The Story of My Father (5) 我的父親（5）
My first sister was born when I was four years old. My mother couldn’t take care of two children on her own, as she also needed to work. So I was sent to my father, and started living on that barren floodplain with him.
Every year my father would take me to visit my mother and sister. One hundred kilometers seems nothing for today. However, it felt very, very far at that time, especially because my mother’s school was located in deep mountains.
We needed to transfer between long-distance buses several times; climb over several mountains; and walk long mountain tracks before we could reach our destiny.
My mother told me that she nearly cried when she saw me for the first time after I had left her. My lovely, round face shrank so much that it seemed that only two big twinkling eyes were left.
What my mother couldn’t bear was that my father only knew to wash and wipe my two cheeks; and left all other parts uncleaned. As a result, my neck and the skin behind my ears were left very dirty. My two sheep horn shape braids were also unbalanced, with one higher than the other. My mother felt extremely upset upon seeing her lovely daughter changed like that.
Once after we had finished our stay at mum’s place and were about to leave, my mother gave me a letter, and asked me to give it to my father when we arrived at our other “home” at Hanwang.
I felt extremely excited at being entrusted with such an important task; and didn’t know how I should carry the letter to match its importance. The excitement went on for quite a while, before I finally couldn’t bear such a big burden or hide such huge a secret anymore.
And the consequence was that I couldn’t help revealing the secret to my father after we walked along the mountain road and were waiting for the long-distance bus.
After reading the letter, my father didn’t say a word. He abruptly put me onto his back and started walking back. Upon arriving at mum’s place, my father still didn’t say anything. He lied down in bed with a very stern and pale face.
I was really terrified, not knowing what had happened. I also feared that my mother would scold me for not listening to her and giving the letter to my father too early.
Only after many years did I learn vaguely what had happened on that day. My mother actually asked for a divorce in that letter, as she couldn’t bear the hardship of not being able to live together any longer.
I heard that my father tried everything, including a suicide threat, to have my mother abandon the thought of divorce.
Mother was very well known for her beauty in Zhongjiang County when she was young, and had a lot of admirers. My father was just one of them.
When he was in university, he kept writing beautiful letters and poems to her. Each time he wrote, he used a different font style. His handwriting and poems were both extremely beautiful and touching; and full of talent. His persistence and brilliant literary skill finally won my mother’s heart.
However, my mother had never expected that one day this brilliant talent would become a “black pawn of reactionary capitalist-roaders” overnight. How long did she have to suffer as the wife of a “black pawn of reactionary capitalist-roaders”?
（To be continued 待續 ）