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Heaven's Sister

Chương 3

By QuangPublished 29 days ago 4 min read

Those clumsy childhood days passed quickly, with the same war horse that I carried throughout my childhood and the last days of my student life at the district school. But now, I no longer tried to drive him quickly to scare him. Instead, I drove him straight to school, like an older brother taking his younger sister. Yes, she's my younger sister, and it's the first time in my life that I have one. She's so obedient and gentle. I realized that there was no reason for me to bully her all the time, though I realized this late.But it wasn't too late. I noticed that she saw my change in behavior. I no longer scolded her like before or threatened to beat her whenever she did something foolish. She didn't say anything, but she looked at me strangely, no longer scared like before. It seemed like her eyes sparkled. If she were a puppy, I'm sure her tiny tail would wag.One day, at the end of 9th grade, I was sitting in class when she ran in from somewhere, tears streaming down her face: "Dad got hit by a car, Mr. Bi. They took him to the hospital."I drove as fast as I could to the hospital. This morning, someone had come to take my father to the commune to vaccinate the cattle, promising he would return in the afternoon.As soon as I got there and helped my sister out of the car, I rushed into the emergency room. I knew where he was because my grandmother had been here twice before. My aunts, uncles, and relatives were crowded outside the emergency room. My father was gentle and kind, so he was loved by all of them. When my aunt saw me coming, she ran to hug me and cried. I panicked, my face turned pale, and I stammered: "Dad... how is he... what happened?" She didn't answer, but put her hand over her mouth and sobbed even harder. I was terrified. I ran back and grabbed my brother, uncle, and other relatives, screaming: "What's wrong with dad? What happened?" Nobody had the courage to say it to me, a guy who had lost his mother when he was 3 years old. They were afraid to tell me outright: "Baby, your dad passed away."Since my father's passing, I've become a completely different person. I no longer want to cause trouble in the village or play around and run about. I feel like I'm almost a soulless corpse. My friends look at me differently now, with pity in their eyes. My classmates even organized a visit to my house to "share and console" me, but I knew about it, so I ran away to my grandmother's house. I don't need anyone's pity. I don't need anyone at all. I just need my dad... Dad...My younger sister has also become quieter since then. Every day, I still drive her to school because I only have a few short months left before finishing middle school. As my grandmother said, I have to try my best in my studies so that my parents in the afterlife can feel at ease.My aunt went to talk to my stepmother about letting me stay at her house. She would raise and take care of me. I was in the room, listening to my stepmother speak slowly and gently, with a rather strong Hue accent. She said she loved me like her own child. Since my father had passed away, she felt responsible for raising me to be a good person. She promised not to let me suffer.From then on, my stepmother raised me and my younger sister by selling goods at the hot and rainy market. She woke up early in the morning to make fried and stir-fried packages. I overheard the whispers of mothers and children, trying to avoid making noise. They would say, "Let Mr. Bi sleep." I heard children talking about going to school and discussing great and beautiful things. The American lamp hanging in the kitchen cast the silhouettes of those two little women on the wall. Even in my dreams, I could smell the fragrance of fried onions. Since then, my little sister had to wake up early in the morning to help my mother. I was sleep-deprived. One time, when I drove her to school, I turned around and saw her hand still tightly gripping the seat, but her eyes were already closed, with long and curled eyelashes.Many times, I felt so guilty and tried to get up to help make cakes, but my stepmother refused to let me. She insisted that I go to sleep. She said there were only a few months left until the high school entrance exam, and I needed to pass it to get into the specialized school in the province. She assured me that as long as I studied well, I would bear as much suffering as I could handle. Luyen, my younger sister, hadn't reached that stage yet, so she could help.I finally got accepted into a specialized school in town, and my younger sister was the first to know. She grabbed the newspaper and rushed out to the fishing ditch to find me, looking even more excited than I was. She handed me the paper, her eyes wide and bright. "Look, Mr. Bi," she exclaimed.I held the newspaper in my hand, feeling a mixture of happiness and longing for my dad. If he were still alive, he would throw away his crutches and run to find me. "I have to take the B block exam," I said to myself. "I'll become a real doctor, not just a veterinarian like you."

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