Category: Romance, NC-21, Chaptered
Cast: Cha Eungi, Choi Siwon, Cho Kyuhyun
The day goes by really fast when they try hard to catch up with each other. After their meltdown earlier, He helped her to tidy up a little bit before both of them decided to stay in and enjoy a Korean home cook meal that he really wanted, she gladly showed off her improved cooking skill and he doesn’t need more encouragement from her to finish his plate. Seem like it takes no time for both of them to adjust themselves from their awkward term to return back to what they were before the mishap happened. After their late lunch, Kyuhyun and Eungi has been busy doing nothing to spend their weekend. She still insists him to go see a doctor but he convinced her that what he really need is just some rest and some tender care from her. Both of them have more than a year worth of gap to fill in, so the day goes by quickly to turn into night as they hang out in front of the fireplace, cuddling each other on the thick carpet, covers with a warm blanket.
“How hard it was to get in here, Kyu? How many times you tried to apply?” She runs her fingers on his head that’s now laying on her lap.
“My first attempt honestly. I guess you’re right about one thing noona, I might be a genius.” He winks and grins playfully.
She scoffs but then nods to his statement. “I never misjudged anyone. It’s awesome here right?”
He frowns, “I still have some difficulties with the language barrier and the food, but yeah the campus itself is amazing. I understand why you like it so much.”
“You’ll love it more, trust me. Next semester when you begin your initial thesis research, it’ll get more interesting and challenging.” Her eyes widen from her own excitement. “You can even use your research as an excuse to travel around Europe, like I did back then.”
“You really enjoy Europe aren’t you, noona?” Kyuhyun takes her hand that’s on his head to hold on his chest, “So, tell me what did you do in Vienna?”
“Vienna? I never went there.”
“Then why I got a report you left EU from its airport?” He lifts his head and stares curiously at her.
She tries to collect her memory of ever being in that city and her mind clicks, “Aah.. I was hiding in Hallstatt, it’s a little town on the west of Austria—a beautiful town, we should visit together one day. I used up all of my remaining EU permit then left the country from Vienna.”
He gets up to position himself next to her, lift his arm to round it on her shoulder then pulls her close to lean on him. “I made it so hard on you, didn’t I? I’m sorry, no woman—no matter how independent she is—should roam over Europe broken and alone.”
Eungi moves her head to find the most comfortable spot on his shoulder, “You know what’s funny? The town was too beautiful for a brokenhearted person; I should’ve bought a train ticket to Auschwitz or Warsaw to really absorb in my depression.”
He smiles bitterly, “Why did you chose that place to ran away?”
“The earliest train ticket out of Paris that time.” She answers honestly, “I didn’t want to use a plane since the passenger record will be easier to find, I didn’t want to leave EU because I was too scared to return to Seoul and I didn’t want any immigration record so I picked the road travel option.”
“To conclude, you didn’t want me to find you.” He raises his eyebrow to confirm her act of protest. “Outsmart me as always, you didn’t swipe your card anywhere either.”
Eungi nods, “A part of me wished that you’d try to find me and that you’d appear in front of my face to surprise me. But I also aware that I really left no trace for you to follow.”
He closes his eyes and leans his head to the sofa behind them. “I had this picture of you breaking down helplessly somewhere, I felt like a huge hand is grasping my heart whenever I think of you being alone in the middle of nowhere and I pictured how awful it must have been for you, then I would begin with my ultimate way to stalk you again, but I really got nothing—you covered your track really well, if you’re a fugitive, I’m sure you’ll get away with your crime.”
“I don’t even know if I should be proud of that or not.” She mumbles on his shoulder.
“I’m sorry it took me so long to be here.” Kyuhyun sinks his face deeper in between her hair to breathe in her scent.
“Doesn’t matter, you’re here now.” She hugs him tighter, “Just make sure you remember my phone number from now on, I don’t care how hard it must be for you—just try to memorize it—or my email if numbers are too hard for you, learn to use a post-it to leave messages, or don’t leave at all.”
