LNTMG-(158) Life Experience
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College entrance exams, in the examination room.
The moment Tang Jinyu sat down, his mind was highly concentrated, with only the test paper in his eyes, he lowered his heart to answer every question seriously.
In the two days of the exam, he completed it smoothly.
The head teacher was worried about these top students. He called a few good students in the class to give them the correct answers. After assessing the score, he was relieved. This time the question was relatively more difficult, but Tang Jinyu and the others answered a few of them right. Tang Jinyu was the only one who got them all right, especially for the last two big questions.
The head teacher said to him: “Relax, your grades should be good. After three years of hard work, you can completely relax and take a good rest during this time.”
Tang Jinyu nodded, but after packing up his things and returning home, he did not rest.
Grandpa Tang’s body weakened day by day. Tang Jinyu finished his college entrance exams, and it seemed like that the string supporting the old man was stretched to the extreme. He uttered a single word before it broke apart. However, within two or three days, his condition worsened a lot, and went into a coma once.
Tang Jinyu panicked. He stayed in the hospital with his grandfather, and waited at the door of the treatment room. The attending doctor came out wearing a mask and didn’t talk to him. The doctor had been treating the old man for several years, and there was really no way at the moment. He patted the boy on the arm for comfort, “When he wakes up, pay more attention to it in the future, there is no other way.”
Tang Jinyu refused to let him go. He grabbed the doctor’s sleeve and begged him, “Isn’t there always medicine available? I beg you, give my grandpa some medicine or do some other treatment… I can’t just give up like this, please!”
The doctor said: “If I found out a few years earlier, I would’ve had some certainty of treatment. Now… your grandpa can last so long, it’s already very powerful, stay with him more, time may be running out.”
Tang Jinyu stood there in a daze, and it took a while to realize the meaning of this sentence, closing his eyes, moving his throat a few times to suppress the sob.
He went to the bathroom and washed his face with cold water for a while, practiced the way he laughed in the mirror for a long time, felt better, and then went back to see the old man.
Grandpa Tang has been sent back to the ward. He looked very tired. He has two pillows behind him and laid halfway there with his eyes closed to rest. Recently, he hasn’t been able to lay down. When he lays down, he feels chest tightness and feels breathlessness, but he refuses to get an oxygen inhalation, which was too expensive, and was not willing to spend more money on himself in the end.
Tang Jinyu used to sit on the stool next to the bed and gently shake the old man’s hand, but in just one month, the old man lost a lot of weight, and his eyes were sunken and a little disshaped. As soon as he touched his hand, the old man woke up. The eyes looking at him were still peaceful and loving. Tang Jinyu carefully put his hand on his cheek. The old man touched his face and said with a smile: “You’re on vacation, don’t stay here all the time. I can’t run, so go out to play with your classmates. Grandpa still has five dollars in his pocket. You can buy popsicles to eat. The weather is too hot, so don’t get heatstroke.”
Tang Jinyu shook his head and refused to go.
He stayed with his grandfather in the hospital and bought immunoglobulin for injections for the elderly. The price of one was 1,500 yuan. Because nutrients improve immunity, Grandpa Tang looks a little bit more energetic. But this kind of acupuncture is not covered by the medical insurance reimbursement. The money they have on hand is about to bottom out. Grandpa Tang refuses to get a second injection. Tang Jinyu goes out to work during the day and comes back to accompany him at night. He made money everywhere to save the cost of medicine, and tried to improve the old man’s immunity and to make him feel better.
He actually knew that this medicine would not cure the disease, but he just wanted to make the old man feel better, even if it improved a good night’s sleep.
Tang Jinyu thought of a lot of ways. He only had the money he earned when he was a tutor. This was far from enough. He tried to contact Song Yi, who had previously awarded him a scholarship, through the school, and wanted to ask for help, but he passed it on layer by layer. It will take some time for the news to pass. His college entrance examination scores have not yet come down, and there are few people looking for him to take over tutoring, and he has not given up. He went to be interviewed wherever he could go, and even went to the piano shop. Fortunately, he has spent more than ten years in the book. He is not unfamiliar with the skill of playing the piano. After running around few times, he is very smooth.
The person in charge of the music store admired him very much and offered a high salary price, but he had to wait for the boss to come and then interview and appraise him, saying that he would be informed next week.
