Early in the morning at the entrance of Primary School 12 in Qixia Town, there were already two long queues. At a glance, there were mothers, fathers and grandparents standing in them.
Lu Ying and Lu Zaizai were also in the middle of the queue, and there was a lot of commotion around them. Many of the families consisted not just of one or two members, but several, taking turns in the queue, and the errand runners were responsible for buying food and drinks. Many women wore sun hats and held umbrellas. Next to them were some fathers and mothers, either holding their babies or pushing prams.
Lu Ying and Lu Zaizai had their heads lowered, their mouths dry from the sun. It used to be so simple to sign up for kindergarten. You could just come, pay and leave, and it didn’t matter if you paid a few days later. So there were no queues. Of course, it was also because of the small number of kindergarten students. There were only twenty or thirty children in the class.
Lu Ying had heard that the average number of children in a class at Primary School 12 was forty-five, with seven classes in a year, so the number of new students in the first grade alone was huge. In addition, primary school demanded a lot of complicated documents and had strict requirements. The efficiency was not really high.
Lu Ying took the day off today to register. Even though he was too hot and sunburnt, he couldn’t leave! Tomorrow he had to go to work, and the day after that, on September 1, the school would officially start.
“Dad, I’m so hot… I’m going to have a sun stroke.” Lu Zaizai showed his tongue, panting exaggeratedly, his white chubby face flushed.
Lu Ying hurriedly took out a paper towel to wipe his son’s sweat, and sighed: “When you go out, you need to wear a hat, but you didn’t listen to me. I told you it would be very hot today.”
Lu Zaizai grunted: “But it’s even hotter with a hat on, Dad, you also hate wearing hats.”
Lu Ying was speechless; he hated sweaty summer days and hated wearing hats in the heat. If he didn’t have the kid at home, he’d rather run around naked to be comfortable! But there was no way. Although summers in Caifeng City were long and stinky, he would get beaten up for going bare-assed.
“Didn’t Uncle buy you some sunscreen and an umbrella last time? Why didn’t you bring them?” Lu Zaizai looked at his dad whose face was red from the sun.
Qin Zhuopu knew that Lu Ying was afraid of the sun and the heat, so he bought a sun umbrella, but Lu Ying had his own little stubbornness. His colleague said that boys with umbrellas were too girly, so how could he take the umbrella? Anyway, he was just hot, he wouldn’t tan. And he applied sunscreen to his son. This little guy and Qin Zhuopu played in the UK for half a month, and they were used to applying sunscreen every day.
“Ah ah, Dad, I’m thirsty, I want some water!” Lu Zaizai squatted down, propped his chin and wailed.
Lu Ying looked around. There was a row of shops opposite the school. He looked at the queue and said to his son, “Then you line up here, don’t leave, or you’ll be waiting for so long for nothing. Dad will go across the road to buy you some water.”
“Yes, yes, and I want a popsicle or an ice cream!” Lu Zaizai immediately stood up and bargained.
Lu Ying tapped him on the forehead, “I see, stand still.”
Lu Ying left the group to buy water from the shop across the road. He didn’t notice that a person on the side of the road looked at his back in surprise, then walked away quickly and entered the school through the side door a short time later.
On the way back from buying water, Lu Ying walked with his mobile phone pressed to his ear, talking to Qin Zhuopu: “My son and I are getting sunburnt, the queue is long and inefficient. I should have let you try this out. Heh, how many days do you think there is for registration? I’m just telling you, you’d be out cold by now. No, I don’t want you to come. I’m halfway through, how can I give up halfway? How can I be so weak? You’re underestimating me… eek, I forgot to put on sunscreen, that’s a pain in the ass, it’s sticky and I don’t like it. Not with an umbrella! Isn’t it too girly to carry an umbrella?”
In the cool office in Guanlan City, Qin Zhuopu stopped tapping on the keyboard, clutching his mobile phone and sighing helplessly: “Why are you as disobedient as a child, you’re not learning anything. You’re a dad and still so willful and arrogant. I’m saying this for your own good, sunscreen is not sticky when applied properly. How can you be girly if you carry an umbrella? It’s all sophistry! Discrimination! Do men deserve to get sunburnt in this heat? The UV rays are so strong that sunburn can be very serious. It’s bad for the skin, this is how many skin diseases come about. You don’t apply it yourself, but do you let the child get sunburnt too?”
