☆ Unemployed, Searching for a Man
Hengyuan group office building. Gao Yulan had recently returned from a business trip.
As the director of the marketing department, she’d been working in the company for more than a year, usually busy with work, often overtime. Traveling was common, the company was huge and could contact many other businesses. The salary also wasn’t bad, so Gao Yulan was quite satisfied with the job.
It was currently 5 p.m., close to the time the workday would end. Gao Yulan had just gotten off her plane and could go home to rest, but went back to the company to work because she was concerned with submitting a good business trip report.
She had just entered the office and hadn’t even been able to sit down before she heard somebody call her.
She turned around to see Wen Sha, a popular person in the company.
Wen Sha’s appearance was number one in the company. Every month her performance was also number one, and she was quite capable and experienced. Her communication skills were one of the best in creating connections. Thus, she was a very popular person in the company.
As Wen Sha quickly came over, Gao Yulan didn’t know what she wanted. She was about to ask but accidentally glanced at the seat beside her and saw a strange expression on her co-worker’s face. Gao Yulan couldn’t respond as Wen Sha, in one motion, wrapped her in an embrace.
“Darling, I’ve let you down. I said too much.”
Say what? Gao Yulan was stupidly loss, puzzled. Suddenly black eyes met and lips tightly held together, a faint sense of fragrance and soft lips touching made her jump.
Wen Sha gently kissed her, then softly whispered, “Darling, don’t be angry at me.”
Gao Yulan froze up like a corpse in the intimate embrace.
Did she just get kissed by somebody?
Moreover, it was a woman that kissed her?
Gao Yulan was dumbstruck, her head void of any thoughts. She simply couldn’t believe what had happened.
She was an honest and conservative person, nay, an innocent young woman. Other than experiencing puppy love for seven years before being abandoned, Gao Yulan was pure in vain. She hadn’t even held hands with a man, how could she have kissed anybody?
This was simply too reckless!
Wen Sha didn’t appear to care about her reaction—she merely consoled her by caressing her face, and then turned to leave.
Gao Yulan foolishly, numbly, slowly turned her head and stared blankly at Wen Sha’s departing figure. Already too late, she pointed her trembling hand, unable to say anything.
This, this criminal calmly slinked off. What now?
Gao Yulan’s mind slowly came to. She became stricken with uncertainty on the unclear matter. Nevertheless, she couldn’t meet her colleagues’ gazes. She knew she was the focal point of everybody’s attention.
God, please let me crawl into a hole.
God didn’t answer, but there was a small voice that said, “Yulan, the manager is telling you to go look for him.”
In shock, Gao Yulan turned her head towards the co-worker that had notified her. She saw the eyes of sympathy in her colleague.
An ominous premonition bubbled forth in Gao Yulan’s thoughts.
The manager was a bald 50 year old man.
He seriously, sternly watched Gao Yulan for ten minutes before finally saying, “I say, Little Gao…”
Gao Yulan sat restlessly with her back straight, not knowing why she’d been called in. The manager’s long period of silence caused her mind to wander.
She will go look for Wen Sha later and find out why she would inexplicably kiss her, between women it was improper and embarrassing. This joke without explanation, and without intent of revenge. How is she going to keep working?
“You have worked for the company for more than a year, and have had a very good performance of behavior.”
“Of course, of course.”
Earlier Wen Sha said she’d said too much. What did she mean?
“You know of the company’s disapproval of office romance.”
“Manager, rest assured I will not.”
Just now a co-worker had a queer expression. What was that about?
“You can’t fall in love—I’ll let that pass—but you also had such a… special preference. This will impact the company poorly.”
Gao Yulan foolishly looked up into her manager’s eyes. She didn’t understand the expression in his eyes.
“Manager, who’s in love?” Gao Yulan asked.
“You!” The manager touched his bald forehead; this expression Gao Yulan understood. The manager’s face clearly said: pretending to not understand.
“But, who’s in love with me?” Don’t tell me some elite man had taken a fancy to me without my knowledge.
The manager glanced at her.
Gao Yulan didn’t understand. If somebody wasn’t falling in love with her, did that mean that it looked like she had fallen for somebody, which bothered others?
“Manager, I haven’t fallen in love with anybody,” Gao Yulan seriously explained. Although she wanted to go out with somebody, to move away from her emotional low point to start a new life, it wasn’t happening.
