The surrounding neighbors have come to see Su Weiwei and were relieved to see that she was healthy. Because of the rumors circulating in the village they had to beat around the bush when they came over and asked how she was in which Su Weiwei responded calmly. The neighbors knew the current situation in the Liang family and didn’t fully believe Liu Yumei’s words, now that Su Weiwei explained the nose and eyes1 most of them said that Liu Yumei was black hearted to the point of chasing her daughter in law with the shovel and forced her to jump into the river. (Tn: metaphor speaks fictional things as if they were real.)
The total number of families in this village was not many so Zhang Guihua’s words have been spread in the village, which made Su Weiwei able to deal with the rumor easily at the moment. At this time Liu Yumei hasn’t come back, she must have gone to various houses to refute the rumor. According to the neighbors Liu Yumei was very busy refuting every rumor about her saying Su Weiwei has framed her and that Su Weiwei doesn’t elope now but would elope sooner or later.
At dinner in the evening, Liu Yumei came back and saw that the stove was empty giving her the opportunity to scold Su Weiwei as lazy and her mouth was poisonous bringing her ancestors of 18 generations to shame.
Cheng Cheng stare at the door with a pair of black pupils, seeing the woman he shrank and subconsciously hid back. Su Weiwei saw it and hugged him in her arms and comforted him.
“Don’t be afraid, mom is here to protect you.”
Cheng Cheng however seemed not to hear her as the whole person quickly climbed into the bed and buried his head under the blanket.
Su Weiwei looked upset, the child trembled when he saw Liu Yuemi with just this she didn’t know how many sins Liu Yumeie had suffered.
Su Weiwei walked out of the door and shouted to the kitchen.
“Who are you cursing at?”
Liu Yuemie was now bold and tough, after eating her lose with Su Weiwei today she was now very angry. Holding the basin, she shouted.
“Who is the heartless person I was cursing! You are in the country side yet you still think you are some young lady of the house? You don’t know how to cook food nor wash clothes. What, are expecting me to make ready-made food for you?”
Su Weiwei frowned.
“Asking me to cook? Yes, I will cook if you just give me the keys to the kitchen and the hall, and I’ll cook for you!”
Hearing her words, Liu Yumei’s eyes rolled as she dodges Su Weiwei’s stares and quickly spit in contempt.
“I’m afraid you’ll poison the rice!”
“Oh, so if I cook you’re afraid of me poisoning you but if I don’t cook you scold me for being lazy. I usually have a good temper but being good tempered is not a reason for you to bully me, if I know, you just what the neighbors to hear what kind of mother-in-law you are?”
Liu Yumei still wanted to scold her but the neighbors have gathered around the door to mediate in their fight, Liu Yuemie knew she would loss with her situation now so she left with the basin.
Liu Yumei was never going to let her cook, this was very clear to Su Weiwei. She knew that Liu Yumei was not Su Weiwei’s real mother-in-law, her real mother-in-law died long ago leaving Ling Heming including seven children. Su Weiwei’s father-in-law Liang Fugui later married Liu Yumei from other village, Liu Yumei was also a widow with a pair of children. Her son Xie Zhengjiang and her daughter-in-law Jiang Tao who gave birth to a daughter Hong Hong and a son. Her other child was a daughter, Xie Baoyun who was yet married, that was to say in addition to Liang Heming there were fifteen people at home to feed. It’s not easy to feed these many people so of course Liu Yumei doesn’t trust Su Weiwei to cook, she’s afraid that Su Weiwei would secretly hide the delicious food or let Cheng Cheng eat alone.
Therefore, Liu Yumei did the division of labor, Jiang Tao and she mainly did the housework while Su Weiwei, Liang Fugui and Xie Zhenjiang were mainly responsible for the agricultural work. Xie Zhenjiang was a lazy bum, he couldn’t be seen by anyone during farming while father-in-law was often called by Liu Yumei to their house for help, so all the farming goes to Su Weiwei. Although she was also from the countryside and knows how to farm, she also needs to work at home not to mention she would be farming a 10 acres of land of their family. Doing all this farming was really tiring and she, the young daughter in law couldn’t bear that pain but her mother in law was not very likable person and tries very means to assign work to her.
