Assistant Architect - Chapter 36

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Assistant Architect by Xi He Qing Ling


Chapter 36: Christmas


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Not long after winning the bid, the company had a public tribute for thearchitectural design Group A and highlighted other members who contributed tothe overall Z-City project plan. However, the legendary prize money was slow tocome.


When Zhang Siyi moved back home, he left many belongings in England. Nowthat it is getting colder out, he is short of winter clothing. At every corner,there are advertisements for winter clothing at various shops for two to threethousand. Even a budget brand, Uniqlo, advertises cloths for seven to eighthundred. It\'s the first time Zhang Siyi feels the pressure of living. Hiscredit cards are maxed out and he still needs to by a set of winter clothes,winter accessories and shoes.


Thus far, his November salary was used to pay back the rent owed to FuXinhui. Since it\'s now the end of the month, he must save his wages for thenext quarter\'s rent. Being well-off wasn\'t something Zhang Siyi activelythought about in the past. It was simply his natural state of living. Realizingthe reality of his financial situation, Zhang Siyi starts to worry.


Zhang Siyi was anxious and quietly asked Bi Lele on theInternet: “When do we receive the bonus for the project we won?”


Bi Lele: “it doesn\'t come so fast because there is alot of paperwork involved. In general, its counted quarterly. You were on thejob at the end of August, right? and September you didn’t participate in anybig projects so there wasn’t bonus for you that quarter. You will have to waituntil the next quarter so that means December… well really, you have to waituntil New Year\'s Day is over."


Zhang Siyi: "……" Shit! It’s going to take too long! (#°Д°)


Thinking he was going toreceive the bonus payment sooner rather than later, he thought he could loosenhis belt a bit. He will have to tighten it even more now that he needs to buysome clothes. Thinking about the next month\'s credit card bill, Zhang Siyiheart was bleeding. The money is going down the drain and isn\'t coming back. Hecan only endure and look forward to his paycheck.


Christmas is coming andwith it, the foreign students return home. Some come home specifically to go onholiday to Shanghai but, where ever their destination maybe, most fly throughHaicheng airport. On WeChat, friends got in touch with one another and madeplans for dinner. Among them is the ill talked about girl, Yu Rui. Since shehas always expressed indifference, it\'s not clear whether Yu Rui knows peopletalk about her behind her back or not. She is always consistently strongwilled, doing whatever she wants.


In their close group of 5friends private chat, on this day, Ren Mengyu and Su Yuan argued.


Ren Mengyu: “What!? You’regoing to let Yu Rui live in your place?"


Su Yuan: "She contactedme and asked about staying in my place for a few days. I have the space and itdoesn\'t bother me right now, so I didn\'t have a reason to refuse."


Ren Mengyu: “SuYuan, you are too soft! You need to keep a distance from her or you will gethurt. Don\'t blame me if something happens!"


Su Yuan: “I know.When we all meet don\'t make a fuss. I\'m a classmate and I don\'t likearguing. Let\'s talk more about itprivately next time."


Since it\'s the Girls ‘business, the boys stay silent in the background. Anyway, it\'s not possible forYu Rui to harm them in the same way as the girls so they don\'t have much tocomment. On Christmas Eve, Fu Xinhui organized a party for the college classmatescurrently in Haicheng, including Yu Rui and Xue Wenhan who have returned homefor the holiday.


Luckily Zhang Siyi didn\'thave overtime, so he was able to meet up with his friends on Saturday fordinner. Jiang Hai also brought his girlfriend which attracted the groupsattention and teasing. Zhang Siyi joked around: "Jiang Hai broke up with me!" Everyonelaughed. Peach Blossom Fortune (love) has returned to Jian Hai.


Jian Hai: "Ha-ha-ha. Doyou even have time right now for love? Your work load is too much!"


Surprised, Yu Rui lookedto Zhang Siyi: “Really?"


Xue Wenhan also said:“I noticed the project you are working on is in the middle of nowhere."


Jiang Hai: “Yeah, hehad just participated in a big project not long ago. I heard that he got a lotof bonuses.”


Ren Mengyu: “Wow!Zhang Siyi, why didn\'t you tell us you were doing so well? Aren\'t we closeenough friends?"


Su Yuan also said:“The industry is becoming more depressed lately. The company I work for haslet go some full-time staff and recruited a couple new interns instead. Itmakes me worried."


When Yu Rui listened toSu Yuan, she also turned to Zhang Siyi to appraise him again. She said softly: "Britishwork is also not easy to find now. I heard that a job isn\'t secure even if youget a master\'s degree. As a result, many have returned to China."


The difference in jobsituations between Zhang Siyi and his friends felt very wide. He felt veryfortunate in Borderless and didn\'t have much to say to comfort his friends. Inthe past few days he also heard from Bi Lele about the current industry trends.While some companies are paying lower wages compared to Borderless, others are layingoff workers.