He kisses the top of her head deeply, he can’t believe how precious the person he’s holding in his hand, he torn her apart before but now she’s showering him with her love all over again, as if nothing bad ever happened to them.
“Honestly I couldn’t remember those early three months after you’re gone,” Eungi continues talking, “I took comfort in alcohol and any other bad stuff, tried so hard not to get sober because once I’m sober enough, I reminded of you all over again and it was too much for me to handle.”
He clenches his jaws to hide his anger towards her bad decision, but lets her continue with her story.
“It was blurry how the time passed before me, sometimes I would think really hard on how I ended up in one place because I have no memories of the journey, I let my heart controlled my life for a whole year and by the time I was ready to move on, I begin seeing the image of you around me.” She scoffs cynically, “I felt like I was going crazy for seeing stuff that weren’t real and I fell to the nostalgia of you one more time, so to conquer my loneliness I begin to sink myself in the bad substance to kept me relax.”
“Stop that from now on, ng?” He places his palm on her face to look deeply into her round eyes, “I hate drunken Eungi, I hate Eungi that smokes just to prove a point, and that Eungi that smoked a whole stem of marijuana in Amsterdam, that’s not my Eungi. My Eungi is this sweet woman with the purest heart and best personality, stop ruining my good Eungi, ne?” He feels his tears once again wells up in his eyes.
“You knew?” Her heart sinks at once with the sight of her man starts to break apart again in front of her, she never meant for him to ever found out about her mishaps that turned her into the worst version of herself.
“This is one of the other reason why I hate drunken Eungi, she forgot stuffs.” Kyuhyun softly flicks her forehead, “I was frustrated when I saw you getting high in Amsterdam, I know we’re in the Netherlands and that’s part of the beauty of this place but come on! You lost your self-control and let a guy touched you.” He shakes his head to erase that image from his head.
“So I wasn’t hallucinating that time? It was really you?” She pouts her mouth. “Why didn’t you showed up before? Why wait until now to meet me? Didn’t you know how much I’ve missed you?”
“Because I didn’t know what to say to you. I was neck-deep into my guilt and I didn’t think I deserved to talk to you.” He runs his hand through her hair to caress her, “I found out you’re enrolling for a post-doc here so I sent my application letter not long after. The first time I spotted you in campus was the time I swore my heart could really jump out of my chest—I was dying to come to and greeted you but then my guilt took over. I followed you around since then, especially when you went out at night and to top it off, I rent a place right across your back yard so I could watch you closely.”
Kyuhyun points to his rented apartment located right across her backyard from the big window in the living room, “I live there. How creepy is that, huh?”
She doesn’t know how to react but she ends up laughing. “If it any other man I would definitely call the police and demand a restraining order right now!” She pulls him closer to her then gives a quick peck on his lips, “But because it’s you, I’ll say it’s romantically creepy. Still creepy though, but the fact you found a perfect place to stalk me is amazing.”
“It’s available and within my budget, so why not?” He lifts his shoulders nonchalantly.
“Ha! That’s a word I never thought I’d hear from you.” She curls her brow in confusion.
“Ah, I forgot to tell you.” He smirks and avoids her gaze. “We went bankrupt in the first month since my father couldn’t provide the stock holders with a doctor statement of him being healthy.”
“Oh my God, are you okay?”
He nods, “It’s a long story honestly.”
“I have time.”
“I don’t like showing you my weakness.”
“I insist.” She stares him down, “You left me for a year and you owe me a lot of stories to catch up.”
He scoffs cynically, “How many times you’re going to use that card against me?”
“As many as possible.”
“Fair enough.” He lifts his head up and begins wandering again, “Remember I told you that I was forced to return to Seoul after 24 hours’ waiting for your news in Paris?”
“My credit cards—all of them—were declined when I tried to book a hotel to stay the night while waiting, turned out my father’s assets were freeze so I really had to return to Seoul to fix the mess. I tried to use all of my cards to buy a plane ticket but since it’s useless, I went to the black market suggested by the doorman in the hotel and I sold my Rolex in return of a plane ticket back to Seoul.” He pauses to collect his memories over his hard times, “soon as I arrived in Seoul, a debt collector came to our house and demanded a collateral to un-freeze his assets, because obviously they can’t take his condition lightly.”
