After a full twenty seconds or so, the bus stuck in traffic behind him honked its siren several times in quick succession, and Tang Yi slowly regained his senses. As he quietly stepped on the accelerator, his very official and polite voice sounded on the phone.
“Hello Mr. Gu, this is the person in charge of ER. Later on our project manager of the OA (office automation) system will get in touch with you to make an appointment to meet.” Tang Yi eyed the intersection and turned on the speakerphone.
Avoidance was not his way of doing things, although at first he did have the impulse to hang up. But this new office number was listed on the official website, and once the other party checked it out, they would know it was the person in charge of ER. In case of misunderstanding, it could be a big loss over a small thing and not good for the company, so Tang Yi simply followed the original plan.
The other side of the phone was silent.
Gu Yanting’s voice changed, but Tang Yi didn’t know if his voice had changed. He slowed down the car, turned onto the road with few people and pulled over, preparing for the next conversation as if facing an enemy.
For example… If Gu Yanting says something, should he say hello? Or say “long time no see”? If the other party uses his power for personal gain, should he be reminded that they are all walking the same road? What if the other party goes too far? Well, then throw the order back and don’t take it.
Yes, that’s it.
After being quiet for a while, there was a piercing sound in the microphone, and finally Gu Yanting’s voice came out again, “Sorry, the signal isn’t very good, what did you say?”
Tang Yi: “……”
Gu Yanting looked helplessly at the dead phone, the large black screen showing that the other party had hung up. But after he clicked to confirm, the phone still didn’t respond.
“Ugh, Mr. Gu, your house is infested with mice, we have to get paid extra for this! Take a look, take a look…” A big sister in cleaning overalls took out a white plastic bag with a look of disgust. In it was a piece of cardboard with small holes made by the teeth of a mouse that crossed the border.
“Then you’ll get paid,” Gu Yanting put the phone away, covered his mouth and coughed twice, “This is also a mouse with obsessive-compulsive disorder. It’s so hard to chew both sides symmetrically…”
“What?” The cleaning sister didn’t hear clearly, thought that he said the mouse was sick and nodded after a pause, “That’s it, mice are sick. Plague, ah! We have to disinfect it!”
Gu Yanting was taken aback for a moment and agreed with a smile, “En, Sister works hard. ”
He had just arrived in T City for two days and had so much work on his hands that he spent the first two days in the hotel without even going out. Only when he was free today did he find two cleaners from the housekeeping company to come over and clean the house.
The two cleaners were both very beautiful and came dressed up in fancy clothes, one in a black dress and the other in a pink jacket, in autumn. Fortunately, they both had their work clothes with them, and after they asked to use the bathroom, they walked out professionally looking. Otherwise, Gu Yanting wouldn’t dare to use them. But the two sisters cleaned up really carefully, from the bedroom to the living room, step by step. A little more than an hour later, what was finally left was the kitchen disaster area.
There were mice in the kitchen, rice was scattered all over the place, and black bugs had been found in the noodle bag. The ceiling and the corners of the range hood were covered in cobwebs and the dust on the fridge was a finger thick.
Gu Yanting glanced at it and was driven out by the elder sister. He had a bad cold, and a sneeze in the kitchen would probably cause a mushroom cloud of dust. The big sister made him stand in the half-cleaned living room and asked him while wiping the cobwebs, “How long has Mr. Gu not lived in this house?”
“Two years and it’s just been empty, huh? No wonder…” The elder sister shook her head with some regret, “You should rent it out. The rent for such a house in this location is quite a lot. Besides, it’s good for the house to have someone living in it.”
“I didn’t want to,” Gu Yanting smiled and coughed twice more, “I didn’t want to leave for that long either.”
“Right… then you come back and go again?” The elder sister looked at him, “If you want, I can introduce you to someone to rent it out, a teacher…”
“No need,” Gu Yanting smiled, “thank you, Sister.”
The elder sister tsk’ed and didn’t say anything else. An hour later the house was finally thoroughly cleaned. After Gu Yanting smiled and sent them out, he changed into another pair of clean slippers at the entrance, and then sat down on the sofa as if he was out of strength.
The phone call was from Tang Yi, he knew it.
Even if he couldn’t recognise the number, he remembered the voice. He even suspected that one day when Tang Yi turned into ashes, he could smell which handful of ashes were Tang Yi’s just by sniffing once.
Gu Yanting sighed and leaned back on the sofa with his forehead supported by his hand.
He had a little fever, probably burning a bit, but sitting on the sofa felt particularly stable. In the past two years, he had lived in many places, worked many jobs and met many people. He had tasted everything, but there was no sense of stability.
He vaguely understood why; but if it hadn’t been for this business and if the person in charge, Mr. Chen, hadn’t had a private matter and hadn’t asked him to help, Gu Yanting thought he likely wouldn’t have come back.
