LWS Chapter 16 There’s No Medicine For Regret

“Ow.” Su Yan rubbed his nose and looked up accusingly. The person in front of him … was actually Nie Chang. “What are you doing here?”
“I was afraid to let you go alone so I followed you. Is everything set?”
“Then let’s go. There’s a nice food stall not far from the repair shop. I’ll take you there. If you like it, we can eat there often in the future.”
“Mn. Sounds good.” Su Yan followed him to the subway and they went their way.
Some minutes after they left, a downcast Li Ming knocked on the door to their boss’ office. He only got a murmur as his answer since the boss was still thinking about Su Yan’s resignation.
Li Ming closed the door behind him and bowed. “Boss, I’d like to resign.”
The boss lifted his head. “Hah? Resign?” Why were so many people resigning today?
Li Ming brought the letter of resignation over. His boss looked at the text but it was just as meaningless as Su Yan’s. Speaking of which …
“Does this have anything to do with Su Yan?”
Li Ming lowered his head and nodded slightly. He couldn’t forget the look in Su Yan’s eyes. He had really thought … No, he couldn’t say it like that. It was rather that he had hoped. Hoped for too long and finally given in to that feeling, believing for a moment that he might not be the only one feeling that way.
Actually, he had fallen in love with Su Yan at first sight when he came to work at the railroad station two years back. That day the boss himself had shown him around and the counters were their last stop on the tour. Su Yan had been sitting there, smiling at one of the travelers who had gone up to ask him something. He had shown him where to go on a large map, patiently explaining even through that guy was a foreigner who didn’t speak much Chinese.
Li Ming’s heart had instantly pounded faster. He felt like Su Yan was the person he had waited all his life for. He wanted to go up to him, tell him his name, apologize for the suddenness of all that and then ask him for a date. In the end, he didn’t even find out his name since Su Yan was working. He only got to know the female co-workers and had to wait two whole weeks before he finally managed to speak with Su Yan for the first time.
Since then, he had tried to spend time with him whenever possible. Taking an earlier subway so he could say hello to him and maybe accompany him for those precious five minutes. Following the others to eat in the lunch break even if he wasn’t hungry just so he could see him at the other end of the table. Purposefully forgetting to do his shopping on his workday so he had a valid reason to go to the station on his day off. He just wanted to see him sitting there at his counter, talking with his co-workers or answering the travelers’ questions. It was enough. It had always been.
Until yesterday. When the women called him over and actually told him that Su Yan was gay, too … He was on cloud nine. I might have a chance! That thought instantly flashed through his head. And then Su Yan had actually stood up and blushed. He couldn’t even look him in the eye. It was as if he wanted to say: ‘It’s true but I don’t dare to admit it. Especially not in front of you.’ And then he had stumbled to deny.
Li Ming’s heart had beaten even faster than on that day he first saw him. He felt like the future he had hoped for was within his grasp. He just had to take a step forward, grip Su Yan’s hands and confess. Maybe then …
But he had also known how terrifying it could be to finally admit to your true feelings. After all, he himself had experienced that a coming-out wasn’t well received by most people. His friends and even his family had turned their backs on him when he finally admitted to it after his graduation from school. Most of them had never spoken a word to him again.
Thus, he had tried to get the women to stop and only asked Zhi Bao Yu afterward if Su Yan had said anything specific. She had known for a long time that he was gay and that he had had some bad experiences because of that so she somewhat understood why he was behaving that way. And then, she had told him that Su Yan really admitted to it and that he actually liked him, too!
After two years of silent hoping, two years of an seemingly unrequited love, he had heard that the one he liked actually liked him back! He had been happy enough to weep and he had even exchanged his shift with a colleague so that he could follow Su Yan to the subway.
And when he saw him there, leaning against the wall, looking so exhausted from that day at work and probably even more so from his coming out … He wanted to show him that he had done the right thing. He wanted to show him that daring to admit to his feelings would get him results. He wanted to save him from having to silently suffer through years of the same waiting and hoping he himself had done.
And thus, he made a mistake. He didn’t take seriously what Su Yan said and attributed all of that to his fear. He didn’t consider that Zhi Bao Yu might have lied because she wanted to help them and that she had been wrong all along.
In the end, it didn’t matter what he thought or not. In the end, he had hurt the person he loved. There was nothing he could do. There was no medicine for regret, no possibility to turn back time. He could only make it a little easier for Su Yan by resigning and leaving this place so that he wouldn’t have to see him anymore.
“I’m afraid Su Yan won’t want to see me ever again”, he confessed to his boss and looked up with a sad gaze. “So, I guess it’s better if I go. He shouldn’t have to suffer because of me.”
His boss sighed. “I’m afraid it’s a little too late for that. That boy resigned a quarter of an hour ago.”
Li Ming could only stare foolishly and finally left the office. He kept his job but he would have rather kept his feelings a secret. Then, at least, he would be able to love Su Yan from afar. Now, he had lost every right to do even that. He was merely a stranger now, an unpleasant memory.
Well, at least, the person he loved had somebody at his side. Those bad memories probably wouldn’t haunt him for long.
Li Ming looked at the counter where Su Yan had always sat and sighed. “I wish you luck. Even if it’s not with me, I hope you can someday admit to your feelings and honestly and openly show your love for him. It’s what you deserve. Both of you.”
After all, that man had done what should have been done. His love for Su Yan was obvious. There could have been a worse ending for this story, Li Ming thought, while he changed into his security guard uniform. Maybe some years later they would meet and would be able to laugh about all this. He really hoped so. He wanted to see him smile again at least once.

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