Assistant Architect by Xi He Qing Ling
Chapter 86: Dinner
The emotional lows and highs left Zhang Siyi feeling drained. He shouldn’t be entertaining thoughts about a relationship with Gu Yu when there is office work that needs to be done.
A few minutes later, Zhang Siyi received a message from Du Rui: “Aunt Four, Boss asked me to teach you about blueprints.”
Zhang Siyi quickly sat up straight and replied: “Please!”
Du Rui: “I have other jobs I need to work on right now, so I won’t be able to help you directly for a while. I’ll teach you some of the finer points and the process of drawing the construction drawings. When you come across a problem you can come to me for help. How does that sound?”
Zhang Siyi: “OK! Thank you!
Du Rui: “Why does it feel like your lovesick problem is already over?”
Zhang Siyi: “…”
Du Rui: “So energetic!”
…… Is he that obvious???
However, Zhang Siyi realized, it must be true. Now that there is only a wall of glass between him and Gu Yu, Zhang Siyi feels super motivated to work. When the door is left open, his heart and mind are at peace as he can see Gu Yu in his office.
Whoo-Hoo, he’s terminally ill !
Since it is the first time he is drawing a blueprint for a plan that he designed, Zhang Siyi is especially determined. Additionally, listening to Gu Yu’s Father’s pep-talk over New Year’s has really made him want to become a better architect. Of course, the previous six days of doing practically nothing doesn’t count in Zhang Siyi’s book. After all, everyone has a few off days. (=_=)
Near the end of the day, with the help of Du Rui, Zhang Siyi made significant progress on his blueprints. He was eager to show them to Gu Yu for feedback as well as show him the schedule of the development plan he and Du Rui agreed upon.
There were fifteen floorplan layers, four facades, two sections, about seven or eight large sample maps, and an elevation view. For the earlier stages, Zhang Siyi scheduled his time to work independently and later on he would check with Du Rui. She will have a better grasp of her own time commitments later and consider whether to join him to finish the blueprints. They planned out their time over a one-month period which is a generous amount of time for a new project.
Fortunately, the City development bureau has not made any scheduling requests. Perhaps the department officers are making up for it because of frantic design schedule they demanded right before New Year’s on the 28th.
Except for one suggestion, Gu Yu did not have any objections of the time-table that Zhang Siyi and Du Rui came up with. Gu Yu wanted them to consult the plumbing, electric, heating, and structural engineers at each stage of the plan’s development.
“Plumbing? Heating? Electric? Structural engineering?” Previously, Zhang Siyi neither cooperated with other professionals, nor considered these issues when designing. He is a little confused.
Du Rui: “Since you are making the plans, line up the layers to determine the height and let the structural engineers help you calculate the size of the load-bearing column. It needs to be accurate from the beginning otherwise a large amount of money will be wasted with later changes.”
Zhang Siyi: “…”
Seeing Zhang Siyi’s confused look, Du Rui continued to explain: “As for HVAC, water, and electric, reserve the location for the pipeline in advance and the engineers will arrange the details. Once Boss gives go ahead to move forward with the development, there won’t be any common-sense problems. Even if there is some apprehension, the engineers will coordinate with your plans and won’t make changes.”
Zhang Siyi didn’t realize how much planning and consideration is truly needed for constructing a building. Learning all the variations in the design norms as well as applying the rules is like learning a whole new field of work! ……such a long road ahead. Ah!
The work day ended in the blink of an eye and Zhang Siyi was looking miserably at his drawings. He put his arms and head down on his desk then sighed. He hadn’t made any progress. Turning towards Gu Yu’s office, he saw the lights still on.
Zhang Siyi thought to himself, since Fu Xinhui wasn’t home anymore, he didn’t want to go back home to an empty house. He took the initiative to stay and work. But the real reason, Zhang Siyi admitted to himself, was because he wanted to spend more time with Gu Yu, even if it was through a glass door.
In a joyous mood, Zhang Siyi made up his mind to stay and went to the dining area to pour a cup of coffee.
Unexpectedly, as soon as he was walking back to his desk, Gu Yu was coming out of the office holding his scarf with the coat on, planning on leaving.
Zhang Siyi: “…”
Seeing Zhang Siyi returning to his desk with coffee in hand, Gu Yu asked: “Why are you still there?” Looking over, Gu Yu can see the project designs displayed on Zhang Siyi’s computer monitor as well as a few reference books open on his desk. Gu Yu is a bit puzzled as Zhang Siyi has a month to complete the plan, there is no need to work overtime.
With furrowed brows, Gu Yu asked: “What problems have you encountered?” Carrying his bag, he stopped walking and came to a standstill, looking hesitant.
Feeling very embarrassed, Zhang Siyi hurriedly waved his hand: ”No, no…. I will read for a little bit longer. You should go on ahead.”
Gu Yu studied him for a moment in thought, then calmly smiled: “Work hard.” Gu Yu finished tying his scarf and picked up his bag then walked right out. Zhang Siyi only faintly heard the ‘ding’ from the elevator.”
