Trending Again – Chapter 32

If you like something, you won’t turn back even if you hit a southern wall

Dreams & Memories

On a dark and stormy night, a female Christian was silently reciting scriptures. Suddenly, thunder roared, and amidst the faint sounds, she heard the cry of a child. The cry was very soft, like the meow of a kitten. She thought someone had abandoned a baby because this place was an orphanage, and abandoned children were often brought here.

The Christian woman quickly called the director. It was late at night, and she didn’t dare to go out alone. The elderly director walked over, organizing everyone to search nearby. It was possible that someone had abandoned a baby.

The rain was heavy, and the sky was already dark. Gradually, everyone gave up, thinking perhaps the child had been taken away by a wolf. But the director didn’t give up, firmly believing that the cry was coming from the riverbank. She followed the riverbank, walking intermittently for about four to five kilometers in the rushing water. Finally, near some rocks, she discovered a baby lying in a cradle.

The director quickly picked her up, and miraculously, as soon as she held her, the baby immediately stopped crying and smiled at the director.

The director was fond of this adorable child, so she brought her back to the orphanage. The child was very lovable, always smiling at everyone and not at all shy. Everyone grew fond of her.

Someone then suggested giving the child a name.

Just as everyone was unsure of what name to choose, the director suddenly noticed a jade pendant hanging around her neck, engraved with the character “司.” Could it be that the child’s surname was “Si”? In order for the child to be easily found by her parents in the future, the director decided to keep the surname “Si.”

“Director, please tell us, what should we name this child?”

“This child’s arrival is like a dream. Why not name her ‘Si Meng’?”

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Everyone was delighted, and with a name, she became a member of their community.

Little Si Meng gradually grew up. Unlike other children who loved crying and making a fuss, she was well-behaved and sensible, which made people feel sorry for her. She didn’t like to talk and was even somewhat withdrawn.

“Why don’t you go to school?” the director asked patiently and gently.

“Because I already know all of that. The teacher made a mistake on a question, but she said I was wrong. Everyone laughed at me and called me a foolish and unwanted child,” Little Si Meng replied while playing with mud.

Innocently, she asked the director, “Director Mom, is it because Si Meng is too stupid that my mom and dad didn’t want me? Am I very annoying?”

The director gently touched Little Si Meng’s head and said, “How could that be? Everyone likes Little Si Meng very much. Why don’t you try talking to the teacher in a different way? Maybe the teacher will like you then.”

Little Si Meng smiled happily, but the director couldn’t help but feel a sense of sadness. Was it because she had been abandoned before that she lived so cautiously?

After school, Little Si Meng proudly held up her test paper. It was a perfect score. She bounced over to the director and exclaimed joyfully, “Director Mom, I used your method to talk to the teacher, and she really doesn’t dislike me anymore. My classmates even praised me for being smart.”

The director breathed a sigh of relief, embracing Little Si Meng, hoping that she would always remain happy, meet people she liked, do things she enjoyed, and eventually forget this unpleasant memory.

Little Si Meng gradually grew up. When she was a child, what she longed for the most was to grow up quickly and become an adult. But every adult longed for their childhood that became increasingly distant.

At the age of eight, Little Si Meng was crouching in a corner, eavesdropping. The old director was discussing with a wealthy businessman. Rather than calling it a discussion, it was more like a unilateral declaration. The director informed them that the land of the orphanage had been requisitioned. The official documents had been approved, and there would be no compensation. The director advised them to prepare themselves as soon as possible.

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Since that day, the old director had tears streaming down her face all day long. Little Si Meng, though not fully understanding, could sense that something bad had happened.

“Director, what’s wrong with you? Are you unhappy?” Little Si Meng asked.

“Oh, nothing. I have found new foster families for everyone. They will take good care of you. You must be obedient and listen, okay?” The director explained hurriedly, with a sense of urgency.

“I will be obedient. Does it mean that you don’t want us anymore?” Si Meng asked persistently.

“Yes, from now on, forget about me. Never come looking for me,” the director said harshly.

Little Si Meng cried as her other companions were taken away one by one. A little boy held Si Meng’s hand and said reluctantly, “The orphanage has gone bankrupt. You need to find a good foster family. I will miss you.”

All the former companions had left, leaving Si Meng stubbornly unwilling to leave. The prospective adoptive parents shook their heads and walked away because of her obstinate nature.

