Translated by Rara of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
B City had grown at an immense speed in the recent years. The once small residential buildings which could be seen far away from the city center had now completely disappeared, replaced with high-rise buildings.
Zhou Du was sitting in his office reading the company documents when his cell phone buzzed twice.
He took a peek at it, but remained unfazed and continued with his work. The cellphone was quiet for a moment, and then, just like a girlfriend making a fuss because she was ignored, it began to make a lot of noises.
Zhou Du, annoyed by the persistent calls, finally picked up his cellphone.
“What?” he asked in a displeased tone.
Hearing Zhou Du’s voice, the man on the other end quickly shouted, “Well then, Chief Zhou, you finally found a window in your busy schedule and bestowed me with a chance to talk to you!”
Zhou Du held his mobile phone in one hand, but his eyes were still staring at a document on the desktop.
“Just say what you want to say.”
That person was Wang Hao. He had just came back from US. He stayed in his hometown, H city, for two days and then rushed to B City in a hurry.
As strange as it sounded, after he got sent abroad, that former lazy student seemed to have opened his eyes, and he returned home with a postgraduate degree. It was as if Wang Hao finally discovered the fun in learning; he didn’t just stop at postgraduate, he wanted to study for a PhD as well.
Wang Hao’s parents thought that their have prayers finally been answered—their son finally became someone worthy in their eyes.
“I’m in B City now, so, wanna grab a drink?” Wang Hao’s bright voice came to Zhou Du’s ear.
Zhou Du asked in surprise, “When did you return?”
“Not long ago, I stayed in H city for a few days. So, care to give your big bro a welcoming party?”
Zhou Du held his cellphone between his ear and shoulder as he put the cap on his pen. He picked up the suit jacket and responded to Wang Hao, “What nonsense are you saying, of course I’m going. Where do you want to meet tonight?”
Wang Hao hurriedly said an address. Zhou Du hung up the phone, put on his suit jacket and prepared to leave work early.
Before he left the office, the secretary outside knocked on the door of his office and pushed in.
The secretary’s name was Zhou Tong; she had the same surname as Zhou Du. She was a beautiful, elder sister-like lady with beautiful legs and flat chest. When she saw that Zhou Du was about to leave, she was a little taken aback, and she hurriedly said, “Chief Zhou, there are some matters I want to report.”
Zhou Du frowned. He sat back to his chair and gave Zhou Tong a signal to continue.
Zhou Tong quickly put down a stack of documents onto Zhou Du’s desk and said, “There are some documents which need to be translated, but translator Li who has been working with our company is temporarily busy, so he recommended us his junior colleague. Chief Zhou, can you take a look?”
Zhou Du looked at Zhou Tong. He stood up again and told her, “Since he was recommended by translator Li, we should try to contact that man. Let’s give him a small part as a test first, and if he is qualified, we can continue our cooperation.”
“Yes, Sir.” Since she had gotten her boss’s approval, she left the room, carrying the stack of documents with her head lowered.
He had only delayed slightly, yet the road was already packed. As the city sky turned darker and darker, the neons and street lights became brighter. It wasn’t until the sky was completely dark that Zhou Du managed to reach the bar Wang Hao told him of.
His cellphone rang again before he stepped in the bar. Zhou Du hung his phone up without taking a look, and then walked into the bar.
This was simply a bar which served alcohol, there was no dazzling, blinding lights system nor crazy people making a ruckus.
After Zhou Du went in, his eyes swept across the bar and saw Wang Hao sitting on the sofa in the corner.
Wang Hao was holding a cell phone in his hand, planning to call Zhou Du again because he got hung up upon.
Zhou Du was about to say hello to Wang Hao when he suddenly noticed a tall man beside Wang Hao. He was holding two colorful glasses of wine in his hands.
Zhang Yang put one of the glasses in front of Wang Hao and looked at him, “Why are you in such a hurry? Maybe he got stuck in a traffic jam.”
Hearing Zhang Yang say that, Wang Hao put his phone away but still muttered, “Even a snail is faster than him.”
“Then go ahead and find a snail,” Zhou Du suddenly opened his mouth. Wang Hao raised his head in surprise, quickly standing up. He jumped on Zhou Du’s back, slapping Zhou Du’s shoulder and said, “Finally, you’re here.”
Zhang Yang stretched out his long arm and grabbed Wang Hao by the waist back to his seat beside him.
Zhou Du glanced at them and pretended he saw nothing. He sat down opposite to them.
Wang Hao felt a little awkward, but he didn’t dare to leave Zhang Yang’s side and sat back in his original seat, so he opened his mouth and turned to Zhou Du, “Tell me, why didn’t you choose to stay a rich spoiled brat? Don’t even mention playing around, I heard from your mother that you wouldn’t even pay them a visit more than two times a year. Why are you working so hard? It’s not like you are competing with your sister for family properties.”
Zhang Yang interrupted his sweetheart’s sentence, “Stop talking nonsense.”
Zhou Du raised his eyebrows, “Yeah, you’re right. My empress dowager dotes on the little princess way too much, so I have to plan out my future ahead.”