The manager sighed twice, watching Gao Yulan while knocking against his desk, considering what to say.
Gao Yulan had a bad premonition. Then the strange scene that had just happened flashed through her mind, and she heard the manager say, “You and Wen Sha, the whole company knows.”
“Wen Sha?” Gao Yulan shouted, suddenly realizing.
This seriously was a mess!
“Manager, I haven’t fallen in love with Wen Sha, I like men!”
The manager shot a quick glance at her and didn’t say a word.
“Manager, Wen Sha and I absolutely do not have any sort of relationship. Could it be that she told you she’d fallen in love with me? Even if she did, it still has nothing to do with me. I don’t even know her that well, there must be a misunderstanding, seriously, we could get her and make everything clear face to face…”
The manager sighed and interrupted Gao Yulan’s words. “Little Gao, I understand your current state of mind.”
Understand? Not believing?
“Manager, you have to believe me!”
The manager silently began to fiddle with his computer.
“Manager, I swear, I like men! Men! A….ma….” She stopped repeating herself as the manager turned the computer towards her. Gao Yulan stared at the screen like she’d seen a ghost.
It was a photo of Wen Sha and a woman embracing each other and kissing mouth to mouth. It appeared to be at a bar and they were wearing sexy provocative clothing while kissing enthusiastically. Wen Sha had half her face showing and could be identified easily, but the other woman’s face was hidden. All that could be seen was the back of her head and her figure. At first glance, her figure looked like Gao Yulan’s.
Gao Yulan was so astonished that her jaw dropped, and she pointed at the picture with a trembling finger. “This, this person is not me. Really, that isn’t me.”
The manager had already stopped considering the truth in the issue to not be entangled with it. He spoke meaningfully with a straight face. “Little Gao, romantic affairs are your own personal freedom, and loving either a man or woman is also your personal freedom, but the company has its company rules. I don’t want to, but I regretfully inform you that the company has already approved your resignation.”
“I didn’t apply to quit!” Gao Yulan jumped up.
“In the event that you haven’t applied to quit, the company will give you a notice of dismissal. That isn’t very appropriate, so it’s better to do it yourself.”
Gao Yulan was struck dumb. This was blatant bullying!
She pinched her arm and told herself to keep calm, but anger and embarrassment had already filled her heart. Why did this have to happen to her? Why did she have to be the one with such bad luck?
“Manager, I can’t accept this, I have not made any mistakes.”
“Little Gao, every one of your colleagues have received this photograph early this morning. You just got back from your trip and probably haven’t looked at your mailbox. This affair will not affect anybody well and violates the rules of our company. Wen Sha has already confessed to the whole affair. The facts are so, haven’t you realized? And to appear upright and maintain a steady work ambience, the company has resolved to allow you to choose to leave in a reasonable way. The company’s ambience is already unsuitable for you to continue, and it will be good for you to leave.
Gao Yulan suddenly realized why her colleagues had reacted so weirdly, but she was innocent!
“I’m being framed, that isn’t me!”
The manager sighed: “Little Gao, Wen Sha has already confessed. What you say now is useless. The company has already decided after work today, Human Resources will help you through the procedures.
Gao Yulan grit her teeth. She couldn’t contain her anger. “I’ll go find Wen Sha, why did she put the blame on me!”
Gao Yulan furiously stamped onto the floor, and finally arrived at Wen Sha’s office. There was nobody inside. Wen Sha’s assistant quietly said, “Shasha was criticized, so the company has given her a week-long vacation.”
Vacation? Why was the perpetrator given a holiday while the victim was being expelled? Why, WHY?
Gao Yulan was a nobody, she was not important, so she was framed and bullied?
“Tell me her phone number,” she growled, and the young assistant jumped in fright. She handed over Wen Sha’s business card. Gao Yulan snatched it out of her hands and began to punch the phone number into her phone, but no one picked up.
A nearby male co-worker looked at Gao Yulan ambiguously, as if laughing at her. Gao Yulan furiously shouted, “I barely even know her!”
She turned around and asked the assistant, “Where does she live?”
The assistant shook her head, not knowing, and the co-workers from the side looked over with pitying gazes. Gao Yulan angrily slammed the table and yelled loudly, “She and I are not intimate with each other!”
Everybody gave way and pretended to be busy.
