Some­one Is Wait­ing


Special Focus - - Contents - Mi Meng 咪蒙

In 1937, my grandpa, aged 20, went out ram­bling from He­fei to Wuhu without a stitch of ex­tra cloth­ing or a crea­ture com­fort to his name. It was just him and the road. Luck­ily, a girl named Cao Guan­grong took him in and found him a job at Zhang Hengchun Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal Fac­tory in Wuhu. Cao Guan­grong was a senior worker at the fac­tory, and her col­leagues usu­ally called her Madam Cao. She and my grandpa started get­ting along very well with each other.

My grandpa was a thrifty man who would save ev­ery penny of his in­come. Madam Cao was a heavy smoker. When­ever she saw my grandpa, she would say to him, “Li Shoum­ing, please buy me a pack of cig­a­rettes.”

“You mean to give to you for noth­ing in re­turn?” Grandpa asked.

“I don’t have any money to give you, but are you go­ing to buy them or what?” was Madam Cao’s curt re­ply.

Some­times, Grandpa would spend nearly half a month of his salary buy­ing cig­a­rettes for her.

Once, when Grandpa ad­vised Madam Cao to cut down on smok­ing, she told him her story. She used to live in Pek­ing (to­day’s Bei­jing) un­til she was 16, and her fam­ily was rel­a­tively af­flu­ent. Later, a re­bel­lion broke out, and all of her fam­ily’s pos­ses­sions were con­fis­cated. Her fa­ther took her away from Pek­ing, but he died on the jour­ney. Her fa­ther left noth­ing to her ex­cept for the cig­a­rettes in his pocket, which was how she learned to smoke, and later, she made the trek to Wuhu all alone.

It sud­denly dawned on my grandpa that Madam Cao must have re­al­ized that they were both alone in the world so she kindly took him un­der her wing.

Soon, Grandpa won the recog­ni­tion of the fac­tory owner, and was pro­moted to be his at­ten­dant. On the day of Grandpa’s pro­mo­tion, Madam Cao bought a new coat for him.

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