Together, the two of them finished putting the dishes away in just a few minutes. After that, they sat down again and Mo Fang used the opportunity to explain why he had chosen these recipes.
Listening to him quietly, Li Ming felt some happiness bubble up in his heart. This was how he wanted to get along in a relationship: Find something to do they both liked, pay attention to the details for your partner, discuss openly, and then work together. In a sense, this was like the blueprint of the perfect afternoon.
Mo Fang raised his head after he finished pointing out the good points of the next recipe only to not get a response. “What’s the matter? You don’t like it?”
Li Ming woke up from his daze, blinked his eyes, and glanced at the recipe. It was some type of French pastry that looked like a shell made of dough decorated with snowy confectioners’ sugar. “No, it’s alright. I just …” He looked back up, his expression tangled. Was it good to say this? He didn’t want to put additional pressure on Mo Fang but he also wanted to be honest.
He hesitated for a moment but then just sighed. “I mean, this is nice. The whole idea for this date is just perfect. I knew before that it wouldn’t be bad but it just hit me how great it really was.”
Mo Fang laughed. “Well, I guess this recipe it is then.” He pulled out the other markers from the pages and turned back to the first one. They couldn’t make too many things at once so they had agreed earlier to make it just three. Now, they had already chosen everything they needed.
Li Ming nodded, feeling that it wouldn’t be bad to make this moment last a little longer by choosing this recipe. “Do you have all the ingredients?”
Mo Fang gave a hum. “Yep. I had most of them at home anyway and then bought some in preparation for the recipes I marked down. We can check again though. You tell me the ingredients while I get them?” He already got to his feet while he said so, taking out the flour and sugar that they would definitely need.
Li Ming watched him quietly before glancing at the list of ingredients in the first recipe. “Alright, then other than that, we still need …” He started to list the ingredients one by one, feeling a bit sorry that he couldn’t group them together based on what Mo Fang would get from where. This way, he had to run from one side of the kitchen to the other.
Speaking of that though … “Your kitchen is really nice. Actually, the whole apartment is. I noticed as soon as I came in.”
Mo Fang turned back with a smile. “Isn’t it?” He hesitated for a moment while bringing the cocoa over to the table but then still sighed. “Actually, it was inherited from Yu Ting. He originally bought this since he had some relatives in China. We wanted to stay here for a while after we got married.”
Li Ming pressed his lips together. It seemed he had unwittingly poked a sore spot again …
Mo Fang laughed at his expression. “It’s alright. Honestly, I love the apartment. It was difficult living here at first, I’ll admit that. Yu Ting chose everything himself down to the last detail. I had seen some photos but never been here with him so it was like … this place that was so connected to him but without him. It was weird and I really wasn’t in the right space of mind at the time.
“By now though, it’s not like that anymore. It’s … it’s a symbol of how far I’ve come. The things I’ve left behind, the things I gained, the strength I still have. Sure, it’ll always be the place Yu Ting created but it doesn’t pain me as much to think about it any longer. Now, it’s like a gift he left behind for me. Something to make it easier for me to move on.”
Li Ming nodded. He couldn’t quite imagine how Mo Fang must have felt back then and he didn’t dare to talk about it on their first date. No, this was a conversation to be had much later when they were more familiar with each other again. “Well, I can’t speak for the rest but the kitchen is indeed great.”
He looked around again, his gaze appreciative. He wasn’t just saying this. As somebody who liked to cook, he really paid attention to detail when it came to kitchens. This one had not only the space to get creative but the style was also a nice balance between functional and aesthetic. It was clear somebody had paid a lot of attention to detail.
Seeing as Mo Fang’s fiance had apparently decided on everything himself … “Did he like to cook as well?”
Mo Fang shook his head with a laugh. “No, he didn’t. I mean, he could cook. But to Yu Ting, it was always just something that needed to be done. He was really busy so he didn’t have the patience to stand in the kitchen for hours at a time to try new things. If he cooked, he’d usually go for some staples and be done with it. Usually, he ate out though. For him, it just made more sense.”
Li Ming didn’t know much about Yu Ting. He had only heard a little the day when Mo Fang found Qiao Ya but he roughly remembered hearing that he had been the CEO of some company. Thinking of it from that perspective, it didn’t seem strange he wouldn’t bother cooking. “I guess as long as you know how to, that’s alright.”
Mo Fang nodded. “I think so too. Although … it’s not bad to have a shared hobby. I could never get Yu Ting to cook together with me. I mean, he would have done it if I asked but that’s just not the same.”
“Mn, well, I guess both partners being interested in it makes for a difference.”
Mo Fang nodded again and couldn’t help but look at Li Ming. In this regard, the two of them matched really well now. Baking together like today was proof enough of that even though they both weren’t into baking in the same way as they were into cooking.
He smiled to himself and then couldn’t help but think of how he had pretended to be into working out back then to make Li Ming feel closer to him. He faintly chuckled at how ridiculous he had been. “You know, I still don’t like working out as much.”
Li Ming immediately thought of the matter from back then as well. “I guess since you don’t model anymore, you need to do it even less now.”
“Mn …” Mo Fang pondered and finally shook his head. “You know I never had issues with my weight. Actually, I feel like it’s more important now. Sitting at a desk all day, I’d get back pain if I don’t pay attention. Working out is actually nice to help with that but I can’t really bring myself to do it.”
Li Ming smiled, feeling that this side of Mo Fang was really refreshing. “I’d say we could go together in the future but I’m not sure how our schedules will work out.”
Mo Fang sighed. “Yes, I don’t know about that either. I still have two years left until I’ll finish my degree and I don’t really want to give up working on the side. It’s only a few hours, of course, but it’s some much-needed practice and I do like the charity.”
Li Ming hummed but he didn’t think about it too much. “Well, we can cross that bridge when we get there. Anyway, it’s only dating for now, isn’t it? We don’t have to worry too much. And two years … that time will pass before we know it.”
Mo Fang thought about the past two years and how fast they had seemed to have gone by and could only nod. “Yes, time sure flies. If you find something you like, it seems even more like that.”