The two of them finally said goodbye with matters being resolved for the time being. Li Ming wasn’t as anxious any longer so he went back home and simply crawled into bed, making up for the lost hours from the previous night.
As for Zhao Chen, he spent his shift wondering about Li Ming’s behavior. To be honest, he really wasn’t worried that Li Ming would leave him for his ex. While there were still some feelings involved, those feelings weren’t positive. There was a big chance that the influence that relationship still had over him would make trouble for them in the future though.
This had already happened twice now and while they had managed to solve the issue both times, he didn’t want to risk anything. No, if he wanted things to work out with Li Ming, he might need to be more proactive.
By the time his shift ended, he pulled out his phone and opened WeChat. He only hesitated for a moment before he clicked on the latest contact in there and sent over a message.
Zhao Chen: [Do you have time to meet up? There are some questions I have.]
He kept the phone in his hand for a moment before slipping it back into his pocket. He wasn’t sure if he was doing the right thing but he couldn’t think of anything better. And rather than waiting around until the next issue came up, he’d rather try whatever he could.
In the end, it took half an hour before he got a response.
Linghu Jiahao: [Sorry, I just got off work. I’d have time now though. Where do you want to meet? Ah Tao’s place?]
Zhao Chen had already been waiting so as soon as Linghu Jiahao messaged him, he responded, and the two of them soon sat at the same table as yesterday again.
Linghu Jiahao raised his brows when Zhao Chen arrived a few moments after him. “I was really surprised to hear this quickly from you. Did something happen?”
Zhao Chen sighed. He had thought about how to explain but no matter how he said it, he felt that it would still sound weird. “It’s about your ex.”
Linghu Jiahao’s brows rose even higher but he had a rough guess why Zhao Chen wanted to see him. “You mean my ex and your boyfriend?” He picked up the glass standing to the side and took a sip, finally shaking his head. “I’m sorry if I caused trouble in your relationship because I brought him up. Mo Fang has that kind of appeal so I’m not too surprised. I should have realized yesterday though.”
Zhao Chen kept quiet for a moment, trying to digest that information. Considering that Linghu Jiahao was still into that guy, his opinion probably couldn’t be trusted too much but this still gave him an indication of what kind of obstacle he was up against. “It’s not that. He doesn’t want to get back together with him.”
Linghu Jiahao didn’t look that convinced. “If there wasn’t something like this, then why are you here?”
“Because the two of them had a bad breakup and now, my relationship is suffering from the trust issues he gave my boyfriend. When you mentioned him yesterday, I think that unearthed some feelings that … well, Li Ming probably thought he had dealt with that but I don’t think he really did. He worked through a lot but, at the end of the day, it wasn’t everything. But he needs to if this between us is supposed to move forward.”
Linghu Jiahao gave him a deep look. Zhao Chen had explained himself well but he had left out a crucial part: Clearly, he hadn’t talked about this with Li Ming yet. “I’m not sure what I think about you meeting up with me behind your boyfriend’s back like this to try and work out his issues for him.”
Zhao Chen shook his head. “I’m not trying to do that. I just … I want to understand. We’ve talked about it already but I still feel like I don’t get it. Of course, I’ll bring it up to him personally but I can see that this is hard for him and, honestly, I don’t think he really has the answers himself. So … I’m looking for another perspective. I want to hear about that guy from somebody else and I’m hoping that it will help me gain an understanding so I can help Li Ming.
“I’m not sure if that makes sense to you. If you don’t want to be a part of this, I would also understand. I’d probably ask Brother Si instead but I figured your perspective on this might be more valuable since, well, you also didn’t manage to get over him even if it’s out of a different reason.”
Linghu Jiahao continued to look at him but finally sighed. “I guess I do get what you mean. I’m not sure if it will help though. Mo Fang … is a difficult person. I probably didn’t understand him when we were together. I don’t think I do even now. There’s just so much to him that it becomes difficult to really grasp him. Maybe that is also what Li Ming is struggling with.”
Zhao Chen nodded. “I could imagine that. From what I know, that guy lied pretty heavily when they were together. It wouldn’t be wrong to say he completely manipulated him.”
Linghu Jiahao nodded as well. “Honestly, as much as I only want to say good things about him, I can see something like that happening. Mo Fang … is complicated. I think he looks for validation in his relationships and he will go to great lengths to get it. Sometimes, he finds a guy like me who will give him that without him needing to do much. Other times … it ends up like with your boyfriend.
“The problem is, I don’t think that Li Ming doesn’t know this. I’m sure he’s aware already. So even if you know, how is that going to help him? Honestly, I think you’re getting ahead of yourself there. Not to mention, you haven’t been together for that long, have you? Maybe you should take a closer look at your own relationship first instead of trying to get to the bottom of another one. There might be something to unearth there.”