马文凯, MaWenKai came home last night. He’s been my husband for seven years, and in all that time he’s never held down a job for more than six months.
He travelled to the north-east for work. He was supposed to come back with a bank card full of money. Lots of people from our area travel for work, and they usually get paid a reasonable wage. But MaWenKai came back empty-handed.
He had to ask for the 两元 (2 dollars) for the local bus fare to our home from a stranger on the street. He didn’t even have two dollars left.
Will WenKai ever stick to a steady job? Will we ever have enough to do more than just scrape by?
MaWenKai went to the north-east because his friend told him a factory there would pay five thousand a month for skilled machine work. They’re rushing to complete an order, he said. The work is tiring, but the pay is good. That’s what he said.
WenKai was going to work for four months, to earn 两万, twenty thousand dollars. When he came back, we were going to pay back the friends and family we have borrowed from. Then we would still have enough to pay for his mother’s operation. Her eyesight has been failing for several years, but we never have the money on hand to pay for treatment. With WenKai’s windfall salary, we were going to send our son to a good kindergarten, so he could get into a better elementary school. WenKai said I could get some new clothes and a nice pair of shoes I’ve had my eye on for a while.
Instead, my husband came home empty-handed, bringing only stories about broken promises and a manager whose expectations bordered on insanity.
I wasn’t shocked. I’ve heard these stories before.
WenKai is a good man, and a kind father. But he’s too proud to take a regular job that earns a regular wage. He’s always searching for a way to beat the system, and make a lot of money really fast.
I don’t have an education, I’ve never been to school. I’ll never earn much. Our whole family is relying on WenKai, and he’s still holding out for his lucky break.
Can he ever change? Is there any way that things could ever be different?