Category: Romance, NC-21, Chaptered
Cast: Cha Eungi, Choi Siwon, Cho Kyuhyun
Kyuhyun already spoils her with several choices of breakfast when she opens her eyes the next morning, seemed like he woke up early enough to get some French pastries and toasts so Eungi doesn’t have to wake up feeling hungry after the tiring night they had. Eungi picks the closest piece of clothing next to her and wears Kyuhyun’s shirt to cover her naked body before she approaches him to the kitchen.
“How early did you get up? Is this also a special treatment for me?” She hugs him then lands a quick peck on his cheek.
“You guessed it,” He takes out a chair and signs her to sit on top of it.
He still can’t get his head out of their amazing progress last night and seeing Eungi only wraps in his thin white shirt only makes his mind wanders to how perfect her figure underneath.
“What? Why are you staring at me like that? Is there something on my face?” Eungi notices his jaw dropping expression while his eyes fixed on his shirt, “Sorry, I just grab the closest fabric next to me.”
“Looks better on you anyway. All my clothes somehow look better on you.” He kisses the top of her head before he takes his seat across her.
Eungi smiles shyly to his special treatment for her, she knows how much he tries to impress her and she really appreciates his effort in making her feeling like his queen. She takes the classic toast and begins to spread some hazelnut spread on top of it before she shoves the bread into her mouth. The moment the food touches her pallets is the moment she realizes how hungry she really is, they skipped dinner last night obviously and this is even too late to be called breakfast.
She’s got a revelation last night as she lays peacefully in his embrace, somehow she finally got the strength she needs to face her fear and that courage is still intact in her spirit the moment she opened her eyes this morning. Eungi is considering her choices while chewing her bread, she wants to get it done soon and at the same time she doesn’t want to ruin the perfect morning he tried to create for her.
“You’re thinking hard noona, what’s wrong?” Kyuhyun notices her curled brows that makes her face looks tense.
She shakes her head, still considering her options.
“Aish, you’re not planning to fool me by saying nothing is wrong, right? You’re not the best liar in the world.” He grabs the next bread in front of him and begins eating his second portion.
Fine, if you want me to be honest. She’s now determined on her first option.
“Kyu,” She gulps down some water before continues, “I think I’m ready to go out today.”
Khuhyun swallows his pastries well before he replies, “Sure, do you have any idea where to start?”
“I think so.” She puts down her bread then crosses her arms on the table, “Will you be okay? You can tell me if you don’t want to and I’ll stay..”
“Noona, we didn’t fly a thousand miles to Paris just to make love and go home.” He chuckles while trying to sound cheerful despite the sudden mood drop he feels inside, “We’re here so that you can heal quicker and I’m up for it. let’s finish our breakfast, take a good shower and go—anywhere you want to start.”
Eungi studies his face closely, trying to find a trace of denial in it yet she can’t find any. What she’s not aware is that Kyuhyun is a better liar than she thought he is. He puts on the best poker face to hide his restlessness inside his heart.
He understands how afraid she really is to go outside of their rental apartment. The moment she stepped out of the front door is the exact moment she’s holding on into his hand that she hasn’t let go even once. They chose Parisian Metro as their mode of transport since she has lost her faith altogether in the city and its people so she avoids the most famous scam in any European cities which is the taxi. She leads their way into Montmartre first before heading down to the main city center, Kyuhyun doesn’t ask many question and just follows her, this is her moment to heal and she has to do everything in her own pace to get herself as comfortable as possible.
Eungi walks really close next to him as they carefully climb the steps of the Sacre-Coeur then she points on one footstep and takes a sit on the white stone available.
“I think I need to find my love for the city before I begin the ugly journey that we’re about to take.” Eungi finally talks.
“Is this your favorite place here?”
She nods, “I read about this basilica a lot when I was studying about the main design era—well you know those stuff that we learned in architecture 101. There were several places that pokes my curiosity throughout Europe: Sacre-Coeur, Il Duomo di Firenze, Milano Duomo, St Peter Basilica, Basilica di San Marco, and so on.”
“I didn’t know you’re into churches.”
“I was at first, I didn’t know what to focus on my study when I first started so I was fascinated by all these great constructions that’s beyond their time. I mean you’d probable think it’ll be very easy to build the dome on top of this basilica, but back then they didn’t have the machine we have today.”
Kyuhyun nods, agreeing with her point of fascination towards the classical building.
“Well, growing up I never thought that I could ever step out of South Korea—there’s no way I’d get enough funding to do that so I buried my dreams of seeing the world deep inside. Until one day I was offered the scholarship to the Netherlands and that opened my way to travel somehow. I was funded by the government of South Korea and also by my campus in the Netherlands so I could save up some money to travel to the neighboring country of the Netherlands.” She explains her early life as a master student to him.
“Let me guess, this is the first city you visited?” He leans in closer as he gets more interested in her story.
Eungi nods and smile, “I could only afford a return bus ticket either to Paris or to Berlin at the time. I was curious with both cities but then I’m more curious about the Art Nouveau instead of the Bauhaus movement in Germany—which now I’m super interested in. Can you imagine how joyful I was back then? It was only in my dream to see this building with my own eyes and suddenly I’m in front of it. that’s one of the amazing feeling I ever felt in my life.”
