Translator: CKtalon Editor: CKtalon
“What is it? Is money a problem?” Meng Huimei probed.
Chai Hong was in a dilemma. How could money not be a problem? They had some, but if the amount became exorbitant, they would not have enough!
Without waiting for Chai Hong’s reply, Zhao Baolin answered affirmatively. “There’s no problem! Sis, tell me how much money is needed. If it’s doable, let’s allow the two kids to be together.”
Zhao Baolin’s unworried words left Chai Hong astounded. How could she not know how much savings they had? She was the one in charge of the accounts at home. She secretly pinched Zhao Baolin, who did not react. Unable to call him out directly, all she could do was wait until Meng Huimei left. At the same time, Chai Hong felt anticipation, hoping that Zhao Baolin had the means to settle the monetary issue. If Zhao Yuhe was able to get married, it would be the joy of her life! Especially if he was marrying such a nice girl.
Meng Huimei breathed an air of relief when she saw Zhao Baolin answer without any worries. She laughed and said, “Bro, you are such an old sport. Then, I’m relieved. To be honest, if you didn’t have the money, this would be difficult to settle. But since there’s money, everything will be easy. The two kids have met, but the families on both sides have yet to meet. My plan is for the both of you to go over when you have time, or they can come over for a meetup. As for money, you can discuss it among yourselves.”
Upon hearing that, Zhao Baolin, who was still a little worried, was instantly relieved. If the families were to meet, they could negotiate. That way, the matter would not be too far off from resolved. Furthermore, it was easier on his mind.
Therefore, Zhao Baolin said, “Alright! It’s settled. Sis, help us decide on a time. We will visit them.”
“Alright. I’ll inform you of the details in the future,” said Meng Huimei.
After sending Meng Huimei off, Chai Hong pulled Zhao Baolin into the room and said, “Old Zhao, you sure spoke quickly and confidently, and I liked it. But where’s the money coming from? I heard that without two to three hundred thousand yuan, it’s impossible to get married these days. If they want that much for the dowry, where will we find that kind of money?”
When Chai Hong said that, she nearly broke into tears from anxiety.
“It’s fine, it’s fine. I’ll think of a solution. We only have this one son of ours. No matter what, we can’t let Yuhe be a bachelor for the rest of his life. If we don’t help him settle, we won’t feel at ease when we depart.” Zhao Baolin smoked as he patted Chai Hong on the shoulder.
“You have a solution?” Chai Hong was taken aback.
“Just don’t worry about the money. Have you forgotten what I did in the past? I’ve been places, and I still have some friends. I’ll visit them, and we’ll likely come up with a solution.”
“That’s the only thing we can do now. If Yuhe can be with Xiaoran, I’ll be at ease. I wouldn’t be worried even if I died then.” Chai Hong sighed.
Zhao Baolin nodded. “Alright. Stop worrying. I’ll take a walk now.”
After Zhao Baolin said that, he left the house and left the village. When there was no one around him, he entered a nearby cornfield, took out his cell phone, and searched through his contacts. He found a person named Wang Hu, and he stared at the name for more than ten minutes. Finally, he let out a sigh and put away his cell phone. After circling the area once, he returned home.
In the days after Meng Huimei’s departure, Zhao Baolin and Chai Hong remained unsettled. They wished for Meng Huimei to give them an answer, even if it was a rejection. The anxiety made them lose their appetite.
Finally, Meng Huimei called a week later.
“Brother Baolin,” said Meng Huimei.
“Sis, hold on. Let me catch my breath before you tell me. Just tell me the result directly. Regardless if it’s a success or not, just tell me the result. I can take it.” Zhao Baolin was truly nervous. His son’s future happiness was all determined on this phone call. Even his cell phone’s casing was producing cracking sounds from his tight grip as though it would explode at any moment.
“Brother Baolin, it’s not like you aren’t aware of Yuhe’s condition. The typical family definitely wouldn’t be agreeable to it,” said Meng Huimei.
Zhao Baolin’s heart sank immediately. He felt cold like he had fallen into a dark abyss. He subconsciously answered with a terse comment as he awaited his sentencing.
“However, this matter involves you, so I definitely had to do my best. I spent a week and said all kinds of nice words to the point of having a sore throat and wearing off my soles until they finally agreed. However, it’s only a meeting, and they haven’t agreed to the marriage yet.”
When she said that, Zhao Baolin immediately felt like he was pulled out from hell back into the mortal world. He saw hope again!
“Sis, no need to say any more! Whether this happens will all depend on you. I will definitely reward you!” Zhao Baolin said with a loud laugh.
By the side, Chai Hong was beaming as well.
“Alright, I’ll confirm the meeting then. Come to the Liu Family Village tomorrow. I’ll be waiting there and bring you to Xiaoran’s family, your future in-laws!”
Zhao Baolin nodded immediately.
After hanging up, Chai Hong came up to him before he could laugh. “We can’t go empty handed tomorrow, right? We should bring some gift money on our first meeting. How much should we bring?”
“This…” Zhao Baolin was taken aback as he immediately called Meng Huimei.
“At least two thousand! If it’s below that, you will look bad, and you won’t even have the opportunity to give it,” said Meng Huimei.
“That much?” Chai Hong felt the pinch.
“Alright! Two thousand it is!” Zhao Baolin stared at Chai Hong and agreed immediately.
“Also, bring some money for a dowry deposit. If this is a go, it’s best you pay a deposit to prevent any unexpected developments,” exhorted Meng Huimei.
“How much would that be?” Zhao Baolin also turned worried.
“Twenty to thirty thousand at the very least? Besides, jewelry is definitely needed. Quickly prepare for it and don’t hold back. They only have Xiaoran as their only child. No matter how much the parents want, won’t it eventually be given to Xiaoran? And isn’t Xiaoran your Yuhe’s? Do you feel the pinch giving money to your own Yuhe?” Meng Huimei asked.
Zhao Baolin thought about it and finding it reasonable, he agreed.
After hanging up, Zhao Baolin could not stay idle any further. He immediately headed to Songwu County with his passbook to draw out thirty thousand yuan. And all that was left in his balance was 67 yuan…
Zhao Baolin prayed silently. “I hope there won’t be any illness or disasters while we are out of money. God please watch over us.”
How were they to live their days without money? All Zhao Baolin could think about was how they would just not buy anything and could eat nothing but the vegetables they had planted. As for winter, their carrots, cabbages, and potatoes could last them an entire winter. If he had time, he could go out and work. Like that, they should barely last until the Chinese New Year. He was only afraid of any illnesses or calamities happening. If someone in the family got ill, their family would not be able to afford it.
Of course, Zhao Baolin was still able to console himself. The money would be Yuhe’s in the end, and if something really happened, Yuhe could help.
With these thoughts in mind, Zhao Baolin gave up the thought of calling Wang Hu again.
When he returned home, Chai Hong wept when she saw the balance left on the passbook.