Chapter 1.1: I Have a Boyfriend |
Jiang City; late autumn; five-thirty in the afternoon.
At some point during the day, the sun was swallowed by thick clouds, struggling to pierce them with its mighty rays.
Zheng Shuyi had been resting her head on the table for a long time, and cold sweat had been swarming out from her forehead.
A crisp ringtone, sounding extraordinarily out of place in the room full of repetitive keyboard typing sounds, pulled Zheng Shuyi back to reality.
"Hello, are you Reporter Zheng Shuyi from ‘Finance Weekly'?"
Zheng Shuyi was still resting her head on the table while answering the phone, "Yes, and you are?"
"I'm Chen Sheng, the office assistant of the CEO at Mingyu Bank. A month ago, you scheduled an interview with Mr. Shi Yan, and the scheduled time is tomorrow. Do you still remember?"
Zheng Shuyi sat up instantly and straightened her back.
Of course, she remembered this.
The name "Shi Yan" had been through her ears countless times for the past few weeks.
At first, he was famous for being a new figure in the industry, entering as the son of the renowned economist Shi Wenguang, who owns the Mingyu Corporation.
After studying abroad in Europe, he returned and took over Mingyu Bank, a private commercial bank under the Mingyu Corporation.
For many leaders in the industry, this didn't seem to be a wise move for the Mingyu Corp, because the bank's operating status was already in jeopardy. Some economists even commented that Shi Wenguang was using this half-wasted subsidiary as a practice tool for his son to play around with.
However, after Shi Yan took the CEO position in Mingyu Bank, he swiftly solved the bank's problems with over-reliance on deposits and high-risk loaning. He went straight for the risk management and control mechanism by reforming the core principles of the company, turning the bank from the verge of bankruptcy back to profiting.
At the age of 27, Shi Yan had already become the center of attention of the entire financial industry. He received numerous praises from respectable figures, and the CEO hotline of Mingyu Bank was flooded with requests for interviews.
Although his fame spread like wildfire, there were few valuable interviews and reports about him.
Even most mainstream media could hardly get a proper interview. Just a few words from his mouth could easily be enough to hit the headlines of major news networks.
This interview opportunity was certainly a rare instance that the editor-in-chief of the magazine got after putting in large efforts and help from multiple parties.
When the editor-in-chief gave this task to Zheng Shuyi, the whole reporters' department was envious of her.
Just by having the name "Shi Yan" could attract so much media attention, not to mention the reporters who could get hold of a proper interview with him.
But now, this phone call made Zheng Shuyi's heart racing. She asked carefully, "Have there been any changes?"
"So," said Chen Sheng, "the interview is originally scheduled for nine o'clock tomorrow morning, but Mr. Shi has some personal business to deal with, so he will not have time tomorrow."
"Then how about…"
"Sorry, but his schedule is filled for the next few days," Chen Sheng interrupted, "Is it okay to delay the interview for another week?"
Timeliness was critical to any financial interview. Who would want to read about some news that happened more than a week ago?
"We really can't wait for another week. Do you think he can just spare a tiny bit of time? A phone interview will also be fine!"
"I don't think that's possible. I can't disclose his schedule to you, but he is packed for this entire week."
"Then what about tonight!" Zheng Shuyi asked anxiously, "Will he have some time? Just three hours… no, two will be enough."
Before waiting for a reply, Zheng Shuyi gritted her teeth and continued, "One hour will do! Please just let me come."
For almost the past month, she had been preparing for this interview. She thoroughly went over every possible detail of Shi Yan that was available to her, especially the major projects that he was working on currently. This article might be a life-changer for her.
After being silent for a moment, Chen Sheng continued with a low voice, "There is an important banquet that Mr. Shi is attending tonight. Maybe, remember, just maybe, he can spare some time during this, so will you…"
"Yes!" Zheng Shuyi agreed instantly, "Just give me the address and I can go there and wait."
Before hanging up, Chen Sheng emphasized again, "Ms. Zheng, I can arrange a place for you there, but I can't ensure that he will have time to spare. You might return empty-handed."
The voice disappeared and was replaced with a mechanical beeping sound ringing beside her ear. Zheng Shuyi's head fell back to the desk with a thump, and a sense of blankness followed. She felt awful.
She should be happy that she still got a chance to interview Shi Yan.
However, her mental state was completely beaten down after hearing that the perfect opportunity she was waiting for had just evaporated. There was nothing she could do about it.
Today was her boyfriend Yue Xingzhou's birthday.
It would be the first birthday that they spend together.
Yue Xingzhou even reserved seats at a fancy restaurant, ordered movie tickets, and was waiting to celebrate with her after work.
