The Escort – Chapter 2
Shao Mingwei's hometown is in a small rural village in the north.
Their village is not impoverished, however, the rage of the reconstruction of the new rural plan can't reach their village.
The development of the past 20 years is noticeable in other villages, while their village stayed the same as if it had been forgotten.
But Shao Mingwei's family is doing well.
At least, their family of four has no worries about food and clothing.
He and his sister Shao Rong never worry about tuition and books.
In Shao Mingwei's home, they had their fair share of work to do.
His dad traveled far away outside all the year round to work and he would sometimes travel along with him for vacation.
Along the way, looking outside the bustling city, his dad would always say, “Son, Father will work hard to bring you and your sister to the city to attend university so you could find a good job, get married and buy a house.
It's so good here in the city…” His tone was full of admiration and expectation.
Looking through the car window, the night was dark, but the bright street lights illuminated the close surroundings.
The asphalt road was wide and flat, rows upon rows of tall buildings could be seen at a distance.
There were also expensive cars occasionally passing by.
Shao Mingwei agreed to his dad although he quietly disapproves in his heart because their family is happy staying in the village.
But since his father is bent on bringing them to the city, he will also try his best to help him achieve it.
As for Rongrong, she's happy with it.
His mother does farming at home and Shao Rong and he would help out in their spare time.
After a year, the family income is considerable.
Before the age of sixteen, Shao Mingwei thought that his family would always live an ordinary but happy life, but accidents often caught people off guard.
Perhaps Father Shao's ambitions weren't just all talk.
He was pulling his own weight as if he was racing against time, and although suffering from fatigue, he still forced himself to work.
When he was driving, his truck stirred away from the road and it rolled down the mountain and he died on the spot.
His mother couldn't take the blow, so she committed suicide and the burden of the family fell on Shao Mingwei's shoulders.
The successive deaths of his parents within the short period of time made Shao Mingwei numb.
He seemed to have grown up overnight and managed the funeral with the help of relatives and neighbors in the village.
Because Father Shao drove while fatigued, civil compensation was required for the damages caused by the accident.
After sorting out the liabilities one by one, most of the savings in their family that Shao Mingwei's parents painstakingly saved for many years were spent.
In just a day, Shao Mingwei's temperament changed.
His calmness was not that of a sixteen-year-old boy.
With her cheeks soaked in tears, Shao Rong was shocked at his brother's calm state.
Shao Mingwei touched her head and comforted her.
“Don't worry, brother is fine.” Only he knows that his father's words, “Son, Father will work hard to bring you and your sister to the city to attend university so you could find a good job, get married and buy a house.
It's so good here in the city…” Even for a long time he could never forget it and it made him determined to go to the city.
He wanted to see how good the city was that captured his father's dreams but in return, killed him.
In the following two years, his memory was indistinct, only it was filled with test papers, heavy farm work and sensible things.
Just as when he relaxed his vigilance, life gave him another blow.
Along with his admission letter from the Q University's Department of Biology came a diagnosis certificate from the hospital after Shao Rong passed out.
In the evening, Shao Mingwei kept his eyes open until midnight.
He felt a strong emotion surging inside him that was about to burst out.
He tossed over and over as if he's on fire, then he decided to go out and get dressed.
He walked in a daze without direction.
He didn't know where he was going.
He was just walking aimlessly like a wandering soul.
There was no light in the countryside at night.
It was so dark it was impossible to see your fingers, so in the end, he had fallen harshly onto the bumpy road.
It is unknown whether it was because Shao Mingwei who had no appetite to eat and had no strength left in his body or his body had lost its soul¹ after a long time he did not even struggle to get up.
He sat dispiritedly at the road side for a long while, tears falling silently, wetting his clothes.
He touched his cheeks in a daze and felt the wetness in his fingers.
As if he found a reason to let go, he suddenly burst into tears.
He hasn't cried since his parents died, but he instead cried fiercely in this quiet and deserted place.
An 18-year-old grown up crying like a child who could not find his way home, feeling hopeless and desperate.
He doesn't know what to do anymore; he doesn't know what to do with Rongrong.
A small and intermittent cry sounded behind Shao Mingwei.
Shao Mingwei had never shown his vulnerability in front of Shao Rong, but at that moment he couldn't care about anything else.
He pulled Shao Rong in his arms, then both brothers and sisters cried, holding each other.
After crying, Shao Mingwei wiped the tears in cheeks with his sleeves, and then gently brushed his thumb under Shao Rong’s eyes to wipe her tears and said, “Rong Rong, your disease is not cancer.
It has a cure.
And even if it can’t be cured, brother will support you for a lifetime.
Brother has a way, and brother will find a way, so don't be afraid, okay?” The firmness of Shao Mingwei's words seemed to give Shao Rong confidence, and it seemed to give him confidence too.
Knowing about Shao Rong's illness, relatives and neighbors secretly gossiped that Shao Mingwei's family had bad Feng Shui² and had offended the gods.
On the surface they were polite and sympathetic to the brothers and sisters, but deep inside they secretly wanted to hide away, they were afraid of having any form of contact with them, afraid that if Shao Rong's illness was a bottomless pit that they would have had to lend them money.
Shao Mingwei did not expect other people to help.
After careful consideration, he rented his family's land to the villagers.
When their house was sold, he brought Shao Rong to Beijing.
The pressure of life did not give him the opportunity to be dazzled and feel at a loss.
Although Shao Rong’s disease is not cancer, she needs to be taken care of carefully after the operation since her illness had a high probability of complications that made Shao Mingwei extremely worried.
He rented a small apartment, then went to Q University to apply for a one-year leave of absence.
