Assistant Architect by Xi He Qing Ling
Chapter 28: Visiting Relatives
Zhang Siyi’s first reaction was wrong, but he received several repetitive good news.
Bi Lele: “Fourth Aunt!! We won the BID!!!
Zhang Siyi shocked: “What!? No Way!!”
To make sure he didn’t read wrong, Zhang Siyi almost put his eyes on his phone’s screen. But how is that possible? Wasn’t the last spot decided internally? Is Bi Lele just joking?
Bi Lele made an angry expression: “What is with your reaction!?”
Sweating with cramping fingers, Zhang Siyi nervously explained himself: “I heard the bidding was decided internally for the Design Institute and we were there only to accompany them.”
Bi Lele: “What!? I didn’t know!”
Zhang Siyi: “Well, while using the restroom, I inadvertently heard the Chief and Boss chat. Only I knew about it at the time, but since the bidding is finished, it should be fine.”
Being the company’s gossip monger, Bi Lele was upset at not being in-the-know. Hearing that the least likely person with insider information knew more than she did, she felt insulted. However, she quickly disregarded these feelings: “Shit, I’ll get to the bottom of this!”
Zhang Siyi: “Hey, wait, so is it true? You must answer me first!” Bi Lele did not respond for a long time. Zhang Siyi was anxious, and he held the mobile phone up and stared at it. Is this reality? Did they drop all the internal propositions? This is a shock reversal Ah!
If this is true, Zhang Siyi simply can’t imagine the mood of Gu YU now! Does he also feel elated? Or does he think this outcome was expected? Is he worried it is a short scam?
It was not until more than an hour later that Bi Lele replied to Zhang Siyi: “I just asked the boss. Gu Yu also said that it wasn’t clear what happened. It’s very confusing, but they made us accept the bid. It appears that the decision makers and the people from the Design Institute were in a dispute from the beginning. We were the last firm to present our proposal. Including questions and answers, the group took forty-five minutes and the panel voted 5-2 in our favor to move forward with a plan. All the companies present have waited for an outcome with a unanimous vote, but it’s not going to change now. The other companies are coming to congratulate us so it’s too late for the government to make a comeback.”
Zhang Siyi asked: “Was the other plan also a flower design?”
Bi Lele: “The bidding presentations are relatively confidential. We don’t know what each have presented. I only know that the boss is very handsome today. You didn’t see how persuasive he was when he reported it. He quoted all kinds of things. He didn’t hesitate to answer any questions asked. Every time I go out with the boss, I learn something new and fall in love with architecture all over again.”
Zhang Siyi was surprised by Bi Lele’s words. He really wished he could be there.
Being on the receiving end, Zhang Siyi has long since known how well Gu Yu speaks. He could have killed a man in one sentence. On the other hand, if that skill had been used in a persuasive speech, even Zhang Si Yi can imagine how attractive he must be.
Bi Lele: “He is so imposing when he is determined. I think he’s getting more handsome! Ah, I decided! I’m going follow the boss for the rest of my life!!!”
Zhang Siyi: “…”
Bi Lele continued to report: “When we waited for the results, we talked with a firm from Hangzhou. We saw each other’s plans. They were full of praise and thought our plan was very strong. At that time, we guessed that we might have a chance to win the bid. We didn’t see it as luck, but real skill. Maybe the Design Institute has a prestigious name, but we aren’t fools at Borderless. Its sure clear who is good and who is bad. Ha-ha-ha-ha!”
Zhang Siyi was also infected by the other party’s optimism. He was excited: “What are you doing now? When are you going back to Haicheng?” He couldn’t wait to see this group of friends and wanted to hug them together to celebrate the result!
Bi Lele: “We are at the hotel now. It was so tense for the last few days, now everyone is so tired. Boss said that there is no hurry, so we are taking a few days off.”
Alright! Alright! Zhang Siyi happily withdrew from the conversation. Lying on his bed he suddenly hugged his quilt and rolled around in his bed for a while happily. So cool! The sense of accomplishment he feels right now from working so hard is greater than all his 23 years of life. So Happy!
