The Complete Guide to the Use and Care of a Personal Assistant
Editor: NomNom, Cien
First Published on Chaleuria
Chapter One Hundred and Thirty-seven
Xia Can, the girl who was Ling Miao’s date, noticed that Ling Miao didn’t even look at her or seem to care about her at all. Happily, she thought, Looks like this guy was also forced to be here like me!
The two parents chatted in a friendly manner. However, seeing the impatient looks on both of their children’s faces, the mothers’ expressions soured. Hu Yueyuan awkwardly suggested, “It’s probably because we’re here that they’re too embarrassed to talk. How about this? Let’s go and leave them to it.”
“Xia Can, seize this opportunity, or you really won’t be able to get married,” Xia Can’s mother said gravely. With that, the moms disappeared around the corner.
Ling Miao put his phone away. “I was forced to be here,” he said quietly. “Also, our orientations aren’t compatible. So, I’ll just go.”
“‘Orientations aren’t compatible’?” Xia Can’s eyes brightened. “You’re gay?”
“You too?” Ling Miao raised an eyebrow.
“I’m not,” Xia Can replied regretfully, “but I have a friend who is. Do you want me to introduce you to him?”
Xia Can looked at Ling Miao hopefully, but Ling Miao shook his head apologetically. “There’s someone I like, and we’re already living together,” he explained. Understanding the general situation, Xia Can sighed and looked quite at a loss.
Ling Miao rose to go downstairs, but Xia Can stopped him. “I dare say they’re chatting downstairs. If you go down now, you’ll end up on the wrong end of the gun.” As Ling Miao thought about it, Xia Can’s words did make sense. He sat down and continued reading his novel.
The first blind date passed in reading novels. When he got home, Hu Yueyuan asked how things went, and Ling Miao said their personalities hadn’t been compatible. He had wanted to say ‘gender incompatible,’ but Hu Yueyuan would definitely convey his words verbatim to his dad. And his dad wasn’t to be upset so Ling Miao couldn’t speak his heart.
In the next few days, Ling Miao’s time was spent either on dates or traveling to them. His script for each date was always the same: “I’m on this date because I was forced. Our orientations are incompatible.” Upon hearing this, some girls called him a pervert, and some simply turned and left. Others suggested marriage—because they, too, were homosexual—but Ling Miao turned them down.
Time passed quickly. The condition of Ling Miao’s dad improved greatly and he was soon to be discharged from the hospital. The day he was released, Ling Miao went to the hospital to bid his father goodbye. When he reached the ward, he heard the sounds of quarrelling. Ling Miao’s father was arguing with his apprentice, the very apprentice who had angered the man enough to land him in the hospital in the first place. “Scram!” The father yelled at the apprentice. The apprentice helplessly sighed and left. “What are you here for?” The old man snapped as Ling Miao entered.
Ling Miao said coolly, “Since you’re well again, I don’t have to keep up this act. I’m here to say goodbye, and I won’t be coming back.”
“Traitor!” Ling Miao’s dad picked up the cup at his side and hurled it at Ling Miao, who didn’t dodge. Suddenly, Ling Miao felt something tighten around his body and he fell into a warm embrace. He didn’t have the chance to see who was hugging him when a gentle hum came from above his head.
“Su Yuyang?” Ling Miao, surprised and worried, turned to face his lover. He asked anxiously, “Were you injured?” Su Yuyang didn’t respond. He pressed Ling Miao into his shoulder, and his arms tightly encircled the man’s body as if to mold Ling Miao to himself. Returning the hug, Ling Miao complained, “Why did you block the cup for me? If he wants to hurt me, let him.”
Su Yuyang listened to Ling Miao’s childish whining and laughed. “I blocked it and it hit my shoulder. If I didn’t block it, it would have hit your head. You’re already stupid. If you’d been hit, you’d be completely silly! And then, what would I do for the rest of my life?”
Su Yuyang and Ling Miao flirted with one another heedless of time and place. As he watched, Ling Miao’s father felt his blood pressure rise. “You two, get away from each other!” He stepped forward and tried to separate the pair.
But, the moment he touched Ling Miao, he heard a slightly breathless woman’s voice say, “In-law,¹ I think we should have a talk!”
“Why is Mom here?!” Ling Miao looked at the person before him in shock. It was Su Yuyang’s mom!
“Xiao Yu said you’d run into difficulties and came to me. This boy… Really! You should have come to me the day you got back. You put it off and put it off and now, even though it’s been so long, you still haven’t done a thing! In the end, you needed me to come along.”
“I only just thought of it!” Su Yuyang said, aggrieved.
“‘Mom?’” Ling Miao’s dad was livid at the way his son addressed the woman. “And who are you?”
“Oh, I forgot to introduce myself!” Chagrined, Su Yuyang’s mom slapped her forehead. “I’m Su Yuyang’s mom and your in-law. Though this is the first time we’re meeting, my son has told me about you.”
“Who’s your in-law?” The father looked thoroughly unconcerned, and his gaze dismissive as he looked atSu Yuyang’s mother.
Ignoring the man’s glare, she recalled, “At first, when I found out that Xiao Yu liked men, my reaction was about the same as yours. I also wanted to take my son to be cured or find a wife for him. But, as I grew to understand the gay community, I no longer objected to Xiao Yu being homosexual. I just hope the person he likes isn’t a criminal and won’t hurt him.”
“Hmph!” Clearly, Ling Miao’s dad thought the woman’s words were a farce. “Like mother, like son!” he yelled. “Now I know why your son is like this! Your entire family is crazy!”
“You…!” Su Yuyang couldn’t remain calm as his mother was insulted. He raised his fist and was about to hit Ling Miao’s dad when his mom restrained him.
“I already told you I would take full responsibility for this matter. You two just sit and wait for the result,” she declared confidently. His mother approached Ling Miao’s dad. She took out a tablet and showed the man the resources she had prepared. “This is all the information I gathered at first. I hope reading it will help you.”
The ward went quiet. Ling Miao’s father stared at the tablet. His expression changed from dismissive to shocked, from shocked to grave. After a long time he said, “Is this true?”
Su Yuyang’s mom nodded. “If you don’t believe it, you can do your own research. I’m sure, afterward, you’ll make the same choice I did. Because you’re Ling Miao’s father. If even their own families don’t stand by Su Yuyang and Ling Miao, their lives will be much more difficult! I’m not asking you to understand them completely, but, please, don’t stop them. Now that the children are grown and can think on their own, we can’t interfere. As long as they live well, we, as parents, only need to wish them well.”
“It sounds better spoken than sung,” a mocking voice interjected. Everyone turned to see Hu Yueyuan with a disdainful expression and her arms folded.
“Ling Miao, who’s this?” Su Yuyang’s mom studied Hu Yueyuan.
“Hu Yueyuan,” replied Ling Miao coldly.
“Ling Miao’s stepmother,” Hu Yueyuan added haughtily.
“‘Stepmother’?” Su Yuyang’s mother looked at her in surprise. “Xiao Miao, did she forget her meds? Quick, get a doctor here to look at her head.”
“There’s no cure for stupid.” Su Yuyang calmly twisted the knife.
“Enough!” Ling Miao’s dad abruptly interrupted the quarrel.
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 “In-law”: a casual/familiar form of address between a person and their child’s spouse’s parent.