Chapter 1: Overtime?
Tang Xicheng met Liang Yuzhi in the spring of 2017, but it wasn’t until the last few months of that year that they really interacted.
It was the first semester of their senior year.
For many people, this stage is inevitably filled with anxiety and apprehension. After drifting through the first three years, they couldn’t continue to drift to the same shore. The river diverged here, whether to go to a wider and broader sea or to be stranded in the mud, it all depended on themselves.
Everyone around Tang Xicheng chose to continue their studies without exception but she started a four-month internship and moved out of the dormitory.
The internship contract was signed from August 15 to December 15, in duplicate.
The company stamped and returned a copy.
On the last page of the signature, the column for the legal representative was written in a somewhat sloppy pen, “Liang Yuzhi”.
She got this internship through personal connections, in order to acc*mulate enough credits to graduate smoothly.
She had been in the company for more than a month and had only met Liang Yuzhi a few times, all in group settings.
Of course, Tang Xicheng didn’t originally plan to have any interaction with him, he just bumped into her.
At first, it was an accident. A department colleague took a leave of absence, and some of the work was transferred to her. Tang Xicheng went to university in the morning and didn’t start working until the afternoon. By the time she finished work, it was already late at night.
At 8 o’clock, she was still at her desk.
When she finally finished and was about to turn off her computer, the company’s internal communication tool pushed a new message –
【Xixi, the other party says our pictures are too homogeneous.】
【Can you find another picture of L, not too formal, more casual.】
It was Tao Ran from the Brand Department. She was talking about an e-magazine interview that had just ended this week.
There was a folder on the desktop. She clicked into it and moved the mouse back and forth.
They were all different cuts of formal wear, with the most obvious difference being the color of the shirt or tie.
The style of the official photos was as uniform as copy and paste.
She went to flip through the company’s photo library of past events and found one from last year.
It was in the company’s stadium.
In the photo, Liang Yuzhi was a little thinner than he is now, with sharp eyebrows and cold features. He was wearing black sportswear and sneakers, leaning half his head on a rest chair. His forehead was a little wet with sweat, and his eyes were a little unfocused. Whoever the photographer was, they had just captured this shot.
As soon as Xicheng sent it over, Tao Ran replied: 【 it’s good, just this one.】
Xicheng looked at the time, it was 9:30 PM. This floor was completely empty, and the only ones still working overtime were the colleagues from the R&D department upstairs. She packed up her things and left the office area, went downstairs to wait for the car by the road.
Not far away, a black Bentley was parked. The lighting wasn’t very good, but she recognized the license plate.
The rear door of the car opened, and someone got out of the car. In the darkness, there was a solitary figure. The weather had turned cold, but he was still wearing a shirt.
Immediately after, a drunk woman stepped out, lost her balance, and fell into his arms.
“Do you really think you can find someone less troublesome and more compatible than me, do you think you’re dreaming, Liang Yuzhi?” The woman was cold and glamorous, her long hair swaying.
It looked like a breakup scene.
From Tang Xicheng’s direction, she could only see Liang Yuzhi’s back.
He didn’t give the other party a word or a phrase, neatly stuffed her back into the back seat, and the car door closed with a “bang”.
The whole process took less than two minutes.
When that car drove away, Liang Yuzhi turned around, raised his hand to untie his tie, and then saw that bystander, the slender and thin figure under the tree.
He wasn’t so oblivious as to not recognize her.
The leaves rustled overhead, and Tang Xicheng stood in place.
She didn’t plan to go over and say hello, maybe he would feel offended by this kind of voyeurism, get angry, or maybe he was in a terrible mood and didn’t want to deal with boring social interactions.
However, Liang Yuzhi walked over.
He looked very natural, his handsome face under the light, as if the scene of him arguing with someone on the street just now had never happened.
“Are you working overtime?”
His indifferent voice and the smell of alcohol on him came over with the wind. Tang Xicheng nodded politely, the height difference made her gaze first fall on his tie, which had just been loosened, fluttering in the wind, as if it would fall off at any moment.
Liang Yuzhi looked at his watch, it was quite late. He wondered if the workload of the Brand Department was so saturated?
He didn’t really know what Tang Xicheng was doing here specifically. At first, he was just fulfilling Liang Boqing’s request. She needed to find an internship, and he was just doing a favor for his little uncle. After that, he threw her to Tao Ran and didn’t ask any more questions.
