nd Father Xu had accepted him, and they treated him so well, saying that he was their second son.
Yet after breaking up, how could they harden their hearts like this? No matter how much he begged, it was useless.

When Tao Ran came to the Xu house, Mother Xu was watching TV and Father Xu was not there.
Seeing him coming, Mother Xu greeted with a smile, “Tao Tao is here.” Tao Ran, diminutive Tao Tao.[5]

Tao Ran put down the fruits[6] he was carrying, took off his shoes and went inside, calling out naturally, “Mom.”

Mother Xu responded vaguely and chatted with him.

The topic returned to Xu Ziyang, and Tao Ran, beating around the bush, tried to find out when Xu Ziyang would come back from abroad.

Mother Xu sighed, “Tao Tao, I know you have grievances against us in your heart, but I still have to thicken my face to say something.
I truly want the best for you.”

She patted the back of Tao Ran’s hand, “Ziyang doesn’t want us to tell you where he is.
As a mother, I also feel that he is too callous, and he’s not worthy of you.
Good child, you are still young, so hurry up and find someone else.
Come on, don’t let Ziyang delay you.”

Tao Ran pursed his lips and didn’t speak for a long time.
The two were silent for a long moment before he asked, “I’ll just ask, Xu Ziyang… is he still single now?”

Mother Xu looked at him, her eyes flashing unbearably.
After a moment of hesitation, she finally nodded.

Tao Ran smiled, as if satisfied.
“That’s good.”

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No matter how hard he chased after him, he still had his own pride.
If Xu Ziyang had a new love, he would definitely turn his head and leave without continuing to bother him.

“You…” Mother Xu hesitated.
She wanted Tao Ran to visit less, not because she disliked him, but to let him get rid of the past as soon as possible and start a new life.

Tao Ran knew what she wanted to say, so he reached out and hugged her, comforting her instead, “I know… I will try my best to let him go.
But Mom, I recognized you as my godmother.[7] Since my parents left, you and my godfather have been my only family.
Even though I broke up with Xu Ziyang, I will never forget the kindness you treated me with.”

Mother Xu’s eyes moistened when she heard those words.
She patted Tao Ran on the back, and scolded her son through gritted teeth, “What kind of evil did Ziyang create…”

On the way home, he sent Xu Ziyang a message.

Tao: I went to our mother’s house.

Tao: She was scolding you.

Tao: Lao Yang was also scolding you last night.

Tao: Everyone is on my side, so I’m very good.
You are really blind.

As usual, Xu Ziyang did not reply to him.

Xu Ziyang was always like this.
Once he made a decision, there was no room left for compromise with other people.
After they got together that year, he told Tao Ran that he had already been moved by second year, then spent a year observing Tao Ran’s determination, then another year dealing with friends and family.
So, by fourth year, everyone thought they were already together.
Only Tao Ran was still stupidly chasing him.

As soon as they graduated, Xu Ziyang met the parents resolutely, officially came out of the closet, bought a house, and began to live with him.

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Tao Ran was stunned the whole time, overwhelmed by the pie that hit him in the head and at a loss.

Later, when they broke up, it was the same.
Xu Ziyang gradually became indifferent to him.
First, he didn’t sleep with him, then he didn’t eat with him, then he didn’t communicate with him.
Finally, Tao Ran couldn’t bear it and had a huge fight with him. 

Xu Ziyang immediately broke up with him, and before Tao Ran realized what had happened, he simply left the country and never came back.
In order to prevent him from harassing him, Xu Ziyang also blacklisted all his contact information.
In the end, after using the carrot and stick, Tao Ran finally got him to leave one WeChat account, and he basically did not reply.

He was always passively bearing it, bearing Xu Ziyang’s love, bearing Xu Ziyang’s indifference, without the slightest ability to resist.

He didn’t even dare to think about these things.
Once he remembered them even a little, Tao Ran would be so sad that he couldn’t breathe.

[1] Yang Yangyang’s nickname is “Old Yang”, and Xu Ziyang’s nickname is “Big Yang”.

[2] The word he uses is 轴 (lit: “axle”).
It’s Beijing slang meaning someone who is inflexible, dogmatic, overly sincere, and difficult to change.

[3] The phrase he uses is “献宝” (lit: “offering treasures”) which seems to come off from a Yangzhou phrase “波斯献宝” (lit: “Persians offering treasures”), which is a sarcastic way of saying that you’re showing off something which is only valuable to yourself.

[4] It’s a Chinese internet meme that cat owners are poop-shoveling slaves.

[5] A cutesy pet name that is generally used by parents or family members for children.
In this context, it means Tao Ran is very close to his in-laws.
In the north, it’s typically a character of your name repeated twice, or Xiao (little) + a character of your name.
In the south, it’s typically A + a character of your name.
For the first type (a character repeated twice), sometimes an arbitrary character is used. 

[6] Fruits are a typical guest-gift in East Asian cultures.

[7] 干妈 is typically translated as “godmother”, but to my knowledge, it has nothing to do with Christianity.

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