I did promise to post this chapter earlier and I did post it a few hours earlier than normal. Heehee, I am taking a leaf out of Lu Jun’s novel 😛 This is a long chapter but an entertaining one. Lu Jun is back to his cunning self but Xia Ye is no weakling. The mum is the scene stealer. I’ve chosen a nice cover picture to welcome our new guest translator – Dree. Clap, clap for her hard work! Please leave more encouraging comments for her so that she’ll not run away but continue to translate more chapters for you 🙂
Chapter 15: Work Overtime (translated by Dree and edited by peanuts)
By now, everyone, with the exception of Lu Jun, has already made a mass exodus out of the restaurant. He is still sitting there like a rock on the leather sofa, looking like he has no intention of getting up.
Evidently, he does not understand what closing time means.
I am puzzled and ask: “General manager, you’re not planning to spend the night here, right?”
He actually looks at me very seriously and says: “Come over and give me a hand.”
Since he is asking, I hurriedly walk over to him.
To add to the restaurant’s ambience, my classmates had the restaurant dim the lights, making the venue seems moody and hazy. Not until I approach the general manager do I see that his face is not only pale but his forehead is also covered with a thin sheen of sweat. He looks like he is really struggling and having a difficult time.
I cannot help but be shocked and ask in a frightened tone: “General manager, how are you?”
He shakes his head and says softly to comfort me: “I am okay. If you can just help me out, I’ll be fine.”
I think about how he drank a glass of wine for me tonight. The wine must really be hurting his stomach right now. Without further thought, I directly place Lu Jun’s arm to rest on my shoulder in order to give him more strength to stand up.
To a bystander’s eye, it truly looks like an intimate gesture. We are in the same intimate position as when we first entered the restaurant. I can’t help but think that it must be destined!
As the two of us walk arm in arm out of the restaurant, I see him frowning, his forehead sweating and he stoically enduring the pain. Seeing him like this, I kindly try to divert his attention away from his discomfort by making conversation and say, “Oh, right. General manager, so you know how to perform magic?”
He responds quite modestly, “Ah, I only know a superficial amount.”
Shamelessly, I say to him in a worshipful and hopeful tone, “Then can you please teach me?”
He ignores my lively facial expressions and rejects me with a terse, “Nope. Can’t teach outsiders.”
I pout and continue to pester him in my most coaxing manner, unwilling to let it go and say, “So from what you’ve just said, you consider me an outsider?!”
With a slight tilt of the head, he gives me a flitting once over and says: “Don’t tell me you are my wife?”
In order to prevent him from keeling over in pain, out of the goodness of my heart, I try valiantly to search for topics of discussion to distract him. However he repays the kindness that was shown him with ingratitude by wanting to anger me to death!
At that moment, a familiar and cheerful ringing of the mobile phone suddenly bursts out and interrupts the preceding silence. I pick up the mobile phone with one hand while keeping my other arm around Lu Jun to support him. Before I even have the opportunity to take a gulp of air, the sound of mom’s voice on the other end of the telephone blasts out: “Xia Ye! You are a dead girl! Where on earth did you go?? It’s now the dead of night, why have you still not returned home?”
The one thing that mom abhors the most is for a girl to go drinking and coming back drunk. The second thing is being lied to. In order to not become mom’s most hated being, I select the next best option and use the same excuse that I’ve always used whenever I previously went out drinking. With my eyes wide open, I baldly lie and say, “I’m currently at Ai Li’s house!”
Hearing this, the volume on the other side of the telephone lowers a notch: “Oh, okay. Since you’re at Allie’s house, I won’t need to worry. Just stay over and don’t come home tonight.”
I suddenly scream: “Why?”
Mom helplessly says to me: “Your aunt Liu, seventh aunt, and eighth brother’s wife are over at our house to play mahjong with me. I’m estimating that we’ll be playing all night long so I want to let them spend the night. We only have your room and the living room sofa. Even if you come home, you’d have no place to sleep.
