OMF V4C49 Being Heartbroken

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Jing Yi turned around with worry written in his eyes. “Disconcerted … by my reaction?”
“Mn.” The woman nodded, grabbed his arm once more and led him further down the stone path in the direction of a huge palace. “How long has he been going after you? It should be close to ten years, I believe. In all this time, you haven’t reciprocated much, have you?”
He lowered his head before nodding in shame. “You’re right. I … I don’t deserve his love.” There was a pang in his heart that nearly had him stumble.
Right, he didn’t deserve this love. He didn’t deserve this man. But Heaven alone knew that he wanted to. Even if he deserved nothing else, he wanted to deserve at least this love. That was all he wished for. Could it really be … too late already?
“Do you think … he’ll come by again?” He gingerly looked over at her, afraid of what she might say. What if she didn’t think so? What if he really … never saw him again?
“It’s hard to say. I always felt that he was really serious about you so, yes, he might do so. Then again it’s been so long and all his courting hasn’t yielded much. Sooner or later a man is bound to give up hope if there isn’t even the slightest hint that things might change for the better with time.”
“I see.”
So I really drove him away with my behavior. I should have known before. I should have … should have given him some kind of hint. But if I did … What would father say?
He looked up at the palace in front of them and his heart felt heavy. He didn’t want to lose the man he loved but he also didn’t want to disappoint his father who had such high expectations for him. Whatever he did he would let one of them down. How should he decide?
They reached the gates of the palace and the guards opened them and bowed. Jing Yi forced himself to smile and stepped in with the woman next to him. They only managed to pass through the first room when a man in splendid robes hurried toward them and grasped Jing Yi’s hands. His eyes radiated excitement while his grasp was still so gentle as if his hands could break should he hold them just a little tighter.
“There you are! Come in, come in. Let father have a look at you.” His gaze indeed traveled up and down before returning to his face. The man frowned slightly. “Who dared to bully my precious son?!”
“Huh?” Jing Yi’s eyes widened and he opened his mouth without knowing what to say.
“Was it the guards at the gate? Hmph, don’t worry! Father will replace them for you.” He turned to do just that when he suddenly remembered something. He turned back and smiled. “Don’t worry, father will give justice to you!”
“Father …” Jing Yi smiled wryly. This sounded a lot as if the guards would have to expect punishment for something they never did. “All is well. Nobody would dare bully your son in the Nine Heavens. You don’t have to do anything.”
“Ah, how could that be? You’re obviously unhappy! Come on, tell your father. Whoever it was they’ll get their just desserts!”
Jing Yi lowered his head. “I don’t understand why father insists on this. Your son is really very well.”
“You don’t have to make up excuses.” His father reached out and cupped his cheek, lifting his head up while he was at it. “You know I have eyes and can see. Your smile obviously isn’t as beautiful as yesterday. Somebody must have done something.”
Jing Yi really wanted to smile to put his father’s mind at ease but … he didn’t feel happy at all. And as much as he could pretend to smile on a normal day, with his heart as heavy as this, it felt like an act that required a lot of strength to lift the corners of his mouth even a little.
“I … I’m just not feeling that well, father. Maybe I should go and lie down for a while.”
“Ah?” His father instantly became even more worried. “You wouldn’t be getting sick, would you? Let father send for the physician. You should lie down here.”
“No need. I’ll go back to my own palace. There is no need to disturb you.”
“You wouldn’t disturb me! You never would!”
“Mn.” Jing Yi smiled at least a little. “You should spend some time with mother instead, father.” He nodded at the two of them, turned around and left the room. He had to try hard not to run away. He really just … wanted to forget about all this.
Behind him, the voices of his parents sounded.
“Ah! Bai Fen, why …”
“Hmph! Just take a look at yourself! How inconsiderate can you be? Talking so much and still not understanding anything. Isn’t it obvious your son is heartbroken?”
“Heartbroken?” There was a pause before his voice sounded again with an obviously pleased tone. “Did that damned bastard finally stop coming by?! Ah, Heaven really heard my prayers!”
Jing Yi didn’t wait for his mother’s reaction. He hastened his steps and went back to his own palace as fast as he could. Only when the door closed behind him did he finally break down. He slumped to the ground, tears streaming down his cheeks.
Why … Why didn’t you come back to me? We knew each other for so long. Even if I didn’t say it, shouldn’t you have understood just how much I loved you?
“Ah …” He clasped his hands over his mouth, afraid that anyone might hear him.
How could he fault him? It was he himself who had caused this. If not for him hesitating and struggling, wouldn’t they have already been lovers? Maybe they would even have been married. But he had never dared to accept those feelings, deathly afraid of what his father would say and what other people might think. Now, he might very well have lost the love of his life.
Had it been worth it?

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