It’s the President’s Office (cont - 6)

Shu’s mom was fascinated with all the intrigue. Life was never this exciting back home in China. “You should see all the press,” Kevin overheard her telling her husband over the phone. “They are like mice at a cheese convention. You’d think we were living with a movie star.”

Shu had also spoken to her father. According to Shu’s dad, it didn’t take much for the Chinese press to latch onto the fact Kevin Beamer appeared to be catching all of Jason’s games and Jason was now living with Kevin. Many of the press were getting bored with the Jason Woo phenomena and looking for another angle to his story. There is only so much you can write about someone with very little past before it gets repetitive. Now there was interest in the stories surrounding the people around Jason Woo, and no one was around Jason more than Kevin Beamer. Who was he? What was his background? What made him tick? That interest only got greater once it was found he had a wife from China.

This also interested many of the women in China, especially when it was reported that he faithfully called his wife every night after a ball game at seven PM when the team was on the road. The need for pictures of both Kevin Beamer and Shu gained in popularity. Now, not only were these photographers interested in taking photos of Jason as he left the house, they were also interested in taking photos of Kevin and Shu. There was now more reason to stalk in front of the house. Some of the pictures they took started appearing in the gossip magazines. The simple pony tail hair style worn by Shu upraised like the tail of a horse became very popular in China. Kevin bet none of them could make their hair bounce like Shu. He imagined television hosts talking for hours conjecturing on what Shu did to make her hair bounce. Life at the Beamer household was beginning to look like a bowl of paella. Jason was not the only tasty dish embedded in the rice.

Shu tried to curtail her enthusiasm, but Kevin could see she was excited about all this interest in her. He would tease her, bragging about all the women in China who wanted a “du like Shu.” Of all the famous movie actresses in China none of them were getting quite the play in the papers as Shu. At least according to her father. Kevin warned Shu that her father could be embellishing much of this interest. “After all, you are his daughter. He is a little biased.”

Shu showed him one of the magazines her father sent incorrectly reporting Shu was married to Jason. Shu also showed him another newspaper article conducting a survey asking who was the most responsible for Jason’s success in the United States. Kevin Beamer received 33% of the vote, Jason Woo received 29 % of the vote, a combination of the two received 37% of the vote and Shu got a 1% write in response. It was a little strange now for Shu to be reading all the gossip magazines from China and finding her the subject of these magazines.

“Don’t you go getting a big head,” Kevin counseled his wife. In reality, if those people who took the survey knew the details Shu should get all the credit for Jason’s success. If not for her he never would have learned Mandarin. If he had never learned Mandarin there would be no reason for the Orioles to call him to be the personal catcher for Jason. No telling who would be helping Jason adapt to the American lifestyle if he had never met Shu. Fate twists and turns in many strange directions. Did it ultimately have a plan for the direction they were going?

“I find this all strange,” was all Shu could say. “You guys do all work. How I get dwag into this? I know nothing bout baseball.”

Since Shu’s father was the only one in China the local press could talk to he was quite popular. Or at least so he said. He sent them tapes of two television shows he appeared on as a guest to talk about Kevin, Shu and Jason. One of the interviewers had an obsession about Shu and Kevin, how they met, who they were. Kevin could see Shu’s father telling them everything in embellished hues.

“You think he’ll ever tell them he didn’t like me at first,” Kevin commented.

When Shu told her mother what Kevin had said she replied in Mandarin “That is not true. He was just a little uncomfortable because you are a foreigner. After he met you he thought you were a very nice young man. If he didn’t Shu would still be back in China.”

Shu’s mom even talked about going back to Shanghai soon. She was a little concerned that her husband was alone in China with all the press talking to him. She felt she needed to be there to help him wade through the chaos. That conflicted with her joy of being with Jasmine. It was a tough choice for her. “Sometimes I miss not being with him.”

“He’s a grown man,” Kevin would argue. “Jasmine needs your help more than him.”

Especially now that Shu had returned to work. They would need her to stay at least through the baseball season.

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