I Give Half of My Life to YouChapters List
Chapter 47: Let’s Not be Like the Adults
Lin Miao had great strength. She peeled a pomelo by hand and shared it with Xiao Mei.
Lin Miao had just learned that Xiao Mei left the village to work last year. She then became pregnant, so she returned to hold a ceremony. They had to wait for a few years to get their certificates and register their household.
Xiao Mei’s brows were tightly furrowed. Her husband’s side was not enthusiastic at all since their child was a girl.
Meanwhile, the child was sleeping soundly. Xiao Mei laid her down on the bed and sat beside her as she talked to Lin Miao.
Soon after, the child woke up. Lin Miao was still a kid herself, so she was afraid of carrying her. However, Xiao Mei skillfully picked her up.
She then spoke, “Xiao Bei, this is your auntie.”
Lin Miao couldn’t resist touching her cute cheeks. Auntie, she was an aunt now.
Xiao Mei looked at Lin Miao. She used to envy her when she was young. Even though her family was poorer at the time, her mother would hug her, wait for her at the gates of the village, walk home with her, and punish her brother for bullying her...
Xiao Mei’s skin reddened around her eyes. She quickly went to care for her daughter, hiding her emotions from Lin Miao.
She hoped that her daughter could be like Lin Miao.
Babies slept a lot, so she fell asleep again shortly after.
Soon, someone knocked on their door. It was Xiao Mei’s mother: “Xiao Mei, come help in the kitchen.”
They used to be like this when they were young. They would chat, and Xiao Mei’s mother would come calling for her.
She gave another look at her daughter, covering her with another layer and checking that she was resting fine. She then went down the stairs, followed by Lin Miao.
Xiao Mei went to wash the rice, while Lin Miao started the fire.
“Shuishui, we’re fine here, you can go out and talk to others.” Xiao Mei’s mother walked in, a piece of cured meat in her hands.
Lin Miao placed another piece of firewood in the stove. “I don’t understand what they’re saying.”
Xiao Mei turned around, saying, “Shuishui, you’re just like before, not a single bit different.”
During New Years when they were little, she and her friends would remain in the kitchen while the adults chatted outside. They would sit by the fire, peel oranges and tangerines, and eat candy.
Lin Miao felt her eyes watering. She wished for everyone to stay the same: chatting around the stove, Da Mei and Xiao Mei taking turns telling horror stories to her and Little Ling.
The fire was blazing, its orange flames warming Lin Miao’s face even from a distance.
Xiao Mei had already begun cleaning the meat and chopping up the vegetables.
She moved fluidly, completely different from before. Since Xiao Mei had an older sister, she didn’t have as much practice then.
Lin Miao had also been away from the stove for a number of years. She used to cook, but felt much less experienced now.
Looking at Lin Miao, Xiao Mei said smilingly, “Shuishui, just keep up the fire for me, you don’t have to chop the vegetables or anything.”
A bit embarrassed, she continued to add wood into the fire.
“Right, Shuishui, do you have a boyfriend yet?”
“No.” Lin Miao said.
“Isn’t that older brother your boyfriend?” Xiao Mei was a bit surprised. Lin Miao used to frequently call back with the Young Master’s phone.
They knew that he was the older brother that Lin Miao met while working outside of the village. They all thought that they were dating.
“No.” Lin Miao paused, “He’s just my older brother.”
Observing that she was still naive as always, Xiao Mei hinted indirectly as it would be awkward to say it straight up, “You have to be careful of boys that are super nice to you outside.”
“Mhm.” Lin Miao said.
“I might be moving to the city after the New Year, too.” Xiao Mei said, “You can visit me to play there.”
Lin Miao was surprised, “Really?”
“Of course.” Xiao Mei said, “Oh, what’s your phone number, I’ll call you when I get a phone later.”
Lin Miao quickly shared her number with Xiao Mei.
Xiao Mei’s mother, who had just brought water to the men outside, returned to help her slice the vegetables.