When it was very late that day, Zhang Siyi received a reply from Gu Yu: “Thank you, I haven’t watched my mobile phone. Bi Lele has already told you about the result?”
The tone in Gu Yu message is very polite and Zhang Siyi’s heart sank. He feels an indescribable amount of guilt and immediately returned the message: “I am sorry about before. I didn’t think this outcome was possible. I was too narrowminded. I was wrong.”
If Gu Yu, as the Chief said, only let them do 70-80% of their best, or tell them the result of the decision very early, maybe there will be no result today.
After a few minutes, Gu Yu replied: “You are not wrong. I also thought about what you said and reflected on some issues. Everyone works with different values and intensity. I should not sacrifice you to satisfy my own determination. Today’s result is also beyond my expectation, and probably the next time we will not be so lucky.”
Seeing Gu Yu’s explanation, Zhang Siyi was not relieved and felt even more uncomfortable. He would rather have Gu Yu give him a hard scolding or accuse him as harshly as before. He didn’t want Gu Yu to turn him away coldly with indifference.
“I’m sorry, I was wrong.” Zhang Siyi did not know what to do, and he was anxious to send a cartoon crying emoji.
Gu Yu: “…”
Zhang Siyi: “Forgive me! [Cry]]
Gu Yu was silent for a while then a new message appeared: “You’ll get less bonus.”
Zhang Siyi: “… Don’t!!! “…You can’t play cards like this! It’s no fair!
Gu Yu: “Oh? You don’t seem to be afraid of me.”
Zhang Siyi: “…”
Gu Yu: “…becoming so insolent and dare to say anything in front of me.”
Zhang Siyi: “……”
Indeed, Gu Yu is the boss and he is a subordinate. Zhang Siyi has a cheerful disposition and is usually a very easy person to get along with. In the beginning there was distance between them but now they have spent two months working overtime together as well as time spent on the business trip together. There is so much between them that when he was being serious it was like a test of his jubilant character.
Zhang Siyi narrowed his eyes and sent a little crying fox emoji that had large puppy-dog-eyes to Gu Yu. He doesn’t know how he will react to such cute expressions. Since its through WeChat, there is less sense of distance, so he is pushing Gu Yu’s bottom line.
Unexpectedly Gu Yu wrote: “Do you talk to other people like this? … send a bunch of expressions for little girls?”
Zhang Siyi: “…”
Gu Yu: “What are you, a shemale?”
Zhang Siyi: “………” Damn it!
Gu Yu’s poisonous tongue strikes again. Normally one would get mad being insulted, but Zhang Siyi felt better and then thought, is he a masochist?
The next day, Zhang Siyi asked Bi Lele if they should create a WeChat group for office friends. Bi Lele liked this idea: “Yesterday, I sent the good news to everyone and after saying it seven or eight times, I was exhausted!”
Zhang Siyi’s eyes twitched: “You never thought about building a WeChat group?”
Bi Lele: “I really didn’t think about it. I usually have a lot of work. Everyone has no time to chat. If there is anything in private, for example, if you have to work overtime, it is more convenient to make a phone call.”
Zhang Siyi suddenly realized: no wonder this bunch of zero-social workaholics will follow Gu Yu.
After a while, Bi Lele ask Zhang Siyi for help: “Shit! it’s too complicated, I don’t know how to do it. I’ll send you all the info, so you can set it up.”
Zhang Siyi is speechless: So… a designer able to use picture editing software can’t master a WeChat group?
He first put his colleagues’ mobile phones into the address book one by one, and then searched them in WeChat. The number was added, and everyone was registered. In less than half an hour he organized the group “Borderless Forbidden City Team”.
Ji Feiyu was the first to open his mouth in the group. His nickname was very incompatible with his age and his temperament as a group leader.
Chicken wings: “Eh?! Who did this?! Hell, yeah!”
Lele: “Fourth Aunt created it!”
