Because he had no foundation, Zhang Hang couldn’t go directly to the high school level of the School for the Blind. Instead, he had to complete a one-year Braille preparatory course along with other newly-enrolled students. He also had to decide whether he wanted to attend ordinary high school or vocational high school. After one year of study, he could take a class entrance exam. If he qualified, he could directly become a second year. If he didn’t, he would have to be a first year again.
The Kaishi School for the Blind had the most complete facilities and the highest educational level of all the schools for the blind in China. It wasn’t just locals, many people from the surrounding towns and cities attended as well. The School for the Blind had dormitories with facilities made to be convenient for blind people. Each floor had special management personnel to assist them. For students who had just arrived and were not yet accustomed to their living accommodations, there were specialized people to help them adjust. The bedrooms were all separate rooms and the living environment was very good. Because it was a public school, accommodation fees were not high.
Zhang Hang had tens of thousands of yuan on hand, enough to study at the school for several years according to the standard fees of the School for the Blind. Even if Zhang Qiming didn’t care about him, he would still be able to attend and be taken care of.
But… sensing Big Black sitting at his feet, Zhang Hang felt it was better to live alone. Although going to and from school wasn’t safe, he trusted Big Black to help him.
According to Zhang Qiming, Zhang Hang absolutely had to go to high school after his preparatory classes. Although there were no examples of blind people taking part in any college entrance exams in China, there were a few in foreign countries! Zhang Qiming inwardly clenched his fist. He wanted to make money so he could send Hang Hang abroad.
However, Zhang Hang wanted to go to vocational high school. It was one year of preparatory courses and two years for some classes in the vocational high school. After graduation, he would be 19 years old. He should then find a suitable job for himself as soon as possible so as not to continue inconveniencing others. He didn’t want Zhang Qiming to fight with his family because of his studies. Both Wang Guiying and himself were Zhang Qiming’s favorite people. If there was a conflict between the two, Zhang Qiming would be the one most hurt. Now, he was afraid that Zhang Qiming buying him a condo was only the result of him and his parents fighting for a long time. He may not have told them about the purchase.
Zhang Hang was very clear on his current situation. He felt that giving up his desire to continue studying in order to work was the most realistic. In other words, he, who had once passed the First School’s entrance exam, in the future his highest level of education could only be… vocational high school.
We’re sorry for MTLers or people who like using reading mode, but our translations keep getting stolen by aggregators so we’re going to bring back the copy protection. If you need to MTL please retype the gibberish parts.
He hadn’t spoken to Zhang Qiming about any of this temporarily, so as not to crush his enthusiasm. He also didn’t tell Xiao Ren, who, like Zhang Qiming, wished to see him attend higher education.
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His Hang Hang was a conscientious student who worked especially hard, and was very talented. He had hoped to take Peking University’s entrance examination, then go abroad for further study on his own merit using public expenses. The young Zhang Hang had long ago admitted this wish to the Big Black who had not grown up yet. At that time, the boy had suffered a headache, not knowing whether he could bring Big Black to study abroad. He was reluctant to leave Big Black behind. After all, his father had said he must take responsibility for the animals he raised, and that pets were not just playthings he could discard.
Back then, Lu Chengye just moved his ears to indicate that he was listening. He hadn’t taken those words to heart. The future of Zhang Hang’s imagination was too far away, it would take at least until he was five or six years old. He would just be an old dog by then.
Now, he clearly recalled the tone, expression, and eyes of the youth at that time, full of expectation and yearning for his bright future. Now, Zhang Hang’s future was shrouded in darkness because he was blind. No matter how hard he tried or how much he struggled to reach for the dream he once had, he could only grasp the darkness of nothingness.
His dream wasn’t broken, but instead forever silent in the dark, never to wake up again.
And yet, he showed a warm and strong smile, behaving so intelligently and independently in front of others. It was only in the dead of night, when facing his Big Black, that he could show some vulnerability.
Lu Chengye placed his head on Zhang Hang’s knees, allowing him to easily touch his fluffy body. There was nothing he could do but maximize his presence to let Zhang Hang know that, even in the eternal darkness, there would always be a dog with him.
Zhang Hang’s school life was peaceful. His class didn’t have any children in it who were too young. They were all literate and blind or otherwise visually impaired. Most of the other children had been sent directly to preschool or elementary school, as they were born blind. They had to learn from scratch.
