Sorting out Accident Cases
Translate: Sae | Proofread: anasofi
Yang Meng sat in the private room of a themed restaurant, waiting for You Qi. At five past twelve in the afternoon sharp, the unearthly handsome You Qi made his way in with a light and quick pace, armed to the teeth.
Lifting his eyelids to glance at the person opposite of him, Yang Meng said apathetically, “I’m sorry. There’s someone sitting here already.”
“I’m You Qi.”
Yang Meng looked up in shock to see You Qi taking off a wig, a fake mustache, and a scarf.
“Won’t you get a heat rash from covering up so much on such a scorching summer day?”
“Almost.” You Qi wiped his face with a wet wipe. “I have no choice. The farce that happened at the movie premiere a few days ago forced me into the limelight. I don’t even know which bastard opened their trap! Not only was I on the headline of the entertainment news the next day, but I’ve been followed every day since then…”
Those words made Yang Meng lower his head consciously.
You Qi asked again, “What have you been busy with these days?”
“Me?” Yang Meng pondered for while then faintly said, “Just working and doing overtime.”
“How much is overtime pay?” You Qi asked.
Yang Meng’s eyes widened instantly, “Overtime pay? Is there such a fucking thing? More like working for free!”
An astonished expression appeared on You Qi’s face, “I heard that civil servants are paid well and the ‘gray income’209 is quite high!”
Yang Meng shook the poor-quality shirt that he had purchased from the zoo and scowled.
“Let me tell you something. I don’t even have the heart to wear this cheap shirt on a normal day. Does it look like I am receiving any ‘gray income’ to you? Let me put it like this for you. If every civil servant in China had this gray income and only one person was excluded, that person would definitely be me. I’m scraping by on only a little over 3000 yuan210 a month. It’s so tiring that I might as well be a bastard on the street.”
“A little over 3000 yuan?” You Qi was utterly speechless, “Is that enough for breakfast?”
“Bullshit, do you spend more than 3000 a month on breakfast?”
You Qi didn’t utter a word.
Looking squarely at him, Yang Meng realized that what he said was completely ridiculous.
“Oh, that’s right. I forgot what your job is. You shouldn’t have a limit, right? For someone like you, is 3000 kuai even enough for one breakfast?”
You Qi glanced stupefyingly at Yang Meng, “It’s not as dramatic as you say.”
Yang Meng pulled You Qi’s arm over and looked at his wristwatch.
“How much is this watch of yours?”
“I didn’t spend any money on it. The brand that I endorsed gifted it to me.”
“Then for how much is it normally sold in the market?”
“It’s hard to predict. There are high and low prices that range from the thousands to the millions.”
“I’m only asking about the one you’re wearing now.”
“This one, perhaps 10,000, 20,000 or something.”
Hearing those numbers, Yang Meng released You Qi’s wrist in shock and angrily said on the spot, “It’s only around 20,000? Aren’t you being too fucking pompous? How much more pompous are you going to be? That’s two years of my salary! They just gave it to you for free?”
“Since they paid such a high endorsement fee, why would they bother about a watch?”
“That’s true.” Yang Meng’s itching mouth asked, “How many did they give to you then?”
“I didn’t count. There’s probably three or four.”
“Then, you can give them to me!” Yang Meng slammed his hands on the table, “I’ll help you sell them and split the profit 50-50 between the two of us.”
You Qi could help but smile, “I can just give it to you.”
“Please don’t!” Yang Meng raised his hand, “If you really give it to me, believe it or not, I’ll even dare to resign my job immediately.
After You Qi laughed for a while, he raised his eyelids and looked at Yang Meng with a surprisingly earnest expression.
“How about you resign, okay? Be my assistant and I will give you a base salary of 10,000 yuan a month with tips included.”
Yang Meng refused with an unyielding moral backbone, “I would rather starve to death as a policeman then go and serve you!!”
You Qi smiled but didn’t say anything. He had long guessed what the outcome would be.
A waitress walked over, “Sir, would you like to order now?”
“Yes,” You Qi answered.
Before the waitress could put the menu down, she suddenly froze at the side of the table and stared at You Qi without blinking.
“You… aren’t you You Qi?”
You Qi replied without bothering to lift his head, “You recognized the wrong person.”
After saying that, he tried to grab the menu, but no matter how hard he pulled, he couldn’t get it. The waitress tightened her grip, refusing to let go until You Qi admitted his identity, otherwise, she wouldn’t let them place their order.
To the side, Yang Meng said: “Just admit it. We can order and perhaps get a discount!”
Unable to persuade her, You Qi finally nodded and let the waitress take a picture with him before she finally conceded.
After the waiter left, Yang Meng sighed. “Actually, it’s not easy being in your line of business. Not only do you have to put makeup on before going out, but you can’t even eat a decent meal in peace.”
“Exactly. When I’m busy, it’s really hectic, and when I’m free, I’m completely free. When I had just graduated, not even one entertainment company contacted me for half a year. But now that everything’s better, I need to make prior arrangements just for a meal while feeling afraid that something might come up and interrupt it.”
Just as he said that, his cell phone rang.
