1343 No Marriage Certificate
Qiao Mei really looked very much like Xia Chun. When she first started losing weight, people around would definitely have noticed the similarity. However, even the oldest person in the village, Grandpa Deng, did not seem surprised and only felt that Qiao Mei had become more good-looking. No one seemed to remember anything about her grandmother’s looks.
“Your grandmother doesn’t like to take photos. She has a very long scar which runs across her entire face. The left side of her face is scratched so badly that it’s almost impossible to imagine what she looks like. The right side of her face is still alright but no one can tell what she used to look like. People usually don’t talk much to your grandmother,” Qiao Qiang explained.
Even though her face was injured only after she took the photo, based on her demeanor and clear eyes, Qiao Qiang could still tell that the person in the photo was his first wife, Xia Chun.
Qiao Qiang and Xia Chun could be considered to have met by accident.
At that time, Qiao Qiang was a farmer in Foshan Village. When he was young, the Qiao family was quite well-to-do and Qiao Qiang could still go to school. He studied in a private school for many years. However, after his parents passed away, he and the young Qiao Zhuang only had each other after that.
The good thing was that they were two strong young men. After they grew up, the two of them would work especially hard during the autumn harvest season and would always rank number one in the village.
However, this also meant that the two of them used up a lot of energy and needed to eat a lot. They only had enough money to feed themselves and could not afford anything else. They did not even have money to fix the roof when it started leaking.
As the days passed, a homeless girl suddenly appeared in the village. All the children in the village were very afraid of her and even nicknamed her “the female ghost.” At that time, if any child was not obedient at home, the adults would mention Xia Chun’s appearance to scare the children.
Men like Qiao Qiang and Qiao Zhuang could not find a wife at all. No one would dare to let their daughter marry into the poor and unsuccessful Qiao family. At that time, Qiao Zhuang was already a bully in the village and everyone was a little afraid of him.
When Qiao Qiang was around, Qiao Zhuang would still restrain himself. However, whenever Qiao Qiang was not around, one of the families in the village would definitely suffer from his bullying tactics. It was useless even if Qiao Qiang made a trip to apologize. The next time, Qiao Zhuang would just bully them even more. As time passed, everyone avoided the Qiao brothers.
Even if Qiao Qiang was a nice and eligible bachelor, no one would dare to fraternize with the Qiao family because of his younger brother’s character.
Xia Chun just wandered around the village. Some people took pity on her sometimes and would give her some food. Sometimes, when Xia Chun was hungry and no one offered her any food, she would go up the mountain to dig for grass and weeds to eat.
One day, Qiao Qiang had gone into the mountains to pick mushrooms when he came across Xia Chun who had fainted. He quickly carried her to the clinic and gave her the last bit of rations at home. She finally woke up after a few hours.
Perhaps it was fated. The next day, Xia Chun put all kinds of weeds at Qiao Qiang’s door. Those who did not know better would think that Qiao Qiang’s family raised cows and sheep and that the weeds at the door were food for the livestock!
Some of these weeds were edible, but some were not. Xia Chun did not know anything about them at all. She had eaten all kinds while in the wilderness and found some weeds more delicious than others, so what she did was to give Qiao Qiang those which she found nice.
She was lucky not to have eaten any poisonous weeds and grass. Otherwise, all that was left would be Xia Chun’s corpse.
“Your grandmother is a very simple person and she’s very hardworking. You resemble her a lot. Although she’s disfigured, everyone likes your grandmother very much. She always treats people with a lot of sincerity,” Qiao Qiang said emotionally.
“Then where did my grandmother come from?” Qiao Mei asked.
“She had never told me about her background. Actually, during the years when we were together, she didn’t really say much to me. Even when she spoke, her voice was very hoarse, as if her vocal cords were injured. What I remember most is that she liked to sit under the sun with a bright smile. Also, no matter how late I came home, she would stay up and wait for me,” Qiao Qiang said with a smile.
“How did you two decide to get married?” Qiao Mei continued to ask.
“In the beginning, I just could not bear to see a girl wandering around without food. I always gave her my food and as time passed, we ended up together,” Qiao Qiang said to Qiao Mei with a smile.