Assistant Architect by Xi He Qing Ling
Chapter 100: Metamorphosis
The tone in which Fu Xinhui spoke, made Zhang Siyi feel guilty like he was on trial for ‘taking another man to our home’ and ‘letting the other man touch the head of the ex-husband’s son.’
Ah, what a mess! (=_=)
Zhang Siyi coughed and said: “He helped me with driving practice, so I made him something to eat at home as thanks. You aren’t here. It is just me and the dog and brace yourself, it’s actually kind of lonely.”
These two sentences are separate, but that is not the case in others’ ears. At the side of the table, the waitress collected the used dishes before the next course was served and brought them back to the kitchen: “There is a couple on the table over there…. the ex-boyfriend is complaining about the new lover going to their house. What is wrong with this world when the most handsome men are actually gay!?”
Squinting at him, Fu Xinhui was speechless: “Say… Why are you explaining so much?”
Zhang Siyi: “…”
While habitually putting the vegetables and meat into the pot first, Fu Xinhui apologized: “Recently a lot of things have happened and for a long time, I did not contact you. I’m very sorry about that. Let me explain little by little.”
Zhang Siyi nodded repeatedly, waiting for him to talk!
As a result, the first thing Fu Xinhui blurted out was a bombshell: “Our family is bankrupt.”
Zhang Siyi: “…… What!? How can the family be bankrupt? Why don’t you pay off the money your uncle owes?”
Fu Xinhui took another sip of tea and said: “It’s not as simple as you think. My uncle offended too many people so they went after us. The bankruptcy isn’t related to those people. I remember telling you before that my dad gave my uncle part of the company in the past. The problem is a result of my uncle’s debts which put financial pressure on the company and caused a credit crisis.”
Zhang Siyi: “Well, you also said that your company’s listing has encountered problems.”
Fu Xinhui: “The credit crisis caused the company to stall operations. We owed the bank a large sum of money as well as the loan-sharks. Now, all the family’s funds have been frozen, including the villa we live in. Since its mortgaged, it will be liquidated by the bank to pay off the debt.”
Zhang Siyi: “…”
Zhang Siyi did not expect the things that happen to people on TV, to happen one day to his best friend.
People can get rich overnight, but also, they can lose everything overnight. Since birth, Fu Xinhui lived in a worry-free, luxurious environment. Now that his family has suffered such a big turn of events, Zhang Siyi doesn’t know if he will be able to bear it.
Zhang Siyi asked again: “What about your sister?”
Fu Xinhui: “Remember I told you about the bodyguard that beat the man, right? The police questioned my sister and investigated for a couple of weeks while she was in detention. Since the surveillance was cut, there was no evidence and no matter how many times they asked, there was no answer. My father used his connections and got my sister out. But you know… that kind of place isn’t a place for a woman.”
Fu Xinhui covered his face: “All because I am like this. I feel so guilty”
Zhang Siyi hesitated: “Did you reconcile with her?”
Fu Xinhui nodded and said: “She used to hate me, but I never took the time to try and improve my relationship with her. All I ever did was avoid her. After some time, she started resenting me and also, I misunderstood her. She has a strong, overbearing character, but no matter what, we are brother and sister.”
Fu Xinhui smiled and said with emotion: “It’s true. In the face of adversity, people grow stronger. Although our family has no money now, I feel that together, we are better then what we were before.”
Contrary to Zhang Siyi’s worries, Fu Xinhui seems to be taking his family problems in stride. His attitude has become more positive than it was previously.
Zhang Siyi was somewhat relieved. He curiously asked: “If the bank took your house away, where is your family living now?”
Fu Xinhui: “Living in my brother-in-law’s house.”
Zhang Siyi: “Your brother-in-law?”
Fu Xinhui: “Yes when my sister fell in love, she bought my brother-in-law a house as a Valentine’s Day gift. Since the three-bedroom house was in his name, the bank could not take it away. Although it is small compared to our original house, the crisis is over. My parents, sister and brother-in-law and I live under one roof. Although crowded, it’s good and is a different kind of feeling. Hehe.”
Zhang Siyi also laughed and said: “When your family encountered this situation and your brother-in-law did not leave, it seems that your sister’s eyes are quite good.”
Fu Xinhui: “Yes, although their wedding ceremony could not formally be completed, in my parent’s heart, he is already their son-in-law.”
Zhang Siyi: “Ha-ha! …… What about your uncle?
