Assistant Architect by Xi He Qing Ling
Chapter 35: Tape Measure
Seeing Gu Yu’s message, Zhang Siyi felt as if he had been struck by a blow, and the whole person was overwhelmed by an indescribable feeling of emotion and guilt. He didn’t think the tape measure was Gu Yu’s decade old personal object!
His French handmade violin has been with him for only five to six years. Even after leaving it at home for a long time, he would not give away his violin because he has developed an attachment with it. Zhang Siyi can recall the love of playing. The music brought a sense of accomplishment he felt from his hard work practicing and the enjoyment he felt hearing the music.
What’s more, an open tape measure for an architect is like a gamer’s used keyboard, a writer’s smooth pen, a billiard player’s cue-stick…… It’s already priceless. Gu Yu actually gave him such a meaningful thing to express his Birthday and professional blessing.
He thought about his recent comments in his WeChat and wanted to quickly delete them. When he picked up his phone, it rang suddenly. It was his Mother’s call! Zhang Siyi casually pressed the answer button. The phone connected, and he heard his mother’s gentle voice: “I thought you were busy during the day, so I didn’t call until now. Happy Birthday!”
Panicked, Zhang Siyi doesn’t want to listen to his mother’s blessing right now. He wants to delete his news feed post! Thinking of Gu Yu’s comments from the day, he asked: “Mom, did you call Gu Yu Yesterday?”
Mama Zhang: “Yes. You told me yesterday that he wouldn’t take the crab paste. Even so, he has helped you with so many things so I had to call and thank him.”
Zhang Siyi: “What else did you say to him? He took me out today to inspect the underground parking lot and said you told him I liked to eat KFC chicken nuggets!
His Mother sniffled a laugh: “Gee, he took you out to eat today!”
Zhang Siyi the corner of the eye twitched: “We didn’t eat chicken nuggets!”
“I was just trying to thank him,” said Zhang’s mother. “I didn’t expect to have a long conversation.”
Zhang Siyi freaked out and anxiously said: “Wha, what did you talk about?”
Mama Zhang: “What do you think we talked about? Of course, you! When you learned to play the violin. When you wanted to cut wood. When you wanted to be a carpenter and your father made fun of you. You wouldn’t talk to him, so I bought you some chicken nuggets and you forgave him. I also told him about how you worshiped Gu Yu in high school. How you pinned-up a poster of T University architecture admission. Although you didn’t get in…. then you cried for several days. That’s when I talked with your father about sending you out of the country. When we asked what you thought you were so excited you practically jumped three feet high.
Zhang Siyi： “…………” Ah, ah, ah! Why does his mother want to tell Gu Yu about these embarrassing things from his past! How will he be able to face Gu Yu in the future!
Mama Zhang: “I inadvertently told him about your birthday. Since you worshipped him and liked architecture, he said that he would give you a small gift. Did he give you something? What was it?”
Zhang Siyi: “………..” So that’s how the tape measure came about?
God! Zhang Siyi was irritated: “If you don’t know, I’m not telling you!”
When his mother listened, she didn’t get angry. Instead, she smiled and laughed. Zhang Siyi heard the laughter through the phone line and thought about the books hidden in his closet at home. He got goosebumps and wanted to quickly change the topic: “Gu Yu is so stern and taciturn; how can you talk to him for so long? Did you really talk that much, Mom?”
If that’s the case, it’s embarrassing! Zhang Siyi is starting to feel like having a rotten Mom is more of a headache then a Boss that torments him.
Mama Zhang said strangely: “What are you talking about? Taciturn? Stern? He was very talkative and friendly to me.”
Zhang Siyi: “…” talkative? Gu Yu? He couldn’t connect the two together.
His Mother said with emotion: “It’s also very funny, hey, such a good boy is rare now.”
Zhang Siyi: “Hey! You already have Dad and me!”
Mama Zhang: “Ha-ha. Ok. Mom knows. I won’t be calling your boss everyday so don’t worry about it. Remember to have a good Birthday today and get to sleep early. You have to rest for work in the morning.”
Zhang Si Yi hung up the phone and felt like a potato strip surrounded by frying oil. After five seconds he realized he forgot to ask his mother if Gu Yu had ever expressed his opinions on the phone……
Forget about calling back. He still wanted to delete the lens photo he put up on his social media account. Zhang Siyi quickly cut back to his WeChat circle of friends and searched for it but found that Fu Xinhui has already praised it!
Zhang Siyi： “@%￥……” Balls!
