Chapter 2: First World (2)
Translated by Addis of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
Eventually, the boy could not resist getting entangled with Bai Duan, so he cautiously followed them to their car that Mama Bai parked in the fast-food parking lot, and then she drove all the way to the nearest hospital. Mama Bai registered the boy, and she thought it was just a little thing to do a good deed every day.
But the doctor frowned after seeing the boy’s wound. He said that the boy must have an operation immediately. Otherwise, the injured leg would have to be amputated. Even if the surgery was performed, in case of infection after, severe sequelae from the injury might be left. In addition to his leg, there were many other wounds on the boy’s body, and his voice was gone. Perhaps his internal organs were also damaged. It was better for him to have a general examination in case of an accident.
Finally, the doctor seriously asked for the boy’s identity, and after listening to it, he suggested that Mama Bai call the police immediately—it was absolutely not a trivial matter to toss a child out at this point.
Mama Bai was shocked by the seriousness of the doctor’s appearance. Although the situation far exceeded her expectations, Mama Bai could not just ignore it. She turned her head and looked at Bai Duan, who had been holding the boy’s hand tightly, and stood beside him incessantly. She sighed slightly, “I will call the police, and the operation will be done immediately, as well as all the examinations. This child is so pathetic. Now that we have helped, we can help him to the end.”
After paying the operation fee, examination fee, and hospitalization fees by a swipe of a card, the boy was immediately sent to the operating room. Bai Duan followed him and looked at the tightly closed door of the operating room. His whole person seemed a little restless, “Mom, little brother is going to have an operation? Is it serious?”
“Well, it’s a little serious, but it doesn’t matter. After the operation and a period of recuperation, little brother can recover.” Mama Bai squatted down and touched Bai Duan’s head to comfort her terrified son.
Bai Duan nodded absently, still a little soul-bound. Mama Bai sighed and soothed him with a few more words. Then she went to the corner and made a phone call to Papa Bai. She whispered about all that had happened.
Papa Bai didn’t care much about the boy his wife and child rescued, but he didn’t object to their kindness. Although the boy’s operation and examination costs a lot, their family was not stingy with money.
After explaining the situation, Mama Bai and Bai Duan sat in front of the operating room door and waited quietly. Neither knew how long they sat there before the door of the operating room finally opened.
The boy lay on the bed and was pushed out of the operating room by a nurse. He had been cleaned and changed into a hospital gown, revealing his thin but still beautiful features.
Mama Bai stood up, and before she opened her mouth, she found that her son had already rushed up and cautiously grasped the boy’s hand out of the sheet. The boy also looked at him softly, with a slight hook on the corner of his mouth and a gentle clasp of his hand.
“Brother, does the operation hurt?” Bai Duan asked nervously for fear of hearing bad news.
The boy’s smile deepened a little, and he shook his head slightly.
Somehow, Mama Bai felt that her son was blind when he was with the boy, just like a couple who were separated from each other.
Smiling, she thought that her imagination was unreasonable. After a few words of advice, Mama Bai let Bai Duan follow the bed and the two left. She stayed and asked the doctor about the boy’s operation.
Generally speaking, the boy’s operation went relatively smooth, but his recovery could not be neglected. After all, the boy had suffered too much; he was frail, was seriously malnutritioned, had low resistance, and was particularly vulnerable to infection.
As Mama Bai inquired about the boy with the doctor, Bai Duan followed the nurses to the ward and watched them settle the boy down, attaching instruments to observe his body and give him several IV drips.
After adjusting the dripping speed, the nurse straightened up and felt that the corner of her dress was gently tugged. She turned her head, and with Bai Duan’s big eyes staring at her, he asked, “Sister, how should I take care of little brother?”
The nurse was stunned and transfixed by the lovely Bai Duan, she squatted down and touched Bai Duan’s head. Her voice softened for a moment, “Does this little brother need to take care of his big brother?”
“Yes!” Bai Duan nodded hurriedly, as if afraid that the other party would feel that he was unreliable, so he raised his chest too.
“Little brother is so cute and awesome!” The nurse gave a generous compliment. Although she did not believe that children at the age of five or six could do the job well, it did not prevent her from teaching Bai Duan how to take care of the boy.
Bai Duan listened very carefully, with a scrunched up face and a rather serious look. Such a small adult-like appearance, in line with his actual age, appeared particularly lovely in the eyes of the nurse, who wished to immediately embrace and cuddle the boy in her arms to comfort him.
