Chapter 168 – Returning back to his hometown!
After leaving the bureau, someone called Dong Xuebing. He turned around, and it was the Office Director Hu Silian. Hu Silian was pushing an electric bicycle towards him with a smile. “Chief Dong, let’s go back to the quarters together.” She was very considerate. She knew Dong Xuebing was new to the county and might not be able to find his way to the quarters. “Put your luggage on my bike. My bike basket is strong and can withstand the weight.”
Dong Xuebing laughed. “How can I do this? You should ride your bike. I should not make you walk with me.”
Hu Silian kicked the bicycle stand and went over to take Dong Xuebing’s luggage from him. “It is not far from here. Oh, the Bureau’s leaders are all not around and did not arrange for a welcome meal for you. How about coming over to my place for dinner? Haha, my husband’s cooking is delicious.” As the Office Director, Hu Silian’s political wisdom is much higher than Dong Xuebing. Back in the State Security, Dong Xuebing’s work is similar to Hu Silian. But he had a foul temper and offended many people. Hu Silian, on the other hand, was the total opposite of him. She is an all-rounder and treated all the leaders well. Maybe it was also because she is a woman.
Dong Xuebing replied. “It’s fine. I am going to Hui Tian Village at night to visit my mother.”
Hu Silian was surprised. Chief Dong’s hometown is also from Yantai County? She does not know about this.
County’s Bureau family quarters.
This is a small estate, and the buildings are about 20 years old. But the condition of the buildings is still okay. After Hu Silian brought Dong Xuebing to his apartment, he was speechless. The interior of the apartment was nicely renovated and well-equipped with home appliances. LCD tv, automatic washing machine, air conditioner, etc. It was almost like a hotel room.
After Hu Silian left, Dong Xuebing put down his luggage and lie down on the queen size bed. The grassroots level is very different from Beijing. They did not care about what others think. This apartment might even be better than Xu Yan’s residence. Oh, I should fetch Mum over to stay with me. She had suffered for most of her life, and it’s time for her to enjoy.
Dong Xuebing picked up his phone and called his mother’s village home.
“Hello? Who are you looking for?” It was a woman who answered.
Dong Xuebing replied. “I am Dong Xuebing. Is my mum there?”
“It’s you?” The woman paused for a while. “Wait a minute…… Xiaoping…… Xiaoping…… Your son is calling!”
After a while, Dong Xuebing’s mother, Luan Xiaoping, answered. “Xiao Bing? Why are you calling my house number?” Her son seldom calls her at home. He usually calls her at her school.
Dong Xuebing frowned. “Mum, who was that woman?”
“It’s your uncle’s wife.”
“Hmph! She is still the same after so many years. She sounds like I owe her money!”
“Nonsense. Your Aunt cares about you.”
“Mum, you don’t need to speak up for them. We know their true colors well.” When Dong Xuebing’s father was sick, Dong Xuebing and his mum had tried to borrow money from them. But his Uncle and First Aunt’s families did not lend them a single cent. It was his Second Aunt, who was not financially well to do, lend them her life savings. Dong Xuebing’s relationship with his mother’s family soured over this incident. He avoided contacting them all these years. The only people he contacted from his mother’s family are his Second Aunt and her husband.
“Xiao Bing, are you looking for me? I am cooking now. How about I call you later?”
“Why are you cooking again? You have been at work the whole day, and Uncle’s wife is at home the whole day. Why are you cooking for them?”
“It’s fine. We are a family and don’t need to be so calculative.”
“Mum, you are too honest. You should not do these!”
“I know what to do. This is none of your business.”
Whenever he mentioned about his mother’s family, Dong Xuebing was furious. He got up from the bed and said. “I am in Yantai County now. I will go over to your place later.”
“Eh? You are not working? Why are you here?”
“It is some work-related matters. I will tell you when I see you. I am heading over now.”
“Have you taken dinner? I will call your Second Aunt’s family over too. We will wait for you to have dinner.” During Lunar New Year, Luan Xiaoping had mentioned to Dong Xuebing before. Now, her son was finally willing to return home, and she was overjoyed. She thought her son had purposely took leave back to visit her.
Dong Xuebing boarded a long-distance bus and arrived at Hui Tian Village.
After alighting from the bus, Dong Xuebing saw his mum waiting for him. Dong Xuebing grumbled: “Why are you here? It’s so late, and it is dangerous for you to be here.” The security around here is not as good as Beijing. “Who is at home? Are Second Aunt and her family here?”
Luan Xiaoping laughed. “Your younger sister (cousin, Second Aunt’s daughter) is still at work. She says she will be coming back soon. The rest have arrived.”
Dong Xuebing held his mother’s hand. “Alright. Let’s go. Watch your steps.”
