The relief center was a small, dilapidated two-story house with the words “Volunteer Emergency Social Services” written on it, and there was a long line at the door.
Cheng Hao dragged the boy to the back of the line, “How do I get food here?” He knew about such a place from Cheng Jinhao’s memory, but Cheng Jinhao had never received food at a relief center, so he didn’t know the process.
The boy looked at Cheng Jinhao, “Once you go in and fill out a form, you can receive food.”
“What do you have to fill out on the form?” Cheng Hao asked again.
“Social Security number, place of residence or something.” The boy continued, “If you’ve already received food here before, it’s not that much trouble.”
Cheng Hao: “……”
Cheng Jinhao still had a brain, and when he left home, although he fought with the couple in his foster home, he didn’t forget to take his passport with him.
But he didn’t have a Social Security number, proof that he had paid his utility bills, or much of anything.
In the United States there was no ID card, so they generally used a passport, driver’s license, and a social security number to prove their identity, this era’s social security number wasn’t yet popular for children, many minors didn’t have this number …… his passport should also work?
Whether it would work or not, he had to try.
Cheng Hao turned to the boy: “Do you know of any place you can fight? Informal, the kind that can make money.”
Last night, Cheng Hao had been thinking about how to make money, after thinking about it, he realized that the only thing he could do was boxing.
He couldn’t participate in formal boxing for the time being, after all, he had no access, and this body hadn’t trained, so it would be hard to win, but he could go to some informal tournaments, which was commonly known as underground boxing.
As a boxer who had won the lightweight world championship, he knew the experience of many famous boxers in the world, and some of the famous boxers of this era had underground boxing experience.
Of course, underground boxing wasn’t as dangerous as some novels made it seem, underground boxers weren’t as powerful as in some novels, in fact, after the formal boxing competitions, the really strong people generally didn’t go underground, instead they ran to fight for the championship.
Underground boxing was dangerous and hard work, and it didn’t pay much, when there was a formal competition, everyone looked forward to it.
So generally speaking, the strength of underground boxers, weren’t as strong as the regular boxers.
And the venue for underground boxing was basically a place like a bar, he was now in a situation where he needed to find a small place for a few fights to recover his fighting strength.
Of course, the most important thing was to make money to eat.
The boy was stunned: “You want to fight?”
“I’m a boxer.” Cheng Hao replied.
“My goodness! So you’re a boxer! No wonder you’re so powerful!” The teenager made exaggerated expressions and movements, and looked at Cheng Hao with a completely different gaze.
If before, he still had the mind to play slick in front of Cheng Hao, and was bent on escaping, this time, he clearly no longer had the guts to do so.
“So do you know such a place?” Cheng Hao asked.
“I know one!”
“In our community at old George’s bar, there are people boxing every night! But they won’t allow me to go in, I’ve never seen them box.”
“You can take me over there later to see.”
The teenager immediately agreed with a happy expression, and added: “I’ve seen boxing matches on TV, those people are really too good …… Can I become a boxer?”
He was skinny and had little muscle on his body, and his guts were small, he didn’t have the conditions to become a boxer at all, not to mention his bad character, he bullied Lin Yuxun last night ……
Cheng Hao wanted to hit him, but after thinking about it, he asked: “How old are you?”
“Fourteen years old!”
Cheng Hao continued: “If you start working hard from now, you might be able to make it.” Since he was a minor, he couldn’t hit him.
The boy instantly became happy.
The line at the relief center was long, and the people in front of them were moving one by one, the speed of receiving relief was still very slow.
Cheng Hao queued up for two hours, but surprisingly, it hadn’t reached his turn yet, but he learned more from the boy.
The boy’s name was Chester, he didn’t know who his father was, and had been with his mother.
His mother got pregnant when she was in high school, and by now she had given birth to eight children one after another. Her low education and non-stop childbirth made her unable to find a job, and the family had been living on low income and welfare.
As for why he bullied Lin Yuxun …… Cheng Hao asked a few questions and put the pieces together.
