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The bowl in Cui Dingchen’s fell to the ground with a “bang”. The bowl of bean curd jelly spilled everywhere, but he ignored it and ran straight to the east wing room. He saw Xu Fan laying uncomfortably in bed, groaning.
Cui Dingchen walked straight up. As soon as his hands touched Xu Fan’s little cheek, he felt the burning heat. His heart trembled. He immediately picked up Xu Fan and walked out. He saw Mother and Father Xu enter the door in a panic and said to them, “I’ll take him to the hospital.”
Mother Xu said, “I’ll go with you.”
Cui Dingchen replied, “Okay.”
It usually took 40 minutes to drive from South Bay Village to West Prefecture’s People’s First Hospital, but it only took Cui Dingchen 20 minutes this time. When they arrived at the hospital, he rushed inside with Xu Fan in his arms. He found a doctor, took his body temperature, and started giving Xu Fan medicine and injections. Unable to avoid this, Xu Fan was crying and trying to resist.
Cui Dingchen tightly hugged him.
Xu Fan cried and called out, “Daddy, Daddy.”
After the injection, Xu Fan was still crying.
Cui Dingchen pressed a cotton ball for Xu Fan for a bit before helping Xu Fan put on his pants and gently asked, “Want to find Daddy?”
Xu Fan cried and said, “Find Daddy. Find my daddy.”
“Okay, I’ll take you to find Daddy.”
Cui Dingchen took Xu Fan to Xu Zhao’s ward. Xu Fan immediately stopped crying. His burning little red face saw Xu Zhao lying there. He immediately called out, “Daddy! Daddy!”
Xu Zhao quietly slept.
Xu Fan raised his voice and called again, “Daddy! Daddy!”
Cui Dingchen put Xu Fan at the end of Xu Zhao’s bed.
Xu Fan flipped over and turned his small face toward Xu Zhao. He placed a kiss, then said, “Daddy, wake up. Daddy, Grandpa Sun is out.”
In the past, Xu Fan would wake up Xu Zhao like this. Seeing that kissing once didn’t work, he kissed again, then a third time, all the way until Xu Zhao woke up. However, this time, Xu Zhao continued to silently sleep. Xu Fan had no choice but to curl up his small mouth and hang his small head.
Cui Dingchen’s eyes were slightly red as he called, “Xu Fan.”
Xu Fan raised his small head. Tears fell in drones as he sadly said, “My daddy isn’t paying attention to me. He’s not waking up.”
Cui Dingchen knelt in front of the bed. His gaze was slightly below Xu Fan, so he slightly raised his head to look at Xu Fan. Using a soft voice, he said to Xu Fan, “He’s sick.”
Xu Fan asked, “Sick with what?”
Cui Dingchen said in a low voice, “I don’t know, but he needs to sleep for a while before he’ll wake up.”
Xu Fan didn’t speak.
Cui Dingchen said, “Xu Fan, I’m sorry.”
Xu Fan’s eyes filled with bubbles of tears as he looked straight at Cui Dingchen.
When Xu Fan called out “Daddy”, Cui Dingchen’s eyes had already turned red. At this time, they were clearly bloodshot, but this didn’t prevent him from gently speaking to Xu Fan. “I’ve wronged you these past few days.”
He didn’t know if Xu Fan understood, but Cui Dingchen still wanted to tell Xu Fan. “This is my first time being a big daddy, being your big daddy. Knowing that you’re my son, I’m very happy and excited, but I don’t know anything. I can’t do anything. I’m really stupid. Yesterday, the day before that, and the day before that. When I washed you, I accidentally pinched and hurt you. When I made you a milk bottle, I burnt you. When I dressed you, I hurt you. It’s all my fault. I’m sorry. Will you forgive me?”
Xu Fan said, “Okay.”
Cui Dingchen looked at Xu Fan and asked in a trembling voice, “Then can I still be your big daddy?”
“Yes.” Although Cui Dingchen’s care for Xu Fan was clumsy, Xu Fan felt his sincerity. Before Xu Zhao had an accident, he kept telling Xu Fan that “Cui Dingchen was his big daddy”.
“Can you call me big daddy?”
Cui Dingchen’s red eyes became even redder. He couldn’t stop his tears from falling. In order to not let Xu Fan see it, he quickly lowered his head to wipe his tears. He caught Mother Xu standing by the door out of the corner of his eye.
Because Cui Dingchen had driven too quickly, Mother Xu was still gathering herself downstairs. After going upstairs, she found the doctor to inquire about Xu Fan’s situation. After confirming that Xu Fan only had a fever and there weren’t any major problems, she didn’t ask any other questions. She quickly came over to check, but she didn’t expect to see this scene. She had complained in her heart about Cui Dingchen before. She felt that Xu Zhao’s situation was all caused by Cui Dingchen.