On the other end, an excited voice interrupts my words: “Hey Liu, don’t move! That tile is mine! Pong!”
“Mom ah, listen to me ……”
“Haha, I’m winning! Hey daughter, mom is busy winning right now. Whatever you have to say, say it tomorrow!”
“Toot toot toot ……” went the sound of the phone line.
Crying quietly, I think about how Ai Li has already gone to her boyfriend’s house in a drunken stupor. How then am I to sleep at Ai Li’s place?
This phone is a piece of junk and the sound seriously leaks. Since anyone can clearly hear what’s on the other end of the line, I save myself from bothering to explain and directly say in my most pitiful manner: “General manager, it seems I can only rely on you tonight. You would not be so cruel as to let a person sleep on the street, right? Therefore, you must help me this time.”
In a very pleasant tone, he says: “Of course, this goes without saying. I have always been very generous.”
I look at him with my face full of gratitude and say, “I am really thankful to you.”
At this time, the two of us come to the curb where a small car is parked. Lu Jun opens the car’s door. While leaning on me, he says: “Let’s go. Get in the car.”
Puzzled, I ask him: “Where are we going?”
With mirth in his eyes, he says: “Other than my home, where else could we go?”
With shoulders sagging, I weakly say to him: “General manager, the assistance I asked of you is not to go to your house, but rather to borrow some money from you. I want to go to a motel to get a room for the night…..”
The smile on his face suddenly disappears without a trace and his expression becomes unreadable….
I do not know how Lu Jun in his weakened state has such strength but he directly picks me up from my collar and tosses me into the car. I sit in the driver’s seat while Lu Jun leans against the body of the car to slide into the passenger seat from the other door.
I look at him hesitantly and ask: “General manager?”
He tosses me the car key and commands me, “Start the car.”
I innocently ask: “Why do you want me to drive?”
He grits his teeth and says: “If you want to get into a car accident, then switch with me.”
I look at the glistening beads of sweat on his increasingly pale face and forehead. For the sake of my own safety, I can only silently agree and obediently start his car. Thank goodness there are much fewer cars on the road late at night than during the day. I drive cautiously in the direction of the Big Boss’s apartment. Under the direction of his navigation, we safely reach the apartment where he lives.
After we get out of the car, I hesitate outside of his apartment even though I had been there before. I stand there fiddling with the gate and say: “General manager, I’m not sure that spending the night together is a good idea since we are members of the opposite gender. It seems a little bit inappropriate…”
Lu Jun frowns and says to me: “The cost of a hotel room is surely not cheap. Are you willing to fork out the amount?”
I reply firmly: “It cannot be more than a hundred or so dollars right? I think compared to money, a woman’s reputation is definitely more important!”
His voice weakens a little: “My stomach hurts. Right now, my entire body is uncomfortable.”
I nod: “I noticed you were ill this morning.”
His voice takes on an official sound: “As you are my secretary, you have an obligation to take care of me.”
I look at him with my sorrowful eyes and unwilling facial expression.
He adds: “Since you’re currently at my house to take care of me, this time can be regarded as overtime.”
My expression becomes indignant.
He continues: “The overtime for a company secretary is calculated on an hourly basis. One hour equals one hundred fifty yuan.”
“Oh, general manager, just look at you with your pitiful face, all wan and pale. Hurry go in, don’t stand here. I’ll help you get home so you can lay down and rest!”, I say with great zest. I eagerly escort him to his apartment. What reservations about propriety? Eeeeaugh!!! Overtime pay is as high as the skies!”
I escort Lu Jun back to his beautiful little suite. His face scrunches in pain as he lays on the couch. I scurry my little behind to fetch him a glass of water and medicine, then solicitously watch him with great attention to see if he can stomach it.
After a little while, the pallor on his face eases a bit but the drugs seem to also work as a sleeping aid. He soon falls asleep on the couch. I look at him silently smirking. Although this apartment has three bedrooms and one living room, there is only one room with a bed. Since he has fallen asleep on the couch, tonight, that gloriously luxurious and comfortable-looking bed shall be mine!
