Assistant Architect by Xi He Qing Ling
Chapter 104: Breakdown
Watching Zhang Siyi reaction closely, and knowing how he reacted during the Z City bid in the past, Gu Yu could guess the state of shock Zhang Siyi was in right now.
Zhang Siyi worked very hard for his first project that he earned by his own efforts until completion and for it to be taken away was a huge blow to his psyche.
Maybe if half of the work was done, the damage would be less…. But there is no use in saying that now. It doesn’t matter if the plans were finished or not, the end is already here.
Gu Yu was afraid he couldn’t bear the blow, so he didn’t pursue the issue of ‘communication.’ Instead, he tried to comfort him with a calm voice: “Like the Z City planning project, this kind of thing often happens in the industry. If there weren’t special circumstances, we wouldn’t have won the bid at the beginning. It is common in the construction industry because there is uncertainty in every step of the process and as a result, there are countless projects that die.”
Zhang Siyi lowered his eyes and did not speak.
Looking down at the blueprints on his desk again Gu Yu said: ”The plans were draw very well. Think of this as a learning experience. Now, I think you have a better understanding of the details needed in designing and drafting as well domestic regulation which is very beneficial towards your future work.”
Below the desktop, Zhang Siyi put his hands on his shaking knees and clenched his fist and thought: – no wonder he didn’t circle any problems. There was no point in doing so.
Thinking about the recent days, Gu Yu knew Zhang Siyi was looking for a new place to live during his lunch break every day. He knew Zhang Siyi was the first to leave every night and arrive punctually every morning. Even when Gu Yu went looking for Zhang Siyi to talk to him, he couldn’t find him in the office. He must have been extremely busy. Just as he was going to ask Zhang Siyi about his apartment status, Zhang Siyi interrupted Gu Yu’s thoughts and said: “Boss, I want to be alone.”
Continuing to monitor his reactions, Gu Yu was concerned and looked at Zhang Siyi thoughtfully then said: “Well, I won’t arrange a new job for you right now. Take this moment to reorganize your thoughts and go home early today to rest.”
Zhang Siyi mechanically got up, walked away and hurriedly went to his desk to shut down the computer. Ignoring Zhu Hongzhen’s strange look and the stares of others, without a word, he was the first to leave work for the day.
Like a wandering soul, before he was even conscience of it, he rode the subway home lost in a daze. When he opened the door to his apartment, he went inside then fell onto the sofa feeling like nothing was left of himself but a husk.
When Cheer-Up saw him, he excitedly jumped up and down on him, waiting to be petted. Zhang Siyi, like a dead man, was completely unresponsive. His dull mind slowly recalled what had happened to him in recent days.
He felt that he had never been so unlucky in all of his twenty years. His best friend left. He had no money to move with the dog. He sold speakers and lost five thousand dollars. He unfathomably likes the same-sex and is emotionally frustrated. His career field is even more frustrating. He didn’t know if he was the only one that felt particularly miserable when they first enter society, or if this feeling was common.
After a long time, with the little strength that he had left, Zhang Siyi slowly turned his head to look at the dog. With a self-deprecating, sad smile, he sulked: “What Lucky Dog? You are the dog of doom!”
Cheer up: “Woof!”
Zhang Siyi reluctantly petted his head. With the dog of doom being called ‘Cheer-Up’, life is full of irony.
The next morning, when Gu Yu arrived at the company, he saw Zhang Siyi’s empty seat. Even though he was busy all morning, from time to time, Gu Yu peeked through the frosted glass window to look for Zhang Siyi at his desk. Even by midday, Zhang Siyi did not come to work.
He only allowed him to go home early and recuperate last night and didn’t approve of a second days absence. Gu Yu called the front desk landline and asked for Zhang Siyi whereabouts. They also reported a lack of notification by Zhang Siyi. Gu Yu frowned and put his work on hold. He canceled Tao Fei dinner arrangements, put on his coat and left the company.
With urgency, Gu Yu used the subway system to get to Zhang Siyi’s house. Like last night, on the way to his house, he tried to call him many times, but whether it was by phone call or by text, or social media, there was no response.
Half an hour later, hoping he hadn’t move away yet, Gu Yu was at Zhang Siyi apartment, ringing the doorbell. There was no answer.
After three minutes of pressing the button, someone finally answered: “Who is it!?”
Hearing the voice of Zhang Siyi, Gu Yu’s spirit rose for a moment before it fell again: “Gu Yu. Open the door.”
Zhang Siyi: “………”
Gu Yu entered the building and went upstairs to his apartment and saw Zhang Siyi standing in the door dressed in his pajamas looking depressed. Gu Yu frowned and directly asked: “What is the matter with you? Why didn’t you come to work? Why is your phone off?”
Since Zhang Siyi didn’t expect Gu Yu to come find him, he felt a little happy to hear his voice. However being bombarded with questions, Zhang Siyi felt like he was under attack.
Feeling completely pissed off, Zhang Siyi shouted at Gu Yu: “I can’t take it anymore. I QUIT!”
