The Perfect Relationship by Xi He Qing Ling
Chapter 26: The Three Rules
When Shao Junling heard Yin Chang gentle command, he hesitated and stepped back. After last night’s apology and discussion, Yin Chang thought the incident was over. He didn’t expect Shao Junling’s resistance the next day.
“Come here and sit.” Yin Chang said as he patted the seat next to him on the couch. Since they have three days together, he wasn’t in a hurry. Sooner or later, Shao Junling would have to face him. “Let’s talk it over. I’m not angry with you.”
Unmoving, Shao Junling weighed his options internally. Probably, he recognized the fact that he had no where to go and as a result, he slowly walked over to the couch to sit down besides Yin Chang.
After catching Shao Junling near the flower bed last night, Yin Chang assumed he had never actually left the apartment complex. However, he had searched all day and involved the security department. Even though they combed through the grounds and looked at the surveillance equipment’s recordings, they were unable to find him. Yin Chang was very curious. “Where did you hide yesterday?”
“The stairs,” Shao Junling said slowly and rigidly.
Yin Chang was surprised. “You’ve been in the stairwell!? But I searched it looking for you.” He not only looked once, but he climbed the staircase multiple times; a full eighteen floors worth. His sore legs were proof of that. Could this kid be invisible?
Shao Junling explained: “The window, below.”
“Under the window?” Yin Chang recalled the window of the stairwell in his mind and couldn’t think of any space for him to hide.
Shao Junling shook his head.
Yin Chang frowned: “Explain it more.”
Gesturing with his hands, Shao Junling explained with difficulty: “Inside, outside, flower beds, you come, I go…”
Yin Chang listened to his hesitant explanation for a long time before he realized what he was trying to say. Shao Junling’s “below” referred to the first floor. A window was located near the flower bed there. Since it was easy to detect noise coming from the echoing stairwell, Shao Junling had ample warning of peoples’ presence. When he heard Yin Chang on the stairs, he went through the window and hid in the flowerbed. When he heard people outside, he went back through the window to the stairwell inside.
Since the flower bed just happen to be out of site of the surveillance cameras, no one spotted him. Shao Junling used a small trick repeatedly to make the group of adults run around frantically all day. Sure enough, Shao Junling was exceptionally clever.
Despite Yin Chang claiming he wasn’t angry, when he thought of what had transpired, he did feel angry. Although Shao Junling had witnessed the search party looking around for him all day, he continued to remain hidden. The use of a trick to evade him made Yin Chang feel worse.
Depressed, Yin Chang asked: “You saw us looking for you. Why didn’t you reveal yourself?”
Shao Junling kept his head down and didn’t speak.
Yin Chang asked: “Were you angry at me?”
Shao Junling flatly voiced an affirmative ‘uh-huh’. Anyone can see that this kid could hold quite a grudge…..
Yin Chang seriously asked Shao Junling: “If I make you angry again in the future, then what would you do? Keep avoiding me?”
Again, Shao Junling said nothing.
Yin Chang sighed in his heart. It seems, the rules of this family still have to be established. Otherwise, with this kid’s personality, more issues will come about sooner rather than later.
He coughed lightly and said: “It’s now water under the bridge. But in order to avoid this unpleasantness in the future, we’d better agree on three rules.”
Shao Junling looked at him suspiciously.
Yin Chang put up his index finger and sternly declared: “First, no matter what happens, whether it’s in front of me or in secret, you can never run away from home ever.”
Shao Junling: “…”
“Although we may not have the same blood, since father originally wanted to adopt you, I recognize you as my brother. I brought you back from the welfare institute and regarded you as family. If you want, you may tell others in the future that I am your brother. I will take good care of you until you turn eighteen. “
Shao Junling was stunned.
Yin Chang: “Do you have a problem with that?”
Shao Junling used his fingers to count: “There are still eight years left.”
Yin Chang: “Yes, eight years. For the next eight years, I’ll be responsible for your food, clothing, housing, and education. I’ll care for you when you are sick and protect you from harm. I’ll be here to help you when you need it. I’ll teach you what I think is right and I’ll point out when I think you aren’t doing enough. Although it’s a father’s responsibility, Dad is gone so it is up to me.”
Shao Junling looked up at him: “What about later?”
Yin Chang: “Later?”
Shao Junling stared at Yin Chang: “Eight years, later.”
Yin Chang: “Oh, when you’re 18 years old, you are considered an adult and will be responsible for yourself. You have to make your own decisions. If you do something wrong, you have to bear the consequences of your actions. Of course, you will probably still be in school when you’re 18 so you won’t have many worries. The family’s financial matters are another matter.”
Although Yin Chang decided to give Yin Dong’s fixed assets to Shao Junling, he was still too young to understand the nuances of finance and manage the accounts. Yin Chang didn’t want to burden him with this right now. When he is older and mature, he will tell him.
Getting back to the main point, Yin Chang confirmed it with Shao Junling: “You won’t run away from home. Will you promise me?”
Even though Yin Chang explained, Shao Junling was still hesitating. Was it possible that he was thinking about leaving?
“Will you?” He pressed him, face-to-face, with a question.
Shao Junling nodded awkwardly.
Seeing that he didn’t ask further questions, Yin Chang continued and put up another finger: “Second, you must learn to talk with me. Being a brother is a first for me and I’ll make mistakes in the beginning. If we can talk about our issues and admit our mistakes, we can improve our relationship. If I didn’t realize the matter on my own, such as yesterday’s situation, I would have continued to misunderstand and blame you and you would have continued to be mad at me. You must have patience and tolerance with me as well. Ok?”
