Bolt From The Blue
“Mother! I am back.”
Going to his home, Su Lin happily called out to his mother, but he discovered that his mother wasn’t at home.
“Did father come back?”
Su Lin looked towards the bedroom and the washroom, but there was nobody. It was already past six o’clock, yet both his father and mother hadn’t returned. What was all that about?
“Don’t tell me father and mother abandoned me, and went to roam the world by themselves?”
Su Lin secretly smiled, then took out a paper from his bag. It was the Exam report card for this time’s mock exam. Su Lin’s score for various subjects and his overall rank in the grade was listed on it.
“When it’s time to scold me, they come from where I don’t expect; but now that I achieved such a good result, neither of them is home.”
Su Lin discontentedly placed the report card on the living room’s table. His belly was already growling, yet his mother had not returned. Su Lin could only turn on the TV and wait for them.
Before long, Su Lin’s mother Liu Aizhen returned, but from her appearance it was apparent that she was distressed and heavyhearted, and she seemed to have aged ten years.
“Mother! What happened?”
Seeing his mother’s appearance, Su Lin felt his heart get clutched. He had never seen his mother so worried before.
“Ah! Little Lin, mother… Mother was laid off.” [TL: She was fired.]
After sobbing for half a day, when Mother Su saw her son, tears filled her eyes once more. Liu Aizhen was formerly a processing worker in a state-owned enterprise workshop. Although her monthly pay wasn’t too great, she still earned a bit over 2000 Yuan. For good or for evil, it was already equal to the current cost of living of a small family.
However, for several years now, the benefits given by the state-owned enterprises have been on an unceasing decline. Many state-owned enterprises started to lay off workers at massive scales, and this time, it was the turn of Mother Su’s unit.
This afternoon, the workshop manager suddenly looked for Liu Aizhen, and directly prepared the procedural documents needed to lay her off.
“Mother, you were laid off?”
An explosion went off in Su Lin’s head; it was not a small matter for their family. Now, only his father remained who had a job as a worker in a transport company. He only earned around 3000 Yuan a month, and could barely raise their family.
And Su Lin also needed to go to University, so their expenses were going to only increase! Their family’s savings weren’t much already, and now they were in a tighter bind.
“Ah! Little Lin, it’s alright, you don’t need to know. This is a matter of us elders, and there’s still your father to support the family, so you should focus on your studies. So long as you can be admitted to a Second-rate University, Father and Mother will support you financially so you can continue your studies. It’s already so late, you must be hungry! Mother will go and prepare food for you. Strange, your father has yet to come back; is he working overtime?”
Speaking all this in a single breath, Mother Su wiped her tears, rolled up her sleeves, and went to the kitchen to prepare food. Su Lin was left behind sitting on the sofa in the living room with an uncomfortable heart.
“All these years, it wasn’t easy for Father and Mother to send me to school. But what have I been up to? I don’t even know how to study properly. My school expenses were earned by Father and Mother with great labor, they traded their sweat and blood for me!”
Sitting on the sofa, Su Lin was somewhat sad. He was annoyed at his stupidity, and how he didn’t understand his family’s condition and didn’t do anything to share their burden. Not only did he not study all day long, he instead carelessly made trouble.
“It can’t go on like this! I have grown up, and I will be 18 in another two months. I am also a member of this family, so I can’t make Father and Mother worry for the family, worry for me. I must take charge and do something for the family. Father and Mother are already old, it’s not their job to be tired all the time, instead, it’s time for them to enjoy happiness.”
Su Lin tightly gripped his fists while frowning, and made a pledge in his heart.
Perhaps, the former Su Lin might not have done much regarding the pledge, but now that he had his mysterious Time Stop ability, so long as Su Lin used it correctly, it won’t be too difficult for him to share his family’s burden.
The front door of the house was shoved open. Su Lin immediately looked towards the entrance and saw that his father, Su Guorong had returned. Father Su’s condition, however, wasn’t too good as he reeked of alcohol, filling the entire room with the smell of it.
“Father, are you drunk? Did you not go to work today, and instead, went to drink?”
Su Lin hurriedly went forward to support his father. To put it clearly, Father Su worked as a long distance transport vehicle driver in the company, so he wasn’t allowed to drink alcohol. Only when there wasn’t work the next day would he drink.
“You devil, you are drunk again!”
Hearing their voices, Mother Su also came out of the kitchen. With a ladle still in her hands, she saw Su Guorong’s condition and immediately got enraged, and roared at him indignantly, “How many times have I told you not to drink, yet you are drunk again. You still need to go to work tomorrow, now how are you going to go to work and drive?”