Yang Meng ate his food and listened to You Qi say, ‘yeah, yeah, ah, okay, okay’ repeatedly, to the point that even he himself felt tired for him.
When he placed his phone down, You Qi groaned coldly. “Fuck! This is so annoying!”
“What’s happened?” Yang Meng asked.
“There’s an interview that I have to take. I already said that I wouldn’t take it, but my manager stubbornly set it up for me.”
Yang Meng placed his chopsticks down, “Then hurry up and go!”
“I’m not going.” You Qi immediately turned his cell phone off.
With a worried look, Yang Meng asked, “What happens if you don’t go?”
“They just deduct some money,” You Qi replied as though he couldn’t care less.
“Hurry up and go!” Yang Meng was even more anxious than You Qi, “What’s so interesting about chatting with me? We don’t even have a common language.211 Go settle the bill and leave. Don’t delay your work because of me.”
“How much earned money is considered enough, huh?” You Qi pushed the food inside his bowl around lightly. “At the least, I can relax when I’m with you. When I’m with them, I’m always tense and exhausted.”
Hearing those words, Yang Meng was exceptionally moved. “I didn’t know that I was so charismatic.”
“Did you only realize that now? When I’m with others, I always feel anxious but pretend I’m not! My expressions! My proper speech… with you, I don’t have to do any of that. You have an invisible power that allows others to find their self-esteem when they see it. No matter how abnormal I behave, you will be there to back me up, which gives me a peace of mind straight away.”
Yang Meng used his chopsticks to poke countless holes in the desert in front of You Qi.
The more You Qi looked at Yang Meng, the more cheerful he felt. Since he entered the entertainment circle, he came to cherish this kind of carefree person even more.
Yang Meng was gobbling the food down when he suddenly remembered something. He picked up his head and asked You Qi, “That’s right since your network is wider than mine, can you help me find a part-time job where I can earn money without being so tired?”
“Do you really need money that much, huh?” You Qi asked.
Yang Meng nodded, “Recently if it’s not a classmate getting married, a colleague is giving birth to a child. I don’t even have enough gift money to give.”
You Qi thought for a second, “How about being a stand-in? I have a drama that’s going to start filming soon. I can ask the director to consider you first if he needs a stand-in for any of the scenes.”
“Wow!” Yang Meng’s face lit up with a pleasant surprise. “What kind of stand-in? Are there ones for popular stars?”
“That…” You Qi contemplated again, “You can be a stand-in for a dangerous scene, undertake some dangerous actions for the star, or even be a stand-in for an intimate scene. For example, you can stand-in in my drama for the female lead in a kissing scene with me, or a bed scene and so on.”
Yang Meng pulled back his lips, “I would rather be the stand-in for a dangerous scene!”
You Qi, “…”
In the afternoon, Yang Meng complacently went out to start his patrol.
When he passed by a group of traffic policemen, he happened to see an acquaintance. He was a former colleague of Yang Meng. When he had first entered the local police station, he was bullied a number of times by him. But after that colleague was transferred to the traffic police division, their relationship unexpectedly improved. Perhaps, everyone who left Yang Meng would ultimately discover the good in him.
“Meng Zi!” Ma Chi greeted him.
Yang Meng stopped the car and rolled the window down, “What are you doing?”
“Someone came to look for me earlier. Is it your turn to patrol today?”
Yang Meng shook his head, “I’m helping a colleague work his shift since his brother was hospitalized.”
“Bullshit, he must have tricked you!” Ma Chi rubbed the top of small Yang Meng’s temple.
Letting out a snort, Yang Meng said, “Didn’t you also find all sorts of excuses to make me cover your shifts before?”
Ma Chi laughed, “Get out of the car. I need to ask you for help with something.”
“What? Isn’t there anyone left in your division?”
“There is, but they’re not as easy to use as you.” Ma Chi pulled the car door open, “Come, come, come, get out. It’s nothing big and won’t take too long to complete.”
Yang Meng actually believed him. After he went into the station with Ma Chi, he did not leave for the entire afternoon.
Ma Chi asked Yang Meng to help him sort out all kinds of car accident cases in the last ten years and gather them into one file, then make a public service announcement video. Not only did Yang Meng had to skim through the shocking videos of those accidents, but he had to also capture the type and the cause of each as they all differed.
“Your leader is really evil!” Yang Meng whined.
Ma Chi heaved a heavy sigh, “He must have nothing better to do!”
As he said that, he glanced at Yang Meng and pointed at the computer screen. “Leave this one, it’s a typical case of brake failure.”
Just when Yang Meng was about to close the page and copy the file, he was suddenly shocked by the familiar faces on the screen.
209 ‘gray market/economy’ (and presumably “gray income’) – are not illicit or illegal (or at least not commonly subject to prosecution or oversight), just not formally recognized, regulated, or explicitly authorized. The term “gray income” was coined in China after 1978 when the country implemented its policy of reform and opening-up. It describes the significant portion of urban residents’ income that is outside the scope of state supervision and control. While some of this income is derived from working additional jobs, some of it is obtained in a more questionable manner (tourism industry, medical and health care, teaching, funeral/interment.)
210 a little over 3000 yuan – about $440.
211 common language – Yang Meng is referring to their status.