Under the stairs in a storage room lived a man and his son. During the day, the man, Lao Bai, and his son went out to pick through the garbage. Life was indeed very hard for them, particularly Lao Bai, who was over 40 years old and had a hunched back while the son, who was 10 years old, was limping and needed an operation to correct his leg. Their only possession was a worn-out three-wheeler bicycle.
One day, a neighbor suddenly said that Lao Bai was really lucky: A local woman with a young child wanted to form a family with Lao Bai and she even had a house to share. It sounded too good to be true. But guess what — Lao Bai declined the offer. He said: “I dare not get married. I am afraid of the responsibilities. Besides, I have to save money, and my son needs surgery. The doctor said the sooner the better. I can’t let him limp around like this. I can’t get married, because as soon as I do the burden will be heavy.”
Many days passed and no one had seen Lao Bai, but worse yet, his little storage room was demolished. Later, people heard that something had happened to him. Lao Bai went to work for a construction company. He fell from the stairs, and the company wanted him to have an operation.
However, Lao Bai said: “I don’t want to have an operation, but please let my son have the operation in my place.” The big boss refused to do so. Lao Bai begged the big boss again and again. “I cannot have children and I picked my son up when he was little. I know the job is risky… but I want to use this money for my son’s surgery.” Eventually, his boss was moved and let Lao Bai’s son have the surgery.
After Lao Bai’s son had the operation, he stopped limping. The big boss kept Lao Bai’s secret and every year around New Year’s Eve, Lao Bai sent some sweet corn and potatoes to show his appreciation. A few people around Lao Bai were also asked to keep Lao Bai’s secret. Lao Bai said: “Please don’t let my son know this secret because he said that I am the best father in the world.”
There are all kinds of secrets in this world, but Lao Bai’s secret is truly compassionate. The man loves his child, but this child does not know Lao Bai is not his biological father. Perhaps this is true love. I love you, and I do not want anything in return; I love you with all my heart, all I have, and even with my life.
Translator: Yi Ming and edited by Helen
Source: Secret China