time for Mrs. Qin to look away. Today she met Lu Ying and spoke to him again, and her heart felt much lighter. In any case, the past was like smoke, one should not be obsessed with it. Back then, Lu Ying in front of her was just an ignorant boy who didn’t know anything about the world, a totally innocent and careless child.
She thought she was a bully and a vain arrogant bitch.
It turned out that she had thought too much.
When they returned home, there was a green jade piggy lying in the box, with the logo of a certain bank at the bottom of the box. The colour of the jade was more translucent than the jade bracelet bought by the supervisor for 50,000 or 60,000 yuan, and the shape was cute and pretty.
Lu Ying put the jade piggy on his son straight away.
At night, he had a rare dream from a long time ago.
They were lying in a large glass room where they could see the sky full of stars. The white carpet under them was soft and warm, and they were dreamy and intoxicated, clinging to each other, full of love and warmth. Outside, flowers bloomed quietly, summer insects chirped and the night sky glowed with the silvery light of a river of stars.
Someone whispered softly in his ear.
I like you.
I like only you.
I like you if you are good looking.
If you’re ugly, I like you, too.
You’re a flower…
You’re a human or a fairy, I still like you.
You’re a little pig, I like you anyway.
Big pig hoof!(1)
Lu Ying: Hey, there’s no money for registration.
Mrs. Qin: I’ll give it!
Lu Ying: Hey, there’s no money for food.
Mrs. Qin: I’ll give it!
Lu Ying: You haven’t given me the one million you owe for your son’s payoff.
Mr. Qin: ……
- A common phrase used by a girl to diss a guy for being unreliable and breaking his promise