Chapter 89: Helping an Old Colleague!
Close to noon.
Zhang Ye looked at the number that Zhao Guozhou had sent over. He called Tian Bin using the number listed. When the other side picked up, he immediately said, “Teacher Tian, it’s me.”
But it was a woman who answered back, “You? Who?”
Zhang Ye mumbled and recognized her voice, “Sis, it’s me, Zhang Ye.”
“Which Zhang Ye?” Tian Bin’s wife asked knowingly. She added, “Old Tian is not around!”
Just when she was about to hang up, Tian Bin’s voice rang out, “What are you doing? Give the phone to me.”
Tian Bin definitely had Zhang Ye’s phone number stored. Presumably, his wife had seen Zhang Ye’s name when he called and answered it. Tian Bin’s wife was heard in the background, nagging, “Why did you answer? That Zhang Ye fella must have called to make fun of you. How long have you two been fighting, and you still wanna answer? Yes, both of you have left your jobs already, but you were forced out. As for Zhang Ye, he might have looked like he was forced by the circumstances, but you know that he resigned on his own terms. He left the station with pride. Look at the success of ‘Ghost Blows Out the Light’; it’s even going to be published soon. Tsk! What else could he be planning by calling you now! He definitely wants to step on you while you are down! Why are you even answering!”
“I want you to give me that!” Tian Bin turned furious.
“I’ll give, I’ll give, I’ll give! I won’t bother about you anymore!” Tian Bin’s wife was frustrated as well.
Their conversation had been clearly heard by Zhang Ye and it made him a little intolerable. He knew that this call of his was made at the wrong time. He could tell that Tian Bin had not had it easy for the past few days. He had lost his job and still couldn’t find a new one yet. As the saying goes, in peaceful times, everything is fine. And it was the same the other way round; a poor couple, a lifetime of misery. The two of them must have had countless arguments in recent days.
“Hello.” Tian Bin answered. His voice was a little cold, “What’s the matter?”
Zhang Ye hesitated a little, but went ahead, “Teacher Tian, thanks for the other day.”
Tian Bin played the fool, “Which matter from what day?”
“The publisher’s number.” Zhang Ye reminded him.
Tian Bin frowned, “That Xiaofang, I repeatedly instructed her not to say that it was me. Forget it. You don’t need to thank me; it was not a big matter.”
“Have you had dinner?”
“Come out and join me then?”
“That’s not necessary. If there’s nothing else, I’m hanging up.”
“Don’t be like this. Old Tian, come out and have dinner. We have been fighting for so long. I stole your show, you stole my show. We also argued and left our posts at about the same time. Isn’t this some sort of fate? Just accept my invitation. Let’s decide on that place called something-something pavilion near the unit, where we had the celebratory lunch the other time. I will be there in 30 minutes. Bring your wife along. See you there!
“No need for that!”
“I have something to tell you; we need to talk over dinner!”
After saying that, Zhang Ye hung up without explaining further. He packed up, combed his hair and then left for the place by subway.
After reaching the vicinity of the restaurant, he didn’t know whether Tian Bin would show up. He had arrived slightly early and went to a copier shop. He used the public computers and signed into his email account. After downloading the copyright contract that he had received when he was still at the unit, he changed a few of the names and let the staff print it out for him. He asked for a pen and signed off on the contract before placing it into his briefcase. He then left for the restaurant, greeted a waiter and asked for a room to wait for Tian Bin’s arrival.
After about 10 minutes.
Tian Bin and his wife had arrived late. The waiter had led them to Zhang Ye’s reserved room.
When Zhang Ye saw Tian Bin, he was stunned. It was as if he didn’t know him anymore, because the changes were too much. In the past, he was much more handsome. But now he looked a little dirty, with hair stubble on his face. It was obvious that he had not shaved in a few days. Even though his hair was washed, it was still rather messy and not groomed. His fallen spirit was apparent without him saying anything. It was written all over his forehead. Tian Bin’s wife still looked quite refreshed. She still dressed like her usual pretty self.
“Would you like to order?” the waiter asked.
“You have not ordered? Then, I will order.” Tian Bin’s wife did not stand on ceremony. The moment that she sat down, she began ordering everything that was expensive on the menu, “Sharks’ Fin Soup, Dongpo Pork, Abalone for three…..”
Tian Bin stared at her, “What are you doing?”
Tian Bin’s wife said “It’s his treat, anyway.”
“I didn’t say it was my treat, Sister.” Zhang Ye hastily said.
Tian Bin’s wife eyes looked like they were popping out, “If you weren’t treating, why did you ask us out? Why are you picking on us! Your book will be published soon! If a single volume of the book sells below 500,000 units, I will twist my head off for you. You are so rich now and yet you want to save on this meal?”
Zhang Ye wiped his sweat, “Big sister, my money has not been transferred over yet. The publisher hasn’t paid me yet.”
“Still, it should be your treat.” Tian Bin’s wife said to the waiter, “Did you write down what I ordered just now? Listen, continue to take the order. Steamed sea bass, a roast duck… I want it to be freshly roasted, and the most expensive type. Don’t cut back on the quality. Okay, that’s all for now.”
Zhang Ye added on, “Serve us some Wuliangye as well!”
“Okay.” The waiter proceeded to prepare the order.
Maybe because it was past lunchtime and there weren’t many guests. The food was served quickly.
“Here, Old Tian, Sister. Eat, eat.” Zhang Ye said politely.
Tian Bin did not move his chopsticks. The wine had been brought over, so he twisted it open and poured a full cup for himself. He then passed it to Zhang Ye, “Pour some for yourself.”