Compared with them, Zhang Hang’s class was relatively easy to understand. He was literate, and had seen the blue sky and white clouds. He knew the world and was quick on the uptake, so with the help of his teacher, he felt word by word and slowly learned to use his senses to perceive his surroundings. Listening was very important for the blind, so the class was very quiet. During a lecture, the teacher was usually the only one talking. The students even breathed quietly.
Zhang Hang would also talk with the other students in his spare time. He met Yao Jingyi, a woman with a clear and pleasant voice. She had been a highly paid white-collar worker, but became blind from a car accident. Her husband divorced her because of it, and she now lived with her parents. She had a generous heart and had calmly accepted the series of blows, but was occasionally at a loss of what to do. “I can’t do my previous work, and my parents are still old. I need to take care of them, even though I also need to be taken care of. But I have no income now, and don’t know what to do. Honestly, my husband leaving me has hit me hard, but I can’t tell my parents how sad I am because they are already sad enough. I don’t know if I can stand it anymore. I need someone to comfort me, but he’s gone… who else could I find?”
This problem had probably been bothering her for a long time, but when she spoke, there was no indication of sadness in her voice, just a sense of confusion. Zhang Hang had a good character and knew a lot. Compared to the rest of the class, he was more serious, capable, and realistic. Yao Jingyi liked talking with him very much. Her words carried a sense of fragility, something that confused people, but Zhang Hang didn’t see her as delicate.
Later, Yao Jingyi heard that Zhang Hang was only 16 years old, so she stopped talking with him. Instead, she changed to another man with a low and steady voice. Before chatting, she first asked the other person for his age. When she heard that he was more than 30 years old, she was reassured.
Zhang Hang was stunned by this change, but dismissed it from his mind. He understood that Yao Jingyi wasn’t trying to seduce anyone, she was just upset and depressed, and needed to find someone to talk to. Compared with normal people, the words from the blind would comfort her more. This did not mean, however, that she needed consoling from an underage child.
A child… Zhang Hang let out a long sigh. In this world, he was truly too young to have rights many citizens had. He had to be 18 years old to live independently.
Another familiar voice was youthful and sharp, probably belonging to a young man. He tried to keep quiet during class, but afterwards, he was often unable to restrain himself. He would always blame everyone and everything and thought he was the unluckiest person in the world. From listening to him, Zhang Hang knew the young man belonged to a very rich family. He had brothers and sisters, so there was not only no need to worry about taking care of his parents, but also many people to take care of him. It was also said that his parents had saved up and set up a fund for him. After ten years, he would receive a monthly allowance, enough for him to live happily until old age.
However, Zhang Hang understood that even if the young man didn’t blabber on or blame others, the feeling of being blind was just too helpless. Even if he had a comfortable future, it could not ease his mind. Parents could guarantee his survival, but not his life.
There were all kinds of people and problems in school, and many felt helpless and lost. After this period, they would gradually improve. School teachers not only needed to teach knowledge, but also needed to constantly pay attention to the psychological state of these students. If there was a serious problem, they would need to report to the higher-ups and arrange psychological counseling. In the teacher’s eyes, Zhang Hang was the most stable student. He wasn’t sad or resentful, and simply learned quietly every day. After class, he would often ask the teacher to help him with the words he didn’t understand in the extracurricular books.
Adolescence was the most vulnerable age. Children who went blind in this period were likely to abandon themselves to their own despair. However, Zhang Hang accepted it exceedingly well, better than everyone else in the class.
After class, the teacher couldn’t help asking Zhang Hang about his family. The teacher then discovered that while the whole class had experienced all kinds of hardships, this child’s were actually the most painful.
This was because all of them were able to at least come to school due to their financial resources, and were taken care of. From the way the child deemphasized his own struggles, the teacher could see his loneliness.
“Then, you’re now… do you live alone?” The teacher said in surprise. “How do you take care of yourself?”
Zhang Hang replied without a shred of hesitation, “I have Big Black.”
Big Black was his guide dog. Over the past few months of him attending school, Big Black would walk Zhang Hang there every day, then sit at the school gate to wait for him to finish. He would do this, regardless of the weather.
sere: sad (but again merry christmas)