Assistant Architect - Chapter 71

[Updated at: 2021-01-11 20:50:06]
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Assistant Architect by Xi He Qing Ling


Chapter 71: Childhood


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Zhang Siyi wondered how he could have metGu Yu when he was a child. However, the city isn\'t so big, so Zhang Siyishouldn\'t be so surprised. Gu Yu\'s father is a construction engineer and sinceZhang Siyi father is in the government of the construction managementdepartment, their lives would inevitably intersect. He didn\'t expect Father Guto explain.


“Uncle Gu, do you know my father?“Zhang Siyi asked.


“I don\'t know him well, but I remember himclearly. Even though I have only met him a few times, I know your father ishonest, fair and a good official, so I was very impressed by him.” FatherGu replied with a simple evaluation then continued: "It was about twenty-twoyears ago when I was a young engineer. I had to go to the government buildingfor a report and my son was with me."


Gu Yu’s sister suddenly interrupted: “Hey, ifyou had to go report why did you take brother? Where was I?"


Father Gu explained: “At the time yourgrandmother fell ill so your mother took you to Grandma\'s house to care for her.Your brother had school so he couldn\'t go. On Saturday when I went to hand in thereport, he went with me on the train to the government buildings."


Gu Yu\'s sister nodded: "Oh, I see. That\'s why."


Father Gu: "I let him wait for me outside while Iwent inside. I don\'t know what happened while I was gone, but when I returned,I saw him playing on a bench in the corridor with a child."


Zhang Siyi pointed to his nose: “The \'child\'is me?"


Father Gu smiled and looked at him: “Yes. Myson was teaching you to count. You already counted to three hundred. He saidthree-hundred-one and you repeated three-hundred-one then he saidthree-hundred-two and you followed with three-hundred-two. The two of youdrinking milk, one with self-approbation and the other in a baby voice withclear enunciation…… Ha-Ha-Ha…. that scene was so cute."


Zhang Siyi felt embarrassed and asked: “Why werewe counting there?”


Gu Yu turned to look at him and said: “Sinceyou couldn\'t find your dad, you were crying and wouldn\'t stop. The staff memberin your dad\'s office didn\'t know what to do. He saw me outside and since wewere both children, he thought we could play together. The staffer entrustedyou to me, but also made you call me brother.


Zhang Siyi: “……”


Gu Yu went on to say: "You were pulling on mypant leg asking me if I knew where your dad was. I didn\'t know who your fatherwas, but I guessed he was probably inside in one of the conference rooms. Imade up a story telling you that my father and your dad were together lookingfor delicious food for us. You were drooling all over my pant leg, asking mewhen they will be back so I told you that if we count to five-hundred together,they will be back. You just stupidly followed me."


Zhang Siyi: “……” o(╯□╰)o


Through their description, Zhang Siyi can imaginethe scene clearly. It\'s no wonder Gu Yu called him \'stupid\'. Zhang Siyisuddenly felt irritated. Very stupid! It\'s unfair that Gu Yu has seen his embarrassingpast, but Zhang Siyi didn\'t know anything about Gu Yu\'s black history. Next tothem, Gu Yu sister was listening with rapt attention. She glanced at Zhang Siyiwith empathy and smiled. She said: "Elder brother, you also used that ploy withothers. Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!"


Zhang Siyi looked at her curiously and wanted toknow what she meant by that remark.


Gu Yu\'s sister was filled with indignation: "Hehas been lying to me since childhood! Every time I asked about when mom and dadwould be back, he said by the time you counted to five-hundred, they would comeback. From a young age, I don\'t know how many times I\'ve been cheated by him!"


Gu Yu gave two peeled grapefruit slices to ZhangSiyi and lost two to his sister and said: “When did I lie to you? Didn\'tthey come back before five-hundred every time?"


Exasperated, his sister explained:“Obviously, you weren\'t honest when you counted! You said five-hundred butyou would never reach 500. You would count 111 - 119, but then start countingbackwards, 118, 117, 116… Every ten digits or so you would go back and forth. Iwas fooled by you for several years. It wasn\'t until I was old enough inelementary school that I found something wrong!"


Gu Yu slowly peeled the grapefruit meat off therinds and put it into his mouth. He ate and said: “Who promised to followthe number linearly? I certainly did not."


Sister: "……"


Zhang Siyi: “……”Why does this scene look so familiar?"


Gu Yu didn\'t let hergo and continued his verbal onslaught: “Okay, your mathematics performanceis so good since childhood. Half of the credit belongs to me so instead of thankingme you blame me. Really, you have no conscience."


His Sister\'s facewas black and blue with anger. She pointed at her brother and retorted in ashrill voice: "Nonsense! My good math skills are clearly due to father\'sgenetics. If I relied on your method of counting, I would have failed math!"


Father Gu laughedand interrupted them in a timely manner: “Well, well, don’t argue, nowit’s all right.”


Father Gu continuedto explain about the past: "When we all came out of the building, you werestill counting insisting that you weren\'t finished yet. We laughed and teasedyou knowing that you were the son of Director Zhang. When it was time to leave youcried miserably and held onto him yelling \'Brother\'. You wouldn\'t listen to anyone.


Father Gu paused.Thinking of the scene from the past, he tried not to laugh.


Looking down at thefloor, Zhang Siyi\'s cheeks were hot. Is this really him? He does not believeit!


