Su Weiwei bought two clothes each for Cheng Cheng and Liang Xiaomei. She really couldn’t bear to see them dressed so unsightly. Currently, the money they have was enough to buy them clothes. One thin roll of clothes for two people should be enough since they were small, the stall owner also gave her a discounted price, which was less than three yuan in total. She also bought a pair of black leather shoes for Liang Xiaomei and a pair of white sneakers for Cheng Cheng. It only costs more than ten yuan in total.
Liang Xiaomei looked at the black leather shoes with envy. No one had worn them in the village, but when she arrived at the county she saw the children of rich families wear them. The leather shoes were dotted with bows and white socks. They were all like a real little princess.
Liang Xiamei’s eyes twinkled making Su Weiwei smile.
“Want to try it on?”
Liang Xiaomei wiped her hands excitedly for fear that her hands would dirty her shoes and clothes. She stood there while Su Weiwei helped her zip up her new dress. She imagined that she was wearing a crown, that she had a scepter in her hand, and that she would walk on the carpet of the palace wearing these black leather shoes with bows.
When Su Weiwei saw her dazed, she snickered.
“What are you thinking about? So, lost in thought?”
Liang Xiaomei smiled shyly.
“I’m imagining that I’m a princess, sister-in-law. Am I funny?”
“Of course not.” Su Weiwei laughed.
“Imagination is a good thing, you know. Many writers write such moving stories precisely because they loved to dream when they were young. If you can write these stories in the future, your sister-in-law will be your first reader.”
Liang Xiaomei blushed. She just said it casually, but her sister-in-law took it seriously. What stories could a child like her write? Her sister-in-law always blindly believes in her, as if she and Cheng Cheng would become great people.
“Take a look, whose little princess is this?”
Liang Xiaomei looked in the mirror in disbelief, her reflection in the mirror had her hair braided into pigtails and was pulled up high, sister-in-law also gave her a small crown headband, with the white princess dress, she looked like a real princess.
On this day, Liang Xiaomei kept her head high and her mouth curled into a big smile. She kept walking through and saw everyone staring at her with amazed eyes, from clothes to shoes. The villagers gathered to enjoy the cool wind when they saw Liang Xiaomei’s clothes and talked to her one after another.
Her little pride swelled to the breaking point.
“Liang Xiaomei, what a beautiful dress you have? Did your mother buy it for you?”
But everyone knew that Liang Xiaomei’s stepmother treated her badly.
“No, it’s from my sister-in-law!”
Liu Yumei would not help her buy clothes, and if she were to buy clothes for her she would buy the plain ones, after all, she didn’t have a good eye for clothes. She could tell by looking at what she was wearing, she wore a deep rose-red that had a rustic style. Not like her sister in law who dresses her like a real princess.
“Your sister-in-law is so kind to you?”
Jiaojiao looked at Liang Xiaomei with envy. Liang Xiaomei’s dress was white as snow with layers of gauze and was fluffy. She also had a sister-in-law, but her sister-in-law always disliked her for being a child of the previous marriage. Usually, her sister-in-law closed the door when she bought delicious food and didn’t let her in. She was used to it. There was no other sister-in-law in the village like Su Weiwei, buying such beautiful clothes for Liang Xiaomei.
“It’s very kind of your sister-in-law. I wish my sister-in-law did the same.”
“That’s right! My sister-in-law is very nice! She stays up all night to fan me, and leaves us all the good food she can’t eat.”
The other little ones came and asked questions around Liang Xiaomei, who repeated what she told Jiaojiao, and everyone was even more envious.
Liang Xiaomei has a show-off nature, but her bragging attitude was for her sister-in-law’s good reputation. That day the village people were all talking about how good and generous Su Weiwei was to her sister-in-law and that Liu Yumei was lying when said Su Weiwei wanted to elope. How would someone elope after spending so much money on her sister-in-law? They won’t even think about it!
In the evening when Su Weiwei was washing clothes for Cheng Cheng, Liang Xiaomei came over and took the clothes from her hand.
“Sister-in-law, let me help you wash.”
“I’ll do it myself, how old are you to be doing housework?”
Seeing that Su Weiwei didn’t believe her, Liang Xiaomei immediately wanted to prove herself and put the clothes on the washboard and started rubbing the clothes on the board back and forth. Not to mention, although she was young she could do her work decently even more than Su Weiwei, which surprised Su Weiwei.
“How are you so good at washing clothes?”
