Chapter 2: The Trapped Beast

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

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

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

Idea is the key

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

Children have a pretty good ability to recover. Therefore Bei Yao became much better till the time of breakfast.

Zhao Zhilan took a leave from the factory to take care of Bei Yao. Her daily work was to sew clothes in a clothing factory with 430 yuan as a monthly salary. At that time, this much salary was considered a pretty good treatment.

Breakfast consisted of a bowl of porridge with a bowl of kimchi and the only white egg in the house was put in Bei Yao’s bowl.

A sudden sound of footsteps came from the corridor, followed by a shrill voice of a woman from outside the door.

“Zhao Zhilan!”

Zhao Zhilan loudly replied, “I’m not going to work today. I’ve asked for a leave, you go.”

“Why didn’t you say that earlier?” The woman muttered, dissatisfied she sashayed away from their door.

Bei Yao looked at her mother’s sullen face.

***

That woman was Zhao Xiu. Zhao Xiu and Zhao Zhilan were from the same village and by coincidence, both of them later married to City C as neighbours and also worked together in a garment factory. After two years of marriage, they both got pregnant in the same year and gave birth to their daughters in August. Therefore, people around them couldn’t help but compare both mothers.

However, Zhao Zhilan couldn’t compare to Zhao Xiu.

Zhao Zhilan’s husband, who was also father of Bei Yao, worked in a brick and tile factory. His work was arduous and his salary was not high. While Zhao Xiu’s husband was a primary school math teacher who was respected and had a decent earning.

However, they were not as mean towards Zhao Zhilan as towards her daughter.

Fang Minjun was Zhao Xiu’s daughter. She was half a month older than Bei Yao and had fair and tender skin. Unlike the cheerfulness of her peers, she was quite graceful and looked like a little jade maiden. Everyone said the child would grow up beautiful.

In contrast, Bei Yao was the one being crushed by this comparison.

Four year old Bei Yao had round cheeks and big eyes. As she used to eat a lot at that time, two little dimples appeared on her cheeks. The whole person looked quite round and dumb. Every time Zhao Xiu met Xiao Bei Yao, she would cover her grin before saying, “What did Yaoyao eat? The flesh of the little hand is a little more than that of my family’s Minmin.”

Obviously it was a taunt disguised as praise. As Zhao Zhilan was also a little fat, Zhao Xiu was covertly referring to it as a genetic problem.

Bei Yao sighed softly while looking at her mother’s increasingly gloomy face.

Her family background was very ordinary and had an incomparable bad luck. In her memory, Fang Minjun’s family moved to a new house during her Junior High School. Then the newly bought house was demolished after two years and they got two new suites as compensation. Fang Minjun’s family turned for the better. On the contrary, Bei Yao’s family lent money to her uncle thus was still poor.

However there was a point when the Bei family counterattacked them. It was during the first year of high school, when Fang Minjun’s image got a blow and “the little jade maiden” turned into a mean girl.

While Bei Yao, as if the tender leaves stretch out in spring after shedding its old leaves, rose to prominence and became the school flower of the Second Middle School in City C.

But, Bei Yao couldn’t comfort her mother now by saying that she would be very beautiful in the future. Even if she said this, Zhao Zhilan would think that the child was just spouting nonsense. Last night, Bei Yao remained dazed for the whole night, thinking that the rebirth was too mysterious. She was grateful for everything she could have again so she intended to be a good four-year-old baby girl and stay with her parents to support them. She wouldn’t marry this time so her parents wouldn’t hurt and feel despair in their middle age.

She finished her meal and Zhao Zhilan wiped her mouth.

“Mom, I’m going to kindergarten,” Bei Yao said.

Zhao Zhilan smiled while saying, “Usually, I rush you to go to Kindergarten but you won’t listen. You are sick so you don’t need to go today.”

Bei Yao was sick so her voice sounded really soft when she said, “But, I want to go.”

As Zhao Zhilan saw Bei Yao’s earnest and slightly wet eyes, her heart turned soft and she touched the little girl’s forehead to check the fever and said, “We’ll go in the afternoon.”