“What work! I don’t have any work. This father doesn’t want to think of those bastards and be mad. I gave that broken company ten years, laboriously drove for them, did not ask for a raise in wages, yet they openly talked about dismissing me. Such a company, this father won’t stay with them…”
As soon as the drunk Su Guorong opened his mouth, Su Lin listened to the strict words from. The moment he spoke, he started to hurl abuses and started to use bad language. While moving excitedly, he suddenly lost balance and couldn’t stop himself from falling. Even with Su Lin supporting him by the arm, he fell on the sofa and lay there.
“What? Old Su, what did you say? You were also dismissed by the company?”
Father Su’s words were like a bolt from the blue. Mother Su’s face instantly lost color and became ashen. Without giving any thought to Father Su’s lethargic condition, she went forward and started to shake Father Su’s body while asking, “Old Su, what did you say! Ah! You were laid off? Wasn’t the boss of the company your ally from before? How can he say he doesn’t want you there anymore? Ah! Why aren’t you answering?!”
Even after she asked several questions, the drunk Father Su didn’t reply. He was sleeping on the sofa, snoring. No matter how he was called, he just wouldn’t wake up.
“Mother, could it be Father speaking nonsense in his drunkenness? You also said that the boss of the company was Father’s ally from the army, so it’s impossible for him to just dismiss father like this. It’s certainly Father speaking nonsense because he’s drunk.”
Su Lin was also distressed. As he looked at his mother’s anxious appearance, he could only try his best to comfort her.
“You don’t know anything! This day… Even this day had to come!”
Mother Su said sorrowfully. If the Su family husband and wife were really laid off, then their family’s only source of income will disappear, and they will be left with the few ten thousand in their savings. And now, Su Lin also needed to go to University. There were so many expenses, but no place where money came from! She didn’t know what they were going to do now!
They had a serious burden, and a hopeless future; Mother Su felt sorry for her son! Su Guorong had also passed out, and all the burden now fell on Liu Aizhen, suffocating her. Although she displays a strong front usually, how could a woman bear such a burden all by herself?
“Mother, don’t be worried! I… I will put in all my effort to succeed! Even if father is also laid off, I… I will support this family!”
Su Lin went forward and hugged his mother. Looking at his sobbing mother in his bosom, Su Lin felt incredibly sour and uncomfortable in his heart.
It had not been easy on his parents.
Originally, his mother always had a strong front only on the surface.
In that moment, Su Lin felt as if he understood something, and his mind became clear. His past actions and nativity looked like a joke now.
Indeed, Su Lin matured at that moment. He understood that to live in this world, he must shoulder his share of responsibilities. Before, he could hide behind his parents, and his parents would clean the mess he made. But now, his family was in a precarious situation.
Right at that time, Su Lin felt a heavy weight of responsibility on his shoulders. He knew that he had to support his family.
“Mother, you should look after Father right now. I will go and stir fry some dish!”
Patting his mother’s back, Su Lin took the ladle from her hands and went to the kitchen. He then used the ladle to scoop the soup already made in the kitchen.
Looking at the back of her son working in the kitchen, Mother Su felt somewhat comforted. No matter what, it was apparent that her son had grown up. Even if Su Lin couldn’t be admitted to a University, so long as he was diligent and looked for some work, their family won’t be completely hopeless.
Finding some comfort from her son, and seeing a ray of hop, Mother Ye cheered up a bit. Right, even if she couldn’t do anything, or her husband couldn’t do anything, they still had their son, Su Lin.
Su Lin was their hope, although it was a pity that his results were not very good. If he really can’t be admitted into a University, then how is he going to have a footing in this society with just a high school diploma?
Liu Aizhen was very clear that when young people looked for a job nowadays, a diploma could barely act as a stepping stone. Even if one had a specialized diploma from a technical college, it was nothing better than a high school diploma.
On the other hand, Liu Aizhen was afraid that Su Lin would want to be admitted in a University, particularly one of those Third-rate Universities. And there was a high chance that Su Lin would only be able to enter one of those Universities. And as the matter stood, the quality of education there wasn’t good, and they also asked for a large amount of money as tuition fee every year.
Where were the expenses for the University going to come from? This gave Liu Aizhen a massive headache.
“Old Su! Ah! Old Su! I hope you were really just talking nonsense. If you were really laid off, then how is our family going to make it through these hard times, ah?”
Seeing Father Su still lying on the sofa like a dead pig, Liu Aizhen’s anxious heart couldn’t calm down.
“Oh, what’s this? Is this Little Lin’s exam report for the last mock exam?”
Suddenly, Mother Su’s gaze fell on Su Lin’s report card placed on the table of the living room.
“The test just ended, so how come the report card got out so fast? Moreover, whenever the report card got out, this little brat wished he could swallow it down to cover the truth, so how come he placed it on the dining table so cleverly?”
Mother Su took the report card, and only gave it a cursory glance. And as soon as she looked, she was shocked by the result she saw.