After thinking about everything for a long time, realizing the reason for how he felt, and making a decision, Zhao Chen was a lot more relaxed when he and Li Ming finally met up to talk.
This time, they had gone to Li Ming’s place. A couple of dishes were standing on the table in the kitchen while Li Ming was still busying about, looking very much as if he would prepare more until he couldn’t find a single spot to put them down any longer.
Zhao Chen watched him in amusement for a while before he got up and pulled him into his arms. “How about sitting down and eating with me now? I don’t think we’ll be able to eat all of this, much less whatever else you still want to make.”
Li Ming gave a faint hum and nodded and finally sat down stiffly. The reason why he had been preparing so much was that he was still nervous. The other time, he had been overly tired and they had only talked for a minute or two. But now, they were finally sitting together so they would certainly talk about the matter with Mo Fang. And even though Zhao Chen had seemed alright with it the other day, he couldn’t shake this feeling that he had done something wrong. So, yes, he was worried about this conversation, and keeping busy had helped him stay grounded. Now, the worry seemed even worse.
Zhao Chen had a good guess of why Li Ming was like this but he didn’t mention it. Anyway, had anyone in the history of humankind ever done so if you told them to ‘calm down’ or ‘don’t be nervous’? He didn’t think so.
Li Ming was nervous because he was afraid about this conversation. Even if he said that he could relax, Li Ming wouldn’t be able to do it until they started to talk and he himself realized that there was no reason to worry. So, it was best not to beat around the bush and just get to the core of the matter.
Zhao Chen took a moment to pick out some food, a light smile on his lips. Truth be told, this was something he could get used to. He cleared his throat when he finished and looked at Li Ming. “Let me cut straight to the chase: I’m not angry or anything. I’m not even worried. I already said that the other day but I want to repeat it so you won’t think I was just rashly saying something I didn’t mean to calm you down.
“These days, I’ve also thought about the situation and my thoughts on the matter are still the same as they were that day. I believe that you would never get back together with him and I do feel secure in our relationship.”
Li Ming nodded, his heart somewhat settling down. He had indeed still been worried that Zhao Chen would break up with him. Even though he was slightly calmer now compared to the other day, it wasn’t that much better.
Zhao Chen was relieved when Li Ming seemed to relax slightly. He started to eat while continuing to sort his thoughts. He had already chosen what he had to say from all the things he had thought about so far but this wasn’t like a speech he could just recite. No, a lot of it would depend on the situation and how Li Ming reacted.
Right now, it seemed that he was taking the beginning quite well so it shouldn’t be a problem to continue. “I won’t lie to you, I am a bit jealous. But I’m jealous of how much you clearly loved him. The two of us … we’re not at that point in our relationship and it stings to know that this is also because of him. You’ve been hurt and you can’t open up as well as you did in the past. That’s something I’ll have to live with.”
“I’m sorry.” Li Ming sighed and hung his head. He also knew this and he wished it wasn’t the case but Zhao Chen was right. Even after getting together, he couldn’t open his heart the same way he could two years ago. That was why he had doubted Zhao Chen when he brought up how fast he moved on from his relationships. Subconsciously, he felt like he needed to be careful so even normal things would seem like something big in his eyes.
Zhao Chen shook his head. “Don’t be. It’s a normal reaction. I understand it, really. It will take some getting used to but I think we’re both able to deal with this. So … in the future, if something happens, just tell me.” He chuckled when he said this and shook his head at himself. “I probably don’t need to tell you of all people. Anyway, we can talk things out. If we do, then this can work no matter what happened in the past. We just can’t give up.”
Li Ming nodded and finally took a deep breath. Honestly, this had gone a lot better than he had imagined. Zhao Chen … he really was perfect boyfriend material and the two of them fit well. Even if he was still cautious, this would likely work out. They were at a good place right now and working in an even better direction.
After another few moments, Li Ming finally let go of his worry and started to eat as well, the smile returning to his lips. “So, since this has been solved, does the plan to meet your friends still stand?” He carefully looked at Zhao Chen’s expression, hoping that he would say yes. He didn’t want this whole episode to be a setback.
Zhao Chen also looked at him and nodded. “Sure. Let’s compare schedules when we’ve finished eating and then I’ll invite people.”
Li Ming gave a hum, thought for a moment, and then leaned over to kiss him. “Thank you.”
Zhao Chen simply smiled. “I’m your boyfriend. There’s really nothing to thank me for.”
Li Ming shook his head. When it came to thanks, maybe you didn’t need to say it in a relationship but he still felt that Zhao Chen deserved to hear these two words. After all, he was sure that not everyone would have reacted this way. Why would he not be grateful that Zhao Chen was like this?