Shao Junling: “……Okay.”
Yin Chang raised a third finger and said: “Third, there is a saying. A wise….“
Shao Junling: “?”
Yin Chang was about use the phrase ‘a wise person uses his mouth and not his fists’ but he quickly stopped because literally, Shao Junling did use his mouth. Instead, he simply commented. “A gentleman doesn’t hit, grab or bite others. In the future, you can’t fight with anyone.”
This request made Shao Junling reluctant. Maybe it was because he had been bullied before. Shao Junling clenched his fist and asked: “What about when other people are hitting me?”
“Well, if someone’s trying to bully you, you can fight back, but only to defend yourself and not too aggressively. You can’t tackle, bite and use tricks to….” Yin Chang couldn’t find a proper adjective to explain it. In his heart, when a man fights, he fights honorably without dirty methods. “Anyway, if you are interested in martial arts, I can bring you to a dojo to learn or a boxing gym to learn other forms of self-defense.”
Shao Junling’s eyes lit up and excitedly replied: “Okay!”
This was Shao Junling’s fastest and most straightforward answer since their conversation. Yin Chang was taken aback and couldn’t help but recall what he said to make sure it was alright. He didn’t think there were any problems with what he offered.
Learning martial arts can help cultivate ones’ mind and improves thier physical fitness. This is what Yin Dong said when he took him to learn Muay Thai. Since Yin Chang benefited greatly from his training, he knew it could help Shao Junling as well.
After the three rules were laid out, Yin Chang felt relieved. He grabbed a glass of water to drink from, but from the corner of his eye, he saw Shao Junling staring at him expectantly.
Yin Chang was surprised. Was this kid expecting to be brought to the martial arts gym right away?
“Do you want to say something?” Yin Chang asked him.
Shao Junling pointed at himself: “What about me?”
Yin Chang: “What about you?”
Shao Junling pointed to him, and declared bluntly:
“You, three, me, three too.”
Yin Chang: “???” Was it possible for Shao Junling to think that the three rules were a negotiation? Yin Chang already said he would take care of his needs and protect him, what else does he want?!?! Well, after thinking it over, it is a good thing. Shao Junling was proactively trying to communicate with Yin Chang for the first time.
Yin Chang raised his eyebrows and smiled: “Okay, what three conditions do you have? Let’s talk about it now.” He wanted to hear what Shao Junling would ask for.
Not surprising, the first thing Shao Junling said was “School.” Yin Chang assumed he didn’t want to go to school, but that’s definitely not possible.
Shao Junling paused for a while and then said: “I live in school. I don’t like it.”
“You don’t want to stay at the school’s dorms?” Yin Chang frowned before replying: “My work has started and I return home late every day.” He could arrange for a driver to pick up Shao Junling to and from school every day. However, Fiona isn’t here yet and thus, there wouldn’t be anyone home to look after him or cooks his meals.
“Well.…” He thought of a way to make it work than made a proposition: “You are taking remedial courses now to catch up with your classmates. When you have finished with them, you can stop using the dorms and live at home here.”
Yin Chang had estimated the time it would take for Shao Junling to catch-up and thought the housekeeper, Fiona, would have arrived by then.
Shao Junling thought for a while before speaking: “I’ll do it.”
“Good.” Yan Chang agreed to his request and thus set a goal for him. Taking it slow, listening to each other and talking out their issues was helping him communicate better.
“What else?” Yin Chang asked.
This time, while looking distressed, Shao Junling didn’t speak for a long time. Yin Chang assumed Shao Junling was withholding something unreasonable that would possibly disturb the fragile peace Yin Chang managed to obtain. The longer the wait, the longer Yin Chang’s anxiety grew. However, Shao Junling’s answer was least expected.
Shao Junling: “Nothing else.”
Yin Chang practically fainted.
Quickly, Shao Junling added: “But you owe.”
Yin Chang couldn’t laugh or cry. This kid really doesn’t want to give up an inch! Before he could say more, the intercom sounded.
Yin Chang was taken back. He got up slowly and walked to the elevator to answer the intercom. Pushing the button, the security guard’s face appeared on the screen: “Mr. Yin, there are four boxes of overseas parcels address to you. Are they yours?”
Yin Chang: “Yes. Send them up.”
Soon, a few security guards arrived at the door and neatly stacked the few boxes at the entrance. They were the boxes of clothes and toys that he had packed and sent back from abroad.
Yin Chang went to find a pair of scissors to open the cardboard boxed. Having talked things through with Shao Junling all morning, he no longer held a grudge. As a result, he followed Yin Chang around the house. Tentatively, he peeked out from behind Yin Chang to see what the commotion was about.
As he opened the boxes, Yin Chang encouraged him: “Come and take a look.”
While Shao Junling leaned over to look inside, his eyes widened suddenly. He grabbed the box and held it closely. Although he didn’t scream and shout to show his excitement like other kids did, it was clear by his expression how happy Shao Junling was.
Yin Chang smiled and said, “They are for you. Do you like them?”
Shao Junling nodded vigorously.
Yin Chang asked: “What do you say?”
He looked forward to the moment when Shao Junling said thank you to him, but he didn’t get his wish. Instead, Shao Junling commented: “Forgive you.”
Yin Chang: “???”
Yin Chang was stunned for a long time before reacting. Did Shao Junling think that he bought these toys to make amends for what happened yesterday