The Perfect Relationship by Xi He Qing Ling
Chapter 20: School Selection
Yin Chang neither understand Shao Junling’s behavior nor did he bother to think about it further. Not only did he have a meager four days to pack up the house in Pasadena, he had countless other matters to take care of. He needed to contact his insurance agency, deal with the school administration to formally withdraw, and get the necessary paperwork completed for Fiona’s return to China.
The next day was another endless day of doing errands and filling paperwork. It wasn’t until very late that Yin Chang had the chance to check his private email and social media page. Lu Lingxuan left him a series of messages.
“The new phone is here! Boss, thank you!”
“Yin Chang, are you busy now?”
“Do you have time to make a video call……”
“Your brother has been waiting for you to call since a few hours ago.” [Cry]
Indeed, when Yin Chang glanced at the time, it was two hours later than when he called yesterday.
After a long day, he didn’t have the energy to spar with Shao Junling. As a result, he was a little reluctant to call him. However, thinking of his small body holding his iPad waiting at home, he started a Facetime connection.
It only took a brief second until Shao Junling’s face appeared on the screen in front of him. Compared with his gloomy demeanor yesterday, today his eyes were open and bright. Although his face was expressionless, he could tell Shao Junling appeared happier than he was yesterday.
Yin Chang adjusted his voice and like a parent checking-in on their child’s work, he seriously asked: “Have you eaten today?”
Shao Junling: “Uh-huh.”
Yin Chang: “What did you eat?”
Shao Junling: “Food.”
Yin Chang: “…” I can’t talk anymore.
Fortunately, Lu Lingxuan heard the voices so she came over closer to explain it more clearly: “Today he ate a three-course meal with goose, eel and a rice dish.”
Yin Chang nodded: “Not bad.”
Greatly encouraged, she wanted to continue offering positive feedback to garner the child’s good feelings. However, she didn’t expect him to suddenly turned his head, looked at her then proceed to block her sight of the iPad with his back.
Lu Lingxuan: “… ?????”
As a result, Yin Chang spoke to him privately, but with his sulky behavior and subpar communicative skills, it wasn’t possible to talk to him for long. After telling him to go to bed on time at night, Yin Chang hung up the video.
Afterwards, Lu Lingxuan texted a message for Yin Chang. While she might have been angered by Shao Junling’s combative stance, she wanted to make it clear that she didn’t provoke him. She vehemently defended herself: “I was praising him! Why did he snub me? Boss, you must trust me! I really didn’t treat him badly!” [Cry][Cry]
Lu Lingxuan was a very adept agent. Knowing how frantic she became under Shao Junling temperament, it only proved how difficult it was to deal with him. Feeling helpless, Yin Chang sighed and replied: “I know, you have worked hard …”
Out of the corner of his eye, Yin Chang caught a glimpse of a shadow at the doorway of the room. Looking up, he saw Fiona and didn’t know for how long she was standing there waiting patiently with a cup of hot milk.”
She kindly said: “Were you just speaking with the child from the Welfare Institute?”
Yin Chang put down his mobile phone and gave her an affirmative ‘hmm’. He took the cup of milk that Fiona had handed to him and couldn’t help but confide in her: “Actually, I was tired today and didn’t want to call him at all. He lacks communication skills and is really hard to deal with. Currently, the agent that Yao Manhuai assigned to me was taking care of him while I’m away. In order for him to listen to her and behave, I have to call and check in on him every day.”
Fiona laughed: “It looks like he only listens to you. Isn’t that good?”
Yin Chang: “I don’t feel good at all. His personality is very strange. When I was on a video call with my friend a few days ago and Shao Junling saw him, he never offered a greeting to my friend. Instead he practically offended him. Also, I very clearly told him before I left to listen to Lu Lingxuan. He injured her by scratching her; the very person who was taking care of him! For two days, he didn’t eat or sleep…. I don’t know what he was thinking!”
For too long Yin Chang had held back his innermost feelings. Now, in the presence of a most trusted elder, the flood gates have opened and Yin Chang unscrupulously vented his own backlog of repressed negativity.
Fiona listened patiently and asked: “If you don’t like him, why did you bring him back from the Welfare Institute?” “
Yin Chang blurted out with frustration: “Because he is father’s child!”
