Assistant Architect by Xi He Qing Ling
Chapter 138: Vulnerability
For Gu Yu, it is not his body that supports him at this time, but his sheer willpower. Over the years, there was almost no one who could break his stubbornness, until today. When he heard the fool firmly saying he was taking him to the hospital, Gu Yu’s wall finally cracked.
Sitting in the backseat of the taxi and after thoroughly explaining the follow-up work over the phone, Gu Yu closed his eyes. He continually held Zhang Siyi’s hand tightly as if Zhang Siyi was his source of strength.
At the nearest hospital, Zhang Siyi registered Gu Yu, filled out the necessary paperwork for him than took him to the waiting area. He also accompanied him into the room while the doctor evaluated his condition, drew blood, and gave him an IV of fluids.
For the first time, Gu Yu discovered that his ‘little apprentice’ was also a man who he could rely on. The feeling of relying on another wasn’t as difficult as he imagined.
Sitting alongside Gu Yu’s hospital bed, he watched the Doctor take his temperature. When he saw the digital thermometer beep at the final temp Zhang Siyi glared at Gu Yu with exaggeration and exclaimed: “39.8°C! (103.6°F). In middle school, I remember being dizzy with a fever of 39.2 (102.6). What were you thinking all day with your current condition!? Aren’t you afraid of frying your brain!?”
With a hoarse voice, Gu Yu weakly defended himself: “This morning my temperature wasn’t so high. Only now after vomiting did it feel worse.”
Zhang Siyi gritted his teeth and said: “I blame it all on that damn Li! You told him you weren’t able to drink alcohol today, but he still made you drink anyway!”
Gu Yu sighed and said: “If this were another occasion, I wouldn’t drink with him.”
Knowing Gu Yu who can easily takes advantage of any situation because of his normal black belly, poison tongue character, it seemed like an unusual comment coming from him. Gu Yu isn’t accustomed to making compromises. Wondering what he meant, Zhang Siyi questioned: “Then why did you still drink with him?”
Gu Yu answered him: “You performed very well this morning.”
Zhang Siyi is quite happy to hear Gu Yu’s approval, but what does this have to do with drinking? Is Gu Yu happy to drink with Li? Wait, no! “You…. You did it for me?” Zhang Siyi asked with wide eyes.
Gu Yu’s faint smile answered Zhang Siyi.
Feeling anxious, Zhang Siyi hurriedly said: “Why!”
Watching Zhang Siyi closely, Gu Yu saw his frantic expression. He grabbed his hand, squeezed it and explained in a low voice: ”Siyi, this morning’s presentation was very good, but the contract wasn’t signed so you don’t really know what will happen once they leave the conference room. I have seen many young architects with good ideas and designs but loose a contract after the fact. You must maintain your relationships at the dinner table because it can directly affect the signing of a contract.”
Gu Yu paused and coughed twice then continued: “If it’s my own project, I wouldn’t drink with just anyone under similar conditions, but Party A isn’t the same since we are friends. It’s only customary to maintain basic respect between us and follow along.”
Zhang Siyi nodded.
Gu Yu added: “You are taking notes and drawing in your journal every day in order to be like me. Then I will only say this to you: Siyi, we strive for excellence in order to maintain our freedom to design. On the road of architecture, you will slowly understand that the hardest part is not the name and profit, but the freedom to do as you please and design whatever you want.”
Zhang Siyi: “…… Hmm.”
Contradicting himself, Gu Yu said: “But the world is not so ideal and as a result, sometimes we have to learn to compromise. Just like Tao Fei had to do with his design for the High-Rise commercial building. Do you remember Chiang? Do you know why he give up architecture to open a restaurant?”
Zhang Siyi: “Not for feelings?”
Gu Yu: “It was not simply for feelings, but because he wasn’t able to make any concessions. He treats his designs with more stubbornness then Tao Fei and as a result, refused to make any changes large or small. In the end, you can’t survive in the industry without some compromises.”
