Be­lated Love

迟来的爱

Special Focus - - Contents - Lao Long 老龙

Af­ter Mother passed away, my younger brother and I agreed that we wanted to have a step- mother. We hoped that Fa­ther could find a younger wife who could take care of him. Un­ex­pect­edly, he found a woman al­most the same age as him, who looked even older than him.

When we had a meal with that woman, my brother and I in­tended to ex­press our dis­agree­ment at the ta­ble, but to be po­lite, we did not say it out loud and waited to talk to our fa­ther alone af­ter the meal.

Ev­ery­one at the ta­ble chat­ted as we ate. My chatty aunt told us about the past of Fa­ther and that lady. It turned out that she had been Fa­ther’s first love.

When they were young, both of them worked for a well- digging team. Dur­ing work break, they al­ways talked a lot with each other. When they fin­ished work

in the evening, they walked home to­gether. Talk­ing about this, Aunt said to Brother and me that our mother would have been that lady if our grand­fa­ther had not died early, which left Fa­ther in poverty. We both frowned at Aunt’s words.

The old lady, Fa­ther’s first love, af­ter­wards mar­ried a sol­dier, who, af­ter leav­ing the army, be­came a worker and died two years ago.

Af­ter the meal, Fa­ther came to ask for our opin­ions. Both of my brother and I were in a dilemma. Orig­i­nally, we wanted to ex­press our dis­ap­proval, but she was our fa­ther’s first love, how could we dis­ap­prove see­ing them so deeply at­tached to each other?

There seemed to be no way out, so we only con­fessed to Fa­ther our worry that the lady might be too old to take care of him. Hear­ing this, Fa­ther as­sured us that she would be able to take good care of him. Hence the mar­riage be­tween them was set­tled.

The old lady had a house in the neigh­bor­ing county, and Fa­ther has his own pen­sion, so he re­lo­cated to live with her.

A few months later, my brother and I made a spe­cial trip to visit Fa­ther in the neigh­bor­ing county. We were sur­prised to see our old fa­ther who used to be dressed slovenly wear­ing new clothes that were clean and tidy and a top hat typ­i­cal of elderly ur­ban gen­tle­men. His face was rosy, and his eyes shin­ing.

My fa­ther turned elo­quent and ex­cited when talk­ing about his life af­ter the re­lo­ca­tion. He told us that his new wife made three nu­tri­tion­ally bal­anced meals for him ev­ery day and bathed his feet be­fore go­ing to bed ev­ery night. As he talked, his face was beam­ing.

(From NewHori­zon , Septem­ber 2017. Trans­la­tion: Chen Jiani)

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