Gao Yulan stood and looked around the huge office filled with people working. Everybody’s computer had a photo of her so-called same sex relationship. Some people passing by her took the opportunity to steal a glance. Looking into the past at her higher position, she buried her head lower.
Gao Yulan’s heart turned cold, and she finally realized the atmosphere here really was not suitable for her.
She held back the tears and feeling of crying, and returned to her working area to gather her things. Normally a co-worker or two would come to help, and console her with a few words, but Gao Yulan’s mood was not at its best. She quickly finished with the formalities and returned home.
That evening, Gao Yulan was lying in a bar, drinking. She was always an obedient girl, abstaining from alcohol and tobacco. Wake up early, go to work, and do one’s duty. Buying alcohol was really an abnormal thing for her to do. Today’s experience was too sorrowful, so she indulged herself in alcohol.
Three rounds of wine to pass the time, the more you drink, the more you worry.
To have this happen, what now? Gao Yulan didn’t know.
In fact, she’d had a similar experience: a wasteful seven-year first love, which had a miserable, tragic ending. As she was working, her boss had put the blame of signing the wrong contract on her to defend himself. Then she was fired. This time, it was even more outrageous: a homosexual colleague had gotten her fired.
Gao Yulan was drinking while wiping her tears away. Drinking didn’t make her feel happy, the problem couldn’t be solved. She was unemployed. What could she do? Women loving women wasn’t a sin, but she liked men. She had been wronged. Why was she always being wronged? Why was she always bullied?
The female bar singer sung, “Don’t be afraid to move forward, all the bad will be in the past, there will be an angel that will love you…”
Where was the angel? Where was the angel? Gao Yulan continued to cry and wipe away tears. She didn’t need an angel, she felt a man would be more reliable. If she had a boyfriend, she could prove that she didn’t like women and she liked men.
Gao Yulan continued to feel remorse and drank until she couldn’t see properly. Then she heard her phone ringing. She picked it up and asked in a rough voice, “Who?”
Hearing the name made Gao Yulan’s whole body burn with rage. She slammed the table. “You son of a b*tch. Why did you ruin me?”
“I am sorry for framing you, but I was forced to. Some people tried to frame me and used a picture with someone that had the same figure as you. Plus, you had no boyfriend, it was perfect. I had to drag you down with me. I’m sorry, I’ll compensate you by helping you find a new job. I’ll absolutely introduce you.”
“Pfft, ‘introduce’ my ass. You bring your ‘girlfriend’ to the company to make it clear, tell them clearly that I’m innocent!” Gao Yulan shouted in an even louder voice. “You tell them that I like men! Men! You know!” She said ‘men’ and slammed heavily onto the table, startling two men beside her into leaving.
“You have to prove that you have no relationship with me. It’s not too hard, just get a boyfriend okay?” Wen Sha had already planned not to listen to her. Of course it was to not blow her own cover. She wasn’t influenced by Gao Yulan’s loud voice and calmly stated her idea. “You just have to bring a man to the company and expose my lies.”
She’s just making fun of me for not having a man, is that it? Am I so easy to bully?
Gao Yulan suddenly stood, swaying. “I’ll look for a man and I’ll show you, look at my man, then go to the company, just you wait for me!”
She spoke emptily and dizzily payed the bill, bumping into the doorway swaying. While thinking of a man that would be good, she slammed into the door with a thud.
Everybody looked over, but she didn’t feel any pain.
The store’s personnel hurriedly supported her. “Miss, are you alright? Do you need me to call for a taxi?”
“No.” Gao Yulan boldly waved her hand. “I don’t need a taxi, my home is close. I don’t want to go home, I want to find a man! A man!”
A crazy drunk woman!
The surrounding men looked over and quickly got out of the way for fear of the woman falling for them.
“Don’t be afraid to move forward, all the bad will be in the past, there will be an angel that will love you…” the female singer sung. Gao Yulan swayed to the song out of the bar.
She was intoxicated, and moved forward step by step with confused eyes. This evening, there were a lot of men. But which one was good?
Gao Yulan rubbed her eyes. If she couldn’t see, how was she supposed to choose?
She stopped walking and squinted ahead. People say that it’s better to run into people during the day, but she was choosing. That was better than running into them, right?
Oh him! That one right in front!
Gao Yulan covered her head and charged forward, unable to see who she was running into. In a confusing crash, a man cried out, “What are you doing! Hey, hey, you don’t mess around!”
Author’s note: Let’s give writing a go.