Category: Romance, NC-21, Chaptered
Cast: Cha Eungi, Choi Siwon, Cho Kyuhyun
They both are inseparable since their beach gateway, either Kyuhyun or Eungi will spend their days like teenagers that just learn to date and spend their nights as long as they can in each other’s place, and Eungi tries her best not to sleep in his place or let him sleep in her place—there’s a part of her that still demands their relationship not to go too far too fast. It’s summer break and that only means they have all the time in the world to waste to cuddle and get to know each other better. He’s glad because he has nothing to worry about his academic performance during his last year’s break and in the other hand, Eungi is actually tensed up while waiting for her faith in one of the university she applied to.
As any other late morning, he comes to meet her up to her place to hang out. He can’t believe he’s actually enjoying the comfort of being in a serious relationship with an older woman. As far as he’s concern, the time he spent with her is the longest time he ever spent with the same woman in his life, and he likes it. He enjoys how they can go out and have fun like people in love while they also can just sit at home to read books together like an old couple, if he knew being committed is this fun, maybe he’d tried that from a long time ago—maybe because the right woman just came along right now.
Kyuhyun rings the bell in her home but Eungi hasn’t answer no matter how many times he pressed the button. It’s weird because earlier this morning Eungi invited him over for brunch and now she’s not picking up her phone. He crossed the line by entering Eungi’s password that he took a peak once and let himself enters her home.
Of course she won’t hear the bell ring, she’s blaring her sound system to its maximum capability and her phone is lying on her coffee table in her living room. Kyuhyun chuckles to her choice of old The Beatles tunes that somehow doesn’t fit her tough appearance, he enters her house freely and searches for her in every room and can’t find her.
He rounds her house one more time, looking for any clue and his heart is about to jump out of his chest when he sees a pair of feet peeping out from under her working desk in her study. Kyuhyun comes closer and squats a little to look beneath her desk and found the one he’s looking for. Cha Eungi is closing her eyes with her hands while she’s singing slowly to the music in the background with a bottle of soju next to her.
She doesn’t respond.
“Cha Eungi!!” He shakes her shoulder.
Eungi immediately puts down her hands and looks at him in surprise. “Kyu, you’re here.”
“You invited me.”
She looks spaced out, “What time is it?”
“Ten in the morning and you’re drunk already?” His eyes point to the half empty soju bottle next to her.
She smiles stupidly and grins, “I’m trying to.”
“Are you okay?” He takes a seat next to her under her desk while trying to find a perfect position so his head doesn’t bump with the desk. “Why are you hiding here?”
Eungi rounds her arms and hugs him tight then lays her head on his chest. “I feel so restless, I haven’t got any sleep last night.”
“Because you miss me? I told you, you should’ve let me spend the night here.” He gives her a morning kiss on her lips.
“Because I haven’t heard from any of the university I applied to.” She whines. “Aish! Oettokhe?!! I don’t know what to do with my life if I’m not accepted in any of it.” She stumps her feet to the air beneath.
Kyuhyun’s image of Eungi before he really gets to know her is that she’s a cool and mature woman, but the more he knows her the more he sees the other side that she never showed other people. Cha Eungi is capable of feeling restless, she can whine like a child and she can be very spoiled sometimes, instead of being annoyed by these, Kyuhyun is actually relieved that he has a chance to man up and pampers her.
“What if I’m not accepted in any of them? Aish I’ve been starring into my laptop screen since last night, waiting for the announcement. The one in England supposed to declare their candidates today.” She takes her body away from him to grab the soju and drinks the content straight from the bottle.
“Are you worrying about your income or about your credibility?” He runs his hand on her back.
“Credibility.” She sighs. “I hold a patent to the new eco panel, Kyu. All I need to do is breathe and the money will go into my account every time the thing is produced—money is the least of my concern.”
“So nice being you.” He chuckles.
“But my credibility..” She covers her face with her hands. “I have to compete for this position with any other professors from around the world! And I believe they all look down on me.”
