Assistant Architect by Xi He Qing Ling
Chapter 34: Gifts
At that moment when Gu Yu mentioned taking him to KFC, Zhang Siyi was about to blow his top. Zhang Siyi clenched his fist and mustered his cheeks. His patience has been pushed to the limit. He must resist! He must refuse! He’s going to say what’s on his mind or he will go crazy!
But before Zhang Siyi burst out, he heard Gu Yu laughing: “Ok, ok. I’ll stop teasing. What do you want to eat? You can pick it yourself.” As if he had encountered something particularly interesting, Gu Yu’s smile grew. From a slight upturn of the corners of his mouth to a smile from ear to ear, he expressed pure enjoyment.
Even though Zhang Siyi tension was to the max and he wanted to complain, when he saw Gu Yu heartfelt joy and smiling face, he was like a fast-exploding balloon. The air suddenly being released, twitching in the air, snoring and deflating and finally flattened on the ground spent, and dying.
Gu Yu seems completely aware of Zhang Siyi emotional stress and at this moment, Zhang Siyi really-really -hates-him.
Zhang Siyi angrily took out his phone and looked at a review app. He looked up the mall and he chose a relatively expensive restaurant with the highest rating. It was a mixed Spanish Chinese restaurant with a very good evaluation. It’s not extravagantly priced, but still quite high. No matter, even if Gu Xiao doesn’t invite him to eat, Zhang Siyi will pay to eat something good otherwise he is going to die!
Gu Yu was silent. When Zhang Siyi reported, they immediately went upstairs. Into the restaurant, the host lead the two men to a double sofa position by the floor-to-ceiling window.
There were very minimal decorations in the place. From the window, one can view the entire center of Union Square. The environment is very good, but it’s already passed peak hours, so there are fewer people around and it seems a bit deserted.
Gu Yu ordered a piece of char-grilled steak and Zhang Siyi asked for one of his favorites; a cuttlefish noodle dish prepared Western style.
The dishes were served very fast and Zhang Siyi was famished. He tended to turn his emotional grief and stress into appetite. Digging in, it didn’t take long for him to finish his meal. When Zhang Siyi finished his portion of squid, Gu Yu’s steak was only one-third eaten. He touched his stomach, but he felt like eating more. He ordered crispy squid rings and sweet and spicy chicken wings. The waiter asked them if they wanted dessert or after-dinner drinks. Gu Yu ordered a cup of coffee. Zhang Siyi didn’t like to eat sweet, so he said no.
Gu Yu excused himself to use the restroom. Zhang Siyi ignored him, turned to the window and pouted. Now, the rain was pouring down. In the early winter it was common to have heavy rain storms accompanied by a cold front. It felt like the coldness was penetrating the glass.
Zhang Siyi’s mood is also badly affected by this bad weather. Even if he rushed home, it is estimated that no one will want to go out in such a storm. “I was ravaged by day, and I couldn’t see friends at night.” Zhang Siyi thought.
This day was probably the worst birthday of his 23 years! If he had known the day would be like this, he would have sleep at home all day! Maybe Gu, the bastard, didn’t even know that today was his birthday… Since he picked the restaurant this time, there aren’t any surprises. There wouldn’t be an opportunity for him to forgive Gu Yu.
Feeling petulant, Zhang Siyi wants there to be a reason to feel even more wronged. He doesn’t know what kind of expectation he has in his heart. After a while, Gu Yu came back. He took the hot coffee that the waiter had just sent and held it in his hand. He took a sip and looked at Zhang Siyi’s profile and said slowly: “You aren’t happy?”
Zhang Siyi turned back, and answered with a rhetorical denial: “No.”
Of course, he is not happy! But he can’t say why. Can you tell your Boss that “It’s my birthday today and I’m very unhappy with you?”
Gu Xiao tilted his head in thought. Zhang Siyi lowered his head and stabbed a squid ring to eat with his fork and noticed the steak that Gu Yu had not finished eating. He asked, “Why don’t you eat it?”
Gu Yu said: “I’m full.”
Zhang Siyi thought, does Gu Yu not like Western food? Many people in the country are not used to eating western style foods. When they were in the UK, they didn’t like it at first, but after eating it more, they slowly liked the taste of fresh beef. He selfishly chose this place to eat without asking Gu Yu what types of food he likes.
Gu Yu asked: “Do you have any plans for a while? Do you want to go back?”
Zhang Siyi is lazy and can’t afford anything so there is no point in shopping: “Well, I want to wait until the rain lets up some. What about you?”
Gu Yu looked out the window and whispered: “Then I will sit with you for a while.”
Zhang Siyi: “………” Damn, why does it sound like I’m asking you to stay with me? Even with a car, isn’t it still difficult to leave with such a heavy rain?
Just as Zhang Siyi was arrogantly going to shout, “If you want to go, then go!”, the waiter came over and interrupted him by placing a small dish of cheesecake in the middle of their table.
Zhang Siyi startled, said: “We didn’t order cake.”
The waiter smiled and pointed to Gu Yu: “It was this gentleman who ordered it.”