Fiona: “Was there no other reason?”
Yin Chang froze for a moment in thought. He remembered impulsively reaching out when he saw the child shouting ‘no’ at the kids outside the institute. However, the moment of empathy was too vague and long forgotten. He shook his head and said: “No.”
He brought the child home only because of his responsibility and sympathy.
Fiona said: “There is a saying that if a person is stuck in the mud for a long time, the person doesn’t actually feel sad. Once a glimmer of hope is offered, it would be crueler to retract that offer then it would be to hurt that person directly.”
Yin Chang quickly defended himself: “I’m not treating him badly.”
For most of the month, Yin Chang has tried his best to get along with Shao Junling. He took him to the fitness club, bought him all kinds of delicious food, and even baked some cakes for him personally. He felt that he was patient enough.
Fiona looked at him tenderly and said: “Little Chang, I’m not accusing you. I know you are a kind person. You told me yesterday that the child is only ten years old and has be living in the welfare institute. Presumably, he had suffered a lot. He didn’t have parents to tell him what is good and what is bad growing up, so it would be normal for him to misbehave. Since you brought him back, you should take good care of him and teach him. Not only would it be very gratifying to have a brother, your Father would be so proud of you. “
It’ll be gratifying? With a wry smile, Yin Chang only felt like Shao Junling was a lot of trouble.
“Okay, Fiona, I know what you’re saying, but there are professionals for that sort of thing. I’m not an expert in education,” Yin Chang replied. He handed the empty cup back to Fiona and said, “I will talk to Yao Manhuai when I get back. I’ll enroll him in a school that is a thousand times better than a welfare institution.”
Fiona still had something to say, but after noticing how fatigued Yin Chang really was, she remained calm and quiet.
The next day, Yin Chang got up early in the morning to continue packing. He chose a few items he could take back with him as well as his clothes. He went to the storage room to search for something specific and called out: “Fiona!”
Fiona heard him and asked: “Yes? What are you looking for?”
“Do you know where my old toys went?” Yin Chang remembered owning many extravagant toys such as electric trains and spaceship models, but after he went to middle school, he had lost interest and set them aside in favor of playing video games. He didn’t know if Fiona had kept the old boxes for him.
Fiona stood still for a second before smiling back at Yin Chang. She brought him the area of the storage room that was dedicated to his childhood memorabilia.
Looking at the four huge boxes stacked against the wall, Yin Chang was a little shocked: “All of that is full of toys?”
Fiona: “Yes, your father always bought toys for you every time he came back home from a project.”
Since it had been unused for so long, a thick layer of dust had settled on top of the boxes. Fiona grabbed a vacuum cleaner from the broom closet and brought it over to clear up the grime. She didn’t ask Yin Chang what he was looking for. Instead, she explained: “I grouped the toys and stored them by age.” Pointing, she said: “Those two boxes are for younger children before the age of seven.”
“Hmm …” Yin Chang walked over and opened the other two boxes and glanced inwards. Inside, there was a whole set of Legos. It was an entire collector’s edition of the Mechanical Series that was even sealed inside the plastic wrap.
He remembered it. It was a gift that Yin Dong had bought him for Christmas one winter. He had received so many toys that when he opened the Lego box, he wasn’t so keen on trying to put together such a complicated set, so he left the box unopened.
In addition, there was a set of Jurassic World dinosaur models, a 3D Mind Maze, puzzles…. Sorting through it all, Yin Chang couldn’t help but think of Yin Dong. He sighed and closed the box.
He caught sight of the glass storage cabinet that housed his collection of Transformers. Feeling torn, he hesitated, but ultimately he let them go and said: “The Transformers models and these two boxes. Have them packaged and sent to China.”
Fiona was shocked: “Send it all back?”
Yin Chang: “Yes.”
He had passed that age of playing with toys. Rather than letting them collect dust inside a storage room, it was better to give them to Shao Junling so they can be played with. Since Yin Chang didn’t have time to package the toys himself, he had called an international courier who provided door-to-door shipping services. Surprisingly, the process was longer than Yin Chang anticipated. As a result, the toys wouldn’t arrive at home in China for another month.