Lu Ying smiled, “Don’t be so fierce, it’s my freedom to sunburn or not. I’ve applied layers and layers of sunscreen to your son, so relax, okay? You’re so far away, and you’re still commanding and lecturing people remotely. Impressive!”
Qin Zhuopu didn’t know whether to laugh or to cry, so he took a sip of cold water before saying, “Where am I fierce to you, I’m obviously trying to reason with you. You don’t listen to what I say but you take it seriously if others fart casually. Don’t mind what your colleagues say about being girly, just be comfortable with yourself. Next time you carry an umbrella, if someone says that to you, just show them how you chop bricks with your bare hands and see if they dare to talk about you being girly.”
“Pfft, haha… ahem ahem! Ahem ahem!” Lu Ying, who was drinking water, was so amused that he snorted water through his nose, coughing to the point that his face was red and his eyes were teary. There was even a snot bubble, so embarrassing! After he finished coughing, Lu Ying wiped his nose and his wet face, and only after a long time did he manage to blink back tears and whine, “Why don’t you just go on working and making money in your air conditioned office? You have to call me and keep talking! I nearly choked on my snot! It’s all your fault for talking too much nonsense!”
Qin Zhuopu sucked in his breath, speechless to the extreme, “It was you who called me, okay? I was working in the air conditioned office to make money and didn’t provoke you. You’re the one who messed with me, you choked yourself and you’re blaming me?”
“That’s enough, you shut up, I don’t want to hear you talk. Keep blowing your air conditioner and I’ll keep baking in the sun!” Lu Ying cut the call and returned to the queue with his head up. The sight of the queue in front of him was ominous.
The phone soon rang again. Lu Ying saw the caller ID, grunted and picked up, “What do you want again?”
Qin Zhuopu sighed quietly, “It’s too far away, it’s not even easy for me to send someone to help you. It takes time. Why don’t you just let Zaizai come to me to study?”
“You’re crazy, I’ve got all the information for registering. I told you before, I can’t come to your place… for a year or two. I can’t come, how can Zaizai come alone?” Lu Ying once again refused Qin Zhuopu’s offer. Now that Brother Yang had promoted him to shop manager, the bakery was completely under his responsibility. If he left, what would happen to Brother Yang’s shop? Brother Yang’s due date was at the end of September/the beginning of October, and they were all very nervous and looking forward to it. After the baby was born, Brother Yang would not have time to manage the shop for at least a year. A newborn baby was the most testing and torturous thing for a father, and there was no telling if Brother Yang’s partner was a man or a ghost. He was so elusive and no one knew what was going on!
Thinking of Brother Yang, Lu Ying had quite a few words for that ‘lover’. Every time he went to visit Brother Yang, he only saw Brother Yang alone. But on the other hand, Brother Yang said that the other party was very good and often accompanied him. It was thanks to him that Brother Yang’s health condition remained stable. Lu Ying only dared to think about it in his heart and would never say it out loud.
“Well, it’s all up to you.” Qin Zhuopu flipped through his calendar and schedule, circling something, and then smiled, “I can take a day off next week to come and see you. Are you happy?”
Lu Ying grunted into his phone, “It doesn’t matter! Come if you like.”
Qin Zhuopu chortled, “Aren’t you going to wash up and wait for me to come?”
“What, you want to slaughter a pig for dinner?” Lu Ying laughed lightly.
“……” Qin Zhuopu stammered, “How come it’s about slaughtering a pig?” It was obviously a declaration of adult sexuality, what did it have to do with killing an animal? ┓(;_｀)┏
“Your little mouth is really ruining the atmosphere.” Qin Zhuopu sighed, “Can’t wait to wash it for you.”
