“Xiao Zheng ah, if you encounter any difficulties, feel free to talk to your aunt, your Uncle Zheng still has some face in the town.” Aunt Zheng was not stupid, Father Li had just left, and the two children’s mourning period hadn’t passed, so it couldn’t be a mere delivery of chicken soup at this time.
As for waste? That wasn’t funny. In the 1980s, there was no saying that you couldn’t eat overnight food. If you couldn’t eat it today, you could eat it tomorrow. Aunt Zheng wouldn’t believe that reason.
Before Li Zheng spoke, Zheng Xiaodong, who was eating chicken legs at the table, rushed to say: “It’s that grandson[an insulting term] Yang Sheng. He always thinks of their boat. If you want me to say it, you should teach the old guy a lesson!”
Zheng Jiaxuan’s face went black, and she couldn’t wait to put her boy back to the furnace for reconstruction. Because Li Zheng and Zhou Sitian were present, she wouldn’t reprimand her son. Instead, she turned her head and looked at Li Zheng with a slight embarrassment. “Hey, don’t worry, aunt dares not say it, but we will never watch that group bully you.”
It was customary in Qinghe Town to lose labor at home and hand in fishing boats for redistribution. However, Li Zheng’s family was a special case. The fishing boat of Li family was not assigned by the production team, but was bought by Li Qiang by asking the production team for meat tickets. Now, the production team was also flushed for this matter.
All the people headed by Yang Sheng thought that Li Qiang was dead and Li Zheng was still young. The Li family had no labor force, so the production team should take back the ship by way of redemption. It was just that the price he offered was really poor. Most of his supporters were members of the production team who had not been assigned to a ship, and they were counting on Li’s ship to be assigned to them after being taken back.
A group of people headed by Zheng Jianguo thought that the ship was the private property of Li family, and the production team had no right to interfere. These are mostly old people in the production team, who had a good relationship with Li Qiang, owned a boat, and had no conflict of interests with the Li family.
“It’s just …” Aunt Zheng’s face showed a somewhat embarrassed look. “Hey, I know that this ship is of great significance to you and you want to keep it, but you have to know that it is not your uncle Zheng who has the final say.” Looking at the table, her son chewed most of the chicken legs. Aunt Zheng felt her face burn in panic, but she was not an ignorant woman. She listened to her husband’s talk about the production team day by day. She knew the significance of a ship to Qinghe Town. If Zheng Jianguo stopped the boat that wouldn’t move the Li family, he would be scolded by those who lived by the production team.
”Auntie, we also know that Uncle Zheng is in trouble, so we came this time with the intention of handing over the ship to Uncle Zheng.” Li Zheng smilingly dropped a bomb.
Auntie Zheng’s mouth grew so big and the chicken leg in Zheng Xiaodong’s hand fell into the bowl with a clang.
“Li Zheng, your brain isn’t burned out.” He wiped the oil from his hands on his clothes and strode forward, reaching out to touch Li Zheng’s head.
The corners of Li Zheng’s mouth fell, he took a step back and quickly escaped, if Zheng Xiaodong’s greasy hand met him, he would have to wash off a layer of skin on his forehead!
“Little Zheng, do you want to give the ship to the production team?！” Aunt Zheng also felt some disbelief.
“Auntie, you are wrong. I am going to give the ship to Uncle Zheng, not the production team.” Li Zheng said, looking for a place to sit down. He was just a 14-year-old boy, but he was calm and confident at this age.
“After this incident, I’m not going out to sea, so it’s useless to have a boat in my hand. I think brother Xiaodong will graduate soon. It’s always better to have his own boat than to go to someone else’s boat as a boy. Of course, if Brother Xiaodong can be admitted to college, it is the best. “
The room was silent, and Zheng Xiaodong could almost hear his own shortness of breath, a ship of his own, which was his dream since childhood. The college entrance examination … Zheng Xiaodong knew clearly, let alone the university, he was far away from the technical secondary school.
In the college entrance examination in the 1980s, it was one in a million, and Zheng Xiaodong was not the “one”. This matter was not only understood by Zheng Xiaodong, but also by Aunt Zheng.
“Xiao Zheng, are you serious?” Aunt Zheng’s voice trembled.
Li Zheng smiled slightly and continued, “Naturally, I’m not joking, but aunt, you also know our family’s situation…”
”So this ship, I plan to lease it to Brother Xiaodong for five years, during these five years I take the three layers of the maritime proceeds, after five years the lease agreement will be automatically terminated, and at the same time the ownership of this ship will be transferred to Brother Xiaodong.” Li Zheng said word by word in an extremely organized manner.
Aunt Zheng was shocked, she had thought that Li Zheng would make some rather embarrassing demands by mentioning his current family situation. She was even mentally prepared to bite her teeth and agree to it as long as it wasn’t too excessive. On the one hand, she wanted to return the favor that Father Li had done for her husband, and on the other hand, the two siblings were really pitiful and lonely.
