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(8) Happiness Mixed with New Sadness |
Three years after that brother and sister’s reunion, there were sequent natural disasters happened in Gan Yue County. Famine was widespread soon.
To save food and make dear wife, He Hua eat more, Song Qing was always lying to her:” Darling, it’s all yours now.” he pointed to the porridge in pot with a uneasy smile.
“All mine? How about yours?” He Hua asked suspiciously.
“Oh, come on, I just had my meal at my customer’s home, when I had a tailoring service there.”
However, he was a human not a camel with great hungry endurance, his hump never provided any energy to him. Food shortage had dramatically damaged his healthy condition. One day, he finally fell down and died soon.
He Hua had heart-stricken cry again.
Under local community’s relief, she managed to bury her second husband.
Next year, with friend’s mediation, she had her third marriage and married a man who just lost his wife and urgently needed a housewife to nurse two children that his pre-wife left.
They all led a happy family life in this newly composed family.
With time’s flying, it came into 21 century. Both adopted son and daughter had been brought up. They all married and raised their own children then.
In this period, by means of regular calling, the communication between He Hua and Zhi Qing was never interrupted.
In the summer of 2004, He Hua’s second husband died at age of 81.
From then on, she had suffered from hypertension (high blood pressure).
Her daily life became rougher and rougher.
Thanks to Zhi Ming’s financial support and adopted children’s nursing, she still had a normal elderly life.
However, starting from this summer, all money remitted by Zhi Ming had been refunded back one by one and no call could get through, only the auto-reply was repeating again and again:“ Sorry! The subscriber you dialed does not exist.”
“ What ‘s the matter with my sister?” Zhing Ming got his anxiety again.
Take advantage of this alumni-reunion; Zhi Ming made up his mind to accompany his wife, Shu Zhen and came to Gan Yue County again.
“ I am not for fun here,” he said, “ My only motivation is to clarify what happened to my sister? Therefore, your kindly support is desperately needed”. He said solicitously.
He was right. Different from 50 years ago, the Gan Yue Town is ten times larger now. Above all, since new generation has changed their living way with less connection to other neighbors, therefore, hardly any residential administrator exists, who was as familiar to her dwellers as that days when Zhi Ming came to Gan Yue County 50 years ago.
After lunch, Xi Hua together with her husband, the retired carpenter led Zhi Ming couple run everywhere. They found nothing useful until 7 o’clock pm, when a street cleaner next to a construction site pointed to the ruin and told them that there was but now no He Hua’s house. All houses had been demolished and all residents had moved to a new settlement known as Century Garden in the north of this city.
At about 9 pm, they finally spotted He Hua’s new address and had thoroughly known what’s the real course for the connecting tie being broken.
When He Hua’s family left the old house and moved to a new building, the young couple had missed a telephone directory and lost uncle Zhi Qing’s number and address completely.
In this way, nephew’s minor negligence led uncle whole year’s anxiety!
Being sorry for their monstrous piece of fault, the young couple led all of them enter a small room.
When a ceiling lamp was turned on, an old lady with complete snow-white hair appeared. She was sitting on bed with stiff eyesight gazing at something without any reaction to her environment change.
“Mum has suffered from Alzheimer’s disease since the beginning of this year, she has no consciousness to any thing even ----ting and watering.”
“ My poor sister,” before nephew completed his words, Zhi Ming could not help crying out, ”Can you recognize me, sister? I am your own brother, Zhi Ming!”
Like a dummy, He Hua steadily sat there no response yet.
The air immediately became horribly silent.
Suddenly, like a volcano eruption, a heartbroken cry burst out in the deadly silent night, “My poor sister, why do you have such a bitter fate?" ……
Written in Fo Shan, Guang Dong, on Jan.11, 2008