After the photo shoot, the players returned to the villa with haggard faces. There was only four bathrooms, but fifteen people to use them. There would naturally be disputes, but no matter how they disputed, Romeo was always excluded to the last spot.
The worst offenders were Hayden and Emily, the two used the bathroom together and only came out after nearly two hours, their expression’s very satisfied. The other players also followed their example, they soaked for however long they wanted, completely ignoring the feelings of the other people. So, when it was finally Zhou Yun Sheng’s turn, it was already eleven o’clock, and the program group’s set water off time was in 10 minutes.
Zhou Yun Sheng hurriedly bathed, then he drilled into his quilt with damp hair. But he couldn’t sleep with Hayden and Emily’s lovemaking sounds coming out of the next room. The two rolled around in the sheets, regardless of the cameramen and the other players’ reactions.
The two male players in Zhou Yun Sheng’s room listened in and made dirty jokes, then they started grading the female player’s looks. Zhou Yun Sheng tossed and turned, and he finally couldn’t help but pound the walls in anger.
The other end seemed to sense who the protest was coming from, so they not only continued, they were even more intense, hitting the walls with the bed-post, bang bang. How annoying.
Zhou Yun Sheng pushed back his hair and walked out of the room. He went to the first floor kitchen, took a bottle of mineral water out from the refrigerator, and offed to his cameraman, “Do you want one?”
The cameraman silently shook his head.
He unscrewed the cap and drank, the cold liquid cooled out his inner fury and made his blue eyes as quiet as the sea. He leaned against the fridge for a while, glanced at the clock- lights out was still half an hour away- and slowly walked toward the diary room.
The so-called diary room was a room to let the players express their feelings in a private place, the video version of a diary. In post-production, the editor would gather these feelings from the diary and insert them into the show at strategic places.
Zhou Yun Sheng went inside, sat in a chair and stayed silent for a moment, his big peach eyes were bright with tears. His expression were dazed, his still damp hair stuck to his forehead and cheeks, making him look like a small, sad animal.
If he doesn’t speak, he is cuter than an angel. The cameraman exclaimed in his heart.
All the cameras in the villa were connected to monitors in the staff room, and by watching the screen, they could quickly grasp the dynamics of all the players and keep track of interesting clips, cut the boring fragments and make a great episode. Although this program was a pre-recorded program, in order to give it a live recording feel, the production team would edit quickly, and keep track of large chunks of recordings for broadcast, so each episode could be called a race against time.
In the process, they only needed to show a sample to the producer, they didn’t need the three hosts to moderate. In the final analysis, the three judges were just actors they’d invited to host the show, but they also played a supporting role, overseeing all the contestant’s performances.
The production team was currently in their busiest time, gathering highlights of today’s shooting. So, when Zhou Yun Sheng walked into the diary-room, the staff leader immediately found him and had a premonition that there would be a very wonderful inner monologue.
What was the undisguised purpose of the diary? Of course, it was to complain. At present, each player had slandered other players in the diary room, except for Romeo. The child behaved like a shit-talker, but in fact, he was a little eccentric and withdrawn, and was very unwilling to be alone with the camera.
What will he say? Will he curse out Hayden and Emily? I hope so. The more poisonous he is, the better, then our program will be top fire. The team leader was quite ratings obsessed.
Suddenly, the office door was pushed open, all the editors and cameramen wiped off their drowsiness and greeted the visitor respectfully. It was the producer of the program, Gustav Acheson, followed in by a gorgeous and graceful middle-aged woman.
“Boss, Mrs. Brown, good night.” The team leader quickly stood up and shook their hands.
These two were big players in the fashion circle. Acheson’s family created a world-renowned fashion brand as early as the last century, and successfully expanded its reach to real estate, finance, entertainment and other industries. Gustav was the chief of the clan, and he not only sat on billions of dollars, he was also one of the world’s top male models.
He was a major shareholder of ABC television, and this program was his product. And with him was Mrs. Brown, Hayden Brown’s mother, once the world’s highest paid female supermodel.
The team leader was expecting them to come.
Sure enough, Mrs. Brown was frowning in deep displeasure, “I heard that Hayden was humiliated, again, and even frightened? I want to know who’s the provoker.”
“Madam, it’s just some teen drama, not serious humiliation.” The group leader struggled to argue for Romeo, he felt that Romeo’s aggressive remarks and behavior was a big draw for the program. But Mrs. Brown even brought over the boss, he could see Romeo’s elimination approaching.
The two people looked to the screen after he pointed Romeo out, and they were both stunned.
The young man sat in a daze, his eyes big and round. He turned his wet blue eyes toward the camera, revealing crystal clear tears that stubbornly refused to fall. “I remember the first time I saw Hayden. He stood on the steps in front of me and held out a hand to my luggage, he said ‘Hey, I see you need help.’ Behind him was the castle-like villa, the deep blue sky, and the golden sun, bathing his head in a halo. He was so charming, like a deity. My tense palms were sweating, and my every muscle was stiff as a rock, I completely forgot to react. He must’ve thought I was cold, so he shrugged and left.”
He said that while he stared at his palms, presumably trying to recapture the feeling.
Such warm praise, he doesn’t seem like the famous hate demon ah? Mrs. Brown was dumbfounded, she had thought that the child would curse her son on the camera.
Gustav stared closely at the screen, his dark eyes uncertain.
The crew leader was a worthy professional, he cleverly brought up the videos from when the players had gathered in front of the villa and found the scene Romeo described. Hayden asked to help him with his luggage, saw his indifferent look, shrugged and left. Where was the indifference? This was subtle love ah!
While the group leader felt that his description seemed a bit abnormal, the truth was getting closer.
