The Perfect Relationship by Xi He Qing Ling
Chapter 6: Memorial Service
When Yin Chang returned from Kenya, Yao Manhuai picked him up. In the evening, having traveled a long way, Yao Manhuai brought Yin Chang to a private restaurant for dinner and welcomed him home.
“I used to come here with your father,” Yao Manhuai said as she handed Yin Chang a formal looking menu without prices listed. Concerned, she softly said: “Look over it and order whatever you want. It’s my treat today.”
Yin Chang politely set the menu down: “Ladies first. You can order for me. I’m not picky.”
After ordering several dishes, Yao Manhuai enquired about his return: “How was it? What did you bring back?”
While Yao Manhuai was asking something psychological, Yin Chang answered the material question. He said: “There weren’t any remains of my father left to bring back. I brought back some dirt from the crash site.”
Yao Manhuai nodded: “Many stars and media will be on the scene on the day of the memorial. Later, I will help you pick out an exquisite box to store the soil in and we can place it on a pedestal for display at the memorial.”
As the details of the ceremony were already planned out over the phone with Yang Jiajia, she didn’t burden Yin Chang with them. Yin Chang replied: “Okay.”
Yao Manhuai ordered the bottle of an expensive dry white wine. After consulting Yin Chang about his concerns and wishes, she poured a small glass for him.
“Apart from bringing back some dirt, do you have any other feelings?” She asked with a raised brow. She paused then continued: “I have seen a video of fans at the airport singing his song to you over the Internet.”
“…..It was very moving.” Yin Chang replied thoughtfully. Indeed, this trip had changed Yin’s Chang’s attitude toward the media and fans.
He also saw the reports on the Internet. What Yin Chang didn’t know was that many of the images and posting were carefully planned and arranged by Yao Manhuai. He didn’t feel the reports were wrong. In fact, they seemed rather rigorous and true. Only when pervasive reporters secretly took photos and made speculations about him did Yin Chang feel offended.
In addition, Lu Lingxuan also showed some comments to him from Weibo. The support and blessings of netizens gave him great comfort.
The night after returning from the crash site, Yin Chang was lying in bed awake. Sleepless, he decided to download Weibo on his mobile phone, registered an account and read the messages from netizens.
As fans of Yin Dong for many years, many netizens had expressed their sadness over his loss. Many of them had sentiments like, ‘Yin Chang’s mood must be similar to mine – let’s get through this hard time together’.
Seeing Yin Chang’s photos at the crash site and hoping he would feel better as soon as possible, some people expressed their concerns with heartfelt words and prayers. Others have enquired about his future. Will he become an actor like his father? They wanted to be able to continue their love for Yin Dong through his son. Those undisguised confessions unknowingly fill his wounded heart. Watching videos and reading the comments, he fell asleep.
As their conversation continued, the waiter placed the food on the table. Yao Manhuai asked: “Where’s Miss Lu? She took good care of you, didn’t she? “
Enjoying her care, he complimented her sincerely. Yin Chang: “She’s really great.”
Carrying a bag and buying water were trivial matters. What was most unique about her, was her uncanny ability to read his mind. She popped up right when Yin Chang needed her and when he wanted his space, she was nowhere to be found.
When he arrived in Kenya, in addition to taking care of his travel documents and hotel accommodations, she took care of the negotiations with the local embassy and arranged protection through the local airport security. She chatted with him, answered his doubts, and told him jokes. Her enthusiasm and sincerity infected Yin Chang and calmed his nerves. Since she was present, he didn’t have to worry about complicated foreign affairs.
At times during their trip, Yin Chang thought Lu Lingxuan was remarkably like Yao Manhuai.
Yao Manhuai listened to Yin Chang’s recount, and laughed: “Don’t underestimate her. She has two Master’s degrees. One in psychology and the other in interpersonal relations.”
Yin Chang was surprised: “So talented?”
Yao Manhuai: “I don’t recruit useless people.”
Yin Chang sighed and couldn’t help but feel like he was one of those ‘useless’ people.
For the next few days, Yao Manhuai was busy handling Yin Dong’s memorial.
Sometime later, Yin Chang also received a call from Lawyer Wang and informed him that Yin Dong’s death certificate was issued. Now, Yin Chang had to think about the inheritance related matters such as the transfer of funds and equity changes.
The moment he signed his name on those documents, Yin Chang felt a heavy burden on his shoulders. It was not until two days before the memorial ceremony that Yin Chang met Yao Manhuai again.
Yao Manhuai went to the Huaihe apartment to see him in person. There, she handed him an ornate golden sinan wooden box: “The director, Qin An, entrusted to me to give this to you. He was your father’s friend.”
