The Perfect Relationship by Xi He Qing Ling
Chapter 27: Xue Zi’s Background
Without hearing a “thank you”, Shao Junling, this bear cub, didn’t answer Yin Chang in the way he was expecting and thus, once again, pissed Yin Chang off. Silently, in order to calm himself down, Yin Chang recited a mantra to himself ‘he is just a child, he is just a child…..’
Begrudgingly, Yin Chang left two of the boxes of toys open for Shao Junling to look through while he quietly began to move his personal belongings to the master bedroom.
After lunch, Shao Junling couldn’t wait to play with his new toys. As he played happily, Yin Chang continued to unpack his belongings. Yesterday’s emotional hardship effected Yin Chang more than he realized. It wasn’t before long that fatigue set in and he went into his bedroom to take a nap.
Since the bedroom door wasn’t shut all the way, Yin Chang was able to hear Shao Junling quietly playing with his toys in the other room. Knowing that someone was nearby reassured Yin Chang and gave him a peace of mind. Soon, the soft click-clack of Shao Junling’s playing lulled him to sleep.
As he had heard when he fell asleep, when Yin Chang woke up in the bright room, he heard the same soft sounds of Shao Junling playing coming from the other room. Feeling unmotivated, he remained in his bed motionless. Vaguely, he felt something cool on his hand and recalled the place Shao Junling bit him.
Squinting his eyes, he raised his hand to take a look. Yin Chang was stunned.
…… This snake-like blob of white-guck on his hand… What is it?
Frowning, he brought his hand closer to sniff. He could smell the familiar minty odor of toothpaste.
Except for the two on them, there weren’t others here. The person who put toothpaste on his hand was self-evident. When did he come into his room? Was Yin Chang sleeping so soundly that he didn’t feel anything at all?
Annoyed at having toothpaste on his hand, but amused at Shao Junling’s attempt at first-aid, Yin Chang sat up smiling and went to the bathroom to wash it off. He noticed Shao Junling sitting in the living room playing with his new Jurassic World toys with as much focus as he had yesterday.
Folding his arms across his chest, Yin Chang leaned against the doorframe for a while and watched him play. Then, he walked straight over and reached out to ruffle Shao Junling’s hair for a moment before walking away.
Shao Junling: “……”
Even though Yin Chang felt like Shao Junling was just causing him trouble, yesterday’s events proved to him that communication was key to their relationship. As long as they talked to one another and worked out their differences, their relationship would get better slowly and as a result, would naturally grow closer.
In the evening, Yin Chang received a message from Teacher Lin: “How is Shao Junling doing? Is he ok?”
After being called to school twice in a row, Yin Chang asked Teacher Lin to communicate matters concerning Shao Junling directly to him through a texting App on his phone called WeChat.
From across the room, he secretly took a photo of Shao Junling’s back while he was playing with his toys and sent it to the chat group. “He is well.” After yesterday’s events and Yin Chang’s realization about Shao Junling communication impediment, he informed Teacher Lin of his thoughts. Of course, he skipped the part about him running away and hiding for the day.
All morning, they chatted and Teacher Lin was concerned. His teacher hadn’t thought of the possibility that Shao Junling had a speech impediment. Although she didn’t have the means to verify it right now, she was going to take it under consideration.
At first, when Teacher Lin saw Shao Junling history, she was worried that the adoptive family wouldn’t get too involved in his life and thus, impact his education and upbringing. She didn’t expect Yin Chang to be such responsible teenager that he would take care of his brother to such an extent. In the chat group, she gave a thumbs up and praised Yin Chang for being a good brother.
Teacher Lin also informed Yin Chang that she would talk to his tutor to facilitate a plan that would incorporate additional school work that involved speaking to help Shao Junling the most. At the same time, she suggested Yin Chang buy a variety of children’s books and read with him during the weekends. Yin Chang should help him read the words and make sure Shao Junling is pronouncing them correctly. With his brother’s involvement, this method should help Shao Junling improve the fastest.
Since Teacher’s Lin’s suggestion made perfect sense, Yin Chang immediately bought dozens of children’s books for Shao Junling online. Shao Junling’s eyes widened in surprise once the many boxes of books arrived at home. While outwardly he remained quiet, inwardly he thought, was it possible to read so many books?
