The Long Chase for the President’s Spouse – Chapter 76: Life on the Road (4)
Quality Check: Tezuka
First Published on Chaleuria
Chapter 76: Life on the Road (4)
Gu Zhun’s father shifted his stool closer to Zhang Heng and Gu Zhun. Gu Zhun’s father seemed to have forgotten the awkwardness that resulted after reuniting with his son as he started to dissuade them: “You two just recently graduated from university so it’s not good to start dating. You don’t have any financial security. How are you going to provide for your own daily necessities? Don’t think about love when you can’t even provide for yourself.”
Zhang Heng wanted to interrupt his father-in-law’s speech, but Gu Zhun’s father continued to prattle on: “Nowadays, young people think about things too impractically!”
Zhang Heng really wanted to retort— First, you might not believe my financial status, but I am pretty rich. Second, I am very happy that father-in-law thinks about our future, but aren’t you missing the point?
On the other hand, Gu Zhun kept quiet.
Gu Zhun’s father seemed to have remembered something important as he suddenly snarled: “You are both guys. How can you be together? How would you produce offsprings?!”
Gu Zhun was very angry with his father’s sudden intervention in their lives. Moreover, he kept talking to Zhang Heng about pointless things and left him, the protagonist of this trip, aside.
Gu Zhun lifted up his head and looked at his father, who had aged with an unwavering gaze. He spoke icily: “Since you abandoned me, don’t meddle with my affairs.” There wasn’t a slightest trace of warmth. It was impossible to tell whether he spoke out of anger or…
“…” Gu Zhun’s father lowered his head and swallowed what he wanted to say. What was there to talk about when things had already reached this point?
He didn’t want to make any excuses for himself.
The reason why Zhang Heng brought Gu Zhun here was to untie the knot in this family’s heart. How could he allow this silence to continue without achieving their purpose?
Thus, Zhang Heng said: “Uncle, is there a reason why you left Gu Zhun in the first place? Auntie didn’t cheat on you. Gu Li was eighteen at that time and she could have helped out with the family’s financial situation. Wouldn’t all of you be able to stay together?”
Gu Zhun’s father still kept his head down and remained silent.
Gu Zhun was unable to accept this kind of attitude. Your abandoned son came to look for you after so many years. Doesn’t that show that he still loves you and that he still wants to be your son? Why won’t you say anything?
“Why won’t you speak?” Gu Zhun leaped up from the stool, his face flushed with anger. Zhang Heng had never seen Gu Zhun reveal such anger before. Usually, Gu Zhun would only frown when he was angry. This time around, it wasn’t just simply a frown as his face had turned red and he even raised the pitch of his voice.
“Uncle, just tell us…” Zhang Heng was also trying to persuade Gu Zhun’s father.
Gu Zhun’s father sighed and lit a cigarette before he stubbed it out.
Judging from his actions, Zhang Heng guessed that there was a reason why Gu Zhun’s father left the family.
“When Gu Zhun was eight, I went to the hospital for a checkup because I wasn’t feeling well. I discovered that I had a tumor but it wasn’t clear if it would be life threatening. The doctor said that it was caused by the bad pollution in the factory. Even if I had surgery done to remove the tumor, my health would worse if I continued to work at the factory. If I wanted to make a full recovery, I would have to leave the factory… but where else would I be able to find a stable job with low qualifications and high wages?”
“I can’t drag all of you down. Your mom got married to me at a young age. She even fell out with her family… I can’t drag her down with me. She was still young and her education was much better than mine. She should lead a better life.”
“I decided to divorce your mom so that she would be able to remarry and let all of you have a better life… I returned to my hometown to recuperate my health. I don’t pray for your forgiveness. I know that what I did was very silly and irresponsible…”
“At that time, why didn’t you tell us?”
Gu Zhun’s father buried his face in his hands and said: “If I told all of you, you would just say ‘Let’s face this together’… But I can’t be so selfish and burden all of you…”
“You were selfish when you easily abandoned us!” Gu Zhun became hysterical…
To calm him down, Zhang Heng went in front of Gu Zhun and blocked him. He looked at Gu Zhun’s father and asked: “How did you cope during all these years?”
“I rented our house to a middle aged lady. During all these years, I lived frugally and got by from her rent. I moved to our ancestral home and planted a field of edible vegetables. That’s how I got by…
Gu Zhun sighed and lamented: “Why did you have to do this to yourself?”
Gu Zhun’s father shook his head: “All these years, it has been tough on all of you. I’ve let all of you down…”
Zhang Heng supported Gu Zhun’s father so he could sit on the small stool. He looked at Gu Zhun and waited for Gu Zhun’s decision.
Gu Zhun nodded and shook his head again. He didn’t know what to do… Now that the truth was revealed. It was all because of his father’s foolishness that caused such a tragedy and made him guard his heart.
Now that Gu Zhun reunited with his father, he took the initiative to open up his guarded heart. It was his biggest progress and also, the greatest concession.
I still love you. What about you? Dad…
“All these years, have you thought about us when you were living by yourself?” Gu Zhun asked.
Gu Zhun’s father nodded: “Even in my dreams.”
These were not flowery words. It was the truth.
“I think about all of you everyday. I even thought of finding everyone to seek for forgiveness. To be a family and live together once again.” Gu Zhun’s father spilled his innermost thoughts.
“…” Gu Zhun’s father reminisced and said: “But when I heard that your mother got remarried, the thought of starting anew was laid to rest…”
“Why?” Zhang Heng asked on behalf of Gu Zhun. Gu Zhun’s father answered: “Your mother got married to a rich businessman who was divorced. She led a good life and I didn’t want to bother her. Since I chose to leave her, I shouldn’t plead for her to return to my side and suffer with me anymore. This isn’t fair for her.”
Zhang Heng nodded his head in approval. Of all the decisions that Gu Zhun’s father had made that year, Zhang Heng only agreed with this.
Gu Zhun went forward and hugged his elderly father. It had been so many years and it had been such a long time since he called him. He finally called out: “Dad, I really missed you…”
The sound of Gu Zhun’s cries broke out. It had been such a long time since he last cried. He was sobbing loudly in his dad’s arms now…
Standing behind Gu Zhun, Zhang Heng patted his back. He smiled happily— That’s great, Gu Zhun was finally able to freely express his emotions…
It was good to resolve misunderstandings early…