What is the moment that truly makes you feel sorry for someone?

A Mother’s Sacrifice for Her Son’s Mistakes

One of my colleagues fell in love with a liquor sales representative from a nightclub when he was out clubbing. This woman is sweet-looking and has a good figure, and my colleague couldn’t resist her charm, so he started pursuing her fervently.

In order to support this girl, he spent tens of thousands of yuan on drinks and bought her various luxury items. He even bought her a car worth around 200,000 yuan.

I always thought that this colleague of mine was from a wealthy family, because he was only 25 years old when he started driving a car worth over 500,000 yuan. He always seemed generous with his spending.

Because of his strong sales ability, he was highly appreciated by our boss and held the position of key account manager in our company, responsible for group purchases. The boss even gave him a grace period of half a month to settle his accounts. However, due to lax financial supervision in the company, coupled with the boss’s indulgence, he often delayed the submission of business funds.

At that time, the company was not short of cash flow and didn’t pay much attention to it. But due to the impact of the mask problem, the company’s cash flow was cut off, and the sales department was urged to pay their funds, only to discover that this colleague had sold 600,000 worth of goods but hadn’t paid a penny.

So the company began to investigate and ask other colleagues, only to find out that he had spent the money at the nightclub. Our boss had someone print out the bill of his expenses, which totaled more than 360,000 yuan over a month and a half.

The whereabouts of the remaining money is unknown. When asked, he said he had spent it all.

After the incident, this colleague acted as if nothing had happened, eating and drinking as usual. He said he had no money and could just go to jail for a few years and not worry about it.

The company had no choice but to inform his parents. When they arrived, I was surprised. They didn’t seem like the parents of a wealthy person. One was dressed as a security guard, and the other was dressed as a hotel cleaner.

The colleague’s mother cried when she saw us and kept muttering about how her son could owe so much money. She wondered if we had made a mistake.

Crying, she said that she only earned 2,000 yuan a month and couldn’t repay so much money. She begged our boss to let her pay less.

Our boss said that the company had other shareholders and the money belonged to the company, so not a penny could be reduced.

After hearing our boss’s words, the mother suddenly knelt down, hugged our boss’s legs, and burst into tears, begging him to have mercy on her.

Our boss was also taken aback and said that he thought the colleague was driving a car worth over 500,000 yuan. The colleague’s father said that the car belonged to his good friend and he just borrowed it to drive.

I didn’t know what to say. The mother continued to cry and kowtow, unable to lift herself up. When she heard our boss say that besides embezzlement, her son had forged official seals and written fake IOUs, and that the company would sue her son and he would face imprisonment, this mother completely collapsed. She was extremely anxious and stood up to our boss, saying that suing her son would harm him, and she would go back and sell the house.

After saying this, she knelt down in front of our boss again, begging him with all her heart not to sue and to have mercy. She said that even if she had to sell everything she had and become a servant, she would repay the money.

Tears streamed down her face, and her hair stuck to her face because of the tears. Our boss’s eyes were also moist.

I also felt inexplicably heartbroken, tears welling up in my eyes. I tried to help and comfort her several times, but whenever she saw someone comforting her, she grabbed onto their arm and wouldn’t let go. Her eyes were filled with a desperate hope for someone to speak up for her son.

At that moment, my defenses truly broke down. I felt so sorry for this mother who knelt in front of me, she wasn’t begging for herself, but for her unworthy son. She cried until she had no more tears, kneeling on the ground, completely devoid of dignity.

This reminded me of my own mother and the greatness of maternal love. How could a son make his mother shed tears?

A woman as a mother is strong, and she can endure all kinds of humiliation for the sake of her children. She can let go of her dignity, even if her own son is a scoundrel.

But when a son squanders money in a lavish lifestyle, spending hundreds of thousands on a stranger while not giving his parents a single cent, it is hard to imagine how difficult it is for them to earn money, doing the most basic jobs, and that their monthly wages cannot even match the cost of a single bottle of wine their son indulges in. They may not earn 600,000 yuan their whole life, but their son squandered it in less than two months.

I don’t know if it’s the failure of this mother’s upbringing or if the son is just incorrigible. In the end, this mother fulfilled her maternal duty. She sold her only 60-square-meter house, used her savings, and repaid the money to our company. She rented a place to live.

And that colleague of mine still lives carefree, flaunts his extravagant lifestyle on social media, and still pretends to be a wealthy second-generation. I’ve never seen him express gratitude to his parents, but that sales representative from the nightclub has already left him.

Every time I see his bragging on social media, I am reminded of the scene of this mother with tears streaming down her face. I don’t know if he knows, but if he does, will he let his defenses down? Will he feel heartbroken for his mother? Will he shed tears? Will he regret and give himself a few slaps? Will he change his ways, work hard, and regain his mother’s lost dignity?

The Task: Translate the content into a concise English title of fewer than 20 words:

“Two Years of Bullying and Harassment: My Father’s Return” I was suffocated and bullied by my roommate for two years. Because his family was wealthy and influential, everyone, from classmates to the head teacher, sided with him.

Even my father, a former ex-convict, meekly advised me to be a good student and get along with my classmates.

It wasn’t until one day that my father witnessed how they bullied me.

When I was desperate and ready to jump off the building, my father finally reverted back to the wicked man that was condemned by everyone: “Son, how do you want them to die?”


Since I was a child, I was embarrassed to mention my father.

Although my mother tried her best to cover up, I found out from the previous address in her letters that my father had actually been in prison.

Prison, a place where only criminals and wicked people were sent.

Fortunately, with the help of a kind-hearted person, my mother found a job as a sanitation worker in the city, and I transferred from a rural elementary school to a newly established private school in the city, with free tuition.

I started a new life.

During the introduction session at school, classmates stood on the podium introducing themselves, starting with someone I didn’t know.

“My dad is an engineer.”

“My dad is a director.”

“My dad is a company boss.”

When it was my turn, I clenched my fingers, forgetting the self-introduction I had memorized dozens of times the night before. My face turned red and in a low voice, I said, “My dad… works in another city.”

The homeroom teacher glanced at me vaguely when summarizing, “Work is not a matter of high or low status. Whether you work or hold a position, it is about earning money with your own abilities. It’s not about stealing or robbing. Children should not be so vain. Respecting your father is respecting yourself.”

My face instantly turned as red as my ears.

My deskmate, Zeng Jiayi, poked my hand and said, “Hey, the teacher was talking about you, right? Little Whitey.”

He had been teasing me all along, and I finally couldn’t help but respond with just two words, “Not me.”

Just after I finished speaking, the homeroom teacher frowned at me, “Li Ming, right? What did the teacher just say in class? What is the rule for speaking during class? Get out!”

I opened my mouth to explain.

The homeroom teacher waved her hand towards the door, “I don’t want to hear any explanations. Go out and stand in the corridor.”

And my well-dressed deskmate Zeng Jiayi didn’t receive any punishment at all. When class was over, he walked up to me and said, “I didn’t expect you to look pretty good and have some guts. You offended the teacher on your first day here, you’re in trouble.”

He turned his head to the classmates next to him and asked, “Do you guys know? The teacher hates him now, you better stay away from him.”

“Not me. My teacher really likes me.” I couldn’t help but argue.


In my previous elementary school, I was the class monitor, and my teachers really liked me.

But the rumors were confirmed on the second day of school.

I entered a bilingual school that had an English requirement.

But I had no foundation in English, and when the homeroom teacher, who also taught English, asked me to read the textbook, I stuttered and read it in pinyin.

The classroom burst into laughter.

The teacher stood at the podium, seemingly smiling but not really, looking at me.

I could only continue to read with a red face, stumbling over my words.

When I finally finished, she wiped away the tears from laughing with her hand on the corner of her eye and gestured for me to sit down, “Alright, alright, Li Ming, sit down, don’t be so conspicuous.”

Then she said, “The teacher likes honest students, you don’t have to be smart, but you must be honest. If you don’t know, just say you don’t know, understand? And as for who the teacher likes or doesn’t like, it’s not determined by words, but by grades.”

The whole class responded loudly, “Understood.”

Zeng Jiayi teased me by poking my hand, “Hey, the teacher was talking about you, right? Little Whitey, you’ve been caught.”

I didn’t dare to speak anymore, I didn’t answer.

Zeng Jiayi got angry, and he had been tormenting me since the beginning of class.

After class, he started giving me a nickname, “Lying Expert, Little Whitey, the Lying Expert.”

My arguments only amused him, and he enjoyed bullying me.

And that was just the beginning of my nightmare.


Although it was the second grade of elementary school, we had to stay in the dormitory for the sake of “uniform” management.

We shared a dormitory, just the two of us.

Zeng Jiayi’s dad was an engineer, and they were a wealthy family.

