Now that she had finally gotten rid of the girl and gained two taels, Mrs. Gu was in a very good mood. Smiling, she said to her man, “Husband, we didn’t waste all our time on that girl. She was somewhat useful after all! This two taels are enough for Da Zhuang to get a wife!”
“Hey! You are going to use the money from my daughter to get your son a wife! You wish!” Gu Qiao tried to take the money from her.
Mrs. Gu dodged from him moving unusually agilely for her body size. Seeing that her man was upset, she quickly added, “What do you mean your son / my son? Why does it matter? When Da Zhuang is all grown up and find himself a wife, of course they will take care of you too! Besides, Gu Ming is almost 12, he will be looking for a wife too in just a couple of years. Who do you think will be the one doing all the run arounds for him?”
When it came to his youngest son, Gu Qiao’s look immediately softened, “You are right, we will need money for all sorts of things in the future, you be sure to keep the money somewhere safe!”
After purchasing shaobing and went back to the spot, Gu Ming could not find his parents or his sister. Worried, he walked down the streets looking for them. He spotted his parents from afar and ran up to them carrying the shaobing with him and happened to overhear their conversation, “Perhaps that chap Gu Ye will even be thankful to us in the future! Didn’t you say that the mother of these two kids was a maid for some wealthy family before? And that they awarded her with more money than she could spend every month? If she was sold to some wealthy family, her days would be much better than what they would be in a remote mountain village….”
“What? You sold mei mei?” Gu Ming ran up to them. When he saw the money in Mrs. Gu’s hand, his eyes turned red. “Where did you see her? Give me the money! I will go get her back!”
“Go away!” Gu Qiao took a step up and grabbed Gu Ming’s shoulder as he was reaching out for the money. Gu Ming fell onto the ground with a shove from his father.
“Dad! I don’t understand you. Sure, mei mei is a girl, but she was your flesh and blood after all. It is the Gu’s blood in her veins. Dad, what is your heart made out of? How could you sell your own daughter?” Gu Ming looked at his father through his teary eyes as if he was looking at a stranger.
Gu Qiao’s mouth moved, it looked like he was just about to blurt out something. But he was also worried about consequences that they could not handled if he had said what he wanted to say. He changed his mind and kept his mouth shut. With stiffness, he said, “Your sister will have a much better life if she was picked by a wealthy family. It’d be much better than being at our place and not having enough food to eat or clothes to keep warm!”
“Dad, what have you promised mom back then? You promised her that you’d never sold us into servitude! It has only been a few years since mom was gone. Have you forgotten it all already? How will you be able to face her a hundred years from now?” Gu Ming struggled to get back up onto his feet. He looked straight at Gu Qiao and denounced him over and over again.
Gu Qiao smacked him on his cheek and shouted, “Don’t you dare mention your mother in front of me! If it wasn’t for her, I’d still be second shopkeeper in Yan. You think I’d be stuck in that remote village in the mountains and dare not to leave? She should be the one who’d be ashamed to face me!”
Gu Ming wiped away his tears and looked at him with disappointment. He stumbled backward slowly and said, “Dad, you have changed. You have changed so much that I don’t even know you anymore! You don’t think of her as your daughter, but I think of her as my sister! I am going to go look for her!” Gu Ming ran off after he finished saying that.
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