”Don’t go to other music shops during this period. We can pay you 1,000 yuan in advance. Our boss Guo cherishes talents. Although our music shop is newly opened, it is also the largest in the city. I dare to guaranteed that no one will be better than the conditions we have given.”
Tang Jinyu accepted the money, simply signed a two-month contract, and agreed to the other party.
He pooled up the remaining supplementary tuition in his pocket with these, and handed them all to the hospital for the old man.
There are still two weeks to show results. During this time, Tang Jinyu found another part-time job on the construction site. Although it was hard work, the salary was settled daily. Sometimes he could come back early after only one afternoon, and could go to the hospital to take care of his grandfather.
The old man saw that his grandson had lost weight and got tanned in the past two days. He was very distressed. Although Tang Jinyu said that he went out to play basketball with his classmates. Although Grandpa Tang was old, how could he not be able to tell that he was obviously tired.
Sometimes the old man feels distressed, so he gets down by himself and insists on letting him sleep in the single bed.
Tang Jinyu refused: “Grandpa, I am in good health, so you only need to rest.”
Grandpa Tang said with a stern face: “I lie down all day long and feel uncomfortable. Go up and sleep for a while and let me come down and rest.”
Neither of them could persuade anyone. In the end, Grandpa Tang gave in and said, “Then I will sit and you will come up, sleep by my feet. We can both lie down.”
Tang Jinyu hesitated, seeing the old man about to lift the quilt down again, he immediately laid down obediently.
He worked on the construction site last night until more than three in the morning, carrying a lot of paving slabs, one weighing 20 or 30 catties, three pieces on his shoulders, it was really hard. The old man gave him a pillow, and Tang Jinyu fell asleep shortly after touching the pillow.
Grandpa Tang took off his socks and rubbed his feet for a while. Hearing that the child fell asleep, he got off the hospital bed gently, and took a cup of water to give him a cup of warm water.
The old man walked slowly, holding on to the wall and walking back to the ward little by little. As soon as he arrived at the door, he heard the voice of a nurse scolding inside.
”What bed number are you from? Where is your escort? I don’t know where the patient has gone, and you are still sleeping here…”
The old man heard this, and he walked a few steps quickly, and when he went in, he saw Tang Jinyu putting on shoes panickedly, with an anxious expression. When he saw him, he didn’t have time to put on his shoes. He stepped over and picked up the glass of water while saying: “Grandpa, you can call me to drink water, I’ll fetch water.”
The little nurse is new here, and she was still angry when she saw this: “You are taking care of this now, what were you doing just now?”
The old man looked after his grandson and was a little anxious for the first time: “Girl, don’t talk about him, my grandson is already very tired. You let him rest. I just slept for a few minutes just now.”
The little nurse looked puzzled. After checking the bed and delivering the medicine, she went back to the nurse station and talked to the head nurse. She was still surprised, “How strange is the grandfather of bed 5? The grandson sleeps in the hospital bed, he spoils the child too much…”
The head nurse knew a lot about the grandfather and grandson, and talked to her in a low voice, without exaggerating or saying much, just a few words made the new nurse’s face flushed, and then listened with her eyes turning red.
In the evening, Tang Jinyu served the old man’s meal. After returning, he saw two oranges in the small cabinet next to the hospital bed.
He wondered: “Grandpa, where did the oranges come from?”
Grandpa Tang smiled and said, “That little nurse brought it here, saying that she was too fierce during the day, and wanted to make up for it with the oranges.”
Tang Jinyu thought for a while before remembering this, he had forgotten this already.
Grandpa Tang was in poor health and ate too little. He ate a small portion and gave the rest to Tang Jinyu.
Tang Jinyu ate slowly. When he was young, he liked oranges the most, but he ate very little with his grandfather. Whenever he was there, his parents would feel distressed and buy more. Uncle Xia next door often prepared small oranges. As long as he walked by the wall and knocked on the door, the other party would carry him into the room and reward him with a small orange.
In the winter, Uncle Xia was afraid that his stomach would hurt if he ate them cold, so he would put the oranges on the radiator to heat them up a little bit before giving them to him. In fact, the oranges are not very tasty when they are warm, they are a little sour, and sometimes they would have a little bitterness, but he never said that, and he ate happily every time. The whole family saw him eating happily, and they were also happy.
Tang Jinyu finished eating the last orange, and was silent for a while, got up and cleaned up the orange peel.
