Chapter 1: Back to the age of four

----- This translation belongs to konila.com -----

----- THIS TRANSLATION BELONGS TO konila.com -----

----- This translation belongs to konila.com -----

----- This translation belongs to konila.com -----

It was the summer of 1996. A strong wind blew down the young bamboo trees. A group of four or five year old kids opened their eyes wide with excitement to see the small hailstones falling from the sky.

“They are popsicles! You can eat them!”

The children cheered and picked up the hails with their little hands.

Teacher Zhao was busy changing the boy’s pants in the corner. The little boy’s eyes were dead without any emotion and he looked silently at the yellow urine stain on his pants and under his wheelchair.

The moment she saw the ignorant children outside the classroom were picking up the hails to taste, teacher Zhao was afraid they would get sick so she couldn’t care less about the fact that the dark-haired boy’s wet pants were taken off midway only. She hurried outside to bring back the children from the garden.

Only four little boys and a little girl who was sleeping in the front row because of fever, remained in the classroom.

A fat boy named Chen Hu was also among them. His name was in line with his physic. With a tiger like brain and his extraordinary health he really looked like a tiger cub. There were even two big circles of redness on his white and chubby cheeks, which were chubbier than other children, making him look really dumb.

Chen Hu’s eyes turned around. Originally, he was looking at the hailstones outside that he hadn’t seen before. But who knew he was close enough to smell the urine. He scrunched up his nose and turned around to look at Pei Chuan who was sitting in the wheelchair, trying to put on his own wet pants.

Unfortunately, there was nothing below his knees so he couldn’t muster his strength.

After struggling for a long time, he barely pulled up his wet, stained pants, covering his male organ.

Chen Hu looked at the urine on the floor, and cried out in his sharp and unbelievable tone, “Look! Pei Chuan peed in his pants! It’s all over the place.”

Several boys in the classroom turned around and covered their mouths.

“He’s so dirty!”

“I just saw it, Teacher Zhao was changing his pants!”

“But he’s still wearing those pants. Look at his pee over there, ah!”

Pei Chuan’s pale and thin face turned red with shame. He bit his lip and yanked down the picture book to block the wet position. He shivered and looked at the teacher outside the kindergarten.

Teacher Zhao came in carrying the last child and rebuked them saying, “That’s called hail, you don’t eat it! Well the teacher will inform your parents to pick you up later!”

Afraid of the children’s disobedience, she put on a stern face and said, “If you eat the hail, you will not grow tall anymore!”

As soon as she said this, several children immediately turned pale and cried out loud with tears in their eyes.

“Teacher, am I not going to grow tall anymore…”

Teacher Xiao Zhao said, “Of course not, you will be fine when you go back home and eat more rice tonight.”

The naive children broke out in smiles.

However, innocence can sometimes be the most cruel. The little fatty pointed his finger at Pei Chuan before saying, “Teacher Zhao, Pei Chuan has peed in his pants!”

As soon as he said this, Teacher Zhao remembered that the pants of the child who sat in the corner, were only half removed. However, the little fatty shouted so loudly that everyone in the class heard it.

Pei Chuan shuddered and huge tear drops trickled down his face. He didn’t do it on purpose, not on purpose…..

For a while, the children’s childish comments sounded.

“I stopped peeing in my pants when I was three!”

“My Mom said that the child who pees in pants is dirty.”

“Pei Chuan has no legs, he even wet his pants. Let’s not play with him anymore!”

“If you play with him, you’ll also pee in your pants!”

***

The chattering sounds finally woke up the little girl who was running with a fever in the front row.

Her cheeks were flushed red due to fever. Her long eyelashes quivered slightly before opening her glistening eyes.

The violent wind blew her two braids. Bei Yao blinked her hazy eyes and her breath was burning hot. This young body had no strength. She clearly remembered that she was dead. How could she…..

She hurriedly looked down at herself and straightened up from the little round table. She looked at her soft, white and tender hands.

With so many people behind her shouting Pei Chuan’s name, Bei Yao’s breath turned stagnant and she turned back with an unbelievable look on her face.

The faded pictures in her memory shattered the years’ gap and suddenly became vivid. Teacher Zhao was only 26 years old this year, with the tenderness and vigour of a young female teacher.

