The Third Adopter
Ning Ning took her time in picking a third adopter.
Once could be an accident, for it to have happened twice made her feel puzzled.
“Where are the drawings?” She remembered what the Language Teacher said before she left, Ning Ning bent down and held Wen Yu’s shoulder while asking him, “Where are the drawings Teacher Yu talked about?”
Wen Yu looked up at her and slowly shook his head.
Ning Ning turned around. Wen Yu’s book and pencil were on the table, she walked over briskly and flipped through the book. Most of it was filled with words, it was at the last page where she saw a drawing. It was a drawing of the two of them; they had a big house and a dog, they were holding hands under the sun, both of them were smiling.
Ning Ning looked back, Wen Yu was standing behind her. He was not angry at her for touching his things without permission, he only looked at her grievously and blinked once with his big black eyes.
Ning Ning opened her mouth, just as she was about to say something, knock, knock, knock, someone knocked on the cellar door. She looked over, a theater staff member stood at the doorway with a weird expression. “Someone is here, he says he’s your relative.”
The person was waiting for them at the hall. Ning Ning walked to the doorway with Wen Yu in hand. When she was still a distance away from the door to the hall, she heard an exaggerated voice coming from within.
“Wen Yu is a monster!” He said, “Wherever he goes, someone dies!”
A female voice cried out in surprise, there were also people laughing, “You are being paranoid!”
“Sigh, trust me, it’s true.” That person laughed. “When he was born, his father died in a car crash. His mother got addicted to gambling and lost everything they had, so she started borrowing money. She also killed herself not long ago, then you look at the two people who adopted him…”
Ning Ning could not bear it anymore so she opened the door and walked in. “What nonsense are you talking about?”
There were a few people inside, Ning Ning looked at the person who just spoke. It was the Skinny Man, they had met each other at the family meeting. He looked towards Ning Ning then got up and said, “Little Sis, let me tell you a piece of bad news. Elder Sis is dead. Her entire family suffered from food poisoning a while back, all of them passed away not long after.”
He looked at Wen Yu once he finished. “The only person who was not poisoned was him.”
Wen Yu shrunk behind Ning Ning, his tiny hand was clutching the corner of her clothes, staring at the man with his pitch black eyes.
“He suddenly disappeared. Third brother and I looked for him for a few days to no avail, then I started working (nearby) and coincidentally met you guys on the way to work.” The Skinny Man stared at Wen Yu, “I even called out to him a few times. He ignored me, I think he didn’t want me to find you and tell you about all these.”
Ning Ning looked down at Wen Yu, he was like a quiet kitten sticking closely to her.
“…I am doing this for your own good.” The Skinny Man walked towards them with his eyes wholly fixed on Wen Yu. “Leave him to me, I will send him away.”
Wen Yu suddenly let go of the corner of Ning Ning’s clothes and turned tail to run.
“Wen Yu!” Ning Ning frantically chased after him.
Wen Yu was like a little deer being chased by a hunter, he ran madly from the hall back to the cellar, with a bang he shut himself in the wardrobe.
Ning Ning caught up and helplessly sighed, she slowed down and walked in front of the wardrobe then slowly squatted down. She knocked on the wardrobe door with her index finger, “Hi, Wen Yu, Little Wen Yu, I have something to tell you.”
The door remained firmly shut, no sound came from within.
“I had already found a third adopter for you.” Ning Ning laughed, “That person is me.”
The sound of someone taking a breath came from within the wardrobe.
“Will you dislike me?” Ning Ning asked from behind the door, “I am not a very nice adult, I don’t have anywhere to live in, I don’t have a stable job, I don’t have money, I don’t have anything, if I were to have any good points…”
An extremely gentle smile appeared on her face. This smile dissipated all the gloominess from her face. It unfurled her brows, as if she was basking in a layer of serene and gentle light; like the first glimmer of dawn shining through a glass window and sprinkling into a church, even her speaking voice was like a singing voice resonating in the church, “If you need me, I will always be by your side… I will never ever abandon you.”
The wardrobe door opened. Wen Yu raised his head while sitting in the darkness. He looked at Ning Ning blankly, suddenly he started tearing up, he reached out his hand and jumped into her arms. His tender arms hugging her neck, tears streaming down his face silently.
Ning Ning hugged him back, giving him warmth, just like how he had given her warmth in the beginning.
Sound of footsteps rang out behind her, the Skinny Man got behind them step by step, he was panting a little.
“I will raise him from now on.” Ning Ning turned back and said to him, “Please go back.”
The Skinny Man was stunned. He looked at her from head to toe, as if he was listening to a joke. “You?”
“Yes, me.” Ning Ning had made up her mind. If no one else in the world could accept Wen Yu, then she would accept him. She might waste a lot of time and energy in this movie, but she would not have any regrets.
The Skinny Man tried his best to persuade her. When he saw that he could not change her mind, he could only shout out that his good intentions were being treated as ill intentions. Before he left he turned back and shouted loudly at her, “Just you wait and see, you will definitely regret it!”
