SML V6C9 One Matter at a Time

The Mo family finished their dinner with more of Madam Mo’s stories from her travels. Finally, Mo Fang got up to go back to his own apartment.

Mister Mo immediately furrowed his brows. “Are you sure about this? You know, you could always move back in with your mother and me. We wouldn’t mind at all! In fact, we’d be happy to have you.”

Mo Fang nodded. “I know but … it’s alright like this.”

Mister Mo wanted to argue further but finally just gave a hum and nodded. “Well, at least call or text when you’ve made it back. It’s so late already.”

Mo Fang nodded as well. “I’ll do that.” He only said his goodbye after that and then left the house, making his way back to his own place.

Looking up at the facade of the duplex, he sighed to himself and pulled out his phone, shooting his father a short message that he had arrived. Closing WeChat, he looked at the background photo until the screen went black. Shaking his head at himself, he went inside, turning on the light at the entrance.

It had been several months since he returned to China but he still wasn’t used to living here or even the thought of doing so. And yet, when his father asked, he hadn’t been able to bring himself to say yes to moving back in. It just … didn’t seem right.

He took off his shoes with a sigh and went to the living room, falling onto the couch face first. Everything was so … uncertain. He didn’t like it. It felt as if everywhere in front of him was an empty plane and he had to cross it to get to some point he couldn’t see. If he were to pick a direction at random, he might get further and further away from his goal without even noticing, getting further lost on the way. That idea … it scared him.

Mo Fang got back up into a sitting position, looking around the apartment. He still wasn’t used to living here. It looked almost as empty as his future felt. Sure, it was a nice place and he liked the style but it just felt so impersonal. It was clear that nobody had been living here before he returned to China.

He knew he could do something about that. If he spent some time putting up decorations or even just unpacking his luggage that he had brought back from Europe, it’d go a long way. But then, he somehow didn’t want to do that either. He just … he felt like this wasn’t permanent even though it should be.

He had no real interest in going back to Europe just like he didn’t want to model again. He didn’t necessarily want to stay in China either but it just seemed easier right now. Still, he had this feeling that the next moment, he might just pull the zipper of that suitcase close, step onto the night airplane, and go somewhere completely else. He might not know where but just … anywhere. Anywhere else.

He closed his eyes and took a deep breath, trying not to think about it. Instead, he tried to remind him about the good things here in China: It was nice to have been able to not just see his family on a screen but in real life, to sit together and have dinner or give his father a hug.

He had also felt a lot better after seeing Li Ming and finally apologizing. He had had that planned long ago but it had always seemed like something that wouldn’t happen anytime soon. First, because he had been far away where he literally couldn’t reach him. And second, because Li Ming really didn’t seem interested in establishing contact in any form.

His thoughts finally stopped there. He had apologized and Li Ming … well, he hadn’t said anything but with the type of guy he was, even if he couldn’t forget it, he would at least accept the apology and forgive him in part. Certainly, the time that had passed had also helped a lot with his willingness to give that a try. Still, he likely wouldn’t ever hear from him again.

It was alright though. He had said that he merely wanted to tell him and wouldn’t care whatever Li Ming did with that apology. Whether he forgave him or still hated him, whether he wanted to stay in contact or not, it was all up to him.

And yes, he had meant that. He knew that Li Ming didn’t really trust his word but he hadn’t been lying when he said it. He just hoped that it would somehow help Li Ming. And, well, admittedly, it felt good to have finally said it. Just for that, it had been worth it.

He pulled out the pendant he was wearing, rubbing the smooth edge. “I really did it. I thought it wouldn’t work out but I guess if you give things a try, you can be surprised. I … I’m glad I tried, no matter what comes of it. Although, I still don’t see my future any clearer. It’s more like …” He stared off into empty space, trying to look for the right words. “Like checking things off a list.”

Yes, that was how it felt. But then, maybe that was alright. He didn’t need to have the answers all at once. He only needed to have something to work toward, no matter what it was.

Finding some things he could accomplish one after the other was much better than agonizing over what to do with the rest of his life. At the very least, he wouldn’t feel like any step he took might be wrong and lead him down a path he didn’t want to see the end of. Not to mention that doing something at least meant that he wasn’t standing still because god knew that he currently didn’t want to give himself time to think about anything.

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