With empathy thatturned to sympathy, Gu Yu\'s younger sister looked at Zhang Siyi, alsosuppressing laughter. She didn\'t understand why Zhang Siyi didn\'t look at thebright side of things.


Father Gu saidagain: “You were crying so loud at the time. All the adults were troubledand at a loss what to do. Then Yu picked you up and said \'Don’t cry. It\'s ok.\' andlike magic, you stopped crying. All the adults were in a daze.”


Zhang Siyidesperately tried to brainwash himself, it must not be him, not him, not him…


Father Gu thendescribed: “Even though you stopped crying, your eyes were still full oftears. You looked at Yu yelled a heart-wrenching \'Brother!\'. The group ofadults were distressed feeling that the situation was both funny and difficult.Since you were so reluctant to give up, Director Zhang also joked and said tobring you home and raise you as a son."


Zhang Siyi: "……"Fuck! That’s what his father said!


Father Gu:“Unfortunately, we were in a rush and needed to leave otherwise we wouldhave let you play. Your Father knew we needed to leave, so when he went to takeyou away, you started hysterically crying again. Yu gave you a Kong-Ming locktelling you……"


Gu Yu suddenlyinterrupted coughing: "Dad… no need to say.” His was a little red,blinking rapidly and trembling: "It was so long ago. He would have forgotten."


Zhang Siyi reallywanted to know what was said: "Well, what did you say?"


Father Gu sat on thesofa, drank his tea and smiled: “You can ask him yourself, ha-ha-ha……"


With curiosity, ZhangSiyi looked at Gu Yu intently. As a result, Gu Yu put the grapefruit skin in astack and stood up and said: “I\'m going to help Mom cook.”


Father Gu waved hishand at the back of Gu Yu and quietly said: "This kid is still embarrassed."


Zhang Siyi: “……”Gu Yu cold demeanor, unrelenting tone and incomprehensible expression means heis embarrassed? How does his Dad see that? (=_=)


Engrossed in thestory, Zhang Siyi and Gu Yu’s sister are still present wanting to hear more.


Without Gu Yu,Father Gu went on whispering: “The Kong-Ming-Lock is a double crosstension lock made with eight blocks interlocking through a tenon structure. Ipersonally crafted it and gave it to him on his sixth birthday. He loved toplay with it for several years."


Zhang Siyi\'s heartstarted pounding in his chest. Hearing the story of the lock made him think of thetape measure that Gu Yu gave him.


Father Gu looked atZhang Siyi and smiled: “I didn\'t expect him to give away his favorite toy.Remember, even as a child he always acted serious and like a small adult hetold you: "If you want to see me again, become an architect because I\'m goingto be an architect."


Zhang Siyi: “……”He felt like he was struck by lightning.


Is this what Gu Yu said?But there is an inexplicable feeling that makes people feel warm in the heart!


Gu Yu\'s youngersister said in disbelief: "Brother was ten years old? Did he really say that toa four-year-old?"


Suppressing hislaughter, Father Gu smiled and said: "Yes he did. Afterwards, I asked him if hewas going to regret giving away the Kong-Ming-Lock to a child he may never seeagain. Can you guess what your brother said?"


Sister: “Whatdid he say?”


Father Gu changedhis voice to match his son\'s. He relaxed his facial muscles, flattened hisexpressions and said in a serious tone: "Dad, you said some things need to bepassed on.”


Zhang Siyi:“Poof–!"


Bursting out withlaughter, Gu Yu\'s Sister leaned forward and slapped her thigh. No longer caringabout her lady like image she said: "God, my brother is too funny!" Then shepointed at Zhang Siyi laughing. "Ha-ha-ha-ha! You are now doing architecture. Itreally was passed down!”


Zhang Siyi: “……”


“Dad!” GuYu called from the kitchen in an irritated tone. "Mom wants you to help scrapethe scales and clean the fish!"


Father Gu put hishand up and signaled a hold-on then put his cup down and went to the kitchen,leaving Zhang Si Yi and Gu Yu sister. Even though she is one year younger thanZhang Siyi, he doesn\'t feel any real distance between them, especially afterthis morning\'s small talk and Gu family stories. They looked at one another andthen she took the initiative to stand up and sit next to him on the sofa. Shesmiled at him and asked: "Do you still have the Kong-Ming-Lock?"


Zhang Siyispeechless: “I have long forgotten about it. Four years old is not likewhen I was fourteen in high school."


Gu Yu\'s sister:"That\'s right, ha-ha-ha…."


Zhang Siyi couldn\'thelp himself from laughing as well. He looked at her and realized he stilldidn\'t know her name: "What is your name?"


Gu Yu\'s sisterquickly reached out a hand and said: “My name is Gu Yao."


The two of themshook hands and both felt a kind of revolutionary comrade-in-arms since theyboth have been bullied by Gu Yu.


Zhang Siyi asked:“I heard from your brother that you’re still in college?”


Gu Yao: “Well, Igo to F-University. This year I\'ll be a senior."


Zhang Siyi wasshocked: “Wow. You must be so smart and talented!"


F-University is alsoone of the best universities in the country. It is the most famous universityin Haicheng, and the admission requirements aren\'t much lower than T-University.


By marrying such a beautiful wife and having a pair of talented children, Zhang Siyi can\'t help but feel that Gu Dad was the proper winner of life!


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