“I won’t regret it.” Ning Ning held Wen Yu’s hand and turned back as she finished her sentence.
When they stepped back in from the front door and returned to the theater, what were awaiting them were peculiar looks and gossips.
Ning Ning found out for the first time that humans were fickle beings. They would change their opinions of you because of the phrase ‘thank you’, they would also keep their distance from you because of the word ‘monster’.
Wen Yu was not as welcomed as he was before. He did not complain nor held any grievances, he just grew increasingly unwilling to come out of the cellar. He would only smile when Ning Ning came back, running towards her like a puppy who had been left at home alone.
Ning Ning felt sorry for him. In order to not let him feel too lonely, she changed her original plan. She started to use all of her spare time to go back to the cellar and accompany him to draw or to tell him some stories. No matter what she did, he would look very happy, or you could say, as long as she was willing to come back and look after him, willing to accompany him, he would feel satisfied.
It was always going to be difficult to balance work and family.
Chen Guan Chao approached her to talk about it, he told her coldly, “You should send Wen Yu away.”
“…You are a person who received education overseas, you actually believe in the ‘monster’ nonsense too?” Ning Ning asked with a frown.
“Of course I don’t believe in it.” Chen Guan Chao ridiculed the notion. “But you are wasting too much time on him!”
Ning Ning stared at him blankly.
“You didn’t forget what you are here for right?” Chen Guan Chao narrowed his eyes at her, “You are here to act, not to be a nanny! If you had forgotten, you better remember now! If you could not remember, then leave the cast along with the child!”
These words from his mouth were heard by the ears of a person who cared. As Ning Ning left Chen Guan Chao’s room, the Socialite peeked from a corner, the corners of her mouth curved upwards slightly.
It was peaceful for a few consecutive days. Beside the times when Chen Guan Chao fell into his mad shouting state, the Skinny Man would also come visit Ning Ning at times, persuading her to give up. Nothing else happened until tonight, the door to the cellar suddenly opened and a person slowly walked out.
It was Wen Yu, the moon shined on his cold and pale face.
He slowly surveyed his surroundings. When he determined that there was no one around, he walked out of the door towards the deep part of the courtyard.
Behind a window, the Socialite looked at him with curiosity.
“What is he doing?” She was conflicted. “Should I follow him and check?”
She did not like Ning Ning. It didn’t matter if it was as a woman or as an actress. As a woman, Ning Ning attracted too much attention from Chen Guan Chao. As an actress, Ning Ning was better than her in all aspects. She wished that she would benefit instead of Ning Ning when the movie was aired. She didn’t like to help other people to succeed, she could only hope to get a grasp of Ning Ning’s weakness so that Chen Guan Chao could act on his words and chase Ning Ning out of the cast.
Finally she decided to follow Wen Yu and check.
Wen Yu did not go too far, he walked to the side of the plum tree in the courtyard. It was going to be winter, but this tree seemed to be cursed, it wasn’t flowering, it didn’t even have much leaves on it. Someone suggested cutting it down and planting another type of tree in its place, but no one actually took any action. It was left alone, no one bothered with it, no one liked it.
Wen Yu picked up a stone and squatted down, he slowly dug the soil underneath the tree.
“What is he doing?” The Socialite could not help but think while hiding in a dark place.
Wen Yu dug silently for a while, until a hole appeared in the ground. He got up and patted his hands, lifted his clothes up and took out a book that was stuck to his stomach. He bent down and put it in the hole, then kicked the dirt on the ground until the soil filled up that hole, completely burying the book within.
Then he suddenly turned and looked in the direction the Socialite was in. Under the moonlight, his face was half shrouded in darkness and half in the light, a little of the moonlight was trembling in his pitch black eyes, like moonlight gleaming in the reflection on the clear and crystalline waters of a lake at night.
The Socialite hid behind a wall, covering her mouth with both her hands, afraid to speak. After a long while she peeked from behind the wall then let out a sigh of relief as he had already left.
She hesitated for a while, but eventually her curiosity got the better of her. She stole a glance at her surroundings. Seeing as there was no one, she quietly walked to the tree and picked up the stone Wen Yu had thrown away. She dug the ground up and took the buried book out.
“Tsk, how dirty.” The Socialite lifted up the book with two fingers. She trembled for a long while before she opened the book with a face full of disgust.
This book seemed to be what Wen Yu used to communicate with people on a daily basis, thus it had a lot of words. The Socialite read it for a while and discovered that these weren’t interactions with Ning Ning, it was with other people…Hmm? Was it the daily interactions with his previous adopter? She suddenly felt that it was tasteless. She flipped it randomly for a while. Suddenly, she stopped flipping it and started to frantically flip it from the back to the front.
She had flipped to a drawing.
“…What is this?” The Socialite looked at the drawing with a strange expression, it even had a hint of horror. She was too engrossed in looking at the book that she did not realise a shadow had appeared behind her, it was silently approaching her.
By the time she noticed, he had already gotten directly behind her.
“…Who is it?” The Socialite turned around.