The old man had a bad cough during the day and night. Tang Jinyu stopped doing odd jobs and stayed in the hospital to take care of him.
Grandpa Tang was helped by him and fed him a little water. He sat there and sighed, “It’s really useless once you’re old.”
Tang Jinyu said, “Don’t say that. I asked the doctor, they said slow treatment is better. Now that a new medicine is released, it will be better after a few injections. You also got a shot before, weren’t you able to walk for two whole laps? Won’t it be cured.” He didn’t know if the last sentence was for the old man or for himself, his words were very heavy.
Grandpa Tang laughed, nodded, and said nothing.
After a while, Grandpa Tang said again: “Everything is fine in the hospital, but there is no TV, Xiaoyu, why don’t you go back and see for me at night, and tell me tomorrow? I was looking at one before I came to the hospital, and I have been thinking about it all the time, and I can’t let it go.”
Tang Jinyu knew that the old man was worried that he would not have a good rest here, and felt sorry for him, so he asked him to go home to rest.
He agreed, but instead of going back to rest, he bought a second-hand smartphone. The boy in his class who sold his mobile phone was the one who bought pancakes for Tang Jinyu before. The relationship between the boy and Tang Jinyu has been very good. After the college entrance exams, his family rewarded him with a new mobile phone. He went to the store to buy a mobile phone case and bumped into Tang Jinyu. He immediately pulled him out, took out his old phone, removed the sim card and handed it to him: “Squad leader, this is for you. I was just going replace it with a new one. If you don’t dislike it, use this one!”
Tang Jinyu refused to take it for nothing, so the boy just collected two hundred yuan.
Tang Jinyu stopped being polite with him, slapped him on the arm, and said, “Thank you.” He would remember this person’s goodness, he would definitely find a chance to return.
He took his cell phone back to the hospital and found the mediation program online to show his grandpa. The old man had never used a smartphone before. After seeing it, he felt that it was very novel. After talking to Tang Jinyu, he saw his grandson and found out the show he had watched half of the time. After a while, he looked with relish.
Tang Jinyu was with him. The old man watched intermittently, and his body would be tired easily. It took several days for a program to be watched.
This time the program is a family mediation. It is about a woman who was almost beaten to death by her husband’s family. Her husband and his family favored sons and not only beat her, but also her daughter. A seven or eight-year-old girl was thrown over by her grandmother. One of the bowls cut her forehead, and started bleeding out. This moment also made the woman sober, she decided to stop tolerating this, and insisted on divorcing.
The TV station who came to mediate originally thought it was just a conflict between husband and wife. After they went there, they saw the misery of the mother and daughter and couldn’t mediate anymore, so they took them to a lawyer for consultation. The husband was reluctant to give in, and had a contemptuous attitude towards the mother and daughter, and even insulted them several times, and did not care about family affection.
As Grandpa Tang listened, he sighed and said, “This person is going to be punished sooner or later. He doesn’t know how many people have no children at home, how they can be willing to beat a child… Listen, he beats a woman, it’s a brute.”
The old man is a bit presbyopic and tired when looking at the phone screen for a long time, so he closed his eyes and listened.
Tang Jinyu was holding his mobile phone and was watching with him. Seeing that the ending was not good, he immediately turned off the volume.
The old man asked: “Why is there no sound?”
Tang Jinyu said: “There is something wrong with the phone battery, but there are subtitles, grandpa, you can’t read it clearly, so I will read it to you.”
The old man lay there, listening to him carefully with his eyes closed.
Tang Jinyu made up a particularly good ending, the kind that the old man likes most.
In the story he told, the woman didn’t suffer a bit. She took her child and fled the house with the help of reporters and mediators, and then went to the police station to report the case. After the injury, her husband was detained. She finally got divorced and received a large sum of money, and took her children to a new city to live incognito.
The old man listened attentively and smiled and nodded, “Okay, it’s time to leave long ago. It’s good to take the child to go far. The tree is moved to die, people move to live, It’s not worth hanging in a crooked tree when she is so young.”
Tang Jinyu turned his phone off and let the old man rest for a while, “Grandpa, I’m going to have a meal, you can rest for a while, do you want to eat millet porridge today?”
Grandpa Tang nodded and smiled: “Okay, I like to drink that. Go ahead.”
