The Complete Guide to the Use and Care of a Personal Assistant
First Published on Chaleuria
After lunch, Ling Miao massaged Su Yuyang. The doctor had instructed him to do this in order to prevent muscle atrophy.
“Su Yuyang, you’re not pretending to be in a coma because you want me to keep taking care of you, right? Frankly, I’ll keep taking care of you even if you wake up, so you don’t need to worry.” Ling Miao gently kneaded Su Yuyang’s calf. “Also, Yan-jie’s concert is soon. I remember you said you’d go. Are you going to leave Yan-jie hanging? The online game for Demonic Song Defying Heaven is about to go into beta and I want you to play it with me. Your drafts are about to run out. Even though they’ll last till the 14th when going by your twice daily update schedule, I’m thinking of publishing a few more chapters a day.” Like a nagging wife, Ling Miao’s hands and mouth were constantly in motion.
“Do you still remember Ji Linxi? He’s my housemate. Yan-jie’s fallen for him and is pursuing him. If you wake up, you might be able to give her tips. Oh, yes. I’m also editing my novel according to your suggestions. This is both mental and physical exercise, and without you here I don’t have the motivation to do it.
“Su Yuyang, if you’re not awake, no one picks on me, and that’s boring. Even though I’m mad that you intentionally messed with me, without you, I feel like something is missing. Getting used to something is pretty terrifying. Su Yuyang, don’t let me get used to life like this. I want you at my side even if you annoy me every minute of every hour.
“Hey, Su Yuyang, are you playing a joke on me? Don’t you think it’s gone too far? Wake up! If you don’t, I’ll cut you!” Ling Miao gazed at Su Yuyang’s serene face with a fierce expression, his hands gradually coming to a stop.
“Bastard. Motherfucking bastard.” Ling Miao cursed with a laugh. He might have been cursing Su Yuyang or cursing himself.
Light rain had begun to fall outside the window again. Bean-sized droplets fell against the gutter, the pitter-patter further disrupting Ling Miao’s already tangled thoughts. Ling Miao covered Su Yuyang with a blanket, sat to one side, and continued to edit.
“Ah, Su Yuyang. I thought about this scene for a long time, and you guessed right. It’s a huge plot point. I’ll only reveal it at the end.” As Ling Miao edited, he kept talking to Su Yuyang, but the only reply was the unceasing sound of the rain.
Not having received a reply from Su Yuyang, Ling Miao smiled bitterly and shook his head. The sound of keys clacking filled the room. The pattering of the rain and clacking of the keyboard wove together in harmony, producing a sorrowful song.
“Fuck you, Su Yuyang. If I do say so myself, this is the best part in the entire book, but you criticized it like it’s worthless. Do you believe I’ll hit you?” Ling Miao stared at the computer monitor and his forcibly upturned lips now sagged. He seemed to really be angry. It was as if Su Yuyang were standing at his side.
A faint hum came. Ling Miao’s hands froze and he listened closely before laughing: “Ah, I’m hallucinating.” Ling Miao continued hammering away at the keyboard, but besides the sounds of his typing and the falling rain, there was now also the sound of someone groaning. Ling Miao slammed hard on the keyboard, turning to yell at Su Yuyang: “If you’re awake, open your eyes! Don’t hem and haw and make noise!”
Su Yuyang didn’t open his eyes but Ling Miao saw his lips move. Ling Miao couldn’t read lips and couldn’t tell what Su Yuyang was trying to say, but Su Yuyang had definitely regained consciousness!
“Bastard, you’re finally reacting!” Ling Miao kicked Su Yuyang and started laughing behind his hand, tears running from his eyes.
Perhaps Ling Miao’s kick had been effective, because Su Yuyang’s eyelids fluttered like a stage curtain about to rise. Ling Miao got out of bed and moved all his things out of Su Yuyang’s room.
As Ling Miao entered Su Yuyang’s room again, he saw a pair of glazed eyes. Su Yuyang stared at Ling Miao slowly walking in, his dry lips curving with effort into a smile. Ling Miao had long put away his true feelings, but his acting skills weren’t that good and if one looked hard enough, they would discover the excitement, agitation, and frustration in his eyes.
Ling Miao folded his hands in front of his chest and said ill-temperedly to Su Yuyang: “You’ve slept more than a day. Slept your fill?”
“I fainted again?” Su Yuyang looked at Ling Miao apologetically.
Ling Miao huffed coldly, displeasure evident on his face. He complained: “You’re aware you fainted? Since you know you’re sick, get treatment! Thankfully it happened in Feng Ji’s shop. If you were outside and fainted while walking, nobody would help you!”
As Ling Miao scolded Su Yuyang, Su Yuyang let out a snort of laughter. He said softly: “Ling Miao, the way you look now is exactly like my mother when she scolds me.”
“Fuck!” Ling Miao bared his teeth and cursed. Something occurred to him and he slapped his forehead, suddenly saying: “Your mom called yesterday. She said she sent you dumplings, but the express delivery hasn’t gotten here yet. Your phone’s here. Call her yourself.” Having said his piece, Ling Miao turned as if to leave.
Su Yuyang reached out to stop him, but the distance between them was too far and Su Yuyang fell onto the floor. Ling Miao heard the crash, turned around, and saw Su Yuyang’s body sliding to the floor.
“Su Yuyang, you’re not only a bastard but also an idiot.” Ling Miao cursed as he helped Su Yuyang back to the bed and made him lie down. Thankfully, he’d taken the IV out several minutes earlier, or… Tsk tsk tsk, blood would flow like a river.
