Shou had a cannon fodder boyfriend whom he met in university. From third year up to graduation, and after graduation to working in the same city, they maintained a good relationship.
But they did not live together because Shou’s office location was more distant. Furthermore, he often needed to work overtime until the early hours of the morning. Thus, he found a place near his office. During the weekends, he would go the cannon fodder’s place.
Today was Saturday. Shou had just reached the cannon fodder’s house. Shou did not even have the time to eat with him before he was called back to the office for overtime.
Shou squeezed into the packed subway compartment and apologized to the cannon fodder on the phone. The cannon fodder grew angry and scolded Shou for treating their relationship too coldly, that he only had work in his heart, and he had never made any sacrifice for love.
After saying those words, the cannon fodder hung up the call.
Shou felt quite wronged. He knew he wasn’t a person who was good at expressing his feelings, but he cared a lot about the other person’s feelings.
He felt that he should compromise. Thus, he decided that once the rental for his place ended after this quarter, he would move to the cannon fodder’s house.
Even though by doing so, the travelling time to and from for work would take him at least 3 hours each time. And after he worked overtime, the trains would no longer be running, and he would need to take a cab. That would knock off half of his overtime pay.
But all these, Shou would not tell the cannon fodder Gong. He thought that all these sacrifices were worth it.
Shou worked as a programmer at a company, that 9106 kind. Luckily, he wasn’t bald.
Among all the developers in the company, Shou’s appearance was considered the most presentable. Thus, one day when a sales team representative came to the developers team to look for a technical consultant, the manager for the developers team didn’t waste even for a second and recommended Shou.
The moment Shou arrived, the sales representative invited him right away to participate in a meeting at Party A’s company. Shou did not understand why his manager would choose him. The sales representative explained that this Party A was involved in fashion brands thus they had high requirements for face points.
As this was the first time Shou was tasked as a representative, of course he was flustered. He spent two weeks preparing materials for the presentation and the speeches.
This way, he totally had no time to go and look for the cannon fodder Gong. This time the cannon fodder behaved out of character as he did not call Shou to complain. Shou thought he had broken the cannon fodder’s heart, but he also did not have time to explain. Besides, in a few more days he would be moving in with the cannon fodder. He would have plenty of opportunities to accompany him then.
On the day of the meeting, Shou changed his usual checkered shirt for a suit that had not been worn in a long time. He carried his usual black bag and went to Party A’s company.
Party A’s company was located in the most bustling area of the city. The people that were coming and going were all fashionable and energetic young people. Shou looked down at his carefully prepared suit that had been paired with a pair of sport shoes and felt that he did not belong in this world.
Shou followed the sales representative into the conference room. There were already people seated in the conference room and among them was a man named ‘C’, who was in his early thirties.
Party A’s project manager introduced C as their deputy director.
The deputy director, one look and you could know that he was a difficult person. He was young, his white shirt and tie were neat. He wore half-rimmed metal frame glasses. There was no expression on his face.
Shou stood in front and started explaining about the technical architecture of the program. The deputy director’s gaze pierced at Shou from under his lenses and made Shou suddenly feel an invisible pressure. Even the words that he had practiced many times came out somewhat unstable and he couldn’t help but tremble a little.
However, luckily Shou’s technical knowledge was strong enough. Even under pressure, his presentation was not that bad.
After his explanation ended, Shou let out a sigh of relief. As he walked out of the conference room, he passed the Deputy Director. He saw the Deputy Director glancing at his sport shoes.
The man gave a smile that was not a smile as the corner of his lips curled up.
Shou’s heart thumped, he felt that he had been mocked.
After exiting the company’s entrance, the sales representative called the development manager to praise Shou’s business ability and was confident that this project was in the bag.
Shou was curious and asked the sales representative how he could be so sure?
The sales representative excitedly said that before they left, he saw the Deputy Director smiling. This meant that they had a chance!
Shou looked down and rubbed his nose and felt that this sales representative was not that reliable.
Since there were a few hours before work ended, Shou did what he rarely did and asked his manager for time off. He went to a nearby shopping mall and wanted to buy a presentable pair of leather shoes.
In the end, when he walked past a small brand shop, he walked in and bought a checkered shirt without thinking twice.
Even better, the brand had a promotion and gave a free cap. However, all the nice colours had ran out and there was only green left.
Shou was rather hesitant on whether he should take the cap. But the sales lady said he might as well take it since it was free. At most, he could go back and let his partner wear it.
T/N: Green cap … The saleslady is cursing him, or his partner, I wonder?
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 A “9106” work schedule – starting at 9am, ending at 10pm, for six days a week.