After listening to the nurse’s explanations, Bai Duan climbed onto the chair beside the hospital bed, and stared at the dripping speed of the IV with both eyes, as if this was the last liquid left in this world.
The nurse intentionally took care of the two children for a few more minutes, but she had to leave because she was busy. Before leaving, she showed Bai Duan how to ring the bell to call for anything, and she received a solemn reply from Bai Duan.
She could not help but touch Bai Duan’s head once more before leaving. Bai Duan was a little relieved and raised his hand to fix his somewhat messy hair. To tell the truth, although he had always been popular with adults, Bai Duan was still not used to such a warm attitude.
Seeing Bai Duan relax, the boy on the bed gave a light laugh. He slowly opened his mouth, his voice was hoarse, and his pronunciation was somewhat difficult, “Little Duan.”
Hearing the boy’s call, Bai Duan turned his head sharply to look into his eyes, and suddenly his eyes lit up, “Little brother? Has your voice begun to recover?!”
The boy nodded gently, reached out to Bai Duan, but his hand was hurriedly pressed down by the other, “Brother, sister nurse said, the dripping cannot be disturbed!” Saying this, Bai Duan hurried to check the speed of the drip, afraid it would drip faster or slower and cause the little brother to suffer.
Bai Duan’s worried appearance made the boy’s expression soften, and he didn’t care about the drip on his hand at all. He lifted his hand and pulled Bai Duan to his side. He touched his soft white cheek with his clean hands as he wished.
Bai Duan was frightened by the boy’s action, he just wanted to blame the other, but the next second, he was dizzy from the gentle touch on his cheek. His cheeks were red and hot, and his eyes were somewhat shy, but clearly doubtful, “Brother?”
“It’s all right.” The boy smiled and said with difficulty, “I just…want to see you, touch you… You really are cute.”
Bai Duan had been praised by many people, but no one’s praise gave him such a thrilling feeling as this boy’s. He felt as if his heart was going to jump out of his chest and was overwhelmed by his strange reaction, but he felt sweet and happy due to the boy’s words.
Bai Duan had not yet matured in the emotional aspect. For a while, he could not bear such a complex and intense feeling. He turned his head and avoided the boy’s touch, subconsciously wanting to escape from the atmosphere, which made him feel confused. Fortunately, the boy did not continue to force him, but he retracted his hand according to his wishes.
Suddenly, Bai Duan was aware of this evident loss.
Shaking his head, trying to get rid of this uncertain mood, Bai Duan attempted to calm himself down, “Brother, my name is Bai Duan, what’s your name?”
“Zhao Xu.” The boy’s mouth tugged upward, and he laughed softly, “Call me brother Xu. Will you say it?”
Bai Duan blinked his eyes and called out, “Brother Xu,” cleverly.
The boy suddenly showed a delicate expression, some part satisfied, some part unsatisfied. His eyes became more bright and sincere because of this claim and even brought out a dangerous flash.
Bai Duan shrank his shoulders subconsciously, but instinctively approached the boy, not half guarded against his fear. He tilted his head and asked in a quiet voice, “Brother Xu?”
“It’s all right.” Zhao Xu pinched Bai Duan’s cheek. “Our little Duan is so cute that I, cough, acted out a little.”
Zhao Xu’s voice was still not very good, and he talked a lot at this moment, so his throat immediately began to rebel.
Bai Duan was frightened and knelt down on the bed. He raised his hand and patted Zhao Xu’s chest. His voice was flustered, “Brother Xu should stop talking, don’t say…”
“Okay.” Zhao Xu held Bai Duan’s hand on his chest and gently clasped it. He had just opened his mouth, but he was given a stare, that had no lethal force, from the other. Then he burst out with a little hum and promptly signaled that he would not speak anymore.
Bai Duan was relieved and turned his head to check the speed of the drip, and carefully adjusted it. He was not very happy, so he complained, “Brother Xu is really not good.”
Zhao Xu looked at him with a smile and finally settled down per Bai Duan’s requirements.
When Mama Bai said goodbye to the doctor and returned to the ward, she saw the two serious and silent children. Bai Duan carefully stared at the drips, while the boy looked at Bai Duan just as carefully. The atmosphere was quiet but harmonious.
Remembering the praise of the nurse who passed the nurses’ station, Mama Bai’s smile deepened slightly. Her Duan was so bright, lovely, and intelligent that no child in her family could match it. With such satisfaction and pride, Mama Bai went to Bai Duan and rubbed his hair. “Duan is outstanding. Are you taking care of this brother?”
