Chapter 3: Hair Clip
The flow of customers was at an all time high during noon, it was also the busiest time for all restaurants. Yang Mianmian had long been hungry, but the customers liked her very much and were extremely generous with their money.
Although Yang Mianmian knew that she wouldn’t be lacking in tiping money, it was still more than she had expected. Some people slipped her three or four pieces of bank notes at once and asked for her cell phone number.
She said, “I don’t use a cell phone.”
At lunchtime, she sat in the corner of the break room and ate her work meal, which consisted of meat, vegetables and soup. It was the best meal she had in this period of her life. She cleaned her plate thoroughly and even her soup was drunk without a drop left.
There was a girl there complaining that the food was awful, that it was all extra food and cold, that there was no break for lunch because it was the busiest time. They either eat early or eat late, and it was already two o’clock in the afternoon when it was Yang Mianmian’s turn to eat.
This was understandable, but what made her roll her eyes was that though they are free to say as they please, they also had to cynically mock her as a ‘hobo’.
When Yang Mianmian went to the back kitchen to wash her dishes, she said to the faucet: “Sometimes, a woman’s jealousy is a really inexplicable thing.
The faucet agreed, and then asked her, “Could you wash me a bit? That woman put oil on me and I feel so terrible.” （┬＿┬）
By the end of the night, the others were fully aware of her threat and began to steal customers from her. These waiters were so sharp that they could tell at a glance whether the customers had money or not, and whether they would tip a lot.
But that’s about it.
A handsome man came in just now, and Wang Lu, who was next to her, immediately pushed her aside and greeted him with a bright look.
Yang Mianmian thought to herself: You just saw his Armani suit, but you didn’t smell the faint stench of corpse and formalin on him.
She couldn’t understand their intelligence.
A couple came in, she walked over with a beautiful menu, and then realized it was someone she knew.
Jing Chu never expected to see Yang Mianmian in this high-grade restaurant. Seeing her in her uniform, his eyebrows furrowed at once, and his face turned exceptionally stern. Those who get such a treatment from him are usually criminals, “What are you doing here?”
“To earn tuition and living expenses.”
Jing Chu furrowed his eyebrows tightly, “How much do you want for tuition, I’ll lend it to you first.” He took care of the little girl’s self-esteem, and didn’t say “give” but “lend”.
Yang Mianmian originally didn’t want to talk nonsense, but seeing that he had fixed his toilet and TV, she still answered, “Save it for an emergency, not the poor.”
Jing Chu was stunned, and she walked away with the menu.
Luo Peipei couldn’t help but say, “This little girl is kind of interesting.”
“A relative’s child.” Jing Chu didn’t want to say more, “But, she is a bit different.”
If he hadn’t noticed anything the first time, the second time he dealt with her he certainly has. His keen observation skills revealed that Yang Mianmian was not quite the same as the average 17 to 18-year-old girl.
Not only was she matured early, whatever else that made her stand out from the rest wasn’t something he could pinpoint at the moment.
Because of Yang Mianmian’s special situation, the manager took special care of her finances and gave her a day’s salary ahead of time. She earned nearly seven or eight hundred yuan in one day with tips, which was beyond her expectation. But she did work for fourteen hours and monopolized the peak lunch times and dinner times.
When she got off work, it was ten o’clock in the evening, she walked through the back door and stopped just a few steps away. Jing Chu was a little relieved to see her so alert, but she stopped for only two seconds and then continued walking over, even knocking on the window.
When he lowered the window, his expression was as serious as the head of the school, “Don’t walk beside a car, its dangerous.”
“I recognized your car.” Yang Mianmian was obviously a little annoyed with him and finally couldn’t hold back and said, “You’re annoying.”
Jing Chu frowned slightly, after he sent Luo Peipei away, he specially came back around and waited for her to go home from work. In the end he waited for nearly two hours. But seeing that she was so young, she had to come out to work late at night when other people’s children were at home and spoiled with their parents, he held back his temper: “Get in the car, I’ll take you home.”
Yang Mianmian got into the car.
On the way, Jing Chu deliberated on his language, trying not to treat her in the same way as he does a criminal. He spoke in a way that he thought was kind and affable, “It’s fine if you want to work, but it’s better not to stay so late. It’s dangerous for a girl to walk alone at night.”
Yang Mianmian didn’t say anything.
Jing Chu thought about it, scaring her: “Some time ago, many young female students went missing, and they were all abducted and sold to foreign countries. Some of them were like you, walking home and was dragged into other people’s cars. And then no one ever saw them again.”
Yang Mianmian: “……”
“Did you see the news about the time a robber disguised as a delivery man and went into a house and killed a family of four? Don’t open the door to anyone when you’re home alone.”
“There was a woman walking home at night from work the other day who was raped… cough.” Probably finally realizing that what he was saying was too terrifying for a little girl, Jing Chu promptly stopped.
He looked at Yang Mianmian sideways, her small face in the dark car looked like it was glowing. He had seen such descriptions in books and thought it was all bullshit. The human face was not a light bulb, how could it glow? But now he realized it was true.
She giggled and really looked like a match that was lit in the dark, “You’re really…” she thought for a moment before saying, “quite kind.”
Jing Chu didn’t know whether to cry or laugh, and was about to say something, when she continued leisurely, “You’re just too annoying, I’ve had no one to care for me since I was a child, and I don’t need anyone to care for me.” She said, “I’m not like other people, so I wish you’d leave me alone.”