When he came home on Saturday, Yin Chang was eager to find common ground with Shao Junling. His few attempts at conversation fell short as Shao Junling was singularly focused on playing with his new toys. Noticing how distracted he really was, throughout the weekend, Yin Chang didn’t bother Shao Junling any longer. He only attended to his basic needs.
Before bringing Shao Junling back to school, Yin Chang packed him a lunch and included a couple of cupcakes that he baked. One was for him to eat and the other was for him to give to the boy he fought with, Xue Zi.
However, when Yin Chang brought this up, Shao Junling didn’t want to listen. “NO! I don’t give!”
Since he was already informed of the facts, Yin Chang already had an idea of why Shao Junling was so unwilling. Even so, he continued: “Why not? If you hurt someone, so you have to apologize.”
Scrunching up his face, Shao Junling replied: “He bad! He say you are not good.”
Yin Chang: “He doesn’t know me so why would he say that I’m not good?”
Shao Junling: “He listened to uncle. What he said.”
Yin Chang explained: “He is just repeating what his uncle said before finding out for himself. I bet, if he knew I was your brother he would come talk to you first and ask you for proof. I don’t think he knows I’m your brother. If he had, I think he wouldn’t have said those things.”
Under Yin Chang’s spell, Shao Junling listened with rapt attention and was easily persuaded.
Since Xue Zi was only an eight-year-old child, what Yin Chang assumed turned out to be the heart of the matter. Like what his uncle had done, the problem lay on the people who spread false rumors by making criticisms without knowing the actual person first.
Yin Chang gave the cupcakes to him and said: “All right, don’t be stubborn. Give this to Xue Zi when you go to school today. Tell him that I baked them. You need to deal with your classmates properly and stop fighting with others. Ok?”
In opposition, Shao Junling bulged his cheeks angrily. Even so, soon he gave in and reluctantly followed Yin Chang’s orders.
Upon his return to school, Shao Junling found Xue Zi as Yin Chang had requested. He handed him the cupcake without a trace of emotion.
Watching Shao Junling approach, Xue Zi instinctively took a defensive position. Although he put up a fierce attitude, he couldn’t help but step back. After all, Shao Junling had hit him twice.
Staring at him, Shao Junling put out his arm and said: “Here! Cake!”
As Xue Zi relaxed his own stance, he tentatively asked: “Why are you giving me a cupcake?”
Shao Junling: “My brother, for you.” He gruffly spat then turned away and left.
“???” In a daze, Xue Zi wondered, who’s your brother?
After dropping Shao Junling off at school, Yin Chang went to work. The interrupted photo shoot that was last Thursday was rescheduled for today. When he arrived at the company, he parked his car and met up with his agent, Lu Lingxuan. There, they switched vehicles to one of the company’s business cars and drove out of the parking garage.
On the way to the shoot, Yin Chang noticed a few copies of New People magazine lying in the car. He reached over for one and opened the magazine. In addition to his own photos, other rising stars were given articles. They were Yu Ruize, Xiao Xing, Yu Xiangrong, and Wang Chen.
When Yin Chang opened the section that depicted Wang Chen, he paused. While thinking about Shao Junling’s fight with Xue Zi, he took a closer look at the photographs. The similarity between Wang Chen and the boy was obvious. Wang Chen was probably his uncle.
However, Yin Chang wasn’t entirely sure. Sitting next to Lu Lingxuan, he turned his head towards her to ask: “Do you know who Wang Chen is?”
Lu Lingxuan: “Hmm…, Wang Chen. I know! He’s the same age as you. Recently, he’s been very popular.”
Yin Chang contemplated what he heard. He is the same age? An eighteen-year-old uncle?
Lu Lingxuan rarely witnessed Yin Chang worry about entertainment gossip. Immediately she picked up on his inquiry and using her professional knowledge, she enthusiastically began to talk about what she knew.
Wang Chen trained in an entertainment company in South Korea before returning to China earlier this year. Not long ago, on the current most popular reality-TV show, he was won the award, ‘Absolute Idol’.
