助理建筑师 羲和清零 207

Assistant Architect by Xi He Qing Ling

Chapter 207: Elder Classmate

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Sensing Zhang Siyi’s discomfort, Gu Yu interrupted them: “Alright, that’s enough now.”

With their fun ending unceremoniously, they frowned in disappointment: “Eh? A few questions and already Gu Yu was making a fuss?”

“Ha-ha! I have never seen Old Four so nervous in my life! Today is such an eye-opener!”

“Hey, when Old Three guessed you were gay, I thought you would find someone like Little Peach to date. I never expected you to be with someone so normal!”

“…..” Little Peach? Are they talking about Tao Fei? Ha-ha!

When gossip about Tao Fei started, Zhang Siyi inwardly cheered on the side. Now that they had a few drinks under their belts, their tongues loosened even more. After gossiping about the less-than normal Tao Fei for a while, the group of straight ‘old-men’ turned their attention towards another topic and debated: What kind of guy was more gay?

“Okay, it’s time for dinner!” Old Chiang served the food and opened another bottle of wine. Since Gu Yu brought his significant other to the reunion, it was only natural that Gu Yu was the focus of everyone’s toast.

Originally, Gu Yu wanted to use the car as an excuse not to drink, but someone quickly interceded: “Your Little Friend is here…… I don’t believe he can’t drive.”

Wanting to propagate Gu Yu’s farse, Zhang Siyi was going to reply that he couldn’t drive, however, the man commented: “If he can’t drink, then you can drink for him. Here, have a glass!”

Prodded hard on the side by Zhang Siyi’s elbow, Gu Yu no longer refused. He quickly raised a glass and drank it all.

As Gu Yu drank, someone threw Zhang Siyi a bottle of chocolate milk. With a burst of laughter, the crowd pounded the table.

Zhang Siyi: “??? ” …..Even if I don’t drink, you don’t have to give me a bottle of milk, right?

Over the course of the meal, the group was quite lively. At first, Zhang Siyi didn’t feel connected to Gu Yu’s group of friends at all. It wasn’t until they started talking about their University days that Zhang Siyi reacted. The Department of Architecture at Big-T University was one of the most difficult majors in the country to get into. It usually only accepted the highest science and math scores of each province in the country. That is to say, he now eating and drinking with a table of elite students and architectural idols!

With newfound understanding, Zhang Siyi saw the group of middle-aged-uncles in a new light and was suddenly awestruck!

As the bottle of wine emptied, another bottle appeared to replenish everyone’s empty glass and another round of toasts were raised. A man next to Gu Yu became emotional, took his arm and said: “Four, without you, I wouldn’t be here today! Being your roommate in the dorm, I think I, Qi Yueping, am the luckiest person alive!”

His statement reminded everyone else at the table how their dorm got rich through Gu Yu. Noisily agreeing, everyone became serious momentarily and spoke their heartfelt thanks to the Architectural Department’s idol and offered a cup.

After everyone’s’ round of toasts, Gu Yu had the opportunity to say: “Don’t thank me. Thank you for your time and hard work. Thank fate …..”

As the many memories engulfed them, the group of ‘old men’ momentarily felt like students again and were moved to tears. The rowdy group of emotional men filled up their glasses once more.

Sitting amongst them, Zhang Siyi was also deeply touched. Gu Yu rarely accepted the gratitude of others. Even when Su Yuan thanked him, he said there was no need.

Yes, without each individual’s maximum effort, there wouldn’t have been a chance to encounter each other.

The same was true of Zhang Siyi. If he didn’t have the heart to study architecture, he wouldn’t have entered Gu Yu’s world. If he hadn’t continued to search for a job related to architecture post-graduation even when the market was depressed, he wouldn’t have met Gu Yu. If he had simply given up, he wouldn’t have Gu Yu’s affection….

Opportunities are out there for the taking. Only with persistence and effort will your social and professional circle expand, giving the chance, if you are lucky, to meet better people and make those opportunities real.

Four hours later, it was almost time for supper and as if everyone’s inner clock was set to the same alarm, they began to gather their belongings and say their goodbyes.