It was a very common post-dinner dessert cake in the shop, and Gu Yu nodded to the waiter to thank him.
Zhang Siyi: “………”
The waiter put another candle and a packet of matches on the edge, then looked at Zhang Siyi and said: “Happy Birthday” and left.
Zhang Siyi: “???”
Gu Yu used his slender fingers to insert a candle in the center of the cake. Then, he slowly pulled out a match, and with a match-strike on the ignition strip, the fire jumped up and the candle was lit.
Revealing a rare gentleness, Gu Yu looked at Zhang Siyi: “Make a wish.”
Zhang Siyi is stupid. Gu Yu knew his Birthday is today? Is this really a birthday dinner?
In the face of such a sudden change, because he has been emotionally abused so much recently, Zhang Siyi has a particularly unreal feeling.
Zhang Siyi blew out the candle and said “thank you” awkwardly. Although he felt a little irritated for the late blessing, he couldn’t help but show some gratitude towards Gu Yu.
Yes, Gu Yu’s actions today made him feel that his birthday was just extra, incidental and dispensable thing. Then, Gu Yu took out the tape measure that they had been using in the parking lot from his pocket and put it in front of Zhang Siyi. He smiled and said: “There is no special preparation. This is for you. A birthday gift.”
Zhang Siyi: “…” What!? This is what shit gift! Why don’t you write a happy birthday on a napkin?
It is the kind of ordinary tape measure that you would find in any small shop. It can’t be more than 10 bucks and its very old, but it is the gift from the Boss. Zhang Si Yi can’t find a reason to refuse. Feeling slighted, Zhang Siyi collected the present. He resentfully thanked him then took a bite of the cake.
All the while, Gu Yu kept quiet. He was watching and evaluating Zhang Siyi mood. His meticulous observations gave Zhang Siyi goosebumps.
Zhang Siyi wasn’t particularly happy, so he didn’t pretend to be. After all, his mood wouldn’t be resolved with a simple meal. At this point, it wouldn’t even be resolved by his favorite bowl of sand-tea-noodles.
After the meal, Zhang Siyi didn’t rush to pay the bill. Gu Yu took the initiative to check out. The rain had let up a little bit, so they headed downstairs. Zhang Siyi was too lazy to wait for the subway, so he went home directly by taxi. Gu Yu saw him leaving and took the subway himself.
When he got home, he felt exhausted. Seeing Fu Xinhui sitting on the sofa in the living room, he collapsed on the couch beside him: “I’m too tired to do anything tonight. I can’t move.”
Fu Xinhui expected this to happen: “Well, the weather is not good, so I bought some food at the supermarket yesterday. Let’s make something.”
In a feeble voice, Zhang Siyi replied: “All right, I’ll listen to you.”
Fu Xinhui glanced at him and asked: “Why do you go out with your boss every time? More than once, when you come home, you are sucked dry and hollow. Is he a Lich-Lord stealing your life-force?”
Zhang Siyi: “…”
He also wants to relax and be energetic every day, but when he is with Gu Yu, he must constantly ward himself mentally from Gu Yu’s attacks. The constant state of defense gives him a feeling of exhaustion. Zhang Siyi, with a long sigh, lamented: “He is not a Lich-Lord, he is the Great Devil.”
Fu Xinhui laughed right away: “You take him too seriously. What did he bring you there for? To inspect the building?”
“Almost, but not quite. Do you know what he took me to see?” Zhang Siyi thought of his day and got very angry. “The fucking parking lot! We’ve been watching the lot for five fucking hours! Up and down, measure this, measure that…. My legs burn, and my feet hurt. I can’t move anymore!”
“Why didn’t you tell him it was your birthday today, so he could be gentler with you?” Fu Xinhui asked.
“He knew!” Talking about it made Zhang Si Yi even angrier: “When we ate at 2 o’clock in the restaurant, he gave me the cheapest kind of cheesecake to eat!”
“Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!” Fu Xinhui burst into laughter. He almost fell off the sofa.
Zhang Siyi kicked him barefoot, annoyed.
Fu Xinhui: “Your birthday isn’t over yet. Don’t worry, you will be content.”
Zhang Siyi took out the tape measure from his pocket and threw it into the air. He laughed bitterly and said: “Yep. A broken tape measure as a gift and he didn’t even tell me Happy Birthday. Don’t worry at all!”
Fu Xinhui glanced at him and said: “I also bought you a gift. It’s in your room. Go and see if you like it or not.”
Zhang Siyi jumped up in excitement. Fu Xinhui, a nuevo rich young master would never be soft! After he rushed into his room, a loud excited scream came from inside: “Aaaaaaahhh! You actually bought me a fixed focus lens of Zeiss 50!!!”
Fu Xinhui smiled, got up and went to the kitchen to bake pizza. Zhang Siyi was alone in his room jumping around in euphoria. He went to his phone, and suddenly stopped. Looking at his social media feeds, he saw a post that Gu Yu had made half an hour ago:
“The first tape measure I bought for the first architectural class at University.”