In this community, Lin Yuxun was the only Asian, he had a mute brother but no parents, it was logical for him to become the bottom of society, someone that anyone could bully.
Chester was also bullied, but his situation was better than Lin Yuxun, after being bullied by others, he ran to bully Lin Yuxun to find a balance.
In addition, Lin Yuxun was also bullied because he didn’t fit in with the people here.
According to Chester, Lin Yuxun was the best achiever in the school.
At a time when everyone wasn’t studying, Lin Yuxun’s good grades made him an anomaly, not to mention that he was also very introverted and had no friends.
According to Chester, Lin Yuxun was like “Fu Manchu”, a bad guy at first glance.
Fu Manchu was a Chinese villain in Western fiction films, he had a sinister face and dressed as a Qing Dynasty official, he was very smart but very evil, determined to destroy the world …… in the previous hundred years, there were a lot of movies with his presence, “Fu Manchu returns” and so on, making the West fear the Chinese.
To Chester and the others, they thought Lin Yuxun was just like Fu Manchu, so he had to be eliminated.
Cheng Hao: “……”
What was all this! He had good grades yet he was still bullied? A little bit of introversion made him a villain?
Cheng Hao was upset, but Chester continued: “Of course, you are different from Fu Manchu, you are the same as Bruce Lee, you know Chinese kung fu!”
Cheng Hao’s hands got itchy, he reached out and pinched Chester’s ear, then twisted it hard: “You’d better not bully Lin Yuxun in the future, if I see you bullying him, I’ll make you feel what Chinese kung fu is for!”
Chester screamed in exaggerated misery and promised that he wouldn’t bully Lin Yuxun, while the people around him saw the scene but turned a blind eye to it.
When the line finally reached them, Cheng Hao took the lead and went inside, he saw a cabinet with a white woman sitting behind it, while further back on the wall, there was a line of large letters – “Relief Food!”
Cheng Hao expressed his desire to receive relief, however, he was rejected.
He had no record of living in this community, and he was underage.
Minors were allowed to come to receive relief, but their family had to register here as a low-income family.
Cheng Hao didn’t even receive a carton of milk, and the woman in charge of distributing relief food, had already called the next person.
The next person was Chester.
Cheng Hao was still waiting for Chester to take him to find a place for boxing, so he stayed where he was and waited for a while, then he saw Chester suddenly wiping his eyes and crying: “My God, my family has no more food, my younger siblings are dying of hunger …… you know, my family has so many children, God …… please save us ……”
He cried so sadly, Cheng Hao couldn’t restrain his sympathy, the person who distributed food obviously knew Chester, so she quickly comforted him: “Don’t cry, I will give you some food …… today there is milk and sandwiches.”
Probably considering that there were many people in Chester’s family, she gave Chester about twenty sandwiches, and twenty cartons of milk.
When Chester came out with the food in his arms, Cheng Ho was a little jealous.
He was still hungry!
Fortunately, Chester was very kind, he found a clean place to sit down after he left the relief center, he invited Cheng Hao to eat with him, and unwrapped a sandwich: “Cheng, do you want to eat? It’s awesome, a rare sausage sandwich!”
He took out the thin sausage sandwiched in the middle of the sandwich he was holding, stuffed it into his mouth, and after eating it, he also went to take the next sandwich, and then once again took out the sausage in it to eat.
Cheng Hao sighed in amazement at this way of eating.
After taking ten sandwiches from his hand and a few cartons of milk, Cheng Hao spoke, “This is the compensation for bullying Lin Yuxun yesterday.”
This boys and his friends smashed Lin Yuxian’s door, and he had to find a way to fix it, so of course he had to collect some compensation.
Chester didn’t mind at all that Cheng Hao took his food, and even said very generously, “Do you want some more? I have plenty of food!”
“You should take it home.” Cheng Hao unwrapped a sandwich to eat.
He quickly ate five in one breath.