However, after carefully thinking it over, she couldn’t think of what Cui Dingchen did wrong. For over a week, he took care of her, took care of Xu Fan, took care of the entire family so much that he had lost so much weight. When he heard Cui Dingchen say those things to Cui Dingchen, Mother Xu felt sad.
Mother Xu looked at Cui Dingchen in response. Except for the slightly red eyes, Cui Dingchen didn’t look any different from usual. She couldn’t help but say, “I heard the doctor say that Sanwa’s fever will break soon. You should rest as well.”
He never expected Mother Xu to say these words to him. Cui Dingchen was slightly stunned. “I’m fine. I’m not tired.”
“You look tired.”
Cui Dingchen slightly bowed his head and didn’t speak.
Mother Xu said, “I’ll watch over Sanwa and Xu Zhao.”
Cui Dingchen quickly said, “I’ll look after them. Uncle Xu still needs you to take care of him.”
Father Xu was originally back to good health, but because of Xu Zhao falling ill, he didn’t eat or sleep well. He was obviously in poor spirits. Mother Xu was very worried about him, so she didn’t insist. She stayed in the ward with Cui Dingchen until Xu Fan’s fever broke. Mother Xu then planned on returning to South Bay Village and have Xu Fan stay at the hospital so that the child’s fever wouldn’t return again.
However, she couldn’t stop worrying. She kept telling Cui Dingchen, and Cui Dingchen remembered it all. He then drove Mother Xu back to South Bay Village.
Mother Xu got out of the car and walked a few steps forward before turning her head back to Cui Dingchen and saying, “Cui Dingchen.”
Cui Dingchen quickly bent over and answered.
“It’s been hard on you.”
“It’s not hard. All I want is for Xu Zhao to wake up.”
Mother Xu smiled bitterly and nodded.
Cui Dingchen watched Mother Xu walk into South Bay Village. He didn’t dare stay too long and quickly drove back to West Prefecture City People’s First Hospital. When he walked into the ward, he saw Xu Fan sleeping beside Xu Zhao.
He stepped forward and touched Xu Fan’s forehead. The fever had subsided. He was a little relieved, but that night, the fever started again. After taking medicine and injection, he cried again. He cried until he exhausted himself. In the middle of the night, Cui Dingchen sat on Xu Zhao’s bed as he held and coaxed Xu Fan.
After taking the injection, Xu Fan slowly stopped crying.
Cui Dingchen whispered, “Big daddy will tell you a story, okay?”
Xu Fan flattened his lips and said, “Your stories aren’t good.”
“I’ll tell you a good story, okay?”
“What good one?”
Cui Dingchen thought it over, and in the end, told Xu Fan about his childhood. Although his voice was still flat, this was a story about his childhood, so there was a bit of emotion. Along with the fact that his childhood was harsh and full of twists and turns, Xu Fan intently listened to him. After a while, he obediently fell asleep.
Cui Dingchen was afraid that Xu Fan would have another fever in the middle of the night, so he held Xu Fan and slept on the small bed next to Xu Zhao. He woke up many times in the night to check if Xu Fan had a fever or any other problems. The last time he woke up, dawn broke, painted in white. He wasn’t sleepy at all. At this moment, he genuinely experienced the hardships Xu Zhao had to face these past five years.
It turned out that giving birth and taking care of one child was this hard. So hard. How had Xu Zhao lived under those poor conditions? From the bottom of his heart, he felt sorry and admired Xu Zhao.
At dawn, he took out his toiletries and went to the faucet to wash up. When he returned to the ward, he saw Xu Fan lying in front of Xu Zhao’s bed. He kissed Xu Zhao. After kissing, he would call Daddy, then kiss and call Daddy again.
He walked up and hugged Xu Fan into his embrace. He said, “I’ll change your clothes. We’ll get breakfast after.”
Xu Fan obediently said, “Okay.”
“What do you want to eat?”
“I don’t know.”
Without Xu Zhao, Xu Fan had changed. Cui Dingchen rubbed Xu Fan’s head and spent a long time clumsily dressing Xu Fan. After the clothes were changed, he saw that Xu Fan wasn’t comfortable. He started again and pulled the clothes on Xu Fan, then asked, “Is it okay?”
Xu Fan said, “It’s okay.”
Cui Dingchen said, “I’m sorry. I’ll put your clothes on better next time.”
Xu Fan said, “I forgive you.”
“Thank you, son.”
Cui Dingchen reached out to touch Xu Fan’s little, meaty face. He had only been sick for two days, but he felt a lot thinner. Or maybe it was because he didn’t have Xu Zhao, who would spoil, tease, and play with his son, so he kept feeling that his son was very pitiful. In the end, he gave Xu Fan too little.
