The Story of My Father (5) 我的父親(5)

The Story of My Father (5) 我的父親(5)

Previous parts 接前文

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.

我四歲多時,大妹妹出生了。母親無力一邊工作,一邊獨自撫養兩個孩子,因此我被送到父親那兒,開始跟著父親在荒涼的河灘上過活。

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.

父親每年會帶著我去探望母親和妹妹一次。兩百多里地現在聽起來好像很近,可在那時卻覺得很遠、很遠。特別是媽媽的學校在很深的山裡。艱難的倒幾次慢得像牛一樣的長途汽車後,還要步行翻過好多個山頭,走好遠的山路,才能到達媽媽那裡。

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.

聽媽媽說,第一次看著由爸爸帶回去的我,她差點哭出來。我原來圓圓的臉瘦成了一小條,臉上似乎只剩下兩隻忽閃忽閃的大眼睛。最讓母親不能容忍的是,父親給我洗臉時,只知道洗臉蛋上的那一小塊地方,其他地方不管,所以我的耳朵背後一直到脖子上,都積著厚厚的污垢。我的兩個小羊角辮也被爸爸扎得一高一低的,根本不對稱。看到自己漂亮的女兒變成這樣,媽媽很傷心。

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.

有一年,我和父親要從媽媽那兒離開前,媽媽交給我一封信,囑咐我到家後再給爸爸。

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.

我第一次被委以這樣的重任,興奮得不得了,不知道拿那封信怎樣才好,最後終於按捺不住,剛走完山路,還沒坐上長途汽車就交給了爸爸。爸爸看完信,二話不說,背著就我往回走,回到媽媽那兒一言不發,臉色鐵青倒在床上。我嚇壞了,也不明白發生了甚麼,還特別害怕媽媽責怪我沒聽她的話,提前把信交給爸爸。

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.

多年後,我才隱隱了解到,當時媽媽在信上提出要與父親離婚——這樣分居兩地的艱難日子,她實在是過夠了!

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.

據說爸爸當時曾「以死抗爭」,才勉強打消媽媽的離婚念頭。母親年輕時是中江縣城出名的美女,追求的人很多。父親上大學時不停的給母親寫情書、情詩,每封信都變換不同的字體。父親的字很漂亮,詩也寫的格外動人。他的才氣和恆心終於打動了母親。母親怎麼也沒想到,大才子會在一夜間變成「黑爪牙」,「黑爪牙」家屬的日子,何時是個頭呢?

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 )

Read all here 閱讀全部

 

 I began living with my father when I was four. My uneven braids and band in this photo were all the “artistry” of my father. The dress I wear was also hand-made by my father. Throughout my childhood, all the three sisters’ clothes were home-made. 我四歲多時,開始跟著爸爸過。我頭上那剪得參差不齊的傻傻的瀏海,和兩邊一高一低並不對稱的小羊角辮,當然都是爸爸「傑作」,這些在媽媽眼中都是不合格的。不過,請大家注意,我身上穿的帶荷葉邊的連衣裙,也是爸爸親手做的。我長大後第一次得知這裙子居然是爸爸手工縫的時,曾感到非常吃驚。從小到大,我們三姐妹穿的衣服基本都是媽媽做的。那時買布要「布票」,限量供應。過年時媽媽給我們三姐妹做新衣,都得用「套裁」這種最省布的手法裁剪,布才夠用。我一直到上大學才開始穿從商店買的成衣。

I began living with my father when I was four. My uneven braids and band in this photo were all the “artistry” of my father. The dress I wear was also hand-made by my father. Throughout my childhood, all the three sisters’ clothes were home-made. 我四歲多時,開始跟著爸爸過。我頭上那剪得參差不齊的傻傻的瀏海,和兩邊一高一低並不對稱的小羊角辮,當然都是爸爸「傑作」,這些在媽媽眼中都是不合格的。不過,請大家注意,我身上穿的帶荷葉邊的連衣裙,也是爸爸親手做的。我長大後第一次得知這裙子居然是爸爸手工縫的時,曾感到非常吃驚。從小到大,我們三姐妹穿的衣服基本都是媽媽做的。那時買布要「布票」,限量供應。過年時媽媽給我們三姐妹做新衣,都得用「套裁」這種最省布的手法裁剪,布才夠用。我一直到上大學才開始穿從商店買的成衣。

The Story of My Father(6) 我的父親(6)

The Story of My Father(6) 我的父親(6)

The Story of My Father (4) 我的父親(4)

The Story of My Father (4) 我的父親(4)