Jack carried two enormous luggage bags he had bought earlier and stood before Tiger’s residence.
“Big Brother, you’re finally here. My wife and I have been waiting for you for a long time!” Opening his door and noticing Jack at his residence, Tiger burst into guffaws.
“Come in! Come in!” Tiger’s wife immediately came forward to welcome him.
However, she was puzzled at the sight of Jack carrying in two brand new luggage bags.
“What’s this, Big Brother?” Tiger’s expression matched that of his wife’s. Was Jack thinking of moving house?
Unfortunately, their house was extremely small. There was no way he could move in with them.
“I didn’t have time to pick something good for you before I came, so I brought two huge luggage bags for you!” Jack chuckled and took the bags in, placing them at the corner of the room.
Judging from Jack’s nonchalant expression, the luggage bags seemed to be light—probably empty.
Tiger and his wife were dumbfounded. This was the first time they were seeing a visiting friend buying a present like this. Others would usually buy fruits, cigarettes, or alcohol—things like that. Still, the two noted that they were rather decent luggage bags. They wondered how much Jack had spent on them; they seemed branded.
“Big Brother, you’re too generous. Why should you bring a present when you’re visiting us?” Tiger laughed and asked his wife to go grocery shopping after checking the time.
Jack scanned the room, and his gaze eventually fell on the child at a bed. “How much is the rental here per month, Tiger?” he asked.
An awkward smile made its way on Tiger’s face. “It’s not expensive. It’s probably the cheapest housing area in Eastfield,” he answered. “It’s about five to six hundred per month, mainly because there’s only one room and one living space here. That’s why it’s cheap!”
His smile eventually grew dull, rather bitter-like. “You know that my wife and I don’t earn much. Not only do we have our living expenses, but my parents aren’t in good shape either. They’re in the hospital now, but they’ll be discharged tomorrow. My wife hasn’t been working these past few days because my parents were sick. She could only stay at home, looking after our kid and sending my parents some food.”
Jack nodded at his answer, and he gently patted the other man’s shoulder. “Don’t worry, Tiger. You call me Big Brother, and as your Big Brother, it’s only natural for me to help you out a bit. Take the two bags as a small token from me!”
Tiger felt embarrassed, unable to comprehend why Jack would say something like that. “Thank you, Big Brother. Let’s drink to our hearts’ content. I don’t have much money now, so I’m afraid I’ll have to trouble you to eat something simple!”
“You’re treating me like an outsider, saying something like that. Didn’t we sustain ourselves on bags of peanuts and two liters of Laobaigan liquor last time? That was the kind of life I led!” Jack chuckled.
After a while, Tiger’s wife came back with the groceries, whipping up a wide array of dishes. Noon came, and Jack drank some alcohol with Tiger before he left their residence.
“I cooked too much,” Tiger’s wife spoke first after Jack left their humble home. “There are so many leftovers… It’s kind of a waste.”
“It’s not a waste. Nothing is a waste when it comes to treating my Big Brother to a meal!” Tiger smiled. “We can still eat it tomorrow if we can’t finish it today.”
His wife rolled his eyes at him. “True, we can eat it tomorrow, but it’s been so hot lately. We don’t have a fridge. It’ll be a waste if we can’t finish this tomorrow.”
Her gaze then drifted toward the two bags at the corner. Her lips subconsciously spread into a grin. “Seriously, your Big Brother has been a soldier for such a long time that he doesn’t know what presents to give anymore. Who on earth gives luggage bags? And two, at that!”
“Never mind that. Anything that Big Brother gives is good stuff. Besides, you know that it’s branded. It’s a representation of his kindness!” Tiger had drunk to the point he was slightly tipsy, the grin on his face unusually wide. “I had been worried that he had died on the battlefield. It’s a relief he’s still alive.”
His wife merely laughed in reply. She walked over and was about to carry the two empty bags into their room.