Chen Xing was a heartbreaking little 250 (idiot) in the eyes of many people.
With his round head and pretty face, he hadn’t been smart since he was a child, and even his brain circuit had nine twists and eighteen bends more than that of normal people, as if when humankind evolved, it took risks with him and developed a separate logical thinking system for his exclusive use.
Of course it was not all his fault that he was not smart, it was mostly a suspected mental deficiency caused by congenital underdevelopment.
Coincidentally, he was a premature baby born after not having been in his mother’s womb even for seven months.
If it is said that everyone is an apple that God has taken a bite out of, then Chen Xing must have been the hardest one to eat, so God kicked him out early without even taking a bite.
Looking back on his fucked up life before he was ten years old, probably only the word ”fair” can barely sum it up, because he used personal experience to prove everyone that it was impossible for extreme beauty and normal intelligence to appear in one person at the same time.
For him, God graciously opened the big floor-to-ceiling window to beauty and kicked shut the door to intelligence.
He inherited 99% of his mother’s beauty and 0.9% of intelligence of his father, a brilliant calligrapher and artist and a strong strategist. The powerful union resulted in the birth of a beautiful idiot who was less than 50% in all aspects.
Chen Xing’s parents were in a business union and their marriage had long since been dead. After giving birth to a child, they left him to the nanny, never giving any thought to his upbringing.
When he was five years old, it became clear that his parents were not getting along. His father cheated and had a mistress. His mother was distraught and decided to break up and file for divorce.
Both of them were decent people, and they didn’t cause any gossip in the circle of the wealthy. A marriage came to an end quietly, the only big fight being over the issue of Chen Xing’s custody.
It was not that they were rushing to raise him; rather, the young parents didn’t want the stupid son to be a burden for the rest of their lives.
Dad’s lover was pregnant, and the heartbroken mother just wanted to be left alone.
That evening the five-year-old Chen Xing flew home happily like a butterfly after his composition was praised by the teacher, only to hear outside the door that his dad shouted hysterically: ”Divorce is fine! I will give you the property you deserve, but you must take that fool Chen Xing away from me! I don’t want to ever see him!”
His mom was also furious: ”Do you think I care about your money?! I don’t want a cent of the property, don’t even think of throwing that fool at me!”
The little Chen Xing was not as tall as the door handle at the time, and stood silently outside the door. He was wearing small macaron-coloured overalls, a pair of mismatched shoes, and the soft hair on the top of his head was slightly curly.
The silly smile was still on his face, but his eyes were getting wetter and wetter. The little Chen Xing’s not-so-smart head couldn’t figure it out: why did he know every word that Mom and Dad said, but he didn’t understand them when they were put together?
The composition in his hand was written with more than a hundred words full of circles and crosses (to replace words he doesn’t know how to write). The title was ”My Dear Mom and Dad”. This was the first time that the teacher had praised him and asked him to read the composition to his parents at home.
Chen Xing looked at the piece of paper and thought for a long time before he understood the meaning of the words: My dear parents are going to divorce, but they don’t want me, because I am a fool who will embarrass them.
The little fool felt very uncomfortable. His underdeveloped heart was squeezed hard by something he couldn’t even describe, sour and painful.
It wasn’t until many years later that Chen Xing understood that kind of thing was called ”inferiority complex”. At an age when he hadn’t even learned self-confidence, he had already quietly developed it.
On the day the divorce was finally finalised, both parents were very happy. The house was filled with a joyful atmosphere, and the two adults who believed themselves to be very dignified were very excited. They even joked with each other and had a drink.
The little Chen Xing didn’t go to dinner because he vaguely understood that his parents were going to separate and he was going to be thrown away. He held the fat catfish doll in his cot in a daze until midnight, waiting for everyone to fall asleep before jumping out of bed and walking to his mother’s room.
He was wearing chubby cow pyjamas, his curly hair was fluttering in the night breeze, and he sat on the carpet curled into a small ball very quietly and seriously asked the beautiful sleeping woman: ”Mom, am I really a fool?”
The sleeping woman couldn’t answer him, only the sound of the wind blew affirmatively in his ears. The little Chen Xing waited for a while and nodded in loneliness, buried his face in his knees and said, ”I suppose so.”
His head was very round, round as if he was a Teletubby, but his little classmates didn’t watch Teletubbies anymore, they all started watching Ultraman, and only he, the idiot, was still watching Teletubbies. His brain circuits were always twisted and strange. When he didn’t say or do anything, he was like a normal five-year-old child, but as long as he said and did things, he was clearly not a normal five-year-old child.
However, if you looked closely, you would find that he had his own set of logic.
The leaves were falling from the trees; they were green and reminded him of his own little green umbrella that would fly as long as the wind was strong enough.
So he insisted on going out with his umbrella on a sunny day, trying to make the umbrella fly, only to be chased and laughed at by the children.
The kindergarten children painted rabbits, and all the children painted them white and cute. Only he painted the tragedy of the rabbit being ripped apart and said it was a rabbit’s ending.
When the teacher asked to paint a house, Chen Xing found that after the red and green were mixed, yellow paint that no one had would appear. He was excited to share the new colour with the children but made them cry because he dirtied their houses. The teacher complained to his parents that he was always causing trouble.
There were many, many examples of this kind, and he was abnormal everywhere. His extremely jumpy mind and maverick imagination made him unable to be quiet, often speaking out of turn. His excessively different and “scary” ideas were labelled as deviant.
Children ostracised him, teachers worried about him, and his parents regarded him as a fool.
But if someone had taken the time to take him to the hospital, it would have been clear that Chen Xing was not weird or stupid, he was overly intelligent.