After listening to his roundabout explanation, Zhang Siyi still wanted a clear answer: “Because of me you had to compromise yourself?”
“Uh-huh.” Gu Yu finally confirmed: “I know how upset you were when the C City project was scrapped in the middle. Both you and Tao Fei performed exceptionally well today. There were many good signs throughout the presentation and I didn’t want them to resent the project just because I didn’t drink a glass of wine. Therefore, for the future cooperation of the project, I buried my unease and drank.”
Zhang Siyi didn’t realize the complexities that a glass of wine represented.
Gu Yu looked at him and firmly stated: “I stopped you because you are always acting rashly. In this situation, what reason is there that you could block me from drinking wine and instead, drink it in my place?
Zhang Siyi replied: “I can tell him that you are not healthy so I’ll drink the glass for you.”
Gu Yu shook his head and sighed: “If you really did that, it might cause obstacles in the future. Look at it from President Li’s perspective. Treating people with courtesy, he was probably very happy and over excited about the project and to show his enthusiasm he properly drank with everyone. He might have thought highly of me and thus, wanted to raise a glass. If you had stood up and thereby denying his appreciation, wouldn’t that be like a slap in the face?”
Gu Yu’s question left Zhang Siyi speechless.
Gu Yu: “Today, I asked you to come to the banquet in order to gain experience for future reference. Keeping your head down and calmly eating was your best performance.”
Zhang Siyi: “……”
Gu Yu patted him on the back of his hand: “Well, my cold wasn’t the only reason I got drunk. Don’t worry about it so much.”
With a plaintive expression on his face, Zhang Siyi lowered his eyes and said: “I know.”
When another patient on a hospital bed with an IV was pushed into the room, Zhang Siyi quickly took off his jacket and covered their two clasped hands. He said: “Now it’s time to stop talking and rest.”
After looking at Zhang Siyi for another minute, Gu Yu turned his head to a comfortable position then closed his eyes and went to sleep. Clearly, Gu Yu was in a very weak state and yet, he was willing to talk to Zhang Siyi for so long. Watching him, Zhang Siyi squeezed his hand tightly. Suddenly, he had a strong impulse in his heart: to become a better person. Only this time, it wasn’t solely for himself, but for Gu Yu.
He remembered the vows and promises that Gu Yu spoke during the time he confessed his feelings: “… No matter what obstacles we face in the future, I won’t let go of your hand.” Although he is younger, he doesn’t always want to rely on Gu Yu’s strength. Now, Zhang Siyi desperately wanted to protect Gu Yu by sharing any burdens and facing all of their problems together. Receiving the love of another is like a suit of armor, but loving a person makes one vulnerable.
For three hours, Gu Yu rested and three bags of IV fluids were absorbed into his body. During this time, Tao Fei called and brought Zhang Siyi the good news. The contract was signed and Party A paid a deposit of three-hundred-thousand. Hearing about Gu Yu’s hospitalization, with a guilty conscience, Mr. Li added another fifty-thousand to the total.
Aaaaaah! The hotel fees can be reimbursed! ~\(≧▽≦)/~
Zhang Siyi resisted the urge to wake up Gu Yu to tell him the good news and instead, continued to chat on the phone with Tao Fei. Concerned over the situation, he suggested to stay at home for another two days. He also mentioned a celebratory dinner and if he had time, he would come over to visit.
After the third bag of saline was empty, Gu Yu woke up. Zhang Siyi immediately told him the good news. Looking at the IV in the back of his hand, Gu Yu stated: “Coming to the hospital to earn another fifty-thousand is also an effective way to earn money.”
Zhang Siyi was so angry that he punched his arm.
In a hurry to stop Zhang Siyi, Gu Yu waved his other hand and said: “I’m kidding. It’s just a joke.”
Zhang Siyi glared at him: “I rather not have the fifty-thousand.”