“Ah?” Shangguan Yu turned to Ao Jing, his expression a little lost. Return … with his brother-in-law? Wouldn’t that mean that their date was over? But … He wanted to say that he had still had something planned and that he really didn’t want to cut their date short but after glancing at Yu Lan, he also couldn’t bring himself to do so.
He looked away and finally nodded. “Yeah, I … I guess that would be better. Then the two of us …”
Ao Jing rubbed his neck and gave a wry smile. “I guess we’ll see each other online again? This evening?” Hopefully? He really wasn’t sure if things would still be like before after what had happened just now. Even though he had had good intentions, he had still hurt a member of Shangguan Yu’s family. At best, that would make dating awkward in the future. At worst, Shangguan Yu’s sister would never forgive him for hurting her husband and not accept him. Considering how close Shangguan Yu was to his family, that would be the end of their relationship.
Yu Lan looked from one person to the other and absent-mindedly rubbed his nose. He winced and lowered his hand before clearing his throat. “Yeah, I think it would be good if Xiao Yu could drive with me just in case it’s worse than I think after all. You can follow us in your car.”
Ao Jing turned to look at him in surprise. “I …” He was supposed to follow? But …
Yu Lan looked away in embarrassment. “Well, it’s kind of awkward to just let you drive home after a few hours just because we were nosy and wanted to know how the date is going, right? And anyway, my wife and mother-in-law would really like to meet you. Since you and Xiao Yu are getting along great you should just come along and meet them. Anyway, don’t you know Xiao Yu since half a year ago already? That’s not too early for meeting the family, right?” He coughed and then pulled Shangguan Yu’s shoulder, dragging him over to his own car. He really didn’t want to discuss that any longer. This whole matter was already embarrassing enough.
Shangguan Yu looked over to Ao Jing and gave him a small smile before he got into Yu Lan’s car and closed the door. He fastened the seat-belt and couldn’t help but look out of the windshield in a daze.
How had things developed in this direction? One moment, he and Ao Jing were enjoying their date, then they suddenly seemed to be in a late-night thriller, and now, Ao Jing was about to meet his family? How could things change this often in just the course of one afternoon? What was going to happen in the evening?
He sighed and then wanted to raise his phone, only to realize that it was his brother-in-law’s. The screen had cracked and when he tried to switch it on, nothing worked. He looked at it awkwardly and then silently handed it over.
Yu Lan’s lips twitched but then he just sighed. “Well, it’s my own fault.” He put it away and then started the car, slowly backing out of the street and turning in the direction of their house. After driving for a moment, he glanced at the rearview mirror. “I guess I get why the two of you were so freaked out. If you don’t know what’s going on but a foreign car is following you all the time …”
Shangguan Yu pressed his lips together and nodded. “Yeah. Why didn’t you just tell me?”
“We didn’t want you to feel self-conscious. It was …” Yu Lan sighed again. “We didn’t want to impact your date but still make sure that you’re alright. Even though you’ve known him for half a year, he could still be different when meeting face-to-face. What if he had gotten violent? What if he wasn’t what you expected? What if … I don’t know.” He shrugged his shoulders and shook his head. “Maybe it was stupid but we all thought that it would be better if one of us was close by. Just in case, you know?”
Shangguan Yu nodded. “It was stupid but I understand why you did it. Anyway, I’m not angry. Maybe a little disappointed that you didn’t trust me enough to handle it myself. I mean what would you have done if I went on a date with him while I was away at uni? You couldn’t have done anything then, could you?”
Yu Lan sighed. “You’re right. Of course, you are. Looking at it now, I can also see that. It has happened though. For now, let’s just go home and let him meet Xiao Xin and your mother. It’s also good, isn’t it?”
Shangguan Yu glanced at his brother-in-law and smiled wryly. “You think so? I’m afraid Ao Jing will be nervous. He was prepared to meet me but not my whole family. You just sprung that on him.”
Yu Lan cleared his throat, feeling even more awkward. “Well, I thought it would be worse to just send him home. The two of you looked so disappointed when you thought you had to say goodbye to each other. And I also know that it might not be so easy to meet again since he has to work.”
“Well, he’ll have off around New Year’s.”
“Yeah. So let him meet your family now and then you can go on all the dates you want at that time without anyone tagging along. Unless you want us to, of course.”
Shangguan Yu laughed. “We’ll see about that. For now, let me give mom and sis a warning. It’s bad enough that Ao Jing isn’t prepared. If we suddenly turn up on the doorstep with him, they’ll also feel awkward.”
He raised his phone and opened WeChat but his fingers paused before typing the message. Actually … since his sister and mother had been in on this the whole time and had even planned this, he felt that they deserved a bit of a revenge for that.