Now, not only could she not be able to accompany Yue Xingzhou on his birthday, but she also had to work overtime, and there was even a chance that these would all go to waste.
Zheng Shuyi's face was twisted. She closed her eyes and took a deep breath before closing her computer and packing her bag.
Next to her, Kong Nan was immersed in typing up an article when hearing the movement. "What's wrong?" she said.
Zheng Shuyi placed a hand on the table and waited for the pain in her stomach to pass and replied, "The interview time changed. I have to go there tonight."
"Huh?" Kong Nan noticed Zheng Shuyi's face.
Although her skin was fairly white originally, there was no trace of vitality now. She seemed weak and sickly.
"Are you sure you can make it?"
"What else can I do? Not as if I have a choice."
Zheng Shuyi walked to the printer, took a stack of documents, and stared at the floor for a while.
The printer shifted around robotically, and paper started to stack up in front of her.
Suddenly she heard a phone ring. The noise broke Zheng Shuyi's thoughts as she suddenly raised her head, blinked her eyes, and took out her phone.
It was not her phone, but she remembered that she should call Yue Xingzhou to notify him of the sudden change. Just as she was opening her contacts to find him, he called.
"Honey, when will you be done? I can come and pick you up."
Zheng Shuyi leaned on the printer and drew circles with her finger on the blank pieces of paper. "I'm so sorry, but I have an emergency interview tonight. It might take a couple of hours, so I won't be able to join you for dinner."
She thought for a while, and then continued, "I'm also not feeling well today, and I might not make it to the movie as well."
Hearing this, Yue Xingzhou sighed and said, "Well then, I'll find another friend to spend the time with."
"I'm so sorry." Zheng Shuyi pursed her lips and said with a thin voice. "Can I make it up with you next time?"
Kong Nan spun a pen in her right hand and waited for Zheng Shuyi to finish talking on the phone. She propped up his chin with the other hand and said with a smile, "You bailed1Bailing means not being able to attend an event after agreeing with someone. If you are meeting someone for dinner, they could "bail on you" by not showing up. on your boyfriend?"
"Yeah, what else?" Zheng Shuyi asked, "If I don't, can I bail on Shi Yan?"
"Oh, how pitiful. A stranger just robbed you away from your darling boyfriend's special birthday party."
"Why do you make it sound like I'm going to Shi Yan's birthday party?" Zheng Shuyi picked up the documents that were printed to staple them on the desk next by, "I don't even know what I'm doing anymore. I never met Shi Yan before, don't know how he looks, and now, I have to sacrifice such a special time for him."
Kong Nan also felt quite unbelievable. "Hey, are you sure that your boyfriend is fine with you bailing out like this?"
"I believe that he won't mind," said Zheng Shu after thinking for a while, "He didn't say anything, so he must understand my troubles."
"Tsk, your boyfriend is so sensible," said Kong Nan while turning off the computer. "Unlike my boyfriend, he's so clingy. If I bail on him, no matter the situation, he will be mad at me for a long time."
In a daze, Zheng Shuyi was lost in her thoughts.
With a click, a tingling pain rushed to her from her fingertips. She reflexively pulled her hand back and avoided being punctured by the stapler, but the sharp pain in her fingertips did not dissipate for a long time as it gradually spread into her heart.
Zheng Shuyi held the documents in one hand and her phone in the other as she stared into space for a while.
"I'll get going then." Kong Nan got up with her bag and handed over a box of medicine, "I see that you finished all your painkillers. Take this so you don't pass out during your interview."
With that, she took a step closer and whispered, "If you screw this one up, some jealous people are going to be really happy."
Zheng Shuyi was not interested in this right now. Her mind was filled with the word "sensible".
Was Yue Xingzhou too "sensible" to be true?
Moreover, she just said that she was not feeling well, and Yue Xingzhou didn't even ask her how she wasn't feeling well.
A strange thought sprouted in her mind and grew uncontrollably.
Zheng Shuyi sat down at her desk dazedly. She took out her phone and sent a message to Yue Xingzhou.
Zheng Shuyi: Are you mad at me?
Yue Xingzhou: ?
Yue Xingzhou: Of course not, I understand. Take care of your work first. We still have a lot of birthdays to celebrate together in the future.
Yue Xingzhou: Oh, by the way, you said you were not feeling well, what's wrong? Are you sick?
Zheng Shuyi took a sigh of relief.
It seemed that she was the one who was being too sensitive and overthinking.
Zheng Shuyi: Nothing much, just the period is uncomfortable TAT.
Yue Xingzhou: I love you, honey.
Yue Xingzhou: Where are you interviewing? I can come to pick you up after it's over.
- 1Bailing means not being able to attend an event after agreeing with someone. If you are meeting someone for dinner, they could "bail on you" by not showing up.