The only time in the past two years that he had the urge to come back was the year he left, when he was in a village in Tuqiao, Hunan province, on Christmas night. As the night was in full swing, he suddenly thought of Tang Yi. He only remembered that it was raining heavily that day and he drove for more than an hour with his eyes wide open just to come back and see Tang Yi.
Only after he got onto the Huaihua Expressway did he muster up the courage to call Tang Yi. When the phone was connected, his brain got stuck. After Tang Yi hung up, he regretted his anxiety and called again, and then… he heard another man’s voice.
Tang Yi’s voice was relaxed, the other man’s voice was pleasant, and he, the caller, was superfluous.
There was no way to describe the cold feeling in his heart at that time. Gu Yanting never believed Tang Yi’s words that he liked someone else; he felt that it was an excuse used by Tang Yi to break up with him and he would be an idiot to believe it. But when he heard the extremely clear conversation, he was dumbfounded.
After hanging up the phone, Gu Yanting sped up along the highway for a long time. He also smiled at the empty road in the rain. After grinning foolishly for a while he felt suffocated and finally he didn’t hold back and slammed the steering wheel hard, braking with a screech.
He was lucky not to have an accident. He drove all the way to Huaihua, then turned back from Huaihua to Tuqiao, boldly driving in the rain for a bit, then another bit and then another bit, and when he got to the second half of the road that was mountainous, he pushed the accelerator again as if he was crazy.
When he got back to his original place, the car was in a terrible state. He sat on the windowsill of the second floor with his legs hanging outside, getting wet in the dark rain all night, and at dawn he thought, “Tang Yi, I hate you.”
He deleted Tang Yi’s number that had been saved in his mobile phone again, and erased all the photos from his phone. When he arrived in Guangzhou and won an order for the first time, he was so excited that he ran to the top of the rooftop to scream, and the leaders and colleagues threw him a celebration banquet. After the banquet, everyone dispersed. When he smiled and waved goodbye to everyone, he unconsciously remembered the man he wanted to hate.
He desperately wanted to tell Tang Yi, “Look, it’s not like I can’t do it.”
That day he was a little excited and a little agitated. He took his phone and repeatedly entered and deleted the number before holding his breath and dialling it in the middle of the night with his heart racing. He just wanted to hear Tang Yi’s voice, even if it was for a moment.
God didn’t hear his prayer. God told him, “The number you have dialled is switched off”.
Another time, a colleague got married, and when the couple went to get their certificate, he happened to drive to work and drove them to the Civil Affairs Bureau. The ID photo of those two on the certificate were a bit silly, two big heads leaning towards the middle and a big red background behind them.
Gu Yanting was laughing and joking with them at the time, but when he returned to the place where he lived, he didn’t know why he suddenly felt a little congested.
That night he had a dream that the wedding photo of him and Tang Yi had been torn apart and scattered all over the place. He yelled and screamed in anger, thinking that a burglar broke into the house.
As a result, when he turned around, he saw Tang Yi coming to him with a knife, saying, “Yanting, either cut Lin Rui out of your heart, or cut you out of mine. Either one, you decide.”
He woke up sweating profusely in fright and subconsciously touched the other side of the bed.
It was empty.
Gu Yanting lost sleep completely that night, panicking. He shuffled out to the balcony in his slippers, freezing off his hands and feet before coming back inside. At that time, he was no longer the brash young man he had been when they broke up, knowing only how to pity himself for his lack of abilities and cowardice, blaming the break-up on Tang Yi’s dislike of his incompetence.
He began to think differently and put the name Lin Rui as a keyword.
Then he finally felt completely cold and told himself “you deserved it” in hindsight.
Gu Yanting took the phone and looked at it for a while, pulling up the call log again. He didn’t hear what Tang Yi said when he called, but it was probably something related to work. He hesitated for a moment and then called again.
Tang Yi was answering Shen Fan’s call when he heard another call and took a look. He was slightly startled when he saw that it was Gu Yanting’s number, and ignored it.
“I also inquired about the news of the Zhou family. The credibility can only be said to be a bit more than 50%, but overall there’s nothing illegal about it, it’s just that the segment is a bit on the high end.” Shen Fan said, “You have a figure in mind.”
Tang Yi smiled and replied, “Okay.”
“Good, then I can rest assured.” Shen Fan breathed a sigh of relief, “I’m leaving tomorrow afternoon, do you really not want a dog?”
“No, it’s good that I can feed myself.” Tang Yi sighed helplessly, “Have a safe trip.”
After Shen Fan hung up the phone, Gu Yanting’s side hadn’t been disconnected. Tang Yi took a look and picked up.
“Mr. Tang, it’s me. “Gu Yanting coughed lightly. He wanted to ask: was there something wrong that you called me just now, but what slipped out was, “Who were you talking to on the phone?”
Tang Yi was silent for a moment and spat out one word, “Dog.”