Seeing Su Weiwei’s surprise, Liang Xiaomei immediately became proud.
“Just this? I can walk and work.”
In the past, she used to help pick up herbs and take care of the children. When she was older, she already know how to wash clothes, cut grass, and feed it to pigs. While watching Su Weiwei slowly washing the clothes, she thought that her sister-in-law bought her dress and delicious food so how could she not share the housework with her sister-in-law? She should help her so in this way, her sister-in-law would like her better.
Besides, her sister-in-law’s hands were delicate and white, and her bony joints were very small—she couldn’t describe them properly but she just thinks that those hands were beautiful just like the hands of fairies, they were very suitable for wearing beautiful rings. When she grows up, she must buy beautiful rings for her sister-in-law to wear, so that her sister-in-law can be proud of her.
The children of the countryside really matured early. Since Liang Xiaomei insisted on washing the clothes, Su Weiwei let her be. Not long after Cheng Cheng saw Liang Xiaomei in front of his for his mother vying for her favor, not wanting to be outdone he immediately carried a little bench and sat beside Su Weiwei and also follow them in washing the clothes.
It was reasonable to say that Liang Xiaomei should also go to elementary school, but because Liu Yumei was not willing to spend money on her study, Liang Xiaomei was not even enrolled in kindergarten. Classes were already ongoing for first-grade students, but Liang Xiaomei has been staying at home, it seems that Liang Fugui has no plan of letting Liang Xiaomei go to school. They may not mind this, but Su Weiwei could not. Liang Xiaomei was already eight years old; this age was too late to go to the first grade and even if she did, since she hadn’t been to kindergarten and don’t know the basic phonetics, she won’t be able to keep up with the first graders. At night Su Weiwei found the first-grade language and math books.
She flipped through the pages with the light, at this time the language book was relatively simple, which Su Weiwei could handle.
Liang Xiaomei padded over and wondered, “Sister-in-law, what is this?”
“Liang Xiaomei, do you want to go to school?”
Liang Xiaomei blinked, and then shook her head firmly: “Don’t want to!”
Su Weiwei did not expect her to say this,
“Why? Isn’t it good to go to school and study?”
If you don’t go to school, how can you become a famous writer in the future?
“No, Liu Yumei said that in school students are often beaten by teachers. If they can’t answer questions, the teachers will drive students home. Plus, they have to work every day to clean the classroom, mow the grass, flush the toilet, and plant trees. The school is not good at all. Look at Hong Hong, they have to work so hard when they come back at night. They often can’t finish it when it’s dark, sister-in-law how tired it will be. I think it’s better for me to play at home. I don’t want to suffer every day like Hong Hong. “
Liang Xiaomei thought again.
“Look at brothers and sisters, it’s no use going to school. Although the eldest brother is good at reading, he had an accident when he came to the big city. Then the second brother failed to pass the exam for three years. Liang Xiaodi is often bullied by his classmates at school. I’ve seen it several times, so I summarized that studying is useless and a waste of money and the big city is too dangerous. It’s still safe in our countryside.”
The future big boss’s brain circuit was really different from that of ordinary people. Su Weiwei doesn’t know whether to laugh or cry. She thought that Liang Xiaomei would look forward to going to school and envy others’ who goes to school. But it turned out that she liked freedom more?
“Who instilled this idea into you? Liu Yumei? Jiang Tao?”
Liang Xiaomei nodded. They often talked in front of her, saying that it was bad to go to school and that it was hard for Hong Hong to go to school. She was afraid that the teacher would beat her, so she didn’t want to go to school.
“Then I’ll ask you if going to school is so bad, why do Jiang Tao and Liu Yumei still let Hong Hong go to school?”
Liang Xiaomei blinked, “Yeah, why?”
Su Weiwei reached out and flicked her on the head, laughing.
“What a fool! School is the best thing in the world, especially for the poor, only when you study can you change your fate, why do you think they scare you so much? It’s because they don’t want to pay for you to study, you can go to school and play with children of the same age, you can learn a lot of things, you can play games with others after class, the teacher is also very kind, you can only read books after you know how to read, only after learning mathematics can you count. If you don’t know a word, no one wants you to do anything in the future, you can’t even find a job, the important thing is, don’t you want to be like a princess? Like a real princess?”
Liang Xiaomei blinked in confusion.
“The princesses are good at reading. Only by reading well can you write the story in your head and turn it into reality.” Su Weiwei painstakingly explained.
