December 25, 2021

Chapter 20: Award Certificates

Yansheng didn’t go shopping after her training so she came back earlier than her father.

Huan’s car only entered the yard and Yingying, who didn’t dare to go out for the whole day, hurriedly came down from the third floor to greet him. She had a flattering smile on her face but he didn’t give her a good face.

“Explain to me why—” He pointed his finger at her but he caught a glimpse of Heling, who was lying on the railing at the corner of the stairs and peeking, so he became stiff.

After all, some words were not suitable to say in front of the children.

“Come up with me!” he said to his wife angrily.

Yingying followed him upstairs with her eyebrows drooping.

Heling obediently called out to him, “Dad, you are back.”

“Mm-hmm.” He touched the little girl’s head and asked, “Where is your sister?”

“Inside her room,” replied Heling. “My sister is studying in her room every day.”

He breathed a sigh of relief when he heard that. “You have to study hard too, okay?”

Heling nodded. “Mm-hmm.”

In fact, Heling did her homework seriously every day but she just wouldn’t sell it out in front of adults. Yingying was pissed off by this stupid daughter. As she walked over, she slapped Heling’s head fiercely with her hand, while thinking that this daughter was so stupid and would not be favored.

Huan caught this and scolded her, “What are you doing?! Why did you do that to her?!”

Yingying hurriedly smiled. “I’m educating her. She needs to know how to study hard.”

Huan snorted, ignored her, and went upstairs. Yingying followed closely, but before leaving, she gave Heling a glance and scolded her daughter, “You are so stupid!”

So Heling bit her lip and lowered her head.

Yansheng studied for a while in the evening and when she was tired of studying, she closed her book and wanted to go downstairs. Just when she walked out of her room, she saw Heling hanging her head low and walking towards her own room, with the action of wiping her eyes.

It must be tears.

Yansheng paused, then walked over to stop her. “What’s wrong? Did Shuocheng bully you again?”

She suddenly appeared which startled Heling.

“No.” Heling was embarrassed to let Yansheng see her wiping away her tears, so she quickly lowered her head. “Shuoshuo is playing in the yard.”

Yansheng asked, “Then why are you crying?”

“I didn’t cry…”

If the voice was weak, then there was no momentum as you listened to it.

This younger sister was really stupid and weak.

Later, she would grow into such a personality.

Yansheng pinched her rounded jaw, twisted her face up to look at her, and sneered. “Who are you lying to? You just cried.”

Yansheng removed her hand and Heling circled the ground with her toes embarrassedly.

“What’s the matter?” Yansheng continued, “I don’t have much patience, so say it now.”

“My mother slapped my head just now,” murmured Heling.

When Yansheng heard what Yingying did, she became angry and asked, “Why did she do that?”

Heling was also confused. “I don’t know…”

Yansheng didn’t know what to say and just rolled her eyes.

“Come to my room,” she said gruffly.

Heling obediently followed Yansheng to her room.

Yansheng took out a bag of potato chips and tore it open, stuffed it to Heling, and asked her to sit down on the sofa. “Come on, what happened? What did you say or what did you do for her to slap you on the head?”

Heling ate two pieces of potato chips and the grievances in her heart were healed, so she talked about what happened on the stairs just now.

Yansheng understood it as soon as she heard the story.

“Your mother thinks you can’t fight with her for attention,” she said.

Heling squeezed the potato chip bag and lowered her head.

The little girl looked pitiful.

Yansheng couldn’t bear it and comforted her stiffly. “Forget it. Just study hard next school year and get a better score on the exam.”

Heling lowered her head again and muttered something.

“What?” Yansheng became impatient. “Can you speak louder? I’m telling you, if you talk like a mosquito, then no one will pay attention to you and no one will care about you. If you want to say something, then say it out loud.”

In Heling’s opinion, what her sister said always made sense. Indeed, no one in the family paid attention to her, let alone cared about her.

So Heling mustered up her courage, raised her voice, and told her sister, “I am the first in my class and the second in the entire grade.”

Yansheng was stunned for a while.

“Huh?!” Yansheng let out an upward surprised voice. “What did you just say?!”

Heling flinched for a moment, but she was more courageous when facing her sister than other people. She repeated it, “I am the first in my class and the second in the entire grade.”

Yansheng blinked and was still stunned.

How did she remember that this younger sister had very ordinary academic performance? It seemed that every aspect of this little girl was very ordinary and she had never heard anyone praise the girl in this family.

Heling looked at her as if she didn’t believe it, and hurriedly stressed again, “It’s true.”

“Then why does your mother think that you are not good at studying?” Yansheng asked strangely.

“She doesn’t know…” Heling became dejected again.

When does a mother not know how her child’s grades are? Yansheng raised an eyebrow.

“She didn’t go to my parent-teacher meeting. The parent-teacher meeting was on the same day—Shuoshuo and I. She only went to Shuoshuo’s and didn’t go to my class to take a look,” explained Heling.

Yansheng asked, “Are you stupid? You won’t tell her just because she didn’t go?”

