The afternoon was rainy and gray, perfectly resembling Ginny Wu's mood. It had resembled her mood for several days actually, and she was starting to think her rain-like emotions might never go away.
"Jian Song?" She asked, looking down at her feet. She was carefully trying to avoid stepping in any puddles. Li Ting had told her to stay clean for today's livestream, and she didn't have the energy to get a scolding from her right now.
"Hmm? Yes?" Jian Song replied, peeling his eyes off his phone and looking at her instead.
"Do you think I could just quit?" Jian Song did a double take.
"What!?! What's wrong?!" Ginny laughed. Her assistant was gullible as usual.
"Nothing. Just a joke, is all." He breathed a sigh of relief, then went back to scrolling through his messages.
They arrived at their destination after a good half-hour of walking through the rainy city, Jian Song complaing that they 'could've just driven' every five minutes or so. Despite her best effort, Ginny's feet were drenched in gutter water by the time they had reached the entertainment office. In fact, her whole outfit looked like she took it out of a washing machine and put it on without letting it dry. She was definetly going to get scolded.
"Mr. Hong just texted me, he says you have to 'come to the conference room when you get here.'"
Ginny sighed. It'll be fine, she though to herself, you'll get to sleep eventually.
"Can you get me some tea? I don't think I'll make it till 7:00 without it." She asked Jian Song.
"I think Tian Tian's using the hot water kettle right now. Noodle ranking episode today." He pulled up Tian Tian's stream on his phone and showed it to her.
"Uhnnnn." She moaned, running her fingers through her messy hair, trying to get it to lie down flat after being tossed and turned by the wind. Even with an umbrella you were sure to be soaked in this weather.
"Can you get me some tea from the shop...shop.." She snapped her fingers trying to remember the name, "Hong Cha! Can you get me some tea from there?"
"It's pouring! You want me to go back out there?" He stuck his thumb over his shoulder, gesturing out the glass wall that cross-sectioned the lobby. It really was a downpour. People everywhere were huddling under any awning or building overhang for a little extra layer of protection from the weather.
"Please?" She begged. "I'll treat you to spicy hotpot later?" Jian Song sighed.
"Fine. Just hurry up to your meeting." But he didn't have to remind her, she was halfway to the elevators across the hall. A message popped up on his phone.
"Thanks. I think I'd drop dead if I didn't get a hot drink. Make sure it's caffeinated. I'm gonna need it today."
Ginny stepped into the elevator and pressed 5. As the doors closed, she stared down at her clothes, dripping wet. The umbrella did nothing, she thought. It wasn't really a big deal, she had tons of clothes at her live-in office. Even if she didn't she could just ask to borrow some from Tian Tian of Jin He or any other girl her size, but she would be yelled at anyways. She couldn't be in a worse mood to be blamed for the weather.
She stepped off the elevator, pushing past a crowd of workers going home. It was 6:00 already. Most people would be going home right about now, she though wistfully.
Mr. Hong was already in the conference room when she got there. He looked like he was going to faint when he saw her outfit.
"What happened to you clothes?!?" He whimpered, obviously upset but trying not to shout.
"It's raining." She said taking a seat, placing her water-logged bag on the floor.
"You have a stream at 7:15! Why did you walk?"
"You told me to try and slim down. You said I 'must be eating to many youtiao.'" She imitated, annoyed. Then adding, "and when I said I barely have time to sleep, you told me to walk everywhere I went."
This shut him up, and there was a moment of awkward silence until Hong gathered himself.
"Just change after we're done here. Where's your manager?" As if on cue, Li Ting burst into the conference room, looking frazzled.
"Sorry I'm late. I had to respond to a few brand sposorship inquiries." Knowing Li Ting, a few probaby meant more than a normal human could handle. She caught her breath, then looked at Ginny. "What happened to your sho--" She was cut off by Mr. Hong.
"Let's keep this short, since you definetly need to change." He gave a pointed looked to Ginny. "Since your popularity has exploded in the past six months, we'd like you to do a 'Twelve Days of Christmas' special stream series, and a New Year's and Chinese New Year's stream as well." Ginny's heart sank. She had geussed as much. Stream popularity came and went with no warning, and it was best to capitalize on it while you still could.
"This means streaming from 8 to 12 for the twelve days of Christmas, and the same for the New Year's."He went on, clearing his throat. "You can refuse, although that would be detrimental to you track record and might harm your chances of contract renewal next May."
Ah, so it's a threat, Ginny thought, her heart sinking even further. She had wanted to take some time off over the holidays. That was a foolish thought though. Streamers only got busier during holidays, when people felt more lonely than ever.
"I'll give you a few days to mull it over, but for now just get ready for your stream." Hong stalked out of the room looking proud for having such a clever way to force her to work like a dog over the holiday season. Any blockhead could come up with that. Ginny shook her head.
"Let's go." She turned to Li Ting. "I want to shower and eat before 7."
Jian Song was waiting for her in her live-in office with tea and some jajangmyeon and stew from her favourite korean takeway. Right now, she felt like throwing her arms around him.
"I thought you'd probably want to eat as well. Since I was out in the rain I though might as well get more than just a tea out of it." He huffed jokingly, gesturing to the food on the kitchenette counter.
"Thanks, Jian. I'll eat it right after I shower."
"Don't take too long," he called after her as she went to get a towel and clothes, "It's gonna get cold." "Okay. Don't wait up for me, you eat first."
Ginny took a quick five minute shower and ate with her hair still wet. Despite her telling Jian Song to eat without her he waited anyways.
"You're gonna get sick if you don't dry your hair soon." "What're you, my mom?" Jian Song laughed.
"Assistant's kinda the same thing. Now dry your hair. You aren't even eating." He pointed to her empty plate.
"It's 7:05, FYI. You gotta get ready quickly." Ginny groaned. She got up and plugged in the hairdryer, slinging a towel around her shoulders and blasting hot air onto her head.
"I'm getting your setup ready okay?"
She finished drying her hair and put on some quick makeup, then made her way over to her desk, the monitor already turned on and ready. Lights and microphones and a mess of cords were on the desk and around the floor.
"I'll leave you to it." Jian Song said as he finished setting up the lighting.
"See you." She said, waving as he left the live-in and walked down the hall to the breakroom.
She sat down in the padded chair in front of the desk, taking a deep breath in and out. Her eyes travelled across her desk, finding her phone and some paperwork out of the camera's view. Other than that there was nothing. Nothing at all.
"All right then," she whispered, "better get this on with."
"Hi everyone!! Welcome to my stream! I'm pretty excited today, cause I've got some cool things to show you!"
Ginny Wu is a livestreaming star, trained and managed by STARDOM ENT.
All her life, she's been dreaming of being an idol and singer, although fate has led her down the path of streaming and live entertainment.
Even though she tries her best to remain positive, she has trouble maintaining her public image and balancing her work life with her free time (if she has any).
Will Ginny be able to hang on? And if she goes off the deep end, where will she end up?