It was just that Li Zheng’s conditions were far beyond Aunt Zheng’s expectations, this… this was too generous! In the 1980s, there was no concept of financial leasing, and she only felt that Li Zheng was giving the ship to her family in disguise, which was a huge favor.
The three layers of sea income that Li Zheng demanded seemed like nothing to the Zheng family. Although if the boat could be allocated to the production team, an individual could take five layers of sea income, but how many people in the production team were waiting to share the boat, even if Zheng Xiaodong’s father was the captain of the production team, it was not the turn of Zheng Xiaodong, a boy, to share the boat.
And the Li family’s boat was not the production team. It was just that Father Li was honest, the original Mother Li was also a non-native, which was why half of the practice of handing over to the public had been retained, according to Aunt Zheng’s opinion, this was completely unnecessary.
When a ship belonged to someone else’s house, this kind of offending thing couldn’t be done naturally. If a ship belonged to one’s own house, that’s another way of saying it. It was impossible not to pay at all, but she could be sure of cutting it from five floors to three. Then Zheng Xiaodong would have four floors. Just for an instant, aunt Zheng flashed countless thoughts in her heart.
”Little Zheng, this won’t work, you’re at too much of a disadvantage.” Aunt Zheng shook her head and said.
“Auntie, you’re out of line for saying that. If it wasn’t for Uncle Zheng, this boat wouldn’t have come back. And you should also know that I will have to hand over this boat sooner or later, so it’s better to be cheap to others than to my own people. Three layers is already enough for me and my sister to live well.” Li Zheng looked at the corner of Aunt Zheng’s eyes and said sincerely.
Aunt Zheng’s heart warmed, the statement of Li Zheng’s own people had obviously scratched her itch. And in this era, in this town that relied on the fishing industry, the lure of a boat was just too great. She took a deep look at Li Zheng and got up to walk into the back room.
Not long after, Aunt Zheng came out with a piece of red cloth, and she stuffed it into Li Zheng’s pocket without a second thought.
”Your house has only been repaired two months before, so there is no cash. It will take a period of time for the marine goods to be transported to the factory to get money, and they should be taken first. Our family doesn’t talk about two families. I took this boat for your brother Xiaodong. He has to remember you all his life! “
Li Zheng formally declined a few times, and when he saw that she insisted, he took it in stride.
Did Li Zheng lose?
Naturally, it wasn’t a loss. He had roughly estimated that the ship would only have a full life of seven or eight years, and that Qinghe Town was part of the latter-day Deep City, so who could say what it would develop into in five years. Plainly telling the Zheng family that the ship belonged to them in five years’ time would allow them to happily take over the trouble and also land a big favor, so why not?
”Mom, why do I feel that Li Zheng has become a bit different.” Looking at Li Zheng’s departing back, Zheng Xiaodong scratched his head and said.
Aunt Zheng’s action of cleaning up the dishes paused, “Xiaodong ah, in the future, you should walk around with little Zheng more, this child will sooner or later have a great future.”
Li Zheng returned home, opened the red cloth and counted it, there were more than seventy yuan inside, which was already a large amount of money in this era when the average monthly wage of workers was only thirty yuan.
He folded the red cloth back and then pushed it over to Zhou Sitian who hadn’t spoken all night.
Zhou Sitian was startled and pointed at herself, “Giving it to me?”
Li Zheng rolled his eyes, “Didn’t you manage the family’s money when Dad was here in the past.” Let him manage the money, and in a couple of days their family would have to dig up roots on the back slope to eat.
Zhou Sitian numbly took it, but her tightened brows never relaxed.
Li Zheng sighed at the sight of him, it was too difficult for him, a student of biopharmaceuticals, to act as a psychiatrist, but he still spoke, “Sister, no matter what happened before, we are now each other’s only family.” Li Zheng felt that he couldn’t have been more sincere in saying this.
Zhou Sitian’s eyes reddened slightly, she nodded vigorously, then wiped her nose, picked up the red cloth and walked to her room.
Having resolved the most difficult matter at hand, the taut nerves in Li Zheng’s heart finally loosened up a bit. He laid down on the not-so-soft wooden plank bed and began to think back to the major events that happened in the 1980s in China, and fell asleep thinking about them.
The next morning, the sky was still slightly bright, and the sound of the rooster crowing sounded in his ears. Zhou Sitian woke up early and cooked rice porridge, and when she saw her brother was late getting up, she hesitated and pushed the door in.
She smilingly slapped a warm towel onto Li Zheng’s face, “Wake up, you’ll be late for school if you sleep again!”
From the confrontation between Zhou Sitian and the production team on that day, everyone could see that she wasn’t a “gentle and virtuous” girl.
Li Zheng’s words “We are each other’s only family now” completely made the little girl regain her senses.
Li Zheng was still deep in his sleep back in the twenty-first century high bed with soft pillows, and the sudden coolness made him wake up from his sleep with a jolt, he confusedly took the towel off his face and looking at Zhou Sitian who was standing cross-legged in front of his window.
What did he hear?
Going to school?