Dousha woke up after a short nap. He got up from the bed, then his eyes wide opened at once, wearing his small slippers, he ran to the door of the study downstairs.
He tiptoed with his little feet, gently turned the door handle and pushed the door open. He put his little head into the room that was sloppy and messy like a bird’s nest, he then looked into the room and checked every corner with his little round eyes: in the study, there was only his father who was sitting straight and focusing on handling the documents from his company.
After that, he ran to the upstairs again, making a sound of pitter-patter from his little feet wearing slippers. He looked at every empty room in the house, then ran to his father’s room to see if there was anything in it, and finally ran down to the downstairs again. He rushed to the shoe rack at the entrance to check if there were any extra shoes or socks.
Finally, he found that there was nothing extra at home, and his father didn’t bring any strangers into their house. He finally relieved a little sigh. The little boy was no longer nervous. He jumped on the sofa with a submachine toy gun in his hand, shot here and there in the air of his surroundings, and finally rolled his eyes and put a hand on his tired chest, and then he fell onto the soft sofa.
Dousha knew that Liu Heng’s “boyfriend” was coming back to China one of these days. He overheard his father’s phone call and knew that that “boyfriend” would arrive this morning. Liu Heng had never discussed this issue with Dousha. Dousha also pretended like he knew nothing of it. Dousha didn’t like that man, the uncle whose face looked like a fox when he smiled and he always put on a fake smile. As early as two years ago, when Dousha met that man for the first time, he didn’t like him. He saw his papa holding the fox-faced uncle’s hand and hugged him, touched his face and kissed his forehead! All of those actions were what Dousha had usually received from his father! From a child’s narrow perspective, Dousha always thought that his papa could only do this to himself and his mother. He did not have a mother, so papa should only hug him and kiss him! He definitely wouldn’t allow his papa to be so intimate with other people!
So, at that time after they returned back to China and when Liu Heng asked Dousha whether he liked that uncle or not, Dousha just bit his little fingers and said pitifully, “I like. But, that uncle asked me if I want a mother.”
Since then, Liu Heng never mentioned Zhou Yi’an in front of Dousha again. Also, he had never taken Dousha to see Zhou Yi’an. Even if he was on the phone, he would never talk in the presence of Dousha.
Dousha felt that he was the winner at that time. He didn’t like that fox-faced uncle, so, papa must never be with that fox-faced uncle too!
But, now that the fox-faced uncle was back, it was probably to grab his papa away from him. Maybe he still wanted to be his mother! Absolutely not! Absolutely not!!! As a result, Dousha began to lose his temper these days, not eating well, not sleeping well, he even gave the nanny aunt a cold shoulder; making small complaints over things like ‘This is not good! That is not right!’
This was the nature of a child. In his heart, all children have a father and a mother, and he should have too. Even his best friend, Ye Fei in kindergarten had two fathers. But, he only had one father.
Dousha was lying on the sofa, twisting his body. He was tossing himself from side to side. After a while, he got up, without wearing the slippers, he ran upstairs barefoot, calling his good friend Ye Fei with his little phone.
After the call was connected, Ye Fei asked him: “Your papa’s friend came?”
Dousha clenched his little fist and said bitterly: “No, not! I will not let him live here! My papa is now working in the study alone. That man is not here.”
Ye Fei thought for a while: “That man really has a fox-faced?”
Dousha nodded seriously. “It’s real! It’s really the fox-faced! Have you read the comic I lent you? There’s a fox face above on it. His face is just like that!”
Ye Fei thought about the comic book that Dousha lent to him. He couldn’t understand many of the words in it. He didn’t know many words like Dousha, who still hadn’t gone to the elementary school but already knew a lot of words. He still hadn’t recognized all the 24 letters* of English alphabet yet! He struggled for a while. He felt embarrassed to tell Dousha that he hadn’t read the comic book yet because he didn’t know the words in it, so he could only follow Dousha and said: “Oh, then I know what he looks like.”
