Chapter 2113: Being Filial to Us
“I don’t want to think about the Ding family or even talk about it. Old Qiao, don’t force me.”
Qiao Dongliang smiled slightly and said sarcastically, “Old Ding, do you think that you had a harder time in the Ding family, or did Nan Nan have a harder time growing up in our family?”
“Of course, I had it harder. Compared to us, the children of Zijin’s generation have it good!” Was there even a need for a comparison? They were children of different generations. It was natural for children of later generations to lead more comfortable lives. There was no way they could be compared!
“Why don’t you tell me how Nan Nan had an easier life than you did in the Ding family?”
“Why was she not happy? We didn’t lack any food and she always got fish at every meal. When I was younger, only the adults or my younger brothers got any meat in the family. I was never allowed even a tiny piece of it. She studied for so many years while I wasn’t even given the opportunity to go to school!”
Qiao Dongliang looked away. “So, you mean that she had it easier because of that? Initially, I felt the same way too. Our country is advanced and nowadays children really have comfortable lives. If I didn’t remember wrongly, Nan Nan was born quite a few years later than Zijin, right? You can lie to me about how well Nan Nan ate but you can’t lie to yourself. I’m a man and I might not know about everything, but I’m sure I’ve gotten a clear picture of everything now. Yes, Nan Nan had the opportunity to go to school, but that was only because education was compulsory for nine years. Nan Nan only finished her second year of junior high school before leaving school, so she actually only studied for nine years. All the money that she earned was all spent on our family. She never got to see a single cent of her salary. Blessed? How blessed she was! You had to support your brothers in the Ding family but Nan Nan had to support her elder sister. Blessed! Indeed!”
Qiao Dongliang could not bear to talk about it any longer. “I’ve gotten my water and you’ve said your piece. I’m going back to my room. The thing I regret the most was teaching Nan Nan to be filial and not retorting or fighting back against her elders. I taught Nan Nan so many things, but I never taught her to have her own limits when being kind to others and to love herself even as she was filial to her elders. If Nan Nan had the courage you had and had run away, think about how well she could have lived her life.”
Given that Ding Jiayi was such an opinionated person, the Ding family could not have treated Ding Jiayi too badly.
Even after Qiao Dongliang returned to his room, Ding Jiayi was still lost in her trance. When she realized that she had been left alone in the living room, she flew into a rage. How could Old Qiao compare her to Qiao Nan? Did that mean that Old Qiao felt that Qiao Nan had had it tougher than her and that she was worse than her own mom?
Nonsense! How could she be worse than her mom? No, that was definitely not the case. She and her mom were completely different. She was much better than her mom. So what if Qiao Nan had not completed her nine years of mandatory education? She had not even attended a single day of school and could only learn from her younger brothers. She was obviously much better than her mom! Qiao Nan was much more fortunate than she had been!
Ding Jiayi tried to calm herself down. There was no point in saying some things. A hundred good words were nowhere as good as a single truth. Once she handed the two hundred thousand yuan over to Old Qiao, she did not believe that he would still treat her in this manner.
Still this attitude? Facts proved that even with that two hundred thousand yuan, Qiao Dongliang had not changed his attitude toward Ding Jiayi.
With an even greater goal ahead of her, Qiao Zijin had settled the matter of the two hundred thousand yuan efficiently. Within two hours, Qiao Zijin handed the bank card with two hundred thousand yuan over to Ding Jiayi. Ding Jiayi had no intention of accepting the card and instead turned around and handed it over to Qiao Dongliang. “Old Qiao, here’s two hundred thousand yuan that Zijin gave us for our retirement. You can keep this money and manage it.”
Seeing that the two hundred thousand yuan was for him, Qiao Dongliang felt out of place. “Where’s the money from?” Old Ding could not possibly have so much money in her possession.
“Zijin is being filial to us.” Of course, Ding Jiayi would never admit that she had gotten the money from Qiao Zijin and that Qiao Zijin had not been especially willing or happy to do so. Anyway, the money was already in her hands. There was no point in dwelling on that. “Old Qiao, you can keep our money in the future. I have no objections. I did that in the past, so you can take on that role from now on.”
Ding Jiayi remembered clearly just how fierce her argument with Qiao Dongliang had been that day. Since Qiao Dongliang had started to care about such things, they would split everything equally. In the past, she had held the purse strings. She would simply let Qiao Dongliang take charge from now on. She had no issues with that. It was just a trivial matter between the couple. Why had it gone to the extent of a divorce?
Looking at the bank card in Ding Jiayi’s hand, Qiao Dongliang sighed. He could not decide whether to accept it. After some hesitation, Qiao Dongliang took it from Ding Jiayi’s hand. Seeing that Qiao Dongliang had accepted it, Ding Jiayi was elated. “Old Qiao, you’re not angry at me anymore. Now that we’ve made up, can I move back in? You don’t know how small and stuffy that tiny room is.”
Ding Jiayi did not even want to think about how she had managed to survive three whole months in that room. Thankfully, Qiao Zijin was pampered and was already used to having air conditioning in the Chen family’s house. As such, she had requested for air conditioning units to be installed in the Qiao family’s house too. Ding Jiayi had spent three months of summer in the living room without returning to that tiny room.
She felt as though she would faint if she were to spend even a minute in that suffocating room. That room was not fit for humans, especially in summer.
After spending almost half a year in that small room, Ding Jiayi missed the large room she had shared with Qiao Dongliang. Ding Jiayi thought that the couple had made up since Qiao Dongliang had accepted the two hundred thousand. Since they had reconciled, it was only right for her to move back into their shared room.
How was Ding Jiayi to know that one should always watch her words? It was better for her to have kept her mouth shut.
Even after accepting the two hundred thousand yuan, it was impossible for Qiao Dongliang to entirely forgive Ding Jiayi for her failure in raising and educating Qiao Zijin and Qiao Nan well. After Ding Jiayi said that, Qiao Dongliang’s gaze only got colder. “Is that so? You haven’t even slept in that room for a year. You spent the whole summer in the living room. Nan Nan had to spend her entire childhood in that room until she moved out. Didn’t you always say that that room was quite good? Nan Nan stayed there for over ten years, but you can’t even stand staying there for a year?”
“…” Ding Jiayi had never expected Qiao Dongliang to bring up the past in this way.