At dinner, Liang Fugui called Su Weiwei, the children of the Liang family were only Liang Xiaomei and Liang Xiaodi who was now in junior high school. It seems that he was not nervous with his studies at all as he has just been reading martial arts novels borrowed from somewhere, and hasn’t lift his head for a while now. But what was more amazing was Liu Yumei and Su Weiwei could still sit together for dinner when such big incident happens at home.
Su Weiwei looked down at the bowl of noodles and was worried, there was no meat at all, this was hard for a person like her. Feeling that something rubbed her leg, she shook it but could feel that someone was intentionally rubbing it again.
Su Weiwei hooked her lips.
“Xie Zhenjiang, why are you rubbing my leg?”
Once these words came out, the room was instantly quiet and everyone looked at Xie Zhengjiang in unison.
Xie Zhenjiang panicked and laughed dryly.
“What are you talking about, I just didn’t notice your leg there.”
Jiang Tao who was feeding Zhuang Zhuang had a cold face and stared indignantly at Xie Zhenjiang.
Xie Zhenjiang quickly said.
“Don’t listen to her nonsense, Su Weiwei is a broom star. Say, what’s the matter with you Su Weiwei? Is this table yours and I can’t sit if you sit?”
Su Weiwei smiled.
“Really? Then I misunderstood you?”
“You did! I’m warning you, don’t be ridiculous. Slander is a crime these days!”
Su Weiwie laughed meaningfully.
“Not bad, you’re an illiterate who still knows about slander and breaking the law?”
Xie Zhenjiang was dumbfounded and speechless, he could only look at Jiang Tao for mercy. Jiang Tao just looked at Su Weiwei with an overcast face but Liu Yumei didn’t look good and immediately shouted.
“This table is so big, can’t we all sit down and just let you eat alone? You’re just a widow but my son can’t look at you? Don’t give too much credit on yourself.”
Su Weiwei laughed as she listened.
“Yes, I am a widow and your son still wants to sexually harass that widow, why? Aren’t I cheap? But don’t worry even though I am a widow I still can’t see your unlucky son, although Heming is dead, I still have basic aesthetics.”
Liang Xiaomei looked feeble-minded as she looked at the adults, but the brother who studied in junior high school—he was in the time of his life where he was rebellious, earlier when their mother died it was their Eldest Brother who raised everyone in the family and now that Liang Heming was dead, his sister-in-law was being bullied by Xie Zhenjiang he looked at them with hatred. Liu Yumei and Xie Zhenjiang looked at each other but they didn’t dare to say anything, they were not afraid of Liang Xiaodi but was afraid that this Liang Xiaodi would talk nonsense outside so they could only endure.
After eating, Su Weiwei took Cheng Cheng for a bat and washed Liang Xiaomei’s hair. Liang Xiaomei was usually neglected and untidy, she doesn’t know how to wash her hair either. Su Weiwei washed her hair and found lice on her head, seeing this little creator Su Weiwei couldn’t help but swallowed a mouthful of saliva. She loved to be clean since childhood, she has never caught lice and not here either. She had to take a grate and light a lamp to catch lice for her sister-in-law, while Cheng Cheng took a stool and sat on the side.
Liang Xiaomei’s hair has always been itchy, she would scratch her head but doesn’t know what was wrong. No one care about her at home, and now that she knows the reason of itchiness she was embarrassed but her sister in law not only doesn’t mind but also catches those lice for her. Now that those lice were removed from her head her scalp felt refreshed, Liang Xiaomei still couldn’t help but feel embarrassed as she looked at Su Weiwei whose features were more soft and looked really pretty under the warm light of the lamp.
Liang Xiaomei looked blank and when Su Weiwei returned to her sense she saw her staring blankly at her.
“You, why do you always look like a fool?”