It was unknown if watching the TV show he had been worrying about, or if the anti-resistance medicine he had taken before had taken effect. Tonight, the old man was in good condition, and sat there and drank a small bowl of porridge and talked a lot with his grandson.
Tang Jinyu sat there chatting with the old man. Grandpa Tang touched his head and said with a smile: ” Xiaoyu has grown up and is eighteen years old.”
”Why not, grandpa counts every day!” The old man held his hand, his expression relaxed a lot, “You have grown up, and you will be able to decide many things by yourself in the future, you know?”
Tang Jinyu shook his head, he had a vague premonition in his heart, he didn’t want the old man to talk any more. But this time the old man didn’t listen to him anymore. He spoke each word very slowly, and told him a little bit: “Grandpa’s illness, I know in my heart, it’s actually much better than what the doctor said before that I would have a few months left. At that time, I thought I would’ve had to grit my teeth until your birthday, and see you turn eighteen with my own eyes, and rest assured that… when you are at the age of eighteen. If Grandpa is gone, you will not be an orphan. You can decide many things for yourself.”
The old man shook his hand and whispered: “I watched you turn eighteen, and I was still alive. I wanted to watch you finish the college entrance examination and see you take notice with my own eyes. Grandpa knows that human hearts are greedy. In fact, I actually still wanted to see you go to university, and I want to stay with you all the time, but how can this be done? I am sick and old. It’s only a matter of time.”
”Grandpa saved 50,000 yuan for you. The money is in the small box under the bed at home. I was afraid of leaving too early, and I didn’t know when I would be gone. You can’t get it out when you go to the bank, It’s all cash, remember to go and take it. Grandpa doesn’t have many abilities in his life, and he didn’t save much, so don’t blame Grandpa.”
Tang Jinyu wanted to speak, but Grandpa Tang raised his hand and stopped, “Be obedient and let Grandpa finish. There is one more thing to tell you. I have been celebrating your birthday on June 1 for so many years. In fact, your birthday is not on that day.”
The old man laughed and said, “I took it for you myself when Grandpa took you back.”
Grandpa Tang shook his hand slightly and used some strength to tell him a story.
That happened more than ten years ago. The old man lost his son, daughter-in-law, and grandson in a car accident, and all his relatives were gone.
The last sentence of the daughter-in-law was to ask him to save her child, but what she didn’t know was that her child had been in the car accident as well. The old man’s hair turned gray overnight, and he aged a couple of years. On that day, the hospital rescued a child that was about two years old. The child was sitting there with dementia, neatly dressed, and a ribbon was hung around his neck. No one came to pick him up, and no one wanted him—no one wanted such a sick child.
When Grandpa Tang saw him, he went to pay for his hospitalization and went through the formalities to adopt him.
Day by day, the child got better and better. He can talk and laugh. He was also very clever. He learned everything quickly. He always keeps his head up next to the old man and calls out “Grandpa” repeatedly.
Grandpa Tang raised his hand and touched his head, and said with a smile: “The little one who I carried back then is so big in the blink of an eye.”
Tang Jinyu wiped the tears from his face with the back of his hand, and hugged him and called to grandpa.
The old man patted him gently, coaxing him not to cry like he did when he was a child.
He gritted his teeth and insisted on living a few more days, just to arrange everything in order to find a good way for his only grandson.
He didn’t want to send his child to the orphanage, but wanted to protect him when he grew up to be able to support himself.
This is the limit he can do.
Grandpa Tang wiped his tears and laughed in a low voice: “You don’t know, I privately hoped that your parents would not come to you at that time, and I don’t know where you came from. The younger you just sat there and was injured, and didn’t know how to cry anymore. Grandpa lost all his relatives that day and raised you as the only child. When I later learned that I was sick, I didn’t feel much pain. This was originally a period of time that I stole.”
Tang Jinyu was still shaking his head, crying beyond words.
”Crying just like a cat, stop crying, do you know why grandpa wrote your birthday on June 1st? Because grandpa wanted you to be a child for the rest of your life, happy every day and have nothing to worry about.” Grandpa Tang rubbed his head and sighed with a smile, “Unfortunately, Grandpa has no abilities. Come here, the little money that grandpa saved for you, you keep studying hard, and I’ll be relieved once you finish college.”
