Assistant Architect by Xi He Qing Ling
Chapter 97: The Photo
“Now that you can park the car, driving on the road will be the easy part.” Gu Yu said, then he turned to address him: “What do you want to do for lunch?”
In order to express his gratitude, Zhang Siyi offered: “I’ll treat you to lunch.”
Eyeing him once over, Gu Yu was skeptical: “You are going to treat? Do you have enough money?”
Zhang Siyi: “……”
His March paycheck was already used to pay his credit cards and Zhang Siyi was still overdrawn. Although he really has no money, does Gu Yu have to be so blunt!? At most, he could make up the cost by not going to restaurants and eating cheaply for the next few weeks.
Seeing Zhang Siyi sullen expression, Gu Yu knew he hit a soar spot. He smiled and said: ”I remember you mentioning you can cook, right? Why don’t we buy something to make for lunch?”
Since Fu Xinhui isn’t at the apartment, Zhang Siyi thought Gu Yu’s idea was feasible: “Yes, I can cook, but all I know how to prepare are ordinary meals. Don’t expect it to taste like Old Chiang’s.”
Gu Yu smiled: “Your place or mine?”
Zhang Siyi: “My place.” He was the one who invited Gu Yu so naturally it has to be prepared in his own home. Luckily it isn’t too messy yet as it has only been a week since he came back home.
Gu Yu asked: “Is your roommate home? Should you let him know in advance?”
Zhang Siyi: “It’s okay, he’s not home.”
It did not take long to drive back to Zhang Siyi’s residence. After parking, they walked to a nearby supermarket to buy groceries. Walking through the aisles together, Gu Yu was quiet and let Zhang Siyi pick out the ingredients for the dishes he had in mind.
Even though Gu Yu has been to his apartment building a bunch of times, this is the first time Gu Yu has stepped through the door.
The two of them brought the bags of groceries upstairs. As they opened the door, a yellow haired medium-sized dog, rushed over, panting ‘ha-chee-ha-chee’. Wagging its tail, the dog was not afraid of strangers.
“You still have a dog?” Gu Yu was surprised.
Feeling self-conscience Zhang Siyi explained: “My roommate got the dog, but since he isn’t here, I am taking care of him.”
Gu Yu readily rubbed Cheer-Up’s head. The dog excitedly raised his head and licked Gu Yu’s hand. His jerk reaction was to pull his hand away, however, the dog’s action reminded Gu Yu of Zhang Siyi’s habit of drooling on him. (=_=)
After bringing the bags into the kitchen, Zhang Siyi started to unpack them. He said: “You can sit down.”
Gu Yu poured himself a cup of fresh juice and went to look at the apartment: “Does this apartment have three bedrooms?”
Zhang Siyi: “Originally, I rented the place with two other classmates. One of whom got a girlfriend and moved out to live with her at the end of last year.”
Gu Yu nodded and asked: “Now that it is two people, do you split the rent?”
“No. He pays more and I still pay my original agreement…. I still feel bad about it. I’ve wanted to talk to him about living someplace else, but recently, something has happened to him at home and I am unsure what his future plans are.” Zhang Siyi sighed.
Gu Yu took a sip of juice and asked: “What happened to his family?”
Zhang Siyi: ”It’s a long story and I’m not quite sure of the details.” Zhang Siyi told Gu Yu some of the history that he knew. He continued: “Fu Xinhui was afraid his situation would affect me, so he stopped living here for the time being.”
Gu Yu did not make any comments about Fu Xinhui and instead, he turned around to the living room and asked: “If he doesn’t come back, what are you going to do?”
It was obvious how distressed Zhang Siyi was by looking at his face. Zhang Siyi replied: “I don’t know. Maybe I can find somewhere to live on my own. I’m waiting for him to contact me about his situation.”
Zhang Siyi turned around and headed to the kitchen to prepare lunch. Remembering the time he was at Gu Yu’s house, he also wanted to make Gu Yu come help him, but Gu Yu is his boss and he is a subordinate…… Well, he doesn’t have the guts!
Coming over to Zhang Siyi, Gu Yu asked: “Which room is yours?” Gu Yu did not offer to help and asked: “Mind if I look around?”
Out of shyness, he was a little resistant to let Gu Yu into his private space. However, when he was at Gu Yu’s house, Gu Yu graciously let Zhang Siyi into his own bedroom, and thus he couldn’t say no. “Alright. It’s the one across from the living room.” Zhang Siyi was chopping vegetables on the chopping board wondering what type of mess was in his room. – I don’t think I made my bed this morning…. Was there anything I needed to hide? (&_&)
Entering the threshold of Zhang Siyi’s private space, Gu Yu looked around. His bed was unmade and there was a single sofa with a pile of clothes on it. Shaking his head Gu Yu voiced a quiet: “Tsk.” Seeing the violin case leaning against his bed, Gu Yu eyes lit up and walked over to look at it carefully…. He is still practicing?
Across the room was a desk next to a window and on the windowsill was a cactus. In order to inspect the plant further, Gu Yu approached the desk and as he leaned in closer, he bumped Zhang Siyi’s laptop that was on the desktop. Since the computer was in sleep mode, the movement caused the notebook screen to lite up.
Gu Yu glanced at it and froze.
