Part 6: Certificate
They’re already a long time couple now, but today, MoZhaHim suddenly remembers a suspicious point, “KO, how did you find out about my new home address at first?”
He even brought vegetables and other food ingredients up to his door early morning.
KO answers calmly, “I looked it up from the housing registration database.”
MoZhaHim, “……Can you not say it like, ‘I just went to search it up on Baidu,’ that kind of tone?…..” (Baidu: popular Chinese search engine)
In the middle of the night, MoZhaHim suddenly wakes up from his sleep and sits up on the bed. He pants heavily, and KO is also woken up by the disturbance. He sits up as well and embraces MoZhaHim while patting his back gently, “What’s wrong?”
“I had a nightmare,” MoZhaHim says wiping his sweat, “I dreamt that you hacked into the housing management bureau and changed the registration name to yours. This is too scary.”
This is definitely a nightmare! If KO is the one who owns the apartment, wouldn’t that mean he is living off of him?! As a real man, would he have any dignity left?!
“Good thing that it was just a dream.”
MoZhaHim lets out a breath of relief. He falls back down onto the bed with a thump and goes back to sleep. He doesn’t notice that KO continues sitting up on the bed in the dark for a very long time after.
Ever since that day, something seems to be up with KO. Then again, when he’s normal, he’s expressionless, and when he’s abnormal, he’s still expressionless. And for someone who’s rather careless like MoZhaHim, it’s just impossible to notice any differences between the two.
The first thing that MoZhaHim notices is……
KO’s eggs are bigger than his.
MoZhaHim’s meals have been very healthy ever since KO moved in. Breakfast is full of nutrition; an egg is a must. Boiled eggs, fried eggs, syrup eggs, stir fried diced onions with eggs, and many more different kinds of eggs……
MoZhaHim has never been very into eating eggs, but KO says that eggs are a form of nourishment for his own “eggs.” MoZhaHim feels that it makes perfect sense, so he eats them happily every day.
However, MoZhaHim has noticed that recently, his breakfast eggs have clearly been smaller than KO’s. It’s fine if it’s only a day or two since it could be just a coincidence, but after a good few days, his eggs are always smaller!
MoZhaHim is furious!
It doesn’t matter whether the eggs are small or big, but the underlying message clearly indicates that he is being discriminated. MoZhaHim can’t take it any longer! Damn it! Isn’t he hinting that his……is smaller?! Therefore, he doesn’t need as much nourishment?!
But MoZhaHim cools down his temper in the end and holds the rage to himself. After all, it’s unmanly to fight over the size of their eggs; it won’t hurt to let KO take the bigger ones. Later when he goes to work, YuGong asks him secretively in the washroom, “Prince Mei, Prince Mei, could it be that you’re planning to buy another home?”
MoZhaHim is baffled, “What home?”
YuGong despises those who try to hide their wealth, “If we’re buddies, stop pretending. I saw KO looking up resale homes on the internet yesterday. Furthermore, when we were talking about the current market prices, KO was listening on the side. Is that normal? So stop pretending, okay? It’s not like I’m asking you to treat me to a meal.”
MoZhaHim can’t help but feel suspicion. He picks a time when KO is not around and hacks into his computer to see his browsing history. There are indeed housing sites, and he has been on them for quite a long time.
What is the meaning of this? Is he planning to move out?
MoZhaHim loses his concentration on work for the rest of the day due to these unanswered questions in his heart. Xiao Nai asks to see him after work.
“KO wants to sign a five-year contract with me, did you know about this?”
MoZhaHim is stunned.
“Are you guys short on money these days? His condition for signing the contract is to be paid three years’ worth of salary in advance.”
Seeing how MoZhaHim is struck dumb, even though Xiao Nai is such a……scheming person (?!), he can’t help but let out a sigh for his brother who’s getting “married off.” Xiao Nai really wants to sign the contract with KO, but compared to his role as the company’s decision maker, he has always been someone who mixes work with personal matters, so he feels his role as Third Brother is more important.
As brothers, he must let his brothers feel secured in working at the company!
MoZhaHim leaves Xiao Nai’s office in a daze, but the feeling of rage spawns as he walks.
Everything is becoming clear.
Torturing him (as in giving him smaller eggs to eat)……
Secretly studying housing prices……
Secretly signing a big salary contract……
All these evidences show that KO is cheating, cooking dinner for someone else!
MoZhaHim suddenly feels like chopping off someone’s “little brother” (a man’s lower body part) at the moment.
He’s not someone who can keep things to himself, so he decides to confront KO right away. KO cooks a table full of dishes for dinner as usual; MoZhaHim takes it as “his last meal” and eats everything while feeling depressed. He wipes his mouth after he finishes eating. When he sees KO getting out of his seat to go wash the dishes, he immediately stops him.
KO pauses, looks at him, then puts the plates back down and sits.
MoZhaHim asks him straight out, “You’re planning to buy a new place?”
KO doesn’t seem to be surprised that he knows, so he nods.
