The Complete Guide to the Use and Care of a Personal Assistant
First Published on Chaleuria
After mailing the agreement, Ling Miao went to the supermarket to buy groceries, then rushed to W&S carrying bags of various sizes.
Su Yuyang sat at a window table, eyes fixed on something outside the window, and Feng Ji sat opposite him. Seeing Su Yuyang’s anxious expression, Feng Ji could not help teasing: “Look at you! Before, when you used to wait for me, you weren’t like this.”
Su Yuyang froze. He didn’t quite understand what Feng Ji meant.
Feng Ji sipped his coffee, the bitter taste lingering in his mouth.
“When we were dating, every time you waited for me at dinner, you didn’t notice me until I was right in front of you—because you were just thinking about your novels. When you talked to me, you seemed completely uninterested. I tried to bring up topics we could talk about but couldn’t find anything at all.” Feng Ji took another sip of coffee and said conclusively: “No wonder everyone who dates you ends up breaking up with you. You don’t see us and your heart doesn’t have a place for us. What’s the difference between dating you and dating a scarecrow?”
“At least at bedtime it’s different,” Su Yuyang said pointedly.
Feng Ji froze. He looked at Su Yuyang’s faint smile and instantly understood the implications of Su Yuyang’s words.
Feng Ji shook his head and sighed, “Yuyang, I suddenly realize your life was really boring before. All day you either studied or read novels. After graduating college, you only have novels left, right? You don’t find life dull? Haven’t you thought about finding something to spice it up?
“Other than novels, there’s really nothing that I can sit still long enough to finish doing. Something to spice it up? What? Video games? If I had that sort of time, I might as well write a bit more and earn some more money,” Su Yuyang grimaced.
Feng Ji pointed at the table. His faint smile was sly, causing Su Yuyang to narrow his eyes. Su Yuyang watched Feng Ji expectantly. Feng Ji made a show of saying thoughtfully: “This place is pretty big. You wouldn’t get in the way.” Between the lines, the meaning was: “Su Yuyang, come and work at W&S. You can spice up your boring life and also earn money.”
Su Yuyang rolled his eyes at Feng Ji. “Can’t you think of a better idea?” Feng Ji shrugged, indicating that he could do nothing more about the matter.
Su Yuyang narrowed his eyes and leaned against the back of his chair. His chin was lifted, his eyes fixed on the lamp hanging from the ceiling.
Feng Ji leaned sideways on the back of his own chair, watching Su Yuyang’s expression intently. Su Yuyang’s clouded eyes were covered in a sheen of light and Feng Ji couldn’t tell what he was thinking.
Maybe he’s considering my suggestion.
Thinking this, Feng Ji subconsciously turned his head.
A hurried figure walked over from afar. Feng Ji closed his eyes then opened them again, and after confirming that he was seeing correctly, his lips lifted.
“Yuyang, maybe you should change your way of life.” Feng Ji picked the conversation topic back up. Su Yuyang continued to stare at the lamp and indistinct words slipped from his mouth: “Change my way of life? The way my life is now, that’s my choice. If I were to change it…”
“Let me finish talking.” Feng Ji suddenly sat up straight. His severe expression gave Su Yuyang no choice but to pay attention to what he was saying.
Feng Ji paused, then said slowly, “I’m saying that maybe you should find someone to live with.”
“Actually, I’ve wanted to settle down for a while.” Su Yuyang leaned against the back of his chair, his voice taking on a dreamy tone. “But whether in real life or online, I haven’t found the person I want to settle down with.”
Feng Ji’s eyes widened slightly. The formerly faraway figure was now right in front of them, and the person had seen him too. The gazes of the two met for several brief seconds, then Feng Ji looked away. Outside the shop, the person seemed surprised. He seemed to slip into a daze as he stood on the other side of the glass, carrying his bags.
Su Yuyang had not noticed Feng Ji’s gaze shift and kept murmuring confidently: “Feng Ji, living alone isn’t so bad.”
“Yuyang, maybe you should take the initiative,” Feng Ji counselled. “In your previous relationship, it was always us doing the chasing. Whether you agreed to go out with us because you really liked us, or because you were moved, or because you pitied us—I think even you don’t know. But if you took the initiative to pursue someone, it’d certainly be because you liked them—if there weren’t other influencing factors, of course.”
Su Yuyang leveled his gaze with Feng Ji’s. Feng Ji’s eyes were crinkled in a smile, but Su Yuyang felt that Feng Ji was waiting for a good show to begin.
Su Yuyang had just opened his mouth when an annoyed voice reached his ears.
“Damn, it’s hot. Feng Ji, get me a glass of ice water.”
“Room temperature is fine,” Su Yuyang added, and Feng Ji flashed his hand in an ‘OK’ sign.
The new arrival walked in front of Su Yuyang and slammed the things in his hands on the table, saying furiously: “Hey, what the hell do you think you’re doing changing my water to room temperature?”
Su Yuyang ignored him but Feng Ji answered: “I say, Ling Miao, your listening comprehension needs improvement. Su Yuyang meant that he wants a glass of room temperature water.”
The annoyed, flustered person carrying bags was, of course, Ling Miao, who had walked for more than ten minutes in the hot sun.
“Your water.” Feng Ji placed a glass of water beside Ling Miao, who raised the glass and gulped it’s contents down in one go. Su Yuyang sipped his own water. Compared to Ling Miao, Su Yuyang was positively dainty.
“You seem to be chatting up a storm, what’re you talking about?” Ling Miao slumped into a chair at the table and asked nosily.
