“What are you holding a book?” Father’s cold voice suddenly came from behind.
There is a bayberry tree at the back of my house, with luxuriant branches and leaves, supporting a large shade of trees. I moved a stool and sat under the tree to read. In fact, it is not a book, it is a big book. I stitched it with thread myself. It was the “Selected Poems of the Tang and Song Dynasties” that I copied for a whole semester in the third year of junior high school. Hearing what my father said, I didn’t look up, and took the bench and walked home. Although the bayberry is red, it is not fully ripe, and the teeth are so sour.
My father followed me: “You must not pass the exam in high school. You can learn your craft as early as possible.
I didn’t answer him. After the third year of junior high, my father stopped beating me. My stature is as tall as him, but he still despises me, and constantly humiliates me with words. He hates iron but steel.
“I told Tietou, you can learn to make leather shoes from him. There will be more people wearing leather shoes in the future. He has several apprentices now.”
The next day, I went to Tietou’s house.
I didn’t have time to learn how to make shoes. I only stayed at his house for two months before I received a high school admission notice. During the period of learning to make leather shoes, I met a girl named Rong’er. For the first time, a dim emotion appeared in my heart, making me nostalgic, but at a loss. Since that summer vacation, I have never seen Rong’er again, and probably will never see Rong’er again in this life.
After getting the high school admission notice, my mother washed two pairs of grey trousers, one for my father and one for mine. There is a big hole on the bottom of both trousers which needs to be patched. My father’s article was changed and given to me, so that I could change it. My mother usually makes it up by herself, because I am going to high school, and it is too ugly to make up, so she asked me to find a “tailor” and ask him for help.
The home of “Caiyi” is very close to the Banxia River, just walk along the river bank.
“Grandpa Tailor.” We always call him that way.
He raised his head and saw the trousers I was holding: “Oh, big fish, come and sit in the house.” He put down the shovel in his hand, poured a bucket of water from the well next to him, washed his face and hands.
“I heard that you were admitted to high school, okay, you are a scholar.” He is very old, his face is wrinkled, his hair is all white, his voice is not as loud as before, but his expression has become very kind.
I helped him lift the sewing machine out of the corner and put it in the center of the hall.
Grandpa Tailor studied the two worn-out trousers carefully. “It’s just that the butt is worn through, and the rest is fine. Just a patch.”
I brought a piece of cloth myself, which was extra when I made these two pairs of trousers, and kept it forever, just for patching. He cut the piece of cloth into four pieces, drew pictures on the back of Bibi, and cut it with scissors to make it round, about the size of two buttocks. The patch he sewed is indeed different from that of his mother. Mother only sews a circle around the patch, the stitches are also large, if the patch is too big, it will be uneven. Grandpa Tailor sews from the inside to the outside, with a small circle in the middle, like a mosquito-repellent coil, slowly expanding outwards and closing it on the outermost layer. After sewing it, feel it with your hand, it’s quite strong, like adding a beautiful armor to the pants.
Throughout the afternoon, Grandpa Tailor was busy changing my pants and patching me. After everything was done, he didn’t give up, and checked it carefully, and finally saw two more small damages, so he sew on quickly.
I said, “Grandpa Tailor, okay?”
“Wait, if you want to iron it, it will level off.” He took an iron iron from a shelf, lifted the lid, put two pieces of charcoal in it, and lit it with a match.
The charcoal blazed on fire, and Grandpa Tailor ignored it and put it on a small iron stand on the table. He went out to bring a bowl of water, spread his pants flat on the table, drank a big sip of water, sprayed it on the cloth with a “poof”, carried an iron, and walked on top of it, and steam immediately appeared. After being ironed back and forth by him, the trousers have become more stylish, like new ones.
Grandpa Tailor folded the trousers squarely and handed them to my hand and said, “If you wear them when school starts, you will look like you are in high school.”
school starts. High school is more than ten miles away from home, and in a small town to the south, I still need to live on campus. You can leave home if you live in school. The monitors and class representatives of each subject are appointed according to their grades. Only the sports committee members and the teacher ask everyone to recommend themselves. I immediately raised my hand and said, “I can.”
“Okay, you act as an agent first, and you will formally choose after a while.”
This is the only time in my student career as a student cadre, although only for three weeks.
How much I like this post. I woke up before dawn, rushed to the classroom early, and when everyone was almost there, I shouted: “Assembled, assembled.”
I led the team all the way to the playground, running laps on the playground. Every time you run, girls are in front and boys are behind. Before the lead, I had to go to the toilet, comb my hair neatly with water, and tie my shirt in my pants waist. When running laps on the playground, I can’t just lead in a daze. I have to be tricky. I turn around occasionally and go backwards. While running, I shout “one, two, three, four” loudly. Everyone just follows Shout from behind. At the end of every morning jog, my throat is dumb for a long time.
Two weeks after the start of school, the boys have become one, but the boys and girls still do not communicate. If a boy is seen talking to a girl, someone will booze. One day, we have run several laps on the playground, and the speed is getting slower and slower, and the day is finally bright. I spun again, turned around, and trot back. As soon as I turned around, I saw a girl grinning at me, seeing me, and pretending to be nothing. When the running was over, I quietly checked my whole body up and down, but there was nothing unusual.
This kind of laughter, in the next few days, because of my special attention, I saw it several times, as if they saw something strange behind me. While running, I subconsciously touched the back with my hand. I suddenly felt the two patches on the back of my butt, the hard, armor-like patches. My face flushed immediately.
On this day, I carefully observed every classmate in the class-some students also wore clothes with patches, but the patches were small, or very concealed, unobtrusive, unlike my patch, which was so big and so blatant. From a distance, it looks like the giant eyes of a monster. When I got closer, the huge eyes were still circles of compound eyes.
Before that, I didn’t have the slightest idea of what kind of clothes to wear. It didn’t matter if it was longer, shorter, fatter or thinner. I don’t know beauty, and I don’t care about ugliness, it’s completely chaotic. When the darkness of the morning slowly faded and the sun shone from the east, and the two large patches on the back of my pants clearly appeared in front of the students, I was suddenly ashamed.
This shame is a sign of growing up. Perhaps everyone has such a day in his life when a flash of lightning suddenly splits his ignorance. Without the thunderous awakening in his youth, there would be no pain and happiness for a lifetime of chaos. Now I wake up, this is another world. Before that, I was just an impulsive child, I didn’t understand the beauty of nature, let alone the beauty of the opposite sex. Although I have read a lot of novels and classical poems, I have never connected them to my life. The biggest impact of the novel on me is that I ran into the fields outside the village, pulled out a bamboo pole from a fence, and used it as a “Zhao Zilong” or “Yue Fei” spear, dancing like wheels, rushing right and left in the crop fields. After so many years, not only the heroism has not increased at all, but also many crops have been ruined. Now, when I took off the pants with huge patches, all the literary beauty I read was immediately poured into my heart and integrated with me.
I found me.