His expression went from astonishment to puzzlement and then, the corners of his mouth lifted in a wide grin. “Fool …”
Looking at something, Gu Yu felt a sense of indescribably joy.
In the middle of the computer screen, there was a small window opened with a music score that was labeled “Summer.”
Gu Yu’s attention is not on this score but instead, on the picture behind it.
Gently clicking on the window to minimize it to the bottom, the screen background was in clear view.
Last year…. The image Zhang Siyi stole…. The photo of Gu Yu.
“Cccch!……” The steam rose as Zhang Siyi poured the water in the pan to deglaze it then frantically picked out the meat. He grumbled to himself: What is Gu Yu doing in my room…. ? Why didn’t he come help me!
Just as Zhang Siyi was grumbling, Gu Yu appeared in the kitchen. He had his arms folded and was leaning on the doorframe with his weight on one leg. “Would you like me to help?”
Zhang Siyi immediately responded: “Yes, thanks!”
When Gu Yu came over, he took a bowl and helped him deal with the meat in the water: “Tsk. Are these meat slices or chunks?”
Zhang Siyi: “Meat slices!”
Gu Yu: “The meat is so thick? Are you going to fry or stew?”
Zhang Siyi: “Fry … Its twice cooked.”
Gu Yu: “Ah, it turns out that, not only can you really cook, but you can also do the dishes!”
Zhang Siyi: “……” Don’t fucking help!
With the help of Gu Yu frying two dishes, after ninety minutes, Zhang Siyi finished three courses and one soup. When the meal was finished, Zhang Siyi didn’t want to move at all, but Gu Yu conscientiously got up and went to wash the dishes. Zhang Siyi was watching Gu Yu slowly rinse a plate and it seemed like he was deep in thought and was about to say something serious to him.
Gu Yu’s phone suddenly rang. He stepped aside to answer it and Zhang Siyi wanted to listen:
“Now? Where are you? ……”
“No, I’m resting, at a friend’s house … ” Gu Yu turned his head and looked at Zhang Siyi.
Only hearing parts of the conversation Zhang Siyi said: “Do you have work? It’s alright. You should go.”
Gu Yu frowned. He replied to the person on the phone: “Well, wait a minute, I’ll come over now.”
Hanging up the phone, Gu Yu turned to look at Zhang Siyi in the eye and then explained: “A friend of mine wanted to talk privately about a project.”
“Oh.” Zhang Siyi nodded. Unlike the past, when Gu Yu directly dropped what he was doing for business, Zhang Siyi isn’t sure why now, Gu Yu was explaining his private affairs to him.
Gu Yu put on his coat and shoes and said: “Well, I’ll head out.”
Zhang Siyi lowered his head and said: “I’ll walk you out.”
Even though Gu Yu replied “No need,” he was still standing at the door.
Noticing Gu Yu’s motionless, Zhang Siyi was a little puzzled and looked up at him to see Gu Yu watching him closely.
“You…” Gu Yu originally wanted to ask Zhang Siyi, ‘Is there something you want to tell me?’ However, only a simple word was spoken and instead he rubbed Zhang Siyi’s head like it was the most natural thing to do.
Frozen in place, his face quickly turned red. He felt hot.
Watching Zhang Siyi with affection in his eyes, Gu Yu spoke three words with the most gentle and intimate tone: “See you tomorrow.”
Zhang Siyi’s mind was blank and only robotically replied: “Ok, see you tomorrow.” Thirty minutes later, he returned to earth. (o////o)
The weekend came to a close and Zhang Siyi went to work on Monday. Due to continued fatigue, his hand still trembled while working on his drawing. After Gu Yu left his home, he went crazy and practiced violin all afternoon.
Even though he didn’t know why Gu Yu was not at the office on Monday, he guessed it was related to the phone call he received yesterday concerning a friend. Zhang Siyi didn’t feel bad. All he had to do was thinking about yesterday’s ‘touch head’.
Sure enough, in the afternoon when he went to use the restroom, he quickly checked his social media and saw Gu Yu’s post. There was a photo of a foreign market and it was labeled “business trip.”
Zhang Siyi couldn’t stop himself and replied: “Where have you been?”
Based on past examples, he wasn’t expecting a quick reply. However, by the time he was done using the restroom, he saw another message from Gu Yu.
Gu Yu: “Don’t use social media during office hours.” [Smile]
Zhang Siyi: “……” Don’t you brush your circle of friends when you’re on a fucking business trip!
Even after three days, Gu Yu did not come to work. His construction plan encountered a few snags and with Du Rui help he thought he fixed them. Although Zhang Siyi already knew his whereabouts, he was tortured by the sudden desire to see him. What, “See you tomorrow?” Ha! Liar! (t_t)
It wasn’t until Friday morning that Gu Yu came back to the company. He was carrying a suitcase, wearing a coat, and with dark circles under his eyes. It was clearly evident that he had returned to the office straight from the airport.
While Gu Yu was walking to his office, Zhang Siyi looked at him with excitement and adoration. He wanted Gu Yu to acknowledge him, but unexpectedly, Miss Wang of the personnel department came over: “Director Gu, there is a young man named Tao Fei in the reception room saying he has an appointment with you for an interview today.”
“Yes. Tell him to wait another five minutes for me.” Gu Yu replied and rushed into his office without a glance towards Zhang Siyi.