Assistant Architect by Xi He Qing Ling
Chapter 208: Give It To Me
Watching her smile, Zhang Siyi thought her beauty was ageless. For some, beauty was an inherent trait. Whether it was Gu Yu’s mother who was over fifty years old, or this elder classmate, their beauty was like the comfort of a warm spring breeze.
After sitting down, the three of them ordered food first before catching up with each other’s lives. Xie Jiayi inquired about Zhang Siyi’s background and how he met Gu Yu.
While it was all gossip, her questions were neither embarrassing nor offensive, making the conversation flow naturally. As if they were long-time friends, Zhang Siyi felt very comfortable with the questions and had no issues with answering them.
She heard of Zhang Siyi plans to return to the UK to study for his Master’s degree. Xie Jiayi also shared her experience in the United States while she was earning her Master’s degree. Her funny anecdotes made Zhang Siyi laugh a few times.
After Xie Jiayi finished, she glanced at Gu Yu again and asked: “If he really left China for graduate school, what are you going to do?”
Zhang Siyi was stunned. Xie Jiayi raised an issue with which he had the least courage to discuss face-to-face with Gu Yu. Although he knew very well that he would have to face the pain of separation when he left, he was only focused on the now and immersed himself with good feelings by devoting himself to Gu Yu. He didn’t even want to think about the future because of the possibility of making Gu Yu upset. If Gu Yu showed any bit of pain and sorrow, it would make Zhang Siyi waver about his decision to leave.
Composing himself, Gu Yu took his time to drink his water then said: “I’ll wait for him to come back. What else is there for me to do?”
However, no matter how good Gu Yu’s acting was, Zhang Siyi has been with him for then half a year and as result, Gu Yu couldn’t hide the brief flash of sadness on his normally composed face.
Zhang Siyi lowered his eyes and didn’t speak. Negative emotions such as reluctance and hesitation began to ferment from the bottom of his heart.
Breaking the heavy atmosphere, Xie Jiayi asked: “Have you ever thought about going with him?”
Zhang Siyi’s heart suddenly lifted and looked straight at Gu Yu. To go with him? Since Gu Yu was already a full-fledged architect with a license, he never thought of the possibility. But, it doesn’t seem impossible either…..
In fact, one of the schools that Zhang Siyi applied for wasn’t a standard university. It was a private institution organized by the Architects Union. Although it was a specialized educational facility, the program wasn’t any less prestigious than any of the other famous universities in the world.
In addition to the five-year RIBA course, the institution also had some one-year advanced courses available for specialized study. The academic courses covered a variety of topics which attracted architectural enthusiasts, professionals, scholars, and even licensed contractors around the world to deepen their level of training and understanding.
If Gu Yu wanted to expand his knowledge at this stage with his qualifications, it would be a cinch to apply, gain acceptance and go.
Would he really leave with Zhang Siyi? After all, Gu Yu was a Director of Borderless with high expectations of his superiors and was deeply respected and well liked by his subordinates. How can he just leave with the heavy weight of responsibility on his shoulders?
Even knowing that it was practically impossible, Zhang Siyi still watched Gu Yu closely for any indication of his thoughts. Gu Yu did not answer. His brief smile was self-evident.
Xie Jiayi also smiled and said: “You were always so rational …”
She raised her glass, touched Gu Yu’s glass then took a sip. She raised her eyes again: “Well, short separations can also be good. Some people say that distance is the best test of feelings.”
As she steered the conversation to another topic, she inquired about the overall situation of architecture at home and discussed issues from abroad. When telling her interesting stories and expressing her thoughts, her eloquence, depth of knowledge and insight in the field weren’t any less then Gu Yu’s knowledge. Zhang Siyi was impressed by her charisma.
In front of Xie Jiayi, Gu Yu also relaxed. From the cold male God into a very close neighbor, his usual quips and poison tongue were none existent.
After finishing their meal, Xie Jiayi got up to hug them one by one. When she held Zhang Siyi, Zhang Siyi was too nervous to talk. He only noticed the faint feminine perfume and heard her gentle and sincere voice in his ears: “I’m really happy for you both. I wish you a lifetime of love and happiness.”
As she released him and stepped away she said a gentle ‘ah’ then rummaged through her handbag. From inside, she brought out an envelope and handed it to Zhang Siyi: “I almost forgot. This gift is for you.”
Zhang Siyi nervously said: “A gift? But I haven’t prepared anything in return!”
Xie Jiayi chuckled out loud. She reached up to squeeze his cheek: “It’s not something valuable but I believe you will cherish it.”
Zhang Siyi could only accept it and say thank you.
While outside walking to the car, Xie Jiayi asked Zhang Siyi if she could spend a private moment with Gu Yu.
Zhang Siyi slowed down and immediately replied: “Well, sure. Okay.” He turned around to give them some space.
Gu Yu looked at Zhang Siyi’s back walking away and wondered: “What did you want to say alone with me?”
