SML V3C53 An Understatement

Bian Huan didn’t wait for Li Ming to sort his thoughts. He immediately got to the point he wanted to talk about. “Brother Li, let’s be clear: I know that this wasn’t what we originally agreed on but looking at the pictures, you can’t deny that they are beautiful, can you? So can you really not find it in your heart to do me this small favor just like I did you one?

“Really, it’s killing me that I know that I have these masterpieces in my hand but can’t do anything with them! I’m not asking you to allow me to do everything I want with them but at least letting me publish them in one magazine or maybe on my website should be alright, don’t you think so?”

Li Ming stared at him, not understanding what he was talking about. “The pictures? You mean the photos you took of me and Mo Fang back at your studio?”

“But of course! What else would I be talking about?”

Li Ming rubbed his forehead, really not sure what to make of all this. “Why are you hiding from Mo Fang then?” Really, he didn’t get why Bian Huan was behaving so strangely. This type of thing, wouldn’t it be best to first talk to Mo Fang and — if he said yes — Mo Fang could bring it up to him?

In any case, he didn’t know anything about photography or modeling and could only follow Fang’s lead. So for this type of question, it was the same. While he had some inhibitions, he might be able to get over that if he had a talk about it with Mo Fang. But right now, suddenly being ambushed by Bian Huan like this, he really had trouble even understanding what exactly this was about. He definitely wouldn’t say yes right now.

Bian Huan was aggrieved when he got that response though. “But that’s what I did! But he isn’t reacting to any messages or calls anymore. He just pretends that I don’t exist! What else am I supposed to do? He also forbid me from coming to you so I could only come to your workplace. Thank God I heard somebody mention that you both work here right now. Otherwise, how many more months would I have to wait before I can get an answer?”

Li Ming tilted his head, grasping onto a small detail there. “What do you mean ‘how many more months’? I thought the pictures weren’t finished yet.”

Bian Huan furrowed his brows. “What do you mean ‘not finished’? I looked through them the same day and finished editing them the next day. This kind of masterpiece, how could I leave it lying around? If there’s a chance, it needs to be taken immediately! So, what do you think about this? Am I really asking too much? Come on, just think about it! Anyway, aren’t we friends?”

Li Ming was still reeling from the revelation he had just received. “Mo Fang said that you hadn’t gotten around to it yet.” In fact, they had talked about it not too long ago when Mo Fang had shown him the pictures from his other shoots. It had reminded him of their date at the studio and he had asked how long it usually took to get photos back.

Thinking about it now, maybe Mo Fang had taken a moment longer to respond than usual. So had that been because he lied to him? But why? This kind of inconsequential thing, did he really have to make a secret out of it? Even the fact that Bian Huan had asked him about it, why couldn’t he have shared that?

In any case, he wouldn’t have minded giving Bian Huan a call and talking to him. In fact, he was sure that the three of them could’ve come to a compromise if he had been included in the matter.

But now, it turned out that Mo Fang had actually been lying to him for a full two months about this. And not just one lie but probably several. He did remember that there had been some calls. Mo Fang had always pretended that it was somebody else. His family or sometimes even Lan Heng. Now, he didn’t know what to believe anymore.

Bian Huan saw that something was strange with his expression. He hurriedly pulled something from the bag that was hanging at his side and stuffed it into Li Ming’s hands. “Anyway, you just take this! It’s a document the details some information you should know. Just go through it, think about it, and then give me a call. My number is on there. Now, I should better go. I don’t want to get embroiled in your relationship problems.” With that, Bian Huan already whirled around and then rushed off as if the ground was on fire.

Li Ming stared after him and then looked at the envelope with the documents in his hands, not knowing what to do.

Why lie?

Actually, this wasn’t the first time that something like this had happened with Mo Fang. But before, he had always been able to see some kind of reason. In the beginning, Mo Fang had been insecure about their relationship because it had been new and he had been in a bad place mentally and just got out of a relationship where he hadn’t been treated well.

Now, all of that wasn’t true anymore, was it? He felt that Mo Fang was doing much better already and they had also gotten much further in their relationship. He really didn’t understand why he would do something like this.

Even if he had lied originally, there should’ve been some point in these two months where he could finally come clean. Why hadn’t Mo Fang done so? Why did he need to find out the truth from somebody unrelated?

To be honest, that hurt a lot. He had believed that their relationship was perfect or at least near-perfect and that — with just some more work — this would be meant for eternity. And now, there was suddenly such a big thing happening and he didn’t know how to deal with it. To say that it hurt … that was really an understatement.

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