The Perfect Relationship by Xi He Qing Ling
Chapter 9: Wanting to See Brother
“The day before yesterday, Yin Dong was supposed to pick up Shao Junling. We were afraid he wouldn’t be able to accept the facts and had been keeping the news quiet until yesterday. By accident, he saw the news being broadcasted on the TV in the common room.” Thinking of yesterday’s events, the Caretaker looked at Shao Junling with sympathy and sighed.
The Welfare Institution had limited resources and thus, they were understaffed and had limited programs for the children. As a result, children were highly competitive and prone to acting out. Even if the teachers repeatedly scold them for poor behavior and specifically taught them proper etiquette and social norms, living a tough life inevitably lead to hardships and heightened an instinct to survive. It was evident that people higher up on the ladder had power while the people below them did not.
Shao Junling’s life wasn’t easy and in the past, he frequently acted out. Over the past six months, Yin Dong’s favoritism and kindness affected him deeply. As a result, the other children felt very jealous. While some of the other children remained quiet, some even flattered Shao Junling to try and curry his favor, but when they learned something had happened to Yin Dong, all of the other children immediately relished in Shao Junling’s misfortune.
While the teachers weren’t paying attention, several older children deliberately tuned the TV to the news station and showed it to Shao Junling. One of the older boys confronted him face-to-face and told Shao Junling that he was his nemesis. If the teacher hadn’t arrived in time to stop the incident, Shao Junling would have fought with everyone.
Last night, Shao Junling’s caseworker brought him to her dormitory. He had stayed up most of the night crying and didn’t sleep until early morning when exhaustion over took him. The next morning, he was unresponsive. Walling himself off, he had buried his feelings within himself and resisted communication with the outside world.
When the Women found news of Yin Dong’s memorial on the Internet, she told Shao Junling about it and was relieved to see him have a reaction, albeit very slightly. She couldn’t let an opportunity to help him go to waste and decided to bring him to the memorial service.
Since he had skipped last night’s dinner, Shao Junling was really hungry and had been gorging himself with the food. Both his hands and face were greasy and covered with crumbs.
His Caretaker helplessly grabbed a napkin to wipe his mouth and hands for him. With emotion she said: “Yin Dong treated him very well when he was alive. He was a blessing to this child. I just wanted to take Shao Junling to the memorial service and thank Yin Dong. After two hours of riding in the car to get here, I didn’t think that I wouldn’t even be allowed to enter the hotel.”
“Only to say thank you?” With a shallow smile, Luo Chao replied: “If Yin Dong really planned to adopt this child, a plane crash shouldn’t nullify it. Isn’t there a contract to verify the claim?”
The Women replied: “Since Yin Dong didn’t take Shao Junling to register him for the adoption, the law won’t recognize their father-son relationship and as a result, nothing could be done. And anyway, what would be the point? Even if the adoption could proceed, it wouldn’t have meaning for Shao Junling because Yin Dong was dead.”
“Nothing could be done?” Luo Chao was anxious. Although the Women went out of her way to come to the memorial service, her resolve was broken and didn’t want to pursue it any further. However, Luo Chao had already seen the potential benefits. Yin Dong and Yin Chang were already famous. If he could tap into that fame and exaggerate this matter to create a story, the flow of traffic to his website alone would yield huge profits!
Thinking along these lines Luo Chao became even more interested in the background story. Now invested, he subtly persuaded her: “I don’t think this matter can be taken so lightly. Think how unfair it was for the child!”
After pausing, Luo Chao continued: “Listen, I can interview you and print the news so people can hear your story. Doesn’t Yin Dong have a son that just came back from abroad a few days ago? If he knew that his father’s last wish was to adopt Shao Junling, don’t you think he would lend a helping hand? Even if Yin Dong was dead, he still has a brother!”
Originally indifferent to their dialogue, Shao Junling suddenly looked up at them in earnest.
The Women was surprised: “What’s wrong?”
Staring at Luo Chao, Shao Junling said one word: “Brother.”
Luo Chao asked: “Have you met your brother?”
Initially, Shao Junling shook his head no, but after a moment he paused, then started nodding.
Both of them were a little confused. The Caseworker gently coaxed him: ”Shao Junling, tell me what you meant. Have you seen Yin Dong’s son?”
Shao Junling only responded with: “TV.”
“Oh…” The Women smiled bitterly. She thought he was talking about yesterday’s event in the common room when he saw the news. Since Yin Chang was also famous, his image was on TV as well.
Unexpectedly, Shao Junling added: “On Uncle’s TV-video.”
Luo Chao was itching to hear more. This ten-year-old’s ability to express himself was so poor!
He guessed what he was saying and reiterated his meaning : “Uncle Dong showed you a video of Yin Chang, uh, I mean, your brother?”