Everyone in the industry knows that Wang Chen wasn’t as talented as some of the other newcomers. However, he comes from a strong background so his award wasn’t a surprise. He has an older sister, Wang Xuan, who was seventeen years his senior. In addition to hosting a well-known talk show from East Television, she also starred in a daytime drama. From the start, she was a success and became very famous. Early in her life, she married into a very wealthy family and gradually left the entertainment industry. With such connections, and financial security, it’s not difficult for Wang Xuan to turn her brother into a star.
Listening to her, Yin Chang confirmed his assumption. If Wang Chen really had a much older sister, then it wouldn’t be strange to have an eight-year-old nephew.
Yin Chang asked: “Is Wang Chen’s brother-in-law surnamed Xue?”
Lu Lingxuan looked at him in surprise and said excitedly: “How did you know? Wang Xuan married into the richest family in Haicheng. The Xue family!”
Yin Chang listened to Lu Lingxuan’s continued information about the various sons of the Xue family as well as Wang Xuan and Xue Qin’s wedding. She had a seemingly endless supply of gossip.
Yin Chang listened intently. It was fortunate that Dee International School was a very proper school and would take responsibility and thus, Yin Chang didn’t have to talk to the Xue Family directly. He was even less inclined to deal with the situation himself because he knew just how troublesome large, rich families could be.
Lu Lingxuan assumed he had seen Wang Chen’s show. Thinking he might want to get to know him, she offered brightly: “If you like, we can see if there are any upcoming events that the both of you could do as a collaboration. TV shows often invite multiple celebrities to boost their viewership like variety shows or maybe a cameo on a popular drama. Doing it together will help you get to know each other….”
Frowning slightly, Yin Chang was just about to refuse her, but Lu Lingxuan quickly followed up: “By the way, speaking of Wang Chen, we received an invitation from VI Watch. They are looking for a new spokesperson for their brand. Chief Mao said Wang Chen was already chosen, however, they inquired about you at the last minute and offered an opportunity to meet with you.”
“Oh?” Yin Chang suddenly became interested.
Lu Lingxuan explained: “It may be because your popularity is rising fast. All of the collaborations we have received are 100% in your favor. Why go to an audition when a contract had already been decided upon for someone else? You aren’t like Wang Chen. He’s already a veteran of three years in the industry while you are a newcomer. Since you can’t be selected by the brand, it’s a waste of your time so I didn’t tell you…..”
After listening to his assistant, Yin Chang felt a little uncomfortable. By nature, he isn’t a competitive person, but thinking about his recent troubles that may have been caused by Wang Chen, he felt compelled to meet him.
“Is there enough time still?” Yin Chang asked Lu Lingxuan.
“About what?” Lu Lingxuan said.
“The audition,” Yin Chang closed the magazine and threw it aside, “I want to meet with the brand.”
“Are you serious?” Lu Lingxuan was a little surprised.
Even though she has only been with Yin Chang for a short time, she has already understood the difference between them. Wang Chen is a second-generation star backed by his family. Although he is dedicated, he lacks ambition. For him, because his connections and opportunities were hand-outs by his family, he thought of them as just part of the job and nothing special. This was first time since Yin Chang started that he took the initiative to fight for an opportunity to endorse a brand.
“Well, if it isn’t too late, please make an appointment for me.” Yin Chang said.
That night, Lu Lingxuan replied to Yin Chang inquiry: “The appointment has been made. It’s at one o’clock next Friday afternoon and will be during the same time that Wang Chen will be there to photograph the watch. Do you think it is okay?”
Yin Chang: “Yes.”
The author has something to say: [Vignette]
There weren’t sounds coming from Yin Chang’s bedroom. Shao Junling listened intently for any sense of movement. He went to see if his brother was dead. His brother was asleep and there were very obvious marks left by his teeth on his hand.
Quickly, Shao Junling went to the washroom to get a tube of toothpaste then carefully applied it to his hand.
Before, Teacher Yin explained the importance of toothpaste and that it had anti-inflammatory properties. He gently squeezed some onto his hand to ease the swelling.
Shao Junling: Hmm… Today, I did a good job of following teacher’s directions! o(￣ヘ￣o)
Shao Junling asked Xue Zi about the cake.
Despite Xue Zi handling the box with care, when he opened it, the cake was battered like someone had maliciously shaken the box. The icing was all over the place! Crying at the state of the cake, he ate it anyway for fear of Shao Junling beating him up again.. (Q︿Q)
But it tastes really good…..