Chapter 30 – Name
Although An An showed that he’s very disgusted, since he had already promised his father, he had to do it well. Therefore, although Leonid didn’t seem to have made a fast progress in learning Chinese, their encounter wasn’t as tense as before.
Ren Zhouyuan noticed the changes of An An during this time. Although that little guy was always commenting on how stupid Leonid was, Ren Zhouyuan now realized that An An just wanted to be comforted emotionally. Ren Zhouyuan saw that An An had slowly accepted the existence of Leonid, and he had also become much more talkative than before. Ren Zhouyuan felt a bit complex.
When An An went to bed at night, he even complained to Ren Zhouyuan. He said that he was teaching Leonid to pronounce his name in Chinese, and Leonid had his tongue all curled up.
An An was laughing and jumping up and down, while imitating the way Leonid looked when he talked, and he burst in laughter in Ren Zhouyuan’s arms. Ren Zhouyuan found it funny too when he saw An An’s rarely shown naughty side.
But this reminded him of another thing. After sending An An to an interest class the next day, Ren Zhouyuan found Leonid and saw that he was not working. Instead, he was learning Chinese. Then, Ren Zhouyuan wanted to mention something that he had thought about for a long time.
He asked Leonid a bit about his recent relationship with An An, and he tried to make it sound nicer, “do you have any opinion about An An’s name?”
Leonid paused, then tapped his index finger on the table a few times, and said, “I already said that I wouldn’t compete with you for An An, so if you mind, An An’s name will stay as it is, there’s no need to care too much about how I think.”
Ren Zhouyuan shook his head when he heard that, “you’ve misunderstood me.” He smiled, “I didn’t have much idea about inheritance of succession. Even my name was given by the director of my welfare home at that time. Of course, when I picked An An’s name, I didn’t just choose it randomly either. So I only wanted to have your opinion.”
He paused and said, “An An is, after all…your son, I thought that since he is half westerner and half Chinese, there shouldn’t be a problem in having a Chinese and Russian name.”
Leonid nodded to show that he had understood. Then, he reached out his hand and took out a booklet in his drawer, and he opened one of the pages in it, then showed it to Ren Zhouyuan.
Ren Zhouyuan took it and had a look. There were two names written on it. Judging from the handwriting, it was written at least more than two days ago.
“Ivan Leonid Stasjeevich,” Ren Zhouyuan whispered one of the names, he was wondering why the name caught his attention at once, he looked up and asked him, “is there anything special with this name?”
“It means ‘the Son of God’s treasure’” Leonid replied, looking into his eyes.
Ren Zhouyuan’s heart was beating hard, he lowered his head and whispered the name again. He closed after a while and told Leonid, “then let’s go for this one.”
“What about the other one?” Leonid asked him, “Belvska, how does this sound to you?”
Ren Zhouyuan shook his head, “Ivan is nice.”
Leonid nodded. He did not tell Ren Zhouyuan what the other name meant. If the second name contained his selfishness, then the first name would be full of his blessings to An An.
Ren Zhouyuan did not tell An An about his new name. He could almost imagine the way An An would look when he heard his name. That little guy was so good at faking – when he told Ren Zhouyuan how much he hated Leonid, he was still teaching him Chinese words at the same time.
Leonid did a good job of what Confucius taught, that is, to ask without feeling ashamed. He often asked An An whether he had pronounced everything correctly. After a few days’ observation, Ren Zhouyuan thought that he might as well let the father and son interact more, and he didn’t want to interfere them.
Previously, Ren Zhouyuan asked Fan Wenfeng to accept the invitation from the contractor on his behalf, but he hadn’t asked him about the follow-up work. Seeing how relaxed Leonid had been recently, he couldn’t figure out whether it was because of his improved relationship with An An or because of the incident with the contractor which had been solved. However, he soon knew why.
These days, Ren Zhouyuan was busy in his room drafting script. Suddenly, someone knocked on his door, and he immediately saw Leonid entering.
“Are you free now?” Leonid pushed open the door and showed his head.
Ren Zhouyuan nodded and stood up. “Come in.” He pulled the chair over and sat on the bed himself. After they both down, he asked, “something wrong?”
Leonid said, “we are planning a thank-you party, and would like to invite the cooperative agencies and some government officials to participate, that’s also to advertise the maker base that will be promoted next.” Ren Zhouyuan nodded, “this sounds good.” After thinking for a while, he continued, “since you’re going to invite some government officials, I’m assuming that the previous crisis has been resolved?”
Leonid nodded, his face looked rarely relaxed, “initially, we didn’t have any hope anymore. The last time I went to Haicheng, I also contacted another scholar. There was something wrong during the discussion process, and the deal was blown off. Rowan is also contacting other people, and although he succeeded in taking a few deals, their reputation is not that big either. It still works but the impact is not big enough.” Then, he said again, “unexpectedly, the scholar that we were in touch before had accepted our invitation. And it’s made our job so much easier. These days, we have been negotiating with the government, and with this element, our work for the later stage will look more promising.”
After Ren Zhouyuan listened, he also felt happy for Leonid. He had to say that Fan Wenfeng had done his job so well. Without even showing up, the crisis had been solved.
He congratulated him, then heard Leonid say, “this thank-you meeting is also the company’s mid-year meeting, so I was thinking …” He paused, “shall we bring An An along? “Ren Zhouyuan froze for a moment, since he wasn’t expecting Leonid to come up with this suggestion at all.
Leonid immediately said, “you don’t have to worry, I won’t let An An go on stage and do anything, I just want to bring you both.” He looked at Ren Zhouyuan’s eyes with a little temptation, and he was carefully suggesting, “that day, the whole company will attend. Of course, as part of the project, you will have to attend too. Just make it as bringing An An to eat something delicious. Is that okay?”
Ren Zhouyuan wanted to laugh a bit. He wasn’t sure if it was his illusion, as he always felt that Leonid had been very acting very carefully since he moved in.
He thought of what Ron had said to him before. He said that the Russians became different people after marriage. Before marriage, they looked like the whole world was owing them money; after marriage, they looked like they had owed money to their partners. They might be super cold before marriage, but they could also become much nicer after marriage.
But their situation was a little different now. They were never “married”, and they never had a boiling hot relationship either. They were just at a delicate point in this plausible relationship.
Ren Zhouyuan wasn’t sure whether all people have this kind of vanity, but as far as he was concerned, he still found it a bit strange. Leonid had changed from a person who always looked down on him, to someone who always wanted to please him. While enjoying how nice Leonid was being to him, deep in his heart, he didn’t want Leonid to change his real character either.
“You don’t have to be so careful.” Ren Zhouyuan thought about it for a while before suggesting. Seeing Leonid acting stunned for a while, he hurriedly waved his hand and explained, “since we’ve already moved in, we’re already a family. Previously, I used to hide and not let An An see you, that’s because I was worried you would…well, anyway, since we’ve already moved in, as long as you treat An An well, I’ll do nothing to stop you.”
Leonid’s eyes brightened when he heard his words, and he looked like he’s full of hope, “so do you mean that you’ll attend together?”
“Yes.” Ren Zhouyuan nodded, but after sending Leonid out, he felt that something’s wrong.