“What are you doing here, go back!” Father Su came up angrily and stood at the door, shouting at Su Fu.
Father Su’s voice was full of anger. It was as loud as a thunderbolt, but Su Fu was dizzy and didn’t feel how loud it sounded.
A small cup rolled toward Su Fu’s feet. Because the cup’s body was round, it was still slightly spinning on the ground.
At this time, Su Fu felt somewhat lucky that his father loved teacups. He liked drinking tea at ordinary times. What he threw before was just a small cup. If a larger glass cup was thrown, he would be bleeding from head to neck by now.
Father Su probably didn’t think that Su Fu couldn’t avoid and got a big bump on his forehead. There was some broken skin and faint blood. Originally, he was angry and was going to continue scolding, then he saw Su Fu stood silly there for a while without talking. He frowned slightly, wondering if he gave Su Fu a concussion?
At this time, mother Su heard the noise and came running. When she saw her son standing at the door, she was slightly stunned. Her eyes instantly turned red. She saw the wound on her son’s head and gave the old man a look. She wanted to say something but didn’t say it after all.
Her expression fell on Su Fu’s eyes. Su Fu felt very upset.
His father used to have a ruler. When he was a child, he occasionally made mistakes. His father would hit him on the palm with the ruler. He still remembered the burning pain on his palm. His mother was always reluctant to let her child be beaten. Every time his father moved the ruler, his mother would stop his father and protect him.
On the day that he came out of the closet, his father also moved the ruler. He didn’t just hit his palm but hit everywhere. He hit him until the ruler broke, then he took a broom to hit him. At that time, his mother was crying besides him, but she didn’t come out to protect him.
Now, his mother clearly felt distressed, but she didn’t say a word. Su Fu’s heart ached. He finally broke his mother’s heart. After all these years, this matter was still his mother’s heart injury.
“Dad, Mom.” Su Fu’s eyes were red. His voice quivered. It took a long time to force out these two sounds.
Having not heard such a sound for too long, father Su also quivered and froze.
Su Fu’s eyes were blurred by tears. He didn’t see father Su’s unnaturalness and mother Su’s tears. After calling out these two sounds, he knelt straight down and crashed his knee on the concrete floor, making a muffled sound.
He had too much to say, but at this time, he couldn’t say anything.
“I can’t afford to recognize you!”
After returning to absolute being, father Su started a fire again and scolded furiously. He picked up the broom by the door and hit Su Fu.
“I, Su Qiliang, don’t have you as a son! Get out of here!”
The broom swung wildly. Su Fu lowered his head as he was hit by Su Fu. After listening to this remark, his tears fell down.
He was a bit dazed. Was what he saw that day fake or was it just his own fantasy? His father’s attitude hadn’t softened at all? His father actually didn’t want to see him?
Su Fu was scared but he’s also unwilling to retreat again. If his father could vent his anger by beating him, then beat him. He deserved it as an unfilial son.
He remembered that Tang Sibo said that one should be kind and filial to their parents while there’re still time. The hatred between parents and children would hurt both sides.
He was willing to believe that his parents still loved him in their hearts. He was unwilling to let his retreat chill his parents’ hearts again. He was truly unwilling to let his elderly parents have no peace of mind all the time. He was also unwilling to let himself lose both of his parents.
Father Su swung the broom and didn’t know how many times he hit him. Slowly, the speed slowed down. He seemed to feel a little strange. In the past, when Su Fu came to give gifts, the moment the door was opened, he was knocked out with a broom. While Su Fu was beaten, he would say some festive words for the festival. He would be disappointed and retreated after being scolded by him (father Su) for a few times. He didn’t expect that Su Fu would be so determined today. He was beaten like this without saying a word.
Su Fu’s body hurt badly. He was glad that he didn’t bring Juan Juan. If he was seen like this by Juan Juan, the little guy would cry.
He suffered silently, not only to let father Su vent, but also to punish himself for not taking good care of his parents for so many years.
Only the ‘whirring’ of the broom and the muffled sound of the broom falling on the body were heard in his ear. He didn’t know when father Su stopped scolding.
“That’s enough! Enough! Stop hitting, old man!”
Su Fu suddenly heard such a sound. As the memory of mother Su protecting him when he was a child kept pouring in, Su Fu cried silently.
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Mother Su stopped father Su, who no longer beat him and threw the broom to the ground disgruntledly.