Another side of her he didn’t know—self-conscious and lack of confident.
“Noona, you’re like one of the smartest people our country has, how could you doubt yourself like that?” Kyuhyun tries to console her even though he knows it’s useless.
“But I’m too young and inexperienced compare to all other candidate, it’s like I’m the only one without the grey hair and the only wrinkle free candidates in between them all. Admit it, the first time you saw me, you also didn’t believe I hold the Professor title.” She whines again.
Kyuhyun nods along, agreeing with her concern. “Yeah, you’re right about one point. When I knew I got a professor to teach in my class, I didn’t thought I’d date her. I expected and old lady with three grandkids.”
Eungi giggles to his effort in comforting her, “They spent their life teaching and researching, that’ll crate an awesome CV while all I could write in my CV is how much I studied and sometimes teach and researching.” She grabs the soju and takes another gulp.
“Ya Cha Eungi,” He takes the bottle away from her and drinks some himself. “Enough with the self-pity, I don’t like seeing you being desperate like this. Let’s get out of this desk, it’s so cramped in her.” He slides out and pulls her hand with him.
“But I like it here.” She pouts, “It’s darker, quitter and safer.”
“Is this your hiding place?”
She nods. “Old habit dies hard, I always hid under the desk whenever I feel threaten.”
Kyuhyun pulls her harder to get her out from under the desk and she obeys. “Noona, you can learn to lean on me from now on, okay? Rather than hiding beneath the desk, you can hug me instead.” He takes her out of her study and gets themselves into her living room.
“By the way Kyu, how did you enter my house?” She just notices the sudden appearance of him.
“I entered the right password.” He walks to the stereo to turn down the volume so they don’t have to speak loudly.
She laughs and sits on her couch, “I’ll change it.”
“You’d better don’t, since I’ll figure it out in no time anyway.” He takes his seat next to her, “You promised me brunch, what have you cooked?”
She shrugs and grins, “Ramyeon?”
“Again?” Kyuhyun shakes his head in disbelieve. He gets up and walks toward her fridge to check for any other option. “Noona, you don’t even have any banchan, we can eat those with rice and it’s still healthier than ramyeon.”
Eungi follows him to her kitchen and gets a glass of water. “Nobody taught me how to made banchan, so I never have any stocked in my fridge.” She gulps her water down to balance the soju she took earlier, “You should ask your mother to make those for you, then give me some.” She lifts her eyebrows to him.
“Ha! That’ll be a miracle if she does.” Kyuhyun smirks cynically and close the fridge door then take a seat on the kitchen counter.
She notices something from his tone and takes her chance to dig deeper, “What’s with the sarcasm?”
Kyuhyun scoffs, “You know, I haven’t tell you about this but seems like you’re not the only one with the broken family.”
“Do you mind to share?”
He shakes his head, “I’ll share everything with you.” he takes the glass from her hand and drink some before he continues. “The one that holds the title of Mrs. Chairman and Mrs. Cho you saw in the gala is not my mother.”
Eungi comes closer to him and leans her hip on the kitchen counter next to him. “I don’t understand.”
“My real mother was kicked out of the house when I was in middle school.” He stares at her in the eyes trying to look as cool as he can and forgets how the truth still bothers him sometimes. “She cheated on my dad but she was stupid enough to bring that man into our house. So the divorce paper is the next thing she had to sign and I never heard from her ever since. Obviously my dad got custody over me and she was left with pretty much nothing, the bitch deserved it though—for abandoning her family like that.”
“Kyu, I’m sorry. I didn’t know.” She rubs his hand on his thigh.
“It’s okay, it happened a long time ago and i never felt connected to her anyway.” He smiles bitterly, “Years later my dad remarried with the new Mrs. Cho. They love each other I guess, but she can’t conceive his child so that makes me the only heir in the line. It’s not like my stepmother treats me badly or anything, she just never be a mother to me—not the kind that prepares my lunch or stock my fridge with side dishes etcetera.”