“Sure, let’s have a drink together.” Zhang Ye poured some for himself.
Tian Bin’s wife kept glancing at them, “This should be a good wine; I will have some, too.”
“What are you drinking for?” Tian Bin was unhappy.
Tian Bin’s wife had been speaking with sarcasm since the moment she had entered the restaurant, “Only you can drink and I cannot? I’m not in a good mood; can’t I have a glass?”
“Drink, drink, drink. Who cares about you?” Tian Bin then took a mouthful.
They had nothing to talk about. They were foes to begin with, so the atmosphere was rather awkward. Besides eating, they were drinking. No one tried to say anything more.
Finally, it was alcohol that worked its magic.
Tian Bin suddenly said something. He looked at Zhang Ye and laughed, “What do you think about our feud? What were we fighting for? Look at it now. You have left, and I have also left. In the end, it was that Jia Yan who took our places. Don’t you think that we were stupid?”
Zhang Ye replied, “Yes, we were really dumb.”
Tian Bin might have had a little too much, and he began to talk much more, too, “Forget it; let’s not talk about the past. If there’s anything that I did wrong in the past, let this big brother apologize to you. Come, cheers.”
Zhang Ye stopped him, “Stop right there; we have to be clear here. It should be me apologizing. I am younger and more hot headed, and I did not think before I spoke…..”
Tian Bin interrupted him, “Let’s shut up and drink!”
Zhang Ye heartily said, “Good; let’s drink!”
Zhang Ye did not hold his alcohol well; he was the type who collapsed after a glass. After a few mouthfuls, he did not dare to raise his glass anymore. Instead, he talked about a more serious topic, “Old Tian, how’s the job search?”
Tian Bin sighed, “There’s been nothing yet. The radio stations are currently not understaffed. In fact, there are over-staffing issues; they are firing rather than hiring. There aren’t many positions. I’m not like you; even though I have several years’ of experience, I still have no results to show for them. Hur, I can only stay home; I’m even prepared to switch careers.”
Tian Bin’s wife shouted, “Don’t talk rubbish. What do you mean by switching careers!?”
“If I don’t make a switch, what can I do? There’re no positions available!” Tian Bin said worriedly, “I love my radio broadcast job, but it doesn’t f**king love me back!”
Tian Bin’s wife relented, “There will be chances; try again.”
“How many times have I tried already? I’ve even asked the outer provinces and there’re no suitable positions for me. In truth, it’s just because they don’t want me, because I’m not good enough!” Tian Bin mourned.
“You have so much experience; I don’t believe that no one wants you.” Tian Bin’s wife said.
Zhang Ye pondered for a bit and took his bag out. From it, he pulled out several documents and placed it squarely on the table. He pushed it over to Tian Bin, “Old Tian, take a look at this.”
“What is that?”
“Take a look first.”
Tian Bin read it while his wife glanced at it from his side. And soon, their faces were in shock, “This is.. the contract for the audio rights to ‘Ghost Blows Out the Light’?”
Zhang Ye nodded, “Yes.”
“What’s the meaning of this?” Tian Bin was confused.
Zhang Ye explained “The contract is a general one. The terms are nothing too special. A radio station would use this kind of contract for copyright purchasing. I actually took it from another station and had it changed. The title is ‘Ghost Blows Out the Light’. At the bottom is my signature to release the copyright. I’ve had everything filled out already, except for the beneficiary. From here, take this contract with you when you go for your interviews. Bring the story with you and it will be you choosing your employer, not the other way around. Old Tian, I am handing the radio broadcast of ‘Ghost Blows Out the Light’ to you. It is like my child, so please don’t mistreat it.”
Tian Bin was stunned, “But you…..”
Tian Bin’s wife said with her mouth agape, “Can this work out? With this copyright, everyone will be snatching for Old Tian?”
“Why is that not possible!” Tian Bin said agitatedly, “Do you know how many radio stations are fighting for the rights to ‘Ghost Blows Out the Light’? They are all fighting their heads off for it!”
Zhang Ye said, “Yes. Just today, there were 8-9 stations who called me, but I did not sell it.”
“Why didn’t you sell it?” Tian Bin asked.
Zhang Ye fiddled with his hands and spoke honestly, “Actually, I don’t know why either. Maybe I just want to help out an old colleague. After fighting for so long, I do not wish the worst for you. Old Tian, you have to do well. We still have to continue our rivalry in the future. Don’t fall here without a fight. Haha, otherwise who can I cuss at next time?”
Tian Bin’s eyes were a little red; he knew how important the contract was. He grasped the pieces of paper in his hands and went silent. He did not say any dismissive, nor gratuitous, words, but he looked deeply at Zhang Ye and nodded, “Do not worry; I will not fall like this!”
Tian Bin’s wife excitedly cried out, “Little Zhang, you… Tell me how we can ever repay you. You have helped Old Tian out big time. Aiyo, and to think this Sister treated you in that manner just now. Please don’t hold it against a little woman like me.”
Zhang Ye did not mind, “Sister, your words just now, I have already encountered them on my first day at work when you spoke down on me with Old Tian here. Hur Hur, if you don’t talk down on me, I will not feel comfortable!”
Tian Bin’s wife was red with embarrassment, “When did I talk down on you?”
“You did.” Tian Bin replied and then had a laugh himself.
“Alright, then Sister will atone for it with a drink!” Tian Bin’s wife mood had also turned for the better.
No discord, no concord. Some relationships in this world were just so marvelous!