Later, a rough-looking man with a limp came to the orphanage. He squatted down and looked at Si Meng, her tear-streaked face. He asked her if she would like to go with him, as he needed a hardworking apprentice despite his limp.

Si Meng wiped away her tears and said she didn’t want to go. She wanted to stay and wait for the director to come back. The limping man smiled and shook his head as he walked away.

During the day, Si Meng would stay by the orphanage gate. In the afternoon, she would go and compete with stray cats and dogs for food. At night, she would sleep under the bridge. The nights were dark and lonely. Sometimes she would count the stars, and as she counted, she would fall asleep.

Later, Little Si Meng noticed a very beautiful girl whom she had never seen before. She had never seen anyone so beautiful. Despite appearing to be around the same age as Si Meng, she seemed to understand everything. At that moment, Si Meng felt like this person in front of her was the God that Sister Christ believed in.

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Nine-year-old Lin Hanyue was feeding the leftover food to stray cats and dogs. Her father had told her to share the excess food. And she did exactly that.

The little cats and dogs loved her. Suddenly, she noticed a cute little girl hiding in the corner, with a porcelain-like face that was pale and rosy.

Curiously, Little Hanyue asked, “Are you playing house in there?”

Little Si Meng didn’t answer. She was a bit shy, afraid that the person in front of her would treat her like those adults did, driving her away with disdain.

Little Hanyue took the initiative to hold Little Si Meng’s hand and sweetly said, “I’ll give you all the delicious food. Can you play with me?”

Little Si Meng tilted her head, thought for a moment, and nodded in her innocent way. Little Hanyue happily embraced her.

As the sun set, the two of them would routinely meet at the park. Little Si Meng still refused to speak, with Little Hanyue doing all the talking while Little Si Meng listened. The cats and dogs would play around them.

On that evening, Little Si Meng didn’t show up. Instead, she went to find the limping man and asked, “How can I find Director Mom?”

The man, with a toothpick in his mouth, slowly replied, “You need money, otherwise, you won’t be able to move an inch.”

“How can I make money then?” Little Si Meng asked persistently.

“It’s simple. Become my apprentice, and I’ll provide food and shelter. In the future, you can take my place, and with skills, you’ll have money!”

“In that case, as long as I become better than you and have money, I can find Director Mom,” Little Si Meng exclaimed joyfully.

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Little Si Meng danced with excitement, but the man chuckled without saying a word. Time slowed down from that point on. Every day at 5:30 a.m., she would get up and assume a horse stance, spending at least four hours lifting pots, memorizing ten recipes, practicing knife skills for two hours, and if she slacked off, she had to double her efforts.

Little Si Meng’s daily happiness was limited to meeting the fairy sister in the afternoon.

“What delicious food did you bring me today, Little Hanyue?” Little Hanyue eagerly approached.

“Tomato scrambled eggs, but Master said I burnt it,” Little Si Meng stuck out her tongue.

“It’s okay. I love whatever you make,” Little Hanyue stuffed herself with big mouthfuls.

“You eat so much. What if no boys want to marry you?” Little Si Meng couldn’t help but worry.

“Then you marry me. After all, you’re the one who made me chubby. Mom says I don’t look good when I’m fat.”

Little Si Meng was at a loss for words, her face flushed red. She awkwardly pouted, thinking about how Sister Christ had said that marriage required the consent of God, and she hadn’t asked if God agreed or not. This person was too shameless.

“Who, who said I wanted to marry you? Don’t say such things!” Little Si Meng grew more and more embarrassed, and her face resembled a steamed crab.

“Then I’ll marry you. I want to marry you as my wife, and you mustn’t forget me. My name is Lin Hanyue, understand? The ‘晗’ in Lin Hanyue, the ‘玥’ in Lin Hanyue,” Little Hanyue said earnestly, and Little Si Meng nodded seriously.

Later, when Little Hanyue moved away, Little Si Meng became lost and disoriented. The man said that humans suffer from love, and birds perish for food. It would be better to wander the world with him and participate in the national culinary competition.

The man’s favorite saying was, “Ah, women, they only affect the speed at which you wield your spatula!”

Gradually, Si Meng couldn’t recall who that little girl was anymore. She only appeared in her dreams, like a ray of light, like that plate of tomato scrambled eggs, during her moments of despair.

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