Having drunk many glasses of wine, when Gu Yu stood up from the table, he stumbled. Zhang Siyi quickly grabbed him to support him from falling over, causing laughter from the other men around them. Among them, the tallest with a rough voice, who was the leader of the dormitory, patted Zhang Siyi’s back energetically and said: “We entrust Gu Yu to you!”

Listening, Gu Yu turned to look at Zhang Siyi affectionately. When Zhang Siyi flushed red, the crowd laughed again. They teased him mercilessly: “Little Boyfriend…”, “Too Pure…..” All the while, Gu Yu was laughing and smiling at him with love.

After Zhang Siyi said his goodbyes to the crowd, he supported Gu Yu while walking to the car. He helped him into the passenger seat, then walked around to the drivers’ side and got in. Ready to leave, he told Gu Yu to fasten his seat belt, but nothing happened. When he looked at Gu Yu, he was staring blankly into space.

“Hey, are you really drunk?” Zhang Siyi leaned over to personally fasten Gu Yu’s seatbelt for him. It took him a lot of effort to pull the belt over Gu Yu’s lap. Gu Yu suddenly embraced him.

In protest, Zhang Siyi tried to break free of his grasp, but like Popeye-the-sailor, he seemed to have gained extra strength from drinking and couldn’t extricate himself from Gu Yu’s hold.

His hold became caresses as Gu Yu leaned over to kiss Zhang Siyi passionately. Concerned at the prospect of being seen, Zhang Siyi rubbed his lips and scolded Gu Yu: “You taste like wine! People walking by can see us in the car!” Gu Yu was too bold!

Gu Yu gazed at him with desire and licked his lips slowly saying: “But you are sweet…. milky….”

Zhang Siyi: “…” Damn that chocolate milk! (= 皿 =)

Not wanting to debate with a drunkard, Zhang Siyi settled him in, quickly started the car, and pressed on the accelerator. At the next traffic light, Zhang Siyi glanced at Gu Yu and wondered what he was dreaming of as he saw him with a grin on his face, fast asleep.

Since it was the weekend, there was heavy traffic. It took over and hour to arrive back home. Pulling into the parking space and opening the door, Gu Yu woke up. Again, Zhang Siyi had to support Gu Yu as they walked to the front of the building.

Gu Yu grabbed Zhang Siyi’s neck with one hand and pulled his head closer in order to nibble at his ear.

“Hey… Stop it! Don’t make a scene!” Zhang Siyi demanded. Although they were close to their home, there was still more than a dozen meters to go on the sidewalk until they reached the entrance. It was really terrifying!

As he approached the door, Zhang Siyi looked up and was surprised to see He Chengtian and Gu Yao standing side-by-side, holding hands with a large plastic bag.

The four of them were facing each other. Panic stricken, like a kid caught with his hand in the candy jar, He Chengtian quickly let go of Gu Yao’s hand. Nervous, he stole a glance at Gu Yu expecting to be reprimanded, but instead he was surprised. Gu Yu was nibbling at Zhang Siyi’s ear and trying to kiss the side of his face.

Zhang Siyi was so embarrassed that he couldn’t wait to dig a hole and push Gu Yu into it! …..Fuck! What are they doing here? I thought they were spending Christmas together!

Given the situation, Gu Yao was quick and immediately asked: “Is my brother drunk?”

Pushing Gu Yu’s face away with his hand, Zhang Siyi pretended to be calm and said: “Yeah! Quickly open the door for me so I can put this drunkard inside!”

Inside, Zhang Siyi was too lazy to bring Gu Yu upstairs to his room. Instead, he thought it best to let Gu Yu lie down for a little while on the sofa to sober up. He dragged Gu Yu to the couch and unceremoniously dumped him onto the cushions. Gu Yu caught Zhang Siyi’s arm and pulled him over.

Caught off-guard, Zhang Siyi fell flat on top of him. Bodies pressed against each other, holding him down, Gu Yu wrapped his arms around him followed by a wave of kisses.

He Chengtian arrived just in time to witness Gu Yu’s actions. Mouth wide open in shock, He Chengtian jaw dropped.

