Edited By Msi
The winter in Northeast China was very cold, so Grandma Xu would take Xu Xinduo to the mountain to pick up some tree branches. An old lady and a young girl had no power to cut down thick trees. They could only cut down some fine branches. Grandma Xu would burn a wood fire before going to bed with the firewood. However, it would become cold in the latter half of the night.
Grandma Xu would sometimes get up in the middle of the night and burn the wood fire again. She couldn’t do it often because of her weak body.
Xu Xinduo often shivered in the quilt.
She had frostbite on her feet. Although the situation had improved over the years, it always recurred from time to time.
The symptoms of recurrence were prickling, red skin and blistering after rewarming of skin.
Tong Yan once asked Xu Xinduo if she had an athlete’s foot. Xu Xinduo just smiled and didn’t answer. When he got older, Tong Yan became sensible and never mentioned it again. He just took care of her silently.
She lay on the table for a while and suddenly heard a knock on the door.
She looked at the door and didn’t want to move. The person outside said, “I have put something at the door.”
After he finished saying, he left.
It was Mu Qingyi’s voice.
After some time, Xu Xinduo’s stomach got better and she didn’t feel the cramps anymore. She stood up with the support of the wall, opened the door and saw the box at the door.
A desktop water purifier and a set of water glasses.
She crouched down by supporting herself with the door frame and looked at the box in a daze. She looked around and found no one. Mu Qingyi had already left.
She brought the things into the room, locked the door, and put them aside. After that, she went back to bed.
Taking out her mobile phone, she saw the message from Tong Yan: You put the painkiller in the drawer of the desk and your menstruation will be coming in these two days.
She typed back: It’s already here.
Tong Yan: Does it hurt? How about we switch?
Xu Xinduo: I’ve taken medicine and I am about to sleep.
Tong Yan: Good, take a rest early. It’s really impossible to ask for furlough tomorrow.
She didn’t reply and wanted to put her mobile phone on the bedside table, but it accidentally fell to the bedside.
She was too lazy to care about it. She covered herself with the quilt and closed her eyes.
Tong Yan bought this painkiller for Xu Xinduo, saying that it wouldn’t create drug dependence. However, it was somewhat upsetting to her stomach. Xu Xinduo would always eat something in advance. It really hurt today so it was estimated that she wouldn’t have a good day tomorrow.
(T/N: You can read about ‘Drug Dependence’ here.)
Tong Yan and Xu Xinduo had been cautious all these years. Tong Yan would secretly help Xu Xinduo and mail some other things to Xu Xinduo, which couldn’t be found by Grandma Xu. Therefore, most of them were small items like painkillers.
After Xu Xinduo arrived at the Mu family, Tong Yan bought Xu Xinduo for shopping. He especially gave her a small box of items such as painkillers and sanitary pads.
Her period lasted for five to seven days every time. That was to say; she would suffer pain for many days. She needed a large amount of them. Sanitary pads were a necessary thing for Xu Xinduo.
Xu Xinduo got up very early in the morning. When she was in the countryside, she would get up early in the morning and make breakfast for Grandma Xu before going to school. Her schedule was always like this and it couldn’t be changed easily.