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The nineteen years

by SondJam 4 months ago in advice
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I was born in the 80s in the countryside, growing up in that simple environment, there is no so-called "human feelings, the world is cold" life feelings. But at the age of 20, the situation seems to have taken a sharp turn for the worse, the human condition and the cruel side of the world began to slowly unfold in front of me. This more or less caught me off guard.

The first thing that struck me was the sharp turn in the relationship between my father and son.

It was a red-hot summer day, my father was standing in the hot courtyard, I was standing in the old hall, we were only separated by a shallow threshold, but in each other's eyes, there was a deep hatred burning.

In fact, I have never been very close to my father. As far as I can remember, he always left early and returned late, running around the countryside and the market. At that time he walked like the wind, no one could keep up with him. Whenever he stopped running at night and sat down at the dinner table, he would always talk about how tired he was to feed his family of five, and he would complain that his weak mother was not smart enough.

My mother was always silent, and in my memory, there are too many tears of her weakness. Countless nights, those tears, always under the light of the kerosene lamp, shining with a sad light. Because of this, I always feel sorry for her, at least she was one of the few high school students, married to my family, I think we can use the word "dowry" - like a princess married to an ordinary family. So, what qualifications did my father, who had not graduated from junior high school, have to look down on her? In addition, in my opinion, to feed the family, is the man's natural duty, even if this task is bitter to the marrow, but also do not need to talk about it, my surrounding folks, not so over. Because of this, I also scoffed at his often whiny performance.

In addition to being critical of us in life, my father's demands on me academically were also unbelievably harsh. For example, he would ask me to save all the textbooks and homework books of the past years, even if a corner of a page is missing, I will be "treated" with an old fist. When I was old enough to resist, I also challenged this unsatisfactory rule, and all I got was his fist again. And so, for almost the entirety of our teenage years, my father was remembered as a living tyrant by my siblings.

Yes, tyrant, that's what we've called him since we learned the word. And that summer, his tyrant temper developed to its peak as he tried to prevent me from getting into the college of my dreams.

When he stood in a pile of golden corn and said in a voice that shook the sky that he would never pay for my education again, I turned sideways and stuck my neck out, accusing him of trying to ruin my life by doing so.

As far as I can remember, before I was 20 years old, I had never fought for my dreams in such a reckless manner, nor had I ever had the courage to challenge him. When I looked at him angrily and faced his eyes, I was surprised that I had lost all my old fears. At that moment, I felt that I had grown into a man, otherwise, there was no way to explain the sudden transformation.

But my father did not change his mind because of my insistence and resistance. In that case, the decision to prevent me from entering college was irrevocable. Next, he made a whole new plan for my future: to go to a construction site in Chengdu, to follow my cousin and start my working life.

You know, in 2002, part-time jobs were still popular in the countryside. Save up money, build a nice little house, and then become the father of several children early, has become the proudest life of rural people. The actual fact that he had already paid for me to finish high school, so would he think I would appreciate him? He must have thought that confidently.

My mother had always been toward me, but in front of my violent father, all she could do was usually tell me, with tears in her eyes, to go and admit my fault to him. What was wrong with me? I have to go to college, and I have to go from a place where I can't eat a single meal a month or wear new clothes once a year, so what is my fault? So, I was determined not to bow down.

At night, I sat with my legs under the eaves of the sunset, weeping until late at night. As for dinner, I had decided to give up. Not only this night, from tomorrow, I will start a full day of hunger strike. If I was really starved out or simply died in front of my father, would that shame him for the rest of his life? With this decision in mind, I stubbornly survived the night. But the next day, I woke up, still alive and well, far from death, and did not starve to death, so when I faced his cold eyes again, I was ashamed to be ashamed.

Later, in order to increase the torment to myself, I again picked up the burden and ran to the crop fields under the hot sun. It was corn harvesting season, and I ignored my mother's resistance and ran like mad through the hills carrying the corn. At night, when it was time to eat again, I was still sitting under the eaves, but my mother came over with the food, dropping her tender tears, stroking my red and swollen shoulders and urging me to eat it. By that time, I knew that I could not fight hunger.

"Go apologize to your father and give him a toast." My mother said to me as I flipped through my meal.

But why should I apologize? It was clearly not me who was at fault.

"Just in case there's a chance for college."

Because of my mother's advice, I finally changed my attitude, and like a person who had committed a felony, I raised my glass of wine and knelt down heavily in front of my father.

"Dad, I was wrong, please let me go to college." God knows how many times I had to do the persuading to myself before I said such words in front of him. But when I said such words, the words that he often scolded me with tumbled up in my heart again: "A son is always a son, an old man is an old man, and it is not a crime for an old man to beat you to death!"

I don't know why this voice in my heart rose up so clearly at this moment. But I understood that I hated him even more.

This time, he did not insist on thwarting the idea of my dreams, but showed me the way forward: to borrow tuition from my two aunts.

At that time, I was an introverted teenager, from birth, in front of others, almost unable to fully express the meaning of the heart. Now, it was surprising how difficult it was to hang on to such a wooden mouth to raise astronomical amounts of tuition for myself.

But then, I still stood in my aunts' yard.

At the second aunt's house, I sat silently with them, serving the corn I had just broken back from the field, and it took me a long time to stammer out the purpose of my trip. The second aunt's life is not easy, although the three children are working in the city, but half a year ago, the aunt's father fell into the boiling salt water pot because of an accident, almost lost all the money, only to recover half a life. When I made such a request to them, there were endless apologies gathered in my heart. But the predicament was such that I had no way out.