He was strong and his grades weren’t good, but he still received many awards, such as “unity with classmates” and “helpfulness,” based on which he became a small leader.

He took charge of bullying me in our group.

The bullying started with a nickname, then progressed to shoving and minor pranks.

I didn’t dare to fight back because he wore and used expensive things, but even his notebook cost dozens of yuan. That was my mother’s weekly living expenses.

I couldn’t afford to compensate.

But he didn’t care. He stepped on and ruined my pens, ripped my clothes, and used his pocket money casually to compensate.

“Your dad works in another city, right? I bet he has enough money to compensate. Tell your dad to come find me,” he taunted me.

The first two times he bullied me, I went to the teacher for help.

The homeroom teacher frowned, “You should obey the group leader’s management. Isn’t that something they teach at your rural school? If the school doesn’t teach you, didn’t your parents teach you?”

Zeng Jiayi was smug afterwards, “My dad just came back from abroad last month and even gave the teacher two sets of cosmetics, worth three thousand yuan. The teacher will definitely not listen to your tattling. You know, our teacher hates tattletales the most.”

Three thousand yuan was more than my mother’s monthly salary.

My mother went to work sweeping the streets at 4 a.m. and didn’t get off until 5 p.m., and she only earned a little more than three thousand yuan in a month.

When I came here, my mom told me to listen to the teacher, cherish the opportunity to study in the city, get along with my classmates, and it didn’t matter if I suffered a little, just study hard.

She even gave me twenty yuan so I could treat my classmates to some water and build good relationships.

I had no other choice but to take out that crumpled twenty yuan bill and struggle to hold back my tears, “Zeng Jiayi, let’s make up. I’ll treat you to water, and you won’t bully me anymore.”

Zeng Jiayi looked at my face and agreed. After drinking the water, he said his stomach hurt.

He said he had to go to the hospital for tests and blood work, which cost one thousand yuan, not counting other treatment costs.

“If you don’t want to go, that’s fine. Would you be willing to be my dog? Call me ‘dad’ until I’m fine.” He smiled mischievously and squeezed my cheek.


Zeng Jiayi was big and stupid, and he had a lot of ideas. He transferred some strange videos from his father’s phone.

He often watched them red-faced late at night, and after watching, he came to my bed.

He ordered me to kneel under the bed.

“Just like eating ice cream,” he said.

Disgust, repulsion, fear, mixed with threats. I didn’t understand what it was for, or what to do.

I had to do whatever a dog would do.

The other students in the dormitory were afraid of Zeng Jiayi. When they reported him to the teacher, the homeroom teacher only gave him a couple of warnings to adjust his methods of communication with classmates.

Zeng Jiayi became even more relentless. He said his dad knew a lot of people, and the scariest one had even killed people and been to prison. If anyone dared to report him, they’d regret it.

He asked the other students if they wanted to try the things I did.

Later, things escalated. I was almost afraid to go to school and afraid to return to the dormitory.

I tried to resist, but I was no match for him, and he could call for reinforcements.

One time during PE class, I ran and got blood on my pants. The teacher saw it and told the homeroom teacher.

The homeroom teacher called me over and frowned, instructing me to take care of cleanliness.

She casually pointed her finger towards the side, motioning for me to stand in the corner, “I know about your family situation, but that’s not an excuse for not being clean. Before others can respect you, you must first respect yourself.”

I lowered my head.

She wrinkled her brows again and, with a hint of disgust, said, “I also heard that you pick up leftovers in the cafeteria.”

It was actually a classmate who took one bite of a chicken leg, which cost eight yuan each, and only ate a bite. I thought it was a waste, so I quietly picked it up and ate it in a corner.

I didn’t know how to respond. If I said I ate even more disgusting things, I can’t imagine what her reaction would be.

After I didn’t say anything, she pointed her finger on the table, “You need to be rational and understand right from wrong when studying at school. Bad habits from home shouldn’t be brought to school. Understand? If you don’t, call your parents next time.”

I nodded and said yes.

As soon as I walked out of the door, I heard the homeroom teacher and another teacher laughing, “It’s not that I have colored lenses, but this is really a case of what kind of child comes from what kind of family. Look at Zeng Jiayi, he’s always praising him in front of me, saying Li Ming is good-looking like a girl, but not clean. He even asked me to lecture him on hygiene issues. Have you seen? Why are there such big differences among kids?”

I stiffened, walking out of the house in a daze. Zeng Jiayi was waiting for me at the entrance of the restroom.

“How is it? I told you the teacher wouldn’t care about you. Come, I’ll treat you to an exclusive drink.” He chuckled.

The homeroom teacher was the final judge in this small society.

At that time, I was only eight, but I knew I had been sentenced to life.


During the weekend, when I returned home, I couldn’t bear it anymore.

I hesitated for a long time and tentatively told my mom, “Mom, I still want to go back to the countryside to study.”

My mom let out a sigh and asked, “Is it because of the pressure? It’s okay, if you can’t keep up with your studies, take your time, ask the teacher for help more, ask more questions. If you don’t understand, listen more. Silly bird, you should fly first.”

That night, my mom specially bought pork ribs and pork bones to make soup and nourish me.

“Look at how skinny you’ve become,” she didn’t eat a single bite and filled up a bowl for me, in the small, humid and messy rental house, she watched me with her heart and eyes.

In order to come to the city to study, my mom begged many people.

She was only in her thirties but already had gray hair, and her hands were black and thin with calluses.

She gave me twenty yuan, my weekly allowance.

“Mom, I just want to go back to study. I miss my old teachers and classmates,” I said with my head down, not taking the money.

Now I owe Zeng Jiayi four thousand yuan, I broke his phone cord last time we resisted, and he said it cost seven hundred yuan.

With twenty yuan, I would have to save for thirty-five weeks, almost nine months, excluding the winter and summer vacations, just one year.

But I…really couldn’t bear it anymore.

“The classmates now aren’t good? Is it because… your mom gives you less money?” she patiently guided me, “Ming Ming, let’s not compare in terms of material things like food and clothing. Let’s compare in terms of our studies. Food and clothing are given by our parents, but good grades are earned by ourselves. Do you understand?”

I nodded and pushed away the yellow steamed eggs in front of me and dug into the rice.

I wondered why our family was so poor.

My grandma said that our family wasn’t this difficult at first.

It was because I got seriously ill as a child, which required a lot of money to treat.

Even if we sold everything, we couldn’t afford to cure it, and that was when my dad “went in”. Life only became so difficult after that.

That’s right, my heart suddenly started pounding.

I looked at my father, who had just combed his hair. He had changed into different clothes, and there was another empty bowl on the table.

Was today…I calculated the days, it seemed to be these past few days.

She was also nervous looking at him, about to say something, but she didn’t say anything, her hand kept shaking, the sound of running water in the kitchen, gurgling, I heard her crying uncontrollably.

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Missed opportunity for the dowry.

I told my mom that I don’t like getting married and having children, and I want to stay single for the rest of my life.

My mom hesitated for a moment and said, “You should have told me earlier, it’s a shame I wasted my dowry.”

Birthday Love and Gratitude

Every time it’s my birthday, I always feel sorry for myself ←_←

From childhood to now, I have only received two birthday gifts. One was a One Piece comic book given by my good friend who knew I loved One Piece. The other was a small alarm clock given by a college classmate who was afraid I would be late.

And that’s it.

Deep down, I still really want a small gift, even if it’s something tiny like a toothbrush, a pack of tissues, a box of toothpicks, or a bag of snacks.

Sigh, maybe I just have the periodic heart of a young girl. Despite being 32 years old, I still eagerly anticipate March 21st every year. Just after my birthday this year, I had to travel to meet a client, and I didn’t get home until late, completely exhausted. I had originally planned to buy myself a mini cake, but I forgot.

Instead, for dinner on my birthday, I had some spicy hot pot and a cold, leftover baked bun.

But I still love this world.

The Best Weapon on a Crowded Scenic Spot

Have you ever had grilled skewers in a tourist area?

The meat is skewered on iron sticks and hung upside down in the oven to roast. It tastes the best when it’s slightly burnt.

However, there are also drawbacks to using these skewers.

In order to prevent the meat from slipping off, the middle of the skewer is often designed in a spiral shape, making it much more difficult to pierce through the human body.

But it is not impossible.

A few years ago, the suspect in a case I handled proved it to me with his actions:

In a tourist area with a large crowd, it is actually the best weapon.


Mid-Autumn Festival is followed by National Day, and there are many people going out for travel.

As a detective in a tourist city, I am actually quite idle, because the relaxed atmosphere of the whole city determines that the crime rate here is very low.

The police station gave most of the people time off, leaving only a few colleagues on duty.

On the first day of the holiday, just before lunch, I received a call from Xiao Zhao in the duty room.

Xiao Zhao is a security guard at the lakeside scenic area, currently preparing for the police academy. I have coached him a few times.