MoZhaHim feels his blood pressure going up, “Why?”
KO keeps his silence for a while and then says, “I want to have a jointly owned property.”
MoZhaHim is speechless, but after a long while, he asks doubtfully, “What property did you say?”
KO repeats himself, “A jointly owned property.”
MoZhaHim stares at him, blinks, and then he quickly realizes what he was saying, “You……want to buy my property?”
KO, “Half of it.”
KO gazes downwards, “But I still can’t afford it.”
MoZhaHim can’t find any words to describe his feelings. He’s a bit confused, a little delighted, a little dumbstruck, and……a little touched? The two of them sit across from each other like two silly men. After a long moment of silence, MoZhaHim asks, “You wanted to sign a contract with Third Brother because of this?”
“Oh, how much is this property worth now? Have you found out from looking at the market prices online?”
KO says, “It’s around four hundred thousand.”
MoZhaHim says in shock, “The property value rose again? Holy! Real estate business sure is shady.”
KO nods, “It has risen 97%.”
“Crazy!” MoZhaHim feels lucky that he bought the place in time. He glances at KO and says, “Have you thought about what to do if I refuse to sell it to you? Since the pricing has raised so much, wouldn’t I be losing money if I sell it to you?”
KO, “You will sell it to me.”
MoZhaHim feels angry for having his thoughts exposed. He immediately turns his head sideways, “Psh! Like you would sell it, your whole family……uh,” MoZhaHim shuts his mouth before he continues farther, but then orders, feeling irritated, “Go wash the dishes!”
KO goes to wash the dishes.
MoZhaHim feels pleased and happy with his life again. He’s even willing to accept the fact that his breakfast eggs are smaller than KO’s. He generously believes: let KO have them. He’s a man after all, so he must not be so stingy. Furthermore, KO does work harder than him regardless of whether it’s day or night, so KO indeed needs more nutrition.
They’ve finished all of their eggs today, so the two of them head to the supermarket. When they arrive at the entrance, MoZhaHim receives a phone call from the office regarding a work related issue. Since it’s noisy inside, MoZhaHim tells KO to go on ahead first while he finishes the call. It’s almost half an hour later when the call finally ends.
MoZhaHim goes inside to look for KO. He looks left and right, but can’t seem to find him. Just when he is about to call KO on the cell phone, he turns his head and sees KO among a crowd of old women; he’s lining up to buy……discounted…eggs.
MoZhaHim hesitates for a bit, but he goes over and pulls KO by the sleeves, “Hey, what are you doing?”
“I know you’re buying eggs, but haven’t you already gotten them?” MoZhaHim looks over to the two cartons of eggs that are already inside the cart.
“Those are for you.”
Green shelled eggs are small and expensive. The ones they’re lining up for are discounted. Although they’re cheap, they’re much bigger. It suddenly hits MoZhaHim why his breakfast eggs are always smaller than KO’s.
He lets out a light sigh deep inside his heart.
He’s done for.
He says, “Why are you being like Felix Grandet and are minding so much on the price of the eggs? Is it just for the sake of buying my place?”
KO nods and emphasizes, “Half of it.”
MoZhaHim tries to hold his cool, “How much can you save from this?”
KO doesn’t respond. As someone who has always been poor, it’s out of instinct for him to save up his money by buying discounted food or clothes. Of course, no matter how tight his wallet is, he can’t let his wife suffer; that is also out of instinct.
MoZhaHim is lost without words.
They return home, eat their dinner quietly, brush their teeth, wash their face, and go to bed. The next day on MSN.
MoZhaHim: “There are new regulations on the housing market. According to the news, the prices of resale homes in Beijing have dropped 50%.”
MoZhaHim: “I’ve decided to sell you half of my property! However, the price will be based on its highest value.”
KO: “I haven’t saved enough money.”
“The bank won’t give me a mortgage on half of a property.”
“Psh! Who’s telling you to get a mortgage from the bank?” You want to work for the bank? No way. MoZhaHim taps swiftly on the keyboard: “I’ll give you a mortgage. As for the term…”
MoZhaHim smiles in front of his MSN window: “How about sixty years?”
Both MoZhaHim and KO take half of a vacation in the morning of Friday before going to work in the afternoon.
YuGong asks casually, “Where did you guys go?”
MoZhaHim answers nonchalantly, “We went to get a certificate.”
MoZhaHim glances at his expression of shock and realizes what he was thinking. He despises, “We went to get a property ownership certificate. What did you think it was? You’re so full of dirty thoughts.”
YuGong feels wronged. How is getting a marriage certificate dirty? You guys are dirtier for doing things without it!!!
At night, after they’ve XXX, MoZhaHim sighs, “It’s not a bad idea to get a marriage certificate.”
MoZhaHim scorns, “Psh! I was born a Chinese and will die as a Chinese. Immigrating to another country is too uncreative.” He then kicks KO, “See if you can hack into the government’s database and get us a certificate?”
Part 6: Certificate