On Christmas Day, Lu Ying continued to be busy in the shopping mall. The number of girls surrounding him in the mall was twice as many as before, and some of them seemed to have come to see him on purpose? Lu Ying was a bit confused as to why he was so busy. He felt a lot of blatant stares, which made him feel uneasy.
Until his colleague told him with an envious look on his face, “Brother Lu, do you know that you were on the hot search yesterday?”
“What is the hot search?” Lu Ying looked puzzled.
“Yesterday someone secretly took your photo and posted it on the internet. Then you became popular because of your beauty. Now many people know you. Most of these girls are coming for you. Good looks are really profitable.”
“Where on the internet, show me.” Lu Ying asked hurriedly.
The colleague flipped out his phone and quickly looked for it, and then helplessly spread his hands, “It’s actually very strange. All your news was suddenly deleted late last night, today you can’t even find any traces.”
“It’s all gone?”
“Yes, what a pity, otherwise you could definitely continue to be popular.”
Lu Ying was relieved instead and busied himself with the work he had, “It’s good that it’s gone, I don’t understand anything about that and don’t want to attract unnecessary attention.” Some people had just asked him if he was really married and if his son was his own son. What the hell was that, it was scary and irritating! Once he could be fearless but now he just wanted to spend his days in peace with his son.
The colleague suddenly hated iron for not being made of steel. He knew that Lu Ying was not hypocritical and that he really didn’t want this popularity. Even if he looked bewitching, he couldn’t change his plain and ordinary core, that is, the one of a practical man who was bent on being a good dad to his son. God gave him a gift but he didn’t know how to grasp it! When they first met Lu Ying, they were all amazed, and then they tried to help him, coming up with ideas. He could become a vlogger, ah, the “eat and broadcast” kind! They all eagerly suggested that Lu Ying should try it; his beauty would definitely make him a success. Even if he was not lucky, it would definitely be better than working as a handyman in a shopping mall. There were so many unofficial vloggers who were making money every day.
As a result, no matter how much everyone tried to persuade him, Lu Ying remained unmoved. It was such a waste of a handsome face! If you don’t want to be a vlogger, you, a poor single father, can use your face to your advantage and find a rich woman to adopt you, ah.
In the end, the colleagues still admired Lu Ying’s character. His hard working spirit of dedication and love for his job was really, really, really unmatched in the modern times.
After learning that there was a reason for what was going on, Lu Ying continued to work, enduring the stares of strangers and feeling extremely uneasy.
From time to time, people on the internet still posted beautiful photos and live videos with the “little Christmas brother”. But unfortunately this whole day the “little Christmas brother” didn’t make any more waves, and many people found that the pictures and videos they posted on the internet very quickly turned into “Sorry, the picture/video you posted has been deleted”.
“What’s going on, all the info about the little Christmas brother has been deleted?”
“Boo boo, the video I just posted was complained about! Everyone who wants to see it can secretly join the group.”
“By the way, the speed of cleaning up is too fast, right? I feel like I’m being targeted.”
“Didn’t they say that the little Christmas brother is an ordinary dad who works in a shopping mall as well as delivering takeaways part-time? Is there someone behind him?”
“Bullshit, he needs someone behind him to be able to be a promoter at the shopping mall?”
“Hype! It’s definitely hype!”
“A new type of hype? I bet that in a month’s time, he’ll be a star. If I lose, I’ll eat my keyboard!”
“I was there to see my little brother in all his glory (#^. ^#). He looks better in person than in pictures, and he’s so tall! I just saw my little brother roll up his sleeves when he was too hot. I wanted to fall into his arms! His fingers are really beautiful, so white and glowing, and his arms are so muscular.”
“Don’t be a nymphomaniac, okay? The guy is not a celebrity, not even an internet celebrity. Can you stop harassing people going there on purpose?!”
“I despise the shameless people who expose the information of the little brother!”
“Ho ho ho ho! I just bought chocolates and the little brother spoke to me! The little brother’s voice is so nice, low and soft, sexy and cute. I asked him if chocolate is sweet, you know? He said ‘en’! ‘En en en…’ Oh my god, this old lady’s phantom limb is going to Y!”
“Toxic commenter above, is your surname ‘Dirty’? ennnn……”
The phone slammed heavily on the desktop. The owner of the phone pursed his lips tightly in silent anger. The secretary and others next to him jumped in shock, not daring to ask anything. Qin Zhuopu realised that something was wrong, inhaled deeply and calmly waved his hand: “You guys continue.”
