Li Gui lowered her head silently to pluck the vegetables.
She did not dare to raise her head to look at Zhang Qian or answer Zhang Congs question.
Seeing that Li Gui remained silent, Zhang Qian stepped forward and gave her a slap across the face.
He grabbed her collar and pointed at her as he asked, “Did you go back to the village to send money to your ex-husbands daughter! You dare to lie nowadays! You still lie to us even though the story has already spread throughout the factory!” After saying that, he gave Li Gui another hard slap.
When Li Gui fell to the ground, the four children hurriedly ran into the room, afraid that Zhang Qian would vent his anger on them as well.
There was only Old Man Zhang, Old Madam Zhang and Zhang Cong left in the house.
Zhang Qian hit Li Gui regularly, he would beat her up every two days.
Every time Li Gui received her salary, she would have to give 25 dollars to the family first.
As Li Gui was registered as a village resident, her four children were also registered as village residents.
In the city, there were no such things as coupons.
The 25 dollars was meant to be used to supplement the familys food rations.
The remaining few dollars was left for Li Gui to buy her own meals so that it would not be said that the Zhang family did not even give her food.
Whatever money that Li Gui had was saved by eating less or not eating.
Zhang Qian knew that Li Gui had some money on the side and he also knew that she did not have the guts to steal from the family.
This time, he was just looking for a reason to beat her up.
He beat her up for 15 minutes.
“Alright, alright, are you going to beat her to death Hurry up and let her clean up and cook.
Well starve to death otherwise,” said the old lady of the house.
Zhang Qian stopped and pointed at Li Gui.
“See if I ever find out that youre lying again! Go and cook now!”
Li Gui got up with difficulty.
There were no marks on her face, but her body was covered in bruises.
Zhang Qian would avoid beating her on the face for fear that outsiders would gossip about her again.
The pain all over her body made Li Gui even more determined to return to the village and not be beaten up here.
She took the vegetables and started to cook.
When the four children saw that there was no more commotion outside, they came out of the room to set up the tables and chairs.
Zhang Qin and Zhang Miao went to help Li Gui with the cooking.
The two sons, Zhang Wei and Zhang Chao, sat in the living room and did not dare to say anything.
Matters like cooking and cleaning had always been done by the womenfolk.
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“Tsk, you good-for-nothing.
Hurry up and get things done faster.
Do you want to starve me to death!” Zhang Qian cursed towards the kitchen.
After she finished cooking, Li Gui called out to them to have dinner.
She and her two daughters could only eat in the kitchen as there were not enough seats at home.
Seeing her two daughters holding their bowls and eating in the corner, tears fell down Li Guis cheeks.
As the Zhang family got ready to leave after having dinner, Li Gui wiped the tears off her face and rushed out, saying, “Wait… wait! I have something to say!”
Zhang Qian laughed mockingly and said, “You What have you got to say, come tell me.” He waved his hand as an indication for his family to sit down and listen to her.
Li Gui grabbed the front of her clothes and wiped her hands nervously.
She said in a very soft voice, “I… I want to go back… back to the village.”
Upon hearing this, Zhang Qian immediately smacked the table and stood up.
He glared at Li Gui and rushed forward in a few steps, ready to hit her.
Back then, he had spent a lot of money to marry this “loss-making proposition”.
Now, she still wanted to run away! He wanted to roll up his sleeves and beat her up again.
“You still want to run away!”
Li Gui hurriedly waved her hands and collapsed to the ground in fear.
“No, no! Im not running away! Im going back there to grow bean sprouts!”
When Zhang Qian heard this, he still did not understand what Li Gui wanted to do.
He pointed at her and said, “You can grow bean sprouts at home, why do you need to go back to the village to grow bean sprouts! I think you just want to run away!”
Li Gui hurriedly crawled over and grabbed Zhang Qians trouser leg as she explained, “No, no! Its bean sprouts for the supply and marketing cooperative! I know how to grow bean sprouts too! I can go and earn money!”
After Zhang Qian heard this and finally understood that it was not Li Guis intention to run away, he patted his pants and sat back down.
“So its to earn money.
As if you can earn money.” Zhang Qian looked disdainful.
Its not like we havent eaten your bean sprouts before.
How can your bean sprouts compare with the ones from the supply and marketing cooperative” Zhang Cong laughed mockingly from the side, his eyes filled with disbelief.
Li Gui could feel that the atmosphere had eased up a little and she stood up to pour them a few glasses of water, getting ready to tell them what she had seen today.