Su Fu noticed that his father didn’t use the word ‘get out’ this time.
He repressed his emotions, raised his face and asked expectantly, “Can I…can I…come and see you again?”
He wanted to say that he want to go home to see them again, but he didn’t dare to use the word ‘go home’ in the end.
“I’ll beat you again!”
Father Su roared out, but Su Fu was overjoyed. He thought, he could hit him as long as he could come back here again.
“Take these to celebrate the festival.”
Su Fu stammered excitedly. His shaking hands picked up all the gifts on the ground and presented them to father Su and mother Su.
Father Su looked at his son who was still kneeling with tears on his face but smiling. He glanced at the gifts, brought them over and looked at them. He took one of the gift boxes of West Lake Dragon Well tea. The others, he threw them out rudely and spilled them all over the floor.
“What useless things!”
While humming with anger and holding the West Lake Dragon Well tea, he turned and went in.
Mother Su looked at the gift boxes then at her son. She opened her mouth but said nothing. She wiped her tears and closed the door.
The moment the door was closed, Su Fu’s tears, which had just stopped, fell down again, only this time with a smile.
This chaotic visit didn’t embarrass Su Fu. His father took one thing after all, which had never happened before. He thought of the aversive tone of his father just now, but his father still left with the tea leaves in his arms. His mouth couldn’t help but warped up.
He brought his father’s favorite tea. There’s also a bird’s nest suitable for his mother.
While in a trance, Su Fu knelt for a long time. He gradually calmed his joy, then got up to rub his knees to get rid of the pins and needles on his legs. He picked up the gift box one by one and carefully selected them.
It was customary to eat moon cakes during the Mid-Autumn Festival, but it seemed that his father didn’t like them. After picking and choosing, Su Fu finally left a box of bird’s nest and a box of ginseng neatly at the door before leaving quietly with his other things.
Su Fu didn’t know. After the door was closed, father Su was squinting through the peephole.
Once Su Fu left, father Su opened the door and looked. He saw two gift boxes at the door. He just saw Su Fu bent over before and didn’t know what he was doing.
He walked out of the door and looked at the stairs to make sure that Su Fu was gone. Only then did father Su pick up the two gift boxes and enter the door.
Inside, mother Su was still wiping away tears. She complained that father Su had laid too heavy hand on Su Fu.
“I saw Xiao Fu being beaten in the last news. How long has it been? How bad is it when you hit him so hard?”
“How do I know he wouldn’t fight back like a stubborn donkey this time!” Although father Su said so, his face looked somewhat embarrassed.
Mother Su didn’t argue with him, but silently wiped her tears for a while.
Father Su felt uncomfortable. He didn’t think that he was wrong. He snorted and threw the two gift boxes to mother Su.
“This should be for you.”
Mother Su wiped away her tears, glared at him, and stow away the things in the room well. When she came out, she saw that father Su had torn down the gift box of West Lake Dragon Well tea and was holding it for appreciation.
“Why did you suddenly accept it this time? Wasn’t it all thrown away before?” Asked mother Su.
Father Su didn’t look at mother Su. His hand that felt the box went stiff, but he replied with a firm voice, “I look at him and feel sorry for him. This time I hit him hard. Let’s have pity on him.”
Mother Su snorted mockingly but didn’t puncture him.
She knew that the old man really wanted his son, otherwise how could he have asked why hadn’t his son sent anything for a long time? Today was even more exaggerated. Originally, their small restaurant should be opened, but the old man said it was the Mid-Autumn Festival and closed it! Mother Su was confused. Because of their business, they hadn’t gone out to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival since a few years ago.
Later mother Su found out, it was because their son’s Mid-Autumn Festival gift hadn’t arrived, and the old man was looking forward to it! From yesterday on, he had been looking out from time to time. Today, he even assiduously ran towards the window. She knew that the old man was probably waiting for the express delivery, but she didn’t expect her son to come in person today.
In the past, although the gifts received were thrown back, they knew that their son still had them in his heart. But they hadn’t received anything this year. How could father Su not be worried?
Seeing his son come in person, father Su was both angry and happy, but he couldn’t show his happiness. He turned to anger and gave a good beating to his son. Su Fu didn’t see it, but mother Su noticed that when the old man was beating his son, his hands were shaking all the time. He never stopped because he was waiting for the other to stop him!