Everyone raised theirglasses and congratulated Zhang Siyi and asked him to treat them for the meal. ZhangSiyi’s heart is dark. Although he has a good job, he doesn\'t have money tospend freely. In the face of his friends, he begrudgingly paid for the meal.


Talking amongstthemselves, they were having such a good time that they discussed what elsethey were going to do for the rest of the night. When Zhang Siyi heard theywanted to go to KTV then play pool at a billiard club all night, he started topanic. What if his credit card was rejected at check-out? Fortunately, FuXinhui saved him the headache when they entered KTV. He swiped his credit card rightaway to pay for the big package.


Relieved, Zhang Siyi wasfinally able to enjoy the rest of the party. After singing a few songs, he satdown to rest a moment and have a drink. Yu Rui suddenly came over and asked: "Howdid you break up with your girlfriend?”


Zhang Siyi was stillimmersed in a happy atmosphere and didn\'t assume any deep meaning from Yu Rui\'squestion. Su Yuan and Ren Mengyu replied unpreparedly: "Her character is notright.”


Yu Rui was surprised:“There is someone who can\'t get along with you? You are the best boy Ihave ever seen. If they can\'t get along with you, then there must be somethingwrong with them!"


Zhang Siyi: “Ha-ha.Is that it?”


Yu Rui smiled and raisedher cup to him: “Yeah, I have never seen you argue with anyone. It must benice being with you; smiling and laughing all day long."


Even though he feels hotand dizzy after a few mouthfuls of wine, Zhang Siyi is feeling rather contentat the moment. Listening to Yu Rui words makes him feel even more blissful.


However, think carefully.Yu Rui is obviously trying to butter him up. Most adults don\'t put theiremotions to the forefront. Yu Rui casually asked: “I have never heard youtalk about your family. I guess your parents are intellectuals. Are theyuniversity teachers like Su Yuan?”


Zhang Siyi: “My Dadis a super stereotyped person in the system and my mother is not anintellectual. She is a gynecologist.”


Yu Rui is not moving:“In the system? …A government department?”


Yu Rui smiled and askedhim how he had been admitted to Borderless in the first place. She wanted tolook at his collection of work. Zhang Siyi mind is slowly working. Yu Rui seemsto be targeting him. He doesn\'t really know what type of person she is, butbecause he has heard a lot of gossip, he is on alert now.


At ten o\'clock he andeveryone else started gathering their things and get ready to leave for the nextactivity. When they left the room, a few girls went to the restroom and theboys waited in the hall for the elevator. Many people were coming and going,and he wondered if he will make the last subway home. Chatting with Xue Wenhanhe thought he saw a familiar person coming out of the elevator at the corner ofhis eye. He had to do a double-take and turn back to take a closer look. Is thatGu Yu? He is here at KTV to sing? Zhang Siyi has a hard time believing hiseyes.


Smiling with the crowd, GuYu was wearing a short, black woolen coat surrounded by a group of women andmen. The average age is significantly larger than Zhang Siyi and his friends.


Preparing to pay thebill, Gu Yu took out his wallet from his coat, but he was interrupted by a talland strong young man behind him: “Old Four! Let me pay!” The youngman stepped to the counter. Zhang Siyi faintly heard the person say: "…. rare tomeet ….”


Zhang Siyi was watchingthe excitement of the lively group of people when suddenly someone squeezed outthrough the crowd. A beautiful petite girl jumped over to Gu Yu\'s side and heldhis arm, laughing and leaning against one another. Gu Yu turned his head tolook at her and did not break away.


In that moment, ZhangSiyi mind switched off, like the static on the TV, there was nothing but “buzzing”.An unprecedented horrible feeling emerged from the bottom of his heart.


The group of peoplefinished checking out then moved to the direction of the elevator. They weretaking photos when Gu Yu saw Zhang Siyi. He was surprised to see him.


Less than two metersaway, Zhang Siyi can see the girl who is holding onto Gu Yu more clearly. Sheis extremely pretty and delicate. Wearing a rabbit fur hat, she has large eyesand isn\'t wearing makeup. She looks exquisite, like an angelic spirit walkingamong mortals.


Before either one of themcould say something, one of Gu Yu\'s friends interrupted their awkwardconfrontation and asked: "Who is this? Do you know him?"


Gu Yu introduced him tothe group: “This is my little friend in the company.”


Zhang Siyi:“…” Why are you always calling me a kid!?


Gu Yu smiled and looked ZhangSiyi\'s group of friends: “You also came out to have fun with friends?”


In answer, Zhang Siyionly nodded then the elevator arrived, and Gu Yu left with his friends. Thegirls belated arrival witnessed this brief interaction and asked together: "Whowas that? He was so handsome!"


Fu Xinhui pointed to Zhang Siyi and explained for him: “His boss.”


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