He sounded very urgent and a little excited on the phone, saying that someone had died at the lakeside.

But the lakeside scenic area is not within my jurisdiction.

“Did you call 120 for an ambulance?”

“I did, the police and ambulance are here.”

“Then why are you calling me?”

“The police think it’s an accident, but I don’t think so. They don’t listen to me.”

“Tell me more specifically.”

It turned out that on that day, there were many tourists by the lake, almost crowded together.

Every ten meters on the lakeside promenade, there is a large willow tree, with several squirrels living on each tree.

A group of tourists was feeding the squirrels under one of the willow trees. Suddenly, an old man rushed towards the tree and scared the squirrels away.

The onlookers were about to complain about the old man ruining their mood, when suddenly, the old man fell to the ground, convulsed a few times, and stopped moving.

Then, someone noticed that blood was seeping out of the old man’s waist.

Upon closer inspection, a skewer was stuck in the wound and blood was oozing out.

Immediately, the crowd screamed in astonishment. Instead of dispersing, more and more people gathered.

“It’s the kind of iron skewer used for grilling lamb skewers.”

There are many stalls selling snacks by the lake, and there are more than a dozen places selling this kind of grilled lamb skewers.

Under normal circumstances, the stall owners require the tourists to throw the skewer into a designated recycling bin immediately after eating, for recycling purposes.

If they choose to take it away, they have to pay extra.

“What did the police say?”

“They categorized it as an accident and said that someone had finished eating the lamb skewers, but didn’t have time to throw away the skewer. Due to the pushing and shoving, the skewer accidentally stabbed the old man’s waist… When they asked the people present, no one saw who stabbed the old man, and they couldn’t determine who was holding the skewer from the surveillance footage…”

No one would be foolish enough to admit that they accidentally killed someone.

In normal circumstances, no one would hold the skewer high above their head. They would usually hold it in front of their chest or in their hands with their arms naturally hanging down.

In a crowded situation, it would be impossible for the surveillance cameras to capture it.

“The police’s analysis is not wrong, it’s most likely an accident.”

“But I always feel that something is not right… The skewer is so thin, and just a slight push by someone would cause it to pierce the old man and kill him?”


The news spread very quickly, and in no time, the headlines were filled with news like “Elderly person in the scenic area accidentally stabbed in the spleen by an iron skewer and died on the spot.” At the end of the news, it reminded all scenic areas to control the flow of people and pay attention to hidden dangers, putting the safety of tourists' lives and property first.

The elderly person was really unlucky to be stabbed in the spleen.

When the spleen is injured and bleeds, a person can die within seconds…

Since the “culprit” couldn’t be found, the victim’s family could only hold the scenic area accountable. According to Xiao Zhao, the two parties were in a dispute over compensation and had already started legal proceedings.

It was just as I had thought.

“I know what’s wrong!” A while later, Xiao Zhao called me again.

“What’s wrong?”

“I just went to ask the stall owner of the grilled lamb skewers. He said there’s something wrong with that iron skewer!”

“What’s wrong with it?”

“The lamb chunks are skewered onto the iron skewers and then hung upside down in the electric oven for roasting. In order to prevent the meat from falling off during the roasting process, the iron skewers are twisted in a spiral shape during production to form a twist pattern… In simple terms, this iron skewer is fine if it is inserted into the human body, but if you want to pierce the entire body and stab into the spleen, it’s impossible!”

“So you mean, the iron skewer doesn’t have the twist pattern, it goes straight up and down?”

“That’s right!”

“Also, I did an experiment with the stall owner of the grilled lamb skewers.”

“What kind of experiment?”

“I used pliers to flatten the twist pattern on an iron skewer, and I tried to pierce it into the body of half a sheep with force. It was impossible to penetrate the sheep’s body because the iron skewer was too thin. The hand couldn’t grip it, and there was no force. If I used my hand to forcefully push it in, my hand would definitely get injured! So, if someone wants to insert the entire iron skewer into the body of an old man, they must wear a strong and sturdy leather glove, and there must be something hard in the palm of the hand as support…”

I understood what Xiao Zhao meant. This was not an accident, but a deliberately disguised “accident”, a deliberate murder.

“What are the police saying now?”

“They…they told me that the family has accepted that it was an accident, and they are suing the scenic area and the insurance company… They don’t plan to continue investigating. They can’t find anything with such a large crowd…”

That’s right. When I first entered this line of work, my mentor warned me not to rush into things that the emperor didn’t need the eunuch to do. It was often thankless.

“Xiao Zhao, you have a talent for being a police officer. Prepare well this year and take the exam again. I’m sure you’ll pass.” That’s the only consolation I could offer him.

“I’ll call you later. It seems that something has happened on the other side of the scenic area!” After saying that, Xiao Zhao hung up the phone in a hurry.

I felt a sense of unease creeping into my mind. I could already picture what was happening.


Sure enough, half an hour later, Xiao Zhao called me:

“It…it’s over, exactly the same, but this time it’s a woman…on the other side of the lake… I told you it couldn’t be an accident!”

Once again, an iron skewer used for grilled lamb skewers had pierced through the woman’s spleen at an angle from her waist…

Once again, no one saw who the culprit was…

According to the accounts of the witnesses, at that time, everyone was crowded together watching the musical fountain. The music was loud and the fountain sprayed into the air, with the wind blowing the water towards the tourists on the shore, eli

A Neglected Wife’s Struggles

When I was half-asleep, I heard the sound of the door closing with a “bang,” and I knew that it was my wife leaving for work. She is a high school teacher, and every other day she has morning study sessions, so she has to wake up at this time. I felt around for my phone, and the time on the screen was 5:43.

Yesterday at midday, I was cooking in the kitchen when my wife came back from work. I wanted her to bring out the food that was already prepared and let our son eat first. He’s always hungry when he gets home and will find something to eat himself. Usually, after snacking, he won’t eat his meal properly. So I shouted my wife’s name loudly twice, but there was no response. When I went out to look for her, I saw her on the phone, so I glared at her.

During the meal, my wife softly said, “Your cooking is just different. You even glared at me threateningly.” Yes, I did glare at her, but was I really threatening? I quickly reflected on the situation and realized that I did go out to find her with some emotions, so I might not have been very friendly. There was the sound of the range hood and she was on the phone, so she didn’t hear me calling her.

Recently, her school has been strict. There are things like “horizontal teaching research,” “high-quality lesson evaluations,” “monthly exams,” “analysis of teaching plans”…. They even require teachers to use PowerPoint in class. She’s not very experienced with computers, so she often spends the evenings working on her lessons on the computer. Afterwards, she often complains about her sore neck. At these times, she would come over and ask me to massage her shoulders, and I usually reply with, “I’m busy.”

Maybe it’s because of the stress, but she has been having trouble sleeping lately. She often wakes up at one or two in the morning and can’t fall back asleep. In the past, when we would watch TV together, no matter how interesting it was, she would fall asleep on the sofa after a while. Now, both my son and I are asleep, but she watches TV with the volume turned down low. I took her to see a Chinese doctor and she drank some Chinese medicine, but it didn’t seem to have much effect. She even wanted to take sleeping pills, but I stopped her. Sleep shouldn’t rely on medication, right?

Seeing this title, I reflected on myself and realized that I may not have cared enough for her. I always thought that her work at school was her responsibility and she should handle it herself. As for the sleeping problem, she should adjust herself, relax, and think about how to improve her classes if she can’t sleep. If she exhausts herself physically, she will fall asleep naturally. So I continued to focus on my own sleep and never saw it as an issue that needed to be addressed.

Sometimes she slept in the living room, and sometimes in the guest room. I even jokingly asked her if she was going on a vacation at home. One day, I woke up half-asleep and she was standing next to my bed, almost startling me. She told me that she still couldn’t fall asleep, so I let her sleep next to me. The next day she told me that she still couldn’t sleep. She envied me for being able to fall asleep as soon as I touched the pillow, and she didn’t want to disturb me anymore, so she didn’t come to me for help.

As I climbed up to the window, I saw that a layer of snow had accumulated outside. It was still dark outside, so she must have just found out it was snowing when she went downstairs. Yet, she was afraid of interrupting my sleep, so she didn’t call me to send her off and rode her electric bike to school herself. She’s clumsy, and she can even bruise her leg while riding a bicycle. When she passes by the irrigation truck wetting the road, she still dares to press the brakes, and when she falls, she comes back shouting, “I feel so embarrassed!” Now with the snowy road, she might fall again.

Suddenly, I felt a bit sorry for her. Not being able to sleep well and still facing the wind and snow for her work, sometimes even being scolded by me. As a husband, I haven’t been doing a good job. Wise people are aware of their own shortcomings, and since I have realized it, I will try to care more about her in the coming days. I’ve always been thinking about what our son likes to eat, but I haven’t thought about what my wife likes!

