Assistant Architect by Xi He Qing Ling
Chapter 84: Calm Down
Zhang Siyi’s mind went blank for a moment. There are two bedrooms? Could she mean the guest room with all the stuff? To confirm his guess, he asked: “You mean the storage room on the second floor?”
When Gu Yao saw his question, she was taken back: “How do you know there are two rooms on the second floor? Have you been to my brother’s house?”
Zhang Siyi: “I spent the night at your brother’s house before we drove back to Ningcheng.”
Gu Yao: “Oh, so where did you sleep at that time? The guest Room?”
While chatting with Zhang Siyi, she sat up and looked around her room. Every time she came to her brother’s house, she stayed in this room. The bedding was specially picked out for her and there was nothing moved on her desk. Everything was as she left it. It didn’t look like anyone had been in her room.
Zhang Siyi: “No. Since it was a long time since someone lived in the room, your brother said that the space was piled up with clutter. It was too cold to stay on the sofa, so I stayed with him.”
Jaw wide open, Gu Yao has never felt so shocked. OMG! They slept together!? Her neat-freak of a brother who would never share a bed, in fact spent the night with Zhang Siyi! (=口=)
Becoming more excited, Gu Yao’s small heart burst with joy. And to think that all this time, her brother has been acting so nonchalant. She has the evidence now!
Zhang Siyi asked again: “Where you able to clean up that room so quickly?”
Chuckling to herself, she understood immediately what happened. Seeing Zhang Siyi continued questioning, she didn’t want to expose her brother’s ploy, so she went along with it.
“Well…… I spent the night packing up.” She finished looking around the room and snorted. Except for a few boxes of old books piled on the ground and the two blankets that were vacuum packed for storage, there was nothing else out of order.
Zhang Siyi: “Oh …”
Changing the subject, Gu Yao returned the topic to Zhang Siyi original inquiry: “You were asking about my brother; is there something wrong? Don’t you know his WeChat?”
Zhang Siyi: “It’s nothing important. I sent him a message, but he didn’t return it. I was curious to know what he was doing so I asked you.”
What? Gu Yao felt confused. Isn’t it normal for her brother to ignore WeChat? Her workaholic brother usually took several days before he noticed text messages. Once even, it took a week to return one of Gu Yao texts. Anyway, since the information wasn’t important, she didn’t want to disturb her brother so normally, she didn’t pester him about the delay. She understands his preferences, and thus, if it’s an urgent matter she knows to make a phone call directly. Recently however, when she has sent him a text message, he has responded in a short period of time. She found it very surprising. Thinking back to New Year’s at home, she witnessed her brother looking at his phone frequently and smiling. This change, is it not because of Zhang Siyi?
Gu Yao asked: “When did you send it to him?”
Zhang Siyi: “Fifteen minutes ago?”
Gu Yao: “……” If she were sitting on a chair, she would have fallen off! It was fifteen-minutes and not fifteen-hours! Running to Gu Yao to ask… Doesn’t he have something better to do? Go take a cold shower and calm down! (#‵′) 凸
In order to settle herself, Gu Yu took a deep breath and squashed her impulse to tease him: “What is the issue? I can see what my brother is doing…”
Zhang Siyi: “Well, it’s not urgent. I wanted to show him my photos of my cactus.”
Gu Yao: “%#@……”
Hold back… you are a lady! Endure! ┻━┻︵╰(‵皿′)╯︵┻━┻
Half a minute later, Gu Yao got out of bed and knocked on her brother’s door. After hearing “come in” from inside, she pushed the door in and entered. Gu Yu was bent at his waist slightly, standing intently at his desk with a brush in hand, practicing calligraphy.
The desk surface was covered with felt and on it, was a sheet of rice paper. The word cold (冷) was already half printed on the top and with a few more strokes he was finished. With the brush still in his hand, he paused and looked up at her “Do you need something?”
Seeing the pile of used rice paper with his phone on the top like a paper weight, she shook her head and retreated instead: “It’s nothing. I wanted to know when you will be going to sleep.”
Gu Yu glanced briefly at her, then continued writing: “You can go to sleep first. I’m going to write for a while.”
Gu Yao: “Oh…”
Horizontal, horizontal, vertical hooks… Gu Yu wrote another word: quiet (静). Noticing Gu Yao standing by the door he paused again, raised his brow and looked up at her: “What?”
Fiddling with the edge of her shirt, Gu Yao quietly asked: ”Brother, are you upset?”
Gu Yu stopped his hand: “Why do you say that?”
Feeling deflated, Gu Yao weakly confessed: “Today during our car ride, I chatted with brother Siyi and told him some of your childhood stories.”
Gu Yu smoothly dipped his brush into the ink jar and continued writing: “I know you two were chatting behind my back. You didn’t say anything so what could I say? It’s nothing more than a few embarrassing stories from Dad.”
With a slight smile, Gu Yu voice is very serene. He didn’t appear upset at all, however, by instinct, Gu Yao felt that her brother is quite perturbed. Casually walking over to him, she said: “I think brother Siyi is very curious about you.”
Gu Yu’s wrist trembled, and the brush stroke was shaken. Not lifting his head, he calmly continued writing. The layman couldn’t see his word being poorly written.
She sifted through the pile a used sheets of rice paper and picked out the best written words. He finally put down his brush and said: “Am I so easy to get angry? I don’t know who I learned it from….”