Over the next few days, Yin Chang remained busy during the day and continued to call Shao Junling routinely at night.
A week later, on the day he was returning to China, Yin Chang was thinking about all the extra work that Lu Lingxuan had suffered through while he was away. Feeling guilty about her injury, he bought her a set of Lamer skin-care products. He also picked up a bottle of Hermes fragrance as a gift at the airport’s duty-free shop.
Unlike the previous time he returned to China after the news of Yin Dong’s death, Yin Chang arrived without fanfare. He was able to walk through the airport normally and met Yao Manhuai at the arrivals’ terminals.
“Did you get everything done?” Yao Manhuai asked as she turned the steering wheel to pull out of the parking area. She drove Yin Chang back to Huaihe Apartment.
Yin Chang replied: “Pretty much,” and handed the perfume bottle to Yao Manhuai. “This is for you.”
Yao Manhuai turned her head and said: Thank You!” Looking at him, he was wearing casual clothes and a hoodie. Thanks to his physique and temperament, he was a natural model. No matter what he wore, he always looked like he was dressed in high-fashion.
As they drove, she talked about business. Keeping in mind the endorsements that would fit Yin Chang’s image, she said: “I know several luxury brands that provide customized door-to-door services. Since you will be starting to work soon, you will need some new clothes.”
In fact, already Yin Chang was known in China and many people had lined up to offer him a deal. However, since Yin Chang was the son of the most famous movie star, his starting point was very high. He couldn’t model and endorse just any ole’ brand for his debut.
There was a watch brand called VI that was being marketed to young white-collar workers. It is a light-luxury brand that had recently become popular. Yao Manhuai learned that they were going to change their spokesperson. However, while she wanted to grasp this opportunity, she was told internally that the brand’s marketing department was making an offer to Wang Chen.
Earlier in the year Wang Chen had returned to China from South Korea. Not only was he a rising star, he was from the same generation as Yin Chang.
Yin Chang suddenly asked her: “Aunt Yao, have you investigated appropriate schools for Shao Junling?”
“Ah,” Yao Manhuai withdrew her thoughts and answered him. “I have chosen two, Dee-International and Wanyuan Private School. Both offer a first-class education in Haicheng, especially Dee-International’s elementary school. Nearly half of celebrity children and wealthy heirs of Haicheng attend the school. However, they don’t accept all children because there was a rigorous entrance exam. With the way Shao Junling was, I don’t think he can pass. ”
Yin Chang’s heart sank: “What should we do?”
Yao Manhuai momentarily glanced at Yin Chang and said: “Dee-International does have an open enrollment policy, but it is very expensive. Their quota is 2% and as long as you can pay, you can enroll. However, the space is highly competitive. Only 200 children are admitted to the school and thus, 2% is only 4 open slots to fill. I investigated the issue further. You need to offer at least ten-million to get a spot.”
It was not surprising to Yin Chang. He himself went to a prestigious school abroad. Although many of his classmates came from wealthy families, not all of them were. Some families pay for a spot in the school only for the contacts they would make in wealthy circles and not for the education.
“What about Wanyuan?” Yin Chang wanted to hear more about the other school.
“In Wanyuan’s case, they provide an education specifically for children with special needs. In addition to catering to special-needs children of wealthy families, part of the program was to help handicapped children in the society for free. They cater to each individual child’s education one-on-one to ensure growth in both their physical and mental health.”
“Wait, wait, wait.” Shao Junling wasn’t a disabled child. He was nether an intellectually challenged child nor was he physically disabled. Although Yin Chang wasn’t totally convinced, he still said: “That’s not the main problem. He just isn’t good at expressing himself and communicating properly.”
Yao Manhuai replied: “In any case, we have to take him to a specialist to do an intelligence test first. If there really is a problem, I think that a targeted education would be more helpful for him.”
Frowning slightly, Yin Chang propped up his head on the palm of his hand and replied, “all right.” He turned to looked out the window to watch the scenery outside pass by and mull over the situation in his mind. He thought that once Shao Junling’s intelligence was found to be normal, he would enroll him at Dee-International. Never mind the price tag; as long as the issue could be solved with money, 20 million wasn’t a problem.