He could feel that his wounds healing, and the reason why he hadn’t completely recovered after so long was entirely because he was so badly injured.
But after two more days of recovery, he should be fine.
When Cheng Hao finished eating five sandwiches, Chester had already eaten all the sausages in his sandwiches.
Cheng Hao clearly remembered that this man was knocked to the ground and grabbed a handful of mud, after which he hadn’t washed his hands.
Seeing Cheng Hao’s gaze, Chester looked at his hands in fear: “What’s wrong?”
“Nothing …… we should go back to school.” Cheng Hao said, he told Lin Yuxun that he would meet him at noon, so he definitely had to go back, and then go to the bar where he could fight in later in afternoon.
“Yes, we should go to school to see, I don’t know if there is meat in school today.” Chester took off his shirt to wrap up those sandwiches without sausage, and walked forward with Cheng Hao.
And at this time, Lin Yuxun has long returned to the school.
It was time for lunch.
In the past, Lin Yuxun would have been the first to take a plate to get food, but today he didn’t do that, instead he stayed under the tree in front of the school and waited for Cheng Hao.
He was Chinese, his parents were the descendants of Chinese laborers who had come to America to build the railroad.
They, the Chinese laborers, were hard-working, and if they hadn’t met with an accident, they could have made a fairly good living through their hard-working hands, but the America not only had the Chinese Exclusion Act, but was also very unfriendly to the Chinese, forbidding them to do certain jobs.
His parents, too, had been struggling at the bottom, they didn’t know Chinese, they learned average English, and they lived by selling their labor.
Because of this, his mother left him and his father after she met a white man who was willing to marry her when he was only five years old.
For many years, he lived with his father, who was quiet and didn’t talk to him much, but would only occasionally tell him to study hard.
He studied very hard, but when he was thirteen, his father died.
His father had no family, and at the age of thirteen, he was finally sent to his mother.
By that time, his mother had divorced the white man and was living in the community with Danny, who was deaf and mute.
The hard life made his mother an abusive alcoholic, she even completely ignored her two children, when he first arrived, Danny had no meat on his body because he was always hungry.
He carefully hid food from his mother in exchange for wine, and took good care of Danny, although he felt sad, there was always hope.
He was very smart and may have a chance to get a loan for college and become a doctor.
He heard that there was a chance for Danny’s ears to be cured.
However, his mother passed away.
When his mother was around, he wasn’t liked, but at least he wasn’t bullied.
Danny would just be playing in front of the house, but someone would suddenly run over and kick him down, after a few times, he didn’t dare to let Danny go out.
However, what was more unacceptable to him was that no one talked to him.
Danny couldn’t talk, and people around him didn’t talk to him, and even all avoided him …… He didn’t know how to cope with all this, it was a heartbreaking situation.
His grades were good, but instead of being a strength, it became the reason he was attacked.
People around him would always say, “Look at him, I can’t believe he’s studying so hard …… Does he think he’s white?”
At the same time, he found that it was almost impossible for him to go to college.
He couldn’t even apply for a loan.
He didn’t feel, either, that he could hold out – he was always attacked when he was in school, and he was afraid to even stay in school.
He probably, shouldn’t even be wishing for something that didn’t belong to him.
But he could only hold on, if he didn’t know that Danny wouldn’t survive without him, he might have chosen to end his life ……
It was at this time that someone asked him for help, speaking Chinese.
He numbly carried the person back home and gave him the food he had hidden.
He didn’t ask for much, he just wanted someone to talk to.
Lin Yuxun waited for Cheng Hao at the entrance of the school.
The iron gate of the rented house was broken, they had run out of food, and he had offended a few people – who had been beaten by Cheng Hao and would surely come after him more aggressively in the future.
He faced a desperate situation, but it wasn’t so hard …… to bear, after all, now someone could talk to him.
Lin Yuxun waited in front of the school for a long time, Cheng Hao didn’t come.
Lunch time was about to end, but Cheng Hao was still missing.
Was he …… gone?
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