He thought about it all night, and the more he thought about it, the more he was willing to accept quitting. Following Gu Yu like a puppy… He was so stupid!
He Chengtian was right. Zhang Siyi was too naïve and too idealistic. Thinking he could rely on those ridiculous notions and bullshit feelings, like floating bubbles, quickly bursting and disappearing at any second, they won’t ever make his dreams come true.
In shock, Gu Yu looked at him with an incredulous expression on his face. After a dozen seconds he spoke with a tremble in his voice: “Are you serious?” Right after, Gu Yu adjusted his tone and spoke with a fierceness that Zhang Siyi never heard before: “Just because of something so small, you quit!?”
Afraid of Gu Yu’s demeanor, Zhang Siyi took a step back in fright. He wanted to retort: – This small matter might be a trifle for you but not for me!
However, Gu Yu didn’t give him time to answer. Quickening his pace, Gu Yu aggressively stepped towards Zhang Siyi and spoke firmly: “You are going to give up? This is your attitude towards architecture and work?”
Zhang Siyi was forced backwards until he hit a wall. No longer able to suppress his feelings anymore, he clenched his fist and shouted: “But I have had enough! I work so hard but I don’t see any results! This job is too difficult! He Chengtian promised me a 200,000 year salary. Could my job pay like that? No! Four and a half years of study and I am so poor I can’t even afford a single apartment in the city. I work, but for what purpose? I build buildings, but I can’t even find a building to live! There is no point!”
He is going to find He Chengtian. He wants to make a lot of money. He wants to rent whatever kind of apartment he wants in the future without hassle. Love my job award? Outstanding staff award? All garbage! He doesn’t care anymore!
Gu Yu replied: “You have only worked on this project for two months total. Do you think that is a lot of work? Everyone starts from a humble position, from a small role to becoming a vital member of the company. Zhu Hongzhen spent one and a half years doing basic models in his previous workplace before coming to borderless. To learn how to draw and pain well, Yuan Zhicheng spent more than ten hours a day in the Academy of Fine Arts. Even now, he practices sketching every day outside of work! In college, Be Lele read the entire school’s collection of design magazines to gain knowledge and develop her own design aesthetic. When she came to Borderless, she didn’t know some PS computer skills so she stayed in the company every night until 9:30 to self-study. It is unnecessary to explain Du Rui’s experience at her old company. Her excellent ability to draft perfect works speaks for themselves. Do you think everyone’s grades are so easy to obtain? Do you think you are suffering? They’ve been through a lot more setbacks than you! Have you ever heard anyone of them say they want to give up? You have only worked for six months, and you want to ask for the moon?”
Zhang Siyi didn’t think it was easy for them to obtain their working status. Zhang Siyi knew that his colleagues were better than him, but hearing the details from Gu Yu shocked him speechless. Gu Yu’s words deeply touched his soul. He also wanted to continue working hard with his colleagues and he wanted to work alongside Gu Yu.
But now, he is too tired and his mind couldn’t comprehend the situation anymore. Did he build the building for himself or because of Gu Yu? He never thought he would fall so deeply in love. The unknown reason for Tao Fei being hired at the company is driving Zhang Siyi crazy. Compared to his hate for Tao Fei, he can’t stand the idea of Gu Yu discovering his love and then shunning him so in desperation, Zhang Siyi did the only thing he could think of; leave this terrible feeling behind!
…… But how could he possibly say that? Instead, Zhang Siyi used his frustration of the job as an excuse!
“It is true that people have high and low backgrounds. The distinction is different and in most people’s eyes, the amount of money someone makes is used as the criterion for judging a persons’ success. If you really want to give up, use your shortcut. Maybe you will be happy then and think life is better. With more money, you may be able to brag, but you can’t hinder the pursuit in someone’s heart. With strong values, self-worth and determination, a person can achieve what their soul desires. These are things money cannot buy.” Gu Yu looked at him and the disappointment in his eyes was particularly evident.
“It’s not……” Zhang Siyi shook his head unconsciously, choked back the words and wanted to refute because it wasn’t like that. He understood the truth.
“Isn’t what….? You said you liked architecture. You said you’re on this road because of me. If that’s what you call ’like’ …… “With a pained expression on his face, Gu Yu paused and lowered his voice: “You are very disappointing.”
All of the psychological barriers that Zhang Siyi put up to keep his mind moving forward were completely shattered by Gu Yu’s statement. The tears that had been lingering for a long time were finally released, flowing steadily down his cheeks. Choking back his tears, he sniffled and angrily said in a hoarse voice: “Since I am such a disappointment, why did you hire me in the first place? Why don’t you find a few more people like Zhu Hongzhen, Bi Lele, or Yuan Zhicheng!? Even better, hire a few more Tao Fei!!”
Wide-eyed, Gu Yu was stunned. The expression on his face quickly changed and became very strange. …. – Tao Fei? Did he just didn’t mention Tao Fei? Why did Zhang Siyi mention him? What does Tao Fei have to do with it?