The future well-known writer and film and television tycoon has lice on her head and looked stupid, Su Weiwei couldn’t help but feel the disparity.
Liang Xiaomei blushed, she lowered her head and whispered,
“Who told sister-in-law to look good.”
Su Weiwei laughed. She took a bath herself but because she was wary of Xie Zhenjiang she asked Liang Xiaomei and Cheng Cheng to stay outside, halfway washing Su Weiwei look at herself in the mirror only after crossing over for a while did she have the strength to look at her new appearance. Only then she realized that how the book describes her was true, Su Weiwei the widow was really beautiful and just because she was beautiful after Liang Heming died there was no shortage of gossip in the village. Su Weiwei has a thin skin and couldn’t stay in the village after those malicious rumors which indirectly leads to her idea of eloping and wanted to escape from the backward small village.
In the mirror her skin was covered with healthy pink complexion and her eyes were brimming, she has high nose bridge and her lips were kissable, the corner of her mouth were always curved giving an always smiling lips. And since she was already a woman she has more charm than those lady who were also stunning.
In short, she was a rare beauty.
However, Su Weiwei herself was also a beauty so she didn’t feel much excited after crossing over. She simply washed and went to bed with Cheng Cheng, Liang Xiaomei slept on the ground with a mat. When she was sleeping half way Su Weiwei suddenly asked.
“Xiamei, why aren’t the others not back yet?”
Liang Xiaomei turned over, her forehead was sweating a lot due to lack of air ventilation.
“Second brother has gone to the city to find a job, maybe he already found one. Eldest Sister is in the garment factory, she talked about a boyfriend and heard that she wants to get married but I don’t know when. Third brother and second sister are both apprentices and live in the dormitory.”
Liang Xiaomei was young and naïve otherwise so if Su Weiwei asks her she wouldn’t always be suspicious.
Su Weiwei thought about these big wigs in the story, all she knew was that Su Weiwei eloped after Liang Heming died and these brothers and sisters suffered a lot from Liu Yumei. They lost their support at home and lead a hard life, among them Liang Xiaomei’s third brother and second sister that was Liang Ming and Liang Mingsu—the dragon and the phoenix. But because Liu Yumei didn’t let them study they dropped out of school and became apprentices, according to the plot in the book, Liang Heming found them later and took them into the city only then did they able to spread their wings and later becomes one of the big wigs.
In other words the six children including Xiaomei were now living a miserable life.
But this was good for Su Weiwei, it’s better to send charcoal in the snow1 than add flower on a brocade2.( Tn: 1 to provide help in sb’s hour of need, 2 to decorate the already perfect)
“Xiaomei, is it hot? Why don’t you come and sleep on the bed? Sister-in-law will fan you.”
Liang Xiaomei said sensibly.
“I can fan myself sister-in-law, taking care of Cheng Cheng is already not easy so you go to sleep first.”
Su Weiwei forcibly pulled her to the bed, she sat on the mat. Smiling, she looked at Liang Xiamoe lying there and felt the wind blowing over her and it seems that it was also blowing her heart.
The next day Liang Xiaomei woke up and saw Su Weiwei still sitting by her bed dozing while fanning. Cheng Cheng shook her gently but she didn’t respond, Liang Xiaomei knew that her sister-in-law hadn’t sleep all night. Thinking of this, Liang Xiaomei’s eyes were sour.
Many years later, Liang Xiaomei also mentioned in her autobiography about her childhood deepest impression of her sister-in-law. The sister-in-law who was always reluctant to eat and drink, she had to fan her every night when she couldn’t sleep to let her sleep well.
Su Weiwei yawned, she couldn’t sleep well in bed so she got early in the morning to go to the toilet and was disgusted by the countryside toilets. She couldn’t sleep and was feeling very hot, so she simply took the fan to fan herself and since she was already fanning she would also fan the two children.
But she don’t know why, Liang Xiaomei woke up with red eyes. Maybe she miss her brother or miss her mother?