“Unhappy reunion and high expectations”

When my biological parents found me, it was in the slums.

The imagined motherly love and filial piety did not exist.

Because when my birth mother embraced me, her contempt in her eyes couldn’t be hidden.

But I still put down the knife I held against my aunt and embraced her.

Just because she said, “Yinyin, come home with mommy. Mommy has money and won’t let you suffer.”


Many media personnel came along, and in an instant, everyone cheered.

Thunderous applause erupted, and people started setting off fireworks.

My birth mother’s back stiffened from my hug.

The media took a photo of our family.

They said I had found my family and would start living a good life from now on.

They led me into a small villa, a grandly decorated house with a small garden outside.

I knew this kind of house.

The security system was perfect, not a place thieves would choose.

As soon as we walked in the door, my birth mother quickly let go of my hand.

Seeing my confusion, she looked somewhat embarrassed, “Sorry, Yinyin, mommy is a bit germophobic.”

My birth father walked up to me and said, “Yinyin, now that you’re back, let me show you around. This will be your home from now on.”

At that moment, a delicate girl came down the spiral staircase.

“Mom and dad, you’re back! She must be my older sister,” the girl said, smiling warmly at me. “Hello, sister, I’m Tingting.”

As she approached to hold my hand, I pulled my hand back, leaving hers awkwardly in the air.

She smiled nonchalantly, “You must not be familiar yet, let me show you around.”

“No need,” I coldly looked at the girl in front of me and didn’t give her a friendly face despite her enthusiasm.

Seeing this, my birth mother furrowed her brow, but still smiled with a good temper.

“Yinyin, you may not know, but after you went missing, your dad and I searched everywhere for you. We met Tingting while doing charity work at an orphanage and thought she resembled you. So, we adopted her as an act of kindness.”

I looked at the fair and beautiful girl in front of me. Her eyes were adorned with exquisite makeup, and her long eyelashes made her eyes lively. Her double eyelids were very apparent.

I couldn’t help but laugh, “Resemble? Do my narrow single eyelids resemble her big double eyelids?”

My birth mother was apparently caught off guard by my question.

“Sisters, of course, resemble each other,” my birth father quickly tried to appease me.

“Yinyin just arrived and might not be familiar yet, so let me show you around,” said the girl in front of me, not taking offense at my coldness.

“No need.” I glanced at her and then turned to my birth mother, saying, “Which room is mine?”

“Oh, upstairs, second room on the left,” my birth mother said, calling for the maid, “Wu Mama, take Yinyin upstairs.”

Wu Mama came forward and was about to take me upstairs.

“Forget it, you take me up,” I pointed to Wu Ting in front of me.

Wu Ting was a bit stunned to hear this.

My birth mother frowned but was stopped from saying anything by my birth father.

“Alright.” Wu Ting smiled sweetly. “I can take you and bond with my sister.”

“No need, just tell me which room it is,” I looked at her and said to my birth mother.

“Uh, second room on the left upstairs,” my birth mother replied, calling for the nanny, “Wu Mama, change the bedding in Tingting’s room.”


“This is your room now.”

Wu Ting led me into the room, saying, “Mom and dad prepared this room for a long time.”

The walls of the room were painted pink, even the bedding on the bed was pink.

I walked around the room before speaking lightly, “Where is your room?”

Upon hearing my question, Wu Ting glanced at me before pointing to the adjacent room, “Next to yours.”

I smiled, “Then let’s go take a look.”

Reluctantly, Wu Ting led me to her room.

She opened her door and casually pointed, “Take a look.”

My room and her room were about the same size, except her room wasn’t painted pink and had a balcony, but there didn’t seem to be any other differences.

I walked around the room.

I turned around and lay on her bed.

The smile on Wu Ting’s face was torn apart, “What are you doing? It’s dirty!”

She tried to pull me from the bed.

I sat up from the bed and looked at her with a smirk, “You find me dirty now?”

“Just a moment ago, you were portraying sisterly love. Can’t keep it up now?”

Hearing my words, Wu Ting’s face couldn’t maintain a smile, but she forcefully mustered one, “It’s because you haven’t showered and going to bed in your clothes isn’t proper.”

“Yinyin, you should learn some rules.” My birth mother appeared at the doorway; in just a short while, she had changed her outfit.

“With your appearance, it’s really…” She seemed to ponder for a moment before coming up with the word, “inappropriate.”

She seemed to want to hug me, but it seemed awkward for her to actually do so.

Seeing her like this, I smiled, “Yes, I found you, and now I’ll have money.”

Hearing me speak so bluntly, my birth mother’s expression turned sour.

“Yinyin, in the future, buy whatever you want, no need to save money for us,” she strained to squeeze out a few words.

“Then I can rest easy,” I quickly turned to the person in front of me and smiled, “By the way, I do have something I want to buy.”

“What do you want to buy? Buy it,” she softened her voice.

“That fancy house, buy it for me.” Just as my words fell, the smile disappeared from the person’s face.

She seemed to doubt if she had heard correctly and repeated, “What did you say?”

I repeated my answer loudly, “Buy a house.”

“No!” My birth mother sternly rejected my request.

But it seemed like she thought her words were too harsh, and she softened her tone.

“Yinyin, we have so many houses, why do you need to buy a house?”

“If there are so many houses, what’s the harm in buying one more?” I questioned.

“Buying a house is not a small matter; although it won’t cost much, for ordinary families, it’s a big deal,” my birth mother said, looking into my eyes, as if I were an ignorant little princess.

“For now, let’s not talk about this; we’ll see later,” she glanced at me, “You should go back to your room and clean up. Next time, don’t just lay on the bed like that.”

She called for Wu Ting and said at the doorway, “Wu Mama, change the bedding in Tingting’s room.”


My birth parents began contacting schools for me, saying they wanted me to learn some rules and experience the happiness of being a student.

I was arranged to attend the same school as Wu Ting.

When Wu Ting heard the news, her face lit up.

“That’s great! Now I can go to school with my sister.”

I looked at the meticulously prepared school uniforms.

“I’m too old to go back to high school, right?”

I was already nineteen. Was it appropriate for me to go back to high school and experience student life?

“No, sister. The students at our school are very well-mannered and friendly. There’s no such thing as campus violence or bullying.”

Wu Ting explained, trying to be understanding. “And our school has a lot of activities that you will like.”

“I know you didn’t have the opportunity to go to school before you came back home. Now that you’re here, we will provide you with the best education,” my birth mother said lovingly. “Forget about the unhappiness in the past and live a good life with us.”

“It’s not that I didn’t have the opportunity to go to school. It’s that I chose not to.” I spoke matter-of-factly.

My school and community had questioned me many times about my sporadic attendance. They told me if I wanted to change my destiny, I had to study hard because only through education could I change my fate.

I wasn’t a fool. I knew that if I didn’t study, I would be stuck in the same place for the rest of my life.

But changing my fate through education took too long.

I couldn’t afford to wait.

“Now you want me to study, no problem. But I can’t guarantee my grades,” I said to my birth mother.

My birth mother heard my words and reluctantly smiled, “No, Tingting excels in all aspects at school, so if you’re with her, you won’t be too far behind.”

She said these words, perhaps to console herself or to console me.

After a month of effort, the second round of tests arrived.

Wu Ting scored 149.

I scored 28.


“Why did you bring her back?” my birth mother’s hysterical voice echoed through the second-floor corridor.

“Wasn’t it because you kept nagging about bringing her back?” My birth father’s voice also carried some complaints.

“How would I know she would turn out like this?”

My birth mother sounded a bit frantic. “If it weren’t for you publicizing it with the media, we would still have other options.”

“What else can we do now? Everyone knows she’s our daughter after the media found out and the DNA test came back twice. We can only educate her again,” my birth father sounded helpless.

“How do we educate her when she’s useless like this?”

My birth mother’s voice grew urgent. “You, don’t you think we might…”

Might just discard her again?

I stood at the corner of the stairs, listening to their conversation. A sense of gloom filled my heart.

“Do you know what she wants to buy now?” My birth mother’s voice repeated the answer I had given her. “She wants to buy a house.”

“A house?” Hearing this answer, my birth father’s voice lowered.

“You think it’s possible she’s not really our daughter? Maybe she’s just after our money,” my birth mother said, her voice full of hope.

My birth father sighed, “The DNA test came back twice; it can’t be wrong.”

Hearing this answer, my birth mother became a little flustered.

“Maybe she knows we bought the villa in Jiangbei for Tingting,” she suddenly realized, “Could it be that she’s aware and wants that villa?”

“That villa belongs to Tingting as agreed. I’ve raised her for over ten years, so what if I buy her a house?” My birth mother hesitated for a while before saying, “Yinyin behaves like this, always fighting for family assets, asking for a house. She’s our daughter. Can I treat her unfairly?”

