Translator: Henyee Translations Editor: Henyee Translations
An Xiaxia was only a Year 1 primary school student and she was too young to comprehend what was happening. All she knew was that Zhou Bo was the person kindest to her in the world.
If she said no, Zhou Bo might send her back to the orphanage…
At the thought of that dark place, An Xiaxia shivered. She then nodded without hesitation.
After that, her life turned into hell.
At first, Zhou Bo would feel guilty about hitting her and would take her to a hospital when he sobered up. However, as his state of mind deteriorated, the abuse grew worse.
When a teacher at school discovered An Xiaxia’s wounds, instead of trying to intervene, she reprimanded her in front of the whole class every day. “Zhou Yueyue is an example for you, everyone. She was punished by her parents because she’s a bad kid!”
That fox-faced teacher had held a grudge against An Xiaxia because her family hadn’t shown respect by sending the teacher a gift. When Zhou Bo didn’t buy the exercise books the teacher recommended, she hated An Xiaxia for it.
She wouldn’t be able to squeeze anything out of An Xiaxia anyway, so why should she care if she lived or died?
Hence, An Xiaxia’s school life was ruined by this teacher. She grew more and more taciturn, and after an incident where all the boys in her class threw stones at her, she stopped going to school altogether.
Her rationale was simple and extreme.
If the entire world was this cruel, she would rather stay at home and be beaten by Zhou Bo, instead of being hit by other children.
She couldn’t remember how many days she lived in that stupefied state in that home filled with the smell of alcohol and blood. She lived like wild grass: she couldn’t die, even if she didn’t want to live anymore.
She lived like a walking corpse day in and day out.
Because she had no hope, she felt no despair.
Because no one had helped her, she didn’t know she could cry for help.
The closet was her favorite spot. Although it was dark and stuffy inside, a drunk Zhou Bo sometimes couldn’t find her when she hid there, which could save her from yet another beating.
An Xiaxia thought that her life was nice and happy, for didn’t all children live like this?
She lived in this self-deceiving state for two years.
After the cat abuse incident was exposed, some animal protection activists broke into Zhou Bo’s home, thinking of getting back at him. An Xiaxia crawled out of the closet and stood timidly in front of them, just looking like skin and bones. Her black eyes, however, remained clear and bright.
Everyone was shocked. They watched as the little girl, wearing ill-fitting clothes, went to drink from the tap. The skin exposed was covered in bruises and wounds…
After drinking the water, she ignored the crowd and wanted to crawl back into the closet.
A middle-aged woman couldn’t take it anymore. She stopped An Xiaxia and asked in a trembling voice, “What… what is your name?”
An Xiaxia blinked. “Zhou. Yue. Yue.”
It had been a long time since she last spoke and her voice was hoarse.
“Yue” meant “happy.” The name was to wish her a happy life.
However, she had had little of that. All she knew had been intolerable pain.
The woman rolled up An Xiaxia’s sleeves and saw all the cuts and bruises. She couldn’t help but burst into tears. “How did this happen to you? Is he your father… Poor kid… Gosh…”
An Xiaxia wiped away the woman’s tears. “Auntie, did your dad hit you, too? Wow, so all dads do that, do they?”
All the adults in the room teared up. The warmhearted auntie picked her up, sobbing uncontrollably. “I’m taking you away from this place… Come with me…”
In the ward, An Xiaxia’s eyelashes fluttered. She opened her eyes and grabbed Sheng Yize’s hand.
“Are you going to leave me?” She sounded unbelievably serious.