There was a park behind the building. A path filled with white pebbles led through the lawn, glinting in the sun. For a moment, it looked like a trail of fresh, sparkling snow that had somehow descended in spring, almost blinding Su Yan.
“Come on.” Nie Chang squeezed his hand and pulled him down the path, past some flowerbeds that were in full bloom, showing a plethora of vibrant colors, and toward a gazebo that was standing in the shade of a group of trees, their branches rustling in the warm breeze above their heads.
His parents were standing to the side, his mother smiling proudly and even his father had put on a better expression this time around. Well, in fact, his father looked as if he was about to cry.
Su Yan ignored him and looked at his boyfriend who was gazing at that gazebo with sparkling eyes before turning to him as well.
Nie Chang’s lips curved up and the skin around his eyes crinkled in happiness. “I love you.”
Su Yan laughed in response. “Is it that you’re trying to say that a hundred times on our wedding day?”
Nie Chang chuckled as well. “That’s not the romantic answer I was hoping I’d get.”
“If I always say ‘I love you too’, my mouth will hurt in the evening. You can’t really want that, can you?” Su Yan put on a pitiful expression, asking to be humored.
Nie Chang shook his head, trying to look as serious as he could. “I’d never want to hurt you, darling.”
“Well, if you did, my mother and father would have hired somebody to break your legs already.”
“What a romantic thing to say on our wedding day.”
“I know.” Su Yan tugged at his hand and made him speed up, almost running to the gazebo. Anyway, they had known each other since the day they started school and because he hadn’t realized that Nie Chang was in love with him, they had lost a few years that they could have been a couple already. Well, he’d blame that one on his father. Why had he never sat him down and told him that men could actually be gay? That would have made things so much easier!
Su Yan gave his father a side-ways glance but didn’t bother to scold him right now. Anyway, this was their wedding day. There was no reason to be angry at his father. The only important thing was that he and Nie Chang were a couple now and would soon be married. Well, at least in some states of the world.
Su Yan stopped in front of the gazebo and turned back to his fiance. “You’re not going to regret this, are you?”
Nie Chang reached up and nudged his nose. “Still joking? I hope you won’t pull something like that when you’re asked if you want to marry me later on.”
Su Yan grinned and pulled Nie Chang into the gazebo with him, looking at the marriage officiant expectantly. His expression soon changed to surprise and he looked at Nie Chang, giving him a questioning look.
Nie Chang rubbed the back of his head, ruffling up his hair. “I couldn’t very well get somebody who doesn’t speak Chinese, could I? I’d never forgive myself if you didn’t know what was going on at our own wedding.”
Su Yan nodded and turned back to look at the small Chinese lady. She was … very small. She probably didn’t even reach 1.60 meters.
The small woman looked back at him and then at Nie Chang and nodded at both of them, her gaze lingering on Nie Chang for a moment longer as if she was looking for something.
Nie Chang smiled back and also nodded before turning to Su Yan and grasping both his hands.
The small lady turned to look at Su Yan’s parents as well before she cleared her throat and started the ceremony. “Welcome to the two of you and to your parents. Before we start with the actual ceremony, let me start by reassuring you that we are live-streaming your ceremony to your friends back home in Shanghai just as you asked for so they won’t miss even a single second of your important moment.”
Su Yan’s smile turned even brighter. Just as Nie Chang had promised, he had really made sure that Xiao Bai would be able to see their wedding.
In fact, it wasn’t just Xiao Bai who was watching the ceremony on the screen. Next to him, Old Lao, Gong Gong, and Gong Gong’s girlfriend Xiao Ming were sitting there with a bag of popcorn that they passed between each other and a few of the customers were glancing at the screen as well.
After all, the two of them had put up a sign on the door, telling everyone who wanted to know that their boss and his lover were getting married today. Actually, they had even posted a photo on Weibo and mentioned it even though Nie Chang had told them not to put anything about their private lives up anymore. Well, this kind of milestone should be allowed, right? Anyway, after he was married, their boss would hopefully not get cranky about it.
Just when the celebrant was making the announcement, the door to the store opened and a few people rushed in, panting heavily. “Did it start already?!”
Old Lao looked up and raised his brows. The people that had just come in were actually Su Yan’s old co-workers. “Damn. Couldn’t you have told us that you’d come? We won’t be able to all watch at the counter.” He looked over at Gong Gong who sighed and got up and rushed into the backroom.
Some sounds could be heard while Su Yan’s co-workers gathered around the notebook, the girls squealing when they saw him stand there with his fiance hand-in-hand. “They’re so cute!”
Finally, Gong Gong rushed back out and waved. “I put up a projector. Plug the notebook in and set up a sign that the customers can just call for us.”
Old Lao nodded and rushed to put up the notebook with Su Yan’s co-workers following him into the backroom, all taking up a spot wherever they found one so they wouldn’t miss anything more.
Xiao Ming used the time to do a quick sketch of the gazebo that she had seen and scribbled a note next to it, that the wedding was in progress so everyone was in the back but they could just call out. Then, she also went to watch the wedding.