The children stared at the small boy in the corner with a united enmity and unrevealing disgust in their eyes.

Through the crowd, Bei Yao could only see the large wheels of the wheelchair and the stiff body of the child on it.

He gritted his teeth before looking up. His black and white eyes were especially distinct because of his thin cheeks. He looked at the group of ignorant children however, he calmed down in the next moment and looked at his wet pants with tears in his eyes.

‘Pei… Pei Chuan…’

Although only a glance, Bei Yao was absolutely certain that he was Pei Chuan as a child.

The five-year-old boy, who couldn’t control his physiology because his legs were broken, wetted his pants in class. Eighteen years later, this scene faded out from everyone’s memory, and was replaced by the crazy and indifferent computer genius.

For many people, he was a ruthless devil, who was frantically researching software that was not conducive to social stability.

However, the devil, Pei Chuan, was currently just a fragile child who had just lost his legs.

“Bei Yao.” A little girl said, “We won't play with him anymore either!”

Bei Yao was less than four years old and was the youngest child in the class.

Bei Yao couldn’t remember how she responded in her previous life. Anyway, she probably agreed.

Having urine all over the floor in the kindergarten was a shameful matter for any ignorant child.

Moreover, the child was scary. His calves below his knees were chopped off by someone and the bottom half of his pants were empty. The children felt afraid and novel.

With the classroom in chaos and parents coming to pick up their children sooner because of the hailstorm, teacher Zhao pushed his wheelchair in a hurry. Considering the little boy’s self-esteem, she had to quickly go to the toilet to help Pei Chuan change his pants, and then organize the children to go home.

Bei Yao couldn’t watch Pei Chuan being pushed away in this way. Her sick voice was as weak as a cat, “Pei Chuan…”

No one heard her and no one turned back.

She suddenly remembered the 23-year-old Pei Chuan, sitting in a wheelchair with a blank expression. At that time he said in a serious voice that he would protect her life. Little dumpling Bei Yao froze then sighed softly before laying down on the table.

Could it be that he paid too much in his last life to let her pay the debt in this life?

***

“Pei Chuan, don’t be sad. The classmates will forget it tomorrow. I have sandwich cookies here, do you want to eat one?”

Pei Chuan whispered, “No, I want to go home.”

“Then, wait for your mama. Okay?”

Pei Chuan’s fingertips were pale. He bowed his head and stopped talking.

Mobile phones were not widespread yet. Most of those who had were those of some high status and Teacher Zhao was clearly not among them.

Pei Chuan’s mother was a surgeon. Sometimes an operation would make her busy till late at night. His father was the captain of a police team. His position was not simple and thus was also busy in his work.

Neither one’s job could tolerate any mishaps, and the little boy’s neighbours would occasionally have to be troubled to pick him up. For example Bei Yao’s, Chen Hu’s or Fang Minjun’s parents, will drop him off on the way back.

Parents came to the school one after another. Teacher Zhao had to look after the children. Today, another female teacher asked for leave and so all burdens had to be shouldered by her, so she was extremely busy. Teacher Zhao pushed Pei Chuan back to the classroom after changing his pants, and gave building blocks for him to play with.

Pei Chuan lowered his head and remained motionless.

Bei Yao looked at him with complicated eyes.

If one could redo one’s life, what would Bei Yao want to do most?

Of course, it was to stay away from that trash, Huo Xu, and to be filial to her parents for a lifetime. This all had nothing to do with Pei Chuan, on the premise that Pei Chuan didn’t leave a deep mark on her heart before her death.

Her feelings towards Pei Chuan were complicated.

The hail was overwhelming and was still increasing. From time to time, the parents who rushed over complained, “Ah, what kind of weather is this, so sunny in the morning, and ice lumps falling down in the afternoon.”

There were parents who rode their bicycles with their child, while those without bicycles carried their children on their back and ran to their houses. The children waved their hands towards their teacher, “Goodbye Teacher Zhao!”

“Goodbye Xiaowei! Goodbye Lili!”

Soon, Bei Yao’s mother, Zhao Zhilan also came with an umbrella.

In 1996, Ms. Zhao Zhilan was still young. There were no fine lines around her eyes, and her blue short-sleeved top made her look assertive and vibrant.