“Haha, my eyes are still good. You don’t need to hold me.” Luan Xiaoping patted her son’s hand and lead the way.
As they were reaching home, they saw a group of young men walking in the opposite direction. They were smoking cheap cigarettes and looked drunk. Some of them were staring at Dong Xuebing and Luan Xiaoping.
Luan Xiaoping saw them and quickly pulled her son aside and lowered her head.
Dong Xuebing looked at them: “Mum, who are these people? Why are you so afraid of them?”
“Our county produces gold, and these hooligans are working in the mines. They lived in the village. They will steal vegetables from people’s gardens and disturb the girls around here. They do all sorts of bad things.” Luan Xiaoping was relieved when she saw the hooligans walking away. “Xiao Bing, stay away from them when you see them. We cannot offend them. I heard the officers from our Village police station is close to them. The hooligans dug up our sweet potatoes several times, and we reported to the police. But the police officers ignored us.”
“Huh? Stay away from them?”
“Listen to me. You are working in Beijing, and your authority is useless here. You will not win them.”
Dong Xuebing wanted to laugh. You are telling the County’s Public Security Deputy Bureau Chief to stay away from some hooligans? Are you joking with me?!
Dong Xuebing had been to this house a few times when he was young. Other than the date tree in the garden had gotten taller, nothing was changed. They walked through the front yard and opened the metal gate. They entered the compound. Dong Xuebing looked around. Almost the whole family was there. His grandmother, uncle and his wife, his First Aunt and her husband, and his Second Aunt and her husband. Only a few of his cousins are not around.
Other than his Second Aunt and her family, Dong Xuebing dislikes the rest of them. But he had to take note of his mother’s feelings and greeted everyone.
Dong Xuebing’s Uncle and First Aunt’s families ignored him. After all, Dong Xuebing had quarreled with them in the past, and they still remember it. Only Dong Xuebing’s Second Aunt and her family greeted him back. His Second Aunt walked over and held his hand. “Xiao Bing has grown up. Look, you are so much taller than me now. Come…… Sit here. We are starting dinner soon.”
Dong Xuebing missed his Second Aunt too. “Second Aunt, you also look younger than before. How is your health?”
“I’m good. Haha.”
Second Aunt’s husband laughed. “I heard from your mum that you are a leader with the government now?”
Dong Xuebing took out a packet of Chong Hua cigarettes from his pocket and gave a cigarette to Second Aunt’s husband. “Ha… It’s just a job. Have a smoke.”
Second Aunt’s husband looked at the cigarette packet. “Oh, this a pack of good cigarettes.”
Dong Xuebing’s uncle saw Dong Xuebing did not give him any cigarettes and frowned. “The leaders in State Security are worthless. Deputy Chief does not have any authority.”
His wife laughed and added: “That’s right. The officials at the grassroots level have more authority.”
Dong Xuebing turned and looked at them.
Luan Xiaoping was unhappy to hear them say these things about her son. But that’s her elder brother’s wife, and she cannot talk back at them.
The second Aunt retorted. “You cannot say this. Xiao Bing is still young and has a bright future.”
Dong Xuebing’s First Aunt also dislike him and said: “Mum is hungry now. Let’s not wait for Xiao Jin and start dinner.”
Dong Xuebing’s First Aunt and Uncle treated Dong Xuebing this way was because of their arguments in the past. Also, Dong Xuebing was working for State Security in Beijing. Beijing is the capital of China and had countless officials. Deputy Section Chief rank officers are nothing there. Outside of their workplace, no one will recognize them. This was why no one cares when they found out Dong Xuebing had become a Deputy Section Chief.
Dong Xuebing was trying his best to control his anger during this meal.
It was not only about his relatives’ attitude towards him. It was also the way they treated his mother.
Luan Xiaoping was like a servant in the house. She had to cook, bring out the dishes, pour tea, etc. Second Aunt and her even had to clear and wash the dishes after dinner. Luan Xiaoping’s health had never been good. In the day, she had to teach in the Junior High School, and after she returns from work, she will have to do these chores. Dong Xuebing’s Uncle’s wife is not working and does not help out at all. After dinner, she just sat on the sofa with First Aunt to watch TV.
Luan Xiaoping sense her son was about to explode and smiled. “Xiao Bing, you must be tired from the traveling. Go and take a rest.”
Dong Xuebing stared at his Uncle’s wife and First Aunt’s family coldly. He was about to say something when the main door suddenly opened.
It was his Second Aunt’s daughter. Dong Xuebing’s cousin Tang Jin ran in, crying.
Dong Xuebing had not seen her for a while and could hardly recognize her. “You are…… Xiao Jin? What happened? Who made you cry?!”