Li Ming couldn’t help but smile. He hadn’t expected this. To be honest, while he was finally willing to roughly tell Yao Ai and Duan Zhi Hao about what had happened with Mo Fang, that didn’t mean that he considered them close friends.
No, right now, they were more like acquaintances. And that was not the type of person he would mention his sexual orientation to. It also wasn’t necessarily the type of person he would’ve expected wanting to help him. But then, sometimes, people could surprise you. And right now, Duan Zhi Hao had really managed to do that.
Maybe it was because they were roughly of the same age group. He had probably also had his fair share of bad relationships behind him. And he would also have had situations where he was stuck at a job that wasn’t giving him anymore what he hoped to get from it.
That kind of thing, many people experienced it. Most likely, that was something that would get you to be more empathetic when you heard about somebody else going through the same.
On the other hand, Yao Ai probably wasn’t old enough to understand yet. While she might have suffered some heartbreak and maybe she had even had her first relationship and breakup, there was something missing. It was just different. Not in a bad way but just in a way where she didn’t feel as close to what he was experiencing. Yes, it seemed that to her, this was still more newsworthy than anything else.
The contrast between their reactions only drove the point of how precious Duan Zhi Hao’s promise was home further. Li Ming nodded, his expression a bit solemn. “Thank you. That really means a lot to me.” He didn’t know what else to say. In this situation, he should probably say some more words but they fled him.
Duan Zhi Hao just waved, not needing him to say anything. Anyway, at this moment, Li Ming’s feelings were clearly written on his face. He didn’t even need to be observant to figure out just what was going through his mind. “I know. Just … buy me a round or something when we go out together one day. Before that, it’s all just empty talk.”
Li Ming nodded, even though to him, this wasn’t empty talk. Just knowing that somebody got him helped a lot already. And then, there was also the fact that it was precisely what Duan Zhi Hao had said before and how he had acted with Yao Ai that had made him realize that he still hadn’t made the full change that he wanted to see in himself. So even though Duan Zhi Hao felt like he hadn’t done anything, in Li Ming’s eyes, it was different.
Yao Ai looked from one person to the other, not quite sure what was going on there. Anyway, she was happy that Li Ming was finally opening up. She turned to him and wanted to speak up but Duan Zhi Hao gave her a kick below the table.
She looked over, wanting to complain, but then found him lightly shaking his head and giving her a serious look. These days, she had never seen him like that. While Li Ming was the more dependable person, Duan Zhi Hao was more fun. He would joke around, almost feeling like a close friend or maybe a sibling or something. Anyway, she had never really treated him like a serious person.
But right now, he looked as if he was one. And that really made her reconsider. She wasn’t sure why Duan Zhi Hao was looking at her like this but she could imagine that he didn’t want her to say anything to Li Ming right now. And while she didn’t think that she was doing anything wrong, she felt like it couldn’t hurt to follow his advice at this moment just in case.
She pursed her lips and then just picked up her bottle again, taking a few sips. Anyway, she’d see when she could get back into the conversation.
Li Ming also noticed that something was going on between the two of them but he didn’t bother to think about it too much. Instead, he looked around the bar, wondering if one day in the future, he would also come to such a place, looking to date again.
At the moment, he couldn’t imagine it. In the future … who knew? He wasn’t sure how long it would take to heal from this. For now, a new relationship seemed out of the question. But at least, even though it hadn’t been that much time yet, he felt a little closer to looking for new opportunities in his career after just these few weeks.
Yes, it really was true: Some time apart from a situation could help you with finding the right path again. Sometimes, that was all you needed. But anyway, he still shouldn’t rush into anything. And, well, just as Duan Zhi Hao had said before, this wasn’t the moment to think about such things or talk about that. No, right now, they were supposed to be having fun.
Thinking of that, he looked from Duan Zhi Hao to Yao Ai and then raised his brows. “So, actually, how about this weekend? Since it will be the end of the course, then who knows how our situations will change in the future? If we want to do something together with just the three of us, we might need to do it now. And if sister Yao doesn’t really know whether her friends will have time anyway, then maybe it wouldn’t be such a bad thing, would it?”
Duan Zhi Hao shrugged, not minding either way. “I’d be up for it.” Anyway, he had just promised that he would be available so he couldn’t very well say no, could he? Also, so far, the three of them had had fun.
Yes, most of their conversations had been about what they had learned that day and what was generally going on in their lives but that was pretty normal for three people who barely knew each other for two weeks. If they spend more time together on the weekend, they might be able to get to talking about some more fun things. At the very least, that was what he figured.
On the other hand, Yao Ai needed a moment longer to think it through. She definitely missed her friends from school but it was true that they were unlikely to have the time to meet up with her. Thus, it would be best if she really went out with these two instead.
Also, she should get used to having to do with new people. In the future, if she really took more courses, then there would be other people she needed to get along with. And then, when she went out to study, there would be even more. So, spending some more time with somebody she already somewhat knew but not that much seemed like a good thing. Thus, she finally nodded. “Well, in that case, I won’t say no. But you’ll have to decide what we do, brother Li. After all, brother Duan and I have chosen for the evenings and it was your idea as well. So, let us know when you’ve come up with something. I’m open to anything.”