The Complete Guide to the Use and Care of a Personal Assistant
First Published on Chaleuria
Ling Miao glanced carefully at the driver but couldn’t see anything. Su Yuyang’s mom saw Ling Miao’s actions through the rearview mirror and smiled faintly. “Xiao Miao, if you’re tired, go on sleeping.”
Ling Miao’s heart skipped a beat and he inwardly grieved: Ah, I definitely haven’t left a good impression on Su Yuyang’s mom. I hope she doesn’t give me and Su Yuyang a hard time because of this.
Su Yuyang saw Ling Miao’s troubled expression and inexplicably wanted to have a little fun with him, so he made a show of sighing: “Xiao Miao, don’t worry.”
“What do I have to worry about?” Ling Miao said stubbornly.
Su Yuyang took a deep breath and slowly moved his gaze to look out the window. Now Ling Miao was even more worried. Su Yuyang smiled as he gazed out the window: Ling Miao’s reaction had once again proved that Ling Miao cared about him, and that strengthened his resolve to keep walking down this road with Ling Miao.
Ling Miao carefully scooted over to Su Yuyang’s side and poked Su Yuyang’s waist. Su Yuyang turned and asked, “What is it?”
Ling Miao leaned close to Su Yuyang’s ear and said, “Su Yuyang, did I make your mom mad?”
“No.” Su Yuyang shifted into a more comfortable position. He faced Ling Miao and put a hand on Ling Miao’s shoulders, pressing down slightly to indicate to Ling Miao that he could relax. Ling Miao’s forehead was deeply furrowed and he said softly, “Su Yuyang, your mom doesn’t answer me much, and she doesn’t look at me in too friendly a manner. I…”
“You can see her eyes?” Su Yuyang cut straight through Ling Miao’s wild imagination. “When we eat you’ll find out whether she’s satisfied with you or not. Also, later, don’t call her Big Sis.”
As Su Yuyang said the last bit he couldn’t contain his laughter any more. Ling Miao’s face instantly reddened and he tried to explain: “I… I really didn’t know she was your mom…”
“Don’t say ‘your mom’ later, either.” Su Yuyang cut Ling Miao off and reminded: “Don’t call her big sis, or aunt, or auntie, or ‘your mom’ or ‘Su Yuyang’s mother’ or ‘Su’s mom.’”
“Then what do I call her?” Ling Miao’s frown grew even deeper. The furrows in his forehead looked like they had been carved with a knife. Su Yuyang instructed: “Aside from what I just mentioned, what do you think you can call her?”
“Po-po?” Su Yuyang looked at Ling Miao in astonishment, terror on his face. Ling Miao asked in trepidation, “No?”
“Ha ha!” Su Yuyang pounded the car seat, exhilaration on his face. “Ah, Mom, did you hear Xiao Miao? He wants to call you Po-po!”
Ling Miao kicked Su Yuyang in frustration and whined, “What are you laughing about? If I can’t call her Po-po, what can I call her?”
“No, no, no!” Su Yuyang couldn’t stop laughing. “Calling her Po-po is fine—my mom’s happy! Can’t you tell the car’s going much faster?”
“I…” Ling Miao looked at Su Yuyang clutching his sides with laughter and suddenly understood how he’d tickled Su Yuyang.
Grandma and mother-in-law were not the same thing!
Clearly, Su Yuyang had interpreted it differently than Ling Miao had meant it. In other words, Ling Miao had trapped himself.
Actually, it wasn’t really a trap.
“Ah… calling her Po-po isn’t appropriate!” Ling Miao tried hard to salvage his mistake. Su Yuyang nodded in agreement. “‘Po-po’ is likely to be misunderstood, but a different form of address won’t be.”
“Mom?” Ling Miao asked tentatively.
“Mm.” An answer came from the front of the car. “Xiao Miao, is something the matter?”
Fuck! Ling Miao internally raised an alarm. Things were progressing too quickly! And like this—like this he’d be trapped by Su Yuyang and his mother into becoming a part of their family.
Though Ling Miao had already made up his mind to spend his life with Su Yuyang and calling Su Yuyang’s mother ‘Mom’ was a matter of time, for some reason Ling Miao felt a thorn in his heart.