*(T/N: This is not a typo!)
Dousha suddenly felt frustrated: “Ye Fei, you have two fathers, but I only have one. You say, where do you think my mama or another papa is right now?”
Ye Fei was not as smart as Dousha. Once Dousha was confused, he was more than at a loss. Scratching his head, he said with his little bitter face: “I don’t know. Why don’t you ask your papa? Maybe he knows??”
Dousha snorted: “He won’t tell me, neither grandma nor grandpa. They won’t even let me ask! They said if I ask, I will make papa angry!”
“No, no! He won’t!” Ye Fei suddenly got excited at this time, making a face of a very experienced party, he said with excitement: “I’ll tell you! I used to have only one father too! I always asked my papa where my mama is. But, my papa just ignored me. And, when my mama came back, papa was very, very happy! So, adults are always pretending like that! They will always pretend and scare us children!!! Bullying us for not being big or tall like them! They bully us for being young! Wait till I grow up! I’m going to get back at them!”
Ye Fei said very excitedly, he even waved his little fist, completely forgetting that he was answering the phone in the living room. His papa and daddy, both were sitting next to him. On the cold face of his papa, there was a three-straight-parallel-black-lines heading downwards on his forehead,* while his daddy covered his mouth and made a smile that quickly faded away.
*(T/N: a figurative expression, mostly in anime, to show one’s shocked, anxious, disappointed and so on, usually used for negative feelings)
Dousha suddenly realized: “Ah? Is it really like that?”
Ye Fei nodded: “Eun, eun. It must be like this! So, don’t be afraid. Just ask your papa where your mama is! If he doesn’t care about you, then you cry and lie and roll on the ground.”
Dousha hesitated, but he nodded, and hung up the phone after saying a few more words with Ye Fei.
Compared with kids of the same age, Dousha had a higher IQ and EQ. Although Ye Fei gave him advice, he still felt that it was better not to ask about it first.
There must be a reason why his grandpa and grandma told him not to ask about it. When he thought like that, he suddenly had a grasp of something; what if his mama was no longer here? Or, what if it was his mama who didn’t want him?
The child’s thoughts went around in circles and he felt uncomfortable. After he thought about it in a while, he decided to look for a bit more information himself before he asked his father first.
Dousha decided, so he ran downstairs again to get on the sofa in the living room. He remembered that he had just seen his father’s mobile phone when he was lying on the sofa. He got on the sofa and searched around with a pouting face. Finally, he found Liu Heng’s phone covered under a cushion.
Dousha didn’t run upstairs this time. He lay on the sofa and muted the phone first. He used to play with his father’s mobile phone as a toy. He knew how to call and how to read text messages. Dousha unlocked the screen lock, but the first thing that jumped out on the screen was not the background wallpaper he was familiar with, but a photo!
Dousha froze for a moment. He looked closer, and found a man in that photo, and that man... looked very similar to him!
Dousha’s little heart beating “thump thump”, his face was full of unbelievable surprise and astonishment. He took his thick and soft fingers on the man’s eyebrows. He frowned again. ‘It can’t be wrong!’ The two of them had the same little red dots, it couldn’t be wrong! A child’s intuition was sometimes surprisingly accurate, coupled with his high IQ and EQ, just at one glance, he knew it for sure; this person was his own mother!
The child’s eyes turned red on the spot, his heart was full of grievances and he felt wronged. His small hands holding the phone were shaking non-stop; his breath quickened with a ‘hu hu’ sound, his small mouth was twitching and mumbling. When he looked at the man in the photo, and his vision quickly turned into a blur, and the tears fell down ‘patter patter’. Finally, he couldn’t bear it anymore; he dropped the phone in his hands and cried out loudly.
Liu Heng heard the movements in the living room outside; he felt a pause in his heart and immediately got up and opened the door.
