Assistant Architect by Xi He Qing Ling
Chapter 167: Talk
Gu Yu asked: “Do you hate Zhang Siyi?”
Red from embarrassment, Lu Qiao shook his head.
Gu Yu: “Do you hate me?”
Faster this time, Lu Qiao shook his head again.
Bowing his head, Gu Yu asked: “Do you hate homosexuality?”
This time, Lu Qiao hesitated and was quiet for a long time. He lowered his head and eventually admitted: “I don’t know.”
Having asked his questions, Gu Yu could guess why Lu Qiao was in his current state.
Lu Qiao was born in the countryside in a part of the country that was relatively isolated. Traditional values are deeply rooted and it is difficult to change and accept new ideas. Therefore, he is likely a homophobe.
If everyone was simply joking then Lu Qiao may be able to brush it aside and not care. However, once the truth was out, he became afraid because the two people that had greater ability and talent than he did were homosexual. He wasn’t able to accept the fact that he was less than someone not ‘normal’ as it went against his upbringing and thus, Lu Qiao slowly arrived at a breaking point.
Of course, there is no denying that there is an indisputable catalyst for Lu Qiao’s reaction.
Gu Yu: “You envy Zhang Siyi, right?”
Lu Qiao lowered his head even further. He paused for a few seconds before emitting a low: “Hmm.”
Yes. Lu Qiao was originally very envious. The two most revered people at work have become the most hated homosexuals. As if falling in love with the same gender was plagiarism, they became metaphors for all that wasn’t authentic.
Upon his discovery, Lu Qiao views on life were turned upside down. It’s not so much that narrow-mindedness was detestable, but rather, it was pathetic and sad.
“There are a few things related to Zhang Siyi that I would like to tell you.” Gu Yu slowly said. “Although Zhang Siyi’s father is an official, as far as I know, he had neither influence on Zhang Siyi’s job nor his current life. Zhang Siyi is completely self-sufficient. When he was new, I gave him the same training as other new employees. The period was probably a little longer than others. At the end of last year, I let him work with you on the office building for the C-City project. At that time, I gave you the same competitive opportunity. The final plan was chosen by Party A. The complete construction drawing was also completed by Zhang Siyi alone. Since the office building wasn’t built, Zhang Siyi’s self-esteem was greatly affected. In fact, his progress for the first half of the year was rather rocky. It wasn’t until now, when he worked together with Tao Fei on the hotel project that he has been successful. I can say with certainty that Zhang Siyi’s current achievements are solely based on his own efforts. I did not give him any preferential treatment.”
Lu Qiao remained silent for a long time. The truth behind Gu Yu words did little to ease his extreme emotions and psychological imbalance. While using a tree to vent his frustrations, he was mistakenly overheard. Now, he was too ashamed and didn’t know what to say.
Gu Yu added: “Everyone went through the same thing in the beginning as you have. You earned your position by your own ability and retained it through your diligent work ethics and ease with which you accept any work without complaint. Although I relied on you to work on many small projects and thus, haven’t made any special achievements on your own, you have to remember that our group is a team. Teamwork is like a precision instrument. A small unassuming screw is just as important as all the other parts…. So, don’t be self-defeating and assume you aren’t good enough for your job.”
Lu Qiao’s tears poured out again and sobbed uncontrollably. The inferiority and embarrassment that had lasted for several days gradually disappeared under the encouragement and recognition of Gu Yu.
Gu Yu: “Let me tell you. In fact, from the first day of your job, I knew that your family situation was difficult. As a result, I raised your wage buy 800 yuan. That is to say your salary is actually higher than Zhang Siyi’s.”
Lu Qiao stayed still with his mouth slightly open. He can’t believe it.
Gu Yu: “As far as, “no-one-cares-about-you”, I think that is even more impossible. If no one cared, would I tell you so much? If you have concerns, find someone to talk to. Don’t back yourself into a corner.”
Lu Qiao wiped his eyes and nodded with shame. If he had been told earlier, he wouldn’t have done such a stupid thing like a fool…… Now that Zhang Siyi has heard his thoughts, wouldn’t he be very angry at him?
Gu Yu smiled and said: “Even so, I have to thank you. While you knew the relationship between Zhang Siyi and I, you told a tree hole only and didn’t do anything to hurt us.”
Lu Qiao: “…”
Gu Yu: “It is indeed wrong for me to be in a relationship with Zhang Siyi for I have violated the company rules. I shouldn’t have feelings for one of my subordinates. I am sorry that my behavior at the company has given you a feeling of injustice, but I will not apologize for being gay. Homosexuality isn’t wrong. It is just a minority. If you feel that my private life has negatively affected work, then I will choose to resign and leave Borderless. Zhang Siyi didn’t do anything wrong. I was the one that pursued and seduced him. I hope you don’t think any less of Zhang Siyi because of it”
When he heard Gu Yu say ‘resign’ Lu Qiao started to panic, but when he admitted to seducing Zhang Siyi, Lu Qiao was in shock. In a rush to respond, he said: ”No, No…. There is no need to resign. I will keep the information to myself. I, I…. need time to accept it.”
Since he is an excellent boss, many people in the company like Gu Yu. If he can’t accept the facts and Gu Yu leaves the company, wouldn’t he be seen as the offender that drove Gu Yu away?
Knowing that he wasn’t treated unfairly, Lu Qiao felt relieved by Gu Yu’s forthright explanation.
Gu Yu glanced at him and gently said: “If there any more grievances or issues you want to convey, please tell me. If you have questions, now is the time. I will not be angry.”
Hesitating, he wanted to ask Gu Yu why he liked Zhang Siyi but thought better of it. The image of his Boss that he had in his mind was restored a little. He was afraid that if he didn’t like the answer to his question, he couldn’t bear it and the slightly restored image he had of his boss would be shattered irrevocably.
Lu Qiao shook his head: “No thank you Boss.”
Gu Yu stood up and said: “Then go back to the room and get some sleep.”
As Lu Qiao stood up to go inside, he was worried that his thoughts weren’t expressed sufficiently enough. Eager to clarify himself, he said: “Boss, there is no need to resign. I will think it over and figure it out myself.”
Gu Yu smiled: “Okay.”
Lu Qiao bowed his head: “I’m sorry.”
“You aren’t sorry for me, so don’t apologize.” From his pocket, Gu Yu removed a bottle cap. Today, Zhang Siyi bought him an orange flavored soda. On the caps, various expressions were printed on them in Kanji such as “I Like You”, “Work Hard”, and “Go For it”. This bottle cap had the “I’m Sorry” printed on it.
Gu Yu handed the bottle cap to Lu Qiao: “When you are ready to apologize, give this to Zhang Siyi.”