“See no evil, speak no evil, hear no evil!” Gu Yao was nervous and leading him away with a guilty conscience, forced He Chengtian to turn his back from the sofa towards the kitchen.

He Chengtian’s mouth twitched. What the hell is going on? Was Gu Yu such a playboy that anyone would do?

Mulling it over, He Chengtian heard Gu Yu’s deep voice coming from behind….

“Call me Brother.”

Immediately, Zhang Siyi deliberately lowered his voice and said: “Don’t make trouble. Someone is…..”

Gu Yu insisted: “Call me Honey.”

Pausing, Zhang Siyi tried to coaxed him, practically begging: “My good brother, let me go and I will pour you a glass of water to sober up!”

Gu Yu chuckled: “Oh, good boy! Call me husband….”

Zhang Siyi: “……”

Gu Yao: “……”

He Chengtian fragile nerves finally broke!

Half an hour later, while in the kitchen chopping bok-choy, He Chengtian asked: “So, is your brother gay?”

Gu Yao: “Yes.”

He Chengtian: “He and Zhang Siyi are lovers?”

Gu Yao: “Yes.”

He Chengtian: “You always knew …?”

Gu Yao: “Yes.”

On the cutting board, He Chengtian suddenly made a resounding ‘bang’ as he chopped off a large section of bok-choy.

Gu Yao lowered her head and calmly said: “If it bothers you that I have such an elder brother, don’t go out with me.”

He Chengtian was shocked and immediately replied: “No, no, no… Why would I mind? Well, Zhang Siyi is also my friend and in fact, there isn’t anything to fuss about. I have seen this kind of thing a lot before, ha ha ha….”  He Chengtian laughed briefly. Actually, this was the first time he saw a live show.

While He Chengtian continued chopping bok choy, he heard the kitchen door open and a voice.

Finally, after all this time, Zhang Siyi managed to subdue Gu Yu and left him alone on the sofa. He opened the kitchen door and asked: “Do you need my help?”

He Chengtian was furious from his heart, and he slammed the knife down hard on the cutting board again. Turning his head, he raised his voice: “Zhang Siyi!”

……. Do you fucking treat me as a big brother! Such a thing, you were hiding it from me all this time! What about my job offer…? Were you fucking already!?!?

Getting angrier by the second, He Chengtian was thinking how best to interrogate him. Just as he shouted Zhang Siyi’s name, Gu Yao’s interruption stopped him in time: “If you can’t accept that my sister-in-law is a man, then I will turn a deaf ear to what you told me outside just now.”

Her words were quick and fast as she lowered her voice. Zhang Siyi, who stood at the door, didn’t hear her.

But, He Chengtian standing next to Gu Yao, could hear her clearly. Sister-in-law, Zhang Siyi? Pfft–!

Zhang Siyi’s attention was still on He Chengtian’s roar. He shrank his neck and sheepishly asked: “Uh, He Chengtian, what’s the matter?”

He Chengtian wiped his mouth and coughed: “No. Nothing….”

Smiling, Gu Yao turned her head towards Zhang Siyi and waved her hand: “No thanks Second Brother. Today, He Chengtian promised he would cook for me. You can go rest.”

Seeing He Chengtian’s reaction, Zhang Siyi scratched his head. Did Gu Yao talk to him?

When the meal was prepared, since Gu Yu was still passed out drunk on the sofa, the three of them sat down together, ready to eat supper.

With confidence, He Chengtian served the food that he made. Zhang Siyi glanced at it; bok choy and pork stir fry, radish soup, tomato scrambled egg. They were simple home-cooked dishes that couldn’t be any more basic, but even so, they smelled pretty good.

“He Chengtian, not only are you a businessman, but you can cook too! I remember you went to university abroad. Did you learn to cook then?” Zhang Siyi asked.

“Ha-ha, when did I ever have the time as a student to learn. I learned how to cook from my nanny.” He Chengtian bragged.

Zhang Siyi gave He Chengtian the thumbs up in admiration and glanced at Gu Yao with a playful smirk.

