The two of them continued to talk about the preparations for a while before Rui Lan hurried home. Meanwhile, Li Ming couldn’t help but still think about what his friend had said about his relationship with Cang Gui Ying.
Growing enough both as a couple and as people, knowing that the other was the one, and going into it with the idea that the relationship would last … it probably took a lot of confidence to be so sure in all these things. But then, you couldn’t be afraid when it came to relationships. You had to have the courage to take a step forward each time.
Going back home as well, Li Ming pulled out his phone and stared at the screen. Somebody had sneakily changed his wallpaper two months ago. Now, what was looking at him was a good-looking face with eyes full of smiles instead of the original wallpaper that the phone had had when he bought it.
When he originally saw what Zhao Chen had done, he hadn’t understood. He had thought it was just a prank and had wondered how somebody could be this daring after just starting a new job. It took him another two weeks before he realized what was really going on.
Well, calling it ‘realizing’ might be too kind to himself. He absolutely hadn’t understood until Zhao Chen had spoken up and asked him whether his silence was a nice way of rejecting him. At that time, he had felt like an idiot.
Li Ming sighed and opened WeChat, wondering whether he should send him a message to tell him about what had happened. Rui Lan had specifically said that he could bring a plus one. Right now, they had only been together a month and a half. That seemed much too early to bring him to that kind of event. But then, the actual ceremony wouldn’t be until spring. Since it was only autumn now, it might be more appropriate at that time if they were still together.
Li Ming lowered his phone, sighing to himself. If they were still together … that wasn’t how he should think. So far, Zhao Chen and he were getting along great. He couldn’t point out a single thing about him that he disliked. He was kind, attentive, funny, communicated well, shared his interest in sports, and was good at organizing himself which meant that they had managed to get together regularly outside of work without neglecting other parts of their lives. What was to dislike about a guy like that?
Li Ming hesitated for a moment longer but then raised his phone and gave him a call.
Zhao Chen picked up after not even two seconds as if he had been holding his phone. “Ah Ming, you calling me like this, do you miss me?”
Li Ming gave a short laugh. Lacking confidence really wasn’t a problem for his boyfriend. Hearing his self-assured voice, he himself calmed down though. “You can take it as that.”
“Mn, will do!”
Li Ming looked away, not sure how to continue. “Uh … are you at work?”
“Nope, just finished my shift.” Zhao Chen fell silent for a moment and then gave a hum. “Want to meet up? Or is it too late today?”
Li Ming also hesitated. “Actually, I just got home.”
“Another time then.” The two of them weren’t at the point of staying over at each other’s place yet so meeting up late was something that Zhao Chen had never suggested before. If not for Li Ming suddenly calling and asking about work, he wouldn’t have done so today either. Even though they hadn’t known each other for long, he also realized that Li Ming was the type who took relationships slow. Being rejected didn’t bother him. Anyway, it wasn’t personal.
On the other side, Li Ming gave a hum and finally probed Zhao Chen’s thoughts. “I met up with a friend. Turns out, he’s getting married soon.”
Over at the hotel, Zhao Chen was just changing. Hearing that, he squinted his eyes. “Was that what made you think of me?”
Li Ming cleared his throat. “Well, it’s not wrong.”
Zhao Chen stopped with the jacket in hand, not sure what to say. He had just wanted to tease him but now, it turned out there was some truth to it? Had he gotten things wrong? Was Li Ming the type to charge ahead like that?
Before his thoughts could gallop away any further, Li Ming already did him the favor of explaining.
“I’ve had some influence on their relationship before so he asked if I’d be a witness for the ceremony. He mentioned I could bring a plus one.”
Zhao Chen nodded, actually feeling a bit relieved. He liked Li Ming but marriage was something he wasn’t thinking about much. Anyway, it wasn’t like they could get married here, and leaving the country seemed like too big of a step early into a relationship.
He gave a hum and put the phone down on top of the drawer to put on his jacket. “You’re unsure if you should ask me to come.”
“Yes, that’s it. It would be awkward, wouldn’t it?”
Zhao Chen gave a hum and picked the phone back up, closing the locker. “Well, I don’t know the person who is getting married yet. But then, weddings take a long time to prepare. By the time it’s actually happening, things might be looking different. How fast do you need to RSVP? If there’s some time, then let’s just wait and decide then.”
Li Ming leaned back and sighed. “You’re so relaxed about this.”
Zhao Chen laughed. “I’m relaxed about everything. Life’s no fun if you stress about these things. Anyway, it’s true we’ve not been together for long.” He left the hotel and waved at his co-workers on the way out. “With everything being new, there are bound to be some awkward matters. This is hardly the biggest.”
“I guess you’re right. Well, the wedding is supposed to be in spring so not that far off but I don’t think they want a definitive answer too soon. I guess we can really take it slow.”
Zhao Chen gave another hum. “In that case, let’s see where things go until then. Anyway, I won’t be hurt if even you don’t take me no matter where we stand relationship-wise by then. I’m not that petty. I also know there are other people involved and a wedding is the last matter to make a fuss about.”
He fell silent for a moment and then gave a hum. “Anyway, I just left work so I’ll be heading home. How about I call you back in half an hour? We could do a long-distance movie night if you’d like to. You could also wait with dinner until I’m back. You know, to talk me through one of those amazing recipes you’ve been gushing about the other day. I’d love to try.”
Li Ming brushed through his hair, unable to help the smile on his lips. “Well, do you have ingredients at home?”
“Nope. But you can choose a recipe and text me a list. I’ll go pick everything up on the way.”
“Alright. Then better hurry up!”
The two bid farewell for the time being, both rushing to do what they had promised. The early stages of dating really were too exciting. Even something as mundane as making a meal could be an expression of love. It really made people look forward to the future they would share together.