Bei Yao’s eyes moved away from Pei Chuan. Watching Zhao Zhilan rushing over, her eyes became wet immediately.

Zhao Zhilan held her up before saying, “Oh my, my worrisome daughter, why are you crying? Are you scared by the hails?”

Bei Yao shook her head. She leaned on the woman’s back and felt choked with tears. In the whole world, parents treat their children the best. This is the truth that many people know but do not fully comprehend.

“Here, hold the umbrella. Mama can’t hold it while carrying you. You put the umbrella on my shoulder and just support it.”

Zhao Zhilan greeted Teacher Xiao Zhao and left with her daughter on her back.

Bei Yao supported the umbrella in her small hands, she thought for a moment and turned around.

The little boy, Pei Chuan still sat in the corner, motionless. He didn’t look at her.

Chen Hu’s father was the first to pick him up in the class. The fat boy rode on his father’s shoulder smugly.

Fang Minjun’s grandmother, wearing an apron, also took her granddaughter home.

Then next was Bei Yao’s mother..…

Bei Yao followed his gaze and her eyes fell on the small piece of wet ground beside Pei Chuan. This was left unclean by Teacher Zhao who was too late to handle the urine and hurriedly mopped it.

Bei Yao remembered the cold and gentle kiss of the man 18 years later, and when she looked at Pei Chuan again, she felt a slight pain in her heart.

This formidable man in the later generations was so fragile and lonely when he was young.

Bei Yao moved her finger, and when she wanted to see Pei Chuan again, Zhao Zhilan had already run a long way in one breath while carrying her.

Pei Chuan raised his eyes, and his black eyes fell on the girl who was carried on her mother’s back far away.

They went further and further away, and eventually disappeared.

The hail fell overhead and crackled, as lively as firecrackers. Bei Yao had no energy to speak, she was dizzy and burning with fever. At the end of the classroom, only a little boy with dark black pupils left alone sitting in a wheelchair.

The kindergarten was not far from home, but it was far from where Zhao Zhilan worked. Zhao Zhilan was quick on her feet, and for ten minutes she bore the hailstorm and brought Bei Yao back home.

The little girl with the fever was long asleep.

At night, she woke up feeling muddled. Zhao Zhilan was rubbing her back with alcohol, and sighed helplessly: “When did you get a fever, and you didn’t even know how to tell the teacher. You wouldn’t become silly from the fever right.”

Bei Licai just came in from the outside and hurried over to see his daughter. The couple were really scared just now from seeing Bei Yao’s burning from high fever. Fortunately, Bei Yao’s uncle was a doctor who opened a small pharmacy. After coming over to see her, he prescribed some medicine. Otherwise, it would not be possible to send her to the hospital in such weather.

In 1996, Bei Yao was the only child in her family. Her younger brother Bei Jun had not been born yet. As first-time parents, the couple was more meticulous in taking care of her.

Bei Licai touched his daughter’s soft cheeks to check her fever, “It’s better now, it’s not that hot.”

“She won’t go to the kindergarten tomorrow. You go out in the morning to inform Teacher Zhao about it.”

Bei Yao was half awake and suddenly heard her parents mentioning Pei Chuan.

Zhao Zhilan said, “Today nobody picked up the boy. Looking at it, it seems Juan-er is not off from work yet, and Pei Jian Guo also hasn’t returned home yet!”

“Such a young child. His second half of life is already ruined, sigh ……”

Her parent’s small sigh faintly entered in her dream.

Bei Yao recalled how several years later, the indifferent man struggled to fall off his wheelchair and embraced her.

They all said he was a devil, and she was a little afraid of his reticent appearance.

But this devil currently was still a little boy.

At daybreak, Bei Yao opened her eyes and the fever had gone down a lot.

Zhao Zhilan was making breakfast, and Bei Yao’s room door was open.

Bei Licai went into the kitchen while saying to Zhao Zhilan, “I just went to inform Teacher Zhao of Bei Yao’s absence, but she said …”

Bei Yao looked past the old living room furniture and heard a heavy sigh.

“Pei Chuan hasn’t been picked up all night…..”

Bei Yao was stunned.

The temperature fell last night. It was the coldest night of this summer and Pei Chuan didn't have a single person in the whole world to come for him.

-

----- This translation belongs to konila.com -----

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