Rebirth to a Military Marriage: Good Morning Chief
272 Other People’s Children
Qiao Dongliang slowed down and tried his best to walk normally. However, this was very taxing on him.
After much difficulty, he finally arrived at Qiao Nan's classroom but was perspiring furiously. "Dad, you're here!" When Qiao Dongliang reached the entrance of the classroom, Zhu Baoguo gave Qiao Nan a nudge and Qiao Nan ran up to Qiao Dongliang as soon as she spotted him. "Dad, why are you perspiring so badly? The weather is not that hot."
Qiao Dongliang was very embarrassed as there were already other parents in the classroom. "You… you don't need to help me. I can walk on my own."
"It doesn't matter, Dad. Please don't be stubborn." It was no wonder that her father was sweating profusely. It was because he felt embarrassed. "Dad, don't take it to heart. You have been injured and will recover in time."
"This… I'm afraid that I'll make you lose face." Qiao Dongliang felt both comforted and helpless as he said this. All the other parents seemed fine. It didn't look good that he was the only one limping.
"Lose face? Dad, you have been thinking too much." Qiao Nan rolled her eyes. There was nothing to be ashamed of. "It's not embarrassing even if you're really handicapped, not to mention that you're just injured. Dad, sit down. I'll get you a cup of water. You should also wipe away your sweat."
Qiao Nan took out her handkerchief and passed it to Qiao Dongliang. She then took a cup to get water for him.
Qiao Dongliang looked at Qiao Nan's small handkerchief. It was so clean and there were flowers embroidered at the rim. As an old man, Qiao Dongliang was extremely embarrassed to use it. He also could not bear to dirty Nan Nan's handkerchief.
"Dad, have some water. Why are you not wiping away your sweat?"
"No need." Qiao Dongliang took the water and drank a mouthful of it. His eyes and throat immediately felt much better. "There isn't much sweat. It'll dry up very soon. Keep your handkerchief properly and don't dirty it."
"Dad, what are you talking about? There's no reason not to dirty the handkerchief. If it's dirty, I'll just wash it. Quickly wipe away your sweat. Your face has even turned red. Who told you to be stubborn?" Qiao Nan stiffened. "Dad, tell me honestly. How long have you been walking with that posture? Are your legs hurting? Don't injure the legs that are finally recovering again."
"No, no, no, I definitely didn't." Qiao Dongliang was the father, but he was afraid of his daughter when she pulled a long face. "Just… just for a while, a short while. I did that after I entered your school. There won't be a problem."
"Does it hurt?"
"No…" Just as Qiao Dongliang wanted to reply that it did not hurt, Qiao Nan did not look convinced and pursed her lips. "It's a little painful. I feel much better after sitting down and resting."
"Wipe your sweat!"
Qiao Dongliang heaved a sigh. He had no choice but to wipe away the sweat on his face with his younger daughter's clean handkerchief.
Although it's already October, the weather was still a little humid. Furthermore, as he had perspired a lot, he did not feel comfortable.
True enough, as soon as Qiao Dongliang finished wiping his face, Qiao Nan's white and clean handkerchief turned black.
Qiao Dongliang's old face turned red. He was so embarrassed that he nearly could not bring himself to return the handkerchief to Qiao Nan.
Without a word, Qiao Nan took the handkerchief from Qiao Dongliang's hands and ran to the restroom to wash it with tap water. She then wrung it dry and passed it back to Qiao Dongliang. "Dad, wipe again." The handkerchief was so small. How much sweat could it wipe away?
Whatever happened would happen again. Although Qiao Dongliang was embarrassed, he had already done it once. As such, he endured the uneasiness and wiped his face again. "Alright, I'm really fine this time."
"Okay." Qiao Nan washed and wrung the handkerchief dry again. She did not insist on another wipe.
"Daughter, who is that girl? She's so filial to her father. How was her academic performance in the class?"
"Dad, what do you mean? Am I not good to you?" The girl who was named was not pleased. She felt that she was also filial and helpful to her father.
"Yes, you're very good to me." The parent smiled. He did not argue with his daughter. However, the parent knew in his heart that the girl was different from his daughter. If he did not mutter a word, would his daughter be so thoughtful as to do so many things and be more considerate toward him?
There was a great difference between initiative and passive.
Nevertheless, his daughter was not bad too. Although she did not take the initiative, as long as he mentioned it, his daughter would usually obey him. Moreover, her daughter's results were good and she's in the top class of Ping Cheng High School. She was his pride and glory in front of his colleagues.
"Ah yes, you have not told me yet. How's the academic performance of this young lady in the class?"
The girl blew her cheeks. "She's the top in our class as well as the cohort. What do you think?"
"She's a good student. Are you friends with her?"
Qiao Nan's attitude toward Qiao Dongliang stood out too much from the rest.
The families in China, particularly in the late 20th century, were more restrained in expressing their feelings toward their family members. This applied to both parents and children. Even if they were truly concerned for one another, they would not display it so blatantly.
Qiao Nan's behavior was considered extremely rare.
How should he put it? He would not do that himself. Nevertheless, he was very envious at the sight of it. He very much wished that his own children could express their filial piety to him in this way. He would feel so proud!
Furthermore, when he heard that the obedient young lady was the top student of class one as well as the entire cohort, this… He was getting a little jealous. What to do?
His child would always be the best. This was so even if her grades were not comparable to others'.
It did not matter if that child did not belong to his own family. But if his child could get closer and be friends with her, that would be great. They could influence each other and his child might become more filial or see some improvement in her results in time to come!
"Stop talking. Our form teacher, Teacher Liu, is here." That girl was not quite willing to continue with this topic anymore.
In the past, when she was in junior high school, she was one of the top students in the class. It had always been others who took the initiative to make friends with her and ask her questions. The situation was reversed now. The girl expressed that she was unable to accept the change.
"So flashy. She's definitely pretending." Zhao Yu ground her teeth. She did not believe that Qiao Nan was truly so filial to her father. She must have done this to gain the favor of others and stand out from the group. She was too shameless!
"Don't talk nonsense." Father Zhao gave his daughter a pat helplessly. Fortunately, he did not allow his wife to come to the parent-teacher conference today. Otherwise, given her character, she would probably develop some animosity toward the Qiao family.
"Why not? Qiao Nan can fool everyone but not me." Zhao Yu was unconvinced. "Any student who came here from Ping Cheng Junior High School knew that Qiao Nan had never worn any new clothing for the three years she's in the school. She always wore second-hand clothing from her elder sister. However, Qiao Zijin was different. There were four seasons in a year and she had at least two new sets of clothing for each season. When we knew that Qiao Zijin and Qiao Nan were biological sisters, we even suspected that Qiao Nan was picked up from the streets."
Zhao Yu's voice was neither loud nor soft, but quite a number of people in the classroom heard her. Even Teacher Liu who just came in heard it too.