Smiling kindly, Xie Jiayi looked at him in the eye and said: “I wanted to say it inside, but I was afraid it would be embarrassing. It is just my personal opinion, but as your dear friend and elder classmate, I wanted to tell you.”
Gu Yu looked at her seriously: “Ok. What is it?”
“Gu Yu, rationality is your advantage, but for feelings, being too rational isn’t good sometimes. Work is something you will always be able to search and find, but love isn’t something you can control and look for. Only love can me met and not found. Sometimes, it is missed entirely and you won’t be able to find your soulmate for the rest of your life.” Xie Jiayi eyes flickered slightly, as if recalling her own experience.
She recovered her smile and continued: “At the table, I mentioned how distance was the best test of feelings. Why is it the best? Using reverse phycology, it is best because it is the most powerful killer of emotions. We are all simply human. When separated by thousands of miles, it is difficult to guarantee what will happen with our hearts when we are lonely and left vulnerable. The power of distance and time is much stronger than you think. You may not be able to overcome it, so don’t be so quick to test your feelings. Most ordinary people don’t make it through the test. Don’t test your luck, and do everything in your power to stay together as much as possible so you won’t have any regrets.”
After listening to her speech, Gu Yu frowned slightly in deep thought. He seemed to be greatly touched. After a while, he regained his senses and nodded: “I know.”
Gu Yu hugged her again: “Well, I will cherish….”
Taking advantage of the time of Xie Jiayi and Gu Yu were away from him, Zhang Siyi secretly opened the envelope to see what was inside. ……..!!! Shit! Pictures of Gu Yu when he was young! Ooh, no, no no…. Gu Yu isn’t actually old; these are photos from his university days.
Zhang Siyi held a total of three pictures, each with a short note, probably written by Xie Jiayi, printed beautifully on the backside.
Holding the photo, Zhang Siyi stared at the image. Gu Yu was wearing a white short-sleeved shirt carrying a navy-blue shoulder bag. A “boyish heart” almost popped out of his chest!
He turned it around to look at the note: “Gu Yu’s undergraduate admission commemorative photo- 2004.9.12.” Taken in 2004… Eleven years ago…. So, Gu Yu was only 18 years old?
Aaaah! Gu Yu looked so young and pure at that time! ~ \ (≧ ▽ ≦) / ~
Zhang Siyi looked at the next one: “Department of Literature and Art Festival. Gu Yu’s speech on stage. 2005.10” Gu Yu was actually wearing a traditional robe and headpiece! Ha-ha-ha!
The last one – “xxx National College Architecture Cup First Place – 2006.07”
Wow, the twenty-year old Gu Yu was so handsome! He held a trophy and stood out from the group of people. Holding the photograph, he touched the image and smiled. ….. What was I doing during that time? 18-6 = 12. Hmm, Sixth grade…. then two years of middle school…. (= _ = |||)
Looking at the photo one last time, Zhang Siyi carefully put it back into the envelope and held the packet to his chest momentarily, cherishing it. Turning around, he saw Xie Jiayi beckoning him back as she was finishing up with her conversation with Gu Yu.
Running back smiling with the envelope in hand, Zhang Siyi said with excitement: “Thank you! I love it!”
Xie Jiayi winked: “Your welcome.”
After sending her off, Gu Yu and Zhang Siyi walked to their car. When they sat down with their seatbelts on and ready to go, they both asked at the same time:
Gu Yu: “What did she give you?”
Zhang Siyi: “What did she tell you?”
Turning their heads and looking at each other, they smiled expectantly. Zhang Siyi felt a little embarrassed. Although he tried to stay calm to suppress his curiosity, he couldn’t stop himself from asking.
But, shaking his head, Gu Yu replied: “Nothing.”
Immediately, Zhang Siyi felt upset. He neither showed Gu Yu the photos nor mentioned them. Gu Yu didn’t ask about them either. Zhang Siyi started to feel anxious by the lack of Gu Yu’s interest. He didn’t want to nag Gu Yu about it, so he changed the topic and asked about Xie Jiayi.
During the car ride home, Gu Yu talked about Xie Jiayi’s history; how she went to Yale for a Master’s and right after earning her degree, she worked under a famous architect in the industry in the United States. She was also the representative of the Chinese Architect’s Association.
After listening to her exceptional resume, Zhang Siyi admired her more. Closing the car door with a bang, Zhang Siyi suddenly said: “She is remarkable. Both beautiful and talented. With her exceedingly gorgeous looks and high intellect, if a straight man like myself, could turn gay with you, why didn’t you straighten out and date her?”
Gu Yu laughed at him: “Turning gay with me probably means you weren’t very straight to begin with.”
“Fuck Off!” Zhang Siyi was furious. Remembering the questions he didn’t answer, Zhang Siyi pulled his arm forcefully and demanded: “What did she tell you before she left?”