Just so Zhang Siyi knew, He Chengtian explained that today, he originally wanted to invite Gu Yao out to a restaurant, but she didn’t want to go. Instead, she wanted to taste his own handiwork. As a result, they went to the supermarket to buy groceries. Since Gu Yao didn’t think they would return until much later, bumping into each other at the entrance was least expected.

As for the two of them holding hands, Zhang Siyi was too embarrassed to ask.

When they had finished eating, He Chengtian consciously went to wash the dishes. Although the washing was quick and the kitchen was messy with spilled water, the overall performance was quite good.

Afterwards, the ‘little couple’ went out to walk the dog. Zhang Siyi was left to clean up the water in the kitchen and getting the mop from the closet, he started mopping the floor. After two drags across the floor, he heard Gu Yu calling his name.

Zhang Siyi ran out and saw Gu Yu awake on the couch, staring darkly at the neck-tie that bound his wrists.

“…………”

Zhang Siyi hurried over to untie it for him. Gu Yu flirted: “So you like this kind of play…..”

Hearing his unique drunken, husky voice, Zhang Siyi blushed and said: “Who told you to act like a delinquent when drunk.”

Gu Yu shook out his hands and rubbed his wrists: “How was I a delinquent?”

Zhang Siyi was so angry, he used the untied neck-tie in his hands to punish Gu Yu with a whip. But, Gu Yu caught his hands instead and pulled him down. Zhang Siyi immediately surrendered: “Don’t start. Get up and eat while the food is still warm.”

Now noticing the aroma in the air, Gu Yu was surprised and asked: “Did you cook?”

All this time, Gu Yu was the one who was in charge of cooking meals for the family.

Zhang Siyi: “It wasn’t me! It was He Chengtian!”

Gu Yu’s joyous smiling face instantly changed to a cold frown: “When? He cooked here?”

Zhang Siyi told Gu Yu the situation and emphasized the fact that He Chengtian saw his drunken state kiss him. Only interested in the food, Gu Yu didn’t seem to care about the latter.  Indeed, the table was set without leftovers present.

Zhang Siyi placed a glass of water on the table and handed Gu Yu a pair of chopsticks. First, he tasted the tomato scrambled eggs: “It’s really unpalatable. The tomato chunks are too big and it doesn’t even taste good.” He continued tasting the other dishes and offered his harsh critique: “What the heck are these cut veggies? Did he do this by hand?  The radish soup too, they aren’t cooked enough….”

Zhang Siyi: “…” He was really glad that He Chengtian wasn’t here to hear Gu Yu’s critique otherwise Zhang Siyi thought He Chengtian would start a fight.

In order to help his friend, Zhang Siyi placated Gu Yu: “He Chengtian only learned how to cook for the sake of it. Your standards are too high. How can the skills of this beginner be compared to yours?”

Gu Yu’s expression became neutral. Zhang Siyi inwardly sighed… so quick to complain and yet, he still ate a bowlful of rice with these ‘unpalatable’ dishes!

When He Chengtian came back with Gu Yao after walking the dog, he saw the poor state Gu Yu was in. Maybe, because of all the excitement, He Chengtian was quick to say goodnight and leave.

After a night of sleep, it was Sunday. Today, it was time to meet with a close friend from University; Gu Yu’s elder classmate.

Her home was in Liaodong and normally she flew home with a connecting flight through Beijing. This time however, she specially flew through Haicheng so she could meet them.

With yesterdays’ hectic experience of being stared at by a group of men, in comparison, today’s plan was tame. Only needing to meet one person, Zhang Siyi felt much more relaxed.

Gu Yu made reservations for dinner at a hotel. The two arrived a little early and was taken to their seat by the staff. Within two minutes of sitting, Zhang Siyi saw a lady in a dark blue coat carrying a white handbag, walking towards them.

Calmly, Gu Yu got up smiling and waved briefly at the women. In return, the women smiled broadly.

Zhang Siyi sat motionless for a minute before reacting; Wow, so beautiful!

When the model like empress approached, she first addressed Gu Yu then looked at Zhang Siyi seriously. She extended a hand and gently said: “Hello. I am Gu Yu’s elder classmate. You can call me Xie Jiayu.”

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