“It’ll be a few days before Yan Li comes home. Are you going to leave already?” Su Yuyang watched Ling Miao with a hopeful, pleading gaze as Ling Miao covered him with a blanket. Ling Miao said angrily: “You’re really stupid. With you like this, do I have the peace of mind to leave? Relax. As long as you don’t send me away, I won’t leave.”
“Thank you.” Su Yuyang forced out a smile. Suddenly, Su Yuyang covered Ling Miao’s hand with his own, but then he moved his hand away after several seconds. Su Yuyang’s entire body was weak, and in addition, Su Yuyang thought that Ling Miao didn’t want him to touch him—of course, Ling Miao wouldn’t want Su Yuyang to put his hand on his even for a few seconds. Su Yuyang didn’t notice, but Ling Miao had noticed Su Yuyang’s caution. It seemed that Ling Miao’s repeated expressions of disgust for Su Yuyang had caused the latter to become wary of him.
Ling Miao turned his own hand over and grabbed Su Yuyang’s hand, which was slightly warm. He watched Su Yuyang with laughing eyes and said gently: “Su-ge, even after Yan-jie has left, I’ll still stay. As long as you don’t send me away.”
“How could I send you away?” Ripples appeared in Su Yuyang’s deathly still eyes, and the excitement on his face made Ling Miao’s smile grow even wider.
“Call Aunt. I have to tell Feng Ji and the others that you’re awake.” Ling Miao plugged headphones into Su Yuyang’s phone, stuffed the earbuds in Su Yuyang’s ear, then dialed Su Yuyang’s mom’s number.
Ling Miao exited Su Yuyang’s room, turned, and went into the bathroom.
“Feng Ji, Su-ge’s awake,” Ling Miao said, voice trembling. “He’s calling his mom right now. Feng-ge, can I ask you a favor? Don’t tell Su Yuyang that I like him.”
“Why not?” Feng Ji didn’t understand.
“Su Yuyang showed that he didn’t dislike me, but he might not like me, either. So I don’t want to be too disappointed.” Ling Miao leaned against the wall. The chill from the concrete permeated through his thin clothes and caressed every inch of his skin.
“I won’t say a word.”
“Don’t hint, either!” Ling Miao pinpointed Feng Ji’s train of thought and added.
Feng Ji admitted defeat. “Even through the phone you can tell what I’m thinking. Ling Miao, you’re good.”
“Heh,” Ling Miao laughed lightly. “Thank you, Feng-ge.”
Having informed Feng Ji, Ling Miao now called Yan Li. Even though she wasn’t too happy about it, she also agreed to respect Ling Miao’s choice.
Ling Miao told Ji Linxi last. Ji Linxi sighed: “You’ve changed a lot.”
“Because I love someone.”
“Ling Miao, before, you’d wear your heart on your sleeve. Now… time has taught you a lot of things,” Ji Linxi said thoughtfully.
Ling Miao could tell Ji Linxi had a hidden meaning, and guessed that Ji Linxi had encountered a problem of his own. He asked: “What happened?”
Ji Linxi let out a sound that might’ve been self-effacing laughter. He was about to say everything was fine, but since Ling Miao had asked, if he didn’t talk about it Ling Miao would worry even more. Ji Linxi caressed the flower petals at his side with a finger and looked out the window, thinking of Hu Lin’s expression when the flowers had arrived for Ji Linxi. He said with melancholy: “Today, I got a flower. When I signed for it, Hu Lin walked over and knocked the card that came with it to the floor. Fuck it, even when I’m out on vacation I run into Hu Lin.”
“Who sent the flowers?” Ling Miao realized the pointlessness of the question the moment he spoke the words. Yan Li had definitely sent them.
“I don’t know. The card just had the word ‘Yan’ written on it.” Ji Linxi’s voice grew colder. Ling Miao shuddered and thought: And you still say you don’t know? You’re fully aware who sent the flower. Then he got worried.
“What are you going to do?” Ling Miao’s tone didn’t change, but his expression was excited like he was waiting for a good show to start.
Ji Linxi toyed with the flower as he laughed: “What can I do? Of course I’ll send it back to her.”
“Send it back?” Ling Miao asked dubiously. “By the time she’s back, it would’ve wilted, right?”
Ji Linxi seemed to have planned things out completely. He said slyly: “Why would I wait for her to come back? Don’t forget she gave me a ticket to her concert. Front-row seat.”
To gift a flower then have it returned in front of several hundred thousand people—Ling Miao guessed Yan Li’s expression would be one for the history books. He suddenly considered going there to see Yan Li in person.
“Is it alright that you’re doing this?”
“What’s not alright about it?” Ling Miao, I really don’t have feelings for Yan Li, so I don’t want her to waste her time on me. More than that, I don’t want her to mess up my life.” Ji Linxi named his reasons and Ling Miao had no grounds to oppose.
Ling Miao could imagine Yan Li’s despondence when she got the flower. He begged: “Do what you want, but don’t make Yan-jie upset.”
“I’ll be happy to be her friend. As for being boyfriend and girlfriend… forget it.”
Ling Miao hadn’t finished his sentence when he heard a weak voice calling. Ling Miao said frantically: “He’s calling for me. We can talk about it tomorrow.”
“Su-ge, what happened?” Ling Miao hung up the phone and rushed over.