When they arrived at the bar, nobody batted an eyelid when they walked in with Yao Ai. Li Ming just smiled wryly, almost having expected this. People really weren’t bothered about the drinking age. Well, in any case, at least Yao Ai seemed to be having fun. Even though they had just walked in, she already seemed to be in high spirits.
The three of them got their drinks before finding a table and Yao Ai happily leaned back as soon as her butt touched the chair, starting on her first round.
Duan Zhi Hao raised his brows, feeling that at his age, he couldn’t quite understand the fervor about this kind of thing. He would also go out to have a drink with friends every now and then but this feeling of going out to party … Oh, that was long in his past.
Nowadays, the perfect evening was being at home with his legs up on the couch, a soft blanket, and maybe a glass of wine or even just a cup of tea in hand while watching some stupid TV show about people making a fool out of themselves. That kind of thing already seemed to be peak entertainment to him.
Well, that was probably just how it was when you got older. The things that you used to find exciting … they stopped meaning anything to you a few years later. If he thought back now, there were some dreams he looked back on and just shook his head at.
Li Ming whose age was between the two of them felt a bit more like Duan Zhi Hao in this one. In fact, considering that he had been appalled at the way that Mo Fang was drinking, it could probably be said that he might seem like more of an old man than Duan Zhi Hao himself.
Or maybe that was the security guard in him speaking. Intoxicated people that couldn’t behave themselves were a nuisance at best and a danger at worst. That stance might seem harsh but he really felt that this was treated too lightly by many people.
But no matter his personal stance, he was happy to see Yao Ai happy. This was clearly something she hadn’t done before but that she had looked forward to for a long time. There was nothing wrong with that. “Seems like this is something that you’ve indeed been looking forward to for a long time.”
Yao Ai nodded fervently. “Of course! Do you guys even remember how it is having to go to school? There’s so much to do every day, you never get the time to really go out and just have fun. And you definitely don’t have time to go to a bar to have a few drinks if you will have to wake up early the next morning to get back to studying.
“Now, I’m finally done with school, but I’m already doing courses again, trying to prepare for my future, and once again, I don’t have time for anything else. If my parents could, they would make me study even more in my free time as soon as I get back from the course every day. It’s good that the two of you are going out with me every time so I have a reprieve. Otherwise, my life would be really miserable.”
Duan Zhi Hao cupped his cheek and slowly nursed this drink while looking around the bar, noticing how most of the people there seemed to be Li Ming’s age. It really made him feel like an old man and he also couldn’t help but realize that yes, those of Yao Ai’s age probably didn’t have time to come here.
No matter what though, he couldn’t help but feel that she was dramatizing things. “Actually, your parents don’t sound that strict if they just let you do some small-time course instead of sending you off to study immediately or to find work. And letting you go out with us pretty much every day is also peak freedom. I remember back in the day, my parents would never have allowed that.”
Li Ming chuckled at that, feeling that Duan Zhi Hao really sounded like an old man when he spoke that. What kind of past was he reminiscing about? Had it really been decades already to make it sound like a different era?
But then, he couldn’t help but sober up: While it might not have been decades ago, it might very well have been one decade. He didn’t know how old exactly Duan Zhi Hao was but he’d guess at his late twenties or maybe even early thirties. So yes, it had been ten years or more for him since he finished school.
In that case, hearing Yao Ai complain about what her parents wanted her to do or not to had to sound like something from another life. It really wasn’t that odd. They … were all getting older. And with time, your perspective on these things changed.
Thinking of that, he gave a faint smile and raised his own glass, suddenly not finding it as funny anymore. In a few years, how did he want his life to be? That was a question he should probably start to ask himself more. Not just in regard to his job but also in regard to the rest of his life.
If he wanted to turn things around and really change, then he needed a new perspective on these things as well because right now, while he was trying to change, he still looked at everything with the same eyes as before. If he didn’t, he might get stuck in the same place and that was something that he didn’t want to see. So yes, it was time to enter a new time, one that would fit him better.