Fu Xinhui sighed: “Under the pressure of our family, my Father finally gave up the idea of using connections to get him out. My sister also insisted that my uncle accept the consequences. He would only end up harming others again.”
Zhang Siyi was relived: “I was worried that you really had nothing left!”
Fu Xinhui: “Even if there isn’t money and we don’t have a house, my father has friends and connections. They recognize my father’s true character and they also know my Uncle was the problem.”
“That’s true.” Zhang Siyi nodded in recognition then asked: “So what are you going to do next?”
Fu Xinhui: “My father said there are people still watching us so we can’t rush things. Since the bank is liquidating the family’s estate, my parents are busy with paperwork and procedures.”
Zhang Siyi: “After everything that has happened, why didn’t you contact me?”
Fu Xinhui: “Well, everything that has happened so far has been beyond my expectations. I never told you because I didn’t know what to say. There isn’t much you can help with other then to simply listen.”
Zhang Siyi quickly replied: “That’s how you treat your best friend? Even if it’s just talking, then talk to me!”
Chuckling, Fu Xinhui poured a glass of wine for him: “Forget it. I know you are busy with work and don’t want you to worry about me. Over this past month, I have worried about our money problems, my sister, and my parents. Although compared to the safety of my family and loves ones, I am not very concerned about money. For this reason, I did not want to bother you in fear of your life also being threatened. Since it would greatly add more stress on me, I couldn’t bear it. I also have taken this time to contemplate life and other things. It’s not easy to say it, but I don’t know how to live. Everyday feels like I am in a movie without a director telling me what to do next.”
Taking a moment to inspect Fu Xinhui more thoroughly, Zhang Siyi saw how gaunt and haggard he looked. At the same time, he has matured and now, hope is written on his face and light shines from his eyes. It is as if Fu Xinhui has experienced a rebirth.
Suddenly, he remembered his father’s New Year’s evaluation of Fu Xinhui about the need to take care of himself. Only he will be able to stand up on his feet and move forward in life.”
After three months, at the same restaurant in the same seat, Zhang Siyi is very happy. Here he witnessed Fu Xinhui metamorphosis.
Gently tapping the glass together, they gave a toast, then gulped down the wine.
Fu Xinhui said: “I can’t continue renting a house with you.”
After listening to so much, Zhang Siyi expected this result. Fu Xinhui may not be able to spend as much money as before. “It’s all right, you don’t need to rent it. Since I can’t afford to live there alone, I’ll move out and find something suitable.” Zhang Siyi calmly accepted the reality.
Fu Xinhui nodded: “There isn’t a rush to move out right now. I spoke with the landlord about my intentions to withdraw from the rental contract. It was a year lease and it ends in June so there is one more quarter left however, I negotiated a deal with the landlord to let you stay until the end of the month and terminate the contract early without penalties. The landlord was easy to talk to since the property is in a good location and easy to rent.”
Zhang Siyi breathed a sigh of relief: “Twenty days gives me time to find an alternative solution. If you had told me I had to move right away and since I’m not prepared at all, I don’t know what I would have done…. Oh, yeh. I still owe you rent for the next month.
“No, forget it. I have caused you a lot of trouble and you have helped me a lot already.” Fu Xinhui gave Zhang Siyi a brief smile and said: “There is one last thing you can help me with.”
Zhang Siyi: “Ok.”
Fu Xinhui: “The reason I won’t rent a house with you is not only because of my financial problems. It is because I am going abroad soon.
Zhang Siyi was caught off guard: “WHAT?”
Fu Xinhui explained: “My father is afraid that the nefarious people will go after me so he raised some money to send me abroad. One reason is to avoid the mob, but also to learn new skills. Recently, I went with my sister to learn about her work as an investment manager. I felt like finance was much more interesting than architecture. I applied to a University in Australia and once the visa is issued, I can leave at any time.”
Zhang Siyi was shocked: “This is too fast!”
Fu Xinhui: “So, Cheer-Up … Please continue taking care of him.”
Zhang Siyi: “……” Holy shit, he’s going to be a dog babysitter for the rest of his life!
With his hands clasped together, Fu Xinhui looked at Zhang Siyi with a pleading face and said: “I’ll be back in three years at the latest. Cheer-Up is a lucky dog and will bring you happiness and good luck!”
Zhang Siyi: “………” Lucky? Are you out of your fucking mind!