Li Ming quietly listened and then didn’t know what to say. This just didn’t want to fit with the image he had had of his parents. Had they really been broken up for two years in-between? Then, how had they still managed to get back together and make it work?
This was just unbelievable to him. Especially in his current situation. After a moment, he couldn’t help but clear his throat. “And you were able to just trust him again? Despite all that?”
His mother gave a hum, sounding a bit like she was reminiscing the good old times. “Well, you know, I’m not saying that it was easy. It was … hard work, even after we reconnected. I definitely didn’t make that decision lightly either. No, I thought about it for quite some time, and only when I was really sure that I wanted to try again did I say yes.”
Li Ming gave a hum as well but he didn’t know what to say. He still couldn’t reconcile this with the parents he knew. Still, he would like to know more. Also, he probably shouldn’t think too much. Just because something like this had been possible for his parents, that didn’t mean that there was a chance for him and Mo Fang.
Adding onto that, just because his mother had been magnanimous enough to forgive his father, that didn’t mean that he had the same magnanimity in himself. In fact, he was pretty sure that he didn’t. He was hurt, he was angry, and he definitely didn’t want to open himself up to let the same situation repeat itself. That would just be idiotic.
Not that he wanted to say that his mother was an idiot. Surely, she had had her reasons. And from everything he knew, his dad had indeed been honest with her after he made that promise. At the very least, he couldn’t remember a single time where he had ever caught his father in a lie about something. Which hadn’t seemed so odd before but now, he couldn’t help but think about that for a while longer.
“Growing up, dad always harped so much about how lying is bad, how we should always say the truth even if it’s uncomfortable, how we should be honest to a fault. You saying that he himself didn’t keep that standard … I’m not sure how to think about this.” And that didn’t even touch the relationship aspect.
His mother sighed. “I know. To be honest, I wasn’t sure if I should tell you this. I just thought that it might help with making you feel a bit better about your breakup and that’s more important. I know it’s not quite the same situation but maybe just knowing that you’re not the only one going through something like that will help you.
“As for your father, I think the reason he stressed that so much with you was because of his own experiences. We were young when things happened, then we were a bit older when we reconnected, and yet a little older when we finally had you. I think we matured over all those years so, by the time we were teaching you about life, your father’s view on things had changed. Maybe a little too much.”
Li Ming gave another hum. “You’re trying to tell me that I’m too rigid, aren’t you?” This was something his mother had indicated a few times in the past already. He hadn’t understood back then but he felt like he finally did now.
“I’m not sure if I would say it this way. It is just that … you know, I don’t think there is any person in the world that can be a hundred percent truthful about everything. Sometimes, lying might be the easy way out and people choose to do it for selfish reasons. But sometimes, I think that it might be necessary.”
“To be honest, I can’t think of a single situation like that.”
“You can’t? Well, I guess it might depend on what you think a lie is. Not telling somebody something, is that lying already? If you give an excuse, is that a lie? I think that those things, sometimes, they are for the better. You don’t need to tell somebody everything just as it is. Sometimes, the truth is better left unsaid or maybe just a part of it. After all, you also don’t want to hurt people, do you?
“At the very least, that is what I think. Your father would probably say something else now but anyway, no matter what either of us thinks, you need to make your own decisions. And also, if you feel like you were betrayed, then even if you change your stance on this, there’s no reason to get back with that man.
“Sometimes, relationships have just run their course. And we shouldn’t change our core personality to be with somebody. I don’t think that that would be a good idea. Not if you want to find lasting happiness with that person because you also need to be able to be true to yourself.”
Li Ming gave another hum, still not sure what to think about the whole matter whether it was his parents’ past or what his mother had just said. It made him question quite a few things. Actually, he didn’t really want to think about that either.
He pushed the thought away and then couldn’t help but try to find something else to say. Looking around, he couldn’t help but notice that it had already gotten late. “We’ve talked for quite some time.”
On the other side, his mother seemed to be smiling again. “Yes, we did. It’s been some time since we had such a nice conversation. You should call more often. Actually, you could also come and visit home every now and then. I know you are old enough and have your own life, you probably don’t want to be at our place all the time. But every once in a while, it would really be nice to see you.”