Si Tao couldn’t help but feel a little uncomfortable. He had never needed to help somebody through their grief. Honestly, was he even doing a decent job at this? Maybe he was even making everything worse …
He tried not to doubt himself too much and reached over, holding Mo Fang’s hand. “I don’t know what the future will bring either but don’t give up on it. I’m sure that … after whatever time you need, things will start looking up again.”
Mo Fang nodded. “I know. It’s just easier to tell yourself that than to actually believe it in your heart.” He raised his brows and shook his head, getting up to make himself some tea. “The tough part is not knowing where to go with all of this.”
Si Tao looked at his back, understanding immediately what he meant. “Your mother doesn’t care enough, your father is probably being as overprotective as always, and the bunch of us friends doesn’t get it, right?”
Mo Fang looked over his shoulder, not sure if he should deny the last part at least. In the end, he could only sigh. “I don’t mean it in a negative way. I … I’m glad you’ve never been in this situation. Losing somebody this way … it’s harder than I could have ever imagined.”
He shook his head again and focused on the pot in front of him. In his mind, he couldn’t help but think of all the friends he had here in China though. After a moment, he turned around and looked at Si Tao with a solemn expression. “You know, you’re actually doing really well.”
Si Tao who had gone back to silently eating so he had something to do looked up with a strange expression. “I’m doing well?”
“I mean with how you’re reacting to all of this.” Mo Fang hesitated for a moment and then rubbed his forehead. “When I was overseas, I didn’t know many people at first. Then later, it got a bit better but it all felt so casual. I guess it’s not that different from how things were here.”
He shrugged his shoulders and then sighed. “Half of my friends are ex-boyfriends that I broke up with. They … I guess they do care about me but they’re really not eager to hear about any relationship troubles, not to mention …”
Si Tao gave a hum. “They likely wouldn’t know what to say. I mean … where do you even begin? It probably doesn’t help that a few of them are still nursing crushes on you.”
Mo Fang sighed again. “Yes, exactly that. Among all of them, you’re the only one I felt comfortable going to about this. You … you care about me but not in that way. And you’re also at a point in your relationship where you get how I’m feeling. Not many of them would. They’re still at the stage I was at when I left here.”
Si Tao nodded. “If it is somebody you haven’t known for a long time, there would likely only be a shock. If you’re that involved …” He shook his head.
If it was Tong Lan who passed away, he didn’t think he’d be able to get over that in a long time. And how could he? He loved her so much. His life had been better in every way possible since they got together. For Mo Fang, it had been the same with Yu Ting.
Si Tao rubbed his head, suddenly not feeling like eating anymore. He pushed the bowl away and turned to the side, looking at Mo Fang closely. “I was surprised when you called me first after you found out. But I guess I get it now. It probably felt the safest.”
Mo Fang nodded. “I hated having to tell my dad. I … I waited five days before I did and I never told him that it had been that long. I still haven’t.”
“You don’t have to either.” Si Tao smiled faintly. To be honest, he had thought Mo Fang was doing alright. After he dealt with the immediate aftermath of Yu Ting’s death, he had started to sound … almost normal on their calls rather soon. Then he suddenly wanted to return to China, moved into this apartment he had inherited, and even met up with friends.
Seeing all of that play out, Si Tao had assumed that he simply wanted to start a whole new chapter and leave it all behind. Because of that, he hadn’t brought it up much and also hadn’t taken as much time to be with Mo Fang. But clearly, that had been wrong.
Rather than saying that he was alright, it might be better to say that he had taken care of any issues overseas almost on autopilot. The loss probably hadn’t really hit him until after he came back to China and was confronted with the pieces of the dreams he and Yu Ting had had as a couple.
When it happened, Mo Fang still hadn’t been ready to confront those feelings so he just tried to bury them as deep down as he could. He connected with his old life — the one he had led before even going abroad and meeting Yu Ting — in whichever way he could while simultaneously stepping away from the things that reminded him of that chance at love he had lost.
Really, he should have seen it. Right now, it was so, so obvious. Even though he agreed that he might be the best person in their circle of friends that Mo Fang could have contacted and opened up to, he had still done a particularly bad job at helping him after the initial problems were taken care of.
Si Tao lowered his head and thought for a moment before finally speaking up. “Just go at your own pace with everything. Don’t feel forced just because you think there is something anyone else might want or need. This is about you, after all, so what you need is more important now. That does include me, by the way. So, if I got too much ahead of myself today with making that appointment, you can also tell me.”
Mo Fang smiled but still shook his head. “No, I think it’s a good idea. Although … I can’t tell you if I’ll still think that tomorrow.”