Over the years, father Su secretly took note of homosexuality and gradually accepted it. However, it happened to his son, who was willing to be driven out of his home for the sake of a man. Father Su’s heart felt blocked. He missed his son. His heart was blocked up and he always felt uncomfortable, but he still refused to forgive.
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Today, because of Su Fu’s firm and unyielding attitude, father Su had vent out a lot of emotions in his heart.
Mother Su’s mentality was similar to that of father Su, but she had softened a lot more than father Su. Because of father Su’s stubborn temper, she had been enduring and missing her son. Today the old man showed a better attitude. Mother Su was also happy. She seemed to have seen the future of their family reunion.
“The gifts have been received and the son has been beaten. You can go do business now.” Mother Su complained that the old man had beaten Su Fu hard. Her tone of voice wasn’t good.
Being seen through by his wife, father Su’s face turned red. He stuck out his neck in dissatisfaction. “I said we won’t open for Mid-Autumn Festival, we won’t open!”
“Then stay home by yourself. I don’t believe that you can!” Mother Su changed her shoes and left.
Hearing the sound of the door closing, father Su’s face became smelly. He touched the box of West Lake Dragon Well tea and carefully stored it. Afterward, he reluctantly changed his clothes and went out with his wife.
After leaving his parents’ home, Su Fu sat in the car by the side of the road for a long time. He looked at the window with his mouth slightly curved up. Although his body ached, his heart felt comfortable.
His father’s attitude had indeed softened. Before, even if he had beaten Su Fu half to death, he wouldn’t have relented. How could he take his gifts?
After watching for a long time, Su Fu drove back to Jinghe Apartment.
His forehead was swollen with a big bump. His body may also be bruised. Su Fu was too embarrassed to go to the hospital. He went back to apply some medicine for himself.
In the evening, Su Fu was lying in bed looking at books to distract his pain. Juan Juan called again to tell him that they would come back tomorrow. He said how big uncle Tang’s parents’ house was, and how much Tang Luoke’s grandparents, uncles and aunts liked him. Older brother Tang had many toys to give him. Today, two other children came to visit, but none of them were as cute as him. Older brother Tang said that he didn’t like them and only liked to play with him…
Su Fu smiled and listened to the sound of Juan Juan’s milky voice stuttering about his happy day.
His heart became very soft, and he felt less painful.
Finally, Juan Juan said that he’s sleeping with older brother Tang tonight. Uncle Tang had a little talk with them before going to bed. Then, the mobile phone came into Tang Sibo’s hand.
Tang Sibo asked him how he fared going home today. Was everything okay?
Hearing this, Su Fu’s eyes became a little red and he remembered what happened. He was actually very happy today. He wanted to share his joy but couldn’t find the right person. Now that Tang Sibo asked, he shared his joy with him.
Su Fu mainly talked about the changes of his parents and told Tang Sibo that he’s very happy his father received his gift.
Although Su Fu only mentioned a little of the beating part, Tang Sibo could still imagine the scene. Now Su Fu only talked about the joy in his heart, but it made Tang Sibo feel distressed. He felt that Su Fu was really not easy.
“I’m happy for you, Teacher Su.”
Tang Sibo said this softly. Su Fu felt that his joy was understood. His eyes felt like they were burning (T/N: with tears).
T/N: I don’t quite agree with Su Fu getting beaten. But we have to look at this from a cultural perspective.
China has a tradition of respecting older people, especially parents. The root came from past dynasties when filial piety is literally the law. Being disrespectful to parents or elders can lead to losing official careers, losing businesses, getting badmouthed at by other people, getting jailed and possibly executed.
It was because of such extreme consequences that instill such a strong concept of filial piety (being obedient to parents or elders, even if it means getting a beating) to the entire country.
Of course, the concept is more diluted nowadays. (This novel was written between 2016 and 2017). But Su Fu’s behaviors reflect his upbringing in an extremely traditional household. He’s the loyal dog type, which sometimes can quite be frustrating, but you know he’s the type of person who will never give up on people whom he cares about easily. (That’s why it took him so long to leave a toxic relationship and now getting passively beaten by his Dad.)
Su Fu’s mentality can also be analyzed like this. When you’re a kid and you do something wrong, your parents will spank you. Then everything will pass over. For Su Fu, now that his father has beaten him and accept his gifts, they won’t be far from being reconciled. That’s why he’s happy.
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