Afterward, in order to reduce Mother and Father Xu’s burden, as well as to have Xu Fan accept himself, he kept Xu Fan by his side everyday. He would take Xu Fan to South Bay Village, to the vegetable greenhouses, to the Cui residence, and to the hospital. Everything he did, he put Xu Zhao, Xu Fan, and Mother and Father Xu first. Another four to five days passed in this manner. Xu Zhao kept on sleeping.
Father Xu, who had just seen Xu Zhao yesterday, asked Cui Dingchen, “How is Xu Zhao today?”
Cui Dingchen’s eyes dimmer for a moment before he gently said, “His complexion is good.”
Father Xu hummed in reply. A trace of sadness filled his heart.
Cui Dingchen couldn’t say any comforting words, so he said, “The weather is warm today. There aren’t any big problems with greenhouses either. Brother Li and the others are taking care of it. I’ll take Xu Fan to the hospital and wipe Xu Zhao’s body.”
Father Xu nodded.
Cui Dingchen looked at Xu Fan, who wasn’t far away. Xu Fan was standing in the middle of the road. His watery eyes looked straight at Qiangqiang, who wasn’t far away from him. Qiangqiang and his little daddy were playing with paper airplanes, laughing nonstop. The scene was very warm.
Cui Dingchen walked to Xu Fan and gently called, “Xu Fan.”
Xu Fan immediately drooped his head. One small, meaty hand held the index finger of the other small, meaty hand. He turned and walked toward a corner and cried as soon as he reached it.
“What’s wrong?” Cui Dingchen asked.
Xu Fan cried as he whined, “Miss Daddy.”
Cui Dingchen’s heart tightened. He sat on a rock beside Xu Fan and said, “I miss him too. I miss your daddy as well. I miss my wife.”
Xu Fan didn’t speak.
Cui Dingchen sat, unmoving. His eyes were empty.
The breeze slowly blew, causing the leaves to shake and the wheat to sway in the wind. The smoke from the chimneys in South Bay Village floated up and dissipated.
Cui Dingchen let out a breath, picked up Xu Fan from the corner, and wiped the tears from his face. He gently said, “Let’s go to the hospital to find your Daddy. Maybe your Daddy will even wake up today.”
Xu Fan hummed in agreement.
Cui Dingchen placed Xu Fan in the car and fastened his seat belt. They first went to the Cui residence to eat a meal cooked by Mother Cui. The Cui family already knew about Xu Fan’s identity and took even more care of Xu Fan. They worried that Xu Fan wouldn’t eat well. If Cui Dingchen didn’t bring Xu Fan there to eat, Father Cui would bring a lunchbox to the hospital so that Cui Dingchen and Xu Fan would eat better.
Even so, Xu Fan lost weight. Cui Dingchen lost even more weight.
“Dingchen, you should eat some as well,” Mother Cui said.
Cui Dingchen knew that his family was worried, so he nodded and ate a bit. It was only a bit. Seeing Xu Fan finish his food, he then took Xu Fan to the hospital ward to keep Xu Zhao company.
The weather was good today. It was warm. Cui Dingchen got some hot water, settled Xu Fan with the nurses, then helped Xu Zhao wash his body. Afterward, he went to the nurses to get Xu Fan back.
Xu Fan asked, “Is my daddy a-awake?”
“Cui Dingchen replied, “No.”
Xu Fan entered the ward and stood at the head of Xu Zhao’s head and spoke to Xu Zhao, “Daddy, why aren’t you awake. Are you hungry? Me and b-big daddy ate. It was very good. Wake up. I’ll take you to eat. Daddy…”
Xu Fan and Cui Dingchen didn’t talk much to each other. But once it was with Xu Zhao, their words didn’t stop. Cui Dingchen calculated the employee salaries for Zhaoyang Agricultural Ecology Limited on the side, and when he finished, he turned to Xu Fan. Xu Fan was still talking. He turned his gaze to Xu Zhao and suddenly saw Xu Zhao’s eyelashes flutter.
His heart trembled. He quickly pounced over, thinking that he saw wrong. However, he clearly saw Xu Zhao’s eyelashes flutter. His eyes slightly rolled under his eyelids. It wasn’t like this before. Even Xu Fan saw this.
The father and son called together.
However, Xu Zhao stopped moving again. This didn’t affect Cui Dingchen’s excitement. Cui Dingchen was so excited that he thought his heart might explode. It was only after two seconds that he finally thought of finding a doctor.
Right, he needed to find a doctor!
He immediately got up and strode out of the ward. He was completely unaware of the stool beside his leg, causing him to stumble a bit. Fortunately, his reaction was quick, and he reached out his hand to steady himself. However, he still knocked his knees heavily against the ground. This didn’t cause him to delay in the slightest. He immediately stood and stumbled out of the ward while calling for a doctor.
Big daddy sounds so wrong coming from XF 😂. My heart is breaking from this chapter, but I love the sweet moments we get to see between XF and CDC.