Assistant Architect by Xi He Qing Ling
Chapter 210: Sold
Fortunately, since today was Saturday, Zhang Siyi didn’t have to go to work. Feeling worn out from last night’s ‘abuse’ he remained paralyzed under the covers in bed recuperating.
The culprit, as if Gu Yu hadn’t had enough, continued to cling onto Zhang Siyi’s body. He whispered in Zhang Siyi ear: “You are so cute.”
Wriggling a bit, Zhang Siyi twisted his body to try to loosen Gu Yu hold on him. Inwardly groaning, Zhang Siyi thought….. I’ve heard it countless times last night. I’m tired of hearing it!
Sensing his struggle, Gu Yu tightened his arms suddenly and put his face into Zhang Siyi’s neck, kissing him and ultimately, sucked on it hard, leaving a hickey.
Feeling annoyed, Zhang Siyi was trying to force Gu Yu away. However, as his mind flashed to the issue of studying abroad, he relaxed slowly. Half of the bedroom was gently illuminated from the faint light through the window, giving the room a romantic feeling. Next year, he may never have a relaxing weekend where he could sleep in and snuggle with Gu Yu. Laying limply on the bed, he turned his head and withstood Gu Yu’s bullying.
One week later, the bid for the ancient city reconstruction project in X-City was commencing. The four group members that participated in the project went along with the Professor. Only one representative from C-Group traveled with Professor Cui. Since they were students and not designers, he didn’t see Liao Jun and Miss Ye.
This time, however, the outcome wasn’t as favoritable as the bidding in Z-City. Even though they were very well prepared and heavily invested, they lost the bid to another design firm that specialized in ancient architecture and renovation.
Afterwards, although everyone was feeling a little frustrated and depressed, they still comforted each other with encouraging sentiments, showing a ‘grace of gain, calmness of loss’.
Although it hadn’t even been two years, Zhang Siyi mentality had changed significantly. If such a thing had happened before, emotionally, he probably would have been hit hard. However, now that he was familiar with the learning process by participating in projects throughout his time at Borderless, even if he didn’t win the bid, the experience of designing and planning was worthy of recognition. As a result, the weight of the outcome was no longer important.
After returning to Haicheng, the company entered the year-end summary period in earnest. Gu Yu began to get busy with daily meetings with board members. The topics of discussion among employees was mostly about their year-end bonuses and annual-meeting activities. The nearing of the Spring Festival slowly ushered in the New Year.
This year, Zhang Siyi didn’t have the misfortune to receive an emergency project right before the New Year. Although his work recently was relatively easy, he received an excellence award at the annual meeting titled Employee of the Year.
He opened his bookkeeping app that was on his phone to look at the flow of his money. After deducting rent and living expenses, he actually saved nearly one-hundred thousand Yuan. Compared to the total amount needed to study abroad, this amount was like a drop in the bucket, but compared to last year’s stressful economic situation, it was a huge amount!
At the end of January, planning on returning home to Ningcheng with Gu Yu and his sister, Zhang Siyi took the time to buy New Year’s presents.
Since it was the first year that Gu Yao was employed, she hadn’t accumulated annual leave privileges in her company. In order to avoid the crowds of the Chinese New Year, she was able to leave on the 26th with the rest of the foreign staff members.
At Borderless, foreign designers have already ended their projects and have air travel ready to fly home. Most employees save their holiday time and utilize the extra two weeks towards their vacation during the Chinese New Year. Zhang Siyi was the same. With the amount of overtime Zhang Siyi accrued during the ancient renovation project, he was able to take off extra vacation days too.
Unfortunately, since Gu Yu was still in charge of individual projects, he wasn’t able to leave early. After talking it over, the three of them decided to wait for Gu Yu to finish with his work and return to Ningcheng on the afternoon of the new year.
After setting the date, Zhang Siyi wanted to call his mother to inform her of his plans, but it just so happened, his mother called him first.
She told him that his uncle, at his company’s annual party, had won a voucher for two to travel to Matai on the 29th. Since his uncle had to take care of an Elderly relative as well as having three members in their family, two tickets weren’t enough. He gave the travel package to the Zhang’s to enjoy.
“Your uncle is really confused. Even though you visited him during Chinese New Year last year, I think he continues to think you are living abroad.” Mother Zhang smiled: “Even so, I think your Dad wants to go.”
