Li Ming took a couple of deep breaths, not wanting to suddenly start crying in front of his mother after having this kind of talk. It would just make her feel bad needlessly and she’d reproach herself. He didn’t want to do that to her when they had just made up but, right now, he really felt like he might. He wasn’t usually somebody who didn’t have a good grasp on his emotions but after everything that had happened recently, this kind of revelation was too much to take even for him.
For a while, he didn’t say anything and his mother couldn’t help but fret. “Xiao Ming, you wouldn’t be angry, would you? Really, these days, I don’t think about it like this anymore! Yes, I still worry about you, but I also realize it won’t change anything.
“Being gay … that isn’t something you can change. It took me a while to realize that but it is what it is. And as long as you’re happy, then I’m happy as well. I just hope that you’ll find a nice partner one day and settle down with him. That would be good.”
Li Ming finally managed to wrest control of his emotions back and nodded slowly. “I will. Not … right now, but in the future, I definitely will.” Yes, despite everything, he hadn’t given up on that. The right person for him was somewhere out there. He just needed to go and find him when he was ready.
His mother looked at him and, for a moment, she wasn’t sure if she should say something. But then, she couldn’t help but pat his hand. “You know, you aren’t young anymore. By now, you should probably start looking for somebody. If you need help …”
Li Ming stared at her in return and once again didn’t know if he should laugh or cry. This was probably the same kind of talk that all straight sons would get to hear about finding a nice girlfriend and going on blind dates. Well, apparently, his mother had really managed to completely accept it.
Finally, he chuckled and shook his head. “It’s not that I don’t want to. But as I told you the other day, I just broke up recently. It’s a bit hard to get over him.”
His mother nodded and continued to hold onto his hand, sighing faintly. “Yes, I was a bit surprised. I didn’t even know you were in a relationship. This matter, if you are sure it’s better to be broken up, then you should stay strong. But if you think that there is a way to reconcile and make matters better going forward, then you also shouldn’t hesitate. Sometimes, giving a second chance can be worth it.”
Li Ming gave a hum and thought of what she had told him on the call the other day. “I was surprised when I heard what dad did. If it had been me, I probably couldn’t have forgiven him for that.
“With Mo Fang …” He shook his head, not even knowing what to say. “Actually, what he did was even worse than dad’s behavior. I don’t think I can find it in me to forgive him for that. Definitely not now, maybe never. This just isn’t how I want life to be. I want somebody that I can trust. Somebody that, from beginning to end, will be honest with me.
“You know, I get that there are some things that you shouldn’t tell a person immediately. It’s just how I won’t tell everybody that I’m gay immediately upon meeting them or how a wealthy person might not disclose their net worth for a couple of dates because they are afraid they will be used.
“Personally, I sometimes feel that I am leading others on with that but I at least know that, in time, I will bring it up and clear the air so there are no misunderstandings. It is a part of getting to know each other that you also find out new things.
“But … when you already are in a relationship, how can you keep so much back? I just don’t understand. And he … he didn’t just hide details from me either. He made up a whole different personality for me. It just … makes me so angry that he would do that to me. It’s like he was deliberately playing me, playing with my feelings.”
His mother nodded, not surprised at his reaction. “Your father raised you to be the man he couldn’t be when we met, hoping that you wouldn’t make the same mistakes. Maybe he was a bit too strict so there is some guilt every now and then when you aren’t completely honest. But in the end, that is also a virtue.
“And in this case, with how you describe it, your boyfriend really went too far. There is no coming back from that. Well, there are many other men out there. I’m sure you’ll be able to find someone.”
Li Ming gave another hum. He honestly didn’t want to talk about it anymore so he focused his thoughts on the time after Mo Fang instead. “Well, I guess at the end of the day, it also wasn’t all bad.
“We had a good time and I think that this whole disaster with him changed my life for the better. I didn’t think much about it before but I wasn’t going forward and I’m still young. I should be moving ahead.”
His mother smiled, noticing how she had just told him the exact opposite to get him to find a partner already. But in a sense, he wasn’t wrong either. He wasn’t even thirty yet. Where was her son old? Since he wouldn’t have children either way, there was no reason to rush.
Li Ming noticed her expression but just took it as a reason to explain further. “You know, my job, the way I was living my life, I guess I was just stuck. And even though the whole relationship blew up at the end, he showed me that it could be more than that. So after we broke up, I took some time for myself to make things get better.” Although, he was without a job right now. That wasn’t necessarily something he wanted to tell his mother but it also seemed wrong not to tell her since they were already sitting together for once.
He gave her a sheepish smile and then cleared his throat. “To be honest, I quit my job at the railroad station. We were working together there so … it was awkward seeing each other every day. And other than that, I also felt like it was time for something new. But mostly, it was about him.”
At that, his mother finally looked concerned. “Then, how are you doing now? Do you need money? Do you want to move back in?”
Li Ming hurriedly shook his head and pulled his hands away, waving them so she wouldn’t get any ideas. “Don’t worry, mom. I’ve been saving a lot these years. Right now, I’m taking some courses to further my skills so I can get a better job. Then, the pay will also be better. Don’t worry about it. Whatever I lose for now, it will be worth it. It’s like an investment in the future.”
She nodded slowly but she still looked a bit concerned. This matter, she should bring it up to her husband later on. “Well, it’s good that you are happy with what you’re doing. If you need help though, you can always tell us. Your father and I, we are still your parents, no matter how old you get. Even if we would like to see you settle down already, it isn’t a problem. We will always be the first people to be there to help you.”
Li Ming reached out and took her hand again, nodding slowly. “I know.” Previously, he might’ve doubted it, but now, he was sure that this was true. In the future, he’d make sure that there wasn’t a misunderstanding between them like this ever again.
It seemed this was another good thing that had come out of his relationship with Mo Fang.