Overtime at one hundred and fifty yuan per hour. There are eight hours between now and the time to go to work tomorrow! That is exactly twelve hundred dollars ah! Such a sweet feeling is filling my heart at the prospect of overtime that I believe tonight I will be able to dream happily in my sleep.
In an exceptionally joyful mood, I silently hum a few songs in my heart and briskly turn to go into the bathroom. As a habit, I must bathe every night before going to bed otherwise I cannot fall asleep!
Lu Jun’s bathroom is almost as big as my entire room at home. In the corner stands a smooth, bright white porcelain tub within a bathroom designed elegantly and in a refined fashion. The lights make the bathroom gleam in even greater beauty. My shabby and narrow bathroom at home with it’s dilapidated equipment is not even worthy of a comparison!
Enough of the sometimes hot and sometimes cold bathing that I suffer at home! I can no longer contain myself and quickly shut the door. With great excitement, I happily tear my clothes off and fling it on the hook behind the door and quickly run into the middle of the bathroom.
Initially, I only planned to take a short shower and did not intend to wash my hair, but I inadvertently notice the price tag still stuck on the luxurious shampoo. Suddenly, I feel that hair is a very important body part and that I must wash it several times. Usually, I am not in the habit of using shower gel, but then I notice that the price of the shower gel is five times higher than that of the shampoo. I cheerfully decide to unscrew the lid to the shower gel for a total body cleansing.
Just as I am in the middle of washing myself impeccably clean, everything suddenly goes dark before my eyes. I am scared of the sudden darkness and with an accidental flick of the hand, the expensive bottle of shower gel falls on the floor. I feel a pang in my heart over wasting the shower gel and want to attend to it but I surprise myself by shouting, “Ah general manager! How come the electricity suddenly went out?”
Lu Jun is apparently still groggy. After a short while, I hear his faint voice: “It should just be a shorted fuse.”
I get a little anxious: “Then what should I do? I have only just washed half of myself!”
He asks me strangely: “Are you afraid of the dark?”
I live in a community where water and electricity often flicker off and on at night, so I have done many things in the dark. Over time, one gets used to it and I have even gotten too lazy to use candles to point me to my dark bed.
So I am proud to say: “Of course I’m not afraid, I have a great deal of courage!”
He ponders for a moment and says: “Then you get dressed and come out.”
I nod and agree with a loud, “ah.”
Right now, that’s the best option but I lament that my bath is cut short. Being able to enjoy such a bath is a rare opportunity. After casually rinsing off the shower gel, I calmly and with a groping hand reach in the direction of the door, ready to grab my clothes and get dressed. However the bathroom floor is very slippery after a bath and in the darkness, nothing can be seen. I accidentally step and slip on a round object. I scream as my entire body flips head over heels before I hit my head on a hard object and lose consciousness…..
I wake up and my head aches. I somehow muster up the strength to lift a hand and gingerly pat my head only to discover that a bandage is tied around it. It takes a while for my blurry vision to take in my surroundings only to discover when it did that I am lying in bed in a small, white room. It looks like a hospital ward! After some time passes, the door opens and Lu Jun comes in, his face tinges with weariness. It appears that he spent the entire night without sleeping. Suddenly, I see his eyes light up as he says: “You’re awake?”
I recall my fall in his bathroom, then look at him blankly and say in a very calm voice: “General manager, you sent me to the hospital?”
He helplessly nods: “You hit the toilet bowl.”
I also recall that I was naked at that time and continue just as calmly: “So you helped dress me?!”
He helplessly nods again.
That bastard. Oh that bastard! I am a young maiden as pure and chaste as the driven snow. How is it that I am to be thus sullied? I angrily punch the pillow with my fist and roar: “WHO TOLD YOU TO HELP ME GET DRESSED?!?”
