Seeing Her Truth
“It was the most beautiful proposal ever! I can’t believe that Du Zifeng is this romantic. I didn’t get that vibe from him at all when he was trying to convince me to live with Dad. But then again, why would he be throwing any charm my way?” Nana wondered musingly. “Did you know that your friend was in love with a man and so eager to propose?” she asked, turning to glance at Qing Yang inquisitively.
Qing Yang blinked at her quietly before turning back to look at the road.
“I know that I shouldn’t be butting into their business like that,” Nana admitted contritely, flushing at the perceived censure. “But they are just so romantic! He doesn’t care at all that Pi Yanuo is a man.”
Qing Yang nodded quietly, agreeing with the sentiment.
“Did you know that he was going to propose to Yanuo when he asked us to come to the church?” she asked, practically jumping up and down in her car seat. “Oh! Did you know that they were going to have a wedding so quickly?” Nana asked. “I mean, he just proposed to him a day ago. What’s the hurry? And who has a wedding in the middle of the day?”
Qing Yang shrugged his shoulders, not caring to guess.
“I mean, how did they even get everything ready so quickly? There’s a church and everything!” She turned to look at Qing Yang with a pout.
He raised an eyebrow at her silently.
“I’m so jealous,” she murmured. “They’ve known each other about the same time we have.”
He tilted his head to the side, silently asking her what she meant.
“I mean, come on. They’re already getting married. I haven’t even gotten a kiss from you on the lips!” She complained bravely, a fiery blush covering her cheeks.
Qing Yang coughed, seeming to choke on air, and then turned to gape at her in disbelief.
“Well, it’s true. So you need to work on that,’” Nana muttered, her voice trembling a bit. She smoothed down her clothes, rearranging them just so. “Do I look okay?’ she asked, looking at him sideways.
He nodded his head enthusiastically.
“I know it’s too casual,” she said,” But I don’t have any party clothes. I didn’t think that I would have any need for them.”
He reached out and grabbed at her hand, smoothing his thumb over the back of it in comfort.
She gripped at his hand, placing her other hand over his, seeking his warmth.
The two soon reached the wedding location. Getting out of the vehicle, she stared at the church sitting smack dab in the middle of the water, at the end of a bridge. “Wow,” she murmured, staring at the building, thoroughly impressed. “It’s gorgeous. Where is your buddy?” she asked, looking around.
He turned his head and pointed to a group of people.
“But that can’t be them,” Nana protested. “Look. There’s an actual bride standing there. How can that be Du Zifeng and Pi Yanuo?”
Qing Yang shrugged and silently urged her toward the group.
Nana’s steps faltered and then stopped altogether when she saw the bride’s face. “What? Does Pi Yanuo cross dress?”
Qing Yang had stopped beside her, his mouth actually falling open from the surprise. He was trying to form words, but surprise had robbed him of his power of speech.
The two silently walked over, moving closer to the action. They saw a young woman, her hair in a ponytail, fluttering around Yanuo, fixing hi-her dress and adjusting her jewelry. Another couple, one of whom was Du Zihan, stood to the side. The man’s face was frozen, his eyes focused on Yanuo to the exclusion of all else.
“Liao Guangchao, stop staring at my bride!” Du Zifeng called out in an irritated tone, before turning to smile at the bride in question.
“Yes, General Manager!” the man responded, his gaze lowering to the ground.
“Eh, Ge!” Zihan protested, “It’s not our fault that he’s fascinated by the change in your Yanuo. You know that none of us suspected.”
Yanuo gazed up at Zifeng with a happy smile, murmuring something to him in a low voice that couldn’t be heard by anyone except for the two of them.
“Oh my god,” Nana whispered, catching sight of Yanuo’s chest as they moved to a better vantage point. “Yanuo really is a woman. You can’t really fake those, can you?” Well, she supposed a person could fake them, but she didn’t think that Yanuo was faking anything right now. “Did you know that she was a woman? Since you spent so much time with her, you must have known,” she declared, turning to glare up at Qing Yang, incensed at the thought that he had hidden something like this from her.
He frantically shook his head in denial.
“Hmph,” she murmured, her eyes moving over Yanuo’s figure and back to her face. “How could we have been so blind?” she murmured wonderingly, her irritation falling away. “She looks like a woman. How could we have ever thought that she was a man? Why did she lie?” she continued to wonder out loud.
Qing Yang shrugged his shoulders, silently wondering the same thing.
“What could have caused someone to keep such a big secret?” Nana asked, leaning her head against Qing Yang’s shoulder. After a moment of introspective silence, she shrugged her own shoulders. Did it really matter why Yanuo had lied? If Du Zifeng didn’t care . . . if the man who had questioned his own sexuality and willingly thought himself gay for this woman didn’t care, then why should the onlookers? “She’s very pretty.” She felt Qing Yang move, looking up just in time to see him nod in agreement. Her face darkened. “Didn’t you tell me that you went with hi-her to the hot springs?” she asked in a disgruntled tone. “And that you were in the same spring?”
Qing Yang stiffened at that reminder, his eyes going round at the memory of Yanuo sneaking away when they had entered the communal springs.
“You didn’t see anything?” Nana pressed, her gaze skeptical as she looked at him.
He quickly shook his head.
“Good,” she murmured, relaxing back against him. She grasped his hand, entwining her fingers with his. She tilted her head, strange thoughts entering her mind.
Qing Yang looked down at her, seeing the morose expression on her face.
“I’m so envious!” she cried out, answering the question in his glance. “Pi Yanuo is a woman. I don’t believe this. We went camping, and they slept together. How brave was that? They had their first dance and their first kiss within days of meeting each other.” She looked up at him, her face wearing a disgruntled expression. “Why are you so slow?”
He shook his head, suppressing a smile at her temerity.
“But you helped me fly a lantern,” she said suddenly, wrapping her arms around his waist. “And sang to me in the hospital.”
He looked down at the top of her head, wondering what she was talking about. He’d only sang to her in his dreams.
“Or . . . I dreamt that you sang to me,” Nana murmured. “It was so beautiful, beautiful enough to pull me back.” She sighed, only this time it was a happy sound, her heart truly pleased for the couple in front of her. “They look so happy. Yanuo’s practically glowing. And Du Zifeng looks so content.”
Qing Yang gazed at his friend, his eyes taking in how at peace he seemed. “I’m happy that Zifeng has found his best friend. That he’s found the person who will always stand by his side through all of life’s highs and lows,” he said softly, wrapping his arm around Nana’s shoulders to bring her closer. “I pray that the two of them remain as happy as they are today.”
Nana nodded her head, her eyes trained on the happy couple. “Still, I’m going to miss the manly Yanuo,” she murmured in a wistful tone. “The one who talked to me and seemed to understand me so well. He was so handsome.”
Qing Yang gently flicked at her forehead, silently admonishing her for her regret-filled words.
“But I guess I’ll have a big sister instead,” Nana continued brightly. “I can talk to her about important things like the fact that my boyfriend hasn’t kissed me on the lips yet and would it be too soon to get married.”
“Nana!” Qing Yang said sternly.
“Look, they’re running towards the chapel!” Nana said, smiling irrepressibly at him. She began to walk forward, breaking into a run. “Let’s go!” she called back to him. “We can’t miss anything!”