Eungi is listening to his story with tears welling on her eyes. She now understands why the man before her has grown and changed completely, he had to went through that kind of hardship without enough preparation and was forced to be mature in instant.
“We put all of his cars, his watches, his properties other than the house they live in as collateral and I had to sell my BMW too, to payed up all the expense from the previous bills before he collapsed.”
She gasped, she knew how much Kyuhyun associates his pride to his car.
He takes his gaze back at her and runs his fingers on her face to caress her, “I’m sorry noona, I know you love that car but it was necessary—it’s either my car or my apartment and I couldn’t give up my apartment, I’d go crazy if I have to live in the same house with my parents.”
“Kyu, I’m sorry-”
He shrugs his shoulder then cups her face in his hands, “I promise, I’ll get a better M series one day with my hard-earn money and I’ll take you around in that future car. But for now, you have to adapt yourself to walk and take public transport while going out with me.” He forces himself to smile no matter how crushed his pride is in front of her, “Or maybe I can buy a bike and take you around in it, it’ll be romantic also, right? Since we live in Netherland anyway.” He adds, as his attempt to cheer her up.
She sheds her tears for him, Eungi pulls his head closer to her and encloses his head to her chest. From the man that has everything turned to somebody that has nothing in one day must have been really hard for him. She was always blaming him for every bad fortune she had since he left but now she feels so sinful towards the man that really tried to handle all the mess around him in short amount of time.
“How are you holding up these days, Kyu?” She can’t help not to ask about this matter.
“I’m good, I mean I get my salary from my new position as vice-director in the campus and it’s more than enough to feed me properly and I even have enough luxury to take you out for some nice dinners.” He wipes the tears in her eyes and kisses her forehead. “The only difference is just I no longer get access to my father’s bottomless bank account—and even after he got well, I refuse to take the money that I didn’t earn. I won’t ever grow up if I continue on depending on the luxury he gives me.”
“Aish, you should’ve showed up in front of me sooner. I hold enough grudges against you to make me feel like shit right now. It must be really hard for you to keep all these by yourself.” She throws her weak punch to his chest, “If you’ve been around me since the beginning of the semester, why wait until this week to show up? Aargghh I’m so mad at you all over again.”
“Because I’m a coward. Did you think I’d expect you to welcome me with open arms? I thought the sooner I show up in front of you, the sooner you’d push me away and the slimmer the chance I’d get to fix us.” He gladly takes her punches that doesn’t hurt and caresses her again. “However, I showed up in Paris in the end because I knew how much that would affect you and I had to get rid of my guilt in order to give a moral support. I was even in the same carriage with you, did you not notice?”
She shakes her head and leans back on his shoulder, “It was shocking to meet you there, I never function well whenever I’m in shock.” She sinks her face in the curve of his neck to absorb his scent that she missed so much. “Tell me more, what happened after you sold all of your asset?”
“A lot of funny things happened all at once.” He gives out a dry laugh, “I had a dream to become an architect, not a business man, but my fate seems to be dictated for me back then. Did you know that running a campus wasn’t just about studying and researching? The first week when I took over, I was bombarded with numbers: how much asset my father still owned, how much stock that left, how much our profit had decrease, how many students we had to recruit in order to make up for that lost and so on.”
“It must’ve been really tough for you.” She mumbles.
“Tough doesn’t begin to describe that, especially when I’m the least person they’d expect to replace my father.” He scoffs cynically, “They questioned my ability and I couldn’t blame them for that, I was indeed clueless about his business.”
“How did you cope with it?”
“My step mother helped me a lot with that, that woman—she was never a good mother to me but I swear she’s the best wife my father could get. I made an agreement in front of my dad’s attorney that I would hand-out all my responsibility to her until I graduate.”
“But you’re here now, will that be okay?”
He nods, “I prolong the agreement and she’s handling the campus well with my father being her supervisor. Appa was the one that told me to pursue a master degree in order to really takes my place in the board directors, the title is kind of mandatory for a reason I don’t know about.”