Speaking of which, he had promised to help take care of her before, but he had hardly done anything about it. There was only that one time in early March when he went to the airport to pick her up. After that, he left everything to Qiao Yi.
It was just today that he ran into her.
So he asked her again, “Do you often work overtime?”
Xicheng typed in the note: “Just today, because I came in the afternoon, I didn’t finish.”
The phone was handed in front of him, and Liang Yuzhi saw the line of text.
At this time, a strange call came in on the screen, and a taxi parked across the street.
Xicheng hung up the phone, pointed to the car, and Liang Yuzhi nodded. His eyebrows and eyes were very relaxed, the state after the alcohol had kicked in.
Just as Xicheng was about to turn around, something blew over and fell to the ground against her shoulder.
She bent down to pick it up, the smooth silk fabric, it was a tie, she handed it over, Liang Yuzhi reached out to take it, he was very sleepy, his low voice thanked her, and then turned and left.
Xicheng crossed the road and got into the taxi, smoothed her hair that had been blown by the wind, and faintly smelled a faint fragrance on her hand.
She realized that it was the smell of perfume on Liang Yuzhi’s tie.
The taxi arrived at Z University.
The house Tang Xicheng rented was 800 meters away from the university. It took less than ten minutes to walk back after picking up the express at the university post station.
The house she lived in was a two-bedroom apartment, and her roommate was Yan Yue, who used to be in the same dormitory. After the dormitory conflict broke out that day, Yan Yue decided to move out in a huff.
But these two days, it was just Xicheng alone.
Yan Yue’s life has been quite ups and downs recently. She just finished the exemption work, confessed to the boy she liked, fell in love, and before she had a few days to relax, her parents suddenly wanted to divorce, and she rushed home early the day before yesterday.
Xicheng put down her things, rested for a few minutes, and unpacked the express.
The bathroom ceiling light had been broken for three days. She contacted the landlord, who was a troublemaker, and generously sent a red envelope, saying you can buy a light and change it yourself.
Now that the light has been purchased, Xicheng took a flashlight with her phone and stood on the washstand, dismantling the ceiling with her bare hands. Only then did she see a small line at the checkpoint saying “LED light sources cannot be replaced”.
Technical blind spot.
It’s not as she thought to just twist the light tube.
So she put the ceiling back on, and took a hasty shower in the half-dark shower room.
A quarter of an hour later, with wet hair, she came out. There was a missed call on her phone, from Zou Jia.
Zou Jia used to be her psychologist. Tang Xicheng had a car accident when she was nine years old, suffered a brain injury, and was later diagnosed with motor aphasia. She underwent several years of rehabilitation therapy. Reading and writing were not hindered, but she no longer spoke.
The doctor believed it was psychological, and Zou Jia met her because of this.
They have kept in touch for many years.
Xicheng clicked into WeChat and saw her message: 【why don’t you reply to my email?】
Xicheng went to the mailbox to find it, and sure enough, it was in the junk mail, she took a screenshot and sent it to her.
Zou Jia sent back a black face.
Xicheng said:【 I’ll go see it now.】
It’s not particularly urgent content, just as usual to share books and music with her. The link clicked in, the foreign song automatically played, the prelude was inexplicably familiar, and halfway through, she remembered that she had heard this song in Liang Yuzhi’s car.
That was the first time they met at the airport, he drove her to university, and didn’t talk all the way, like throwing a burden, he sent her to the dormitory door and left.
She tried to find the song name later, but couldn’t find it.
Xicheng lit up the screen and took a look, “Pr*ma Oara”.
The next day at work, Xicheng went very early, passed by the coffee room, the window blinds were half open.
Qiao Yi saw her through the glass, raised his eyebrows and smiled brilliantly. His hair color changed a thousand times, this time he dyed gray-green in the middle, combed his hair to the back of his head and loosely tied a small braid, the style of a delicate Japanese anime man.
Qiao Yi gestured “good morning” in non-standard sign language.
He is a regular here, basically once a month, he came last month, Xicheng didn’t find it strange, she responded to him, pointed to the office area, she had to go first.
When she got to her desk, the few colleagues who arrived early were talking about Qiao Yi.
They called him “Young Master Qiao”, saying that Young Master Qiao’s face is really beautiful, such a greasy hairstyle can actually hold up, if he goes to the entertainment circle, does a talent show boy group or something, it’s quite easy to mix a C position.