Honesty: “So cool……”
Tai Cheng: “Awesome …”
Is it awesome to have a WeChat group? Zhang Siyi scratches his head. Have these people lived in the 1980s before?
Pig: “Have we organized this in private? ~o(n_n)o~”
Lele: “How do you make such good faces. Mine looks dead.”
Pig: “I just wanted to experiment with the text input functions. (>__lt;)”
Zhang Siyi: “Hey, you add him, the mobile phone number on his business card.”
Du Rui: “I have added it before and I have been ignored.”
Zhang Siyi: “…”
Du Rui: “I thought his WeChat didn’t work for people. Hey, he really is different for you!”
Zhang Siyi is a little embarrassed, quickly said: “I don’t think so. Maybe he didn’t see. I’ll send him your WeChat card and ask him to add you?”
Du Rui: “well, I’m afraid if he refused that would be even more embarrassing, thank you.” Zhang Siyi did not know how to say it. He always felt that Du Rui’s secret love was a bit pitiful.
Just when Zhang Siyi started believing there might be something special between himself and Gu Yu, the rug was pulled out from underneath. That night Bi Lele posted a few photos in the new group: “The boss asked us out to eat sand tea noodles! It’s so good!”
He was scrolling through the photos Bi Lele posted in the group. They were inside the sand tea noodle restaurant that Gu Yu took him to earlier. Ji Feiyu and Yuan Zhicheng were both there and the two were immersed in eating. In one photo, Gu Yu looked at Yuan Zhicheng with a smile like he had when Zhang Siyi was there. In another photo Gu Yu looked amused. Even in the dim light of the restaurant you could not mistake Gu Yu bright eyes and handsome face. Everyone in the chat group said they were so envious. Zhang Siyi scrolled through the photos several times. He didn’t feel envious so much as he just felt empty. He didn’t know why he felt so uncomfortable.
There are still three or four days of vacation left. Since Zhang Siyi is idle, he planned to go home and visit family.
His hometown of Ningcheng is very close to Haicheng. Its only three hours away on the high-speed train. Recently, with so many hours of overtime, he has rarely called his family. The day before yesterday his mother sent him a message complaining of his absence. It has been half a year since coming back to China. Even though Zhang Siyi didn’t want to see his father, he knows it is an appropriate time to go home and visit relatives.
With his credit card approval and the bonus from his company’s bid, Zhang Siyi spent a lot of money buying a bunch of Haicheng specialties and brought them home for his parents.
When his mother learned of Zhang Siyi return home, his mother personally came to pick him up at the station. When she saw him at the station with his bags of things, she teared up feeling both happy and heartache.
“Your cranky father wouldn’t come pick you up. He said to let you exercise…. He has become so bitter.” Zhang Mother rubbed his head: “Mom was really busy recently, so I didn’t have time to visit. Take advantage of the supplements at home these days.”
Looking him over she said: “How can you be so thin?” Zhang Si Yi can’t stand his mother fussing over him. He reluctantly waved her away while also enjoying the maternal love.
In fact, the station is not far from home, and it took twenty minutes to drive. Mama Zhang also bought a box of KFC’s colonel chicken on the road, letting him pad the stomach.
Zhang Siyi said: “When you are having dinner, how can you still buy this for me?
Mother Zhang smiled: “This is your favorite food before. I am against you to eat junk food, but one or two times is nothing.”
Zhang Siyi sighed inwardly. How long ago did he like this thing; fried chicken and fries. Besides having lived in England for a several years, he tired of eating it. His mother saw him only eat one chicken piece and hurriedly said, “Why don’t you finish eating it! Hurry and eat it, your father will know!” They each took two pieces and gobbled them down.
At home, Zhang Siyi saw the nanny setting the table early with a variety of seafood. It looked sumptuous. His father was sitting on the mahogany sofa in the living room, reading the newspaper. When he heard the door ring, his eyes looked up then closed the newspaper and said without affection: “Back? Let’s eat.”