Also in the hospital where Shao Rong was preparing for her surgery, he inquired about and found a responsible nurse who would take care of all the preparations needed for Shao Rongs upcoming surgery.
Before entering the operating room, Shao Mingwei took Shao Rong's hand and said, “Rong Rong, don't be afraid, brother will wait for you.”
But good luck seems to have forgotten the Shao brothers and sisters.
Although Shao Rong's operation was successful, it didn't take long after a complication to appear—Shao Rong's kidney has a problem³.
The doctor told Shao Mingwei that Shao Rong needed dialysis once a week and should take medicines every day, which is expensive.
Shao Mingwei walked out of the consulting room with his back straight.
Don't break down, he told himself over and over again.
In the following year, Shao Mingwei rushed between the small rental house Shao Rong lived in, the hospital and various workplaces.
He worked as a tutor, moved bricks on the construction site, delivered couriers and takeaways, worked as a waiter, and saved a small amount of savings enough for his tuition and enough to pay for Shao Rong's dialysis and medication.
His part-time work only decreased after he entered school.
In just one year, Shao Mingwei became lean, with tight muscles on his body.
Although his hands were calloused, it was stronger, and he even grew three centimeters taller.
Occasionally, when Shao Mingwei was taking shelter from the afternoon sun on the construction site while eating steamed buns, he suddenly stopped gnawing and then thought: Beijing is so big, yet where is his and Shao Rongs home? But after a moment of feeling at loss and sudden sadness, Shao Mingwei once again forced himself to cheer up and devote himself to the afternoon work.
The following year, when Shao Mingwei was 19 years old, he started his first-year in university.
He was handsome, gentle, and mature, tolerant, and proactive, so he quickly became well known around the school, and it was not surprising that after his second year, he took over as the president of the student council.
He was an assiduous person.
When not working, he concentrated on studying, so he was recruited by a professor who appreciates his talent to join his research lab, and he repeatedly mentioned that it is important to have a postgraduate education.
Although for some reasons, Shao Mingwei intends to work directly after he graduates, there is still a trace of hope deep down his heart that he will be able to get a postgraduate degree, so he has not expressed his refusal to the professor but he has not also directly agreed.
Just when Shao Mingwei thought everything was finally back on the right track, life had told him: it's not gonna be that easy.
Half a month ago, Shao Rong called him and said that she was feeling uncomfortable.
Shao Mingwei knew that his sister was very tolerant, and when the situation had reached to the point where she chose to say that she's feeling unwell, it may be extremely uncomfortable for her.
After reading the examination results, the doctor had a sullen expression, and regretfully said to Shao Mingwei that Shao Rong's condition has deteriorated.
The frequency of dialysis needs to be changed from once a week to twice a week, and the medicine should be changed into a more expensive one.
Shao Mingwei went to the bank to check his deposits and glance at an entryway at a distance.
Two days later, he walked into the Nights.
When Shao Mingwei pushed the door in, Sister Zhang was skillfully talking and entertaining several men.
Seeing him coming in, the imperceptible satisfaction flashed in her eyes, and she smiled and said, “Aiya, you are finally here.
Everyone is waiting anxiously.” While talking, she walked towards Shao Mingwei and gently pushed a few boys inside the box.
The lights in the box are dim, and the light from the big TV screen behind them barely illuminates the appearance of these men who are robust and prosperous⁴ in their careers and family.
Seeing the vulgar expressions on their faces, they knew what're in each other’s mind.
Some of them were clamoring to taste something new.
Shao Mingwei indifferently watched sister Zhang and the men on the sofa who were chatting and laughing with each other.
Suddenly feeling being watched, he turned his head silently and wandered his eye, which unexpectedly met Min Yu's.
He was sitting in the deep corner of the box.
His clothes were exquisite, and although he can see some few lines between his eyebrows, he looked gentle and beautiful.
He is even better-looking than the young boy who came with him, and his stature was slender and long.
But Shao Mingwei didn't have the time to carefully observe him, because as soon as he met the opponents’ bright eyes, he immediately moved his line of sight with his heart drumming wildly in his chest—Min Yu recognized him.
Shao Mingwei's mind went blank for a moment.
He felt the eyes of the other party constantly drifting over his place.
Sister Zhang naturally saw it too, and said to Min Yu, “Mr.
Min, this is our Nights…”
Min Yu raised his hand, interrupting her.
Shao Mingwei couldn't help but look at him.
Min Yu showed a gentle smile.
His eyes were slightly bent, and the corner of his eyes stretched out a beautiful and gentle arc.
With a completely relaxed and peaceful attitude, he said to Shao Mingwei, “Is it okay if you sit beside me?” There is no lack of indulgence in his tone for the youth in front of him.
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¹I don't know if it is the same in some Asian countries but in our country (which is part of Asia) if someone is suddenly not in his right/normal state of mind/being, the phrase “his body has lost its soul” is used.
Mostly used in a joking manner, rarely used as a ridicule.
The same as a dispirited person.
²Feng Shui, also known as Chinese geomancy, is a pseudoscientific traditional practice originating from ancient China, which claims to use energy forces to harmonize individuals with their surrounding environment.
Definition from Wikipedia.
³The author did not mention what surgery and disease Shao Rong had so I had to guess that it was surgical procedure on the heart or blood vessels, since these type of surgeries can cause changes in the blood flow that may cause acute kidney injury (AKI) it is a common and serious complication after a surgery.
⁴Féi tóu dà ĕr, robust and prosperous – a compliment in the ancient times, probably used to compliment someone successful.
Translator's Corner: This chapter's supposed to be out yesterday, however, I underestimated my busy schedule and ended messing everything up.
I'm genuinely sorry and stay tuned for the next update! Updates will be trice a month, every Mondays.
See you next monday!
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