“Is that why you chose to live alone?”
Kyuhyun nods, “It’s comfortable for me and it’s comfortable for them.”
“Is that why you have trust issue towards women? Because your mom cheated?”
Kyuhyun takes his hand to mess with her hair, “Noona, when I tell you my story, please treat me like your boyfriend instead of your study subject, ne? Stop analyzing.”
She pouts her mouth but the apologetic stare is clear in her eyes. “Sorry, shouldn’t do that.”
Kyuhyun gets down from the counter top and takes her in his arms, “It’s okay, a past is a past and maybe that affected me to become who I am now.”
Eungi rounds her hand on his neck and looks deeply into his eyes. She knows he still hurts by his childhood no matter how hard he tried to be cool about it. She runs her hand through his hair and slowly caressing his handsome face while she’s managing her own crazy heartbeat. She doesn’t know what to say to him and honestly, she’s afraid any word that comes out of her mouth will hurt him.
“Thanks noona, for believing in me the way you did.” He pinches her right cheek. “You made me believe that I deserve a second chance and not all women are actually bitches.”
Eungi scoffs, “They don’t see you the way I do.”
“Maybe your sight needs to be fixed.” He pulls her closer and kisses the top of her head. “I love you noona, I can’t believe I’m capable of this feeling.”
Eungi bite her lips and smiles, he said that so many times to her already and it still gets her butterfly in her tummy every single time.
“You should know that I’m not going anywhere, I won’t abandon you, Kyu.” She tiptoes and presses their lips together.
She hasn’t said her feeling towards him just yet but what she just said is enough to make him feel loved. For all he knows, abandonment is something that happened continuously throughout his life and that has led into his bad attitude towards any kind of commitment. It’s more than enough to have her in his arms and now he’s overjoyed with her simple promise to keep staying by his side.
So she’s not accepted in the program she applied to in UK. She just received the email three days prior to the originated announcement and she was just hanging out in his place when she got the news. Eungi takes a deep breath and hold her disappointment over herself before she slams her laptop screen to close it, she then crosses her arms on the table and lays her forehead onto it to release her anger.
“Bad news?” Kyuhyun just return from buying take outs for their dinner.
Eungi nods and stays in silence as he puts down the plastic bags from the restaurant and begins to takes out its content to prepare their food.
“How many chances you have left?” He grabs her shoulders a from behind and pulls her to sit up straight instead of hunching pathetically over her laptop.
“Five more, but I want this one in UK actually.”
“Maybe that’s not the right place for you, or maybe post-doctoral is not what you should do. You told me you wanted to write a book, why don’t you focus on that?” He takes a seat in her opposite then offers her the dinner he just bought.
Eungi grabs the chopstick from him and begins choose the food in front of her. “The book is my last resort and I don’t know if I’m capable to write that just yet.”
“Why not? Do you need more sources? I can help you hack some sources.”
Eungi scoffs to his way declaring his dirty talent shamelessly. “I’ll get back to you for that.” She chews on her food before she continues, “I actually plan to write something that doesn’t have any correlation to my research or specialty.”
“No, terrorism.” She pauses to see his reaction.
Kyuhyun stops eating and now look at her intensely. “May I ask why? Why would you dig into your own wound?”
She nods, “I feel like I’m dealing with my grief better the more I face it. I didn’t know about that until I talked to you about the horrid event.”
Kyuhyun tries to study her face. The scene he saw months ago were so scary that he still gets nightmares about it, and Cha Eungi is trying to dig deeper into that memory to help herself? He doesn’t really understand how her brain works but he sure wants to help her to move on faster from the lost.
“The early months were hard for me, it’s almost impossible for me to get a decent sleep without getting nightmares. During the day, if I let myself wander a little, I’d instantly picture the scene all over again and it’s slowly killing me.” She gulps her water and puts down her chopstick. “But then we talked. We actually talked about him—which was the beginning of my stage of acceptance, we talked about what happened to me and I believe you witnessed what was going on from your laptop screen. It surprised me that the more I talk about it, the less it hurts.”