Su Yuyang looked at Ling Miao’s dark expression and asked uneasily, “Xiao Miao, are you carsick?”
Ling Miao shook his head and didn’t respond. He looked ahead, his lips opening and shutting—he seemed to want to ask something but was unable to do so.
The car stopped in front of a restaurant. Su Yuyang’s mother parked the car, took Ling Miao’s arm, and walked on ahead into the restaurant.
“You’re the third boyfriend Xiao Yu brought back, and I think you’ll be the last,” Su Yuyang’s mother said with confidence.
“The third?” Ling Miao didn’t seem to have noticed the point she was making.
“The first was Feng Ji, the second… oh, I’ve forgotten his name. You’re the third, but definitely the last.” Su Yuyang’s mother emphasized ‘the last’ again.
Since Su Yuyang’s mother was so confident in his and Su Yuyang’s relationship, Ling Miao, on the contrary, began to grow doubtful.
Ling Miao suddenly fell silent. Su Yuyang’s mom gazed up at his uneasy expression and asked lightly, “Ling Miao, are you alright?”
Ling Miao forced a smile and said, “I’m fine.”
Anyone could tell he had something on his mind, but nobody called him out on it.
He opened the door to the restaurant’s side room. In his line of vision was a man with a pleasant face but cold eyes. The man’s gaze swept over Ling Miao, and Ling Miao’s heart skipped a beat. He reflexively stepped backward. Su Yuyang’s mom placed her hand on Ling Miao’s back to steady him, then looked up at the middle-aged man and lectured, “If you scare Ling Miao away, where are you going to find another son for me?”
At this point Ling Miao was certain that this man was Su Yuyang’s dad.
Even though Su Yuyang had given Ling Miao guidance (that really couldn’t be termed guidance), those were instructions for Su Yuyang’s mother. What about for Su Yuyang’s father?
Ling Miao turned his head and looked at Su Yuyang pleadingly. Su Yuyang’s dad huffed loudly and Ling Miao whipped his head back around in fright.
“You’re Ling Miao?” Su Yuyang’s dad asked in a very unfriendly tone, as if Ling Miao were his enemy and not his son’s lover.
“I’m Ling Miao.” Ling Miao’s smile was stiff.
Su Yuyang had already walked to Ling Miao’s side, and now he took Ling Miao’s hand and strode into the room.
“Dad, I’m back,” Su Yuyang said, back straight. “This is my lover, Ling Miao.”
This was the first time Su Yuyang’s dad had heard this word from his son.
On both previous occasions, when Su Yuyang had introduced Feng Ji and the other guy whose name he’d forgotten, he had used the term ‘boyfriend.’
Su Yuyang’s dad saw Su Yuyang’s resolution. He grew curious about Ling Miao and his gaze directed at Ling Miao grew colder.
“Call him dad,” Su Yuyang leaned close to Ling Miao’s ear and reminded.
Ling Miao looked at Su Yuyang and thought silently, Your dad’s eyes are piercing me to the bone. Are you sure that when I call him dad he won’t immediately cut me to pieces?
“Greet him. My dad looks fierce, but he isn’t as fierce as he looks.”
‘Not as fierce as he looks.’ In other words, he is a very fierce person.
Su Yuyang’s head hurt more than normal. He regretted not informing Ling Miao of his parents’ situation earlier. The two times he had brought his boyfriends home before, his dad had also put them on the spot like this. But Feng Ji and the other person had called him ‘Uncle,’ while Ling Miao was to call him ‘Dad.’
Ling Miao leaned against Su Yuyang, whose hand was at Ling Miao’s waist to give him strength.
Time passed one second at a time. Su Yuyang and Ling Miao stood in the doorway of the side room. Su Yuyang’s dad ate and drank slowly. Every time he reached for more food, Su Yuyang’s mother knocked at his chopsticks so that he couldn’t eat in peace.
Ling Miao’s voice was as quiet as a mosquito, but Su Yuyang’s dad looked satisfied. He said severely, “Come in.”
Su Yuyang and Ling Miao sat down. Su Yuyang’s dad asked, “Xiao Miao, do your parents know about you and Xiao Yu?”
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 this is used to refer to both ‘grandma’ and ‘mother-in-law’.