There was a dormitory at the workplace unit and she could stay there as long as she paid the rent.
However, if the people there found out that she was divorced, she could drown in the amount of saliva generated by their gossiping.
She might as well go out and find her own place where she could get some peace.
When Xia Fang returned that night, she saw Kong Lu busying himself in the kitchen.
The dining table was already filled with dishes.
Kong Lu stood in front of Xia Fang and stammered, “Aunt, Im sorry… That television… was broken by my sister.
Ill pay for it.”
Xia Fang glanced at him and did not say anything.
She walked straight to the room to look for Xia He.
“Are you alright” Xia Fang asked nervously.
Xia He did not expect Xia Fang to check on her the moment she returned.
She smiled and said, “Aunt, Im fine.”
“Its most important that youre fine.
What happened to the television” Xia Fang heaved a sigh of relief and asked as she sat on the bed.
She had heard some gossip at the hospital and quickly came back after work.
The television did not matter to her, but she was afraid that Xia He was being bullied and had no one to back her up.
Xia He told her the whole story in detail and did not leave out the fact that Kong Lu and Kong Li had created a mess at the Sun familys house.
“Aunt, dont worry.
Just let Kong Lu compensate for it.
All these years, his salary has been more than 100 dollars a month and I havent gotten a single cent.
He doesnt give his mother money every month and theres no telling how much he has in his own pocket.
Dont stand on ceremony with him,” Xia He said with a smile as she held Xia Fangs hand.
Xia Fang nodded in understanding.
At this moment, Kong Lu knocked on the door and said, “Aunt, Xiao He, the food is ready.”
The four of them sat at the table without saying a word.
Kong Li did not treat herself as an outsider and seemed not to feel that what happened in the afternoon had anything to do with her at all.
Before Xia Fang even picked up her chopsticks, Kong Li had already started eating.
Xia He looked at Kong Lu mockingly without saying a word.
Xia Fang did not care about such etiquette and just started eating.
“Aunt… I dont have enough money for that television now.
Can you give me some time” Kong Lu said.
Xia He put down her chopsticks and said with a smile, “Aunt, hes just joking with you.
His money is all with his mother!”
Kong Lus expression froze.
Although he gave all his salary to the family during the past few years, Old Madam Kong had always told him that the little bit of money was not even enough to feed the family.
She also said that Xia He must have fish and meat for every meal…
He used whatever money he had left to buy cigarettes and liquor or to go out to socialize, so he did not have much left.
He had a lot of social activities, like when his comrades got married, they all had to give gifts.
Everyone would need to chip in a few dollars.
Actually, he had been tight on money for so many years and he had to live extremely frugally so that he did not have to ask Xia He for money.
Xia He then said to Kong Lu, “This 2,000 dollars is not a small sum of money.
If youre short of a few hundred dollars, go and ask your mother for it.
She has plenty of money as Ive been the one paying for all the family expenses all these years.
She hasnt contributed a single cent of the money you gave her.
I can promise you that.”
The smile on Kong Lus face froze even more.
He knew that Xia He had said these things to him on purpose, both for him and Xia Fang to hear.
“Also, give the money to my aunt as soon as possible.
It cant be that you want to start saving from now, right How many years would you need to save up that amount Are you saying that my aunt cant watch television during this time” Xia He asked.
Kong Lu lowered his head and said, “Yes, yes, yes.
Ill definitely return Aunts television.”
Xia Fang looked at the two of them and said, “Theres no hurry.
Just give it to me within a month.”
Kong Lu had nothing to say to that.
Kong Li was so angry that she immediately slammed the table and stood up.
“Where can we get so much money! Besides, I didnt break this television, so why should our family pay for it!”
“Kong Li, sit down!” Kong Lu said sternly.
“I wont! Theyre all bullying our family!” Kong Li said to Kong Lu as she pointed at Xia He and Xia Fang.
“The Kong family maintains such a good upbringing.
Juniors can even talk back when their elders are speaking,” Xia Fang said sarcastically.
Kong Li clenched her fists in anger and wanted to retort further, but Kong Lu stopped her with a look and she sat back down silently.
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