“With Tao Fei’s help, you are so happy with him every day. I don’t know what is right. I don’t want to give you trouble and be hated. I don’t want to become worthless. I don’t want to be abandoned……”
In a loud cry, Zhang Siyi poured out his heart. He wanted to say he likes Gu Yu and he still likes architecture. He doesn’t want to give up at all! However, that isn’t what he said. Instead, it all turned into angry, bitter words: “If I’m such a disappointment, then why are you here!?”
Gu Yu’s heart fell into the sea, and sunk down deep before it turned around and started to float upwards. ….. Is he feeling inferior? …… or is it jealousy?
The more he said, the more wronged Zhang Siyi felt and the more his tears fell. Lifting his hand to wipe his face, he wanted to take back what he said. He felt ashamed and embarrassed at wanting to be comforted by Gu Yu. It is just his daydream. That hateful man only knows how to hurt!
But as soon as he tried to move, Gu Yu suddenly stepped forward and aggressively grabbed his wrist.
Zhang Siyi: “……”
Like looking through his body and into his soul, Gu Yu watched Zhang Siyi intensely. Gu Yu facial muscles went through a myriad of changes; curiosity, puzzlement, thoughtfulness and when his doubts subsided a few moments later, he said: “Do you want to know why I hired you?”
Zhang Siyi tried to move his hand, but he was trapped. Instead, Gu Yu pulled him closer: “Wh…, Why?”
Pondering, Gu Yu furrowed his brow slightly, pursed his lips, and deeply thought of what to say. He slowly spoke: “Indeed, I heard your ex-girlfriend scold you for an hour from the beginning at the coffee shop. I also felt……” Gu Yu let his head hang and sighed deeply then looked at Zhang Siyi: “……I thought you were a person with no sense of responsibility. Probably your only merit was your ability to endure her verbal onslaught for so long. You were like a steamed soft bun being poked and prodded. You had no reasonable basis for rebutting her. Although in the end when you finally stood up for yourself, wet with coffee, a wrongly accused passerby suffered for you in vain.”
Zhang Siyi: “……”
Releasing the tension in his grasp, Gu Yu slowly changed the angle of his hand in order to intertwine his fingers with Zhang Siyi. He gradually calmed down and softly spoke: “I heard you say you were looking for a job and reworking your portfolio. I thought your attitude at least, proves you are a motivated person that is willing to learn and thus, perhaps I can give you a chance. Of course, if there was no resume, then I wouldn’t be able to help you.”
At such a close distance, Zhang Siyi could not move. He could feel Gu Yu breath on his neck and his hand holding his own tightly.
Gu Yu continued softly: “I accepted your request for an interview and through the exchange, I found that you were very different from the coward at the coffee shop. You had personal ideas and your thoughts were very logical which are exceptional qualities for an architectural designer. Finally, when I looked at your portfolio, I carefully examined each work and although they were relatively rough and immature, the design ideas were excellent. All of these qualities made me conclude you have great potential. Maybe I can help cultivate your ability so that you could grow into a unique and outstanding designer.”
Feeling hot, Zhang Siyi’s tears subsided. It probably wasn’t easy for Gu Yu to say such lengthly praise.
“If you hadn’t mentioned it, I really didn’t remember you being my high school alumnus so I didn’t hire you for that sentiment…” Gu Yu raised his hand and tenderly caressed his cheek. With his thumb, he wiped the tears away from the corner of his eye. He softly asked: “Do these reasons make you a little more confident?”
Although Gu Yu’s words eased his worries, Zhang Siyi didn’t know what to make of his other intimate actions. He felt embarrassed and wanted to hide. However, Gu Yu did not let him break free and again came closer. The two of them were nearly holding onto one another.
Looking at Zhang Siyi inquisitively, with some hesitation, Gu Yu softly said: “Don’t cry. Don’t feel bad. I will be with you at every step along the way, okay?”
Hearing Gu Yu’s soothing words, Zhang Siyi wanted to cry more. His heart was both sour and sweet. When he is angry or depressed, with just a little encouragement and a simple gesture from his love, Gu Yu can make him feel instantly cured of any problems. What kind of magic is this? What Peach Brother? All he could think about was loving Gu Yu.
Standing with Gu Yu awkwardly for a while, Zhang Siyi sniffed once then gently nodded his head.
Seemingly satisfied, Gu Yu let him go. He took a moment to look at the apartment and saw the mess. Gu Yu frowned and asked: “When do you move?”
The hand Gu Yu was holding felt hot and as if to grasp the sensation again, Zhang Siyi curled up his fingers and held his fist to his chest. He replied as a matter of fact: “I haven’t found a place to live yet.”
Zhang Siyi has searched for an acceptable place everyday over the last two weeks. The apartments are either cheap and unlivable, or good but too expensive. Additionally, many places do not allow pets. The process of finding an apartment has been very frustrating!
Gu Yu look at Zhang Siyi in the eye and tilted his head slightly then asked: “Do you want to…… live with me?”
Zhang Siyi: “Eh?”
“If you don’t mind, move in and live with me.” Gu Yu looked to the side at Cheer-Up and said: “Take someone else’s son…. It doesn’t matter.”
Zhang Siyi: “……”