If Gu Yu sees the news, will he feel like Zhang Siyi mocked him for giving him the tape measure? He started to feel uneasy, so he simply took a photo of the tape measure and thought of a message to post to his WeChat friends: “The Boss gave me a tape measure. I will work hard!”
Then he replied to Gu Yu’s message with two words: “Thank you.”
When he went back to check the photo of the tape measure, there was already a row of responses below –
Jiang Hai: “Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!”
Ren Mengyu: “Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!
Su Yuan: “Sure enough, I should work hard and sympathize with you. [Smirking]”
Tian Yujing: “Hey, are you sending two photos together to highlight your friends?”
Fu Xinhui: “[smile]”
…… Finished. It seemed a bit self-defeating! (=_=)
In a short while, his colleagues from the company also sent him messages. They were discussing it in the Borderless chat group.”
Lele: “Wow! Four! That tape measure was given to you by Gu Yu?”
Aunt Four: “… um.”
Xu Jia: “Ah, ah, I am envious! Why is the boss always giving you something!”
Xuan: “I am also jealous.”
Piggy: “Although I am not short on tape measures, look how loved Aunt Four is! I also want a taste.”
Chicken Wings: “I’ve followed the boss from X-Yard to the No-Go for three years working with the Boss. I’ve seen the tape measure many times. He seemed to cherish it, so why did he give it to you?”
Qiao Mei: “Too much hate!”
…… Zhang Siyi silently turned off the WeChat and dare not post more messages.
Once again, he took out the tape measure that Gu Yu gave him and put it in the palm of his hand to inspect it carefully. He saw that both the lock buckle and the color of the tape shell has been worn out a lot, but it still emits a crisp clatter when used.
Zhang Siyi started playing around with the tape measure. For a while, he pulled it out and retracted it, hearing the crisp clink sound when the end piece zipped into place. Surprisingly, it was super smooth and comfortable. Because of the long-term use, the printing on the tape measure was faded. He got up to measure his desk; length 1200mm, depth 720mm, height 780mm….
In his hand again, his fingers fiddled with every inch of the tape measure. He imagined this tool accompanying Gu Yu through his ups and downs and traveling to many places. With repeated use, does the tape measure begin to have a memory of all the data collected with it? Realizing the significance, the ordinary tape measure transforms into a soul with vitality. With an accelerating heartbeat, Zhang Siyi cherishes the object in his hands.
If he went back to high school six or seven years and Gu Yu gave him such a tape measure, would he have followed him so passionately with excitement, exclaiming he will work hard?
What the hell is wrong with him now? Not only was he unexpectedly being so picky and ungrateful, he complained about the gift in front of Fu Xinhui. Zhang Siyi felt so inspired, but also so guilty. His heart was warm and sour then tears welled up.
At this time, Fu Xinhui suddenly pushed the door in: “Hurry come eat. How’s the lens?”
Zhang Siyi blinked his tears away: “I haven’t looked at it yet.”
Fu Xinhui frowned: “So what have you been doing in the room for so long?”
Zhang Siyi: “Pa.., playing with my tape measure…”
Fu Xinhui: “…”
After the meal, Zhang Siyi went back to his room and checked his WeChat. He didn’t see any response from Gu Yu about either the photo sent in his circle of friends or from his ‘thank you’ message.
After a day of mood swings, Zhang Si Yi didn’t have the nerve to message further. Anyway, he thought that Gu Yu would be very happy if he worked at his own pace and showed an improvement in his work performance over time.
The next day at the company Zhang Siyi received the employee’s birthday benefits from the Ministry of Personnel. It was a 500-yuan supermarket gift certificate and a cake card. Colleagues learned that he had a birthday and expressed their blessings. Du Rui and Xu Jia also came to visit Gu Yu’s tape measure and expressed their envy.
Zhang Siyi originally wanted to get a task from Gu Yu when he came to the office in the morning, but he was called away by the Chief. Since Gu Yu group won the bid of the Z-City project, there will be awards for each member of the team. After waiting for an hour, Zhang Siyi saw Gu Yu head back to his office. He immediately got up, went into Gu Yu’s office and looked at him eagerly for a new task.
As usual, Gu Yu’s emotions are hidden under the indifferent expression. He did not mention yesterday visit in the parking garage. Naturally, Zhang Siyi was assigned the task of designing more parking lots.
Zhang Siyi also did not dare to complain so he obediently nodded. On his way out, he noticed his pumpkin lantern that was placed on the table has disappeared. Yeah. It’s been half a month.