Chapter 127 I Was a Scumbag!
After a long time, the patient’s body gradually relaxed.
He took a deep breath and said, “No need.”
“Go on. I can bear it.”
Then he went on and said, “When human beings are wicked, they can commit all manners of crimes. I was one of those people.”
“How wicked are you?”
Fang Qiu asked curiously, but his action did not stop; his hands were still carefully touching the bones, looking for an angle to set them.
“I was born in the countryside.”
When the middle-aged man immersed himself in his memory, his eyes gradually blurred.
“I did a lot of bad things in the village in those years.”
“In my village, every family farmed and raised livestock, and so did my family, but I never farmed. When I was hungry, I would look for food at home. If I could not find it, I would steal it. Where there was good food, I would go there. At first, I just stole food to eat. But after several times, I became bolder and bolder. I even went so far as to break into other’s homes to rob things.”
“Old Li lived in the east of our village, and his legs were fragile. His wife died early, and he was alone. On holidays, his two sons would bring him some delicious food and drink. I thought he couldn’t eat or drink so much. So I broke into his house once when he was not at home and ate all his good meat, wine, and tonics.”
“When I had finished eating, I wrapped everything up and was going to steal it back to enjoy myself. But I didn’t expect Old Li to come back just as I was getting ready to leave.”
“Guess what had happened then?”
At this point, the middle-aged man suddenly gave a self-mocking laugh.
He continued, “I knew that Old Li had poor legs and could only walk on crutches. So when he came back, I hid behind the door. And when he came in, I took his crutch, broke it, and ran. He was so angry that he threw his broken crutch at me.”
“I was furious. I used a match to burn the firewood stack in his yard while nobody was there, and I almost burned down his house. I was nine years old at that time.”
When Fang Qiu heard the words “nine years old,” his hand suddenly stopped moving.
However, it only lasted for a short while.
“Old Li is just one of the people I’ve hurt. I had chickens and ducks in my own house, but I never ate them. When I wanted to eat chickens, I stole them from the village.”
“One day, after drinking the liquor stolen from Old Li, I ran to Aunt Jiang’s house and killed all the ten chickens, three geese and seven ducks she raised.”
“Taking the chicken stolen from Aunt Jiang’s house, I ran all the way to the field of the village secretary and prepared to roast the chicken. At that time, the crops in the fields were ripe for harvest. But I set them on fire. I was eleven then.”
“I also robbed Mr. Yang’s child of all his belongings.”
“I beat Sun Dazhuang.”
“I charged protection money from primary school students.”
“During the day, I looked around for food. In the evening, I felt very bored, so I carried firecrackers and made trouble for every family. If anyone bothered me, I would go to their fields and spoil all their corps… ”
“The angrier they got, the happier I was.”
“No one could control me. If anyone beat me, I would make trouble for them without them noticing!”
“My parents couldn’t control me either. If they dared to control me, I would threaten them that I would commit suicide. I am their only son…”
The more the middle-aged man talked, the more he was absorbed in the past.
He was so absorbed in the memory that he seemed to forget the pain.
Fang Qiu acted.
This time, the middle-aged man did not grunt.
However, he just shivered, and his muscles stiffened. Then he relaxed and went on.
“I didn’t know why I was so wicked. I was happy when other people were miserable. I did bad things every day.”
“I didn’t know how many bad things I’d done.”
“Until I was twenty years old.”
“There was a fool named Gaogao in our village.”
“He was born stupid, but everyone in the village was very kind to him and took good care of him.”
“I was trying to fool him. So I took him to the edge of a biogas digester outside the village and incited him to jump in just for fun.”
“He was stupid, but he didn’t listen to me. He knew he couldn’t jump into it.”
“I was anxious. To make him jump, I used firecrackers to scare him. As a result, he was scared to the edge of the biogas digester before I even lit a firecracker.”
“But even so, he was unwilling to jump.”
“I was so angry that I lit a firecracker and threw it at him.”
“As a result, it was this small firecracker that ignited the whole biogas digester.”
“I can never forget that scene as long as I live. A terrible wave of fire shot up into the sky. The huge impact of the explosion blew Gaogao away in a second.”
“He fell to the ground, motionless, and never got up again…”
“He died, and I was scared silly. I really just wanted to play a prank on him for fun. I didn’t really mean to harm him, let alone kill him. That was the first time I felt guilty.”
Speaking of that, the middle-aged man suddenly stopped.
Tears ran down his face.
After a long time, he suppressed his emotions and continued.
“Then I was arrested by the villagers and taken away by the police.”