When he heard Qin An’s name, he knew the box must be valuable as he was a famous director in international film circles. The lid of the golden box was decorated with exquisite relief carvings and a string of small characters in italics were engraved on the bottom. It read: “I use heaven and earth as coffins, sun and moon as amulets, stars as pearls, and everything I am as gifts.”
Yin Chang carefully put the earth he had brought back from the accident inside the box then quietly closed the lid.
On the day of the memorial service, Lu Lingxuan arrived early at his Huaihe apartment to deliver special clothes for Yin Chang. Most of Yin Chang’s personal items were still abroad. He didn’t bring proper attire for the venue this time. Yao Manhuai had the suit tailored recently for this emergency.
After changing his clothes in the bedroom, Yin Chang came out while adjusting the collar of his shirt. He was confident enough about his appearance that he never asked for others opinions about what he wore. When he walked in front of Lu Lingxuan, he took the white flower corsage and put it into his chest pocket. The look alone was even more striking than those male stars who have a team of stylists carefully putting on makeup.
Because he was going to attend his father’s memorial service, Yin Chang was heavy-hearted today and didn’t smile. After adjusting the flower, he lowered his voice and said: “Well, let’s go.”
When she got in the car, Lu Lingxuan took out a piece of paper from her bag and handed it to Yin Chang: “Take a look at this speech.”
Since Yao Manhuai wanted Yin Chang to give a speech tonight, she specifically asked Lu Lingxuan to prepare one.
Yin Chang looked at it and asked: “Did you write it?”
Lu Lingxuan said: “Well, I was thinking about it from your perspective when I wrote it. if there is any language that you feel isn’t suitable, tell me now and we can still modify it.”
“Thank you. You don’t need to change it.” In fact, Yin Chang had planned to write a speech by himself, but Yao Manhuai told him that speeches on such occasions were often very formal so he stopped.
When arriving at the Huaxing Hotel, Yang Jiajia was checking the final details with the design team that had arranged the venue. The entire memorial hall was divided into two halls. The main hall was for the memorial service and the sub-hall for a buffet reception after the service.
As Yin Chang entered the main hall, he saw Yin Dong’s last photo and the golden sinan box on top of a raised platform. Surrounding his image were layers of tens of thousands of fresh white roses. Even hanging on the walls, there were rows of wreaths that were sent by Yin Dong’s business partners and fellow movie star friends.
Behind the platform was an arc-shaped LED screen about three meters and five meters long. Displayed on the screen and running on a loop were carefully edited clips of Yin Dong in chronological order performing in all of the movies and tv shows that he was in throughout his career.
In addition, the venue also used equipment to holographically project numerous white feathers in the air. They floated and drifted from the ceiling to the floor and when they landed on the ground, they broke apart in dust particles. In the background, a lone piano played a song from one of the tv series Yin Dong stared in called Trace of the Sky. In the series, he played a strong-willed protagonist who sacrificed himself for the greater good eliciting many fans. Anyone who entered the hall would immediately recognize the soulful melody and think of Yin Dong.
In the other corner of the venue wearing black, Yao Manhuai was talking to the host and confirming the details of the night’s event. As she saw Yin Chang arrive, Yao Manhuai waved him over: “Yin Chang, this is Li Yanqun. He is the host of the TV series called Star-TV. Uncle Li was also a close friend of your fathers and today, he will preside over today’s memorial service.”
“Hello, Uncle Li.” Yin Chang reached out politely to shake hands.
When Li Yanqun saw Yin Chang, he opened his eyes wide in marvel at Yin Chang’s appearance while inwardly he sighed. Shaking his hand, he expressed his regrets about the death of his old friend. He said: ”I’ve wanted to meet you as your father has mentioned you several times, but I never wanted to meet here at such a difficult occasion. Now that your father is gone, we are your friends and family. Please rely on us if there is anything you need help with.”
Yin Chang thanked him sincerely.
With only an hour to go before the start of the memorial service, the media and stars began to arrive from all over. Fearing they would overwhelm Yin Chang, Yao Manhuai, asked Lu Lingxuan to take him to his private chambers for a few minutes break.
At a quarter to eight in the evening, the main hall of the venue was full of celebrities. To show respect for the deceased, all photographs and videos were banned at the scene. All present were wearing plain clothes and whispering while they waited for the memorial service to begin.
When Yin Chang appeared with Yao Manhuai and Lu Lingxuan, the hushed murmurs stopped and all eyes were on him. He walked to his seat in silence. As he arrived at the center of the first row, Yin Chang sat down stiffly.
The memorial service officially began at eight sharp. The host, Li Yanqun, stood on the stage with a solemn face and said with a low voice of grief: “Thank you all for coming to Mr. Yin Dong’s memorial service on this day X 17, 20XX. Yin Dong had left us forever in a tragic accident on his way to Kenya. Today, we are here to hold a farewell ceremony to express our condolences and mourn for his loss………”