Lowering his eyes, Shao Junling said: “Uncle said that Yin Chang was lonely and wanted a brother.”
The Women and Luo Chao looked at each other then turned to Shao Junling. In a soft voice she asked: “Would you like to see your brother?”
The boy hesitated then nodded briefly: “Hmm.”
The Caseworker couldn’t bear to let Shao Junling down so she asked Luo Chao: “The memorial service is still going, right? And, Yin Chang would still be there. If we hurry, we could go meet him.”
Only then did Luo Chao remember the promise he had made to her before. He quickly replied: “I don’t think that’s a good idea.”
The Women: “Why not?”
Persuading her, Luo Chao was firm: “Today, movie stars and famous executives will be there. Since you don’t know Shao Junling’s real genetic background, he could be an illegitimate child. If you take a child that looks like Yin Dong to the memorial, they will think you are trying to blackmail Yin Dong and cause trouble.”
Waving her hand, she said: “No, no, no! Yin Dong has personally donated over five-million to our Welfare Institution. Neither do we want his money nor make trouble.”
Having orchestrated this meeting, Lue Chao accurately understood what the Women was thinking and applied some pressure to influence her. When she gave up, Luo Chao was satisfied. “Don’t worry. Even though Yin Dong has passed away, his son is still with us and he certainly won’t turn away from the issue. Wait for my news to come out. If what you said is true, then his agent will come find you.”
The Women shook hands with Luo Chao in thanks: “Please and thank you.”
Luo Chao was acting a little out of character. After all, he was a paparazzi. Normally, wherever he went, people shunned him and looked down on him. Faced with a women and child in need, a strange chivalrous feeling welled up in his heart. He was convinced that he was the only one who could help them!
“Relax, I’ll handle it!” Patting his chest, Luo Chao located his notepad then took it out of his pocket. He began to interview her and ask specific details about the adoption incident.
After half an hour of talking, Luo Chao pulled out his camera and asked her if he could take a photograph: “Would you mind if I take a picture of this child?”
Now that the Women had told her story, she had no reason to doubt Luo Chao. Putting her trust in him, the Women happily agreed and guided Shao Junling: “Let Uncle here take a picture of you, ok?”
Long before they started the interview, Shao Junling had finished eating. While they were chatting, he was playing with a paper bag that was on the table. When he heard the Women, he slowly raised his head. Before he had the chance to say anything, he heard a soft ‘click’ of the camera. A full-faced portrait of Shao Junling was captured.
Before they separated, he had them sign a non-disclosure agreement and requested the documents that the Welfare Institute had with regard to Shao Junling’s adoption. Now that he had all the information he wanted from her, Luo Chao exchanged contact information and then extricated himself from them.
Once he was out of their view, Luo Chao immediately called his editor and excitedly said: “Boss, you won’t be able to guess what kind of material I just got! Prepare the team for overtime!”
After the service, Yao Manhuai brought Yin Chang to the reception hall. There, whether it was an individual, or a representative of a corporation, all the guests lined up to have a chance at greeting and passing their condolences onto Yin Chang. Many were interested in hearing about Yin Chang’s future plans.
“I’m Zheng Xue from the production department of Wanhe Film’s. I’m very sorry to hear that you father was in a plane crash……”
“It’s a pleasure to meet you Ms. Zheng.”
“I was curious, what are your intentions with regards to the film industry here in China? The studio I represent is in the developmental phase for an Idol drama that takes place at a University. Your image is perfect for the male lead and…..”
Yin Chang was dumbfounded: “I’ve never made a movie so I’m afraid I won’t be able to act well.”
“Inexperience doesn’t matter. As long as you want to try, we will provide you with the best acting teachers and directors to help train you on-site. I believe you will learn quickly.”
“If you’re interested, why don’t I leave my contact information with you in advance?”
“Thank you, but I……”
Lu Lingxuan stepped forward: “Please leave it with me. I am Yin Chang’s temporary assistant.”
For Lu Lingxuan’s timely rescue, Yin Chang whispered thanks. Lu Lingxuan responded with a smile: “It’s fine.”
Just as he finished negotiating with one person, the next was already coming.
“Hello, Yin Chang, I’m the music director of Tunghuang Entertainment. If I may ask, have you considered singing in a musical?”
“Uh … I’ve never thought about it.”
“Listening to your speech, you speak very clearly and have excellent tone. Perhaps, a path towards singing is in your future.”
“If you have time, come to our company and try it. This is my business card.”
“Okay. If I get the chance, maybe I’ll visit.” Yu Chang handed the business card to Lu Lingxuan.
…… He’s only just begun to talk to people waiting in line for him in the crowd and already, Yin Chang felt dizzy.