“On the day I was arrested, there were deafening sounds of firecrackers and cheers all over the village. Even my parents cheered. I remembered all the happy faces. The village was even busier then than during the Spring Festival.”
“I knew they hated me. Everyone hated me.”
“But it was because they hated me that I became outraged. It was a fit of irrepressible rage.”
“I made up my mind then that when I came back, I would get back at everyone. I wanted everyone who cheered and celebrated for my arrest and everyone who hated me, to be afraid of me. I wanted them to regret it.”
Having said that, the middle-aged man’s mood remained calm, without any ups and downs, unaffected by his memory.
He didn’t feel the same way as he did in the past, but he got lost in his memory.
Fang Qiu listened quietly.
There were not many tiny changes in his look.
However, he kept moving his hands.
“Finally, twenty years.”
The middle-aged man continued after a short pause, “I received combined punishment for several offenses, so I was sentenced to twenty years. It wasn’t until three years ago that I was released from prison.”
“You didn’t have a commutation?”
Fang Qiu asked casually.
He knew that for now, Huaxia’s single sentence carried a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison. However, in the case of combined penalties, it could be up to 25 years.
At the same time, there would be more or less commutation of the sentence if the prisoner performed well in prison.
It was not often that a man was prisoned for as many years as he was sentenced.
Lying on the bed, the middle-aged man said, “At that time, I was a wicked man, a wicked man full of hatred! The same was true for the case even in prison. I became the wickedest man in prison. If other prisoners couldn’t beat me, I’d beat them to death!”
Fang Qiu became silent.
His hands stopped moving.
Then he asked, “Did you get this illness in prison?”
The middle-aged man laughed sadly and continued to tell the story, “When I got out of prison, I went back to the village, but I didn’t find my parents. It turned out they were dead.”
“To help me pay my sinful debts, they were unwilling to see the doctor when they were sick, and they did all kinds of dirty work to earn money to compensate the villagers. As a result, they died of exhaustion and illnesses. I heard that they didn’t close their eyes in the end…”
While speaking, the middle-aged man could no longer control his emotions, and his tears began to flow again.
“In fact, being educated in prison for twenty years has made me understand one thing.”
The middle-aged man sobbed under his breath and said in a hoarse voice, “But it wasn’t until I knew my parents were dead that I realized I was a scumbag who didn’t deserve to be a human being!”
“I found their graves, and in front of the graves, I slapped myself hard nine times and kowtowed forty times. They raised me in the first twenty years, but in the last twenty years, I failed to take care of them.”
“From that day on, I swore I would turn over a new leaf.”
“I vowed to wash away the shame I had brought on my parents.”
“Back in the village, I apologized to all the people I had hurt by kowtowing three times. I hope they would forgive me, though it was a forlorn hope.”
“Even if all of them didn’t want to see me, I still went from house to house and kowtowed outside their houses.”
“I didn’t miss a single family.”
The middle-aged man gritted his teeth, turned his head, and wiped the tears from his face on the bed. “After that, I started looking for work. I did anything, no matter how hard or tiring, as long as I could make money.”
“I worked in an illegal coal mine for a year.”
“I worked as a stevedore for a year.”
“I worked as a construction worker for a year.”
“I worked day and night and ate little. In three years, I saved 150,000 yuan.”
“And I got this illness during the three years.”
Hearing this, Fang Qiu quivered.
He could not imagine what kind of hellish life this man had been living for three years.
The life that could damage a person’s spine like this was almost equal to life in hell.
This life was not only full of physical limitation but also illnesses!
This disease was not acquired in a day or two but accumulated over the years. In spite of his illnesses, he still carried on the kind of horrible work that could overwhelm him. He suffered unimaginably terrible.
“Two days ago, I went back to the village.”
The middle-aged man went on.
“I donated 100,000 yuan when I heard that the villagers wanted to build a road.”
When saying this sentence, the middle-aged man suddenly smiled heartily. He added, “I donated the money in my parents’ name. Their names are on the tablet of merits. My parents now have the face to sleep their long sleep in the ancestral graves in the village.”
“I donated the remaining 50,000 yuan to the poor students in the poor mountainous areas.”
“I know I can only live like this in this lifetime and cannot contribute to society. So I donated my money to them in the hope that they can contribute to society.”
“I hope that they can become useful people to the country and society, rather than a villain or scumbag like me. There is still hope for them, but I have no hope.”
The middle-aged man said sincerely from the heart.
Fang Qiu took a deep breath.
His eyes were watery.
“What are you going to do when I’ve cured you?”
Fang Qiu asked.
His hands continued to move.