“I told her.” Heling bit her lip and squeezed the potato chip bag out of the fold. “She was putting on makeup at that time and was annoyed… She just said ‘I know’.”

Actually, Yingying didn’t know anything. At that time, the little girl on her side said something, but she probably didn’t take it seriously. She was so focused on beautifying herself and hurried out quickly.

“How about Dad? Did you tell him?” asked Yansheng.

“I also told him,” replied Heling. “Dad answered a call at that time and told me to talk about it later, but he went out after answering the call.”

Yansheng didn’t speak for a long time.

Heling had a lot to say in her heart, but no one in the family was willing to listen to her.

She finally found someone to speak to so she took advantage of this opportunity. “I also got the certificate of ‘Learning Star’. This certificate is only given to the top three in the class. There are also ‘Positive Star’ and ‘Friendship Star’, these two certificates are…”

Yansheng listened to her younger sister became a chatterbox and started talking endlessly. There was light in the little girl’s eyes, which was usually invisible.

She couldn’t help asking, “Where are your award certificates?”

“They’re in my room,” replied Heling.

Yansheng stood up. “Let’s go and take me to see them.”

Heling’s eyes lit up, flashing like stars in the sky.

Those were the eyes of a child who longed to be loved. Once upon a time, there might have been such a bright light in her eyes, Yansheng thought. Later on, those bright lights were extinguished in disappointment.

In Heling’s room, the little girl took out a paper box full of award certificates from her cherished collection.

Yansheng read the thick stack of award certificates, transcripts, homework books, and finally had to admit that there was a deviation in her memory. She found that Heling was not ‘ordinary’ at all but a very smart girl instead.

How could such an excellent girl later became a mediocre, cringing, silent, and cowardly girl?

Yansheng held an award certificate and was puzzled. She raised her head to look, facing Heling’s eyes that were eager to be seen, cared for, and praised.

She suddenly remembered another look on those eyes.

Sister, my mother… is she really a mistress?

The younger sister asked her while standing in the shadow of the wall.

When she went home that day, she had a big fight with Yingying again. Naturally, what the two women said when they quarreled would not be so nice. None of them cared how Heling felt on the side.

She went upstairs to get some things, prepared to leave, and walked out of the room, but her younger sister was waiting for her in the hallway and asked such a question.

She sneered at that time and said, ‘Mistress? Saying that she is a mistress is too much praise for her, okay?’

Her words were like a knife, tearing apart Yingying’s true face before this woman became ‘Mrs. Zhang’.

She also added, ‘If she hadn’t given birth to you, then she would have been a mistress or something of the same kind. To be honest, she has to thank you and Shuocheng for entering this house, especially you.’

She said that because she would occasionally hear the servants gossiping before.

Mrs. Wang, who followed Yingying into Zhangs’ house, couldn’t hold back and told the other servants, ‘Do you know how she became pregnant with Hehe? Let me tell you. I heard her call someone to show off once, saying that she had pierced a hole in a condom, got pregnant with Hehe, and trapped the golden master. With children, even if a man gets tired of her in the future and won’t have a child, then he will always give her money to spend.’

Anyway, one was born already and Huan didn’t care about having another one, so Shuocheng was born.

Usually, a man would not divorce his wife for the sake of his mistress and it was not that the old house was on fire.1Old house is on fire 老房子着火 – The old house is on fire: it means it’s hard to put out the fire. Generally refers to the ups and downs of life experience. It is difficult to control the impulsive feelings of people. It was an ideal state for men to have many lovers, and Yingying was so lucky because Yansheng’s mother passed away.

So for the sake of Heling and Shuocheng, Huan finally let this woman in the family.

A mistress turned into Mrs. Zhang. 

That day, Yansheng waved her hand after saying those words to Heling. When she reached the top of the stairs, she glanced back.

The younger sister was still standing in the shadow of the wall, with her head lowered.

When Yansheng went downstairs, there was a hidden pleasure in her heart.

She thought that if Yingying would not be ashamed of her past, then let her daughter be ashamed of her.

In those few years, Yansheng grew up, was bad in studies, and would simply do whatever she wanted to. The war between her and Yingying caused a pandemonium in the family, and the whole house was full of unpleasant atmosphere.

At this moment, Yansheng stared at her younger sister who still showed a lovely smile in front of her, and she vaguely understood why this little girl would have that unseemly character later on.

In such a family atmosphere, no matter how good the seedlings were, they couldn’t thrive.

Heling noticed that her older sister had been silent for a long time.

From expectation to disappointment and from disappointment to anxiety, Heling then began to feel uneasy.

But she heard Yansheng asked all of a sudden, “Do you have a scotch tape?”

Heling quickly replied, “Yes.”



“Bring it here.”

Heling found the things her sister asked, while Yansheng was still busy chosing from the stack of award certificates. She picked up all the award certificates Heling received from school and said, “Come with me.”

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    Old house is on fire 老房子着火 – The old house is on fire: it means it’s hard to put out the fire. Generally refers to the ups and downs of life experience. It is difficult to control the impulsive feelings of people.