Gu Yao: “……”
Gu Yu: “Go to sleep. I’ll only write for a little longer then I’ll sleep.”
Gu Yao: “Ok. What shall we eat in the morning?”
Unlike his slow practice, Gu Yu flicked his wrist and quickly wrote a string of words: Fried rice fritters, bean curd brain?
Gu Yao laughed, put down the ink and went back to her room.
Gu Yu put down his brush and dragged over a stool to sit. He quietly examined his work for a while then gently picked up his phone to look at the latest WeChat message for the second time.
The last record entry that Zhang Siyi sent to Gu Yu was a kitten selling cuteness expression. The corners of Gu Yu mouth silently rose. With a flash in his eyes, he opened the dialog box and entered one word and…. sent.
Zhang Siyi waited for what felt like the longest forty-five minutes of his life for a return message. When the phone vibrated, he ecstatically opened his phone to view the new message, but he only saw ——- Gu Yu: “Hmm.”
Zhang Siyi: “……”
Zhang Siyi: “???”
In anticipation of receiving praise from Gu Yu or something that would make him happy, Zhang Siyi was picking up his phone every two minutes to check his messages. As they say, A Watch Pot Never Boils. Forty-five minutes took infinitely longer. Compared to a note on a message marked ‘unread’, seeing only “Hmm” from Gu Yu was more devastating.
Zhang Siyi mind was racing: Don’t you care about this cactus? What was the long talk about it in the past for? Now that it’s alive and well, all I get is “Hmm”? What do you mean, you!
Feeling utterly depressed, Zhang Siyi didn’t want to reply. He turned off WeChat and threw his phone to the floor. His mood to sleep was ruined. Instead, he wrapped himself up in blankets and sat up to watch a movie in bed. Initially, his mind was so full of Gu Yu that he couldn’t concentrate on the film. Feeling irritated, he opened up a game instead. Ready to blow off some steam he played a few rounds of a game he hadn’t played for a while. Each time he lost! Being defeated in both virtual and real-life left Zhang Siyi feeling even more aggravated and empty.
“Aaaaaaaaah!” Slamming the cover of his laptop closed, he held onto his head and fell back onto his pillow. For three hours, he continued to feel restless and was unable to sleep. His mood: Like shit! And it was all Gu Yu fault! His attitude on WeChat was too indifferent and cold.
Blinking back his tears, his emotions felt like a tightly wound coil ready to snap. All of his previous speculations were crushed completely. Gu Yu likes him? No fucking way!
Alone, Zhang Siyi spent the last couple of days of vacation at his apartment. Finally, it was time to head back to work. Although he still felt confused over Gu Yu’s actions, he felt excited to go to work to get the chance to see him. Also, it’s been a while, so he was looking forward to catching up with his colleagues. Returning from their hometowns, his colleagues all seem revitalized with springs in their steps.
Bi Lele wore a new coat and had a new hair style. She smiled at Zhang Siyi and said: “Auntie Four, you came back! I heard the office building plan you did was selected. Congratulations!”
Zhang Siyi: “Thank you. How was your break? Why do you look heavier?”
Bi Lele: “…… Go to hell!”
Dodging, Zhang Siyi ducked to escape the trajectory of the marker that Bi Lele had thrown at him. Laughing, he adjusted his desk chair then addressed his neighbor, Zhu Hongzhen. When he saw him closer, he didn’t think it was possible for him to gain even more weight. Not wanting to stare he returned his attention to his desk: “Piggy, you ate a few meals over News Year’s, huh.”
In self-condemnation, Zhu Hongzhen rubbed his forehead with his hand: “Don’t remind me. At home every day, all I did was eat and sleep. I feel like I really did become a pig.”
Grabbing his own wrist and reaching over his head, Zhang Siyi stretched out like a cat and yawned: “Me too. When I stayed at home being lazy and not doing anything, it made me feel like I was wasting away.”
Yuan Zhicheng looked up with two dark circles under his eyes: “You really are a good boy. You won’t hear me complaining of doing nothing over break.”
Surprised at Yuan Zhicheng outward appearance, Zhang Siyi whispered to Zhu Hongzhen: “The holiday just ended. How is it possible he can he look like that?”
Zhu Hongzhen explained with amusement: “Oh. He is like that three hundred and sixty-five days a year. Even if you gave him three days and three nights to sleep, he will still look like that.” He moved in closer and spoke quietly: “He must have only absorbed the Yin energies in his mother’s womb.”
Yuan Zhicheng’s faint voice can be heard from across the room: “Pig. Don’t think I didn’t hear you.”
Zhu Hongzhen: “……”
Powering on the computer, Zhang Siyi booted up his machine and sorted out his unfinished drawings of the office building. Because he was in a rush at the end of the year, he didn’t document his progress adequately and thus, he spent half of the day getting reacquainted with the plans. At this point, he urgently needed the guidance of Gu Yu to proceed with the project.
Since Gu Yu office was locked and dark, more the once, Zhang Siyi looked up in the direction of the company’s entrance, waiting for Gu Yu to appear. His anxiety was growing and after lunch he asked Zhu Hongzhen: “Pig, why hasn’t Boss come to work yet?”
Zhu Hongzhen stopped his work for a minute and replied: “The higher-ups have longer annual leave than ours. I think he will be back after another week.”
Even though they drove back together, Zhang Siyi couldn’t say anything: “……”