That day, Li Ming stayed at his parents’ until late in the evening. Actually, if not for the fact that he would start the new course tomorrow morning and that it was more convenient to go there from his own apartment, he might’ve stayed there overnight.
Either way, he finally said goodbye and made his way home in a good mood. This farewell wasn’t like in the past few years where the conversations he had had with them had been unfulfilling and he had been sure that it would be a long time until he spoke to them again. No, this time, he was sure that it wouldn’t be long before they saw each other again and he didn’t dread whatever conversations they would have. No, right now, he was looking forward to that time.
Maybe the positive experience spurred him on but the next week went similarly well. As he had expected, he didn’t manage to get close to anybody as fast as he had the last time with Yao Ai and Duan Zhi Hao but he still got along well with the others. On the second day, they were already more familiar and with the course being longer, he didn’t doubt that things would only get better with time.
The other participants were only a small part of it though. The course itself was also interesting, although he had to admit that he had some trouble getting used to a different teaching style again. This really made him remember his school days when there had been many different subjects and a bunch of teachers with their own opinions.
In comparison, Li Ming had to admit that he preferred this way of learning course by course. It gave him the opportunity to make a clear cut between courses and get used to the teacher’s style faster. Also, learning seemed a bit easier.
The knowledge he was taught was more practical and the way he had chosen his courses, there were some parts that overlapped, making it easier to follow in the second course. If he had needed to do both at the same time, he likely would have had more trouble.
When Li Ming realized this, it was also a reminder of how important it was to gain new skills and brush up on your knowledge every now and then. Only this way would he be ready to take up something new and make full use of it. In the future, he should probably also see how he could make use of the skills he already had and choose new things to learn based on that.
Being this immersed in his new experiences, time seemed to fly. Soon enough, the weekend had sneaked up on him and it was time to meet up with Duan Zhi Hao.
They had texted throughout the week but it was different from the daily contact they had before. Still, Duan Zhi Hao had been asking about the course and complaining a bit about work, making Li Ming truly feel that didn’t care at all that he was gay.
Last week, he had only just found out and then been a bit strange on the way back, so he had doubted whether he would truly be able to accept it. But by now, the last bit of worry was gone. Thus, he just asked him about a few of his food preferences and then prepared everything.
By the time the doorbell rang, Li Ming had already finished with the last dish and was just wondering if he should bring the dishes out or if it would be better to eat in the kitchen.
He glanced at the time on his phone screen and raised his brows, realizing that Duan Zhi Hao was a bit early. He washed his hands, then went over to the door, opening with a smile. “Come on in.”
Duan Zhi Hao very awkwardly raised a hand, pointing at a bottle in the other. “I felt a bit odd coming over without anything, so I brought a bottle of wine. Not sure if it’ll fit with the meal though. You were being too secretive about this.”
Li Ming chuckled and took the bottle from him while waving him inside, closing the door behind them. “It should be alright but I wouldn’t mind either way.” He motioned over to the kitchen and then to the living room. “Do you want to eat over in the kitchen or here? My apartment isn’t that big.”
Duan Zhi Hao looked around but could only shrug his shoulders. Anyway, for a single person, having a two-bedroom apartment was already more than enough. And the kitchen was even separated so this could hardly be called a small apartment. “I guess the kitchen would be easier?”
Li Ming shook his head and went to put the bottle down on the table in front of the couch. “It’s not about being easier. Well, sit down on the couch then. I’ll bring everything over.” With that, he walked back into the kitchen and then started to bring out the dishes had already prepared. “I didn’t ask too much before so you’d have a bit of a surprise. I hope I accidentally choose something you hate. There are several dishes though so you can just pick whatever you like.”
Duan Zhi Hao had sat down, feeling a bit uncomfortable that he was doing nothing while Li Ming had all work. He tried to remind himself that he had been driving instead last week when they went out. So really, this was a break he had worked for. No need to feel bad.
Looking at the dishes in front of him, he couldn’t help but raise his brows. “Honestly, I’m starting to feel like I understand why sister Yao was behaving like that last week. This looks really good!”
Li Ming smiled while he brought out the last bowl and then sat down opposite him. “Well, I hope it will taste good as well. I am … a bit proud of my cooking skills, I’ll admit that much. If you don’t like it, it’s alright to tell me though. I can even whip you something else up if it’s not a taste at all.”
Duan Zhi Hao couldn’t help but laugh and just picked up his chopsticks. “To be honest, I’m not that much of a picky eater so there shouldn’t be a problem with that. Also, if it’s half as good as it looks, then even if I was any pickier, it shouldn’t be wrong.”
Li Ming nodded and then picked some of the food himself before remembering that he hadn’t opened the bottle of wine yet. He had made a mixture of Chinese food and some foreign dishes, so it was difficult to say what kind of wine would be suitable either way. Duan Zhi Hao probably would’ve taken something he like though so it should be alright.
He poured both of them a glass and then picked up his chopsticks again, giving him a smile. “Well, thanks again for last week. It was a really fun weekend, just like the two weeks before as well.”
Duan Zhi Hao smiled but didn’t say anything, being busy wolfing down the food. Now that he had tasted it, he had to admit that he really got why Yao Ai had eaten everything before he managed to get a single bite. This kind of food, you needed to be fast before somebody else got to it.