Jing Chu was not one to get angry with people easily, but she was so ungrateful that he didn’t want to set himself up for another rebuff.
The rain came fast and furious, and soon the view outside was obstructed. Jing Chu turned on the radio, putting on some light music that was soothing and relaxing.
The torrential rain and music in the car obstructed Yang Mianmian’s hearing, so she did not hear the wailing cry for help from a hair clip left on the roadside.
“Save her! Please save her!”
But no one heard it.
When Jing Chu sent Yang Mianmian home, the rain had not stopped. He watched her run out with a bag, and could not help but open his mouth: “Drink some woad, be careful of getting sick.”
Yang Mianmian didn’t bother to tell him that she didn’t even have a piece of ginger at home, so how could she have woad? So she perfunctorily said, “I know, thank you. Goodbye.”
Jing Chu watched her go upstairs and drove off only when the lights were on at her house.
Everyone commented collectively, “He’s quite nice.”
Yang Mianmian closed the curtains, not caring: “He’s a policeman, they just love to worry.”
The rainstorm rained for a few hours and then stopped, but by then it had already entered the early hours of the morning, the whole city was quiet. The hairpin was tired out from crying as it wallowed in the dirty pools of water sobbing intermediately.
“Don’t cry anymore.” A small bread van parked on the side of the road comforted it.
“She’s dying.” The hair clip had been filled with crystals and should have glistened on the girl’s cloud-like hair, but now it was a mess, “Save her, someone save her.”
“Don’t cry anymore.” The bread van thought and whispered, “Wait until morning and I’ll see if I can find someone to help you, but who are you going to save?”
“Thank you,” The hair clip whispered, “Hanhan had been taken.”
Hanhan was its owner, a beautiful young girl. The hair clip said that she had been taken on her way home from work.
“They were telling her to quickly leave, but Hanhan can’t hear them…” the hair clip said in a low voice, “They were all saying he was a bad person, but she can’t hear them, nor hear me.” QAQ
In the whispers of the night, dawn gradually came.
Yang Mianmian woke up earlier than usual, and she was so sleepy that she buried her head under the pillow: “Let me sleep a little longer.”
“Mianmian, a girl went missing.” The alarm clock listened carefully to the telephone pole outside the window and said to her, “It seems that she was abducted halfway home.”
Yang Mianmian opened one eye and said, “Kidnapping?”
“No.” Her bedroom window was facing a telephone pole and the latest news was delivered to her “Mianmian, it seems… that she’s dead.”
Yang Mianmian came to her senses at once.
She sat on the bed for two seconds, “Someone died?”
“Yes, she’s in the woods in the old park.”
Yang Mianmian gave an affirming sound and laid back down, “Since she’s dead, it’s none of our business.”
If someone died, it’s the police’s business to investigate, so what does it have to do with her? Everything in the world has its rules, and meddling in something she shouldn’t would case her trouble.
Yang Mianmian said that to herself, then got up an hour earlier than usual, washed up quickly, stuffed a few coins in her pocket and walked out of the house.
The daytime of summer came quickly, it was almost five o’clock, and the east was already shining white. The roads were empty, and even the morning grocery shoppers hadn’t gotten up yet.
Yang Mianmian found the hair clip, a very pretty pink crystal with many gorgeous rhinestones set around it.
She bowed her head and picked up the hair clip “Don’t cry anymore, she’s dead.”
The crystal hair clip’s cries stopped abruptly: “Hanhan’s… dead?”
The bread van beside him let out a low sob, and the hair clip’s voice was sharp: “Hanhan’s, dead?”
The hair clip wailed, “I don’t believe it! She’s only twenty-one, she just met her boyfriend, and he gave me to her and said they were going to be together forever! I don’t believe it!”
“That can’t be helped.” Yang Mianmian tucked it into her pants pocket, “The police will soon find her body.”
“Show me!” The hairpin begged, “Hanhan likes me the most, will you give me back to her?”
Yang Mianmian was silent for a moment and said, “Not now.”
“You’ll get in the way of the police case.” Yang Mianmian found a breakfast place that had just opened, and after thinking about it, she decided to have a bowl of wontons. Four dollars, vegetarian filling, but it was big, white and chubby floating in the soup, and quite appetizing.
She added vinegar and chili, and pretty much ate one wonton per bite. The hair clip was still not willing to give up, “Just let me see her. Since you can hear me, just take me over there.”
In other people’s stores, it would be ridiculous for her to talk to herself, so Yang Mianmian didn’t say a word, letting it clamor. In the end, the hair clip saw that she really wouldn’t pay attention to it, and wept again.
Yang Mianmian: “…….”
This hair clip was really pampered, like a little girl. Or were all things from a luxury store like this in personality? She previously bought a bow hair clip with pink polka dots from a stall that had a fierce personality. It would scold anyone that touched it out on the road.
“Fuck you little brat, how dare you touch against me! Are you tired of living!”
And so on.
Unfortunately, the quality of the goods from a stall wasn’t high, and it was not long after it broke down. When it said goodbye to Yang Mianmian, it was as fierce as always, “There’s nothing to be sad about. I hope in my next life, I will be a Cartier brand hair clip!”
“… Good luck.”
It’s true that one can’t choose their birth but at least one can choose how to live.
She came back to her senses, the crystal hair clip still crying. She ate the last of her wonton, paid and left.