Bei Yao remembered what her father said in the morning. Pei Chuan was not picked up yesterday and stayed in kindergarten for the whole night. Knowing this, Bei Yao was a little upset. However, a four year old couldn’t wring her arms and legs, she could only listen to Zhao Zhilan.

In the afternoon, Bei Yao was successfully sent to the kindergarten.

Several Chinese cedar trees were planted at the door of the “Evergreen Kindergarten” which would smell of a distinctive spicy-resinous scent when touched. The garden, on the other hand, was planted with several plum blossoms, which were spreading their sweet fragrance around. In 1996, the kindergarten equipment was simple, and there was no equipment like a slide.

Only two seesaws made of wooden boards were kept alone in the yard.

The weather changed rapidly during this time of the year. Therefore, as soon as the sun came out, hailstones covering the seesaw started to melt down. Thus it soaked the seesaw in the process, making it temporarily unusable.

Teacher Zhao was organizing the children to play games in the garden.

Teacher Wu wouldn’t come until next week, so Teacher Zhao was too busy on her own.

When Zhao Zhilan was handing over the soft little hands of Bei Yao to teacher Zhao, Bei Yao looked into the classroom where all the children were playing while throwing their handkerchiefs. Everyone was clapping their hands and singing, except one person.

Pei Chuan turned his head and met Bei Yao’s eyes.

His eyes were hollow and had nothing in his eyes.

But after a moment, he turned around and stopped looking at her.

Pei Chuan was also placed by the teacher among the children. Because he had no legs, he was undoubtedly the most special child in the kindergarten. Teacher Zhao pitied him but the other children were afraid of him and hated him. Such a contradiction made him seem to be a burden to the whole kindergarten.

Therefore, Pei Chuan looked out of place.

The children started to sing songs in their childish voices. Teacher Zhao smiled and placed Bei Yao among the children. Bei Yao sat opposite Pei Chuan.

“Drop, drop, drop the handkerchief,

Softly behind your friend’s back,

Everybody stay quiet,

Quick, quick, catch him!”

The handkerchief fell behind Chen Hu, but the little chubby boy didn’t respond in time. When the children all laughed at him, Chen Hu suddenly turned around and saw the blue handkerchief behind him. Then he jumped up like a little meatball to catch the “mailman” child. As a result, that child already went around a circle and returned to the empty seat.

Chen Hu became depressed because of losing his seat. He sang a nursery rhyme taught by the teacher as a punishment, and then continued the game.

The group of four-five year old kids sat in a circle again started to clap and sing, “Drop, drop, drop the handkerchief…..”

As the children were singing, the little fat kid turned and looked at Pei Chuan in the wheelchair. Looking at this, Bei Yao’s heart jumped. In her previous life, she did not come to the kindergarten on this day. However the next day when she came, she noticed that Pei Chuan never spoke again, and even refused to come to kindergarten, thus becoming a completely silent boy.

‘So what did he go through?’

The song continued and Chen Hu dropped the handkerchief behind Pei Chuan. At this time, teacher Zhao was not here as she took a child having a stomach ache to the toilet.

The audience suddenly calmed down. Even the children were sensitive enough to know that Pei Chuan had no legs so he couldn’t catch anyone.

Pei Chuan looked back and saw the handkerchief behind him.

Chen Hu made a smug face at him, and the children giggled at his funny appearance.

Little Pei Chuan clenched his teeth and supported the wheelchair with one hand before trying hard to bend down at the same time.

Chen Hu pointed at him and laughed.

Bei Yao’s heartbeat was very fast. She was continuously muttering in her heart, ‘Don’t pick it up…..Don’t pick it up…..’

On this warm day, Cicadas were chirping on the cedar trees.

Pei Chuan bit his lips hard and picked up the handkerchief with difficulty. His eyes were heavy and dark, like a silent abyss.

Amid the laughter of the children, his slender arms began to push the wheelchair forward. However, it was a pity that he broke his legs at the age of five and was not familiar with the wheelchair.

The wheelchair moved like a snail.

