Chapter 32: The Generous and Kind In-Laws
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Back at the Lu family house, Mr. and Mrs. Lu rushed out to lend a hand as they saw Lu Xingzhi and Jiang Lei coming in while carrying a lot of things.
“The in-laws are so generous. It was just a short trip home and they’ve given us so many things.” Mrs. Lu looked at Jiang Jie and said, “Please thank your parents for us and send them our regards.”
“The in-laws’ watermelons are sweeter than the ones sold in town. The other day, when your father visited the town, he brought us two. They were so delicious and juicy!” Mr. Lu said with a chuckle. “Your watermelons are planted in the mountains with fertile soil, sufficient sunlight, clean water, and fresh air. They were very sweet and nice!”
Jiang Jie smiled and nodded without saying much. He turned around and talked to Jiang Yao, who had just parked the bicycle and walked in, before leaving.
After Jiang Jie left, Mrs. Lu went into the kitchen and started sorting the vegetables. They were all grown at the Jiang family’s farm. Although they were a dime a dozen, Mrs. Lu was happy to receive them. She said to Jiang Yao who came to help, “Your parents’ vegetables are very delicious! Not only they are fresh, but they are also free of pesticides. Look at these cucumbers, they have been plucked along with their flowers! Many of those sold in the town are wrinkled and old. I will make smashed cucumber tomorrow, Xingzhi loves it!”
“Shall we add in some chilies and peppers?” Jiang Yao glanced out of the kitchen and thought to herself. She didn’t know that he liked to eat smashed cucumber.
“Of course! Xingzhi loves spicy food,” Mrs. Lu nodded and said. She saw Jiang Yao with her sweaty forehead and ushered, “I’ll handle these myself. It must be very hot for you to go home and back, right? Oh yes, how’s your fever? Is it getting better? Hurry and go upstairs to take a warm bath, then rest early.”
“Okay.” Jiang Yao nodded. “The fever has subsided since this morning.”
“Good to hear that. If you feel uncomfortable, tell Xingzhi. He’s your husband. Since he’s at home, he should take good care of you. Oh yes, since he’s at home with you, let him take you shopping in the city tomorrow. You’ll need to buy some clothes before you head off to college. Attire is very important when you move to the big city. The college doesn’t have uniforms. You’ll be bullied and discriminated against if you don’t dress up,” Mrs. Lu remarked. “I’ll ask him to take you to the high-class mall for shopping. He can afford it, just buy whatever you like.”
Jiang Yao chuckled timidly. “Mom, I don’t think there would be any other mother-in-law who will say such things to their daughter-in-law. You are the one and only.”
Mrs. Lu was taken by shock at Jiang Yao’s remark. She glanced at Jiang Yao suspiciously, surprised that she had such a humorous side.
“Okay, enough with the chatter, go back to your room now.” Mrs. Lu didn’t comment on Jiang Yao’s unusual behavior. She assumed that Jiang Yao was happy after coming back from her own house and had thus become slightly more talkative.
Late teenhood was supposed to be a lively and energetic phase. It was normal for her to be talkative.
After exiting the kitchen, Jiang Yao saw Mr. Lu talking to Lu Xingzhi while patting the large watermelons. He was suggesting that his son bring one to Lu Haixing and Lu Xiaoxiao in the city tomorrow.
Sibling estrangement was a somewhat common occurrence among adults, especially after they build their careers and start their own families. However, the Lu brothers were different.
Lu Haixing’s wife had a heart problem and she passed away after giving birth to Lu Xiaoxiao. At that time, the Lu family was not as well off as they were now. Although Lu Haixing had a steady job, it came with a menial salary package. Lu Xiaoxiao was born with weak health and she was often sick. In order to look after his daughter, Lu Haixing often neglected his work and borrowed money for the treatment and hospital visits.
Later, in order to make more money, Lu Haixing resigned and started his own business. Due to being busy at work, he entrusted his daughter, who was only one year old, to his brother. It was only when Lu Xiaoxiao started junior high school that she was sent to the city to study.