Kyuhyun smiles then round his arm on her shoulder, “I’m still amaze on how well your life turned out for you. I always forget that you had it rough back then.”
Eungi chuckles, “Well, it wasn’t rough to the point I suffered, I just didn’t have the luxury I have right now.” She leans her head on his shoulder then takes in his scent to calm her down.
Kyuhyun and Eungi are both starring into the vast magnificent view of Paris skyline ahead of them, soon enough they’ll be down there to do her business and Kyuhyun knows that she’s gathering her courage at the moment.
“Look down there,” She points to the Eiffel tower that’s visible from the distance, “I used to be this person that fell in love with the city. I mean from an architect point of view, it’s like walking in a museum wherever I take a turn. But now I’m terrified of it, heaven only knows how many thieves hiding on the street or what kind of evil propaganda being planned as we speak, this city is mysterious and beautiful at the same time—and the mysterious side creeps me more these days.”
“We can go back to our apartment if you want, noona. We don’t have to do it all today.” He tries to encourage her.
Eungi shakes her head and hides her face in the curve of his neck, “I don’t want to. I want to get my shit done soon so we can go home. The longer we stay here, the more paranoid I get.”
Kyuhyun hugs her closer and rubs her back, “I’ll support whatever decision you make.”
Kyuhyun and Eungi are now standing on the vast green field along Cham de Mars along with hundreds other tourist that’s waiting for the light show of Eiffel tower that’ll begin within the next two hours. It’s a perfect spot for a picnic with love ones and also the great place to hang out with a group of friends while letting the summer sunset greets the skin.
But they’re not here to have fun the way the rest of the people are, Eungi takes Kyuhyun to a specific spot in the park and she suddenly stops walking to look down to her feet. She closes her eyes as she takes in the summer air into her lungs before she braces herself to look upon the famous tower ahead of them. This is the very spot where they had their romantic picnic, this is the place where he pulled out the ring to asked her to marry her, and this is the exact point where she promised him to love him for the rest of their lives.
Guilt begins to climb into her heart once she comes to a realization that she just broke her own vow to Siwon as she brought Kyuhyun along with her. There’s a part of her that wants to quit this journey since she honestly can’t really handle the emotional rush that attacks her yet at the same time she wants to fight—she has to fight for herself and for Kyuhyun.
“What’s the story here noona?” He knows he’d hate the answer but his curiosity takes over.
Eungi takes his hand and links her fingers between his then leans onto his shoulder, she didn’t ask him to sit on the grass and she didn’t plan to do that either since she’s planning to leave this spot soon enough.
“He proposed here.” She answers honestly.
“Ah, I see.” He nods while swallowing the bitter truth. “A classic gentleman I assume?” He tries to hide his own emotion by trying to act nonchalant.
Eungi chuckles to his reaction, somehow amused by his way to hide his discomfort. “Ng, he was.” She nods a few times and the next words just slip out of her mouth without she even thinking about it, “So please don’t do that kind of cheesy thing when you propose to me one day.”
Kyuhyun laughs, he really laughs once he hears her silly request and he’s happy in some way because Eungi is picturing their future together as that kind of couple. “I’ll keep that in mind noona, no Eiffel tower, no cliché and no romantic gesture. Got it.”
“Don’t go down on your knees either.” She adds.
Kyuhyun nods, “Noted.”
“I’ll take a moment of silence now, okay?” She raises her eyebrow asking for his permission to have her moment.
“I’ll be here when you’re done.” He takes a step back and let go of her hand.
She takes another deep breath and does her moment of silent to reminisces her sweet memory. After all a memory only lingers to those who struggle to keep them alive and also to those who are left behind. She continues to convince herself that this is what Siwon would’ve want for her, she knows how much he loved her and that he’d only wished her happiness ahead. Eungi closes her eyes and just like a movie scene, the scenery from their last meeting here replays in her mind.
She remembers his dark blue attire that he wore that day which he wrapped under a black autumn coat. The detail of the snack they had, the name of the wine, even the pattern of the rug they use to sit on returns to her head. She still can picture his face perfectly, his round eyes that framed by his thick eyebrows, his sharp nose which matches perfectly with his full lips and his dimples that shows when he smiles at her, her favorite part of his face.
The warmth of that moment still lingers in her heart, how could she forget one of the most beautiful moment in her life? It was a perfect sunset when he pulled out the ring for her, the confidence in his manner combines with the nervousness in his eyes when he popped the question, the huge smile he had once she accepted him and the gentle kiss he gave right after—it felt like yesterday and now it’s gone.
Eungi feels like something is grabbing her heart and squeeze it really tight, her body trembles from her own emotion but she tries hard to fight all the rush that attacks her. For all she knows, she can’t crumble here, she can’t fall into the misery that her memory just created for her, she has to stay strong—for herself and for the man that’s now patiently waiting behind her.