The children’s cry drove him forward. He didn’t look at anyone. With the blue handkerchief on his broken legs, he chased Chen Hu in front.

They moved one after another.

Chen Hu deliberately ran slowly. He moved forward while covering his stomach and laughing loudly.

Pei Chuan couldn’t control the direction of the wheelchair, and he didn’t know how to push forward. As a result, he pushed the wheelchair in the wrong direction.

At the age of five this summer, he was like a trapped beast. Irritated and desperate to drive the wheelchair forward to chase. He was stubborn and unyielding to accept his defeat.

The ignorant children were still laughing at him.

With tears in his eyes, he tried to grab something and so he adjusted the wheelchair over and over again.

Bei Yao stared at him blankly.

Growing up, she forgot about many things of her childhood. In her memory, Pei Chuan was a handicap teenager without legs, but that was all she knew. She had no place for him in her life. If he had not become a “devil” and had protected her with a blank look, she might have never paid much attention to him again.

He was the devil for the world however he was Bei Yao’s benefactor.

She was the one whom he had secretly loved all his life.

She realized she had to do something.

When Chen Hu was jumping back and forth, Bei Yao ran over to him and clumsily turned around before hugging Chen Hu’s leg.

Chen Hu cried out, “Bei Yao. What are you doing? Let me go.” The little fat man began to stomp his feet to get rid of Bei Yao.

Four year old girl’s body was weak while the fat kid was like a little brute. When he was so excited Bei Yao could hardly hold him.

Bei Yao blinked and like a sticky candy, half lying on the ground she tightly held Chen Hu’s leg to keep him from walking. No matter how strong a five year old child was, he couldn’t just run around with a “little sticky candy.”

The kindergarten soon was in a state of mess.

In the hot weather of July, Bei Yao was wearing a pair of bean-green shorts that could barely cover her knees. Her bare legs were almost flushed red by rubbing on the ground.

Her delicate skin was still rubbing on the ground, she blinked her misty almond eyes. Though, regardless of it, the whole person was still stuck to Chen Hu’s leg and in the process she was almost lying on the ground.

Because she was still suffering from a little fever, her voice was slightly hoarse.

“Don’t go!”

Chen Hu couldn’t shake her away so he was going crazy.

“Waah!” Finally, he cried loudly.

Bei Yao was stunned. She looked up at the wailing fat kid in a daze, and then turned to Pei Chuan not far away. She wondered why he didn’t come over to catch Chen Hu.

Then she looked at Chen Hu, wondering what she did to make Chen Hu cry.

Pei Chuan looked at her as he held the blue handkerchief. At the same time, she happened to look up at him. Her almond eyes were as bright as the summer sunshine. She was looking at him in a daze.

Chen Hu was crying like a cock with plucked hair making snot bubbles from his nose.

Pei Chuan looked at her wet eyes and Chen Hu who was trapped by her.

He pursed his lips and dropped the blue handkerchief on the ground. Then he turned around, no longer looking at them he pushed the wheelchair to the door with difficulty.

The handkerchief fell in front of Bei Yao. She was still lying on her stomach, maintaining the posture of trapping Chen Hu, wondering if she should let go.

Chen Hu cried loudly so other children in the kindergarten also began to cry. Teacher Zhao saw this scene as soon as she entered the door. She hurried forward to pick up Xiao Bei Yao.

Pei Chuan had reached the door.

Inside came the voice of teacher Zhao who was coaxing the little fat man.

Pei Chuan looked at the door. It was already the next afternoon, and his parents still didn’t come.

Pei Chuan didn’t look back at what was happening behind him.

Although he never talked, he knew a lot. For example, he knew that, because Chen Hu was fun-loving and would take everyone to play with him, while Fang Minjun looked pretty and dressed beautifully, so they both were the most popular children in the kindergarten.

And another example was, he knew that the little girl who just looked at him with bright eyes was the youngest kid in the kindergarten. At the beginning of this month, she was sent to the kindergarten and she lived in the same community as his family.

She was a cry baby, squeamish and easy to get sick.

They all called her Yao Yao.

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

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