Su Yuyang glanced at Ling Miao, who turned his head to ignore Su Yuyang. Feng Ji saw them having a fight with their eyes and was thoroughly happy. He intended to continue watching but Ling Miao had turned his gaze on Feng Ji.
This guy. Whether out of curiosity, or for some other reason, he really wants to know what we’re talking about.
Feng Ji’s mind took a thousand turns, then an audacious conjecture appeared in his mind.
“We’re talking about your future lady boss,” Feng Ji said lightly.
“Mm?” Ling Miao made a surprised noise, the curiosity in his eyes intensifying. Feng Ji had continued to watch Ling Miao, and Ling Miao’s reaction was too calm: it was like a drop of water had fallen into a lake. Although ripples appeared on its surface, there weren’t any waves.
“Was I overthinking it?” Feng Ji couldn’t tell if he felt regret or sadness. He looked at Su Yuyang then at Ling Miao. Su Yuyang’s reaction wasn’t too different from Ling Miao’s own; if anything, Su Yuyang seemed to be a little bit angry.
Cough, cough. Feng Ji cleared his throat in embarrassment, then whispered to Su Yuyang: “You guys talk. I’ll go do work. If there’s anything, just call me over.”
Feng Ji was the boss here and he really didn’t have much work to do, but he couldn’t really sit between Su Yuyang and Ling Miao like a third wheel, could he? So he took over the cashier’s work, and the cashier in turn could only pick up a tray and start serving.
“You were hemming and hawing over the phone and not saying anything plainly. Now I’m here, can you spit out what business you have with me?” The moment Ling Miao sat down, he tossed out the question he’d been enduring in his heart.
“I forgot,” Su Yuyang lightly tossed out. His expression was utterly calm.
“I…” Ling Miao slapped the table hard, making the two cups on the table jump. One of them almost fell onto the floor.
Ling Miao was making a bit of a scene and drew the attention of the cafe’s customers. Most of them were happy to be spectators to the drama, but Ling Miao didn’t want to keep entertaining them. He grabbed the glass in Su Yuyang’s hand and took a drink of water to quell his rage, then said in a rigidly calm tone: “Su Yuyang, you’re goddamn messing with me again, aren’t you?”
“I really forgot,” Su Yuyang emphasized, then raised an example: “Surely you have these moments, too? You want to say something, but someone interrupts and you forget, and no matter how hard you think you can’t remember it.”
Ling Miao had indeed been in such a situation before, but these words in Su Yuyang’s voice just seemed like an excuse. Maybe Su Yuyang came here, first, to mess with him, second, to catch up with Feng Ji, and, third, to see how W&S was doing.
Ling Miao said nothing because he didn’t know how to rebut Su Yuyang.
Seeing Ling Miao go silent, Su Yuyang also felt his heart go soft.
Su Yuyang hadn’t asked Ling Miao over for any business. He came here to tell Feng Ji his worries but the outcome was the same as before—Feng Ji hadn’t solved his problem and had, in fact, confused him even more.
Feng Ji, Feng Ji. Right now, Su Yuyang couldn’t even ask Feng Ji to clear the air.
Ling Miao had slapped the table loudly. When Feng Ji first heard it, his heart gave a great jump, then he leaned over the countertop to observe the situation on the other side.
Feng Ji was pretty far from them and Ling Miao and Su Yuyang were both intentionally talking in low voices so Feng Ji didn’t hear a word of their conversation, but based on Ling Miao’s expression, it definitely wasn’t a happy one.
Su Yuyang said something else Feng Ji didn’t hear and Ling Miao actually took the water and splashed it on Su Yuyang’s face. Feng Ji exclaimed, “Fuck,” and ran over. He handed Su Yuyang a stack of napkins then pulled Ling Miao to one side and asked quietly, “What are you two doing?”
“This bastard, actually… actually…” Ling Miao grit his teeth so hard he was trembling, rage written all over his face alongside a hint of disdain. Feng Ji didn’t understand the situation and looking at Ling Miao’s posture, he wouldn’t be able to get anything useful out of Ling Miao, so he could only pin his hopes on Su Yuyang.
“Just a joke.” Su Yuyang didn’t intend to explain anything, but his words were an explanation unto themselves.
“A joke?” Ling Miao sneered wholeheartedly at Su Yuyang. “Su Yuyang, I always thought you were a bastard. Today I changed my opinion of you, but now… hah hah. A bastard will be a bastard. Just like a dog will never stop eating shit.”
“Ling Miao, that’s going too far,” Feng Ji couldn’t keep himself from lecturing.
Ling Miao glanced back and forth between Su Yuyang and Feng Ji, then turned all his feelings into a sneer: “I’m going too far? You… that’s right. For better or worse, you’re Su Yuyang’s boyfriend. Of course you’ll help him.”
“Ex-boyfriend.” Su Yuyang corrected.
“Is there a difference? It looks the same to me.” Ling Miao resembled a hedgehog right now. If anyone were to touch him, he’d put up all the spines on his body and poke a thousand holes in the hand that tried to squeeze him.
“Su Yuyang, I think it was a mistake to come back.” Ling Miao’s lips trembled as he spoke. “Su Yuyang, your injury’s better, so I can go now, can’t I?”
Ling Miao mechanically turned around, showing Su Yuyang the sight of his fragile silhouette.
Ling Miao lifted his left leg and stepped forward. His right leg had just left the ground when someone caught his arm with a strength like he wanted to snap Ling Miao’s bones.
“Go? Where are you going? Your books are still with me.” Su Yuyang said the cold words in a pleading tone. Ling Miao froze, his confused gaze landing on Su Yuyang. He didn’t know what to do next.