“All right, all right.” Wang Hao took a mouthful of the wine in front of him but then found out he was holding Zhang Yang’s glass of wine. With ears reddened, Wang Hao then pretended as if nothing had happened and planned to put back the glass in front of Zhang Yang again.
Unexpectedly, Zhang Yang took the glass directly from his hand and took a sip exactly where Wang Hao just had put his lips on.
Not only Wang Hao’s ears, but now even his face began to feel hot.
Zhou Du acted as if he didn’t notice a thing. He leaned back, raised his hand and rubbed the root of his nose. “Have you guys eaten yet?” he asked the two men in front of him, putting his hand back down.
Wang Hao was about to say no, but Zhang Yang opened his mouth first, “We have. I see you look pretty tired right now. Do you want to go home and get some rest?”
Ever since Zhou Du started his own business a few years ago, he began to sleep less and less. When he got busy, let alone sleeping, he wished he could just eat all the three meals in one go. His company had finally taken roots and didn’t require him to work so hard anymore in the recent years, but never would he have expected a man such as himself who barely reached his thirties would have insomnia.
“OK,” Zhou Du nodded to towards them. “It’s not like you will leave the city right after tonight. Let’s go for a drink this weekend then.”
“OK.” Seeing the fatigue on Zhou Du’s face, Wang Hao said, “I’m going to stay in B City for a while, and since I don’t have a job at the moment, there’s plenty of time. Hit me up when you have free time.”
Zhou Du gave a silent agreement, then stood up, ready to leave.
Wang Hao looked at Zhou Du’s figure, and he hesitated for a moment before asking, “Hey, are you still single?”
Zhou Du was stunned. He turned his head and smiled at Wang Hao, “Hmm? Are you planning to introduce me to someone?”
That startled Wang Hao; he didn’t dare to look directly at Zhou Du, as he replied, “I was just asking. I can introduce you to someone, though… Let’s see, I know a very handsome schoolmate who is a half, his skin is pearl-white and his eyes are blue like sapphires. So, do you have any…”
“OK,” Zhou Du said indifferently. “Then you should give your schoolmate a call and we all can go out for some fun.”
“Really?” Wang Hao looked at Zhou Du happily. Zhou Du nodded and put his jacket over his hand. Although he was looking at Wang Hao, his words were also meant for Zhang Yang, “Hey man, don’t say that you went study abroad only to look at handsome foreigners.”
Wang Hao quickly replied, startled again, “Nonsense! Of course I did not!”
Zhou Du gave him an evil laugh and then left the bar.
Zhang Yang casually put his hand around Wang Hao’s shoulders, he leaned on the sofa and raised his eyebrows toward Wang Hao, “Hmm? A handsome man of mixed race?”
Wang Hao kept silent.
After Zhou Du returned home, he ordered takeout and went to take a shower. The house he bought had a good view of the river, and at the moment, the darkness of the sky had been replaced by the glow of the neon lights, much like a dancing lady of charming figure.
Zhou Du stood in front of the floor-length window, wiping his hair and looking out at the river scenery.
After having a simple meal, Zhou Du returned to his room. He leaned against the bed head and picked up the unfinished book beside his bed; before he could give it a read, his cell phone buzzed. Zhou Du picked it up and saw an email from secretary Zhou.
He set the book aside and opened his laptop.
In her message, secretary Zhou said that the junior whom translator Li had recommended had finished translating the short paragraph she sent to him this afternoon. She wanted Zhou Du to take a look at it.
Zhou Du opened the attachment inside her email.
After looking at it, he found that this junior certainly did have some skills—his translation seemed more professional than Li’s.
That person even gave notes to some of the special terms so that whoever looked at it could understand right away.
From these details, he could see that this person was a competent and careful one.
After Zhou Du read it, he replied with an email to his secretary.
[He is qualified. Send me his contact information, I need to discuss face to face with him about some of the important documents.]
Shortly after receiving the email, secretary Zhou sent the person’s number to Zhou Du’s cell phone.
When Zhou Du was about to pick up his phone when the notification sound rang, a scratching sound suddenly came from the door.
Instead of picking up his phone, he got up and opened the door.
A golden retriever was standing outside. It suddenly pounced on Zhou Du and kept licking his owner. Zhou Du pushed him away and walked toward the doghouse.
“I forgot to feed you,” Zhou Du apologized as he rubbed his dog’s head; he then put some dog food in the dog bowl.
Bored, he stared at his golden retriever until the dog finished its dinner. After being fed, the golden retriever seemed very energetic; it bit on Zhou Du’s pants, wanting to go out.
Zhou Du squatted down and hugged his dog, “It’s too late today. I will take you out for a walk tomorrow morning.”
The golden retriever seemed to understand human speech, as it obediently returned to its doghouse after listening to Zhou Du.
When Zhou Du returned to his room again, he had completely forgotten about the text message on his cell phone. When he saw that his hair was dry, he lifted up the blanket and lay down.
An hour later, he got out of bed again, opened the drawer of the nightstand and took out a pill.
After taking the medicine, he closed his eyes again.
After so many years, why do you still appear in my dreams?