Nie Chang made sure that the tandem was still alright. If it wasn’t and he needed to compensate for the damage, wouldn’t Su Yan worry about money again? He couldn’t risk that! Thinking of that … He should clear this up. If Su Yan always got anxious if they had to spend a larger sum because he felt that the repair shop wasn’t doing that well, then he’d have to deal with this type of conversation often. He wasn’t sure if he could handle that.
Before he had the time to breach the subject Su Yan once again got the drop on him. "Ah Chang, I’ve thought about it. How about I find a new job?"
"Definitely not!" Nie Chang shook his head while he followed Su Yan down the road. This time his little darling had very thoughtfully run ahead as if he feared being forced onto the torturous tandem again. Well, after what had happened, Nie Chang couldn’t hold it against him.
"Why not? It’s our money anyway."
Nie Chang rubbed his eyes. He still didn’t understand what Su Yan was talking about. "What’s our money?"
Su Yan frowned. It seemed his boyfriend had really hit his head! What was there not to understand? "The money you pay me. It’s ours anyway. It’s just a matter of whether we keep it in your bank account or in mine. So wouldn’t it be easier to keep it in yours and I’ll get another job that puts some more money in my account? Then we’d have the money for the house way sooner."
Nie Chang rubbed his temple this time. Alright. He had been the one to bring up living together first but now everything was going too fast. He couldn’t go back though. "Well … That might be true but as much as I want to live together with you I don’t think it’s worth it if we have to sacrifice our time together for it."
"Ah? But if we’re living together, we’d spend much more time with each other."
"Mn. But look at it this way: If you’d stop working at the repair shop, we wouldn’t see each other while we work. If the time when you work isn’t the same as the opening hours of the shop, then it would be even less. And who knows how long you’d have to work to earn enough money?"
"Oh. That’s true." Su Yan deflated. Ah, this was stupid! Was there no other way to earn money?
Nie Chang cleared his throat. "Ah Yan, I know you don’t want to talk about it but could we get back to the savings I mentioned for a minute?"
"Mn …" Su Yan wasn’t thrilled but if Nie Chang insisted …
"You know I’m not only working in the repair shop."
Su Yan stopped walking and turned around. "Lies! If you had some other job I would have noticed."
Nie Chang’s lip twitched. Why was Su Yan so distrustful when it came to money? His family had so much of it! Don’t tell him some years of living alone had influenced him to this degree? "Darling, I sat beside you yesterday and worked on my notebook. Do you remember?"
Su Yan frowned as if he couldn’t remember. Actually … He only remembered reading about those birds.
Nie Chang sighed. "While you were reading that novel I was coding something. I even told you about it."
It suddenly dawned on Su Yan. "Right! You said that there was some stuff inside and you were repairing it. But how is that different from working in the repair shop? It’s still repairing notebooks!"
Nie Chang winced. Had he dug his own grave with that explanation? "Well, yes, yesterday I was coding something to repair one. But actually, it’s also possible to code programs for notebooks so people can add them."
"Add codes?" Su Yan frowned. Did people need to do that?
"No, add the programs someone coded. Or programs that I coded in this case."
"Why wouldn’t they just buy a program?"
"Well, suppose they were using a text editor for example. What if they wanted to time how long they need to write a sentence or a paragraph or maybe a page?"
"Why should they?"
Nie Chang rubbed his temple again. Ah, this was why he had never tried to explain more about this to Su Yan. For someone who spent a lot of time in front of his notebook, he knew surprisingly little about them.
"Maybe it’s to become more effective. The faster they can type, the sooner they’ll be finished so they could earn more money. For that, they’ll first have to see how much time they need at the moment to type something."
"Don’t they have a phone for that? I have a timer function in there. I thought that was normal."
Nie Chang sighed. "Well, maybe it wouldn’t be a normal timer. Maybe it would be a timer that could calculate things for them too."
"That would be a very strange timer."
"Mn. But it’s not like it’s just a timer, right? It’s a timer in a text editor that is meant to calculate things related to the text for them. So maybe they open the editor and type for a while and then the timer reminds them when an hour is up. And then they can take a look and get a detailed analysis of how many sentences and paragraphs they wrote and where they were fast or slow. That could be very helpful to them."
Su Yan nodded, his gaze becoming distant.
Nie Chang felt that he had a good chance to finally get his point into Su Yan’s head so he continued to explain. "Of course, an editor with such a timer is not something everyone needs. It’s just for a very specific group of people so there might not be a readily available product they could buy. In that case, they’d contact people like me who can code such a timer for them. And naturally, they’d pay me for my work."
"Mn." Su Yan nodded again while staring at the road ahead.
"So this is why I do have some more savings. I understand if you want to pay a part of the house too but there’s no need to worry too much, alright?"
Su Yan turned back to him. "Say, Ah Chang, do you really think it’s possible to earn money by writing?"
Nie Chang stumbled on the even road.