”I don’t want the money, I’ll use it to treat you…”
The old man shook his head, “Grandpa is getting older, and the loess is buried in my neck, and the disease can’t be cured. Grandpa knows in his heart and keeps the money for you. I am very happy to see you grow up. Half of my wish has been fulfilled.” He held Tang Jinyu’s hand, his gaze fell on his face with nostalgia and looked back and forth, with eyes full of dismay, “Grandpa just didn’t see you go to college, it’s a pity.”
Tang Jinyu hugged him without letting go, his knuckles were firmly clenched until white, his shoulders trembled slightly, and his teeth were clenched, but he could hear the sound of it crashing up and down, “Yes, you can see it, I want to take you. I want to take you to many places together. I have been looking for you for a long time. You can’t just leave me like this.”
”Stupid boy, everyone gets old, I just got off at the station ahead of time. You have to let go and go forward.” The old man was held tightly by him, and his eyes were wet, “I will buy it for myself a coffin. But I don’t want it. It’s not worth it, it’s good to scatter my ashes in the sea. But then I thought, if you miss me and want to talk to me, there is a place to go.”
He raised his arms laboriously, hugged his grandson with his big, rough and dry hands, and said dumbly: “Xiaoyu, when you go to college, come and tell grandpa, grandpa will be satisfied.”
Two days before the college entrance examins notice came, Tang Jinyu sent off his grandfather.
The old man left in his sleep, did not experience much pain, and his face was kind.
He couldn’t wake up the old man, and only realized that he had left.
Tang Jinyu, a young boy, had never experienced anything like this before, and he didn’t know what to do, and stood there at a loss.
The head nurse pityed him and took him to complete the formalities. The hospital issued a death certificate. He took the death certificate and went to the funeral home for cremation.
There were good-hearted people to help him along the way, and he followed in a daze, and brought back a small wooden box from the funeral home, which contained a handful of grandpa’s ashes.
When he returned home, he only felt that the room was very quiet. He hadn’t eaten anything for a day, only dipped in water, but he was not thirsty or hungry, as if he couldn’t feel it, and layed there groggy and fell asleep.
But at night, Tang Jinyu suddenly woke up in the middle of the night, like he had a big dream, suddenly remembering what happened during the day, tears rolled down, and he burst into tears.
Grandpa is gone.
He has no relatives in this world.
It took a few days for Tang Jinyu to slowly recover a little energy. He lost weight and his smile disappeared. He pursed his lips and quietly packed up the old man’s belongings, putting everything away properly. Their grandfather and grandson had been poor all the time, but this did not mean that the old man had treated him badly. The toys he used when he was a child were made by the old man himself, the small wood-carved pistol, and the cowhide rattle… Tang Jinyu put them in the same small box, and when he saw one of the red blessing kits, his hand paused and picked it up.
This kit seems to be a few years old, but when Tang Jinyu touched it, he suddenly felt a little strange, like something urging him to open the kit.
The urgency was so fast that his hands trembled a bit, and he accidentally tore two tassel pendants.
The “Fu” kit was opened, and inside was a piece of yellowed paper, folded into a small square and placed inside.
Tang Jinyu opened it and found that it was not a complete page, but an incomplete half, as if it was torn off in half by someone inadvertently. There were some unintelligible characters on it—or indistinct characters.
He watched for a while, and suddenly his heart beat faster, stumbled into the room and took out the autobiographical book, turned to the last page, trembling hands, aligning the torn half of the book with the torn half of the book, and stuck it tightly together. The moment the pages on both sides were closed, they began to glue together, and almost merged into a complete book page in the blink of an eye. The last page of the book was aligned.
The whole book was silent and automatic, and the pages of the book were flipped and rolled from the last page to the front. With so much strength, Tang Jinyu could hardly hold it. He barely saw the handwriting that flashed on the pages of the book that jumped over. The words at the back of the book are no longer vague and all become clear. He vaguely sees “Xia Ye’s 78-year-old buys overseas companies” and “Chateau mergers”… And so on, but before he could understand it, the whole book closed with a “bang”.
Tang Jinyu turned it hard and couldn’t open it again, but a countdown appeared on the black cover of the book.
The number of seconds began to decrease a little bit, the book was firmly in his hand, the heavy feeling was really tangible, and the faint feeling of being able to contact the other side came back again, Tang Jinyu’s throat tightened, he felt a feeling in his heart, if If he guessed correctly, one day later is the moment when he makes his final choice.