The Complete Guide to the Use and Care of a Personal Assistant
Editor: NomNom, Cien
First Published on Chaleuria
Chapter One Hundred and Thirty-six
“I thought you would reflect on yourself after I left home, but, you’re as selfish as ever.” Ling Miao didn’t answer his father’s question. He held on to Su Yuyang’s hand and smiled coldly. “I came here with a sliver of hope but all I got was disappointment. That’s right, Su Yuyang and I are in a relationship! We’ve lived together for several months now.”
“Let go!” His father rushed forward and tried to separate the pair’s interlaced fingers. “How can a man be with a man?! Even if you aren’t ashamed, I am!” he said, aggravated.
The argument in the sickroom attracted the attention of others. Su Yuyang bent next to Ling Miao’s ear and whispered, “We’re like animals in a zoo.”
“So what?” Ling Miao didn’t care at all. “What’s wrong with me loving you? I want to be with you!” He emphasized every word.
His father grew so furious his hands trembled. He pointed at Ling Miao and gritted out, “You… you… you…” He repeated, ‘you,’ for a while without saying anything else Then, he fell backward. Reacting quickly, Hu Yueyuan caught him and helped him into bed in a panic.
The doctor arrived immediately. After asking what had happened, he told Ling Miao, “Your father received quite a shock, one big enough to affect his heart and cause him to faint. While I understand your situation, if you don’t want your father’s life to be in danger, it’s best that you follow his wishes.” Ling Miao was silent. Releasing Su Yuyang’s hand, he stood by the sickbed like a statue. The doctor’s words echoed through Ling Miao’s mind: If you don’t want your father’s life to be in danger, it’s best that you follow his wishes.
From behind, Su Yuyang approached his lover and placed his hands on Ling Miao’s shoulders. “I think, when your dad wakes up, he’ll have a lot to say to you. I’ll go back first,” he offered.
“Su Yuyang.” Ling Miao turned around and hugged the departing Su Yuyang, his forehead against the author’s back. Hoarsely, he said, “I’m scared.”
“What are you scared of?”
“I remembered Tang Xuan.” Ling Miao’s breath was uneven and his voice shook. He hugged Su Yuyang tightly and sobbed, “I’m scared that another person is going to die because of me! Su Yuyang, I feel terrible! I don’t know what to do. Su Yuyang, tell me, what should I do?!”
The author gently took the hand clinging to his waist. He turned to face Ling Miao, who looked like a small, pitiful animal abandoned by its owner and in need of love. Wiping away the tears from the corner of Ling Miao’s eyes, Su Yuyang tenderly said, “Do what your heart really wants to do. But, no matter what you decide, promise me you won’t hurt yourself.” He was well aware what Ling Miao was thinking.
“But…” Ling Miao lay against Su Yuyang’s chest, unable to say the words.
Su Yuyang smiled. “When your dad’s situation is stable, we’ll sit down and have a proper talk. He just can’t take the shock right now,” he said. Ling Miao didn’t have the strength to argue.
In the parking lot, Su Yuyang took the car and left. Ling Miao stood by the side of the road, looking in the direction the other man had gone. He silently thought, One week. Give me one week.
Ling Miao sat in the hospital room reading a novel. His father gradually opened his eyes. Finding his son at his side, his gaze held only anger. “Where’s that man?” he snapped.
Ling Miao didn’t even look up. “He left,” he replied coldly.
“Hmph! Good thing he left or I’d have broken his legs!” exclaimed the father fiercely, his eyes sharp as daggers.
Ling Miao laughed frostily. “Who knows who’d end up with broken legs?”
“Is that any way to speak to your father?”
“If a father doesn’t act like one, why must his son?”
“Tomorrow, you’ll go on a blind date. Yueyuan, show him the photos,” Ling Miao’s dad huffed. A while ago, he had told Hu Yueyuan to gather photos from relatives and friends. He had intended to call Ling Miao after a few days and schedule the dates. The current situation was convenient—he had one less phone call to make.
Hu Yueyuan took a stack of photographs from her bag and handed them to Ling Miao. “Here’s a portion of them. The rest are at home. If necessary, I’ll go get them.” The young man didn’t even look at the photographs. Pulling one out, he tossed it on the bed. Hu Yueyuan turned the picture over and glanced at the name on the back. She then pulled out her phone to contact the girl’s mother. 10 minutes later, the two had arranged a meeting place and time.
“I’ll go home first,” Ling Miao said tiredly.
His dad asked warily, “Where to?”
“Your house.” Ling Miao picked up his luggage and walked in the direction of the exit.
Hu Yueyuan reminded him, “Tomorrow, ten o’clock at XX Teahouse.” Ling Miao seemed to not have heard.
With a dark expression, Hu Yueyuan’s husband instructed her, “Tomorrow, go with Ling Miao to meet the girl.”
Ling Miao returned to his icy room and collapsed like a corpse onto the bed. He couldn’t agitate his father, he needed to obey his father’s wishes. Ling Miao’s head hurt.
Without warning, Ling Miao’s phone rang. He weakly pulled it out. Seeing the display, all his strength was sapped from his body. The ringing stopped. Several seconds later, Ling Miao received a text message
Su Yuyang: I just got home.
Ling Miao let out the breath he’d been holding. He wanted to reply to Su Yuyang, but he couldn’t get his fingers to move. “Fuck it!” Ling Miao tossed the phone onto the bed in frustration.
Before long, another text arrived from Su Yuyang: Take care of yourself. When you’re done, call me.
Ling Miao stared at the author’s message in a daze, and a smile reflexively surfaced on his lips. With shaking fingers, Ling Miao responded, “Got it.” He thought about it, then also replied, “I’m going on a blind date tomorrow.” Ling Miao couldn’t guess what expression Su Yuyang was making now. He stared at the text message as if he could see the other man through the phone.
Not long after his text, Ling Miao received a reply from Su Yuyang. Mm. Take care of yourself. And, if anything comes up, call me. Also, don’t ignore my calls. I’ll worry.
“Got it.” After chatting with Su Yuyang a while longer, the pressure in Ling Miao’s heart no longer felt as heavy. He turned over and stared at the ceiling, thinking about how to extricate himself properly from tomorrow’s situation without upsetting his father.
The next morning, Hu Yueyuan woke Ling Miao. She was dolled up and dressed to the nines, as if she had walked out of a portrait. Though he felt nothing but dislike for her, Ling Miao had to admit that Hu Yueyuan was a beautiful woman. She dragged him out of the house despite it being quite some time before the appointment.
At the teahouse, Ling Miao stared at his phone. Hu Yueyuan glared at him and snapped, “Don’t look so frivolous. If a girl sees you like that, she might just turn and leave.”
Ling Miao thought, That would be perfect. He ignored Hu Yueyuan and continued reading his novel. Half an hour later, the girl arrived one minute before the appointed time. A shadow fell across the opposite seat, and Ling Miao raised his head to look.
Two women sat down opposite him: One was about 40, the other in her 20s. The younger woman was probably his date. Noticing she, too, looked frustrated, Ling Miao smiled. I might be able to get out of this scot-freeunscathed!