He is not scared of my outburst and leisurely says: “Then did you want me to take you to the hospital completely naked?”
I instantly feel my anger deflates like a punctured ball and can only console myself as best as I can. Though he is a man, letting him see me in all my glory is better than letting a building full of individuals see me…..
The corners of his mouth dance in laughter. His eyes look down to assess my chest in a sweeping glance and says: “Besides, there wasn’t even anything good to see.”
My temper bubbles forth again. I do not even hate him for seeing me naked but how is it that he disdains me first for seeing me naked?
At this time, our dispute is interrupted by the sound of someone knocking outside the door.
I see a nurse carrying a tray come in with an angelic smile on her face: “Miss, we need to give you an anti-inflammatory injection now.”
The nurse’s smile is very sweet, but I am extremely depressed. Please, right now, I am the patient here, okay? Why do you keep smiling at Lu Jun and not pay any attention to me?
After the nurse approaches the bed and pulls out a syringe, I suddenly give a start. With my eyes wide open, I look at the huge, thick, long, stick-like needle in her hand and fear rocks over me: “There’s no need, right? I am completely fine now! I absolutely have no need for injections!”
Lu Jun looks at me with mirth in his eyes and says in a persuasive tone: “Don’t be willful about it. Although this may look like a very thick needle, the injection won’t hurt at all.”
The sweet gentle nurse does not laugh and quickly supports him by exclaiming: “Correct! It won’t hurt at all!”
I don’t believe his bald faced lie, so I grab the needle from the nurse’s tray and brandish it at him: “Then you give it a shot! If it really doesn’t hurt then I will do it!”
He frowns: “This is out of the question as I’ll faint during an injection.”
I shout in dissatisfaction: “But I am afraid of the pain!”
He ponders for a moment, then looks at me directly and says: “Then how about this. First, you sit with your back away from the needle so you can’t see it. Then, take your left hand and stick it out behind you. Take your right hand, grasp your left hand tightly and lower it by half a inch. This way, you can mitigate the pain and fear of the injection.”
I only understand half of it and look at him in confusion: “Demonstrate it for me, then I will copy your actions.”
Thus, he demonstrates with his actions. Then I pick up the syringe and copy his actions. Not long after, he falls onto the hospital bed.
I stick my tongue out and blow a raspberry. He really fainted during the injection!
Later, I do not forget about the $150 per hour overtime and ask Lu Jun for it but he despicably and shamelessly replies: “I told you to come to my house to take care of me as overtime but did you actually take care of me?”
I say with sudden righteousness: “I poured you water and fetched you medicine!”
He smiles and asks, “How much time did you spend on pouring water?”
I think about it and exaggerate: “At least ten minutes!”
He nods in agreement and says: “Tomorrow, you can go to the Finance Department for 25 yuan in overtime.”
It turns out that overtime is not counted by the amount of time I spend at his house but rather the amount of time I actually take care of him! One hour at $150 yuan equals 25 yuan for ten minutes!
Luckily, he does not completely obliterate his conscience and gives me the day off on account of my head injuries, no thanks to his toilet.
Wounded and back at home, my mom looks at the bandage and the look of pain on my face. “Daughter ah, how did this happen to you?”
I dare not tell the truth, so perfunctory say: “I accidentally bumped my head at Ai Li’s house. I’ve just returned from the hospital.”
Mom says with deep remorse: “Last night, your aunt Liu suddenly left for something and did not spend the night. I thought you’ve already gone to Xiao Li’s house to sleep and did not want to call you back home. I should have called you back home to sleep, then you wouldn’t have hurt your head…..”
“Mom, you still care about me.”
I feel the warmth of affection. My eyes get a little wet and I want to embrace mom with open arms. Before I reach her, mom has already turned and walked inside the house, and says with distress: “If you hadn’t hurt your head, then we wouldn’t have to waste money paying the hospital bill. It seems like all the money I won last night was all for naught…..”
My heart becomes so cold, so cold…..