“In that case, she wouldn’t have any of conscience left,” my birth father’s voice carried deep dissatisfaction.

“She really goes that far, don’t blame me for disowning her,” my birth mother’s voice turned cold. “She eats well, lives well. Why would she still go after that little delinquent?”

“Is she planning to go back to that rubbish heap and search through trash?”

“I really don’t know what sin I committed to have a daughter like this,” my birth mother complained. “If I had known, we should’ve been more ruthless. Bringing her back was a mistake.”

“What are you saying? The child is already back,” my birth father’s voice lowered.

“If the media knew the truth, both of us would be ruined,” my birth father sighed.

“I’m just venting,” my birth mother muttered, “Besides, she was so young back then; how could she remember anything?”

“I don’t want to hear that kind of talk again,” my birth father’s voice was low with a hint of authority.

“I understand.”

My birth mother sounded slightly disgruntled, “After all, I’ve been spoiling her. What’s wrong with that?”

As I was about to turn and leave, I heard my mother ask, “That little delinquent is about to come out, right?”

My heart skipped a beat.

Were they talking about him?

“Once it’s time, you have people keep an eye on Yinyin. I’m worried she’ll go find him,” my birth father’s voice expressed deep dissatisfaction.

“If she really goes, don’t blame me for not recognizing her,” my mother’s voice was full of resentment.

“She eats well, lives well, and she still wants to find that little delinquent? Does she plan to go back to that garbage dump?”

“I really don’t know what sin I committed to have a daughter like this,” my mother grumbled, “If I had known, we should’ve been more ruthless.”

“What you’re saying, I don’t want to hear that anymore,” my birth father’s deep voice sounded full of authority.


My mother’s voice sounded dissatisfied, “I’ve been enjoying a good life and good food, and there’s nothing wrong with that.”

Just as I was about to leave, my mother asked one more question:

“That little delinquent is about to come out, right?”

My heart skipped a beat.

Were they talking about him?

“Including the time, it should be soon. You watch Yinyin, I’m afraid she’ll go find him.” My birth father’s voice harbored deep dissatisfaction.

“If she really goes, don’t blame me for not acknowledging her,” my mother’s voice turned cold.

“She eats well, lives well, and she still wants to find that little delinquent? Does she plan to go back to that garbage heap?”

“I really don’t know what sin I committed to have a daughter like this,” my mother grumbled. “If I had known, we should’ve been more ruthless.”

“What you’re saying, I don’t want to hear that anymore,” my birth father’s voice sounded stern.


My mother’s voice sounded dissatisfied, “I’ve been giving her a good life, good food. There’s nothing wrong with that.”

Just as I was about to leave, my mother asked one more question:

“That little delinquent is about to come out, right?”

My heart skipped a beat.

Were they talking about him?

Reunion after Many Years: Youngest Billionaire in the City

I ran into my ex-girlfriend again many years after our breakup. She is now the youngest billionaire in the city.

At a class reunion, her fiancé said, “Thank you to me. If I hadn’t let go back then, I would be the CEO of Tangshi Group now.”

She responded coldly, “It’s all in the past.”

The crowd didn’t think it was a big deal and started making a fuss.

Under her gaze, I silently covered the scar on my wrist and forced a smile, saying, “Yes, the two of us… don’t have any connection anymore.”


“I remember it was Fu Zhen who initiated the breakup back then, right?”

While her fiancé went to the restroom, the classmates started gossiping.

Fu Zhen is me.

Tang Jia sat opposite me, with a faint smile on her lips but a cold look in her eyes.

This is the first time we have seen each other in six years since the breakup.

Everything caught us off guard.

I came here because the class monitor said that Tang Jia wouldn’t come.

I never expected to run into her here.

Tang Jia is now successful and an outstanding returnee talent in the city.

Just her wristwatch alone is worth a fortune.

Everyone admires and respects her.

In contrast, I am not as successful as before.

“It was indeed him who initiated the breakup.”

Tang Jia calmly answered the crowd’s confusion.

Everyone had their own speculations.

They thought I cheated on her and fell in love with someone else.

“Fu Zhen, I heard that you owe a lot of money. Are you here to borrow money at this class reunion?”

“I heard you’re being kept by a rich woman.”

Mocked by the crowd, Tang Jia’s eyes remained fixated on me without saying a word.

I awkwardly smiled and did not answer.

The door was pushed open, and Tang Jia’s fiancé reentered the room, sensing a strange atmosphere. He asked with a smile, “What happened when I was away?”

Tang Jia changed her silence and held onto his arm, softly saying, “Nothing, just catching up with old friends.”

He calmly sat down and his gaze fixed on me, smiling, “Tang Jia mentioned you to me. If you hadn’t let go back then, you would be the CEO of Tangshi Group now.”

Many people’s eyes revealed a malicious joy.

At that time, the Fu family was at its peak, and wherever I went, I was surrounded by admirers.

This jealousy wouldn’t fade away with time but would become their excuse to kick me when I’m down after many years.

Tang Jia broke the awkward silence, coldly and irresistibly saying, “It’s all in the past.”

The crowd fell silent, understanding that the big shot did not want to continue the topic, and began talking about other things.

Her fiancé toasted me, “Thank you for letting go. You must come to our wedding.”

I silently covered the scar on my wrist and said numbly, “Congratulations.”


“Why don’t you explain it to her?”

On the phone, my friend Zhang Qiu defended me.

We finished the class reunion early, and I stood in the cold wind, feeling desolate.

“She has a fiancé now.”

There was a pause on the other end of the phone.

“She has a fiancé?”

Zhang Qiu couldn’t believe it.


Friends started to leave in pairs, and the brilliance from the streetlights shimmered on the snow, resembling shattered glass.

“It’s a pity that you finally got to see her after all these years of effort…”

“Zhang Qiu, no one will wait for you forever.”

Some words, if not spoken at the time, would be nauseating and of no use when spoken later.

The cold wind made my eyes cold and painful.

I smiled self-mockingly, “Brother, I’ve given up.”

Even after so many years of effort and struggling out of the quagmire, trying to reunite with her in the most decent way, it was already too late.

“Okay, let’s talk more when you come back.”

The temperature before the Spring Festival had dropped below zero, making it difficult to hail a taxi. I stood there for a while, and my hand became frozen.

The display on my phone showed “You are in line.”

The sound of high heels tapping along with the considerate voice of her fiancé passed by me, “Xiao Jia, the snow is so beautiful.”

“It’s cold outside, let’s go to the car first. I’ll be there in a moment.”

Tang Jia’s voice was clear and pleasant, with a distinctive tone.

“Then hurry up.”

As the man passed by me, he glanced at me meaningfully.

Then he walked towards a spot not far away, opened the car door, and his action exposed the eye-catching wedding ring on his ring finger.

That was a treasured heirloom of the Tang family.

It used to be worn on my hand, but when we broke up, I had someone return it to Tang Jia.

The crowd dispersed, leaving only Tang Jia and me.

The taxi I called hadn’t arrived yet.

Tang Jia always stood behind me, saying nothing.

The two of us remained silent, and there were two overlapping shadows under the streetlight.

My mind drifted back to that night when Tang Jia had a car accident on her way to meet me.

Her best friend called and didn’t sound friendly, “Tang Jia is in the hospital.”

“Is she in critical condition?”

“Are you not coming if she’s not critical?”

“Please take care of her.”

“Fu Zhen, she got the opportunity to study abroad. She will have a great future. Why can’t you wait a little longer? Are you so desperate for money? Have you forgotten everything she’s done for you? You’ve conveniently forgotten it, haven’t you?”

Her best friend almost collapsed on the phone and was on the verge of scolding me.

Then the phone was snatched away and hung up abruptly.

It can be said that I was the one who abandoned her.

It was normal for her to hate me.

“How much do you owe?” Tang Jia pulled me out of my memories, her tone indifferent.

“It’s none of your concern.”

I took a breath of cold air. My throat hurt from the alcohol I drank earlier, and I suddenly began coughing.

The cold air cut through my windpipe, causing severe pain.

I bent down and held onto the lamppost. The alcohol I consumed earlier began to churn in my stomach, causing me to break out in a cold sweat.

Tang Jia stood beside me, coldly watching.

The taxi slowly stopped in front of me, and the driver leaned out, “Are you going to Wanhe Mansion?”


I propped up my knees, stood up, took a breath, and went to open the car door. Suddenly, someone grabbed my sleeve.

Tang Jia coldly asked, “What are you going there for?”

Wanhe Mansion was a wealthy neighborhood, and it was not easy for anyone to enter.

I carelessly tried to push away Tang Jia’s hand, but she grabbed my wrist.

Her warm temperature pressed against my skin, seeping into my heart.

I struggled a bit but didn’t want to break free.

