SML C22 Beware the Boundaries

It soon turned evening and Li Ming who still hadn’t heard back from Zhi Bao Yu was even more worried. Could it be that things had been seriously wrong? Was she still talking with Mo Fang after such a long time? Had she not just called but actually gone over because he was inconsolable?

The longer he waited, the more nervous he became. In the end, he took out his phone and dialed Zhi Bao Yu’s number again. The phone rang but nobody picked up.

Li Ming put the phone down on the table and rubbed his face. He also didn’t understand why he was panicking like this. He should probably not think too much. Anyway, if something had happened, then Mo Fang also wouldn’t be alone. After all, wasn’t he living with his father right now? Boss Mo certainly wouldn’t leave his son alone if he had any problems.

He got up and went to the kitchen to prepare dinner. While he took out the ingredients, his thoughts went back to Mo Fang though. The other day, he had asked him to come along to his ex-boyfriend’s apartment because he didn’t dare to ask anybody else. Then, the next day, he had seen that suitcase that Mo Fang had used in the locker room.

Could it be … he hadn’t actually brought his things home? Could it be that there was some trouble between Mo Fang and Boss Mo? After all, not everybody would accept that their child was gay. While he had been lucky with his family, he also knew that things could be different.

He had thought that Boss Mo wouldn’t be like that but who knew? It could be that he tried to show tolerance in public but would actually berate his son in private. That kind of thing wasn’t unimaginable. So if that was really the case, then maybe Mo Fang wouldn’t dare to go to him if he had any problems?

Ah, but even if that was true, what could he do? He didn’t even have Mo Fang’s number to call himself. And anyway, they didn’t know each other very well. In fact, while he had seen him around a few times, they had only talked for the first time this week. They were basically strangers or newly-made acquaintances at most.

He wouldn’t be able to do anything for him. Also, it might be weird if he just called him, and sounded him out. What if nothing was wrong? Then Mo Fang might be freaked out because he was overstepping some boundaries.

He didn’t want that. He had seen how that kind of thing could turn out with Su Yan. Well, not that giving him a casual call and kissing somebody against their will could be interpreted as having the same kind of gravity at all. There were still several steps of creepiness in between.

Li Ming sighed and focused on preparing his food. “Why am I even bothering about this? Even if his father isn’t on his side, he probably has a ton of friends.” After all, Mo Fang had made a very nice impression. Rui Lan had also seemed like he got along well with him and there was Zhi Bao Yu. He definitely also had friends outside of the railroad station. After all, he had only come by that place every now and then while he probably spent lots of time in other places. In other words: He definitely wouldn’t be without any support net. So he shouldn’t think too much about it.

Li Ming finally sat down at the table, only to find out that the stir-fry he had made wasn’t quite done. He put his head in his hand and sighed again.

“Am I doing this because he reminds me of Su Yan?”

He could remember a time when he had been like this as well. It had been just after he met Su Yan for the first time and they had had a few talks. And also, maybe he couldn’t help but compare himself to Mo Fang’s ex. They had both done things they shouldn’t do. And they had both lost the person that was important to them because of that. Well, it wasn’t nice to think about it. He really would’ve liked to be a better person than that.

Maybe that was why he was doing this. He hadn’t been able to make amends after what he did to Su Yan. Now, he saw a person that was in a slightly similar situation and that had also been betrayed by a person that claimed to love him. So maybe he was trying to make up with Mo Fang what he had done wrong with Su Yan? That could actually be.

“I have to make sure I don’t treat him as a substitute. That might backfire in the end.” Li Ming put his food back into the pan with a sigh and reheated it. This time, he managed to get it right. Sorting his thoughts had really helped. At the very least, he understood now why he was behaving the way he did. And since he had also understood what he should and shouldn’t do, he forcefully pushed aside the worry about Mo Fang that he felt.

He couldn’t make up for one thing that he had done to one person by doing something else for another person. That wasn’t how it worked. But at the very least, being a good person was something he could show in how he treated everybody.

So this came down to how far we should go as a helpful stranger and when he would become somebody with a guilty conscience, trying to make his own life easier. The former was something Mo Fang could use but the latter wasn’t. The latter would only be about himself, not about what the other person needed. That wasn’t what he should do. So he needed to make sure that he was aware of the boundaries this time.

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