Because of the accident, my second aunt's leg became disabled. When he led me to a neighbor's house to borrow money without saying a word, I vowed to repay him well in my life.

When I came out of my second aunt's house, it was almost dusk, but I had to rush to my great aunt's house a few miles away to borrow some more money before it got dark. As I walked past the hills covered with afterglow, I had infinite fears about the future. My trouser pocket, only a thin stack of money, from the number of college tuition, too far away. Will my great aunt, who once promised to finance my college education, keep his promise? No, in the end, he forgot the promise he made so easily. Years later, my father told me that on the day I received my acceptance letter, my great aunt, whose family was well-off, had thrown down the word: these days, there are college students everywhere, and even if you get in, you can't find a job.

I think that's how my great aunt saw me. When I bowed my head and asked him at the dinner table, he only lightly described the family's "dilemma" to me. I was an introverted teenager, but I was bright at heart. In the dark of the night, I walked out of his house in anger and followed the white highway in the night towards home. The first aunt chased me all the way out and secretly slipped me a few hundred dollars of private money at the fork in the road, her voice choked, "Don't blame your first aunt," she instructed me. I know that in her family, there has never been a place for her to speak.

My college, after all, was attended. My father slipped a postal card into my hand, and I knew that it was a bank card with countless change piled up. I knew that every month and every year after that, he had to carry a roll of change to the post office to send me money for living expenses. But I still harbored an unfading hatred for him, the harsh childhood, the impatient tirades, and his face that summer that was so angry it was unfamiliar to me.

During college, he never came to the city where I studied. Nor did I ever get regular calls from my father booing me like the other roommates. I think that he still blamed me for my dreams that were about to consume him.

After working, the relationship with him, there is a little easing. During holidays, I also went to see him. We always meet in different rental houses in the city where he works. He lived in Wuzhuangshi, Bailiqiao, Hongpailou, and many other places I can't name - behind him, he had his mother, his ninety-year-old grandfather, and his younger siblings. I know he worked hard, but I can't say "thank you" to him, maybe such words, this life is not to say. Between us, there will always be an insurmountable gap that I do not have the strength to cross.

The time has changed, but the story of that year, my father has not forgotten. The year before last, on New Year's Eve, we got together again and had a good family conversation. He drank some wine and temporarily forgot about the difficulties of making a living. Such an atmosphere, again, evoked deep memories.

"Do you remember the year you got into college?" He asked me with his glass of wine.

"Yes." How can one forget that past? But for so many years, we both avoided each other. In my case, I was even more reluctant to mention it.

"Do you think I really won't let you go to college?"

I bowed my head, not knowing how to answer him.

"I'm angry in my heart!"

Mother started to block him, but he threw away his hand and laughed.

"What can't the two masters say, do you know what causes old man to be so angry?" He asked me.

"No money." I replied tangentially.

"You are wrong, the old man said, as long as you can read, smashing pots and pans can sell iron. But you forget, you forget, you were the top of the class, the key class. But you fell in love early, your grades plummeted, and finally you got into a college of some kind?"

Yes, I fell in love early. In fact, all these years, I have been trying to forget that experience, and even lie to myself that no one can really remember those anymore. Or, I reassured myself that in the mindset of my generation, what's the big deal about early love? Unfortunately, for so many years, I couldn't lie to myself and I couldn't comfort myself. In fact, I can face anyone in the world and tell the secret of my early love, but only one person, in front of him, I never had the courage to mention the past, and even less prepared, if one day, when he took the initiative to mention, I should face with what kind of mentality. This person is the father.

At this time, I heard my mother's low sobbing voice again, "Yes," she said, "that year your father was angry with you because you fell in love early and delayed your studies. In fact, he has been secretly managing the village people to borrow tuition ......" said here, she finally couldn't say anymore and continued to fall into tears. This time her tears, is for her father fell.

"The company's main business is to provide a wide range of products and services to the public. If your father did not have a good reputation in the area, I could have borrowed so much money? These, you certainly do not know, do not tell you, you will never know." Speaking of this, he tilted his neck and threw a gulp of wine from his cup into his mouth.

"Got it, I know it now." As he described all this to me, I thought I saw him wearing an embarrassed smile, at the door of every house, handing cigarettes to the man of the house. Once his son was the pride of the whole village, the whole wall of awards, the capital he needed to walk with a straight back in the township. But then the son's early love, and let him as a father had to bend over and spend the next years in silence. The man who used to have a clean face is now completely devoid of his heroic face. When he smiled and talked about the past between our father and son, my heart surged with endless shame - how am I qualified to harbor unfulfilled hatred for him in my heart?

Last year, my father also said, nineteen years, since you left home, and never visited your great aunt and great uncle, should go back to see. Because of his words, nineteen years later on New Year's Day, I returned to my aunt's yard. We sat side by side in the warm winter sun chatting, and he yelled loudly for my great aunt to make me the best dragon well. My daughter looked at the great aunt with a full head of white hair and asked, "Daddy, what does great aunt mean?" I said, "It's Dad's father's sister, a family. Great aunt sighed: "back then ......"

"Great Aunt, don't mention back then, I've forgotten." I interrupted her with a smile. Her remark that I interrupted reminded me of that year again. In fact, at that time, my father had a smile, he would tell many jokes to make us laugh. When we worked in the field, all that echoed in the ravine was the sound of him singing at the top of his lungs. But now, he rarely laughs; "Loess Heights", "Letter to Heaven" ...... also never heard him sing ......

In these nineteen years, do I remember too much and forget too much?


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