|Full name||Chen Hong Yi / 陈宏毅|
|Birthplace||Langfang, Hebei, China|
"Life of the party" doesn't even begin to cut it when it comes to describing Hong Yi. He is warm and excitable, and when it comes to the important things, he wears his heart on his sleeve. While he's smart and very hardworking, he knows people find an idiot more fun, and he has his clueless dumbass persona nailed down.
The flip-side to this is, of course, that some people find his presence grating. He is physically incapable of getting through a day without cracking a bad joke. He is of a serious non-serious bent, and often this can lead to awkward situations when he fails to read the room. He's big into practical jokes and making fools of even the most haughty; it's a miracle he hasn't gotten in big trouble for his pranks.
In fact, he's so good at playing the idiot that few realise there's far more to him than he reveals, beyond the fact that this supposed "idiot" is constantly topping classes. As an international student, he has had to adapt to a completely new life away from home since coming here, but adaptability is his middle name. The remnants of his childhood as a single child of whom too much was expected continue to affect him, and to this day, he is still unlearning the academic perfectionism and habit of self-goading his parents taught him.
It became clear from a young age that Hong Yi was a prodigy. Perhaps taking too zealously to the fact, his parents began to expect more and more of him where his studies were concerned, until they would not be satisfied with any less than top grades.
He lived with these unnecessarily high standards, and the abuse that came with it, for years. Eventually, however, he found himself butting heads with his parents when he expressed a desire to major in Marine Biology, in direct defiance of their master plan of enrolling him in medical school.
Several messy arguments later, he managed to convince them to let him do as he wished, but not without the decision taking a great emotional toll on all of them. He transferred to a high school in Boston that same year, and now majors in Marine Biology at Boston University, reinventing his life from the ground up.
Throughout his life, he discovered, and then learned to control, his weak powers over gravity, occasionally making use of them to make chores easier, and then to facilitate impromptu pranks.
|Vesper||Vesper and Hong Yi get along—rather unexpectedly to those who know either—like a house on fire. Hong Yi's freewheeling, fun-loving attitude plays off her in the best possible way, bringing out the playfulness that she spends much of her time refusing to indulge in. Vesper, in return, serves as a grounding force, keeping him just far enough out of trouble to survive unscathed. Both are adventurous by nature and get up to all sorts of capers together.|
|Marcia||Both have a lot in common: a taste for the showy, a preference for humour that involves putting on personas, a habit of flirting as a joke. As an inevitable result, they joke-flirt a lot. It eventually becomes not so fake. Is it? They confuse even themselves, sometimes.|
|Parents||It's Complicated. Hong Yi loves his parents dearly and would jump to their assistance in a heartbeat, but he knows they are the reason he internalised harmful ideas about success and perfection throughout his childhood and teenhood, and attempted to force their own aspirations upon him. He has spent the years since he left home trying to shake them off, but not a day passes where he does not miss them.|
|Classmates||Everyone likes a party animal like Hong Yi, but few truly know the person he is. Of his friends, only Jacob and Berrigan have probably seen him in his vulnerability.|
- Being quite the connoisseur for practical jokes, Hong Yi keeps a stash of air horns, fart cushions, electric pens and balloons in his locker.
- Most people at BU know him as the Pumpkin Guy—for the one time he climbed onto the Marsh Chapel roof and planted a jack-o-lantern on the cross for Halloween.
- Hong Yi is ambidextrous. The only thing he ever does with that skill is to write his notes with alternating hands.
- His art style is stick figures.
- He likes watching Just For Laughs: Gags.