Arriving at the door, before taking the key out of his pocket, Gu Yu stopped and looked at Zhang Siyi in the eye and asked: “Are you jealous again?”
Gu Yu gathered him in his arms and kissed his forehead: “She told me to love you.” Releasing him, Gu Yu inserted the key and unlocked the door.
Zhang Siyi: “…”
Zhang Siyi stood in a daze for a minute, blushing. He soon regained his senses and asked, skeptical: “Really? You aren’t just trying to sweet talk me, are you?”
From out of his coat pocket, Gu Yu grabbed his mobile phone and handed it to Zhang Siyi: “Since you don’t believe me, call her yourself and ask.”
How can Zhang Siyi simply ask her when previously, she specifically asked him to give her some private time with Gu Yu! Still doubtful, Zhang Siyi said: “If it was that simple, why did she tell me to go away?” As he put on his indoor shoes, he muttered: “Clearly, you were talking to her for a long time….”
“I’m paraphrasing.” Gu Yu waited until Zhang Siyi changed his shoes. Once finished, he grabbed his arm and pulled Zhang Siyi into his embrace and teased him: “Otherwise, you might run away with another man…..”
Zhang Siyi choked: “How is that possible!”
In order to prod at Zhang Siyi further, Gu Yu pretended to disbelieve him and raised his chin in defiance: “Who knows. We can’t get married so I have no guarantee that you won’t run away with someone else.”
Turning red, Zhang Siyi was starting to feel guilty for his accusations and afraid of hurting Gu Yu, he anxiously proclaimed: “I said it wasn’t possible, so it’s not possible!”
Gu Yu looked back at him and asked: “And what proof do I have?”
Zhang Siyi quickly said: “I can swear it! I’ll write a letter of guarantee!”
Gu Yu looked meaningfully into his eyes and solemnly said: “Two years ago, would you have ever thought you would be with me now?”
Caught off guard, Zhang Siyi didn’t know what to say.
Without giving him an opportunity to answer, Gu Yu added: “Forget even two years ago. What about last Christmas, did you think you would end up in a relationship with me?”
Quiet, Zhang Siyi didn’t want to answer. He has thought about this very question before and the answer was very clear; No.
Gu Yu: “Hmmm? Did the cat catch your tongue? How can you guarantee what will happen in the next two years? No one can predict the future. Xie Jiayi wanted to express this.”
Feeling emotionally taxed, Zhang Siyi felt like he could cry and was quiet for a long time.
Gu Yu bopped him on the nose then hugged him tightly in his arms: “Look at you…… You want to know, but you can’t take it. Don’t you know, curiosity kills the cat.”
Zhang Siyi held onto him tightly feeling helpless and said: “What Can I do?”
“That’s why she only told me.” Gu Yu patted his back gently, soothing him: “Well, it’s not something you have to think about. Do what you want and I’ll take care of the rest.”
Although Zhang Siyi trusted Gu Yu, letting him solve everything made him depressed. He wasn’t a kid anymore: “We should discuss and solve problems together.”
Gu Yu was quick to ask: “What did she give you. Show me.”
“In my left pocket. You can see it for yourself.” Zhang Siyi was frightened by Gu Yu’s tone of voice. Like a koala bear, he hugged Gu Yu tightly and was reluctant to let him go.
Gu Yu deliberately turned around and began his search by fondling his waist: “Where was it? Here?”
“…… Where are you touching?” Squirming under his assault, Zhang Siyi was forced to release his hand and laughed out loud. Zhang Siyi took out the envelope from his pocket.
He would have liked to ask Gu Yu about the history of each photograph, but once Gu Yu realized what they were, his face changed dramatically. He immediately kept the photos to himself and hid them in his pocket….. Xie Jiayi had Gu Yu’s black history and even dared to give them to Zhang Siyi. Embarrassing!
Zhang Siyi questioned: “Um… What are you doing?”
Leaving to go upstairs, Gu Yu said: “What’s so special about these photos. They aren’t as good as the one you took.”
Realizing his photos were confiscated, Zhang Siyi jumped up suddenly with anger: “Hey! Where are you going? They aren’t bad? I think you look super handsome!”
After a few steps, catching Gu Yu quickly, Zhang Siyi grabbed him from behind, clinging to him shouting: “Stop! Give me back the photos! That was my gift from Xie Jiayi!”
While dragging him upstairs, Gu Yu protected his pockets and teased Zhang Siyi: “Where are you touching me? The envelope isn’t there.”
Zhang Siyi: “I saw you put it there!”
Gu Yu: “Don’t push so hard. The photo will get crushed and be ruined.”
Zhang Siyi: “Fuck! Stop being mean! Give it back….”
Gu Yu: “Ah? What did you say?”
Zhang Siyi: “I said, give it to me !!!”
Gu Yu laughed: “Well, go lie on your back on the bed. I’ll give it to you.”
Zhang Siyi: “… Pervert!!!”