SML V6 Epilogue: A Second Chance

Li Ming walked into the office, his hair blown into disarray by the wind. He gave Mo Fang a faint nod and then walked past his desk to the small backroom, changing his clothes for the lesson.

It had been two years since their awkward encounter created by him catching the private investigator. Even though he had originally been there to see if charity work could be his new career, that wasn’t where life had finally led him.

In the half a year following that first day at the organization, Rong Xiang had started her events and they had taken off much more than expected. In the end, he quit his job at the hotel ahead of time and became a full-time employee taking part in both Rong Xiang’s events and Zhu Yi’s courses.

Well, he couldn’t complain. He did like this job. It was something worthwhile to do with his life that actually taught valuable skills to other people. And since both Rong Xiang and he had a certain affinity with charity work, they also made sure to work together with some organizations, not losing sight of the reason they had both considered a career in this field. They even cooperated regularly with some of them.

This was also how he had met Mo Fang again. Curiously enough, while he didn’t end up in this career, Mo Fang had. A year ago when Rong Xiang had finished the negotiations with the organization and the two of them walked into the office for the first time, the two people they met with were a senior staff member and somebody who was introduced as a student volunteering in the organization’s marketing department.

Maybe it was because their last few encounters a year prior hadn’t been bad but Li Ming actually didn’t feel anything but surprise and some slight worry when they stood opposite each other. The latter reduced more with each time he came to the office. By now, they really got along as if that breakup back then hadn’t happened.

Li Ming finished changing and walked out of the backroom again. At this time, Mo Fang was alone in the office. It was already late in the afternoon and the somewhat dimmed sunlight fell through the window, shrouding his figure in warm light.

Li Ming was in a daze for a moment when he saw him like this, once again reminded of the time when they had been together. He tried not to think about it but it was already winter and cold outside so he also didn’t want to wait outside. Thus, he could only awkwardly stand in the office, his thoughts spinning.

Mo Fang was focused on his work at first but finally noticed the person on the other side. He looked up and smiled faintly. With how they had gotten along in the past months, he felt that Li Ming shouldn’t mind his presence any longer. So while he wouldn’t go and bother him, he also didn’t feel the need to hide from him. “There’s some tea if you want to warm up.” He motioned to the other side of the office where a teapot was standing on a cupboard.

Li Ming nodded silently and walked over, pouring himself a cup. He glanced over at Mo Fang and then poured a second cup after some hesitation. Carrying it over carefully, he put it down next to the keyboard.

Mo Fang looked up with a surprised expression. “Thank you.”

Li Ming nodded and stayed next to the desk, taking a sip of his tea.

Mo Fang gave him a curious look in return. Usually, Li Ming wouldn’t talk much to him either even though he wasn’t avoiding him like the plague any longer. Suddenly standing next to him really made it seem as if there was something important to say.

Li Ming continued to sip his tea with a calm expression but his heart was beating frantically. He couldn’t help it. It had been about two months ago when the thought hit him for the first time that he really didn’t feel any resentment for Mo Fang any longer and was instead reminded of the good times more and more.

It was awkward, to say the least. They weren’t just exes, after all. So much had happened that it was difficult to pretend it wasn’t there and then there was also the fact that Mo Fang also had his personal issues. Since they were friends with the same people, Li Ming was very much aware that he hadn’t dated even once since returning to China. But that only made this more awkward.

Mo Fang also took a sip of the tea and then couldn’t help but glance at Li Ming again. “Brother Li, if you want to say something, just go ahead. Anyway, we’re alone right now.” He glanced at the door but nothing could be seen of Rong Xiang yet. Well, it seemed that Li Ming was very early today anyway. In fact, this was a bit out of the norm for him. He usually came later. Wasn’t there a course before this?

Li Ming nodded and cleared his throat, finally putting down his cup of tea to focus on Mo Fang. “This … isn’t something I’m sure I should say.”

Mo Fang nodded. “It’s alright. Whatever it is, I’m sure we can solve it.”

Li Ming gave a hum and couldn’t help but glance at the pendant with the two rings around Mo Fang’s neck. He was still wearing it. Maybe this was a sign that he wasn’t over it or maybe it had become a habit. He didn’t know but if he didn’t ask this question, he might regret it.

He sighed and wondered if he should sit down for this but finally continued standing next to the desk. “Since you said that … Have you ever thought about getting back together? I mean, at least trying to see if we’d be a better fit now? It’s been five years, after all.”

Mo Fang blinked his eyes, completely lost. “You …” He didn’t know how to finish that sentence and could only shake his head. Had he thought about it? No, actually, he hadn’t. After all, he had hurt Li Ming badly enough that he wouldn’t have thought that there was any chance for that to ever happen. If somebody had suggested it to him, he’d have laughed and said they were delusional to bring it up. Li Ming would never accept if he asked him to try again.

But now, the person who brought this up wasn’t somebody else but Li Ming himself. He naturally couldn’t just laugh and pretend it was a joke. Not with how serious Li Ming was looking right now.

He lowered his head and thought for a moment, wondering if he would want to do this if Li Ming was alright with it. It seemed … “I think I would be willing to give it a try if it’s you.” He looked back up, his gaze still a little puzzled.

If it was any other ex, he couldn’t imagine doing this. He knew their good sides and their bad sides. Having turned into the person he currently was, he didn’t think any of them would have been a good fit.

After his relationship with Yu Ting, he knew that it needed a certain type of person to find happiness together. Li Ming … he was that type of person. It was only their past that had seemed to make this impossible. If he could look past that though …

Mo Fang tilted his head. “Are you sure you wouldn’t regret this?” This was what puzzled him the most. He wasn’t the one who had been hurt in this relationship so trying again seemed alright. But Li Ming … was there a need to do this? It seemed like an odd choice.

Li Ming exhaled slowly when Mo Fang said yes and finally pulled over that chair after all. Looking at him, he smiled. “Believe me, I’ve asked myself that question a lot. It seems … I can’t say for sure but I feel like I will definitely regret it if I don’t give it a try.”

Mo Fang still looked puzzled so Li Ming couldn’t help but explain more. “You’ve changed and I happen to like the person you’ve turned into. In fact, I might have even liked the person you were before, just that I never had a chance to explore that. Now, it’s different. We could try and see where it leads us. If it works out, I think that would be good. If it doesn’t, then at least we have our answer. So, how about a date this weekend?”

Mo Fang wasn’t sure if it was right but now that Li Ming had brought it up, he also couldn’t help but want to know. In the end, he nodded. “Alright, let’s have one date first. If it goes well, we can think about the rest. If it doesn’t, we can treat it as a sign. I guess that isn’t too bad.”

Li Ming nodded, grabbed his cup with some embarrassment, and got up again. “I’ll let you finish work then. Sister Rong should be here soon anyway.”

Mo Fang nodded and watched Li Ming walk out into the cold after all. Seeing the door close, he couldn’t help but smile.

Sometimes, there was a second chance in life. When you saw it, you should grasp it. Otherwise, there might indeed be regret. He didn’t know how their attempt at starting over would work out but he did know that just trying alone was worth it. And to be honest, he was really looking forward to it. Since this was the case and they had both learned from their past mistakes, maybe there was a chance that this time, it would be forever.

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