“Un!” Bai Duan raised his head and nodded earnestly, “Brother Xu is not good, and not obedient.”
Mama Bai could not help looking at the boy in the hospital bed, but she didn’t see the appearance of ‘not obedient’ at all. Thinking back on the doctor’s words, the more pity Mama Bai felt, the softer she sighed. “You just had an operation, you need to be hospitalized and observed. After two days, there are still some examinations to be done. I have paid for all the expenses. Don’t worry, just cooperate with the doctor’s arrangement.”
Zhao Xu’s eyes shifted from Bai Duan to Mama Bai. The moderate color faded in his eyes, but he did not show any more vigilance and precaution. He nodded softly, his voice hoarse and indifferent, “Thank you.”
“You’re welcome.” Mama Bai smiled, not because of Zhao Xu’s attitude, but she felt that the other side had no reason to be gentle and indulgent toward Bai Duan and found it a little strange, “I heard Duan call you brother Xu?”
Zhao Xu responded softly, “Zhao Xu.”
“Zhao Xu.” Mama Bai called out, and she felt that the cold and isolated boy would not like such intimate terms as ‘XuXu’, so she simply chose to call his full name, “I just called the police station to explain your situation, but you are not in good health, and cannot cooperate with the investigation. Once the recuperation period has passed, the police will come to make a record for you to help you solve your problem. No matter what you suffered from before, you must talk to the police truthfully.”
Although Zhao Xu looked about the same age as Bai Duan, his heart was obviously more mature and stable than Bai Duan’s. For Bai Duan, Mama Bai liked to communicate in a child-like intimate tone, but in the face of Zhao Xu, she could not help but put him in a higher position and treat him with an attitude like that of an adult.
Hearing the advice of Mama Bai, Zhao Xu nodded again, indicating that he understood. He looked quite calm and relaxed and did not feel uneasy at all. He seemed to be such a mature child that he could not mature anymore, and no one knew how many trials and tribulations he had experienced before becoming who he was now.
Mama Bai breathed softly, “There’s nothing else besides that. If there’s an emergency, call me. I’ve left my number with the doctors and nurses, and now I’ll give you a copy.” With that, she took out a business card from her bag and handed it to Zhao Xu. Then she turned around and took Bai Duan off his chair. “Duan, it’s time for us to go home and say goodbye to brother.”
Bai Duan licked his lips, obviously very reluctant; “I want to stay and take care of brother Xu.”
“Brother Xu has nurses to take care of him.” Mama Bai cried and laughed. “It’s not too early now. Dad is still waiting for us to eat at home. Duan doesn’t want Dad to starve, do you?”
Bai Duan’s eyes looked at Zhao Xu as if to hope that the other side could speak to retain him, but Zhao Xu was just lying there, looking at him with a smile, not even opening his mouth.
Looking back, Bai Duan also knew that Zhao Xu would not speak, but he still couldn’t accept defeat. He grabbed Mama Bai’s clothes and asked, “Then…then I’ll come back tomorrow.”
“Duan, tomorrow is Monday, you have to go to kindergarten, did you forget?” Mama Bai held Bai Duan’s small hand, but after all, she could not stand her son’s pitiful appearance. She relaxed a little. “After kindergarten class, I’ll bring you to see little brother again, okay?”
Bai Duan twisted his eyebrows, obviously a little unhappy: “I don’t want to go to kindergarten…”
“How can you not go to kindergarten?” Mama Bai sighed helplessly and bent over to hold up Bai Duan. “Mom and Dad are going to work tomorrow. We have no time to accompany you to the hospital. Don’t make trouble. Duan, be good.” She kissed Bai Duan’s cheek, held him in one hand, and let him lay his head on her shoulder. She took his little hand in hers and waved it at Zhao Xu. “Come on, say goodbye to brother, we’re leaving.”
Bai Duan was unwillingly held by Mama Bai, shaking his paws, wrinkling his delicate facial features, full of resistance—but he knew that he should stay quiet. It was useless to oppose, so he did not continue to fight and was cunningly carried out of the ward by Mama Bai.
The innocent Mama Bai thought that the matter was over, but she never thought that her ever sensible son was quietly brewing big schemes, but also knew that it was impossible to strike grass and frighten snakes.
She took Bai Duan home, had a big dinner with Papa Bai, talked about what happened in the afternoon, played some parent-child games, and finally smoothly lulled Bai Duan to sleep— everything was as usual, without any abnormalities.
However, the next morning, she suddenly received a call from the kindergarten teacher, telling her that Bai Duan was missing.
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