Looking up at Tang Jia’s dark and uncertain expression, I forced a smile and said what she was thinking, “Like everyone else, do you think the money I earn is dirty?”

“Five thousand a month, is it enough?” Tang Jia interrupted my words coldly.

“What do you mean?”

A trace of scorn finally appeared in Tang Jia’s eyes, “Are you short of money? Five thousand, ten thousand, is it not enough for you to live on?”

I suddenly jerked my wrist out of Tang Jia’s grip.

Due to the excessive force, she lost her balance and took a few steps back, bumping into the lamppost.

A man’s exclamation came from afar as he opened the car door and rushed out.

“Treat yourself well and don’t reach too far.”

Leaving these words behind, I got into the car and left.


“Did you get violent with her?” Zhang Qiu poured a cup of hot water for me.

“Yeah, she wanted to keep me as her lover.” I huddled in the sofa, enduring waves of stomach pains, slowly sipping the water.

After a while, I suddenly turned and ran into the restroom, vomiting.

Zhang Qiu patted my back, “Your stomach isn’t well, why did you drink alcohol?”

I took a few breaths, wiped off the residue from rinsing, and left it on my lips. It burned in my esophagus, causing a fiery sensation.

“You’ve liked her for so many years, was it worth it?”

I looked up, staring at myself in the mirror, my black hair sticking to my forehead, my face a bit pale.

Zhang Qiu’s grievances echoed from a distant place, not clearly audible, “If it weren’t for your heartless breakup, how could she be what she is today…”

I thought of Tang Jia’s fiancé.

Compared to me, he had more vitality and knew how to win Tang Jia’s favor.

I vaguely remembered that many years ago, I was just like him.

But later on, I fell too hard. When I crawled out of the ditch, everything had changed.

“Both options.”

“Either fulfill the contract, or, I will make the recording public.”

The clock in the corner ticked, pounding against my eardrums along with my heartbeat.

I pressed my lips tightly together, struggling to speak, “Are you seeking revenge on me?”

“Yes,” she replied casually, “You didn’t want me to live a good life back then, so why should I let you live a good life?”

“Two choices.”

“Either fulfill the contract or I will make the recording public.”

The clock in the corner ticked, pounding against my eardrums along with my heartbeat.

I mustered all my strength, stood up, and walked out.

Tang Jia remained silent, allowing me to leave.


In the bathroom, I discovered my disheveled clothes.

While Tang Jia’s clothes hung neatly on the coat rack by the door, clearly distinguished.

The sight stung my eyes, and I sighed, silently changed my clothes, and left the hotel.

Zhang Qiu called me, his voice strained, “Fu Zhen, they want fifty thousand.”

The sky remained overcast, unable to see the sun.

Zhang Qiu hadn’t saved much money for my medical treatment, and my savings were pitiful.

“They said if we don’t give it to them, they will reveal your situation, and they won’t tell you where Auntie’s relics and ashes are.”

“I’ll try to advance part of my salary and borrow some money from someone. I should be able to gather it next month.”


After hesitating a few times, I dialed a number.

It took a while for someone to answer on the other end.

“Mr. Fu, what’s up?”

I exhaled and said, “Dr. Jiang, I’m sorry to bother you, but…”

Jiang Yan seemed busy on her end.

She went through several transfers and eventually arrived at a quiet place, patiently asking, “Are you in a difficult situation?”

I took a deep breath, “Can you lend me four hundred thousand?”

This was the first time I had asked someone for a loan, and after I said it, I felt hot all over.

There was suddenly a commotion on Jiang Yan’s end, “Dr. Jiang, emergency surgery.”


I didn’t have much hope either and prepared for her to hang up directly.

At the last moment, Jiang Yan dropped a short sentence, “Send me your account number, and I’ll transfer it to you within the day.”

After saying that, the call ended.

The sky remained gray.

The cold, indifferent busy tone suddenly gained warmth.

It was evening when the manager knocked on my desk, “We are having a dinner with clients tonight, come along.”

A few hours ago, I had just received an advance payment of my salary from him.

Combined with the borrowed money and my previous savings, it barely added up to five hundred thousand.

When I entered the private room, I saw Tang Jia.

Seeing her elegant and graceful figure chatting amiably with everyone.

The crystal chandelier outlined her charming profile.

The manager pushed me forward.

All eyes were on me.

“Ms. Tang, is this your company’s employee?”

Tang Jia casually glanced over and smiled, “Yes, he’s a newcomer.”

“What kind of newcomer needs Ms. Tang’s personal attention? He looks good.”

During the conversation, everyone took their seats.

The manager pushed a glass of wine in front of me and said in a low voice, “Be smart tonight, block the drinks when necessary.”

People subtly asked, “Ms. Tang, is this new employee able to drink?”

Before Tang Jia could answer, the manager hurriedly replied, “He can, he can.”

After saying that, he pushed the wine glass in front of me and said, “Toast first.”

Tang Jia smiled but didn’t say anything, lightly tapping the table.

I picked up the wine glass, held my breath, and finished it in one go.

The pungent liquid recklessly surged into my esophagus, igniting a fire that roared in my stomach.

The crowd cheered, preparing to follow up with more drinks, but Tang Jia changed the topic, “Where were we just now? Let’s continue.”

During the lively conversation, many people wanted to propose a toast to Tang Jia, but she made an excuse of having a bad stomach and didn’t drink a drop.

In the end, the manager found various ways to make me drink the wine.

Finally, I couldn’t hold on any longer and went to the restroom.

As soon as I turned on the faucet in the sink, I retched uncontrollably. My clean and tidy dress shirt was soaked within moments.

After sending a text message to Zhang Qiu, I completely lost my strength and leaned against the sink, gasping heavily with my head lowered.

Outside the door, I heard a calm and steady footstep approaching.

The door opened.

I mustered up all my strength and tried to stand up, swaying as I avoided her and prepared to leave.

Tang Jia grabbed my arm and dragged me back.

She pressed me against the sink, carefully examining me.

“Let go of me.”

The stomach acid corroded my throat, causing pain with every word I spoke.

Tang Jia effortlessly dragged me in front of the mirror, making me face the mirror with her head against my shoulder, smiling.

“Take a good look at yourself, do you dare go out like this? What if someone with ulterior motives targets you?”

In the mirror, I saw my intoxicated eyes and an open collar.

Tang Jia looked through the mirror, shamelessly scrutinizing my body.

I closed my eyes, “Who else is more malicious than you?”

Tang Jia lightly laughed and whispered in my ear, “Will you come home with me tonight?”

“Get lost—”

She ruthlessly covered my mouth, completely depriving me of oxygen.

The alcohol made my blood like boiling lava, running rampant in my body.

The light turned into a blur, and the water droplets looked like they were shielded by a layer of film.

One by one, they dropped on my heart like sulfuric acid.

Causing unbearable pain.

I felt as if I was being dragged back to that dark period.

Gazing at the colorful and glamorous world with despair, incompatible with them.

“Tang Jia, can you let go of me?”

I fell into a soundless descent, crashing into a bottomless pit.

Perhaps it hurt.

But I couldn’t feel it anymore.

“Fu Zhen!”

Tang Jia called my name.

There was no longer that look of wishing me dead in her eyes.

She looked worried.

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Son’s Sacrifice and Mother’s Determination.

Looking at my third-year college son drinking cola, I got angry and asked him, “How much does this cola cost?” I asked him angrily.

“3 yuan and 50 cents,” my son took a small sip, then spit it out, just to answer me quickly.

“You still spend 3 yuan and 50 cents on cola. Just drink plain water. We won’t even have enough to eat soon,” I scolded him loudly.

My son hurriedly finished the last sip and added, “This is the last bottle. I won’t buy it anymore. I’ll drink plain water from now on.”

Seeing my son like this, I felt really sorry for him. Thinking back to the days when he was a rich second-generation, today, even when he finishes a bottle of cola, he has to add a few more sips. Instantly, tears welled up in my eyes and couldn’t be suppressed any longer.

My son glanced at me and slowly walked over, squatting down and touching my hair, saying softly, “Mom, don’t cry. I will spend money cautiously. I know how difficult it is at home, and I know how hard it is for you. I will study hard and when I finish school, I will work hard to make money. You take care of yourself and your health, and I will take good care of you in the future.”

Hearing my son’s words, I couldn’t hold back my tears any longer and burst into tears, “Son, it’s Mom’s fault. Mom didn’t manage this family well and made you suffer.”

My son turned around and got a tissue, wiping away my tears while saying, “Mom, don’t cry. I haven’t suffered, I’m fine. Don’t cry, when I earn money, we will be fine. Just focus on getting better.” As he spoke, the mother and son both cried their hearts out.

We used to have a happy and prosperous family of three. My husband owned two companies, we had a car and a house, and our assets were worth millions. My son was a true rich second-generation.