Secretary Huang helplessly found that Mr. Qin, who had always been a diligent workaholic, suddenly became incomprehensible in the past two days. He could not let go of his mobile phone all day, looking gentle for a while and tense for a while, like an anxious father waiting outside the maternity ward for his wife to give birth.
So, was Mr. Qin’s ‘wife’ somewhere in the online world?
The speculation of Secretary Huang had sufficient evidence and was by no means overly fanciful. Mr. Qin ordered people to delete videos and pictures overnight and all those ‘little Christmas brothers’ were gone from the internet without leaving a trace. However, Mr. Qin’s phone and computer had several maps full of them! Secretary Huang almost thought that Mr. Qin was going to set the person’s beautiful photo as his desktop, but fortunately, Mr. Qin was still the same Mr. Qin, at least on the surface.
“Mr. Qin, do you need to contact Mr. Lu?” Secretary Huang reminded considerately. As long as Mr. Qin was willing, what kind of celebrity couldn’t be found?
Qin Zhuopu shook his head, his voice as steady as Mount Tai: “No need.”
Qin Zhuopu was the only one left in the office. The bright sunlight shone on his back as he lowered his head slightly and looked at the old mobile phone in his hand, covering it in a dense shadow.
The old phone looked like it had been made years ago. The case was a pink cartoon pig head, so childish and ridiculous that Qin Zhuopu had once laughed and said that it resembled its owner – a pig head.
It was rare that the owner didn’t take offence, but rather admitted it openly. Yes, I am a pig head.
There was a bit of inexplicable pride in this little show of temper. It made Qin Zhuopu’s heart itchy.
When Qin Zhuopu opened the case slowly, a most familiar face leapt out at him from the screen; his own face.
It was very strange to see the person you can see in the mirror every day on the screen of the mobile phone. But Qin Zhuopu there was younger, more tender and happier, with a smile on his face.
At that time he asked, “Why don’t you just set a picture of us together as your desktop?”
The young man fiddling with his new phone smiled and said, “I’m tired of looking at myself. Your pictures are more appealing. I just want to see you, can’t I?”
He asked very comfortably, “What if one day you get tired of looking at me too?”
The young man said, “If that day comes, I will throw away this stupid phone! Are you afraid?”
He helplessly raised his hands in surrender, “I’m afraid! I’m scared to death!”
Lu Ying was so excited that he grabbed his neck and took a series of selfies.
Qin Zhuopu didn’t know how many photos and videos were stored in this phone. When he went looking for the location, he found the phone in an inconspicuous potted plant in the airport. The phone lay there silently, blinking with a dying red light.
All photos, videos and original stuff in the phone had been deleted.
The screen desktop was the only thing that remained.
Oh, and countless missed calls, the ones from him, scarlet in colour.
The sun was setting slowly and an icy winter breeze was blowing outside the window.
The pig head mobile phone was shrouded in darkness in the man’s hand and then thrown into a drawer with a clang.
In the evening, Lu Ying and his colleagues who were working overtime were eating in the lounge. The colleagues next to him were eating instant noodles but Lu Ying used the microwave to heat his own dinner, a large bucket full of fried jasmine rice with two fried eggs on top.
Lu Ying swallowed his saliva, happily eyeing the impressive capacity of the bucket in his arms. The fried rice with meat, peppers, carrots, spring onions and pickled vegetables smelled particularly delicious.
The colleague holding the noodles couldn’t help but exclaim: “Brother Lu really knows how to enjoy life. I’ll bring rice next time I work overtime too.”
Lu Ying nodded solemnly and didn’t say anything.
No matter what sweet things you say, you won’t get a bite of this rice. Just give up!
The colleague who didn’t actually want to steal Lu Ying’s meal at all wiped his mouth, took out his mobile phone and swiped it. Not long afterwards he exclaimed in surprise, “Brother Lu, I really can’t find anything about you! It’s been deleted so cleanly.”
Lu Ying was completely relieved about this.
“Brother Lu, you didn’t offend anyone, did you? Someone doesn’t want you to be popular, right?”
Lu Ying paused and shook his head seriously, “No.” How could he say that he had offended someone, he was very grateful. If he really became popular, as his colleague said, there would only be more people coming to watch him in the future. What’s the point, he’s not a monkey. He’s not a showbiz star either, and just the thought of being watched on and off stage was chilling enough. He was too timid and thin-skinned for that. Besides, he didn’t want people to pay attention to Zaizai because of him. He liked to be comfortable and hated to see his life change.
His colleague analysed, “Someone is definitely watching you, tsk tsk, totally deleting your photos and videos. Damn, it’s even more ruthless than those big stars’ public relations.”
Lu Ying bit his spoon for a second in contemplation.
“Maybe it’s to help me.”