The young man rubbed the corner of his eyes with his fist, and his tears finally fell, his voice slowly became choked, “I want to be Hayden’s best buddy, but I don’t want to get burned if I get too close. When he ignores me, when he’s so affectionate with Emily, I feel so sad, like a knife is cutting into my heart. I can only use those blasted cusses to make him notice me. I’m such a knobhead. But I can’t stop. I rather he thinks I’m a nuisance, an arsehole, than one day hear him say: Hey Romeo, can’t you see I’m a dude? Faggot, you make me sick.”
Is he coming out of the closet? Confession? Everyone in the crew was stunned.
Both Gustav and Mrs. Brown showed an incomprehensible expression. Even if A Country was one of the most open countries in the world, the acceptance of homosexuality was still not high. As a homosexual, you’ll encounter great pressure in all aspects of life and work. Some people chose to face it bravely, some people choose to hide for a lifetime, but their hearts suffered torment that ordinary people couldn’t empathize with.
Unfortunately, Gustav and Mrs. Brown were ones who chose to hide in the crowd. They didn’t have the courage to face themselves, so they understood the pain of falling for a person you shouldn’t love, the pain and despair of wanting to be close, yet not having the courage. In order to make the other person notice them even a little, they were willing to do the most illogical things.
No one knew better than them about that kind of tangled and bitter love.
The teenager noticed his tears and hurriedly lowered his head to cover his face, he whispered, “I’m sorry Hayden. I didn’t mean to hurt you. I know you’re brave, you’re not a nancyboy. You only need a little motivation, and you can overcome all the difficulties in the world. And I was right, you really did it, I’m so happy….But maybe, maybe I shouldn’t stay here anymore. Every day… I feel more and more afraid, afraid of you….. afraid of myself….”
He choked, unable to continue, and curled up on the stool, silently sobbing. He sat for a long time before he stood up and rubbed his red eyes.
His hair had dried into a fuzzy mess, and his eyes and nose were red like a beacon. He looked both miserable and lovely. The cameraman responsible for shooting him had to exercise powerful self-control to not walk up and hug him.
In the office, the crew brought out today’s video of Romeo humiliating Hayden, yet smiling when Hayden went back up into the air, a brilliant smile. He was really happy for Hayden, but when he saw the cameraman aiming at him, he put on a cold and disdainful expression.
His character was awkward, but so awkwardly cute. Everyone felt slightly warm in their chests, their hearts seemed to be melting.
Gustav stroked his itchy throat by pretending to adjust his tie. He was a lover of furry cuteness, and the young man’s pitiful look reminded him of his folded-ear cat, Rooney. If he was by the young man’s side, he would hold him in his arms and kiss him comfortingly, assuring him that he was so cute and worthy of the world’s best love.
“Mrs. Brown, do you still insist on your original decision?” After finally pressing down the intolerable itchy feeling in his heart, he looked toward the older woman.
“Oh, no.” said Mrs. Brown, shaking her head and waving, “Let the child go on, he is such a good boy. I was wrong about him.” She knew more about the hardships of homosexuality than anyone else. The young man bravely came out in front of so many viewers, his courage made her feel ashamed.
The teenager on the screen opened up the diary-room and walked out, then uttered a cry of surprise.
“Ivana, you, how long have you been here?” The young man retreated, his big blue eyes full of fear.
Everyone in the crew held their breath, waiting for what would happen next.
“I saw that you weren’t in bed and came over to take a look. I heard it all.” Ivana pulled up her sexy fiery red hair and casually opened, “Sorry, I didn’t mean to eavesdrop, you didn’t shut the door. It’s a soundproof door, if you had shut it, I wouldn’t have heard anything.”
Seeing the young man’s white face was, at the moment, transparent in fear, she laughed, brushed the soft hair off his forehead and comforted, “As a gift, I’ll also tell you my secret. I like women, but I’m far from bothered or afraid of my sexuality. Romeo, did you forget why you came to this show?”
“In order to face my true self.” This was Romeo’s confession in the first episode interview recording. Zhou Yun Sheng, of course, remembered, but he was surprised that Ivana actually remembered.
“How can you continue with your life if you can’t even face your truest self? Romeo, walk with me bravely, okay? Get rid of society’s expectations and shackles, and you will find that the world is very beautiful.”
The woman’s smile was sincere and cheerful, like a small sun, illuminating. Zhou Yun Sheng’s favorable impression of her rose from 100 to positive infinity. If Romeo would’ve met such a strong and sincere friend, perhaps he wouldn’t have abandoned himself.
“Okay…let’s go together.” The teenager cautiously took her hand and squeezed it lightly.
Ivana chuckled and pulled him into her arms, patting his back like a bro hug.
The crew was silent for a few minutes, then Gustav’s hard-line order sounded, “You’re not allowed to edit out this scene.”
The group leader nodded, then he led the two powerful people out the door. Mrs. Brown walked five meters away towards her car, then rushed back and eagerly asked, “That red-headed woman in there, what’s her name? Give me her details. Oh, and send me a copy of all her photos.”
Gustav already knew her intent: “……”
Lady, you came here to back up your son, not for a blind date, remember?
Romeo is such a cutie! I wanna hug him! He’s a super tsundere!
Got teary eyes
Ivana is such a sweetheart. I’m so proud of her. This arc is my fave and every once in awhile i comeback to read. Ivana romeo interaction in this arc is my most precious part. I wish everyone a friend like ivana even if you are straight or LGBTQ+ you all deserve a precious friend like her. ?❤️ god my tears… ?
SUGAR MOMMY?! I MEAN.. SHE’S ALREADY OLD ENOUGH TO BE CALLED THAT-
OH MY GOD I HAVE A CHANCE! *Mrs. Brown knocks on the door* OH NEVERMIND JUST LET ME BE A SINGLE POTATO T_T