“So it’s just a coincidence that you study here?” She curls her brow in confusion. She has to catch up with a lot of facts from his side and she wasn’t prepared for this much bad news.
He chuckles seeing her puzzled expression, “No, I applied here because I knew you’re enrolling in post-doc 2017, it doesn’t matter where I get my degree, besides, I can’t really give up my dream of being an architect and I want to make you proud.”
“I’m proud of you already, Kyu. Even Sir Joost agreed with me when I said there’re a lot of potential in you.”
“Ng, I hope I won’t let you down.” He tightens his hug around her and kisses her face several times. “But all my misfortune story aside, I’m curious, are you really not having any special something-something with that Vincent guy? I hate to see how close you were.”
Eungi laughs then pinches his cheeks, “Because I kissed him?”
He nods with a frown on his face.
“Didn’t you learn about the culture here yet? You greet your close relative by kissing them three times, if you’re invited to something and you can’t come—tell them straight to their face—the Dutch hate bullshits, don’t prolong your chitchat and cut to the chase for the same reason that they hate wasting their time to listen to your bullshit, accept the coffee they offer you after your meal, go home before they bluntly tell you to—and they won’t feel that it’s rude to send you home, bring your own birthday cake to your office, aish there’re lot of things you need to learn.” She grins widely. “Don’t worry, I’ll coach you on how to live like a Dutch and I’m sure you’ll love it.”
“Looks like you’re really enjoying yourself here.”
“It’s my second home, I don’t know but I always feel welcomed here.”
“That’s a relieve.” He lowers his head and leans on her shoulder, “I’m glad that you’re surrounded by people that love you, you weren’t as lonely as you were back in Seoul.”
She nods, agreeing with him. “What about you? How are you adapting to the Netherlands? Do you like it here?”
“Not yet. The language, their working pattern is also too slow compare to us Koreans, and like I said, sometimes I miss Korean food really bad and I ran out of ramyeon already.”
Eungi laughs freely to his innocent answer, “Are you free tomorrow night?”
“Shall we go out on a casual date?” She raises her eyebrow excitedly, “I mean, if your fever has gone down and you feel better already.”
“You have no idea how much I long for a casual date with you.” He takes his hand to mess with her hair.
“I’ll buy you a welcome dinner, there’s this authentic Korean restaurant in Den Haag that I’m sure will cure your longing of Korean food, we can stock up some kimchi and ramyeon too if you want.” She widens her eyes in excitement, “Have you tried to visit the neighboring cities?”
Kyuhyun shakes his head, “I followed you around, remember? So I’ve only been to the places you’ve been in the past four months.”
“Omo, did you really followed me around like a psyco?” She gasps and closes her mouth in surprise.
“A romantic-psyco.” He corrects her.
They continue to talk about whatever topic comes to their mind to pass their night, only when she begins to yawn widely Kyuhyun decided to moves her to her bed to tuck her in. Eungi is still clinging tightly to him and begs him to spend the night with her as she pats the empty space next to her pillow—which he accepts gladly without any hesitation. They both fight the heaviness in their eyes no matter how tired they are as they almost nodding off into their sleep, Kyuhyun and Eungi still tries to talk while she leans peacefully on his chest while he’s grazing her back softly to comfort her.
Kyuhyun removes something that wedges him on his back and takes out her bunny plushy, “Is this my replacement? Do you usually sleep with this bunny?” He lifts her plushy to her face with a grin on his face.
“That’s Miffy! It’s a welcome gift I got from Sir Joost’s wife when I return to Delft.” She chuckles, “By the way, the bunny is famous here.”
“I know.” He puts it back down, “Are you that close with him, with Professor Van Wijk?”
She nods, “He’s more of a father figure for me than my professor.”
“Was he the professor you had a crush about?”
She laughs, “Heck no! that’s my professor in Hongdae, not Sir Joost.”
“That’s a relieve.”
“Don’t tell me you’re jealous of him too.”
“I’m jealous with every man within a close distance to you.” He declares it without shame. “I’m a jealous man, a very jealous man, so don’t try to test my patience by being touchy with another guy.”
