Mo Fang finally forced himself to put the phone down at two o’clock but couldn’t fall asleep until four in the morning. When he woke up a few hours later, he didn’t feel rested at all. Sighing to himself, he grabbed his phone again and shuffled into the kitchen.
It wasn’t like he wasn’t used to this. Right after Yu Ting’s death and even for the first few weeks after returning to China, he had been living exactly like this. It had only been after Si Tao started to spend more time with him and helped him contact Mister Ruan that he started to adjust to a decent sleep schedule again. Now, it seemed that meeting Qiao Ya and looking at all the photos of Yu Ting had triggered him to relapse.
He put his phone on the table and started making breakfast, quietly pondering. These months, he had been trying to do everything he could to get back to some state of normalcy. To a certain degree, it had worked. But clearly, he wasn’t there yet. Not that this surprised him.
He didn’t want to think about it but right now, the amount of time since Yu Ting’s death was shorter than their relationship. Sometime down the line, that wouldn’t be the case any longer. When that day came … he wasn’t sure what to do.
Maybe he shouldn’t think about this but last night had inevitably made that thought come to mind. His relationship with Yu Ting — no matter how important it had been — was only a short period compared to how long a lifetime was.
It was hard to admit when thinking of the man he had agreed to spend the rest of his life with but indeed, someday, their relationship would only be a short moment in time. They would never be able to celebrate five years of being together, the first anniversary of their wedding date, or joke about being together longer than they had been old when they met. All of this, they had missed out on through no fault of their own.
Mo Fang sat down to eat even though he really didn’t feel hungry. These thoughts had put a damper on the good mood he had originally been in when he heard that Qiao Ya had been found and was able to meet her for the first time.
He sighed when he thought of her and picked up his phone, quickly scrolling through the files he had saved yesterday, choosing a few, and sending them over with an apology.
Mo Fang: [It took some time going through everything and I didn’t want to bother you at night. If you want to know more, you can always ask!]
He smiled faintly when he hit send and then focused on his food again. Anyway, Yu Ting’s last wish had probably been fulfilled now. He’d keep in contact with Qiao Ya if she wanted him to and he’d tell Yu Ting’s family today. After that … well, he wasn’t sure but he’d find something else to focus on. He had to. He couldn’t live every day like this, just waiting for something to happen.
When Mo Fang finished eating and was putting away the dishes, the phone rang. He raised his brows and quickly picked up after seeing Qiao Ya’s name on the screen. “Qiao Ya, I hope my message didn’t disturb you.”
On the other end, Qiao Ya wildly shook her head even though he couldn’t see her. “No, not at all! After yesterday, my boss told me to stay home today so I can talk everything over with my family. Anyway, I’m just a volunteer.”
“I see. Well, I’m glad. It got a bit late yesterday and seeing how you need to work, I was afraid I’d wake you up in the middle of the night.”
Qiao Ya gave a hum. “Ah, it doesn’t matter.” She had been a bit miffed at first but then thought that Mo Fang just wanted to give her time to talk things over with her dad. In fact, she had indeed done that and it had taken a long time so he had probably been right not to contact her right away. “You know, I spoke to my dad and he had no idea I had a brother.”
Mo Fang sighed. “I’m not surprised. From what Mister Ruan found, she was only fifteen when she got pregnant and the father even happened to be a foreigner who had long left the country. She might have regretted it or even if she didn’t, it’s not an easy thing to share.”
As someone who had been running wild in his youth, Mo Fang could somewhat get it. When he had been her age, he had had several boyfriends and he had done a lot to get their validation. If he hadn’t been a gay man, it likely would have ended in a teen pregnancy as well, and clearly, he wouldn’t have had the maturity to deal with that.
“Actually, I think your mother did the best she could. At that age, she wouldn’t have been ready. I don’t think anyone really is. By bringing Yu Ting to the orphanage, she gave him the chance to have a different life, a better one. At least, that was how he always saw it.”
“Did he know? About her age, I mean. You said there wasn’t much information.”
Mo Fang gave a hum. “He didn’t know for sure but he had that picture after all. Surely, she wouldn’t have used one that was several years old. So even without knowing her exact age, he was aware she should have been a teenager at that time. That is why he never felt it was wrong of her. He just wished he had had more information so he could find her more easily.”
“That makes sense.” Qiao Ya fell silent for a moment and then sighed. “It’s difficult to think that this was part of my mom’s life but nobody knew. Well, at least not me and my dad. Today, I want to go and ask my maternal grandparents. Do you think that’s okay?”
Mo Fang blinked in surprise. “Of course. Why wouldn’t it be? They are her parents. I’m sure they’re aware. They probably just kept quiet out of consideration for her.”
“Mn.” Qiao Ya hesitated but then still spoke up after a moment. “Yes, that … but is it okay to talk about my brother to them? I mean, that is kind of your story to tell, right? You … would you mind?”