“Don’t talk nonsense, when the time comes, you will be yelling that I’m exploiting you again! Boss Qin, you’re too difficult to serve. I’m afraid I’m the only one in the world who can stand you. You have a bad temper, you are spoiled, your mind is more narrow than a needle-eye, you love to preach, you want to control everything. You are also a neat freak, and you are a picky eater. Hey, there are more problems than I can count.”
Listening to his lover’s sweet voice, Qin Zhuopu was so angry that his teeth itched, “…okay, so disgusted with me, huh? Your mouth is much better gagged. I’m going to meet a beautiful female partner now. I won’t talk to you anymore.”
What? What beautiful partner?
Lu Ying was staring at his phone, so angry he wanted to bite someone!
If Qin Zhuopu was in front of him, he would have chewed a piece of meat off him!
Lu Ying crackled a series of emojis on WeChat to Qin Zhuopu, a uniformly popular one, a chubby red pig holding a hammer ‘knock knock knock’, a red pig warning!
After venting, Lu Ying felt happy.
Nearing noon, Lu Ying finally got to the front of the queue. From the perspective of the people in the queue, they could only see the teacher in charge of registration and fee collection at the window. They couldn’t see what was going on inside.
Soon it was Lu Ying’s and Lu Zaizai’s turn, and Lu Ying stood at the window with a smile on his face, his tiredness from the morning dissipating. He was as pleasant as he could be to the teacher who was registering Zaizai.
The young male teacher at the registration desk blushed slightly and quickly finished his task, handing the slip to Lu Ying: “It’s done, Lu Zaizai is in Year 1, Class 7, just come straight to the start of school on September 1.”
“Good, good, thank you, Teacher!”
“Not at all, you’re welcome.”
Lu Ying was so happy that he quickly led his son out of the school. There was no tuition fee for primary school, but you had to eat at school at noon, which required a meal fee, as well as book fees and other fees, less than two thousand yuan in total. That’s n times cheaper than kindergarten!
Shortly after Lu Ying left, two women were whispering quietly in an office at the school.
“Lu Zaizai, Class 7, the class teacher happens to be you.”
“So he’s just a kid… what can I do?” The younger woman felt uneasy.
“I’m not asking you to do anything bad, just pay more attention, don’t you understand? Do you need someone to teach you that? You’re so dumb, no wonder you can’t get a job in the system. Don’t worry, since your father asked me, I’ll make sure you’re transferred. It’s a piece of cake for me.”
“Don’t look so scared. If he hadn’t had something on me, I would have taught him a lesson. Don’t worry, he’s just a poor orphan with no one to turn to and no one to step on. He won’t think it’s me.”
“All right. I’ll do my best.”
If Lu Ying were here, he would have recognised one of the women as none other than Manager Zhang, who had disgusted him to no end.
On September 1, Lu Ying got up early in the morning and dressed Lu Zaizai in a brand new tracksuit and shoes, put a red scarf on him and gave him a brand new school bag. Even Zaizai’s hair was freshly cut last night. The little man looked very refreshing.
Maybe it was because he had started primary school, but when Lu Ying looked at his son in front of him, he felt that Zaizai had grown a little taller.
“Come on, let’s walk to school. You’ll have lunch at school at noon and school will end at 3:50 in the afternoon. Dad will pick you up at the school gate after school, just like before.”
“En, I know.” Lu Zaizai was curious about his new school and couldn’t wait to go there. With the bright red scarf on his neck, he felt especially proud of himself. From now on, he was the successor of socialism!
Looking at his son full of righteousness, Lu Ying was a bit startled: “Let’s go.”
In the future, could it be that his son wanted to be a soldier, punish evil and promote good, slay demons and defend his family and the country? o(╯□╰)o
If that’s the case, it’s actually quite, quite good -_-||
Lu Ying: What do you want to be when you grow up?
Zaizai: A superhero!
Lu Ying: …choose something else!
Zaizai: An invincible hero!
Lu Ying: Something else.
Zaizai: Iron Man hero!
Lu Ying: ……
Mr. Qin: Come on, tell Dad, what do you want to be when you grow up?
Zaizai: An overbearing president!
Lu Ying: ……
Mr. Qin: Like father, like son (*^▽^*)