Zhang Siyi: “…”
Looking at the back of Gu Yu’s departure, the bright and warm office suddenly seemed cold and desolate. His motivation was completely drained. He couldn’t read. He couldn’t draw. Zhang Siyi sighed and collapsed on his desk; a half-dead salted fish ……(／＿＼)……
Having spent an extra hour in the office, the subway wasn’t as crowded coming home at night. Zhang Siyi wrapped himself up in his coat and bought a hot spicy rice bowl at a street vendor. When he turned on the light inside his apartment, he was greeted with a huge mess.
Since no one was at home during the day, Cheer-Up had free reign inside the house. There was a roll of toilet paper unraveled and stretched out all over the floor. There were crumbs scattered all over the place and the fruit that was originally in a bowl, was now squashed on the kitchen floor.
When the dog saw Zhang Siyi, he jumped up and down excitedly, rushing at him. But when he heard “What Have You Done!!!!” Cheer-Up quickly hid behind the couch like a mischievous child hiding from their parents. He tentatively poked half of his head out from behind.
Zhang Siyi’s anger left the moment he yelled. Having one ill-fated father and one unreliable father, this poor little fellow is home alone all day long. He sighed.
As if understanding Zhang Siyi, Cheer-Up walked up to him, leaned on Zhang Siyi and gently licked his hand.
“Stupid dog …” Zhang Siyi rubbed its big ears. Zhang Siyi hung up his coat, put down his things and then he cleaned up the house. He served Cheer-Up his dinner of canned dog food and a bowl of water, and then sat down to eat his own dinner. At least thirty minutes have passed and by now his Hot Spicy Rice Bowl has become a Cold Spicy Rice Bowl.
Zhang Siyi opened the lid, took a picture and posted it to his social media. Feeling sorry for himself he wrote a note: ” The miserable man.”
After, he got up from the sofa and took his dinner to the microwave to reheat it a little. Thinking of the crab paste his mother made, he grabbed it as well. While he ate his meal, he checked over his social media status.
In just ten minutes, his group of friends already gave him twenty likes. Scrolling through the replies, they are vastly varied.
Ren Mengyu: “What is that? Pig food?”
Su Yuan: “Isn’t your salary high enough to eat better? That’s all you can afford?”
Jiang Hai: “In recent days, my girlfriend cooks for me every day! Don’t be jealous!”
Tian Yujing: “You are welcome to eat!” [smile]
Jiang Hai: “These aren’t my exclusive meals!?” [Crying]
Xue Wenhan: “Come back to the UK. Fish-and-chips are waiting for you!” [Smile]
It took Zhang Siyi some time to read through his comments. Normally, Fu Xinhui was on his social media frequently so naturally, his responses were fast. Although he knew Fu Xinhui is very busy, Zhang Siyi was surprised at the lack of response from him. He took a few photos of the dog and sent a message to Fu Xinhui: “Your son is doing very well. Make sure you are also paying attention to your health and safety.”
When he returned to his home-page he saw a message from his mom. “Just a friendly reminder to eat less food from the vendors. Those hot-spicy bowls are too greasy and unsanitary. They are bad for your body so please take the time to cook for yourself. If you don’t have time, then go spend money to eat better. You have that-body-problem at a young age, so you need to take better care of yourself or it will affect your life in the future. (T/N: end of ch69 if you forgot)
Zhang Siyi: “………”
Reading what his mother wrote, Zhang Siyi felt his hit-points go down to zero. Mrs. Zhang, You are too cruel! Out of anger and defiance, Zhang Siyi didn’t stop and instead, eagerly stuffed his mouth with his dinner. Who says there is a problem? My little brother is alive and well!
He refreshed his home page again and was surprised to see a post from Gu Yu. On it, there was Gu Yu’s dinner: a plate with braised pork, two crisp fried saury fish, a small dish of radish sauce, a bowl of green onion and steamed egg…. Whether it is the food itself, or just the presentation of the photographs, it looks so delicious that Zhang Siyi can feel his mouth salivate.
If Zhang Siyi hadn’t recognized the tableware and flatware, he would have thought Gu Yu took a photograph out of a food magazine. Although the imagery was fantastic to look at, it wasn’t not the most thought-provoking issue of his post. Zhang Siyi attention was focused on the message that was written with the picture. In the photograph, across from the plate filled with food was an empty bowl with chopsticks. The message read: “empty.”
When looking at the images and note together, even idiots can understand what Gu Yu wants to express. – Look at my wonderful dinner, but I am missing a companion. Will you come share my meal with me?
Staring stupidly at his mobile phone, Zhang Siyi stopped eating. He longer had an appetite to eat his “pig food.” Comparing himself to Gu Yu, he doesn’t understand why there is such a large difference between the two’s quality of life. Pondering this issue, Zhang Siyi was reminded of his night that he spent at Gu Yu house. Like a family living together for a long time, they cooked the food then washed the dishes together. They cleaned up and drank wine and tea and just talked about normal things. He missed the wonderful sense of security and happiness he experienced that night.
The longer Zhang Siyi stared at the photo, the more sour he felt. It was like Zhang Siyi’s essence at the moment, was filling the air up with negative energy so thick that one could slice threw it with a butter knife. He wanted to pick up those chopsticks. He wanted to pick up that empty bowl. He wanted to sit in that spot across from Gu Yu.
However, this was Gu Yu’s social media post. And not a message sent directly to him.