Zhang Siyi interrupted her: “Hold on..… What do you mean? You and Dad are going to Matai for Chinese New Year? What about me?”
Mother Zhang asked: “I called to ask for your opinion. If you want to spend the New Years with us, we won’t go on the trip and will give your uncle the vouchers back. I told your father that we rarely get to spend time with you. It wouldn’t be good for us to leave during the holiday, but your father insisted and said that you aren’t a kid anymore and have already spent time alone during Chinese New Year while you were abroad. Over fifty years old, your Father and I are getting on in age and want to take the opportunity to be romantic together. If you don’t mind, you could stay at your uncles house for New Year’s?”
Zhang Siyi finally understood. It turned out that his parents abandoned him on the back burner, and prepared a honeymoon for themselves! (= 皿 =)
What else could he say? He acknowledged it: “You can go.”
Mother Zhang smiled: “Will you be alright?”
Pretended to be mature, Zhang Siyi said: “Hey Mom, it’s OK. As Dad said, I’m all grown up now so I don’t need to pester you any longer. Go and have fun. Remember to take a lot of photographs. I’ll see you when you return on the 28th.”
Mother Zhang asked: “Are you coming back with Gu Yu?”
Zhang Siyi: “Yes, and his sister.”
As soon as Mother Zhang heard it, her tone rose suddenly and she asked him pointed questions. When she finished her gossip, she told them to drive carefully on the way back, and hung up the phone reluctantly.
Putting his mobile phone away, Zhang Siyi felt a little betrayed.
Gu Yu looked at Zhang Siyi’s awful expression of his face and asked: “What’s the matter?”
Zhang Siyi told Gu Yu what his mother had said. In front of Gu Yu, his true colors showed: “Am I even related? How can my parents abandon their son and go out on Chinese New Year without me? It’s been only half a year since I’ve seen them. Did they forget about me already?”
After a moment of pouting, Zhang Siyi was like a deflated ball. Contrary to his initial outburst, he said: “But my parents rarely ever go out to travel and this opportunity is indeed very rare.”
Gu Yu’s eyes lit up and chimed in: “Then come to my house to celebrate the New Year.”
Zhang Siyi froze: “Ah?”
Gu Yu grinned. He had wanted to ask Zhang Siyi to go home with him for New Years. Now, there was no excuse for refusal. After all, Gu Yu’s family was also from Ningcheng. Now that the cat was out of the bag, Gu Yu sighed in delight. As luck would have it, unbeknown to them, the Zhang’s family assistance was perfectly timed with what Gu Yu wanted.
Zhang Siyi flushed slightly: “Go to your home? That’s not too good…”
Gu Yu took his hand and joked: “What’s wrong? Last year, my Dad ordered me to bring home my lover, so I’ll show him.”
Startled, Zhang Siyi was scared: “Fuck, did he really say that.”
Smiling, Gu Yu comforted him: “Our real relationship will definitely not be made clear, but you need to show yourself in front of my parents so they can accept our relationship early. A little subliminal messaging would be good.”
Zhang Siyi: “….”
On February 6, 2008, New Year’s Day, the three of them returned to Ningcheng.
Gu Yu dropped Zhang Siyi off at his house. They went inside to drop off various gift bags for Zhang Siyi’s Mother and Father and put forward on the spot his intention to invite Zhang Siyi to his family’s home for New Year’s.
Seeing the Gu’s personally drop off her own son back home while also delivering gifts, Mother Zhang was very embarrassed: “Oh, you are too nice. Sisi is an outsider. How can he go to your house and trouble your family during the holiday?”
Gu Yu laugh interrupted her: “Auntie, don’t be polite with me. What outsider? Siyi has lived with us in Haicheng for the past half year. I regard him as my own. I have already talked to my parents and they said he was most welcome to come.”
Standing next to Gu Yu, Gu Yu gave his sister an encouraging look for her to also agree and smile at Zhang Siyi’s Mother.
“Ok, well I’ll have to trouble you.” Mother Zhang’s tone clearly did not sound remotely guilty of actually ‘troubling’ anyone. Rather, it was full of joy.
Teacup in hand, Zhang Siyi’s Father stood behind his Mother with an uncharacteristic expression of exuberance on his face: “I’m leaving him in your care.”
Standing to the side, mouth twitching, Zhang Siyi was so embarrassed that he couldn’t even tell his parents – You just sold me!