Qiao Dongliang was a traditional man. He had never stepped inside his daughters' room before.
Last time round was the first time he had stepped into his elder daughter's room; and today was the first time he went into the younger daughter's room.
Because of this, Qiao Dongliang was shocked when he saw that Nan Nan's room was only a third the size of Zijin's room. In fact, his study room was twice as big as hers.
"Dad." Qiao Nan did not answer but stared at Qiao Dongliang, wondering what was the matter.
"Nan Nan, wait a minute." The younger daughter might be used to it and have no grievances but Qiao Dongliang could not bear it.
Without a word, Qiao Dongliang went into the study room, packed everything and put it in the living room.
He then dismantled Qiao Nan's bed and brought it piece by piece to the study room.
"Old Qiao, what are you doing now?" Ding Jiayi heard noises and came out from the kitchen. She saw Qiao Dongliang bringing in Qiao Nan's bed into the study room.
Qiao Dongliang did not bother to look at Ding Jiayi, he said curtly, "Nan Nan's room is way too small, I am going to switch the study room with her bedroom."
"That will not do. That room is not big enough for a big man like you. You would be so cramped there. She is so petite, she doesn't need such a big room."
Ding Jiayi wanted to stop Qiao Dongliang. Though she disliked the younger daughter, she treated her husband fairly well. She couldn't bear to see a 1.8 meter tall man like him, cramped up to read in the room that was as small as a sparrow's nest.
"Since a big man like me might be uncomfortable, then let's have Zijin switched rooms with Nan Nan?" Qiao Dongliang was amused and angered.
Old Ding was not showing favoritism, she was treating Nan Nan like an outsider.
"That won't do. Qiao Nan is the youngest in the house. Why can't she stay in a small room?"
"A day has 24 hours, I only use the room for a few hours. But Nan Nan has to sleep in the room. She has stayed there for so many years, so why can't I?"
Qiao Dongliang just could not get through to Ding Jiayi. He harbored no hopes of Ding Jiayi coming to her senses and offering to help him. He moved the bed into the study room and assembled it.
Qiao Dongliang took out all his books. But the desk and chair had no place to go. "Nan Nan, I will leave them for you, I will think of ways to get some wood and make another set for myself."
Compared to the elder daughter's room that was well-furnished, the younger daughter's room was not only small, it was also without a desk and chair.
All these years the two daughters had been doing their studying in their rooms, Qiao Dongliang could not imagine how the younger daughter had made it through those times.
All along Ding Jiayi had kept it from him and Qiao Nan was too quiet, never uttering a word of complaint.
The squeaky wheel gets the grease, the saying was very true.
Qiao Dongliang was an inattentive father and furthermore Qiao Nan never once complained. So he had no idea that the elder daughter and younger daughter were treated so differently. If any, he thought it was only a slight difference in the treatment.
"Thank you, Dad." Qiao Nan nodded and accepted her father's suggestions.
"Nan Nan, I will get you a lock later. You are a young lady now, this room will be under your care." Qiao Dongliang thought for a moment, and decided to get the lock and install it for her the next day.
Qiao Nan's eyes turned red and she felt warm inside. Her voice was choked up with tears, ''Okay."
She was such a letdown in her previous life, her mother disliked her, and her father gave up on her.
In fact, her father was a good father. She did not know how to cherish him; she had let down the few people who really cared for her once and again.
"Dad, I had tests today." Qiao Nan once gave up in despair, but now she realized that she had family love. Qiao Dongliang was a good father to Qiao Nan. She could not help but start crying. "I… I fear that I did not do well for my tests, Dad, will you be disappointed in me?" And give up on me just as in the previous life?
Qiao Dongliang was completely at a loss seeing the younger daughter in tears. He wanted to wipe away the tears. "Don't cry, I have given you my promise that you have half a year's time. Even if you did not do well this time, you can strive for better results next time. I believe that you will definitely be able to catch up."
Qiao Dongliang spoke with confidence. He truly believed that the younger daughter would be able to catch up on her studies.
When the elder daughter flunked her middle school exams, she never even cried once for her results.
"Nan Nan, no hurry. There's still half a year to go. Don't stress yourself out." Qiao Dongliang thought for a moment and added. He knew that some of the kids at the quad have always been doing well, but because they were too stressed, when it was time for the final exams, they failed to perform and fumbled the ball.
"Okay." Embarrassed, Qiao Nan wiped the tears off her face. She was no longer a fifteen-year-old kid; mentally, she was already thirty now, yet she was still crying her guts out in front of her father.
"Mom." Qiao Zijin went to the kitchen looking for Ding Jiayi. She heard Ding Jiayi ranting to herself. "Mom, don't be angry. Nan Nan is already in tears."
Ding Jiayi was startled. "What's there to cry about? I should be the one crying. Now Old Qiao treats me just like the step mother of that wretched girl. The whole world now revolves around her, what's there for her to cry about?"
"I seemed to hear Nan Nan said that she did not do well in her tests today." Qiao Zijin smirked. If Qiao Nan did not do well, did it mean that it would not take one year's time; that within half a year, she would quit school and work?
"How is that possible?" Ding Jiayi did not believe her. "She was burning with fever when she had her exams in the final year of elementary school, yet she came in fifth place in the school. She couldn't possibly have screwed it up."
When the subject was about the younger daughter's results, Ding Jiayi had no doubts at all. She trusted that she would do well for her exams.
It was another story if those were syllabi that Qiao Nan had never learned. If not, she would never flunk her exams.
Qiao Zijin was upset. Whenever she sat for exams, her mother would asked about her results anxiously. "It was definitely true. Nan Nan said it herself. She was shocked to tears. Mom, maybe she was down with fever a few days ago and it burnt her brain."
She clearly remembered that right before Qiao Nan kicked up a fuss, she went into Qiao Nan's room that morning and felt her forehead, it was burning hot.
"Burnt her brains? Yes, but she burnt her conscience not her brains. But, did she really said that she flunked it?
Ding Jiayi thought for a moment. "Don't be too happy. Your Dad promised to give her half a year's time. We would have to see if she is able to catch up on her studies by then. Maybe she has been using gimmicks all along. She might have memorized all the content in the textbooks. That's why now that I sold all the textbooks, she could not study for one whole summer break, and has finally shown her true colors.
Ding Jiayi has been through this before, so she could tell at once.