He’s now paying all of his attention towards her words, trying to process the info as quick as he can.
“That’s when I get a revelation to write a book about it, from the living survivor point of view. I don’t know if that kind of book will change the world but I know it’ll cure me. Do I sound crazy to you right now?”
“Honestly? Yes.” He nods, “But I understand you reason.”
Eungi moves nervously in her seat, not sure if her idea was brilliant or idiotic.
He takes her hands on the table and holds it tight, “If that’s really the best option of therapy for you, then I’m going to support you one hundred percent. I just don’t want you to get hurt again noona, I remembered how troubled you looked when we first met and I’d hate to see you go back to that state.”
“Was it that bad?”
“Very bad. You hardly smile and when you do, it’s so obvious how much you forced it.”
“So, do you think I can’t do it?”
He takes a deep breath while thinking the best answer to this situation. Of course he believes in her, he just trying to prevent her from another heartbreak.
“I know you will do awesome. I just need to prepare myself more for you, in case you have the moment of meltdown.”
“I won’t bother you then.” She sounds offended by his words.
“No, please bother me.” He gets up and kneels beside her seat. “Please allow me to be a part of this healing journey that you plan to take. What I’m saying is, I have to be the stronger person here noona. Because by the end of the day, you have to admit that you’ll need a shoulder to cry on and a punch bag to throw your frustration into.”
She carefully cups his face and smiles, “You don’t have to go that far for me, Kyu.”
“I want to.” He takes her hands that are on his face to hold on her thigh, “Whatever your crazy idea is, I’ll be beside you and support you. I’m sure you’re smarter than me anyway.”
She smiles weakly, “That’s the problem, I don’t really know where to begin this crazy journey.”
They both stare at each other in silence, busy with their own thoughts. Kyuhyun has an idea in his head but he’s really afraid that Eungi will be furious if she hears it—no matter how brilliant it is.
“We’re brainstorming now aren’t we, noona?” He gets up from the floor and sits back on his chair.
Eungi nods, “Any idea?”
“You won’t like it.”
He’s scratches his head nervously and hesitantly tells his idea, “Let’s go to Paris.”
Eungi closes her eyes, trying to deal with the wave of emotion she feels every time the city’s name is announced in front of her. People all around the world see that city as a romantic gateway with its classical beauty and charm. She used to be one of those romantics, until the city unravel its ugliness.
“Paris.” She whispers, “The city full of scams and scandal, the city that’s only pretty from the surface, the city that changed my perspective of beauties.” She can feel her tears welling up on her eyes.
“It’s a bad idea, isn’t it?” He feels guilty at once and the regret is clear in his voice. “I just figure that if you face your fear up front it’ll help you faster. Sorry noona, I went overboard this time.”
Eungi shakes her head and forces a smile, “No, actually that’s the best idea I heard so far. I’ve been thinking about that but I don’t have enough guts to even say it out loud. Thanks for being my voice when I’m too coward to speak for myself.”
“Are you okay if we go?”
“Are you sure about this?”
She lifts both of her shoulders but nods along. “It’s time to face my fear.”
“Noona, if you feel it’s too much, you can just waive the white flag and we’ll go home, okay? I’ll be with you the whole time.”
“What if I can handle it, but it’s too much for you to bear?” She delivers her concern. “I mean, somehow the tragedy affected you too in a weird way. I can’t guarantee I’ll stay my same self once we’re there and I’m not even sure that I won’t have another meltdown.”
Kyuhyun ponders on her worries and he thinks of the best answer her can give her without bullshitting his woman at the same time.
“If it’s too much for me to handle, I’ll waive the white flag and take you home too.” He finally gives his answer. “But I won’t leave your side, we’re in this together. I promise.”