Kyuhyun gives his arm for her to hold once she’s done with her moment, he refuses to ask more question and decided to just quietly follow where she’ll take him next. Her expression right now reminded him of how she looked like when he first met her—grim and empty. She’s not fooling him, she can try her best to look strong for him but Kyuhyun knows how much she’s shaken inside from her trembling hand that’s now holding his.
He wraps his arm around her shoulder then give a mild squeeze to encourage her, he can’t say anything and he doesn’t dare to.
Her steps are steady and the determination in her face shows that she’ll do whatever it takes to finish her misery today. On their way out from the park, she stops by a souvenir shop to buy some flowers and Kyuhyun’s mind click at once—he knows where they’re going next. He needs to prepare himself to handle her meltdown this time around because he’s sure this is actually the hardest part of this journey.
Kyuhyun was right, Cha Eungi is leading him toward Rue de la Charone to visit the place where she lost everything. They get into the corner of the block and the closer they are to the restaurant, the tighter her grab is in his hand. He can feel her sweaty cold palm in his hand with every single step they take closer to the place, Eungi is no longer trying to look cool since she begins to take several deep breaths to calm herself down.
“I’m sorry, I’m so nervous.” She tries to break the ice between them.
“I know, it’s okay.” Kyuhyun stops their steps, places his hands on her shoulders and turn her body to face him. “This is your battle, noona. I can support you but I can’t finish this for you so if you need to take a break and return tomorrow..”
“No,” she shakes her head, “I can see the place from here and I can’t do this again the next day.”
Kyuhyun pulls her closer to give her the hug of encouragement.
Eungi parts their bodies and gulps down her own fear before she takes another step closer to the restaurant. There’s a little monument built in front of it as a reminder of the horrible event and in the monument people are placing some mementos of their loved ones that lost their life that day. She’s now standing in front of the little monument to places the roses she bought earlier.
She takes a look into the restaurant and spot the exact seat where they last spent their dinner. The restaurant has been repaired to look the way it looked like back then, if it weren’t for the monument out front, nobody would notice that it’s actually the same place that was ruined months ago. The places are easily reconstructed yet her heart is hardly mended.
Memories once again flashes before her eyes, from the sweet romantic dinner that turned into disaster. Out of the sudden she got a clear vision on what happened, as if she never had a hard time to remember it. Fear creeps into her veins one more time but guilt takes over as soon as she pictures his last expression before her drew his last dying breath. Even when he was showered in his own blood, even when he had to endure all those pain that pierced through his skin, Choi Siwon managed to tell her to stay safe and he managed to give her his last beautiful smile for her to remember forever.
Eungi falls on her knees at once when she reminded about all of those, she’s done trying to look strong, she can no longer handle the pain in her heart and her guilt doesn’t make it any better. She cries frantically to the point that she draws some attention from the people around her—and nobody needs to ask if there’s something wrong, the monument that she’s kneeling into gives enough explanation already.
“Mian oppa.” She whispers in between her cries.
She’s trying to grab something to keep her strength inside her and the only thing she can squeeze is the roses in her hand. The remaining thorn that hasn’t cut out by the seller now piercing her skin but she doesn’t care, she can’t really feel the pain since the emotional dagger that stabs her heart is more excruciating.
“Mian oppa.” She speaks for some more, “I can’t give anything more for you..” She begins to pats her chest to ease her breathing, “I’m sorry it happened to you.. I’m sorry oppa..” She begins to hyperventilate the moment she begins to let her mind wander what could happened to them if the tragedy didn’t happen.
Eungi lifts her head up as she’s gasping for air just like a fish out of water while she’s trying to fight her battle. This is the hardest moment of her closure and Kyuhyun was right, he can support her with all he might but in the end it’s Eungi herself that can save her broken heart.
Kyuhyun is shaken in his place, he wants to grab her hand and take her out of this place, he wants to wraps his arms around her to comfort her, he’s dying to take her misery out of her heart, yet he’s too shock to even move a step from where he’s standing. Seeing her breaking down this way somehow tells him how much she still lingers in her memories, he understands how much she tries to move on but looks like Eungi hasn’t manage to control her own emotion, as if she’s trying to goes on with her life but aren’t willing to let go of her love for her great man either—after all Kyuhyun once again feel like he’s just a mere replacement of Siwon.
And it hurts him.
The feeling called jealousy is too underrated to describe what he feels. He’s angry—angry for her fickle mind, angry for her weakness over her emotion, angry for letting himself feels comfortable around her while he knows what kind of heavy burden she has, angry for doubting himself at the moment. He’s also ashamed—ashamed for feeling the anger he has, ashamed of his incapability to do better to comfort her, ashamed of his jealousy over a dead man.
Then the next form of emotion attacks him—doubt.
Will he ever be enough for her? Will she ever love him the way she loved Siwon? Can he take her out of her misery? Can he replace the great man that Siwon was for her? Will he be strong enough to be the rock she needs him to be? Will he be determined enough to continues chasing her shadow? Can he handle another episode of her meltdown?
And the most dangerous question he has in his mind is—is it too late for him to back out from all these mess?