I never made him suffer for anything he wanted, as long as he liked it, I tried my best to satisfy him.

But my son was also very well-behaved, never making any excessive demands, living a normal life in terms of food and clothing. His studies were also excellent, without me having to worry about them, and he smoothly entered a top-notch university. At home, he did everything from washing clothes to cooking, always being my good helper since he was young.

But just two years ago, due to the pandemic and my husband’s gambling, we sold all our assets and were left with several million in debt. We suddenly became homeless wanderers.

We couldn’t even afford to pay for our son’s university tuition. During the summer vacation after the college entrance examination, my son worked as a tutor to earn money for his tuition. While other kids went on trips to relax after doing well on their exams, my son braved the harsh weather to travel to students' homes to tutor them.

With the money he earned on his own, he has now entered his third year. Besides the debt, we also have five cancer patients in the family who need medical treatment. We couldn’t afford to let him study, and we had to cut back on every aspect of our lives.

The more obedient and sensible my son is, the more guilty I feel towards him. Today, even when my son drinks a bottle of cola that costs 3 yuan and 50 cents, I feel it is too wasteful.

I hope that in the days to come, through the efforts of our family, we can repay more of our debts, my son can successfully enter graduate school, and all the sick family members can be safe and healthy. Let’s keep going!

The Tragic Story of My Uncle and Grandmother

My uncle, the son of a Japanese man.

And his mother, my grandmother, lived a difficult life in the mountain village for decades.

He never married, and was disliked by everyone.

Because my grandmother once guided the enemy and caused the death of half the village.

Still, she had to give birth to him, this “bastard”.

At the age of sixty-four, he was diagnosed with esophageal cancer and died in less than two months.

When I went back to take care of his funeral, I discovered something.

The story of my uncle and grandmother, as told by others, was completely different.


The village chief called my father and said that my uncle had died and no one was taking care of the body, so he asked my father, as his older brother, to go back.

It was in 2008, after the end of the Olympics, in the winter.

I was in the orthopedic ward of a hospital in Beijing, taking care of my father.

My father was old and frail, and he slipped downstairs in the winter and broke his shinbone.

He leaned on the bed and cursed repeatedly, “What a despicable thing, not knowing when to be born, and not knowing when to die.”

I knew roughly what he meant.

My father’s younger brother, my uncle, Luo Xiangyang, although I didn’t know him well, I knew a little bit.

Because my father had worked hard to get away from him, coming from a small mountain village in Guangxi to settle in the big city.

It’s understandable that he died at the wrong time.

My uncle had no relatives, he was despised by everyone since he was a child, but he had to die when his only brother was unable to move, which was troublesome.

Being born at the wrong time means that his three parts of misery, three parts of wretchedness, and four parts of unkindness are due to his birth.

He was born in 1944, the year before Japan surrendered in World War II.

My uncle and father were not blood brothers, but half-brothers.

My father’s father was from Guangxi, and my uncle’s father was Japanese—a little devil, to be precise.

I heard he was even an officer with the last name Yamamoto.

When my grandfather was still alive, we used to go back to our hometown once a year.

He would always reminisce about that time, and when he talked about the Japanese devil who took away his wife, his teeth would grind, and his cloudy eyes would gleam.

“If a little devil ever comes to our village again, I’ll kill them all.”

Later, he found out that I went to Japan to pursue my graduate studies and had a brief Japanese girlfriend.

He took a deep breath and tried to act casual: “Each generation is different, and our grudges have nothing to do with you young people. Don’t worry about it.”

But I could clearly see that he never relaxed his tightly clenched teeth.

Five years ago, after my grandfather died, we never went back to our hometown.

Every time I asked my father, he would casually dismiss it: “Dad’s gone, there’s nothing worth caring about at home, why bother going back? No need to go back.”

But this time was different.

After venting his anger and frustration, his eyes suddenly softened, and tears welled up.

I knew deep down that even if he didn’t care about that illegitimate brother with a questionable background, he secretly worried about his 90-year-old mother.

Even though he had been cursed and despised by a whole village for decades, no matter how much he disliked her, she was still his mother.

“Xiao Qing, take some money and go back, take care of his burial properly. Burn more paper money, let him have a better life underground after suffering so much on top.”

“By the way, ask your grandmother if she’s willing to come to Beijing and live with us. If she doesn’t want to, leave her some money. After all, she has lost a true relative in the village.”


Because my father needed someone to take care of him after his injury, I had already requested leave from work.

I had the time, but I wasn’t very eager to go back.

Every time I had interactions with my uncle and grandmother when I went back to my hometown before, they were not very pleasant.

Especially my grandmother, half mad and half possessed, often screaming and saying incomprehensible things, always telling me to stay away.

But my father asked, and I couldn’t refuse.

My wife also encouraged me to go, saying that she was curious about this matter.

“At that time, people hated the invaders to the bone, why did your grandmother eagerly want to guide them as a traitor and give birth to a child with Japanese blood? And what’s even harder to understand is, since the people in the village despise them so much, how did the mother and son survive all those movements?”

“It’s an opportunity for you to understand, and if you’re lucky, you might even be able to turn it into a feature interview.”

She was right; I worked for a magazine that specialized in in-depth human-interest stories, but recently I was having trouble finding material.

So, after making sure my wife would take care of my father, I bought a ticket and headed to my hometown.

When I said goodbye to her, I didn’t realize that the truth I would discover on this trip to pay my respects would shake my values and beliefs.

My wife was simple and considerate. She grew up in the city, sheltered from the storms of life like a “flower in a greenhouse.”

After spending so much time with her, I had become accustomed to the idea that women should be soft.

But the grandmother I was about to meet, her toughness told me:

How much can a woman endure?


I took a plane to Nanning, then a high-speed train to the county town.

It took another forty minutes by car to reach the Miao village where my father was born.

The road was smooth asphalt all the way, leading directly to the entrance of the village.

Compared to the last time I came here five years ago, there had been significant changes.

The country had indeed put a lot of effort into poverty alleviation. Even in such a remote place as Landang Miao Village, the infrastructure was now complete.

You have to know that in my grandfather’s memory, when the Japanese soldiers came, they had to walk over thirty miles of mountain roads.

It was raining that day, and the narrow path on the mountainside was covered in wet mud.

“How could that woman bring the devils to our place, on such a remote and bad road!” He would rage with a tone full of hatred, firmly etching it in my mind.

In the village, I found the village chief and explained the purpose of my visit.

He was about the same age as my uncle and was very happy. He wanted to arrange a place for me to stay.

I waved my hand and said I would go to my grandmother’s house on the mountain, which would be more convenient to handle everything.

He was even happier, having someone to take care of the trouble of dealing with my uncle’s death, and immediately led me up the mountain along a small path.

From my vague memory, my grandmother and uncle had always lived in a stone house at the back of the village, isolated from the world.

But according to the village chief’s recollection, they had moved to the mountain long before I was born.

It turned out that when my grandmother returned from the Japanese, my grandfather Luo Erhai still wanted to live a good life with her.

As if nothing had happened.

But unexpectedly, a few months later, her gradually protruding belly couldn’t hide the fact that she had been with a Japanese.

Helplessly, she raised my uncle until he was eight years old before my grandfather could no longer bear the cold ridicule of others and kicked them out of the house.

They ran to the mountain and depended on each other, living there for decades.

After half an hour of climbing, we finally reached their home, a small house built of stones.

This was my first time coming to their home.

My grandmother was sitting on the threshold, facing the direction we came from, but her eyes were vacant.

She was short, even though she was wrapped in a thick dark blue cotton jacket, she still looked like a deflated sticky rice dumpling.

If it weren’t for the grayish white hair in her mostly white hair, she would have been mistaken for a primary school student at first glance.

I had heard my grandfather talk about it. Before she went with the Japanese, she was one of the tallest women in the village.

When she returned, she had shrunk by a lot, my grandfather estimated it was because she had been mistreated by the little devils.

Now that she was very old, she had shrunk even more.

The village chief waved his hand in front of my grandmother’s eyes and said, “Aunt Wei, your eldest grandson is back, your son has been buried.”

But she seemed as if she hadn’t heard or seen anything, her gaze remained empty.

Her eyes were like two dried-up wells, and her face was a cracked dry field.

And her toothless mouth remained tightly shut.


I bypassed them and entered the house, seeing my deceased uncle lying on a broken wooden bed in a side room.

I wasn’t sure if it was because it was cold on the mountain or because the room was shady, but despite the lit brazier next to the bed, I couldn’t stop shivering.

I didn’t dare to get close, but from a distance, he looked completely different from the image I had seen before.

Two months ago, my father told me that my uncle had been diagnosed with esophageal cancer.

I have seen people who died from lung cancer, colon cancer, bladder cancer, and so on.

