Si Tao could see from his expression that this wasn’t something that Li Ming was happy about. Well, it figured. He sighed again, wondering if he should even say anything. This wasn’t his relationship. Then again, he had already gotten involved the other day so he shouldn’t be like this now.
He swirled the pen between his fingers for a moment and then put it down with a clack. “You know, Mo Fang is a difficult person. Or maybe that’s not the right way to think about it. Actually, he might be pretty simple.”
Li Ming looked at him, feeling that simple definitely wasn’t the word he would use to describe somebody who had pretended to have a completely different personality for several weeks.
Si Tao smiled faintly when he saw his expression. “I know what you mean, it doesn’t look like that to you right now. But what I mean is that the one thing about Mo Fang that is outstanding is that he has a really good grasp of what people actually want. You could say that he is able to figure people’s minds out.
“Most of the time, it’s being pretty enough which is exactly how he was raised. Being a model, I’m not even sure if he likes doing that from the bottom of his heart. Maybe it’s just that he is good at it because it’s something that comes naturally to him. He knows what people like to look at and that’s what he gives them. It’s easy for him to do and he likes things to be easy. He’s always been like that. At the very least, I have never gotten to know him any different.
“When it comes to relationships, it’s the same way with him. He sees somebody that he likes and then he tries to figure out what it is that they like. Then, he fulfills that wish to the best of his abilities.
“I don’t think he even realizes how this is a problem. It’s … not done maliciously but because he wants to make the person happy. That is probably the kind of thought process he has because if that person is happy, they’d have a good relationship.”
“He’s lying though. And not just a little. You know, it’s not that I didn’t realize. I did. At the very least, I did every now and then. But I thought those were some white lies, that he was nervous, that he didn’t dare to speak his mind, something like that.”
Si Tao smiled wryly. “Yes, that’s definitely not him.”
Li Ming furrowed his brows. “Exactly. And that is the problem. I don’t want to be with somebody who always acts around me. I just can’t do that.”
Si Tao nodded, feeling that this wasn’t a strange way to think. Most people would probably agree. At least people who genuinely cared about their partners. “Of course not. Who would want that? It’s like this person is just pretending. When you find out, you will question everything.
“I never had that problem with him because I happen to like the kind of person he was from the very beginning. So he could just be himself with me. But when it comes to others, he will naturally default to whatever type they prefer. I think that he just …” He fell silent for a moment, trying to find the right words.
Li Ming looked at him, not sure what to expect. In any case, it didn’t matter either. Anyway, what was over was over. He had just come here to apologize and that was it. Afterward, he’d have a couple of drinks with Duan Zhi Hao, and then they would leave and he’d try not to think about this any longer.
Si Tao finally couldn’t come up with a good way to explain in a few words and could only go in a roundabout way. “What has he told you about his past?”
Li Ming raised his brows, not quite sure what he was going for. “A bit. Just bits and pieces of past relationships I guess.”
“Well, what about his family?”
“I did work for his father so I know him pretty well and I met his mother once. Other than that, he hadn’t really said that much about them.”
Si Tao nodded, his expression relaxing. “Well, I guess even after just meeting his mother once, it’s pretty clear where he got that behavior from. She is also like that. And not to shit on his father but he has enabled her to do that.
“In their relationship, his wife can do whatever she wants. It’s not just his fault. She grew up as the princess of her family, the one who has everything and gets anything she wants served on a silver platter. To this day, nothing has changed about that. As a result, she doesn’t consider other people’s feelings at all. That goes for her parents, her husband, and also extends to her son.
“In his mother’s eyes, Mo Fang’s greatest achievement is his looks. She has shown that from when he was small and it surely got worse after he became a model. Just imagine that kind of life: What he actually wants never plays a role, instead, it’s endless praise for having a good figure, a pretty face, and being able to pick out a nice set of clothes. With time, that takes a toll.
“In Mo Fang’s case, he has really started to see himself like that. And his behavior is meant to please in the same way. It’s … just there to compliment his outer appearance because he deems that to be the most important factor about himself.”
Li Ming nodded, feeling that this wasn’t too surprising. “I think that this is the one thing I’m pretty sure he didn’t play up just to make me fall in love with him. He really tends to reduce himself to his looks.”
Si Tao shrugged his shoulders. “Yes, that. I think that he really believes himself to be just a pretty face and he knows that that isn’t enough. Not for a long-term relationship and I think that, at the end of the day, he still wants that. So he pretends instead and since he is good at reading the room, it works out.
“Until it doesn’t anymore because he slips up somewhere. Which … will inevitably happen after he gets comfortable with you. He starts to trust you to a degree where he can’t keep up the act anymore and starts to make mistakes that finally make the other person realize what is up. And any kind of decent man will pull the plug at that point and leave him. So the only ones he has a chance of staying with for longer are those who really care only about his face, reinforcing his original beliefs.”
Li Ming rubbed his forehead and shook his head. “You know, I wasn’t sure if I really understood why he was doing these things but I think you said it well. The little that I do know about him — the real him I mean — it all fits.
“I’m just afraid it comes too late. Maybe if this had been in the beginning, we could have worked this out. But now, we are already broken up. It’s too late. I don’t think I’d be able to trust him again.” He shook his head, actually regretting a bit. He wasn’t sure if maybe, this couldn’t have worked out after all. So yes, he regretted that all this came too late but he also knew that it was better to be broken up.