“You can’t be too friendly with any girl either.”
“I won’t, I’m too busy anyway.” He plants a deep kiss on her head, “Thank you, Eungi-ya.”
“For having the purest heart.” He rubs her back as he hugs her tighter, “I never dared to expect you to ever forgive me for what I’ve done. I can’t believe my fortune, even with all the mess happen back at home, I still find a piece of joy in your arms.”
“I was desperate.”
“What do you mean?”
“Don’t be mad if I talk about him tonight, please. I promise it’ll be the last time.” She lifts he body and support it with her elbow while she stares closely at him.
Kyuhyun closes his eyes, takes a deep breath and force a smile, “Fine, go ahead.”
“I didn’t need a closure from him that time. I knew what happened and I never asked ‘why’ or wondering if I’ve done something wrong that caused him to leave me.” She clears her throat when she sees Kyuhyun begins rolling his eyes, “You, in the other hand left without any explanation and I was consumed with those questions. I never had a closure nor answer from you, so I was desperate, I was desperate to get my answer while at the same time I was too afraid to listen to you reasons.”
“Because your reasons could vary, but the ones I fear the most were that you left me because you’re tired of me, because I was too much for you to handle, and that you stopped loving me.”
“I know now, but before you explained everything to me, I was drowned in self-blame for a mistake that I didn’t even understand. So yeah, I turned into this worse version of me that seek shortcuts to clear up my thoughts and I’m sorry for that, I shouldn’t even make that as an excuse.” She places her head back on his chest. “I had one regret, one huge regret for a thing I didn’t do to you back then.”
“What was that?”
Eungi scoffs, “You haven’t read my book, have you? I wrote it down there.”
Kyuhyun inhales deeply, “I don’t think I’d ever have enough courage to read your book, I’m sorry, I support you for that but I can’t let myself drag into the same pit that led to our misunderstanding.”
“It’s okay, I understand.” She nods, “But if I may have a request, please read the last chapter. I dedicate that chapter to you. When I wrote that, I imagined that I might never had a chance to see you or talk to you again, so I figured I’d tell my unsaid words to you with my writing.”
“Why don’t you tell me in person now?”
“I don’t remember it word by word, but if you want me to sum it up.” She clears her throat again to make sure she delivers the message loud and clear while she gets the perfect chance to tell him. “I’m thankful for your presence in my life, I’m grateful for the constant protection and understanding you kept on showering me in the time I needed it the most, I enjoyed every single second I spent with you, I was so lucky to be able to encountered my sadness with the gift of a better man—a man that wanted to do nothing but constantly to be better for my sake, and I regret that I never get to tell you how I really feel about you. Because I fell in love with you, I fell so hard that I didn’t even realize when I begin to feel restless without you around, when I started to feel like I’m ready to fall without you next to me, it all came in a rush that I was too overwhelmed with my own feeling, so I felt the need to comprehend it first before I express what I feel to you. But it was too late back then and I never get a chance to tell you how much I love you, and I live with that regret throughout my hard time.”
Kyuhyun’s breathing is constant and he doesn’t react to her words, he’s closing his eyes, saving this moment in his mental memory to cherish forever.
“Kyu, are you asleep?” She lifts her head to check with him.
“How can I sleep when you confessed your heart out like that.” He opens his eyes, places his hand on her nape and pulls her closer, “Thank you, that’s the most beautiful thing anyone had ever said to me in my whole life. This is exactly why I’m addicted to you Eungi-ya, you put me in this pedestal that makes me feels worthy of something so precious in my life such as yourself.”
“Thank you for coming back.” She smiles sweetly.
Kyuhyun pulls her to softly brushes his lips on hers, his gratitude is beyond of what he can express by words, he’s pressing his shaken lips onto hers, taking their moment slowly to make up for their suffering from the time they were apart. There’s no lust in their touch, only their suppress needs to be next to each other. He rounds his arms on her back and waist and closes their bodies gap, not willing to leave any space between them, for he misses her too much and he tries to delivers his long yearning of her by embracing his most treasured gift in his arms