His underdeveloped brain couldn’t hold too many things, which was why he often seemed to be a mess.
His parents left him to his own devices and no one considered his future, so the little Chen Xing made a plan for himself.
He lay on the side of the bed and said to his sleeping mother: ”I know you don’t want me anymore, because fools always cause trouble. I’m not angry with you. After all, I didn’t say hello to you in advance when I came out of your belly. I think if you had a choice, you’d definitely want a smart kid.”
Speaking of this, the little Chen Xing’s eyes reddened again, aggrieved. He hugged his knees and choked: ”But I tried, I’ve been working hard these days. I drank milk, drank a lot of it, and I wore cow pyjamas! But I still can’t be smarter, I’m still a fool…”
No matter how stupid your brain is, you know that ”fool” is a very bad, very bad derogatory term. It is definitely not something you can say to other children, but the little Chen Xing put it on himself so naturally.
Children have shame too, and no one will mock themselves like this if they are not desperate.
Before he knew what despair was, he had already tasted it thousands of times.
The little Chen Xing got up and helped his mother tuck in the quilt, whispering, ”I don’t need to trouble you, I will go to Grandma’s house by myself and won’t let you and Dad see the stupid son again and get angry, just…”
He pursed his mouth and huffed for a while, holding back the tears, then wiped his eyes and begged humbly: ”It will be my birthday next week, but you don’t like to give me one.”
Before, he didn’t know why, but now Chen Xing understood; because he was a little fool, his parents didn’t give him a birthday party that other children had, and even the cake was only cut perfunctorily.
“No one wants to make a birthday for me, so it’s okay if I have one by myself…”
He was not sure if it was okay. The sleeping mother didn’t reply to him from beginning to end. Fortunately, the birthday gift Chen Xing wanted to ask for was not expensive. He just raised the crumpled composition and said to his mother: ”I want to read the composition to you. It is written for you and Dad.”
Chen Xing’s mind was so jumpy and his little head was so full of wild ideas that it was the hardest thing in the world for him to concentrate.
For the five-year-old Chen Xing to sit in his chair and write a hundred words was more difficult than it was for the Teletubbies to turn their heads square.
But his teacher said it was a gift to his parents, so Chen Xing did it.
He got up from the carpet, stood upright, took out a zebra-like striped stocking from his pocket and tied it around his neck to act as a tie.
He cleared his throat and began to read aloud.
“I have a family, I have Dad, I have Mom, and me. Dad gave me a big room, Mom gives me tasty food. I’m the only one who can’t give them anything, so I want to give them joy. I want to say good morning and good night to them and tell them I love them very much. I want to become tall and strong, like a small tree in the yard, and protect them forever, forever and forever,…”
Bean-sized drops fell down and hit the composition paper. The little tie-wearing cow lost his composure and clenched his fists, trembling all over, his face red and wrinkled.
He kept flattening his mouth to stop his tears, and finished the last paragraph with difficulty like a toothless little old lady: ”I have a family, Dad, Mom and me. I want to be with them forever and forever…”
But they don’t want me anymore… because I’m a shameful stupid kid, no matter how much milk I drink, I can’t become smart…
At the end of that night, the little fool covered his mouth and cried until he was twitching. All the cows on his pyjamas were wet from crying. His red eyes blinked sluggishly and even the curly hair on the top of his head looked aggrieved.
He walked to his mother’s bed and slowly climbed up, trying to hug the drunk woman for the last time, but stopped when his chubby hand was about to touch her forehead.
The teacher said that the children should not get too close to each other if they had a cold because they could infect each other. He didn’t dare to touch his mother either because he was afraid that he could infect her with his stupidity.
It was fine for him to be a little fool by himself, and his parents would be very smart forever.
Early the next morning, the little Chen Xing didn’t finish breakfast yet when he said to his father that he wanted to go to his grandmother’s house in the countryside to play, and added with a flat face like a little adult that he would not be able to come back anytime soon.
His father just thought he was being a nuisance again and was happy not to see him, so he asked the housekeeper to take him all the way to his grandmother’s house.
Grandma’s house was in a small mountain village with beautiful mountains and waters. Although it was remote, the scenery was very good, suitable for retirement.
Grandma was old and unwilling to move to the city. In addition, she had had a disagreement with Chen Xing’s father, and the mother and son had even reached the stage of not wanting to see each other.
Naturally, the old lady didn’t want to see her little grandson she had never met either.
The housekeeper took him off the train and put him on the bus that took him to the entrance of the village. The little Chen Xing waited obediently with his head tilted up for half an hour and no one came to pick him up, but he had clearly heard his father talking to Grandma on the phone, informing her in advance.
See, a fool was a fool, and no one wanted him anywhere.
Thinking so, Chen Xing sat on a stone, holding his legs and burying his face in his knees, like a small mushroom that no one picked.
As a result, after a while, another small mushroom that no one picked appeared by his side.
The seven-year-old little Qi Chuan was also waiting for someone to pick him up, and when he was tired of waiting, he sat side by side on the stone with Chen Xing.
The mushroom from the city was pretty and cute, and the wild mushroom from the village was simple and sturdy. When the two mushrooms looked at each other, they felt attracted to each other and rubbed their shoulders shyly.
Qi Chuan looked at the little beauty curiously, his tender childish voice full of natural fondness and goodwill: ”What’s your name?”
The little Chen Xing flattened his mouth and said stickily: ”My name is Fool.” Then he asked: ”And yours?”
Qi Chuan said solemnly: ”My name is Qi Dabao!” (Dabao – Big Treasure; if you remember, we also have Xiao Bao, who is ‘Little Treasure’)