“Xiao Mei, your mother-in-law wanted me to recommend you to have another child, a son.” Her mother said.
Xiao Mei fell silent. Lin Miao was speechless, this topic was too mature, so she had nothing to say.
Xiao Mei’s mother was disappointed. “Stop being so arrogant, it’s fine at home, but now that you’re married, you have to listen to them.”
Realizing that she had spoken in front of Lin Miao, an outsider, she added, “If you were like Shuishui and had good scores, you wouldn’t be here either.”
Lin Miao felt that she was being too unfair to Xiao Mei, so she interrupted, “Auntie, my scores aren’t good… My mom just forced me to study…”
Lin Miao did tell the truth. She detested going to town for school at first. She would have to walk for kilometers, cross a river, and be laughed at. Her school at the village seemed so much better. She could learn with her friends, and it was close to her home.
But her mother insisted on enrolling her in the town’s school.
Xiao Mei’s mother suddenly felt a surge of awkwardness. She was actually clueless about Xiao Mei’s marks at school.
Lin Miao didn’t know that her words had hit a painful section in her heart.
Xiao Mei’s mother wouldn’t be angry at her, though. Lin Miao’s family was now wealthy, and they were her guests. Lin Miao’s family had also brought them red packets. Lin Miao was the apple in her family’s eyes, so it wouldn’t be smart to displease her.
There were many people who were unaware of Lin Miao’s family’s differences with the rest of them. The family worked outside of the village and brought Lin Miao with them. They would only return when the school allowed her to.
So, Xiao Mei’s mother ended it with an awkward smile.
Xiao Mei had only said that her mother-in-law didn’t like her daughter after her mother had left the kitchen.
She had to bring her daughter along whenever she visited her family because her mother-in-law refused to take care of her.
Lin Miao was at a loss for what to do. She didn’t know how to comfort Xiao Mei. She just felt sad, very sad.
A moment later, Xiao Mei’s husband returned. “My mom told you to hurry over there. There’s a bunch of visitors in the house, so you should hurry back there. You saw your friend anyway, so get back before my mom says you’re slacking off.”
Xiao Mei placed the chopped lotus roots in a can and wiped her hands on her apron, looking a bit helpless. However, it was the New Year and she didn’t want to make a scene. She quickly agreed, “Sure, wait a bit. I’ll be back in no time.”
Lin Miao followed her upstairs. While Xiao Mei went to get her daughter, Lin Miao strode to her room, where she kept her backpack.
She split some of the candy and took out the clothes, scarf, and gloves she bought for Xiao Mei.
Lin Miao had no idea her friend conceived a child before she returned, so she didn’t prepare proper presents. She asked her mother for an empty red packet to put together a large packet for Xiao Mei’s child. She then gave everything to Xiao Mei, who was leaving.
She felt that Xiao Mei’s in-laws were dissatisfied with her leaving her house to visit her friend instead of receiving the guests at home... She hoped that her presents could at least help Xiao Mei evade her mother-in-law’s scolding…
Xiao Mei was surprised, but then pushed it back. “You’re still studying, and I already have a job. It should be me who’s buying you stuff and giving you red packets…”
Lin Miao was a bit ashamed for not preparing clothing and presents in advance for the child. “It’s for your daughter. She’s also my next generation. Don’t be like the adults and just take it.”
The adults would argue every time one gave presents and things like red packets to another. One was insistent and pushed for the other to accept it, and the other would refute it as if they were forbidden by law to accept. It provided great entertainment to Lin Miao and her friends when they were young. However, back then, between the children, they shared everything without even thinking twice.
She gave Xiao Mei the presents again.
Xiao Mei stood still for a moment, her eyes reddening. “Thank you, I’ll call you in the future.”
“Sure.” Lin Miao said.
Lin Miao sat alone on the balcony after Xiao Mei left. Looking at the vibrant village and thinking about Xiao Mei’s rushed steps while carrying her daughter, her nose felt sour.
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