But I never expected that dying from esophageal cancer would be so horrifying.

A man with only a skeleton frame, he was even thinner than my 90-year-old grandmother, and his hair was whiter than hers.

It’s likely that the cancer cells had invaded his esophagus so much that he hadn’t been able to eat for a long time.

He starved to death.

I still remembered what he looked like about seven or eight years ago. He resembled my father, and both of them resembled my grandmother.

During Chinese New Year, when I went back to the village to celebrate, he seized an opportunity and called me over when he saw me on the corner.

He had a timid expression, but when he spoke, it left me confused:

“I want to hire you, how much will it cost?”

“Huh? What do you mean? What do you want to hire me for?”

He ignored my question and continued, “Did you study in Japan? Can you speak Japanese? When are you going back to Japan? If you go, can you help me find my Japanese father? I want to meet him, if he’s still alive.”

At that time, even though he looked emaciated, with a dark complexion and a stubbly beard, and he was blind in one eye, he was obviously a healthy old man.

I didn’t quite understand his request, keeping half of his body buried in the ground and still wanting to go to Japan to find his roots?

So many years have passed, and it’s highly likely that the Japanese man has died. Who knows, maybe he died in China after the war.

Even if he miraculously survived, would he bother to acknowledge a Chinese son he had never met?

“He probably can’t be found, why do you want to see him?”

“To avenge my mother.” My uncle swallowed his saliva and said, “If he’s still alive, I want to kill him.”

I was stunned, so he wanted to hire me to kill someone, but I was even more puzzled.

Wasn’t it my grandmother who wanted to follow that Japanese officer? How did revenge come into play?

But before I had the chance to ask further, my grandfather called me, and my uncle ran away in fear.

They had a poor relationship, and my uncle was afraid of my grandfather.

Unfortunately, now I wouldn’t have the chance to ask.

The revenge he wanted to seek could only be brought to the afterlife.

If I followed my father’s instructions and burned a lot of paper money for him, I couldn’t be sure if he would be tormented by the gods of the afterlife.

I leaned against the door, thinking about how to follow my father’s instructions and give my uncle a decent funeral.

Suddenly, a cry came from the corner, a cold and elderly voice that startled me.

Then I noticed that there was someone else in the room, swaying back and forth in the corner with a brown fur like an animal and a white ghost face covered with talismans.

The village chief rushed over when he heard the sound and helped me up, reassuring me, “Don’t be afraid, it’s a person.”

“But it looks like a ghost?”

“That’s a mask for the Nuo opera, it can drive away evil spirits and comfort the spirits of the deceased.”

“Did you hire him?”

“No, he came on his own.”

“Who is he?”

“Master Yang, the most famous sorcerer in the village. With him here, things will go smoothly.”

I looked over again, and Master Yang didn’t stop, as if we didn’t exist, he continued to dance.


I grabbed the village chief and retreated to the courtyard, asking him about the proper funeral customs in the local area.

My grandmother was still sitting outside the door.

“If you want it to be grand, you need to use cypress wood coffins from Liuzhou and real silk shrouds and bedding from Qinzhou. As for the procedures, you definitely need to set up a banquet for three days, invite all the relatives who can come, on the day of the burial, not only do you need to perform Nuo opera, you also need to hire a reed pipe band to perform the reed pipe dance. After the dance and singing are done, it should be carried to the farthest mountain and buried as far away as possible.”

I had an impression, especially the last point.

When I came back during Qingming Festival one year, I followed the Luo family to worship at the mountains and ancestors, crossing mountains and rivers, wading through water, and witnessed how far Guangxi people could choose their burial sites.

But this time, I didn’t have that much time.

“I can only stay for two or three days and then I have to go back to Beijing. So let’s choose a burial site near the house, as he already lived in the mountains.”

“For funeral supplies, you can choose the best, but it has to be fast. Hopefully, we can buy everything today in the county town. I think we’ll just pick ready-made items.”

“As for the procedures, set the banquet for noon tomorrow. Not all the villagers need to come, you know the situation of my uncle and grandmother, whoever is willing to come from the village is fine.”

The goal was to make it dignified, not showy.

Showing off was how others saw it, but dignity was my uncle’s own wish.

Given my uncle’s life, wanting to be showy after death was too difficult.

“And what about the Nuo opera and reed pipe dance? I think…”

Meow, meow, meow, meow.

Before I could finish, I was interrupted by the sound of meowing.

A group of cats came rushing down from the mountain, about six or seven of them, crowding around my grandmother.

She finally came to life from her stone-like sitting position, her eyes filled with love.

Touching this one and that one, then standing up and going into the dark low kitchen next to her.

Before long, she came out with a pot of rice soup mixed with vegetable broth, and the cats gathered around.

“Grandma, I’m Tianqing, Luo Xiangcai’s son.”

I called out to her, looking at her face, there was no recognition.

I should have seen her, but I didn’t recognize her either. I think she was the same.

She just looked at me, didn’t say anything, and turned back into the kitchen.

When she came out again, she had two bowls of yellow corn porridge in her hands, and she handed them to the two of us.

I looked at my watch and realized that it was already twelve noon.

The village chief said he didn’t want to eat, but he laughed, “Aunt, I’m not hungry, how can you give someone food that’s worse than the cats'!”

I was really hungry after the long journey, so I took the bowl and put it in my mouth, puh puh puh, I immediately spit it out.

It was scalding hot, as if it had just been taken out of the pot.

“You old lady, you’re still using the bad water the Japanese gave you until now!

“Tianqing, come with me to have a meal, let’s discuss the details of the funeral, and let you see what hospitality means to the Miao people!”

The village chief pulled me down the mountain.


On the way, I picked up where we left off: “We don’t need the reed pipe dance, it’s too ostentatious. If the Nuo opera can send the spirits on their way, we’ll keep it. Is it enough to find the same Master Yang from earlier?”

“He’ll definitely do. We greatly respect him, and people from neighboring counties often come to invite him. Asking about things, calling the spirits, choosing burial sites, he’s proficient in everything.”

I was quite surprised, “He’s that good, is it free?”

“How can that be? Of course, he charges for his services.”

“But then I’m confused, my grandmother shouldn’t have money to pay him.”

“For your grandmother, he doesn’t charge.”

Seeing my confusion, the village chief smirked:

“If you want to know more about this, there’s a lot to say.

“Now in our Landang Miao Village, your grandmother and Master Yang are the two oldest people. But one is respected by everyone, the other is cursed by everyone. What’s strange is that the highest-ranking person is the most protective of the lowest-ranking person. Not many people are willing to deal with your grandmother, but Master Yang asks about her every few days. It’s been decades.

“To put it bluntly, if it weren’t for him, your grandmother wouldn’t have survived to this day, and she would have died long ago. When the movements were going on in the last century, those families who had lost loved ones to the little devils wanted to kill her in revenge, but he managed to protect her.”

“Could it be because my grandmother saved him or his family’s life?”

That was the only reason that made sense to me.

But the village chief burst into laughter when he heard that: “Young man, you’re thinking too much. It seems your father didn’t tell you much about your grandmother’s story.

“She was the one who caused the most harm to the Yang family, almost wiping them out. No, at that time, he hadn’t become the Nuo shaman yet.

“She went with his family to the county town to sell herbs, and only he came back, his wife and children were all gone. A few days later, your grandmother came back with a Japanese officer and killed his parents. From then on, he went crazy, able to communicate with spirits, and became Master Yang.”

Listening to the village chief’s story, I had question marks all over my head: “With such blood feuds, why would he protect my grandmother?”

“That’s why we respect him, he’s the number one good person.”

As he said those words, we had arrived in the village. The villagers along the way were all looking at me.

Knowing that they were simply looking at a stranger, but after hearing the details of my grandmother’s story, it was as if thorns suddenly grew in their eyes, pricking me all over.

It was as if I carried the road of the devil and the blood of Japan.

I wanted to finish the business quickly and leave, suddenly understanding my father. No wonder he had to leave this place at all costs.

“How many villagers do you think will come to the banquet tomorrow? How many tables should we prepare?” I asked.

“Probably quite a few. Before, let alone eating, you couldn’t even find people willing to carry the coffin for him. Now is different. Young people don’t remember things, and they don’t hate little Japan, they don’t remember what happened sixty years ago.”

It seemed like that included me too, I went to study in Japan because I liked anime when I was a child.

“The matter of people will be taken care of by me, I’ll take care of it, don’t worry.”

I took out twenty thousand yuan from my bag and gave it to the village chief, telling him to go and buy supplies and wine and food, and if it wasn’t enough, I would make up for it, and if there was extra, I asked him to keep it, after all, he had put in so much effort.

He sighed, “Besides being the duty of the village chief, I also played naked with him for two years before he went up the mountain. It’s really tough. He died so miserably after all these years