Closing the door behind Cang Gui Ying, Li Ming turned back to look toward the kitchen, his gaze complicated. Something told him that things really weren’t good between the two of them. Maybe he shouldn’t get involved in that but then again, he also didn’t see another way.
He sighed and then went back over, sitting down opposite Rui Lan and giving him a questioning look. “So, what kind of drama is going on between the two of you again?”
Rui Lan winced at that. “Was it that obvious?”
Li Ming propped his elbows up on the table, folded his hands, and then put his chin on top, giving him a deep look. “If you were just anyone, I might not have noticed. But honestly, between what went down back when the two of you broke up back then, then that message today, and your behavior just now … yes, it was pretty obvious.”
Rui Lan rubbed his forehead, really not sure what to say to that. Well, he had wanted to talk to Li Ming so it was also good that he had realized that something was up. That’d save him the trouble of having to bring up the topic. “Honestly, I’m not even sure where to start.”
Li Ming raised his brows. “Well, how about telling me first if there’s a break-up imminent?”
Rui Lan’s brows furrowed and he shook his head. “No, I don’t think so. At the very least, I really hope that’s not it. You know, getting back together … I was a bit hesitant about it. I mean it’s not like things ended well between us the first time around. We were pretty much at each other’s throats all day. But then, the time we had before was good and I also don’t regret getting back together. I’m happy with her, really.”
Li Ming nodded and lowered his hands, feeling that there was a ‘but’ coming.
Rui Lan kept quiet for a moment but then still got it out in the end. “You know, she’s been hinting recently that she wants to move back in together.”
Li Ming nodded, feeling that it wasn’t that surprising. “Well, considering the time you’ve been together now and the time from before, it’s been quite some time. It’s not that strange she asked about that, right?”
Rui Lan smiled wryly. “Yes, but the last time, we broke up shortly after moving in together. And I’m just afraid that it will end up exactly like that again. That’s not something I want to see.”
Li Ming wasn’t sure what to say for a moment. This situation, it wasn’t what he had expected but thinking about it now, it also made sense. He hadn’t known when the two of them moved in together but it should have been about the same time as when Cang Gui Ying started working at the railroad station. So in the end, the problem was really that they had spent too much time together. In a relationship, you also needed some downtime. Otherwise, it was too easy to get on each other’s nerves.
Thinking back to how the conversation just now had worked out, he couldn’t help but worry a bit. “She is trying to spend more time with you, isn’t she? I mean, that matter of going to help out one of her friends, you didn’t need to come along but she insisted, didn’t she?”
Rui Lan nodded, actually feeling a bit helpless. “Yes, and since you mentioned working out together, she’s also asked to accompany me several times. I’m trying to find excuses to go alone but it’s not like she doesn’t realize. The longer this goes on, the angrier she gets at me. But I really don’t know what else to do.”
Li Ming could understand his apprehension. This situation, it really was a lot like it had been back then. “Well, have you told her? I mean, about how you feel about this?”
Rui Lan gave him a wry smile and then shook his head. “No. You know, I just … I don’t know how to. When I don’t want to do stuff with her, she usually gets angry. I can’t even fault her for it. I mean, we’re finally back together again and she loves spending time with me. Seriously, in general, I am happy about it. I mean, if my girlfriend didn’t want to spend time with me, I’d also feel that it’s not good. But it’s just too much, you know? And it’s not going to get better from here. We’ll just … start getting on each other’s nerves again.”
Li Ming nodded, indeed understanding what the problem was. But then, they couldn’t solve it if Rui Lan didn’t speak up about it. Cang Gui Ying couldn’t read his mind after all.
He pondered for a moment and then shook his head. “No matter what, you need to bring it up. If you don’t tell her, she’ll continue to push for more time. Then if you try to evade her, she’ll feel worse about it, and start nagging you even more, causing you to get fed up in return. In the end, the whole relationship will blow up again.” Seriously, this wasn’t a question of if it would happen but of when. And looking at how they hadn’t even been able to completely suppress these undercurrents while visiting somebody, he didn’t think that that time was far off. No, they needed to deal with this quickly.
He believed that the two of them had a chance to be a good couple so he didn’t want to just leave it be. “How about … I try and mediate?” This was the only thing that he could suggest. Otherwise, really couldn’t think of anything to do.
Rui Lan nodded. “You mean sitting with us while we have the discussion? I think that would be a good idea.”
Li Ming hesitated at that. Actually, that wasn’t what he had meant. “Actually, it might be better if you do the talking alone. At the end of the day, even though we’re all friends, I’m still an outsider. And I don’t think that kind of conversation should be had with somebody like that present.”
Rui Lan furrowed his brows, feeling that this was also true. In fact, Cang Gui Ying might not appreciate having to hash out their relationship issues in front of somebody else. Thinking of it this way, he couldn’t help but sigh. “I guess that won’t work then.” Really, when Li Ming brought the idea up, he had thought it might be the best way to go about this but now, he was unsure again.
Li Ming wasn’t as worried though. “Well, while sitting next to you might not be too good, what I actually meant was that I could bring it up with her before you have the talk. That way, she’ll know what’s about to come and might not react as harshly. You also wouldn’t have to find a way to start the conversation and can just go ahead.”
Rui Lan wasn’t sure if this would work but then again, it sounded like the best option he currently had. If it was left just to him, he really wouldn’t know how else to go about it and just hope the matter resolved itself. “Alright, let’s do it that way then. Just … give me a heads-up when you do it. I don’t want to go into this blindly.”
At that, Li Ming smiled. “Sure thing. Then, you should work on the points you want to make. It’s not going to help anyone if you are unprepared.”