In the living room, Dousha was lying on the sofa, crying loudly with his head covered in little arms, Liu Heng’s mobile phone was already thrown away to quite a distance. With a frown on his stern face that looked the same as a knife-curved sculpture, Liu Heng walked over to the sofa with big steps, picked his little son up from it, hugged him and put the child on his thigh: “Why are you crying?”
Dousha was bawling with his hands covering his face, and his tears kept falling like big peas. Dousha was different from the children of the same age. He was not a child who could express his emotions. Most of the time, he was expressionless, he neither laughed nor cried, and played games by himself.
Liu Heng’s eyes looked around; he noticed the phone lying on the floor. An idea flickered like a flash. When he came back, he threw his phone on the sofa. Before that, he had opened the phone’s photo gallery, and..... ‘Could it be...?!’
Liu Heng’s cold face was stained with helplessness. He picked up Dousha and patted him softly, and then busied coaxing the child. At this age, many children were spoiled, pampered and doted on by their parents in every possible way, but that was not the case for little Dousha. He was not that close with his grandparents, and Liu Heng was always busy with work. Children of the same age had both father and mother, but Dousha didn’t. He only had a father, only one papa.
Dousha had never asked Liu Heng: where his mother was? Or, why he didn’t have a mother? Liu Heng also would not explain too much to his son. Dousha didn’t ask him and he also wouldn’t open his mouth to say much about that matter. He thought his child was cold and indifferent, he was not close or intimate with anyone, thus he just assumed that the child would not care to ask nor wanted to know about the mother who he had never met before, like ‘why didn’t his mother come to see him?’ Or, ‘where was his mother now?’ They all just assumed as they wanted, but never cared to know about what the child was actually thinking. Especially for a child like Dousha, how could those adults be able to understand what was hidden in his little heart without even trying to know?
Now Liu Heng knew it. It was not that Dousha didn’t care, he just held it secretly in his heart, and then he just happened to never ask about it.
At this time, the doorbell rang. Dousha was no longer bawling, only sobbing in a low voice with his shoulders shaking.
Liu Heng looked in the direction of the front door. At first, he wanted to take Dousha to his room upstairs, intending to settle his baby son first. However, he had just walked to the stairs and had only taken a few steps, the lock of the entrance door was turned and opened with a click, and then the door was swung open. There was Zhou Yi’an who was standing at the entrance confusedly. When Zhou Yi’an raised his head and looked up, his eyes just met with Liu Heng’s eyes, who happened to turn back to look at the entrance at that time.
Dousha was lying in his father’s arms, his cheeks resting on his father’s shoulder, his hair was a bit messy, and only a pair of bright brown eyes was shown, and his shoulders were shaking occasionally.
“What’s wrong with him?” Zhou Yi’an looked at Liu Heng and the small round head lying on Liu Heng’s shoulder in surprise. His eyes turned and checked around inside, then he saw a pile of mess on the sofa.
Liu Heng raised his eyebrows, but said nothing. With a cold and indifferent face, he held Dousha in one hand, patted him softly by one hand, he just turned around and prepared to go upstairs.
However, how could Dousha let it go easily? Originally, he just disliked Zhou Yi’an, only disliked him as his father’s “boyfriend”. However, without a doubt, his father could only have his mother. ‘Papa must only be with his mama! No, not mama! It’s another papa!’ ‘And, what does this have to do with this fox-faced?’ ‘What’s with him?!!’ ‘Why is he here?’
Dousha’s golden-tea-colored eyes stared intensely at Zhou Yi’an, his small fists clenched firmly in Liu Henghuai’s embrace, and he was getting so angry when he remembered Zhou Yi’an’s appearance. Remembering that hateful pair of peach blossom eyes and that annoying fox-like-face, he was extremely angry!
It’s all because of him! Yes! It must be because of that fox-faced! It must be because of him that his other papa did not want to return home!!! He was so sure of it!!!
Dousha screamed and cried very loudly, his eyes were full of anger. He twisted and tried to break free in Liu Heng’s arms, shouting at the direction of the entrance door: “I only want my papa! I don’t want to see him!!! No!!!”