Liang Xiaomei didn’t expect this, but why did Liu Yumei and Jiang Tao say that school was terrible before.
After the autumn, a rainstorm came down, and every household in the countryside was flooded. Su Weiwei’s house was flooded with mud. She couldn’t lay her feet in the flooded house so she rolled her trouser and let the two children get the water, and started washing the mud. After the yard was cleaned, she started cooking seven or eight crayfish and a small fish with two fingers long she caught, and roasted them at the bottom of the pot for the two children to eat. After the fish and the crayfish were done Liang Xiaomei ran in and shouted.
“Sister-in-law, the second brother is back!”
Su Weiwei quickly stood up, it was time for dinner. Su Weiwei held the crayfish and fish and was not polite. She sits down and picks up the fish and crayfish’s meat and gives it to Cheng Cheng and Liang Xiaomei’s bowl, Zhuang Zhuang seeing this couldn’t help drooling.
“Mom, I want to eat grilled crayfish too.”
Jiang Tao hit his hand with chopsticks and said angrily.
“What are you eating? That kind of stuff is deadly to eat!”
These days, few people eat crayfish because for one thing there were many bad legends about crawfish in rural areas, second was that burning crawfish cost a lot of oil, rural people were not willing to give up everything, especially if it was spare meat and oil so even if they were many crawfish, number of family eating crawfish was still very little.
Su Weiwei smiles and puts the crayfish tail into Cheng Cheng’s mouth. It’s the crayfish season, so the crayfish they had were fat and meaty. At this time, the crayfish were not cultured so the crayfish tail meat was particularly thick and when she eats it, the flavor melts in her mouth. Cheng Cheng squints and chews, looking proud of course Liang Xiaomei on the side also helped.
“En, eat well. If your mother doesn’t let you eat, don’t eat. Anyway, we won’t give it to you.”
When Zhuang Zhuang heard it, he cried angrily and wanted to eat crayfish more.
Cheng Cheng deliberately opened his mouth wide, so that Zhuang Zhuang could see his mouth full of crayfish meat.
Zhuang Zhuang howled even more with his face full of snot making Jiang Tao angrier. She and hit him with chopsticks scolded Zhang Zhang but felt more like she was scolding the other party. Su Weiwei ignored her, smiling she distributed the fish to the two children.
Seeing her sister-in-law like this, Liang Weidong couldn’t help but smile in his eyes and quickly held back.
“Dad, I’m going to study again.”
As soon as Liang Fugui heard this, he subconsciously looked at Liu Yumei. Liu Yumei’s face was blue as she put down her chopsticks.
“I say Liang Weidong, how nice of you? Don’t you see how old you are! You’re still interested in studying after two years of repeating. Are you happy that all of us can’t afford to eat for you to study?”
Although Liang Fugui thinks this was harsh, he agrees that the conditions at home were not good, and since Liu Yumei was a stepmother this conflict couldn’t be avoided. Besides, Liang Weidong has been in high school for three years and has not been admitted to college for three years. Can he be admitted to college after retaking it this year?
“Weidong, your aunt is right. You haven’t been admitted to college for so long. It’s unlikely that you will be admitted to college for another year! It’s better to be an honest apprentice.”
Liu Yumei was so angry that she feels distressed. Her son plows food on black hard land, her daughter was an ordinary apprentice, and her daughter-in-law doesn’t have a proper job. In short, her children were just doing so-so, so why should other people’s children go to study and enter the university? Liang Weidong wasn’t born from her, and it didn’t do her any good even if he becomes successful. Liu Yumei was not stupid.
“I tell you, you don’t have that life! Rural people like you for generations deserve to dig in the ground all your life. If you want to learn from other people’s dreams, you have to look in the mirror to see if you have that life!”
Liu Yumei secretly snorted! Her eyes were red with anger, her child did not even finish high school, that dead woman’s son wants to study in college? There was no way!
Liang Weidong didn’t want to have something to do with her. He just put down his chopsticks and said coldly.
“Dad, the city’s first middle school is recruiting repeaters, I meet the conditions.”
Liang Fugui was stunned, puffing a mouthful of smoke from a cigarette.
“City No. 1 Middle School?”
There was incomprehensible reproach in his eyes.
“How much does it cost to re-take in the City No. 1 middle school? Weidong, your father didn’t want to say this but we are just farmers and not city people. It’s right, to be honest. Don’t always be high-minded. Only a few people have been admitted to college these days. You should learn to accept your fate!”